2019 Goals

          I thought about writing this post at the beginning of January to mark well, the beginning of a new year but the more I thought about it the more I realized that I wasn’t completely sure whether the goals I set for myself in December would still be relevant for me in 2019. I am the type of person who likes starting over, I like new beginnings and therefore I love starting a new year. I stand by the ‘tomorrow is a new day’ saying and thus 2019 started and I was sat down at my desk, pouring over my goals and trying to break them down into more manageable tasks, to understand how I want to go about achieving them. This is how I realized that I wasn’t so keen on some of the goals I set for myself. Of course, in true perfectionist fashion, I started to panic because January already started and that meant I didn’t have the perfect plan to get me through the year (I am an anxious person.)

          This made me realize that:

  1. You can never have the perfect plan because life’s a bitch and it likes to throw curveballs.
  2. I can always switch things up. If halfway through the year I don’t care to learn to play the guitar anymore, I don’t have to do that. I don’t have to force myself to do anything that doesn’t make me happy and that is okay.

          Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m willing to just scrap goals just because I know I won’t achieve them or because I’m too insecure about doing them (e.g – going places on my own). I just have to adjust them, tweak a few things here and there and hopefully, I’ll achieve the goals I’m not 100% sure about. This is why when coming up with your goals, be them monthly, yearly, 5-years and 10-year goals, it’s important to sit down with a cup of coffee and really ask yourself what do you want to do. What’s worth your time here on earth and what makes you happy? Tailor your plans according to the answers to those questions, have some ambition and you’ll see you’ll come out a happier person in the end.

          So, a couple of my 2019 goals (as of now) are:

          Get a first in my second year of university – this one is pretty self-explanatory and a goal that most likely won’t change. Some of the steps I’m taking to achieve this goal is to attend each lecture and seminar as much as possible, to read for my seminars every day and to start my assignments two weeks before they’re due instead of leaving them until the last minute. I already wrote down all my deadlines in my bullet journal and my calendar on my phone.

          Go fully vegan – I’m quite embarrassed to say that I’m weak when it comes to sweets and I am the worst baker ever. As in I burn everything I try to bake. So if baking my own sweets is impossible and buying vegan sweets is super expensive for my student budget, well, I haven’t been really doing great in that department… but I am working on it every day and hopefully this year I’ll go fully vegan.

          Read 30 books – not counting the reading I have to do for university, of course. My reading goal last year was 30 books and I barely managed to achieve that. I’m not sure why I struggled so much when in other years I would read way more than 30 books with no problem. It’s probably because I have to read so much for school that when it comes to reading for pleasure I’m kind of exhausted.

          Finish three of the stories I started last year – I tend to go through phases when I’m super motivated to write so last year I started three stories, one of which I was supposed to finish over the Christmas break so this year I want to at least finish two of them – the one that I was meant to finish over Christmas and the collab. I think out of all my goals this goal and the reading goal are the most susceptible to change.

          Complete my BTS album collection – this one’s pretty up in the air too but right now I’m determined to achieve this goal. I’ve always been someone who collects stuff from W.I.T.C.H. comic books to well, books and stationery to kpop albums. I currently have all their Korean albums but I still need to complete the LY Her, Tear and Answer albums and the WINGS albums. Of course, this is going to be a pretty slow progress since these albums are damn expensive but I guess we’ll see by the end of the year if I manage to achieve this.

          Learn graphic design – I used to do graphic design for forums back in 2013 and 2014 and I’ve always enjoyed it so much but of course, I wasn’t knowledgeable enough to actually know what I was doing. This year I want to learn the right way and so I am planning to achieve this goal over the summer.

          So this is it, these are my current 2019 goals. Of course, these are all (okay maybe some of them) susceptible to change but I guess we’ll see. For now, I’m really excited to see what 2019 has in store for me. I feel like for the first time in my life I am finally able to look forward to my future without too much anxiety clouding my mind which is something I’m very proud of.

          Anyway, until next time!

          With love,

          Sonny xx

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Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi Review

          This review contains minor spoilers! If you haven’t read the book I suggest reading it and coming back to this blog post later.

          Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi is that book that every Instagrammer has on their feed, almost like Milk and Honey and other IG poetry. Of course, that’s why I picked it up and why I was interested, plus the cover is super pretty so on an evening out with friends I picked up this book and it sat on my shelves for half a year before I read the entire book in one day. Let’s just say I enjoyed it enough to power through 390 pages – but that’s something usual for me.

          Emergency Contact is the story of Penny and Sam and how they became each other’s emergency contacts. Of course, it wouldn’t be a young adult novel without the parental issues, the insecurities and the coming of age plot but the reality behind these characters is what made the book for me. I enjoyed Penny’s self-introspection and the fact that she didn’t change to make Sam like her and I enjoyed Sam’s characterisation. We got to see inside the brain of the broody male protagonist and came to understand that he’s not broody for the hell of it.

          I also enjoyed that the resolution was realistic and didn’t tie all loose ends – real life is not that clean-cut and looking at the way Mary H.K. Choi narrates her story I think her aim was to portray these characters as realistically as possible, which in my opinion she achieved from the beginning.

          One thing I didn’t like was how the two protagonists took centre stage all the time. We have Penny’s mum and Sam’s niece and a couple of other useless characters peppered here and there but we don’t really get to know them. Sure, we know Penny’s mum is *ahem* young at heart and we know Sam’s niece is hyperactive and needy but we don’t get to form bonds with them so when Penny argues or neglects her mum I don’t really care about it?

          I feel like I could have given this book five out of five stars if it wasn’t such a quick and easy read. It’s 390 pages but it felt like 100 at best – although it was realistic and the protagonists were well written, the plot wasn’t. It dragged on at times and was redundant at others which put me off reading it at first.

          Overall I would say I enjoyed Emergency Contact and I am looking forward to Mary H.K. Choi’s future releases! Did you read the book? What did you think? Let me know in the comments and I’ll catch you next time!

 

         With love,

         Sonny xx

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November Songs (2018)

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So… remember how I said I’d start posting every Saturday and that I’ll do my best to post more often? Yeah, that obviously didn’t work. To be fair, things have been super hectic lately. School has been taking up all of my time and I haven’t had time to come up with ideas for this blog, let alone write for it.

Anyway, thankfully I just finished another assignment and since I like music a lot and these posts are easy to write, I thought I’d type it up and put it up as soon as I’m done. This month has been super busy and hectic so of course, me being me I listened to a lot of music, most of which you can find on my Spotify since I won’t be able to add all of it here otherwise this post would be too long and really slow to load. So, this month of November I’ve been listening to the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina soundtrack as well as a bunch of BTS and other Kpop songs I hear on those Lofi study playlists. I will do my best to explain why some of the songs are so addicting but I won’t do that for all of them.

So, without further ado, here’s my November playlist.

Cliff Richard – Devil Woman

This song was so hard not to love (I tried, it’s generally not my type of music) but it’s so damn catchy and the whole witchy vibe it has going on fits the whole end of Autumn aesthetic I love so much.

K.Flay – Blood in The Cut

Literally just a catchy, repetitive song.

Fallulah – Give Us a Little Love

I love the vocals in this song, they’re very soothing so whenever I’m having trouble understanding something or working through an assignment I put this song on and it’s an instant reaction.

VCTRY – Black Magic Woman

I love the whole vibe of this song, once again, very witchy and spooky and I love listening to this song before going to bed or on my commute in the morning.

Billie Eilish – Belly Ache

I mean, it’s Billie Eilish, there’s not much to say here. Her entire discography is pure gold from the metaphors she uses to her unique voice and the catchy tunes.

BTS – Magic Shop

I’ve been listening to this song on repeat during the entirety of this month, mostly for comfort. Call me lame all you want but listening to BTS makes everything feel just a little better for me.

The Rose – I.L.Y

Usually, I don’t like songs that revolve around the phrase ‘I love you’ because I find them a bit cringy but The Rose is a major exception to this rule. Not only did they make an amazing song, like they usually do, but that whole chorus is just so soothing and Woosung’s vocals slay me every damn time.

CHUNGHA – Remind of You

Chungha’s music has slowly become a big part of my daily life. Her vocals and her overall sound fits every mood.

HEIZE – Wind

I love listening to this album whenever I’m feeling down or just upset. It’s such a good, slow pick-me-up album.

BigBang – This Love

I mean, it’s old BigBang. This song is the definition of comforting music.

So this is it, please make sure to check out my last post and have a good day!

With love,

Sonny xx

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Favourite TV Shows and Series

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I am that person who watches way too many TV shows. As I mentioned in my ‘using youtube as an escape’ blog post, I use media as a form of escapism. It helps me block out my thoughts, worries and anxieties and problems. I don’t even remember most of my breakups (not that I had many) because I just occupy my mind with TV shows. I’m not saying this is a good thing nor am I saying I’m content with it, I am trying to change this (says the person who watched 14 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy during exam season).

Not too long ago I realized that I’m not a big fan of sci-fi, paranormal shows. I have watched Supernatural (in my mind it ended at season 4) and Shadowhunters (I got bored of it real quick, Malec still has my heart though) but I prefer more realistic shows. I think the craziest TV binge I ever did was when I started watching Pretty Little Liars. I stayed awake for three days straight watching it over winter break and then finished the first five seasons in a week or so. Once again, in my mind, PLL finished at season 5.

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My number one favourite TV show as of now has to be Grey’s Anatomy. That’s all I’ve been talking about for the past 5 months or so and I am SO happy that season 15 is out now. I’ve even roped in a couple of friends which is my way of bonding with people (yeah, I know, I sound like a fun person). As I was planning for this post, I was thinking about why I love this show so much and I realized that I’m not entirely sure. If you don’t know what Grey’s Anatomy is about, it’s a medical show revolving around Meredith Grey who is a monumental screw-up and Derek Shepherd who is McDreamy and a bit of a McAss sometimes.

I know, this is not exactly selling the show but this might. I think the reason why I love this show so much is because of the characters. It has such a diverse cast, lgbtq+ characters including bisexual girls, trans men and their stories don’t always revolve around their sexualities. We also have people with disabilities and we get to see the struggle as well as them pulling through and dealing with their disability. Their social commentary is amazing too, Grey’s Anatomy has dealt with heavy topics such as shootings, addiction, depression, not fitting in because of one’s sexuality or gender identity, loss of a loved one and so much more. The show is so long and has evolved so well from its release back in 2005 to today in 2018. The story has evolved as did the characters and even though things changed, the show is still so fun to watch.

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My second favourite TV show is Dexter. This is another show I binge-watched in a couple of days, maybe a week. I have actually watched Dexter over thirty times to date and I don’t regret it at all! I can blindly pick a random episode of a random season and know exactly what happens before and after said episode. What’s Dexter about? Dexter is a blood spatter analyst at Miami Metro Homicide. He was adopted into the Morgan family as a very young child and as he was growing up, he noticed he had ‘urges’. His adoptive father who was a homicide detective taught him the code to kill serial killers. Now, if you ask me why I’m so damn obsessed with this show, I’m not entirely sure. I don’t mind bad characters when they’re done right and Dexter was written so freaking well that sometimes you forget that he’s a serial killer. This show is so morally wrong that it’s actually incredibly interesting to dissect because it gives a personal insight into the mind of a monster who kills other monsters, we get to love his family and friends, we get invested in the story and soon enough forget he’s a monster and – whoop, he killed someone. It’s a crazy rollercoaster of emotions.

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My third favourite TV show is Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Now mind you, this show is very explicit and not for younger viewers at all so if you do check it out, do it at your own risk and preferably only if you’re over the age of 18. Diary of a Call Girl is a TV show made after a book written by a former call girl (high-class escort). It’s a funny, real and sexy show that portrays the life of Hannah Baxter, a 27-year-old who goes by the name Belle. She lives a luxurious double life that gets a little messy when people in her life start finding out that she’s an escort. This show is relatively short, only 4 seasons, but it’s packed full of funny moments, sad moments, sexy moments. People usually watch Gilmore Girls when they want to feel cosy or they want something easy to watch after a long tiring day, for me that show is Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Not only did I love the books, but I also love the TV show too.

So here it is, a list of my favourite TV show. I know it’s quite long, especially the Grey’s Anatomy paragraphs but I hope you enjoyed reading it nonetheless, and that maybe it gave you an idea of what to watch next. Thanks a lot for reading and make sure to check out my last blog post which is my favourite Chase Atlantic songs.

With love,

Sonny xx

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Halloween Movies

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I’m not really a movie person, I do enjoy a good movie especially at the cinema but I don’t really go out of my way to watch movies. Instead, I watch a ton of TV shows! I genuinely think it’s because I have a hard time parting from the characters after only two hours. So because I’m not a big movie person, I decided to do something about that – I want to be a movie connoisseur and what better way to become one than to watch a bunch of Halloween movies?

Now mind you, Halloween is not very big in the UK. We have that small Halloween corner in supermarkets and most people don’t open their doors to trick-or-treaters (not that there are many of those either) but the spooky atmosphere is still there if you strive for it, which I am.

Without further ado, here is my list of Halloween movies for the month of October!

Hocus Pocus

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This movie is a yearly must watch for me. I love the soundtrack, the characters and the overall vibe of this movie because it puts me in such a cosy, fall mood!

Casper

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This is one of the movies that I vaguely remember watching but not really? So I want to (re)watch it this October just to see what it’s about and if I did actually watch it in the past.

Twitches

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This was my favourite Halloween Disney movie! I loved the characters and the whole, magical world and so I would like to relive those days.

Corpse Bride

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I think we can all agree that Tim Burton makes amazing movies, and Corpse Bride is one of those movies. I watched this back when I was 11 and I fell in love with the story and the aesthetic! My wannabe emo self loved this movie.

Nightmare Before Christmas

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I mean, of course, this movie would be on this list. I can actually sing (very badly) every word to This is Halloween, that’s how obsessed I’ve been with this movie!

Harry Potter

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I am one of those people who hasn’t actually watched the Harry Potter movies. I’m pretty sure I watched the first one and the eighth one and since I love the books so much, I think it’s time that I give the movies a try too!

The Addams Family

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Oh boy, I could talk about The Addams Family for years and years and not get bored. I watched the cartoon growing up and then I began watching the movies and I would really like to revisit the movies this October. Plus I have the biggest crush on Morticia.

Ghost Ship

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I actually watched this movie for the first time this year and I completely loved it, despite the obviously low budget, slightly weird characters and cheap scare tactics. I really think I liked it solely because of the soundtrack, the cheap scare tactics and the ending.

Carrie

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I vaguely remember watching this movie at a sleepover back when I was a teenager but since I only remember that one gruesome part, I would like to rewatch it again this month.

Scream

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Another one of those movies I watched at a sleepover when I was thirteen or fourteen years old that I would like to watch again.

So here it is, my list of Halloween movies! I was going to add The Grudge to this list but I value my sleep so better not. What are your favourite autumn/Halloween movies? Thanks a lot for reading and make sure to check out my last blog post which is my September playlist!

With love,

Sonny xx

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Chrome Extensions I Find Useful

Inspired by Rowena Tsai’s video (I’ll link her video at the end of this post) on the Chrome extensions she finds useful, I decided to take a look at my own extensions and how I use them to boost my productivity. Now, I realize that this blog post might be a bit niche but as someone who is constantly using her laptop for all kinds of things; university, this blog, writing and reading, I like geeking out about things that make my laptop work better. So while I learnt about a couple of extensions from Rowena which I began enjoying as of late, I am not going to talk about those because I don’t have a well-developed impression of them.

The first extension I find useful is Grammarly. I have been using this extension for a while now since college actually. I have always been proud of my spelling and grammar, especially because English is not my first language, however, we all make mistakes and as someone who studies literature and whose passion is writing stories, Grammarly is so helpful. Grammarly is an extension which corrects your spelling and grammar mistakes and tells you why your original text is wrong.

The second extension I find useful is Forest. Forest is an extension that blocks sites you don’t want to utilise (such as YouTube, Netflix, Twitch, etc.) for a specified amount of time. When the timer goes off you have a pretty tree in your little garden and coins which you can spend on more pretty trees. If you decide to use the sites that cause you to get distracted anyway, you tree dies and leaves an ugly dead tree in your little garden. This is especially useful for me when I’m reading for my classes, writing assignments and writing for my stories. Whenever I run out of ideas for my stories or the reading material is giving me a headache, I immediately run to YouTube so this extension is super useful to keep me focused and on track.

The third extension I find useful is AdBlock which is pretty self-explanatory. I personally find it hard focusing on articles I’m reading and even when I watch videos because ads are constantly blinking in my face. Not to mention all the ‘indecent’ ads that pop out of nowhere.

Lastly, the extension I’ve had for the longest time is Momentum. I don’t really use this one is for productivity reason but rather because it looks nicer than the usual Google search bar and all the bookmarks under it. It also has a to-do list and really beautiful pictures so that’s a bonus!

So here it is, my favourite Chrome extensions! I hope you found these useful or even just a little interesting. Thanks a lot for reading and make sure to check out my last blog post!

What are your favourite Chrome extensions, do you even use extensions?

With love,

Sonny xx

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Using YouTube for Escapism + 3 Favourite Youtubers

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          Like many other people, I too, am obsessed with YouTube. It started sometime in 2011, this obsession of mine and changed slightly over the years. I am the kind of person who is so awfully aware of everything I do and why I do it so I realized that the reason why I started watching YouTube back in 2011 was because it was so new and interesting, the connection between creator and viewer seemed personal. Then every YouTuber and their mother started putting out merch, they started doing weird tags and challenges and there was no creativity on YouTube anymore. Of course, I don’t really mind or care that these YouTubers turned their channels into businesses, everybody has to make money, but personally, I am not a big fan of tag videos or the Q&A format. But the more I watched YouTube the more I grew accustomed to this content and started watching it mindlessly. Watching the same content over and over made it easy for my brain to switch off and use YouTube as a form of escapism. It was no longer relatable, just a way for me to stop thinking for a damn minute.

          Again, I am a very painfully aware person. I know I use media as a form of escapism and that it really doesn’t do much good for my mental health, but that’s the fun part of being a teenager/young adult, I grew up mindlessly watching content I didn’t care for without realizing that this is a habit that will be so hard to kick. I started being interested in the idea of self-improvement back in college. I was having a hard time focusing and being generally happy and I just wanted to feel good about myself for once so of course, I went to YouTube. I looked up basic words like self-care and self-improvement and I spent hours, days and weeks just mindlessly watching these videos. They were different from what I was used to, British YouTubers doing absolutely nothing but showing off. These videos were inspirational and made me want to become better, but as I said earlier, using YouTube as a form of escapism is a habit that’s very hard to kick. I had to actively think about my reasons for watching these inspirational videos and motivate myself to get up and put them into practice.

          I’m not going to lie and say I completely changed. I didn’t, I still watched YouTube mindlessly (I binge watched Dan and Phil’s Undertale series at least 10 times, not to mention all the Sims 4 let’s plays I’m still obsessed with) and I will probably always do that to some extent. But at the same time, I learnt to take a step back and spend some time in the present. I started following YouTubers whos content matched my goals and slowly started changing my routines, habits and outlook for the better.

          Without further ado, these are my three (current) favourite YouTubers. I will link all their channels at the end of this post.

Kalyn Nicholson

          Kalyn was one of the first lifestyle YouTubers I followed back in college and I can safely say that she honestly changed my life for the better. At first, I watched her content because I was desperate for a change but slowly came to love her personality and her outlook on life. She began changing her content last year and now makes videos on spirituality, being happy yet she still makes those lifestyle videos I originally fell in love with. She makes videos like ‘coffee talks’ (as videos and podcasts) which are basically advice videos, rosé rambles where she talks honestly about her life, GYST videos which are basically videos of her getting her sh*t together and so many more. She makes me want to travel and allow myself to be in touch with my spirituality. 

          Content: Lifestyle, spirituality, personal development

Rowena Tsai

          I started watching Rowena sometime last year when I was going through a slump. As I do, I found one of her videos in my recommended section and I completely fell in love with her message. She’s not militant, in fact, I like how she’s not afraid of her own slumps yet she always gets back up. Rowena is that person who’s videos I can watch and they instantly make me feel less shitty about myself. Plus her voice is very calming.

          Content: Self-care, personal development, life advice

Madeleine Olivia

          Madeleine’s videos are my latest obsession. I started watching her two months ago when I went fully vegan and I haven’t stopped since. Madeleine’s videos focus on veganism made easy, minimalism, self-care and living an ethical life. Basically all the things I aspire to be good at. She helped me a lot in feeling more comfortable as a vegan, I don’t cook very well but she made everything so easy. I have also started watching her minimalism series and while I really like the idea, I am also a bit of a maximalist (is that even a thing?)

          Content: Veganism, Minimalism, Ethical Living

          So here it is, an explanation of how I used YouTube and social media as a form of escapism and how I’m working on changing that as well as my top three favourite YouTubers. Feel free to let know who your favourite YouTubers are and make sure to check out my last blog post which is a list of my seven favourites Monsta X songs. Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!

          With love,

          Sonny xx

 

Kalyn Nicholson’s Channel

Rowena Tsai’s Channel

Madeleine Olivia’s Channel