Hello everyone! Today, I wanted to share all my hobby updates for the month.
I feel like it’s been a pretty chill month, but there’s actually quite a bit to chat about. Here we go!
I haven’t done too many projects actually! I should find some stuff to do now that I think about it. I did spray paint a little pot for one of my plants, Elphaba if you’re following along on my Insta. It was originally brown and it was cute but I really wanted a white pot so Elphaba could match Glinda.
This month I shared my bujo part 2 video! Feel free to check it out if you haven’t already! In that video I focused on April, May, and June.
Otherwise, I’ve done a ton for my bujo. I’ve started to do more pages per month to allow more “fun” pages. I did that partly because I wanted to have more fun space to work with to be creative each month but also because I realized I was going to have way too many blank pages at the end otherwise. I also started doing stuff with the final pages of the bujo, since I knew what I wanted to do with a bunch of them already. I think I might need some continuation pages from the first portion of the bujo, like my books tracker. I wish I could chalk that all up to this being my first bujo so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but honestly it’s because of how crazy this year has gone! I highly doubt I would have read so many books if not for the quarantine, otherwise I would have left the entire spread at the front for two full pages for books. Ah well, that’s just the fun of a bujo honestly! I’m excited to share what I’ve created in part 3 in the coming months!
As always, I’m listing all the books I’ve finished since the previous Lively post below with their star ratings. All thoughts on them are saved for future (or even past!) Mini Book Review posts but those will be linked below if so. I won’t include any books that I didn’t finish although I’ll be sure to add them into the review posts.
This month I read 8 books. That brings my total of books read in 2020 to 39, out of an original goal of 20. The quarantine really helped me exceed that goal!
- An American Summer: Love and Dead in Chicago by Alex Kotlowitz – 3/5 stars
- Milk & Cookies: 89 Heirloom Recipes from New York’s Milk & Cookies Bakery by Tina-Marie Casaceli – 3/5 stars
- TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris J. Anderson – 3/5 stars
- The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper – 3/5 stars
- The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel – 2/5 stars
- City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare – 3/5 stars
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates – 4/5 stars
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou – 4/5 stars
This month I’ve watched a ton of movies! I am not usually a movie person but when I was puppy sitting my puppy niece, she loved to nap so I would find a movie to watch. I also ended up getting Disney+ so the novelty of that service also pushed me to watch more movies.
First, I watched Zenon on Disney+. My friend Erin and I decided we wanted to watch a movie and discuss it later so we picked the Zenon film and decided to also watch the rest of them too! I loved the film as much as I had when I was younger. It’s so crazy and I totally get why Zenon’s parents were so drastic in their punishment for her. I also loved how they talked and called everything “major” or “minor”. This is just a great film honestly!
I then watched Aladdin, the new live action one on Disney+. I loved the live action! I think it was super well done but I did wish it was more like the stage (musical) version towards the beginning. or at least added more elements from that one. Even so, I think it did very well in taking the story and staying true to it while still putting it’s own spin on it. I also really loved the added Jasmine parts at the end and how incredible her character became.
At this point I felt bad that I was neglecting Netflix so I switched over to it and saw Athlete A pop up. I was curious so I clicked it to see what it was about (coincidentally I was looking for a documentary). The film is a documentary about how the horrors of Larry Nassar was discovered and reported. My friend Erin actually had watched it too (also a coincidence) and we both agreed it was very well done and such an important topic to acknowledge how it happened in the first place. I love watching gymnastics, particularly during the Olympics when it’s more readily accessible to watch, but this is a dark portion of the beautiful sport that is important to address and fix.
Back on Disney+, I watched Big Hero 6, which I’d wanted to watch for awhile actually! I only saw it once back when it was first released and just really wanted to watch it again. Overall it’s a really great movie, although I felt like the plot was more rushed than I remembered? I felt like the brother tried harder to get Hiro to go to his school and then I thought I remembered a longer sequence of the group training and getting outfitted for battle. It was still good pacing and the movie is amazing, but I was so confused for a bit wondering if parts of the movie had somehow been removed. How strange! But I enjoyed it a ton.
Also on Disney+, I watched Coco! You might remember how much I love this film if you’ve been here awhile. I’d wanted to watch it last month but I couldn’t find the movie at home, and I’m pretty sure I own it. I’m sure it’s around somewhere, but I honestly didn’t look too hard since I knew I’d be getting Disney+ soon. I did start the movie and got super confused because something didn’t seem quite right… Then I realized I hadn’t changed it to Spanish! I only watch Coco in Spanish, so I quickly changed the language and all was right in the world. (I also can only watch the original Lion King and The Aristocats in Spanish.) I also had my puppy niece while watching this (and various other movies) and this was the only film she was remotely interested in. I think she liked the dog, Dante, but she was not at all interested in the chihuahuas which I thought she would be because she’s a chihuahua! So weird but I love her and the movie all the same.
Now, for the reason I got Disney+, Hamilton! Yes, that’s right. I only got the service because I wanted to watch Hamilton. I mean, I probably would have gotten it eventually, but I wouldn’t have gotten it yet if it wasn’t for the musical. So I watched it two and a half times now (I left off at intermission last time) and I love noticing new things each time. It’s so intricate. I’ve watched the musical twice in person and while I do think that musicals should be primarily experienced on stage, it’s still amazing to watch the OBC perform.
Back to film series, I also watched Zenon the Zequel. I’m waiting for Erin to watch it to discuss it with her but we had both said before that we couldn’t remember what happened in this one. All Erin could remember was that they did have to come to Earth for part of it but I couldn’t remember anything. Honestly it was such a weird film and a weird sequel but it was still charming in it’s own way.
Back to live action films on Disney+, I saw the new live action The Lion King. I thought it was super cute and I did really enjoy it! I think it is pretty cool that these classic cartoon films are being turned into live action films so we can enjoy them in a whole new way. It’s just a gorgeous film and an amazing homage to the beloved original.
Then, I watched The Color of Friendship on Disney+. You might remember that I’m a fan of the YouTube show The Morning Toast, and they chose this film for one of their “Toast Movie of the Week”. I did watch it because I remember watching once years ago, but didn’t fully remember the film because I think I had it on while studying in the background. So I found it on Disney+ and watched it one day. I really enjoyed watching it! It seems dated as it’s set in the 70’s but the message is still super important and well worth reviewing.
Next, I watched Moana, also on Disney+. I really love that film and so one night when I was looking for a movie this one came up. I hadn’t had anything in mind really, so I was worried I was just going to scroll and end up not picking a film. But I hadn’t seen Moana in so long that I just decided that it’d be the perfect movie to watch!
I watched a few more episodes of Madam Secretary on Netflix. I’ve finished the second season and am well into the third season! I feel like the season finale of the second season and then the opening episode of the third were super extra and dramatic but I do still really enjoy watching it!
The other series I watched was Liv & Maddie which is actually a Disney Channel show (currently on Netflix, not Disney+). I find it so crazy to believe that Dove isn’t two different people and is actually both Liv and Maddie. While it is very much meant for children to watch, I just love watching stuff where the plot is nicely wrapped up in that episode and easy to watch too. I’m about halfway through the second season I believe, and it’s just a funny little show!
Musicals & Concerts
This month the YouTube channel, The Shows Must Go On, showed a couple musicals that I watched. First, was The Sound of Music. It was the live stage version that had been televised previously. I actually really liked watching it! The stage version is very different from the movie version, and both are great. I enjoyed it and thought it was super fun. This isn’t an ALW musical but was one of the ones that was “donated” to be aired on the channel due to the quarantine. It had previously been shown but due to copyright restrictions for it, I wasn’t able to watch last time (nor was anyone in the US). It was shown again so that US people could watch this time, which I was happy about!
Then I also watched Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat again on this channel. It was the first show that was shown back in March or April I believe, and was shown again this month. I did watch it again, as the last time I think I only watched part of it. It was pretty weird to watch overall but it was pretty cool too. The channel is taking a bit of a break now until August I think, but I’m excited to see what else they share when they’re back.
I also wanted to promote the Royal Opera House YouTube channel as they’re showing recordings of their previous shows. I watched the opera The Magic Flute, which was super cool and dramatic, as well as the ballet Romeo and Juliet, which I love.
Well I have to mention Taylor Swift’s 8th album, Folklore! Taylor released this album with pretty much no warning, only announcing it the day before! Absolutely crazy but still so fun to experience. I did end up staying up to listen to the album as it was released at 11pm in my timezone (CST), and I was so happy I did! I love the sound of the new era and I’m so excited to continue to listen and learn these songs.
I don’t really have any specific video or channel that comes to mind but I’ve really been loving the home-y videos. I am starting to feel the need to change up my spaces again, so I’m looking at organization videos, decor videos, and stuff like that! I really think I need to do a mood board for both my home office and my bedroom. Since my bathroom is pretty newly redecorated I don’t need to do anything there but I think my office and bedroom need some more work.
This month I started listening to a new podcast, You Can Sit With Us. If you’re familiar with the Try Guys on YouTube (and their own podcast The TryPod), this podcast is with the women in their lives! It features Ariel (Ned’s wife), Becky (Keith’s wife), Maggie (Zach’s girlfriend), and Rachel (the Try Guys’ producer). All four women will just chat about a certain topic and have such a lovely friendship. It’s super fun to listen to and I actually watch the video version with this one.
It’s been a great video game month! Starting with Hogwarts Mystery, I’m playing it casually still. I actually haven’t been keeping up with the story as much as before, but because I did buy a new pet recently (the baby owl) I have been trying to get more brown books as I literally used all the ones I had. I’m honestly not really into it but since it’s a mobile game then it’s fine.
The main game I played this month was The Last of Us 2 as I finished the game and then started a new Game Plus, which is when you start the game over but with all the upgraded skills and weapons you already had. I did a review on my thoughts on the game already (linked on the game title) so I won’t ramble much more on it.
I also played a bit of Skyrim again. One day when I just wanted something more lowkey, so I pulled out Skyrim again! I didn’t want to head back to Raven Rock to do more quests just yet, I just kinda wanted to run around and try to find the last few items I needed for my homestead houses. I found a couple items, but not everything yet! I also invested gold in a few more businesses, sold a few things I found in my houses that I didn’t need (I’m a hoarder in video games too), and it was just much more of a maintenance sort of play session than anything else. It was fun though! Then the next time I picked it up I was feeling more adventurous so off I went back to Raven Rock where I acquired the manor, I did a few quests here and there in Skyrim, and then eventually started to organize my bookshelves in my library that I put in Winstad Manor back in Skyrim. It’s taking awhile because I don’t want duplicate books and I want to color coordinate my shelves LOL. I’m so glad I’ve started to pick up this game again.
I’ve baked a few things this month! First, I made some homemade dog treats for my puppy niece. It was super simple and basically just had three ingredients. Oatmeal, banana, and peanut butter. I let the puppy niece eat the peanut butter off the spoon that was left over and she loved it. She seemed to like the treats too! I also made M&M cookies, blueberry muffins, and spiced oatmeal cookies for the humans. I’ll be sure to share those recipes in my next baking post.
Walking this month was extra fun since my puppy niece was here! It was super fun to have a dog to walk around with. She also really seemed to like it although she’d get tired and take little breaks. We would go out twice a day with her, so that was cool since we normally just go out for human walks in the morning or evenings and that’s it. We have since gone back to one walk per day although for awhile we continued with two a day. The main reason for that was that the mornings were just too hot so we’re just doing the evening walk now. I miss having a puppy companion to bring along though!
I started my online ballet class! The park district that I take ballet classes from decided to do zoom classes this summer due to restrictions in Illinois. They weren’t lifted in time for the class to take place in person so we’re all dancing from our homes. I’m doing my classes in my home office with a chair for a barre! (My puppy niece made a guest appearance when she was here.) My instructor is also using a chair and moves from room to room each class because she just moved so she’s unpacking and going into rooms as they are available basically. Another classmate has done the class from her garden, another in her basement, one in her living room with an actual portable barre, and another doesn’t have a webcam but we’re all making the best of it! We aren’t really getting corrections but it’s still nice to interact with the others at the start and the end of class. I miss being in the dance studio though!
That’s all my updates! Let me know what you’ve been practicing and doing this month. I’d love to know!
Thanks for reading!
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