Saturday, May 18, 2013

Prince Daniel's Wedding Speech

     I love Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden! They're an incredible couple and just so beautiful and full of life. I came across this video of their wedding reception and was immediately swept away by the beauty of their love and Daniel's devotion to his wife and to his new people.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tumblr Fun

Chris: You look tired, India...

     You can find more adorable pictures of Chris and his daughter >>here<< courtesy of my Tumblr which I am absolutely loving! Ever since school let out last week (YAAAHHHH), I've been spending a good amount of time building and constructing my Tumblr blog and it has been a lot of fun. Only I made the terrible mistake of not tagging my posts when I reblog them. A stupid thing to do, seeing that all of Tumblr is based on tagging. So, one day when I was babysitting, I spent almost five hours tagging all my posts and I had upward of 150 posts! It was worth it though and I now have all my posts neatly categorized from Downton Abbey to The Avengers.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Vampire Diaries - Season 2

The Vampire Diaries
      Well, let me just start by saying that season 2 was nothing short of extraordinary! My heart stopped so many times that I'm surprised I'm still alive (no pun intended). There was a lot of intense emotion, especially regarding Damon, which made it all the more gripping and heartbreaking. Another great aspect was there was numerous period scenes dating from Bulgaria in the 1500s and back to Mystic Falls in 1864. So incredible costume drama and beautiful scenery!!!

     Season 2 picks up immediately where Season 1 left off, so the show is just a roller coaster ride of drama and intensity. For a recap on Season 1 go here The Vampire Diaries Season - 1

~ ~ ~

Elena Gilbert
Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert
     After a whirl wind of emotions and drama that took place in season 1, mainly bringing 145 year old vampires back from the dead, finding out that her best friend is a witch, her brother is going from bad to worse since his parent's death and then throw in two handsome brothers that have captured her attention, one can assume Elena Gilbert wants to relax. Although, nothing ever goes as planned when you live in Mystic Falls. 

     Within the first 5 min. of episode one, Elena comes face to face with her worst enemy, her ancestor Katherine Pierce. Elena finds out that she is Katherine's doppelganger, a person who bares a striking resemblance from someone (usually an ancestor) who has been long dead. Afterwards Katherine becomes Elena's greatest enemy as well as the enemy to all of Mystic Falls.  Elena then falls to pray to an ancients vampire's ruthless chase to find and kill her in an ancient practice to undo a lifelong curse.

     In the midst of this confusing enterprise, Elena is still in love with Stefan, but finds herself conflicted with her feelings toward Damon. Even though she and Damon fight nonstop, Elena still manages to find glimpses of kindness, honesty and even humanity in him. Stefan still remains her steadfast support and comfort, but he is haunted by his past and must come face to face with Elena about it.

     Nina Dobrev's acting in this is nothing short of AMAZING! Not only did she have to do several dual roles that take place at various times in history, she was able to convey intense emotion and pain and make in believable. She's an incredible actress and is well with the praise. 

     Elena has grown quite a bit since season 1. She is much more independent and sometimes a little careless, but her family and friends still come before her self and her heart. As Elena grows, so does her question in her humanity and her love for Stefan. Does she want to remain human and have a regular human life or does she sacrifice her humanity to stay with the man she loves?

Katherine Pierce/ Katerina Petrova
Nina Dobrev as Katherine Pierce/Katerina Petrova
      Cruel, conniving, heartless and unmerciful, Katherine is a 516 year old vampire who has spent her entire life running and protecting herself from Klaus, an Original who is considered the oldest vampire in the world. Klaus has hunted her down for the sake of revenge when she denied him the use of her body to be used as a sacrifice to cure his curse as hybrid vampire/werewolf, which is known as the Petrova curse. With Katherine as a vampire and now rendered useless, Klaus and his estranged brother Elijah now seek to capture Katherine's doppelganger, Elena Gilbert and use her instead.

    Katherine is originally Katerina Petrova of Bulgaria (interesting enough, Nina Dobrev is from Bulgaria) who is banished from her country after she gives birth to her illegitimate daughter. Katerina's father sends her to England and gives the child away. After meeting Klaus and Elijah in England, fleeing for her life and becoming a vampire, Katerina Petrova becomes Katherine Pierce and spends the rest of eternity on the run, using any means possible to escape.

     Eventually she comes across the paths of the handsome Salvatore brothers in Mystic Falls, Virgina, whom she grossly misuses. First turning Stefan into a vampire and he then turns Damon into a vampire. When the townspeople of Mystic Falls realizes there are vampires, they herd them together (Damon and Stefan are excluded) and burn them in the church. Only conniving Katherine manages to escape, but deep inside she longs to rekindle her love with Stefan Salvatore.

     145 years later Katherine is back in Mystic Falls and is ready to raise more hell....

~ ~ ~

Stefan Salvatore
Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore
     In season 2 we get a harsh look into Stefan's life as a vampire, long before he met Elena Gilber. Once cruel and unmerciful, with an addiction to blood, Stefan was the furthest thing away from generous and sacrificial. If Damon was bad in 2010, Stefan was worse in 1864. Now 145 years later, Stefan has given up his former life and has settled into Mystic Falls in plans of securing a home and a family, hopefully with Elena.

     The past can never be forgotten, not even Stefan's, when Katherine Pierce comes into town and does everything she can to turn Stefan and his brother against one another and above all, break Stefan and Elena apart. He is committed though to staying true to his new life, regardless of what Katherine is trying to do.

     Stefan really doesn't change too much in this one, which is perfectly fine. He is still moral and courageous and puts his time and energy into helping those around him, especially a newly turned vampire who Katherine cruelly killed. Yet, helping the ones you love and by the end Stefan is put to the ultimate test, how far do you go to save the ones that you love?

~ ~ ~

Damon Salvatore
Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore
     Damon, Damon, what are we ever going to do about handsome, charming, narcissistic, compelling Damon Salvatore?? The answer is usually, nothing. Quite frankly Damon enjoys who he is and anyone be damned who try to think otherwise. Damon Salvatore might seem a hero to the Mystic Falls Founders (the leaders of Mystic Falls whose ancestors settled the town), but to everyone else, he's a menacing mastermind who is better left alone.

     Although, contrary to what people may think, there is a heart and a soul left in Damon and like a full moon, it only shows up sparingly. Once the quiet and moral of the two Salvatore brothers, Damon's struggle between good and evil, right and wrong is constantly challenged  The vampire who once killed without a second thought, now finds himself thinking about the implications of his actions. He is even more confused when it comes to his brother's love Elena. Originally writing her off as annoying, he now admires her for her courage, fiery spirit and compassion, but slowly that admiration becomes deeper...and much to his dismay it becomes love.

     I LOVED Damon in this!!! His role just keeps getting better and better. He's still the comic relief of the show, but there was an incredible emotional range that kept appearing giving a very honest and vulnerable look into Damon's soul. That is mainly seen when a lovely vampire, Rose, is bitten by a werewolf and must slowly suffer. Rose, in her short time on the show, did a work in Damon's heart and found the kindness and generosity that was buried inside for so long.

     I swore I would never cry when it came to vampires, but after seeing this scene, my heart was in pieces!

~ ~ ~

Bonnie Bennett 
Katerina Graham as Bonnie Bennett
     In season 1, Bonnie finds out that she is a gifted witch who is a descendant from a long line of witches who hailed from Salem Massachusetts and settled in Mystic Falls. Bonnie puts her natural born gifts as a witch to combat the evil vampiric forces that threatens her home and her friends.

      Bonnie and her grandmother (also a witch and Bonnie's mentor) are the reason the season 1 ended on a satisfactory note, but when her grandmother dies, Bonnie is now alone to carry the ancient burden of her family to protect Mystic Falls. Bonnie is Elena's childhood friend and trusted confidante. Loyal and faithful, Bonnie is not pleased when she finds her best friend dating a vampire and even more untrusting when his older brother shows up. Despite the tensions, Bonnie is committed to helping Elena. 

     In season 2, Bonnie is a little more trusting of Stefan Salvatore, but comes at constant odds with Damon and his cocky prejudiced attitude. Bonnie is more powerful than she believed herself to be and her deep friendship with Elena fuels her desire to protect her best friend at any cost, even if it means her own life.

~ ~ ~

Caroline Forbes
Candace Accola as Caroline Forbes
     Usually seen as ditzy and shallow in the show, Caroline Forbes has a lot to put up with, whether it's from her workaholic mother, Sheriff Elizabeth Forbes, her jealous on again-off again boyfriend Matt or even becoming a vampire. In the first season, Caroline started off as a little clueless about life and was evidently jealous of popular much more loved Elena Gilbert. 

     When Stefan shows up, she falls madly in love, but becomes bitter and resentful when he, like everyone else, is more interested in Elena. The she meets Damon who uses her as a ploy for his own entertainment, but eventually grows tired of her and lets her go. By the end, Caroline becomes content when she starts a relationship with Matt Donovan (as well as beating Elena for Miss Mystic Falls).

     In season 2, Caroline has matured greatly. Her life is happier and everything seems all right her world, but happiness is short lived when Katherine Pierce shows up and turns her into a vampire to use her as a spy. Caroline, scared and confused at this drastic transformation, is found and rescued by Elena and Stefan and it's Stefan who teaches her to hunt animals instead of people and how to live the life of a controlled vampire. As a new vampire, her relationship with Matt becomes rocky and unsteady and Caroline must choose whether to tell him and risk losing him or leave him all together.

~ ~ ~

Tyler Lockwood
Michael Trvevino as Tyler Lockwood
     The mayor's son who is first seen as a snobbish bully who pushes people around to get what he wants, Tyler and his family hold secrets of their own that are deeply embedded in the folklore of Mystic Falls. In season 2, after the death of his father, Tyler comes upon the news that he and his father's side of the family are descendants of werewolves.

     Tyler must now live a life of secrecy from his mother and only living relative. Afraid that he may have to do it alone, it's Caroline Forbes who stands by his side (risking her new life as a a vampire and therefore mortal enemy to werewolves) throughout all of his painful transformation. 

     After accepting the fact that he is werewolf, Tyler must face the ultimatum of either staying in Mystic Falls or joining a pack of werewolves. If he stays in Mystic Falls, he has a better chance of making life right with the vampire inhabitants, but if he leaves with the werewolf pack, he must surrender all ideas of possible unity with vampires and only look at them as his mortal enemies.

~ ~ ~

Alaric Saltzman
Matt Davis as Alaric Saltzman
     History teacher, former vampire slayer and father figure to the fatherless adolescents of Mystic Falls, Alaric is an confusing and complex as the mystical creatures themselves. His original intent for coming to Mystic Falls was to find and kill Damon for killing his wife. Then much to Alaric's surprise, he finds that his wife is not only alive, but is also a vampire. Upon realizing that his wife never cared for him, Alaric disregards his former hate for Damon and becomes a trustworthy ally to the Salvatore brothers, a father figure to Elena and her brother Jeremy and a love interest to their aunt and guardian, Jenna.

     ~ ~ ~

The Vampire Diaries: Season 2
     There are numerous other cast members, including Elena's brother, Jeremy and her aunt Jenna, as well as vampires, Klaus, Elijah, Rose and Trevor, and werewolves Mason Lockwood and Jules. There is also the story of Elena's biological parents that play an immense role in the story.

      This season was a great season and I could not stop watching. There was a good deal of time dedicated on the past of the vampires and were able to get some great period pieces from several of the episodes. The one aspect I love about TVD is the character development, but also the idea that first impressions are almost never right. Just when I think that I'm going to hate this character, I then find out their back story and realize, wow there's more to them then I thought.

     Like season 1, season 2 left off on an intense cliffhanger and so I was desperate to get my hands on season 3, but by far, this has been my absolute favorite season. 

Babies Always Bring Out the Best : )

I came across this picture on Pinterest.

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart on the set of Breaking Dawn
with the baby who plays Edward and Bella's daughter, Renesmee.
Kristen Stewart really is quite pretty when she laughs and smiles!

Proof that babies bring out the best in everyone.

And I love the traditional wedding rings that they have for Bella and Edward!
Instead of having Bella wear that ostentatious engagement ring.

One of these days I am actually going to see the last two movies.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A New King!

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima
     On April 30, 2013, history was made in the Netherlands as Queen Beatrix, who ascended to the throne in 1980, abdicated and was followed by her son who now holds the title, King Willem-Alexander (46) and his wife, Queen Maxima (41).

     Willem-Alexander is the first Dutch king in 123 years. Before him was his mother, Queen Beatrix (reign 1980-2013), her mother Queen Juliana (reign 1948-1980) and then her mother Queen Wilhemina (1890-1948). The new king will be followed by his daughter and heir apparent, Princess Catharina-Amalia (9).

     Willem-Alexander married Argentinian born investment banker Maxima Zorreguieta Cerruti on February 2002. They have three daughters, Crown Princess Catharina-Amalia (born December 7, 2003), Princess Alexia (born June 26, 2005) and Princess Ariane (born April 10, 2007).

The Royal Family of the Netherlands
King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Queen Beatrix

Princess Alexia, Crown Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess Ariane

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Crown Princess Maxima
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima
A Queen and a future queen.
With other future crown heads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Dutch enthrone '21st-century king' Willem-Alexander

Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander becomes Europe's youngest monarch on Tuesday when his mother, Queen Beatrix, abdicates and his country hails the avowedly 21st-century king with a massive, orange-hued party. Willem-Alexander, 46, will be the first Dutch king since 1890 and the first of a new wave of European monarchs, with the average age of the current cohort at 71.

Amsterdam's population is set to double with at least 800,000 visitors flooding the city's streets and canals as Beatrix, 75, ends her 33-year reign by signing the act of abdication at the royal palace. While Beatrix was known for her formal court, Willem-Alexander has already said that he and his glamourous Argentine-born queen consort Maxima, 41, will not be "protocol fetishists".

The king will be sworn in rather than crowned at deconsecrated church Nieuwe Kerk, a stone's throw from the palace, before a joint session of the houses of parliament. The investiture will be attended by a number of other royals-in-waiting -- protocol dictates that reigning sovereigns are not invited -- and will include Britain's Prince Charles, Spain's Prince Felipe and Japan's Prince Naruhito and his wife, Crown Princess Masako, who is on her first trip abroad in nearly seven years.

Beatrix's enthronement in 1980 was marred by violent protests and running street battles over a housing crisis that left the city looking like a war zone. Anti-royalists this time have been allotted six locations in Amsterdam to stage protests. But only one has been booked by Republicans planning playful protests, including by wearing white.

Preparations for the day have been overshadowed by a rancorous debate about the event's official song, known as the Koningslied. An online petition rejecting the song, an unusual mix of traditional and rap music, garnered 40,000 signatures within a few days. Composer John Ewbank withdrew the song but the enthronement organising committee stuck with it. The nation will now sing the Koningslied as one on Tuesday evening, just before the royal family heads off on a water pageant behind Amsterdam's central train station. A cornucopia of concerts and club nights has been organised around the city, including an open-air set by world-famous Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren, and orange-themed street parties are planned across the nation.

The day will also be tinged with sadness for Maxima, whose father, Jorge Zorreguieta, and mother will be notable by their absence. Zorreguieta, 85, a minister under the notorious Argentine regime of general Jorge Videla in the 1970s, also had to miss his daughter's 2002 marriage because of doubts over his role in the murderous junta. Maxima is largely responsible for having made her husband popular after an allegedly boozy youth which earned him the nickname "Prince Pils". Ever smiling, she has mastered the Dutch language and even taken a charity swim in Amsterdam's canals, endearing herself further in a country that expects their royals to be at once normal and regal. Willem-Alexander's brother Friso will also be missed, in a coma following a skiing accident in Austria in February 2012. 

Speaking ahead of the enthronement, Willem-Alexander said that "People can address me as they wish because then they can feel comfortable." He stressed he wanted to "be a king that can bring society together, representative and encouraging in the 21st century".

Source: Daily Nation

A new king and queen for the 21st century
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