Blogging Aesthetics ft. Emmie| Diary of a Daydreamer Blog Tour

Happy Thursday, everyone! I know I just blogged a couple of days ago, but I’m here with some very exciting news . . .

My awesome friend Emmie from American Girl World is launching her brand-new personal blog!

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As you can tell from the title, it’s called Diary of a Daydreamer. Emmie’s blog is super cool, and you should definitely give it a follow but clicking here.

Emmie was so kind to invite me to be a part of her blog tour, so today I’ll be posting some pictures she chose that will give you an idea of her blog’s aesthetic, to see if it’s something you’re interested in. And, since my blog is fairly new as well, I’ll be posting some of my pictures so you can do the same for Swingsets and Snapshots.

Enjoy!

For Emmie’s blog, here are several pictures to give you an idea of the overall aesthetic. All photos are from Unsplash.

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Awesome, right? I love the pink.

And, for my blog:

Credit to Unsplash, and myself. 🙂

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By the way, Emmie is doing an AMAZING giveaway over on her blog! The link is here if you want to enter (and you should!!!)

That’s all for now. 🙂

XOXO,

Morgan

everyone has a story to tell.

Guys, check out Emmie’s new blog! Blog tour post to come tomorrow.

Diary of a Daydreamer

Hi, I’m Emmie, and welcome to Diary of a Daydreamer.

I can’t believe I’m finally writing those words. After months of planning, designing, organizing, emailing, writing, creating, I can finally show this blog to the world.

Like I said before, I’m Emmie – it’s not my real name, but I’ve been blogging for so long that I actually answer to Emmie. 😂 By the way, I’ve had my blog American Girl World since I was nine and Standing Firm In My Faith since I was ten! Blogging has absolutely changed my life. I don’t know where I would be without it. (P.S. You can learn more about me here!)

Ever since I started American Girl World, I wanted a personal blog where I could share my thoughts, dreams, tips, advice, stories, art, creativity, and more. But I was waiting and waiting – for the right time, the right name…

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A Little Summer Reading| Why Does Europe Have Better Books Than We Do?

Hey friends! I’m taking a small break from compiling Europe pictures (I have them on four different devices, so it’s a little challenging to get them all into one post) to do my first book post!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of libraries and borrowing books instead of buying them, but I couldn’t help myself . . . I came home from Europe with seven new books in my suitcase.

Hold on, hold on – one is a gift for a friend.

So it’s actually more like six. And in my defense, European bookstores are so much more interesting than American ones. You can tell they took time to carefully select their merchandise, instead of mass-ordering popular books to stock their shelves. *cough cough* Barnes & Noble *cough cough*

And then I came home and bought a couple more at a used bookstore. I haven’t read all of them yet, but I will show them to you and review the ones I did read.

(None of these are my images)

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Again, but Better

I read this one as an ebook while I was in Paris and it’s definitely something that you could start a fandom about (on second thought, there probably already is one). This book was perfect for my trip, as it’s about a girl who goes to London for a study abroad. The story was a little cringey in the beginning, I’m not going to lie, but it got better in the middle. Christine Riccio, the author, published this as her first novel . . . and it was something I could tell just by reading the first few chapters. The story overall is very cute, and has time travel for those interested 🙂 9/10 would recommend, ages 13+.

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The Way I Used to Be

I read this on my ereader as well in just one day. The story, though fairly dark and depressing, drew me in and I could not put it down. Because the story involves sexual violence, however, I would not recommend it to someone under the age of 15 or sensitive readers. It is sooooo good, though, and a very emotion-producing read. 8/10 would recommend.

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Hope and Other Punch Lines

I read this book while I was in England after purchasing it in France. The book centers around the event that occured on 9/11, and two teenagers who were heavily impacted by it. The synopsis on the back cover really grabbed me, but once I started reading the book, I noticed that the story was a little slow. The characters were adorable, though, and I ship them 100%. *squeals excitedly* 8/10 would recommend, ages 12+.

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The Third Twin

The Third Twin is advertised as a thriller, as you can tell by the front cover, but it was definitely NOT. In fact, the whole plotline seemed basic and boring, an average story about twin sisters who get into all sorts of trouble . . . however, the plot twist at the end was exciting. 5/10 would recommend, ages 14+.

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The Names they Gave Us

I bought this at the bookstore Shakespeare + Company in Paris solely for the gorgeous cover. I’m in the middle of it right now, and it seems to be a great story so far. The main character is a pastor’s daughter whose mother is fighting breast cancer. I may do a bigger review on this once I’m finished, we’ll see. Can’t give a recommendation or age rating yet, though.

 

Other books I purchased that I have yet to read.

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Lastly, we come to Chain Letter – I started reading this book but couldn’t get past the first couple of chapters. The book seems so dated, like it was set in the 70s, but was written about seven or eight years ago and is set in modern time. That kind of threw me off. Don’t let the cover fool you, either – the book is not as exciting as it looks. Would not recommend this.

That’s all for now . . I hope you enjoyed this summer reading review.

Have you guys read any of these books? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!

XOXO,

Morgan

Paris, France Day 2: Everything Here Looks Expensive

Friends. I am so, so, so sorry.

All of those posts from Europe I was planning on doing? Well, I took about a bazillion pictures on my trip (I’m back now), but I had many problems with uploading pictures, WiFi connections, charging my devices, etc., etc., etc. I couldn’t even use my Nikon for about half the trip!

But good news. I’m still going to do all of the posts I was originally planning to do. They’re just a couple weeks late. 😉

Let’s start with Versailles, shall we?

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This isn’t actually part of Château de Versailles, but we walked past it on our way. I thought the colors were really cool.

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Let me tell you something about the amount of time I stood in line to get into the building . . . close to two hours. It also happened to be sweltering outside. At one point, an ambulance actually came to help someone who was suffering from the heat. I took this picture as we were closer to the front, but the line actually snakes around and back several times. 😟

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Everything was gold. 😯

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Once inside Versailles, I was completely blown away by the architecture!

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There were kind of a lot of statues . . .

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(One of my favorite pics.)

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I took this picture in the Hall of Mirrors, my favorite place in the whole castle. Look at those chandeliers!

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And the ceiling, too – amazing.

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In one of the bedrooms – I can’t imagine how much dust must be in this couch.

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The artwork is incredible! I believe that this is a painting of Mercury, one of the Roman deities.

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The expansive gardens.

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Louis XIV was called the Sun King, which is why there are so many suns/gold thingies featured in the castle. He reigned for 72 years.

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Translation: To all the glories of France.

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One last look at Versailles. Isn’t it huge?

My feet hurt soooooo bad after we were finished – or rather, halfway through the tour. They actually started tingling and felt like they were going to fall off . . . oh well. It was worth it. 😉

XOXO,

–  Morgan

 

Paris, France Day 1: I Love Crêpes

Bonjour, mes amies!

*Tries to type with fake French nails*

*Cause I’m in France, by the way*

*In case you didn’t figure it out already*

Okay, I swear it is basically impossible to type like this. But here goes anyway.

So . . . I’m in Paris. And it’s pretty amazing. I opened my window this morning and the air smelled like pastries. I’m not even kidding.

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This is the street right by our hotel. Over on the left (you can’t see it), I ate my first real French croissant. Definitely does not compare to the frozen, fake, flake-free ones I eat at the coffee shops in Alaska.

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After breakfast, we took the Metro to-

Wait, hold up. Can I just say how IMPOSSIBLE to use the Metro? I mean, it’s obviously not impossible, since we used it four or five times today. But there was a lot of standing around, trying to figure out where to go. It’s so confusing.

Anyway, I was about to tell you we went to L’Arc de Triomphe this morning. It was so much bigger than I thought it was. My dad and brother and I climbed to the top (a lot of stairs!) and got our first birds-eye view of the city. My mom opted to stay below.

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Underneath the Arc. It’s the biggest arch in the world, and was commissioned by Napoleon to celebrate his victory at Austerlitz.

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My first complete view of the Tower, too. So amazing.

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The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The flame is rekindled each evening at 6:30.

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The architecture here is to die for.

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Ooh, what’s this?

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(I think we know, Morgan . . .)

Built in 1889 for the Exposition Universelle, the Tower stands at 1,063 feet from base to tip.

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The gardens surrounding the tower were so green and lush.

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So, it was a little scary to be all the way up there, since I’m afraid of heights, but you could see all of Paris!

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The river Seine.

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Everything is green, white, and beige. 😂

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A little waterfall in the gardens.

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Does anyone know what these flowers are?

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So this is a little blurry since it was getting dark out, but this is where I had my first French crêpe – Nutella et fraises. As in Nutella and strawberry. I don’t love Nutella, but it was seriously the most incredible thing I’ve eaten on the trip so far! It was like a flat pancake with warm melted chocolate spread and the best strawberries ever. It could have been the beautiful views that made it taste so good, but I think otherwise.

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A little café we passed on the way back to the hotel.

And that’s it for today. I have an early morning tomorrow.

Bonsoir, chères amies. 

Bisous!

-Morgan

What’s In My Carry-On | 3 Days To Go!

Andddddd I’m back.

That didn’t take long, did it?

Here is part two of my packing for Europe mini-series. In my humble opinion, carry-ons are much more fun to pack than suitcases. It does involve a bit of planning ahead of time so you make sure you’re not forgetting anything. And on a long-haul flight like ours, you definitely don’t want to do that!

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This is the backpack I’m taking for my carry-on. We’re flying on Condor airlines, and their carry-on restrictions are very . . . restrictive, size-wise. This travel-safe backpack is from Oscaurt on Amazon. I’ve used the backpack a few times at school and to be honest, I find it very difficult to get into. I’m sure it comes in handy when you’re trying to keep thieves out of it, but on a day-to-day basis, it can be pretty irritating as the zippers don’t work super fabulously. I’m a little worried about it being accessible when I’m squeezed into a tiny airplane seat. 😣

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The first two items are my Apple earbuds and definitely-not-Apple headphones.

Tip #1: Even if you wear earbuds/Airpods on a regular basis, bring headphones as well.

Earbuds can become pretty uncomfortable if you’re wearing them for an extended period of time.

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Second, my Nook!

Nooks (e-readers) are essential for any trip. If you’re an avid reader like me, the struggle of deciding which books to pack is very real. An e-reader will solve all of your problems, my friends. 😉

Tip #2: Invest in an e-reader. You can download hundreds of books onto a tiny device that will fit easily in a bag.

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Since our world is so connected through technology (and since I’m taking like five devices on this trip), I’m bringing a bag for all of my electronics.

Tip #3: Take your chargers in your carry-on bag and not your checked luggage. That way, if you wind up separated from your checked bag once you reach your destination, you can still use your devices without the worry of them dying.

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Tip #4: Bring an extra change of clothes! You never know when you could be stuck in a hotel for several days due to a canceled flight. You do not want to be wearing the same clothes the entire time . . . *shudders*

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Flights, and airports in general, can make you feel super gross. Plus, they’re germy. 😅

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These two are in case of an emergency: a mini first aid kit and a face mask.

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An RFID-protected wallet.

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A flashlight (another in-case-of-emergency item) and my extra glasses.

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Pens! Super important for any writer.

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And now the fun part. 😂 As I mentioned in my last post, I always take three bags of toiletries when I travel (and when I say always, I mean this is the first time).

This is the first bag. It’s a TSA-approved quart bag for my liquids, all three ounces or less.

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Tip #5: Have your liquids separated ahead of time, so security is less of a hassle.

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The second bag is for all of my non-liquid toiletries.

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Tip #6: NEVER forget to bring a toothbrush in your carry-on. Smelly breath and dirty teeth are definite no-nos.

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And this is the last toiletry bag. This one actually goes in my suitcase, but I wanted to show it to you with the other toiletries. This bag is for everything that I won’t need immediately during our flights.

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More hair stuff, a bigger toothbrush, regular-sized deoderant, makeup remover, and my awesome hair bun-makers.

And jewelry, of course.

Please note that does not include any of my makeup. 😂 This is why it’s hard to travel as a girl. I use all of this stuff on a regular basis, I promise!

Not shown:

  • Camera (with charger, extra SD card, and extra battery!)
  • Laptop (with case and charger)
  • Cell phone (with charger)
  • Sleeping mask (which I need to find)
  • Journal (another thing I need to find)
  • Flight pressure earplugs (so my ears don’t hurt)
  • Snacks, candy, and gum
  • Water bottle
  • And anything else I’ll regret not remembering when we’re on the plane! 😉

This will be the last travel post before we get to Europe. So I’ll see y’all in about five-ish days!

XOXO for now,

Morgan

 

A Bit About My Europe Trip | What’s In My Suitcase | Packing Tips & Tricks |Wow This Is A Long Title

Hey guys.

(Why can’t I think of an intro . . .)

Anyway, it’s summer for me! My last day of school was Tuesday and I got A’s on all my finals. 🙂 So that’s exciting. When do you guys get out of school?

(This isn’t very exciting so I’ll move on.) 😂

I finally got around to packing my bags (or bag, rather) for our trip to Europe and I figured that maybe you guys would like to see a little bit of what I’m taking (and if you don’t, feel free to skip this post!)

First off, I’d like to start by taking y’all back in time to when I was just a young child.

Just kidding. This was only four years ago. Remember when Grace was the American Girl of the Year? Or, as someone I know calls her, “The French One?”

Yeah. That’s kind of when I became obsessed with going to France. When I pitched the idea to my parents, I was definitely not expecting them to go for it. And honestly, they kind of didn’t. Instead, my dad made a deal with me.

Our conversation went something like this:

Morgan: Hey Dad, can we go to Paris?

Dad: Um sure.

Morgan: Really?

Dad: Sure. You learn to speak French, and we can go to Paris.

Flash forward four years, and I’ve tested biliterate in French.

Twice.

So now it’s time to go to Paris. But of course, when you live in Alaska and it takes absolutely forever to get there, you may as well swing by a few places outside of Paris. So we’re going to Normandy and London as well. I’ll be taking you guys along with me each day with a new post about what we did, with pictures to go along.

And that’s enough of that for now. Onto the packing!

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This is what my suitcase looks like . . . really not very interesting.

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This is a sample of the shirts I’m taking. The weather is supposed to be fairly warm, so most of my clothes are lightweight. I’m taking one fuzzy sweater in case we have a chilly day.

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(Oops, this one’s a little blurry.)

Tip #1: Always use packing cubes!

Guysssssssss I cannot stress this enough. Packing cubes literally MAKE MORE SPACE in your suitcase! I’ve never used them before, but I tried this time around and I was super impressed. Not only will they keep things tightly together and not jumbled around in your bag, but they keep each type of clothing separated so picking out outfits will be easier each day.

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Pajamas. I’m bringing two sets.

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Swimsuit.

Tip #2: Always bring a swimsuit. Even if you don’t think you’ll be swimming.

I don’t know if I’ll have any use for this on our trip, but I’m taking it just in case. You never know.

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Scarves are iconically French and can really dress up an outfit.

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I usually only wear jeans, so that’s what I’m taking. 🙂

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This is what all of the packing cubes look like full of clothes. So much neater and more organized than loose in a suitcase.

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I’m taking four pairs of shoes.

Black sandals: For dressier outfits.

Flip flops: For use in showers at hotels/Airbnb’s as they are not always the most clean spaces.

Pink tennis shoes: My go-to’s.

Hiking books: In case it’s rainy in London.

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(Ugh why is this is so dark.)

Tip #3: Bring a laundry bag with you! It’ll keep your dirty clothes separate.

Other things I’m bringing that are not shown:

  • Sunglasses
  • Umbrella
  • Toiletry kit

There will be more on the toiletry kit later, when I publish my carry-on packing post probably tomorrow or the next day. (And you will discover the real reason I bring three toiletry bags . . .)

Au revoir for now!

Morgan