Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Most Precious Gift of All

To say that I love Christmas would be an understatement. It's by far my favorite time of year! I love the fun, laughter-filled family get-togethers that come along with the season, the Christmas decorations that light up the neighborhood at nighttime, the beautiful carols and the scrumptious food, the classic movies that make me feel nostalgic for Christmases gone by, the coziness of opening gifts on Christmas morning with Christmas music playing softly in the background, the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Eve... the list goes on and on.
But most of all, I love celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, all those centuries ago in the little town of Bethlehem. And yet, wouldn't you agree that sometimes it can be so easy to lose sight of the true meaning of the Christmas season? I find that I can get so caught up in the busyness of the season that I'm distracted from the very thing that Christmas is all about: God sending His one and only Son--God Himself!--into this world to take away our sins, even though we don't and never will deserve it. It's mind-blowing when you try to comprehend that, isn't it? Jesus could have chosen to be born in a palace to a privileged family, but He didn't. Instead, He humbled Himself and chose to be born to a poor, ordinary couple, in a manger in a stable on a silent, holy night. Really, He could have left us on our own, but He went to such great lengths to save us, all because He loves us so very much.

And because of Jesus, we have hope, peace, and joy in our hearts. Because of Him, we have the most wonderful friend we could ever ask for, Who loves us unconditionally despite our many flaws. Because of Him, we have forgiveness, freedom, and the promise of spending eternity in heaven, if only we trust and believe in Him. Because of Him, we have all that we could ever wish for and more. As wonderful as all the things I listed at the beginning of this post are, they pale in comparison to all the gifts that we've received through Jesus Christ. He is the true beauty and miracle of Christmas!
So in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of last-minute Christmas preparations, let's not forget to keep our eyes on Jesus and celebrate His birth. Let's be filled with wonder, awe, and joy when we think of the baby Jesus lying in a manger, born to suffer so that we may have life. He truly is the greatest, most precious gift of all!

"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." 
- Luke 2:10-11

Wishing you a very merry Christmas,

Friday, December 16, 2016

Emma Woodhouse's Wardrobe

Hi everyone! I've had this post sitting in my drafts for a while, and since today is Jane Austen's birthday, I thought that now would be the perfect time to publish it! I'm pretty excited about this post, too, because it's all about one of my favorite Jane Austen movies, and really one of my favorite movies in general: the 2009 version of Emma!

If you've ever seen this movie, then you've probably noticed that Emma has a rather stunning wardrobe. Seriously, she has soo many gorgeous dresses, with the prettiest shawls, spencers, and hats to match. So, I thought it would be fun to put together a list of my favorite outfits that Emma wears throughout the film! I've narrowed it down to just eight, so keep scrolling for some lovely Regency-era fashions. 😊

8.) This Brown Floral Dress

First up is this dress that Emma wears to the strawberry picking outing at Donwell Abbey. Now, at first I didn't know whether I wanted to include it on my list of favorites or not, but it's really grown on me! I really like the muted color palette and the overall simplicity of the dress. Also, can we just talk about how adorable Emma and Mr. Knightley are in this picture, with their coordinating outfits? ;)

7.) This Green Dress with Red Trimmings

Another very simple dress, but yet it's still so pretty! I love that shade of green, and the red ribbons and bows are so adorable. Together the two colors look quite Christmassy, which is another reason why I like this dress. :)

6.) This Fall-like Floral Dress

Ahh, this dress. :) I just adore the warm autumn-y colors on it, and it looks lovely with the orange shawl that Emma has paired with it.

5.) This Pink Afternoon Dress

Next up is this dress that Emma wears when the Eltons come over for a visit. (Mr. Elton's face in this picture is so funny. He sure seems to be enjoying himself, doesn't he? Haha. :P) Anyways, back to the dress! I looove the color of it, first of all, and the matching satin ribbons and the chemisette that Emma's wearing with it are oh-so-pretty.

 4.) This Green and Red Gown

This dress that Emma wears when Mr. Knightley, the Westons, and Mr. and Mrs. John Knightley come over for Christmas is so very lovely. The red brocade fabric (I believe that's what it's called...), the silky green sash, the beautiful gold detailing at the hem... it's just an overall gorgeous gown!

3.) Emma's Christmas Dress

Oh, this dress is so beautiful! First of all, the fabric looks very nice; you can't really tell in this picture, but it has some sort of texture and pattern to it. I also really like the gold sash, and those puffy sleeves are adorable! Can I have this dress to wear on Christmas, please? ;)

2.) This Yellow Floral Dress

This is such a sweet dress! Emma wears it quite a lot throughout the film, but most notably when Mr. Knightley proposes (squee!). I love the pastel yellow hue and the pretty floral pattern. :)

1.) Emma's Ballgown

And last but certainly not least, Emma's absolutely beautiful ballgown! Gahhh, this dress is so adorable and shimmery and feminine! I love the shade of pink, the lace detailing, the sheer overlay on the sleeves... It's a stunning gown, and definitely my very favorite of all of Emma's dresses! 💕

Which of Emma's dresses is your favorite?


Thursday, November 24, 2016

An Autumn Evening at Colonial Williamsburg

First of all, happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans! (I know, I'm very late!) I hope y'all have had a wonderful day filled with family, fun, and loads of delicious food. The Lord surely has given us so many things to be grateful for, hasn't He? 😊 (How adorable are these new emojis?!)

Anywho, as I mentioned in my last post, my family and I went to Colonial Williamsburg for my birthday earlier this month. We got there around sunset and didn't do much other than stroll around for an hour or so, but it was still a lovely little visit, and I did manage to take quite a few pictures! I meant to post these a couple of weeks ago and just never really got around to it, but better late than never, amiright?

Well, here goes!

There were quite a few trees decked out in their gorgeous fall hues, and they looked even more
beautiful at "golden hour!"

Don't these horses make a beautiful pair? I don't think I've ever really grown out of my horse-loving phase, haha.

I really like how this picture turned out! 💕

Sunset, or golden hour, would have to be my favorite time of day to take pictures. The lighting is so, so beautiful!

     My sweet little sister, Lily! I love this girl to bits. :)

Well, I hope you enjoyed looking at these pictures from my quick birthday visit to Williamsburg! Looking back at them, I can't help but marvel at just how beautiful God's creation is. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

"Let us come before Him with Thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song." - Psalm 95:2

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Happy November First!

Hi everyone, and happy first day of November! I can hardly believe that October has already come and gone, but I'm not exactly complaining. As much as I love October, November is definitely one of my favorite months of the year. Well, maybe I'm a little biased, since it also happens to be my birthday month, but it truly is such a beautiful time of year! Where I live, November is usually when fall finally starts to settle in; the weather starts cooling off for good, and all of the trees are just bursting with color. And during November, there always seems to be such a festive, holiday feel in the air, with Thanksgiving and Christmas quickly approaching. :)

I'm sorry I haven't been able to post on here as frequently as I'd like to! My schoolwork and other commitments have been keeping me pretty busy, but I'm still going to try and put up a post on here every now and then. Today I thought I would just drop in and let you know some things I've been up to lately. :)

  • Getting excited for my birthday! I'm turning seventeen this Saturday, the fifth, so I'm looking forward to this weekend quite a bit! My younger sister's birthday is the day after mine, so we're having a small combined birthday party with our family this Friday night. Then on Saturday, the day of my birthday, we're planning on going to Colonial Williamsburg for the afternoon! I'm so excited about just walking around, taking pictures, and seeing all of the colorful fall trees!
  • Reading the Little House books. I never read the series when I was younger, but I'm making up for that now, and I've really been enjoying them! I'm on These Happy Golden Years now, and I'm loving it. Laura and Almanzo are seriously the cutest, and there are so many adorable moments between those two in this book. :)
  • Working on a Christmas playlist. Yes, already! My family decided that we'll start listening to Christmas music this Friday, so I wanted to have the playlist ready by then. It's filled with all of my family's favorite Christmas tunes--everything from Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, and Charlie Brown Christmas, to the Nsync Christmas album (it's soo good!) and some Phineas and Ferb Christmas songs (my siblings love that show!). So yes, quite a variety, but that's what makes it fun, right? ;) When do y'all start listening to Christmas music? 
  • Reading through the book of Psalms. This has been such a blessing to me! I'm reminded daily of the Lord's steadfast love and care, and that I can always turn to Him for strength and refuge. :)

What is your favorite thing about fall/November?
What have you been up to recently?

Thanks for stopping by!

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." -Psalm 37:4

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Anne of Green Gables Week Tag!

Miss Evie is hosting an Anne of Green Gables week on her blog, Over the Hills, and I'm here to answer her questions from the tag! :)

1.) How did you get introduced to Anne of Green Gables?
Okay, surprisingly, I'd never really heard much about Anne of Green Gables until...the beginning of this year, I think? I'm serious! So I suppose I was first introduced to the books when I saw this beautiful version at Barnes and Noble one day, and decided on a whim to buy it. I had no idea how much I would come to love it! I didn't want it to end, and I was so glad to find that there were seven other books in the series! I eagerly read them all, and Anne of Green Gables is now one of my absolute favorite book series. 

2.) Are you more like Anne or Diana? Why?
I'd have to say I relate to Anne the most. I don't have red hair (I wish I did!), but I can be very imaginative and whimsical like Anne, and I love to write. 

3.) If Rachel Lynde called your hair as red as carrots how would you react? 
Well, I don't know if I would fly off the handle like Anne did, but I would certainly be upset. Rachel Lynde had no right to pick on Anne's hair, although I wonder at the logic there. Since when are carrots red? ;)

4.) Gilbert or Morgan Harris?
Um, Gilbert Blythe, of course! I just love him, so much so that I actually named my kitten Gilbert, haha! :) I just don't understand why they felt the need to add a "fake" character like Morgan Harris into the story. If anything, he should have been Roy Gardiner! Okay, rant over. My answer is Gilbert Blythe, hands down. ;)

5.) Honest opinion on the third Anne film. 
I haven't seen it, and I don't really want to. I just don't like the idea of the storyline being totally unlike any of the Anne books. If they wanted to make an Anne movie set in WWI, why not do Rilla of Ingleside, ya know? 

6.) Have you seen the new Anne film?
I watched some of the trailer online, but no, I haven't seen it. I really like the original two Anne of Green Gables movies, and those are enough for me. :)

7.) What in your own words is a kindred spirit?
A kindred spirit is a "bosom friend," as Anne said. Someone who you can tell anything to, and someone who understands you. Someone who shares similar interests and values with you, and someone with whom you can be your complete, crazy self around. :)

8.) Movie Gilbert or Green Gables Fables Gilbert.
I haven't seen Green Gables Fables yet, but even if I did I'd probably still go with Jonathan Crombie's portrayal of Gilbert. He really did a wonderful job, and in my mind I'll always picture him as Gilbert. I mean, just look at how adorable he is! 

9.) Does anyone know where we can watch Road to Avonlea online?
No, I don't. Sorry!

10.) Favourite book cover?
These!!! Are they not beautiful?! I must own them someday. *insert heart-eye emojis*
11.) The Films or The Books?
As much as I love the movies, I'll always love the books far more! They're beautifully written, and are bursting with so many sweet moments and details that aren't seen in the movies. And if you swoon over Gilbert Blythe in the movies, just wait until you see how he is in the books! ;)

Be sure to hop over to Miss Evie's blog so that you can answer these fun questions yourself! Here's the link. :D


Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Couple of Afternoons in Colonial Williamsburg

My  family and I recently took a couple of day-trips to the lovely area of Colonial Williamsburg, and we all really enjoyed it! Despite the fact that we only live about half an hour away from Williamsburg, we hardly ever visit the actual colonial part of it. Well, that's something we are hopefully going to try and change, as it was really fun travelling back in time to 18th century America for an afternoon, just walking around and visiting the different shops and buildings. (And I'm sure it would be even more enjoyable once the weather cools down--walking around in 90 degree heat and humidity can be rather miserable!)

I took quite a few pictures on both days that we went to Colonial Williamsburg, and I wanted to share some of my favorites on here. I'll keep it short, so hopefully it won't be too boring! :)

I took this picture at the Barnes and Noble in Merchant's Square. It's such a neat bookstore! It's a two-story, with the kids' section and a Starbucks upstairs. My parents were sweet and bought me a beautiful copy of Emma that I had been eyeing while we were there. :)

One of the gorgeous gardens that we passed by... :)

This church building is the original from 1715! 

My  sister Sophie in her adorable new hat! Isn't she just the cutest? She actually asked me to put this picture on here, haha. :D

Yet another lovely garden! This is the from the second day we spent in Williamsburg. Isn't it beautiful?

The Governor's Palace!

A view from one of the rooms inside. I really liked the green paint, although I'm not sure I would paint my bedroom that color, haha!

Colonial Williamsburg does a wonderful job at making history come to life, from the lively way the reenactors describe Revolutionary War events, to the costumes they wear. (I would love to work there just so I could wear the gorgeous dresses, haha!) And I just love how picturesque everything is. The beautiful summer flowers and greenery, as well as the eighteenth-century architecture, make for some lovely photos. :D

If you ever get the chance to visit Colonial Williamsburg, I highly recommend it! It's a wonderful place for sightseeing, especially for those who love history, as it really does feel as though you've taken a little step back in time. :)

Have you ever visited Colonial Williamsburg?
If so, what was your favorite thing about it?

Have a lovely day!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

What I Love About Pride and Prejudice 1995

I have a confession to make: until a couple of weeks ago, I had never watched Pride and Prejudice 1995! (Does that make me a lousy Jane Austen fan? I guess it does, haha!)

You see, when I first read Pride and Prejudice a couple of years ago, the only movie version I'd ever heard much about was the 2005 one. So, after finishing the book, that was the version I decided to go with. And I really liked it! Sure, it wasn't super accurate to the book, but oftentimes movies are like that, and overall I thought it was a great film. 

But then, I started to notice how so many people said that the 1995 P&P was the best version out there, and I wondered if they were right. So, after meaning to watch it for quite a long time, I've finally gotten around to it, and oh my goodness, it's absolutely amazing!!!

I'm not going to bash the 2005 adaptation, but I do have to say that it has nothing on the BBC version. This version is so fresh and lighthearted, so beautiful and elegant, and I just LOVE it. Why have I never watched it before?!

This post is going to be less like a review and more like a messy list, in no particular order, of what I love most about this movie. Keep scrolling for lots of pretty pictures and an abundance of italics! :D

~ The Music ~

The soundtrack to this movie is so beautiful and dreamy, and it fits the movie perfectly. I've listened to it over and over since finding it on Youtube, because I just can't get enough of it! A couple of my favorite songs are the main theme and the one that plays when Elizabeth sees Pemberley for the first time, but really, all of the songs are lovely. :)

~ The Scenery ~

Oh, it's stunning! The lush green fields that Elizabeth walks through, Pemberley, and even the decor in some of the houses shown in the movie--it's all so gorgeous. I just love how bright and fresh everything feels!

~ Elizabeth ~

Lizzie Bennet is one of my favorite fictional characters, and Jennifer Ehle does a wonderful job at portraying her. She delivers her lines so well, and is amazing at capturing Lizzie's personality. And of course, I adore her hairstyle and clothes!

~ Mr. Darcy ~

I now completely understand why everyone loves Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy so much. I mean, how could you not?! He does an amazing job at portraying him. I love it when he smiles at Elizabeth (but he doesn't do it enough!). But I think my favorite thing about Mr. Darcy is how much he changes throughout the film (and book, of course); at first he appears haughty and disagreeable, but by the end, thanks to Elizabeth, he proves to be such a kind and compassionate person. 

~ The Accuracy to the Book ~

I'm so used to movies being way different from the book that they're based off of, that I was blown away by how accurate this movie was. So many of the lines are direct quotes from the book, and all of the characters are just like Jane Austen described them. I was constantly thinking to myself, "Hey, I remember reading that exact line in the book!" Seriously, it's crazy how similar this movie is to the novel!

~ The Costuming ~

The hairstyles and outfits in this movie are absolutely gorgeous! The lovely bonnets, pastel dresses, muted colors, Lizzie's adorable spencers...oh, I just love it all! Can Regency-era fashion please come back in style someday? Haha. :)

~ All of the scenes with Lizzie and Darcy! ~

Obviously this one made it onto the list! Whenever these two are together, my mom and I are practically glued to the TV screen. I love the scenes when they meet at Pemberley, when Mr. Darcy watches Elizabeth play the piano with his sister, when he calls on her after she hears the news about Lydia, his second proposal, the wedding... every single scene where they're together, really! They're just perfect. :D

I've just fallen completely in love with this movie. It's absolutely AMAZING, and definitely one of my new favorites! Oh, and before I go, I just have to include this hilarious gif of Mr. Darcy that I came across on Pinterest:

Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a lovely day!


Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Peek Inside the Jane Austen Coloring Book

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon this beautiful Jane Austen coloring book at Target. Of course, when I saw it, I immediately snatched it off of the shelf, excitedly flipped through the pages, and just knew I had to have it! I mean, it's a Jane Austen coloring book!!! (Sorry, I'm just really excited about it, haha!)

This coloring book is just full of gorgeous pictures, featuring quotes and scenes from all of Jane Austen's novels, and even a few inspired by letters that she wrote. So today, I thought I would give you a peek inside and share a few of my favorite pages from it on here. I've only gotten around to coloring one of them so far, but I can't wait to do more! It's seriously the loveliest thing ever. :)

Isn't it delightful? I've always loved this quote, even if it is spoken by Miss Bingley... 

Gahhhhh!! It's so pretty!! Oh, and you can tear the pictures out and frame them, too. :D

I was so happy when I saw this quote from Mr. Tilney in here! It always makes me smile. :)

So yes, I love love love this coloring book--as if you haven't noticed already! (I've said it over and over throughout this post, just using different words!) Definitely check it out if you're a Jane Austen fan like myself, because it's absolutely adorable. :) (Here is the link!)

Have a lovely weekend!