My Entries for Banana and Bear's Contest: Sunglasses and Playgrounds

These are the photos for the Photo Contest that is happening over at Banana and Bear. :) I quickly have to do this, as I have more blog orders that I need to address to and I'm writing my entry for Bethan's contest. I hope you like these photos! Expect another post tomorrow!

Category 1: Summer Food 

 Category 2: Summer Clothing.

Category 3: Nature 

Category 4: Animal

Category: Summer activity. If this seems unclear to you, this is a photo of hikers, taken when I went hiking.

 Category 5: Something you use in the summer. They are sunglasses! But I do use the dictionary in the summer. And if you see the face in the glasses... that's because right behind where I was taking the photo is a TV screen.

Category 7: Anything! This is a photo taken when my little cousin brought me on the playground set and I had to go look after her. I had to go on the playground, but this was a nice view for a picture. ^.^
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Airshow | Birthday Party

I was out this weekend, but not for the reasons you might have all expected. Some of you might have heard my family was supposed to go fishing starting last Friday but bailed when one of their friends had other plans to go fishing at another place other than what we intended, so there was a major change of plans.

Friday turned out to be a typical day with that lazy vibe of sitting and falling asleep under the heat. With my parents out of the house for several hours, my brother and I decided to watch Batman Begins, after watching the sequel, The Dark Knight Rises, so many times. It wasn't exactly what we expected. My brother wanted out after twenty minutes, wondering why it was slow-paced, but I'm glad we pushed through. I really wonder why Batman ditched his wing in the second movie...

On Saturday, with the rest of my family, I went to an air show that happened only every couple of years. Before that, my family made a few stops to our library to check out books. Alongside the library was an event that was going on showing inventions. I wanted to go bad, but my family was on a tight schedule and you had to pay to get in. Something that we did see was a trailer shaped like a rocket, and the owners invited us in for a quick look. I really wished to have taken a picture of it, but I didn't want to be disrespectful.

After another ten minutes of driving, my family got into the air show area. We got to see military planes and the insides of them. There were tons of vendors everywhere, the aroma ringing in the scent of funnel cakes.

The first plane we saw was a Canadian plane that was docked, well, parked, and the crew told us a bit about themselves. They even gave us a maple leave sticker (picture should be shown below).

There were so many planes that were out and we were allowed to explore the insides of, I lost count! There were also areas dedicated to showing gear that the military had to use, and miniature surveillance planes. In fact, there was a rover that interacted with all of the little kids!

Finally, the time came when the main showing arrived! This show never fails to impress me, even after seeing it time after time again.

Finally, on Sunday, I went to my cousins birthday party. She turned four yesterday. The party was Disney princess themed, with Anna balloons, a Merida cake, and my cousin wearing an Elsa costume (though she claims to be Anna). Frozen and High School Musical music was being played everywhere. This was an event I couldn't take much pictures of, except for one showing another one of my cousins, other than the birthday girl, opening a box of pizza. Look below:

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Summertime Beauty

Lately the weather that I've been having where I live has been pretty nice. My family-- well, mainly my grandmother-- has an extensive garden around our house. If you faced my driveway from a street point of view, a part of the garden would be on the left side of the driveway. The other part would be in the backyard, where soap suds sink into the dirt because the backyard is where my dad and brother tend to wash items, such as tires and our outdoor table set. Here are some pictures that I took from the garden, some weeds, and of the skies-- I hope you enjoy them!

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.” - Walt Disney Company, Mulan

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers...." 
-Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

“A weed is but an unloved flower.” 
― Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” 
― Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds
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(P.S. For those bloggers who have ordered a design from me, it may take me several days; the waiting list is piling up! To see who is on the waiting list, please check out the design page.)

Of Shippings and Ice Cream (Liebster Award Again)

I've been nominated once again for the Liebster Award by Eve, Jollygirl, Michaela and Oakstar! Thank you all!
+ Post eleven facts about yourself.
+ Answer the eleven questions provided by the person who nominated you and then create an eleven-question set for the next group of nominees.
+ Choose eleven people to nominate and link them in the post.
+ Let your nominees know they've been tagged - and no tag-backs!
My (44) facts:
1) I'd like to say I'm a pacifist 70 percent of the time. The other 30 percent is when I have to start speaking louder to fight and stand up for what is right.
2) I rarely procrastinate unless it's summer or I have to force myself to write. In my case right now, I've been hit by a double whammy.
3) I love anything that revolves around the arts and sports.
4) I tend to use intricate vocabulary when I'm cranky.
5) I can do double digit multiplication in my head in a matter of seconds.
6) My fashion sense (I'm not much into fashion) revolves around vests, hats, and horizontal stripes.
7) My favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip.
8) I've been working on my longest novel project for three or four years.
9) I have no idea what career I'm going to get into or what I'll major in for college.
10) By graduation for high school, I would have maybe laughed at what I said for number nine.
11) I just binged-watched and finished up on Friday season one of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. because...
12) My entire family was out and about either at work or on a men's only fishing trip...
13) So I had the entire house to myself, plus my grandma, who knitted most of the day.
14) I also was bombarded with TONS of blog orders to fulfill.
15) I spent an hour running outside yesterday because I haven't been outside on my own time.
16) On Friday, I ate a calzone with spinach for lunch.
17) For dinner, I ate barbecue grilled chicken wings.
18) In the evening, I spent most of my time stretching.
19 I read lots, too.
20) I also kept switching the TV channels back and forth between Sleepless In Seattle and Rio, because nothing good was on for movies.
21) I finished the day reading the end of Michael Vey: Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans. Ha! Still remember the author from the book competition.
22) I actually had to turn an electric fan on because it was so hot in my room. This usually doesn't happen.
23) If I were a Hogwarts student, I would probably be in Ravenclaw.
24) I now ship Fitz/Simmons.
25) Which is weird, because I usually don't make a big deal shipping one true pairings (OTPs).
26) I am current reminiscing the time in fifth grade when all of us fifth graders kept knocking on on the wall that separated the fifth grade classrooms because we had a Narnia fandom craze.
27) I can't wait until Blood of Olympus comes out!
28) Now I'm wondering why most YA novels have love triangles. In the end, there's going to be one pairing, you know!
29) I wonder how Lin got the scar on her face.
30) I have yet to see the two new Legend of Korra episodes that came out last Friday.
31) I'm Divergent with an aptitude between Abnegation, Erudite, and Amity!
32) I like looking at different conspiracies that connect different fandoms together (like the one that connects Frozen, Tangled and the Little Mermaid together).
33) I missing singing Frozen songs aloud in theater.
34) With that said, I currently miss all of my friends, who I've had limited contact with.
35) Now with theater mentioned, I want to audition for at least one play this year: either (can't mention name of the plays, sorry): the royalty, the swashbuckling, or the storybook telling one.
36) I'm happy about actually contacting the school counselors about how my schedule got mixed up; I get to go to do Algebra II! No way am I taking Geometry again.
37) I have "Do You Want To Build A Snowman" stuck in my head, but...
38) I am listening to a song called "Sticks and Stones."
39) Currently I am craving a pita.
40) Because I have many blog designs, I can not reply to your comments. :(
41) I'm really awkward.
42) Speaking about myself is really awkward, because I'm usually a closed, reserved person.
43) When I was younger, I used to knock on the back of wardrobes.
44) This post is kinda stressing me out.

Eve's Questions:
1. "If you could choose your own natural hair color, what color would it be?"
The color I would change my natural hair color to is a chocolate brown. I can't change my complexion or demeanor, so it if it were that shade I would be fine. I'd imagine myself with also red hair, or just black hair with orange highlights, something I was going to do over the summer but instead ran out of time to do.
2. "If a dog started talking to you would you...
A. Jump up and down screaming and run away at the shock of it.
B. Think your mind was playing tricks on you and walk on.
C. Start up a conversation with the dog.
D. Non of the above. What kind of question is this anyways?"
I would start up a conversation with the dog, definitely! I'd pretty much ask how life is from a dog's point of view! I mean, honestly, how often do you bump into talk dogs every single day? Not everyday, right? Might as well take that chance to do so!
3. "How do you eat a Twix bar?"
I usually just try to take small bites in the beginning, but when the Twix is almost gone, I take big bites.
4. "Would you rather keep your Christmas tree up for a year or wear Christmas sweaters for a year?"
I'd rather keep my Christmas tree up for a year. Most people in my neighborhood usually don't remove their Christmas lights until May through July, so it wouldn't be that awkward. I love Christmas sweaters, but I 
doubt I can stand the heat.
All of these questions are making me think of Christmas-- in July!
5. "If you had to dress in a certain time period's fashion all your life, which would it be?"
Hmm... Whichever time period thought that vests, hats, and horizontal stripes were in, which was probably the late nineties/early 2000s. If you're wondering if that's how I usually dress up, then yes.
6. "Is there a food you eat that when you eat it you think of a certain memory?"
An orange is the food I associate with fifth grade. We always had this orange peeling contest between everyone in class to see who can peeling their orange skin all in one piece clean. My friends-- who, to this day, I'm still good friends with-- at my group (pod), we always had this mini competition against each other. This was four years ago.
7. "If you could be the author of one of your favorite books, which would it be?"
I'm not sure. I'm indecisive for this song.
8. "Who is one person through History that you would like to chat with?"
So many! I haven't really gotten into history until recently, so the people I would choose are Martin Luther King Jr., C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, L.M. Montgomery, and King Arthur, same as Jollygirl. Mr. King wrote great speeches and did so much in his lifetime to fight for what he strongly believed in. One of his speeches, called What Is Your Life's Blueprint, is hanging up on my mirror. The next three people are all author I admire. Finally, I'd meet King Arthur, because when I was in a play based on Camelot, I read up on some of the legends and found them fascinating.
9." Is there a song that annoys you? If so what is it?"
#SELFIE. When I first heard this song, I was thinking that it was just a made-up song or parody of a song that the radio station made up. They tend to do that in the mornings. Then, people told me, "You know this is a real song, right?" I have nothing against people taking seflies, but when you're singing a song about selfless and you aren't really even singing... Come on! It just annoys me so much!
10. "Would you rather wear flip flops in the winter, or wear a coat in the summer?"
This is simple: wear flip flops in the winter. I live in a place that has snow for almost half of the year round. I can stand out in twenty below weather and be just fine with a light sweatshirt and books. Besides, "the cold never bothered me anyway." I'm used to the weather!

11. "Things you didn't get to do this summer:"
There are a couple, actually. First, I haven't traveled anywhere out of town. Second, I didn't hang out with friends (my parents are so busy, they haven't helped set up a schedule to check out and meet friends' parents), Finally, I've never been fishing this year, something my family does annually. I still have a month left, so I may be able to go and do some of these activities on time!
Left to right: Sara Bareilles, Colbie Calliat, and Taylor Swift
Jollygirl and Michaela's Questions:
1. "What type of music do you listen to? (Genre, artists, songs?)"
You'll be surprised at how much music I listen to. I usually listen to movie soundtracks because, if you read my last post, most of the pop songs on the radio nowadays (western pop) all away the same thing. We need diversity in our music! I listen to pop... from other countries. Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, even Icelandic! I'll also listen to folk and indie. There are so many songs that I love listening to, I can't list them all! But here are some of my favorite artists: Sara Bareilles, Colbie Calliat, Taylor Swift, OneRepublic, Jason Mraz, John Powell, Harry Gregson-Williams, Jeremy Zuckerman, Lorde, and Birdy. As I'm typing this, I'm listening to this video right here by Colbie Calliat. Nice message it has:

2. "What usually cheers you up?"
My friends and music. ^.^ 
3. "What makes you sad?"
Something that makes me sad is when I see and visit my real life friends for the last time and won't be able to see them awhile (the main reason why I suffer summertime sadness). Sure, I can text and email them, but hanging out with the, is much more fun. There's more interaction and we can never go five minutes without laughing. Some of my friends I may not see again at all, like the ones from my theater group. :( (If I ask my parents if I can audition for ONE play this year with my local theater group, I'll see them again. The chances of that happening are pretty slim!)
4. "Is there something you constantly misplace at your house or anywhere?"
Most people don't know this about me, but when I have to stare at anything that has a screen, I need to wear glasses. Before, I used to wear them daily. Sometimes I wear my glasses even when I'm not on a screen. A lot of times, I read with my glasses on, so whenever I need to get onto my laptop, I can't find my glasses and spend about ten minutes trying to look for them, almost every single day.

5. "Do you have a favorite book? Why or why not?"
I have a favorite book list, but a book that stands alone that's my favorite? That would take me hours to pick out of a compiled list! If I had to think extremely hard, I would choose Shug, by Jenny Han, or Wonder, by R.J. Palacio.
6. "What is the longest you have slept?"
The longest I've slept is for fifteen hours because my family flew from the west side of the country to New York state... and I never slept during all of those flights. I'm thinking that this year, I might top that when my family flies for vacation in the next couple of months.
7. "Do you have anyone you go to for advice?"
Yes. I have lots of friends in the community who tend to clash heads with one another sometimes, so whenever there is an argument break out, I tend to have to play peacemaker and say, "Stop! Let's work this out." Then I listen to both sides of the story and give advice from there. And yeah, even when I wasn't there for an argument, people will come to me and ask for help.
8. "What is the one habit you are proud of breaking or want to break?"
I want to break the habit of biting my nails.
9. "What do you usually order at a restaurant? What is your favorite restaurant?"
At a restaurant, I like to order (if they have any) ravioli. My family seldom gets any, so when there a chance to grab ravioli, I'll take it! I also love egg drop soup from Asian restaurants, but I wouldn't mind trying a burger or steak on occasion. My favorite restaurant? This place isn't necessarily a restaurant, but it's a fancy cafe-like place that serves sandwiches and subs.
10. What is your favorite word? Least favorite?
I tend to say "shish kebabs" spontaneously, so that must be my favorite word.
I don't have a least favorite word.
11. "Describe something that happened you for which there was no reasonable explanation?"
Some people in my science class last year, including myself, made a pun board on the white board. 
Oakstar's Questions
1. If you could cast a Patronus, what would the happy memory be? (Translation from geek-speak: What's your happiest memory?)
I know you've heard me rave on about these people so many times right now. This is my most happy memory, but one of my happiest. My happy memory would be doing theater. Before, I used to be stuck at home during break, 24/7. All I did every day was write on my laptop, which I loved. But I wanted freedom to explore. Theater took two months of my life, in a good way, and turned it upside down. I got a chance to go out into the world and live my life rather then spent my time facing a screen.
2. What would your Boggart be? (Translation from geek-speak: What's your worst fear?)
Ooh, this is tough... I'm not sure how the Boggart would appear as, but my worst two fears are tied: not having freedom and deep water. Freedom means everything to me, and by freedom, I mean running outside and hanging out with my friends and being out there meeting people in the community, face-to-face. As of now, almost all of my freedom has almost been taken, except for contact through email and text.
3. Apples or oranges?
Oranges, because I have memories associated with them! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go up and look at one of my previous answers to Eve's or Jollygirl's/Michaela's set of questions up above, which explains and goes a little bit into the memory.
4. Do you like tea?
I LOVE tea! Well, herbal tea, anyways; I have never tried milk tea before. It's very seldom that my family has it in our household, so whenever I stay go to a hotel or I go to a youth retreat, the two places that has tons of tea, I try to drink as much as I can.
5. Hair: Curly or straight?
I'm not entirely sure what you're asking... I have wavy hair, which is not exactly curly or straight. If you're asking what sort of hair I would style my hair as everyday, I'd have it curly, but just a tiny bit. I love the hair I have now, and nothing is going to change that.
6. What fictional character would you slap in the face when you meet?
There's this one character in Wonder, the main external antagonist was Julian. He was super mean; he kept telling people stuff about Auggie behind his back, and sometimes, right up to his face. He indirectly bullied Auggie in front of the entire cast. But as I said in my last post, I don't think I would have had the heart to actually slap him in the face because violence is really against my nature.
7. What's an irrational fear that you have that nobody else has, such as the fear of the colour pink?
I don't think I have an irrational fear...
8. What's a strange pet peeve of yours?
My friends from this camp and I talked about this, but we get annoyed when there's a random physical open door in our sight and we just want to close it. It's something that we kept talking about for twenty minutes straight and never thought was weird for one second.
9. Do you think you spend too much time on the internet, wish you spent more, or do you think you spend just enough time?
I spend way too much time on the Internet, but only for a good reason: my real life friends, the ones that I know from school; some of them don't have phones or they can't text, so the only way to connect with them is through email. (Like my friend Brynn.)
10. Do you enjoy camping?
Are you kidding me? I LOVE CAMPING!!! To be honest, I've only been on one trip that was actual wilderness/forest camping; the only camping that I've been to is camping when I go deep net fishing each year. I wish I can go do more traditional camping, or even go to a residential summer camp! I've never been to one of them (residential summer camps are foreign terms to my parents).
11. Spicy, salty, or sweet?
Sweet. I can not express how much I can't handle spicy foods. If you gave me spicy Cheetos, I would then ask to have two bottles of water. That's how much I can't stand spiciness. As for saltiness, I can only stand it so much.
Livy from Little Livys
Lexie from What Lexie Loves
Maiya from Willowy and Wispy
Jada from Through the Eyes of a Writer
Chloe from Rainbow of Words
1) Do you value justice or mercy more?
2) How many pairs of shoes do you own?
3) How long can you balance on one foot?
4) Would you rather trade some intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence?
5) If you could ask your future self one question what would it be?
6) What do you have on your fridge door?
7) Do you prefer straight or bendy straws?
8) Do you often read your horoscope?
9) What was the last DVD you purchased?
10) Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
11) Favorite song from a movie?
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Blogging 101: For Beginners

After many hours of thinking, maybe you do want to start up on blogging. Maybe you want to start up on blogging because your friends in real life are blogging, or you want to blog after seeing all of those amazing blogs that are out there and the tight-knit community and friendship they may have. Whatever the case may be, you just want to start a blog.
But first off, where do you start?
Today's post isn't going to be about HTML or CSS (trust me, I'll get there by the end of the month). No. The post I am writing about today is geared towards more of the newer bloggers: how to start up a blog. These points I am giving you do not necessarily have to be done chronologically. They are just the order I would recommend doing. These points will help pinpoint and guide you today toward the road of your blog of tomorrow.
A great place to start is one, finding your blog platform. If you look all over the Internet, there are many platforms that you can blog from, such as Blogger, Wordpress, Typepad, you name it. Want to customize your blog and mess around with the raw HTML? I would suggest getting Blogger. Want to take control and have a professional look for your blog? Wordpress has some pretty nice templates for you to use.
What I am getting at is, all of these different platforms have different features, and you will have to look at its various aspects to see which will end up suiting you best. The top three blogging platforms I would recommend using are Blogger, Wordpress, and Typepad. (Hover over each name to head to their homepage). You do have to realize though, that unless you are buying a domain name, your URL will look something like this:
Now, the second thing that you should do is deciding on what your blog's theme and content will be. In a way, you're trying to categorize your blog into what you are going to write about. Is your blog going to be a lifestyle, DIY, book/movie review, religious, a fan girl blog, or some of those categories mashed up into a sand pile? Certain categories will draw or push away different readers. After all, blogging is just about the same as reading books! Some books appeal to some but may be displeasing to others.
Most bloggers I know of have fan girl and lifestyle blogs, but I do know plenty of blogs that are created by book bloggers and aspiring authors. If you want to attract many readers, you should do a mix of some of those categories. If you mix up the blog categories of lifestyle, fan girl and raving, and aspiring authors with a tiny pinch of examining the complexities of life, plus adding spoonfuls of getting my opinions heard with a vision to make a world a better place... that's my blog.
Your blog's theme and content have to be set and envisioned to a certain degree. Could that theme and vision change? Of course it can. Why am I telling you this as one of the main points? The next two steps I am going to give you correlate with number two.
The third thing that you should decide on is your blog title. Some tips I have for you on naming your blog are this:
i.) Let your title represent/mirror the content and theme of your blog. Now, the blog title is like the title of books; it should spark interest in possible readers. If your blog is about animals but you name it, "Peach On the Brach," and Peach is the name of your pet parrot, how will people know that your blog is about animals? That brings up a tiny point I wish to make: keep your title straightforward, too.
ii.) Make your something short...
I cannot tell you how many times I wish I had known this when I had first started off my blog. When I watched Brain Games once, this one episode talked about how many people tend to zone out after the second or third word of a list. The same concept goes here. When I talk to the few of my real life friends about my blog, I simply refer to it as "Ups and Downs". It's a lot more easier to remember and is less of a mouthful.
iii.) ...But sweet and memorable.
Let's imagine that I am a new tween/teen blogger named Leah who started a blog after moving from a tiny town in Minnesota to the famous Big Apple itself, New York City, tackling the challenges that the city has to offer. And let us say that moving to NYC is like finally being able to meet the world, and my blog is about that transition and about what I experience in the big city. Several possibilities of what I (if I were Leah) could name my blog are:
Taking On the World
A Crunch of the Big Apple
Leah Meets the City
Leah In the Big City
Coming up with a blog title can take awhile, so be patient. Besides, if you don't like your blog's title, you can always end up changing it in the middle of your blogging career. It's a bit like Stargirl, the fictional character in the book that has the same name. Whenever she feels like she isn't that name any more or doesn't "fit", like Pocket Mouse, she would change her name to whatever she feels like she is.
The final thing to do for now is to write your first post. Your first post doesn't have to be anything special, but you should, in your first post, give a brief introduction about yourself and what this blog is going to be about. That way, if new readers stumble across your blog as you're beginning your blogging journey, they'll know what to expect.
Wait, where is the designing element for blogging? Well that, my friends, is going to be revealed in the blogging tip post: how to design your blog, why, and key things to keep in mind!
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The seats for my mom and grandma's flight were all booked by the time I decided I wished to go on their trip, so in the end, I was left at home and instead, spent all of last week at the Energy camp at the local university!

I was the first girl to arrive. For five minutes, I was sitting in a little ball, wondering if I was going to have to be the girl who has to dominate and stay strong in a room filled with guys. About twenty minutes later, there were seven more girls who arrived. (Close call there!)

Our professor that week gave us a brief summary about different types of energy, then told us to pair off into groups, come up with a name, and write it on the board. I was paired off with two girls who knew each other from their school. For awhile, we just sat there, not sure what to call our name. One of my team mates decided, because there were no other choices we could have chosen, to be called the Purple Pandas.

Our first experiment for the week? We had to see how much energy we can convert by burning marshmallows off marshmallows using washers, an empty soda can, tin foil, wires, and metal. It sounds a bit boring, but it turned fun when we built a huge fortress of tin foil for our team to see. Plus, we were working hard to beating everyone else. Right before the final seconds of burning our final marshmallow, we decided to change our name to-- wait for it-- ...The Flaming Marshmallows!

The girls in my group were awesome. In fact, most of the girls in the class were. It turns out, the people in my group knew some of the people I knew from their school, so we got to talk about them a lot. They were real nice too; we spent our spare free moments watching The Fault in Our Stars trailers and drawing on the Paint app on the computer. With the girls from other groups, we basically grabbed lots of duct tape for our project and joked around tons. My group drew this tidbit of a quote:

Recognize which reference we got this from? 

Sadly, we didn't win for the first competition that we had. Our group was determined to do so, though!

On Thursday, our entire class was able to tour the new constructed building for the university! We got the full gear that the workers at the construction site had: the orange vests, a hard hat, some glasses, earplugs and gloves! I couldn't take any pictures during the tour; they weren't allowed!

A informative page about the new building.
Our final project for the week revolved around seeing how much our energy would be stabilized around our turbine and solar panels that we received, with winning an actual prize of an iTunes gift card for each person in our group. Over those last couple of days, we were watching videos about this heat rub used in Asia, and so, for the last time, we decided to change our team name to:

Tiger Balm!

We almost couldn't compete in the competition because the wires which we had to tie our wind turbine and solar panel together weren't working well, but in the end, we made it through. Our group's wind turbine was different compared to everyone else's, for we had added a bit of our dramatic flair by coloring the blades!

Ha ha ha! Dramatic flair alert!
  • After all of that hard work and trouble we had, our group actually won by only a couple of points difference! Okay, maybe the prize was small, but I had such a good time at the university's camp. In the end, that's all that matters.

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Award Spree!

Hi, everyone! I got nominated by Bethan and Lizzie for le Prix De Soleil! No, I don't know French, but I've been searching for classes in town to learn the language! Thank you, you two! Please go check out their blogs; they're amazing writers! I loved the questions that they gave me. I spent about four hours thinking and writing about them, so unlike my usual answers to the Sunshine Award, these are pretty lengthy. I hope when you read through them, you'll learn a little more about me!

i. Thank the person who nominated you.
ii. Answer the questions the person who nominated you asked.
iii. Nominate a few other bloggers.
iv. Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you nominated.
v. Notify the bloggers you nominated on their blog.
vi. Put the award button on your blog.
Bethan's Questions:
1. "When is your birthday (you don't have to say the year)?"
My birthday is sometime in September! Let's just keep it at that for now. And let me just say that my birthday is at the end of the month, and that I'm a Libra. So really, you all have one in eight chances to guess my birthday correctly. When my birthday does comes, I will tell you all, and we will kick it off possibly with a blog party! Haha, that idea just popped into my mind. :)

2. "Why did you start blogging?"
I started blogging because long story short, I loved writing. That, and I also didn't know who I am. I forgot what this pyramid was called, but they mentioned in health class the stage that people around the ages of 12-19 (maybe it went up to 21) are going through is self-identity, meaning you're trying to find the answer to the questions, "Who am I?" "What do I stand for?" "What is my purpose?" I'm in that age range and I'm asking myself those questions, too. So, with those two thoughts at hand, I decided to make this blog to also, one, share my thoughts and opinions and to have a voice that eventually would relate to people in their toughest times, and two, record all of the ups and downs happening in my life. The title, The Ups and Downs of My Not-So-Average Life (yes, it's a mouthful, I'm sorry; the nickname is just Ups and Downs) really reflects all of those reasons of why I blog. And honestly? "Not-so-average" is just my way of saying "unique". We all go through similar trials and turmoils but we each go through them differently. Just as I yelled aloud in the cafeteria while walking with my friend Jaden on the last week of school (note: she's a girl): "We are never alone!"

3. "What is on the top of your To Be Read pile?"
Oooh, this is so hard! I'm not sure because usually, I check out books from the library by just picking them off the shelves, and then I end up enjoying the books and try to look for their sequels. That, and on Goodreads, my friends recommend books to me. Until two days ago, the top of my TBR pile was I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore. Now, I think it's Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. She has about three books out, with only Second Chance Summer I read. I love her style of writing. I've been going to the library for about three months now always asking whether the book is checked out or not.

My current book pile from the library. How To Betray A Dragon's Hero and The Meaning of Maggie were renewed books.
4. "How are you today? :)"
I'm quite well, thank you! I'm just a bit tired from helping my dad shop at Home Depot and going over to get pitas for lunch while my brother was complaining about missing who won the FIFA World Cup. Staying at home most of the summer has really made me bored around the household. ^.^ The only contact I have with my real life friends are through texting, this blog, and seeing them at Costco. They read my blog, but they never comment. They're silent ninja readers! A, W, and D, you know who you are.

5. "If you could be room mates with one fictional character, who would it be and why?"
If I had to be room mates with one fictional character, I would choose Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. She seems the safest one to actually be a room mate with compared to Katniss, Tris, and Clary. A close runner up would be Annabeth Chase from Percy Jackson. She's used to meeting people and chatting with them at Camp Half-Blood, and I would chat with her nonstop and learn reading Ancient Greek fluently from her.

6. "If you could be one fictional character, who would it be and why?"
Have you guys ever heard of the fictional character Stargirl from the book by Jerry Spinelli under the same name? If you haven't heard of her, her real name is Susan Caraway, a sophomore-formerly-home schooled girl who attended Mica Area High School, known as MAHS for short. Anyways, she was the one who caused all of these bursts of individuality throughout the school, something that they mostly lacked prior to her arrival, but then those bursts soon became, sadly, what made the entire school shun her. I'd seriously love to be her. She is selfless and knows how to play the ukulele real well. And her "magical place", the place in the middle of the desert where she does nothing, is beautiful. I tried to do nothing once, and it almost worked. It almost did!

7. "If you could push one fictional character off a cliff, who would it be and why?"
It's a tie between Peter Van Houten from The Fault In Our Stars and Peter from Divergent. I have nothing against Peters! I really love the Peter from The Chronicles of Narnia, his character. But Van Houten... he didn't have to turn out the way that he did, you know. And Peter from Divergent-- I mean, you guys know what he did with a butter knife, right? I despise them both ("hate" is a strong word), but I don't think I would have the actual heart to push them off the cliff. I would've spared them, because pushing people off of cliffs is against my usual compassionate persona.

8. "What is your favourite book genre e.g classic, fantasy, sci-fi?"
This is so hard! I read so many genres-- fantasy, dystopia, contemporary, books such as those. I'm only scratching the Young Adult surface. There's really strict rules about what I can read involving the YA genre, so I can only read anything that's on my book competition list for this year! I would have to say fantasy is my favorite book genre, because it's fantasy! Dragons, mythical spells! All of those beauteous wonders that can help you escape reality! What more could you ask for?

9. "Dogs or cats?"
That's hard. Um... I'm a Libra, as I mentioned before. According to this book I've read up on in third grade about zodiac signs, the animals, if there were any animals to represent it, since the scales represent that zodiac, is a cat and a dog. Their personality traits will keep rocking back and forth. I think I would choose a dog, because I can actually run with them. Cats are adorable, but however adorable they would be, it's hard to take baths for them and they cough up hairballs. I have a friend who owns a cat and she says that her cats never listen to her, EXCEPT for training them to get to the litter box.

10. "Would you rather read or write?"
When I first saw this, I was like, "Uh-oh, this is going to cause a conundrum." And wouldn't it? It really depends on how you interpret the context. It could either mean read or write as for skills, or read and write as for things you like to do. After awhile, I thought about it. Write, so that way, I can read what I've written! You have to learn how to read first, before you can write, so you can do both! Reading is unavoidable! I don't think I necessarily got myself out of that tough situation, but... well, at least I tried. And now you all have seen an insight into the mind of Morning.

Lizzie's Questions:
1. "Who is your favorite blogger?  Put their name and link below!"
I don't have any favorite bloggers! It's so hard just to choose from one, you know? Most of the bloggers I know of I'm friends with. ^.^ You readers and bloggers out there are all amazing. You know that, right?

2. "Cookies or Cake?"
That's strange: I had to choose between the two of these before lunch! I would choose cookies. I love cookies-- chocolate-chip, snicker doodle, sugar-- whatever kind they are, it doesn't matter to me. The cookies may be sweet, but the frosting on some cakes is just too sweet for my taste. That's the reason why I only taste a little bit of frosting and then 90% of the time, I scrape the frosting off my cake. 

3. "If you had to choose one eating utensil to use for the rest of your life, what would it be?"
A spoon! How would I eat soup with a fork or chopsticks? That would be hard to do! Really, there are many foods that you can't eat without using a spoon, mostly anything has been liquidized or a liquid-like texture. I would have liked to say straw.... but you can't really eat with a straw, unless it's one of those super strong straws that don't bend down due to its weight.

4. "Least favorite song?"
This question makes me want to type in random letters on the keyboard in confusion because there really isn't an answer to this, meaning one solid answer. Honestly, I don't like most songs that were made after 2012 because (at least the ones I listen to on the radio) they're not really songs that I can relate to. That's what music is all about, you know? It's suppose to make us feel, make us connect with everyone and the world around us. How are we suppose to connect and feel something when lots of songs talk about partying and they have the same message? We need more variety!

5."Fandom(s) you are in?"
The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and The Legend of Korra, just to name a few. I have a ton more... and I pretty much love almost every single animated movie out there. If you asked me all of the movies I have watched this year, I will tell you I have watched all animated movies except for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I don't know what's up watching animated movies with my brother and I. 

6.Fruit or vegetables?
Fruits! I love fruits. Mangoes, pineapples, apricots, bananas, all of them are delicious! I especially love dried mangoes, the ones that you can get from the store, and freshly made mango smoothies. They have lots of those in the Philippines when I last went there for vacation, and they are just perfect, flawless drinks. I think after all of the theater posts I posted you know that I'm into fruit boba (aka pearl/boba milk tea and bubble tea). Some vegetables are pretty good as well, but if you've tasted vegetables such as bitter melon--yuck! So bitter! The taste is in the name!

7. "Why are you in those (^^) Fandom(s)?
Well, I briefly explained why I'm kind of into animated fandoms earlier in question five. As for the Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter, I can give you one word to describe them, a thing that ties them together: magic. C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling have a writing style that's so vivid, you can actually envision what is going on in the novel and what you're envisioning is so clear. With Avatar: The Last Airbender, my brother and I watched the show whenever we had the chance. It was one of the first shows I remember actually sitting down and watching outside of PBS. And the Legend of Korra was the follow-up to that. Avatar: the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra turned something cliched into something extraordinary. Both shows have great storytelling, and I think that's why most popular shows and books are popular. In fact, all of these fandoms I'm apart of, I admire their storytelling. If you have a great story but poor storytelling, no one will tune in. It also works the other way around. Plus, when you do have great storytelling, the story will nestle in people's mind and will be memorable.

8."Desert or Rain forest for a month?"
I would definitely stay in a rain forest for a month! There's water, and water is vital for us to survive! It stops daytime fatigue! (Ack, sorry! I've been reading up about water lately since I've been bored). I could sleep up in the trees and spend my downtime weaving macrame to create a blanket and a hammock! If I stayed in the dessert, I'd die of thirst and would have no place to shield myself if a sandstorm came through.

9. "Hair texture? (Example: Curly, straight) Sorry, so random!!"
It's fine! My hair texture is really weird. Everyone in my family has straight hair except for me. Differences between simple things like that happen a lot between my family and I. For example, my real name is about as plain as it can get, while everyone else in my family has a hard-to-pronounce/uncommon first name. My hair is naturally wavy. It must have been something to do with the homozygous and heterozygous genes-- it all came down to genetics. 

10. "Are you picky when it comes to food?"
Yes. Yes, I am! When my family (well, just my brother, dad, and I; my mom and grandma are traveling at this moment in time) went to go get pitas, my dad got every single vegetable on the menu. My brother got about seven or eight of them. I only took diced tomatoes, two types of lettuce, and spinach! And I have a strong distaste for bitter foods. A very strong distaste.

And anyone else who wants to join!

My questions:
1) If you had the power to hangout with one of your favorite fictional characters, what would you two do?
2) What is your opinion on croissants?
3) One lesson that you wish you had learned earlier in life?
4) What Broadway show universe would you want to live in, and why?
5) When you can't go to sleep, what do you do? (Do you just read in bed, or stretch?)
6) If you had an alter ego, what would your alter ego's name be and what would their personality be like?
7) Name three to five bloggers you would want to meet, and why.
8) Something that you just can't stand?
9) What would your dream occupation be?
10) If you had three wishes given to you by a genie or a fairy, what would they be?

Also, here is my entry for the third category of Paige's photo challenge, nature! This was from the fishing trip I took. :) The clouds here tend to turn a pinkish crimson when the sun sets.

UPDATE: Right when I was about to post this, I also found out I was awarded by also awarded by Bethan once again for the Liebster Award! 

i. Post eleven facts about yourself.
ii.Answer the eleven questions provided by the person who nominated you and then create an eleven-question set for the next group of nominees.
iii. Choose eleven people to nominate and link them in the post.
iv. Let your nominees know they've been tagged - and no tag-backs!

i. I'm pretty independent. I don't fall hop onto whatever the latest trend in society is, and that is why my some people that I know of always ask me if I am old-fashioned, which I am. I'm the rebel that stays behind. :) 
ii. I have a soft side for animated movies. I love them to pieces! That is also the reason why I choose multimedia artist and animator for my career research project.
iii. I'm an INFP and a Libra. An INFP, basically, is an idealist. And a Libra is the scales. ^.^ I provided links just in case you want to learn more about them.
iv. My favorite drink is a fruit boba!
v. My vision of a perfect day would be hanging out with my friends all day long, go to the movies and have a movie marathon, and cram ourselves into the theater's photo booth.
vi. I'm such an overachiever. I'm not even lying. By the end of high school, I want to go to a TED conference, be recognized as a winner for Scholastic's Art and Writing Awards in either the categories or novel or personal essay/memoir, and get published. Oh, and with that said, also learn three new languages and appear in at least five plays. Who am I kidding? Most high school aged people are worrying about passing their SATs and ACTs! And whenever I talk to my parents about this stuff, their like, "Wait, what in the world is that?"
vii. With that said, I am also a perfectionist.
viii. I am currently missing my friends and ice cream. :( 
ix. A fictional character that I am like (personality wise) is... well, I'm not sure. You guys have any ideas? If you do, please tell me, because I'm doing this sort of role-play and that kind of applies to this fact.
x. I am described, nicknamed, and look a lot like a Pikachu, a reason why I am feeling nervous just thinking about that author picture that will appear on that book blurb or book flap. Another reason why I prefer to be called Morning. >.<
xi. I'm really loyal and supportive of my friends, but whenever heads clash or we have to do a group project in class, they look up to me as peacemaker and the leader in charge of everything. I'm not keen on the idea of me being a leader. I'd rather run away and actually be free of responsibility. But you know, when you're appointed as one, who can't people down.

Bethan's (Next Set of) Questions:

1. "What colour are your eyes and what colour is your hair?"
The color of my eyes are brown and the color of my hair is black.

2. "Which author would you like to collaborate on a book with?"
Ooh, ooh, ooh! I would love to collaborate with Marie Lu, the author of the Legend trilogy! She is such a talented, yet underrated writer. I wish more people knew about her books, because they are just so good that I started this huge wave of people last school year to read them. And they got addicted. Or maybe some of the authors that I've met who blog-- Kate, Chloe and maybe even Jada. to name a few. :D But I'd love to write with you all, too!

3. "Who is your fictional boyfriend?"
My fictional boyfriend? Um.... I don't know. Either Will Herondale from the Infernal Devices, Augustus from The Fault in our Stars, or Day from Legend. Will would be very sweet though. :) I'll just leave it at that, because I've never really thought of it until now.

4. "Do you like floral print?"
For a minute, I had no idea what floral print was, and then I remembered. But yeah, I love floral print! It's beautiful! I love the modern print, though. Vintage is okay, depending on the style.

5. "If you could have dinner with 10 fictional characters (films, TV shows, books, any fictional character) who would you choose?"
Oh. My. Goodness. This is going to be quite hard! I would choose all of these people because it would add a bit of variety to whatever subjects will be talking about at where ever we may be having dinner. And Meelo would be hilarious! "Be the leaf!" But here are the people I would invite:

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter
Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender,
Katara from same as above, 
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III from How To Train Your Dragon,
Astrid Hofferson from How To Train Your Dragon, 
Meelo from Legend of Korra,
Dave the Minion from Despicable Me
Pikachu from Pokemon,
and Lucy Pevensie from the Chronicles of Narnia.
(If I would have invited an extra person, I'd choose Toothless. Flying in the air!)

6. "What is one of your favourite songs at the moment?"
I am currently loving "Classic" by MKTO. I kept singing it while I was vacuuming my room. And every time I do, I imagine myself on a stage in town's square, doing choreography. 

7. "Are you going on holiday this summer? If you are, where are you going?"
Sadly, I'm not going on a holiday outside of town this summer. However, if you have been checking out my blog, I have been going to events on different parts of town that I have never visited much before.

8. "Which social media site do you use the most?"
I spend most of my time on Goodreads, browsing through all of the book recommendations and role-playing. 

9. "What are your hopes and dreams?"
Most of my hopes and dreams were listed up above in the in facts section. I really want to be published before high school ends, earn an award and receive recognition from the Art and Writing Awards, go to a TED conference, learn three languages and be in at least five plays with my theater group. I hope to get into an Ivy League college on the East Coast.When I am older through, I would like to go travel through the world and spend at least a week in Ontario, and spend a month traveling Europe and Asia (separately). Really, I just want to make the best out of life and the opportunities open. 

10. "Would you rather read inside or outside?"
Most definitely, I would read outside! I've been reading and staying inside so much that it is a bit depressing. After reading the book, I would run barefoot through the backs of the rows of backyards, screaming, "Freedom!" I haven't done that for awhile, but it feels amazing.

11. "What book have you read that had a really great message? What was the message?"
A book that I read that had a really great message was Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. It's such a great book, about a boy with a facial deformity who enters a school for the first time. He deals with tons of downsides, like bullies, and the book is told by various characters. The book's message is that you should really treat people the way that you want to be treated. If you haven't read it, I suggest you go and read the book right now.

Questions for the Nominated:
1) What's your zodiac sign?
2) Would you rather go bobsledding or mattress surfing?
3)If you had to be any mythical creature from any fictional world, which would you be and why?
4) Imagine this: You found out that you had a long-lost aunt who left you a small inheritance of $500, BUT you have to spend it in 24 hours. What would you do with the money?
5) What country would you want to live in? You can't choose the one you are residing in as of now!
6) What is one book/movie series you really despise?
7) Are you more like your mom, or your dad? Explain why.
8) Tell me about your favorite or most significant childhood memory.
9) What is your opinion on sombreros?
10) Describe your fashion sense.

and anyone who says, "Geronimo!"

Well, if you have read to the bottom of this post, I applaud you. Reading something that is extremely lengthy can be difficult at times. :) Well, until next time!

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