November 30, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday - Vol 13


In case your day got off to a bad start, here is a little something to make you laugh.

Seriously, could anything be cuter than this?


Not my photo /\
It's been a while since I've had a Pinterest recipie to share.  To rectify this tragic turn of events, I present you with White Cheddar Chicken Pasta.  I tried it out on my family the other evening, and we all loved it.  It's fairly easy to make, though I would recommend measuring out all your ingredients ahead of time, unless you have someone to help you shred cheese and stir three pots all at once.


The Mark of Athena finally came in at the library the other day, and I've been eagerly tearing through it's 500 some pages in between work and events and chatting with my Knight.  Rick Riordan has not disappointed my expectations thus far.  The plot is full of exciting action and wonderful Roman and Greek mythologies, and more than once I've caught myself laughing out loud.  I read the previous two books back in the spring, so it's been a little bit of a struggle to remember exactly what happened previously, but Riordan does a great job of alluding to previous events just enough to trigger my memory, without completely spelling out the plots of the previous stories all over again.


This weekend The Goat Milk Soap Shop will be heading out this Saturday and Sunday to the Holiday Lane Craft Fair and Festival of Trees!  Be sure to stop in and say hello if you are in the area - check out our Facebook page for the times and location!


I've been making my way through seasons of the hit TV show Castle.  I believe I've watched enough of it now to do a review, but I suppose since I only have one and a half seasons to go, I might as well wait and give my review then.  For now I'll just say - I love it.  It is such a fun, interesting and exciting show to watch.


I decided that this year I would send out Christmas Cards to friends.  I still have the box of lovely ones that I bought last year that never were written in due to the chaos of figuring out that I was leaving school and then the excitement of going out to visit my Knight the week before Christmas.  And speaking of my Knight... only 27 more days until I get to see him again!  I am so, so excited.


Sunday marks the First Sunday of Advent and the start of the four week preparation for the birth of Christ.  It also marks the day when my siblings and I draw names out of a hat to see who they get to buy a Christmas present for this year.  We used to buy gifts for everyone in the family, but with seven of us, already meager spending money gets stretched even further, so we decided we would each get one person so that we could buy them something that they really wanted.  It's all kept very secret, and so we don't know who has who until Christmas morning...

For more Quick Takes, head on over to Jen's blog:!

November 23, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday - Vol 12.


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday with your family and friends.  My thanksgiving was very nice, filled with lots of really great food.  I think I managed to avoid gaining too much weight... ;-)


I saw this adorable craft idea the other day on Pinterest, and decided that I needed to make my own crocheted version of it.  I tried out two different stitches, and I think that they turned out pretty well.

If anyone is interested in the crochet pattern for a coffee sweater, I'd be happy to write it up!


The Piano Guys.  The Lord of the Rings.  I think this video speaks for itself.


NaNoWriMo.... at this point, I'd say the chances of me hitting 50,000 words by the end of November are pretty slim.  Instead, I think I'm going to focus on just getting the story finished.  I tend to flop when it comes to self motivation, and so in the last few years I haven't finished any of the stories that I've started.  Hopefully the few friends interested in reading this one will keep after me to get it done...


Heard in the house:

"You can't pick St. Roch for your confirmation name.  You don't know anything about him, and you're doing it just for then name!  Dismas is fine, if you really like him, or how about St. Maximillian?"
*a little while later*
"I will pick St. Blaise!  And I will blase forth in furious words that have no meaning!"


Apples to Apples is one of the best party games created thus far, I firmly believe.  Playing it with a large group is the best, and presents the challenge of having to weigh each person to decide if they tend to judge more literally, or more along the humourous lines.  I think I did pretty well last night, because I ended up winning the game. It's an often funny phenomenon of Apples to Apples that people say that the the green apple adjective cards they win describe themselves.  I ended up as feminine, charming, adorable, pure, playful, cold, silly, and... masculine.


And this is why I love the cast of The Hunger Games

November 22, 2012

Amanda's Thanksgiving ABCs

I am thankful for....
A - angels, my guardian angel and the ones I encounter every day
B - brothers, because as annoying as they can be, they are also a lot of fun and I'm glad to have them
C - coffee, I don't know how I survived when I didn't like it ;-)
D - dessert, because it's dessert and desserts are wonderful!
E - eternal life, the promise of a chance to spend forever with Jesus in Heaven
F - family, immediate family, my extended family, all my friends that I've adopted as "sisters and brothers"
G - grandparents, because the love you and spoil you and are the best people in the world
H - homeschool, because I was socialized, I had a great education and I have friends of all ages
I - internet, it helps my Knight feel a little closer, and I met him and many friends because of it
J - Jesus, no one has ever or will ever love me like He does and He is always there for me
K - my Knight, I love him so much and I can't imagine life without him
L - love, from my God, my family, my Knight, my friends
M - Mass, for providing me with spiritual nourishment and grace, and as God's great gift of love
N - notes, specifically, musical notes since I couldn't say music for m because m was taken by the Mass
O - options, the freedom of many different choices in every area of my life
P - parents, they do so much for me, and I wouldn't be here without them <3
Q - questions, without them you cannot have answers and you could never learn anything
R - reading, even though I don't have a Tardis, I can still travel to other worlds and places in time
S - sisters, you can go through friends and best friends, but no one else will understand you like your sisters
T - today, I am alive (and have another opportunity to procrastinate!)
U - underwear, wearing a skirt without it could be potentially really awkward ;-)
V - vehicles, as much as I love walking, having motorized transportation make life SO much easier!
W - work, that I have a job I enjoy and pays me enough to get by
X - X-ercise (stretching this one a little), I am physically capable of doing it
Y - youth, I still have it!
Z - Zayne from One Direction (because Sister3 said I should be thankful for him!)

This is not meant to be a comprehensive listing of all the things Amanda is thankful for.  It is advise that some entries be read with a sense of humor for maximum enjoyment and longevity. 

November 16, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday - Vol. 11


This weekend The Goat Milk Soap Shop will be heading out to the holiday craft fair at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Batavia, IL.  If you are in the area, please feel free to stop by and say hello!  (And check out some soap...)


The things that come out of my little brother 2's mouth are really something at times, and you have to wonder where he's coming up with it.  Yesterday my sister recounted a conversation she'd had with him, where he asked what the age was to get a kiss.  I asked him if there was a girl he wanted to kiss, and he yelled "What? No way!  What has Paul [my knight] been telling you???"
This morning on the way to Mass he informed me that I was going to have a double wedding ceremony with Sister2.


More promotional stuff!  Ink and Fairydust, a Christian e-magazine, recently started up a blog.  We're still working on getting it fully up and running, but our goal is to have blog posts and maybe someday a comic up twice a week.  You can find and follow the blog at


I discovered the following video last night with my mom, and we laughed so hard.  You'd think eventually word would get around and folks would realize that they probably can't fit under this bridge...



Also... LES MISERABLES TRAILER.  So many wonderful sounding songs and voices.  I become more and more excited for this movie each time I watch the trailer.  I personally think that Anne Hathaway is going to steal the show... the little bit I've seen of her as Fantine are absolutely amazing.



I have discovered that if I am in close proximity to Half Price Books, I will end up stopping in.  I told myself I would run in, just to look for the Dorothy Sayers book I was told I need to read before Gaudy Night, which I bought because I was told I needed to read it before The Businessman's Holiday, which I had bought previously.  I didn't find what I wasn't looking for, but ended up buying three new books anyhow.  I only spent $11, so I think it was completely worth it.


I can hardly believe that it is almost Thanksgiving already - where has November gone to?  Speaking of November flying by... I am getting rather far behind on my novel.  This is not good.  Unfortunately I am at a somewhat boring part of the plot, and I am not motivated to write through it to get to all the interesting stuff...

November 11, 2012

Be Still My Soul

While in adoration at Spirit and Truth, a young adult group I attend each week, we sang the following hymn. It is titled "Be Still My Soul", and I felt that the lyrics were particularly relevant in the face Obama's re-election, and what many Catholics and Christians feel to be a severe blow to religious freedom and to freedom in general.  Something to contemplate.

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side. 
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain. 
Leave to thy God to order and provide; 
In every change, He faithful will remain. 
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend 
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. 

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake 
To guide the future, as He has the past. 
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake; 
All now mysterious shall be bright at last. 
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know 
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below. 

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on 
When we shall be forever with the Lord. 
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone, 
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored. 
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past 
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

November 10, 2012

I love birthdays! Drinks all around!

So this odd creature decided that somehow it was acceptable for her to turn 14....

Happy Birthday Rebecca!  
Hope you have an awesome day <3 

November 9, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday - Vol 10


This week, my quick takes are going to be very quick takes because I have absolutely no inspiration.  So!  Therefore the following six takes will be quick snippets on thoughts in my head throughout the past week.


I had my first experience with working an almost full time job when I covered my co-worker's part time hours in addition to my own while she was on vacation.  It really tired me out there for most of the week and a half, but over all it wasn't bad.  I really liked the paycheck that came afterwards. ;-)


Finally!  We have a full length theatrical trailer for Les Miserables.  I am so, so excited for this movie to come out  - I've never seen the musical, or read the book, but I love the music and from what I can hear from the trailer, it's going to be amazing.  And Anne Hathaway is going to be awesome.


Very well... I will say something about the election.  I don't think I ever really thought that Romney could win, so I was prepared when I woke up and learned from Facebook that Obama got another four terms.  Did I hope and pray that I would be wrong?  Of course I did.  But yeah, I can't say I was terribly surprised at the outcome. 


In relation to the previous quick take, I heard a song during adoration at the young adult group I attend the other night, that I thought was very fitting for the situation.  I'm saving that for it's own post though which means - you'll have to come back to find out what song it is!


My mom requested our Christmas lists early this year (usually we don't write them up until Advent starts) so that she isn't left biting her nails and hoping that the packages she ordered will get to the house on time.  I am... not entirely sure what to put on there.  I love gifts, so it's not that there isn't anything I would like.  I'm afraid it's that syndrome where you make a mental list of gift ideas all throughout the year, remembering it, and then the moment that list actually become necessary you forget everything that was on it.


I am really, really hoping that the internet will co-operate and my next episode of Castle will load fully so I can watch it sometime tonight.  That's the bad thing about watching things on the internet.... if you watch too many the bandwidth bombs out and you are left with a horrendous cliff hanger. 

November 8, 2012


Consider this my obligatory NaNoWriMo blog post... though doubtless many of my Quick Takes this month will be themed around said topic.

Novel Title: When Dandelions Bloomed - Persuasion by Jane Austen, set in the current day and age

Word Count: 13983

Who is your favorite character to write? Elly Dashwood, a co-worker of Anne's at Scents and Sensibility Books and Coffee

What is the last sentence you just wrote? “I apologize for interrupting, but I heard something beeping in the kitchen, and I wasn't sure if you had.”
Name at least three of your characters. Anne Jennifer Elliot, Senator William Elliot, Lisa Grove

If you could be any one of your characters, who would you be? Realistically? Probably Anne... I have a lot in common with the original Anne, and with this Anne as well.

What has been your favorite scene to write thus far? When Alice and Anne were restocking the shelves at the bookstore where they work, and Alice asked if anyone would notice if they replaced all the Twilight books with copies of Anna Karena.

What's one thing your MC treasures deeply? She treasures a gold cross necklace, from her ex-fiancee, and her memories of her mom.

November 3, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday - Vol. 9

Make that Quick Takes Saturday for this week... I usually start writing them up on Thursday, but it slipped my mind until last night when I saw got the e-mail for Jen's 7QT in my inbox.... at which point my mind thought it was once again Thursday night and said "Oh, well you can just write it all tomorrow, on Friday".  Until I woke up this morning and remembered that yesterday was Friday and today was Saturday.

This year for Halloween I'd tossed around ideas such as a librarian or a reporter from the 1940s (my sister has this gorgeous period looking outfit), and also a candy corn at one point (I was going to find yellow tights, an orange skirt and a white top) and then decided on being Arwen.  My Knight had given me the Evenstar pendant as a Christmas gift last year, and my friends older sister had made Arwen's dying dress a number of years ago, so it was super easy to put together and worked out wonderfully!  I didn't go trick or treating, but I did wear it to an awesome Halloween party.


Your Little Princess Costume Design is having a costume giveaway!  It's super easy to enter, and one lucky winner drawn at random will get a beautiful handmade dress for their little princess at a 50% discount.  Head on over to our website for more details! 
Only three more days until Election Day!  At this point - I agree with this little girl here. 

At first I wasn't going to do it, then I was, then I had a crazy November 1st and wasn't going to do it, then yesterday my friend Ella talked me into it - so yes, I am participating in NaNoWriMo!  (National Novel Writing Month for those of you who don't know).  I didn't have a plot or any characters thought out, but after a little help I decided to write up a modern re-telling of Jane Austen's Persuasion.  I love that book and I think it gets overlooked by Austen fans far too often.  I'm a little behind on the word count but as soon as I finish these quick takes I'll be off to see how many words I can knock out today.

What's that?  A little excerpt from the story?  Well gosh, since you asked so nicely, sure!  Here ya go.

You do realize that I am going to love you forever.”
No... you say that now, but you'll move on. Everyone always does. This is what's best for us, what's best for you.”What's best for me? How can you say that after – you know what, fine. Go to school, follow whose ever dream that is for you. I know it's not yours. But whatever. I'll walk out of your life, like you are telling me to do and you won't ever have to see me again. I hope that's what you want.”You know it's not.”Then why Anne? Why are you doing this?”
The dramatic notes of a Beethoven ringtone broke into Anne's thoughts and scattered her memories. She nearly dropped her iced latte as she fumbled to snatch the phone out of the pocket of her jeans. Pressing the green 'answer' button, she put the phone up to her ear. “Hello?”
“ANNE,” a shrill voice made her jump and quickly pull the phone away. “I have been trying to reach you forever but this stupid phone connection keeps dropping on me. Ugh! I can't believe that Sprint hasn't fixed their network yet. I'm really thinking about switching to Verizon, I really am. My nerves can't handle all these dropped calls when I need -”
Anne held back a sigh. “Molls, what is it that you needed to talk to me about?”


In closing... I was going to post a recipe I recently made, but then I saw this and I couldn't resist.