Hallotober Tag

With Halloween coming up this weekend, it’s time to really break out the pumpkins and fall decor this week! I don’t have a costume planned for this year, but I am wearing a candy corn face mask for work this week to get into the Halloween spirit. I was tagged by The Book Bratz to do the Hallotober Blog Tag. The Hallotober Tag was created by Jordanne of The Life of a Glasgow Girl.

What’s the worst Halloween candy? 

I am a huge chocolate fan, but I never really liked ‘sugary’ candies, with Laffy Taffy as my least favorite. 

What is your favorite horror novel or short story? 

It’s definitely not considering a straight-up horror book, but I love, love Carmen Maria Machado’s short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties

What was the last halloween costume you wore?

I dressed up as a mermaid last year – if I somehow have to dress up again this year, I’ll probably throw the mermaid scale leggings back on!

What is your favorite fall snack?

I don’t think I change up my eating habits too much in the fall – I definitely reach for pumpkin spice coffee, but I’m not a fan of pumpkin-flavored foods (yes, this includes pumpkin pie). I’m definitely more of an apple fan over pumpkin, so I feel like I do tend to eat more apples in the fall, and I’ve been planning on making an apple pie with coffee crumb topping soon. 

This photo was taken last fall – I actually didn’t make my way to a pumpkin patch this year.

Do you carve pumpkins?

I tend to paint them instead of carve!

Do you prefer horror movies or stories?

You might know that I’m not the biggest horror fan in general,  but I’d rather take horror in book over movie form. 

What is your favorite halloween memory?

I can’t think of a particular moment, but until about seventh grade, I always went trick-or-treating with my two younger sisters. I probably got bratty at times for not being able to go trick-or-treating with my friends, but looking back, I’m so glad we got to have those memories together. We always loved coming home and dumping all of our candy on to the table and dividing it into categories while we ate dinner. There were actually 2 years we didn’t go traditional trick-or-treating because we spent Halloween weekend in Hershey Park!Read More »

Happy 22nd Birthday to Me: 22 Favorite Books, TV Shows & More 

If you couldn’t tell by the title, today is my twenty-second birthday. To say the least, it’s definitely a weird birthday thanks to our current reality. I’ll be going out shopping – in mostly outdoor shopping outlets –  for the first time since January and I have plans to celebrate with friends later on this week. 21 was a big growing up year for me, and despite the events of the last five months or so, I loved being 21. I think 22 is going to be another big growing up year for me, as I navigate post-college life, real working world and grad school included. I’m trying to be more optimistic and less stressed in August, and I want to do my best to carry out this attitude this year!

I wanted to bring some birthday cheer to the blog today, so I’ll be sharing 22 of my favorite things that have brought me so much joy this summer, in the forms of books, TV/movies, and podcasts – you’ll likely recognize a few repeats from my monthly wrap-ups but I can’t stop gushing about them so much! I also didn’t want to share strictly books because I recently shared my favorite reads of 2020, and let’s be honest yearly wrap ups or a summer wrap up will be here before we know it!

Books

Some books that I’ve LOVED but haven’t shared too many details about yet or full reviews for include: 

The Heir Affair (The Royal We #2) by Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks – I feel like I’ve mentioned The Heir Affair in so many blog posts this summer, but I officially read & finished it last week… and I can’t stop thinking about this sequel to The Royal We! I actually got too impatient to wait for a physical copy from the library, so I borrowed a digital copy and devoured it on my Kindle in about 2 days. The Heir Affair was everything I wanted in this sequel, and while I’m really content with the way it ended, I seriously would not mind a third book. 

Anna K by Jenny Lee – Anna K is hands-down one of the best YA books I’ve read in 2020. I’ve come to realize that I don’t want to use the Gossip Girl meets Crazy Rich Asians comparison because while it has GG vibes (and honestly not really CRA), it is such a story of its own. I loved its Anna Karenina retelling, and it just felt so mature. I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on the upcoming sequel. Read More »

If We Were Having Coffee: June 2020 Edition

If We Were Having Coffee is my favorite way to share current happenings in my life  outside of my usual fangirl and bookish-ness. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of talk about the books, TV, and podcasts I’ve been consuming lately. 

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Although I’m waiting for my  honors cords to come in the mail, my cap and gown did come in, which called for an impromptu photoshoot!

If we were having coffee, I’d probably be having a cup of coffee with milk and cinnamon. I feel like I’m cheating on summer by saying that I haven’t been drinking iced coffee that much lately. 4 out of the 5 people in my house drink at least two cups of coffee everyday, so instead of making single cups using the Keurig, we usually make two or three pots a day using Dunkin Donuts’ Original Blend. My sister and I love blending cinnamon in the grinds before brewing. 

If we were having coffee, I’d probably tell you that my mind feels like its in five different places at once. It’s weird to think that I feel busier being at home vs. being out in the world at school and work. I know I’ve mentioned it in a wrap-up and maybe another post, but since my If We Were Having Coffee about my college graduation, I made the decision to stay at my alma mater to attend their Master of Arts in Teaching program. I had actually been admitted into the program back in March and hadn’t made a decision about when and if I’d join the program when the world went into madness. Since one of my summer jobs went from full-time to part-time remotely, I made the decision to join the program and start taking summer courses. 

Although I’ve still been eating up 3 or 4 books a week (summer time is the best reading season for me), I’ve been doing so much work and reading for school since mid-May. Two of my classes met for two weeks each every day, so now I have a slight lull in my schedule. I have a weekly elective until the end of June when the second round of classes  begins. I am also doing some remote work for the organization I worked at as an undergraduate. It’s definitely a busy schedule, but I am of course grateful to know that I am able to partake in all of these things from home. Read More »

If We Were Having Coffee: The Graduation Edition

If We Were Having Coffee is forming into a mid-monthly ritual. I love doing these more personal posts- don’t worry I’m bound to talk about books and TV somewhere- so I don’t have to save everything for my end of the month wrap ups. I’ve been embracing blogging and reading so much lately, and it’s been nice to reflect lately since these past two months certainly haven’t been easy for anyone.

If we were having coffee, I’d probably be sticking to iced coffee. By the time I make my way downstairs in the morning, the coffee that my parents brewed earlier in the morning isn’t remotely hot anymore. In that case, I just grab some ice and some caramel macchiato creamer.

IMG_2733If we were having coffee, I’d talk about graduating from college! Graduating from college can be bittersweet to begin with. While still bittersweet (maybe even more this year), it’s just plain weird. Since I finished up the second half of the semester completely online, it feels so bizarre to be done. Nevertheless, I graduated with my B.A. in English and Media & Communications with a minor in Holocaust Studies, and was inducted in Phi Beta Kappa!

That being said, if we were having coffee, I’d give you an inside scoop about what a virtual graduation is actually like. Like almost all, if not every college senior, in the U.S. , I did not have an in-person commencement or any IRL form of senior activities, ceremonies, rites of passage, and goodbyes for the past two months. My in-person commencement is currently scheduled for early August, but since stay-at-home orders have been extended into June in my state, there may be a chance that the ceremony will be pushed to the fall. However, my school wanted to commemorate our original commencement date and decided to hold a virtual ceremony. I’ve had an honor society induction and a few senior toasts online.

Although I know everyone has great intentions, the online replacements tend to make me more sad than happy because it just reminds of what should have been. This made me apprehensive going into the virtual commencement, but it was much more organized than I had imagined. The speeches had been prerecorded, while certain segments were still live. While they scrolled through the graduates’ names, many of our professors and faulty had shout-out videos! My family also decided to honor my graduation that day. I really appreciated their at-home festivities – my sisters and mom made me an at home cap and gown made from construction paper and a tablecloth and a hand-written diploma.

neverhaceIf we were having coffee, I’d tell that you need to watch Never Have I Ever on Netflix as soon as possible. I finished binge-watching it after I posted my April Wrap Up- no worries, I’ll probably end up including it in my May one anyway! Never Have I Ever  was the perfect blend of everything that I want in a ‘teen’ show. After the sudden passing of her father, high school sophomore Devi is willing to do anything she can to get her life back to normal- and by that, Devi really wants to become popular and date the hottest guy in school. This show was so, so funny and you really grow to become attached to all of the characters. The last episode left me smiling with tears rolling down my face.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about my subscription to Book of the Month. From podcasts to blogs to Instagram, Book of the Month has been taking up so many of my social media channels. You likely know that because of the public library being closed, I’ve been buying way more books than usually lately. One of those books? Emily Henry’s Beach Read. Beach Read is one of my most anticipated books of 2020, and I knew I wanted to get a copy ASAP. I considered pre-ordering a copy, but when I saw it was a BOTM pick (in hardcover as always), I figured I’d give the subscription service a chance. I’m honestly debating if I’ll keep my subscription because #brokecollegestudentlife but I’m tempted to try it out at least over the summer.

If we were having coffee, I’d of course have to mention at least one book I’ve read in May. I know I’m late on the hype train, but so far my favorite has been Well Met by Jen DeLuca! Speaking of hyped reads, I also finally read Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating and totally see why this it is many readers’ favorite Christina Lauren book.Read More »

If We Were Having Coffee: Current Entertainment Faves & Other Life Things

Let’s be honest, talking about all the books and TV I’ve been loving lately is one of my favorite things to do. I usually save my TV and movies talk for monthly wrap-ups, but I’ve been really enjoying seeing what everyone has been watching and doing at home that I want to share the love today.

If we were having coffee, I’d probably be drinking an iced coffee. The slight warm change in weather has brought out in the iced coffee drinker in me. I went through Dunkin Donuts’ drive-thru twice before stay-at-home orders really set in for my go-to medium iced coffee with caramel. I think the next time I get to treat myself, I’m going to go for the Girl Scout Samoa cookie flavor if it’s still available! My homemade iced coffee is rarely as cold as it should be – I’m often too impatient to wait for it to cool before I pour it over ice. I like making iced coffee with Hamilton Mills French Vanilla K-cups or with Dunkin Donuts Original Blend (occasionally with caramel creamer).

If we were having coffee, I’d talk about all the book podcasts I’ve been listening to on my daily walks. Whether I’m walking alone or with my family, I love plugging into a podcast episode on my hour-long walk. I’ve been listening to a mix of Bad on Paper‘s early and recent episodes and keep adding more books to my TBR because of their recommendations. I’ve also been listening to Sarah’s Bookshelves Live I loved her recent episode with Steph Hockersmith of @PieLadyBooks. I’ve also downloaded a few episodes of The SSR Podcast.

If we were having coffee, I’d talk about how I’m so sad I am about Schitt’s Creek being over. I’m one of the fans who found the show towards its end, having watched its first five seasons on Netflix last summer and fall. Season 6 was so, so good. I really love the way each character’s story wrapped up (and yes, I’m still crying over Ted and Alexis’ final scene). While there is a wedding and some final goodbyes in the last episode, I loved how the goodbyes and wrap-ups weren’t contained to the final episode. I also loved the documentary, “Best Wishes, Warmest Regards,” that aired right after the finale. As sad as I am that its over, I really appreciate the show creators’ decision to end the show when they felt it was right, instead of adding on two more unnecessary seasons just because it was gaining more and more popularity. And no worries, I’ve been pushing this show on to everyone who is looking for TV recommendations at this time (including you!).

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Booksmart is my new favorite movie. I’ve been wanting to watch this one for so long, and one of my school’s streaming services had it in their catalog- I’m still trying to figure out what class included it in their syllabus. I loved the two main characters (played by Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever) and their relationship, the cinematography was amazing (my favorite scene was the doll scene) and it was just comedy done so, so, well!! With plenty of antics in store, this movie is really about friendship, growing up, and trying to prepare for moving on into a new stage of life.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that the best book I read this week was Lyssa Kay Adams’ Undercover Bromance. I just have so much love for The Bromance Book Club world, the Russian of course included.

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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 »

ADVENTURES ABROAD: My Trip to Ireland

For the past few years, my new year usually begins in a quiet way, wrapping up winter break and trying to get to all the books I can before heading back to school and ‘real life.’ However, my 2020 started in the most exciting way possible by going on a study abroad trip to Ireland!

I always knew that I wanted to do some sort of study abroad program while in school. Blame it on all the books I’ve read, but I’ve had this growing sense of wanderlust in me for the past few years. I admit that I was intimidated by going abroad, having never travelled outside of the United States before and how pricey study abroad and travelling can be. However, everything seemed to fall into place during the fall semester of my senior year and I decided to apply to my school’s winter break program in Ireland. I have a few countries on must travel-to list, but Ireland has always been in the #1 spot because of my own Irish heritage.

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In short, I am so, so glad that I went to Ireland because I had such an incredible experience. I have a ton of photos featured below, but even they do not fully capture how beautiful everything is there. I’m going to be breaking down my trip more for you below, but I quickly fell in love with the West Coast of the country and know I need to go back someday. It’s true what they say about going abroad or travelling: once you go somewhere, you want to get back on a plane and go somewhere else! I’m hoping my adventures abroad or at a travel feature will become a somewhat regular series here on Fangirl Fury.

And yes, I admit that I’m disappointed with my bookish self for not taking a long a copy of Jenna Evan Welch’s Love & Luck for ALL of the bookstagrams.

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IMG_E1434My day spent in Derry was one of the trip’s highlights. As a Derry Girls fan, going to Derrry was one of the things I was most excited about. During the first half of the day, we visited the Museum of Free Derry, hearing from a relative of a Bloody Sunday victim and walking through the museum’s exhibit on civil rights. After the museum, we toured the Bogside murals.

The second half of the day was spent in Derry City, where we had complete free range to explore the city. Since our bus IMG_1450dropped us off at The Guildhall, we walked through the Plantation of Ulster exhibit and later took some nice nightsky photos. After the exhibit, my friends and I walked across the Peace Bridge, which again prompted for the nice photo ops. We then went into the city, with our first stop at the Derry Craft Village. We popped into a few stores, where I picked up a belated Happy Christmas ornament for my family and a pair of claddaugh earrings for my sister. My must-see stop for the day was of course the Derry Girls mural! After, we walked along the 17th century wall near there and also stopped at St. Columb’s Cathedral. We also stopped at a print shop that sold a ton of Derry Girls merchandise, picking up a postcard for my equally obsessed Derry Girls friend and I, and at an ice cream shop called Joe Jackson’s. After falling in love with lemon meringue pie at dinner earlier in the week, I treated myself to lemon meringue and salted caramel ice cream.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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!