Freak Alley Photoshoot (Boise, Idaho)

Hey friends! As I mentioned in my last post, I went on a trip to Boise to surprise my friend M for her birthday. While I was there, we decided to do a birthday photoshoot at a place called Freak Alley, which is in downtown Boise. Every year, artists paint the walls of Freak Alley, street art style. I won’t be posting the birthday pictures for privacy reasons, but I took some others specifically for this post. Enjoy!

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This was my favorite piece of art!

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Freak Alley is an awesome place to visit if you ever find yourself in Boise in July or August. People are so creative, right?

Have you ever been to Boise? Do you like street art?

XOXO,

Morgan

 

FLYING SOLO| Storytime with Morgan

Flying Solo - Storytime with Morgan

Hey friends! Happy August!

I recently returned from a trip to Boise to surprise my friend M for her birthday (it was a huge success), and it was my first time flying unaccompanied. Traveling by yourself, as I found, is a fantastic experience. Navigating airports by yourself can be a bit tricky, depending on their size, but is very rewarding to do it alone for the first time. And, of course, traveling brings new experiences and fun stories.

I thought it would be cool to share the experiences I had on this trip, and also post some pictures from Boise sometime next week. Enjoy!

This story takes place as I flew from Portland, Oregon to my home city in Alaska.

I sat down at my gate at PDX and opened the sandwich I just bought. Taking a bite, I watched the people around me. A young couple sitting a few seats down, a group of teenagers, and an African-American woman with extremely curly blonde hair filled the seats. Sitting across from me was an elderly woman and an elementary-aged child. The girl was dressed in a coloful outfit and a large black suitcase at her feet. The older woman, who I presumed was her grandmother, smiled at me. I smiled back.

When the gate agents began boarding, the older woman with the girl got up first and boarded the plane. Fifteen minutes later, my boarding group was called and I stood up to get on the plane. As I pulled my carry-on bag down the Jetway and throught the narrow aisle, I scanned the numbered rows for the one that matched my seat number on the boarding pass in my hand.

I soon located it, and realized that the elderly woman with the little girl were going to be sharing the row with me.

“Oh, you’re sitting with us!” exclaimed the woman, giving me a smile smile.

“Yeah!” I replied, waving at the girl sitting in the middle seat before trying to push my bag under the seat in front of me while simultaneously plopping down in my seat to let other passengers through the aisle.

Shortly after the plane boarded completely, the girl turned to me. “Want some?” she asked, holding out a small bag of popcorn. I smiled and took one. “Thanks.”

“Do you know how to do your own hair?” was the next thing out of her mouth.

“I do, actually,” I answered. “I can do braids, buns, ponytails, and a few other things.”

“Me too!” she said with a grin. “I can do a low bun, see?” And she pulled her hair into the elastic.

“Wow!” I exclaimed, exchanging a grin with her grandmother. “That’s super cool, did you teach yourself?”

“Yep,” said the girl.

“So, what’s your name?” I asked the girl, realizing that if we were going to talk about hairstyles, I should probably know her name.

“I’m Catrina,” Catrina informs me.

“I’m Morgan,” I told her. “Nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you too,” she returned.

I pulled out my phone to text my mom.

ADORABLE LITTLE GIRL SITTING NEXT TO ME WITH HER GRANDMA. HER NAME IS CATRINA.

NICE. ARE YOU GOING TO WATCH A MOVIE?

YEAH. SPIDER-MAN, PROBABLY.

IS THAT APPROPRIATE FOR HER? SHE CAN SEE YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN.

IDK HOW OLD SHE IS.

I turned to Catrina. “So, how old are you?”

“I’m eight.”

“Nice. I’m **.”

I retuned to my phone.

SHE’S EIGHT.

HMM. MAYBE NOT APPROPRIATE THEN.

IF I HAD AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD CHILD, I WOULD LET HER WATCH SPIDER-MAN.

YOU WOULD NOT.

SURE I WOULD.

(Leave a comment below, would you let your eight-year-old watch Spider-Man?)

The plane took off shortly after, and I popped in my earbuds and started reading (Tell Me Three Things, if any of you know of that book). 

Once we leveled off, a felt a tap at my shoulder. I pulled my earbuds out and turned. “Yeah?”

Catrina looked up at me. “Would you like one?” She held out a bag of Hershey’s kisses.

“Oh, no thanks, I’m good.”

Catrina shrugged. “Okay.”

A few minutes later, I pulled out my own snack bag. A bag of Twizzler bites sat inside. I popped one in my mouth and offered one to Catrina. She took it happily.

And that’s how it went. We shared our candy and Goldfish and popcorn.

When Catrina’s grandmother ordered a Kid’s Pack meal for her, Catrina pulled out the Wikki Stix. “Wanna play with me?”

I smiled. “Sure!”

Catrina made a doll out of the wax sticks, and I created heart shapes and flowers. Turns out, Catrina had a lot more artistic talent than I did. Once I gave up and handed my sticks to her, she made a pair of glasses that actually fit on her face. Her grandmother and I laughed.

Towards the end of the flight, Catrina was getting restless. “How much longer till we get there?”

“About an hour,” I answered.

I too was getting bored, and started playing a game on my phone. Through my peripheral vision, I could see Catrina watching over my shoulder. “I bet I could play that.”

“You think?”

“Yeah.”

And that’s how Catrina wound up playing games on my cell phone for an hour and a half.

Once our plane landed in Alaska, I wished Catrina and her grandmother a safe flight to their home in another part of Alaska.

“Thanks,” Catrina said. “Have a safe drive to your house. Once, my family got into a car accident!”

“Oh no,” I replied. “That must have been scary, huh?”

“Mmhmm,” she answered.

Her grandmother explained the rest of the story. “Some guy wasn’t watching where he was going.”

“Yeah,” Catrina added. “He didn’t look left and right and left.”

As soon as the flight attendants turned the seatbelt sign off, I got up and Catrina gave me a hug. We exited the plane shortly thereafter and I waved to my new friends. Catrina and her grandma waved back.

I grabbed my suitcase from baggage claim and met my mom and brother outside the airport. After a wonderful five-day vacation in Idaho, it was great to be back . . . and with many great new stories, memories, and friends. ❤️

———–

Sorry, guys, that got a bit long, but hopefully you enjoyed. If you want to see more Storytime posts, let me know in the comments below. Have a fantastic day!

XOXO,

Morgan

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