my lively april featured image

My Lively April

Hello everyone! Today, I wanted to share all the media and hobby updates I have with you.


I have quite a few things to share this month, so I’ll get right into it!


My Lively

Creative Fun

DIYs

I caught up on a bunch of DIYs from my library. I used to go to in person crafts nights at the library but with the pandemic closing the library for awhile they stopped. When the pandemic kept going, the library switched to “take and make” boxes where we can sign up for them and then go pick up the materials. I haven’t been able to make all of the projects as we don’t always have all the extras that we need to make them (for example, one wanted a bundt cake pan and I don’t have one), but the ones that I have made are super fun!

Bujo

I’ve kept up with my bujo pretty well this month! I think now that there’s more going on in my life I’m able to better plan out pages and spreads. For example, I was able to make a garden page again. It’s so nice to have more to write down and share in my bujo.

Entertainment

Books

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.

  • The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor, 4.25 stars
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, 5 stars
  • Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, 3.25 stars
  • The Stoic Challenge by William B. Irvin, 3 stars
  • The Once and Future Witches by ALix E. Harrow, 3.75 stars
  • Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn, 4 stars
  • Cemetary Boys by Aiden Thomas, 3.75 stars
  • The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan, 3.75 stars

Movies

This month I wanted to watch the show WandaVision but since I haven’t kept up with the Marvel movies, I figured I should catch up on those first. However, I realized that the ones I had watched was so long ago that I should start from the beginning. I’ve only watched the ones on Disney+, which is most of them, but I think it’s missing three or so of the MCU films. Here’s the ones I’ve watched and some thoughts:

  • Iron Man was the first film I watched, as it’s first in the MCU list. Well, I suppose I should say I’m watching them in release order. I have always loved this movie and the character of Tony Stark, so it was a really enjoyable film to watch. I also love that it’s the first one that was made, because it was such a great intro to the MCU.
  • Iron Man 2 was the next film. I really enjoyed this one too, but not as much as the first. I think the first one was just so good that this one fell short just a tiny bit.
  • Thor was a really fun one to watch. I’d forgotten how many times Jane hit Thor with her car!
  • Captain America is a great film. It’s technically the first film if you watch chronologically, and it would be a great start as well. I love the character of Steve Rogers and adore Peggy Carter, so it was great. Plus, Howard Stark is in this one! I don’t think the show Agent Carter is streaming anywhere that I’m subscribed to, unfortunately as the show was so good too.
  • The Avengers was the first time these characters all came together (although Black Widow did make an appearance in Iron Man 2 and Agent Phil Coulson was in all of the above films). I really enjoyed this one because it’s so messy when the team first comes together. They go through a crazy team building exercise when they’re attacked by Loki and it’s just a lot of fun to watch.
  • Iron Man 3 is my least favorite of the Iron Man films, possibly of all the MCU films. It just seems so dumb that Tony wouldn’t have called his new friends in the Avengers to help him out. I still enjoyed watching his character grow but over this film was pretty “meh”.
  • Thor: The Dark World was the next film in the MCU list. I thought it was okay. I didn’t really feel like this one was that exciting compared to the other films.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the last MCU film I got to this month. It was so intense! I really liked seeing Captain America in the modern day since most of his film took place during World War II. I also really enjoyed the fact that Steve had to keep a list of things he missed to research in his spare time.

Now for a non MCU film! I watched the documentary The Show Must Go On which is on Netflix. This film showcases how Adam Lambert joined Queen and how the band was brought back to life after nearly everyone, including the band members, thought the band was over. I believe the documentary was put together to sort of introduce the current state of Queen to people who were introduced to the music from the film Bohemian Rhapsody, just as I was. But it was also meant to reintroduce the band and introduce Adam Lambert to people who maybe hadn’t kept up with it after Freddie Mercury died. I thought it was a pretty surface level documentary but it was pretty fun to watch. I remember seeing the band promoted for their tour a few years ago at the United Center when I went to see Ariana Grande’s sweetener world tour. I wish I’d seen Queen but hopefully after the pandemic is over they’ll tour again and I’ll go!

TV Shows

I’ve started and finished a few shows this month! First up, I started Firefly on Hulu. I watched this show before, and it’s a super short show as it was cancelled after only one season. Despite this, the show is pretty popular and has a lot of fans. I think it’s such a great show and it’s cool rewatching it and noticing all the plot lines that were started early in the first season but never got resolved or brought up again because of the early cancellation. I was also surprised with how much was crammed into each episode, particularly the first episode. I think that’s why it has so many fans stills. Even though it was cancelled early, it did a phenomenal job at pulling in the viewers during the show and creating a fantastic world that we felt connected to so quickly. I’ve actually been trying to watch this show more slowly instead of rushing through it.

I finally finished Designated Survivor! I won’t go too much into it as I reviewed it in my most recent TV Shows I’ve Recently Watched post that I’ve linked here. I do think that the start of the show was so much better than the end, and I struggled getting back into it to finish the show. Of course, that was partly the fault of the pandemic because I remember picking it back up early in the lockdown and then realizing that the final season started with a threat of a deadly virus. By the time I picked it up again it was hard to get back into it and connect with it again.

Another show I reviewed in that post was Marriage or Mortgage. I saw all the attention this show was getting early in the month and so I started and finished it pretty quickly. I am still so confused how anyone could pick a $30k wedding over a down payment when they can only afford one but I guess that’s what makes the show talk-worthy!

Finally, I finished Madam Secretary. I also shared my thoughts on that one in the post. I adored this show and the characters so my “review” was more of a “gush” on the show. I actually restarted the show this month too even though I said I wouldn’t. I just wanted to relive the start of the show since I did start it so long ago!

Musicals & Concerts

I watched Jesus Christ Superstar on the YouTube channel “The Shows Must Go On”. This channel is Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s channel where he will periodically share recordings of his musicals for a weekend. He started the channel in the lockdown last year and he put up this musical for Easter weekend. I have never seen this musical in real life but I really enjoyed watching it on YouTube so I do want to watch it in person someday.

Music

Besides loving folklore and evermore still, I’ve also started listening to Fearless (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift! She’s started releasing her rerecordings and I’m loving it. This album was actually prior to me actually becoming a fan so I really don’t know many of these songs. Well, actually the only one I really knew before was “Love Story” to be honest. I did buy Fearless but I haven’t actually listened to it that much yet. I should do that!

Video Games

Some updates on my Animal Crossing New Horizons game! I did participate in my first Bunny Day! I actually enjoyed it because there was so many things to do like collecting all the DIY recipes and the eggs. I do understand why so many early players didn’t enjoy it though as it was quite invasive in the gameplay. I also loved the cherry blossom season as the pink trees were gorgeous but I found it so annoying how hard it was to get the DIYs. In order to get them all I had to time travel in the game for the first time and then catch up to present day. I did enjoy the season though and I wish it was longer.

Oh, I also caved and created a fourth character for my island. This time, the new character is a boy named Orion. His backstory is that he’s Estella’s (my second character whose home is the restaurant and bar) twin. His house is a sort of a mix between shops and a community center. I put his house next to the museum and the closest room to the museum will become the museum gift shop, which is currently outside. The main room was transformed into a cafe and bakery, which was previously outside. The back room is a gym, which was previously outside, then moved into Astra’s (my third character whose home is a hotel) home, then nonexistent. It’ll be nice to have an island gym again! The room on the left will be a library room. The top floor will be a classroom for Blathers, which is also currently outside. And the bottom floor will be a theatre space, which is also currently outside. Should be fun! I imagine my island rating will take a momentary hit while I move everything inside and then go back and redo the bare spots those spaces occupied before, but I am so excited to change things up.

Active Life

Yoga

I’ve been doing Yoga with Adriene’s “True” 30 Days of Yoga challenge. Unfortunately I haven’t really enjoyed this one as much as I have the others. I think I’ve reached a yoga wall of sorts! I feel like I need to either do different workouts or maybe just try someone else for a bit. I love Adriene’s practices but after four months it’s gotten every repetitive and feels a bit limiting. I think I might also try practicing on my own too but I’d love to get back to doing some ballet videos or HIIT workouts from YouTube at home too. I think that would probably fix the restlessness I feel with yoga recently.

walk

My puppy niece continued to stay at Camp Cuddles so we were enjoying our three daily walks. For the most part, the weather had been nice, but there were still some chilly days or even some rainy days that make it harder to get her out. At one point we actually had freezing temperatures again so she only got short walks on those days. She went home yesterday, and I was so sad to see her go. She was a wonderful little companion and dog snuggles are the best! I can’t wait for her summer vacation Camp Cuddles!

ballet

The new session is going pretty well! It’s a bit slow this time around though, I’ll admit, since we have two new dancers who have never done ballet before. They’re both very nice and eager to participate though. One of the dancers immediately caught our interest as she said she found the class after she decided not to take her usual pole dancing classes in a neighboring town. The town she was taking classes in was in Wisconsin, which is a state that never really took the pandemic too seriously. They still aren’t so masks are optional in their public spaces (pure insanity I tell ya) and she didn’t feel safe going back to that class. She instead found ballet at the park district and immediately signed up. The other said that she had realized that with the kids staying mostly at home and not having to drive them around to all their activities left her with a lot of free time so she signed up. We loved that she decided to do something for herself! I can’t imagine having to spend all my time on driving people around so hopefully she doesn’t have to go back to it and have to give up on the class. The other dancers are all the same dancers and my old instructor said that she was planning on taking our class herself in the summer as her schedule has changed and that’s so exciting!

Overall, we love the class and we’ve been asking for more adult dance classes. We’re trying to get a tap class now since we lost our second weekly class when we went back to in person classes. I would even love to take a jazz class too! I do feel like I would even take a pilates class or something but the fitness center I go to is only offering a limited amount of classes, mainly children’s dance, so I would probably have to go elsewhere for that.


So that’s the fun stuff that I’ve been up to in April. Hopefully that was fun for you to read as well!

Thanks for reading!

Pamela

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