October 28, 2012

In Which I Give My Opinion of Killian Jones


When I heard that Captain Hook was going to become a character on Once Upon a Time during Season 2, I was expecting someone along the lines of this:

Because, you know, that's what Captain Hook is supposed to look like - at least from my perspective.  And why should I think any different?  Generally speaking, all the other fairy tale/story characters who have also been in Disney cartoons have looked at least similar to their cartoon counterparts.  So why not Hook?

Instead, what we got was this:

Now, I will admit, my first thought was "WOAH HOT GUY ON BOARD".  But then I saw the episode... and I thought about it... and I saw the second episode he was in and thought about it some more and... nope.  I don't like this guy.

I think there are two main reasons contributing to my current dislike of Killian Jones.  ("Hooks" real name, and the only name I will refer to him by.)

1) He's not Captain Hook.

He's young.  He's attractive.  HE DOESN'T HAVE A RED COAT.  This week I was so hoping to at least have him look more like Captain Hook... but no.  Still no red coat.  He flirts with women, he wears guy liner, he has that pirate beard and mustache thingy, he's leading Emma to a magical compass that can get her to where she wants to go.  This is not Captain Hook.  This is Captain Jack Sparrow veiled as Captain Hook.  If I can get past that... there is a chance I will come to like the character of Killian Jones.  As of right now, however, I think OUaT writers made a mistake with him.

2) In the promo for "The Crocodile", he was referred to as "more despicable and more evil" than Rumpelstiltskin.  Um, I'm sorry - but no.  First off... I haven't seen anything that has led me to believe that OUaT is going to be able to pull that claim off.  Secondly... you don't try to surpass Rumple.  You just don't.

October 27, 2012

Your First Time

I am certain that many, if not all of you have heard of this lovely ad, put out by our dear President Barack Obama.

I'd been reading about it, but didn't actually watch it until yesterday.  My thought was this.  The office of President is the highest in our land.  Do we seriously want to elect someone who stoops to such gross, crass, degrading levels as to create a campaign ad such as this?

Instead of going on a long rant about everything that is wrong with this video, I offer to you instead what I think is one of the best responses I've seen yet.  Enjoy.

October 26, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday - Vol. 8


About a week ago the first season of Once Upon a Time came in from the library, and I introduced my mother and the two of my sisters who haven't seen it yet.  Long story short, they've spent every spare moment (and even those that aren't) in watching 22 episodes before the 2 week check out time is up. 


Ink and Fairydust, a Christian e-magazine that I help to produce just started up a blog.  If you are a fan of I&F, then head over to inkandfairydust.blogspot.com for bi-weekly posts and behind the scenes peeks.  If you aren't a fan - what are you waiting for?  Past issues can be found at our website, www.inkandfairydust.com


While searching for Country music songs about God, I happened across a beautiful gem in the song "New Again", by Brad Paisley and Sara Evans.  There are lots of country songs out there that praise God and give reference to Him in a positive way, that is one of the reasons why I love country so much.  But honestly, I never expected for find a song about the Passion of Christ outside of the christian music genre.  That, however, is exactly what I found.  


You know... a lot of people love Indian Summer, and I suppose the 80 degree weather we've had around here the last two days has been nice.  I don't know though - I guess I'm the kind of person that once the weather has turned cold I want it to just stay cold and not bounce back and forth.  Once it starts to warm up, it needs to stay warm and not go back to being cold.  Oh well.  Today is supposed to be 40 and raining and I'll have my cold weather back.  We'll see if I end up enjoying it or complaining about how miserable it is.

The election is coming up soon... and I do care about the outcome.  However, by this point I agree with this.


This week Your Little Princess Costume Design revealed the third of it's four new fall fashions. This one is one of my favorite designs.  You can see Gabriella in all her gypsy princess beauty at her very own page on our website.  www.ylpcostumedesign.com/gabriella


I am officially fed up with Facebook.  It rather frequently decides that it is not the site I am looking for, and keeps me out.  Sometimes I can get away with it working for several hours.  Sometimes I get half a scroll down my news feed and it conks out.  Sleeping my computer and turning it back on again usually does the trick. (And other times it doesn't' and I have to actually restart my computer.  Twice.)  Occasionally - if my facebook need is not pressing - leaving the page alone and poking around on Pinterest, chatting with my Knight or doing other things will yield the result of coming back to find it working again.  That was the approach I took tonight and... two hours later we find Facebook still not the site I am looking for, and me too lazy to just go ahead and do the reboot.

October 23, 2012

I have discovered Half Price Books

Several months ago I heard about this wonderful sounding place called Half Price Books, that apparently was near to my house.  Since then I'd been dying to go, but either didn't have any extra spending money or the time to do so.  Yesterday I met up with a friend there and decided that it was a good thing that I don't do spontaneous trips to places further than 15 minutes away (HPB is 30 from my house) or I'd be there a lot more than would be good for slender spending money.  Though really ( because as the name implies, everything is half price and therefore very affordable) I think my spending money would take a harder hit from the Caribou Coffee next store.

I just love walking into a bookstore or a library and just seeing all those rows and rows of lovely books just waiting to be discovered.  Half the fun is simply looking at the books, even if you end up putting them back on the shelf.  I did come out with a bagful of books and only spent $30, so I feel the outing was quite the success.  There were some titles that I had read before, as well as one or two that I hadn't.  

I picked up a beautiful hardcover copy of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, my all time favorite Christie novel.  I also found a small treasure titled Lives of the Saints, complete with a few illustrations.  Then I got Tolkien's The Children of Hurin, which I have read, and Dorothy Sayer's Gaudy Night, which I have not.  I looked for The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins since I've now checked it out of the library three times and never gotten around to reading it but couldn't find it, so instead I bought The Moonstone, by the same author.  I did pick up one more book... but that is filed under SPOILERS to a certain someone and I cannot reveal the title.

So that was our adventure... and I really need to work on figuring out how to write up better concluding paragraphs for "hey, I went and did this!" type of blog posts.  Until I do... yep.  I'm done with this.  I'm going to go read a book now.

October 22, 2012

October 13, 2012

Master Xavier's Lair: Why I am Pro-Life [A Male Perspective]

Re-posting this from My Knight's blog.  The male perspective on Pro-Life issues, and men having the right to defend life is something I am very passionate about.  I think he explained his perspective beautifully. 

Master Xavier's Lair: Why I am Pro-Life [A Male Perspective]: Abortion.  Everyone has a position on it.  Some more so than others.  As a male living the day to day life in the college world, I see the...

October 12, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday - Vol. 7

Today is volume 7 of 7 Quick Takes Friday.  I suppose I will celebrate with 7 random lists of 7 different things.  This means I suppose I'll need a list for this QT.  So here we go, my seven of my favorite bloggers!

Seven "7" facts about my family... My mom was born on the seventh.  So was my dad.  My parents got engaged on the seventh. They got married on the seventh.  There are seven kids in my family.  My youngest brother was born on April 7th.  We've lived in six houses so far, so we pretty much consider it fate that once we move for the seventh time that's where we'll stay for good.


Seven things that I did yesterday.  I
  1. went to work and finally stamped the huge stack of postcards we didn't have stamps for
  2. checked flight prices to Boston
  3. discovered that counting calories ends up making you eat healthy, which ends up with Dr. Pepper, two rice crispie treats and a chocolate chip cookie not agreeing the best with you.
  4. slid down a slide for the first time in a long time
  5. found my way out of a corn maze and then found my way out again by going back to the entrance
  6. listened to the bells of the church ring as the Year of Faith began
  7. drove a 25 minute drive in 17 minutes because the 20+ stoplights were green the whole way.

Seven things that I cannot stand: couch pillows laying on the floor - the same adjective/verb/adverb used more than once in the space of a paragraph - mushrooms - raw chicken - reading medical illness/symptom descriptions... they make me feel so queasy! - messy rooms (this one is sort of part time... I can block it out for a while, but the minute I get stressed or have to focus on something hyper-room-cleaning-mode kicks in and I can't relax until the mess is gone) - my name being pronounced "A man, DUH"

I am looking forward to these seven things:  Visiting my Knight at the end of December - going book shopping - getting around to going fall shoe shopping - losing weight - going to Mass tonight - turning 21 next spring - my next paycheck

Seven things that I am thankful for:
  • Tea and pumpkin. Both on their own and combined with each other... pumpkin tea is pretty much amazing.
  • Country music and particularly Josh Turner because his new CD is the best.
  • Coffee - and especially the fun coffee drinks like lattes and flavored coffee and frappes and mocha
  • Jeans and knee high socks, for the days when your legs are starting to get a little fuzzy and you don't have time to shower and shave.
  • The fact that there is a Half-Price Book store near me and I'll be going there with a friend this week
  • I may not have lost my freshman fifteen yet (or eighteen...) but at least I'm not trying to lose something like a freshman forty
  • That I live in an area of the country where big creepy, super poisonous bugs, giant snakes, killer fish and the like are relatively non-existant

October 10, 2012

Scarves, Scarves and More Scarves - Part 2!

Now to continue on with Part 1 in the celebration of scarves from yesterday! 

Where Did I Get It: From my awesome friend, Elenatintil for my.... 19th birthday...?
When Do I Wear It: Mostly in the spring and summer, but it's one of my favorites so I'm sure I'll bring it out in the fall and winter too!
What Do I Wear It With: Pink... yellow... black... white... dark blue... fun, summery shirts and skirts.

Where Did I Get It: Wal-Mart

When Do I Wear It: This one I tend to wear more in the winter and fall
What Do I Wear It With: Black, gray, white, red, I've never done this before but I could see pairing it with orange shirt as well.... not a deep orange, but paler.

Where Did I Get It: My mom got it from Khols, and I "stole" it from her
When Do I Wear It: All year around
What Do I Wear It With: I've paired it with brown, white, blue and olive green. A favorite outfit is this scarf with a brown with gold sequin skirt

Where Did I Get It: This was a birthday gift for my 20th birthday from a friend of mine.
When Do I Wear It: I feel like this is a spring/summer type of scarf
What Do I Wear It With: I may have worn it with a blue shirt... white with a denim jacket is my favorite pairing.

Where Did I Get It: This was a Christmas gift this past year from my great-aunt.
When Do I Wear It: Definitely a winter scarf.
What Do I Wear It With:  Black looks best... gray, could probably pull off a red. I wore it with a black top and an olive skirt once and thought it looked cute.

Where Did I Get It:  I found this at Charming Charlie.  If you don't have a store near you, you have my deepest sympathy.  That place is AMAZING.
When Do I Wear It: Well, I only got it this past summer... I'll probably wear it in the winter as well.
What Do I Wear It With: I may have worn this with a white dress once... a white top and denim skirt, or a pale purple shirt.

Where Did I Get It:  This was another Charming Charlie find, a friend of mine took me out shopping for my birthday this year!
When Do I Wear It: Definitely a summer scarf.  But I can see pairing it with a black dress for the winter as well.
What Do I Wear It With:  Black shirt/blouse, the aforementioned black dress should I ever get one, I actually haven't worn it that often yet... but something nice.  It's darker than in the picture, so maybe another dark color.

And that concludes my mini-fashion show of scarves!  I hoped you enjoyed my posting, and if any of my dear readers are scarf fans as well I'd love to see pictures/posts of your own collections!

October 9, 2012

Scarves, Scarves and More Scarves - Part 1

In recent years, I have  come to love scarves.  They are so fun, so feminine, so elegant, sophisticated and playful.  They can and do serve to keep you warm... but sometimes they just add that extra little touch to an outfit. I'm up to 14 scarves in my personal collection now... and because now is the time of year when I start pulling out some of the warmer ones, I had the urge to take them out and photograph them and share them all with you!

Where I Got It From:  This was one of my very first scarves... I think possibly a thrift store find.  It was one of those things that I saw, then tucked away and forgot all about for a while.
When Do I Wear It: I tend to wear this one as a spring or summer scarf.
What Do I Wear It With: Typically I wear it with a white shirt/blouse, I've used it as a belt as well.

Where Did I Get It: Ooh... honestly, I have no idea.  I might have "stolen" it from a sister....?
When Do I Wear It:  This one isn't really a favorite of mine to wear so... I used it to decorate my dorm room!  Definitely a spring/summer scarf.
What Do I Wear It With: I think it would go with denim, white, perhaps another pale color.

Where Did I Get It: I think this was another thrift store find.
When Do I Wear It: This is another spring/summer favorite.
What Do I Wear It With:  I've worn it with a pink shirt as well as green... which really brings out either the flowers or leaves.This one also makes a cute belt.

Where Did I Get It:  This one I got... four-ish years ago, possibly five from Wal-Mart.  They were all the rage in our homeschooling group and I had to have one!
When Do I Wear It:  Winter.  It's nice and wide and makes an excellent shawl as well as a nice thick scarf.
What Do I Wear It With:  If it's with an outfit... black, gray, I think I've paired it with red.  I also wear it with my coat.

Where Did I Get It: I am 99% that this was a Christmas gift from my grandma a few years ago
When Do I Wear It: This is another fall/winter scarf.  It's a little thicker as well, so again it works great as a shawl/outdoor scarf!
What Do I Wear It With:  White shirts with the occasional denim jacket, black, navy blue.

Where Did I Get It: This was another Christmas gift, from my other Grandma
When Do I Wear It: I've worn this one all year around... spring, cooler summer days, fall and winter.
What Do I Wear It With: I wear it with white, navy blue, black and gray

Where Did I Get It: I got it at Wal-Mart
When Do I Wear It:  This is another year-round favorite
What Do I Wear It With: The first time I wore it was to pick up my Knight the first time he flew out to visit me for the very first time.  I wore it then with a green shirt, I've also worn it with blue, yellow and white.

And now, because 14 is a lot of photos and I know most folks don't read long blog posts.... look for Part 2 tomorrow!

October 5, 2012

7 Quick Takes - Vol 6

First off.. a little bit of a promotional! My friend Elizabeth and I started up a business of designing and creating custom costumes for little girls from toddler up through about age thirteen.  You may have noticed my link to it up at the top of my blog... Your Little Princess Costume Design.  We don't have all the details finalized yet, but within the next few weeks we'll be announcing a Costume Giveaway... the lucky winner will get 50% off of the dress of their choice!  So keep an eye out for the official announcement coming soon!

My family and I listened to the Presidential debate Wednesday night on the radio.  It was kind of neat, doing it that way.  Other than that... yeah. We listened to it.  Pretty much what I expected.  And... I'm not terribly political so that's about all I have to say on that subject. Because really... I am of the opinion that until it is made illegal, abortion is the greatest and only issue when it comes to choosing who I will vote for.  In a situation where one candidate is pro-life (a little is better than nothing at all) and one candidate is not, I will always vote for the one who is more pro-life.  Once abortion is illegal, then I will be concerned about the other issues.  Because none of them matter if you aren't alive.

This week on Pinterest.....!!!!  I actually haven't tried any new recipes this week.  Shocking, I know.  However this Brown-Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Shortbread Crust is high up on my list of desserts to try out this fall.  It looks soooo good....


The weather has been pretty lovely around here lately... in the 60s or low 70s... cool, crisp.  And then yesterday was nearly 80, reminding me of how lovely that temperature can be.  Today.... predicted high of 54.  How do we go from 80 to 54 degrees?  Oh well - hot chocolate and tea and favorite sweaters from last fall and jeans to the rescue!
Once Upon a Time is back!  I finally got the chance to watch the first episode this past Tuesday and... just wow.  This was a strong opening episode, making me hope all the more that OUaT will maintain the high levels of awesomeness that it attained mid-way through Season 1.  We got to meet three new characters and see many of our old favorites - including Snow, Charming and Emma's reunion as a family.  Without giving anything away... I thought that the explanation as to why everyone is still in Storybrooke and how the season will be able to continue with both the Fairy Tale World and Our World was very well done.  I won't say anymore, you must go and watch it yourself!  (But only if you've finished Season 1 - definitely watch and finish Season 1 before you go onto Season 2.)

A few months ago I became aware of this amazing sounding store relatively near to where I live.  I have not yet had the opportunity to visit said store, but I got my paycheck last Monday and as soon as my friend and I can figure out a day, we shall venture forth to explore the magical world of Half Price Books.  You may expect a full report of my findings once this mission has been accomplished.

Yesterday The Piano Guys released their latest music video, "Titanium/Pavane".  This one is so beautiful, and sweeping and inspiring.  And it was filmed on the edge of the canyon.  These guys seriously need to go into the piano moving business.

October 1, 2012

A Tale of Two Roses

Today is the feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux.  When St. Therese died, she promised that she would send down a shower of roses from heaven.  It has become a devotion in the Catholic Church for novenas to be offered to St. Therese in time of discernment, requesting that a rose be given to guide the faithful.  As it happens, both my Knight and I each prayed such a novena at separate times.  Here are our stories...

Paul: Every St. Therese story has its unique spin; mine even more so.  As a young man I was uncertain about the path God was calling me to. Did he want me to become a priest?  Was he calling me to the married life? The single life? The path of vocations was unclear to me.  My family frequented the local St. Therese shrine for Holy Hours on a weekly basis. At the time I had been going through a sort of discernment crisis, I felt called to the married life but being 19 I really wasn't certain what could come of that at that time.  I had liked several girls but nothing seemed to ever work out, or if things seemed like they would work out, they would only open the door to more complicated situations. I was stumped.

As I knelt praying during the Holy Hour, my eyes glanced down to a small pamphlet: a novena to St. Therese.  I opened it and read that if my request was to be answered, St. Therese would respond with a rose.  I decided that I would pray for a particular request. If God wanted me to pursue the married life, he would send me a rose signifying that the girl I liked was the right girl for me.
As I prayed the novena, I was so caught up with the thought that the girl I had liked was the right girl, that I was shocked when no rose arrived. A week passed, two weeks, and months. Time went on and I felt that that girl was not an answer to my prayers. 

During all of this time I had developed many online friends on a forum; one of which was Amanda. She was a particularly close friend who I would chat with regularly and write letters back and forth with. As time progressed I met her at one of the Get-Togethers for the forum members, and our friendship continued.  She went off to college, and being in college myself, we were able to keep in contact and talk about our experiences. As 2011 came around, we both met again at the Get- Together. This time some friends worked to set us up. Amanda and I soon found ourselves enjoying each other’s company and nearly inseparable throughout the Get-Together. The Get-Together came to an end and went back our separate ways; she returned to Illinois and I returned to Rhode Island.
Soon after I wrote her a letter asking her to be my girlfriend. The rest is history.

Having read this you are probably asking how this relates to a St. Therese story. The truth is that I only realized St. Therese’s little work only months into my relationship Amanda, when after some thoughts and prayers during a Holy Hour, my thoughts drifted to the novena I had prayed several years back. I questioned its legitimacy since I never did get my rose, or did I?

Suddenly, one strong thought resonated with me.  Amanda, the girl who I had befriended online over the years and who I found myself in a relationship with across 1,000 miles, would always go by a particular username on the forum. It was a username that carried into reality, and became a sort of nick name and way of addressing her. 

“Lady Rose.”

St. Therese had answered my novena, and I had never even realized it.  St. Therese literally gave me a rose, THE Lady Rose; A beautiful sign and gesture from above. As I trudge through the dreary 1,000 miles this relationship has placed between us, I always refer back to this beautiful thought. Many people receive physical roses as answers to their prayers to St. Therese; I was blessed with rose that I had received under my very nose without even realizing.

St. Therese, Pray for Us.

Amanda: It was the winter of my freshman year in college, and I was nearly 19.  For four years now I had known that I was called to the married life.  God had given me knowledge of my vocation fairly early in my life... and knowing that, I figured that the next step couldn't be too far in the future. I was getting a little impatient - impatient and increasingly confused as I found myself in the position of liking two boys at the same time. One boy was Catholic, the other was not.  It should have been an easy choice.  But... but... one was at my school, and he was so nice... the other one was 1,000 miles away... deep down in my heart, I knew I liked him more... I had liked him for nearly three years, but he was so far away.  Could anything really happen between us?  Maybe I should settle for the more realistic of the two.

One of the first thoughts that came into my mind was to pray a novena to St. Therese, asking her to send me a rose to guide me in the right direction.  I put it off... and put it off again.  The time just didn't seem right.  At last I began the novena.  I suppose I could have asked to know which boy I should pray about a relationship with, or who to begin a more in depth discernment about.  Yet for reasons I cannot recall, I wrote out an intention asking that St. Therese would send me either a white, red, or yellow rose to guide me in the direction of the man who would be my husband.  I prayed the novena, which ended - without any planning from me - on Ash Wednesday.  I took this as a sign that I was doing the right thing.

My novena finished, I waited patiently for a sign.  I didn't receive one right away, but I was alright with that.  I had asked, I knew God had heard me, and when the time was right I knew that He would give St. Therese a rose for me, and she would let me know.  White roses did seem to be popping up frequently... but in my heart I knew they weren't my rose.  A few weeks passed, my birthday arrived, and among my gifts was a CD of Irish folk songs by one of my favorite bands.  (Trust me - this is relevant to my story!)  I also received the book When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy.  I read it, fell in love with the message, and became truly peaceful and content to wait for however long God thought I needed to.  He could make me wait for years, and I knew I could be at peace with that.

Only a day or two after I finished reading that book, I went downstairs to my basement to iron an outfit.  I was humming some tune as I did so.  As I finished and was preparing to head back upstairs... the first words of the refrain to another song popped into my head.  The song went "Red is the rose, that in yonder garden grows..."  I knew at once that St. Therese had answered my novena.  It stopped me in my tracks, because I truly was not expecting that.  I had thought I would get a physical rose... I'm pretty sure my second thought was "Wait!  Hold on!  I'm getting an answer already?  I just decided I was happy to wait for it!" - yet I knew beyond a doubt that this was my rose.  God had answered my prayer, and pointed out the right man for me.

In my novena intention, I had asked St. Therese that if the man for me was the boy I had known mostly through the internet, who lived 1,000 miles away from me, that she would send me a red rose.  Yes, that man was my Knight... and not four months after I received my rose, I received a letter from him asking me if I would be his girlfriend.

Thank you St. Therese.