Friday, April 27, 2018

Have You Heard? // *NSYNC - "It's Gonna Be Me" // Throwback

Happy Friday Friends! Things are in full swing here! We're still working on some big things, and in the meantime doing a lot of reading, spring cleaning, and purging of junk! :) I hope to have more time for blogging soon, but either way next week I've got the next post for the Swinging, Groovy, Fabulous, Groovy Blog Collaboration with Audrey! Woohoo! We're talking about the 1940's and it should be super fun! :)

via google

Today I had to share "It's Gonna Be Me" because... we'll it's almost May. That never gets old. Just like *NSYNC will never get old. :)

What are you all up to this weekend?! 

We are headed to see Vance Joy in KC tonight! :) So excited, I'm pretty sure this is our 5th time seeing him...? :) The rest of the weekend I hope is spent doing more spring cleaning, purging junk, and lots and lots of reading! I'm not sure how much time I'll have for documenting lately, but we'll see! :) I'm excited for a quiet and productive weekend.

Other Posts This Week: NONE :(

On YouTube This Week: January 2017 Project Life Pages.

On Year of Gratitude This Week: The Low Tech Long Weekend: Adventures in Unplugging.




Friday, April 20, 2018

Have You Heard? // Taylor Swift - "Call it What You Want"

Happy Friday Friends! This week has been absolutely bonkers. Not in a bad way, but in a my brain is spinning kinda way. The kind of week where you sit down to do something and your mind is racing with lists, and goals, and more thoughts than you can keep track of. You know what I mean? Stay tuned.

image via google

This song is stuck in my head this morning, so we'll go with it... because yeah... not a lot of time for finishing things this week. Or being "on it". LOL.

What are you guys up to this weekend?!

Tonight I have a craft night with some of my girlfriends, tomorrow we are hanging out with a few friends for dinner... and otherwise I think that's it. I hope to do some reading, some cleaning, and get into that organizing/spring cleaning mode. I got moved into my new cabinet... but there is still a lot of work to be done. Not to mention I had the goal last year to get our packed stuff in better shape storage-wise. That's not really happened since right after we moved in with my in-laws. hahah We'll see how it goes!

Other Posts This Week: Keep It Together with Lauren from Shooting Stars Mag.

On YouTube This Week: 6 DIY PL Cards // Vol. VI.

On Year of Gratitude This Week: Town Grandma City Grandma.

Have a great weekend!! :) 



Thursday, April 19, 2018

Keep It Together: A Planning & Memory Keeping Blog Hop - April 2018

Happy Thursday, Friends! -- it has been such a crazy couple of weeks, I can't wait to update you all once I can! (and have time! - yikes!). :P

I'm so excited to be kicking off Keep It Together with Lauren from Shooting Stars Mag today! :) This linkup is all about planners, memory keeping, bullet journals, etc. So please feel free to linkup your posts on the Third Thursday of every month! Make sure to hop on over to Lauren's page and check out her post too! :)
Here we go! :)

I love to do all kinds of planning and documenting, so today I thought I would share just a little about my recent projects. Lately I've been reading quite a lot, we finally took a road trip, and we are in the midst of some big changes that I can't tell y'all yet. :P SO, most of what I have done for scrapbooking or Project Life has been making these filler cards. :)

Set 1: 

I had fun playing with water color, heat embossing, and layering stamps for these cards! :) If you want to watch how they were made, check out the video below. :)

Set 2:

For these little cards I pulled out my typewriter! I loved typing up quotes and using them as journalling. I also used more water color and heat embossing. Slowly gaining some experience with mixed media! :) If you want to watch how they were made, check out the video below. :)

Set 3:

This time around I wanted to try to use things all from Maggie Holmes's "Flourish" collection.  She has so many pretty florals and stickers. I still typed up some quotes, because I was enjoying that so much! :) If you want to watch how they were made, check out the video below. :)

I had a blast making these cards, but it was definitely messy! ... and it took some tweaking and problem solving along the way!

What do you think? Which cards are your favorite?!

If you are interested in following along with any of these projects, please follow me on YouTube! :) 

Please linkup with Lauren and I below! And make sure to pop over to her page and see what she's been up to! :)


    An InLinkz Link-up



Friday, April 13, 2018

Have You Heard? // Keala Settle - "This Is Me" (Greatest Showman Soundtrack)

THIS IS THE WEEK! Greatest Showman is out for purchase and rental! I got my copy of the DVD, and the soundtrack.. and we watched it again... and I was worried that I wouldn't like it as much as I did the first time... BUT I loved it just as much if not more! :)

image via google

So, I'm shamelessly sharing another song this week! :)

This one is so darn catchy, and damn can Keala Settle sing!!!

What are you guys up to this weekend?!

I think we are mostly taking it easy! I got a cabinet in AR for my scrapbooking items, so maybe I will move into that! :) I would like to do some cleaning and organizing, and otherwise do lots of reading! I am in the middle of quite a few books... ha! So, I need to get going on some of those! :) 

Other Posts This Week: March Reads! 

On YouTube This Week: Juliet's Album // Quick Flip & 6 DIY PL Cards // Vol. V.

On Year of Gratitude This Week: The Symbolism of Lilacs.

-- I saw a post about how P.T. Barnum was a huge a-hole... who's surprised? A lot of people are a-holes. Especially in the 1910s! Most people were racist, women didn't have the rights they do now, etc. It's just a movie, y'all. Let people like things. -- :P 

If anyone gets to watch Greatest Showman, obvs tell me how you like it! :) 



Monday, April 9, 2018

March Reads // Ravens & The Dust Bowl

Happy Monday Friends! We are on our trip and having an awesome time! :) I hope that you  had a great weekend! Today is the best day, because it's time to talk about books!

Honor Bound by Brenda Novak

? Stars - I recommend if you enjoy historical romance with quite a bit of action/adventure... however a caution that the ending may leave you disgruntled...

This story follows Jeanette, a young Frenchwoman living in England. She must marry to secure her family's fate during the war, and she must marry a much older man to do so. On her wedding night, she finds out that her husband has horrible things planned for her, and she flees. Taking refuge on a naval ship, she disguises herself as a boy in hopes of making it to her English relative in London. Lieutenant Treynor was a cabin boy once himself, and takes pity on the boy, but once he discovers that the cabin boy is in fact a woman he must decide whether to follow his instinct, or the rules of his job.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was action packed, it was steamy from time to time... I enjoyed that it took place mostly on a ship, I kind of have a thing for the pirates movies (disheveled Commodore Norrington, anyone?), and even though this is not about pirates.. I liked that setting quite a bit. There was a lot of good detail about life on a ship, duties for the ship's crew, historical details related to the war, etc. which I really appreciated. I liked the characters, though we never found out very much about Treynor's past. I liked Jeanette too, though it has moments where you roll your eyes, and go "Jeannette... why?! That's a dumb thing to do on a ship where you have no idea what's going on...!" - but she was also pretty brave, and tried to stick up for herself. I found the romance to be a wee bit questionable from time to time, mostly I think because the time period is very, "I own you because you're my wife"... but ... it wasn't too terrible. Then it just ended (SPOILER) like a Jane Austen novel, or an "inspirational romance".. they get married, and then the author skips the wedding night...! which I found super confusing... and mildly enraging after you know, 11 hours of reading... waiting for the characters to *finally* be together. To clarify, I love Austen, and I enjoy "inspirational romance"... but when you go to the trouble of describing A LOT of other romantic bits, and then don't give the readers the full thing...? Rude. Oy. I cannot even. So the story was good, but the ending fell flat for me. Blargh. I'm too frustrated to give this a rating.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater (The Raven Cycle 1)

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy mystery and fantasy. This is definitely a series where they are finding clues step by step.

Blue is the only non-psychic in her family, but she does make their visions stronger. They've told her that if she kisses her true love, he will die. She's avoided boys, especially Raven Boys from a prestigious private school, on principle. However, the Raven Boys are solving a mystical secret, and she might be able to help.

There are so many characters in this book, getting "into it" (granted while trying to do other things) was kind of difficult with so many characters. I struggled to get which boy was which, and figure out all of their stories within the first few chapters. AND the chapters switch perspective between the boys, Blue, and a professor at their school. Confusing! BUT once I did, I was pretty invested in it. I really LOVED Blue and her unusual living situation. I found it fascinating that she lived with her mother, aunts, and their friends, -- all psychics. How whimsical! However, I wish the plot would have spent more time on them! The plot given to the reader before starting the book is a little misleading. It's not very romantic, but maybe that comes in during another book in the series. I wanted more lady power... I mean I know it's called The Raven Boys... but... I was so into the crazy house of lady psychics and I want to know more about them! Hopefully in the coming books! So, I'd say if you like books where the characters are solving a mystical mystery, clue-by-clue, pick this series up! It's four books, all have been published.

Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy poetry, and are looking for something that will make you feel. This will make you feel ALL THE FEELINGS.

A collection of poetry and sketches divided by topic: love, breaking, healing, etc.

This was really hard for me to read. I think I was reading it while I was reading something else that was bumming me out. I put it down for several months and finally came back to it. These poems will definitely make you a little squirmy. Kaur doesn't hold back, and it's a bit of a shock sometimes. I found some of the poems to be lovely and relateable. I found some of them to be incredibly sad. Others were very brutal, and eye-opening. The whole collection will definitely make you think. Despite some extremely unsettling poems, and likely experiences, I appreciate that Kaur seemed to end the collection with a reminder to be kind, that we are stronger together as a community, etc. It was lovely, and needed more than ever. I also think she is incredibly brave for sharing these poems, it's a very raw way to share your life and feelings with the world. I've seen criticism that her poetry is quite a lot like Tumblr posts, I see where people are coming from, it is definitely a similar style of writing.. and some of the poems are just two lines long, but I don't feel that it's my job to define poetry. As an ex-art history major I can say that art can be anything, so why can't poetry?

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Steifvater (The Raven Cycle 2)

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy YA fantasy and have read the first book.

This book picks up where the first one left off. The search for Glendower continues.

I never like to give spoilers about series, so I won't say too much... but I enjoyed this sequel. There were some things that I liked more than the first book, and other things that I liked less. I liked that you figure out more about the mysteries within Cabeswater and related to Glendower. I liked that the characters are more developed. I liked that there is more plot related to Blue and her family/roomies. However, I did not enjoy all of the ridiculous wealthy boy nonsense. Racing cars, blowing up cars, excessive drug usage, etc. etc. I sometimes loved Ronan when he was vulnerable or really brave... and other times he was SO ANNOYING. I don't know.. In the end I'm struggling to decide if I liked it more or less, so I'll rate it the same. This one didn't leave off on a cliff hanger, so I wasn't dying to read the next one, but I went ahead and started it anyway so I won't forget what's going on.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Steifvater (The Raven Cycle 3)

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy YA fantasy and have read the other books.

This book picks up where the first one left off. The search for Glendower continues.

I like this book better than the others, there is a lot more focus on the relationships between the characters. I also feel like the action of the story is finally getting closer to the end goal... whereas the first two seemed a little bit "fight against people who are getting in your way.." I enjoyed learning more about the ladies in the story as well. This one left off on slightly more of a cliffhanger. Still not feeling the strong pull to keep going other than my own person preference to binge entire series.

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy historical fiction, and depictions of great struggle and growth.

This book is written in verse and tells the story of Billie Jo and her family's struggle through the dust bowl in rural Oklahoma during the great depression.

This was required reading for many I went to school with, I somehow was not assigned to read it. I had my mind made up that it would be very boring, but I really enjoyed reading this book. I thought that I would dislike that it is written in verse, but I liked that too. I love reading stories where the characters are struggling through an unimagineable time, but show so much strength. I felt very immersed in the story, especially for how short of a book it is. I definitely learned about the dust bowl quite a bit as well. I highly recommend if you enjoy moving historical fiction.

Technically finished in April:

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy novels with multiple plot lines that weave together.

This book follows Adri in the year 2065 as she gets accepted to prestigious program to colonize Mars. She must move to Kansas to live with her long-lost (and last) relative 107 year old Lily, while she trains for her expedition. Adri begrudgingly gets to know Lily, and her past as she discovers a diary from the 1930s during the dust bowl, and letters from 1919. She must piece together the stories of brave women from each time period to know her own, and Lily's history.

At first I thought that this book was fun and intriguing, but boy it packed a punch too. For one thing, I was totally immersed in each time period as I read their stories. Once you get far enough into the book, the stories of the different women start to intertwine, and it all makes sense in the end. I loved the variation in characters and how they each chose their own paths. I also loved Galapagos, the tortoise, who made an appearance throughout the entire book. (what a perfect idea!) The ending had me in a puddle of both tears and emotions. It was so satisfying. but tugged at my heart strings as well.

Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy contemporary fiction with a bit of romance and adventure.

Helen is 32, newly divorced, lonely, and owns the meanest dog in existence. She signs up for a wilderness course in order to find herself and start a new chapter in her life. When she finds out that her brother's annoying best friend, Jake, is also going on the trip she's less than excited. As the two set off on their journey she'll realize he's not so annoying anymore. Along the way she'll make friends, find success and failure, and re-kindle family relationships.

I wasn't sure how much of a romance this would be, and it turns out only somewhat. I think this book was nice and fluffy and positive, BUT it also had quite a few more emotional issues going on as well. It was a really nice balance. I loved the wilderness element of this book, it was fun, funny, and exciting to read as I went along. I quite liked Jake and Helen. I liked that there was quite a bit of (what seems to me) actual backpacking and wilderness information in the book. The descriptions, situations, etc. seemed well-researched and interesting. I liked that this book also focused on Helen's journey of self discovery, her relationships with her family, and with fellow backpackers too. I thought that the ending was a little bit choppy, and I wanted a bit more of the romance, but I overall really liked this this book.

Pestilence by Laura Thalassa (The Four Horseman 1)

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy paranormal romance. Major emphasis on *ROMANCE*.

The world is ending, the four horseman have come to earth. The first horseman, Pestilence, is making his way across North America spreading a vicious plague. Sara is a firefighter who's picked to stay behind and kill Pestilence while the rest of her city escapes. After thoroughly killing him, she finds that he is not dead... and quite angry with her. He takes her prisoner as he spreads plague through the rest of the country. The two form an unlikely bond. Shenanigans and steamy situations ensue.

Holy Toledo, I feel the sudden need to start a rating for how steamy a book is. This book would be 5/5 flames. Let's start by saying, this story is 85% romance, so I would not pick it up unless you're wanting something like that. This book obviously follows the "hate to love" trope, and I feel like Thalassa does it really well. I have only read a few romance novels, but I feel like this story works. Do I love fantasy? Yes. Do I love incredible world building? Yes. Did this book have a lot of those things? Not really. Am I mad about it? No. I think it's totally fine that this book focuses on the romance, but again, don't pick it up if the lack of these things will bother you. I loved Sara and Pestilence. I thought there was a lot of character development. I enjoyed the contrast of the heart breaking bits about the plague victims. I thought the ending was a little bit choppy, but I haven't been satisfied with many endings lately... so do what you will with that. The epilogue is cliff-hanger-y, I'm intrigued to see where the series will go... especially with a little bit of a time gap between books.

There you have it, tons and tons of books! If you want to see my spring & summer reading bucket list, check that out too! :)

Linking up with Jana and Steph for Show Us Your Books tomorrow. :) 

What have you been reading? What do you hope to read this month?! 

Let's be friends on Goodreads!



Friday, April 6, 2018

Have You Heard? // Justin Timberlake feat. Chris Stapleton - "Say Something"

Happy Friday Friends! KC and I are hittin' the road today, and we're SO EXCITED. A trip is finally happening in 2018 folks! So excited to spend a long weekend away having fun together. :) :) :)

image via google.

I didn't know what song to share today so KC helped me out. We really like this one, have you heard it? It's been on a lot of radio stations here. I am amazed by any music that is a fusion of genres, and I think they really did it right with this song. :)

And that's saying something ... since I don't really like country music. (harrr)

What are you guys up to this weekend?!

We'll be exploring and I'm super jazzed about it. If you want to follow along I'll be attempting to vlog via IG story, and later on YouTube. There was an overwhelming "yes" to the question "do you want to see travel vlogs" on IG soo... yeah, we'll give it a shot! :) We're now planning something pretty fun for a fall trip! Super excited to let you guys in on it (and ask for recommendations!) here once things are a bit more settled!

Other Posts This Week: Spring and Summer Reading Bucket List Roaring, Swinging, Fabulous, Groovy Blog Collaboration // 1930's.

On YouTube This Week: December 2016 Project Life Flip Through & Olivia's 2 Hour Mini Album // Quick Flip.

On Year of Gratitude This Week: The Pep Rally that didn't Matter Mattered.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND! See ya next week for SUYB! I'll be posting and catching up on reading once I'm back! :) 



Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Roaring, Swinging, Fabulous, Groovy Blog Collaboration // 1930's

It's one of my favorite days! Audrey & I's Roaring, Swinging, Fabulous, Groovy Blog Collaboration! :) I learned A LOT about the Dust Bowl this month!

Today, Audrey and I are talking about the 1930's. MAKE SURE TO HOP ON OVER TO AUDREY'S BLOG TO CHECK OUT HER RECOMMENDATIONS! :) 

Here we go:

On the first Tuesday of the month, February through November, we're highlighting books & films from/about specific eras that we recommend! (Television shows, too, sometimes!) There's no commitment or link-up during those months on your end, but in December we’ll host a recap/link-up for the entire year!

I'm learning a lot from this challenge already: 

Books, Films, and Bonus will be things that I HAVE read or watched. "On Deck": will be things that I am hoping to get to soon!

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Meet Kit (American Girl) by Valerie Tripp - childhood favorites!
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse - just read, see my review next week for SUYB, Spoiler: I loved it!
Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson - set in three time periods, stories woven together, see this review next week too!

Paper Moon - 5 Stars! - Possible father/daughter con team sell bibles in Kansas. A classic and I enjoyed the re-watch very much!
Water for Elephants - a great book to movie adaptation
Cheerful Weather for the Wedding 3.5 Stars - sort of odd, but very atmospheric and cinematically beautiful.
Ballet Shoes - 3.5-4 Stars - three orphans are adopted by an explorer, and follow their dreams.
The King's Speech - Colin. Firth.

What books, movies, or shows can you recommend that take place in the 1930's? Is there a goodreads equivalent for movies?!

Be sure to hope over to Audrey’s blog and check out her recommendations!

Big bands and WWII await us in May when we cross into the 1940s. Possibly one of the most romantic eras, Audrey loves this decade for its big band music and sharp fashion. Plus we start to see women hold down the fort and demand some credit!



Monday, April 2, 2018

Spring & Summer Reading Bucket List!

Hello friends! I hope that you had a great weekend! :)

I've been extra book crazy lately, and I wanted to make a little list of things I want to accomplish book-wise this spring and summer.

Finish Erin's 8.0! (April 30 deadline, 5 books left!)
Read historical fiction/classics for Audrey and I's decades collaboration (at least 1 per decade)
-1930s -1940s -1950s -1960s -1970s -1980s -1990s -2000s
Check off AT LEAST 3 Netgalley reads (old ones)
Read 'First Reads' Book by (May 4)
Re-Read Little Women before PBS Show is Released (May 13)
Read At Least 3 Neil Gaiman Books (he's coming to speak in November!)
Finish 2 Books on my "Currently Reading" Shelf
Pick back up the Throne of Glass series
Acquire and Read A Court of Frost and Starlight! (ACoTaR spinoff)
Read a travel memoir or travel-based novel
Read a romance novel
Read The Hate U Give 
Read a book about mermaids
Read Sing, Unburied Sing
Complete my library's Summer Reading Program
Read a fairy tale re-telling

What book goals do you have for spring and summer?