August 16, 2017

Kindred Spirits

I've been thinking about meeting people who are kindred spirits lately. There's a spark, a twinkle in the eye, and an instant understanding that we're both on the same page, that our hearts and minds are more or less united, or at least together in a certain purpose. That moment when you realize you've met one is so thrilling, that I must remind myself that though I love people, not every friendly encounter results in a kindred spirit. True kindred spirits are fairly rare and hard to find, even if not quite as scarce as Anne of Green Gables once thought. That is what makes them so valuable, a true treasure to find. One may stumble across very few kindred spirits indeed, if they do not look for them.

The New Forest, England

Unfortunately, I have found many, if not most of my handful of kindred spirits at my jobs. My work allows me to meet and serve a lot of nice people, but rarely does it allow for anything more than common chitchat. However, there are instances in which kindred spirits can be discovered, even within the constructs of professional, yet friendly, business encounters.

I am completely unmoved in my belief that there's a 'click' in the universe when you find a person you're supposed to have in your life on whatever level. mdr

I once gave a tour of the historic house I work at to an elderly man who was so attuned and alert to what I was saying, ready for any bits of information to be fascinating. Instead of this making me nervous, as it would generally do, it was exciting! I knew something was special about this gentleman, and as he recounted some stories of his own to me, I believe we both realized that we saw the world through very similar lenses. I will probably never see that man again, at least not on this earth. But to simply know that there are people like that going about their lives, their thoughts harmonizing with your own, is amazing.

Love this. There are very few people I feel this way about.  Sometimes you meet someone and you just know you were destined to meet and there's a familiar feeling when you're with them ❤

The world is so full of wonderful, interesting people and sometimes I just wish that little barrier that keeps most of us from running up to people and making instant friends and acquaintances of them would fall. That is not to say I don't believe in manners, decorum, or personal space. But sometimes we all just need to let our guard down a little. Smile. Say hello. Compliment a stranger, remark about the weather, communicate with your fellow man. Who knows what friends and kindred spirits you may discover on the way?

August 7, 2017

A Pinterest Post

It's August, ladies, and time has simply vanished; it has melted away faster than raspberry ice cream eaten on an 85 degree day. I may be speaking from personal experience. ;) It's been a while since I've had a simple pinning post. Let's remedy that, shall we? 

Isn't this painting beautiful? It's a summer afternoon, and these friends or sisters have all gathered under a tree in their white gowns. They've been picking roses and spending time in the sun, but right now they're just happy to be in each other's company. Two of them have noticed you. Will you join their circle?


This one's funny because it's true. Sometimes I do overthink this! But there are worse things than being friendly to people, so usually I push back the impulse to shut up and just send people a nice message. 

Joie De Vivre. Fine Art Photography. Vintage Scrabble Wood Dice. Autumn Home D├ęcor. Blue Little Birds. French. Paris.

Ooh, I have definitely been seeking joie de vivre this summer! My practical, economical self has had to restrain my adventurous side from making all sorts of purchases and excursions, and believe me, it has often failed! But I've tried my best to enjoy the everyday, free things too, like my backyard garden, wild berries, and friendship. 


England. In Summer. With Queen Victoria. In Love. What more needs to be expressed?

GARTH WILLIAMS (American, 1912-1996). Little Town on the | Lot #78846 | Heritage Auctions

Aww isn't this just so sweet? This makes me wish I grew up on a farm!

Did I mention I read Anne of Green Gables last month? Because I READ ANNE OF GREEN GABLES!! And it was lovely. As soon as I read the next 200 books in line on my to-read list, and granted that life offers absolutely no distractions, I shall read the rest of the series in the eventual future! 

If you'd like to see more of my pins, you can click on the link on the sidebar. Thanks for reading!

July 25, 2017

Dear July

Dear July,
You are a month of memories. Your evening air is warm and glows from the light of hundreds of fireflies and stars. Your sunny days are pure bliss; and your stormy ones so powerful they flood and reform the earth.

Black raspberries and no words. | Central Indiana Life Photographer

You, July, are a month of bounty. Cherries, peaches, and plums abound from local markets, and the secret location of a giant patch of black raspberries is revealed, even if one has to climb fences and get mosquito bites to reach them.

Image result for lake michigan sheboygan

July, you are a month of farmers markets, of bike rides to the library. You allow stacks of books to be consecutively read on the back porch with a glass of ice tea. You allow Pride and Prejudice to be watched in 2 sittings alone. You encourage spontaneous outings with friends, whether they play tennis, go shopping, see fireworks, drink coffee, visit art museums, or wade in the Great Lakes in dresses, it doesn't matter. The point is, it happens, and the experiences get filed in selfies, journals, and nostalgic areas of the human mind.
So thank you, July. For everything. It's been a great summer.

July 1, 2017

You Might be a Perod Drama Fan...

You might be a period drama fan if.....

Sparking a debate on which Pride and Prejudice is better is a welcome challenge.

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The '95ers discussing the '05 version...

Your DVD shelf looks like this....

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And your bookshelf looks like this...

If you have spent considerable time comparing yourself to Downton Abbey characters,

Daisy and Sybil.

If you've taken a quiz to find out which Downton Abbey character you are...
    You might be a period drama fan.

Madame Bovary (2014), played by Mia Wasikowska, directed by Sophie Barthes, (TO SEE)

You might be a period drama fan if....

You start thinking (maybe even talking!) in a British accent after four hours of TV.

Emily Blunt | The Young Victoria

You regularly check PBS and BBC for show updates.

You can't believe how long it takes for shows to air on American TV when those lucky Brits have had them for months!

Amy - Little Women
And reading the Brit's gushing reviews on them makes the waiting even worse...

If you run to make tea when your show comes on,

And you drink it with the characters on the screen...

Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet sipping tea in Pride and Prejudice 1995

         You might be a period drama fan.

June 16, 2017

And We're Back!

Well, that wasn't too long, now was it? I bought a new computer (the keyboard flips and everything!) "for college" , but it's also to hang out with my friends and followers. It feels good to be back, and with somewhat decent amounts of time to write posts and browse Pinterest. :) Plus a bunch of blogging friends have left us for the month or longer (seriously, I think there were at least three "goodbye" posts last week!) so I'm here to fill in the gap in your reading list. ;)

Getting down to business, A Girl With Ideas has tagged me with a Four Fictional Characters Tag, which I shall use as an excuse to gush over some wonderful literary icons.

The Rules:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you
2. List four fictional characters (use pictures if you want! They can be from movies or books) and, if you like, describe what they're like and why you believe they relate to you
3. Tag a few other blog people! Three, or four, or even twenty. :) Share the fun!
Be sure to let them know you've tagged them!

1. Horatio Hornblower

Image result for horatio hornblower

Guys I think you know why I like him...but besides outward appearance he's incredibly noble and brave. He fights for his own honor as well as the honor of his friends and country. 

2. Jo March


Jo's got spunk. She's got character. She's got problems but she solves them with her unique wit and personality. Her energy is something special and her goals are like my goals.

3. Felicity Merriman

Illustration de Dan Andreasen

Speaking of spunk, Felicity Merriman has got her fair share of it! Felicity is a character who has stuck with me since I was about seven years old. I've read her books countless times, and though the doll and movie are all great, it's the stories and the way I imagine her that's the best part.

4. Henry wait....

Northanger Abbey- I really like Catherine Morland's powder-blue, navy-inspired overcoat.

I simply cannot decide between this pair. I <3 Mr. Tilney because he is so funny and kind and gentlemanly. And I love Catherine because she is sweet and I see a lot of myself in her. I guess I'll count them as a package deal. ;)
Now what about the Bennet sisters, you might ask? Surely I cannot snub Elizabeth or Jane or (gasp) Mr. Darcy from a spot in the top four? Well I'll tell you why they're not on here...I dunno! Perhaps I'm just not in the mood, or it's a Northanger Abbey phase (though it's been going steady for over a year now...). Pride and Prejudice will always hold a part of my heart, but right now I'm enjoying some less "classic" of the classics. I'll come to my senses someday, I'm sure. ;)

I tag anyone who would like to share their favorite fictional characters! :P You can use the comments section too! 
<3, Abby

June 8, 2017

This Computer Stinks.

Hey, happy summer everyone! And happy freedom! (To me that is, as I am officially graduated from high school.) This is just a quick, sad post to tell you that since I turned my school laptop in, I am using an ancient computer that takes about 2 minutes to scroll down a page. Getting a cursor to turn from an arrow to a little clicky thing on a link takes about 1 minute. So I hope you understand that I simply can't roll out posts like I used to (sigh!), at least until I get a new computer for college. And I know, I know: first I wasn't posting much because of school, and now I'm not posting much because of ancient technology. But hopefully it won't be long until I am free to type and search and find pretty pins to make posts for you all again! Besides, you don't really want to spend your June cooped up reading my blog posts, do you? Go out there, enjoy the world! :) Just come back when I can post more, ok? ;)
Yours truly,

All The Photos Worth Seeing From Pippa Middleton's Wedding:
Here, have a picture from Pippa's wedding. AKA cutest wedding ever, esp. with Princess Charlotte! You're Welcome. :)

May 13, 2017

Beauty and the Beast: Review

I don't know if this is true across the globe, but those new theater seats sure are comfy! You know the ones I'm talking about, the big leather recliners that are all plush and somehow aren't sticky with soda and popcorn? Yeah, those are cool!
Anyway, I got to sit in one of those when I saw Beauty and the Beast in a theater in March. It was on an especially large screen, and my family got there fashionably late so we only saw about 5 minutes of ads instead of the usual 20. So there were two pluses right off the bat!

But the movie itself was great too. True to the previous film (except for the giant elephant in the room, we'll touch on that later), beautiful costuming, and amazing technology. The feeling of fairytale France really came through, especially in the village scenes.

Image result for beauty and the beast provincial life 2017
Despite above appearances, this is NOT a remake of The Sound of Music. But based on this picture, you could've fooled me!
I think we all know the basic storyline, but allow me to refresh your memory: The Beast (aka Dan Stevens aka Mathew Crawley) was once a very vain prince who threw ostentatious parties where people put on cringe-worthy amounts of makeup on. At one of these balls, a woman comes in from a storm and asks for some shelter. The prince scoffs at her and throws her out, at which time the tech crew of the movie gleefully show off their first trick: she turns into a beautiful enchantress, who turns him into a beast, cursing him to stay that way until he finds true love. Everybody from the ballroom runs away, proving that he has no true friends. The servants turn into furniture, and the castle fades from memory (part of the spell).

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Meanwhile, Belle is getting tired of village life, and wishes there was more to read. The song she sings in the village is quite the number, and it's one of my favorite scenes. It's not even sung incredibly well, but the amount of things to look at is astounding!

And then there's Gaston. Readers, I must admit that I really almost liked Gaston in the beginning, almost rooting for him. I mean, at the start he's just a confident guy, more interested in being outside and hunting than academia. And he gives her flowers! As confident as he is, I really think he likes Belle in this movie, whereas in the cartoon it seemed more prevalent that he wanted Belle as another "trophy".

Image result for beauty and the beast provincial life 2017
See?? He gives her really nice flowers too! And the Lydia Bennet in me likes his hunting frock, ok?

Belle will not have him, however. Gaston's confidence is somewhat shaken, but not for long. While he forms Plan B, Belle's father takes a business trip which does not end well. At all. After losing his way and being attacked by terrifying wolves, he manages to stumble upon the long-forgotten castle of the Beast, where the Beast finds and imprisons him for trespassing and stealing (a rose). Phillipe, the faithful horse, gallops back to town to find Belle. Together they go back to the castle, where Belle, seeing her father in failing health in a cold dungeon, freely changes places with him. 

Image result for beauty and the beast 2017 castle

Things can only look up, and they do. It's a long and beautifully detailed story so I won't describe it all to you, but with a lot of help from the furniture, Belle and the Beast slooowly fall in love. Belle does try to escape at first, but the Beast saves her life from the wolves, and Belle nurses him back to health (he got really beaten up from the awful creatures). This is the first point in the movie where Mathew Crawley starts poking through for me. It's kind of hard to see it, seeing as he is a beast and they lowered his voice artificially, but certain mannerisms and inflections start coming through. The Beast is behaving more like a gentleman! 

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Of course, things have been going too well for too long in the story, so it's time to bring trouble back into it. Belle's father comes into the village tavern where everyone is celebrating Gaston's greatness, and begs them to help free Belle from a beast in a castle. Everyone laughs at him, but Gaston decides to help him, thinking he'll get to marry Belle in return for his aid. But the journey to the castle is long and dangerous, and after getting a firm "no" on marrying Belle, Gaston patience is at an end. He ties Belle's father to a tree and drives off. I no longer like Gaston, you see. 

Meanwhile, Belle and the Beast have their iconic dance in the ballroom. (Belle's dress is rather underwhelming if you ask me, but whatever.) The Beast then allows Belle to see the room with the enchanted rose and mirror. The mirror can take them any place in the world, so together they travel to Belle's birthplace, where the audience discovers the sad truth of her mother's fate. Belle then uses the mirror to find her father. When she discovers what happened to him, the Beast, in love, allows her to find him. And that, my friends, is where our heartstrings pull.

Image result for beauty and the beast 2017 village

Belle rushes into town and shows the villagers that the Beast is real through the mirror. They don't react the way Belle thought, however. Instead of releasing Maurice, they lock both Belle and him up, and form a hunting party to kill the Beast. Led by (you guessed it) Gaston.
What follows is the climax of the film; Belle and her father escapes, the furniture defends the castle from the villagers, and Gaston seeks out the Beast, who is too sad over losing Belle to care. But then Belle comes back just in time, the Beast wins, and Gaston loses. Big time.

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Now that it is evident that Belle and the Beast love each other, the spell is broken! Right? Not right. Or at least, not right away. By the time the Beast dies, the last petal has fallen on the rose. One by one the enchanted furniture becomes totally lifeless. And it's super sad, because the servants are now presumably dead. Even the beautiful furniture they inhabited is left out in the rain.
But the enchantress has mysteriously appeared, and once she sees that Belle loves the Beast, she reverses the spell, and all is well. Then the castle becomes beautiful again, and all of the enchanted furniture becomes human. This is probably my favorite special effects part of the movie; it's so cool to see the castle be transformed!  I can't find any good pictures of the castle, but here's something else you'll like:
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The last scene is the beautiful wedding dance:
Image result for beauty and the beast gifs 2017 ending

Image result for beauty and the beast gifs 2017 ending

So there you have it! I definitely think this movie is worth watching, despite what you've probably heard about LeFou being gay. Yeah, it's squirm-worthy at times, and it's not always terribly subtle. But I like to think of it this way: have we seen movies where two straight people have had sex outside of marriage? I have: Downton Abbey and Northanger Abbey are two examples. In fact, I can't think of a single movie where sin hasn't been involved. That would simply be unrealstic! However, does this mean that I watch these movies for the sin, or to see adultery? Absolutely not! So while we may not agree with the values peppered into this film, I believe that we can still see it in good conscience.

Have you seen Beauty and the Beast animated or live action? What do you think?
What do you think about the messages in this movie? Is there a reason you're not going to see it? (Don't worry I won't yell at you if you don't like what I said!)