Monday, September 18, 2017

Yet Another Collection of Colonial Williamsburg Photos

Apparently my habit of only posting every couple of months still continues! But hey, at least I'm still blogging kind of frequently, right? ;P The worst thing about being away from my blog for so long, though, is that I come back and have so many lovely posts to catch up on! Really, as I scrolled through my reading list on here, I think there were probably twenty or so posts that I need to read. I think I'll try to do that after I finish this post, although I can't say I'll have the time to comment on each of them! :)

So it's no secret on here that I love to visit Colonial Williamsburg. It's such a picture-perfect place, with its quaint buildings, beautiful gardens, and lovely shops (my favorite is one that sells 18th-century style gowns and accessories!). These photos that I'm going to share today are from two different day-trips that my family took to Williamsburg: one way back in April, and one in August. (I know, I'm super behind on posting these pictures!) I hope you'll enjoy scrolling through them!

This picture was taken in the Mary Dickinson Shop (the one I mentioned earlier that sells gorgeous gowns and accessories). Can I please have that lovely blue floral frock?

Just trying to be artsy by taking a picture of where I'm standing. ;P

I hurriedly took this picture as we were leaving, and I just love how it turned out. With no tourists to be seen, you could almost imagine that you're getting a true glimpse into a garden in colonial days. For that reason, this is probably my favorite of the photos I took on our afternoon visit in April!

Now for the pictures from our quick visit in August! (I say quick because we couldn't have been there for much more than an hour. It was so hot that day that we didn't really feel like staying much longer! Haha.) But anyways, isn't this garden just gorgeous? I love all of the vibrant colors, and how peaceful it seems.

This house kind of reminds me of Green Gables. 💕

Just some colorful summer blooms. :)

Alright, I think I'll end here to keep this post from being any longer! But before I go, I'll give you a few quick, random updates about life lately:

  • I am officially a senior! It's quite exciting, but also rather nerve-wracking at the same time. I'm trying not to get stressed thinking about all the different things that need to be done before starting college next fall. I think I've pretty much decided on the university I want to go to, but I'm still all over the place about what I might want to study! I think it's because I have so many different interests--art, English, history, math (that last one was definitely a joke!). But all I can do is just keep praying, and I know that God will show me what I should do. :)
  • I finally finished the Jane Austen-inspired shawl that I mentioned in this post! Once it cools down enough so that I can wear it without overheating, I'll try and take some pictures of it soon and do a post about it. ;)
  • I'm going on a trip to New York City next month! I've never been, and I'm really looking forward to it. A friend of mine at church and her dad (who is also the youth pastor at our church) were kind enough to invite me to come with them, and of course I said yes. It's funny because NYC has never really been somewhere that I've dreamed of visiting, but now that I have the chance, I'm so excited! I'll be sure to take loads of pictures and do a blog post about it afterwards. 
Hope you all have a wonderful week!


Saturday, July 15, 2017

What I've Been Up To + The Prettiest Copies of the Anne Books EVER

Wow. Once again, it's been over two months since my last post! What sort of a blogger am I?! Not much of one, I'll admit. Although I suppose that I do have an okay excuse, as I have been pretty busy lately! For one, my family moved to a new house a couple of weeks ago--well, new to us, I should say! It's a gorgeous old home built in 1930, and I am in love with it. Historic homes have so much charm and character, don't they? (And according to my eight-year-old sister, old homes also have "history germs." Make of that statement what you will! Oh, the cute, hilarious things kids say sometimes. ;P)

Aside from moving, I've also been spending a lot of my spare time working on my Etsy shop, Avonlea Treasures. I sort of neglected it for a while, but over the past few months I've felt really inspired to make new items for it. So far I've listed quite a few new illustrated literary quotes, as well as some Disney quotes and inspirational quotes, all of which were so much fun to make! :)

Alright, I will put an end to my rambling now and get on to the real point of this post! So about a year ago, I came across the most beautiful copies of the Anne of Green Gables series ever (you might remember me mentioning them in this post). When I saw them, I immediately fell in love with the beautiful cover illustrations. I tried to find where I could purchase them online, but then I learned that because they were Canadian editions, they were rather hard to come by in America. Bummer! So instead, I just had to content myself by saving them to my Pinterest wishlist board... ;)

That is until I discovered that one could order them from Amazon Canada for a reasonable price (just under $50), which is exactly what I did a little over a month ago! And oh my goodness, they are even more gorgeous in person. ❤

I guess I should mention what editions these are! They are the Anne of Green Gables Paperback Box Set from Tundra Books (here's the link).  Don't you just love the pretty panoramic scene that all eight books make when they're lined up side by side?

I'm still not over how stunning and whimsical the cover artwork is! The illustrator, Elly Mackay, did a fantastic job. I just love the colors and lighting; I feel like they perfectly capture the mood of the series.

So, so cute! <3


So needless to say, I am so, so glad to have these beauties on my bookshelf! I mean, why not buy the prettiest editions you can find of your favorite book series? ;) If you're looking for a nice, pretty, and high-quality set of the Anne books, definitely check these out. (And no, I wasn't asked to review these or anything; I just wanted to rave about them on here for a bit!)

Which cover is your favorite? (I honestly can't choose just one!)
Do you like to collect pretty editions of your favorite books? (Is that even a question?)

I hope you're all having a beautiful summer so far!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

In Which I Return From My Blogging Hiatus and Do a Tag

Hi everyone! My, it's been a while since I last posted something on here. I mean, I know I've never been the most regular blogger, but still, nearly a month and a half between posts is a long time even for me! However, I'll spare you from my boring reasons for my absence and just say that I've missed this lovely little blogging community, and it feels good to be back. :)

So as I'm sure you've guessed from the title of this post, I'm going to be filling out a tag today! I'm rather excited about it, too, because 1.) it's all about books and reading, which just happens to be right up my alley, and 2.) I've been a bit lacking in the blog-post-idea department as of late, so a tag definitely comes in handy! Thanks for tagging me, MovieCritic!

1.) What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Hmm...probably my copy of the "Meet Molly" American Girl book by Valerie Tripp. It's an autographed copy, too! When I was around seven or so, Valerie Tripp came to a local library, so my mom and I (along with my Molly doll!) went and met her, and I had her sign my book. :)

2.) What is your current read, your last read, and the book you'll read next?

The last book I read was Emma by Jane Austen. It's been a few years since I first read it, and I had forgotten how funny and good it is! It's definitely one of my favorite JA novels.
Right now, I'm rereading Anne of Green Gables, and I'm falling in love with this sweet story all over again! I've been wanting to reread the series pretty much ever since I first read them last year, so I figured springtime would be the perfect time to do so! Because wouldn't you agree that the Anne books just have those spring-y vibes? ;) (Also, I don't think I'll ever get over L.M. Montgomery's writing style. Seriously, it's stunning.)
And so in continuation of my reread of the Anne series, the next book I'm going to read is Anne of Avonlea!

3.) What book did everyone like, but you hated?

One book that comes to mind is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Not that everyone likes it, but simply because it's considered a classic. And I wouldn't say that I hated it, because the language was very pretty, but I just found it kind of depressing and...meh.

4.) What book do you keep on telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?

I keep on telling myself, "One of these days you need to read the Lord of the Rings series!" It's one of my dad's favorite book series, and I've heard so many good things about, so I figure it must be worth reading. For some reason, though, I just haven't gotten around to reading them yet! And I'm not sure when I ever will, haha.

5.) What book are you saving for retirement?

What an interesting question! I haven't really thought that far ahead yet. Hmm...probably some non-fiction books that just don't interest me all that much right now.

6.) Last page: read it first, or wait 'til the end?

I would say wait 'til the end, buuut I have skipped ahead before in books because sometimes I'm just really impatient and I must know that everything turns out alright! But whenever I do that, I usually end up getting mad at myself because I spoiled the ending for myself. So yeah, wait 'til the end. ;)

7.) Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

Interesting aside, if it's a book that I really enjoyed.

8.) Which book character would you switch places with? 

Anne Shirley, because then I could live on beautiful Prince Edward Island and marry Gilbert Blythe. :P
9.) Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?)

Pride and Prejudice always reminds me of summertime, because that's when I first read it, and it's when I always feel the urge to read it again. And, like I mentioned earlier, the Anne of Green Gables series makes me think of springtime.

10.) Name a book that you have acquired in an interesting way.

I won these Letters from Pemberley books in a giveaway that Hamlette hosted during the "I Love Jane Austen Week," which was super cool! I haven't read them yet, but they look promising.
11.) Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

You know, I can't say that I ever have!

12.) Which book has been with you most places?

Ooh, this is tough! I'm the type of person who always carries a book with me in my bag no matter where I go. Like, always. So I can't think of a particular book that's been with me to the most places.

13.) Any "required reading" that you hated in high school that wasn't so bad later?

I don't think so... That's one of the nice things about being homeschooled: I get to choose all of my reading material! ;)

14.) Used or brand new?

Well, I love how fresh and clean new books are, but old books are wonderful too because you can imagine who must have read it before you. My answer would have to be both. :)

15.) Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Nope, I haven't!

16.) Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book? 

I actually really liked the Ella Enchanted movie starring Anne Hathaway more than I did the book (mostly for nostalgic reasons!). Of course, I read the book long after I saw the movie, so maybe if I hadn't loved the film so much as a kid, I would have enjoyed the book more.

17.) Have you ever read a book that's made you hungry, cookbooks included?

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder has soo many food descriptions in it that are simply scrumptious.

18.) Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?

My dad's! We frequently share book recommendations with each other. :) I've actually gotten him to read Pride and Prejudice and Emma!

19.) Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g. out of your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

I normally don't read a ton of non-fiction or biographies, but I recently read The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines (the people from the show Fixer Upper), and it was very, very good! It read quickly, and it was so inspiring to see the many ways in which God has worked, and is continuing to work in their lives.

So the rules for this tag say to tag at least four other people, but I'm going to take the lazy route and say this: if you haven't yet done this tag but want to, then please go ahead and consider yourself tagged by yours truly! :)

Well, that's all! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Molly <3

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Daring Faith Like Rebekah's

Just a random picture I took last spring. :)

Hi everyone! My Sunday School class has recently started a new Bible study that discusses various women of the Bible, and for the past couple of Sundays we've been going over Rebekah. I just wanted to share something that really stood out to me about her story. :)

So Rebekah is first mentioned in Genesis 24, when Abraham has sent his servant back to his (Abraham's) own country, to find a wife for his son Isaac from among his family. When Abraham's servant arrives in Abraham's home country, he stops and prays to God, saying, "'Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Let the young woman to whom I shall say, "Please let down your jar that I may drink," and who shall say, "Drink, and I will water your camels"--let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.'" (v.13-14)

Before Abraham's servant even finishes praying, Rebekah comes to the well and offers water both to the servant and his camels. (I just think it's so cool how God answers the servant's prayer immediately!) Once she is finished, the servant asks whose daughter she is and whether there is room in her family's house for him to spend the night. Rebekah replies that she is a member of Abraham's own family (which is just as Abraham wanted!), and that there is plenty of room for him. At this, the servant praises and thanks the Lord for prospering His way.

Once Abraham's servant explains to Rebekah's family why he has come, they understand that it is indeed the Lord's will for Rebekah to marry Isaac. They tell the servant to take Rebekah and go, but I don't think they were expecting that the servant would want to do so the very next day! Naturally, Rebekah's family isn't ready for her to leave so soon, saying, "'Let the young woman remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.'" (v. 55) However, the servant doesn't wish to be detained and is eager to head back to Abraham as soon as possible. So Rebekah's family calls to her and asks, "'Will you go with this man?'" (v. 58)

This is the part that I just found so inspiring. I mean, just imagine all that this simple question entails! By answering yes, Rebekah would be leaving all that she knew behind--her family, her home, her friends--to go to a faraway foreign land and marry someone that she had never met. To be honest, if I were in Rebekah's shoes, I'd be pretty nervous and afraid to say yes!

And yet, that's exactly how Rebekah responds. When her family asks whether she will go or not, she answers with, "'I will go.'" (v. 58) Whatever thoughts and worries might have been whirling through her mind as she was faced with this decision, ultimately she knew that it was God's plan for her to marry Isaac, and she fully, completely trusted in His plans for her life.

All I can think is just wow. What faith it must have taken for Rebekah to say that! That's the kind of faith that I want to have; the kind that's daring, bold, and courageous. I want to fully trust in God to the point where I will willingly go wherever He might lead me, just like Rebekah did. Because really, why shouldn't I? His plans truly are perfect and far greater than any I could ever come up with, just like it says in Jeremiah 29:11: "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" What a beautiful promise that is! <3

Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. Happy first day of spring!!

Friday, February 17, 2017

"The Best of Jane Austen Knits" - A Review

As part of Hamlette's "I Love Austen" week, I'm here today to share my review of "The Best of Jane Austen Knits," edited by Amy Clarke Moore.

This book is a lovely collection of 27 knitting patterns, all inspired by Regency-era fashions and designed with a certain Jane Austen character in mind. So as you can imagine, the projects are absolutely beautiful! They range in difficulty from beginner-level to very complicated, so there's something in here for every knitter, no matter how much experience.

And even if you aren't a knitter, I think you'll still enjoy taking a peek inside this book, as the photography is gorgeous! When I got this book a couple of Christmases ago, I hadn't a clue how to knit yet, but I still enjoyed flipping through it and admiring all of the delightful patterns. :)

See, even the table of contents is pretty! Most of the projects in the book are for women, but there are also a few for little girls, men, and even patterns for a book cover, a tea cozy, a pin ball, and a couple of bags. For this review, I'll just share some of my personal favorites from the book. :)

The first pattern in the book is for a very iconic clothing item from the Regency era: a spencer!

So for each project in the book, the author made sure to include all the information you'll need before beginning: a brief overview of the design and the inspiration behind it, a list of all the supplies you'll need, what the size of the finished project will be, and any other notes about the project. The pattern (instructions) are on the following pages.

This adorable little bag was inspired by Northanger Abbey! I love the description of it: "Could a reticule serve more than one purpose? Perhaps Catherine Morland of Northanger Abbey carried such a bag--the heart-shaped vine entertwined with leaves and flowers carrying a subtle message of one looking for love. Who will notice? Certainly not someone as boorish as Mr. Thorpe, but perhaps the observant Mr. Tilney?" ;)

I'm actually working on this project right now! (However, being the inexperienced knitter that I am, I've had to restart over and over because I keep messing up!) This is called the Margaret Dashwood Shawl, and I just think it's so pretty. As for the pattern itself, the instructions are easy to read once you understand what all of the terms mean; thankfully there are a few pages at the back which explain them!

There are also a few interesting articles scattered throughout the book, such as this one, that talk about things like where Jane Austen lived, knitting in Regency-era England, and dressmaking during Jane Austen's lifetime.

How pretty is this cardigan? I love all of the pretty details to it, like the puffed sleeves. :)

A very fancy lace shawl named after Georgiana Darcy! Here's the description: "Georgiana Darcy of Pride and Prejudice was a lovely young woman just on the brink of adulthood--at an age when she should be preparing to attend her first ball. Along with a beautiful gown, what could be more appropriate than a demure lacy wrap edged with tiny pearls?" I just love how the descriptions help you picture Jane Austen's characters actually wearing the designs in this book!

This tea cozy is SO adorable!! 

Some lovely stockings with the cutest little details, inspired by Marianne Dashwood.

And because a knitting book inspired by Jane Austen's novels simply wouldn't be complete without it: a pattern for some lovely evening gloves!

Well, I really hope that you've enjoyed this peek inside The Best of Jane Austen Knits! This book truly is such a delight to flip through, and I'd highly recommend it. :)

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Monday, February 13, 2017

I ♥ Austen Week Tag!

Hi everyone! So Hamlette is hosting a week-long Jane Austen celebration over at her blog, Hamlette's Soliloquy, and to kick off this exciting blog event, she's created a tag here! Be sure to hop on over to her blog often this week for games, giveaways, and lots of fun Jane Austen-related posts.

So now without further ado, let's get into my answers!

1.) Which did you experience first, a Jane Austen book or a movie based on one?

I remember watching the 90's adaptations of Sense and Sensibility and Emma, and I think P&P 2005, before I ever read any of Jane Austen's books. I was probably around ten or so at the time, and I really liked the movies, so after that I attempted to read Pride and Prejudice. Considering how young I was, though, I understood little of what I was reading, so I didn't finish! I think I was fourteen when I picked up Pride and Prejudice again, read through it, and just fell in love with the story. I'd say that's when my love for Jane Austen's works officially began. :)

2.) What is your favorite Austen book?

Of the four that I've read (I've still yet to read Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and her smaller works--'tis shameful of me, I know!), I'd have to say Pride and Prejudice. It's one of my all-time favorite books in general, actually! I like to re-read it each year during summertime.

My copy of P&P. ❤
3.) Favorite heroine? Why do you like her best?

I suppose I'll go with Elizabeth Bennet, because, well, she's just plain awesome! I love her wit and sense of humor, and how she isn't afraid to speak her mind and stand up for herself. (I mean, can we just talk about all of her clever comebacks during the scene where Lady Catherine comes and asks her whether or not she is engaged to Mr. Darcy?)
4.) Favorite hero? Why do you like him best?

Oh, this is such a tough question to answer! Hmm...I mean, I really like Mr. Knightley, because of how kind and good he is, and how he helps Emma grow. But I love Mr. Tilney, because he's such a sweet, funny, charming, kind, adorable hero. Since I have to choose, I think I'll go with Mr. Tilney. I mean, he understands muslin! <3

5.) Do you have a favorite film adaptation of Austen's work?

Yes, I do! It's the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice (I did a post all about why I love it so much here). The 2009 adaptation of Emma comes in very close second, though.
6.) Have your Austen tastes changed over the years?  (Did you start out liking one story best, but now like another better?  Did you think she was boring at first, then changed your mind?  Etc.)

Well, I never thought she was boring, but as I've gotten older, I can appreciate the stories she wrote much better. By no means do I consider myself an expert or anything, though! There are still quite a few of her novels that I need to read for the first time, and still others that I've been wanting to reread. Hopefully I can get around to that sometime soon!

7.) Do you have any cool Austen-themed things (mugs, t-shirts, etc)? (Feel free to share photos if you want.)

Let's see... I have two really cool Jane Austen t-shirts, a Jane Austen mug, a Pride and Prejudice tote bag and journal, a Jane Austen coloring book, a Jane Austen knitting book (which I hope to review on here sometime this week!), and a pair of socks that say, "I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading."
I got this bag and journal from a company called Out of Print
This is one of my Jane Austen shirts, with a line from Mr. Darcy's first proposal on it! I love it. :)
8.) If you could ask Jane Austen one question, what would you ask her?

Maybe which novel she enjoyed writing the most? Or which out of her heroes and heroines is her favorite?

9.) Imagine someone is making a new film of any Jane Austen story you choose, and you get to cast the leads.  What story do you want filmed, and who would you choose to act in it?

I'm not sure! Of the film adaptations that I've seen, I can't think of any that I would want to have redone. 
10.) Share up to five favorite Jane Austen quotations!

"It isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do." - Sense and Sensibility

"Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort." - Emma

"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library." - Pride and Prejudice 

"Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again." - Northanger Abbey

"I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun." - Pride and Prejudice

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Period Drama Tag

Hello, dear readers! I was so excited to see that Miss March had tagged me in this fun period drama tag earlier this week, so I'm here today to share my answers! :) 

1.) What's your favorite Period Drama movie?

I'd have to say Pride and Prejudice 1995, definitely! Oh, it's just absolutely amazing. I could watch it over and over again and never tire of it. I love it so much. <3

2.) What's your favorite Period Drama series?

Well, I'm in the middle of watching Cranford right now, and so far I'm enjoying it! So let's go with that. 

3.) Which Period Drama do you dislike the most?

Let's see...I'm going to go with Pride and Prejudice 2005. After seeing the 1995 version, I have no idea how I ever liked the other one! The 2005 adaptation just doesn't do the novel any justice.

4.) Anne of Green Gables or Little Dorrit?

I've never seen Little Dorrit, so Anne of Green Gables it is! I love that movie, anyways. :)

5.) Your favorite Period Drama dresses?

Ooh, I like this question! Here are a few of them...

I love this dress that Lizzy wears. The color is so pretty!
This dress is such a lovely shade of green, and I really like the lace around the collar.
I love the neutral color palette of this dress. Plus, those sleeves! <3
Another dress of Lizzy's, this time the one that she wears to the Netherfield Ball. It's quite simple, but very elegant. :) 

(Some of Emma Woodhouse's dresses would have definitely been on this list, but seeing as I already did a post about that, I thought I'd try to be a bit more creative!)

6.) Who's your favorite Period Drama character? (Okay, pick at least five.) 
  • Elizabeth Bennet. She'd have to be my very favorite! I love her wit, clever remarks, and how she isn't afraid to speak her mind.
  • Anne Shirley. This girl is like a literal ray of sunshine!
  • Jane Bennet. She's such a sweet-tempered girl, and I admire her for her kindness and optimistic outlook on life.
  • Emma Woodhouse. Although I wish she wouldn't meddle so much in other people's affairs, she really is a caring person with a good heart.
  • Lucy Pevensie. She's such a sweet, kind, courageous character. :)

7.) If you could join a royal ball, which dress would you wear? (Pick a period drama dress)

I'm going to go with Emma's ball gown. It's such a dainty, shimmery, girly dress! I would love to dance an evening away while wearing it. 
8.) What's your favorite Jane Austen movie?

Pride and Prejudice 1995. Emma 2009 comes in close second, though!

9.) Downton Abbey or Call the Midwife?

Well, I haven't seen Call the Midwife, and although I have seen the first two seasons of Downton Abbey, I wouldn't consider myself a huge fan of it or anything. So I suppose neither?

10.)   Sybil Crawley, Jenny Lee, Emma Woodhouse or Marian of Knighton?

Emma Woodhouse. 

11.) Which couples of a Period Drama do you like the most? (Pick at least four)

Ooh, another fun question! Time for some adorable pictures. :)
Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice 1995. These two are simply the best, and they're so perfect for each other.
Emma and Mr Knightley from Emma 2009. These two make such a sweet pair! My favorite thing about their relationship is how much Mr Knightley helps Emma grow and mature. :)

Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables. These two are so adorable! (Although they're even cuter in the books.)

Catherine Morland and Mr Tilney from Northanger Abbey. They're soo cute together!

12.) And last, which Period Drama villain do you like the most? 

Oh, this one's easy...not! Umm...I actually don't have one! I don't particularly like villains, so I really can't think of a favorite. 

Well, that's it! Thank you so much for tagging me, Miss March! I really enjoyed answering these questions. I'm not sure who out of my readers has already done this tag, so if you haven't and want to, by all means do so! You may consider yourself tagged by me. :)

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

*Photos found via Pinterest