Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wedding Prep Frivolousness

Mom liked the earrings the heroine in Hallmark's Crown for Christmas wore to the ball, so I made her some (with Swarovski crystals) for Christmas and gave them to her early, so she could wear a pair (she chose the blue) in the wedding.

I bought make-up, hair tools, jewelry, a backless and strapless bra (basically a sticker bra), and Jamberry wraps for the wedding. I ended up not having to use my back-up hair plan (French twister), wearing different earrings, and running out of time for the wraps. I just had my sister paint my nails when we arrived, but the polish quickly flaked off. I doubt my hands were visible and the color was sheer and neutral.

I woke up at 5:30 in order to have enough time to slowly fix my hair without rushing and stressing. I wasn't even sure I could fix it properly; I had only had a few slip-shod practice attempts. But I managed. I thought it looked well although that could have been because my previous "attempts" were so dreadful. My make-up was simple and relatively quick. And even though Mom rushed me at the end, we still arrived (from an hour and a half away) before everyone else (the local people). 

I thought I looked nice, but I would redo two things: 1) I needed a gloss/frizz spray and 2) I would have used nicer nail polish, but those are details that really just irritated me and did not affect anything else. Oh, and I would have brought some activity.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Mini Book Review Collection 3

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek
My grandmother clipped an article about this book, the author, and the inspiration book years ago, and I finally ordered the book from the library. I wanted the inspiration book too, but our library does not have it (I guess I could have suggested a purchase; all of my other suggestions worked). I found Maya's project interesting, and I could personally relate with the fashion side. But whole Border-landia culture intrigued me also even though that is not a main point. There are some few objectionable issues.

The Black Moth
Well, I warmed to this story faster than the first one Heyer novel I read. This one had more romance, the other more humor. Again, nothing superb other than the fun and . . . the romance. Scarlet Pimpernel-esque. I did seriously enjoy the romance, especially the epic honor vs. wooing, Jack vs. Diana battle.

Jip: His Story
Gorgeous writing. Sensitive, delicate, exquisite. Another brilliant description of a difficult subject. Jip is so precious; this will shred your heartstrings. This is possible better written than Bridge to Terabithia or is at least up there with it above Jacob Have I Loved and Lyddie. I love Paterson's writing style.

Dear Mr. Knightley
I usually scorn, deride, and snub books that try to retell classic novels. I cannot stomach arrogant, talent-less authors leaching off of classic authors or worse finishing said authors manuscripts (!!!). How arrogant can you get? I read Austenland (not well-written or clever or good) and considered trying Lost in Austen because those did not seem to be retellings precisely. Anyway. I saw this mentioned twice, once on a blog from which I have found several books which I like.

I am glad I read it; it is no silly knock-off. The author is by no means brilliant but compared to Austenland, this book is fairly decently written. I would like to try the other novels.

Here is my (somewhat) equivocal Goodreads review: Maybe 3.5. This is not what it appears. It is not really an Austen modernization. There is a lot of Austen quoting, but this story is definitely its own. It was fun, not in anyway superb, but definitely tolerably written for a modern, grown-up novel . . . of course my only major adult fiction experience has been with horrifyingly bad Christian fiction so . . .

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Mini Book Review Collection 2

Pat of Silverbush
Can I gush again about how beautiful these new L. M. Montgomery book covers are. Covers are SO important.

Mistress Pat
One of my little sisters thought these were boring, but I think books that have wonderful descriptions (you know the kind, they do not feel like descriptions, but you just *know* how things are in the book) are far better written than those that rely almost entirely on action and melodrama (e.g. Georgette Heyer novels). The L. M. Montgomery books are like that. Sweetness, humor, personality, intensity, sensibility. Unfortunately (ruining my positivity), Montgomery rather fails to develop the main male well . . . so many of the other male characters have more personality (e.g. Perry and Davy). Jingle, I feel is a bit better developed than Gilbert* (at least perhaps until he becomes know as "the doctor") or Teddy. Barney is an exception to the pathetically undeveloped rule.
*The Gilbert in the movie is somewhat stolen from Laurie from Little Women (I am not kidding, it is not funny; Anne of Avonlea movie literally plagiarized from the Little Women novel; I am going to do a post on the Anne movies and that issue someday).

A Pocket Full of Murder
Sweet and fun. And oh, Quiz is darling. Interesting although simplistic concept. Feels rather more juvenile than the author's other works (still hoping for a third installment to Swift someday, btw), but I am looking forward to the rest of the Uncommon Magic series.

Cry, the Beloved Country
Picked for my 2015 challenge. I thought it would be dense, but I thought it easier to read but in no way light or shallow. I found the writing moving and elegant. Definitely recommend for moving out of our safe British/US fiction zone without moving into anything unnecessarily disturbing. Brilliantly written, especially in light of the difficult subjects.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Chrismas Eve

This red dress (more blue red in reality) was part of my Christmas present. Mom gave it to me early, thinking I might want to wear it to the rehearsal dinner, but I wore it to Christmas Eve instead. I received the zebra gloves during the $5 gift exchange, and I hand-knitted and gave the purple cowl as my five (really $6-ish) gift. In the adult gift exchange I received the necklace. I drew my sister's name and kept it (so much easier plus I already had a gift). My parents won the men and women's $1 stockings.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Winter Fashion: Cape Coat

I am trying to build (slowly) a satisfying AND sensible winter wardrobe. I made a major step before the season got to terribly cold (yay me . . . I sound like London Tipton :P).

I knew I needed a wool coat (sensible) in grey (fashionable), so I searched on ebay and found a cape coat. I had kind of wanted one for awhile, and the price was right, so I bought it.

I wore it a few times before realizing it needed a trip to the dry cleaners. Now it is fresh and crisp, but I still want to touch it up just a bit with new, sterling silver or pewter buttons at some point soon.

I think one of my red hats would look well (perhaps) with it; now if only I could get over this hat shyness. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Hallmark Holiday Movies

So, we started rating our Hallmark movies favorites (probably kind of started because we rate the guys :/). I decide I wanted to rate them myself. So I put them in an Excel chart like a dork.

Also, some horrible ones thrown in for comparison, and to vent outrage. And, some of these are not Christmas or even holiday, but they fit in with the holiday spirit. When I update, I will probably only include more favorites.

Movie Rating
The Christmas Card 9
Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade 9
A Season for Miracles 8
Window Wonderland 8
Half My Heart 8
Love by the Book 8
Hitched for the Holidays 7.5
Let it Snow 7.5
The Best Christmas Party Ever 7
The Thanksgiving House 7
Fir Crazy 7
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year 7
The Nine Lives of Christmas 7
Call Me Mrs. Miracle 6.75
Naughty or Nice 6.5
The Three Gifts 6.5
Christmas Under Wraps 6.5
Snow Bride 6.5
Tis the Season for Love 6
A Bride for Christmas 6
Matchmaker Santa 6
Trading Christmas 6
Royal Christmas 5
A Princess for Christmas 0
One Starry Christmas 0

Thursday, December 3, 2015

L. M. Montgomery Week and Tag

I love the L.M. Montgomery books and it is nice to find a party that is not Jane Austen themed for a change.

Here is the link to the tag.

How did you first discover LMM’s books?

When we were little some friends who loved the movies (although if we watched it with them it was when we were much older and after reading the books) gave us 2-5 and 7 of the Anne of Green Gables books. So I actually knew Anne Shirley first from Anne of Avonlea (the BOOK; the movie, which I despise is more based, loosely, on Anne of Windy Poplars  . . . and Little Women  . . . but that is another story for another day).

What’s your favorite LMM book? 


What’s your least favorite LMM book?

I didn't like, sometimes disliked the stories/tone in Chronicles of Avonlea and Further Chronicles of Avonlea.

Who is your favorite character in allllll of LMM’s works?

That is hard to choose. I usually like the main characters and their leading men. I also like funny characters like Davy (you know the movies are bad because there is no Davy) and Ilse and Philippa and Miss Cornelia and Perry and etc.

What couple is your favorite?

Valancy and Barney.

What is your favorite quote from LMM (either a quote from one of her books, or from her personal life)?

I do not know about favorite, but I can relate to this one actually I say that I come off of a book high, you know after you have to read like addicted? Goodreads says this is an L. M. Montgomery quote, and I am too lazy to verify: 

“I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” 

How many LMM books have you read?

The 8 Anne books, 3 Emily books, 2 Pat books, The Blue Castle, Kilmeny of the Orchard, Chronicles of Avonlea, Further Chronicles of Avonlea, Story Girl, and allegedly The Road to Yesterday (according to Goodreads although I have no recollection of reading it, perhaps I meant to put it on the to-be-read list?). So 18 or 19.

Which LMM book would you most like to see made into a movie?

You know only British people can do British period dramas well. Canadians and Americans butcher their own stories, so I am not sure I would look forward to a movie. I want a remake of the Anne movie and then films of the Pat books.

Have you found a kindred spirit?

Well, my family (they are kindred spirits themselves anyway) has for all of us collectively.