Monday, December 14, 2020

Kdrama Review: Tale of the Nine-Tailed

 Drama: Tale of the Nine-Tailed

 Genre: Fantasy/Horror

Starring: Kim Dong Wook, Jo Bo Ah, Kim Bum

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ 

Everyone was talking about this one so of course I had join in the buzz. I caught up pretty quickly and it was fun to watch the crazy finale about the same time everyone else was!

This is based on the Korean legend of nine tailed foxes (though I always though they were women, but what do I know?) And our lead guy is one of these foxes, with lots of power and magic and he's ruled the forest in the past and now he is wandering the human world trying to find his first love.

Yes, he was in love with a girl way back when but she died, and he is convinced she will be reborn again and he is determined to find her.  

And so then this girl enters into his life that he thinks might be her, but he is not at first convinced. But of course she is... and then she starts to remember her past life and that's when she is all... WHAT THE HECK!! 

Meanwhile, she ends up getting contaminated by a monster (another legend I'm assuming) called Imugi, who wants revenge on our fox dude. And he is going to use the girl to get it. 

WAH, things get complicated! It's a crazy detailed plot with magic, and horror elements. Lots of comedy and romance too. So much. It has it all.

The brothers, fighting for their lives during the zombie scene!

The side characters are awesome. Our dude has a brother who is half nine-tailed fox and he is quite the intense dude! At first we don't really know if he loves or hates his brother, but in the end, this relationship drives the show and is even better than the main romance. I cried a lot when he comes to these two. And the dude that played him was absolutely fantastic... and even though our main guy is played by a very famous actor, I think lots of people actually watched it to see this actor play the brother. (He's from the very famous beloved and not so beloved drama Boys Over Flowers.) 

Anyway, I would go so far as to say he stole the show. Wow. Crazy good!

Kim Bum as the brother that we all fell for!

And then, there's the dude who played the Imugi guy... what a beautiful villain he was! He also blew me away with his acting and I need to look up what else he's done. So good.... the villain you hate and love at the same time. But dang, he is a ruthless villain! And all with a smirky smarmy swoony smile. LOL.

Lee Tae Ri as the beautiful and very scary villain.

So yeah, I pretty much loved this one. What was there not to love? It has everything!

Here's the trailer:

And wow I loved so much music from this one... how to pick one to share! How about Shownu's ballad? It gives me chills.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Book Review: Thorn by Intisar Khanani

 Book: Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: ★ ★ 

This is quite the fun retelling of Goose Girl. The story opens when our girl is getting betrothed to the prince in the neighboring kingdom, who she of course doesn't know, but she is actually quite happy to go away because her own people in her kingdom treat her like crap, especially her brother who has abused her all these years. So she is actually kind of excited to be leaving.

She has a companion girl going with her, this girl wants to take revenge on our girl, and that opportunity comes when a sorcerous wants to use the situation to get back at the king and the prince. So, as you might remember from the fairy tale, she switches their bodies, and the companion is now the one going to get married and our girl ends up becoming the goose girl and the stable girl for the castle.

She actually loves this life and makes all sorts of friends, but she needs to warn the prince of this magic lady who wants to kill him. But how to do that? Hmmm....

Anyway, and so it goes and there's lots of crazy things that happen and great characters and mystery and... yeah...  it's pretty good all in all. It bogged for a me in parts, but I really quite enjoyed it. 

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Kdrama Review: More Than Friends

 Drama: More Than Friends

Genre: Romance

Starring: Ong Seong Wu, Shin Ye Eun, Kim Dong Jun, P.O

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤

This is a drama about a group of friends all struggling with their relationship statuses. One girl has been with her boyfriend for ten years and he's ready to get married, but she doesn't really want to, especially after her mom gets sick. One girl hasn't really been in a relationship and she thinks no one likes her, but then a dude likes her and she is all happy until.. well... stuff happens. And the guy who really likes her has been just right there all along. 

And then our main girl, she has loved the guy from high school all these ten years, but he told her he only thinks of her as a friend... which makes her sad, so she jumps in and out of relationships like crazy. Then one day the guy appears on the scene again, and she is fighting not to like him all over again. And this time it's a bit different, because he actually likes her too he's decided.

And there's a really cute second male lead CEO who is falls for our main girl and is going to treat her so good! But she is still pining for the other guy... the one who is all... yeah... we're just friends. Except he is, like I said, also now confused on that issue.

Anyway, it was cute sometimes, but mostly the back and forthing and wishy washy-ness of all these characters sort of made me crazy. About the middle I was just like... GUYS figure this out already! AH!! 

The story that made me most crazy was the girl who wouldn't get married. Her dude was THE BEST GUY ever... and she just blows him off because... "I'm struggling and I don't want to bring you into my struggles." Ugh. 

Anyway, when our main guy starts to come around, then all his cuteness comes out (because I watched this drama for his cuteness which I am familiar with from other places). But wow, when he is ornery, he can really be ornery too!

Also P.O from Block B played the friend who wants to be more than friends with the second girl... and he is absolutely adorable, as expected. Love him so much!

So bottom line, this one was fun and good but just really okay. Not one that blew me away or anything like dramas usually tend to do!

Here's a trailer (well several trailers in one actually):

And here's the really nice song sung by our lead dude himself (Ong Seong Wu) since he's an amazing singer... and this song ended up on my favorite drama songs of the year. 

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Reading Recap November 2020


I need a new mask....

Well, I thought I was reading a lot this month, but I still only got through two books. Sigh. 

Layoverland by Gabby Noone: What happens if when you die you end up in a layover on your way to where ever you've been assigned? Because you have unresolved issues to work out first. 

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern: A beautifully lyrical story about layers of worlds underneath the world we know.

Favorite: By far my favorite was The Starless Sea. I just really enjoy the storytelling and writing with this author!

Plans for December:

  • Read Daisy Jones and the Six for book club
  • Get to the ARCs I still need to read!
  • Continue to the Beehive long list reading!
  • See if I can make my Goodreads goal? I think I'll probably miss this by only a couple books. Sigh.

How's everyone else doing? Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one reading these days, even the little bit I'm doing. Even book club isn't reading any more really. Man I miss the comradery that we used to have in the book blogging world. Where is everyone? I need to find you all again!

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

2020 in Kpop

 I'm working on a bunch of different year-end videos to show how we've survived this year thanks to kpop. Here's the first one which is fast clips of a bunch of favorite moments from music videos from this year. Check it out! Maybe there's a moment you'll love too!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Book Review: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

 Book: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Genre: Magic realism

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

As with all magic realism books, sometimes I have a hard time wrapping my head around what's going on, because it can all be very confusing. This book is no exception to this, but the thing is.. I didn't care! Because everything is just so beautiful and poetic and romantic and... just... cool. Pretty sure I'm not going to be able to find words to describe this one!

We have our guy Zachary, who is a book nerd type minding his own business at college, when one day he finds a book in the library. The first weird thing happens when he tries to check it out and they have no record of the book, so that's weird. But they let him take it and then the second weird thing happens when he's reading and he realizes he is in the book. It talks about a time when he was a kid and he saw a door painted on the side of a wall, and he didn't take hold of the knob and open it. 

And then the story ends with the words "not yet." 

And that "not yet" haunts him and he becomes obsessed trying to figure out where this book came from and why he is in the story. If he needs to find and open that door. This leads him to attend a literary costume party where he meets a girl dressed up like Max from Where the Wild Things Are... and he meets a dude who tells him a story in the dark... and afterwards he is entrusted to the task of trying to reclaim yet another book for this dude... and then he finds himself totally mixed up in a fantastical magical world that all takes place deep deep in the Earth.

Which is where the Starless Sea can be found of course.

And it's down there in this world that he discovers all sorts of interesting and crazy stories, and stories within stories, and layers upon layers. It's really quite a beautiful word, full of books, and cats, and food, and art and very romantic beautiful people. 

I'm still not sure if there was supposed to be a point to this book. If all these things were a symbolism for something. If so, it went over my head, but like I didn't matter. I totally enjoyed this journey.

I will add that the structure of the book is fun. There are five or six parts, each one features a different book that Zachary happens upon, so we get that book's story, told in between Zachary's story. And in the end we see how they all come together. Very fun.

I think if you are a fan of her previous book, The Night Circus, you really must read this one too. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Kdrama Review: Kiss Goblin

 Drama: Kiss Goblin

Genre: Fantasy romance

Starring: Bae In Hyuk, Jeon Hye Won

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I saw someone recommend this one and it looked fun and fast, so I watched it in just a couple of sittings. It's 12 episodes, only 10 to 15 minutes each, which means this is more like watching a movie than a drama. I watched it on Viki, but pretty sure it's on Youtube too. 

It's about a dude who is a goblin and he wants to be human. In order to do this, he has to kiss 10 people at which point, he will gain a new emotion that he must learn and process. After he passes the test, he can become human.

Our girl is sick of people. She works at a cafe and everyone is rude and obnoxious. And she has just suffered a not so nice breakup. And she is just done. And says over and over again that she hates people. 

Their stories come together when she happens to be nearby after he kisses someone. Suddenly an exorcist appears whose job it is to kill off the goblins and protect the humans. When she gets in the way of this and they realize he can't hurt her, she decides she wants to protect this dude who she is suddenly attracted to and feels very protective of. 

And so it goes from there! 

Very cute and fun. Lots of kissing of course. And an impressive quick attachment to characters in such a short time. Just what I love. And it's especially fun to watch the goblin character go from very emotionless to experiencing all the emotions. 

Here's the fun scene when they realize she can protect him:

And here's the song with clips! 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Book Review: Layoverland by Gabby Noone

 Book: Layoverland by Gabby Noone

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating:  ★ ★ 

This one has the fun premise that what happens if you die, and end up in a layover situation where you have to solve some of your issues before you can go on to... wherever you've been assigned... heaven or hell. 

Our girl has this very thing happen to her! She is killed in a car accident in the opening pages of the book, and ends up in what appears to be a very run down, drab, slow, monotonous airport/hotel place. She quickly learns this is Layoverland, and she has been assigned the job to help people go through their memories to figure why they are stuck in in Layoverland. She gets trained by a fun crazy girl (who died in the 80s) who is excited to be finally done with her quota so she can move on. Now it's our girl's turn to get her quota accomplished.

It's very fun and witty for the most part, but in other parts it flipped to be a bit on the agenda-y side. At the moment, I can't even remember what those bits were, but I do remember being pulled out of the story a little. You know what I mean, yes?

But I did enjoy the funny moments and the quirkiness of the characters and the idea of trying to figure out what bugged you in your life so you can deal with it and move on. 

Monday, November 9, 2020

Reading Recap October 2020


Hiking with family at Zions for a fun fall getaway.

It wasn't a bad reading month this time around! Whatdaya know!

Here's my list:

Key to My Heart (An Idol in Love Book 4) by Trish Milburn: Yet another dude from SBG finds a girl and falls in love! 

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman: There's a world under London that is crazy! 

Miracle Creek Christmas by Krista Lynne Jensen: Our girl moves to a small town in the mountains and falls in love with an injured fire fighter.

Frankly in Love by David Yoon: Our main characters are trying to deal with being Korean American and all the baggage that comes with that. 

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater: A first in a series featuring the Lynch brothers that we got to know in the Raven Boys series. 

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord: A nasty Twitter war happens between a famous burger chain and a local sandwich deli... and our main characters are the ones behind the tweets!  

Favorites: Tweet Cute

Goals for November:

  • Read The Starless Sea for book club
  • keep working on Beehive long list books
  • do some more ARC that need reviewing

I don't think my November will look as good as my October!

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Book Review: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Book: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Genre: YA contemporary

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

So yeah, this is totally my kind of book. I really really enjoyed it, everything about it. 

A quick summary: We've got our girl whose family runs a very popular famous burger store... and our guy whose family runs a tiny local deli. When the burger people tweet that they are doing a new grilled cheese sandwich, the deli store gets upset because it appears to be a recipe someone stole from them!

And so a twitter war ensues. And our guy and our girl are the ones doing the tweets. But they don't know that each of them are... until they do of course.

Meanwhile, they are getting to know each other at school and they are intrigued. Our girl has always thought the guy was just a doofus goof off, but she is starting to learn otherwise. Our guy has thought the girl was just a "robot" going through all the motions and blending in way too well for a new girl... but he is starting to learn otherwise.

Yeah, it's one of THOSE kinds of stories! 

Scattered throughout are awesome descriptions of crazy baking things our girl comes up with... because she also runs a baking blog with her sister. And wow, but I wanted recipes to be included! Even though there is no way I could ever eat this stuff and stay on my dumb diet! 

So yeah...there's lots of underlying craziness and interesting twists to go along with this basic story. And I loved it. The banter, the social media aspects, the food... everything. So much fun.

And relatively clean too. Sheesh, I feel like YA books these days think they need ALL THE THINGS to make it... I don't know... competitive? Edgy? Relevant? Whatever. This one didn't need it and I especially loved that about it. 

Friday, November 6, 2020

Kdrama Review: Twenty Twenty

Drama: Twenty Twenty (link to first ep on YouTube if you're interested!)

Genre: coming of age web drama

Starring: Kim Wooseok, Han Sungmin, Kang Yuchan, Park Sangnam, Jin Hoeun, Chae Wonbin

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

So, I watched this for my two idol boys of course, Wooseok and Yuchan. Wooseok plays the main lead, with kissing scenes and everything! GASP! I wasn't sure what to expect of his acting (this is a dude who I've actually met in real life and have a certain preconceived notion as to what his personality is like... which is quite reserved and shy) but he was awesome in this!

The story is about a bunch of college kids (first year in college I think?) and they are trying to navigate the waters of growing up... of separating from their parents and becoming their own persons. Our dude is very emo (and yes this fits Wooseok totally!) and he is bugged at his parents for deceiving him when he was younger about their relationship. He trusts them not at all... and he's moved out and living on his own and trying to make a push for getting started in the music business. (LOL) 

 Woosoek (from UP10TION) plays the main lead Lee Hyunjin

He's friends with a couple of other guys, his sidekicks. Chan plays one of these guys and can I just say... I was BLOWN AWAY by this kid's acting! Who knew he was so good? He's absolutely hilarious! He has the comic timing down perfectly. He was pure joy to watch. 

                                        Yuchan (aka. Chan from A.C.E) plays the funny sidekick friend.

Our girl is living with her mom who is EXTREMELY controlling and all she wants to do is to be able to like... go out with friends now and then. But then when she meets our guy, she wants to like, hang out with him just a bit. You know? Not too much to ask.

Anyway, they do manage to get together, which really makes another dude who has hung out with our girl forever, really jealous.... and he thinks they are thing, when she only thinks of him as a friend. He was so nice at first, and then a demon comes out. Sad!

And so it goes. Just a normal coming of age everyday story about college kids. There are a ton of cameos by other familiar faces (the best is when Chan's band member Jun shows up as a snooty brainiac...the best!) 

I watched this on one YouTube... there are 20, twenty minute episodes, so it goes really fast. There's some language thrown in here and there (and yes I've finally figured out THAT word in Korean, so I know when they are actually saying it and when they aren't, because you can't trust subtitles... and yes, I think they actually say it here and there... CHAN... WHAT??? Sigh....)

Anyway, I quite enjoyed it. There's a great song performance at the end of course. And I loved seeing these two guys together. So fun.

Here's a little trailer:

And the OST (soundtrack) song done by another favorite group: Pentagon

And here's Chan singing (he's the blond... and this was years ago when he was still a baby!) He is crazy good.

And here's Wooseok's solo video from awhile back....also crazy good.

Yeah. A couple favorite kpop boys right there. So I had to support them in their drama project! I can't wait for more from both of them!

Thursday, November 5, 2020

TV Review: Down to Earth with Zac Efron

 Show: Down To Earth

Genre: Travel, Health, Food

Starring: Zac Efron, Darin Olien

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I kept seeing this one show up Netflix recommended and finally my husband and I decided to watch it together. And it was really fun!

Zac pairs up with a podcast friend of his (Darin) and they go around to different parts of the world looking for fun and and cool things people are doing to be health and environmentally aware. We learn about apples and water and how to live longer and other such things.

It's a mix of health stuff (we learn that the people in Italy are healthy by... gasp.... EATING CARBS!) and food stuff (we go to tons of quaint restaurants and make pasta and eat weird things... and milk goats as you can see above) and we travel to places like Paris, Italy, in the middle of the Amazon jungle, Puerto Rico, Iceland and etc. 

It's all very fun and interesting and eye opening and informing. Zac is quite fun... and dare I say it... down to earth. For being such a huge star, he seems really quite grounded. I've always been a fan of his, I have no idea why... and so it was fun seeing him in this sort of setting. 

There's just like 8 episodes I think, all about 45 min long.. so it was a pretty fast endeavor. We are glad we finally hit the button and watched!

(It's been awhile since we've watched something together and this made us appreciate that again. Since we've finished this one, we've started in on The Great British Baking Show, which we've seen so many rave about. And now I'm looking for other fun shoes we can watch together.)

Here's a trailer to peak your interest!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Book Review: Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Book: Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA urban fantasy

Rating: ★ ★ ★

I knew nothing about this book and just jumped in and started reading. It was weird because these characters seemed so familiar! And I was like...what is this?? It took me TWO chapters to figure out that this was in fact a companion series to one of my favorites from the past... The Raven Boys! Who knew!

(Yeah, I'm a bit out of the book loop these days, but I'll come around!)

Anyway, once I figured it out, everything suddenly made more sense!

So in this book we are with the Lynch brothers.. starring Ronan, who, as we remember has dreams that are a bit crazy in that when he wakes up he sometimes brings his dream things back with him. Which is sometimes cool and sometimes not so great. 

We meet another dreamer in this story, Jordan, who has the problem that she dreams up a copy of herself every time she dreams. So she is basically dying because she refuses to sleep. Meanwhile she lives with all her clones forging paintings for a living. And since the Lynch brothers are trying to track down one of their father's paintings, eventually these two stories converge. 

And we also meet another character who is part of an organization that is out to save the world by killing all the dreamers. And they are doing that will the help of people who are visionaries and can track down the dreamers. She is conflicted and thinks that maybe there is a better way. This part of the story is kinda heart wrenching to say the least. 

This is one of these books were it was both fascinating and confusing at the same time. I really love this author's writing style, but it does sometimes leave me going... wait what? I don't get it! You know what I mean? 

The things that happen are so crazy! It's all very imaginative (like how do people come up with these things?) and I appreciate that, but also sometimes I'm like...yeah... wait what? 

So... yeah... it's a confusing review. I really enjoyed it, and loved being with these characters again, but I had to make myself read it and get through it. And dang it if it didn't end on a crazy cliff hanger and now I will have to decide do I read the next one?? AHH!!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Kdrama Review: Do You Like Brahms?

Drama: Do You Like Brahms?

Genre: melodrama romance

Starring: Park Eun Bin, Kim Min Jae, Park Ji Hyun

Rating:  ❤ ❤ ❤ 

This was the drama that got me to give in and buy the PLUS pass over there at Viki. Gah. I didn't want to give in but I wanted to watch this drama so bad...and I was sick of going to watch a drama and having it be for only plus pass members. So... I did it.

That being said, I'm not sure this drama was worth it. I guess I expected too much this time around. I expected it to be slow and heart warming and calm and sweet. It was slow for sure... a little TOO slow. But it was filled with much more angst and not so much the sweetness as I expected. And I thought it would be WAY more romantic than it was. (It probably didn't help that I was watching it in conjunction with Angle's Last Mission, which if you read that review, I deemed it one of the most romantic dramas I've seen so far! Probably not fair to this one!)

Anyway, this one is about a girl who is trying desperately to be a great violin player. She's really struggling. She's just not as good as she would like to be. And everyone in her life is very discouraging. And it's about a guy who is a prodigy piano player, and very famous, but he's sick of it and has hit a sort of wall. And then the two of them meet. And they fall for each other pretty fast, but things are complicated with other people in their life... and it's not as simple as AH, let's be together! Sigh. 

It was kinda cute for a minute how awkward they were with each other. But after awhile I wanted them to get over it... lol. And they were so formal with each other... the ENTIRE drama. I thought that after awhile couples usually get a little more relaxed, but not these guys! However, there WAS an awesome kiss. 

So yeah, I got frustrated with some of the characters that made me crazy. And about half way through I just wanted it over, which is very unusual for me where dramas are concerned. 

I did really enjoy Kim Minjae in this leading role though. And wanted to know if he was really playing the piano. My guess is... maybe a little, but not for really. I don't think the girl was really playing the violin for sure. It really would have been cool though. There was a lot of classical music moments in this one that I enjoyed, but it did add to the slowing down of things a lot too.

Here's a trailer:

And a song by the one and only Baekhyun:

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Kdrama Review: Angel's Last Mission: Love

 Drama: Angel's Last Mission: Love

Genre: romantic comedy drama

Starring: Kim Myungsoo, Shin Hyesun, Lee Donggun

Rating:  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

This one was pretty popular last year, but I just never got around to watching it. When I continued seeing people rave about it this year, I decided it was finally time. Besides, I missed Kim Myungsoo and needed him in my life again. And this was a GREAT choice for that!

So this one is about a dude who is an angel... sort of a misbehaving one because he always breaks the rules. And so when he saves a girl from dying he is really in trouble and is given a mission as a sort of punishment. And the mission is to be in her life and help her find love. Because she is really bitter and ornery and grouchy due to lots of crap she's had to deal with in life.

Let's sum up her life: she's a very famous ballerina but was blinded in an accident on stage and hasn't danced since. The accident from which the angel saved her killed her secretary... her only confidant and friend. Her parents were killed when she was a kid and her only family are out to sabotage everything around her. Basically, life sucks and she is very bitter. So of course, no one is going to love her because of it.

And I'm sure you can guess what happens. Are angel's allowed to love humans? OF COURSE NOT! But will that stop our cute and adorable angel... OF COURSE NOT!

Guys, this is probably one of the MOST romantic dramas I've seen yet. Or at least in the top of my favorite romantic ones! But EVERYTHING is against these guys. And it's very heart wrenching!

One of the things I kept hearing about this one is the music. And it's true, the music did not disappoint. I've added so many songs to my drama playlist! All of them so emotional and beautiful.

As  mentioned, Kim Myungsoo (also known as L from the kpop band Infinite)  was awesome in this. I love his acting. And our girl played by Shin Hyesun (who I loved in 30 But 17) was also amazing. The whole thing is so very well acted. 

Yeah. I pretty much loved it.

Here's a video with three trailers:

And the song that especially stands out:

Friday, October 16, 2020

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

 Book: Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Genre: YA contemporary

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

This is the story of Frank Li (frankly... get it?) who is dealing with the dilemma of being Korean, but also being American. He has Korean parents who have come over to the US to live the good life here. They run a store and all is well, and yet... it is not. Frank, as many kids do, feels torn between the two cultures. 

They have "gatherings" with other Koreans in the area, his parents friends, and he has grown up bonding with the kids... who he calls the Limbos. They understand each other well, experiencing all these same things. And yet they are only friends at the gatherings.

He has to deal with the racism by people toward him, but also with the racism his parents have toward others. And when he falls in love with a white girl from school, he decides to hide this from his parents, especially considering what happened with his sister. (She married a black guy and his parents disowned her.)

In order to "hide" his girlfriend, he and one of the other "limbos" decide to fake a relationship. Because their parents are SO HAPPY at the idea that THEY are dating. Yeah. 

And then everything just really gets messed up and complicated!

Meanwhile, he's trying to bond with his dad, and that also gets messed up and complicated. 

It's such a heartfelt book...very funny in parts, very sad in other parts. It covers all the range of emotions for sure. I loved his parents...and fell for them hard despite their issues. Of course I loved seeing the Korean culture so readily displayed, and I even learned more Korean! Bad words even! LOL!

Yeah, this book has quite a pile of cursing. As I've mentioned before, I can usually handle it, if the character seems to warrant it. But sometimes I felt like it was way over the top for these characters. Almost like they were trying to prove their American-ness or something. Sigh. 

But despite that, I really enjoyed this one. I wanted all the best for the characters. I got weepy at the end. I ached and rejoiced with everyone!

(PS. I tried to picture one of my kpop idols in the lead role, but alas, it didn't work. Frank just took on his own form. Speaking of, kpop and kdrama and other such things were mentioned here and there in this book, but still in a degrading way I felt. Maybe I'm just defensive, but why can't people mention this stuff without putting it down? Why? I guess our character Frank didn't want people to think he would stoop so low as to enjoy this stuff himself. And our author probably looks down on it like everyone else. Whatever.)

(PPS. David Yoon is the husband of Nicola Yoon who wrote Everything, Everything, another very popular YA book. This is his first book.) 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

TV Review: Dispatches from Elswhere

Show: Dispatches from Elsewhere

Genre: drama

Starring: Jason Segel, Andre Benjamin, Eve Lindley, Sally Field, Richard Grant

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

We watched this a few months back and I just realized I never blogged about it and I wanted to! I should have written out my thoughts when they were fresh and clear, but now I have to remember them!

My son watched this, and has re-watched it several times and was quite smitten with the premise and the message and they way it really makes you think. So he compelled us to watch, so we could have some deep discussions, which we did. So, right off, if that's the sort of thing you enjoy doing... watching and then seeing watch discussions might come from it... this is definitely a good show to consider!

This show is written and produced and acted, and pretty much everything, by Jason Segel. He learned about something like this (a sort of reality game adventure) that happened in real life in California, and he was fascinated, so he wanted to create this show based on that.  (You can watch an interview all about that here.)

Basically, the premise is that everyday people are brought together by some strange entity that presents them with a mystery they need to solve. It's all so intriguing that the people get VERY into it and sort of takes over their lives. Our little team of four is made up of a dude who is lonely, living a very boring life and doesn't really even know what he likes... and tall pretty insecure girl who looks outwardly confident, but is inwardly really struggling.... and older sweet grandma type...and then the dude who really takes this very seriously and becomes totally immersed. (Well, in they end they all do of course!)

There's actually really no way to describe this show. We follow these four as they go on the journey to solve the mystery, and how in the end it's  MUCH  MUCH more. It's more about a journey of self discovery. But also of looking beyond yourself, and actually seeing others. And of realizing that we are all the same... we are all different yes, but also, all the same. It's really quite powerful in its presentation. I remember it ended by pounding the idea of... "I am you" into our heads. Which I loved. 

It also has quite the crazy twist at the end, which of course I can't discuss now... but seriously. It takes in all sorts of unexpected directions. And... like I said above... makes you really think and then want to talk about it. Which is a really cool thing.

And as always, I loved the music. Check that out on Spotify here.

Have any of you watched this? What were your feelings about it?

Here's a trailer for the series that will hopefully entice you to check it out much better than my words will!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Book Review: Miracle Creek Christmas by Krista Jensen

 Book: Miracle Creek Christmas by Krista Jensen

Genre: romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

As you know, I love this Proper Romance line that Shadow Mountain puts out. And this book is no exception. A very fun, and proper romance!

We have our girl, who is new in town, working as the art teacher. And hoping to forget her former life. And our dude, who is a firefighter, recently recovering from being burned in a terrible forest fire. He's a hero in the community, but feels far from it. He wants to hide his scars and retreat from everyone. 

But when he notices that our girl paints very similar to his mom who died when he was a kid, he wants to commission her to paint something for his dad as a Christmas present. 

Their first meeting is hilarious. And from there, things become a fun banter between the two of them, and before he knows it, he is forgetting about his scars. And trying to help her heal her own emotional scars. 

And yet, are either of them actually ready for a relationship?  

It's a fun simple sweet story and I loved it. Others have said this, but I have to agree with them... this one would really make a great Hallmark Christmas movie. I predict that it will end up there some day! So if you love that sort of thing, this book is for you!

Thanks to Shadow Mountain for sending me this book to review. I've currently got quite a pile waiting for their turn so be prepared for more to come!

Here's a cute little trailer if you are interested:

And more about the author:

 Krista writes contemporary romance, historical romance, and fantasy. She has lived in lush Oregon and rugged Wyoming, but Washington is her beloved home state. She likes to choose familiar settings for her stories and is grateful to have such inspirational places to choose from. She is a mother of six, gramma of three, a gardener and cook, loves to travel, laugh, and hike, and lives to make the best of what she’s been given. Find her on Instagram @kristajensenbooks

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Book Review: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

 Book: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Genre: Urban fantasy

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

This lucky book was chosen for our book club's October read. We will be discussing it later this week. I've read a handful of Neil Gaiman books, mostly his books for kids, so it was fun for me to finally read one of his other very popular novels. 

This is the story of an ordinary dude, living his ordinary life, going happily along with everything, when suddenly a girl literally falls into his life and his whole world changes. 

This girl is running away from sinister enemies in the underworld. When she falls into our dude's life, she is barely alive. He can't just walk on by, so he picks her up and helps her. In so doing, something flips in his world, and he ends up having to join her world.

That's when he discovers there's a whole other world BELOW London. A world where rats are revered, where magic is real, where beasts and angels and demons exists. He goes on a journey with this girl and her other friends in order to discover who is behind the murder of her family. He hopes that once they accomplish this, even though he is bonding quite quickly with these new people in his life, he will also be able to return to his normal, everyday, regular life.

It's so very fun and imaginative and crazy and adventurous! There's one thing after another and never a down moment. The characters are quirky and eccentric and awesome. I was intrigued throughout. 

It's a pretty great book for October reading, though I didn't find it scary really... however, there is a lot of violence and such, so beware that if you are triggered. Mostly, it's so very fantastical that I found it just fun and not so very disturbing. Mostly. 

Let me know if you've read this one and what you thought of it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Book Review: Key to My Heart (Idol in Love #4) by Trish Milburn

 Book: Key to My Heart (Idol in Love #4) by Trish Milburn

Genre: Kpop romance

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★

I just really enjoy this fun series a lot. If you haven't been paying attention, the whole series follows the activities of a fictional kpop group, SBG, and each book features a different member of the band, and how he finds love. This is quite the revolutionary idea in the land of kpop since most kpop idols don't really get to date and fall in love. And if they do, it's very much in secret, and if that secret comes out, they get crap by the "fans" who are bothered by the idea. And if they happen to actually get married (gasp) they REALLY get crap and even are sometimes kicked out of their group. 

I love that Trish is playing with this idea such that she is making it somewhat "normal" for the boys to find girlfriends and be happy and show that they are able to go on with their work as a kpop idol even so. 

In this instalment, we center on PK (Park Kwon) of SBG. He's the fun loving, flirting, happy go lucky, maknae (youngest member.) It's somewhat surprising to everyone, then, that he is suddenly struck by this girl he happens to meet. (Her friend actually writes him a letter inviting him to her birthday party, and he up and goes!) She runs a tour guide company and he suddenly ends up booking a tour and they spend several days together site seeing. Can you even imagine?? I love it. 

Of course, she is thinking this is not a great idea. Being the girlfriend of an idol has a lot of drawbacks. But maybe she will manage to overcome those? 

And he, while he isn't sure that he can actually succeed in a long term relationship, he might change his mind and do it anyway. Maybe? 

These books are very light and fluffy, but you know I'm loving that right now. I love how fun and clean and positive these stories are. I love how I can picture all this happening, and I can picture these boys and this group as if they were real. So much fun.

I have no idea who Trish pictured for the character of PK (I know she bases all her characters of a real life idol, which is so much fun!) but I sort of pictured a younger version of Eunhyuk from Super Junior. He's a very playful flirty type, with a big heart, and would fit this image really well.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Reading Recap: September 2020


Labor Day sunset

Books I read this month. Only three??? 

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer: Twilight told from Edward's point of view.

The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson: A look at all the fascinating this our bodies do to keep us alive.

Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds: A "groundhog day" like story where our guy gets to try over and over again to keep his girl from dying.

Favorite: I really enjoyed The Body, for something different and educational. Everyone, give it a go!

Goals for October:

  • kpop romance books! (One is already done, a couple still to go before I finish this series.)
  • The Toll... dang this book is being neglected. If I'd just get going again on it I'm sure I will finish it fast!
  • I've started Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman for book club. Intriguing so far. 
  • I'm starting the Beehive long list reading and have the first one here, ready to go! I love this time of year!

What was your favorite book you read this month?

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Book Review: Opposite of Always by Justin Reynolds

 Book: Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

Genre: YA Contemporary with some fantastical elements

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

This book has a Groundhog Day premise... where our main dude continuedly lives a period of four months, over and over again. He resets the day he meets the love of his life, Kate, and it ends a few days after she dies, four months later. He figures his mission is to stop her from dying, which turns out to be quite complicated.

But not only that, he must also figure out some issues with his best friends. He needs to help one deal with the return of his dad from jail. And he needs to come to terms with his own feelings about the other one. 

Every time these four months reset, he does something different, figures out new things, etc. which sometimes change things for the better, and sometimes for the worse.  

I really enjoyed the voice of this story... our dude was fun to get to know... over and over again. He's a great guy and we as readers are really rooting for him to figure this out in the end. It is never explained why this is happening to him, I guess that's beside the point for this particular story. It's just about getting second chances... over and over again, and what would you do if you could. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

It's All About Kdramas!


Hey everyone! I was on a podcast! Mark that one off the bucket list! LOL! My friend from book club hosts a lovely podcast all about the love of Hallmark movies (link to this Hallmarkies Podcast here!) and she thought it would be fun to have a little bonus episode about kdramas. I know their audience would totally love kdramas, so I jumped at this chance to talk them up! Here's hoping we drag in a few more fans!

Anyway, in preparation for the this, I asked a Facebook group I recently joined the question: Why do you like Kdramas, and what are some of your favorite tropes/themes? I thought it would be fun to share their responses:

Reasons We Love Kdramas:

  • show a more innocent lighthearted view of the world
  • short series... beginning, middle and end
  • escape from reality
  • dramatic and intense, but without gratuitous sex scenes
  • complete story arcs
  • amazing character growth
  • awesome story telling
  • so much content
  • universal stories told through the view of another culture
  • character and relationships are more part of the plot
  • romantic and sexual tension
  • like reading a book
  • doesn't depend on a shock factor
  • serious themes
  • smaller industry, familiar with actors
  • Korean culture
  • so romantic
  • original
  • funny
  • less foul language
  • slow burn romance, leading up to the kiss
  • men who wear their hearts on their sleeves
  • amazing music
  • 2 episodes each week
  • minimal drug usage
  • how to live well, or what it means to be human themes
  • children connected to parents theme, family values
  • beautiful actors
  • great writing, poetic
  • fun fashion
  • crazy good talent
  • still follow a moral code
  • consequences for bad behavior, rewards for good
  • positive and good outlook on life
  • depth
  • plot twists
  • easy to watch with your family
  • cinematography

Tropes, Themes and Genres We Love:
  • piggy back rides
  • enemies to lovers
  • poor girl/rich boy
  • wrist grabs
  • accidental kisses
  • evil mothers
  • secret births and secret identities
  • amnesia
  • childhood sweethearts/fated love
  • contract marriages
  • white truck of doom
  • wall push
  • hide in a small space
  • when the ML takes a bullet for the FL
  • ghosts
  • fantasy
  • body swaps
  • time travel
  • genderbending
  • love of books
  • relationships
  • clenched fists
  • drunken confessions
  • interfering parents
  • orphaned characters
  • going out to eat
  • tender face touches
  • treating wounds
  • stress nose bleeds
  • first love fate
  • revenge plots
  • rain and umbrellas
  • strong fighting girls
  • lawyer shows
  • psychological thrillers
  • hospital confessions
  • love triangles
There you have it! Almost every drama has an element of things of these lists. And we as viewers look forward to them and expect them. It's part of the experience. And we absolutely love it!

If you are looking for recommendations on where to start, I made another list:

Kdrama Recs from ones available on Netflix
(Some I've seen and loved, some I haven't yet but have heard a lot of buzz about)

Rom Coms
Cinderella and the Four Knights
Boys Over Flowers
Because This Is My First Life
My Shy Boss
When the Camellia Blooms
My First First Love

Rookie Historian
Mr. Sunshine
My Country
Chicago Typewriter

Suspense/Mystery/Crime Thrillers
The K2
Prison Playbook

A Korean Odyssey
Mystic Pop-up Bar
Memories of the Alhambra
Oh My Ghost

The King: Eternal Monarch
Itaewon Class
Crash Landing On You
Hospital Playlist
It's Okay to Not Be Okay
One Spring Night

And if you actually click and watch your very first drama, here are a few terms to get familiar with things. These are just a very few... this list could be huge if were to actually jump into teaching some Korean terms and words you'll hear. But this is a start!

Kdrama Terms and Korean Terms in Dramas
Sageuk: historical/period drama
OST: music from a drama
Noona romance: older girl/younger guy
CF: commercial film/advertisement
ML: male lead
FL: female lead
SL: second (male usually) lead
Second Lead Syndrome (SLS): having your heart break when the second lead doesn't get the girl
CCTV: Closed Captioned TV (always a factor in the crime dramas especially)
Oppa: what girls call their older brothers... and boyfriends
Noona: what boys call their older sisters
Hyung: what boys call their older brothers
Unni: what girls call their older sisters
Sunbae: senior 
Hoobae: junior
...nim: what you stick on the end of a name or title to show respect, formal (like sir/mam)
...shi: what you stick on the end of a name to show respect, less formal (like Mr/Mrs/Ms)
...ah/ya: what you stick on the end of a name to show closeness and endearment
Omo: Oh my!
Aigoo: Oh dear
Hwaiting/Fighting: Let's do this! You got this! Good luck! 

Hopefully, you'll be intrigued!

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Kdrama Review: I-Land

 Drama: I-Land

Genre: music survival show

Starring: 23 awesome boys, Rain, PD Bang, and a random appearance by BTS, TXT and SEVENTEEN!

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

(This review is not spoiler free for anyone who thinks they might watch this and don't want to know the ending!)

I'm counting this as a kdrama review because I watched it on Viki, it was FULL of drama and there's also, you know, that whole K (AHHH!!! double meaning!) element to it. 

In the kpop world there have been lots and lots of music survival shows... where they bring together a bunch of kids who compete to be in the group that is formed by the survivors of the show. I've never watched one in real time, only after the fact (years later sometimes) and already knowing who makes it. Most of the time I refuse to watch because I KNOW it's painful and ruthless and very very manipulated. 

Still, somehow I found myself watching this one, out of curiosity... quarantine opportunity (more time) and I guess a bit because it was being produced by Big Hit aka. BTS' company... which meant I knew it would be big and everyone would be talking about it, so I wanted to be part of the buzz.

So anyway, it's 12 episodes long... and the finale just aired live Saturday morning. I got up at 5 am to watch it live (8 pm on Korean TV). And wow... as expected. It was brutal and ruthless.

The gist of this show was bringing together 23 boys (I think it was meant to be 24 but someone dropped out just before it aired) from all over the world, some of them Big Hit trainees, some of them just barely started in the business... to compete to make a group of 7 boys by the end. This huge AMAZING set was created just for this show... complete with high tech stages, living quarters for the boys and everything you can imagine. Right off the bat it was crazy because the boys, the second they arrived, had to perform each other and vote whether they stayed or left! Only 12 could stay! 

Turns out that the ones that got voted "off" actually went to a different place and were still able to compete for a chance to get back "in."  They called that the Ground and they fought hard to get back to the I-Land. 

Throughout the episodes, they had missions and tests to complete... different styles of music to sing and perform. They worked together as teams most of the time, even though they were competing against each other. Positions constantly changed between who was I-land and who was Ground. They were mentored by big wigs in the business (Rain for one. And he was awesome.) Conflicts happened all the time, but mostly, they bonded tightly with each other and formed lasting friendships.

And we the viewers fell in love with every single one of them!

At the end of part 1 they eliminated half of the boys... and they were done with no chance to come back. At that point we the viewers were able to start voting... and then one by one, the remaining boys were eliminated according to that vote... and also according to the producers' decisions. Until Saturday morning at the finale and we were left with the final seven.

I rooted for  many of the boys (some who had to leave at the end of part 1 of course) and voted evenly for pretty much all of them. But there was one boy (named K, see picture above) who was just amazing and I thought he would for sure make it... he scored high constantly and seemed to be a producer favorite. But there at the end, they shocked us by choosing to NOT save him... and he got eliminated. It was devastating.

This is one of the iconic performances that brought K a lot of attention. He's the one with the especially floppy hair hanging in eyes. The one that waves to us all there at the end. The first song in this medley is Rainism, which they are performing for Rain himself. I can't even imagine.

And now I see why everyone moans about these shows so much! And yet continue to watch them! They are such a draw, full of emotion and talent, and character, and everything. But it's so hard to know that they are all so good and all have such dreams, but then don't get their big chance. So painful.

The hope is that the ones who don't make it end up getting nabbed by someone who was watching and has their eye on them... and they get their big break after all. Here's hoping. 

So.. yeah. My first experience watching one of these things and having my heart ripped out! A blast! It's going to take me awhile to get over it! And here's hoping I can be strong enough to not get sucked up into another one of these things!

For the finale they brought back ALL the boys to perform this, their signature song. It's been stuck in my head ever since. They all looks so amazing. 

And this is the final test the remaining nine had to perform. They look so good. After this, two of them (including K) were eliminated.

And now we are left with a new group to love. They are called Enhypen. A very strange name that hopefully I'll get used to soon!

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Book Review: The Body by Bill Bryson

 Book: The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

Genre: non-fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

This one was a book club read and I am actually surprised that the book club voted it in! A  hefty non-fiction? That's quite rare for us! But it was already on my shelf and I'm so glad to have had the push to actually read it, even though I was already intrigued enough to buy it. I started it late, with only about a five days before the book club deadline, and I read it fast and easy! How did that happen? 

Because, it was fascinating and kept me awake and interested, despite some detail that was very scientific and over my head. That's how! It was all just so fascinating.

Sadly, I didn't mark it up or take notes or stick post its in it to remember all the bits that really made me go... Oh really? And so writing a review is tricky because I can't list all these things. But just know, there were tons of them!

We learn a lot about the spreading of germs and viruses, which, as you might guess, is quite a timely subject. We go on a sort of journey through the body and learn how all the different thing work, eyes, ears, brain, heart, lungs, stomach etc... including all the organs we don't even know what they do. Everything! We are told stories along the way of strange and bizarre cases where people had really weird things go wrong. We are told about the scientists and doctors who studied all the different parts over the years, and about their breakthroughs and failures and crazy stories. We are told lots of crazy fascinating statistics and numbers that make us go WOW. And we are told many many scientific terms that is a lot to take in and process. 

All this with the humorous style that we should expect from a Bill Bryson book... and you'll know what I mean if you've read one. It's absolutely delightful. It makes me want to go and read every single one of his books. For real. He can make any subject interesting and relatable. I love that. I envy him his job and talent. How fun would this be? 

Let me give a little warning here though... if you are the type (like some people in my family) that will read something and then instantly think that you have that thing, or feel that symptom and imagine that problem in your own body, then this book isn't for you! If you are at all worried about the amount of germs around us and the craziness that more things don't go wrong with our bodies, then, this book might not be for you! It will put way too many ideas into your head!

Anyway, I feel just a touch smarter for having read this one, and a lot more appreciative of  my body, this thing I have that is quite a miracle even when I hate it and curse it all the time! We need to take better care of ourselves and our body will give back if we do. I am glad that I'm in the middle of this life style change as I read this because it made me feel much less guilty than I would have been otherwise... I am currently trying and I'll give myself a pat on the back for that!


Sunday, September 13, 2020

Book Review: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer


Book: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Myer
Genre: YA romance/paranormal
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Back in the day, when the beginning of this book was online, I think I managed to read the first couple of chapters before it disappeared. And I remember Stephenie being so mad about the leakage of it, or the unapproved sharing, or whatever the issue was, that she said she would NEVER finish and publish it. That made me sad. 

So it was a good day when I heard she was actually publishing it all these many years later! And great timing because I was in SUCH a perfect mood for this in my life again! 

Yeah, so pretty sure we all know this is the Twilight story told from Edward's point of view. It's been a long long time since I read Twilight, and I haven't gone back to re-read since finishing this one, but I think we got a lot more detail regarding lots of things this time around. We got a lot more back story of the vampires. We got a lot of angst since Edward was VERY VERY stressed out from the moment Bella entered his life. Poor guy. LOL. 

My biggest issue with the book was trying to read it without picturing whatshisface Robert Pattinson in the lead role. I really want to remember my original whoever was in my head the first time I read Twilight which was years before the movie. But I can't recall that image! I'm so bugged about that! So then I tried to picture some favorite kpop boys who can REALLY REALLY pull off the whole vampire look well, but that didn't work very good either. In the end, I think I pictured a morphing of ALL the above... a bit movie Edward, a bit kpop boy, and a bit my own invention. I guess it worked. But wow, that was a frustrating thing!

Being in Edward's mind was... I don't know... hard. He really struggled, didn't he? Wow. It's amazing they managed to get to a place where he didn't want to constantly kill her, yeah? I think this book does an amazing job of describing what it might be like to be a vampire. LOL... as if anyone knows, but she really captures something here...I mean.. I FELT it! That's crazy!

You may or may not remember that I was always a big fan of Jacob. It was sad he was not really even a part of this book. Did Edward only cross paths with Jacob like twice during this whole story? Wow. And how he just dismisses him in his head. If only he knew...yeah? I wonder when it hits him that Jacob is going to feature more than just an annoying kid with a crush? But I guess we will get no more books from Edward's POV if I understand correctly. This is it! So we will never know!!

So yeah, I'm happy to have this book to add to the collection. It was very fun to go back to Forks and live all this over again. Good times!

Sunday, September 6, 2020

My Weight Loss Journey... so far

 It's been about six months since I made this pretty drastic life change, so I thought I'd document the experience up 'till now! It all coincides with the whole virus life change too.. so things have been a bit weird around here for me consider both these things. 

There was a time when I said I would never diet. Food is too much a happy thing for me. Being fat is annoying, but food is worth it. And I still kinda think this. As long as you're healthy and all. Right? 

So then what if you are told you aren't really that healthy? When I finally went in for a regular check up and they told me that if I didn't do something, I'd have diabetes, I guess that was enough of a push. I'm not even sure what "having diabetes" means, but in my mind it means having to constantly deal with something very unpleasant and having to take insulin and all that. 

So after having pooed pooed dieting my whole life, I suddenly found myself doing it. Well, I still think of it as not truly dieting, just changing how I look at food. And I really do look at things differently now! Anyway,  they told me to do a low carb diet, so I researched what that meant and started making the changes, keeping track of and counting carbs on My Fitness Pal. I had no expectations except to hopefully go back six months later to see if my number was better. 

When it was three to four weeks later and I suddenly realized I'd lost about ten pounds I was like...seriously? For real? This is working? I had no idea it would really work. It was a nice motivational factor! And it just continued to go down! When this happens to other people I always want to know EXACTLY what they did. So here's what I did:

  • counted carbs... trying to stay between 50 and 100 a day. (Keto is more like 20 carbs, so I was no where near close to that.)
  • exercised every day (with one day off) alternating every day between walking for 30 min on the treadmill and doing 30 minutes of Zumba
  • stopped drinking milk (and this is the hardest thing!) and eating bread, potatoes, rice and pasta, and breakfast cereal. I still have them occasionally... but so very rare compared to before.
  • learned to love eggs every day for breakfast. And bacon and cheese. 
  • Learned to cook with heavy cream or half and half, and cream cheese, and lots of meat.
  • Learned to eat vegetables better. But not corn. Spinach in all the things.
  • Perfected salad making. Ranch is okay!
  • Avocado is now a staple!
  • Almond milk smoothies for a treat! And a rare banana.. .but these are... A TREAT!
  • Ice cream is okay, just not a HUGE amount like before, and not every day.
  • Lettuce wrapped hamburgers are awesome, but hard to eat. 
  • Have a few french fries, just not the WHOLE THING!
  • Intermittent fasting (which has gone well with the whole coronovirus lifestyle) is also a thing. This means not eating until noon, and being done eating after 8 pm. 
  • Trick yourself regarding bread by making all the variations of chaffles. Chaffles are a beautiful thing! (Cheese/egg  mixture made in a mini waffle iron.)
  • Drink flavored water when you are sick of regular water. Drink LOTS of regular water!
  • No juice no soda! NONE!
  • No donuts, cookies, cake, pastries, pies, cinnamon rolls. This is really hard for someone who finds comfort n baking. Gah, so sad.
  • Allow cheat days and make cookies on those days! Hide the dough, and don't eat cookies for a week afterwards. ONLY ON THE ONE CHEAT DAY!
  • Figure out how to enjoy cauliflower things... rice, crusts and etc. It's not bad after all! Who knew?
  • Did I mention eggs????

Anyway, in the end by doing this I've lost 35 pounds these past six months. I seemed to have stalled at that number... but I've also been slacking a lot lately. Ugh. I need to recommit. I also did have my blood tested again and I went down from a 6.6 a1c number to 5.8. I still need to drop two more points to be within normal range. And I'd like to lose 15 more pounds to make it an even 50 pounds.

So... I'M NOT DONE YET! And, of course, I'll never be done. This is the new lifestyle whether I want to admit that or not. I can up my carbs a bit to maintain (which is kinda what it's ended up being the past few's been more like 120 carbs a day.) But still not go crazy on all the awesome things there are to eat in the world. It's sad. But it's also good to be healthy.

We'll see how it goes. Has anyone else had experience in this endeavor? What things helped you? And what did you learn from it all? 

(I know I should show a before and after picture, but I haven't found good ones yet. LOL. And I'm still not sure it's even that noticeable. Which would be embarrassing to show! HA!)

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Kdrama Review: Mystic Pop Up Bar

 Drama: Mystic Pop Up Bar (another Netflix one!)

Genre: Fantasy

Starring: Hwang Jung Eum, Yook Sung Jae, Choi Won Young

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤

Lots of people loved this one so much, but I found it to just be... okay. Which is highly unusual, right? I'm usually loving EVERYTHING! I don't know I guess my main issue with it was it was just TOO silly (and I can totally handle a lot of silly) and it went off on way too many tangent stories when all I wanted was our main characters' story. 

It's about a girl from the past who has a very crazy sad tragic story. In her past life, she commits suicide and is then cursed to "live" in the living realm helping people out by solving their grudges. She has to help 100,000 people by a certain deadline or she goes to hell. It's been 500 years and time is about to run out.

Enter our guy, played by the cute and adorable Sungjae (of BTOB) who has a special power that when he touches someone, they just start gushing their inner most thoughts and feelings. He is sick of this power and wants it GONE. When he meets up with our girl from the past, they make a deal. She will get rid of this power for him as soon as he helps her meet the quota.

And so most of the episodes are random characters stories as we enter in their lives (our main characters solve grudges by going into the dreams of people) and figure out their problems and make their lives happy. It's very heartwarming, but sometimes those episodes really dragged for me. 

Toward the end we got more into the back story of our characters, and some pretty great surprises and twists happened. Our guy falls in love with a girl he works with, and their romance was cute but even more slow moving than what is typical for a kdrama! I was so impatient with them!

Anyway. I watched it for Sungjae no doubt. He's absolutely adorable and a fun actor. Also, every episode had cameo appearances by really famous Korean celebrities and it was fun to try and pick them out. 

So in the end, it was fun and cute, but... just not what I was in the mood for I guess. 

Also, for those who are familiar with Hotel del Luna... this one is very similar in premise, but very different in execution. Hotel del Luna is much better in my opinion. But if you liked that one, you might enjoy this one too.

Here's a trailer:

And a lovely fun song!


Related Posts with Thumbnails