How Distracted Do You Get?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mental workout =  ignoring distraction.

 I know I am easily distracted. Especially by the Internet and my phone. In fact, I've really been trying the past few weeks to not be online as much and improve on getting things done. And friends, is it hard... It's HARD not clicking on favorite links + resisting the lure of the Internet! Sometimes I think I need to unplug the modem or turn my phone off!

So, I'm getting myself out of the house, away from the computer, out in the fresh air. I've got pen and notebook in hand and I'm going to make myself write...because I know myself and it's too easy to open up an internet tab on the desktop while I'm typing away on Microsoft Word. Even got the timer on my phone on!

Want to join me? Pick one thing that you need + want to get done (but have gotten distracted from) and do it!

Let's get it done by July 1st. (Yes, that's the day after tomorrow. You and I both know we can get it done - we're just horrible at procrastination!)

Ready, set....go!

An Award + Some Blog Love

Hello, hello!

 The lovely Paula over at The Culture Enthusiast was sweet enough to award me the Versatile Blogger Award - thank you, Paula!

 The rules are simple enough:

  • Add the award to your blog + post about it
  • Thank the bloggy award gifter (danke again, Paula!)
  • List the rules
  • List 7 random facts about yourself
  • Award 15 other blogger + comment on their blogs to let them know
Here we go!

1. I'm a hummus addict. I can take a 25 oz. container down. If it lasts more than three days, that's a miracle.

2. I think I've worn out five pairs of yoga pants in the last two years. I love them and wear each pair until it falls apart.

Then I weep for sorrow + buy a new pair.

I may finally have to break down and shell out the big bucks for a Lulu pair.

3. I make a To-Do list. Every. Single. Day.

4. I have a slight nut butter obsession.


*cough* Just a smidgen.

(Side note---> I LOATHED pb throughout my childhood + teen years until Jenna got me hooked on almond butter on top of oatmeal...and zee rest is nut butter history.)

5.  97.99% of the time, my hair is pulled back in a half bun-ponytail.

It's fast (takes 30 seconds), furious, and out of my face. I pull it back, twist, and go. On special occasions, I'll actually do something with my hair. ;) The other times it hangs loose and wavy.

6. I'm a Zumba instructor. 

Which basically means I get paid to party! ;)

 I love teaching Zumba - it truly is like no other exercise I've ever tried. A Latin dance-inspired fitness class with a party atmosphere, lots of cheering and yelling, pumpin' music, attitude-filled moves that leaves you drenched with sweat and a huge smile on your face? Yes, please. 

7.   I may or may not have a frozen yogurt addiction....


Now for the bloggers! I tag...

Ms. Charlotte at Waltzing Matilda - A Texan homeschooling Catholic mom, she posts about the liturgical treats and recipes she whips up for feast days, books, her adorable family, and beautiful cakes. 

Jenna of Eat Live Run - I love Jenna's blog! It was the very first "real" blog I ever read outside of a online magazine blog (Self's Eat Like Me). She had just moved to California + posted about wine, cookies, yoga, and almond butter. She still does, but her blog is now mainly about recipes - with plenty of stories and cute tidbits about her life. Goal: meet + cook with her someday!

Mama Pea at Peas and Thank You - She's a hilarious vegan mama raising her kids vegetarian...with plenty of peas AND cookies. She posts fabulous, healthy recipes, wry sarcastic wisecracks, anecdotes about her family, and about her faith. 

Clare who blogs over at Come Further Up - She's a beautiful soul. That's really all you need to know. :) Not only is she one of the sweetest girls I "know", she's also the leading force (and founder) of The Catholic Young Woman, a blog for encouragement + fellowship among Catholic girls. I'm so blessed to know her and call her my adopted "older sister."

Ms. Brenda who writes about her favorite (and some of mine too) things: Coffee, Tea, Books, and Me - she is my adopted bloggy grandmother and I adore her. I found her blog years ago and fell in love with her cozy posts about good books, living a simple life of beauty and contentment, baking, and thrift shopping. We also share a love for Starbucks and their holiday lattes. <3

Maggie of Gussy Sews!  - found her through #SheReadsTruth. She's adorable, joyful, makes me smile, and writes straight from her lovely heart. She also makes the cutest bags/totes/purses/wallets!

Elizabeth or Elenatintil, as she's known online - Director, seamstress, writer, film +book critic, artist, and loving heart. She's all of them and more! Her blog is a staggeringly impressive collection of her passions and hobbies. Talented? Indubitably.

Kacia at CoconutRobot - She's really sweet. A beautiful daughter of Christ. Has white blonde hair that makes me want to go bleach mine. Eloquent writer. Mom to a cuuuute little girl. Co-founded #SheReadsTruth!

The lovely Ms. Sarah of Amongst Lovely Things - I recently discovered her beautiful blog about her precious kiddos, gorgeous yet everyday photography, Catholicism, homeschooling, and her love for parentheses. I love, love, LOVE her blog! And I may or may not want to offer to go bake gluten free goodies for them and rock her little Posy in my arms. (I cook and clean, Ms. Sarah - just sayin' ;) )

The mommy behind Naptime Diaries (and also #SheReadsTruth), Ms. Jessi - She's real, honest, writes from her heart about God and her family, has the most adorable smile and crazy-in-a-cool-way hair. I'm a fan!

 Cajun Cottage Under the Oaks - My fairy (read: real life) godmother/sweet friend/mentor/second mother, Ms. Cay. Her posts never fail to move me - she's such a wonderful writer who sees the beauty in everyday life. She writes about the Cajun life and mothering five kids. Love her.

Ms. Jessica {Yes, I read lots of Catholic/Christian homeschooling mommy blogs and love them :)} writes Under a Shower of Roses - this lady is really something. She posts about her baby, some insanely cute + creative litergitcal feast day treats, and her 7 chitlins. Oh, and she's extremely sweet!

Liz over at Sunny Side Up! I met her through The Catholic Young Woman and am so fervantly glad for  the blessing of knowing her. She's perfectly sweet, funny, writes with a lovely grace that is also down-to-earth-real. She's a kindred spirit - and I hope we can meet one day! What a long chat-and-giggle-fest  we'll have. :)

And lastly, the Clarkson gals. Sally (I Take Joy), her oldest daughter Sarah (Thoroughly Alive) and her youngest Joy (Joyness the Brave). These three beautiful women impart such grace and truth; my soul is always refreshed by a visit to their blogs and by their lovely words. 

Pffff....whew. That was a long post. Kudos if you're still reading!



(New post on my food blog, Graceful Eats!)

Modest Monday Week 4: Summertime is Here

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hey, guys!

It's the start of the week...another Monday, which makes today Modest Monday!

 (Yes, I'm oozing good cheer and pep right now ;)

Welcome to Modest Mondays! If you're just joining us (or are a new reader), here's the original post. I'll simply be posting a modest, stylish outfit each Monday along with some thoughts on modesty. 

Why? Because I believe you don't have to sacrifice fashion for purity. 
 Modesty does not = frumpy. 
These are outfits I really, truly wear in my day-to-day life. I'm a girl determined to live a life of purity, modesty, and plenty of style.

A lovely surprise today: Bernadette Savage, a friend of mine and a faaaabulous photographer, offered to take the pictures for MM. 

(Credit: Cameron Durham)

She did a wonderful job - thank you, Bernadette! Check out her blog and her Facebook page here for more gorgeous photography.

All photos: Bernadette Marie Photography

Y'all. Maybe you're not in the South wherever you're reading from right now, or maybe it's cool and breezy in your neck of the woods. Or maybe you're incredibly fortunate and live somewhere rainy and overcast like Seattle (can I come live with you? I'll cook dinner + bake cookies for you!).

 In any case, down here in the South - in the oh-so-lovely-and-unbelievably-humid-Louisiana -

it's hot.

Summer is officially here. Weather-wise, that is. I felt like summer began back in May, around all those graduations (like right after mine), but the heat is setting in, and it's only June. 


 With the scorching rays, ever-present trickles of sweat, and lack of wind that comes with summer, it's all too tempting to lounge around in shorts and tank tops. It's all too easy for modesty to be flung out the window when the temperature rises...or to think, "It's too hot to wear a skirt or make sure I'm properly covered. I can be modest later on, when it's not so uncomfortable."

But as I can honestly testify, you can still dress modestly without dying of heat stroke. (Yes, I promise; I'm not just sayin' it to say it.)

Today's outfit screams Summer! One of my goals this year was to wear more color

I think it's safe to say I'm making headway on that one.

Dress: Cato
Camisole: Gap (I stock up when they have a sale and found this camisole: it's sleek + high quality)
Cardigan: thrift store
Belt: Cato
Cherry vintage heels: thrift store {I absolutely love these to death and scored them for maybe $2}
Beaded Marian bracelet, St. Joseph's medal, and Cross: I'll probably only mention these once, because I wear my medal and Cross every day and usually wear the bracelet. 
Purse: T.J. Maxx

(Pssss. Confession: this outfit is actually almost entirely my little sister's. I borrowed the dress, belt, and purse from her. She happens to have some veddy cute clothes. I will take full credit for putting together the outfit though!)

When in doubt, put a belt on it. 

I love chunky belts even though it's generally a no-no if you're petite (which I am).

To which I say...some rules are merely guidelines. ;)

The shoes....let's just have a moment of silence for the shoes, y'all. 


Love this purse! It's a mixture between dark coral and watermelon in the best possible way, and slings over my shoulder like a breeze. Every time I use it, I realize I need to stop lugging the entire contents of my bedroom around in my purse. Light and simplified is the way to go, says my shoulder.

Think pink!

Fuchsia is the perfect summer color for nails. (I almost didn't go through with the color choice, but so glad I did.)

It was extremely hot when we shot these pics, but thankfully I didn't shrivel up and die (although I did vow to never, ever live in Florida or somewhere tropical). I thought'd I share some of my favorite tips on how not to die of heat stroke while dressing modestly!

Tips to Beat the Summer Heat Modestly

  • Wear Bright Colors

So many people step out into the sun, dressed in black (Don't worry, I'm guilty of this too). Bad idea.  
Black = giant hole that sucks up heat. 
Call it crazy, but that's how it is. Any dark colors are going to soak up the sunlight and heat, so bright, vivid colors like coral, orange, aqua, white, green, yellow, or pink are your best bet. That's why they're known as tropical colors because people who live in those areas know to wear bright colors. 

So, black - no more! 

  • Think Thin, Multiple Layers

 I've always found that I'm actually cooler when I'm more covered/wearing layers. A friend asked me, "Aren't you hot?" as she looked at my outfit which consisted of three layers: camisole, dress, and short-sleeved cardigan. But I wasn't, so I shook my head with a smile. 

 Not wanting to go sleeveless but far too hot to wear a quarter inch sleeve? My favorite trick is to wear a strapless or spaghetti strap top with a short sleeved cardigan unbuttoned over it. If I need to, I'll add a camisole, like above. Because the top of the dress is a thread pattern, I wore something underneath.

  • Cotton is Your Friend
I read once that cotton is the best fabric to wear in the heat because it wicks away sweat and the natural oils from your skin. That seems to be the case; anything that's synthetic is going to cling more, especially when it's hot. 

  • Skirts and Dresses = Cool, Refreshing Ease

I love wearing skirts in the summer because they simply are more cooler than pants or shorts. You 're not squeezed in hot, constricting fabric (jeans are the worst during summer!). Skirts, by virtue of being swingy and made of lighter material, are breezy and cool. Dresses tend to be like this also. I was much more comfortable in these pictures in my dress then if I'd been in pants or leggings. 

 Also, the more skin you show, the more sun will be directed to it...ergo, you're be hotter! And end up with an  interesting tan. 

And no one wants that.

Your turn! Show me your Modest Monday (or Tuesday/Wednesday). Since this post went up so late, I'll be leaving the link-ins open until then. 

Don't have a blog?
 Email (
 Instagram (raewyn83) 

or Tweet (GracefulEats) 
me a pic of your outfit if you'd like to see it featured on the blog!

{If you missed them, here's Week 1, 2, and 3 of Modest Monday}

Fear Not! Modest Monday Post Forthcoming

Hey, y'all! Just throwing up a quick post to let you know the Modest Monday post will be up in just a bit...with a lovely surprise photography-wise.

 All good things come to those who wait. ;)

 Thanks for being patient!

A Stirring in My Heart

Saturday, June 23, 2012


God's been moving me. 

Stirring my heart.

Drawing me closer to Him. 

Opening my eyes to some amazing TRUTHS.

I want to shout it from my roof. I want throw out my arms and sing for pure, sheer, unadulterated joy. 

My God is an amazing one. He is not one of fear....and girls, oh, girls...He's got this!

What "This"?? Our lives, our path, our worries, our hopes, our dreams. He's in control - He's got our back. 


All my fears, my "what ifs", my "I'm-not-good-enoughs", my "I-can'ts", my doubts....


 My God - our God - wants us to stand tall. 

Dream BIG.

Take that jump.

And trust Him.

Girls, what are you holding on to? What fear is making you sick, feel inadequate, keeping you stuck, or holding you down? 

Today, I'm stopping. I'm letting go of the fears that paralyze me. I'm DONE with fear. With second-guessing myself. With telling myself that others are better, more talented, smarter, kinder, or more worthy than me. 


I. Am. Worthy. I am God's own child - He wants to give me the world! He wants me to be one with Him! He wants ME. 

He chose ME. 

So why am I letting fear rule my life?

Why am I holding back?

It's time for me to jump and trust Him. It's time for me to tell Him all the big, crazy dreams I have - and release them to Him. 

Modest Monday: It's Raining Sunshine and Roses!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Welcome to Modest Mondays! If you're just joining us (or are a new reader), here's the original post. I'll simply be posting a modest, stylish outfit each Monday along with some thoughts on modesty. 

Why? Because I believe you don't have to sacrifice fashion for purity. 
 Modesty does not = frumpy. 
These are outfits I really, truly wear in my day-to-day life. I'm a girl determined to live a life of purity, modesty, and plenty of style.

Happy Modest Monday, girlies! It's quite rainy over I wanted to wear something bright and colorful.

Think pink, think bright, think fun, think girly!

 I'm all for adding a pop of color to grey, dreary days.

Today's outfit inspiration came from this picture on Pinterest.


  I loved all the different colors going on, and decided to put my own spin on it. After digging around in my closet (and my little sister's), this is what I came up with.

Fuchsia shirt: Gap
Floral print skirt: thrifted
Gold scarf: Wal-Mart
Black leggings: thrifted
Leather boots: gift from a relative
Marian beaded bracelet: gift from a friend

 I built my outfit around this adorable rose-and-flowers skirt from my youngest sister's closet.

 My mom found it at a thrift store (we are HUGE thrift store shoppers in our family; probably 85-90% of my wardrobe comes from thrift stores!). I've seen short skirts and dresses like this over the last year or two: a cute, light floral print with a dark elastic waist. It seemed a little trendy, so I was never a huge fan of them, but I really love this one.
Most girls wear them as is - which is very short. I'm never a fan of short skirts...they usually end up looking immodest no matter how conservative you dress, tend to invite the eye to keep going up, and are just terribly impractical. Not only do you constantly have to worry about it inching too high or tugging it down when you're seated, it's just an accident waiting to happen if there's a breeze!

  My favorite way to wear them? Paired with leggings. You have more freedom to move without the restrictions of longer, full skirts, but it's a cute, fun way to wear a skirt. I paired mine with simple black leggings that were perfect for this rainy day. I stayed warm, dry, but still got to wear a very thin summery skirt.

 And of course, if you wear leggings, the best shoes are.....

Boots! Another rainy day love of mine. Fall and winter tend to be more boot-weather, but I'm always delighted when we get an occasional cool, wet spell down here in the humid South.  I absolutely love these boots, which were a graduation gift from my aunt in Texas (bueno, Aunt Judi!). These were hers and have a great classic cut, gorgeous color, and perfect fit. Love my little bit of cowboy-ness from home!

I decided to tie in the yellow from the roses in the skirt with one of my many scarves. I have a little collection that's amassed over the years from Christmases and birthdays...most are inexpensive scarves from Wal-Mart or chain clothing stores - nothing cashmere here! ;) Scarves are one of my favorite accessories because you can do so much with them, they don't break the bank, and they can suit any season or look.  
 I had a scarf the same color as my shirt, but I really wanted a pop of different colors, so I went with the gold.

 And because it was a rainy day, because I wanted to add even MORE color, and because red is always the answer, I brought out the red lipstick. 


Whyyyyyyy do I not wear red lipstick (or lipstick in general, for that matter) more often?? It was so, so fun. I instantly felt like I could take on the world, fabulous from head to toe, and irrevocably tre chic.  

On my wrist is another graduation gift from a family friend: a beaded bracelet with images of Mary, the Saints, and Jesus on it. It's very lightweight and durable, so it doesn't clatter annoyingly or weigh my arm down. I love that I can just look down at the little reminder of Our Lady. It's a nice way to constantly think of her.

Left to right: St. Jude, Our Lady of Guadalupe. The third one, I'm not familiar with...anyone else know who it is??

Since it was raining when we were taking pictures....what do you do when it rains?

Break out your pink umbrella, of course!

(My Mary Poppins-slash-Singing in the Rain pose)

All in all, this was such a fun outfit. Definitely one of my favorites! It also felt more "put-together" and styled than most of my usual outfits, but I'm glad I went for it. I feel more confident about my sense of style and taking risks with it. Most importantly, the outfit was modest + comfortable.


And oh so fun. ;)

Your turn! Show me your Modest Monday (or Tuesday/Wednesday). Since this post went up so late, I'll be leaving the link ins open until then. 

Don't have a blog? Email (, Instagram (raewyn83), or Tweet (GracefulEats) me a pic of your outfit if you'd like to see it featured on the blog!

What did you wear today? What do you usually wear when it rains? Are you a jeans girl? Love curling up in a sweater or cozy cardigan?