Sunday, July 1, 2018

Life Lately // June Edition

It's been quite a while since I've last updated this space, and quite a lot has happened since then! (Why is it that pretty much every single one of my posts starts out like this? #imaterribleblogger)

Anyways, today I thought I would just do a fun little "lately" post in order to acquaint you all with some of the incredibly exciting happenings that have occurred in my life as of late. (Why no, that wasn't an overstatement at all. Why do you ask? ;P)

Alright, enough rambling. Let's get on with this post!


Traveling...

  • To North Carolina. A couple of weekends ago my family and I traveled a couple of hours down to NC to visit family and celebrate my younger cousin's birthday. It was a fun little excursion filled with laughter, sunshine (a more pleasant way of saying "extreme heat"), swimming, and milkshakes.
  • To Anderson, SC. (Hey, I just realized that I've spent time in both Carolinas this June!) This past Monday through Friday, my younger brother and I went to the Crossroads Summer Camp held at Anderson University with our youth group, and we both had a great time. (This was the first time I had ever been to a summer camp, and here I am a high school graduate!) It was definitely a stretch for me, as an introvert, but it challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone, and I'm grateful for that. I feel like I grew closer to both some of the people in my youth group, and to Jesus. It was a week filled with fun, laughter, inside jokes, drawing, swimming in a lake for the first time, getting covered in paint, playing late-night games of Uno.... Overall, I'm so thankful for this new experience and the memories that were made!

I didn't take many pictures while I was down there, for some reason, but I really love this shot that I captured of some storm clouds! It rained every evening that week, actually; is that a common thing for summers in South Carolina?

Celebrating...

  • My graduation from high school!! I didn't have a ceremony or anything; instead, we just held a party at our house, and I felt so incredibly blessed and loved by all of the family and friends that came. <3 So yeah, I'm officially with done with school! Well, until August 27th, when my college courses begin...

Buying...

  • My new laptop for college! I decided on the Microsoft Surface Book 2, and I'm absolutely loving it so far. It has a touch screen, which can flip around or detach from the keyboard and serve as a tablet. It's "practically perfect in every way," and I'm so excited to start using it for school this fall!

Reading...

  • The Two Towers. I'm still making my way through the LotR trilogy, and overall I've been enjoying it. It's been slow going as of late, because for a while the story was kind of dragging, but thankfully the pace is starting to pick up again! I have somewhere around 50 pages left in The Two Towers, I believe, and then it's on to Return of the King. (Okay, so get this: while on the way to the Crossroads camp, the chapter I was currently reading was titled "Journey to the Cross-roads." How crazy coincidental is that?!)

Watching...

  • Marvel films. My family used to be pretty into the MCU movies when they first started coming out, but over the past few years we kind of fell off the bandwagon and stopped keeping up with them, for no particular reason. Well, we've gotten back into them over the past month or so, and have been slowly trying to catch up on the films we've missed! So far we've watched Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, and Thor: Ragnarok. Of those three, Thor: Ragnarok was by far my favorite! In fact, I think it would have to be my favorite Marvel film of the ones that I've seen. It was absolutely hilarious, and the fact that Loki plays a pretty prominent role in it makes me love it even more! The "get help" scene seriously had me cracking up... I'm sorry, I just love Loki. ;)


  • Return to Cranford. Guys, this was sooo good! I just adore lighthearted period dramas like this one, and when Tom Hiddleston is involved, it's even better. I absolutely loved the sweet, beautiful romance that unfolded between William Buxton and Peggy Bell. <3 Overall, I really, really loved this second installment of Cranford, and I'll definitely be watching it again in the near future!

  • Incredibles 2. My family and I went to see this last weekend, and we all really enjoyed it! It was such a fun movie, and definitely worth the wait. :)
  • Miss Austen Regrets. Yet another film starring Tom Hiddleston! Are you noticing a theme here? ;P I watched this on the ride back from camp, and honestly, the main reason I decided to check it out was because I knew he played a small role in it! What can I say? He's easily my current favorite actor/celebrity crush. ;) But anyways, as to the movie... I can't say it's a new favorite, as it was rather sad and a bit lackluster, but I think Tom's performance made it worthwhile. <3

Okay, but these two totally should have ended up together! Like, why?! *spoiler alert* How could she doubt whether she really loved him? I mean, he was so sweet and completely adorable! :(

Getting Excited For...

  • A cross-country roadtrip this September!! My family and I have decided to tag along with my grandma, granddad, aunt, and uncle on a trip all the way to the West Coast and back. It'll be about a two-week excursion, with five days spent on the way out, four days spent in La Grande, Oregon (our destination, where my granddad actually grew up), and then six days spent on the drive home. Along the way, we're planning to visit places such as Mt Rushmore, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Crater Lake, and the Grand Canyon. I've never been off the East Coast, so I'm really looking forward to this long trip, where there will be loads of photo opportunities and chances to marvel at God's beautiful creation. I'll be sure to share all about it on here afterwards!




Well, it's rather late, and I want to try to finish The Two Towers tonight, so I think I shall wrap up this post here. Thanks so much for reading!

How has your summer been so far?
Any exciting plans coming up?

Much love,
Molly 

P.S. I got Instagram back, so if you have it, you can follow me here for lots of bookish, artsy, geeky ramblings. ;)

Saturday, June 2, 2018

My Thoughts on Little Women 2017


When I first heard that there was going to be a new adaptation of Little Women, I'll admit I was a bit skeptical of the idea. But when I saw that it was available for free streaming on the PBS website, I decided to give it a try anyways, and resolved not to judge it until I had seen it!

Well, I just recently finished watching it, and I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised! I actually really, really enjoyed this adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's novel. Rather than being a darker, grittier take on the story, a la "Anne with an E" (ugh), this was a fresh, lighthearted, hopeful adaptation that faithfully captured the heart of the novel. I truly thought it was beautifully done, with an excellent cast, gorgeous costumes, and lush sets.

So while it's still fresh on my mind, I thought I would do a little "review" of this mini-series, and share what I loved about it, as well as what I thought could have been better. I hope you'll enjoy!

Warning: There will be some spoilers ahead, so keep that in mind!


First of all, the overall aesthetic of this miniseries was just stunning. From the absolutely beautiful costumes, to the gorgeous sets and scenery, I seriously wouldn't mind living in this period drama! ;)

Now, I do have to say that the soundtrack was a bit of an odd choice. Most of the time, the music didn't seem to fit the time period of the story, but this didn't really detract from my overall enjoyment of the film. (I mean, it would have been hard to outdo the soundtrack from the 1994 adaptation, anyways!)


And now, onto the characters! I thought that Maya Hawke did an excellent job at portraying Jo March, especially considering that this was her first official acting role. I think she perfectly captured Jo's energy, passion, enthusiasm, and fierce love for the people and things in her life. Willa Fitzgerald did such a wonderful job at bringing Meg's sweet, gentle, and romantic personality to life, and Annes Elwy was so lovely as timid, sweet, selfless Beth. And Amy was...well, she was Amy! Rather self-absorbed and irksome at the beginning, yes, but better as the story progressed. The scene where she danced with Beth at Meg's wedding, and then tenderly led Beth to a seat because she was too tired, definitely made me like her more. (And while I do have to agree that Kathryn Newton looks a bit older than the age that Amy is during the first half of the story, I like that they didn't switch actresses midway through the movie.)


Jonah Hauer-King did such a great job as Laurie, and I have to agree with what someone else said: he definitely gave me some Jonathan Crombie vibes! <3

I also think this adaptation did a great job at showing how even though Jo and Laurie were wonderful as close friends, they definitely wouldn't have worked as a couple. (Yes, I've amended my previous statement where I said that I wish Jo and Laurie had ended up together. I have since come to my senses, and realize now that Jo and Professor Bhaer are far better suited for one another!)


Another thing that I love about this version is the emphasis that is given to Meg and John Brooke's relationship! Their proposal scene was so precious, and the wedding was beautiful. These two truly do make such a sweet pair. <3


I also liked the Professor Bhaer in this adaptation much better than in the 1994 version. I don't know, I just found this portrayal of him more...likable, I guess! And the scene "under the umbrella" was so sweet. :)


And now, I'm just going to list out some random things that I loved about this adaptation!

  • Emily Watson did a lovely job as Marmee. The scene where she realizes that Beth really is dying is so heartwrenching and raw.
  • I really like how this version includes so many scenes from the book that weren't in the '94 version: Meg's attempt at making jam; Laurie, Jo, Meg, and Amy building a snowman for Beth; Jo and Beth's trip to the sea; and so much more.
  • This scene, and oh, the song that's played during it! So, so very beautiful.
  • I love how each of the four March sisters are given an equal focus; their unique personalities are really able to shine through because they all have their fair share in the story (just like in the book!).
  • All of the flowers and kittens and pastel colors and snowy Christmas scenes.
  • Meg watching John as he heads off to war. 

Overall, I really, really loved this adaptation of Little Women. Of course, it had its flaws, and there were parts where it strayed from the book, but then, the same could be said of the other versions! I think it did an excellent job at bringing this beloved story to life, and I definitely recommend that you give it a try. I can't wait until I receive my copy in the mail so that I can watch it all over again! :)

Much love,
Molly <3

P.S. You can watch two of the three episodes in high quality here on the PBS site through June 3rd. The clock is ticking, though, so don't hesitate! :)

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Liebster Award Tag



Hi everyone! So, it's been nearly two months since Bri from Forget Not His Benefits tagged me with the Liebster Award Tag, but today I'm finally here (as I'm sure you've guessed from the title of this post!) to answer the questions. So, let's start off with the rules.

Acknowledge the blog(s) that gave it to you and display the award.
Bri from Forget Not His Benefits. Thank you so much, dear! <3



Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
Alright, let's go!

1. What is a quote that you really love?

Oh goodness, I have such an abundance of favorite quotes that I don't think I could choose just one! However, one that I have been really loving lately is this line from The Fellowship of the Ring:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” - The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Isn't that last part such a beautiful, powerful piece of advice to keep in mind as we go through each day?

2. What is a favorite/most vivid childhood memory?

I have lots of fond memories of my family's vacations to Walt Disney World over the years. Disney will always hold a special place in my heart because of the many "magical" moments that my family and I have spent there. <3

3. What is one thing God has been taking you through/teaching you this year?

The Lord has been teaching me so many things throughout this year thus far, for which I am so, so grateful. One of the biggest lessons I've been learning is that I need to trust in Him wholly and completely with every aspect of my life. 

You see, I struggle a lot with overthinking and over-analyzing pretty much everything, no matter how insignificant it may be. This ends up leading to fear, worry, and stress, and it's absolutely exhausting. Lately, however, God has been teaching me to let go of the feeling that I need to have everything perfectly figured out and planned. Because really, we as imperfect humans can't accomplish that on our own! I need to remember instead that God has a wonderful plan for my life, far greater than any I could ever dream up. I've still got quite a ways to go, and my habit of overthinking and over-analyzing will likely always be something that I have to strive to keep at bay, but I'm so thankful that no matter what, I can always find strength, comfort, encouragement, and everything else I'll ever need in the Lord.


4. How did your blog start, and where do you hope to see it in the future?

I started my blog a little over two years ago as a creative outlet, where I could share my photos, projects, thoughts, and ramblings about books and movies. I honestly never expected people to actually read my posts, and yet I've met so many sweet kindred spirits through this wonderful blogging community who not only read, but comment on my blog! Y'all are the best, okay? *sends virtual hugs*

As for where I hope to see my blog in the future...well, I plan to keep writing the same sort of posts that I've been doing, but hopefully on a more regular schedule! (You know, instead of once every month as has been my habit. ;P) I hope it'll continue to serve as a fun creative outlet for me as I transition into college, and that I can maybe encourage or inspire people and meet more kindred spirits. <3

5. What is the longest you have lived in one place? 

Well, I've lived in southern Virginia for my whole life, but my family have moved pretty frequently to different houses within our area. So I'd say the longest I've lived in one particular house has been five years, maybe?

6. Do you see yourself as an optimist, pessimist, realist, or opportunist? 

Hmm... I'd like to think that I'm more of an optimist. I try to stay positive and look on the bright side of things as much as possible, but of course that doesn't mean there aren't days when I'm stressed out and focusing more on the negative side of things than I should be. 



7. What is your typical go-to when you try a new restaurant?

Ooh, fun question! Well, I actually really enjoy salads, so that's always a go-to for me. I also like to go for Mexican or southwest-style dishes, or food with lots of veggies. For my drink, it's either water with lemon or sweet tea!

8. Do you re-read books? If so, which have you re-read most?

I don't think I could say "yes" to this question enough times! I absolutely love rereading the books that I love most, as I tend to pick up on something different each time. I know that I've reread Pride and Prejudice three times, I believe--and it's about time for another reread!

9. If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself five years ago?

I would tell myself that living for Christ is so much more important than trying to please people and fit in with others. (I also need to remind my present self of this truth more often!)



10. What is your favorite part of your every day routine?

My favorite part of the day is when I can curl up in my bed and read for a bit just before I go to sleep. It's so nice and relaxing and really helps me wind down. The only problem is that I often stay up way too late in order to read "just one more page." ;P

11. How do you do your devotions (by a schedule, with a study guide, is scripture memorization part of that daily time, etc.)?


Each morning, I try to read a chapter of whatever book of the Bible I'm currently reading. (Lately I've been reading through the Old Testament, and currently I'm in Esther.) In addition, I usually read a chapter from a devotional book, or do a devotional plan on the Bible app. I've also recently gotten back into using the Give Me Jesus journal from Well Watered Women Co. It's a wonderful tool for journaling through your daily Bible reading!


Give 11 random facts about yourself.

1.) I'm an introvert by nature, and would infinitely prefer staying at home with a book or project than going to a party. If you're a fellow introvert, I'm sure you understand! (This meme is hilariously accurate.)

2.) Recently I've gotten into drinking hot tea, and I've really been enjoying it! I'm actually drinking some "English Tea Shop" tea while I write this; the flavor is white tea with blueberry and elderflower, and it's delicious.


Yes, I totally bought a commemorative Royal Wedding tea tin, because I'm eighty years old at heart. It actually tastes quite good, though! Speaking of the Royal Wedding, did any of you watch it this past Saturday? I did, and I thought it was so lovely. Definitely worth getting up super early and being sleepy for the rest of the day ;)

3.) I love to play the acoustic guitar and sing, although I'm certainly not an expert by any means! It's just a very fun hobby.

4.) I adore The Princess Bride, and my family and I quote it frequently! It's definitely one of my favorite movies.

5.) My favorite flowers are hydrangeas. I get so excited whenever they start blooming!


6.) My dad and I have often engaged in "Jane Austen style" text message conversations, and it's awesome. Basically, we use the word "indeed" a lot! Haha. ;P

7.) One of my favorite childhood movies is Ella Enchanted. Wait, who am I kidding? I still love that movie! Yes, it's silly and very different from the book, but I grew up watching it, so I like it partly for nostalgic reasons. (Maybe if I had read the book first, I might have enjoyed the movie less?) But anyways, I'm so glad that my younger sister now likes it, because we enjoy watching it together. :)


8.) I've been told countless times that I look just like my mother; in fact, we've been mistaken for sisters a few times!


9.) I've traveled up and down the east coast of America--as far south as Florida and as far north as New York--, but I've never been out of the country or off the eastern coast. However, I hope to change this one day and travel to loads of places!

10.) I have been known to mispronounce words that I've only ever read in books, without hearing someone say them in real life. My family likes to tease me about this, because often the way I say these words is pretty funny! For example, I pronounced the words "Yosemite," "epitome," and "leisure" all incorrectly the first time I said them. And mind you, this was recent! (Actually, I didn't say the word "leisure" wrong; instead, I pronounced it the British way ("leh-sure" instead of the American "lee-sure") because I sincerely thought that's how you say it! I still say it the British way, though, just to tease my family back. ;P)

11.) My fave superhero is without a doubt Captain America. ❤


Nominate 11 blogs. (We're nearing the end of this crazy long post, I promise!)

Okay, so since I've seen this tag floating around on several different blogs, I'm really not sure who has or hasn't been tagged already. Plus, I've already spent way too much time typing up this post! So instead, I'm going to take the lazy route and just say that if you want to do this tag yourself, then by all means consider yourself tagged by me!

Give them 11 questions to answer.

1.) How would you describe your ideal day?
2.) Are you introverted, extroverted, or a mixture of both?
3.) What is one of your favorite childhood movies?
4.) If you're a Jane Austen fan, which of her heroines can you relate to the most? Which do you relate to the least?
5.) If you could have any other accent, what would it be?
6.) Do you play any instruments? If not, which one do you wish you could play?
7.) What is your favorite genre of music?
8.) If you could travel to any one place in the world right now, where would it be?
9.) Do you have any hidden talents?
10.) Tea, coffee, or both?
11.) If you could have any period drama character's hairstyle, what would it be?

If you made it to the end of this post, then you're amazing! I know I probably rambled far too much in this post, and I'm sorry if I've bored you to death. But I hope you enjoyed this post and that you got to know me a little better! And if you decide to do this tag yourself, please let me know so that I can read your post. :)

Much love,
Molly