Classic Literature Movie Marathon

Classic Literature Movie Marathon

Fall is coming much faster than I would like. I can’t believe that September is only a few days away. In honor of the new school year, here are three, beautiful movies based on classic books.

Jane Eyre (2011)

Jane Eyre makes me think of fall. While my favorite adaptation is the Masterpiece mini series, this recent version of the book is beautiful. The sumptuous sets and costumes are not to be missed.

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

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.

Les Misérables (2012)

When I read Les Misérables in high school, I did not care for it, and while I have made no attempts to re-read the book, I did fall in love with the film. While the movie is long, it is not boring.

Do you have a favorite movie based on a book?

Local Flavor Swap

Local Flavor Swap

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.

Local Flavor Swap

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!

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Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup

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Back to Reality by: Jennine Jacob

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.

Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup

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Inspired By Doctor Who

How to Tell if You Are a Whovian…

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.

Channel the look of the Doctor’s TARDIS with this cute TARDIS tank dress from ThinkGeek. Accessorize the look with sonic screwdriver earrings and paint your nails with the perfectly named Across The Universe nail polish from Deborah Lippmann.

Inspired by Doctor Who If you are feeling like a villain, this Dalek a-line dress is for you. Throw on a biker jacket and hit the town. Inspired by Doctor Who For more posts on Doctor Who, check out How to Throw a Doctor Who Party and Halloween in Your Closet: Doctor Who.

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Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies

Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies

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

kosher salt

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.

What’s your favorite recipe to make?

How to Dress Like a Jane Austen Heroine

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.

How to Dress Like a Jane Austen Heroine

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.

How to Dress Like a Jane Austen Heroine

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Do you have a favorite Jane Austen character?

DIY: How to Make a Simple Leather Bracelet

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.

DIY: How to Make a Simple Leather Bracelt

Supplies:

  • 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.)
  • Scissors

Step 1

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.

Step 2

Thread each end of the cord through the large bead so that a piece of cord comes out each side of the bead.

Step 3

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.

DIY: How to Make a Simple Leather Bracelt

Do you have a favorite DIY project?

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Back to School Shopping: Printed Backpacks

Back to School Shopping: Printed Backpacks

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.

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Summer Reading Challenge: Love and Other Foreign Words

Love and other Foreign Words

Sixteen-year-old Josie lives her life in translation. She speaks High School, College, Friends, Boyfriends, Break-ups, and even the language of Beautiful Girls. But none of these is her native tongue — the only people who speak that are her best friend Stu and her sister Kate. So when Kate gets engaged to an epically insufferable guy, how can Josie see it as anything but the mistake of a lifetime? Kate is determined to bend Josie to her will for the wedding; Josie is determined to break Kate and her fiancé up. As battles are waged over secrets and semantics, Josie is forced to examine her feelings for the boyfriend who says he loves her, the sister she loves but doesn’t always like, and the best friend who hasn’t said a word — at least not in a language Josie understands.

Erin McCahan’s Love and Other Foreign Words  is a sweet and thoughtful coming of age novel that follows teenage Josie as she navigates her way through the tricky waters of love and friendship. Obsessed with languages and the ways different social groups use words, Josie is constantly translating conversations trying to get to the heart of what the speaker means. After all, cool isn’t just a temperature. However, love is one word that doesn’t comfortably translate into Josie. When Josie’s favorite sister, Kate, becomes engaged to a guy Josie doesn’t like, Josie does everything in her power to stop the wedding and save her sister from a lifetime of unhappiness, but how can Josie prevent something she doesn’t fully understand?

I loved this book and talked about it in my July Favorites video. When I first flipped through the novel, I was expecting an average YA story, but when I started reading it, I was immediately sucked into Josie’s head. Josie is precocious but emotionally immature. She is a smart student but prone to over-thinking life outside of the classroom. Josie’s point of view dictated how I saw the other characters in the novel. Even though I knew the moral of the story was not going to be how Josie stopped her sister’s wedding, I couldn’t help wanting Josie to succeed. Kate was annoying; the fiance was impossible. There were times I was ready to jump through the pages in order to help Josie get back at Kate. I love it when a story pulls me in like that.

You can find out more about Erin McCahan by visiting her website and following her on Twitter and Facebook.

booksparks summer reading challenge

This book was sent to me for review and is part of BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge.

August Wish List

This week I am exploring Athens, Georgia. I haven’t traveled very far the last couple of years, so it’s been nice to go somewhere that is more than a few hours away. This month my wish list is influenced by back-to-school shopping.  Even though I am not in school anymore, I love browsing the new notebooks and pencils. The print dress from ModCloth is a fantastic combination of girly and quirky, and the necklaces are a playful nod to The Great Gatsby.

August Wish List

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What’s on your wish list?