‘Tis the Season: Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

This past weekend Andrew and I attended an ugly Christmas sweater party at our friend’s Erika and Alex’s apartment and it was so much fun! I’ve always wanted to attend one of these for as long as I can remember and the fact that it took place on SantaCon weekend as an anti-SantaCon Christmas gathering made it even better! There were so many festive treats (Erika made the most amazing sangria I have ever tasted- it was literally Christmas in a cup), there were ugly Christmas sweater cookies that were bigger than my head, and a plethora of other Christmas cookies! We also had a contest and Andrew ended up winning for ugliest Christmas sweater! I voted for our friend Gil because I love Christmas sweaters and I thought her’s was the cutest!  We also took a bunch of group photos and it was just so nice to relax near a gorgeous Christmas tree with good company ^.^

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‘Tis the Season: We’re All Decorated for Christmas!

This Christmas is a really special one because it’s Andrew and I’s first married Christmas in our very own apartment with no roommates.  As you’re all probably aware, Christmas is a ~big deal~ to me so I’ve been extra looking forward to this one.  It was honestly even more exciting than I imagined it would be to decide upon on Christmas decor and pick out the decorations that spoke to my heart the most!  Since this is our first Christmas, we aren’t bogged down with sentimental ornaments from years past and while I expect that we will inevitably add some of those to our collection as the years pass, I’m so excited to have a fresh start and a tree that I completely love every ornament on.  I always enjoyed my parent’s decorations but I could definitely do without the sports, cars and Elvis ornaments.  I was adamant about putting our tree up as soon as possible because I want to enjoy the season to the fullest.  Before my mini vacation, I took to reading before work in our living room while sipping a cup of hot chai and now I’ll be able to do that beside a twinkling tree and it’s just delightful!  Plus, I’ve fallen in love with my apartment after using the KonMari method (post about that coming next week!).  Anyway, here’s our tree, our table and our stockings! Have you decorated for Christmas yet?

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December 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!

November Check-In

1) Keep up with November Bookstagram challenges – Check! I pulled the info for a total of 5 challenges and while I didn’t post a photo for each challenge every single day (that honestly would’ve been way to overwhelming for everyone) I did manage to consistently post photos at least 5-6 times per week so I am pleased!

2) Blog 2-3 times per week – FAIL! But I feel confident that I’ll be back on track in December because nothing motivates me like Christmas.

3) Try to reduce stress – Check! I had a 9 day long vacation so I’m sure that also factored into my calmness but I’ve been pretty even keeled this past month and I’m hoping I’ll maintain this feeling through the holiday season (despite anticipating fighting through tourists daily on my walk to work).

P.S. this is my favorite sweater ever

December Goals

1) Clean our kitchen & hall closets – I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up before my aforementioned vacation and let me tell you, it was life-changing.  I spent almost all of my days off cleaning out my closet, my drawers, my comic book collection, collectibles and other random things that I’m not even sure how I acquired.  I set up a filing system for our important paperwork (#adulting) and I’ve felt so much better ever since.  More on this process to come!

2) Blog 2-3 times per week – While I wish I would’ve had the time to fall back into my blogging routine in November, I realize that with the amount of commitments I had, it was unreasonable to believe I could make time for writing (this is why I’ve also failed NaNoWriMo 2x – November is just not a good month for me).  Now that my room is completely clean and organized, I’m feeling an overwhelming sense of clarity and that I’m in the right mental state to sit down and be creative instead of stepping over piles of books, feeling guilty about blogging instead of tidying and then giving up and binge-watching YouTube videos instead. Plus Christmas so I’m SUPER excited.

3) Re-read a favorite book – I’ve often talked about how I grapple with re-reading things because there are so many things I haven’t read (a bunch of them are currently mocking me from my shelves) but December is such a comfort month that I want to make the conscious choice to re-read.  I know I’ll enjoy it, I just have to do it.  I’m thinking of picking up Fangirl or The Raven Boys since I’ve re-read Harry Potter so many times I can’t count anymore and I feel like some of my other favorites deserve some love<3

TL;DR – Two out of three ain’t bad.

What are your goals?

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‘Tis the Season: Christmas Aesthetic

As you probably remember, Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  I basically spend every day after my birthday counting down for Halloween to be over because once November 1st hits, people start accepting my Christmas spirit (except for a couple of Thanksgiving enthusiasts who I will fight *I’m looking at you Kelly*).  This year is extra special because it’s Andrew and I’s first Christmas together in our own apartment so we get to start building our very own decor.  We’re planning on going to Target next weekend, picking up our choices and D E C O R A T I N G !  Obviously this meant that I spent about 4 hours looking at ever single Christmas item in every single Christmas category on the Target website.  Since I wanted so much (shocking, I know), I created a Christmas registry so I could easily reference it while we’re in the store and I was able to narrow down the things I think we need a bit.  I put together a Polyvore set of some of my favorite items because nothing makes me happier than publishing Christmas themed blog posts or YouTube videos.  Last year I did 25 days of Christmas blogging which I don’t *think* I’ll be able to manage this year but I am sure as heck going to try.  Enjoy and be merry!

Christmas Decor

 

Christmas Decor by superspacechick

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Bookshelf + Life Update!

There’s no place like home<3.  Andrew and I have been exceptionally busy the past few weekends so I took full advantage of our first weekend back home in our lovely apartment.  I spent the majority of Saturday morning reorganizing my bookshelves (after watching 3 hours of BookTube in the AM) and while it’s not perfect yet, I’m quite pleased with my favorites shelf.  I decided to mix genres and keep my absolute-cannot live-without novels together (it’s the two shelves with The Raven Cycle, Fangirl (4 copies lol!), Lunar Chronicles, Anna / Lola / Isla etc).  I also shifted some things to allow for a fourth Harry Potter shelf since there are so many new Funkos coming out and I obviously preordered them all.  My favorite new addition to my shelf is that I hung up all of my Happy Hello Co. bookmarks since I rarely ever use them while reading anyway and I used washi tape that Melissa sent me for my birthday to decorate.  I also love how cute the bows are but sadly they’ve fallen about 5 times since I hung them and no matter how much tape I use to hold them up, they just seem to be too heavy so this photo will forever immortalize what could have been if my bows weren’t being so stubborn.

Also, I apologize that I’ve been a bit MIA from blogging lately.  I think I really needed a break because between work, commuting and some personal stuff I’ve been quite burnt out.   I would really appreciate if everyone could send their positive thoughts and vibes to my mom since sadly, her cancer has returned which is a huge part of why I haven’t felt like doing much lately.  She’s been battling it for 5 years and this is the second time she’s had to go for chemo but it’s affecting her much more than it ever has in the past and it’s really upsetting to me because my mom has always been the strongest person in my life and I’ve always been incredibly close with her.  I’ve talked to her on the phone every single day since I moved out a couple of years ago in addition to seeing her in person pretty often (I’m lucky that we live close to each other) but I just wish I could do something to take her pain away.  Sorry, that was more than I was planning on sharing but sometimes once you get typing the words just flow!

But anyway, having this wonderful weekend at home has helped me to evaluate some things and I realized how much I miss being creative and blogging and taking photos and the happiness that comes along with it.  I had a realllllly long bookstagram photoshoot session just before I sat down to write this post and I cannot wait to share all my photos!  So basically, I’m thrilled to be getting back into the swing of things right in time for my favorite season, CHRISTMAS.

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Life Lately: Kristin & Andrew’s Geeky Summer Goals

Now that we’re in the final week before our wedding, Andrew and I have been daydreaming about all the things we’re going to do with our newfound time so we decided to make a list of our summer goals (or I actually decided and sent it to Andrew for him to review).  Anyway, here’s a cute photo of some of our Pokemon plushes (note that I put Snorlax in my Raybans because summer).  Here are our goals:

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1) Enjoy life post space wedding – AKA THE STRESS OF PLANNING IS OVER AND DONE! And we will do all the relaxing to make up for these past few months such as board game nights with friends, much more traveling to conventions and weekend trips to out of town friends, and just general laziness.

2) Work on NYCC cosplay! – I already have a pretty solid plan for one cosplay I want to do but I’m having it commissioned by someone on Etsy.  I do want to come up with a good one for me to work on myself though! Honestly, two cosplays is kind of ambitious since I feel so out of the game but hey, goal setting never hurt anyone! But I do want at least two days in comfy clothes (and one of those days will obviously be Sunday because I’m usually mostly dead by then anyway).

3) Start our video game channel on YouTube – Andrew has been so excited about this one for what feels like forever! I bought him the game capture equipment he needs for Christmas last year but he put his dream on hold to focus on wedding stuff which is so incredibly amazing of him.  So gaming is basically our top priority come summer.

4) Finalize our 2017 con schedule – Now that we’ve had our wedding and friend weddings seem to be slowing down (the last two have been OUT OF CONTROL), we’re really excited to immerse ourselves back in the con circuit.  Some cons I still haven’t had a chance to experience that are tops on my list are ECCC, HeroesCon and since Baltimore will always be a favorite, I’d love to head back there!

5) Binge watch all of Batman 66 – I recently scored the DVD box set on Amazon for an awesome price so I would love to revisit this show in the very near future.  Especially now that we’ve finished Gilmore Girls, our TV watching time has become wide open (that is, after experiencing Legend of Korra season 4 which we are going to break down and buy because we just can’t wait any longer for Amazon to add it to Prime).

6) Have our LOTR movie marathon with Joe & Kris –  We gave Andrew’s brother and his wife the Lord of the Rings blu-ray trilogy box set for Christmas and we’ve been trying to plan a good weekend for a movie marathon ever since.  Obviously, in addition to watching the films, this weekend would just be us embracing the Hobbit lifestyle and eating all the food and drinking all the drinks.  Can’t say there will be pipe smoking though.

7) Go to the Renn Faire – This is something we’ve been wanting to do for the past couple of years (and we *sort of* did in the Cloisters but we want to go to the more official one with all of our friends!).  One group of our friends plans a huge trip every year and now that we actually have a car it’ll be much easier to get there.

8) Download and play through the OG Pokemon – Andrew is a Pokemon Blue kind of guy but I’m torn between Yellow and Red.  I like that I’ll have a little Pikachu following me around in Yellow but I would like for us to capture all 151 so idkkkkk send help!

Do you have any Summer goals you’re going to be working toward?

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Little Loves #6

Hi everyone! I’m back with my next installment of Little Loves.  Little Loves is a post series I created as a way to acknowledge and appreciate more of the little things that are making me happy every day.

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💖 IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN TO OUR SPACE THEMED WEDDING 💖 May Bookstagram photo a day challenges which have helped me stay consistent this month (although I’ve fallen off since BEA but I’ll be back!) 💖 CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR – Team Cap all the way! 💖 More healthy eating (but a surprise bag of uneaten Cadbury mini eggs that will be devoured on May 30th) 💖 The sun room in the house where we had our bachelorette / bachelor party! It just want to sit in it all day and drink tea and read books, occasionally looking up to admire the beach in the backyard 💖 The Raven King because I have so much love for my Raven boys. I just need to live in that world forever so I know I’ll be revisiting it for years. 💖 BEA! My trip was so much fun! I met lots of lovely book people and I came back with a huge book haul! 💖 A Court of Mist and Fury which is my everything right now! I somehow love it even more than ACOTAR which I didn’t think would be possible 💖 Andrew and I started watching RWBY so we’ll be caught up for the Chibi version and I love all the styles the girls wear 💖 Actually using my Rifle Paper Co. notebooks to plan out blog stuff 💖 Homemade rose sangria 💖 Browsing the stacks at Barnes & Noble 💖 J Crew – I never was into their apparel before but now that I walk past their store windows twice per day I’ve been stocking up on some really comfy work clothes and bright colored shorts 💖 My new Kate Spade sunflower and pineapple sandals 💖 My recent order of candy from Japan arrived! 💖 I also have a pretty awesome Society6 art haul that I’m considering filming 💖 6 more episodes of Gilmore Girls until I’m up to date and I’m so sad with every choice my characters have made in seasons 6 and 7 💖

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Little Loves #5

Hi everyone! I’m back with my next installment of Little Loves.  Little Loves is a post series I created as a way to acknowledge and appreciate more of the little things that are making me happy every day.

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💖 My iPhone 6s because I am finally loving my photos again! 💖 Still my bookshelves because *heart eyes* 💖 Exercise and healthy eating because the wedding diet / healthy lifestyle regimen is in full effect 💖 My Harry Potter themed bridal shower! 💖 I AM GOING TO BEA – and I’m going to be on a panel! 💖 Strolling through the park on sunny days with my love 💖 Kimmy Schmidt – we binged the second season in two days! 💖 Sunglasses and flip flops creeping back into season 💖 Putting away all of our bridal shower gifts and once again living in a clean and organized apartment (I swear my closet is next!) 💖 Mean Girls Funkos 💖 Re-watching BSG with Kelly, especially when pajamas and pizza are involved 💖 Princess Jellyfish manga 💖 Planning our Disneymoon 💖 Jordandene’s Hamilton shirt of the month 💖 Also my Hamiltome 💖 My recent shoe addition (particularly of the summer sandals variation) 💖 Keeping up with OOTD photos 💖 Mint infused water 💖 Easton, CT because it’s the absolute prettiest and I need to spend time there this Autumn 💖 Still Kate Spade<3 💖 And I’m on my way to finishing Gilmore Girls so I’ll be up to date for the revival! I’m so happy Sookie will be back 💖 The mint tablecloth Cassie gave me. It’s covered in sprinkles! 💖 My Jeffrey Campbell lace up flats – I couldn’t figure out what to wear them with at first but I quickly realized the answer is everything 💖 My heart of Tsum Tsums which looks so cute on my bookshelf 💖

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Kristin

My One Little Word of 2016: RISK

Alice of The Geeky Burrow is one blogger that consistently and continuously leaves me feeling inspired me after reading her posts.  I’ve been reading her site since she started blogging and I’ve witnessed her blog’s evolution over the past few years into what it is now.  I’m always finding something new and helpful (like her guide to using Trello for blogging), enjoying her openness and honesty in posts like Tea Talk Tuesday, providing my eyes with some serious eye candy from her snapshots or fangirling over our mutual love of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.  Alice is the epitome of organized and her goals are always focused and clear cut.  Her most recent post Being More with Less in 2016 has once again left me thinking about my upcoming 2016.  I left her a comment commending her on choosing such a meaningful word to sum up her year yet again and said that I would never be able to choose just one for my own year.  But then I started thinking more seriously about it and I came up with one that suits my desire for 2016; Risk.

While I did have a wonderful year in 2015, I definitely stayed inside of my comfort zone for its entirety.  There are *some* minor risks I took and to the outside observer they may assume that I went for everything I wanted but in my day to day life, I can honestly say that I don’t feel like that’s the case (especially in the latter half of the year).  In 2015 I let fear get the best of me.  After a terrible experience on the subway (the A train which is an express and I was stuck on it from 59th street to 125th with no place to escape to in between those two stops) I started getting really nervous about riding the subway alone which is something that has never bothered me in all of the years I’ve been commuting for school ,business or pleasure.  I started saying no to things I really enjoy, like going out with friends, because I would preemptively dread the train ride home afterward and I’m sad to say that I’m still catching myself doing this.  (2013 Kristin would take 4AM trains alone without a care in the world, and would never dream of saying no to a social event and I want her back).  In June, I moved back home to save money before my wedding (which has been GREAT) but I’m now spending a good portion of my day commuting and I often find myself turning down after work plans because I have an additional excuse.  I think about how if I were to get home at midnight, I would only have about 5.5 hours at my house (for sleeping, showering, blogging etc) before I would have to leave again the next morning and that seems really unappealing.  I also rarely go into NYC on weekends because those are the only days that I don’t have to be on trains.  But it wasn’t until November when the terrorist attacks occurred in Paris that I really gave in to my fear.  I became consumed with thoughts of how NYC is a huge target because of the high population of people.  I honestly spent almost a full month afterward dreading going into work and not being able to even read on the train because I was too preoccupied with being aware of my surroundings in case something were to occur.  My mindset would often be “if I can just make it to work” and once 5:30 hit “If I can just make it home.”  I began to feel like something happening was more of an inevitability than a possible isolated incident and I let it get in the way of my everyday life.  I’ve never been this way before.  It’s pretty stressful and definitely not an enjoyable way to live.  In the past I’ve always walked around confidently, went after what I wanted and thought very little about all of the obstacles I would face along the way and I am determined to get back to that point which brings me to my word of 2016.

One Little Word 2016

For me, 2016 is going to be all about taking risks.  I’m not saying that you can expect to see a skydiving recap on my blog anytime soon, but you will see more event posts.  I’m talking about risk-taking in the seemingly minor everyday choices I make, especially accepting more invitations from friends and seeing more sights around NYC since really, I’m very lucky to live here and I should take full advantage of it.  I’ve been doing a better job of this in the past couple of weeks but I want to get to the point where I don’t feel like I’m giving myself a little pep talk to do something that will, without a doubt, be really fun once I’m there!  2015 has made me worry that it would be very easy for me to become a hermit, especially when I get to look forward to going home to see Andrew every night, so 2016 is going to be all about going out and taking chances (with Andrew in tow of course when the event interests him).  It may seem silly that I’m equating such a big word to something that seems so small, but until I rebuild that fearless foundation, I will have closed myself off to those bigger risks anyway.  I think by assigning the word risk to my year, I’ll constantly be thinking about.  It’ll force me to leave my comfort zone.  I’ll be more thoughtful about all of my choices and what I want out of them.  So 2016, here’s to adventure!

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Fall TV Anxiety Strikes

It seems like every Fall I get stuck in the same endless cycle of Fall TV anxiety.  I LOVE the Fall.  I LOVE new TV shows and getting to see new episodes of old favorites.  I actively follow all of the news surrounding upfronts, every bit of casting information I come across, and I find joy in reading the synopses of new shows prior to even seeing the preliminary trailers.  I make lists of all the shows that seem promising (I even gathered those into a video this year – Supergirl FTW!), I mark my calendar with all of the premiere dates and I enthusiastically set my DVR for the upcoming season.

In the first few weeks of September show premieres tend to be staggered.  Only two shows the first week?  DONE.  What? We’re adding a third in the next week? Totes handleable.  By the third week I’m still feeling pretty good and I’m locking down the final schedule of shows I’m sticking with.  Things are going well.  I’m up to date (with the exception of Jeopardy because that premieres every single day so I’m bound to rack up a few episodes here and there).  I’ve even been able to tweet reactions to shows on the night they air (spoiler free of course)!  I’m feeling good.  Things are good.

The next thing I know it’s October and some of the shows I committed to last season are returning.  New Flash (MY FAVORITE), Arrow, Fresh Off the Boat, The Mindy Project and New Girl (just to name a few), what more could a girl ask for?  Suddenly, family things keep coming up.  I’m spending a lot of time during the week catching up on blogging, reading and BookTubing since my weekends have been booked solid. I’m still able to dedicate a small amount of time to TV but realistically I’m only enjoying one 45-min episode or 2-3 20 minute episodes per night.  Unfortunately my lack of time doesn’t stop new episodes from airing.  It’s okay I think. I HAVE to have a free weekend soon.  I’ll just binge watch some stuff!

The weekend comes and goes.  I’ve barely made a dent in the shows I have to catch up on because unexpected life things keep coming up.  I can’t exactly tell my family I have no time to talk to them because there are rumors circulating that the Red Devils will be revealed on Scream Queens next week and I’m still four episodes behind.  I look at my DVR. 85% full.  My anxiety levels start skyrocketing.  I think about how I’m never going to catch up.  “Why do I do this to myself?!” I wonder.  Can I even go online anymore without being spoiled about something I’m behind on?  Then Jessica Jones premieres on Netflix in its entirety and clearly takes precedent over everything else because JESSICA JONES.  Panic attack ensue. (This is the stage I’m in now).

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The next thing I know, it’s the holiday season.  Things in TV land are calming down as shows prepare for their Winter hiatuses.  I’m excited.  That means I’ll have weeks of time to catch up before everything resumes.  And it’s Winter.  What introvert wants to leave their house in the Winter?  Not this one.  I barely like committing to going anywhere in the Summer but suddenly I have a valid and widely accepted weather excuse to use.  It’s like a gift.  I see so many cold nights snuggling under blankets with Andrew, my Wii-mote, and lots of chocolate in my near future.  I’m sure to catch up at this rate…  Only, I’ll be adding Agent Carter to my watch list in January.  And X-Files. And Legends of Tomorrow.  And Swords of Shannara.  And…

…I give up.

Until May at least.  Everything is ending. As long as I don’t fall more than 5 episodes behind on anything I can clear my DVR of recent episodes and depend on Hulu.  There’s usually at least one or two shows I’ve decided to give up on by this point.  Whether it’s due to lack of time or interest, it’s bound to happen.  I’m finally there. I’ve finally done it.  I’ve seen all the things (or shows have been cancelled {RIP Constantine, I miss you buddy!} or I’ve come to terms with what I’ll watch when it’s released on Netflix).

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It usually takes until at least mid-May to fully catch up on everything I care about watching.  Coincidentally, this is when upfronts week occurs.  The cycle re-starts itself.

Do you ever feel this way or go through a similar cycle? Am I the only who stresses herself out about something that’s supposed to be entertainment?  I’m fairly certain that before social media I was never faced with this problem.  Also DVR-ing  of the past actually meant asking my mom to record Dawson’s Creek and Charmed on VHS tapes.  Maybe that’s how I missed out on Gilmore Girls and why I’m only now trying to catch up on all 8 seasons amid the madness of the Fall TV season.

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Kristin

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