An Update On My Summer Bucket List // In Which I Watch Marvel Movies, Read, & See the Sunrise

Well, summer is over.

Part of me is sad about this, because my days spent reading and blogging as I pleased are over, and I’ve already returned to the routine of (online) school, dance, and with that comes stress. But I’m also very excited for fall to come soon and for the semblance of normalcy that’s already returned to my life with school and everything else. Summer being over means we’re making our way through 2020!

This summer will probably go down as one of the most abnormal summers of my life? Usually I would spend it reading, hanging out with my friends, possibly traveling- and yes, I did a lot of reading, but nothing else went the way it normally would have. I was able to spend time with friends outdoors occasionally, but I didn’t go anywhere and didn’t venture out of my house very often at all.

Neutral Yoga Promo Facebook Event Cover

Despite the setbacks and social distancing measures, this summer was not without its highlights: my whole family was at home, so we got to spend quality time together. I also had (almost too much) free time, and got to spend more time relaxing and doing things that interest me than I normally would.

At the beginning of summer (when I was naive and thought COVID might actually get better instead of worse where I live) I made a summer bucket list, so this is going to be my follow-up to that! I looked back at these goals a little bit, but not a lot, so I’m actually very curious to see if I mostly achieved them or mostly failed.

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Read 35 books.❌✅

I ended up reading 32 books this summer, so even though I didn’t entirely achieve this goal, I am giving myself a check in addition to the red X just because I…almost made it, and I feel like that counts for something.

I also ended up being able to read almost all the books I listed on my original post as wanting to read (Clap When You Land, Strange the Dreamer, Lucky Caller, and The Henna Wars– the only one I didn’t get to was The Fountains of Silence). I tried to read a wide variety of books this summer, and I’m excited that I was able to not only continue to read contemporaries, but I also read a lot more fantasy. My favorites of the summer include~

A Quiet Kind of ThunderLucky CallerHouse of Salt and SorrowsThe Boy Who Steals HousesYou Deserve Each Other

(The way these covers fit together in a nice color scheme is my favorite.) I also had a goal to read at least 5 classics, and I only ended up reading one (Northanger Abbey), but that’s okay! I think I knew I probably wasn’t going to achieve that one because I have no self-control when it comes to reading contemporaries and I’m also a mood reader.

I wish I had been able to read 35 books because it would have been more satisfying to check it off without an X, but I’m still happy with the amount of books I read and hopefully I got ahead enough on my Goodreads challenge to make up for whatever disaster is about to come its way during the school year.

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Watch more Marvel movies.✅

I actually did this! Watching the Marvel movies was one of my biggest goals for last summer, and I failed on it majorly. However, this summer I watched nearly all of them- as you can see on my Marvel watching log, I have way more checked off now (and it’s fine, I’ll just pretend like the lighting isn’t slightly off in the pictures and that they’re framed the same).

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I managed to get my whole family in on it with me, since we were all at home all the time this summer, and they got really into the movies too! It was really fun to watch with them and I know I’ll look back fondly on the many July nights spent watching a Marvel movie after dinner.

I have four more, and one of those is Avengers: Endgame so I’m not quite done, but I think I’ll be able to finish all of them in the next month or so. I feel so invested in the characters and the storylines, and as Annie stated in this post of hers, I love the feeling of knowing that so many other people also love these movies and that they’re so widely watched and enjoyed by the general public and now I can be a part of that.

My favorite superheroes and movies aren’t solidified yet, but as of now, I think my favorite movies are Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Captain Marvel.

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Have a book and movie Harry Potter marathon.❌

I didn’t do this this summer, half because I was busier reading other books and watching other movies, but half because it just didn’t feel right.

In the past, I’ve written many posts about Harry Potter and practically made it my brand, but due to the continuous harmful words of J.K. Rowling, I will no longer be recommending or promoting Harry Potter on my blog. Although my love for the world of Harry Potter and the nostalgia I feel in regards to this series will always stay with me, I don’t see any reason that I should continue to talk about a series written by an author who has hurt so many people (great posts on this topic by Kay, Chana, and Margaret).

In the future, I’ll only be mentioning Harry Potter if I do a reread and include it in my monthly wrap-up or in passing references to the characters or plot, but won’t be explicitly recommending the series.

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Wake up to see the sunrise.✅

Did I wake up at 6:20 am on my last day of summer vacation just because I wanted to achieve this goal and had run out of time to do so? Yes, I did. Was it worth it? I’m not sure, but at least I can check this off now, so that’s exciting.

I forgot about this goal until I started working on this update post (at the time of which, I still had a couple days of vacation left), but luckily it wasn’t too hard to wake up early. It probably would have been a prettier sunrise experience if I had gone to a park or somewhere where I could see it super clearly, but I pretty much just got out of bed and stood in the street in front of my house to watch it.

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I could kind of see the colors but not really? I also drove around my neighborhood a little bit to try to see it better, but after I circled around the same morning walkers three times I went back home because I didn’t want to seem suspicious, haha.

Even though I wish I had done this earlier in the summer and gotten to see a more beautiful sunrise, I’m still really glad I did this! I’m glad I followed through on the goal, and I also liked getting up early and starting my day hours before I normally would.

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Start writing again.❌

I’m disappointed in myself for not doing this- while I did look back at some of the stories in my Google drive from three-ish years ago (the last time I was really writing), I didn’t write anything new. However, I’ve realized that I…really miss writing??

This is a recent revelation, so I didn’t have enough summer to explore it, but I think I’m going to start implementing some kind of writing into my daily or weekly routine, even if it’s something small, like journaling or poetry. I don’t have any ideas for what I want want to write as far as longer stories go, I just know that I genuinely miss writing and want to dedicate time to it again.

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Make a whole meal for my family.✅

IMG_6803I surprised myself by doing this…and it was so much fun! I did a little bit of cooking in July, and when I say a little bit, I mean very little. I started off by making pancakes by myself, although that wasn’t too complicated because most of it was already pre-made. (Baby steps though.)

My next step was to actually make a meal! I will say that my mom helped me out with this, but I’m still counting it because you can’t go from zero to operating multiple pots on the stove by yourself, so I definitely needed some assistance. However, I was the one who found the recipe online and I tried to do as much of it as possible by myself.IMG_6804

I ended up making beef and broccoli noodles and it was SO GOOD!! (I used this recipe.) I give the it-tasting-good credits to this recipe and my mom for making sure I didn’t burn anything down but still, I’m glad I wrote down this goal because I never would have made it otherwise and it ended up being really fun and very tasty. I would highly recommend cooking a meal for your family!

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Do college research.✅

There isn’t much to say for this one, except I did spend time researching colleges and working on writing essays and yet I still have so much to do. If you have any advice for the college admissions process, or if you’re going through the same thing right now, I would gladly take any advice or comments or commiserate with anyone.

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Make my room cozier.✅

IMG_6806I did a few things around my room this summer to make it ~cozy~, including hanging up my ukulele next to my bookshelf and creating a photo cloud on my closet door.

I can’t show the photo cloud because it’s full of pictures of me with my friends, but here’s my uke! I used to be much more musical than I am now, but I did start learning how to play betty on it this summer and that’s been so nice.

I was going to paint my desk white again, because the paint has started coming off over the past few years, but I didn’t end up doing that. But I’m going to count this goal as a success because I did the photo cloud and ukulele as I planned. :’)

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Watch The Hunger Games movies.❌

I’m majorly disappointed that I did *not* accomplish this goal. When I included it on my original bucket list post, half of the comments were people surprised that I had never watched The Hunger Games movies and here we are two months later and I still haven’t watched them.

I will use the argument that a) I was busy watching the Marvel movies, b) I didn’t know where to watch them, and c) I am bad at watching movies anyway, so the fact that I watched about 20 Marvel movies (plus Lady Bird and Pride & Prejudice) was kind of my max for movies. I’m still sad I didn’t watch them though, because I actually am really interested in it, so I promise I will be trying to watch them as soon as possible.

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I definitely didn’t achieve all of these goals, but that’s okay. This summer was a very strange one to live through, but as everyone has been saying lately: we’re living through history. I hope you all had a wonderful summer, if you’re in the Northern hemisphere, or a wonderful winter if you live in the Southern hemisphere.

Thank you very much for reading my rambles about what I did this summer, and I hope you’re all doing well and staying healthy and safe!✨

Is your summer over, and if so, how was it? What do you like to cook? Have you seen any Marvel movies? I would love to talk with you in the comments.

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Photo by Taisiia Stupak on Unsplash >> Credits for the image in my featured image

26 thoughts on “An Update On My Summer Bucket List // In Which I Watch Marvel Movies, Read, & See the Sunrise

  1. Researching for college is kinda stressful, haha. I can’t believe I’ll be going to college in two months’ time. I’m not an expert on this but I did get admitted for my first choice of university, so I’d say the best advice I can give is to choose a subject that you’re positive you’re really interested in, since you’re going to dive deep into it in your college years. After that, maybe do some research on recent news about that subject? Because you’ll be asked about them in interviews and putting them in your personal statement will show the college that you’re passionate for the subject. Hope this helps!

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    • Thank you so much for the advice! I’m still not sure what I want to study, but narrowing it down is definitely one of my main goals right now. Ahh, I never thought about researching the recent news about it but that’s a really great idea! Thank you again for the advice.❤️

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  2. Aw I can’t believe summer is over (or winding down, in my case!). I love fall so much and how cozy it is (and my excuse for going to buy coffee and tea literally every day) but also I love to be warm and cold weather is just so ugh.

    So neat to see what you completed this summer!! Reading 32 books is awesome, especially hitting the ones on your TBR!! I don’t have that strong of willpower, haha!

    Also, I’m OBSESSED with the Marvel movies omg. I binge watched them all last summer and had a headache for three days straight because my eyes were so tired of staring at screens but I just. couldn’t. stop!! The way that the story weaves together throughout the movies and how the different plots were planned like 10 years in advance is just so cool to me!!

    I hope you have a great start to school!! 🥰

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    • I know! It flew by, but I am also looking forward to fall so much.🥺 Haha, it’s really hot where I live so I’m honestly looking forward to the weather getting a little cooler in the coming months!

      Aww, thank you- I have to admit, me reading most of the ones on my TBR was mostly just luck because I didn’t really refer back to the post at all throughout summer.

      They are so good?! I wish I had been able to finish them all, but that’s so amazing that you did that last summer. I know, I have to have such a deep appreciation for the plotlines and how complex there are, it’s amazing.

      Thank you so much, Erin!! I really appreciate it.❤️

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  3. Olivia!! STOP!! I am unaccomplished and set 0 goals and now I regret and want to do this lmao. But also you did AMAZING eeppp. 32 books is brilliant, go you. Ya read some amazing books and ate good food. Sounds like a great time to me <3<3

    Ah also wow you so cool that you watched all the Marvel movies ermygosh. I am also kinda behind on a few of them, but they're kinda a hit or miss for me. My one love is the new Spider-man movies though so I'm good lmao.

    (also yes jkr sucks and her harmful words have just, in general, made me feel so eh about hp now)

    Also omg we MUST motivate each other to do writing bc Yess!! I only started my book earlier this year and have abandoned it. The document hates me and is probs gonna lag when I open it. But I deserve it welp. Anyways, yeah, also miss it and would love to get on a more regular writing schedule and be more consistent. Those pancakes also look SO YUM. And ahh glad you did some room things, lowkey so much to do interior decorating.

    OMG PLS WATCH THE HUNGER GAMES!! And then scream at me. I ADORE those films so dang much ahh

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    • Ahh, Ruby, thank you SO much!! But also, no, you are very accomplished- just look at your blog and instagram and booktube and all the amazing content you constantly put out.😍

      I definitely feel that! There weren’t any that I didn’t like, but some of them I enjoyed more than others, and there were a few that my family didn’t like, haha. Oh my gosh, I love Tom Holland as Spider-man so much- I’ve only seen the first one and then him in the Avengers but it’s SO GOOD.

      Okay but the fact that you have a book you’ve started is amazing! But yes, let’s motivate each other. I don’t know what I want to write or anything, I just know that I really miss it. And I would always be more than happy to scream with you about writing on any and all platforms!! Ahh, thank you so much!! You are seriously the kindest and this comment has made me very happy.❤️

      I WILL, SOMEDAY. Of course I will scream at you as soon as I watch it. :’)

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  4. Goodbye, summer! (Feels strange to be saying that since it’s currently 90 degrees in my house.) I hope online school is as bearable as it can be for you…

    Very glad to hear you were able to have a good summer despite, you know, everything. Congrats on your Marvel progress! Winter Soldier and Captain Marvel are two of my favorites as well 😀 And yeah…I definitely understand the weirdness with Harry Potter. I had a whole series of HP-related posts planned, which I’m obviously not going to be doing anymore. I certainly still love the books and fandom, but it doesn’t feel right to be talking about it all the time on my blog.

    Ahh you’ve inspired me to get up early enough to see the sunrise! That sounds so lovely, and I definitely want to do that at some point 😀 And that noodle meal looks delicious. I hope you stay healthy and safe too! ❤

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    • Thank you, Margaret! Haha, same- it’s just been getting hotter and hotter here and usually reaches 100 most days. But I’ll just keep telling myself fall is coming.😅

      I love both of those so much! I think Captain Marvel caught me off guard as being one of my favorites, but I just feel in love with the characters and storyline. I completely agree with Harry Potter! I’ve done a lot of Harry Potter related posts in the past, but now it just feels wrong to post about it.

      Aww, that made me smile! It was actually very nice, even though I didn’t see very much of it. Thank you again, Margaret, for your very kind comment! xx

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  5. I hope this is the most abnormal summer of my life. I can’t imagine what could possibly be more abnormal.
    GOOD NEWS. I decided to check my library’s website the other day, and I saw that they had The Boy Who Steals Houses?? I obviously immediately put in on hold, so I should be reading it very soon. My hunch was that it was requested by another teen.
    AH yesss, Marvel!! Ahaha, thank you for linking to my post. Oh my goodness, I’m excited–as always.
    Your pancakes look so good! Making pre-made food is still making food if you can’t eat the food after just buying it from the store. Ahh, your noodles look great too. Do you know what the past name was?
    About college applications: I think the best part of the process so far was this one night when some of my friends and I were calling, and we were all doing college apps. It was surprisingly so much more fun that just doing it by myself, but I also didn’t actually do any of it, so that might be a factor as well.
    Did you like Lady Bird?? I have a friend who absolutely loves it so much that she did an oil paint of a still from the movie for a project last year in art class.
    As I’m writing this, my summer is ALMOST OVER. Wow, two more full days. But my first day is online, so it still kind of feels like summer.

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    • That’s very true- I also hope this is the most abnormal summer of my life, or else the future has some explaining to do.
      Oh my gosh!! That’s amazing. I didn’t know it was in the US yet so yay for that. :)) That’s also really exciting that it was requested by someone else as well- me over here getting excited thinking about the adventure you have in store with TBWSH and smiling!
      Of course! Ahh, thank you for the validation regarding the pre-made food. I would have to say I agree with you- even though it wasn’t hard, it wasn’t effortless. Ah, thank you, and as for the pasta name, I’m not sure? I know it was rice noodles of some kind but they didn’t have the flat kind so we had to get a different shape.
      That sounds like so much fun! Okay, now I want to schedule a zoom like that with some friends. Not actually doing any of it sounds like something that would happen with me too, but I feel that- and sometimes you end up feeling productive even if you didn’t do anything, which is somewhat of a good feeling.
      Oh wow, that’s so cool! I did like Lady Bird, but I definitely did not love it at the level of your friend, haha.
      Oh my gosh right! I’m very excited to hear about how your first days have gone. :)) HAPPY SECOND LAST FIRST DAY OF HIGH SCHOOL.

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  6. I hope the start of your school year is going well so far! I still have a few weeks left to accomplish some of the things on my bucket list. I agree that this summer has definitely been weird. I haven’t seen very many of my friends, even though we all thought we’d be able to see each other by summer. My family and I have been going on a lot of hikes and visiting state parks near us. I also read a bunch of great books this summer, which is good. The first half of the year was super meh readingwise for me, so I’m glad it’s looking up. One of my summer highlights was folklore’s release. My favorite Marvel movies are The Winter Soldier and Captain Marvel. Endgame is rough lol. I don’t think I’ll be able to rewatch it for a long time.
    -Rose

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    • Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy your last few weeks of summer.💛 I definitely feel you on thinking it would be okay to see friends right now but not being able to- hopefully things get better soon. I’m really glad you’ve been able to go to state parks and read good books, that’s always very exciting! I couldn’t agree more that folklore releasing was a highlight not only of summer, but of 2020 in general. Ahh, I’m so nervous to watch Endgame because I’ve heard it’s so emotional from so many people- and I also just know it’s going to feel so final when I watch it and then I will be done with so many storylines, but I know I have to watch it eventually. Thank you for this comment, Rose! xx

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  7. Loved reading this update Olivia and you did pretty good with your goals!! Especially 32 books that’s amazing – definitely motivated me to read more haha.
    My summer doesn’t end for a couple weeks yet (we go back in September in the UK) but it’s in person and I’m not really looking forward to it. It still doesn’t really feel safe to go back to school because social distancing can’t really happen but I guess we’ll see what it’s like.🤷🏽‍♀️

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    • Ahh, thank you, Emme! I’m so glad this could motivate you and happiest of reading to you.🥰 I hope that you enjoy your last couple of weeks of summer, and good luck with going back to school! In person is definitely scary (I’m going back in person in a couple weeks and I’m pretty worried) but I hope it’s safe and that you enjoy getting to see people again and gain back some normalcy. Thinking of you! xx

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  8. Such a great post, Olivia 😊 Congratulations on 32 books, thats amazing! I read Clap When You Land this summer and I loved it. I hope you are able to do more writing during the rest of the year, but your room and the food you cooked both look incredible 😍. I don’t think I cooked anything this summer except pizza haha! My summer has been okay, fairly productive but I would have enjoyed it much more if it wasn’t for the pandemic.

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    • Thank you very much! I’m really glad you loved Clap When You Land- I also really liked, which was a nice surprise because I haven’t loved books written in verse in the past. Ahh, thank you- ooh, cooking pizza sounds so good though. I love pizza and wish I had the talent to make it instead of just buy it.😂 “I would have enjoyed it more if it wasn’t for the pandemic”- yes, exactly, I couldn’t agree more. Thank you again, Stephen!

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  9. Enjoyed reading this post so much!! For me, this weird but surprisingly productive summer isn’t really over yet but a lot of things happened already. I graduated from high school, I am working on my driver’s license rn, and I am probably going to move in a bit more than a month for uni. Still waiting for my uni admission letter, though thanks to covid…

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    • Aww, thank you, Lydia! I’m really happy you had a good summer and that it’s still going on for you.💗 Congratulations on graduating and on uni, that’s so amazing!! I hope everything goes well for you and imagine me tossing confetti right now in celebration. xx

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  10. It looks like despite everything going on you had a wonderful summer, and I’m so happy for you!
    For someone who doesn’t watch many movies, you did such a great job with the Marvel ones! I’ve been watching them for years as they came out, and it’s always so nice when I see new people joining this crazy fandom. If you ever get to watch the Hunger Games movies I’d love to hear you thoughts on them. Catching Fire is probably one of my favorites book-to-movie adaptations.
    Congratulations on reading so much this summer! In just a couple of months, you read half of what I’ve read so far this year 👀

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    • Thank you so much! Even though it was very strange, hopefully I was able to make the best of it.😌
      Yay- thank you! I’m so excited that once I catch up I can watch them as they come out because that’s just next level fan status. When I watch The Hunger Games, I’ll definitely mention it because I would love to talk about them with anyone. Catching Fire was my favorite book in the series that that makes me really excited for the movie!
      Ahh, thank you- ahh, it sounds much more impressive than it actually is when you put it that way, especially because I only read a few books before summer this year. But thank you! xx

      Liked by 2 people

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