Friday, August 11, 2017

HIGHLIGHTS: June/July edition

It's wonderful to be back! Sorry for the unprecedented hiatus. Time was tight while I was away. So for this edition of HIGHLIGHTS I'm just squishing June and July together to make the Summer Super Edition! Just kidding about the title. That's slightly lame. XD It may not seem so lengthy, but a lot of the stuff mentioned I'm going to elaborate on in future posts, so if you're curious, just hang tight. There's more coming! Onto the actual post!

Family and Friends
  • I took a two and a half week road trip with my family across the United States! It was amazing. We saw so many sights and I couldn't help but feeling so much awe. I've never been outside of the South my entire life, and when I finally did, it was like my eyes were being opened. It's breathtaking to see real places that you only ever see pictures of in books.
  • My mom and I watched several Jane Austen movies. We're both Austen nerds, so this might be the thousandth time I've seen Pride and Prejudice? But it's amazing because Austen's books are something we can talk about, because my mom doesn't get a lot of time to read.
The Arts
  • I have remembered how much I love piano music. I downloaded several songs onto my iPad, and also I've found several compilations on YouTube. Piano is a beautiful instrument, even though I don't particularly like playing it. 
  • Echosmith released a new song! Go listen to it if you haven't. It's epic!
  • I did some artwork that I can actually be slightly proud of. I compiled a collected of my favorites, and I plan on posting that sometime soon. :)
  • I tried to keep up with Camp NaNoWriMo this July. And I succeeded in the end. But honestly, cramming is not the best way to go about winning. XD Click here to read all about my NaNo adventure.
  • I CAME UP WITH ANOTHER PLOT BUNNY! AND I CAME VERY CLOSE TO COMPLETING THE FIRST DRAFT OF DIVIDED. *GASP* I literally have two chapters left and then it's complete. Expect a celebration post soon. :D
  • I wrote for seven hours in one day and ended up with 6.5K words. That's a record for me. If you look at my stats, that's the highest bar in there. XD


I swear, I tried to read as much as I could but we had to return all our library books before our super long trip out west. So these two months were filled with re-reads and new reads, which were totally EPIC. I highly recommend the Embassy Row Trilogy.



On traveling and wanderlust. Would I be happy traveling around everywhere and never having a permanent home? Sure I'd enjoy all the sights, but in the end it's nice to come back to a clean house and a familiar bedroom full of dreams.

  • While on our trip, we went to Illinois, Missouri, and Utah, which are major historical sites in my church. I'll have separate posts on that coming soon, so keep your heads up. 
  • Over the course of our trip I got to see a total of eight temples. These are sacred buildings where member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can go inside and perform sacred work for God. If you want to see what one looks like, I'll post about it in a few days.
  • I got to go to two youth conferences for my church! They were epic. I made some new friends, got to hang out with my old ones, and basically just had a blast. I had to conduct the music one day and I'm pretty sure I messed up at least a hundred times—it was so nerve-wracking!

  • So I did have homework assignments during the summer, and I had a whole curricula laid out for me, but somehow I managed to avoid it all. Even in a car for 50 hours you can manage to procrastinate homework. XD The one thing I did make some progress on was geometry, but I think I only did a lesson and a half. 
  • We started preparations for the new school year. My curricula is laid out, and guess what? This is my last year of homeschooling and then I'm going to a community college. I'm so ready for the change, but first I have to plow through this year. Hopefully I'll survive. ;)

What did you do/read/think last month? Anyone wanna chat about books? What did you do this summer? I would love to hear all about it!


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Happy Fourth! (I know, like four days later...)

Hello all! It's been a while since I last posted. Oh well. It's summer. That means we bloggers get to take unforeseen hiatuses and flood your inboxes with photo dumps and stuff. It also means the Fourth of July happened! I love the Fourth because, unlike other holidays like Easter and Christmas (which feel super holy), we get to blow things up to celebrate our country's freedom! 

This year for the fourth, my family invited a bunch of other families over to our house to have dinner, swim, have a water balloon fight, and watch the fireworks. My dad got some sparklers and roman candles, and we got to shoot those off. Well, everyone else got to shoot off the roman candles. I was busy taking pictures. ;) But don't worry, I reserved a bunch of sparklers all for myself. XD And now for the photo dump! Prepare your wands, wizards!

My sister looking all cool and artsy XD

And that concludes the 2017 Fourth of July celebration photo dump! 

What did you do in celebration of our country's freedom? Do you like fireworks or playing with sparklers? Did you like the photos? Which was your favorite? 


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Chris Rae Launch Tour—Introducing Grace's Amazing New blog!

Good morning, lovely readers! Today, I’m going to be posting something a bit different. Charis, formerly known as Grace from The Girl Upstairs, is starting a new blog! I was lucky enough to be able to participate in the launch for her blog, so here I’ll be introducing her new blog, Charis Rae, and talking about some of my thoughts!

About Charis:

Among many things, I am a dreamer, dancer, writer & photographer, blogger, bibliophile, and daughter of the King. I enjoy blogging and am excited to move my blog to the next level.

About Charis Rae:

Charis Rae is a self-hosted, more professional version of my former blog, The Girl Upstairs. After blogging for quite a while, I decided to switch to a more professional platform and share more about me, my life, and my name. ;) On Charis Rae, I’m going to be sharing my interests, abilities, and journey through life and blogging, with all of you along for the ride. I hope that Charis Rae will become just as successful as The Girl Upstairs, but will reach more people, and eventually grow into something beyond my wildest dreams. I’m also excited to “learn the ropes” of self-hosting, coding, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store!


My Thoughts:

First off, I would like to say that the layout is beautiful! The colors are lovely and soft, and I love the accent flowers and the font. I loved the content that Charis posted on The Girl Upstairs, and I’m really excited to see what else she has planned for us! Her post quality is amazing and very interesting for readers. I’ll be sad to see The Girl Upstairs go, but I’m uber excited for Charis Rae!

If you want to follow the rest of the launch tour, here are the next stops:

{ June 17 }

{ June 18 }

{ June 19 }


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

HIGHLIGHTS—May edition

Hello all! Time for another round of HIGHLIGHTS!! To me this is starting to seem like bullet journaling, except I don't really know what bullet journaling is. Anyone care to explain to me this mysterious concept? Anyways, here's my recap of May:

Family and Friends
  • I signed up for blogger Charis's new blog tour! (previous alias, Grace. ;) I'll be posting more bout that on the 17th of June. Stay tuned! 
  • My grandparents came to visit! We went to the beach and I swam, for like, the first time this summer. The water was't actually too bad. It was really pretty because you could see all the sand at the bottom. We went to a great seafood restaurant (although quite expensive.) Everything was fried, and the French fries were breaded! Isn't that queer? Then we went downtown and looked as some super cute shops. There was one that had all products imported form Ireland, and I saw this uber cute forest green knit sweater that reminded me painfully of the one Puck had in the Scorpio Races. I almost cried when I saw the price tag. DX I think it's on my Christmas list now, despite the phenomenal price they were asking for it.
  • All is right in my familial and friendship relationships—other than the occasional argument over whose turn it is to take care of the pet birds. XD
The Arts
  • Found more new (old) music! Symphony—Zara Larsson and Clean Bandit; Whatever It Takes, Believer—Imagine Dragons; To Be Human—Sia.
  • I worked on a bit of Irish dance choreography, because, well, I really miss dance. When I get it down, I'll try to film it for you and post it here. ;)

  • This month I basically kept a really shaky writing schedule that ended up in resulting in the first parts of two short stories. One fantasy, one historical romance (?). I also wrote some poetry that I will get around to posting eventually on my writing blog..
  • I haven't yet finished DIVIDED, but I'm literally at the end. I'm soooooo close to finishing the first draft. Ugh, now time to push myself until it's done for June camp prep.


May wasn't a particularly productive reading month. I only managed four books. *long, deep sigh*
Jane Eyre si really good, by the way, if you can get past Mr. Rochester. I tend to get extremely disgusted by the large age difference and went through it like a turtle. The movie was okay, too. I'd read the book first because then more things in the movie make sense and you can seem like a nerd to your peers. ;P


On rain! I love rain. Lot's of people get depressed when it rains, but I love it. THere's something about the soft pitter-patter on the leaves and the cement combined with the fresh scent of soggy earth. It reminds me of tears. Sometimes it reminds me to pray for those that don't have shelter from the rain. Other times, it makes me pray for the people who don't have the rain in the first place.

Rain is a sad, beautiful thing.

  • I finished all my homework for my religious class! Lucky us, our classroom was being remodeled so we couldn't meet there and we did everything online. I caught up on two weeks worth of sleep! ;P 

  • School came to a wrap! I was getting pretty lazy about halfway through May though, and I'm still doing summer school, but JEEPERS IM GLAD IM FREEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

That was how my May went. What about you?

What did you do/read/think last month? Anyone wanna chat about books?


Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Will of God

I wanted to share this video with you. I have found it very comforting, because  I know who I am, but who does God want me to be? Sometimes I feel like He is not letting me pursue my path. But maybe He is trying to let me know that that is not where I am supposed to go. Maybe His plan is different than mine. But I now know that if I ask for His guidance and correction, He will show me who I really am.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Who Wants Cake?

Hi guys! In my last post I mentioned that for my youth group camp fundraiser we had a dessert auction. I baked a cake for it and to my surprise it sold for $55.00! I really was too proud of it, but I forgot to take pictures of it before it got sold. *mentally smacks self* But I started having dreams about it and craving cake reeeeaally badly so I made a twin for Mother's Day. XD I took pictures of that one. Here they are!

It was sooooo delicious. It was a white cake recipe from my secret cookbook (;P) and iced in homemade whipped cream because I don't really like frosting. I added a whole bunch of delicious strawberries for extra flavor and presented it as a Strawberry Creme Cake. I thought there might be some of you who like to bake, so I included the recipe below with my added notes. Tell me if you like it as much as I do! :D

*NOTE: I accidentally put half-pint of heavy whipping cream, but you will actually need ONE PINT. Make sure it is HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM. Sorry for the misinformation on the recipe card!*


Monday, May 15, 2017

HIGHLIGHTS—April Edition

Hello all! I rarely do update posts, but I thought that it might be a good idea to start a monthly lifey stuff recap. Because I'm so original, let's call it HIGHLIGHTS!! In all caps!! Yeeeaaahh!! *jazzy hands* *cues applause*

Family and Friends
  • Lydia came over for her spring break! We had a blast while filming a rather horrible reality show, a decent one-take music video, and going to Barnes and Noble to ogle at the books. (Unimportant, but we also discovered that Tris died in the Divergent series and how. Tragic!)
  • A week later my mom's friend came with her daughter and my sister and mom went touring the city with them. I guess they had fun...I got to stay home and read in the peace and quiet. Y'all bookworms know what I mean. 😉

The Arts
  • I still haven't found a new dance studio yet. It's either to expensive or too far away with traffic, so I probably won't get to take lessons any time soon. The good news though is that I'm going to attend a community college next year, and if I get a full-ride scholarship then I can take lessons there for free! 
  • Re-discovered some of my favorite musicians! Echosmith, Shawn Mendes, Lindsey Stirling, Tori Kelly, and Alessia Cara. Really the only one I actually re-discovered is Echosmith, but I found some favorites by the others! My current favorites list: Tell Her You Love Her, Bright, Come Together—Echosmith; Never Be Alone—Shawn Mendes; First Light, Beyond the Veil, Take Flight, Master of Tides—Lindsey Stirling; Hollow—Tori Kelly; Wild Things, Scars to Your Beautiful—Alessia Cara.

  • April was Camp NaNoWriMo!! I started a science fiction novel titled DIVIDED. Although I didn't win, I got really close to completing the first draft. I should be able to finish it in one week so I can be ready for edits in June. I'm really proud of myself because I've never progressed so far in a plot before! 
  • I have managed to ward off any plot bunnies that come hopping my way, because honestly I can't afford to let my brain go crazy again. I am writing down the ideas and keeping them safely stowed away in a notebook for later, though.
  • I pulled an all-nighter with Lydia! We started writing at 12:00 a.m. and finished at 4:00 a.m. and it was totally exhausting. We had cookies to keep us company though!
  • I completed Camp NaNo with 21 hours! I learned that I work better with an hour count instead of a word count because I get super stressed and can't write. I also learned not to switch my goal to an hour goal in the middle of the month. 😜 (If you want to read my Camp weekly recaps, click here.)




On dreams. I'll be doing a post about this soon, but I was thinking about the difference between people who dream and people who actually chase their dreams. A quote from my future post, "What is the purpose of dreams, if not to come true?"

  • At the beginning of April I watched a worldwide broadcast from the general authorities of my church. It was very uplifting and enlightening, even though I might have napped through half of the last session. 😜
  • Easter was last month! I wrote an Easter post. You can read it here.
  • My youth group had our fundraiser so we can go to summer camp this summer. We hosted a marvelous spaghetti dinner and dessert auction. The dinner was restaurant style with bread baskets and waitresses and everything. I think I had the best job for my skills of that day because I had been staying up until midnight for several days working out the logistics for the dinner and was about to fall asleep. I also acted as manager (which is exactly what I wanted to be. 😉)
  • I made this amazing cake that I had never  made before for the dessert auction part of our fundraiser. I was so proud of it and didn't want to let it go that I almost cried when it got bought and NOT by my dad. 😢 (I never even got to taste it!) The good thing is it helped to contribute a lot to our fund, because it sold for $55.00!! I was not expecting that.😆 I'll post some pictures soon of its twin. 😉
  • I go to an early morning religious class, and we've reached the point where we have only two more weeks of class left! I'm sooooooooooo relieved. I love the class, but the hours are killing me (from 5:45-6:45 a.m.). But that also means that I have to hurry and catch up on my assignments if I want to get a passing grade! I have to finish reading the New Testament and memorize a bunch of scriptures before graduation in June. *cough* I'm only in Corinthians *cough*

  • Entering the last few weeks of school. Good news: School is almost over and summer is almost here. I don't have much in the way of exams (perks of being homeschooled), but I do have a bunch of end-of-year reviews. *groans*
  • Bad news: I'm behind in science, math, writing, and Latin. My mom says I can finish Latin next semester, but I have to do summer school for the other three! 😫 I REALLY don't want to do summer school! I BARELY survived the spring semester. 

That was how my April went. What about you?

What did you do/read/think last month? Anyone wanna chat about books?