September 19, 2017

Tolkien Questions!

Hamlette is hosting her fun annual Tolkien blog party so hop on over and check it out! :D (Also, the giveaway is EPIC as usual.)

Bilbo and Frodo

1. How long have you been a Tolkien fan?
Since about summer of 2014, when I first read The Fellowship of the Ring. However, I think I was predisposed to like LOTR, having heard much about it and having played and enjoyed the Lego video game.

Whiiiichh, I actually don't recommend. Because when you go to watch the movies, all you see is the Lego version in your head. Ugh. :P

2. Has your love of Middle-earth affected your life?
Mmmmm....I guess so? I mean, The Lord of the Rings is definitely my standard of excellence for fiction now (although, there are certainly differences and allowances to be made for genres, style, target audience, etc.) and the story itself has given me much perspective on the beauty in this world—and encouragement. For when all seems lost, there is still hope.

3. If you had to take the One Ring to Mordor, which character would you choose for your sole companion?

Aragorn is awesome

4. Which is scarier, Shelob or the Balrog?
Uhhmmmmm. Shelob is a spider....a giant spider. But Balrog is like really, really huge and flaming and I actually get a little nervous in the build up to his appearance in the movies....but nothing would be worse than traversing Shelob's lair....

I don't knooooooowww. Both are just hideous. I guess I'll say Shelob. If I had to die by one, I'd rather it was the Balrog than Shelob. (Because you and I both know I wouldn't stand a chance with either.)

5. Which two towers do you think Tolkien was referring to in the title The Two Towers?  (i.e. Orthanc, Barad-dûr, Cirith Ungol, Minas Morgul, or Minas Tirith)
I guess I always assumed it was Orthanc and Bard-dûr.
I love this so much xD

6. Whose wardrobe would you like to have?
Ahhhhhh that is a hard question. Because I absolutely adore pieces from each of the LOTR heroines' wardrobes. Only one?? *thinks very hard for a few moments*

I guess Éowyn's. The muted, autumnal colors of her gowns would look better on me than Arwen's dramatic wardrobe. Plus, Éowyn's gowns tend to be both practical and pretty. I would always be afraid of ripping or staining one of Arwen's gorgeous dresses.

(Can I have Tauriel's hair though, please and thanks? Also  maybe one of Arwen's gowns? No? Ahh well.)
7. What do you think an Ent Draught would taste like?
I honestly have no clue, but I'm going to suppose it has a rather earthy taste to it. Maybe with a bit of a berry-like tang?

8. Where in Middle-earth would you like to live?
THESE QUESTIONS ARE HARD. I guess Hobbiton. But could I travel to Rivendell and Rohan often? :)

9. Do you have any Tolkien-related opinions that surprise other people?
I love the Hobbit movies. Inaccuracy to the books and all.

And I ship Kili and Tauriel like 10000%.


« Hahaha I wish I can have this hair #hair… »
wish this was in the movie bahaha

10. List up to ten of your favorite lines/quotations from the books or movies.

I'm short on time, so I'm only going to share one this time. Sowwy! Behold:

“There's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for.” 

― Samwise Gamgee

That quote really does encourage me some days. Thank you, Sam. <3 

Favorite Movie adapted from a book- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Peter Jackson did an amazing job with LOTR! This movie will always be a classic.

And thank you for the fun questions, Hamlette!!

September 15, 2017


...a dream is a wish your heart makes...
I love this dress. It reminds me of space and I'm wondering if I can make a skirt like this with a slightly darker scheme to look like a galaxy....

...years of dreams just can't be wrong...
Anastasia: The New Broadway Musical

...i walked with you once upon a dream...
Sleeping Beauty. I love this one because her dress is true to form of how the story really went with both pink AND blue

...i dreamed a dream in time gone by...
"Now life has killed the dream I dreamed."

...don't take much to be a dreamer...all you do is close your eyes...
lalaland, Tu Na on ArtStation at

...'cause way down deep inside i've got a dream....
Tangled<3:) All those days, watching from a window. All those years, outside looking in. our dreams...they've finally come true...
La La Land International Poster textless by mintmovi3 on DeviantArt


I don't have much of an explanation for this post, friends. One day I was ruminating on some of my favorite musical theater songs that all have the word "dream" in them....and then this post was born. I know there are probably dozens of songs I'm missing, but this was still fun to put together. Sometimes I need a reminder that it's good to pursue my dreams. So, if anything, this post is a reminder for me—and anyone else who needs it—to....
"Go. Live your dreams."

PS. If you want to read some really good posts about dreams and the pursuance of them, read this and this. :)

September 10, 2017

Four Years+100 followers

It's been four wonderful years. Four years in which Natalie's memory slowly deteriorates, I guess. Because I was all set to sit down and write out on post on "four things blogging has given me".

Then I checked last year's anniversary post and was mildly shocked to see I had already written that post. (Except it was five, not four.)


So, here I am, unsure of what to say. And friends, to be honest, I don't feel much like celebrating. Hurricane Irma is currently on its path to Florida and though I am no where near the danger, it's still a source of worry and fear for me.
Isaiah 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, my unfailing love for you will not be shaken.
Florida was my home for 15 years. It was my childhood. Several relatives and dear friends still live there on the west coast, including my grandparents and a dear childhood friend I've known since I was seven.

It's crazy hearing about the evacuations. It's crazy seeing how big this hurricane is. It's crazy thinking what it would be like if we were still living there. It's just crazy.
Christmas in Venice, FL
downtown Venice, FL--a place I went to quite frequently as a kid
I also feel guilty--guilty that I didn't pray for the victims of Harvey as much as I've been praying for Florida. It's just so different. Knowing the place in danger and especially the people who are still puts it into such a different light.

But I know God is in control. I know He reigns supreme. And I'm still grateful for so much--thankful a few friends have been able to evacuate (like Mary!) and thankful that my family and friends still there have a safe place they plan to go.
"But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me."

I'm so thankful for the supportive friends I've met through blogging. Their encouragement and prayers mean the world. If I had to pick the one best thing about these four years of blogging, it would be that. My friends. Each of you are so unique, so dear, and so special.

Thank you so much.

Without you, I probably wouldn't be online here today. I probably wouldn't have written my novel, which opened the floodgates for 1,345 other novel ideas (give or take a little :P). I probably wouldn't be anything like who I am.

To be honest, I wondered whether I should save my thoughts about the hurricane for a different post and keep my anniversary post fun and light-hearted. But that wouldn't be very honest with you all. I don't want to put up a front about my life. Sometimes life is sad and messy and hard and I wouldn't be trusting you all very much if I didn't let you know it.

[ S u m m e r t i m e ] E s s e n c e . O f . S u m m e r

You say, “I choose the appointed time;
    it is I who judge with equity.
When the earth and all its people quake,
    it is I who hold its pillars firm.

From heaven you pronounced judgment,
    and the land feared and was quiet—
when you, God, rose up to judge,
    to save all the afflicted of the land.
Psalm 76

The waters saw you, God,
    the waters saw you and writhed;
    the very depths were convulsed.
The clouds poured down water,
    the heavens resounded with thunder;
    your arrows flashed back and forth.
Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
    your lightning lit up the world;
    the earth trembled and quaked.
Your path led through the sea,
    your way through the mighty waters,
    though your footprints were not seen.
You led your people like a flock
    by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Psalm 77

A favorite song at the moment:

God is trustworthy. 
He cares about the people of Florida more than I ever could. 
And He's going to be right there in the midst of it all.
He has a purpose for this.

And He will never leave nor forsake His people.

Hopefully I can get something more fun together for y'll soon. Would anyone be interested in an Ask Me Anything post? And I really want to host a giveaway sometime soon. Why?


But for now, thank you. 

Thank you for four years. 

Thank you for your friendship.
pretty flower picture for you because that's all I have right now ;D
Here's hoping for many more years as wonderful as these have been.

Love you all!!! *hugs*

September 6, 2017

"Cloaked" Cover Reveal~Rachel Kovaciny

I have an exciting book cover to reveal today, my friends. It belongs to Cloaked, a western retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" by Rachel Kovaciny (aka Hamlette of Hamlette's Soliloquy).
Sawtooth National Recreation Area at sunrise. Sawtooth Mountains, Stanley, Idaho. Photo: Chad Case
random pretty picture from Hamlette's pinterest board for "Cloaked"
Here's the official synopsis of Rachel's book:
On the way to Wyoming Territory to visit her grandmother for the first time, sixteen-year-old Mary Rose meets a charming accountant with a sinister interest in her grandmother's ranch.

And guess what? In only a few weeks (!!!) Cloaked will be available on Amazon in paperback and e-book formats.

You all are going to LOVE this cover. Of course, being part of the cover reveal I got to see it beforehand (heehee, lucky me). I was definitely expecting something amazing for this book, but I am happy to report it was even more beautiful than I dared dream. 


I gasped and stared at it in awe for about thirty seconds.

pretty much my reaction

So. Are you ready to see it?? :D Go ahead and scroll down to behold the beauty....

.....keep scrolling...




you're almost there, I promise!!!


Ahhh, it's insanely, amazingly gorgeous. The detail and the styling and just EVERYTHING. I absolutely love it. It's simple without being boring, unique without being odd, and extremely detailed without being overdone. IT'S BASICALLY PERFECT, OKAY? 
 (Look at how his hat is part of the mountains!! I didn't even notice that at first. The more you study this cover, the more you appreciate it.)

Congratulations, Rachel!!!
Thank you for allowing me to help reveal the cover of Cloaked!

September 4, 2017

Ten Things I Hate About Driving

So while writing my previous post, the idea for THIS post fell into my lap. I really don't have much to preface it with, except that *warning* some sarcasm and ranting abounds. :P

10) I promise I'm innocent, officer
I don't know about you, but even seeing  a police officer makes me nervous. NOT because I'm doing anything wrong (I mean sometimes I speed a leetle bit...*cough*) but because I'm trying so hard to do everything right....does that even make sense? I don't know. All I know is that police officers (despite my extreme admiration and respect for them) make me a little nervous and I live in constant fear of getting a ticket. I DON'T WANT MY PURE, SPOTLESS DRIVING RECORD STAINED WITH A SPEEDING TICKET.

9) First rule of leadership: everything is your fault
When you're the driver, you have to balance everything. The phone. The car keys. Making sure the car is locked. Driver's license. Any cargo like library books to return or groceries you just bought. Your brother. Money. Sunglasses. NOT TO MENTION DRIVING SAID VEHICLE. Which involves stop signs. Traffic lights. Pedestrians. Passing cars. Runaway dogs. Speed limit signs.
#more stressed than Legloas battling orcs

8) Four way stops.
Must I really explain why? It's confusing and dangerous, especially for an indecisive person like me. And then there is always someone who is just like....

7) And at last I see the light....and nothing but the light.
Driving at sunset. UGH. Instant blindness will commence now.

6) When the FBI trails you
Okay, honestly I added this one for the gif. But sometimes there's just that ONE car you can't shake no matter what obscure dirt road you go down...

5) DEER!
I live in Michigan, guys. I have deer paranoia. FORGET THE SPEEDING TICKET I'LL TAKE THAT ANY DAY OVER THIS.
*I purposely found a gif of a deer NOT getting killed, you're welcome

4) Slow turners.
I admit it. I'm impatient.

3) Those people who pass you going over 80mph and never get pulled over???
One of my biggest pet peeves is when I'm going EXACTLY the speed limit and people still pass me. I just.....

(the extreme version of this is when you're in the upper peninsula of Michigan, miles away from anything on this desolate back roads and you go ten miles over the speed limit and still every car passes you)

2) No turn signal
It's called a BLINKER!!! - No kidding, this is me any time I drive anywhere, do people NOT know blinkers exist??? angry dog driving road rage

Guaranteed to cause me road rage* every time.

*except I don't actually do anything associated with "road rage". I just complain about this person verbally--whether someone's in the car to listen to me or not :P

How about you, my friends? 
What are your driving pet peeves?

Dog driving car with kid gif, laugh out loud! Follow RUSHWORLD. We're on the hunt for everything you'll love!