What I’ve Been Fangirling Over Lately: Life Update, Books, & TV Recs

It goes without saying that there are many difficult things going on in the world right. I hope this post finds everyone safe and healthy. I am especially grateful right now for my little corner of the Internet and being able to escape into the world of books and fangirl things for a while.

I’ve talked about this on Instagram and Twitter, but it’s major life update time. As some of you know, I am a college senior. My school had just gotten back from spring break during the second week in March only to find out on that Tuesday, we would be going online until April 3rd. We had the option of staying on-campus or going home, but with all the uncertainty going on, I elected to go back home. I was bummed that I’d basically be home for a month during the last eight weeks of senior year, but felt it was important to me at home with my family, and nothing was going on on-campus. I was also disappointed that this meant that my last college formal had been postponed, but I looked forward to going back a month later.

A Tuesday later, my college decided to officially go online for the semester. To say the least, I was, and still am, devastated. Yes, I have so much to be thankful for right now, and so, so many people have it way worse than me right now. All of my friends and family and myself included are safe and healthy. But I can’t help but think about those senior rites of passages I will be missing and won’t have the opportunity to get back: attending my last formal with my best friends; opportunities to present on my media and communications capstone research; ceremonies celebrating me and my classmates’ hard work; having my last day in the office I’ve worked in as a student employee for three years; saying my official last goodbyes to my best friends and professors; and the one that is hurting me the most right now, getting to walk across that graduation stage with my diploma in hand. My school is trying to work on a solution for this one, and I am really hope that a deferred in-person graduation will one day occur for us.

In light of all this, while I am still doing school work as I have online classes through the first week of May, books and TV have been a even more present comfort in my life right. I tend to not go on book buying sprees as often as I’d like, but I bought 5 books for myself within the first week I was home (thinking of them as early graduation gifts).

Today, I’ll be sharing and discussing the books and TV I’ve been enjoying lately in hope that you might find some comfort in them too. I’ve definitely been spending way too much time on my phone- my only exception in doing so is when I am FaceTiming or texting my friends- so I want to try to delve into more reading and watching this week.

Books

ARCs/Upcoming Releases: What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter &  We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian – If there’s one thing I really appreciate about social distancing (PSA, please practice it), it’s having the opportunity to catch up on all my review copies. What I Like About You (YA book blogger with a love for cupcakes and an online alias meets her online crush and best friend IRL) and We Are the Wildcats (girls’ field hockey team must deal with a very toxic coach and reunite as a team) were two of my most anticipated releases of the year and they did not disappoint at all. Reviews for both will (with an inspired recipe or two) will be coming in April!

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord – I now also have plenty of time to catch up on early 2020 releases that I missed; insert sigh here that I didn’t put more books on hold before the libraries closed- I’ll read you soon, Of Curses and Kisses & Anna K . My weekend read was Emma Lord’s Tweet Cute, which I am still utterly obsessed with! It was such a fantastic romance and I basically want to make 50 blog posts with recipes inspired by the book.Read More »

Funko Wishlist & Collection Part 2

One of my new-to-me fandoms in 2020 has been Star Wars. Star Wars has always been a fandom I’ve really admired, but had never really tried getting into… until my family got Disney+ and my mom and I decided to watch the original trilogy on Christmas. Since then, I’ve completed the original and prequel trilogies and The Mandalorian, and I have started the new sequel trilogy- all I have left is The Rise of Skywalker. That being said, I’ve been looking into Star Wars merch, which of course includes Funko Pops!

IMG_4168As I’m writing this post, I just realized that I haven’t really done any sort of Funko collection update or wishlist since 2018! Since then, I’ve only added four new Funkos: the 2018 San Diego Exclusive Nearly Headless Nick, Luna Lovegood with her Gryffindor Hat, Order of the Phoenix Harry Potter (With Prophecy) and Herbology Hermione Granger (holding the mandrake). This Luna Lovegood was on my original wishlist and was a harder find – I think Barnes and Noble finally had it online in stock about two years ago and I knew it would be one of my few chances at getting it. I had also always wanted a Hermione Granger for my collection and the mandrake version was just so cute to pass up!

While I’d still like to add some of the Funko Pops from my original wishlist to my collection, here are a few more that I would love to grace my bookshelves.

Luke Skywalker and Yoda (Star Wars) – Funko is releasing more Star Wars Funkos for The Mandalorian and for the 40th anniversary of Empire Strikes Back. I know I want some sort of Yoda inspired Funko for my collection and I really love this one of him and Luke.

fu

Han Solo (Star Wars) – The original Star Wars Funkos are almost impossible to find other than eBay. I’m actually not too crazy about the originals because they were based on Funko’s old design. Han Solo is my favorite character from the original trilogy. I would consider adding the original Han Solo to my collection (for a reasonable price), but I also do like the Solo version of him.Read More »

P.S. I Still Love You Viewing Party Tips

9781534469266_p0_v3_s550x406One of the most, if not the most, anticipated book-to-film adaptions of 2020 will be gracing our Netflix screens on February 12th: P.S. I Still Love You! Based on the second book in Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series, P.S. I Still Love You picks up where we left off with Lara Jean and Peter K. at the end of the first film and introduces a much beloved boy in Lara Jean’s life: John Ambrose McClaren! 

Everyone knows that I have a lot of love for the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before books and films. This series is just so cozy and there’s so much in them (desserts included) that can help make for the best viewing experience. Whether you’ll be having a solo viewing (which I’ll definitely be doing at some point so that this book nerd can do her usual book to film comparison), gathering your best girl friends for a Galentine’s Day celebration, or ringing in Valentine’s Day with your valentine, the following tips will make for the best P.S. I Still Love You watching experience. 

Viewing Party Prep 

Choose a Theme: Galentine’s, Valentine’s, and Party in the USA 

My favorite holiday inspired by Parks and Recreation, P.S. I Still Love You comes out the day before Galentine’s Day. Whether you’re watching with your best gal pals on the 12th, 13th, or later on, embrace your inner Lara Jean and Chris. 

Because of the release date’s proximity to Galentine’s Day and Valentine’s Day, decor and food options can be really simple this time of year. However, I think the most unique way and most true to the book way to go with a USA themed party inspired by Lara Jean’s USO party at Belleview. 

Bake your heart out 

One of my favorite elements of the TATBILB world is Lara Jean’s love for baking. Baking and desserts are a huge part of the books, and I was so happy to see Lara Jean’s cupcake and cooking baking skills brought to the TATBILB film. I have recipes on the blog inspired by both To All the Boy I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Snickerdoodles are the go-to treat in P.S. I Still Love You, but Lara Jean’s cake making skills are definitely put the test as well. I really want to try to make her Reese’s Pieces cake for the peanut butter lovers in my life one day. If you’re watching with friends and family, have everyone bring desserts and even make a competition out of it! For the true TATBILB and baking fans in your life, step it up a notch by only allowing desserts that are also featured in the books. 

IMG_4112

Pre-Viewing & Viewing Activities 

Rewatch TATBILB before jumping into P.S. I Still Love You 

I’ve definitely rewatched TATBILB on more on than one occasion, but I think it would be really fun to binge both films back to back.

Wear your best Lara Jean inspired outfit 

It’s no secret that Lara Jean is one of the best dressed fictional characters ever. Peter Pan collar shirts, scrunchies and Margot’s favorite Fair Isle sweater all make for great options. This is also another competition idea for group viewings. 

Read More »

P.S. I Still Love You Inspired Recipes

P.S., I still love Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series very much.

After falling head-over-heels in love with Netflix’s adaptation of the first book in my all-time favorite contemporary series, I really cannot wait for Susan Johnson and co.’s take on the sequel, P.S. I Still Love You.

Since I reread P.S. I Still Love You last summer- I’m finally planning on rereading Always and Forever, Lara Jena this year- I decided to just skim through P.S. I Still Love You. While doing my reread skim, I once again fell in love with so many of the desserts Lara Jean bakes! The following three recipes are based on desserts Lara Jean makes in P.S. I Still Love You and will make for the perfect treats while watching the new movie.

IMG_4112

Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies

These peanut butter crinkle cookies are inspired by the Reese’s Pieces cake John Ambrose McClaren would love for Lara Jean to bake. I’d definitetly love to make this cake for all the peanut butter lovers in my life- I am unfortunately not a peanut butter fan in the slightest bit- but I admit that I tend to leans towards cookies over cake. These peanut butter crinkle cookies are a hit in my family. Whenever my sister finds herself in a baking mood, these are her go-to treat for friends and family.

peanutbuttercooki

Snickerdoodles

If you remember my To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before inspired recipes, you’ll know that I am once again bringing this recipe to the blog. Snickerdoodles have an even bigger presence in P.S. I Still Love You. They’re still Lara Jean’s go-to forgiveness cookie for Kitty, she makes a batch for Peter K., and she pops them in the oven when Ms.Rothchild comes over for dinner. I considered sharing my truly made from scratch recipes, but honestly nothing tops the cake mix version in my opinion.

Read More »

Most Anticipated 2020 TV & Movies

Right after reading of course, my favorite way to relax and unwind is with a good binge-worthy TV show or ten. While there are plenty of books I am looking forward to in 2020, today I’ll be discussing the TV shows and films that I can’t wait to hit the big screen and my small screen this year.

TV

Schitt’s Creek S6 (Pop TV)

Release Date: January 7

Although I just discovered Schitt’s Creek in 2019, I know the final season of the show will be bittersweet because it’s just so well-done and it will be so sad to know that it’s over!

Zumbo’s Just Desserts (Netflix)

Release Date: January 10

Everyone knows that I love a good baking competition show. One of my favorites is Zumbo’s Just Desserts. I’ve been honestly waiting for a second season since finishing the first one in October 2018.

Grace and Frankie S6 (Netflix)

Release Date: January 15

Grace and Frankie just might be the show I am anticipating the most on this list! After binge-watching the first five seasons this summer, Grace and Frankie absolutely stole my TV-loving heart.

Read More »

Book & Fangirl Christmas Haul 2019

The holiday season has always been one of my favorite times of the year. I absolutely love getting into the festive spirit and listening to Michael Buble’s Christmas album. Although I couldn’t be more than excited for the new year ahead, I admit that I still have a little bit of the holiday spirit in me- how could I not when Arthur Christmas was just added on Netflix?? I have a few bookish and fangirl gifts that were generously given to me by Santa (aka my family) this Christmas that I have to look forward to using and reading in 2020.

Books

Rebel (Legend #4) by Marie Lu

Rebel is the much anticipated follow-up fourth novel to Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy. The Legend trilogy were the first Marie Lu books that I had ever read. They still remain as my favorite Marie Lu series. I had intended to reread Legend, Prodigy, and Champion in 2019, but I’ll be 100% honest and admit that I ended up not in the mood to reread them this past fall. Rebel can apparently be read as a standalone, but I really want to re-familiarize myself with this world. One of my reading goals for January and February is reread all three books and then dive into Rebel.

IMG_4071

The Risk and The Play (Briar U #2 and Briar U #3) by Elle Kennedy

Elle Kennedy is one of favorite new adult authors, having loved her Off-Campus series and really enjoying the first book in the Briar U series, The Chase. Briar U is the spin-off series to Off-Campus. Both books are set at the fictional Briar University and follow relationships between a wide cast of female characters and male Briar U hockey players. I absolutely love sports romance, so I knew I needed to continue on with the Briar U series with The Risk and The Play. Each of these books can be read as a standalone, as they follow different couples in the Briar U world. However, I personally like reading each book in publication order because Elle Kennedy often  features previous main characters. I decided to ask for these books for Christmas because my library unfortunately does not have the Briar U series and I already own The Chase.

Read More »

If We Were Having Coffee: The Fall Semester Edition

One of my goals with each blogging year is to incorporate more lifestyle posts and life updates. I usually talk about some of my life happenings outside of my bookish and fangirl life in my monthly wrap-up posts and some blog and book tags. In 2020, I’d love to dedicate more getting to-know-me posts. But while there are still 3 weeks left in 2019, I am going to be starting this a bit sooner! I’ve seen the If We Were Having Coffee post float around the blogosphere, but I first saw it written by Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner.

Some of you may have been able to tell from my monthly wrap up posts that life has been super busy since school started again back in August. This semester was super-rewarding while also stressful in a number of ways. I think it’s about time that I’d fill you on a few things that have happened over these few months, what I have planned for winter break, and some of my plans for 2020!

If were having coffee together IRL, I’d probably be drinking caramel or vanilla-flavored coffee. I’ve only had one holiday Starbucks drink so far this season, which was a Caramel Brulèe Latte.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I am currently reading, The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black. I just started this one on Sunday before diving into my final papers again.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my senior year has been my favorite year of college. This fall semester is definitely my favorite semester of college—here’s hoping that the spring may beat it! I spent so much time hanging out with my best friends and I seriously wouldn’t trade this time and memories with them for anything. Some of the highlights include nights out in our college town, apple-picking, our many Halloween celebrations (college students can’t seem to decide when to celebrate when it lands in the middle of the week, so we celebrate two weekends in a  row), and visiting one of my best friends at her school for the weekend.

I don’t want to give away too many details away because I’d like to still keep where I attend school private for now, but this semester I attended class twice in a week in NYC. I was able to learn more current topics and career opportunities in one of my majors and get to visit companies in the industry. I commuted about four hours per week, which made for the perfect reading time (and yes, homework time during peak stress periods).

img_3916.jpg

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about my English senior capstone paper on Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give. This was my first time studying a YA book in college, and I discussed the tension between THUG as a novel and as a commercial product. While I ultimately decided not to go down the thesis route given my other commitments this year, I’ll be again discussing THUG and diverse books in my media and communications senior capstone.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that my senior year has been the most stressful year of college. I had the most amount of homework and research projects that I’ve ever had in college. My student life basically looked like this in the fall: 8 credit NYC semester, my English senior research class, my last literature seminar to complete my English major, and working two jobs on-campus. When it came to the coursework, I at least really enjoyed working on my senior research and NYC projects. I think it’s finally safe to say that I did not enjoy my seminar on British Romanticism in the least bit, but I unfortunately did not have at lot of options when it came to literature classes this year. I’ve also run into the more “typical” college senior stress, aka trying to figure out what I’ll be doing with my life in May, between applying to internships and entry level jobs and considering grad school.

IMG_0970

Forever thankful to my best friend for capturing part of my presentation on her Snapchat.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about my upcoming study abroad trip in January! My 2020 will be starting in the best way possible because I will be going to Ireland during the first two weeks of the year! Going abroad during college has been a dream of mine and I am so happy that I finally have the opportunity to do so over winter break! Ireland has always been on my travel bucket list because of my heritage. This trip will also mark my first time going abroad. I’m definitely going to be leaving some room in my suitcase to bring back a UK book edition or two… or maybe the entire Harry Potter series, who knows. I’m going to have pre-scheduled content still up on the blog while I’m away, but I likely won’t be able to respond to comments and other blog-related things until I’m back in the US. I also plan on doing a post or two on my trip later in January.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’m trying to read as much as I can in December. I put a bunch of books on hold during Thanksgiving Break from the library in preparation for my winter break reading.

Although I was able to read more this fall semester than I have in previous years at school thanks to my semi-commuting life, I wish I was able to read as much as I had been in the summer. It was a rough transitioning from reading 14-15 books per month to adjusting back to 4-6. It’s not even so much that I was worried about the numbers, like hitting my Goodreads challenge, but I genuinely missed having more reading (and blogging) time.

newfireborder

If we were having coffee, what would you talk about? What would be your drink of choice? What are you reading in December? Share in the comments!