The Sweetest Kindest Nicest Dearest Beloved Lovely Kind Pleasant Valued Cute Endearing Welcome Award

Liebster Award | Majestic Adventures

Greetings all! I have been nominated for the ‘Liebster Awards’ by the very sweet Sarah at Forever Aspiring Writer. (If you like books and music and movies you should hop on over and give her a visit; she reviews all of those!) Thank ya Sarah! <3

But wait! you say. If it’s called the Liebster Award, what is with your long title? It barely fit in the subject line of the email I got.

Dear followers, I am so glad you asked.  Me being me, I like to know what words mean. So I Googled “liebster meaning.” Apparently, liebster is of German origin. The definition is as follows: sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Upon reading this interesting tidbit, I decided that instead of titling my post “Liebster Awards” I would title it with it’s definition instead. Hence the result. Long title; it’s definitely a mouthful. I probably can’t even say it from memory. Maybe liebster is a better term. Oh well.

Okay okay, enough of the rambling. What’s going to happen is this: Sarah has asked 10 questions that I will answer. Afterwards, I’ll write my own set of questions and then nominate some other bloggers to answer those! But first I must post the rules, as posting the rules is part of the rules. ;)


Liebster Award Rules

Liebster-Award-Button-ImagePost the award and rules to your blog

Answer the nominating blogger’s ten question interview

Nominate 3-10 other bloggers with fewer than 3,000 followers whom you want to encourage

Create 10 questions for the new nominees


Cool, now that we got that squared away, shall we continue? :)

1. If you had to change your name, what would you rename yourself?

Hmmm…this is an interesting question. I really like the name Ella. (Which wouldn’t be that big a change from my name now! Emma, Ella. Haha.) That might be due to my never-ending love to the Gail Carson Levine story Ella Enchanted, but pfft, it’s so pretty. Simple, yet beautiful! I’ll go with Ella.

2. If you cook, what’s your favorite dish to make?

To be honest, I bake more than I cook. I’ll whip ya up a batch of cookies or brownies in no time and I have the Wilton buttercream frosting recipe memorized. Baking is sweet and yummy. I’m not saying cooking doesn’t have delicious results, but generally Mama’s in charge of the cooking department and I bring along the snacky-sweet things. But, because I’m not answering the question and I should probably do that, I will say that chicken alfredo or cheesy chicken lasagna is my favorite thing to make. I have made that before. Yummmm. I could live off the stuff!

Just for the record, chicken alfredo and cheesy chicken lasagna are about the same thing. If I say one, I mean I’m open to either. Only difference is one goes straight from pot to plate and the other into a 9×13 and bakes for a while. ;) (Hey mum, doesn’t that sound good for supper sometime this week? *hint hint*)

3. If you could own any animal as a pet, what would you choose?

…can I have three? If so…a river otter, a sea otter, and a manatee please!

4. Would you rather have ice cream on a hot day, or hot chocolate on a cold day?

Ice cream on a hot day please! Right now some twist ice cream with sprinkles sounds yummy! (Even though it’s clearly hot chocolate weather out, lol!)

5. What’s your favorite color to wear?

Goodness gracious, I don’t know! Anything with color. I love color and colorful things. I love the color blue and the color purple–one of those, perhaps? Or I really like my red shirt. My pink sweater? Wait. No. I really like to wear my…well, we’ll just stick with “anything with color”. It seems that would be the best answer for now until I’m able to make up my mind.

6. Do you prefer feeling bored with nothing to do, or feeling busy with so much to do?

Ahh! I enjoy having things to do…but it’s discouraging to know you don’t have enough time to do everything you want to do. Which begs the question…which one would I rather have? I guess I’ll go with “feeling busy with so much to do”.

7. Has a book ever made you cry?

Yessssss. There was one book where someone died, and it came as a complete shock and surprise to me, I could not help it! I really liked that character, and then she was gone?! The sorrows of being a bookworm.

8. How many years do you imagine your blog will be running from now?

I really have no idea, to be honest! I enjoy blogging because I enjoy talking and meeting all you nice people. And because I love to make people smile and laugh by telling you my stories and thoughts on things. Until Jesus tells me it’s time to stop, then I guess I’ll keep it a’goin’!

9. Chess or checkers?

I’m getting better at chess, so we’ll choose that one.

10. If you were granted a pair of wings, what would you want them to look like? XD

I’ve always thought it would be fun to fly! My wings would have to be colorful–like a rainbow, perhaps? Purple and blue and green and orange and pink and then add some glitter in there for good measure. As far as shape goes, I’d rather not have wings like a dragonfly. I like the look of monarch butterfly-shaped wings better. :D


There, I’m done now! What did you guys think of my answers? How would YOU answer the questions? :D Choose a few and comment your answer below; I’d love to hear from you!

And now let me finish out the post by nominating people and writing some Q’s out for them. :)

I hereby nominate…

Jacquie at She is Modest -~- Zielle at Writer’s Library -~- Sarah at Life of a Homeschooler

My questions for those people I hereby nominated…

  1. Would you rather go on a cruise or a safari?
  2. What is your favorite thing to do outside?
  3. What is your favorite thing to do inside?
  4. What is one food you just do not like, no matter how many times to you try it?
  5. On the flip side of things, what is your absolute-toppity-top favorite food?
  6. If you could chose a different era to live in (e.g. Bible times, colonial, 1950’s etc) what would you choose?
  7. Do you like history or science better?
  8. Everyone has that one song that always gets stuck in their head–what’s yours?
  9. Favorite Disney movie? (Or any other cartoon, if you don’t like Disney)
  10. Finally, the last question: Do you like to have your socks matching, or are they different colors/patterns?

Aaaaaand done. That’s all for me, folks. Thanks so much for reading, and don’t forget to comment too, if you wanna chat! Until the next time, my wonderful followers. :)

Emma xo

 

The Photograph ~ Beverly Lewis

The Photograph review

GREETINGS. How goes it? I hope it goes well for you and you are having a ~wonderful~ January. After finishing up the last of the Christmas goodies, I’ve been making Chex Mix and munching on carrots, as well as building snowmen that defy gravity. By that I mean that my snowman now resembles the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I built it with my brother two days ago when it was 15 degrees F. The next day it was 30 degrees and the sun was out, and it melted just enough that it started to tip backwards, so much so I thought for sure it would tip over. But before it could collapse into a snowy pile, the temperature plummeted to 9F and the melting, leaning snowman froze in place at its 60 degree angle.

Anyways, anyways, enough about my snowman because it’s time for another blog post, and this one is about a book that I got for Christmas! My wonderful mother dearest got me Beverly Lewis’ newest novel, The Photograph and I could not waiittttt to read it! I’ve read three other series of hers in the past, and I just love the way she writes! So, I guess I don’t need to say, I realllly was super excited about this book.

But before I can move on and tell you how I enjoyed it, I should introduce you, so you know a little bit about it. Readers, meet The Photograph. The Photograph, meet my nice blog followers.


The Photograph (Beverly Lewis) | Majestic AdventuresHe studied the picture more closely, finding it curious that the young woman looked so boldly into the camera while wearing a white prayer Kapp shaped like a heart–the characteristic head covering for the Lancaster County Old Order Amish.

Why would a devout girl have her picture taken?

When her sister Lily disappears only months after their widowed mother’s passing, Eva Esch fears she has been wooed away from the People. Yet Lily’s disappearance isn’t Eva’s only concern: She and her sisters must relocate once their older brother takes over the family farmhouse. Then Jed Stutzman, an Amish buggy maker from Ohio, shows up in Eden Valley with a photo of a Plain young woman. Eva feels powerfully drawn to the charming stranger–but the woman in the forbidden photograph is no stranger at all. . . .


Are you guys ready? Got a good gist of what The Photograph is all about? Good! Let’s move on, shall we? :)

Well first off, as you can see from the blurb above, the story is set in Eden Valley, Pennsylvania. I have no idea if this is a real place, but it felt like one! I like the way Beverly writes because it’s descriptive, but not too descriptive. She leaves room for the imagination, but gives enough of a picture to the reader to see it all in their head, you know?

So, at the moment, life is full of change for Eva and her sisters. Like, full of change. Her parents have both passed away, her brother is going to take over the farmhouse, and then her sister goes missing! I guess I could especially relate to Eva in this way because things are changing in my life too. While I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to go through what the characters were going through, they were still relatable. I liked them, even Eva’s not-so-optimistic-slightly-grumpy sister Frona.

The other “big character” was Jed. Life isn’t all happy-dandy for him either, and I really liked that even though he had gone through some rough patches he helped out other people, even though it wasn’t always the most convenient thing!

Throughout most of the book, it was paced pretty well. I didn’t think things happened too quickly or too slowly, but there were a couple of times when it could’ve been sped up a little bit? But overall, I think it helped create a more…realistic? setting for the story since things in life often take a little bit o’ time. When something happened, it didn’t seem too sudden or make me think “Well, finally.” I thought everything panned out pretty naturally.

The side characters–Beverly always has these interesting side characters, and I love how she weaves different stories together like she does!–helped bring it together too. When I write my own stories, it’s hard for me to remember that the side characters have lives too! Sometimes the side characters don’t get enough thought put into them, because after all, isn’t the story about the main character? But Beverly does a good job with balancing between the two. It did strike me as odd though that one side character’s story didn’t really seemed “finished.” It wasn’t a huge-huge thing because he wasn’t a huge character, he was actually a small one, but it just seemed open ended and I would’ve liked to hear what the character had decided on doing.

To sum it all up, this book didn’t disappoint me. It was intriguing and made me want to keep reading! I would definitely reread this book and recommend it to a friend! :) Aaaanddd…I think that’s it! So…I guess we’re done? Bah, I have trouble ending reviews without sounding too abrupt. Ha! But I really did enjoy this book, and I hope that if you decide to read it, you’ll like it too.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so comment away! I’d also enjoy hearing about your latest adventures, too. Build any snowmen recently? Are your snowmen fighting for survival under the warm weather like Herbert (I named mine that) or they solid as a rock? Read any good books lately?

Happy January, everyone!

Emma xo

 

 

In 2016 I Will…

In 2016 I Will | Majestic Adventures

Happy New Years! Also a late Merry Christmas. I hope both of your celebrations were fabulous! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a tray of grape tomatoes and carrot sticks. I’m sugared-out! That didn’t stop me from making peanut butter cups today though…haha, those things are good.

Ahh…in all honesty, I really can’t believe it’s 2016. I know, I know, you hear that sort of thing often around this time of year. You’ll hear it again next year: “Man, I can’t believe that it’s 2017!” (Isn’t that scary to think about!) But it’s true! Somehow the end of the year always ends up creeping up on people until BOOM! Everyone’s pushing their bedtimes and watching the big ball in New York drop. (Except me. We don’t have television channels, so we improvised and found a countdown on the internet 22 seconds before the New Year. Whoo hoo! Happy New Year, folks!!)

So then I was looking back the other day, thinking about everything that had happened in ’15. Things I never expected, some bad things along with the good. (Kinda how life goes, but God’s got a plan!!) It’s like, “Wow, I never thought that would happen!” I’ve been blessed and learned some lessons…looking back I never would have imagined that 2015 would have taught me and given me so much!

Makes me wonder what’s gonna happen this year. What kinds of things I’ll learn and new things I’ll try that I never imagined doing before. Will I run a marathon? (Probably not. I’m not a runner, but who knows!) Will I be able to pick a hymn out of the hymnal and play it on piano? (I’m learning to do play piano now. Repetition is key. My family loves to listen to me play the same thing a zillion times a day). Or maybe I’ll break my leg skiing…man, I hope not! LOL. Life’s not perfect and there will be some things that don’t go quite as I had planned, but I am clinging close to Jesus on this one. He knows what the future holds (He’s awesome like that) and Jesus can use those things that don’t go just right to draw us closer to Him and to teach us things.

So last night (or rather this morning) at 12-something before I went to bed, I made a list and hung it up above the light switch in my room. They’re not resolutions per se, but more of…things I want to do. Not physical things like what I listed above, but, well, you’ll see. I thought I’d share that list with you. Maybe, if you haven’t already and the idea appeals to you, make a list of your own!

So until next time, folks. I hope your 2016 is full of adventures, surprises (good ones!) and books!

Love, Emma xo

In 2016 I Will…

~Grow closer to God

~Go on adventures

~Enjoy where I am RIGHT NOW

~Not worry about the future

~Trust God

~Love my family, friends and the life God has given me!

 

To Ski or Not to Ski

That, my dear blog-following buddies, is the question.

To Ski or not to Ski | Majestic Adventures

So have you been skiing before? I haven’t. I don’t particularly fancy the idea of having my size nine’s strapped to skis, sliding down a hill at a speed I can’t necessarily control. I like sledding. Somehow sliding down a hill at a speed I can’t necessarily control feels safer when I’m sitting on a plastic disc. But then, that’s just me.

The reason I’m pondering this question–to ski or not to ski–is because I have a friend who loves to ski and snowboard. And she’s offered to teach me how! She offered to teach me last year, but ehhhh, I just wasn’t ready. It’s just the whole slippy-slidey-snowy part. I can see myself going down the hill, trying to stop somehow, only to fall and break an arm. I like my arms. I don’t know about you, but I use them pretty much all the time. And I really don’t feel like breaking one. I told her that too, and she informed me that skiing is more of a leg-breaking sport. Oh, well that makes me feel better!

But this year…I’m feeling braver this year. I’m an outgoing person. I like to get together with people and I like to do things. Earlier this year I started to clam up…I liked my own little circle…didn’t to move out of my comfort zone. Very unlike me! This year God’s been teaching me that I have nothing to be afraid of because He is always with me. There are two verses that He showed me that I’ve clung to:

To Ski or Not to Ski | Majestic Adventures

To Ski or Not to Ski | Majestic Adventures

 Numerous times this year He’s pushed me out of my comfort zone, giving me a new adventure, and teaching me that He is bigger than anything I’ve been afraid of. These are the verses I’ve gone to. I’m a 2 Timothy 1:7 girl.

This past summer I had the opportunity to go on an out of state missions trip. It was the hardest thing I have ever done; it was the best thing I have ever done. I was really nervous, kinda scared, but God got me through it and I’m super glad I went! I also was able to go white water rafting for the first time ever. Needless to say, I was really nervous and super scared BUT LOOK. I AM STILL HERE. I SURVIVED. I also loved white water rafting. IT WAS SO AWESOME. Very adventurous. And I love a good adventure. (As you very well know)

I’m breaking out of the little comfort-zone I’d built, with a little help (pfft, a lot of help) from God. I’m trying new things (I’m even trying new foods that I always assumed I didn’t like. I LIKE SALMON. AND CAESAR SALAD. I surprise myself.) and I’m finding that the things I was super nervous and/or scared about trying…they’re actually not too bad. (Usually.) :D

If it had been my own choice to go white water rafting, I might not have gone. (I went with people on the missions trip, and I couldn’t very well let them have all the fun without me, now could I? Plus it was already paid for.) I WAS SUPER SCARED, OKAY? Four of the people I went with asked me “Are you okay Emma?”  But dude! Now I would totally go again! It was fantastic!

So I’ve never been skiing before. If I went, I wouldn’t know what to expect, other than snow and ski stick things and being attached to a pair of clumsy skis. (At least I’m assuming they’re clumsy. My Mii trips a lot while playing Wii Ski.) But I’m trusting God–and my friend who is so kind as to teach me how to do this–to be with me the whole time. Who knows! I might find I love skiing. Someday I might even become an Olympic skier. (What? A girl can dream.) Or I might just discover that I am either, A) really bad at skiing or, B) it’s not really my thing. But hey, at least I’d have tried! Plus, need I tell you, it’d be an adventure. And I love a good adventure.

You know what? I think I’ve just answered my own question.  I’ve decided what I’m going to do. I, my friends, am going skiing. I don’t know when, but I am going to learn how to ski. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? (Please don’t answer that.) It’s going to be fun. I hope.

Wish me luck.

Emma xo

PS: HAPPY DECEMBER, TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thankful

 

A Bookworm's Majestic AdventuresThanksgiving is this week! To celebrate we’re going to my grandma’s and eating turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing and corn–yummy! But of course I don’t have to tell you that Thanksgiving is so much more than that. What about thankfulness? What are we thankful for this year, as we gather around the table with our family and friends? What am I thankful for?

Last week at church my pastor said something like this, and it really caught my attention: “You can name off a bunch of your friends and family and have a list of people that you’re thankful for, but what else?” Something like that; I don’t remember exactly. ;) But that grabbed me because, while I am so indescribably thankful for the family and friends that Jesus has blessed me with, what else am I thankful for? What are some of the “off-the-wall” things I’m thankful for–the things that I usually don’t say “Thank you Lord,” for?  Maybe some things I’ve taken for granted?

So that’s what I thought about this week. And here’s what I came up with: Grace. The grace of Jesus is such a beautiful thing, and that is what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. We’re born sinners, but God sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins–my sins–so that we could be with Him for eternity!  I’m a child of the King  because of what He did, because of His grace and how much He loves me. God’s Grace. That’s what I’m thankful for this year.

Hey, I even got a song for this! We can count it as Music Monday Sunday, LOL! My family constantly tells me, “Emma, you have a song for everything!” I guess I do. :P I’ll add it in at the bottom of this post, but it’s called Call it Grace by Unspoken. I love it. I hope you do too! <3

So tell me, what are you thankful for, beyond the automatic list of family and friends? I’d love to hear! <3 Happy Thanksgiving everyone; I hope you have a beautiful celebration this year, wherever you might be. Remember, Jesus loves you so very much! *internet hug*

Emma xo

 

A Guest Post with an Elephant

Hello hello hello! I am very pleased and honored and excited to tell you guys that we have a guest poster! YAYYYYY. This is my first ever time to have guest poster here, so I am pretty darn excited. Aren’t you?! This is going to be fun. Something a little different than just me talking all the time. I think you’ll enjoy it. So I am very pleased to introduce you to my wonderful friend who goes by the name of Koko Down Under.


 A Guest Post with an Elephant | Majestic Adventures

1. I’m so happy that you were willing to guest post on my blog! For my followers who don’t know you, would you care to introduce yourself? :D

Sure thing – hi! In short, I’m Koko, a sister/writer/music-maker saved by incredible grace. Whilst my blog is overall bookishly (is that a word?) themed, you can find me posting about the random + unexpected. You’re welcome to join me on my adventures @ His Little Elephant.

 

2. Since your [amazing] blog features a variety of things, books and writing being two of them, that’s what I would love to interview you about! Thanks for being willing to talk about it. :) That being said, why do you love books? Why do you love writing?  

Aw, thank you for talking to me about it! <3 Hmm, call it the nosiness in me, but there is something so fascinating about snooping into someone else’s imagination (which is basically what reading is, right?). And then, making your imagination into something that other people can not only snoop into, but find enjoyment (hopefully!) in as well? Ahh, that is just plain cool. :D

Also, learning new words. Learning new words is awesome. ;)

 

 3. Favorite book/book series?

Ughhh. Well, this is a lovely question, isn’t it? Well, I am in the thick of The Lunar Chronicles at the moment, and um, they are like really good (adjklfaklsda) so far. Hopefully they will stay that way! As for a stand alone book I really enjoyed, All Fall Down by Ally Carter. AHHHH. MaY I jUsT sqUeAK?!

 

4. What’s your favorite genre to read? Do you find it easy or hard to try reading books in different genres or not?

To be honest, I don’t think I have a favourite genre; I like anything as long as it’s well written, understandable, and not scary. XD So, for example, I find it hard to read fantasy novels (the absurd yet creative names of the characters and places just throw me off because of their unusualness, lol!) and I wouldn’t read horror novels or whatever because, no, that would be scary. XD

You know what I mean?

 

 5. Are you a rereader?

If it’s a good book, yes.

 See, right now I could seriously reread Cinder again, even though I just finished it three days ago, BECAUSE THAT BOOK WAS SOO GOOD OH MY LANDDD.

 

6. Do you have any other interests other than reading and writing?

Yes, actually, reading + writing is one of my minor hobbies, funnily enough! As mentioned above, I’m obsessed with anything to do with music. I am also a mild Pinterest fanatic. :D

 

7. Do you have a favorite bookish quote? (This can be a quote about reading or simply a favorite line from the last book you read.)

This is a really, really good question. You can see all my favourites here, but my absolute favourite would have to be this one:

Write something today, even if it sucks.

Baha, I just find that so encouraging. It’s okay if you don’t reach your word count, it’s okay if nothing’s coming out but sucky writing (chances are it isn’t, though!), it’s okay if it’s just not working today. It’s okay. Just keep writing! <3

 

  8. Where do you find inspiration for what you write?

Out of so many things! Pinterest and random ideas that just come to me out of the blue, mostly. :D

 

  9. And now here come a few questions about writing! What do you enjoy writing about?

I like writing about people who are different; the odd one out; the unique one. It will usually be set in the present time, but I dabble in historical fiction on occasion. ;)

 

10. Write by hand or type by computer?

When I was younger, I had a bajillion notebooks that I wrote in, but now, I use my computer. It’s a lot easier on my fingers. XD

 

11. Do you edit-as-you-go or write now–edit later?

I am usually fixing small things up as I go, but as for big things like plot holes or an inconsistent personality in one of my characters, I will leave it for the end where I do a line-by-line edit. I will usually go over it a few more times after that, too. :D

 

12. What’s the easiest part of writing for you? What’s the hardest?

The easiest part of writing for me is writing the ending of a story. And, the hardest part would probably be everything else. XD Beginning a story is always tricky for me, making strong, individual characters is a challenge, and making my writing beautiful is occasionally frustrating when the sentences just won’t blend. But it’s all fun; it’s a challenge, but it’s a good one. :D

 

Thanks so, so much, sweet Emma, for having me on your blog, and for guest posting on my blog as well! If you guys want to see Emma’s answers to these questions (you do, you do; they are awesomeee!), hop on over to my blog and check them out!


It’s me again! I hope you guys enjoyed having Koko guest post as much as I did. :) And, yes, you read right. Koko’s asked me to answer these questions over at her blog, and that post was posted the same time as this one. :) Hehehe, this was a lot of fun. :D Until next time my loyal followers! I hope you have a wonderful day. Emma x

Baking Flops = Funny Stories

Baking Flops = Funny Stories

I love to bake. It’s fun! (It also has its benefits. Eating. Sampling. Taste testing.) Spending time in the kitchen is fun to me. Unless it’s doing the dishes, in which case I will be the farthest one away from that overloaded sink full of peanut buttery spoons. (Does anyone else feel me on that peanut butter spoon thing? Ew!) I’ve loved to help Mama make cookies when I was little, and later decorate cakes for family events. Pies, cookies, cupcakes, ice cream sandwiches. Well, I guess the last one isn’t really baking per se, but I baked the cookies I used for the sandwiches, so it still counts. (Two chocolate chip cookies + ice cream + wrapped in plastic wrap, foil, and frozen = deliciousness)

(OH. BY THE WAY. IT’S SEPTEMBER PEOPLE!!!!!! Happy September! I love fall, so I am looking forward to this. sweatshirts, hot chocolate, doughnuts, apple cider, colorful leaves. Are you?! :D)

I’ve made many delicious things! Anddddd also many not delicious things. I’ve had a few flops. A few of which has damaged my baking reputation. But I am pleased to tell you my baking has since improved, therefore my reputation as a baker has been restored to its former glory.

But today I am not here to talk about the many successes I’ve had. Because really, what fun is that? It’s much more fun to laugh at ridiculous mistakes, so that is what this post is about. My baking mistakes. You can either sympathize with me or laugh at me.  I will tell you though that I will be chuckling throughout the entire writing of this post, so if you want to laugh, there’s no need to feel badly about it!

Shall we continue? :D

1. the snickerdoodle incident

One lovely afternoon I was hanging out with my beautiful friend for the day. We thought “Hey, we should bake snickerdoodles in the shape of a giant gingerbread man!” (A chocolate chip version of a giant gingerbread cookie man is shown above.) We pulled out my favorite recipe for snickerdoodles and set to work.

When it was time to put the baking soda in the bowl, I couldn’t find it. I went to the pantry and looked there, and then I rechecked everything just to be sure. No baking soda. I wasn’t sure if you could replace the soda with the baking powder or not. I couldn’t contact my wonderful baking-savvy mother, so what did we do? We Googled it.

Turns out–according to a group forum–that you can replace baking soda with baking powder, you just need to triple the amount and add more sugar to offset the bitterness. With that in mind, I read the recipe, misreading the two teaspoons for two tablespoons…times three. Yes. I added six tablespoons of baking powder into our cookies. *nervous chuckle* And then we added four cups of sugar (as opposed to three) to “offset the bitterness.” Let me tell you. This forum is wrong. Just do the recipe as you would normally do the recipe. Period. It will save you a bellyache due to the consumption of excessive baking powder and mocking (well, not mocking, but good humored laughing and then questions about your future as a baker) from your family. Although now it makes a good joke, so if you’d rather….

We pressed it into our gingerbread man cookie tray and sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar and stuck it in the oven. When we took it out, it had risen at least half an inch over the side. I don’t remember exactly how thick it was, but. O_O It was huge.

Needless to say, it took me months to regain the trust of my brother again, as far as baking went.

And you want to know what the best part was? When Mother Dearest came home she found the baking soda. It was in a huge box under the sink. Go figure.

2. the oatmeal cake incident

It was a bright lovely morning in our household. I was helping my mother out by drying and putting away the dishes she was washing. Not too long ago my mom had baked an oatmeal cake and was letting it cool on the countertop before we delved into its deliciousness. Now, I know that I wasn’t the one who baked the cake, but just wait, you’ll see where I goofed things up.

I took a glass custard cup from the drying rack and wiped it with a towel, and then I went to put it in the cupboard. The cupboard that happened to be right above the cooling oatmeal cake. I don’t remember what happened exactly, all I know is that I went to put the small glass cup on its rightful shelf when it slipped and fell down, crashing into the 9×13 pan and smashing into a zillion pieces…all over the oatmeal cake. And seeing how consuming glass isn’t exactly safe, we had to throw the whole cake out. Oops!

But I think we may have made something else to replace it, though I’m not exactly sure. It was a long time ago. But it’s nice to think that we didn’t lose everything when I broke the custard cup over the cake, and that we got something else out of it. But I really don’t know. All I know is that if I want to eat cake I better be careful when putting dishes away.

3. the cake incident

Baking Flops = Funny Stories | Majestic AdventuresOne summer evening we were invited over to a friends’ house for dinner and a campfire. We brought dessert! (I love dessert.) And I volunteered to bake and decorate two delicious cakes. EEEE! I was so excited. I spent two hours decorating the two cakes, and they turned out gorgeous. There they are, these two pictures I’ve pasted here. Baker Flops = Funny Stories | Majestic Adventures

See them? Are they not gorgeous? I was very please with how they turned out! Sometimes things don’t go the way I planned with cake decorating…I once made a turkey cake for thanksgiving and all the frosting fell off on our way to grandmother’s house. But, that is another flop for another time. Continuing on, as I was saying, I was very pleased with how they turned out. I had baked them, made the frosting, colored, piped…worked my little baker’s heart out, I did!

When it came time to go we covered them and drove over, and they made it without incident. We even enjoyed its deliciousness after dinner. We brought them out onto the picnic table and served them up and everyone got a nice sized piece to eat around the campfire.

You want to know where the flop is, right? Well did I mention that our friends have a big black lab? I was happily enjoying my cake around the campfire with my family and friends when my father called everyone’s attention to the picnic table a little distance away. And there, standing with its two front paws planted on bench, was that dog. And it was eating my cake.

I felt my eyes go wide and my jaw go slack as I watched the dog eat my cake. Her face was right in there too; she wasn’t holding back. She dove right in and helped herself. All that time I spent on the cake…and we didn’t even get to eat it all! I was mad. Now, it’s funny. But then, I was mad. My cake! My beautiful cake!

I know it’s only a cake and it’s not a big deal, but if you were an artist (or maybe you are) and you had just spent two hours drawing this really great picture of a…I don’t know, whatever you like to draw–we’ll just say a pencil. You had just finished drawing this really great picture of a pencil, it had wonderful detail and color–and then your dog came over and ate it. Ate your picture. How would you feel after that? It was only a picture. But it was your picture. That is how I felt. Until a few days later when I was finally able to laugh about it. I no longer hold any grudges against that dog.

The moral of this story: Put your cakes where dogs can’t get to them, or give them a piece before they feel the need to serve themselves.

The end!


Ta-da! And there you have it!

Three of my baking flops have now become public knowledge, all for you, my wonderful readers. :D I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them, and that they made you laugh, or smile at memories of your own baking (or cooking!) flops. :) If anyone has a funny baking or cooking flop they’d like to share–I’d love to hear! It would give me a sense of peace knowing that I’m not the only one in the world who adds 6 tablespoons of baking powder to a batch of cookies.

 

Music Monday – August 24

Music Monday August 24 | Majestic Adventures

It’s a beautiful start to a beautiful week, and what better way to start off the week than with a brand new song by the wonderful Natalie Grant?!

Well, cupcakes, perhaps. But I am fresh out of cupcakes, specifically the virtual kind, so I guess we’re out of luck. Music will just have to suffice. ;)

But that’s right folks. A brand new song that was just released six days ago by Natalie Grant! And if you’ve never heard of Natalie Grant before, that is totally okay. I will introduce you to her via a small bio I summarized that I found on her website, here.

Natalie Grant Be OneMulti-Grammy nominated Natalie Grant is a powerhouse vocalist, heart-gripping songwriter, and charismatic performer who has consistently remained one of the top selling Christian & Gospel artists since her 2005 breakout RIAA Gold certified album, Awaken.  The Gospel Music Association named her the 2012 Female Vocalist of the Year, an honor that she’s received 5 times.  Natalie’s latest album, “Hurricane,” debuted at #1 on the Christian Billboard Charts in the fall of 2013. 

Her newest song is titled “Be One.” I love it. It has such a catchy tune and I love the words, especially “Calling all hearts, calling all hands, calling all feet to take a stand. Why sit around and wait for a miracle to come, when we can be one.” And I just had to share it with you! I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do.

Happy Monday everyone, and until the next post! (And perhaps by then I will have some virtual cupcakes to hand out to you all. ;))

I hope you enjoyed the song! Did you have a favorite part, or did you love the whole thing? And if you didn’t really care for it–totally okay! Everyone has a different taste in music. :D But if you did happen to enjoy it, perhaps you’ll like these songs also by Natalie Grant! :)

Hurricane // Closer to Your Heart // Your Great Name

Hiking is Fun! Poison Ivy, not so much.

Hiking is Fun, Poison Ivy is Not | Majestic Adventures

Ever have one of those times where you’re about to go somewhere and you think to yourself “Maybe I should _____ just in case.” And then you contemplate it a bit more and think, “Nah, I’ll be fine” only to wish you had done that thing you didn’t feel like doing in the first place? Ever do that? This was me approximately three and a half hours ago as I contemplated whether or not to wear full-length jeans instead of shorts while hiking in the woods. XD

So why did I hesitate?  The reason I hesitated at changing into jeans is this: it’s 70 degrees F and humid. I was already hot in my t-shirt and shorts, I didn’t even want to think about what I would feel like after I changed. Besides, what could happen in the woods? If we got eaten up by bugs we could spray ourselves with bug spray. If we ran into poison ivy, well, we wouldn’t because we would just say on the path–right? (right?!)

Hehehehehehe.

We arrived at the nature trail we were going to hike through and started out on it.  The bugs weren’t too bad and I was really able to admire God’s handiwork as we meandered through the trail. The afternoon sun was shining through the canopy of trees that were tall above us. It was beautiful out. But it was when we turned off the gravel path and onto the less-traveled one that I started second guessing myself about my choice of attire.

I knew my brother had a destination in mind: he wanted to see if a certain area of the river would be good for fishing, and at first we were fine. The wide gravel path narrowed into a skinny woodchip one, and we stepped over the occasional log that had fallen in our way, no biggy.

And then suddenly we were making our own path, foraging through the thick of the jungle, exploring unknown territory where no man has ever gone before. … Well, maybe that’s a (slight) exaggeration. I’d been back on this particular path many times before but that was months ago (one of which was the time I saw a muskrat) and it wasn’t that overgrown.

“It’s really different back here,” I said.

My brother, who had been smart and worn jeans, kept moving ahead of me. “Why, what was it like the last time you were here?”

“Dead. Well, not dead, but not this grown yet.”

Our woodchip path dissolved into one of our own making as we stomped through the tall grass. And then I saw the dreaded leaves of three. And there was no way I could leave them be, because that was exactly where I needed to go! So I just carefully stepped and hopped over them, wishing I had worn the jeans because I’ve done the poison ivy bit before and didn’t feel like going through it again. My brother showed me where to step so I wouldn’t get into poison ivy, but I don’t think it could be avoided, not with how much poison ivy there was and me without full-length pants on.

We climbed over a tree that had fallen in our path (which was actually kinda fun) and then–hallelujah! A clearing! We were out of the woods. For about a minute, and then we dove straight back in so we could get to the spot at the river we were headed towards. It was riddled with poison ivy. I have no doubt in my mind that I touched some, because there was no avoiding it. After a while I wondered why I was even trying to avoid it anymore, we went through so much! LOL! :D

But I tried really, really hard not to complain. I tried to think of the positives. It was an adventure, and I love adventures! I was in God’s wonderful creation spending time with my sibling. (Yes, mosquitos and all. I thought bug spray was supposed to discourage them??) I even had something new to write about on my blog. (teeheehee)

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures | A WordPress Blog

At last we made it to our destination, an open area where there were few trees and even less poison ivy! My brother searched around for worms to use for fishing bait, but all he found was a slug and a lot of ants. And without bait you can’t do much fishing. We were there about 15 minutes before he decided we should just turn back and head home.

I planned what I would do back at home as we walked back the way we came. First I would make a mental note to wear jeans the next time I’m going to go traipsing through the woods. I’d drink a tall glass of water (another note for next time would be to fill a water bottle) and then I’d douse myself in Dawn Dish Soap. Because, little fun fact, Dawn Dish Soap (or Fels-Naptha laundry soap) breaks down the oil of the poison ivy so that it can be washed away.

And I got home and did just that. I’m scratched up from thorny bushes and itchy from mosquito bites–but no poison ivy yet! And hopefully it will stay that way. Time will tell, I suppose! ;)

A little friendly advice from the blogger of Majestic Adventures? While adventures are fun, poison ivy is not. Jeans might be a good idea when hiking. Either that or have plenty of Dawn Dish Soap on hand!!! ;) (Oh, and bug spray. It’s mosquito season, you know!)

UPDATE!!

It is now two days later and I am here to confirm that, yes, I have poison ivy. The day after writing this post, my ankle started itching with what I thought were mosquito bites. But upon further inspection…it’s poison ivy. Aack!

Ring of Secrets | Roseanna M. White, Review

OH WHY HELLO THERE. And what is this? A book review on a bookish blog that even has the word ‘Bookworm’ in the title? Nooooo, really? You’re kidding. Yes. This is no joke, ladies and gents. A BOOK REVIEW ON MY BLOG. The last one was a long time ago…over a year. O_O

But alas, it is time for another.


 

Ring of SecretsLove Has No Place in a World of Spies

 1779—Winter Reeves is an aristocratic American Patriot forced to hide her heart amid the British Loyalists of the city of New York. She has learned to keep her ears open so she can pass information on British movements to Robbie Townsend, her childhood friend, and his spy ring. If she’s caught, she will be executed for espionage, but she prays the Lord’s protection will sustain her, and Robbie has taught her the tools of the trade—the wonders of invisible ink, secret drop locations and, most importantly, a good cover.

Bennet Lane returns to New York from his Yale professorship with one goal: to find General Washington’s spy hidden among the ranks of the city’s elite. Searching for a wife was supposed to be nothing more than a convenient cover story for his mission, but when he meets Winter, with her too-intelligent eyes in her too-blank face, he finds a mystery that can’t be ignored.

Both are determined to prevail at any cost…and each is committed to a separate cause. Will God lead them to a shared destiny or lives lived apart?


 

DOESN’T THIS SOUND INTERESTING. SPIES. REVOLUTIONARY WAR. LOVE. AH.  I was browsing Roseanna’s blog, which while we are on that topic I will just say that she also DESIGNS covers. YES. I love to look around at her Behind the Design section on her blog, because it’s pretty amazing how she does that. Anyways, as I was saying, I was browsing Roseanna’s blog when I stumbled across some of the books that she’s written. I love historical fantasy, and that’s what she writes. (!!!) I love the books where the characters have a faith in God, and they live by it. So then when I saw that I could order it from my library…YES!

Winter was my favorite character out of everyone. She’s living with her grandparents in the aristocracy of New York, attending the same balls and social gatherings as military officials–what a better position for a spy than that? She has the perfect guise–it’s easy for people to let sensitive information slip when they assume that you’re stupid and mindless. Winter is witty, and she made me chuckle quite a few times. People would say one thing, and Winter would pretend to think it meant something totally different. I also sympathized with her–she couldn’t be who she really was for such a long time. She lived with people who hated her and had friends who could care less. And yet through it all, she remained strong with her faith in God. I love books like that.

There are a lot of characters, and I got pretty confused about who was who, to be honest. But with as many characters as there were, Mrs. White did a wonderful job with them, giving them all unique roles in the story. As was so in 1779, people spoke in old English. At times I had to reread over the same things a couple or a few times, because I didn’t understand. There were some words that I didn’t know the meaning to as well. But the old English helped with the authenticity of the story, and the big words–hey, I expanded my vocabulary, peoples! :D The writing was excellent as well–some parts were choppy, but it wasn’t so often that it hindered the reading experience.

Winter, in trying to gain information to pass along the spy ring, gained the attention of a Colonel Isaac Fairchild. Fairchild was a kind man who genuinely cared, and I actually liked him. I surprised myself; I wasn’t expecting to like him, but I did, and…I won’t say anymore about the subject, because spoilers! You’re welcome.

And then Bennet Lane comes along, a man who finds women baffling and stutters when conversing with one, and he’s immediately intrigued with the mysterious Winter Reeves, determined to uncover the woman behind the mask. His awkwardness was extremely endearing. His relationship with his family wasn’t perfect (as was Winter’s replationship with her grandparents) and I liked that. No family is perfect, and I liked seeing that in this book. From the beginning of the book to the end of the book, you could see Ben’s character change and grow. Another good point! I like characters who change and become better at the end of the book than they were in the beginning. :)

I don’t think I paid enough attention during the book, because at the end, I went O_O Wait, what?! IT WAS A REALLY GOOD ENDING, BUT AT FIRST I DIDN’T GET IT. Why didn’t I get it? I think because I didn’t read some information correctly. I can’t tell you what, because again, SPOILERS. (You’re welcome, again.) At first I was a little disappointed with the ending, because there’s more books in the series and I was like WHERE ARE THEY GOING TO GO FROM HERE THOUGH IF EVERYTHING IS GOOD? and then I look at the first page of the next book (because this book includes a teaser of the next book) and I realized it follows another character. SO NOW I AM COMPLETELY HAPPY WITH THE ENDING, AND I WANT TO READ THE SECOND BOOK, AND THE FREE NOVELLA THAT TAKES PLACE BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND. It’s on my Kindle, just waiting to be read.

Other random points about the book that I don’t know where to place in the review so I will just place here: Part of the reason I love historical fiction (i.e. Lynn Austin and Janette Oke’s works…) is because the books are fiction, but set in a real time era, and real life events still find themselves wrapped throughout the story. I love that! And this was the same way. Washington, the British, Benedict Arnold, and I even recgonized some names of famous spies who were part of the real Culper Ring! That’s pretty darn cool.

Another point for this book would be the whole spy part of it! The way that the Winter and her friend Robbie left each other secret messages with heat or acid revealing invisible ink, and how the way they dressed would reveal when, where, and how urgent the secret message they left was. It’s just cool.

So I’m guessing that you can see that I enjoyed this book. Sure, a couple of things that didn’t go so hot, but as you can tell there are way more things that were good about this book than bad. And the good certainly makes it worth reading, believe me. I’d reccommend this book to anyone who would enjoy a good historical fiction story, with romance, drama, and Christian faith mixed in. Also a good bit of nailbiting, because there were some spots….

Basically saying, THIS BOOK WAS GREAT.


Wait, what’s that? Why is this font purple? Because purple is gorgeous. :D Anyhoo, I’m just curious, are you a historcial fiction reader? Yes, no, maybe so? I would love to know! I myself love a good historcial fiction novel, though I haven’t read exessive amount of them, I still do enjoy them immensely. What about you?! :D Also, the question I am dying to know the answer to, would you read this book?!