Happy first official day of Spring! A quick look out my window still shows piles of snow, despite what the calendar says, so today I am sharing a look back to these photos I took last Spring. I took this set last June, but never published them so, since there are no flowers growing around here yet, nor will there be for a quite a while longer, I thought I would share them with you today, even though they are almost a year late!
We did get another huge snowfall this past weekend, despite my wishes to the contrary in my last post, but yesterday it was such a warm day, that the snow is melting fast. I have decided that there will be no more photos including large drifts of snow here on the blog, until next winter! This might mean that all of my photos will need to be taken indoors, or I won’t have any outfit photos for a while. . . but I am so ready for winter to be finished. So until spring really feels like it is here, I will have to make do with looking at last years photos, and enjoying the bouquet of tulips my mom bought for me last week!
Happy Spring dear Readers!
Is it looking and feeling like Spring in your part of the world?
It is my blog’s second anniversary, woohoo! Although does that mean I am entering the “terrible twos” now? I hope not! (Actually, the anniversary is tomorrow, Jan. 27, but as I wanted to post this on Friday instead. . . here I am a day early!)
I can’t believe that it’s been two years since I started this blog, or for that matter that it’s been an entire year since the first anniversary. I feel like all I ever say lately, is “I can’t believe how fast the time is going by”, but really what else is there to say? It does go by quickly 🙂 When I started this blog, two years ago, I really had no idea what I was doing. Actually I still don’t. Pressing that “publish” button was the scariest thing! I had no idea if anyone would ever read my blog, and I wondered if I had made a big mistake in thinking that I should be a blogger. But, it turned out that starting this blog was one of the best things I’ve ever done- not only has it proven to be fun, and a great creative outlet, but I’ve also met so many lovely people through it. (Either because they are readers, or because I discovered their blogs, since I was no longer intimidated by “putting myself out there” so to speak). Two years in, I have no intention of stopping any time soon!
Last year, I marked the 1 year anniversary by doing a blog makeover. As I still quite like the blog format, I am not planning any sort of changes on that front.* I thought that, since I didn’t do any sort of 2017 year end recap or the like, I would today re-share some of my favourite posts from the past year, as well as posts which have proven to be the most popular with readers. I kind of like to look back at old blog posts from time to time.
I feel like sometimes in this digital age, we always have to have “more”. New posts, all the time. Fast and disposable like the rest of our culture is. We look at something for a minute, and then immediately move onto the next. We quickly scroll through our readers and feeds, trying to get through the list, without taking the time to enjoy. Social media in it’s very essence is always about the “new”. But, even though it is web based, it is ironic that amidst all that, there are still our blogs. A digital scrapbook of sorts, which capture the memories of a year gone by. I don’t know if I would notice the passage of time so much, if I didn’t have this blog. The very act of taking photos, and creating posts is a way to capture a memory, and then it gives you something to look back on (which makes you realize it was so long ago! And also how many phases my hair has gone through). I’m just rambling now, but all that to say, it’s nice to, instead of always looking forward, take a moment to look back as well.
Thanks so much to all my lovely readers who follow this blog. You are the ones who make this so worthwhile and fun. I mean, I could still blog if I had no readers, but that would be super boring. So, thank-you!
The 5 Most Popular Posts
Well, the number one most popular post I ever wrote was my history of harem pants- it was still the top post for 2017, and I wrote it in the summer of 2016! But, since it is from two years ago, I will share the top posts of 2017 instead.
*I said above that I had no plans to change my blog format, but, that being said, are there any things you wish were different about the format? Any ways I could change it to make it easier to read etc? Thanks!
Well, here we are only a few days away from Christmas now. . . I can’t believe how quickly 2017 has gone by! I’m going to be taking a bit of break this week to spend time with friends and family, although I do have a New Year’s post planned for next Friday. Today I thought I’d just share some pictures of my Christmas decorating. This was the first year decorating in my own new home, and I had a lot of fun with it. I love collecting ornaments, especially vintage ones, so I enjoyed being able to finally display them all in my new place. (And my nativity, which I made in kindergarden, and is still going strong! 😉 haha)
Anyways, as this is my second to last post for this year, I would like to say thank-you so much to everyone who has been following along this year! All of your comments and support for my blog have been wonderful and have made this hobby entirely worth it. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour!
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”
I am beginning to think that the second weekend of June is marked for rain. For the second year in a row now, I have planned to host a Ladies Garden Tea, in our backyard, and though we have had sun in the days leading up to, and sun in the hours and days that follow, during the hours of the party itself, it has rained. We have decided that it will now be called simply, “The Ladies Tea”, and have given up on hoping that gardens will have anything to do with it at all!
I’m not too worried about it though, because this year we planned to host it indoors, and made our preparations accordingly, so there was no last minute scramble to move the party indoors when the day dawned with grey clouds. An added benefit of holding the party indoors, is that even if it doesn’t rain, you sometimes must contend with wind, sun in your eyes, sunburn, flies in the lemonade and mosquitoes that refuse to leave you alone. By setting up the party indoors, you avoid all these problems, and you can always open the windows to let the fresh air in (and the bugs out) 🙂
We changed things around this year, (because we were thinking ahead for once) and set up the sideboard and a table along the side of the living room, so the food and drinks would be close at hand. It worked so much better, rather than having the food in the kitchen like we did last year, as people didn’t have to break up the party in order to go in search of sweets. Last year we had so many leftovers of desserts that hardly even got touched, and this year we had very few leftovers. On second thought, maybe we should have the food in the kitchen again next year; I wouldn’t have minded a few leftovers. . . 😉
Since the party was supposed to be a Garden Tea, it had to have a summery and “gardeny” feeling to it. So, the morning of the party we went in search of flowers for bouquets. Last year we had peonies, but this year the season is late and so the peonies had not started to bloom. However, we managed to catch the very last of the dark purple lilacs. Two days before the party, I thought to myself, “The lilacs are still in bloom, and should stay so until the party”, but the very next day when I looked at them again, they had started to wilt, turn brown and fall off the hedges. Only one day before the party!!! We thought that we wouldn’t be able to get any for a bouquet, but fortunately the dark purple ones still had flowers. They were falling fast though, and if you even looked at the bouquet, I think that petals were dropping off. We got two lovely bouquets though, and paired the purple flowers with Caragana branches. Caragana is a rather strange bouquet material, but I love how sculptural and fluid the bouquets turned out to be, and yellow and purple is such a lovely colour combination. For the rest of the smaller bouquets, which we placed on the tables, we gathered wildflowers and weeds, and came up with enough material to make several miniature bouquets. All in all, the room did have a rather summery and festive feeling to it, despite the rain.
And of course, the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of those who attended the party! There were sixteen of us, some of whom were new acquaintances who came with friends, and we all had a lovely afternoon of tea and sweets and conversation. I can’t wait for next year!
Do you enjoy tea parties? Have you ever hosted an event? And have you ever been rained out?
I saw a while ago that Victoria from Ruffles and Grace took part in a “Book Lover’s Tag”, and though I wasn’t personally tagged in it, it sounded like a lot of fun, so I decided to join in as well. So read on, to find out some of my favourite books, reading habits, and what’s on my reading list.
1. Name a book you’re embarrassed to say you haven’t read yet.
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens. This one is a hefty piece of literature, at 826 pages and 2.5″ thick. I bought it two years ago, and had originally planned to read it aloud, (we started last summer, but then stopped only a few chapters in). I really do need to just start reading it again. I don’t particularly enjoy reading Dickens, as it’s so wordy, but I do always enjoy his stories. (And I really want to watch the movie, but I have to read the book first! I don’t know why, I just do.)
2. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever used as a bookmark?
I often don’t use bookmarks- as I never seem to have one around when I need it, and sometimes I don’t even have a scrap of paper or other item that will serve as one. I never commit the grievous crime of dog-earing pages (never!!!) but I do often commit the less terrible crime of placing books upside down- though I promise it is only temporarily! I don’t leave books like that for days on end- only until I find something to mark my page. Often I simply take a mental note of which page or chapter I’m in. This sometimes has dubious results, because I can’t remember what page I was on, and I end up flipping pages to find my spot.
3. Look at your bookshelf. What’s the first book you see with a yellow spine?
A biography of Jane Austen by David Cecil, called A Portrait of Jane Austen.
4. If you could have one new book from a deceased author, who would it be?
Jane Austen’s unfinished novel Sanditon. I have read the few chapters that she wrote of it, and I really wish that she had been able to finish it, as her works are always so witty and entertaining.
5. Name an author who deserves more readership.
Lynn Austin. I just reread her book Hidden Places and I loved it all over again. Her stories have such great depth, and are woven with themes such as secrets and misunderstandings, and haunted pasts, which her characters are confronted with and brought forward into forgiveness and reconciliation.
6. Bookmark or random piece of paper?
As outlined in #2- a piece of random anything. . . . or not 🙂
7. Can you stop anywhere in a book or do you have to finish the chapter?
I can stop anywhere, though I prefer to not stop at all and just read the entire book through. This doesn’t usually work though, because you know, life. . .
8. One book at a time or several?
I often dedicate myself to reading one novel at a time, as I don’t like interrupting the storyline, but I will have several non-fiction books going on at the same time. For example, right now I am reading The Greco-Roman World but, as it is a bit dry, I am breaking it up with other books. Since it is a history textbook, it doesn’t really matter if I read it through without interruption or not.
9. Do you read ahead or skip pages?
I’ve never understood why people skip ahead, because it wouldn’t make any sense- you would have isolated scenes with no context, wouldn’t you? You wouldn’t know what had built up to that moment, and it would be confusing, I think. So definitely reading as I go along.
10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
I don’t purposely break the spine, but I don’t try to perfectly preserve the book either. My main concern is in reading it!
11. What books do you regret reading?
There are a couple of books I do regret reading, because I didn’t realize there would be inappropriate content, until suddenly I was right in the middle of those scenes. As it stands now, I read very few secular fiction books, because I don’t want to have to worry about what I might come across. Or I try to find reviews on the books before I read them.
12. On average, how many books do you read per year?
When I was in my teens. I used to read 50-70 books each year and I kept track of each book, but in the last few years I have slowed down a lot. Things get in the way- hobbies, the internet, being a grown up. . . So I would say that I probably read somewhere around 20-30 books a year now? Probably somewhere around two books each month- although this month I have already read or re-read five books, so maybe I’m picking up the pace again!
13. What book can you read hundreds of times and never get tired of?
The Bible, because you can actually read it hundreds of times and never get tired of it. But, for books written by man, and not the Scriptures, which is what I’m sure this question is actually referring to, well there are just too many to choose from.
I have read Jane Eyre several times now, and there is just so much depth to that story. It is one of my all time favourite books; I admire the character of Jane, and I love the sections where she and Rochester have their discussions. I will definitely read it again.
Really, there are a lot of books that I read every few years, and the greatest thing about having poor reading comprehension (I’ve got to find the silver lining here) is that I can actually read a book several years later, and it’s all new to me. Seriously. I read Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie and I couldn’t remember if I had read it before or not- until I got the end!
14. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a book?
I don’t tend to really learn lessons, as in “the moral of the story” from books, so for this I will choose a non-fiction book, which actually taught me something and that would be Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, by Elizabeth Cline. I recommend this book to everyone.
15. What is the most recent book you’ve read?
I just finished re-reading Anna and Her Daughters by D.E Stevenson. I love this book, and have read it a few times now. It is such a lovely old novel from 1958 that we inherited from my Grandma, and it’s not really about Anna and her daughters, so much as it is about one particular daughter Jane, who is narrating the story. . . anyways it’s just a nice story, and it features an attic bedroom wallpapered with a pattern of birds, so really what’s not to love?
16. What quote from any book will you never forget? Why is it significant?
‘”There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of the you are- as you used to call it in the Shadowlands- dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”
And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.’
These are the final paragraphs of The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis from the Chronicles of Narnia. I read this book when I was a child, and this description of Heaven really just touched me, and I have never forgotten it all these years. (Though, yes, I did have to go look it up, as I am not able to quote it verbatim!)
17. How many books do you own?
Yikes, an estimate would be somewhere probably around 200? If I counted all of my sewing books, novels, fashion books, and my L.M Montgomery and Agatha Christie collections. . . And let’s not start on how many books my entire family owns, or we’ll be here all day. . .
18. In the past year, what is the greatest book you’ve read?
I can’t remember all of the books I’ve read in the past year. I did finally, after fours years on my list, get around to reading The Blue Castle by L.M Montgomery for the first time though. What was I waiting for!? This was a very good book. I always enjoy her books, and the soft and romantic world in which they abide.
So there you go. This was a fun post, and, if you want to take part in this book lover’s tag, consider yourself tagged!
What’s on your reading list right now? Have you read any of these books before? What are your favourite books? (if you can narrow it down!)