The amazing Emma Thompson wrote and starred in this version of the book. Sense and Sensibility was the first Jane Austen book I read, and this was the first Jane Austen adaptation I saw. I think this film is enough to make anyone fall in love with the works of Jane Austen.
It’s hardly a secret that I like getting packages in the mail, so of course, I jump at the chance to participate in blogger swaps. This month I participated in the Chaotic Goddess Swaps’ Local Flavor Swap. My partner was Ashley from Array of Style, and she sent me an awesome box stuffed full of Californian goodness.
You probably can’t tell from the picture but the earrings are film strips and the postcard is made of wood! The t-shirt is very cute and makes me miss my days living on the West Coast. Ashley, also, sent a sweet card, a starfish, and caramel popcorn (which was delicious!). Thank you, Ashley, for this awesome surprise!
Chaotic Goddess Swaps host swaps throughout the year, so be sure to check them out if you want to get involved!
Back to school, back from vacation, back from that summer slow-down, September usually means back to business for everyone. Well, until Halloween, then we’re all back in slow-down mode. Anyway… one of the great things about September, Fashion Month, paired with Fall Fashion. Your excuse to get dressed up again. For a fashion lover, that’s even better than vacation.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be a Whovian. Of course, you probably already know that, but if you are not blessed to be a member of this fandom, fear not! I shall explain. Doctor Who is a British television series that follows a Time Lord called the Doctor, who travels through space and time battling injustice (kind of like a science-fiction version of Sherlock Holmes). If you have never seen the show, this weekend is a great time to start watching because the new season is about to start and with it a new Doctor. The Doctor has been played by several actors over the years, but this Saturday, Peter Capaldi will be wielding the sonic screwdriver.
As a rage baker, the kitchen is where I go to de-stress. Whipping up a batch of cookies is a good way to fix a bad day. Also, I’m the type of girl who will sit down and read a cookbook like it’s a novel. Peg Bracken’s The Compleat I Hate To Cook Book is excellent if you want to be entertained by a book of recipes. While the recipes are a little dated (The book was originally published in 1960, and my own copy is from 1988.), Peg’s witty style will entertain those who like to read about food. I’ve only tried a few of the recipes in the book, but Scotch Shortbread is my favorite. I love shortbread cookies (No eggs! I can east as much cookie dough as I want!), and this recipe is ridiculously easy. So easy it only calls for three ingredients that are a staple in every baker’s kitchen – butter, sugar, and flour.
Being me, I can’t resist making a simple recipe more complicated. With Scotch Shortbread as my starting point, I played around in the kitchen and created Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies. If you’ve never made brown butter, it’s not hard, and this video gives a great explanation.
Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies
2 sticks butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
In a saucepan, cook the butter until melted, bubbling, and brown. Remove from heat, and add sugar and vanilla. Let the mixture cool. (It will smell delicious but resist the urge to eat it. You need it for the cookies.) In a bowl, mix together butter mixture and flour. Dough will be crumbly but should form little balls. Press dough into a small, greased pan. (I like to use coconut oil.) Sprinkle top with sugar and a little kosher salt. Bake at 300°F for about one hour. The edges of the cookie should be slightly golden brown. Cookies are best if left overnight before being cut into bars, but if you can’t wait that long, just know that the cookies will be a bit crumbly (see picture). On that note, shortbread crumbs taste amazing mixed into yogurt.
I find the cyclical nature of fashion fascinating. Throughout history, what comes around goes around, and the clothes of our ancestors continue to inspire us today. Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors, so naturally, the movies based on her books are in constant rotation thus feeding my obsession with her characters’ style. Born in 1775, Jane lived in a time of turmoil and change, so it is no wonder that fashion reflected a passion for ancient times defined by mythological heroes. While the high-waisted trend started in France (thanks to Marie Antoinette and Josephine Bonaparte), it was, also, inspired by the Neoclassical rage that swept through Europe.
This behind the scenes video for the BBC mini series Emma looks at the costumes used for different characters and is a wonderful starting point for learning how to add a little of the era into your wardrobe.
I love the idea of finding inspiration for the characters in the rich colors of oil paintings and the way the use of layers and textures build a look. While women of the time could wear multiple outfits a day depending on that day’s activities, Jane spends very little time describing fashion. It is up to our imagination to decide what Lizzie wore while out walking or what Fanny wore while she was riding.
Forget a corset, a maxi dress is an easy way to channel one of Jane Austen’s heroines without looking too costumey. For day, a straw hat and boots are a nice addition as well as an interesting piece of jewelry.
Sadly, balls do not make up most people’s social calendar, but you can add some Regency flair to your next formal event with a pastel colored gown with an empire waist. Skip the high heels and opt for flats. Finish the look with simple gold jewelry.
There is something incredibly satisfying about a project that does not take long to complete. This simple bracelet is the perfect way to while away an afternoon while using up extra beads from past projects.
Leather cord (Cut a piece that is 2.5 times larger than your wrist.)
5 Small beads (Make sure the holes are big enough for the cord to easily slide through.)
1 Large bead (Two pieces of cord need to be able to slide through this hole.)
Slide three of the small beads onto your leather cord. With the beads centered on the cord, make a knot next to each end bead.
Thread each end of the cord through the large bead so that a piece of cord comes out each side of the bead.
Adjust the bracelet so that you can easily slip it on and off. Cut the excess cord, and place a small bead on each end. Knot each end.
Another school year is upon us, and even though I won’t be rushing to class anytime soon, I can’t help but drool over the latest back to school offerings. For almost the last month, every trip to Target has included at least one stop in the school section where I browse the stacks of notebooks and comb the bins of glue and sticky notes. While I don’t really need another 50 cent composition book, it’s a little harder tearing myself away from the new selection of backpacks, especially with so many designer options available. From Vera Bradley to Givenchy, these backpacks are meant for more than just the classroom.