Tag #38: The Fictional Family Book Tag

I saw this tag pop up in my emails recently, and I was already considering doing it on my own. But then, Jenna was so sweet to tag me in it – Thanks!

Here’s the link to Jenna’s post, where I was tagged:

The creator of this book tag is Marrill at Books and Ravens.


The Rules:

  • Pick 8 books off your shelves (try to not pick just your favorites 😉).
  • Arrange them into a random order (randomizers are good for this).
  • In the order they are arranged, open them to a random page and write down the first name you see. Don’t mix up the names!
  • In the last book, find the name of an animal/pet and write it down.
  • Put the names in the right category.
  • Tag people (spread the love) copy and paste these rules in your post, or write them out yourself.
  • OPTIONAL: tag the creator. You don’t have to, but she would love to see people do this tag!

Parent One

Read All About It: A Kit Classic 1

Image Credit: American Girl

Roger from Read All About It!: A Kit Classic 1

Although he’s a kid in the story, I don’t think I would be very happy to have Roger as one of my parents. He’s snobby and a know-it-all!

Parent Two

The Diary of a Young Girl

Image Credit: Goodreads

Anne Frank from The Diary of a Young Girl

Sadly, Anne never reached adulthood. However, I’m convinced she would have been a wonderful mother!

Sibling One

Dallas “Dally” Winston from The Outsiders

I’m not sure having Dally as a sibling would be awesome, but it certainly would be interesting. The Outsiders is one of my favorite books, so I’ll take it.

Sibling Two

the-underground-railroad

Image Credit: Goodreads

Cora from The Underground Railroad

I really liked Cora’s character, so I think she’d be a great sibling. She’s fierce and courageous, that’s for sure.

Cousin

Aibileen Clark from The Help

Yes, this is awesome. I loved Aibileen’s character. I wish she could be my mom! But, I’ll take a cousin. She’s wise, and brave.

Boyfriend / Girlfriend

The End of Everything

Image Credit: Amazon

Bobby Thornhill from The End of Everything

Ewwwww. I don’t think this would be a good match. I’ll pass!

Best Friend

Oliver Wood - Pottermore

Image Credit: Pottermore

Oliver Wood from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Ummmm, yes. Definitely yes!

Pet

Scooter the dachshund from The Runaway: A Maryellen Mystery

I think Scooter is one of the sweetest dogs, even though he’s chubby and lazy. He’s so sweet to Maryellen!


Tag – You’re It!


This was such a fun and different book tag!

Who would you want in your fictional family?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #110: Loving LuLaRoe

LuLaRoe - thepicta

Image Credit: thepicta.com

I had heard about LuLaRoe for a while, but I didn’t start buying for myself until last summer. Several friends of mine were buying it and loving it, so I decided to check it out for myself. I love it! Everything I own is super comfortable. Plus, I’ve started wearing more skirts and dresses!

With that said, I do not intend to become a consultant. I just love what I’ve bought.


Here are just a few photos of what I’ve bought, LOL. Amazingly, this doesn’t reflect everything that I’ve purchased. But, you can see the progression of the last year, in a way. I cut my hair last fall, and I’m so happy that I did – Haha!

Summer 2017 – This is my striped Julia. I wasn’t so sure about the size at first, but I love it.

My Tall & Curvy (TC) Kermit leggings. I’m wearing them today for St. Patrick’s Day!

At first, I mistakenly thought the L/XL size was for adults! Whoops. These are kids’ leggings. But, they’re cute! And my new Carly dress is the exact same pattern.

My One Size (OS) Kermit leggings. So comfy!

This is the first Nicole dress I bought. It’s perfect for the chillier months – It’s almost a quilted fabric!

This is a Gigi top. I love the pattern, and it fits so well. It’s perfect with jeans.

Jenna Stamps, a consultant from Georgia, did a Personal Styling Session on Facebook for me late last year. This combo of the green Lynnae top, coral Cassie skirt, and multi-colored Joy vest is one of my all-time favorite outfits.

This was my first Lola skirt. I love how versatile these clothes can be – The cardigan and tank top in this photo are both from Old Navy.

This is the Randy. It’s a super comfy baseball tee. I love the flowers!

A Gigi top and Lola skirt!

This is my first Sarah sweater – It’s like a duster. It’s super soft – Think ribbed sweatshirt material.

My most recent Lynnae top.

My yellow Gigi, and first Maxi skirt!

I’m totally in love with this Kermit Carly. I love the high-low hem. It may be my favorite in my closet!


I’ve been able to try most of the items that LuLaRoe offers.The only item that I don’t particularly like is the Irma top – All of them have felt gigantic on me.

Not pictured – I also have two Amelia dresses, a second Nicole, a second Carly, several Azure skirts, two Madison skirts, a pair of Jordan workout leggings, and several different Perfect Tees and Classic Tees.

I’m convinced LuLaRoe is taking over my closet, one piece at a time. However, I’ve been able to mix and match pieces that I already own, multiple brand names, and make it all work. I’m also glad I recently scored a pair of solid black TC leggings – They were warmer than I expected, and I was so comfortable all day yesterday with my Kermit Carly.

Plus, everything is easy to wash and take care of – Super simple!

I’m fortunate that I’ve been connected with several different consultants, some in the area, some not. Brittany Beyer is awesome – She lives in Williamsburg!

I have a link to Brittany’s LuLaRoe group on Facebook below. She’s super fun, energetic, and loves these clothes. I need to meet her in person at some point!


What about you? Have you heard of LuLaRoe? Do you own any?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #109: Laura Beth’s Life Through Book Quotes

Pinterest

Image Credit: Pinterest

Delphine inspired me to do my own version of this post! Thanks, Delphine! If you haven’t already, check out her awesome blog, Delphine’s Babble on Some Good Reads.

Here’s the link to her original post:


Here are some quotes from several of my favorite books. Let me know if you’ve read them!

The Great Gatsby - Complex

Image Credit: Complex

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Across the courtesy bay the white palaces of fashionable East Egg glittered along the water, and the history of the summer really begins on the evening I drove over there to have dinner with the Tom Buchanans. Daisy was my second cousin once removed, and I’d known Tom in college. And just after the war I spent two days with them in Chicago.”

I absolutely fell in love with The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald, and the 1920s when I was in high school. It was assigned reading, but I went on to do an extensive research project on Fitzgerald, his life, and the culture of the American expatriates in Europe during that time period.

I know I identified with the book because of the setting, since I was born in New York City. This is one book that I re-read every single year. I can’t truly explain why it’s one of my favorite books, but it just is.


Image result for harry potter books

Image Credit: Amazon

Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling

“There are all kinds of courage,” said Dumbledore, smiling. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”  –The Philosopher’s Stone  

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”  –Chamber of Secrets 

“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”  The Goblet of Fire  

Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.” –The Order of the Phoenix

As a kid, I was definitely late to the party when I starting reading Harry Potter. However, once I started, I couldn’t stop. I plowed through all the books that were available at the time, eagerly watched the movies, and waited for the rest to be released. I was lucky enough to be in London, England, when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released in July 2005. So, I have an American version and British version of that one. It’s definitely a series that has had a years-long effect on my life.


hunger-games

Image Credit: Scholastic Media Room

The Hunger Games series, Suzanne Collins

“May the odds be ever in your favor!”  –The Hunger Games

“For there to be betrayal, there would have to have been trust first.” –The Hunger Games

“So it’s you and a syringe against the Capitol? See, this is why no one lets you make the plans.” –Catching Fire

“I always channel my emotions into my work. That way, I don’t hurt anyone but myself.”  –Catching Fire

“The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol’s plans. The symbol of the rebellion.” –Catching Fire

“Aim higher in case you fall short.” –Catching Fire

“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”  –Mockingjay

“Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!”  –Mockingjay

“Some walks you have to take alone.”  –Mockingjay

“Are you, are you coming to the tree?
Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me.
Strange things did happen here.
No stranger would let it be if we met up
At midnight in the hanging tree.”  –Mockingjay

The Hunger Games series deeply affected my life as a young adult, like Harry Potter affected my childhood and teenage years. I fell in love with Katniss Everdeen, and her fight throughout all three books to end The Hunger Games and spark a revolution, literally. Although The Hunger Games series is fictional, it’s based on the author watching news coverage of the war in Iraq, and a reality show where kids were competing in a survivalist atmosphere.

And, now, with the revolutions taking place in this country and around the world – Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, immigration, refugees, the chaos in the White House, the outpouring of response to the Parkland shooting – The list seems endless – these books seem more “real” to me more than ever. Time to re-read them, I think.


Bridge to Terabithia

Image Credit: Goodreads

Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Patterson

“It’s like the smarter you are, the more things can scare you.”

“It was up to him to pay back to the world in beauty and caring what Leslie had loaned him in vision and strength. ”

“Sometimes it seemed to him that his life was delicate as a dandelion. One little puff from any direction, and it was blown to bits.”

This book gives me all the feels. I don’t re-read it often, but when I do, I always cry. It’s such a wonderful story, full of imagination, but also some lessons that everyone can benefit from learning. This isn’t your ordinary kids’ book.


Dear Mr Henshaw

Image Credit: Scholastic

Dear Mr. Henshaw, Beverly Cleary

“I don’t want to be a nuisance to you, but I wish you could tell me how.”

“The best thing about sixth grade in my new school is that if I hang in, I’ll get out.”

“I wish someone would ask me over sometime.”

This was one of the first of Cleary’s books that I read – I think it was in elementary school. I’ve read all of them since then! She’s one of those authors who left a big impression on me. I think reading this book in particular helped spark my life-long interest in pen pals, writing letters, diaries, and journals.


Bible

Image Credit: JSTOR Daily

The Bible

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-13 (NIV)

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

I was raised in the United Methodist Church. I started reading the Bible in elementary school, through my Sunday School classes. Over the years, I’ve found certain verses that stick with me. For example, I found Jeremiah 29:11 while reading my Bible on a youth retreat in sixth grade. That was the first time I highlighted or underlined something in my Bible. I don’t read the Bible as often anymore, but I read daily devotionals and reflect on different verses.


What about you? Do you have any book quotes that symbolize you or a part of your life? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #65: “SuperShe Island: Women-only luxury retreat opening in Finland”

Image Credit: LoveThisPic

On a recent Monday, this article from CNN caught my eye:

I’ve always been fascinated with the Scandinavian region! That’s one of the many, many places on my travel bucket list!

And, I totally agree with the article’s author. Yes, I did want to relocate to the island of Themyscira after watching “Wonder Woman” this past summer. Bring it on!

This retreat paradise sounds like a super-awesome, grown-up version of summer camp. Who’s with me?!

At least it’s not like Survivor.

Excuse me while I go daydream about the beauty of Finland!

The retreat’s owner, Kristina Roth, also owns property in Turks and Caicos. She stated that if the resort in Finland is successful, she plans to renovate her additional property for a similar purpose. Yes, please! She’s already received rousing positive feedback, so I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more from her!


For more information, check out the SuperShe website.


What do you think about a luxurious women-only retreat in Finland? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #108: “Untreusee, Germany” (Reblogged)

I love posting photos from Just Wunderlust every so often. Their photos never fail to take my breath away!

This photo from Germany was no exception! I love seeing color in photographs. The colors here are just brilliant and striking!

I looked up Untreusee, having never heard of it. It’s a lake in Germany, near the eastern border with the Czech Republic.

Now knowing it’s a lake, this photo makes me think of my church youth group trip to Sherando Lake when I was in high school!

Water has an immense calming effect on me. I need to be around water more often, I think.

What about you? What types of nature calm you?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Just Wunderlust

Untreusee, Germany

View original post

Adventure Time: Newport News & Williamsburg, VA Edition (Greyhounds, Colonial Williamsburg, and Romantic Escape Package)

Al and I had a great weekend! We got to meet and greet some greyhounds, and then spent some time at The Williamsburg Winery!

We went to a meet-and-greet with Old Dominion Greyhound Adoption. This was their first meet-and-greet at the Care-A-Lot in Newport News. There were nine greyhounds there, with their owners, along with the Director of the group. Everyone was so nice and friendly! The dogs were incredibly sweet. We went home with an application, and are excited to start this process!


After the greyhound meet-and-greet, we went to Colonial Williamsburg for lunch. The Trellis Bar & Grill is a really nice restaurant, right in the heart of Merchants Square.

We enjoyed a hearty lunch – Al had “The Burger” and I got their tortellini.

I love the unique touches, from their birdcage lanterns, to their cute salt and pepper grinders.. Their water comes in epic bottles!

We weren’t quite full after our entrees, but we decided to spring for dessert and their signature mock-tails. For dessert, I chose their Flourless Chocolate Torte, and Al had their Burnt Sugar ice cream. Al had the “Moscow Pony” mock-tail, and I had their “No-Jito” mock-tail. They were awesome!


After lunch, we ventured 12 minutes away to The Williamsburg Winery. Al won a very generous gift card at his company Christmas party in December, which allowed us this experience!

We chose the Romantic Winter Escape Hotel Package:

  • One Night in a Tradition room, with king-sized bed and wood-burning fireplace*

  • A Tour and Wine Tasting for two at the Williamsburg Winery, including a tour of the barrel cellar and a tasting of seven wines

  • Bottle of Williamsburg Winery wine

  • Artisanal chocolates

  • $100 Dinner Voucher for Café Provençal

  • European-style Continental Breakfast for two including croissants, pastries, fresh fruit and more

We got to the winery around 4:00. We checked in around 4:15, which gave us just enough time to unload the car before the 4:30 tour and tasting.

These are the giant oak barrels where the wine is stored!

Barrels of wine in the cellar.

This is the “reserve cellar,” where a more extensive tour and tasting is held.

The shelves hold different vintages of wine, dating back to the late 1980s.

These are the three concrete eggs that hold the white wines.

Once the barrels are past their prime (Their life span is about 10 years), they are sold to private collectors, or used as trash cans in places like Colonial Williamsburg.

The tour and tasting were fabulous. Our guide, Stephanie, was incredibly knowledgeable and awesome! We tasted several different wines. It was really nice and relaxing!

The view from our hotel window. That’s the winery in the distance.

Our room at Wedmore Place was the “Brittany.” I felt like we were in Europe! The bed was incredibly comfortable. I wanted to take the mattress home!

I got to wear my new LuLaRoe Maxi!

Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes.

Filet Mignon.

Poached Apple Tart.

Pumpkin Cheesecake.

We had an amazing dinner at Cafe Provençal, which was located in the lower level of the hotel. Everything was divine! Al got the Caramelized Onion Soup (no photo), and the Filet Mignon. I had their delicious Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes, along with a glass of their A Midsummer Night’s White.

For dessert, Al got the Pumpkin Cheesecake, and I had the Poached Apple Tart.

There were exquisite pieces of furniture, like this, throughout!

The courtyard.

Our complimentary bottle of merlot, wine glasses, and artisanal chocolates!

Part of the package was a bottle of wine of our choice, wine glasses, and artisanal chocolates! We took it home. With our complimentary tour glasses, we have four new wine glasses at home!

On Sunday morning, we ate breakfast at the cafe. It was a lavish feast, with fresh fruit, strong coffee, assorted croissants, and quiche! We took our time, and checked out about an hour later. We went back to reality quickly – Getting gas, grocery shopping, getting ready for the new work week.

It was a much-needed mini-getaway. A piece of Europe is only 45 minutes away!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #107: My Skin & Makeup Routines (Part 4)

I’m trying some new things, so I figured it was time to write another Skin & Makeup Routine post!

Here are the links to my original posts:


Skin

As much as I love LUSH Handmade Products, the store at MacArthur Mall was closed for a bit while they moved into a bigger space. It was disappointing.

In the meantime, I capitalized on the products that Young Living Essential Oils offer. Since I’m enrolled in their Essential Rewards (ER) program, I earn points for everything that I buy.

Here are some of the Young Living products I’ve been using recently:

I’m loving these two, so far! I only need a tiny bit of each. I’m using the Scrub every few days, but I use the cream every morning after my shower. It smells like the beach!

I love the smell of Morning Start – Peppermint, lemongrass, rosemary, and juniper. Several people have hugged me at church and asked what perfume I’m wearing. When I said it’s body gel, they were all shocked! I can’t wait to try Sensation soon!

I’m looking forward to the day when I’m able to snag just one container of the Orange Blossom Facial Wash. It must be popular – It’s been out of stock for months!

Now that the bigger LUSH store is finally open, here are a few of the things on my wish list:


Makeup

I love Savvy Minerals by Young Living!

The brushes are so soft, and they’re labeled!

I think I need some different eyeshadows. I love the eyeliner, though!

These are my Before & After photos from yesterday:

Personally, I like the Jet Setter eyeliner the best! I definitely want to experiment with different eyeshadows and blushes. The brush set is AWESOME!


Deodorant

I love that I tried making my own homemade deodorant, but I had one strange side effect. My armpits would not stop itching! It felt like they were sunburned all the time. Finally, I reached out to April, my friend and Young Living independent distributor, for help. She thought it could be the baking soda – Too much of it can cause a skin reaction.

So, I ditched the homemade stuff and started trying the cake deodorant that Young Living makes. It smells amazing!

I got Al to start using it, too! I’m excited to try Meadow Mist when I finish the first cake. It’s lasted a good while!

So far, I’ve only used the Mountain Mint one. It smells awesome, and I’ve noticed that I’m sweating less. Plus, no more itching or burning!


Hair

I started with Young Living’s Lavender Mint daily shampoo and conditioner, which I liked. I plan to use more of that during the summer, since lavender is a good mosquito repellent!

Once I finished the bottles of Lavender Mint, I started using the Copaiba Vanilla shampoo and conditioner. These are definite winners for me, and I intend to keep buying them!

I also have the Lavender Volume shampoo and conditioner on deck.


What about you?

Do you have a certain skin routine? What about makeup?

Have you tried any homemade recipes related to skin or makeup?

Check back in a few months – I’ll likely have another update post to share!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #64: “This Small Norwegian Town Turns Abandoned Buildings Into Bookstores”

Geeky Book Snob

Image Credit: Geeky Book Snob

I saw this post from Read Voraciously on February 28th.

Here’s the link to Read Voraciously’s original post:

And, here’s the link to the Reader’s Digest article:


I knew I wanted to write about this before I finished the Reader’s Digest article. How cool is this?

There are approximately 2.5 miles of books in the village of Mundal, part of Fjaerland, Norway. Northeast of Bergen, it looks like an absolutely beautiful area to live and visit!

Alamy

Image Credit: Alamy

Knowing me, and my love of books, I don’t think I would want to leave! But, the bokbyen (“booktown”) is only open for business from May to mid-September.

But, fear not! The online side is open year-round.

I would love to at least see the stunning glaciers. And then, read a book next to them.


For more information, check out these sources:


What about you? Have you ever visited a booktown?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #56: “Chances and Changes: My Journey with Molly”

Chances and Changes

Image Credit: Amazon

If you haven’t already, I recommend reading the Book Reviews on the first two volumes of Molly’s BeForever collection:


I really like the Journey Books that American Girl is producing. They offer readers the chance to connect with the historical characters via a modern girl character, and everyone learns something valuable along the way.

I mentioned my love of Camp Gowonagin in my previous Book Review, so I was thrilled when I first learned Molly’s Journey Book would be primarily set at camp. It had me dreaming of my own summer camp experiences, but those were in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This was 1945 – Very different!

I won’t give away a lot of detail, but I appreciated the lessons about friendship, teamwork, cooperation, courage, bravery, and helping others. I also learned a different series of facts about World War II – Something I never knew existed in the United States during this time. I really liked that American Girl took this and worked hard to educate readers about it. Kudos!

Reading this book made me wish there was a time portal in the book. Although summer camp back then was very much structured like the military, I think I would have loved it!

I’ve heard of “adult summer camps” in different states – Maybe it’s time that I sign up for one.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Book Review #55: “Stars, Stripes, and Surprises: A Molly Classic 2”

Stars Stripes and Surprises

Image Credit: Amazon

If you haven’t already, I recommend first reading my Book Review of Molly’s Classic Volume 1:


Volume 2 covers the other three books in Molly’s original Classic Series:

  • Happy Birthday, Molly!
  • Molly Saves The Day
  • Changes for Molly

This volume starts in the spring of 1944. Molly is excited to celebrate her birthday. Her family also receives some exciting news – A girl, Emily, is coming all the way from London, England, to live with her aunt. When Emily’s aunt falls ill, Mrs. McIntire offers to help out. Molly is happy – A girl her own age! After a few stumbles and culture shock, Molly and Emily become friends and celebrate their birthdays together. There’s also a few birthday surprises!

As school lets out, Molly, Linda, and Susan head to Camp Gowonagin for two weeks! I remember loving this story in particular as a kid, and made up countless stories about summer camps!

Along the way, the girls learn many things, including the camp’s hallmark event of Color War. They end up on different teams, so who will win?

The final chapters breeze through the fall, winter, and find Molly in the spring of 1945. The war is coming to an end, and everyone in town is putting on the “Hurray for the U.S.A.!” show. Molly’s family receives an exciting telegram from Dad – He’s being reassigned to the local Veterans Hospital and coming home for good! Yay! Molly really wants to be Miss Victory, the tap dancer with the big solo in the show. But, she wants to transform her stick-straight hair into big, beautiful curls before the show. Her sister, Jill, is happy to help. Will everything work out the way Molly hopes it will? And, will Dad arrive in time to see the show?

Like Volume 1, I miss the original illustrations. But, the writing is so vivid, I feel like I’m beside Molly the whole time!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂