Saturday, June 17, 2017

Chris Rae Launch Tour—Introducing Grace's Amazing New blog!

Good morning, lovely readers! Today, I’m going to be posting something a bit different. Charis, formerly known as Grace from The Girl Upstairs, is starting a new blog! I was lucky enough to be able to participate in the launch for her blog, so here I’ll be introducing her new blog, Charis Rae, and talking about some of my thoughts!

About Charis:

Among many things, I am a dreamer, dancer, writer & photographer, blogger, bibliophile, and daughter of the King. I enjoy blogging and am excited to move my blog to the next level.

About Charis Rae:

Charis Rae is a self-hosted, more professional version of my former blog, The Girl Upstairs. After blogging for quite a while, I decided to switch to a more professional platform and share more about me, my life, and my name. ;) On Charis Rae, I’m going to be sharing my interests, abilities, and journey through life and blogging, with all of you along for the ride. I hope that Charis Rae will become just as successful as The Girl Upstairs, but will reach more people, and eventually grow into something beyond my wildest dreams. I’m also excited to “learn the ropes” of self-hosting, coding, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store!


My Thoughts:

First off, I would like to say that the layout is beautiful! The colors are lovely and soft, and I love the accent flowers and the font. I loved the content that Charis posted on The Girl Upstairs, and I’m really excited to see what else she has planned for us! Her post quality is amazing and very interesting for readers. I’ll be sad to see The Girl Upstairs go, but I’m uber excited for Charis Rae!

If you want to follow the rest of the launch tour, here are the next stops:

{ June 17 }

{ June 18 }

{ June 19 }


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

HIGHLIGHTS—May edition

Hello all! Time for another round of HIGHLIGHTS!! To me this is starting to seem like bullet journaling, except I don't really know what bullet journaling is. Anyone care to explain to me this mysterious concept? Anyways, here's my recap of May:

Family and Friends
  • I signed up for blogger Charis's new blog tour! (previous alias, Grace. ;) I'll be posting more bout that on the 17th of June. Stay tuned! 
  • My grandparents came to visit! We went to the beach and I swam, for like, the first time this summer. The water was't actually too bad. It was really pretty because you could see all the sand at the bottom. We went to a great seafood restaurant (although quite expensive.) Everything was fried, and the French fries were breaded! Isn't that queer? Then we went downtown and looked as some super cute shops. There was one that had all products imported form Ireland, and I saw this uber cute forest green knit sweater that reminded me painfully of the one Puck had in the Scorpio Races. I almost cried when I saw the price tag. DX I think it's on my Christmas list now, despite the phenomenal price they were asking for it.
  • All is right in my familial and friendship relationships—other than the occasional argument over whose turn it is to take care of the pet birds. XD
The Arts
  • Found more new (old) music! Symphony—Zara Larsson and Clean Bandit; Whatever It Takes, Believer—Imagine Dragons; To Be Human—Sia.
  • I worked on a bit of Irish dance choreography, because, well, I really miss dance. When I get it down, I'll try to film it for you and post it here. ;)

  • This month I basically kept a really shaky writing schedule that ended up in resulting in the first parts of two short stories. One fantasy, one historical romance (?). I also wrote some poetry that I will get around to posting eventually on my writing blog..
  • I haven't yet finished DIVIDED, but I'm literally at the end. I'm soooooo close to finishing the first draft. Ugh, now time to push myself until it's done for June camp prep.


May wasn't a particularly productive reading month. I only managed four books. *long, deep sigh*
Jane Eyre si really good, by the way, if you can get past Mr. Rochester. I tend to get extremely disgusted by the large age difference and went through it like a turtle. The movie was okay, too. I'd read the book first because then more things in the movie make sense and you can seem like a nerd to your peers. ;P


On rain! I love rain. Lot's of people get depressed when it rains, but I love it. THere's something about the soft pitter-patter on the leaves and the cement combined with the fresh scent of soggy earth. It reminds me of tears. Sometimes it reminds me to pray for those that don't have shelter from the rain. Other times, it makes me pray for the people who don't have the rain in the first place.

Rain is a sad, beautiful thing.

  • I finished all my homework for my religious class! Lucky us, our classroom was being remodeled so we couldn't meet there and we did everything online. I caught up on two weeks worth of sleep! ;P 

  • School came to a wrap! I was getting pretty lazy about halfway through May though, and I'm still doing summer school, but JEEPERS IM GLAD IM FREEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

That was how my May went. What about you?

What did you do/read/think last month? Anyone wanna chat about books?


Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Will of God

I wanted to share this video with you. I have found it very comforting, because  I know who I am, but who does God want me to be? Sometimes I feel like He is not letting me pursue my path. But maybe He is trying to let me know that that is not where I am supposed to go. Maybe His plan is different than mine. But I now know that if I ask for His guidance and correction, He will show me who I really am.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Who Wants Cake?

Hi guys! In my last post I mentioned that for my youth group camp fundraiser we had a dessert auction. I baked a cake for it and to my surprise it sold for $55.00! I really was too proud of it, but I forgot to take pictures of it before it got sold. *mentally smacks self* But I started having dreams about it and craving cake reeeeaally badly so I made a twin for Mother's Day. XD I took pictures of that one. Here they are!

It was sooooo delicious. It was a white cake recipe from my secret cookbook (;P) and iced in homemade whipped cream because I don't really like frosting. I added a whole bunch of delicious strawberries for extra flavor and presented it as a Strawberry Creme Cake. I thought there might be some of you who like to bake, so I included the recipe below with my added notes. Tell me if you like it as much as I do! :D

*NOTE: I accidentally put half-pint of heavy whipping cream, but you will actually need ONE PINT. Make sure it is HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM. Sorry for the misinformation on the recipe card!*


Monday, May 15, 2017

HIGHLIGHTS—April Edition

Hello all! I rarely do update posts, but I thought that it might be a good idea to start a monthly lifey stuff recap. Because I'm so original, let's call it HIGHLIGHTS!! In all caps!! Yeeeaaahh!! *jazzy hands* *cues applause*

Family and Friends
  • Lydia came over for her spring break! We had a blast while filming a rather horrible reality show, a decent one-take music video, and going to Barnes and Noble to ogle at the books. (Unimportant, but we also discovered that Tris died in the Divergent series and how. Tragic!)
  • A week later my mom's friend came with her daughter and my sister and mom went touring the city with them. I guess they had fun...I got to stay home and read in the peace and quiet. Y'all bookworms know what I mean. 😉

The Arts
  • I still haven't found a new dance studio yet. It's either to expensive or too far away with traffic, so I probably won't get to take lessons any time soon. The good news though is that I'm going to attend a community college next year, and if I get a full-ride scholarship then I can take lessons there for free! 
  • Re-discovered some of my favorite musicians! Echosmith, Shawn Mendes, Lindsey Stirling, Tori Kelly, and Alessia Cara. Really the only one I actually re-discovered is Echosmith, but I found some favorites by the others! My current favorites list: Tell Her You Love Her, Bright, Come Together—Echosmith; Never Be Alone—Shawn Mendes; First Light, Beyond the Veil, Take Flight, Master of Tides—Lindsey Stirling; Hollow—Tori Kelly; Wild Things, Scars to Your Beautiful—Alessia Cara.

  • April was Camp NaNoWriMo!! I started a science fiction novel titled DIVIDED. Although I didn't win, I got really close to completing the first draft. I should be able to finish it in one week so I can be ready for edits in June. I'm really proud of myself because I've never progressed so far in a plot before! 
  • I have managed to ward off any plot bunnies that come hopping my way, because honestly I can't afford to let my brain go crazy again. I am writing down the ideas and keeping them safely stowed away in a notebook for later, though.
  • I pulled an all-nighter with Lydia! We started writing at 12:00 a.m. and finished at 4:00 a.m. and it was totally exhausting. We had cookies to keep us company though!
  • I completed Camp NaNo with 21 hours! I learned that I work better with an hour count instead of a word count because I get super stressed and can't write. I also learned not to switch my goal to an hour goal in the middle of the month. 😜 (If you want to read my Camp weekly recaps, click here.)




On dreams. I'll be doing a post about this soon, but I was thinking about the difference between people who dream and people who actually chase their dreams. A quote from my future post, "What is the purpose of dreams, if not to come true?"

  • At the beginning of April I watched a worldwide broadcast from the general authorities of my church. It was very uplifting and enlightening, even though I might have napped through half of the last session. 😜
  • Easter was last month! I wrote an Easter post. You can read it here.
  • My youth group had our fundraiser so we can go to summer camp this summer. We hosted a marvelous spaghetti dinner and dessert auction. The dinner was restaurant style with bread baskets and waitresses and everything. I think I had the best job for my skills of that day because I had been staying up until midnight for several days working out the logistics for the dinner and was about to fall asleep. I also acted as manager (which is exactly what I wanted to be. 😉)
  • I made this amazing cake that I had never  made before for the dessert auction part of our fundraiser. I was so proud of it and didn't want to let it go that I almost cried when it got bought and NOT by my dad. 😢 (I never even got to taste it!) The good thing is it helped to contribute a lot to our fund, because it sold for $55.00!! I was not expecting that.😆 I'll post some pictures soon of its twin. 😉
  • I go to an early morning religious class, and we've reached the point where we have only two more weeks of class left! I'm sooooooooooo relieved. I love the class, but the hours are killing me (from 5:45-6:45 a.m.). But that also means that I have to hurry and catch up on my assignments if I want to get a passing grade! I have to finish reading the New Testament and memorize a bunch of scriptures before graduation in June. *cough* I'm only in Corinthians *cough*

  • Entering the last few weeks of school. Good news: School is almost over and summer is almost here. I don't have much in the way of exams (perks of being homeschooled), but I do have a bunch of end-of-year reviews. *groans*
  • Bad news: I'm behind in science, math, writing, and Latin. My mom says I can finish Latin next semester, but I have to do summer school for the other three! 😫 I REALLY don't want to do summer school! I BARELY survived the spring semester. 

That was how my April went. What about you?

What did you do/read/think last month? Anyone wanna chat about books?


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Because I Love My Mother


Tell your mom that you love her. Do something nice for her. Write her a letter about how much you appreciate her. If your mother is not in your life, then write to your mother figure. Don't just tell her you love her, but mean it, and show it. Actions speak louder than words. Without my mother, I doubt that I would progress in life. She plays a huge part in my development, and I am so grateful for everything she has taught me—academically and morally. She has taught me to work hard for the things I want. She has taught me to dream big. She has taught me to develop my talents and help other people as best as I can. I love her. I wish I told her that more often. I want to tell her more. 

Your mother loves you more than you can imagine. Please, tell her you love her too.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Philosophies #3

I think too many of us see tears as a sign of weakness, but really they are more often a sign of pain. Maybe we don't realize that, and maybe neither do others. Maybe we think that we can bury the pain deep inside, and at some point in our lives it will heal itself. But sometimes a wound has to be reopened before it can heal properly. We shouldn't be afraid to cry. Sometimes it takes others to help us see this.

I want to share an example of how I found this out. When I moved a while ago, I thought that I could handle it. I thought that I had prepared myself mentally for the challenges ahead, and so I went on with life for several months thinking that I was strong. But when you've lived in one place for the majority of your life and then suddenly it's all been ripped out from under you, you start to miss people. I was missing the friends that knew me best. And in this new strange place, I was an outsider. I talked to people, but I didn't feel like I had any friends yet.

And when I thought that I was healing, I was crumbling from the inside. So I remember one night I got home from a church youth activity and I just went to my room and curled up on my bed, willing myself not to cry. I'm stronger than this, I scolded myself. But the big hole of empty was so large, I could feel myself slipping off the edge and falling down down down. And finally I just cried. I cried into my pillow for hours until I finally fell asleep.

The next morning, I felt better. The pain was only a soft throb, and I realized how much I had been trying to bury the pain when releasing it was obviously the better choice. None of us can be strong forever, and at one point in our lives we all have to let the pain happen. Crying is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign that we are strong enough to go on. We are brave souls trying to find our way through the hardships of life, and crying is just a way to show how strong we are, how wise we are to know not to bottle everything inside and let our sorrows take over our hearts. 

I hope that these little bursts of inspiration help you through hard times. Please let me know if it made sense, or if you want to add, please feel free to comment. I think that everyone needs to know that there are others who go through the same things they do and there are others who care enough to show it.