Hello everyone! Welcome to BirthMay 2020! Today, I’m sharing all my hobbies for the month.
Since I was still in the Q for May, then this will still be quite long I think!
In case you’re new, BirthMay is my annual birthday celebration where I blog every day for the month of May. This is the fourth annual BirthMay and no matter how many BirthMays you’ve been here for, thank you for your support!
This section is all about my hobbies!
Well, since the library is still closed, I wasn’t able to attend any DIY nights but I still got some crafts done! I tried to teach myself some embroidery and did okay I think. I have a hoop but it was very large for the fabric I was using (the fabric was already cut so it fit horizontally but was too short vertically) which made it a bit hard to use. Plus, I didn’t have the proper embroidery thread either, so I used regular sewing thread which meant it took a lot longer as the thread is so thin. It was fun and I’d love to try again with fabric that can fit properly onto a hoop, as well as with proper thread. (Although I feel like I also have too many “old lady” hobbies? I’m unclear how many is too many honestly.)
I tried my hand at drawing too, which went pretty well! I did a little bit of drawing in a sketch book of some tulips which I think it looked beautiful but I’m biased! I also kept seeing digital art, where you basically take a photo for reference and make it into an art piece. It was everywhere on TikTok and Instagram so I looked up a few tutorials, since it seemed easy enough and I didn’t want to pay someone else to do it for me. I did one of myself and my sister which turned out okay, but I really didn’t know what I was doing. I did a few more tutorials and did one of my puppy niece, which I think turned out great! My sister loved it! It was pretty tough as I added a lot more details but took my time with it as well as watched a ton more tutorials while making it, so I think that’s why it was much better even though it was harder than the first attempt. Now I’m trying out my friend Erin’s dogs! Her dogs are a bit harder as they’re more fluffy where as my puppy niece was super easy because she wasn’t. so we shall see!
I also have a few jewelry making supplies so I made a nice bracelet recently! I also shortened three bracelets that I’d made previously as I’d made them much too large for my tiny wrists (I seriously have very small wrists). I have more supplies but they don’t really match well so I didn’t make anything else, as I’d rather wait until I can go to the store and pick out things that better fit with each other later.
Since I do mini reviews now I won’t go too much into the books I read this month. But here’s a list of them and the ratings I gave them and once I get to ten from the last reviews post I did then I’ll be sure to share them!
- Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake 4/5 stars
- Maybe This Time by Kasie West 4/5 stars
- Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik
- Me: Elton John Official Autobiography by Elton John
This month I watched Taylor Tomlinson’s comedy special on Netflix, Quarter-Life Crisis. I kept seeing hilarious clips of this special on TikTok so I knew I had to watch it! As I suspected, I’d seen the funniest clips already, but it was still really enjoyable and it was great seeing how those clips fit into the rest of the special. I really loved this one and couldn’t stop laughing!
I also watched Michelle Obama’s Becoming on Netflix. I absolutely loved it! I’d recently read her book last month, so I already knew a lot of the stories she told, but it was the added layer of her interacting with her family or with fellow citizens that really made it special. Plus, I hadn’t been able to go to her Chicago book tour stop so it was really cool to see snippets of her book tour in the movie as well. It was just a great, refreshing, and positive film that I could really appreciate during the Q!
I realized that Netflix had gotten Community, so I started watching the show from the beginning this month. I’d watched it years ago when a college friend recommended it to me because I was taking extra classes over the summers at a community college near me and thought it’d be funny for me. I love it as much as I did then! I’m about halfway through season 3 and it’s so weird how much and how little I remember at the same time. There are episodes where I don’t remember them at all but then there are others that I remember perfectly. So funny how that works! I had also watched the Zoom reunion of the cast and it was hilarious how they even stated multiple times in the reunion that they couldn’t believe how much they got away with during filming, and it’s true. Every adventure you can imagine, it happened! I do think that the show kind of mixes high school or general school experiences on top of college stuff, such as the weird amount of dances the school holds when in college there really aren’t dances. Even so, it’s super fun to watch and I love how crazy all the plots are.
I also continued to watch Designated Survivor and I’m done with season 2! Honestly, I think this show is making me more stressed out as there’s always something going horribly wrong. Not even just regular wrong, it’s chaotically and catastrophically wrong. I literally can only watch one or two episodes at a time before switching to something else, usually Community right now. I love the show, but omg I just need a breather after! But I did start season 3 as the show does a really good job of keeping a good flow from episode to episode so I just let it keep going sometimes. However, the plot of season 3 involves a horrible deadly, contagious virus and that plot is starting to pick up fast in the episodes so I think I might wait to finish watching season 3 for awhile… Might be time to pick up Madam Secretary or something else!
Musicals & Concerts
Since all theatres are still closed by me, I haven’t seen any musicals in person but I did watch a few through the YouTube channel The Shows Must Go On! which is a channel run by Andrew Lloyd Webber of his musicals. They’re only posted for 48 hours so they’re not available anymore and I didn’t watch all of them this time. I watched part of the Royal Albert Hall Celebration, but it wasn’t really that interesting to me as I’d already seen the performances in separate videos that really interested me.
The following weekend was By Jeeves, and unfortunately I only saw the first 25 minutes of it before it expired as I’d forgotten to watch it until right before it was removed. I really wish I had watched because the start of it was really funny and the story seemed interesting.
The next musical was Cats (not the new movie, it’s a 1991 version). I’ve never seen it or any recording of the musical but I sort of knew what to expect and it was pretty cool to watch. It’s not my favorite musical by far, but I’d see it if the opportunity presented itself.
Unfortunately, that was the end of the musicals for the channel, although they are trying to continue with other musicals. The one last weekend was one of the tv aired adaptations of a musical, but due to copyright it couldn’t be shown in the US. So that was disappointing but oh well! Hopefully I can watch some future ones.
I don’t have many musical faves this month. I’ve been listening to a lot of the regular stuff I listen too although I have started to add in some more of the Beetlejuice cast recording after hearing snippets on TikTok. I’m really liking it so far!
I’ve mostly been using YouTube for tutorials if I’m being honest! I’ve watched bujo videos, digital drawing tutorials, sewing projects, jewelry making videos, etc. I don’t have any particular ones I’d recommend but if you ever find yourself wondering how to do something, I highly recommend searching for a video on YouTube on it.
I’ve been watching more podcasts than just listening to them. I tend to watch them on YouTube. I haven’t found any new ones, I’m mostly listening to the same ones! I did want to say that the Sierra Unflitered episode 36 of “Skylar’s Birth Story” was an amazing episode. Sierra features her friend and employee, Skylar, a ton on her podcast (they’re pretty much cohosts but Skylar didn’t want her name in the title) and Skylar recently came back from maternity leave. The two are continuing the podcast virtually and the birth story episode was such a roller coaster. I was listening to it while baking and my mom was around and we were both horrified at how badly Skylar’s birth story was. At several points my mom just asked “geez, were her doctors and nurses trying to kill her??” because it was so bad. It was really good to hear Skylar talk so openly and honestly about how traumatic her experience was and I learned a ton about all that process. I think it was really eye-opening and informative so I just wanted to share that.
I haven’t played a ton of Hogwarts Mystery as I didn’t really care about the timed weekly events this month. I did play through the new chapters going up but even those weren’t super interesting. I’m mostly just playing this game because I started it and trying to finish the story. However, the story is releasing slower than ever so I’m not super into it right now. I might take a break from it and then come back to catch up on the story later, we’ll see!
I started Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which is the newest game of this series (so far). In the game, Lara starts out in Mexico before heading to Peru. I feel as if even though this is newer, I must have seen less walkthroughs of this game on YouTube because there’s plenty of parts that I don’t remember seeing. For all previous games (Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider) I constantly felt like I’d played the game before almost, because I’d seen so many walkthroughs of how to play it. This one the main story cut scenes I remember, and some bigger events, but there’s plenty that feels new to me, so I do think that I either watched less videos on the game or didn’t watch them too closely as I still wanted to keep some surprises on the story. So far, I’ve played through the start of the game in Mexico and have played a bit of Lara in Peru, but haven’t gotten her all the way into the town yet. I left off after the cutscene of Lara and Jonah after the jaguar incident.
I also started playing Skyrim as one of my friends has been playing it and reminded me how fun it is! It took me awhile to remember what I’d been up to when I last played it (because I don’t think I’ve picked it up in over two years before now), but once I did it was easy to get back into it. I finished constructing the outside of the third and last homestead house I was building, and managed to build most of the decorations for it, but still have quite a bit to go. I also finished the Jagged Crown quests and aligned with the Imperials to reunite Skyrim. Once I completed those quests I was able to buy the Windhelm house, which was the last house I needed to own all of them (although I think the Dragonborn DLC has another one I can buy later). Since the main stuff is all finished I’ve moved onto the Dawnguard quests. I quickly got through the Soul Carin and reading the Elder Scrolls as well as doing a few random side quests. I was planning to keep doing the side quests but since I had to become a vampire for the Dawnguard quest, I’m not sure if I’ll keep doing that or just complete the Dawnguard stuff. If being a vampire is too annoying I’ll go straight through those quests to be able to complete them and then cure my character’s vampirism before going onto another DLC and/or side quests. Otherwise, I’ve also been focused on leveling up a bunch of my skills that I had neglected previously and try to get a few of the higher ones up to 100. I’ve also been buying a lot of materials that I didn’t have to fully finish furnishing my 3 homesteads, as all of them were pretty much fully built but I had a few things such as random barrels that I put off or decor that I didn’t have all the items for.
Cooking & Baking
I’ve done a few simple cooking recipes! I posted my experience making brussels sprouts, broccoli delight, and pizza, which turned out pretty yummy! I’ll be doing blog post on the broccoli delight and a few other baking items I made eventually!
I’ve done a ton more baking than I have cooking though! Such a typical quarantine activity! I started with Bon Appetit’s Best Banana Bread, because my mom requested banana bread. I continued with Bon Appetit’s Marbled Brownies, which were delicious. Then I made some sugar cookies and peanut butter cookies. All those items I did posts on and their reviews are linked!
Tomorrow I’m posting my experience making honey cupcakes, so keep an eye out for that post. I also plan to write a post on my experience making muffins (peanut butter and banana), as well as lemon cookies and anything else I bake!
I have kept up doing yoga! I finished the “Home” series from Yoga by Adriene. I do miss the series, as it was nice to have something different every day to do, without thinking too much about it. Without the series, I’ve gone back to doing ballet videos or even other yoga videos too. I think I might look for a new workout series to try, probably a Blogilates one, as I like how easy it is to just go to the channel and look for the next video of the series instead of searching for something everyday.
I did do a chair yoga class that my library posted though. Last January I took a meditative yoga class at my local library and really enjoyed it. The same yoga instructor posted a chair yoga class online for the library to link to, since the library is closed right now so I did that class. It was very easy as it is meant to be for all ages and low impact, but it was still nice! I did get distracted though when I realized there was a wild turtle crawling across my yard though half way through.
The weather has been getting better this month so when it’s nice enough these days I’ve been able to go out for a walk. It really hasn’t been too many days, but it’s nice to get out when I can! I would say at the beginning of the month I was only able to get outside once a week but now at the end of the month it’s more like three days a week.
Well, my ballet classes have been cancelled for the summer too, so I’ll be doing ballet at home for awhile longer! As I mentioned earlier, I did a few more ballet classes from home through YouTube channels, the same ones I’ve mentioned before. I love the Kathryn Morgan ones and the Ballerinas by Night classes are pretty good too. I also found some classes by the Pacific Northwest Ballet channel (I believe that’s the name), but they’re a professional company so I can barely keep up! I do modify it a ton to make it more my speed but there’s also a ton of beginner/intermediate classes so I’m not really doing a ton of those anymore, even though they are fun to watch.
Since I’m at home I mostly do only the barre portions of the classes, or look for classes that are specifically barre only. There are plenty of center at home videos or portions of those classes, and sometimes I’ll try those but once they get to jumping, I’m out! Oh, I’ve also done a few beginner pointe classes, but don’t worry, I’m not actually en pointe! In case you don’t know, it’s super dangerous to go en pointe if you’re not ready, because you can hurt (or even break) your ankles. I just like doing those for some strength training and they’ve really helped my balance. I have a few I really like, and they can be pretty tough!
Beauty – Make Up & Skin Care
Well, I’m still not wearing make up but I have been using more skin care! I don’t have specific products to shout out but sunscreen is super important to me right now. Since the weather is getting nicer and I’m sending more time outdoors, sunscreen is a must! I’m also helping my dad with his landscape work on Saturdays, plus I’m also helping with watering the garden we just started, so I also put sunscreen on for both of those activities.
I have to give a shout out to Pinterest! I get a ton of ideas from there for recipes, craft projects, my bullet journal, and so much more! I do think their algorithm isn’t that great for randomizing what it shows you. Rather, it looks at what you’ve been clicking on recently or what you last searched and seems to only show that one topic instead of showing a mix of ideas from everything you enjoy. So I find that I have to be quite specific from what I want but also not super specific or it won’t give a good variation of ideas. Even so, it’s still a great resource!
Unemployed in the Q
Well, I’m still unemployed and job hunting! I am not too worried though, as I have a good amount of savings still and an not spending very much at all. However, I do miss having work to do, so I do hope I can find something soon. It’ll be weird to go from being one of the people that knows the most about the work in various areas (beyond just mine) to knowing nothing and being new, but it’s still exciting to think about!
As I mentioned, I’m helping my dad with his landscape work, as I usually do! While it is always a bit of a bummer to give up an entire Saturday just to do landscape work. I do like the part of it that I’m doing some actual physical labor and spend time outdoors, but it’s hard to justify giving up eight hours sometimes (although usually it is more like 5-6, we’ve just had bigger projects to work on recently). At the same time, I’m not being super productive at home, so I can’t even say that I’m taking time away from other stuff. I think it’s just one of the things of the Q that it’s stressing me out that overall I’m not being super productive but yet going out to do other work? It’s weird! I’m just trying to focus on enjoying it though and being positive about it.
Well, the entire reason BirthMay exists is because of my birthday! This year I’ve turned 29! I’m super excited to see what this year brings, even with everything going on. There’s still plenty of time to turn this all around and be able to enjoy the last year of my 20’s. No matter what happens the rest of the year though, I’m super grateful for everything in my life thus far and I’m excited to continue to learn and grow in future years.
So that’s my life updates and hobbies in May! Let me know what you’ve been up to and please join me for the last few days of BirthMay coming up. It’s been super fun!
Thanks for reading!
Follow me on social media!