Frabjous Finalities {August 2016} + Mini Birthday Haul

by - 12:24 PM

Well, hello there, September. Fancy meeting you here.

August just flew past, like all of the other months this year have. It's been a month full of changes and surprises, some good and some...*cough* not as good.

Here we go. *cracks knuckles*


Just three days into the month, I had to take a test to make it into college classes. I was terrified (and only started studying like two days before it *cough*), but it was actually not too hard. AND I PASSED. I was shaking like a leaf by the end of it, but I did do much better than I thought. So all that terror was worth it. XD

After that, I had to actually enroll in my class. It took them an eternity at admissions, but I at last got my ID and signed up for speech. Not gonna lie, I felt really weird being at a college. Thankfully, the class is online so I won't have to actually go up to the college unless it's the mid-term exam.

We didn't realize until the second day of school that we had actually signed up for the twelve-week class instead of the sixteen-week. That means I haven't even started my class yet. It starts Monday (eep!), and I will only have three months of speech. Less time in the course...and also less time between tests and assignments. O.o HELP.

By far one of the best parts about August for me was the Olympics! I love the Olympics, despite being allergic to most sports. (Totally a thing. :P) I just love the gymnastics, equestrian, archery, fencing, water polo, swimming...basically everything. XD There are still some sports I don't like, but I enjoy the fact that the Olympics consist of a lot of unique sports that you usually don't get to see. In fact, I love the games so much that I wrote a whole post about it. *hurrah for self-promos*

Over the last week before school, I had a sleepover with my bestie, played violin in a special music program at our church, and watched more of the Olympics than I care to admit. But, unfortunately, school did start back on the 15th. It hasn't been that stressful yet, but that could very well change when my college class begins. *hides* I had a veeeery stressful summer, though, so maybe it will actually be better than that? *has false hope*
(It actually won't. XD)

The month wrapped up with the end of the Olympics, a dentist appointment, and my birthday (!!!). I had such a fun birthday, thanks to all your sweet comments on my post, and racked up on a lot of books and fandom merchandise. I went out to eat at Cracker Barrel, devoured strawberry cake, and enjoyed a bit of a break from school. It was a blast! ^_^


Ah, yes. My favorite category! I only read three books because of fun things like school interfering. >.< Fortunately, I enjoyed them all immensely.

~ Rook ~

This book was SO good! ACK. It takes place in a future world that resembles the time of the French Revolution. There's a lot of uncertainty going on because you can never tell who's on whose side. BUT THAT JUST MAKES IT MARVELOUS. Plus there's an awesome French vibe, FABULOUS characters (as per Sharon Cameron's norm), and a huge dose of wit. AND THE HEROINE HAS A PET FOX. I mean, c'mon, who can resist a fox?! Mind you, I have my complaints about the book. There's a confusing conclusion, TRAGIC BLOW TO MY HEART, and a romance that maaaay not be favorite? But I couldn't bring myself to rate it any lower than I did since the rest of the book was glorious.

Eep, I loved this! It's such a fun, whimsical read chock full of humor. The world-building is incredible, and I quite adored all the fantastical creatures Peterson created. I didn't love it quite as much as a lot of my friends did, though. I found the characters to be kind of flat (except for Peet--I LOVED HIM), and the story seemed to drag. Those things aside, I adored diving into the world of Aerwiar! ^_^

Such a delightful story! It felt very fairytale-ish to me, which obviously means it's a winner. The only other retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses I've read is Entwined so it was fun to try another one. It did feel very close to the original tale, in many respects. But there was enough of a difference that I think the author could pull it off. The characters were all wonderful! (Galen especially. Who doesn't love a knitting gardener?) I thought the setting was interesting, and the writing style, simplistic as it was, seemed to work well for this type of book. The only thing I really didn't like was the pacing. It seemed like it dragged for the majority of the book before the author realized her mistake and sped it up too quickly at the end. I dunno. The conflict seemed very easily resolved at the end. But overall, I did really like it!



Literally just one movie. XD (That is, unless I watched another one and forgot to write it down in my journal where I keep track of them. #probably) Most of my time was spent watching the Olympics so I didn't really watch any additional TV.
~ Soul Surfer (2011): I've seen this before, but it seemed an appropriate movie with which to end the summer. It's such an inspirational film, and I honestly cry every time. #notevensorry I leave the movie feeling inspired each time I watch it. ^_^


~ I just recently discovered Urban Rescue. And let me tell you, their music is INCREDIBLE. There's a lot of meaning behind the words, and I genuinely cannot think of a single song of theirs that I don't love. They're actually associated with Rend Collective (another favorite Christian group of mine) so you know they're going to pour a lot of thought into what they create. I got their album Wild Heart for my birthday and have been listening to it incessantly. Two of my favorites are this one and this one, though it's difficult to limit myself to just two.
~ It made my Middle-earth loving heart sooo happy to receive two Hobbit soundtracks for my birthday! So naturally, I had to listen to this track on repeat. <333 IT JUST MAKES ME FEEL SO WARM AND COZY. It also makes me want to rewatch the movie for the thousandth time. XP
~ This may sound odd to you guys, but I actually love listening to music in French. I found a great Christian radio station from France online where they play a lot of contemporary Christian music. I've done two years of French and am currently doing my third, so fortunately this counts as studying. XD I especially love it when they play music by Hillsong. Like this one, for instance. Even if you don't know any French, it's still lovely to listen to. (And you can look up the lyrics to the English version because that's great, too.)
~ SO BEAUTIFUL. this. Evynne and Peter Hollens always produce the most beautiful covers.


(Mostly just snapshots from the month because that's how I roll.)
Add caption
Bonus pictures that didn't make it into my post. ;)
I just took (as in fifteen minutes ago) a bunch of photos of my birthday gifts. I was in a time crunch so I didn't stage a nice photo shoot or edit the photos or anything. You've been warned. ;) If you want a full birthday haul, let me know and I'll see what I can do.
I got a Sting letter opener! I'm sooo obsessed with it right now. XD

All my Tsum Tsums! The two on top are my new ones.
My R2-D2 backpack! IT'S SO CUTE.
I got a Jane Austen quote mug, and yes, it's droolworthy.
I still haven't found a proper use for it because
I don't really want to drink out of it. XD
I also got an annotated copy of Northanger Abbey. It's one
of my favorite books so I can't wait to read all
the bonus material. :D
Alllll the books. ^_^
Finally, my Alice in Wonderland watch! EEP, IT'S
Well, there it is. My month of August in full. SORRY THIS POST IS SO LATE. D:


Now then. Here come the questions. *cue groans* How was your August? Are you looking forward to fall like I am? Also, what is your opinion on coffee? (This is pertinent because I got a mug for my birthday. *nods emphatically*)

P.S. I've just been informed that it's National Buy a Book Day! SO GO. BUY A BOOK.

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  1. My August was slow. I finished out my summer classes and started on the fall ones. You're doing speech? I did a five week speech course, but it wasn't online.

    I'm so ready for fall. I miss wearing a hoodie.

    Cofffee is ok, but I generally feel better if I don't drink it. I prefer tea or hot chocolate. If it's done right, coffee can actually help me stay awake, but nine times out of ten I end up dragging a few hours after drinking it and then I get a huge burst of energy right when I don't need it.

    1. Sometimes having a slow month is really nice. I honestly feel like the entire year is racing past me at the speed of a cheetah on rollerblades. XD
      Yup, I'm taking speech. The classes at my college only run 16 or 12 weeks. Yipes, I don't envy you for having do speeches in front of a class! I just have to do a speech in front of my family and family friends and send the recording to my teacher to grade. BUT STILL. I'm really nervous. D:

      SAAAAME. (Except hoodies are too hot to wear around here. :P)

      Hehe, that's so weird! I honestly can't stand coffee. Or tea. I wish I did because they seem like such bookish drinks. I guess I'll have to just stick with hot chocolate. ;)

  2. My August was actually quite pleasant. I'm only looking forward to school so much, but I'm happy about fall--because awesome weather, big spiders (yes, I like those and yes, you may call me crazy for it), and gorgeous leaves. And I won't get hot when I wear what I call my "Aragorn boots". Mostly that last one. ;)
    Weird you should ask about coffee right now, as I'm currently drinking it for the first time with my own cup, not just stealing sips of someone else's. I have kind-of mixed feelings about coffee. I don't love it in my mouth, but it leaves the loveliest after-taste. It's okay if you think that's weird. :)
    Hooray for Jane Austen!! That mug is so cool! And you're letter opener! That's awesome! Does it work well?

    1. Glad to hear you had a good month! ^_^

      Uh...big spiders come out in fall? *suddenly rethinks wanting fall to come* I'm deathly afraid of spiders can have all the Shelobs, Hanna. XD
      OOH, I HAVE ARAGORN BOOTS, TOO! Well, at least, I'd like to think that's what they are. It's too hot to wear them around here until November, but I'll probably wear them anyway just because they look cool. XD

      You're so strange, Hanna. XD That's actually one of the things I really don't like about coffee. But you know, I don't like coffee anyways so...

      Hurrah! Aren't they awesome?! The letter opener works pretty well, actually, you just have to get the right angle with it. I mutilated the first envelope I opened with it so I obviously need more practice. XD

    2. Sure, I'll take Shelob. I'm actually pretty sure she started my spider craze. If you can explain why making something creepier somehow makes me like it, all I can say is: I can't. I'm really excited to see Shelob in the movies (she got edited about last time)!

      Yeah, they're not technically Aragorn boots, but I call them that, because it makes them cooler. ;)

    3. Eheh. Ooookay. *shoos all the spiders in your direction* Have at it, Hanna. ;D

      Haha, yup, same here. Associating something with LotR automatically makes it cooler. *nods*

  3. Okay, dropping EVERYTHING for a moment to flail: YOU READ THE WINGFEATHER SAGA! *screaming* I love that series SO much. And the books only get better! I really want to reread the series, but I have so many unread series on the TBR that aren't getting read because of my reading slump.

    Again, happy birthday! And ooooh, college? O.o Wow. I hope everything goes smoothly. :)

    I really like Soul Surfer too. It is really inspirational, and sometimes I get teary-eyed too. :)

    THAT STING LETTER OPENER! I've seen that at Barnes and Nobles, and it's so pretty. <3

    I hope you have a fabulous September. *raises glass* Oh, and will you be doing NaNoWriMo? (I will, but I'm going to be so. busy. oh. my. goodness. help. XD)

    1. OH, I DIDN'T KNOW YOU LIKED IT! The first book was REALLY fun! I can't wait to read the others! ^_^ (Though it doesn't look like my library has them so I'll have to spend my money instead. -_-) Ack, I totally get you on terrifying TBRs. I never seem to find time to reread books lately because of all the new ones I need to read. (Thanks, Goodreads. :P)

      Thank you! Yesh, college will certainly be interesting. o.o *freaks out because it's only 4 days until classes start*

      I know, it's such a good movie! :)

      EEP, I'M KIND OF OBSESSED WITH IT. Oh, I didn't know they had it at B&N! I just went there last night to buy a book for National Buy a Book Day. XD

      *clinks glass against yours* Thank you, m'dear! Same to you! :D Um...I don't know yet. I'm kind of terrified of the thought of writing 50k amidst college classes, taking the SAT, and getting ready for a big Christmas program at our church. So...maybe not. XD BUT YOU CAN DO IT, EMILY. I KNOW YOU CAN. *throws motivational cookies in the air*

    2. YES, I LOVE IT. <3 They're very unique, but they're probably some of the best, humorous, and deep books I've read. Especially when you get to that last book - Mary, your feels will be CRUSHED. Just sayin'. *tears*

      WOW. I really hope it goes well for you!

      I totally get that feeling. xP I probably won't reach my goal, amidst school and a ton of activities and such. BUT I'M GOING TO TRY. And I'm shooting for getting a complete outline written beforehand, so... yes, a lofty goal. xD

    3. Oh goodness, just what I need: feels crushers. I cry in almost every book so that shall be interesting. XD I CAN'T WAIT.

      Thanks, Emily! I hope so, too. :P

      You are a brave soul. :O Especially since you're doing a full-fledged outline beforehand. ACK. I'm just going to pants the rest of my book, I think, so we'll see what happens. I may end up doing NaNo last minute again. XD

  4. Clearly I have to check out Rook now. And I remember adoring On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. It felt like a crazy dream when I first read it, and it wasn't until I found it again a couple months later that I convinced myself it wasn't a dream. XD

    1. IT'S REALLY GOOD. Sharon Cameron never disappoints. ^_^

      Ahhh, that book was so fuuun! I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the Wingfeather Saga. :D

  5. (You might remember me from the Burning Thorns e-mails?)

    To anyone who's read only On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, this is an order: you must read the second book. (It's called North! Or be Eaten.) That one is much better, although the pace can be a wee bit rushed at times, because there's so much happening. By the end of the book I can guarantee you there isn't a single flat character. At all. And Peet ---! But I can't tell, or that would be spoilers. After that you'll have to read the last two books, Monster in the Hollows, and The Warden and the Wolf King, respectively. They're long, but you will not regret it.

    1. (Hm, I'm not sure. You're referring to Christine Smith's Beauty and the Beast retelling, correct? I was never a beta reader so I'm not really aware of who was. ^_^)

      All this talk about The Wingfeather Saga is getting me really excited! EEP! I can't wait to read the rest of the series!!! I *did* really enjoy the first book so knowing that the other ones are even better makes me thrilled. ^_^

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Sophia! :D

    2. Sorry my comment posted three times. I have no idea what was going on there.
      You weren't a beta-reader? Sakes. I knew I was bad with names, and this proves it.
      Anyway, it's a long series but every bit worth it. Just don't get them from the library with perfume spilled all the way through one of the books. That's not fun at all.

    3. Haha, no worries! Technology can be a rascal sometimes. ;)

      Don't even worry about it. XD I totally do the same thing sometimes. ^_^

      Ack, that doesn't sound fun! It saddens me the state some library books are in. :'( But I'll be sure to finish the series! I really liked the first book!

  6. (You might remember me from the Burning Thorns e-mails?)

    To anyone who's read only On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, this is an order: you must read the second book. (It's called North! Or be Eaten.) That one is much better, although the pace can be a wee bit rushed at times, because there's so much happening. By the end of the book I can guarantee you there isn't a single flat character. At all. And Peet ---! But I can't tell, or that would be spoilers. After that you'll have to read the last two books, Monster in the Hollows, and The Warden and the Wolf King, respectively. They're long, but you will not regret it.

  7. (You might remember me from the Burning Thorns e-mails?)

    To anyone who's read only On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, this is an order: you must read the second book. (It's called North! Or be Eaten.) That one is much better, although the pace can be a wee bit rushed at times, because there's so much happening. By the end of the book I can guarantee you there isn't a single flat character. At all. And Peet ---! But I can't tell, or that would be spoilers. After that you'll have to read the last two books, Monster in the Hollows, and The Warden and the Wolf King, respectively. They're long, but you will not regret it.

  8. YOU READ "ON THE EDGE OF THE DARK SEA OF DARKNESS" Eeeeep!!!! Go and read the other books now!
    Also, I'm super jealous of your letter opener...I may steal it if I ever have the chance. Ooooor I'll ask for one for *thinks of closest opportunity to ask for presents* Christmas. ;)
    As for how my August went, I wrote a whole blog post about it. So.
    Am I looking forward to fall? Yeeeeaaah...sort of. Self publisheding two books is good, but the whole process is a little bit of a pain. *sigh* I think I'll survive though.
    COFFEE IS AMAZING. #lifebloodofthoseewhostayuplate
    Well, OK, so not everybody likes it. But I do. And the majority of people I know also like it. Funnily enough, my dad, mom, and sisters all love coffee, but my brothers don't. Just one of the weird quirks of our family that you didn't need to know. Yep, you're welcome.

    1. YES, I DID!!! IT WAS AMAZING!!! Ahhh, okay, but my library doesn't have them. D: I NEED TO READ THEM, BUT THAT MEANS I WOULD HAVE TO SPEND MONEY. #bookdragonprobs

      Hehe. I vote you ask for it for Christmas. 'Cause I'm kind of attached to mine. *strokes it protectively*

      Oh, I need to check out your wrap-up post still! *adds it to never-ending list of blog posts to catch up on*

      YOU CAN DO IT, REBEKAH!!! Eep, that's so exciting that you're self-publishing!

      It's funny because I'm a night owl, but I reallllllly don't like coffee. The only people in my family who do are my older brother and my mom. Ah well. Leaves more for you, right? ;D

      (And for the record, I love learning about all your weird family quirks. ^_^)

  9. Um, excuse me, September, who gave you permission to already be here? (And 12 days in. o.o) BUT MARY SUMMARY POST. :D

    Congrats on passing your test. EEP. THAT IS WONDERFUL. Smart Mary is smart! :D I'm sooo sorry about the mix up of signing up for the twelve-week class though. BUT I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT. *fistpump*

    Oooh, Rook sounds like a cool story. *adds to TBR list* *cough, cough, cough*
    You read On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness??? :O I have that sitting on my SHELF and have yet to read it. I MUST. It sounds sooo fun!
    Princess of the Midnight Ball! :D I have that one and looove it. Not nearly as much as Entwined, of course, but it was still a beautiful book. AND TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES. <333

    HOBBIT SOUNDTRACKS. :D Love them sooo much! Obviously. I need to check out this other music you mentioned. *nods, nods*

    MORE BOOK PHOTOGRAPHY. *devours* ALL THE PRETTY. I looove the first and last one!
    AND OH MY LOVING HEART YOU GOT A STING LETTER OPENER. EXCUSE ME WHILE I DIE FROM JEALOUSY. That is the greatest thing I've ever seen. o.o *DROOOLS* And a Wonderland watch. AND ALL THE THINGS. That is some of the greatest birthday haul EVER. I LOVE IT ALL. Obviously I'd love a birthday haul photo shoot! :D

    I am SO looking forward to fall. Unfortunately it's still 90 degrees here. *GROOOANS* I NEED COOL FALL WEATHER. And I LOVE coffee. But I actually had to force my taste buds to acquire a taste for it. I used to HATE it, but I kept drinking it until I started liking it. XD I'm so weird.

    I hope you have a wonderful September! (Even if we're nearing HALFWAY THROUGH IT ALREADY. *flails*)

    1. Um...NOW IT'S LIKE ALMOST OCTOBER. *chokes* What is your deal, time???

      "Smart Mary is smart." XD That made me giggle. ^_^ Thanks so much! The class is going well so far...but my first speech is next week and I'm slightly terrified. O_O

      *cackles in the background as your TBR grows taller*
      CHRISTINE. You would LOVE that book! I just know it! It's so fun and hilarious and adorable. <3

      YESH, ENTWINED IS THE BEST. <333 I still love Princess of the Midnight Ball, though. I wuv me some fairytales. :D

      Of course, precious. We likes the Hobbitses soundtracks. ;D (And all the other music is epic, just sayin.')

      OH MY STARS, THANK YOU!!! The first one is one of my favorites, too! ('Cause Middle-earth.)
      ISN'T IT JUST SCRUMPTIOUS??? I'm honestly STILL in shock. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. <3 (Though I must say I'm TERRIBLE at opening letters with it. The envelopes always end up looking like a dog chewed it open. XD)
      ASDDSLSJDL I KNEW YOU WOULD LIKE THE WATCH. I totally associate you with everything Wonderland. ^_^

      ME TOOOO. Fall is my second favorite season, after winter. ARGH, IT'S SO HOT HERE, TOO. I'm honestly dead. SO SICK OF THIS INFERNAL HEAT. *shakes angry fist at the weather* I can't wait until it cools off! (Ha, that's too funny! Coffee and I have a mutual animosity for each other still. XD)

      D'awww, thank you so much, Lauri! It's been great so far. :D


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