Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Straight From The Page: Road Trip Checklist

This marks the first time I almost forgot to do a Straight From The Page post. I was on my way to skating and finally remembered. You're welcome. :)

(Invisible book-stack picture. Just imagine it's here, piled high).

For several reasons, reading's been a little slow lately. Which is quite sad, but unavoidable. But! Our family is leaving for Missouri on Saturday, and the 24-hour-straight-through car ride will provide plenty of reading time! My Mum's originally from MO, we just ended up here because of my grandfather being the the Air Force. We're riding out in my uncle's mini-bus, with my Uncle Lleldan, Mum, Brother AJ, Cousins Lily and Ena, and Grandma. We have loads of stuff planned, and I can't wait to share with you. :)

Quick update about my current reads....I've got only 1 1/2 chapters left in The Fellowship of the Ring (psyched!) and I've finished Glen Beck's Common Sense! Rather than bore you guys with books that I've already over-mentioned, though, I thought I'd share the books I'm planning on traveling with. :)

An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aidan. I. Cannot. Wait. I don't usually go in for spin-offs, but I have a hunch this one will be good. Go ahead, accuse me of judging a book by it's cover, but I will immediately respect anyone who thinks to title a book 'An Assembly Such As This'. Such a great line!

In The Belly of the Bloodhound by L.A. Meyer. Bloody Jack is calling me name! Yes, these books aren't for everyone. Yes, there is unabashed vulgarity. The type of vulgarity that can only be forgiven by a stellar book. And that's exactly what Bloody Jacks are. They are definitely the best adventure books I've ever read, and rank pretty high on the best-books-ever list, too. I plan on doing a proper review of them soon, but in the meantime, jump ahead of me and start reading.

The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie. This is one of the two audio books I'm putting on my MP3. I'm roughly half-way through it, and can't wait to finish it up. :) Nothing beats a good Agatha Christie! Tommy and Tuppence are the perfect 20's couple. I love that Agatha Christie's mysteries bring the perfect balance of a light-hearted, easy read, complete with a well thought mystery and always at least one true scare. She is the best!

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I have technically already read this. I got up to book 3 in the series, but got bored and never finished them up. My brother, though, swears by these books. He's finally talked me into giving them another go, so I'll be downloading this onto my MP3 as well. I remember the Percy Jackson series to be funny yet well written, so I'm thinking I might enjoy it.

And here is our absolutely-no-revelance-to-what-we've-been-discussing-quote:

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king."

-The Fellowship of the Ring, Book I, Chapter X.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Wardrobe Re-Think

I've been really depressed about clothes lately. Take a look at the following, and see if you can relate:
  • Apparently, 'difficult' sewing projects are easier for me than so-called 'easy' projects. Like I need a couple of pairs of pajama shorts, preferably cute cotton ones, so the obvious answer is to make them myself...do I really need to go on?
  • I've recently lost a couple favorite clothing pieces. Yes, lost. They are no where. Who but me looses clothes?
  • Clothes are expensive.
  • Nothing off-the-rack fits and I have yet to learn how to fit clothing properly.
  • Nothing is perfect. I'm always left feeling like I have to settle.
I really like clothes. I love dressing well. For awhile, I had felt like I'd made so much progress. Just compare this post from September to this one from March. Yeah. Just a couple of months, and still the same style, but March is so much more polished than September. Looking at my wardrobe, though. I still have a ways to go. I have some awesome outfits, but I also have a lot of not-so-nice outfits. It seems like a struggle to get dressed in something practical, but still feel pretty and put-together.

Which brings me to the point of this post. In an effort to eliminate the clothing rut I'm in, I'm going to start a new blog series called 'The Wardrobe Re-think'. It will be a rather relaxed series, with no definite end-point and no post schedule. It will simply record my thoughts as I re-evaluate my wardrobe needs, get rid of things, buy things, fit things, and overall re-think the way I've been dressing.

Through The Wardrobe Re-Think, I hope to accomplish the following:

  • Figure out my wardrobe needs.
  • Go through my closet and get rid of pieces that aren't working.
  • Experiment with fitting and re-fashioning items myself.
  • Buy clothing that fits my style and my needs.
  • Learn to be creative with my pieces to create many outfits.
  • Stop settling.
  • Create a wardrobe that I'm proud of, excited to wear, and works for me.
Posts will feature all of the topics above, as well as others that present themselves! I'm planning on doing lots of before/after shots, clothing challenges, and wardrobe lists along the way. If you're in a similar rut right now, and have questions, just shoot me an email and I'll try to address it! I'm so excited to start sharing this with you. :)

Thanks for reading! :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

TYG: A (late) Fourth of July

Can you believe my last Thrifty Yankee Girl post was in March? I wear thrifted clothes literally all the time, so I'll have to try and put a little more effort into getting them up on the blog. :)

I actually wore this outfit on the fourth of July, but hadn't bothered uploading the pictures yet. :) To celebrate the fourth, we went to Strawberry Banke. It's a gorgeous living history museum, filled with old houses and the most beautiful gardens. The old-fashioned feel just begs you to dress up a little, so I pulled out this strapless dress I thrifted a couple of weeks ago.

This dress is so unbelievably comfortable. Seriously! The fabric is this cotton-lyrica-thing, so it's stretchy. Plus, the neckline is straight across and nice and high, so it hardly feels like you're wearing a strapless dress! I don't even think I pulled this dress up all day...a huge plus, if you ask me!

I just love how everything come together. :)

Toile Strapless Dress...Thrifted, $3
Boston Hat...Fannuel Hall, $20
Maroon Fan...Gift from friend
Sandals...Payless, $6

Total cost of outfit: $29

Thanks for reading! :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Straight From The Page: Book Buying and Folly

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Well, the fair ended Sunday night. It was so much fun, as always, but I think Lizzy was ready to get home! Showing went well, and even though we've had a major heat wave in NH these last couple of days, we were able to keep the animals cool. So it's all good! I need to get some more pictures of the sheep on the blog. They're just so stinkin' cute.

I don't really have anything to say about what I've been reading lately. This last week was so busy (think up at five, asleep after 11, every day kind of busy) that not much reading got done. My thoughts are generally the same as last week. Rather than bore you with repetition, I'm going to share my new favorite way to get books...

I love books.

I love owning books.

Books are expensive.

I'm cheap.

Recently, I've been using an awesome little thing called Paperback Swap. Paperback Swap is a website that allows you to post books you don't want anymore by simply typing in their ISBN number. Other people can then order the book, which gives you a credit. All books are bought with credits, so there's no absolutely no purchasing! The sender only pays shipping. And yes, that sounds scary, but it really isn't. I've never spent more than $3.

The best part about PBS is that it feels like you're on a major shopping spree! It's so much fun to know that soon a new book will be waiting in the mailbox. :) Call me a nerd, but I usually 'shop' PBS with my Goodreads tab open, so I can get as many from my to-read shelf as possible. :)

Here's what's arrived from PBS recently...

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. This is in preparation for lit class in the fall. I've read it when I was younger, and I just love Twain, so I'm looking forward to reading it again.

An Assembly Such As This (Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman, No. 1) by Pamela Aidan. Alright, now I'm really excited about this!! I'm a huge Austen fan, but I've always been fairly cautious when it comes to spin offs. When I found this book on Goodreads, however, it really caught my attention. It's basically Pride and Prejudice, from the eyes of Mr. Darcy. Based on reviews, it sounds like it's pretty good. I'm still slightly cautious, but definitely excited to start reading this!

Beginnings of American Literature (Classics for Christians Vol. 3) and Literature of the American People (Classics for Christians Vol. 4). These are also books for lit class. We're going to be doing a lot of short-story reading, and both of these should have most of the ones we're covering.

And for good measure, here's our quote. :)

"'Folly it may seem,' said Haldir. 'Indeed in nothing is the power of the Dark Lord more clearly shown than in the estrangement that divides all those who still oppose him.'"

-The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, Book II, Chapter VI, Lothlorien

Thanks for reading! :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Straight From The Page: Fool of a Took

Only my second week of Straight From The Page posts, and it's a crazily hard work to put one together! *le sigh*. Our church has VBS this week, which is insanely fun. Our teen's class is great, and it's so much fun to watch the younger kids have a blast. :) We've also been doing a lot of prep for the fair at the end of the day, where I'll be showing my sheep. Busy busy!

Reading's been a bit hard to squeeze in lately, but I'm currently enjoying three books! (don't let the picture fool you!).

Glen Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-Of Control Government Inspired by Thomas Paine continues to be a very interesting read. I've finished Glen Beck's part of the book, and now I'm reading through the copy of Thomas Pain'es Common Sense included in the back.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien is simply fantastic. :) They're out of Moria now! I'm hoping to finish this week, but we'll see...

The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie...have I ever mentioned how much I love her?? Nothing makes my day like an Agatha Christie mystery. I'm actually listening to this one, which I downloaded from NH Online Library. If you're an NH resident, I highly suggest checking it out. It uses your local library card to then allow you to check out audiobooks and ebooks for free! Gotta love it. :)

"Pippin felt curiously attracted by the well. While the others were unrolling blankets and making beds against the walls of the camber, as far as possible from the hole in the floor, he crept to the edge and peered over. A chill air seemed to strike his face, rising from invisible depths. Moved by a sudden impulse he groped for a loose stone, and let it drop. He felt his heart beat many times before there was any sound. Then far below, as if the stone had fallen into deep water in some cavernous place, there came a plunk, very distant, but magnified and repeated in the hollow shaft.

"What's that?" cried Gandalf. He was relieved when Pippin confessed what he had done; but he was angry, and Pippin could see his eyes glinting. "Fool of a Took!" he growled. "this is a serious journey, not a hobbit walking-party. Throw yourself in next time, and then you will be no further nuisance. Now be quiet!"

-The Fellowship of the Ring, Book II, Chapter IV, A Journey in the Dark.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


"You have to want it."

"No one can do this but you."

"You're too distracted. You have to be dedicated."

Those were some of the most memorable lines from a recent conversation with my mum. In a moment of insecurity, I had asked her whether she thought Disney on Ice was an achievable skating goal. Let's be honest; I've got a long way to go before I am even up to a level of applying. The entire car ride home we talked about it, and I did genuinely feel better by the end of it.

The fact is, Disney is a hard goal to work towards. It's big, slightly scary, yet not impossible. Yes, there is the potential for me to fail and never skate with them. But what goal doesn't have the potential to fail?

Simply put, I have three options. I could do nothing because Disney is too large of a goal. I could go along half-heartedly but be unwilling to really dedicate myself to skating. Or, I could put every ounce of myself into it, so that even if I fail, I can still look back with no regrets.

Lovely blog readers, I'm going with option three. I will never, ever regret having skated 'too much', but I know I will regret not giving it my all. This fall, I plan on skating five days a week. I'm going to arrange to have an hour a week with my coach. On one of the days when I don't skate, I'll do some form of off-ice training, whether it be biking or Pilates or dry-jumping. I'm going to try and eat better so that I can keep up with myself. I'm going to stretch while watching TV to increase my flexibility.

Mum was right. I am too distracted. On a legal pad, I made a 'lifetime' list of things I want to do someday. Currently there are 120 different goals, and I'm always adding more. I will do them someday, but right now, I need to realize that I can't chase them all at one. Now is the time for me to do well in school, enjoy my last years in 4H, and most of all skate. Instead of running in many different directions, I need to focus and accomplish those goals so that later, I'll have time for the other stuff.

I'm still going to read. I'll always make up stories in my head, and write out ideas for novels. I'll still look up vintage outfits on Pinterest, and scheme about all the things I could sew. My other interests will still be there and still happen, but instead of stressing that I'm not 'doing everything', I'm just going to put skating first. If I have time and desire, great. If not, at least I'm working towards my immediate goals.

So that's my goal. Difficult yes, but impossible, no. What about you? What do you want to accomplish in your life, before you graduate, this year or this week? Stop telling yourself a goal is too big. It's a surefire way to never accomplish it. Even if we fail, we'll be better people because of the work we put into achieving our goal. So, there really is no loosing!

Thanks for reading! :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Straight From The Page: Plain Old Common Sense

Hello all! Remember on Friday when I posted a favorite poem from The Fellowship of the Ring? Well, I had a lot of fun sharing that, so I think I'll make it sort of a weekly thing. :) Every Tuesday, I'll share what books I'm reading, how far a long I am, and a favorite excerpt! We'll call it Straight From the Page. If you'd like, feel free to join in and leave a link in the comments. It's all about spreading the book love, after all!

I'm currently in the middle of three books...

Glen Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government Inspired by Thomas Paine is so insightful and fun to read! I love that Glen Beck's writing style is very similar to his radio-host-style, which makes it very engaging.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien is reaffirming it's place as a favorite. I love reading through and thinking of things differently than I did last time I read it!

Screenwriting For Teens: The 100 Principles of Screenwriting Every Budding Writer Must Know by Christina Hamlett has been slow going, but still good. I can't wait to use these principles while writing fun scripts for the cousins!

"So, the government isn't anti-gun, but, by their constant introduction of new regulations and arduous requirements, they seem to be anti-YOU owning a gun. 

The way the flawed logic in Washington apparently works is that if you're protecting federal property or providing security to government employees, our government wants to make sure you have access to a gun. But if you want that same gun to protect your family and home, our government treats you like a common criminal.

I urge you to remember that the power of government is limited to the power that we have lent it. It cannot have any power that we as citizens do not have. If government claims for itself the right to defend its property and people through the use of arms, then common sense tells us that we must also have the same right. Rights come from God to us and we lend them to government. We must never allow them to convince us that our rights come from them."

-Glen Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government Inspired by Thomas Paine, page 77-78.

Thanks for reading! :)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Trolls and Shinbones

The following is probably the best piece of writing every published on this blog. And with that, I leave you an excerpt from The Fellowship of the Ring, Book i, Chapter xii: Flight to the Ford, by J.R.R. Tolkien

"Troll sat alone on his seat of stone,
And munched and mumbled a bare old bone;
For many a year he had gnawed it near,
For meat was hard to come by.
Done by! Gum by!
In a cave in the hills he dwelt alone,
And meat was hard to come by.

Up came Tom with his big boots on.
Said he to troll: 'Pray, what is yon?
For it looks like the shin o' my nuncle Tim,
As should be a-lyin' in graveyard.
Caveyard! Paveyard!
This many a year has Tim been gone,
And I thought he were lyin' in graveyard.'

'My lad,' said Troll, 'this bone I stole.
But what be bones that lie in a hole?
Thy nuncle was dead as a lump o' lead,
Afore I found his shinbone
Tinbone! Thinbone!
He can spare a share for a poor old troll,
For he don't need his shinbone.'

Said Tom: 'I don't see why the likes o' thee
Without axin' leave should go makin' free
With the shank or the shin o' my father's kin;
So hand the old bone over!
Rover! Trover!
Though dead he be, it belongs to he;
So hand the old bone over!

'For a couple o' pins,' says Troll, and grins,
'I'll eat thee too, and gnaw thy shins.
A bit o' fresh meat will go down sweet!
I'll try my teeth on thee now.
Hee now! See now!
I'm tired o' gnawing old bones and skins;
I've a mind to dine on thee now.'

But just as he thought his dinner was caught,
He found his hands had hold of naught.
Before he could mind, Tom slipped behind
And gave him the boot to larn him.
Warn him! Darn him!
A bump o' the boot on the seat, Tom thought,
Would be the way to larn him.

But harder than stone is the flesh and bone
Of a troll that sits in the hills alone.
As well set your boot to the mountain's root,
For the seat of a troll don't feel it.
Peel it! Heal it!
Old Troll laughed, when he heard Tom groan,
And he knew his toes could feel it.

Tom's leg is game, since home he came,
And his bootless foot is lasting lame'
But Troll didn't care, and he's still there
With the bone he boned from its owner.
Doner! Boner! 
Troll's old seat is still the same, 
And the bone he boned from its owner!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

"It Is Better To Be Absolutely Ridiculous Than Absolutely Boring."

That is exactly what this post is. Imperfect, mad, and ridiculous. I'll leave it to up to you about the beautiful and genuius parts, but this post will certainly not be boring. The fairly quite, strong happiness I tried to express in the last post has since been replaced by a crazy, scatter-brained life that somehow is still perfectly lovely and exciting.

Now that I'm back from the 2013 NH 4-H Teen Conference, I figured I should update you! As always, TC was more fun than could ever be expressed in one blog post. I was able to room with my absolutely wonderful friend, Deanna, which resulted in late night talks, crazed laughter, and gooey brownies. I absolutely loved the zumba workshop, as well as the aerial-ropes-course workshop. Kickboxing, though, was easily one of the hardest things I've ever done. I did it with one of the boys in our group, and both of us were so sweaty after we could easily have wrung out our shirts. Very gross, but so much fun!

Aside from the workshops, we also had a super fun time on The Mount Washington cruise ship for the final banquet and dance, and got wet at the Gym and Swim. For me, though, one of the hightlights was the first day's keynote speaker, Brandon Lee White. He is a professional ballroom dancer, a youth speaker, an author, an entrepreneur, and a generally amazing, classy guy. His entire speech about being coureageous was so well done and really hit home with me on several points. I just loved the fact that he took the time to hang out with us for the rest of the day, coming to the karaoke party and dance. He danced with anyone that wanted to, and I had so much fun dancing with him! Honestly, if a guy leads properly, you don't even have to know how to dance. I also bought his book, Don't Be A Lamesauce, and can't wait to read it.

We were the classiest and most mature table there....thus the reason we hung spoons off our noses.
Of course, part of what makes TC fun is all the craziness that occurs during free time. Since our county is a very close knit group of boys and girls, most of our time was spent in the lounges or out on the steps. We had water bottle fights, poking matches, deep conversations and absolutely laughable moments. I love every one in our group so much.

The fun hasn't stopped since I've gotten home, though! There is lots of busyness, such as summer classes, preparing for VBS, major de-cluttering, and the first fair of the season. I really haven't settled, and I usually just break out dancing when I should be filing paperwork. (Sorry. That is just the best song).

You may have noticed that this very clever picture has made it into my sidebar...

Some people can really hit something on the head. This is just too perfect.

I've been trying to do more reading, and I absolutely love the Shakespeare In The Purse article by The Musings of the Pen. Plus the blog just looks generally fantastic! And if your faith in humanity needs restoring, I highly suggest this pin. But let's not forget slow-dancing Tom Hiddleston, the extremely versatile Bennedict Cumberbatch, and real-life Jim and Pam.

There, have I shown you every little link and pin I've been loving lately? Not even close! I hope you've enjoyed this little update, I apologize for my hyper-blogging, and please do check out my Pinterest boards if you want more awesome randomness. On a completely unrelated note, did you know that the actor of Eomer (Carl Urban) is the same guy who plays Bones in Star Trek?? No! I didn't either! I can totally see it now, but it never would have occurred to me by myself.

Thanks for reading! :)