Wednesday, February 29, 2012
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!”
Mini Valentine fan fics? Yeah, we we went there... again!
|1, 2, 3, 4|
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.
Monday, February 27, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
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
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
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
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
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
|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.
Monday, February 20, 2012
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.
|Sorry to cause a scandal, but you know you're thinking the same thing!|
Saturday, February 18, 2012
|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
Thursday, February 16, 2012
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.
You can preview all (but one, darn you, iTunes), of the songs here.
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
|1, 2, 3, 4|
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
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)|
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.
Monday, February 13, 2012
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
Friday, February 10, 2012
|1, 2, 3, 4|
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!
Thursday, February 9, 2012
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.
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
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.
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
|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.
Monday, February 6, 2012
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
Friday, February 3, 2012
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
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
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.
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)|