Saturday, November 29, 2014


i. #MockingjayPartOne. Selfies of Before and After seeing Mockingjay Part 1. Have you all seen it? Wasn't it beautiful and perfect and HORRIBLE? PEETA.

ii. #ThanksgivingSelfies. Mom, Heather, and Brendan weren't here for Thanksgiving (mom and Heather are in America for my grandpa's memorial service...), but my dad, and Caleb, and I had a lovely Thanksgiving over at our friends' house.

iii. #RomanHoliday. I mentioned this before - Mom, Heather, and I got to go to Rome for a few days this month! It was so lovely.  Heather found some very inexpensive tickets (the perks of living in Europe!!) and we just thought YOLO. Best early birthday present ever. I'll be posting properly about the trip soon.

iv. #Belfast. I had so much fun hanging out with my friend, Amy, at Victoria Square and at the Titanic Museum. Worth the drive for sure.

v. #AWinterMorning. Also #cows.

vi. #Booksbooksbooks

vii. #OwlsomeDIY

viii. #WreckThisJournal. It continues to amuse me.

(my instagram)

Other recent loveliness: Decorating for CHRISTMAS and blasting my Christmas playlist, reviewing These Broken Stars on Olivia's blog (check out her's here! It rocks),watching The Late Late Toy Show (Ed Sheeran showed up and my heart melted).

What have you guys been up to? Did Mockingjay Pt. 1 destroy every feel your soul possesses? How excited are you for Christmas?
 Let me know, friends!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

TBH about TBS // Olivia's Review

 I had so much fun reading and reviewing The Great Gatsby last month with the amazing Olivia from The Cwtch, so I was super happy that we get to do another review-swap this month!

This time we read These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. It gave us many feels and an over-abundance of thoughts. Hope you enjoy our reviews! Mine is over on Olivia's lovely lovely blog (and it includes Princess Bride gifs), so make sure you hop over there after you read Olivia's. 

Over to you, Olivia!


(I just want to start off by saying that I am SO EXCITED to be here at the Daisy Tree writing another review! Yay! I enjoyed this one a lot more than our last book! [here and here.] Let me know in the comments which you prefer!)

I don't read a lot of YA fiction, because I find that a lot of the plots are the same, the love stories are the same, etc. I get bored, friends. But when Hannah suggested These Broken Stars for our next review-swap-thing, I was intrigued.

Let's face it, the cover is gorgeous. Everybody just take a minute and appreciate the cover of this book:

Like, seriously. Kudos to the cover-design person, because I emailed Hannah right back and went, "Yes!!!!"

And I wasn't disappointed.

These Broken Stars is a sweet, beautifully written story that pulls you in gently....and then absolutely won't let you go. Like you know those awkward handshakes where the person keeps holding your hand when they're talking to you and you're like, can I have my hand back. That's what this book did, except it was more along the lines of "OW MY HEART." Not quite on a John Green level, but TBS was definitely heading in that direction.

At the beginning of the book, the first thing that struck me was the writing style. These Broken Stars was written carefully, and with love. I got the sense almost instantly that the authors weren't simply churning out words to satisfy a deadline or page limit; you could tell how much time and effort they'd put into telling not just a good story, but telling it well.

For all their trendy, Victorian tricks, there's no hiding where we are. Outside the viewports, the stars are like faded white lines, half-invisible, surreal. The Icarus, passing through dimensional hyperspace, would look just as faded, half-transparent, if someone stationary in the universe could somehow see her moving faster than light.

Unfortunately... the basic plotline is slightly cliche. Handsome boy meets beautiful girl, they get off to a bad start but are forced to work together, love blossoms. We've seen it all before. But.

But! There was a but. I was pleasantly surprised, because by the end of the book I was 100% guessing. I remember being about 3/4 of the way through and thinking to myself, "I actually have no idea in the world how they're going to end this book." Normally you can get a feel for which characters might die, or who might turn traitor, or whether or not the love interests will end up together, but I was hovering around the 250 page mark and reading blind.


To be honest, though, my feelings about These Broken Stars aren't all positive. There were some parts where I was confused, and the way death and science and futuristic spacey stuff all work and connect kind of went over my head. (this could be because generally I'm not a sci-fi person. idk.) But at the end of the day, I connected and loved both the main characters, and that tends to cover over a lot of other issues. As long as I like the characters, I'm set.

Also, the cover.

                              51 Gifs from movies we know and love... (13 gifs)

Hannah and I decided that for this review, it might be kinda fun to answer the same questions so we could compare our responses! Here are mine:

What would you rate this book out of 5?
Ooo, I don't knowwwww. Maybe like a 3.5? or a 4? I liked it, but it didn't quite make it all the way to Narnia level. (Let's be real, no book will ever come close to my love of the Narnia books.)

What is one thing you would change about it?
Less confusion over the sci-fi bits! Haha. But again, I think this is because I'm not typically a sci-fi reader.

Are you interested continuing the series/reading more books from the author(s)?
I don't know. If I see it, I'll probably pick it up at the library just for the sake of seeing how the characters carry on, but I tend to prefer stand-alone novels so I may just leave the story where it finished up.

Who did you like better? Lilac or Tarver? (or why you loved them both equally and forever)
I think....I liked Tarver better. I did like Lilac, and I enjoyed hearing her side of the story (the novel is written in dual perspective) but overall I just sympathized with Tarver more. I kept mentally chastising Lilac for being so stubborn. ☺

Favorite quote?

"But who names a starship the Icarus? What kind of man possesses that much hubris, that he dares it to fall?"

Without spoiling, were you satisfied with the ending of the book? 
Yes. *zips lips to prevent spoilers*

Do purple flowers and green dresses give you feelz now?
Um, yes. Not nearly as many feelz as lightning-shaped scars, the word "okay," or anything to do with 221B Baker Street....but yes.

Do you think this book would make a good movie?
Yes. Wow, yes. And being able to see what was going on at the confusing sci-fi parts would probably make them more sci-fi and less confusing, which is generally a good thing. But yeah, if Hannah texted me and was like, I'm in Canada and this movie just came out, let's go see it, I would definitely say yes!
I mean, mostly I'd say yes because wow, Hannah in Canada would be too much awesome, but we'd also go see the movie and that would be good too.

Have you read TBS? What did you think? Also can we fangirl together about the GORGEOUS COVER WOW



 Olivia is a seventeen-year-old Canadian girl who loves writing and tea and her puppy Toby. She laughs a lot, would go on a picnic with you even if it was raining, and has an obsession with British television. She loves Austen, has never enjoyed Dickens, and writes a lot of poetry.

(also, she's pretty awkward but she hopes you'll be friends with her anyways.)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Tea with Tumnus // Fictional Feasts

"Daughter of Eve from the far land of Spare Oom where eternal summer reigns around the bright city of War Drobe, how would it be if you came and had tea with me?" 

I decided to create a Narnian Fictional Feast. About time, right?

"And really it was a wonderful tea. There was a nice brown egg, lightly boiled, for each of them, and then sardines on toast, and then buttered toast, and then toast with honey, and then sugar-topped cake."

 "The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle on the snow, and instantly there appeared a round box, tied with green silk ribbon, which, when opened, turned out to contain several pounds of the best Turkish Delight. Each piece was sweet and light to the very centre and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious."

On the Menu:
Sugar-topped Almond Cake
Buttered Toast w/ Jam and Honey
Boiled Eggs
The White Witch's Hot Cocoa
Turkish Delight  

 It was a lovely little tea. It would've made any faun (or white witch) proud. 

 I learned something from this Fictional Feast, guys. I learned that Edmund was absolutely bonkers. Why did he like Turkish Delight so much? It was bleh, despite being the chocolate-covered kind! Who wants rose flavored sweets?!?

Snippets of Conversation:

Brendan (older brother): "What are you doing? Why are you making such a huge mess?"
Me: "It's for my fictional feast!"
Brendan: "Please don't say "fictional feast" ever again. So nerdy."
Me: *GASP*

Caleb: "So, you're just putting raw eggs on the table?"
Me: "Yeah, it's just for the pictures. We don't really need to boil any."
Caleb: "But that's so...deceptive!"

Me: "So, what's the verdict on the Turkish Delight?"
Caleb: "Well, the chocolate is good, but the inside tastes really weird and the texture is weird. And it tastes fake. It's not as good as it looks in the movie."

Okay, guys, so I just got back from a trip to Rome. Whhhaaaaat?!? More on that soon! But tell me, how are you all doing? 
Also: if you found yourself in a strange world, and a faun invited you for tea, would you agree to go? Maybe Lucy was a bit foolish...but then, who can turn down cake?


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Happy Birthday, Caleb

Today is Caleb's fourteenth birthday. Whaaaaaat?!?

I remember being three years old and asking my mom every single day, "How many more days til the baby is here?"

And then when he was born, I remember looking at him and thinking, "I wonder what he's going to be like."

I remember laughing at the thought of Caleb as a teenager. "He'll always be a little baby!"

 It's been fourteen years of elbow-fights in the back seat and laughing over things that may or may not have been all that funny. There's been hundreds of walks down to the lake playing "20 Questions", and hundreds of:"What do you want to do?" "I dunno. What do you wanna do?"

These fourteen years would have been a lot less fun without you, Caleb.

Wooooahhhhhh okay that's enough of that! "Enough with the niceties!" as Dwalin would say. 
Let's get down to business.
(not to defeat the huns, if that's what you were hoping)

Ten Reasons Why Caleb is a Cool Person to Have Around:

1. He's very entertaining. "Can I tell you a riddle that's not actually a riddle but a joke?"

2. He makes awesome videos. He makes Lego stop-motions (or "Brickfilms" as he adamantly tells me they're called), funny mash-ups, and skits. Check this out: The Frozen Hobbit

3. He's the biggest Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit fan I've ever met. (it's borderline scary)

4. He loves to read. He's read more books than I have this year. Grrr....

5. He's got some mad piano skills.

6. He's a chatterbox.

7. He's a Whovian. We over-analyze every single Doctor Who episode together.

8. He makes the craziest facial expressions.

9. He is one of my blog's most loyal readers.

10. When I sing the line, "That's my cigar!" he always continues, "You'll steal another."

^That is 100% accurate.

Happy Birthday, Caleb!!! Let's go eat more carrot cake and finish off that box of maltesers.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Let's Talk About Spoilers

(Warning: This Post Contains Exaggeration, Sarcasm, and Brilliant Gifs.)

You know what makes me really really mad? Spoilers. So I thought, why not talk about them and share the hate?

First: What exactly are spoilers?
Spoilers are life-ruiners. They are pieces of unwanted information that you learn before you're ready, thereby ruining the surprise element of reading or watching something for the first time. The bane of a fan's existence.

I've been spoiled multiple times, and I'm sure many of you have, too.

Over time, I have observed that these spoiler attacks usually happen in three different ways:

1. The Pinterest Horror Story

Me: Lalalala, scrolling through pinterest is so much fun!
Me: Hey, some fan-art of my favorite character from my favorite book!
Me: Hey, the caption says "omgosh I can't believe he died in book two the feels lolz".
Me: Hey, my life is over now.

2. The "You Should Be Happy" Tragedy

Me: I am SO sad that she died!
Person: Oh, don't worry! I read somewhere that she's actually not dead. She'll be back in the next episode!
Me: You fool.
Person: Hey, I thought it would cheer you up. Aren't you happy?
Me: Get out of my life.

3. The "Are You Stupid?" Predicament

Me: Wait, why did the summary at the back of the book give away the plot twist?
Me: Wait, why did the trailer give away the entire plot?
Me: Wait, why are people so dumb?

And now, some helpful advice from me to you:

How to React to Spoilers:

1. Suppress Your Anger

2. Cry

3. Make Yourself a Cuppa

4. Move On

One last piece of advice: don't be dumb. Take precautions against spoilization!

Have you ever been a victim to spoilers? How did you react? What are some ways you yourself combat these mortal enemies?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Yesterday's Colors

“People observe the colours of a day only at its beginnings and ends, but to me it's quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations, with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colours. Waxy yellows, cloud-spat blues. Murky darknesses. In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them.” 
- Markus Zusak, from The Book Thief

 Yesterday, I took photos all throughout the day. The plan was that I would end up capturing a gorgeous sunset. But, uh, nope. The mean old clouds decided to keep the sunset all to themselves.

(Sorry, clouds, you're not really mean. Just...temperamental?)

 But you know, it's more accurate this way. Most days here in Ireland look just like the one I ended up capturing. It starts off all nice and blue and sunny, and then suddenly there's a big gloomy mass of gray clouds. There's usually some rain, too. And then it suddenly gets really dark, as if someone turned a light switch off.  

(The last photo is kind of an exaggeration, though. My night photography just needs some improvement, because it wasn't that dark. Gosh, that would be super scary.)

I'm not complaining, though. Frosty mornings, gloomy clouds, and pitch darkness is what winter is all about.

What does the sky look like right now where you are?


Monday, November 3, 2014

The Bookshelf Challenge // first-ever vlog

 What? A vlog? I know, weird. Still not over the weirdness myself.

 (I know you all are awesome people and will therefore excuse the awkwardness, the exaggerated facial expressions, and the amateur editing. Thankskbye.)

 Again, thank you for tagging me, Emily!

Olivia and Elizabeth, if you'd like to do the tag, here are the questions:

1) Is there a book that you really want to read but haven’t because you know that it’ll make you cry?
2) Pick one book that helped introduce you to a new genre.
3) Find a book that you want to reread.

4) Is there a book series you read but wish that you hadn't?

5) If your house were burning down and all of your family and pets were safe, which book would you go back inside to save?
6) Is there one book on your bookshelf that brings back fond memories?

7) Find a book that has inspired you the most.
8) Do you have any autographed books?
9) Find the book that you have owned the longest.
10) Is there a book by an author that you never imagined you would read or enjoy?

You guys are cool. Vlogs are interesting. Brothers have weird laughs.
Have a good day.