August Small Goals

I’ve seen a bunch of people post small monthly goals (and I recently realized that Writes Like a Girl started this monthly post & has a monthly link up for it on her blog!) and I really like the idea of re-centering and re-evaluating everything more frequently.  It’s awesome to make yearly goals but it’s also easy to lose focus or forget about them entirely over the 365 day period we’re aiming to accomplish them in.  Having small monthly goals to help get to those bigger picture yearly ones is something I’m eager to try out!

MAY – JULY CHECK-IN

Sooooo, I really fell behind here since my last small goals post was way back in May! I blame all of the traveling, filming of bookshelf tours which took way more out of me than I ever anticipated and just an overall step away from social media and online things.  It was quite a nice break!

1) Start our really ambitious Star Wars marathon – PASS – We’ve taken a small hiatus (we’re re-watching Doctor Who now that a female Doctor has been announced!) BUT we have watched the first two prequels and some of the first season of Clone Wars (according to the StarWars.com chronology list).

2) See Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2  – PASS – We did this! Woo! And guess what? We also saw Spider-Man: Homecoming!

3) Send out Wedding Thank You Notes  – PASS – Oh yeah! I did this too! No wonder I was so busy these past few months!

4) Spend as little as possible  – FAIL – They couldn’t all be winner’s right? On the bright side, I have a ton of new reading material and basically all the clothes that Madewell sells!

AUGUST GOALS

1) Spend minimally – If at first you don’t succeed- but really, between both of our trips and the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (my favorite sale of the year because it means that pumpkins are just around the corner) coupled with the easy of excuse of “but it’s my birthday month!”, it’s time to scale back in the shopping department.  I cleaned out my whole closet over the weekend (a laborious two day long event) and I’m going to do my best to spend next to nothing in August.  We’ll see how that goes!

2) Continue eating healthy / resist all the snacks!  – I’ve been waking up early on Monday mornings to do some cooking and meal prep and it’s been going really well! Especially since I don’t have to do it every single day >.<  I also threw out all the snacks we had in our cabinets (with the exception of a couple of small things in the event we have unexpected guests) and the real challenge will be resisting buying new junk food on every subsequent grocery shopping trip.  I even made a list of healthy snacks that I can prepare quickly to reference in times of weakness.

3) Read one more Man Booker nominee or classic book  – I’m planning on participating in ARC August and the Tome Topple Readathon next month but I’m only going to choose two tomes and three ARC’s to focus on.  That’ll give me the freedom in my TBR to dive into a classic (most likely Pride & Prejudice) or a title on the Man Booker longlist (most likely The Underground Railroad- I’ve already read Lincoln in the Bardo and Exit West).

4) Consistently Blog & BookTube  – Like I said, I’ve taken quite the break and it’s been amazing for my mental health because really, I’ve been going and going for almost 8 years now? I sometimes can’t believe how much of my life I’ve devoted to creating online content but it is because I truly enjoy it.  I just need to remember that it’s for fun anytime I’m feeling pressure.

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Kristin

Travel Diaries: The Mountains Are Calling (Alaska Trip)

Hi all! Things have been a bit quiet here on the blog lately due to a number of things.  The first being, Andrew and I went on a trip to Alaska with his family for his older brother’s wedding.  I can honestly sat that Alaska is one of those states I never thought I would visit.  In addition to the super long flight across the country (I’m an anxious flier- especially when layovers are involved), I’m much more of a city girl than an outdoorsy girl.  My ideal vacation involves walking city streets, checking out bookstores and museums, indulging in local ice creameries, and admiring interesting architecture.  Alaska is the polar opposite.  We stayed in Girdwood which is “right” outside of  Anchorage (I air quote “right” because it’s about a 40 minute drive but according to native Alaskans, this is considered close-by) in one of the most beautiful log cabins I’ve ever laid eyes on.  It’s called Winner Creek Lodge and Andrew’s mom get’s all the credit for handling the discovery and booking of these gorgeous accommodations.  As scenic as the glaciers and mountains are, my favorite part of the trip were the mornings I was the first one awake.  I would head upstairs to the living room, made a large cup of chai tea, settle in with a blanket on one of the leather couches, and read my book next to one of the huge windows.  (My second favorite part of the trip was not having to wear work clothes for a week and getting to coordinate cute outfits.)  Initially I had been a bit upset about leaving New York when summer weather finally started to surface, but my attitude quickly changed when I realized we would be heading into autumn temperatures and I had a blast packing for an unusual week of my favorite seasons climate.  Even though it the weather was mostly dreary and rainy, it wasn’t like the torrential downpour of rain we experience in New York.  We didn’t even need an umbrella during our excursions and it wasn’t enough to ruin your hair.  The one thing I will say is that I have thankfully never been in a place before with more mosquitoes than Alaska.  They were E V E R Y W H E R E.

My favorite excursion of the trip was definitely the boat ride on the Kenai Fjords.  We took a very scenic boat ride out of a port in Seward to Fox Island which is reminiscent of a Wes Anderson film.  Not to mention, foxes are my favorite animal so I was bound to love such a quirky place.  On our way back to Seward, we were able to see a humpback whale (Andrew got an incredible photo of his tail!) and to touch a bit of ice that broke off of a glacier.  My sister in law Molly had been dying to see some otters and she was over the moon when we rode by some just lounging on their backs in the water.  On the way back to Girdwood (it’s a 2 hours drive) we listened to the Hamilton soundtrack which I’m sure I enjoyed the most of anyone in our car.  And speaking of animals, we had several bear sightings on our street and in our backyard, which basically made me a nervous wreck.  I had been dreading getting attacked by a bear or a moose since before we left and to see them so close to where we were staying really scared me.  I did however, enjoy seeing a ton of animals at the conservatory where they were behind barriers.  There was a reindeer there that I swear looked exactly like Sven from Frozen.  And foxes! As I mentioned, foxes are my fave.  We also did a bunch of hikes, one to a glacier, one to a hidden waterfall and one just around our neighborhood to see the mountains.  It was all very surreal and felt like wandering Middle Earth but by the end of the trip I was ready to be back in NY with the three b’s- books, buildings and the good bagels.

Overall, we had a wonderful time.  Having grown up in a family of four, it was really fun to wake up to an even fuller house of family members (we had 9 total on this trip- sharing 4 bathrooms so it all worked out okay!).  But I enjoy the chaos and conversation that come with so many lovely people in one place.  We were also visited by Andrew’s cousins Clare, Caroline and Nora and their parents Aunt Monica and Uncle Mike and it was so nice to get to spend more time with them since even though they too live on the East Coast, they live a bit further away from us.  We are going to plan a weekend trip to visit them in Philadelphia soon though!

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Kristin

SuperSpaceChick’s Weekly Round Up (#6)

Super Space Chick’s weekly round up is a blog series in which I’ll be chatting to you about what’s going on in my life, what I’ve been posting on YouTube and my blog, some favorite instagram photos of the week, and such.  So basically just general life happenings and feelings!  I looooooove writing book reviews but I also love reading more personal blog posts so I want to make an effort to share more of my full life here and not just my reading life.

Hello friends! Last week was rather quiet but it had some truly wonderful moments<3! Sunday was Mother’s Day so Andrew and I spent the majority of the day brunching at my parent’s house and then having dinner at my aunt’s.  Monday was a really tired but relatively quiet day and then the fun began on Tuesday!  Andrew and I met his sisters Brittany and Molly at Black Tap for Molly’s birthday lunch.  I’ve always wanted to try their milkshakes and I’m happy to report that they are so worth the calories.  We each got a different shake so we could try as many as possible.  Luckily I opted to just order fries for lunch because I couldn’t even finish half of them after drinking my shake.  But the most exciting part- who’s sitting at the booth next to us but Ron freaking Swanson (or Nick Offerman as he goes by IRL).  I was sooooo excited for that celeb siting and I tried to sneak some ninja photos but he TOTALLY knew what was going on.  Oops.  Then at night, Andrew and I went to Books of Wonder for Emery Lord’s book launch event for The Names They Gave Us.  It ended up being a kind of quiet event (there was also a Renee Ahdieh / Sabaa Tahir event happening at McNally Jackson) but it was great! I got to meet Hazel of Stay Bookish who I’ve been online friends with for a quite some time now!  I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Hazel again at BookExpo / BookCon in a few weeks time.  Alexa and Rachel also made it over for the event (despite poor Alexa being sick) and it was so much fun to catch up with them! I ended up making a vlog of the day which you can find down below!

Wednesday and Thursday returned to the lovely quiet nights that I so enjoy (and our stove was fixed so we were finally able to eat Trader Joe’s black bean taquitos again WOO!).  I so enjoyed the beautiful weather this week and I took advantage of spending as much time outside as possible.  It’s gotten me even more excited for the summer sun<3.  I also binged a ton of anime this week which you’ll see down below and Saturday, I got Andrew to film a couple of YouTube videos with me! I’ve been feeling a little bored with my content lately and I’ve been looking for ways to make filming more fun for me and having Andrew next to me definitely did the trick.  We were laughing the whole time and it was so much fun!  After my videos, we also recorded some gameplay for Andrew’s channel! It only took us 7 months to get back to Donkey Kong Country 2.  And after dinner we played some original Mario Party<3 So overall, it was a great week!

Reading: I finished reading Hello, Sunshine by Leila Howland which was really cute but I still love her Nantucket duology more.  I also read all of Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire in a single day because it was such an addicting story. I have no idea why I waited so long to get to this one.  And finally, I also finished Daughter of the Pirate King by Trisha Levenseller which I really loved!

Watching: All the anime! I watched all of the first season of Free! in one day, most of Death Parade (but we’ll probably finish it up tonight!) and a bit more Famous in Love (I only have one episode left now!).  There was no new Pretty Little Liars this week sadly because I was actually looking forward to it for once.

So many videos yet again this week! I do want to slow down a little bit though so expect less the next few weeks.

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Kristin

Super Space Chick’s Weekly Round Up (#4)

Super Space Chick’s weekly round up is a blog series in which I’ll be chatting to you about what’s going on in my life, what I’ve been posting on YouTube and my blog, some favorite instagram photos of the week, and such.  So basically just general life happenings and feelings!  I looooooove writing book reviews but I also love reading more personal blog posts so I want to make an effort to share more of my full life here and not just my reading life.

Hello friends! Las Sunday after waking up late and trying to adjust to the life of a person with short hair, Cassie and I hung out over Google+ chat, first and foremost for our The Upside of Unrequited book club and then to hang out before Cassie went off to finish her early copy of ACOWAR.  As I had mentioned in my last weekly recap, I was besides myself awaiting my own copy of ACOWAR.  Monday was a blur until a second ago when I just realized that my day / night was spent eagerly awaiting for the release.  Cassie is the best friend ever and she sent me some photos of the book pages early (up to page 100! serious dedication)- so I spent Monday night reading those pages and trying my best to stay up until midnight so I could buy a kindle copy to start reading before my physical copy came in the mail.  I didn’t make it (#old) but I did set an alarm and wake up at 4AM on Tuesday morning so I could pick up where I left off.  I spent so many hours reading and reading on Tuesday (I was really proud that I ended the night over the halfway mark, on page 400!).  Andrew’s went out to dinner with his friend NIck so when they came back to our apartment after their dinner I didn’t want to be rude and I put my beloved book down.  We ended up playing a game of Smallworlds (it’s a tabletop board game where each person gets a race of creatures and a power- I was Forest Elves- and the goal is to conquer as many territories as possible and earn coins for each and then have the most at the end).  I won!  It was only my second time playing but I’ve really enjoyed it both times we’ve played.  When Nick left after midnight, I couldn’t possibly read another page so I went to sleep and attempted to get up early the next morning to get back into ACOWAR.

But alas, I was too tired.  I spent my commute and breaks reading furiously and by the time I got home I had finished reading the story.  It was every bit as epic as I dreamed.  I cried so many times while reading and I thought ACOWAR really tied things up very nicely.  There are some loose ends bothering me and some things I want more of but I’m expecting they’ll be addressed in the next book.  Cassie and I are going to be doing a Spines with Wines Book Club episode for ACOWAR on Saturday May 13th at 5PM (and Melissa is expected to rejoin us!) so you’ll hear my full review there.  After I finished, I didn’t feel ready to pick up anything new so I gave it a day before jumping into Always and Forever, Lara Jean (another trilogy ender by Jenny Han!).  Andrew and I finished watching Sailor Moon R and I had this idea a little while back that we should watch all of the Star Wars things in canonical order and with May the Fourth happening, we decided it was the perfect time to start.  Andrew and I are planning on collabing on some videos for our thoughts on the rewatch and we’re going to be tweeting under the hashtag #SilverSpaceSW.  I made us some blue milk milkshakes and we started with a painful viewing of Phantom Menace.  I have to say, it’s actually worse than I even remembered until the ending.  I’m most excited to finally see The Clone Wars series, catch up on Star Wars Rebels and go from watching Rogue One immediately into A New Hope.

Then on Friday, I met Monica at DŌ, which is a place I’ve been dying to try! I had the Dunkaroo cookie dough that came in a pink cone and I was so excited that I forgot to ask for frosted animal crackers atop it! While we were there, these girls were trying to instagram their dough with Monica’s bright pink hair in their photo and it was so adorable.  Even better is that Monica had no clue.  Then we went to McNally Jackson and saw the books hanging from the ceiling above the cafe.  I had been there before but never noticed because I always walk straight downstairs for the event / YA book section.  On Saturday morning, Andrew and I got dressed and ready for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2!  I bought a bag of Sour Patch Kids so large that Andrew said it makes him sick just to look at them.  I just have to say that I didn’t think I could possibly love baby Groot anymore than I already did and yet I do<3

Reading: I finished reading A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas wand now the internet feels like a safe place again (at least from ACOWAR spoilers).  I started reading Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han which is adorable and making me crave chocolate chip cookies, and I finished volumes 9 and 10 of the Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches manga.

Watching: Pretty Little Liars– remember how I said that the second episode was HELLA problematic? Well, the third episode was just flat out ridiculously awful.  It was so bad that I almost want to give up on this show despite making it this far.  As I mentioned above, Andrew and I finished watching Sailor Moon R and it was perfectly perfect.  I’m excited to start Sailor Moon S at some point in the future.  Also mentioned above, we started our Star Wars viewing marathon of all the things with Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones but I’m really in this for The Clone Wars.  And we finally found out who killed Jason Blossom on Riverdale! It was NOT who I was expecting. (Also, LOOK AT ALL THOSE MOVIES! As I said in my May Small Goals post, I am the worst at seeing movies so I’m pretty proud of this week’s viewings!)

I’m even better than on schedule this week- I posted three videos PLUS our book club livestream!

  • None! My week was devoted to ACOWAR and Star Wars<3
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Kristin

May Small Goals

I’ve seen a bunch of people post small monthly goals and I really like the idea of re-centering and re-evaluating everything more frequently.  It’s awesome to make yearly goals but it’s also easy to lose focus or forget about them entirely over the 365 day period we’re aiming to accomplish them in.  Having small monthly goals to help get to those bigger picture yearly ones is something I’m eager to try out!

APRIL CHECK-IN

1) Read at least 10 books – I have another exciting TBR set aside and I’m hoping to get through a bunch of backlist books before May, the month of a million new releases, is upon us! 

DONE – Read 13 books!!!

2) Complete the #BookishPotter17 Instagram Challenge  – I usually try to commit to 3-4 instagram challenges per month so if I don’t like a specific prompt for a day I can chose to take a photo of something in one of the other challenges but I’m pretty confident that I want to stick to the #BookishPotter17 challenge because HARRY POTTER<3.

FAIL – My mom ended up in the hospital for the majority of April so I had zero time to sleep at my apartment, let alone set up bookstagram photos there.

3) Order & send out Wedding Thank You Notes  – Andrew and I are coming upon our first wedding anniversary and the time has come to order and send out our thank you notes! This one has been on my goals list for months at this point but we just haven’t ordered them yet.  This year, there’s no excuse!

HALF PASS – So again, we spent most of April visiting my mom in the hospital, but once she returned home, we were able to at least ORDER our wedding Thank Yous!  They should be arriving in the latter half of the week and I can’t wait to share them here!

MAY GOALS

1) Start our really ambitious Star Wars marathon – I decided that it would be fun to watch all of Star Wars in canonical order (yes, including the prequels >.<).  I’m most excited to 1) see The Clone Wars for the first time ever(!) and 2) go from watching Rogue One straight into A New Hope! We’re thinking we’ll be starting this on May the Fourth because obviously.

2) See Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2  – You might be thinking, what the heck kind of goal is this? (Actually both of my listed goals so far are more fun than anything!) But for some reason, I went from AVID moviegoer to the worst at seeing anything ever.  Seriously, I’ve seen more Broadway plays than films this year and that includes films I’ve watched at home.  So sad!

3) Send out Wedding Thank You Notes  – The order has been placed! We finalized our design about a week and a half ago and now we just have to write them out once received.

4) Spend as little as possible  – I’ve been doing a good job of putting money into savings each month, but I would love to pay off my credit card and be able to save even more.  We’ve had a ton of things come up lately and it’ll be a nice feeling once we’re all paid off!

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Super Space Chick’s Weekly Round Up (#3)

Super Space Chick’s weekly round up is a blog series in which I’ll be chatting to you about what’s going on in my life, what I’ve been posting on YouTube and my blog, some favorite instagram photos of the week, and such.  So basically just general life happenings and feelings!  I looooooove writing book reviews but I also love reading more personal blog posts so I want to make an effort to share more of my full life here and not just my reading life.

We had a really quiet week and it was glorious! On Tuesday I got copies of the Sailor Moon R movie and the second season of Snow White with the Red Hair.  And I did some shopping (at Her Universe, Hot Topic & Loungefly) so I’m eagerly anticipating those packages which should be arriving soon! I also received The Melting Library’s Villains sampler for April and I love it so much more than I was expecting to (mainly because I’ve just been dying for the fictional confections sampler so I haven’t even thought about anything else).  My favorite candle in it is Amarantha who is one of the villains I love most.  Photos to come!  This week, my bosses also got me the most beautiful flowers and brought in Doughnut Plant which was a lovely surprise.  Other than that, I read some great books, watched A LOT of Sailor Moon R and OH YEAH WE GOT NYCC TICKETS NBD.  And I cut off more than half my hair.  Actually, storytime below!

On Thursday morning, I got a really exciting email re: NYCC.  It’s not a confirmed thing that I can share yet, but it will basically be a dream come true if it happens.  We had been hemming and hawing over whether to attend NYCC this year because of how overcrowded its gotten but after this email we had to buy at least one set of passes and once I fell into that waiting queue, the adrenaline was pumping and it felt like the race was on.  I was driving myself crazy reading the tweets of those who bought tickets within, 5, 10 and 15 minutes while I slowly watched the minutes tick by and the passes start popping up on eBay.  Some people were saying that Saturday tickets were already sold out so my stress level just amped up even further but an hour later when our time finally came, all four days had tickets available and we got them with no issue.  Speaking of stressful things we do for fandoms, I spent Friday going to not one, not two but THREE Target’s looking for an early copy of A Court of Wings and Ruin since everyone in the world seems to have already received theirs while I’m just waiting over and here and slowly dying.  At the third and final Target, I HAD A COPY OF A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN IN MY HANDS… and then it was taken away because they’re not allowed to sell it until May 2nd… even though they clearly are because I’ve seen so many other people with them (including my bff Cassie!).  So after that horrible, horrible night, I went home and drowned my sorrows in Ben & Jerry’s PB & Cookies non-dairy ice cream and more Sailor Moon.  I know it’s silly since at this point, I will have the book in two days but I just want it now, ya know?

Reading: I finished reading The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli which is just as amazing as her first book.  Cassie and I are getting ready to host our book club in about an hour for the book and I can’t wait to talk about it in depth with her!  I also finished reading I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo which is outlandish and adorable and the 8th volume of Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches which is a manga series I’ve really come to love. And lastly, I started my A Court of Mist and Fury re-read in anticipation of ACOWAR!

Watching: Pretty Little Liars– the second episode was HELLA problematic.  I did not appreciate the writers including a storyline where a girl falsely accuses someone of sexual harassment.  It was just done in such poor taste, especially with how uncomfortable victims already feel about reporting their cases.  Famous in Love continues to be adorable and I still think Nina is by far the worst and most manipulative character on the show and I’ve just loved every single minute of Sailor Moon R <3 <3 <3

I am back on schedule this week with three videos posted!!! WOOO!

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Kristin

Super Space Chick’s Weekly Round Up (#2)

Super Space Chick’s weekly round up is a blog series in which I’ll be chatting to you about what’s going on in my life, what I’ve been posting on YouTube and my blog, some favorite instagram photos of the week, and such.  So basically just general life happenings and feelings!  I looooooove writing book reviews but I also love reading more personal blog posts so I want to make an effort to share more of my full life here and not just my reading life.

Last week was pretty awesome.  My mom came home from the hospital on Tuesday (*insert party horn emojis here*) so we’ve all been getting back to a more normal schedule.  I’m so happy to have her home and she’s been able to get better quality rest in her own bed.  Andrew and I spent Easter with her, my dad, my brother and his girlfriend at the hospital and then the beginning of the week was dedicated to getting done all of the boring adult chores we’d been neglecting for the past couple of weeks.  On Thursday night I met up with Alexa at Books of Wonder- I wasn’t planning on buying anything but ended up walking out with two signed hardcovers of The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon and Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl.  Alex also was so kind to lend me her ARC copy of I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo which is a YA novel about a girl who decides to implement all of the dating advice she’s seen on K-dramas.  I’ve been highly anticipating that one and it’s going to be my next read! While everyone was obsessed with Starbucks’s Unicorn frappacinos, Alexa and I opted to go to Union Fare for unicorn croissants which were delicious.  The weather is also getting warm enough that Union Square park has a bunch of neon green tables set up and we were able to spend the remainder of our night there, chatting about books and anime as per usual.

Then Thursday night, my cousin Rachel came into town because she was able to score Hamilton tickets last year and the date of her showing is finally upon her!  She got to my apartment later than I normally go to sleep (#old) and we ended up staying up late catching up on general life happenings, our love of Marvel movies, and everything coming to Disney and Universal in the future.  The next morning we went to a quick brunch with my mom, grandparents and aunt and then sent Rachel off into the city.  I spent the rest of my day filming BookTube videos (I was SO behind) and then headed over to my parents to make them some dinner.

The next morning, Cassie and I planned a huge nostalgia brunch with some of our best friends that we don’t get to see as often as we’d like to.  I was really expecting some people to cancel but all 10 of the invitees made it! We went to La Flaca on the Lower East Side where I drank red sangria, ate huevos rancheros (my favorite!) and we accidentally got sucked into some very entertaining show called One Miracle Morning where a guy on a motorcycle was racing a goose.  After brunch, we headed to a bar called The Library where we met up with my brother.  I had a couple of root beer floats (stoli vanilla + rootbeer + a cherry) which were surprisingly delicious, and then we headed out to a place that I’ve ALWAYS wanted to try, Taiyaki NYC.  I love taiyaki but I haven’t ever been to the ice cream / pastry hybrid shop before.  While we were waiting for our ice cream, we met a couple of guys with lightsabers, so naturally, we asked if we could play with them.  Then this morning, Andrew and I somehow found the motivation to go for a run (how cool is the photo with my shadow in it?!) and then I made breakfast with what I can only describe as winning the avocado lottery.

Reading: I finished reading: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones which I enjoyed because I just kept picturing David Bowie every time the Goblin King was described, Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle because I wanted to read it before I started watching the television show, and The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher because Star Wars! I also started Geekerella which I’m completely in love with!

Watching: Pretty Little Liars came back this week so I was eagerly anticipating that! One more season and then I’ll be free.  Cassie and I are basically hate watching it together at this point and I’m mostly only still in it for our snarky texts.  I also started watching Famous in Love which is completely different from the book and we watched the only two available episodes of The Ancient Magus Bride anime which is wholly enchanting.

I posted less this week than normal because I ran out of prefilmed videos.  Although, I did get to post my Guide to Manga Genres video which I filmed so long ago that it has my old bookshelf set up!

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Kristin

Super Space Chick’s Weekly Round Up (#1)

Super Space Chick’s weekly round up is a new blog series in which I’ll be chatting to you about what’s going on in my life, what I’ve been posting on YouTube and my blog, some favorite instagram photos of the week, and such.  So basically just general life happenings and feelings!  I looooooove writing book reviews but I also love reading more personal blog posts so I want to make an effort to share more of my full life here and not just my reading life.

For my first weekly recap, I’m actually going to be recapping the past two weeks.  I had every intention of starting this blog series last weekend but things have been crazy around here and I just didn’t have the time.  Right after I had the idea, I was so excited to begin writing and then my mom ended up in the hospital again so naturally, that took priority.  Even today as I’m writing this on Easter Sunday, Andrew and I are about to start getting ready to take a train into NYC and head over to Sloan Kettering to see my mom.  But do to some pre-planned events, I do have other things to share as well.  Last weekend, my sisters and I planned the most fun weekend ever!  My sister-in-law Kristin (yup! same first and last name, spelled the same way!) and I drove into Brooklyn to meet up with Brittany and Molly at their Williamsburg apartment.  We briefly stopped at Barcade where Andrew and his brothers Joe (Kristin’s husband) and Greg were hanging out as part of the weekend Andrew and Joe planned for Greg’s bachelor party (Molly had extra game tokens to give them).  Then we continued on our way to Smorgasburg which I’ve always wanted to go to!  We got giant mozzarella sticks from Big Mozz, way too many french fries with garlic lemon aoili sauce from Home Frite, and churro ice cream sandwiches with sea salted caramel ice cream.  Which is WAY too much food for any one person but so worth it.  I really want to plan a trip back to try more!

Then we went to a cute little dive bar on Bedford Avenue where you get a free personal pizza which each drink you order.  We also saw a really cute pig in a sweater named Franklin at the local hardware store before heading home to meet up with our future sister in law Moira.  I also saw She’s the Man starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum for the first time ever and I could not stop laughing.  I’m so sad that I missed out on this wonderful movie during my younger years but I’m so happy it’s in my life now.  And I love that it’s based on Shakespeare!  The next day we all had brunch together and Brittany shared her White Girl Rose with us which was delicious.  And we played some Cards Against Humanity with all 6 of the siblings I’ve gained in marrying Andrew before driving back home.  There’s so many of us so it’s always a blast when we all get together!

Then we spent our next couple of nights at the hospital with my parents and my brother (side note, my brother got to interview Axel Alonso of Marvel, how cool is that?!)  But later in the week, Andrew and I already had tickets to Broadway shows on both Thursday AND Friday.  We went to the W Hotel in Times Square for some pre-show drinks (I had rose with bubbles and Andrew had Dark and Stormy’s).  I love it there.  It’s such a fun atmosphere- there are lots of neon lights and the table set up makes you feel a bit like your in a spaceship.  Actually, the ladies room even had a giant poster slide show of Star Wars images which I was not at all expecting.  We saw Waitress starring Sara Bareilles (she’s playing the starring role of Jenna for 10 weeks only!) and we really loved it.  I got a mini key lime pie and they actually infuse the scent of pies into the theater before the show and during the intermission.  We had previously seen half of Waitress when Jesse Mueller was in it because we made the mistake of eating at a sketchy Asian restaurant beforehand and we both needed to leave at intermission.  This time around we got to see the full thing and I thought Sara was amazing! My favorite characters are Dawn and Ogie though.  They’re basically the cutest couple ever.

Then on Friday night we saw Bandstand with Kelly and Gil!  Unfortunately, my mom was in her fifth surgery of the week and before the show was starting, I still hadn’t heard an update from my dad or brother.  I think that combined with the false report of an active shooter near Penn Station and being seated in the middle of the row, feeling like I couldn’t get out without disrupting anyone if my dad was going to call triggered a major anxiety attack.  I didn’t get to enjoy the show as much as everyone else because I was mostly trying to calm myself down and tell myself that everything would be okay.  Even after hearing that everything went well from my dad, I still was having trouble calming myself down.  I did really love the music in the show and I was able to pay attention enough to understand the story but I do wish I could’ve gotten more lost in it.  The play was really sad and the music was all 40’s style, taking place right after World War II ended.  It’s a very accurate portrayal of what soldiers experience once they get home (it’s actually the only Broadway play approved by “Got Your 6 which highlights projects that depict veterans both accurately and responsibly.”- a piece of trivia Kelly told us after the show).  Once the play ended and we left the theater, I felt almost instantly better and calmer.  Then on Saturday morning, Andrew and I went to the local high school and jogged around the track.  When I told my dad he was like wait YOU were running though?  I’ve always hated running so this is a pretty big deal.  It ended up being really good for me and despite being completely sore in every place you can imagine today, it also feels really good.  When we got home, I made pizza with a cauliflower crust for the first time and I’m definitely adding it into our weekly dinner rotation.  Anyway, these will be much shorter in the future but I wanted to highlight the good things in the past couple of weeks because it’s been EXHAUSTING.  We’ve been getting home from the hospital between 11-12AM each night and then we get up between 5-6AM for work so it’s been a lot.

Reading: I finished reading: The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson #3) by Rick Riordan which I enjoyed much more than the first two books, The Long Game (The Fixer #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes and I’m DYING for a third book so everyone please buy the first two so she can write and publish a third, Fireworks by Katie Cotugno which takes place in Orlando in the 90’s during the boyband craze and once again Katie wrote an incredibly messy and addicting story, and Princess Jellyfish volume 3 which went in a different direction than I was expecting but I’m still enjoying this series very much!

Watching: We finished watching: 13 Reasons Why which is such an important story and will hopefully help teens realize how much our actions can affect other people, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid which I really hope gets a second season because this anime has a very special place in my heart and we continued watching iZombie season 2 which seems to keep getting better, and our usual shows: New Girl, Fresh Off the Boat and we started Powerless which is pretty funny!

I posted a bit less over the past two weeks.  I did happen to bulk film a bunch of videos right before my mom went into the hospital so I was able to post regularly for the first week but last week when the exhaustion kicked in, I only managed to get one video up.  But I should be back to normal shortly!

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Kristin

April Small Goals

I’ve seen a bunch of people post small monthly goals and I really like the idea of re-centering and re-evaluating everything more frequently.  It’s awesome to make yearly goals but it’s also easy to lose focus or forget about them entirely over the 365 day period we’re aiming to accomplish them in.  Having small monthly goals to help get to those bigger picture yearly ones is something I’m eager to try out!

Oops, I totally forgot to do a February small goals post until most of the way through the month so we’re just skipping it and resuming with March!

MARCH CHECK-IN

1) Read all the books – Well, obviously not ALL the books because I do have the gift of unlimited time but I feel like I’ve had a rocky start to my reading year and I want to turn that around in March.  Both of the books I’ve started so far this month (The Star-Touched Queen and Mortal Heart) are completely gripping me and I just feel myself emerging victorious from this slump that has plagued me since December. 

DONE! I read a total of 12 books in March which I’m pretty happy with! One of them was Lady Midnight which is my longest book for the year so far at 698 pages.

2) Clean out my closet… AGAIN  – I already did this one time after Marie Kondo-ing but I feel ready to do a second go around.  I still have more than I need and I really want to pare down my wardrobe even further.  Also along with this goal, I want to finish reading The Curated Closet!

Mostly!  I did do a second clean out but I still feel like I could let go of more as I replace the things I wear most often.

3) Be more active / enjoy these random spring days that keep coming our way  – I can’t decided whether to be happy or horrified with our recent weather but I do know that I want to take advantage of it completely! After our little mini-vacay I’ve been craving some outdoor adventure and I refuse to let the extra sunlight pass me by!

FAIL (but it’s not entirely my fault). The weather has been CRAZY but I’m finally feeling like Spring is on the way so this seems like a more realistic April goal.

APRIL GOALS

1) Read at least 10 books – I have another exciting TBR set aside and I’m hoping to get through a bunch of backlist books before May, the month of a million new releases, is upon us!

2) Complete the #BookishPotter17 Instagram Challenge  – I usually try to commit to 3-4 instagram challenges per month so if I don’t like a specific prompt for a day I can chose to take a photo of something in one of the other challenges but I’m pretty confident that I want to stick to the #BookishPotter17 challenge because HARRY POTTER<3.

3) Order & send out Wedding Thank You Notes  – Andrew and I are coming upon our first wedding anniversary and the time has come to order and send out our thank you notes! This one has been on my goals list for months at this point but we just haven’t ordered them yet.  This year, there’s no excuse!

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Life Lately Update Post

Hi all! This is going to be a kind of rambling post since I feel like I’ve neglected my blog for the past week! The funny thing is, I have like 8 book reviews sitting in my drafts but I’ve been too lazy / busy to take photos for them so this is what you’re getting instead :-)  First of all, HOW AMAZING IS BEAUTY AND THE BEAST?!?!?! I cannot even tell you how much I loved the new live action adaptation.  It’s easily one of my favorite Disney movies ever at this point.  Everything was so glamorous and French! Second of all, I have rainbow bookshelves now! It took A LOT of time and I’m not finished putting everything away yet but looking at these shelves so far gives me a sense of calm (I think because I only used books that are the same height).  I’m worried about adjusting to finding books while I’m filming but I’m sure I’ll pick up on it quickly!  And I moved all of my Harry Potter merchandise to one bookshelf… and it still seems like I don’t have enough space.  Only me!

Next, me, Alexa and Cristina have been doing a re-read of ACOTAR by Sarah J Maas and I just finished yesterday (way ahead of schedule!).  I just couldn’t put it down this time around and my reading experience was completely different knowing what I know about ACOMAF.  It was also the perfect book to read to cure my Beauty and the Beast hangover!  I’m also finally reading the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay and it’s just like seeing the film again<3  I also started a new (hopefully monthly) video series on my channel today- my Bookish Merch Haul!  It basically just shows all the bookish and geeky merchandise I amassed in the past month.  Let me know what you think because I had fun filming it! (Even though it took forever to pull all the links >.<).  I’m also so excited that this week is almost over for me.  I’m off on Friday because I have TWO weddings to attend! I still have to try on my dress which just arrived on Monday… here’s hoping it fits!

And just overall, Andrew and I have finally been eating healthier and I think we’ve both felt better as a result! Spending so much time cooking after work has definitely taken away some free time but as long as I have BookTube to keep my company, it doesn’t seem like such a chore.  And speaking of eating healthy, I’m pretty excited that Spring and ice cream season are upon us.  Despite the random cold weather, I’m hopeful that we’ll transition into those 70 degree days I’ve been longing for! What have you been up to lately?

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Kristin
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