For Your Viewing Pleasure

Somehow I seem to watch more movies and shows back at school than over the holidays. Maybe it’s because I’m not around as many people or busy running from one gathering to the next. Whatever the reason, we all need a way to relax at the end of the day.

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My latest obsession is Broadchurch. I’ve be meaning to watch since I discovered David Tennant stars in it, but I never got around to it. When I saw the first season was available on Netflix, I decided to give it a chance. Boy am I glad I did. The plot surrounds two detectives investigating a suspicious death in the small tourist town of Broadchurch. I would highly recommend this for anyone who likes crime shows or mysteries.

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I also recently watched Magic in the Moonlight. In all honesty, I would have watched it for the costumes alone. I had no clue what this movie was about before I rented it. It tells the story of a famous illusionist who travels to the countryside estate of a wealthy family in an attempt to disprove the claims of a young spiritual medium staying there. I found it corny and predictable; however, it would good if you’re looking for something lighthearted or just love the aesthetics like me.

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For something a little off the beaten path, my final recommendation is the YouTube channel East & West Vlog. The series of videos is an adaptation of one of my favorite novels/miniseries North & South. The vlog features Maggie, a college student struggling with her family’s move from England to Canada. If you love North & South or the new trend of YouTube adaptations, definitely give this one a watch. There are only five videos right now, but I hope the creators keep up the good work.

What have you been watching? I’d love to hear any of your recommendations.

Granola for Breakfast

I never understood how people could love granola. I used to eat it in my yogurt, but that got old after a while. With the new year, I guess I’m trying new things. I’ve heard of people eating granola like cereal with milk and fruit. I was skeptical at first, which is why I want to share how much I love it! This is my new go-to snack.

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Here’s what I use:

That’s it! It’s super easy and delicious. Let me know if you try it and what your favorite flavor combinations are.

January Favorites

End of Year Book Survey

This survey comes from The Perpetual Page-Turner, and I thought it would be a great way to share about what I read in 2014 rather than just listing favorites. I omitted some questions I didn’t feel were applicable to my personal reading habits, but if you’d like to see more responses, please follow the link above to the original post.

End of Year Book Survey 2014

Number of Books Read: 200

Number of Re-Reads: 27

Genre You Read the Most From: Young Adult Fiction

Book You Thought You Were Going to Love More But Didn’t: Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store

Best series you started in 2014: Chaos Walking trilogy

Best Series Ender: The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

Favorite new author you discovered in 2014: Frances Hardinge

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone: Good Omens

Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year: Sandman series

Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014: Through the Woods

Most beautifully written book read in 2014: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014: Lean In

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read: The Thirteenth Tale

Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014: “So please ask yourself: What would I do if I weren’t afraid? And then go do it.”

Longest Book You Read: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Shortest: This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness

Book That Shocked You The Most: We Were Liars

Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: The Graveyard Book

Best 2014 debut you read: So, Anyway by John Cleese

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year: Abhorsen series

Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read: Hark! A Vagrant

Book That Made You Cry in 2014: Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography

Hidden Gem Of The Year: Jane, the Fox, and Me

Most Unique Book You Read In 2014: It by Alexa Chung

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? Yes, I originally wanted to read 100 books this year. I also read most of the unread books on my bookshelf and re-read several that I wanted to.

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015: Works of Jane Austen

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015: Read fewer but longer books, especially classics

If you made it all the way to the end, thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your answers to any of these questions in the comments.

Five Resolutions for 2015

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 7.22.31 PM.pngHappy New Year! I’m still in disbelief that 2015 is here already. This year promises many changes as I make plans to finish school and move. I know some people don’t like New Year’s Resolutions, but I appreciate getting the time to reflect on the previous year and set goals for the future. Without further ado, here are five of my resolutions for 2015.

  1. Blog once a week – This is one I tried and accomplished last year. Even though I missed a few weeks for holidays/vacation, I averaged at least one post a week, and I’d like to continue.
  2. Exercise three times a week – Another one of last year’s resolutions, I was less consistent with exercising like I should. Even though it makes me feel better, it can be difficult to find the time. I want to focus on being more active in general than wearing myself out with an intense work out.
  3. Make a scrapbook – I was recently inspired to start my own book using the Project Life supplies. I’m very excited to start. My goal is to record as much of my college experience as possible in time to share it with everyone at graduation.
  4. Get nine hours of sleep a night – I feel so much better when I get enough sleep at night. I know this isn’t always possible; however, I need to make an effort to go to bed at a decent hour and not abuse myself.
  5. Consolidate my belongings – I have a lot of stuff. I’ve come to realize that if I’m not using it, then it’s just taking up space. Part of the problem comes from storing things in two places. I want to have everything from school and my parents’ house in one place. In the process, I hope to pare it down substantially.

After a couple of years of resolutions, I’ve found a few things that work for me. I try to make specific and practical goals. “Exercise three times a week” is much easier to follow than “Be healthier.” Along with that comes keeping track of progress. I like using the Balanced app. Writing it down in a notebook or chart are also good methods of measurement. Finally, resolutions are not all or nothing. Looking back at 2014, I can’t say I kept any of my resolutions perfectly. Instead, I see it as a process. The more I do, the better I get.

Let me know your tips for resolutions, and have a great 2015!