Hey guys, my name is Morgan (an alias!) and I'm a cross-country skier-swimmer-writer-photographer living in the beautiful Last Frontier. I speak French and American Sign Language. I have an addiction to hot tea and Thai food, and I really don't like cats (dogs are cool though).
Ice cream is my favorite dessert – no, food – and it’s getting hot outside and it’s the perfect treat to cool you off.
You guys. I don’t cook. I can’t cook, rather. I burn everything, even things that should not physically burn. I do like baking a lot, though. I’m not sure where ice cream falls. But whatever. I made some, and if you would like to follow my incredibly uncomplicated (hehe) instructions, you can make some for yourself! (Or your family. Mine ate it all.)
For this recipe, you will need an ice cream processor. You can’t just put it in the freezer and expect it to do something. Haha.
I’m loosely following this recipe. Mint chip is my favorite flavor, and I’ve never made ice cream before, so we’re starting with something basic.
You will need 6 ounces of chocolate chips, a pinch or so of salt, a cup of heavy whipping cream, a cup of milk, six egg yolks (not shown, because we only had four eggs at the time and our chickens had make more eggs before I could get very far in the recipe, which resulted in the actual ice cream consumption being delayed by a day), 2/3 cup sugar, and either peppermint extract or food-grade peppermint essential oil.
Measure that milk and heavy cream . . . (they look the same lol)
As well as the sugar . . .
And the salt . . . and put it all in a pan.
Stir stir stir! Combine it as much as you can.
Put it on the stove and heat it over medium until all the sugar dissolves (this may take a little bit, be patient).
While that is combining, chop up your chocolate chips to whatever size you want. Just make sure whatever size they are will work in your ice cream processor. Mine won’t work with any add-ins bigger than the size of a chocolate chip.
Then pop those in the freezer in a plastic bag.
Next, we’re going to whisk the egg yolks together. Ooh, pretty yellow color.
Slowly pour the milk-cream mixture into the eggs. If you pour it in all at once, the heat will cook the eggs and then you’re going to have scrambled eggs and that’s yucko.
Put it back on the stove and heat it up until it begins to thicken. It should coat the back of your spoon (preferably a wooden spoon, mine is not) and not run and be drippy everywhere.
Get a bowl of ice water . . .
And pull the mixture off the stove. Put it in the ice bath for about five minutes to stop the cooking.
Now we’re going to add the peppermint! This is to taste, and if you’re using peppermint extract you’ll need more to get a miny flavor than if you’re using essential oil. Make sure your oil is food-grade! Some is and some isn’t. This Young Living Vitality peppermint essential oil is food-grade (not sponsored). I used five drops, but my mom said it was too minty so it’s really personal preference. I thought it was just right. You can taste the mixture to see if it’s the flavor you want.
Now, you’re going to either leave the mixture in the ice water for about twenty minutes – or put it in the fridge for a couple of hours, which is better. You just want it to be completely chilled.
Now, process the mixture in your ice cream machine. Mine is this Cuisinart that I got for my birthday. Follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Add in the frozen chocolate, carefully folding it in.
Now, leave the ice cream in the freezer in an airtight container (NOT the processor bowl – that can damage it, apparently) for a couple of hours to solidify.
My final product!
Guys, it tasted like legit ice cream . . . I’m honestly kind of surprised. The ice cream is pretty yellow for mint chip, it’s more of a vanilla-y color, but other than that, it’s real mint chip ice cream!
Would y’all try this ice cream? Have you ever made ice cream before? What’s your favorite flavor? Let me know!
Earlier this week I asked you guys to leave me assumptions and boy did some of you have some good guesses!
This is really fun to do so maybe I’ll have a Q&A later this summer.
You want to get married within the next ten years
I would like to get married within the next ten years, yes! Not until after college though.
You like Star Wars, but prefer Marvel
I actually like Star Wars more than Marvel, but honestly I am not super familiar with either of them. My favorite Marvel character is Spider-Man, but for the majority of superheroes I really could not tell you who is Marvel and who is DC. 😂
Your personality is a ESFP
I am actually a ENFP (I think . . . I haven’t taken that test in quite some time).
You want to travel abroad for at least a year
I would LOVE to travel abroad for a year . . . I almost went on a two-week exchange over spring break but I wound up dropping the trip – which was a smart decision on my part because obviously it got cancelled anyway. We were supposed to go to Martinique, which is a French-speaking island in the Caribbean.
Your real name is Christina Claire
Oddly specific – but no 😂
You’re an enneagram one
I am an enneagram one! Good guess! (Enneagram ones are “moral perfectionists” or “reformers” – if you don’t know what an enneagram is, click here to learn more.)
You absolutely love books and having a schedule
Correct . . . and also correct 😉
You hate lavender
Hahaha this is so random. I don’t care for the smell of lavender, no – but even if I did, I’m allergic to it so it’s not a good idea to have in my house anyway.
You’re about 17
Ahhh, I was waiting for someone to guess my age! I’m not 17, but you are not far off 😉
You love dogs
I do love dogs. I have four of them!
You really really like your boyfriend and potentially would like to marry him one day, maybe when you’re in college or close to graduating college
Again this is so specific I love it 😂 No comment . . . excpet I will say I don’t intend to get married until after I graduate.
Your favorite candy is Swedish Fish
I like Swedish Fish a lot! They’re not my favorite, but one of my top five for sure.
You really really want to travel more with your BFF
For sure! That’s a dream of mine.
Your favorite ice cream flavor is pistachio
I do like pistachio ice cream, yes. However, my favorite is mint chip!
You wear your hair down most of the time, but put it up in a ponytail for skiing and such
Correct! I wear my hair down unless it needs to be washed or it’s really hot, or if I’m doing something athletic – such as skiing!
You like baking
I love baking. Baking makes me exhausted so I can only bake one thing at a time, but it’s really rewarding (and delicious!)
(More like facts tbh because she knows me in real life.)
You recently officially changed the spelling of your real name
I did do that! My name was spelled one way until I was twelve, when I decided to change it. I’ve always disliked the way my name was spelled and changed it to something I like a lot more. I dealed with correcting the spelling a lot for friends and teachers and a couple of months ago my mom surprised me with a brand-new birth certificate. 🙂
You know too many languages
Haha I do . . . I almost-fluently speak French and ASL, and I’m learning Spanish and Russian.
You have two middle names
I do. 😝
You love whipped coffee
So I’ve only made this once but I do love it and I’m going to make it again tomorrow ahaha.
You and your boy are very cute together
Again, no comment . . . you guys. 🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️
You are beautiful
Awww wow I love you. 💛
There are a lot of animals in your house like silly frogs
Um yes there are. We have four dogs, one bunny, chickens, and yes, my brother has a frog (and a few fish too).
That is all the questions I have for today! Thanks to everyone who guessed. I hope y’all are enjoying your weekend. 🙂
This post idea literally just popped into my brain and I thought, wow, I know I just posted two days ago, but wouldn’t this be fun to do? I’ve seen this around the blogosphere (I think Mary did one too) and thought I would jump on the bandwagon.
I blog anonymously, of course, but I do talk about my personal life quite a bit (after all, this is a personal blog . . .) But the question is, based on the information you guys have gathered over the last year, what do you think you know about Morgan McCartie?
I’m genuinely very curious.
So ask away! What do you think my real name is? My age? Things I like and dislike? It can literally be anything, guys. I may not be able to give you an honest answer for privacy reasons, but you are welcome to try. 😉
I can’t wait to see what y’all think about me! I’ll post your questions and my answers later this week/early next week, depending on how quickly I get responses.
Well, we made it. April and quarantine month #2! I don’t know how it went for y’all, but this month was definitely a lot better than March, which was basically an emotional roller coaster. I’m going to model this month’s wrapper-y post somewhat like last month – quarantine edition!
(End boring intro)
So obviously, our school closure that was supposed to end by May 1st changed to being the entire year. The tedious routine of going to school is never something I thought I would miss, but I do. For my friend’s birthday, a bunch of us went over to her front yard and stayed apart and talked for awhile. And today, I went over to another friend, A’s, house and (staying ten feet apart and wearing masks) we filmed a video for our youth group challenge. After we did the first take, my A’s little sister pointed behind us and yelled “moose!” And sure enough, there was a cow running up the lawn (for those of you who don’t know, that’s a female moose). We scattered quickly as A’s mom started yelling at the moose to not eat her tulips.
For April Fool’s Day, my friend D and I played a prank on our other friend, E. D spent hours recreating E’s Instagram account by using screenshots of all of his posts and using almost the exact same account name. I FaceTimed E and told him that there was someone on Instagram with the same account as him, and when he checked it out, he freaked out and starting asking who would be creepy enough to have the same account as him. When D and I told him it was us, he just called us idiots and we started laughing hysterically . . . it was the best. 🙂
Quarantine continues, guys! There’s honestly not a lot to say here . . . I’ve been doing puzzles, watching a lot of Outer Banks and Love is Blind, and working on my current writing project, which is my book So You Can Understand Me. I’ve been Zooming a ton with my friends and commiserating about not being able to hang out. And I’ve been streaming A LOT of online YouTube workouts. 😂
Thankfully, I’m almost done with school. I think technically my last day is in late May, but I’ll be done with almost all of my classes by this Friday (I already finished my two foreign language classes, though!) The only thing I’ll have going on is a online writing workshop I’m doing until late June, which is when I’ll be done with my history curriculum, too. (That’s a homeschool class though, so it’s okay – remember I’m part-time public schooled and part-time homeschooled.) Being this close to the end of the year is super exciting, and I’m not going to bore y’all by continuing to talk further, as I’m sure you guys are just as thrilled to be done as I am. Keep up with the Zooms, guys!
The summer training has begun . . . if you aren’t super familiar with how cross-country skiing summer training works, we use what are called rollerskis (picture below) to imitate snow skiing. Now that the snow is melted in town, I can ski on pavement! Last summer it got up to 100 degrees here, which made rollerskiing absolutely torturous. But hey, when you love skiing . . .
We use poles to make it as much like actual skiing as we can, and it’s super fun – and a ton of work. Seriously, after today’s ski, my abs are killing me. Rollerskis also don’t have brakes, which means if you start going down a steep hill . . . well, that’s the last we’ll be hearing from you. 😂 Just kidding, just kidding.
– The good things
There was a lot of good this month! First off . . .
I BOUGHT A CAR!
I am now the proud owner of a Subaru. I guess it works. I ski. I sort of already portray that image to the outside world.
When I told A I bought a car I made her guess what kind it was and her first guess was a Subaru. When I asked her if I seemed like the kind of person who would drive one of those, she instantly said yes. So yeah, I guess it works. 😂
Second, because prom is obviously cancelled, I decided not to waste a perfectly good dress and decided to dress up and do my hair and makeup anyway. Here’s the final result:
Hehe my dress is too long and it touches the dirt but it’s okay. 😉
Also . . . I cut a total of three inches off my hair since quarantine started, so it’s nice to have shorter hair again.
One last thing. It’s summer in Alaska, which means we get to have another Midnight Sun and be forced to use blackout shades in an effort to get decent sleep. It’s a lot of fun to be out at 11:30 at night and have it be warm and sunny!
Anyway, this month has overall felt more stable than last month. We have summer to look forward to. Everything will be okay. Continue to stay safe and far apart.
How was your April? How close to being done with school are you? Are you ready for summer? 😉
Welcome to my first writing-related post on SS&SS! I talk about what I’m reading quite often and give y’all book reviews, but since it’s April and Camp NaNoWriMo is in full swing, I thought now would be an appropriate time to share a bit about the novel I’m writing.
So You Can Understand Me is not my first novel, nor is it my second. I finished what is now a 66k word novel for NaNoWriMo in eighth grade. It was probably the biggest accomplishment of my entire life, right up there with making state for skiing this year. I finished it that November with around 30k words, but continued to work on it the next year and more than doubled the word count. I now consider it finished, though I really don’t know if I’ll ever publish it. The writing is pretty juvenile, but I’ve edited the manuscript three times and it’s improved very much.
Anyway, this post is not about that book, it’s about the novel I’m titling So You Can Understand Me – though that may be nothing more than a working title. My word count goal for Camp is 40k, but if I’m not finished telling the story at that point, I’ll extend it. I’m writing this post on April 3rd, and my current word count is 5,731, but by the time y’all read this it’ll be much higher.
The book is categorized as young adult fiction, and I’m going to give you the basic plot and descriptions of characters (along with pictures!) I saw a post like this on a friend’s blog and I thought it would be super fun to do on mine (shoutout to Faye over at EOAJ! She is also one of my Camp NaNo writing buddies).
(This story is losely inspired by a fantastic middle-grade fiction book called Seven Stories Up by Laurel Snyder. Highly, highly recommend it.)
“15-year-old Harlie Castello lives with her alcoholic mother Jennifer, fending for herself and hiding from the endless questions from her teachers and best friend. Desperate to understand her mothers actions and intentions, Harlie finds herself tranpsorted into a different time, when her mother was a very different person. As Harlie begins to get to know her mother in a way she never thought possible, she gains understanding and discovers secrets burried beneath decades of pain.”
Harlie gets into a huge accident one night and winds up in a coma for two weeks. During those two weeks, she spends time back in the late 1980s, as her mother’s sister Danah. The twist – Harlie had no idea her mom had a sister. She spends what is supposedly four months (less time than that in real life, of course) in 1989 getting to know her mom as a teenager.
Suddenly, Harlie finds herself in the mid-1990s, when her mom was in college. No longer playing the role of her mom’s little sister, she realizes she is now her mom’s roommate, Mackenzie. Same situation plays out – she spends a while with her college-aged mother before traveling forwards in time once more.
Now, it’s the early 2000s, when Harlie was just a baby. Instead of taking on the role of some important person in her mom’s life, she is now an invisible bystander. She observes her mom and her now-absent dad fight and fight and fight some more, until the moment when her dad ups and leaves. In present time, Harlie had absolutely no idea why her dad left, but now she gets to see the entire backstory.
The story is broken up into those three parts, and at the end Harlie wakes up in the hospital. Her mother, realizing how close she came to almost losing her daughter, takes steps to recover from her alcohol addiction. Harlie also makes contact with her father, who she hasn’t seen since he walked out that day so many years ago.
Yay! Now for the fun part!
So obviously, these Internet photos are super airbrushed and very unrealistic-looking, but you get the idea.
And there you have it! #pleasedontstealmybookideaandplagiarizeit
Are you doing Camp NaNoWriMo? What do you think of my story idea? Would you read it if you picked it up at the bookstore? Do you have any suggestions or feedback for me?
While it may have been nice for the government to announce the coronavirus as an April Fool’s joke, let’s be realistic.
March may have felt like an entire year, and we’re still at home. I don’t know about you, but I have music playing constantly in the background whenever I’m in my room (which is about 95% of the time). As I mentioned in my Life post at the end of March, I upgraded to Spotify premium so I could play my music in whatever order I wanted. Probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made – if you’re thinking about upgrading, I 10/10 recommend.
Because I listen to music so much, I’m always cycling through playlists and getting tired of the same old songs. If you have the same struggle, maybe this playlist will give you some good ideas!
Quick disclaimer, though . . . check with your parents before you listen to these songs! These are just my personal jams at the moment and different families have different rules about music enjoyment. None of these songs have parental advisory labels on them but you should still check.
So without further ado, here’s a mix of my main playlists, in no particular order:
shut up – Greyson Chance
Rebels – Ivy Adara
Out of Love – Alessia Cara
Dazed & Confused – Ruel
So Am I – Ava Max
I Believe You – FLETCHER
Fortress – Lennon Stella
Rooting For You – Alessia Cara
Wasted Youth – FLETCHER
Blinding Lights – The Weeknd
Heartless – Kanye West
Friends – Ella Henderson
Over My Head – FLETCHER
Face To Face – Ruel
Famous – Ivy Adara
Princess – FLETCHER
Saturday Nights – Khalid
War Paint – FLETCHER
Sunday Best – Surfaces
Ring – Selena Gomez
Real Thing – Ruel
Give Your Heart a Break – Demi Lovato
Replay – Zendaya
Younger – Ruel
Almost Love – Sabrina Carpenter
Ruin That For Me – Avenue Beat
Glorious – Ella Henderson
L.A. – Rosie Darling & OKO
Ghost – Oliver Nelson Remix – Ella Henderson & Oliver Nelson
Riptide – Vance Joy
I Found You – Andy Grammer & Cash Cash
Lost – Blake Rose
Seeing Other People – MacKenzie Porter
Living Proof – Camila Cabello
stupid – Tate McRae (love love love this one and if you have TikTok you’ll probably recognize it)
Too Young – Sabrina Carpenter (Sabrina Carpenter’s older music is really good)
Clearly – Grace VanderWaal
Thumbs – Sabrina Carpenter
Seamless – Sabrina Carpenter
Have It All – Jason Mraz
Little Talks – Of Monsters and Men
La Di Da – Lennon Stella (10/10 a great song)
Wild Things – Alessia Cara (this one is a bop!)
death bed – Powfu
Maniac – Conan Gray (dance party, anyone?)
Had It All – Parachute
Someone To You – BANNERS
Peer Pressure – James Bay
River of Tears – Alessia Cara
In My Head – Peter Manos
better off – Jeremy Zucker
Yellow Lights – Harry Hudson
If the World Was Ending – JP Saxe & Julia Michaels (another one off TikTok)
Complicated – Olivia O’Brien
All My Friends – AJ Mitchell
Dancing With Your Ghost – Sasha Sloan (also a bop, kind of a sad bop, but a bop nonetheless)
Hard Sometimes – Ruel
Worst of You – Maisie Peters
Keep On – Sasha Sloan
Salt – Ava Max
scared – Jeremy Zucker
smiling when i die – Sasha Sloan
Still Into You – Meadowlark
My favorite artists at the moment are Sasha Sloan, Sabrina Carpenter, Alessia Cara, Ruel, and FLETCHER (though you have to be careful with some of her songs, because there’s quite a bit of profanity in a couple of them. These ones are clean though).
I also listen to quite a bit of Christian and country music, but neither of those genres really mix well with the playlist above, so I might save those for a later post if y’all are interested in seeing some of that.
Also I know some of those songs are better known for their TikTok videos, but I actually don’t even have TikTok. 😂 I see them on Instagram sometimes, however.
One last thing before I wrap this post up – you guys left so many sweet and supportive commens on my Life: March post and let me just say, they made my week! The responses from that post were completely unexpected but most welcome. Thank you for your support, I’m so glad to have made so many great friends on the blogosphere. 🙂
What music have y’all been listening to recently? Do you like any of the songs above? What are your song recommendations for me? I’m always up for new music!
Maybe it’s not alas. To be honest, March has not been the greatest month of my life. Or anyone’s, for that matter.
Normally if I was to write a month recap it would include stuff from every aspect of my life, except those have all been put on an indefinite hold until the coronavirus is all over. So instead of categorizing my month into different parts, it’s going to kind of be a random jumble of what went on.
*disclaimer* this post is probably going to contain some mini – or not so mini – rants about COVID-19, so if you don’t want to see that, please move on to another post. (Not political rants, just personal opinion rants.) This post might also be a little long – I’m kind of writing it to help me process and look back on in the future.
Enjoy . . .
This is where it gets sad. I really can’t remember if I mentioned this on SS&SS yet, but we’ve been self-quarantining since March 1st because my grandma lives with us and she’s elderly, and my dad and brother both have bad asthma. So for our personal safety, my parents decided to pull us out of school the first week of March and not hang out with friends or go to church. I kept the real reason I wasn’t at school a secret from my friends that first week to avoid being called “crazy.” And then spring break happened the second week of March and I started to tell more of my friends because they started wondering why I couldn’t hang out with them over the break. Towards the end of break, the school district announced we wouldn’t be returning to school for another week – and the next day, they pushed that out until March 30th. Now, schools are closed until May 1 (which is about two weeks before summer break starts). In conclusion, I didn’t have to keep it a secret after that.
And now the biggest problem as far as my friends are concerned is seriously how much I miss them. I’ve gotten super close to a group of friends at school who ski with me, as well as some girls at my youth group and then some friends from AHG. I miss them all a ton – not a day goes by that I don’t wish I was with them at that very moment.
Quarantine has been . . . an interesting experience. I can’t say it’s been good, but it hasn’t been totally awful, either. The biggest issue for me is I can’t leave my house to ski (I’m a competitive cross-country skier, which y’all know already), and that makes me super depressed. My family has spent a lot of time watching movies, but I’ve also been hiding in my room, so that’s not super great. But now that it’s the end of the month, our city has basically shut down and people are expected to stay at home unless they go outside for recreation, and then they have to stay six feet apart from other people. So I’m not alone anymore – all of my friends are going through the same thing I am.
– Swimming / Skiing
At the end of last year’s ski season, I got very depressed because I wasn’t training with a club team after the school season was over, and because of that I didn’t motivate myself enough to go ski on a daily basis. I was really hoping to avoid that this year, and now I can’t. I was planning on starting club swimming at the beginning of March for a couple of months until the club skiing season started and then do both of those simultaneously all summer. And now I’m not doing either, so instead I’m doing online workouts by myself – and a few times a week, I FaceTime my friend M (who doesn’t live in Alaska) and we workout together. That’s been super fun.
– Master of FaceTime
So yeah, that’s kind of what I’ve become this month. I would love to figure out how much time I’ve spent on video chat with people this month, because I know the number would be pretty high. I’ve probably spent a good few days of my life on FaceTime with my friends since the beginning of the month.
– Rant rant rant
I’m sorry, but I have to just momentarily. The beginning of March was really hard for me – I was a little scared to share my family’s situation with my friends. My few friends who I did tell early on all had very different reactions (some good, some not so good). The people in my life who thought/still think people are overreacting to the coronavirus didn’t get why I was at quarantined at home, and that left me feeling a little helpless . . . it was my parents’ decision, not mine. Another thing is people being selfish, and I don’t mean hoarding toilet paper (although maybe I do mean that too). People being clueless about the situation the world is in and going out in public and potentially spreading COVID-19 may not put THEM at risk – but it puts OTHERS at risk. People like my grandmother, my dad, and my brother. It makes me angry, but there’s also literally nothing I can do about it. I don’t want to overshare here on the Internet because my blog is public, so I’ll stop now.
– The good things
Like I said, quarantine isn’t all bad. I’ve started checking up with friends who live out of state or who I don’t talk to that much to ask how they and their families are doing, and that’s a really good thing. My dad has gotten funnier since he started working from home, and we see him a lot more than we did previously (he spends a lot of time working away from home in a different city in Alaska). I’ve found more time to play with my dogs, as well as blog (as you guys know!) and read purely for fun. I downloaded Spotify premium to listen to the music I want when I want, and I get up early and go ice skating at the rink up the street from us before people start waking up and walking their dogs. My room has stayed very clean, and I broke my nail-biting-when-I’m-stressed habit. I’ve built stronger relationships with friends because we’re far apart and have to make ourselves think about purposely reaching out to talk. We have to think positively. And seeing all of the companies in the world come together to help our global community has been very inspiring. (Audible in streaming free audiobooks while school is out, guys!) If you need a smile, follow @upworthy on Instagram to see some seriously awe-inspiring videos and pictures.
I don’t talk about God much on my blog, or at least I haven’t in the past. If you don’t already know, I’m a Christian. I haven’t gone to church in about 6-7 ish weeks (to social distance before our quarantine), and going from church three times a week – for services, youth group, and volunteering with the middle school youth group – to not going at all has been extremely difficult for me. Our church is fairly large and I had a hard time connecting with the youth group and other students over the past couple of years, and I really began to feel like I fit in this year and make friends. So to have that taken away from me was one of the worst parts of this. BUT God has really shown Himself to me these last four weeks and I am proud to say I have read my Bible EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I am the kind of person who sucks at regularly reading their Bible, but I’ve spent hours reading it and doing Bible study plans online every night, and it has made a HUGE difference in how I’m dealing with our world’s current situation. I’m read the books of Romans and Hebrews and they were both very inspiring and mind-changing (especially Romans – read it, guys!) And fortunately, my youth group has moved to live, online hour-long broadcasts every week, and that has been fantastic. My church is also streaming services online every Sunday, so my family does church at home. (If you’re feeling stressed, go download the YouVersion Bible app and read the plans Anxious for Nothingor Not Afraid: How Christians Can Respond to Crises. The verses from those plans (especially Anxious for Nothing) are so relevant right now.
I’ll end here with this. One thing has stuck with me over the last couple weeks – Philippians 4: 6-7, NLT. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” The verse was talked about on one of our youth group broadcasts, and I’ve seen it repeatedly in my current Bible study plan and on social media. It’s really inspired me, and I hope it inspires you, too.
Anyway, this post has kind of turned into a diary entry and I didn’t really mean for it to, so please accept my sincerest apologies. Kudos to you if you stuck with me all the way through. I love you guys.
Stay safe and at home. Wash your hands. And, most importantly, be kind. Everyone is going through the same things you are.
How was your guys’ month? Tell me all about it in the comments below!
Happy Friday, guys! For those of you still in school (which I don’t think is many at this point), you’re basically at the weekend already!
I took these pictures summer before last while I was in Homer, Alaska (which is kind of like at the bottom of Alaska on the gulf, but not on the Aleutian Islands – look at a map maybe, I can’t explain it 😂). They’re really beautiful and I thought it would be nice to share some positivity on the Internet right now. Enjoy!
This picture was my profile picture for quite a while. 😉
This one is called fireweed – when it goes to seed at the end of summer, it turns gray and looks ashy from a distance (smoky, like fire). The amount of buds left at the top of the plant are said to tell how long you have before summer is over. (These pictures are from early August.)
Alaska is a truly beautiful place in the summer – come visit if you ever get a chance!
Hey guys, I need blogging inspiration! I have ideas for some posts, but I want to post the content YOU want to see, also. Comment below something you would like to see on SS&SS!
Finally! The post I have been waiting to do since I started my doll blog – which I didn’t do on that site for obvious reasons. Mini room tours only, please.
Now that our schools have shut down for the time being (#quarantinelife), I have wayyyy too much time on my hands. I’ve also managed to keep my room clean for nearly a month now, and I figured it was time to actually take these pictures and let you guys have a sneak peek at where I spend almost all my time. (Seriously. My room is like my own personal sanctuary.)
We’ll start off when I first walk into my room, and this is the view we see. I have my desk, made out of filing cabinets and a very thin door laid on top. And my lovely spinny chair! That thing is fun.
On my desk is my laptop, which I’m typing this on. Next to it is my favorite lamp ever, you just tap anywhere on it to turn it on and off. And then is my makeup mirror; the box behind it houses my makeup collection. Also on my desk is my basket of shoolwork and a few other school-related things, which we’ll get to in a minute.
Above my desk, and unfortunately you can’t see the lettering in the picture, is a light-up letter box that currently says “PASS THE CHOCOLATE.” Mood of the week.
We’ll step away from the desk for a minute and turn left, over to my bookshelf! I take very much pride in the fact that it is color-coded. That took ages to do.
Here’s the full thing.
Next up is my bed. I picked out the bedspread myself. I have five pillows on it when it’s made, but I only sleep with one of them. ☺️
This is so out of order . . . these two things are above my desk. My Nikon (I took these pictures on my brother’s camera because I have to order a new battery charger for this one) sits above my desk on the little white ledge, and next to it is a day-by-day calendar of pictures from Paris.
I pride myself on the amount of things in my room that light up – my purple star, two strands of white and purple Christmas lights, my light-up photo string, and a letter that is the first initial of my name (which haha, you don’t get to know).
To the right of my window is what I call my “Paris Corner.” In case you didn’t know, I am slightly Paris-obsessed and this corner is basically dedicated to that. The postcards are all from France, and the earring tree I think my mom bought me at Michael’s. The metal Paris skyline I purchased at the Louvre museum. And then below all this are candles and trinkets and a little yarn tree I made. ☺️
This is a view of part of my light-up photo string that runs alongside an entire wall in my room, above my closet and door.
My bookshelf and bed . . .
. . . and the view you get if you were standing by the Paris Corner. (You can see the light-up sign better here.)
And now we’re back to the bookshelf again so y’all can see these cool origami foxes my brother made me for Christmas, which I absolutely adore. The little white one is made from a church bulletin and the even tinier blue one in the middle is made out of actual origami paper.
More foxes, and my blue/purple shelf.
On the top shelf are the white books, and some trinkets – a clay bunny, a tiny China doll, a little purple heart rock, a snow globe I bought in Las Vegas, and my first corsage from a father-daughter dance I went to in fifth grade.
I’m way too lazy to rearrange these pictures. 😂 Here’s my bed again.
And now we’ve returned to my desk, apparently . . . here are some school supplies – my spray-painited mason jar full of pencils and the supplies box behind it.
The view out my window – not very pretty this time of year unfortunately.
I guess the point of this picture is to show you what my floor looks like. Our basement (we live in a split-level, like many Alaskans) has flooded multiple times, and my parents got tired of replacing the flooring and decided to rip it out entirely and just refinish the concrete floor. It’s stained and waxed, and is actually really pretty, if not cold. And I just swept, so I’m not sure what the dusty look is about. 😂
On the wall above my desk is my calender – completely empty at the moment! #thatquarantinevibe
In case you noticed, the trim is not finished in my room, which is why the white strip between the ledge and the blue wall is visible. Anyway, this is the spot above my bed and it hosts my Bible, my devotional journal, some lotions and Carmex, my ereader, and the book I’m reading.
Peep my feet . . . 😂 (I should paint my nails lol.)
Weird place to end, but here’s another view of the purple star and a replica of a Parisian newspaper from a longggg time ago (haha I don’t know the actual date).
Anyway, that’s my room!
So, what do you guys think? And how are you dealing with COVID-19? Let me know (I’m so bored, I would love to hear from y’all). 😂
It’s spring break, and I’m not going anywhere nice and warm for the weeklong break, so I thought I might as well jump back on WordPress for a bit. Maybe I’ll actually stay up to date with blogging.
If you follow my doll blog, you may notice that I haven’t blogged since *chokes* July?!? That’s rough. But maybe it’s okay. I’ve noticed that as I’ve grown up, doll blogging is no longer something I’m so interested in. And, since I’m completely bored at the moment, maybe it’s time to start lifestyle (or whatever you call this) blogging again.
(Or maybe I just missed you guys.)
I was going to post pictures of the knee-deep snow in our backyard, but there are so many snow photoshoot posts out on the Internet right now I figured that wouldn’t be the most original plan. Instead, I’m here with three new book reviews!
Where. Do. I. Start.
Oh my goodness. It has been so long since I’ve read a truly original book with well-developed characters I was beginning to think I’ve already read them all. Lovely War, which I picked up at Barnes & Noble solely because of the gorgeous pink cover, ticks all the boxes. The book opens when the Greek god Hephaestus catches his wife, Aprhodite, having an affair with Ares. Aphrodite, who is put “on trial,” begins to tell the love story of Hazel, an adorable British pianist, and James, an American soldier. And if that doesn’t sound intriguing enough for you, add in two more lovelorn characters – Hazel’s charming new friend Colette, and fun-loving African-American soldier Aubrey. One of the things I loved most about this novel was how it depicted not only the trauma soldiers with PTSD suffer, but brought awareness to the ill treatment of African-Americans fighting in WWI. This is ABSOLUTELY a must-read if you are a fan of romance, historical fiction, or both.
My rating: 5/5 stars
Age rating: 14+
I was introduced to Kristin Hannah’s novels by a friend of mine at school, who loaned me The Nightingale (another incredible must-read, and her best book in my honest opinion). I fell in love instantly with Hannah’s beautiful writing skills, and Home Front did not disappoint. This book takes place in modern day, when mother-of-two Jolene Zarkades is sent overseas to the middle East to fly helicopters for the US army, leaving her daughters and failed marriage at home in the States. When she returns, injured, she isn’t sure that she can put her marriage back together, make her husband fall in love with her again, and heal from her wounds. And let me tell you, I actually teared up at the end of this emotional story, something I do not do often.
My rating: 5/5 stars
Age rating: 15+
I’m not sure what it is with these three books all being set during wartime, but Letters to the Lost was just as fantastic as the first two. I just finished it this afternoon after reading for three hours straight. It starts off when Jess, who just escaped her abusive boyfriend, breaks into an abandoned house and discovers a stack of letters from WWII. The story alternates between Jess’s point of view in 2011, and Stella’s point of view in the early 1940s, Stella being the owner of the letters. Stella, married to the vicar of her church, falls in love with an American airman named Dan and has an affair with him. Jess, along with her new friend Will, try to reunite Stella and Dan, who were separated during the war.
My rating: 5/5 stars
Age rating: 15+
Guys! Please read these three books – they are all incredible and extremely well-written. There is some adult content in all three of them (the last two having slightly more than Lovely War), but if you/your parents are okay with that, go ahead and give them a try. I really enjoyed all of them, and you probably will too.
Are y’all interested in seeing more book reviews in the future?