Monday, February 29, 2016

Family Photos (Casiraghi style)

Stefano Casiraghi and Princess Caroline with their children in 1988. I think every mother should wear an evening gown and tiara for their family Christmas photos. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Royal Families: Princess Caroline & Stefano Casiraghi

Left: Stefano and Caroline on their wedding day in 1983
Right: Stefano and Caroline shortly before Stefano's death
     Considered one of the most beautiful and yet, tragic love stories in royal history. Princess Caroline of Monaco had already dealt with her fair share of tragedy, first with the ending of her marriage to playboy Philippe Junot in 1980, followed by her mother's death in 1982. The she is introduced to handsome Italian socialite and businessman, Stefano Casiraghi in 1983 and the clouds begin to lift.

     Although 3 years younger than her, Stefano was a perfect match for Caroline. She was reserved and by the book, but he enjoyed life to the fullest. However, he was also a private person and protective of Caroline as well. In December of 1983 (and Caroline 3 months pregnant with their first child), Stefano Casiraghi and Princess Caroline Grimaldi were wed in a civil ceremony. 

   Caroline's father, Prince Rainer, and the rest of Monaco were suspicious of Stefano joining the family. He was too young, too inexperienced, and wouldn't be able to handle the pressures of royal life. Stefano proved everyone wrong and in a matter of a couple of years, he not only won over his father-in-law, but the whole principality. He was charming, generous, and a brilliant businessman. He stayed out of the media and spotlight, was very supportive of his young wife.

    Pretty soon, the young couple had their hands full with three children born in rapid succession. Andrea in 1984, Charlotte in 1986 and Pierre in 1987. The three new royals were a breath of fresh air for the royal family that only seemed to produce scandal. The paparazzi never missed an opportunity to capture the family on their outings, and their was an element of real and genuine happiness for Princess Caroline. Look at any pictures of Caroline and Stefano during their marriage and it doesn't take a genius to see the love they had for each other or for their children. 

     Sadly, the fairytale ended in 1990 when Stefano was killed in a speeding boat accident. Caroline was now left to care for her three small children alone. She went through intense grieving for almost ten years, hiding herself away from the public and never letting her children too far from her sight.
      Although they were only married for seven years, Princess Caroline and Stefano Casiraghi gave the world a real life marriage that was built of mutual trust, friendship and love. She was a princess, he was a businessman; it may not have made sense at first, but it was right to them from the beginning. And many believe that Caroline (although she remarried and had another child) will always consider Stefano her one true love.

Stefano and his children
     Stefano adored his children and it's clear as day in the many pictures that were taken. Andrea, Charlotte and Pierre are now grown with families of their own. They are commonly known as the Casiraghi Trio and have managed to avoid the scandals and tabloids of royal life, due to their mother's tireless work to keep the paparazzi away. 

Princess Caroline's Interview with Barbara Walter (1985)
Part 1

Part 2

      Princess Caroline rarely gives interviews, but she allowed Barbara Walters a private interview in 1985. She's so beautiful : )

Monday, February 22, 2016

Character Sketch: Emily Prentiss

      Supervisory Special Agent Emily Prentiss of the Behavior Analysis Unit (BAU) in Quantico,  Virginia, has always known how to stay ahead of the game. Beautiful, brilliant and compassionate, Emily is the type of woman that makes men uncomfortable just standing next to her. Although an incredible agent, Emily has an uncanny ability to sense the deeper issues in someone's private life. Emily has her own past she has been running away from for years and her hard life experience has made her sensitive, but also incredibly wise to others that are struggling.

     Emily grew up traveling all over the world, because of her mother's work as an American diplomat. At 15, while living in Italy, Emily became pregnant and had an illegal abortion which haunted her for the rest of her life. Before joining the BAU, Emily was a member of Interpol. Halfway through the series, Agent Prentiss must revisit her former job when she becomes a target for an escaped criminal bent on revenge. While working at the BAU, Emily has a rough start, but her generous nature, practical thinking and calm reasoning soon wins everyone over (even Hotch).  

     While Emily has many great attributes, her greatest is her strength of character. She picks herself up when she has been beaten down, she remains in control even though she's terrified and she doesn't let her past mistakes dominate her future dreams. Emily is selfless and sacrificial to a fault and there isn't anything she wouldn't do for the people in her life. Although she loves deeply, falling in love has been a consistent struggle, but it doesn't prevent her from encouraging other people to pursue relationships of their own. 

     At the end of the day, Emily Prentiss is an ordinary woman who takes extraordinary measures to better the world she lives in. A consistent favorite on the show, Emily has been an on/off character and no one ever really knows if she's coming back or if she's going to stay. However, what time Emily has on the show, she always makes the most of it. There is a general reality to Emily Prentiss whether as a working woman, a friend or someone who cannot escape her past. However, I think deep inside of every person is the desire to be an Emily Prentiss; someone who can look fear in the face and say, "I am going to win."

Downton Abbey Confession #24

It only took 6 season and 33 years of bitter sibling rivalry, 
but the sibling showdown of the century finally came
Lady Mary Crawley receives a few words of harsh reality
from her brother-in-law and sister.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love would never be a promise of a rose garden unless it is showered with light of faith, water of sincerity and air of passion. 

~Author Unknown

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Favorite Weddings

In honor of Valentine's Day on Sunday, I decided to post the wedding scenes from some of my favorite movies : )

~ ~ ~

1). The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)

Wedding of Sir Percival Blakeney and Marguerite St. Just 

One of the most romantic movies of all times surely holds the title for one of the most beautiful wedding scenes ever filmed!  

2). The Sound of Music

Wedding of Captain Georg von Trapp and Maria

Just all around memorable and stunning! From Maria's wedding gown, to how handsome Georg looked in his uniform...ahhhh I love it!

3.) A Walk To Remember

Wedding of Landon Carter and Jamie Sullivan

I remember seeing this movie when I was 10 or 11 and just being captivated by such a simple, but strong love story that can happen to anyone. Everything about this wedding completely captured who Landon and Jamie were.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Rebel Without a Cause


      I thought the best time to review this unique movie would be in honor of James Dean's 85th birthday on February 8th. Back in 1955, this movie caused a nationwide sensation throughout the U.S. not only because James Dean had died prior to its release, but also because it was the first time that the issue of teen violence was noted and addressed in public. 

      Many parents were enraged at the idea of film that seem to glorify rebellion and violence, however, the movie did tell the hard truth of the difficulty of the teenage population that were born at the tail end of the Great Depression and spent most of their young lives living through WWII. The title in itself was actually the title of a book about the violence and rebellion of middle class teens in the 1950's. Adolescents from good, stable households who seemed to be going off the deep end and heading toward self-destruction for no reason at all

L-R: Jim Stark, Judy, John "Plato" Crawford
       While it may say rebel without a cause, there was a cause of the rebellion that lay in the social lie of the 1950's of the perfect American life and of parents, who may have given their children material wealth, but were incapable of giving them the responsible training and lessons that their children desperately needed. 

     In the space of 24 hours, the lives of three young teenagers and the well being of a small suburban town in California are all irrevocably changed by the dangers of teen violence, lack of parental structure and a young man's struggle to find out who he is and his purpose in life.

~ ~ ~

    Jim Stark (James Dean): A young troubled teenage boy who is desperate to break free from his dysfunctional lifestyle that is made up of his domineering mother and spineless father. While both parents spend their time arguing, Jim is left on his own which usually leads to trouble. After moving to a new suburb (where everything just screams the American Dream), Jim finds himself embroiled in teenage trouble with the popular group at school (or the bullies who run everything in town). 

      Quiet and reserved, but also gifted with an unexpected strong leadership ability, Jim immediately makes an impression on several people from across the board. While desperate for a father figure, Jim becomes an unexpected father to a lonely boy with hidden sociopath tendencies and allows a young girl to feel a strong love that has been withheld from her by her own father. 

     While Jim Stark may not be the stuff of extraordinary heroes, his gift of understanding the human heart that is hurting and offering comfort and shelter, is what makes him incredible. No one would think to find that in a teenage boy who has a pretty shady past. Yet, he manages to make a whole town see that children are desperate for more than material wealth and that parents and families have a chance to start over again.

~ ~ ~

     Judy (Natalie Wood): While she gives the appearance of the pretty popular girl who has the best looking boyfriend in school, inside, Judy is screaming and crying for love and affection from one person, her own father. Past experiences makes Judy believe that her father hates her, is disappointed in her, prefers her little brother, and at times he verbally and physically hurts her. This lack of parental affection causes Judy to run around with the wild kids who give her the needed attention she craves, but also sets her down a path of trouble. 

      When Judy and Jim (who are next door neighbors) meet, Judy gives him the typical mean girl welcome and ignores him. Then a series of events are put into motion and Judy finds herself on the balancing point between right and wrong, love and hate, and family and fear. Jim becomes the man that Judy has waited so long to love and love her in return. With Jim around, she doesn't have to be afraid to be herself, she doesn't have to hide her feelings; for the first time, Judy has found herself.

~ ~ ~

     John "Plato" Crawford (Sal Mineo): No one is more troubled in this story that Plato. While Jim, Judy and most of the other teenagers find their problems embedded within their turbulent relationships with their parents, Plato's problems come from his lack of parents. Father died when he was little and Mother is always gone. These two vital figures in a young persons life that are completely absent causes Plato to have the beginnings of sociopathic tendencies which eventually becomes his downfall in the end. 

     After meeting Jim and then eventually befriending Judy, Plato begins to see them as the parents he always wanted, but soon his desperation for family and his anger toward his own parents begins to take hold of him and he becomes a loose cannon that is more dangerous than anyone could ever imagine. 

~ ~ ~

      A coming of age drama of love, loyalty, family and future, Rebel Without a Cause was something of an acid trip when I first viewed it, but then I began to look deeper into actual meaning of the story. The 1950's is portrayed as the era of plenty, happiness and fulfillment, yet, parents that were stippled from ten years of a Great Depression and then four years of war, have now resigned themselves to the belief that as long as their children are financially stable and have everything they want in materialism, then they'll be all right. However, children need parents to be the parents. To say, this is right, this is wrong and there will be consequences. 

     The American Dream was really a painful nightmare for teenagers who needed their parents to reach out to them in affectionate love, not in money. Children rebelled against their parents and the authorities, however, their real rebellion was in the social lie of the 1950's and how materialistic value can pay a heavy price on a child's well being.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Little House Blog Party

     Ashley at A to Z is hosting a Little House blog party over at her site : ) I grew up with everything "Little House on The Prairie" (when you're homeschooled in the 90s, it was somewhat inevitable) and I love the television show as well!! Besides reading the original books, I also read the first three prequel books about Laura's mother, Caroline and those I love as well : ) Ashley is also hosting a giveaway of three Little House on the Prairie bookmarks that I definitely have my eye on to win.

Little House Tag

1. How did you discover Little House?

     - I grew up with "Little House on The Prairie" because it was so embedded into the homeschooling lifestyle at the time. I've read most of the books during a Little House school study and my mom would oftentimes read the books aloud to us. 

2. Which Little House series have you read? Which are you favorite? (Laura, Martha, Rose, etc.)

     - I've read most of Laura and three of Caroline. I loved the Caroline books and I really need to finish them!

3. Have you read any "extra" Little House books? (non "canon", cookbooks, song books, craft books, little kid books, etc.)

      - I believe I've read a little bit of each. We do have a "Little House Cook Book" which my mom uses a lot. One recipe, apples and onions, (from "Farmer Boy) is a family favorite.

4. Have you read any biographies/autobiographies about Laura or any of the Little House girls?

     - During the school study, my mom got a book that gave an inside look on the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, her family, her life across the mid-west, her marriage, etc. and it was fascinating with beautiful pictures.

5. If you could be in any character's place, who would you choose and why?

     - Probably Ma Ingalls. She's a perfect example of a strong, but feminine character. 

6. What's your favorite Little House ship? (AKA couple)

     - Laura and Almanzo! Although, I actually liked the way their early relationship was portrayed in the show than the books. 

7. What's your favorite Little House book? Cover?

     - It's a tie between these two. "On the Banks of Plum Creek" is my favorite book (Nellie Olsen!!!) and "Little House in The Big Woods" is my favorite cover because I love the Christmas chapter : ) I had a rag doll that looked just like Charlotte too.  

8. If you could invite any secondary character from any of the Little House books over for dinner, who would you choose and why?

     - Probably Royal Wilder. He was hysterical in "The Long Winter," but really any of Almanzo's siblings (although, Eliza Jane was terrible when she got older in the books). 

9. Have you watched the Little House TV show? If so, do you enjoy it?

     - Oh Yes!!! It's an absolute favorite of mine! When I was little I wanted to move to Walnut Grove. 

10. If you could watch a YouTube miniseries on any Little House book or series, which would you choose and how would the basic plot go?

      - Definitely "The Caroline Years." I would hope the plot would be just like the books series, because the storyline in the books was so richly done and well thought out. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Little Things #7

 1.) Full moons: Out in the country, it's absolutely beautiful!

 2.) Uncle Jessie: I was never allowed to watch Full House, but when I did sneak down and see it, it was usually just for him.

 3.) I try my best at school: And I've been reaping great rewards from it too. 

 4.) I'm good with words: Ever so much better than talking out loud.

 5.) Paris, France: This explains it all. 

 6.) I'm working on excepting myself for who I am: A long process, but a worthwhile one. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Three Musketeers (1993)

The Three Musketeers (1993)
     While going through Jack Bauer withdrawal (we've been waiting for disc one of S2 of 24 for ages), I was inspired to review one of my favorite childhood movies (which introduced me to Kiefer Sutherland), Disney's 1993 The Three Musketeers. This is one of my family's favorite movie! I remember watching it all the time with my brothers and sisters, and I've seen it so many times, I really don't need to re-watch it to review (although, I should probably buy it soon).

The Heroes

The Villains 

      Set it 17th century France, young D'Artagnan has dreamt his whole life of becoming a Musketeer, an elite guardsmen to the king. However, when he gets to Paris he finds that the evil Cardinal Richelieu and his henchman, Rochefort and the evil Milady De Winter, have tried to usurp the throne, first by disbanding the whole Musketeer guard. While hundreds of Musketeers throw down their robes in defeat, three becomes outlaws by refusing to give in to Richelieu's tyranny.  

     Athos: A cynical, but at times, wise leader who is suffering from heartbreak of Taylor Swift proportions. However, he still believes in the young king and will stop at nothing and yield to no one to ensure his safety. While off duty, Athos drinks to extreme to forget the woman who broke his heart so many years before and hopes to one day gain his revenge on her. 

     Aramis: Business in the front, while a party boy still inside, Aramis was a former student of Richelieu's, but became a Musketeer instead when he discovered Richelieu's corrupt nature. Honest and loyal, Aramis still has a deep faith in God and never wavers from his duty.

     Porthos: Everyone has the one friend...that just needs to give a good laugh every now and then. Although Porthos is an extremely skilled Musketeer, he brings a great deal of humor and wit to the company with his mixed up geography and 'said wisdom' in the way of woeing of women (a constant disagreement between him and Aramis). 

     D'Artagnan has the good luck (or misfortune) to run into all three of them on separate occasions and challenges each to a duel. However, Richelieu's guards appear demanding the Musketeers to turn themselves in. After helping the three men defeat the cardinal's guards, D'Artagnan is thrown into a wild ride of secrets, jail, an (almost) execution, an epic rescue, discovering Athos' former lover and finishing off both the Cardinal and Rochefort once and for all. 

King Louis and Queen Anne of France
     The only word for this movie (at least the first one that comes to mind) is fun! Any kid who watched this, I'm sure wanted to ride a horse and have an adventure with the Musketeers ( I know I did). All great acting set aside, the costumes are nothing short of extraordinary! From the Musketeers tunics to Queen Anne's stunning gowns, definitely a costume lover's film. It is amazing how some movies just stay with you for life and The Three Musketeers is one of them. 

A fantastic fan video.

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