Because when it comes to reading physical books again, it’s go big or go home.

Drums of AutumnReally, I blame Outlander.

Have you seen the TV show? I caught the first episode and watched it no less than three times in two days (I plan to talk more about that in a future post!) and promptly wanted to read ALL the Outlander books again.

Of course, they’re all about 1,000 pages long each, so that’s no small feat. I decided instead of starting at the beginning again (since I’ve read Outlander about 4 times already), I’d start where I left off.

I can’t remember when I started reading Drums of Autumn, the fourth book in the Outlander series, but it was a while ago. I also can’t remember why I put it down, but I think it had something to do with it being a good 1,000 pages long and I didn’t have a lot of time to read big chunks at once. Feeling like I was getting nowhere, I thought I’d read a shorter book while reading this one. Then again. And again. And then it was put on the shelf.

The sad thing is that when I found the book in my bedside table — the place where I put abandoned books that I’m certain I’ll return to soon — I was a good halfway or so through. When the book is huge that’s a BIG accomplishment. Sadly, though, I had no idea what was going on, so I had to start all over again.

In the past while, I’ve ONLY read e-books, you know, with my new love affair with my ereader and all. Thirteen books on a tiny little Kindle that weighs barely anything. So starting back into physical books right now — or, at least, one physical book for the moment — seemed like the right thing to do. I promptly dove into Drums of Autumn at bedtime last night.

And woke up with a sore wrist because that book is a CLUNKER.

I mean, really, it’s go big or go home when you read physical books, right? I couldn’t have it be a novella or anything. Isn’t this the reason people get ereaders, so that they don’t get carpal tunnel syndrome holding a book? And I’m sure this will take me no less than at least two weeks to read. Just when I assumed that reading would be all well and good with having a baby (which it really has been) I dive into a book where it takes me at least an hour to read 25 pages, therefore making me feel like I’m making no progress at all.

So, in the end, it’s Diana Gabaldon’s fault — as well as Sam Heughan’s, the actor who plays Jamie Fraser. I will suffer the consequences of reading a ginormous book if it means I get to spend time with my top book boyfriend again. Anything to tide me over until the next episode is aired!

PS – I’d like to say that that’s a good cup of Scotch or Whiskey in the photo, but sadly, it’s just tea, which I guess is an English thing and Claire is English, but it’s iced fruit tea, which I’m sure the English would hate. I’m pretty sure I would be kicked out of England for drinking it. You can’t say I didn’t try. 


{A Little Tea Love} Earl Grey Tea Cookies

It’s no secret that I love my tea. While I seem to have more loose tea than I can shake a fist at (which never seems to stop me from buying more) some of the tea bags I used to use have gone neglected in the cupboard. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be used!

I came across this recipe for Earl Grey Tea cookies before I had my tea party last month. I wanted something that would be perfect to be served with tea and these fit the bill perfectly! They’re also so simple to prepare that it takes barely any time at all. They’re great when you need something quick!


I had to modify the recipe slightly since I never have some of the ingredients called for, but they still taste amazing.

Earl Grey Tea Cookies
Adapted from Oleander and Palm

1 cup margarine
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 Earl Grey teabags (cut open, tea removed)
1 3/4 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream margarine and powdered sugar together. Add in vanilla and tea leaves. Add flour and stir until mixed. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a half hour.

From here you can either roll out the dough and cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Alternatively, you could also wrap the dough in plastic wrap as a log and just cut out rounds. I kind of preferred the latter, since the dough kept sticking, despite the fact that the counter was well floured.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes before baking. Bake for 12 minutes and cool on a wire rack.

These do keep really well in an airtight container, but I find they never last more than a few days. They’re wonderful!

Do you use tea for cooking? Any good recipe suggestions?


And speaking of Pride & Prejudice …

pride and prejudiceYesterday’s realization that the historical romance I read on the weekend was written by one of writers for The Lizzie Bennett Diaries had me thinking about my love of a certain classic novel that the YouTube series was based on, so I thought it would be fun to write a post about my love of one very famous novel.

Pride & Prejudice.  

Can you believe that it wasn’t until last year that I read Jane Austen’s classic, Pride & Prejudice? I had actually attended university as an English minor and the one class that I dropped was classics in the 1800s. With HUGE books on the reading list, I knew that I just wasn’t going to have the time, so I dropped it in favour of some of the more modern 1900 classics and children’s literature.

I mean, I like to read, but back then I wasn’t such a devourer of books — especially when I still had readings to do for other classes.

It wasn’t until The Lizzie Bennett Diaries came on YouTube that I decided that I had to drop everything and read the book that started it all. And really, I wasn’t even one of the first people to watch The Lizzie Bennett Diaries. I had seen it mentioned all over Twitter and Facebook as it was playing and for some reason I assumed that it had to do with a teeny-bopper musician or something, so I just glossed over any reference. Then the lovely Anne, over at Creativity’s Corner, pointed out that I had to watch it and what was wrong with me that I wasn’t?

OK, maybe she was nicer than that, but still. I had to get on it!

Start watching The Lizzie Bennett Diaries here: 


pride-and-prejudice-movieAlmost immediately, I fell in love. The actors were amazing and the story kept me wanting more! I came in late in the game, so I binge-watched most of it and once I was partway through I decided I had to read the classic. And after THAT, I made sure I rented the 6-hour miniseries staring Colin Firth from the library and promptly watched it in an afternoon, falling in love all over again.

After that I was hooked.

Now, I find myself seeking out more modern day adaptations of the story in both book and film format. I still have a ways to go, but I can see myself watching and reading this classic over and over again. What is it about Mr. Darcy that keeps me coming back?

All I can think of right now is that it’s my love of romance that has me coming back to this great story. I’ve always been one to search for the romance — real romance — in a story, not the instalove garbage you see in books these days. I want people to be wooed, I want pretty dresses, I want men dressing up, I want flowers, I want butlers, I want horses, I want lakes (for men to fall in, of course), and I want love. Love, love, love.

And really, when it comes to swoon-worthy love, is there anything better than Pride & Prejudice?

Are you a fan of Pride & Prejudice? What are your favourite adaptations?