Monday, November 21, 2016

Doings of 2016 Thus Far

My dear readers, it's been a long time since I've done a "doings" post, so I thought I'd bring you one today! A little update on my life in the year of 2016, thus far.

Well. I suppose we can go back to April, which was when my older brother and I stuffed his car with some of our belongings and headed out into the great unknown. Okay ... not the great unknown, but actually our childhood home - the state we grew up in. Which happens to be across the country from where our family currently resides.
(Found on

So I moved out. It was about a three-day road trip. It wasn't bad at all, considering we stopped at our aunt & uncle's house the first night, and a hotel the second night. By the third evening, we had reached out destination! (Wow. Was it really that long ago? It seems like just yesterday, that road trip ... or many, many years ago.)

In July, a family reunion was scheduled to happen at my grandparent's lovely home. So my whole family flew out and it was so good to see them after being gone for three months (the longest I'd ever been away from them!) I got to hug everyone and talk to them face-to-face, and snuggle my two-year-old baby brother! <3 It was the most fantastic time, having my mom and six younger siblings out here for a whole month! (My dad came out for a week before flying back for work).
(This is me and my little brother at a beach)

Oh, I should note that I finally got my first car, and have a small cleaning job! (Still searching for a steady job!)

It was a good summer. Lots of family time. Meeting new people. Making friends.

The day before my family left to go back home, in August, I headed out to a young people's gathering with a bunch of other people. My sixteen-year-old sister was able to come along instead of flying home! *grins* It was great! Except ... the road trip was EXTREMELY long. 30+ hours? No hotel stops. A couple breakdowns. Yes. We had a few fifteen passenger vans, and two of them decided now was the time to break down. 
Nevertheless, we still made it there and had a fun time (despite being exhausted). More meeting new people! ^_^
(Wandering around the grounds)

I did lots of canning, drying, freezing, and pickling this year! *grins* We froze strawberries, canned peaches, dried plums, pickled cucumbers, froze blueberries, canned pears, dried herbs, pickled beans ... Oh, and made applesauce. Etc. It was rather enjoyable. And I remembered how much I LOVE strawberries ... *wistful sigh* There's nothing like freshly picked strawberries.
(Found on

The month of October, I did a "healing-your-stomach" diet, which required me to eat simply meats and vegetables. After about four days, I was able to add in a fruit.

Now that it's November, I'm finally able to add in things like eggs, almond flour, almond milk, honey sunflower butter, CHOCOLATE (just a little!), and things like that. Yay! *smiles* I'm trying not to add in too many things at once, but Thanksgiving is coming, you know, and I want to be able to eat all that yummy food! ^_^
Well, most of it. I still can't have wheat, dairy, or peanuts (and trying not to have cane sugar), "healing-your-stomach" diet or not!

Are you excited for Thanksgiving? Take time this week to think of the blessings in your life! Praise the Lord! ^_^
(Found on

What else?

  • Every Monday, from August 1st until yesterday, I did my Hidden Gems: Authors You Need to Discover blog series. If you missed any of the post, click on the link to review! *smiles*
  • I finished my rewrite of Silver Rose! It's now 161,569 words. (Considering its word count used to be 187,233, I'm pretty pleased.) SUPER excited about the possibility of publishing in the near future. I sent it off to some people to read ... if you are interested in beta-reading Silver Rose, email me at swordmaidenofthelight (at) gmail (dot) com, and I will consider you! Otherwise, I can contact you for advance-reading later.
  • I've cautiously starting working on Diamond's Quest {Called to Light #2} again. This is my third time starting over with writing it. Hopefully I got a plot that will stick finally!
  • I won a lot of books these last two months! From authors such as S.D. Grimm, Lisa Tawn Bergren, Connilyn Cossette, Lena Goldfinch, etc.! Check out my Youtube channel for more on that!

  • What am I currently reading?
A Lady Unrivaled {Ladies of the Manor #3} by Roseanna M. White. I love this Edwardian series!

And planning to read Anomaly {Anomaly #1} by Krista McGee, Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay, and Dawnsinger {Tales of Faeraven #1} by Janalyn Voigt next.

  • What am I currently watching?
Hmm. Nothing much. I've been watching season two of Poldark (which has some skip-worthy scenes, just so you're aware); but the last episode infuriated me so much! Not sure what to do about this.

I'm very much looking forward to Beauty and the Beast {2017} and Ballerina {2016}
(Note: If you have any clean dance movies to recommend to me, please do!!)

  • What am I currently listening to?
I usually wait until after Thanksgiving to listen to Christmas music, but yesterday I started listening to Lauren Daigle's Christmas album on Youtube, and she has a couple gorgeous songs on there (such as 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas')! This isn't part of her album, but I love this song she sings called Noel (perhaps by Chris Tomlin?). It's absolutely breathtaking.

Anything more to say ... ? Nothing much, I suppose. But I have some exciting new blog posts coming up, so stay tuned! ^_^

Has the Christmas season feeling hit you yet? 
How has the year of 2016 been for you so far?
Do you do canning?
What are you currently reading?


  1. I really enjoyed your life update! ;D

    Thanksgiving is going to be great! :) I haven't really gotten into the Christmas spirit yet. It's too early for me, and until recently it hasn't been very cold. But I'll probably get into it after Thanksgiving. :D

    I'm not really reading anything at the moment... I was reading "Departures" by Robin Jones Gunn, but then I found out there was mold on the book! :P Don't know how that happened, but I had to clean it and it's just been sitting near near the fire.

    Anyhow, great post! :)

    1. Glad you enjoyed, Natasha! :D

      Yes!! Coming soon now! :) I'm sort of getting into the Christmas spirit ... whenever I listen to Lauren Daigle's beautiful singing of "Noel" anyway! ^_^ It's definitely getting colder out here ...

      OH! That's terrible! I hope you got it all clean now so you can read it!! Was it enjoyable so far?

      Thanks! :) Thanks for commenting! :) :)

    2. Yea! I just checked out some Christmas songs by Scotty McCreery (a country singer), and I really like them. I love his country voice! :D

      Yea, I think it'll be fine. Yea, it's been enjoyable enough so far. :)

      Have a great Thanksgiving!!

    3. Hey, cool! I'm going to look him up now! :D

      Great! Hope you enjoy it! I'm reading Once Six Historically Inspired Fairytales right now.

      Thanks! You too! ^_^

  2. Very fun post Shantelle! :D I hope you get a chance to read Anomaly soon because I just have it sitting on my bookshelf, waiting to be read lol I would love to hear what you think about it if you do end up reading it! :) I am a little more than half-way done with Torrent by Lisa T. Bergren and I am really loving it so far, even though there was a major plot twist :p I am just trying to decide what to read next because I cannot find Lisa's novellas at any of my libraries :( I guess I will just have to splurge and get it on Amazon ^_^

    1. Thanks, Elaina! Happy you enjoyed! :D I was recently sent an advance-read copy of Once: Six Historically Inspired Fairytales, but I hope to read Anomaly after that!! And I will definitely let you know what I think! :)

      Glad you're enjoying Torrent! Those books were so fast-paced and intriguing! Yeah, you might just have to! :D

  3. Cool! We have been canning a lot too. I can't wait till Thanksgiving!

    1. Yep! It's kind of fun sometimes, hey? Unless you do it too much ... :D

      Yay! Only two days now! Hope you guys have a blessed Thanksgiving! ^_^

  4. Nice to sort of "catch up" with you through this post, Shantelle! :)
    Did you find the "heal your stomach" diet worked? Just curious. I recently went through a gallbladder/liver cleanse - it certainly was not pleasant, but I am working hard at trying to heal my gallbladder through various ways so I don't have to have it removed. I think it's working...
    I haven't watched Poldark season 2 yet. Decided to wait till it comes out on dvd; I've already heard there are not so good parts, so that's a bummer. =/ I HATE when shows have to add bad stuff. We were watching a good series called The Durrels in Corfu, and besides a couple things, it was good, but the last episode was *awful*. I mean, extremely so. It's just so frustrating. Because it doesn't HAVE to have that stuff. Errrg.

    Anyway....! :)

    1. Glad you enjoyed, Raechel! :)

      I think it helped while I was on it, anyway! I may have to try something else, too, though. For now I'm just trying to stay away from inflammatory foods, and not have too many grains! I don't think my stomach is digesting those very well right now.
      Ah, I hope your cleanse works for you! Health stuff can be so difficult sometimes! That'll be awesome if you can get your gallbladder healed up through this!

      Yeah, it really is! :( It's been easy enough for me to skip the few scenes that there's been, but I'm just trying to figure out what the overall message of season two is. Is it wholesome? Haven't decided yet. I really love Demelza though. ^_^

      Ugh, that is SO disappointing! It's horrible when they all suddenly spring some nasty episode on you after it's been fine all alone and you're actually getting into it! So, so unnecessary. :/

      I'm thinking about trying out The Crown series, because I love shows on kings & queens! I watched a movie about Queen Victoria once, and really liked it! :)

  5. Fun post! I usually like to wait till after Thanksgiving to listen to Christmas music too. I have been able to refrain from listening for the most part. ;)

    1. Thanks, Emily! :) Yes, that's usually the thing to do! I haven't listened to too much Christmas music, but have been tempted to put certain songs on now and then. ;D

  6. Enjoyed this post! =D
    We usually wait to listen to Christmas music, too - but my mom gave in, so all week our house has been filled with it. ;D
    Thanksgiving is tomorrow!!!! So. Happy Thanksgiving, Shantelle! <3

    1. Thank you, Daminika! So glad you did! :D

      Haha! I understand, her giving in! :) Christmas music is just so lovely! Sometimes it's hard to wait, especially when Thanksgiving is so near.

      Yes, it is! Thank you!! ^_^ Happy Thanksgiving to you too! Hope you and your family have a lovely day celebrating! <3

  7. I'm SO excited that you finished your rewrite of Silver Rose!!!! Can't wait to read it!!!

    161,569 is a lot of words, but if I cut 25,664 words I would be supper pleased to! =D

    I would LOVE to beta-read for you!!!! But... sadly... I don't think I could manage it with school :'(

    But... maybe, just maybe, you would consider me for an advanced-reader when the time came? But I will have to buy Silver Rose the moment it is published!

    Eeeeee!!!! So exited to hear Diamond's Quest {Called to Light #2} news!!! I hope it goes well for you this time around!

    1. Thank you, Polaris, me too!! ^_^ I'm so blessed to hear that you want to read it! :) :)

      Every less word counts! ;D

      Aw, yes, I understand! I've found a few people to read it, so it's all good. Yes, I will definitely let you know when I'm ready to send out ARCs! :) Eeee! Can't wait until you can buy it!

      Thank you!! I hope so too!

      Blessings! :)