Top Ten Books Every Girl Should Read

Growing up, I was an avid reader. I would read almost anything set in front of me (provided it was clean of course 🙂 ) whether it was in one of my favorite genres or not. I have memories of hiding in my closet, or behind a locked bathroom door so that no one would disturb me while I feasted on my pile of books.

Today, things are a bit different. I’m busier now than I’ve was as a child. Last spring I worked two part-time jobs as a waitress and lifeguard as well as nannied a few days and attended college full time. Somehow it all worked out. This spring I’ve managed to cut out a full workload again, minimizing the jobs but maximizing the classes. With all that, reading just seems to be squeezed out of the picture. Any spare moment I find, I try to devote to my writing or photography. (And believe me, it’s been sparse.) Those days of lazily dreaming through chapters are long gone and sorely envied.

I’ll never have a minute of regret for all those countless hours I spent meeting “new friends” and learning about their beautiful, interesting, mysterious lives. That said, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite books for young heroines. Feel free to comment on your favorite or mention one you think I should add to this list!

  1. A Life of Faith Series

I LOVE this series so much! There are five different sets of girls, Millie Keith, Elsie Dinsmore, Violet Travilla, Laylie Colbert, and Kathleen McKenzie. Each series focuses on one of these special girls and is filled with humor and history, but most importantly, important lessons and role models as these girls trust God throughout all their various trials. My favorite two are Millie and Laylie. I even got to interview the author, Kersten Hamilton! 

2. In Grandma’s Attic Series

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Oh my goodness! Where do I start? This series is hilarious!! From pranking her brothers to forging signatures, losing the family buggy…Mabel gets into all kinds of scrapes! This series is set in a 19th century Michigan town. Best of all, it’s a series so you get to watch her grow up. 

3. Anne of Green Gables Series

If you want some enriching reading, here’s a book for you! L. M. Montgomery is a literary master. Her rich descriptions and details along with her richly developed characters set her books apart from others. And who can resist the spirited, lovable, red-headed Anne with an E? My favorite movie version of this film is 1985 series by Kevin Sullivan starring Megan Follows as Anne. There’s even a musical for this book!

4. Caddie Woodlawn

Here’s another lovable young girl! Caddie Woodlawn’s adventures are always so fun, from running around with her Indian friends to playing tricks on her cousin. Her wild, yet soft and compassionate heart, is what draws readers to love her. Also, unknown to many, is a sequel to the book, “Magical Melons” also published as “Caddie Woodlawn’s Family.”

5. Joy Sparton Series

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If you haven’t noticed yet, I love reading about adventurous young girls getting into scrapes, so here’s another one! Joy Sparton and her brother Roy are a couple of PK’s trying to get through their early teen years. I love Joy’s antics, and mostly her beautiful story of learning to live for her Savior. 

6. Little Women

A classic every girl should read! I learned to love all of these girls as if they were my very own sisters. Louisa May Alcott writes in such a personable way that makes you drawn to her characters. Her story is one of love, loyalty, and sisterhood as tears of anger and sadness along with those of joy fill these pages drawing the girls closer together as they walk through life together and apart. My favorite movie version of this book is the 1949 film with June Allyson.

7. An Old Fashion Girl

This book tells the story of Polly, a sweet, timid young girl. It’s really all about character building. You’ll fall in love with Polly as she learns to maneuver through life. Another beautiful story by Louisa May Allcott.

8. Annie Henry: Adventures in the American Revolution  Series

This series can be a bit difficult to find, but definitely worth it. I love all the historical elements bound up in the little series as it tells the story of our little heroine, Anne Henry, growing up with the guidance of her family and particularly her father, the famous Patrick Henry. 

9. Five Little Peppers Series

This is another that might be hard to find, but such a sweet story of five young siblings growing up. There’s not much money in the Pepper house, and each child has to pitch in to help them get by. This is such a fun book to read and awakes your creative mind. 

10. Little House on the Prarie Series

And of course, the classic pioneer story of Laura Ingalls. My favorite part of this book is how Laura included all the detailed descriptions of food. There’s even a Little House cookbook out there! I also love the song lyrics and all the fun illustrations. Don’t forget the TV show with Micheal Landon and Melissa Gilbert. And, if you get a chance, watch the new musical!

Don’t forget to comment on your favorite book(s), and let me know of any you think I should add! Happy reading!

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Times Square Unlike other Times

My journey to NYC and back amidst rising concerns from COVID-19.

Times Square, New York

It was possible…but probable?

We took our chances.

My classmates (those who didn’t drop out), adviser, and I attended the College Media Association convention at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square, New York City while COVID-19 concerns were still rising. 

The first day was pretty normal other than the smaller than average crowds. We walked several miles exploring the city and got settled in our hotel. 

Pizza shop in NYC.

On the second day, I left the convention early to try to find binoculars for watching a Broadway show. (I packed a couple hours before the trip in the college parking lot by shoving random things I threw in my car in a backpack I emptied. I had midterms and a choir concert the evening I flew out so I didn’t have much trip prep time🤷‍♀️)

Being a small-town girl, I didn’t really think I’d wander NYC alone. But there I was.

The Phantom of the Opera played in Majestic Theatre with some of the coolest effects.

I found a $29 ticket to The Phantom of the Opera at the box office a couple hours before the show and decided to snag that. Before the show, I met a classmate and we grabbed some NY pizza together.

As I left the theater, I found out that all Broadway shows were suspended until April 12th due to COVID-19 concerns. At least I was able to see one show! 

After a group meeting, we decided to finish our stay in NYC. My classmates and I went on a National Geographic tour, rode the wooden escalator up nine flights in Macy’s, then stopped at Junior’s Bakery to grab a cheesecake. We split that in the apartment using dental floss to slice it up and ate it out of the hotel cups. We weren’t able to finish the whole cheesecake that night but it worked out okay because we found a mini-fridge in a side room at the hotel while wandering around in our PJ’s trying to find ice for the ice bucket, our original storage plan. The mini fridge looked like an upgrade so we carried that back to our room. 

New York Public Library

The third day we left for the Museum of Modern Art in the morning, but all the museums were closed in NY for social distancing. We decided to just walk around the city and stopped by the Empire State Building and New York Public Library. Since almost all the convention meetings were canceled, we had to look for other things to do. I was able to attend some sections on photojournalism. 

NYC view from the Staten Island Ferry.

That night we had a group meal at an amazing Asian restaurant. We all got ramen bowls and ginger ice cream. Afterward, we took the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and a cool view of NYC.  On the way back to our hotel we grabbed some dollar pizza. 

Stardust Diner on Times Square.

Saturday morning we all slept in late and then went out for a brunch at the Ellen’s Stardust Diner, a cool restaurant where the waitstaff performs Broadway songs. That was quite a fun experience!

Central Park

We walked off our meal in Central Park then got dinner in Chinatown. The streets were getting emptier and more people were using masks. 

Sunday morning we decided it would be best to flee NYC as soon as we could since everything was shutting down. 

As of now, my classmates and I are self-quarantined and working on our school assignments online.

In two weeks we’ll know how much we liked this trip 🙂

 

21 and Here’s what I’ve Done

02/10/20 – Tried not to get sick.

02/11/20 – Got sick anyways.

02/12/20 – Started my birthday in the DMV. Sat next to a flight attendant on the plane ride to Seattle. Watched him eat about a dozen Oreos on a half-hour flight.

Plane ride from Spokane to Seattle

02/13/20 – Realized carrying a laptop and five school books gets pretty heavy, and deodorant is probably still a good idea even if you’re packing light.

Airport in Korea

02/14/20 – Landed in Manila, the Philippines.

Streets of Manilla

02/16/20 – Told my cousin to chuck a roast bird across the room during my grandpa’s 90th birthday celebration. She questioned my sanity. Passed out in the middle of taking pictures.

02/17/20 – Went to a cool restaurant in Antipolo City with some of the cousin gang. Ate fried squid and watched live performers.

Swipe right to hear the live performers.

02/18/20 – Got my hair highlighted for cheap. Realized why it was cheap.

02/20/20 – Rode a pedi cab. Drank coconut juice from the coconut like a real local.

Pedi Cab in Manilla

02/21/20 – Got serenaded by two guys in the restroom. That was weird.

02/22/20 – Had the best sushi in my life. Hung out on the beach.

Beach in Manilla

02/23/20 – Bought deodorant.

02/24/20 – Landed in Korea after a 14 hour flight. Couldn’t feel my ankles due to extreme swelling. I guess I’m old now.

02/25/20 – Home, Sweet Home.

Seattle to Spokane Flight

02/28/20 – Got my hair fixed.

03/01/20 – Helped my friend push her vehicle out of the police parking spot on campus. It wouldn’t shift to reverse. I told her parking there for a minute was a bad idea.

03/02/20 – Bought compression socks for my trip to New York City.

✌️Cheers y’all! I guess this is my travel year.

P.S: I promise more pics of the Philippines to follow 🙂

January/February Highlights

and Boom,

school started. But that’s okay because I needed something to keep busy anyway.

I’m taking 19 credits this semester! So that will be fun 🙂

But before all that:

I went ice skating with friends!

and learned to turn correctly on a snowboard….kinda, I’m still pretty bad at it. I’m looking forward to getting more boarding in next year!

Right now I’m enjoying some town life living closer to the college. It’s so much easier being closer to school. I’m a short drive from my office and now I can actually go to more school events like the sports games.

I’ve also been looking into local theater :). Now that the commute is shorter, I’m hoping I’ll finally be able to pursue my dreams of being involved in theater.

02/17/20

And now it’s February.

My past weeks have been crazy trying to prep for one of the biggest trips of my life. Full disclosure in my next post 🙂

But before then…

I got my second concussion after going off a jump while sledding…but not before some seriously sweet air time.

I’ve been enjoying my photojournalism class…even though it’s crazy hard. Or maybe not too much but since I overthink everything it is. Also, since it’s journalism, you’re not allowed to edit any of your pictures or set up shots unless it’s a portrait. However, it’s been super fun. I love trying to capture people’s personalities in pictures.

Here’s two of my favorites that I took for the class:

Haha, yeah, I’m also involved in the music department.

As always, you can follow my photography journey on Facebook and Instagram.

I also had a good time celebrating my birthday with friends….twice! Good thing Denny’s is open at 1 a.m!

Last note: It’s weird being an adult.

November/December Highlights

I feel like I’m always behind writing these posts! Life is just so busy! The semester ended so now I have a bit of a break to get some stuff done before school starts up again.

It was quite a hustling semester! I was the social media editor for the school paper, The Sentinel. The team also publishes a magazine once a semester, which was a lot of fun but a lot of work!

yeah, those are my feet 🙂

Besides that, I’ve been working on photography a lot. I took a class this semester and added getting a photography degree to my list of want-to-dos. I also bought Lightroom, a photo editing software, and made a Facebook page and Instagram for my photography if you’d like to follow my adventure. Here’s also a few pictures from my last two sessions:

Besides taking photos, I’ve been enjoying voice lessons through NIC. I also had fun working as an elf at the resort for a few days over the holiday season.

And now that school is out, skiing and snowboarding are on! Looking forward to having some fun over the break, and prepping for the new semester.

October Highlights

I should really be doing homework…but I’ve had brain fog for the last couple days, compliments of a cold plus my wisdom teeth getting pulled out (which by the way, laughing gas is like the funnest thing ever just saying. And my dentist [yeah, dentist, not oral surgeon] was super cool and let me look at my holes mid procedure).

So here’s my October highlights.

I had a super fun sister date with my lil’ sis for her b-day. We had sushi and watched the new Spider-man. This picture was taken at the harvest carnival where we helped run games.

I also got to help a friend cook for another harvest carnival in Montana. That was a lot of fun, and gave me another opportunity to wear my prairie dress and sport my camera. I’ve also been able to play with studio lighting at my college.

Here’s one of my favorite studio shots

The Sentinel’s fall magazine is almost ready for print (just like our semester is coming close to an end, yay!) and that’s super great especially because I’m so done with going to coffee shops. What started out as a super fun project had turned into a dreaded chore, but I’ve successfully been acquainted with every coffee shop within 2 miles of campus so mission achieved.

The school hosted a roller skating night

And I know I did other things but maybe this brain fog is just too strong for me to think. There was also a concert, a couple dances and plays, Panda Express runs, and most likely mad librarians in there somewhere. Probably the best memory is my friend tearing across the Student Union Building at the mention of free cookies.

Hope you all have a happy, happy fall!

Hello, World

It’s 8 p.m. and I’m sitting at my table just marking off the 3rd of my 10 item to-do list. The water pump isn’t working so I’m currently quenching myself with LaCroix and waiting for it to feel late enough to hit the sack. And as I wait here, I wonder what drives me. And what am I willing to walk fire for. And what I’m willing to give up.

As time ticks by, bringing closer the arrival of a new year, I think back to my goals, how high I’d set them, and how much I’d hate myself for not finishing up.

But is it the goals

Or is

it

the Moments

Or is it

a

b a l a n c e d

mixture

of

Both

?

House pictures, as promised

Here are some house pictures, as I promised a couple months ago. Hehe. It’s been fun getting to do a little interior decorating. Currently, the kitchen is a complete disaster because of the canning season, so no pics of that. Well, not a complete disaster, but my sister is working her way through 1 million apples so the peels are coming out of our ears.

Here’s the living room.

Before:

(sorry for the bad cellphone pic)

After:

I painted the walls Cloud Cover, a slightly grayish-white. The tables came from Facebook yardsale and the couch from a secondhand store. I decided to go with a slight beach and travel theme.

I found the matching anchor pillows at Goodwill for $2.99 each.

The lighthouse coasters were also from Goodwill.

This old wine box serves as a shoeholder.

And, yeah, I love indoor plants.

Here’s the dining room before picture:

Sorry, another phone picture.

And after:

And there’s my laptop and camera junk….and a hammer…on the table

I tried to add light by putting in the little mirrors but they sort of do nothing but look cute.

And here’s a few pictures of the tidier parts of the kitchen.

And of course, the bathroom. Sorry, I have no good before pictures.

Yes, that’s a real plant.
I found that little message in a bottle at a thrift shop last year.
I’m an Anne of Green Gables fan 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

August/September Highlights

Sometime towards the end of August

I feel like I begin every highlight post with “the month has just flown by,” but that’s how I feel every month!

School started! I’m taking a lot of fun classes this semester including voice, a journalism class in which I’m an editor for the school paper (and I get part of tuition paid through that!), and a photography class. It’s a new season once again, fall is making its entrance. . . we’ve even had snow already!

As I look back on this summer, honestly, I didn’t do that much. I mean I did a lot, but nothing memorable. (Isn’t that sad?!) Mostly just worked and crammed in two college courses (which was super hard). So that was fun, NOT! But I made it! (And I’d probably do it again next year just to finish up.) I’m hoping to make this fall season a little more exciting and try to work on my book again if the rest of my schedule would just calm itself down a bit.

10/07/19…..oh geez

But for now, I am loving my photography class! I have learned so much about operating a camera this past month. I love photographing people especially and recently did a newborn shoot which was super fun.

And hey, I did another fun thing! I went to Lake Moraine and Lake Louise up in Canada….gotta use that ol’ passport again.

That beautiful blue just soothes the soul.

And besides that, I’ve just been working on my place a bit. Pictures will come soon, I promise.

P.S: Take me to a pumpkin patch and we can be friends forever.