K-dramas for bookish babes!

Hello book nerds!

In today’s post, I want to give some K-drama recs for book lovers. Korean dramas are television series produced in Korea, and they range from a variety of genres such as romance, crime, melodrama, or science fiction. I enjoy the romance ones.

 If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m either finishing a K-drama or starting a new one.  If you’re new to K-dramas, or just curious about all the hype, I hope you find this list helpful.

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Come and listen to me ramble about Penelope (2007)

With Quarantine on the mind, I decided to rewatch a classic, Penelope. Not only is this movie an adorable story, but the main character is a bookish babe! Penelope’s room is full of books and plants, basically a library, and she even has a swing.

If you have never watched this movie, now is the time. Youtube is currently streaming it for free, you’ll have to deal with some ads, though, but use these short intermissions for snack breaks.

You can watch the movie here

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October Review

Remember when I made my October reading list a thick stack of Spooky literature? I had Cute Spooky books such as Babysitters Coven and Mooncakes, to Nostalgic Spooky with Hocus Pocus and the All New Sequel, to Mystery Spooks with Wicked Fox and Ninth House. I knew my October TBR was ambitious, but after completing my Latinx heritage month reading binge, I felt extra powerful.

Apollo cosplaying as a ghost

I started October by reading Permanent Record, a book that was not on my spooks list. However, Permanent Record decided that it was the book that I needed to start my October by arriving early at the library. Since Permanent Record arrived at the library during the first week of October, I simply could not refuse adding it to my pile.

I enjoyed the book, but it was not getting into the spooky spirit. In fact, Permanent Record had more of a winter in February feel.

Next, I decided to jump on the nostalgia boat and pick up Hocus Pocus and the All New Sequel. I saw this title all over Instagram last year, and although the reviews for it were not that great, my stubborn heart wanted to know more about Max and Alison. My fave couple turned out just fine, Alison as a lawyer and Max as a history teacher, oh, and they have a daughter named Poppy. However, my curiosity about Alison and Max could not keep me entertained throughout the book.

Hocus Pocus is a movie that premiered in the 90s and stars famous babes, Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker. Freeform is streaming Hocus Pocus every day in October for this year’s 31 Nights of Halloween. Given all these factors, I felt that the 200-page novelization of the movie was unnecessary. Although the novelization of the movie would guide new readers through the cult classic, a recap would have been quicker.

I considered myself a Hocus Pocus expert because I grew up watching this movie so, I decided to skip this whole section. Once I moved onto The All New Sequel, I realized I made a mistake because the characters bring up the legend of Elizabeth Sanderson. Someone who is not in the movie at all, but was added to this story for the sequel.

I flipped back to the beginning to find out who Elizabeth was and then returned to the present-day chapters. I was hoping to settle into the sequel with this additional information, but I could not. Poppy was bland and uninteresting her hobbies, included photography and a crush on her best friend. Once the story kicks off, Poppy and her friends sneak into the Sanderson Sister Cottage and summon the Sisters which results in horrible consequences very much like the original movie. But in order for the sisters to anchor themselves to this realm, they must trade their places in hell with Max, Alison, and Dani. At this point in the story, I was bored. I didn’t care about these characters anymore and I began my next read.

My next book was The Babysitters Coven, one of my most anticipated reads. I really enjoyed this book and will definitely read any future sequels. Check out my review here.

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Boo

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The Fourth book I read for October was Wicked Fox, and I found this book to be more interesting. I loved the reading about the mythology of the Gumiho and the way the author used Korean words in the dialogue. However, this book is heavy on the teen angst, and towards the end, I was tired of it. You can read my full review here.

Although I did not read as many books as I did in September, I still managed to get into the spooky spirit.

I got to visit the Freeform Halloween House

And a pumpkin patch

Besides these spooky activities I also got to hang out with my friends from university for the first time since graduation.

How was your October? Did you read anything good or enjoy a fun fall activity?

Until my next review continue living in libros,

Gaby

Check out the Freeform Halloween House with me

Today I am taking a break from reviewing books to bring my lovely readers on a Spooktacular trip. This year I decided to start off October with a trip to Freeform’s Halloween House.

Practicing the poses I learned on YouTube

This year’s Halloween House was hosted at the Los Angeles Athletic Club in Hollywood. I will admit my cousin and I got a little lost looking for the entrance to the Halloween house but after teaming up with two other lost souls we managed to find the correct entrance.

After checking into the Halloween House and receiving a high tech wristband, guests are invited into a big foggy room to spin a wheel and enter for a chance to win an assortment of prizes, I won some butterfingers. Besides the cool spin wheel there was another mini game for another chance at prizes, I won more butterfingers there too.

After the mini games I was greeted with a huge line for a scream photo op. What was this scream photo op, I wondered? Was the Scream character going to pop up and spook me? I had to find out. Before entering the Scream line, I spotted this lovely library that gave me all kinds of ideas for decorating my own bookcase.

As for the Scream photo? Here it is. The booth wasn’t to scary but the phone starting ringing as soon as we sat down and I, a weenie hut jr, passed the phone to my cousin. The Scream dude did not greet us with a Wazz Up, sadly, but instead said something spooky and the lights in the booth went out. There was a big mirror in front of us and this is the exact face I made at the cool movie magic that made Scream emerge behind me. This ended up being one of my favorite pictures of the night.

After leaving the Scream booth, I entered a forest just like the one Jack Skellington enters when he discovers there are more holidays besides Halloween. The trees were complete with all the holidays such as Valentine’s day, Christmas, and Easter.

I wonder how Jack would feel about Dia de los Muertos?

So, what was behind the holiday forest? A Cemetery of course! The Cemetery had lots of headstones from tons of classic movies such as Toy story, Scooby Doo, Addams Family, and more. The headstones had some funny descriptions of how all the character’s die.

Here at the cemetery you could recreate the most iconic scene from the Nightmare before Christmas and dress like Sally and Jack.

I opted out of the costume, but the picture still looked great.

After leaving the cemetery, I entered another iconic movie cemetery, this time from Hocus Pocus. The Hocus Pocus portion of this event was massive! There were so many opportunities to recreate scenes from the movie. Here are just a few of mine.

After leaving fictional Salem, I climbed up some stairs and had to choose between three rooms: Addams family, Oogie Boggie’s gambling den, and the treehouse of horror. I decided to see what the Addams family room had in store first.

I skipped on the photo op for this room, but they had angel wings and cape props for you to wear.

Addams family room

The line for Oogie boogie’s gambling hall was huge! The line almost went into the Addam’s family room. An attendant nearby suggested we take our photos at the treehouse horror first and pop into the other line as that would make the wait shorter.

The Treehouse horror Photo

And here is me attempting to jump the line and slide into Oogie’s lair undetected.

Finally, at Oogie’s lair guests were given another opportunity to spin a giant wheel for tricks or treats. My prima spun treat and ended up taking home a Zen coloring book of Nightmare before Christmas characters, I spun trick and left with a mummy finger puppet, which I lost during the car ride home. The other game in Oogie’s liar involved rolling big dice for the chance to win more prizes. What was that prize? Beats me, I ended up winning a plastic spider.

After Oogie’s liar I was ready to head home and eat some pizza before bed.

I am not one for big spooks during Halloween season, and I have yet to visit Mickey’s Halloween Party, so the freeform Halloween house was just right for me. What I liked about this Halloween House were all the props you could wear for your photos. I thought it was interactive to be able to dress like these characters for your photos. There are professional cameras at all the photo ops stations and with a scan of the high tech wristband given upon entry, photos are sent to your email. That was very cool! I think the Halloween House is worth adding to your list of fall activities if you’re tired of pumpkin patches.

Tickets for this year’s house were $27 and children under 13 were not allowed entry. I’m not sure about the age restriction as there was not anything overly scary.

Have a Spooky Halloween,

Gaby

My trip to San Miguel de Allende

Travel Diary

Hello friends, book goblins, and wanderlusters!

Today’s post will be all about my recent trip to México. Unlike my previous trips to the motherland, my trip to the pueblito of San Miguel de Allende was for a poetry conference sponsored through my Uni. This program was set up through a study abroad program, but unlike a lot of study abroad trips, this particular one was for a week rather than a full semester. I liked this because it meant I would not have to be away from my dog, Apollo, for that long 😊. During my trip, I participated in a poetry workshop with other U.S poets who have experience writing and publishing poetry. During the workshops, we would collectively get together and read and critique each other’s poetry. It was super awesome! Even though a majority of my classmates did not have experience in the publishing world, we could still offer valid critiques for these seasoned poets.

I learned a lot about my craft during this trip, such as how to make my images stronger. I wrote a handful of poems during this trip, which of course, I’ll share on the blog after editing them.

Nicknamed the Venice of México, San Miguel is one of the most visited cities in the world. One of the things that makes this small town so unique is the beautiful cobblestone roads but beware of these aesthetically pleasing streets because they are not kind to tennis shoes.

I arrived immediately after the New Year, a few days before Dia de Los Reyes, and because they had not yet arrived, the town was still decorated with lights, Christmas trees, and nativity scenes. This made me feel like I was at home with my family as we also wait after we have cut the Rosca de Reyes to put away our Christmas decor.

The Starbucks travel mug for this city

For a such a small town there was so much to see in San Miguel. Although the pueblo is known for la parroquia de San Miguel, named after the archangel Michael, you know the one that put Satan in hell, there were a lot of other churches named after various saints within walking distance. The one from my photo is named Templo de San Francisco.


Templo de San Francisco

At night in the jardín, there were often mariachi men singing and playing instruments. There were also people dressed in colonial-style clothing, wigs, and fake swords giving history lessons. And of course, also haunting the jardín at night were the stray dogs. There was one dog in particular that I continued to see throughout my trip here, a yellow lab who was a little dusty but looked well fed. Every time this dog saw my group of friends, he wagged his tail at us. On one of my early morning walks into town, I found this dog trying to wife up another stray dog, this one was white, and had brown spots. I hope the two became best friends and continue to greet the people of San Miguel.

If restaurants aren’t your thing, then you’ll want to try out the street food. Vendors sell various treats such as elotes, chicharrones, tortas, fruta, and tostilocos, all over the jardín. But the one cart that made me drool the most was the one selling ice cream. The ice cream is homemade and tastes good.

Knock me into the next galaxy good.

And it’s only 20 pesos, around 1 dollar. The flavors this stalled offered were fresas con crema, elote, and horchata. I got to sample chocolate and devour the elote ice cream. The chocolate ice cream tasted just like abuelita chocolate while the elote ice cream tasted like tamale de elote, if you ever had the pleasure to try those I highly recommend.

A view of the alley of artisans

As for shopping, there were a lot of stores to get souvenirs from. However, the souvenirs I wanted such as coin purses and handcrafted sculptures, were expensive in the town square. However, after entering the huge Mercado in which they sell food, DVDs, clothing, I was overwhelmed by its vastness. I had no luck finding my souvenirs here either, but as I continued to follow the Mercado down different streets, I eventually found the alley of artisanos, which was full of the handcrafted trinkets I was looking for. If you are going on a souvenir hunt and want to get something with Frida Kahol on it, you won’t have any problems here.

On one of my last days in Guanajuato, my class and I visited a pyramid just outside of town. Upon entering the small lobby of the arachnological site, roamed the cutest dog trotting and seeking sunshine for her morning tan. Her feet were muddy as if she had taken a dip in a river earlier. The pyramid itself was super cool, and unlike a lot of pyramids built in México, this one faced the sun. Our guide informed us that the indigenous people who built it this way, so it was the first thing they saw as they climbed it. Another interesting thing about this particular site was that not too far from the pyramid, the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared on a disc. So this area was named after la virgen. It’s truly fascinating that a religious site has a way of remaining religious forever.

The area where I am standing is what they called the Underworld

On our last day, our professor took my class to the local hot springs, where we proceeded to play marco polo in the warm pool. Aside from the warm pools that hot spring also had a man-made cave that you could walk through to get into their hottest pool, the grotto. This cave had a small waterfall that poured hot water into the pool and guests got in line to stand under it. Free back massage! I visited the hot springs with a slight cold so my time in the steamy room just cleared up all my sinuses.

And that concluded my trip to San Miguel de Allende. It was a lot of fun, and if given the opportunity, I would go again.


BookOutlet Haul and Review

So, I recently discovered BookOutlet and after looking at the prices I was sold not gonna lie. So, I decided hey, might as well place an order. I was little iffy on the books I should buy, and cross checked the reviews from Goodreads cause, I can get picky. After a couple of days, I decided eff it and placed an order.

I think what makes BookOutlet special from other online bookstores is that they have two options when you buy books, you can either buy the bargain copy, which the site says are bought new from the publishers and sometimes will still have the stickers of the store it was originally returned from. The second option is what they call a scratch and dent copy which are books with cosmetic damages or missing dust jackets. Scratch and dent copies are also cheaper than the bargain version. I went with the bargain copies because I read new and was like whoa they must be perfect. But after looking at the website some more I realized  that bargain books can have minor cosmetic damages too.

So, I’m feeling good I got my books a day early. In total this haul includes 7 books and my total came up to $35.93 plus free shipping. What a deal! I could probably get 3 or 4 books with that amount on amazon.

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The Haul

So, I opened my box and the first thing I noticed was the pretty cover of American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

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The second thing I noticed was my copy of Crooked Kingdom and those iconic red pages. I also noticed that some pages were kind of bent. But I didn’t consider this a big deal the pages could be straighten by a stack of books. Plus, I was already blown away by the beautiful art inside of the cover.

So, then I start going through the rest of my books and I noticed a lot of them had bent pages. Who hurt them? My copy of Love Sugar Magic which I planned to give to my cousin as a gift had some rips, they weren’t that deep though and never on the text itself.

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So, after discovering this I was a little bummed that the books were a bit rough around the edges. Well after I got over that I decided that they weren’t so bad and that this haul was still a success because I did receive a lot of books. I still plan to buy from them because their books are a deal and you can get so many!

Also for the bent pages my copy of Crooked Kingdom is back to normal after having some books stacked on top of it.

In conclusion, BookOutlet is great! Although if you’re planning to buy books as gifts I would keep in mind the minor cosmetic damages. I will probably still end up giving the books I planned to give as gifts anyways.