valentine’s day 2017: #relationshipgoals


~”If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” – #relationshipgoals

~When some famous movie star takes you into an empty set and creates a beautiful (albeit fake) rose-trellised garden flooded with moonlight and star dust and then proceeds to sing you a song and you realize he’s more than just a shadow on film. – #relationshipgoals

~”I’m your density.” – #relationshipgoals

~How Jack looks at Rose and vice-versa. – #relationshipgoals

~”You were my new dream.” – #relationshipgoals

~Anne and Gilbert and how she cracks the slate over his head at first but then when he’s dying she shows him her book and then they get married and go through so many ups and downs and then WWI breaks into their family but they’re still strong for each other and love each other. – #relationshipgoals

~”I let her go.” – #relationshipgoals

~TheMarried Life Montage’ from UP. – #relationshipgoals

~”Stay with me?”  “Always.” – #relationshipgoals

~When your husband’s slowly killing you with a combination of poisoned tea and sheer terror and then the guy you really love shows up, ready to rescue you, and then actually does while under enormous pressure and plenty of danger and you’re just hanging onto him, trusting him to get you safely away. – #relationshipgoals

Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in Notorious:

~”Baby, all your facial parts are in the right place.” – #relationshipgoals

~Robin Hood + Maid Marian, any version/adaption of the story EVER – #relationshipgoals

~”Fraulein…I want you to stay.” – #relationshipgoals

~Steve and Peggy and how even before Steve got all tall and buff, Peggy liked him because of the thing with the grenade and he’s smart and funny and pretty awesome to boot, and how Steve was sort of scared of her at first (not really, but pretty much) and then their friendship/professional relationship deepened into something beautiful and then he died and she got married and it’s just too much, guys, but it’s still #relationshipgoals.

~”Will you love me just as much when I’m normal?”  “I’ll be insane about you.” – #relationshipgoals

~Larry Daley and Amelia Earhart’s rather unique relationship in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian – #relationshipgoals

~”You’re as beautiful as the day I lost you.” – #relationshipgoals

~Also, y’know, my mom has stuck so close to my dad’s side during his battle with cancer and my grandparents have been married for almost fifty years, so I have the greatest #relationshipgoals examples right in front of me every single day.  And that’s a blessing I’m hugely grateful for. ❤

Legit photo of my parents.


“i’m singin’ and dancin’ in the rain…”

AKA all my favorite old Hollywood movie musicals.  And there are a ton.

// Mary Poppins – 1964 //

A singing nanny, a cross father, and plenty of magical (and sometimes animated) adventures.  This one makes me cry simply because of Saving Mr. Banks (though even before that, ‘Let’s Go Fly A Kite’ always did leave me a little teary).  There’s plenty of smart humor in this one, so adults and older teens can enjoy it, too.  ‘Feed the Birds’ is simply wonderful.  Favorite part of the film?  The finale.

// State Fair – 1945 //,%20Jeanne/Annex/Annex%20-%20Crain,%20Jeanne%20(State%20Fair)_02.jpg

Dana Andrews is splendid in this film, but everyone else turns in a great performance, too.  The songs give me all the happy feelings, as does the way the whole thing turns out perfectly in the end. (When Elisabeth and I watched this for the first time, we were getting a little worried when there was only about two minutes left and Margie and Wayne were still mopey.  Thankfully, it all turned out fine.)  Favorite part of the film?  All the songs.

// Singin’ in the Rain – 1952 //

For the longest time, this was my favorite movie.  And it still is one of my favorites.  I love the friendship between Don and Kathy and Cosmo – it’s so fun to watch! (Especially during ‘Good Morning’.)  The costumes are the BEST and Jean Hagen totally deserved her Oscar nomination.  Fun fact: my siblings and I used to sing the songs to this so often that Mom literally banned it for about a year.  Favorite part of the film?  Debbie Reynolds.

// The Happiest Millionaire – 1967 //

*siiiiigh* This movie is my happy place.  The songs, the story, the characters, the actors…all of it.  Cordy’s relationship with her dad is so sweet and the romance is adorable and the Sherman brothers almost outdid their song-writing turn in Mary Poppins with this movie.  Plus, it’s so very funny.  Favorite part of the film?  The ball, I think.  Or the whole opening when John is getting used to the Biddles’ way of doing things.

// Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – 1954 //

The first time I watched this film, I hated it for some inexplicable reason. (I was quite young.)  Then I watched it just last year and I loved and adored it.  It’s so perfect!  Millie is one of the best heroines in the history of cinema, in my opinion, and the Pontipee brothers are…unique.  And lovable, too.  Favorite part of the film?  The barn-raising scene, of course.

// The Sound of Music -1965 //

Christopher Plummer kinda makes this movie what it is.  I mean, Julie Andrews is QUEEN and all that, but there’s just something about Christopher Plummer as Captain von Trapp that puts The Sound of Music on my list of favorite musicals.  I also enjoy all the children (you really need to read Forever Liesel by Charmian Carr) and Eleanor Parker as the Baroness.  Favorite part of the film?  Maria’s wedding. ❤

// White Christmas – 1954 //

Favorite Christmas movie and one of my very favorite movies in general.  Most of the songs make me feel like my heart is filled with sparkles and little glittery hearts and diamonds.  Love it.  Also, the characters are great, especially Judy and Betty, and Dean Jaggers as General Waverly makes me cry and it’s just…gahhhh.  So amazing.  Favorite part of the film?  Either ‘Count Your Blessings’ or the bit where they surprise the General.  I can’t decide.  Oh, and all the costumes.

How many of these movie musicals have you seen?  What are some of your favorites?


book review: the lost girl of astor street

Lydia has vanished.

Lydia, who’s never broken any rules, except falling in love with the wrong boy. Lydia, who’s been Piper’s best friend since they were children. Lydia, who never even said good-bye.

Convinced the police are looking in all the wrong places, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail begins her own investigation in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. With the reluctant help of a handsome young detective, Piper goes searching for answers in the dark underbelly of 1924 Chicago, determined to find Lydia at any cost.

When Piper discovers those answers might stem from the corruption strangling the city—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.

From the glitzy homes of the elite to the mob-run streets of 1920s Chicago, Stephanie Morrill’s jazz-age mystery shows just how far a girl will go to save her friend.


First of all, take a look at that cover.  Drink it in.  Gorgeous, isn’t it?  Well, let me tell you that the story inside fully measures up to the glamour and elegance and intrigue that the cover promises.  Just so ya’ll know before I go any further into this review, I was given an advance copy of The Lost Girl of Astor Street in exchange for my honest review.  I didn’t know much about the story before I started reading, just that the cover was pretty and it was historical YA fiction and I kinda sorta knew the author from the writing blog that she co-runs.  Oh, and A FREE BOOK.  Always exciting, right?

Anyway, I started reading and got sucked in pretty quickly.  And it ended up surprising me.  For one thing, since The Lost Girl of Astor Street is a YA novel, I expected there’d be a love triangle (especially since there’s at least three available guys that Piper could’ve become involved with) and I determined I’d slog through it and focus on the other aspects of the story, but there wasn’t a love triangle at all.  Huzzah!  What I got instead was an adorable, swoony romance that complimented the mystery side of the story without overpowering it. (I like my romantic subplots to be sweet and to the point.)

I quite liked all the characters.  Piper, of course, was determined and stubborn and actually quite inspiring since she’s the same age as me and doing so much with her life.  I did think she cried a little too much, even considering the extreme circumstances swirling around her, but that could just be me.  Lydia was a dear, as were Walter and Emma and Matthew.  Mariano was the BEST, in my opinion.  I even liked Nick.  It was so fun to read a solid, interesting novel with immensely likable characters who were easy to fall in love with.

The setting of The Lost Girl of Astor Street was beautifully drawn, both the place and the time period.  It’s always satisfying to start reading a historical novel and realize that the author has researched everything so well, and that’s what this book did for me.  1920’s Chicago was a fascinating place to ‘live in’ for several hours and as I read this on my Kindle, I kept checking to see how much I had left, not because I was bored, but because I didn’t want the story to end.  Oh, and I enjoyed the Italian mafia angle to the story – I’ve always been fascinated by The Mob for some reason, so that was cool.

Overall, The Lost Girl of Astor Street was a thoroughly enjoyable read that I’d recommend to fans of Downton Abbey and period dramas in general (books, movies, and TV shows).


the lost girl of astor street clue hunt: clue #11

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of reading an advance e-copy of The Lost Girl of Astor Street and I loved it just as much as I’m sure you guys will.  My review will be posted tomorrow, but for now, let me just say that this book is a sparkling mystery filled with memorable characters and has a plot that twists and turns at every step.  Perfect for mystery lovers or people who can’t get enough of period dramas like Downton Abbey.

Anyway.  The real purpose of this post is not to talk up The Lost Girl of Astor Street (that’ll be tomorrow, like I said) but to provide you with the next clue on your clue hunt – the eleventh one, in fact.  If you have no idea what this is all about, just go to the author’s blog (she’s the first stop on the hunt) and you can find out.

And the clue is…


Here’s the full roster of all the blogs that are participating in the clue hunt so you can easily go around and collect each one.

Clue 1: Stephanie Morrill
Clue 2: Some Books Are
Clue 3: Gabriella Slade
Clue 4: Page by Page, Book by Book
Clue 5: Pens and Scrolls
Clue 6: Singing Librarian Books
Clue 7: Heather Manning
Clue 8: Annie Louise Twitchell
Clue 9: Noveling Novelties
Clue 10: Kaitee Hart
Clue 11: Classics and Craziness
Clue 12: Zerina Blossom
Clue 13: Rebecca Morgan
Clue 14: Keturah’s Korner
Clue 15: That Book Gal
Clue 16: Anna Schaeffer
Clue 17: Hadley Grace
Clue 18: Lydia Howe
Clue 19: Ramblings by Bethany
Clue 20: Matilda Sjöholm
Clue 21: Lydia Carns
Clue 22: Broken Birdsong
Clue 23 & Clue 24: The Ink Loft
Clue 25: Roseanna M. White

Have fun!


beauty and the beast: first thoughts

(First thoughts besides “gahhhhh” and *siiiiiiigh*and “SQUEEEEE”, that is.)

Soooooo yesterday I finally caught up with watching Every Classic Disney Princess Movie Ever (besides The Princess and the Frog – does that count?) which is pretty cool.  Especially since, y’know, this one finally lived up to all the hype.  Confession: I wasn’t allowed to watch most Disney movies as a kid, so I’ve been catching up in my Later Years, and I haven’t been wowed by any of the princess movies (besides Tangled, of course).  They all seem overrated, to me at least.  Feel free to try to change my opinion in the comments, ’cause I’d love to discuss this perplexing problem with you guys, but for right now, I stick by my statement.

ANYWAY.  First impressions, here we come.

Belle is officially my second favorite Disney princess. (First one being, always and forever, Rapunzel.)  I mean, she loves books.  And not just in the way some people say they do and then they never really read and/or are unable to carry on an intelligent conversation about books.  Also, she has more grace than I do: if a rude, overbearing guy dumped one of my favorite books in the mud and later put his muddy boots all over the open pages, I’d probably do…something.  I dunno what, but something.  And she’s just so relatable and brave and self-sacrificing and just YES.

The Beast made me cry.  Sure, I guess he deserved what he got since he was so arrogant and rude (Kuzco, anyone?), but still.  He makes me cry.  So did ‘Something There’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ because FEELS and Alan Menken’s gorgeous songs get me every time. (Also, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ made me cry even before I watched the movie, so there’s that.)

It’s just so GOOD.  The story, the characters, and the music all came together to create something wonderful.

That’s about all I can say right now because my morning coffee is calling me, so it’s back to my busy little life.  However, if you want to know my thoughts on any part of or character in the film – or if just want to fangirl – be my guest (see what I did there?) and drop a comment (or two).  I’d love to hear from you!


P.S. My review of I’m Not Ashamed isn’t happenin’ this week.  Sorry.  I would still like blog post ideas from you, though. 🙂

random goings-on: a peek into my life


Hello, everybody!

Sorry I haven’t been around much – life’s been fairly busy as of late, which puts ‘writing blog posts’ pretty far down on my list of things to do.  Also, even though I have a couple of posts waiting for me in the drafts folder, my well of inspiration when it comes to blog posts (and writing in general?) has gone dry.  I’d love suggestions for blog posts you’d like to see from me in the future, I really would.

I’ve been so busy because…

  • Dad and Mom have had lots more errands to do and appointments to attend than they used to, so I’m Babysitter #1 right now.
  • Exams are due for the college courses I’m taking with my grandpa.
  • Books + movies – still pretty essential.
  • Prayer + Bible reading – even more so, though I have to admit that I’m not doing as much of either as I should be.
  • I still do like to, y’know, eat on occasion. *wink*


Things are settling down on the babysitting front, though, because Dad’s doing loads better (thanks for all your prayers, guys!) and I’m almost finished writing my exams, so I have more time to be online and read and all that.  Which is great.  Oh, and another thing that’s been eating into my time is that my sisters and I decided to let Dad and Mom have our room(s), which has been a huge undertaking.  In the words of Helen Parr…why do we have so much junk? 🙂  Finding a place to put everything has been a bit tricky, but we’re all moved in now and everything’s fine. (I’m so glad I wrote a post about our old rooms, ’cause it’ll be nice to remember everything as it was.)

Some other little bits of my life right now:

  • Watched I’m Not Ashamed.  It was even better than I thought it’d be and I’ll most likely have a review up sometime this week.
  • Read Fear is the Key by Alistair MacLean.  He’s pretty much the master of the plot twist, in my opinion.
  • Writing (kinda sorta) an Indiana Jones/Night at the Museum crossover fanfiction.  I can’t believe no one’s written one before now.
  • Re-watched ‘Secret Ballot’ in prep for the Favorite TV Show Episode Blogathon and it’s still as powerful as ever.
  • The exams I’ve been working on are actually pretty fun.  Still challenging and a lot of work and all that, but fun.
  • I showed my little brothers Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade recently and, of course, they LOVED them. (The fast-forward button came in handy, though, since it doesn’t take a lot to freak them out.)  Harrison Ford is still the best. (Along with Tom Cruise, of course.)

Moi.  Except I don’t actually go to the movies.  But otherwise, this is totally accurate.

Also: (just a random list of my current favorites)

  • Favorite books: Holes by Louis Sachar & The Book Thief by Markus Zusak & The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shafer and Annie Barrow
  • Favorite movies: Cars & Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade & I’m Not Ashamed
  • Favorite TV show: Monk
  • Favorite actor: Tom Cruise
  • Favorite actress: Diane Baker
  • Favorite food: PIZZA
  • Favorite drink: Coffee
  • Favorite book of the Bible: Psalms (Old Testament) & Acts (New Testament)
  • Favorite chapter of the Bible: Psalm 119
  • Favorite blog: Wonderland Creek
  • Favorite flavor: Orange
  • Favorite musical: The Happiest Millionaire

Anyway, I hope that gives you a good idea of what my life has been over the past several days.  How about you?

(My and my little Lightning McQueen in a rather horrible quality taken-with-my-laptop’s-webcam photo.)


my top five favorite christian movies

Christian movies.  They get a pretty bad rap these days, don’t they?  It’s understandable, certainly, with all the problem elements – cheesy acting, thin/idiot plots, and a heavy-handed message – that seem to plague almost every faith-based film these days.  I’ve seen my share of bad Christian movies over the past few years, with only a few gems managing to shine through here and there in my quest for The Best Christian Movie of All Time.  And with the DVD release of Pureflix’s I’m Not Ashamed (which I’m sure will be amazing) just around the corner, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite Christian films with you.

~Courageous – This was the first Christian movie I ever watched, so it’s always been special to me for that reason.  Even though they don’t always hit their mark, the Kendrick brothers have a way of making their films warm and comforting, sort of like a bowl of chicken noodle soup.  There are five different dads in this movie and each one of them has their own set of struggles, temptations, and trials.  David was my favorite when I was younger, mainly because he was young and cute (wow, Eva) and while I still really like him, I find myself appreciating Nathan and Javier much more.  Best part of the movie?  When (spoilers) Adam and the gang find out that Shane has been pilfering drugs from the evidence room + the subsequent fall-out.  That subplot went where Christian movies seldom go and it’s powerful stuff.

~The Ultimate Gift – This film was recommended to me by Ashley, I believe, and it’s remained one of my favorite movies ever, not just one of my favorite Christian movies.  All the old actors (James Garner, Lee Merriweather, and Bill Cobbs) are super, and Jason melts my heart every time with his dramatic (yet believable) change in character and his sass and sweetness…I have quite the soft spot for him. (He reminds me a little of Lightning McQueen, actually.  So, duh, of course I’m going to love him.)  There’s humor, there’s heartbreak, and there’s triumph in this film.  Seriously awesome. (Don’t bother with the sequel, though.)  Best part of the movie?  The Thanksgiving dinner.  And Jason’s attitude at the beginning, ’cause you just know he’s Going Down.

~The Prince of Egypt & Joseph: King of Dreams – I haven’t seen either of these films terribly recently (though I’ll probably be watching Prince of Egypt tonight) but THE MUSIC, you guys.  THE. MUSIC. (In case you’re wondering, I’m mashing these two together, because they both need to be on this list and they’re really similar and it just works, y’know?)  The music, the songs, for both of these films is incredible.  Particularly ‘Deliver Us’ and ‘Better Than I’.  Both films stay true to the biblical accounts (though, of course, there’s a little bit of creative license, too) – they’re awesome for introducing children to biblical history without them having to sit through an epic like The Ten Commandments.  Best part of the movie(s)?  Again, the music.  Also, the way God is presented in Prince of Egypt is incredibly respectful, especially for a secular film company.  Gives me chills every time.

~Fireproof – Again, I haven’t seen this for a long time, so I don’t have all that much to say about it, but I do remember really enjoying the story.  I know Kirk Cameron is pretty much under constant ridicule these days, but I didn’t know that when I first watched this film, and I thought he was great.  The conversion scene always makes me cry.  Best part of the movie?  The kiss in the fire station.  WIN.

~Mom’s Night Out – Okay.  I know that this film is groan-worthy to most people.  And I’m not going to deny that it’s full of over-acting and “this would never happen in real life” situations, but it’s just plain FUN.  It really is.  The characters, even if they are a little hyper-realistic, are unique and memorable.  The story follows a logical point-to-point-to-point procession, which is nice – unlike most Christian movies, Mom’s Night Out isn’t filled with billions of characters and unrelated vignettes.  And, like I said, it’s a lot of fun.  Also, it’s the only movie I’ve seen where Sean Astin doesn’t annoy the fire out of me – I actually like him here, for a change.  Best part of the movie?  Izzy’s peach & denim ensemble.

Have you seen any of these movies?  What are some of your favorite Christian films?  Thoughts on the genre?  And do you think I’m Not Ashamed is going to be the best one yet?