Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Top Three Renaissance Inspired Movies

Like I said a few posts ago, I'm already looking forward to the renaissance season. This weather is giving me serious cabin fever, and all I want is to don my skirts, chemise and bodice and parade around outside in the warm sunlight.

Since that is still several months away, however, I'll have to content myself with some good, renaissance/fantasy inspired films. Obviously the Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia are good go-tos, but here are three, lesser-known fixes for your fantasy/renaissance inspired film craving.

1. Ever After (1998)

This movie - staring Drew Barrymore - is set in the the time of the French Renaissance, and centers around Daniel and the Henry, the prince of France, in a more realist Cinderella story. Obviously it's not 100% historically accurate, because a prince in the renaissance would never fall in love with - much less marry - a commoner, but it's a cute story with good character development and great acting. And the costumes are very well done - which is a huge plus for me!

2. The Court Jester (1956)

This movie is a quirky comedy rife with stereotypes and cliches (and more color than was ever seen outside of a rainbow in the time of the middle ages), but that's what makes it so lovable. Danny Kay is perfect (as usual), Basil Rathbone's fencing is flawless, and the songs are so catchy you'll find ourself singing them all day. Definitely worth a watch!

3. Stardust (2007)

This movie is more of a fantasy than renaissance inspired, but isn't that part of the fun of a renaissance faire, anyway?? It stars Charlie Cox (who you may recogize from the first episode of Downton Abbey) as Tristan Thorn, who ends up on the adventure of his life when he ventures into an unknown, fantasy world in search of his birth mother. Full of adventure, humor, and romance, you're sure to like this film! Be advised, however, that there are one or two brief sex scenes that may need to be skipped for younger viewers. Other than that it's completely clean as far as I remember (but I haven't seen it in the past few months). For a full parental guide please see PluggedIn.com

Monday, January 27, 2014

Twenty Before Twenty-One

Wow I'm really stinking at this whole "post every day" thing lately, huh? I justify it by the fact that I've been working on several of my "twenty before twenty-one" goals - which I'll post about later.

In the mean time, I figure that since I turned 20 over a month ago, it was about time I shared my "twenty before twenty-one" goals on here!

1. Get a vehicle
2. Learn how to scrap book + complete a 2014 scrapbook
3. Take at least two college classes
4. Get a tattoo
5. Get my own place
6. Get my own cat
7. Take at least six road trips (day trips count!)
8. Do more photography
9. Get a musketeer hat and sword
10. Go to Bristol Ren Faire more than twice!
11. Loose 25-30lb
12. Get better at horseback riding
13. Get rid of all the crap I own that I don't need/use
14. Bake more
15. Go to school to become a counselor
16. Send out Christmas cards
17. Learn how to keep my room clean for more than two weeks
18. Get my FOID card
19. Read my Bible regularly
20. Learn to swing dance and Renaissance country dance

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Summer Day Dreams

Lately I find myself longing for summer. I miss driving with the windows down (and not slipping all over the road), being able to walk outside without my cute outfit being hidden by a jacket, and just going out and doing things. Winter just seems like such a dull time for me. Everyone in the retail world is broke because none of us have many hours, the roads are bad, and even if you can go out it's just not as fun. Plus this lack of sunlight is seriously killing my mojo. Right now I'm dreaming of sunny, sixty-degree weather. (Who am I kidding?? I'd love to see 50!)

So right now I'm looking at some of my favorite pictures from last summer, and dreaming of the suns warmth. At least it's almost February. I can handle February pretty well, but January is seriously the worst. It's definitely the biggest "Monday" of the year.

In other news tomorrow the store I work at is doing inventory so wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Team Dean Forever

So apparently one week is how long it takes me to run out of things to post. I even missed yesterday, which sucks. I think it's primarily because my life has been so boring lately. I've done very little besides work and watch TV. All my shows have come back at once and it's awesomely awful.

It doesn't help that - against my better judgement - I started Supernatural. And then yesterday one of Maddie's friends from church got her started on it, which led to us spending most of our Monday afternoon/evening watching Supernatural and avoiding posting by googling Dean Winchester gifs. So I figured, "why not write a post on Dean so I can use some of these awesome gifs I'm finding!?" So here we go:

Why I Love Dean Winchester

Since my first or second episode I've known that I will be a Team Dean member for forever. He's handsome, confident (most of the time), hilarious and witty, and drives an awesome car. What's not to love?? Plus he's a big brother looking after his little brother, which I can completely relate to (except, you know, sisters, not brothers).

It's not that I dislike Sam, Dean is just my favorite. I think I see a lot of myself in him. He puts up this facade of being so confident and fearless all the time, when really he gets scared a lot - especially of what will happen to Sam - and he even gets lonely at times.

Dean's family is the most important thing in his life and he's willing to do anything to protect them - which I love. I told Anna the other day that he's probably the worst bad boy ever. He has all the appearances of it - the leather jacket, devil-may-care attitude, he drinks and sleeps around - but at the end of the day all he wants is to keep his family safe, and he would jump off a bridge if his dad told him to. He's like Tony Stark meets Beth March. I just love the complexity of his character. ♥

So, ok, there's my post. Not the best I've ever done, but it's one, and it's finished, and it's 12:12am and I am going to bed. Hope you all have a great week! See you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Rebel // What I Wore

{shirt//F21 :: sweater//thrifted :: leggins//Lysse Leggings :: boots//local boutique :: bag//Emma Fox via T.J. Maxx :: necklace//local boutique :: hair clip//gift}

How was everyone's Saturday? Work was really slow and we had way too many people scheduled to work, so I actually got to go home pretty early - which was rather nice. I went to lunch with my sister, and bought my kitty some new bowls - I love spoiling him.

Tomorrow I'm meeting up with a friend for breakfast before church and then I have no plans for the afternoon. So I probably clean my room, no? And of course there will be a heavy dose of Supernatural and Being Human - I mean, that goes without saying, right? I hope so.

♥ ♥ ♥Hope everyone's weekend is great! ♥ ♥♥

Friday, January 17, 2014

Dos and Don'ts of the Renaissance Faire

Having gone to the renaissance faire five years in a row, there are a few things I've picked up. Here are some of my "dos" and "don'ts" of the renaissance faire:

DO stay hydrated

Most renaissance faires in the United States take place outside in the summer with little to no air conditioning available. Not drinking enough water will not only be very dangerous, but it will effect your fun. A hydrated body is a healthy, happy, pain-free body ready to have fun. I've found the best way to make sure I stay hydrated is to bring a container for water so I don't have to limit myself to quick sips at the drinking fountain. (I also found that when I brought something to drink from, I spent a lot less on soda.) I go in costume, so I chose to bring a wooden tankard that hung from my belt last year, and it worked really well. I just filled it up at the drinking fountain every time I passed, and carried it around with me while I finished it off. If you don't go in costume you can always just bring a water bottle. And while we're on the subject of water, some faires have a special, members only garden that comes with bottomless Gatorade and filtered water. The one at Bristol Ren Faire is $35 for the year, or - if you're only going one day - $5 to test it out. I did that last year and it was well worth it in my experience.

DON'T try to cram everything you want to do into one day

If you're just a casual faire goer, and everything you want to see/do will fit into one day nicely, than great! All the power to you! But if there is a lot of stuff that you're interested in and/or some of it overlaps each other, take the extra day and go a whole weekend. You won't feel as pressured to rush from here to there so you don't miss x, which will leave you more relaxed, and more able to enjoy your time at the faire. Trust me. I've done it both ways and learned from my mistakes.

DO role play

This is something that I was really hesitant to do the first four years I went, but after reading Easy Street by AE last year I decided to give it a go, and I've never had so much fun at the faire before! For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the term "role play," it basically just means to get into character - to walk, talk, eat, etc. like your character would. For street performers at the faire this is a big part of their day, for playtrons (patrons that go in costume) it's not as important to stay in character, but it can be fun to play along as a character every now and then.

On my last visit to the renaissance faire I saw a gentleman in a shirt that looked like the Doctor's suit and tie. Unable to resist the temptation I went up to him and - in my best Elizabethan speech - asked him if he was "the man they call the Doctor." He decided to play along, and said yes, then -when I inquired as to where his blue box was - he told me that it was parked in the parking lot. Lol! It was just a brief moment, but things like that is what makes the renaissance faire so much fun! So definately don't be afraid to role play.

DON'T over do it on the junk food

I cannot stress this one enough! It's right up there with "stay hydrated." On one of my trips last year me and my group made the unfortunate mistake of not drinking enough water and eating too much fried food. The result was not a stomach ache or anything like that, we just felt super tired, groggy and all around "blah!" all day. So my advice is to definitely go slow on the fried stuff, and maybe pack some veggies in a cooler in the car. You can get your hand stamped to so you can come back in if you run out to your car, and then you will be properly fueled for a day of fun.

Well, those are some of biggest, best, and most important tips as far the the glorious ren faire is concerned. If you have any other tips I'd love to hear them! One of the fun things about the faire is that you're never done learning. *winks*

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nerdy by Nature // What I Wore

(me holding my imaginary blaster)

{skirt//Plato's Closet :: sweatshirt//F21 :: boots//Dansko :: necklace//Christmas gift}

I'm really bummed that these photos turned out so grainy, because I just loved this outfit. It just felt like the perfect combination of nerdy and sophisticated. And how about the TARDIS necklace!? It was a Christmas gift from my friend Rachel, and I just love it. Thank you, dear! I love that we both got the other one something Doctor Who related. 

In other news it's almost the weekend and even though I have to work Saturday I'm still excited. This will be my third Sunday off in a row (*hallelujah chorus plays*), which almost never happens, which is great. Sunday is one of my favorite days of the week - especially now that I no longer teach Sunday school every week. I'll get to sleep in, attend church, and generally just spend a nice, relaxing day off work. I can't wait!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Why I Love the Renaissance Faire

As soon as the new year hits I always start day dreaming for summer - more specifically, the renaissance faire. And since I'm doing a 30 day blog challenge with Anna, I thought this would be a perfect time to do a series of renaissance faire-themed posts. Today I'm going to talk about just why I love the renaissance faire so much.

1. The Atmosphere

Right from the moment you step into a faire you'll know that it's different. It's far enough back from the road that there are no sounds of cars. There's no blinking, or flashing, or electronics sounds. The loudest sounds are of people talking, yelling, shouting or singing; and the quieter sounds are of birds, the wind through the trees, and footsteps in the dirt. It seems completely shut off from the modern world, and I love that. There's nothing like spending a day away from the 21st century.

2. The Clothing

While we're on the subject of getting away from the 21st century, there's just nothing like slipping into a bodice and long skirts, with your chemise sleeves adding a good six inches to each side of your arm. It just makes you feel like a new person - like you've stepped into the body of your favorite fantasy or sci-fi character.

3. The Pretend

After you slip on your lovely garb comes the fun part - actually stepping into the life of your character! At the renaissance faire you can be anybody, and it is so much fun - especially when the employees help you out! Every time I go to the renaissance faire there are at least a few gentlemen who will stop and bow and offer up a "good day, my lady" it makes the whole experience so much more real. It makes it even more fun when you play back. Last year - for reasons we won't get into now - my sister and my cousins and I decided to cheer for the "villains" instead of the "heroes" of Bristol. After the last show when they, inevitably, lost to the heroes, I went up to the lead villain and - in my best English accent - told him how sorry I was to see his lordship lose. The actor was a total gem, kissed my hand and told me that my support meant the world to him. Seriously - it was one of the highlights of my day.

4. The Drama

I've always been a sci-fi/fantasy girl. Growing up the Lord of the Rings was my favorite movie/book and the soundtrack was my favorite music. I couldn't begin to count how many hours I spent watching/reading/daydreaming about kings and archers, quests and sword fights. And when I was fifteen I found a place that was as close as I could get to that in real life. Where else can  you sit next to Robin Hood right before Guy of Gisborne shows up and the duel it out??

5. The Food

Everybody knows about the renaissance faire's long-standing tradition of serving turkey legs, but there's a lot of other great food to be had there, too! Some of my favorites are:
  • the cornish dogs (know as "bagel dogs" in the 21st century)
  • the whole pickles on a popsicle stick
  • the butterfly potatoes (a fun twist on kettle cooked crisps)
  • and the pretzels which are sold by a man wondering the faire with a tall wooden pole full of them.

My favorite, most anticipated part of the faire, however, is sasafras! For you poor souls who don't know what sassafras is, it's root beer with black licorice flavoring. Even my little sister who hates both root beer and black licorice loves it! Maybe it's the intense sun and heat of the faire every year, but I swear there is not a cooler, more refreshing drink on the planet.

6. The People

My last, and most favorite thing about the renaissance faire is the people. Never before in my life have a met a nicer, more welcoming, more ready to get down and have fun group of people. From the moment you walk in and there are people waiting to give you directions; to the gentleman who asks you if you're a princess because you're wearing the royal color, purple; to the last song on the balcony above the exit, these people show up to work every day determined to make sure that you and I have the best time there that we possibly can.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Belated New Year // What I Wore + My Resolution

{dress//Target via thrift store :: necklace//Betsy Johnson :: belt//Franchesca's Collections :: boots//Dansko lipstick//Kat Von D Painted Love in Underage Red}
Well this is an extremely late outfit post. This is actually what I wore for New Years Eve. The gold embroidery on the dress seemed very festive, and I lined my lower lash-line with a gold metallic eyeshadow pencil, to spice up my makeup for the occasion.

I can't believe it's 2014 already! It feels like it was *just* 2012 and I was graduating high school, and now I've been out of school for two years and am twenty years old. Where does the time go??

Speaking of the new year, did any of you make any interesting new year resolutions? My resolution this year is to live my life more boldly. I feel like I let my laziness shyness dictate a lot of my life. Like, when confronted with the choice of going out with friends, or staying at home with my Netflix account, it's really hard for me to resist the urge to stay in my jim jams bingeing on sci-fi shows. This year, however, I want to work on that. I want to go out more, say the things I'm too scared to say and all around just take control of life again.

Whatever your resolution this year, I hope you succeed. Let's kick 2014 in the butt!

Why Spock is My Favorite Star Trek Character

This post has been in the making for quite a while. Late last year my friend, Rachel, finally got me to sit down and watch the new Star Trek movie - which, of course - led me to a new fandom. My favorite character, however, surprised me. No, it's not the dashing, bad boy Captain Kirk. It's not the sassy Scotsman, Scotty - it's not even the serious, but caring Doctor McCoy. It's Spock. I love Spock.

My mom hates Spock, and can't understand why I like him, but to me it seems so simple: Spock is so much more relatable. And for all of you over there rolling your eyes because Spock is a vulcan with no emotion, let me remind you that he's actually half human, and as much as he tries to hide it, he does feel things.

For those of you that don't know Spock's back story, let me explain quickly: Spock's father is a vulcan, who married a human, resulting in Spock: a half human, half vulcan, who was raised on the planet Vulcan, with a father who has no emotions, friends who have no emotion, and a mother who is a regular, emotional, human woman. So he finds himself literally caught between two different worlds.

And that's what I love about him so much. He's caught between two different worlds, not quite knowing where he belongs until he finds the Enterprise, and even then there is doubt. Even there there are people who think that he's something he's not - a cold, hard vulcan who feels neither pain nor joy - and meanwhile he's still trying to figure out exactly who he is.

I think that that's something we all struggle with from time to time. There are times for all of us when we wonder where - if anywhere - we belong. When we feel like a freak, trapped on the outside looking in. Friendless. We can't all be Captain Kirks - dashing and over confident with not a fear in the world - at least not all the time. Sometimes we have to be Spocks - lonely, holding everything in because we just don't feel like we fit in anywhere. And that's ok - good, even. It's struggles, and trials like that that make us who we're supposed to be.

Yeah, Spock is kind of a stick in the mud sometimes, and sometimes he's a little too calculating, but he keeps Kirk grounded - seriously, how many times would Kirk and/or the Enterprise have died/been destroyed if not for Spock?? And that's not to say that Kirk isn't fantastic in his own way, but I think Spock has merits that are often over looked. He may seem emotionless at first, but just wait a bit and you'll see that he really does care. Like with Kirk in the original series and new movies, and Uhura in the new movie. That's what I love about his character. That's why he's my favorite.  Most people just see what's on the outside and don't look any further - about Spock and about people in real life. Spock's character shows that there's more to people than meets the eye.

Like the saying goes: you can't judge a book by it's cover - or a vulcan by one episode.

Live long and prosper.