Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Weekend Dress Up // Sunshine Yellow & Flowers

Hello, dears!
I hope this Tuesday finds you well!  It is going to be a busy, full day here,
and there is an excitement in the air because rain fell yesterday evening and
we are expecting more today and tomorrow!  I tell you, I never tire of rain
and we have all been awaiting the blessing of it falling and cooling us off in
the midst of this still summer.

Over the weekend, I spent a most lovely day out doing two of my favorite things-
spending time with my mom and walking through a historic town to head to my
beloved antique store.  It was a fun Saturday of joyous time and relaxing as
we walked, both outside (even despite the melting heat) and inside the antique store.
I enjoyed waking up that morning excited for the day ahead,
as well as to go to my closet and put together a modestly pretty outfit with some
feminine summer flair.  This is the ensemble I came up with☺

Embroidered blouse // thrifted
 Cardigan // thrifted
Crop pants // Gloria Vanderbilt
Belt // came with a different blouse
Sandals // Target (Merona)
Spoon Bracelet // Boutique in Fredericksburg, Tx
Monogram clutch //  PoppyPine on Etsy

There are just some items in your wardrobe that you feel like you
could wear everyday because they're so comfortable and you feel lovely
in them.  This embroidered Mexican blouse is definitely one of those pieces for me...
it is so bright and the flowers and resplendence of all the hues within its
embroidery just make me so happy.  This blouse actually used to be a dress, about knee
length when I brought it home, but I hemmed it with matching yellow thread to
make it a tunic instead.  Being so tall, I often have to do this to "dresses" because
they aren't long enough for me.  I just love this piece, most especially for summer.
The cotton breathes so nicely, which is always a plus ☺
I built my outfit around my blouse.  It is also kind of funny that it is one of my
favorites because I hardly ever wear yellow because I don't think it looks that good on my
 fair skin,  but the exact shade of this yellow is just so cheery and has a slight vintage
 feel to me because of the delicate intricacy of the embroidery.
I added a cardigan with a very loose stitch because it is very cool, belted
 the blouse underneath the cardigan (I'm never quite sure what looks best- over
or under a cardigan), and wore my new monogram bag that I love.
It matches everything and can be dressed up or down and worn for any season.
I paired it all with a deep pink, flowered pair of sandals.
For accessories, I am currently loving the femininity of simple pieces like
pearls, so I wore my dangly, petite pearls and on my wrist my silver spoon bracelet.
I love the antiquated, heirloom-like look of spoon jewelry.

The breeze got the best of my blouse ;)

In these photos (credit to my lovely mama) taken in front of this incredibly beautiful, old
screen door, I was standing on the porch of a historic downtown building that was built
in 1846.  It had beautiful, original stone and architectural features on the porch.
The gorgeous blue of the door made for the perfect backdrop in contrast with
 my sunny yellow blouse.  And I wouldn't even have been on this porch if it weren't
for the kindest lady we met!  We got the blessing of meeting her, the owner of this historic
building, which is now her private residence, when we were walking across from her porch as she
was leaving and she said, "Y'all look so cute!  Come and take a picture up on my porch!"
So we did.  I guess she thought it would make a perfect background for photos and she was so right. We talked to her for awhile and she was just the sweetest and a true
example of Southern hospitality.
We had a wonderful time that day and enjoyed feeling a little dressed up for
our day out together.  Mother-daughter time is a true blessing!
I also brought home some antique treasures I'll be sharing soon.
What is your favorite wardrobe piece to wear in summer?
What do you think of my weekend outfit?
Did you enjoy your weekend?
I hope you have a wonderful day and week ahead!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Dressed for Sunday // Crochet and Coral

 Happy new week, dears!
I hope your weekend was full of joy and blessings!
And I hope this Monday finds you well and happy.
Today I wanted to share a few photos of my outfit from church yesterday.
  It was a busy morning yesterday.  I actually woke up early to go
exercise before we headed to church, which has been difficult because of the
heat being so severe, but made it through... and by the time I showered and was
ready to get dressed, I had about 4 minutes before we needed to leave!
Do you ever have mornings like that, where it just feels hectic and like you are somewhat
out of sorts?  In the end, I quickly managed to pull something together based around
a skirt with coral accents that I had been wanting to wear for some time ☺

Accessorizing to match my skirt, I picked these delicate,
coral flower earrings with a dainty feel.  I wore my hair up in a bun.
it just feels feminine and pretty to have my hair up with earrings
like these on.
I love the summery shades in this skirt and the way it has the perfect
cut for the slightest, lovely flare and swing.
 My favorite sandals lately- flats with metallic gold flowers.  These are very
comfy and lovely to wear with a skirt. 
Pearl buttons add beauty to the already sweetly crocheted flowers
and details of the cardigan.

A souvenir from our beach trip in June, I love the complimentary
brightness and summery feel of this seashell and starfish bracelet.

Skirt- Ross
Earrings- Kohl's
Black Shirt- Ross
Cardigan- Vintage
Metallic Sandals- JC Penney//St. Johns
Bracelet- Texas State Aquarium Gift Shop
Yesterday's sermon was an immense blessing to my heart.
I was given reminders of the Lord's promises, but what struck me most
and made this sermon one of those that was the kind that brought
you to tears was a particularly beautiful message... that as we try to fill
a God-shaped space within us with all kinds of things that are really
just drawing us away from Him (money, immorality, materialism, anything),
He is not only wanting us- He's fighting for us.  And my favorite thing
that was said in the sermon was this:  The Lord wants us to know that His
love for us doesn't just mean that our sin and our faults and our pursuit of
things that are wordly can't separate us from Him- it means that He is telling us
that no matter how hard we lean the wrong way or even fight to go that
wrong way as some of us do, He is saying: You cannot get away from my love!
No matter what, I will find you!
And among a plethora of the most moving and thought-provoking verses
in one of the most amazing sermons I can recall, we read this:
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height
 nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able
to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 8: 38-39
If there is any verse in the bible I want to never ever forget, that I want
to commit to my heart and memory, it's this one... because the Lord's love
is illustrated for us simply & clearly, telling us that God isn't sitting there with His
 arms crossed waiting for us to come back to Him or for us to mess up.  No, he
welcomes us and rejoices with immeasurable love for us.  On this, the sermon
brought out the story in Luke of the son who had betrayed his father
and when he came back after sometime, his father welcomes him and asked
that a celebration be held for his return.  EVEN after the son had lived the
way he had and left the way he had.  How similar to our Father in Heaven
is that account at Luke!  Nothing can separate us from our Lord's love.
As it was brought out to us yesterday, NO THING in existence
can ever separate us from His love.
Did you have a favorite part of your sermon Sunday?
Do you like wearing coral or other bright colors in summer?
Have a lovely afternoon and week ahead!

Friday, July 15, 2016

His Grace is Immeasurable (& Blog Edits!)

Happy Friday, dear friends!
It is still Friday for about ten more minutes anyway, now that I am getting
around to finishing this post that I started much earlier today (smiles).
What a whirlwind week... days of working busily and a bit of craziness, all of which
makes the weekend feel all the more wonderful and delightful now
that it has arrived!  Also, I spent much time pondering and
praying on some areas of my walk and faith.
How was your week?

One thing I took a little time to do on an evening this week,
a little fun break from the routine of my week, was bring up my blog
and look around and see if there was anything that I wanted to change...
mostly because I had been editing and bettering parts of it and knew there were
more aspects I wanted to tweak a bit. I have so much fun with even the
smallest parts of blog design as I've learned along the way, and the one thing
I enjoyed changing up ended up being my "About" page, which you can visit
at the tab above this post ☺
I added a new photo (the one you see above) and worked on writing something new
 that I think much better encapsulates my purpose in writing here and
sharing sweetness, joys, faith, and inspirations.
•        •        •
I mentioned pondering and praying above, as well, and where my
thoughts have been so often this week is one thing on my heart to share...
I have been thinking much about God's mercies.
This facet of faith and walking in the Lord is something that I am
forever in awe of, simply because God's grace, mercy, and forgiveness
encompass so much more than we are able to fathom, and yet, what we
do know of Him in this respect blesses us beyond reason.
However, I think that as imperfect servants of God, it is easy for us-
who, of course, due to our imperfections, sin daily- to doubt ourselves
and how far God's mercy extends when it comes to our sin. 

I have moments where I back myself so far into a place of feeling
unworthy of the Lord's great graces... our past and present sins, both in actions
or in thoughts, have a way of imprisoning us and pushing us into deeper
feelings of guilt, into more deeply and seemingly inescapably feeling that
we are not capable of being forgiven.  This is especially true with
sins that are a great temptation for us.  I have found myself starting to think
that my sinful thoughts or sins in the past scarred me or my relationship
with the Lord... but what I am reminded of with verses and God's loving
reminders overall, is that coming to Him for redemption means He freely
CLEANSES me when I seek His forgiveness and bring my transgressions to Him.
Far from injuring my relationship with Him, His qualities make Him a God
of merciful grace, and if I repent with my heart and seek to get away
from my sins by turning from them and instead towards the Lord,
He is merciful to forgive in a way that actually draws me closer to Him!
And He has open arms for us as we seek His face and seek a life in Him, purposing
to draw closer to Him and leave our sins behind!  And He remains this way
and shows us mercy EVEN when we struggle with leaving our sin
behind because of temptation.  He sees our heart condition above our sin.
The devil has ways of craftily making us feel unworthy of God's grace,
wanting us to FEEL like our relationship with God is ruined or that
even being sinful is not so bad, it's just in our nature and normal.
But God wants us to know the truth, to know otherwise, and to not
fall into believing those lies.
I'm thankful for my soul feeling the immense love of God
and realizing- even when I need gracious reminders- that His forgiveness
is immeasurable! 
And I am grateful for the ways in which he brings those reminders to me,
such as in verses and the wise words of others who have pondered
these same questions and mercies of the Lord.  Such as accounts in
His word, especially that of King David and the way God showed mercy
on David's sins as He prostrated himself before God with great guilt.
And notice that even when David tried to hide his sins and live in sin
for a long time, the Lord forgave him and saw his repentant heart
when he finally did confess his guilt and sin.
That speaks volumes of God's graciousness alone.
These verses and words are blessed reminders to me now and that
I keep to go back and look at, reminders that God has forgiven us in repentance-
now we just have to forgive ourselves! :
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness." -1 John 1:9
"As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions
from us." -Psalm 103:12
"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times
of refreshing may come from the Lord..." - Acts 3:19
"I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves.  Otherwise, it is
almost like setting ourselves up as a higher tribunal than Him."
-C.S. Lewis
And that quote is enlightening to think of- this makes me put things into
perspective with a different and renewed clarity; Do I really want to show God
that I don't believe His grace and Jesus' ransom has enough power or is not
good enough to blot out my sins?  That I don't trust His word and promises, and
that I doubt His word and His power?
These inspiring and jolting truths remind me that much of
this area of our faith comes down to doubting nothing that God has
told us.  This is not easy sometimes in our nature, but it is the only
way, the best way of life... and when you think of it that way, it makes
things so simple- to just TRUST in the Lord above all else.
TRUST His promises in His word to us.
Part of receiving forgiveness is believing in God's power to forgive.
This thought is startlingly refreshing to our souls as we seek Him,
another reminder of the loving God we have as our Father.
In writing this post, I am even thinking of how grateful I am that God would
forgive me for doubting Him in my thoughts- even on the subject of His mercy
and its extent.  His mercies truly are "new each morning".
I am amazed and refreshed by God's power in reforming and changing us
and our hearts and leading us farther and farther from our past or our sin
and closer and closer to His grace and love as our place of joy.
Do you ever struggle with letting sin or guilt make you feel unworthy
of God's grace, or have similar feelings or thoughts?
Have a lovely and blessed weekend, everyone! ☺

Monday, July 11, 2016

Visit Me on Instagram! & Sunday Evening Bliss

     Good morning to you!

I hope you all are having a wonderful start to your day
and to your week this Monday☺
Is it just me or did this seem like a weekend that was a little slower?
Most weekends fly by, but this one felt a little longer, perhaps
because it had a slower pace for me and was mostly relaxing.
I stayed busy enjoying some new projects and resting.
How was your weekend?


One of my favorite parts of the weekend that was truly and blissfully
peaceful and relaxing was last night, Sunday evening, having the blessing
of sitting in the serenity of the quiet and working in my sketchbook.
I even had the chance to go sit outside for a little while
and listen to our trickling little fountain (I cannot get enough of
that heavenly sound!) and letter...
my heart was full with pondering the blessed words
and lyrics of my favorite, "Be Thou My Vision", as it often is,
so I decided to have this be my subject for my lettering practice.

I added the pink dots at the last moment... and between you and I, that is actually
my nail polish that was sitting out on the dining table and I just
looked and it and thought it would look neat on top of the black
lettering for a fun accent.  Creativity is all about spontaneity, right? ☺

This photo is taken from my Magnolias & Grace
...where I shared it yesterday evening,
and I just wanted to let you my dear blogging friends know that I
am there under "magnoliasandgrace" where I will be sharing photos
from the blog that I share here as well, but also:

modest style
everyday blessings
sewing & creativity
vintage inspirations
faith & seeking the Lord

...and more☺  If you have Instagram, I would love if you
would come and follow my adventures there and say hello!

I hope you have a blessed week, friends!
And that you may stay cool, also!  It is sweltering in the South right now
and, other than enjoying swimming hole days and popsicles, I think
many of us are ready for Autumn to arrive whenever it's ready, haha.

Hugs and blessings!


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Current Crafting // Stamps, Butterflies, & the Sea

Happy Sunday!
I hope you have had a most blessed Lord's day.

Has your weekend been a joyful one?  I hope so!
I am thankful for having an enjoyable weekend in which I
 am excited to have gotten to pick up some new crafty things I can't 
wait to get into... and some I already have☺

This weekend, a fun trip to Hobby Lobby was inevitable,
especially as I was feeling in the creating mood.
I think I'm almost always in that mood, which renders quite 
a few- maybe too many- trips to the craft store.
Sometimes you just have to fuel your love for what you enjoy,
especially when you're starting something somewhat new to you.

For me, paper-crafting is something I have done 
a little of here and there and always wanted to experiment more with,
so I am!  
And I have to say... I LOVE IT!
I loved picking out the most charming, lovely stamps
and some sweet embellishments to begin making cards.

I picked up a paper-punch which I am quite excited about.
In getting to try it out, I have had fun putting all of the glitter hearts
together that I can to make beautiful color combinations and 
added embellishment on cards I have begun.
I also got the loveliest, feminine lady stamp with a beautiful dress,
some accent buttons that include some very vintage cameos
and ladylike pieces and then some seashells, as well.

I saw this metallic fuchsia ric-rac ribbon that can be
added to edge cards or postcard creations.
It sparkles so prettily and is the neatest color.
Can you tell I am a bit partial to anything with sparkle? ;)

I got to sit down for some quiet, relaxing time
to delve into playing with some different designs.
I love the array of glitter and foil and Victorian print card stock
they have at the craft store, which I happily used to edge and border
some of my creations.
I also used new and older stamps I have and ended up making
a few cards, but my favorite had this angel stamp on it
and some lovely pink accents.

It's so much fun going through a box of really anything you can
use for crafts and just treasure hunt and find things you can use
or things you forgot you had or things you haven't yet used
and get excited about it- especially because you
get to add those items to the new delights you picked up and
then just sit down and enjoy using them all.

Something else that came home with me is this elegant butterfly
print fabric.  It is a nice mix of soft and stiffer material as I
plan to sew a slightly flared skirt with it.  
I can't wait to start on it, hopefully this coming weekend☺

Lastly, I finished up some pieces of jewelry that I made
for some fun summer wear.  
As a girl with the beach always on her mind,
I loved making some sea-inspired jewelry, including starfish and seahorses.
I also learned somewhat recently how to make simply pretty 
and vibrant tassels from embroidery floss and I added these to
the jewelry for a fun, bright touch. 
The persimmon color tassel on the starfish gold pendant necklace
is so vivid and pretty.  And I used the same color on a bead bracelet
I made for a lovely contrast.  The bright red-orange with turquoise
is one of my favorite color combinations. 

That was a little bit of crafting joy from my weekend☺

Are you working on any crafts?
Something new you're excited to start working on?

I wish you a blessed and wonderful July 4th spent
 joyfully with family!!

Blessings and hugs!

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