Wednesday, December 25, 2013

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!!!



This is one of my favorite songs… the words and the story are so sweet and it is truly a wonderful Christmas story! (This is a fan made music video that I found of the song. Although some of it is quite cheesy… well it doesn't matter! The song is amazing!)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Woman in White - by Wilkie Collins

'In one moment, every drop of blood in my body was brought to a stop... There, as if it had that moment sprung out of the earth, stood the figure of a solitary Woman, dressed from head to foot in white'

The Woman in White famously opens with Walter Hartright's eerie encounter on a moonlit London road. Engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie, Walter becomes embroiled in the sinister intrigues of Sir Percival Glyde and his 'charming' friend Count Fosco, who has a taste for white mice, vanilla bonbons, and poison. Pursuing questions of identity and insanity along the paths and corridors of English country houses and the madhouse, The Woman in White is the first and most influential of the Victorian genre that combined Gothic horror with pyschological realism.

5 stars
This is one of the very few books that I've had to read for High-school and have actually enjoyed. Although the pace of the story and the way Mr. Collins describes his scenes is definitely nineteenth century style… the way he writes the perspective of his characters is not. He is the author that introduced the style of writing from the first perspective… carving the way for modern day writers. The Woman in White starts off with a young drawing master named Walter Hartright looking for a job… when he stumbles upon a very confused lady dressed all in white wandering the darkened streets of London alone… and that's when the adventure begins. The book is full of a slew of different characters whom I loved, hated, and even some who I had absolutely had no idea what to think of. From the jovial but annoying County Fosco to the brilliant Madam Halmcomb… The frail Laura Fairlie to the endearing Walter Hartright… and then the haunting presence of the Woman in White are but a few of the amazing characters you will meet in this novel. The book starts out fast paced as we are plunged into a new world and new a new mystery… and as the book progresses we learn new and startling things involving our main cast… but then it begins to slow down to an almost boring pace near the middle… Only to pick back up again at the end. I was originally going to give it a 4.5 star rating for various reason (i.e. being slow near the middle and some of the characters annoyed the heck out of me… and the pathetic frailness of a few female characters) but it's such a good mystery that I decided to give it it's current 5 stars despite that!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Halloween Costume

So this was my outfit for the costume party I went to. I was the female version of the Mad Hatter, crazy, colorful, and so much fun to put together! What do you think?

From left to right: Pat, Michael, Zach, Charles, me, Savanna. So, who did you dress up as for halloween?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Makeup Review: Tarte Foundation

(So, I was originally going to post this before Halloween but I forgot. :-O But here it is, better late then never!) I like makeup. You may have noticed that from a few previous blog posts I've done in the past. I like how it can be so creative and artistic - colorful, frightening, dark, innocent, mysterious. That's why I love this time of year! Halloween was originally called Night Before the Holy Ones. Basically the night before the feast day of the Saints. I don't like how society has taken something that had originally had been holy into something demonic, but I like the chance to show my creative side with all the different makeup opportunities! In the next couple of weeks I'll show the various costumes I've come up with for different parties I'm planning on going to. :-) But first I'd like to do my first makeup review! 

Foundation: literally my favorite makeup product. It is what covers all of our imperfections our faces; pimples, scarring, discoloration, wrinkles. But it wipes it all away! (...) Pretty much. I've gone through quite a few different foundation brands (I like a lot of them and still use them from time to time), but my favorite by far is the Tarte foundation. It is definitely better for your skin, they try to keep their ingredients very natural. That's why this is made with Amazonian clay! Interesting hu? Because of being made out of clay (LOL) it has excellent coverage, you don't need much at all which I love because I hate the "cakey face look." You do have to be careful though because using this you can get that look very easily. You really just have to experiment on how much of the foundation looks good on your skin. I don't use very much at all, but other people use a lot. Like I said you just need to find out what works best for you. And it has sunscreen in it! And extra bonus. ;-)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book Update

So, I thought I might take a break from my hectic school schedual and give you an update on my writing life! It's been almost a year now since "Jazmine" was published and I know you all are wondering what the heck is going on with the 2nd book! Let me just say that writing the 2nd book in The Latanica Saga is going to be a bit more challenging then its predcessor. It isn't going to be as action packed (but there will still be plenty!) as the first book. I'm trying to go for a little bit of more of a mystery theme in this book - you guys aren't going to know who the bad guy is for a while and there is more then one! I'm also going to get into how Jazmine and Adrian will struggle to bring Luman back into Latanica and some of the opposition they will face. More about Jazmine's parents and her past will also be revealed.

Sadly, I don't think I will be able to finish it for a while. I wrote almost absolutely nothing during the summer and only have about 4 chapters so far from before. I'm having a major writers block with this one. "Jazmine" was so easy because I had nearly every chapter planned out in my head before I started writing. It all flowed onto the page with such ease I'm still amazed! With this book its a little harder. I'm still trying to get things sorted and am writing out the plot little by little. And instead of writing it in order like "Jazmine" (chapter by chapter) I'm going to just get the scenes I already have in my head and into my notebook and then connect the dots later. 

At least I know what it's going to be called. And the title is awesome. *drumroll* ... "Destiny's Hand"! Sounds cool, right?

So, wish me luck! Let's hope I can get this out before I head off to college... I'm sure I will but you never know how this is going to turn out. I might write it all and then decide I hate half of it and then rewrite it again! But I hope that doesn't happen and I'll be able to get this out to you guys soon!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blog Changes

Yeah, I know. You guys must be annoyed with me for changing the look of the blog for the third time. But I promise, this one's going to stick for a while. I really like this new template and background! Besides the changes to the layout, I also changed some photos and added a playlist from itunes for "Jazmine" that you guys can play right away on this blog! No need to look up the songs individually now. Among other things, I'm going to slowly add more content to the "Fun Stuff" page so keep your eyes peeled for that!

So, I'm curious. What do ya'll think of the new look? Any suggestions or is it good? Comment down below on what you think and subscribe for more!

Monday, August 26, 2013

TOAM: Life of Pi

**TOAM: thoughts on a movie

I just saw this movie last week and it far exceeded my expectations. I thought it was going to be boring and more of like a documentary. Boy was I wrong! The story, the cinematography, the acting. It was all so good I couldn't look away! The emotional turmoil, life lessons and faith portrayed in this movie were wonderful! Speaking of faith I have to admit I was surprised when I read how many awards it got at the Academy Awards considering it did have so much Christian faith in it. People to tend to be offended or try and stay away from those topics as much as possible in movies which is a sad reality so this movie was really refreshing. The View on the Catholic faith was not negatory or heretical which I really appreciated. So, yes, go see this movie! Cry with it, laugh with it, and learn with it! You won't be disapointed, I promise. :-)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Teen Campout/Swing Dance Party 2013

So last week I put on a party for my Youth Group. We had a TON of fun with sports, games, BBQ, prayer, dancing. At the end they were all begging to do it again before school starts - we'll see. We had about four hours of sports and then another two of dancing. I couldn't even stand by the time we crashed to watch a movie at like 2am. Anyway, here are some pictures of our dance party on the patios and lawn. It was late but we didn't care!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Splintered - by A.G. Howard

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl's pangs of first lover and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers - precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This fmaily curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she's keeping it together. For now. When her mother's mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice's tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice's mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

4.5 stars

The thing I loved the most about this book was the imagination it took to write it. The imagination! The fantasy! The color! The darkness! The amazing twists and turns the plot takes... I have to say, Howard did an amazing job with her debut novel. I couldn't put it down! 3 stars out of the 4.5 go to the amazing plot. I really didn't have any idea where Howard was going to take me. Every chapter was something new and interesting. Howard has a dark, bizarre imagination,  which made it perfect for this evil retelling of Alice in Wonderland. Alyssa Gardener is the descendant of the original Alice Liddel, and she is a messed up kid. I don't blame her since her own mother tried to kill her when she was young with a pair of gardening shears, she also has a good chance of ending up in the same mental asylum as her mother and the bugs talk to her. Yeah, she hasn't had an easy life. But despite that she pushes forward with new dreams and goals. I have to admit that I really enjoyed Morpheus. He is a mystery right from the beginning and he continues to make your head spin as the book progresses. The book is filled with a few other side characters and I love how they all seemed to have their part and added to the story. They weren't just faces in the background, they all had something to contribute. Okay, now to criticize it a little bit. I really didn't agree with the teasing, sexual side of Alyssa and her romance. Morpheus, I get it, he is a seductive weirdo and that kind of added to his chaotic persona. But Alyssa and Jeb... no, I didn't really like that part. I would have liked it better if the romance between them had been a little bit more innocent. That's the only reason I didn't give this book a full blown 5 stars. 

Wonderland... oh it is a creepy, messed up place. You definitely wouldn't want to go there for vacation. But the creatures, the chaos, the political intrigues, the surprises, the color, the magic, Morpheus. It makes you want to go there anyway.

So... Yes! Get this book! Read it! Enjoy it! Laugh, shiver and puzzle along with it! I promise you won't be disappointed... I hope.

I would suggest 15+ for some disturbing and sensual scenes.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer Faith Camp 2013

Hey All,

So about 2 weeks ago I volunteered for my Catholic church's SFC called:

I was in charge of music and I co-lead the whole thing with my friend Robbie. Here we are putting a skit on for the kids. He is dressed up as a knight in training named Wally and I'm there encouraging him  and trying to convince him not to give up. With help from all around us... God's Love Helps Us To Stand Strong! (our theme this year)

Two more of my friends, Michael (in the red bandana) and Gabe, leading the kids in a cheer. 

And my silly little brother, Michael balancing a toy eagle on his nose!

I would have a lot more pictures of the kids and stuff but I'm not allowed to, so maybe you'll just have to come and join us next year...



See you next week!

(FYI, that's my brother Zach. He helped lead the games.)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th!

I hope you guys have an awesome 4th of July! Eat plenty of barbecue and watermelon and junk food 'cause its time to celebrate the day that our country became free! Baseball, parades, fireworks! HAVE FUN! And...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I Cut My Hair!!!

Yup, I cut my hair. But not only did I just cut it... I cut 10 inches of it! Ten inches of my long dark hair to give too locks of love. Now a little kid with cancer can have hair... to whoever that person might be I hope you like it and I also hope it gives you a little extra confidence!

So, What do you think of my new look?

                             Before                                                      After

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New Movies By Me

Hey All-

So, I don't know if you guys know this but I am also really into making things on iMovie. I made all the book trailers for JAZMINE. And now I want to show you two new videos I've made in the last couple of months. The first is a character video about Aslan from "The Chronicles of Narnia." I love Narnia, and it was a tun of fun putting all the movie clips together to make this!

And this one is a fan made book trailer I made for one of my favorite fantasy books of all time: "The Unicorn Girl." If you love unicorns, magic, adventure, funny companions, spells and a girl who is above the extraordinary. Then this book is for you! 

Well, I hope you enjoyed them and see you all next time...


Friday, June 7, 2013

Something New


Guess what ya'll?! I just found the BEST instrumental/background vocals album ever!!! The music is based on video game/trailers/ movie music. And it is awesome! I'm going to use this artist (Future World Music) for all of my book trailers forevermore! My favorite song is the first in the album: Passion of Victory. This music is also great for when you're writing (if you like to listen to music while you write). Personally I love listening to music while I write. What I'm tapping on the keyboard along too can range from instrumental and celtic to hard core metal and rock. Depends on what mood I'm in... or what scene I'm writing :-) Definitely look this up, once you hit play and turn up the volume... you will have chills listening to it the entire time, trust me.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Short Stories - Gems of Nature

Sorry it's been such a long time since my last post! I got grounded from my computer :-(

Anyway, here is the short story I promised so long ago. It is centered around the nymphs Emerald and Sapphire from my book "Jazmine" before they lived in Second Ahnoria.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Weekly Saint Report - #2

St. John the Baptist

Saint John the Baptist was the son of faithful Jews, Zachariah, a priest, and Elizabeth, who was barren. According to the Gospel of St. Luke, the birth of John was announced by the angel Gabriel who visited Zachariah while he was performing priestly functions in the temple of Jerusalem. When Zachariah denied the angel’s proclamations, he was struck speechless at his un-belief in the power of God.

Not long after his wife, Elizabeth, announced she was with child. When Elizabeth was six months pregnant her young cousin Mary traveled from the neighboring town of Nazareth to help her during the remainder of the pregnancy. Mary had also been visited by the angel Gabriel who said that she also would have a child, who be be called the Messiah. When Elizabeth ran up to greet her cousin, the child in her womb leapt for joy for he had felt the presence of the Son of God in Mary’s womb.

When Zachariah and Elizabeth's baby was born, Zachariah regained his speech on the occasion when they named their baby, John.

Not much is known about the childhood of Saint John but we do now that when he was a young man, he disappeared into the desert to live a life of extreme fasting and prayer. Throughout the years he began to prophesy the coming of the Messiah; the Son of God. He drew many followers to himself through his teachings and converted many, baptizing thousands at the Jordan river.

It was at the Jordan river where Jesus, the son of Mary and Joseph of Nazareth, came to him and asked to be baptized. Recognizing Jesus as the Messiah he had been preaching about, John refuses saying, “It is not I who should baptize You... but You who should baptize me!” But Jesus persuaded John to baptize him, symbolizing Christ’s humanity. After John baptizes Jesus, the sky opens up and a dove alights on Jesus’ head while a voice says, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.”

As Jesus leaves the Jordan, John introduces him to his disciples as the “Lamb of God.”

In another gospel account John is imprisoned for denouncing King Herod’s incestuous marriage to Herodias (who was not only his brother Phillip’s wife but also Herod’s niece) in violation of Old Testament Law. When Herdoias’ daughter Salome dances in front of Herod, he asks her what favor she desires in return. At the request of Herodias, Salome asks for the head of John the Baptist. St. John is then killed in approximately 28-36 CE, and his head is delivered to the princess on a gold platter.

St. John the Baptist was canonized during the Pre-Congregation of the Catholic Church. He is the patron of converts as well as many different cities and countries around the world.

If you would like to learn more about St. John, click here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

TOAM: Iron Man 3

*TOAM: thoughts on a movie

Hey Guys!

Okay, I'm pretty sure almost everyone thought that the "Avengers" last year was one of the best movies ever!!! Well, Iron Man 3 is coming out on May 3 and I am psyched! I wanted to show you the newest trailer because it is one of the best trailers I have seen in a while. It gave me goosebumps! It looks so good!


OMG!!! Can't wait to see it!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Weekly Saint Report - #1

So, I said last week that I'd be posting my weekly saint report I have to do for school every Friday. Well, its Friday people so here is my first report. Enjoy!

St. Joseph of Nazareth

Saint Joseph was born in approximately 90 BC to Jewish parents in the line of King David. He was a carpenter by trade and a very holy man. 

Later in life he became betrothed to the young virgin Mary, who was also from the line of Kind David. Not long after the betrothal, Mary told Joseph that she was with child. Since they were not yet living in the same house, Joseph knew the child was not his. At that time, it was considered a grave sin if an unmarried woman was found pregnant. The punishment for this crime was to be taken outside of the city walls and stoned to death.

Joseph was a compassionate man, and not wanting Mary to be killed, he decided to quietly break off the engagement. Before he did however, the angel Gabriel visited him in a dream. He told Joseph of Mary’s miraculous conception and that the child in her womb was the son of God - the prophesied Messiah. The angel also told Joseph that he was to be Mary’s husband and protect and provide for her and the Son of God. The angel also said that the baby’s name was to be Jesus. Joseph followed the advice of the angel.

A few months laster, a census was ordered by Caesar Augustus, so every man had to return to his home town to register. Taking Mary, who was nine months pregnant with Jesus, Joseph traveled to Bethlehem to follow the order of the Emperor. While in Bethlehem, they could find no room at the inns and were forced to stay in a stable where Jesus was born. They were visited by shepherds who said that an angel had appeared to them proclaiming the birth of the Messiah. Likewise, Magi from the East came to visit the holy family, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for the king.

While still in Bethlehem Joseph was visited by the archangel Gabriel again, who came to warn him; King Herod, after hearing of the birth of a new king, ordered the death of all Jewish male children age two and under to be murdered. He did this in jealousy to protect his throne. Heeding the angel’s advice once again, Joseph took Mary and Jesus and fled to Egypt where they lived in hiding for a few years.

After Herod’s death, Joseph returned to Nazareth with his family. During the rest of his life he provided for and took care of his young wife and Jesus in Nazareth, remaining a very holy and devout Jew. Finally, Joseph passed away quietly in their small home on July 20, AD.  

St. Joseph is the patron of the universal church. He is also the patron against doubt and hesitation, fighting communism, and a happy death. St. Joseph was never formally canonized until centuries after his death. Like most early saints, he was declared a saint by popular consensus by the early Christians. He was officially declared a saint in the 12th century.

Learn more about St. Joseph here.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Jazmine's Sword!!!

Hey All!

Guess what my Grandparent's brought me two days ago!

Ta daaaaaaa!

It's a sword! A real sword that looks almost exactly like the one on my cover! Isn't it AWESOME! This is what I will be using as part of my 'Jazmine' costume when I start doing signings in the summer.

My dad brought it back here to California from Spain like 25 years ago.

Hands in the air... or die!

Jazmine... with a (Ty Zeiter) makeover. lol :-)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tahoe Vacation & Birthdays

So, me and my family just got back from a week in Tahoe Donner last Saturday. It has been two years since I've been in Tahoe and I only live 2 hours away! Last summer we were extremely busy with Farmer's Market and Ranch work, same with the year before. But we got to go this year! It was so nice and relaxing! I didn't go in the snow because there wasn't a tone out there, but I was able to write a short story for my little sister Ali's 11th birthday (I will be posting it on here sometime soon!), and I read a book, watched a tone of movies and did crazy makeup with my mom and sisters!

I can't say how great is was to just relax and eat junk food and just be on vacation! My brother Zach, my mom and I watched 4 movies in a row one night and it was epic! We didn't go to bed until past 3 in the morning! ;-) We watched X-men 2, Lockout, MI: 3, and the Bourne Identity (my mom didn't see the last one because we didn't start it until midnight!

My little sister Mariana (we call her Nina) just turned 6 on March 1, which is really kind of scary :-O And my other little sister Alisandra (Ali), turned 11 on March 5! So, yeah, its been a week full of birthdays!

Anyway, here are some pictures from the highlights of our week long vacation:

 On the sledding hill in Donner

 Michael is so cute!

Having fun...
 Lets Race!!!

 Me having fun playing with the make up. 
This is a dramatic winged liner with green, blue and purple liquid glitter liner.

 I am going to start doing makeup tutorials and posting them on Youtube.
This is my idea for a Red Riding Hood look.

Close up.
This is different brown shadows with a liquid liner and a long thin wing. There are red whine stones on the wing and yellow glitter liner in the inner corner.
(my skin doesn't look to good here :-P)

Birthday buddies! <3

The Birthday Table ;-D

Hope you enjoyed the pics! As you can see we all had a really nice time on our week long vacation!

Starting next week I'm going to be posting the saint reports I have to do for school every week. I am going to write them in historical order, starting from the first century AD, until now, the 21 century AD. I will be posting every Friday starting with Saint Joseph of Nazareth. Some of the stories are really amazing so I'm sure you won't get bored with them... well I hope not because I actually really enjoy them!

I think I'm also going to post my Latanica Saga short story next week so keep your eyes peeled for that!