Calico Critters Photoshoot

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As promised, here are a couple of mini-photo shoots of the Calico Critters. They’re so cute. Sadly our dog has chewed up many of the critters and items so they’re a little banged up. Also, my sister has sat on the chair and stood on the tables a few too many times (don’t ask) so we’re just going with the fact that our critters are Japanese and therefore sit on the floor (I know, lol).

Nighttime for the Critters

‘Twas night for the critters, when all thro’ the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The baby was tucked in her bed with care,
In hopes that sleep would find her there.
The critters were nestled all snug in their beds,
And on their pillows rested their little heads.

My parody of “Twas a Night before Christmas” for Critters. I’m not great with poems, but I think it turned out pretty cute. I took some photos to go along with it. It was hard to get clear pictures, in the dark, without using flash (it would brighten it up too much) so these pictures are, needless to say, pretty icky. Bear with me!

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Critters have a photo session

Let me tell you, it is hard to mimic a real-life lifestyle session with Calico Critters, lol. My attempt mostly failed but I think I got some cute pictures. Let me know if you think so!

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Tour the Critter’s home

So this isn’t actually touring their home, it’s 2 pictures but I though they were cute so I decided to share them!

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Soo… what do you think? I tried to mimic a real family’s life and it was a lot of fun. It wasn’t very consistent though because I added and took away the little girl with the purple hair bow (did anyone else notice that) and she only appeared in 2 pictures. Can you guess which ones? Let me know in the comments 🙂

See you next week,

 

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August Review + September Goals

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I feel like I’ve been doing this monthly review + goals thing for FOREVER! I’m pretty sure that this is my 6th month doing it, which is pretty awesome. I’ve come to enjoy doing it.

What I read in August

(again, mostly my library books)

Rilla of Ingleside by L. M. Montgomery: I’ve read this before but it’s one of my favorites. It’s so sweet. I LOVE Jims, he’s so cute. (For those who don’t know, this is the ending book of the Anne of Green Gables series. The main character is Rilla, Anne’s youngest child, who is 14 at the start of the book. The time period covered in Rilla of Ingleside is during WW1. I definitely recommend this book to really anyone. Anne of Green Gables is for ages 8 to 88 as they say! 🙂

Spy Camp by Stuart Gibbs: This was my “silly book” or “fun book” for the month. It was humerus and silly, very fun, but certainly not educational. There are some bits of humor that were amusing but hinting at crudeness. I don’t think this book was awful, but it’s not my favorite. I didn’t mean it to be, though!

The Hobbit by J. R. Tolkien: I’m actually currently reading this one for school, but I thought I’d include it in there. I read it in the first couple weeks of July, so I’m now rereading. I don’t have very much to say, but I would recommend it, it’s pretty awesome. I think the whole poem part with Gollum is quite boring though. It’s probably just me, lol!

Dear America: My Secret War I’ve always enjoyed the Dear America series (since I was 8) since it’s light, easy reads but so educational and teaching. Same with the Royal Diaries. This one, My Secret War, was very intriguing. Set in 1941-42 in Long Island, the WW2 Diary of Madeline Beck is quite interesting. My favorite part is how it’s so REAL! That’s what I love about DA. I recommend this book to anyone (the more advanced you are, the lighter the read is, but It’s also more fun because you can Google the person and research about them. I don’t think you’d do that at age 8, lol.

Dear America: Look to the Hills This book was not at all like My Secret War. Set in 1763, this is in the New York Colonies. Very different! It’s a diary of Lozette Moreau and very enlightening. I recommend it to the same people as above ^^.

Royal Diaries: Anastasia This is by the same authors as DA, but Royal Diaries are different in the fact that it’s royalty from all around. This one is Anastasia in Russia in 1914. It’s very fun and sad and lovely! I do think that the end is SO rushed and there’s not any buildup at all. It’s just- we leave, we’re gone, the end. XD

Royal Diaries: Isabel I had never ever heard this story before. Very interesting! I recommend it to everyone.

 

Photoshoot of my sister

On my younger sister E’s birthday, I took a photoshoot of her. Some of the photos turned out so cute! Since y’all have commented saying you want more pictures of her I decided to share a couple of them.

Goals for September:

  • Post 5 times on C & C
  • Post 4 times on QTE
  • Send out a Monday email on the C & C mailing list twice
  • Participate in a challenge/giveaway on another blog
  • Start using my school schedule

That’s all for today! I’ll see y’all next week for a fun photoshoot of _____ (you guess)!

 

Photography Challenge: Collab with Gracie

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Today I’m doing a special collab with Gracie!

Gracie’s blog: https://gmarchiani.wordpress.com/

The collab:

We started off by selecting three photo prompts. We chose things that we knew we would interpret differently so that we could learn more about each other. After sharing our photos, we’ll explain why we chose that photo.

Something pretty

Random thing

Your favorite pair of shoes

Something Pretty

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I took photos of my sister for her second birthday last week, and this is one of my favorites! I’m planning on sharing more for my August Review post. I think that E looks so cute is this picture, and her eyes are entrancing. Her expression is solemn but silly, which I think is lovely. I also like this photo because E is the spotlight. Not her outfit or the background, her face!

Random Thing

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I chose this picture because I love the closeup of C’s eye. Also, I like how you can see our tent, rental car, and me shoving the camera in his face (this was taken while camping), lol. It’s not the best shot but I love the detail.

My Favorite Shoes

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I attempted a new style of photography the other day. I don’t like it very much, but I decided to keep this picture because it fully shoes my favorite pair of shoes. I have 4 pairs of shoes, so this was hard since I use all of them quite often, but these are awesome. They work well for hiking, walking, and I even wore them to church a couple times. They are my only sandals right now, which I’m fine with. I also really like the coloring because they go with everything!

You can see Gracie’s part of the collab here: https://gmarchiani.wordpress.com/

 

How to be productive when you’re not motivated

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Today I’m going to be sharing some tips for being productive when you’re not motivated. This has always been a struggle for me, so when I found some solutions I knew I wanted to share then with y’all so that you would know what to do!

  1. Ask yourself: Why don’t I feel motivated?

There’s a wide spectrum of reason on why you’re not motivated. It might be that you simply don’t enjoy doing the task, or it could be possible that you have too much on your plate. Whatever it is, there is a fairly simple solution. If you don’t enjoy the task- make it enjoyable! One idea is to provide yourself with a reward for completing the task- maybe 5 minutes of social media, 10 minutes to read a book, or even simply a break to have a healthy snack. This question is essential because once you know why you don’t feel motivated you can remedy it.

  1. Put away media.

This one is absolutely essential if you just feel unmotivated. It’s easier to scroll through social media that to sit down and complete tasks, even if the task is something you enjoy. Turn the power of all of your devices and turn off all of your notifications. You should probably make some way for emergency phone calls to come through, just in case.

  1. Eat a healthy snack.

When I don’t feel motivated, I’m ready to munch on things like chips and sweets. Aside from the fact that those foods are unhealthy, they’re not going to help with the motivation issue, I promise! If you’re feeling unmotivated, try making a smoothie with some nuts and greek yogurt, plus some fresh fruits/veggies to make it even healthier. I find that taking the time to make and drink my smoothie gives me a break (which helps too) and gives me much-needed energy. Fresh fruits and vegetables also help with this.

  1. Get moving

Sometimes you’ve just been sitting too long, or you haven’t stretched all day. That is the time to shut off your screen, close your planner, and take a quick walk. It probably wouldn’t be a great time to do an elaborate workout because that would take more time and you probably wouldn’t enjoy it very much. A walk is relaxing and peaceful.Try taking one next time you feel unmotivated.

  1. Make it easy to do

During my research for this post, I came across an interesting sentence: “It’s hard not to do something when everything you need is staring you in the face.” The post was talking about grouping the items and placing them in a place where you’re bound to see them- maybe on top of the TV remote or your phone, next to your alarm clock in the morning, or even where you put your purse when you get home. For example, if you want to start making a smoothie every morning, you can gather every single ingredient you need and put it on the kitchen counter. That way, it’s so easy, even easier than making a frozen waffle for the umpteenth day in a row.

  1. Eat a frog.

While this statement is probably true, I wouldn’t recommend eating a live frog… ever! However, doing the hardest/worst/least enjoyable thing on your to do list first I do recommend. The first task you do should be the hardest, and then you’ll fly through the rest of them.

  1. Set a timer

If you’re trying to accomplish an especially long task, don’t try to do it in one sitting. One idea is to work on your task for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. You have enough time to check social media as a reward, or even better get a drink of water and make a smoothie. After three repeats of 25 + 5, take a 30 minute break.

  1. Work in a space you enjoy

Whether this is in a coffee shop, at your own desk, or under a tree outside, this really does help. A change of scenery always gives me motivation, it’s really helpful!

Hopefully these tips will help you if you’re struggling with this as well. Goodbye for now!

Pictures from Vacation

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This post is going to be full of photos! We just got back from a wonderful trip to the Northeast, where we went to 3 different states. Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire are great places to visit, and we did all sorts of fun things. Today I’m going to show you guys a couple snippets of the trip.

Sadly, I didn’t get as many pictures as I’d hoped because I was very protective of my camera. For example, I rarely took it out on hikes (also because my camera bag doesn’t have a shoulder strap) because most of the hikes we did were exposed cliff. I didn’t want to lose the camera! But, thankfully, I managed to get it out enough to get some pictures. Also, we went to NH, but while we were there, I literally got 0 photos on the camera. I didn’t take it out the ENTIRE time we were there (2 days).

Part 1: Camping in Maine

We camped in Acadia National Park (NPS) in Maine, and it was great! The only bad things- no showers, and many rain showers. We stayed in Blackwoods campground for 1 1/2 days and Seawall campground for 1 1/2 days. At first we were annoyed that we had to change campgrounds, but in the end I think everyone liked it. Blackwoods and Seawall are an hour apart, so if we hadn’t changed campgrounds we wouldn’t have been able to experience the other side of the park.

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My little sister saw a puppy. The picture is blurry but I’m so glad I caught her expression. BTW, wish her a happy birthday! She turns 2 on the 22nd.

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A snapshot of half of our campground in Blackwoods (picture taken from the picnic table).

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Sand Beach- absolutely beautiful! It’s a rare beach with sand (confusing to me, a Florida gal).

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This picture captures the fog and also the rocky coast of Maine.

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This rock was shaped like a heart, so we obviously had to take a picture!

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The rocky half of Sand Beach.

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Exploring the rocky coast.

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How pretty!

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Part 2: Massachusetts

I don’t have many pictures from Massachusetts, but I do have some from the boat to and from Georgia’s Island (you go out from Boston, it’s a must do! So historic. Also try and find a tour guide if possible- we had one and it made the trip so memorable.)

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We also went to Lexington! Yet another must do if you are in the Boston area. So touristy but very historic, lol!

 

Hopefully you enjoyed! Sadly, I couldn’t share many of my pictures because they had my face in them :(.

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Preparing for the school year// 8 tips and tricks

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I can’t believe that summer is coming to a close already! My brothers start school on Monday, but luckily I still have a few more weeks since I start on the 28th. To help you prepare for that day, whenever it is for you (comment when you start school below) I decided to give you guys a few tips!

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NOTE: I tried to make this tips applicable to any school situation, whether you go to public, private, online or home school (I know there are way more, okay!! Just a few of the main ones), so hopefully they will be applicable to your situation!

 

 

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This one is SUPER important, no matter what your school situation is. Even if you can’t control exactly what happens during your school day, you can still make a schedule/routine for your homework time, before school time, and after school time. And if you can control what happens during your school day, DO IT! Making a detailed plan helps you stay on track. Don’t forget to schedule breaks into your time too, however.

I generally like to make routines and schedules, because you have to accept the fact that there WILL be distractions, and there will be things that keep you from doing your work right on schedule. I would recommend giving yourself some buffer when you make your schedule. A good tip is to double the amount of time you think it will take, but that doesn’t always work out. Maybe 10-15 minutes of buffer is all you need.

QUICK TIP: Start implementing your schedule 2 weeks before you’ll actually start using it. If you’re used to sleeping in during summer like me (but I call sleeping in 8AM) than this is essential. To keep you awake, maybe watch a new show or listen to a new soundtrack that you haven’t listened to before.

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This isn’t absolutely essential but it does help a lot. Try to find your teacher’s email on your school’s website, go to back to school night (do they even have that past elementary school??), or send a letter to your school with your teacher’s name on it. I like to make it short and sweet because you don’t want to take up too much of your teacher’s planning time. In it, you should introduce yourself and ask a couple questions about the class.

QUICK TIP: When you introduce yourself, don’t just talk about your personality. One thing you can do is tell your teacher about your history with the subject (is it one of your favorites? Do you do well or not so well? Do you not like this subject?) Be real with your teacher. It’s always better if you can tell her/him instead of them having to figure it out.

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This will make you so much more motivated to start the school year. Here’s a few cute and useful supplies that you actually need!

  1. Plum Paper Planner
  2. Colorful mechanical pencils
  3. Plain binders + cute diy covers
  4. Colorful pencil pouch
  5. New art supplies you had your eye on
  6. Pilot G2 pens in ALL THE COLORS
  7. The amazing Pigma Micron (Sakura brand) pens

You could also grab some notebooks, but I recommend binders and writing your notes on notebook paper. I like how you can add and remove things and they last way longer, too.

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Okay, I admit it. This is mostly for fun. If you haven’t grabbed a cute planner yet, do that! Then, add in all of your classes and activities. Make your planner all ready to go for the first day of school! If you blog, then add in blog posts or anything like that for you. You don’t want to have to prepare your planner the night before school starts, so do it now!

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A couple weeks before school starts, make some outfits that you’d like to wear. Take pictures of them, and viola! You can put your lookbook in a special album on your phone/computer, you can add magnets and put it on a whiteboard in your closet, you can make a Pinterest board for them, you can make a poster of them, the possibilities are ENDLESS. Next time you’re wondering what to wear, you have a bunch of outfits already prepped!

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This is really helpful! You can make a list on your computer and print it out or hand letter a cute list that has ideas for easy, quick, and healthy meals and snacks. That way you know exactly what to have. You could even put the amount of time it takes from start to finish, including eating, so that you can choose something that fits into your time frame.

QUICK TIP: Prep snack baggies of veggies or something else that’s healthy to make it even easier that opening a bag of chips. When you have healthy goodies prepped beforehand, you’re more likely to eat healthier. Awesome, right?

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This can be as simple as printing out some cute artwork and organizing your desk, but it is so helpful on the first few days to have a comfy, clean, and cute space to do your work. Whether it’s your desk, locker, reading nook, or homework area, this will make a big impact! You’ll feel more motivated to get things done, and who doesn’t want that?

QUICK TIP: Print out cute seasonal decor from Pinterest or something of the sort. You can spend one afternoon making loads of decor pieces, then store them somewhere. For each holiday, simply hang up the decor you already have prepared. Of course this isn’t essential, but it’s so much fun!

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This only takes a few minutes, but learning some new cute do’s will help so much in the mornings. You can also practice makeup looks. Simple but SO helpful!

QUICK TIP: Make a hairstyles or makeup lookbook as well and hang it up in your bathroom or vanity.

 

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Hopefully these tips will help you out. I’m certainly not an expert but I will be implementing these tips in my own life!

Also: I used a lot of Watermelon Script (font) in this post. Do you think it conflicts with the blog design + different fonts? Please let me know below.

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July Review + August goals

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Just warning you, this is not going to be your typical monthly review + goals post. I’m taking another quick break so I’m writing this post a couple weeks ahead. Here are the changes (only for this month):

  • No goals review
  • No stats/blog posts

What IS going to be in this post:

  • Monthly reading list
  • Photos from this month

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started!

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Obviously, this isn’t everything I read this month, but here are some of the things I read.

All Four Stars- Tara Dairman

The Stars of Summer- Tara Dairman

Stars So Sweet- Tara Dairman

The Photograph- Beverly Lewis

The Covenant- Beverly Lewis

The Betrayal- Beverly Lewis

The Sacrifice- Beverly Lewis

The Prodigal- Beverly Lewis

The Revelation- Beverly Lewis

Okay, I admit it. These were only the 2 series I read. I read a lot more books in this, but I wanted to keep it simple.

I reread the “Four Stars” Series by Tara Dairman and realized that I didn’t love it as much as I though. I honestly would recommend the first one but not the others. Wait… there’s a BIG cliffhanger, maybe don’t read them at all?

I read a new single novel by Beverly Lewis- The Photograph. It was so intriguing, I would recommend.

I also read all of the ‘Abram’s Daughters” books and loved them. Get them all at once, you will be reading only them for 2-3 days straight. I’m pretty sure I’ve read all of Beverly Lewis’ books’s and reread them very often. She’s a favorite author of mine.

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The header may be a little misleading and confusing. I’ve seen blog posts where you “vlog”, as in you can’t backspace and you have to include every work you type without editing. So, I decided to do that with my camera roll. I’m going to include every picture EXCEPT the ones that show my/a family member’s whole face. And to make it easier for you, I made a slideshow showcasing the photos!

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Not very much, but hopefully you enjoyed! I hope to add these categories to my monthly posts now!

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