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these past few weeks i’ve been hit with an unshakable urge to rebrand & clean everything. i mean konmari my physical, mental, and digital spaces. i went on an unfollow spree, wiped down surfaces, decluttered my room, and had a major existential crisis. honestly, i feel like it was long overdue. or i feel like my life is in a constant state of re-purging itself. we don’t know. there’s no in between.

ever since i read the life-changing magic of tidying up three years ago, i come back to the question:

does it spark joy?

it’s simple and effective. i ask it to myself in situations beyond tidying. marie kondo has since blown up in terms of popularity and most of us know her concept. tidy all at once and when deciding whether to keep something or throw it out, ask yourself, “does it spark joy?” by the end, your life will only be surrounded by things that make you joyous. isn’t that a happy life?

tidying & cleaning physical spaces

i already did a major purge immediately after reading the book and have since done mini unhauls from time to time. whenever i feel like there’s too much excess, i know it’s time to recleanse. does it spark joy? do i truly love the things i own? will i really read that book? do i love this sweater?

i won’t go into detail about how to execute her method – just read the book for that. take inventory of your physical space and how it makes you feel. go about tidying your spaces until all that’s left are things you truly want.

there’s so much more to spring cleaning than just getting your things in order. you also have to, like, actually clean. i didn’t realize how quickly dust collects EVERYWHERE and how hair sheds EVERYWHERE until i started, you know, cleaning. i spent an entire day wiping things down in my room and felt like a new person afterward. would highly recommend. now i’ve created a recurring calendar event every few weeks dedicated to cleaning. it’s different from tidying because things! get! dirty!! i’ve been using this meyer’s clean day spray and it’s honestly the BEST EVER. non-toxic and smells great :”)

recleansing digital spaces

i haven’t actually tidied up my files because that’s a Mess i’m not ready for, so i’ll deal with social media. i spent a couple of days unfollowing people & archiving old posts. again, the same rules apply:

does it spark joy?

as i was going through my following, i realized i’d followed a lot of people/accounts i liked months or years ago, but no longer care for. or people i secretly hated. or celebrities that made me want their lives. or “friends” i’d never talk to digitally or in real life. maybe they served me when i’d initially followed them, but i don’t need that weighing me down anymore. it’s okay to let that go and move on with your life.

as for my old posts, i used to leave them there to remember where i’d been and the evolution of my curated content. but as i was scrolling through my public personal account, i wondered, “do i really want people i meet now to see my 2014-self posting about a meal i had or an ~inspirational quote~?” short answer: NO. HIDE ALL EVIDENCE. the content is still there for me if i’m feelin’ sentimental, but people don’t need to know. this made me want to archive literally all of my posts, but i still can’t decide if i’m ready for that commitment.

side note: i’m only talking about instagram and have yet to touch facebook, twitter, or any other social site. the internet and digital spaces are TOO MUCH.

replenishing your mind

ah, the most difficult for last. this is something i’ve been working on for a really long time and continue to work on. how do you cleanse your mind? it really depends on perspective. i spend way too much time contemplating life and all things related. i’m always asking and reflecting and checking up on myself. i spend so much time with myself; it feels excessive at times, but i’m able to be happy where i am because of all the me-time.

it’s really difficult but: allow yourself to let go of the unnecessary baggage that may or may not be weighing you down. you only have so much time and attention; take things one breath at a time and focus on what’s relevant right now. sometimes our minds will build up gunk just like our rooms; it’s equally as important to reflect and refresh. come into yourself and your space – physically and mentally.

one way you can practice cleansing or refreshing your mental space is by meditating or yoga. as a yoga teacher, i’m obviously biased towards yoga but let me say it again: YOGA IS GREAT. obviously there are the physical aspects that draw people to it (or away from it), but what helped me stay was the mindfulness. if those two options are not your jam, you could also try journaling or morning pages. i’ve been trying to get into morning pages and it’s been on and off.

what are ways you’re cleaning your spaces? let me know in the comments!!

The post a guide to spring cleaning appeared first on twirling pages.

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hey everyone – it’s me (priscilla) again! i’m officially DONE with my freshman year of college. wow. i literally just posted my first semester reflection, and now the entire year is over. it’s been kind of a crazy ride, but i’m proud of myself for making it out alive! last summer, i definitely romanticized the idea of college – i thought everything would be perfect once i arrived on campus, but things really didn’t go the way i expected. first semester was kinda rough, and second semester was kinda similar (so much for all those goals, oops). i’ve still been struggling with my mental/emotional health and also dealing with complicated relationships. but despite all the struggling, it’s been a pretty good year, and i can’t say i have many regrets.

now it’s back to suburban california for the summer, and it’s going to be such a huge change from living in the city and being surrounded by other students and friends literally 24/7. throughout the semester, i applied for different programs/positions – research in nyc, a scholarship for studying abroad in korea, a program coordinator position for barnard’s summer precollege programs, a part-time position at a psychiatric clinic in the city, etc – but nothing worked out, so i’ll be spending the next 3.5 months back in the bay area. no internships, no classes, nothing. sounds great, right? but to me, not so great. for a while, i kinda resigned myself to the fact that summer was going to be unbearably boring.

BUT the more i worried thought about what i was going to do this summer, i realized that this doesn’t have to be a boring, uneventful summer where every day feels the same. i don’t want to just stay home, scroll mindlessly through instagram, binge kdramas, complain about how terrible my summer break is, and repeat day after day. so… i won’t! it’s that simple.

i realized that summer is actually the perfect time to work on myself. there’s a lot of things i’ve been wanting to do but “don’t have time” for, and that’s no longer an excuse during the summer! i’ll try to find a part-time job, but that still leaves me with a ton of free time. a summer break where i don’t have anything i actually HAVE to do has the potential to be either ridiculously boring or absolutely amazing, so i’m going to make the most out of the 14 weeks i have!

so, i’ve created some weekly challenges for the summer! i’ll focus on something different every week and force myself to actually stick to it, at least for those seven days. if i love it, that’s amazing and hopefully i’ll keep doing it! if i hate it, that’s also fine, and i’ll never have to do it again. but either way, i’ll at least give these all a try and see if these changes make a difference in my life. without further ado, here are the challenges!

weeks 1-4: physical health week 1

sleep by 12am every night – and start getting ready by 11pm! i usually do sleep around 12, but i want to make my sleep schedule more consistent. also, i want to actually start getting ready early so i can take my time to relax and unwind. i feel like unplugging from screens about an hour (or more!) before bed really makes a difference, so i’m excited to try it out for an entire week. my ideal bedtime routine: turn off/put away my phone and computer, brush my teeth, change into pajamas and wash my face, clean up my room/desk a bit, journal, write down a to-do list for the next day, read, then sleep!

week 2

take a walk every day. i actually love taking walks, so this is another thing i want to make into a habit. hopefully i can walk for at least 30 min (preferably 1 hour!) every day in the afternoon or evening. it’d be super fun to try and catch the sunset every day! if the weather isn’t good, i’ll do some other form of exercise – maybe dancing or just a workout in my room.

week 3

no added sugar. i LOVE sweet things, so this will definitely be one of the more difficult challenges, but i think it’ll be really interesting to see if cutting out sugar makes any difference in how i feel physically and mentally. i also want to focus on eating mindfully and not use screens at all while i’m eating! i often tend to scroll through instagram or read an ebook while i’m eating, especially if i’m eating alone, but i’ll try to enjoy my meals more fully and just BE in the moment.

week 4

wake up at 7am (maybe even 6am??) every day. hopefully by this time, my sleep schedule/routine is relatively consistent. i’ll also work on gradually sleeping earlier throughout weeks 2-3 so that waking up early won’t be ridiculously difficult. i realized that i’m usually more productive in the morning, so i’ll just try waking up by 7am every day this week and see how that goes! i’ve also never really watched the sunrise, so i think it’d be super fun to do that this week!

weeks 5-8: emotional health week 5

meditate every day. if you’ve read my wrap-up/reflection posts, you probably know i’ve been trying to get (back) into the habit of meditating for soooo long, and it just never sticks. i KNOW that meditating actually makes me feel so much calmer and just better overall, so it’s definitely something i want to implement into my daily routine. ideally, i’ll meditate in the morning after i wake up, instead of checking emails and scrolling through facebook. even if i don’t meditate every single day, my goal is to meditate 50 minutes total (that’s 5 days of 10-min meditations).

week 6

journal every day. this is another habit i’ve been wanting to start/build for a long time! i also want to get back into bullet journaling, so hopefully it’ll be even easier to incorporate normal journaling. i think it’ll be really helpful to reflect on my thoughts, feelings, and actions at the end of each day so i can figure out what went well and what can be improved. honestly, my biggest struggle with journaling is that i usually leave it until the end of the night, when i’m too tired to journal and just want to go straight to bed. however, if week 1 goes well, hopefully that won’t be a problem anymore!

week 7

limit phone use to 2 hours per day – but the less the better! recently, i’ve been trying to be more aware of my screen time, which is 4 hours a day on average. i actually had a few days this past week where i used my phone for less than 3 hours (not too bad, right?), but i realized that on those days, i also spent a lot more time on my laptop than usual. i definitely want to reduce overall screen time, but especially my phone use, since i know i waste so much time doing basically nothing on my phone. what will i do instead? practice guitar, practice dancing, try cooking/baking something, read, practice lettering, work out – there are so many options!

week 8

no social media. at all. no instagram, snapchat, facebook, twitters, tumblr, etc. i actually wanted to do this for lent, but i didn’t want to go soooo long without posting on my foodstagram (that was honestly the main barrier haha). however, i think this challenge will help me develop a much healthier relationship with social media, because i’ll realize that i really don’t need those apps at all. and hopefully, it won’t be too hard after week 7! i’ll still be able to text my friends, so it hopefully won’t feel like i’m completely isolated.

weeks 9-14: personal goals week 9

marie kondo my room! i’m not sure what state my room will be in at this point in the summer, but i definitely still have a lot of things i don’t need (things that don’t ~spark joy~) so i should definitely sort through everything! i’d love for my room and my overall life to be more minimalistic and to get rid of things that aren’t serving me anymore. also, i really feel like the state of our personal spaces reflects and affects the state of our mind – clean room, clear mind!

i wonder if my room will ever be this clean again…. week 10

spend an hour on devotions every day. okay….an hour might be a bit much to start with, but this is another habit i really want to build. ideally, i’ll spend some time reading the bible, writing down my thoughts, and praying about it every day, probably in the morning after i meditate or in the evening before journaling.

week 11

work on blog posts every day. i’ve been doing pretty well with blogging recently, and i definitely want to keep it up! hopefully, i’ll have a post up every 1-2 weeks. in order to meet this goal, it’ll definitely be really helpful to have a block of time (1-3 hours?) set aside every day just to brainstorm, draft, and format blog posts!

week 12

take pictures every day. photography is something i really really want to work on – i’ll hopefully be able to get a dslr camera over the summer, and i’m sooo excited to learn more about photography! i want to spend some time every day going out just to take photos and practice using a dslr, and i also want to document different memories from my summer. side note: i might try vlogging this whole experience (may or may not post it)!

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this year, i spent my spring break in nyc and it was absolutelyyy amazing! i ate a lot, saw a lot, did a lot, and (of course) took a lot of pictures, so i thought i’d share some of my favorite pictures/experiences from break!

friday, march 15

this was my last day of class before spring break officially started! i had chinese in the morning, then went downtown to meet someone. since i was in koreatown, i decided to treat myself and try the matcha/taro soft serve from besfren! honestly, 70% of the reason i got it was just for the gram (i mean, look how pretty it is!!), but i actually really liked it, so i have no regrets hahaha

for dinner, i went to xian famous foods with my friends. i highly recommend their chrysanthemum tea – it’s nice and sweet and not too expensive, and it’s just a really refreshing drink!

i ended the night by toning my mostly faded purple hair in an attempt to get rid of some of the weird yellow-ish parts, but (to my surprise) it ended up removing all the remaining purple….. at least it kinda got rid of the brassiness too hahah

saturday, march 16

my friend and i both have march birthdays, so we decided to celebrate together by going to flushing (aka where all the good cheap asian food is)! it’s a pretty long train ride, but definitely worth it if you have the time :))

she brought her friend, and we all went to nan xiang xiao long bao, a shanghainese restaurant. we ordered several different dishes, and my favorites were definitely the xiao long bao and the pan fried buns! we also found a dessert place, where i tried durian for the first time (i didn’t like it hahaha), and then also went to a boba shop called teas me dear. my friends said the milk tea there was reallyyyy good, but i couldn’t get any :((( this has definitely been the hardest part of giving up boba for lent haha

finally, we went to queens botanical garden, which was nice even though there weren’t any flowers – we’ll definitely have to go back in the spring. when we got back to campus, i bumped into a friend, and we ended up chatting for a few hours, which was unexpected but really great!

sunday, march 17

on sunday, i went to church as usual, then grabbed lunch with the same friend i met saturday night. we went to bangklyn (a small, quirky thai restaurant in east harlem), stopped by goodwill, got ice cream from van leeuwen (sooo good), browsed ulta for a bit, then took the bus back. it was a really nice and chill time, and i’m really happy that we got to spend time together and get to know each other better!

when i got back to school, i finally finished mr. sunshine, the kdrama i’d been watching. this drama is set in the last 19th-early 20th century, aka the time during which korea was fighting for independence, so there was a lot of war, fighting, and death happening in the drama. it was super intense and honestly, the ending kind of broke my heart – i was super angry about the way it ended, but at least it was realistic :’)

after that, i decided to start a new drama called romance is a bonus book. it’s a much more lighthearted rom-com, which i really needed after mr. sunshine, and it stars lee jong suk (one of my favorite actors)! i watched the whole thing over break, and although parts of it were definitely cheesy, it’s super cute and i’d definitely recommend it!

monday, march 18

on monday, i went downtown and (!!) got my ears pierced at village tattoo nyc! i actually got them pierced several years ago, but i think the holes didn’t form properly, so i just let them close. my experience this time with piercing went pretty smoothly, and my ears are now pierced!! it was a bit more pricey than i had expected, but i don’t regret doing it (at least for now….), and i’m glad i decided to do it at a piercing parlor instead of claire’s! afterwards, i met up with a friend for all you can eat kbbq (the best!!) and bingsoo, checked out the glossier store, then went back to campus for some kdrama and chill time :))

tuesday, march 19 (my birthday!)

i woke up relatively early and met up with my friend jane so we could get rush tickets for a broadway show! for those of you who aren’t familiar with the rush ticket system, you can get discounted tickets by going to the box office the morning of the show. we arrived at the box office around an hour before it opened and bought tickets for a new-ish show called be more chill.

we met up with a few more friends for lunch at 99 favor taste, a restaurant that gives you free hotpot on your birthday. honestly, i felt a bit bad because it was so expensive for my friends, but it was still nice to celebrate with them! we also went to snowdays for dessert, which was nice

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hello hello!! for those of you who don’t know, may is asian american pacific islander heritage month and my asian-american self is thriving. there are a few read-a-thons happening in the book universe that focus on asian literature and i’m HYPED.

there’s asian readathon, which… is what it is. an asian themed readathon throughout the month of may. and there’s also YARC (year of the asian), which is a year long asian readathon. YAY. i’ve been trying to keep up with YARC for the past few months, but so far have only read 5/12 books that feature asian character and/or are by an asian author. hopefully this month will be better!!

SO. the books i’m hoping to read this month: pachinko, by min jin lee
book depository • amazongoodreads

i’ve already started Pachinko and i am LOVING IT so far. i purchased the audiobook sometime last year but never got around to it, so i’m glad to use the asian readathon as an excuse to finally read/listen to it. i’m only ~20% in, but i really like the narrator, characters, and culture. since it’s set in 1900s korea, there’s a lot of conflict between koreans and japanese. i love the insight and history we get along with relatable characters and !!!!! relationships.

permanent record, by mary h.k. choi
book depository • amazongoodreads

another book i already started!!! i was very fortunate to get an early copy when i went to yallwest earlier this month and immediately began reading the next day. mary h.k. choi’s debut novel, Emergency Contact, was one of my favorites of last year (and possibly of all-time) so Permanent Record was high on my radar.

i’m only a few chapters in and i already love it. (i know, i know, i say that all the time but for real!!) i was listening to a panel with mary and i love listening to her ideas. she puts her thoughts together is so eloquently; i’m in awe.

descendant of the crane, by joan he
book depository • amazongoodreads

Descendant of the Crane was one of my most-anticipated releases of 2019 aaaaaand i still haven’t read it. (i hate myself uGh) i was lucky enough to receive an early copy and i still haven’t read this yet!!!! why am i like this!!!! but then again, i only read like 3 physical books this year so…. *shrug* i’m hoping to read it!! i will try my best to read it!!

if i have not read it by the end of summer, you are allowed to yell and virtually attack me. you have full permission to invade my dms telling me to read this book. (but seriously, i feel like so many bloggers talk about how wonderful this is so i’m equally excited and scared.)

ruse, by cindy pon
book depository • amazongoodreads

i listened to the audiobook of Want a few months ago and loved it!! imagine an AI, futuristic version of Legend set in hong kong. but different, obviously. i try not to compare books with other books but i love Legend. and this is great.

since i’m planning on reading the physical copy of this, i’m wondering how the reading experience will be. WE SHALL SEE.

i love you so mochi, by sarah kuhn
book depository • amazongoodreads

in all honesty, i don’t know much about I Love You So Mochi. something about japan and cuteness. either way, i’m sold. i know i’m going to read (and likely love) this book. and do you see the cover??? THE COVER??! is the absolute cutest. i’m so hyped for this one!!!

this doesn’t release until the end of may, but i’m supposed to receive an early copy so hope it works out!!

the downstairs girl, by stacey lee
book depository • amazongoodreads

stacey lee’s books are always so solid!! and this cover is glorious!!!! i was lucky to get a copy while a yallwest; i think i was in the wrong room at the wrong time BUT i saw a table with these arcs and managed to snag a copy and wanted to scream.

this book doesn’t release until september but since i’m very hyped about it, i’ll probably read it soon.

natalie tan’s book of luck and fortune, by roselle lim
book depository • amazongoodreads

soooo this is also a book i don’t know much about but was very excited for!! aka all the books in my “highly anticipated of 2019 and beyond” list. honestly. i know it’s something about immigrants, food, and san fransisco so I’M SOLD. and because i’m a shallow instagram human, the cover is pretty. i’ll probably walk to my own murderer because it looked instagramable. OOF.

the bride test, by helen hoang
book depository • amazongoodreads

spontaneous add!! technically the last five books were all spontaneous adds but this one is really. i completely forget this released this past week, but i just received it in the mail because i pre-ordered it. i loved The Kiss Quotient so i was super hyped for this.

The Kiss Quotient was the first audiobook i could not put down, and i heard The Bride Test is a similar experience. although i wonder how it’ll be if i have the paperback vs the audiobook…

i know this is very ambitious list considering where i’m at right now. i haven’t finished a physical book in like, two months; my schedule is super busy in may; and i don’t know if i’m at the right place – mentally – to read a lot. but it’s the thought that counts! so even though i probably won’t finish all of these in may, i’ll likely continue to read these titles throughout june/relatively soon.

what are some books by asian authors or featuring asian characters you hope to read? let me know in the comments!!

The post asian readathon tbr + yarc update appeared first on twirling pages.

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Kingsbane (Empirium, #2) by claire legrand
on May 21, 2019
Amazon // The Book Depository
Goodreads

In the story, two young women centuries apart—one a troubled, magic-wielding queen; the other a bounty hunter serving a ruthless empire—must fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, only to discover as their stories intersect that they have the power to save their world or doom it.

when i got approved for a kingsbane ARC, i think i squealed. i really did like the first book, furyborn—there was definitely some things i didn’t vibe with (bi rep, sex scenes, certain characters), but overall, i thought it was a solid addition into my collection of YA fantasy. so when i got approved for kingsbane… i was happy.

unfortunately, it’s also my senior year of high school. exams start in t-minus one month and i have assessments nearly every second day to prepare for them. so, with my little free time, i’m often writing my own book, or hanging out with friends who are moving away next year for university. this is my longwinded way of saying i was supposed to knock out a review for kingsbane but didn’t have time, so here’s the next best thing!

i absolutely adore making playlists. i make them for everything—car rides, months, seasons, books, works in progress, characters, aesthetics. a lot of them are private on my spotify, but they’re there, and they’re in my heart. it’s so fun to find songs and relate their beats or lyrics to your favourite things. so, in light of my love of making playlists, i made one for kingsbane! its 22 songs long, and has some pretty epic vibes, i think.

i hope you all enjoy the playlist and kingsbane! i’m hoping to have it finished by the end of exam season, and who knows, i might even post a full review and discussion of both furyborn and kingsbane! xx

The post fear no darkness, fear no night; a kingsbane playlist! / kingsbane blog tour appeared first on twirling pages.

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I received this book for free from Macmillan, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo
on May 7, 2019
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Diversity & Multicultural, Family, Parents
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Amazon // The Book Depository
Goodreads

10:00 p.m.: Lucky is the biggest K-pop star on the scene, and she’s just performed her hit song “Heartbeat” in Hong Kong to thousands of adoring fans. She’s about to debut on The Tonight Show in America, hopefully a breakout performance for her career. But right now? She’s in her fancy hotel, trying to fall asleep but dying for a hamburger.

11:00 p.m.: Jack is sneaking into a fancy hotel, on assignment for his tabloid job that he keeps secret from his parents. On his way out of the hotel, he runs into a girl wearing slippers, a girl who is single-mindedly determined to find a hamburger. She looks kind of familiar. She’s very cute. He’s maybe curious.

12:00 a.m.: Nothing will ever be the same.

roman holiday meets modern kpop? THIS IS THE BOOK OF MY DREAMS.

Somewhere Only We Know was one of my most-anticipated releases of 2019 and it did not disappoint!! i’ve been in a sort of reading slump, but i managed to binge this in one day so that’s saying something. (but also, i was on a plane so i had the time but…) the premise for this is something like a dream come true. Roman Holiday is one of my favorite movies and the kpop industry is super interesting. the whole concept is like a fan fiction i always wanted – but better.

the story follows a girl kpop idol named Lucky (i couldn’t help but continuously think of Britney’s Lucky which was one of my favorite bops as a kid). she’s on the cusp of changing her career in big ways, but is internally struggling with why she’s following this career path in the first place. i could really relate since i am/was in a similar position (minus being, you know, actually successful lmao). she’s reached (essentially) the peak of her career and it’s not what she initially thought it’d be. throughout the book, she continues to question what she really wants and in turn, it made me question what i really want. there are a ton of books out there that are simply cute and fun to read (which are great I LOVE THEM), but there’s a special place in my heart for ones that make me reflect on myself while also being cute and fun.

and this was super cute and fun!! i was kinda conflicted because – if you watched Roman Holiday you know – the male lead is kind of a lying, scheming, untrustworthy dick BUT WE LOVE HIM. Jack may seem like that because of his line of work, but he’s honestly so wholesome!!! A+ character development for both of them and relationship development UGH.

this book made me SUPER HUNGRY because there are honestly too many food references. it also made me want to hop on the next flight to hong kong because !!!! hong kong. similar to Maurene Goo’s other novel, The Way You Make Me Feel (aka one of my all!! time!! faves!!), i was transported to the time and place of the book. it felt very cinematic and i imagined myself exploring the streets of HK alongside Lucky & Jack. this was a rom-com in book form and i could see and feel it. ALSO: the epilogue gave me so many La La Land vibes i just,,,, i cry. (no spoilers though! the ending is different from La La Land, but the ambiance made me nostalgic.)

in short, this book is magical. i love the characters; i love the cultural aspects; i love how it’s both cute and existential. all around wonderful. i honestly can’t say anything negative about it. maaaaybe the romance could’ve been more feels-y? but it was still good. if you love asian culture, cute cliches, and career driven characters, i would highly recommend!

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Overall: 4.5

The post REVIEW: somewhere only we know, by maurene goo appeared first on twirling pages.

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farewell, april alexandra:

in my 20+ years of life, i still don’t understand why the passing of time shocks me, but here we are. (how is it already almost summer????? wtf????????) ANYWAY. the majority of april was consumed getting back into the swing of things.

after my two months of traveling, coming back home was rewarding. living here my whole life, i used to constantly complain about LA and would dream of leaving and moving far far away. however, i’m starting to love and appreciate this city. i got back to teaching yoga regularly (much love for my omies), inspired again to Make Content (and plans to do it), and allowed myself to enjoy things. i went to soul cycle with one of my favorite internet friends, celine, many times; i met up with linh & emmanuel, who are so wonderful; and i did a LOT of spring cleaning – physically and mentally.

i spent a lot of time reflecting (more than usual because i already reflect A LOT on a regular basis) and am finally in a place where i feel okay. priscilla asked me a while ago if i felt happy where i was, and i could honestly say yes. isn’t that wild?!! of course there are ups and downs, but for the most part, i’m enjoying the present moment and excited for the future.

madeline:

WHERE IS THIS YEAR GOING WTF. just like xan, i can’t believe it’s already the end of april! this means i have less than a month left in my junior year of high school, and i’m about to be consumed in the tornado of college admissions. (*yike*) this year has truly gone by in a whirlwind, and i am so sad to say goodbye to my senior friends at the end of the month.

  • another dorm room pic
  • dinner with the junior class !

the major thing about this month is that i researched, wrote, and edited a 26 page history paper. essentially, this paper is a huge rite of passage at my school for juniors, and i am beyond ecstatic that i turned it in!! i printed out my baby and turned it in on may first, and it was so great to see all my work come into fruition in that moment. (btw i wrote about ACT UP, the AIDS activist group from the eighties. it allowed me to indulge the art-loving part of myself and also have an excuse to scream my support for the queer community lmao. let me know if you want me to talk about my experience with this project more on the blog!)

i took the ACT test earlier this month, and despite not always doing THAT well on standardized testing, i did really well, and i might not even have to take the SAT or ACT again! that’s a really good thing that happened this month. :))))

i know i haven’t been so present on the twirling pages this spring, and this paper is mostly the reason why; i don’t have time during the week to write blog posts, and i have been writing SO MANY WORDS on the weekends that i’ve really just been feeling drained most of the time. i hope to do a heck ton of posts this summer and maybe record my college process + do more journal-y types of posts?? idk but i really want to start reading and blogging more again !! maybe the podcast i’m always talking about doing will happen…i’ve been feeling so happy and productive this month, even with all the stress of school, yet i’m also in a weird stage when it comes to reading and making content/art.

priscilla:

TIME IS PASSING SO QUICKLY???? @time: please stop i’m not ready to be a sophomore ahhhh!! i feel like the months tend to blend together when you’re in school (maybe also when you’re working), but april didn’t feel like a super distinctive month to me. honestly, it was a very Okay month – not terrible (although there were definitely some low points), and not the best. but it’s absolutely CRAZY that my freshman year is going to be over in 2 (TWO!!) weeks! it’s been a wild ride, as i shared with you all

here are some of my highlights:

i participated in a dance show at columbia/barnard! orchesis is such a cool dance group/show because they cast everyone who auditions, and there are a lot of people (like me) who have never danced before! the picture below isn’t the dance i was in, but it was an amazing hiphop piece that included no tears left to cry, alejandro, etc!

i also visited some new cafes and restaurants, including urban backyard (cute but kinda overrated), eileen’s special cheesecake (also not amazing), golden unicorn (very good dimsum!!), abiko curry (soooo good), blank slate (cute but also a bit overrated). food is so much better with friends, and i’m really happy that i got to spend a lot time with friends this month also, casually going to plug my foodstagram again HAHA

the weather this month has been pretty nice, and campus has been soooo pretty with all the flowers blooming! i was talking to a friend about this recently, and we were both saying that we didn’t realize how much of an effect weather can have on mood until we came to new york haha (california, i miss you). although the weather’s been a bit gloomier this past week, i definitely took advantage of the weather last week and took lots of walks in riverside park!

ALSO, i saw one of my friends play at carnegie hall!! sososo proud of her; she was amazing! i usually don’t listen to that much classical music, but i really enjoyed the concert

easter was also this month! it was really nice celebrating easter with all my friends here, and a few of us had a mini picnic in central park after church. lent is finally over, which means i can once again drink boba and use facebook! i’m really happy that i gave these things up for lent, because i think i now have a somewhat healthier relationship with both of them! also, i’ve been pretty happy that i’ve been able to spend more time reading the bible and discussing it with one of my friends

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hello!! it’s been a hot sec since i wrote a blog post. lately, i’ve been trying to post more on youtube, but it’s very time consuming and takes away from my blogging. *sigh* SO i’ve decided to publish blog posts that are related to my youtube videos!! *cue confetti* if you didn’t care for my videos before, i’m sorry but now i’m really pushin’ it. YAY. hopefully this will encourage me to get more posts out in the coming future~

SUSTAINABLE HAUL 🌿🛍 everlane, reformation, etc - YouTube

one of my number one goals for 2019 was to live more sustainably. that could mean a lot of different things on different levels, but i’m hoping to do the best i could do. one of those ways is to be more conscious of my purchases. i can’t control if my takeout is prepared in plastic containers or if i forget my reusables, but i can control what i choose to buy and what brands i choose to support. (and reminder to self: ALWAYS BRING REUSABLES)

outfit one:

everlane is one of my favorite brands & they recently sent me their linen picnic top (picture below) & cheeky jeans (in the next few outfits). honestly guys, I LOVE. it’s really airy and great for summer.

even though everlane isn’t exactly the BEST brand for sustainability, they’re making an effort. they’re very transparent about their pricing, sourcing their materials, and their efforts on sustainability.

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outfit two:

i actually forgot to take a picture of this outfit, but we’re rolling with it ;—; don’t worry; you can see the outfit if you watch the video. it features a reformation dress i got from poshmark and i’m… still not sure how i feel. i wish i was confident enough to wear it without feeling self-conscious but WE’RE GETTING THERE.

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outfit three:

i went to the reformation store in new york with 0 intention of buying anything, but here we are. this green sweater i got was a spontaneous but worthwhile purchase because it’s quickly become one of my favorites! i said this in the video and i’ll say it again: it’s so soft. granted, i still have not washed it (yes, i know gross but saving water & condition of the sweater) so we’ll see how long that lasts.

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outfit four:

the foundationals is a brand that recently launched and i was very hyped for. i found them on instagram and loved their promos and the hatch sweater looked SO CUTE. however, i was a little hesitant when it was actually released and i realized it would be ~$100 for the sweater. :// i ended up caving and getting it; i have NO REGRETS and too many sweaters now (but i’m not complaining).

one thing a friend pointed out was that the sweater is made out of ~50% polyester which is no bueno for the planet. also summer is coming so: do you really want another sweater? WE DON’T KNOW but i love this one.

disclaimer: some links are affiliate, which means i earn a small commission if you purchase through them!! <333

what are ways you’re trying to be more sustainable? let me know in the comments!!

The post a sustainable clothing haul appeared first on twirling pages.

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farewell, march alexandra:

i’m honestly so confused as to how quickly the month past. time is a weird thing!!! most of march was consumed of hanging out with friends (again) (it’s been GREAT) and auditions (less great). whenever i’m at home i don’t really do much aside from going to ballet/work so it was nice to reconnect some of my favorite people.

it loved talking about things that have been on my mind with people in different friend groups. it helped me realize how much i appreciate the people in my life. i used to have this mentality of not doing things unless it “furthers my success” (aka feelings guilty every time i do things for myself like watching movies, meeting friends, doing things for leisure, etc). but CLEARLY, one does not thrive on this kind of mentality. find things that feed your soul. success is a relative term anyway.

in conclusion, i’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this month and many good conversations. also, i’m back in los angeles!!

priscilla:

i totally agree with xan – this month honestly flew by for me, but i think that’s because of spring break (expect a spring break post very soon ;))! this month has been pretty lowkey/chill; i guess the most exciting thing is that i turned 19!

over spring break, i went out a lot, ate a lot, and spent a lot of money (oops) but also spent a lot of time with friends! but besides that, school has been more or less the same as always. still being lazy and procrastinating a lot, as with this post…. which is why i probably won’t add any pictures (maybe i’ll come back and edit this post later!). one thing that was really awesome this month is that xan was in new york, so we got to hang out a couple of times!

also, lent started this month. lent is the period of 40 days (plus sundays) leading up to easter, and it’s a time when a lot of christians/catholics choose to give up something in order to refocus on God. this year, i chose to give up boba and facebook haha – it definitely hasn’t been easy, but i’m happy i did it. although i don’t know if it’s really helped me spend more time with God, i think it’s been a bit better for my health (mentally and physically).

media consumed alexandra:

i’ve updated my spotify and created a completely new one for spring!! discovering so many new songs and it’s been GREAT. my favorite is definitely Orbit, by Nao, whom i love.

in preparation of Avengers: Endgame, i’m finally finally catching up on my marvel movies. i watched like 8(??) in a span of four days. so far, i need to watch thor #3, avengers #3, and SHOULD be caught up by then.

i didn’t really read much buuuuut i finally read True Beauty, which is a webtoon i’ve been meaning to read for FOREVER. it’s actually hilarious and so so so great. the art is also beautiful I LOVE. if you’re in a reading slump/busy irl (aka me), i would recommend webtoons because they’re easily digestible and technically still reading.

and last but certainly not least, I FINALLY WATCHED HAMILTON. was probably the highlight of my month/year/life. there were many many tears. i was clearly NOT PREPARED to cry that much and made the mistake of not having tissues with me during act i and was unfortunately, covered in snot during intermission. but i left feeling inspired, emotionally drained, and overwhelmed.

priscilla:

ok wow i actually did a decent amount of reading this month!! i’m pretty proud of myself because i haven’t read in foreverrrr, but i found an app that lets me borrow ebooks from the new york public library! this month, i read china rich girlfriend, rich people problems, the way you make me feel, i believe in a thing called love, and emergency contact. i’ve also been reading a lot in the first week of april, but i guess i’ll save those for the next wrap-up!

i also watched a broadway show called be more chill, and i finished watching two k-dramas (mr. sunshine and romance is a bonus book). also, there’s some new webdramas i’ve been into: re-feel, broject (only two episodes!), and w.h.y. i talked about webdramas last month, but they’re essentially mini k-dramas – the episodes are shorter, and there aren’t as many episodes. they’re super super cute, so i definitely recommend!

foresights of april alexandra:

now that my ballet auditions are mostly over and things are starting to slow down, i’m hoping to get back on track in terms of my digital content. that means more blog posts!! consistent youtube vids!! instagram updates!!! or so i hope. i always try to be better, but often times i start to feel burnt out then become unable to get anything done. highs are super high and lows are super low. here’s to a month of forgiveness, balance, and growth.

priscilla:

i still kinda can’t believe that it’s april, and that a whole week of april has already passed. i feel like this month won’t be anything crazy, since i’ll just be at school the whole time, but it might be really busy since the school year is ending soon ish? i’m lowkey stressed because i’m not really sure what i’m doing for the summer yet, but i guess we’ll find out!

goals for april: continue reading a lot, stop spending so much time on my phone (this is actually so unhealthy, i need to fix it), stop spending so much money on things i don’t needs, pursue different hobbies instead of wasting time, and keep up with schoolwork (don’t wait until the last minute!!)

honestly, i already know i won’t achieve all of these goals hahahah but it’s still nice to set them! here’s to a peaceful and productive april for everyone <3

how was your month of march? let us know in the comments below!!

The post farewell & foresight: march 2019 appeared first on twirling pages.

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hey everyone, it’s priscilla! this post is a biiit very very overdue (as are 99% of my posts) but better late than never, right? i’ve been wanting to write a blog post reflecting on my experiences in my first semester of college, since this is a very new chapter of my life! there have been lots and lots of changes, both good and bad, and i just wanted to share a bit with you all <3

a very basic intro about me:

  • just turned 19!
  • born and raised in the bay area (west coast best coast)
  • studying psychology at barnard college in new york!
  • obsessed with food, kpop, webtoons, etc
quick recap!

  • during summer, i was really really looking forward to starting college, and i was super excited to leave the bay area suburbs
  • on august 26, i flew to new york to start my new college journey!!
  • nsop! exciting and tiring stuff, basically just learning more about barnard/columbia and college life, etc
  • started classes! last semester, i took intro to evolutionary/organismal bio (with lab), first year korean, first year writing: women and culture, and cognition
  • i loved loved loved my korean class! def my favorite class by farrrrr. my professor is so so sweet, and my classmates were all really cool! we watched so many kpop videos when we had extra time in class, which was really fun hahah
  • i grew apart from most of my high school friends :'((( this was definitely the toughest part of my first semester. honestly, i was already growing apart from most of them during my senior year and the summer before we started college, but first semester really cemented that.
  • BUT i also made new friends!! i got super super lucky with my roommate – she’s actually the sweetest person ever and i’m so blessed to have her in my life <3 i also met a lot of other cool people! i’m really grateful for the friends i have now :))
  • midterms and papers and homework ugh
  • i went to therapy for the first time and actually had a pretty positive experience! if you’re a college student dealing with anything at all, i’d definitely recommend looking into your school’s mental health resources, since i think most universities offer free counseling!
  • i saw my first snow (since 2004)!! it was very exciting
  • i went to a few concerts! super super fun (but goodbye money)
  • i tried out different clubs, including gospel choir – it was really fun while i was in it, but i decided not to continue this semester and focus on other activities instead
  • i got super sucked into subtle asian traits/dating oof
  • finals (which actually weren’t that bad!)
  • ended the semester with karaoke and dinner in koreatown with two of my closest friends!!
  • and then i went home for a very long winter break…..
highlights

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