Friday, February 28, 2014

Monthlies: February '14

f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 4
Modelling with breakfast cookies, and a prom dress preview!
In February:
-Passed Intermediate MIF!
-Started working on the Novice MIF test.
-Did a lot more hanging out with friends.
-Fell in love with Psych again.
-Started some to-do list habits that might actually work for me.
-Finally got to listen to Beck and Rush again, since Dad fixed the car radio!!

Goals for March:
-Do a well put-together demonstration and speech at 4-H County Activities Day.
-Start 4-H Fashion Revue projects.
-Really push with school.
-Land an axel.
-Mange my email better.

Books Read this Month:
Read My Bonny Light Horseman (Bloody Jack #6) by L.A. Meyer which was (obviously) fantastic. I also listened to The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride #1) by James Patterson while driving to the rink, since the car radio was on the fritz. I was disappointed, honestly, because I'd heard some much about Patterson and this book was no where near 'amazing'. It was good, and I could see others liking it, but I still don't feel the need to finish the series. I've also been reading several short stories and some of Robert Frost's poetry for lit class.

Reading Goals for March:
After ditching the audio book of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen because it was taking me too long to finish, I re-started the book in print (I know that doesn't make sense, but whatever). So, I'd like to finish that. I've really had a preference for light-hearted chick lit lately, so I'd also like to read either Sweet Tea and Secrets, A Weekend With Mr. Darcy, or The Cubicle Next Door.  In a dream world I would also pick up The Two Towers for a re-read, but we'll see. :)

Recent Favorites:
This post,  this outfit,  and this photo  from The College Prepster. And yes, I'm blog crushing.
This Master Muffin Mix from Sally's Baking Addiction! So much experimenting!
On a more serious note, this post from A Beautiful Mess was really comforting to me.
This incredible quote. I refuse to be bored!
And this hysterical quote, from none other than The Other Juliette: Did he REALLY just say that?

On The Blog:
Published 5 posts this month! I wish I could blog more, but I must say, this weekly post thing is perfect for me right now. This month I admitted to my first fictional character crush, and then followed it up with my Fictional Character Dream Boyfriend Wishlist. We talked winter-time reads in a reading list to break out of a slump, and wrapped it all up by linking to The Sunday Currently. Oh! Let's not forget that one of last month's posts, 15 Winter Wardrobe Rants, has made it into Young Yankee Lady's top 10-most-read posts! It's exciting because it's the only one that deserves to be there!

Thanks for reading today, guys! Check back in this weekend for this week's 'official' post! Have a happy March!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

TYG: The Sunday Currently

The last couple of weeks have been busy, but great. As usual, I've been over thinking things but (maybe) in a good way. I don't want to say too much, mainly because I'm not really sure of how to express what I've been thinking, but I'm just feeling really...contented? I feel really happy to be alive, and to be 17, and to be here. I feel like working harder and being better and loving more. And apparently like writing cliches, as well. :P

READING: Just finished My Bonny Light Horseman by L.A. Meyer. I've also been listening to The Angel Experiment by James Patterson while driving, since our car radio hasn't been working, and while I can't say it's amazing, it's good.

WRITING: This post. And lab reports. Unending lab reports.

LISTENING: Brad Paisley! And this. I recently re-discovered it and can't get enough (again).

THINKING: That Downton Abbey should get some convincing American actors/actresses.

SMELLING: Chicken wings.

WISHING: For chocolate.

HOPING: For the opportunity to wear flats without getting my feet wet. I'm tired of boots.

WEARING: Christmas tree pajama pants and a 4-H sweatshirt. Pay no attention to the photos, those were taken on Thursday.

LOVING: Life. And skating. And friends.

WANTING: These brownies. Or these. Or these!

NEEDING: To execute some self control when it comes to sweets (see above).

FEELING: Happy and content.


Outfit Details: jeans & belt / / thrifted, cardigan & tee / / jc penny's, scarf & flats / / gifts, purse / / fair.

Previously Worn: cardigan: #1, #2, #3. flats: #1. jeans: #1.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Mid-Winter Rut Reading List

Winter's my favorite season. I love the crisp-ness outside, and the coziness inside. That being said, though, Februaries have a tendency to play with my mind. I always associate them with being busy, being bored, and having wet slush instead of pretty snow, which of course doesn't raise my opinion of them.

But what better way to banish the February-blahs than with reading? If you're stuck in a mid-winter rut, try out these books for instant boredome busting. I've included two picks for each featured genre; one I've read and highly recommend, and one I can't wait to try myself. Happy devouring!

Nothing beats a good adventure novel to break up winter's monotony, right?

Totally Recommend: The Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer is my go-to adventure novel (reading book 6 right now, and loving it!). They're full of twists, pirates, witty banter, romance; and have a really strong female heroine. What's not to love?

Can't wait to Try: The Agency series by Y.S. Lee. These have been sitting in my Goodreads account for awhile, and maybe this is the winter I finally get to them. Set in Victorian England, they follow young orphan Mary Quinn, who is being taught at a girl's academy that is really just a cover-up for an all-girl investigative unit. Sounds fun!

And what about the kings and queens of winter reading: cozy crime?

Totally Recommend: While Agatha Christie is the queen of cozy crime, might I branch out and suggest a less popular (but awesome) series, instead? The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith follows Precious Romotswe, a 'traditionally built woman of Botswana', as she sets out to found her own detective agency. Each back features several mini mysteries, as well as a more personal plot. They're easy, quick, and funny, a light-hearted but still good read for winter nights.

Can't Wait to Try: The Inspector Morse series by Colin Dexter. So, I've watched Inspector Lewis, the spin-off show from the original Inspector Morse, and really liked it. Mum's read these books, and says the mysteries are really good, although Morse leaves a bit wanting in terms of a lovely main character. But, I still can't wait to try out another mystery series. You can't ever have too many, right?

Missing your favorite books, but don't feel like re-reading? Fan-Fiction is the answer!

Totally Recommend:  The Fitwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy by Pamela Aidan. Aidan has basically split Pride and Prejudice into three parts, telling each from Darcy's viewpoint. I thought her depiction of him was believable and genuine, and the she did a good job re-telling the events in P&P. Definitely a fun read. Warning: this book will get you in a total Austen mood.

Can't Wait to Try: The Austen Addicts series by Victoria Connelly. This totally falls into the chick-lit category, but, well, who cares? These books follow modern Austen-obsessed women through their own (and slightly familiar!) romances. Plus the titles are too cute. A Weekend With Mr. Darcy? Beat that!

How about something dark, and moody (like the weather outside!)? Here's my Gothic picks:

Totally Recommend: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte was the first full-length Victorian novel I ever read, thus putting in a special place in my heart. I've sung it's praises before, and it's still one of my favorite reads for the fall/winter. There's something about the weather matching the mood of the book that makes me happy!

Can't Wait to Try: The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett. They just turned this into a PBS special, under the name 'The Making of a Lady', and of course I have to read it before watching it! The book seems very raw and unique, qualities that will definitely make this a book to amp-up your winter reading.

And what would be a reading list without fantasy?

Totally Recommend: I've been re-reading Tolkien's works lately, and obviously recommend each and every one of them. The Two Towers, though, has been on my mind a lot lately. It's easily my favorite of the trilogy (by a small margin, but still), mainly because of all the happenings with Rohan.

Can't Wait to Try: The Inheritence Cycle series by Christopher Paolini. Yes, yes, I know it's practically a sin in the fantasy world to not have read these, but I've never gotten around to it. Eragon, though, is currently sitting on my shelf and I have a hunch I'll be picking it up soon. Dragons are easily one of my favorite aspects of fantasy, so I'm excited. Plus, I've read some about Christopher Paolini, and he seems really cool!

But what about romance? We just had Valentine's Day, after all!

Totally Recommend: I'm actually reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen right now, so of course it makes the top of my romance list! While any Austen is utterly fantastic, Lizzy will always be my favorite heroine.While the romance genre is so large it should be split into sub-genres, in my mind, nothing beats a classic.

Can't Wait to Try: My Mum read Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell last year, and fell in love with it, so of course I need to try it. I was bad, and watched the mini-series, but that only heightened my interest in the book. Written in an Austen meets Bronte style (or at least that's what it feels like to me), the book is darker than Austen's novels, while still offering sweet romance, sympathetic characters, and the charms of a quaint English town.

But what if your reading moods are turning towards non-fiction this winter? Biography:

Totally Recommend: While I am by no means an avid non-fiction reader, Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence made me resolve to pick up these important reads more often. I loved this book because of how honest and thorough the writing was. While we know very little of Jane Austen herself, through letters and family history, Spence paints what appears to be an accurate picture of this remarkable woman. I appreciated that he mused about what we don't know about her, without putting words in her mouth.

Can't Wait to Try: How To Be Lovely: The Audrey Hepburn Way of Life by Melissa Hellstern was one of the first books I ever added to my Goodreads list, which means I should probably pick it up soon. 'More philosophy than biography', according to Goodreads, it takes from Interviews and those who knew Audrey to create a look into the one of the most iconic women of Old Hollywood. The book talks about the art of living genuinely, with femininity and kindness, areas we all admire Audrey for.

That's it for my list! Books really are the best remedy for perking up from the winter blues, right? I just have one more question for you: what are you reading?

Linking with: Join the Gossip.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Intermediate MIF!!

So, guys: today I passed my Intermediate Moves in the Field test.

Whoo Hoooo!

Nothing compares with passing a test, people. NOTHING. It's really affirming. You feel like you're on the right path, that you (maybe) have things together, and that things will work out and goals actually will be reached.

This past week, I was nervous (the last week's always the hardest, am I right?). But today, I zoned in the moment I got to the rink. Stretching went well. My warm up was great. And I was just able to get out and do my job.

I can't wait to start working on the Novice MIF test. It's got all new stuff, rather than building on old patterns, and from what I've heard is a big jump up after Intermediate. Still, I'm so excited! I love learning new moves patterns, and having something new to work towards is a great feeling.

So yeah, I'm kind of psyched. I was really happy with how I skated today, because I was able to focus and control my nerves rather than collapsing in a pile of wobbles. And now, I can start in on a new goal. It was a great day, people!

Thanks for reading. :)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fictional Character Dream Boyfriend Wishlist

Just one question, ladies:

What is the one thing every single lady thinks about on Valentine's Day?

I mean, other than chocolate, obviously. Although that's a very good guess.

I'm thinking something a little more personal...

And no, it's not what combination of red and pink to wear. I like the way you think, though.

Since this is obviously a less obvious question than I originally thought, I'll just tell you.

She thinks about her boyfriend!

Or, at least, her imaginary-boyfriend-who-has-yet-to-arrive-but-will-certainly-sweep-her-off-her-feet. And when we she wants to take it a bit further, she throws fictional characters into the mix!

Now, keep in mind that this is absolutely no reflection on me. I certainly never make totally unrealistic plans involving fictional characters and our futures together. This is simply what I hear others do, you understand. Ahem. Glad that's straightened out...

So for those of you that AREN'T ME and actually do this sort of thing, here's a dream boyfriend wishlist based off of fictional characters. Feel free to fall madly in love, because I totally did while writing this. Ready?

Riley's sense of humor. 

I mean, who doesn't want a funny guy? Riley's the type of person that would definitely try to cheer you up on a bad day, and nothing gets better than that.

Prince Phillip's smile and overall smoothness. 

I mean, just look at the guy. Or, actually, wait! DON'T LOOK! Don't want to be swooning before the post is even done, now do we?

Mr. Darcy's expressions.

I know, I know. All I can say about Mr. Darcy is that I like his expressions? Now listen up ladies. If it were up to me, I would have just slapped his picture up and called it a day, because seriously, he beats every other character in this post by about 2 million (sorry guys). BUT. Out of all of his extremely amazing qualitiies, I personally think his expressions are the most unique and therefore the best for this type of post. Speaking of, have you noticed how adorable his smile can be? Or how worried he looks for Elizabeth?

Watson's loyalty.

He's loyal, self-sacrificing, and thinks clearly enough to save those he loves. Plus his sweaters (and smile...and everything) is plum adorable.

Sam's stories & love for home.

Don't know about you, but I'd fall for any guy who could tell me stories of Middle Earth. Sam's really good at storytelling, and add on the fact that he cooks and gardens, and you've got one domestic bloke. What with all the adventurous, out-of-the-norm guys we're seeing in this post so far, a happy at home man is a nice change of pace. Sam's husband material, through and through.

George Bailey's work ethic & sense of what's right.

Nothing beats a good, solid, conservative man. He puts family first and does what's right, but still has ambition and dreams. What's not to love?

Prince Eric's eyes.

If you thought I'd already gushed too much about Eric, well, I'm sorry. But not really. Because seriously, THOSE EYES.

Boromir's pride.

Okay, okay. So you'd have Denethor as a father-in-law and be widowed rather quickly, but hey, this guy has values. He's proud of where he comes from and sees the best in the people, even though he's smart enough to realize things need to change in Gondor.

Woody's chivalry.

Maybe some girls don't like it, but I definitely do. I mean, let's be honest, gentlemanly behavior is probably the number one reason girls obsess over southern/mid-western guys. Woody's the type who'll get the door, tip his hat, and offer you his coat, and we need more of that.

Mr. Thornton's passion.

This guy feels things deeply and sometimes let's his emotions get the best of him (in a totally attractive way, of course). Plus, he rolls his sleeves up when he works. I know I don't even need to explain that point.

Harry's voice (and hair. and height).

So, having two different characters played by the same actor isn't cheating, right? Yup, didn't think so. While a bit obscure, Harry from The Vicar of Dibley totally deserves this list. First off, Richard Armitage's voice sounds like butter on warm oatmeal bread (uh huh, I said it). Secondly, his hair is way too fantastic. And thirdly, he's really, really tall. As a heel obsessed girl, that's pretty big.

Wilton Parmenter's sweetness.

Sweet's bound to make every girl's wishlist, and Wilton's got it covered. Don't know what I mean? Watch F-Troop. You'll die from gushy feelings.

Bert's dancing.

Every dream boyfriend HAS. TO. DANCE. Why? Because we said so. My heart loves tap, so Bert's my man.

Roger's style.

Slacks and button downs and sweater vests forever, people. Plus he carries a pocket handkerchief.

Jim's best-friend qualities.

You see, Jim's the type that wouldn't just be your boyfriend; he'd be your best friend. That's pretty special, and definitely worthy of a spot on this list.

Sherlock's coat.

Popped collar? Yes please.

Robin Hood's sense of romance.

Is it weird I'm featuring a cartoon fox? Probably. But I don't care. Robin Hood's an old-fashioned romantic, and you'd be crazy to say no to that.

Eomer's sense of honor/his being protective.

Specifically, I'm thinking of when he's beating up on Wormtongue for stalking Eowyn. If he gets like that over his sister, just imagine how protective he'd be of his girl! Men of the Mark for the win, girls.

Merlin's sarcasm.

Merlin will remind you to keep things in perspective and not take stuff too seriously.

Hawkeye's laugh.

Nothing gets me more than his laugh. It's beautiful in the fact that it's totally unique, totally genuine, and totally him. Who cares if it's loud? It's cuter that way.

Everyone that made it on this list deserves to be on it for more reasons than one--and certainly more reasons than what I've included! Obviously, this is far from complete. But that's where you come in! Chime in in the comments with your Fictional Character Boyfriend Wishlist, and make us swoon.

Have a great Valentine's Day, everyone! See you next week. :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

TYG: My First Fictional Character Crush Revealed & How I Started Skating

Casual pencil skirt outfit gray tee headscarf via Young Yankee Lady

I'm an awfully romantic sort of person. Add on to that the fact that everything I do must be perfectly planned out in a color coordinated notebook, and, well, I know no limits. You see, I have the habit of taking crushes (fictional & real (although the former's a lot more common)) to the 'next level', so to speak. Namely, by planning out our entire lives and fretting over details so that I WILL BE PREPARED.

Don't believe me?

1.) How about the time I was researching geeky care packages just in case I married someone from the military who also happened to be into The Lord of the Rings?

2.) Or when I decided I didn't have a 'real' crush on this guy, because his last name would sound terrible with mine, and God would never put me with someone who's last name clashed with Gillian.

3.) Or the hours I've spent worrying about being nicer so that I might make an acceptable preacher's wife, just in case that's needed?

4.) Or when I got extremely jealous after my friend and I took a quiz, and it said she would marry Sam Wise Gamgee, and then she wouldn't give in and let me have him, EVEN THOUGH I'VE LOVED HIM SINCE I WAS 10. Seriously. I'm still torn up over that.

5.) Or just recently, when my cousin and I were watching Disney's The Swiss Family Robinson, and we started fighting over who got Fritz. I HAD claimed him before the movie started, taking advantage of the fact that she'd forgotten which one was which. 

I SAID: He's too old for you!

SHE SAID: He's too old for you! He's dead!

I'd forgotten about that.

Casual pencil skirt outfit gray tee headscarf via Young Yankee Lady

Anyways, that's enough proof of my insanity, isn't it?

So, yeah. I'm overzealous with my, uh, life planning. And the funny thing is, this is so not new. I've been like this for eternity. I made these exact same plans, even more, when I realized my first fictional character crush.

Of course, to me, he was not at all fictional. To four-year-old Gillian, he was simply the most caring, cute, and utterly indescribable guy of all time. And he could sing. AND he had gorgeous hair. I was obviously going to marry him.

You ready?

I was in love...



That's right. The loyal, adventurous, and totally sweet guy from The Little Mermaid. And I mean, can you blame me? HIS HAIR. HIS EYES. Seriously, the eyes. Bright blue. LIKE THE OCEAN THAT HE LOVES!! *sigh*.

Casual pencil skirt outfit gray tee headscarf via Young Yankee Lady

And honestly, he still has a very special place in my heart. I can't even watch The Little Mermaid without going gah-gah for him. 

Like when he's all, "When I find the right girl, I'll know it. It'll just hit me, BAM. Like lightning." 

He's determined to wait for the perfect girl. A true romantic, am I right?

And then there's the part where he's frustrated, and passionately throws his flute-thing into the ocean. And then the camera zooms into, once again, THOSE EYES. And then Ursuala tricks him, but we'll ignore that part.

Of course, only making me even more love sick, was the fact that at the same time I was totally crushing on a real-life guy who's name was, get this, Eric.

Real-life Eric was about 15 or so at the time. His parents were good friends with my grandmother, and since I was at her house all the time when I was little, I knew him pretty well. In my mind, Prince Eric and Real Eric were pretty much the exact same person, only making my love for the both of them grow stronger. I completely ignored the fact that Real Eric's hair was blonde, and sort of spiky, instead of black and wavy. And the fact that Real Eric was in fact not a prince, but a figure skater.


He figure skated. And is pretty much the reason that I skate, now. You see, once Mum figured out that dance wasn't really my thing, she called up Real Eric's mum to talk skating. Of course, I had to go to the local club that Eric skated at (!), and that was that, and I started.

Casual pencil skirt outfit gray tee headscarf via Young Yankee Lady

I remember thinking I was SO MUCH BETTER. Because I knew the awesome boy who junior coached, and he knew who I was and would talk to me. Yeah. I was a heart sick, jealous, four year-old, okay? 

Anyways, the years went by and I continued to love him. He was on my favorite people list, as I'm so found of saying. Also, random fact: he worked at Dustons. 

Dustons? What's Dustons? Says the poor, trapped readers forced to listen to the love story of a four year old. Well. I'll tell you.

Dustons is every skaters dream. It's a bakery/deli right across from the rink, with the BEST doughnuts and the BEST chicken fingers and more flavors of coffee than you could ever wish for. It's frequented by all groups of people, and they play ABC family movies all day on Saturday. Everyone who works there is nice and it's pretty much the best place on earth.

And Eric worked there. So cool, right? I mean, the skater, working at the skater hang out on Saturdays after he skated. Mum and I would walk over there after group lessons and he would give me my doughnut. I loved being four.

Then the annual spring skating show came around. Eric, being the awesome person he was, got me a bouquet of flowers. I was so pleased with myself. Mum, being the considerate mother she is, helped me to press them in a book, so that I could keep them forever. She said then they wouldn't get old that way, which sounded pretty good to me. 

But of course, my version of 'never get old' was different than my mum's. Mum's meant that they would dry and be a pretty keepsake. I assumed that they would be perfectly pristine, vibrantly colored, and uncrushed, just like they were right then.

After we took them out of the book, I was appalled. I screamed, grabbed the brown and, to me, dead flower from Mum and crumpled it in my hands before running upstairs.

I was a charming child.

So yeah. Real Eric grew up and went to college, and I kept skating. Not to get too sappy, but he's a big reason why I started skating and I still think of him a lot. More than you think about the average crush you had when you were four years old, anyway. Oh, and Prince Eric? He lived happily ever after, until they made The Little Mermaid 2 and he had to rescue his daughter, but I've honestly blocked that entire movie and I don't even remember the plot. Something about a skinny Ursula. I don't know.

Wait, what was I saying?

Anyways, now you know more about evil, lovesick, little Gillian than you ever really wanted to. You're welcome.

Casual pencil skirt outfit gray tee headscarf via Young Yankee Lady

Outfit Details: headscarf / / hand-me-down, tee / / old navy, tank / / hand-me-down, pencil skirt / / thrifted, tights / / george via walmart, boots / / hand-me-down, ring / / gift.

Stalk These Pieces: toile pencil skirt: #1, #2, #3, #4. gray pirate boots: #1, #2.

Like what you see? View the rest of my Thrifty Yankee Girl posts here.