February 22, 2016

A Toast to Washington!

Today is George Washington's 284th birthday. Some people seem to enjoy downplaying this great man, as well as other heroes (yes, heroes) in history. With national days for everything under the sun, from ice cream to hugging, isn't the founding father of America due some credit and honor? To honor President Washington, I'm sharing a poem by Francis Hopkinson, who lived in Washington's day. (And for you non-American readers: it's ok if you don't know much about Washington. If there's one thing you need to know about him, it's that he was amazing!)
Tis Washington's health-fill a bumper around,
For he is our glory and pride;
Our arms shall in battle with conquest be crowned,
Whilst virtue and he's on our side!


Tis Washington's health-loud canons should roar,
And trumpets the truth should proclaim;
There cannot be found, search all the world o'er,
His equal in virtue and fame.


Tis Washington's health-our hero to bless,
May heaven look graciously down!
Oh! Long may he live in our hearts to possess,
And freedom still call him her own.
by Francis Hopkinson



Do you have a favorite hero from history?
Have you heard anything cool or interesting about Washington?

February 13, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! (And no, I'm not going to go into some pro-or anti-Valentine's Day rant, although those can be entertaining to read). I'm not even going to share with you much, if any original thought.  I merely wish to provide, for your own Valentine-y joy, a few pins:

                                         Little Women:

Ahahahah this one is so good!:

For all you Downton Abbey fans!
                                           

I brought you some flowers.:
Photo-shopped? Probably. Still adorable? YES!

                                         
Tea:
A jar of lavender, heart-shaped cookies: how romantic!
                                                     
Kate Middleton's Royal wedding:
I couldn't resist adding the kiss of the century! :)
                                 
How to make Hershey's Kisses COOKIES for Valentine's Day! Oh my cuteness!:
*Resists adding every chocolate-related pin ever*
                                                     
                                           Sugar cookies:

 :
There are a bunch of these on Pinterest!
                                     
Mr Darcy's Valentine:
Bahahaha! This is one of my favorites!
So there you have it! 9 pins of mine that I hope will brighten your day!
                                       

February 8, 2016

The Magic Of Ordinary Days


It is always a thrilling thing to discover a new book or movie, especially when you thought you knew everything there was to see or read. Such was my case with period drama. I had by no means seen all the period films that I wanted to, but I thought I knew of all the "good" ones, the only ones that would be worth my time.

Boy, was I ever wrong!


magic of ordinary days:

I was searching for header pictures on Pinterest (a favorite hobby of mine now :) when I ran across a lovely picture of a 1940's era woman in a lavender dress and what looked like lilacs on her hat. Since it was so fitting, I used it. Before long, I got a comment or two saying how it was from The Magic of Ordinary Days, and what a good movie that was.
"Well, color me intrigued", I thought. Well, maybe not those exact words, but you get the idea. :) I felt obligated to watch the movie if I was going to use a picture from it on the header. So it wasn't long before I got it from the library. ("from the library" is a phrase you'll hear me say A LOT.) I saw that it was produced by Hallmark, and to be honest, that made me a bit skeptical. Perhaps this is unfounded prejudice, but I had always had the notion that Hallmark films were sweet, but a bit corny or cheesy, and made on a low budget.
This movie proved me wrong. Did it still have a simpler, happier plot? Yes, but in my mind it was a movie and story well-worth watching.
Well, over-explanatory introduction aside, here is my review of The Magic of Ordinary Days!

                                      

We first see Olivia, the main character, on a train headed for the middle of nowhere, Colorado. Her situation is an uncomfortable one: she is unmarried, and pregnant. Her father has sent her away to marry a farmer in need of a wife. What makes this so crazy is that she has never met him before! On top of this, Olivia somehow plans on getting back together with her soldier sweetheart when he comes home. (Don't know what she was thinking there. Does she not understand marriage?)

                                    

 Olivia meets her husband, Ray Singleton on the same day they get married. An intense awkwardness ensues, from their first meeting to about two-thirds into the movie. And who could blame them?
Actually, I could. Ray actually loves Olivia and wants to make her happy, but her efforts to appreciate him and get used to being his wife are minimal and very gradual, to put it nicely.




Though the pace is slow, "Livy" and Ray have a lot to learn from each other. Livy learns how to cook and drive a car, and befriends some of Ray's farm hands, who are from Japanese internment camps. Ray, in his eager but quiet attempts to please Livy, digs her a swimming hole, takes her to the library, and even learns about her favorite subject, archaeology. 

                                                       

I wanted to put in a picture of the ending, but I'm not sure if that can be done in reviews. So I'll play it safe and not reveal the ending in case it's a blogging review faux-pas! Believe me, the ending is good and happy (could it be a Hallmark movie if it wasn't?), but not without plenty of problems along the way. Overall, I loved this film's developing love story, especially the unique setting of falling in love with a stranger to whom you are already married!

                                                           
Some other things I loved about The Magic of Ordinary Days:

  • The Hair and Costumes: Very well done! They fit the time era perfectly, but were not cookie-cutter, fill-in-the-blank 40's outfits. There were several really cute novelty print dresses and hats throughout. And of course Livy's lavender dress is gorgeous. 
  • Livy's sister's name is Abby. :)
  • The Scenery: Really cool scenery that kept me engaged, even though the majority of the film was on Ray's farm. I liked how barren the farmyard and house seemed at first, and I could totally feel Livy's pain as she saw room after plain and undecorated room of the farmhouse. The town scenes were also really neat and well done. 
  • Certain scenes: I love how Livy loves history and archaeology. She finds an old dugout of Ray's grandparents, and she decorates the once-bare farmhouse with antiques from the basement. That scene makes me squeal for happiness. :)

                   Do you have any opinion of Hallmark movies in general?        
                   Have you/are you planning to see The Magic of Ordinary Days?      
            Be honest: was this OK for my first review? What should I change or improve?           





February 2, 2016

January's Period Drama Challenge

Hello, everyone! I've recently decided to do Miss Laurie's Period Drama Challenge, which is a brilliant idea for a challenge, if you ask me.(There is a button on the sidebar) I've been bad and haven't reviewed a period drama in January, but I'm planning on doing at least one this month. :) I was pleasantly surprised when I found that there are a few questions to answer at the end of each month!
1. What period dramas did you view in January?
January was a good month for period dramas at my house! I watched the 2009 Emma around my birthday, and later saw the Imitation Game, The Magic of Ordinary Days,  and the King's Speech.


2. What is your favorite Charles Dickens film adaptation?
I really need to brush up on my Dickens films; most of them are murky memories from seeing them on TV when I was 7 or 8. I recently saw BBC's Nicholas Nickleby 2001, however, and that was really good. I think it's an incredibly underrated movie. Perhaps I'll re-watch it and do a review on it!


3. Would you rather visit Pemberley (Mr. Darcy's residence) or Downton Abbey (Crawley family residence)? Why?
That's really tough! I'm sure Highclere Castle has a great blend of old rooms and furnishings, but I feel that since it's so overly-popular right now, I'll go with the Georgian-era Pemberley. :)
4. If you could be any character in a Jane Austen novel for a whole day who would you be and why would you want to be that character?
This deserves an essay or novel, not a short answer! After much deliberation, I chose...Mary Bennet! Just Kidding! ;) I suppose I shouldn't tease the poor dear. Anyway, I think it would be neat if I were Georgiana Darcy, so I could be wealthy and accomplished, and live in Pemberley and have a piano. :)  Jane Bennet is a tempting option as well, since she is so sweet and kind. Agh, the choices!

                                                

5. What period dramas are you looking forward to viewing in February 2016?
Where to start? I think there's an endless list of "to-watch" period dramas floating around in my head at all times. I'm hoping to see The Young Victoria soon, and maybe an old musical like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.


Sincerely Yours,
Abigail