May Afternoon Tea with SJ + Bujo!

Good afternoon!

As you can see, I’ve slightly recovered from my battle with the influenza. (At least well enough to sit up on my bed.) Today, we’ll be doing something a little unconventional.

Since I’m still feeling woozy from the past week of high fevers, we’ll be having tea out in the front porch, where I’ve set up a recliner for me and some nice wicker chairs stuffed with cushions for you. From where we are situated, we can observe the quiet street in front of us and the neighbouring gardens all verdant and luscious. A quiet wind flutters in our faces. We’re having various mint teas from a glass teapot, and simple finger foods like vegetable sticks with miso-mayonnaise. 

Ready?

Here we go…

Easy Guide to Bujo:

May brought many unexpected changes, and it also brought me bujo. For those of you who do not know, bujo is short for bullet journal, something I have been obsessed with as of late. I sat down one day and thought, “I’m not getting things done either with my Google calendar or calendar blocking. Perchance I need a third method…” 

And voila! 

I had a bullet journal created in one afternoon, and I will not be going back to life without it. 

It’s quite simple to create (in fact, it only takes you one afternoon), so let me show you just how you can do that…

1: Cover 

You start with a right turn page in your notebook, where you create a cover. Mine looks kind of hastily done, because it was done hastily, but it doesn’t have to be super opulent or anything. You just need a page telling you which month is starting. 

2: Monthly Spread 

This is probably the page that takes the most time. You should probably use a ruler when creating this page, as that gives you a nicer, crisper look. You can add Goals of the Month and Notes like I did, or use up the entire space for the spread. 

3: Weekly Spread + Everything Else 

Next comes the Weekly Spread. This is the most practical thing about bujo, where you fill in daily goals with a little tick box next to it after you finish. You can also add pages for things like Mood Tracker, Music, and Book/Movie list. I also added a Prayer list at the end. 

This month, I listened to songs like:

  1. セカイはまだ始まってすらいない (The World Hasn’t Even Started Yet)–PinocchioP
  2. Little Astronaut, Big Dreams.–Dreamy
  3. さよなら、僕のヒーロー (Goodbye, My Hero)–傘村トータ/Tota Kasamura
  4. いのちの食べ方 (How to Eat Life)–Eve
  5. Brigg Fair, An English Rhapsody–Frederick Delius
  6. 豚になってyeah yeah (Become Pig yeah yeah)–Neru
  7. YELLOW–神山羊/Yoh Kamiyama
  8. Coppélia–Léo Delibes

(I know, I know, I’m a weird person. I listen to classical music and vocaloid and lofi.)

I watched a grand total of six movies, all of them Japanese:

  1. 帝一の國 (Teichi no Kuni)
  2. 太平洋の奇跡 (Pacific’s Miracle–The Man they Called Fox)
  3. 君の膵臓をたべたい (I Want to Eat Your Pancreas)
  4. 日日是好日 (Nichi-nichi-kore-koujitsu)
  5. 恋は雨上がりのように (After the Rain)
  6. BAKUMAN

For May, I managed to read 13 books! Finally got back on reading over ten books a month!

  1. A Winter’s Promise–Christelle Dabos
  2. My Plain Jane–Fland, Meadows, Ashton
  3. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children–Ransom Riggs
  4. What I Like About You–Marisa Kanter
  5. Wayward Son–Rainbow Rowell
  6. The Wicked King–Holly Black
  7. The Great Divorce–C. S. Lewis
  8. As Many Nows as I Can Get–Shana Youngdahl
  9. The June Boys–Court Stevens
  10. Wilder Girls–Rory Power
  11. Bridge of Clay–Markus Zusak
  12. Suggested Reading–Dave Connis
  13. Sorcery of Thorns–Margaret Rogerson

And right now, I am reading The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black. 

And that’s it.  Bujo is a super fun and easy way to keep track of where all your time goes and help you be more aware of yourself. (When adequately motivated enough, I can read more, pay attention to where time goes, and listen to music I love!) I wrote around 30K+ for my WIP and short stories that I wrote for various contests. Hoping to get more writing done next month!

Thank you for joining me for a brief tea and bujo session. Quite enjoyed it!

What are some things you did this May? Do you bujo? If so, has it helped you stay more focused? What are some media you enjoyed this month? Let me know in the comments below; I love chatting with you!

10 Fantastical Books to Read at Home

Hullo, world! 

It’s back to the rainy seasons again…The sunshine was good while it lasted! How are you hanging in while this quarantine seems to drag on forever? I’m trying to wolf down my pile of books, but I have been sloshing off the classics I’m supposed to be reading and have been reading YA…Let’s hope I will finish that list one day! 

Anyhow, today, I wanted to share with you a list of books I find to be “fantastical”. They’re mostly YA (or what I want to call YA) plus a few children’s~middle grade and a few adult books mixed in. Let’s just say that these are the books that absolutely blew me away when I read them. 

  1. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

Audience: Children~Adult

Content: Fantasy-elements, some darker topics like war and death

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Of course, there’s no way I’m going to start this list without mentioning C. S. Lewis. I know a lot of people who tried reading this when they were a kid and a) loved it b) didn’t finish c) only watched the movies. No matter what category you fall under, read it! You will never regret that decision…

  1. The Lord of the Rings + the Hobbit by J. R. R.. Tolkien

Audience: Middlegrade~Adult

Content: Violence, Fantasy-elements, mild romance

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Another person I will always mention! After you are finished with Narnia (or start to realise you’re at that age nothing can take you back there but your wildest imagination), you should “move on” to LOTR. Some people find the Hobbit tedious, but I honestly don’t know, it’s also really good, plus it gives you the proper background to LOTR. It might be tough to start, but once you do start it, there’s no going back. Plus, if you do get tired, you are allowed to watch the movies. 

  1. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

Audience: YA~Adult

Contents: Magic, dark magic, death, romance

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♡

Yes, yes, this one is a tad controversial, and I wasn’t allowed to read this book until I was fifteen or so. But J. K. Rowling is a master of world building and foreshadowing, and that alone is enough reason to read this series. Plus, if you do call yourself a “biblio-” anything, you have to be able to classify yourself according to a Hogwarts House. That’s just common courtesy. (RAVENCLAWS FOREVER!!!)

  1. The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

Audience: YA~Adult

Contents: Mild adult issues, theological concepts, demons, heaven & hell

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Didn’t think I would pull another C. S. Lewis on you? (I’m sorry, in case you couldn’t tell, he’s like my favourite author EVER.) This is more of an adult-veered book, but an excellent read for the YA audience. It’s a collection of letters from one demon to the other that’s highly entertaining and convicting. 

  1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Audience: YA

Contents: Fantasy elements, robbery, romance, brothels, deaths, LGBTQ+

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♡

This book was on my TBR list for the longest time, and I finally decided to borrow it just as the  library was closing for the quarantine. (Close call!) Although it’s a YA fantasy complete with maps (this is so important if it takes place in another world) and multicultural and dark magical elements, at its heart, Six of Crows is a grand heist story. Plus, all the characters are really adorable. 

  1. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Audience: YA

Contents: Fantasy elements, faeries, some dark elements, deaths, romance

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♡

This was also on my TBR for some time. During my middle grade years, I had a fairy-phrase where all I read were rather creepy Grimm-esque fairy tales. The Cruel Prince was a good balance of that reminiscence and the YA genre I am now into. It has just the right amount of faerie’s treachery and darkness combined with the glittering dizziness…in short, if that sounds like your cup of tea, it’s a must read. 

  1. The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Audience: Adult (R18)

Contents: Profanity, Sexual content, magic, dark magic, philosophical themes, violence, deaths, LGBTQ+

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♡

Okay, so this is the one I want to recommend but at the same time apprehensive because…well, it’s dark. Darker than all the rest of the books on here. I like to call it the “Atheist-take on Narnia combined with College Hogwarts”. The elements in the book can be controversial (even more so than Harry Potter), but I thought that the world building and the overall arc is really well done. Book 2 can be suffocating, but once you get to the end, you’ll be glad you finished this series. 

  1. Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynn Jones

Audience: Middlegrade~YA

Contents: Mild romance, fantasy elements, magic

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is the perfect read for staying at home. Other than the obvious fact that Howl is hot, Sophie is the perfect MC who has the good combination of quiet, sensible, and resolute. (If you couldn’t tell it yet, I loathe senseless strong female mc). The world is absolutely one of its kind, the moving castle is totally adorable with its belching smoke and metal parts, and the magic light hearted but dark enough to be serious. Plus, the Ghibli movie version is also stunning, even if it’s not entirely the same as the book. 

  1. A Winter’s Promise by Jeanette Gilge, translated by Christelle Dabos

Audience: YA

Contents: Mild romance, fantasy elements, magic, deaths

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

If you enjoy books like Howl’s Moving Castle, there is no way you would not like this book. This is the beginning of an epic fantasy volume of the Mirror Visitor Quartet. Ophelia is so much like Sophie (a Ravenpuff, if you couldn’t tell) who is sent to live on another “ark” for her engagement to Thorn. All the characters are vivid and memorable, plus all the antique and vintage feel polished with a neat magical system is something to swoon over. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on A Winter’s Promise this coming Wednesday and why you should be reading it. 

  1. Shades of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Audience: YA-Adult

Contents: Fantasy elements, magic, deaths, violence, romance, LGBTQ+

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♡

And the last book on the list is by V. E. Schwab, who is my new favourite author! Note that even though it’s often found in YA books, it’s actually not, so it contains heavier elements than some YA. I absolutely love the different Londons (white London is my favourite) and the magic system there, as well as the overall arc and characters (Holland forever). I didn’t really like Delilah Bard, but that’s that. Antaris are very cool. 

So that’s it for now. I find that upon review, I read books that are kind of dark…but then again, without darkness, the brilliance of light cannot really be felt. 

Before you run off, I wanted to ask you a little favour: Would you fill out the survey for my blogiversary that’s coming up? It would help me brainstorm ways I can celebrate this blog with you, who makes it a very special place for me! Without you, I will not have been able to come so far.

Thank you for reading this list!

Did you find a book you might read at home? Or better yet, have you found books to re-read? What are some of your favourite books to read at home? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!