Real Life Wednesday

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Taking a cue from Jessica and popping in with a 'real life' here's-what-I've-been-up-to post. There have been a lamentable lack of fashion posts and a whole lot of talk about sunlight and stirrings of the soul.

The latter isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I do like to have more cheerful, "I wore pink today" posts on here too.


1. It has been FREEZING here...and I mean freezing as in "Southern-freezing" 20-degree weather. Yes, I am aware it is below negative in other parts of the country. It's still cold. But without the snow. Or at least until last week...when I realized there were small white flurries in the air. Sadly, it wasn't heavy enough to cover the ground, but there were definitely tiny sprinkles, so I broke out the rubber boots. 

Sad, Southern "snow." sigh.

2. And this was the next day - sunny, warm, and with a lovely breeze. Per my sunlight-filled posts, I've been soaking up the sunshine by studying outside on the days when it's not frigid. Sunlight + the Dario Marianelli station on Pandora = happiness. 

3. I headed up to Austin for the annual Texas Pro-Life Rally with a group of 40 college kids from our church and was so blessed to march along several hundred pro-life people. It was a beautiful day and a true testament to the power of the people. It is indeed up to us to end abortion - and we can. 

4. Also, I met a blog reader in Austin! (There is also not enough excitement or '!!!!' to express how over the moon that made me - it's still crazy to think that people I've never met before read my blog). A huge shout-out to Hero, who recognized me at the post-rally party at the UT Catholic Student Center; she asked me if I had a blog and then told me she was a reader. It was so lovely to meet you! 

4. This. This right here describes my week and how I wish I could "party" every day.

5. I went dancing with friends for the first time in a looooong time - which, here in Texas, means heading to a Western place where country music, jeans, and boots abound. There was plenty of two-step, waltz, and some good old-fashioned freestyle dancing to the latest hits. I was ridiculously sore the next morning, but so happy I'd gone. All the stress melted away for a few hours while we danced to the music. 

6. Also, never wear a dress if you're going Western dancing. Guys spin you and much skirt-holding-down ensues. Do as I say, not as I do, kids. 

7. Hannah's post about grief. So real and raw and beautiful. It hurt my heart while reading it, because I am in the exact same place she is right now. Click over and soak up her beautiful words. 

8. Y'all. The amount of coffee in me is quite possibly getting ridiculous. My lovely roommate got a Keurig for Christmas and is sweet enough to let me use it.  Some most mornings, it's the only thing that can convince me out of bed. 

9. I discovered Ed Sheeran's album  "+" - a redheaded British musician with a light, folksy sound? Yes, please. Little Bird, Small Bump, and Wake Me Up are among my favorite songs of his. 

What's your week been like? I'd love to hear - any new favorite artists or blog posts that you've read recently? 

Living the Moments in Between Stories

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

This is something a bit different than my usual posts, but it is completely raw even in the writing of it. Above everything, it is my attempt to honestly to put in to words what I've been feeling lately - what is so hard to describe...what we can only sense deep inside us.

i want to go out and search for the moments in between the sunlight. the hidden, silent moments in between the stories that make up life. my life.

i'm hungry for them, these hidden, secret moments - like the invisible dust dancing on sunbeams, like the tiny breaths of wind curling round a golden leaf. 

the richness and rawness of eyes in sunlight, of hair lifting in breeze + swirling, flying. free + wild.

wild + free. 

i want to go explore and climb and breathe and run and seek and gaze and feel the wildness of being alive. 

to hold hands tightly, to hug and never let go, to stand on the edge of a hill and feel strong and free.

i want to drink in the sunlight and let it soak into me, into my smile, into my bones - because sunlight brings peace and warmth and happiness.

 there's something irrevocably beautiful about being lost in the rays of light and cool, calm air of the day...of hiding a smile behind hair swirling in the wind, of blunt edged bangs, a face free of makeup, eyes that are natural, sweaters that hang loose, and long skirts that flow past legs and kiss the ground as you step.

it's a wild freedom, a blissful escape, a quiet rebellion - a self quintessence.

it's tumultuous, serene, and invigorating all at the same time and life never tasted so sweet. 

so warm + golden.

1 / 2 / 3
it's a story within a story, looking deeper and wider within ourselves for the moments in between our stories - the flashes of golden beauty and wild joy that we stumble upon or find like a tiny breeze on a balmy day.

i want to find those every day. i want to find the sun and live in the moments - those are the important ones.

Following the Sunlight

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I've been quiet lately.

Musing. Hungering for peace + God's touch. For solitude and grace.

For sunlight.

I wrote in my last post

  I've found myself chasing sunlight during the late afternoons, wanting nothing more than to sit in it and drink up the warm, life-giving rays. Probably because I've been musing over some things lately. Sunshine is so comforting  - it asks nothing in return, only gives its warmth.

And it's true. I've been aching for that warmth + quiet and time alone with my soul...time to breathe and think and be. It's been an eventful first week of school, leaving me thoughtful and wanting to grasp my goals + hopes for this year. The night before classes started, I found myself with a word in my mind. One word, that described how I felt for the day. A word for that day. 


I jotted it down in my phone, on the note app and added the date. I didn't think anything of it at first. But then the next day came and at the end of it, I found myself with another word in my mind. 

And so it went. For the past week. 

There is a small yet meaningful sense of contentment and satisfaction in choosing one word to mark my overall feelings for the day. A tangible, one-word memory.

I intend to keep on, and may even attempt to take a photograph each day that captures that one word. I'm not taking a photography class this semester, so I've been itching to take my camera out and capture more of daily life - to search for and follow the sunshine. The beauty in each day. 

I'm not holding myself to the photo-a-day aspect as I know things will get crazy and I will rush and run and miss some days. But what photos I do capture, I may share on here with the words that accompany them. 

So here is today's word.


What is your word for today? 

Weekend Favorites

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I've listened to Ingrid Michaelson's music probably more than I should...her station is one of my top go-tos on Pandora and I just love her light, but soul-stirring music. I've been listening to Do It Now and Fire when I get up in the morning. Starts the day on a cheery note.

I am still obsessed beyond measure with everything Frozen. Also, this fan art almost made me cry. So many feels.

All three by xxMeMoRiEzxx

I've been wearing black a great deal this week. The weather's alternated between chilly mornings and warm afternoons here, but something about dark colors keep me returning to them. I love dark colors when I'm feeling quiet and don't want to be noticed - or when I've decided I want an edgy look. I wore an Lorde-inspired outfit the other day, complete with winged eyeliner + smoky eyes.

Stairs, shadows, and fairy tale woods. My inner writer is itching to create stories from these images.

The lovely WishWishWish blog - I can't get enough of her retro style, adorable hair, and fabulous London location pics! Give her a follow; I'm so excited to read more of her posts.

Sunshine. The first day of classes was so hot by mid-afternoon and all I wanted to do was escape from the sun...but after that, I found myself chasing during the late afternoons, wanting nothing more than to sit in it and drink up the warm, life-giving rays. Probably because I've been musing over some things lately. Sunshine is so comforting  - it asks nothing in return, only gives its warmth.

The tv show Chuck. It's been over for some time, but I'm just now discovering its hilarity and Zachary Levi's adorable nerdiness as a IT guy who is forced to become a spy after national secrets are downloaded into his head. So, so funny and cute. Nerds all the way!

Bangs. I got mine snipped shorter over break. They are so versatile; I'm enjoying playing around with them.

This quote:

What are you loving lately? Happy long weekend, friends! 

Bow Along

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy Wednesday!

I was recently asked by Brilliant Earth to design an outfit based on some of their lovely jewelry. They specialize in ethically sourced diamonds and jewelry, and are passionate about improving the jewelry industry with regards to sustainability. I think they have a great vision and decided to participate.

 I chose the 18k White Gold Hudson diamond ring from the vintage set as I loved the simpleness of the ring as well as the perfect amount of sparkle.

Brilliant Earth Vintage set

I am a vintage girl through and through. I adore full skirts, chic striped shirts, bows, and color, so this outfit was a perfect combination! Pairing a striped top with a fluffy knee-length skirt is a style I come back to again and again. I love the classic elegance and French feel of black + white together.

 But there always needs to be some color! I recently purchased a similar pair of  blue heels (for only $10) and love them. The higher and brighter the heels, the better. I'm also a huge fan of putting opposite colors together, so I loved the rich plum-burgundy coat. The ombre nails were only too fun a touch.

One of my favorite beauty looks when I'm wearing vintage or lots of color to go for a dramatic cat-eye with liquid eyeliner. I love the sleekness. I usually keep the rest of my makeup simple by opting for soft, silver eyes and pale pink lips. I especially love Revlon's Peach Parfait Colorburst Lip Butter. And of course, when it comes to accessories, you can't go wrong with a beaded blue clutch...and as we're heading into spring, we're also heading into rain, so I thought this polka dot umbrella was perfect for the vintage theme.

Shoes: Jessica Simpson// Top: Amazon// Coat: House of Fraser// Skirt: Orla Kiely// Clutch: Urban Expressions// Umbrella: Oasis// Eyeshadow: Revlon Creme// Lipstick: Revlon// Eyeliner: Stila Waterproof// Nail polish: NARS + Essie

What's your favorite style? Do you ever wear vintage?

Letting It Go

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I just wrote about being restless and uncertain about the new year. About and not ready.

But I think I've found my spark...the bit of excitement...the 'I'm-ready-to-take-on-the-world' feeling.

I'm letting it go. The uncertainty, the worries, the nervousness, and itching sense that I'm running late for something but I don't know what.

2014 is the year I want to "let go." And just be me. To trust in myself and my abilities. The year I want to work unbelievably hard and see some concrete results.

I want 2014 to be the year I dig deep, even if it's painful - even if it's hard. I want to work, grow, stretch, and better myself. I'll be 21 this year and at the end of it, I want to look back on my first year as an official adult and be proud.

Of myself, of what I've done, of how I've tried to grow.

It's time to see what I can do - and test those limits.

So 2014 means going wild and free, living up to my full potential, leaping more + trusting in myself that I'll land safely, and become the woman of God that I'm meant to be.

And like Elsa, the cold never bothered me anyways.

Trying to Settle in 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tsh recently wrote the words that have been jumbled in my head...I've been a bit restless during the holidays. 

Restless. It's a good word for how I feel.

It's 2014, but for whatever reason, I feel as if time has if I won't be returning to if the days are running together in a stream, undifferentiated by names of days like Monday or Wednesday...

I'm not sure what it is. I think it's because the holidays were so crazy that I didn't get a chance to mentally and physically prepare for the start of a new year. I love new beginnings - everything fresh, like starting over. A time of newness, of change, of decisions. But somehow, I'm in that odd half-step right before the brand new step into a fresh year and month.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's there...

Thoughts, words, plans, hopes are all moving within me, trying to settle. But I'm not ready yet.

And yet, despite all my misgiving, I know once I'm back at school, I'll be able to move again, time will start again, and I'll take that step forward because I have to.

Everyone's posting about their plans for the new year and their excitement for 2014. I'm excited for what the entire year will bring overall...but there's still a restlessness and trepidation for these next few months to come.

It might partly be a combination of nerves - this will be a big semester in terms of juggling things - a bit of worrying, and maybe even an early case of winter blues. I felt a little down on occasion last winter, which had never happened to me...but that just might be part of my personality. I'm a very extroverted, outgoing person, and winter brings out my introverted side. And by that, I mean I get quieter, not as outgoing on certain days, and just more pensive. I do not mean to imply that introverts by nature are usually "down." That's just how I've realized I occasionally react to winter.

Now, all this is not to say I don't have goals and plans for 2014. That's another post, but I will share that I'm keeping it simple with my big goals. I have 3-4 important ones as well as a good smattering of smaller ones. I'm on the lookout for a good planner, which will help, I suspect, as soon as I get it in my hands. I'm a huge planner, list, and notebook person. Something about writing things down on paper makes them more real to me!

I thought I'd share what's been on my mind lately, in case there's any of you out there that find yourself not quite as excited this January as others are. :)

May you have a lovely, restful week  - and if you've already started school, may you have a lovely semester!