This is a bit of a mouthful so please be patient with me. I’ve been inactive in all creative aspects of my life so don’t feel like I abandoned this blog for something else. I have been in not just a creative slump but also what I would call a life slump. We are nearing the end of a decade, & I feel like I’m going through a personal crisis, questioning my purpose in life & what I’m meant to be doing. At the end of the day, I am an artist at heart so none of this will be going away anytime soon. Writing keeps me sane, especially at times like this. That brings me to the next part of this saga.
A little less than two weeks ago, my dad drove himself to the emergency room. Three days later, he had open heart surgery. The next day he woke up with amnesia; it isn’t an extreme case but serious enough to require slow, detailed sentences & repetition. One week later he was able to come home, still showing signs of memory loss. To say my family is emotionally drained & physically exhausted is an understatement, but we are walking hand in hand through this journey & taking it one day at a time. Every day he shows signs of improvement, & I cling to those glimmers of hope because the lowest moments have brought me to my knees sobbing in prayer. Perhaps that’s where God wants me to be more often. I am so grateful for the overwhelming amount of prayers & outpouring of love. I know my dad is the best so I’m glad other people think so too. 😉 Onto the last part of this update!
I know this is a change of tone, but hear me out before you roll your eyes. Disney & reviews.orgare offering $1,000 in exchange for watching 30 Disney movies in 30 days on their new streaming service Disney+. First of all, this would be a bright spot in my life after a sad ending to the month of October. Second, I am a Disney fanatic & binge-watcher extraordinaire, the perfect candidate for this “dream job.” Third, that money would be an amazing gift to me & my family. This is where I need Y O U R help so pay close attention. The application process includes social media following & a video reviewing my favorite Disney movie. The video is not on Youtube yet, but you can start clicking on each of my links & following me. What are you waiting for?? GO GO GO!!
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading everything I had to say. I appreciate everyone who has supported this blog. It means the world to me. 🌍 I promise it won’t be long before I’m back with a new post. Keep an eye out! 👁
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“This is a story that I have never told. I gotta get this off my chest to let it go. I need to take back the light inside you stole.”
A few years ago I choreographed a dance routine to “Warrior” for a talent show. I hadn’t danced in awhile so it wasn’t my best performance ever, but something inside me needed an outlet. After I finished, I had to run to the bathroom because I was shaking so bad & sobbing. I’m not open about things in my past because I don’t think it’s something the public needs to know. However, if you are someone who is still healing, you are not alone. Middle school and high school were hell for me, but college was even worse. I suffered for so long and then turned around and made my precious family suffer because of my anger. I was angry at myself for being weak & at God for abandoning me. I hope my mom doesn’t mind me sharing this, but she has told me that she thought she would lose me in college because I was so close to the edge without caring. There is no sugar coating this: I wanted to die.
Tomorrow I turn 25 years old. The broken little girl in middle school didn’t think she would make it this far. The angry college student didn’t want to make it this far. God brought me this far, and He isn’t done yet.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.” – Psalm 40:1-3
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Last night I stayed up late reading. In my mind I knew I should be a responsible adult & go to bed, but my heart told me to take advantage. It’s been awhile since I devoured a book so I resisted sleep for as long as I could, specifically until 1:30am. Goodbye reading slump! For those that are curious, I’m currently reading Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco. It is the sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper, and I am loving it so far. Speaking of books, my family visited Barnes & Noble Sunday night. I always know how depressed I will be looking at all the books I can’t afford, but I go anyway. My parents were kind enough to buy me a new book. THANK YOU!!!!! I chose Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero, a novel I’ve been dying to read for months. I am a HUGE Scooby-Doo fan so I hope this mystery gang-inspired story lives up to my expectations. In regard to my Tuesday agenda, I am currently blogging on my typewriter while watching my favorite Almanzo & Laura episodes of Little House on the Prairie. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day. Happy Tuesday! :)
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Some of you may be sorrowfully singing “Where are you Blooogmaaas??” Apologies for my sudden exit from the festivities. I had to work every day leading up to Christmas, and most of my time at home was spent relaxing and sleeping (in between uploading pre-filmed Youtube videos & reading to reach my 2017 goal). I hope you enjoyed what I was able to post in December. If it makes you feel a little more warm & fuzzy on the inside, I will be doing a Christmas do-over in January to make up for my low spirit during the actual holiday season. Basically I’ll be catching up on all the cheesy movies I didn’t watch. Moving on to the subject at hand. The new year has arrived so it’s time to take a look back at the past twelve months:
Farewell to Adam West (Batman), Christopher ‘Big Black’ Boykin (Rob & Big, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory), David Cassidy (Ruby & the Rockits), Della Reese (Thats So Raven, Touched by an Angel), Don Rickles (Toy Story franchise), Heather North (Scooby Doo franchise), Jerry Lewis (Martin and Lewis), Jim Nabors (The Andy Griffith Show, The Carol Burnett Show), June Foray (DuckTales, Looney Tunes, Mulan, Rocky & Bullwinkle), Mary Tyler Moore (The Dick Van Dyke Show), Peter Sallis (Wallace & Gromit), Rose Marie (The Dick Van Dyke Show), and Sir Roger Moore (James Bond franchise).
The numbers aren’t why I do what I do, but it’s inspiring to see how far I’ve come. I ended 2017 with 357 art blog followers, 346 lifestyle blog followers, & 188 Youtube subscribers (72,815 views). I hope to add many more to my internet family in the coming year. Onward & upward! ➡️ ⬆️
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My sincerest apologies for the delay of Blogmas 2017. By the time I got an ounce of motivation, the busiest season of retail had started and unfortunately required most of my time. I finally have some time off, and after a day of catching up on Vlogmas editing, I’m snuggled up on the couch watching The Nanny with my mom. Hopefully my elf ears will make an appearance and my holiday spirit reignite because life without Christmas decorations and cheesy Hallmark movies isn’t worth living. I hope your holiday season is off to a great start. I promise I will try my very best to stay positive and blog often this month. 😉
I have waited all year for this movie! Part of my birthday celebration was seeing the first showing at my local theater. As a passionate Agatha Christie fan, I have thoughts both good and bad so settle in for a semi-bumpy Orient Express ride.
Many people had doubts about Kenneth Branagh’s portrayal of beloved detective Hercule Poirot. If you’re a doubter, I want to put your mind at ease. Mr. Branagh is hands down the best part of the movie. He kept the spirit of the Poirot we all know and love while adding humor and his own unique touch to the character. He is a constant source of smiles and laughs, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Overall the ensemble cast did not disappoint. Johnny Depp is fantastic as always (SPOILER) even though his part is short-lived. Michelle Pfeiffer and Penelope Cruz have some shining moments, and Dame Judi Dench’s monologue about little Daisy Armstrong made me tear up. Lucy Boynton and Sergei Polunin’s respective portrayals of Count & Countess Andrenyi are dark, a hidden gem that is impressive considering their inexperience. Josh Gad was good for the most part, but the chase scene involving Poirot felt awkward. The conflict between Hercule and Dr. Arbuthnot also felt clumsy. Daisy Ridley acted well, but I did not like Mary Debenham’s demeanor. In the book, she is polite and reserved which leads Poirot to suspect she might be the mastermind behind the murder; his suspicion makes little sense in the movie because Mary is much too bright and happy.
The book’s methodical layout is not perfectly suited for a movie. Some may find the added action irritating, but I understand the necessity to shake up the format onscreen. That being said, some of the clues got lost in the shuffle due to a speedier pace. As far as I remember, all the clues from the book were included, but they weren’t given the time they needed to simmer and encourage the audience to consider possible outcomes. Perhaps the extra, non-book stuff could’ve been trimmed to accommodate character interviews and clue discoveries, making the final reveal much more grand than it actually was. I also want to mention that I don’t remember Biniamino Marquez being named at the end. (SPOILER) The twist relies on the shock of twelve people being involved, each with a specific connection to the Armstrong family. The cast may seem large, but those who know the story well won’t miss anything, even if only one name is passed over. This goes back to details being muddled at the end. Murder on the Orient Express is one of the greatest stories ever written in the mystery genre. If you don’t lay it out correctly, you spoil the thrill and fun of the twists and turns.
I love two-thirds of the movie, but the ending is a disappointment. Things can surely get better from here so I hope Kenneth Branagh is giving the chance to continue the series, perhaps with a book that has less adaptations. I truly believe he can do great things with Poirot. The final scene hints at a sequel based on Death on the Nile. How great would that be?! 😄
Today is November 5th a.k.a. the date of my birth. In honor of this special day, I want to tell you a story. There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about doing more to combat prejudice. During my family’s recent vacation, I witnessed a moment that touched my heart in an unexpected way. My dad, brother, and I wasted no time in checking out the pool once we arrived at our hotel. Right before we left, a trio of teenage girls walked by, each appearing to be of a different ethnic background. There was also an older couple, possibly in their fifties, sitting near the gate. I mention age and race for a reason so stay with me. The girls saw the couple and immediately lit up, saying hello and sitting down to talk; they even took some selfies together. I watched long enough to deduce that these five people were acquaintances because of the hotel. Age didn’t matter. Race didn’t matter. They were able to find things in common and establish a relationship. It is easy to get caught up in the news and feel weighed down by the negative all the time. I want this story to be a reminder of the good in this world as well as a beacon of hope. Please hold on to the positive, no matter how small, because it does exist. ❤️
📚 A Book You Chose For the Cover – The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudi
I found this gem in my local library’s teeny tiny used bookstore. The bright yellow bird against a blue background hooked me, and the murder mystery synopsis reeled me in. I’m trying my best not to build expectations, but I really hope this book is as good as I want it to be.
📚 A Book With a Reputation for Being Un-Put-Down-Able – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about this book. Some people have said it’s one of their favorite books/duologies ever written. Of course I’m going to start with the first book, but I am optimistic that I will be purchasing book two very soon.
📚 A Book Set Somewhere You’ve Never Been But Would Like to Visit – The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters
Fun fact: I am dying to visit Egypt!! Egyptology is one of my favorite subjects to learn about.
📚 A Book You’ve Already Read – The Rook by Steven James
The Patrick Bowers Files series is AMAZING. To be fair, I’ve only read the first two books, but how could it possibly go downhill from there?? I would actually like to read a few of the books in this series in 2017, but I’m setting the bar low so I don’t get too stressed. I want these reading challenges to remain fun!
📚 A Juicy Memoir – In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox by Carol Burnett
DUH! Who wouldn’t want to read behind-the-scenes stories about The Carol Burnett Show?!
📚 A Book About Books or Reading – Bookplate Special by Lorna Barrett
This book is part of one of my favorite cozy mystery series. It has been on my shelf for a few years, and it’s about time I got around to reading it. Fun Fact: The main character’s cat is named Miss Marple. How cute is that?!
📚 A Book in a Genre You Usually Avoid – The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
I rarely read and enjoy contemporary books outside of the mystery genre, but I’m willing to give this book a chance since it revolves around books.
📚 A Book You Don’t Want to Admit You’re Dying to Read – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
I’m not embarrassed about this book. It’s just weird to admit that I’ve never read such a beloved series. My aunt was kind enough to give me the first book for my birthday so I will definitely be reading it this year.
📚 A Book in the Backlist of a New Favorite Author – Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar
I received all of the books Tessa Afshar has published thus far as Christmas and Hanukkah gifts. I don’t want to set myself up for failure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I finish all of them before January 1, 2018.
📚 A Book Recommended by Someone With Great Taste – As Sure as the Dawn by Francine Rivers
My friend Gabby recommended the Mark of the Lion series years ago, and I finally got around to reading books one and two in 2015. The experience was so unbelievably mind blowing that I had to take a break. There is no longer a good excuse so I need to pick up book three NOW.
📚 A Book You Were Excited to Borrow or Buy But Haven’t Read Yet – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I am on pins and needles waiting to read this book. I’m going to watch the movie with my brother first since that’s what I did with Gone Girl. I realize that sounds like reader sacrilege, but I’m not your average bibliophile. Watching the movie first or liking it better doesn’t bother me. ;)
📚 A Book About a Subject or Topic You Already Love – Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
I haven’t actually seen the musical yet, but I am obsessed with the story and soundtrack. I liked The Wizard of Oz growing up but fell out of love with it for a period of time. Listening to the Wicked soundtrack every day has made me fall back in love with Oz, and I am ready to read the story that started it all. I am on page 32 and loving it so far. 💚
Merry Christmas & Happy 2nd Day of Hanukkah!! I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday. My day started at church this morning. Afterwards, my family ate at Sizzler and saw Rogue One. I’ve been waiting on pins and needles to see this movie. I felt like the only person in the world who hadn’t seen it, and the rave reviews were driving me insane. We didn’t choose the best of theaters so the screen was dirty, but that didn’t dampen the experience. I absolutely loved the film! There were numerous amazing Rebel vs Empire fights, familiar faces like Bail Organa and Darth Vader, & awesome new characters like Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso. Can we just talk about freaking Donnie Yen?! His fighting scenes as Chirrut Imwe were off the charts. WOW! If you know me, you know that my favorite part of Star Wars will forever be the droids, and K-2SO is no exception. LOVE. HIM. The sass was abundant, and I could not stop laughing. (SPOILER) It was sad that everybody on the Rogue One team died, but it felt like the only appropriate ending considering the circumstances of the mission. They died because of the Death Star, the very weapon they were fighting to stop. A noble sacrifice for the good of the galaxy!
I can’t apologize enough for my absence. To make up for lost time, I’m going to be blogging through Hanukkah. I will call it “Blogukkah.” Genius! I have a good excuse for not blogging this week. I worked myself into the ground and got the flu. I had the worst day of work possible Tuesday, and it went from bad to worse once I got home. I spent both my days off resting and reenergizing for my last two shifts before Christmas. I hope you follow my art blog and Youtube channel because I’ve been active on both those platforms all month long. I’m not sure why I haven’t been posting as often for Blogmas this year. I think it has a lot to do with my retail job. I’ve felt like such a grinch and haven’t done anything outside of working. No spirit and no fun means no good material for your reading pleasure. I do have something to share with you tonight so let’s jump right in. I watched Frozen for the first time. I’ll let that sink in for a moment.
Have you composed yourself? Alrighty then! I’ve heard a lot of different perspectives. People loved the movie. People liked the movie. People hated the movie, some only because of the ridiculous amount of attention and hype. I didn’t want my first viewing experience to be ruined by someone else’s opinion so I waited and waited and waited until the right time. I’m glad I did because I was pleasantly surprised. I knew the music would be good, but other than that I had no expectations. I ended up liking it much more than I thought I would. The animation is beautiful, and the characters are charming. Idina Menzel’s voice is beautiful as always, but Kristen Bell’s voice stunned me. WOW! I love the end (SPOILER) when Kristoff is available to save Anna with an act of true love, but she ends up being saved by sisterly love. That is a refreshing twist. It’s adorable how Kristoff’s gruff exterior is slowly melted by Anna’s quirks. I could watch an entire movie with him, Sven, & Olaf. Those three crack me up! I highly recommend this film if you love Disney, but wait until your mind is clear from the bombardment of other opinions.