Thursday, 31 March 2016

Hair Tutorial // Sophia Lucia lace braided bun

Good morning, friends! 

It's been a while since I've done a hair tutorial so here's a hair tutorial. Today I would like to show you how to create a Sophia Lucia lace braided bun. I have no idea why it's called a Sophia Lucia lace braided bun, the person who taught me how to do it called it that so... yeah!


Many thanks to Sophie for being my model! Don't you think it's fitting - Sophia Lucia bun with Sophie as the model??? :)

Skills required:
This will be a heap easier for you if you already know how to french braid or lace braid (just french braiding but only taking hair from one side). If you can't do that, you could either check out my old tutorial on french braiding or just enjoy the pictures. :).

Materials required:
See photo below.
Hair band / tie
Hair brush
Bun maker (I often use an old sock that has had the toe cut off and been rolled up, it gives you the same shape)

Are you ready? Find someone to practice on and let's go!

Scoop the hair into a ponytail.

Now place your bun maker over the ponytail, pulling almost all of the hair through it so it's around it like the hairband. Make sure you leave out a small section as shown.

Have the person tip their head forward so the bun maker is right on the top of the head. 'Scatter' the hair evenly around the bun maker, letting it fall loosely. 
Take hold of three sections of hair - one is the section you left out of the bun maker, the other two are just from the hair through the bun maker.

This is the tricky bit. You'll now be lace braiding with those three strands. Lace braiding is french braiding but only picking up sections to add to your braid from one side. In this case, each time you do a braid stitch on the left side you'll be picking up a section of hair from the hair that is falling loosely from the bun maker. You will want to save enough hair to get all the way round the bun maker so don't pick up like inch wide sections to begin with!!

As you lace braid your way around the bun maker, I like to pin the braid into place as I go. You don't have to at all but I find it helps to keep everything shipshape until we get to the end.

See how her head is tipped down? This bun is difficult if the bun maker isn't right on top of the head. 

Almost there....

Annnd... we're at the end! You should now have a lot of hair in your hand and no more loose hair in the bun maker. Continue braiding the hair but just use an ordinary three strand braid.

Now take that braid and wrap it underneath your bun

Like so.

Bobby pin your lace braid over the three strand braid you just hid to ensure it remains hidden and to secure the bun.

And there you have it - a Sophia Lucia lace braided bun.

Question: What country would you visit if you could visit any country in the world?

Monday, 28 March 2016

Writing Challenges

Good morning, friends!

I've got something a bit fun for you today. Who likes writing? *raises hand*
I've got lots of friends who are writing / have written books. Now I've never actually written book (nor do I plan to in the near future!) but I still enjoy writing. And I thought it would be fun to have a bit of a challenge in the comments. I have five writing challenges. They are all easy, shouldn't be too hard, but they should make you think. The challenges are to write different kinds of stories using a certain number of words. I've got examples below each one (written by myself and Danella) for you to see.

If you are keen to participate, write your stories or responses to the challenges in the comment section. Don't feel like you have to write all five challenges! However many you feel inspired to write. Won't it be fun to read everyone else's [very] short stories? I'm so looking forward to this!

There are no prizes for extra special ones but everyone wins. Thank you for participating! :)

Write a sad story using only three words.

Painful memories linger.
Cat was squished.

Write a happy story using only four words.

I got an A+!
Chocolate is for everyone.
Jesus paid it all

A really really boring cliche using only five words.

'Twas a dark, stormy night...

Write a funny story using only six words.

Wooden leg. Bungy jumping. Bad idea.
"Honey, where has the baby gone?"

Describe yourself using only seven words:

Massive chocoholic and daughter of the King!

Are you ready?
Set, GO!!! Write your stories!!

Friday, 25 March 2016

It's Friday, but Sunday's Coming!

Before we get down to the purpose of this post, I have a couple important pieces of news to share with you.

First of all, a massive congratulations to Katie H, who is the winner of my flexi clip giveaway! Congratulations! :) Thank you so much to everyone who entered.

Secondly, guess what - I have some exciting news. I've finally gotten round to making a Facebook page for my blog!! Yay! If you have a Facebook account you can 'like' the page and receive blog post updates and other things I put on the Facebook page directly in your news feed. :)
Head here to check it out.

Thirdly and lastly, a massive happy birthday to my sister Abigail who turned 19 yesterday!! I didn't post this yesterday because I wanted this to be an Easter post, hence why the birthday wishes are late. Besides, I post every third day. Remember that. I'm not quite sure why you should remember it but you definitely should.

And now (finally!) we can actually get to the purpose of this post.


Do you like card games? I love them! Danella and Sophie and I especially love playing card games together. One of our favourites is a game called Scum. It's not usually played with the particular rule I'm about to describe but a friend taught it to us and now we always use it.

 The rule is basically if you have an Ace, a King, a 4 and a 7 of any suit and you play those four cards all together, that will take everything including the Joker. Joker normally wins over everything in this game apart from when we play our rule. It’s called AK47 (like the gun I think). It’s great because not only is it the highest, you get rid of four cards at the same time!

I was listening to the sermon in Church on Sunday and the pastor got us to think of what Satan and God were going through when Jesus was on earth.

Humans were sinful and Satan was thinking he was winning. He was probably rubbing his hands together... until God sent Jesus. Then Satan tried to trip Jesus up. Jesus couldn't restore humanity to to the Father if he was sinful! Satan failed in this. Then he decided to kill Jesus. He knew that he was the lord of death.

Satan played his Joker by sending Jesus to the cross.

But God had a plan.

If you play by our card game rules, you know that even after someone plays the Joker card, an AK47 can still beat it.

 Satan played his Joker but God still had an AK47 in his hand (the resurrection - Jesus conquering death) – and he played it, surprising everyone and making it impossible for Satan to win the game.

God wins.

Satan played his Joker... but in God's hand was an AK47.

Here's a really cool video that you might have seen before. Whether or not you've seen it before do watch it because it really brings home the magnitude of what Jesus went through and weaves in the hope of Sunday's resurrection!!

Are you getting up to anything interesting over Easter? My family and I are heading up to Nelson (five hours drive) for a friend's wedding. It should be lots of fun. :)

Whatever you're doing, don't forget the story of Easter, will you. Jesus.... the Son of God, came to earth as a tiny baby and lived a perfect life only to get killed by his enemies.

But he did it for  you.
Because of his love.

It's Friday, but Sunday's coming!
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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

A + A // Johnny the Juggler

- That my Pinteresting consists of absolutely nothing for days and weeks then having a Pinterest splurge and pinning like a hundred pins in one day.
- That feeling of butterflies you get when you're heading somewhere for something where you have no idea what's going to happen and it's just like that excited nervous trepidation, you know what I mean?
- Turning up at an event on time and everyone else was really early so you walk in *on time, bear in mind* and everyone looks at you like, "Where have you been?!" I was on time.
- My life in general. :P
- Seeing a tutorial on how to make a pair of jeans into a denim skirt and thinking, "Oh, that looks easy! I could do that!" Turns out it isn't quite as easy as it looks. The back was great. The back was awesome. The front, hmm, not so good. I need to re do it completely. :/
- Being super worried about something and then your worries never coming to fruition. I mean, it's a great feeling, but you still get really annoyed at yourself for being so worried for nothing.
- Starting to say something at exactly the same time someone else takes it into their head to say something. So you both stop and awkwardly giggle and do that whole, "No, you go" thing.
- Waking up ridiculously early in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep so you just lie there pondering on life.
- Getting your hair snagged on things. Like rosebushes.
- Going out somewhere for dinner and then your family having something nice for dessert and saving some for you but not telling you. So some time later you discover it, well and truly aged, deep in a biscuit tin and wonder, "Oh, what's this?" The reply, "It's yours!" is just depressing. :/
- Me dreaming about a new blog design. Don't get me wrong, I love the purple, but I think it's probably about time for something new. I hate the stark, boring white a lot of blogs are. So I was laying in bed trying to think of exactly what sort of colour scheme I want..... and it's awfully hard. I'm like, "Well, I love green. Lots of vibrant green would be nice. But then, oh, sunshine yellow would be fantastical! Paired with like a deep turquoise or teal so it's not too bright and overpowering. But then that might look a bit childish. Navy blue would be pretty. Perhaps I could put that with some splashes of yellow. But navy is quite dark. I like lighter, brighter colours. How about pink? Oh, pink is way too childish. And besides, I've done pink on my blog before. But I do love rose pink. Maybe I'll do a light brown wood effect or cream with the pink and then have some roses. Roses climbing up some sort of something. Yes, how nice.
Bear in mind I also don't know how to do fancy blog designing. But there's always room for dreaming, right?!
Maybe I'll stay purple for a while. The choices are too hard!

- That Johnny, after deciding he wanted to learn to juggle, watched some Youtube videos on juggling and practiced for hours with some tennis balls and managed to learn how to juggle. He's actually really good. It's quite impressive.
- Synchronized ice skating. Have you ever seen it? It's incredibly beautiful!

- Discovering chocolate in your drawer that you'd forgotten you had (because you'd buried it so your littlest sister who LOVES getting into other people's chocolate couldn't find it) and your day goes from average to awesome immediately.
- Answers to prayer. At the beginning of the year I prayed for a Bible study or some sort of Christian small group to go to. I am now attending two!! One's a weekly university Christian group I joined with Danella; the other is a fortnightly one run by a few friends who invited me along. Both are awesome. I prayed for one and God gave me two!
- Having fun doodling and practicing swirly lettering. :) Also just the reminder that we're forever loved!!

- Chocolate chip cookie bowls for icecream. Okay, so the jean skirt tutorial didn't work so well, but I found another thing online - how to make chocolate chip cookie bowls that you can put icecream in. Those worked. I made them for my family for dessert the other day and they were quite popular.
- Finishing up doing a Bible study on the book of Romans. I loved the study. Romans is such a neat book! I learnt so much.
- Beautiful sunsets.

Do you have any funny cooking experiment stories?
Have you tried juggling?
What part of Scripture are you working through at the moment?
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Saturday, 19 March 2016


view from above Picton Harbour, looking out into the Queen Charlotte Sound

I read this poem today in my little devotional book "My Heart Overflows" (by Rosie Boom).

Sit still my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Nor deem these days - these waiting days - as ill!
The One who loves thee best, who plans thy way,
Hath not forgotten thy great need today!
And, if he waits, 'tis sure He waits to prove,
To thee, His tender child, His heart's deep love.

Sit still my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Thou longest much to know thy dear Lord's will!
While anxious thoughts would almost steal their way
Corrodingly within, because of His delay
Persuade thyself in simple faith to rest
That He who knows and loves will do the best.

Sit still my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Nor move one step, not even one, until
His way hath opened. Then, ah then, how sweet!
How glad thy heart, and then how swift thy feet
Thy inner being then, ah then, how strong!
And waiting days not counted then too long.

Sit still my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
What higher service could'st thou for Him will?
'Tis hard! Ah yes: But choicest things must cost!
For lack of losing all how much is lost!
'Tis hard! 'Tis true! But then - He giveth grace
To count the hardest spot the sweetest place.
- J. Danson Smith

Isn't that such a beautiful poem? It really touched my heart when I read it. 


We all go through seasons of waiting on God for His will to be made known to us. We all, as the poem says, long much to know the dear Lord's will, while anxious thoughts steal their way corrodingly within. 

We must wait.

It's easy to say, so hard to do.

If you're in a waiting place at the moment, let me encourage you to hold on to hope. Trust in the God who always keeps his promises. Who will never be too early or too late. 

He'll come at just the right time.

Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still.
What higher service could'st thou for Him will?
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Don't forget to enter the giveaway!!!!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Review (AND GIVEAWAY!): Lilla Rose Flexi Clip

Good morning, friends!

I'm so excited today to be sharing this post with you!
I was sent a flexi clip to review by the lovely Paula Ramm from Lilla Rose, who has also very kindly offered to sponsor a giveaway right here on Bonnie's Blessings. Read on for my review of the flexi clip and to see how you can win a free flexi clip of your choice, valued up to $17!

Paula was extremely sweet and sent me the stunningly beautiful Montana clip in the small size. It's seriously gorgeous. I love the colours... three different shades of blue beads with a pretty silver flower set delicately in the middle.

The colours are beautiful and there really are a whole variety of clothes you can wear with it.

The size was perfect, too. I already own a medium clip and an extra small, neither of which are my preferred size. Medium is great for updo's in my hair and extra small for half-ups, but the small gives me grip for a ponytail! :)

So I'm super happy with the size. Sometimes you just want your hair in a ponytail with something a bit prettier than a hairtie. And that's what this flexi clip gives me.

I find it really easy to use. Sure, I do have experience using the flexi clip given my two other clips, but they really are super easy. They take a tiny bit of figuring out to begin with I found, but there are a bunch of Youtube videos and videos on the Lilla Rose website that can help you with that and give you lots of ideas for ways to use them.

The Lilla Rose company is fantastic to work with. My consultant has always been Paula Ramm and I've found her to be a lovely consultant, prompt with contact and very, very helpful.

Here's a photo of Danella wearing the flexi clip. Her hair is thicker than mine so the small flexi fits her half-up well.

And here's Lydia wearing the same small flexi. As you can see, I managed to do an updo with the flexi on Lydia because her hair is quite thin and it's not as long as mine or Danella's.

And now for the fun part... here's how the giveaway's going to work!

The extremely lovely and sweet Paula Ramm who is an Independent Consultant with Lilla Rose is sponsoring this giveaway, where you can win a flexi clip of your choice, valued up to $17. Are you excited? I am! And guess what? The giveaway is open to everyone, both US readers and international readers!!! Yay!

If you decide you want to order a flexi clip, I'd strongly recommend you watch the sizing and styling videos before ordering, as it is very important to have the correct size in order to be completely happy with one's flexi.
If by chance you do order the wrong size, Lilla Rose will gladly exchange that flexi within 90 days. There is also a one-year guarantee on defective items.

Paula is also very kindly offering my readers a free shipping rebate special! 

Special offer for Bonnie’s Blessings’ readers only! Free Shipping!!! Receive a standard shipping rebate on your order of any size!
Place an order of any size through Paula’s website (be sure the checkout page says you are a guest of Paula Ramm or Coastal Conservatory), then email her to receive a rebate of your standard shipping cost, payable through Paypal! Say Bonnie sent you! Offer expires March 31, 2016. Valid for both new and Paula’s returning customers in the U.S. and international, but if you already have another Lilla Rose consultant, please stay with her; I’m sure she will appreciate it! :)

And now, for the part you've all been waiting for... the giveaway!!!
It's going to run for a week. Happy entering! :)

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Sunday, 13 March 2016

on trust in changing circumstances

"Without Christ - not one step. With him - anywhere!"

David Livingstone famously said that.
I've been thinking about his quote recently, since my family has purchased a new house that we'll be moving into in less than a month.

We've been living in our current house for almost as long as I can remember. I was five when we moved here. Now we've purchased another house which has some land (18 acres) around it and isn't too far from where we live currently. It's going to be great.

But we're moving.

from here.....

to here!

We have to pack up all of our stuff - all of our belongings (of which we have quite a lot - as you can probably imagine, with going on 11 kids and all our homeschooling supplies!!!). It's going to be a mammoth job. I am looking forward to once we're all settled in. I am NOT looking forward to the move.

We've been searching for the right house for four years now, and so often thought that maybe God wanted us to just stay in our current house. But we've actually bought something now - and there's no going back.

This is a good exercise in trust for me.

I don't like change. I really don't like the idea of all the hard work of moving house. But I believe that God's given us the new one. I trust him.

Going back to the David Livingstone quote.... "Without Christ - not one step. With him - anywhere!"

It really sums up the next month or so for me. Actually, come to think of it, it sums up my life. I wouldn't do it without Him. I couldn't do it without Him. He is the breath in my lungs, he is the song in my heart, he is my life, he is my joy. He is everything. Without Him, not one step. With him, anywhere.

Trusting God is an adventure.
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PS. Today I'd like to wish a very happy birthday to Lydia! She's turning the magnificent age of 10. Welcome to the world of double digits. Have a lovely day and a lovely year!

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Popular Posts

I've gained a few new blog readers recently, and I thought it might be fun to do a round-up of some of my favourite past posts. Some of these are posts that generated the most views and comments and some are just my favourite ones / ones I sometimes reread / random ones I thought it would be fun to resurrect.
Click on the underlined title to read the post.
Enjoy! :)

God's Love Language
A thought provoking post

China Trip Summary
In which I show you photos of my trip to China in Nov/Dec 2015 and talk about my experiences

Dear Bonnie-of-the-future and Dear-Bonnie-of-the-past
Letters to my future and past self

A Colourful Story
I tell a story using as many colour puns as possible

Bonnie's Opinion: Relationships
I discuss the subject of male and female relationships in response to an email a lovely reader sent me

How to Overcome a Bad Habit
A guide to overcoming a bad habit... drawn from my experiences in quitting biting my nails

Fear of the Future
In which I talk about being afraid of the future and we look at some Scriptures that deal with the subject

Good Game List
A list of my favourite games to play in groups - some active games, some sitting still games - something for everyone!

The Day I Jumped Out of an Aeroplane
I went skydiving!!

Bookmark Tutorial
A tutorial for making pretty bookmarks using pieces of card and watercolour paint

Dealing with Change
One of my poems, on the subject of sudden change in our lives

Do you have a favourite post I've written? Any suggestions for the future?
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Monday, 7 March 2016

When Your Dreams Die Away

sunset from the house window, Picton

When you're sitting alone
In the midst of despair
And you're watching your dreams die away
And your heart fills with grief
As you see your dreams fade
And to God you so desperately say

"Oh Father, you planned this?!?!?!?!
Tell me, how can it be
That your plans were so different to mine!
Did it not seem to you
That my dreamings and hopes
Were actually wonderfully fine?" 

Let me ask you this question
Then you'll see more clearly
Why your visions and dreams did not fire
Did you build up your plans
In accordance with God's?
Or were they based on your own desire?

As hard as it is we
Must look at the rubbish
Of all of our crushed aspirations
We must pick up the bits
And take them to the cross
And say, "Lord, I had good intentions!"

"My desires were based
On the wrong thought that I
Could govern my life better than you
Please, God, patch up my heart
Draw me back to Yourself
Show me all that You want me to do

I know that my notions
Are flawed, human objects.
Please keep working on my heart until
I can cheerfully say
(without kicking or screaming)
My desire, Lord - to follow Your will."
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PS. Today's my fantastic Dad's birthday!!! He's turning *mumble mumble* years old!! How awesome is that. Happy birthday, Daddy. You're the best Dad I've ever had. 

Friday, 4 March 2016

Bonnie's Helpful Guide to Being Encouraged

Today I'd like to be a bit real with all of you (because being real is quite good, so I'm told). So here's me being really really really realistically real.

Sometimes I get discouraged.

Don't we all?
Don't we all have days when we just need someone to come along beside us and give us a hug and encouraging words? Don't we all have days when we just feel down in the dumps, sad and/or discouraged (sometimes even for no particular reason)?

I'm not talking about depression or anything like that. I'm just talking about the times when us humans just get discouraged.

It happens. It happens.

When I'm feeling discouraged, there are a few things I do to encourage myself. Of course, it depends on exactly why I'm feeling discouraged what I do to encourage myself. But this is pretty general advice and I feel it could apply to pretty much any situation.

So here's Bonnie's (hopefully) Helpful Guide to Encouraging Yourself When You Are Discouraged.

1. Identify (if you can) the cause of your discouragement
Sometimes it just happens and we have no idea why. But if there is a special reason, it can be helpful to pinpoint what it is. I find it helps me to solve the problem if I know what the problem consists of.
See, that wasn't so hard, was it?! :) Now for number 2.

2. Be kind to yourself!!

To get back to your cheerful old self, it is necessary to be a bit gentle and lenient on yourself. If you're grumpy at yourself for being discouraged, trust me, the situation is NOT going to improve. Let yourself be discouraged. Console yourself. Be sympathetic and empathetic (bonus points if you know the difference between the two, because there is a difference!). Have a good cry. Encourage yourself. One thing I do is write little encouraging messages on post-it notes and put them in random spots in my journal. Then I come across the notes when I'm writing in my journal and am encouraged. :)

3. Dig into God's word for encouragement.
Really, there is no better way to encourage yourself. Find encouraging Bible verses such as Philippians 4:13 (I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength) and Isaiah 41:10 (So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand). Spend time in the Word. If it helps you (like it helps me, cause I'm a visual person) illustrate the verses. Write them out beautifully. I meditate on them while I do it and it's incredibly helpful.

4. Ask God to send you encouragement

Say to God, "Lord, I just really need some encouragement today!" then wait and see what God will bring into your life that day to encourage you. God loves to bring unexpected joys and surprises into our lives. He loves to pick us up and is incredibly gentle with us in our discouragement. He understands.
Here's a quote by Amy Carmichael (from the book 'Thou Givest, They Gather', I believe) that I love - emphasis mine.
"The rose is set on a thorny stem. This is my word for you today. Is there in any heart something that is like the piercing of a sword? Then watch for the unexpected joy. It will come sooner or later. The rosebud will form and open, and the rose appear."

5. Talk to others

Talk to people. Your family is there for you. So are your friends. Be honest about your discouragement and they will encourage you for sure! If you need some encouragement, feel free to contact me via the form on the sidebar of my blog and I would LOVE to send you some encouragement. One thing I'm trying to do more of this year is encourage. So talk to people (and do contact me, I'm really not hugely scary!).

6. Do things that lift your spirits

Go for a run, if that lifts your spirits. Watch a funny movie. Listen to some really beautiful music. Google image search "incredibly cute puppies" or even "baby alpacas" and then look through some of the search results (this really lifts your spirits!!). Eat icecream, chocolate, whatever makes you feel better. Do the little things you love. Crafts, biking, playing your instrument, reading, just sitting still and thinking about the many blessings in your life.

7. Encourage others
There's nothing like encouraging someone else to lift your own spirits!! Google "how to encourage people" if you are stuck for ideas. Here are some random ideas of my own.
- Write notes/cards and put them in the mail. I love receiving mail from friends. "Happy mail", I call it. So nice to know someone is thinking of you and praying for you!
- Give someone a hug
- Compliment people sincerely. Tell your friend that she has a really beautiful smile, tell the girl serving you at the shop how efficient and friendly she was.
- Let someone know you appreciate them. A quick facebook message or phone call is all it takes!
- Be quick to listen - and careful and postive with your speech. Bite your tongue if you're about to say something negative.
- Pray for people. In the quiet of your room or when you're with them. There's nothing like asking someone if you can pray for them then and there.
- Recognise and affirm people who are doing things behind the scenes.
- Don't look for things people do that are wrong but notice and verbally appreciate the right.

And that's that! Thank you for reading!
What do you do when you're feeling discouraged?
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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

A + A // Silverfish + Stuff Siblings Say

Caleb admiring the scenery in the Queen Charlotte Sound, up near Picton

- Running around a corner in your house full-tilt only to nearly collide into one of your siblings who just happened to be running full-tilt around the same corner in the opposite direction. And not being able to say, "It's so dangerous to run around corners!" (like you usually would in this situation) because you were running around the corner too. :P
- When you are talking and someone else comes and cuts into the conversation and starts talking to you and blatantly ignoring the person you were originally talking to, leaving them just standing there like, wow, what just happened?
- Mutual agreements at cross-purposes.
- When you see a photo of yourself and can't help sitting there looking at the photo thinking, "if I had this photo in a photo editing program right now I would change this.... and this.... and this..... and this..... and this.... and then catching yourself thinking that and being annoyed at yourself for thinking it but still thinking it because being annoyed at yourself for thinking it doesn't actually stop you from thinking it.
- When you meet someone at something you were completely not expecting to meet them at and there's that mutual "oh wow, this is awkward, what do I say?!" moment before you both recover.
- When you stay in a holiday house that happens to have silverfish so every. single. item you took on holiday has to be shaken outside before it can come back into your regular house. Every item. Takes FOREVER.
- Awkward endings to conversations.
- Getting lost in a pair of shorts while trying to put them on. I somehow manage to do things which probably no one has ever done before.
- A package that arrives in the mail that has been wrapped so, so well it takes quite a bit of time and ingenuity for you to eventually be able to open it.

- Looking around you at your life and thinking, wow, I have been ridiculously blessed far, far beyond what I deserve. To be honest, I don't think there is anyone on this earth who couldn't say that, no matter where they are or what their life looks like.
- Little siblings who say the most hilarious things ever
- The sound of cicadas chirping merrily outside.We live in a subdivision that is semi newish and the cicadas and other insects are only just starting to arrive.
- Fresh strawberries from the garden!
- Old photos
- HITTING 100,000 VIEWS ON MY BLOG!!! WAHOO! Here's proof right here (screenshot captured on the 26th of February 2016):

I didn't manage to capture the moment while it was on the exact number, but five views later is near enough, right? :)

- Meeting up with relatives and friends that you haven't seen for ages. Granted, it was because of Grandma's funeral which of course wasn't quite so awesome, but the good thing about funerals is that everyone gathers from near and far.
- Valentine's party fun. We had a family dinner that was awesome. We made encouragement certificates for each other and did a game called a 'Love Bath' which Mum created especially for the occasion. (Can you tell this post has been sitting in my drafts pile for a while?)
- New blank books... so exciting seeing yards and yards of unlined, unwritten-on pages! 
- With that being said, old, full books. It is really neat to look back on your work (whether it is an art book, a school book or a finished diary) and remember filling each page. So many memories!
- Doing fun things as a family.

Do you grow strawberries?
What sounds make you think of summer?
What is the most awkward thing that has happened to you this week?

Bonus question: I'm tossing up ideas of something fun to do with my friends for my 18th birthday this year. Do you have any brilliant ideas or inspiration for me? I'm kind of stuck...
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