she’s made of outer space

hey everyone! life has been kinda crazy/busy lately, but I am on time for the first time in a while and I am ready to throw more of my characters at you. but, you know, lovingly.

on exhibition today is my little space rebel, Lexy!

trigger warning (s*lf-h*rm)


full name: Alexandra Gilman

nicknames: Lexy

birthday: May 25

age: 17

nationality: American with Irish and English ancestry

languages: English



height: 5’3″

weight: 127 lbs.

eye color: hazel

hair color: dark blonde / light brown with light blonde highlights

scars?: a few old s*lf-h*rm scars (no new ones) and maybe some others from accidents/etc.? I haven’t quite figured that out yet.

tattoos?: no

piercings?: three ear piercings and a nose ring

pet?: a hedgehog named Sebastian that she shares with Brenna. she really wants a dog, but they are not allowed in her host house.

birth town: Redwood City, California

grew up in?: Palo Alto, California

lexy's piercings.jpg


occupation(s): student/superhero

mansion, house, or apartment?: she lives off-campus in a host house

relationship status: single

children?: none

lexy's flight.jpg


dream: to go to space…and maybe never come back

hobbies: listening to music, researching conspiracy theories, and drawing

talents: she can fly, so that’s kinda cool. she’s also good at drawing.

sport: none. she thinks parkour is cool, but she’s too lazy to actually try it. she allows Brenna to drag her on a run occasionally though.

i want to believe.jpg


intelligence: 8/10

confidence: outer confidence 9/10 inner confidence 5/10

cooperation: 7/10

stamina: 7/10

patience: 7/10

don't be racist.jpg


smoker?: no

drinker?: of iced coffee and frappucinos

athletic?: not really

bookworm?: kind of? she’s more of a nerd in general than a bookworm in particular.

party animal?: no

vegetarian?: no

workaholic?: no

glasses?: yes, but she also wears contacts

lexy's pizza


optimist or pessimist: she would call herself a realist

introvert or extrovert: introverted extrovert. so, extrovert 😛

logical or emotional: emotional

disorderly or neat: disorderly

lexy & umi


favorite food: pizza

hated food: anchovies

favorite color: black

hated color: certain shades of pink

favorite drink: iced coffee

hated drink: black teas

favorite place: space. that she’s actually been to: New York City.

hated place: with her family

favorite music: here’s a link to a playlist I made for her on Spotify: lexy

hated music: she gets sick and tired of Brenna’s Maccabeats. and though she complains about Umi’s instrumental war music, she doesn’t hate it 😛

lexy 1

that’s Lexy for you! tell me what you thought of her in the comments!


girls can be heroes too

wow, I’m posting four days in a row 😱 well, today is a special day! it’s the birthday of one of my teenage superhero characters, Brenna! learn more about her below and don’t forget to wish her ‘happy birthday’ in the comments!


full name: Brenna Noyer

nicknames: n/a

birthday: August 4

age: 17 today!

nationality: American with West African and Jewish roots

languages: English and a smattering of Hebrew

shalom y'all.jpg


height: 5’7″

weight: 142

eye color: brown

hair colour: brown

scars?: one on her knee from where she fell when she was little

tattoos?: she wants a tattoo, but she can’t decide on what to get

piercings?: double-ear piercing and she wants a nose piercing

pet?: white cat named Barrie and a hedgehog named Sebastian that she shares with Lexy

birth town: Sarasota, Florida

grew up in?: Longboat Key, Florida

brenna's eyes.jpg


occupation(s): student/superhero

mansion, house, or apartment?: she lives off-campus in a host house

relationship status: crushing

children?: none



dream: to help others, mainly underprivileged kids and kids with special needs. also to get married and adopt kids.

hobbies: cats. singing. playing her ukelele. writing (terrible) poetry. dressing up. baking. scrapbooking. loving her friends.

talents: loving her friends. and her superpowers, I guess (weather/season manipulation). also science. she’s really good at it.

sport: none. she goes to the school gym during the week to box and she runs as well. sometimes she drags Lexy along with her.

boring clothe.jpg


intelligence: 8/10

confidence: outer confidence 9/10 inner confidence 7/10

cooperation: 8/10

stamina: 8/10

patience: 9/10



smoker?: no

drinker?: fruit juices, hot cocoa, and the occasional coffee that’s mostly milk

athletic?: yes

bookworm?: yes. she mainly reads fantasy.

party animal?: no

vegetarian?: no, but she does loosely follow the dietary restrictions that the Lord gave the Israelites in the Old Testament.

workaholic?: no. she is studious and she likes having all of her work done before she relaxes, but she is not a workaholic.

glasses?: yes. contacts most of the time though.

brenna's glasses.jpg


optimist or pessimist: optimist

introvert or extrovert: extrovert

logical or emotional: emotional

disorderly or neat: neat

brenna's feet


favorite food: anything Mexican or West African

hated food: she doesn’t like things that taste bland, whatever country/region it’s from

favorite color: yellow. bright colors in general, but yellow is her favorite.

hated color: dingy browns, greens, or grays

favorite drink: hot cocoa

hated drink: bitter coffee or cranberry juice

favorite place: wherever she feels comfortable, doing something/with someone she loves

hated place: awkward family vacations

favorite music: she listens to the Maccabeats almost all day, driving Lexy a little crazy. here’s the link to her Spotify playlist: brenna

hated music: she’s not a fan of Lexy’s rap music. she thinks it’s too dark and depressing.

cocoa drinkers.jpg

that’s Brenna for you! she honestly a really fun character to write, since she’s a bit different from the majority of my characters 🙂

tell me what you think of Brenna in the comments! and don’t forget to wish her a happy birthday!



misson impossible: fallout

in hindsight, I probably should have brought an inhaler

granted, I didn’t know this movie (also known as MI6, my personal favorite term) would be so intense, but I was in no way prepared for the moment when I began breathing again after I don’t know how long, and proceeded to cough, then hyperventilate. and I thought I was just being dramatic.

also, someone get Ethan Hunt a therapist


awesome things

| the plot was just !!!!!!!! amazing. I had heard that this installment would be all twisty and all over the place, but I found that I was able to follow it better than Rogue Nation? I don’t know if that is because I’m older now, or expecting the twists, or what, but I definitely understood more. and it was great.

| the cinematography was A++. also, how they added or took away music from certain scenes to get a different feel… ugh, I’m in love.

| Benji was amaaaazing, as always. I love how his character doesn’t seem like just a comic relief? like, he also has depth and purpose and isn’t there only to make jokes. making jokes during intense scenes is part of his personality and that is so awesome.

| Henry Cavill (aka. August Walker) is … really hot. even with the mustache. I’m sorry, it just needed to be said 😛 and this gif ⬇︎ that pumping of the arms … really gives me a lot of feelings 😛

august walker.gif

| Luther getting emotional?! A+++.

| the cast in general was spot-on, and sooooo awesome.

| Ethan’s character seemed different in this movie. I’m not even sure what it was. I liked it though? but the helicopter scene brought out the old Ethan Hunt we all know from the past movies.

| not as much sexual content or skin on display compared to the last few MI movies. yay! I won’t really feel awkward watching this movie with my parents/brothers!

| the scenery was beautiful! from Paris, to London (I saw places my family visited while in those cities last summer!), to the mountains of Kashmir, amazing scenery/cinematography.

| Tom Cruise is kind of crazy for doing all of those stunts. guys, the helicopter scene … he did that. okay, maybe not all of it as we see it on screen (some of it had to be computer generated … I hope), but still. and he broke his ankle doing the roof-jumping stunt … and kept running. amazing.

that's the job.gif

not-so-awesome things

| like I said, really intense. the most intense movie I have ever seen. I thought Infinity War was going to be bad. I cried during that movie, but it wasn’t like this. so if you can’t handle a lot of action and violence and moments that make you feel like you’re about to die (in a good way maybe somehow? I don’t know. lots of adrenaline, I guess.), I would not recommend this movie.

| violence. the most gory thing that happens, we don’t actually see the result, just the (rather large) pool of blood on the floor. people punch and kick and stab and shot and crash and flip and fly and roll and choke and get hurt in dramatic, painful ways. cars and helicopters and motorcycles crash and general chaos ensues.

| some guys see Ethan and August and a bad guy’s feet in a bathroom stall where they’re trying to get a scan of the bad guy’s face, think they’re ‘doing the do’, and ask to join. that’s a no from me.

| one ? instance of kissing. and a lady’s thigh. but I think that’s it.

| a lot of swear words? more than in past MI movies. we counted at least 5 s-words, one f-word, a couple b-words, and the h-word quite a few times. I knew there would be an f-bomb, but it was still a bit disturbing to actually hear it exit the mouth of the character.

| Solomon Lane seemed a little more crazy in this one. I’m not sure if it was because of his scraggly appearance, the straitjacket, or what, but he seemed a lot more unstable and psychotic than in the last movie. kinda creepy.


my mental state throughout the entire movie ⬆︎

but I seriously loved it! and I really want to see it again. next time, though, I’ll have an inhaler handy, just in case.

has anyone else seen this exemplary movie? feel free to scream with me in the comments! I have a lot of feels about August Walker, as well as Julia, so that will probably dominate my conversation haha. and tell me which MI movie is your favorite!

all gifs taken from GIPHY


july 2k18

I had a reeeaaaally busy month. like, crazy busy. I’m not even this busy during the school year 😛 besides the busy and crazy, I had a very nice month. check it out 🙂



7/4 – Independence Day

I celebrated my country’s Independence Day with my family! coincidentally, we ate Argentinian food for dinner 😛 but yeah, it was fun. we had my aunt, uncle, and cousin over. after dinner, my cousin and I walked to the park to chill on the play-set and swing a little bit, then we walked back to my house for dessert. then we walked to the bay trail to watch fireworks, but left before we saw much so we could drive to my cousin’s boyfriend’s house and watch fireworks with them. we hung out at his house for a few hours, playing Apples to Apples and talking until past midnight.

7/6-7 – overnight babysitting again!

I got to babysit cute kids again! we played Monopoly and card games, went on a walk in the heat, and just had a ton of fun.

7/8 – summer xp training!

I went to a training for my church’s vbs (vacation Bible school) after church one Sunday. it was a lot of fun, and I got to learn about the station I would be helping at, which I had never helped at before.

7/10-11 – sleepover

I had a sleepover with my friend for her belated birthday. she lives right by the ocean, so I walked into her apartment and was blown away by the view of the ocean through the huge windows. then we got to fall asleep to the sound of waves ^-^ but before that we played board and card games, took a walk along the pier full of fishermen (and a hurt pelican 😦 ), had dinner, and watched Mamma Mia! the next day, we drove to SF and went to the Exploratorium. it was a lot of fun! I got to use my brain to try and solve puzzles and was amazed at how certain forces in our world work. there was also a light room which gave me a headache, but it was cool nevertheless. I think we spent the most time at a station that froze water and magnified the ice crystals. then we had ice cream, drove back to my city, had dinner, and then they took me home 🙂


7/13-15 – SoCal trip

again! we went this time for my mom to go to a bridal shower. I wasn’t invited, so I got to chill at the house. I ate way too much that weekend, but thankfully it wasn’t that hot. and I got to ride in my cousin’s ’69 Oldsmobile that didn’t have air conditioning and had leather seats that you stuck to 😛 we went to the movies one night to see Incredibles 2. I wanted to see Ant-Man and the Wasp, since I hadn’t (and still haven’t) seen it, but my cousins wanted to see the Incredibles. and they liked it, so that made me content 🙂 and I got 6 hours of driving practice.

7/16-20 – summer xp

I was a helper at the Missions station during summer xp! the first day we talked to the kids about raising money to buy chickens for families devastated by natural disasters. and we actually had chickens inside the church with us. one of them almost escaped the enclosure, but didn’t XD I also helped with crossing guard for parents and kids crossing the street from where they parked. it was fun and I got a tan from standing in the sun 😀 it was great having the kids walk by, recognize me, and say ‘see you in Missions!’ I loved getting to know the kids and other leaders. but I think next year, I’d like to either be on the worship/hype team or be a small group leader. that way I’ll get to learn all the songs and hand motions, my favorite part 😀

7/21 – breakfast date

with my dad! we went to the coast and ate at a little seafood place, then went on a walk along the pier before coming home.

7/22 – beach again

our high school group from church went to the beach for a bonfire, hot dogs, and s’mores. I got holes burned in my towel and I smelled like smoke, but I had a lot of fun 🙂

7/23-24 – babysitting again

I babysat almost full time for two days for an adorable baby who is almost walking. that was fun.

7/27-29 – SoCal again

this time for a surprise birthday party for my aunt! and we pulled it off! she was completely surprised and started crying. I honestly can’t believe we had everything ready and looking nice before she came home. it was kind of incredible. I also went swimming three days in a row and got a ton of water in my ears. in addition to everything else, it was excruciatingly hot, but we all managed to survive.



listening: not alone // red | why // nf | fall asleep // jars of clay | the color of your eyes // megan mcginnis, paul alexander nolan (daddy long legs [original off-broadway cast recording]) | star spangled man // the star spangled singers (captain america: the first avenger) | already mine // us the duo | heavenly father // fundamentally sound | nico and the niners // twenty one pilots | natural // imagine dragons | death of me // daughtryroaring 20s // panic! at the disco

read: daddy-long-legs // jean webster (4/5) | dear enemy // jean webster (3.5/5) | am I there yet? the loop-de-loop, zigzagging journey to adulthood // mari andrew (3.5/5) | the invisible friend // lois walfrid johnson (3/5) | a quiet neighborhood // george macdonald (3.5/5)

watched: persuasion (4.5/5) | mamma mia! (1/5)

{read mini reviews for books and movies here}


blog posts

june reviews

june 2k18

the 777 challenge // the witch hunt

amusement park


serving in whatever capacity you can is extremely fulfilling, even if you’re not doing something that you originally wanted to do

this land

thanks for reading! is your summer as busy as mine? maybe busier (hopefully not)? talk to me in the comments!

all pictures taken from Pinterest

july reviews

I feel like I read quite a bit this past month, but I’m still 1 book behind on my goodreads goal?! I don’t even know *shrugs* anyways, take a gander and check out my new little rating system thing! you can see the whole thing on my geek page.


Daddy-Long-Legs // Jean Webster

daddly long legs

I’d heard about this book a few years ago, while reading another book, but forgot about it until I was listening to some music and a song from the off-Broadway musical based on the book came up. the song itself was beautiful and captivating, so I was immediately interested in reading the book 🙂 (and yes, that is the Korean cover, but it was the prettiest one I could find 😥 )

pros/things I liked: the whole premise of the story seemed really original and unique?
– the fact that the book was written in a letter-format!
– Judy is really sarcastic and bold and I was honestly worried for her a lot of the time (‘I would not have said that if I were you, Judy… ooooh look, it didn’t backfire!’), but it was honestly really admirable that she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind.
– it was really eye-opening getting to experience another time in American culture
– the drawings were so cute and funny!
– that last letter was so sweet

Daddy Long Legs pg. 38

cons/things I didn’t like so much: technically not a con, but I already knew what was going to happen at the end, so there was so surprise factor for me?
– again, technically not a con. Judy and Jervis skipped church to go on a picnic. I can’t 100% blame them – I bet church was kinda boring back then – but still 😛

oh, and while I liked that one song from the musical (the color of your eyes), I didn’t like the rest of the musical so much. I don’t know if it was the tone of the singers’ voices, the melody of the songs, or what, but I wasn’t as captivated. still, if you want to check it out, I would say go for it!

pretty amazing

Dear Enemy // Jean Webster

dear enemy.jpg

the book I borrowed from the library to read Daddy-Long-Legs was like a two-in-one, so I got to read the sequel as well 🙂 and I couldn’t find a prettier cover 😥

pros/things I liked: Sallie is a wonderful narrator/letter writer! she’s funny, engaging, a little self-deprecating, and overall entertaining.
– again with the letter-writing, but this time, Sallie is writing letters to multiple people, as opposed to Judy’s one, so that was refreshing and eye-opening
– “don’t open the windows at night because AIR is BAD for the children!” is literally what some people were saying. BUT NOT OUR SALLIE. GO SALLIE. YAY FOR SOCIAL REFORM.
– social reform! everywhere!
– Dr. Robin McRae has intriguing passions and interests, making for a rather entertaining read
– Sallie’s growth as a person from the beginning to the end of the book
– it was just so funny and interesting? now I know what it would be like to live in a orphan asylum in New England in the early 1900s.

cons/things I didn’t like so much: Sallie and Dr. McRae were proponents of eugenics and selective breeding? now that the world has experienced the horrors of World War II and Hitler’s attempt at eugenics, we know what a terrible thing it is, but it was a serious discussion back then. they just seemed to talk about a lot less sensitively when this book was written.
– it was a bit more violent than the first book: children getting sick, people getting drunk, buildings on fire, etc. nothing that I couldn’t handle, but more graphic than the first one for sure.

pretty great

Am I There Yet? The Loop-de-Loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood // Mari Andrew

am i there yet.jpg

I found this book in the bookshelf of a friend’s house while babysitting and managed to read the whole thing in one day in between baby’s naps and playtime 😀

pros/things I liked: the art was fun and whimsical!
– all of her stories and experiences were very inspirational. I’m still a teenager, but this book made me want to stop wasting my life (which I’m not really doing? I don’t even know at this point haha) and take some risks.
– it was a quick read! I read it in almost one go, but it also works if you just want to read a specific section or about a specific topic.
– it was cool to read about certain things (like jobs, relationships, travel, etc.) from a different perspective

cons/things I didn’t like so much: I honestly can’t really think of anything? if anything, maybe how she referred to relationships in general? I don’t want to say flippantly, but I can’t really think of a better word. she did talk a lot about how much she learned from her relationships, but I just tend to be wary of people who have been in a lot of relationships at a young age. maybe it’s because I’ve never been in one? I think if you are going into a relationship, you should be going into it pretty seriously, with a serious goal in mind, whether that be anything from learning something about yourself to marriage *shrugs*

pretty great

The Invisible Friend // Lois Walfrid Johnsonviking questsee june reviews

I don’t think I have much to add to what I said about the first two books, soooo… yeah 😛

could have been better

A Quiet Neighborhood // George MacDonald 

I couldn’t find an appropriate cover 😦

I’ve read quite a bit of George MacDonald before, but I was hungering for something  more substantial than YA, which I’ve read quite a bit of lately. and then I saw this book, along with its two sequels, sitting on our bookshelf. in MAY. and I just finished the first one *cries* this is why I’m one book behind on my goodreads goal.

pros/things I liked: that it’s a faith-based book! and not the Viking Quest series, aka. not geared exclusively toward kids.
– there were a few heavy things in this book, but they were not dwelt on for long, or if they were, in a way that felt depressing or discouraging.
– old man Rogers ❤
-Judyyyyy (hey, another Judy)
– it was just such an encouraging book to read after all the heavy secular stuff I’ve been reading lately

cons/things I didn’t like so much: Mrs. Oldcastle is an awful, awful woman
– there is a young woman who had a child out of wedlock and MacDonald goes pretty in-depth into her story
– there is some violence: people striking or threatening to strike others; sickness and death described; as well as instances of depression, emotional, physical, and psychological abuse. again, not in heavy amounts, but still there.
– I wasn’t really feeling Mr. Walton’s romance? it was hard to root for them and I’m not sure exactly what it was. maybe because they didn’t have much time to develop a romance between everything (trying to avoid spoilers here haha), but it just felt rushed.

pretty great





guys, I’m a sucker for period dramas. especially ones based on Jane Austen’s books, produced by the BBC. and this IS ONE OF THEM. and one of my favorites 🙂

pros/things I liked: the music! which I can’t find anywhere to save my life! 😥
– Captain Wentworth ❤
– Anne is a saint?
– the scenery is beautiful! I mean, it is England haha.
– so many quotable lines! I use the one “I am so ill, I can hardly speak” often XD
– Anne’s friend Mrs. Smith is an angel

half agony, half hope.jpg

cons/things I didn’t like so much: whether intentionally or not, pretty much everyone in Anne’s life is a jerk to her/manipulative? and she knows they’re manipulative, but she goes along with them anyways.
– most of their clothes are kinda ugly tbh
– guys are so freaking hard to read haha
– Mr. freaking Elliot – both of them. the one is so disgustingly vain and proud and the other one looks like a horse.
– as for content caution, someone falls rather badly and we see blood on the back of their head. there is talk of marrying solely for money, as well as a man’s mistress. and kissing. but the kissing is to be expected 😛

just about perfect

Mamma Mia!

mamma mia.jpg

I watched this movie with a friend during a sleepover, not knowing what to expect. and I was not a fan.

pros/things I liked: the scenery of Greece is so beautiful! not biased at all, haha.
– the Dancing Queen song!
– that one scene where the guys are dancing on the pier in speedos and flippers? not a fan of the song or the rest of the scene, but I laughed so hard seeing them dance.
– Pierce Brosnan is a beautiful man (even though he can’t sing)

cons/things I didn’t like: Pierce Brosnan’s singing.
– honestly, everyone’s singing was kinda terrible. expect maybe Amanda Seyfried’s.
– taking a line from CinemaSins YouTube video “Everything With Mamma Mia!”, “Colin Firth’s singing voice is like Kermit the Frog doing a James Taylor impression.”
– I actually asked if I was high at one point. that was how this movie made me feel. and not in a good way. in a terrible way.
– waaaaayyyy too much innuendo and sex-centric dialogue/songs/moments
Sophie and what’s-his-name were literally AT THE ALTAR and decided not to get married?!? WHAT THE HECK?!?
– and I should stop now or we’ll be here all day

so yeah, I kind of hated this movie. sorry not sorry.


talk to me in the comments! do you love period dramas and/or Jane Austen? and what is a book that you’ve read in one sitting?



the 777 challenge // the witch hunt


I love being tagged for things; it makes me feel loved 🙂 so thank you, writefury 😉

les rules: you take your work in progress, go to the seventh page, down seven lines and then share the next seven paragraphs. after you’ve done that, then tag seven other writer/bloggers!

to be honest, I didn’t actually follow the rules to a T, as this isn’t my current WIP (I haven’t written seven pages yet haha oops), the seventh page was the last page of a chapter, and there were only seven paragraphs on the page 😛 but anyways, here it is

{for some context, my MC Rayne is talking to her beau, Finnian, about their potential liaison ;)}


{Finnian} “It could be anywhere up to five or six years. I did try to get my parents to understand we might not be able to wait that long, but my father said I have to learn his trade better before I can support both of us, and then a new house will have to be built for us, and you know the men won’t work in the winter…”

“Finn.” I cut him off. “What about my house? You know, the one I’ve been living in since I was fourteen? We can live in that one! I’ve managed to keep it in fairly good condition, it’s just that the roof might need a fix before winter, but I’m sure that you’ll…” I realized I was rambling, just like Finnian had been a few moments earlier. Trying to avoid the truth. Say it, just say it, Finn.

“They don’t want me going near, much less living, in your house,” he blurted out.

“Of course. How could I think otherwise?”

“Yes, well, you knew something like that was bound to come up.”

“Yes, Finn, I did. I just wish… I wish wishing could accomplish something.” I managed a small smile as I shook my head. Finnian squeezed my hands a little tighter. We sat a few moments in silence, until he twitched and said, “How about we go tell your father?”

I nodded, still silent, as he pulled me up and placed my arm in his. My legs shook; I tried my best to steady them, but to no avail. Finn supported me, until we stopped right in front of my magnolia tree. He then looked at me, a strange smile on his face, and said, “Rayne, wake up.”


aaaand that’s it. mwahaha you’ll never find out what happens.

I’m tagging:




and I honestly can’t think of anyone else to tag, so feel free to take this and tag me when you do! have a great weekend, y’all ❤

june 2k18

happy Independence day to my beautiful country and all of the incredible people that live in it! also happy 100th birthday to my hero, Steve Rogers! 🇺🇸

keep reading to learn how my June was!

summer starts


5/30-6/3 – graduation

my family and I went to SoCal for my aunt’s graduation! I ate way too much food and got some driving practice on the way to and from. I also got to spend time with some of my young cousins that I haven’t seen in while, so that was nice 🙂

6/13 – shopping trip

I went shopping my mom, aunt, and cousin! it’s the second year in a row that we’ve gone before camp, so I like to think it’s going to become an annual thing haha. I only bought two things, but we had a nice time. and we got to eat at a poke place for lunch. that made me happy.

6/16-22 – family camp

read about the first half of my week here. pt. 2 coming soon.

6/23 – party

some friends of my parents were visiting from Texas with their whole family, so some other friends hosted a party. I was already friends with the two older daughters of the couple, but now I got to meet the three youngest. they were troublemakers, but cute and funny troublemakers nonetheless. it was warm and the food was delicious. and we got to hang out at the park.

6/28 – Greece team reunion

my fellow mission trip team members from our trip to Greece (read about it here and here) came over our house for a potluck and reunion. my older brother was working and my pastor had to leave early, but everyone else was there and we had a lot of fun. it honestly made me nostalgic and really made me want to go back to Greece.

strawberry shortcake


listened to (so many good songs this month. I would 100% recommend checking these out): high hopes // panic! at the disco | downtown’s dead // sam hunt | home // maccabeats | i love you // josh & amberley klinkenberg | something wild // lindsey stirling, andrew mcmahon in the wilderness | lighthouse // calum graham | woke up in nashville // seth ennis | pieces (live) // steffany gretzinger, bethel music | build my life // housefires | you’re the only one // chris renzema, moriah hazeltine | resurrecting // elevation worship | when you walk into the room // bryan & katie torwalt | confident // steffany gretzinger, bobby strand | i am living in a land of death // citizens | first love // hillsong young & free | heaven knows // five for fighting | all time low/guillotine // exit 245

read: crooked kingdom // leigh bardugo (3.5/5) | the old man and the sea // ernest hemingway (3.5/5) | raiders from the sea // lois walfrid johnson (3.5/5) | mystery of the silver coins // lois walfrid johnson (3.5/5)

watched: doctor strange (4/5) | incredibles 2 (5/5)

{read mini reviews for books and movies here}


blog posts

but we hold on


more than

camp 2k18 pt 1

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(a few of the things I) learned

breakthrough comes in Jesus’ presence

we are not loved because we read our Bibles or sing worship songs, but we are loved because when God looks at us, He sees Jesus and His righteousness

when you live in abundance, it can’t help but spill out

true healing requires us to be open and vulnerable

we need to vocalize what we believe in / we need to live what we believe

no one should make me feel ashamed. yes, I’m human; yes, I’m flawed; but I’m also learning, growing, becoming more like Christ. ONLY. HIS. WORDS. DEFINE. ME.

He’s the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (yes, even the deceiver)

we’re not supposed to be the brightest lights in a bunch of lights. we’re supposed to be one light in the midst of darkness.

methods might change, preferences might change, but the truth of the Story doesn’t

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thanks for reading! have a wonderful holiday and rest of your week! ❤

june reviews

let me just say this: this World Cup is really not going my way… only one game of the last 4 ended the way I wanted it to. ugh. anyways. back to your (not-so) regularly scheduled program…

I have moved my goodreads goal again. it started the year at 50, then I moved it up to 60, and now it’s down to 55. I might move it up again if I read anymore, but right now… I’m behind 😛

anyways, take a gander at what I have reading/watching lately! I’ve added a special new feature, making the good things/things I liked vs. bad things/things I didn’t like more clear for y’all 🙂


Crooked Kingdom // Leigh Bardugo

crooked kingdom

I read Six of Crows quite a while ago and finally got around to reading the sequel! I think I liked the first one better, but this was still interesting. it got a bit hard to follow toward the end, but that’s probably just because I’m not Kaz haha. lots of double-crossing and trickery and extreme, extreme forethought and planning. I have no idea how he does it.

 spoilers contained in the following sections. read at your own risk.

pros/things I liked: Kaz and Inej. their relationship is so wonderful and painful and just ugh. it’s so hard when I ship them, but they can literally never have a normal life. nevertheless that ending made me so happy ^-^
Inej’s character in general. yes, she’s an assassin, but I love how she incorporates her faith into her life. she prays to her saints and has a code. I’m not trying to justify her actions, but she doesn’t have horrible motivations *shrugs*
Inej and Nina’s friendship is The Purest™. I love how they love and support each other, when it could be so easy for them to resent and compete against each other. also they hug each other a lot. I love when authors don’t shy away from including a more physical aspect to platonic relationships.

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this part is from Six of Crows, but I FREAKING LOVE IT SO MUCH

cons/things I didn’t like so much: the main characters are thieves and criminals, so that’s a problem. they are corrupt individuals fighting against a corrupt individual who represents the other side of the law. so I guess they’re kind of justified? but still.
another homosexual relationship. not to mention it felt forced. but maybe that’s just because I don’t agree with that kind of lifestyle? I didn’t sense any chemistry between the two characters and I didn’t want to.
~ some bad words, but not as much as the Raven Cycle.
this is kinda stupid, but (especially in the beginning) it was kind of annoying how often Matthias said, “Nina.” like, I know you love her and I know you want to protect her and keep her from doing some of the stupid, rash things that she does, but gee, son, can you stop saying her name? I get it.
kissing. maybe two descriptions of passionate kissing and some descriptions of what it felt like to kiss someone #cantrelate
some hinting of an affair and ensuing pregnancy
mentions of brothels and people being forced into prostitution
lying, hatred, stealing, blackmail, abuse, violence, knife fights, gun fights, betrayal, gambling, powerful drugs, addictions, and other illegal activities, all in varying levels (a lot of some, less of others)
the death of one character didn’t really feel right? it just felt a bit forced. but you can’t put these characters through such trauma AND HAVE THEM ALL SURVIVE, I GUESS.


The Old Man and the Sea // Ernest Hemingway

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last assigned book of the school year! hooray!

pros/things I liked: the writing style was very simple, which I appreciated
the old man’s dedication was very inspiring, as was his love for the boy, the boy’s love for him, and the old man’s love and respect for the sea and the creatures in it

cons/things I didn’t like so much: while the writing style was simple, I didn’t find it captivating or interesting
the ending wasn’t 100% satisfying, but I probably wouldn’t have liked it as much as I did if it had ended the way I wanted it to (why is that always the case)
~ sharks


Raiders from the Sea & Mystery of the Silver Coins // Lois Walfrid Johnsonviking quest.jpgI’ve read this series at least once before and I wanted to read it again, so here we are!

pros/things I liked: the faith aspect is a huge plus for me, considering that I’ve been reading a lot of YA with some darker elements lately. it’s so refreshing to have pure content again haha.
~ so much Irish and Viking culture contained in these pages! it’s great.
~ the descriptions of the Viking ship and Bree’s Irish clothes and the Aurland Fjord and just everything … it’s so rich and beautiful.

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cons/things I didn’t like so much: the writing style is a bit hard for me to enjoy. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but it might be ‘telling instead of showing’. the descriptions jump around a lot and sometimes characters do things and I’m like, ‘whyyy would you do that exactly?’ sometimes the author doesn’t give any context or reasoning behind scenes or the actions of characters.
~ Bree’s character seems a little … I don’t want to say bipolar. maybe dramatic? like I know she just got kidnapped and what not, but laughing one minute and boiling over with anger the next … then laughing again? it just didn’t seem realistic. and it’s the same with Mikkel’s character. their emotions jump around a lot and it’s frustrating.


Doctor Strange

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I finally saw Doctor Strange! wahooooo!!!

my brother managed to convince my parents to watch it and we did! it’s not my favorite Marvel movie ever, but I did enjoy it.

spoilers potentially contained in the following sections. read at your own risk.

pros/things I liked: in the vein of all Marvel movies, it was funny. it didn’t have the humor of Thor: Ragnarok or the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but it was still funny.
~ I loved Stephen Strange’s character arc. he was such a jerk (a bit like Tony Stark, but a lot more serious) before his accident, and even after, but he was really humbled and just… I actually think his character arc could have been done better (don’t ask me how, I don’t really have a clue), but it was quite good as it was.
~ honestly, I kind of liked how the lines between good and evil were kind of blurred (I will also address this in the cons section). because that’s what life is like? there aren’t always clear answers for everything we’re supposed to do and believe in.
~ I really liked the character of Mordo and I couldn’t help but sympathize with him at the end. he had a good point. maybe he wasn’t 100% right, but then maybe Strange and Wong weren’t either.


cons/things I didn’t like: as a Christian, some of the spiritual elements were a little off-putting, especially when they used the words ‘sorcery’ or ‘sorcerer’. it’s like an inter-dimensional magic/power thing, but the word ‘sorcerer’ just gives me a bad feeling.
again with the spirituality issue, the grey areas were a bit difficult for me to sort through. like, I know what I believe, but not much here is in black and white, so what would I do in this situation? I have no clue.
~ that one part where Strange is flying through the other dimension and … just … the hands. please, no.


Incredibles 2

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another movie that I FINALLY got to see! I know it just came out, but I was hoping to see it almost right away. a week later is not bad though 😛

spoilers potentially contained in the following sections. read at your own risk.

~ Violet. I think she was my favorite character in this movie.
~ Dash was really funny haha
~ Voyd might actually be me? except that she has superpowers.
~ the main villain was actually pretty cool? it was a genius idea and great execution.
~ the whole Parr family just gets a huge YES from me. they’re awesome and loving and just yes.
all the cool tech! it looked vintage, but some of it was stuff that we don’t even use yet! at least, I don’t think we do. I’m not really up-to-date on the tech stuff haha.

no capes

cons/things I didn’t like: about the villain: while I loved the villain and I thought their superpower was a great idea, it was a little creepy. I may be almost an adult, but the mask was creepy and their actual power/manipulation was a bit disturbing.
~ there are warnings before the movie starts, but I will mention it here as well: there are a few sequences during the movie where there are bright lights flashing and it can be a little distressing. I don’t have a condition related to anything like this, but it was a little uncomfortable for me at one point. just a warning for people who get seizures or the like.
~ not really a compliant (and kind of a spoiler) – I might just be really smart – but I guessed who the villain was before it was officially revealed in the movie. maybe they meant it to be kind of easy to guess who it was? but I still got a bit of a jump scare, so I guess it was okay haha.
mind control. it’s kinda cool and all, but it’s also kinda scary.

overall, I really, really enjoyed this movie, and I really want see it again 🙂

tell me if you’ve seen/read any of the things I have been entertaining myself with! did the Incredibles come out 15 years too late for you? what should I read/watch next? talk to me in the comments! ❤



camp 2k18 pt 1

I’m just sharing a little bit of my camp experience this year. I don’t want a really lengthy intro, so here you go. I hope you enjoy 🙂

day 1

may my heart burn for the presence and truth of Jesus

I arrived at camp around 3pm with my grandparents. it was foggy and cold and I was wearing a t-shirt and overalls. I didn’t have a jacket with me, since my brothers were bringing my suitcase later in the evening. despite the cold, I was warmed by the presence of some friends that I hadn’t seen in a while. while it wasn’t the ideal first day, it was still the first day of camp and that made everything worth it.

Jesus is not a religious object; He is the lover of our souls


day 2

God created us to live in the ‘much more’

the day started cold and drizzly, as the one before had ended. my younger brother and I froze everything off waiting for breakfast to start (it wasn’t that cold – probably in the 50s – but the fog and drizzle made it miserable).

after lunch, my friends and I walked up to the amphitheater, taking photos along the way. two of them and I took a trail from the top of the amphitheater area to the road and then explored a little bit more before going back to the lawn where everyone else was. I played a little bit of volleyball that day, until the sun finally broke through the fog.

my best friend came during dinner and after evening service we had a youth icebreaker event. I don’t even remember what game we played, but it was still fun. I was so thankful that my cousin came. it didn’t quite feel like camp yet without her and my aunt and uncle. my hopes for the rest of the week rose that evening.

unknown + unseen = but better than we can ever imagine


day 3

we are called to love … to defeat pain and bring about comfort, to defeat fear and bring about love

I knew this day was going to be good when we had waffles for breakfast. they were amazing. and then our youth pastor started taking about Lord of the Rings in his message?! no joke, I actually freaked out a little bit.

after lunch, I went with a small group of the youth to a nearby strip-mall to talk to people and ask them if they needed prayer. I had never really done this before, but I was paired with a guy, J, who had, so I felt more secure. we started talking to a homeless man, and either he was deaf or just really didn’t want to talk, but he completely ignored us and walked away. we found another guy outside of Taco Bell and J struck up a conversation with him about music. this guy let us listen to some of his music and allowed us to pray for him. we also talked to a lady who said she was a Buddhist. she didn’t want us praying for her, but we listened to her talk about her practice. the whole experience was quite interesting and made me feel good about trusting God even when I’m in an uncomfortable situation. after we got back, I played volleyball for the rest of the afternoon with my friends.

this is who I am – the good, the bad, and the ugly; I bleed before You, Lord.


right before the pastor started speaking during the evening service, a little thing happened that made me realize something I do way too often without thinking… and I was ashamed. and the pastor’s sermon was about shame. I was experiencing varying degrees of crying throughout the rest of the service until the altar call, which was when I really let go. it felt so good to let go of all the shame that I had been holding inside when I didn’t even realize it. I was able to pray for other people too and the rest of the evening I was at peace and full of joy.

I’m broken and lost just like you, but I’ve met the One who can make me whole – the One who can find me


day 4

we are not ‘less than’ or incapable of being used by God

day 2 of youth class was great! my younger brother joined our color wars team (GO PINK) for the game and, going off of the sermon the night before, we talked about shame in the message and in our small groups.

I went to the pool in the afternoon with my cousin and some friends. I managed to get a bit of tan, which is not always easy to do. I also played volleyball in the afternoon before dinner. which, in hindsight, probably wasn’t the smartest idea, since I was rushing after dinner to rinse off before we took pictures. I almost didn’t make it. but I did, so I guess that’s what counts.

the youth played broomball that evening. I almost played, but decided to take a break from being competitive and watched instead. I perched myself on the low wall surrounding the tech booth and enjoyed the spectacle.

I had made a conscious effort during the day to ‘watch my tongue’ as the saying goes, and try to keep from teasing others or being snarky. I wasn’t 100% successful, but I did catch myself a few times and noticed when I didn’t other times.

all in all, day 4 was a success 🙂

you are called to light and love and joy


all pictures mine. please do not take with express consent from moi. thank you.

part 2 coming soon…



more than

as I write this, it is the Friday before you see it. why am I doing a scheduled post, you ask, when I generally don’t even know what I’ll be writing about the day before I’m supposed to post it? the reason, dear reader, is that as your eyes (hopefully) scan this page, I will not be sitting at home, watching the meager views come in. no, I will probably be either playing volleyball on the grass or watching people play volleyball on the grass or maybe I’ll still be in youth class or maybe I’ll be eating lunch. I might even be watching the World Cup and screaming for Argentina to beat Croatia (crossing my fingers). to wit, I WILL BE AT CAMP. YAY. BE HAPPY FOR ME.

I’ll do a post all about that when I get home, but for now, I want y’all to scream with me about these 10 year anniversary Marvel posters. feast your eyes:

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I mean… 😍😍😍

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i am groot 1


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more than a fighter 1

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THIS ^^^

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more than a king 1

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I love her ❤

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more than a mission

they didn’t do Bucky so good though; I’m not a huge fan of this picture 😦

BUT STILL. BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!! !!

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so glad they made a poster for her toooo ❤

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her CA:TWS look 😍

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my actual hero ❤ ❤ ❤

more than a spy

more than a suit

Steve may be my hero, but Tony is my dad ❤ (which makes Peter P. my brother and Pepper my mom 😱😃 and Happy and Rhodey my weird uncles 😛)

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this ^^^ is probably the coolest poster of all of them 😍

more than a tragic past

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of course he’s not a trash panda, cause he’s a sweet rabbit XD

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how can you not love this man 😍😍😍 and I’m so happy that Marvel is recognizing him as a hero ❤

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geez, I love this guy ❤ ❤ ❤

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and finally…

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the gold sheen is my favorite part of these posters. it’s just so beautiful 😍

tell me which poster is your favorite (and which superhero, while you’re at it!) in the comments!