• Culture and Entertainment

    Cottagecore and Finding My Life and Style Aesthetic and Romantic Academia

    I think I’ve shared some videos, maybe as a part of a things I love, but I was inspired to write a more dedicated post after watching this video by Ruby Granger about Cottagecore. Darling Desi also has a video about Cottage Core as well (and I recommend her birthday video on this as well). Also, I really enjoyed Mia Maples’ video about trying different aesthetics which included Cottagecore.

    My Aesthetic

    There are SO many elements in cottagecore that are so “me” and that bring together or overlap with lots of things I’ve always been interested in, or that I was interested in as a child or that I was becoming interested or re-interested in. Prairie style, slow living, rural living, handicrafts, milkmaid styles, vintage style, etc. I dislike the term though, “cottage” is a pretty word, but “core” is not. Someone on Darling Desi’s cottagecore video mentioned cottagecore being a modernization of “pastoral romance.” I could only find this pastoral literature entry, I suppose they meant that?

    I like how Ruby talks about making the style your own rather than just copying it, and I also like that she included Cinderella 2012 in her list of movies. Because besides not loving the name, I also prefer brighter colors, Cinderella 2012 is just about perfect in combing the colors and the cottage/outdoorsy vibes and decor.

    Also, I wish I could come up with a term for me. I like light academia and cottagecore and victorian and romantic and regency and vintage and ancient/classical and folk. It would be nice to have a shorter term. Romantic is rather vague, all of the other terms are too narrow. Perhaps Vintage Romantic Cottage Academia, which is a mouthful, but I think that is a pretty good summary. Or maybe Romantic Pastoral Academia? Or maybe just Romantic Academia, because I think nature featured a lot in the Romantic period, and then romantic is also a more broad term. Yes, I think I like that.

    My Cottagecore Suggestions

    I noted many of the books and movies and such that Ruby Granger shared it my video to try, and I thought I’d share (or reshare) any books, movies, etc. that I don’t think I’ve heard listed.

    • The Borrowers which is the series that is the basis for The Secret World of Arrietty, a movie that I know several Youtubers mentioned.
    • The 80’s Heidi. We always called milkmaid braids “Heidi braids.” I didn’t actually learn they were called milkmaid braids until my twenties I don’t think.
    • The Grandma’s Attic series.
    • If you are leaning really rural/agrarian, then Wendell Berry. Not idyllic rural/agrarian though. I’ve also got David Kline (Amish farmer) essay collections on my TBR which would also fit. I also have some books on shepherd’s lives on my TBR which would also seem to fit with this.
    • Definitely romantic nature would be the Gene Stratton-Porter books.
    • I think the tv series was mentioned, but I definitely recommend the Christopher Timothy narrated James Herriot books.
    • Friendly Persuasion seems like it would fit the cottagecore vibes, the movie, maybe the book too, I never got into that though.
    • Susan Branch. I just started her A Fine Romance.
    • I’m thinking the poetry of Robert Frost as well.
    • I also saw some suggested videos on Cottagecore and Tasha Tudor which I need to explore as well.
    For Style and Instagram
    • I love the styles of Adored Vintage. I don’t love the colors. This is a true cottagecore style shop.
    • I found this Instagrammer through another, and her style is just perfection. Bright colors, patterns, textures and gorgeous romantic/folk inspired styles. I want SO many of her clothes. She blends several elements of style that I love.
    • This Instagrammer has some super ruffly romantic styles that I love as well. More modern romantic style.
    • Foraging Pages describes her style on her bio as “academic cottagecore.”
    • JE Stanway. I think this might be cottagecore and light academia?
    • The art of Lore Pemberton, I’ve several pieces, and I want more!

    Obviously Darling Desi and Ruby Granger, but also Hannah Lee Dugan, her personal style is cottage core I feel, and she literally lives in a log cabin and van. As well as The Cottage Fairy.

    Lauren Johnson has some cottagecore inspired sewing videos.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    More Beauty Stuff and the Pseudoscience of “Green” or “Clean” Beauty

    I feel like a few years ago I mentioned this channel, but I’m not sure. I highly recommend Lab Muffin beauty for most sunscreen stuff (and for all the fallacies regarding “natural beauty” hint, its a marketing thing, its not science, please watch this!!!!! This was one of the main things to knock some sense into my head about “clean” beauty), except I needed more information and like the Odile video for the previous sunscreen hoopla  . . . guess what there is another (here is Lab Muffin’s video), this time US or just anything approved by FDA, although I think she said this mostly affected spray sunscreens which I don’t like anyway as I seem to inhale quite a bit of them.

    She does a lot of mythbusting, like one on the whole aluminum (I just spelled this the British/Australia way, lol) in deo which is one of the big “green” beauty bogey-man. I think I deleted all my “clean” beauty posts (if I haven’t let me know, and I will delete, but I had tried “natural” deo, and the ones available when I was trying them didn’t work, sincerely sorry to everyone who came close to me. However, I do think aluminum + sweat is what causes clothes staining which is my main issue now, I ruin shirts and dresses under the arm (why do I sweat like an active guy when I’m a sluggish woman?), and since there are better “natural” deodorants than there used to be, I might try to switch except for extremely hot situations, its just SO much more expensive (like 4 to 5x the amount of Dove).

    She does informative videos about myths and specific ingredients and such, and she has also done some product reviews, including this hyped Asian skincare which I noticed had one of my (now my only one left) Asian sunscreen (Biore), so I definitely had to watch! I feel happier that she approved this one. I think this has a level of alcohol some don’t like, but it doesn’t bother me (unlike some spray sunscreens I’ve tried available in US). I also want to try Shiseido – Anessa sunscreen she was talking about. I also want to try the vitamin C serum she mentions (once my freeze on serum buying is over, I’ve got to use up way more products than I have before I buy anything more, I’m trying to only buy replacements for the “main” things like if I need new cleaners and sunscreens and such).

  • Reading

    Little Women Literary Reference List and Alcott Reading Challenge

    When I was rereading Shirley, a lot of footnotes reminded me how often older authors were well-versed in literary works to be constantly referencing all their works, and this caused the list of Little Women literary references to mind, and then Tarissa’s Alcott Reading Challenge reminded me again.

    I thought I’d found a list, I’m pretty sure I did, but I guess it wasn’t comprehensive so I made my own? Back in 2017, I’d posted all the literary references I’d collected in various posts, but I’m going to compile them and put them in a page on here like with my Classics Club list. I need to see if I can remember to compile lists from other author’s works like this as well.

    I’d like to read some things off this list as part of the challenge as well as re-read some actual Alcott works.

    I know I re-read Old-Fashioned Girl recently, but I’ve been meaning to reread the Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s Boys trilogy as well as the Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom duo. And maybe A Long Fatal Love Chase. I’d like to get pretty copies of all these, so we shall see what I get too.

  • Reading

    June 2021 Reading Goals

    • Finish A Fine Romance. I am going to keep this after all.
    • Read Factfulness and return to my dad.
    • Read Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth.
    • Reread Emma. I’m reading this as part of the Enchanted Bookclub.
    • Catch Up on The Silent Bells by ND Wilson serial.
    • Read the state history I borrowed from Papau and return.
    • Make inroads into The Idiot (aim for end of July).
    • Maybe On Writing Well.
    • Other fiction possibilities
      • Greenwillow
      • Maybe the other to Corfu books
  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched May 2021


    I’ve been trying to keep up with watching movies on the weekend. They’ve all been old ones this month.

    Dial M for Murder. Grace Kelly. I guess worth a watch, not really that intriguing to me as it wasn’t funny or or mysterious. And the suspense wasn’t all that extreme either.

    Listen, Darling. This was a cute for one watch. I wouldn’t rewatch.

    My Favorite Wife. I did a post on this, I thought it quite funny and worth rewatching, tons of witty quotes.

    My Favorite Brunette. A spoof of film noir mysteries. Too goofy a humor overall for me, but there were a few quotes I thought funny.


    “I think you’re a very brave man”
    “I know a sniveling coward when I see one. ” Looks in mirror, “Hiya sniv.”


    “An hour later we were at the Poulet d’or, one of those real swanky cafes where they eat mink for breakfast.”



    When I first heard of My Family and Other Animals I’d also heard of the tv show which is The Durrells (and heard it was rather vulgar) but forgot about it. It came to my attention again, and I wanted something to watch while I knitted, so I started it. The tv show is described as being fictionalized, and I only read book one, the only similarities I’m seeing that I remember are the main character names and some of their interests, but I think I want to reread the first and then read the next two.

    While the show does have some vulgarity and coarseness (the worst is that captain, I mostly skip his parts), its mostly not too bad for me. It’s the soapiness that’s getting to me. I’m on season three and had decided to stop, and have skimmed a bit more. And since I can’t seem to stay away from Wikipedia synopses, I’m seeing more soapiness layered on. I thought maybe I’d skip and watch the absolute final episode. We’ll see. But, but, its a bit addicting. Edit: yes, I went back to watching, it’s just so bright and happy on Confu in spite of the attempts at drama, and the music is so cheery, also got another hilarious Spiros bit, this time fighting with Zoltan who is also funny (he would say the funniest). Also, I am skimming through stuff I dislike more.

    Spiros is hilarious, I think a lot (most?) of the best quotes are from him. And the way he always calls them,”Durrells.”


    “What have you got against Sven?”
    “Nothing. Except he is not Greek and he is not British.”
    “Some people aren’t Spiros.”
    During the massive storm, “Hello Durrells, welcome to England.”
    “You know I love the British, but you make everything so  complicated.”
    (Zoltan to Margo) “You make the stars come out at night.”
     “What does that mean?”
    “It’s called poetry, Greek peasant.”
    “It’s called bull****, Turkish cretin.”

    Speaking of soapy dramas. I’d seen Allen Leech in a Hallmark movie, so I looked up the Branson and Sybil bits of Downton Abbey. I’d only watched like 1.5 episodes nearly a decade ago in college (and felt like I’d lost IQ for that much) and what I’d seen of him in photos, his chubby baby face blonde boyish type hadn’t appealed to me, but in the Hallmark movie, oh, my. Well, I think he was rather tubbier in DA, and wow, the acting is horrifically bad. I watch Hallmark which is hardly superb acting, but I think because it’s light and fluffy, it’s fine to have fluffy acting. Also the DA acting is worse than the Hallmarks I like. So bad acting plus drama (which needs more solid acting anyway), yeah pretty bad. Not tempted to try any more of that.

  • Daily Life

    June 2021 Goals

    • File state taxes
    • Set up security system
    • Keep up and continue to improve on my apartment organization and cleanliness
    • In that vein, more specifically finish digitizing my recipes
    • And clean and off table and keep cleaned off
    • Start my new job
    • Watch my spending, pay off some debt, save, and get my net worth back up since I quintupled my negative balance since April
    • Keep up on my exercising, work on stretching, and try to get in better habits of walking
    • Work through my backlog of borrowed and books I own but haven’t read (and may not keep)
    • Sell some stuff and find more to purge
    • Keep up habits of using up excess beauty supplies
    • Finish my niece’s baby blanket and perhaps another or at least make significant progress on it
    • Fix printer scanning issues
    • Work Private Plan
    • Better blogging and Instagram habits
    • Train Bjorn (my sister calls him the electrocuted chipmunk)
    • Work on getting back into more nonfiction
    • Participate in the Enchanted Bookclub’s Emma readalong
    • Continue to watch movies, try to focus a bit more on my list though
  • Culture and Entertainment

    Fun Lately

    I’ve felt I needed more podcasts for a while. I’ve caught up on my favorite so get an episode only once a week or once every two weeks. I think it was a recommendation or ad, that caused me to see The Friendship Onion which is a new podcast by Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd. I guess Billy Boyd’s voice is more of a distinctive one, but I don’t think that it was merely a lack of distinctiveness and memory that caused me to feel that Dominic Monaghan’s voice changed considerably while Billy Boyd’s is instantly remembered?

    The Minimalists had Jeanette McCurdy (of iCarly) on again. And apparently she now has a podcast called Empty Inside. So I gained two new podcasts in a week, such luck.

    I’m not on TikTok, I was afraid of a new time waster, and then at one of my jobs we had mandatory security training mentioning the security hazard the TikTok app is for anyone who uses it. I suppose that is another safeguard of my time, nevertheless, I feel like I’m missing out on the new Vine like I missed on the old one. I occasionally see hilarious compilations on Youtube which make me feel like I’m missing out. One of these was this video If Dog Breeds Were People.

    My sister has an (she was told) Aussie Doodle (we see NO evidence of the Poodle, he’s copper and longish haired shepherd look). The Australian Shepherd energy was spot on.

    She also has a chihuahua (there is NO mistaking the heritage of those piranha teeth), daschund (also hard to mistake that shape), possibly terrier mix. Her personality absolutely, to a T has those elements displayed in the video. They were killer. It’s so hard to pick favorites.

    Now, my little Bjorn doesn’t match the pom, the Golden retriever one, however, that’s him.

    Also, I feel like I shared this one, but I can’t find the post, and it’s too good to miss. If People Acted Like Korean Drama Characters.  I’ve only seen part of one, but from that and what I’ve heard, it sounds like they run to type like Hallmark (Amy mentions how comforting formulas are in this post). The kiss scene in the one I saw was exactly like that, lol. And the end is just, genius.

    And finally, more poking fun at dramas, this time period dramas. I happened on this page and this page shared by other Instagrammers. I spent some time scrolling the first one and laughing, there are some amazing gems, and sending some of the memes to my sisters and sister-in-laws. The 2nd one had this gem.

  • Daily Life

    What I Accomplished May 2021

    • I got a new job that I start in early June. This is my first direct hire adult job!
    • I read 5 books, including one of the borrowed and TBR I own stacks on my nightstand, I also started another.
    • I watched several movies.
    • I think I did manage to make my apartment considerable neater and more picked up. I’ve not listed or sold anything and didn’t sign up for the yardsale though.
    • I’m trying to get into habits of using up my excess beauty items.
    • While I didn’t finish a baby blanket, I knitted, maybe about a third of one, thereby getting more into the rhythm of knitting again.
    • I’m working on getting a considerable portion of June’s blogging planned out.
    • I’ve also been working on Blogilates glute challenge. I’ve missed some days, so its going to be over a longer span than 30 days, but still, I’ve been more consistent on that than I ever have on anything besides walking for years. I’ve also manage to stretch a bit after most days. I’m going to see if I can do her squat and ab challenges next.
    • I’ve digitized most of my recipes from my recipe album into my Evernote cookbook notebook stack.
    • I’ve worked on getting Bjorn (thanks to belly bands) more freedom. Now we need to work on the not chewing up of carpet, baseboards, etc. (as I’d like my deposit back!) and my stuff!
  • Reading

    What I Read May 2021

    A classic heavy month. I didn’t read many books, but most of the ones I read or at least finished this month were classics.

    Villette by Charlotte Brontë. I finished this this month. I enjoyed rereading this in a readalong well enough. But the self-indulgently emotionally tumultousness in this style of Romanticism (or maybe just Romanticism period) is not my thing. I was quite over Lucy’s frequently self-imposed (and seemingly rather enjoyed) sufferings and smugness.

    And So I Began to Read: Books That Have Influenced Me by Faith Cook. A family friend gave this to me. I found it interesting, but she only mentioned religious books which I’ve little interest it, theological works I mean.

    The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot. I wrote my extremely flattering in this post.

    Can You Forgive Her by Anthony Trollope. Definitely a Trollope fangirl. I though I might have enjoyed this more than some of the Barchester Chronicles. So now I have the luxury of enjoying the rest of the series.

    Shirley by Charlotte Brontë. I started this as the next book in the same group as Villette. But oh, I forgot just how much I loved this, in the kind of love that makes me want to hold it close and not share too much. Someone in the group mentioned how Charlotte wrote more in the realism style rather than Romantic (Romantic proper, it is still romantic, of the still-waters run deep kind that I absolutely adore).

  • Culture and Entertainment

    My Favorite Wife with Cary Grant

    I’ve been trying to work on my movie lists, watching a couple every weekend. I don’t know if My Favorite Wife was on my list or it just popped up on Amazon (I think it was a $1.99 rental, but then maybe that was because I wasn’t looking on my dad’s Prime, but on my own account which isn’t Prime). I’m so glad it did, it was quite funny (this is no Bringing up Baby or Monkey Business, but it’s still one of the funnier Cary Grant movies I’ve seen, and I’ve seen quite a few), and Cary Grant is in his best role, as a kind-hearted, befuddled man at the mercy of quicker witted, quicker acting women. I kept stopping because there were so many hilarious quotes to take down, usually at his character’s expense. Obviously, they are funnier to watch, and you get the benefit of all the facial expressions and situational humor. I highly recommend this movie.


    “That takes a lot of love,  you sure you don’t love her?”

    “The moment I saw you downstairs, I knew-“

    “Oh go on. I’m sure you say that to all your wives.

    “I could strangle you.”

    “Hey, that’s a way out.”


    “I feel sorry for the woman who marries him.”


    “Because he’s a heartbreaker, like you.”

    “Go on, I’m one of the most faithful husbands that ever lived.”

    “With a wife in every room.”


    “My husband hasn’t slept since he heard you were on the island with me. He’s arranged this clever meeting to trap us into a confession.”

    (“What!” )(“Now wait just a moment.”)

    “He’s a very clever lawyer so beware. I’m gonna be very foxy myself.”

    “I’ve got nothing to hide.”

    “I know, but he has; you see, Nick’s married again.”


    “So just make up your mind old man.”

    “I’ll make up mind.”

    “You’re not allowed to have two wives, you know.”


    “How long were you married to Helen before the island?”

    “Four years, why?”

    “Well I was with her for seven, so I claim her on the basis on seniority, so I’ve got you there.”

  • Learning and Exploring

    20 Things I Wish I’d Known Before or During College

    1. Take those CLEP, take them again if you have to, you could have saved yourself so much time and been able to take the more interesting advanced history classes you missed out on
    2. Watch your attitude and try to at least curb it
    3. Try to balance out your class participation, between total silence in a few classes and answering and opining too much another you annoy the professor
    4. Have more than one advisor
    5. Take the classes you want when you see them, they won’t come around again
    6. Forgive the professor you are angry with and greet him and any other you are regularly forced to pass on that narrow stair in the history building by looking them in the eye, instead of hanging your head down when they pass
    7. Drop classes more, sooner, look out for warning signs
    8. Don’t people watch, don’t express annoyance (or any emotion), there are some twisted people out there who will make anything ugly and everything uglier
    9. Break down term papers into small papers, literally trick yourself
    10. Learn to use Word better, for example, um hello, the references tab
    11. Therapy (I wish I’d known about and gone, surely there was somewhere on campus, but I think had I known I’d resisted, people are much more attune now)
    12. Career counseling
    13. Think ahead, plan ahead
    14. Work more
    15. Volunteer to get some career ideas, some experience
    16. Save money, just even a tiny bit at a time, get multiple accounts to make it harder to spend everything
    17. Realize my spending/emotional connection
    18. Minor in business so I could at least test business and realize I didn’t like it, but at least have a job option while I look for something I love
    19. Focus on learning history, humanities, genealogy more in my free time, develop my skills
  • Reading

    Highlighting Underappreciated Authors: Gene Stratton-Porter

    I was inspired to write this post after seeing some mentions of Gene Stratton-Porter novels on Instagram (its very rare to see).

    I remember hearing about these novels as a preteen, Freckles first although I think Girl of the Limberlost is the most famous. I think I skimmed Freckles and then Mom assigned me Girl of the Limberlost, not sure.

    Geneva Stratton-Porter was an Indiana native who used her novels to try to interest the public in nature and nature preservation. Indiana has a state park where she lived, and I think perhaps Loblolly marsh, which is near, might be what’s left of the Limberlost (it sounds like the swamp was drained from what I can read, so maybe this is just a connected or revitalized swamp). I’d like to visit there someday.

    I’ve also read Laddie (set in Indiana, but not Limberlost, I think fictionalized novel bio tribute about her brother), The Harvester (also Limberlost), and Keeper of the Bees (set in California). I’ve reread the first and the last. I think the the latter two are my favorite, but I haven’t reread The Harvester.

    The sentimental emotionalism was more suited to my teenage and early twenties temperament, but they are definitely worth reading and some one less cynical would still appreciate some of the emotionalism.

    I’ve also read At the Foot of the Rainbow which I greatly disliked seeing as how I rated in one-star.

    I think she wrote several more that I’ve not read, but Freckles, Girl of the Limberlost, Laddie, and Keeper of the Bees are the best known (and successful I think or at least the first three maybe), and I also recommend The Harvester.