Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Four Things Tag

Hello, Peeps! It is I. Your old friend. I seem to have neglected this blog for a whole month. Again. *is sorry*
I do still enjoy blogging, but right now it's literally the last thing I think about these days. So much is happening in my life right now. So many changes. Good changes and bad ones. Wasn't it Charles Dickens who said in a book 'it was the best of times, it was the worst of times'? Or something like that. I don't know.
Anywho, here I am with a small tag I stole from Coffee, Classics, and Craziness who posted it quite awhile ago... *shrug* but hey. It's alright.

I hope you enjoy reading!


The Four Things Tag

Four Jobs I've Had:
~An Unnamed Craft Store
~An embroidery/personalization place
~That's it!

Four Things I Don't Eat:
~White Chocolate (... usually because it's too sweet)
~Corn tortillas (ewww)
~Store-bought eggnog (homemade I don't mind..)
~Spicy salsa (the spice overpowers every other flavor)

Four Places I've Lived:
~I lived in the same house for 19 years
~We moved this May to an apartment
~Also I house sat for a week once (it was great. Lots of alone time)
~Hotels during travels


Four of my Favorite Foods:
~Pizza
~Homemade chili
~Pretty much any homemade pasta dish
~Homemade tacos & nachos

Four Movies I've Watched More Than Once:
~Forrest Gump (1994)
~Amazing Grace (2006)
~The Book Thief (2013)
~Any Marvel Spider-Man movie (even though I don't care for the rest of Marvel except Benedict Cumberbatch)

Four TV Shows I Watch:
~Sherlock BBC
~Call the Midwife BBC
~Poldark BBC
~Monk

Four Things I'm Looking Forward To This Coming Year:
~Taking a trip for the first time in 4 years (I know right)
~Getting an iPad so that I can begin drawing digitally! Also more practice in general *thumbs up*!
~Spending time with my best friend & her dude
~Positive lifestyle changes that need to happen in my life.


Four Things I Can't Live Without:

~God (of course)
~My best friend
~Music of all types
~My internet friends... I've made several this past Summer and I love them <3

Four Places I've Visited:
~Niagara Falls (in like 2003 or something)
~The St. Louis Arch (couple of times)
~Garden of the Gods in Colorado (in 2011)
~The movie theater (because why not)

Four Pet Peeves:
~Inappropriate meme accounts on Pinterest and Instagram
~Poorly written characters whose only job is to react to various happenings in the story
~When older people don't give younger people proper instruction/training and then treat the younger person like it's their fault and they're stupid
~Arrogant customers who act like they know more than you about your job


Four Things I Wish I Could Do:
~Jump off the high diving board without hesitating/being terrified
~Fly
~Have a career in art so I can work from home in my bed & pjs (this is a legitimate wish of mine, ok)
~Have more time to read books like I used to :(

Four Subjects I Studied In School:
~British Literature
~WWII
~Astronomy
~Home Economics

Four Things Near Me Right Now:
~Fall decorations
~My water bottle
~My iPhone X
~A Chimney)

Well, that is all! I hope you enjoyed reading. I loved taking time to actually write on this blog for once! Thank you for sticking with me. <3

I hope you are having a good day. :)
-Amaris


All pictures in this post are taken by me from my Instagram.
Please credit if you use! :)

Monday, September 17, 2018

// Actual Reasons to NOT Hate Mondays //

This post is a bit inspired by a post my best friend did on her new blog, This Great Adventure.
We got to talking in the comments of that post, and I had the idea for this post. So, here you go.

First off, I don't think it's wrong to have a difficult times with Mondays sometimes. After all, for many people it's the first day to get back to work after the weekend. It's kinda hard sometimes!

But, I have a few reasons why Mondays are actually days that we can rejoice in, instead of drudging through it in 'i need coffee' misery.

Here we go.



// Mondays Are a New Beginning //

The main reason I have for not hating Mondays is that they are a fresh start! The first day of the week is a great time to get your routine and your goals back on schedule. Sure, it might be hard to get back into the swing of things after the weekend, but sometimes a little bit of hard work is just what we need.
They are a new beginning of work that sets the tone for the whole week!

I believe that new beginnings are Biblical. God talks a lot in the Bible about putting old things (the past, our sin, our old ways, etc.) behind us.

The main verse I am speaking of is 2 Corinthians 5:17, which says:

Therefore is any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.


But then there's also another verse which says something similar, a page or two before 5:17, which speaks of how we are renewed every day.

2 Corinthians 4:16

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.

I've gotta say it's a great reason to look forward to waking up on Monday morning, as hard as it might be sometimes.



// Mondays Are a Day (Among Many) Given to us by God //

God is Someone we can take refuge in, because He will never fail us. That includes on Mondays!
When I wake up on Monday morning and am tempted to dread the day before me as I go to work, fall back into routine, and perform my Monday duties, I have to stop myself and remember that each and every day is a gift from God.
Even if Mondays are not always 100%, that's no reason for me (us) to hate them!
Rather, I must remember to make the most of my time, as it states in Ephesians 5:15-17.

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Who am I to be miserable because the calendar happens to say 'Monday' when God has given me the gift of an entire day that I can use for Him?
And finally:



// Mondays Are Another Day That We Can Serve, Grow, and Take Refuge in the Lord //

This is the last verse (and the last reason) I have. It is one verse among many found in the Bible that talks about taking refuge in Him.

Psalm 16:1

Preserve me, Oh God, for I take refuge in [You].

This reason kind of goes hand-in-hand with the 2nd reason. Not only are Mondays a gift from God, but they are opportunities to grow in God and become more and more dependent on Him in your life. God is all about growing and changing us, and Monday, just like every other day,  is the PERFECT time to do just that.



~*~
So... with all of that, I guess my number one tip is.... forget that it's Monday!
Live each day as a gift from God, because it is.
Look at every day you wake up as an opportunity for God to do amazing things through you, because He will.
See every new moment as a time that's never been lived in before, because it hasn't.

That is all for now, peeps.

I have missed blogging! It's good to be back. :) I hope you are doing well!

-Amaris

(all verses cited here are from my NASB Bible)
(all pictures in this post are mine - taken from my aesthetic Instagram - use them if you want but please credit me!)




Tuesday, September 4, 2018

An Interesting Summer

Hello there, people!

This post is a peek into my Summer of 2018. The Summer in which I spent a lot of time NOT blogging. :P In fact, I've not only failed to write my own blog, but I've neglected reading blogs as well. So if I haven't been commenting on your blog posts lately, I apologize. I still love you all!

Not my photo- taken from Pinterest
It's just been really busy and so much has changed in my life. Like, for real. I think I've changed more in the past 8 months or so than I ever have. Except maybe when I was a toddler. Hehe. :)

Anyways. My Summer has been an interesting time. For one, because it's the first Summer that I've owned a smartphone, and (I don't know if you've noticed this, but) smartphones have a way of influencing your every day life.
So, it's just been... I don't know, different. But good.

// Summer of 2018 //

Not my photo- taken from Pinterest
// Movies //

As of August 15th (the day I am originally writing this post), I have watched 42 movies this year! That might not sound like much to some people, but it's certainly a lot for me! In 2017 I literally watched like, 10 movies.
But anyways! Here are just a few of my favorites from this Summer.

July 9th: Big (1988)
 This movie was literally so cute it had me and my sister laughing and crying. It's safe to say this is one of my favorite Tom Hanks movies. There is a bit of content, so I would read a review first. But it's literally, like, 3 things. :) We loved it. 

July 16th: The Terminal (2004)
 It's not surprising that me and my sister loved this Tom Hanks movie as well. We loved it so much we even watched it a second time the next week to show it to Mom! Thankfully, this one is even cleaner than 'Big' and definitely worth the cuss word or two.

July 19th: Big Eyes (2014)
 Oh my goodness, I just adored this movie. It was so sad and heart wrenching, and I just wanted to hug the main character and the story was so FRUSTRATING but it ended up ok which was amazing! I also loved Amy Adams in this movie. I'm pretty sure the only reason it got the PG-13 rating, was because of one really loud f-word. But other than that, I loved this one. 

July 21st: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (1966)
Even though Westerns aren't my thing, it was really enjoyable to watch this one because not only is it a timeless and iconic classic, it's also my mom's favorite movie of all time (which I don't really understand because she doesn't even like Westerns...??? Who knew..). It's also the first R-rated movie I've ever seen without a filter. Not sure if that counts for any accomplishment, but. *shrug*

Not my photo- taken from Pinterest
 // I Taught At Vacation Bible School //

...and it was such a good experience. I learned so much and made a really good friend through it! Me and my friend, Maggie, wrote the lessons from scratch to teach the kids each day (we taught the lessons as well as wrote them, me and Maggie), instead of using curriculum lessons!

Maggie and I began meeting about twice a week at her house starting late in April to figure out/write the lessons.
We knew that God was telling us to teach the kids stories that inspired them to fall in love with God, instead the idea of being saved and going to heaven. Heaven, after all, is just a side bonus. The real reward is serving God with your life.

But anyways! After weeks (months...?) of studying and preparing our props and our lessons (we had skits and props and visuals to go along with our custom lessons of course!) the VBS in July went very smoothly.
It was truly so fulfilling to be used by God in such a way!
I know I would rather come up with my own lessons for kids anytime rather than just read from a curriculum script, because then I will be able to teach from what I have already learned about God.

Photo credit: me
// I Dyed My Hair //

... for the first time ever! Unfortunately, it didn't come out according to the picture I showed the salon worker. It doesn't look bad, but definitely different than what I asked her to do. The color that she used is growing on me, however, and I'm able to dress 'the new hair' up to look pretty good.
I also got it cut as well as colored, so it's been fun having low-maintenance hair again!

Photo of me taken by me, taken from my Instagram
// I Started Drawing Again //

...and I also created a Tumblr to post my lil drawings on! It's quite a small ordeal (I have 0 followers right now XD), but I mostly created it to motivate myself to keep drawing! I've been practicing mostly eyes lately, and if you follow my Instagram, you've probably seen a few examples.
I kind of explain the reason for taking up drawing again in the synopsis of my Tumblr blog:

"My whole life, I would be off and on with drawing. Here and there I would get a burning, passionate motivation to draw, so I would. For awhile. The Summer of 2018 I decided to take drawing more seriously and enhance my skills through more consistent practice, and I figured a blog would help motivate me. I hope you enjoy what you see, feel free to comment but please be nice... I am learning. Thank you!"

Drawing by me, photo by me, taken from my Tumblr.
If you like drawings of eyes and have a Tumblr account, go follow me! :)

---

Well, that's about it. I didn't do a whole lot of note-worthy things this Summer, but to wrap things up, here are a few more small things I did that might be interesting.

-I went to an outdoor theater for the first time ever!! It was such a blissful and relaxing experience. The breeze the night we went was absolutely wonderful!

-I have been getting to know the area I live in. You might remember my family moved back in May. I was quite unfamiliar with the area surrounding our new apartment, but the past couple of months I've been discovering more things around here. There are some great restaurants as well as a movie theater almost next door to us!

-I went to our local Science Center to see an exhibit about Apollo 11 and the Moon! They had the entire Apollo 11 Command Module there on display. It was pretty neat, and I learned a lot. The moon is kind of my thing, so it was very fun. :) We also saw a very informative and cute documentary about pandas, because they have a giant IMAX theater at the Science Center.

---

Not my photo - Taken from Pinterest
As you can see, it was a good Summer. I am still working at my job at the embroidery shop, and I'm going to be serving at my local AWANA club as the Sparks Director. I am looking forward to Fall and Winter!

Thank you for reading!

-Amaris

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Because I'm a Shamefully Forgetful Person and Forgot to Post This Sooner!!!

You guys.
I'm so dumb.

I got so wrapped up in life that I forgot to post the winner of my giveaway on the Blog, even though I did announce it on Instagram on the 10th!!!
You can see I've never done a giveaway before. - _-

So first of all, I'm really sorry for worrying some of you!
It's really been a crazy couple of weeks and I've been dealing with some unwanted stress from work and some 'new' responsibilities in ministries that I'm involved in.... (yay...), so I FORGOT to mention the winner on the Blog here, even though I drew her name on Instagram on the correct day that I said.

So let's just get THAT part over with:

The winner is....

V.S.B. (Valerie)!!!!!

She is on Instagram, so when I announced her as the winner, I got so caught up in getting her address and messaging her about the stuff that I forgot about announcing on the Blog. That's it... plain and simple. I forgot. :(

For that, I sincerely apologize!

*bows in humble remorse*

*backs away awkwardly and pretends it never happened*

ANYWAYS.

I wanted to thank everyone who entered the giveaway!
I absolutely LOVED reading all of your answers to my questions. It seriously made my day reading all the comments and interesting answers and thoughts you guys had.
I received word that Valerie successfully received my package recently, and I know she will love the contents.
In spite of my dreadful mistake, I really had so much fun with this! I definitely want to do another giveaway sometime in the future... hopefully without messing things up this time around. *blushes*

Again, I'm sorry I had some of you worried, because I didn't even check my blog comments while I was busy the past few weeks.
I'm also sorry that I overlooked the fact that some of you aren't on Instagram and so you didn't get notified when I announced Valerie the winner. *sigh*

Well anyways. I have a few posts in the works that I hope to publish soon, so until then...
I hope you have a good day!

--
Yours Truly Who Is Very Much Alive & Well (Even If She Is A Shamefully Forgetful Bean Bag Of A Person)...
-Amaris

Monday, August 13, 2018

Giveaway CLOSED!!

Just letting you know that my Summer giveaway is closed!!

Thanks to all who answered... I will choose the winner by drawing their name sometime on the 15th (this Wednesday) and post the video on my Instagram stories, and then I will post the winner on my blog as well!!
Good luck, and thanks again, everyone!!

// Amaris //



Monday, July 30, 2018

Summer Giveaway!!!

Hello, my lovely bloggy friends!

Today I have something very special for you, in honor of Summer and my 100th post!

A Summer Giveaway!!!

I've been collecting things for this giveaway for a couple of weeks now, always picking up things here and there to include, trying to find all the best little things for your guys!!

I have never done any sort of giveaway before, so I wanted to make this one extra special. Most of these item are mainly for girls/women, but hey! If you're a guy and you win, you can give the stuff to your mom or something! No problem. :)

Here are a few things that will be included!
  • Face masks (keep your skin looking great this Summer!)
  • Jewelry case (it was too cute NOT to include)
  • Headscarf (You can tie it onto a purse handle too!!)
  • Nail polish (gotta have some)
  • Jewelry (because why not???)
  • Lip balm (Keep your lips smooth!)
  • Sunglassses (Watch out for that Summer sun!!)
  • + MORE!!! 
Now we get to the fun part:
What to do to enter for YOUR chance to win this stuff!!!

All you have to do is answer the questions below in the comments of this post. I wanted this giveaway to be open to anyone, which is why I'm having you answer in the comments, because then anyone who has an email can comment!

You may enter the giveaway with your comments until August 10th, and I will have picked the winner by August 15th!
I will then write the names of the commenters on a piece of paper, and will draw the person's name  on Instagram stories, and will also announce the winner on this blog! I will NOT be picking based on answers, whoever gets picked out of the bowl wins fair and square!

Answering the questions below is how you ENTER this giveaway, not how you WIN it!
There will be one name entry for each person who comments. Commenting more than once won't get you an extra chance of winning. It's one entry per person in the comments.

If you are chosen, I will ask for an email address so that I can privately request a mailing address to send your stuff! Anything else will be explained in that email.

Without further ado, here are the questions! Enjoy and good luck!

The Questions:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1. Do you have a blog? If so, paste the link!

2. What is your favorite movie of all time (or one that you recommend a lot)?

3. What's your favorite book genre?

4. Do you believe in God? If so, why do you think that believing in God is the best thing that could happen to a person?

5. What's your favorite thing that has happened so far this Summer?

6. What is the first thing you notice about a person?

7. Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?

8. What is one thing about your childhood self that still applies to you today?

9. Is there a favorite book of yours that you wish they would make a movie out of?

10. Are you an early bird or a night owl?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(The questions ended up kinda random. Some are just for fun, while others are kinda deep. Makes it more fun, in my opinion!)

Good luck, everybody! Thanks for sticking with me for 100 posts. :)

-Amaris

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Post #100

 First of all, allow me to apologize for my negligence this Summer. So much has happened in my life (mostly good, don't worry...) in the past couple of months, and I've been learning a lot with many experiences as well as growing in the Lord. That's all good..... except that I've ignored this poor Blog for.... *checks last post* two months. :(
For that, I am sorry! I have heaps of posts in mind for the future, so don't worry; I'm not planning on 'giving up the blogging world' anytime soon.
Hopefully, this post (which I wrote a while ago but was too distracted with life to post it  -_- ) will propel me into posting all the posts I have in mind for you. With that, here is my special post for... you guessed it, POST #100 on The Storybook Journal!!!!

_____________________________________________________

The Blog: Yoo hoo... Amar-iss.

Me: ...

The Blog: HEY. YOU. OVER HERE.

Me: What? YOU again? *hides under covers*

The Blog: That's right, ME. Get over here.

Me: What's the problem?

The Blog: I never said there was a PROBLEM *scoff*. Just listen. Ok. Do you know what today is? Does your tiny little brain even understand the importance of this post?

Me: Uhhh...

The Blog: Come on, now...

Me: Hm... I KNOW! Today is a perfect day for you to leave me alone. BYE.

The Blog: HEY. COME BACK.

Me: Fine. But WHAT?

The Blog: Today marks something very special for your blog (that you OBVIOUSLY care so much about), The Storybook Journal!

Me: What? It's not the blogiversary... that's in September.. it's not my birthday, it's... OH WAIT.

IT'S THE HUNDREDTH POST!!!!!



The Blog: THAT'S RIGHT!!! YOU MADE IT TO POST #100!!! One zero zero!!



Me: Yippee! That's so cool- wait. So what are YOU DOING here?

The Blog: I'm here to interview you. On your blog. Me. I'm here to ask you questions.

Me: .... but why.

The Blog: OH WILL YOU COOPERATE? People LIKE interviews, ok? So sit tight, and I'm going to ask you stuff.

Me: Why do people like interviews, anyways?

The Blog: No idea. But here we go, you ready?

Me: Ok.

                                        ____________________________________________

The Blog: So what first inspired you to create a blog?

Me: (Is this thing on?) Ahem. Well, it actually started with my best friend. Yes, it isn't widely known, but my best friend is the first one who led the way to me wanting a blog.


The Blog: And how did it happen?

Me: My best friend told me about a blog called The Story Girl (some of you old-timers might remember Hayden Wand's old blog) a couple of years ago. At the time, I didn't even know what a blog was. But anyways,  I subscribed to The Story Girl's email list. As time went on, I discovered more blogs that I loved. Namely, Coffee, Classics, and Craziness, Wonderland Creek, and Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens (now called Ramblings of a Redhead Girl), all of which I still follow and love to read.
I decided "Hey, I could probably do that too!" and I dove right in.


The Blog: How do you get ideas on what to write about?

Me: To be honest, most of them come from my over-active brain (I have trouble sleeping) at night. I enjoy paying attention to things I like or admire, then I toss around ideas of how I can make The Thing into a post. Reading other blogs also helps spark my imagination for blogging too.


The Blog: How did you come up with my name, The Storybook Journal?

Me: I was really into fairy tale vibes at the time. I played around with several options; one being The Homemaker's Journal, but I decided against that one because it made me sound like a housewife, plus there was already a blog on the internet by that name.
I thought the word 'storybook' sounded really whimsical and pretty, and then 'journal' sounded good with that, so The Storybook Journal came to be.
I still think the name is pretty epic. *pats self on back*


The Blog: I see. I must admit... *hem*... it is, in fact, epic. Do you think you will ever switch over to Wordpress like other bloggers sometime do?

Me: When I first started my blog, I actually began a profile with both Wordpress and Blogger. I tweaked with both of them until I decided that I preferred the Blogger system, and the rest is history. To be honest, I still think Wordpress is kind of hard to navigate, and I don't really see myself switching, but who can tell? I still might. :)
But as of yet, there are no plans to that effect.


The Blog: Last question, and be HONEST. How many blog drafts do you have?

Me: Welllll.


The Blog: I said be honest. How many?
 
Me: Ok, fine. Right now, there are 136 blog drafts in my post section.
Whenever I get even the smallest idea for a post, I write it in a draft right away.
That way, I can come back any time and either continue my thought into an eventual published post, or trash it because I ended up seeing it as a nutty idea that no one would enjoy.
So basically, a lot of those drafts are just little notes and snippets of what might eventually be a post. It's a system that works pretty good for me.


The Blog: There, see? We're done. Was that so bad?

Me: No, I guess not. Do you think the peeps will like this interview post?


The Blog: I don't see why not.

Me: Well that's good.


The Blog: After all, I'm in this one.

Me:Oh, whatever!! GoodBYE! *walks away*
______________________________________

The Blog: Hey, wait!

Me: What?

The Blog: You aren't FINISHED.

Me: Umm... yes I am. You said the interview was OVER, so I'm FINISHED.

The Blog: Actually, you're not. You forgot to tell them the super special magical surprise. 

Me: ..... what.......

The Blog: For Pete's sake! Did you seriously forget the giveaway???

Me: Oh, THAT. I DID forget it!!!

The Blog: Indeed, you did! Allow me. *Ahem*. Ladies, and gentlemen (prob. mostly ladies). Stay tuned for the next post, in which we will be announcing a Summer Giveaway, which ANYONE can have a chance to win! 

Me: Yes! So stay tuned... more information coming up on that soon!!!

The Blog: NOW you can go.

Me: Ok. Bye everyone!

The Blog: Bye!!

___________________________________

-Amaris
(+ Special appearance on the blog: The Blog)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Greatest Showman Book Tag // Taking a Break From my Break

Hello....

It's mee.....
(You've forgotten me, haven't you?)

I am taking a break from my hiatus (actually that doesn't really make sense because isn't a HIATUS a break? So..... I'm taking a break from my break...?) because I read this really cool tag on Eva's blog, and I had to jump in and steal it!
Things are slowing down a bit with our moving (as in, the work is getting less and less the more we clean up and stuff), so hopefully I can be back to posting regular posts really soon!
In the meanwhile, here we go.

Edit cred: Eva
Rules:
~Answer the Questions
~Tag Whoever You Want

(I think I can do that...)


The Greatest Show: Name a book that's as entertaining as a circus.
Well, nothing comes directly to mind except for Rhett & Link's Book of Mythicality, which was quite fun to read, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you watch their YouTube channel, because that's what it's all about... :)

A Million Dreams: Name a book that's set in a fantastical world.
Well, I don't read a lot of books from that genre, so I'm just going to say The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Last time I read the series, the third book was my favorite.


Come Alive: Name a book that makes you outrageously happy.
I gotta say Lynn Austin's Hidden Places, not because it's a happy book per se, but it always makes me happy when I read this one because I love her writing so much. But I totally agree with Eva about The Blue Castle too. 

The Other Side: Name a book that changed your mind about something.
This book by Jack Klumpenhower, Show Them Jesus. This is probably the most influential book I've ever read in my life, other than the Bible. It's that good. The truths are amazing.

Never Enough: Name a book that you've re-read more than once.
Anne of Green Gables. That book made me so happy during my high school days. I need to read it again. I actually learned a lot about writing from that book, plus Anne's misadventures and Montgomery's writing style always make me smile.



This is Me: Name a book with a character that reminds you of yourself.
I wish I could say Patrick Jane from The Mentalist... but that's a TV Show. I have never met a character more like myself than that guy. But since this is a BOOK tag, I'm going to say Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. He does what is right while (mostly) keeping his mouth shut. He's great.

Re-write the Stars: Name a book with a forbidden romance.
I really love forbidden romance situations, so I wish I knew more books with them, but I don't so I'm going to say Lynn Austin's A Proper Pursuit. Although that one isn't super dramatic the way I like them. #yes i'm cliche sometimes
o

Tightrope: Name a book with an adventurous main character.
 I couldn't possibly name any other book or character than Sage from The False Prince Trilogy. I always admired the strength of that guy, and how he never stops. His cleverness never ends.

From Now On: Name a book with a wonderful family (related or otherwise)
Well, I'm going to go with the 'otherwise' option, and say how much I liked the companionship of the characters in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. They are not family, but they stuck together through the war, and afterward. And they accepted Juliet into their adorable circle of trust and friendship. *sigh* It makes my heart happy. I love that book. (WHO ELSE IS EXCITED FOR THE MOVIE. Let me hear ya!)

There we go. I love book tags. Thanks for letting me steal from you, Eva! :)

I Tag:
Tessa at This Great Adventure (AKA - MY VERY BEST FRIEND WHO NOW HAS A BLOG)
Abbie at Chronicles in Bloom
Mary from Sunshine & Scribblings

Go check out Eva's post here.

It was nice writing a post again for once! I will be back soon, my bloggy friends...

-Amaris

Monday, May 7, 2018

Hello, My Lovely Peeps

This is a post to notify you of a hiatus.
I've posted on this blog pretty consistently over the last couple of months or so, but it has now come to the point that it's just too difficult to keep up with The Storybook Journal on top of everything else.

Yes, it is moving I speak of.
Yes, we are still in the middle of that.
We haven't found a place to go yet, but we have to be moved and out by... get ready... the 21st. Of this month.
*exhales*
So... I don't know when I'll be back to posting all the time again. Perhaps I'll be able to sneak in a short update post here and there, but I don't know.

In any case, I will not be completely unconnected with you all... those of you who have an Instagram can find me on there, because I will probably still post stuff. After all, it's just pictures. Not much thought involved.

So anyways, I hope you have a good couple of weeks or so, and for now, goodbye!
Wait, no. It is not goodbye, it is just farewell, for a little while.

(I feel like that's a quote from somewhere... but I don't know where...)

See ya.
-Amaris

(not my picture, but it's pretty)





Monday, April 23, 2018

// Concepts //

--- 
                                
// Concept {1} // 

Owl City Ocean Eyes is playing softly in the background  // pink 'vanilla twilight' sky overhead // the sun begins to set // you're on the back porch // a warm mug of coffee next to you // a classic novel in your hand // a soft animal snuggled on your lap // a gentle, but not chilly breeze // nothing stressful going on in your life // everything peaceful


// Concept {2} //

Riding in a convertible with the love of your life // full tank of gas // sunset behind you // on a winding road on the side of a mountain // an atmosphere of adventure chills your bones with excitement // the breeze is invigorating // your hair is blown behind you // your cheeks ache from laughing // no destination, but that's ok


// Concept {3} // 

A clearing in the woods // surrounded by your dearest friends // campfire in the center // the warmth of the blaze caresses your face // fire makes popping and crackling sounds  // sticky hands from eating s'mores // all is quiet save for hooting owls and the laughter of friends // faces glow from the shine of the flames // the air is crisp // you close your eyes and feel peace // happiness radiates from your group // all is well


// Concept {4} // 

A quaint villa in the city // the pleasant bustle of city atmosphere outside your window // antiques and oddities on shelves all around // house plants and succulents on windowsills // your favorite teas are in the kitchen pantry // sunlight gleams on a full bookshelf // glowing fairy lights are draped in the hall // you wear your most comfortable fluffy sweater // coffee smells are all around // you are alive



// The End //

I hope you enjoyed these concepts! I thought of these in my spare time. :)
Which is your favorite?

-Amaris

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Bow of Bronze

When I was in highschool, around age 15-17, I had anxiety.

It began when I fainted at my church when I was 15. To worsen things, my Mom got into a car accident soon after (which wasn't her fault, btw, but it still made things worse).
Because of these two things, I got too afraid to go out in public, and what's more, I didn't want to go anywhere in the car (cause cars were scary) at all. I would wear sunglasses a lot whenever we drove anywhere, because I didn't want people or my family to see I was crying and afraid underneath them. This continued pretty much everywhere we went, whether it was church, a homeschool co-op, or just a normal outing. In short, it was a pretty awful time, all the time. According to me, anyways.

Through that time, there was one verse I especially liked that reminded me of God's strength, and that through Him I could overcome my struggles.

// Psalm 18:34 //


"He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze."


I may not have had to go into 'actual battles' like David in the Bible, but just as battles are a struggle, my fears were a struggle for me.
This verse reminded me that:
  • He is the one who strengthens me; physically and mentally
  • With His help (and only then) can I 'bend a bow of bronze' and triumph over my fears and 'battles'
  • I can trust Him to do these things, because the Bible itself is saying so in this verse
Thankfully, I am long past the struggles that I endured as a 15-year-old. But every once in awhile, the Evil One will bring to mind fears and stressful ideas, and it's then that I have to remember this verse.
So I thought I would share it with you too.


I hope that, through whatever you're worried about, this verse will give you strength as it did/does me.

-Amaris

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Few Random Things

Hello there!

Here I am with a random sort of post, with no purpose other than to update you on a few things. A few little... changes.
If you're bored with those kinds of post, I suggest you leave now (you can go; I won't be offended).

Photo Credit: ME. Taken with the iPhone X.
The first, and main thing is that I got my little item that I've been saving for. I promised I would tell you what it is in my March Highlights post, but sadly certain situations kept me from buying it by then.

But now.... I got it.

You might have already guessed what it is, or maybe you've actually seen it, but if you're still clueless...
...
...

It's a smartphone. I got a smartphone.

Not just any smartphone, but MY FIRST smartphone (yep; I updated from a flippy. The guys at the Apple store were shocked too).
And not just any kind of smartphone, an IPHONE.
To be specific, the iPhone X.
Yeah, I know. Why the heck do I need the latest and the smartest? Well, I WAS originally going to go with the iPhone 8+, but when I went to look at it a few months ago, It was HUGE. Like, WAY HUGE. Not my thing at all.
The iPhone X was right next to it, so I started handling it, and... I was sold.
The rest is history. It's a great phone; I think I made a good choice. :)
It's also got a great camera, and I know I'll get good use out of that! (the above picture was taken with my phone!)

SO.

MY OTHER UPDATES.
 Because I got a phone, I got an Instagram. :) I posted my first post a couple of days ago, and if you're interested, here I am: @amaris_todd.
I'm really enjoying it so far. I've actually tried to find some of your bloggers out there, but with no luck! So please; follow me so that I can find you! :D

The other thing is that I changed my blog look again. It's a bit overdue... the first day of Spring was almost a month ago now? But if you've ever moved houses before, you know how it is to not have time for anything.  -_-
But anywho. I traded the cool marble-y tones of Winter for the pinks and taupes of Spring. :)
I hope you like it!


Also, the moving is going really well; our house is spotless, and quite nice. I'll let you know when we're actually... moving.

In any case, those were a few updates for you! Go check me out on Instagram; I hope to soon begin posting more.

Thank you for reading!!

-Amaris

p.s. Do let me know what you think of the new blog look!

Monday, April 9, 2018

This is Me

It's 2018, I'm 20 years old, and this is what I'm like.

--


~I have been able to predict the future before. Not on cue; but there have been cases where things happen as soon as I imagine it.


~I am a very nostalgic and sentimental person. I have been ever since I was young.


~When I go to a restaurant, I tend to order the same couple of things every time. I do like trying new things in general, but I also easily form the habit of getting the exact same things (even the same drink, same side, and same dessert) every time, since I like it. *shrug* 


~The pronunciation of 'thorough' has always confused me.


~Whenever I sing, I get really slow at whatever I'm doing. It will take me forever to get a job done if I sing while I'm doing it, but it is relaxing.




~Usually, I don't like to watch a movie or read a book unless I've heard lots of good things about it beforehand.


~I still know my old Webkinz login username and password (I had 48 pets, by the way).


~I cannot stand being in the middle of conflict. It literally makes me feel so frustrated and unsettled and even sick inside when I am in the middle of such a thing, especially when I'm powerless to help or stop it. I quite enjoy conflict in stories, though.


~I can't stand inspirational cliches. "Be-YOU-tiful", and such. Drives me nuts.


~You know those characters from books that are described "It seemed like s/he could see right through me"? I am that character. I see and hear and pay attention to way more than I ever let on, and sometimes it surprises people.


~I am either extremely observant, or completely oblivious. There is no in-between.




~I was an introvert 'before it was cool'. My mom noticed introverted behavior in me at an early age, and when I got older and learned about the wide world of internets, I found that my actual personality type is INFJ-A.


~My fictional counterpart is Patrick Jane from The Mentalist. He's an INFJ, just like me, and he deals with a lot of things the same way I would.


~I tend to mix up my spellings of 'here' and 'hear' (my best friend can confirm; she has lots of email evidence), but I'm usually pretty good with 'there', 'they're', and 'their', as well as 'your', and 'you're'. However, I don't notice when other people use the wrong spellings of these.


~Swear words don't bother me in a movie as much as sexual content.





o
~I love to take a shower in natural light. In fact, I won't shower any other way. So if I get up before the dawn, and it's still pitch black out? Yep. I'm taking a shower in the dark.


~I love healthy food. Not just salads (cause to be honest, salads can get pretty boring), but good healthy vegetable recipes are some of my favorite things in life.


~Doctor Who really annoys me. (don't hate me..)


~I say 'just' a lot. It's just what I do. I just always say that. Just.


~I'm 20 years old, and, as of now, I don't have a smartphone yet.


~I found a show called 'Supernanny' on YouTube, and I gotta say... I might be obsessed (Also, watching kids throw tantrums on reality shows is just so entertaining to me I have no clue why).
~I love doing makeup (mostly on my own face). It is so enjoyable and relaxing, and I love making art out of it.


~As of now, I have never kissed any man on the lips, and have never had a boyfriend (though when I was 12 I had a crush on a boy in my Sunday school class...).


~I have another (private) blog, called Just a Test Blog, where I test out blog looks, headers, and sidebar photos before putting them on The Storybook Journal (there's one comment on the whole blog; made by me two years ago, and all it says is "woah dude").


~I examine every metal fork, knife, and spoon before using it.



~I love Pac-man games. Not so much the classic version as the newer animated ones. I don't have time to play them anymore, but when I was younger, we used to have a Pac-man game called Pac-man: World II, and it was like my favorite computer game ever.




~I find it very frustrated when I'm watching a movie with one or more companions, and they do not pay attention to the movie, so they never know what's going on, and then when the movie is over, they're like "well I didn't like that very much" and it's so frustrating because I'm like "Yeah cause you were DISTRACTED AT ALL THE GOOD PARTS".


~Growing up, I thought it was neat to say "East Window" or "West Window" so I figured out what my two bedroom windows were, and wrote it down on the sills to always remember. 


~I will probably never 'get' a Facebook.


~I cannot stand 'worship' songs sung in church that are not actually about worshiping God.


~I actually have a problem with 90% of worship songs.




~It took me years to figure out what my absolute favorite movie is, but I've finally decided what it is, at least for now. Forrest Gump, starring Tom Hanks. I would definitely use a language and sex filter, cause it's not the cleanest choice, but apart from that, I love. love. love that movie.


~I like routine. Until I get bored, then I like spontaneity. Until I'm overwhelmed, then I like routine.


~I am very picky about stories I read in books or watch in film. I like lots of meaning and drama (not cheesy drama; good drama, like Sherlock BBC drama). I love paying attention to the psychology of a good story.


~I came up with the name The Storybook Journal for my blog 3 years ago, and I still think it's a great name and I'm quite proud of it. *pats self on back*


~Mixing salad dressing into my salad is one of the most annoying tasks I can think of.


~Owl City and Britt Nicole music got me through most of my anxiety problems as a 15 and 16-year-old. I'm not into BN that much anymore, but Owl City is still like manna from heaven to me (I'm so into Cinematic right now, his latest album).




~I've always wondered how often people actually pay for the people behind them in a drive-thru.


~Whilst driving in my car, I can be very oblivious about where I'm going and tend to space out. Unless I'm driving somewhere new and therefore forced to pay attention lest I get lost. There are many days when I arrive at my job in the morning, and I don't have any recollection of how I got there.


~I've always liked things to be aesthetically pleasing; I just didn't know it had a term; "aesthetic", until about a year ago.


~The first thing I pay attention to when I meet someone new is their personality. I try to figure it out, and determine what kind of 'material' they are.


~I love watching internet videos of Kermit the Frog.


~If ever there occurs a dramatic situation, I'm the one who's interested and listening to it, but definitely not involved in any way (if I can help it).



--

There you go. Now you know me just a little better.
Do we have anything in common? Let me know!

-Amaris

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Favorite Things of March // 2018

How March went.

{books.}

The Complete Sherlock Holmes {Volume II} - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
After disliking a couple of ACD's short stories I tried for a British Literature class in 9th grade, I decided to give the literary Sherlock another chance as a 20-year-old... and I'm glad I did. I am enjoying this volume immensely.

Cloaked - Rachel Kovaciny
Just finished it on the 2nd of April, actually. It was good, but nothing to get really excited about.

Show Them Jesus - Jack Klumpenhower
Still working on this one; but I'm really learning from it.


{movies.}

Bruce Almighty (2003)
Kinda funny, but also very inappropriate. So. It's a pass.

Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
Waaayy more morbid than I had anticipated. But I kinda liked it too. The cinematography was really pretty and the acting was great. So. *shrug*

Sense & Sensibility (1995)
Not as well-loved as P&P '95, but a good movie just the same.

The American President (1995)
I so wanted this to be good (the trailer looked bomb), but it just... wasn't.

Turner and Hooch (1989)
Oh my gosh, so cute and funny. I will definitely re-watch at some point (check out the parents guide on IMDB before you try it, tho).

The Imitation Game (2014)
A re-watch. Still as good as I remember it.


{stuff.}

Essential Oils Locket
At one of my jobs (the craft store job), we have begun to sell some lockets that include a little absorbent pad inside to moisten with essential oils.
It's seriously great; I put my immunity oil (my favorite oil) in the necklace, and it lasts all day, right under my nose. The locket is cute, too.

Trader Joe's Creamy Tomato Soup Seasoned Crackers
Have you tried these? If you have a Trader Joe's near you, pick these up next time, cause they're pretty good.

Taco salad at work
One of my favorite lunches to bring to work (at my other job; my embroidery job) is homemade taco salad with romaine lettuce, tomato halves, black beans, Trader Joe's green salsa (my favorite salsa in the world hands down), Fage yogurt, grated sharp cheddar (always sharp), chopped avocado, and halved olives (I love black olives to death), plus Chalula hot sauce (love this cause it's not too hot and it has great flavor), with juice from a lemon sprinkled all over. And... I think that's it. But yeah. It's my favorite lunch right now. I would take a picture, but as I mentioned in a few posts ago, my camera is either lost or gone forever so I have no way of showing you things. *sadness*

One last thing:
My Surprise
Well, I promised to reveal my surprise to you guys in my March Highlights post. That is, my little item that I've been saving for. Unfortunately, because of certain issue regarding car maintenance
(#drat cars #drat adult life too),
I haven't bought it yet. So it will take me another two weeks of saving (or so) before I can afford #The Thing.
But I will let you all know when I have it! I am quite impatient myself.



{updates.} 

We are still moving.
And still busy. But hey, at least at this point the whole house is super clean.
 I hope you can live with The Storybook Journal looking like Winter for a little bit longer, my friends, because when you're moving...


It's in the works, though. It will be looking like Spring before long, so hang tight.

I put a Thing on my sidebar and I'm unnecessarily proud of it
This is kinda random, but I figured out how to put a Goodreads widget on my sidebar! Yeah, I'm really bad with technology stuff. Which explains why I get overly excited about these things. So yeah. Now ya'll can see what I'm currently reading. What up.


{Other.}

So I tried a new TV show last week. The Mentalist. It's a little too edgy for my taste, but there were things I really liked about S1E1, and what's more I felt an instant (and somewhat eerie) connection to the protagonist, Patrick Jane (played by Simon Baker). I'm even more sure about that last bit after I discovered this post, as I too am an INFJ personality type.  To be honest, he was almost exactly like me! I think it's so cool to find a fictional counterpart in an unexpected place.
Seriously though; from now on, even if I don't continue watching The Mentalist, every time I hear of or see Patrick Jane around the Web, I'm going to be like:

Aw yeah.

These posts by Naomi:

The Note on the Wall - #1
The Note on the Wall - #2
The Note on the Wall - #3

There are more parts coming, but these are the ones I've read so far, and mmm I just love them. #please write a book

This song by Cory Asbury:
Reckless Love
I love this song so much; it's a new song but for some reason it reminds me of my childhood...? *shrug* Anywho. It's a great song. Give it a listen.

~*~
Well, that's it. Sorry to keep you waiting for nothing in regards to my 'surprise'. But hey, at least you know what I did this month! That's sure important, right?


-Amaris

p.s. I saw the first ladybug of Spring yesterday.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Small Birdie, Big God

A post I wrote a couple days ago.
 --
Today, being Friday (the day that I wrote this), I went through the Starbucks drive thru to get a frappaccino. There's nothing extraordinary about that, but while I was sitting in line for the pay window, I heard in the tree above me, the most crisp, cheery, and lovely sound. It was a series of twitters, ranging from shrills, titters, and tweets, to loud whistles.
I looked up and saw a mockingbird.
It was the first mockingbird I've seen this Spring, actually.



  I know that mockingbirds are among the more aggressive breed of birds, but I have personally always loved them. I always found it amazing that one bird could 'copy' so many others in the song it makes. Its little whistles can make all sorts of sounds, at all different volumes.

I was thinking about this on the way to work whilst sipping my coffee, and I began to think about all the people in the world who don't believe there is a God at all.
It made me sad that some could suppose that such an intricately designed bird could have no Maker. That all of this (meaning the whole world) just randomly happened.

I am not a genius. I am not above-average in intelligence, nor do I even have a college education.
But I, even I, can't imagine all of this -mockingbirds included- without a Designer. I can't imagine things not having a beginning from an intelligent Being Who put it all into place.
Actually, it is to our benefit that we believe in a God who made all things. For He made us, and that means He cares about us!


// 1 Peter 5:7 //

"... casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you."


I don't know about you, but I want a piece of That.
God loves the world. Whether they believe in Him or not.
I would rather there be a God who made everything and cares about me, than refuse to believe in Him at all. 
It's something I've decided to put my trust in, and I don't think I'll be disappointed.


-Amaris

Monday, March 26, 2018

I Wrote This Review 3 Years Ago...

Hello, bloggy friends.
I was looking at my old drafts (a dangerous place to explore...) and I found this old review.

I wrote it before I posted anything on this blog, and somehow, once I did start posting, I never got around to making this one public. It's an ok review, so I thought you might like to take a look into my 17-year-old self once again (ahh, the good ol' days) (Ha. I say "the good ol' days" like I'm 83 instead of 20).

So yeah. I also am pretty sure this movie is not as morbid or 'grown up' as I'm making it sound here, but *shrug* you know how it is when you're only 17 small years old. (No offense to any 17-year-olds reading my blog right now... I love you too).

So. Pardon my previously naïve self. I was trying to sound really professional, and movie critic-ish... and yeah.

Enjoy. 

---

"Welcome to Alcatraz."
That's what the guards say after locking up a new prisoner.
I watched this 1979 movie last night because some of my friends went on a tour of the notorious prison, and they mentioned that the movie was good. Also, because I happen to like watching prison escape movies.
I found it a very intriguing film.

Ok... That's a little scary.
First off, you must know that Alcatraz is a unique prison. As the Warden told us:

"If you disobey the rules of society, they send you to prison; if you disobey the rules of the prison, they send you to us. Alcatraz is not like any other prison in the United States."

In other words, Alcatraz (while it was open, from 1934 to 1963) was a place to keep the 'bad eggs' all together in one prison. It was, essentially, escape proof.
That is until a rough and stoic criminal, Frank Morris, (played stupendously by Clint Eastwood) came, noticed that the concrete in his cell was wearing down, and decided to bust out.
The movie follows Morris from the time he comes to the prison until he attempts escape with three other prisoners.

If you decide to watch it, these are the things you need to look out for:
Some language: These are prisoners, after all, and there's pretty much no reason to talk clean. Their bad language is definitely not overwhelming, but some of their rough talk includes words like: sh**, a**, d**n, and unfortunately, the name of the Lord God is misused several times. Some black prisoners are referred to as 'ni**ers'
Some nudity: We see the nude backs and behinds of men taking showers, and we see the unclothed back and chest of Morris as he is marched to his cell at the beginning of the movie.  
 Blood: There is not much to speak of here, fortunately, except for one scene, where a prisoner uses a hatchet on his hand after his painting privileges are taken away. We see a brief view of his blood.
Some of the prisoners fist fight with each other in a few scenes, including once in the shower.

I wasn't really sure what to expect with this movie, at first. But, I found that it delivered. I was never at a lack for suspense. I saw the prisoners work on their little escape plan, and slip little things past the guards to dig with in the cells. There was some great acting talent displayed too. In spite of Morris' notorious reputation (he's a criminal!), he manages to make friends in the prison, and we see that even Alcatraz prisoners know how to work together for a goal. There are also a couple of funny moments with these prisoners. Clint Eastwood, though I have never seen him in a movie before, did a great job in the movie being angry, brilliant, criminal-minded, and (I have to say), handsome. :)


If you're looking for an interesting movie to watch, that is maybe a little out of your comfort zone, 'Escape From Alcatraz' won't disappoint you. I don't think it's the best kind of 'family movie' to watch with little kids, but if you're just a couple of teenagers and some grown ups, I would say, "definitely watch it!"


"King of the Mountain."
If I watch any more movies, I will definitely write a review about it, if I have time! See you later!



--

Oh look, my old 'Phoebe' button. Boy, times have changed.
I hope you enjoyed that, because I didn't change anything. This is exactly the way it has been all those three years sitting all alone in the darkest corner of my blog drafts...
Maybe I should watch the movie again to see if my opinions have changed. We'll see.

Thanks for going down memory lane with me!
-Amaris


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