Tolkien Collection Haul: April-June 2016

I almost forgot to do this post! For some reason I thought April-July was three months, can’t tell you why I had that brain fart. The past few months have been very good to my collection, especially the book portion of it! Like I said in an earlier haul post, one day I’ll figure out how to nicely display everything but today is still not that day. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

img_2591 Continue reading

25 Bookish Facts About Me | Tag

I watched a video by Amanda Carter, a booktuber I’ve recently subscribed to, called “25 Bookish Facts About Me”, pretty self-explanatory. Here’s the original video.

I wasn’t tagged BUT I’m gonna do it anyway.

1. I don’t mind movie/television book covers. I don’t care which edition someone buys because inside the story is still the same, so if you want a particular edition with a movie photo, you do you.

2. I’m the kind of reader who bends the spine or dog ears pages. I’m sorry!! You can unclutch your pearls now.

In my defense, I only do it to the books I own and never ones I borrow. Even I know that’s a big no-no! (I know that’s still unheard of for a lot of people.) Even if I happen to not bend the spine, the book I’m reading ends up looking distressed by the time I’m done with it. I sound like such a violent reader, oh god.

3. I buy too many books. That’s probably old news for some of you. I have a bad habit of buying lots of books to add to my TBR list, and it just piles up to the point of being overwhelming. I have 40+ books that I have yet to read and it’s a problem. But it’s hard not to buy more when they only cost $1-5! (I shop at used bookstores and Goodwills frequently…)

book shelf tbr
A majority of these books are part of my TBR list

Continue reading

Carry-on Necessities

Traveling Bag 1

I’m the type of person who over-packs. No matter where I go, I bring more than I need, and if I don’t have all of my things with me I feel anxious. I just like knowing I have a certain something if a situation arises where I need it.

I’m going to be traveling with my mom later this month to a few countries in Europe (I’ll talk more about that later) for about 9 days, so I started thinking about what I’m going to be bringing. Oh, another fact you should know about me is that I usually pack way in advance because I get too excited.

I like “what’s in my bag” kind of videos and posts, so if you’re interested in seeing what I usually pack in my carry-on’s, here you go:
Continue reading

Tolkien Wishlist: If I Were a Rich Man

…yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum…

I’m positive that I’ll never stop collecting which also means my Tolkien wishlist will never stop growing. I would say many of the items in my list are possible, but I do have some things that are really expensive, I’m talking $100+ USD. If I had money to spare, these are items I’d add to my collection without a second thought:

Aragorn’s Crown


My collection doesn’t have nearly enough Aragorn-related items.

Aragorn's Crown



The most beautiful sword from all six films, I will fight you on this.

Photo by: yellowmo on Flickr

Continue reading

Book Artist Tag

I’ve been wanting to do this tag since I saw it on Maria’s blog last year! I definitely judge books by their covers. A good design is very important, if I don’t like the way a book looks, I won’t be drawn to it. I’m a designer, so book design is something I’m very interested, but I don’t think I have the talent to make a career of it (YET!!).

You can find the original tag video here — it’s in German, so thank you, Maria for the translations!.

1) Show me whatcha got: Show me a book with the best cover

Do you understand HOW difficult this was?? I ended up choosing this set of Lord of the Rings with cover art by John Jude Palencar. This is one of my favorite copies of LOTR.

Book Art Tag 1

2) The inside matters: Show me a book with the best colours/ design on the inside of the cover

I chose this edition of The Silmarillion illustrated by Ted Nasmith. I love all the different colors in the map.

Book Art Tag 2

3) It’s all about the spine: Show me a book with the most interesting/ beautiful spine

I tried not to include so many Tolkien books but here we are. I picked two editions of The Hobbit for this one: the 50th anniversary and a collector’s edition (not sure if that’s the official title).

Book Art Tag 3

4) Make my heart sing: Show me a book with the best colours (cover, spine, and back)

Ever since I saw this book a while back, I knew I wanted to buy it and read it (haven’t yet though). Red, white and black is a classic color scheme and it really works with the cover. I love the way the title is treated, using two colors to separate the words, the clean illustration, ahh I just really like it.

Book Art Tag 4

5) It starts at the beginning: Show me a book with the best designed chapter beginnings

The edition of The Hobbit illustrated by Alan Lee is beautiful! Anything Alan Lee does is superb, let’s be real.

Book Art Tag 5

6) Down to the basics: Show me a book with a unique title font

This is another book I haven’t read yet, but after seeing the cover I had to buy it. Shadow and Bone is part of the Grisha Trilogy and the other two books are equally well-designed.

Book Art Tag 6

7) Do it like Picasso: Show me a book with the most artistic cover

I am only halfway done with The Neverending Story, I stopped reading it last August…I got a little bored with it. I’ll finish it eventually. All that aside, I love this cover! There’s a lot going on but it flows nicely in my opinion.

Book Art Tag 7

8) Everything matters: Show me a book with the best book edge

This was my dad’s set of LOTR, as you can see it looks pretty old. The pages are all yellowed, there are little tears and rips on the covers but that’s what I love about it. I’m the type of person who has a habit of bending spines and being kinda aggressive with books so I like seeing worn books.

Book Art Tag 8

9) Pretty without any makeup on: Show me a book that is still beautiful without its book jacket

When I go to bookstores, I always take hardcover books out and take off their dust jackets because I want to see what the actual book looks like. For this, I ended up choosing The Secret Garden illustrated by Inga Moore. I bought this from a Goodwill for $2, and it’s sooo nice!

Book Art Tag 9

Tolkien Collection Haul: January-March 2016

Here’s everything I added to my Tolkien Collection since the beginning of the year! I didn’t include anything I got in New Zealand because it would have been too much work to get everything out again. But if you want to know what I bought during my trip, click here.

IMG_1731 Continue reading

Musical Mondays: Burn

It’s been about 10 months (wow I suck) since my last musical song recommendation. I really love musicals so I’m working on queuing a post every week for a couple months, just bear with me!

If you don’t already know about Hamilton, I recommend stopping whatever you’re doing and listen to the soundtrack. It’s a hip hop musical about one of America’s Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, and it’s amazing. I haven’t seen it yet, my mom got us tickets to see it in October of this year…and she bought them in December. It’s almost impossible to buy tickets for this show unless you’re willing to shell out lots of money or buy tickets way (waaaay) in advance. The musical is written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and I’ve already talked about him before on my blog because his first Broadway musical, In the Heights, is one of my all time favorites.

I’m pretty much obsessed with every song from Hamilton, but I tend to listen to “Burn” the most. Elizabeth Hamilton, Alexander’s wife (played by Phillipa Soo, a goddess), sings it and it’s after she learns of her husband’s affair. I’m putting in a youtube video but you can also stream the entire album on Spotify. (But just buy the album, truuuust me!!)

New Zealand Haul!

NZ Haul 1

Forever upset that my tour with Red Carpet Tours is over, luckily I bought lots of souvenirs to help me remember it. Looking back I wish I bought more stuff, especially books! I have no idea how I managed to stop myself from buying more copies of LOTR and The Hobbit.

First group of items I bought were from the Hobbiton movie site store. The fact that I managed to spend only about $60 USD is a miracle. This was only the second day of the tour so I knew I had to pace myself, if I didn’t I would have easily spent all of my NZ budget. Kicking myself that I didn’t buy that two-volume edition of The Hobbit, that store was the only place I’ve seen it! Next time — that’s what I keep telling myself. So this is what I bought:

  • The Hobbit cap – I never wear hats, but I bought this so I wouldn’t a get sunburn on my face. I gave it to my dad when I got home.
  • Green Dragon mug – Every mug was different, the colors were never in the same exact spot which I loved.
  • Green Dragon shirt – The back has some lyrics from the song.
  • Hobbiton postcard – I should have bought more!
  • Hobbiton Movie Set pen
  • Hobbiton Movie Set bottle opener – I don’t drink often so I don’t see myself using this any time soon but it’s so pretty! Obviously I needed it.
  • Hobbiton Movie Set magnet – I love that it’s made from wood.

NZ Haul 2 Continue reading

I went to New Zealand!!


It happened. I was in New Zealand for 18 beautiful days. It’s strange to read this post from about a year ago because at that point I thought I would be going at the end of this year. I’m so happy that I went when I did because my Fellowship was the best (I’m sure people say that every month but I’m right).

I left for NZ on January 1, and my flights were just…not fun. Not to get too personal but I had BAD cramps the entire time, I was grumpy and I just wanted to get to Middle-earth as soon as possible. I arrived in NZ a day before my tour started which I didn’t want to do initially for $$ reasons, but it turned out to be a blessing because it meant I had a little time to recuperate before I met everyone and started my journey. I definitely made the right decision to go with Red Carpet Tours, they took such great care of all of us!

Here are some of the highlights from my trip.🙂

  • I met Shane Rangi and sat across from him during the welcome dinner!!! It was amazing but the entire time I couldn’t figure out where to look — do I watch him eat? Do I very obviously not look at him?? He is a really nice guy and I still can’t believe I met such an inspiring person. I also need to add that he called James Cameron “Jim”, and if that’s not one of the greatest things you’ve ever heard I don’t know what to tell you.
  • I WENT TO HOBBITON!!!!! I have cried just thinking about going there but when I saw everything in person I didn’t shed one tear. I was more in a daze, it didn’t feel like it was really happening! I loved it of course, but I have some thoughts to share on the entire experience. I’ll save that for later.
  • I didn’t expect this to happen but the Trollshaws location turned out to be one of my favorite places! I’ve seen some beautiful scenery in my travels but WOW, everything was so blue and green and vibrant!
  • I learned that most of the world calls pineapples “ananas”, and that ended up being a very intense topic for the rest of the trip.
  • We got a special presentation from Daniel Falconer (basically Weta royalty) who I was lucky to meet last October at NYCC. If I wasn’t such a pile of anxiety I would have asked for another photo. Next time! Then soon after we met RICHARD TAYLOR, caps necessary. Pretty sure when I turned around and saw him I gasped/screamed, I don’t know it all happened to fast. After that I spent 80% of my NZ budget at the Weta Cave, not surprising.
  • Later that day we visited the folks at Meniscus and make our own leather key chain/necklace. BUT the thing I need to get out is that I MET JED BROPHY. And I’ll tell you the whole story. So since the Meniscus shop isn’t big enough to house the almost 40 people in my Fellowship, we split up in two groups. So while Group 1 was at the shop, Group 2 (me included) stayed behind at a cafe. Deanna, a Wellington RCT volunteer was with us, and while I was too busy admiring the ocean she quickly talked to someone. She came over to us and said “Do you know who just walked into the cafe?” And I shit you not, I thought “If she says Jed Brophy I am going to scream.” She said it was Jed and my roommate and I yelled “JED BROPHY???” So the people in my group went back inside to see him and even though he was having lunch with a friend he agreed to take photos with us. I honestly don’t remember what I said, it was probably something stupid. So afterward we all went back outside and suffered the Wellington winds and who came outside later? JED. He talked a little to Deanna and the only thing I was able to do was stare and hit my roommate because I was so excited. In case it isn’t already easy to tell, Jed is one of my favorite human beings. Telling my friends that I met him was hilarious because most of the responses involved the word “FINALLY!!”
  • As if seeing Shane, Daniel F., Richard, and Jed wasn’t enough, the next day we met Daniel Reeve. DANIEL REEVE. He created all the maps, the “No Admittance” sign, he wrote in the Red Book of Westmarch!!! The guy is pretty much an art god to me. And I just need to tell you that he really does write perfectly straight, I’ve witnessed it and it’s amazing.
  • A couple days later we visited the Jens Hansen shop and met Halfdan! I mentioned that I was the winner of their first One Ring tumblr giveaway — which was back in 2012 — and he remembered!
  • To help the time go by faster, our tour guide, Julie, did a Tolkien quiz and I placed in second! I was aiming for first but it’s fine because I got to be a captain of a team for the last round and we won.😉
  • Later in the day we went kayaking from the barrel scene. It was a very eventful day, there was a capsize and I got stung by some demon insect that gave me a bacteria infection but I’ll talk about that in another post.
  • WE CLIMBED UP EDORAS! I didn’t know the trek up Mt. Sunday would be so intense, but once we made it to the top, all my feelings of exhaustion disappeared. That was the place where Meduseld stood! Where Eowyn stood elegantly in the wind (oh my god that wind was ridiculous, I don’t know why I even bothered to try and make my hair look presentable that day).
  • The next day we went to the Pelennor Fields and Lake-town refugee locations. We got to charge and scream DEATH, Theoden would have been proud. And Lake Pukaki, oh my god. Gorgeous location! I can’t even begin to describe the bizarre time we had there. I’ll tell you about Ian, the owner, and his 1950’s movie seat transport system another day.
  • Another location we went to was where Pippin dropped his leaf brooch. I’ll never forget Marion’s impression of Gimli! I’ll need to figure out how to post the video on my blog.
  • The second to last day of the tour we went to the Breaking of the Fellowship location, it hurt how fitting that was. I miss everyone!
  • The final day we all did different things, 10 of us did a “Touching Middle-earth Tour”. We went to a few more LOTR locations and played around with weapons. You don’t even know how excited I was to see Herugrim!!
  • I was sad to say goodbye to the people I spent two weeks with but I was also excited because when I got back to Auckland I met Sophie!! We became friends four years ago on tumblr (so many embarrassing memories of our LOTR graphics and gifs). Then the next day I had lunch with Dallas Barnett, Bill Ferny Sr. from DOS! Such a hilarious guy.
  • I also need to talk about how our bus driver on the North Islands was named Wayne, our bus driver on the South Islands was named Wayne…and the taxi driver who drove some of us to the Queenstown airport on the last day was also a Wayne. Every time I meet a Wayne I’ll think of NZ.❤