Thursday, January 30, 2014

Three Years of Blogging

This January marked the three year anniversary of when I started Little Pink Book. I've really realized how thankful I am for my blog in the past six months.

This blog of mine provided a space for me to write on a regular basis. A space where I could become more comfortable expressing myself by writing and figuring out what I like to write about on a regular basis.

I started this blog as a recent post grad, and now that I'm almost four years past my college graduation, I value this blog even more as I continue to write in my career.

I've captured a good portion of my twenties on this blog. The good moments and the bad. I haven't dewelled on the bad parts because I don't see the value in that. I strive to find the good in my circumstances always.

My travels are also documented on this blog too. This year, I traveled and wrote more than I've ever done in a such a short amount of time. We traveled to Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, and in the U.S., we went to Vegas and Biloxi, MS on the Gulf of Mexico all in a 6 months time. Those trips were amazing. I'm glad I have them documented.

This next  year, I would like to write more consistently on this blog.  I hope you continue to read my posts as I continue to document my life and views all the while perfecting my craft.

Happy Writing, friends!

Little Pink Book

{Images via...WeHeartIt}

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Book Review: A House in the Sky

{Photo via: Unsplash}

I'm so glad that A House in the Sky is the first book that I finished in 2014. First of all, I love how Amanda Lindhout, a freelance journalist, tells her story of wanting to travel as a young kid. Lindhout poured over National Geographic magazines because she wanted to travel everywhere.

As an adult, she started traveling all over and visited places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. She even got a a job at a television station reporting in Baghdad. The story of her capture begins when she embarks in Somalia with her friend Nigel, who she met during her travels, to continue her pursuit of journalism.

Lindhout wanted to write stories about the countless refugees who were starving in Somalia and living in a constant war zone. I was bracing myself throughout this part of the book. I knew when they entered Somolaia they would get captured. I could feel it.

**SPOILER*** When Amanda and Nigel were on the plane to Somalia a passenger warned them that their head was worth half a million dollars. If someone told me that, I would have found the next flight home as quick as possible.

Somalia hasn't had a national government for over 20 years, and there is no safety there.

Throughout their capture, I wanted so badly for them to have freedom. I was surprised by how long they were held captive. It was hard reading about her and Nigel's physical and emotional pain. Amanda made me feel like I was right there with them. Her words were captivating.

There were parts of the book that brought me to tears and made me want to scream, "NO!" I wondered at times if Amanda would be able to heal from all the abuse that she suffered. Every part of this book had me consumed by it's raw honesty and realness.

I strongly suggest reading A House in the Sky. It's not the typical telling of a capturing because it encompasses the story of her childhood, her dreams, her hopes, and the people she met during her travels, including Nigel.

I gave this book a five out of five stars.
The writing was all consuming and beautiful. I loved that she is a freelance journalist traveling the world trying to write stories that no one else is writing. 
Amanda's strength when she gets captured is unbelievable. Her character makes me want to be like her. She's simply amazing.

Little Pink Book

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Good Thoughts

Friends, I found this quote about good thoughts on Pinterest last night. I simply cannot stop thinking about how true it is for basically everyone. I tend to think positively and enjoy the good things in my life. I don't see much benefit in dwelling on negative thoughts. How does that help anyone?

However, when I'm experiencing something frustrating, I have a hard time forgetting about the experience. Things like waiting on hold for too long and doing endless amounts of laundry annoy me. So even though I would consider myself a very positive person, I still need to be mindful of this great quote.

Our eyes and face let people know what is in our heart and mind. The quote refers to thinking good thoughts because that will shine through making "you always look lovely."  How awesome would it be to think more positively and spread good vibes and thoughts that way.

What things frustrate you friends? How do you stop those things from wrecking your day?

Little Pink Book

{Image via...Pinterest}

Monday, January 20, 2014

Our 2 Year Anniversary!

Today we are celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary!! I can't believe it's been two years. It's cliche, but time really does fly!

My momma tearing up.
Two years ago, we were saying our vows to each other on a beach in Florida. Our families watched as we looked at each other with tear filled eyes and declared our love for each other.
Our nieces were our flower girls and helpers.

We slid on our wedding rings and held hands for the first time as husband and wife.

Life never felt so exciting with you by my side.

The sun was shining bright and there was a hint of magic in the air. :)

Our hopes and dreams were all right in front of us.

We had our first kiss as husband and wife with the ocean right behind us.

Wedding Party

Me with my Siblings

God blessed our wedding day two years ago. He gave us a bright and beautiful day to celebrate our love and promise for each other. I'm forever grateful that I get to do life with you, Bill! You're the most loyal and loving person I know. Love you to the moon and back. xoxo

Little Pink Book

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Sentimental Date

Sitting in our favorite spot at Barnes & Noble

Last night, Bill and I went on a date that was reminiscent of when we were dating. We had dinner at Houhilans. I ordered chicken fetticune alfredo, and Bill picked one of my favorites, buffalo bleu salad.

We got a long island like we do every time we go there. We also sat in the same spot like the people of habit that we are.

After dinner, we walked over to Barnes & Noble like we always used to do after dinner.

We had a blast reliving what we would do on those dates. We would read each other a paragraph from a romance novel, and I would always change the words to spice up the plot line. Bill would just roll his eyes. :)

This time, I picked out a writing book, a notebook, a bookmark and the February issue of Real Simple with the gift card Bill gave me for Christmas. We sat down and browsed through our findings and snapped a picture for old time sake.

We both feel like reminicsing with our anniversary right around the corner. Can't believe we will be celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary on Monday!

Feeling happy, happy, happy.

Little Pink Book

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Santa Lucia Day, Gnomes, and Trolls

My dad recently traveled to Europe to visit his sister and her family. While he was in Norway, I mentioned to him that me and Bill had watched a special on Christmas around the world by Rick Steves. Steves explained that gnomes and trolls are a apart of Norway's folklore and tradition. When my dad came back from his trip, he gave me this adorable troll from Norway! I just can't get enough of the big nose, rosy freckled cheeks, and round body!

I was curious how exactly gnomes and trolls were incorporated into their traditions. I found this article by Rick Steves and Valerie Griffith that explains that on December 13th people in Norway celebrate Santa Lucia Day. Santa Lucia Day or Saint Lucy's day is considered a celebration of lights namely because Saint Lucy or Lucia is considered the light saint who broke the long dark winter days and turned them into days filled with light.

During a children's choir on Santa Lucia Day, the children lead a procession down an isle heading towards the doors, and the leader of the group always wears a crown of lit candles. This treasured tradition is symbolic of spreading light throughout their community.

 Also, on Santa Lucia Day, spirits, gnomes, and trolls are free to roam the earth for a period of time, and work is strictly prohibited. Lussi an enchantress keeps a close eye on everyone to enforce the "no work policy" and will punish anyone who attempts to work starting on the 13th.

The tradition doesn't end there. After a big feast, it is a tradition to leave the extras outside of the home over night for the spirits, gnomes, and trolls who are roaming the earth. Anyone else thinking of the American tradition of leaving cookies and milk out for Santa? This totally reminded me of that.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that trolls aren't always the typical ugly menacing creatures that we think of from children's books. Sometimes, they can be as cute as the one picture above!

I'm curious bloggers, have you been to Norway or heard more about their traditions?

Little Pink Book

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Buried in Snow

I am seriously loving today. Everything is falling in place, and I'm in a great mood. This morning, I dropped off Kittle for a haircut and worked on a few assignments for a couple of hours. Afterwards, I went on a walk with Kittle and snapped a few pictures of all the snow we accumulated this past weekend. I'm thankful that the temperatures are up to 10 degrees instead of the negative 17 degrees we had in the beginning of the week.

Walks with Kittle are much more pleasant in above freezing temps.

We saw a Bobcat pushing snow off the road.

I caught the little cutie with her tongue out! Ha

Sporting a snow beard.
More of the snow beard.

Here we have an obligatory picture of me. Just in case you forgot what I looked like. Ha

Hope you all are having a wonderful day, friends!

Little Pink Book

Monday, January 6, 2014

My Word for the Year

This year beckons the start of several new changes even without the hassle of brainstorming new year's resolutions. In September this past year, I started working as a freelance writer and reporter. Now, I have two writing jobs, and I'm looking to add a third.

I've been thinking a lot about what this career offers. I make my own hours. Major bonus. I can pitch my own stories at times and write about different things. Ultimately, I am doing what I love....Writing. It feels awesome to use my degree in English and Journalism the way I wanted to since I graduated almost four years ago. Right now, there aren't a lot of negatives. I'm really grateful for that.

Don't let me deceive you though. This career takes a bunch of personal initiative. You have to be self motivated during the day. You have to manage your own time to keep up with assignments.

I have always considered myself a planner, but I'm finding that I still need to tweak a few things to manage my time better during the day. I've come up with different schedules for different days of the week.

When I get new assignments, I have found that I like to schedule the first half of the day for researching and writing for those assignments. I feel more comfortable making those a priority, and then I save the afternoon for searching out different story ideas and other writing jobs that I could add to my workload.

On days that I'm caught up with my writing, I might start the day off researching new things to write about and different opportunities that are available. I also tend to start the day off by reading.

I've discovered that reading books regularly is important to me. I heard time and time again in my English classes that good writers also read all the time. You have to read in order to write well. I'm a firm believer in that. With the help of blogger's suggestions and my sister's suggestions, I have found great books to read recently. I'm currently reading A House in the Sky: a memoir. I had started it and stopped for a bit. I got to a point where the main character, a journalist, gets kidnapped, and I can't put the book down. I'm hoping to write a review this week.

After that book, I'm planning on reading the Divergent series. I can't wait! I've heard so many good things about those books.

Since, I love what I'm doing I have found that I enjoy creating my schedule and managing my own work. Of course, there are days where I need to motivate myself. Initiative truly is my word for 2014.

Little Pink Book

Friday, January 3, 2014

Have a great weekend!

Hope you have a great weekend, friends! I'm planning on catching up on different work/home projects since I'm just now feeling better. I'm thrilled that I'm feeling almost 100 percent again. It's a wonderful feeling. :) I found a few ways to organize my papers and books for work that I'm thrilled about. Plus, I got to use my gift card from Christmas to purchase the awesome backpack/organizer for work and everything in between. I can't wait to share it with you.

This weekend, we are supposed to get down to 20 below zero, and I'm nervous for my chickens and ducks. I'm glad that they can escape inside a shed for the whole day. On the other hand, I'm already picked out a movie or two to watch as I cuddle up with hot chocolate on Saturday and Sunday. I like to plan ahead! What are your plans?

Little Pink Book

{Photo via... bippity boppity boo}

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!

Michael Jackson One Show by Cirque du Soleil in Vegas!

Happy New Year, friends! I'm feeling much more alive today than I was yesterday. I was really sick, but today, I'm feeling good and getting things done. I couldn't believe this was the second year in a row that I was sick on New Year's Eve. Oh well, that's enough complaining on my part.

I'm not one for new year's resolutions, but I know what I want this year to be like. I want to fill this year with plenty of writing, reading, Bible studies, genuine friends, and family. I want build on the career that I've started as a freelance writer. I feel so blessed by God that I was able to start working as a freelance writer.

I can't wait to celebrate another year of marriage with Bill on our anniversary this month. We were married on the 20th in 2012. I can't believe it was 2 years ago! Time goes by so fast.

What are you looking forward to this year? Do you have any resolutions?

Little Pink Book