Thursday, January 10, 2019

2019 Reading Goals and January TBR

2019 Reading Goals and January TBR
So it's a new year and once again, a new blog reboot. Oops. I've decided to just write about the main thing I'm passionate about...books. Will I throw some life stuff in there too? Maybe. But this is now a book blog. Because I love books, because I want to talk about books, and because its the one thing that I'm really passionate about. 

Going into the new year means that it's time to make new goals. This year I have one main reading goal - to read more books. I, again, have an overall goal to read 52 books. I want to read more in general though, I realized that I can read while doing other stuff. While watching movies or TV, I can read! While driving to work, I can read! When exercising (not that I do that much anyway), I can read! Reading doesn't have to be the only thing that's going on. Have I always known this? Yes. But I haven't always done that for some reason. So I'm going to read more. I also have an insane TBR, its out of control. I need to read all the books that are just chilling on my shelf. 

I would also like to read more variety, at least one book of various genres this year. Perhaps some literary fiction, some humor, a classic, books from diverse authors, etc. I don't think it'll be too hard, I have some humor, literary fiction, and a classic that I'm excited to read. I'm kind of hoping that running a blog about books will inspire me to read more and read more critically. We'll see what happens.

For January I plan on reading:
  1. Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor - I actually finished this a couple days ago. I've been wanting to read it for so long and happened to see Muse of Nightmares on sale for half off at Barnes and Noble so I can now binge read it.
  2. Muse of Nightmares, by Laini Taylor - The finale in this duology. So I'm binge-reading both! I'm not going to let myself get behind on series this year. I'm not going to read one book and then wait three years to read the next book. So here we go. Stopping that habit.
  3. Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth, by Rick Riordon - an easier book to read in-between and during Muse of Nightmares since Laini Taylor does write a little heavier.
  4. The Hero of Ages, by Brandon Sanderson - The third book in the Mistborn series that I've been reading on audio during my commute to work for a little over a month now and I'll most likely finish it this month. I listen to this on 1x speed because I love this series so much and I want to savor every moment of listening to this. 
  5. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams - I started this at the beginning of the month, but could not find my place in the world, so I stopped and plan on committing a reading sin...watching the movie first. Only because I'm really struggling to visualize the world. But I'd like to finish this this month.

Alright! I hope you enjoyed reading :) 

2019 Reading Goals and January TBR

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Podcasts I adore

Podcasts I Adore
Podcasts are all the rage! I never understood because I never found a good podcast application for my android phone. However, I recently got a used iPhone 6+ and I have a newfound love for podcasts. I wish Apple Podcasts was on Google Play because to be honest, I hate my iPhone. I'm an android person all the way, but the podcasts...THE PODCASTS!

Living in Seoul, there is so much traffic. There is always, always traffic. I was getting bois red of all my music playlists because within an hour of sitting in traffic, I will have played through half of a playlist to an entire playlist. One day, a youtuber that I watch (I can't remember who said this) said that she prefers audiobooks and podcasts when sitting in traffic and working out because it doesn't keep time as much. Instead of a new song every 4 minutes, telling you that only 4 minutes has passed, an audiobook or podcast is much longer so you don't notice the time as much. I tried audiobooks, but they're kind of expensive and I just wasn't enjoying it that much. So when I got my iPhone, I tried podcasts while in traffic and I fell in love; they're free, cover any topic you want, and can be any length you want.

I'm not a fan of true crime or horror/mystery as a rule. I don't watch any true crime or horror shows nor do I read any books in that genre (I will watch a scary movie sometimes but not as much now that I'm older and live on my own). It seems that a lot of everyone's favorite podcasts are true crime or crime based podcasts, which is fine, but that makes it difficult for those of us that are not fans of that genre. So these are my favorites, they're mostly book related; I am an English Literature graduate so what can you expect?

Three Book Girls
3 Book Girls
I love this podcast so much! I listen to every episode that comes out and will often go back and listen to older episodes that I haven't listened to yet if any of my other podcasts aren't updated or I'm just not feeling it. Three Book Girls is such a relateable podcast. These women could be your best friend and it often feels like they are. They start out the podcast with conversation and it's usually hilarious, stuff I seriously relate too, and something I would talk to my girl friends about. Then they move into the book they read that week and recommend; with the three of them and their guests, there is a wide array of genres for everyone. Historical fiction, Sci-fi, Fantasy, contemporary, thriller. They have it all. I just love them. My amazon book wishlist has grown tenfold thanks to them.

Professional Book Nerds
Professional Book Nerds
This podcast is created with Overdrive and some employees at Overdrive. They have all the newest books and tons of recommendations. If you need a new book or want to keep up with the new releases, this is the podcast for you. The hosts are funny and interesting and again, feels like I could be friends with them too. The other day, I was coming home from another base about and hour and a half away and I listened to their podcast interviewing Tomi Adeyemi and I loved the interview and I loved her so much that as soon as I got home, I ordered the Barnes and Noble exclusive edition of her book Children of Blood and Bone and I don't normally buy hardbacks, but I had to have the exclusive edition. So I think that's a testament to how good their podcast is.

Get Booked
Get Booked
This one is sponsored by Book Riot. I am still exploring this podcast so I don't love it quite as much as I love the other two, but it's making its way up there. Similar to the other two, listening to this podcast is like talking to your friends. I enjoy their book recommendations and they take questions from listeners and recommend books to them that the hosts think the questioner will like. This way you get lots of book recommendations spanning many genres and books you may not have ever thought to read before. This is another podcast that expands my amazon wishlist to unattainable heights.

Myths & Legends
Myths & Legends
My final semester of college spawned a new love of medieval literature and this podcast fits right in with that. This is story podcast so if you're looking for something like the true-crime podcasts but not true-crime, this may be a good one for you. They go through many myths and legends from England to Scandinavian to Egyptian. There is definitely something for everyone here. If you like Rick Riordans novels, you would probably like this too; this podcast goes into deeper into the more historical and adult areas of the myths.

Honorable Mentions
Spirits (Somewhere between books and legends)
Lore (Legends)
Almost 30 Podcast (motivational, lifestyle)
Happier with Gretchen Rubin (Inspirational, Motivational, Lifestyle)
A Writer's Life (Funny, Reading)

I hope these recommendations help you find new podcasts to listen to! If you have any recommendations, I would love to hear them! I'm open to most types of podcasts, especially if it's something my husband would like too :)

Kylie <3

Podcasts I Adore

Thursday, January 11, 2018

2018 Bullet Journal Set-up

My 2018 Bullet Journal Set-up
Something wonderful happened in my bullet journal life: my last bullet journal ended cleanly on December 31st, a luxury I didn't have last year. So this new bullet journal felt extra special because I got to start it on the first day of the new year! I have been bullet journaling since May 2016 so I have pretty much figured out the spreads that I like to have at the beginning of my bullet journal and any changes made to them are small changes to make them more functional and perfect.

I am on my fifth bullet journal and my third Scribbles That Matter journal. I really love the paper quality in the Scribbles That Matter and they came out with pastel colors in the last half of 2017 so I was very excited to get a pastel color. Many of my spreads are not created 100% by me, I find a lot of inspiration on Pinterest and I use Pinterest so much that it's hard to pinpoint where most of these spreads came from.
My 2018 Bullet Journal Set-up: Key
I began by filling in the key (one of my favorite features of the Scribbles That Matter since I'm not very creative) and the index as needed.
My 2018 Bullet Journal Set-up: Word of the year and goals
Something new I decided to do this year was choosing a Word of the Year to base my year and my goals off of. I decided on Discipline because I really need more self-discipline in many areas of my life. It's also fitting to have it as the first page in my journal and in the same spread of the 2018 goals page - which I will be filling out when I have my goals better mapped out.
My 2018 Bullet Journal Set-up: Future Log
Next is my future log. I've been doing it this way since my first Scribbles That Matter and I really like it. It's on two pages so it doesn't take up much space and I have enough room for what I need to keep track of - which are birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.
My 2018 Bullet Journal Set-up: Book Challenge and Reading Log
I have tracked my reading since my first bullet journal but this year was the first time I decided to do a Reading Challenge. I already have a post about it here if you want to check out my reading goals and what challenge prompts I am doing. I also used to do the bookshelf design for my book tracker, but it never looked that good when I designed it so I just gave that up completely this year.
My 2018 Bullet Journal Set-up: Blog planner and Ideas
Next, I have my blog schedule and my blog ideas. Toward the end of last year, I created a blog schedule similar to this and really liked it. I use sticky notes to plan out my posts for the week, what posts I want to do soon, and what posts are currently drafted but aren't going to be scheduled for the upcoming week. I am so happy with how this spread turned out.
I have my all important cleaning schedule and a new side page of different areas of your home to declutter. I like having the cleaning schedule to look back on to see what areas I clean regularly and what to do for each area. As for decluttering, we have accumulated so much junk somehow and it's really piling up so I really need to go through and start decluttering our house. Especially since we will be moving this summer.
My 2018 Bullet Journal Set-up: Miracle Morning
I have had a miracle morning spread in my bullet journal since my second one. I rarely follow the miracle morning but some mornings or days when I'm having anxiety or I'm having a really motivated day, I'll follow the miracle morning. So I kept it since it is used sometimes. I used to have a level 10 life spread (both ideas come from Hal Elrod) but I seriously never used it. So this time, I didn't bother making it. I also left the facing page blank because I'm going to put my daily schedule there...once I figure it out and figure out how I want it to look.
My 2018 Bullet Journal Set-up: TV Show Tracker
Something I always saw on Pinterest that I really liked was the TV Show Tracker. It seemed like a great idea for me because there are a lot of shows that we've started on Netflix but can't finish because Korean Netflix either doesn't have the show at all or doesn't have all the seasons that are out. I also track shows we are currently watching just in case Korean Netflix takes it off. I haven't filled it out and it'll be something I fill out slowly as it can be tedious writing 1-23 over and over.
Next, I have my Seoul Bucket List which feels even more important this year because we only have 6 months left! So hopefully we can cross all these places off before we leave.
My 2018 Bullet Journal Set-up: Budget Tracker and Wishlist
Finally, I have our budget planner and my wishlist. We re-did our budget recently so I needed to put our updated budget in an easy to reference place and I updated the way that I set it up so it was easier to follow. I also have my wishlist separated into items we eventually need to get and items that I just want.

I am so happy with how this year's bullet journal came out. I think this is my favorite beginning spreads that I've ever done in five bullet journals.

How are your new year plans coming along?

See you soon :)
Kylie <3
My 2018 Bullet Journal Set-up

Saturday, January 6, 2018

2018 Reading Challenge

For the first time ever I am going to do a book and reading challenge. However, I have a little catch: I am not doing any of the pre-made challenges. Many of them have book topics I refuse to read (true crime), or just seem pointless (a book that has a color in the name); so I created my own. I looked at many different book challenges and picked the topics that I wanted and left the rest. I created this with the idea in mind that I wanted to challenge myself and try new genres and books that I normally wouldn't. I tend to stick with Fantasy, Science-Fiction, and thrillers that aren't set too firmly in real life. I picked out 26 challenge ideas with the majority of them being topics/genres I wouldn't normally read, some of them are topics/genres that I do read so they may not totally count.
1) A book of poems
2) A book you were supposed to read in school
3) A play
4) A book of non-fiction essays
5) A memoir or journal
6) A book of short stories
7) A non-fiction novel
8) A book of fiction short stories
9) A Graphic Novel
10) An Award-winning novel
11) A book in translation
12) A fairytale
13) A self-help book
14) A comedy
15) A mystery
16) A book more than 100 years old
17) A novella
18) A Romance
19) A Parady
20) A horror book
21) A banned book
22) A book published in 2018
23) A science fiction novel
24) An Adult fantasy
25) A book set somewhere you want to visit
26) A book with non-human characters.

I also made a goal to read at least 52 books this year so at least half of them will fit the challenge prompts. I would love if any of you wanted to read along with me; in every monthly ending post, I will talk about the books I read and will note which books fit which challenge number.

Do you have any reading goals for 2018?

See you soon :)
Kylie <3

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Hello 2018 :)

Everyone is saying this and yes, I am going to be one of those people, but seriously, where did 2017 go!? It literally feels like yesterday we were out with friends on New Year's Eve celebrating the coming of 2017. As I look back through my year, it all feels like a blur. I had a great year though; I know for a lot of people and a lot of the world, 2017 wasn't great, but for my own personal life, 2017 was wonderful. 2017 was a year of completely new adventures. This was the first full year, in the 5 years we've been together, that Mark and I have spent together where we weren't long distance in some way. Which means everything we did was new from small stuff like grocery shopping to big stuff like exploring South Korea and international travel.

During this time together, we got to explore and settle into life in Seoul, South Korea. We found our favorite spots walk around and visit, our favorite places to eat, our favorite Korean foods, and many new places. We've come to appreciate so many things about Seoul, like the amazing subway system, the convenience stores on every corner, the street food, the huge malls, Lotte Tower in the skyline, the well-kept bike trails, and so much more. Korea truly became a home this year.

2017 brought us on our first international vacation together. We were blessed with the ability to travel to Siem Reap, Cambodia; Chiang Mai, Thailand; and Nha Trang, Vietnam for two weeks. We experienced cultures and foods we, especially me, never thought we would ever experience. This vacation was one of the highlights of my year; as someone who always wanted to travel, I'm so happy we were able to travel to these countries.

Now that 2017 is over, I'm excited about what 2018 has in store. We are in our last 6 months of our South Korea tour and we will be on to our next duty station. We're spending the last 6 months in Seoul trying to enjoy it as much as we possibly can. We know that if Mark ever comes down with orders to Korea again, we know for sure that we won't be in Seoul, so we plan to enjoy our last 6 months we will ever live in Seoul as much as we can. We will be travelling to our next duty station and visiting home in Summer 2018 and we're hoping that we will enjoy it. I'll announce where we're off too when its more set in stone and we have hard orders, but we are excited. 

I currently don't have super planned resolutions for this year, but I have ideas that I'm working on solidifying. I want to read more and read books I wouldn't normally read. I want to spend more time working on my blog and interacting with you and other bloggers. I want to do better with documenting my life; I plan to take more pictures and more videos. I also want to be healthier, so cliche I know, but I need to start adulting and actually work out and nourish my body and my mind.

Overall, I have a good feeling about 2018 and the new adventures we will embark on.

How did 2017 treat you and how are you feeling about 2018?

See you soon :)
Kylie <3

Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas Bucket List

It's my favorite time of year! Seriously, one of my friends called me Mrs. Claus the other day because I love Christmas so much. This year I wanted to really do a lot of Christmas activities and really enjoy the season, especially because it goes by so fast. Here is the bucket list I came up with for us, we have done some of these so those will be crossed off :)
  • Make Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate
  • Go Ice Skating (preferably at Lotte World because they're decorated for Christmas)
  • Make Christmas Cookies
  • Decorate for Christmas
  • Go see the Christmas lights around Seoul
  • Go to Garden of the Morning Calm 
  • Build a Gingerbread House
  • Watch ALL the Christmas movies
  • Watch as many of the Hallmark Christmas movies as I can
  • Do Advent Calendars
  • Go see the Nutcracker
  • Harry Potter Marathon
  • Make Butterbeer
  • Go to the Express Bus Terminal and see their floor of Christmas decorations
    • This wasn't as great as I was hoping it would be. There was a lot of stuff but it was mostly "clutter" items and expensive trees and I have run out of shelf space for Christmas clutter and I don't want to spend 100 dollars on a 3-foot tree.
  • Go to Daiso and get more Christmas Decorations
We're running out of time to do everything before Christmas! Mark works so much now that we don't really have much time to do much of anything. But we'll figure it out and do everything.

What are your plans for the Christmas season?

See you soon
Kylie <3

Goodbye November 2017

November went by even faster than the other months! Probably because we went on vacation! For half of November, we were in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Then we got back and it was Thanksgiving and the holiday season officially started. So the time, until now when I'm writing this, went by so fast; I feel like I haven't had time to catch up on anything. Here's how November went:

Reading //
I read four books this month, I would have read more if I didn't sleep on every flight we had. I finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince which I slowly finished because I didn't want to reach the death, but I managed. then I read Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters, which followed the same story outline as the first book, but that's okay. It was a fun story and I highly enjoyed it again. I read a little Christmas novel that I got for free on my Kindle, Miss Kanes Christmas. If you just take the book at surface level and don't analyze or question the book too much, then it's good and cute. I also read The Paper Magician and I really enjoyed that! It has an interesting magic system, which is something I really love, this one I definitely recommend.However, there is a romantic subplot that feels forced and weird to me; like the author felt like they had to have a romantic element so they forced one in; but I'm able to look past that and enjoy the story. I got the second book for like 3 dollars for my Kindle so I'm excited to read that.

Doing //
We went on vacation :). I have blog posts for each individual country so if you would like a more in-depth look then click the links on each place! We went to Siem Reap, Cambodia where we explored Angkor Wat; Chiang Mai, Thailand where we went ATVing, an Elephant Sanctuary, Ziplining, and a cooking class; and Nha Trang, Vietnam where we lounged at the beach and went snorkeling. We had a blast.

After we got back from vacation, it was almost immediately Thanksgiving. We decorated for Christmas a couple days before Thanksgiving because Mark worked the day of and the day after Thanksgiving. But I cooked all day Thanksgiving to have Thanksgiving dinner ready for us when Mark. Since it was just the two of us, I made a roasted chicken and a small ham, Sweet Potato Casserole, Stuffing, Au Gratin Potatoes, Ruby Tuesday Brocolli Salad, and Green Bean Casserole.

Watching // 
Before we went on vacation, we went and saw the new Thor at the on-post theater. I really enjoyed it and I liked that it felt like a Thor and Loki movie rather than another Avengers movie. We really like the Marvel movies, I think they do a really good job, especially for someone who doesn't read the comics.

We also binged the second season of Stranger Things during the first few days of November. It was so good and we love Stranger Things, I don't know if I like season 1 or season 2 more but we can't wait until season 3.

After vacation, we started watching Christmas movies because I'm a Christmas crazy person and we've basically been watching Christmas movies and The Flash since we got back.

December //
We plan to do lots of Christmas activities and watch lots of Christmas movies. Mark is even extra spirited this year which is really fun. We've been wearing Santa Hats out because why not. This is my favorite time of year so I'm really excited. It's also our two year marriage anniversary on the 29th!

How was your November; if you celebrate Thanksgiving, did you have a good Thanksgiving?

See you soon!
Kylie <3