Homer’s Flowers

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!

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This picture was my profile picture for quite a while. 😉

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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.)

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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!

XOXO,

Morgan

Quarantine Room Tour | I’m Bored

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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Here’s the full thing.

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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. ☺️

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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.

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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).

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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. ☺️

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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.

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My bookshelf and bed . . .

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. . . and the view you get if you were standing by the Paris Corner. (You can see the light-up sign better here.)

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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.

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More foxes, and my blue/purple shelf.

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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.

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I’m way too lazy to rearrange these pictures. 😂 Here’s my bed again.

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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.

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The view out my window – not very pretty this time of year unfortunately. :/

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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. 😂

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On the wall above my desk is my calender – completely empty at the moment! #thatquarantinevibe

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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.

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Peep my feet . . . 😂 (I should paint my nails lol.)

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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). 😂

XOXO,

Morgan

We’re Back (I Think) + What I’ve Been Reading

Heyyyy guys. Long time no see.

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!

 

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Lovely War by Julie Berry

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+

 

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Home Front by Kristin Hannah

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+

 

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Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey

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?

Until next time,

Morgan

 

 

 

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. ❤️

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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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