Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Let's Talk About Jess {and Those Other Boyfriends of Rory's}

   I've been meaning to write this post about my favorite guy that Rory Gilmore has dated, but I kept putting it off. I figured since the revival is premiering in three {!!!!!!!} days, I should probably get my two cents in before we find out who Rory chooses. I will warn you, if you haven't watched the entirety of the seven seasons by now, this post contains some spoilers {and you don't have much more time before the inter webs blow up with reactions to the final four episodes}.

   I will admit, I loved Dean in the beginning. He was sweet, attentive, tall, handsome, and an all around great guy. He tried his hardest to get along with Lorelai, because he knew how important she was to Rory. He went to Rory's school dance, even though that wasn't his scene. He even built her a car! He seemed like the perfect first boyfriend. But at some point, the charm wore off. He became possessive and demanding. He freaked out when Rory wasn't ready to say "I love you" back. He was extremely jealous of Jess, although, he had a great reason. But still. He went on to marry Lindsay, but we all know that backfired. I honestly believe he never would have left Lindsay if she hadn't found out, because he would have felt guilty and tried to work it out. I am curious to see how his life turned out, but I sincerely hope that he's rarely a part of Rory's life.
   Ah, Jess. Jess was the quintessential bad boy with a twist: he was incredibly smart and loved to read. He may not have been Rory's healthiest relationship {he did crash her car and injure her}, but I think he helped Rory discover a part of herself she may not have noticed if she hadn't dated him. He left things on bad terms, but when Rory reconnected with him later on, he was doing really well. He had a job he loved publishing books, and he had written one of his own. He even paid Luke back a little bit for helping him out. Jess may have started out as a bad boy, but he grew into a responsible man who knew what he wanted out of life, and he went after it.

I think Logan is my least favorite of all the guys Rory dated. He was your typical spoiled rich kid who didn't care who he hurt by the various stunts he did while in the Life and Death Brigade. He had his sweet moments, but that didn't compensated for all of the crappy things he did. {Although, "You Jump, I Jump, Jack" is one of my favorite episodes.} He interrupted one of Rory's classes, which embarrassed her to no end. He didn't have any problem with Rory giving up her dreams by quitting Yale for that awful period of her life. He was extremely rude to Jess when they met. He got along very well with her father, who was also an irresponsible flake, aka not a good sign. He also lead Rory along before he finally asked her out, and he pretended he didn't know what he was doing. I honestly think the only reason Logan proposed in those fateful final episodes of the seventh season was because he knew that Rory was too good for him and getting her to marry him was the only way to keep her. I will honestly be surprised if Logan ever grew up.

   Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

   Now, let's talk about the reason we are all here, the revival. Yes, it premieres in three days, and yes, I do plan on watching it when I get home from work at aproximately 2:45 am Friday morning. I love the teaser trailers and the official trailers that have been released.
   I have many questions/observations from these short glimses.

  • I do have one burning question: why is Kirk at family dinner with Emily? 
  • It does look like the Dragonfly Inn is still going strong. 
  • Luke and Lorelai are still together!!!! 
  • Rory was having a face-to-face conversation with Jess! 
  • Town meetings still look histarically entertaining. 
  • Rory was visiting Chilton. Maybe she'll teach journalism there?!?! 
  • Is there a pool in Stars Hallow? I don't remember there being a pool.
  • Will we get to see Rory's half sister? Rory was entertaining kids {which made me wonder about Gigi}. I would die if the kids they showed are Lorelai's and Luke's!
  • "I believe in a former life I was coffee!" (quote from Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life - Trailer #2) 
  • What's up with Rory? She seems restless and uncertain. And lacking underwear.
  • I'm so sad that Ed Herrmann passed away before this happened. :'(
   I can't wait till Friday!

   Here's a link to a video from an interview where Amy (the writer/creator of the show) talks about re-doing the set for the revival. http://www.ew.com/article/2016/11/22/gilmore-girls-amy-sherman-palladino-tragedy

   P.S. I looked at imdb's site to see who all is casted in the new series. THIS MAY BE CONSIDERED SPOILERS! Logan is set to be in all four episodes. :(  Jess is in three, and Dean is in one episode. Tristan, April, Sookie, and Mrs. Kim are all in one episode. There are also a bunch of new names listed too!

These images are not my own. Here's where I found them:

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Happy Tuesday!

   For some weird reason, Tuesday is my favorite day of the week. Sometimes it's been the only day I've been able to sleep in. That's really the only reason I can think of for loving them so much.
   Anyways, my post Saturday hinted that I had done something new to my hair. Luckily, I took a before picture the morning of.
         The picture the left is before, the right is the after.          

   I'd been thinking about doing this for about a month, and last Tuesday I had an appointment scheduled to get it done. I'd only had low-lights in my hair before, so this is definitely a change. I was going for a more coppery shade, but I do love this color. Plus, it will last longer than a copper shade would.
   I hope you're having a great Tuesday!

Saturday, October 29, 2016


   My life has been a bit crazy lately:

  • Fall finally showed up around here last week; 
  • I'm still working at my part-time retail job, but in a few weeks I'll start training for my new supervisor position;
  • I have been experimenting more with gluten free/lactose free cooking; 
  • I have a few ideas to work on for things to post on this blog, but I've been focusing more on my Write Michigan short story entry;
  • I am also now part of a small group for single, twenty-somethings from my church; 
  • And last Tuesday, I finally worked up the nerve to try something new with my hair (I'll post pics in the next week or so). 
The only things keeping me sane are the small snippets of time I get to write (and read).

Recent book purchases

   I'm trying to make writing more of a priority. I love it, but it takes a lot more brain power than, say, binge watching a series on Netflix or watching old British spy movies. It just seems harder to find uninterrupted time where I can just focus. Even as I write this, I have a specific time that I need to stop so I can run errands and get back to "real" life. Which is how it has been all week. I got to spend 45 minutes on my Write Michigan entry on Monday, then a half an hour on Wednesday, and I will hopefully have time to work on it at some point this weekend.
   Please don't think I've fallen off the face of the earth. I'm trying to be more consistent with my posts. Thanks for reading!

P.S. It only just occurred to me that not everyone knows what Write Michigan is. It's an annual short story contest open to Michigan residents. Submissions are due on November 30th. I've known about the contest for about two years, but this is the first time I will actually be entering. I tried last year, but I found it hard to write a short story. Nothing really worked, so I didn't enter. This year I've got a story and hopefully will finish it before the deadline. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fifty Fall Favourites

   Fall is by far my favourite season. I love everything about it. I know that the leaves still haven't fully changed here, but I still had fun walking around taking pictures. This list is in no particular order, so here goes!

  • Boots
  • Pumpkins
  • Leaves
  • Sweaters
  • Hay Bales
  • Crisp Air
  • September in the Rain
  • Pumpkin Spice Lattes
  • Campfires
  • Flannel
  • Reds
  • Dried Corn Stalks
  • Extra Layers
  • Scarfs
  • Halloween Episodes of PLL
  • Finger gloves
  • Warm Socks
  • Lightweight Coats
  • Leaf Piles
  • Mysteries
  • Soup
  • Hot Coffee
  • Apple Candles
  • Chili
  • Fall Decor
  • Burning Leaves
  • Colourful Back Roads
  • Crock Pot Recipes
  • Write MI
  • Squash
  • Apples
  • Hay Rides
  • Orchards
  • Apple Cider
  • Skinny Jeans
  • Pumpkin Candles
  • Small Town Festivals
  • Shades of Orange
  • Art Prize
  • Comfort foods
  • Natural Purples
  • The Word Autumn
  • Picking Pumpkins
  • Apple Pie
  • Bright Yellows
  • Raking Leaves
  • Pumpkin in Everything {Pie, Cake, Bars}
  • Trails
  • Scenic Drives
  • Fireplaces

Saturday, September 10, 2016

My Favourite Book Quotes: Part I

   I have found many blog posts featuring compilations of well-loved book quotes, so I thought I would make a post of my own. I love reading a good book and coming across a sentence so perfect, so relevant, that I just have to stop and breathe a moment. This has happened to me more than once, and I couldn't possibly list all of the quotes from books I love. So this post will only feature a select few, but I'll publish part two sometime in the future!

 "...she (Elizabeth) wanted Mr. Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with her...'I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.' " Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

" 'I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren't pretty, or smart, or young. They're still princesses.' " Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess

"Or was this just what happened when you got older? Maybe growing up was really nothing more than growing away: from you old life, from your old self, from all those things that kept you tethered to your past." Jennifer E. Smith, This Is What Happy Looks Like

" 'If you want to know what a man's like,take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.' " J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Saturday, August 27, 2016

"Love, Lies and Spies" Book Review

   I was at one of my local libraries one day when I stumbled across Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey sitting on the recently released shelf. I thought the cover was gorgeous, and the synopsis sounded interesting. So I picked it up, read it, and here we are!

Juliana Telford isn't your ordinary nineteenth-century lady. She's more interested in publishing her research on ladybugs than in marriage or fashionable dresses. Spencer Northam isn't your ordinary nineteenth-century gentleman. He's a spy for the War Office on his first mission. But when Spencer's assignment involves keeping an eye on the lovely Juliana and her friends, their plans for a season without romance are unapologetically foiled.  

My Review
   This book was amazing! I don't typically read historical romances, but this was so much like a Jane Austen novel that I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was never a dull moment in this story. In fact, the story started out with Juliana literally hanging off the edge of a cliff. Luckily, a kind gentleman near by is able to help her up. A kidnapping, espionage, and a romance soon happen in Juliana's suddenly action-packed life.

   I loved all of the characters, even the supporting cast. There was even a woman who highly resembled Mrs. Bennet! Juliana's character seemed a lot more independent than other ladies I've read about in this genre. She was also very good at keeping a cool head, even in dangerous situations. Spencer is definitely the epitome of a gentleman. He can save the damsel in distress, but he's also supportive of Juliana's pursuit of publishing her research. Mr. Peybald, on the other hand, is the perfect despicable cad. His ending is very deserved. All of the characters were real and well thought out.
   I think the best part of the book was quite possibly the writing itself. The characters were well described, the scenery and settings were masterfully depicted and the vocabulary itself could have come straight out of one of Austen's novels. There were even a few words I had to look up (I love when that happens)!
   This is Cindy Anstey's first novel, and I can't wait to read more from her!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


   I must admit, I had a very different topic planned for today. In my original post, I was going to talk about how orientation went, how my first day of classes were, and how South Carolina was compared to Michigan. But alas, I'm still in Michigan.
Trail by the Rockford Dam
   That's right. I didn't get to go. I ran into some unexpected financial trouble that I just couldn't find a way around. I will admit, I'm extremely disappointed. I'll also admit that I'm at a loss as to how to move forward. I still have my job at Kmart, and I'm going to start looking for a full-time job soon. But other than that, I don't know what to do. I'm thinking about entering that writing contest I never got around to last year. My cousin and I have plans to travel next spring. I'm not sure if I'm going to a local college in the beginning of this upcoming year, or if I should wait another year and try again. I miss going to classes. I miss the studying, papers, class discussions, and even the tests. I know I'll be okay, I just have to keep moving forward.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Nerd Alert: the Library

   Depending on which social media sites you follow me on, you may or may not know that I love going to the library. It's actually where I write a lot of these posts. Unfortunately, I don't seem to know many people who enjoy the library as much as I do. Some say libraries have become obsolete with the digital age. I beg to differ, and here's why.
     1. Free Stuff
   Now, this might be obvious, but some people seem to forget; you can rent stuff from libraries FOR FREE. I'm talking unlimited access to works of fiction, comic books, travel guides, audio books, CDs, self-help books, books that will help you learn a different language, and even free ebooks! One of the libraries I frequent has free movie rentals for one week, while another charges $1 for two weeks. Lately, one of my favorite things to rent is audio books. In a typical day, I commute between jobs for approximately an hour and forty minutes. This means I can typically finish an eight hour audio book in a week, which is nice because I don't have a lot of time to read much nowadays. Libraries also offer free (limited) access to the internet. Some even let you rent a Kindle for a few weeks!There are many great materials that are free at your local library.
     2. Quiet Atmosphere
   I love that libraries tend to be quiet, but not too quiet. It's the perfect place to write, because I feel like I'm not excluding myself from the world as much. Plus, overhearing conversations between the librarians or other patrons is entertaining.
     3. Discounted books
   Two of the libraries I visit have a room set aside where you can purchase used books, CDs, and movies. Libraries also periodically host book sales as well. I love browsing these sales, because I almost always find some treasure or another.
     4. Events
   Right now, most libraries are in the midst of summer reading programs. I love participating in these, since most enter you into a contest to win gift cards. Libraries also host book clubs, outings, writers groups, and movie nights. There are programs for children, teens, and adults. It's a great place to meet people who love books just as much as you do!

   Those are some of the reasons that I love going to the library. In fact, some weeks (or even days) I patronize more than one. I have found all sorts of interesting materials on a wide variety of subjects. I hope to see more people supporting their local library in the future!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Puppy Chow

I have discovered that I like to cook, but I prefer more simple recipes. Luckily, this is one of the simplest recipes for those I-need-something-sweet-right-now-for-a-binge-watching-session moments. I first made this recipe in a high school cooking class years ago. I absolutely love it! I will warn you, it's a bit messy. It wasn't too hard to make this recipe gluten free, since there are many different brands that sell GF rice or corn squares. You may also use regular wheat squares if desired. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

  • 8 c. GF toasted rice squares (or really any type of Chex cereal)
  • 1 c. dark chocolate chips
  • ⅔ c. honey peanut butter
  • 2 c. powdered sugar

  1. Put the chocolate chips and peanut butter in microwave for 1.  Stir and microwave 30 more seconds if not completely melted.
  2. Pour chocolate mix over cereal. Stir until everything is covered.
  3. Put the powdered sugar in a bag; add cereal-chocolate mix; seal, shake, and enjoy!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

   My discovery of this book was slightly unusual. As I've mentioned before, I clean at a local school. Part of my job is to clean a few of the classrooms. I found this book abandoned on one of the desks. I read the back of it, then read the first 20 some odd pages, the first half of which are just short messages back and forth between Graham and Ellie the two main characters. I went home and was on the verge of ordering it from my favorite bookstore, when I found that it was available at one of the libraries I frequent. I got it the next day, then read it within the next three days. Unfortunately, this book hasn't moved in the two weeks since I first picked it up.
   {I may or may not have written a note and left it in the book, because I saw it as a bucket list item on Pinterest.}
   The beginning of this book was a bit different than other books I've read. It started off as a set of emails between Graham and Ellie, and they were completely adorable! I loved how the emails sounded like an actual conversation between two teenagers (I've read some books where this was not the case, and I found it to be extremely annoying). 
   The writing was fantastic. The story was set in a small, seaside Maine town with quaint shops and dynamic characters. I could very easily "see" it all, and it was gorgeous. 
   The "break-up" in this was also very realistic. The girl had an issue with the guys life, and it was a mutual decision, which seemed very grown-up for characters this young. Luckily, the issue was resolved in the end. Ellie's secret also didn't scare Graham away, I am happy to say.
   There were only a few minor things that were "wrong" with this story. I didn't really like Ellie's best friend Quinn. She wasn't very supportive of Ellie, and I didn't really like her character overall. There were also a few grammatical errors, but they weren't big enough to distract from the story. Other than those two things, this story was very good.
   I can't wait to read this story again next year when it will count towards my Goodreads read count. I would highly recommend to anyone who like cute YA stories.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

89 Thoughts I Had While Watching "The Princess Diaries"

   I used to watch The Princess Diaries a lot as a kid. I loved the whole regular girl turned princess story line. The thing is, I haven't seen this movie in years. I mean, I remember the basic plot of the movie, but I forgot some of the finer details. So I watched it again recently, and these are a few thoughts I had while watching it.
   1. I miss the old Disney castle!
   2. That was perfect timing for the scooter meet up. Guess that's a testament to a good friendship.
   3. A guy sits on her! No one's that invisible.
   4. Remind me to never ride in San Francisco on a scooter.
   5. Did Mr. O'Connel and Mia's mom start dating before the parent teacher conference or after?
   6. What if Mia didn't go have tea? Would the Queen have tracked her down anyways?
   7. GET OFF THE GRASS! I swear, this is one of the best parts of the movie.
   8. What's an attache core?
   9. Young? Clean? What kind of compliments are these?!?!
   10. Her hair's too puffy to put on a necklace?
   11. What was in the tea to make it necessary to bang the spoon so much? An excessive amount of sugar?
   12. They couldn't have told her this earlier? I get the whole wanting her to have a normal life, but they could have just told her and not revealed it to the whole entire world.
   13. How long has her dad been dead?
   14. If she's good at being invisible, why does she complain about it? That's a superpower I wish I had!
   15. How did they get her hair so frizzy?
   16. Wait until she was 18? I don't think that would have gone over any better either.
   17. What did her dad die of? He wasn't very old, so I'm assuming it was some sort of disease. He wasn't king yet, so it couldn't have been an assassination.
   18. How did this not come out earlier? There had to have been some nosy people in Genovia who followed the prince around and discovered the secret princess.
   19. I can twitch my nose like that too!
   20. I want to see in her tower.
   21. Who had control of Genovia before their independence? Nevermind. It was probably Britain.
   22. I would totally play with the buttons in the limo as well.
   23. "If this were a herse, there would be silence in the backseat." It cracks me up every time!
   24. Where did they get the matching scooters?
   25. Hey! One of my questions was answered. {Her dad had been dead for two months.}
   26. What's up with the M&M's on the keyboard?
   27. Car goals
   28. How hard did she press her hand against the statue? The arm of it even moved.
   29. I didn't get the "Well, carriage, obviously," until I looked up the word. I still don't really understand though.
   30. "...so we don't slump like this."
   31. I don't think those facial expressions are becoming of a princess.
   32. Ah! Mia's mom dating Mr. O'Connel is a new development. Another question answered!
   33. "Just block one, Mia. Just block one!" She blocked a few. Plus, how can you be expected to block one ball when ten are coming at you!?!?
   34. I really do need this soundtrack. I like the song that plays while she's in the back of the limo trying to put on pantyhose.
   35. She's tied to a chair now...
   36. "Now tell me, what kind of dancing do you do?" I don't think there was anything "normal" about that.
   37. Waltz + Tango = Wango
   38. "You've been wearing black too long." Dude, I'm beginning to think that that's the only dress she has.
   39. She lost a shoe, and the voices still yell at her!
   40. Paolo's reaction to meeting Mia is hilarious.
   41. He can't take off his own rings?
   42. "You broke my glasses!" [Mia] "You broke my brush." Pretty sure that's not a fair trade.
   43. LOVE the shoes!
   44. She looks like she's going to sneeze in both of the before pictures.
   45. Lilly's reaction to Mia's makeover is priceless. And mean.
   46. "Was my review mirror fogging up or was someone tearing back there?"
   47. "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." I have always loved this quote, but I could never remember where I first heard it. Now I know.
   48. Are Lilly and Michael twins or are they just close in age?
   49. She's not wearing black three shots in a row!
   50. Joe putting the "car" in park during princess lessons is hysterical. I hope this guy gets paid enough.
   51. I want to do the paint balloon thing! It's definitely on my bucket list.
   52. So are Paolo and Joe Italian? Or is Italian a major language spoken in Genovia? (I'm assuming what they were speaking was Italian...)
   53. Cause giving away a princess' address on TV isn't dangerous or anything.
   54. The dude who looks like Carl from Up sure feel asleep quickly.
   55. First, she set a guy's arm on fire. ("clumsy moment") Second, she acts like a monkey when she takes a big bite of ice cream. Third, she breaks a glass. Fourth, she trips a guy which causes a chain reaction. Unfortunately, I feel if I was ever in the same situation, it would probably be worse. {I'd hide under the table too!}
   56. Just got the "may you always be barren" line.
   57. The photo booth pics were so cute!
   58. The nun's reaction when she was put on hold.
   59. Order of the Rose
   60. Why are they "oohing"? They've never heard of it either!
   61. "Chivalry ain't dead ya know." Especially in the presence of a queen.
   62. "I hate phony publicity seekers." Sure you do.
   63. "...Backstreet Boy clone" Well, now that you mention it, Josh kinda does look like one.
   64. Reason number one you don't discuss foot poppin' kisses with your mom: she's sure to make fun of it.
   65. She somehow forgot to tell her best friend of who knows how long that the guy she's majorly crushing on finally asked her out? That's a bit of a stretch for me.
   66. Why would she give you a foot massage? For real though!
   67. Joe's got to be very confident in his job to voice his opinion so freely.
   68. Foot-poppin' hug
   69. "Oh, come on girls! It's a ball not a snake!"
   70. How could he have heard her say come in over the obnoxious ringing?
   71. Dude! She's trying to make up for turning you down! Give her a break!
   72. Ice cream vs. cheer uniform
   73. That diary is so stinkin' cool! I want one.
   74. Do all cats lie on random objects, because this sure seems to be my experience.
   75. I want that whole letter printed and framed. It's gorgeous!
   76. Genovia has an official pear juggler?!?! I wonder how much that pays.
   77. A cat that doesn't mind being in a cat carrier. I wonder how much training that took. (Our cats freak at the site of one.)
   78. "Maybe it's string cheese?" How did the cleaning crew not notice that?
   79. You dare try lying to the queen! 'Cause she's not falling for it!
   80. Princess-ship ~ is this a legit word? Spell check seems to think so.
   81. That is some horn the limo has.
   82. Mia's riding in the front seat! Isn't that against protocol or something?
   83. "Why didn't we dress like her? We look like idiots!"
   84. Her speech made me slightly teary-eyed.
   85. They had the tiara ready, but not the robe? I noticed a lady in the background running down the stairs with the robe.
   86. Her dress is amazingly breathtaking. And it kind of looks like a wedding dress.
   87. Where did Michael learn how to dance? I feel like there's a good story behind that.
   88. That kiss was the most magical princess moment of my childhood.
   89. Speaking of the kiss, how many times did they have to shoot the it? She'd have to be in the exact same spot every time.

Saturday, May 21, 2016


   I just realized I haven't posted anything in three months! Not too much has happened, but there are a few things that I should probably share.
   This fall I will be attending Charleston Southern University in Charleston, SC. I was originally planning on living off campus, but it didn't work out, so I'll be staying on campus in the dorms. My parents and I actually went to visit the college late last month. The campus was gorgeous, the people we met were friendly, and it was nice and warm! My high school class actually went to Myrtle Beach on our senior year, and I loved it and was excited to go back to SC. I still have a bit more paperwork to fill out, loans to apply for, and packing to do. (Which means I have no idea how often I'll be posting this summer!) Orientation starts mid-August, and I can't wait to start this new chapter in my life.
I found the Pineapple Fountain!
   That's pretty much the biggest thing happening in my life right now. My job cleaning at the school will end soon, unless they have a summer position for me. I'll continue the job at Kmart until a week before I have to leave. Also, the number of scholarships out there is quite daunting! (It's been taking up a good chunk of my free time applying for various ones.) I got a new (used) car a week ago, and I am loving it! The CD player and air conditioning work, plus it has cruise control. There's not much else going on, unless you count the fact that I recently discovered how awesome graphic novels(comic books) are. There may be a post about this in the future, but again, no promises! I also can't wait for Finding Dory, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and the Gilmore Girls revival to come out.
   That is all I have for today.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Chicago Trip

   This post may be a bit after the fact, but I visited Chicago with my Grandma, an aunt, and two cousins the weekend before Thanksgiving. This was my fourth trip there, but my first time staying overnight. Needless to say, there was a lot of shopping done.
   We left from Jackson, MI early on the 21st of November in a large bus. We made a few more stops to pick up people and arrived in Chicago before noon. (It was snowing off and on all day, and sometimes it was a mix of rain and snow!) The first place we went was Giordano's, which has the best pizza in all of Chicago, but there is an hour long wait. Luckily, we were able to meet up with some family who had already ordered and been seated.

Part of the decor at Giordano's
    After lunch, we walked to Crate & Barrel, one of my Grandma's favorite shops in Chicago. Then, we went to TJ Maxx and Marshalls.
Maxx Chicago
    After perusing for a bit, Chloe (one of my cousins) and I set off on our own to the closest Barnes & Noble. We spent almost two hours there browsing! By the time we were done, it was starting to get dark outside.
Right after sunset
    We headed back toward our hotel, but made a few stops along the way. One of them included The Water Tower Place.
The Lego store

American Girl
(both Chloe and I own a few)

Ghiradelli for "supper"

Dr. Seuss mini-museum
    Chloe and I went back to the hotel, but quickly left again to watch a parade. We didn't watch for long because it had gotten very cold. We did go to a few more stores including the Disney store. When we got back to the room, Grandma and I went to bed while Chloe hung out with her mom and sister for a bit.
   In order to leave on time and get back at a reasonable hour, we had to have our bags ready to go at 7:30 am. Grandma accidentally woke Chloe and I up an hour early, but she got us Starbucks to make up for it. Grandma and I decided to explore the roof of the hotel before leaving.
Drinking Starbucks on the roof
    Since we had a few hours to spare before we had to meet the bus, the five of us met at The Cheesecake Factory for brunch. Chloe and I then went back to B&N before heading to The Art Institute of Chicago.
We found the Bean along the way
    It was a long walk, but we didn't want to waste money on a cab. It was sunnier, but a lot colder than the day before. We spent some time hunting down pieces we both wanted to see, but separated for the last hour or so as I wasn't feeling well. I sat down on a bench, but started to fall asleep. I got up to see what was near me, when I found a room of miniatures. They had different little displays from different time periods. A few of them looked like they had come straight out of a Jane Austen novel!
This one reminds me of Pemberley
   I had a lot of fun exploring Chicago again, this time in the winter. I loved seeing all of the Christmas lights and decorations. I can't wait to go again!