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Friday, July 26, 2013

The Best/Worst Day of the Summer (An Asheville Adventure)

Yesterday, my friend Anna and I went to Asheville to spend the day at the Biltmore Estate.  We had been planning this trip since before graduation and were immensely looking forward to it.

Prior to the trip, we decided that we would dress up all classy-like for the occasion. When we left that morning, we were looking cute in our flouncy vintage dresses and we were SO incredibly excited! Due to the fact that my car has the worst brakes known to man, we took my Dad's Kia Soul for the mountain-excursion. We prayed heavily for traveling mercies before we took off and for the next 30 minutes, traveling mercies is exactly what we had.


Out of nowhere on I-40, a baby deer showed up in the median. As soon as the words "aww look, Bambi!" came out of my mouth, Bambi ran straight into the car, me plowing right over its poor little limbs. Anna and I were shocked and concerned, so I got off at the next exit and stopped at a gas station to see what damage Bambi had done.

The front plate bent and full of Bambi fur.

We were thankful to see that Bambi had only dented Dad's lovely StarWars-referencing, decorative front-plate and there were no other signs of damage that we could see.... However, now that I am looking at this picture, I do see a certain puddle beneath that sign which will explain what happened after the next 40 or so miles.

We were officially in Asheville. It had been my first time driving in the mountains and I was grateful that we had had no issues other than Bambi dying. We were excitedly seeing the Biltmore signs and preparing ourselves for the awesome day we expected. However, within sight of the Biltmore Estate exit, the car began acting funny. There was no get-up-and-go and that Kia was having trouble getting past people on the interstate. Not only that, but she started making a weird rattling noise every time I had that pedal to the floor trying to get her to go! I immediately told Anna to call my Dad as we approached the exit... at that time, the car was a goner. The steering wheel was tight and the engine was obviously failing. The hazards were put on as I brought the car to a stop right at the very end of the exit ramp. 

It was then that I turned the car off, and tried it again, praying that it would fix itself at that moment. But that was not going to happen. The car began smoking and Anna well-knowingly advised us to get out of the car. 

Not long after, a cop came along to check up on us. We told him our story up to that point and he checked out the engine and saw that it was leaking something that wasn't gasoline, but obviously important to the engine. He supposed that Bambi had done more damage than we had thought. 
The friendly officer (who we will NEVER forget... not only was he an angel, he also had the face of an angel haha) stood with us for well over an hour as we contacted our family as well as AAA's roadside assistance. Praise the Lord for such a thing as AAA. They got a tow-truck over there about an hour after our break-down and then we were officially stranded in a strange city.

On the side of the road haha

Angel Officer kept our spirits high, though. We had nice conversations with him and once the tow-truck came, he offered us a ride to the Biltmore House in his good ole cop-car. 

How ghetto-fabulous were we? in our flouncy dresses and red lipstick getting chauffeured to the Biltmore Estate in a cop-car? Needless to say, that part made us pretty excited haha

When we arrived at the gates, the Officer worked out a deal with the Biltmore staff to get us free shuttle services, which normally costed $15 a person. (See what I mean about the angel thing?) Before he left, we got his card. Turns out his name was Evan haha. Next thing we knew, we were stranded again, but waiting on our own personal shuttle. 

It was then we met Gary, our friendly-neighborhood shuttle-bus driver. He took us straight to the Biltmore House, explaining if we needed any form of transportation anywhere, just tell someone to get a hold of him. 

Meanwhile, back in the land of broken Kia's, the car had been taken to a Kia Dealership nearby to be figured out. There were three explanations: A. The timing belt had broken, causing the engine to literally be dead. This would cost approximately $4000. or B. Somebody had hidden the fact that the car's engine was already crap and would still be dead and would still need replaced. Lawsuit would follow. or C. Bambi had done something, who knows what. It was looking like the radiator was the biggest problem, though. However, we were out of a ride for the day for sure, and although it was thought possible that the car would be fixed by 5 if it was minor, that was not the case.

Forgetting all of the car problems, we decided to head on into the Biltmore House to make the most of our day. And that is exactly what we did. We enjoyed the history of the location, the gorgeous rooms and detailing of the mansion, and had a nice lunch after our tour. We did some window shopping because we're not rolling in enough dough to buy some $70 dainty owl earrings... and enjoyed ourselves!

Having a fabulous (but hot) time in the gardens!
Dress from JCPennys- GREAT DEAL!
Steve Madden bag from TJMaxx.
Sunglasses from Charlotte Russe.

Gary found us afterwards (we were quite easy to find... no one else around was as fabulous-looking as we were) and got us another shuttle to take us to a different little village. The driver was named Lisa and she was an ADORABLE little woman who definitely spoiled us. On our way over to the next village, she acted as our tour-guide-- stopping in the middle of the road to tell us about each location she was describing and whatnot. When dropping us off, she assured us she would get us again at 5 to take us to wherever we needed outside the gates so we could be picked up by my family later. I'm telling you, the Biltmore Estate staff is ON POINT. 

We finished off our day taking it easy in the little museum in the village and then hanging out with farm animals for awhile. Lisa picked us up at 5 and took us to a street where we would walk across to this fancy McDonalds with a grand piano in it where my family would eventually pick us up. 
It took awhile to get across that street though, man.... We felt awkward standing there on the corner, trying to prevent a Marilyn from happening (aka the dress flying up incident) whilst multiple strange people driving by honked and whistled. You see, hookering-it-up is not our forte. ;)

We did get a ride back to Statesvegas, the Kia staying behind in Asheville.
And although some parts of our day were STRESSFUL, we were very grateful for the adventurous moments that we had. These three people we met were God-sent, for sure, and would it not have been for them, the day would have been terrifying. I am very grateful the world is blessed with their presence. And the car situation turned out okay. It was Bambi that messed up the engine; one of his limps punctured the radiator and lost its fluid and the engine got so hot it melted all kindsa stuff. According to the dealership, it really should have blown up. God was with us, even though it sort of felt like He wasn't. Insurance is also covering the cost of both getting the car down to Statesvegas and the replacement of the engine. So, all in all, it worked out pretty well haha.

As for us, it was a day of firsts.
First time Anna went to Biltmore.
First time I drove in the mountains.
First time killing Bambi.
First time Anna cracked her phone screen.
First time my car ever broke down.
First time we were ever stranded in a strange city.
First time I ever had to call AAA.
First time we ever rode in a cop-car... etc haha

You could also say it was the first time we were in a really scary situation, and left grateful and blessed. :)

Saturday, July 6, 2013


This makeup obsession...

So, guys..... I have a problem.
I feel like I need to go out and just buy makeup every week. Do I need to? No. Have I used the palettes that I've bought in the past 2 weeks? No. BUT STILL!!! I'm stocking up man!!!

Anyways, there are a few products that have made my summertime skin wonderful (as wonderful as it can get anyways... doesn't happen very often).
Something that I have used in place of my normal foundation (Covergirl 3 in 1) is the Rimmel 9 in 1 BB cream.... 

What is up with my #(s) in 1 stuff to put on my face? 

This stuff is AMAZING. The claim is that it "primes, moisturizes, minimizes pores, conceals, covers, smoothes, mattifies, brightens and helps protect." And honestly, it pretty much does that! I love the texture of it; it feels just like putting a moisturizer on your face except it does not leave it greasy AT ALL. In fact I don't feel like I HAVE TO set the BB Cream once I've rubbed it in on my face because it really is a pretty matte foundationish. The coverage is great, the lasting power is great- ITS JUST GREAT! I used it everyday at the beach so I could get my skin looking normal ANNNDDDD protect from sun because it has a 25 spf. 
$7. Worth every penny. Probably worth more.


After I graduated, I pretty much wasn't home for 2 weeks straight. I housesat for a friend for a week starting the day after graduation and left from there to go to the beach with my girl friends for another week. Needless to say, my summer started out with a bang! 

While housesitting, I went out to my favorite little town (Davidson, NC) to a restaurant that I had never been to. Italian, of course. It is called Campania and I. LOVE. IT. You walk in and it has this rustic, chic vibe going on. Its a small restaurant but still has that classy feel to it. The tables are dressed in nice black with the wine glasses for your water and the servers dressed in proper waiting attire. I went for lunch and it seemed the place was filled with important people off the lake. You would think such a classy place would have been more expensive, but the lunch menu was actually pretty reasonable.
I had a Caesar salad- which had a twist of roasted red peppers in it- DELISH. Then for dessert I had Hazelnut Biscotti Gelato... wasn't my favorite gelato, but if you are a person who doesn't really like SWEET sweets, then you would like it. I prefer rich food haha.

The next week was spent at Myrtle Beach, SC where me and 3 other girls PARTIED HARD!!! ...Not. hahaha. We like to think we did. Our main hangout place was actually a grocery store/giftshop called Boulineau's. THIS PLACE. I don't know what was so amazing about it but we literally walked to that store EVERY. DAY. and EVERY. NIGHT. The place closed at 1am and we would go at like 12am haha. I think Boulineau's summed up our beach trip that week.

Back at home, I have spent my time swimming, shopping, laying around eating (BAD MICHAELA) and babysitting. Unfortunately, Statesville, NC the past 2 weeks has switched weather conditions with Seattle, Washington. It has been raining NONSTOP which seems to always make me depressed. Nevertheless, I have kept my head held high and stop any inclination of depression with SHOPPING.... because shopping heals the spirit.... right?!

And then.....


My family and I went on a roadtrip to the mountains this past Sunday to the highest peak around here called Mount Mitchell. There, we participated in a family devotion we're doing out of the book Radical by David Platt. I will warn anyone who is interested in David Platt's writings that it is some tough truths to swallow. I fought back tears throughout the entire devotion mainly because Platt challenges the reader to truly become radical for Christ, as this is what the Bible says Christ calls for, and I was convicted. The things he was saying seemed impossible to me.
To be truly radical, you give up YOUR WHOLE LIFE. Your dreams, your aspirations, your wants, even your family-- just to live wholly for Christ and portray the true Jesus to the world. 
It is something that I struggle with because I hold so tight to my dreams. And in all honesty, my dreams are often placed higher than God's will for my life. I want with all my heart to be able to go to France and Italy and experience things different than I normally do. However, what I learned Sunday was that Christ has an experience MUCH GREATER than any experience I can have as a tourist in Europe-- to truly be able to experience HIM. 

I started reading another David Platt selection called Follow Me. This book, as well, really caused me to question alot of things. It has really put into perspective the fact that there are tons of people who claim to be a Christian that in retrospect are actually lost. And after reading the first 10 pages of Follow Me, there were faces of people I love that I began to question their salvation. 

Platt tells a story of a boy named John who was subjected to the concept of Hell while watching an episode of Tom and Jerry. So the guy goes to talk to someone at his church about it and ends up being told "If you don't want to go to Hell, you need to pray this prayer to accept Jesus as your Savior." The kid ends up praying the prayer that the church man tells him to pray and is told that he is saved and never has to worry about Hell again. But this was nothing but a "get-out-of-Hell" free-card and the kid knew nothing about Jesus- His story, His sacrifice, His true call to our lives.... 

"Yet this story represents deception that has spread like wildfire across the contemporary Christian landscape. Just ask Jesus into your heart. Simply invite Christ into your life. Repeat this prayer after me, and you will be saved. Should it alarm us that the Bible never mentions such a prayer? Should it concern us that nowhere in Scripture is anyone ever told to "ask Jesus into their heart" or to "invite Christ into their life?"

-Follow Me

And I thought back to when I was a child accepting Christ as my savior. Until this week, I had no idea that Christ wants so much out of me. As a 7 year old little girl, I just knew Jesus died for me so I could have eternal life and wouldn't have to go to Hell. I could feel the pounding in my little heart, and I have felt His calling in my life and felt His spirit with me everyday since that moment... But if I had known those stories in the Bible as a child about leaving your treasures, your family, YOUR ENTIRE LIFE behind to follow Christ, I would have been more hesitant to accept His salvation.  That is what makes reading these books so hard--- I feel convicted about having dreams of worldly travels rather than having dreams of doing the will of Christ. 

"The only thing that's required of you is a one-time decision for Christ, and you don't have to worry about his commands, his standards, or his glory after making that decision. You now have a ticket to heaven, and your sin, whether manifested in self-righteousness or self-induglence, will be tolerated along the way. But this is not the way of Jesus. He beckons us down a hard road, and the word Jesus uses for 'hard' is associated with pain, pressure, tribulation, and persecution. The way of Jesus is hard to follow, and it's hated by many."

I read these words and was torn apart. 
Do I really follow Christ?
Is there anyone that really follows Christ when held to these standards?
Is this even attainable?
What about my dreams then? Are they useless? Are they so selfish I should leave them?
Are my friends that have been "saved" yet live in their sin really saved?

And my heart begins to break.
As I continue to read through this series, I pray my questions are answered!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Louis Auguste: My Royal Bunny <3

I have a cuddly companion...

When I was in tenth grade, I believe, I decided that I needed a furry companion because I was fighting with a lot of loneliness and wanted someone to cuddle with. So, I convinced my parents to let me get a rabbit because I figured they were cuddly creatures that I could love. I would buy one with my own money and take care of it with my own money (and time). 
I searched EVERYWHERE for the perfect bunny companion. I even tried looking for rabbit breeding farms around my area, but I never could find one that was open. One day, I called good ole Tractor Supply to see if they had any for sale and GOODY, they had a batch of lop-eared babies. 
I rushed over to Hickory ASAP.
There, I met Louis. Now, I knew that was his name before I found him because I was convinced my rabbit was going to have a royal name- Louis Auguste (after Louis XVI) if it was a boy and Duchess if it was a girl. 
When we got to Tractor Supply we found  a BUTTLOAD of adorable lop-eared baby bunnies, one of which was being sought after by some old crabby woman planning to get her granddaughter a bunny. That one just happened to leave her sight when I came to the cage of rabbits where Louis came to sniff my hand, acting happy to see me.
This was the day I came home with my furry friend, a cherished pet.

Was he not the CUTEST bunny ever?!

Now, I may be that weird woman who really loves her pets but if you had a bunny like Louis, you would too. He's like that stuffed animal you always wished would come alive as a kid.

.....see the family resemblance?

Since then, Louis has grown extremely fat haha. Its crazy to have seen him as this tiny little bunny that fit in the palm of my hand into this huge rabbit the size of a 8 to 10 pound baby. I mean, hes a big bunny. He also has humongous feet that he likes to bang on the floor when he's mad. Which, lemme tell you, he does frequently. He lets you know his feelings.

Louis today. He looks like a ball of fur and blubber now haha

If you're thinking about getting a new pet for you or your family, seriously think about a rabbit. They are a bit of upkeep when it comes to their litter and cage.
You can potty train a rabbit. Louis was pottytrained pretty quickly but its pretty much impossible to keep a rabbit from not dropping his pellets when he feels the need. However, you can teach them to pee in a litterbox. Its probably easier if your rabbit is fixed.
Louis is not fixed and it is COMPLETELY EVIDENT. Rabbits are simply sexual animals haha. Louis, I will say, has a humping problem and it is SO ANNOYING. 
So, I recommend you getting your rabbit fixed. 
The biggest problem we had with Louis was when he was a baby. He would chew wires until they shot sparks. I have no idea how he lived through some instances, one of which probably could have killed us both (just imagine us under a table with fire literally shooting at us.... yeah... it was that bad). Thankfully, he did grow out of the wire-chewing stage, but it is necessary to rabbit-proof your house.
This means tie up ANY loose wires because they WILL chew them. We had to replace several phones in the house.
Despite all this, animals are loyal and loving animals with quiet, but sweet personalities.
I recommend you getting a rabbit at a young age so it grows close to you.
Louis is my constant companion. He follows me everywhere I go and knows my voice better than anyone's. 
He's my prince <3

Friday, April 26, 2013

What's so bad about one-pieces??

So summer is just a short time away and everyone is out buying their bathing suits and whatnot and what I seem to notice is that one-pieces are CONDEMNED!!!!
Personally, I've always worn one-pieces because I'm a voluptuous girl who doesn't need to flaunt all of her goodies about in a bikini. All of my friends, however, feel the need to only wear bikinis or at least some form of a two-piece bathing suit because apparently one-pieces are the NONO of the bathing suit world for young people.

This I do not understand.

First of all, not every girl is able to wear a bikini. If you're like me and have big boobs and a nice little bag of flab collected beneath your waist, then bikinis just kind of show off the stuff you'd rather hide.

Now, I will say that I did buy a Kenneth Cole bikini for the summer mainly for the purpose of laying out and tanning. This was my first bikini purchase as kind of reward for losing 30+ pounds over the past like, year. (I know, props to me right? I'm pretty proud. I feel I have bragging rights haha)

But what is the deal with ONLY being able to wear a two-piece? The thing I most often hear is, "Oh, yeah, I ONLY wear a bikini. One-pieces are so ugly" or  when someone is going to some kind of event where bikinis aren't allowed, all the girls complain like having to wear a one-piece is the biggest atrocity of their life.

And here is moi, like "oh, thats not bad! I only own one-pieces! This event is totes easy! :P"

Here's the thing:

Bathing suits are made for SWIMMING and being able to enjoy the warm weather and get some sun and be all healthy-skinned and whatnot.

I don't know the exact reason for the bikini-only obsession, but I feel like its a way for a girl who wants to show that she CAN wear a bikini because she looks good and wants to show off that she looks good. Maybe she feels like if she wore a one-piece, it would cover up some of the assets that she is really proud of. Which is really great, you should show off what you are proud of!

But for the rest of us who aren't proud of some of the things about our bodies, don't condemn us for wearing something that we are comfortable in.

Not only that, but its okay to be modest. Modesty isn't not on-trend... its something that a lot of people respect.

And bikinis aren't the only things that are cute- there are TONS of one-pieces that are cute.
If you're going for the sexy route, one-pieces are sexy too!
I mean, look at Marilyn Monroe. She was like, the biggest sex-symbol of the late forties, early fifties, and she mainly wore ONE PIECES, the occasional high-waisted bikini (which I am all-for).

From Pinterest
My point is, its OKAY to wear a one-piece and its OKAY to wear a bikini!
Wear what makes you comfortable and RESPECT other people's preferences! :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Marie Antoinette: La Bonne Reine

I recently wrote a paper for my final project before graduation and thought I would share it! This paper is condensed- it took a lot of work to keep it right at ten pages. I had a lot of opinions and a lot of books and articles to back up my opinions with facts and I honestly didn't use half of the information I had because the paper was supposed to be 5-7 pages. Well, as you can tell, that didn't work haha!
For those of you who are into history, you might enjoy reading this. For those of you who aren't, however, may get bored. I have a major fascination with Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution so this paper was super easy to me.
So, here it is:

Marie Antoinette: La Bonne Reine
twitgoo.com from Pinterest

Marie Antoinette was a different person than what is widely perceived and taught in history books. Marie Antoinette is often thought of as the ridiculous Queen surrounded by nasty rumors of immoral behavior, endless personal spending (so much that she was labeled “Madame Deficit”), and insensitive remarks such as the infamous “Let them eat cake.” History books and media from her time portray her as all of these things, but never as the kind humanitarian that she actually was. The French queen of the late 1700’s was blamed for the shortage of food and money problems that she herself could not attend to. Although she may not have been a perfect queen, she was not the picture of ruin so many have painted. There are many factors that affected her reign and led to her ultimate downfall, such as her upbringing, the influence of those surrounding her at Versailles, and the vicious rumors that clouded her life.

Marie Antoinette was the daughter of Austrian Empress, Maria Theresa. Maria Theresa was a woman prepared to do anything for her country, including marry off her children to secure alliances with other countries. She gave birth to Marie, her fifteenth child, on November 2, 1755, only to immediately return to paperwork after giving birth. She raised her children in a setting very different from most European royals. Although Maria was very strict and set ridiculously high standards, the children were often found in a relaxed, spoiled setting. European children were taught proper etiquette and expected to use it every day. Maria’s children were completely different: they spent most of their time in an etiquette-free environment. On special occasions, the children knew when and how to use etiquette, but they were more comfortable in informal situations, as that is what they were accustomed to.

Maria Theresa instilled a moral responsibility in her children, a characteristic in Marie Antoinette that is evident throughout her life. Maria had the best tutors work with her children and expected all to strive to be literate and hardworking. Even with a strict teaching regimen and high moral standards, it was clear that political needs were the most important aspect to Maria Theresa. Her children’s value could be compared to pieces on a chessboard. Often contradicting, it can be assumed that she caused a good deal of confusion in her children, as what was produced were rebellious, yet dependent children. She was harsh and impossible, yet managed to affectionately love her children through the chaotic years of her life.

Marie Antoinette had the utmost respect for her mother and throughout her life was in a constant battle of trying to please her. Most of her life, decisions were practically made for her by her mother. Marie is quoted to have said, “I love the Empress but I’m frightened of her, even at a distance; when I’m writing to her, I never feel completely at ease.” (qtd in Fraser, 22). Marie was taught to fear her mother, one of the only older women Marie was exposed to as a child, and therefore developed a fear of older, wiser women.

Meanwhile, the world around Marie was preparing her destiny. Six months after her birth, the Treaty of Versailles was signed to create an alliance between Austria and its traditional enemy, France. This action was the greatest influence on Marie’s life, as it was the act that first lit the path towards her future life as Queen of France. As Marie grew up in Austria, Louis Auguste, grandson of Louis XV, became the Dauphin- the heir to the throne of France. As Dauphin, he was a candidate for marriage. Louis Auguste was eleven and Marie ten when she was unofficially pledged to the future King. This plan was to make the bond between France and Austria firmer and to permit the alliance from being torn.

Marie’s remaining years in Austria were spent in preparation for her future in France. She thoroughly enjoyed her life in Austria and loved her family deeply. Her sweet character is evident at an early age and can be backed up from those who surrounded her during her time in Austria. The Abbé de Vermond had quoted that at age thirteen “her character, her heart, is excellent” and that she was “more intelligent than has been generally supposed” (qtd in Covington). Marie still preferred the fun and adventure that she most often partook in while living in Austria. The palace they lived in was full of interesting things such as theatrical plays, musical productions and activities that came with the weather. Instead of intense studying, Marie could be found sledding in the winter or playing in fountains in the summer. The Abbé de Vermond also quoted her as someone who could barely write in German (her native language), much less French and that she “is rather lazy and extremely frivolous; she is hard to teach.”(Covington). Perhaps if the customs of her family in Austria were a bit stricter, Marie would have learned to be less frivolous. Nevertheless, her playful and whimsical tendencies were permitted in the remainder of her childhood.

Four years after the pledged marriage to the Dauphin, Marie was shipped off to France as the new Dauphine. She was thrown into the glamorous life of Versailles, a court full of extreme etiquette, nonsensical rituals and fanatical gossips. It was expected of Marie to immediately assimilate into the culture of Versailles, yet she seemed to do the exact opposite. Unused to the extreme tendencies of Versailles, her distaste of it caused her to retreat into a way less formal than that expected of her. The nobility of Versailles saw her dismissal of court etiquette and were insulted. As envious meddlers, those nobility members became sources for dirt on Marie and were the main exports for the stories that tainted her name. During the reign of Louis XV, however, these vicious stories remained on the down-low. In fact, from the beginning of her life in France, the French were pleased with Marie. Madame Campan states that “She was always popular with the French people in general, and particularly with the inhabitants of Paris, who went on every opportunity to Versailles, the majority of them attracted solely by the pleasure of seeing her” (Campan).

There is a particular event in her life that gave the public insight in Marie’s true character. During one of her trips outside of Versailles, her group came upon a man who had been brutally wounded by a dog. The man’s wife was with him, thoroughly disturbed, so much that she fainted. Marie is said to have quickly gone to attend to the horrible scene, first giving perfumes to the woman to help her come out of her faint. Marie gave up her carriage for the man so that he could be sent for medical help, also giving up all of the money she had with her. Count Mercy, an advisor for Marie who was most always with her, witnessed the event, saying, “What was even more admirable was the kind and consoling way in which Her Royal Highness talked to the poor creature. Finally, the archduchess, who was touched, moved, shed tears and, at that moment, caused more than a hundred spectators to do the same.” (qtd in Antoinette and Bernier, 125). If only the public could have remembered that moment of tenderness instead of the stories circulated in the following years.

A large influence on the life of Marie Antoinette was the women at Versailles known as the Mesdames. Adelaide, Victoire, and Sophie were the daughters of the King who failed at getting married off to a place of power. When Marie arrived to Versailles, they were the first to try to enter her life as a means of gaining the power that they never had. They acted as her best friends so as to fill her mind with their opinions and use her to their own advantage. The Mesdames were most often the ones who passed around court gossip. A large lot of their gossip circled around Madame du Barry, the King's mistress.

Marie was used to a virtuous living, one where royals did not run rampantly in extramarital affairs. When introduced to Madame du Barry, the King’s mistress, she automatically was her rival. The Mesdames used Marie's automatic dislike of du Barry to their advantage. They caused a great hatred in Marie Antoinette of du Barry, pushing Marie to stand up against her and defy common courtesy to the woman. It is obvious they would know that if Marie were to rival du Barry in such a way, the King would surely be displeased. Count Mercy tells Maria Theresa of the Mesdames by saying, "I have noticed that Mesdames, who urge Mme la Dauphine to remain severe and silent, do not forget discreetly to do little favors for the Comtesse du Barry… It seems that Mme la Dauphine is always put forward and used as an instrument of a hatred they dare not avow." (qtd in Antoinette and Bernier, 71).

The Mesdames would also teach her a habit so awful, that it would ultimately be one that would alter her image forever. Politics, to the Mesdames, were used as a way to gain friends and gossip-allies so as to harm their enemies. Never drilled into the head of Marie Antoinette was the fact that politics should be used in a way of bettering ones country. Between her stuffy tutors and ladies-in-waiting as strict guides, her mother picking on her inadequate conduct during her stay at Versailles, and the Mesdames' deplorable influence, Marie Antoinette was provided a terrible means of confidence boosting as well as no exact way to supervise her intelligently. 

On May 10, 1774, the old King of France passed away, leaving the throne to Louis Auguste and Marie Antoinette. It is said that when the court of Versailles went to congratulate their new King and Queen, they found the two on their knees, sobbing and praying, "Protect us, Lord, we are too young to reign." This statement was very true. Louis XVI, twenty years old, was still a shy, unconfident boy, who knew nothing about politics, yet everything about hunting and locksmithing- two things that would surely be useless during his reign. Marie, only nineteen years old, was resistant to the ways of her environment, therefore uninclined and unqualified to perform the ceremonial duties expected as Queen. The couple had already failed to perform their duty of producing an heir as soon as possible and in fact had not even consummated their marriage. This supports the fact that they were young and naive. Within days after being pronounced the rulers of France, they had both exhibited their inexperience in the ways of leadership, as well as their ultimate inadequacy.

Marie became Queen to a country which was already in bad shape. France was in debt. A series of wars, including the Seven Years War, and years of corruption had depleted the French Treasury. France was also preparing to face a severe food shortage due to a failed harvest. The people of France were already unhappy before she arrived. Heavy taxes were sentenced to the poor, while the rich were never taxed. This tax system caused peasants and the working class to get poorer ("The Raucous Royals"). The current King of France at the time could have brought upon a fairer tax law, but the wealthy would not have it without a fight. After realizing they would pay a ten percent income tax, the privileged resisted the very thought of a fair tax law. If the law would have persisted, perhaps the French Revolution never would have occurred. Nevertheless, the poor were thoroughly beaten down by the ways of the French monarchy and it is obvious they would dislike whatever would become associated with it.

The French hated the fact that Marie was Austrian. Prejudices held so long against the Austrians were not going to easily be swept away by an alliance, especially when the French people were suspicious that Austria schemed to manipulate France for its own advantage. Because of her Austrian background, a rumor was circulated that she sent funds to Austria, removed from the French Treasury. Those known as Anti-Austrians did whatever possible to taint Marie Antoinette's name. Madame Campan had said, "It must be observed that the anti-Austrian party never lost sight of the young Queen, but kept on the watch with the malicious desire to injure her through such errors as might arise from her youth and inexperience" (Campan, pg. 68).

Marie's mother was sure to add her input in the way in which the new Queen should rule. She wrote to Marie shortly after her crowning, "You are both very young, the burden is heavy; All I can say and wish is that you rush nothing: see with your own eyes, change nothing, allow everything to continue as it is; otherwise there would be insurmountable chaos and intrigues, and you, my dear child, would be so confused that you could never manage" (qtd in Antoinette and Bernier, 137). Marie seemed to ignore the advice to let everything continue as it was, for once she became Queen, she no longer allowed the custom of letting the public be a part of their everyday lives, but instead lived more privately. She spent most of her time in the Petit Trianon, a domain given to her by her husband a few days after he became King. It was reserved for Marie and her choice of friends as a private place to escape from royal responsibilities. As her mother had predicted, the change to Marie's constant presence at the Trianon produced outrageous rumors of scandalous and perverse actions that took place there, allowing the media of the time to portray Marie as a promiscuous, disgusting woman. The truth is Marie Antoinette was a very virtuous woman, even Emperor Joseph considered it a "strict virtue", although those who didn't know her were convinced otherwise. Madame Campan called her personal modesty "extreme". In 1778, the public loved her for the character she portrayed in public but by 1780, she was the most hated woman in France.

Marie Antoinette never understood that her seemingly innocent actions and lack of propriety would cause the public to despise her. Her overall presence in society, the money she spent, and the effect she had on the government counted heavily in the public’s opinion of her, yet she often overlooked the influence these things had on her people’s assessment of her. By the mid 1780’s, she realized just how hated she was and asked, “But what have I done to them?” She had done absolutely nothing to them and perhaps that is why the French hatred grew. The new queen had started off her reign as a shopaholic, spending less time with the public and more time on herself, most likely because she wanted to escape the insanity of Versailles. She didn’t understand that the money she spent on her extravagant tastes of diamonds, the latest styles and bouffant hairdos affected the people of France. Her mother warned her by saying, “You lead a dissipated life. I hope I shall not live to see the disaster that is likely to ensue.” (Covington).

I actually have this picture blown up in a huge frame in my room.

Restricted to the luxurious life of Versailles, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were unaware of the turmoil that their country was experiencing. After a failed harvest, the price of grain was outrageous and the people of France had grown riotous, marching through the streets of Paris demanding a lowered price of bread. Bread was so expensive, fifty percent of French families income was spent on it. Only knowing that the country hated them and they wanted to regain popularity, portraits were made of the Queen surrounded by the children the royal couple was finally able to have. When the public saw the expensive clothing the family wore, the royal’s plan backfired. Pamphleteers and cartoonists began labeling Marie as “Madame Deficit”, the woman who caused the poverty of France.

After finally being informed the extent in which her country was so horribly failing, Marie cut back on her expenses, wore subdued, simple clothing, and took an interest in politics. She simply grew up. Yet the most permanent and desecrating phrase was attributed to her at this time: “Let them eat cake.” This phrase had been accredited to many royals before her, starting with the Spanish Princess who married Louis XIV--a hundred years before Marie even arrived in France. Still, this phrase even today is used to describe the ultimate character of Marie Antoinette. Whatever Marie's faults, she most certainly was not coldhearted enough to tell her subjects to eat cake when learning that they had no bread. The gracious queen would have been more likely to give her own cake to the starving people had she been given the chance.

Marie Antoinette did everything in her power from that point on to make whatever small difference she could make. She attended benefits for charity, tended to several peasants and gave them shelter and education, as well as used every given chance to get the King to do his duty. She even persuaded Louis to release all the bread at Versailles to Paris. She had no real power to create change, but used every pathway to try and do so, for she was held accountable for it (Pfau). "She was so happy at doing good and hated to miss any opportunity of doing so." wrote Madame Campan, a woman who held insight in the true character of Marie. "This unfortunate Princess, against whom the opinions of the French people were at length so much excited, possessed qualities which deserved to obtain the greatest popularity." (Campan, page 86). Marie began to spend less time and money over herself and more with with her children and family.

Motivated by the victory the United States had received in independence, the French people grew violent and demanding in their want for the monarchy to be overthrown. Marie and her family would soon be taken prisoners to their country, and, charged for mistakes they did not necessarily make, would be killed at the guillotine. Before these events would take place, Marie expressed her lovely character one last moment before the public. A crowd of thousands came one night to Versailles, prepared to breach the palace. 

The Queen was hurried to the King's bedroom when the rioters had arrived, where all of the people surrounding her stood crying in fear. Marie did not break, but consoled and supported those around her. Her husband walked out to a balcony overlooking the crowd and was quickly taken back in when the crowd demanded for the queen. Marie was advised to show herself to stop the commotion. "Very well," answered the Queen, "If I have to go to my execution, I shall not hesitate; I will go" (Perry). Marie approached the crowd in humility, looking pale and unkempt in appearance at such a late hour. She came out alone, without fear and showed great composure. She stood there with a bowed head, letting the crowd shout accusations and threats as many pointed muskets at her. The crowd was finally able to see the true Marie Antoinette, not the one the media had painted her as, and shouts of "Long live the Queen!" began to flow from them- even those who wanted to kill her. This however, was not the end of her story. Shortly thereafter, those who had shouted "Long live the Queen!" took her life in the cause of the French Revolution.

Marie Antoinette's legacy has not been one that is labeled good. Anyone who knows of Marie Antoinette recalls the same “facts” that were painted about her hundreds of years ago; yet it is only a product of rumor and speculation carried throughout history. Marie was anything but insensitive or inconsiderate; she only tried her best as Queen, and failed. To be a Queen, one must learn to be a Queen. This was a phrase similar to one Marie often spoke to her foster brother Joseph Weber. He remembered her repeating on the importance of education with that statement (Fraser, 33). Marie was wrongly educated in the way to correctly rule such a heinous country. It is thought that maybe Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were better suited to rule a smaller, less chaotic country than France. They were simply unequipped to rule a country full of pre-accumulated debt, famine, and ravaging revolutionists. Marie Antoinette therefore was not a bad Queen- she was simply a good person who fell victim to circumstance.

Michaela Beaver


Campan, Madame. The Private Life of Marie Antoinette. New York, NY:
            1500 Books, LLC, 2006. Print.
Covington, Richard. “Marie Antoinette”. Smithsonian Magazine. N.p., Nov. 2006.
            Web. 19 Mar 2013.
Fraser, Antonia. Marie Antoinette: The Journey. New York: N.A.
            Talese/Doubleday. 2001. Print.
“Marie Antoinette- A Biography.” 1999, Marie Antoinette Online, n.d.
            Web. 19 Mar 2013.
Marie, Antoinette, and Olivier Bernier. “Secrets of Marie Antoinette”. Garden City, NY:
            Doubleday, 1985. Print.
Pfau, Anna B. “The Heart of Marie Antoinette – The New Agenda.” The New Agenda. N.p.,

            31 Mar. 2010. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.
Perry, Thomas S. “Alone, Marie Antoinette Contronts the Revolutionary Mob.”
Marie Antoinette and the End of the Old Regime. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1914. 258-267. Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites RSS. 16 Mar. 2012.
            Web. 27 Mar. 2013.

“The Raucous Royals.” The Raucous Royals. Carlyn Beccia, n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2013

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring Break Trip!!!

Ocean Isle Beach

Whilst I am on Spring Break, me and my family have been staying in my Papaw's house at Ocean Isle Beach.  We came up (or down...because technically we traveled down the country...) here on Saturday and are leaving tomorrow (Thursday). It has been a lovely relaxing trip and I thought I would blog about it! :)

Sunday morning we woke up early enough to see the sun rise, but alas, it was too cloudy to actually see the sun rise... But as a family we had our own little Easter service giving thanks that Jesus would die for us... It was very nice huddled as a family in the freezing cold listening to the waves crash and thinking of His sacrifice.... We prayed together and afterwards both Mom and I were bawling (we're softies like that haha).

Later that day, Mom and I decided to go out and sit on the beach. It was a bit too cold to just sit so we decided to walk.
I tried out the ocean water just for funsies and let me tell you-- my legs pretty much went numb. To regain feeling, I ran about like a crazy person for a bit. Mom and I walked the length of the beach to the pier and, noticing that it was getting chillier, decided to turn around.
Well, the wind that day was FEROCIOUS. And turning around began a battle with the wind that would surely kill us *insert dramatic music here*.
I was also wearing little shorts and a very light long sleeve tshirt so I was FREEZING and my very pale winter legs quickly became bright red! haha
Needless to say, as soon as we got back to our chairs, we packed up and left the windy beach.

Monday was supposed to be our day on the beach because they were calling on good weather.... well... that didn't really happen. My brother also managed to get himself sick so he stayed in the house throughout the day.
I, however, wanted very much to get out of the house, so my parents and I went on a little golf-cart trip.
We took this little road on the island that led to this really cool swampy place that had boardwalks going everywhere on it.
Dad went ahead of Mom and I. We were taking our time through the boardwalks when we hear him running and he runs up to us and is yelling, "I just saw an alligator and it was coming towards me!" blablabla yada yada... And Mom and I were kind of stunned and curious, "Where!? Where?!" because an alligator in a swampy place such as this was pretty believable.
Of course, this was Dad's April Fools joke. April Fools indeed.
Dad walking across swampiness. Of course my finger would get stuck in the picture.

There is a little fishing dock on the intracoastal waterway that we always like to visit while on Ocean Isle. Its just really peaceful and pretty through here and there is normally less hubbub than the normal areas.

The very sad thing about Ocean Isle is that the island is LITERALLY falling apart. We went to the end of the island to see how much had fell off since the last we had been here (which was in late November, so not that long ago). The island had definitely lost some more.
A lot of houses on the end of the island pretty much got taken away by the sea, or torn down so that wouldn't have to happen.  They had tried to slow down the deterioration of the end of the island by putting up these giant sacks stacked up.  The ocean is still beating against them though, so I really don't think they're going to last as long as hoped.
Even though its sad... its very cool to look at haha
This house is sure to be eaten by the ocean pretty soon.

Monday night we ate at Chili's! I had this veryyyy yummy dish of Tilapia, rice and black beans. It had a very Caribbean flare to me- the tilapia had a mango vinaigrette and avocados and mango diced on top. It was DELICIOSO!

Tuesday, we went to Myrtle Beach for some shopping!
We tried out the Tanger Outlets, both at North Myrtle and Myrtle. I didn't really like the one at North Myrtle, but the other one had a Forever 21 and I FINALLY got a few mint things from there :D

I got these little comfy mint shorts from Forever 21.

LOVE this dress! Its flowy and polka-dotty and minty and AHHH LOVE IT <3

Buuuuuut, I also got one non-mint thing :D

This denim polka dot vest is SO CUTE <3

All this stuff is gonna be great for Spring and Summer! :)

We ended our shopping day at TGI Fridays and I had Hibachi Skewers which were AMAZINGGGG... and it came with Jasmine rice (my absolute favorite rice ever) and grilled pita. Sadly, I didn't get a picture of it.. because I'm lame haha

Today is Wednesday and so far, Ive just watched a bunch of Vlogs and typed this Blog and ate breakfast.

Happy Spring to all! :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

First experience with The Body Shop

First experience with The Body Shop

I have heard people RAVING about the Body Shop, mostly about their Strawberry Body Butter.
So I went to the Body Shop to buy said body butter. 

And then I smelled Satsuma Clementine.

Holy poo this stuff is amazing.  It smells SO incredibly good, sometimes I just stick my nose in my body butter container and inhale. 

At the store, I couldn't decide what products I wanted to get, so I ended up getting a kit of the body polish, shower gel, and body butter.  

LOVE these products---
The body polish is really just a shower gel with an exfoliant.  The smell of this is a little bit different than the other Satsuma products- its just a little more bitter but it smells more authentic.  Showering with it is like bathing in clementines. You want to eat it.

Same goes for the body butter. Its super hydrating and makes you want to eat your skin.

I will DEFINITELY be trying other Body Shop products.
So far, I'm impressed.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

My first go at blogging...

So, here is my first go at blogging.  I have a huge love for writing, but over the years I've slacked on the amount of writing I actually do.  I blame it on high school- the Intro, Body, Conclusion set-up takes away all of one's creativity, I believe.  Of course, its hard to get creative on topics like "Explain the importance of Principals in the school system" and other crap like that.  Hey, I love Principals, they're great (most of the time) but I'm pretty sure everyone else in America knows their importance too...


I spent a total of ten minutes trying to think of a title for this.  One site I read said "add -ista to something you like and there you go" so, I thought, "Hey! I like different cultures!" and decided to add a bit to that with the whole "lookin' for a new perspective" thing. Because Culturista is kind of weird on its own.  Also, does it look like I'm into Cults or something? Thats a fear of mine....

I am definitely not into Cults unless you consider my undying love for all things French a Cult.
I have a huge obsession with Marie Antoinette. She's kind of all over the walls in my room, no joke.  I have this HUGE portrait of her above my desk that I cherish.
In case any of you don't know who Marie Antoinette is, she was the queen of France in the late 1700's.  She had a great life of luxury whilst everyone else in France lived terribly.  Eventually they had her head chopped off. I am convinced that Marie Antoinette was actually a great person that just got thrown into the hierarchy at the wrong time.  Heck, if I were sent to France to be queen at 14, I'd probably act a little spoiled too.  It was the way- she didn't have any other choice.

There's your opinionated history lesson of the day. :)

I have big dreams to travel.  I think my next blog will be my current Top 10 Bucket-List so you can see just how big those dreams are.

I am also a Christian. I'm not "religious"- I don't believe in Religion.  I believe solely on a relationship with Jesus Christ.  A lot of people tend to not think about Jesus because they associate Him with Religion and I would love to open the eyes of people to see that Jesus also hated Religion- He loved truth.  I believe in the fact that everyone has a choice. The great thing about God is that He did allow us to choose what we do with our lives or who we follow.  I can honestly say, my life would be nothing without Christ in it.  I feel like I am empty when I leave Him out of something and can't imagine life without Him.

As you can see in the title of this, I like finding a new perspective.  Honestly, I hadn't really understood the importance of perspective until this year.  I find that whenever my life is in a slump, finding a new perspective renews me.  I find it in the Bible, in teachings, in movies, in books, in people, in prayer, in sunlight, in differences, in food...
Culture also allows one to see different perspectives.  There is such a variety of the way people live and see and do things.  I love watching the movie Eat Pray Love.  The first time I watched it, I was so envious of the main character.  She got to see and live and experience so many different things- just to change her perspective of life.
I feel like that is an important thing for me to do, especially being an American.  Our American lifestyle is so.... unsatisfying compared to a lot of cultures.  We are always on the go, looking for something to fill the void of our lives.
For me, I try to fill the void with Christ.
But I'm also human, and follow the American way.
I am hoping that my life is full of love, new people, and new places- a new experience every day.

So, as I have learned in Eat Pray Love,

Let's cross over.