Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Life Lately // Christmas Edition

I hope that all of you lovely readers had a wonderful Christmas! My family and I certainly did, and thankfully, my dad is off until the day after New Year's, so the holiday season isn't over for us just yet. :)

So I'm in the mood for blogging, but since I don't really have any good post ideas at the moment, I thought I'd just do a little "lately" post, in which I share some of the things I've been up to over Christmas vacation thus far. 🎄

  • Reading Advent devotionals. This has been so helpful with reminding myself of the true reason we celebrate Christmas. It can be all too easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of the season, and so I'm grateful in particular for an Advent devotional book my grandparents gave me called "Unwrapping the Names of Jesus" by Asheritah Ciuciu. It's been such an encouraging read, and has really helped me as I try to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus during this season. :)

A little illustrated quote I did the other day. :)
  • Rereading Little Women. Since this lovely book begins at Christmastime, I feel like it's perfect for this time of year! It reminds me of Christmas/winter, too, because I received it last year as a gift and read it for the first time. It's such a sweet story, and I'm really enjoying reading through it again! (I've actually been watching the 1994 adaptation of it lately while I draw, which has been nice.)

  • Drawing. I've had lots of time to draw over Christmas break so far, thankfully! I've worked on some bookmarks that I'm going to give as gifts, a few pieces for my Etsy shop, and a few sketches just for fun. Yesterday I finished a little colored pencil drawing of Jo March, and I really like how it turned out! It's so very satisfying to finish a piece that you drew in your own creative style. :)

Jo March is such a delightful heroine, isn't she? She's funny, ambitious, creative, and while a bit outspoken at times, very kind, loving, and caring. :)

  • College stuff. I found out a couple of weeks ago that I've been accepted into Regent University (the main school that I had been considering)! Once I pay the acceptance deposit, I'll officially be an enrolled student, which is so crazy and exciting. I'm planning on attending this coming fall, and I'm just so excited for this new adventure that God has in store for me!

  • Watching The Sound of Music. This is actually what I'm doing right now as I write this post! Oh, I just love this movie. The music, the cinematography, scenery, Julie Andrews as Maria...it's just wonderful. Even though it isn't really a Christmas film, it's feels like one to me because we watch it at this time of year. :)

Well, I suppose I'll end this now, so I can go make some hot chocolate and enjoy the rest of The Sound of Music! 

What have you done so far for your Christmas vacation? (If you're not on break for the holidays, just tell me what you've been up to!)
What did you get for Christmas? (Because I'm nosy and love knowing what gifts people got!)

Thanks for reading!
Molly <3

Sunday, December 24, 2017

An Old-Fashioned Christmas

Merry Christmas Eve, dear readers! I just thought I would hop on here quickly and share some adorable vintage Christmas photographs from the 40s and 50s. Because who doesn't enjoy looking at cute, festive old pictures? :)


A glamorous gal stringing popcorn on a tree. Can I have her outfit, please? ;)


A cute family photo in front of a pretty Christmas tree, all decked out in tinsel.


This picture is actually from the film The Shop Around the Corner, starring Jimmy Stewart. It's a very cute movie that I would like to watch again sometime soon!


"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..." 🎄


An adorable 1940s couple in matching Christmas sweaters! So, so cute.


Donna Reed (the actress who played Mary in It's A Wonderful Life) decorating a cute little Christmas tree.


Opening up presents on Christmas morning, 1950s-style!


A 1940s girl with her arms full of Christmas gifts.


And just for fun, here's a picture of a cute little vintage Christmas tote bag that my mom got for me last year. I just love it! :)

Well, I'm off now to go help out with wrapping some last-minute presents, so I'm going to go ahead and wrap up this short post (no pun intended there!). I hope you enjoyed this little collection of sweet festive photographs from the vintage eras. 

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas with your loved ones, celebrating the birth of our wonderful Savior!
-Molly

Thursday, December 14, 2017

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

It's time for another tag post! Elanor from Musings of a Jane Austen Wannabe has tagged me with "The Christmas Tag," and it looks like it should be a ton of fun! (I mean, it's Christmas-themed; what's not to love?)

So, let's go ahead and get into it!


I feel like this drawing I did of Anna last year perfectly captures my excitement for Christmas! :)

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

Elf, White Christmas, A Christmas Story, It's A Wonderful Life, A Charlie Brown Christmas... to name a few!

Have you ever had a white Christmas?

I only remembering having a white Christmas once, which was about seven years ago. But other than that, snow on Christmas is very rare where I live, sadly! We typically don't get a lot of snow until January or February. (A couple of years ago, it was actually in the 70s on Christmas day--70-some degrees! How's that for some Christmassy weather?)


Where do you usually spend your holiday?

Walt Disney World! (Ha, just kidding. I wish!)

I spend Christmas day at home with my parents and siblings. We open gifts bright and early in the morning, eat a special breakfast, and then in the afternoon, my grandparents and aunt and uncle on my dad's side come over, and we exchange gifts with them. :)

What's your favorite Christmas song?

I have sooo many, though! I honestly can't choose just one...

I think I might cheat a little and tell you one of my favorite Christmas albums instead: the Charlie Brown Christmas album! Y'all, it is sooo good. It's such a nice, relaxing album to have playing in the background. I actually got in on vinyl for my birthday, and it sounds even better on a record player! :)


Do you open any gifts on Christmas Eve?

We used to go over to my great-granddad's house every year on Christmas Eve and open gifts with my dad's side of the family, but that tradition has changed a bit since he passed away last summer. We still do it, just not always on Christmas Eve. Last year we managed to get together at our house on the 24th, and this year we'll be hosting it again at our house a couple of days before Christmas Eve. I'm just glad we're still trying to carry it on, even if it's a little different! :)

Can you name all of Santa's reindeer?

Let's see... Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen, and of course, Rudolph. ;)

What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?

I'm really just looking forward to being off with my parents and siblings, going to family Christmas parties, exchanging gifts on Christmas morning, having movie marathons, eating delicious festive food.... I'm also looking forward to seeing The Last Jedi soon! My dad and I have jokingly referred to going to see the latest Star Wars movie in theaters as a "tradition," because this will be the third year in a row now that we've done so!

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Fake. The past couple of Christmases we've had a real tree, and while they do smell really good and the novelty of it is neat, a fake tree is easier, less messy, and more affordable in the long run. And I think our fake tree this year looks just as nice!


Here's our tree this year. :)

What is your all-time favorite holiday food/sweet treat?


I'd have to say peppermint bark. I've baked it the past couple of Christmases, and it is soo delicious, if I do say so myself! It's a good thing it's a seasonal treat, because it's kind of addicting, haha.


I'm reallllly wanting some now!

Be honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?


I do really enjoy shopping for my friends and family, imagining their excitement (hopefully!) when they open their gifts. But then, who doesn't enjoy receiving gifts? I think I'm going to have to say both.

What is the best gift you've ever received?

Maybe either my vintage typewriter, record player, or acoustic guitar.

What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

I would absolutely love to visit Disney World at Christmastime! The festive decorations are just gorgeous, and then there's all the Christmas music playing and special holiday shows...it would be a dream.


Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?

It depends on what I'm wrapping. If it's a normal shape like a box, I'd like to think I do pretty well, but if it's some oddly shaped package--or a stuffed animal for my younger sisters--it's a whole nother story!

Most memorable holiday moment?


I can't think of any one Christmas moment that stands out in my memory. Instead, when I think back on previous Christmases, I just remember the excitement and coziness of Christmas morning, fun holiday parties with family, watching movies while drinking hot chocolate, and stuff like that. :)

What made you realize the truth about Santa?

I kind of just figured it out on my own. Apparently when I was about four years old, I started asking a ton of exasperating questions about how Santa could be real, to the point where my parents just had to tell me that he was fake. Haha. ;P

Do you make New Year's resolutions? Do you stick to them?

Not really. I've made them in the past, but after a short while I totally forget about them!

What makes the holidays special for you?

Just spending time with my family, celebrating Jesus' birth and enjoying all of the festivities of the season. There really is a "special kind of feeling in the air" during this time of year!


I hope y'all have enjoyed reading this Christmassy post! And just in case this is my last post before Christmas, I hope you all have a very merry Christmas with your friends and family, celebrating the birth of our wonderful Savior! 

-Molly

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Animation Tag

Ruth from Amongst Spring Blossoms tagged me to do the Animation Tag a couple months ago, and I'm so excited to do it because it looks like such fun! First of all, I'm a huge Disney fan, so this tag will give me the perfect reason for raving about my favorite animated Disney films for a bit. Second, I'm seriously considering studying animation in college next fall, so this tag is right up my alley! (Edit: I am no longer planning to study animation, but I still do enjoy rambling about animated Disney films!)

And while this might be different from my usual book-related posts, it really doesn't bother me at all. I know I've often fallen into the habit of kind curating what I share on here to what I think people might want to read about it; I look back on some of my older posts and see how I was trying to fit into a certain blogging "category" and writing for other people. But by doing that I realize I'm not truly being my authentic self, and this space isn't truly my creative outlet, you know? So from now on I'm just going to be me and share what I love on here. (Does anyone else struggle with this feeling when blogging? I'd love to hear your thoughts.)

Alright, I'll put a stop to my rambling now and get on to my answers! :)


1.) Who's your favorite animated heroine?

Rapunzel, definitely! She's by far my favorite Disney princess, too. I love her cheerfulness, positivity, and zest for life. 


My drawing of Rapunzel.

2.) Who's your favorite animated hero?

Eugene Fitzherbert, of course! Need I say more?

He's so sweet, funny, and, okay, handsome! Plus, his character development throughout the story is amazing. He begins as a thief who only watches out for himself, and by the end he's willing to die for Rapunzel so that she could be free from Mother Gothel.


*swoon*

3.) If there was to be a sequel...of an animated movie, what would you like it to be about?

Hmm...I think I'd really like a sequel to Tangled. I mean, I've been watching the Tangled: The Series TV show and it's super cute (the art style is gorgeous!), but it would be awesome if they came out with an actual, full-length sequel, too! I mean, Frozen is getting a second movie; why can't Tangled? 

4.) Which couple from an animated movie do you think is highly underrated?

I feel like Carl and Ellie from Up don't get enough love. They're such a sweet couple!



5.) Which couple do you like the most?

Rapunzel and Eugene! They're absolutely adorable and just perfect. (Tangled is going to make up a lot of my answers for this tag, haha.)




6.) Which song is your favorite?

I think it's either "I See the Light" or "Kingdom Dance." Both are from Tangled, and I don't think I could choose between them! They're both beautiful songs, and the scenes that they're from are equally amazing and my favorite parts in the movie. 💖

7.) And if you could choose a song that isn't likely to be chosen by you, one that didn't immediately come up in your mind but is still a favorite, which one would it be?

I love "A Whole New World" from Aladdin, and "I Can Go the Distance" from Hercules. Both are such pretty songs, and they remind me a lot of Disney World because they're used in shows down there. :) 


My sketch of Aladdin and Jasmine from over the summer. :)
Another fun song that I love to sing along to is "I Won't Say (I'm In Love)" from Hercules.


A colored pencil drawing that I did of Meg and Hercules. Disney characters are so much fun to draw!

8.) Which animated movie did you first think you wouldn't like but eventually did?

Hmm...I really can't think of any at the moment! 

9.) Which two do you always consider as a couple, even though they are not a definite couple, but almost no one else does?

Once again, nothing's really coming to mind! So I'm going to skip this one, too.

10.) Which girl from an animated movie has the best hairstyle(s)?

Rapunzel's hair is just gorgeous, especially when it's braided and it has all the colorful flowers tucked into it. #hairgoals


Ariel's got some pretty amazing hair, too. I mean, whose hair would look that awesome underwater?! Once again, #hairgoals. ;P



11.) Which is the best dress?

I adore Belle's beautiful ballgown. She's just got an awesome wardrobe in general! :)


12.) Which sidekick is the best according to you?

Pascal! He is so, so cute. 

13.) What's your favorite Disney princess movie?

Alright, I think you already know the answer to this question...

It's Tangled! This is actually one one of my all-time favorite movies (if you couldn't tell yet from this post!). I've seen it over and over again and it never fails to put a smile on my face. :)


14.) What's your favorite animated movie?  (No Disney princess movies included.)

All three of the Toy Story movies will always hold a special place in my heart. They're all such sweet, funny movies. I watched the first two over and over again when I was younger, and I seriously quote them all the time (especially Toy Story 3)!

15.) What is your Disney personality?

According to this quiz, I'm Cinderella. :D (P.S. The quizzes on that site are so much fun to take! My younger sisters and I love taking them.)

I also feel like I'm quite similar to Rapunzel. We share a lot of the same hobbies, especially drawing! ;)

16.) Which animated girl do you think looks most like you? 

I've been told that I look like both Elsa from Frozen and Rapunzel, probably because I have blonde hair. 

Also, in fifth grade (I went to public school pretty much up until high school), a few younger kids told me that I looked like this girl from How to Train Your Dragon, because I had side-bangs like her at the time. I remember one little boy actually asked me if I was the girl from that movie! Haha. 

17.) Which fan theory do you think is true and which not?

I don't really believe any of the fan theories out there (although some of them are very interesting!), but one that I find really ridiculous is that all of the Pixar movies are somehow related to each other. It's very far-fetched, and it's crazy how much thought the person behind it put into it! Haha.

18.) What animated movie did you expect much of, but turned out to be much worse than you originally thought?

I thought that I would like Moana a lot more than I did, and while I did still enjoy it, it just didn't do it for me like other Disney movies. Some of the songs on the soundtrack are super catchy, though!


A sketch I did of Moana, based on some concept art I found on Pinterest. :)
 Thanks so much for putting this tag together, Ruth! I had sooo much fun answering these questions, and I hope y'all enjoyed getting to know my crazy, Disney-loving side a little better! 

-Molly

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Christmassy Things


trimming the tree with Christmas records playing
cozy Christmas parties with family members you don't often see
the childlike giddiness you feel when you see your name on a present under the tree
making homemade gifts for your loved ones


watching all your family's favorite Christmas movies
driving through your neighborhood at night and seeing all of the festive decorations
sipping delicious hot chocolate on a chilly night
eating far more than is good for you ;P


bright white lights gleaming from the dark green branches of an evergreen tree
(or colored lights--whichever you prefer!)
waking up bright and early on December 25, opening gifts with Christmas tunes playing softly in the background


films like A Charlie Brown Christmas, White Christmas, It's A Wonderful Life, and The Sound of Music
candles shining in neighbors' windows and wreaths hanging on front doors
shopping for your family and friends
singing beautiful Christmas hymns like "The First Noel" at church


celebrating Jesus' birth in a manger all those many years ago
reflecting on His incredible, unfathomable love for us
thanking Christ for coming down to suffer and die for our sins
so that we could live in His perfect freedom, peace, and joy


Happy December, everyone!
Molly

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." - Isaiah 9:6

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

My Thoughts on Persuasion by Jane Austen

Of Jane Austen's six major novels, there are two that it's taken me forever to finally get around to reading: Mansfield Park and Persuasion. This is probably due to the fact that I keep rereading Pride and Prejudice and Emma when I could be reading new books (can you blame me, though?), but anyways.... About a month ago, I finished reading Persuasion for the very first time, and oh my goodness you guys, it was amazing! I had already heard many good things about it, and I wasn't at all disappointed. I only wish that I had read it sooner!

So in order to give myself a chance to rave about this lovely novel for a bit, I thought I'd put together a quick post in which I share my thoughts on it! This isn't going to be a review or anything, because I'm too lazy for that, but rather just a list of what I liked about it and such. Sound good?

Also, there will likely be some spoilers ahead, so keep that in mind if you haven't read Persuasion yet!


Okay, first things first, let's talk about the main characters. I shall start with the heroine, Anne Elliot. At twenty-seven, she is the oldest of Jane Austen's heroines, and is therefore a bit more mature than some of the others. I have to say that I really, really like Anne! All throughout the book, she proves to be such a kind, caring sister and friend. She's wise, practical, very good-natured, but unfortunately, underappreciated by her family. I truly feel for Anne because of how unkindly her father and older sister treat her, but admire her all the more for the patience and kindness that she shows them anyways.

Next, of course, is Captain Wentworth. Despite the fact that he behaves rather resentfully towards Anne upon their first being reacquainted (I mean, I get that she really hurt him when she refused him eight years before, but still!), throughout the course of the novel he is shown to be very kind and gentlemanly. Not to mention the fact that he is a wonderful letter-writer! Which brings me to my next point...


THE LETTER! If you've read Persuasion, then you'll know that I'm talking about the letter in which Captain Wentworth tells Anne, in such beautiful language, that his love for her is as strong as ever. When I read this part in the book, I seriously had a huge grin on my face the entire time! It's just so sweet. Here's a little excerpt from it (you're welcome!):

"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan."

*swoon*


Overall, Persuasion is a wonderfully-written, heartwarming story about a beautiful, constant, and enduring love. Of course, one can't help wishing that Anne had never been persuaded into breaking off her engagement with Captain Wentworth eight years earlier, so that they could have avoided the resulting years of separation and pain. However, it just makes it all the more beautiful when Anne and Captain Wentworth finally end up together, and I think because of it they will treasure each other all the more.

If you've read Persuasion, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it! And if you haven't, I hope that this post has maybe convinced you to give it a read soon; it's truly a wonderful read, and I highly recommend it!

-Molly 

P.S. I know I'm a tad late, but I hope all of my fellow American readers had a happy Thanksgiving! :) Now it's officially acceptable to get into the Christmas spirit (although I must be honest: I've been listening to Christmas music for quite some time now!). I can't wait to start planning out some Christmassy posts to celebrate this wonderful time of year.

P.P.S. I just finished watching North and South (2004) for the first time, and overall I thought it was really good! Ever since then I've been listening to this song on repeat, literally; it's just beautiful. :)

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Book Lover Tag


Rachel has tagged me for "The Book Lover Tag," and I am quite excited to fill it out!

The rules are, of course, to answer the questions, have fun, and tag some other book-loving bloggers. Doesn't sound too difficult, so let's get into it, shall we?

1. If you could rewrite the ending to any book, what would it be?

I love Northanger Abbey, but I wouldn't at all mind if there was a sweet proposal scene between Catherine and Mr. Tilney at the end. Instead, it's just stated that they got engaged and were married, and we readers never actually get to experience it. 

But Northanger Abbey is still a five-star read for me, and the lack of a proposal scene really doesn't detract from the story. It would just be a very welcome addition! :)


The only thing I don't like about this copy I have of Northanger Abbey is that Mr. Tilney's name isn't on the cover. And yet, Captain Tilney's is?! Something isn't right. ;)

2. Which fictional character are you most like?

I feel like there are some similarities between Elinor Dashwood and me. I can be pretty sensible and practical when I want to be, and I suppose I also tend to mother-hen my younger siblings at times. ;) I'm definitely more of the quiet, reserved type like Elinor, too, especially when it comes to expressing my feelings. Plus, we both dabble in art. :) 


3. Do you have any signed books?

I've actually mentioned this on here before, but I have a signed copy of the "Meet Molly" American Girl book by Valerie Tripp. 


Here it is in all its glory. ;P

4. What's the best book you've read so far this year?

Not counting rereads (I've reread a lot of books this year!), I'm going to have to say Persuasion. It was AMAZING, and I absolutely loved it. I'm working on doing a post all about it soon, so keep an eye out for that!

5. Do you have any bookish pet peeves?

It kind of annoys me when I see someone reading a paperback book, and they have the book folded back on itself. Like, now the front cover is going to be all creased and won't lay flat!

6. Out of the books you've read this year, what has had your favourite cover?

I reread the entire Anne series over the spring and summer, and the editions I have all have such gorgeous covers (I did a post about them here). But I especially love the cover of Rilla of Ingleside, so I suppose I'll go with that one. :)


7. Is there a book that releases this year that you cannot wait to read?

Nope, I can't think of any.

8. What is your favourite non-fiction book?

I have this book called A Jane Austen Devotional, and it's amazing. For each section, the author takes a passage from one of Jane Austen's novels, and cleverly relates it to a lesson found in Scripture. I absolutely love this devotional book; I've already read through it twice, and I've gotten so much out of it that I'm currently reading it again! I definitely recommend it. :)


9. Do you have any favourite location and/or time period to have a book set in?

Regency-era England. And late-Victorian/Edwardian-era Prince Edward Island. Oh, and the 1940s as well. :)

10. Is there a book that reminds you of something else?

A lot of times a book will remind me of the time of year that I first read it in. For example, P&P makes me think of summertime, Little Women reminds me of winter, and the Anne books make me think of spring and summer.
Thanks so much for tagging me, Rachel! And now, as to who I'm going to tag...


...and anyone else who wishes to do this tag! Feel free to consider yourself tagged by me. :)

-Molly