Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December Favorites

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Christmas, maybe not as much as the crazy-Christmas-sweater lady that has spent the entire week hunting for the perfect tree, but I still love it a lot, so you can be sure that almost every favorite this month is going to be Christmas related.

Book

The cover makes it look silly, and it kind of is, but it's good. I didn't expect it to be anything spectacular. I was pleasantly surprised by the original take on the ol' dreamcatcher thing. I've read a lot of novels focused around the idea that dreamcatchers actually caught nightmares and such, yet this one was so much more quirky, enrapturing, and overall quite enjoyable.

Music
                                        

I've been obsessing over this music all December. I've gotten a bit tired of the traditional Christmas songs, and I've been looking for good alternatives everywhere I can. I've found quite a bit, but this is by far my favorite. I feel like I'm riding into battle clothed in jingle bells and tinsel when I listen to it.

Character
I just started a new book series, Keeper of the Lost Cities. Sounds exciting, doesn't it? The main character, Sophie, started out not my favorite. I felt that she was too whiny, helpless, and kind of annoying, but then I began to see what the author was trying to do. Her character, while being kind of annoying, was written to be that way. Her character development was hinged on that. It was definitely like no character development plan I've ever seen, but it just made her character even more interesting to follow. 

Drink

This looks like apple cider, right? Wrong. This is something much better. Since December 1st, our mother has been planting clues and little treats around the house as part of the our advent calendar, and one of the treats was a box of apple caramel tea. It tastes even better than apple cider, and I can't stop drinking it! 

Food
Fudge. That's a food, right? Yeah, that counts. I got it for a Christmas present from one of my dear friends, and it didn't even last two whole days. It was so good!

TV Show
The other day I was kind of in the mood for a goofy, childhood favorite.     

I remember being huddled under the covers with my best friend watching Good Luck Charlie 'till midnight (which was very late). The episodes are still funny, though they definitely do have their silly moments. Overall, it was a nice trip down memory lane. 

Movie

That's right. I'm still freaking out at how good it was. I wanted to see it on opening night, but you know what? I am totally fine with how this played out, and this way I got to see it with my whole family. When opening credits began to play, I was so glued to my seat.

 

When the lights finally came back on and the movie was over, I was kind of in shock. I had just seen the movie that I had been obsessing over for two years. When a decade goes by, and people are looking back at the Star Wars VII, I can say that I saw it in theatres. I am part of history. 

Okay, maybe I'm not actually a part of history, but... I can think so, right? 

I can't believe that Christmas is over! It seems so weird to not be counting down to Christmas now, but I guess it's also going to feel weird to not be counting down to Star Wars. Speaking of which, I kind of want to do a (spoiler-free) review. That would be fun. 

Toodlepip

Friday, December 25, 2015

Be Still

"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them:and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." 
The world seems so much quieter to me on Christmas. We've been waiting for the parents to wake up so we can go downstairs and open the gifts sitting under the tree.


It's a beautiful morning, even if there is no snow where we are. The world is coated in a thin layer of ice and frost. I can pretend there's snow. 

It's still a little bit misty and dark outside. I brought in one of the younger rabbits to hold while we were waiting, and he's quite interested in the tree. 


With our tree all lit up and our mugs of tea waiting for us on the coffee table, I can't help but think about how blessed I am, how truly blessed I am. 

We're going to be seeing The Force Awakens in just a couple hours, and I am really excited. Our movie tradition started when An Unexpected Journey came out four years ago (wow, four years already?), from there we finished the Hobbit trilogy and are now moving on to Star Wars.

I'm still praying for snow, and I'm still amazed by our Christmas tree. This is the second year we've had one, yet it still feels new. 


Merry Christmas to everyone, may yours be filled with joy, laughter, and lots of love. 
I sound like a Christmas card. 

Toodlepip

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The-Nameless-Music-Tag

Thank you to Riley for tagging me!! I love being actually tagged in things. It's so much fun.

What lyrics describe you best?
That's a hard one. Not to be lame, but Disney just understands me.
This line...

Belle as a Disney princess just understands me.
Love this gif.
What's your favorite romance songs?
Okay, it's super sappy, but my favorite romance songs are:
Bloom by the Paper Kites.
and it might not be a technical romance song (though it is about a breakup), but Say Something.
As well as Tethered by Sleeping at Last

What was the last song you listened to?
Story of My Life by the PianoGuys.

What musician would you like to hang out with for a day?
Lindsey Stirling or Peter Hollens. I don't know enough about other musicians, but those two would be so much fun to hang out with.

What is your favorite soundtrack?
No. You don't get to ask me that. I can't decide, though I have narrowed it down to a top five.

What was your last musical "phase" before you wisened up?
#1. Eh-hem. I am not in a musical "phase", I am in a musical world of wonderfulness.
And #2. Wisened is not even a word. Thank you Google for telling me that.

*snort* Musical "phase". 

Have you ever made a playlist with a theme?
Oh yeah! I've made a playlist of my favorite Christian songs (I'm very picky), my noveling music, my songs I want to learn on piano, and songs for the car with the fam.

Do you look like you listen to the music you do?
I have no idea. I listen to everything except hard rock. And yes, I do mean everything. So do I look like I listen to everything??

Would you be upset if your taste of music became mainstream?
No. Why would I? I should be glad that the world is becoming cultured in music. They would have good taste. I'm not a hipster that only listens to music that has two followers*.

*Some hipsters do that. Not all. If you consider yourself a hipster and listen to popular music, then more power to ya!

Have you ever done a cover of a song?
Only when I'm  in the cover of darkness  alone  out of range to burst anyone's eardrums in my room.

And there it is. The music tag. This didn't come with any instructions, tag pictures, or...anything.
Soooo.

Toodlepip

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Life Update - Editing, Blog, and Leverage

Christmas is just around the corner!! Even though the holidays are here, nothing has changed for me. I'm still guzzling tea and coffee, still scribbling furiously in my attempts to start editing my novel, and still obsessively listening to "The Phoenix", "Children of the Sun", and various soundtracks. The only difference is that all of this is now done amongst lights and ornaments.

Editing - 
When I first started editing, I had no idea where to start, how to sort through the gibberish I had written, or even how to function anymore with the weight of six books crushing my will to get out of bed. Then I stepped back and gave myself a bit of breathing room. I decided to forget about the other five books waiting for me in the dark alleyways of life and focus only on the one in front of me. I finally found my groove after not forcing myself to edit. Once I told myself not to edit, I wanted to edit. Funny how that works, huh? Kind of like that ol' "Don't smile." gag.

Piano - 
I absolutely love playing the piano. I'm still amazed at how difficult it can be to learn a song -- and it feels like I'll never finish it -- but then I do finish, and I can play it with my eyes closed. It feels so good to play a song all the way through, especially when I have struggled with it. I still have a list a mile long, but I'm slowly working through it.

Blog - 
There was a week in this past month where I was starting to feel like everything had no point, and I wanted to curl up into a potato and never speak to another person again (that was the very same week that I was muddling through my editing issue). I was questioning what point my blog had, and in the end, why was I taking time to write it if it's not really helping me reach my goals in life? Then I realized that it was helping me. It has made me a better writer. Looking back at my first posts (the worst thing you will ever read) to now, I can see the night and day difference. It has helped me grow in a different area of writing that I hadn't ever explored before, and in turn, that has helped my novel writing, plus, blogs are just fun, even if no one is reading them. ;)

TV Show - 
I felt like I should give a Leverage update. It's still fantastic, and I am now nearing the end of the fourth season. Bethany has passed me even though I started watching it before she did, so I'm trying to catch up. Parker is still my favorite. I just love how odd she is, yet she can be surprisingly human and kind, not to mention if I ever did become a thief, I would want to do what she does.

Reading - 
I'm still drowning in a pile of books that I'm trying to read.


So yeah! That's my Life Update. Oh, and I practically haven't taken off my Christmas sweater for the entire month. Christmas is fantastic. 

Toodlepip 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

What I'm Thankful For - Christmas Edition

Well, I know that Christmas isn't about giving thanks like Thanksgiving is supposed to be, but I thought I would still do a 'What I'm Thankful For' post because every day is a good 'Be Grateful' day, but also because I missed that Thanksgiving train. So now I'm making my own Christmas one.


#1. I am thankful for family. 
My family is the best I could ever have. I mean, I'm still convinced my mom is Superwoman. I live in the type of family that food is recognized as a plausible reason to go somewhere. "Do you want to come?" "Is there food?" 
Just kidding...
#2. I am thankful for freedom in my faith.
I've always grown up in a Christian home, but I've not always had a relationship with God. I accepted it because it was my parent's faith, so it was supposed to be mine, but two years ago I found my faith for myself. I am thankful that I don't have to hide my bible, hide my love for the Lord, and hide under a cover if I'm praying, afraid that someone is going to find me and take me away for being a Christian. I'm thankful for freedom. *eagle screeches in the distance* 

#3. I am thankful for my sister. 
This is separate because my sister is my best friend, and if I had a different best friend, I'd list that best friend instead, but she's who I'm stuck with (in the best possible way). Our friendship is weird, hilarious, and amazing.

She's been working, so I don't see her whenever I want to. I miss her during the day, but as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Whoever said that, clearly didn't have a sister who doubled as a life coach. I am very thankful for her.

Anywho, I better go, decorating the house and such.

Toodlepip

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Doctor Who Frustration

I haven't seen any of Season 9 of Doctor Who, and I miss it so terribly much. I went from marathoning all of the (newer) seasons and then watching Season 8 on Netflix, to watching none...just like that. I had forgotten that normal people have to wait a week in between watching episodes. Unfortunately, we do not have the proper channel to watch Doctor Who, so I am completely in the dark. I really miss the Doctor...

Since it is December, and I want everything to be Christmas related, I should make this Christmas related somehow...

Aww, look at them...they're so happy.
I've been making myself sad by thinking about Rose and Ten. They were so happy, and everything was just...fun.
I miss my bowtie Doctor. 
Eleven is my favorite Doctor (right now). I have a nasty habit of changing my mind sporadically. Right now, he is my favorite. I loved how he was goofy, and completely ridiculous, but there was something darker lurking just beneath that happiness. Not to mention the Amy and Rory era was so great.

I couldn't find any Christmassy Nine gifs, otherwise I would have included all of them. Nine was such a great Doctor. He was just so snarky and...for lack of a better word, fantastic, but then he had to go away...and then so did Ten...and then Eleven. I don't like saying goodbye to Doctors that I want to stay forever and ever. 
TRUTH
I'm just going to bombard you with Doctor Who gifs, cool? Cool.

*sniff*
They're both wearing Fezzes!


In conclusion, I'm missing Doctor Who, and I'm missing the Doctor. Season 9 needs to come out on DVD so I can check it out and watch it.  
Toodlepip

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Everything's Magical When It Snows

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go!!



I love Christmas, and I hope this year that we'll get snow again because I miss it.


I love snow, and I've wanted a white Christmas for the past couple years and we can't seem to get one. 

I'm so excited for Christmas and presents and the tree and hot cocoa, and I'm just going on and on with no point. 


Lorelai Gilmore is the leading expert on the beauty of snow. 
The other day I ran into some lady that my mom knows, and she said that she wasn't excited for snow, that she doesn't like it. Her exact words were, "It's cold, wet, and gets in the way." I bet she hates Christmas too, and happiness, and puppies. Winter is my favorite season because of the cold, and the promise of snow. 


I love Christmas, but snow takes the cake.
And this has been an entire post dedicated to snow. Eh, I've posted weirder stuff. 

Toodlepip

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Tinsel Tag

Well, I thought I'd try my hand at creating a tag. I've always kind of wanted to start one, but knowing my luck, it'll probably go nowhere. We'll see how it goes.

Rules - 
-Link back to the blogger who tagged you.
-Spread this tag like wildfire before December is over. 

1. What's your favorite thing about Christmas?
My favorite thing about Christmas should be the family, the food, or even better, what it's all about. I'm going to be honest, I like all of that, but my favorite is this: The lights, the colors, and the snow. I love Christmas because of the atmosphere of peace and pretty lights. Maybe I'm shallow, but I think the idea of everyone decorating their lives for one huge special day just seems so wonderful to me, and I like presents, food, and the family. 

2. Giving or getting presents?
Once again, I wish I could say giving. I wish that I could say that I would much rather bless someone than someone bless me...buuuuut, that being said, I love getting presents. It is my love language, and I like knowing that someone cares about me enough to get something for me. 

3. Favorite Christmas movie?
ELF! Without a doubt. This movie is a treasure. It's hilarious, and it doesn't feel like Christmas without watching it. I've seen it every Christmas since I was...little. 




This movie is truly wonderful. 

4. Favorite Christmas food?
"Candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup."- Elf

Anything peppermint. I am a huge fan of peppermint. 

5. Ice skating or sledding?
Hm, I would have to say sledding. As fun as ice skating is, I hardly ever ice skate, and I feel nervous as a beaver in the desert when I do. I've heard the stories of the blade cutting into someone's leg when they fall just right, and I ain't about to risk that.
Sledding is classic. It's all about just having fun. I have a lot of good memories sledding with my family, plowing into blackberry bushes, and crashing into trees. Afterwards, we go into the house where it's warm and make hot cocoa, and I just really love sledding. Sledding all the way.

6. Decorating a tree or decorating cookies? 
Hmm, when I'm decorating cookies, I can eat the cookies, and eating the tree is not advised. Then again, the tree ends up being a lot more permanent. I've sometimes gotten up in the middle of the night, sat in front of our tree, turned on the lights, and just stared at it. There's just something so peaceful about it.

8. What is your favorite Christmas memory? 
Anytime there was snow. I love snow with all my heart, and I miss it so much. 

9. Favorite Christmas song?
Feliz Navidad gets stuck in my head really easily, but my favorite Christmas song is....gosh, I can't pick one that I actually really like. Most traditional Christmas songs have been ruined for me by having to practice them over and over for Children's Choir (a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ).

10. Hot Cocoa or Apple Cider?
Apple Cider all the way. Apple cider is one of my favorite drinks ever. It's not as sickly sweet as hot chocolate can be, but it's still sweet. I love the almost caramelly flavor, too. 

Please excuse the green highlight. My computer is going a bit out of control right now, so I'm just happy that it's even letting me post. Christmas for life!! Or at least December. 
Toodlepip

Thursday, December 3, 2015

November Favorites

Time is going by insanely fast. I can't believe that it's already the end of November, but since it is, we might as well make the best of it.

Book

This book.... This book... I can't even form a full sentence! It's just so...Riordan. It's funny, sad, and completely and utterly enrapturing. I'm really liking the Annabeth appearance, and I love how it makes subtle references to the other series that Riordan has written. This is a fantastic book. and Magnus Chase is a hero that is kind of like a darker Percy. He's had a lot less given to him in life, but he's cool.

Music

I found Sleeping at Last through a friend, and oh my gosh this group is fantastic. Their music is just so utterly beautiful, especially "Saturn", "Tethered", and "Light". 

Character
PARKER
She is just wonderful. She's crazy, hilarious, and really good at what she does. Her lines are great, and she and Hardison make a great team. 

Just look at her happy little smile that she has so much money. 



She's just a fantastic character. 

Drink
Apple cider. Apple cider is the drink of Autumn, and it holds a special place in my heart. I would actually rather have it over hot chocolate. I know, I know, I can hear the gasps in the distance. I have disgraced the name of Winter and Christmas. It's just so good!

Food
Green bean bake. 
Do you know what the staple is of Thanksgiving dinners across America? Not turkey, not mashed potatoes, but green bean bake. This has always been one of my favorite dishes ever, but there's one complication. I'm allergic to green beans. This is one of the best foods in the world, but I can only have it in small quantities, which I suppose only makes it all the more special.

TV Show
Well, what else did you think it'd be? This show is truly fantastic. All of the characters are great, and it's a refreshing makeover to the A-Team's wonderful dynamic. I'm really glad I decided to give it a try. 

Movie

This is the second time I've seen it, and this time it was harder to watch because of a certain character. 

Robin Hood aka Jonas Armstrong. The first time I saw the movie, I hadn't seen Robin Hood, so I had no idea that it was in fact Robin Hood fighting aliens. And it was really sad because Spoiler: he dies. 
So that was a fun reminder. 
This movie was highly enjoyable to watch. I mean, aliens, explosions, and originality =  the recipe for a fun movie. 

Toodlepip