December 31, 2011

Ahhhh, Food.

So we have this new tradition on New Year's Eve to go to Olive Garden for dinner.  I took pictures of my food, LOL.

There's my grilled shrimp Caprese.  It's, like, my favorite Olive Garden meal.


And there are the little desserts my mom and I got.  Hers is the one on the right, and it's a tiramisu one.  Mine is the one on the left, and it was CHOCOLATE.

Last night, KJ (one of the commenters on here and one of my RL good friends) slept over.  We watched Monte Carlo-awesome movie, BTW-and Letters to Juliet.  That's, like, our movie to watch together.  I absolutely adore it.  Here's my favorite line:
"I didn't know true love had an expiration date."~Sophie
<3 <3 <3 <3 Soooo sweet and romantic!

December 28, 2011

Green With Envy


Apparently I'm not such a bad graphics maker after all, LOL.  BTW, my last name is supposed to be after my first but no way am I putting that out on the Internet for the world to see. *rolls eyes* So that's why my short story's cover looks a little unbalanced down there.  But is the cover intriguing, or a complete disaster?


December 24, 2011

CHRISTMAS

So, this is going to be the place to brag about all those terrific gifts you got.  I just have one rule: if you got an iPad, don't mention it because it'll make me very depressed, LOL.

I got...
a ton of books (duh!), including a Jane Austen treasury
a flat-iron
earrings
a magnetic bulletin board
Barnes & Noble giftcard
money
a new cell phone with a full QWERTY keyboard.  Best Christmas gift ever.  It's going to make texting so much easier.  I have to wait to activate it until my dad's minutes expire (he's getting my old cell phone), but I'm going to have a poll up soon about what y'all think I should get as my ringtone. ;)

December 23, 2011

~*~Night Owl~*~

Yup, I'm just a lil' old night owl, still awake at 12:40 CT.  But I'm getting excited for Christmas. *rolls eyes* Especially since my mom let me open the present from my BFFE that arrived in the mail today.  She got me earrings!  And not dangly ones, either, so I can wear them when my six weeks are up! :-D YOU ARE AWESOME, KELLY.  I only had two other pairs of earrings I could wear until it's been six months.

December 20, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree!

I decided to show off my family's Christmas tree and some of the various ornaments. (Also, I added a picture of my earrings to the last post.)

So that's the tree!  With the small multitude of presents underneath, my Rebecca doll (my mom wanted one of my AG dolls downstairs in their Christmas or Hanukkah outfit), and three Christmas-dressed Build-a-Bears.

There's the star!  We used to have an angel, but it kind of...fell apart, LOL, so now we use a star.  After all, it was a star that led the Magi to the baby Jesus.

My lovely Eiffel Tower ornament.  Yes, I am obsessed with France. *rolls eyes*

That's from our trip to NYC in 2008.  I love the colors of that ornament.

I am proud to say I'm a shopaholic!


Those are my three Christmas bears!  Alisa the Happy Hugs Teddy, Polaris the Polar Bear, and Chrysanthemum the Autumn Hugs Bear.

And, one of my favorite ornaments on the tree, our little glass nativity scene.

Happy Birthday to my Lord and Savior!

December 17, 2011

~~The Mall~~

Morning, y'all.  I had a long, tiring day yesterday, so I waited to blog until this morning.  We left at about nine and didn't get home until four, so I was just pooped.  I got...two shirts at Aeropostale, a necklace at Delia*s, lotion and fragrance at Bath & Body Works (none of the lip glosses appealed to me, which is tres sad :(), a couple stuffed animals, and some awesome boots at Payless Shoe Source.  I didn't find a lot of stuff I wanted, but I had lots of fun.

Oh, and yeah, my ears are pierced.  It wasn't too painful.  It felt like a slightly worse feeling than when I had taken off my clip-on earrings after wearing them for awhile.  Or maybe like falling down and scraping my knee.  They hurt afterward for a bit, but not too bad.  If you go on the Claire's website and check out the ear piercing section, you can click on a link and see their earring options.  I got the crystal tanzanite daisies.  I wanted the other flowers or my birthstone, but they were too expensive.  Crazy how expensive earrings can be.



In other news, we got SNOW last night!  I came down to the landing and happened to glance out my window and my face literally looked like this :O.  I didn't know we were going to get snow, so it was quite a surprise.

December 13, 2011

Your Opinion

I feel like I should've posted today... but I just don't know what to post about!

So, I'd like to hear ideas from all of you, stuff to get my brain going to help me when I get in sticky spots like this and need something to blog about.  What would y'all like to hear about? :)

December 6, 2011

Fashion Faux Pas

I sincerely wish I could do some from when I go to the mall in about a week, but my cell phone takes cruddy pictures, I can't bring my family's camera, and I doubt one of my friends will bring their iTouches. :P If I can convince one to bring their iTouch, then all hope is not lost for some Fashion Faux Pas to laugh at!

Guess what I'm doing at the mall?  Getting my ears pierced!  Finally.  I've been waiting since I was in, like, elementary school.

November 29, 2011

Oh.My.Word.

I am VICTORIOUS!


That's one awesome achievement, eh?  I'm going to continue to write more, of course.  Cassie's story isn't done yet.  Heck, she just finished her sophomore year. xD And it took me 35,027 words to get her there... Now here's another treat for you to feast your eyes upon.



This is the lovely cover of my book, created by a terrific graphic-designing friend of my friend on a forum website.  Looks amazing, doesn't it?  I think I'm going to have to enlist this girl to create the covers for the rest of the Diary of a Homeschooler series!

Happy writing, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Emma is in a very good mood, and even though it's 10 minutes 'til 2 in the morning, I honestly doubt she will be able to sleep now. xD

November 28, 2011

I retract my "Ugh!!!"  I shortened my word count to 35,000 words, and now I have...like 940 words to write! :) I plan to hopefully extend my word count, if I finish those words way before November 30th, 11 PM.  I'm only going to finish DoaH, though.  That's more important to me.  Plus, I'm kind of frustrated with MDBC because it just will not be written.  Or be long enough to satisfy me.  Well, whatever.  If you're NaNo-writing, tell me if you've finished your word count already or tell me when you do!  Now off to go make a bagel... (I don't think I've spilled this secret yet: I absolutely adore bagels.  They're one of my most favorite foods in the whole world.  Whoever-would it be whomever?-I marry better like bagels. xD)

Ugh!!!

I absolutely abhor being behind on my NaNo books!  I have 7,580 words left in DoaH to write at the time that I'm typing this blog post, and there are just about three days left.  I didn't get enough time to write over Thanksgiving, and I'm working double time to even meet my NaNo goal.  I'm considering lowering it to 35,000...can I still do that?  I'll go check momentarily.  If I can, that'll take a huge weight off my chest.  If not, I'm still going to try and finish the 40,000 words by November 30th.  Cassie would thank me, I think.  The book isn't close to done, though, but I can still win.  I'm praying that I can finish.  This is something so major to me.  Good luck to all other NaNoWriMo writers! :)

November 18, 2011

Oh. My. MDBC.

Guys, check out who just commented on my blog!  I think this calls for a celebration! *does a happy-dance, then blushes when Mom gives me a weird look* Check for the celebratory post coming this weekend! ;)

November 16, 2011

A Problem

The problem with Cassie and her blog is that her blog has to be written in MODERN time.  Whereas, with her book, I'm already into 2012.  And I'm only halfway done, so I really should be starting her junior year of high school.  Yet, I'm only in her freshmen year.  Not cool.  "Write faster, Emma!" I tell myself.  Easier said than done.  I definitely need to work on my techniques on putting bigger gaps in between each entry.  There's just so much going on in her life right now, though!

Want a little spoiler for DoaH?  Cassie's mom starts dating again, and Cassie absolutely abhors the guy.  She has this feeling that's he's not what he seems to be, and she just might be right....

November 13, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update #2

So, it's the second weekend of NaNoWriMo!  I should be about halfway through my book by now.... I'm not. :P In neither of my books.  I'm going to give a word count update as of this moment (it's going to change by later tonight) and the summaries of both books that I have on the NaNo sites! :)

Diary of a Homeschooler: Cassie    Word count update: 16,419 words
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Cassie Thompson figured her life would go from average to dull when she moved back to Virginia and her mom decided to homeschool her. But life has a way of taking interesting turns... With only the ears of her diary and BFF from back in Iowa, Cassie manages to struggle through her high school years. But everything isn't always rosy, of course.
 
The Mother-Daughter Book Club Fanfiction Two (official title will not be revealed) Word count update: 18,532 words
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's year two of the second generation book club, and the four older girls are officially in high school now! After much discussion, a few of Shannon Hale's books are decided on for the year of reading. But not everything is fun and books for Jane, Violet, Natalie, Kelsey, and Kiely. Jane's relationship with Christopher is blossoming, and there's fall play drama for Vi. But that drama stems from Natalie's ex-friend, Julia Kent, who is also causing problems for Natalie. Kiely's organization is taking off, but Kelsey has the worst luck-two major catastrophes. Will the book club's bonds grow closer, or will the club split apart?
 
BTW, Jane is Emma's daughter, Violet is Jess's daughter, Natalie is Cassidy's daughter, Kelsey is Megan's daughter, and Kiely is Becca's daughter.
Hope you enjoyed these small looks at my books!

November 8, 2011

NaNoWriMo Update

Good morning, fellow NaNo writers! (And good morning to my blog readers who aren't writers, as well.)  I thought I would update y'all on how I'm doing on my word count goals.  For the YWP NaNo, my goal is 40,000 words, although I'll hopefully get more. ;) Currently, for that book, I have 10,273 words.  So, 1/4 of the way there.  For regular NaNo, my goal has to be 50,000 words.  For that book, I've typed 13,638 words, but I have more than that on paper that I still need to add to the computer version.  I haven't even written in that book in several days because I've been too busy typing it all up!

So, wanna update me on how your NaNo writing is coming? :) If any of you want to become a NaNo writing buddy, you can always find me on the YWP NaNo. ;) I'm MDBCnumber1fan, and I post around the homeschoolers' forum a ton. ;) That's all for this rainy (bluck) day.

November 4, 2011

Excerpt of "Diary of a Homeschooler: Cassie"!

This excerpt is unedited.  It is not ready for "publication".  It is the same excerpt I have on the NaNoWriMo YWP site, but I hope you'll enjoy it! :)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 29, 2011
Dear Diary,
          Originally, I planned for this to be letters to my Iowan BFF, Meghan Noland, but this will do double duty.  As e-mails do not always suffice, I shall use this as my diary and send it as letters to Meg. 
I wasn’t expecting Virginia to be same way it was when we left six years ago.  Plus, Dad and Kyle were still with us, then… And I went to Chesterbrook Elementary way back in the third grade; now I’m homeschooled.  My best friend was Lydia Green, not Megs.

November 3, 2011

NaNoWriMo

Okay, so I have something to confess.  Writing on a tight schedule, especially with schoolwork, is hard.  You'd think the ideas would just flow out of my mind and onto the computer screen.  Ha!  I wish.  Fellow writers can probably commiserate.  I also found out this week that Romeo and Juliet isn't as good as I hoped.  Also, forgetting about your biology test until the day before it's due is never a good idea.  I might also mention that I've done very little homework for my study skills class....... Hey!  I got busy with NaNoWriMo, reading Romeo and Juliet, and other schoolwork!  The sad thing is, it's probably helped that my IMing bestie is busy with a CYT show, and so she's never on to chat.  Ah, well.  Thus the life of a future author!

November 1, 2011

There You Have It!

My special surprise?  A new blog!  This one by a very special girl.  She's going to be my main sidekick during NaNoWriMo.  After all, she's the main feature of my YWP NaNo book Diary of a Homeschooler: Cassie!  I've already started writing a bit about her (shh!), and it feels awesome to have a) a homeschooled character and b) someone who lives in my birth state of V.I.R.G.I.N.I.A!  In case you're all interested in reading her blog, here's the link. ;) All right, off to go wait for another half hour.  It's kind of agonizing, LOL!

http://virginiahomeschooler.blogspot.com/

October 25, 2011

A First

Well then.  This is the first time I've done two posts in one day!  You are very fortunate readers indeed, haha.  P&P is still quite good.  I still hold the same opinion as earlier.

But there is something else I wanted to tell you.  Once NaNoWriMo starts, there will be a special something on here by moi.  A giant post, a new blog, a story excerpt, hmmm....what could it be?  It may not even be one of those three.  I shall leave you guessing for six more days!

Oh. My. P&P

My small group leader loaned me the 1995 version of P&P. *faints* Colin Firth!  Oh, yes, I'm a full-on Janeite now.  It's fun to hear Colin Firth say "She smiles too much." and "She is tolerable."  And I loved how the opening P&P line was fit into the script.  But, IMO, the Jane Bennet in this version isn't that pretty.  Rosamund Pike is a much better Jane.  I prefer the 2005 version in the matter of characters, minus Mr. Darcy and this Lizzy.  I like both Elizabeths equally.  Well, that's for now.  We're only 35 minutes into the entire 6 hours.  I think I shall try what Mr. and Mrs. Hawthorne do in MDBC sometime.

October 20, 2011

Just Twelve Days

In just twelve days, National Novel Writing Month starts, and I officially signed up today on the young writer's website (so I can set my own word count goal)! :) They tell you that, ideally, you should start and finish a novel, but I'm using it to finish my second MDBC fanfiction (that's allowed), along with possibly two other books - one in my Life of Faith series and one in my "Diary of a Homeschooler" series.  The fanfiction is my first priority, however, because I've been writing this one since February 2011. :P

I'd love to have y'all join, if you're writers!  I'll update here occasionally during November on my progress.  And perhaps y'all will get an excerpt...? ;) 'Course, you would need to read the first MDBC fanfiction before, haha.

October 17, 2011

Be Proud of Me

I've finished - okay, MOSTLY finished - The Last of the Mohicans.  My mom is giving me until Wednesday to finish it (with tomorrow being the ideal deadline).  The book is slowly killing my appreciation of old lit, though.  I feel LotM is terribly written!  The style, the phrasing, GAH!  As soon as I finish it, I'm going to open up Home for the Holidays and enjoy some well-written descriptive writing.  Ahhh.  Just thinking about it makes me happier. :)

In other news, I've started volunteering at our local animal shelter, and guess who I saw last Tuesday?  Fern!  The kitty I rescued!  She is still as sweet as ever, but she growls and hisses at the other cats.  She's still fearful because of her time in the wild.  I've noticed she's very tentative about getting food and water.  But I don't spend all my time with her.  I've met some other tres adorable cats.  And I'll be seeing them all again tomorrow!  Hooray!

October 14, 2011

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

I'm surprised I'm so hyper.  After all, it's only 8:50 AM, and I'm exhausted!  But on Tuesday, I found out some amazing news. (No, unfortunately, I'm not getting a book published. :P) Shannon Hale is writing a sequel to Princess Academy!!!!!!!!!!!! :D I literally went "squeeeeeeeee!" (in my head) when I read the news on her blog.  PA is one of my fave books, ever since one of my besties gave it to me for my birthday last year.  Shannon Hale is an amazing author.  Her characters are vivid, her plotline is well-developed, and her stories feel extremely real.  I couldn't get into her Books of Bayern sequel, River Secrets (is it perhaps because a boy is the main character?), but I could still appreciate the beauty in her writing.  I also adore Shannon's website because she has so many tips for aspiring authors!  I don't know any other author who does that.  When I'm feeling down in my writing, I go and visit her website just to cheer me up. (Looking at past pictures of her twin baby daughters doesn't hurt, either.)

So, that's all for this chilly October Friday morn'!  TTFN, readers. ;) Off to go get ready for co-op.  It's picture day, eek!

October 11, 2011

My Blog

Hey, readers! :) If you look down at the very bottom of my blog, you'll see some new page elements.  Tell me what you think of them, please!  That's all for this lovely Tuesday morning.  I'm off to work on a math lesson.  Angles, yay.... haha. xD

October 10, 2011

Thought y'all might like to see more pics of my crazy dog. :)
Snoozing away in his crate.  Yet his ears are pricked...

Um, yeah, that's my crazy dog.....

And then a cute close-up. :)

Hope you enjoyed this little look into my dog's interesting life. ;D

October 9, 2011

Never Read...

The Last of the Mohicans.  I'm starting it right now for lit class and it's boring me out of my mind.  A lot of men just can't seem to write books that appeal to girls.  Well, back then.  Because a lot of girls love PJO, and the Chronicles of Narnia, and etc.  But I've noticed all the old lit I enjoy is written by women (Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Maud Hart Lovelace, and so forth).

Oh, and in other news, my friend loaned me The Son of Neptune.  And you want me to be honest (with some minor spoilers)?  Ella the harpy is sooo sweet.  I just want to hug her!  Frank got on my nerves.  And Percy did, too, a bit.  I miss funny Percy. :( In 3rd person, he can't be funny.  I also think the book was a waste of time.  They aren't even headed to Greece when it ends!

And finally, I've started The Call of the Wild, too.  It's better than The Last of the Mohicans, that's for sure. :P

October 4, 2011

I Now Have in My Possession....

Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays, eep! :D I'm about halfway through it, page 161.  There's a lot of shocking stuff.  But last night, I re-read one of my favorite lines in Pies & Prejudice: "Sometimes maybe dreams really do come true."  It's at the end of Jess's summer chapter.  Last night through this morning have been a dream for me.  That includes H4H.  I'll re-read it a ton.  Probably two more times today.  I have too much free time on my hands, haha.  Well, not really.  I have science homework and schoolwork that I should work on, but I'll delay it for a book series that has influenced my writing.

I have an idea for Heather.  In book six (or book seven, if there's a book seven), in the summer chapters, the MDBC should rent two RVs and take a trip to the Midwest and visit all the high points!  Chicago and Navy Pier.  A Cubs game.  Mackinac Island in Michigan.  Door County, Wisconsin.  Duluth, Minnesota.  Mall of America.  Lake Okoboji, Iowa.  The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.  Ooh, and where Maud Hart Lovelace is from! (She's the author of the Betsy-Tacy series that the girls are reading in H4H).  I can't remember the exact name. :P

October 3, 2011

It's Official

What's official?  You're probably wondering.  Oh, nothing much.  Just my now extreme dislike for Rick Riordan.  I still enjoy his PJO series.  Thus far, I think his Heroes of Olympus series is just okay.  I don't like his Egyptian mythology series, as it is too mystical.  But now you've really done it, Rick Riordan.  How am I supposed to beat you in getting out a Norse mythology book by 2015???  That's just four short years away.  Yeah, it's official.  He announced he will have a Norse mythology series starting in the works in 2015.  And I've been working on my ideas since before I started reading PJO.  It was a fantasy in the back of my brain since 2009, I believe.  This past February, I started researching the Norse gods.  And then I was temporarily sidetracked by reading PJO.  But I've been officially writing my Norse mythology book since April!  APRIL!  And of course, being a lowly teenager, I have no chance of getting published.  Is it time for me to boycott PJO?  No, I don't think so.  You can appreciate a book and not like the author, right?  But I still strongly dislike Rick Riordan now. >:-( (Note that I don't use the word hate.  Hate is not a people-verb.  If you hate someone, you become a hateful person.  Hate should only be used for things.  Like spinach and brussel sprouts and Justin Bieber's music.)

September 30, 2011

A Magical Trip

I keep discovering more and more books that I've forgotten to blog about!  Today's is The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone.  And guess where it's set?  The Chicago Art Institute!  It's about the Thorne Miniature Rooms.  Those rooms are AMAZING.  If you're ever in Chicago, you must beg to go to the AIC (Art Institute of Chicago) and then head downstairs to see these gorgeous miniatures.  They're like extremely well-created doll houses.  I've seen adults get excited about them.  Anyways, the book is about a magical key that the two main characters, Ruthie and Jack, find and what the key can do.  It's a really neat story, and I enjoy it, despite the magical elements.  It's nothing as extreme as Harry Potter, and my mom approved the book.  There's also a sequel coming out in January! :)

Oh, there's also a book about the Thorne Rooms (I had to buy it, LOL).  It's about the process of creating each and every room.  If you don't like details like that, I wouldn't suggest buying it.  But I enjoyed it, and I love looking at the pictures.  You can buy it in paperback or hardback at the AIC; I've also seen it on eBay and Amazon, too, I believe. ;)

Happy reading, and TGIF!

September 27, 2011

JUST ONE WEEK *fangirl squeal*

*fans self* Breathe, Emma, breathe.  Just one.more.week until Home for the Holidays and The Son of Neptune are released!!!  I am so excited, I can't put it into words.  I have H4H on order at our local small town bookstore, and one of my besties has (hopefully!) pre-ordered SoN because we're going to both read the book we got and then switch at our Friday homeschool co-op.  Neither of us has enough money to buy both, meh. :P But I'm super, super excited!  Rick Riordan just released the last new character image on his blog, and every single character has got me intrigued.  Octavian is pretty creepy-looking, but Reyna and Ella the harpy sound cool.  And so does Hazel.  And I know in The Lost Hero that Jason mentioned Hazel and Reyna.  And two other people named Dakota and Bobby.  If Dakota's a girl, Jason sure has a lot of gal pals...LOL!  I'd also like to thank Grace (y'all might know her as the blogger who writes "Tales of a 7th Grade Mosquito Hater") for giving me some sneak peek spoilers from her ARC copy of H4H that she won in Heather Vogel Frederick's contest.  Yay, Grace!  Even though I'm very jealous of you, ha-ha.  Well, that's all for this rainy Tuesday.  Next time I write...I just might have H4H...

September 25, 2011

On. The. Runway

This blog post probably won't be appreciated/liked by everyone.  I'm cool with that.  But I have to feature the last of my favorite series that I have neglected to blog about so far.  The series is called On the Runway.  It's written by Melody Carlson, and here comes the part that most of you won't like (I'm guessing): the series is Christian teen fiction.  The main character is a Christian.  There are several other Christians Erin Forrester (main character) encounters who help her grow in her faith.  Erin sticks to her moral standards that many would see as a bit stifled, but I see them as refreshing (although Erin's not real) in a world where so many things are now allowed that would've been forbidden even one hundred years ago.  This series should also have an age limit.  I don't think anyone under 13 or 14 should read it because of some of the topics discussed.  But I absolutely adore the series.  After all...it's about fashion! :D Here's book 6's cover.  Oh, and the books are-in order-Premiere, Catwalk, Rendezvous, Spotlight, Glamour, and Ciao.

Ciao  -     
        By: Melody Carlson

September 18, 2011

Lousy Weekend

Hello, lovely readers!  I've had a terrible weekend.  I've come down with a cold. :( Plus, I should really be starting Call of the Wild as bonus reading for school, and work on tackling my pile of science homework....nah, I'll wait until I'm feeling a tad better tomorrow.  Even though I have about six drawings of plants to do, tons of questions, a lab report, test studying....yeah, I should start tonight, LOL!

I'm looking for some new reading.  Do you think The Hunger Games would be appropriate for a Christian?  I need something to read (besides Call of the Wild) while I wait for Home for the Holidays and The Son of Neptune.

In other news, I think I'll be participating for the first time in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  It's in November, and there's no prize (unfortunately), but it might give me the incentive to finish my second MDBC fanfiction, and several other books I've been working on.  Are any of you going to participate?  Not everyone's a writer, and I get that (and to be honest, I'm glad because it means less competition, LOL), but it would be cool to talk about our books on here.

TTFN, readers!  I'm off to go tackle that pile of science homework....oh, how I already hate it, and I've only been doing science for two weeks!

September 16, 2011

Week of Books, Day Five: Animal Farm

The final book I chose was Animal Farm by George Orwell.  It's an allegory (correct term?  Not sure. xD) to Communist Russia, and I could definitely tell that throughout the whole book.  The book was much shorter than I was expecting, and the ending was very abrupt, but my mom explained that Orwell wrote it that way because Communism had not yet ended when he wrote the book.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who feels they are intellectually mature enough to read it.

September 15, 2011

Week of Books, Day Four: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

I started A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at the end of our trip back in July and finished it at home.  Written by Betty Smith, it is the tale of Francie Nolan, a young girl in Brooklyn, New York.  It has an authentic style to it, but there was a lot of foul language and name-calling (RACIST name-calling) that bothered me.  There was also one scene that is very mature.  I wouldn't suggest A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to anyone under 14.  So choose your reading material wisely. ;) If you'd really like to read this book and you're under 14, I'd look for an abridged version.

In other news, Rick Riordan [Did you know his name is pronounced Rye-or-din?  I always thought it was Ree-or-din!  Guess you learn something new every day, ha ha.  ANYWAYS.], Rick Riordan TAUNTED us on his blog with a picture of him and a copy of The Son of Neptune, the next book in the Heroes of Olympus series.  SoN is released October 4th, and the wait is driving me crazy!  And he had to go and taunt us with an actual copy to boot.  Cruel, cruel, cruel.  At least Heather Vogel Frederick isn't doing that with Home for the Holidays! (Also released October 4th.)

September 14, 2011

Week of Books, Day Three: The Yearling

Y'all remember that vacation I took back in July?  Good.  Well, on that trip I brought the next two books on my summer reading list and read both.  They were much shorter than Gone With the Wind, LOL.  First up was The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.  It's the tale of Jody Baxter, a young boy in post-Civil War Florida.  The dialect in the book was very authentic, although some sentences took some re-reading to understand what the characters were saying.  The ending is a bit sad, so if you're very sensitive to...(I think I can say this without spoiling the ending entirely...) deaths, I wouldn't read the book quite yet.  Wait until you're older. ;) Overall, I'd only give this book a 2.5/5, but then, I've never really enjoyed books with boys as the main characters, ROFL.  Percy Jackson is excluded in that statement.

September 13, 2011

Week of Books, Day Two: Gone With the Wind

Next on my reading list was a tale of epic proportions-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  It took me approximately 2 weeks to read this hefty book, and I can usually read a 500-page book in 2 1/2 hours!  Gone With the Wind, for those who haven't read it or heard of it, is the tale of Miss Scarlett O'Hara, a Southern belle.  The story takes place before, during, and after the American Civil War of the 1860s.  The characters of the book are well-formed.  You could even say Tara (not a person) is a character.  But who is Tara?  I challenge you to read Gone With the Wind to find out. ;) This book doesn't claim a top fave spot for me (those are dominated by P&P, MDBC, Percy Jackson, Canterwood Crest, Warriors, On the Runway...I should stop there, LOL.  Otherwise we'll be here for hours!), but it's definitely a masterpiece.  I learned in reading it that even if you weren't a slave owner, your opinions could be biased by people you knew who were...... (Margaret Mitchell was one of those non-slave owners.)

September 12, 2011

Week of Books, Day One: Cheaper by the Dozen

Cheaper by the Dozen, published in 1948, was written by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.  It's the story of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth and their 12 children.  It is hardly anything like the 2003 movie, but quite similar to the 1950 movie.  The book mainly focuses on the Gilbreths' lives in Montclair, New Jersey.  There are a lot of funny parts in the book (jokes about how many kids they have, and the hilarity that ensues).  I definitely recommend reading this book because it's appropriate, a family story, and very sweet.  Once you read it, I recommend hunting down the 1950 film version and watching it.  I always love watching movies based off of books and knowing who everyone is when my mom doesn't, LOL! (That happened the first time we watched Pride and Prejudice, and I was shocked to learn that my mom hadn't read my beloved P&P.)

Well, that's all for today.  Gotta get back to school.  I still have studying for tests, a history assignment, a couple English assignments, French, and some stuff from co-op, but I wanted y'all to have this blog post when you got home from school.

September 10, 2011

Now I know how Emma (the OTHER Emma) felt about Pip...

(sorry about the picture quality; took it with my cell phone)

You see that little cutie?  That's Fern, a former stray.  She waltzed into our yard today when we were outside.  She immediately took to me, and I wanted to keep her so badly!  But, the sad news is, my parents are both allergic to cats. :( BUT we took her to our local no-kill shelter.  They took her in, and we got to give Fern her name since we rescued her.  I chose Fern because it just felt right.  The crazy thing?  She might be expecting kittens!  'Course, it's hard to tell because she's so, so thin. :( I was petting her, and I could feel her shoulder blades, her spine, and her ribs.
I also wanted to use this post to ask people to adopt from shelters.  There are so many strays that no-kill shelters are having to turn them away and send them to Animal Control.  Animal Control kills animals if they don't have enough space or if they're there too long.  So, NEVER buy from pet stores (they get their dogs and cats from puppy and kitten mills) and try not to buy from reputable breeders.  Yeah, they're reputable, but there are so many poor shelter pets that need loving homes!  Check the ASPCA (American Society for Prevention of Animal Cruelty is the full name, I believe) and check your local shelters.  You can make a difference just by adopting a rescue pet.  OR if you or a family member is allergic, consider making a donation. ;)
I'll be posting again on Monday about the first book I read this summer. ;)

September 8, 2011

A Week of Books

This summer, I had to read 5 books from a recommended reading list (that I also have to read from over the course of this school year).  Since I never blogged about them, I decided next week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, I'm going to blog about each book.  They were certainly interesting reads, and I hope if you haven't read them yet, I'll inspire you to.

In other news, my homeschool co-op starts Friday.  One of my teachers e-mailed my mom the syllabus for the class.  It's an English course, just one semester, and it's going to be INTENSE.  Oh, boy...that's what I get for wanting to take three English courses, though, LOL!

September 7, 2011

The Scarlet Letter

I had to read The Scarlet Letter for lit class.  I found it both interesting and boring at the same time.  The characters were kind of dreary and weird, the writing style was seriously old-fashioned, but the plot was pretty cool.  I was totally shocked when I found out the true identity of two characters.  If you haven't read this book yet, I'd recommend it for a book report, not pleasure reading.  It would definitely impress your teacher if you used this book.  Well, that's it for this pleasant September day!  I'm about to go next door and take care of my neighbor's dog.  And use the swing she has for her granddaughter, LOL. ;) It's a nice day for swinging.


A

August 28, 2011

HURRICANE IRENE

Of course the hurricane affected my family and friends in VA.  As of now, we've heard back from all but two families.  Everyone (of those we've heard from) is safe, praise the Lord! :) I'm sure there is going to be a long period of recovery and rebuilding.  The area that I think will bounce back the quickest?  NYC.  New Yorkers are so resilient, I think!

On a less serious note, I wondered if y'all would be interested in some Fashion Faux Pas, like Megan did in her blog in MDBC?  One of my friends and I love spotting them whenever we're out.  We've spotted some truly hideous combinations.  The faux pas will be far and few between, as I'm a little nervous to try and surreptitiously take pictures.  But I'll try my best, for the sake of my readers, if you really want me to do them. :) Please, please, leave me a comment with your answer.

August 24, 2011

8/23/11 East Coast Earthquake

I was very glad to hear that it sounds like everyone is safe.  I have friends and family in VA, and they say there was very little damage, just a lot of shaking.  My prayers are with everyone there, and also the people in Colorado. :)

August 20, 2011

The Beginning of All Chick Lit...

And so my blog finally comes to one of my favorite topics-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. 
I knew the book existed.  My mom bought a copy of it for me to attempt reading.  It was even a special copy with little insights, including historical notes, key notes about the story, Jane's life, etc.  But I epically failed in my reading of it.  It was probably over my head at that point.  But then the beloved mother-daughter book club in Heather Vogel Frederick's series read it.  I knew I had to try again, for the sake of the girls who seem so real to me.  And I'm glad I made a second attempt, for I finished P&P and LOVED it! :) And now I read it at least once a month.  I have only seen the 2005 movie, but I'm trying to find the edition with Colin Firth in it at our library.  But I'm hooked!  And my mom found out that the same publishing company that did the edition I have of P&P has done one of Sense and Sensibility so I've ordered it.  Hooray for Jane Austen!  If only she'd lived longer...how many more books she might've written....

If you want to know the version of P&P I own, just leave a comment. ;)

August 16, 2011

There is Nothing I Dread So Much as.....SCHOOL (Excluding a Few Things, I Suppose)


Yes, I think I'm allergic to school, LOL.  It's not that I don't like some of my subjects.  In fact, some of them can be enjoyable part of the time.  But it's the lack of free time, I suppose, that irks me.  That and the subjects that I do dislike (a.k.a. math, science, P.E.).  I started school yesterday (I'm homeschooled), and history, lit, English, and Bible (some of my fave subjects) have been a bit of a bore thus far.  I suppose because it's all introductory stuff.  French hasn't been too bad.  I'm learning new stuff all the time in that, so of course it's interesting.  So, what do each of you think of school?  What's your fave subject?  Answer me in the comments.  I'm interesting to hear. ;)


August 11, 2011

Fashionista Jane

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a girl in possession of a passion for fashion must be in want of an audience.... So Megan Wong started her blog in Pies & Prejudice, my favorite MDBC book thus far.  I'm going to take my own spin on that famed line.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a girl in possession of a passion for fashion (but hardly any talent for designing) must be in want of simply appreciation.
That sound good to y'all?  Well, this whole blog post is going to be about fashion through the decades.  Let's start with the 1900s....


Skirts were long, hats were popular, and puffed sleeves were in. (Anne of Green Gables, anyone?)


Moving onto the 1910s, the Grecian empire waist style was in, and skirts shortened a few inches.  Elegance was still top.  But that would all change in the 1920s...

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Fashion changed majorly turning the Roaring Twenties.  Skirts shortened majorly, the flapper look was in (at least for young women), and the fashion world took a complete 180.

Alas, I have no good pictures for the '30s and '40s, but I can tell you this: during the 1930s, clothing became more practical again (after all, the Great Depression was running its course).  It stayed that way during the 1940s, one of the best fashion decades, IMO.  Skirts were knee-length and A-line style.  The shirts were gorgeous blouses.  And pumps were well-loved.

Now onto the 1950s...
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I must admit, the 1950s were pretty fabulous, too.  After all, belts and skirts.  What could be cooler???  This was also the decade of the poodle skirts.  But we shall not feature those, as I don't find them very...groovy.  Oh, wait.  I'm a decade ahead of myself with that word. xD

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Ignore Barbra Streisand's....interesting pose, LOL.  What I'm focusing on is the DRESS.  The 1960s were a time of crewneck shift-style dresses.  Never mind the hippies and their rad styles. ;) What else was "in" during the '60s?  Go-go boots and mini skirts.


Flared jeans, platform sandals, and a cowgirl blouse, oh my!  It looks like some trends go away and then return...

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Princess Diana would hopefully still be a style icon today...if she managed to give up the shoulder pads, LOL!  Shoulder pads were the rage in the 1980s, as were aerobic gear, loose tops, and tight bottoms.

The 1990s were such an "anything goes" decade that there's no single picture that could represent it all.  Casual clothing, continuation of the '80s' trends, revival of the hippie styles, etc., etc.

Once again, with the 2000s, almost everything was seen.  From miniskirts, Daisy Dukes, and ponchos, to skinny jeans, Converse, and Uggs.

So, what will happen this decade?  Only time will tell...I personally hope the styles of the 1940s and '50s will get a revival. ;)

August 5, 2011

The Mist Can Deceive You

Percy Jackson    The Sea of Monsters

The Titan's Curse    Battle of the Labyrinth

The Last Olympian

Do any of these books sound or look familiar to you?  Even if you've never picked up a book from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, you've surely heard of them (or maybe the absolutely horrid movie made of book one-seriously, how much can you change of a book?!?!).  Just like Canterwood Crest, this series is a new find of mine.  One of my besties has been talking about PJO for ages, and she finally got me to read them this past spring.  I discovered that I LOVED them and couldn't put them down.  Rick Riordan is a master author.  Seriously.  He makes aspiring author me seem like, oh, I don't know, a kindergartener trying to write a masterpiece that only their parents will love.  His books aren't my fave series (I'm addicted to The Mother-Daughter Book Club and Pride and Prejudice), but they're definitely in my top 5.  If you haven't tried this series yet, please do!  You might be pleasantly surprised...just like I was. ;-)

August 3, 2011

My Naughty Dog Named Sunny

I come downstairs from my room, and this is what I see:

My dog (who is NOT a puppy-he's almost 9 years old) was lying on the sofa.  He's not allowed on the furniture.  So, I took the pics and then sent him to his crate.  Here's another picture of my sweet but insubordinate dog.



July 27, 2011

M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A

We had the best time in Minnesota, despite the heat.  Here's some pics from the zoo we went to and the Twins game we attended on Friday night!  Oh, and at the baseball game, a guy proposed to his girlfriend.  So cool.  We also visited this small town on the...La Croix River (I think that's it's name).  It has a lift bridge that's highly trafficked.

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Hope y'all enjoy this little view of my vacation. :)

July 26, 2011

I'm Baaaaaaaack!

Did ya miss me?  Probably not, LOL.  Well, if y'all didn't notice, I added a new poll feature to the blog!  Woot, woot!  Each poll is probably going to be a hint to a future blog post. ;) Also, as for pics from my trip, I'll post them tomorrow afternoon after I get back from babysitting. ;) We didn't go to any super well-known places, so there aren't a ton of pics.  My mom was very glad that we didn't go to Mall of America.  It's always been super crazy when we've gone.  I missed going a bit, but I did shopping at two other malls.  Got the best deals at Aeropostale, got TONS of books at Barnes & Noble (second best bookstore in the world), and some new lip gloss at Bath & Body Works (my fave place to buy lip gloss).  You'll hear more about that lip gloss in another post later on.  Well, that's all for now.  It's about 10:30 PM here, and I'm getting tired.  I have to get up early tomorrow for the babysitting job.  Night, y'all. :)

July 19, 2011

The MDBC Characters! (And an Announcement)

Jess.  Cassidy.  Megan.  Emma.  Becca.  If you've read The Mother-Daughter Book Club before, those names should sound VERY familiar. ;) Those are the five main girls in the series.  And they're each on the cover of one of the books (in the order I listed them).  Now I'll talk more about each girl (all info is mainly based on book 1, so as not to spoil things later in the series ;)).

Jessica "Jess" Delaney-Jess is blonde-haired, blue-eyed, petite and lives on a farm a short distance outside of Concord, Massachusetts (where the books are set).  She loves music, science, and animals, and this is evidenced in all the books thus far.  In book one, her mom is off in New York as an actress, and Jess misses her a ton.  She's also, perhaps, the shyest of the group.
Cassidy Ann Sloane-Cassidy is the new girl in town (she, her mom, and her sister just moved from Laguna Beach, California).  With red hair, freckles, and gray eyes, she definitely doesn't fit in.  Especially because she's a mega-tomboy.  She played hockey back in CA, but now her mom won't let her.
Megan Rose Wong-Megan and Emma used to be good friends, but ever since Megan's dad became a billionaire, there's been a great barrier between the girls.  Megan is Asian-American.  She loves clothes and fashion designing.  Her mom, however, wants her to be the "typical Chinese-American girl" (a.k.a., studious, well-mannered, etc.).  Megan is pretty well-behaved, but she doesn't like school very much.  She also likes book club the least of the four girls (at least, in book one ;)).
Emma Jane Hawthorne-Emma has curly, short brown hair, brown eyes, and glasses.  She's a total bookworm and loves writing (poetry and stories).  She's also...a bit on the chubby side.  She and Jess are the favorite targets of the Fab Three (Becca and her two cronies, Ashley and Jen).  Jess is her best friend.
Rebecca "Becca" Louise Chadwick-Becca is the school's mean girl.  She adores boys, clothes, and being popular.  She befriended Megan once Megan became rich, but their friendship is more than just about money.  However, Becca has influenced Megan to be quite mean.  Can either of them change?

So, that's the main characters of MDBC (excluding the moms).  Now for my announcement!  I'm leaving on vacation tomorrow, so there will be no new blog posts for a week.  But I might post pictures of my trip when I get back! (Pictures that keep mine and my family's privacy, of course.) I can, however, tell you where I'm going-Minnesota! :) We have family up there that we're going to visit.  And if the heat would relent a bit, we'll do more than just hang out around the house. ;P TTFN! :)

July 18, 2011

THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB (About the series)

The Mother-Daughter Book Club Much Adob About Anne Dear Pen Pal Pies & Prejudice Home for the Holidays
(pics are courtesy of Heather Vogel Frederick's website)

The Mother-Daughter Book Club series is about five girls (though it starts with just four) and their mothers.  The moms start a book club so they can bond with their daughters.  In each book they read a classic (book 1-Little Women, book two-Anne of Green Gables, book 3-Daddy-Long-Legs and others by Jean Webster, book 4-Pride and Prejudice, and in book 5, they're going to read the Betsy-Tacy series).  But it's not just about the book club.  Each girl has a chapter in each season (so 16 chapters total in each book) and we get to see Emma's, Jess's, Megan's, and Cassidy's triumphs, bad days, etc.  Sometimes, the events in the books they're reading are paralleled in their own lives!  Books 1-4 have been released, and book 5 (Home for the Holidays) is due out on October 4th.  If you're between the ages of 10-15, this series could be one for you to check out.  I've adored it ever since I picked up the first two books back in 2009.  I also claim to be the series' #1 fan.  After all, does anyone else dream of being the one to write the screenplays for these books to become movies, or is anyone else writing a fanfiction about the series?  I also can remember almost every scene in the books, and I can even sometimes remember specific quotes! (Not to sound like I'm bragging. ;) I'm just proving why I have rights to the title as #1 MDBC fan, LOL.)

July 17, 2011

First Post! :-O

This is my first post on my new blog...I should probably explain what I'll do on this blog. ;) That would be useful, right?

I'll tell you all about new books I've read, review old favorites and new reads, post pictures of my adorable dog (who just flopped over on the floor-must be tired from his walk, eh?), and much more!  I hope you're going to enjoy it. :)

To start, I'm going to talk about my favorite author.  Okay, authors.  Five words. Heather Vogel Frederick & Jane Austen.  They are two of the best writers in the world (in my opinion).  If you haven't heard of Jane Austen, I'm sorry, but you probably have lived under a rock.  HVF (as I often refer to her) is lesser known.  She writes this series called "The Mother-Daughter Book Club", and it is EPIC.  One of the characters is even named Emma, like me!  I'll do another post later on about the series and the characters. ;) You should totally check her books out.  She's also written a series titled "Spy Mice".  Go HVF!