Blogmas is over! | Holiday Bucket List Check-In

It’s the last day of Blogmas! Well, ‘my’ blogmas, which has been going from November 21st until today. Every single day except Christmas day, I’ve been posting.

And man, I’m tired now. It was tons of fun though!

On Black Friday, I posted a Holiday Bucket list of things I wanted to do. Today I’m gonna see what I did!

Holiday bucket list

  • Chestnut praline latte ❌
  • Peppermint mocha ✔️
  • Winter beer ✔️
  • Break out the electric blanket ✔️
  • Make a list of Christmas movies to watch ✔️
  • Watch those Christmas movies ㋛
  • Bake Christmas cookies ✔️
  • Ship cookies to buddies ✔️
  • Decorate the Christmas tree ✔️
  • Go Christmas shopping (online? 😦 ) ✔️
  • Winter nail art ❌
  • Go Christmas light hunting ✔️
  • Hang up Christmas lights outside ✔️
  • Get Christmas sweets ✔️
  • Get fiction TBR down to 200 books ✔️
  • Watch Harry Potter (from beginning!) ㋛
  • Watch Lord of the Rings (again) ❌
  • Wrap presents ✔️
  • Decorate apartment all Christmasy ✔️
  • Finish hanging frames on the walls ㋛
  • Buy a car ❌
  • Complete blogmas ✔️
  • Irish cream cold brew ✔️
  • Get Christmas jammies to wear to bed Christmas eve ❌
  • Learn how to play Carol of the Bells on guitar – in progress!!!
  • Break out Christmas scented candles ✔️
  • Finish book buying ban successfully ✔️
  • Make nacho dip for New Year’s ✔️
  • Send cards to my grandmother ✔️

 

The ones with the ‘eh’ smile are ones I did partially, but didn’t complete. Namely, ‘learn Carol of the Bells’ I didn’t finish. I definitely made good progress but I didn’t quite get as far as I wanted. C’est la vie.

But otherwise I think I did pretty good! I still need to buy a car. I swear, I’m just being procrastinatey about it at this point because I don’t wanna go out, ahah. I’ll get there though. Bwah. Hopefully this month? We’ll see!

And that’s it for Blogmas, after today, I’m going to resume my new-normal schedule of two posts a week, unless there’s a special post to go up. If you’ve stuck around throughout this, thank you. I appreciate you.

All the Christmas books I’ve read to date

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is ‘holiday freebie’, so I’ve decided to literally just list all the Christmas books I’ve read, in order of how much I liked them, because I gotta tell you, it’s fewer than ten. This doesn’t include like, picture books my parents read to me when I was little for Christmas. Chapter books, yes. Picture books, no.

So in order of least favorite to most favorite:

The Autobiography of Santa Claus as told by Jeff Guinn – This one is technically cheating, as I DNF’d the thing. I got about two thirds through it and had to put it down. It had gotten weird and basically started to pull a Bill and Ted, where Santa went around collecting people.

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans – This one I read a while ago but I remember enjoying it. It follows a widow and her family as they find this Christmas box. It’s wholesome (but then again, so are most of the ones on this list).

Santa & Pete by Christopher Moore and Pamela Johnson – My mom read this book to me when I was little, one of the few I remember her reading. Usually it was my dad that read to us and mom would do other things to spend quality time, but in this case it was her reading. This story is told through a grandpa telling his grandson a tale while driving around on a city bus. I still reread the thing every few years.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – This one’s a classic and I feel like it’s not even worth going into what it’s about. This is really nice to read, though.

The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans – Out of the two Christmas books I’ve read by this guy, this one is my favorite. It’s a kinda-sorta Christmas Carol retelling? Kinda? It’s pretty good I think!

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson – This is my favorite Christmas book, hands down. It’s also for the youngest audience. The cover above is not the one I have, but I chose it because the one I have on Goodreads is teeny tiny and wouldn’t resize well, so pbtbt. But this is another book I’m pretty sure my mom read to me. It’s about a town trying to put on a kid’s Christmas pageant and a bunch of rambuctious “problem” children get cast as the main roles. It’s about understanding the backgrounds of other people and wanting to help them anyways. It’s really sweet and I like it. My copy is riddled with holes and all ripped up. Yes, actual holes, apparently 8 year old me at some point took a hole puncher to the thing. Bad Emily.

~~~

And that’s it! Like I said, I didn’t have ten. I’m always on the hunt for new Christmas books though – I try to read one every year. This year I’m rereading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, but if you have any suggestions, do let me know! Happy Blogmas!

Music Monday – Christmas edition! #3

It’s the first Monday of the month, so it’s Music Monday! And it’s December, so it’s getting a holiday spin! These are some of the Christmas songs I’ve been particularly hooked on this month:

This one makes me super nostalgic. The video clips make me all warm inside and make me wanna cry at the same time.
I’m a sucker for violin
I feel like it’s impossible to not include this one.
SAME WITH THIS ONE.
My favorite Christmas song for cranky people

And that’s it! Quick and easy! See you tomorrow!

Christmas Movies To Be Watched – 2020

I make a list every year of movies I wanna watch. Some of them are actual Christmas movies, others are more like ‘I associate them with Christmas’. As of posting this, any that are in bold, I’ve already completed since Thanksgiving! Some of these I’m gonna be buddy-watching with a friend as well. I’m hoping to get them all, but we’ll see haah – I have some on here that I don’t actually own and I would need to track them down. Wish me luck!

  • A Christmas Carol (animated version)
  • A Christmas Carol (Patrick Stewart version)
  • A Christmas Story
  • Scrooged
  • The Polar Express
  • Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
  • Jingle All the Way
  • Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 1
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 2
  • The Fellowship of the Ring
  • The Two Towers
  • The Return of the King
  • The Santa Clause
  • Home Alone
  • Home Alone 2
  • Office Christmas Party
  • The Ref
  • Love Actually
  • Elf
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Tokyo Godfathers
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

TIME TO GET FESTIVE | Holiday Bucket List 2020 and Fall Bucket List Check-In

CHRISTMAS SEASON IS FINALLY HERE AND NOBODY CAN GROAN AT ME FOR LISTENING TO TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA. I’M LOOKIN AT YOU, BASICALLY EVERYONE I KNOW IRL.

ahem

My favorite holiday is Christmas, so I tend to try to be in the spirit from the day after Thanksgiving through the new year. Meaning, a bucket list is in order.

Last year, I combined my fall and winter bucket list and then never actually referenced it again.This year, I made a fall bucket list separately, and will go over it here to see what I actually did, and then I’ll make a holiday bucket list specifically for this month and into the new year. I’ll go over this one in January 2021 (writing that date out by the way makes me realize how close this horrid year is to being over, augh). So:

Fall bucket list check-in

  • Pumpkin spice latte ✔️
  • Pumpkin cream cold brew ✔️
  • Pumpkin beer ✔️
  • Octoberfest beer ✔️
  • Participate in fall beer exchange ✔️
  • Pumpkin cookies ✔️
  • Break out the fall scented candles ✔️
  • Apple cider ❌
  • Buy spoopy decorations for Halloween ✔️
  • Decorate the house all spoopy ✔️
  • Buy turkey decorations for Thanksgiving ✔️
  • Decorate the house all turkey-y ✔️
  • Break out Christmas decorations and do inventory to see if anything new/replacements are needed ✔️
  • Organize a list of blog posts to write from now til Black Friday ✔️
  • Organize a list of blog posts for Blogmas 2020  ✔️
  • Pre-write November posts, because Nanowrimo ✔️
  • Pre-write at least five Blogmas posts ❌
  • Participate in Nanoplanmo ✔️
  • Participate in Nanowrimo ✔️
  • Go to an applefest (if possible, the plaaaaague, aaaaah) ❌
  • Get pumpkins ✔️
  • Carve pumpkins ❌
  • Hand out candy on trick or treat (if possible, the plaaaaague, aaaaah) ❌
  • Get fall flowers ✔️
  • Gobblerito ✔️
  • Pilgrim sandwich ✔️
  • Turkey and Stuffing ✔️
  • Slow cooker hot chocolate ㋛
  • Fall nail art ❌
  • Buddy read Vita Nostra with Katy @Bookbinderway ✔️
  • Watch The Lord of the Rings ✔️
  • Watch Harry Potter ㋛
  • Watch a scary movie ❌
  • Hang all the framed art that’s been sitting on the ground, leaning against the wall since I moved in three years ago ㋛
  • Buy a new car ❌
  • Read three of my remaining 10 in 2020 books ❌

So overall I did pretty well. The ones I didn’t do tend to be the ones that involve socializing. My area got really bad again right after Halloween because somebody decided to hold a rally nearby and nobody wore masks. So now we have a spike.

The faces are ones I kinda did. Like watch Harry Potter: I watched the first three. Hang wall art: I’ve hanged a few. Stuff like that. Some of these will transfer to my holiday list, some won’t.

As with the fall bucket list, a lot of this is gonna be food. Shh.

Holiday bucket list

  • Chestnut praline latte
  • Peppermint mocha
  • Winter beer
  • Break out the electric blanket
  • Make a list of Christmas movies to watch
  • Watch those Christmas movies
  • Bake Christmas cookies
  • Ship cookies to buddies
  • Decorate the Christmas tree
  • Go Christmas shopping (online? 😦 )
  • Winter nail art
  • Go Christmas light hunting
  • Hang up Christmas lights outside
  • Get Christmas sweets
  • Get fiction TBR down to 200 books
  • Watch Harry Potter (from beginning!)
  • Watch Lord of the Rings (again)
  • Wrap presents
  • Decorate apartment all Christmasy
  • Finish hanging frames on the walls
  • Buy a car
  • Complete blogmas
  • Irish cream cold brew
  • Get Christmas jammies to wear to bed Christmas eve
  • Learn how to play Carol of the Bells on guitar – in progress!!!
  • Break out Christmas scented candles
  • Finish book buying ban successfully
  • Make nacho dip for New Year’s
  • Send cards to my grandmother

Making this list made me both excited and sad. I had so much I wanted to do that involved other people, but I can’t do it this year – I was comparing last year’s list to this year’s and there were so many things where I was like ‘well, can’t do that this year’. It’s kind heartbreaking honestly.

Next year’s list is gonna be baller though, believe you me. I am gonna go all out. I’m gonna be so damned merry.

Let me know what you’re planning on doing this holiday season! Happy Blogmas!

Thanksgiving decorations 2020!

I decorated for Thanksgiving this year, which is something I’ve never done. I used being stuck inside my house because of the plague as an excuse to get extra festive because I won’t have anyone visiting to be festive with otherwise.

So this is everything I set up!

As you can see it’s mainly my livingroom that’s decked out. Christmas decorations will spread to other rooms but since this is my first time decorating for Thanksgiving, I didn’t have too many things to decorate with. The flowers are on my kitchen table, but other that that, it’s all in the main living area.

Let me know what you think! I think it came out pretty nice if I do say so myself.

Independence Day Book Tag!

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Happy fourth! I found this tag, wasn’t tagged, as usual. Here’s the original!

1. George Washington: the most overrated book you’ve ever read?

The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2)The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Anyone’s who’s been around on my blog for a bit probably knows I have a dislike of this book, namely the main character. It’s such a love-hate relationship, because I like a lot of other things about this book, but I really cannot stand Kvothe. This book has a high average rating though, so that’s why I think it’s overrated. I wrote a spoilerly review of it, if you’re interested.

2. John Adams: the most argumentative book you’ve ever read?

Honestly I don’t think I have one for this question, and the reason for that is because I read so little nonfiction. I assume I’m supposed to interpret this question as ‘book that argues a point’ and it’s kinda hard to do that when it’s not nonfiction. So shrug!

3. Samuel Adams: the most underrated book you’ve ever read?

Hotel Africa, Volume 1Hotel Africa by Hee Jung Park. I’ve mentioned this manhwa a lot because I seriously want more people to read it. It’s a character-rich story following a young man named Elvis, who lives at a hotel his mom runs out in the middle of the desert. It goes into the stories of the visitors who find themselves there. It’s really, really good. I wrote a full spoiler-free review on this one too!

4. Abigail Adams: a secondary character who probably could have handled things as well as the main characters

Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1)Naomi from Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey. One of the main plot lines of this story is that Jim Holden finds something that he shouldn’t and then has to deal with the reprecussions of that. And honestly Jim is a bit of a ding dong. His first in command, Naomi, would have done a much better job. But hey, whatevs.

5. Thomas Jefferson: the most hypocritical book you’ve ever read?

Again I feel like this question is geared towards nonfiction, so I don’t really have an answer. Boo!

6. Benjamin Franklin: the book by the oldest author you’ve read?

The IliadThe Illiad by Homer. This is super old, so it works.

7. Alexander Hamilton: the least charismatic – but important – book you’ve ever read?

The Diary of a Young GirlDiary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. And I don’t mean to say this isn’t charismatic as an insult. Far from it, I feel that this diary isn’t written to be. Obviously Anne Frank didn’t think anyone would ever read it. And because of that, she’s very honest with her thoughts in it. Any book that’s a memoir or diary that details someone’s life during an important or horrifying historical event should be held as important. You often get the overview of how things were – military movements, statistics, battles. But things like this let you know what it was like for the people, how horrifying things were. Statistics don’t really deliver that point home.

8. John Hancock: the most charismatic – but least important – book you’ve ever read?

Honestly the answer to this is really ‘most of the fiction I’ve read in the past five years’. And by that I mean… I read fiction. I read for entertainment, for a fun time. Very few of the books I read are actually trying to make a statement, and were written for entertainment purposes. So I’m not saying they’re not important, but most of the books I read are just that, books. Not revolutions, if that makes sense.

9. Paul Revere: a book that ALERTED you to something?

The Gene: An Intimate HistoryI actually have a nonfiction answer to this! The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee. And what alerted me to this was all the eugenics experiments that the United States used to do. I honestly had no idea. I had heard the term eugenics before, but I didn’t know it was practiced here. This book really taught me a lot of disturbing things that my history classes not so shockingly didn’t cover.

 

10. James Madison: the smartest boring book you’ve ever read?

Probably most of my textbooks from back when I was in college. I read a lot of books on computer science and computational theory, a lot of biology, chemistry and bioinformatics, and a lot on psychology. Most were dry as hell, but they all taught me a good bit.


And that’s it! If you’d like to do this tag, consider yourself tagged! If you’re in the states, don’t forget to eat a cheeseburger and blow something up to celebrate your right to each a cheeseburger and blow something up.

Unpopular Opinions: Christmas Edition

Blogmas 2019

Happy Tuesday! ONLY FOUR MORE DAYS UNTIL I’M FREE FOR TWO WEEKS.

Today I’m gonna post some of my unpopular opinions about the Christmas season! I saw this idea on Chloe @ChloeMetzger‘s blog, and thought it was neato, so here I am doin’ it. Note some of these might not be actual unpopular opinions, but I’m saying them because I’ve personally gotten flack for them. So there. Pbtbt.

  • It’s ok to listen to Christmas music on Thanksgiving

Really, a bit of Trans-Siberian while the turkey is in the oven can only be an improvement.

  • Listening to Christmas music after Christmas is ok too

All the radio stations stop playing Christmas music around here in December 26th. I’m not done yet, man! I tend to keep listening until New Year’s or so

  • It’s fun to go out on Black Friday

It really is. I don’t go out at 4am or whatever, but… it’s fun. It is, I love it, haha.

  • Office Christmas Party is a good movie

It’s crude and gross, but man is it hilarious.

  • You should be able to say whatever you want as a greeting, and not be surprised if the person says something different back

ie: “Merry, Christmas!” “Thanks, happy holidays!” = good, “Happy Holidays!” “Thanks, blessed Yule!” = good, “Merry Christmas!” “Thanks, blessed Yule!” = good, “Happy Hanukkah!” “Thanks! Happy Kwanzaa!” = good, “Happy Holidays!” “Thanks, Merry Christmas!” = good.

etc etc etc. whatever you wanna say. no need to throw a hissy. Just be nice to each other, augh.

  • The month leading up to Christmas is better than Christmas itself

The anticipation! ❤

  • Eggnog is disgusting

It smells like barf.

  • Buying presents for other adults is stressful

I would love it if I could just buy for all the kids in the family and not worry about the adults. As an adult myself, I’m a-ok not receiving anything. Really. I can buy what I want myself, and go ‘Merry Christmas to me!’

  • Gift cards are the ideal present

Because of the reasons stated above, that way I can just go get stuff myself, and then when I give a gift card I don’t have to worry about buying the wrong thing or the same thing as someone else bought.


And that’s it! Lemme know what you think of my opinions! Tell me yours!

Christmas Music Playlist!

Blogmas 2019

Happy day 7 of Blogmas! Today I bring you my current Christmas music playlist!

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7KjVVHEhZ8sholjkU7qZz8?si=_5xUcSC5QeK3Y-u0HAdu5w

 

It’s a mix of classics and modern stuff and I rather dig it. Starts with my favorite TSO songs, then some Mariah Carey (because), some Pentatonix, some classics, and then it ends with Twisted Sister (who… made a surprisingly decent Christmas album, hwe hwe).

If you like Christmas music, give it a listen!

If you have any musical suggestions, throw them my way! : D

Christmas Decorations and Holiday Scents 2019

Blogmas 2019

Happy Blogmas Day 6!

If you remember from my Blogmas announcement post, I was going to post a ‘Holiday Scents’ thing and a ‘Christmas Decorations’ thing. Well, I’ve decided to combine them, so here we go! This is my decorations set up for this year:

I’ve got the tree, my mantle and my book room decked out. I’m rather liking how the tree turned out in particular.

And for this scents, these are all the Christmasy/Fall-y/Winter-y candles I’ve got going this year:

Needless to say, my house smells pretty damn good right now.

The left photo are the candles on my mantle in the living room, and the right photo are those in my book room. I think my favorite is the one fare to the left in the first photo, the caramel pecan one. ❤

And as a bonus, here’s a couple of my cat enjoying the season:

And that’s it! Simple post, but colorful! If you’ve decorated and care to share, lemme see!