East of Eden | Book Review 3

And my love for Steinbeck grows! What a whirlwind of a book, vast and episodic yet focused and detailed. Set, mainly, in the ever changing hills of Salinas valley East of Eden is a novel that keeps your brain awake the entire time you read.  In East of Eden Steinbeck plays out the age old battle, good vs. evil, over and over through the life of Adam Trask starting from his birth. Steinbeck deals with the fight of good vs. evil in the world in general and also the fight between good and bad that is within each individual person.

The battle is best represented in Adams son Cal. He observes the battles between light and dark in the world around him but has a difficult time facing them within himself. He feels stuck in the shadow of his brothers purity and perfection. Cal struggles with the idea that if you are bad you are all the way bad and his love for his brother blinds him to Aron’s shortcomings. Though it is not till the end of the book that Cal has a revelation and realizes that no one is purely good and he must learn this.

I have two quotes from this book that I wanted to share with you the first being:

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect you can be good.”

I will let you all read the book to find out the context of this quote but I think standing alone this quote says a lot about pressure that can be put on people. How people deal with being held up to a standard of perfection when there is not a single person on this earth that is perfect. Reading this quote reminds me that once I stop pressuring myself to be perfect at every aspect of my life, I can be good.

The second quote is:

“We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal.”

I love this quote for its final line “virtue is immortal”. It makes one feel as though even with the constant battle of good and evil going on inside of ourselves and in the world virtue will always prevail because it is immortal.

I was so excited to read this book as I had read reviews and heard that it was one of Steinbeck’s best. And now I cannot wait to re-read it and fill the margins with notes and comments, and to highlight all of my favorite quotes. This book is amazing to read for fun but was for me a great learning experience. I feel that by focusing on how the book was written as I read I was able to learn more and more about Steinbeck’s writing style.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is willing to take it on. It’s definitely a commitment as it is quite long, but I think if you do read it you will not be disappointed.

Pumpkin Patch Journal Entry No. 3

Fall sweetness on this Saturday that included cheering on my sisters at their soccer games, picking out pumpkins and eating pizza. We started off the morning by packing a picnic lunch, bundling up and grabbing blankets and chairs for the soccer game. Then we ran out the door, late, which is typical for us, into the cold October morning.

We had a crazy morning driving from game to game, Sammie lost and Ella won. After that we headed to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins and grab some fresh squash. Sammie spent the most time looking for the biggest pumpkin she could find. Eventually she decided on one that was the farthest from our wagon and because she couldn’t lift it she rolled it across the entire patch and dropped it in the wagon. Once everyone found their pumpkins we loaded them into the car and headed home.

It was a beautiful autumn day and it was spent in some of my favorite ways.

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Inspiration From The Ocean | Journal Entry No. 2

I am always inspired by the ocean. In every season the ocean is always fierce. During the winter it is loudly physically and visibly fierce. You watch it threaten and rear its beautiful white foaming head and crash upon the sand. It loudly proclaims I am a force. I am here and everywhere. It boasts of its beauty, scary terrifying beauty. In the cold stormy months you steer clear of the ocean because you know the powerful waters will take live and not think twice about it. But the warmer easier months are much much quieter. This is when the ocean really shows her finesse. You can lounge warm on the sand and watch the ocean up close gently lapping on the sand. You are entranced it is so big so blue and so very very welcoming. There is no hostility in the cool breeze that floats off the water and everyone seems to dance by the shore getting close but never to close. But what we all know in the back of our minds is that the ocean is silently fierce. It obtains the same force and terrifying beauty as before but know it is hidden behind the glare of the sun. The ocean she becomes this quietly strong seductress that we know only to avoid her based on our observations in the cold months when we she is showing all her cards. Yes I love the ocean, I love her when she is thrashing and spitting and being marvelous and disastrous, And I love her when she is understated and flat, playing as if she didn’t know her own power.

Back to School Hair Inspiration

Happy Friday! As I am starting school next week I decided to come up with two hair styles for the fall season and  share them with you. I recently chopped off a bunch of my hair, it was a much needed but scary hair appointment, and I  have been loving playing with braids and styling it. It has been so long since I have had short hair and layers, none of my go to styles work anymore. So I came up with two dos that are versatile and easy.  This first hairstyle I have actually seen on a lot of girls recently but I wasn’t sure if I could make it work with all the layers I have but luckily it turned really cute.

Dutch Fishtail Braid/Bun

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To achieve this look I dutch braided my hair until all the hair was combined then split the three strands into two and started fishtailing until I reached the end and secured it. What really makes this hairstyle look cute and easy is making sure you pull at the braid a little to make it look bigger. Not only will this make the braid bigger but it will make it seem as though you have super thick hair. This braid is cute as it is but if you take the fishtail and wrap it around itself and pin it it makes a super cute bun and gets the hair out of the way.

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Half-up Bun With Braids

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I am sure all of you Girls have seen and tried the half-up bun style that is sooo popular right now I also have and LOVE IT. It is a super easy way to toss up your hair without have to go for the full on top knot. I really wanted to do something cute and different with this half bun because I had been wearing it so much that I felt it needed a change. So I added these two accent braids to it. First off I separated the hair that was going into the bun from the hair I was letting hang down. Next I parted my hair on the right and sectioned of the hair for each braid. I regular french braided the lower one, and dutch braided the other. Then gathered all the remaining hair, and the braids, and twisted it into a bun the secured it with bobby pins. I think this hairstyle is edgy with out venturing to far out of my comfort, plus it is so simple and these braids also look good in a pony or pinned back with curls.

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Also while shooting the brain/bun style my cat (unfortunately for him) was napping in my room so I grabbed him for this!

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Such a positive little guy.

Blessings

-Hanna Caroline

|Its Nearly Fall Again| Journal Entry no. 1

It is nearly the fall again. The fact that it has been a whole year since the last time I stood on the brink of this season is hard for me to get my head around. It seems like the fast year has danced away like it does in the movies, to very tasteful music. This year is my last at home. I am excited for all the lasts that go along with this year. Last year of high school. Last season of soccer. Last year at a community college. But I am so shaken by all the changes I am going to undergo, although I have started to embrace it.

Change helps us grow. It is a good thing. Goodbyes help us move onto new hellos. We are meant to move and change and touch the world around us and react to it. Senior year is one of those waves that you ride in life, taking you from one stage to another.

The anticipation for this year has been build up for years, I have always looked forward to my senior year. Now that it is here it is nothing like I imagined it. I have gone through things, met people, and grew to know myself better. I found my forever friends, people who I wouldn’t have expected to be friends with and new people who I couldn’t believe I hadn’t met sooner because they are just so amazing.

For my year of lasts I hope I encounter just as many first. I pray for the ability to live in the moment and appreciate the time that is now. I pray that I will remember to slow down, and live my last moments as a teen with love friendship and faith.

Blessings

-Hanna Caroline