Nature Photography

If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you probably already know that I like photographing nature. It’s the only thing around me that I can take pictures of. This year I had the opportunity to go to a piece of beautiful property recently and take some pictures with my Nikon D3400. Which, by the way, is a spectacular camera. I love it so much. (Sorry Canon users, I know the Nikon vs. Canon thing is a HUGE deal. But I’m sticking with my Nikon.)

It was very cold (early spring here is), but it was just lovely through my lens. So, with that in mind, here are my newest photos. Enjoy!


A little plant people call a weed. (It’s fuzzy because the wind blew just as I snapped it.)


Gotta love the bokeh.


I still can’t get over how clear this one is!


Flower details…


I love these tiny things; they look like itty bitty roses almost.


It’s all about getting the angle.


Does anyone know what this is? (Okay, I know it’s buds on a tree. Come on.)


Just a little bit haunting.


This just might be my very favorite of all the photos in this post.


Second favorite. Leading lines and the rule of thirds made this one rock!


The lonely little flower.


It’s not often I can photograph an animal, but isn’t this the cutest thing?!?!

That’s it. Not a ton, but hopefully you liked them! I’ve got ideas for more photographs – getting them right will be the hardest part.

Keeps your eyes peeled for another post of this sort (no promises, though) and in the mean time, enjoy what’s around you!



Baking Soda Shampoo?

I’ve heard that baking soda shampoo is supposed to grow your hair very quickly. I was skeptical, as usual, but not so much that I wouldn’t give a it good college try. But, upon reading more about it, I heard that it would terribly damage your hair, making it break, have split ends, and get very dull – assuming you used it for a long period of time.

It sounded pretty good, all in all, right? Perhaps it’s not the best idea, but…

I did it anyway for one week. Here are my before and after results:



Okay, so both pictures are of my hair, despite the funny change in lighting. The blonder looking one is before, the other is after.

I honestly didn’t know what to think at first. Seeing them compared like this, I do think my hair grew – but only a tiny bit – especially considering how uneven my ends are in the second picture. I will say that after the first wash, I noticed a HUGE difference in texture. It was sooooooo smooth and tangles easily combed out.

Here’s what to do if you’d like to give it a try!

Mix one part baking soda with three parts water. Use this instead of your regular shampoo. Wash your hair and rinse thoroughly.

Mix one part apple cinder vinegar with four parts water. (I also added a few drops of peppermint essential oil to try to combat the smell.) Use this as a rinse after your baking soda shampoo. Rinse with water twice as thoroughly.

And that’s really it! Remember that my hair is probably at the fastest it’s going to grow without any extra growth-stimulating concoctions, so yours might grow more or less during the one week.


Let me know if you have any questions and if you’re going to give it a try!


Four Strand Braid Updo

It’s been FOREVER since I did a tutorial, right? Nevertheless, I’m really happy to be back and to share this easy but elegant updo. Besides, it’s fun because, like my mom pointed out, it looks kind of like challah bread!


As usual, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to post a comment below!

Thanks for watching and have fun!


Spring 2018 Fashion

Hey everyone! It’s me, Miss Fashionista here to help you out with spring trends!


“In the Know” with Miss Fashionista

Spring just might be my favorite time of year, so Amara let me do this post – I had to do some major persuading, but here I am finally writing it. Okay, let the fun begin!

Since you all are used to getting just one spring “color”, I’m giving you a fair warning – I’m giving you 12. After all, that’s just what Pantone chose this year! Here they are:

  1. Meadowlark — it’s a bright yellow.
  2. Cherry Tomato — well, it’s a cherry tomato color; orangey red.
  3. Little Boy Blue — think of a blue sky.
  4. Chili Oil — an “earthy brown based red”.
  5. Pink Lavender — take a look at my shirt; it’s about the same.
  6. Blooming Dahlia — a sort of dusty rose color. Sort of.
  7. Arcadia — think retro aqua-teal.
  8. Ultra Violet — a bright, yet bold violet color.
  9. Emperador — mmmm… chocolate.
  10. Almost Mauve — a light, almost white pinky mauve color. Probably hence the name.
  11. Spring Crocus — exactly what I think of when I think of that flower; a pretty purple.
  12. Lime Punch — a bright, slightly greenish yellow; a color that packs a punch.

Okay, before you want to see the actual COLORS, not just DESCRIPTIONS, let me give you the basics, or, the “Classic” color palette for the season.

  1. Sailor Blue — as its name suggests, it’s blue. More of a navy, to be exact.
  2. Harbor Mist — “a mid-tone dove gray”.
  3. Warm Sand — it’s a warm sand color; aka, a light tanish color.
  4. Coconut Milk — like milk colored, only more off-white, as they describe it.

Okay, okay, okay. Now that you have the main idea, here’s the actual color swatches and all that you need to know about them.

So now that you know what colors to look for, here are some spring trends for this year!

1. Glitter, Sequins and Shine



2. Bold Print Purses



3. Strappy Heels



4. Oversized Plaid Coats



5. Long Delicate Earrings



Well, everyone, that brings my post to a conclusion. I hope you all liked it! And be sure to let me know, because otherwise my competitor, Madame Sophisticated,


will take over the fashion posts!

Thanks again for reading!

♥Miss Fashionista


Note: The picture(s) I am not selling, making a profit from, or benefiting from these in any way, shape, or form. They are for the sole purpose of enjoyment for the readers. All copyrights remain with the respective owner(s).

The Bribe ~ Short Story

Since it’s a new year, it’s time for a new story. I toyed around with this idea for a story for quite some time, and I didn’t originally intend to share it on my blog. But I thought better of that, and since I haven’t posted one in over a year and a half, and decided that I would post this one. I hope you enjoy it!

All of the events in this story are solely based on the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

The Bribe

I’m Ashlyn. I was fresh out of beauty school, and was happily working at a hair salon for two weeks. I only had one repeating client at the time, but I had no idea how she would be a part of my life beyond the salon.

It was Monday, and I had a long day of work ahead. I enjoyed working at this salon, but the hours were long for me. To make things worse, Jenna walked in, my repeat client. She was a senior at her college, and she would be graduating that weekend. She chose an ombre hair dye in her school color – blue. I liked dying people’s hair, and quickly started preparing her already destroyed ends for the color. I noticed the bad state of her hair, and suggested a deep conditioning treatment to hopefully repair some of the damage, and also suggested to skip the dye. That was no use, however, as she knew what she wanted, and nothing else. I was really worried about it not turning out, but, one of the rules of hairstyling is to do what the client wants. So, in the end, since I couldn’t convince her, I had to do as she wished. I applied the blue dye to her fragile hair, and waited the proper amount of time. Jenna was looking at a magazine as I came over to wash her hair.

“I just hope it turns out well, Miss Ashlyn Jacobs,” she said, with a bit of a “tone.” I smiled, and said I was sure it would. I put on gloves, and reached for her hair. The moment I touched it – oh, horror – the bottom third of her hair fell completely off. I stared tragically at the mess around me, and she quickly demanded what had happened.

“The dye just – just – was too much for your hair,” I said.

“What have you done now?”

I couldn’t avoid it. “The bottom third of your hair – fell off!”

“What?” she screamed at me. “You’ve ruined my hair!”

I couldn’t help a tear that ran down my face – it was true – I’d ruined her hair! And now what could I do with a horribly upset client, a mess of hair, and shaking hands?

She cried. I cried. We were both upset. And my employer, the owner of the salon, Michelle, came out to see what the ruckus was. I tried to calmly explain my predicament to her, though my voice was quivering. She looked for a moment at the mess, and told me that the first thing to be done was to wash the rest of her hair. I did, but not without Jenna’s endless barrage of complaints and accusations. I finished and blow dried her hair as per Michelle’s instructions. Then I told Jenna that I could cut her hair into a really cute and attractive style if she’d let me, and no one would know the damage that had been done. She stood up, snatched her purse, threw a deadly glance at me, and, without paying, stormed out of the salon.

“I’ll never let you do my hair again,” she shouted over her shoulder.

I sunk into a chair, and put my head it my hands. The beginning of my third week didn’t start very well. Thankfully for me, though, no other clients were in the salon at that time. I slowly swept up the hair that lay on the floor, and cleaned up my space. I sighed more than once during the process. I had two walk-ins that day, and did my best to be as cheerful as I could. I was so glad they didn’t know what I’d done a few hours before. Michelle told me that if I let something like that happen again, she’d have to let me go – not because I was bad at it, she said, but it would make a bad name for the salon.

The next day, I tried to refresh my bright outlook on life. I wondered, though, how Jenna’s hair was going to turn out for her graduation. It was only two days away. I looked at my calendar – I didn’t have anyone scheduled to come in today, so I mostly just hung around, sweeping hair, and cleaning tools. I had just put some money in the cash register when someone came up and leaned his elbows on the counter with an amused expression.

“Can I help you?” I said, surprised to see someone watching me.

“Yes,” he said, “I’d like a haircut.”

“Oh,” I replied, “what’s your name?”


I cataloged him in the computer, and then asked him to follow me to the chair. I flung a cape around his shoulders, and while I was snapping the back of it, I asked him what he’d like done. He said he’d like a trim, and the tips of his dark brown hair bleached. I gulped, and nodded in assent. After much talking while I was cutting, I found out that he was also graduating that weekend, and at the same college as Jenna. Of course, I thought, he wouldn’t know her, and so I didn’t ask. Once it came to bleaching his hair, though, I hesitated.

“You wanted just the tips bleached, right?” I asked, standing up the tips of his hair to make sure I knew what I was doing this time.

He nodded. “Yep.”

I mixed up the solution, and applied it to his hair with foils. Again, I waited the allotted time, watching the clock with great vigilance. Once it had sat on his hair long enough, I took off the foils, and to my relief, his hair didn’t fall off. I washed it, and then spiked up the top as was his request.

“Is that all you wanted?” I asked.

He looked at it for a moment in approval. “Yes – it looks just like what I wanted,” he said.

Following me back to the counter, he pulled out his wallet. “How much?” he asked.

I calculated for a moment – cut and color, so, “it will be 30 dollars.” I looked at him as if to make sure that the amount wasn’t too much. He didn’t make any expression other than the one he’d been wearing the whole time – an “I know something you don’t” kind of smile. Or a “know-it-all” kind of smirk – I couldn’t tell at the time, though it grew very clear later. He handed me the money, and was about to leave as he saw me putting it into the register, but paused. I tried not to notice him, and began carefully studying the calendar again – not like I didn’t already know what was on it, but still – then he walked back up to me.

“This,” he said, handing me a ten dollar bill, “is for you.”

I stared for a moment in disbelief. “Really?”

“Yes!” he said, smiling at my evident pleasure, “you did a fantastic job, and should be rewarded. See you next time,” he said, casually walking away.

I was grateful for the extra money, but as for the “see you next time” – I said to myself “yeah, right. Like that’s gonna happen.”

Three weeks later, when I was working on another client I ran to the counter to grab something, and I saw Kyle standing there, spinning his keys.

“Hey Ashlyn,” he said.

“I’ll get someone to help you in a moment,” I said cheerily, my hands full of combs and scissors.

“Aren’t you available?” he asked, a little disturbed.

“No, I’m working on someone right now. I won’t be done for probably twenty minutes. Let me see if Michelle is open. I’ll be back.”

I came back, and he was patiently waiting for me. “I’m sorry, Mr. Anderson, but –“

“You can call me Kyle,” he chuckled.

“Oh,” I said, turning red, “Michelle isn’t ready yet either. It will be at least fifteen minutes. Everyone is busy right now.”

“No prob,” he said taking a seat in one of the chairs in the waiting area.

I carefully finished cutting my client’s hair, and went back with her to the counter. She paid me, and gave me a fifteen dollar tip. I was the first stylist who was open to take on Kyle, so I did.

“Kyle? I’m ready for you,” I said, walking up to him.

“Great,” he said, putting his iPhone in his pocket and following me to the chair. He told me he just wanted a trim again, and to re-bleach his ends.

I made polite conversation, and asked him how his graduation went.

“It went pretty cool,” he said, “but there’s this girl named Jenna.” I tried not to look surprised, but my heart skipped. “And she had her hair done way different. It looked pretty good, but I’m so curious as to what happened. She wouldn’t tell me – she said some disaster.”

I tried to act casual. “What did it look like?” I asked.

“Well,” he said, “it wasn’t anything strange, but she’d said she wanted to dye part of her hair in the college color – blue – and then she showed up with shoulder-length hair and no blue,” he said, carefully watching my expression.

I tried to look shocked. “Oh, dear, that’s unfortunate,” I said, maintaining a pretty believable surprised but not overdone expression.

I finished with his hair, and again he followed me to the counter, and quickly produced fifty dollars.

“Oh,” I said, looking at the wad of cash he tried to give me, “it’s only thirty dollars for the cut and color.”

“I know that,” he said, with his signature smile, “keep the rest as a tip.”

I was stunned, and made my gratitude evident by thanking him more than once. He waved his hand as if to stop me, and so I pocketed the extra cash.

Since the mistake with Jenna’s hair, things went pretty well – it was summer, school was out, and I was busier than ever. Kyle kept coming around, and every time I’d have to do his hair, which I didn’t mind. Strangely, though, he’d only let me do it, but it made sense to me later.

In the next week, I had another client who came in with gorgeous long hair, and she wanted to dye it black. Black wasn’t a bad color on her, so I was glad – though I enjoyed dying hair, I was tired of doing blue, green, and purple, and I was glad for the change. Her name was Emily, and she was 22. She and I got along pretty well on a professional level, and I quickly began putting the dye on her hair. As I washed it out, she asked me a very strange question.

“Do dyes burn your hair?”

“No,” I said, “unless your hair is already too damaged, or if it’s left on too long.”

“Did you leave it on too long?” she said, a little panic in her voice.

“No, not at all – rest assured,” I said, and smiled.

Once I washed the dye out, her hair was a sleek black and she said she liked the color – but it looked flat. That often happens with dye, and I said I could put some highlights and lowlights in her hair to make it more “real.” She agreed to have it done, but I suggested waiting a few days to let her hair get used to the dye. She didn’t want to wait, as she had an event the next day. So, I began putting the foils in her hair. The highlights and lowlights gave a better dimension to her hair, but she said that wasn’t enough. Now she wanted a purple ombre.

“So here we go with purple again,” I thought to myself.

Again, I told her she should wait, and after talking through it for a while, she agreed to come the next week. This whole process took me over an hour – and then I heard Kyle call me from across the salon. I looked and – horror again – I’d left him the entire time with the foils on his hair! What was wrong with my brain? I bolted over to him, and tore the foils off. I’d done it again, only this time, it was my fault – the tips of his hair broke off. I literally started crying as I tried to wash the rest of it off his hair. I finished and dried his hair. Of course, he already knew what had happened – it’s not like I could or should hide it.

“What’s so wrong?” he asked, quite calm at the whole affair.

“I’ve ruined your hair too!”


I gasped.

“It’s not all that bad,” he said, “my hair is already short, and taking the tips off isn’t a big deal. It seems like I’m taking it better than you,” he laughed.

Michelle just so happened to walk right by at that moment, and she demanded what happened this time.

“Michelle,” I choked, “I’ve ruined Kyle’s hair too! Look at it!”

She looked at me for a moment as if to say, “I’ll talk to you about this later,” and I got to work – trimming the unevenly broken ends. I finished, and almost begged him not to tip me. He paid the right amount of money, but didn’t leave for some time. He looked like he was looking at hair gel to purchase, but I wasn’t so sure.

Michelle told me very clearly I was not allowed to work here anymore, so I took my last paycheck and cleaned out my spot at the salon. I knew this should happen – I thought I was too feather-brained to do any sort of work like this, and I’d been proven right. I loaded everything in a large bag, collected my tip money in my pocket – obviously from earlier that day – and made my way out of the salon once and for all. I began immediately thinking how awful this would look on my record, and how I’d ever be able to get a job after this. As I was walking out for the last time from the salon, Kyle just “happened” to be leaving at the same time, and “didn’t notice” me walking out right then and got in front of me. He opened the door to leave, and just then suddenly realized I was behind him.

I thanked him as he held the door open for me, and briskly walked past. He caught up to me.

“Where you going?” he asked.

“To get lunch,” I said, adding a “Mr. Nosy” at the end in my head. Thankfully, it didn’t escape my lips. I was not in the mood to do any talking – especially to him. I didn’t want to tell him that I’d been fired – err – laid off. Why should I? He didn’t need to know everything.

“See you next time,” he said, as usual.

“No, I’m afraid you won’t,” I muttered.

He turned back at me with a surprised expression. “What?”

“I’m not going to work at this salon anymore,” I announced, as if it had been my decision.

“I thought you liked it here!”

“I used to – now I don’t.”

“Don’t think that messing up my hair should make you leave – it’s no big deal. Really. I know it’s just a mistake.”

“Not everyone thinks that way, though, and I’m not ever going to work here again,” I finished, making a bolt for my car.

That was the last time I saw him at my salon – ah, things weren’t going so well after all. I did go to get lunch, and ate it in silence. I puttered back to my apartment, and climbed the stairs to my room. Now what was I going to do? Start applying at other salons? No, that wouldn’t be a good idea – I’d just been fired, so who would want me? It was then that I thought I should go into a different branch of work entirely; I enjoyed talking to people, so the next day I applied for a job at a restaurant. I applied at several ones, but no one wanted me. Then, my last ditch effort – it was crazy, I knew – I applied at one very expensive-looking salon that had a “now hiring” sign out front. I landed the job on the spot. I almost jumped for joy; I could work at what I loved most again! And this time, I kept a very close eye on anyone I was coloring.

That next year didn’t go so well, despite the new job. The salon went bankrupt which left me out of work again. It seemed like no matter what I did, there was always something pushing me back. After seeing my résumé, my last salon efforts turned many businesses away. Since I was out of a job that meant no income, which meant that I couldn’t pay for my apartment. And that meant I would soon be out of a place to stay. I wasn’t about to go ask my parents if they’d let me stay with them – as soon as I had become a Christian and finished school, I was out of their house for good. They seemed to want nothing to do with me. As if that already wasn’t enough, my car broke down on the way to the grocery store, and that was yet another cost with money I didn’t really have. And to top it all off, one day I got a very strange phone call.

I picked it up. “Hello? This is Ashlyn. How can I help you?” I said, trying hard not to sound depressed.

There was a slight pause at first from the person on the other end. I waited.

“I want to talk to you, if you have a minute,” she said, her voice a little bit unsure.

“I have plenty of time right now – but who are you?” I asked. Her voice sounded a little familiar, but I couldn’t place it.

“I’d like to talk to you in person,” she began, “and I really called to ask you if you’d come to dinner with me next Saturday,” she said, almost as if the idea had just dawned on her.

“Who are you?”

She didn’t say who she was, but said I’d probably know her once I saw her. She named the restaurant we were to meet at, and she made it very clear that it was her treat. After talking with her for a while, I finally agreed to come. It was risky, I knew, but somehow I had a very strange feeling that I should. The day rolled around, and I almost didn’t go – but I had to keep my promise, and with bated breath, I went. The restaurant was a very fancy one, and I walked in with wide eyes. I looked around to see who it was I was supposed to meet there, and a waiter came up to me.

“Can I help you, ma’am?” he asked.

“No, thank you – I’m supposed to meet someone here and she should be coming soon,” I smiled.

He nodded, and said “not at all,” and left. I stood by myself in the entry of the restaurant. Then someone tapped me on the shoulder.

“Ashlyn?” she said, in a shy, yet kind voice.

I whipped my head around to see who it was, and to my utter surprise there she stood right in front of me – Jenna.

For a moment neither of us said anything, and then Jenna smiled an apologetic smile, and said, “Yes, it’s me – will you come to my table?”

I agreed and followed her to the table. I looked and – no! it couldn’t be – there sat Kyle as well. I wanted to turn and run away at that moment, but I remembered my promise, and I wasn’t going to break it. I sat down on the opposite side from Kyle and Jenna so I could talk to them, and they to me. Before we got into any conversation, a waiter thankfully arrived, and we all ordered something to eat and drink. Once our meals were served no one took a bite for a moment, and I wasn’t about to be the first one to. This was all very strange to me.

Jenna was the first to speak up. “Ashlyn, I need to confess,” she said, turning for a moment at Kyle, who nodded for her to go on. “That day I insisted on wrecking my hair, when you told me not to, I got very mad, as you know.”

I nodded to myself in my thoughts, but not so anyone could see.

“The next day I told Kyle about the ordeal, and asked him to – maybe I should say bribed him to – somehow make you lose your job and try to make life miserable for you.” She slowly looked at her napkin, and shook her head.

I gasped, and looked at Kyle. Jenna continued.

“So for the next few months I kept tabs on him and you, making sure he had a way to catch you – I heard what Michelle had said that day; if something like that happened again, whether it was your fault or not, she’d have to fire you. So because Kyle and I had been friends for a while, it was easy to make Kyle bleach his hair to hopefully get you in trouble. My plan worked – you got fired.”

I looked at the plate of food in front of me for a moment.

“I was happy for a time – it was almost rewarding to want to ruin someone’s life in revenge, but once it had happened, and you moved along without complaining, so I was told, it wasn’t so fun to me anymore. I ended up feeling miserable, and rightly so. I should never have done those things –“

“I shouldn’t have been so forgetful about Kyle’s hair, though,” I said. “I do have a dreadful habit of forgetting things.”

“No, no, that’s not the problem,” countered Jenna, “I was the evil mastermind behind all this – you had nothing to do with it. My selfish and sinful plans are what the problem is. And Kyle was just my pawn – he never would have dreamed of doing something like this, I’m certain.”

“Ah, wait, wait, wait,” said Kyle, interrupting Jenna and speaking for the first time. “I am partly to blame too. I agreed to be bribed to do this, so it’s also my fault.”

What was I to say? That I forgave them? How could I? They had both contrived to wreck my life, and had done a pretty good job at it. Then I remembered how all my sins had put Christ on the cross, and that his death was man’s fault – and that meant I was a part of it. If he could forgive me, as he had done, couldn’t I forgive these people for such a small offence compared to the ones I’d done to Jesus?

Jenna spoke again before I could say a word. “I’ve gotten right with God, and I need to get right with you,” she said, looking at me.

“Me too,” said Kyle. “Jenna told me about God, Jesus, and Christianity two months ago – after she’d become a believer. I gave it good thought and consideration, and even started reading the Bible. We are both children of God now, Ashlyn, as I know you are. You were the first person to talk to me about that,” he said, also looking at me.

“But I never said a word about it to you, Kyle,” I said, quite surprised.

“You didn’t have to. I knew from your actions,” Kyle very matter-of-factly replied.

“We – I,” said Jenna, “want to ask your forgiveness.”

I paused as if to make sure that their penitence was real. That was not needed, nor should be looked for, but I did. I smiled.

“You have it – I forgive you; both of you,” I said, my voice full of emotion. How could two people who’d tried so hard to make life hard for me now be coming to repent? It was only the work of Christ in them that made the difference. I was glad for them both – and if their relationship with Jesus was real, I hoped to turn my enemies into friends. No anger was left in my heart any longer.

“Thank you, very, very much, Ashlyn,” said Jenna earnestly, “I could not live with a free conscience without it.”

Kyle pulled an envelope from his pocket, and pushed it over to me. I looked at him with a questioning look, and then tore it open. I gasped. Inside was a check written for two hundred thousand dollars – addressed to me – from Kyle.

“Please, don’t. I forgave you – I don’t want this,” I said, trying to give it back to him. He refused it.

“It’s yours – the money I earned from my portion of Jenna’s plan. It’s rightfully yours.”

Jenna nodded enthusiastically. “Please – keep it,” she said.

I wanted to cry all over again. This was an answer to my financial needs, and from the very person I least expected it. I thanked them both over and over, and carefully put it in my purse.

We ate our dinner without any interruptions and had a very pleasant time. All the wrongs had been righted, and we were finally on good terms. Just before we were about to leave, Jenna ran up to me again.

“Ashlyn, I have a party to go to this Saturday – are you available to color my hair?”

“If you’re willing to risk another haircut,” I laughed.

She laughed too. “I’m sure it would be the best cut I will ever have, should that happen. I’m not worried, you’ll do great.”

I went to her house and colored her hair from a store-bought kit – without any mistakes, this time. Jenna, Kyle and I became very close friends, and both Kyle and Jenna were in my wedding a year later. Jenna was my Maid of Honor.

~Ashlyn Anderson



All of the events in this story are solely based on the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

The Man Who Invented Christmas: Movie Review

Ah, the season of Christmas – the decorations, the carols, the – wait – do you see what I see? A new Christmas movie?


(Before I start, you can find out about the movie here.)

And thus begins my review. Please, get comfy. (If you have the patience to wade though this post.)

This is a movie about Charles Dickens writing the well-known book “A Christmas Carol”. As he writes, his characters literally “come to life” and he talks with them in person.

Hold on a moment, wait, wait, wait. Did I just hear you say you don’t remember reading “A Christmas Carol”? Or didn’t read it at all? Or perhaps I only imagined I heard you saying it… Either way, it’s a charming little story (it only has fives staves) and I would highly recommend it. It immediately became one of my favorites.

Back to the movie. I saw the trailer. Christopher Plummer as Scrooge. Yes, I knew Christopher Plummer. After all, I love “The Sound of Music”! Dan Stevens – who is that? (Alright, “Beauty and the Beast” fans, I get it – it’s like asking me “who’s Andrew Cheney?” Sorry. I didn’t know!)

It helps a great deal if you’re already familiar with Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and it is more amusing if you know several of his other books as well since little hints to them crop up during the film. I’m very familiar with quite a few of them, so I was ready.

Let the fun begin!

1. Actors

Okay, Christopher Plummer. Come on! I KNEW he was going to be great as Scrooge! But… Charles Dickens? I wasn’t worried, and neither should you be. Actually, I immediately liked Dan Stevens as Charles. After I’d seen the trailer, I thought “he’s going to do a great job.” I was wrong…

He’s amazing! I mean, really, what was I expecting? Remember – I SAW THE TRAILER! 😀


(By the way, isn’t his hair just awesome?)

Speaking of hair, (you all know I’m a total hair nut) I just LOVED Kate Dickens’ hairstyles throughout the movie. Very 1840’s looking – wonderful! I unconsciously started breaking them down in my mind (like I always do) to figure out how they did it.

Alrighty, now, back to the actual REVIEW before I go on and on. I seem to have a tendency to do that.

Seriously, though, everyone from Charles to Tara (the housemaid) to Charles’ friend Foster were all amazing. I don’t think they could have gotten a better cast – and that’s not just because I liked Charles’ hair. 😉


2. Sets, Costumes, Props

I really liked the city of London in this film. It was actually all filmed in Ireland, believe it or not. I especially liked the quaint little carriages and roads that ran through the town. They even based Charles’ house from his real one. It looked almost identical! The costumes were just spectacular and the props were – get ready – great!


I mean, come on! Just look at that fantastic train and train station behind them! And their clothes – perfect!


3. Story

Ah, me, I’ve saved the hardest for last. THIS may take a while. Unless you’re good with me saying “yeah, it was great”. In that case, you can probably skip the rest of this. Here you go:

Yeah, it was great.

For those of you who like to read through have the patience to read through ramblings you can go ahead and – eh – have fun.


The movie was based on a true story with firsthand accounts from Charles Dickens’ daughter.

The story is really, really good. I’ll go through and make points for your convenience.

*Spoiler Alert*

A. It starts with Charles being in financial trouble. He’s in debt up to his eyeballs, but you also see that fans love him and his writings. But once he gets an idea for a new book, his publishers aren’t interested. He’s already had three “flops” in a row. So he wants to print it himself – yet another cost with money he doesn’t have.

B. As Charles starts writing, he gets very caught up with his characters and story. So much, that he almost neglects his family sometimes and is short with his housemaid. Everywhere he tries to go, these characters keep following him. And when Charles’s parents show up unexpectedly, he’s less than thrilled.

I’ll jump ahead now, so I don’t give away too much of the story.

C. After he FINALLY comes up with an ending for his story, he’s about to run to the publishers (or he’ll be late for the deadline). But he’s stopped, and has to make a decision if family and friends or getting his book to the publishers in time is more important.

*Spoiler Alert Over*

The character development of Charlie (sorry, uh, Charles) is fantastic. And I think Dan Stevens brought so much to this character as well. With those two combined, it made this particular character/actor combo one of my favorites. Now I should just go see if I can find some kombucha to drink

Okay, just a bit of nitty-gritty stuff. This movie was rated “PG” for “Thematic Elements and Mild Language”.

Thematic Elements: I’m assuming they mean that there are some religious parts through the movie. Other than that, I never seem to really get what they mean by “Thematic Elements”. Because Charles tries to punch Scrooge? He gets in a fight?

Mild Language: It didn’t amount to anything. Their “language” isn’t swearing. In fact, the Dove Foundation put the launguage/swearing level at a zero. So don’t worry.

The Dove Foundation put the “Dove-Approved Seal for All Ages” on it. You can read their review (which I would highly recommend) here. It was also certified “Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes. AND it won the “Truly Moving Picture Award” from HeartlandFilm. And that’s only SO FAR!

There are a few flash-back scenes which can be a little intense sometimes, but they are very well handled and end fairly quickly. The ghosts occasionally crop up in the film and if you have a child who’s easily frightened, you may want to skip those parts. They’re gone pretty quickly, though, and they never amount to anything but showing up and looking a little creepy sometimes.


(What do you mean that Charles is in every picture? I just picked out – oh, wait…)

It’s a great, great movie, and one I would highly recommend. 5/5 stars. Check it out here. It’s even still running in many theaters!

In the words of Christopher Plummer:

“I hope so much that you like it, and if you don’t – humbug to you!”

So what are you waiting for? Go watch it already!



Note: The picture(s) I am not selling, making a profit from, or benefiting from these in any way, shape, or form. They are for the sole purpose of enjoyment for the readers. Pictures used from the movie (not the poster) were from the movie website only. All copyrights remain with their respective owner(s).

Summer Hair

I’ve finally gotten to another tutorial for you! In fact, since I didn’t make one for a while, I did a 3-in-1 combo, to make up for lost time. 😉

The first is just two fishtails, but they seem to exude “summer” to me.




The second is more of a fun one, but the cool thing about this is it keeps the hair off your neck, and is super fast and easy to do.



And last, but not least, my go-to “messy bun”. (It’s actually not THAT messy.) It’s also really fast to do.



Okay, enough said. I can hear you, “JUST LET ME AT THE VIDEO ALREADY!!!”

As always, let me know what you thought! 😉