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


Monday, March 19, 2018

What Moving is REALLY Like

If you're in the middle of moving right now, or if you have ever moved before, you know what I'm talking about.

Exhaustion- Literally just putting my hair up in a braid these past few weeks has been enough to make me want to go to bedddd.

Getting Rid of Stuffs - What-ho, I am a minimalist now. Not by choice, mind you. To be honest, though, this part of moving is the least bother-some to me. I actually love getting rid of lots of useless junk.

No Time For Plans- There is no time to plan anything, therefore, there are almost no fun outings. I did go to an immensely enjoyable fundraiser a few weeks ago, and then a dance, but the dance left me awfully tired- so I thought, what's the point anyways.

The Hurry and Rush- When you are having to fix up your house and get your stuff organized on a time limit, there is constant unpleasant feeling of "crunch time", which begins to wear on your good spirits after awhile.

No Weekend Fun Times- Weekends are not fun like they should be, because they're the only time that most people are available to come and help you with your house, which means you have to work too. Weekend after weekend after weekend.

Nothing is Where it Belongs- All of my craft/hobby supplies and recreational activities are in storage; which means I haven't been able to simply do my makeup for like a month. Even my camera is nowhere to be found, so hopefully it's in storage as well; but until I find it I have to rely entirely on Pinterest to make my posts beautiful...*sigh*. Thank you, Pinterest, old friend *hugs pinterest*.

The Constant Smell of Paint- Or glue, or caulk, or soil (they had to do some digging in our basement so our house smelled like moldy dirt for one week straight)... lots of smells. Also wet walls. Everywhere.

~*~

Yes, I've used this pic in a post before... but Imma use it again cause I love it.
It's not all this depressing, though.
Other than packing boxes and moving junk everywhere, things look quite nice. All of the painting is almost done. Our basement looks nicer than I think it ever did, my room is white as snow (and quite plain, but that's making it look really lovely somehow), our yard looks great thanks to some friends from our church who helped clean it up, our bathrooms are bleached to perfection.
All I can think of is how proud Adrian Monk would be of our bathrooms. He might even go inside them.

I'm sorry for the rather depressed random-ness of this post. This is the first time I've ever moved (well, the last time my family moved was when I was only a year old, so technically I don't remember it, and technically I was too young to help, so technically this is the first time I've moved), and when I look back at this time, I want to remember what it was like.



I want to remember what God taught me through this. 
  • That owning things isn't all there is to life. 
  • That I can trust Him through the unknown.
  • That hard times can have fun times mixed in.
  • That change is inevitable, but He can make it a good thing.
    And most importantly:
Times will change, but He will not.

~*~

Also, on a separate note, I've got some exciting personal news; I have been saving (for like 6 months) for something special, and I think I will be able to afford it about two weeks from now! What COULD I be referring to?! *sly wink* I will reveal that in my March Highlights post. ;)


Until then, enjoy the change into Spring!
And thank you for letting me ramble... about life, and whatnot.  *shrug* Ya know how it is.
(Especially you, Natalie. *wink*)

-Amaris

Monday, March 12, 2018

Problems I Have With Pride & Prejudice 2005

I am not a negative person by nature, but I would like to present these thoughts of mine for your reading pleasure. Let us see on whether or not we agree!
I did a rather old post kind of like this awhile back, but my opinions have changed a little, so I wanted to update from a fresh perspective. So here you go.

Disclaimer: These are my own personal opinions, they are not meant to bash anyone who might think differently than me. Let's keep this fun, peeps.

To begin.


~It's too short

This story is not one to be taken in a small amount of time. The story requires a good deal of thought and pondering to enjoy it thoroughly. When watching P&P '05, we cannot do that. It's too painfully short. It's so short it hurts my brain to watch it.
I really wish they would've:
1. Made the movie into a miniseries, or at least
2. Made the movie super long.
This would give us much more time to spend with the movie's beautiful aesthetics and appreciate things such as acting talent. *sigh* But alas.



~Elizabeth Bennet's makeup isn't accurate- and it just bugs me in general

This "I love you" rainstorm scene in particular (completely setting aside the fact that this scene in this setting wasn’t supposed to happen anyways) just bugged me because of how dark and sultry Elizabeth’s makeup was. I am not a ‘costume’ expert, but I do know that back in these times, makeup was very faint, natural, and light. The only people who wore makeup enough to see was women of ill repute, or... (dare I say it on this clean blog…) prostitutes, who were essentially outcasts.
Not to mention dark, smudgy eyeliner bugs me in general. But that’s just me.
(Also, this is off the makeup biz, but why is Elizabeth such a ragamuffin in general? Certainly neat hair and ironed clothing were a must, even for someone of her class?) (Help me out, history peeps.)


~The costumes aren’t accurate either

This one I can’t say much about, as I am not a ‘costume’ expert, as I said. But in spite of my thoughts on this movies’ costumes, I have been in the discussion of other people who know much more of the subject who also think the costumes are historically lacking. And who am I to argue with a history person?
Plus, I just don’t understand Caroline Bingley’s dress in this ball scene at all??? In the 19th century, I always figured that women didn't wear night gowns to balls...
But perhaps I'm wrong... anyone?


~Mr. Darcy is the opposite of attractive (*whispers* aka he's ugly)

I know, I know. Some women think otherwise. This is my personal opinion (and no offense to the actor as a person), but I do not care for this Darcy’s looks. He’s supposed to be handsome, right? Isn’t that what the book suggests? Help me here, people. It’s been awhile since I read the book. P&P 05’s Darcy is not how I imagine a handsome-suitor-with-a-gazillion-pounds to look. Also, his hair is weird.


~The Bingleys are weird

Caroline does alright at acting high-and-mighty and all, but her costumes are horrid (again with the nightgown ball dress), but she's not even in the story enough for me to even have an extensive opinion about her.
That scene when Caroline was supposed to have caused her brother to leave town to keep him away from Jane? Like, for real that scene just happened so fast and without very much explanation at all. If I hadn’t read the book already, I would’ve been completely confused, as my mom was because she hadn't read the book. *frustrated groan*

And I haven’t even gotten to Charles Bingley yet. Let me just say this; I think Hollywood/other movie making people are getting confused about what the term ‘handsome’ means. He’s friendly enough (I rather think his personality is on the ‘ok’ side), but he’s just not attractive. At all.


~Mr. Collins isn’t ridiculous enough to make me hardly notice his existence at all

This Mr. Collins is just kind of there. Like, hardly anything happens with him until he proposes to Elizabeth and gets rejected, and even then he’s still not much of anything when it comes to ‘personality’. As I remember it in the book, Mr. Collins was supposed to be somewhat ridiculous and comedic, while he tries his best to be serious. You could take this Mr. Collins out entirely and it would effect the movie very little.


~The Bennet family isn't ridiculous enough either

In the true spirit of Jane Austen's writing, the Bennet family (apart from Jane and Elizabeth) are supposed to be ridiculous enough to make you laugh to yourself, and even out loud. P&P '95 captures the hilarity splendidly, but in 2005... I honestly can't remember laughing once, to myself or otherwise.

Mrs. Bennet is okay. Not funny, but okay. Mr. Bennet I probably like the most. But the rest of them are filled with many non-laughable moments (or perhaps they ARE laughable, but the moment is too short that I can't notice / enjoy it?) that leave me more bored than amused. Sad, but true.

~*~


Well, that's about it. 
Let's end this barrage of negativity with some positive notes:

A Few Things I Do Like:
~Jane Bennet (I love Rosamund Pike in this role)
~The soundtrack (I live and breathe the music from this movie no joke)
~The sets and props and aesthetics (such a beautiful movie really)

~*~
There you have it. My true thoughts on a movie controversial among period drama lovers around the world. I did re-watch this right before I wrote this so that I can remember all of my thoughts (gotta be accurate, you know?), and was not entirely bored, because in spite of it's flaws, I do enjoy watching it.
It's not terrible by any means.

On another subject, I feel like I've been posting a lot of period-drama related posts lately? Or is that just me? I certainly enjoyed the period drama tag all the bloggers did awhile back. :)
But if I'm not careful, I might end up one of 'those' period drama-obsessed blogs.
*shivers*
Anywho.
Let me know which of these sentiments you agree or disagree with. :)

See ya.
-Amaris

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

He Has Overcome

I was discussing this verse with a blogging friend a few days ago, and was inspired to write this little post.
If you haven't heard, I'm moving (well, my family is) (we don't know where to yet), and as I go through this time of drastic change in my life, I have been reflecting on my life verse lately, and I wanted to share it with all of you.

// John 16:33 //

"I have told you these things, so that you  may have peace. In the world you have tribulations, but take courage; I have overcome the world."

The contrast is obvious: God's peace is greater than the tribulations of this world.

~This is my life verse~
It's the verse I've chosen to fall back on as various things happen throughout my life.

This verse tells me that
  • Jesus gives me peace
  • The world is full of tribulations (trials, heartaches, chaos, etc.), BUT
  • I can take courage
  • Jesus has already taken hold of the world
  • He is in control
  • I can trust Him
I can't express how wonderful it is that we have a whole BOOK of things like this. Promises. Encouragements. Great love.
The entire Bible is filled with such things.

But I just wanted to share this single verse; one of my favorites.

Edit created by me. Painting by Van Gogh.
-Amaris

"Christ alone makes all other things suddenly vanish."
-John Calvin

Monday, March 5, 2018

Living in February // 2018

A few highlights of February

It's been raining. A lot. Has anyone else gotten quite a bit of rain lately? The funny thing about rain, I've noticed, is the effect it has on people's moods. Lots of people get grumpy when it's raining. They don't like rain, they don't like to drive in it, they don't like the wet.
But me? I love rain. As a matter of fact, this month, when it WASN'T raining, I was listening to rainymood at work.
Try it; it's pretty great.
(I'm listening to it right now.)
(I'm at work right now.)

~*~
 ~*~

I've been getting into soundtracks again. Namely Pride & Prejudice (2005) soundtrack (love that one), and The Young Victoria soundtrack. And the people at work have been listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack before open hours... at full volume. Can't decide if I'm mad or glad about that.

~*~

I've watched a few movies this month. 
At the beginning of this year, I decided I wanted to try to watch more movies. As opposed to 2017, when I watched, like, five.

February Movies // 2018

You've Got Mail (1998) - A very sweet romance taken from the old movie 'Shop Around the Corner'. But with Tom Hanks.
#it's a great idea to email strangers, kids

The Young Victoria (2009) - So, so beautiful. I loved the story line. I loved Prince Albert. The soundtrack was also great.
#can i have a time machine now

Walt Before Mickey (2015) - I don't really have an opinion because I turned it off because it was boring. And the acting was just bad.
#where's benedict cumberbatch when you need him

Wonder (2017) - A very sweet movie of a little middle school kid. Plus, the dad was hilarious. I will probably show this to my children one day.
#glad i was homeschooled tho

Gifted (2017) - I could do without the language and a certain 'scene', but overall, I loved it. And Chris Evans being a perfect uncle is... well, perfect.
#what even is math

Cast Away (2000) - A very sad, classic movie. I loved 'Wilson', and Tom Hanks was great, as usual.
#i'm so sorry wilson

The Glass Castle (2017) - Too much content for me to enjoy very much. But I loved all the actresses who played Jeanette, and I liked her strong character.
#someone's cornbread ain't done in the middle

~*~
 ~*~

I've been painting a lot. Not as in 'Van Gogh' (I wish), as in 'houses'. Almost all of my work clothes have paint all over them. To get the house ready for sale, we are painting every room white. It's been fun, but tiring.
But I found I actually like painting bathrooms (but ONLY bathrooms). Who knew.

~*~

I finally cut my hair down to my shoulders. It's been hard to manage lately, since I had really frayed ends, but I couldn't find the time to cut it myself because I was so busy. So, I finally I took it to the hair salon and had her chop it all off.
If I was in the habit of posting pictures of myself, I would show you a pic right now.
But I'm not.

~*~
~*~

That's about it. Here's just a few more things that aren't important enough to talk about.

Randomness: 
 
*When your friend asks you what's your favorite Tom Hanks movie is, and you realize you've seen ten of them. Out of like 50.

*Decorating the showroom at my job for St. Patrick's day is fun. And really glittery.

*I like to pay attention to the cinematography in movies.

*Thinking up lots of ideas for a (sorta) big Blog Project I have in mind (what's that? I'm hinting?)

*Acting dumb when sales people call on the phone is fun. (for me)

*Kids are messy (but great)

*I like a lot of marshmallows on my hot chocolate.

*Just for kicks, I tried to get onto my old Webkinz account. Boy, things have changed.

~*~
 ~*~

That is all, friends. Spring is coming, and lots of changes for me!
Wish me luck.
I hope you have a good March!!
-Amaris

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Favorite Word

I have been hearing this word a lot lately (for some reason. You know when you hear about something, and then you keep hearing about it out of the blue? That's what happened to me), so I wanted to share it with you peeps.

The word is 'enigma'. Or 'enigmatic'.

// Enigma //

Something hard to understand or explain.
A person not easily interpreted.
An obscure bit of writing.

// the space between the stars // a person with a lot of secrets // a closed up street shop // a German code machine // a person without friends or family // a blank expression // a story yet to be read // a hermit // the absence of understanding // a closed room // 

~*~

That is all. I just wanted to share a little word aesthetic with you (a.k.a. I'm at work and there's no customers because it's raining so I'm literally just answering the phone so I thought what the hey I'll write a post about this).

Now you know what 'enigmatic' means.
Sorry I couldn't ... explain it better
(sorry; had to add a pun)


-Amaris

Monday, February 26, 2018

A Period Drama Tag

I was tagged by Rachel over at A Girl's Place, and by Miss Woodhouse at Notes From a Hartfield Girl (both lovely blogs, btw) for this lovely Period Drama tag!

Thank you, ladies!

Rules
1. Answer the questions.
2. Link back to the person who tagged you. (I shall point you up there ^^ for that)
3. Tag at least one other blogger to do the tag. (See the end of the post, please!) 

Just a side note before I begin: I have not watched a legit "period drama" movie or series for almost a year, except Poldark (which I just discovered but I love it). So bear with me as I TRY to remember my favorite this and thats of period dramas.
In any case, I love these questions!
Let us commence.   


1. What was the most recent period drama you watched? Share what you thought of it.
As I said, I just discovered the show Poldark a couple of weeks ago. While I am only just starting Season 3 (out of...4 I think?), I am really loving it. There are a couple of things in the *ehem* content department, but other than that I wholeheartedly recommend!
(Note: After this was written, I did watch another period drama. The Young Victoria (2009). My opinion? Beautiful.)

2. Do you generally prefer period dramas in the form of a movie or a TV series/mini-series? Why? 
Most good period dramas are good no matter what form they are, but I think I would choose TV/mini series. There are generally more good cliffhangers that way, not to mention the story is longer.  
 

3. What is your favorite musical period drama?
I...actually... severely... dislike musicals.
So.
I guess none.

(unless u count the greatest showman. then that's my favorite.)

4. Read the book first or watch the movie first?
I have enjoyed it both ways, actually.
Pride & Prejudice I read first, but North & South (2004) I watched first.



5. What is a valuable life lesson you learned from a period drama? 
Uuhh... "Reject all the proposals"?!

Just kidding. I wouldn't say I've learned a 'valuable life lesson' from a period drama, but I would say that watching/reading period dramas has improved my writing in some ways.

6. Which period drama hero would you likely to fall in love with in real life?
That's not hard at all. Definitely this guy: Dr. Enys from Poldark. He's noble, loyal, faithful, brave, and selfless. 
And I love him.
(He's the guy on the right)




7. Do you ever like to binge-watch a period drama series?
 I think I binge-watched North & South BBC the second time around, but I usually prefer one or two episodes at a time (yep imma boring fangirl).

8. What things go best with watching a period drama?
Being wrapped up in a fluffy Sherpa blanket.
Whilst drinking tea.
Scooted way up close to the TV.
Whatever says 'comfort'.

9. Which period drama do you think you would fit into best?
Probably a setting from one of Jane Austen's novels. They are usually so bright and airy. Perfect for me, I say. Also, Prince Edward Island sounds lovely in Anne Shirley's time. Oh, and don't let me forget Barney and Valancy's home from The Blue Castle! It sounds great.

 
10. If you could have any period drama character for a best friend, who would it be? And why?
1. I would not change my current 'real-life' best friend for anything, but
2. If I had to, I would probably choose Margaret Hale from North & South BBC. That girl needs a female friend.
3. I would also probably choose to be George Warleggan from Poldark to be my other best friend, because even though I hate him and he's disgusting and terrible, being my best friend means that I have an advantage because he's not my enemy, plus he's super rich so he can throw me an epic birthday party, which is way more than he would do for his enemy.

11. Show us a picture of a period drama costume you wish you could wear in real life
I'm not into costumes as much as I used to be (pun intended), but here are a few that I like.

-I love pretty much all of Elizabeth's gowns in Poldark.



-Then we have the airy, breathtaking beauty of Belle's dancing gown from Beauty and the Beast.



-I love Trixie's style in Call the Midwife (that's a period drama... right? I think?). 


-As a child especially, I loved this dress of Maria's from The Sound of Music.
0

-I also love the color of blue with this dress from Amazing Grace. It would have to be less low-cut to suit me, however. :) (Also, I don't think I could dye my hair red enough to look as good as Garai in it).
(Tbh I've always kinda liked the hairstyle here too).


I've shown a lot here, but there are many other outfits besides this. :)

12. Are there any period dramas you like to watch during a particular season or holiday?
I like to watch Bleak House BBC and North & South BBC during the winter, and the more light-hearted, airy dramas like Pride & Prejudice during Spring and Summer. I also like watching Call the Midwife Christmas specials during Christmastime. :)

13. Which period drama has your favorite soundtrack?
Definitely Poldark has my favorite opening theme. Pretty much all of that show's music is my favorite. I love all of Demelza's songs. I have been enjoying Pride & Prejudice (2005) music as well lately.


14. Dream cast your favorite actor and actress in a period drama of your choosing; tell which parts they would play and why.
I'm going to be boring with this question; I never really thought about switching any actors in my favorite period dramas, because I like the actors who play the parts already. As far as books go... I have no ideas. :)

15. Are there any period dramas you like more than one version of?
Actually, no. (I know; boring again)



16. What are the top three period dramas that you haven't seen on your to-watch list?
  • Wives & Daughters
  • Sense & Sensibility 
  • The Crown
17. Show a picture of your favorite period drama hairstyle.
It's hard to pick a favorite, but I've always liked Elizabeth's hairstyle from the ball scene in P&P 2005. 



18. What was your favorite wedding in a period drama?
Actually, none of them really stood out at me. P&P '95 was ok, except for the weirdness caused by it being a double wedding. I kind of liked the wedding in The Young Victoria too, now that I think of it. :)

19. What is your favorite biographical period drama?
If either The Imitation Game or The Greatest Showman count as period dramas, then I choose one of those. If not, I do not have one. :)



20. Which historical novel will you forever recommend to anyone and everyone?
I loved reading North & South, by Elizabeth Gaskell and Bleak House by Charles Dickens (for a more hefty read). They were both so good. 
For beginners to period dramas, I would recommend Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin. :)

Thanks for tagging me, Rachel and Miss Woodhouse! I loved answering these. It's been awhile since I've done any sort of Period Drama tag. So it was fun.

I tag:
Natalie
Hayden
Lissa
Cordy

If any of you guys have done this before, I'm sorry I didn't notice! Feel free to pass me by...or do the tag again if you wish. :)



Here is the list of questions!
1.What was the most recent period drama you watched? Share what you thought of it.

2.  Do you generally prefer period dramas in the form of a movie or a TV series/mini-series?  Why?
3.  What is your favorite musical period drama?
4.  Read the book first or watch the movie first?
5.  What is a valuable life lesson you learned from a period drama?
6.  Which period drama hero would you be likely to fall in love with in real life?
7.  Do you ever like to binge-watch a period drama series?
8.  What things go best with watching a period drama?
9.  Which period drama do you think you would fit into best?
10. If you could have any period drama character for a best friend, who would it be?  And why?
11. Show us a picture of a period drama costume you wish you could wear in real life.
12. Are there any period dramas you like to watch during a particular season or holiday?
13. Which period drama has your favorite soundtrack?
14. Dream cast your favorite actor and actress in a period drama of your choosing; tell which parts they would play and why.
15. Are there any period dramas you like more than one version of?
16. What are the top three period dramas that you haven't seen on your to-watch list?
17. Show a picture of your favorite period drama hairstyle.
18. What was your favorite wedding in a period drama?
19. What is your favorite biographical period drama?
20. Which historical novel will you forever recommend to anyone and everyone?

 ~*~
 -Amaris
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