You Know You're Best Friends When...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Best friends are wonderful things. They love you + put up with you like no one else.

I'm blessed have a beautiful, hilarious, and fierce best friend in this girl - Kilah. 

 We met as wee fourteen year-olds. It was the beginning of a grand friendship and a never-ending adventure. We acted together, went on to direct Shakespeare plays together, spent homeschool high school together, graduated together with a joint ceremony, and now attend Baylor University together.

We're best friends who share a brain in so many when we stare at our respective Facebooks and shriek:

We know the infinite and dangerous possibilities that our minds hold. 

It's been more than odd to not see her on a daily basis after going to the same college and living in the same dorm building for an entire year. I'm looking forward to seeing her so I can hug her to (almost) death, scream over Richard Armitage, and blast the Great Gastby soundtrack on repeat with her. Because it's like being without your left hand or going without your most beloved pair of shoes for three months or having to deal with the wait for Season 3 of Sherlock....

She recently turned 19, but I couldn't be with her to celebrate her birthday due to my summer classes. So I decided to put together a post as a homage to her and the gloriousness that is best friends.

23 Reasons Why I Love Her Dearly and How I Know We're Best Friends:

1. You never have to worry about the state of your room: she accepts you even if it's a dumphouse. And vice versa. 

2. You are both governed by the same rules of fashion. 

3. You can tell the difference unlike other people. 

4. You both react this way. 

5. You respect and understand each other's life decisions. 

6. You don't even have to speak in order to hold a conversation. 

7. She understands you not only when you don't say anything, but also when you don't say anything that makes sense. 

8. You agree on the fundamental principles of life. 

9. Either of you threatens to kill/permanently maim in some way any guy who breaks the other's heart, makes her cry, or is an idiot that can't see how much she likes him. 

But you can both spell the word "wrath" correctly

10. She knows things your future husband will never know about. Which means she could produce more blackmail than the CIA, but she would never stoop to such levels. 

11. All the silly times you've had together making random people stare become your favorite memories to look back on. 

12. You're both weird, but you don't care because that's exactly why you love her. Even if you're decidedly different (she's fair, average height, wears jeans, Protestant - I'm golden, petite, wears skirts, Catholic).

13. This is the truth and nothing but the truth.

14. You firmly adhere to this belief - it was what drew you together. 

15. Even if she can't carry a tune, you love singing with her at the top of your lungs in the car or in parking lots. 

16. These are your unspokenly-mutual life mantras.

17. Word. 

18. You've done this for each other more times than you can count (except she hates coffee so you bring her chocolate drinks instead)

20. You are family. 

21. No matter what happens, you both know you can show up in tears or with a hilarious story and the other will always be there.

22. And loving each other in all their stupidity. 

23. You don't have to ask and you never will have to; you both know. 

Modest Monday + Catholic Apolos Article

Monday, July 29, 2013

Happy Monday, friends! Hope your day is going well...I'm finished with my summer classes, so now I have a chance to relax for a bit and catch up on some writing work and photography.

 I also have some exciting news - I'm honored to be featured in an online Catholic magazine called Catholic Apolos, not once (I'm mentioned on page 12), but twice! You can find my article on modesty and some of my favorite modest outfits from the blog here.

A huge thank you to Michelle who helms the blog and magazine for allowing me to write for Catholic Apolos! If you haven't yet, I suggest you check it's a wonderful resource for tips and information about the Catholic faith with everything from modesty to saints to how to lead a healthy prayer life.

 Just joining the Modest Monday party? Here's the original post. Each Monday, I post a modest, stylish outfit. 

Why? Because I believe you don't have to sacrifice fashion and style for purity. 
 Modesty does not equal frumpy. This is my way of showing that modesty can be fashionable and pretty. I'm a girl determined to live a life of 
and plenty of style. 


It's Monday, which means the start of a new week...and if you're like me, you just want to take it easy. This is one of my favorite types of outfits (read: little to no effort), but still stylish and comfortable. 

Cardigan// thrifted
Camisole// thrifted
Heels// thrifted
Skirt// thrifted
Belt// gift from a friend
Bangles// Forever 21 and gift

As you can see, most of my entire outfit is from a thrift store - I love telling people the true statement that 90% of my wardrobe is from thrift stores when I get a compliment on my outfit. Fashion doesn't have to be outrageously expensive!

I love pairing deep rich colors with metallic like this swingy TARDIS blue cardigan with gold bangles and a knotted belt - sometimes a touch of gold is all you need to accessorize an outfit. I love this top because it is ridiculously soft and flowing. And it has pockets.

I recently redyed my hair red with henna (a natural, plant-based dye). I decided not to let it sit as long as I did last time, which resulted in a dark auburn reddish brown. If you're looking to go red, I highly recommend using henna! It doesn't contain any harsh chemicals or artificial ingredients, fades in a very gradual but natural-looking way, and produces a different result for everyone. All in all, it's a great way to test the redhead waters.

If I was running errands, going to lunch, or heading over to a friend's house, I'd probably wear ballerina flats (my go-to daily shoe, despite being under 5' foot). However, add a pair of heels and you're instantly ready for church, a meeting, or work if you're required to dress nicely.

And yes, I am wearing brown with black. I not-so-secretly love that color combination and refuse to listen to the fashion rule of no brown with black. Like "No white after Labor Day," I tend to view most age-old fashion rules as suggestions. Fashion is about your style - you make your own rules and set your own trends.

If we all adhered to the same guidelines when it came to color and structure, the world would be a very drab dressed place. So have fun experimenting with fashion - don't confine yourself within a box of do's and don't's!

My littlest brother, who got drafted as the official camerabag assistant, wanted to jump in on the photo action...king of the soulful gaze, right here. Clearly, we're related due to our penchant for making faces. 

As especially evident by this picture. Keeping it classy, one modest and sassy outfit at a time. 

Your turn! Show me your Modest Monday. Snap a picture of your outfit (it can be as casual or gussied up as you want) and leave the link to your blog in the comments below.

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

{Catching up on Modest Monday? Check out all the previous weeks here.}

A Letter from the Heart: What I've Learned As A 20-Year-Old

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dear lovelies, 

I'm writing this because there's a tug at my heart, an urge to urge you to be the best you can be. As hokey as that sounds. Enjoy. 

Here's some things I've learned so far at age 20:

Make art. I spent 19 years thinking I wasn't a creative person  - that I wanted to be, but I never quite succeeded. Utter rot, I tell you...go out there and show everyone (but most importantly yourself) just how creative you can be. You don't have to be the most creative person - just do the creative things that make you happy. That make you feel like you. Find what is your art, embrace it, claim it + be darn proud of it. It's amazing.

Don't be afraid of having a "define the relationship" talk with the person you like. Sometimes it's awkward, sometimes it's not. Sometimes it makes things awkward, but a lot of times, it makes things better and smooths them out. It clears the air...because let's be honest, you know, your friends know - and he even probably knows, and then when you know that he knows...sheesh. If you don't say anything, it can be awkward. And addressing an aspect of a friendship/relationship, if it's obvious to both of you, is the grown-up way to handle it. There's no reason why you can't discuss it like mature adults.

Just remember - the world will never end if you reveal your affections for someone. Even if they don't feel the same, it's good to clear the air and often helps the "getting over someone" process along. 

You will change: your interests, friendships, goals, and even mindset. And that's okay. It's part of growing and adapting and becoming your own person, part of discovering who you are as an adult. Not everything will be thrown out the window or change in a negative way...but just be open to exploring new roads and possibilities you never thought you'd consider in a million years.

Enjoy the ability to take naps. Seriously. These are the only years you'll be able to take them undisturbed by a spouse or kids. Zzzzzz.

Trust yourself. Quit thinking you're making mistakes and are going to ruin your life. You're so young. 10 years from now, when you look back, none of the things that caused you stressed or that you fretted about or cried over will still be important. You aren't a failure, so beating yourself up like one = bad idea. You wouldn't tell your best friend that, so why tell yourself? Trusting is scary, but know that you know deep down what's best for you.

If you wake up hating + dreading something, don't do it for the rest of your life. If you're unhappy where you are right now, chances are you will be as long as you stay where you are and keep doing it . If you're unhappy, make change happen. Now. You only have one life  - so don't waste it.

Which leads me to...Find what makes your heart happy and makes you bounce out of bed in the morning. Then do that as long as you can and want to (forever, even). Occupations and jobs demand a great deal - they take hard work and plenty of determination. If you're going to do something, there are going to be rough days, hair-pulling roadblocks, and stressful deadlines. On those days, it'll be your passion for what you're doing that keeps you going; it'll remind you why you're putting time and energy into it - because you love it.

For me, it's writing, blogging, and photography. I love those like nothing else. I wake up excited to write, to blog, to pick up my camera. To capture words, memories, feelings. To make people laugh, feel special, and know that they are not alone. My calling is to tell stories through words and's a calling that I love with every fiber of my being. I wish I could spend every day fulfilling it! And one day, I will. I'm working on it right now.

It'll take time and work, but that's what makes a passion worthwhile. You have to love it enough to live with it, hone it, push it, and watch it grow larger than you ever dreamed possible.