27 Things You Didn't Know About Me

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Well, hi!

If you're new here, hi, my name is Savannah. I turned 27 back in October. I started this blog back when I was 22. Good gracious.

I wanted to share some fun facts about me with you. Granted, I've done this before - twice, actually - but I feel like I could share some new things/insights that will be fun to look back on in the future (goodness, it was fun looking back on my old fun fact posts over the past couple of years).

So...here are 27 things you didn't know about me. :)

1. I have been a baptized/born-again Christian for 13 years as of January 12. I feel like I have grown every single one of those thirteen years and counting.
2. Along those lines, I have never read the whole Bible in a year before. This year, I'm changing that.
3. I'm a stationery nerd; specifically, notepads and planners. I get my love of stationery and planners from my mom, and we've gone to several planner conventions together!
4. Also, I'm a pen nerd. Brightly-colored pens, highlighters, and color coding are my jam.
5. I have dyed my hair before. In fact, it's been three colors at once: blonde with the underside being blue with pink shadow roots. Now, I'm in this phase where the bottom half of my hair is a blonde ombre situation from the bleach.
6. I've been called even more similar-sounding names to Savannah in recent months: Cheyenne, Shannon, and Cindy, to name a few.
7. I like to think I'm crazy-good at racing games, be they arcade or console/computer.
8. My favorite books of the Bible are Esther, Romans, and Hebrews.
9. I have written two novels (and counting, especially with this year's NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo months!)
10. I have also self-published some short stories! Click here to check them out.
11. I edit on a freelance basis in addition to my day job, so I actually self-edit my own work and do my own cover designs for my self-published work. I have also worked as a self-publishing consultant on a memoir.
12. I have never seen "The Wizard of Oz."
13. I have never been to a Renaissance fair.
14. I have some new additions to my travel bucket list: Seoul, Egypt, and Australia (Melbourne or Sydney).
15. I am a chorizo fiend. If there's a chorizo burrito or some kind of chorizo I can get on a Mexican dish or taco, I'm there.
16. I'm also a spicy food fiend. Hot chicken, Indian spices, and any sriracha or chipotle majesty I can get my hands on are always a treat.
17. If I could characterize my personal style, it's vintage silhouettes meets band t-shirts. One day, I'm wearing a blouse and suspenders to work, and the next, I'm rocking my Bastille tour merch.
18. Rose gold is my favorite metal; after that, I gravitate towards gold...and glitter, of course.
19. I have named both of my female dogs I've had over the years. I chose Azalea's name for the flowers at my grandparents' beach house, and I named Magnolia because my second novel's main character has the same name.
20. My friends say I need to be fed and watered every two hours...and they're right. If I don't eat for a while - especially protein - I get really shaky and feel a little more anxious.
21. Lemonade and other citrus foods give me the hiccups. No clue why.
22. I'm also partially allergic to artificial flavoring! It just makes me cough a little bit, nothing too serious.
23. I gravitate towards patterns and kitschy details when it comes to clothes, accessories, and jewelry. I.E. you'll find me wearing dinosaurs and unicorns a LOT.
24. Reading, literature, and storytelling have always been a comfort and a childhood mainstay for me. Of course, I love C.S. Lewis, but I also love Neil Gaiman's work.
25. I'm an optimist almost to a fault.
26. I find joy in the tiniest details.
27. If there's one thing that I've learned in my 27 years of life, it's that there's no shame in being yourself, exactly who God created you to be, and that normal is just a setting on a washing machine.

I Have Three Labradoodles

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Boy howdy, do I have an update for you guys.

Last year, we had to say goodbye my dog Azalea. About six months before that, we said goodbye to her brother, Harvey. They were the best miniature schnauzers in the whole wide world. I grew up with them. They were the childhood puppies I had that I got to share my younger adventures with. It was hard to talk about their passing, let alone blog about it, but we were thankful for the 15 years we got to spend with those fur babies.

Fast-forward to the Fall of 2018. My family decided that it was time to open our home to two more fur babies.

So, on October 27th, we welcomed Atticus and Thoreau, our new chocolate Australian labradoodles.

Baby Atticus

 Baby Reau

Now, these are the first "big" dogs I've ever grown up with. But they are the most loving, precious, spunky fur baby siblings a girl can have. They've lit up my life in so many ways.

Hey, Sav, you may be asking me, Your post title clearly states that you have THREE labradoodles. Not two. Where's this third puppy?

Here's the part where we fast-forward quickly to the next month, November. Originally, my family wanted a boy and a girl, similar to Harv and Zae. The breeder we adopted Atticus and Thoreau from did not have a girl available, so Mom mentioned that if one of the girls became available, we'd be up to take her in. But the possibility was far from our minds, since all the little girl puppies had been reserved.

...until we got a text from our breeder saying, "Do y'all still want a little girl?"

They had one last girl puppy left because the owner who had originally reserved her couldn't take her in because of landlord restrictions. So, we enthusiastically said yes, and we took her in.

This is Magnolia, my little fur sister.

She was a little timid at first, but over time, she grew to love and feel more comfortable as part of our family. She is still a little shyer than her brothers when it comes to meeting brand-new people, but that's okay. I guess she's like me in that she's a little introvert.

How are they now?

Atticus, Lola, and Reau are four-and-a-half months old, and they still entertain/surprise/delight us to this day (of course!). Having labradoodles in the house has been a fun adventure every single day. The other day, Lola discovered how to jump on all the beds. Atticus is still leaping into my arms, a tradition since he was the tiniest puppy. And Thoreau still has this fascination with the microwave, especially when Dad makes bacon.

They are the best things to come into my life in a long time, and I am so beyond thankful for them.

Atticus, Thoreau, Magnolia...I love you guys. <3

Kingdom Hearts 3 | Disney, Kindness, Friendship, and Good Memories

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Back on January 29, Kingdom Hearts 3, the long-awaited sequel and trilogy-ender to the Kingdom Hearts game franchise, launched to Playstation 4 and XBOX One. Needless to say, as a longtime fan of this series, I was super excited, and I preordered it the moment I could.

Kingdom Hearts is a crossover between Final Fantasy, a long-running fantasy series, and Disney. Players traverse various Disney worlds (settings from various movies such as Alice in Wonderland, Toy Story, Frozen, and SO many more) as a happy-go-lucky hero named Sora and his sidekicks Donald and Goofy (yes, the Disney duck and dog). The story gets convoluted quickly due to alternate universes, merging timelines, time travel, and a massive cast of characters who somehow mesh perfectly with the Disney universes they inhabit, but it's worth the ride for sure.

When I launched Kingdom Hearts 3, I'm 99% sure that I squealed "THAT'S SO CUTE!!" at the screen at least ten times in the first 30 minutes. The game itself is so light-hearted and fun. I mean, what game lets you attack enemies with classic Disney rides? I got to blast away some of the monsters with Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, and I got to smash a Greek Rock Titan with the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad train. As a Disney park fanatic as well, this was exciting.  Also, there's a portion of the game where you traverse Arendelle, the kingdom in the movie Frozen, and there's sing-along portions in that level. This little Disney nerd was happy.

I played this game growing up, and to say this game is a long time coming is an understatement. The first game came out in 2002. I was ten years old. The second game came out in 2004. I was thirteen then. I even remember asking my mom if we could go to Gamestop to pick up Kingdom Hearts 2 the day it came out. I remember loving all of those characters and exploring the Disney worlds even back then. I would make up my own characters that fit into the universe as well.

Little did I know that those games actually influenced parts of my life, like my writing and my overall love of bright and colorful things, as well as great storytelling.

Now, I'm 27. I'm an adult. I've experienced a lot in the past 13 years in the real world. I graduated college. I experienced heartbreak. I have a job. And still, I experience so much joy picking up a Kingdom Hearts game and picking up a keyblade, even after all this time. I'm still working on beating this game, but I can tell you that I've learned that there's no reason to apologize for being who you are, even though it may come across as childish or too weird for some. Kindness and encouragement always wins, no matter what form it takes, Disney magic included.

I guess there's something to be said about a game that brings so much happiness, and about a game whose story aims to emphasize the importance of kindness, friendship, and staying true to yourself, even when the world around you goes dark.

The Happiest Place on the West Coast | A Guide to Disneyland

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

During a recent trip to Palm Springs this past January, my family and I took a day trip to Anaheim, California, where we stayed...in Disneyland!

Y'all, Disney parks are awesome. I love them. I'm slightly biased because I've visited Disneyworld a ton in my childhood and beyond, but there's a certain type of magic that's in the Disney parks that I can't really describe. I've been to other theme parks before, but there's something about Disneyworld that keeps me wanting to come back. That's why I was excited to visit Disneyland for the first time.

In this post, I'm going to give y'all the run-down on the following: where we stayed, what we rode, and what we ate. Also, I want to give you my pros and cons/first impressions of Disneyland itself.

Before we get to the aforementioned run-down, please keep in mind that we only spent one day here. We did not come at park opening, nor did we leave at park close. We also didn't have time for California Adventure (Disneyland's answer to Hollywood Studios with more Pixar-themed attractions, including a Cars ride and an Incredibles-themed coaster called, aptly, the "Incredicoaster"), but I wouldn't mind coming back for it someday.

Anyways, on to the post!

Where We Stayed: The Californian

I'm just going to cut to the chase: this is a miniature Wilderness Lodge.

For those who have never been to Disneyworld before, the Wilderness Lodge is a sprawling resort inspired by Americana/Native American/Pacific Northwestern culture and architecture. The whole hotel is styled like a giant wood lodge. Hence, Wilderness Lodge.

The Californian has the exact same architecture and a lobby that's nearly identical to its Disneyworld sibling. However, that's kind of where the similarities end for me. The restaurants at the Californian, sadly, were not as big of a draw for me as the Wilderness Lodge counterparts. But, overall, I thought the hotel was cute.

Also, the best part was our view. We could look out directly onto California Adventure.

What We Rode

Here were all the attractions that we hit in Disneyland:

It's a Small World - It has an outdoor entrance! But for some reason, they still had their Christmas theme up. The tiny dolls were singing Jingle Bells. On January 20th. It was still cute, but Dad and I were both wondering aloud why this was the case. Keep this in mind if you plan a trip to the park.

Pirates of the Caribbean - This is also different from its Disneyworld counterpart, but in two neat ways: one, it's a little longer, and two, it floats by a cute restaurant called the Blue Bayou! We weren't able to book reservations there because of the demand (I mean, who doesn't want to eat inside the Pirates ride?), but it was still neat to see.

Matterhorn Bobsleds - I'd say this is a solid combination of Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain. Of course, Disneyland has both of those rides, too, but I really wanted to try the Matterhorn since it's not in Orlando. It was SO fun.

What We Ate

We didn't dive too deep into the restaurants at Disneyland - and there's a ton of well-known food items here, from Dole Whips (just like Orlando) to bigger places (like the Blue Bayou I mentioned earlier). 

The first thing we had was in Downtown Disney, which is kind of acts central hub of sorts between the parks and the hotels in the Disneyland resort. We had pizza at an Italian restaurant called Naples Ristorante, and it was pretty good.

Then, the only other food I had in Disney proper was a churro. There's a reason why everybody eats churros at Disney parks, and I can't believe my first one was in California. They serve them warm, and they're at least a yard long.

I'd love to go back and try some of their other foods, like the Mickey beignets and the macaroons.

Final Thoughts/Pros & Cons

Overall, I really enjoyed Disneyland. I mean, it would be difficult not to, since I've always been a huge Disney fan. 

Do I wish Disneyland were a little bigger? Oh yeah. Sleeping Beauty Castle is actually pretty small in person, and we pretty much walked the whole park in a matter of a few hours. But Disneyland does have its charms, and what I got to experience, I loved.

But the biggest pro was getting to spend the day in Disneyland with my Dad. Growing up, he adored the parks as much as I did, and it's something we've gotten to share together, so I'm extremely thankful I got to spend that day with him.

That's a wrap on my Disneyland guide! Thanks for reading.