10 Ways to Spread the Love This Holiday Season

Welcome back to my itsy-bitsy corner od the web! I am shocked by how fast the year went by and I can’t believe that next week is Christmas! YAYYYYYY!!

Christmas sometimes gets busy, and while everyone is bustling getting gifts, they forget the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus and Love!

Sometimes people are so busy getting gifts for their loved ones, they are mean to others, even their loved ones!

So here’s a little post with a few ways showing you how you can spread love in this season!

1. Hot Choco

Everyone loves hot chocolate, so why not give some of the warm drink to a cold person! Buy some disposable coffee cups with lids, a multi-cup carrier, and make some hot chocolate. Deliver it to folks working outside or to anyone else who needs to feel the warmth of the season.

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2. Yummy Gratitude

Bake a pie or something yummy and drop it off at your local firehouse or police station on Christmas Day. Those guys and gals working our streets don’t get the holidays off!

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3. You’ve got a friend in me

Invite a lonely neighbor or friend over for dinner. Not all of us are fortunate enough to spend Christmas with family—but no one should spend it alone. Consider inviting them over 😀 ( and if you’re a kid, ask your parent’s first xD)

4. Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child is an amazing experience! We’ve been doing it every Christmas. To learn more go here!

5. Gift an experience you can enjoy with a loved one.

Another alternative to waiting in long lines at department stores and risking your present being tossed in the trash is gifting an experience that you and your loved one can enjoy. Like taking your beloved daughter to see Hamilton with the original Broadway cast with a backstage pass so she can hug all her smol beans and say hi to all the Hamilton people and start crying while hugging them and showing them fanart she made. *wink* mom. *wink* dad.

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6. Smile More

Simply just smiling at a person can make their day. Sadly in this world now, people aren’t used to smiles. Because whenever I smile at random people they think I’m weird. But, if more people smile it will become normal again! So smile and ya never know, maybe you’ll build an amazing friendship!

7. homemade from the heart

Homemade gifts may not be as fancy as flashy storebought gifts. But homemade presents are made from the heart and are cherished forever.

8. Kindness Counts

You would think it’s easy to be kind during the holiday season. But sometimes even the best of us become scrooges. We take a lot of things for granted. Like food, or even having the money to buy gifts. So remember to think about the others going through hard times. Be kind. Do one kind thing for a person instead of trying to change the whole world.

9. Forgive

There’s no better time to show forgiveness toward someone who has wronged you than today. Christmas should be a reminder about all that Jesus has done for us and how we can exemplify Him through our actions.

10. Love

Loving others may sound clique and the word love may be overused. But truly love others this season. Spread joy and merriness (is that even a word?) and smile.

lets jingle (1)What can you do to spread the love this holiday season?

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the queen of katwe- book review

9780349141770Living in the slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda is a constant struggle for 11-year-old Phiona and her family. Her world changes one day when she meets Robert Katende, a missionary who teaches children how to play chess. Phiona becomes fascinated with the game and soon becomes a top player under Katende’s guidance. Her success in local competitions and tournaments opens the door to a bright future and a golden chance to escape from a life of poverty.

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The Queen of Katwe by Tim Crothers

genre: Non-Fiction, Biography

rating: ⭐⭐⭐

It’s all about what she knows and not who she is or where she comes from.”

The queen of Katwe is a compelling and powerful book. Not only is it an inspiring story but it also is a tremendous eye-opener. Instead of being raised to accomplish dreams young girls are raised to be mothers, at young ages. Even though I didn’t necessarily love the authors writing style, I still was inspired.

things I didn’t like

I didn’t love the writing style. The author jumped around a lot and it was hard to keep straight who he was talking about. The title is a little deceiving as there are so many other people the book is actually about.

I also feel the tagline, & synopsis is misleading as this story is more than Phiona’s story to discuss the children and chess program of Katwe. Clearly, anyone’s story takes a village. No one gets somewhere without help, mentors, family, etc. But a good percentage of the book was spent dealing with the backstories of these folks, which again, for the most part, didn’t add value to the telling of Phiona’s story.

The writing is a bit too dry, but it can’t really mask a fabulous story of redemption and hope where none were supposed to exist.

I had also seen the movie a few years ago and the movie is quite different from the book.

things I did like

I loved the book cover! It is beautifully designed!

Phiona – an amazing, talented young girl who lives in a slum in Kampala, Uganda and through hard work, perseverance and an incredible spirit, ends up playing against players from all over the world at the Chess Olympiad in Russia. She is a true inspiration and her story needed to be told.

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I really wanted to love this book. I couldn’t love it, but maybe you will! Check it out here!

Thanks so much for reading this post!

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Have you ever played chess? What are your thoughts on this book?

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10 ways to bust writers’ block

The thing about being a creative person is that sometimes we aren’t very creative at all.

I am pretty sure everyone is scared to write after the storm of NaNoWriMo. I sure am. XD.  Many people debate writers block. Some people don’t think writer’s block is real but I do because I experience it a lot. Even right now. But fear no more here are some tips to help you! Also if you want an excuse to write, join abbys writing contest YOU COULD WIN AN AMAZON GIFT CARD and there’s some really cool writing prompts!

1. keep writing

The worse thing to do is to quit writing. Keep writing, even if it makes no sense. Write whatever thoughts are in your head, and if you have none, read my next tip below.

2. use writing prompts

Writing prompts are surprisingly helpful. Even if it has nothing to do with your story, it still keeps your writing and gets your creative juices flowing!

3. take a break

Run away with us for the summer, let’s go upstate! Heh sorry, just a little Hamilton reference XD But yes, just like Hamilton, you should take a break from writing. That way you won’t become frustrated.

4. listen to music

Music really helps. But it depends on the music you listen to. I recommend classical or chill music, not LOUD ROCK MUSIC THAT WILL STRESS YOU OUT!

5. Read some inspiring quotes

Quotes really help a lot. But don’t get too distracted, or you might find yourself browsing the web all day!

6. read a book

Read a book and you never know, maybe you’ll be inspired by the writing style or the characters.

7. have some tea

Tea is known to have a calming effect. Whenever you get ready to write, make some tea. There are some tea flavors that can lower stress.

8. force yourself to write

I know its hard but sometimes you just have to write. If you don’t then you won’t get anywhere.

9. talk to yourself

It sounds weird but it really helps

10. have fun

writing is supposed to be fun! Don’t let writers’ block get the best of you!

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Did this post help? What are your writing tips? Did you survive Nanowrimo?

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recent reads + nano excerpt!📖

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Welcome back to my itsy-bitsy corner of the web! Or if you’re new here, welcome!

This recent reads post is pretty delayed, I was supposed to post it on Tuesday but life has been a little busy so I didn’t get to write it then. So its here now!

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Secret identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.
The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except for the villains they once overthrew.
Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

Ah, renegades. I reread this since book two is coming out LIKE SOON! It’s not that I don’t like the book, it just doesn’t live up to my standards for Marissa Meyer. I AM STILL COPING WITH THE LUNAR CHRONICLES. The storyline is interesting and it still is a fun read but it isn’t one of my favorite books by Meyer. I am excited for Archenimes (the second book) because it may clarify some of the confusing parts and the end. I REALLY DIDN”T LIKE THE END. I dunno why. Maybe if I read the second book I will like it more haha.

triggers: somewhat frightening villains, illness, fantasy violence

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Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth. 

I really wanted to love this. The cover design was beautiful, the storyline was interesting and it was a collaboratory book. But I just didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. This also was a very emotional book, and I liked it a little and I shipped the characters and FELT THE FEELS. But, Its not like a book I would want to read over and over again. The authors writing style is really nice though.

triggers: death, angst, hallucinations

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In this long-awaited finale to the Giver Quartet, a young mother from a dystopian community searches for her son and sacrifices everything to find him. Even her life.

*sobs* This book was so beautifully written. It really moved me and I even cried. Lowry’s characters are incredibly painted in the finale. I honestly want more books in the series xD. It’s such a deep and beautiful book that I recommend to everyone.

triggers: sadness, pain, challenges, deep psychology 

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Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere.

this book is a work of art. The characters, the scenes. WHY WHY WHY?! I am trying so hard to conceal my spoilers. *SPOILER ALERT*

my precious, clever, witty, alluring smol jest died.
It’s so heartbreaking when the amazing character just dies and it’s PAINFUL. especially when he and cath WERE MEANT TO BE ( a colony that runs independently)

I really recommend this book. It’s breathtaking and amazing!

triggers: death, cute smol boy, FANTASY VIOLENCE, monsters

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It’s 1941, and tensions are rising in the United States as the Second World War rages in Europe. Eleven-year-old Gusta’s life, like the world around her, is about to change. Her father, a foreign-born labor organizer, has had to flee the country, and Gusta has been sent to live in an orphanage run by her grandmother. Nearsighted, snaggletoothed Gusta arrives in Springdale, Maine, lugging her one precious possession: a beloved old French horn, her sole memento of her father. But in a family that’s long on troubles and short on money, how can a girl hang on to something so valuable and yet so useless when Gusta’s mill-worker uncle needs surgery to fix his mangled hand, with no union to help him pay? Inspired by her mother’s fanciful stories, Gusta secretly hopes to find the coin-like “Wish” that her sea-captain grandfather supposedly left hidden somewhere. Meanwhile, even as Gusta gets to know the rambunctious orphans at the home, she feels like an outsider at her new school — and finds herself facing patriotism turned to prejudice, alien registration drives, and a family secret likely to turn the small town upside down.

this was so cute. It’s smart, witty and adorable! The characters are so adorable and omi goodness EVERYTHING IS SO CUTE. I love middle-grade books because you can find sweet ones like this one. The authors writing style is really great. I recommend this for your next cozy read!

triggers; NOTHIN ITS PURE

and now time for a cute fluffy excerpt for you all to squeal about

The boy took a deep breath and took off his hood. Cleo gasped. A thousand little dots that looked like stars covered his face. 

“Wha-What are those? You have a galaxy on your face!” Cleo gazed in awe.

“Huh?” He chuckled, “Those are freckles. You’ve heard of those… right?”

Cleo shook her head, she had never heard of freckles. Ever. 

She reached for one of them, trying to pull one off.

“What are you doing?” He flushed. ” You can’t take them off!”

“But I want one!” Cleo whined, acting a bit childish.

He smiled again. “I was born with these…”

“Oh.” She blushed, feeling a bit embarrassed for acting that way. But then all of a sudden she felt this warm feeling in her heart she had never felt before. and she knew, it was love.

yeah, I hope that doesn’t sound weird. I have always kinda had this concept before and I decided to use it so THIS IS TRADEMARKED.

is it just me or was that scene cute?

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are you interested in any of the books I have read? what are you reading? do you like my excerpt?

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