Thursday, January 24, 2013

It's All About Me! (Just Kidding, It's Totally Not.)

Who am I? Well, first you can go over to my about page (the adorable little eraser tab above) if you want to know more about me personally. . . in a nutshell. What I would like to do right now is share about some of my interests, hobbies, and how I spend my free time! If you are not interested in that, then you don't have to read this post. I don't want to bore anyone. ;) Just make sure to stick around for any upcoming posts because I have a little surprise planned.

I am seventeen at the moment and finishing up with school. For me, school has already started this year. . . Actually, it began a week or so ago. (Phewy, no more break.) As I mentioned on my about page, I am taking a class online at a community college and I am doing this via dual enrollment. So I am enrolled in highschool and in a college at the same time (trust me though, it sounds a lot smarter than it really is). I  already have a history, english, and couple other classes out of the way for college. What's nice is that I get dual credits for the classes I take (a credit for highschool and college) and they are free since I am still in highschool (the downfall is having to pay for whatever books I need out of my own pocket and that gets pricey- thankfully my parents have taken care of that for me <3 ).

After I graduate I hope to go to this said community college for their cosmetology program where I will be learning about cutting, styling, and coloring hair as well as other things like skin care, massaging, and manicuring nails. I am pretty excited because I really enjoy learning about this stuff. I have spent hours on YouTube watching tons of how-to's, tutorials, and other videos on hair, makeup, and nail art. Yeah, it was sort of an addiction for a little while. . . If you like watching that stuff on Youtube, please check out these two YouTubers below! They are pretty much my favorite people to watch when it comes to all things girly, I have been following their channels for about a year now and still love them.

           Kaleigh's Channel: Lets Make It Up!
Lucy's Channel: Loepsie!                       

Along with an interest in those things, I like fashion too. Mainly on just a normal, girly level. I have very, very minimal expertise there (if any at all). I do like watching videos and seeing how other people create, develop, and express their own style. Little by little I have picked up on tips, tricks, and other bits of info on the subject and slowly am discovering my taste in clothing. That is part of the reason why I like the idea of putting together everyday outfits and musings that were inspired by book characters.

Picture painted by myself and another girl from my art class.
Creating a look around a character from a story or book is done quite often for movies, plays, even Halloween. I like the idea of doing something like that so much, I want to come up with a few creations and looks of my own. Some creations might just be pictures of clothing that I think define a certain character, others may be outfits I have put together and photographed myself, or maybe I'll attempt some sketches to give ideas on how to incorporate the look of a book character you love into your own wardrobe. (Oooh, that just made me think of Narnia, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to be exact. *happy face*)

Anyways, it is probably obvious by now that I love books, whether I am reading or writing them. But books are not all that I care about. I have had an interest in drawing and sketching since I was. . . well, younger. Not that I am very good, pretty decent at it I suppose, but I have been at it a little over the years and taken an art class or two. I enjoy it enough that I would consider it a hobby.

Another thing I like to do is paint with acrylics, but I do not paint much anymore (I don't have the supplies for it because I only did it when I was in an art class). I stink at watercolors, though I would like to try my hand at it some more if the opportunity came up. Funny, eh?

I love Jane Austen. I have seen a great many movies based off her novels (Pride & Prejudice- several versions- and Emma- several versions- and Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. . . to name a few). Sadly, I have never read one of her novels entirely. I did listen to Northanger Abbey all the way through as an audio book, and I read most of P&P at one point. Other movies I like are Little Dorrit (the BBC series), North and South (Richard Armitage stars in this movie), and Jane Eyre. I do like other, more modern movies, but those are some of my favorites. (Also feel free to click on any of the links, there are three for P&P and Emma, and check some of these movies out! They will take you to Amazon, but watch with your own discretion, some of these movies are pretty intense.)

Other authors I like are C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ted Dekker, Julie Klassen, Chuck Black, and Wayne Thomas Batson. That's not necessarily in any order of least to greatest, but hopefully you get the general idea: these are authors I like.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. . . oh my! When it comes to diet and exercise I am not the healthiest person in the world, but that is something I am working on, especially this year. I have a huge desire to exercise and eat well because I want to fuel my body with the right stuff and reap the benefits from doing so. But that requires more than just liking an idea, and it is taking me some time to put that desire into action.

I am a picky eater and probably could list on one hand the number of fruits and veggies I like (apples- if they're crunchy, grapes- if they aren't squishy, broccoli- if it's steamed and served with butter, asparagus- if the stalks are not too big and it is sprinkled with salt, you get the picture). It's bad. . . I know. But trust me, I do like more fruits and veggies than the few I listed. (I love pomegranates!) This year I am hoping to get  my hands dirty with more baking and cooking lessons, along with improving my diet. Another thing I have been dabbling in is researching about eating foods and things that are all-natural and organic, and avoiding foods that are processed, unhealthy, or even harmful to my body.

Archery is amazing. I admit, I do not know much about it except for when I have a bow and arrow in hand, ready to shoot. Do not ask me what kind of bow it is, what it is used for, or where it originated. . . All I know is that I love target shooting. The whole thought, feel, and look of having a bow in hand, an arrow fitted, and my eye on the target is exhilarating.

I also love to run. I do not do it officially or consistently or for long distances, mainly just sprinting every now and then. Being out of shape keeps me from running very often, but once I start exercising more I would like to work up to it. Ice-skating and rollerskating are so much fun too. I do not get to skate very often, but when I do, I love it! I've also had a thing for swimming; not competitively or professionally, just going to the lake or jumping in the pool.

Wow. This post was probably excruciatingly long. Oopsy! But considering all of these things are a part of my life (even if it is a small one in comparison to other things) and it is what I enjoy doing, so you'll probably be seeing more on them eventually. Especially stuff having to do with reading and books and writing!

Anything else you would like to know? What are your hobbies?
If you had a day off to do whatever you wanted,
how would you be spending your day?

Photos by Jackson

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Book Review: Yotsuba&! 5

Publisher: Yen Press (Hachette Book Group)
Genre: Fiction; Manga
Number of Pages: 204


     Yotsuba is a five year old girl who is adopted by a man named Koiwai. This manga series follows her day to day life, adventures, and discoveries. Her escapades often involve her father, his friend Jumbo (as they call him), and their next door neighbors.

Star Rating:

     4.5 stars

Content Rating:



     I enjoyed this short and pretty much easy read. At first though it was hard for me to get use to reading right to left (as you must do in this book), and I was also confused about Yotsuba's relationship with everyone in the book. She calls the mother of her neighboring friends "Mom", but she is not actually Yotsuba's mother. I would recommend reading this series in order, and not jumping in on the fifth book (which happened to be the one I could get my hands on first). Unless, of course, the reader is willing to figure out who is who as they go along. I would suggest hopping on the Internet and searching Yotsuba&! if you do not plan to start with the first book. This Wikipedia article answered my questions easily enough without giving away what happened in the other books (I did not read the entire article however, just the several beginning paragraphs about Yotsuba and Koiwai).

Overall, this was a fun, clean, carefree read. I would not mind at all to go through this book again, nor the rest of the books in the series. (Which I hope to get a hold of soon!) The drawings/manga are great (I really liked them, especially pictures of the city) and the story is humorous and entertaining, what else could you want?

Iffy Content:

     None. Yotsuba (the main character) often whines or seemingly yells to get her way, which was slightly annoying, but she is five. She also has a fight/argument with Yanda (a newer friend of her Daddy, who isn't very nice or mature for that matter), and they use the word "poop" and call each other "moron" (pg 66-86).

Check out the first book on:  Amazon or Barnes&Noble!!

Have you read any of the Yotsuba&! books? Other related books? What were your thoughts?
I'd like to know! I am always open for new reading suggestions.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

What's the Deal with this Blog?

My ideas for this blog are all over the place. I have a lot of interests- reading and writing are just two of them. With fifty books ahead of me this year (that is, if I follow through with my New Year's Resolutions), I hope to do some book reviews and other "stuff" on this blog.

Sure, there are plenty of blogs and sites out there with millions of book reviews, but whenever I want to read a book I tend to care a bit less about someone else's opinions on the book and more about the content. I look for answers to questions like: Is there any sexual or sensual content I should know about? Language? Magic or wizardry? It's hard to figure these things out sometimes without someone giving away a story's plot. Often times I'll scroll through Amazon reviews and skim what people say there. Other times I just look at the book and read it myself. Being a Christian and a picky reader, I am careful about what I spend my time dwelling on. I hope to provide reviews that I would look for myself; reviews where I give my opinions on the book, but also reveal the books content as unbiased as I can.

As a book lover, I obviously love buying books too. . . and boy, do I love buying books. There are several stores where I live that I can usually pick up a good book for around $5. Sometimes that is a brand new book and other times it is a used one that is in decent condition. Either way, it is dangerous for me to go anywhere near a bookstore with spending money in hand. Did I mention I have a Kindle Touch? I do, and I am nearly addicted to purchasing books on there too (when I have the money, but mainly when they are super cheap- as in $free$). That being said, would anyone be interested in book hauls? Maybe where I share the books I am purchasing and thus give a sneak peek to the books being reviewed in the near future? I thought that would be fun.

I also love to write. . . (fictional novels if you want to be more precise). Though I have very little schooling on such writing, aside from several classes on writing for school (3Rs, Expository Writing, Journalism, and English 111 for college), I have accumulated a lot of information up in my head and have been writing on my own for quite some time. There are several books, authors, posts, and other random finds I would love to share with anyone interested in writing. Also I can always share my experiences in writing, how I started out, and why I continue to do so.

Lastly, it would be nice to share about my life here. It is not like I live some super duper amazing life, but personally I like it a lot and it is nice enough for me, even with its ups and plenty of downs. The way I see things and go about my day is not the same for anyone else. Plus, with all these random interests I have, it may spice up this bookish blog to share some. Maybe I'll just have to do a post about me and anyone who would like to follow along with this blog could leave feedback on what they would like to read.

For example, I've found that recently what book I am currently reading affects what I want to eat. Okay, that sounds weird. But what I mean is when I was reading The Hobbit, for example, I had my own "Hobbit" breakfasts which included eggs, toasted bagels with butter, and juice. I am terrible about skipping breakfast because I do not have an appetite for it, but while I was reading this book it made me want to have a big "Hobbit" breakfast every morning! Wouldn't it be neat to organize some meals around the books I am reading and share the menu/recipes I use on here? I thought it might be.

Oh, and as a girl, it can not be forgotten that I like fashion, hair, and some makeup as well. The idea to create simple looks for different book characters sounds fun to me (you know, sort of like what they have to do for movies). Anyone want to see some stuff like that?

Otherwise it is just a matter of waiting and seeing how things fall into place. Interests come and go, so do viewers and readers. I am just another person in this world, but everyone has a story. I would like to share mine, and with Jesus Christ as the author and main character of this book there are sure to be adventures ahead.

That's why I am second in this story. Even though it may be "mine", really this whole thing is about the Lord, Jesus Christ. He has given me a life to live and I choose to live for His glory (not that I always do a very good job of that, I mess up a lot). He is first in this whole book of life and from my point of view I am the secondary character in this story. Yeah, it's something pretty special. You are the secondary character in your story too (I'm not the only one). I am just one of the many who understands my life is not all about me, but Him (my Savior and Lord, Jesus). I would like to keep track of where I go and not waste my life by keeping it all to myself. (See I told you there would be more plot development on that secondary stuff later.) So anyways. . .

Let me know what you enjoy reading about in the comments below! 
Do you write? What are some of your interests?
I am up for trying new things!

Photos & Illustration by Jackson

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Story Begins in 2013

2013 “Today is the first blank page in a 365 page book. Make it a good one.” - ???

I read something like that somewhere today. (<- Yes, very descriptive, I know.) I plan on doing that, making this year’s story a good one, because this book character decided to make some New Year’s Resolutions. First, however, I need a trusty sword for this journey through 2013 and mine is my survival kit.

Here’s what my survival kit for 2013 looks like:

1) I need some goals. New Year Resolutions suit this purpose quite well.

(1. Read 50 books.  2. Draw 1 picture a month.  3. Exercise a minimum of 2 hours a week.
4. Stop biting my nails...  5. Try something new every month.  6. Write 300 words every week.
7. Get a car.  8. Keep up with all the stuff I do via either blog, journal, picture, videos, voice recordings, etc.  9. Read my Bible everyday.)

2) To make it in 2013, I also need The Book Lover’s Journal. (If you take a look at my New Year’s Resolutions, particularly the first one, you might understand why.)

Now this is a book where I can record and review everything that I read. I stumbled upon it one day in Barnes&Noble and fell in love. Blessedly, I received it as a Christmas gift. I cannot wait to use it! Below is a little sneak peek of what it looks like on the inside. Anyone interested in a book review of a book reviewer??? ;)

3) I need my faith in a God who sustains me. With all the moodiness and adventures that come with being a character in my book, I need more than just something or someone to get me through. (Sorry, Prince Charming, you just aren’t going to cut it.) I need the One who created me in the first place, who loves me enduringly, and made me the secondary character in His story for me. (More plot development on that secondary stuff later.)

4) Do not forget plenty of grace, mercy, and love to go around. . . Did I forget to mention I’m not perfect? Yeah, I’m not and I need a lot of that stuff up there (grace, mercy, love).

5) Words. Bunches of words because I really like them. A lot. <3

I already have a great family, some of the best friends out there, a healthy dose of schooling (yuck), and plenty of books to keep me occupied. But this year is going to be different. This book character has some life changes coming her way between turning eighteen, graduating, starting college, and writing (which is always an adventure). So why not keep track of it? Why not write down my experiences somewhere like. . . I don’t know. . . a blog? I know, I thought it was a clever idea too. ^_^ Well, sort of, I greatly dislike being unoriginal and blogs seem to be pretty popular nowadays. So I am still iffy about the whole idea of blogging.

Am I the only one that thinks of Gollum, in J.R.R. Tolkein’s novels, coughing on that word?

“Blog-blogging. . . Blogging. . .”

Anyways, why not give it a shot though? See what comes of it? I have 365 blank pages to fill, and a wonderful plan that God has written just for me. Seems like the perfect set up for an interesting novel.

How does it feel to be the secondary character in His story?
Come along and we’ll find out.