Hello everyone! Today, I’m sharing all the fun activities and updates on my hobbies for February.
I have so much to share! Which is crazy, because when I saw down to write this, I was thinking I’d struggle to think of stuff to write. How silly of me! But that’s why I love writing these. It can be hard to think of my life as fun and productive when I’m just home all day (I work from home). But you don’t need to leave the house to get a lot done so here we go on all I did!
Well actually, the first thing on today’s post is actually something I did outside of my home! I went to a DIY night at my local library! This month I only have one to talk about, since the other one is this week, and I’m writing this a little early. We did DIY large Scrabble Tiles, which we could then turn into coasters or magnets. The librarian bought small pieces of wood, wood stain pens (she actually found the exact same stain that is used in actual scrabble tiles!), printed the letters “L”, “O”, “V”, and “E” out on sticker paper with their corresponding numbers (the “V” is 4, all others are 1’s), and we got to work. I had to head out early due to another scheduled event I had to run to, so I didn’t finish the project but it was fun!
This week’s is supposed to be a sock snowman, which I’m sure will be fun!
This month I’ve struggled to fill in my bujo. I think I just am so focused on making it “useful” and not on making it a fun, creative project like I did when I started to bullet journal two years ago. I’ll renew my efforts for March!
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 7 books. That puts my total so far in 2022 to 13 books. My goal is 65 so I’m a little bit ahead of schedule!
- Call Us What We Carry: Poems by Amanda Gorman, 5
- Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton, 4.75
- How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr, 5
- Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr, 4.25
- Project 333: The Minimalist Fashion Challenge That Proves Less Really Is So Much More by Courtney Carver, 3.25
- Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak, 3.75
- It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover, 3.75
I actually watched a few movies this month! I am going to start with the movie club picks for this month. At my job, there are three of us who are in the same position in my department, so we started a movie club together! We take turns picking films, usually rom-coms since it started specifically for Christmas rom-coms. First up, Set It Up on Netflix. I loved it! This one was about a man and woman who are assistants to two highly successful but horrible and unhappy bosses. In order to make their own lives much easier, they decide to set up their bosses. It’s a rom-com so I don’t think I can spoil it as I’m sure you know where it’s going. But it is so sweet and funny!
The next one was Can You Keep A Secret? on Netflix, which was about a woman who meets a man on a flight from Chicago after her work meeting goes badly. During a bad moment of turbulence, she unloads a ton of secrets on him. Everything from her secret code with a coworker that they use to go for a coffee run during work hours, to her feelings towards her disappointing boyfriend, to how frustrated she is with her career where she isn’t appreciated, all while thinking he’s a stranger she’s never going to see again. So imagine how mortified she is when she realizes he’s the reclusive owner of the company she works for! Again, this was such a fun and sweet film, and it was super enjoyable!
Then it was my pick! I actually ended up moving away from our usual picks and I went with The Prom also on Netflix, this film is actually a movie musical. I watched the first half of this one months ago and decided I had to finish it! I did have a backup option just in case my other movie club people didn’t want to watch a musical but they were all for it! I did end up feeling a bit bad because it was soooo long (as musicals are!) but we all really enjoyed it! The story centers around a young girl, Emma, who lives in a small town that rallies against her when she plans to attend the high school prom with her girlfriend. When some Broadway stars, desperate for good publicity to save their badly reviewed show, catch wind of this, they go to try to help Emma so they can save her prom. I loved it! The musical is set to come to Chicago soon, but I don’t feel comfortable yet going to a theatre. I do hope to see it onstage someday though, as it is quite fun!
That’s it for the movie club picks!
The next film I watched was Encanto again. I already did a short review of it in a recent post so I linked that there if you want to see my thoughts. Basically – I love it!
I also watched the Tinder Swindler on Netflix. I was so intrigued! I don’t want to “victim blame” but, like many people, I also couldn’t believe how out of control the women allowed the situation to get so quickly. I suppose it is very different if you’re in the moment and truly think you know someone, but honestly if someone I knew asked me to borrow $25k I’d laugh in their face. (If you know me IRL and were thinking about it, be prepared LOL.) Like, that’s what a bank is for! Of course, it’s quite easy to be scammed though. We hear all the time reports on the elderly being tricked to send their life savings to catfishers or foreign princes or fake police or whatever else the scammers are up to these days. Honestly, health insurance in the US is quite a scam that I complain about to anyone that listens (the amount I pay for the insurance company to still expect me to pay a copay and deductible??? OUTRAGEOUS). Anyway, as crazy as the story is and despite how much I screamed “WTF ARE YOU DOING” at the screen, I suppose it is understandable in a way. Oh, and to actually talk about how good it was, it was really interesting at the beginning but since it was the same scam for each woman, the second half felt boring and repetitive.
To get them out of the way, I have watched a few more episodes of some of my favorites: Gilmore Girls, Madam Secretary, and Schitt’s Creek. Love these shows!
I also finished up the first season of Rebelde, Netflix’s reboot series. I am going to chat more about my thoughts on this show separately but I have to at least say that I think it was marketed completely wrong. Granted, I didn’t do too much research going into it but I thought it was a legit reboot of the series so I was expecting the same characters and story lines as the previous version of this show, just updated a bit. It was more of a spin off/sequel, where the original characters of Rebelde exist in this world, and RBD’s success is recognized, but these are all new characters. Some of them are related to the old characters, which is kind of fun, and one of the actresses is back in her character as the principle of the school, which is cool. But it was completely not what I expected so it took me about half the first season to finally get past the disappointment. Also, since the first season is so short, the story moves FAST compared to the original show! I do like the pace and I can’t wait for the next season.
Like many others, I also watched Inventing Anna. If you don’t know, the series is inspired/partially based on a true story of Anna Sorokin, who claimed to be a rich German heiress named Anna Delvey and scammed many people as she infiltrated the elite upper class society of New York City. To be honest, Anna’s accent was so annoying that I almost stopped watching after the first episode. Eventually I got used to it, but I was surprised, as accents don’t normally bother me much. For some reason, Anna’s was not enjoyable to listen to for me. Anyway, I remember reading about Anna Delvey/Sorokin way back in 2018 when the story was all over the internet. It’s pretty cool to revisit the crazy story in a new way. I will say, I thought it was going to be a documentary though, similar to Tinder Swindler, but it’s actually more like Orange is the New Black, where it’s based on a real story and parts of it are the real story, but some are added/changed for the drama. I really liked how it was edited too. All the episodes (from what I remember) start with a scene that will appear later, but since it’s out of context it comes as a shock. Once it’s dropped into the episode, you feel completely different about it. Not in a bad way, necessarily, it’s just that it makes sense and it’s a satisfying discovery of the events as they unfold. I actually do enjoy the show, although I do agree with the criticism that the real Anna Sorokin shouldn’t be profiting off her criminal activity. Oh, one last thought, how crazy was it that the Fyre Festival got a mention in there? I thought that was such a funny little thing, to include a reference to another famous scam in the show.
The last show I’ve been watching is Love is Blind. I actually never watched season one, so I’m catching up on that one before heading into season two. While it is a cool idea that the contestants never see each other before they “fall in love” and get engaged, it’s also quite crazy how fast they move! I totally thought they were going to date a bit longer than a few days (I think maybe only one couple dated for a week before becoming engaged). I suppose the isolation of it all and the fact that the point is to fall in love quickly would do that. But it’s kind of weird as no one was really “matched” up to begin with. Like, they were all just sort of selected randomly and told to go on blind dates, without any guarantee that someone might work for them. I suppose I’m thinking more about how with the Bachelor/Bachelorette series pick contestants based on how compatible they might be? Anyway, I’m halfway through the first season, so right now the couples are meeting each other and about to leave their resort retreat to go back to the “real world”. There are a few were I’m thinking it’s not going to make it that far, and one has already broken up before even leaving the resort, so I’m curious where the rest are going to end up! Also, can I just add, that while watching it I was equal parts “wtf this is insane, who would agree to this?” and “I would totally be great for this show, where do I sign up???”. I suppose that’s part of the thrill of the show too!
I would say the top three albums of this month I’ve been listening to is Taylor Swift’s folklore and evermore, and Disney’s Encanto. All so fun and beautiful and my favorites!
I always have some sort of video going on in the background so I won’t list every single video I’ve watched but this month I would say the top three types of videos I’ve watched have been book reviews, podcasts, and vlogs.
Speaking of podcasts, I think my top three this month have been Ladies & Tangents, You and Me Both, and Hypen-ated.
Video Games/Mobile Games
As always, I’ve been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I don’t play every day anymore, but I do play only on weekends and time travel to still be able to “play” every day in game. I am slowly changing stuff up with the items from the update, and just making the island feel new again in general.
A mobile game I recently played was Tiny Room Stories: Town Mystery. It’s sort of an “escape room” type game but instead of a room it’s a town. Each chapter takes place in a different part of town and gets more supernatural as you go through the game. It was pretty tough sometimes! I had to give in and use hints, especially towards the end, but it was still fun to try to get the puzzles on my own first. The game was free to play, just with a few ads – mostly for those hints!
I also played Little Alchemy 2, which took a lot more time that I anticipated. I was just downloading it for a casual game to play every once in awhile. Quickly though, I wanted to find every combo and item, so I did end up having to cheat once I got 600+ items and wanted help for the last 100+ to go. Saved myself so much time that way!
I have done a bit of yoga this month! Mostly on the weekends, when I have a less structured routine. I’ll still do short practices on my own a few days a week, and I love that I feel confident enough with the practice that I am okay with doing stuff on my own!
As for thi chi, we had two practices this month! One was a regular one and one was focused on grief. For the regular one, we only had two participants this time. I think the fact that the day was so cold and that everyone seems to be on vacation right now meant only two people showed. The other woman who went mentioned she is new to the area and when I asked where she was from she mentioned a town that sounded pretty familiar. Turns out, it’s in the west suburbs where I went to college! We talked a bit about how much we loved that area when we were living there. But honestly it’s a rich suburb so we both admitted we could never afford it now! Anyway, the thi chi exercise was so nice! The next one was about grief and it was just myself and the librarian there since everyone else skipped! Apparently the group was supposed to be about 8 people, but I was the only one who showed. It was sort of awkward since I actually really only went to support the thi chi instructor as I really enjoy her tai chi class but I did end up realizing I still have quite a bit of unresolved grief on a few things as we did the exercises. What a great experience! The instructor also chatted with me a bit in between sessions about her business, a documentary that she was involved in, and retreats she’s gone on through her thi chi practice. It was so interesting and nice to get to know her a bit more.
Really, I’ve only managed to get out for a walk once this month. It’s been so cold this month and the one day when it wasn’t, Fox had a vet appointment so we couldn’t get out after work. Fox still isn’t a fan of walks, but I like them so I carry him to the neighborhood park and make him walk back LOL. Poor baby but he needs the exercise!
Well, I’ve skipped two ballet sessions this month due to the snow. For some reason, ballet days seem to be the snowiest this month! (Actually it’s been pretty mild, but I notice it more when I have plans that I have to cancel.) Since snow is “common” here, most people are super confused when I tell them that I refuse to go anywhere if snow is anywhere in the forecast. For them, it’s just a part of life. For me, it’s too much stress and anxiety thinking I’m going to die at any moment! Anyway, back to ballet. It has been really nice to go to class. Since I know most of the other dancers pretty well by now, it’s just nice to go to class and catch up with friends. They ask me how Fox is doing, I ask about their kids and careers and vacations, we all update each other on things like our health and other life events. It’s just really nice to have that interaction with others so when I don’t go it’s so sad! And it’s so nice to do some exercise that I really enjoy!
So that’s the update on my hobbies! Like I said, it’s a lot lately! Hope you’ve been indulging in plenty of fun hobbies. If you live somewhere warm, please enjoy the outdoors and try to send me some warm vibes, will you?
Thanks for reading!
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