Happy Anniversary to Me!!!

Today, I got my blog and saw a tiny orange trophy in the upper right-hand corner. My first thought was, “What? I’ve never seen that shape on my blog before…” So I clicked on it, like, “Whatever… maybe it’s a special comment…” and it’s like, “CONGRATULATIONS OH MY GOSH YOU’VE BEEN BLOGGING FOR A YEAR pleasekeepbloggingwithwordpress FANFAAAARE!!!!!!!!!!”

My response: “Oh… I had no idea… okay cool.”

So, I guess it’s “officially” this blog’s one year anniversary, but I feel like it’s a bit of a cop-out since I fell off the face of the earth earlier this year. Still, props to you guys for sticking with me, all my faithful followers.

I guess what I’m most excited about is just that I gave “Peculiar Treasures” a little facelift a few days ago, and I felt a little bit guilty about it at first because I felt like I needed an excuse to do something like that. But now I have an excuse, so… yay me?

To many more adventures!

-Gracie-

A thing about firsts.

Wasp:

This is my sister’s first post on her blog!!! Follow her!!! She’s amazing!!! :D

Originally posted on Once Upon A Time.....:

There was a book I used to read when I was small: “The Very Last First Time,” by Jan Andrews, apparently. It was a book about the first time a little Alaskan girl went under the frozen ice of the ocean to harvest clams. Alone. I used to read that book over and over, thinking about my own “last first times.”

First steps.

First birthday.

First sleepover.

First day of high school.

First drive, all by my self.

They never stop. But they do change. And, like that little girl under Alaskan ice, they get lonelier.

Yesterday, I spent my very last first night more than 2o miles from home without any one member of my beloved family. Alone.

(Backstory: I thought it would be a good idea to spend a month away from my family while rehearsing for a show. Why I though it would be a good idea…

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An Adventure in Powell’s Books

Let’s talk about happy happy places… like Disneyland… and the theatre… and POWELL’S BOOKS.

I’d only been there once, and I was pretty little, but I actually had an old gift card to this lovely place, and I happened to find myself in Portland yesterday, so… I just put two and two together.

You might remember in my last post how much I’ve really grown to love books in this past year. This being said, it’s no surprise that I would really enjoy a place that looks like this:

Powell's Books || Portland

Powell's Books

^^Look how inviting it looks, guys.^^

So, basically, for those of you who haven’t been acquainted with my lovely friend, Powell’s, it’s basically a GIANT (like, picture the biggest bookstore you can imagine, and multiply that… by SIX) bookstore… filled with… books… yeah. Soooooo like I said, I missed it a lot, even though I didn’t really like it that much the first time (SORRY POWELL’S) so it was really refreshing to step through that door and catch a long whiff (such a fun word) of that irresistible book-smell.

So myself, my sister, and my cousin meandered around the various rooms. Red room first, then purple room, pearl room, rose room etc… we really didn’t have much strategy, but we really enjoyed our disorganization. We even stopped off in the “Rare Book” room.

Powell's Books Rare Book Room. I've never seen this cool sign...hmmm

Seriously, the sign alone was enough to draw me in. In this room, my cousin and I had a friendly little competition to see who could find the most expensive book. I won, with some old set of two books, priced at $14,000.

In addition to simply wandering, I did manage to pull together a nice little hoard of treasures.

If I Stay Gayle Forman

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I picked this one up for it’s regular price of $10.99 as one of my little paperback splurges, and I’ve already started reading it… expect a review soon!

Maze Runner James Dashner

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As you can see, this copy is a different cover, which a wasn’t too excited about, but I thought I’d go ahead and save a few bucks, picking up this one for $4.99. I’m super excited to get into it before the movie comes out.

No Fear Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet [If You Don't Know the Author You'd Better Leave Now]

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This one I mostly got just to feel super intelligent. Seriously, though, I’ve been wanting to read this for along time, even more so after I saw the newest movie take on it with Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth (HIGHLY recommended and TOTALLY clean). I was still pretty intimidated by it though, but now I have… NO FEAR *ba-dum-chh* (I have to admit I prepared that one in advance). OH and it was $4.50.

Love DoesBob Goff

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This one was my big splurge, at $16.99, but I’ve been wanting to read it for forever, and carrying it around made me feel super cool and Christianese.

I was also planning on picking up a copy of The Fault in Our Stars, but they only had it in a paperback, and I’d really like to invest in a hardcover of that one, since it’s very dear to my heart.

So that’s pretty much the gist of my Portland Powell’s adventure. If you’re free anytime, we should head up there, because not only the books, but let’s be honest here, Portland is FANTASTIC.

You in?

Books and I… ♫ So Happy Together ♫

So happy together…

This post is entirely dedicated to my newish-found love of books.

It’s no secret in my world that I have never been the bookworm of the family. My sister, the elder, has had a great love of books since before she could even read. She had a children’s bible, aptly titled “My First Bible,” about 1 1/2 or 2 inches thick, that my mother read to her as a young’n. Even though she couldn’t read it for herself, she had it memorized so perfectly that she would correct Mommy if she even replaced “Jonah” with “him” or forgot and “and” or “the.” It was a wee bit freakish.

I, on the other hand, was always the child who, during school story time (keep in mind, I’m homeschooled), was rolling on the floor and humming, trying to keep moving so I wouldn’t lose focus… while simultaneously still losing focus. Let me just throw out really quickly that nothing much has changed on that side of things. Cassie (the aforementioned elder sister) was the model child when it came to reading of any kind… when she was bored, she read. When I was bored I went something like:

Except imagine Elsa reading a book.

Except I also did that when Cassie was asleep.

Which explains why I was elbowing her ribcage during that scene.

Back on subject, though, I have, recently-ish discovered that books are actually pretty darn great. See, at first, I just liked the idea of books.

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The smell, the look, etc, you know. Then I thought about books I’ve read that I really liked, To Kill a Mickingbird, for instance, or The Giver. And I realized that, hey, I kind of like books. So I started reading them. And I started enjoying them. And it’s been great.

So books and I have been together for about a year or so now, and it’s going great so far. I’ve gone through about 10 this year (which is huge, considering my record before was about 2 a year [willingly]). We’ve learned when to spend some time apart, but, for the most part, it’s been smooth sailing.

I think books and I will be very happy together.

 

Review: How to Train Your Dragon

“This is Berk.”

It only took those three words for the Dreamworks marketing team to get my attention. Having been a ginormous fan of the first movie, I was so glad that they used the classic opening. And that’s just the START of this wonderfulness.

Today, as I watch Star Trek Into Darkness, I will be blogging from my comfy green chair about this amazing movie that is How to Train Your Dragon 2. As usual, proceed with caution if you are lacking in previous viewage (<—– not a word) of this movie.

Like I said, this drew me in from the first line, and then just kept a death hold on me for the entire running time. All I really have to say is that all my expectations were met plus some, and my expectations were stinking high.

||SPOILERS||

Probably my favorite scene was when Stoick reunites with Valka and you think that he will yell at her or hit her or something (because somehow he has the right), but he doesn’t. Because he still loves her. And so they dance. Also, Hiccup and Astrid’s relationship was fantastic throughout, which, as my lovely friend Emory brought to my attention, never happens in sequels. with pre-established love interests.

||END SPOILERS||

So… I really can’t say anything else, except… well… stubble, you guys.

So if you haven’t seen it please do… for me. Thanks guys.

–Gracie

An Ode to Black Maxi Skirts

I bought my first maxi skirt the other day… well… actually a lovely friend bought it for me… but the point is, I adore it. So I think I’ll write a tribute to it.

Here is what I love about my black maxi skirt:

1- It’s the most versatile piece of clothing next to blue jeans. So this never happens:

2- It ‘s deathly comfy. Like, I usually out on dresses or skirts in the morning, and then end up at the end of the day feeling something like:

Katniss's Elevator SceneBut that don’t happen with my maxi skirt.

3- It’s machine wash and tumble dry.

4- It makes me feel like I look pretty darn elegant even thought I don’t have to feel like I’m wearing elegant clothing on me.

 

That’s all.

Thank you.

I saw How to Train Your Dragon 2 today. Review coming soon!

-Gracie (:

No Fault in Our Stars

I went to my first movie premier today. I went to see The Fault in Our Stars.

I almost feel like I shouldn’t write a review on it… simply because I feel like anything I could possibly write wouldn’t be worthy of it. But I think I need to. If for no other reason but to recover from my emotionally decapitated state.

As per usual, please don’t read on unless you have read the book and/or seen the movie. Thank you.

 

As I stated before, I feel like anything I might try to say wouldn’t do this movie (or the book) justice… so I think I’ll just say what Hazel Grace would say… or at least do my best.

There are some movies that you watch and you just feel like you wasted two hours of your life. There are others that you immediately want to watch all over again. Then… then there are movies like the one I just saw. Movies that effect you in such a deep way that you can barely move from your seat afterwards. Movies that you, deep down, want to see again, but you can’t even move yourself to think about that. I feel so emotionally wrung out. I don’t feel like talking or moving or even breathing… but I’m not depressed. I feel emptied, and yet completely full. Like someone just gave me a gift that I can’t even comprehend. I feel like I didn’t cry enough, but that was only because I was so wrapped up in all the emotion I couldn’t. My body was trying to cry just to get some emotion out, I was even shaking with s0bs, but I couldn’t get any tears out.

From the meeting near the literal heart of Jesus

to the staring scene in the literal heart of Jesus

to the “Okay? Okay.” scene

to the Funky Bones scene

to the Oranjee scene

to the Van Houten scene

to the Night of the Venn Diagram

to the egg scene

to the gas station scene

to the pre-funeral scene

right up to the very last “Okay”

scene by scene it tore me to pieces in the best possible way.

They included everything they possibly could, but never too much.

The acting was utter perfection.

Thank you John Green for writing that wonderful piece of art. Thank you Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort for portraying so flawlessly those beautiful lovers. Thank you to the director, producer and everyone else. Thank you my theatre for whispering during the commercials, crying when you needed to, laughing when you wanted to, and being completely silent when nothing was necessary.

You all taught me to cry when it’s okay. You made me fall in love with Augustus Waters. You made me love love. You taught me to be thankful for moments. Because not everybody has as many moments as they wish for. The world is not a wish-granting factory.

I am, as I said before, emotionally decapitated, and I couldn’t be more content.

 

Okay?

 

Okay.

Sunrise Bubbles and Icelandic Music

My sister graduated yesterday. My best friend of fifteen years will be leaving for an acting job all summer, and then going to college in the autumn, so I’ll miss her… but she’s living her dream, and I’m pretty okay with that.

After graduation, I went to an all-nighter for the graduates. I stayed up all night… with exceptions of slumber during How to Train Your Dragon and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Still, there are some moments, when you think you can never stop thinking about how much you’ll miss a person, when that person, and four other people who really love life, will blow bubbles with you in the sunrise at 5 am while listening to Icelandic music and they’ll just help you forget the world. I love how I know a person who will literally make the suggestion to blow bubbles and listen to Icelandic music, and I know four other people (plus myself) who will leap at the idea.

But then… moments are a little like those bubbles. They’re beautiful, comforting, and you always think that they’ll last a lot longer they do… but then they pop. And the moment’s gone. You don’t really know what became of those two sisters, one blonde, one brunette, who still won’t give up the chance to run in the sprinkler with normal clothes on. They grew up. Whoa.

I’m awfully blessed, you know? I’m learning to really, genuinely count my blessings. So, like a bush acting as bubble life-support, I can make moments like sunrise bubbles and Icelandic music last a little longer.

There are just some moments when you’re spending time with people who really love life, and you can’t help but let  it rub off on you. Can I be like that? Can I be a person who just shines love and life and bubbly magic? I hope I can be that one day.

Still… no matter who I am now, and no matter who I will become as I, too, grow up and leave, I will always love a sunrise, I will always love bubbles, and I will always, always, drop everything just to listen to a little Icelandic music.

Thank you my friends for bringing me all kinds of happy within my sad, and my Beautiful, Smart, Witty, Talented, INCREDIBLE big sister for making me love life as much as I can, even when I don’t want to.

You are my light.

You are my life.

I love you, Doll <3

All my love…………… Toitle

The Prodigal Son-Revisited

INSPIRATIONAL STORY TIME!!!

I’ve grown up in the Christian community and, therefore, have heard the story of the prodigal son about umpteen times. For those of you who don’t know this story, it’s a story that Jesus told about some kid who asked for his inheritance before his father died, then blew it all on parties and prostitutes. When he had fallen so low that he felt he could even stoop to eat pig slop, he finally decided to go home and ask his dad if he could live in his house as a servant. As he walked home, his father not only accepted him back, but ran to meet him halfway down the driveway (if they had driveways in the Bible), hugged him and kissed him, and threw a party for him.

gifpeanutbutter: a GIF directory for thousands of tumblr GIFs

And. That’s. What. God. Does. For. US. Yeah, I know right, BIG YAWN, eh? Just most powerful person in the universe accepts you ALWAYS. Pssshhhh no big deal. And you don’t have to do anything to deserve it. NOTHING. He accepts you, burdens and all, and runs to you so that you can’t even think about changing your mind. And not only that, but he also fights all your battles for you, so you don’t even have to fight once we accept His acceptance, you just have to run to him.

I don’t know about you, but I am imperfect. Even so, I am still accepted.

Like I said, I’ve been told this pretty much my whole life, but it wasn’t until the other day that it really became real to me. Because I turned my back on God. I spent my inheritance on things that were only for me… I didn’t listen to a word He said. And yet, He told me over and over and over and over and over again that I didn’t need to be enough for Him. That he was waiting for me to run into His arms. I didn’t listen at first… I thought I had to prove myself to Him… I thought I wasn’t good enough. But I didn’t have to be “good enough.” I can never be “good enough.” God accepts me just as I am.

I think that’s pretty dope.

–Gracie

 

Some Thoughts

Ladies and Gents,

WE’RE BACK! And as a little welcome home present to me, I am listening to the Pentatonix version of “Can’t Hold Us” and… holding a rabbit… because bunnies, let’s face it, are awfully inspirational.

SO… thoughts: This blog is getting a bit of a content facelift. I will be writing about much more than just fandom-related things; in the spirit of the title of this blog, I will be writing about all kinds of peculiar treasures that I find.

I can’t wait to get going again!!!

Much love…….. Gracie (: