9.08.2014

He is Altogether Lovely

source
That is all.  For a Monday, that's all we need.

9.05.2014

This Girl Pins #2

Today's pins are fairly monochrome, except for the one of the Avengers.  Sorry, I just think Fridays call for some Avengers pictures. (listed clockwise)

1.)  This is such a good quote.  I'm trying to learn that hard and holy stuff is sometimes the small things.

2.) On Labor Day we went to the lake and I spent most of the day stretched out on the back of the boat reading Let's All Be Brave which I spoke about in Monday's post.  No spoilers, but I may have teared up a little.  Yes, it's that good.

3.) You had to know something Avenger's-related was gonna make it in here.  I love that picture on the bottom when they're eating schwarma.  This goes along with that one.

4.) Yes, those are the books you call your friends. (sorry, no link)

5.) I know I've said it lots of times, but that Hosea Bible study at shereadstruth.com is just really good.  This is a quote from day 5.

6.) I would love to read a book here.  That light is awesome.

7.) Always a sucker for pretty letters.  Especially when they're about Fridays.

Have a great weekend!  xo, Ella

9.03.2014

Movie Review: The Avengers


Yes, this girl also watches movies.  And fangirls about them.  You've been warned.

I. loved. this. movie.  And yes, I know I'm late to the game.  My feelings about it were so strong that they surprised me.  Me, queen of period dramas like Downton Abbey, North & South, and devoted fan of the LOTR and Hobbit movies.  So when I finished this movie and was literally freaking out during the credits, I knew it was a good 'un.

First of all, there's something you need to know about me.  I will love any movie that has a plot in which the bad guys fight the good guys because the good guys are trying to do the right thing and the good guys win.  (still with me?)  I have also discovered that I will love any movie about heroes.  On my previous blog, I wrote about the LOTR movies and why I loved them so much.  That post pretty much sums up why I love movies, or stories, for that matter, where the difference between the good guys and bad guys is so stark (whoa).  As it turns out, though, I am also obsessed with movies about heroes fighting evil.

Second, I obviously need to address the superficial reasons I loved this movie.  The casting was perfect.  Robert Downey Jr. still gets on my nerves a little, but the way he basically saved the world at the end without a thought of his own safety was the highlight for me.  That, and every scene Steve Rogers was in.  Before the Avengers, I watched the first movies about Thor and Captain America, so I knew they would be great, but the Cap is definitely my favorite superhero in this movie (and ever).  Black Widow is a close second.  She is beyond cool.  I have to admit, my favorite part of the movie was when she took out Hawkeye like nobody's business.  Hey, she's the only girl in there – you've gotta let her strut her stuff.  Anyway, for me, the casting was pretty much unbeatable.  I'm looking at you, Chris Evans.

I guess I loved this movie so much because of the reasons in that post I linked to above.  Stories where the good conquers the bad seem like such testaments to the fact that every human being deep down inside still knows what is right and what is wrong.  Obviously, the distinction is becoming more and more blurred as gay marriage is now perfectly acceptable, and even applauded, but I believe all humans still know what is right and wrong.  For example, cowardice is looked down upon, murder is a crime, cheating is shameful, lying is wrong, etc.  Movies that highlight the struggle between good and evil only magnify this.  Humans are intrinsically evil, but because we were created by and in the likeness of a God who is intrinsically good, we have a spark of His hatred of evil within us.  Who doesn't want the good guys to win when they watch the Avengers?

Finally, I was so surprised – in a really good way – when I started watching the Marvel movies.  They all have such good morals and messages!  The Avengers are willing to put themselves on the line so others won't die.  Even Tony Stark was willing to sacrifice himself if the world could be saved.  One of the reasons Captain America is my favorite superhero is because he's such a good guy!  He has a sense of duty that inspires the others to do something.  Overall, I think the message of The Avengers is that those who are stronger than others have a duty to protect those who are weaker.  The famous line, "with great power comes great responsibility," rings true in all the Marvel movies.  And now I'd better stop, 'cause this is gonna start getting cheesy.

Just because they're awesome, here are a few more pictures.
Thanks for letting me fangirl!  The Winter Soldier's up next to review.  (Hint: LOVED IT) xo, Ella

9.01.2014

On the Stack // September

Ahh, September!  My birthday month, the beginning of my favorite season, officially sweater/jeans month, and cooler temps.  I love this month.  I have even more reason to love it this year especially because I have some awesome books on the stack to read! (see what I did there?)  I'm so excited!

Two of the books I have read in the last month, and one of them I just got last week at Barnes & Noble.  I am planning to reread the two again so they are fresh in my mind.  The third one was actually an accident altogether.  I hadn't planned to buy/review it, but I couldn't find the book I was looking for in B&N, and I've heard good things about it, so I got it!  I may or may not have flipped it open and read a couple pages in the middle, and I know it's going to be awesome.  Let's get to the books.

link to purchase
The first book is one by C.S. Lewis.  I am trying to read all of his stuff, and I'm chipping away a little at a time.  I was not familiar with this book at all.  I knew it was about heaven and involved a bus, but that was about the extent of it.  So I didn't get the fact that it was based on a dream until about halfway through the book, (duh) and after that, it all made more sense.  I really liked it, and I'm excited to review it.  Here's a description via Amazon:
C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce is a classic Christian allegorical tale about a bus ride from hell to heaven. An extraordinary meditation upon good and evil, grace and judgment, Lewis’s revolutionary idea in theThe Great Divorce is that the gates of Hell are locked from the inside. Using his extraordinary descriptive powers, Lewis’ The Great Divorce will change the way we think about good and evil.
link to purchase
Alright, I have to apologize, but the second one is... it's about the Hobbit.  There, I got it out.  I won't normally review two books about the same topic after each other like that, but this one is so drastically different than last month's book about LOTR/The Hobbit, that I decided it would be okay to review it.  Unlike Dickerson's very deep, intellectual book, this one is fun and lighthearted, and I read it in an evening.  It is a very enjoyable book.  If you liked Tolkien's tale about Bilbo, the dwarves, and the dragon, but wouldn't consider yourself a devoted fan, this book is for you.  It's awesome.

Lessons on joy, friendship, dedication, sacrifice, and more will appeal to Hobbit fans, parents, teachers, librarians, graduates—and anyone looking for a creative way to explore timeless life lessons and important values of faith.
Millions of fans worldwide have been attracted to The Hobbit for its unique combination of high adventure and profound truths. Tapping the excitement around the highly-anticipated Hobbit movie trilogy, Tolkien-scholar, Devin Brown, now presents a fast-paced and easy-to-follow presentation of timeless spiritual messages to help navigate your journey. Peppered with illustrations throughout, Hobbit Lessons offers troll-sized portions of relevance and regular nuggets of good Hobbit sense. The result is a collection of tangible bites of wisdom that are not only deeply moving but also great fun.   
link to purchase


I am absolutely pumped about this last book.  I first heard about Let's All Be Brave/Annie Downs on Ann Voskamp's blog (she was a guest writer), and Ann went on and on about her.  After following her on Twitter and reading the introduction to her newest book, I can definitely see why.  Annie is funny, her joy is infectious, her sincerity convincing – and that's just from reading a few pages!  I could not be more excited to read this book; I'm so glad I picked it up!
 Annie Downs admits she’s not exactly the bravest girl in the world. She still cries sometimes when she leaves her parents’ home in Georgia, she’s never jumped out of a plane, and she only rides roller coasters to impress boys. But Annie knows that courage resides inside each and every one of us, and she’s on a mission to triumph over her own fears while encouraging the reader to do the same.
As a single young woman, writer, speaker, and blogger, Annie Downs shares her journey toward bravery with honesty and humor. Using wonderful stories from her own life, contemporary real-life examples, and fascinating historical and biblical references, Annie encourages readers to grab hold of the brave life that they desperately desire.
How often does fear hold us back from the very things we most want to taste, touch, and experience? The call to be brave isn’t just for one person—it’s for everyone. Let’s All Be Brave is more than a book, it’s a battle cry. Annie challenges us to live boldly, she calls us to step into those places that require courage, and she gives us the help to take the next step forward—even when it’s scary.
I hope you're as excited about these books as I am!  Look for reviews beginning the middle of this month.  Thanks for reading!  xo, Ella