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Pride and Prejudice | Book Review

Friday, 26 September 2014

Rustling around in my grandpas attic, I found this copy, dusted it off, and to my delighted 11-yr-old self, I knew I had found a gem.

I was instantly excited because I had seen the Keira Knightley version of the movie many times. I did try to watch the other versions but every time I do, I find myself in a confused state asking the (slightly annoyed) person next to me "But WHERE is Keira Knightley??" You can only imagine the exasperated sighs that this evokes. What? No one will watch it with me?

Hardly containing my naive anticipation, I turned the first page. "Blah blah blah solace blah blah blah blah felicity." This is what fell on my eyes when my 11-yr-self surveyed the red and gold bound book. Silently, I closed it back up, and vowed to get a sandwich, I believe.

Some years later, I cautiously picked up this novel after it appeared on several must read lists. Bracing myself, the first page was again turned, and a pleasant surprise awaited me. I couldn't put it down for three days straight and wished there was more of it to be devoured.

Classics get a bad rap. Perhaps they're not as "cool" as young adult fiction, or they're viewed as merely high school books. But this......oh sweet is amazing. Jane Austen is a genius and once again, I have adorned my fluffy socks, to sit refreshing the library page in hope it will say "Ready for Pick Up" on her other novels. Really cool, Madison.

First published in 1813, although set in the turn of the 19th century, it has all the old fashioned goodies you would expect. Lots of long skirts, dinner parties, and gossip (yes, they had such a thing in the old days!). The opening sentence of the book is as follows:

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." 

This immediately introduces the theme of marriage, and in a sneaky way, tells us the outline of the plot.

It is an absolute masterpiece, absolutely brilliant, and has sold over 20 millions copies. The characters are the kind where you find yourself saying "I know someone just like so-and-so!" The most unlikely of people end up together, and the story triumphs over pride, prejudice and love. The story is built up from an ordinary home, but as the plot thickens the drama also rises just as if they were royalty.

The courtship is of the best kind, the emotional, wanting, fearful, fearless, kind. This would have to be one of my favourite books. It contains one of the most coveted and cherished love stories of all time. Because really, it is what we know and adore, a good ol' romance.


If we just keep dancing like we're 22

Saturday, 20 September 2014

It is so satisfying to walk along and see your favourite number. Like, randomly. Not set up or anything. Just out of the blue. On a walk along a pretty little lane, I saw this crate in the bush and it kind of provoked me (in a good way) to write a post about why 22 is my favourite number.

Taylor Swift is an absolute legend - she may not have the greatest voice, but all sorts of artists have come and and gone in my life and she has still stood firmly on my "most played" list. You might be aware that she wrote a song called "22." It is one of my favourite songs of hers, it's just about having fun in life and not worrying about the cool kids.....and not being afraid to wear cat ears....or dance like crazy in public....about being happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time....gosh, I can't wait to be 22.

On the periodic table number 22 is Titanium. It means strong. Also, one of my favourite songs is "Titanium" by David Guetta. I was quite surprised at this revelation, but I never get sick of it and it's kind of, my jam. Be strong even when the world throws its worst at you - you're amazing.

My final reason is simple and sweet. Two 2's put together backwards make a heart. 

So that's why I love the number 22. What's your favourite number? Why?


12 Ways To Make Your Day Better | Winter Edition

Thursday, 18 September 2014

I know it's coming into winter for some of you, and for us down under it's just finishing, let's be honest, in all seasons we have winter-y days so sit back and enjoy. All photos are my own :)

1. Fluffy socks. I usually have to buy at least 2 pairs per winter because I wear them down worryingly quickly.

2. Before bed, warm your pyjamas on the heater. I just love doing this. Love, love.

3. Snuggles with pets. I was just saying the other day, everyone should have pet. Pets are like little fans, that follow you around, will do anything for you (it depends on the pet of course), and have the special offer of unlimited snuggles.

4. Read before bed. Find books so good that you can't put them down. I like to use goodreads for finding new literature.

5. Go on an adventure. Visit a museum. I love doing this - I'll be honest, at least a third of the pleasure I contrive is using my special local card. Or an art gallery. Go see a movie.

6. Create art. Winter is very beautiful weather for all things artsy. Get out your pencils, paints or camera, and wonder away.

7. Find "that" pair of jeans and wear them to death. I think the importance of having a good pair of jeans is underrated so this is me telling you that it does matter, spend those dollars baby, it'll be worth it.

8. Candles. Just let them glow, and relaaaaxxxx.

9. Take the time to make yourself a really nice hot drink (chai tea latte = MY FAVE). It may seem like a waste of time to some (not to most I'm sure) but it is a very inexpensive happiness booster.

10. Wake up five minutes earlier and enjoy a luxury lie in in bed. I can see where the saying "time is money" came from - it really is precious.

11. Stay active. It's so important to keep moving, and oh, does it make you sleep better. I have noticed this myself, I'm not just quoting something out of a health magazine. Youtube has tons of exercise routines if you need. And dance. Don't forget to dance. 30 min of dancing like no one is watching does wonders.

12. Bath. I tend to be more of a shower person, but every now and then, I'll force myself to get in the tub, and I never regret it. If you are looking for some good bath bombs to use, recently I did a Lush haul. TOP TIP: have an ice cold beverage at your arms length when in the bath, it's refreshing. 

BONUS: Put on those boots, gurrrrl. It's truly amazing what fab footwear does for one's happiness level and self esteem. Invest in a good pair - I dare you.

What do you do in winter to make your day better?


Short devotion: Don't Give Up.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Over a cup of tea 
"Let us not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
Galatians 6:9

Don't give up. The world needs you. Just to be yourself, to love God and love others. Being happy goes a long way - count it all joy.

All kinds of good you can do (just some ideas):
- make someone a meal (or bake them something)
- write a nice email to a friend
- send a card to someone
- worship, pray, spread some love
- be insanely nice to your family today
- recommend a good book
- do someone else's chore for them unexpectedly
- give away nice words
- smile
- spread positivity
- comment below with your ideas of good things to do! I'd looooooooove to hear your thoughts!

What was that? You want to hear a joke? Fine, if you insist: what did the mayonnaise say to the fridge? Close the door I'm dressing. Ha. Hahahahaha. Happy Sunday.



Thursday, 11 September 2014

No clue where these originally came from, sorry!

I hope it's not just me. I love supermarkets. I truly do. They are clean, fresh and everything is nicely packaged. People can come together and meet, drive round cart thingies called trollies, without having to talk except for the odd "Nice special on the apples eh??," "Do you know where the eggs are located?" I just love it.

What may influence my joy is that I love food too. Baking makes me happy, so does making lists, so you bang those two together and supermarket is a natural solution. Shopping for fresh supplies is always a good thing.

Also, there is nothing like a freshly stocked fridge or pantry. Opening up the door and letting out a happy little sigh knowing that you have more than one good option for breakfast. The pure, raw joy!

There is something relaxing about going round and stocking up on goods. Feeling like such a winner when you get rice crackers for 99 cents (bargain!). Oh do empathize with me, you know you secretly love it.

Just the other day I was in the pick n mix section, happened to turn my back, and saw an orange roll across the floor. All the way across. This little gesture of rebellion just made me so happy. How often does one get to see an orange roll across the floor without being yelled at by a mother or getting a stern look from an angry Chinese grocer?

But supermarkets aren't all smooth sailing (maybe to the average joe). Have you ever felt that panic when you JUST CAN'T FIND THE AISLE WITH THE CONDENSED MILK so you end up walking around staring at the billboards like an idiot and then sheepishly have to go back the way you came? Twice? And don't tell me you've never been told off by a shelf stocker about spraying the deodorants. How am I supposed to choose a spray without smelling it first? Blind choosing? Is that some sort of sport?

My dream is to one day ride an electric scooter down the smooth white aisles. If you have a similar dream, then let's all take a moment to appreciate this.

And can we talk about trolleys? It's like driving a car, but much safer, and more satisfying. I certainly have never seen a trolley crash before. Now that I'm older, the general public no longer have the right to tell me off when I lift my feet off the floor and cling to the trolley as it goes flying forward. They do feel obliged to give me disgusted looks, but am I going to just say "oh sorry you're right that horrified look on your face just totally changed mind so sorry"?

I am happy about supermarkets today. So I kind just spat out a whole post on supermarkets. If you've made it to the end. Then well done. (and if you want bonus points, add in your comment "rhinos are purple" so I know ;)

What is your favourite thing about supermarkets? (unless you don't like them at all.... *chokes on orange juice*)


Chocolate Log

Monday, 8 September 2014

I'll be honest, I didn't just wake up and think "I'm going to make a chocolate log today!" It actually happened that I was watching Come Dine With Me (a cooky but worryingly addictive tv show for those of you who don't know), and of course a swiss roll was served for dessert. I didn't even try to subdue my immediate cravings, I just headed straight for the Edmonds cookbook.

I usually buy these angelic cakes from the bakery section in the supermarket (nothing can beat the fake cream and superficial sponge), but it was about time I picked up that spatula *insert cooking weapon of your choice* and got to it. You will need.

For the sponge:
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 1/4 cup plain baking flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 25g butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon water

And for the garnishing...
- cream (as much or as little as need - I'd go for 300mls to be safe)
- chocolate shavings

Berry Sauce
- tablespoon of water
- 2-3 tablespoons of icing sugar
- 3/4 frozen berries

Really just go crazy with the top.

Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick (I was quite confused as to what "thick" was - not fluffy, just stir it and you will know). Sift cocoa, flour and baking powder together. Add to egg mixture. Add butter and water.

Pour mixture into a greased and line 20x30cm sponge roll tin. Bake at 190oC for 10-12 minute or until cake springs back when lightly touched.

*This is where I ditched the cookbook so will take over from now*

Spread icing sugar over the sponge and seriously spread it, not just sift. Then flip it onto a sheet of baking paper/greaseproof paper. Spread cream (or ganache would be nice!), and then gently roll it. Leave the baking paper on it. I'll be honest, I completely failed this step and this is why extra cream is always a good concealer. Refrigerate time. Doesn't matter too much.

I topped the log with cream, icing sugar and berry sauce. To make: add water, icing sugar and berries in a saucepan and stir. Super easy!

I would LOVE to know if you bods tried this, if you are going to, if you are allergic to sponge, or if you don't even know what one is (you do now). Seriously, comment below! Haha.

Smile God loves you (:


Someday someday maybe | Book Review

Friday, 5 September 2014

No photo today! Had to return it before I could snap one :( Search it on google images and ta dah you will know what I'm talking 'bout

I hate to review books that I didn't like, but I console myself with the fact that it may serve as a warning to those who haven't read it. Or something-or-rather.

"Someday someday maybe" is a book that I really wanted to like, because, have you SEEN the cover? Oh so cute. If I'm honest, that MAY have been why I picked it up.

It was tolerable for the first 1/3 of the book. It was amusing for the first part. I kept hoping it would get better. A few swear words, but in this day and age that isn't so much of a shocker.

I won't spoil it for you (although I hope you won't read it), but things starting going downhill until I actually literally skipped to the very end of the book. I can't bear to not finish a book so having to skip ahead is major for me. Very weak and absurd storyline, and nothing more worth mentioning. I am aware I did just mention it, but that's not the point. Well, it is the point that I shouldn't mention it, but what I am saying is.....oh never mind. Also, too many unnecessary "bad bits."

Thankfully I got this from the library so it didn't cost me anything except my time. I know people that tend to buy books straight off the bat, and I do this if I know (like, really know) that it is going to be good, but I would generally recommend getting the book out first, and then you can buy it if you love it (I usually buy all my books from The Book Depository). And it's free! A whole place full of books FREE to read! How could you not?

In short, I don't want to be negative, and I hope I won't be doing too many more of these types of reviews. It is the most frustrating thing to get into a rut of bad books and just mope about, bobbing your tea bag up and down, wishing that the world would JUST GET ITSELF SORTED and produce some decent literature.

If you have read this book, what were your thoughts?


20 Useless Facts You Will Never Need To Know

Thursday, 4 September 2014

this photo was from a while ago, but so pretty :)

Today is very cold, very rainy, the kind of day where it is ridiculous to even think about going outside. I can't say I love days like this. I multitasked (I know, I surprised myself too) while watching a movie to make this list. So, if you have a minute to spare, then hey, I have supplied some useless knowledge.

1. There is a hotel in Sweden made entirely out of ice; it is rebuilt every year.

2. Certain frogs can be frozen solid then thawed, and continue living. I can't say I like frogs, but if I ever need to get one out of the way for a while (under what circumstance I'm not sure) I will just pop it in the ice box.

3. A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why. If you know why, please enlighten us all in the comments. I must try this. Not sure where I will find a willing subject though...

4. If you feed a seagull Alka-Seltzer, it's stomach will explode. Ok maybe I won't try this one.

5. Camels have three eyelids to protect themselves from blowing sand. Isn't God clever! I might've left that out (by accident!) if I'd created the world.

6. In Baltimore it is illegal to take a lion to the movies. Why anyone would take a lion to the movies I am not sure. What about an elephant?

7. A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out. I find this funny/fascinating and I don't know why. What about alligators...

8. There are 450 types of cheese in the world. 240 come from France. I need to spend a whole year just tasting cheese: on the bucket list.

9. It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open. 99.8% of the people who just read will have literally tried to. I'm sorry, I feel you. I can't do it either.

10. A hydrodaktulpsychicharmonica is a variety of musical glasses. I am bookmarking this for the next game of hangman.

11. Stewardesses is the longest word typed by the left hand. Again, 99.8% of people who read this will go through the motion (or actually) of typing it.

12. Ballroom dancing is a major at Brigham University. 

13. It is physically impossible for pigs to look up to the sky. I suddenly get the urge to go and find every pig and lift then up manually.

14. Dr. Seuss coined the word nerd in his 1950 book "If I Ran the Zoo."

15. It is illegal to frown at cows in Bladworth, Saskatchewman. I now will take such rebellious pleasure in frowning at cows.

16. There are 1,792 steps in the Eiffel Tower.

17. In space, astronauts cannot cry, because there is no gravity to let the tears flow. Ha!

18. You're born with 300 bones, but by the time you become an adult, you only have 206.

19. Butterflies cannot fly if their body temperature is less than 86 degrees.

20. The average garden variety caterpillar has 248 muscles in its head.

You're welcome. What was your favourite?

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