December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas//2017

Free Christmas Printable || Isaiah 9:6 | http://heartsandsharts.com/free-christmas-printable-isaiah-96/

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!

I hope everyone is having a simply splendid day celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Currently I am sitting in my room, watching the snow come down fast and thick outside my windows. My dad has to work today (*sad face*) but we celebrated our Christmas yesterday with gifts and family activities and by going to church. It was really fun and lovely, and I hope the same can be said for your day as well. :)

Before I end this "Christmas note", let me thank you all from the bottom of my heart. BECAUSE YOU ALL ARE AWESOME. God has blessed me so much and I want to acknowledge that, without a doubt, one of His blessings is YOU ALL. THIS BLOGGING COMMUNITY. Because you all are dear friends, wonderful blog readers, and amazing people. Your comments never fail to give me joy and encouragement. I honestly don't know who I'd be without you all. Some of you are precious friends, people I've known for a long time now (and some I've met in real life! *hugs*), and some of you are new readers to my blog. Either way I am SO grateful for each and everyone one of you.

I hope you all are having a Christmas filled with peace and joy and every good thing.
With love in Christ,
Natalie
~~~

"For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6



Born is the king of Israel!!

PS. You know if there's a chance for me to work Josh Turner into a post, it's going to happen. ;P Enjoy the song, friends. :)

December 20, 2017

Winter Wonderland Tag

Merry Christmas, my friends!!! What have you all been up to? I hope your holidays are joyful and sparkling and maybe even filled with snow, if you live someplace where that happens. :P But even if your Christmas isn't as magical as it could be, I hope you're having a happy one, resting in the peace that our Savior came and lived and died for you and me everyone. <3

Recently I was tagged by Amaris of The Storybook Journal with a tag of her own creation and I'm here to fill it out because it's fun and I need to bring some Christmas magic to this blog. :D


1. Name a few things you love about winter, and a few things you don't love so much about it.
Well, if you don't count Christmas as my MOST FAVORITE thing about wintertime, I also love...
1) Snow. Icy, lacy flakes and clumps of it stuck on all the trees like sugary frosting.
2) Smoky chimneys and the colors of the sunset behind the black, leafless trees.
3) Warm sweaters and boots and coats.

A few things I don't like:
1) Snow. Cold, messy, grey, slushy snow ugh.
2) Cold, endless gray days. Come spring, it's like I forgot what sunshine is.
3) Putting on fifteen layers of clothing because I can't even feel my fingers I'm so cold.

2. When you were a child, did you "believe" in Santa Claus?
Yup, we did do the "Santa Claus thing". (*waits for people to judge me*) (kidding) Though I probably won't do it with my own imaginary-hopefully-someday children, I still have fond memories of the experience. You know, leaving out the cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. I love fantasy, so the magical side of the Santa Claus tradition appeals to me. It's so fun to believe in elves and flying reindeer and such when you're a kid....but then, it's also kind of ridiculous and detracts from the real meaning of Christmas. You don't need Santa to appreciate the gifts you've been given, and you CERTAINLY don't need Santa to appreciate the gift of Life we've been given by Jesus.

*gets off soapbox*

Sounds of Christmas
Bring Crosby's voice//crackling fireplaces//the indescribable, delicate sound of snow falling to the ground//the oven heating up to bake delicious food//bells at the grocery store//Christmas hymns//wrapping paper being torn apart//George Bailey saying "I want to live again."//
It's safe to say that It's a Wonderful Life is one of the most popular holiday movies of all time—but even if you've watched the classic dozens of times, we're willing to bet there's still a lot you don't know about this beloved movie. Take a look at some of the surprising stories behind the 1946 film's most iconic moments.

3. Is there a book or movie that you really love to read in the Winter as opposed to other times of year?
Little Women is definitely a Christmastime movie to me, even though it's not a Christmas movie exactly. And winter is always a good time to settle in and watch North and South  or Little Dorrit. (But then, every time is a good time for those series. :P)

4. Is there a particular Christmas movie that you watch EVERY year as tradition?
It's a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve, Christmas Carol on Christmas Day. I've also begun watching Eloise at Christmastime every year by myself because it's one of my very favorite Christmas movies and it's kind of fun to have your own tradition. (Plus, I don't think anyone in my family cares for it like I do. :P)

Tastes of Christmas
gingerbread//sugar cookies//sticky peppermint candy canes//cold air that burns and tingles in your lungs//snowflakes from the sky//hot cocoa//
5. Do you usually get a real tree or a fake tree for Christmas? Who's in charge of decorating it at your house?
Real tree allll the way. (We used to do a fake tree but thankfully those days are over.) I usually decorate it, with help from my mom or brother. (But seriously, is there anyone who LIKES having a fake tree? Please tell me. I'd like to know.)

6. Does your family usually stay home or go visiting (relatives, friends, etc.) on Christmas Day?
We used to always visit our grandparents when we lived in Florida, but ever since we moved we stay home on Christmas Day.

Sights of Christmas
Christmas lights//snow//pine trees at the tree lot//wreaths on doors//people with packages at the post office//colorful frosting on cookies//black and white movies//nostalgic ornaments on the tree
7. What does your family usually do on New Years Eve? Any traditions? Do you ever stay up till midnight?
We are so boring; we rarely do anything for New Year's. :P We usually watch a movie or something. Sometimes we stay up till midnight, sometimes not. *shrugs*

8. Do you get snow where you live? If so, have you ever built a snowman and named him Olaf?
Hahaha. Yes. we live in Michigan. Yes, we get snow. :P In answer to the second question....no. Sorry, Olaf.

Feels of Christmas
the poke of Christmas tree needles as you decorate the tree//soft blankets//the sting of snow on your face//silk smooth, crinkly wrapping paper//hot mugs of tea or cocoa//heavy packages that you shake and still can't figure out what they are :P// 
1930 Cover Art - Better Homes & Gardens by American Vintage Home, via Flickr
9. If it's snowing outside, would you prefer to go outside and build snowmen and enjoy it, or would you rather stay inside with a blanket and something hot to drink and maybe a movie or a book?
This is hard. What I'd really do is go outside and enjoy the snow THEN come back in and have something hot to drink and read a book. :P So let's just say....both.

10. When do you start looking forward to or getting excited about Spring?
...After Christmas? Haha. Probably sometime around the end of February. :)

Smells of Christmas
chocolate//peppermint//pine trees//fresh, snowy air//gingerbread//

Winter

I tag anyone who wishes to do this tag. Please link back to Amaris's blog!! :D

Merry Christmas, my friends! 
Do any of you have a fake tree and like it?
What are some of your favorite sights and sounds etc. of Christmas?

PS. Please raise your hand if you're a gift-shaker. I really want to know I'm not the only one.

PPS. Have you seen this video? xD

December 11, 2017

Arthur is Proud of Me

Hey. Hi. Remember me? The girl who said in a previous post that she was struggling with motivation for writing? Well, I have an announcement. That said motivation is apparently an elusive little ghost that comes and goes, because I have exciting news.

I finished another story!!!!
Arthur is so proud

Neven's Backstory is/was a highly secret story all about the villain from my fairy tale retelling of Princess and the Pea. Originally, this project started out as simply a small story for my own benefit, so that I understood my villain's past. From there it became a novella backstory that I thought I might publish someday....now it's a full fledged novel of 51 thousand-some words, and I definitely plan on publishing it one day along with Princess and the Pea, because this novel now has so much to do with my entire fairy-tale retelling world. :P
this is Neven looking upset and dirty
It's definitely the saddest, darkest story I've ever written. It's about my villain, after all. The problem is, I've come to love this villain and his story so much. He didn't begin as a villain. But Things Happen that change him, change him so much his own family no longer knows him. But the thing is, everything he did was for them.
Arthur can't handle the feels any better than I can

I love Neven and feel so sorry for all the cruel things I've done to him that happen to him in his story. So much so that I've considered changing a lot of the Horrid Things That Happen in His Life. Or at least making him live longer than originally planned (*cough*)....but I can't talk too much about this or I'll give away secrets. Just....be prepared that if you ever read Neven's Backstory you may hate me forever because of his tragic past.

(I DON'T LIKE INFLICTING PAIN, OKAY?)

(I really don't.)

(I just force myself to do it because without pain there's no gain there's no story.)

but it's really hard #authorsarepeopletoo

Anyways, I better stop talking before I start giving away all the secrets of my books and the series I have planned for my fairy-tale world. (Yes, it's become a series....hahahaha.....a long series.....a series that will probably involve the next 25 years of my life. #doomed)

So, to sum up, I've finished writing another novel. (!!!) Don't expect to hear much more about it though. *secretive author laugh* Now that it's completed, I hope to refocus my attentions on Princess and the Pea. Eeek! I'm excited. I've missed that story too much. :')

And now I'm going to watch my favorite Christmas movie, Eloise at Christmastime in celebration. 

(And yes, I need to talk about Christmas soon BECAUSE I'M EXCITED ARE YOU?)

November 29, 2017

Your Characters Are Important



I quit NaNoWriMo. 

*Accepts condolences* But don't feel too bad for me. :) I haven't thought about it much at all, and when I do, I feel surprisingly okay about it. And besides—I did manage to get 20,000 words down for my Snow White retelling. That's something.

I admit I have been a little curious as to why I suddenly felt so unmotivated for my story. After all, the I won NaNo last year and completed Camp NaNo this spring, too! I think there was actually more than one reason that my NaNo was unsuccessful this year, but I want to talk about one specific thing, something I'm sure we ALL struggle with.

I'm going to call it "writer's comparison".

Let me illustrate. 'Hem. Once Upon a Time, you may stumble across a brilliant story idea. You think about this idea constantly, you spin out a plot, dream cast your characters and save any picture that reminds you even remotely of your story. All's going well, you're about ready to write and then....

And then it happens. Those glorious daydreams just won't translate themselves to the page, and you're left wondering if your story wasn't all that great after all. Your characters won't DO what you thought they would. They're boring and unoriginal and-and-and why is it your brain has only three phrases for describing character actions: "he looked up" "he smiled" "he looked away" ??!



But, faithful to your original love, you try to plod along with your story.

Until that day.

Unsuspecting of your impending doom, you settle down to watch a new movie or read a new book. You fall utterly in love with it. Something about the characters, or the plot, or the dialogue just speak to your soul. 

Then you sit down to write and find that........... you can't.

 You can't even write those stupid little phrases you find yourself overusing. You can't because....you don't care. You feel no interest in your precious story. No love. No excitement.


Nothing.

Why is this? Well, I'll tell you. Because writer's comparison is the thief of joy has left you feeling that your own story is utter trash and nothing you can do will make it as good as the story you just fell in love with.

You'll now have to retreat to the woods and abandon your plans of becoming a published author because it's hopeless at this point. You're lost forever. Bye-bye.

probably Arthur's actually reaction

*end example story*
(but stick around for the happy ending)

Yup, that's what happened to me this NaNo. It's happened before, to be honest. And I'm QUITE certain it will happen again. 

You see, my brother and I have been slowly watching all the Marvel movies and in the middle of November we finally watched Captain America: Civil War*, which was SO AMAZING WHAT EVEN (hopefully I can share some of my thoughts in a different post someday:)). Not only did it break my heart and crush my soul and leave me hopelessly in love with Bucky Barnes, it left me with very little writing inspiration because....

(say it with me)


WRITER'S COMPARISON


I can't help but compare my characters to the characters of CACW. Steve Rogers. Bucky Barnes. Tony Stark. Natasha Romanoff, Clint Barton,Wanda Maximoff, Sam Wilson, Peter Parker, and the list goes on and on and on.

Those characters are FUN and inspiring and really precious to me. They've made me cry, laugh, and just plain happy. They're like a group of new best friends and I love them all so much.



So, when I sit down with my own characters, I can't help but compare them to the Avengers. 
And I then have no motivation to write, because my characters feel stupid and boring compared to the Avengers. 

And so I hide from my characters, and quit NaNoWriMo.

forgive me, Arthur, I've disappointed you

It's really disappointing how bad your own story feels after reading or watching a really good one. 
At least, that's what happens in my experience. Rather than inspire me to better my writing, I feel like I'll never love my stories the way I love Captain America: Civil War. Or Lord of the Rings. Anne of Green Gables. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

THE COMPARISON POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS, FRIENDS.





But today, while taking my dogs for a walk, a thought struck me. Or, more to the point, a phrase.

My characters are important. 

If Captain America inspires me, who's to say Arthur* may not inspire someone else?
If Bucky Barnes can break my heart who's to say Neven* might not break someone else's? 
If Tony Stark makes me laugh, who's to say Henry* may not make someone else laugh as well?

I never quite thought of it this way before.


*Neven, Arthur, and Jacob are all characters from my retelling of Princess and the Pea, set to be published someday before I die, here's hoping.


Even if I do "fall out of love" with my own characters sometimes, well, that's okay. They're still my characters, and I'm in this for the long run with them. It's what we writers sign up for when we put pen to paper.

Even if I my characters never impact me the way Captain America or Frodo Baggins or Elinor Dashwood do, that's okay.*

Because my characters may impact someone else.

*For the record, I'm not saying my characters haven't  impacted me. Because they have. But sometimes it's easy to forget that, I think.


I read a quote once that said something like, 
"Remember. You're writing someone's future favorite character."

Think about that. 

All of my favorite characters—characters who encourage me, inspire me, and keep me hopeful—were all once just ideas in someone's head.

Just like the characters in your head—and mine—are now.

Your characters are important. Don't ever give up on them.
Because someday...they may inspire someone else not to give up, too.
^ So moving. Hopefully the world never has another Holocaust and the genocides stop.
this is beautiful <3

So, the moral to this story? Don't give up. Those spells of writer's block or low-inspiration moments will pass.

And as for me, I may have failed NaNo, but that doesn't mean I've failed my characters. I'm going to keep helping them along in their story. Because someday, I want you all to meet them and feel as inspired by them as I will be by your characters.

Keep writing, writers. 

November 17, 2017

Contentment vs.Gratitude

Inspirational And Motivational Quotes - Big Gallery

*Sigh*. Where do I even start?

I've been wanting to write a post ever since the beginning of November, and I have several ideas lined up that I'm rather excited about. But the time hasn't felt right for any of them and the words simply weren't coming for what I've been feeling lately—until now.

Some of you may recall that I mentioned struggling with contentment in my last post. I also mentioned the possibility of writing a more in-depth post about my struggle, and while this post isn't it, it's very much related to the topic.

Guys. I've been struggling so hard lately.

Thank God for His strength and the friends and family He's blessed me with because I'd be a mess (well, a bigger mess ;)) without these things.

The thing that has been causing me so much anxiety lately (actually ever since I graduated, to varying degrees) has simply been the future, I guess. Namely, what am I doing with my future?

Before I graduated high school, I decided I wasn't going to college. I knew that I ultimately wanted to be a stay at home wife and mother someday (Lord willing and if Steve Rogers is a real person because otherwise I don't know who I'm going to marry) (kidding...kind of :P) and that all my other interests were all things I could essentially teach myself at home. I dreamed about starting a home-based photography business and being an author and essentially being a rebel who doesn't conform to the pattern this world sets. I didn't want to go to college when I graduated, and my parents were fine with that. So I didn't go.


Fast forward little over a year later and I'm still not at college, but I'm feeling more desperate for a purpose. And yes, my purpose is to serve and glorify my Savior. I know that ultimately I should have no bigger goal in life than that.

But there are moments I forget that. And even when I don't, I still want a physical, tangible purpose in life. I like goals. Goals give me motivation and excitement and A REASON FOR GETTING UP EVERY MORNING.

Currently if anyone asked me what my goals were, I'd say they are to publish my books. And that is a dream still very near and dear to my heart. I still want to be an author. And I've written 20k words this month for NaNo, so hey, I'm not giving up yet. But even that has lately been...dissatisfying.

I think that dissatisfaction has more to do with my heart and the fears and worries it holds than anything else.


Worrying over what people think of me is one of my biggest weaknesses. I hate that about myself. God has helped me grow in this area so much over the past few years, but lately it's been cropping up again whenever people ask me what I'm doing.

Am I going to college? No. Do I have a job? No. (Though I have applied to a bunch of different places, just sayin'.) Well, what are you doing with your life?

When I tell them that I'm living at home and working towards being a self-published author* I feel like they think I'm lazy or unambitious or just plain stupid for "wasting my life".

Or maybe it's just me that feels that way and other people couldn't care less what I do with my life. *cringe*

*among other things. Every day is vastly different. Today I helped my brother with algebra, cleaned a rug that one of our dogs got dirty, learned two chords on the guitar, watched the rest of Emma 1997 with my mom (and had tea of course), washed dinner dishes, exercised, etc. etc.

So many people tell me I don't need to feel this way. I've talked about some of this with a few friends and they all tell me the same thing. That they understand/can relate and that it doesn't matter what I do as long as I'm following God. He has a purpose for me. (And thank you all for the many times you've said that to me; you don't know how encouraging it is every. single. time. ♥ Y'll are awesome!!!)
Share Tweet Pin Mail We’ve compiled a list of Christian quotes in images for all of you out there looking for a little guidance ...
My parents tell me that I shouldn't think that getting a part-time job or going to college automatically makes me responsible. They would support me if I want to do those things, but they keep telling me that my presence and help is so appreciated here at home. (Maybe I should just start listening to them?? My parents are always right anyways. :P) (Love you, Daddy and Mommy. ♥)

Tonight I watched two videos (who says youtube isn't helpful? haha) from two of my favorite youtubers and their videos hit me so hard.

First...


What even. Look at how joyful these people are. And look at their day to day living conditions.

And then there's me, a typical spoiled American.

Ummm. What the heck am I complaining about?

I really needed this reminder of how awful other people's lives are, and how blessed I am. 

I spend so much time feeling down about the 1%  of what I don't like about my life, when literally 99% percent of it is pretty perfect.

Instead of worrying what people think of me for not going to college or having a job I should be grateful those are even options for me. I should be grateful that I have the choice to go or not go to college. Grateful to have the opportunity to apply to jobs in my area. 
Grateful for every single thing God has blessed me with

I need to stop complaining about what I don't have figured out about my life and start being grateful for what I do.

God has given me life; and He's given me a good life. Therefore I should be nothing but grateful.

Second...

I know I shared one of her videos in my last post, but her videos have been so encouraging to me lately. So many of them are exactly what I needed to hear.

This one was no exception. I'm going to be seeing extended family soon for Thanksgiving, and I always worry about
a) How can I present Christ's love and His gospel to them?
b) Oh no they're going to ask me what I'm doing with my life helpppppppp

Unfortunately I probably put the latter above the former too often. 

Not only was this video encouraging and eye-opening, it also was convicting. From about 10:52 to 12:40 (although I really recommend watching the whole video if you have time PLEASE it's so good) she mentions how our witness can be helped by being open and vulnerable about our imperfections--and joyful because it is from Christ that we gain confidence and strength.

Not ourselves.
"I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?"  -- C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces.
This especially spoke to me:
"...[when people can see] that you're okay with not having the perfect presentation, and understanding that your life is more of a witness and a testimony than a presentation you can put on....that's intriguing."

Ouch. Friends, this is so me. I want so much to put forward a good "presentation" of myself—to make myself look good. To make it look like I have it all together "just like everyone else."

But I don't have it all together....and you know what? Neither does a lot of people, I think.

So often I forget that and think I'm the only one with insecurities and doubts and fears about life.

When really...I should be happy to have these struggles.
Because maybe Jesus can use me to encourage others with similar struggles.


And would not even one soul guided toward Christ be worth any amount of struggle here on earth?


There's so much more I could talk about, but it's late and I should probably just publish this before I chicken out. ;) I rarely share posts this personal...but throughout my four years of blogging, you all have been such encouraging friends that I feel like I'd be lying if I didn't share some of the more personal things on my heart sometimes. If any of you read this whole post let me give you a *hug* and a "thank you" and "CONGRATULATIONS." I wouldn't blame you if you skimmed. :P

This Thanksgiving, I want to focus more on being grateful and not worry so much about being content.

This Thanksgiving, I want to admit that I'm far from perfect—but I know One who is.

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me.
Psalm 13:5-6

___

Are any of you going through similar struggles?
What has reminded you to be grateful lately?

October 31, 2017

Lately//Autumn 2017

Fall in Nantucket

Hi, my friends!!

Most of you know that I write "lately" posts now and then, in which I share a little bit about what's been going on in my life.

Well....something's changing in that regard...

Don't worry. I'm still going to do them. ;) But I'm hoping to now do four official "lately"* posts a year: one in spring, one in summer, one in autumn, and one in winter.

How does that sound??

Of course, I may have to tweak that depending on how life progresses. But from now on expect a lately post every 3 months or so. ;)


*(I tried to come up with some cute title for my "lately" posts but the best I cold come up with was "In My Life"--which is plain plagiarism  of the Les Mis song and why use that when "lately" is so much more to the point and only one word??)

iPhone 5 Wallpapers : Photo

Onward. Lately I've been...


Writing//
Well. Nothing.

Yet.

But NaNoWriMo is tomorrow.

*screams*

I've been plotting/thinking about my NaNo 2017 story since last November. Maybe before that. (Yeah, I'm pretty sure before that)  Anyways, I'll give you three facts about it:

1) It's a Snow White retelling.
2) It's set in the same world (with a few of the same characters) as my "Princess and the Pea" retelling.
3) It involves reclusive mountain men and snowy winter woods and a prince who makes life-threatening mistakes and a witch who sells poisoned applies and....

And wouldn't you like to know what else? ;)

I've plotted the whole thing out this time, even down to where and when the chapter breaks will occur. I'm hoping this will help me avoid plot holes, especially those plot holes that pop your tire and leave your writing car stranded in the middle of the road. Like two of my stories. *cough*

Hang around a bit during November if you want to hear more. I'm not promising anything, but if y'll demand snippets or character interviews or something....I don't know. Stranger things have happened.


Reading//
Guys!!! I'VE ENTERED A NEW FANDOM!

That's.....a definite. I've already shed a few tears and I'm only on book three and nothing really sad has happened yet.

My new fandom is Harry Potter. I want to share my opinions and ramblings (and let's be honest, my nonsensical fangirling) in another post but suffice to say that right now I love this series. It's just so good.

PS. I took the quiz and am in Hufflepuff House, in case you were curious.
Harry Potter concept thoughts, feelings and aesthetic.

Movies//
~The first two Harry Potter movies. I like most of the casting (and Ron's facial expressions are GOLD) but the movies are excruciatingly boring compared to the books. Something was lost in translation.
Alan Rickman is perfect as Snape though

~Little Boy. Gahh this movie made me cry ALL THE TEARS. It's been awhile since I've watched such a flat out emotional movie. But it also made me happy, like really really happy.
The colorful, sunshiny setting. The humorous conversations between Little Boy and the Japanese gentleman he tries to befriend. The hope. Little Boy's relationship with his father. Just.....aghh. Everything.

WATCH IT. Please. *hugs this movie*

Click to View Extra Large Poster Image for Little Boy

PS. *Slight spoilers* The story centers around Little Boy's attempts to bring his father home with "faith of a mustard seed". At one point in the story he tries to move a mountain with his faith and while an earthquake DOES happen it doesn't feel at all "fake" or "magical" if that makes sense. It's left up to the viewer as to whether it was an act of God because of Little Boy's faith...or simply something God was going to allow to happen anyways. I say this only because I personally am cautious when it comes to stories about people with "magical" faith (whether it be trips to heaven or miraculous healings) and I know some people who feel the same way. I do believe God CAN do these things, of course—but I don't think God works miracles through people as much (if at all) as He did back in time of Jesus and the apostles. Hence my apprehension about stories concerning such things. Hope that clears things up if you had been wondering about that, too. :)


Amancanfly’s 2016 New Year Countdown ↳ Henry Cavill Edits 15/31: Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo with Armie Hammer as Ilya Kuryakin in The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
THESE TWOOOO
~The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
I've heard good things about this from both Hamlette and Olivia and when it came on Clearplay I was like "yesss let's do this." So, I'm not exactly one for keeping up splendidly with espionage kind of movies (I usually have to ask my dad or brother a hundred times what's going on #beinghonesthere) but this one was fun and exciting and just plain cool even when I didn't understand what was going on. :P I love the characters. They're just awesome and their relationships are the BEST. I love Gaby and Ilya a TON but I may love Napoleon and Ilya's friendship even more?? I'm not sure. Either way, these three are epic.

(ALSO. CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE MONTAGE WHERE NAPOLEON IS EATING A SANDWICH WHILE POOR ILYA IS STRUGGLING FOR HIS LIFE??)

The Man from UNCLE
Cool people <3 (Except for her in the bottom right corner. Ugh. Go away.)

~This Beautiful Fantastic
This fun post brought my attention to this movie. It's not a period drama, but it's a British film with many actors and actresses I immediately recognized (Caroline Bingley? Albert from War Horse?). So once I read a little about it, I decided I must see it and sent a request off to the library. I watched it one night with my mom and we both loved it. It's odd and eccentric (some of the story lines tend to go a bit nowhere) but it's also lovely and altogether charming. It also brought me some much needed encouragement—the story revolves around Bella Brown, a very OCD girl whom most would look at as weird and unsuccessful and maybe even stupid. But she's not. She grows and changes and makes her own corner of the world beautiful, with the help of a few unlikely friends. This was encouraging to me, because it was a reminder that no matter what you're like to the rest of the world, you're special and beautiful and worth it to God.

(This wasn't a Christian movie by any means, but hey, I can still draw inspiration from it.)

Basically, it's a beautiful movie and you should watch it forthwith.

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:20 (NIV) She Opens Her Arms – Proverb Ponderings – Part 4 Go to PART 1  |  PART 2  |  PART 3 I recently wrote on our mirror,


Fangirling over//
This video. GUYS. IT'S JEREMY JORDAN SINGING DISNEY SONGS AND HE SINGS SANTA FE AND I'M DEAD.

This video made me really happy. <333




Feeling//
*Sigh* Wellllll. You want the long or the short version? ;) In a nutshell, I had a really depressing week awhile back that kind of threw me for a loop. I frequently struggle off and on with contentment and feeling at peace with where God is taking me in life. I struggle to trust His plan, and I definitely struggle with waiting for Him to show me what to do. (Because I have no clue what I'm doing with my life.) I can usually shake it off pretty quickly though....this past week was an exception. I was feeling really sad and hopeless....and just lost. God has slowly been showing me truth through this ordeal though, and I'm thankful to say I've been gradually feeling better. I know I'll have days like it again though....maybe I'll do a blog post on it sometime?


Enjoying//
AUTUMN! It took Michigan forever to cool down and actually start feeling like fall. But now it's nice and chilly and the leaves are gorgeous and I've been going for walks outside as often as I can. Does anyone else love walking on gray and gloomy days? I honestly love days filled with wind and rain, though sunshiny ones are lovely too. <33

Happy Halloween

Listening to//
New favorite artist alert! Gregory Alan Iskov. I haven't heard all his songs, but I do know some contain some language, so please don't go and listen to ANY of his songs now just because I mentioned him. :P But a few of my favorites are Idahosalt and the sea, and this one:


I got a new Josh Turner cd. Just thought I'd mention it. Because reasons.


This was the first song I'd ever heard from him and it's still one of my favorites. #nolstagia

Other songs I've been listening to: 
Encouraged by//
This video. Like....wow. It was made for me. I needed to hear this. xD I highly recommend this video, and though I haven't read/watched everything by this blogger, I think she has some pretty awesome content. :)

This quote:
Harry potter                                                                                                                                                                                 More


These verses:
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
    that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
    for as many years as we have seen trouble.
May your deeds be shown to your servants,
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
    establish the work of our hands for us—
    yes, establish the work of our hands.
Pslam 90: 14-17


I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
Pslam 57:2

not my socks though I wish they were

What have you been up to this autumn? 

Do you struggle with contentment?
Are you doing NaNoWriMo?

October 11, 2017

New Blog Design+Name!!!

Study Motivation

Hello, my friends!!!


Notice anything different?

Yep, yes, that's 100% right. You're looking at a brand new blog. 

Well. Brand new in a manner of speaking. It's still the same blog....

Let's talk about this.

1) NEW BLOG DESIGN

I've been meaning to do a makeover on my blog for awhile now. With the arrival of autumn, now seemed a perfect time to do so. You may notice, however, that my new design isn't exactly autumnal. That was intentional. As much as I love matching my blog surroundings to the current season, I honestly don't have the time to do it like I used to. Plus, my blog design tastes have gone up in recent years. I don't want to drive myself insane every season wrangling css codes and rummaging through the html coding searching for one little tag.

I hope this design will stay a bit longer than the previous one. I'm super pleased with how it came out—I was going for something a little more professional (hence simply the title instead of a collage header.....not yet sure whether I'm going to miss the photos or not...) but still cozy and personal.

Also, I gotta give credit where credit is due—I was greatly inspired by this girl's gorgeous new blog design. *whispers* I really hope she doesn't mind. My brother said it's not complete plagiarism, though the very similar background may be pushing it a little. *looks around nervously*

2) NEW BLOG NAME
This is probably even bigger news than the aforementioned, though I'm willing to bet you noticed the design before the name. (Am I wrong? Right? Crazy?) (Don't answer that last one.)

So.....WHAT DO YOU THINK???


For yearrrrrs now (pretty much ever since I created my blog) I've thought about changing its name. I was never 100% in love with "Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens", but after entering the blogging world with it and having it gain recognition and experience, I couldn't just pull the rug out from my poor baby blog and rename it so soon! It's been good for the past four years. But with growth comes change, and this former name no longer fits my little blog as well as it used to. Kind of like when a child is called "Lizzy" until she grows up and insists on being called "Elizabeth".


*sniff* Back to business. I asked a couple close friends what they thought of my intended name change. With their thoughts and approval goading me on, I am now pleased to announce that "Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens" is henceforth to be known as "Ramblings of a Redhead Girl."

It's shorter, more coherent, and MUCH easier to type out. :P

AND IT MATCHES MY URL.

(Now I wish I hadn't originally written my URL with all those dashes, but oh well. Live and learn.)

3) I created a personalized icon, changed my sidebar a bit, and tidied up my "about", "my books", "reviews", and "friends" pages. Check them out if you so wish. :)


So what do YOU all think of my new blog name??? 
I put a little voting gadget thingy on the sidebar for your input. >>>
(It's anonymous, so you can say what you like and I'll never know it was you. ;))

September 19, 2017

Tolkien Questions!

Hamlette is hosting her fun annual Tolkien blog party so hop on over and check it out! :D (Also, the giveaway is EPIC as usual.)

Bilbo and Frodo

1. How long have you been a Tolkien fan?
Since about summer of 2014, when I first read The Fellowship of the Ring. However, I think I was predisposed to like LOTR, having heard much about it and having played and enjoyed the Lego video game.

Whiiiichh, I actually don't recommend. Because when you go to watch the movies, all you see is the Lego version in your head. Ugh. :P

2. Has your love of Middle-earth affected your life?
Mmmmm....I guess so? I mean, The Lord of the Rings is definitely my standard of excellence for fiction now (although, there are certainly differences and allowances to be made for genres, style, target audience, etc.) and the story itself has given me much perspective on the beauty in this world—and encouragement. For when all seems lost, there is still hope.

3. If you had to take the One Ring to Mordor, which character would you choose for your sole companion?
Aragorn.


*cough*
Aragorn is awesome
truth

4. Which is scarier, Shelob or the Balrog?
Uhhmmmmm. Shelob is a spider....a giant spider. But Balrog is like really, really huge and flaming and I actually get a little nervous in the build up to his appearance in the movies....but nothing would be worse than traversing Shelob's lair....

I don't knooooooowww. Both are just hideous. I guess I'll say Shelob. If I had to die by one, I'd rather it was the Balrog than Shelob. (Because you and I both know I wouldn't stand a chance with either.)

5. Which two towers do you think Tolkien was referring to in the title The Two Towers?  (i.e. Orthanc, Barad-dûr, Cirith Ungol, Minas Morgul, or Minas Tirith)
I guess I always assumed it was Orthanc and Bard-dûr.
I love this so much xD

6. Whose wardrobe would you like to have?
Ahhhhhh that is a hard question. Because I absolutely adore pieces from each of the LOTR heroines' wardrobes. Only one?? *thinks very hard for a few moments*

I guess Éowyn's. The muted, autumnal colors of her gowns would look better on me than Arwen's dramatic wardrobe. Plus, Éowyn's gowns tend to be both practical and pretty. I would always be afraid of ripping or staining one of Arwen's gorgeous dresses.

(Can I have Tauriel's hair though, please and thanks? Also  maybe one of Arwen's gowns? No? Ahh well.)
WHY IS THIS SO FUNNY
hahahaha
7. What do you think an Ent Draught would taste like?
I honestly have no clue, but I'm going to suppose it has a rather earthy taste to it. Maybe with a bit of a berry-like tang?

8. Where in Middle-earth would you like to live?
THESE QUESTIONS ARE HARD. I guess Hobbiton. But could I travel to Rivendell and Rohan often? :)

9. Do you have any Tolkien-related opinions that surprise other people?
I love the Hobbit movies. Inaccuracy to the books and all.

And I ship Kili and Tauriel like 10000%.

*hides*

« Hahaha I wish I can have this hair #hair… »
wish this was in the movie bahaha

10. List up to ten of your favorite lines/quotations from the books or movies.

I'm short on time, so I'm only going to share one this time. Sowwy! Behold:



“There's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for.” 

― Samwise Gamgee





That quote really does encourage me some days. Thank you, Sam. <3 


Favorite Movie adapted from a book- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Peter Jackson did an amazing job with LOTR! This movie will always be a classic.

And thank you for the fun questions, Hamlette!!