My Favorite Things – January

So it’s not February yet but it will be tomorrow and so I decided to go ahead and post this, haha[1. The post says Feb 1 but I swear I posted this on the 31st?? So WordPress is wrong lol]. January, overall, was pretty uneventful but thought I would do a favorites post for all the great things I encountered and discovered. So here are my favorites from the month of January –

  • Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask’s are stainless steel water bottles. They’re awesome! I got mine in a teal color, and you can also stick hot stuff in there and it’ll (supposedly) last for 6 hours. But I’ve only been sticking water in mine and I find that I’ve been drinking more water, which is a good thing. They come in different sizes, lids and colors.

  • New Journey to the West

One of my favorite Korean travel-reality/variety shows is called New Journey to the West. It’s basically about six people who travel to China and each season they travel to a different area. I love the cast and the show has been really entertaining so far! If you’re interested, KShowOnline has subbed episodes.

In other unrelated TV news, I was watching a Korean variety special (Elementary School Teacher on SBS) that came out for Lunar New Year and one of the grandma’s on the show said how blessed and thankful she felt to be able to learn how to write.

The grandma mentioned growing up during the war and so she was unable to go to school. She felt happiness just by being able to attend school – to learn how to write her own name, to learn how to write her thoughts down on paper and exchange those thoughts with other people. This especially hit home to me because both my grandparents from my mom’s and dad’s side suffered through the war and immigrated to the United States to give my parents and their children better lives.

I don’t know where I’m going with this but I guess it’s easy to take for granted the things you already have.

  • Korean Englishman

So this section is a revision to my post but I thought it would make a nice edition to my favorites post and decided to add it (even though I’m late)! The Korean Englishman is a Youtuber and if you want to enjoy funny videos and learn more about South Korea, his channel is awesome!

I’m not Korean Korean (I’m Korean American) and I find I’m learning more about Korean culture by watching his channel. His reaction videos are really funny and he’s currently doing a series on Ollie’s Dad, who is in South Korea right now (Ollie is one of the two people helping run the channel).

Highly recommended!

  • Being More Organized

As an online student, organization has been one of the skills I’ve gotten better at. Towards the beginning of April, I’m going to be going on a week long trip with my sister and a couple friends and so I’ve also had to become more organized with finances. I’ve also discovered I spend at least $85 on coffee every two weeks. I should cut it out of my finances but I can’t give coffee up

I’ve found that it really helps to keep a planner where you can jot everything down. Right now I’m using a notebook with gridded paper because I like the freedom to be able to write whatever I want without a certain template. Aside from fiances and schoolwork, I also jot down notes and writing ideas for my story.

“Being more organized” isn’t really an item but has definitely made my life a lot easier!

  • One Fell Sweep (Inkeeper Chronicles #3) by Ilona Andrews

I’ve actually read quite a bit of books in January. I have lots of time to read books because I commute to work/school by bus two hours per day. I also read before I go to bed. The best book I’ve read this month is called One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews. It’s book number 3 in her series and the most interesting part of the series is that it’s actually an online serial! All of her books can be read here.

I recommend the published versions though because the content is slightly different and more polished (editing wise). Here’s the summary for the first book:

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is…different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, “normal” is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night….Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

The series could be categorized as paranormal romance but I would say it breaks the mold of the same-old story about vampires and werewolves. And believe me because I’ve read a lot of paranormal fantasy lately. Also, I’ve (recently) skipped the err… racier parts because I’ve read it all before and you can really tell whether or not the book has an actual plot if it can hold itself up without the racier parts.

I’ve also been writing down all the books I’ve read on my 100 Books for 2017 page, along with ratings. Although, I wouldn’t trust the ratings too much because they’re really a combination of how much I’ve enjoyed the book and whether or not the story is unique.

In other news, that is unrelated to my favorites, is that I’m planning on purchasing a film camera (and a scanner eventually). One of my favorite bloggers Kiki-li takes film photos. I did some research on film photos and whether or not I really wanted to buy one and decided I would! In April, I’m going to a trip to California with my sister and a couple friends and thought it would be really awesome if I could take some photos with film.

I thought it would also be cool to put those photos on my blog once they’re processed. I don’t consider (and probably never will) myself a “photographer” but I do think manually taking photos will help me become a better picture taker!

As always, thanks for reading!

18 thoughts on “My Favorite Things – January

  • I do have an old film camera that actually still has a film in it! Haha.I have not used all of it since I mostly use my phone. I recently just started using my point and shoot digital camera again.

    My worry about film cameras if there are still places that process films?

    • Yeah! I looked this up too haha. You can actually take them to places like Walgreens, Bartells or Costco. This also probably differs from country to country. And there are some specialist photo places that also process film as well. Thank goodness since I would have no way of processing the film myself.

  • You will love film photography! I had a film camera in high school. It’s a very fun process and the pictures always turn out interesting even when you’re not trying. If you want to take it a step further, I would suggest film processing as well. The chemicals are quite attainable and the whole process is pretty much shake-and-bake in a dark room(washroom in my case lol).

    Wowza! I don’t drink coffee so that seems like a lot of money. Having at least one cup a day does add up quite a bit! Maybe you can start brewing coffee at home and packing it in your hydro flask? Then you can finally test how long the heat holds!

  • Planners are amazing things! I use them for school but not everything else but maybe I should rethink that? Maybe! I know I can cut back on meaningless junk I buy but it’s a habit but regardless enjoy your coffee if it makes you happy, right? Lol

  • Aww, I love your list and this post. (You’re a fantastic writer.) I loved watching the classic Chinese Journey to the West series as a kid and I’m always open to watching any new adaption. I’ll have to check it out.

    Yay for being more organized. It’s always a great personal victory. I also need to cut down on my Starbucks run and just make my own coffee at home, especially since I have better coffee beans too. (But laziness and lack of time management…) After visiting the Seattle area, I can definitely see the coffee culture there, so maybe you’re not that far above average coffee consumption??

    And yes, I’m sure I take a lot of things for granted. As a kid, I didn’t understand the depth of my parent’s decision to immigrate. As an adult, I can now fully appreciate everything they’ve done for me to have a better future. Especially something like my mom visiting her hometown in Vietnam last year where they had a dysentery outbreak and she was too scared to eat/drink anything. Or the high quality education that I’ve received here versus if we had stayed there.

    I can’t wait to see your pictures and hear about your upcoming trip to California!

  • i’ve never heard of the hydro flask before but i just googled them and i get why you like them, lol. i’m a sucker for water bottles with strangely unique and adorable design. do you know the Bkr water bottle? i wish i can have one of them. they come off in a variety of colors and i think they’re adorable!

    i wish i can read that often too! the only time i will resume my reading is before i go to bed. i’m trying to make it my mission to at least finish a chapter before bed. i actually have lots of free time during the day but i tend to waste it by sitting in front of my PC, lol. i’ve been reading the same book since last year and it’s so thick and the language is difficult too so i’m really, really slow with it. imma still at p.154 of 624, crazy huh. plus, the book – which is david mitchell’s the bone clocks – has soooo many british references and whatnot, making it even harder to comprehend sometimes.

  • Try getting a disposable film camera first, then figure out if you like it. Or you can go straight to buying an actual film camera, and if it doesn’t work out, you’ll end up having a really cool display at home! Hehe!

    Innkeeper Chronicles sounds like a great book. I’ll add it to my list once I’m done with Victoria Aveyard’s King Cage. The book will be released next week and I am so freaking excited!

  • Good on you for drinking more water! I’ve never heard of Hydro Flask, but that sounds like a good thing to have!

    I swear, you’re more Korean than I am in terms of watching Korean shows, LMAO I don’t watch TV in general, so all the Korean stuff that I could watch, I don’t watch. XD;;; Glad you’re enjoying them, though! And that Youtuber sounds interesting. I may check him out to see if I learn anything more about Korean culture :)

    And yay for the new film camera. I hope you’ll get a lot of usage out of it. I love it when we get new tech gadgets. Playing around with them is fun. Even better that you’ll get to use that on your trip in April! Oh, and good job on being more organised! It really does help to have a planner. Planning ahead is also a good thing XD

  • Hey, thank you for your comment on my blog!

    About the issue.. actually I recently read that when you are not korean (or any other language really) you shouldn’t use their words to “accessorize” your website. Of course this wasn’t my intention at all lmao I just found unnie a cute word but it still made me feel uncomfortable after reading all of this.

    But yes omg I agree on that. I think that I made the right decision to start anew!

    I just checked out Korean Englishman’s channel! The first vid I watched was “Trying the SPICIEST street food in Korea!! ” LMAO this is really funny. Thanks for the rec!


    PS Would you like to exchange links btw? :)

  • Hydro Flasks sound great! Glad that they’re helping you to drink more water!

    I don’t know what I’d do without some kind of planner. I use mine to keep track of everything I’m doing, and also to mark down my achievements, so I can look back and see how I’ve done with my goals. Hope it’s helping you to stay organised!

    Good luck reading 100 books! I think I need to start reading on the bus again. All I do is play on Facebook, which definitely isn’t as rewarding.

    Have fun taking photos! Getting a film camera sounds so cool. I’m trying to improve this year as well, because I’m really not great at it. I’m hoping to get a lot more creative with picture-taking, rather than just going for the easiest/laziest options.

  • Water bottles are great in general! They help me keep track of how much I’m drinking and whether I’m hitting that 2 litres a day goal :D

    That grandma sounds so cute. It can be easy to take things for granted and as humans, I don’t think we necessarily mean to but when something like that pulls us back into reality, it does make us think.

    The Korean Englishman is CUTE! Hahaha. I will definitely subscribe because I’ve always been fascinated by Korean culture. I do go to Tara who answers most of my questions, anyway, but this is cool too.

    Planners are amazing! I have too, my Happiness Planner to help me with weekly goals and my normal planner just so I don’t forgot that I’ve arranged stuff with so-and-so. XD I read before bed, as well. It relaxes me and puts me in a happy place, and I swear I sleep much better.

  • I did some film photography for a class in high school and I really enjoyed it! I still have my old film camera somewhere and I might have to bring it with me to school when it gets warmer. I think you’ll really enjoy it!

    The book series sounds really interesting! I’ll have to put it on my ever growing list of books to read. xD

    It’s good that you’re trying to be more organized. I try to do the same but sometimes I get downright lazy and have no motivation for such a thing.

  • When I went to Whole Foods yesterday, my boyfriend pointed out the Hydro Flask and they’re pretty expensive! Even then, it sounds pretty useful if you want to keep things warm or cool for a while :).

    I think it’s good to take a step back to reflect on our family members who had to go through hardship whether it’s through war or battling the seas to immigrate to another country for a better future.

    I recently found out I spend $30 per week on Starbucks @___@…. It’s hard to give up something that you like, but baby steps help! I’m glad that you’re taking the initiative to be more organized with your finances. I should do that because I would usually ignore the line items on my credit card statement and just pay the lump sum at the end of the month D:.

    Good luck with reading 100 books this year! It looks like you’re on the right path to achieving that goal :).

  • Ooh, I’ll have to look into Hydro Flask. I have a stainless steel water bottle, but I feel like it’s too small. I’ve been wanting a bigger one.

    New Journey to the West sounds interesting! I’d like to see the different areas they feature. I’ve been to China a few times, but it was when I was younger. I want to see more areas, especially since I think I’d appreciate it more now that I’m older.

    That’s great that you’re becoming more organized! I feel like I wasn’t good at it until after I graduated college, haha. I have notebooks to jot things down on, but now I mostly rely on digital notes so that I can access them anywhere.

    I haven’t heard of the Innkeeper Chronicles, but it that sounds interesting. When I started reading the summary, I wasn’t expecting it to be paranormal!

    I haven’t used a film camera in a long time. Using film seems to be making a comeback though, and I’ve noticed a lot of people using it. It seems like it’d be a nice challenge! I’ve thought about doing film again, but I have too much photography gear as it is, haha. I’d love to see how the photos come out after your trip!

  • Just heard about the hydro flask now and I think I really need to get one. Or a water bottle perhaps. I’ve been going to school without bringing water with me because it just feels too heavy for me and so instead I just buy, which is probably a bad habit of mine because it makes me lazy and not drink water anymore, ahahha. Would definitely put that on my to buy list.

    I recently just used a planner because I’m such a disorganized person and it helped me so much! I’m so glad I did.

    You should definitely buy a film camera, they’re great! Would love to see the photos you take with it :)

  • I’ve not heard of Hydroflask before but it sounds pretty neat! I have a thermal bottle thing but it doesn’t last for longer than 2 hours or something silly like that :P I don’t use it much anymore anyway because we have the kettle in the office xD I’m glad it’s making you drink more though :P I was recently gifted with the CamelBak water bottle and it’s amazing! If you’re ever looking for another, I recommend that!

    WOOO for K-dramas, I haven’t seen one in such a long time but I do remember loving the story lines xD So cheesy and everything I love!

    Yay for being more organised! I love writing stuff down, especially when it comes to money. It becomes crazy to see how much money you spent on one thing. I remember a few months ago it was just clothes and now it’s just gym attire :P OOps

  • I have an 650ml Aladdin water bottle that I carry around with me pretty much everyday. I fill it up in the morning and attempt to drink most of it’s content by the time I get into the office (which takes 1hr). In the office, I keep it at my desk and take large mouthfuls every now and then. I’m trying to drink at least 2L of water each day.

    I love Korean TV!! I think I’ve seen some of that TV series on the Chinese channel. I’m going to look it up and add it to my list of shows to watch!

    High five to another commuter reader! I read around 2hrs everyday as my train journey is 40mins each day, then I usually read an addiction 30-45mins in the evening before bed. I’m currently reading Glass Sword, which is the second book to the young adult fantasy series Red Queen.

  • You can learn a lot by taking photos on film, since a lot of the techniques transfer over to digital. I have seen some of your tweets about it, it can be really exciting to dabble in film

    Most of what I learn about my culture is from my parents. I am a first generation Australian so I suppose my parents’ view on things is pretty fresh, and definitely kind of traditional, haha. You can learn a lot about any culture from a lot of the videos that are out there on YouTube!

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