3 Reasons I Love “The Chosen”

3 Reasons I Love “The Chosen”

“The Chosen” has been one of my absolute favorite shows lately, and I decided to pick out *just* three reasons why. (It’s tough, y’all. 😭) Here they are…

1. It’s such good storytelling. 😍 Seriously, every scene is so thoughtfully, creatively, and artistically done. The characters are beautifully developed with their own goals and fears and character arcs, down to the local Roman who used to guard Matthew. I often get tired of bad Christian art, so this excellence is a breath of fresh air. πŸ‘πŸ‘

2. It’s culturally respectful. Especially as I connect with my Jewish heritage, I grow more tired of Christians either ignoring or appropriating it. (Put your shofar away, please!) So far in every episode I’ve seen, I can tell they are doing their cultural homework. I can especially see it in the humor style and how natural the Israeli actor of Peter is. Also, Z using Krav Maga fighting styles. 😍

3. I can find myself in it. Because this series draws out and creatively imagines the lives of the disciples and other side characters, there’s always someone to relate to. Mary Magdalene and Andrew are my favorites, and I learn so much and am encouraged by seeing the change Jesus makes in their lives. πŸ’™

There are many other things I love–the take on Jesus, specific healing scenes that bring the tears, real life issues handled gently, the care paid to the truth of Scripture–but these seemed a good place to start. πŸ˜‰

Have you seen The Chosen?

Shalom and Goodbye to 2022

Shalom and Goodbye to 2022

If I had to choose three words to describe this year, they would be “sorting”, “softness”, and “new” memories. πŸ’™

Year one of marriage has been great! We’ve had so much fun getting settled in our little house, bringing his dog Nugget into the mix, and becoming pros at grocery shopping and communication (almost). Also, hospitality makes us feel like really cool adults. 😎 My favorite new memories have been us sitting on the porch watching it rain and our very bookish vacation this summer.

My mental health journey has been a ride. Oh boy. πŸ₯΄ Lots of coping with comfort shows, a cute computer game, and amazing naps, lol. I feel like I lost a lot of time this year to survival mode, but I’m so grateful to be six months into treatment and feeling way better. And just this month I got answers and a plan for 3+ years of “mysterious” physical illness. πŸ™ŒπŸ˜

It’s been an amazing author year in ways I could have never expected when I dove back in! It’s been encouraging and fun to find you all stuck around, and growing my bookish Instagram community has been great too. πŸ’™ I released the special second edition of Kiera, a literal dream come true, published Enjoy the Poodle Skirt in adorable tiny paperback form, and wrote Operation Robin and most of a novella. I’ve also been gaining confidence (and a low-key obsession) with cover design. 😎

So much more reading happened this year! And a huge percentage of it was indie, which makes me ridiculously happy. πŸ˜‰ From debuts to short stories to years-in-the-making comebacks, I’ve been delighted to support my authors and discover new fictional worlds. I’ve also gotten to experience a couple buddy reads which is always quite fun. Check out my Goodreads “Year in Books” to see what I enjoyed.

My husband and I really bonded over movies while we were dating, and the fun has continued into our marriage. Thanks to him, I’ve seen a TON of really good movies this year, so I had trouble choosing my top 5. (That’s why there are six. πŸ˜‚πŸ‘€) If you have any questions about a movie/content, I’m happy to share my thoughts. πŸ˜‰

I got to bake a lot more this season, and my favorite repeat recipe has got to be these cookies. So delicious and light. 🀀 I had to buy a new computer early this year, and collecting stickers on it makes my nerd heart so happy. 😍 As does my growing Funko Pop family and the book sleeve collection I accidentally started. 😊

It’s been quite a year, and I’m really, really grateful for it. πŸ’š I’ll be back next week (next year! :O ) with my nebulous goals for 2023.

Thank you for being part of my 2022!

The Fandom Favorites Tag

The Fandom Favorites Tag

Eva-Joy had the coolest blog tag idea, and yes, I am taking her up on the challenge. *mockingjay salute*

The Rules

  1. Compile a list of up to ten of your favorite fandoms. Books, movies, TV showsβ€”you name it!
  2. Tell us about your favorite character in each of those fandoms, along with an explanation of why that character is your favorite. (Your reasoning can be however long or short you’d like it to be.)
  3. Tag however many (or few) friends you’d like to participate.

For the purposes of world domination, I am tagging everyone who would like to participate. Mwaha.

My Answers

Marvel: Black Panther

His was the first Marvel movie I saw in theaters and the one that cemented me as a fan. I loved the rich, imaginative culture, beautiful storyline, and T’challa himself in his quiet strength. This character truly changed my life in some big ways. πŸ–€

Honorable mentions: Steve Rogers, Nakia, Laura Barton


Marvel TV Shows: Fitzsimmons

Fitzsimmons (and they basically count as one person, right?) are the Most Darling Beans to ever exist. The nerd babies who grow into brilliant, brilliant team members, save the world and have 600 doses of trauma, and cause shipper hearts to swell and break… That’s them. πŸ₯ΊπŸ₯ΊπŸ₯° They’re also a classic grumpy/sunshine duo, so what’s not to love?

Honorable mentions: Monica Rambeau, Daniel Sousa (in AoS), Elena Rodriguez

Note: the violence level in Agents of Shield is higher than average Marvel movies. I have not watched all episodes or seasons to be able to recommend it.


Doctor Who: Rose Tyler

Call me basic, but this character literally changed my life. Working class, similar in age to me (at least when I started watching it), not a typical body type, and loyal as all get out with some growing up to do. πŸ’œ I will defend her on my secret Twitter account until the end of the world.

Honorable mentions: the Tenth Doctor, the Twelfth Doctor, Rory Pond

Note: the values of this show and content levels vary.


The X-files: Mulder

I came for the quirky alien conspiracies and stayed for the character development and ship. THE SHIP, Y’ALL. If I had to choose between the two main characters, I have to go with Mulder. Just because his curiosity and hopefulness are so different from me (I’m more Scully) and I admire them. Also, he has a great sense of humor. πŸ˜‚πŸ‘

Note: the content levels on this can get pretty ick, so I read about episodes and skip some. I’m also only halfway through the show.


Pixar: Luisa

A very unexpected new favorite for me, and it’s all down to her song “Surface Pressure”. I’ve never felt so seen in my life, and I really felt and rooted for her character. πŸ€—

Honorable mentions: Raya, Woody


BBC Sherlock: Molly Hooper

Usually I would be a book purist, but Molly was an entirely perfect addition to the show, and I couldn’t imagine the whole thing without her. She’s also another character who has encouraged and challenged me, similarly to how Rose has. I even wrote a fanfic epilogue for her (because she deserves it).

Note: the show is equivalent to an R-rated movie.


Person of Interest: Joss Carter

Another “inspired Kate and is short and absolutely BOSS” character. That’s starting to sound like a good alternate title for this post. Seriously, I LOVE this show and Detective Carter is one of the main reasons why. I can’t say much more without spoilers, but yep. πŸ‘πŸ€©

Honorable mentions: Reese, Mr. Finch πŸ’™

Note: this show is PG-13 equivalent, and I personally skip a handful of sexy episodes.


Narnia: Lucy Pevensie

Both book and movie Lucy are the sweetest, bravest souls, and I love her deep faith and friendship with Aslan. πŸ’™ We unfortunately didn’t get to see all the books in movie format, but she just gets cooler and cooler…

Honorable mentions: Edmund Pevensie, Jill Pole, King Tirian


Little Women (2017): Beth

I’ve always felt a connection with Beth since I’m the third sister and we share some similar personality traits, so I was delighted with how they handled her story and added some character development in the BBC adaption. πŸ’™


The Great British Bake-Off (it counts): Dame Mary Berry

This show was my early-pandemic comfort show, and I’ve watched the two latest seasons as they’ve come out. Dame Mary Berry is literally the coolest ever, and I aspire to be her when I grow up. 😁

Honorable mentions: Luis Troyano, Nadiya Hussain, Peter from 2020


I just went wayyy nerdier there than I usually do, lol, but it was a ton of fun. πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

Are you in any of these fandoms? Share your picks in the comments! (And if you have any content questions about a show/movie, feel free to ask!)

After Endgame: My Thoughts on the Continuing MCU

After Endgame: My Thoughts on the Continuing MCU

Avengers: Endgame was The Movie for me. My second Marvel movie in theaters, one of the best crowd experiences ever, and everything I had hoped for and didn’t even know I could dream of. πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

It was one of those movies I couldn’t stop thinking about for days afterward (and wrote an intensely long blog post about), and I still have a fond place in my heart for it. Especially since it’s one of the first things that got my now-husband and I talking. πŸ˜‰

Endgame was so satisfying for me personally, that I kinda considered the MCU over. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ All my favorite movies had been tied up, I had no real attachment to any of the new characters, and I was planning to watch Black Panther 2 then call it quits.

(*laughs at past self*)

Never have I been happier to say that I was wrong. This new era of Marvel, the TV show format especially, has been exciting, moving, and so full of good character development. I’m so happy I’ve continued. πŸ€©πŸ‘

So with that in mind, I thought it’d be fun to do some mini-reviews…

WARNING: potential spoilers and ridiculously happy fangirling ahead. 😁

Wandavision

Two characters, who I’d only thought of as cool sidekicks or kinda strange plot devices, take center stage in one of Marvel’s most emotionally deep, beautiful romances wrapped in the guise of a psychological thriller and old-fashioned sitcom. ❀️

It was so full of deep and sometimes deeply disturbing emotional workings through grief.

Really quite amazing. Creative format, lovable side characters, feels and philosophy = a new Kate favorite.

(And J got me the coolest Monica Funko Pop for my birthday. ❀️)

CW: one of the later episodes gets pretty spooky in the magic department with flashbacks to Salem witches. The scene is easily skipped if you feel the need to.

Falcon and the Winter Soldier

I am soooo hyped for our new Captain America. 🀩🀩 I love his strength and empathy balanced with realism about this country, and I can’t wait to see a movie all about him. The show, unfortunately, didn’t stick the landing for me as it felt unfinished and far too open-ended for all the plotlines they set up. (Probably due to Covid. πŸ˜”)

It definitely still had its highlights though, and Bucky’s healing, Sam and his family, and Isaiah Bradley were among them.

CW: explosions, gruesome violence in episode four, mentions of racism and traumatic experiments on Black soldiers.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

First off, Simu Liu just fits perfectly in the Marvel family with his very chill, wholesome vibes. I started following him on Twitter before the movie came out just cause he’s so funny. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Hooray for the first brand new character in ages!! I really enjoyed his origin story, and I can’t wait for his next appearance. The entire movie was so gorgeous, from the fighting styles, beautiful yet functional costumes, and Ta-Lo itself.

Katy (I also have a Funko Pop of her) is probably one of my favorite newest female characters. She is so loyal, downright hilarious, and really just seems like a regular person. It’s delightful. ❀️

While this movie had some beautiful explorations of family and grief, I especially enjoyed the messages about finding your purpose and finding home.

Loki

Apologies in advance, but I never really liked Loki. 😬😬 He was too flip-floppy for me, disgustingly evil in Avengers, and always dying, lol. It’s hard to get attached that way. πŸ˜‚

WOW TO THE WOWZERS THOUGH.

Again with emotional depth and character exploration, a little bit of multiversal retcon, and that really, really meaningful romance, this was intensely satisfying. Sylvie and Kang were brilliant characters in their own right, and the worldbuilding and Doctor Who vibes were amazing. 😍

I’ll have another.

CW: stabbing, magic, dissolving similar to Infinity War.

Black Widow

Half of me is like… this movie should have come yearrrrssss earlier, but the other half posits that Marvel and their main writer (*cough* Whedon *cough*) were not in the mature place to give this character the respect she deserves.

I honestly was still not expecting much–just ye old Femme Fatale spy lady up to No Good stuff they’d always seemed to stick her with–but they surprised me again. I’m happy to say the objectification was almost null, though there’s still room for growth.

The beginning had such an artistic gravity it was really quite hard to watch, and the human trafficking parallels throughout were not lost on me. 😭😭 It also had some of the funniest and most tragic explorations of family life I’ve seen.

In the end, it ended up being intensely empowering and beautiful. I really feel like the character can rest now. ❀️

CW: probably one of Marvel’s darkest movies. Violence similar to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, except this time against women. Mind control, human trafficking, a stabbing, descriptions of forced sterilization. A burn victim’s appearance may be disturbing. One character breaks her nose and the sound is audible.

Spiderman: No Way Home

To be honest, this movie draws from a lot of nostalgia I haven’t seen, so I didn’t enjoy it as much as others did, but J explained some things to me and I can see just how meaningful it is. It really was kinda another Endgame, this time for Spidey fans.

I did enjoy it–especially a handful of intensely emotional, well-done moments. The ending really got me, and I feel like it’s a coming of age for Spiderman.

CW: stabbing, death, magic.

Hawkeye

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY PERFECT VIBES! Also, stabbings, and archery, and the daddiest dad of them all, and mega-nerds, and perfect humor, and CHRISTMAS. πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸŽ„

I know we’ve all said since Age of Ultron that Clint “collects strays” and someone took that aspect of him and made an entire show, and I couldn’t be happier.

I don’t have a ton of deep things to say about this one, except that I really enjoyed it and sometimes that’s really quite enough. Perfection. ❀️

Rogers the Musical is going to be on my headstone. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

The Eternals

We weren’t super interested in this one, so J and I watched it just recently when it hit Disney Plus. It was just as visually beautiful and overstuffed as I expected, but a couple side characters (*cough* Druig *cough*) caught my interest. I just wish there had been more time put into them because I’d get interested and then the character arc would slide away in favor of something else.

In the end, I didn’t really like it. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

CW: mind control, a sex scene, and a gay kiss. There was also a monster that could be rather disturbing for younger viewers.


While it’s certainly had its ups and downs, this entire last year stuffed with Marvel projects has been pretty fun, emotionally meaningful, and really honoring to its characters. I can’t wait to see what’s next. ❀️

Let’s talk! Which are your favorites? Which ones do you still need to see?

The Liebster Award <3

The Liebster Award <3

I was tagged by Emma from Bookish Daughters of the King for the Liebster Award. Thanks, Emma!

I’m not going with any rules, but if you find these questions fun, feel free to pick them up and just link back to Emma. πŸ˜‰

The Questions…

1. What is your favorite Bible verse and why is it special to you?

Not a specific verse, but I really love the whole book of Isaiah. Just the hopefulness and foreshadowing of Christ. ❀️

2. What is your favorite movie and why?

I have too many favorites to name right now, so I’m gonna go with a recent favorite and that’s Encanto. *vibes to music and cries over the accuracy and beauty

3. What would you consider your hidden talent?

I can weed a garden very well. 😎 I’m also decent at sewing if I understand the pattern. I’m also very good at dancing badly.

4. What book could you read over and over again?

Theoretically The Book Thief but it’s too emotionally destroying, so I’ll go with The Shield Ring. These questions are hard, y’all. πŸ˜©πŸ˜‚

5. What are your favorite names?

Ooo, I have many right now, but I’ve literally always loved Ainsley.

6. What’s your favorite place on earth?

Our little apartment. ❀️ It’s home.

7. If you had a TV show or book made about you, what would the title be?

I’m hoping for something like “Ordinary Girl” or “A Half-Baked Life” but I’ll probably get “Remember the Weird One Who Was Either Laughing or Crying?” or something to that effect. πŸ˜‚

8. Who is your top favorite author?

Ooo, hmmm… I mostly go book by book, but I guess Perry Kirkpatrick, Toni Shiloh, and Sarah Holman count since I love everything I’ve read by them. πŸ˜‰

9. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?

Introvert, all the way.

10. What’s your biggest goal in life?

To practice and radiant Christ’s joy and peace and to publish some pretty good books. πŸ˜‰

11. What’s your favorite TV show?

Great British Bake-Off, hands down. 😁 All the happy vibes and inspiration.


That was delightful fun! I think we’ve discovered that I’m pretty indecisive at picking favorites, though. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‚

What would your biography be called?

2021 Is Over and Done

2021 Is Over and Done

2021. It’s been a year. Maybe not as infamous as 2020, but certainly a ride. πŸ˜‰

Here are just a few of my highlights…

I got to hone my baking skills and even sell a few products! 😍

My most recent bake

Though I read much less this year than I usually do, I found some great reads (and a few more to my physical TBR πŸ˜‰). Check out my Year in Books on Goodreads.

Reads of the year!

I also watched some pretty cool movies (thanks to my movie nerd husband showing me a lot of his favorites).

My top five for the year.

Early in the year, I joined a recovery group put on by our church to help get my spiritual and mental health in hand. Though it got derailed towards the end of this year, I’m looking forward to finishing up in the new one.

Speaking of derailing, I had The Virus That Shall Not Be Named, and wow was that intense. It was a slow recovery (and I’ve still got some recovering to do), but I’m so grateful to be well.

I’ve been friends with Mikayla for five years now, but through facetime, emails, and letters. (She’s the coolest!) So it was a delight and honor to get to meet her for my wedding!

The coolest maid of honor ever. πŸ€—

Our wedding was one of the best, most lifechanging days of my life, and the journey of our relationship over this year has been amazing. I’m so grateful for our life together. ❀️

All wedding photos by Reckless Radiance Photography

I’ll be back tomorrow with my hopes and goals for the new year, but for now, happy new year, happy memories be yours, and happy staying up too late. ❀️

Three Kids in a Trench Coat

Three Kids in a Trench Coat

There are so many big changes happening so fast right now.

Our first wedding gift arrived, boxes of belongings and wedding decorations swamp me, apartment hunting = stress, and I’m trying to keep up on homework for my church’s recovery group (more on that later πŸ˜‰) and a ginormously boring work project.

There’s even been some gray in my hair, but only because I tried cornstarch as dry shampoo and used way too much and couldn’t get it all out in time before dinner with one of our pastor’s families. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ #truestory #doyouthinkanyonenoticed

It’s all good things, and the fulfillment of some of my best dreams, but some days it’s just a lot to deal with.

This weekend, I had one day where I felt particular emotionally overwhelmed and really needing some encouragement.

Into my notifications walked the new Pixar short, Twenty Something.

With amazing 2d animation, this short explores the idea of feeling like three kids in a trench coat faking your way through life–and doing terribly at it. πŸ˜‚

It brought (more) tears to my eyes and a sweet reminder that I am not alone and everyone’s had to deal with figuring life out. πŸ˜‰

Go watch it, and be sure to measure your cornstarch moderately!

A Map of Tiny Perfect Things (Review)

A Map of Tiny Perfect Things (Review)

(Before we get into this review, I just gotta say, this movie gets better and better the more I think about it, and my sisters keep pulling it out for girls’ nights with their friends so I think they agree. It’s everything I want in a chick-flick–wholesome, deep, nerdy, and just plain adorable. πŸ’—)

Just look at this scrumptious cover…

What I thought was going to be another shallow, dime-a-dozen teenage romance movie ended up being a heartfelt, deep message on life, loss, and the beauty of every moment as it passes away. I finished it with a tear or two. πŸ˜‰

The rapidfire, overlapping, sometimes oddly divergent conversations between the main characters (and some side ones too) built such a realistic chemistry that was a delight to follow and the true backbone of the movie. His tangent on the plane, tho. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

And don’t get me started on how delightfully nerdy it was. From the copy of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to Time Bandits (onscreen! important to the plot!) to the theoretical physics and fourth dimension… I was unabashedly eating it up.

Those twists at the end though… If anything they gave the movie more soul.

CW: language, kissing, jokes about public nudity, hospitals, loss.

Available on Prime Video, filterable through VidAngel

The Man Who Invented Christmas (Review)

The Man Who Invented Christmas (Review)

This movie means so much to me as an author (it perfectly captures the agony and ecstasy), as a reader (nerdiness abounds), as a human who doesn’t always deal with the past well and sometimes finds fictional people more “real” than living, breathing ones. Much to think about, much to love about life.

The Victorian backdrop and the perfectly subtle, creative references to A Christmas Carol were an absolute delight. Dan Stevens is a powerful actor, though I love the whole cast really.

It’s an intensely frightening moment when the message you’re writing for other people is exactly the one you need to hear…

I didn’t grow up on this movie, but I already feel it becoming a tradition. πŸ’š

CW: extreme poverty, verbal abuse, dead rodent, angry conversations, ghosts πŸ˜‰, familial hurt. A scene where the walls of a hole shrink in at intervals may trigger claustrophobia.

A (Rather Mysterious) Review

A (Rather Mysterious) Review

My boyfriend is a major film nerd, and one of our favorite long-distance dates is a movie + video call. 😁

We get to see each other’s reactions real time and discuss the movie a little afterwards. Most of the time, it’s us filling each other in on favorite movies the other missed (he’s a veritable movie tour guide 😁), but we recently found a film we both hadn’t seen yet, which proved quite fun. πŸ˜‰

Instead of a book review, I thought today I’d share a movie review.

Enola Holmes

3.5/5 stars

(Review originally posted on Letterboxd)

As a certified aficionado of all things Sherlock Holmes, I was quite excited to watch this movie with my boyfriend.

I very much enjoyed the unique storytelling style. The scrapbooked scenes accompanying narration were delightfully Victorian and fresh. 

Speaking of narration… There is no longer a fourth wall. For me, this aspect of the movie was delightful, though a little misplaced in an action scene.

Millie Bobby Brown was FANTASTIC. I look forward to seeing her in more roles, for sure. Henry Cavill wasn’t quite believable as Sherlock, but I enjoyed his brotherliness and the air that he definitely was picking up on more than others. πŸ˜‰ Louis Partridge was delightful.

The mystery was slightly guessable for me, but intensely fun. I did find the storyline with Eudoria a disappointment though after reflection I understand it more. Enola choosing her own path was fabulous. Some of the themes were both too on the nose and too subtle for me which was my main dislike about the movie.

A+ for utterly feminine costuming during fight scenes. And the soundtrack = 😍

Where’s my sequel?

β€’ β€’ β€’

Content warning for intense male anger directed toward a young girl, near death experiences, sudden shocking death, waterboarding, garrotte choking, and blasphemy.

β€’ β€’ β€’

There you go!

Have you seen Enola Holmes yet? Don’t you just love the trailer aesthetic? 😍