Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Kylie Reads: Percy Jacks & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Can we talk about why on Earth it took me this long to read this series!? Not only did it take me forever to even buy the first book (Sophomore year of college), but I’ve had the first and second books in my library for 3 years now, they even moved to South Korea with me! I decided to finally pick the book up recently because I wanted something similar to Harry Potter or The Chronicles of Nick to take my mind off the fact that my husband was at a temporary duty station for two weeks. I wanted something set in fantasy but wasn’t super involved and was light and fun to read. I am SO glad that I did! I absolutely loved it and I understand now why there is a whole huge fandom centered around the series.
Percy Jackson is a 12-year-old with a history of getting kicked out of schools and is the son of the Greek God Poseidon. After getting kicked out of his most recent school, he finds himself at a summer camp for kids who all have a Greek God as one parent. Quickly after that, he is thrust on an adventure to try and stop a war amongst the gods.

For a short book, I loved the amount of adventure in it. There was enough to keep me glued to the book but it wasn’t over the top. I also liked that since it’s a YA book, that the adventure isn’t gory or crazy. It’s just nice clean adventure. I was also surprised that for Percy being 12, it doesn’t read like he is. I often forgot that this is a 12-year-old boy going across the United States to save the world, he could very well have been an older teenager. I’m really excited to read the rest of the series. I looked on Amazon and there’s a box set for 25 dollars with beautiful covers. So I plan on adding that to my library soon. I can also feel this series quickly becoming an all-time favorite of mine and one of my series that I get Funko Pop Figures for haha.

Overall, I loved this book and I highly recommend this series. If you like YA books with a lot of fantasy, a nice amount of action without much gore, and if you like Greek mythology then I think you would like this book. I know that the series starting out with such a young character seems off-putting for older people, but it’s not very noticeable once he leaves school. Also, if you like series such as Harry Potter then I think you would enjoy this.

Book rating: 4.5 out of 5, I absolutely loved it!

Have you read or do you plan to read the Percy Jackson series?


See you next week :)
Kylie <3 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

My favorite Bullet Journal Supplies

My everyday supplies and must haves for Bullet Journaling
Bullet Journaling is one of my absolute favorite things to do. I love making lists and filling things out, hence why I have so many trackers in my monthly, you can see a monthly set-up here. Over my year of bullet journaling, I have accumulated a few items that I use every day or even if they aren’t used daily, they're something that’s important to my journaling.

A Variety of Colorful Utensils //
LivingWhimsicalDreams - My everyday supplies and must haves for Bullet Journaling
My absolute favorite colorful pens are the Staedtlertri-plus fine liners. They write wonderfully, come in a vast array of colors – especially if you spring for the 42 pack – and they last for forever. I love how thin they write and how vibrant the colors are.
LivingWhimsicalDreams - My everyday supplies and must haves for Bullet Journaling
LivingWhimsicalDreams - My everyday supplies and must haves for Bullet Journaling
I also use Papermate Flairs and Le Pen, I don’t like these quite as much but I love pens so I buy them every now and again. The Flairs are a bit of a thicker point than the Le Pen and the Staedtler so I mainly use them for outlining.
LivingWhimsicalDreams - My everyday supplies and must haves for Bullet Journaling
Crayola Colored Pencils are a classic pencil, while they may not do as well as high end colored pencils they serve the purpose that I use them for and they’re great. Plus, they're cheap.
LivingWhimsicalDreams - My everyday supplies and must haves for Bullet Journaling
Crayola SuperTips are a wonderful, cheap way to add a little color or use for highlighting and underlining. I’ve heard you can learn to hand letter with them, but I haven’t had the patience to try.
LivingWhimsicalDreams - My everyday supplies and must haves for Bullet Journaling
Zebra Mildliners: A cult classic for bullet journalists. I love that they are double sided and I love the muted but still vibrant colors. They were great for college and they’re still great for just journaling. My only qualm is that they're expensive and hard to find if you’re not in Asia.
LivingWhimsicalDreams - My everyday supplies and must haves for Bullet Journaling
My regular writing pens are just Sharpie Pens. I was using a Pilot G-2 but they smeared horribly in my book, even after I waited a few minutes. Sharpie pens also don’t bleed or ghost as bad and they dry instantly. I use a Pilot G-2 pencil for my outlining and a Pentel Clic-Erase eraser, both are long time favorites of mine. I also have a uni-ball style-fit multi-pen with a .32 tip on all 3 pens. It’s super fine and wonderful when you want to write neatly, but super tiny.

Washi, Washi, and More Washi //
LivingWhimsicalDreams - My everyday supplies and must haves for Bullet Journaling
I sometimes use washi tape to add little pops of cuteness to my book and to sometimes cover up mistakes. It’s super versatile and comes in hundreds of patterns. I pick up a roll every now and again when I’m at Daiso or ArtBox, they’re kind of expensive (to me) so it’s not something I get often.

6-inch ruler //
LivingWhimsicalDreams - My everyday supplies and must haves for Bullet Journaling
I was using a regular 12-inch ruler and decided to spend the dollar and get a 6-inch ruler and I’m so glad I did. The 6in is so much more portable and it fits the notebook better because it is an A5 size and isn’t even 6in across. Such a simple, but a nice item to have.

A Portable Printer //
LivingWhimsicalDreams - My everyday supplies and must haves for Bullet Journaling
My husband bought me a Polaroid Zip printer for my birthday and I absolutely love it! I love being able to print pictures of fun things Mark and I do and stick them in my bullet journal as a memory. It makes it so fun to look back.

What are some of your favorite journaling supplies?

See you next week :)
Kylie <3 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Goodbye August

Another month has ended! We are flying through this year and it’s hard to believe that this time last year I was in my last semester of undergrad. Time seems to keep going faster and faster. But I’ve always wanted to do monthly review posts and decided that I might as well start today.

Reading //
This month was a Harry Potter Binge month. I’m not really reading them in order because I’m reading them in order of my favorite book. Harry Potter is a comfort series for me like it is for many people. I had quite a bit of anxiety this month and wanted books that were familiar and decently happy and preferably not set in the world we live in. So I read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and I got halfway through Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in July. I may or may not finish the series throughout the rest of the year, but the last 2 books are so much darker and I don't really want to read darkness in my books...at least not knowingly.
Aside from Harry Potter, I read Saturn Run by John Sandford. Keep an eye out for a review on it, I loved it! I also read Inferno by Sherrilyn Kenyon, book 4 in the Chronicles of Nick series. Which I also loved as this is one of my favorite series – I might do a review on this one as well but my thoughts on it are basically the same as my other reviews on books from this series which you can read here and here. Finally, I read Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo, the last book in the Shadow and Bone Trilogy. You can read my review on that here.

Watching //
On my own, I watched season one of Gilmore Girls. I’ve previously watch up to season 4 but decided to start over since the last time I watched it was August of last year. But I love this series. The relationship between Rory and Lorelai is great and similar to the relationship I have with my mom. Stars Hollow and its residents just makes me want to move to a small town.

Mark and I are watching The Flash and Grimm and love them both, but we started Vikings on a recommendation and binge-watched season 1 in a day and are almost done with season 2. But we had to take a break because I needed a break from the gore and violence. I do enjoy the show though.

As for movies, we watch Despicable Me 3 for the second time, but this time in a 4Dx theater. I don’t think the 4D added to the movie like it did Spiderman (a movie we watched in 4D in July). But it was still fun, especially because Mark fell asleep halfway through and somehow stayed asleep despite the seats moving. It was entertaining though because his head was flopping around with the seat. Anyway, that’s the only movie we saw in the theater this month. The on-post theater wasn’t playing anything we were interested in and the local theaters weren’t either.

Doing //
We only had two weeks of time we could go do anything because Mark worked every day for the last two weeks. We managed to pack in quite a bit of stuff during the few days he had off. It's starting to cool off so we went on a very long bike ride along the Han River and while fun, I thought I would die on our way back because it was a 26-mile round trip. On the next weekend, which was a four day for him, we went on a River cruise and it was a blast, though we wished it was longer and we plan to do the dinner cruise soon so we can enjoy and hour and a half long cruise. After the cruise, we walked around Yeuido Hangang Park for a bit afterward where we got great drinks from a bongo truck and watched someone play guitar. Then we went to a global food festival where we had amazing Cuban sandwiches and a Cuban sausage from a little food truck - which is a little sad because I have no idea how to find that food truck again and the food was so amazing.
So those were the highlights of the month of August. Hopefully, September will bring great memories, especially after Mark gets home from what is essentially a short TDY, and we can go out and explore some more :).

What were the highlights of your month?

See you next week :)
Kylie <3


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo Review


I finished a series… er, trilogy! This is very rare for me. I have a very hard time finishing series. Not because I don’t like the series, but because I like the series so much I don’t want it to end. I definitely have series that I have been reading for many years that have ended but I still haven’t finished reading. I’m working on it though. I started the Grisha, or Shadow and Bone trilogy, this year and finished the third and final book: Ruin and Rising, this month. I feel accomplished haha.
I thought that the third book was a wonderful end to the series, writing a review about an end of a series is difficult as I don’t want to spoil anything. But anyway, everything, and I mean everything, was tied up very nicely, there were no loose ends and I wasn’t left with any questions. It also had a nice twist near the end. While it ended very nicely and in a positive way, I can see people not liking the ending because there were many ways it could have ended. But I am overall happy with the ending and the little twist that I wasn’t expecting. While I never had many expectations for how the series should end, there was one particular element that took me by surprise. I was also, just going along with the love interests. There wasn’t one I was particularly drawn to. I did like all of them though and rooted for each one in turn as the story moved through them. To be honest, I would have been happy with any of the guys she could have ended up with.  Maybe that would be a draw back for some, but with the amount of romance in non-romance YA novels, I stopped caring and I just kind of go with it; unless I really dislike one of the characters. Character wise, I am particularly happy with the development of the Darkling. I enjoyed learning about his past and how he got to the way he was and how that influenced the world in general. Overall, it was an entertaining read and that’s what matters to me. With all that is going on in the real world, I want a novel that flows and is entertaining. 

As for the series itself, I recommend it. I loved that the series has a different magic system. That is something in fantasy that will instantly catch my attention. I love a unique magic system and the Shadow and Bone series delivers. I enjoyed that it was an easy and quick fantasy world to get into but didn’t feel underdeveloped. Whether you’re a seasoned fantasy reader or new, it’s sometimes nice to be able to jump into a world and not have to read 500 pages of world building before any real action begins. Leigh Bardugo also has the Six of Crows series which is apparently set in the same world as the Shadow and Bone trilogy. So I will definitely be picking up that series in the future and seeing how the world she built evolves. 

Book rating: 3.5 to 4 out of 5 – I enjoyed the book and the ending to the series. It was entertaining and closed the series well.

Series rating: 3.5 to 4 out of 5. The series was enjoyable and fun to read. The world was wonderful and well-built for a short YA series. 

Have you read the Shadow and Bone Trilogy? Do you plan to?

See you next week :)
Kylie <3

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July Bullet Journal Set-Up

It's a new month and it's crazy! I feel like I just created my June set-up and here it is - July - we're over halfway through the year and it's unbelievable. Anyway, this is my first time doing a Bullet Journal set-up on my blog and it's about time; I've been doing Bullet Journaling since May of last year and I've been completely obsessed the whole time. As a preface, I take a lot of inspiration from Pinterest and Youtube. So let's jump in.
My first spread is my calendar, general task list, and goals & thoughts for the month. I like doing a more Bullet Journal system traditional calendar in a list format, partly because I like the way it looks and partly because I cannot manage to draw a two-page traditional calendar. So I have all the important dates like birthdays, paydays, holidays, and when bills are due. On the right-hand page, I have a section for general tasks that need to be done during the month but not on any specific day and then a section for any goals for the months or random thoughts that I need to write down.
Then I have my habit tracker and my thankful for page. Although I rarely have a successful habit tracker, I still like having it and doing it. The thankful page provides a nice place to write anything I'm thankful for or quick memories.

Now starts the random trackers. To be honest, these don't really have much true purpose. I create these and do them mainly to have stuff to do in my journal. I'm not super creative so unless I have a lot of trackers, the only thing I have to do is make my to-do list. I love doing things in my Bullet Journal and these trackers gives me more things to do in it and it makes me happy.
First, my health tracker. Every day I rate how my mood was, how much sleep I got, if I exercised and the type, my energy levels, and then I write in the air quality for the day since the air quality in Seoul can be very terrible.
Next, is my cleaning tracker. I like being able to cross things off in multiple places. So this has my weekly cleaning tasks separated by room. I found that I like outlining what room I'm doing on certain days since my husband doesn't work a typical 9-5 Monday-Friday shift and I do any big cleaning on days he works. It helps and it's nice to see when things have been cleaned.
Lastly, I have our budget tracker. I write our income on the top of the page then write all the transactions we do throughout the month. I guess we do a sort of "envelope" system without actually taking out the cash. So we have categories like food, gas, and spending money. I write where we spent it, the category, the amount spent, the account balance, and the category balance. It's nice to see where money is going and we have been able to see where we randomly blow money *cough cough* the Post/Base Exchange.

I plan on doing separate posts for the different trackers and how we do our budget. If you want to know more about bullet journaling check out Ryder Carroll's original idea here and a good source of more creative Bullet Journaling from Kara at Boho Berry here.

Thank you for reading and talk to you soon :)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Random Objects Haul

Do people do these, like are random item hauls a thing? I don’t know, but these past couple weeks I’ve gotten a few things, more than I normally do as most of our free money goes to exploring Korea. Well, let's be honest, it goes to eating in Seoul haha. I’m excited about some of this so I wanted to share the stuff that I’ve gotten.

Fashion 
When I was in the states, I found this style of dress that I LOVE at H&M; it is my all-time FAVORITE dress, ever. I got the few colors that the H&M’s closest to me had: light gray, dark gray stripes, maroon, and forest green. I have a really hard time finding dresses because most dresses that are in my price range and are styles I like are super short. Or at least super short to me. My butt is quite a bit bigger than normal for someone of my size, so it makes dresses considerably shorter in the back and I’m a pretty modest person, so I am always anxious that my dress is showing stuff that I don’t want to show. These dresses are PERFECT! They are long enough that I feel comfortable wearing them and I don’t check that they are covering every five minutes, but they’re are also short enough that it’s still cute. Now that I’m in Seoul, I went out with some girlfriends one night and saw this super cute light pink version, but they only had a large.

Ever since I’ve been on the hunt for these dresses.I finally found some and I got the white and black stripes

and the navy blue.
Unfortunately, I still haven’t found the light pink one anywhere. They’ve also been sold out online for weeks so I don’t know if they’re even still making them. But I am still looking! Every H&M I come across I look for it.
Books
I was able to order the second book in the Shadow and Bone series, Siege and Storm, and I’m super excited. I won’t be reading it for a couple weeks most likely, but I’m super happy to have it in my library for when I am ready to read it. I’m a little sad that it’s a trilogy so once I buy the third book there won’t be any more :(.

I also got The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking. If you follow the online community I’m sure you’ve heard of this book. I’ve seen it EVERYWHERE! After hearing and reading about it, I thought that the idea of Hygge resonated with me. The hype about minimalism is wonderful and probably something I should hop on board with, but it just doesn’t sit with me; I wouldn’t say I hoard too much. Books maybe, but I tend to be pretty good about going through my stuff and throwing stuff out. This idea of cozy living that Hygge represents just resonates with me. It’s the kind of life I want. I’ve read some of the book and it’s just a nice happy book about how to live a cozy life.

Board Games
Recently, I’ve been into playing board games. I feel like my husband and I spend so much time in front of the TV. Whether I’m watching youtube videos, we’re watching Netflix, or playing a video game, I feel like we live in front of the TV. Which is fine sometimes, but I wanted to get something that we could do that we didn’t have to go out to do and wasn’t electronic. We already had a couple board games: Monopoly and Eragon, but I wanted more. So after a lot of research, I ordered two from Amazon and then we ended up buying two more from the PX.

I’ve heard wonderful things about Settlers of Catan, but it’s a 4+ player game so we can’t play it just being two of us. I found that Catan makes a two-player card game called Rivals for Catan. It’s currently sitting at the post office because we haven’t been able to get to the post office, but I’m hoping it’ll be fun!

We also got Mage Wars. I wanted another more “adult” board game but I didn’t want one that was like adventuring through a certain area and that’s what a lot of two player games are. It felt too similar to Catan to get another adventuring game like that. After a lot of research, I found Mage Wars Academy which is, what the title suggests, a game where two mages battle. I thought a fantasy style game would be fun and give some variety.

From the PX we got two classics: Yahtzee and Battleship. Mark loves Yahtzee and I’m finding that I don’t mind it and we used to have a lot of fun playing Battleship at this cafe that used to be in our hometown so I thought it would be fun to own it and bring back those memories from our first year together.

So that's it for now. I hope you enjoyed reading about the random stuff we've accumulated the past couple weeks!

Friday, March 3, 2017

February Reads

This month I read the same amount of books that I read last month; if you missed that recap you can check it out here. I’m still working on getting back into reading for fun. Hopefully, in the next few months I’ll get back to reading the way I did before I became an English Literature Major. Let’s hop in!

1) Invincible: Sherrilyn Kenyon //
This is book two in the Chronicles of Nick series. I’m trying to read these slow because I’m waiting on my mom to mail me the rest of the series that we currently own. Book two was better that the first! I loved how the book picked up literally right where the first went off. A lot of series pick-up either quite some time later or a little while after the last book ended. Not this one. Book two of this series just continues the scene that book one left off. It was wonderful. Nick is growing up throughout these books and it’s fun to see him grow in his powers and I still love his humor. His humor is definitely one of my favorite parts of the books. I really recommend this series.

2) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: J.K. Rowling //
I LOVE THIS BOOK! Of course I do, I absolutely love Harry Potter so of course I would love this. I saw the movie twice when it was in theaters and loved it both times. I loved the Harry Potter films of course, but I felt like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was more magical in a way. I loved seeing the use of magic and the creatures, it really deepened the world. This book was also my first pre-order EVER. I’ve never felt the need to pre-order books. However, I was at Books-a-Million to buy a birthday gift and just had to pre-order when they asked me about it. I’m so glad I did. I finally picked up the book and read it; I hesitated because I didn’t know if I wanted to read a screenplay. It was much easier to read that I thought…too easy in fact. I would have read it in a day if I didn’t force myself to slow down. I loved that the book is exactly the movie, which makes sense. A lot of the scenes that made me laugh in the film made me laugh in the book. I also cried at the end like I did in the movie :P. If you’re a Harry Potter lover and haven’t read this, read it. Also, can we talk about the cute Niffler under the dust cover :).

3) The Trouble with Magic: Madelyn Alt //
This was one of my first little mystery novels and is part of the Bewitching Mystery novels. It’s most definitely not one of those more realistic, leaning toward true crime mysteries. It was a super fun little novel to read and I’m so happy to have finally read it after carrying it with me on the plane as I traveled back and forth from Korea to the US. Basically, this woman feels unsatisfied in her job and is compelled to go to this certain area of town instead of heading straight to work. Here she stumbles upon and enchantments shop where she is offered a job. She then gets put in the middle of a murder that happened and she spends the rest of the novel trying to figure out who really committed the murder. I recommend this for sure. I thought it was a fun and quick read, especially if you just read a couple larger books it’s nice to read something small and light.

I hope you guys enjoyed this. Did you read any good books this past month?
See you next time, Kylie <3