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. :)


Monday, November 13, 2017

Ask Me Anything - My Answers!

'Tis time for the answers to the questions you all asked me on my "Ask Me Anything" post a couple of weeks ago! I'm just going to jump right into them, since this post will likely end up being a bit long anyways. :)

Rae Asks...

How many siblings do you have?

I have three wonderful siblings--one younger brother, and two little sisters. There is scarcely ever a dull moment in our house! ;P

What's your favourite season AND why?

Autumn/fall, for several reasons. The trees during this time of year are just gorgeous, all decked out in their various hues of red, yellow, and orange, and the weather (at least where I live) is wonderful--not too hot and not too cold! I also love being able to wear my sweaters and scarves (of which I have an abundance), sip hot chocolate in the evenings, and hear the leaves crunching beneath my shoes when I go for walks. Autumn just seems like such a festive, cozy time of year as well, what with Thanksgiving, and Christmas fast approaching. Plus, my birthday is in fall, so perhaps I'm a little biased towards this season. ;)

I took this picture last year on my birthday at--you guessed it!--Colonial Williamsburg.

What are some of your "hidden talents", the ones that people don't really notice but you have a gift for?

I'd like to think that I do a pretty good job at cooking and baking, and it's something that I don't think many people know about me. (Although I'm not sure that it involves much talent on my part; I mostly just follow other people's recipes!)

In your opinion, who is the handsomest period drama hero? (Ha. Ha. Easy, right?)

Oh, Rae, why must you ask me such a difficult question?! 

Alright, alright, I think I've decided...I'm going to have to go with Gilbert Blythe. Shocker, right? ;P
He's just so sweet, adorable, and very handsome, in my opinion.
Michaila Asks...

What is your all-time favorite Jane Austen book chapter?

What a fun question! Can I pick two instead of just one? I can? Well, thank you! ;) *pulls JA novels off bookshelf and starts flipping through them*

Okay, first is Vol. Three, Chapter 16 in Pride and Prejudice. This is where Mr. Darcy proposes to Lizzy for the second time, she accepts, and then they overcome all their former misunderstandings. I especially love this line from Mr. Darcy in this chapter:

"'You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject forever.'"

Oh, and I can't forget the part where he calls Lizzy "dearest, loveliest Elizabeth"! 

I've totally used this picture on my blog before, but it's so cute that it deserves to make another appearance. ;)

My other favorite would have to be Vol. Three, Chapter Thirteen of Emma, in which Mr. Knightley proposes! Oh, this is such a sweet chapter. Here are a couple of my favorite lines from it:

"'My dearest Emma,' said he, 'for dearest you will always be, whatever the event of this hour's conversation, my dearest, most beloved Emma--tell me at once. Say "No," if it is to be said.'--She could really say nothing.--'You are silent,' he cried, with great animation; 'absolutely silent! at present I ask no more.'"

"'I cannot make speeches, Emma:' he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing.--'If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about more. But you know what I am.--You hear nothing but truth from me.--I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.--Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne with them.'"

Elanor Asks...

What's your favorite place in Disney World? 

Magic Kingdom, definitely! 

I took this photo on our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, in May of last year. :)
Who is your fashion icon?

Hmm... I can't really say that there's any one person whose style I keep up with. Instead, most of my style inspiration just comes from various fashion bloggers and, of course, Pinterest. :)

What's your favorite movie of all time?

My favorite movie of all time?! I don't know if I can choose just one, so I think I shall list my top three all-time faves instead: Emma 2009, P&P 1995, Anne of Green Gables. (Okay, technically those are mini-series, but oh well!)

What is your greatest strength?

I'd like to think that I'm good at sticking with something once I set my mind to it, in most cases. ;) I'm also not a huge procrastinator; if there's something that needs to get done, I like to work on it as soon as I can, or else it hangs over my head. (Unless we're talking about schoolwork; then I can tend to be a very good procrastinator!)

Are you more of a country girl or a city girl?

I am definitely more of a country girl! I think I would choose a nice house surrounded by trees and fields over an apartment in a big city any day. I do enjoy visiting large, bustling cities for the sightseeing and shopping, but I wouldn't want to live in one. I realized this all the more after visiting New York City; I had a wonderful time, but I was so glad to see trees and greenery once again on the way back home! 

Have you read all of Jane Austen's novels yet? Which is your favorite?

I have read all of her six major novels except for Mansfield Park, which I am currently reading for the first time. As for my favorite, I'm torn between P&P and Emma, because both are just so, so good!! However, I think I'm going to go with Emma this time. I'm just in an Emma sort of mood at the moment, after watching the first two episodes of the 2009 adaptation again last night. ;)

Also, while we're on the topic of Emma, I just feel like saying that Mr. Knightley has officially become my favorite Jane Austen hero! I've always been torn between him, Mr. Darcy, and Mr. Tilney, but after re-reading Emma earlier this year, he's definitely moved up to the top of my list. He's such a sweet, caring, honorable, funny character, and I love him.

MovieCritic Asks...

What is your favorite animal?

Okay, so I'm really not much of an animal person (does that make me sound heartless?), but I do rather like cats. My family has two (one of which is named Gilbert--can you guess as to whether or not I had a hand in choosing that name?), and they are both very sweet, although they do a pretty good job at getting on my nerves every now and then, too! ;P

Here's a cute picture of Gilbert from when he was a kitten, all sprawled out on my JA coloring book.
What is your favorite song?

I'm not sure I have one particular favorite song, but one that I especially love is "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing" from White Christmas. It's my favorite song (and scene) from the movie!

What song do you have stuck in your head right now? 

Now it's "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing!" Haha.

What is your favorite (Not Jane Austen) movie?

How about I shake things up a bit and tell you my favorite Disney movie? It's Tangled. :)

Drawing or writing?

Drawing, definitely. While I do enjoy writing, I don't love it nearly as much as I do drawing (and I don't believe I'm as good at it, either!). I was actually considering studying animation in college, but I've realized since then that digital art isn't really my cup of tea; I'm much more a pencil-and-paper sort of gal!

Here's a sketch I did the other day of Emma, based on this photo.  

Favorite Anne of Green Gables book?

Anne of the Island is probably my favorite of the bunch. I love reading about Anne's college experiences, and the ending is just perf. I also really, really love Rilla of Ingleside, and of course, Anne of Green Gables.

Favorite Bible verse?

I have so many, so I'll just give you one of them:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths." - Proverbs 3:5

I just love this verse. It's so encouraging, and an excellent reminder to rely on God's strength and wisdom instead of our own!

Rachel Asks...

What's your favourite Jane Austen movie?

When I've answered this question before on tags, I've always said Pride and Prejudice 1995, but now I think it's actually Emma 2009. It's just so bright and cheerful, what with the gorgeous costumes and the amazing soundtrack (which is sadly no longer on Spotify! *sobs*). I love Romola Garai's portrayal of Emma, and Jonny Lee Miller is awesome as Mr. Knightley.

I wonder how many times I'm going to use Emma 2009 in my answers before the end of this post... ;)

Where would you rather live, on a farm in the country or in a big house in England?

Probably a big house in England, because it would likely be surrounded by gorgeous countryside, anyways. More specifically, I'd like to live at Pemberley, or Hartfield, or somewhere like that. ;P

Who's your favourite actress?

I don't really keep up with any actors or actresses, so I wouldn't really say I have a favorite. However, I do like Megan Follows for her portrayal of Anne Shirley, and Romola Garai for her portrayal of Emma. I haven't seem them in anything else, though!

Who's your favourite actor?

Hmm... Let's go with Jimmy Stewart. He was such a great actor, in my opinion!

Favourite ice cream flavour?

Vanilla bean, preferably in an ice cream cone!

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?

Maybe the forties or fifties. Or the Regency era. Both would be pretty great (for a little while, that is; I think I'd probably start to miss some of the modern conveniences that we enjoy today!).

What's your favourite Period Drama couple? (pick at least five)

Oh, good, I can pick several! Let's see... (These are going to be in no particular order, and none of them will likely come as a surprise to you!)

Anne and Gilbert

Emma and Mr. Knightley

Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy

Catherine and Mr. Tilney

Jane and Mr. Bingley

Do you have any brothers and sisters? (If it is too personal, I understand)

I do, indeed! One younger brother, and two little sisters.

Favourite movie quote?

I've never really thought about this before! Hmm... I do love the quote below from Northanger Abbey 2007. It cracks me up every time!

Which country would you love to visit?

Canada, specifically Prince Edward Island.

Horse or donkey? (silly question, I know)

A horse, definitely. :)

If you could meet anyone, who would that be?

All of you lovely readers! Seriously though, that would be amazing.

Mr Darcy or Gilbert Blythe?

Wait, I have to choose between them?! Why, that's preposterous!

Ha, just kidding. Honestly, as much as I love Mr. Darcy, I think Gilbert Blythe is much more like the type of guy that I'd probably fall for. He's sweet, funny, smart, caring, thoughtful, get the picture!
Alright, that's all! If you've actually read all the way to the end of this post, thank you!!! I feel as though my answers were pretty repetitive, but I hope you've enjoyed this post nonetheless. :)

Yours truly,

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

My Finished "Margaret Dashwood Shawl"

Happy November first, everyone! (How in the world is it November already?!) Today I'm super excited to share something that I have been working on for quite some time: the finished product of my Margaret Dashwood shawl!

Emma's expression here perfectly sums up my excitement over finishing this knitting project and being able to share it on here!

In my review of the book "The Best of Jane Austen Knits" that I did at the beginning of this year, I mentioned that I was working on knitting up this lovely Sense and Sensibility inspired shawl. I started knitting it in early January and finished it in mid-July, so it's taken me quite a while. You can imagine then how excited I am to be DONE and able to wear it!

The instructions for this project actually weren't too difficult to follow once I got familiar with the terms and techniques. However, that doesn't at all mean that I never made any careless mistakes, because I certainly did, and quite often! I can't even tell you how many times I had to unravel several rows, or start over completely, because I had messed up. Sometimes it was so frustrating that I felt like giving up, but then the very next day I would be right back at it again; I was determined to finish it!

And aside from the difficulties I faced along the way, I really did enjoy working on this shawl. It gave me something fun and productive to do whilst riding in the car or watching a movie. ;)

So here is what the shawl looks like when worn! And of course, I had to pair with it a maxi skirt in order to feel even more like a Jane Austen heroine. ;)  Here I'm wearing it tied in the back, but it can also be worn loose and draped over the shoulders.

The yarn I used for the shawl was gifted to me by my aunt last Christmas. It is of such nice quality, and I just adore the various colors in it!

Here's a picture of the lace detailing on the hem of the shawl.

Overall, I am so pleased with how this project turned out! It's far from perfect, but hey, that's the beauty of handmade! Or at least that's what I'm telling myself. ;P

Thanks so much for reading!

Yours truly,

Sunday, October 29, 2017

"Autumn in New York" - Photos from My NYC Trip!

So a couple of weeks ago, I visited New York City for the first time with a friend of mine from church and her dad, and as promised, I'm here today to share some of the pictures from my trip!

Day One - October 16th, 2017

On our first full day, we visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) in the morning, and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in the afternoon. We also stopped quickly at Battery Park, where we could see the Statue of Liberty silhouetted against a gorgeous sunset.

This painting from 1838 is titled "Spring," and the artist's name is Cephas Giovanni Thompson. I had never heard of him before, but I just thought this was a beautiful piece!

It was so neat to see paintings by well-known artists like Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet in person! According to Google (haha), this piece by Vincent van Gogh is called "Wheat Field with Cypresses."

A lovely painting of water lilies by Monet. 

Another beautiful Claude Monet painting! It was so cool seeing all of the little details and brushstrokes in these paintings up close.

Ahh, this was such a beautiful, stunning view! (On the left is the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island is on the right.) I mean, would you just look at that gorgeous sunset? I have to say that while I loved seeing all of the gorgeous artwork at The Met, none of those paintings can compare with God's masterpieces. :)

Day Two - October 17th, 2017

On our second day, we visited the "Top of the Rock" (the top of the Rockefeller Center) in the morning, and afterwards we walked around Times Square for a while (which was super cool to see, and also a bit of sensory overload! Haha.). Then at seven in the evening, we saw Aladdin on Broadway.

This was taken at the top of the Rockefeller Center, where we had an incredible view of the city. It was definitely neat seeing such an iconic building like the Empire State Building in person! 

The Flatiron Building on Fifth Avenue, which was built in 1902. It was kind of funny to see such old buildings like this one right next to huge skyscrapers!

I'm not sure how I feel about the lens flare in this picture! On the one hand I think it's kinda neat, but it also hurts my eyes a little, haha! ;P

Day Three - October 18th, 2017

On our last day, we visited Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty in the morning before heading home. It was so, so neat visiting these historic sites!

Ellis Island!

This is the Registry Room in Ellis Island, where people immigrating to America would be, as the name suggests, registered! The room had been restored to the way it would have looked in 1924, I believe.

Lady Liberty! 🗽

Well, I really hope you enjoyed scrolling through these photos from my trip to New York City! I had such a wonderful time, and I really enjoyed visiting some of the iconic sites in this city. 

Have you ever been to New York City?
If so, what was your favorite thing about it?
If not, what would be the number one thing on your list of things to do and see?

I hope you all have a wonderful week!


P.S. If you missed my last post (here), I've decided to do an Ask Me Anything post! So if there is anything at all that you'd like to ask me, just leave your questions in a comment below, and I will try to answer them as best I can in a follow-up post soon. :)