Sunday, January 19, 2014


My friend Brian got a bunny named Lola.  I love her, even though she pooped on me!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

'Growth' // The Creative Collective

Melyssa from the Nectar Collective has started The Creative Collective. She brainstormed 23 creative activities for bloggers to participate in throughout the year of 2014.  I'm really excited to participate in this collective and actually made my collage almost a week early because I was so eager to start!  The first prompt, for January 15th, is to create a collage of materials in your home which embodies the word you want to focus on in 2014.

For 2014, I have decided upon the word 'growth'.  This word will remind me to grow with change and work on my intellectual growth.  With my freshman year in college fall 2014, change is going to happen and I want to be okay with that.  I think the word growth will remind me that with every change comes an opportunity to better myself too.  Another aspect of growth is intellectual growth.  It takes a lot of effort to sit down and read nonfiction instead of just going to sleep or turning on the computer.  However, I feel more accomplished by finishing a book than a TV series. I hope the word growth will help me remember to further my education outside of school.

My collage is made entirely of college pamphlets.  I have been sent at least a pamphlet a day for the past year and a half which has added up to a large pile of paper.  For some reason I have kept all of these letters but there are no magazines my house! I actually find the use of college pamphlets very fitting as college is what a lot of my growth will be centered around in 2014.  It is also incredibly easy to find inspirational images in a college look-book!  I really like the combination of reading and adventuring in my collage.  I think they're both valid ways of expanding your worldly knowledge which is my main goal this year.

While searching through the mass of leaflets, I found these great quotes in a letter from MIT.  Unfortunately, the did not fit on my collage but I just pinned them up underneath it.  These quotes are great inspiration to begin your dreams.  My favorite has to be "The most effective way to do it, is to do it." which Amelia Earhart said.

I'm really excited about this series of posts for 2014.  Creativity is a great thing to foster and can easily be lost in the day to day.  If you decide to participate in the Creative Collective make sure to visit the master list of days and prompts on Melyssa's blog (link) and comment below with a link to your post!

The Creative Collective

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Trinidad, California // Car Adventures

The other day my friends and I went on a drive and found this wonderful vista point.  We were driving along the coast in Trinidad and just decided to park at this random turnout.  It had a little path which lead from the turnout to  a rock that jetted about 500ft into the ocean. It was really cool to be up so high and have waves crashing all around you.  Plus it was absolutely gorgeous even with the misty rain coming down.

I really love finding places like this in my own backyard.  No one has to travel hundreds of miles to find something exciting or beautiful.  If you look hard enough or just travel outside of you're comfort zone, you'll find something amazing. I used to be frustrated by living three hours from a decent mall or movie theatre but recently I've accepted that certain entertainments are not available where I live and I need to appreciate the ones I do have, namely nature.  

Now that I'm looking at where I will live next year for college, the idea of being away from the ocean worries me.  I go to the beach at least twice a month and drive past the bay every single day.  Living in a non-coastal town will be different, to say the least, but I want to make sure I appreciate the ocean while I have it.

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
Publisher:  Point
Pages: 353
Rating: 4/5

   Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way.  Her family owns the Hopewell, a small Art Deco hotel in the heart of New York City.
     When each of the Martins turns fifteen, they are expected to take over the care of a suite.  For Scarlett's fifteenth birthday, she gets both a room called the Empire Suite and a permanent guest named Mrs. Amberson.  Scarlett doesn't quite know what to make of this C-list starlet and world traveler. And when she meets Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who has just moved to the city, her summer takes an unexpected turn.
     Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery and romantic missteps.  But in the city where anything can happen, she just might be able to pull it off.

Suite Scarlett opens with Scarlett's fifteenth birthday.  A day that should be filled with happiness and excitement but is clouded by the financial hardships the Martins are facing.  Instead of a wonderful meal of Belgium pancakes, Scarlett finds a burnt substitution as her parents have had to fire the chef.  Welcome to life with the Martins.  Scarlett's parents and three siblings; Spencer, Lola, and Marlene, live inside a gorgeous, slightly out-dated, and usually empty hotel named the Hopewell.  However, the Empire Suite is soon filled by Mrs. Amberson, a once actor and looking to reconnect with New York after years in Thailand.  The addition of Mrs. Amberson to the Hopewell brings career opportunities, costumers, and love the Martins have waited so long to find.

I really liked this book.  It was fast-paced and I finished it in about a day.  I have read Maureen Johnson's other books (Devilish and others) before and I was glad to find the same type of lovable and engaging characters in both books.  I fell in love with Scarlett's brother Spencer which is odd considering he isn't the main love interest in the novel.  In my defense, he is written splendidly with interesting character faults, like being unaware of the effect of his words, plus he has the strong yet thin and wiry body type which is always attractive to me. I was less thrilled with the actual love interest for Scarlett.  I felt Eric was not the right person for Scarlett and didn't even find him attractive! This is amazing, I find trees attractive.  During multiple interactions between Scarlett and Eric, I had to physically close the book and verbally display my annoyance with the proceedings.  In other words, I had to yell to my empty room.  However, while this was aggravating, it does show that I was invested in Scarlett's life so bravo to Maureen Johnson.

The main driving point of the novel is that Spencer must land an acting job or unwillingly enroll in a culinary school.  This motivates Spencer to join a production of Hamlet which is where Scarlett meets Eric and so on.  I found Johnson's portrayal of the production of a play endlessly entertaining and fitting as I'm going to be spending the next two weeks locked inside a theatre!  I especially loved the physical comedy routines between Eric and Spencer.  They helped to lighten the book and who doesn't want to picture two hot guys riding unicycles and having fake fights? Just me? Okay.

By far my favorite part of Suite Scarlett was the emphasis on family.  So many novels, especially young adult novels, focus on romance, love and relationships but that all takes a backseat in Suite Scarlett.   The focus of the novel is really on Scarlett and how this summer help strengthen her connections with her siblings. Over the course of the novel, all four siblings learn more about one another and come together as a more cohesive family.  I love to see groups of people overcome their clashing personalities and come together to make something awesome.  Yeah, it's one of my favorite types of plot.

To round up my thoughts, I'm really glad I took the time to read Suite Scarlett. It has pumped me up for my own production as well as reminded me that not every YA book is centered on romance.  If you're ever feeling a bit stuck or low on energy and want a quick fun read that still has some depth, Suite Scarlett is the way to go.

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Monday, January 6, 2014

Book Buying Spree Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Bookish Comforts and the idea is 'Imagine you've just won a $100 book buying spree for The Book Depository. What would you buy?'  I love the idea of this challenge and clicked right over to The Book Depository to make my list!

This would be my list, coming in only $1.50 under $100 dollars! I didn't opt for many cheap books but I've been really lusting over these six books.  The two that I'm most excited about are Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya Von Bremzen and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.  Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is actually a memoir of her life in Soviet Russia which I would love  due to my infatuation with anything that has to do with Soviet Russia.  Fangirl is a story about the clash between the world of fandoms and real life. It is centered on a girl's transition to college life and, as I am entering college this fall and I am involved in the Harry Potter fandom I little too much, it would be a perfect read for me!

I really loved this challenge from Bookish Comforts and hope to be involved in one of their read-a-thons this summer!
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