Monday, March 30, 2015

How to Feel Better

I hate being sick.

I know I'm not alone in this. Even something as common as a cold is just downright miserable, isn't it? This past weekend I was experiencing a particularly nasty cold. Most of my poor family had gotten it earlier in the week, so I knew that soon enough (despite the vitamins that I was being diligent to take) I would end up with it, too.

For the last few days I've been trying my hardest to battle against this cold with all of my tried-and-true weapons. They made being sick a lot less horrible. Everyone has their own methods of dealing with feeling sick and bleh and gross, but in this post I thought I would share some of mine. Some of these things are incredibly obvious, but I thought it just might be helpful to someone out there. (Hi Someone- out-there! Hi!)

i. Long, Hot Showers. Goodness, am I grateful for showers and hot water! Showers somehow make you feel a lot less sick. It may not cure your cold, but at least you'll be clean and smell like flowers (or whatever your shower gel might be). Remember to moisturize afterwards!

ii. Herbal Tea. I don't usually drink herbal tea - most of the time I much prefer a cup of regular tea or coffee. When I'm sick, though, I head straight for the shelf of herbal teas. It works wonders, I'm telling you. Also, stirring in some honey supposedly helps soothe a sore throat (plus it makes the tea yummier). Personal favorite teas: Twining's Mango and Strawberry and Twining's Blackcurrent and Rhubarb.

iii. Watching happy movies definitely makes you feel better. I always watch Sense and Sensibility (1995) when I'm not feeling well. It's a tradition. Hugh Grant Jane Austen makes everything better.

iv. Radio theatres. Focus on the Family Radio Theatres are some of my favorite things. They are especially nice when you're sick - because you can just lay in your bed, close your eyes, and enjoy a good story. I listened The Secret Garden yesterday (for the billionth time) and it was awesome.

v.  Eating healthy is a good idea. You might think that since you're sick you should "treat yourself" to junky food, but it really doesn't make you feel any better. But healthy food actually does. Healthy food is happy food, right? (an exception to this is chocolate. Chocolate helps everything. Eat up.)

vi. Listening to a sermon is a great thing to do when you're stuck in bed. I had to miss church yesterday, so while my family was gone I made myself a cup (or two) of coffee, laid on the couch with my blankets and pillows, and listened to a sermon from the interwebz. Definitely recommend.

vii. Hang out with your cat. Cats are awesome because they'll just hang out and be lazy with you. Amelia and Alfred thought it was pretty great that they had a person to sleep on all day. If you don't have a cat, borrow a friend's?

viii. Keep your room tidy. It makes you feel better. I realized this after a few days of living in a messy room.

ix. Drink WATER. Stay hydrated, folks.

Do let me know what YOU do to make yourself feel better when you're sick! I MUST LEARN YOUR SECRETS.


Monday, March 23, 2015

10 Movies For Book Lovers

I like movies about books. Whether the plot of the movie directly involved literature, or if it simply includes a main character who happens to be a bookworm, it's always lovely to see bookish things on the big screen.

I recently watched a vlog on this topic, and it inspired me to make a list (LISTS ARE LIFE) of some of my favorite movies about books. So let's get started, shall we?

1. Miss Potter

 Miss Potter is pure loveliness. It's a biopic of the author Beatrix Potter; it tells the story of how she got her first story published and how that affected her life. It's a stunning film and it makes you feel many feels. Definitely recommend.

2. Hugo

 Literature is not the main focus of this film (actually movies are a bigger aspect), but I think any bookworm would adore seeing the gorgeous library and bookshop in Hugo. Plus, Saruman Christopher Lee plays the bookshop's owner. Can't get much more epic than that.

3. The Book Thief

 The Book Thief is my favorite book, and this movie adaptation is wonderful. The story is set in WWII Germany and is about a girl named Liesel, who's greatest ambition is to learn how to read. Books (both the reading and stealing of them) end up becoming a pivotal part of Liesel's life. It's honestly just the most touching story.

4. Shadowlands

 This film is about C. S. Lewis - and it's a must-see for any Lewis fan. The film doesn't center around the writer side of Lewis (it's more about the Jack and Joy's relationship), but it's so interesting to get to know the person behind all of those amazing books. I do warn you, though: this film will break your heart into a million little pieces.

5. Beauty and the Beast
 Props to Disney for creating a Princess who's a total book nerd. Belle uses books - especially those that include far off places and daring sword fights - as an escape from the rather boring town she lives in. Her happily ever after includes a gigantic library that I've always been hopelessly envious of.

6. The Princess Bride

"When I was your age, television was called books." Ah, this one is such a classic. The Princess Bride pokes fun at your typical fantasy story. It's hilarious and inconceivably quotable. If you haven't seen this, you've just got to.

7. Little Women

 There's a million reasons to like this movie, but one of the reasons I've always loved it is because of Jo's love for stories. She's a bookworm and a writer who dreams of getting her work published someday.

8.You've Got Mail

 This is one of the cutest rom-coms ever. One of the reasons I like so much is because of all the literary references. The movie is about Kathleen, who owns the most precious little bookshop you ever did see, and Joe, who owns a huge chain bookstore across the street. Adorable things ensue.

9. Whisper of the Heart

 Although it's not my favorite Studio Ghibli film, I have a soft spot for Whisper of the Heart. I find it pretty adorable that the two main characters meet because they realize that they have been checking out all of the same books from the library. Shizuku, the heroine, is also an aspiring author.

10. Saving Mr. Banks

 Saving Mr. Banks is about P. L. Travers and the long process of signing her book - Mary Poppins - over to Walt Disney. I enjoyed this movie a lot. I loved the 60s setting, and I thought that both Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as Travers were brilliant. Unfortunately, I went into it thinking that the story was accurate to what really happened, and I felt rather gypped when I researched it later and discovered that it was not. Still, it's a very sweet movie.

So, tell me, do you have a thing for bookish movies? What are some of your favorites? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Monday, March 16, 2015

A Bookish Update

Note: I just want to say a quick thank you to everyone who commented on my last post! You all were so encouraging and helpful. I appreciate it so much!

At the beginning of this year, you might have seen this reading challenge floating around:

I thought it was pretty awesome, so I've been tackling it this year. I've read 12 books, and each of them let me check something off of the list. Here's what I've done so far!

A Book Set in the Future: The Death Cure by James Dashner

 FUTURE. This is the last book in The Maze Runner trilogy. Even though it wasn't my favorite out of the three, I still really enjoyed it. And by "enjoy", I mean I was hyperventilating the majority of the time. I love this series, y'all.

A Book More than 100 Years Old: Tales from Shakespeare by Charles Lamb & Mary Lamb

This was written in 1807, so it's over two-hundred years old. It's a collection of Shakespeare's plays that have been simplified and re-written as prose. I loved it! It's a perfect introduction to Shakespeare's plays. I feel so much more educated now...

A Book that Became a Movie: Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers

This is such an adorable children's classic! So witty and imaginative. The movie is still #1 though, for me. Because Julie Andrews.
A Nonfiction Book: Think Biblically by John MacArthur

This book goes through a lot of different issues, and shows what the Bible says about each of those topics. Really great.

A Book Published This Year: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

This book was published in January. Man, who would have believed that such a little book could be so EMOTIONALLY SCARRING?

A Book You Finished in a Day: The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye

On Valentines Day I wanted to read something cutesy, so I picked up this favorite of mine. It's such an adorable little fairy tale! 

A Book Written by Someone Under 30: It Took a War by Emily Ann Putzke

My lovely blogging buddy, Emily, is not only under thirty, but she's also under twenty. #Impressive. This book is so wonderful! I wholeheartedly recommend it.

A Book a Friend Recommended: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson

A sweet friend in my church and I often do "Book-Swaps", and last month she gave me this one. I was sososo impressed with this book. I'm dying to read the rest of the series!

A Book You Started by Never Finished: Christian History Made Easy by Timothy Paul Jones

I've had this book for years, and I've even started it up a couple times, but I never finished it until just recently. It's an incredibly thorough yet simple book on Church History. Really awesome.

A Book that Scared You: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Okay, so this poem didn't scare me, but it was a very eerie and strange story. I had to read it for school, so naturally I thought it was going to be super boring, but it actually rocked.

A Book with Nonhuman Characters: Watership Down by Richard Adams

The characters are very nonhuman in this. Goodness gracious, Watership Down is such a such a great story.

A Book with a One-Word Title: Divergent by Veronica Roth

*FANGIRLS MANIACALLY* I'm laughably late to this band wagon (I even watched the movie first, oops) but wow, guys. Just. Wow. What. (I finished this book today so that's what's wrong with me.)

What are some books that you've read this year? Are you working on a reading challenge, too? Do tell.


Monday, March 9, 2015

The Blogging Slump

These last few weeks I have been experiencing an unfortunate case of blogger's block. I've been posting a bit, but it's been strangely difficult to post. It's all just VERY DUMB, you know?

It's not that I don't have things to post about. I have a whole lists of ideas, actually. But when I sit down to make a blog post, I just can't. It's very frustrating!

I'm sure that this is just one of those short writer's blocks and not the end of my blissful blogging career (as I sometimes scare myself into thinking).

Do you guys have any advice for poor bloggers who just can't blog? Is there some secret tip that will solve all my problems? Let me know, folks.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My Heart's in the Highlands

One of my favorite places in the whole world is Connemara, County Galway. It's beautiful there - so wild and mountainous. Everywhere you look there are gorgeous lakes and quaint little cottages. And sheep. Lots of sheep. Being there gives you a taste of Ireland as it used to be.

The photos I included were taken up on a mountain, which happens to be the very mountain that my grandma grew up on. (Her brother still lives there. The sheep in the last photo is his.)

What is one of your favorite places?


P.S. Let's pretend that the poem referenced in the title is about Ireland, not Scotland, okay? Thanks.