2016 Look-Back


2016 has been an exciting year for me, blogging and otherwise. I grew a lot mentally and emotionally, read a lot of great books, met some new friends, became a fan of some more things, and lived a lot of memorable experiences. There were ups and downs and hurts and joys, but I am thankful for this year and all that it has left me with. To close it up, I thought I'd do a list-type post of all my favorite things in as many categories I can think of.

Books
Handmaid's Tale
Crystal Storms
The Waves
To Kill a Mockingbird
All the Bright Places
I'll Give You the Sun
A Monster Calls

Movies/Shows
Dr. Strange
Moana
Zootopia
Nightmare Before Christmas
Sherlock

Bands
Twenty-Øne Piløts
Bastille
Panic! at the Disco
Fun.
CHVRCHES
The 1975
Two Door Cinema Club

Songs
Holding On To You-Twenty-One Piløts
Be Still My Heart- The Postal Service
Changing of the Season's- Two Door Cinema Club
Laughter Lines- Bastille
Fake It- Bastille
Famous Last Words- My Chemical Romance
Stand by You- Rachel Platten
All Alone- Fun.
Somebody Else- The 1975
Death of a Bachelor- Panic! at the Disco
Phoenix- Fall Out Boy

Blogs

Moments
lazy mornings spent reading on the couch
that football game
bee project
my best friend's brother's wedding
beach days with my friend
racing my friend to write writing 100 pages over the summer
painting the biggest painting I've ever painted
filling up art journals
watching my school's poetry slam
seeing Bastille in concert (I'm still screaming and it's been like three months)
just being with my Small Group in general
rain

Trips
Beach House
Disneyland
Lotusland
LA

Clothes
Dr. Martens
dark green converse
art print socks
black skinny jeans
yellow sweaters
green coats
chocker necklace 

Plays
You Can't Take it With You
Nine to Five

Art Supplies
watercolor paints
Stabilo pens
washi tape
black hardcover sketchbooks

Stores
Michaels
Any Bookstores
Thrift Stores
Zara

Apps/Media
Pinterest
Blogger (obviously)
Fable II (just got this for Christmas and started it- we'll see how it is)
Storyteller's Circle (RP forum)

Thanks for a great year friends, I look forward to continuing to blog and share my thoughts with you in 2017! Happy New Year!


Disneyland!!

Hey readers! Yesterday, I got to take a visit to Disneyland with my family and some friends. If you know me, you know I'm totally obsessed with Disneyland and think it's truly one of the happiest places on earth, so I was (substantially) more than excited when I found out about this trip. Plus, I got to go with my best friend, who is equally obsessed with all things Disney, so we had a ball geeking out over everything and enjoying all the rides and sights. The park was still all decked out for the holidays, and all the lights and decorations were simply amazing!

 It was such a magical trip-- enjoy these photos and drop some comments below: have you been to Disneyland? Favorite ride?

Yay Disney!


the tree was so amazing, not to mention huge, look at that

Adventureland

OK SO THE HAUNTED MANSION WAS NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS THEMED AND I AM SO OBSESSED WITH THAT MOVIE AND YES IT WAS TOTALLY AMAZING

more haunted Mansion because yes-- it was my favorite ride of the day

twinning

the castle was gorgeous

we ended up going on small world twice in a row haha

More twinning-- my friend and I got matching Haunted Mansion sweaters to commemorate our favorite ride.

me admiring the riverboat haha-- I love the boats

view from the top of the riverboat

Main Street- my favorite part. I love it when it's all lit up.

parade

Anna and Elsa! Yes I love Frozen and yes I was super excited when this float came by XD


Thanks for the special day and awesome memories Disney!

Blogmas Day 12: Favorite Christmas Moments


Merry Christmas Readers!!


I am writing this wearing my new Christmas pajamas, snuggled up in very Christmas-y bed, my stomach full of Christmas dinner and my mind full of all the new memories I've made. To finish off this year's Blogmas series, I thought I'd compile a little list of favorite Christmas memories from this holiday season.

watching Home Alone with my family
waking up at 6 am on Christmas morning and finding out I was going to see Twenty-One Pilots as my gift (SCREAMS)
playing the present game at my family Christmas Eve party
going to Christmas Eve Eve church on the 23rd
receiving the sweetest book from my friend
the car ride home on Christmas Eve night, when everything was calm and bright
all my new socks I received
giving my sisters their gifts
watching my youngest sister revel in the huge amount of Harry Potter merch she received
the way it felt falling asleep on Christmas Eve
eating Christmas Dinner, the best meal of the year
reading all the wonderful Blogmas posts all you awesome bloggers have written
handing out my gifts at school on the last day before break
jamming to my Christmas playlist
the smell of the Christmas tree
the glow of Christmas lights, and standing outside to look at our tree through the windows
my sweet friend giving me washi tapes she picked for me herself
watching Elf in Biology class on the last day before break
wearing my reindeer sweater and festive socks
ice skating on Christmas Eve with the carols playing, and the whole rink to ourselves
picking out gifts for my friends and family
doing Blogmas here on my blog :)

Thank you all for reading my Blogmas posts this season, I've had so much fun writing these posts and hearing from all of you in the comments. Thanks so much for participating with me and reading along :) Merry Christmas, you guys are the best!

Blogmas Day 11: For Unto Us a Child Is Born



I sit
Under a kaleidoscope of Christmas lights
With warm mugs of cocoa and bright socks
And I wonder
What was it like?
That first Christmas
I think back,
I read through fragile, thin pages,
The words strong enough to stand the test of time
I write poetry
To better understand
'For unto us a child is born'
I bow my head
And see her
Riding
A donkey?
ok
Her belly swollen with the light it carries
"There is no room in the guest room."
It can't be easy
Contractions and blood are not glamorous
Her body laboring to bring God into the world
God
She can't have been much older than me
How was she so brave?
And he,
Standing strong, tall
Was he there in the moment?
Or was he ushered out with other men?
I can't know
But when He was born, he listened
He loved and he sacrificed
He trusted
In a baby
In a King
My hands clasp
I am a shepherd
With dirty feet and tangled hair
Just trying to watch over my flock
My mind wild with it
And the angels they sing to me
Too bright for my eyes
"I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people."
Even me?
We travel
To see small hands and small feet
And fall to our knees
This is the King
The star glows above us, a holy eye
'For Unto us a Child is Born.'

Luke 2
Isaiah 9:6

xx

Happy Christmas Eve friends! 

Blogmas Day 10: Blogger Gift Exchange!

Hello dear readers and Happy Christmas Eve Eve!

So as some of you know I am participating in the Blogger Gift Exchange over at Vanessa's Blog Simply Me, and today is the big reveal. So *drumroll* my secret santa blogger was...


I have had a lot of fun checking out Madeline's lovely bookish blog and getting to know her through her posts. I found that Madeline and I have a lot in common- besides both being book-obsessed bloggers we also both run cross country! 



So as Madeline's gift, I'm going to be doing a little review of her blog. So here are the things I love about A Chic Bookworm:

-The very aesthetic bookstagram worthy pictures. Madeline's books photos are simply beautiful, and I love how they really tie the whole blog together

-Her reviews (of course). Madeline has a really great way of capturing the best and worst parts of a book, along with awesome graphics to make the post even more enjoyable to read.

-The overall layout of the blog. Madeline's blog template is just too pretty not to compliment. Honestly it's beautiful, and her blog graphics add so much to each post.

-Madeline's spunky writing voice! She's so upbeat and cheerful, she's a lot of fun to read!

-The nice mix of book posts and lifestyle posts are a good balance and engaging to the readers.

-Madeline herself. I have interacted with Madeline a few times through comments, and she is friendly, interesting, and welcoming to everyone on her blog. I can't wait to get to know her better and continue reading her blog in the coming year!

So that's A Chic Bookworm! Be sure to check it out and leave a sweet comment for Madeline-- she deserves it! Thanks so much Vanessa for putting on the gift exchange, and thank you Madeline for writing an inspiring, beautiful blog. <3

The amazing Envy @ Lost in Translation had me, feel free to check that post out as well, thank you Envy for writing such a sweet post! 
https://verdwaaldinvertaling.blogspot.com/2016/12/envys-hall-of-fame-vivian-day-dreamer.html?showComment=1482597416060#c4778332108015601940


Blogmas Day 9: My Wishlist

What do I want for Christmas? Well, since you asked...


So pretty much random clothes, art supplies, books, and band/book merch. 

What do YOU want for Christmas? Comment below!


Blogmas Day 8: Christmas Playlist

My friend and I have been having a lot of fun compiling this Christmas playlist. It's a little bit of a mess and quite eclectic, but a lot of fun to listen to. Feel free to pick and choose favorites to make your own playlist, or to listen to all of them as well.


Humbug- Owl City
Be Still My Heart (Nobody Remix)- The Postal Service
Carol of the Bells (feat. Goblins from Mars)- Trap City
Carol of the Bells- Sauniks
All I Want for Christmas is You- Mariah Carey
Last Christmas- Taylor Swift
Setting the Trap- John Williams (Home Alone Soundtrack)
Little Saint Nick- The Beach Boys
Tuning Out- Bastille
Carol of the Bells- John Williams (Home Alone Soundtrack)
O Holy Night- John Williams (Home Alone Soundtrack)
Mistletoe- Justin Bieber
You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch- Thurl Ravenscroft
All I Want for Christmas is You- My Chemical Romance
The Nutcracker Soundtrack (all the songs)
Jesus, Rest Your Head- George Winston
Joy- George Winston
Carol of the Bells- George Winston
Night, Pt 1: Snow- George Winston
Yule Shoot Your Eye Out- Fall Out Boy
Nothing For Christmas- New Found Glory
Light of Christmas (feat. tobyMac)- Owl City
Little Drummer Boy- Toby Mac
The First Noel (feat. Owl City)- Toby Mac
Fool's Holiday- All Time Low
Christmas Time is Here (Vocal Version)- Vince Guaraldi Trio
White Christmas- The Drifters
Christmas Is- Run-DMC
Mary, Did you Know?- Pentatonix
Baby, It's Cold Outside- Margaret Whiting & Johnny Mercer
Christmas Every Day- Simple Plan
Christmas Everyday- Unspoken
I Won't Be Home for Christmas- blink-182
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas- Michale Bublé
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree- Brenda Lee
Santa Baby- Eartha Kitt
When Christmas Comes to Town- Matthew Hall & Meagan Moore (Polar Express Soundtrack
I Don't Wanna Spend Another Christmas Without You- The Ready Set
Let it Go- Idina Menzel
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Blogmas Day 7: Small Gift Idea for Friends

For today's Blogmas post, I thought I'd share a cute little gift I got for my friends at school. This is a great gift to get if you want to get a small thing for a lot of people, especially if you have artistic friends. It's simple yet personal, and I think it'd be a lot of fun to receive.



So basically I just purchased a pack of mini Stabilo art pens. I then chose a color for each friend-- it could be their favorite color or it could be a color that reminds you of them. To add a little extra personalization, I made small flags out of paper and wrote their names on each one before taping them to the pens.




And that's all there is to it! I'll be giving these with my mini Christmas (note)cards to all of my friends!

Blogmas Day 6: Mini Christmas (Note)Cards

So last year I made mini cards out of note cards, and I thought I'd do it again this year since they turned out so cute in 2015. This time I did an adorable simplified reindeer. I folded 5x8 index cards so the lines were on the inside, then decorated each one with a Rudolph. For his nose I used my finger to stamp some red ink. The eyes were drawn with micron pens, and the antlers with a brown colored pencil. I wrote a personal note inside each one, and I will give them to my friends the last day of school before break. And that's all there is to it!

**note-- original idea modified off Pinterest. Original design here. All credits to original artist.








Blogmas Day 5: It Doesn't Snow Here


Where I live
By the coast, by the sea,
Where great waves brush the soft sand, thrumming, pulling, breathing, the Earth's heartbeat
It doesn't snow
The air is too warm, they say
The weeds of the chaparral croaking in thirst
The scream emanating from the dry brush
I scream with them
Silently,
There are no sound waves here
No atmosphere to carry my cry
From my house I can see both
The mountains, which stand, heralds, watchers, peering down at us below
There is white sugar on their peaks
I cannot reach it
Below I see the ocean
Forever trapped in its irregular rhythms
Beating the sand
Crumbling the land slowly
I cannot reach it
I look up at barren, white skies
The clouds are so bright I can only squint
And I raise my palms waiting
Watching
But nothing
It doesn't snow here
There are no temporary crystals nestled among my hair
I needn't wear boots because the ground is dry concrete and asphalt
And I watch as the sun pulls up the moon and stars cascade from the clear night
I cannot reach them either
And still
It doesn't snow here
I breath 
Or try at least
The air, it's stifling
Filled to choking with moisture and uncertainty
My lungs cry in protest
And I long for the chill,
My body aches for the feeling
Of cold, clarity down my back
Even if it would hurt in the moment, even if my dry skin would scream in protest and pain, even if the icicles would dig into my heart and the sensitive pads of my fingers
It would be better than this
This trap, this cage, this encompassing blanket of warm, suffocating, inconsistencies and paradoxes and loops
Because this in between is too confusing
I look to the water, to the peaks
And then where I stand
In the middle
Where am I?
It doesn't snow here
Amidst inconsistent capital letters and sad attempts at free-verse poetry that will somehow tell you
Tell me?
Just what's going on
Because it doesn't snow here and yet everything is white and bright and cold and glaring and my eyes they burn and I feel the clouds that should weigh nothing pressing aching pulling me dragging me down into more clouds and more mist and there's nowhere to go and I'm stuck somewhere between the mountains in the sea

And it doesn't snow here
But how I wish it would

xx

I am rooted but I flow. --VW

Blogmas Day 4: 3 Gift Guides

So for day four of Blogmas I thought it might be fun to do some gift guides. I'm going to do one for an artist, one for a bookworm, and one for that one very aesthetic friend you have and it's just like how can I buy this person something that will meet their aesthetic standards (you know the one). So let's dive right in!

The Artist
-Stabilo pens
-A Copic marker in their favorite color (they're expensive--your artist friend will understand if you can only afford one or two, don't worry. It's the quality that matters)
-A small travel sketchbook
-A gift card to the local art store
-Washi tapes
-soft drawing pencils
-gel pens

The Bookworm
-books (duh)
-gift card to local book store  (again duh)
-bookmarks-- it could be fun to do handmade ones
-mugs (because who doesn't like a nice tea and read day)
-fuzzy socks
-one of those personal library kits (ok not going to lie I've always wanted one of those so yeah please get that for me thankssss)
-a special edition or illustrated copy of one of their favorites
-offer to take them to go see the movie adaptation of -(insert book here)- when it comes out
-a nerdy book T-shirt (because like those are the best, yes I have literary T-shirts, yes they are my favorite things ever)


The Aesthete
-a polaroid camera
-buttons or patches with unique sayings
-a Kånken backpack
-some unique laces for their Dr. Martens (if they have them)
-baseball caps with fun embroidery
-literally anything space related
-a fancy notebook
-records of their favorite albums (if they have a record player-- or if you are feeling extra generous or looking for a bigger gift then you could throw that in too)




Blogmas Day 3: December Obsessions

Some rather festive things I'm a little bit obsessed with this month:

Christmas Socks
I'm really just obsessed with socks year-round, but festive socks are just yes.


 Christmas Piano Music
It's so relaxing and lovely for studying to.



My Reindeer Shirt
I HAVE BEEN WAITING ALL YEAR TO WEAR THIS SHIRT JUST LOOK AT IT



My Holiday Sock Monkeys
So I may or may not collect sock monkeys. And I may or may not have eight Christmas ones. ((hey I never said I wasn't weird))



That Pinterest Christmas Aesthetic
You know exactly what I'm talking about.



Hot Tea
I'm so happy it's cold again so I can enjoy hot tea. I've been particularly enjoying some lavender chamomile lately.


Fuzzy Blankets
My mom got me a very fuzzy, very warm blanket from Costco. Needless to say it's wrapped around my shoulders pretty much 24/7 on the weekends ((although my dog enjoys it too--hence the photo)).



What are your guys' December obsessions?


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Blogmas Day 2: Holiday Sketchbox


Hello readers!
It's been longer than I would've liked, school...ughhh. Anyone else ready for winter break?
But a cheerful spot in the midst of school stress-- I received my Holiday Sketchbox! I'm so excited about this box, and it came with a whole bunch of things that I've wanted for quite some time and am so excited to try out!





Contents:

Custom Sketchbox+ Stillman & Birn Mini Sketchbook--awesome for travel sketches, plus it's adorable

MOLOTOW Liquid Chrome 20 Year--uh oh a fancy pen--I'm a little addicted to fancy pens so this is perfect I cannot wait to mess around with this

Copic Sketch Marker (dark pink)-- YES!! I HAVE WANTED A COPIC MARKER FOR SO LONG AND NOW I HAVE ONE AND I'M SUPER EXCITED

Daler Rowney Watercolor Travel Set--This is probably the item I'm most excited to have received, as I have wanted a set of nicer watercolors for some time, and the size is perfect for me to take with me to school and out and about

Princeton Heritage Synthetic Brush (size 8 round)-- This brush is a really nice thing for me to receive, as I only have one high quality watercolor brush. Having another size in my set will be really awesome.

Van Gogh 10ml Watercolor Tube (olive green)-- Ooh, a real watercolor tube. I've only ever had cake watercolors. I'm very excited to try out this brand, although I'm a little afraid of how much I think I'll like it, as tubes of watercolor can be very expensive ((winces as I watch my money fall out of my wallet and into the Michaels cash register))

Cretacolor Graphite Aquarrell Pencil (8B)-- I can always use another sketching pencil

Sketchbox Sticker-- As usual. I've been having a lot of fun collecting these and sticking them all over my life. Stickers are great.

So there's my Holiday box! Let me know which items were your favorite :)
Also, I'd be interested to know if you all enjoy these sorts of posts-- art supplies hauls and box openings and whatnot. I have a Sketchbox subscription again this year, so if you enjoy these I can start doing opening posts again after Blogmas? Let me know :)

Blogmas Day 1: A Christmas List+Blogger Gift Exchange


the smell of pine needles
warm slippers
glowing lights
silver bells
handmade cards
reindeer sweaters
wishes
cold fingers
shiny ice skate blades
paper snowflakes
gingerbread men
tinsel
caroling voices
colored paper
snow globes
shiny ornaments
rosy cheeks
fuzzy socks
cocoa
crackling fires
joy

xx

My dear friend Vanessa at Simply Me has created an opportunity to do a blogger gift exchange! Check out the link if you are interested in signing up-- I'm participating :)


2016 Blogger Gift Exchange

Blogmas Day 0: Intro


It's December, and every blogger knows that that means that...

BLOGMAS IS HERE!!!

I am so excited to do Blogmas again this year! I've decided to do my 12 Days Of Christmas Series again, as I had a lot of fun with it last year. Feel free to participate on your own blogs, or just read along. I can't wait to celebrate Blogmas with you and read all of your winter-y posts as well! Enjoy!