Wednesday, August 29, 2012

a wednesday in pictures

i. morning light.
ii. grapefruit + brown sugar = yummiest breakfast.
iii. morning devotions.
iv. little tiger.
v. algebra, the bane of my existence.
vi. rain beating down on the roof. (from the skylight window, I unfortunately didn't climb on the roof!)
vii. new blog design ideas.
viii. tesco's lidl's croissants. the best. :)
ix. sky clearing up.
x. the end of the rainbow.
xi. a walk down to the lake with Caleb.
xii. making Anna's fairy cakes. they're extremely delicious and made the whole kitchen smell heavenly.


For the most part, I've been keeping up with my daily photographs. But there were three days in a row when I didn't take one single photo. It's awful! To try to make up for that, I decided to take lots of pictures today. It ended up to be around 126 pictures!

This morning (at like, 5:30 or something crazy like that) my mom left for the airport to go see my sister, Heather, in California. She'll be gone for a week. A week isn't that long, but a week without a mom is VERY long! :)

 Goodnight! (or good morning, or whatever time it is for you...)

Monday, August 27, 2012

the name collector // part i

"I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I've never been able to believe it. I don't believe a rose would be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk-cabbage."
- Anne Shirley,  Anne of Green Gables

 Name-collecting is my newest weirdest hobby. It's amazingly fun. Most of the time it consists of just hearing an interesting name anywhere and jotting it down - but sometimes I go so far as looking through baby-name books or websites. It may come in useful someday for future fictional characters, or future children, or future pet goldfish. Of course, there are some names that stand out among all names as being the loveliest in the whole world. So here are:

 my current favorite names
part I - girl names

 Note: "Current" because I keep finding new favorites. Some (most) are extremely old-fashioned, and you may notice that a lot of them are literary characters...

Another spelling for "Emily" (I love both spellings) - Latin, meaning "admiring"

French, meaning "purple flower"

Greek, meaning "light" - Ella can totally be a name on it's own, but I've loved it as a nickname for Eleanor ever since I read Ella Enchanted :)

[pronounced like 'Jenna' without the 'j'] Irish, meaning either "light" or "bird-like"

Latin, meaning "heavenly, divine"

French, meaning "hardworking"

[dan-YEL or dan-yel-UH] French feminine form of the Hebrew name 'Daniel' which in means "God is my judge"

[ah-LEE-nah] Arabian, meaning "noble".

A form of 'Mary' which means "bitter" (well that's not very nice!)

Another spelling for 'Leah' - Hebrew, for "weary" or "delicate"

French, meaning "light", from the legends of King Arthur :)

Latin, meaning "universal"

French, meaning "exalted goddess" or short for Gabrielle...and also it's the title of this lovely song :)

German, meaning "noble, kind"

French, meaning "feminine"

Arabic, meaning "night" (ohhh wait a second...Lila means Arabian Nights!?)

Feminine form of the Greek name 'Anastasius', meaning "Resurrection"

Latin, meaning "beautiful"  

Irish, meaning "fair"

Dead serious about this one! So I might not ever name my future child this, but for a book-character I think it's lovely :)

 And one more Anne quote (she had a lot to say about names. I think she shared this hobby...)

"That's a lovely idea, Diana," said Anne enthusiastically. "Living so that you beautify your name, even if it wasn't beautiful to begin with. . .making it stand in people's thoughts for something so lovely and pleasant that they never think of it by itself." 
-Anne of Avonlea 

Name-meaning info came from and
'Part II - boy names' coming in the near future :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

fairy cakes // a guest post by anna

Hello! Today I'm going to show you all how to make fairy cakes. It's true that this is a fairly common recipe, but I just love the almost sugary crust these get! The recipe will be in metric (tested) and American. I haven't tried to make it in American measurements, but I did a translation of it and all should hopefully work!

Below are the ingredients.

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1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 Eggs
2 Sticks butter
1 cup sugar
1 2/3 cups flour

Step 01: preheat the oven to 200c/400f

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Step 02: cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer (or by hand, but it takes much longer!)

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Step 03: add the eggs in one by one with a little bit of the flour, beating as you go.

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Step 04: fold in the rest of the flour and baking powder, and finally the vanilla essence.

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Step 05: spoon into cupcake cases (I used these silicone ones) and place onto either an oven tray or a cupcake tin. Bake for 10-15mins, depending on your oven or until golden.

makes 12-15 individual cakes

Alternatively, you could slice the tops of the cupcakes off, spread raspberry jam in the middle and place the tops back on to get a yummy, bakewell effect!

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Thank you Hannah for letting me guest post on your fabulous blog!

Anna x

 This is Hannah - these look incredibly lovely (I'm dying to make them now!), thank you so much Anna! And to everyone, make sure you stop by her lovely blog! 


Saturday, August 18, 2012

the daily photograph & the burning house

 So, what's up with the last photo? It's my "Burning House" photo. If my house was on fire, and I were able to take a few items, what would I take? Okay, so if my house really were on fire my one thought would most likely be, "AHHH! EVERYONE RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!" but this isn't meant to be logical. :) The items in the photo are:

1. shoebox full of letters. absolutely irreplaceable.
2. my books are my most precious things - but since I can't bring them all, I might grab my Voyage of the Dawn Treader, an old copy of A. A. Milne's poems, and Pride and Prejudice.
3. my TOMs
4. pearl earrings
5. filled-up notebooks
6. my camera - not pictured because I needed it for the picture itself :)
7. my ipod
8. my teddy (I know, such a baby...teehee)
9. a teacup
10. my flute (which I can't actually play yet, but I still love it.)

What would you take?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

recent diys


 I've always loved making crafts, and pinterest is pretty much a dream come true for crafty people. There's an absolutely endless amount of ideas for projects and diys and recipes. I thought I'd share some recent diy projects that I've loved making over the summer. I wish I could take credit for all these ideas...but I owe it all to pinterest. :)

teacup candle

 This may be my favorite diy project ever.
 how-to: There's a good tutorial at this blog:  
 things I learned: 1) Instead of buying very expensive wax flakes or a wax block, you can just buy a white candle, take the wick out, and use that instead to melt down. 2) You can use crayons (I used half of a pink cone) to color the wax. 3) Food coloring will not work. 4) This makes a bit of a mess...but it's very worth having to clean up afterwords!

 flags card

 No explanation really necessary... you simply cut little triangles from as many different colors/patterns of paper you can find, draw a few curved lines on a plain card, and stick the triangles onto the curved lines. Kinda adorb.

TOMs pillow & wallet

 I love TOMs. I'm not one of those girls who are crazy about shoes...but TOMs are the exception. And they come with cute canvas bags or "flags". Which turned into my new favorite wallet and my new favorite pillow. how-to:
Wallet: here
Pillow - just fill it with fluff (I used the stuffing from a pillow that my mom didn't need anymore) and sew the open edge of the bag!

framed book

I was looking for something simple but interesting to hang on my wall. This is exactly perfect. 
how-to: My dad scanned the page from the book (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe!), fixed the color (on a photoshop-like program) and printed it out onto print-paper.

 painted bobby-pins

 Painted...with nail polish. Granted, this is weird. But it's awesome. Nail polish is the best thing for painting glass jars, keys,, bobby pins. Just try it.

 There's more, but I'll have to save the rest for another post!
 And I'll post soon to catch up with my daily photos.

Almost forgot! This is my pinterest accout:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

the end // alcott challenge

  At the beginning of summer I posted about doing the Louisa May Alcott Challenge - a lovely reading challenge hosted by Tarissa. And even though I've been doing a lot more school this summer than I had originally thought I would have to do, I still have been reading L.M Alcott books and really enjoying it. I originally had 3 things on my list to read, and I got two done - and the third book I'm hoping to read soon. Here's a bit about the books I got to read:

Under the Lilacs

   the story: The tale begins when Bab and Betsy - two young sisters - discover a runaway circus boy hiding in their barn. To the little girls, this is frightfully exciting, and at once become friends with Ben and his talented poodle. This is the tale of all the happenings of the town and the adventures and mishaps of the two sisters, Ben Brown, the kind Miss Celia, and her younger brother Thorny.

 my thoughts: Sweet, funny, quaint. The characters were so lovable, and Alcott's style of writing is just so lovely. I think it's geared a bit towards a younger age of children than some of Alcott's other books (like Little Woman, or Rose in Bloom), and also unlike her other books it's not specifically just for girls. It was such an enjoyable little book and I'm so glad I read it.

Little Women - radio theatre

Note: I was originally going to re-read An Old Fashioned Girl but when the time came, I decided it was due time I read Little Women again.

 a few quotes:

 "Let us be elegant or die!"

 “I want to do something splendid...something heroic or wonderful that won't be forgotten after I'm dead. I don't know what, but I'm on the watch for it and mean to astonish you all someday.” 

  “Now and then, in this workaday world, things do happen in the delightful storybook fashion, and what a comfort that is.” 

"Don't let the sun go down upon your anger. Forgive each other, help each other, and begin again tomorrow."

 my thoughts: This is one of my all-time favorite books. It's just amazing. I love the story more and more each time I read (or in this case, listen to) it. The characters are so real and I love them to bits. And even though I have the story pretty much memorized, it still makes me laugh and cry at the same parts. Anyway, love this book.

 the radio theatre: Okay, I adore Focus on the Family's Radio Theatres. I could listen to them all day. Their Chronicles of Narnia ones are just perfect, as with The Secret Garden and Les Mis. And this one? No exception. It's absolutely lovely. The voices are wonderful (young Jo's voice is perfect!), the music is beautiful, and they kept quite true to the story. Side-note: I saw that an Oliver Twist radio theatre is coming out soon...eeeep!

  I've enjoyed doing this challenge so much; I was reminded of what a wonderful author Louisa May Alcott is. I'm hoping to finish my goal and read Jack and Jill soon!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

the daily photograph / day 3 - 8


     two reasons with excuses:
    1. My camera's battery ran out and I couldn't find my charger for two days, thus the instagram photos!
    2. There's no Day was rather an odd day (doing math at 10 o'clock at night...)...but still, oops!

|a thunderstorm! we very, very rarely have them here.|


|reading a Louisa May Alcott book on my dad's kindle-app|

 |just noticed I have a telephone pole/wire thing going on...weird...|

Thursday, August 2, 2012

august // the daily photograph

I orignially was going to do a photo-a-day project in July. I was all set to start on July 1st. But one day I realized I had lost track of the date:

"Mom, what's the date today?" 
"Let's's July 2nd."
 "WHAT?!??! NO!!! PLEASE NO!"

 I couldn't bring myself to start on July 2nd. It just seemed completely and utterly wrong.

 So I decided to wait 'til August 1st. And thankfully I didn't miss it and I remembered to take a photo. I'll be posting my daily photos at least once a week. I haven't been doing as much photography as I used to, and I hope this will get me back in the habit of constantly taking photos! Here are todays and yesterdays:

 Two of my favorite things: Pink roses and old books :)

 A bit of a catch-up: I've been frantically trying to finish school before summer ends so I can start next years school on time. It's a bit stressful. Also, unfortunately, there's not quite as much blogging time as I previously thought (read: practically no blogging time whatsoever). Although the doing school til (sometimes) past 8:30 part is not very fun, I have been doing some fun stuff on weekends. I just pretend that my weekends are my real summer holidays, so I try to fit as much in as I can. Going places, reading books on my summer reading list, going on walks, re-decorating my room, making crafts & baking - all my favorite summery things. So other than having no blog time, it's not been that bad at all. #optimism #whenlifegivesyoulemons (yes, those are hash-tags. In a blog post. I decided to bring those into the blogging world. You're so welcome.)

 Back soon with my daily photos!

reading: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
listening to: Loverly from My Fair Lady
loving: Brittish Television. (Sherlock + Downton Abbey = happy me).