Monday, October 19, 2020

Monday Musings // Home Haircut!

It's been a great week! Between clearing out over 2,000 of my old, old emails from the family account (which I was using until I got my own Gmail two years ago), watching Ruby's first tooth come in, and receiving a home haircut (!!!), life has been anything but dull. Sadly, however, I did not get as many pictures as I would have liked to this past week, mainly just the ones from a photo shoot my sister, Marah, and I had yesterday (Sunday). It had been years since the last time Mom felt brave enough to cut my hair herself, and I wanted to capture the results on camera. I think Mom did a marvelous job! 😄

BEFORE (with my hair at waist-length):

AFTER (with my hair at just-below-shoulder-length): 

Aaaaand, with that out of the way . . . back to listing recent events. 😃
On Saturday, Sandrina and I were able to Skype for an hour or so, which is always a delight. 🥰 The afternoon of that same day, the kids and Dad traipsed downstairs to the basement to lug out old clothes bins. The weather here is steadily growing colder, and the littlest ones, especially, needed jackets and boots. 😊 
Sunday morning, Dad biked alongside Marah and I as we went jogging. I'm sure we made quite the picture, Dad back-pedaling to keep the same pace as us when we slipped from jogging to walking on the way home. One driver pulled over to the side of the road to check and make sure he was our father and not some suspicious stalker. 😂 (love you so much, Dad!!)
Well, I suppose this ends today's post. The upcoming days are going to be really busy for my family, so I can't promise a Monday Musings for next week, but I'll do my best. 😁 Consider yourselves fully warned, though, if I don't make it. 😉

Have you ever had a home haircut? What's the weather like where you live? Comment below! 

Ellen S.

Saturday, October 17, 2020


^^^^^ The long links shown above are currently what all my photos on Blogger (including this one) look like while in "drafts." Navigating the options (font choice, etc.) in the top taskbar is also becoming extremely more difficult. Anyone else having the same experience(s) on their sites?? I may have to contact Blogger if this goes on . . .

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Libby May's Giveaway!

It's book birthday celebration time, y'all! 🥳
On October 16th of last year, author Libby May published her amazing debut novel, Dewdrops & Butterflies, making it available for the world to read. I was honored to be able to participate in the release tour with a review of her book. 😄 And now, she's hosting an amazing GiVeAwAy over on her blog, Geoturtle, featuring two signed copies of Dewdrops & Butterflies (one for you and a friend of your choice) as the grand prize!! The deadline for entries is coming up fast (the winner will be announced tomorrow), so hurry; click the image above for a detour to the giveaway, and be sure to mention my name in the comments for an extra two entries!! 😀 Best of luck!

Ellen S.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Monday Musings // October!!

Welcome to the start of a brand-new week, m'friends! With the FFF party festivities behind us for another year, it's time to pick up where we left off . . . which means an overload of pictures and some brief tidbits from my life. For all the new faces around here, these types of posts are also known as Monday Musings. 😄 Hope you enjoy!

THE LATEST UPDATES (10/5/20-10/11/20):

Our wonderful teacher and school principal (aka our parents) gave us the week off school. (yay!) There were plenty of highlights (i.e., new glitter pens, dairy-free waffles, making our first batch of pumpkin cookies, and admiring God's creation as autumn crept in), but also some downsides (like discovering that copies of The Whispers God Gives are being pirated across the web 😭). If I've sent you a PDF version of my book, please be respectful of my rights as the author and use those e-copies only for the purposes in which I've given express permission. Thanks!

I would talk more, but I have several new books on my Kindle and a WIP screaming for attention, so I'd best shove in some photos and draw this post to a close. 😀

And to conclude . . . 
This ^^^ is what happens when your sisters get a hold of the camera. 😂 

Which of these pictures was your favorite? Have you made pumpkin cookies this year? Do you plan to? Comment below! 💕

Ellen S.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Five Fall Favorites: Day Six ~ Top 5 from 2020

It's the final day at the Lodge! But don't worry, the fun is not over yet. We still have one room left to visit, and one last genre to do! Then we'll pack up our things and announce the giveaway winner before heading home. :D Soooo, here we go!

Friends, please follow me to the books room! The air here is heavy with the sweet, fragrant aroma of old leather. Full bookshelves line each wall, and the soft couches and bean-bag chairs tucked into every free corner are perfect spots to curl up and read. Also, Rebekah Morris was kind enough to supply a free e-copy of Cookies: Ria and the Gang, a great little story and one of my favorites by her. :) The link to that is at the bottom of this post, so keep reading!

The final genre for the week: TOP FIVE FAVORITES FROM 2020

Inspiring, well-written, full of laughter, and soooo relatable. Find my full review HERE.

A clean and uplifting read. :D The Emily Abbott series (as of right now) consists of seven books, and I had them all read within a 24 hour period. The first was one of the best for me. Find my review for Red Rover HERE.
A delightful addition to the Circle C Milestones series and a joy to help edit. Find my review HERE.

This book completely tore me up. (in a good way, of course.) <3 Loved the lessons on forgiveness! 100% recommend.

What wasn't there to like about this book??? The characters were incredibly well done and the plot was amazing. I love that the author(s) wrote from a very Christian viewpoint. :D :D :D 


Welllll, sad as it may be, I'm afraid the week has finally wrapped to a close. I hope you guys enjoyed your stay and will come to the Lodge again next year! Also, don't forget to hop over to Rebekah's blog and find out who won the giveaway! <3 <3 <3

Ellen S.

What are five of your favorite books from the past year? 

Friday, October 9, 2020

Five Fall Favorites: Day Five ~ Instructional Non-Fiction

As our week at the Literary Lodge begins to draw to an end, there're only a few places around here left to visit! Today, I have the privilege of taking you all to the orchard to pick (and eat!) some crisp, juicy apples. So, grab a bushel basket, and we'll be on our way! Perhaps we'll have a bit of time to sit and read beneath a tree smothered in fresh, pink-and-white apple blossoms? I sure hope so!

While we make our way to the orchard, let's take a moment to look at our genre for today: instructional non-fiction

I was assigned to write my first-ever research paper a couple years ago, and I knew almost immediately what I wanted the topic to be about: publishing. This book was a HUGE help as I prepared my manuscript and brainstormed ideas. It's fun, it's factual, and it helped get me an A on my paper. ;D
Of course I couldn't get through the week without mentioning a book by my favorite author, could I?? You can read my full review for Writers Roundup HERE.

Best instructional non-fiction book in the world. And that's all that needs to be said. <3

Only last year, what at first looked to be a dull school project quickly transformed into a challenge. A challenge to my faith, to my life, to my soul. By reading this book and completing the study included I discovered new things about God and about myself that have changed me forever. I'm of the opinion that Christian teenagers (and adults!) everywhere need to read Henry Blackaby's Experiencing God ~ Student Edition
No, I don't cook, but my mom does, and believe me, these excellent recipes combined with my mom's special touch = pure heaven. <3

Aaaand, that's all for today, folks! Come back tomorrow for our final genre + the announcement of the giveaway winner! I hope you all have been enjoying your time at the Lodge; I know I have. :D

Ellen S.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Five Fall Favorites: Day Four ~ Fantasy

Ahh, we've arrived at one of my favorite spots around the Literary Lodge: the place for the bonfires. There's something about a warm, cheery blaze burning in the great outdoors that delights me. Perhaps it's partly because, when my siblings and I were younger, we loved to build our own little indoor bonfires using an orange-tinted cup and flashlight. Sometimes we'd talk of roasting marshmallows and falling asleep by the "fire." Well, today at the Lodge we're doing just this: enjoying a s'more or two, drinking some fresh-made hot cocoa, and continuing our lovely book talk a safe distance away from the dancing embers. :D

The genre I'm picking from today is clean, Christian fantasy. (because I'm woefully behind in reading holiday books. xD) I'm not usually a fan of this genre, but it just so happens I've read some pretty awesome fantasy books over the past year that definitely deserve a shout-out. 

Highly unbelievable? Yes. Sometimes hard to understand? Yes. Highly addicting? Absolutely.
 Kara Swanson is such a talented author. You have to read this book for the writing style, if nothing else. Kara excels at drawing the reader in by "showing, not telling." Some of my own work has been inspired by her.
Gahhhhh, from the first sentence Fawkes had my undivided attention. I've never cried over a book before, but I came near doing so more than once as the story went on. Gripping and emotional, with a satisfactory ending.  
 Oh my. The Gospel message was so clearly portrayed through this book. It had my heart within the first few pages. <3

A retelling of the well-known Cinderella story but from a different viewpoint. For those of you who love a good laugh + engaging writing style/plot line, this book is for you! 

This book is one of my all-time favorites! A Christian fantasy just begging to find a place on your shelf and in your heart. <3 Read my full review HERE.

There're only two days left to enter the giveaway, m'friends! Hop over to the main room of the Literary Lodge and get your entries submitted! And don't forget to visit all the other blog party hosts. ;D 

Ellen S.