Link Love February: Cookie Monster, Mr. Darcy, and the Florida Everglades

Does anyone else feel like February came and went in the blink of an eye? This month has been an especially busy one for me, with a weekend vacation to Tampa and St. Pete, a day of park-hopping at Disney, a Breakfast at Tiffany’s themed dinner, the Orlando Apollos launch game, and a trip to Wonderworks, along with a two-week bout of laryngitis. My happiness project is still going strong, and I’m excited to share my recap of Month 2 on tomorrow’s blog. 🙂

What links are you loving this month? Check out my latest favorite reads below and share your own in the comments!

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What links are you loving lately? Sound off in the comments!

Link Love Wednesday: Post Valentine’s Day Bliss

Link LoveHope everyone who celebrated had a wonderful Valentine’s Day or, for many of us, Day-To-Eat-All-The-Things! I’ll admit that my Whole60 went off the rails around the holiday, with a few nights out to dinner and more chocolate temptation than I knew what to do with. Thankfully, my junk food honeymoon period is reaching its end, and I’m ready to start trying new healthy recipes again. How did everyone else celebrate the holiday?

As you recover from your own sugar comas, take a look at the latest and greatest in Link Love! 🙂

What are some of your favorite links throughout the week?

The Weekend Five: Modern-Day Endings to Classic Romantic Comedies

fa439c081aea20a79a7d5457caf4694aHappy February! Valentine’s Day is just a few short weeks away, which means it is time to break out the chocolates and force our significant others to watch our favorite romantic comedies with us. (It also means that you’ll be seeing a lot more dating/relationship articles on my blog this month!) Of course, as I look back at some of my own favorites, I realize that the plots of many of these stories could have been radically different if they were set in 2014.

This week, let’s take a look at some of the classics, and discuss the alternative endings that would have taken place in modern day.

The Weekend Five: Modern-Day Endings to Classic Romantic Comedies

3831_11. You’ve Got Mail (1998).
In the original film, Meg Ryan (ShopGirl) and Tom Hanks (NY152) are real-life business rivals who unknowingly fall in love with one another after meeting in an AOL chat room. They exchange IMs and emails, gaining a deeper insight into one another. The idea of falling in love on the computer was very new at the time, and while still relatively modern, the film would have a few key differences in 2014. Meg Ryan would have met NY152 on Facebook, and the two would exchange messages until he revealed himself as a Catfish in the end.

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2. Pride and Prejudice (1813).
The book came out in the 1800s, but multiple film adaptations have occurred since. In modern day, celebutante Lydia Bennett (protagonist Elizabeth Bennett’s sister) would marry Mr. Wickham in Vegas, but when their marriage winds up in Star Magazine, Mr. Darcy sues the tabloid and saves the Bennett family’s reputation. Elizabeth gives up on her hatred for Darcy and decides to date him.

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romantic-scenes-never-been-kissed43. Never Been Kissed (1999).
In the film Never Been Kissed, Drew Barrymore’s character (who has never been kissed) falls in love with her very attractive English teacher. When he finds out that Barrymore is actually a 25-year-old reporter, he takes this as a personal betrayal and leaves. As her apology, she urges him (via newspaper) to kiss her at a baseball game. Of course, in that end scene, she waits for the teacher and almost gives up, as he doesn’t show up right on time. In 2014, however, he would have sent her a simple text message: “Omw, running late.” A lot of tension would have been lifted from this scene!

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4. Roman Holiday (1953).
Audrey Hepburn plays a runaway princess who spends a day with an American reporter (Gregory Peck) in Rome, who has secretly discovered her identity and plans to exploit it in the paper. In the 2014 version of this movie, however, he wouldn’t have to — local passersby would identify her on the street, snap photos for Facebook and Instagram, and the paparazzi would soon swarm. Also in this version, because we crave happy endings, Hepburn and Peck end up together.

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sleepless-in-seattle5. Sleepless in Seattle (1993).
In the modern version of Sleepless in Seattle, Tom Hanks’ son sets up an online dating profile for his father, who lost his wife a while ago. Women across the country fall madly in love with him, and the son quickly chooses Meg Ryan’s character as his father’s soul mate. Tom Hanks is apprehensive about meeting her at the Empire State Building, but when he looks her up on OkCupid and sees how pretty Meg Ryan is, he decides to give the relationship a chance. And the rest is history.

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What are some romantic comedies that could use a revamped ending? Share below in the comments section! 🙂

The Weekend Five: Literary Characters I’d Invite to Dinner

As an avid reader and semi-lit nerd (I say “semi” because I don’t want to offend any English majors who read like it’s nobody’s business), I constantly find myself drawn to new characters. In fact, characterization is one of my favorite parts of reading and writing — I love watching new personalities come to life on the page!

Recently, when an essay question asked me to write about a person (dead or alive) who I would want to eat dinner with, my mind reverted back to the piles of books I’d read throughout the past sixteen years or so, and I couldn’t help but ask myself which fictional characters I would want to have dinner with. While I ultimately did not write about those characters in my essay, I did realize that I would be unable to narrow it down to one character. I would have to host an entire dinner party! 🙂

The Friday Five: Literary Characters I’d Invite to Dinner

1. Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)
Lizzy’s story may have taken place in the early 1800s, but everyone who has read Pride and Prejudice will recognize that she’s really a modern girl at heart. One of the most intellectual female characters in any book I’ve ever read, Elizabeth Bennett would likely contribute a spirited commentary on a particular social convention from her time. (Remind you of anyone? 😉 Maybe I should stop trying to flatter myself!) It would be interesting to hear her thoughts on women’s roles in society and the institution of marriage, especially compared to what we see in the world today.

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2. Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Having been a crazy Harry Potter fanatic since third grade, I couldn’t have a party and not invite Hogwarts’ greatest Headmaster of all time. “Call me Al,” he’d instruct us, before either bestowing upon us some great wisdom or comparing the main course to an earwax-coated Bertie Bott Every Flavour Bean. Dumbledore would bring some much-needed eccentricity to the table, and perhaps when the meal was over, he would try to teach us all a few spells!

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3. Lord Henry Wotton (The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde)
No fancy dinner party is complete without its resident troublemaker. Lord Henry Wotton — the same man who more or less convinced Dorian Gray to sell his soul for eternal youth, beauty, and gluttony — would indulge us with the cattiest of gossip and witty one-liners like “The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties,” and “It is only the intellectually lost who never argue,” and “To be popular one must be a mediocrity.” He and I might not see eye to eye on everything, but he’d certainly be entertaining to listen to!

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4. Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote)
First, I would ask her where she bought her outfit, because she would clearly be the most fashionable person in the room (possibly excluding Dumbledore, depending on what robes he decided to wear). Then, after recognizing that I would be unable to afford the little black Givenchy dress or Tiffany’s jewelry, I would let Holly do the talking. One of my favorite literary characters portrayed by one of my favorite actresses, Holly would have countless socialite adventures to share, regaling us with stories of her visits to Sing Sing jail, her former farm life as Lula Mae, and more.

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5. Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins)
Of course I would have to invite Katniss Everdeen, in honor of the release of the first Hunger Games film! Not only does Katniss have to compete in a televised fight-to-the-death with other teenagers, but she also has to compete against this guy she’s kind of falling for. She might not feel comfortable talking about the Hunger Games because they were a painful experience for her and her loved ones, but at the very least, she could enjoy a warm meal.

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If you enjoyed this post, tune in next week to find out who wasn’t on the invite list for this dinner party! Comment below to share YOUR favorite literary characters.

The Friday Five: Best Literary Love Quotes

If you couldn’t tell from last week’s posts (here and here), Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Although I’m not enamored with the idea of taking just one day to let someone know how you feel about them, I can’t help but smile when I see all the beautifully-wrapped chocolates in the stores and begin hearing more smarmy love songs on the radio. In honor of a holiday that may or may not be Hallmark’s excuse to instill feelings of love/happiness/loneliness/inadequacy in us that we didn’t know we had, I would like to present some of my favorite love quotes from books and literature. (No, you will not find anything from the Twilight saga here.) Feel free to recite some of these to your significant other if you want to seem worldly/nerdy!

The Friday Five: Best Literary Love Quotes

1. “I will love you as we grow older, which has just happened, and has happened again, and happened several days ago, continuously, and then several years before that, and will continue to happen as the spinning hands of every clock and the flipping pages of every calendar mark the passage of time, except for the clocks that people have forgotten to wind and the calendars that people have forgotten to place in a highly visible area.” – Lemony Snicket, The Beatrice Letters

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2. “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

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3. “I cannot fix on the hour, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

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4. “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way than this: where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.” – Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XVII

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5. “No one actually needs another person or another person’s love to survive. Love is when we have irrationally convinced ourselves that we do.” – Gabrielle Zevin, Elsewhere

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And here’s a bonus that will forever be my all-time favorite.

“I have spied for you and lied for you, put myself in mortal danger for you. Everything was supposed to be to keep Lily Potter’s son safe. Now you tell me you have been raising him like a pig for slaughter – “
“But this is touching, Severus,” said Dumbledore seriously. “Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?”
“For him?” shouted Snape. “Expecto Patronum!”
From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe. She landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.
— Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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What are some of your favorites?