Winter’s nearing it’s end as flowers are starting to unfurl along the grass verges. The temperature is still undecided on whether it’s winter or spring though. I’ll be recapping December of last year and the first two months in the new year. If you want to see what I’ve been reading, watching, listening to and more then keep reading!
PSA: I am still on hiatus. I still have no plans to return to blogging until April at the earliest but at this point it’s looking more like June…I just really wanted to post my Winter brew for my own purposes, so I can look back on the post later on in life. Also this gives y’all a sort of life update even though I’m not making any other content for the blog anytime soon.
On The Blog
This section is a space for me to share anything I’ve been busy working. Either directly relating to the blog or things which have a blog/bookish energy about them.
Bookish Discussions: Originally I had planned on having two features but I don’t think I need two features with separate names, when they’re literally the same thing? At some point this year (or next, it really depends on how well I do with reading the books) I’ll start posting these Bookish Discussion style posts. I don’t want to call them a review because I personally don’t view them as reviews. It’s more if we were friends, I’d be chatting with you over a cuppa about these books. I will be including content warnings, including links to other book bloggers reviews and I will also be sharing my thoughts on if I’d recommend the series/book to people. I’m super excited for these posts but the hardest part it seems is actually reading/rereading all the books for the posts since I’m grouping books by series at the moment.
Restructuring The Navigation Menu: This is still in the thinking stage but I am fully aware I need to restructure my menu on the blog. I just haven’t because it also requires me to actually sit down and make a list of all the blog posts I want to focus on giving proper navigation to. I don’t have the energy for that at the moment. Anyway, when I do this I will be grouping the Bookish Discussions as just that or you can search for them with the tag. Again, this won’t be happening for a while yet although maybe during Spring I can start working on it.
Two Readathons: They won’t be coming until 2022 at the earliest but in true Clo fashion I had these ideas whilst I was trying to sleep. One of them is a year long one, the astrology one I mentioned on twitter. The other is going to be themed around the moon and will be month long. Still going to be working on the prompts/details etc for them throughout this year though. I’m lowkey excited for them though because combining some of my favourite things hehe.
Delivering Evil for Experts by Annette Marie
The end of the Guild Codex demonized series hurt me but it was a very wholesome ending. I’m endlessly grateful there’s more series set in this world ok. I am living for all the series and love this world so much. Highly recommend checking out the Guild Codex books if you’re looking for some paranormal books, I’d place them in the New Adult/Adult bracket. (New Adult due to the characters being in their early/mid 20’s)
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang (buddy read with Ruby @ Bookishly Ruby)
This buddy read was a wild ride, normally I’m hopeless with buddy reads cause of slumps. However it was only midway through this book that I was rudely reminded that it was romance. Ahem…honestly I don’t know if I have the stomach to consume romance the same way I used to. Not unless it’s fluffy contemporaries that said.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Y’all…look I know this is not going to be everyone’s cuppa but lemme tell you. This book took me 6 months to finish and 4 years to actually start. The bright side is I can binge the trilogy. Despite it taking me so long to start and then finish this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it with every piece of my heart. There’s something very quiet about this book, in it’s slower paced story telling where I found it easy to pause after reading chapters. Yet the book was on my mind…constantly. That said, I will be planning a post around this series when I read and finish it.
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
I reread The Iron King in February and it was more emotional that I thought, I first read this book 6 years ago and the nostalgia of how much has changed? Yet how much joy these characters still gave me, being in this world again was truly a blessing. I’m trying not to binge reread this series at the moment but to spread them out, so we’ll see how that goes. I will say my favourite character (aside from Puck, Ash and Meghan) is Grim who is a cat but he talks and he adds years onto my life. The dialogue in this series has be cackling so much.
Uhm Taylor Swift dropped Evermore in December, which I adored, I love the songs a lot more on Evermore than Folklore but like…I love both albums. Then we’re going to be getting Fearless Taylor’s Version soon and I’m !!!! It’s so strange, I grew up listening to her old albums, with her country songs turning pop songs. It feels so nostalgic to think another generation can get the chance to listen to these songs and grow up with them.
January was an interesting month music wise, since I discovered a new K-Band…an all girl band at that and y’all my excitement !!! Rolling Quartz hooked me on their debut single, kind of salty I hadn’t stumbled across them before now as they’ve been together since 2019. However I’m happy I found in January, I love their energy and the music hehe. Although for the most part January was mostly spent listening to a lot of Taylor Swift and old Avril Lavigne songs.
February turned into me getting into girl groups? I say this loosely, I’m not a fan per say but I’ve been listening to more girl group songs in February and I’m not mad about it. Oh I also listened to Victon songs and yeah…anyway I’ll leave some of my favourite songs below 🙂
Sharing The Love
Whilst I blog hop I come across some truly wonderful posts, I obviously can’t shout out every single post I read, no matter how much I’d like to. Below is a compilation of some of my favourite posts, I’ve read in the last 3 months. Hopefully you can find something that piques your interest!
Struggling with how to write a book review? I highly encourage you to check out CW @ The Quiet Pond’s post on Writing That Book Review When You Feel Out Of Your Depth (And Out Of Experience) whilst I personally don’t write reviews I found this post super insightful and will likely go back to reference it for a new feature of mine which is in the works.
If you’ve not heard of Webtoons yet then where have you been? If you’re unsure where to even begin then check out Rain @ bookdragonism’s post Webtoon 101: Recommendations, Ramblings and More. Rain did a wonderful job at giving us a lot of recs as well as breaking down how to use the app, so if you’re totally new to webtoons check out Rain’s post.
After more webtoon recs? Go check out Charvi @ Not Just Fiction’s post, Jump On The Webtoon Train: 8 Webtoon Recs To Get You Invested, which offers you a few more webtoons to get you boarding the webtoon train.
Feeling insecure as a book blogger? Struggling with time management? Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books has us sorted as she has these two wonderfully written posts 5 Book Blogging Insecurities She Has and Time Management as a Book Blogger: My Top 5 Tips.
Looking to up your game with buddy reads? Or perhaps you’re curious about how people build their own personal libraries? Charvi @ Not Just Fiction has two amazing posts covering these topics. Building My Personal Library: How Do I Decide Which Books to Buy and Discard? Is a fun read if you’re interested in how Charvi goes about buying her books, it also gets you thinking about your own methods. Are you drowning in books or are you in a drought? 5 Tips To Get The Best Out Of Buddy Reads And Group Reads is a great post to read if you’re unsure where to begin with buddy/group reads.
I’ll be sharing what I’ve watched in this section, from YouTube videos to any dramas to anime and more. I will include links to things where possible though!
One of the workout videos I followed along to throughout February, highly recommend checking out Vivian’s channel though if you’re looking for KPop workouts or just fun workouts. I’ve done several of her workouts now and I really enjoy them 🙂
This is the stretching routine I followed for February, it’s helped my flexibility improve so much and I can’t wait to follow her other routines to improve my flexibility further!
I finished Fairy Tail in February. I am still kinda emotional but I was tearing up throughout the last 46 episodes I had to watch. This anime was the first anime I ever watched and it was something I watched throughout school, then stopped due to having to wait for the final season to be released. Anyway this anime has so many good points, I am a mess for it but it’s the royalty of slow burns and no one can convince me otherwise. 328 episodes and the confirmed canon couple are still not together xD
I will now be nervously waiting for when we hopefully get Fairy Tail 100 Year Quest because I just…I need it so badly right now. I love all the characters in Fairy Tail and the character arcs and basically everything. I watched it on Crunchyroll in case anyone was curious 😉
I binge watched all 8 episodes of Ateez Fever Road at the start of February, it was a great time. I spent a lot of the time laughing at their antics hehe.
SKZ Code started being uploaded in February as well so I look forward Tuesdays purely to see Stray Kids shennanigans on SKZ Code. Again spend half of my time laughing at the antics and the other half brimming with love for the group.
We’re 2 months into 2021 already and I’m still trying to process so much, I feel like everyone is struggling to process life, it’s like there’s been no actual time to fully let the things sink in. Anyway, these are the highlights from the last month of 2020 and the first two months of 2021.
December feels like a lifetime ago. It was a hibernation month for me, despite Bookending Winter happening, I just had no energy to do much of anything. I turned inwards, trying to balance work, coursework and not lose the rest of my mental health down the drain. I ended up baking this month, something I don’t do a lot of but I want to do more of. It’s therapeutic baking/cooking things. I made banana and chocolate chip muffins but they weren’t as gooey as they should’ve been. I forgot to add syrup *shakes head* They tasted nice though!
My only other highlight for this month was taking this stunning photo of the moon in the early morning, I love how it turned out and I’m kinda proud I managed to take this photo hehe.
We got snow in January, it’s normal for us now to get snow any time from January to as late as April these years. Didn’t used to be when I was younger but I will say, watching the snow fall is super pretty and whilst the slushy mess it becomes after is no fun. I do love seeing how it makes everything look magical.
I brought my hibernation energy to this month. I discovered Rolling Quartz this month and managed to get some reading done! It was a month full of reflections, getting some ideas for blog posts and other projects. Oh I revived my Instagram this month, finally. I would no longer classify myself as a bookstagrammer. I wasn’t enjoying taking photos of just books to post when a lot of the time all I had to say was ‘I’ve heard nothing but great things and can’t wait to read it’ I have no problem with others who do that by the way. I’m not here to judge. For me personally that just wasn’t aligning with me anymore, so I switched it up.
My feed reflects more of me now and the more I get to grips with it, the more I hope the photos and feed can reflect me. My love of books will still be there, I do still plan to post book photos but only of books I’ve read now. I want to boost them since I actually have something to say about them. However I’m also sharing nature photos, I adore taking photos of nature, of the moon, of sunrises and sunsets.
I did some more baking this month, one of my smaller goals is to bake/cook something at least once in a month. In an ideal world I’d be cooking and baking things from scratch for myself/food prepping but I live at home, which throws that idea out of the window for now. I baked white chocolate chip and banana muffins and a quiche. They were both yummy hehe. I want to try baking cookies with flowers in them, well petals but I’m going to have to wait for spring/summer to be able to do that.
February was a mess. I’m still in hibernation and have been struggling with my motivation and energy levels this month. I did a lot of consuming videos this month – like Fairy Tail, Ateez Fever Road, SKZ Code and a lot of YouTube videos. Oh thanks to me watching YouTube I discovered this awesome game, it’s free to download and free to play and I adore it so much. I do need to log on to it though, I neglected it in favour of watching Fairy Tail episodes hehe.
If you like role playing games, being able to do whatever you want to then give this a look. I like how chill it can be, no pressure and I just really like exploring. Particularly when I get stuck on the main quests and have zero patience to keep attempting things haha.
The game is available on PC, IOS, Android and PS4 I believe so as long as you have a device which has the right specs you can play the game. The graphics are breath taking as well, so pretty ^.^
Perhaps my biggest highlight for this month has to be doing dance workouts and stretches every single day. There were a few days where I skipped a few of the stretches but I still stretched which is the important part. I’ve always struggled with working out, the type of workouts social media push aren’t my thing. It’s not enjoyable and if I’m not enjoying it I won’t do it. Shout out to Soph for chucking Vivian’s channel at me, there are a lot of KPop dance workouts some are high intensity, others are zumba, some are cardio and some focus in on various areas of the body. I found Anna McNulty’s channel simply by searching for stretches for beginners.
Y’all…my flexibity progress is noticeable and it’s been a month. I don’t have any before or after photos/footage but it’s something I’m proud of nonetheless. I feel my body slowly becoming more flexible and it’s a wonderful feeling.
How’d My Winter Plans Go?
- ✔️Continue Studying Korean: January saw me doing Memrise everyday and I am still salty. I lost my 36 day streak friends *wails* That said I’m using Memrise as a way to help remember vocab and get used to hearing the pronunciations. I’ve now got a designated Korean notebook, where one half is for grammar (the grammar may finish me off at some point, there’s a lot of grammar to learn) and then the other half will be for all my vocab. I have been doing roughly 30 mins of Korean practice a day though since mid Jan which has really helped? Apparently consistency wins over trying to cram…who knew xD
though I totally dropped doing Korean the last week or so of Feb oops but I can remember some vocab
- ✔️Complete More Assignments: I finally completed Unit 6, waiting for feedback on that so now I’m working on Unit 7.
- ✔️Spend More Time With My Cards, Journaling etc: January rolled around and I just started a new journal, fun fact I’m using 5 journals this year. (I plan to do a blog post all about this by the way, they’re all for different purposes!) I’ve journaled nearly everyday. I’ve also been doing tarot spreads in alignment with the moon cycle and just when I feel called to. You’ll see more of my tarot spreads on my Instagram stories though.
- ✔️Figure Out Where I Want To Go With My Instagram: I did this!!! I figured it out and I’m loving how my feeds coming together, I also adore the freedom I now feel with my account. I felt very stuck previously, again something I’ll do a post on one day. When you box yourself into a niche sometimes it can make you feel stuck and like you have to keep posting stuff for this audience. The thing is, the people who are genuinely interested in me, what I’m doing and what I have to say will stay regardless of me frolicking through the niches xD
Plans For Spring
- Assignments For Days: This is going to be around for most of the year I fear but I am slowly starting to see the end…slowly. I’m only just over half way through all my assignments *cries* I’ll be working on completing, answering and passing more assignments during Spring.
- Workouts & Flexibility: Continue doing a workout and stretches video each day. It’s not about how long the videos are, it’s consistency for me. I’d rather do several 7min work out videos than one long 20 minute one. Similarly for the stretch videos I’ll be swapping up the specific videos so I can start working on back flexibility. (this ties into one of my goals for yoga – which I may talk about at some point).
- Yoga: Incorporate yoga into my weekly (possibly daily) routine. I keep putting off Yoga just because I don’t feel like taking half an hour out of my day to do it. I’m all about starting small, short videos but keep it consistent to build up to longer videos. Anyway I have found some short yoga videos so I’m hoping I can do it weekly. Ideally I would do it 5-10 minutes daily but we’ll see how that goes.
- Reading = My Priority: Hahahaha this is ironically the most ambitious out of my goals, not sure what that says about me as a reader or book blogger other than…I lack motivation. If I could just actively read a book a week, even if it’s the same book, that’d be lovely. However I struggle to read books over a long duration now, I either consume it in one go or it’s spread over 2-3 days…or it ends up taking me months. I need to prioritise certain books so I can work on my upcoming features for the blog *laughs at self*
Ah I may not reply right away to any comments but please know I’m sending so much love to you all. I miss engaging with y’all but I also know I still need to be on hiatus 😦 I hope you’re all doing well and let me know what books you’ve been reading, what you’ve been up to…feel free to catch up with me in the comments ❤