Last week, we learned a bit more about the author of The True Memoirs of Little K. I shared some of her other books, and a few interviews, which hopefully highlighted how Adrienne Sharp’s experience with ballet strengthens her fiction.
Today, I’d like to offer some extended reading about the historical context of our current book. While the work is fiction, it is based on fact. Mathilde Kschessinska is an actual person and her place in history is well documented. Let’s learn a bit more…
While I love curling up on the couch with a glass of wine to watch a DVD or plow through a few episodes of television, I’ve been itching for a trip to the movie theater. There are a lot of great movies coming out in March, and these three have caught my eye as must-sees…
Beauty and the Beast (March 17)
The Zookeeper’s Wife (March 31)
Uncertain (March 9)
Who wants to join me at the movie theater? What are YOU looking forward to seeing? Comment below! xoxo
How’s it hanging, love-bugs? This time next week I’ll be in Lexington! I’m flying up a couple weeks before our wedding to finish out all the preparations while Chet stays behind to teach. The final count-down is upon us! Flying with my wedding dress makes me a tad anxious, I’ll be honest. But I’m SO excited to be back in Lexington for the first time in almost a year. In the meantime, there’s plenty of prep left to do here in SoFlo. And we’ll also be taking it easy just enjoying each other and quiet nights at home before the madness ensues! Hope your week is extra fun-filled, and here are a few links for your enjoyment…
So I had a link post ready to go up on Wednesday and totally forgot to publish it. I guess that’s what happens when you go on a little mid-week trip to Delray Beach. Whoops! Our friends Carrie and Ganer (who visited us last week in Miami) were on the second leg of their Florida vacay and graciously invited us for some extended fun at the beach. We jumped at the chance, and had so much fun eating tacos, lounging in the sand, and collecting seashells. Carrie is an extremely talented photographer (she’s shooting our wedding!!) and asked if Chet and I would like to do an evening couples shoot by the water. Ummm, YES PLEASE! Pictured above is a little preview. I can’t stop looking at them! Those colors!!! Go check out Carrie’s site —> Sur La Lune Photography —> she does INCREDIBLE work.
Anyways, I thought I’d go ahead and pop up these links for you (a couple days late), share a few photos, and get back to regularly scheduled programming on Monday. Have a great weekend!!!
With the turning of the calendar page from February to March, it’s time to bundle together the best products, places, media and everything in between from the last month. Here are 9 things I found myself loving in February…
I was floored when I opened this early Valentine’s Day present from Chet. I just couldn’t get over the adorable pattern and perfect pocket placement. I’ve been wearing it around the whole month and it does NOT disappoint. You can read my full review of the bag and see some pictures of me sporting it in the wild HERE. I can not thank my thoughtful dude enough for this spectacular present. We have many day-trips and ultra-light adventures ahead of us. And we shall be so wonderfully well-equipped!
2. Downton Abbey
While I had previously seen most of the first three seasons of this show, I convinced Chet to watch it from the beginning with me. We just started the 5th season and I never want it to end! In case you’ve been living under a rock, the British drama follows the lives of the Crawley family and all its servants as they go about their business, upstairs and down, in the large country manor estate known as Downton Abbey. The show begins with the 1912 sinking of the Titanic but now in season 5 we’re all the way up to 1923. It’s quite fun to track the actual historic events that play out alongside the fictional lives of the Crawleys. Bonus to our nightly viewing? Chet does a bang-up impersonation of Mr. Carson, the Crawleys’ beloved butler, and will often chime in with his own commentary.
3. WKU forensics alums
In February, I traveled to Bowling Green, KY to spend some time with the current WKU Forensics Team and a small group of alums. We had a great weekend coaching speech and catching up. This team was such a big part of my life for 7 years that I love any excuse to step back into that world for a few hours. I saw some amazingly passionate, intelligent, and inspiring speeches and even played a few rounds of flip cup. (When with your college pals in a college town…..amirite?)
I was selected this month by 21st Century Fox to receive an advanced screening copy of the documentary, He Named Me Malala. I pretty much cried through the whole film and really hope lots of people tuned in to watch the TV premiere. It was a profoundly impactful film made by filmmaker Davis Guggenheim exploring the life of Malala Yousafzai before and after her attack at the hands of Taliban. You can read more about the film HERE.
5. Save-the-Date cards
Initially, I wasn’t too on board with the whole idea of sending Save-the-Date cards. Wouldn’t it just be easier to hop on the internet to spread the word about our selected date and send out invitations later? But then again…I LOVE sending and receiving mail and I just couldn’t let the opportunity to send some mailbox cheer pass me by. I ended up designing them myself with the free photo editing site PicMonkey. I’m REALLY happy with how they turned out and think using PicMonkey and printing them on cardstock was a wonderful budget-friendly option. I’d be happy to post a tutorial about how I whipped them up if you’re interested!
6. My notebook
I snagged this notebook from Target when Chet and I were in Lafayette for Christmas. While I’m a huge fan of Moleskines and the Baron Fig Confidante, I’d sort of come to the conclusion that I wanted a hard-back spiral-bound for my day-to-day, planner-ish notebook. I like to have my To-Do list out all day and while other notebooks claim to “lay flat” they don’t always do so, or they do but they take up too much desk space. I also like to dedicate a whole page per day which can seem a bit wasteful when using a higher end notebook. I started this notebook, along with a new notebook system, on January 1st and it’s been really helpful and easy to stick to. I use a modified version of the Bullet Journal system. I prioritize daily spreads over anything else and I don’t index but I implement a lot of the other strategies. When this one is all used up I think I’ll continue to stick to this type of notebook!
7. Shakespeare’s First Folio
The book that made the bard made it’s way to Florida International University this month! Chet and I got dressed up and attended the opening of the first folio exhibit at The Frost Art Museum. It was amazing to see so much Shakespeare programming and hype occur at the university and in Miami while the book was on display. We loved taking a peek inside but only wished we could hold it in our hands and flip through the pages. Think of all that history!
8. New living room couch
Arriving into our humble abode just in the nick of time to make this favorite’s list is our new couch! We headed out early last Saturday morning to beat the crowds at Ikea and came home with all sorts of goodies. I’ve had my eye on a grey couch for some time now and I think we chose a great one! We poked around online to find a few contenders before heading into the thick of things but then ended up going with this one instead! It is super comfy and a great place to lounge with the sliding glass doors pushed open for a cool breeze. (Don’t mind the wrinkles in the photo above. It was only just born when I snapped that pic!)
My mom is always hooking me up with fair trade goodies and in February I was loving this chai tea she sent. I love brewing up a mug when the weather is a bit dreary or for an evening treat when there’s no dessert in the house. It’s just the right level of spicy and sweet with delicious notes of vanilla. YUM!
Hailed by critics as a “Profoundly moving portrait,” an “Appeal to your heart and gut,” and a “Gripping story, eloquently told,” He Named Me Malalais an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai. A few years ago, Malala was targeted by the Taliban for supporting girls’ education and severely wounded by a gunshot in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.
National Geographic Channel sent me an advanced screener of the powerful film about this young lady so I could watch and spread the word about it’s upcoming television premiere. I stand #withMalala, even more now that I’ve witnessed this core-shaking film, and I hope you will too.
The documentary gives viewers a glimpse into Malala’s life before and after her brutal attack at the hand’s of the Taliban.
When their shots blasted towards Malala in an attempt to take her life, she was only 15. She was singled out, along with her father, for her advocacy of girls’ education.
Her supporters rallied around the world. Whisked off to England, where she continues to live, unable to return to her home country due to ongoing death threats, Malala was nursed back to health. She continues to speak out on behalf of girls’ education all over the world and even co-founded a non-profit.
Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman) explores the ways in which Malala and her father continue to fight for education for ALL girls worldwide. Their relationship struck me as one of the most compelling parts of the documentary. It is clear how strong their bond is, how parallel their beliefs are, and how they served as each other’s greatest confidantes and comrades long before the attack on Malala’s life.
The film offers viewers an insider glimpse at this close relationship along with everything from speeches in front of the United Nations to intimate scenes where Malala playfully picks on her two brothers.
The film uses animated sequences throughout to great effect. While the real footage, like Malala’s father delivering passionate speeches and a shy interview sequence with Malala herself, found a tear in my eye, the points told through animation were most often the ones that sent a chill down my spine.
The main thread of the film, in fact, is mostly delivered in this way. We’re told Malala’s father named her. He called her Malala after Malala of Maiwand, the national folk hero of Afghanistan who rallied followers to fight against British troops at the Battle of Maiwand in 1880. When the Afghans were losing hope, Malala used her voice to rally them towards victory, losing her own life in the process. She is often referred to as The Afghan Joan of Arc.
Malala’s father, and his critics, worried he had created a self-fulfilling prophecy. A child who would raise her voice, garner passionate supporters, but who was ultimately doomed. A modern-day martyr. Yet, Malala’s response to this line of thought brought me to tears and it’s something you’ll just have to see for yourself. So, I hope you’ll tune in…
He Named Me Malala will premiere commercial free on Monday, February 29th at 8 pm (EST) on the National Geographic Channel in the U.S.
I encourage you to stand #withMalala by watching this powerful film, but that’s not all…
Today, over 60 million girls are out of school globally. It’s time to take a cue from Malala and take action!
Leading up to the TV debut, you can show your support by changing your profile picture using a custom-designed animation. On Twitter, you can contribute by tweeting using the hashtag #withMalala. For every profile picture changed and each tweet sent with the hashtag, 21st Century Fox will donate $1 to the Malala Fund.
The Malala Fund was co-founded by Malala Yousafzai and her father Ziauddin Yousafzai. It is a nonprofit organization that empowers girls globally through education to achieve their potential and be agents of change in their community. The Malala Fund invests in and advocates for girls’ secondary education and amplifies the voices of adolescent girls globally. If you’re touched by Malala’s story or would like to help empower girls across the world, consider donating.
(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for 20th Century Fox. I received information to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.)
If you’re looking for a cute date night idea, may I make a recommendation? How about the documentary, The Search for General Tso, enjoyed alongside a couple cartons of Chinese take-out! Who WAS General Tso, and why do we love eating his chicken so much? The film explores the origins and ubiquity of Chinese-American food through the story of the world’s most iconic sweet and spicy chicken dish. A dish you’ll want to shovel in your mouth as soon as that first frame rolls, I promise!
Now, you may be thinking, “Beth, isn’t this just the equivalent of #NetflixAndChill?” In a sense, yes. But this stay-in-for-the-night date has a THEME and themes require THOUGHT. Don’t let your adorable evenings with the one you love get reduced to a hashtag! Just think ahead, call up your local Chinese delivery restaurant, and place an order (or two) for some General Tso’s Chicken.
Instagramming a cute shot with your chopsticks is totally optional. #NetflixAndTso
Have fun, love birds!!!
P.S. I just set up my very first READER SURVEY! Would you please consider answering a few questions for me? I would super appreciate the feedback and the opportunity to get to know you a little better! It only takes a minute and your feedback is totally anonymous. Thank you so much for your help and for stopping by Finding delight, it means the world to me! xoxo
What are your thoughts on college sports? Over the years, the business behind these amateur athletes has been of peripheral interest to me. Sure, I bleed blue and love the NCAA basketball tournament. But after Nerlens Noel tore his ACL in a game I read up on the lack of insurance against serious injuries afforded to these sport-stars and my interest was piqued. And all the regalia sold across the country to mega fans of various collegiate programs has always struck me as strange when they’re emblazoned with the names of unpaid participants. Not to mention the billion dollar renovation to the glorified basketball court where my local team tips off has become a hotly contested political issue. Wanting to delve deeper into HOW college sports in our country went from extracurricular to big business, I turned to my ever-faithful Netflix account and streamed “Schooled: The Price of College Sports.” The documentary provides the history behind this transition into a billion dollar enterprise built on the backs of unpaid young adults.
On the other hand, I worked my ass off while participating in a college extracurricular, too. I’ve never felt I should have been financially compensated for that participation. Yet, my university wasn’t making millions of dollars off of that informative speaking final at the Ball State Invitational so….
This is definitely a subject where my opinions have yet to be fully formed. Check out the documentary if you’re curious! And I’d love to know…Do you support this billion dollar industry? Are you in favor of paying college athletes? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!
The other night, I watched the documentary “Mortified Nation.” A film about the stage show “Mortified” which, if you haven’t heard of, is basically a platform for adults to share their childhood writings with an audience of strangers. “Mortified Nation” combines performance footage from various shows with details on conception, implementation and production. In the opening scene, a teenager talks about her own private writings in her diary. She discusses this sacred book with reverence and questions; why would ANYONE want to read journal entries out loud to a room full of strangers? And you might be thinking the same thing. Yes, the stories shared by various performers throughout the film were embarrassing but they were also hilarious, deeply relatable and a gentle reminder that no matter who we become, when you get right down to it, we all came from the same place. A childhood where everything that happened was of grave importance when funnelled through a limited life experience.
After reading “The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth,” this documentary really resonated with me both as a reminder of how we should be relating to teens and the emerging geek chic culture which Robinson discusses. As adults, it is easy to brush off the feelings and worries of children as unimportant. But “Mortified” literally spotlights some of the most important moments in these young lives. The performer embodies the younger version of themselves where first kisses, crushes, hatred were BIG. They grapple with emerging sexuality and conflicts with parents and we can relate. Yet, too often, put a real live teen in front of us with these same struggles and we think “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet, kid.” Young adults are starting to celebrate themselves (and the dorky childhoods that begot them) and serving as perfect examples for Robinson’s “quirk theory”–the characteristics that make your life terrible as a teen earn you accolades as an adult. For participants of “Mortified” these accolades are real, quantifiable celebrations like applause and laughter. Unsurprisingly, people go to these shows and leave wanting to participate. They want to share the shame. And I’ll be honest, watching the documentary made me want to do the same.
I’m much too flighty to have ever kept extended written accounts of my life. I’m always jealous of the people who have boxes full of nostalgia hidden under their bed. (The mormons are the best at this, aren’t they? Shout out to y’all!) Unfortunately, I’ve moved a lot and every so often I just get an unquenchable urge to throw shit away. I would also rather tell people my secrets then keep them under lock and key. Even an old online journal, tucked away in a forgotten corner of the internet, is gone. Kept for over four years, it would have made some great “Mortified” fodder. My account of every teenage first has disappeared into the ether of now defunct websites from the early aughts. To be real, thinking about it bums me out…more than it maybe should. Of course, I am me –I should know how I felt during those years (which were BIG years: I lived abroad, went to proms, had a couple boyfriends, got into college, won some speech things…lost my dad) but going back to THE exact moment where the emotions, good or bad, had bubbled up to a boiling point so dire that you had to get them out or risk implosion–is different. And I think it’s ok for those of us who didn’t set out to be great life historians to be a little sad we can’t go back. At least not in the same way our peers can who were and are.
I also wonder what “Mortified” would look like in subsequent generations. Now, more than ever before, we are all curators of a very public scrapbook of our own lives. Key word here being public. The “Mortified” performances are so raw because they ARE those secrets we once thought we would die if anyone uncovered. As one performer noted, “ If you’ve got something you feel like you would kill yourself if people found out, there’s no way you can hold on to that.” The advent of social media has completely turned this on it’s head. We are a culture who shares everything–and our youth are not excluded from this practice. We also adapt our accounts for audience. Admit it, we are all guilty of this. Myself included. When I look back at the online scrapbook I’m creating through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. in say, 10 years; will I see various vignettes of the most important moments in my life? Or will I see the moments I thought others would believe were the most important? The moments which would gain me instant gratification through immediate and public peer approval? Perhaps THIS is the very thing that will mortify us in the future. Only time will tell.
— Do you have embarrassing journals, letters, song lyrics from your past? Would you ever read them to a room full of strangers? If you’re in the mood for a hearty laugh with a shot to the arm of empathy, I wholeheartedly recommend this documentary, which is now streaming on Netflix.
(Picture of my high school via here. I love that it looks like a faded postcard. Embarrassing high school photos via Facebook by way of Rachel and Matt. : )
If you’re living on a budget, one of the easiest places to make cuts is entertainment. I’ve even read several budget blogs and books that repeatedly call for penny-pinchers to “just stay at home” if they want to eliminate the risk of unwanted spending. While I can’t argue with the efficacy of this advice, I don’t see it as a plausible solution to financial struggles and I would love to discuss it a little more in depth at a later time. For now, I’d like to bring to your attention a community event trend that is a huge boon for all of us who don’t wanna shell out the big bucks for a night out of the house–the free movie. If you just do a little homework you are bound to find a few films each month that are of some interest to you at the low, low price of FREENINETYNINE! Bookmark some online calendars–your local college campus, libraries and Parks and Rec department are great places to start.
If you’re in the Lexington area, the board of directors at my darling place of employment sponsors a monthly film series. The documentary films are screened at the Lexington Central Library and typically feature a few expert speakers before or after the showing.
The next FREE movie event is Tuesday, March 25th from 6:30-9pm. The film is Food for Change, which examines the history of food cooperatives in America, as well as their ability to create economic and social change in our unique cultural landscape. If you’ve ever been curious about the cooperative business model or love your co-op but wonder what it does to strengthen local community, economy and food security; this film will provide some answers.
No reason to sit at home when there is free learnin’ to be had!
…And because I’m in full support of movie snacks, I won’t tell if you sneak in this and this…just don’t crunch too loud. ; )