Wednesday, July 30, 2014

C&LM: The Yellow Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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I read this short story a little while ago and it really struck me because it was such a sad and haunting tale. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story about a woman who is writing in her journal about her life. Her name is Jane and she is recovering in a home with her husband John who is a physician from a "temporary nervous depression", and she is locked upstairs in a room with barred windows and peeling yellow wallpaper. The story reads as her journal, and Jane tells the reader how she sees things moving in the walls, she describes the color as a horrid thing and sees women trapped within the pattern. John does not like that she writes and thinks it is bad for her health so she has to hide her journal from him. In the end, her descent into madness makes her believe that she is safer within the yellow room than anywhere else.

I found this story as I was browsing Page by Page books which is a website that allows you to read classic stories for free, and I'm so glad I chose this one. I couldn't stop reading so I'm glad it was a short story. I just felt so sorry for her because the story was set at a time where this really would happen to women who were deemed "hysterical" and I think anyone locked up like Jane was would go at least a little crazy. I really enjoyed the story so I may seek out more of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's work.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Little Insight Into My Reading Habits

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 Top: LOFT//Capris: Pinky Pinups via Etsy//Shoes: BAIT Footwear

I was reading Chronically Vintage's blog the other day and saw that she shared her answers for this fun reading habits Q&A so I thought I would share my answers for it as well!

Do you snack while you read? If so, what is your favorite reading snack?

Sometimes I snack while I'm reading but I usually try to pick snacks that won't get my books too messy. Things like pretzels or fruit

What is your favorite drink while reading?

Tea, tea, tea! I am a coffee drinker through and through but tea while reading is my favorite! I think it's something to do with smelling the different flavored teas and associating that with particular books.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

I would NEVER, EVER mark up a personal book I am reading for my own pleasure. I dislike the distraction that comes with reading while having a bunch of handwritten notes in the margins. However, I do find that school books or textbooks (that I own) are constantly highlighted and have notes all over, because that helps me remember the chapters faster than rereading the entire chapter again!

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?

Actually none of those options, at least in the traditional sense. I usually make bookmarks by ripping up pieces of the receipt for the book, and these bookmarks tend to then live with the book on my bookshelf. I have real bookmarks but I find that I tend to lose them so if I lose a little piece of paper I won't be too upset about it.



Fiction, non-fiction, or both?

My first choices are almost always fiction but lately I have become more interested in reading non-fiction so I've been trying to add more non-fiction to be reading list. I most recently read a set of books about memorial photography called Sleeping Beauty: Memorial Photography in America by Stanley B. Burns.

Are you the kind of person who tends to read to the end of the chapter, or can you stop anywhere?

I don't have to read until the end of the chapter, but I do feel the need to finish the two pages that are open so I'm not starting in the middle.

Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you?

No, not really. If I get frustrated with a book I'll just start talking to it but I won't throw it across the room.

If you come across a familiar word, do you stop and look it up right away?

I usually try to look it up right away or at least make note of it if I'm not near a computer or dictionary.

What are you currently reading?

Currently, I'm rereading The Great Gatsby for my annual summer reading, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Getting the Pretty Back.

What is the last book you bought?

Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I have been slightly obsessed with reading about people who take these great adventures into the wilderness and away from society since reading Into the Wild earlier this year.

Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?

As you can see from the currently reading question, I am always reading more than one book at once. I usually am reading one more than the others, but I like to have options sometimes when I'm feeling a little book antsy.


Do you have a favorite place/time to read?

I can pretty much read anywhere, but I really enjoy reading at my dining room table early in the morning while I eat breakfast. It's always a really quiet and peaceful time.

Do you prefer series books or stand-alones?

It depends on my mood. I enjoy both series book and stand alones for different reasons. Series books allow you to really connect and fall in and out of love with your characters over and over again with each new book you read. However, stand alones can be just as beautiful and the characters can stick with you just as much as a series. I think I generally read more stand alones but when I get into a series I  have to read all of the books right after another if possible.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over? 

Lately I've been recommending The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I read the first five books all last October and the final book of the series just came out this May and I just finished it last week. Some other recommendations I make all the time are anything by Orson Scott Card and Jane Austen.

How do you organize your books (by genre, title, author's last name, etc)?

I organize my books alphabetically by author, and within the author the books are alphabetical by title. I find this is easiest for me to find books quickly and to know what I have of each author's writing collection.

I hope that some of you lovely readers take this little Q&A too and let me know if you do!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekend Recap: Month of July Edition

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Hello! So I have been super absent here in the blogosphere because my summer has been so busy between my internship, work, and a surprisingly busy social calendar. Thankfully, life just slowed down a bit because my practicum is now complete! Yay! I only have two classes between me and graduation and these will be knocked out this fall. I am so excited to be this close to being done with my Master's, I've been in school for six and a half years and I have no idea what I'm going to do with all that extra free time that comes without doing schoolwork (I guess fill it up with a full time librarian job haha!).

I will be starting to follow my blog schedule again, for those who don't remember or know what that looks like I try to follow a loose schedule with every day having a theme. It'll be nice to get back into a routine. I've missed blogging and also reading others' blogs! I am so behind on my blog reader and have so many backlogged posts to read so I will be catching up soon. 

So here's a rundown on the month of July:

-I've gone to a few concerts this month: Journey, Steve Miller Band, Saintseneca, The Donkeys (an impromptu show which actually turned out to be really good!).

-I went to a free yoga class in a local park with my friend Christina and realized that actual yoga classes are MUCH tougher than my yoga dvds! It was fun taking  a class with others and giggling in the back at Christina the whole time.


-Of course knitting club was still in the mix. We've had less knitting club this summer because of people going on vacation and just summer activities in general. I am almost finished with a new cowl which I'll share here when I'm done, and I have a new cardigan pattern and yarn waiting to be started!

-Karaoke is also an ongoing weekly activity. I think that Tuesday nights have become my favorite night of the week!

-I went on a behind the scenes tour of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History with my young professionals group Cleveland Emerging Museum Professionals, and I think I'm going to write a separate post about this because it was just so cool!



-Finally, this past Saturday I went to see the Cleveland Orchestra with my mom at Blossom Music Center which is an outdoor music pavilion and it was wonderful. I hadn't seen the Cleveland Orchestra since maybe middle school for a school field trip (oops!) and I feel like I need to see them more often! They are having a Beatles tribute concert in August so I'm going to try and get to that one!

How have you all been? I feel so out of the loop with my blog friends. Tell me something fun that has happened recently! Happy Monday :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Big Girls Don't Cry

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 Top: LOFT//Skirt: Pin Up Girl Clothing//Shoes: BAIT Footwear

Happy Friday! Today was my first full day off (including no plans during the day) in a very long time, so I decided to take myself on a movie date to see Jersey Boys. I have been wanting to see the musical for so  long and haven't gotten any takers for going with me. I have the soundtrack and also love the original Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons music. When the movie was announced I was so excited! It was so so good, I loved every minute. There wasn't anyone in the theater besides myself and an older couple, so I sat at the top and sang along quietly. Going to the movies alone was such a nice experience, I think I may have to start going more often!

Tonight I am going with some lovely work ladies to see the band Saintseneca for the second time this year, I'm pretty excited, it should be a fun time. They always put on a great show!

This week I will be linking up with Passion for Fashion so head over and check it out.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Weekend Recap: Fourth of July Edition

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This past fourth of July was so much fun! My friends and I had a beach party, complete with lots of food, games of cornhole, and taking a dip in Lake Erie. Laying on the beach was so nice and relaxing and it was the perfect day, there were barely any clouds in the sky. Unfourtunately for me, because it was so perfect I slacked a little on on the sunscreen and am currently a bit of a lobster, woops! Later that night I went to a fourth of July party at a friend's house which was also a lot of fun. 

This was the first year that I didn't actually see fireworks on the fourth, which was strange because in the past few years, I've seen multiple fireworks shows throughout the week leading up to the holiday. I did make up for it the next day because one of my work friends had a July 4th on the 5th rooftop party at her apartment. From her rooftop we can see all across the city of Cleveland and some of the western Cleveland suburbs so we saw about  five different firework's shows including those from Jacob's (oh, excuse me, Progressive) field after the baseball game. It was a bit surreal watching those without hearing them, because at games they play super loud music to go along with the fireworks. We were really far enough away that we couldn't even hear the actually fireworks go off. All in all it was a great weekend!

How was your fourth? Did you do anything fun to celebrate?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Blogger Highlight: Abigail of Sweeter Gets the Journey

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(All photos in the post are from Sweeter Gets the Journey's blog)

Happy Monday everyone! So earlier this year I started a new feature called Blogger Highlight, which originally was supposed to highlight a different blogger once a month, but time got away from me. Alas, I'm happy to say that I have a lovely blogger named Abigail who runs Sweeter Gets the Journey!

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog?
I'm a 17 year old from the beautiful state of Kansas.
 I have an little dog sidekick, Daisy,  I struggle with being shy and awkward, am a part time librarian, love God and  pretty much everything on this earth.
Sweeter Gets the Journey is one of those blogs that doesn't have a theme,
except for the fact that I write it and it includes Daisy and a lot of my pictures.
I just blog about whatever I’m into at the time, when I feel like it.
When and why did you start blogging?
This past winter, January 2014.
I've never had had any social media outlets so up until now I’ve never shared my thoughts or photographs online. I mainly just want to share, but I wanted a place of my own.


              You have such great musical skills, when did you first learn to play instruments and how many can you play?
This is where some folks' 'overachiever alert' goes off.  Bear with me.
I first started learning music when I was in the 3rd or 4th grade.
Mom had me taking piano lessons and I did not like it.  She finally gave in and let me quit after a few years.
Then when I was about 12, I saved and bought an acoustic guitar and a family member taught me a few chords, but then I started expanding on that on my own.
For my 14th birthday, I got a banjo,
which I am very slowly learning to play with help of the internet.
I also can play the dobro (resonator guitar played with a slide),
and a bit of fiddle, mandolin and upright bass.
So in all, that is seven.  I usually just don't tell people all that because it's a long explanation and then they think I’m super ultra talented.
I'm not.  These are very hard for me, too, I’ve just spent a LOT of time practicing (I can't help but not to, because I get great enjoyment and relaxation through playing.)
so my excuse is that if you love something, you'll make time for it.
That and the banjo and dobro are similar, and the mandolin and fiddle are basically the same thing as well, its the slight variations that make them challengingly fun to learn.
I am not a professional, I have not 'mastered' any of them, but I like to play and it's amazing the help you can find online and through playing with others.
 

                  I love your writing style; do you do a lot of creative writing?
Besides my blog, not really.
I do have a few stories I work on when I get the burning inspiration,
but I’ve never liked writing or grammar classes.


          Can you tell everyone about the Sunset Project? I just think it’s so cool!
In 2011 heard about a  lady from northern Kansas who survived brain tumors and now gets up every morning and paints the sunrise.
That was kind of my inspiration.  It seems so interesting to record something that happens every day yet is so amazing, special and different every time.
For about the first half of 2012, I took a picture of the sunset every night,
but life got hectic and I lost track until I was so far behind I lost desire.
But then this winter when I got a blog and thought it would be so cool to start back up again and share.
So, as of February 2014, I take a picture of the sunset every night and post them weekly.
All I do is grab my camera and click the shutter.  There is not a lot of effort on my part,
but the images have become sort of a wordless journal, for no two days are alike.
I have been dumbfounded at the positive response.  It's not everyone's thing, but I am seriously surprised at all the folks that love sunsets and think the project is cool.


                  You seem to me like an old soul. Have you always loved older music and style?
Yes.  But it was introduced to me and encouraged by my parents.
Dad used to own a record store in the 70s, so as far  back as I can remember,
he's always played a huge variety of awesome music he has that was left over.
My mom loves antique everything, and used to help me set my hair and sew
(and still does occasionally :D )
They also encouraged me to listen when older people told stores, even if I thought it was boring,  and shared with us their favorite old tv shows and literally almost all of the movies they brought home for a family movie night were over 50 years old.
So I’ve had a lot of help.



        Do you have any blog recommendations, people that you just have to read?
Ugh.  That is SO HARD. I read so many blogs it's not even funny.  (I'm always surprised at my feeds every day because I’ve almost forgotten about a blog until I read it again.  It's like 'oh yeah, I remember this blog, I love it!'  )

Thank you so much :)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lady Fashion Crush: Grace Kelly

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All photos found on Pinterest

Grace Kelly, actress and Princess of Monaco was such a beauty. Since the really hot weather has hit I have been craving the ability to layer again so I found some pictures which satisfied that need. My favorite this week has to be the last one, it's just so simple and stylish.

Do you like Grace Kelly? Which outfit is your favorite this week?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

C&LM: Stella Dallas

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This week I wanted to share a movie I actually watched twice in one day because I loved it so much. It was such a good movie and Barbara Stanwyk is a wonderful actress. This 1937 film is called Stella Dallas and stars Barbara Stanwyk, John Boles, and Anne Shirley. Stella Martin (Stanwyk) comes from a poor family but she wants more out of life. She meets a very wealthy executive, Stephen Dallas, they fall in love immediately and get married. Stella is then thrown into the life of the wealthy and she quickly finds that she loves her new lavish lifestyle, but those around her find her a little too crass and "low class". 


The couple has a beautiful daughter Laurel, and it becomes quickly apparent that she is the only thing holding them together. Stephen takes a job in New York and Stella refuses to move herself and Laurel out of town, so he leaves, yet they remain married. This goes on for years, and Stella befriends a kind of goofy character named Ed Munn, who over the years becomes an alcoholic. Laurel does not approve of him so much, and has to deal with other children and parents talking badly about her mother. 


Stella notices this and decides to take Laurel on a trip to a resort, where Laurel meets Richard, the boy she will eventually marry. Stella overhears some of the chatter about herself and realizes that in order to help her daughter (even though Laurel never said anything to her) she decided to divorce Stephen, allowing him to remarry to his lost love, and send Laurel to live with him by tricking her into thinking she was moving to South America with Ed Munn.


Laurel goes to live with her father, stepmother, and step-siblings, and plans her wedding to Richard. Stella doesn't really leave, but she has to stay away from her daughter's happiest day to make her happy. It was just so touching because Stella just really loved Laurel so much that she would sacrifice herself to make her daughter happy.