Hello everyone! Today, I thought I’d share my hobbies for November.
I got up to quite a bit this month so here’s what’s been going on, hobby-wise!
So there were some fun DIYs this month! Since we can’t be outside due to the colder weather now, the library didn’t have in person DIY days anymore, and we can’t be inside because of the pandemic anyway, much less now that it’s getting even worse. So instead my librarian friend texted me and told me that she had just posted “take ‘n’ make” boxes to sign up for on the library website where you can sign up, pick up a box, and make the item at home! I signed up immediately and I was so excited!
I can only share this one as the other one I didn’t pick up yet! Here’s my book turkey! It was really time consuming to be honest, as we had to completely cut out the bottom half of the book, make the “feathers”, and then glue it all together but I think it was worth it for such a cute piece! I have no idea how to store it though so I’m guessing this is a one season only kind of decor item. The library supplied the book (an old Reader’s Digest, which had the weirdest stories that I caught glimpses of while cutting out the pages), the extra pages for the “feathers”, the turkey face, instructions with a YouTube video to follow, and that’s it! We had to supply our own cutting utensil and hot glue. It was a ton of fun, but again, very time consuming since you had to cut out all the pages and then fold all the remaining ones before you could move onto the rest. Still, it was a good project to spend an afternoon on during this new quarantine.
Oh, I did have to pick up the box socially distant of course! The library closed the lobby again due to new restrictions (well, are they “new” if we’ve already had them before?) so I had to call the library front desk to have them bring out the boxes. It’s really good that they remain open for us to be able to pick up materials as well as stuff we put on hold when it’s ready to pick up but they don’t seem terribly organized so it could be better. For example, the librarians aren’t allowed to go to the front desk to share the materials so the front desk is in charge of getting the materials for the patrons. But with this “extra” stuff like the boxes or even the books for book club, they have a bit of attitude? I think they’re frustrated because they don’t know about it until we go pick it up, not necessarily because it’s something else they have to do on top of their regular work. For example, when I went to go pick up the boxes I would call in and say something like “Hi, this is [my full name] and I’m picking up the Take’n’Make boxes that [librarian’s name] left for [my full name again] and [my mom’s full name]. She said she would have the ready for us to pick up and to call in to have them brought out.” So you can see that I gave all the info that they would need in order for them to understand what I was calling about. Instead, they have me repeat pieces of information two or three times, then they hang up while looking for the items, and finally bring it out after maybe ten minutes. I think they just either aren’t fully updated or they don’t fully look through any posted updates so they don’t know what I’m talking about and then they have to spend time figuring it out before they finally get what they need to do. It’s super weird but hopefully they get a better system going soon!
It’s wild how fast my bujo is filling up now! At the start of the year I thought it would take forever to fill it, but quite honestly I thought it was a waste of money because it was more likely I’d give up on it. Well, I didn’t give up, which is wild to think about! Of course, here’s one more month left in the year so I could potentially still give up on it, but I hope not as it is fun and I do really want to see a completed bujo. Also, I’d like to point out that I never anticipated that it’d be a great project for the quarantine too. I found myself making some fun pages as distractions since the pandemic really started affecting my life. I’m glad I started this bujo for sure!
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 4 books. So far I’m at 55 books read in 2020 out of an original goal of 20. Clearly, the quarantine did wonders for my reading time!
- Ember Queen by Laura Sebastian 4/5 stars
- Reverie by Ryan La Sala 4/5 stars
- The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare 4/5 stars
- Medieval Bodies: Life and Death in the Middle Ages by Jack Hartnell 3/5 stars**
** This was my library’s book club read! I’ll add more on the book club discussion in my next reading recap post.
The first movie for the month is Coco! With Dia de los Muertos being November 1 & 2, I thought it was the most appropriate film to watch. My sister did it better though because she and her roommate made tamales, and then she made Mexican polvorones cookies, so she won this year’s celebrations haha!
Then I continued the Disney Princess films with The Princess and the Frog. I loved it! Tiana is such a sassy and fun princess, plus she’s such a good role model with teaching kids to work hard to achieve their dreams. Is it still problematic? Sure. After all, she’s the only princess to be turned into an animal and be non human for most of her film. Also, in the end she did get her restaurant because she married a prince and then had her crocodile friend threaten the building owners into selling her the building. But I’m still going to count it as a success for her.
The next Disney Princess movie was Tangled. (Oh, all three of these movies so far I watched on Disney+.) I freaking loved this movie! Rapunzel is so fun to watch! I do think that the scenes with Mother Gothel are so creepy though because she’s so manipulative and evil. Watching Rapunzel grow in so much independence and confidence was beautiful though, and watching Flynn’s journey with Rapunzel was great too. I do think that Mother Gothel was an idiot for 1) taking Rapunzel no further than a day’s journey back to where she was kidnapped from and 2) not changing any major details about Rapunzel’s origins such as her birthday or even name. Well, the name I don’t think was confirmed but when Flynn was doing his voiceover thing at the start and end of the film I think he did continue to call her Rapunzel. Anyway, it was still a fun movie to watch.
I switched to Neteflix to watch the Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour film. I had been listening to folklore earlier that day and decided I wanted to see the Rep Tour’s film after that. It’s so fun to relive those memories (I went to the Saturday night Chicago concert). I do think that the film is a little annoying because it kept cutting to different angles and close ups so often when sometimes I just wanted to watch something fully without that fancy stuff but it is also fun to see Taylor’s expressions and some of her dancers as well that I missed when I was there in person. It’s a great show and I love watching it again.
I also watched Brave on Disney+. I did really enjoy this film as well. I love Merida’s character and I do feel that she’s a great role model for kids. Sure, you shouldn’t go and turn your mom into a bear just to get her to listen to you but the overall message of listening and communicating is great! It does lead to better understandings between everyone at the end of the day, so that’s really great to see
I finished The Good Place on Netflix! I was so sad about it because it was such a fun show and I do think it picked up again by the end of series 4 for me. That finale though! I am so happy my sister recommended it to me because it was such a good time. Since the episodes were short it was a really good show to just watch through for laughs before bed.
I am still keeping up with The Great British Baking Show on Netflix too. Normally I get spoiled though because it is aired on Tuesdays in the UK and then on Netflix it’s released on Friday. Since my phone knows that I like the show it’ll show me articles on the show all the time. The previews of the articles will then spoil who goes home at the end of the episode so by the time I see it I already know what’s going to happen. And since I’ve been addicted to the news for election coverage and pandemic updates this month more than ever, that’s why I accidentally see it and get spoiled. It’s still fun though, but it does upset me a tiny bit to know that information beforehand.
I’ve also watched a bit more of Madam Secretary. I am a little further into season 4 now, and it is full of ups and downs. Honestly the show was a little weird to watch because they were dealing with a government shutdown as a major plot point which then reminded me of how often the orange idiot of a president that we still have would go through shutdowns and then when the employees were furloughed it was suddenly something that I could completely understand (because I was furloughed due to the pandemic). But it’s still super fun other than that. I did feel for Allison, the middle daughter of the Secretary, when her character was struggling with imposter syndrome at college. Then Stevie, the eldest daughter, is clearly going to start dating Dimitri/Alexander (oh spoilers?) and I’m anticipating that Henry (the secretary’s hot hubby) is going to lose his marbles about it and I’m so excited for that. The youngest kid is super annoying, I don’t like him in the slightest but there’s one in every family so *shrug emoji*. Oh Daisy had her baby, I was devastated to see Nadine leave, and Blake is still my favorite person of all the State Department’s staff. Oh Russell also has me rolling laughing constantly when he tries so hard to be nice and helpful to Stevie. When she broke up with her fiance and Russell tried to comfort her? Hilarious! And actually kinda helpful? I loved it. I imagine if you haven’t seen the show, none of this makes sense, but if you do, please let me know haha!
I started the new season (fourth I think) of The Crown. I am greatly enjoying the addition of Diana to the mix and already I’m a huge Diana fan. Honestly, I hate Charles and Camilla. A lot. I think I just finished the episode where Diana and Charles are sent to Australia. It’s wild that Diana had to fight to bring her baby with her on the trip and that they secretly plotted to separate the two anyway for two weeks during the trip. There was no respect for Diana and her baby at all! That was disgusting honestly. I really enjoyed the episode “Favourites” where Queen Elizabeth II is trying to decide if she has a favorite kid or not but it’s so obvious when they show all four kids with her individually. Also how Phillip immediately said Anne was his favorite? Yeah, that was obvious too when he and Anne were teasing each other about the buck they were hunting an episode or two before that. I also love how Margret is now closer to the family instead of constantly butting heads with everyone but that seems to be because 1) there’s more people even crazier than she is now in the family so she doesn’t have to be the crazy sister anymore 2) she doesn’t have a crazy husband to fight with anymore 3) she is older and more mature now and 4) there’s so many more characters to explore! Since I’m not done with the season yet I’m sure she’ll have an episode about her eventually, or at least I hope so. I am enjoying the series for sure and I think my favorite characters are still Anne, Margret, Elizabeth, and now Diana. Although Phillip is more enjoyable this season now that he’s finally stopped having a complex about his wife being more important than him, so he’s earning a spot on the list of favorites but I’ll finish the season before I decide.
Musicals & Concerts
Okay, I know that bootlegs of musicals are NOT acceptable but… I just really missed musicals this month and I gave in and watched one. I think it was a recording of a preview of the show because the songs were different and the stage was super small and simple. But it was nice to be able to see what it kinda looks like. I don’t want to say what musical but it is one that I’ve wanted to see and was waiting for it to arrive in Chicago. I haven’t finished it yet but I did really enjoy watching it, even if I was very, very conflicted about it the whole time.
I also started folklore: the long pond studio sessions on Disney+. Since Taylor Swift can’t do a concert in person for fans during the pandemic, she recorded a live performance of them in a studio, which was amazing! It’s the closes we can get to a concert anyway, so it’s great she did that. I’m also grateful that she put it on a platform I already have! Phew! I haven’t finished it yet since it just came out today and I had to pause to finish this post, but it’s so good so far! I love how they talk about each song a bit before presenting it. It’s really beautiful and put together well.
I haven’t branched out in new music at all. Mostly just listening to folklore still. And I’m waiting for Taylor to rerecord her old music so I can discover it since I really only started listening to her during her 1989 era and became a real fan during reputation. I also have a newfound appreciation for “Betty”, “The Lakes”, and “August” this month.
I’ve spent so many hours on YouTube this month… it’s a problem really. First up, I watched the “ACNH Mini-Games Olympics” hosted by Mochii Gaming. It was so much fun to watch and I highly recommend if you have 3 hours to spare and are super obsessed with ACNH content. If not, some of the participants did shorter videos on the Olympics and those were fun too! Basically Mochii Gaming set up a ton of mini-games around her island and awarded points to everyone as the event went on. It was quite chaotic and super fun! I think Dom won the fashion contest and was ROBBED of the victory there. #JusticeforDom
I’ve been super into gaming videos clearly as now I’m also obsessed with Among Us content. Smosh has done really fun Among Us IRL videos, I’ve watched so many on Twitch, and my newest favorite gamer is Valkyrae. I came across Rae’s videos as she was playing with AOC, and to be honest I do try to go out of my way to watch and support female gamers because I know they have such a hard time sometimes in that industry. I have since become obsessed with watching her content around this game on YouTube! I also see a lot of clips on TikTok of this game, which is an added bonus.
I debated if I wanted to include this one as I don’t know if I actually enjoy this channel or not. I have been really into homesteading videos so I found the channel “Trent & Allie” who are building a house in the mountains in Nevada (I believe?). I really like seeing the process of the house being made. I just recently started when they were putting up the roof, which was wild because they almost knocked down their house in the process as the beam wasn’t secured properly. The reason I don’t enjoy them is because they are so annoying about everything though! They complain about ever step of the process because they keep rushing everything to “beat the snow” but then they mess things up (hence the beam issue that they had to redo completely because it was also installed wrong). They also complain about having to go up and down the mountain for materials or finding someone who will deliver to their site. At this point they did finally finish the roof before the snow but then they messed up the stairs or something. I keep watching because I do find the house building process to be really cool but they’re so annoying at the same time!
Lastly, I need to shout out the news outlets which had live coverage during the election. I was switching between ABC, NBC, and CBS news constantly during Election Day and the days that followed. If they hadn’t been on YouTube, I don’t think I would have been so informed as I don’t have cable. Well, my parents do and I live with them, but I don’t watch with them as my dad tends to hog the tv in the living room and my mom doesn’t care to stay informed. So with YouTube as an option, I was able to keep up with everything and am so grateful for it!
This one is on YouTube, but I’ve really been enjoying Felicia Day’s Women R podcast series. The first one I watched was “Women R Video Game Designers” which was a fantastic episode. Basically, Felicia invites women in industries where they tend to be the minority and showcases them to show that women can be successful in those fields, and so they can share their experiences. Plus, they provide background as to how they got involved in the industry, how they might have pulled away from it, and how to get it into the industry too. It’s super interesting and informative!
This next one isn’t a podcast, more like a lecture! My library invited author Kim Sigafus McIver to present on Native americans in Illinois. The talk was called “A Peek into the American Indian Way of Life Through Their Traditions and Oral Traditions” and Sigafus shared oral traditions, daily life, planting methods (specifically the Tree Sisters of corn, beans, and squash), as well as music by drumming and singing a lullaby. There was a short Q and A session at the end and it was super interesting to hear. Sigafus is Ojibwa but she was very knowledgable on various tribes who were native to the Midwest, specifically Illinois. I do want to read one of her books that she mentioned so I’ll have to check if my library has it!
I’ve played a ton more of Animal Crossing New Horizons! I just recently did my Snapshots From Aquila post so if you want a more in depth coverage of my island happenings, feel free to go over there. I haven’t done much except change up decor in certain areas of my island. I do have a lot of areas still that I don’t know what to do with, including my beaches!
I’ll be doing a bit more for Thanksgiving tomorrow but so far this month I’ve made polvorones, snickerdoodle, and M&M cookies! (All three separate cookies, not one cookie of three different types of cookies.) I’ll share more on these and other bakes in next month’s baking recap post!
This month I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo! If you don’t know, NaNo is a writing contest of sorts where you’re challenged to finish a project in the month of November. The “classic” way to do NaNo is to start a brand new project and write a 50,000 word page novel. For a long time, NaNo insisted that it was the only way you could participate and tried to introduce other events throughout the year for people to do other things like massive editing of the novel they wrote or screenplays. But over the years, NaNo has instead chosen to embrace the idea that anyone can participate and be creative in how they do it. I decided to go the more classic route and started a novel! I was mostly fueled by the idea that I could NOT go through the quarantine and come out with nothing to show for it, so I had to use this motivation to write a book. I had the characters, plot points, and even a map starting out. After that, the story just sort of wrote itself as I typed and typed every day in November. I envision this book as the first in a series of two or three books, but it would need a ton of work done to ever be published as there are various parts that go like: *and then they talked a lot about it come back to this later*. LOL but it was super fun to write all the same! I also think that I would need to heavily work on the world building in any future rewrites because sometimes I just wanted to get to the next part quickly and would sort of skip stuff and add it later as if going back to explain it, and I feel it would be confusing to anyone who was picking it up to read.
So, I did “finish” it by reaching 50,000 words on November 20th! I do want to go back and edit it, make it better, and add more since 50,000 words really isn’t enough for a full novel anyway.
Anyway, as I write this all, it makes me want to get straight into rewriting it so I can consider it a real book! Although, is it a real book if it’s not published? You tell me!
At the start of the month I was still going out on nice days for a walk! We had a week of absolutely beautiful weather, which was super uncharacteristic for Northern Illinois so late in the year. We also had some really nice days scattered throughout the month but for the most part it’s gotten super cold and chilly.
Then I had to go out anyway because… MY PUPPY NIECE IS BACK! My sister asked me to puppy sit for Thanksgiving which I OBVIOUSLY said yes to. Then my sister asked if I could take care of her longer because she thought it’d be sort of silly to ask me to care for her for a week, quarantine for two weeks after the holiday to come get her, then bring her back for Christmas, then quarantine again after the holiday, and then come get her. Plus, my sister’s work is increasing her hours soon so she says she feels bad that she doesn’t take her dog for a walk in the morning because it’s too cold but then in the evening it’s too dark when she gets home to take her. Since she lives in the city, it’s something that’s a real concern to her as a 9 pound Chihuahua is not adequate protection! (The Chihuahua would not agree with that statement, but it’s true. Sorry Arya.) So she’s leaving her with me for a few months (the current guess is 3 months) and I am THRILLED. My sister is conflicted because she says she’s basically leaving her dog with me during the worst months of the year, but I promise, I do not mind at all. I just hope the dog doesn’t start to think she’s been abandoned again like last time!
The winter ballet classes have started! This time we’re doing two classes a week. I wanted to have two classes as it felt like I was doing great workouts, but only once a week wasn’t enough! They’re still over zoom so we do half the class for barre work and then a few exercises without the barre for balance work. We also started to incorporate weights in class so I went out and bought 2 pound hand weights at Target. I told my class how I stood in the aisle at Target trying to decide between 2 pounds and 3 pounds because logic says start with 2lb but my heart said the 3lb are pink. Then I panicked thinking I was going to end up with covid if I continued to stand around in the workout aisle of Target so I bought the 2lb weights. I was very happy that I picked 2lb after the first class. Oh, apparently I was super lucky to find them at all because we went back into a shelter in place thing this month and apparently everyone’s been buying out the weights since the quarantine started!
So that’s my updates on my hobbies in November! I can’t wait to share my life post and then start on Blogmas!
Thanks for reading!
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