Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Some of my favorite links........

I've noticed that a lot of other bloggers have been adding lists of their favorite blogs, websites, videos, etc., so I thought it was high time for a post about some of my favorites! Afterall, I've got a ton of pages 'bookmarked', so why not?

My Favorite Links:

First off, here's a program I found called Pure Fashion. By training girls as models, and putting on shows as well as teas and workshops, they're starting a movement to show the world that it, 'is possible to be stylish, cute, and modest.' Make sure to check out their modesty guidelines! They had some good points that really make sense.

Here's a neat site where you can see all the female guest stars on Bonanaza, from all the different seasons! I was really surprised to see Loretta Swit from M*A*S*H, as well as Dawn Wells and Tina Louise from Gilligan's Island.


This is really neat. It's a list of 100+ Money Making Ideas for Teens. Some of the ideas are really creative!

Here is a link on how to make a 1940's pillbox hat from the blog Tuppence Ha'Penny Vintage. I haven't had much of a chance to really explore the blog, but it looks very cool!

Next is a link to the Classy Clothes Pinterst site. It's changed a little bit over the course of me browsing it, but many of the pictures are still fun and very vintage-y.

How many of you have been following BBC's hit mystery series, Sherlock starring Bennedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman? I certainly have! Remember the websites and blogs the characters are portrayed as having in the show? They're real! Visit Sherlock Holme's The Science of Deduction,  John Watson's blog, and Molly Hooper's blog. Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

This is intersting, but I basically agree with it. Read this list of Top 10 Lost Rules of Ettiquette.

Can you tell that I'm obsessed? Here's a link to photos of Bennedict Cumberbatch from his website.

Here's a great site for Christian girls: godlygirlsforgod.2ya.com

Here's a post on Vintage Teen Girl Bedrooms by Key Interiors by Shinay. Recognize some of the photos? They were used in our 'A Fresh Start: Rooms' post.

This is an awesome site if you're looking for Victorian Sewing Patterns.

Here's a great resource for everything Shetland sheep.

I'ved used this site to find good book quotes for everything from essays, blog posts, or the bottom of my email.

Modcloth feautured a contest where you create a Pinterest page of your favorite fashion icon from the past. Here are my two favorites: Laura Petrie , the wife of Rob from the Dick Van Dyke Show, and Clara Bow a popular figure of the 1920's.

Here's the 2012 Summer Olumpic Schedule, absolutely vital for supporting Team USA!

I just found this awesome blog called Already Pretty Check out her outfit ideas; many contain adorable skirt and blouse combos!

This is a super fun blog that is great for a good read: Through the Lilac Bushes.

One of my great friends writes this blog about being a biathlete and nordic skier. Check it out!

Here is another blog I write....it's all about my mum and all the awesome things she does.

Here is yet another video by Traci Hines, this time singing 'Kiss the Girl'. Probably my absolute favorite Disney song!

This is a grat site for dresses, blouses, skirts, and tons of vintage things. Yes, it's expensive, and I've never actually bought anything there, but it's great for inspiration!

Whew! That was longer than I though. Hope you enjoyed it! What did you think? Anything you like? What are some of your favorite links? Tell us in the comments!

Thanks for reading! :)





Sunday, July 29, 2012

4 Homeschooling Myths, from a High Schooler's Perspective

Some of you know this already, but for those of you who don't, I'm homeschooled. I have always been homeschooled, and it is our intention to keep learning at home until I graduate. I will be a sophomore this fall, and am so excited! There has never been a time when I wished I went to a 'regular' school.Choosing to homeschool is a great decision, and I think that more people should consider it. For that reason, I'm writing this post on 4 Homeschooling Myths, from a Highschooler's (that's me!) perspective. Enjoy!

Myth No. 1: (Student) "I won't have any friends!". Hands down, the number one response I get when I say I'm homeschooled is, "Oh. Do you have any friends?". I don't know where people got the idea that a 'regular' school system is the only possible way to meet new  people. Afterall, you go to school to learn, not to improve your social life. Infact, although I won't argue that many people have good friends they have met in school, it can be rather limiting, can't it? Everyone is from the same area, in the same age range, and studying the same classes. They also all attend the same social events (like dances, school plays, or games) and know all the same people. The best kind of friends usually aren't the ones that are your exact twin. By befriending people that are different ages, busy with different interests, coming into contact with people you don't know, and having different experiences, they'll grow in, obviously, different ways. Then, since you two are friends, you'll be able to influence and help each other to grow in ways you couldn't have if you'd only ever had shared experiences. As I said before, I've been homeschooled my entire life, and I have never had trouble making friends. There are so many resources that help you meet others; 4H clubs, sports teams, church, co-ops, special workshops or classes, theatre groups-you name it, it's out there. Some are even specially tailored for homeschoolers! If you make up your mind to look around for resources, you'll have no problem making awesome friends. 

Myth No. 2: (Parent) "I'm not smart enough to teach!". My mum and dad are wonderfully smart, helpful people. But they aren't over-the-top extraordinarily intelligent. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to homeschool. If you get a good textbook, with a good teacher's manual, you'll be alright. My mum is always saying how she re-learned fractions to teach us. Now, she has a better knowledge of them than she did before! Homeschooling has many more resources now than they used to; there are catalogs, book fairs, and websites made specifically for homeschoolers where you can purchase a whole curriculum! And if you want to do something more in a certain subject area, just head to your library and get some extra information. When my brother and I were younger, my Mum once did a whole study with us on the history of pirates that she created on her own! And she taught us both literature for years without a set 'curriculum'. There are other options, as well. Now that I'm in high school, I take a literature class with about 30 or so other homeschoolers. There are also co-ops, where parents work together to teach classes to multiple kids. So basically, if you're committed, the teaching won't be as scary as you may initially think.

Myth No. 3: (Student) "I won't be able to go to prom!" People have actually said this to my dad before, about me, " But she won't be able to go to prom!" Wonderful. Sacrifice four years of a wonderful, challenging high school education just so you can attend one night of dancing, dressing up, and the display of a total lack of common sense....perfect. You have to admit, it's a pretty silly reason not to homeschool. It's even sillier because it's not true. There are countless homeschool proms! All you have to do is look around! One of my friends, a homeschooled senior, organized one last year. There was a DJ, food, a free photographer, and a gorgeous location. I went with a huge group of my friends, and we had a blast! That wasn't the only one happening in the area, either. We met a girl at prom who had attended a different one the week earlier. And I know of another one that happened a week or two after. If you have your heart set on going to prom, just look around. There's bound to be one in your general area. And if not? Get a group of friends together and plan one. Or, go the untraditional route and host a contra dance or square dance. I know of someone (she's graduated now) who, after a year of studying several of Jane Austen's books, planned a regency-era dance, where they sewed period clothes to wear and learned the traditional dances! In my opinion, that's a lot more fun than the average, dark dance floor. 

Myth No. 4: (Parent and Student) "But colleges won't accept homeschoolers!" This is not only incorrect, it's exactly opposite! Recently, both colleges and the military have been specifically looking for homeschoolers, because they tend to come from good families and be disciplined. As long as you graduate with enough credits, there is absolutely no reason why a college would turn you down. And what about the question of not having a diploma? When a job or college asks for your high school diploma, oftentimes they mean, "did you graduate?". I don't believe they actually want to see the piece of paper. 

I hope you have enjoyed this post! For any of you considering homeschooling, I wish you the best of luck and want to let you know that it's a wonderful decision! For those of you homeschooling for the first time, my suggestion is to just find a homeschool circle in your area. We're everywhere! Trust me. Finding a group of homeschool families will really help support you when things get tough, and, of course, help you make awesome friends.

If you want to chat more about homeschooling, feel free to leave a comment or email me using the address on the right. I'd love to talk to you!

Also, try contacting Home School Legal Defense Association. They are wonderful! They provide information for everything from learning disabilities, teaching high schoolers, and good curriculum courses, as well as legal help should you ever need it. And, if you become a member, you'll get a subscription to their awesome magazine! 

Thanks for reading! :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cow Print Nails!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I stayed at a local fair from Wednesday until Sunday helping with the petting zoo.....so much fun!!!!!!!!! A good many of my 4H friends were there showing animals, so, being the awesome Strafford county girls we are, we painted our nails cow print!!!!!! It was so much fun. We even convinced some of the boys to let us do their thumbs. :) One of my friends was showing sheep the next day, so we added clear glitter polish over the cow print so her nails could match her bling belt! 


You Will Need:
White Nail Polish
Black Nail Polish
Awesome friends (it is possible to paint your nails cow print alone, but it's so much more fun with fellow farmgirls!)

Here's How To:

1. Paint on a coat of white polish. Do one stroke down the middle, then one on either side for a smooth look. 

2. After the first coat has dried, add another. Continue adding coats until the white fully covers. Allow polish to dry between coats so it will stay smooth.

3. Have a friend help you make irregular, black splotches on your nails. Two splotches per nail is OK, but I think that three different splotches looks better.

Ta da!!!!!!! We had so much fun doing this and got compliments all week long. Just have fun with it! We contemplated experimenting with different colored cow print, but we didn't get a chance to....if you do, tell me in the comments! 


Thanks for reading! :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Olympic Uniforms....

Just a quick post about something I was very excited to find today....

Designer Ralph Lauren has recently released the 2012 U.S.A. Olympic Uniforms. They will be issued to all members of the U.S. team, and be worn at the opening and closing ceremonies. The outfits are reminiscent of those worn in 1948; the last time the Olympics was held in England. The design also gives a slight nod to the U.S. Navy uniforms.



I was pleasantly surprised by these uniforms. They are very polished, yet hard working, and I can't wait to see our American athletes wearing them! These are simply amazing and so appropriate for the ceremonies. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

To My Father...

Today is the birthday of someone very special to me...my dad. He has to work late tonight-won't be home until 8:30-so our official celebration will be tomorrow (with an entirely homemade Chinese dinner, complements of my mom!). I spent the afternoon baking a chocolate cake for him, though, and I just got back from getting his present.


I was really at a loss about what to get him this year. My dad is the hardest person to buy for-I always want to get him something out of the ordinary, something he would never buy himself, but he doesn't want anything like that. He likes practical things, to help him around the house, and I'm not good at choosing gifts like that. So, I biked up to our neighbors house, and walked around one of their several fields. As I walked, I picked wildflowers....black eyed susan's, daisies, queen anne's lace, and other small yellow and white flowers that are unknown to me. The result was a very lovely bouquet, so delicate and small, and yet wild and rugged. As I biked home, I couldn't help feeling very Victorian era, in my floral bathing suit top, on our dirt road, with a hand-picked bouquet in my hand, ready to give it to someone very close to me. Once home, I trimmed the stems and placed the flowers in a little pitcher, with some sugar water. 

People don't usually think of flowers when they want a gift for a guy; my dad certainly doesn't look like the type who'd enjoy flowers. But, there's something so genuine, so simple, and so right about that bouquet. I certainly hope my dad likes it.

Dad-

Happy Birthday! I love you so much. Sometimes we disagree, but I want you to know that you'll always have a special place in my heart. You've taught me to laugh at myself, to work hard, and to try my hardest even when there are other things I'd rather be doing. You work so hard to take care of all of us; we really appreciate everything you do. You set a great example, and someday I hope to be as steadfast as you. Have an awesome birthday.

With love,

Your daughter,

~Gillian

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Fresh Start, Part 3: Dress

Now we come to the final post in our 'A Fresh Start' series. The series has focused on creating an organized, neat atmosphere for your summer plans. If you missed our last two posts, 'Part 1: Studies' and 'Part 2: Rooms', look in our archive on the right, or scroll down. 


Fashion icon Coco Channel once said, "Dress shabbily and they remember the dress. Dress impeccably and they remember the woman." And it's true: the way we dress can affect how successful we are, the opportunities we are given, and our level of attractiveness. Dressing nicely, though, isn't as much work as some think. Putting together polished, thrifty, and easy-to-wear outfits only takes a couple minutes more out of your day, and is well worth the extra effort. 

Style: I know you've all heard this before, but I will say it again: style doesn't matter as much if the clothing is neat and clean. And it's true. Everybody has a different sense of style, some more adventurous than others, but all can create a polished look. The trick is to find what complements your personality and figure, what things inspire your style, and what clothing will help you check things off your to-do list. And remember: a cultivated style is always more attractive than a wardrobe made from off-the-shelf pieces.

Tip: If you're worried about a piece of clothing being too loud, try pairing it with a more neutral, clean-lined piece (like a geometric shape printed blouse and a basic, black pencil skirt). The trick is balance.


White Blouse from Modcloth
Outfit No. 1
Fit: Young ladies, especially, should make it a habit to make sure that their entire wardrobe is well-fitted. The result is more flattering outfits, and higher self esteem. A good fit can also change the entire look from rumpled, dowdy, and outdated to chic, professional, and classy. Some say tailored clothes can even make a young woman more successful at interviews, auditions, and other events when you are being compared to others. Alterations, however, can often get expensive. There is definitely  much to be said about learning to re-fit items on your own, or finding a friend who is willing to do so for a more reasonable price. If you would like to learn, local sewing schools often offer classes on alterations. 

Shopping: When purchasing anything more than a basic T-shirt, always try it on! Clothes look much different when on a hanger. If you do decide to buy, make sure you have taken into consideration the quality, whether it would be cheaper at another store, and it's wear-ability (including if you have wardrobe pieces that go with it, and whether or not it is comfortable). It is true that you 'get what you pay for', so in some cases, paying a little more is acceptable. In others, you'd be better to wait for it to go on sale. And if you're not perfectly happy with something, don't waste your money on it!


Blue Skirt with Bow, from Modcloth
Outfit No. 1
Tip: Never underestimate thrift shops and online shopping (such as ebay). Oftentimes unique pieces can be found much cheaper at these places. Be prepared to pick, but keep an open mind! You never know what you may find. If you have a dance or other dressy event coming up, consider borrowing a dress from a friend. This is a great way to try a style you like, without investing a large amount of money.

Makeup: Good makeup skills are worth having, as they can add a lot to an outfit. I personally feel that you shouldn't start wearing makeup often until high school. Before that, it's simply not necessary. Even in high school, I really don't think it a must to wear it everyday. If you decide to put some on for an average event (such as school, church, or a club meeting), go light. Makeup should enhance your natural beauty, not change the way you look. Try keeping it to just three items (this will also save you time in the morning!). My three are concealer, foundation, and mascara; experiment and find out what combination works for you. When going to a formal event, feel free to wear much more than usual.


Beige Mary Jane Flats from Modcloth
Outfit No. 1


Tip: Try talking to a private makeup consultant, hair stylist, or a woman working the mall's makeup counter for ideas and tips on what will work with you. Also, try to find out your 'colors'. Using them will enhance the overall effect. 

What to wear when? We've all had to face the question, 'what do I wear?'. Though not always easily answered, the question shouldn't be ignored. Dressing appropriately is just as important as dressing in a stylish way. Here are some basic scenarios, what type of clothing is appropriate, and an outfit idea for inspiration.
Cotton Blouse from Etsy
Outfit No. 2





No. 1-Talent show, recitation, or awards ceremony: Presumably this event is held in the evening, so try a slightly dressier outfit than you would wear during the day. Also, since you will probably be on stage, wear some blush to make sure you don't wash out. For an outfit, wear a breezy skirt and a light blouse, and try to make one of the pieces have some detail. You may also want to pull on a matching cardigan. For shoes, go with either basic flats, sandals, or wedges.

Khacki Shorts with Bow, from JC Penny
Outfit No. 2


No. 2-Day of biking/strolling/outdoor activity: Since you are going to be outside, you definitely to dress in clothes that are light and easy to clean. A hat would be a good idea, too. Try wearing a skort or shorts, a sleeveless top, functional shoes, and a hat.



No. 3-Clerking at a local store: You did it: you got the job to run the cash register at a local shop for the summer! But what do you wear? For a clerking job, the trick is to look professional yet casual, and wear clothes that you can easily move in. Try basic, straight-silhouette skirts, with short sleeved blouses, flats, and a cute bag. 
Brown Sneakers from Payless
Outfit No. 2



Rayon Skirt from Modcloth
Outfit No. 3

Basic Pink T from Old Navy
Outfit No. 3

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Language of Flowers

While walking around the gift shop of Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts a couple of months ago, I found an adorable little book called The Language of Flowers. It's a reproduction of the same book published in London, 1884.
Sturbridge Village

Any flower can brighten up a space and add a certain mood to it. I strongly encourage that there be some plants in your room, whether they be potted, store-bought bouquets or a couple of wildflowers. I will say, however, that picking your own bouquets from roadsides and gardens is very romantic. Plus, it allows you to tell a story, in your own little code, about what you're feeling. Giving gifts of flowers that tell a message is also great fun..

So, here I will provide a list of some flowers and their meanings. I've tried to include ones that will be fairly easy to find and identify up here in New England. 


American Elm.........patriotism
Apple........temptation
Apple Blossom........preference
Apple Thorn....... deceitful charms
Ash Tree......grandeur
Azalea.......temperance
Basil.......hatred
Birch.......meekness
Bluebell......constancy
Buttercup......ingratitude, childishness
Cabbage......profit
Carnation, Deep Red......Alas! For my poor heart
Carnation, Striped.....refusal
Carnation, Yellow.......disdain
Cherry Tree........good education
Cherry Tree, White......deception
Chrysanthemum, Red........I love
Chrysanthemum, White.......truth
Chrysanthemum, yellow........slighted love
Clover, Four-Leafed.......be mine
Clover, Red......industry
Clover, White......think of me
Columbine...... folly
Columbine, Purple.....resolved to win
Columbine, Red.....anxious and trembling
Cranberry.....cure for heartache
Daffodil.........regard
Dahlia........instability
Daisy, Garden......I share your sentiments
Daisy, Wild........I will think of it
Dandelion.........rustic oracle
Fern........fascination
Forget Me Not.......true love; forget me  not
Goldenrod......precaution
Gooseberry.......anticipation
Holly.......foresight
Hemlock.......you will be my death
Hollyhock.........ambition
Iris......message
Ivy.........fidelity, marriage
Lady's Slipper......capricious beauty. win me and wear me
Lavender..........distrust
Lettuce.......cold-heartedness
Lilac, Purple.......first emotions of love
Lilac, White........Youthful Innocence
Lily, Day.......coquetry
Lily of the Valley......return of happiness
Maple.......reserve
Marigold........grief
Mistletoe......I surmount difficulties
Myrtle.......love
Mushroom......suspicion
Mustard Seed......indifference
Nettle, Stinging........slander
Oak Tree.......hospitality
Oak Leaves.......bravery
Pansy..........thoughts
Peach........your qualities, like your charms, are unequaled
Peach Blossom.......I am yours
Primrose......early youth
Rose, Bridal......happy love
Rose, Cabbage.......ambassador of love
Rose, Deep Red......bashful shame
Rose, white......I am worthy of you
Rose, yellow........decrease of love, jealousy
Rose, white and red together......unity
Rosebud, red......pure and lovely
Rosebud, white.......girlhood
Rosemary.......remembrance
Sunflower, Dwarf.......admiration
Sunflower, Tall.......haughtiness
Tulip......fame
Tulip, Red....... declaration of love
Tulip, Variegated......beautiful eyes
Tulip, Yellow.......hopeless love
Water Lily.......purity of heart
Zinnia......thoughts of absent friends

Hope that this has inspired you to get some creative arrangements together! Just have fun with it....that's what summer's all about! To help get you started, here are some fun messages you can try to fit some fun feelings and situations:

Reflecting after looking at old photographs: Zinnia, Water Lily, White Rosebud, White Clover- Thinking of friends from my girlhood, our innocent antics and dreams. I wonder if they remember me.

To burst your confidence and inspire you: Oak Leaves, Red Clover, Purple Columbine, Hollyhock, Mistletoe- I am independent, I am resourceful, I have dreams and I will overcome hindrances. My ambition and my hard work will win me the race. I will reach my goals.

An unusual gift for a friend: Dwarf Sunflower, Iris- I admire you. Yes; this is meant to be a message.

An adorable wedding bouquet:Peach Blossom, Red Rosebud, Red and White Roses, Ivy: You are the only one for me. We shall be one. In our youth we shall, together, build a life of dreams and love.

A gift for a young beau: Primrose, Purple Lilac, Four-Leafed Clover, Variegated Tulip- You are beautiful; the first I've ever loved. I want to be yours; please be mine.