Creative Dumping Ground # 13

Happy Friday everyone, I hope it’s been a good week!

Today, I felt like doing a creative dumping ground since it’s been awhile, and I’m in the mood to do some fun creative things 😄

Before we get started, I wanted to update you on some new things going on with my Instagram page for my blog! After having someone look it over and give me some advice on new things to try with it, I’ve decided to start posting some of my poetry on there. It’s going to be the shorter pieces, some of them will be newer poems, and some of them will be poems that I posted on Prose a few years ago.

Add a little bit of body textWhile I was doing that though, I found a poem that I wrote for a challenge from when I first started posting on Prose. The poem is from June 28, 2016 and the challenge was:

Hi! I am your Ghost! Past, present and future! But, you get to pick your travel! Write about your journey and where I will take you! Pick one, either past, present or future, or combine them!50 word minimum, 300 words maximum. I see possibilities of lots of visions here! Prefer poetry, but whatever you are comfortable with! Be creative! I did one too! And don’t forget to tag me!”

It’s titled, “My Inner Child”.

Enjoy!

The Ultimate Philosophical Question When it Comes to Science and Technology_Yesterday, Nick and I watched the movie 9, an animated film set in a post-apocalyptic world after machines and technology started fighting against humanity. The machines have wiped out humanity, but the machines have also become mostly dormant. The only somewhat living creatures are little dolls made out of canvas material, and we learn their deeper purpose and creation throughout the film. It came out in 2009, and was directed by Shane Acker, with Tim Burton being one of the producers for the film. This sparks the question of “Just because we can make it, does that mean we should?” Which lead to me creating the picture on the left (not my finest work, but it felt good to kind of get the idea out of my head and onto SOMETHING).

the-family-netflix-doc-1565711031Something else that I watched this week is the Netflix documentary series, The Family. The Family follows a religious “network” (I guess that’s the best way to describe it since they don’t consider themselves an organization) which has also been known as The Fellowship. There are a lot of world leaders, especially United States government officials, who have been linked to the Family. The documentary made me think about a lot of things, and lead to further questions… but I definitely recommend watching it. At some point in the near future, I want to write a post talking about my reaction the series, and further research I did after watching the documentary, since as of right now what I’ve found are a lot more reviews of the documentary more so than discussion about the topic.

That’s about all I have for this week folks! Thank you for reading, and I will see you next week with a new post!

Have a great weekend y’all! ✌

-Erin 🙂

Twitter: @ENordhof

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

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Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

*Disclaimer: There may be some spoilers in the following review, READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED*

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Synopsis:

Monique is a writer for Vivant, and before that Discourse, and before that, she was a free lancer. Now though, she has been presented with the opportunity of a lifetime: to interview famous Old Hollywood starlet, Evelyn Hugo. Evelyn Hugo is giving Monique the tell-all interview of her life, including the in depth story behind each of Evelyn Hugo’s seven husbands. Throughout the interview though, Monique starts to learn more about Evelyn Hugo, as well as herself.

Plot:

The plot was interesting, and it kept me engaged with what was going to happen next. I definitely think this book does revolve more around the characters of Evelyn Hugo, and Monique. With Evelyn Hugo, we simply listen to her life story; her climb to fame and everything she did to protect that fame, secrets and all. For Monique, we follow her life as she begins dealing with the process of divorcing her husband, and what that means for her in the long run, career-wise and personally. The bulk of the book focuses on the growth of Monique’s character throughout the novel as she learns more about Evelyn, and figures out how to best tell that story for Evelyn.

Characters:

Monique is in her thirties, and is now dealing with having her life changed by not only the interview with Evelyn Hugo, but also her divorce. She is struggling through this point in her life, and is somewhat dealing with her own form of an existential crisis.  Throughout the story, Monique evolves from where she is at when we meet her at the beginning of the novel to the end, which can be seen through the choice she ultimately made in the end (won’t say what it is because… SPOILER… as will be this next portion of the review). One aspect I found interesting about Monique was how she handled Evelyn coming out to her during the interview. Monique kept trying to label Evelyn, so that she (Monique) could process this more easily for herself. However, Evelyn argued with her, telling Monique that she may be hearing one thing, but is not thoroughly listening to what Evelyn is saying to her. That, these labels didn’t necessarily exist back in that time, and that Evelyn may very well be bisexual. However, Evelyn does know that the love of her life was one woman, but she was very well capable of loving a man.

Essentially, Monique was trying to label Evelyn in an attempt to make Monique comfortable, not to fully understand Evelyn. This point was a turning point in the novel about how Monique conducts this interview, and there are many more after that (which I won’t get into, because that would be even more spoilers).

Evelyn Hugo has many secrets that she’s kept out of the public eye, but now that she is older and closer to the end of her life, she is ready to share everything with the public. None of her loved ones are alive anymore, and she wants the stories of their love, support, her heartbreak, her flaws, the good and the bad, to be known to the public. Taylor Jenkins Reid, the author, has described Hugo as being the epitome of an Old Hollywood starlet, from the drama, to the movies, to the going on’s behind all of the glitz and glamour. We learn that not all is what it seems behind the scenes of Evelyn’s life, that there are many things that the public were not aware of, instead distracted by the public displays that Evelyn Hugo would put on to protect herself. I found Evelyn to be an interesting character because there were times you didn’t like her, times you felt bad for her, and times you rejoiced, almost as if she had been an actual person.

If there is one thing to take away from this novel, it is that Taylor Jenkins Reid knows how to write characters that feel real, and almost like someone you may have met in your life, or a starlet that you heard about from Old Hollywood.

Writing Style:

I loved how Reid told this story, both through the interview pieces, as well as the tabloid and newspaper articles dispersed throughout the novel. The parallels between Evelyn and Monique’s lives made the themes of the story that much stronger and have that much more of an impact. Also, having Evelyn essentially be the narrator of her own story had more impact as far as the struggles and happiness throughout her life.

Reid did a wonderful job tying together the growth of the characters into the plot and the story, giving any surprises and plot twists that much more impact.

Overall Thoughts:

Before I go any further into my thoughts about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, I want to give you a little background into how I obtained the book. Once again, I was checking out the free little library in my neighborhood, when I found the book. However, after I came back home and got a better chance to look at it, I realized that it was actually and ARC of the book. I just thought that was really cool, and wanted to share it 🤣

The story was a fun and interesting read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Overall, I give The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo a 4.5 out of 5 rating.

-Erin 🙂

Twitter: @ENordhof

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

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Reading Update

Hey Everybody, I hope you’ve been having a good week!

I’ve been reading a lot lately, and decided to give a little update on that… so buckle in for a lot of book talk!

51VFrzslYiL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_In the past week, I’ve finished reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, King of Scars, Shadow and Bone, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. I plan on writing a book review for Evelyn Hugo, but for the other three books, I’ll just talk about them now, and I’ll explain why I’m not doing in depth reviews about them.

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First up, is King of Scars, by Leigh Bardugo. I discussed this in a recent post (which you can click here to check out), but although I enjoyed the book, I soon realized there was a lot of different events and characters mentioned that I didn’t know much about since I hadn’t read the Shadow and Bone trilogy. I rated the book a 4.5 out of 5 stars on Good Reads, but I think I would have liked it a lot more if I wasn’t as confused about references being made through out the book.

This is the main reason why I started reading Shadow and Bone, more for better context about events discussed in King of Scars. I was wary about reading the trilogy at first because I heard so many mixed reviews about it. I also heard that if you had read Six of Crows and liked it, you probably wouldn’t like the Shadow and Bone trilogy. Before reading King of Scars, I figured I would skip it, but after reading it, I changed my mind.

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New Cover
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Original Cover

Overall, I did enjoy Shadow and Bone; it was a fast paced story that was interesting to read plot wise, but there were a few things I didn’t like, one of them being Alina. She came across as either very mopey, or just annoying (at least, to me) and her love interest with Mal was pushed in your face so much that I stopped caring. You could also tell from the writing that it was Leigh Bardugo’s first published works, especially after having read the Six of Crows duology and King of Scars. Despite that, I still thought it was a good book, especially for being her first published book, and I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars on Good Reads. As far as how good the whole trilogy is, I just started reading Siege and Storm a couple days ago, so I’ll see how it goes.

51DF6ZR8G7L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_After finishing Shadow and Bone, I had the sudden (and very nostaligic filled) urge to re-read the whole Harry Potter series (which I’ve talked about in my last post, click here to check that out), and I just finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone (Or Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone). It was fun to re-read and relive my childhood memories associated with the whole franchise. Since it’s a kids book, it was a fast-paced and easy read, which I kind of need right now. I also forgot just how much the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone movie stayed true to the book itself. There were a couple scenes that were in the book that weren’t in the movie, but I think overall, the movie translated the source material very well.

Now, I am reading Siege and Storm and going to start reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets sometime within the next couple of days. I think I might even watch the first Harry Potter movie, because, why not? Since I’m re-reading the books, why not re-watch the movies as well?

On that note, that’s about all I have for today. I might be doing shorter posts for the foreseeable future, because I’m doing a full forty hours now at my main job, working on revamping my blog’s Instagram, writing here twice a week, trying to go on a twice a week posting schedule on the Medium, as well as doing other writing work. In other words, there’s a lot of writing to be had, and not as much time to do it, but I will make it work! 🤣 I always have and always will be making it work! 🤣👌👍🙌

Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

 

-Erin 🙂

Twitter: @ENordhof

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

Instagram: @eclectic_erin87

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Summer Adventures 2019: Disney California Adventure

Surprise!

I have an extra post this Sunday! I hope you guys have been having a great weekend so far 😊

Today is going to be the final post about my Disney adventures with Nick, in which we will be talking about California Adventure! If you missed the other two days, here is a link for the posts about our days in Downtown Disney and Disneyland.

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A little background on me and California Adventure… I only have been once, when I was around seven or eight, I think, with my parents and grandparents. When we went, the only ride we ended up going on was Soarin Over California, we didn’t even ride the roller coaster 😂 So, when we went this time, it felt like going to a completely new park, not just because they changed so much of it since I’ve last gone, but also since I’ve only ever been once. It was definitely fun though, and I love the new updates they did with Pixar Pier and the Guardians of the Galaxy ride.

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Picture courtesy of Jim Hill Media

Also, I didn’t take as many pictures as I did when I was at Disneyland, so I’m going to add in some other pictures I find online, so you can see for yourself some of the changes 👍

The day itself started off a little chaotic, because we had to check out of our hotel by 11am, and weren’t able to park there anymore, so we had to drive around to find parking. This is where both Nick and I agree that we would do differently next time; instead of staying two nights, we would stay three nights. That way, we could do what we did with Disneyland, and leave the California Adventure when it gets to hot, then come back in the evening and explore some more. In the end, we parked in the new Mickey and Friends tower in the parking structure, in the preferred parking area.

Also, funny story… When we were trying to get to the tram area to get to the parks, we ended up going to far down on the elevator, and ended up in the cast member area 😂 We quickly realized our mistake and got back on the elevator, along with a couple of other cast members, who helped us find our way to the trams.

It was interesting, because for security, instead of having an area at the entrance of the park like they did on the side where we entered on from our hotel, security was right before the loading area for the trams. This was because the trams drop you off on the opposite side of the park from the other security area, so you could just walk right in after getting off the tram. It was a lot nicer, because more lines were open and moving quickly than at the other security area. Plus, there was more shade, so waiting in line was more bearable.

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Picture courtesy of adsensr.com

Once we got inside the actual park, it was sometime between 11:30am and noon, so we headed over to the Guardians of the Galaxy ride, because the wait time when we first checked was around 30 minutes. When we got over there though, it had gone up to somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour, so we just got a fast pass for later and went to Monsters Inc.

Monsters Inc was a fun ride, and the waiting line (once you got inside) was cool, both literally and figuratively. Since it was a more relaxed ride, it felt nice just getting out of the sun and enjoying the story of Monsters Inc again.

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Picture courtesy of Disney Parks

After we got off there, we still had sometime before our fast passes were valid, so we went into the Disney Animation Building to hang out and stay cool. The first thing we did there was Turtle Talk with Crush, which was a cute interactive show that lasted for about fifteen minutes. Then we went into the Sorcerer’s Workshop, where we could make our own animations, and go into Belle’s Library and find out our Disney character personality. Apparently I’m Maleficent 😂

Take from that what you will🤷‍♀️

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Picture courtesy of travelandleisure.com

When we were finished with all of that, our fast passes were good, so we went over to Guardian’s of the Galaxy, which had a nice wait line for the fast pass people, as most of it was inside. The ride itself was really fun too, there were lots of drops, and the whole concept of the ride made it more fun and exciting than just a regular drop ride. They also had pressed pennies at the gift shop, but we didn’t have our bag of change with us this time, so we didn’t get any ☹

After Guardians of the Galaxy, we got lunch over at the Pacific Wharf, where we did the Bakery Tour (so that we could get a sample of their yummy sour dough bread) and then got our meal at the Pacific Wharf Cafe. I had a turkey pesto sandwich that was delicious, and hit the spot, since we hadn’t ate that much yet.

Then, we headed over to Pixar Pier, which was awesome!

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We rode the Incredicoaster, which was originally California Screamin’, and the ride itself wasn’t that much different (from what Nick told me) besides the fact that it was now the Incredible’s themed. After that, we rode the Ferris wheel, called the Pixar Pal-A-Round, with the stationary and rolling carts. At that point, we had fast passes for Soarin’ Over California, so we went over to Grizzly Peak. After we scanned that fast pass in, we went and got fast passes for Goofy’s Sky School (formerly known as Mullholland Madness).

For those of you who aren’t aware, Soarin Over California was the original ride, then it was Soarin Around the World, and is back to Soarin Over California for the summer. When I was looking at the message boards discussing this, someone suggested having both available, so that way park-goers can experience which ever one they want, or even both if desired. Anyways, Soarin’ Over California was fun, and it was nice getting out of the heat. I forgot about the fact that it is a 4D experience, so not only was it a flight simulator, there were different scents with each different area of California that was visited.

After Soarin California, we took a little break, and found out that Goofy’s Sky School was temporarily closed, and our fast pass was good to use at any ride in California Adventure (except for a couple rides, but more on that later). Nick wanted to go on the the Radiator Springs Racers, so we headed over to Cars Land.

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Picture courtesy of WDW News Today

Cars Land, even though I’m not the biggest fan of the Cars movies, it still felt like I was in the Cars universe. When we entered, they had Mater coming out and going around Cars Land, and Lighting McQueen was out for a photos when we were leaving. Anyways, we went over to the Radiator Springs Racers, we found out our fast passes weren’t valid to use there, but we could use it for any other ride in the park (I still think that’s stupid, but that’s just me). We were going to wait in the stand by line, but it was 90 minutes long, and by then, we were ready to leave the park, so we just went back to Goofy’s Sky School (it had opened back up at that point) and then rode the Silly Symphony Swings.

There you have it folks, our three day, two night, Disney Vacation! It was amazing being able to go back after six years and seeing how much has changed during that time. I had so much fun at the parks with Nick 😊

Thank you for reading, and I will see you in the next post on Friday!

-Erin 🙂

Twitter: @ENordhof

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

Instagram: @eclectic_erin87

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Summer Adventures 2019: Disneyland

Happy Friday everybody!

I hope you’ve all been having a good week 🙂

20190723_094622As mentioned in my previous post, these next few blogs will be about my Disney vacation with Nick. If you want to check out my post about our first day in Downtown Disney, click here.

Today is about our second day there, which was at Disneyland!

Tuesday morning, we got up around 9 am, and after getting ready, walking from our hotel, and going through security, we finally ended up in Disneyland around 10 am. Our first stop was Pirates of the Caribbean, because according to the Disneyland app, the wait time was only 10 minutes. Plus, it had a nice area to wait inside, since it was getting pretty hot around this time.

20190723_095142*By the way, if you are planning a trip to Disneyland, and have not downloaded the app yet, you should go do that RIGHT NOW. It was really helpful for figuring out wait times, letting us know when rides were temporarily closed, and for getting fast passes without having to go all the way over to the ride.*

On Pirates, we ended up in the front row, and got a good amount of the splashing, which after being outside in the heat, felt really nice. After Pirates of the Caribbean,  we headed over to Haunted Mansion, since that wait time was about 10 or 15 minutes as well. The line went pretty quickly, so we luckily didn’t spend too much time waiting outside, since most of the waiting area is outside in the front yard of the Mansion.

After Haunted Mansion, we went over to Indiana Jones, where we waited for about 45 minutes, although we also had a fast past for Thunder Mountain, so the timing worked out perfectly. For Indiana Jones, we ended up in the front row again, and it was really fun experiencing the ride again in the front row. Once we were done with Indiana Jones, our Fast passes for Thunder Mountain were valid, so we went over there, and only waited for about 10 minutes, as opposed to the hour long wait if we had just done standby. I forgot how much fun Thunder Mountain was, as far as actual roller coaster rides in Disneyland goes. I would say that it is one of my top 5 rides in Disneyland.

Then, comes one of the parts of Disneyland I was most excited about: Galaxy’s Edge.

 

 

20190723_115159I had watched a vlog from someone who went during the media press day, and I thought it looked pretty cool, but it’s a completely different experience actually seeing it in person. Galaxy’s Edge does reflect more of the newer Star Wars movies, as it is divided into two sections; the First Order and the Resistance. It was awesome how much it felt like you were actually in the Star Wars universe. When we entered, one of the first things we saw was Kylo Ren and a couple Storm Troopers exiting from the First Order area of Galaxy’s Edge. Then we ventured through, until we got to the Droid Depot, where you can build your own droid, which Nick did, of course. The Droid Depot was fun, and I love how it was designed, as well as the layout of the store itself.

20190723_123355As we walked through Galaxy’s Edge with the Nick’s new droid, it kept talking, as there are apparently certain frequencies that the droid responds to, and they had set up Galaxy’s Edge with these frequencies. Then, as it got hotter and we decided to leave Galaxy’s Edge, we stopped at a little kiosk where I bought a pin for my collection (😂), and one of those misting fans (it felt so nice in the heat!). It also sold costumes from Star Wars, although this was all stuff relating to the Resistance, as we were on that side of the park. As we left, we ended up running into Chewbacca (Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good picture of him, so this one will have to do 😂).

After going through Galaxy’s Edge, it was about 1pm, so it was really hot, and we were getting tired of the crowds of people. Plus, Nick had his droid, so we decided to head back to the hotel to cool down, drop off our stuff, and then go eat somewhere outside of Disneyland. When we were done doing all of that, we went back to Downtown Disney to stop at the Lego store for more of the Lego Movie mini figures, then headed back to Disneyland.

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Astro Blasters Picture from the Disneyland website

At this point, we had fast passes for Space Mountain, so we headed over there, to find out that it was temporarily closed. It apparently happened recently enough where the app hadn’t updated yet, so we went on Astro Blasters while waiting for Space Mountain to open, or see if it would be closed for the rest of the night. Apparently, the close was temporary, because while in line for Astro Blasters, the app let us know that Space Mountain was open again. Once we finished riding Astro Blasters (Nick beat me… but my score wasn’t too shabby… I guess 😂) we went back to Space Mountain. Space Mountain was updated to now be Star Wars themed, which was a cool change from was it was before. I also felt like the ride was a bit longer than before, but it’s hard to tell since it’s all dark, so there’s no way for me to know for sure. Then, we were going to ride the Matterhorn, but it had also closed at the moment, so we rode It’s a Small World instead.

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Picture courtesy of: https://activerain.com/blogsview/920391/it-s-still-a-small-world-after-all—disney-s–small-world–ride-gets-a-makeover

It’s a Small World is different from when I last rode it (which was six years ago, so that makes sense), because they added Disney characters to the ride. Each character was in the part of the world where there tale originated from, and to be honest, it was really cool. The ride seemed more interesting to me this time than it had the previous times I had been on it, although it could be because it felt nice to sit on a boat and relax after standing in the heat for some time.

When we were done with It’s a Small World, the Matterhorn was open again, so we hurried over there and rode it. They have updated the bobsleds themselves, so instead of sitting in between somebody’s legs, each person has their own space. However, I noticed that since the ride was jerky, I was moving around a lot (I was sitting in the front compartment, but in the second bobsled of the two connected bobsleds).

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Part of the waiting area before going on the ride.

After riding the Matterhorn, we went back over to Galaxy’s edge to ride the Millenium Falcon ride. This ride is a motion simulation ride, but you get to have the opportunity to be a pilot, gunner or engineer on the Millenium Falcon, along with the other five people in your crew. When we rode it the first time, there was a glitch right at the end of the ride, so we ended up riding it twice. The coolest part of the ride though, is that part of the line is you going through and actually being in the Millenium Falcon itself. Although this wasn’t my favorite ride at Disneyland, it definitely had one of the best lines to wait in.

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The purple one is mine, the black and white one is Nick’s

Then, we ended the night with Star Tours, which is the same as it was, at least from what I remembered. It was a nice calm ride to end the night with, and afterwards, we made our own little R2-D2 mini figures at The Star Trader (the gift shop you go through after exiting Star Tours). We also made a pit stop over at the Little Green Men Store Command (the gift shop you go through after Astro Blasters), to grab some more pressed pennies.

And that, my friends, is the end of day #2 of our Disney Vacation! It was a long, but fun day, and honestly,  dealing with the crowds wasn’t too bad since we could take a break in our hotel room half way through the day. In my next post, I’ll talk about our third and final day, which we spent at California Adventures… and boy has it changed a lot!

Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

-Erin 🙂

Twitter: @ENordhof

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

Instagram: @eclectic_erin87

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/99734662-erin-nordhof

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Summer Adventures 2019: Downtown Disney

Hey Everybody, I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

In case you weren’t aware… my boyfriend, Nick, and I had a little Disney vacation last week! 🤣😄 We were there for three days and two nights (We would do that a little differently next time, but more on that later), arriving Monday afternoon and leaving Wednesday evening. The first day we were there, we hung out at Downtown Disney, doing some shopping and all that fun stuff, on Tuesday we did Disneyland, and Wednesday California Adventure. I have quite a bit to say about each day, so instead of writing one super long post, I figure I would do a post for each day. That way it’ll be easier and more enjoyable for all of us 😂

So for today’s post, we’re going to focus on Downtown Disney!

This was my first time actually spending time looking around and shopping at Downtown Disney… at least that I have memory of 😂 Usually, since I live close enough to Disneyland where it is basically a day trip, I would go for the day and spend it all at Disneyland. I’ve never done a Disney trip like this, where we spend a few days up there, and it was definitely worth doing, especially if you have younger kids and are able to afford it. Also, most of the time I went to Disneyland, it was for my high school’s marching band (I did colorguard) and we would march in the holiday parade that they have during Christmas time. Even when we did my senior trip for high school, we only went to Disneyland, and didn’t go anywhere else. Usually with these trips, we would be in bigger groups too, so it was nice just having one other person to decide what we want to do and when.

Now, let’s get on with it!

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On Monday, I had a dentist appointment at 10am, so we didn’t end up leaving until around 11:30am. However, traffic wasn’t too bad, despite being around lunchtime, and we ended up at our hotel around 12:50ish.  We stayed at a hotel that was right across the street from Disneyland, and so we didn’t have to worry about parking until Wednesday, when we had to check out. That’s one of the reasons why we would have stayed another night, was to make it easier on us when it came to parking. Plus, going to the hotel room when it got hot during the middle of the day was nice, and it was a great way to get away from the crowds to cool down for a bit.

Anyways, we got to the hotel a couple hours before checking in, so we parked the car at the hotel, then headed on over to Downtown Disney. This first trip there, we didn’t buy anything besides some Jamba Juice, because we wanted to wait until a little later in the day to make our purchases. It also made it easier for when we were able to get into our room, so that we didn’t have extra stuff to bring up, along with everything else we had.

Anyways, the first place we stopped at was World of Disney, which is the giant Disney store located there. It was fun walking around the store and seeing what they had there, especially since they had a couple of pressed penny machines (I like collecting them, since they’re a fun and cheap souvenir 😂). There were pressed penny books above the machines as well, so if that’s your thing and you want one, they’re $12.99…I think, or somewhere around that price.They also had cute little Disney backpacks, but they could be a little pricey, as some were $75 and others were $90.

After World of Disney, we went into a couple of smaller Disney shops. The first one was the Disney Dress Shop, which is more of a clothing and cutesy bag boutique. The other store was Disney Home, which, as the name suggests, sells Disney themed items for your home, such as kitchen ware and items for your pets.  I almost considered getting some items from these places, but didn’t end up doing so in the end, because after thinking about it, I wasn’t really interested in anything enough to buy it. Although, The Disney Dress shop has more of the little backpacks priced at around $75 as opposed to the $90 ones, and there are some really awesome mugs at Disney Home. If you’re interested in any of those things for souvenirs, I would definitely check those places out first before buying anything at World of Disney (Not saying that their stuff isn’t awesome, just that these places also have cool stuff that you might want to check out).

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Picture of the Lego Store courtesy of https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2012/05/master-build-event-to-celebrate-the-grand-reopening-of-the-lego-store-at-the-downtown-disney-district-at-the-disneyland-resort/

Then, we went to Nick’s favorite place in Downtown Disney: The Lego Store. It was fun walking around the store and looking at all the different Lego sets that were available, especially the Stranger Things set! They also had a giant Lego Darth Vader on the second story, so keep a look out for that, all my Star Wars peeps. Nick knew he wanted to buy a set or two there, plus we have been collecting the Disney Lego Mini Figures, so we’ve been on the hunt for the Lego Movie Mini Figures, because you could get the Wizard of Oz characters (which we found all four! Plus an extra Scarecrow and Tin Man).

After we browsed there for a bit, we stopped by the Disney Pin Traders kiosk right across the walkway from the Lego store, and looked around there for a bit. For those of you who don’t know, when you go to Disneyland or Disney World, you may notice cast members have a lot of pins on them, especially if they’re working on the retail side of things. You can trade Disney Pins with them, but they must be Disney Pins. You can also buy pins and lanyards at these kiosks, because they have some really cool pins that you can’t easily find and trade.  You can buy pins online too, but you run a higher chance of getting fake Disney Pins that you won’t be able to trade with cast members, although if that aspect of it doesn’t matter to you, then I would say go for it. After seeing a few Youtube videos about all of this, I thought the pins were so cute, even if I don’t take part in the trading aspect of it. We didn’t spend a lot of time here at first though, because it was really hot, and the kiosk was outdoors, so it wasn’t fun looking through the pins with all the heat.

When we had walked through all of Downtown Disney and gotten our Jamba Juice, it was close enough to 3pm, so we headed back to the hotel to get settled into our room. We finished that, took a little break in the hotel room, ate at the Ihop next door, and then headed back to Downtown Disney, where the real shopping began.

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The final product after our trip

Our first stop was the Lego store, because we knew we wanted to get the mini figures I mentioned earlier, and Nick wanted to get his Lego set. Then, we went back to the pin kiosk across from the Lego store, and that’s when my pin collection officially began. Nick ended up buying my Nightmare Before Christmas lanyard and my first pin for me (it’s the little Pluto pin at the bottom of the lanyard. Also, thank you Nick😘). Then I got my Mary Poppins pin, my Disneyland Castle pin with the Mickey Mouse balloons, the Lion King pin and the Maleficent pin.

We finished there, then went back to World of Disney, where I bought T-shirts for my family and I (they were on sale for $22 each when you bought two shirts). They had some fun T-shirts there, including the one I got for myself, which is a Disneyland T-shirt that says Disneyland across the front and a list of the rides and the date that they opened on the back.

By that time, we brought all of our stuff back to the hotel, and once again took a break. This was definitely the best part of having the hotel across the street, as with all the heat and people, it was nice to go back to our little room, crank the AC and relax. Once we cooled down and showered, we went and grabbed a late night snack from McDonald’s. We were planning on going going back to Downtown Disney for a third time, but it was too late at that point. Instead, we went to a little Mickey and Friends gift shop at one of the hotel’s, and bought a few mystery key chains.

And that, my friends, brings the first day of Disney fun to a close. Overall, it was a fun first day, and a great start to our Disney vacation 😄😄 We got a lot of shopping out of the way, which made more time for us to enjoy the parks the next couple of days. It was also cool, because I don’t usually spend that much time shopping at Disneyland since everything is pretty expensive, but this time, since I have the budget and haven’t really splurged on myself like this in a while, it was really nice and fun!

On that note, I’ll see you all in the next post, where I’ll talk about our fun day at Disneyland, especially with seeing Galaxy’s Edge for the first time.

Thank you for reading, and have a good week!

 

-Erin 🙂

Twitter: @ENordhof

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

Instagram: @eclectic_erin87

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/99734662-erin-nordhof

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/eclecticerin87/

 

 

Series Highlights: Six of Crows Duology

Hello everybody, I hope you’ve had a good week!

Recently, I’ve been reading King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo (which you may already know if you follow me on Instagram and GoodReads 🤣), but this is not where my love of Leigh Bardugo’s writing started.

It all started with Six of Crows.

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For those of you who don’t know what Six of Crows is, it’s a fantasy duology following a group of six outcasts who are hired to pull off an impossible heist. It is set in the same universe as the Grisha trilogy, but it’s one of those series where it’s okay if you haven’t read the trilogy before reading Six of Crows.

I first heard about it back in 2016, as it was hyped on BookTube, A LOT. It still is fairly well liked and talked about, but not to the extent it was back then. During this time, I was working at Target, and I decided to splurge a little and buy myself the first book (gotta use that employee discount after all 🤣). If I’m going to be honest, though I was interested in the story, what really sold me was how the hardcover version of the book was designed, I especially love the black spray painted edges.

Then I started reading it, and I couldn’t put it down.

I was taken in by the first page, following the lives of the characters as they went through with this dangerous heist. For me, I love the way Leigh Bardugo writes these characters, as I’m invested in them, and either love them or hate them, I had strong reactions to them either way. It was the first time in a long time that I had such an emotional reaction to any book (especially when I was reading Crooked Kingdom, that was quite the experience, let me tell you 🤣), and I was hungry for more from Leigh Bardugo.

20190718_111306-1I was looking into picking up the Grisha trilogy after finishing Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, but after the mixed reviews, I had decided against it and was willing to wait for her new books to come out. When I started reading King of Scars though, there were so many references to events that happened in the Grisha trilogy, that I decided to pick up the first book at least, to see if I would like it. I haven’t read it yet, but I probably will start reading it pretty soon.

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Image from leighbardugo.com

This duology has turned me on to Leigh Bardugo’s writing, and now I’m also waiting in anticipation for her new book Ninth House release. Ninth House follows our main character Galaxy “Alex” Stern, a twenty year old from LA who was raised by a hippie mom and has had multiple sketchy boyfriends.  Most people thought that Alex had thrown her life away, but when she’s the sole survivor of a multiple homicide, she is given the chance to attend Yale University to monitor the eight secret societies there. It definitely will be interesting to see how she writes a story outside of the Grishaverse, but I am excited, nonetheless.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed me rambling a bit about Six of Crows Leigh Bardugo, because I’ve been thinking about all of this recently, and just wanted to write it out. 👍

Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

-Erin 🙂

Twitter: @ENordhof

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

Instagram: @eclectic_erin87

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/99734662-erin-nordhof

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/eclecticerin87/

 

Book Review: Kissing Frogs by Rich Amooi

*Disclaimer: There may be some spoilers in the following review, READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED*

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Hey everybody, I hope you had a fun weekend! Today, I’m reviewing Kissing Frogs by Rich Amooi, as it’s the perfect summer beach read. I hope you enjoy!

 


 

Synopsis:

Kissing Frogs is a rom-com about two neighbors, Sarah and Ian, who have feelings for each other, but are dealing with their own personal issues that affect the budding romance. Sarah is looking for a date to the wedding of her “friend”, Tiffany, who have been in competition with each other since high school. In the process, she resorts to online dating sites to help her find a date, but winds up meeting some of the most… “interesting” of characters. Ian is trying to make the perfect gift for his grandparents 50th wedding anniversary, but is having trouble silencing the dissenting voice of his father. In the process of dealing with their own issues, their budding romance leads to them eventually overcoming their obstacles and getting them one step closer to achieving their dreams and happiness.

 

Plot:

The plot was fun, and fast paced, which works for this genre. The book was obviously focused more on the romance between Ian and Sarah, which drove the direction of the plot. I think my main problem was that I felt Sarah’s reason for not wanting to date Ian was very easily fixed by talking about the issue with Ian, instead of continually saying, “I don’t want to date my neighbor, because if it doesn’t work out, I’ll have to move away,” because that just seems so… extreme I guess 🤣 I can’t think of the exact word to explain it, but once the author revealed the reason behind Sarah not wanting to date her neighbor, it made a lot more sense.

However, if there weren’t communication problems, silly antics, and a happy ending, is it really a rom-com?

Another thing about the plot is that there were some points of the novel where I had to suspend my belief based on how unlikely something like that would happen. Then again, just because I believe it isn’t possible, doesn’t actually mean that it’s impossible. Also, it’s a rom-com, and, in my opinion, a lot of unrealistic things happen in rom-coms, which is part of what makes them enjoyable.

Side Note: Most of this review will probably be me reminding myself that this book is a rom-com, because it’s not a genre I pick up very often. So I have to remind myself that things are going to be different structure, plot and character-wise. Hence, why I’m going “…blah blah blah but it’s a rom-com so blah blah blah…”

 

Characters:

Sarah and Ian are fun characters to read and follow along, but I feel that the side characters are what truly made the story. All of Sarah’s date’s were so outrageous and out there that it worked (as they say, “Go big or go home) and added a little something extra to the novel. Plus, I loved how quickly the romance between Billy, Ian’s best friend, and Becky, Sarah’s best friend, developed. First of all, because it was written in a way that was entertaining, but even then, there are people who do develop relationships like that quickly, and it juxtaposed the relationship between Sarah and Ian really well.

However, my favorite character in the novel was Kili, Sarah’s dog, because she had a fun personality (plus, I just love dogs, so I’m a little biased). There was quite a lot of interaction with Kili and the characters, which made the novel more quirky and fun.

 

Writing Style:

The writing style worked for the novel, but at the same time, I feel like it came across as immature at some parts, which did put me off the book at certain points. However, I love how much personality he put behind the side characters, to make the story more interesting. I don’t have too much to say about the writing style, just because it wasn’t “Oh so fantastic and beautiful” but it also wasn’t a complete dumpster fire, so it fell nicely in-between the two ‘🤣👌

 

Overall Thoughts:

Originally, I picked this book up from the Free Little Library in my neighborhood, because I thought the story sounded cute. I also loved the cover design and overall look of the book. When I started reading it though, I found out that it was written by a local author in the area, which I thought was really neat!

I also like the fact that he is very open about his genre of writing being Rom Coms, because it gives you a good idea of what type of story you’re getting into. Sometimes, I feel like authors try to hide what their book is really about by trying to make it sound like a completely different story, so that they can get as many readers as possible (and then leads to a lot of unhappy readers once they realize what the story is actually revolving around). I think this might be more of an issue I’ve seen in YA, but it’s still a nice change of pact.

This is definitely  a great beach read, or a fun, light read, but if you want something that has a bit more meat to it, then I wouldn’t recommend this to you. I would give Kissing Frogs 3.5 out of 5 stars. Even though it was a fun Rom-Com to read, the writing style did kind of bug me through out the novel, which did make it hard for me to get into the story at times.

 


 

Thank you for reading, and have a good rest of your week!

-Erin 🙂

Twitter: @ENordhof

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

Instagram: @eclectic_erin87

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/99734662-erin-nordhof

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/eclecticerin87/

Motivating Myself

Hello everybody, I hope your week has been going well!

I had a rough start to the week, writing wise, but it’s turned around since yesterday, which I’m grateful for! I started planning my story out more, which helped so much with actually writing it, since I’ve pretty much been “pantsing” it from the get go.

Anyways, while I was trying to plan for my story and the blog, I found a list I made a while ago titled, “ReMotivation”. I was self-reflecting and trying to figure out why I was feeling unmotivated and unhappy with where I was at.

With the weekend coming up, and in the midst of Camp NaNoWrimo, I figure now is a good time to go through this if you’ve been feeling unmotivated lately! Below, I have an example of what I did if you want to try it out too. If someone does try it out for themselves, let me know if it works for you!

So, here we go!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

ReMotivation

Why haven’t I been working as much lately? 

I’ve been lacking motivation

 

Why haven’t I been motivated?

-I’ve been lack structure in my schedule/routine

 

How do we solve lack of structure?

-Create a schedule for myself: Time to wake up, when to exercise, when to do house work, when to eat, when to work, when to deal with social media

-Essentially create a routine, and STICK TO IT

 

Any other factors to consider?

-Practicing what you preach; getting beyond just knowing it and actually believing it and putting it into action

-Self Care: Make sure you’re getting proper amount of sleep, eating properly (eat when hungry and eat healthy!), taking mental breaks

-Inability to focus: Staying focused and productive

 


 

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Photo by Ihsan Aditya on Pexels.com

My original list is a lot longer, since I had other reasons for why I wasn’t motivated, but I figure this condensed version gets the point across without being repetitive. After “Why Haven’t I been Motivated?” I went through the “How do we solve ___” for each point I had said in the previous one.

Hopefully, this is helpful to someone else out there, I know it helped me out a lot when I was going through it during that time!

Thanks for reading, and have a good weekend!

 

-Erin 🙂

Twitter: @ENordhof

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

Instagram: @eclectic_erin87

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/99734662-erin-nordhof

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/eclecticerin87/

 

PS: Here’s a great life motto to live by 🤣

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Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

Blog #8: Where I’m at Right Now

Hey guys, I hope you’ve had a good weekend!

So, I’m going to be honest right now and say that I’ve been feeling pretty tired lately. I’ve been working more (and of course, it’s been busier at work), I’ve been doing Camp NaNoWrimo, I’ve been trying to post everyday for the Camp NaNoWrimo photo challenge on Instagram (you can see how that’s going @eclectic_erin87 🤣), and just generally trying to keep in touch with my friends and have a social life…

So, my brain now kind of feels like mush 🤣.

You can also tell because I am probably going to be using an overabundance of emojis in this post…

You’ve been warned.

Anyways, because of that, I felt like doing a more chatty blog post this week, because why the heck not? I almost considered taking this week off, but a part of me doesn’t want to because I like posting on here and working on my blog, it’s kind of nice. I can write about whatever I want, and just kind of ramble 👍

Anyways, here are the two books that I’m in the middle of reading:

 

Kissing Frogs by Rich Amooi

and

 

51pJCUVjZfLKissing Frogs is best described as that fun romantic comedy that you would watch ( or read in this case) when you feel like giving your brain a break, and don’t want to use too much brain power in the process. That may sound kind of harsh, but I actually really like that aspect of it! It’s a fun book to relax with during my lunch break, or if I’m tired and want to read something, but I don’t want to overthink what it is I’m reading. It’s basically a romance where two neighbors, Sarah and Ian, are falling in love, although Sarah is reluctant to indulge in these feelings because of past relationships. While that is happening, she is invited to a wedding of a friend, and is looking to online dating sites to help her find a date for the big day.

download (3)King of Scars is really enjoyable as well, as I love some good Leigh Bardugo stories! My only problem with it though, is that I didn’t read the Grisha Trilogy (I read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, but that’s it). So, during pretty much any chapter that isn’t Nina’s, I’m lost due to the many references to events and people from the Grisha Trilogy. My plan right now is to just finish King of Scars (I’m already into it enough where I just want to continue), but then read the Grisha Trilogy when I’m finished.

I also started a Good Reads account! (Thanks to a good friend of mine for persuading me🤣) If you want to follow, (or is it friend me? I still don’t know how that works), but if you’re interested in checking it out, here’s the link!

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/99734662-erin-nordhof

Mostly, I’ve been having fun going through and finding books I’ve read and adding it to my lists. So far, I’ve only done star reviews on there, because a lot of the books I’m rating are based off of memory, and since many of them I read a while ago, it’s more of, “I have remember liking this book/ hating this book while reading it, so it’s gonna get ____ amount of stars!”

I know, I’m doing a really great job at this whole book reviewing thing.

Although, in my defense, I also haven’t been reading as much lately because…

STRANGER THINGS SEASON 3 IS OUT.

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It’s old news already, but I finally got through all eight episodes and… that LAST EPISODE THOUGH. Even though I enjoyed watching Season 3, I didn’t feel the same emotional connection like I did with the other ones, and in most definitely in comparison to the reactions online 🤣 Then that last episode happened, and it almost made me cry. Which says something, because it’s hard to make me cry when it comes to any entertainment media, so good job on that accomplishment Stranger Things 🤣🤣

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Well, that’s about all I’ve got for today, I’ll see what I’ll whip up on Friday, cause as of right now, I have no idea 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Have a good week guys, and I’ll see you with some type of post on Friday!!

 

-Erin 🙂

Twitter: @ENordhof

Prose: https://theprose.com/ennord

Instagram: @eclectic_erin87

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/99734662-erin-nordhof

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/eclecticerin87/