Thursday, March 31, 2016

Frabjous Finalities {March 2016}


Well, would you look at that? Another month has passed. *glares at calendar because time is slippery and rude*

March was such a crazy month. Oh man...I still can't believe how much happened. In comparison to February (which was also pretty busy), March was a tornado of activity. So here I am to give you my very very very long-winded life update.

Life


Most normal people love March because it means the arrival of spring. Well...yeah, I'm not exactly normal. I was actually dreading this month because it meant the arrival of blazing hot days. Where I live, we don't get all the beautiful blooms and cool, crisp spring days. Nope. Our summer essentially begins in the month of March and goes all the way through September. And in case you weren't already aware, I do not like the heat. Also, March meant the arrival of Daylight Savings Time so I feel I'm justified here.

The first couple weeks were relatively uneventful. Panic attacks over geometry, excessive book consumption, whining about the time change...you know, the usual. (Side-note: DLST is truly a plague upon mankind.)

On March 14, we celebrated Pi Day. Now, I'm not a math person at all, but hey, if it means we can eat pie, I'm all for it.

YUM.

This is where it gets crazy. As you all you know, I left for a vacation about two weeks ago. We actually left on St. Patrick's Day for a little "mini" vacation. It was in the same state that we live so nothing major. We had a grand time, and the trip involved lemon raspberry cheesecake (SO DELICIOUS), vintage umbrellas, and fluffy pillows. (Am I the only one who loves hotel pillows? Ever since I was little, I've had this strange adoration for them.) It was during this side trip that I discovered I won a giveaway! Much to my delight, it was the Northanger Abbey film. I've been participating in the read-along of the book by the same name (which, sadly, is coming to an end; but I'll link to it anyway), and won one of the two giveaways that the hostess was holding. Much squealing and dancing ensued.

Here it is in all its blurry glory! (We're just gonna pretend
I'm not being lazy by refusing to take another picture.)



After crashing at our house Friday night (technically Saturday because it was 1 in the morning), we hit the road the following morning and set out for the "main" vacation. We stopped at the cousins' house for the night, and I reveled in the sudden weather change. It happened to be our luck that there was a sudden cold spell up north so I was obviously pleased with that. We ate lunch with the fam on Sunday before finishing the journey to Virginia. The last leg of the journey was only about 4 hours so we got to our hotel in time for dinner.

On Monday, we visited Liberty University. The main reason for our trip was to tour the college I'm interested in attending. And let me tell you, that campus was amazing! It was absolutely gorgeous and had SO many things to do. There was a horseback riding facility, a snow center on Liberty Mountain (which is essentially the campus's year-round place for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing), and most importantly, a beautiful library. Oh gosh...that library was breathtaking. They had somewhere around 250,000 books, I think. And they still have room for about 200,000 more. It was crazy. My bookish heart may have nearly burst with joy.

Needless to say, I applied to Liberty and now have a great desire to go there. It was just incredible.

We conquered the long drive home in one day on Tuesday. Thankfully, it was spring break so I could sleep in the next morning after the exhausting trip. We had another local excursion on Thursday, but the rest of the week was relatively relaxed.

Resurrection Day weekend brought with it a major shopping trip (wherein I got an Easter dress and pink stuff and lots of gorgeous shoes), the morning worship services, and a delicious Sunday dinner. It was all in all a fairly laid-back weekend...especially after the busyness of the previous week.

Aren't these shoes to-die-for??

All the pinkkk!

These shoes are Italian. Nuff said.

This is the glorious, aforementioned umbrella. Isn't it darling?


On one final note, I discovered during our trip to Virginia that I had won another giveaway. This time it was the book Blood Ties by Hazel West. She just released her new book and was doing a blog tour. Since she was hosting a giveaway, I thought "sure, why not" and decided to enter. Imagine my surprise when I found out I had won two giveaways in one month! And they are some of my favorite things ever (a book and a movie about a book).

The rest of the month has mostly been me freaking out over the explosion in the blogging world (so sorry I haven't commented in forever, y'all), adjusting to school once again, and bemoaning the fact that our trip didn't involve the snow which was originally forecasted (I'VE BEEN ROBBED).

For your personal enjoyment, I've included some pictures from our trip.


One of the dorms.
 
 
This was the stage at the on-campus theater. Apparently, the plays
are so good that Disney watched their production of
The Little Mermaid and gave them the rights
to make more Disney plays.

 
The sunset was gorgeous one night, but my
iPad apparently doesn't take good photos
when we're in the car. So now the moon
looks like a blob. :P
The view from where I sat in the car. Say hello
to my sloth Flash! :)
 
Their pizza is soooo yum.



 
 

Books


ALL THE BOOKS. March has been a wonderful reading month for me. I read a total of seven books...which, believe me, is nothing to sneeze at. What with school and vacations and the like, I've been hard-pressed to find reading time. But praise be to the good Lord, I read seven books this month. Can I get an amen? XD

  • Entwined (by Heather Dixon) was my first read. Upon finishing the beauteous thing that is Illusionarium, I quickly ordered the author's other book from the local library. And the result? Um...LOVE. Yeahhh, I think I'm in love. If it's even possible, I think I enjoyed it more than Illusionarium. And that's saying something. There's (lots and lots of) dancing; the most squishable, adorable couples; fantastic characters; hilarious dialogue; and oh, magic tea sets. Seriously, peeps, GO READ THIS BOOK.
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/53761789271703383/


  • Still recovering from the awesomeness of Entwined, I decided to read The Horse and His Boy. Ack, the Narnia books are always so fuuuun. And Shasta and Aravis? Yup, they're adorable.
  • After discovering that Wayne Thomas Batson had released Isle of Stars, the third installment in his pirate series, I furiously attacked the link to the ebook and laughed like a crazy person and devoured the book in days casually checked it out. And good gravy, of course I loved it! It's Wayne Thomas Batson; what's not to love? Although I will say that it might not have been quite as good as I expected? I dunno. But the ending was precious so it made up for it. (The ending was also cliffhangery, which made me scream, "I NEED THE NEXT BOOK RIGHT NOWWWW!" in the wee hours of the morning. You know, the usual response.)
  • Okay, so I finally did the thing and read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Because my beautiful purple copy was just begging to be read. I absolutely adored it! It was so funny. The characters, the quotes, the tea party (yep, lots of tea sets this month). All the important things. (Gosh, I'm beginning to wonder how I even functioned without some of these books in my life. Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland have seriously brought my life so much happiness.)



  • Book number five this month was...drumroll...Heartless! That's right, Christine, you can rest easy now knowing that I have read one of Anne Elisabeth Stengl's golden masterpieces. (Get it? Because it's from the Tales of Goldstone Wood series? Okay, I'm done.) I really enjoyed it, although maaaybe not as much as I thought I would. (Or wood. Hehe, yeah, I promise that's the last pun.) It was a bit slow, but the writing was gorgeous and the characters were delightful little squishies. *stares pointedly at a certain catlike charrie* So yes! I can't wait to read the next one!

  • No amount of emotional preparation could ready myself for the tearjerker that is Deluge (by Lisa T. Bergren). I thought I was ready but noooo. It destroyed me. I decided to tear through the saddest part of the book on Easter of all days. And...yeah. Needless to say, my family didn't see much of me that day. I seriously was sobbing because of this book. Like literally every chapter I was tearing up and having my heart crushed. It was a good day. I had a few issues with this book (mostly all the DEPRESSING STUFF) so it didn't really measure up to my expectations. But it was still good--in a very depressing way. Hopefully I'll recover...eventually...

  • I've been reading through Northanger Abbey (by Jane Austen) a chapter a day in March...well, at least I've been trying to, but I keep getting distracted by other books. (And am also lazy sometimes, but that's beside the point.) I have *cough* six chapters to read today in order to be caught up, but I'm still including it in this month's books read. Hey, I'll probably end up finishing it today anyway. It's such a good book--I honestly probably like it even more than Emma, if you can believe it. The characters are wonderful: sweet, naïve, adorable Catherine and charming, clever, teasing Mr. Tilney. And now I have the movie to watch when I finish the book. Score!

Movies/TV


I didn't really watch a whole lot of movies this month...which is honestly probably a good thing. My TBR pile would have fallen on top of me and squished me to the size of a pancake if I didn't get a move on and start reading those books. Since you guys want me to live (you do...don't you? *stares at you expectantly* hint: the answer's "yes"), I chose to read instead of watch movies.

Anywhozens, these are the flicks that actually made their way to moi.

~ North & South (2004): Ohhhh my goodness. EEEEP! What has happened to my life?! *flails in a puddle of feels* This miniseries really wrecked me emotionally. Just...just...the things that happen in this are going to ruin you. It was a lot deeper and darker than most of the period dramas I have seen thus far, but it truly had a sense of rich realism that I quite liked. Watch it right now! (But don't blame me when you can't function and walk around the house in a daze because feeeeels.)

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/53761789271703383/


~ Pursuit to Algiers (1945): Call me weird, but I still love the old Sherlock Holmes movies. There's just something about an old-school Sherlock film (you know, before Sherlock was young and attractive and popular and *cough* Benedict) that makes me giddy. They may be a bit unbelievable at times, but hey, it's Sherlock Holmes. He's not your average detective.

~ The Absent-Minded Professor (1961): Another old-school movie for old souls like me. This movie is just really fun. Kinda kooky, but in the best possible way. ;)

~ Pride and Prejudice (2005): I've been watching this in fragmented pieces since way back in February and finally finished it just this Tuesday. As always, it was delightful. I think this was my fifth or sixth time watching it? I don't even know anymore. But now I feel I'm completely qualified to review it. (It's gonna be a massive review...just so you know.)


Music


~ OWL CITY. Lots and lots of Owl City. (This one in particular has become a favorite.) I'm addicted; there's no turning back now.

~ Embarrassingly enough, I've been listening to the periodic table song...like a lot. I'm talking enough to have memorized elements 1 through 97 in order. Yeahhh, I'm a bit of a nerd. (But seriously, it's super catchy.)

~ Since it was St. Patty's Day a couple weeks ago, I broke out my Brave soundtrack. And yes, I know Brave is set in Scotland, but I figured it was close enough. (Plus, ya know, I just wanted any excuse I could to sit and listen to bagpipes.)



~ This lovely little ditty (don't you just love that word? I could say it all day) called "Peter Pan." Because, guys. This is a song about Peter Pan! I know, I know. AWESOMENESS OVERLOAD.

~ "The Call" by Regina Spektor. Though to be fair, I've never really stopped listening to it so...

~ The soundtrack for Anna Karenina, which to be clear I have never seen and probably never will...for reasons. But I stumbled across the soundtrack just yesterday, and 'tis gorgeous, darlings. Just take this track for example.



Blogging


Here is a comprehensive list of all the posts you lovelies have trudged through this month.

  •  Lovely Books ~ Villains. Essentially where I discuss why villains make me want to hug them, hit them on the head with a baseball bat, and run away from them and hide all at the same time.
  • Lovely Books ~ Quotes. The final post in Tracey's Lovely Books linkup...which I completed on the same day as the villains post...which also happened to be the last day of the linkup. Ehehe. Not procrastination at all. Nooope.
  • The Happy Tag. This is where I made you all sick with my infectious happiness. You're welcome.
  • À Bientôt, Auf Wiedersehen, and All That Jazz. Wherein I broke the news of my departure to you guys. It's a wonder you survived without me.
  • February 2016 Period Drama Challenge Tag. My fashionably late answers to (in case you couldn't figure it out from the title) February's tag for the Period Drama Challenge.
I guess this is as good a time as any to ask. What would you guys like to see more of on my blog? I have a gazillion post ideas, but I'd love to know what you guys want to read. After all, this is for the readers. I just don't feel like my blog has any clear direction at the moment and need to figure out what you all like.


Randomosities


Here are some photos I snapped this month. Just a sampling of my nonexistent skills with a camera photographic expertise.

(Happiness is Owl City and jelly beans.)

(This is an edited photo. Shhh, don't tell.)


I've also had a rekindled fondness for the color mint green. Not only is it gorgeous but it also perfectly matches the color of my toothpaste. You know, just in case I accidently get some on my shirt. Not like that would ever happen. I'm not clumsy at all. *waits for lightning to strike*

I've discovered the power of a messy bun.

Oh, and most importantly, I ate cake.


Yup, March has been good to me.

 

Well, there you have it. My version of March madness. It's been a crazy yet exciting 31 days. (And upon reflecting back, I seem to notice the notable appearance of delicious food. I apparently have my priorities right.)

Back to my earlier question about what posts you want to see more often. I've been trying to create a poll but haven't been able to figure out how to include one in a post yet. :/ (Oh, the glories of technology.) So I'll just list a few options below, and you guys can let me know in the comments.

  • Writing
  • Bookish Discussions
  • Devotional
  • Movie Reviews
  • Other (you can specify in the comments)
I'm trying to make my blog a little nicer, and your feedback would be a wonderful asset!


What did your month look like? Was there scrumptious food? (Food makes everything better.) What books did you read?


14 comments:

  1. *hugs the post*

    *hugs you*

    Ooh, you're interested in going to Liberty? So am I! Who knows? Perhaps…someday…we'll actually meet on the Liberty campus *insert creepy stalker voice*

    I NEED TO GET ME SOME HEATHER DIXON.

    Shasta and Aravis are mah babies <3 <3 <3

    That Lisa T. Bergren series sounds like it will break my heart and crush my soul like a grape. But I feel like I just got to read it ;)

    N&S errr mahh gersh! It's really TOO good.

    Oh, I want to listen to the Anna Karenina soundtrack! Basically, what you said about the movie--it looks BEAUTIFUL, and I've read and enjoyed the book, but the movie just has to much STUFF in it.

    "The Call" DOES something to my SOUL. It's, like, a problem. Every stinkin' time I hear it, it's like it's trying to twist my heart into a washrag.

    Beautiful photos, btdubs :)

    As to what posts I'd like…hmm, I'd say devotional, reviews, and other nice random life/story stuff :D (Wasn't that helpful?)

    P.S. Have I mentioned the beauty of your new header?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. *hugs you back*

      *GASP* YOU ARE?! Eeeep, that is SO cool! Maybe we'll meet each other someday. *cocks an eyebrow*

      YES GIRL YOU MUST.

      They're darling <333

      Eheh, that it will. (Love the Tangled reference, by the way!) The books have a few...issues. They're a Christian romance series, but there is some "stuff" in them that make me uncomfortable. Mostly in Deluge, if I recall correctly. (And to be clear, it involves married couples, not unmarried. But there's still a lot of kissing and such. So yeah. Not my favorite.)

      I loves it so much. <3

      I'm listening to it right now actually. :D It's one of my new favorite soundtracks. But, like you said, they put far too much unnecessary content in the movie. :/

      Oh gosh...SAME. It really is a problem.

      Awww, thank you, dear!

      Hey, any advice helps. :D I'm going to probably wait until I get some more input, but it seems like several people are interested in devotions.

      P.S. Yes, you have, you sweet thing! I'm so thrilled you guys like it!

      Delete
  2. Such a good long post! I've been saving it all day. :)

    Shasta and Aravis. I've been shipping those two since before I even knew what shipping was, they are so adorable! XD

    AND ER MA GOODNESS! "Dear in the headlights" is my all time favorite Owl City song too! (Because, I would totally give a guy a black eye and bloody nose if he got too creepy)

    I would love to hear more about your writerly doings, or just random happenings.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yeahhh, it did turn out a bit longer than I expected. :P But I'm happy to know you enjoyed it!

      Aren't they the SWEETEST? (Well, okay, they don't act really sweet around each other, but they're adorable nonetheless. XD)

      THAT SONG, THOUGH. Gracious, I love it! (Yep, I probably would, too. ;D)

      Thanks for the input!

      Delete
  3. Ooh! Lovely post! I would love bookish discussions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks so much! Also, welcome to Sunshine and Scribblings! I hope you stick around. :)

      Delete
  4. That vacation sounds like a blast (can I have cheescake?)!!

    I'm on the hold list for Entwined, and I am seriously so excited. Illusionarium was SO good. You said that Entwined was even better, AND I DON'T KNOW HOW THAT IS POSSIBLE, but I'm excited. :)

    North&South is so wonderful! I couldn't finish it fast enough, and then I wanted to re-watch it. It's so adorable and melancholy at the same time. And just...Richard Armitage... XD

    I just watched the P&P 2005 a week or so ago. It's just so pretty! I'm excited to see your review! :)

    ALL THE OWL CITY SONGS!! I've been lowkey obsessed with My Everything, but they're all so good!!

    And now the Periodic Table song is going to be stuck in my head. XD

    The Brave soundtrack is pretty much what gives me life. It's beautiful, and something about it just feels so familiar.

    Those pictures are beautiful! And oh my goodness, do my eyes deceive me? Do I see a tray of Jelly Beans? Because that is wonderful.

    It sounds like this month was good to you. This month was crazy for me. And I actually just posted my March Favorites post! That's perfect timing. :)

    I would love to see some devotional posts and/or bookish discussions.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It was! *tries to send you cheesecake* *eats half of it before it's mailed*

      AAAHHH YOU READ ILLUSIONARIUM?? Wasn't it glorious?! Oh my gosh, I can't say enough good things about it! It's so very different from anything I've ever read. AND YOU'RE GETTING ENTWINED, TOO?? I love that book soooo much. *hugs it*

      Yay for another N&S fan! I adore that miniseries. And yes...Richard Armitage. :)

      Gorgeousness personified! It's one of my all-time favorite films! I can hardly wait to review it.

      YESSS GIVE ME ALL THE OWL CITY! And "My Everything" is soooo good! It's one of my favorites as well.

      You're welcome. XD

      Ack, that soundtrack is beauty in the form of bagpipes. And you're so right! It does feel familiar in a way.

      Aww, thank you! And nope, your eyes do not deceive you. Those are genuine pieces of perfection (aka jelly beans).

      March was really good, albeit busy. I've fallen waaay behind on your lovely posts, dear, but I noticed you posted your March recap. I'll most definitely be reading it!

      Thanks for the great feedback! (And lovely comment <3)

      Delete
  5. HOOOOOOLD UP!
    You might be going to Liberty?! I'm trying to get an exchange there (to visit Beth!) o.O THATS EPIC!





    *grabs your hands and jumps around in a circle with you in excitement*
    That is if it happens..
    Aside from that I loved seeing what you;ve been up to! =D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WAIT YOU ARE??? Oh my goodness, what a coincidence! It seems everyone is going there! (Is Beth your sister, by any chance?) That's a pretty big change, especially since you live in Australia.

      *links arms and skips through a magical forest*
      It would be so awesome to meet you! I won't be going to college for a couple more years, but I'm really hoping to attend Liberty.
      Thank you, friend!

      Delete
  6. I love these lifely posts! Be prepared for a monster of a comment...

    You live in a place where summer lasts most of the year, too? I HATE the summer and, like you said, it begins around March (sometimes even February) and ends in September...maybe. I haaaaate it! Ugh. So much heat in humidity. *drowns in it*

    I am so excited for you over Liberty!!! What a thrilling time. I hope it all works out!

    Those shoes. o.o *drooools* The pink are my faaavorite! (Obviously.) But I love ALL of them. You have fabulous taste in footwear! And that umbrella is totally adorable.

    That is so hilarious and awesome you won two giveaway while you were gone!

    THE BOOKS YOU READ. I think you know how much I loved Entwined. SO GOOD.
    YOU READ ALICE IN WONDERLAND!!! Wasn't it just hilarious and fun? I'm OBSESSED. How DID you go all this time without it and Peter Pan? They are like the air in my lungs! (Not to get dramatic or anything...)

    You mentioned me in your post! XD And yes, I feel MUCH better now that you've read a Goldstone Wood book. :D :D :D That first one IS a bit slow. It was her debut novel, so she gets much better as time goes on. Actually, the second one, Veiled Rose, is my favorite so far. Do you not have Moonblood? It goes between Veiled Rose and Starflower, and you'll prooobably want it after reading Veiled Rose. Most of the stories are kind of separate stories and can be read out of order, but Moonblood is a direct sequel to Veiled Rose. So I thought I'd warn you. Also Veiled Rose and Moonblood are just so GOOD. You needs to read them both together. *nods, nods*

    NORTH AND SOUTH. Oh my goodness gracious. My sister and I watched that about a year ago for the first time (mostly because Richard Armitage *cough, cough, COUGH*) and we were just buckets of emotional feels. It was a lot darker and just different from your average period drama, but we loved it!

    OWL CITY! OWL CITY! OWL CITY!!!! That song is great. Although, you could have linked to ANY of his songs and I'd say the same. XD My favorites of his are probably Honey and the Bee, The Bird and the Worm, Shooting Star, and Gold. Also everything he's ever sang ever. XD

    Wow. It looks like you had such a full month! But it also sounded fun. ^_^

    As far as your blogging question goes, I like ALL your posts! But, with all blogs, I tend to be biased towards bookish and writerly talk. ;) But I love just hearing from you!

    See? I told you this was going to be a long comment. o.o

    Hope your April is FABULOUS! <3

    ReplyDelete
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    1. But it's such a cuddly monster! I can't help but love it. XD

      Yessss, you understand! Our weather is the same way where I live. I mean, it gets up to 80 degrees sometimes in February. And don't even get me started on the humidity... >.>

      Thank you, dear! <3

      Thanks muchly! It's funny because when I was taking pictures of them, I thought, "Oh, Christine will love the pink ones." XD (Isn't that umbrella adorbs?)

      I know, right? So weird. I apparently must be pretty lucky? Because I've also won completely normal things like a dictionary stand (true story) and autographed book covers.

      ALL THE BEAUTIMOUS BOOKS. Just...what you said. (Pssh, not dramatic at all. I need LotR to live so...)

      Good, I'm glad you feel better. XD And yeah, I don't have Moonblood yet. There was a huge book sale online, and I purchased books 2, 4, 5, and 6 for 99c cents. Books 1 and 3 weren't on sale for much so I just bought book 1 and decided that I would buy the other one later. To make a long story short, I WILL be buying Moonblood before I read book 4. :)

      OH MY GOODNESS, THE FEEEELS. Practically everything makes me cry, but this movie (or miniseries, I s'ppose) made me weep. I kid you not. Stores may still be struggling to restock their supply of Kleenex. XD

      OWL CITY ALERT! His songs are basically the best things in existence. My favorites are probably Strawberry Avalanche, Hot Air Balloon, Deer in the Headlights, and My Everything. But I love them all so much that it's hard to decide.

      Yup, fun and full!

      Awww, you're just the sweetest <333 Hehe, I figured you might pick those two. XD I'll probably be experimenting with a bunch of different topics in the upcoming weeks.

      Long comments bring me happiness! And thanks so much! I hope your April is wondrous! <333


      Delete
  7. OOO, those shoes! And the umbrella! We neeeedsss, them, precious.

    It looks like you had a really fun trip (and I love your sloth, just sayin' :D)! Oh, and you HAD to post a pizza picture. Now I want pizza. I always want pizza. *sighs*

    I just love looking at all the bookish pictures ... even though that always results in my TBR list getting longer. Don't know how that happens. *sneaks Entwined onto list*

    *drools over the jellybeans* *drools over cake*

    In answer to your question ... well, I don't have an answer, I love ALL your posts! :D Just do what ya want, I will be happy with whatever you choose. *nods*

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yessss, precious. We does. ;)

      It was a lot of fun! (And yes, he is rather adorable.) Hehe, I'm just here to help better your life. XD

      My nefarious plot has worked once again! *cackles* Just make sure you practice proper safety procedures around your TBR pile...I wouldn't want it to topple over and bury you. XD

      *gazes longingly at pictures because cake was gone long ago*

      D'awww, you're too sweet. <3 I've been super busy lately (as is evidenced by my late response *cough*) so I haven't worked a lot on this week's post. Hopefully you like it!

      Delete

Hey, look at you. You found the comments section. *applauds* So proud.

Now, if you're nice and keep your comment clean, I miiiiight just give you a cookie. *grins*