Hidden Figures

Three brilliant African-American women at NASA — Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) — serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.

Sourced from Google

My review:

Every time I explain briefly what this movie is about to someone, I generally get the same response. People have no idea this really happened! It certainly has the kind of story line that has the potential to make a great movie. And boy did these people get it right!

It’s the kind of inspirational, true story that’s been left hidden for so long, longing to be told. Now, I’m a sucker for inspirational movies based on true stories, so I kind of knew I’d just love this movie. The story flowed so well.

As soon as I popped the DVD into my laptop the menu appeared along with the boppy theme song. Not that I wasn’t already excited for this movie, but that just did it for me. 😆 The funky songs all throughout this movie I think are suited perfectly. It makes me want to dance in celebration with their every small victory.

I was impressed with the acting. There are so many contrasting personalities in this story and I really feel that every actor pulled this off so well. Obviously, the actors’ portrayal is a huge part of telling this story and I feel like they really did the characters justice.

The filming in general was really well-polished. I usually spot little errors in films and shows, but I could find no fault with the camera work. (not that I try and find fault; I just can’t help but notice, so I appreciate professional cinematography. 😉 ) Set in 1961, a lot of detail also went into costumes and props for the time.

1) Did this movie inspire me?

Yes! I may not be segregated in society and prohibited from the majority of work positions, but there’s definitely a strong theme of pioneering which left me feeling capable of pursuing my dreams. But not only that — also what is right.

2) Was this movie humorous?

There are certainly moments that made me smile or chuckle.

3) Did this movie make me cry?

Yes, a few tears were shed (although the movie in general is more of an upbeat one than sad). 🙂

4) Would I watch this movie again?

Yes.

5) Would I recommend this movie to a friend?

Definitely.

My rating: 5 out of 5

Have you watched Hidden Figures? How did this story inspire you?

Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell

He Stole the Work She Loved.
Will She Let Him Steal Her Heart as Well?

It’s all her uncle’s fault. For years Charlotte Withersby has been free to pursue her love of plants and flowers by assisting her botanist father. But now that she’s reached the old age of twenty-two, an intrusive uncle has convinced her father that Charlotte’s future–the only proper future for a woman–is to be a wife and mother, not a scholar. 

Her father is so dependent on her assistance that Charlotte believes he’ll soon change his mind…and then Edward Trimble shows up. A long-time botany correspondent in the South Pacific, Trimble arrives ready to step in as assistant so that Charlotte can step out into proper society–a world that baffles her with its unwritten rules, inexplicable expectations, and confounding fashion. 

Things aren’t perfectly smooth between Trimble and her father, so Charlotte hatches a last gasp plan. She’ll pretend such an interest in marriage that the thought of losing her will make her father welcome her back. Only things go quickly awry, and she realizes that the one man who recognizes her intelligence is also the person she’s most angry with: Edward Trimble, her supposed rival. Suddenly juggling more suitors than she knows what to do with, Charlotte is caught in a trap of her own making. Will she have no choice but to leave her beloved flowers behind?

Sourced from goodreads

My review:

I was drawn in by this entertaining plot. For the first half of the book, I felt like it dragged a bit, but I knew it was setting the scene for a big plot twist, so that kept me surely reading.

Charlotte was a very interesting character. There were times when she annoyed me, times when I understood her and yet I loved how nothing that would come from her mouth I could ever predict. It kept me on my toes. What I especially loved was that Charlotte herself could not predict what she’d say. I thought it was a well-written portrayal of an introvert working through her social skills and trying to understand where she fits in. I could definitely relate to her confusion in that respect. 🙂

Whilst the story was not predictable—this kept me reading—there was always obvious hints regarding the outcome of a plot. Siri wrote certain parts so that it was clear to see what would have significance to the story’s outcome. However, I found there were far too many roll-my-eyes moments; scenarios in the story that were just so cheesy that the chances of them happening would have to be 0.0001%. 😆

This did not take away from my enjoyment of the story. In fact, I think the last several chapters of the book surprised and impressed me so much that my rating increased by about a star!

Set in the 1850’s, if you’re looking for a good historical fiction read, this may be a good choice. Does the botany side of things put you off? It needn’t. Siri managed to write it in so that, whether you’re more of an english, musical or sporty person, you’ll still be invested in Charlotte’s interest of botany.

1) Did this book inspire me?

Yes. A very important theme which you take away from this story (especially in the case of sexism of women in the 1800’s) is ultimately life isn’t about what people tell you to do, but what you want to do and what God is showing you (through the gifts He’s given you).

2) Was this book humorous?

Very! I didn’t expect it to be comedic! Although from where the story was headed, it was obvious that a big pickle was to be had, I found myself unsuspecting of just how funny it happened to be. 😂

3) Did this book make me cry?

No.

4) Would I reread this book?

I think so.

5) Would I recommend this book to a friend?

For sure!

My rating: 4 out of 5

Have you read Like a Flower in Bloom? What did you think of it?

Passport to Pinterest Tag

I was tagged by Rayleigh at Accelerate The Jesus Movement to give this new tag a go! Thanks Rayleigh! 😀

Created & Tagged by Livy at Livy Lynn Blog.

About the Tag-From Livy:

Pinterest is my happy place. My darling boards are sprinkled with puppy dogs, castles, the rainy streets of London, and LOTS and LOTS of pink! Pinterest is such a wonderful place to express yourself, share your personality, and design a visual haven of all the things you adore! So naturally, loving Pinterest as much as I do, I decided to create the Passport to Pinterest (Bloggers Tag!)

As bloggers, I know we’re always brainstorming fun new post ideas. So what could be more fun than mixing your enjoyment of blogging, with your passion for Pinterest?

~ Rules ~

1) Open your boards.

2) Open https://www.random.org (Or any random number generator website or app of your choosing.)

3) Enter the number of pins on your first board. For example, my first board is “~1940s~” with 4 pins, so I just type in the number 4!

4) Click “Generate.” I was given the number 2.

5) Find that number pin on your board. My second pin.

6) Share the image of that Pin in your new Blog Post, and a little blurb about why it’s important to you!

7) Continue the process with ALL or as many of your boards as you like!

8) Tag another blogger (Or as many as you like!)

 

~ So Here It Goes ~

~1940s~

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The fashions and just different way of life in the 1940’s interests me, so occasionally I’ll pin a picture like this to this board. I also have a 1950’s board.

Now, I’m not going to do this for ALL my boards, but I have selected a few of my favourites!

 

~ Cuteness! ~

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Eeeep! This board gets me every time! XD If I see something really cute on Pinterest… I just have to pin it! 😉

 

~ Christmas ~

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I get so excited about Christmas! (I’ve been excited since the beginning of September) So a Christmas board is a must-have! 😛

 

~ Friendship <3~

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I hold friendship pins dear to my heart… and Pinterest has so many of them! ❤

 

~ Inspiration ~

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I find it so encouraging to be able to refer to this board and be uplifted! 🙂

 

~ Reading ~

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There is never a shortage of relatable pins for readers. I honestly can’t get enough of them! XD

 

~ Writing ~

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There are so many funny and relatable pins out there for writers; this is one of them. I also sometimes find writing inspiration which I’ll pin here.

 

~ I Tag ~

Emma at A Bookworm’s Majestic Adventures

Bekah at Will Bake For Books

Anyone else who has Pinterest – I don’t know which bloggers have a Pinterest account, so please, if you do… consider yourself tagged! 😛

Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong. by For King & Country

For King & Country became my favourite band after listening to this album. It was only later that I discovered Luke & Joel Smallbone were born in Australia (where I live) and are brothers of Rebecca St James! Things just get cooler, as Joel is also married to Moriah Peters. 😀

Anyway, enough trivia. For me, this album had that rare quality where I instantly love it the first time I hear the songs. They’re great pop-rock songs which each have a unique quality which cause me to appreciate them in different ways. Some of their songs are similar, yet they expertly blend their voices and different instruments together so that it’s not long before there’s no mistaking which song’s which.

Luke and Joel have amazing voices and even after having this album for two years I can only tell you who’s singing if I’ve seen the music video. XD

Their songs contain powerful lyrics. My favourite of them tends to change around, yet it always comes back to Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong, as I think there’s something really powerful about it. Shoulders would come close along with Without You, which touches me every time! :’) A bonus for me: these songs are very simple to play on guitar!

My rating: 5 out of 5

Have you heard this album? What did you think of it?

Christy Miller Collection Volume 1 by Robin Jones Gunn

Bestselling author Robin Jones Gunn packs each one with enough action, romance, and drama to keep you reading and wanting more. It all starts the summer Christy vacations on a California beach and meets two friends who change her life forever. But after moving across the country with her family, Christy must begin her sophomore year of high school uncertain where she’ll fit in. A red-headed new best friend, a try at cheerleading, a job at a pet store, and expectations for the prom fill Christy’s high school years with a string of laughter-and-tears moments. Fireball Katie keeps everyone guessing what she’ll do next, and surfer Todd keeps showing up while popular Rick has determined to get her full attention! As these memorable years unfold, Christy and her God-loving friends find out what it means to be a “peculiar treasure.” Follow Christy Miller as she stays true to her identity in Christ, drawing closer to God for help in realizing her dreams and dealing with her disappointments.

Sourced from goodreads

My review:

I probably don’t have to tell you what the Christy Miller collection is. So many people have told me about it that I feel like everyone’s read the series except for me! XD Well, I did at last.

Robin has a great way of writing Christy’s story that it feels real and relatable. When Christy embarrasses herself, you feel a little embarrassed with her. When there’s a disaster, you want things to change for Christy. When things are going well, you’re happy with Christy. There’s an element of natural writing skill which I think really brings this series to life.

The series is marked as 12+. There are several themes in the series which perhaps not all twelve-year-olds will be ready for. However, I don’t think it can be capped with a specific age. I admire Robin’s work and how she’s spoken on things that do happen, even though more conservative Christians would be reluctant to write about it. I think these things need to be written about from a viewpoint of Christian values. That’s what this series handles really well. 🙂

The stories are intriguing and, as I said, it really does feel real! The characters are also well-written, each playing an important part to the plot. And whilst I haven’t yet read volume 2 and beyond, those of you who enjoy reading characters grow up and progress will not be disappointed with this series.

1) Did this book inspire me?

In this season of my life, I don’t feel like I’m going through the same things as Christy. However, I definitely appreciate the need for there to be books like this. It would probably have been helpful to me when I was a younger teen. But hey, Christy grows up as the volumes go on, doesn’t she? I can definitely see how it could potentially inspire some people, though.

2) Was this book humorous?

It’s not so much a comedy, but Robin writes Christy’s life so well that you sort of become invested in her plight. Funny things might happen here and there to make you smile. 😉

3) Did this book make me cry?

No.

4) Would I reread this book?

Hmm, I can’t be sure, but I don’t intend to at this stage.

5) Would I recommend this book to a friend?

I would recommend it to certain people. I think there may be a targeted audience which is why it hasn’t really hit home with me. However, that is not to say that I don’t appreciate what Robin Jones Gunn has done in writing this series. It’s obviously having a very positive effect on many teenagers. It’s safe to say that, recommended to the right person, this series is likely to leave it’s mark.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Have you read Volume 1 of the Christy Miller collection? What did you think of it? Have you ‘grown up’ with Christy?

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Thank you so much, Mandie, for nominating me for this award! Your questions look like a lot of fun to answer! 😀

 

~ Rules ~

1) Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link it back to their blog.

2) Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.

3) Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

4) List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

 

~ Mandie’s Questions to Me ~


1) If you could have any name in the world what would it be? 
Well, I tend to like the name Abigail which can be shortened to Abi. I’ve always liked Kate. And Emerald is cool too! Probably one of those names. 😉

2) What is your favorite holiday and why? Christmas! I know it can be hectic, but I like how there’s a long buildup to Christmas. I find that when it’s over, I never feel that it went by too fast. (I once saw a house with its Christmas lights set up in August.)

3) If you could meet a character from any fiction book, who would it be and why? If I seriously got to meet a fictional book character, I doubt I’d be able to decide, but Anne from Anne of Green Gables comes to mind. I don’t have one particular reason, but I just love so much about her. I’d be fascinated to meet her in person! 🙂

4) If your pet (or pets) could talk for a day, what questions would you ask them? Do you like each other? We’ve had two pet fish for a few weeks now and they tend to annoy each other. I can’t work out if they’re playing, angry with each other or what. XD

5) What is one thing that always makes you smile? Having a long phone call with my bestie. ❤

6) Which of the seven dwarves are you most like? (Extra points if you name all seven without cheating!) Oh, come on! I haven’t watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in about 12 years! :O Honestly, I have no idea of the dwarves’ names let alone which one I’m most like (and I call myself a Disney fan)! Dopey and Grumpy? Or is it Angry? XD I have to watch this again! 😛

7) What is your favorite day of the week? It tends to change based on what routine I have each week. At the moment it’s Mondays.

8) What is one food you strongly dislike? There used to be a lot of them, but I actually have grown to tolerate a lot of foods I couldn’t stand before. The only thing that comes to mind is olives, but then I might not mind them if I tried them now. I’ll go with olives. 😉

9) What is your favorite song? It changes about every week or so. At the moment it’s Bloom by Moriah Peters.

10) What is your favorite board game? Hmm, probably Monopoly.

11) What is your favorite number and why? 35. When I was in Grade 3, there was this Easter game where you had to guess how many eggs would fit into this elephant shape. All the other kids were guessing 20, 30, 40.. so I tried 35 and won. I guess I’ve liked the number ever since. XD

 

~ I Nominate ~

Emma at A Bookworm’s Majestic Adventures

Rayleigh at Accelerate the Jesus Movement

Bekah at Will Bake for Books

Victoria at A Gathering of Dreams

Ruby at The Sea Calls Us Home

Sarah at My Pen And I

Kellyn at Reveries

C. B. Cook at Proverbs 31 Teen

Grace at My Blessing by Grace

Sarah at The Word Collector

Junaisha at The Godly Chic Diaries

If you don’t want to do this, that is totally fine. If you do, I hope you have as much fun as I did! 😀

 

~ My Questions To You ~

1) If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, which would you choose?

2) Out of everything you’ve ever written (stories, poems, songs, anything) what is your favourite?

3) Do you have a personal goal of how many followers you want for your blog and if so, how many?

4) What’s been your biggest blogging mistake?

5) What is your favourite genre to read?

6) What drink are you most likely to order at a cafe?

7) What’s your favourite colour to wear?

8) Stripes or spots?

9) Have you ever traveled out of your country?

10) What’s the longest phone conversation you’ve ever had?

11) Has anyone ever said you look like a certain celebrity?

Note: Mandie’s questions I have left the spelling “favorite”, but I have spelt “favourite” and “colour” in my questions as that is the Australian spelling. I am not fussed at all with how you choose to spell it. 😉

La La Land

Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) are drawn together by their common desire to do what they love. But as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.

Sourced from Google

My review:

I was quite excited to watch this movie after all the hype and awards it’s won. Besides, I really like musicals that originate as movies and was keen to hear a new bunch of songs!

I didn’t have to watch it for very long to know that what I was watching was very unique. The filming was done in such a way that I felt I was surely watching a movie like none other I’d seen before! 😀

There’s a very calm feel to this movie which is not only thanks to the filming and colour grading. The songs are smooth and mainly jazz. Being a jazz-lover, I appreciated that very much. However, I found myself waiting for another song too often and going away feeling like it hadn’t really been a musical. It just felt to me more like a regular movie in that respect because of the extensive periods of dialogue. As much as I would have liked there to be more singing songs, that’s not to say that there wasn’t much music. La La Land maintained its smooth, jazzy feel with jazz songs in the background and even a few radio songs.

The acting was brilliant, and it’s obvious to see why awards were won! However—and I’m going against popular opinion here—I don’t think that Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were totally believable as a couple. Having been in two other movies as a couple, audiences love this iconic couple, but I didn’t believe the love they were meant to share onscreen. They somehow felt mismatched.

Overall the story, acting and music are enjoyable. When you pop this movie on your television set, you’re sure to set a relaxing, smooth tone to the room. 😉

1) Did this movie inspire me?

I can’t really pin down one certain thing in the movie that inspired me, but it is a bit inspiring. The music? The acting? The filming? Yeah, I think they’re all inspiring.

2) Was this movie humorous?

There were parts that might make some giggle, but it’s not really a comedy.

3) Did this movie make me cry?

Yes… not to spoil anything, but WHY DOES THE ENDING HAVE TO BE SO SAD?! Really, though. I usually respect movies that can make me cry. 😉

4) Would I watch this movie again?

I’m not in a hurry to, but I probably will watch it again some day.

5) Would I recommend this movie to a friend?

Haha, everyone knows about La La Land. I wouldn’t really have to recommend it, but I probably would. 🙂

My rating: 3.5 out of 5

Have you seen La La Land? What did you think of it? Do you like movie musicals?