Mr. Darcy's Daughters

My review of Mr. Darcy's Daughters:

I. Hated. This. Book.

I don't normally go in for book burning but I think I would make an exception for this book--if the copy of the book had been mine it would have been burned by now but since it is a library book I thought better of having to spend my own money to replace it thereby giving the author the false impression that sales are up because someone liked reading her book. I actually finished this book on Saturday but decided to put off reviewing the book until after my book club meeting in case any one from the club had anything redeeming to say about the book. They didn't.

If you think that you might want to read this book you may not want to read what I say below because I give away the entire story. Of course if you are planning on reading this book and my just have to ask you to leave my blog.

First complaint: I wanted it done in the style of Jane Austen and while I admit there probably are very few authors that could do this it is still what I wanted. What I got was a woman who wrote more as though the characters were real and experiencing real life 20+ years post Pride and Prejudice. The result is one of Elizabeth's and Darcy's daughters ended up engaged to a gay man, another ran off and eloped with a man thought to be married when in actuality the woman everyone thought was his wife was really just his mistress--also he had to leave the country because he killed a man in a duel. This same daughter refused to get an anullment because she was "breeding"--as in while she was living at home she was having an affair with this man and got herself pregnant. Another daughter also ran off to elope (but that fell through). Another daughter dressed up as a boy to join a music group that performed at balls. And another daughter was constantly imagining the worse thing that might befall a person and then worrying herself into such a state of aggitation that you wanted the other characters to slap her (they did once.)

Second complaint: As briefed above none of these daughters are the daughters I would expect Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy to have.

Third complaint: There was absolutely no affection or love expressed by the daughters for their parents.

Fourth complaint: I like Fitzwilliam in P&P (he was pleasant and charming) and disliked him immensly in this book. Same goes for Mrs. Gardiner.

Fifth complaint: As noted above with the "breeding" comment, there were a lot of situations and phrases used that I think would have horrified Jane Austen.

I could go one but I think you get the idea of how I feel about this book and why.


Provo Bakery

I went to the Provo Bakery for the first time yesterday and may I say I was blown away. The selection wasn't huge but it was enough of a selection to give me a good choice of really yummy looking desserts. I went with a raspberry tart cookie thing (I need to ask what they call it) which was to die for and a chocolate brownie that I shared with one of my nieces (and by share I mean I had 1 bite before she took it and shoved it in her mouth). I also ordered a cake for a b-day party tomorrow and have really high hopes for it (I'll let you know later how it turns out). I haven't yet tried the donuts but I hear that they are the real highlight of the bakery.

The thing I don't understand is how I have lived in this area for years and years and years but I've never been to this bakery--then again I spent my youth in this area (Utah Valley) and didn't even hear about EFY until I was a freshman in college--I must just be out of the loop. I think I need to do a better job of getting out and about in my local area. I mean really, when I travel I research a place to death so that I know exactly where I want to go and eat but when it comes to my hometown area I know so little. Why do we do that?


Stuff I Like Right Now

Sometimes I like to put things up on my blog because I think they are really pretty but that right now I can't afford to buy or they just don't fit in with my current lifestyle--the hope is that someday I will have lots and lots of money and then I will be able to find them again through my blog. So here are a few things that I am really loving right now:

First, is this gorgeous tent. I don't love camping but I think I might be able to get into it a bit more if I owned this tent from
Zephyr Tents:

I might really, really get into camping if I could have this bed in my tent as well.

I'm also loving this orange centerpiece featured over at {frolic!}. It is so simple and so lovely.

Another thing I'm loving is this letter press design by
Linda & Harriet:

Even if I don't ever get to use this design on a wedding announcement I think it would make a lovely note card.


Mamma Mia

My mother, 2 of my sisters, and I went to see Mamma Mia over the weekend and can I just say that I loved it. After each song I had the greatest urge to start clapping but I restrained myself the one exception was the Pierce Brosnan's singing debut during which the entire audience started to laugh--I felt bad for him but really I think he should stick to his none-singing roles. It was a little crude in places (but having just gotten back from a Shakespeare festival it didn't seem at all crude to me--also judging by their laughter, the little old ladies sitting in front didn't think it was crude either). Here are a few things that I have decided since seeing the movie:

1. If I ever get married I want a hen party (female version of the bachelor's party) where we will sing and dance to Dancing Queen.


2. If I ever get married I really, really, really, want to go to Greece on my honeymoon--so, so, so very beautiful. The movie is worth watching if only for the beautiful scenery.

For those Mr. Darcy fans out there if you look close you can see Mr. Darcy in a dripping wet white shirt again--never mind who he is dancing with.


Cedar City: Utah Shakespearean Festival

I'm just back from a wonderful few days in Cedar City where I attended the fabulous Utah Shakespearean Festival (If you haven't been you must change your ways and get tickets now). It was wonderful.

We saw three plays:

First, we saw Fiddler on the Roof which I thought was delightful. The stage was perhaps a bit too small for the play but you really only notice that during the opening scene and during the wedding scene. I thought the three oldest sisters were performed quite well but I could have hope for a Tevye with a stronger singing voice. While the whole thing was done quite well, I think the play was stolen a bit by the actor playing Lazor Wolf who was just fabulous and so funny--nice to see him performed as simply a man rather than an awful man.

Second, we saw Cyrano de Bergerac which was so wonderful that I would say it is a must see. There were, however, some sitting near us in the audience that didn't appreciate it as they should have. I think that Steve Martin's Roxanne does some disservice to the story in leading some to believe that the Cyrano story is a funny sort of romp. Well it is not. It is a drama (that has some funny lines) that deals with love and death. If that is what you are prepared for I do not see how you could not enjoy this particular presentation of the play. It was so moving and spectacularly acted that really I don't have any real complaints.

Third, we saw Two Gentlemen of Verona (it is a Shakespeare festival after all). This is Shakespeare's first comedy (I believe) and is (I think) one of his easiest plays to follow. This particular production was strongly acted but nothing that would blow you away as an audience member. There is lots to talk about, though, if you like to dissect plays after seeing them.

The other three options were: Taming of the Shrew (set in post-WWII Italy), Othello, and School of Wives. The set for Taming was really fantastic looking but that is about all that I could say about any of the plays as none of them were getting much buzz at any of the seminars that I attended.

In addition to the plays we saw we attended all of the play orientations (an absolute must as they will explain, in addition to the plot, some of the smaller details of the plays such as why Milan was mispronounced in Two Gentlemen of Verona (because the English liked to bug foreigners by mispronouncing names). We also attended the literary seminars which allow us as audience members to meet with really smart Shakespeare experts and talk about what we liked or didn't like about the plays, a prop's seminar, and an actor's seminar. It was so much fun.

It is very sad now to be back and I keep looking at the clock to see what people at the festival are doing and wishing I could just run over to the Pastry Pub for a great sandwich or piece of really decadent chocolate cake (sigh!). Now I have nothing to do but look forward to going next year.

On a side note: at the actor's seminar someone asked where the top Shakespeare festivals are. I don't remember the entire list but a few of them were the Oregon festival in Ashland, the Chicago festival, the D.C. festival, and a quick-growing festival in Idaho. Does anyone know anything about these festivals? Someday I'd love to travel around to at least some of them.


Family Reunion

So I spent some of last week attending a family reunion and had a blast. We started off at the zoo which was made all the better by the fact that I was babysitting a 2 year old--some things should just be done with small children. After a day of animal sighting some of the family headed over to do some ice blocking while I attended a baby shower. Then later that evening we all reconvened for a rousing game of Win, Lose, or Draw that I really enjoyed even if everyone thought the wolf I drew looked like a bug--I told you I didn't draw.

The next day (after a serious game of family fear factor that I rather wisely chose not to participate in--people ended up with real chicken feet in their mouths!) we head up to the Heber Valley camp do to do some "camping" (camping has to be put into quotes when you are sleeping in cabins (even if they are cabins without mattresses) and when there are bathrooms with running water and refrigerators).

Apart from the fun of hanging out with family that I don't often see, I thought one of the real highlights was the food that we ate. Everyone really did a nice job--which sadly means that my hope of a weekend away from good food turning into a weekend of weight loss didn't occur.

Now that it is all over I realize how quickly it all went by and wish we had more time (more time and a real mattress to sleep on--Sorry, I'm a wuss and I freely admit that).

Thanks to Vicki for all the work that went into putting all of this together.


Sweater Days of Summer

Today I decided to wear a sweater. Not because it cooled off. Not because I needed to look nice and I thought my sweater would be just perfect. And not because I love sweaters (though I do). No, I "decided" to wear a sweater today because I have no clean clothes. I couldn't really explain to you why it is that I have no clean clothes. I mean it isn't as though I have to drag my clothes down to Utah Lake, scrub them with lye soap, and bash them against a rock before dragging them back home, putting them up on a line to dry, and then iron every single piece of cloth that I washed. I have it really easy. Still, I tend to run out of clean clothes on a regular basis. My pioneer ancestors must be hanging their heads in shame.


Happy Monday!

I hope that you all had lovely weekends. I did.

It started off with my niece Grace and I heading out to the Museum of Art down at BYU. We had intended on hitting UVU's art gallery in the mall but they close at 6pm on Friday and that didn't work for us. The BYU museum was a wonderful treat for me. It has been several years since I have been there and so it really surprised how good their collection actually is. Currently they have a couple of interesting exhibits including one titled The American Dream (I think that is right and am too lazy too look it up right now) that is set up like a thesis exploring different themes by exploring what American artists paint and one titled The Dismantling Geneva Steel which is surprisingly very pretty. After the museum we hit 7 Eleven so that I could introduce my niece to the joys of a slurpee on a hot summer's eve. She appreciated it appropriately.

Saturday I headed off to the Farmer's Market in Provo which was smaller than I had hoped for but not a total loss. I picked up some very cheap corn and 1 pound of cherries. Go me for supporting local growers--made sure to find out before buying where the fruit was coming from.

Other things I did on Saturday:

--finished reading
Rosie Dunne by Cecelia Ahern (which I had only even started on Friday)

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. I'm only on chapter two but already I can tell I'm gonna love it (if you haven't noticed, my reading list has been totally turned upside down with books like Rosie Dunne and Daughter of the Forest jumping ahead of books like The Road--but eventually I am determined to get back on top of my reading)

Candles on Bay Street--supper cheesy Hallmark Hall of Fame movie--say what you will but I love Hallmark movies and really all cheesy movies that make me cry. It is a weakness but I'm ok with it so don't try to change me.

--in watching Candles on Bay Street I discovered (really rediscovered because I also so him in Band of Brothers and CSI:NY) Eoin Bailey

He could be a contender for my favorite 5 guys in all the world.

Sunday came on a bit too fast. I volunteered to take Grace for the day to giver her parents a bit of a break and see if she would do better in my nursery class than in her own. I crawled out of bed and ran down to pick her up (they have 9 am church) and bring her back where we enjoyed a few books and a cartoon show on Disney before heading outside to enjoy some running through the sprinklers naked--obviously she was the naked one while I was fully clothed. Then I ran in and showered and attempted to get ready for church while Grammy played in the water a bit with Grace. Lunchtime came up on me pretty fast so I whipped us up a quick grilled cheese sandwiches, some kiwi (of course) and bananas, and milk. While Grace was finishing off her lunch I pulled her hair into the cutest little pig tails and then attempted to iron my skirt, but she was feeling a little down without her mama so I didn't get to finish that. Then it was off to Church where she promptly fell asleep for an hour until nursery. It all went really well but let's just recap it a little:

--I didn't have a chance to put make up on or do my hair.
--I didn't get the chance to check my legs for shaving cuts or missed patches until I was running out the door and even then didn't want to do a thorough search because of the rush shaving job I had done in the shower
--I wore a wrinkled skirt and a shirt that had a hole in it.
--I forgot to grab the diaper bag and had to run home to get it (I only live a block and a half from the church so no need to cry too much for me).
--and I didn't get the chance to clean up from lunch until right before dinner.

Really ladies, I don't know how you do it all the time. Next time I'm waking up early to get ready before I pick Grace up.

I finished Sunday off with the family watching episode 1 of HBO's John Adams series. It was really good and I am looking forward to the rest of the series--getting to see John Adams' during the trial of the soldier's involved in the Boston Massacre was really interesting and so well done. Plus, Laura Linney is playing Abigail Adams and I love both of them so I am pleased.

Well, there it is. My weekend in a flash. It was really nice but a bit busy--hence the lazy Monday syndrome I am experiencing. Hope yours was nice as well.

(I can't believe I didn't take any pictures! I must do better)


A Few of My Favorite Things

I just had a bowl of fruit which contained pink lady apples, plums, and kiwis. When I eat I tend to save for last the food items on my plate that I expect to be the best. Well, I noticed that I had unintentionally saved all my kiwis for last and therefore I am now prepared to declare kiwis as my favorite fruit.

Here are some more favorites:

Green is my favorite colour.

Colour is my favorite spelling of color.

Pasta is my favorite food to prepare.

I don't really have a favorite food to eat but lately I would just about kill for some really good Indian food.

London is my favorite place--especially the parks in London (Green Park being my favorite followed by St. James Park) and the museums.

British chocolate is my favorite (I really can't even eat plain American chocolate anymore).

Rosie Dunne is my favorite book that I am currently reading (it is also the only book I am currently reading but it is turning into a really fun summer read--and a very quick read).

Pie is my favorite dessert (I like it plain: i.e. no ice cream on top or even worse no custard--the British were always trying to dump loads of tasteless vanilla custard on my pie completely ruining the pie crust which as everyone clearly knows is the best part of any pie).

My favorite vegetable is the eggplant.

My favorite pizza toppings are eggplant and sun dried tomatoes.

My favorite band is U2.

My favorite season is Fall.

and to close off this installment

My favorite time of day is sunset/twilight.


Blog Rolls

Have you tried the fairly new blogging option called blog list? I just did and I love it. Now I can quickly see who has updated and just go to those sites. Brilliant! I don't know why I didn't try it out sooner. (If you are looking for my blog list it is at the bottom of my blog's sidebar--it is very long because so many of you are brilliant.)

Another interesting thing about the blog list option is that it can give you some details about what someone has written before you even get to their site. I found this a bit interesting today because a couple of my favorite blogs showed that they are thinking about Fall. I too was thinking about Fall but had been trying to repress it since, you know, it is still July. I was shopping the other day and saw this totally cute fall outfit that I was totally tempted by but didn't even stop to really check it out because I figured it was far too soon to start thinking about warmer clothes. But now Internet blogs are telling me that it is ok! Must see if I can afford to start Fall shopping now. Bye.

Cute Shop

I wish I had some money to spend cause if I did I would buy one of these bags:

Check out the shop here.


Olympic Countdown

Are you getting excited about the Olympics? Well I am. I even nearly cried a little at that VISA commercial where the runner falls down hurt but gets back up and finishes the race with the help of his dad (ok, so the tears may have been brought on more from some monthly hormones I'm dealing with than my love for the Olympics, but still you get the point). This year I have two little nieces living close that I am training up to love the Olympics.

Training Session #1 and #2 with Ellie: We watched the U.S. gymnastic trials and the U.S. Track and Field trials.
Result: Ellie now runs around the house saying "set" and "go" after which she takes off in a full run throwing a few hurdle jumps in for fun and then finishes off with a somersault (to the untrained eye the jumps and the somersault may be unidentifiable).

Training Session #3 with Ellie: We watched the U.S. Swimming trials.

Result: Ellie practises the backstroke on Grammy's carpet.

As you can see, training is coming along quite nicely with Ellie. Sadly, Grace hasn't made it to any training sessions yet--if she doesn't make one soon she may just be off the team because cheering for the Olympics is serious stuff people.