My Favorites from 2016


I did this last year and I really wanna do it for last year too, even though it’s already mid-Feb. 😄 What were your favorites this year? These are mine!

Favorite Movie

My favorite movie from the whole year was Captain America: Civil War. It’s probably been the biggest payoff movie to a film franchise that I’ve followed or watched in my life. All those superheroes all coming together like that, for one of biggest most enjoyable fight scenes ever…plus all the emotional punches and clashes…it was perfect. As a Marvel fan who’s invested money and time to follow this series, I felt very much rewarded!

Runners Up: Deadpool, Passengers, Finding Dory, Arrival, Doctor Strange, Zootopia.

Favorite Music

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Susumu Hirasawa, Sia, Lindsey Stirling, Odesza just scratch the surface of all the music that became my new favorite this year; I introduced myself to Madonna too, and select pop songs throughout the year.

In the playlist below, I compiled 30 songs that I keenly remember listening to this past year,or that remind me of something that was going on when I discovered it. There’s a strong memory imprinted on each of them. You can read about them on the playlist on YouTube if you’d like. Feel free to scroll through it and help yourself to maybe some new music (there’s soundtracks and all sorts of songs sprinkled in there!)

Favorite Anime

I began watching JoJo way back at the beginning of the year. I watched three full seasons by April to watch the new season weekly with James (it was one of his favorite stories and I said as a Christmas present I would catch up and watch with him.) Wow, was it worth it. I watched this show weekly from April alllllll the way to December and it was flipping awesome. Brilliant genre twists, creativity out of this world, with truly lovable, quirky characters who sneaked into my heart: it was anime of the year for me and James for sure!

Runners Up: Mob Psycho 100, KonoSuba, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, The Diasterous Life of Saiki K., Flip Flappers, Sweetness and Lightning, Orange, ReLife.

FAVORITES FROM MY SOCIAL MEDIA:

TWITTER:

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And the countdown continues!!! ✈️🕓 AM DYING TO MEET MY BEST FRIEND ALREADY: HURRY UP, MAY! ❤️😱

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Got two paint coats done in my bathroom today! It will be Star Wars themed when completed!! 👍🏻😱🎉

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Tink's surgery went well. Praying the tumor doesn't return. 💞🐾

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Dramatic black lighting made this photo actually awesome. 😄 #nofilter

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Last night's finale!

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Finding Dory = basic perfection. I cried and laughed and loved it. Best birthday movie ever. 🐳🐠🐬

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Cozy cozy.

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Fastest blanket I've ever crocheted. 😊👍🏻💞

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Bought myself an after work treat; candy cane Oreo blizzards are actually really awesome. 👌🏻

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Thank goodness I instagramed my shopping list, because I forgot it at home. 😁😂

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And that awful space on my wall is filled!! WITH JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE AWESOMENESS. #jojosbizarreadventure

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ITS RAINING AND I MADE HIM WALK OUT IN IT WITH ME BECAUSE I GOT EXCITED!!!! ☔️☔️☔️☔️☔️

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These are some of my favorite Instagram posts; they capture some big moments, as well as some small ones that I’d nearly forgotten!

PINTEREST

I love my “Me” Pinterest board; I’ve been art, quotes, and images that I feel truly capture an esences of who I am. It’s been wonderful for self-exploration and identifying with my core personality and how I process or think of things! ❤

I made this to collect all the reasons why distance doesn’t matter when it comes to love. ❤

This is of a story I want to write one day; scraps of the plot are scrapping together, and I have magazine clippings from ages ago that have the same vibe for the same story. I decided to make a board for it. ❤

Final Thoughts

This year I did so much! I’ll be recapping some of the things I accomplished in an upcoming post soon in that regard. But looking back over this post, I already really appreciate all the little memories social media saved for me. Plus, I discovered some of the best music ever this past year, and CIVIL WAR WAS JUST AMAZING. xD So, what were your favorite things this year?

~Jamie

My Favorites from 2015


As a follow-up post to my personal rundown of my 2015, I’m going to document a few things that represents my favorite things from 2015. Like music, to what I did on social media, to movies. Well, speaking of movies, let’s start with that!

Favorite Movie

No doubt about, no competition in the ring, Fury Road was the best and most fun movie I saw in 2015 and it is one my favorite movies of all time. Bizarre and grimy, it followed women on the run to find hope in a hopeless world, in a post-apocalyptic, breakneck-speed feature-length car chase. For me, Fury Road succeeded where most action movies fail, in that while it was all mostly action, it didn’t lack a bit of heart from beginning to end.

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I went and watched Fury Road at the theater alone. It only took a few minutes to completely pull me into the savage terror that was Immortan Joe’s world, where deformities and thirst plagued the people while he sat atop a great water reserve. I was quickly invested in the flight of his five wives and their driver, Furiousa, as the six took off find the Green Place where they would not be slaves. The film didn’t have to spell any of this out for me to understand, which I absolutely loved, and my attention was stolen in an instant.

While I loved the epic chase and suspense and brilliant action, Fury Road, though touched with a wacky bizarreness, had as much humanity and heart as it did its action. I was blown away; I walked out of that theater chilled by the ending. I didn’t get another movie experience like that out of 2015, not by a long shot!

Runners up of movies that I loved both from this year, and just seeing for the first time in 2015, include Creed, Redline, Inside Out, Mission Impossible, and The Sixth Sense.

Favorite Soundtracks

8c5480d74c81f7997b17fdc09d1b808b_Fotor_Collage1Left to right, top to bottom: 
Gangsta, Assassination Classroom, Parasyte, Noragami, Death Parade, and Blood Blockade Battlefront.

I’m a huge original soundtrack fan and in 2015 I listened to almost exclusively anime soundtracks. Both as a writer who needs music to write to and as a music enthusiast, I was so happy that by discovering anime, I discovered the rich wealth of their OSTs as well.

I included some that didn’t actually release last year, like Gatchaman Crowds and Redline’s (and Berserk’s has been out for over twenty years) but they were still huge musical highlights of my year!

8c5480d74c81f7997b17fdc09d1b808b_Fotor_Collage2Left to right, top to bottom: 
Redline, Gatchaman Crowds, Wolf Children, Beserk, Food Wars, and Magic Kaito 1412

Favorite Books Read

DarkerShadeofMagic_Fotor_CollageI wanted to read more than I did last year, but the two fictional books I did read entirely were absolutely amazing. In fact, I had to buy The Night Circus for my book shelf. A Darker Shade of Magic and its coming sequel really do deserve future shelf space too.

The Night Circus was phenomenal. It was full of rich descriptions that could have rubbed me the wrong way but instead just soaked me into the world of black and white magic. I couldn’t get enough. And A Darker Shade of Magic was just fantastic and such a joy to read–if magic being smuggled between alternate universes of London doesn’t sound awesome, then I don’t know what does. 😄

Favorite Pop Music

homepage_large_Fotor_CollageI built a brand new appreciate for the treasures hidden in today’s pop music this year. Actually, my appreciate for music in general grew mountains this year alone. SPOILER ALERT: I LISTENED TO A LOT OF KPOP. But there was other pop music too. 😄

Justin Beiber actually put out decent music last year and I was startled to actually like some of it (please please please listen to I’ll Show You; it humanizes him in a really nice way.) Pentatonix blew me out of the water with their latest album of a capella songs. Selena Gomez’s newest electropop has fueled my writing BIG TIME. And I was so excited to get more music from Melanie Martinez. Her dark quirky music just really appeals to the disturbed part of me. *inserts innocent-looking heart-eyes emoji* 😉

But I mostly listened to Kpop. And it’ll just be easier if I just leave this little playlist right here instead of rambling about it. 😄 But this was the soundtrack of 2015 for me, right here. ❤ (especially that first song: listened to that one on repeat for about three days straight while painting a room. XD)

I’m not a band fan, never really have been, but I can rally behind Super Junior and EXO and B.A.P any day. They’re actually really rad and HAVE YOU SEEN THAT CHOREOGRAPHY!?!?!? ❤

Favorites From My Social Media,

This is more for me than for any of you, but enjoy nonetheless! ❤ 😉

Twitter:

Its silly, but I’m thankful for Twitter. Its preserved some interesting things that have run through my head over the last year. 😄 That’s really nice.

Instagram

I’m actually also really thankful for Instagram, too, I almost forgot how much work I put into repainting my mom’s workroom, or standing beneath a lightning storm to film the flashes, or that I had to replace my nine-year old MP3 player. Just, little memories are safely preserved. ❤ 🙂

LOVING my new TV set up!! Any Disney film suggestions for a live tweet tonight??

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No more painting after today!!!

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This is my mortal enemy. #hateyou

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These sweethearts are the first to accompany me somewhere as a 21 year old. I love these dogs and our walks!

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Christmas as a grown-up. 😄 😊👍🏻😂

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Pinterest

I used Pinterest on and off over the year, but I enjoyed the month and a half that I posted everyday to a challenge board to chronicle my feelings for Studio Ghibli movies. My Words board was also a huge place for encouragement and inspiration for me at different points.

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WeHeartIt

These were the collections I was most addicted to filling during 2015, from the cutie patooties with morbid twists, to breathtaking anime-styled artwork, and lots of jellyfish. I’ve always loved WeHeartIt, but this past year it was an especially nice escape for visual beauty. ❤

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Final Thoughts

2015 was a crazy year personally, and I did a lot exploring and embracing of things that I’d considered weird *cough-Kpop-cough* or too scary (like being afraid of being myself on my own social media sites.) I hope I can keep exploring and embracing new things into my life in 2016 too!

So, what were your favorite things of the year?

~Jamie

Social Media and The “Freedom” of Expression


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For those who might follow me on Twitter, you will have gone through some self-realization with me on the day after my birthday. Taking a break from personal blogging resulted in several things, and this was one of them. Keeping my thoughts to myself for a while somehow made it possible for me to–well, more than just identify a problem, but I had a clear-enough head to do something about it. I have my original train of thought from Twitter below for you to read:

It’s a constant struggle, it seems, to continually express myself openly. It is something I struggle with a lot. Social media lets eyes into your mind when they otherwise wouldn’t be. Let’s be honest: The people on social media who make each site what it is can create expectations that are intimidating, and can make it hard to share yourself honestly. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media because they can create platforms to do so many different things…but there’s a negative side them all, too.

Facebook is fully of well-meaning parents, peers, and elders who can be quick to speak their minds without being sensitive. Twitter puts up expectations that one must be funny and sarcastic all the time. Tumblr will literally get offended by anything you might say, no matter what its about. Instagram sells the misconception of “they must have perfect lives, look at their perfect pictures, my life sucks compared to them.” There’s just no filter for “I just feel like a mess right now.”

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And blogging can have heated articles full of unresearched opinions, while the opposite side of the spectrum is full of writers who are too scared to share certain fandoms or thoughts; simply for the response they might get from readers and family–“What are you doing? You watch that? You need to write a disclaimer before every tv show you watch to make sure no one stumbles.” It makes it really hard to share some things about yourself.

It’s for reasons like this that one doesn’t just casually state, along-side their other fandoms, “I love Game of Thrones.” No seriously, that’s me actually admitting that I love Game of Thrones for the first time on this blog. 99% of you didn’t know that about me because its something I’ve kept private for the reasons I just listed in the paragraph above.

Vulnerability IS SCARY. But I meant what I said in that last tweet about being me everywhere un-apologetically. That’s why I’m sitting here writing this.

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Of course, what you share on social media is ultimately up to you. Privacy is always a very good thing to keep in mind; I generally share more than most because I know that speaking plainly about topics resting on my heart not only helps me but others too. And I like to feel connected to people who feel the same vulnerability. I actually wish there was more of this on the Internet but I understand why most people are private.

But its silly when things like fandom Pinterest boards and silly little thoughts for Twitter become filtered for no reason. And it took me two months of blogging “radio” silence to realize that’s what I’ve been doing to myself.

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Being myself has and probably always will be a battle for me as I learn to let go of expectations. Besides, I’ve had people freak out over my likes and dislikes for years–In 2011 my sister and I were verbally attacked for an extended period of time by church peers because we were watching Star Wars without dissecting it to pieces. STAR. WARS. So, I’m learning to wear tough skin when it comes to the fandom things. 😄

To cut this short: this whole social media thing was a fantastic “ah-ha” moment that I had almost two months ago and I’ve been looking forward to sharing it with you guys! I felt like in a day I grew up a little bit more. I live for these types of moments in my life, these types of revelations of my hesitation.

I feel kinda dumb after having them; like, “wow, I shouldn’t let this bother me. I can make however many stupid Pinterest boards I want. Why do I do this to myself.” This might honestly sound like a pretty silly, trivial issue to some of you, to struggle with social media, which is ok. But I know a lot of other people might struggle with this too, and I want those people to know they’re not alone.

I love social media. It’s an awesome thing.  But it’s especially awesome when I can feel free to use it for me. Thanks again for listening, guys. ❤

~Jamie

Addressing Six Pet Peeves (the last one being the most important)


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Why oh why oh why do people do these things?

Auto Playlists: I’m starting on one which I think we all can agree with right off the bat. I don’t know anyone who likes to visit a website or blog and be greeted by an automatic orchestra… or Owl City. Thankfully this has become less and less a problem over the years and automatic playlists have become a no-no if you want your blog to be welcoming to a visiting audience. And I’m not banning playlists completely; I think it’s cool if you have a playlist on your blog that I can play myself if I’m A) interested in finding out what you like because I like what I see on your blog and music is a great way to get to know someone’s personality and tastes; B) bored of my music and want to find new music or C) I happen to be in a open and curious mood that day. 🙂

Fake Fans. I covered this in a post already but it is such a pet peeve of mine that I had to include it on this list again. Click the link to read more.

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The Blocks of Hastags on Instagram: Oh good gravy. I love Instagram but these drive me IN-SANE. I personally made it a rule of mine not to over more then ten hashtags per post. It looks attention seeking when there are fifty two hashtags under the image. This includes talking through hashtags under your image. It’s not easy to read. At all. Hopefully, overusing hashtags will die out one of these days, but I won’t count on it.

The Misrepresentation of Sherlock Holmes’s Feelings Towards Women In Movies. (I’m trying to scrape a post up on this one.) Seriously, the movies seem to get it wrong most of the time. They either portray Holmes in love with Irene Adler, WHICH DID NOT HAPPEN, or they portray him as a jerk to all women, which he was nothing of the sort in the original stories. This drives me mad but I shall save my raving about this one for later.

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Snapbacks. You know those hats that guys wear; they look a little like baseball caps but are NOT baseball caps? They’re called snapbacks. And they are awful. They automatically make guys look like they have no intelligence whatsoever–I’m sorry, but it’s true. Ugh; does anyone want to have bonfire with me and we just burn as many as we can? BTW: Baseball caps are cool. Please go back to baseball caps.

People telling other people what they can and cannot feel: This is of a more serious nature and bothers me a lot more than snapbacks do. I really, really dislike this. I have two examples for you:

I’ve seen this behavior a lot on Twitter recently, now that it’s become cold across the nation. Someone makes a status saying, “Wow, I’m cold, it’s such and such degrees outside!” and someone else comes along on their tweet and says, “It’s twice as cold where I’m at, you have no right to be complaining, I wish I had your weather” ect. Excuse me? What’s warm for someone might be cold to someone else-they weren’t speaking for you in the first place, were they? Short Version: if someone is cold, let them be cold! I find this type of behavior incredibly rude–and that example is on a small scale.

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What’s even worse, is that people, especially Christians–ESPECIALLY ADULTS– do this with things like feelings, which are intimate pieces of a human’s soul. Someone might express that they are fearful about something and half a dozen people will come along, with big gasps, exclaiming, “Don’t say such things, you can’t be afraid! Living in fear is a sin! Hmm, you must not be trusting in God or living by faith!” Excuse me?! Where has the real Christainity gone; where’s the encouragement, the empthay, the “I’m so sorry you’ve been facing fear, I know how that feels, is there something I could be praying for you while you experiencing these traumas/insecurities/ ect.” It’s takes a lot of courage for someone to confess that they might be struggling with something as big as fear, and it makes me so mad when they’re beaten over the head with it by the people who are supposed to love and support them through their storms.

For gosh sakes, stop telling people how they should or shouldn’t be feeling by downsizing what you think their relationship with God is and instead show them that you actually want to take their feelings into consideration, whether it be trivial or soul-wrenching!

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Short Version: Christians, stopping Bible-Beating people who are actually being honest about what they’re struggling with. You’re making us all look very, very sad.

~Jamie

Christmas Aftermath


(aka, because today is kinda the only day when showing off my gifts is reasonably except-able. Yeah, I went there.)

I hope you all had good Christmases! Let me recap my Christmas.

In the morning, I got to see my brother and sister’s reactions to the tree, which was great fun. Mom put the traditional orange rolls in the oven and then we all made our own piles of presents where we wanted to sit. I got one half of the couch and that’s where I put my presents.

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I LOVE the selection of wrapping paper that many of my gifts were wrapped in; lots of red and white! Among my gifts, I was given a poster of Loki, a poster of Daryl from The Walking Dead from Kayla, Toy Story 3, a very nice Disney watch from Nathan, Doctor Who notebooks, a gift card for the movies, a Sherlock Holmes pillow case, a USB power wall adapter for my iPod, and all sorts of sweets and candy! Cotton candy, whoppers, nerds, marshmallows, chocolate and so much more! Oh, and cash. Some very nice cash. 🙂 I plan to spend it wisely but happily! My dad gave me some things a few days before Christmas, too, which included the entire rebooted collection of Doctor Who, Seasons 1-7.

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I felt very blessed by all my presents on Christmas Day because I didn’t ask for that much this year because I really couldn’t think of anything. I did ask for the two posters and was so happy to get both of them! But I loved being surprised by what I got-and I love pleasant surprises!

I gave Nathan a lego set of a car, I bought Mom her favorite candy and helped Kayla buy her one of our favorite movies, The Help. I really wanted to get Kayla some special things, so I got her a gift card for Wal-Mart, Taylor Swift guitar music to play on her guiatar, a music poster and movie she really wanted! It felt so good seeing her open her presents and loving them! I put more thought into buying presents this year so it felt a lot more personal. It was nice. 🙂

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We spent the day taking it easy; we decorated gingerbread men, watched Christmas movies, played Christmas music, ate candy and leftovers. Did I happen to mention it was really nice?

Christmas Day this year was certainly different from any past Christmases, but it was a good different. The kitchen didn’t become a mess. The opening of the presents in the morning was relaxed and didn’t feel rushed. I felt very peaceful and content before seeing any of the presents, which I credit to growing more mature throughout this year. This was my first year with my iPod and Instagram so I was able to take some nice pictures throughout the day. I also liked seeing my friends’ Christmases on Instagram, that was a lot of fun! I love social media and how it’s kept me somewhat ‘social’. 🙂

Overall, this was one of the best Christmas’s I’ve ever had!

Okay, who’s looking forward to the New Year now?! 🙂

~Jamie