Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Summer Wrap-up!

Hey, y'all! Back in April, I did a monthly wrap-up post and mentioned that I might make it into a monthly series. Obviously, that hasn't happened... for several reasons. I had a lot of posts going up at the end of the month during each month in the summer, but the main reason I didn't do them is that my life isn't that interesting. I don't do that much. But enough interesting stuff happened throughout the summer that it warranted a wrap-up post. I'll also be discussing my monthly favorites! Let's get right into it!

The first, most obvious thing that I did this summer was my summer reading challenge. If you followed my blog at all throughout the summer, you probably already knew that. But, if you haven't seen anything about it, you can click here to check it out! It was definitely a big challenge for me, but I'm really glad that I decided to do it, because I got through 26 books in only 3 months! I'm really happy with the amount of reading I got done in May, June, and July.

Now, let's get into everything that went on in my life during each month!


As I mentioned in my April post, May began with finals. My finals were actually really early this year, and my last one was on May 2nd. Normally, I would almost immediately begin moving out after finishing my finals, but since I was working in the library on campus over the summer, I actually just got to chill out for a week before starting work. Both of my roommates moved out and went home, leaving me with a huge triple to myself! But the joy didn't last for long. Mid-May, I moved into summer housing. Let's just say it sucked. The dorm we lived in during the school year is one of the nicer dorms and we had a fairly large room. The room I lived in over the summer was very small, had bad lighting, and was in an older dorm with lots of pipes and a big window AC unit. It was a bit of a disaster.

Besides moving into my summer room, not much really went on in May. I worked 40 hours a week during the weekdays and relaxed in my room on the weekends... and didn't really do much else. 

May Favorites

The Mole

For those of you who have never heard of The Mole, it was a reality TV show from the early 2000s. There are 5 seasons. The first two are with regular people, the 3rd and 4th are with celebrities, and the 5th season was a regular people reboot circa 2008. The premise of the tv show is that a large group of people are competing to win money for a group pot that one of them will win. But the catch is that one person in the group is "The Mole," a saboteur hidden among the group who is working with the producers to keep the group from winning money. The contestants are attempting to discover who the mole is, while simultaneously trying to win money, and the home viewers also don't know who the mole is. At the end of each episode, contestants take a quiz where they have to answer questions about the mole's identity. The person who scores lowest on the quiz is eliminated. 

I first discovered the show last summer and watched the first two seasons. In May, I ended up re-watching the first two seasons and watching all 3 of the other seasons for the first time. If there were more seasons, I would have watched those too. I love this show. Oh, and the gif is of Anderson Cooper (who hosted the first two seasons and is half the reason it's amazing) being adorable after tricking the contestants into thinking he was about to eliminate someone. 

Clockwork Princess

Clockwork Princess was by far my favorite book that I read in the month of May. I read almost all of it in a single sitting, and it was absolutely beautiful. It quickly and unquestionably became one of my favorite books. Often, I have to give quite a bit of thought into what rating to give a book, but this one was a no brainer. 10/10 immediately.


June 1st, one of my school-year roommates got back to school for her internship that she was doing over the summer. We weren't living together because all of the summer rooms were just doubles, but it was nice to have one of my best friends back on campus. 

My birthday was on June 10th, and my parents were able to drive down to visit me, and they got there the same day my summer roommate (who I also live with during the school year!) came back to campus. So I spent the weekend with them and then my grandparents were supposed to fly in on Monday morning. Unfortunately, my grandparents' plane was delayed because of bad weather, so they didn't arrive until late that night. That afternoon, however, I took my parents to meet my bosses, and they actually bought me a cake and brought it in for all of us to eat!
 I love my bosses. They're some of the sweetest people ever. So, that night, my grandparents finally got in and I got to spend just a little bit of time with them that night. 

The next day, I showed them around my campus and introduced them to my bosses. We got to go out to dinner and then we picked up my cake and met up with my roommates to eat the cake.

My roommate Erin (the one on the right, who I wasn't living with over the summer) gave me a Wreck This Journal, which I was really excited to start using. Sarah, however, got... creative.
It's a running joke. We got Erin a wand for her birthday as well. We're all basically 5 year olds trapped in 20 year olds' bodies. Also, my smile is so weird because the icing on the cake turned our teeth black. Oops.

After my birthday, June wasn't really too interesting. It was basically just like May: work, chill, repeat.

June Favorites

Top Chef

Top Chef has been one of my favorite TV shows since 8th grade. So basically for 7 years *cue Kristen stopping and realizing that junior high was literally SEVEN YEARS AGO and that she's currently a 20 year old college junior* I have watched this show religiously. Well... lately not so much, but the first few seasons are perfection. Hulu added basically every episode of Top Chef, so I ended up making my way through *almost* all of the first five seasons while at work. I didn't quite make it to the end of season 5, because that was when the season started going downhill, and when the show started going downhill as well. Season 2 was the best season by far (followed by season 3, and then seasons 1&4 are tied). The only reason season 4 gets to tie with 1 is because RICHARD BLAIS. AKA my favorite contestant ever on Top Chef ever. Anyway, season 2, head-shaving incident. It will live forever in infamy. 

American Horror Story: Murder House

I had been meaning to watch this show for a really long time, but I have a very long list of shows that I've wanted to get to for a long time. I was in the mood, so I went for it. Season 1 was great. Haunted houses are my favorite haunted things. And Evan Peters as Tate totally has a Kurt Cobain vibe and I love it and I love him. I watched about half of season 2 before getting disinterested. I didn't dislike it, but I definitely couldn't get into it as much as season 1. If season 3 had been up on Netflix, I'd probably have just watched that, because I know I'd like it. But season 1 was great. I'll get to the other 2 eventually. 


Just like May and June, only one really interesting thing happened in July... the Fourth of July! One of my friends had an Independence Day party, where we ate lots of food and set off lots of fireworks. It was lots of fun.

So yeah, the fourth of July was really fun, but it was really the only exciting thing that happened in the month of July.

July Favorites

The Pilgrims of Rayne by DJ MacHale

This one shocked me. I always considered it to be one of the worst in the series (partially due to its terrible cover) but upon a re-read, it's unquestionably my favorite. I wish I could erase my memories of reading it and then go back and re-read it so that I could experience all of the shock and awe that goes along with it.

My Top 15 Stand-alones

I promise that this isn't just some shameless plug. I actually really enjoyed writing this post. I mean, I enjoy writing every post, but I especially enjoyed this one. I'm not quite sure exactly why I enjoyed it so much, but it was just a lot of fun and I got to see how some of my favorite books stacked up against each other... quite literally!


August is when things started to get really great. August first, Erin, Sarah, and I were able to move out of summer housing into our new apartment! Erin liked her summer room, but Sarah and I were very, very ready to move. Not only was our room completely cramped, but it had become ant and gnat infested and super gross. We wanted out of that place ASAP. And it didn't hurt that our new apartment is gorgeous...

The only tiny complaint is that the apartments were designed to have one person in each bedroom, but when our school took it over, they put two people per room. So our spaces are a little... cozy.

This is my side of mine & Erin's room. There's also an entry into the room with our closet, and on the wall across from my bed, I have my desk and bookshelf... but you can't see that yet because I'll be making a post all about my bookshelf later. 

After spending the entire weekend of August 1st-3rd moving, I packed up again on Monday and hopped on a plane to visit my parents! I spent a week there, and it was a nice and relaxing break from work and pretty much any responsibilities at all. It was great. 

And that pretty much catches y'all up with everything that has been going on with me this summer. Classes start today (well tomorrow, but I'm scheduling this for tomorrow, so... you get it) but I only have work-study and orchestra, so I have a pretty light schedule... until Thursday. That's when I start doing research assistant stuff out the wazoo. WOOT. 

August Favorites

Problem by Pentatonix

So, I will admit that I have listened to the original version of this song (by Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea) a grand total of 0 times. All the way through, at least. So I wasn't extremely excited about Pentatonix covering it. I knew it would be great because it's PTX and everything they do is amazing, but I wasn't crazy excited. The day their EP went up for pre-order, I pre-ordered it, being the obsessed fan that I am. With that came this song, and the music video was released the same day. I then proceeded to listen to exactly 0 other songs for about a week. I'm not exaggerating. This song is probably my most played song on my iTunes at this point, but I don't want to plug in my phone and prove myself right.

Dare MattG

If you're unaware, this guy is Matt. His Youtube channel is MattG124, and every Friday, he does "Dare MattG" (That thing on the internet where you dare me to do some things and sometimes I do those things that you dare me to do). Anyway, since he's been doing it for almost 3 years and has had a few breaks from doing it, he has a little over 90 Dare MattG videos. Before starting this marathon, I think I had seen like 2. I've now seen 1-75. And I'm working on the last 20ish. I've loved his videos for forever, but never got into Dare MattG. And now I've seen the light.

This brings me to infinity and beyond... er... what my plans are for the immediate future.

I'm working with my advisor as her research assistant, so that's going to take up a lot of time. Plus, I have 2 300 level psychology classes this semester, which is intimidating. I also have a 100 level music class, but I'm not really concerned about that. I probably wouldn't be too fazed by taking 4 400 level music classes, honestly. Anyway, I also have the same work-study job as well as ensemble classes and private lessons and orchestra (for which I'm now the viola section leader, so YAY). Plus the many many hours I'll be devoting to research assistant stuff, which I don't even want to think about right now. Let's just say that I'm glad I dropped my fourth class.   

I'll be posting an update on schedule and such... soon. IDK when. Because I don't have a schedule yet. If you only knew how busy I am...

Don't forget that I've created a Facebook page for my blog! If you want to check that out and like it, you can click HERE. I'll try to keep that pretty up-to-date with new posts and such.

Thanks for reading this! If you like my posts, don't forget to subscribe/follow, since it lets me know that you're enjoying what I'm doing. See y'all soon!

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