moving to self-hosted wordpress!

self-hosted wp

i’ve had this goal since i began blogging and i finally did it:

i’ve moved to a wordpress self-hosted website!

before i began blogging, many people had said wp self-hosted was too complex for new bloggers, and they wouldn’t recommend it unless you had experience in blogging/building your own website. i was a total noob, so i began with wordpress.com. it was alright at first, but i grew frustrated at the lack of customization. i upgraded to the pro version, but i still felt restrained. UGH. finally, after many hours online ‘researching,’ i decided it was time to take action. annnnnd here i am.

to those who are still commenting/subscribing on my old blog… please come to the new one. i’ve changed my previous blog to thetwirlingpages.wordpress.com, and my new one is twirlingpages.com. you can still see/view the wp.com blog, but it won’t be updated.

also, i really hope you explore the new theme! i designed it myself and i’m quite proud. a HUGE thank you and shoutout to hazel from stay bookish for coding everything and dealing with my cluelessness. <33333 i'm currently trying to reformat all my previous posts so it would fit this new design, so excuse the lack of posts this week. i'm still adjusting to everything! hopefully i could get back to hang of things soon~!

– alexandra

farewell & foresight: apr/may ’15

farewell and foresight

farewell, april!

april was a busy month filled with blogging! i wanted to focus more on my blog, but in turn, i didn’t read as many books as i would’ve liked (only two????). i tried keeping up my blog posts and squeeze out all the creative juices, and i must say, it was a bit stressful. i have no idea how some bloggers manage to write up a post (or two or three) in one day. i know some of them schedule things ahead of time, but if you schedule, you’d still need to write up like, ten posts in one day to make up for the week. :////

i’m (kinda) caught up on school! which makes me very proud because i actually managed to be productive and finish a few classes. all i have is two(?) more.  i also continued exercising with kayla itsines’ bbg. i was fairly unmotivated and moody towards the end of the month, but i think i’m ready to get back at it. i also contacted publishers for arcs! i just sent one yesterday, and i’m feeling more brave. (channeling my inner dauntless) i’d say it was a fairly successful month.

books i read:

currently reading: the walls around us, by nova ren suma; the life-changing magic of tidying up, by marie kondo (confession: i actually haven’t been reading these past few days/weeks because i’ve been in a strange mood. also my tbr pile is seriously piling up.)

other happenings on the blog:

on replay

this past month, i found out i could stream 8tracks and soundcloud on my phone without using any data!!! (THANK YOU T-MOBILE.) this was a very big change for me because it meant i could ~finally~ listen to more music. when i’m at home, i usually blog or do schoolwork and i don’t like listening to songs with words while reading/writing. i find it harder to focus, so i end up listening to instrumental versions or covers of pop songs. but now, i can actually listen to music that i can actually sing to. but recently, i’ve been listening to korean-indie songs and i can’t speak korean so um, that fails.

i started watching gossip girl at the beginning of the month, but it ended up failing after about five or six episodes. i was really interested at first because it reminded me of one of my favorite korean dramas, the heirs, but it got repetitive and slow. i started thinking about watching all six seasons and it suddenly felt too long for me. i picked up a korean drama i left off, my love from another star, after i stopped watching gossip girl and i’m OBSESSED. my sister is absolutely obsessed with this drama and i trust her judgement. i realized that i’m not a huge fan of watching things and i’d usually prefer reading things instead. i keep starting shows and stopping after two or three episodes (echm the 100). *sigh* unless, you know, it’s absolutely amazing and i watch it for 24 hours nonstop. i don’t think there’s an in between.

quote of the month:

“I don’t care how many people watch or read something I make. I care how many people love what I make.” – John Green


foresights for may

first things first:

i’m actually really excited for may! near the end of the month, i’ll be competing at showstopper dance competition with a bunch of my good friends. i’ve been competing at showstopper for about three years now and i always have a lot of fun there. i really like showstopper because there are hardly any people there, so it feels more like a performance instead of a ‘scary’ competition. there are a lot of jazz dancers who compete at showstopper, but since i dance ballet, it’s mostly kids from our studio.

goals for this month:

  • keep doing kayla itsines’ bbg; after i finish, restart from week one
  • hopefully pass the permit exam so i can finally DRIVEEE
  • focus on ballet and dance; recover from my injured hip *cries*
  • finish alg. ii part a.; work on french ii and chemistry part b.
  • continue blogging ❤
  • move to wp self-hosted!! 😀

what are your plans for the next month?

– alexandra

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FINALLY FRIDAY: 04.24.14

finallyfriday

this is a new feature on twirling pages in which xandra praises the day because it’s finally friday!! i suppose it’s a weekly recap, but i’m not entirely sure what this’ll end up being.

in terms of blogging and life, this week was a struggle. i kept getting distracted by who know’s what and oversleeping and getting behind schedule. sorry for the lack of posts & unenthusiasm! i occasionally get in these awful moods where i’m mad at myself for being unproductive, but have no desire to be productive. yeah, it’s terrible. but it seemed like there were a bunch of other reasons to celebrate this week! tuesday was internet best friend day <3; wednesday was earth day; thursday was world book day; today is st. mark’s eve, shakespeare’s birthday, and arbor day!

things you may have missed on twirling pages:

things that happened in the real world:

books i began/continued reading (or rereading):

 other things worth mentioning:

  • i sent in my first arc request email! *exhale* i don’t particularly care if i get a response or anything, but i’m just proud of myself for sending it in. it was one of my new year’s resolution to contact publishers and i think i’m finally getting to it. i still consider myself a newbie blogger even though i’ve been blogging for over six months. there are lots of times i feel like i don’t have a ‘right’ to request for arcs. like, “why would or should publishers give me free books? i don’t even know what i’m doing.” but it doesn’t hurt to try.
  • my lillytales or nook & burrow items arrived in the mail! i ordered three bookmarks and a buttery beer candle. my bookworm boutique mug also arrived. still waiting for my pillow though. pictures to come~
  • my family bought a new rice cooker because our old one was dying. this new one is EPIC.
  • i’m trying to resurrect my tumblr. changed the theme and added posts to the queue.

how was your week?

– alexandra

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farewell & foresight: mar/apr ’15

farewell, march!

this month flew by. i feel like i say this every month, but march was over in a flash. all of a sudden, it was the last weekend and i was scrambling to finish my goals and everything else. it was fairly uneventful, but quick. much happened in the first week, but after that, things slowed down. we began rehearsals for upcoming competitions; i continued my healthy journey; i’m officially and undoubtedly out of my reading slump; i’d say it was a successful month. also, i finally finished driver’s ed. time to take my permit test and get on the road! the earliest time for scheduling with the dmv was may, so i’ll just need to wait until then. ://

books i finished:

currently reading: endgame; by james frey

on replay:

i started using spotify again, but i’m not sure how long that’ll last. i want you to know, by zedd and selena gomez, has been stuck in my head for nearly a week. i’m not sure if i should be banging my head against the wall or getting up to dance. i really enjoy all of zedd’s work, so i guess it’s not a bad thing.

i also started watching the 100 on netflix, partially due to my friend’s demand and mostly because it was trending on twitter and i was curious. i’m only on episode five(?) of season one, and i’m really liking it so far! it’s quite intense and creepy, but good. it reminds me of lord of the flies, the maze runner, and the hunger games.

quote of the month:

(source: pinterest)


foresights of april

i can’t believe there are only two more months until june. you’re probably wondering, what happens in june? besides my birthday and summer, i’ll be flying to indianapolis for a ballet competition. then i’ll be flying two new york city a few days later! i love traveling and i’m beyond excited to share my experience with you! i just need to finish school and bbg before that happens. i’m actually not excited for my birthday because i’ll probably be flying, and i’m getting incredibly old. sixteen is the epitome of teenager-dome and i quite like it. i want to grow up, but i don’t want to grow old.

goals for this month:

  • MOVE TO WP.ORG! :DDD
  • continue kayla itsines’s bbg!
  • finish the part a. of literature, history, and math; begin french (i said this last month *sigh*)
  • use all that korean skin care stuff everyday~

these months are starting to look the same, but oh whale. i’m excited and anxious for the summer to come. i know i need to finish loads of stuff before i could get there, which is why i need to focus now so i could enjoy the city and competitions when the time comes.

what are your plans for the next month?

xoxo,

alexandra

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blog updates & etc.

this past week i’ve accomplished the following: get sick, finish a book, and think. i’ve been thinking you don’t say! about changing this blog. now’s the time for a collective, ‘what?!’  no, i’m still going to be blogging about books, but i also want to blog about my life. originally, i had a separate blog for updates on my life, pictures, etc., but i would only post twice a year and i found it annoying to manage. why isn’t everything in one place? being the lazy teenager i am, i’ve decided to change this space into a book & lifestyle blog. honestly, there isn’t much of a change because i feel like it was already like that; i just wanted to give everyone a head’s up. i’ll just be having more posts dedicated to things like… food, skincare, exercising, ballet, photography, and basically my life. HORRAY! i can release my inner sass monster.

(source: truballetfax.tumblr.com)

(source: truballetfax.tumblr.com)

i’ve also been designing my **new** blog theme! so i’ve set forth and finally decided to move to wordpress.. you know, after i clean up the new theme. (i know, i’ve said i would move, like, 5 times. but i’m actually doing something about it now!) i would upload a picture of the draft, but i want it to be a complete surprise. i’m so excited.

cheering minions

xox,

alexandra

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farewell & foresight: jan/feb/mar ’15

farewell, january and february!

yes, i need to merge two months because i was on a blogging hiatus. don’t mind me. *casually whistles* january and february felt like one gigantic month. one thing after another so there was hardly any separation, but so much had happened that it felt like three months. i don’t know; time is weird. i auditioned for american ballet theatre’s summer program and got accepted into the new york location. i’ve been accepted for a few years now, but only went once. however, this year my parents decided to let me go again! i’m super super super excited. i also went to ballet competitions three weeks in row, traveling to huntington beach, las vegas, and upland. (thank goodness i’m done) now that that is over, we could start rehearsing for our next competition in may and june! *twitch* i also started doing kayla itsines’ bikini body workout and i will dedicate another post to that. i’ve been trying to reestablish my health and fitness.

books i finished:

on replay:

in the past two months, i discovered infinite (a korean boy group) and have kind of really been obsessed with all their songs. i downloaded every single one and it’s been playing ~on replay~ for weeks. i also found instrumental covers of their songs by an amazing pianist named nei. i love her. and them. i love everything. this is my jam.

quote of the month:

(source: pinterest)


foresights of march

oh god, i still can’t believe february is over. how am i supposed to plan stuff for march already? i still think it’s 2014! a few things to look forward to in march: american ballet theatre will be coming, to los angeles and i’ll be going to watch a show! my sister is also coming home for a few days and i’m super super excited for that. audition results for competition eligibility is also released.. and there are more rehearsals. annnddd all that is happening in the first week. i don’t know what i’m doing for the rest of the month, which is why i need to set some goals.

goals for the month:

  • continue eating/living healthy
  • continue kayla itsines bikini body challenge
  • learn all my solos for competitions (ballet)
  • finish driver’s ed (wow i said this for like, SIX MONTHS)
  • finish algebra ii, world history, and world literature semester; begin french ii

i’d also like to read and blog more, but i feel like i would do that regardless if i put it as a goal or not. other things like finishing school, would need some more motivation.

what are your plans for the next month?

xox,

alexandra

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UPDATE: i’m kind of back?

*cricket cricket* *creeps out from dark room* *cough* so, um, i’ve disappeared for an entire month or two. sorry about that… but i’m baaaaacccckkkkkkkkk. 

january and february are always the hardest months. not only is it the freezing, cold winter, but i have competitions for ballet. (um.. actually it’s not freezing since i live in los angeles, but let’s just pretend it’s freezing :)) i was also in a reading slump the past few months and needed to separate myself from all the things. competitions are extremely important in my pre-professional ballet life, but now that they’re finally over, i could get back to my daily grind.

my posting schedule will be still be iffy. since i’m homeschooled, it’s super easy to get distracted and get behind. i mean, if you have a computer and the choice is to go to school or blog.. i think the answer is obvious. i need to prioritize school, but hopefully i’ll get to blog more often in the future! in the meantime, let’s celebrate with some delicious virtual cake! everyone get’s a slice!

xox,

alexandra

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farewell & foresight: dec.’14/ jan.’15

farewell, december

i’m not going to lie and say this month was great, because it wasn’t really. at the beginning, i was panicking because i felt like i didn’t accomplish anything so i needed to do as much as possible. it was only in the last week that i’d realized it was silly and i just needed to move on. to say the least, i didn’t really accomplish anything worth noting – but i did start watching korean dramas, which i suppose is something. i guess by the end i just gave up on trying to accomplish all the stuff i thought i needed to do. i got more behind on school, didn’t really do any drivers ed, got into a reading slump, and basically lost motivation for a lot of things. i just wanted to lay around, do nothing, and mope about doing nothing. i know i have no right to complain and say i’m “stressed,” but.. i’m just going through a semi-hard time. it’s more upsetting than usual because it’s my favorite time of year, and yet i feel so out of it. in all honesty, i didn’t even actually celebrate christmas; i watched the heirs the entire day – the entire day. i’m not having too many regrets though because it was really good. some positive things: i donated money to project for awesome and got the limited edition p4a tfios; i blogged a lot in the beginning of the month; my sister came back for the holidays (but couldn’t actually stay for christmas or new year’s); korean dramas~
books i finished:

on replay:

i’ve been listening to instrumental covers of kpop songs to help me focus on my schoolwork. it actually does help a lot because it’s a calm and mellow version of a pop-y song. you can still hear pop elements, but it’s toned down so it isn’t distracting. i’m in love with these two mixes: (x), (x). you should definitely check those out!

i also shamelessly started watching korean dramas, as mentioned before. i never thought i would be one to watch dramas, simply because i find it time consuming and annoying to just watch something but ohmygoodness it’s so good. if you watch kdramas as well, please leave me a few recommendations! i’ve only watched the heirs so far, but i’m obsessed and in love.

on a side note (aka story time!)…

if you read my first the cover games post, you would know that i got sent the wrong copy of nick and norah’s infinite playlist. (also if you’ve been following my twitter, you would know this story..) anyway, i returned the copy and ordered another one via amazon and got sent the wrong one – again. i returned it, and ordered it from amazon – this time ‘used,’ hoping it would be correct. it was wrong again. finally, i went on abebooks.com and found out that all the websites/people i ordered from before have been using the wrong cover for the publisher (which was why i was getting all these incorrect orders), and found the right publisher (aka the one that matches my copy of dash and lily’s book of dares). it was confusing because the ISBN number was the same, but there were two versions and they kept sending me the old one. i was excited that i’d found the mistake. ordered it, it arrived, and what would you know.. IT WAS WRONG AGAIN. (sorry, excuse the all caps.) *inhales deeply* if anyone knows where i can buy this cover, please let me know because i’ve officially given up. after four attempts and returns. (PLEASE LET ME KNOW. i’m begging you.)

quote of the month:

“I’m sitting here on the Kaye Gibbons Show, and all I can think is that the whole country is sick. Sick with the idea that it’s good to be known as seen by as many people as possible, to show every part of our lives to the public at large. Whether it’s Facebook photos, blogs, or reality TV, it’s like nobody is content to just live life. The worth of our existence seems to be measured in pixels and megabytes and “likes.” Those of us whose lives can be downloaded seem to have the most value – until someone outrageous comes along to claim their time in the spotlight.”

– heather demetrios, something real


foresights of january

i like to make a big thing of the new year and start fresh, even though it’s just another month. i have a few ways for getting things back on track for the upcoming year: karen kavett created a beautiful “don’t break the chain” calendar and she made a video about it here; i got a fancy shmancy planner from a beautiful mess to help motivate organization; and the simple idea that it’s a new year so i can start fresh.

january will be so so so busy. the first week will be a winter intensive (where i take intensive ballet class everyday for four hours). then, the next weekend i’ll be going to the american ballet theatre summer program audition. i’ve got competition for the rest of the month until mid-february, which is actually every weekend. january is the most hectic month of the year.

goals for the month (not the new year, i’ve got a separate post on that):

  • finish all my classes at school (sigh)
  • prioritize. even if it means giving some stuff up (aka books & blogging)
  • remain positive! you can get through this.
  • please spend less time on instagram, twitter, tumblr, and watching kdramas because i know it’s coming…

i’m not going to have a tbr this month because i’m currently in a reading slump and pressuring myself to read specific books will just stress me out. i seriously hope i could get out this mess soon.

are you as excited for the new year as i am? let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

alexandra

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rewind: twenty-fourteen

if you could rewind the entire year…

what would you say for each month? this post is basically that. i had one for the year of 2013 on my other blog (which is when i started using wordpress! then stopped for ten months) and you can look at it here. whenever i look back at the year, it simultaneously feels like yesterday and ten years ago. i suppose time is like that. anyway, this is a review/rewind of my past year: the accomplishments, failures, and all the above.


january: is probably the busiest month of the entire year. there really isn’t much to say considering it only consists of: rehearsals for youth america grand prix, summer intensive auditions, and STRESS. the only exceptional thing that occurred was that i’d auditioned for the usa international ballet competition. it’s an olympic-style competition that happens every four years, so i was quite nervous.

february: oh, the month of actual competing and audition results. i got into american ballet theatre’s new york intensive as well as san fransisco ballet’s intensive. (i didn’t end up going to either of those because they interefered with other schedules.) i went to youth america grand prix’s regional competition in los angeles and did fairly well. looking back though, it was alright. you can watch the videos here and here.

march: march was when i started the 100 happy days challenge! (you can look up the #happydayswithxan to see all my pictures) i also found out i got accepted into the usa ibc!! i began rehearsing for that, as well as yagp finals in new york. i started going to the gym every week to help build muscles for my injury. also.. DIVERGENT MOVIE. *flails*

april: youth america grand prix finals in new york! i went in 2013, but that was for an ensemble (group dance). this year, i’m going for a solo, and my friends/coaches aren’t here. it was the first time i went to a competition alone (aka without coaches and fellow competitors, but with my mom) and i did surprisingly well. new york was truly the highlight of this month. the competition itself was eh, but everything else – class at steps on broadway, shopping at lululemon & yumiko, eating all the things – was just *heart eye emoji* oh, and my house almost got set on fire..

may: my sister and i officially launched our company, the twirlings! super duper pumped about that. i also went to boston for my sister’s graduation and that was so great. i love traveling and boston is such a beautiful city. right after i came back, i went to showstopper dance competition in anaheim, ca. showstopper is always fun because i don’t treat it like a real competition, instead a performing area. therefore, i’m almost never nervous and don’t care too much about the result. this time it was annoying though because they played the wrong music, but i continued my dancing. mistakes happen.

june: the usa international ballet competition is officially here! i flew to jackson, ms with my close friends and family to experience the incredible month. i met and befriended so many amazing people and it was the highlight of the year. it was unforgettable and words cannot describe the experience. it was simply something that had to be experienced. other than the competition itself, i got attacked by fire ants and my foot swelled up to the size of a balloon. i even had to go to the emergency room. yep, definitely unforgettable.

july: we start our summer program back home! since the schedule didn’t match up for the other summer programs i was accepted into the beginning of the year, i decided to stay at home and refine my technique. six weeks of ballet, everyday, four hours a day.. yeah. we did go to showstopper dance competition, nationals, which turned out great. my sister also move across the country, to my favorite city, for her job. 😦

august: i finally watched TFIOS! i couldn’t at all the past two months because of competitions and intensive. i was on break for a bit, but finally things got back to normal. i also finally got a bookshelf. that was also the day i began bookstgram! there was also a mini competition-talent-hunt-thing (actually not quite sure what i participated in) that i went to. i suppose it was fun, but strange.

september: i took the (real) aptitude test! it lasted eight hours long, and afterwards, they told me what types of jobs would be suited for me based on my skills & etc. it was nice to get to know more about myself. nutcracker rehearsals begin. and i also started this blog. ❤

october: rehearsals for nutcracker really begin. i’m fairly stressed because i start getting behind on school, more auditions, teaching all the nutcracker parts, etc.. i went to watch the australian ballet perform swan lake, which was flawless. i actually don’t like swan lake, but this performance redeemed everything. i also went on a photoshoot with ballet zaida again. my family got a new car (finally)! i began teaching ballet classes as well as rehearsals. ALL THE BOOK RELEASES.

november: our performance was this month! everything was hectic and stressful. my pas de deux partner, joowon, came and we rehearsed for a few days, then BAM performance time! i didn’t do my best, but that’s alright. after performance finished, yagp rehearsals began again..

december: this past month has been a bit of a whirlwind. my aunt and uncle came from china and i haven’t seen them since i was like, five years old. yagp rehearsals continue and the stress builds. as the year comes to an end, i feel more reassured. this clearly isn’t the end, but quite the opposite. things can change at any moment – for the better or for the worse. i guess that result depends on you. and, simply because it’s this time of year, i feel more motivated than ever.


so this wasn’t a bookish post at all, but you should’ve known that from the start. i was originally going to post my new year’s resolutions as well, but then decided not to. in a way, they feel too personal. this past year has been a blast; i can’t wait to see what the next one will bring me.

what were the highlights of your year?

xoxo,

alexandra

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farewell & foresight: nov/dec ’14

farewell, november!

november felt like an emotional roller coaster. at the start of the month, i was finishing the final book of my favorite series (in the afterlight by alexandra bracken, last book of the darkest minds trilogy). that itself left me crying from joy and sorrow and well, all the feelings. then, we had our annual ballet performance. in many ways, it was a train wreck waiting to happen – not because it was bad, but because the neRVES. i’m not usually nervous for performances – more excited than anything else – but this was strangely different. i felt mildly unprepared, which led to the nerves. after the performance finished, i was.. lost. this past week, i’ve been drifting. i have plans for the future, but i also don’t know where i’m going. so if i go on hiatus (which i probably will), please forgive me. i’ll be back.

books i finished:

books read - nov 2014

total tally: five

on replay:

DSC_1422

i’ve been listening to taylor swift’s latest album, 1989. i can almost sing the lyrics to every song, but not yet, therefore i need to listen to it some more. my favorite tracks would be.. new romantics, wildest dreams, blank space, and welcome to new york. (that was so hard to choose) definitely one of my favorite albums by her. it’s a new soundtrack, i could dance to this beat ♥

quote of the month:

“do not find peace. find passion. find something you want to die for more than something you want to live for.”

– michelle hodkin, the retribution of mara dyer

foresights of december

oh, december, you’re one of my favorite months of the year. christmas music blaring; cold weather everyday; starbuck’s peppermint white mochas… it’s great. twenty-fourteen started off as a wonderful year and i really want to end it flawlessly as well. thinking about the future excites and frightens me, but i’m ready.

goals for this month:

  • finish more schoolwork than last month. there’s no reason to get more behind.
  • actually finish driver’s ed. (i’m halfway through! i can do this!)
  • blog less. that’s right. i feel like i need to be more present in the next month, and less on the internet. i want to be living the last month of the year and start fresh with twenty-fifteen. don’t worry; i’ll be back! (and probably will still be here, nonetheless)

books i plan on reading:

currently reading: cruel beauty; rosamund hodge

what are your plans for december? let me know in the comments below!

xoxo,

alexandra

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