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Thursday, November 20, 2014

When Your Fall Needs a Colorful Boost

     My mom and I adore flowers. We select and purchase. We guestimate and snip. We arrange and water. It's a beautiful and rewarding hobby. Without having flowers for a few months, life got a little boring.
     Blah. Colorless. Dull.
     With fall coming around the mountain, Mom bought several bundles for our enjoyment. I heartily approved, for as Mary Poppins says, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." It certainly cheered things up.

     And what's really cool, is that she was inspired by these:

     As before, she got pretty close to her goal. The colors, varieties, and sizes were the same. She put her own creative twist on the Pinterest inspiration.

     What creative things are you doing this fall?


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hump Day Hair Tutorial ~ Lucy Pevensie's Hair

     I love Lucy Pevensie. She's my childhood hero.
     If you want to see where she wears this style, see the first 40 seconds of the video below. (Click here if still reading in email.)
     She can even inspire me to do my hair in a regal, dreamy, Narnian fashion. This tutorial is simple, but it looks elegant.
     All you need:
       -One or two small elastic hair ties
       -Fingers that know how to braid
       -Flowers for an a bohemian twist to it
     Enjoy! Be sure to like the video on YouTube here and subscribe to my channel here so you'll never miss any of my awesome!
     Thank you, ladies. Peace out.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How You Can Throw Your Bilbo an Unforgettable Birthday Bash

There and Back Again: A Hobbit's Party
     As my wildly popular, two-part blog post skyrocketed, I knew there was no coming down. What was my topic? Our Lord of the Rings birthday bash for my brother, who was turning "11-ty-one" at the time.

1. Invitation

     My brother Googled "free fonts" and found this one called First Order. We printed it on earthy-colored paper for an antiqued look. Tolkien would approve.

     For the invitation, we bought a wax seal kit from Barnes & Noble. This method required melting, dripping, and stamping the wax ourselves. We used wax seal stickers for the thank you notes, but I like the old-fashioned method best. :)

 2. Decorations

      Along the pathway to the front door, we placed tea light candles in mason jars. And on the front door hung a sign that read (in the First Order font of course):

No Admittance
(Except on party business)

     Inside, the decorations were no less glorious. We included many flowers, candles, banners, and simple, hobbit-like things. We dimmed the light and hung Chinese lanterns for an outdoorsy feel.

      The Chinese lanterns are from World Market. Banners were made by friends.

3. Cake (naturally!)

     This was our recreation of Bilbo's birthday cake in The Fellowship of the Ring. We used our Hummingbird Cake recipe. (Click the link to see recipe.) Then we adorned it with black grapes, strawberries, white flowers, and pink flowers.

 4. Party Favors

      We spray-painted "rings of power" gold for guests to take home.

     They also took home a Lord of the Rings Pez stick with their favorite character's face on it.

5. Party!

     Things we did:
  • Drank root beer
  • Watched favorite LOTR movie clips
  • Played LOTR charades (The adults really got into this too!)
  • Sang and ate cake (included a speech by Bilbo, the birthday boy!)
  • Danced
  • Lit sparklers
  • Presented party favors (LOTR Pez sticks and rings)

     In this picture, the display of hobbit foods, cake, flowers, and candles is shown in greater detail.

5. Thank you notes
     This design is called Fish Tales and Campfires by Minted. Instead of our Bilbo's name, we had this quote at the bottom of the card.

"And he lived happily ever the end of his days."
     We ordered stickers that looked like wax seals from Old School Seals for the thank-yous.
Felix Doolittle labels from this post

     We used these return address labels for the thank you notes. We chose these because the tent looks like one of the ones at the party.
     Here's a clip of the actual Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring party.
     If only we could've had fireworks!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hump Day Hair Tutorial ~ Mini Four-Stranded Braid

     It's Hump Day, which means another fun hairstyle for you to rock. This one is super easy once you learn to do a four-stranded braid. Since it is "mini," you have less hair to manage. Bobby pin back for excellence in minutes.

     Right now, my hair is in a sock bun. Yep. There is a sock in my hair.

     Also, I just wanted to let y'all know that I have forsaken you this week in favor or National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short). It was just the boost to get my to where I want to be in my novel. I currently have 34, 513 words in my novel. November is NaNoWriMo, so I'll be focusing on that every day until my novel has 80,000 words.

     Love you girls!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hump Day Hair Tutorial ~ Crown Braid Tutorial


     Hey, ladies! It's time for Hair 101.

     Every Hump Day, I'll be posting a tutorial so you can be inspired (hopefully!) to try some new things with your hair.

     Most of these can be done with long or short hair, but I will need a model before I can do any long hair tutorials. My short hair has its limits.

     If you want to be a model or know some hairstyles that YOU want to teach ME, please let me know in the comments. You could be featured on my blog!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"It's You, Miss Madeline!"

     The three-year-old carefully placed his blocks next to me.
     "Eyes, nose, mouth," he chanted happily. "Look! It's you, Miss Madeline!"
     I was flattered.
     The blocks don't allow for much detail or beauty, do they? Not to be outdone by a younger brother, the seven-year-old instantaneously busied himself with his own interpretation of my face.

     It started simply enough.

     "I have a very big mouth," I observed.

     He decided my eyes should be bigger.

     Now the three-year-old was working as quickly as the seven-year-old, placing pieces in a large circle for my head.
     I apparently also have very pointy ears, thanks to the three-year-old.

     "It's Bob the Tomato!" they squealed.
     Phew! At least I'm not Larry. (Cause it's not easy being green from what I've heard.)

     I love how you can see their little feet on the edge of the photograph.

     That 3D nose is pretty impressive. In fact, I love how they put every brick from Jenga into this art piece.

     It's not everyday I get to enjoy the beautiful things little kids make, but it's one reason I absolutely LOVE babysitting.

     At another babysitting job this week, a girl was designing her own fox--excuse me, red fox-- costume while I helped her little brother make a hobby horse.

     When I'm out of inspiration, I often find it in the imaginations and passionate creativity of little children.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Madeline's Favorite Names List

     Names. They're something we don't always think about but we use all the time. This is my master list of favorite names for girls and boys, characters and future children, eccentric names and more common ones. Since I tend to go with more eccentric names, the most common names on this list are probably Olivia and Charlotte (girls) and Ezra and Hayden (boys).

     The most eccentric names: Arbella, Merridy, and Perpetua (girl) and Jungle, Melchior, and Novelist (boy).

     In fact, many of these names I made up. (Although I was disappointed when I learned that someone else had already named her child Aspen--multiple people in fact. I had been fascinated by the aspen trees in Colorado and thought it would make a pretty girl name. Apparently, there are no new ideas under the sun.)

     I know most people don't have my taste in names, but if you find a new name you really like or want to tell me your favorite names, please do so! Share in the comments. We've had lots of fun with this before when I was trying to find a name for Lady Guinevere.

     I'll be quiet now...

Favorite Girl Names:

·          Adah (adornment)

·          Adelaide (nobility)

·          Arbella

·          Ariella (lion of God)

·          Aspen

·          Aurora (dawn)

·          Brighton

·          Bronté

·          Charlotte

·          Crispin

·          Darcy (dark)

·          Delaney

·          Echo

·          Elsie (God’s promise)

·          Elva (eleven)

·          Ember (spark, burning blaze)

·          Emerald

·          Flora/Florence (flower)

·          Georgiana (farmer)

·          Gretchen (a pearl)

·          Gypsy

·          Hattie

·          Hazel

·          Hyacinth

·          Iris

·          Jade

·          Jane (God’s grace)
·          Jacquelyn
·          Jasmine
·          Juliet

·          Juniper

·          Kenya

·          Laciani

·          Lacy

·          Leizel

·          London

·          Marilla “Rilla”

·          Matilda (powerful in battle)

·          Maude (powerful in battle)

·          Mayzie

·          Merridy

·          Myrtle

·          Narnia

·          Olivia (olive tree)

·          Olympia

·          Opal

·          Paris

·          Perpetua (lasting)

·          Pippa

·          Rosette (rose)

·          Sage

·          Silvia

·          Skye

·          Sybil (prophetess)

·          Tigris

·          Whitley (meadow)

·          Zephyr (breeze)

·          Zillah (shade)


Favorite Boy Names:

·          Aragorn

·          Cache (hiding place)

·          Cadence

·          Caspian

·          Castle

·          Dakota
·          Dublin

·          Edison

·          Everest

·          Ezra (help)

·          Fitzwilliam (protector)

·          Forest

·          Gideon (hewer, one who cuts down)

·          Gilbert (bright pledge)

·          Grey

·          Hayden (haystack)

·          Hunter

·          Jungle

·          Kingston

·          Lentil

·          Liam (protector)

·          Lincoln (lake, colony)

·          Magister

·          Melchior

·          Milligan

·          Nova (star, new)

·          Novelist

·          Octavius (eight)

·          Oliver “Ollie” (olive tree)

·          Orleans

·          Percival

·          Phoenix

·          Piper

·          Quincy

·          Quinton (the fifth)

·          Rex (king)

·          Scout

·          Silas (asked for)

·          Titus (to honor)

·          Tristan (riotous)

·          Watson (son of Walter)

·          Zephyr (breeze)

     Aspen and Tristan are by far my favorite names right now. They're the names of the two main characters in my novel.
     Tell me your favorites. Comment below. (If you're reading in email, click the Comment Here button.)