Friday, June 26, 2015

11 Reasons to Love NEEDTOBREATHE

NEEDTOBREATHE is one of my favorite bands. Here's why.

1. They are incredibly talented. Their voices. All those instruments. Just woah.

2. Every song is amazing. You know how some artists just have one or two great songs and the rest are just meh? That's not the case here. Every song is good. Even the really old stuff.

3. Their sound is unique and varied. No song sounds exactly like another.

4. Their faith shines through. It's awesome to hear their Christianity naturally come out in their songs.

5. They have really great hair. That's important, okay?

6. They sound even better live.

|from the concert my sister and I went to last month in Dublin! Best. Day. Ever.|

7. The music videos are cool. You know it's a good music video if someone is wearing an astronaut suit.

8. Sometimes banjos and harmonicas are involved.

9. Their lyrics rock.

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts rising
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water

10. You can listen to NEEDTOBREATHE all day and not get sick of it. I've tested this hypothesis.

11. Apparently, it's good music to write blog posts to. I've been listening to them this whole blog post long, and it's been a fabulous experience. You should try it.

If you're interested, click *here* to go listen to one of my favorite songs by them!

Have you heard of this band? What artists have you been listening to lately? Let me know!


in: Chicago, Illinois
reading: Rise of the Evening Star (Fablehaven #2) by Brandon Mull
missing: myyy caaaats

Monday, June 22, 2015

Dear Younger Me: 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging // guest post

 Hey everyone, Hannah here! I'm super duper excited to share this amazing post written by the lovely Chloe with you today. 
I know I'm due to post an update on what we've been up to - it's been a busy few weeks, but I'm hoping to post very soon! In the meantime, sit back and enjoy this wise and GIF-filled beauty. :) Over to you, Chloe!

- - - - -

Hop into the Tardis, go back three years, and you'll see me sitting on my bed under a blue ceiling, hunched over the little Sony computer that we (still!) own.  Every now and then you might see me grab a handful of M&Ms (chocolate is life, bro), and with a worried crease in my forehead, resume working. Curious? You need only look over my shoulder and see the pages of Blogger coding to understand my SEVERE FRUSTRATION.

You see, when Hannah asked me to talk about what I wish I'd known when I first started, I was definitely not at a loss for examples!  Hopefully you can glean something from my stories, be ye newbie or pro.  Maybe you'll even be hugely inspired! 

Networking Pro GIF

Jusstttt kidding. The more likely scenario is that you'll realize your blogger beginning was much less rocky then mine, and for that, I commend you.

10. Use paragraph breaks! For some reason, I had this wild notion that because the word "rambling" was in my blog title, it gave me license to then ramble on and on without any paragraph breaks.  I would talk and talk and talk and talk and then finally there would be a moment where I would go:

Where was I going with this?

Before I would try to bring it to a semi-decent close.  Just- no!  Your audience needs to see white space a lot more then you would think :D Break up your posts with paragraphs!

9. Gifs exist.  I COULD tell you all the nitty-gritty details about gifs, where I found them, how gif stands for Graphics Interchange Format (who knew, right?), yata yata yata.   But you don't need to know that! You just need to know that gifs are the blood and sweat of a blogger, and one of the best feelings is when you find the gif that perfectly describes everything you're feeling!  It definitely calls for a happy dance.

This guy who makes even the gym look exciting: OMG THIS MAN IS MY HERO
This guy, though- he knows how to bust out the moves!

8. There are other bloggers out there!  This is the nugget of all wisdom, y'all.  Community is a HUGE part of blogging. Just think about it; if everyone simply wrote their little blog posts, filled them with gifs and pictures and plenty of paragraph breaks, but then ended it there- nobody would ever read what you worked so hard on!
You love comments, comment on theirs. You love followers, so go follow people! I can't stress this enough! The golden rule stands in the blogger world too.
I remember the first time someone I didn't know commented on my post; it felt like fireworks had gone off in my stomach I was so excited! (although fireworks in your stomach really sounds quite unpleasant. how about no. just-no fireworks)

7. Music makes writing go way faster.  Do you have a secret Spotify playlist that you listen to only when you blog?  I don't either.  But come to think of it, that's a brilliant idea!  You should make one and let me know how you like it!

6. Copious handfuls of sour patch kids also help.

24 reasons to be thankful for John Krasinski. Click to see the gif.

5. Post titles ARE important.  How many times have you scrolled past a post because it didn't "sound like something you'd enjoy reading"?   Some examples of my worst moments as a post-title-guru:

"Randomness from the life of me", <--- no way!  Randomness??  From Chloe??? I did NOT see that coming!
"Not to be cliché...", <--- as I go on to write about said-cliché topic, "19 excuses for why I don't write" <-- the grammar makes me cringe. 
Post titles should grab your audiences' attention.  That coupled with a stellar picture is a recipe for success!

4.  Imitation isn't always the sincerest form of flattery. There are extremes to every rule, and I was that extreme.  I had a friend who entered the blogger world before me, so naturally I looked up to her and copied a lot of what she did.  
She made a contact page, I did too.  She found a new free background site?  I had to know the link!  I was like a stalker on steroids- I wanted my blog to look as nice as hers!
It took awhile, but I finally came to my senses and realized how frustrating this must be for her!
Maybe you're this friend, and don't even realize it.  I've been on both sides, and it's a tricky situation because it can be very flattering when someone likes what you've done enough to want to use it on their blog.  I think it's awesome to take an idea and then tweak it, make it your own. But word to the wise: don't overdue it!

3. Invest in a camera. If you've decided to take blogging more seriously, you're going to want a good camera!  And although you don't need an SLR right off the bat, with lenses and flashes and the whole shambang (however nice that all is!) you should definitely look into something that isn't your run-o-the-mill random brand camera.

tumblr_me2gt3gl061qltqg1.gif (245×138)

2.  Don't take yourself too seriously. We as readers know when you're trying too hard, and we also know when you're writing because you absolutely love it and are passionate about it. Blogging is a funny business, so don't get so caught up in the how's and whys that you forget to have fun with it!

1. Kid president, finish us off:

 tumblr_inline_nl10c7bJiU1to0svv.gif (350×194)

Because, seriously, if you are your awesome self, ain't nothing gonna stand in your way!

Chloe, blogger at Curious Ramblings, is a junior who loves jamming out to her own beat, coffee shop atmospheres, and her people.  Most importantly, she loves her Savior and likes to express this love by writing from the heart about this messy life!  If you peek into her room you'll find her staying way too late reading and eating peanut butter ice cream. 

Follow her on 
Bloglovin to hear more of her daily ramblings!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

10 Reasons Why Being a Fangirl is Awesome // guest post

Hey everyone! Today is an exciting day, because we have my buddy, Olivia, over to visit! She's written us this brilliantly accurate (and not to mention hilarious) list of the perks of being a fangirl. Thanks so much, Olivia! 

  • Fangirling is fun! I mean, who doesn't love the idea of defending Camelot beside Merlin, solving cases alongside Sherlock, protecting Storybrooke with Hook and Emma, or carrying the Ring safely to Mordor with Frodo and Sam? Good stories are basically the best ever, and fangirling just takes our appreciation to the next level.
  • It forces you to examine WHY you appreciate your obsessions instead of just...obsessing over them.
OH WAIT. Sean, what the heck do you think you are doing? | The 47 Most Important Moments From Taylor Swift's New Video
  • Fangirling makes you a better writer! The more good characters you watch, the more good characters you'll create; the more plot twists you see, the more you'll be able to use in your own work. The more trauma you suffer at the hands of a fictional person, the better you'll understand how to inflict such pain on your victims elicit such powerful emotion in your readers. Also, the potential for vocabulary growth is endless!
17 Important Life Lessons From The Princess Bride- important because it's the best movie ever!
  • You meet awesome people who love the same things you do (and everyone loves new friends, right??)
I actually loved this so much. Bradley being a goofball and Colin being as adorable as always makes me smile so much. :') 
  • Sometimes being able to identify with a fictional character can be cathartic instead of totally destroying. (Key word being sometimes.) Maybe you feel like Sherlock sometimes, with one thousand and four ideas swirling around inside your brain all the time. Or when you see Merlin forced to keep his secret again...and again...and realize, "hey. I know what that feels like."
  • Fangirling helps you to empathize more with other people. (if you can have sympathy for can try to understand that mean person who keeps eating your cookies at work EVEN THOUGH they are CLEARLY LABELED with your name.*)
Robin Hood BBC: Will GIF: BEST EVER!

*although to be honest, if this happened to me I'd probably just cry
  • It can be very entertaining/inspiring. Bored? Go read some fanfiction! Or write fanfiction! or draw! Or laugh yourself silly over your gif collection! The possibilities are endless, and when you're feeling like you have nooo ideas at's okay to borrow someone else's characters for a while, just to keep those writing muscles in good condition. (I'll tell you a secret -- I've written fanfiction before. Not a lot of it, and not publicly...but when I get the urge to write, and I have no ideas, it's a great way to satisfy myself without being endlessly frustrated by my total lack of original ideas. Or any ideas at all, really.)
100 best GIFs I can't Sherlock
  • Watching Netflix gives you the opportunity to drink lots of tea. Which is ALWAYS a good thing. (are you up for a sad episode? You'll probably want a soothing Orange Pekoe. Is it time for some excitement? Let's try the new mint tea hidden at the back! Is it a season finale? ....better get the whole teapot ready.)
  • It helps you deal with disappointments in life. (like those....*cough* ...season finales...)
Movie Love: 20 Awesome Things You Didn't Know About 'Frozen'! | YourTango
  • Mostly, I love fangirling because it gives me a chance to slip out of my own shoes and step into someone else's for a change. I like being able to escape the mundane routine of school, and work, and life in general, and go somewhere exciting! I like the emotional rush I get when my favourite characters overcome something big, and when I'm having a bad day, I like being able to experience someone else's world instead of my own; to reassure myself that yeah, there are still happy endings.*
*this does not apply when watching British television. There are no happy endings on BBC.

**kidding. Kind of.

Hannah, thank you SO MUCH for letting me guest-post on your blog! I loved putting this post together and getting to look more closely at why I love throwing myself off emotional cliffs being a fangirl so much.

Are you a fangirl (or fanboy)? What do you think of my list? Agree/disagree completely, or are you somewhere in the middle? Let's chat!

Olivia is an 18-year-old fangirl and capital-R Romantic who loves small towns, stacks of books, and enormous cups of tea. She is also enamored with British television (although for the life of her, she couldn't tell you why!) She asks too many questions, would prefer to go barefoot anywhere (and everywhere!) and would someday love to visit Wales.
Olivia keeps a little blog down at the cwtch, and would be tickled pink if you stopped by to say hello!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


I'm in America, folks.

As you might already now, my parents are missionaries from the States. We usually go on furlough (that's what they call it when missionaries go back to visit/give updates to supporting churches, family, and friends) every two or three years, and it's usually just for the summer. Our last furlough was in 2011, and we stayed for a whole year, living on a college campus in Southern California (some of you old timers may remember that). Now we're back again for another furlough! My older siblings stayed in Ireland this time, so it's just my parents, my brother, and I. Our last stop will be California, where my family will drop me off at college (the same college we lived at last time!), and then abandon me for Ireland.

A week ago, at 5:30 in the morning, we drove out of our driveway and headed for Dublin Airport. 

Last selfie with my cute little Alfred // Beautiful Irish sunrise // Fun on the Airplane (not)

After an eight hour flight, we landed in Chicago. My dad and brother stayed in Illinois, while my mom and I immediately boarded another flight to Little Rock, Arkansas to stay with my grandma for a week.

It was a lovely week. It was so nice spending time with my grandma and my aunt. We watched movies, ate at Chick-Fil-a (my true love, man), and enjoyed the beautiful warm weather.

I experienced some "AMERICA IS TOO OVERWHELMING AND I DON'T BELONG HERE" moments, but overall it was just a fun and relaxing week.

Last night, my mom and I flew back to Illinois. It's good to be back with Dad and Caleb again. We will be here for a little over three weeks, living in "missionary housing" (which is an apartment right next to a church in a pretty little suburb). 

My sister, older brother, and future-sister-in-law will be visiting us during our time here, which I'm really excited about. I think these next few weeks will be really great.

See you later! :)


P.S. Sorry that the pics are a bit dark...I have no access to any editing program. #thestruggle

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Underrated Children's Books // guest post

Hello, lovely people of the blogiverse!! My name is Hannah, from Plottinger Twist! (But if you read my blog, you might also know me by my pen-name, H.M. Wilson.) I am indeed a different Hannah than you normally hear from, but your Hannah is incredibly sweet and she asked me to guest post on her beautiful blog! How could I resist? Being an aspiring author, I’m a sucker for any chance I can get to write or discuss bookish ideas.

I primarily write about anything that is book-related in some manner or form, so naturally that angle sparked the inspiration for this post. And in that frame of mind, Hannah emailed me an awesome idea: to make a list about my favorite books from my childhood that tend to be forgotten by pop-culture or just overlooked by large fan groups. (*mind-bomb*) As I said before, how could I resist?

It was difficult to pick which books I wanted to discuss today, but I finally narrowed it down to five, and here they are…

1.) The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge

This book was a childhood favorite of mine! And, besides that, this little gem was one of the first books that connected me and Hannah through our blogs. I think we both agree that this book never gets enough recognition, so I’m going to rectify that right now.
I think I adored this book partly because of the breath-taking imagery and descriptives, but I also loved the dainty, magical feel that is weaved throughout the entirety of the tale. The air of mystery grasped my attention, making me unable to put the book down.
Growing up, I was always searching for the “perfect” fairytale to read. (Not too much romance, but just enough. Some magic, but not an overload of it. Pretty mental pictures. Secrets. Hidden doors. Cottages and castles. Word usage that made me feel like I was there…) I read numerous stories, none ever quite coming close to The Little White Horse, which became the book closest to “perfect” in my young mind. Thanks, Goudge, you did good…

2.) A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle

I cannot count the number of times I have read and re-read this book. Primarily a mixture of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, I was instantly hooked on it when my dad handed me a copy when I was about eight or nine years old. Now, at nearly 18 years old, I’m still grabbing at any copy I can find just so I can experience the story one more time. 
The characters felt so real, the journey made me think, and the way L’Engle explained difficult concepts (like a tesseract or socialism) in a way a child could start to comprehend is amazing to me.
There was a Disney-made movie of this book from around 2001, (which didn’t do the story justice, but is still a fun one to watch,) but other than that, it doesn’t seem like there is a big fan group for this book. This was one of those books that sparked my imagination and truly nurtured the flame of my love for literature. Thank you, L’Engle…

3.) Tuck Everlasting by NatalieBabbitt 

One of my all-time favorite books & films, Tuck Everlasting is a ‘timeless’ classic in my family and should be for everyone who appreciates good stories! This one is a little more popular than the other ones on this list, but I still think it deserves more credit than it gets. 
To make a long explanation short, the tale makes you think—long and hard. (It deals with the difference between unchanging eternal life and living out natural life to the fullest. Pretty deep stuff, huh…?) I fell in love with the book & film the first time I experienced their magic, and I fall in love with them all over again ever time I re-watch and re-read. Do yourself a favor and go buy both… Thank you, Babbitt.

4.) Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix 

It has been years since I’ve read this one, but there was something about the ideas behind the story that caught my attention & began me on the long road of succumbing to a reading addiction. Uncovering the secret conspiracy along with the protagonist blew my mind in ways that a book had never done to me before. I remember getting it from the library and reading for an entire day without any breaks, learning what a painful inconvenience eye-strain is, and hearing my mother tell me for the first time, “You need to put that book down and rest.” (Which we still joke about to this day…)
After I read it, Running Out of Time had to go back to the Library, where I never found it again... (*insert dramatic music*) Sadly, my little human brain found it necessary to delete the file that had the title and author’s name, making it impossible for me to find it in the Library’s database. But strangely enough, on Goodreads a little while back, I was checking the recommendations list for me & there was the book, in all of it’s nostalgic glory!! Practically no one I have talked books with knows about this book. Granted, I was very young when I read it, but I feel like it might have had a bit more recognition…

5.) Beyond the Deepwoods by Chris Riddell & Paul Stewart

If you like whimsical-Sci-Fi-Fantasy-steampunk-adventures, then this series might be for you. I have only read the first 8, but every one of them was fantastic! With each page, there was always something new and exciting about to happen & I couldn’t put them down. (I mean, come on… I read 8 of them!) But besides the writing, the illustrations in these books are phenomenal! There is a huge mixture of the twisted-whimsy with the swashbuckling-adventure, and I found it extremely interesting and fun to read.
There were rumors of a movie back when my family first discovered how amazing the books were, so we were thrilled to see that a movie was going to be made. But we soon found out that the making of the movie was canceled because the general fanbase for the books was too small to spark any outside interest. (*sniffle-sniffle*) Oh, well… The books are no less fabulous for lack of a film or big fanbase. I personally think they deserve a bigger group of fans, so go find a copy & try it out!! Thanks, Riddell & Stewart.

And there you have it! These books all, in my mind, deserve awards for being brave under the neglect of large groups, and at the same time being good enough to make a lasting impression on me. I hope you guys enjoyed this little post. Thanks again to Hannah for allowing me to guest post today! Love you, lovely people…

Also, everyone be sure to leave a comment mentioning a book that may not have a lot of fans, but you feel that it deserves recognition. We will all have a huge book-award-fest down below & blow up Hannah’s email! Haha! <3

H.M. Wilson {Plottinger Twist}

Hi guys, it's Hannah here (like, the regular one)! Thank you soooo much to Hannah for posting here on The Daisy Tree. Isn't her post amazing? Make sure you check out that lovely blog of hers, too.
Also, Super quick update: We made it safely to America, and I'm now at my grandma's house in Arkansas. I've been enjoying Chick-Fil-A and warm weather :) I'll talk to you again soon!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

There's No Place Like


[tomorrow we leave for America. It'll be a busy and exciting summer, and an interesting (and hopefully pretty fun) first semester at college. I'm going to miss home so much, though. Maybe when I'm homesick I'll look back at this post. Hey future me. Don't worry. You'll be home before you know it.]

[I hope all of you are doing well. Let me know what's up. I'll be back with another post soon.]