Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year and Pirates - They Go Together Like PB & J

One of the many things that makes this year special is that it's Leap Year!  So pretty much this whole month I have had "A Paradox" from Pirates of Penzance in my head.  For those of you unfamiliar with this wondrous Gilbert and Sullivan opera, then shame on you!  Young Frederick was apprenticed to the Pirates until his 21st birthday.  Unfortunately, he was under the impression that it was until his 21st year.  When Ruth and the Pirate King (played by Angela Lansbury and Kevin Kline - seriously, it doesn't get better than that!) inform him of this misunderstanding, Frederick, being the Slave of Duty that he is, must leave his beautiful Mabel and return to the ship.  But, not without singing a very addictive and humorous little ditty first.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I'd like to give Jean Dujardin yet another fan flail scream standing ovation. Not just for his Oscar win, but for his face. When he took to the stage saying, "I love your country!" I couldn't help thinking, 'And I love your country!' Look at his faaaaace! So expressive! No wonder his incredible work in silent film The Artist trumped all the rest! That suave look, the slight downturn in his smile, the accent- bonjour! Talk about taking France-asizing to a whole new level! And let's not forget his dancing skills and impressions. Is there anything about him that isn't charming? And did anyone else notice him mix in the f-bomb in French at the end of his speech? As if he doesn't make me laugh enough, oh mon dieu, I was cackling!Wow! Putain! Génial! Merci! Formidable!

February Fantasies

Mini Valentine fan fics? Yeah, we we went there... again!
1, 2, 3, 4
Sally: Drinking in the rows of raspberry tarts and red velvet cupcakes, Sally was brimming over with regret for giving up sweets for Lent. "Treat yourself." The encouraging voice was unmistakable; smoother than the dark chocolate centers of the molten cakes under the glass case, laced with a debilitating British lilt. There in the middle of her neighborhood coffee shop, she found herself blushing under the intent gaze of Richard Armitage. She laughed as "you just did" tumbled out uncontrollably, heart all a flutter as he insisted on paying for her latte.

Ali: “Let me get this straight: you moved to an island, to live in a farm house, and work at a horse farm, by yourself, the day before Valentine’s Day?” Erin asked with a smile in her voice.  “What’s wrong with that?” asked Ali, only slightly offended; “I love it here in spite of all of this rain.”  “Nothing at all;” replied a giggling Erin, “it’s just that the whole scenario sounds a bit like the perfect set-up for a really trashy romance novel.” Ali was about to respond with a resounding “does not” when the doorbell rang.  She opened the door and her mouth – as well as the phone – dropped to the floor as an extremely wet and ruggedly handsome Chris Hemsworth stood before her and said in his deeply masculine voice, “Hi, I’m Chris, my car broke down; could I borrow a dry shirt and your phone?” 

Sarah:  I was in need of some puppy love one Saturday, so I went to the animal shelter - I have an addiction.  The shelter was crowded, but I made my rounds between the adult dogs and cats before going to see the puppies and kittens.  I am overwhelmed by the cuteness the moment I walk into the Puppy room.  I pick up and adorable shepherd mix and fall in love with him.  Chris Evans walks up beside me and says, "That's a cute one."  Why yes, yes you are.

Mariah: "Oooooh. Look at this one: Drummers do it better..." Mariah flicked the chalky, purple heart at the grinning drummer. The blue-eyed boy grabbed the box of conversation hearts from his girlfriend and sifted through them: "Harry Judd is the fittest member of McFly," he smirked as she leaned over and squinted at the piece of candy. "Liar," the girl tried to keep a straight face, "it clearly says Tom Fletcher is the fittest..." she giggled as her joke was cut short with fervent protests. The couple broke apart, both laughing at their silliness, and Harry rifled through the box once more, "I found the perfect one, love," he placed a tiny, yellow heart in her palm and met her eyes as she read the three words it so precisely declared.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Valentines by Victorian Swag

Did you enjoy the Oscars last night? I know I did! And now, it is my privilege to present to you...

"The Morning After" collection:


Saturday, February 25, 2012

It's Sassurday!

Can you believe it is already Saturday; I mean, Sassurday?  Oh how the time flies when you are looking into those deep pools of manliness that are Fassy's eyes.  This particular picture brings two movie quotes to mind:
1.  "I just like to look at him." The Princess Diaries 2
2. " He's so handsome and rugged and chiseled and great."  She's the Man
I shall leave you with those thoughts, dear readers.  Have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Valentines by Victorian Swag

Bonjour and happy Friday my lovely Victorian Swag ladies. I know you didn't think I would let the month of loooove pass by without adding my own version of VS Valentines into the mix. So, without further ado, I give you...
The "Lady-Nerd" Collection

Friday We're In Love!

12, 3, 4

Sarah's Pick: I've started getting back in the pool this week, and I had forgotten how much I love it! I think I swam before I walked, and I have really missed the smell of chlorine (a smell only swimmers can truly love).  Not to brag, but the picture I chose is of the Munich Olympic Pool, and yeah, I raced in that.   

Sally's Pick: This week I've been snacking on a wonderful book called Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard. It's made me so hungry for France that I've actually started planning my next trip there this spring! And, oui, I will definitely be trying to take a page out of her book and have lunch with a Frenchman and never come home. Mmm... s'il vous plaît! 

Ali's Pick: This week my pick is a bit unorthodox but nonetheless worth sharing: A French couple walked into the office today, chattering away en français.  French has been lacking in my life lately; so, unable to resist, I jumped in and asked where they were from and we ended up spending half an hour chatting about Paris, life in la belle France, and life on the Island. Nothing beats a taste of France in the homeland.   

Mariah's Pick: I really just want to take a moment and fangirl over John Mayer's recently announced new single. When he announced that he was going to take a break for a few years, my heart died a little, but it seems that my guy John just can't stay away from the recording studio. Excuse me while I go squeal in the corner over Shadow Days THE OFFICIAL NEW JM SINGLE!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Downton Abbey 2x7

And now it's time for the Downton Abbey Christmas special! First off, why don't American shows do Christmas specials like the Brits? Lame. Second off, I don't know whether to cry tears of joy or tears of sorrow because it's all about to be over. Which means I'm going to have withdrawal from Branson and Cousin Matthew for an ENTIRE YEAR. Victorian Swag field trip to England to visit the set anyone? Or better yet, does anyone want to sponsor a Victorian Swag field trip to Downton? Because... well, let's just say if this show was my life, I'd be one of the servants. BUT ANYWAY! SIDETRACKING! FEELINGS! COME FORWARD!
  • It's Christmas at the manor (smelling salts +1)! Period pieces and Christmas? These are a few of my favorite things! Everything is beautiful and nothing hurts!
  • Looks like the family's been praying for Mr. B in church that morning because he's apparently on trial FOR HIS LIFE (brass knuckles +1).
  • Personally, my Christmas wish is that Santa picks up vile Richard and punts him off his sleigh with a jolly ho ho ho. Alas, there he is in the parlor, ranting about how servants get the holiday off like a world class jerk (brass knuckles +2). 
  • Oh Cousin Matthew, offering to support Mary at Mr. B's trial (smelling salts +2). You are so thoughtful and true! *cough* MARRY HER *cough*

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Snoods Make Everything Better

Recently I had the pleasure of reading a lovely new book by an equally as lovely lady. Wilfair by Alysia Gray Painter is the first in a series of books about young-ish, slightly neurotic, and fabulously coiffed Fair Finley and her adventures running her family's hotel, the Wilfair. Basically, if Fair was a real person, we would totally be begging her to become a regular contributor to Victorian Swag, because the girl has it in spades. Not to mention we would then have a reason to hang out with her totally hot neighbors, the cousins who run the hotel next door, Montgomery #1 and Montgomery #2, aka: Monty and Gomery. But because you, of course, want evidence of Wilfair's awesomeness, I give you my top 5 reasons why you should read this book:

The 500 Dip Bar- Someone needs to open a 500 Dip Bar stat. Because having 500 kinds of dip to choose from, and the options to have... whatever: fries, strawberries, graham crackers, to dip into them. Oh man, I'd be five-hundred pounds! I won't even tell you how many times I raided the pantry over the reading of this book.

Monty & Gomery- First of all, these boys are (both) named Montgomery Overbove. Isn't that name all kinds of awesome? Yes, having the same name could be a little confusing, which is why they've made our lives a little easier... The cute, geeky boy of the nice forearms, and Fair's #1 crush is called Gomery. While the other Overbove is a wannabe movie-producer extraordinaire called Monty, and his cheekiness and one-liners are the stuff dreams are made of. If you don't fall in love with both of these boys, well then, I'll just keep them for myself!

The Wilfair- Wilfair, where have you been all my life? With your different levels/floors of awesomeness? Ladies, this hotel is legit. Each level has a different theme: Traditional-Spanish-Deco-Rococo-Gothic-Storybook-Mission-Modern, or TraSpaDecToGoStoMisMod for short. And while all of these things may sound a little overwhelming put together, I'm here to tell you, they're not. With a magical wishing alcove, that ace 500 Dip Bar, a costumed manageress, and a sequin-wearing ghost, the Wilfair is sheer perfection.

Snoods- (E.G.) Our protagonist, the fair Fair Finley, has a penchant for fabulous vintage outfits. On any given day, she could be Grace Kelly or Barbara Stanwyck, and there is always, of course, a snood involved. A snood which often tells the mood of our heroine and is the subject of many appropriately snarky comments. I think we should bring the snood back, fashionably speaking.

The Mysterious Happenings at the Hotel- What happens when you combine a smelly tar bubble, crazy aunts, and the smells of London and Paris? Mysterious and slightly frightening happenings, that's what! The entire city of London mapped out in bed sheets and a bedroom that disappears and re-appears in the hotel across the way... That's some kind of meet-cute. If you're confused, then I suggest you've got no choice but to go start reading, now, what are you waiting for?!

Have I convinced you yet? Because if swoon-worthy guys, a little mystery, vintage clothes, and creamy-dreamy food don't win you over, then you're a lost cause. I give you leave to go read and fan-girl. 

*Statement: Victorian Swag received their copy of Wilfair free of charge via the author, Alysia Grey Painter. We did not receive any forms of compensation, like the entire BBC period piece collection on  DVD, for reviewing this book. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

born in the wrong century (and proud of it!)

Lost in Austen (definitely not my favorite, but terribly relevant). (x)

Sitting down to brunch with friends this Sunday, conversation soon turned to the opposite sex as it oh so inevitably and deliciously does in the company of five single ladies. With our recent tales of woe, the all-too-familiar words were uncontrollably spilling out of my mouth before I knew it. "I was born in the wrong century." The phrase might as well be branded on my arm because I've nearly worn the words out I've spoken them so many times. 

Now the reaction to these words can go one of two ways. First is the eye roll or laugh of incredulity. You? Survive a world sans internet access? Where they bled you if they thought anything was wrong with you? Where you might have been married off to the first rich yet philandering suitor who came your way? To some, there is nothing romantic about the past except the fantasies I (and the BBC)  have personally thrust upon it. I am incurably brainwashed, pining for a reality of my own making. There may be some truth to that, but in the end we have to agree to disagree.


Season 2 of Downton Abbey may be over, but our for love Dan Stevens, the genius behind Matthew Crawley, is staying steady.  He made us love him as Edward Ferras in 2008's Sense and Sensibility, and we have never looked back.  How can you not love that wholesome smile, those baby blues, and that amazing talent?  I just don't know what I'm going to do until Season 3 of Downton starts!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Valentines by Victorian Swag!!

Happy Monday!  In honor of the Month of Love and to help us all get through the day, please enjoy some more Valentine's cards.  These two charmers are totally different, but they will run away with your heart whether you tend to go for the good guy or the bad boy.

Gilbert Blythe...

Sorry to cause a scandal, but you know you're thinking the same thing!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It's Sassurday!

How could I NOT?!
All week long we've been giggling over Miss Piggy's red carpet interviewing skills at the BAFTAs last weekend. This interview was jam packed with some of our favorite actors, who shall remain nameless out of respect for Sassurday's namesake, but we squeed with the high-pitched fervor of love-struck tweens when our crowned King Fassy had his turn in the spotlight! Miss Piggy showed a classy sense of decorum that we could never replicate in his presence, but then... her reaction at the very end is exactly what ours would have been with Sassy Fassy. I guess we all have our king!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday We're In Love!

Sally's Pick: On Valentine's Day, I finally purchased Cœur de Pirate's sophomore album Blonde. I've spent the entire week humming and tapping along to the French-Canadian's 60s influenced tunes, some of which are seamlessly sprinkled with English. Not only is it wonderful to see an artist I love come out with such a strong album, but having French pouring out of my speakers 24/7 (since everything sounds better in French) and dreaming of the day I'll return has been a charming addition to my day. 

Sarah's Pick: I've been catching up on New Girl this week, and I seriously don't know what my life would be without it.  It's the most ingenious, quirky show ever, and I can't help but laugh out loud every episode.  Who's that girl? Who's that girl?  It's Jess!

Ali's Pick: I do believe I am now the only member of Victorian Swag who has not seen a single episode of Merlin.  I know, I know; it's a travesty.  Thankfully, my dear friend Sally saw fit to gift me the entire first season on DVD for my birthday.  I shall begin my quest this weekend and I cannot wait! 

Mariah's Pick: All my friends know that I have a bit, which is an understatement, of a Target obsession. So, whenever they release a new designer collaboration, I go a little nuts. Jason Wu is the current designer to add their name to the Target list, and I just want to buy every single item- especially since I can imagine my style icon Zooey loving it as well.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Civil Wars - Everyone Wins

Every now and again, there comes along an album that speaks to your soul.  Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars is one such album.  Yes, it's been out for a year now, but it's just taken me a bit to come out of my reverie.  If you looked up "musical harmony" in the dictionary, you would find a picture of these two phenomenal artists.  I get lost in the layers created by Joy Williams and John Paul White within each song: lyrically, musically, and emotionally.  The duo deservedly won two Grammy's last Sunday for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Folk Album.

"Two of Us"- Love Songs

In keeping with this month's "love" theme, I simply couldn't let the opportunity to make a cheesy music playlist pass me by. So here are a few songs to have a candlelit dinner with your special someone, or eat a tub of Ben & Jerry's by yourself. Whichever camp you're in, I hope you enjoy a few of my favorite love songs (the obvious and not so obvious ones).

1) No One's Gonna Love You- Band of Horses
2) Two of Us- The Beatles
3) My Girl Tonight- Jon McLaughlin
4) Only Love- Ben Howard
5) With This Ring- Dustin O'Halloran
6) Ocean Wide- The Afters
7) Until You- Dave Barnes
8) Something in the Water- Brooke Fraser
9) Count on Me- Mat Kearney
10) You Make My Dreams- Hall & Oates
11) Girls and Boys in Love- The Rumble Strips
12) Whole Wide World- Wreckless Eric
13) This Will Be Our Year- Zombies
14) Make You Feel My Love- Adele
15) Your Song- Kate Walsh
16) You and Me- Penny & The Quarters
17) I Will- The Beatles
18) Next To Me- Sleeping at Last
19) Kissing You- Romeo and Juliet Score

You can preview all (but one, darn you, iTunes), of the songs here.

Downton Abbey 2x6

So... this episode emotionally ravished me. Anyone else? I was just feeling ALL THE FEELINGS + found myself fully docked at FRUSTRATION STATION. First off, I didn't realize it was the "finale" (next week's episode is the Christmas special, which aired later across the pond) and thus two hours. So when the episode kept going after using my heart as a punching bag for a full hour, I knew things would not end up well for me. The second hour was full of SCREAMING. I am not joking when I say I'm amazed the police didn't show up on my doorstep. It wasn't pretty. This one really tore me up, but it might not be for all the all obvious reasons you think... Shall we?

  • The episode opens with the news that Mr. B's cray-cray thievin' wife committed suicide... Except I still don't think it was suicide (brass knuckles +1). Is this just me? Am I paranoid? Have I gone cray-cray too?!
  • Then Lady G says she wants Cousin Matthew to leave Downton as he's too much of a distraction for Mary who ought to be focusing on vile Richard (brass knuckles +2). Say what now? SRSLY, Lady G?
Back. away. slowly.
  • *bear claw hands* Lord G tells Jane he's written to the headmaster of the school on behalf of her son (brass knuckles +3). The part of me that wants to believe that Lord G is not capable of being unfaithful says maybe he just needs someone to talk to who agrees that life can never go back to the way it was before the war. But I have such a terrible feeling about this! Why is Jane conveniently popping up everywhere he goes? Home-wrecking stalker!
  • When he's alone with Mr. B, Lord G suggests that it couldn't have been suicide because she didn't leave a note (brass knuckles +4). AND I HATE EVERYTHING! Because it's true.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Scene-ic Love

1, 2, 3, 4
It may be the day after Valentine's Day, but since we declared February the month of LOVE, it seems only right that we keep pouring out our hearts and basking in our FEELINGS! So today we're going to dive into a glittering pool of sappy emotion and share some of our favorite romantic moments in film. After all, taste in movies can tell you a lot about a person and since our readers have magically multiplied overnight, consider this to be a bit like a get-to-know-you game. Of course, given the time, we'd probably share ten scenes a piece, but today we'll each coo over one that particularly gives us melty-heart symptoms.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An Open Love Letter to Richard Armitage

Dear Richard Armitage,

It's Valentine's Day, so I thought now was as good a time as any to finally spill the beans and tell you how I FEEL. I know we have dear readers in New Zealand and since you're out there filming The Hobbit, I guess I'm just pretending that one of them is you!

They always say that love finds you when you're not looking for it. I never truly believed these words until you. You see, when I first saw you two years ago, I was in a dark place. Not only was I living in a French bomb shelter devoid of any shred of human happiness, but I had just finished season 2 of Merlin. I was distraught. I was lost. It was a difficult time for me. But I had to go on! I knew I must go on! So I turned to Robin Hood, hoping it would semi-fill the hole that Merlin had left behind. 

The rest is history... (x)
And fill it did! I had just started coming down with a case of the warm fuzzies over Robin Hood's shenanigans, when you came on screen. God knows, I have a thing for the bad boy who just might turn out to be good, and you certainly looked the part. But then... *fans self*... you opened your mouth to speak. The Monkees sang, "but then I saw her face... now I'm a believer!" Well, darling, this was definitely a "then you spoke one word... now I'm a believer!" moment. Your gravelly voice was- is- like a tranquilizer gun. Every single time, it stuns me senseless. It's an assault on my red-wined senses and I could listen to you read the side of a cereal box for weeks on end, completely captivated. 


Happy Valentine's Day!
Love, Victorian Swag and James McAvoy

Ok, so we may only be dreaming that this lovely specimen is wishing us a happy heart day; however, we can at least congratulate him on his beautiful visage.  We've loved him in everything from Becoming Jane to The Chronicles of Narnia (who knew Mr. Tumnus was a hottie?!) and from X-Men to Penelope.  While undoubtedly a talented actor, I mostly just like to look at him.  And listen to him.  Mr. McAvoy possesses one of my favorite voices in Hollywood.  Special thanks to Glasgow for giving us this lovely accent.  

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day from the boys of This Century and the ladies at Victorian Swag!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentines by Victorian Swag

It's almost Valentine's Day!  And as excited as we are to break out the chocolate covered strawberries and champagne to celebrate, first we must supply you with more extremely useful Valentines with which to woo your sweetheart.  In keeping with my love for sci-fi/action/comic-based films, without further ado, I give you the:

"Rated X for X-Men" Collection

Saturday, February 11, 2012

It's Sassurday!

Apparently our Fassy is "the hardest-working man in Hollywood." Well, we could have easily told you that- no research required. Did we also mention that he has made an appearance in Vanity Fair's Young Hollywood issue? Personally, we think it should be a requirement that every magazine have at least one photo of him, wouldn't that automatically make a publication worthwhile?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday We're In Love!

1, 2, 3, 4
Mariah's pick: Last week I discovered the Royal Opera Ballet's Alice in Wonderland (their first full-length ballet since 1995- choreographed by the fabulous Christopher Wheeldon), and I just want to wrap myself up in its costumes and music and all-around magicalness. The sets are nothing short of awe-inspiring, and Lauren Cuthbertson is the perfect Alice; the Red Queen's spoof of the Rose Adagio from Sleeping Beauty will have you in stitches, and the Mad Hatter's turn as a tap dancing maniac will leave you inspired. I simply cannot gush enough, in other words, I'll be replaying this ballet for a while!

 Ali's Pick: If you couldn't tell based on many previous posts, I love music.  In fact, there is nothing better than plugging your iPod into your car, selecting your favorite playlist, and riding with the windows down.  This week I am celebrating the fact that I synced my new iPod Classic yesterday, giving me 160GB of uninterrupted music goodness for my next long road trip. 

Sarah's pick: We have been without a properly functioning refrigerator for almost two weeks now (long story of ridiculousness).  It has been somewhat tortuous, but Huzzah! we have a brand-spanking new one as of yesterday evening!  I have never been so happy to hold a cold coke in my life!

Sally's pick: Oh mon dieu, I read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins this week and oh la la, it's l'amour! I haven't enjoyed a YA book this much in I don't know how long. I'm talking fan mail is going to be written and birth certificates will be edited to show that I am young enough to go to boarding school in Paris so that I can fall in love with a boy like St. Clair who will take me to Point Zero for wishes and kisses!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Musical Valentine from Paul McCartney to the World


In honor of the impending day of loooove, fictional boyfriend number 2 (yes, I have lots of fictional boyfriends, no I will not list them all for you), has released a lovely new album. I'd like to pretend that he knows my love for old standards, and thus Kisses on the Bottom is his blatant attempt at wooing me- candy and flowers are so overrated. Obvs, I have an extremely overactive imagination, but can you blame a girl? It's not every day Sir Paul McCartney releases a new album. So I'm going to take this opportunity to properly spazz over the jazzy, creamy, swoony, heart meltingly, spine tinglingly awesome-sauceness of it all. 

P.S.- To the critic who shall remain un-named that accused Sir Paul of being given to schmaltz and sappiness, if I was wearing gloves, which I'm not, so this is entirely metaphorical, I would give you a nice smack. Because McCartney doesn't do cheese, he does LOOOOVE.

Downton Abbey 2x5

In case you haven't caught up on this week's episode, take it from me, do not watch this one when everyone else in your house has gone to bed. Not a good idea! I was uncontrollably crying out all. the time. ARRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I need to throw something! 
  • The episode opens with Mary pushing Cousin Matthew around in the yard. And for a moment, it's like they're a couple (smelling salts +1). Ugh!
  • Vile Sir Richard is watching them from the house and asks Lord G if he should be jealous (brass knuckles +1). Gross. I really dislike you. And YES you should be jealous!
  • The doctor tells Lord G that a wounded/burned Canadian soldier with a connection to the house has asked if he can be moved to recover there. His name is Patrick Gordon. As in... Cousin Patrick who died on the Titanic?! As in, this will screw up Cousin Matthew's life even more, stripping him of the title and estate (brass knuckles +2)?! I'm usually awful at predicting what's to come, but why else would the writers recycle the name Patrick? Gahhhhh!!!!!
  • Mrs. Crawley is anxious to ensure Downton is still useful after the war. Dude. It's not your house. When will you learn to stay out of it (brass knuckles +3)?!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Guide to Winning Fair Lady's Heart


Valentine’s Day is approaching, and it is important for the gentlemen of the world to know how to attain a woman's heart.  I have provided a few guidelines on what to do and what not to do according to the leading authorities on wooing, which include, but are not limited to, Jane Austen (obviously), the Brontë sisters, and the like.  

Valentines by Victorian Swag: The Bullseye Collection

What better way to tackle the mid-week/mid-day slump than with two more of our "homemade" valentines? I don't know about you, but there's just something about a man with a bow and arrow that makes me quiver! Yeah, I just made that cheesy joke, but don't pretend like you don't have the same reaction! They have such precision zeroing in on our hearts, do they not?

Because Legolas was the first culprit. 
And Robin Hood was the second.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What the Dickens?

Artwork by Mike Dutton.
Did anyone else notice the charming makeover Google underwent today? Because it. is. awesome. I was tipped off by one of our readers (thanks, Libby!) and I couldn't resist ensuring the rest of you saw it! Today is Charles Dickens' 200th birthday, so tonight we'll celebrate with an impromptu batch of recommendations for movie adaptations of his beloved work. It never ceases to amaze me just how many character Dickens could seamlessly weave together in one work of fiction. The following stories and characters are some of my particular favorites.


I mean REALLY. Was there any question about who we'd be congratulating this week? Is there anyone more deserving of our weekly shout-out? Whether the Giants won or lost the Super Bowl, he was going to put the Eli in the elite of congratulatory faces. It's not every day he goes to the Super Bowl, but when he does, he beats the Patriots. And we. are. so. happy!!! This talented young man is the very first athlete to be acknowledged on our blog, so congrats two times over! We're super jealous you went to Disney without us this week (any one else to tickled to death when he shouted, "I'm going to Disney!" after the game?), but we're super swoon-y over the fact that we're seeing your humble and adorable self absolutely everywhere. We love your team spirit and winning smile! In fact, you're our MVP!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentines by Victorian Swag

Remember those glorious days in elementary school where you decorated an old shoe box with pink and red hearts and those lace-paper doilies and then you sat them out on your desk during the annual Valentine's Day classroom party to be filled with the corniest, most delightful folded paper Valentines, Candy Hearts, Red Hots, and Dum Dum suckers?  We remember too!  And we miss the friendly competition to find the BEST Valentines out of the entire class.  In honor of this amazing tradition and one of Victorian Swag's favorite holidays, we bring you our very own line of VS-approved Valentines.  

"Star Trek of Love" Collection

Saturday, February 4, 2012

It's Sassurday!

Oh Sassy Fassy, we just spent the past few days cooing over this interview where you said you'd like to be in a musical. Would you really do that for us, Fassy? Would you?! Ugh. You're just the gift that keeps on giving...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday We're In Love!

12, 3, 4

Sarah's Pick: Newest musical obsession: First Aid Kit.  They won my heart with "Emmylou" because they share my love of Emmylou Harris, and they sealed the deal with "The Lion's Roar."  Of course, the rest of the album is incredible, as well, and certainly not to be missed!

Sally's Pick: This week we found out that Samantha Barks trumped Taylor Swift in being cast as Eponine in the new Les Misérables film, which I absolutely cannot wait for, and I am so happy!!! Maybe it's because Eddie Redmayne is playing Marius (read: AHHHHHDLSKfSDKEJF!!!!) and I don't want to hear his name dragged into a bitter country ballad about everything guys do wrong (granted, I heart T-Swift and these songs are very helpful in times of angst, but stay away from Victorian Swag royalty, please!). But mostly I'm psyched that someone who played the part on stage snagged the role, making the stellar cast extra legit!

Ali's Pick: Some exciting things have been happening to the Victorian Swag team: Sarah might be (she totally should) be moving to London and I will be moving to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for my new job at Lawton Stables in a week!  In the spirit of my new job (HORSES!) and as a small "congrats-you-are-making-a-huge-life-change" gift to myself, I purchased my first pair of cowboy boots.  I pretty much haven't taken them off since I bought them.  

Mariah's Pick: I love all things Peter Pan, so it's no shocker that I am so incredibly excited about East of Kensington, which is a student filmmaking project with a different sort of Peter Pan story. The entire crew is currently running an IndieGoGo campaign to fund the film, which will have all sorts of awesome costumes, sets, CGI effects, and even color correction by the people who did Pirates of the Caribbean 4 (this isn't your usual student film!); if you donate there are lots of awesome things you can get, including your own Lost Boy/Girl name!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Downton Abbey 2x4

This episode, you guys, this episode! I just... can't even... ok. Let's just rip off the band-aid and dive in.
  • Cousin Matthew is heading into battle and across the sea, Mary suddenly goes terribly cold and breaks her teacup. BECAUSE THEIR HEARTS ARE INTERTWINED, Y'ALL (smelling salts +1)!
If you die, Cousin Matthew, I will kill you!!!
  • But holy shizz- now William and Cousin Matthew are tangled up together in a pool of blood (brass knuckles +1). NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Back at Downton, we discover that William survived when Edith volunteers to nurse him back to health. She's being so... nice (smelling salts +2)! Am I having an identity crisis? Is this an alternate universe?! Well, apparently it doesn't matter because the doctor says that since William isn't an officer, he can't stay at their convalescent home.
  • O'Brien tells Thomas that she shouldn't have written to Mr. B's cray-cray thievin' wife again, letting her know that he was back at Downton (brass knuckles +2). Damn straight you shouldn't have!
  • And, quelle surprise, her ears must have been bleeding. Mr. B's cray-cray thievin' wife shows up unannounced with claws out (brass knuckles +3).

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

I have an incredible opportunity to attend Grad School in London for a year, which has given me a lot of FEELINGS and a lot of headaches.  I have been going around in circles in my head trying to decide if I should go or stay.  It has been a never-ending loop of "Oh my gosh, I could live in London," and "Oh my gosh, that's an irresponsibly large sum of money to spend on something that I'm not 100% sure about."  But, at the same time, how do you say "No" to the land of Victorian Swag, the origin of swoon-worthy, boot-wearing men, the home of rugby and polo, the pub hub, the place of inspiration to Dickens, the headquarters of Harry Potter....  I really think Hugh Grant says it best.  Essentially, this has been me.  Well, I have had to put my big girl pants on to attempt to make a logical, reality-based decision, but I am going to suspend that for a moment, and go through the pros and cons of things that actually matter. 

hearts in our eyes!!!

We have oh so cleverly dubbed February the month of (ALL CAPS) LOVE. This is really just code for an excuse to share all our FEELINGS! Whether it's for certain gentlemen, fiction, film, music, you'll be seeing an overwhelming outpouring of LOVE on Victorian Swag this month. That's right, I'm talking more than usual! No filter, no shame, no apologies. This is a place where we can share ridiculous things like the following i.e. a haiku pulled from the early e-mail threads putting this blog together...
Prince Albert... on toast. (x)

Victorian swag
You're looking damn fine in boots
I like your mustache

You also might be seeing more explanations for why we swoon over the things we do... And by explanations I mean...