my lively december featured image

My Lively December

Hello everyone! Today, I wanted to share all my hobbies and activities of December!


my lively december featured image

This month has been quite busy, especially in regards to films and tv shows, but also for reading! Here’s what I’ve been up to!


My Lively

Creative Fun

DIYs

There were two DIY projects this month. If you’re new, my public library hosts DIY nights about twice a month for adults and I’m a regular at them! Unfortunately, there will only be two more months of them as the librarian who does them got a promotion so she will have new responsibilities. I’ll miss DIY nights but I’m so proud of her! Back to the projects. One was a yarn tree garland, which I did not finish in the DIY session because it took awhile for each tree and also I had to leave early to get my dog to his training class. But it was fun to start!

The second DIY night was a Christmas tree wood plank. It was a cute idea but we struggled with the white paint pens we were using. Even so, it was fun and I did enjoy it!

Bujo

I am so close to filling in all the pages of my 2021 bujo! I have pretty much filled in all the pages for December, or at least decided what will go in each page, and then the end pages are still pretty blank but it’s because I am waiting for the last week of the year to have a “full” perspective. Was two weeks really a big difference? No! But I still wanted to wait.

I haven’t even started my 2022 bujo though, so I hope to do that this week. It’s just a lot of pressure to start a new one, you know? I love that there’s a new bujo for me to work with, and I do like that it has less pages. I don’t do weekly/daily planner type stuff, I do use it more like a journal and not a planner, so I don’t need that space and I did struggle a lot this year filling in so many pages so that pressure is a little less!

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 10 books. Well, four of them were technically read in November, but it was after that Lively post so they got pushed to December. With those ten books, I reached 103 books read in 2021! Three more than my goal of 100! I recently spoke about my thoughts on having such a high reading goal, which I linked there. In 2022, I think I’ll have a goal of maybe 65 so it’s not as much stress but still pretty respectable if I do say so myself. Here’s the books I read in December though!

  • Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann*, 4.25
  • Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes*, 3.75
  • Clever Girl Finance: The Side Hustle Guide: Build a Successful Side Hustle and Increase Your Income by Bola Sokunbi, 3.75
  • Revenant by Zee Lacson, 4.25
  • The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green, 4.25
  • How to Stop Time by Matt Haig, 4
  • Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave by Joanna Gaines, 4.25
  • After the Fall: Being American in the World We’ve Made by Ben Rhodes, 3.75
  • How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry, 3
  • Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, 3

* Indicates this book was reviewed in Ten Mini Book Reviews Pt. 16, all others will be reviewed in the next Ten Mini Book Reviews!

Movies

I made sure to watch Tick, Tick… Boom! film on Netflix. The film is set in 1992 and features the character of Jonathan Larson as he performs his show Tick, Tick… Boom! at a workshop. The workshop’s story in turn features Larson in 1990 when he was working and preparing for another workshop, his previous work Superbia. Larson later goes on to create Rent but his experiences leading up to that are so interesting. The crazy thing was that I happened to watch half the film the day before Stephen Sondheim passed away, and finished it the day he did. I really enjoyed the film. I have seen Rent and saw a lot of parallels to that show, which was nice. And it was just really well done and fun to see the cameos of well known Broadway performers. I really enjoyed the film and would recommend it to other musical fans.

Single All the Way was the next film I watched, also on Netflix. It was super cheesy but super fun to watch. This one was about a guy who convinces his roommate to pretend to be his boyfriend after the guy he initially invited to Christmas with his family ended up being unavailable. Eventually he gets home and is set up with his mom’s fitness trainer, and there are so many Christmas film tropes to enjoy. The cast is incredible too! Oh, I did talk more about this one and the next three films in my Blogmas post of Christmas Films I’ve Watched.

I also watched A Castle for Christmas on Netflix. It also had a lot of Christmas tropes but I just didn’t enjoy it as much. I had thought “castles? Scottish accents? What could go wrong???” but I just felt like I was forcing myself to keep watching. This one was featuring a divorced author who has a bit of a scandal with her latest book and decides to visit her ancestral family’s hometown in Scotland. Once she gets there, she decides to buy a castle to save the history of her family, but has to deal with the cranky castle owner (of course) before she can do so.

The next Christmas film was Love Hard, where the main character is a blogger! She runs a blog detailing all her disastrous online dating stories in LA. Her friend convinces to expand her search geographically and she matches with a hot guy in New England. On a whim, she decides to go to spend Christmas with her new online crush only to learn she was catfished. Instead of leaving, her catfish convinces her to pretend to be his girlfriend through the holidays and in return he’ll help her catfish the guy she thought she’d matched with. It started out pretty good and had some funny moments, but ultimately her turning around and catfishing someone else after she was so upset that she was catfished was not cool and made me not like the film too much.

Then I watched Princess Switch 3. I am so over seeing Vanessa Hudgens in films, but ah well, what can we do. I did like the story enough. It was silly, fun, and having three characters who look alike is so crazy. I almost expected a fourth Hudgens character, but luckily we stuck to three. In this one, the three Hudgens characters have to all be the crazy cousin to perform a heist to save Christmas! I know, crazy, but fun!

The last film I watched in December was Encanto on Disney+. I’d seen a ton of TikToks about it, so I thought I was prepared but oh boy I was not. I LOVED the film! The film features a Columbian family, the Madrigals, who have been given a miracle that gifts the Madrigals with a magical house and each family member a unique magical ability. All except Mirabel, who was not given a gift. When Mirabel realizes that her family’s miracle is in danger, she sets out to save the magic. I won’t spoil it but I loved the family dynamics and it is nice to see more Hispanic representation for sure.

TV Shows

I finished up watching the show White Collar! I cancelled Hulu last month, so I rushed to finish the show before I lost access. I did manage to get through it all and I really liked it. (Of course, otherwise I wouldn’t have watched all six seasons!) I talked about it in my TV Shows I Watched Recently post for this year’s Blogmas so I won’t go on too much about it but I will say that although I really enjoyed it, I was happy it ended when it did. At that point, the cycle of Neil and Peter gaining and losing trust in each other was getting old, but a true redemption story for Neil wasn’t possible either. It was great while it lasted but ultimately it did have to end!

I also finally finished the new season of The Great British Baking Show. I tried so hard to avoid spoilers for the final but ultimately couldn’t avoid it. I really enjoyed the show though and I loved watching the season. I’m surprised it didn’t kick off another baking spree in me, but I’ll blame the fact that I’m employed this year so I couldn’t just spend my days baking anymore!

As always, I’ve continued watching Gilmore Girls and Madam Secretary. I actually haven’t watched a ton of Gilmore Girls because I got to the part where Rory and Jess had the accident and so I felt too sad about Rory breaking her arm and Lorelei and Luke fighting. For Madam Secretary, I am in season three right now, and Dalton just won his second term as an Independent, so that was nice! I really do enjoy that show.

I also mentioned this next one in my TV shows post I mentioned, but I watched Selling Sunset. There are four seasons on Netflix and I flew through them! The show is so dramatic but it’s so fun to watch. Two of my friends also watch the show so I love chatting with them about it. We also all want to watch Selling Tampa but I think so far I’m the only one who has started it. I also am enjoying that one, but it feels soooooo scripted compared to Sunset. Although, Sunset started feeling very scripted starting in season three honestly. Still, they are fun!

I did finally finish WandaVision on Disney+. I feel like I am super late to this one, and just when I feel like I’m catching up on the Marvel stuff they release a million more things! I did like the show, as I do enjoy the character of Wanda, and I loved the whole sitcom set up! It was a really fun, really creative spin on the character and a great addition to the Marvel franchise in my opinion.

Lastly, I watched the new season two of Emily in Paris on Netflix. I find the character of Emily to be pretty annoying but overall it is a fun show to watch. She is so weird on how she seems truly baffled about why there are consequences to her actions. But I did like that her new English boyfriend who hates all things French gave her perspective (kinda). Emily arrived in France excited but thinking she, the American, was the ultimate expert on all things marketing. Alfie, who just does not want to assimilate, was a great way to see another type of expat and see a different part on the expat spectrum. We see Mindy, who assimilated so much that sometimes I forget she’s not actually French, Emily, who had good intentions but ultimately still struggles to adapt, and Alfie, who doesn’t even want to try. And then we see a wide spectrum of French people who welcome them all in their own ways. As someone who studied abroad and experienced living in another country for a time (Spain), it’s just a really nostalgic and cool show to watch with that perspective.

Musicals & Concerts

I watched The Nutcracker this month virtually! I found a virtual event from the New York City Ballet and put it on for Christmas. I really loved that I found NYCB as I had watched the Disney+ show On Pointe earlier this year and it featured the company’s production preparations! It was fun to see the costumes I’d seen on the Disney+ show on the staged production.

Music

I’ve been enjoying Taylor Swift, per usual! I did album reviews for Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version) this month, so those two albums have been on repeat since!

YouTube

I hadn’t been watching a ton of YouTube lately. Typically when I am less busy at work or doing tasks that are more repetitive and mindless, I try to put on some YouTube videos for background noise, but I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t been able to! I’m typically running from meeting to meeting, fielding calls from clients/attendees/coworkers, or just super busy trying to get stuff done that I don’t pay attention to the video so I might as well not even have anything on! But with the Christmas weekend, I was able to catch up quite a bit! I’ve been watching more bujo videos as it’s time to set up my 2022 bujo, budgeting/finance videos, and also some podcasts too.

Podcasts

Speaking of podcasts, I’ve enjoyed a lot of Ladies & Tangents, The Sip with Ryland Adams and Lizzie Gordon, and more!

Video Games

I took about two weeks off from Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but caught up for Toy Day. It was so nice to get a break! But I also enjoyed getting back, doing a Christmas lights area on the island, redecorating one of my player houses (I have four), and doing Toy Day! There were also two birthdays in the month, Bianca and Pashmina, so that was nice too.

Active Life

Tai Chi

I did do Tai Chi at the library this month. I feel like I’m getting so much better at it! And it’s super nice to see all the regulars at the event too. Even though it’s only once a month, it’s still really fun and such a great mindful exercise.

walk

Fox has been getting more walks! Well, kind of. Last month he was in a bit of a quarantine as he bit my dad but this month has been better. When it’s nice out we’ll go on a longer walk around the subdivision, or at least the park, depending how much time we have. Sometimes it is too cold to go on a walk but if it’s nice, off we go! He still doesn’t seem to like walks so it is very much a forced activity for him, but he’s chunky so he has to go.

ballet

We wrapped up the fall course this month! We’ve had two weeks off already and the week after the class ended we did all get together at one of the other dancer’s homes for a Christmas celebration. At this point, most of us have taken the class for about a year so we all know each other fairly well at this point. We had a great time, chatting and eating and drinking! I love that we all were able to get together before the holidays.


So that’s my December! My life post should also be packed with events, so please be sure to come back on Wednesday for that post!

Thanks for reading!

Pamela

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