Jun 28, 2015

Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire

Hello readers, it's time for another book review!

I just picked up this book at the library because the picture was intriguing, and I think I quite correctly judged the book by it's cover!

Author: Gregory Maguire also wrote the Wicked series, that inspired the fantastic musical starring Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth, so going into it, I had big expectations. I was not disappointed at all!

Plot: Egg and Spoon is the story of mainly two little Russian girls, Elena living as a starving peasant and the other, Ekaterina, being sent to the Tsar (ruler of Russia) to be presented to his godson as a possible bride.
Both change and they are removed from their previous track.

Ekaterina meets a witch in the middle of the forest and gives her the Faberge egg as a gift, though it was meant to go to the Tsar. Elena is left with a Firebird's egg to give to him. So much  happens and they meet many interesting new characters as well. I never thought a person could imagine up so many stories.

Opinion: Hopefully I didn't give too much away from the story, but I really think you guys should read it! Egg and Spoon is beautifully written and has layer upon layer of emotions and Russian folk tales, which was really why I loved it so much. I think people of any age would enjoy reading it, especially if you like experiencing different cultures. 5 Stars! 


Have you all read any good books lately? What is your favorite genre? Tell me in the comments!
-Bree 


Jun 23, 2015

How to Take a Compliment

I saw this teenager post on my Twitter feed the other day from @HuffPostTeen and I got really excited because this would make a great blog post! Obviously I googled 'how to respond to compliments' and I feel I have researched this subject thoroughly. Ok, not really, but I'm doing my best!
com·pli·ment
noun
ˈkämpləmənt/
  1. 1.
    a polite expression of praise or admiration.
    "she paid me an enormous compliment"
    synonyms:flattering remark, tributeaccoladecommendationbouquet, pat on the back; More

verb
ˈkämpləˌment/
  1. 1.
    politely congratulate or praise (someone) for something.
    "he complimented Erica on her appearance"

Personally I get embarrassed when someone compliments me and I don't know what to say. I think a lot of kids these days have that problem too, and it all comes down to confidence. I have previously written a post called How to Be More Confident and you should probably read that too, if you are really serious about this.
Via happymonsters.tumbr.com
It really is pretty simple. You just have to have the courage/confidence to go through with these three "easy steps." 
  1. SMILE
  2. SAY THANK YOU
  3. SINCERELY RETURN THE COMPLIMENT

Ok, the last one is really the hardest. But with a little practice, you'll be a pro! 
Here is my guide of how to return a compliment: If they compliment your appearance, make a nice comment about theirs! If they say something about your personality, say something about theirs! If they praise your actions, praise theirs right back!

But here is the important part. WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN SOMEONE COMMENDS YOU FOR SOMETHING.
Do not, I repeat, do not, deflect praise. It's not modest, it's a teensy bit rude, kind of like rejecting the person that gave it to you. For example, someone says to you "Wow, your writing piece was very impressive"
Yes: Thank you so much! I actually just finished reading your last post and it was amazing, especially the part blah blah blah 
No: Oh, no it was garbage, I suck at writing

A lot of people these days try to play down their work to be modest, but it makes the rest of us feel terrible. I know when I tell someone they did a good job, and they say they didn't even care about it, I feel like a talent-less wreck! Do you know what I mean? I tried really hard and they didn't, but they still did better!

This is especially a problem on social medias, because sometimes people post selfies to get praise, and then act like they are super ugly or something. It makes me a little upset! I just want to shake them by their shoulders and yell at them "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND!!!!"

To fix my anger, I have decided to challenge myself by complimenting people way more than normal. Since I've been watching Parks and Recreation a lot, I have been catching on to Leslie Knope complimenting. 
If you want to do my challenge too, next time someone says something nice to you, be sincerely nice back to them. It shouldn't be that hard. You can do it!

Love, Bree
p.s. you are a wonderful tropical fish and thank you for looking at my blog

Jun 22, 2015

A Father's Day Home


Yesterday was a special day for me, because as well as celebrating my dad and grandpas, it was the one year anniversary of leaving Washington. 
One year ago yesterday, my mom, dad, two sisters and I said our final goodbyes to our close friends and family and drove to California. Of course we didn't get to Kentucky until 11 days later, but still, it was a big day XD
Anyway, yesterday felt like we went home a little bit because we went out for Japanese food. In the PNW we'd usually go to Koto's Teriyaki but they don't have that here so INSTEAD we went to this fancy-ish restaurant that I forgot the name of, but it was delicious! I had way too much fried rice and yakisoba, and I loved it. Interestingly enough, Kentucky doesn't have much teriyaki places. 
Afterwards we drove to a park with a nice river. We fell in a couple of times and pretty much basked in how much like home it was. Not too hot or humid, nice cold water, quite a bit of mud and lots of trees.

Plus, I collected shells! They are pretty small which is perfect for sneaking home in your pocket. Don't worry, no snails or oysters were harmed in the making of this post. 
You can see a much better picture of this on my Instagram, just click the button!
Speaking of the shells, I was wondering if anyone has any good craft ideas that I can use them for. I really like them but they can't just sit by the candle forever. Any spectacular ideas?
>Also after the park, we watched Back to the Future and I love Michael J Fox so that was a fantastic ending to a fantastic day<
I'm considering yesterday a success. How did you spend Father's Day?
Much love, Brenna :)

Jun 19, 2015

How To Clean Your Bedroom


Since school is over for me, I've been spending way too much time in my room, and in order to get anything done, I need my space to be clutter-free and organized. Cleaning your room could take 30 minutes to a few weeks, depending on how messy your room is, so be prepared to do some work!

  • Get ready! I like to put on some music that I can sing along to, that will distract my mind from straying too far into cleaning. Let your family know that today is official cleaning day! When they know you are already doing something productive, they will be less likely to add random chores to your to-do list.



  • The first step is to make your bed. That is usually the main part of a bedroom, so wash your bedding, including pillow-cases, and make up your bed again!

  • While your bedding is in the wash, perhaps move onto a smaller project, like removing trash, getting rid of useless papers, organizing your makeup, nail polish or something like that. Organizing the little things makes your bedroom look much more efficient!

  • Get as much as you can off the floor. If you don't have a lot of shelf space, place items into specific stack-able boxes. When less is on the floor, it's easier to vacuum/sweep and your room looks bigger.

  • Laundry is always on the floor in my room, and it is my #1 problem. (I might be writing this post to avoid putting it away) My dresser is rather small, so fitting everything in is always a struggle. If you have the afternoon off, put on some music or a movie, and get rid of all the clothes you don't wear. You can give your old clothes away, donate them, and I usually give them to my younger sisters as hand-me-downs. My shirts are about 50% camp shirts, 20% School shirts, 10% ugly and 20% wearable, so I try to give away my old school tees and the ones I don't like. DON'T GET TOO ATTACHED TO CLOTHES

  • Re-organize decorations. I have a cork board in my room and every couple of months I like to replace the items on it with newer things. I have post cards, drawings, quotes, pictures and a ton of other stuff that I can rotate through, to leave my room looking just a little bit newer and more exciting.

Those are just a few ways to start de-cluttering your room!  Remember to work on one project at a time until it is finished, so that you don't have several different messes in your room and no work done at all. 
Did I miss something important, or do you have a great way to clean? Let me know in the comments!
Have fun cleaning and don't procrastinate too much! -Bree





Jun 17, 2015

6 Hilarious (Not Quite New) TV Shows

I've become quite a teenager this summer, and one of my "hobbies" are TV shows that aren't very new. I never liked Gossip Girl and didn't get wrapped into Switched at Birth. But I do very much enjoy some older ones, that I would love to share with you! Just a warning, most of these are PG-13 so for the younger readers, check with your parents before watching all of them. Also, these are in no particular order


Gilmore Girls

Scrubs

Parks and Recreation

Friends

The IT Crowd

Family Ties

Some of these are a LOT older than others, but I love all of them. I know, I know, I need to stop watching so much TV, which is why I'm asking you guys for writing prompts. I really want to write a story, but I can't think of any genius story ideas, so if you have one and are kind enough to share it, please PLEASE drop it in the comments (or email me if it is super secret and amazing). Hopefully you all enjoyed this post and I didn't accidentally hook you on one of these shows. Have a great day!


Jun 16, 2015

Travel-Photo Journal

Before I show you some of my pictures from last week, I want to say happy birthday to two old friends of mine, Maiya and Kasumi and one of my favorite aunts ;) I love you guys, hopefully we can visit soon
Anyway, here are the rest of my pictures from New Jersey last week. Enjoy
Cape May NJ

Benjamin Franklin House, Philedelphia

Menagerie Coffee, Philedelphia

Street corner in Philly

Really cute/historic room

Room where Decleration of Independance was signed

Jun 15, 2015

5 Books I've Never Read

Earlier today I was thinking about how I enjoy writing lists. That's great for getting things done, but not so much for creative writing. If I could write a story in just a list, I would, but I fear not many people would like to read it.
Any how, with school out of the way, I become a book worm, and there are lots of things I'd like to read. So here's to adding a list to my list of lists.


 1. The Maze Runner//James Dashner 
My good friend Rowan has suggested this to me so many times, I should probably read it. I saw the movie and I feel that if I had read it before hand it would make much more sense. Spider robots?

2. Don't Even Think About It//Sarah Mlynowski
I read a positive review about it on a cute little blog I found today, and I really want to read it! It's about mind-reading little children.

3. Looking For Alaska//John Green
Honestly, who doesn't like John Green? I loved TFIOS and Papertowns so I can't wait for this one!

4. Lost on Planet China//J. Maarten Troost
I got this one from the library last week and have yet to read it. It's autobiographic, and looked interesting.

5. Dune//Frank Herbert
As a sci-fi classic and dad's favorite, I really should read it. It's 800 pages of new worlds and customs. I started it and haven't picked it up in a while, but the beginning was rather intriging. Don't be frightened by size

So this summer when I am hiding in my room, these books may or may not be read. Hopefully they will. 
Are there any books you really want to read?
Love, Bree :)



Jun 13, 2015

Teen Summer Tag

Now that summer has started for real for me, I've decided to make a tag! If you get tagged, answer the questions and tag more people!

1. Is it summer where you live?
Yes!
2. What is your favorite part of the summer-time?
Being able to breathe. In my bed. Instead of at school.
3. Do you have any summer traditions?
I used to go to my best friend's house every Thursday and swim in the lake at her house, but I've moved away now, so I guess I need to make some new ones!
4. Name your number one summer song, ready go!
Pineapple Princess by Annette Funicello
5. What is your most memorable memory of the summer, ever?
Probably spending my summers at the lake with Julia :) I miss you girl. See her blog here
6. One blog you currently can't get enough of!
Definitley Reckless or Clover & Dot
7. Give your top blogging tip, even if you're a newbie. What do you want people to know?
If you don't like blogging at all, stick with it just a little longer but if you just can't, then don't. Do things that you enjoy. I blog because I love it and I need a regular creativity outlet, and this is a reliable place to spill!
8. If you could travel anywhere this summer, where would it be and why?
Apart from back home, I would visit Europe and see all the touristy things, and then some. See the real European country sides. :)
9. What is your favorite accessory to wear in the warm weather?
Well, in the nicer days I like to dress up in flowy clothes and accent necklaces/bracelets are always fun, so definitley those! I have a silver anchor necklace that I really love to wear.
10.  Set one goal to challenge yourself this summer. 
I am going to fill a whole notebook/journal with doodles, quotes and to-dos. I swear!

Now tag as many people as you want! Anybody can do this---Feel free to do this and please post the picture with it. But specifically I tag the following blogs-




Jun 12, 2015

Twilight: Why I'm Not a Fan


Yes. I admit it. I read Twilight.
Everyone warned me, and I still read it. Not the whole series, just the first one. My reasoning was that in order to truly hate something you should see what it is for real, and not just mindlessly hate it.

I enjoyed it at first, don't judge me! It's a very compelling read, and plus it takes place in my home state. 
I was actually confused as to why almost the whole internet hates the Twilight series until I watched the movie. 

But now, I don't mindlessly hate it, it makes me sad and a little upset. 

Bella is a sad, slightly pathetic character and the actress portrayed that. But not in a very good way, she didn't have any emotions. And neither did Edward. Don't get me wrong, I love Robert Pattinson but the character of Edward was terrible. He didn't have any emotion or love or warmth, it was a creepy obsession. In the book he was described as warm and cold at the same time, and very loving. But I think I might have imagined that or something because that is definitley not the message I recieved from the film. 
That was my main problem with it, though I haven't read all of them.
Also, Bella was paler than Edward in the movie and that scares me a little. I'm a fairly pale (get it, lol) person from Washington. I spent hours in the sun last week and my family says I got whiter. But Edward never goes in the sun, ever and BELLA IS A TONE LIGHTER. What was that about? The poor, obsessive, naiive, emotionless girl needs a doctor or two. 

So, I'm sorry to the Twilight fans out there, we are both entitled to opinions, and I have decided not to pursue reading the rest of the series. Which makes me sad because Pattinson was a very pretty vampire.

What are your opinions on this book? Good? Bad? Love-hate? Let me know in the comments!
Love,
Brenna Mae :)

Jun 11, 2015

Brenna's Road Trip Essentials

This past week, if you were paying attention, you saw that I took a family road trip up to see some friends in New Jersey and visited a lot of really cool places. 
It was about a 10-15 hour drive, and in a mini-van, I can get a teensy bit stir crazy.
 I need to keep myself entertained somehow! 
So here are 5 things that I MUST HAVE on a road trip. 


First things first, you need a bag! I really like taking a backpack because of how much space is available. Since it's summer, I emptied my school backpack and used that! 
///
I always listen to music when I'm bored so I make one or two playlists before-hand. I use Spotify, and you are welcome to check out what I'm listening to by clicking here. Make sure you bring headphones and a car charger so you don't use up all of your phone's battery.

Depending on the other passengers, the car can get uncomfortably hot or freezing cold, and the simple answer is to bring layers! I wore a tank top and shorts, with converse and a change of flip-flops in my back pack. I also brought a plaid long sleeve shirt and a fuzzy blanket, which was super easy and convenient to throw over myself when I got cold.
///
If you don't get carsick, I suggest bringing 1-2 books! Right now I am reading Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire, and it was just getting good during the longest stretch of road, which was perfect for keeping me occupied. Another idea is if your car is small enough, have someone in your family read aloud or get an audio book. It works wonders, keeping my younger sisters quiet.


This one is a little obvious, but you have to eat! Snacks and water are really important on roadtrips, because it lets you keep driving without having to stop for meals as often. I like to have an assortment of protien-packed granola bars and trail mix, and a small amount of candy. Not too much though, because sugar head aches are miserable when you are sitting in the same spot for 15 hours. I may do another post soon, about my favorite things to put into a trail mix. What do you think of that?
///
Thank you so much for reading! I hope next time you have a road trip, it's a great one.
Have you ever driven anywhere? Tell me in the comments!
Love, Brenna




Jun 8, 2015

#brennaonbroadway


Yesterday I went to New York City! And it was wonderful! Since I grew up in mostly small towns and only visit Seattle or downtown Louisville every once in a while, so going to a huge city like this was a completely new experience.

Manhattan is so old, beautiful (a little smelly) and completely filled with history and music. 

I'm a big Broadway person, and the TONY AWARDS were happening. I walked by Radio City Music Hall during the big rehearsal, I didn't see anyone, but I was REALLY REALLY CLOSE to Kristen Chenoweth. There was one lady in a very fancy nude, rhinestone and black dress that looked very serious about being in New York. I wonder who she was. :)
Across from Radio City Music Hall
 I also walked past the Belasco Theatre, where I mentally met Darren Criss, who is currently starring in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He was in Glee and pretty much wrote (and starred in) Harry Potter the Musical. 
DARREN CRISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
I also sang at Carnegie Hall and saw The Lion King on Broadway ;)
Singing at Carnegie Hall
Look closely

We also visited St. Patrick's Cathedral, and it was beautiful. They were actually having Puerto Rican mass, which was completely in Spanish. I'd never been to mass before, but it was pretty cool. The building, though, was something else. Huge stained glass windows, sculptures and detailed stone walls. I bet the whole experience for a Catholic visiting the city is amazing. 
Front of St. Patricks
Stained glass in St. Patricks

Ceiling Detail in St. Patrick. 

At the end of the day, I saw the One World Trade Center, which is quite a pretty building, and seeing how smooshed together the places are, I was able to picture the 9/11 attack, and that day must have been one of the most terrifying thing anyone has ever had to experience, and America will never forget that. 
One World Trade Center
I also saw Lady Liberty from across the river, but it was too far away to get a good picture, so you'll just have to imagine it. ;) This was an amazing experience and I am really hoping to visit again in the not too distant future, but no promises. 
I hope everyone is starting off summer with fun memories and lots of sleep! 
Have you ever been anywhere really special to you?
Love, 
Brenna







Jun 5, 2015

Cute Summer Outfit

Floral

A couple days ago  I bought a floral dress somewhat similar to this one for only $9, and I am super excited to wear it!
 I LOVE PLATO'S CLOSET!!! Also today was my last day of school. How was your school year?! I am super excited to not wear uniform anymore!
Today, even though it's not Friday, I am ending Fashion Friday for the summer! I need to take a break :)
So hopefully you enjoyed some of my outfits, and I may still make them, but not periodically.
Which one was your favorite? You can click on the tag 'fashion friday' below to see all of them.

(40 things to do this summer)

Untitled #26

Today was my last day of middle school! I am really psyched for this summer! Kentucky summers are so much different than Washington, and this year, I'll actually have friends :) Here are some ways I'm going to try to spice up my break from school.
  1. Spend a ridiculous amount of time with God
  2. have a bonfire. I'm pretty sure this is on everyone's list
  3. catch lightning bugs
  4. pull an all-nighter
  5. get frozen-yogurt or ice cream!
  6. disney marathon
  7. read A LOT
  8. make a succulent terrarium (cactus collection) <3
  9. ¿reach 50 followers maybe?
  10. build myself a new wardrobe
  11. get into a new genre of music
  12. do my makeup and do it RIGHT
  13. re-decorate my room!
  14. henna tattoos
  15. doodle every day
  16. spend quality time with my friends
  17. fill a whole entire notebook with thoughts, quotes, ideas and prayers
  18. rock a smokey eye, OUTSIDE my bedroom
  19. learn how to take good pictures
  20. jump off a diving board
  21. tan, just a little
  22. ROAD TRIP
  23. drink good coffee
  24. sing every single day
  25. play in the rain like a good Washington girl
  26. take one good selfie
  27. up cycle a t-shirt
  28. get hyped for high school!
  29. be happy and healthy :)
  30. have fun with my little sisters
  31. LEARN AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE OMG 
  32. get a cute haircut
  33. sew one thing.
  34. find a best blogging friend! email me your application por favor
  35. mail letters a lot!!!!!!!
  36. go to a concert
  37. blow GIANT bubbles
  38. make a new good friend
  39. do a diy face scrub post WITH pictures
  40. wade in some sort of creek with some sort of friend ;)
THAT'S ALL THE TIME WE HAVE TODAY FOLKS If you think I missed something vitally important for this list PLEASE tell me this is special to me 
>>also if YOU want to be my blogging bff then EMAIL/TWEET me so we can chat!<< 
Have a great summer and I'll be back soon! 

Jun 1, 2015

floral dresses & books & road trips

Hello cuties! I have some updates for you!
  • I am SUPER excited today! Lately I haven't really been blogging anything interesting, but today I went to the library and got a ton of books to read and blog about. So be ready for a whole bunch of book reviews/ recommendations 
  • I'm officially going to start beauty blogging. YAY! REN skincare sent me two samples that I got in the mail today, and I'm going to use them and see how well they work!
  • This one isn't really related, but I got a SUPER CUTE DRESS yesterday at Plato's Closet for only $9 and I am obsessed! 

  • This weekend I'm visiting New Jersey and New York City and MY DREAM is going to NYC so I am out of my mind about it! Plus, I love travel, and I've never been to the North East, or even seen the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • Friday is my last day of school, so I am almost in high school! What is that even about? Summer is creeping up so fast and I am loving it. 
  • Tomorrow I am getting my hair cut and I need help please. What would look ok on me? I want to not be boring anymore!
Any summery post ideas/requests? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing what you have to say! What's going on in your life?

Devo Monday//Talent

 

This weeks devotional is inspired by the amazing people I met at Aladdin! So talented, and only high schoolers :)
 The verse says "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace." We all have gifts from God, because we were made in His image. This verse is pretty straight forward about it too.
 Use your talents, whether it be dancing, singing, writing, doing hair, playing football or anything else, use them to show the grace of the Lord in your life. 
Also, doing something you love, to serve Jesus makes that activity so much more fun! Just doing something with the intent to serve brings a ton of joy.
 Have a happy memorial day!