Friday, January 31, 2014

Cake for Breakfast

As much as I talk a big game about letting go and being a renissance woman, I really do need some help in figuring out my life.

I mean, I quit my job, got two tattoos, then moved back in with mom and dad.

If that doesn't scream "quarter life crisis" I don't know what does.

Enter, Cake for Breakfast.

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Not long ago, 20sb offered bloggers to subscribe to Cake for Breakfast from Your Awesome Life in exchange for writing a blog post about it. It definitely came at the right in my life because I need help figuring life out.

What is Cake for Breakfast exactly, you ask?

Well - you get a workbook, audio sessions, and weekly emails with journal writing prompts. All of these help you focus on who you are, what you want, and how to get there. But not necessarily because of jobs or carreers. (Although that can be part of it!) It's more about finding out who you are and becoming the person you know you can be.

Basically, it's fantastic.

But hard. Let me explain.

I don't know about you - but I'm not good at thinking about the good things about myself. It's not that I have a low self-esteem or anything, but I don't want to brag and then it causes me to ignore what is good about myself.

So maybe there's a small lack of self-esteem in there. But just a tad.

Which made some of the prompts hard for me. Especially when one whole week's writing prompt was "What makes you awesome."

But it was good. I NEEDED that hard writing prompt. And not just to write something down to say I did it, but to really focus and do it. I needed to think about myself, who I am, what I'm good at, where I want to be, and where I want to go. It's rough because I hate defining these things.

But sometimes you just have to.

Cake for Breakfast - it's exactly what I need.

If you're interested, you can get some cake for yourself!

Also- Ashley who is the brains of this whole operation is fantastic. I got to know her a bit through VEDA and basically, she's the most adorable person ever. You'll love her!

Thursday, January 30, 2014


The Fault in our Stars movie trailor. It has arrived!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I love John Green, his brother Hank, and basically all things about Nerdfigteria. I was introducted to them last year and ever since I can't get enough of John and Hank Green. (AKA - The Vlog Brothers.) I read The Fault in our Stars in November of 2012 and then again in early 2013. It's beautiful and sad and wonderful all at the same time. So, naturally, as they've been working on the movie I followed John Green's social media accounts for information about the movie like the pro-internet stalker that I am.

Yesterday, was the premier of the movie trailor. Here it is!

I thought it was fantastic and perfect! From what I can tell - so did the rest of the internet. 

What did you all think? Is anyone willing to go to the theatre with me when it comes out and not judge when I start to weep?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant- Book Review

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant (V, #1)

Some of you might remember I had the book The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant as one of the books I was looking forward to for 2014. 

I finished it over the weekend - and guys, it was awesome.

Basic overview without spoilers (which is actually really hard to do):

Anne Merchant is a junior in high school living in California, and is the daughter of a funeral director. (Hey, girl, hey! Me too! Although she knew way more about death and funerals than I do and her classmates teased her cause of it, and all of my friends thought it was awesome.) Anyways, he sends her away to this ritzy boarding school on the East coast that is on an island. Let's just say, this school is messed up. It's freaky, the teachers are awful and innapropriate, and they students are highly competive. Think Chilton from the TV show Gilmore Girls but on steroids.  If Paris had randomly shown up in the book I would not have been surprised. This school is right up her alley. 

However, there are a ton of secrets at this school and a full out She's All That 90's rom-com movie dance off. Not even joking.

As the story goes on, Anne finds herself in the midst of some really crazy happenings, insane rules, and realizing this school isn't what she thought it was. 

My thoughts:

The first half of the book, I wasn't all that impressed. I loved the premise and it seemed really interesting, but it was confusing and I felt like the execution wasn't that great. But then - BUT THEN- I got to the second half and all of the sudden everything started to fall into place. I even put together some of the pieces before Anne did and I was really proud of myself. Once I got through the half way point I couldn't put this book down because I had to know what happened and things kept twisting and turning and just... WOW. I loved it. Now, I'm mad that I have to wait another year for the second book to come out because it leaves you on a cliffhanger. Although I will say, Anne wasn't the greatest protagonist. There were moments she was kind of idiotic and I wanted to hit her on the head.

I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads, but it should probably be more like 3 1/2 because the first half of the book wasn't all that great but I loved the second half and through the whole thing I liked the premise. 

I received my copy of this novel as an eARC free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why "Let It Go" is My Life Anthem

It's not a secret that I have become obsessed with the Disney movie Frozen. I've seen it three times now, and there's a possibility of my seeing it a fourth time this weekend. I just can't get enough of it. But you know, after all, I am a Disney character.

And yes, I'm going to reference that blog post as often as I can so Disney can notice and finally make a movie about me.

One of the main reasons I love Frozen, and I'm sure it's the same for so many other people, is the song "Let it Go."

This song has become my anthem. Whenever I'm driving around and it comes on my iPod I turn up the volume and belt, pretending that I'm Idina Menzel. Which happens often... I'm looking at you "Defying Gravity" (Wicked) and "Over the Moon" (Rent).

While, deep down, I really am like Anna. Younger sister, I would always bug my sister early on Saturday mornings to come out and play, I'm socially awkward, etc. there was still something that made me really connect to Elsa.

Elsa had this fantastic power, but it could be dangerous too. Growing up she always felt like she had to hide away and keep it in. She needed to control her power.

I've always felt like I needed to be perfect. I needed to be the good girl. Put on a smile and be strong. I don't think anyone ever pressured me to do so, it was something I did to myself. Then, when I was in college studying to be a youth minister and then going into youth ministry, I put even more pressure on myself to be this way. Be a good influence, don't mess up, have it together for the teenagers, have a smile and be confident for the parents, etc.

Now, these are all good things, and they are important. Especially when you are in charage of kids and teenagers and you need their parents to trust you. And you need them to trust you as well.

However, I also found myself not always being me. Not letting people see who I really was. Those who I knew for a long time and were close to me saw the real me - to an extent. But I still always felt like I had to be perfect. Especially when I was doubting if minstry was my real calling in life and after I had told my senior pastor I was leaving. For months I couldn't tell anyone what I was planning to do. I remember my last big trip, the National Youth Gathering, in July. There were so many emotions and thoughts going through my mind and I wanted to really treasure this last big event with the high school students, but I couldn't tell anyone about it.

But then, Elsa can let it go. When she runs away and leaves it behind, she can finally explore all that she can do. She doesn't have to be the perfect little girl anymore. She can be free to let everything out.

When I saw that scene in the movie, I instantly could relate. It was the last couple weeks of my days as a youth minister, and I could feel the relief Elsa had. I could finally let it go.

Granted, this was a pressure I put on myself for the most part. It wasn't like someone was telling me that I couldn't be me or my church was making me like this. So PLEASE don't take this as me blaming youth ministry or the church or anything. For some reason, I always felt as though I had to be this way. Sometimes, yes, there were moments when ministry and people in the Church (in general, not just the one I was working at) enforced this, but it really came from myself. There's something in me that has always wanted to be a people pleaser and not to disapoint everyone. Which can be a good thing, but also a bad thing.

But now, I feel like I can let it go like Elsa did. The past is behind me and I can only move forward. I'm finally giving myself permission to not worry about what other people think all of the time. I love the line of "It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small, and the fears that once controlled me don't get to me at all." Because it's true. It's funny how everything I was worried about before is gone and I don't think about those problems anymore. The only one whose opinion matters really is God's.

Then she sings "It's time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through."

Now, I feel like I can really spread my wings. Take risks and chances I wouldn't have before. To really be a renissance woman and try everything. 

Also- I moved back to Chicago for the coldest winter ever. Such an Elsa thing to do, isnt it?


And in case you want to sing along with me...

Are there any songs or characters that you've really connected with? 

Glossy Blonde

Monday, January 27, 2014

I Want to do Everything

Does anyone else hate the question of "What do you want to do?"

I get asked this quite often lately. When I tell my story about leaving youth ministry and feeling as though God is leading me in a new direction, generally, people are supportive and understanding. However, almost every time this conversation happens this question pops up:

So what do you want to do now?

It is then that I am at a loss for words. Which, if you know me, if pretty rare. Once you get me going on a topic I have a hard time keeping quiet.

That's what a blog is for you know. ;-)

I have all of these ideas floating around in my head, but when I'm asked about what I want to do, I don't have an answer for people.

A few weeks ago as I was tumbling down Tumblr, as one does, I came across this photo and quote from Emma Watson. (Who is completely fabulous and amazing.)

Photo and quote came from here, although I did the photo edits.
"I could never really imagine myself doing one thing, and I'm pretty sure I'll end up doing four or five different things. I want to be a renissance woman. I want to paint, and I want to write, and I want to act, and I want to just do anything." - Emma Watson

When I read this, something clicked in my head. 

That was me. 

Well... not really me. Obviously I'm not Emma Watson, even though that would be amazing.

But I could relate to her sentiment. 

My problem isn't that I don't know what I want to do. My problem is that there is so much that I want to do. I want to be a renissance woman. 

Months and months ago when I was first thinking about resigning from my youth ministry position, I had several conversations with my good friend Laura about the situation and where I would go next. She always said "You can do anything." Which is completely true, and that frustrated me to no end. There were too many possiblities. Too many options. How could I possibly pick just one?

I feel like there is this pressure for people to pick one thing, and that is who they are and what they do. It reminds me of the Divergent trilogy. In this trilogy, there are different factions and people's personalities usually only fit into one. They pick which faction they want to be in, and that's who they are. Picking a faction means picking how you define yourself and who you are going to be and how you are going to live your life. Brave, truthful, peaceful, intelligent, or selfless. One of the main characters, Four, says this:

"I want to be brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest."

He doesn't want to be just one thing - he wants to be all of them.

That's kind of how I am. While I realize picking a career or job is different than picking a character trait, I feel like the idea is somewhat similar. All of the time I see people writing mission statements for thier lives, or choosing a single word to describe their entire year, or have an idea to sum up their lives. In college we have to pick a majro and possibly a minor, and you only add a second one if you're crazy.

When I was in high school, I was in this one art class and we were creating a mural made up of different tiles. Each student had a tile and it was supposed to represent us. Everyone else's tiles tended to be one image they used to sum them up. Mine was a bunch of crazy doodles that represented all of the different parts of me. Also - my artistic abilities only lend themselves to mediocre doodles. But that's beside the point.

I've never wanted one single thing to define me. Where does it say that there is only one job or career a person can have? Where does it say that we have to pick one way to be or live our lives? The only thing I can think of is that I'm a child of God. Beyond that - I can be and do more than just one thing.

I can see myself doing so much. I want to publish a novel and write my blog and do freelance work. But I can also picture myself running a theatre. I can see myself working on web video and telling stories that way. Or opening up a coffee shop/cafe with some of my friends. I can see myself as a girl at the front desk somewhere and helping direct people where to go. I can see myself directing plays and musicals. I could work for Disney at one of the parks or on a cruise line, or if I am lucky enough helping to write a story or doing something creative. (Because remember, I am essentially a Disney character.) I could write book reviews. Or maybe take a year off to travel the world. I could do social media consulting. I can picture myself working at a library or a bookstore. I could start a non-profit. I could go to third world countries and help people. I want to be a renissance woman.

But this isn't the "right" answer. If I went into a job interview and told my employer that, more than likely I wouldn't get hired. The title "renissance woman" won't pay off my student loans, my car, or my credit cards. Which, while it doesn't look like it from the outside, this really does stress me out. I'm probably going to end up with grey hair and I'll cry for a week.

Yet, I feel like this is my answer for when friends and family ask me this question.

What do I want to do?


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Taking a Short Break

My severe case of writers block isn't getting any better.

I honestly don't know what's going on with my brain.

This morning I texted a few of my friends with a cry for help to give me some ideas. Thankfully, they answered! They were all fantastic ideas. Reviews, going out somewhere in the city, visitng somewhere new, trying out new products, starting a new series, comparing going to a coffee shop and drinking home brewed coffee, etc.

However, one friend hit it right on the nose.

Take a break.

Sometimes, you need to step away for a bit and then come back to it. I think that's exactly what I need.

Not a long break, so don't worry! It'll just be a bit over a week. I'll keep reading blogs and responding to emails and living on social media as usual, I just won't be writing on the blog. In the meantime, I'll keep a log of all of the ideas I come up with to write about. I hate posting just for the sake of posting because that means I'll be giving the readers (you know... all five of you lol) bad content. That's not fair to you and it's a bad impression of me. I want to be real and honest with you of course, but I also want to write and create content that is of a good quality.

This way, I also can really flesh out some good ideas. In the next several weeks I'll be sponsoring some pretty big blogs and hopefully that will be driving some traffic over here. I want to be able to have some of my best writing ready to go.

Who knows? Maybe while on my break I'll have a brilliant idea and come out of my week hiatus early.

In the meantime, I would love to share with you all some of my favorite bloggers for you to read while I'm taking a break.

Vodka and Soda: Kat is one of my newer blog friends and I LOVE her! She's a mom in Canada and she is completely hilarious. She blogs about fitness, crazy stories abour her family, and why she's bad Chineese person.

A Quick Succession of Busy Nothings:  Kirstie is one of my long time blog friends from Australia. (We met in real life while in Orlando last year and she's fantastic!) She's a fellow book nerd, travels everywhere, and her Movie Mondays series is one of my "must-reads" every week.

Adventures in Adulthood: Leah took a break from blogging for a bit, but she's back! She's always 100% honest, hilarious, and she's one of my closest friends.

Karly Kim: Good Enough to Read: Karly is another newer blog friend and we have declared recently that we are actually soul mates. I mean, she lives in NYC, tells the best stories, AND has a dog named Hufflepuff. I mean... clearly we are meant to be.

Late to the Party: Lor is another long-time blog friend whom I met in Orlando last year. She's completely fantastic and has a panda GIF on her last blog post. If that's not enough reason to read her blog, I don't know what is.

Sweeny Says: Sweeny is another blog friend, but unfortunatley we haven't met in real life. Which is really tragic considering we lived in the same state for forever until I decided to come back up to Chicago. Ooops. But anyways, I've been able to relate to her blog posts recently because she also has been trying to get her life together. Yay for girls in their late 20s not knowing what to do with their lives!

The Snark Squad:  This site was founded by Lor and Sweeny, and it began with taking things from the 90s that we loved (Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley High, etc.) and tearing them to shreds. Now, their group of writers has expanded (one of them is Kirstie!) and they cover a ton of TV shows, books, and movies. Including Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Pretty Little Liars, 50 Shades of Grey, etc. They are completely hilarious.

Lazy Happy Bored Happy Sad...: Willie and I became friends during VEDA and I LOVE HER! Recently she's been doing Disney Wednesdays where she watches a Disney movie and reviews it. And you know me and Disney...

Sarcastic Contemplation: I'm not going to lie, I'm not entirely sure how Ashlea and I became friends. I think it was some combination of Twitter/mutual internet friends/Snark Squad. Anyways, she just started a blog recently and she should get a lot more readers!

OK, that should be enough reading material for you all to sort through and entertain yourselves with for the next week or so while I'm on break.

See you on Monday, January 27!

So if you all complain about my lack of posting, just remember...

Sorry... I just really wanted to use that GIF.

But we're still on a break.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

More Books for 2014!

About fifteen minutes after I published yesterday's post with my list of books I"m looking forward to in 2014, I saw on Tumblr Cassandra Clare had released the cover of City of Heavenly Fire. Such is my life.

If you are curious, here it is:


The guy with the creepy blak wings is Sebastian, the evil twin brother, and the girl is Clary. (Which, if you know the series this is obvious.) I was kind of hoping the cover would feature Magnus, or Alec, or maybe even Isabelle. However, showing Clary doesn't surprise me at all, and neither does Sebastian.

I do want to note the excellent use of the pretty white virginal dress Clary is wearing.

Also - I completely forgot to mention one book that is coming out this year which I cannot wait for.

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

It is the third book in the His Fair Assassins series by Robin LaFevers. I just began the second book, Dark Triumph, and I LOVED the first one, Grave Mercy. I mean... it's about nun assasins. NUN ASSASSINS.

And one of these days, I'll get out of this blog writers block funk thing and write a real blog post. I promise.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ten on Tuesday- Books!

I'm so glad there are other bloggers in the world who love books!

The Broke and the Bookish hosts Top 10 Tuesday every week and this week, the topic is "Top 10 2014 Debuts."

I don't know if they mean debuts as in books that start a series or an author's first book, or if it just means books being released in 2014. I'm chosing the later.

I did cover this topic a bit in my 2013 Book Wrap-Up, but it doesn't hurt to talk about new books coming out this year, right? Right. So, here we go. (Note: all photos are from the Goodreads website.)

1) Dawn's Early Light by Pip Ballentine and Tee Morris


It is the third book in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurances series, and I can't be more excited! I finished the first book, Pheponix Rising, last night and I picked up the second book, The Janus Affair, today. I'm already eagerly awaiting the relesase of the third installment. It's fun, action-packed, quirky, steampunk, and I LOVE the characters. (Especially Wellington Books, aka "Welly.")

2) The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick


I have been waiting for this book for literally years! It's already been relseased in Europe (I think) but not here in America and I WANT IT NOW! It is Chadwick's first book in her triology about Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor was a huge part of her books about William Marshal, so when I heard she was writing a whole trilogy dedicated to the queen, I was outrageously excited. GIVE IT TO ME.

3) City of Hevanly Fire by Cassandra Clare


This is the final installment of The Mortal Instruments series and I'm so excited! I'll admit, I'm growing tired of the Clary/Jace relationship, but I'm eager to find out what happens to all of the other characters and how the series is going to wrap up.

4) Cress by Marissa Meyer


This is the third book in Meyer's Lunar Chronicles which is a series based on classic fairy tales but with a futaristic twist. Both Cinder (Cinderella) and Scarlet (Red Riding Hood) were fantastic, so I'm sure Cress (Rapunzel) will be just as good if not better!

5) Ilsa and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.


This is the third book in Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss trilogy. The first book (Anna and the French Kiss) made one of my top three books of the year, and the second, Lola and the Boy Next Door, had an honorable mention. It looks like we'll be going back to Paris (and making a visit to NYC according to the cover) to see what happens to some of Anna and Etieinne's friends from school, and I"m hoping we get to see some cameos from the two other books! If this one is anything like the other two, this book is going to be completely adorable, fun, and full of squealable moments.

6) Landline by Rainbow Rowell


Rowell also wrote Eleanor and Park and Fangirl. The later almost made my top three books of the year, and I really enjoyed the first one. I'm now at the point where if Rainbow Rowell writes it - I want to read it!

7) The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe


I'll admit - I hadn't heard of this one until today when I was searching for more book releases, and HOLY COW! This looks so good! Basically, it's a boarding school on an isand for the country's wealthiest families, and there are a ton of secrets and mystery. It looks fantastic.

8) Stolen Songbird by  Danielle L Jenson


This is another book which I had never heard of until today, but my friend, Kirstie, had this one on her list and when I read the description I knew I wanted to read it. It's the first in a series and seems like a unique fariy tale type of fantasy with some classic creatures.

9) The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare (and others)

Unfortunately there isn't a picture avaialable. This is actually a set of short stories/novellas about the character Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments series. I beleive all of these stories have already been released, but this year they'll be compiled into one volume. I've been waiting for the complie to read them all because I felt it would be easier. Magnus Bane is one of my favorite characters from this series and I can't wait to read more about his adventures.

10) Basically... all of the books I'm hoping come out in 2014 but I'm not 100% sure if they are or not. I've heard rumors of new books by John Green and Issac Marion, as well as a sequel to The Host. If all of these are true- you know I'm getting my hands on them!

Feel free to link up with The Broke and Bookish for Ten on Tuesday, as well as Karly Kim and The Glossy Blonde for Totally Posted Tuesday!

Glossy Blonde

Monday, January 13, 2014

My Brain Refuses to Work

I thought once I moved and all of the crazy with leaving Missouri was done, writing would be so much easier. I would be able to write about whatever I wanted!

Nope. Lies. All lies.

It's harder now.

With the holidays and the crazy polar vortex blog posts practically could write themselves. But now that all of the holidays are over and the snow is now melted into disguting puddles which are a mix of ice, mud, and grass... I'm in a blogging dry spell.

Unless you all want to hear about how I'm geeking out over the possibility of a Frozen musical, the steampunk book I'm almost done with, how I didn't watch the Golden Globe awards, or how it's taken me until yesterday to finally get out and work on writing my NaNoWriMo project. Even with that, I didn't actually get writing done, but just characterization. (Which was actually quite helpful.) However, I did read Niel Gaiman's blog today and he hasn't been writing lately either he admiteded. So, that made me feel much better.

I know I could find some sort of questionaire or link-up to do, but I don't want to simply use those when I need a topic to write about. If I did, those posts would every single day.

Maybe it's because it's Monday and my brain isn't working. I don't know.

What do you all do when you're in a blogging dry spell?

Mingle 240

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Why Bandit Hates Me

I don't know if you've heard or not- but this past week has been cold.

Oh? That's news to you? No one on the internet has been talking about it at all? Really?


Anyways. Even for a native Chicago girl like me, it was outrageously cold Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. On Monday, our high of the day was -10 and I heard if you were outside for 10+ minutes you could get frostbite.

Naturally, this made me frigtened for my poor little Missouri born dog who has proably never experienced anything below 25. Even down in Missouri, if it got too cold he would just stand there and shake. Which meant I needed to get something to protect poor little Bandit from the cold.

The orange coat.

I cannot tell you how much Bandit hates this coat.

When I picked it up over the weekend I had him try it on right away. He simply stood there on the ground and stared at me and refused to move.

He's gotten used to it, and thankfully now that we are begining to thaw off he can go outside without it again. However, whenever I put it on him, I get a series of looks which are a cross between pathetic and hatred which make me wonder if he's plotting my demise.

Thankfully, my parents have a fireplace. Every time he comes in from outside he promptly lays down in front of it, coatless, and basks in the heat like the spoiled brat he is.

Jade and Oak

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What A Day!

Here it is, 9 o'clock at night and I'm just now sitting down in my parents living room to write today's blog. Is this really what "normal" people's lives are like? Work all day and then you have to squeeze in blogging somehwere in the evening? That's just crazy talk!

Don't get me wrong. Today was a great day. I had my first day at my new part-time job today, which was wonderful. I'll be working as a pre-school teacher's aide and I can tell it's definitely going to be a fun and interesting experience. I see posts about quotes from preschoolers in the future.

(Today's gem: "Jesus died on the cross and ate magic beans!" Um.... I think you've got your stories a little mixed up sweetie.)

Then, this evening I went out with one of my best friends to go see Frozen for the third time. Seriously, I don't think I've seen a movie multiple times like this since the glory days of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. It's the truth. I'm pretty sure I saw The Two Towers at least three or four times. However, a couple of hours watching talking snowmen, listening to Idina Menzel belt "Let it Go", and socially awkward main characters are two hours well spent in my book. I really can't get enough of this movie! Also, it's fun going with people who are watching it for the first time because it's like re-living your first time all over again.

I feel like a Madona GIF of "Like a Virgin" would fit in well here. However, I'll save all of you from that.

And it was just fun hanging out with my friend and talking and having dinner after.

Also- that movie theatre was the coolest thing I've ever seen in my life. The chairs were like big recliners I got to treat like the couch in my living room. Maybe next time I'll pick a painfully boring movie so I can take a nap.


But by the time I got home and I had caught up on my interneting- it was 9pm! How did that happen? I don't understand! How do people with normal jobs do it?

Sigh. Ah well. I'll figure it out eventually. For now, I'm gonna go find Bandit and hang out with him for a bit before I have to turn in like an old woman so I can get up early in the morning.

Also- my blog friend Angie was inspired by my post yesterday about how I'm a Disney character and wrote her own! It was so touching and I believe she's going to do a few more blog posts about it. So you should go check it out! You can read it by clicking here.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reasons Why I Am Actually A Disney Character

When I was in college, the Disney movie Enchanted came out. Being a Disney fan, I was interested in seeing it, but it took me awhile to actually get around to going to the movie theatre. Knowing my college self, I was probably holding out for one of the $2 college movie days at our local theatre.

One of the girls in my hall went to see it, and when she came back she declared to me that I had to watch the film ASAP because the main character, Princess Giselle, was basically me.

If you are unfamiliar with the movie Enchanted, it is about how Princess Giselle, your classis Disney princess, gets sent to relatiy. Not just reality, but New York City where there are no happy endings. While she is there, she sings songs, cleans the house with the help of the NYC animals, dances, and hopes true love's kiss will save her. Everywhere she goes there is singing, happiness, saved marriages, and little jabs at former Disney movies... along with people staring at her thinking she's a crazy person.

And she meets Patrick Dempsy... or at least his character. Same thing, right? Right.

When I finally saw the movie, I agreed with my friend, but didn't take it very seriously.

That is until last night when I was having a Twitter conversation about Disney movies. A friend of mine never liked them much and didn't grow up with Disney movies. (The horror! I know!) While I on the other hand, was practically raised by princesses and talking animals.

After this, I sat and thought for awhile (this is the third day I've been stuck in the house because of snow and cold, there's been a lot of time for thinking), and I realized that I actually am a Disney character.

First, there's the obvious. I'm always fighting the urge to randomly burst into song and dance, and I don't understand why everyone else doesn't want to sing and dance with me.

I have the greatest animal sidekick ever - Bandit.

He might not be able to talk like people do, but we know each other so well I can just share what he's thinking. Just like Kristoff and Sven in Frozen.

And let's face the facts, friends, I'm probably the same height as these guys:

My skin is outrageously pale like hers:

I love pink:

I believe (probably too firmly) in happy endings and refuse to believe in anything else. When things aren't happy I have a difficult time accepting it. ::cough:: Allegiant ::cough::

My family probably thinks I'm far too independent for my own good.

I try to be all tough, but we all know that's just not true.

My nose is always stuck in a book and everyone in town probably thinks I'm a little crazy. Let's face it, if a man gave me a library I'd be his forever.

Hugs are my favorite.

I would have no problem hanging out with these guys everyday while fighting for the rights of kids in Victorian New York:

I want to go on adventures!

And I love my family and friends.

I'm told I was exactly like Anna as a kid:

So, Disney, where's my movie already? I mean... clearly I'm one of your characters.

Glossy Blonde

Monday, January 6, 2014

Little Failure and Book Trailors

For someone who loves books, writing, and would love to be published someday, I really don't know much about publicity for releasing books. Did you know book trailors were an actual thing? Like, I knew they existed, but I didn't realize actual best-selling authors used them.

Clearly, I live under a rock because they do.

To be released tomorrow, (Janury 7, 2014), is Gary Shteyngart's latest book, Little Failure. It is a memoir about his life (obviously) as a Jewish-Russian Immigrant.

If you're like me, you might need to do a bit of research on Gary. You can do so here at his website: He has written other novels such as Super Sad True Love Story, Absurdistan, and The Russian Debutante's Handbook. Which, honestly, I haven't read any of them. But I have seen them on the shelves and have seriously considered buying them.

Anyways, he has a trailor for his new memoir! I'm not one for memoirs usually, so I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this one. However, I am a changed woman in regards to not only Gary's memoir, but book trailors as well. This was outrageously hilarious and to be 100% truthful, I've never loved James Franco more.

Confused? Just watch this:

(If you can't see the embeded video, click this link:

Hilarious right? 

After watching this, I got even more curious about what the book was actually about. Thankfully, 20sb and Random House (did I mention they are sponsoring this post? Because they are. But don't worry- all of these opinions are mine and no one told me what to say) sent me a free copy of the book so I was able to read the dust jacket. 

Gary (originally Igor... poor kid) is a Jewish/Russian immigrant who never felt like he fit in and was always balancing two different worlds. America and his Russian roots and trying to figure out life and love. 

Who isn't Gary? Let's be honest. 

It looks funny, but also insightful and touching. Which - in my opinion even though I've read maybe two memoirs in my whole life- is exactly what is needed in a good memoir.

I don't know about you, but I'm definitely adding Little Failure to my "to-read" list, along with Gary's other books. 

And I might watch more book trailors from now on since apparently, they're a thing.

Little Failures hits bookstores tomorrow, January 7, 2013, and you can check out Gary's website here:

Friday, January 3, 2014

5 on Friday

Happy Friday everyone!!!!

To be honest, not a whole lot is going on at the moment. So, I'm just going to do a quick "5 on Friday" post to catch you all up before you all run off to do your weekend shannanigans.

1) This is my last Friday of my little "Christmas Break!" Do you know what that means? I have a job! It's only part-time, but it's at least something to get me going while I'm figuring things out. There are also two other job possiblities I'm waiting to hear back from as well - so send prayers and good thoughts my way! But I start the new job on Monday. I'm really excited to have something going so quickly. I would go crazy if I were unemployed for too long and my bank account would probably cry. So, I'm going to enjoy the downtime this weekend while I can.

2) I am ready to get back to writing. I barely worked on my novel all December due to all of the crazy of moving, wrapping up things in Missouri, and the holidays. But the last couple of days my fingers have been itching to get back to the keyboard and my mind has wandered over to my characters. We've been sepearated for too long and I want to get this draft done so I can move onto the (painful) revising process. The only thing is that I haven't found a place to write yet. Ever since I've moved back to my parents house I've kind of taken claim of the kitchen table as my "office" every morning. I drink a cup of coffee, blog, and catch up on other blogs and social media. It's been a nice little routine and I know I can get some writing done here. However, it would be nice to have a little spot I can get away to for a change of scenery to let the creative juices flow. Naturally, I would go to a Starbucks. But as I was thinking about it, amost all of the Starbucks around here are super tiny - and not really condusive to sitting down with a laptop for a couple of hours. We'll see though. I'm going to do some Starbucks/Panera/Cafe shopping this week.

3) In case you haven't heard, Chicago is snowed in. As well as a majority of the rest of the country. This morning is basically the first time since Tuesday night I haven't seen snow faling from the sky. But honestly, I've been really enjoying it. This time, I'm not by myself in my apartment, I at least have my family here to be snowed in with. There's even MORE snow than there was in Missouri, and it's been so fun and peaceful to watch. I mean, look at the view we have from my parents house:

I stole this photo from my mom's Facebook
Isn't it so pretty? And it's perfect. On New Years Eve, we had intended on going to Indiana to visit family, but because of the snow we didn't go. It was a bummer because I always love seeing my extended family over the holidays, but it also has been nice to have more time to relax after all of the crazy before Christmas. We also went to go see Frozen... again. But what better time to see a movie about snow than when it's snowing?

It's also really amusing to watch Bandit and my mom's dog, Indy, sniffing around the snow.

4) As many of you probably know, if you've been following along with my escapades this week, I was posting photos on The Blog Baton Instagram Account. It was so much fun you guys!

First, I felt really cool because I was getting a ton of likes and comments on all of the photos. Is that what it's like to be a "popular" blogger? Because if it is, I need to become one. It was awesome.

Also, I was able to get some great exposure for my blog. I wasn't sure how many people would actually check out my little corner of the internet through The Blog Baton, but I now have several new Instagram and Twitter followers, and a few for the blog too. (Hi new friends if you're reading this! So glad we connected!)

So, not to sound like an ad, but if you want some extra exposure for your blog I highly reccomened checking out The Blog Baton. It was really fun!

5) The nice thing about being snowed in and having down time, is that I've been able to read and catch up on TV shows/movies. (This really shouldn't surprise any of you.) I nearly read all of An Abundance of Katherines yesterday, and I finished the Matched triology over New Years Eve. I'm now going to start Pheonix Rising which is part of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurances series.

On the TV/Movie front, I began rewatching Everwood and live-tweeted about the first four episodes, began Sherlock, and been watching Jane Austen movies. Which is always a good choice in my book. Especially since I have to return to the "real world" on Monday.

How have you all been spending the first few days of 2014?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My Tattoo Story

First- I'm posting on the Instagram account @TheBlogBaton today! Everyday a different blogger gets to take over the account and post photos of their day. It's a great way to get to know other bloggers and get exposure for your own. Go follow the account to see what I'm up to today! Also, if you go to the account profile you'll find out more information if you would like to be part of The Blog Baton too. 

You might have noticed in my post on New Years Eve that I randomly threw in at the end my getting two tattoos.

Yup. You read and saw that correctly. 

For some people, this is probably a complete shocker. For a few others, they know I've been talking about it for a little while.

For almost everyone, the fact I got two tattoos and one of them on my forearm was totally out of left field.

I've tossed around the idea of getting a tattoo for a few years now, but I could never pick between all of the ideas I had or a location. Even beyond that, I honestly wasn't sure how it would go over with my working at a church. I could see both positive and negative reactions from people, so I held off. When I decided to leave youth ministry, I knew the window of opportunity was open.

I had decided to do it right around Christmas as a gift to myself. I also decided I wanted to have it done in Missouri because I had several friends there with tattoos and they would know the best places to go and get it done.

A few weeks ago I texted my friend Emily (I consider her and her husband the tattoo experts in the area) about ideas, where to go, and placements. She recommended Flesh Hound in Cape, and she even had friends who worked there. She also told me to stop by there sometime to get a price quote and toss around ideas with the artists.

About a week or so later, my last week in Cape to be exact, I ended up having some extra time one afternoon and since I was in the area, I stopped by the tattoo parlor Emily told me about. Luckily, it was a slow day and I was able to chat with one of their artists, Chris. By this point, there were two I knew I wanted at some point. He drew up ideas with me and we talked fonts, placements, etc. and he gave me a price quote if I wanted to get both. He even said he could do it that afternoon, but I decided to wait because I wanted someone with me. He also showed me what the tattoos would look like in 10 years time and compared fonts with me and put examples on my arm so I knew how big it would be.

That Friday, another friend of mine said she would go with me to get the tattoo. At this point, I was thinking about only getting one. I felt like getting two was going overboard for my first time. However, after talking with my friend she convinced me to just get both. One of them was really small, and in the long run, getting both at the same time would be cheaper because he was giving me a small discount. 

So... here they are!

This is on my right forearm and it is a quote from Les Miserables. I knew I wanted a quote of some kind, and I felt like something from a musical would fit me best. I had considered doing "Careful the tale you tell, that is the spell" from Into the Woods because that is my all time favorite show, it's about fairy tales, and the quote talks about stories. All things which fit me and my personality. However, I  have always loved this quote from Les Mis, it's a story which I've been in love with for years, and it reflected more of my world view and faith. 

As for placement, this really was my favorite. I know it was a bold choice, and depending on what job(s) I have and when I'm in plays I'll have to cover it up. But when I thought about other placements, I just didn't like them as much.

Of course... Harry Potter! I saw this design online a few months ago, and when I saw it I knew I had to have it. You all know how much I love Harry Potter, and this design was so simple and cute. It's easy to cover up and it's really tasteful. I can show my geek side without being completely ridiculous.

Did they hurt?


In fact, I was completely terrified. I kept asking friends what it felt like and was never satisfied with their descriptions. I even told the tattoo artist how scared I was about getting them. But I kept reminding myself that I have had several needles stuck into my body throughout my life and have broken my femurs multiple times without shedding a tear. I could handle tattoos.

And while it did hurt, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. There were moments which hurt more than others, probably because it hit nerve endings or something, but nothing I couldn't handle. My friend who came with me also distracted me with pictures of her cats and she and the tattoo artist were good at keeping conversation going. So it wasn't that bad. So if any of you are wondering about the pain - yes, it hurts, but it's definitely something you can handle.

Am I happy with them?


I'll admit, for the first day or two when I would see my arm I'd kinda freak out and be all "OMG WHAT DID I DO THIS IS PERMANENT!" But I really do love it. I love the font because it's so elegant and I think it fits me so well. And the Harry Potter one on my calf is adorable!  I've loved showing them off to people. I did hide them from everyone at church over the weekend after I got them because I felt like shocking everyone in my last days would be a bad way to leave. But it was really hard to hide because I kept on wanting to be all "Hey guys! Look what I did!"

Will I do it again?

Probably not. Not because they aren't worth it, but because I feel like two tattoos on me is a perfect number.

Did my family freak out?

Not as badly as I thought they would. My sister was a little surprised by how big the one on my arm was and that I had gotten two. My mom's first reaction was "That's on my baby!" (which made me feel a little guilty) and my dad just rolled his eyes and said "whatever." I think they've gotten used to it though and even kind of like them. In fact, my mom did the photos for this post. Granted - she got a new camera for Christmas so she was happy to have an excuse to play with it!

What do my friends think?

I think they like them! One has named them my "quarter life crisis" ... which is a fair assessment. Haha. My friend Emily had the best reaction - she was so happy for me! As for everyone else, they think I'm a little crazy but also brave and they like them. So... overall, people are cool with it.

Do any of you have tattoos? Anyone want to share their stories? What do you think of my Christmas gift to myself?