Thursday, January 10, 2019

// 2018: A Summary //

Hello, peeps! I have returned with a 2018 review... and I'm only about two weeks late, hehe. :)
But that's ok. This year, I decided that I will do the 'New Years Tag' thing that I've seen floating around various blogs for the past couple of years.
Let's get started.

From my Instagram @amaris_todd

// The Year 2018 // 

What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?
I went to an outdoor theater for the first time!!! It was such a fun experience.

Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make one this year?
I only had one goal, to try to watch more movies. And I succeeded!! I watched over 50  movies this year! I am planning on publishing my 'big epic movie list of 2018' soon, so that you can see what I thought of each movie I watched this year.

What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
I would like to have more education in art, and a laptop. :)

What date from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory?
This might sound dumb, but that would be the day I got my first smartphone, the iPhone X. The day we got it, we went to Lion's Choice afterward, and every time we go to that same location, I remember the mood and the vibes I had from that first day I got my phone.
Oh, and also May 20th! The day we officially moved! I remember what it was like to spend the last night in my old room.... a very unique feeling. It's like going away for vacation, knowing you'll miss your home but you'll soon be back... except you won't be back. And you know it.

What was the best month?
Possibly July, because the VBS that I taught in was absolutely amazing. October was also really good, because I attended an art class and did a lot of other fun stuff with my best friend that month. :)

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Probably just the things that God taught me this year about Him, and how that will affect my teaching children about God.

What was your biggest failure?
That I didn't read more books.  :( I really love books, but unfortunately at the end of many stressful days this year, I just didn't feel like a book. I hope to improve on this more in the coming year, though!

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Seeing a moon exhibit at our local science center! They had the entire command module from Apollo 11. :) It was really fun to see. I also just got generally more excited to hang out with friends more, which is more than I ever used to do.

What was an unexpected surprise? 
God brought a few friendships to me that I didn't know would be so important to me, and I'm so glad He did. <3 I also started going to a different church. It was difficult, since I'd been going to my previous church for 10+ years, but I'm so glad I did and I know I'm supposed to be at this new church.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I had gotten out and exercised more. :/

How did you spend Christmas?
It was just a small party of me and two others. We spent the day inside relaxing and doing activities. I worked on drawing. It was rather nice.

How did you spend New Year’s?
We pretty much did the above answer, but add watching 'Forrest Gump' and eating homemade chili. :)

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018:
I don't have to do or be anything to make God love me more. He already loves me, once and for all, whether my day is good or bad.
Also, if you pretend to be something you're not to impress/make other people happy, it's gonna get old eventually. Be you. If you don't know what 'you' is, figure it out and don't be afraid to be it. Negative people are everywhere. Even people you think are close to you might be a source of negativity in your life. Watch out for them, and don't change who you are for them unless you know God is using them to change you. <3

Compared to this time last year, are you: 
Happier or sadder? Sadder.But don't be alarmed... I'm a sad person in general. It's the way of things for me right now. Nothing has directly caused me to be sad.
Thinner or fatter? I have to admit a bit fatter. But I am hoping to walk more this year, and also eat more vegetables, to live the best life of taking care of the body God so graciously gave me! :) 
Richer or poorer? Well, I'm definitely making more money than this time last year, but I also have more expenses now... so it kind of evens out. 

Five things I want to do in 2019:
1. Make memories with my friends more, and be there for people.
2. Keep drawing!
3. Take overall mental and physical health more seriously.
4. Keep growing closer to God and learning from Him.
5. Explore more of my hometown- such as best restaurants, places to go, attractions, etc.!

What kept you sane?
God, my best friend Tessa (This Great Adventure!), and my good friend I made through VBS, Maggie.

Did you move anywhere? 
Yes! We moved about 20 minutes away from our old house on May 20th, 2018. The good thing is that I am now 2 minutes from my job, which is right down the street!I love that setup, hehe. I also quit my job at Michael's in April. But that was a good change.

Did you try anything local from your hometown that you've never tried before? 
I'm planning on exploring more of my town this year, but I did go to an outdoor theater during Summer 2018, and I really liked it! :)

What countries/states did you visit? 
Absolutely none. This, unfortunately, was a source of depression for me this year, because I love to travel and see things and go places (my mom calls me a 'free bird'), and I didn't have the money or the time to, nor was I in a position to travel, which makes me rather sad.
The saddest part is, this is the 4th year in a row I haven't traveled far from my home. I feel kinda stuck sometimes. Also I'm poor.
Ok that answer was depressing. *fake laugh*

Where did most of your money go?
Other than general expenses from living in an apartment (which are b o r i n g), probably clothes. I kind of figured a style for myself in 2018 too... but I'm still learning about that.

What was the best thing you bought? 
You know the answer! :) My iPhone X.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Thankfully, no.

What did you want and get?
Better drawing skills. :)

What did you want and not get?
So many an iPad to start drawing digitally. :|

Did you fall in love in 2017?
Nope. I'll admit a few people caught my eye tho (*nervous laughter while hoping they never read this hehe ehe*), but nothing came of that.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 20 on my birthday, and.... if I remember correctly, I think we went shopping. I bought myself some clothes and makeup and stuff.

Did anyone close to you give birth or get pregnant?

Did anyone close to you get married?

Did anyone close to you die? 
Thankfully nope.

Who was the best new person you met?
I actually made some good friends online, once I got my phone. Several who actually read my blog, but blogging is kind of impersonal as far as chatting back and forth individually, so I didn't know what great peeps they were until I started chatting with them on Instagram! Social media also helped me re-connect with people I used to know when I was younger and doing homeshcooling, and I'm so glad because I never knew what great people they were and now we can hang out.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
Trying, haha.
Actually, towards the end of the year I started taking my person fashion style more seriously. As mentioned previously, I'm still figuring things out and learning with fashion, but overall I'm more confident about my clothing choices than I was this time last year, and I'm happy with a number of clothing items I acquired in 2018!

What was the best book you read?
Show Them Jesus, by Jack Klumpenhower. Second most influential book I've ever read so far, hands down (the first being the Bible, of course). I actually read it twice in 2018, hehe.

What were your favorite books of this year?
I sadly didn't read a lot of books this year. :P I am working on 'Where We Belong' by Lynn Austin right now, which I started late in 2018, and I'm halfway through! It's pretty good. :)

What was your favorite TV show?
Poldark seasons 1-3 (we're gonna catch up and watch season 4 soon!). I also started randomly watching Victoria (with Jenna Coleman) one evening, and I kept watching because I looovee it. I am sad there was only a couple of seasons. Apparently they are making new episodes for 2019 and I can't wait! It's a beautiful, beautiful show. :)

What were your favorite films of this year?
I'm going to save that for my 'big epic movie list of 2018' post. :)

What was the best concert you’ve been to this year?
I don't really enjoy concerts very often because I get sensory overload (and big dark loud rooms with flashing lights kinda trigger my anxiety), but I did go to see MercyMe and I loved him. <3

What song/album will always remind you of 2017?
Owl City's Cinematic album came out on June 6th! I loved listening to it this year.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
The old band, Queen! I saw the movie 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in theaters and loved it, and it further assisted my growing Queen obsession. :) I don't recommend all the titles, but there are a lot of songs I do love. :) Same goes for Michael Jackson, whose music I also 'discovered' this year!
It was a good year, musically. I also started listening to more oldies (Dean Martin... ahhh... *heart eyes*), and reconnected with how much I love vintage. <3

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Tell me why I look back and I want to cry,
Sometimes I feel like we grew up too fast
You and I had the time of our younger lives
Sometimes I sigh and think about the past

But it's alright, cause everthing changes.
Owl City - Firebird (Alt. version)

// The End //

Well, peeps, that about sums it up. It was the craziest year of my life, and I changed more this year than I ever have. You know how there are some things you think will never change? Well, if you're between the ages of 15-25, think again, because it probably will. Almost everything I thought would never change, changed in 2018. That's the biggest reason it was such a crazy year!

It was a lot of change, but somehow I'm ok with it. I can always look back with fondness on the things I used to love and on the way things used to be, but there's so much more ahead. So, so much.
I read a (rather basic) quote on Instagram the other day.
 "Don't look back, you're not going that way"

Even though it's kinda basic and cliche, it inspired me.
I can't wait to see what 2019 holds. I am so excited.

Until next time, friends.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Time Passes

It's funny how humans make their little plans, and they have these little expectations for what they hope things to be like, as if they really had any control over the way things will actually turn out.

*a rather deep opening sentence to this post, i know*

For instance, this year went absolutely nothing how I expected it would.

There's only one thing that happened this year that went how I expected. My movie-watching plans! I determined to watch more movies this year, and by George, I definitely did! That I am glad of. There were many movies that really needed to be watched by me.
I kept a movie log throughout the year, and I plan to hopefully post it some time in December... if I can actually DO SOMETHING I PLAN, FOR ONCE.

Did you know I expected this year to be one of my biggest blogging years yet for The Storybook Journal? I had so many post ideas... I even planned to do some special blogging with my best friend, since she finally got a blog. But it turned out this was one of my smallest blogging years instead.

That's why I'm writing this post right now, actually. Just to say 'hello' to you all. I miss you, to be honest. I miss my blogging life.

But as one of my personal favorite influential Owl City songs states: 'Everything changes' (Firebird, Cinematic album).

Everything changes.

And you know what? I'm ok with that.

Change is... sad.
But it's good.
It can be bad too, of course, but when change is bad, you don't have to be hopeless because the bad will come full circle and change, yet again, to good.
Which, of course, grows faith in God the whole time.
It's really quite a good system.

I think I've changed more this year than any year in so far in my life. Both for good, and for bad.
Thankfully, God has remained the same. I've learned that I can always count on Him.
I'm still learning that.

Well, this post is a whole lot of nothing. As I said, I'm just popping in to say 'hello'. I am not gone; I'm still here. Just not blogging much.
That's all. I guess I'll go now.. but I suppose you want a little update on my life.

I impulsively started watching a show on Amazon Prime. It's just called 'Victoria'. Starting Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria.
When it first began, the story line was rather slow, but I liked it. I always like some good, down-to-earth history drama. As the season went on (I just began watching Season Two), thing started heating up dramatically, and I am still really enjoying it! This is one of the only shows I don't watch with the rest of my family... so it's kind of 'my show'. :)

I've had a musical discovery as well... one which will quite surprise you. It's Queen. The old band. From the 70s-80s. I saw the movie 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in theaters (a movie not for everyone... view with discretion and a conservative movie review, pls), and to be honest I was really inspired by the creation of their hit music as well as the story behind everything they did.
Sure, I don't condone all of their songs (some of their songs have lyrics that are... *ahem* unworthy of my ears...) I only listen to the appropriate ones. I also don't support all the messages in the movie, which is why I recommend reading a conservative movie review about it before watching.
But still. Apart from those things, their songs have such a fun, chill vibe that I just can't help loving. <3 And I love the movie, too. In spite of some content. I would see it again in a heartbeat if someone asked me.

What else? Not too much has changed as far as significant events in my life since last I blogged. To be honest, it's been quite boring. :) But, a new year is coming, with new plans.
New ideas.
New expectations.

We'll see how it goes.

:) :) :) 

Goodbye, friends.
For now.


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:
~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

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
~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
~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. :)

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!


(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!


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*


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)...

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. :)


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: ...


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.


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.


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!!


(+ Special appearance on the blog: The Blog)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

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


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
~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

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...


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.
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.

(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?


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.


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!)


 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!!


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.

~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!

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