February 18, 2017

The Jane Austen Handbook: a Review

First of all, greetings from a very cheerful writer! It is unseasonably warm where I live right now: all of the snow is melting and it feels like spring, which I love. We usually don't get much spring around here; just a cold, slowly dying winter that goes straight to summer. After weeks of clouds, the sun is shining, and there's something about sunlight/sudden warm weather that makes one's house smell...like one's house. I'm not sure if it's the particular kind of dust in here or what, but the smell of "home" is strong today. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Anyone at all?

Williamsburg Virginia by Olahs Photography:
My guess is that we'll get a foot of snow after this week and we'll be cold through Easter. :( But my blog is changing to spring for March, no matter the weather!
I know this is the 4th post this week, and with everyone posting so much this time of year, it can seem like there's an information overload! But I am just too excited to share with you The Jane Austen Handbook by Margaret Sullivan. This review is inspired by Hamlette's I Love Austen Week (which if you haven't heard about yet, you have some catching up to do!).

Image result for the jane austen handbook

I got this book for my 15th birthday, and I doubt that even the perils of weeding through/condensing my books for college will convince me to part with it. It is split into four sections that cover status, inheritance, everyday activities, romance, and social gatherings. There is quite a bit of regency history in this book, but it is presented in such a charming way, one has no idea how much one is learning until the end! 

Image result for the jane austen handbook

The writing is witty, and emulates Jane Austen's style without exactly copying her. The titles to each 1-5 page section are often funny, like "How to Marry Off Your Daughter" or "How to Elope to Scotland". There are plenty of references to Jane Austen's books throughout the piece, both obvious and sly. It was fun to catch all the references and match them to the right book.

Image result for the jane austen handbook
This is from a section titled "How to Attend a Ball"

There are dozens of cute pictures and diagrams throughout the book, adding to its plentiful charm. Overall, this is a great book for anyone interested in a light read, laughs, and learning all in one!

February 14, 2017

Sunshine Blogger Award

Miss March of Sunshiny Corner has tagged, awarded, bestowed on me the great and honorable Sunshine Blogger Award! Which is quite perfect, if you think about it; the lady from Sunshiny corner is giving out sunshine awards. So thank you, Miss March! Some sunshine is greatly appreciated on these gloomy February days!

1. What was the last book you read?
Heh, well I just read two Calvin and Hobbes comic books...and two children's books before that! The last actual book I read was I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend, a reread for sure, but a delightful one!

Image result for i was jane austen's best friend
The cover's a bit meh on accuracy, but what's inside is wonderful!
2. On a typical evening at home, what are you most often found doing: reading a book, watching a movie, playing games with your siblings, twiddling your thumbs-what?
Mmmm let's see, I often read and go on Pinterest and watch Youtube, listen to music, and have an awful lot of fun frittering away time until it's almost bedtime and all of the sudden I have all these wonderful, purposeful ideas, not to mention any homework that I postpone until then.

Beautiful Autochrome:
But you see, this is what I fritter my time away with: learning from beautiful images like this!

3. You have the choice of being an only child or having 20 siblings. Which do you choose?
Man, 20?? I would definitely say yes to 10, but 20 is really really high! I would really miss the companionship and fun of siblings if I were an only child (just think of what you could do with that many people!) but I do like my fair share of attention and privacy. I'm going to have to go with only-child...with a lot of cousins! :)

The Yellow Dress - John Bulloch Souter:

4. Do you prefer bike riding or walking?
Walking, in general. Hills are not my friend when biking. :P Plus you don't typically fall and sprain anything when walking. Typically.

Pride & Prejudice (1995) This is a beautiful scene and dress!:
5. If you had to create your own family made up of characters from literature (or film) who would you choose to have as your father? As your mother? Choose a brother and a sister too, just for the fun of it! :)
I would like Pa Ingalls to be my pa, or maybe the reformed Captain von Trapp.  And Mrs. Bennet to be my mother. ;P Umm or maybe Ma Ingalls or Maria. After you choose a father, it's hard to imagine them without their wife. I would like Jane or Elizabeth Bennet or Jo March as a sister. As for a brother, I would like Peter Pevensie from Narnia, or Mr. Darcy in a purely fraternal way. Like if I were Georgianna, I think Mr. Darcy (or Mr. Tilney for that matter) would be excellent brothers. As you can see, I have not stuck to a single person for anyone in this crazy literary family. Maybe 20 siblings wasn't such a bad idea...


6. Did you ever receive money under your pillow after losing a tooth?
Not after every tooth, but sometimes there would be a quarter in a little pillow-ornament thingy that would hang by my bed. It was made specifically for that purpose! And once the tooth fairy left me a message about how she was happy to see I was a good little girl. And she did it in teeny, tiny handwriting on a post-it note. #parentinggoals.

7. What's your favorite color?
Huh! Must you even ask? ;) It's Lavender!


8. Would you rather wash dishes or iron clothes?
Ugh, wash dishes I guess. If I had music playing it wouldn't be so bad.

I'd actually like washing dishes in this kitchen!
9. What is your opinion on zoos? Interesting or boring?
A good zoo is definitely interesting, given that we don't spend hours there. Like I did on some class field trips. But you see, I understand those who wish to spend all day at the zoo, as I am like that about history/art museums.

happiest picture ever.:

10. Growing up, did you have a favorite doll? What was her name?
Yes. Her name was (is) Felicity Merriman, and she's a sprightly, spirited girl growing up at the time of the American Revolution in Williamsburg Virginia. Felicity has beautiful colonial clothing that inspired one little girl to have a career in history.

Image result for felicity merriman illustration
Just look at that cardinal red cloak!

Thanks again, Miss March! :) Have a lovely day, everyone!

February 11, 2017

Jane Austen Valentines (and other lovey dovey stuff)

Nobody does romance like Jane Austen. And nobody makes jokes about classic literature like the Janeites. So on this Valentine's Day, I'm going to give you a little bit of both. Play the P+P '95 soundtrack and proceed.

Here, I even included the soundtrack so you don't have to go searching. Why? Because I love y'all. :) 

Hehe no thank you!

"To be fond of dancing was a certain steep towards falling in love.":
The only kind of dancing I'm fond of is the Jane Austen kind. :)

Becca Stadtlander / Pride & Prejudice illustrations:
Isn't this lovely artwork? I wish I could paint! *sigh*

ooooh, how evil... ;):
How evil!

Enchanted Serenity of Period Films: Period Motivational Posters:
I couldn't not end with something as pleasant as this!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I Love Austen Tag

Hamlette (a lovely blogger) is having a Jane Austen party this week, and to start the whole celebration off, she has created a Jane Austen tag here! You should check her blog often as I think there will be many posts coming up. I plan on doing a review later this week to add to the fun, and get this: both Hamlette and Heidi are sponsoring giveaways! So go do those (after you scroll through this tag of course! ;)!

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

I definitely had a few Jane Austen movies in my system before ever picking up a book (thank you Masterpiece Theater!) Sunday pizza nights are my family's longest-held tradition, as all the good programming is on then (as you may have read here).  Yes, I certainly have had my share of Jane Austen movies: the only problem is I only remember the tiniest snippets of them that my 8 year old brain picked up!

Pride & Prejudice 1995:

2.  What is your favorite Austen book?

I like the story of Pride and Prejudice the most, but I believe I had the most fun reading Northanger Abbey.

3.  Favorite heroine?  Why do you like her best?

I don't knoooow!! I can tell you who it's not: Emma (love her but she's pushy), Marianne/Elinor, Anne Elliot, or Fanny. Which leaves Catherine Morland, Elizabeth Bennet, and Jane Bennet. And I love them all dearly. I suppose I shall be a traditionalist and say Elizabeth Bennet, for her wit, spunk, and charm.

elizabeth bennet:

4.  Favorite hero?  Why do you like him best?

I am no more sure of this than I was of a heroine! I think we can safely rule out Mr. Collins, but beyond that it's nearly a draw. After much consideration, I think Mr. Tilney is my favorite. He understands muslin, after all.

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

Ah, now here's a question I can answer with a simple "no", since, as you can see, I have a hard time choosing a favorite anything when it comes to Austen!


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.)

I am on a journey (albeit at a sloth's pace) of enjoying and understanding Jane Austen's books more than I used to. For as much as I love Austen movies and stories, I have a shameful lack of experience with them all. I feel like I have no comprehensive knowledge of her works, especially since it's been years since I watched/read some of her stories. But like I said, I am working to change this, and now that I am older, I understand the wittiness Austen used in her writing.

Pride and Prejudice:

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

I have a Jane Austen journal (that I am afraid to write in and mess up!) and a Pride and Prejudice puzzle.

Have this! Jane Austen Writing Journal. Aspiring writers will find encouragement in the free-thinking attitude of Jane Austen. Her refreshing outlook abounds in a journal peppered with humorous pairings of illustrations and quotes from her novels.   160 pages (blank, lined), 5x7 in., elastic closure.:  I have this Jane Austen Puzzle!!!:

8.  If you could ask Jane Austen one question, what would you ask her?

Could you find me a perfect match like you did for your heroines? :)

Northanger Abbey:

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 really enjoyed Love and Friendship, which is based off of Lady Susan, so I think it would be great to make more films of Austen's early works, such as The Watsons. It would be wonderful if some genius Janeite could be inspired by an unfinished snippet of a story and create a convincing, accurate film out of it. Soon it will be time again to remake the Austen movies done in the 90s. Thankfully Pride and Prejudice 2005 has shown us what not to do. ;) (As for actors, I have no idea. I'm terrible with actors.)

Love and Friendship:

10.  Share up to five favorite Jane Austen quotations!

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

"You have no compassion on my poor nerves!" -Pride and Prejudice

"She did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition." -Sense and Sensibility

"Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint!" -Juvenilia

"If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad." -Northanger Abbey (I used this one as my senior quote for the yearbook!)

February 5, 2017

Beautiful Bible Verses

Happy February everyone! Just recently I decided to start highlighting my old Bible. It took me a while to decide this because I feel that writing in any book, much less the most important book, is kind of disrespectful, or just not quite right, anyway. And I certainly don't want to mark up my confirmation Bible, which is really nice. But I have an older Bible that I've used since 1st grade; it's definitely worn around the edges. Since I started highlighting it, I can't stop reading it! And as a person who has problems with reading her Bible, I felt highlighting was an excellent solution. (I'm in a wordy, long-winded explanation mood today, can you tell? ;)

Aaanyway, because I am Biblically-inspired, and it's a Sunday, I thought I'd share some pretty, artistic versions of Bible verses from (you guessed it) : Pinterest!


$5.00 Bible Verse Print -The grass withers and flowers fade, but the word of the Lord stands forever Isaiah 40:8 It’s amazing to think of how long His word has been around. In times of joy or trial, we seek His word. Why? Because we can count on it, it never changes on us and it’s here to stay forever. Display this beauty in any room so we can always be reminded of where to turn. - Different size options available. #bibleverse #bibleverseprint #christianart #christiandecor #isaiah40:

psalm 118:24:


Psalm 103:

And that's all I have to say. ;)