Author: smilingldsgirl

I am 38, single, living in Draper, Utah. I got my dream job working in digital marketing last year and love all things social media. I have been blogging for 10 years and love writing, reading, movies, swimming and subscription boxes. Recently I was made an official movie critic with Rottentomatoes.com. My faith is my whole life but I love interacting with people of all faiths and cultures.

‘Victoria’ Season 3 Review

If you follow me on social media you know I am much more of a movie person than TV. I prefer the brevity of a movie with 2 hours of a story and then I’m done and can move on with my life. So if I stick with a television show for an entire season it is pretty compelling. If I watch it for multiple seasons than you know I love it. Well, I just finished season 3 of the PBS show Victoria, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Victoria consists of 8 episodes each season and tells the story of Queen Victoria beginning when she assumes rule at 18 in 1838 and her marriage with Prince Albert in 1840. Victoria and Albert were a real love match and had 9 children together.

The show does such a good job capturing the highs and lows of a marriage. Jenna Coleman is fantastic as Victoria and she has such chemistry with Tom Hughes as Albert. She is a strong woman obviously as the queen but he is not without his own source of strength. They feed off each other so well and it feels like they are actually married!

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Season 3 starts in 1848 and Victoria is facing a time of upheaval with a group called  the Chartists that are seeking better conditions for the working class.Victoria, believing they are a work of peaceful protest wants them to be able to deliver their charter while Lord Palmerston  (Laurence Fox) and others are against it. Members of Victoria’s own staff become involved when her handmaid Nancy (Nell Hudson) becomes engaged and then married to the cook Mr Francatelli (Ferdinand Kingsley). I also really enjoyed Abigail Turner as a castle employee (not sure what her role is) who is both intrigued and disappointed by the revolutionaries.

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The dreaded cholera comes into play and Prince Albert is very involved with a hotheaded scientist and inventor Henry Cole (David Newman). The Irish famine is ending and people are journeying to America. We get a little elicit side romance between Duchess Sophie (Lily Travers) and a footman (David Burnett).

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Finally there is lots of debate and conflict over how Albert and Victoria are going to raise their children and what their various roles mean. Albert becomes in charge of the Great Exhibition of 1851. This is all very compelling, well acted, directed and of course costumed! It’s delicious programming!

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The only part that didn’t work for me is a plot thread involving Victoria’s half sister Feodora (Kate Fleetwood). I know she is supposed to be selfish and devious but I found her character more annoying than a satisfying adversary. It just didn’t work for me and I found myself looking away whenever it got back to her story.

Other than that it was 8 episodes of great programming! I highly recommend it. It’s a rare show that has kept up its quality through 3 seasons. We will see if it can do 4 after what happens in the finale. A lot of the credit goes to writer and creator Daisy Goodwin who has read Victoria’s diaries and seems to have a real admiration and love for her. Jenna Coleman naturally deserves the other half of the credit. She’s remarkable in the role and deserves all the emmys if you asked me!

Have you gotten to see Victoria Season 3? What did you think of it? Let’s talk in the comments section.

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The Experience of Being Hated (‘Shazam’, ‘Dumbo’ and More) — Rachel’s Reviews

Hey guys! As many of you know who follow my channel or other social media, I’ve had quite the last week! It’s ironic because at the beginning of March I wrote a piece on my other blog chronicling my life experience becoming a film critic. It had always been a dream of mine and it […]

via The Experience of Being Hated (‘Shazam’, ‘Dumbo’ and More) — Rachel’s Reviews

Thoughts on Earthquakes and Mission Phone Call Changes

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So I had a crazy experience this morning! I was working on various projects because I can’t sleep well these days and all of the sudden my bed was moving back and forth like it was on a vibrator setting. I thought perhaps on the slats had fallen out and needed to be replaced or something like that. I then looked around and realized it was an earthquake!!! The first was 3.2 and the second 3.8, which might not sound like much to you earthquake pros but it certainly jolted me out of bed!

I have never experienced anything like that before. It was so surreal and strange to feel my house rumbling around. It certainly hurt any chances I had at a normal nice evening of sleep because I got so excited by it. Evidently the epicenter was in Bluffdale, which is just a few minutes from where I live in Draper. Fortunately it was a small earthquake and no damage was reported but it sure got my attention.

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In other totally random news my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, announced a change in mission rules which will allow missionaries to call, text their families on a weekly basis. This may seem like a small thing for non-members of the church but for those of us who served a mission it is huge!

Previous to today missionaries were allowed 2 phone calls a year- one on Christmas and one on Mothers Day.  As an obedient missionary I used to dread the calls because it was a lot of pressure to talk to everyone and keep the phone call to an approved amount of time. One Christmas my companion Sister Hathaway didn’t even make her call it was so stressful.

That said, I think weekly contact with my family, particularly my parents, would have done me a world of good. One of the hardest parts of serving my mission was how lonely I constantly felt. This may seem crazy given I was constantly with my companions 24/7 but sometimes it’s tough to communicate with a companion and they struggled to understand my point of view. The only place I had to vent to was in my journals and monthly letters to my mission president. (You can’t talk to the members about your struggles because you are there to support them not the other way around).

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Being lonely also exacerbated any issues I had with my companion and just made the whole situation more difficult. Plus, I was always exhausted all the time (not an exaggeration). If I could have had a moment to talk to my Mom and Dad to get some encouragement it would have helped me a lot.

I can’t help but wonder what my mission presidents are thinking about this. Particularly my first mission president hated the bi-annual phone calls as he felt they were very distracting for the young men who often got to talk to their girlfriends they left behind. I remember he had the elders call the next day to check and see if we had stayed within our allotted time for calls and gave a firm talking to us if we were over. It was pretty intense!

The change makes a lot of sense when you consider most elders are now 18 years old. Dropping all contact with family is quite the ask at that age, and I’m thrilled they are changing this rule. I think for most missionaries it will be a net positive for their mental health, happiness and ability to serve.

What do you guys think about either of these topics? Have you been in an earthquake, even a small earthquake? What do you think of these missionary changes? Let me know in the comments section Thanks!