Theme 36: Holiday Season. Gift guide for Outlander fans!

Click on the item you like to be redirected to it!

Well it is this time of the year when we are all trying to find perfect gifts for our friends and family! Black Friday, Cyber Monday and pre-Christmas sales are approaching and I will definitely be sharing some extra valuable insider information and show you some of the best shopping,  deals of 2017. But most of all I want to give you more personalized gift guides that will be fun, useful and will make your holiday gift shopping a little bit more easier :)

Today I am launching my OUTLANDER FANS GIFT GUIDE that I will be updating whenever I find something beautiful or fun to add to this handpicked selection of Outlander inspired gifts, books and fashion items. I am myself a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon's book series and The Outlander TV show, so I really enjoyed putting this together, and now I am (casually) sending this list to my friends (hint! hint!).

Nollaig Chridheil, lasses! May you find Jamie Fraser under your tree among all these goodies:




Get your Claire Fraiser-esque outfit for the holiday season! I have selected the most elegant, classy and flattering plaid dresses and cozy knits for you to wear (in Scotland perhaps? ;)) or to gift someone special. Get into Outlander mood!

Sassenach gift guide. Outlander and Scotland inspired items.
Dress Like Claire Fraser from Outlander.
Outlander inspired fashion styles. Warm shawls, capes and cardigans.

Week 22: Witches of Manhattan. Best Witches in Film and TV.

Magic has been fascinating me since I was a little child. I was too impatient to wait for my parents to read to me before bedtime, so I was absorbing fairy tale books by myself from morning to dawn when I was just three years old. While other children played with dolls and teddy bears, I immersed myself in worlds of magicians, beautiful sorceresses and evil queens.

At the time, my dad had a rental VHS spot in my city, and we had access to all the latest movies. I especially vividly remember the film Willow with its lush magical world and the frightening and glorious evil Queen Bavmorda. When brainstorming my list of the most memorable witches in film and TV, I immediately thought of her, especially because people tend to forget about this movie altogether.

Year after year, my interest in witchcraft has only grown and I have discovered many new films and TV shows with enchanting white witches, Evil Sorceresses and modern day magicians, and I would like to share my favourites with you.

So, Abracadabra, witches, read my list below:

1. The Three Witches from Macbeth

Three Witches Macbeth

The Three Witches in William Shakespeare's Macbeth represent evil and darkness and tempt Macbeth with their prophecies. With the prophecy that Macbeth shall be king, they lead him to the path of his own destruction. It is incredible how with just a small appearance in the play, the ominous Three Witches and their many representations in art and film, can make your blood run cold.

Bonus: Visit Sleep No More in NYC to encounter The Three Witches! I even interacted with one of them during the show.

2. Seventh Son

Ведьмы в фильме Седьмой Сын.  Witches in Seventh Son film.

Julianne Moore is stunning as a wicked witch, Mother Malkin, in Seventh Son. The fantasy film also stars Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes and Alicia Vikander, who is growing on me with each new role she plays. Unfortunately, Seventh Son was a big flop in the box office, but I enjoyed it very much.

3. Salem

Best witches in film history.

I have just started watching this wicked show inspired by the real Salem witch trials in the 17th century. I can never say no to a period costume series, especially if it has a supernatural element!

4. Practical Magic

Best witches in Film and Tv series! 21 amazing witches

This beautiful film tells the story of the Owens sisters, who come from generations of powerful witches, and follows them on their quest fortrue love. I have watched this romantic film so many times. I love it!

Bonus: Did you know that this famous film was based on the bestselling book? Buy it here on Amazon!


5. Snow White and the Huntsman

Best witches in film history. Queen Ravenna.

Queen Ravenna is a ravishing Evil Queen and she might eat your heart. Literally.

6. Geillis Duncan in Outlander

Best witches on the screen - Geillis Duncan from Outlander. Red haired witch.

I am not going to spoil this for non-book readers, but Geillis Duncan is a wonderful, complex character in the Outlander series. Love her or hate her, she has powers and she knows how to use them.

7. Queen Bavmorda in Willow

Best Witches in films and tv.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Willow was my first favourite fantasy film, and evil Queen Bavmorda probably made an appearance in my childhood nightmares. 

8. Witches of East End

Witches of East End. TV series about witchcraft.

I was so disappointed when they cancelled Witches of East End in 2014! It was dark, sultry and gorgeous. I definitely recommend you watch this show. There are so many little details and stories that inspire me to continue writing my novel.

9. Craft

Witches on the screen. Fictional witches in history.

A 90s classic, this horror film tells the story of a group of teenage girls who practice witchcraft, and later use it to curse every one who wronged them at school. I usually despise scary films, but this one is entertaining and has just the right amount of spooky.

10. Stardust

Best magicians, witches and sorceresses in film and Tv. Stardust.

The main antagonist of Stardust, Lamia, is the most powerful witch in Stormhold. She lives hidden from the world with her sisters, Mormo and Empusa, waiting for the right moment to regain her rule over the land and obtain eternal beauty by eating the heart of a star. In the meantime, she consumes people to stay young and beautiful. What would a woman NOT DO for eternal beauty?!

11. Charmed

Best withes in film and tv series. Full list!

Let's face it, we’ve all watched at least a couple episodes of this long running show about the three Halliwell sisters who discover that they are descendants of a line of powerful witches. Each sister has a special ability: controlling time, moving objects, prophetic powers, and they can also use their powers together to fight all the demons in our world.

12. Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus Witches.

This Disney comedy is about three wicked witch sisters who are resurrected in Salem on Halloween night, and two teenagers who are the only ones who can stop them. Hocus Pocus is definitely a Halloween classic!

13. The Witches of Eastwick

Witches in America. Fictional characters with magical powers.

A great dark comedy about three dissatisfied witches, unaware of their powers, living in Eastwick, Rhode Island, whose lives change when a mysterious, rich man, Darvyl, moves to town.

14. The Chronicles of Narnia

Witches in film and TV. Best evil ice queen.

Queen Jadis cast a curse upon Narnia, that it shall be frozen and cold. The Long Winter she magically forced upon Narnia, earned her the title, the "White Witch".

15. Once Upon a Time

I am currently watching season 6 of Once Upon a Time, and to be perfectly honest, it is not as good as it could be. There were a couple of seasons I really liked, and of course I adore everything related to my favourite fairy tale characters, however sometimes it is painful to watch. Not all of the actors are great, the effects and props look cheap and the plot often annoys. But if there is one thing I love about it, is its Evil Queens!

16. Harry Potter

How could I leave witches from Harry Potter out of this list? 

17. Enchanted

Queen Narissa in Disney's feature hybrid film Enchanted is a beautiful, but cruel, vindictive, power-thirsty evil witch.

18. Red Priestesses in Game of Thrones

Carice van Houten has been on my radar since the Black Book film, and I am pleased she was cast as Melisandre in Game of Thrones. However, now I am also excited to see more of another Red Priestess, Kinvara, who debuts in the 6th season.

19. Penny Dreadful

Ben and I love watching this show together. It is eerie, grim, sinful and beautiful in its delicious blood stained darkness. From mysterious and powerful Vanessa Ives, to the evil coven of witches, whose every appearance makes my hair stand up on the back of my neck, this show has plenty of wicked beauties.

20. The Brothers Grimm

The Mirrored Queen, portrayed by gorgeous Monica Bellucci, is the Thuringian queen, treasured by all of Europe for her unbelievable beauty. Absorbed by her own reflection, the vain and selfish queen cares only about her appearance and uses black magic to gain eternal life and youth. I find her story one of the most compelling and I wish Hollywood made the whole film about the beautiful Mirrored Queen.

Week 10: Timeless Essentials. Top Books for a Modern Lady.

I have been preparing a new Theme for the blog and travelling to Park City, UT this week. But I have not forgotten about the list of books I promised to write for you. 

Here is my list of favourite books I believe every lady should read before she turns 25 (if you are over 25 and haven’t read these yet, grab your copies now!) These books are great influential reads for teenagers, but even if you are reading them for the first time as an adult, you will still enjoy them immensely and learn a few things about life.

Timeless Books for the Modern Lady:

Gone with The Wind Book Covers

1. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

How beautiful is Vivien Leigh?

How beautiful is Vivien Leigh?

The book follows the beautiful Scarlett O’Hara, the strong-willed daughter of a plantation owner in Georgia. This epic novel is set against the backdrop of the American Civil War and Reconstruction era. It takes us through Scarlett’s journey beginning as a young, spoiled, rich beauty, desperately in love with the already married, honourable Ashley Wilkes, into a strong-willed woman who not only survives the War, but rebuilds her life.

Gone with the Wind   (1939) starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable.

Gone with the Wind (1939) starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable.

The book is written from a Southern slaveholder's perspective; however today it is a reference point for writings about the South and is one of the most beloved stories in American history.

You will enjoy it if: you loved the 1939 epic film adaptation starring Vivienne Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara and Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and if you are fascinated by stories about strong women.

It will teach you: what undying willpower is and it will also educate you a little bit about the Civil War in America. 




2. Vanity Fair by William Thackeray

Books for a modern lady. Vanity Fair.

This witty page-turning novel focuses on two women: penniless, cunning, but likeable Becky Sharp and her friend Amelia Sedley, a kind, plain and wealthy young girl, who cares only about marrying her betrothed, the vain Captain George Osborne. Vanity Fair brilliantly satirises the societies of Britain in the early 19th century. It is one of my favourite novels of all time.

You will enjoy it if: you like BBC period dramas and classic English literature.

It will teach you: about British society life during the Napoleonic Wars and cunning ways for a poor woman of unknown pedigree to acquire wealth and a title in the 19th century.

3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Best The Great Gatsby Book covers.

The book that hardly needs an introduction, partially because of its well-known film adaptations, namely the 1974 version starring Robert Redford and the 2013 film featuring Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby.

Great Gatsby gif

The Great Gatsby is a short novel about a mysterious young millionaire, Jay Gatsby, and his quixotic love and obsession for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan during the exciting Jazz Age in America.

You will enjoy it if: you are intrigued by the lives of rich and fabulous in the Roaring Twenties.

It will teach you: that money cannot buy you true friends and that optimism and hope can both take you far in life, and blind you (and subsequently kill you) as well. 

4. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

One of the most internationally praised and beloved female writers, Jane Austen, has written much more than just Pride and Prejudice, which I recommend you read as well (in case you haven’t already!). 

Sense and Sensibility book cover

Sense and Sensibility may be my favourite Austen novel and it follows the fates and love lives of the two Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, who are near polar opposites of one another. Elinor Dashwood is the older sensible sister, who is quick-minded, responsible and who doesn’t give in to strong emotions, which leads others to think she is cold hearted and incapable of romantic feelings. On the other hand, Marianne is an emotional, expressive, beautiful younger sister, who is passionate and easily influenced by romantic illusions that sometimes puts the reputation of her and her family into danger. 

You will enjoy it if: you like Jane Austen’s other writings or at least enjoyed film adaptations of her novels. I recommend you watch the brilliant 1995’ adaptation of Sense and Sensibility starring an incredible British cast, including Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant.

From   Sense and Sensibility   (1995) starring Kate Winslet

From Sense and Sensibility (1995) starring Kate Winslet

It will teach you: that a perfect balance of realism and romanticism is the way to happiness and peace and how to deal with an umm… scoundrel (is there a nicer way to say it?) when he does not meet your romantic expectations.

Bonus: Check out this costume guide to the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility here




5. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough


I read The Thorn Birds when I was 17, and I have shed enough tears over it to fill the Caspian Sea. Despite the fact that I despise how weak and desperate Meggie Cleary is as a character (as opposed to my favourite literary character, strong Scarlett O’Hara), I still feel Meggie's pain and sympathise with her and her heartbreaking love story with Ralph de Bricassart. Bricassart is a local catholic priest in Australia who rises to a position in the Vatican, while keeping Meggie in his heart, even though his life is dedicated to God. Meggie in return makes Ralph the centre of her life.

You will enjoy it if: you secretly love to cry over books and films.

It will teach you: about rural Australia at the beginning of 20th-century, the life of its immigrants and the consequences of pursuing a forbidden love.


I also want to give you a list of new modern-day classics, which I highly recommend you read. I will try to write reviews for them one day, but feel free to ask me any questions or request more book recommendations on the blog's Facebook page, where I like chatting with you and discussing different topics.

New Modern-Day Classics:

Book covers. Modern classics
From the   Outlander   TV series based on  Diane Gabaldon ’s books. It’s one of my favourite books and TV shows!

From the Outlander TV series based on Diane Gabaldon’s books. It’s one of my favourite books and TV shows!

1. The Outlander series by Diane Gabaldon

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

4. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

5. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood