writing

Creating Characters


Hello everyone.

Before we dive into the next topic in the Writing 101 series, there is a housekeeping issues I’d like to address. I have decided that I will publish writing posts not once but twice a week. You heard correct. That is twice not once a week. These days are Monday and Friday. I am going to try my best to get one done and published on Friday which will begin this new routine. Now for this evening’s topic.

Characters

Every book (whether good or bad) has characters. It is not a book or a story with a cast of main characters and secondary characters.

As the title suggests, main characters are the ones that drive the story.

For example, Frodo and Sam in Lord of the Rings drive the story. The same goes for Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.

What should an author’s characters look like? Most characters are shaped from the author’s experiences. They are a form of who the author knows and of herself.

Developing characters that are based on yourself is totally okay too. Many authors before us have done this. I have two examples of this.

The first comes from one of my favorite childhood authors: Madeleine L’Engle. She wrote the famous Wrinkle in Time series and the Vicky Austen series.

When asked if she was like her heroines, she responded that she was both Meg Murray from A Wrinkle in Time and Vicky Austen.

My second example is J.K. Rowling. Rowling based the character of Hermonine a bookish young red head on herself.

Now, how does one go about forming a character? Well, it is safe to say that it is good to start perhaps with a name. Then from there start describe the person. Does she or he have blue eyes? Brown? Hazel? What hair color do they have? Where do they live?

But characters are more than just how they look. You need to make them three dimensional.

What does that mean? It means you must make your characters as real as possible. Readers must feel as if they characters they are reading about are real. Like someone they have known all their lives. Otherwise they won’t care about the story.

A while back I came across a wonderful worksheet for writing characters. A worksheet that goes beyond just giving your character a name, eye color, and hair color but it goes deeper to help you flesh them out.

Character Chart

I hope you find this chart helpful. Please let me know how forming your characters goes in the comments below. I’d love to hear how it goes! I am also filling out this chart for my characters in my new story.

Comment below and I will share how it is going for me as well. Stay tuned for the next installment which will be coming out on Friday. Until then, happy writing!

This is part of the Writing Series, Writing 101 with Gabrielle Emmons. The first post was “How to start a novel”.

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BOOKS, History, writing

“How to start writing your novel” – with writer, Gabrielle Emmons


Recently I have been talking and collaborating with my very good friend, (a novelist and history enthusiast), an intelligent, studious and amicable lady who strives for greatness in her writing, Gabrielle Emmons. We have been talking a lot about writing in general and I came up with the idea of her doing a guest post on how she begins to write a novel. This is fantastic for those who are budding authors, ready for a new breathe of fresh air or something to their writing life.
I am proud to introduce her to my blog and with the upmost sincere thanks and gratefulness to have her feature on here.
You will find the full article here on her blog, Gabrielle M Emmons and you will also find that she works and keeps up with her own numerous blogs showcasing her work and authorship.
My absolute favourite blog of hers is Tea, Books and Britain because well, you know me! I have become the bit of an Anglophile! And the title is just Oh so perfect! And sums up my life basically. A cup of tea while watching “Escape to the country” or “60 Minute Makeover” has truly been the highlight of my afternoons.
Before I post her article I totally recommend for you to check out her excellent Book Review on “The Mark of the King”. This description on the back cover definitely makes me want to delve into it.

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

So, even if you haven’t clicked on that review, bookmark it or save it on your internet and make sure you get that little glimpse of a story of great and hopeful history. It truly has made me want to read it very soon!
In her Writing 101 – a new series blog post she states how we specifically have been discussing the idea on HOW to BEGIN writing a novel. It has truly been amazing talking with her about ideas and brainstorming and starting that novel in particular.
Now, let’s get started with her article which was published on September 12th 2017 on her History with Flair website. Grab yourself a drink (tea or water) and a notebook & pen or laptop. There is an activity at the end!

Many people have asked me how do I start the process for writing a novel. They have also asked me how do I find inspiration/ideas. So I thought I would do a blog series featuring writing. This is the first in the series and you can find more about it here.
So pull up a chair, grab your favorite beverage (mine is tea), and let’s get started. (Just a heads up there will be an assignment at the end of this post. But it shouldn’t be too bad).
First off, there is no one way to start the process of writing a novel. Each author has their own way of how to start that is unique to them. The key is to find one that works for you.
For example, some have a vague idea right away. Others have pictured a character or characters. Again, others have a couple of scenes already figured out.
It is all up to you.
For me, it varies. For my WWII novel set in England (which I have put on hold for now), I already had a vague understanding the plot.
For my Autumn themed story that is currently in the very early stages, I knew I wanted to have setting of the novel be during the Autumn months in MA because I love the Fall. I also knew who my main characters were.
Okay, homework time.
I want you to grab your favorite notebook and writing utensil. You can use your laptop if you prefer to type. I usually for this stage write it in a notebook and then transfer it to the computer later on.
Now, I want you to write down five ideas that could be potential stories. Don’t feel bad if you can only come up with one and two. It is a start.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun. Writing a novel should be fun.

How did you go with the activity?
I thought I would share one idea I came up with. Here is what I wrote:
Idea 5. Professor Wickman travels to London to start a new job at the City University of London. Committing his time and energy to his work and study is his priority and is all work, but through a period of time he learns to apply his work to excellence and focus on a project with his enchanting partner Lady Grosvenor from the affluent suburb of Mayfair. They eventually fall in love whilst working together and get married at St George Hanover Square.
It is not a complete idea but that is an example of ideas. First off starting with the main character, then a setting, place or particular location, the body and then the minor character fixed in there somewhere.
I skipped a whole part of what “could be” (a long plot) There could be so much more I could add to it and I am excited at the thought of creating a story again!
but I liked the idea of this so much I am thinking I am giving away a good story already! Well, that can be my next project!
Emmalisa
BOOKS, Lady

The Royal Collection Treasures


Introduction – The Royal Collection

One of the worlds greatest picture collections is found in this book, “The Royal Collection Treasures” involving masterpieces, splendours of the decorative arts, for example, I will touch on different sections such as furniture, or sculptures. It is not just only a collection, but a collection on collections which contain works of art.

I love the categories that I am going to share with you. It involves drawings, paintings, books, gems, tapestries, silver, porcelain, etc.

Surprisingly, the book says it is wholly unlike a museum collection which I thought that I would! But the British National Collections selectively provide a wide-ranging depiction of the arts and sciences with a specific purpose of showing the public what there is in an educating way.
Continue reading “The Royal Collection Treasures”

BOOKS, Celebrities, History, Lady, royal life

Duchess of Cornwall hosts ‘Duchess’s Bookshelves’ Garden Party


 

In tribute to Camilla’s 70th birthday I thought I would do a post on her, regardless of anything, I never thought of doing a post on her, but she is still part of the royal family! Please note that I used words from Royal Central which I absolutely loved because it is to do with reading and writing. It is such a good “read”! I would love to have elaborated  more, but Royal Centrals post was quite concise and succinct, so I hope you love reading this and of course, with both the word “bookshelf” and “garden party”, I’m in!

The Duchess has always been supportive of encouraging reading and writing in young children, and last year hosted a writing competition run by the BBC. This year she was been working with a project run by the National Literacy Trust, and in honour of her seventieth birthday later this month. The project has seen seventy books selected as the most popular books chosen by primary school children across the country. These seventy books complete with the Duchess’s bookshelves will be given to seventy selected primary schools across the country.

This Tuesday, Camilla welcomed a party of schoolchildren to Clarence House. Partly to launch the project, now the seventy books have been selected; and partly as an early birthday party. The children were brought to Clarence House in an iconic red bus driven by the comedian, Britain’s Got Talent judge, and children’s author David Walliams. David was probably quite please his own talent had been recognised – two of his books, Gangsta Granny and The Boy in the Dress were included in the seventy! A set of the books was also presented to the Duchess, who assured those gathered that the bookcase would be placed in a central place so that all five of her grandchildren could borrow them without fighting over them.

There is a wide selection of books on the list, which includes non-fiction books on coding and the solar-system together with fiction books that have been classics for children throughout the generations. These include classics by Road Dahl and Michael Bond who sadly died earlier this month, and more modern books like the first of the Harry Potter novels by JK Rowling, the books by David Walliams and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.

The Duchess loves reading and sharing children’s books, and is the patron of several organisations which promote and support literacy, including the National Literacy Trust, Beanstalk, BookTrust, First Story, Roald Dahl and the Wicked Young Writer Awards.

She is also the Royal Patron of the National Literacy Trust who are behind this project.

Note: This is all copied from Royal Central, it is not my own words, but I loved it so much I had to share and particularly loved the reading/writing/literacy side of things.
 

  ❤️

BOOKS, Lady, self help, Thoughts

“Old English” poems


Most old english pieces of literature and manuscript origins, authorship and early history are quite unknown. I particularly liked and picked up an “old English poetry” book from Scarborough library that I am absolutely loving. Sometimes I feel like it is a bit more eloquent than I could ever be! But my interest in English Literature is widening, and I especially like poems that have a biblical sense to it.

This book is made up of different ‘books’, for example, there is the Vercelli book, and the Exeter book, which has meaning behind the words.

It is a broad view of Anthology of British Literature, and there is a complete range of lyrics that I decided to pick ones I like and share them with you.

Continue reading ““Old English” poems”

Lady, Thoughts

A British Blogoholic at heart, Burberry bling, & places to visit for 2017


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I wish I could say the girl behind the laptop/computer was an energetic, engaging, imperturbable, diligent, hard-at-work type that studies all day, all night to create the perfect piece of a review, account or feature. The striving sophisticated lady that I am determined to establish is wanting to achieve and obtain more and more in life in general.

Words have power, and wanting to study in London is a dream goal (I talk about all the places I want to visit in ‘A list of travel dreams‘) – It is not something that you usually say to most people (the BIG things you want to do in life), but I like the fact that I can share with my readers whatever is on my mind, heart and soul. You may have noticed too I have started to do more Instagram Stories, which I don’t know if I am any good compared to maybe Lydia Elise Millen, or Caroline Stanbury, but I love sharing new things, what I love to do, what I WANT to do, and little girly things here and there. I want to create an optimistic, non-negative, girl-boss website that girls will love. I want my life to be shaped with approbation and unequivocally live an enthusiastic nonchalant  life. I also want to be spiritually and mentally focused and awake. Looking after your physical health is important too, like I mentioned in a previous post 10 ways to practice self-care.

I am currently reading “My not so perfect life” by Sophie Kinsella. I know, I know. Wasn’t I just reading “The Lost Heiress”?? Yes, still reading it, but I like the fact that I can switch to something every now and then to break it up a bit, and go back to reading something light with fresh eyes. I have probably said this already, but Sophie Kinsella is literally my favourite author. I have mentioned “The Undomestic Goddess”, which is written so well, and is a laugh, and glamorous, …..(and not so glamorous) at the same time and like I said Sophie writes with such volubility and I believe she is the NUMBER 1 bestselling author of chick-literature. Okay, most girls in the UK, or even in Australia say she is anyway! But there are other authors out there like Cathy Kelly, or Marian Keyes or Meg Cabot. They have their place, but Sophie just puts things in which are HILARIOUS! Like, as I have ALREADY mentioned in ‘3 books to inspire‘.

I honestly wish I had Sophies talent….. a witty character such as Becky Bloomwood is like my SOUL sister. Living the life of a shopping frenzied journalist that doesn’t know about anything other than SHOES. Okay, well, she is smarter than we take credit for – any journalist would be smart, but to tap into her life would be tapping into a whole new demographic!, and I wish I was Isla Fisher on that screen! She plays Becky perfectly!

If I were a journalist where everyday I would have to practice my writing I would totally buy this British Museum Mug to have my coffee in – I WANT IT!!!!!! It would perfectly sit on my bedside table along with my “My not so perfect life” book. I just love everything matching.

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Okay, so there are TWO mugs I want. When I get to London I am definitely visiting ‘The British Museum‘, as per ‘A list of Travel Dreams‘. The collections are just absolutely divine, and my cup of tea!

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Okay, so you might think the title should be something a bit more like “Confessions of a British wannabe”, but I think that would make a great story too! haha! My spirits would leap at the thought of going to England and possibly living there for awhile. I have it on my mind, and I mentioned it in my “About” page, but I honestly, seriously just want to goooo!!!! and to definitely go to “London Fashion Week” – Now that is something to NOT miss out on. It recently was on, and I kept up to date with a few people that went. I particularly enjoyed Victoria (In The Frow’s) video’s/vlogs on her outfits. She is an award – winning fashion, travel and beauty blogger, and her posts are just AMAZING! You will get addicted to the videos……. trust me.

I have so many ideas the day I touch down at Heathrow Airport. Perth is great, but it is a little low key for me. There are things to do (that I may add to the blog), but it is a very small sort of city. I know, okay, I should be thankful to be in Australia altogether, but I dream of BIG cities……………. There are soooo many things to do, and like I said, the idea of studying in London would be a DREAM for me. Whilst I continue to collect ‘Britain’ magazines, I like to learn more about history, travel, culture, and heritage and style in England. There is way too much to learn – this is why I want to study whilst in Australia, and then travel all over England after I am finished, to reward myself.

To add to my collection I would get a gorgeous Pink I phone 7 case from Red Bubble for a bit of style. I definitely want this, and it is just perfect for me. Anything pink goes!!!

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World-renowned British luxury brand, Burberry, has a gold necklace that screams elegance.

It is a vintage chain, but unfortunately it is sold out, otherwise I would have featured it as a piece for my blog. I am particularly interested, and love this piece because of its make, the signature, and its look. I wish I could have bought it when it was available, but I wanted to share this with you, because I still love it, and isn’t it just gorgeous to look at???

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Perhaps I should get back to reading ‘My not so perfect life’, and delve into Katie Brenner’s “perfect” life. I love the story behind it – a lady who acts like she has a glamorous life in London, but really it isn’t the life she makes it out to be. I totally recommend this book to all you lovely girls out there! If you’re not so much of a reader, it is perfect because it is light-hearted, and so easy to read. It’s not like your reading Middlemarch or Great Expectations – it’s BASIC writing, so I absolutely am telling you to either get it from your local library, or you can buy it online.

Like I said, I had a book collection last year that I wanted to achieve, but since moving to Western Australia, Scarborough I have borrowed HEAPS of books from the Scarborough library. It is an impressive library and the staff are so nice and really impressed me with their superb customer service.

I have added to my collection “The House of Mirth” by Edith Wharton, “The Ladies Paradise” by Emilie Zola and “The Mill on the floss” by George Eliot. These are all great “British” written stories which are enjoyable and delightful to read, and still challenging. I have almost finished Mill on the floss, but still have to get through the other two. The Ladies Paradise was turned into a BBC series which is a favourite of mine, The Paradise based in a department store in the Victorian times, 1800’s which is similar to Selfridge, and the main character is Denise where her passion lies in the department store, and falling in love with the owner. It is truly a stunning series and I totally recommend for you to check out the DVD. It is a love story.

Today is the first day of Autumn, and I am looking forward to a new season of glorious hope and a bright future. I love the idea of Autumn, because you think of brown leaves falling off the trees, murmurous sounds of the wind, and romantic walks in the parks. Well, that’s what I think, not sure about you?

What do you think of when you hear of the word ‘Autumn’?

I think of romance, and I totally wish I was spending this Autumn in the UK. There are exclusive getaways in the Britain magazines, and I love just poring over the picturesque photos of castles, and cottages, and admiring the idyllic times of these magical settings.

oh, the luxury and the splendour!

and like I said in my tagline, I love stories from an English setting, and love to plunge into light historical romance novels. Reading Emma or Persuasion would be challenging, so read down below my little summary of the novel I am currently reading.

“The lost heiress” that I showed a picture of in my last post, Feminine Fashionista, is in Edwardian times, and is about a sweeping mystery of an heiress who goes missing from Yorkshire, and Brook (the heiress) travels to the moors of the North Sea to an estate where her ‘supposedly’ family belongs. There is another character Justin, which, without giving anything too much away, I feel may be where her love lies. The setting is at Whitby Park, and Brook doesn’t feel welcomed there by the household/estate, even though her father does, through circumstances she learns valuable lessons of loyalty.

I have recommended more books on Instagram Stories, but I believe that after awhile they disappear and I don’t think that you can get them back, so I posted “Emma” by Jane Austen, and “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte. I really want to get stuck into them to broaden my vocabulary, because sometimes I feel like I use the same words over and over again. Do you ever feel that way?

  For the next six months I will be focusing on my course, and then I might possibly do Museum Studies – I know! I can’t choose but at least I do know the things I want to do in life. Library Studies, Museum Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Ancient History), and then I am off to London, England. That is the plan.

Plans also include The Western Australian museum – I can not wait to see the outstanding exhibitions. One I am interested in is the Gemma Constantiniana. It was crafted to celebrate Roman Emperor Constantine’s battle victory – An artefact that is in WA for the first time in 388 years.

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The website is absolutely fascinating, and has sections on collections and research. I also find anthropology to be quite fascinating too!

There is also Harbour Sundays exhibition exclusive. There is FREE live music and it runs for 5 weeks. More details are on the Western Australian museum’s website.

I like the fact that the website has a blog just as well as information on events, and

Travellers and Traders of the Indian Ocean World” would be fantastic to go see. It ends 23rd April 2017 at the Maritime Museum. Please be advised that it is a PAID exhibition.

You can discover the rich history through ancient objects, and especially, stories about the explorers. It would be totally fascinating.

If you go to this event, you get the chance to win a trip to London, see, this is another reason why I want to attend the event. It is Return flights and five nights accommodation.

The grand prize includes:

– two return economy airfares to London thanks to Singapore Airlines;
– five night’s accommodation in a superior room with breakfast, thanks to the Hilton London Metropole;
– money-can’t-buy behind the scenes access to the British Museum, including tickets to the current blockbuster exhibition;
– double pass to the Royal Observatory Greenwich;
– double pass to the Natural History Museum;
– London Eye champagne experience;
– double pass to the next major exhibition at the WA Maritime Museum;
– a limited edition Travellers and Traders in the Indian Ocean World catalogue.

How could you not pass this?

I want to WIN!!!!!!!

I want to visit beautiful British Estates such as Highgrove, I absolutely LOVE the Highgrove Shop website (The Carpet Garden is pictured above), from food and drink to jewellery to collections of books and art it is an awesome website! I want the Queen Cushion! You can get a Highgrove Gardens guide book here! If you decide to visit this place, look no further than a Garden tour and Champagne Tea Tour.

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Scampston Hall and Gardens is also a country retreat that you cannot miss, based in North Yorkshire. Check out this Youtube Video of it! Learn about the fascinating history towards the end of the 17th century, and also I definitely want to do the hall tours.

, and Felbrigg Hall, and Hanbury Hall and Gardens, a country house which has an awesome website of significant fine art and heritage objects.

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Detail of the sofa in the Drawing Room at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk.

You can explore so many different collections,  and of course that just makes me think of another course I want to do, but Bachelor of Arts (Ancient History) would be ideal for me, as I like the idea of doing an art history degree. Which speaking of art, I recommend you to check out the Watts Gallery also based in the village of Compton, near Guildford in Surrey. I am most interested in their exhibitions and workshops – It was named after a painter of the Victorian Era. I highly recommend you to check out the story on their website. I also love the idea of poems painted on canvas.If you are into art, I believe you would absolutely love the website – what is on and their collections. You can also do courses, which I would totally do if I LIVED there!!!! They also have their own shop online stocking a range of goods from art books to handmade crafts.I would totally check out the William Morris Collection of inspired household goods including cushions, mugs, and soaps and oooo and you can’t forget the Tea Shop!

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“English History” is what I am sticking to, and would love to do a course in that too. My! So many courses, but I DO have lots of time on my hands, and reading Britain magazines is what I love to do. English History is captivating, and I cannot wait for the day I step on English soil so that I can blog more, come up with MORE ideas, and MORE content for this blog, ‘Exquisite Emmalisa’.

I also really want to visit the Cotswolds (I could completely lavish in it!), which is apart of 5 counties – Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire, and wherever I go I shall keep you posted! I definitely want to indulge in a spa break for my holiday, and want to also include Hever Castle and gardens, the childhood home to Anne Bronte. It looks absolutely breathtaking and stunning, and I love their section on tudor books. Read about the castles history here. The Rooms and Exhibitions section is tremendous, and of course, I think my favourite room already is the library! You may find interesting that in the Queens Chamber room there is a 16th century portrait of Henry the Eighth, which is apart of the “Royal Collection” by Joos Van Cleve.

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As you can see, naturally, I have so much I want to do when I get there, and will post when I have organised my trip. I can’t wait to roam the charming streets of England, and experience the graciousness and adoration of it and take photos of absolutely EVERYTHING. You HAVE to go on Hever Castles website – the rooms are exquisite to look at, and read about. That will give you something to do while I still peruse the Britain magazines, going from one country house to another, trying to decide what to do when I get there, my eyes sparkling with romanticism. There are endless opportunities, and I want to do basically everything! and I don’t want to forget the Jane Austen shop in Bath. My favourite section is the Dressing table and Bathroom bit where you can get compact mirrors with Jane Austen quotes on them! Like ‘I’d rather be at Pemberley‘. So beautiful!

Funnily, enough, I am also reading ‘Shopaholic takes Manhattan‘ and Becky goes to the museum shop to make it LOOK like she went to a museum!, The Guggenheim, It’s hilarious!

Also, don’t forget to sign up to “Telegraph Travel” to get the latest hotel and restaurant deals and exclusive offers when travelling in London, or elsewhere! I wouldn’t mind staying at the Queen’s Truss cottage in Weobley, Heredfordshire. (while reading ‘The Edwardians’ by Vita Sackville-West, which I delightfully and purely suggest)

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I am currently in the process of creating three pitches for Taylor Magazine, so if you don’t hear from me for a little while, you will know that that is what I am doing. Either I will post the feature on here, or will post it in a blog where you can click on the link. I am quite nervous at the thought because it is my first time with an experience in a magazine. It’s not Vogue, but it is a magazine that makes conversation, and I particularly like one piece called A Roadtrip to a place where you don’t know a single soul, particularly discovering  your inner self.

I am also most excited about a new coffee shop opening up on Doric Street, just down the road. I will definitely be taking my laptop, any books that will be informative enough for what posts I do, and magazines for MORE writing inspiration.  I may organise, and do my pitches there next week, right smack bang on Monday, as this piece is my focus for the start of March. I hope that you have enjoyed the places that I absolutely recommend in the United Kingdom. Another thing that I am excited about this March is that the real live version of “Beauty and the Beast” comes out with Emma Watson, and Dan Stevens. It is my favourite childhood Disney movie of all time, as I have always related to Belle! I knew (and still do) the word to Belles song, and all the songs from the movie.

Now, that is my spiel on being a “british blogoholic, a few of some Burberry bling, and places to go in the United Kingdom” when visiting. I honestly can not wait to go, it will open up a whole new demographic for my writing, life in general, and so much more stuff!!!! It will give me more to write about, and more to see and do in life, and I can’t wait to share with you my Europe/UK travels.I don’t have dates yet, but I am hoping either for my 31st in September, maybe June/July, or if it doesn’t work out how I hope, then the start of 2018.

If you have already been, share with us your favourite places to go to, shops/establishments, or if you haven’t do you have a list ready for when you do go?

I honestly can not express how much I feel I would achieve when I get there, I heartedly want to study, and live there for awhile, depending on where life really takes me – My job for now is I want to purposefully live life and embrace it with meaning, and then take with me all my excitement along with me to England! My problem is I want to travel EVERYWHERE.

We will see how I go!

Celebrities, Fashion, Lady

A few “Kate Middleton inspired” blog posts


I admit…. I’ve become an avid, obsessed “royal fan”, and it’s because of pageantry, pomp, and especially the royal fashion. I can’t wait to go to London next year, IF and hopefully there will be another royal wedding.  👑 👰

Royal Wedding dresses have been the talk all over the world, and every girl likes to hear “fairytale” stories and romance!

I have decided to come up with a few posts that either explain the fashion, or just inspire the fashion, whether they have an opinion or not!

Here is a few “Kate Middleton inspired blog posts” for the weekend.

1. All dressed up posts about Royal Fashion on “Dressed up Duchess“, which I looove!!!! I particularly love the Emilia Wickstead Wool Crepe Midi Dress, and I like how she talks about each piece with her own viewpoint on it.

 

2. Styling the Duchess of Cambridge on her world trip – The Style Artisan

These extra outfits are found on Polyvore – so you can check out different styled outfits that can make you look a little more like Kate!

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3. I could totally relate with the Empty scribbler….. Here she posts about her “London Fantasy“…. and she sounds totally like me!!! She doesn’t mention Kate but I had to add this one in for you to see as her mentality is quite like mine! Never been to London but dreaming of it…. 

4. The Brown Girls View creates her OWN idea of a collection of what she can imagine seeing Catherine, the duchess of Cambridge, wearing. (I am trying to get used to not saying “Kate Middleton” anymore, but it’s hard because it stuck with me!)


5. A post by Bamaanie – GET THE LOOK completely on a budget with Witchery leather flat shoes and a Ted Baker blazer. 

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6. The Preen Finella Dress that Kate wore twice is on Kate Middleton Style, the black one at Place 2 Be and in September, to the historic reconciliation ceremony and reception in Victoria, Canada. The red midi dress by Thornton Brigazzi. I particularly like this dress and totally want it! I am hoping that if I don’t buy a replicate that I can get one tailor made.

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Kate attends attends Place2Be Wellbeing

 

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LOVE

Exquisite Emmalisa

Home, Lifestyle

An ‘English’ style… 


This is my new ‘love’ – my first ever edition of “The English Home” which is, Issue 140, and it has 28 pages of bedroom inspiration. I gravitated to the cover of this magazine, as creating a style for any room is what I like doing. It has sooooo many ideas of interiors, a few world-class designers – such as the stunning collection of Hodsoll McKenzie of London, by Zimmer + Rohde, and wallpapers, patterns and all things decorative.

Continue reading “An ‘English’ style… “

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Tea Etiquette


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They say that the traditional time for Afternoon Tea is Four o’clock, because it is between lunch and dinner, however any time between two and four o’clock is fine.

Here is a guide to show you how to have a traditional English Afternoon Tea:

When setting up your tea tray, it should consist of:

A Teapot

Tea Strainer (optional)

Creamer

Sugar bowl (with Sugar tongs – to serve the sugar cubes)

A small saucer (For lemon slice on the side) Or you may want to put some Classic Cream Scones on the side.

Guests cups and saucers

You don’t have to have a flash silver setting, if you are having a less formal setting, and you don’t have to go out to the department stores and buy the most expensive thing!!! It is nice to have either “Old Country Roses” Royal Albert collection or “Miranda Kerr for Royal Albert Friendship Tea for Two“, if its just with your best friend! It is so pretty because it has peonies printed on the teapot and teacup, and you can also get the mug too! This fine bone china is microwave safe and the banding is 22 carat gold plus there’s FREE shipping!

I especially like the Polka Rose Formal Vintage Teacup and Saucer as it is very pretty.

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Etiquette & Manners

When hosting a proper afternoon tea, invitations are a must! So that the guests know what to wear, or what to bring. I recently just learned that afternoon tea is not the same thing as a “High Tea” – High Tea is actually what the servants had in grand estates at 6pm after they had given upstairs their afternoon tea.

Being well-mannered is a lovely thing to have. Learning how to conduct yourself at the dining table is essential, and is something that you learn over time. It is not something you learn over night (although if you are a quick learner, it can be easy to learn). It is important to practice graceful and splendid manners! and I have talked about etiquette in a few posts such as “How to be a Lady“, and “Easy Etiquette“.

Extra Tea Equipment

A gorgeous pretty table cloth would be essential to match with the china, if possible along with cloth or linen napkins.

If you choose to have scones, knives can be needed to cut the scones in half (but the proper british way is you merely break the scone in half with your fingers, I have hear using a knife isn’t really the proper way but people do still use them occassionally) and you can add a small bowl with strawberry jam for the scones. Or clotted cream – YUM!!! and don’t forget some forks if you are having CAKE!

The Tea Party

When everyone is seated at the table, take the napkin and unfold it on your lap with the crease folded towards you. The hostess pours the tea and always ensures that each guests teacup is full. Then you offer the milk, sugar or lemon.

When pouring your guests tea, make sure you don’t pour multiple cups at the same time and pass several cups at a time. The pourer should hold the teacup and saucer in their left hand and can ask their guests if they like their tea strong or weak, and then ask if they want sugar or milk with it.

Once the tea is poured, wherever you are, at home, someones house, make sure that you don’t make a loud noise when stirring. Make sure you stir gently. Don’t stir in a circle (to avoid clanging), so move the teaspoon in a small arch back and forth, so not to make a noise.

Once finished stirring, do NOT put the teaspoon on the table, make sure you put the teaspoon on the saucer on the right hand side behind the china cup. That is the proper etiquette – whatever the culture is.

Number One Rule

Don’t lift your pinky (People think this is the proper way of etiquette but it is actually NOT). In social settings it is actually considered rude and in British Etiquette especially it is best to curl your pinky finger in. The correct way is to make sure your thumb and index finger meet in the handle.

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and when you have finished your cake, make sure you dab your mouth with a napkin (not wipe!)

Tea Sandwiches must have their crusts cut off and can be presented either in a rectangular or triangular way. I also just learnt that the Royal Household prefers to have them cut in small squares, and (That’s the way I like it! hehe) They can also be eaten with your hands, not cutlery.

And then you can have your scones……

Spoon a dollop of cream, or your jam onto the edges of your plate.

Spread just enough of a bit of jam and cream onto the scone with your butter knife, and enjoy! It is nice to take a sip of tea between each bite.

You can learn how to use the Basics of learning to eating a scone properly here.

If you are unsure on what sort of tea to buy, have a look at some loose leaf tea and tea bags on the T2 website. The gift cubes are only $14! If you haven’t read my previous post, I have recommended my new favourite tea!!! It is called “London Strand Earl Grey” – I have been drinking it every day!!!  It has bergamot and a hint of citrus, but tastes positively heavenly.

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Reference Articles

There is a fantastic article on Vogue teaching you the Do’s and Don’ts of drinking tea.

“How to do a proper English Afternoon Tea like a Royal”

and theres another one on Afternoon Tea Etiquette – Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts written by Afternoontea.co.uk

and I absolutely ADORE Huffington Post’s article on “British Tea Etiquette: How to Drink it Downton Abbey Style

 

BOOKS, Uncategorized

3 Books to Inspire


I probably have already said this, but I love reading. I like to keep cultured, and have a love for history, art and language. I have only done one post on My Book Collection mentioning 20 books to read for this year, but this year is closing sooner than I think! I thought it would be a good idea to do a book review on one of them, or on a favourite book of mine.

1. One of my FAVOURITE books is “The Undomestic Goddess” written by Sophie Kinsella. She is one of the best writers out there! She is extremely exceptional at English language and comes up with witty characters. So she writes with great articulation and vocalisation.

This is a story about a office lady working for Carter Spink. 29 year old Samantha Sweeting is a high-powered lawyer in London working onwards and upwards for that career climb to be a partner for the firm. She works long hours, and has no home life putting all her energy into her work life, until…..

One day she makes a terrible mistake. Costing her career!!!!! She gets terrified thinking she will be fired from her hardworking job.

Instead of speaking to the boss she walks right out of the office, gets on the first train she sees, and then finds herself at a stately house in the countryside where they have mistaken her for their maid! She ends up working as a maid for a big, beautiful house in the middle of nowhere and works there instead.

Not knowing how to turn on the oven, Samantha learns how to do home duties, things she could never do before in her life!!!!!

She learns how to bake, cook, do laundry, iron, etc and during this time learns to love this new life in a wholly unexpected way.

Her employers don’t know she’s really a lawyer, educated at Cambridge with an IQ of 158 from London. So, she learns to live the life of a housekeeper.

A lawyer turned housekeeper is an interesting turn of events and the ending is even more surprising!

This book does NOT disappoint! Does she go back to her job? Or does she keep on working as a housemaid?

You can go to this website to buy. In England it is only $8 pounds.

It is actually a number one bestseller! And I can see why!!!!!!

To me, it’s the greatest heart-warming piece of chick-lit! Full of laughs and fun! Kinsella is full of genuine charm in writing this book. I read this book within like TWO days! It is that funny and contemporary!

2. Shopaholic Abroad

I am currently reading the second book in the shopaholic series. My favourite series ever!!!!! Everyone knows the first book, “Confessions of a shopaholic” and this second book is more about shopping!!!!!

Becky Bloomwood has been offered a job in New York! So there’s The Museum of Modern Art! The Guggenheim! The Metropolitan Opera House! And Becky Bloomwood does mean to go to them all, honestly. It’s just that it seems silly to not check out a few other famous places first, like……

Saks, Bloomingdales and Barneys! Yep! The famous SHOPS!!!!!

And one of those fantastic sample sales where you can get a Prada dress for $10, or was it $100!!???

Get ready for the BIGGEST culture shop of your life.

3. The third book I want to talk about is actually based on ancestors of mine!!!! It is called “Separate Lives” by Gwen Chessell.

She became interested in the story of Sir George and Lady Eliza Grey when writing on Sir Richard Spencer (my greatx4 grandfather) who is Eliza Grey’s father.

Here is a snapshot of the blurb:

I am only just starting on the book, so I can’t give a detailed review just yet, but this book intrigues me because of the history.


Eliza Lucy Spencer was born early in November 1823 and was welcome in a close-knit family, and she joined her two brothers, Hugh Seymour and Edward, and her sisters, Mary Ann and little Augusta. Eliza’s father was Captain Richard Spencer (as mentioned previously), a sailor hero of the Napoleonic Wars and perhaps the illegitimate son of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and her mother a member of the local gentry.

The Spencer family lived in a large house above the harbour, but picturesque little haven encircled since early medieval times by the arms of the ancient Cobb. Living in Lyme Regis.

In 1830 when Eliza was seven years old, her father had decided that they emigrate to Australia. They thought of New South Wales or Tasmania. They ended up settling at Strawberry Hill Farm in Albany, Western Australia.

(I got a picture taken of myself here when I was 29. On my “Travels in Australia” post. I was so glad because my grandmother had a photo of herself here as well. )

So, in February 1833, the life of the family changed abruptly. On 22 February Richard Spencer was knighted the accolade of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order being in King William IV’s personal gift to him.

The town of Albany was the first settlement on the western side of Australia. It had been established in 1826. In 1793, Captain George Vancouver had taken possession of the region and had given the name King George’s sound to the Seward approach to what would become Albanys harbour, in honour of King George III.


The promontory overlooking the harbour opening off the Sound and Vancouver named this after George III’s grand-daughter, Princess Charlotte, calling it Princess Royal Harbour.

There is more information on Wikipedia also.


If you love history, especially in Australia, this book you will LOVE! Gwen writes historical biographies with a special emphasis on 19th century colonial personalities.

It is a very interesting book, and I would love to write just like her! She writes with a gripping and engaging flair! And I was so excited to receive a reply from her when I decided to email her! How wondrous! She lives in England and visits Australia to do author talks every now and then. So, like I said if you have a fondness for Australian history/literature, THIS you will utterly be ardent about.

❤️

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