Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Book Tag

I was nominated by Christine from Everything is Blogsome for a book challenge created by Noor at A Little Bit of Sunshine. Thanks for the nomination. :)

Here are the rules:

You must answer all the questions
Repost the picture with a link to Noor's blog and the persons blog who tagged you
You may tag people if you would like, but it isn't required.

Now, for the fun part. The questions!

1. To be read in April? Haha, April's almost over! I'd been wanting to read Something More by Catherine Marshall for quite a while, and I've finally picked it up. And haven't been able to put it back down. It's seriously great. Catherine Marshall is such a good author, and she writes in a way that makes you want to keep reading. Highly recommended.

2. Overhyped book/author? Hmmm, I haven't really read any hyped-up books recently. One hyped-up book (at least it has been hyped up in our family because Mum's been reading it, lol!) is Breakthrough by Rudi Lack. Mum keeps telling us it's really good so I'm looking forward to getting the chance to read it! I can't say it's overhyped, because I haven't read it, but it has been hyped-up lots.

3. The best book series you have ever read?  Well I have to say Catherine Marshall's books. I am not sure they count as a series, but the three I've read (Beyond Our Selves, The Helper and now currently reading Something More) have been absolutely incredible. 
4. Book to movie adaption that was really bad? I haven't seen many book to movie adaptions. I can only think of one, and it wasn't that bad so I can't put it in here! We don't watch many movies.
5. Books that made you cry? The last time a book made me cry was when I was listening to the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis (we have the Chronicles of Narnia on Radio Theatre on our ipods). And the bit at the end where Emeth the Calormene soldier is talking to the Pevensie group about how much he wanted to know Aslan made me tear up a bit. Something in what he says always gets me.

6. Book you are reading at the moment? I'm starting to sound like a broken record here! Something More by Catherine Marshall.
I'm also reading Mere Christianity by CS. Lewis. This is one book that I'm not reading in normal Bonnie-reading fashion (that is, keep devouring it until it's finished!). I'm taking it slowly, in bite-sized hunks. And really rather enjoying it. He has some really good points to make and I am enjoying it greatly.
7. Book series that you just didn't like? Okay, I know you're going to shoot me for this, but I'm going to say the Lord of the Rings series. *cringes and waits for fiery darts sent from readers to cease* I know it's a great series and I'm thrilled if you like it. But for me it just didn't have the appeal. I loved the Hobbit, but the actual Lord of the Rings books just don't do it for me. Maybe it's the unneccessary length, maybe because it's really confusing because of all the people and places (too confusing for my little brain! :) )- I don't know, I just don't like it much.

8. Books you really need to read but haven't read yet? 
Breakthrough by Rudi Lack, as mentioned above.
For this one I'll also have to say the Freedom Diaries by Mark Holloway. I've been wanting to read it ever since he visited our Church and I wasn't able to attend the service! I haven't read it yet but am looking forward to it.

Christine's question for me:
What was the first book you really loved? The first book(s) I really loved were the Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. Enid Blyton's an awesome author. She'll always be a favourite of mine!! 

My extra question for those I tag:
What is it about reading that fascinates you?

I tag:
Matthew from Rising Dawn

I'm only tagging a couple because I know a lot of my readers don't do tags!
However, if you're reading this and you'd like to do it, by all means consider yourself tagged. :)
Thanks for tagging me, Christine!
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Monday, 27 April 2015

How We See Ourselves vs. How God Sees Us

Self esteem. It's a big topic. And it's something that I've been thinking about a wee bit lately. As I often do when that happens, I write about it. Here are my thoughts.

Firstly, I think that everyone struggles with self esteem (in some form). I asked a few friends if they struggle with it and the answer from all of them was yes. Following that, I had some good conversations with some of the same friends about self esteem and how we see ourselves vs. how God sees us.

But did you get that? Everyone struggles with it. You are not alone. To use the words of one friend, we're just a few poor souls struggling through life taking comfort in the fact that the other guys aren't finding it easy either.

Our society and culture portrays how we look and act as very important. Everything around is screaming at us to do certain things, look a certain way, act a certain way etc. It's colossally scary how much these influences actually affect us, even if we don't think they do.

So if society wants a certain way (and it's impossible to conform exactly to society, face it, that's the truth!), what does God think? What is His way?

Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

We are God's workmanship. Some translations say "For we are his masterpiece". You are God's workmanship, his masterpiece, his awesome creation.

You are unique. There's no one else in the world just like you. (I love how Dr Suess puts it, "There's no one alive who is you-er than you!")

As well as being his special creation, you are also his child.

John 1:12
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God...

Galatians 3:26
For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

Did you know that by having doubts about your self esteem, you are actually doubting how good God is at making something?

Like I said above, you are his special creation. You are unique and wonderful. 

If you painted a painting that you were really happy with, and then gave it to someone else, and they pointed out the 'imperfections' (that you had specially put into the painting for a reason) and what they didn't like about the picture, would you feel sad and disappointed?

God's made you special. He created you EXACTLY who you are for a very special reason. By doubting the way you were made, don't you think you're being disrespectful of your maker?

Psalm 139:14
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

It's hard to not feel self conscious about the way we look and act. But remember that God has made you special. And he's made you exactly the way you are for a reason.

I love this quote by Saint Augustine. "God loves each of us as if there were only one of us."

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PS. Completely off topic, I have created a modest fashion blog. However, it isn't a blog that just anyone can view!
If you would like me to add you as a reader and allow you permission to view it, please shoot me an email using the contact form on the sidebar and I'll add you. :)

Saturday, 25 April 2015

A + A // The Perils of Wearing a Poppy

- Trying to explain the meaning of a Kiwi custom to a foreign person. It can actually be quite difficult. Especially if the foreign person has very limited English.
- When you're babysitting Jana (who is currently 15 months old, walking, and getting into everything), and you suddenly notice you can't hear her anymore. It's the silence that scares you most. So you get up, go look for her, and find her happily emptying out a cupboard, getting into the lego or playing with the scrap bucket.
- When you're walking along and there's someone behind you, and they're walking at the same speed as you. So you speed up a bit, and so do they. You slow down a bit, so do they. Slightly very awkward.
- Being interrupted when you're right in the middle of a train of thought. As soon as the person goes away again, you can't remember what on earth it was you were thinking about.
- The perils of wearing an Anzac poppy at work. I was proudly wearing my poppy on my uniform, and I didn't realize it had come loose. I was leaning over, making a customer's sub, when all of a sudden my poppy falls off my shirt and lands plop in the sauce on their sandwich. It was very awkward, but also really funny. I couldn't stop laughing for ages after that. It was just so unexpected.
- Typing something on the computer and having someone watching over your shoulder. "Why did you write that?" "You missed an e on that last word." "That sentence doesn't make sense." Not annoying in the least....
- When you accept a compliment that wasn't meant for you.

- Anzac Day. Today is the hundredth Anzac Day. I greatly respect and honour all those who fought so that we could have freedom, and gave their lives for us.

- Meeting friends that you haven't seen for over three years because they moved away.
- My new desk. It's so nice having a bigger place to study and write stuff! My old one was very small and didn't have much room inside it. I love the new one.

-This joke:
A. What's the difference between a piano, a tuna, and a pot of glue?
B. I don't know.
A. You can tuna piano, but you can't piano a tuna.
B. Riiight. So what about the pot of glue?
A. I knew you'd get stuck there.

 - This absolute cutie. She was in my room when I took the photo of my desk, and she quite obviously wanted one taken of her, too. So I obliged. :)
(And sorry, is this really a picture-heavy awkward and awesome post or what?!)

- Hugs that go on for a while, and don't just start and stop abruptly. Hugs are awesome. (Do I hear an amen?)
- The weather being cold enough now to be able to wear my onesie to bed!! (It's the little things in life that make me happy..) It's so cosy and I would wear it all year round if the weather was cold enough.
- Having an absolute brainwave and taking a whole thermos full of hot lemon honey drink to work. Mmmm... totally doing that again!! (And yes, I drank the entire thing over the course of my shift.)

Are you the kind of person who loves hugs?
What's your study space like?
What's been awkward or awesome about your week?

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Thursday, 23 April 2015

How to Improve Your Handwriting // Part 2: Tips and Tricks

I began this series on how to improve your handwriting with a post explaining why you should want to improve it. You can find it here.

Before we begin, I have a little disclaimer for you all. In case you think that when I talk about handwriting, I'm meaning cursive, I'm actually not meaning cursive at all! I can sort of write cursive to an extent, but I'm not very good at it, lol. I am meaning just ordinary handwriting. Printing. You know, when you grab a pen and just write. Hope that cleared up any misunderstanding! 

So now we come to the 'meat' of the subject - how to actually improve our handwriting. I have a bunch of tips, the first one being:

(Let me apologise for the quality of the scanned images in this post. Unfortunately the scanner kept cutting off lots of the letters on the pages I was trying to scan and then it got grumpy with me when I tried to rescan them! Sorry if it makes it annoying for you.)

It is very important that you sit somewhere comfy when you want to write neatly. Ideally at a desk or table, with a comfortable, ergonomic chair. If you want to write neatly and try to improve your handwriting, sitting awkwardly is NOT the best way to begin. Trust me.

The next thing you need to think about is:

Find a pen you love (yeah, that's an F and not a T right at the top there). I dislike all pens that do not have thin nibs. For some reason, thin-nibbed pens make me happy. They are just easier to write with. It might be different for you. Of course, if you are a pencil sort of person your options are a wee bit more limited but it's still important to find a pencil you enjoy using.
The important thing is to find a pen or pencil that you like, then you'll be more excited (hopefully) about putting in long hours practicing writing with it. 

What? Practicing? Oh no! (That sounds too much like hard work.) However, guess what the next tip is.
(Just pretend there's an e on the end of that! Our lovely scanner again.)

Practice. Yeah. I know. I know. Practice? Whoever heard of practicing handwriting (unless you are five years old)?

Unfortunately, practice really does pay off and make perfect, just like the saying says. I know you're busy. Your life is full. But remember all those reasons why you want to improve your handwriting. Hopefully the pros outweigh the cons (namely, the time involved!) for you.

The important thing to remember is that you will only improve your handwriting with practice. That's really the bottom line.

And practice slow. Slow right down. Take time to carefully shape each letter. If you write at twice the speed of lightening, your writing is not going to be very neat no matter how much you practice!

There are some other things that will help you along the way, of course.

Ahh.... correction fluid and rubbers.... such useful inventions. :)

The next thing is probably my most major point.

The little things are sooo important. They can make or break your writing. Pay close attention to them.

A few of the important little things to watch out for are:
- Serifs: if you do them, are they all the same size?
- Where your 'i' and 'j' dots are placed: are they directly above the stick?
- How big are your 'y' and 'g' loops?
- Your sticky-up sort of letters (l, t, h etc): all parallel and going up to the same height?
- Your sticky-down sort of letters (g, y, j, p etc): all parallel and going down to the same depth?
- Your middling sort of letters (n, o, u, m, etc):  all middling sort of heights and not too different in size?
- Sloped writing: if you slope your writing, is it all sloped more or less the same slope? Or does it change drastically part way through?
- Does your writing tend to drift diagonally along the page? Or does it all stay in one long, neat, horizontal line? If it does drift diagonally, practice writing on lined paper.
- Does your writing look 'hurried'? If so, how can you change that? (Write slower and more carefully.)

These are all very important to look out for. It is a good idea to go through your writing after you've practiced and mark it for yourself. Look for the little things. Be super picky. It's only when you realize what you're doing wrong that you can fix it.

The next thing is:

Learn to spell well. Spelling is something that also requires time and practice. But it definitely pays off.
For some reason, people with good spelling often have good handwriting as well, I've noticed. It's weird, and I'm not even sure of all the reasons why that is, but that's just how it is.

Being able to spell well means that instead of spending all your thought on how to spell words, you can think about how your handwriting is looking. You can concentrate on forming beautiful letters. Your mental capacity can be used for other things. :) It's just more convenient.

And being able to spell well means that you don't have to use a dictionary (or even Google) to look up questionable words. It's ever so much easier.

Wondering what the next tip is? It's:

Experiment. Have fun! Go crazy experimenting with different fonts and styles of writing! Handwriting is so much fun because you have so many different options.

Practice with various styles and find one (or more) that you love.

Oh yeah, and when you practice, using phrases like "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" that use all the letters in the alphabet give you a great opportunity to practice the entire alphabet. :)

And that's it!

Do you write neatly? 
Do you want to write neater? 
What tips and tricks do you have for improving your handwriting?
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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

How To Improve Your Handwriting // Part 1: Why?

Good morning, bloggy friends!

So I've been thinking about the subject of handwriting for a while, and I know that a lot of people struggle with the issue of messy writing. I've always loved and been fascinated by handwriting, and people sometimes tell me I write neatly. So I thought it might be fun to do a series on how to improve your handwriting. :)

So here's part 1:

 (All the images used in these posts were handwritten onto paper by me, then scanned onto the computer. Hence the slightly weird quality and why one side of the paper is cut off by the scanner. Sorry!)


First things first.

This series isn't just for those who think they write messily, it's for everyone! I love practicing my writing and I think we can all improve, no matter how neatly we write. Myself included, of course.

Why should we want to improve our handwriting?

Firstly, because it's considerate of others.
If I am a very messy writer, and every time I write something it's unable to be read, it is actually inconsiderate of those who are going to be reading it. I wouldn't want to feel like those reading my writing are having to struggle along, stopping every few words to decipher a particularly illegible scrawl. Legible writing is kinder to everyone.

Secondly, because it's considerate of myself.
Who wants to not be able to read their own writing? I can't imagine reading something I've written and not even being able to make out what it says. That just seems awful. Yet a lot of people struggle with that.

Thirdly, because you'll never regret it. 
Handwriting is something you'll always be very glad you took the effort to improve. Everyone needs to be able to write legibly. It's just one of those things that you really need to be able to do. And if you can't, trust me, you won't regret spending time improving it. It will take time, and effort, but it will definitely worth it.

Fourthly, because it's satisfying.
I love reading over what I've just written and feeling very satisfied that it looks pretty. It's just such a nice feeling. Handwriting can be a work of art.

Fifthly, because it gives you options.
If I'm at a conference and taking notes and having to scribble frantically to take down everything the speaker is saying (or in a similar situation), my writing is obviously not going to be the most legible, readable, beautiful work of art on the planet. However, if I am in the situation when I have the time, and the incentive, and the purpose, why wouldn't I want to write neatly? It's nice being able to scribble when I need to and write neatly when I need to, rather than just having one permanent go-to scrawl.

Right now I'm really hoping that you feel sufficiently motivated to improve your handwriting. And if you aren't feeling that way, well, go through and read the post again. :P

I'll be back in two days time with some tips and tricks that you can use to practice writing neatly.

Have a lovely afternoon, and God bless! :)
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Sunday, 19 April 2015

looking in the mirror

This is so excellent! Sharing here so you can see it and be touched by it too. :)
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(Oh yeah, and I'm back from camp now. :) )

Friday, 17 April 2015

Musings inspired by a board game

We have this random board game called Solomon's Treasure.

It's a great game, my siblings and I used to play it a lot. We don't play it so much now, as we've gotten more into card games. In some ways it's sad because board games are a lot of fun!

Anyway, I digress. :P

So in Solomon's Treasure, you have to go round the board, going into each of nine different 'treasure rooms'. You have to do various things along the way, including memorizing some Proverbs.

I heard some of my little siblings playing this game the other day, and I heard one of them reciting one of the Proverbs that you have to memorize. It goes like this. "Better to be poor and humble than proud and rich."

I was thinking about that recently. And I know I often talk about the subject of humility (do I ever!!), but it's an important subject.

I used to think that I was humble. But the Lord has been showing me that I am not. Far from it. And I don't know if I'll ever be as humble as Christ.

But it's something to strive for, isn't it?

Here's a great quote that I have no idea who said, but it's blu-tacked up beside the computer and I can see it as I type.

"Win without boasting, lose without excusing."

Go back and read that quote again. Yes, I know, you didn't really think about it, did you?? ;) Win without boasting, lose without excusing. That takes some serious humility. When I win something I like to rub it in the loser's face (terrible isn't it!). I am very competitive. I like to glory in the fact that I won. And when I lose, I blame it on something or someone else. It wasn't my fault. I just wasn't feeling very well. And so on.

It takes a lot of eating of humble pie to humbly say to the winner, "Congratulations. You won because you are better at it than me."

And it doesn't appear so at first, but winning humbly takes eating of humble pie, too. "Congratulations. You made a fine effort." Not, "Congratulations, I won because I'm so awesome."

Remember the age-old adage? "Pride comes before a fall."

Today, as you go about your daily activities, remember - "Better to be poor and humble than proud and rich." Remember to win without boasting and to lose without excusing.

It's worth a shot, anyway. :)

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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

A + A // In Which I Present To You What May Save Your Life One Day

- Getting quite badly sunburnt on the one side of my face, neck and arm which was in the sun. Half of me is now red.
- Speaking of getting sunburnt, I have a super bad watch tan line where I always wear my watch. It's just this stripe of pale skin across my wrist. I don't wear my watch while I'm working (but I wear it pretty much everywhere apart from that), and I occasionally get the odd customer who comments on my watch tan line. Slightly awkward.
- Mending a pair of mittens. I had the mitten on my right hand, and was trying to sew up one of the fingers with the needle in my left hand. It was rather difficult (I'm right handed). Danella was watching me and my struggle. Eventually she said, "Why don't you have the mitten on your left hand and sew it up with the right?" I mean, like, seriously? I CAN'T BELIEVE I DIDN'T THINK OF THAT! I was struggling along like that for positively ages. Fail.
- Lying awake in bed at night, not being able to sleep because you're making up a poem in your head and you can't think of a suitable rhyme. Bonnie to brain: "Let me go to sleep! I'm way too tired!" Brain to Bonnie: "I will not allow you to sleep until I think of a rhyming word." Bonnie: lies awake.
- Eating a meal and having the young brother on one side of you squirt you (in the eye, no less) with juice from his corncob as he attacks it vigorously.
- Being told by a lovely older lady what to look for in a future husband. "Make sure you pick someone who is kind and doesn't have a temper."
- Being introduced to a very shy stranger and trying to keep up a conversation with them. I established that she was four months younger than me, her favourite colour, her school, her hobbies, her favourite subject, her least favourite subject, her family situation, her love of the outdoors, her dislike of animals.... it went on for about ten minutes with me SERIOUSLY running out of things to ask about. One-sided conversations are the worst. Nobody likes to have to provide the entire bulk of the conversation themselves.
Danella: "This walnut reminds me of a four leaf clover."

- Massive pink roses.
- Finding out what to do if you are stuck on a raft in the middle of the sea with no fresh water anywhere. (If you drink sea water you go crazy.) It's weird, but what you do is you take off your clothes, rinse them in the sea and then put them back on again, wet. They will dry on you and the water will be absorbed into your skin. The salt won't be absorbed into your skin, just the fresh bit of the water. Then repeat the process, and you'll find you don't feel thirsty because your skin absorbs the moisture. A lot of people go mad from drinking sea water or die from thirst because they don't do this. It's a shame it isn't more widely known! You will hopefully never have to know this, but if you ever get stuck in the middle of the ocean you know what to do now. :)
- This ADORABLE little bundle of fluffiness.... We were looking after him over Easter while his owners were on holiday. Is he not cuteness itself??

- That feeling of satisfaction when you have no less than SIX scheduled posts waiting patiently in the queue to be posted, one at a time, all two days apart.
- Doing your sister's hair, and then having someone compliment her on her hairstyle.
- Using online speed touch typing tests - it's quite addictive.
- That the eating chestnut season is here!
- The trees turning all shades of orange and brown and red and gold. Autumn is such a beautiful time. I can never decide which season is my favourite, but autumn has to be in the top four.

What is your favourite season?
Did you know what to do if you were stuck on the sea without fresh water?
Have you ever got really badly sunburnt?

I hope your day is wonderful!
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Monday, 13 April 2015


Recently some of the members of my family went to Purau Bay for the afternoon. Those of us who went had lots of fun poking around there, building a dam, going for walks, canoeing and swimming.

Lydia, Caleb, Jacob and Ben having fun

Caleb and Lydia

Jana having lots of fun

And even more fun!

Mum and Dad looking on while Lydia and Jacob dam the creek

Ben and Johnny canoeing


That's the end of the Purau photos. Here are a few random ones of our garden recently.

The rasperry bushes, grapevine, and raised garden

Some beautiful blue flowers, I'm not sure what they are but I love them :)


Some of our blackboy peaches, before they ripened and fell. (Which they did a few weeks ago.)

Danella painting some stones (okay, yeah, whatever, I know she's not part of our garden :P)

What have you and your family been up to?
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P.S. I will be going on camp from the 13th of April for a week or so, so all posts between now and until I give further notice are scheduled. :)

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Bonnie's Opinion: On Blogging (or: Why I Have a Blog)

Why do I have a blog?

That is actually a very good question. And I probably wouldn't have even considered it, if it wasn't for the fact that one of my lovely readers asked me, in my Ask Me Anything post, "Do you think you will ever stop posting on your blog?"

My answer was this: "Maybe, if I ever run out of things to say! But I don't think that will happen anytime soon, don't worry. I really enjoy blogging."

But I kept thinking about that question. And wondering. Would I ever stop posting? And if so, why?

That leads itself on to the question of why I have a blog. (Wow, I've really been thinking, haven't I!) And I have come to the conclusion that the reason why I began my blog is different to the reason why I currently run it.

I originally began my blog for the sole purpose of curiosity. I knew a couple of people who had blogs. And I thought it looked like fun. I was interested in the whole dynamic of blogging, and I thought having my own was a good way to experiment and find out more.

So I began it, in January 2013.

Over the years that my blog has been going, my view on both my blog, and blogging in general has changed somewhat.

The reasons I currently run it are:
1. It is my 'platform' - well, it's sorta my opportunity to tell the world what I think on a bunch of different subjects. :P
2. Because I am used to it, and it would feel weird to stop running it
3. Besides, I genuinely enjoy it
4. I feel like at the moment I still have lots of stuff left to say
5. I can always stop it I get too busy to run it, it's not something I'm chained to

I was sure there were way more reasons than that, but that's all I can think of at the moment. :)

I asked a friend a little while ago for an honest opinion on my blog. And I was thrilled with the answer. I forget exactly how it was phrased (and apologies, friend, if this isn't how it was said!), but it was something about how the friend enjoyed the 'light hearted' posts and also found the more 'reflective' posts good. I'm stating it badly, sorry, but the main gist of it that I got was that I had a good balance going.

That's what I'm aiming for. I try to provide my loyal readers with a balance.

I don't want my entire blog to be overrun by frivolities. And I don't want it to be entirely the heavier, meatier stuff, either. I think a balance fits well. As they say, "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!"

Blogging isn't for everyone. There are times when I scratch my head and wonder what possessed me to begin blogging. But I'm glad I did. It has been worth it. It's been a journey. (Thanks for sticking it out with me!)

Do you blog? If so, why?
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Thursday, 9 April 2015

Hair Tutorial - the 4 Strand Braid

I've only ever done one hair tutorial before, and I thought it might be fun to do another one!

I found this idea on the internet and changed it up a bit, so it's really my own. It's a fun braid, really cute, perfect for sports, church, round the house... any occasion really!

Ladies and gentlemen... let me present to you...

The four strand braid with ribbon accent!

Skills required
This isn't actually too hugely difficult. If you can do an ordinary three strand braid, you'll be fine. :) If you can't, you might struggle, so I suggest you learn. This isn't the same as a three strand braid but it's sort of similar.

Materials required
See photo above: One hairbrush, two hairbands (one large and one small, preferrably) and one longggg ribbon of any colour. You can actually do this without the ribbon, but I like it better with.

Begin by brushing the hair so that it's all smooth and tangle-free.

Using the larger hairband, place hair into a ponytail.

Tie the ribbon around the hairband into a bow. Let the two long ends drape down. 

Section off the hair. I have three hair sections and one ribbon section. 3 + 1 = 4, which is why this is called a four strand braid. Clever, isn't it. :) Position your ribbon section so it's the second section on the left. Notice I have two ribbon ends left after I tied the bow, I just hold them together and treat them as one.

Now this is the tricky/fun bit. Starting with the far right section (this is a hair section), braid it OVER the second-to-right section, and under the third-to-right section (ribbon). It's basically just over, then under. It's not actually that complicated.

Another view of it. See how the far right section has gone over the second-to-right section, then under the ribbon?

Now work with the far left section. The far left section goes UNDER the second-to-left section, then OVER the third-to-left section. Now go back to the far right section and go over, and under. Now do the left section. Under, over.

It's actually not confusing. If you are working with the right section, always go over, then under. If you are working with the left section, always go under first, then over.

I always find the tricky part is having enough fingers to hold everything together!! Of course, that problem is magnified when you have to take photos of each step in the process.

The ribbon ends up threading itself through the braid.

Keep working with the right and left sections, one at a time, going over, under; then under, over.

Now when you get to the end of the hair, tie the braid off with your second, smaller hairband. (The ribbon ends are dangling down with the rest of the hair, you just can't see them in the photo.)

Okey dokey, this next step is optional. I always go through after this and 'pancake' (tug on the outside edges of the hair loops to make them bigger and poofier) the hair. I like doing this because I like the look better than the firmer, more solid look you get if you don't do it. But it's up to you.

Now take the ends of ribbon and tie them into a bow.

And you are done!! Here's a side view of the finished product.

And a back view.

Whereabouts on the head you make the ponytail right at the beginning of the process is where the braid is eventually going to start from. 

Want to change it up a bit? Some ideas:
- Omit the first hairband and experiment with places for the braid to sit (e.g. a side braid)
- Do the process described in photos above, but at the end pull it up and bobby pin it into a bun
- Omit the ribbon and use four sections of hair instead 
- Or start with four sections, but individually braid one section so that you have three hair sections and a fourth braid. Then you'll get the look above, but with a micro braid running through the middle, not a ribbon. 

Special thanks to Lydia for being my model. :)

What do you think? Will you try it?
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