Written Bits and Pieces

Sunday, September 30, 2012

(I'm heading back to school from spring break, but found this snippet of a silly, random scene I wrote awhile ago and thought I'd share with you. NYC pictures and post coming soon!)

He laughed again and looked at her. "What is your goal in life?"

She looked at him, smiling. "My goal in life?"

He nodded, amused.

"To live." Her smile widened into a laughing curve as she hugged her knees and looked out at the falling leaves. "To have a Homely House. To live in a large, rambling house with large, rambunctious family; have plenty of children; many good strong cups of tea, coffee, and cocoa; a shelf full of my books; an oven full of scones..." She snuck a laughing glance at him. "And a tall, dashing husband with a good temper and fine looks."

He grinned. "Must he be tall?"

A quiet giggle broke through her smile. "Unquestionably."

Sharing My Heart

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hey, y'all!

 So, Jenna started a blog series on her blog called "Virtual Coffee Date" (inspired by Casey) and I just loved the idea. I love my little blog so much and the sweet girls I've been blessed to get to know through it. Even though you haven't heard too much from me recently (not intentionally, I promise! Schoolwork > internet...), this blog has been in my thoughts...

and in my heart.

 I think God is really placing it on my heart to share more of what I'm going through and speak my heart! There are days when things seem so difficult and overwhelming. Then there's ones where I'm also extremely overwhelmed - but in a good way - with God's goodness.

 And I want to share that with y'all. The good days, the rough ones...the areas in my life where I'm struggling and the areas where I see God working and doing some amazing things. Because He is. Even if I don't realize it! This current part of my life is so very crazy and go-go-go...and I want to make sure I take in the little moments. I want to cherish and use this time that God gave me.

  My burdens, my frustrations, my joyful moments, even my homework is something that He touches. There's a purpose behind it. And I know each of y'all is going through the same thing. So, I want this to be a place where we can share with each other the good and the not-so-easy. Re-affirm one another or share that we're going through something similar.

 Think of it as a virtual coffee/tea date, a place to share our hearts, or maybe just share "I'm tired" or "I'm loving the newest pins on Pinterest." A chance to catch up, share tidbits about our days, and express our dreams. Or just vent about lack of sleep and need for caffeine. ;)

 So without further ado...here's some things that have been on my heart recently:

Sleep is really nice. I haven't been getting much. I keep telling myself it's good training for those sleepless nights during the early stages of parenthood.

I've been pondering passion a lot the past month. Being surrounded by so many college students who don't know what they want to do in life has been eye-opening. While I've always known kids who were unsure about their future path, college has expanded that pool. It's been interesting to see how the experience has defined my goals even more. I've been convicted about what I want in life and where I want my life to take me more than I thought was possible.

 I miss cooking ridiculously. That was a given, but ohhhh, how I miss homemade meals and fresh, organic produce from the farmer's market. And a bevy of healthy, delicious foods/dishes.

Since starting college, I've made some amazing relationships. God has put some fantastic people in my life and I'm so glad I got the chance to get to know them. Every girl on my floor is a sweetheart and our hall's a little family. We watch out for each other,  fold each other's laundry (yep, told you these girls were wonderful!), study + giggle together, and pray for one another's prayer intentions. I'm so very blessed to know them.

But the demands and responsibilities can be extreme...as is the stress. It's a new period of life: one where I am solely in charge of my day-to-day life and everything that needs to be done. Groceries, printing issues, assignments, ect. If I need or want something, I have to go get it. While I've always been pretty independent and know how to manage a schedule, do my own laundry, and motivate myself, I've also had my parents there the past 19 years of my life. They've been there to give me a hand, look over papers, run errands for me when I have a hundred things for me, and in general, be there to help, guide, and support like parents do. While they still do all of the above, it's from a distance now. (During the school year, at least. I'm not going to hide the fact I'm scarily excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas break. ;) As a college student and young adult, I'm responsible for getting myself to class, taking care of myself, cleaning, going to Mass, and studying.

 I won't deny there's been some difficult moments when I wished they were there to automatically fix things (like my bike pedal falling out, my internet going out, order a textbook I suddenly need, buy a folder for an assignment, or call to schedule appointments with professors or advisers). But at the same time, I'm proud of myself for doing all of these things on my own. For proving to myself that I'm capable of it and that I can handle it.

 It's only been one month and I've already learned I'm stronger than I knew. I'm still alive, still here. I may be sleep-deprived and a tad preoccupied, but I'm here. Through God's grace and strength. He keeps me going, as does my family.

So, friends, what's on your heart? What's this month been like for you? Any fellow freshmen out there? :)

Modest Monday: Pretty Dresses Make the (Formal) World Go 'Round

Monday, September 17, 2012

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

Photography credit - Cameron Durham (all but the Instagram pic). He's also a good family friend and a fabulous photographer to boot!


I love dresses. 

There's something so delightfully feminine and beautiful about them. What girl doesn't play dress up as a toddler or 8 year old? You know, rummage through your mother's closet and trot around in her heels with her long shirt masquerading as a dress on you,a dangling necklace, and lipstick smeared all over your mouth...

Loved those times! I thoroughly enjoyed dressing up then and I still do (even more) now! So I thought I'd put together a post about how I deal with modesty when it comes to formal attire for weddings, parties, or dances.

This is a gorgeous strapless dress I found at Ross's last year. I'm not a strapless, bare back dress person, so I decided to add a slightly avant-garde Parisian twist to the outfit with black leggings, camisole and a black cardigan that I wore buttoned under the dress. The leggings and cardigan added a level of comfort and ease to the dress; I was able to freely move around, sit cross-legged, and whatnot.

(Side note: waist of said dress is absurdly small; it's one smaller than I actually wear, but it was the only size I could find. So fastening the back involves a second pair of hands, exhaling deeply, and something reminiscent of Elizabeth Swan in Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl - "I can't breathe!" 
But I digress.)

I wore it again for my graduation party sans cardigan and leggings for a different look - but my best friend (who happens to be a wonderful seamstress) offered to sew straps on. She managed to find material that matched the sash, added straps, a ruffle at the neckline, and voila. Previously a strapless, lowcut dress -  now something I can wear without worry. 

I wore this lovely cream and black tulle dress to a dance...
Oh. My. I felt SO glamorous. 
The skirt...words don't even do it justice how much fun it was to twirl in it. I think almost every person I saw that night told me they loved my dress and asked where I'd gotten it. A kind family friend lent it to me as well as the small black shrug which her mother had made. Again, the neckline came very low on me, but I merely added a camisole and all was well. 

Senior prom.
 'Cause when you go out, you have to go out with a bang. ;) My best friend (the one that added straps to my other dress) and I went for vibrant hues. Not reflective of our personalities at all... (cough)

We both ended up altering our dresses. Hers was strapless like my butterfly one, so she added the shoulder straps. My dress (also lent to me by the same friend who owned the cream and black one) had spaghetti straps. I didn't want a black cardigan or shrug, which would break up the dress. Instead, I found a piece of red lace sewn together like an infinity scarf (or pillowcase open on both ends) and arranged it around my shoulders. 

Just thought I'd show you with a bit of thought and ingenuity, you can put together some dazzling outfits for any fine occasion and never sacrifice modesty. 

Or style. :)

Your turn! Show me your Modest Monday. Link up your outfit (it can be as casual or gussied up as you want).

Don't have a blog?
 Email (raewyn83@gmail.com)
 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.}

Five Things Friday

Friday, September 7, 2012

Heya! It's Friday - anyone else excited for a beautiful day and the opportunity to breathe over the weekend?

Because it's Friday...and the weekend (even through I'll be partying studying up a storm with my books), here's a few of my recent favs. 

1.  Starbucks Green Tea banana smoothie. I'm obsessed with all things matcha green tea - so fresh and so, so clean.

2. Tuesday night concerts (O Lovelace, comprised of Steven Curtis Chapman's ultra talented, down-to-earth sons) at a quirky, indie coffeeshop. 

3. Calm, beautiful canoe ride - my first! - with some sweet girls on my hall during a dorm retreat.

4. This scarf. It's Gap, a graduation present from a sweet friend, and I adore it. (Unofficial Modest Monday! ;)

5. Iced latte. Egg, cheese, and hummus bagel on a sunny day. Doesn't get any better. 

Oh! And it's September!! C'mon, South...I'm ready for it to feel like fall. Bring on the cold weather, scarves, boots, crunchy leaves, cinnamon, and pumpkin!

Modest Monday: Dressin' Up for Dinner

Monday, September 3, 2012

Aaaaaaaaaaand, I'm back! 

Hello! I've missed y'all and blogging something awful; sorry for the hiatus. Everything else in my life was somewhat put on hold for about a month due to a whirlwind of succeeding events: trip to California (which I DO plan on posting about the rest of it), last-minute shopping, packing, essay writing, finalizing college stuff, filling a U-haul trailer and our car with my life neatly packed into tubs and boxes, arriving at college, unpacking, more last-minute dorm shopping, Welcome Week and meeting a plethora of new people, the start of classes, a dorm retreat, scurrying across campus everyday, and transitioning to a new day-to-day routine!

Oh, and a mountain of homework. Literally. 

Hello, my name is Grace and I have no life but school now. 

(Ahem...kidding. Just a little. It is a lot - and it's certainly required some adjustment since there's basically twenty different assignments/readings flying around each week - but I think I'll be able to keep all the balls in the air once things calm down a bit.)

Anyhoo, so that's the reason for the silence on here. There's been so much to do, I  haven't the time to blog or even check other blogs for the first time in...maybe ever? But now I'm back in the swing of things. :) 

And speaking of which, here's a Modest Monday post! (Missed these so much!)

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

All photography credit: Bernadette Marie Photography - check her out on FB and at her blog!

I love dinner. And food in general. I think that's a well-established fact. 

But I especially love going out for dinner and dressing up. It's not a regular habit of mine, but sometimes after a long week, a very "blah" day, or hours of studying, you just want to step out on the town and feel pretty. 

The last drop of happiness in your elegant water glass that you swirl superiorly on your night out? An ultra chic outfit that comes together in 5 minutes. 

Ahh, c'est bon.

Shirt: Cato
Skirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Forever 21
Bag: Michael Kors
Headband: Premier Jewelry 

Recipe for a lovely dinner: an adorable, cozy cafe + a cute, chic outfit. 

This is one of my favorite outfits; it's extremely tempting to wear it a few times each week. This brown skirt is a staple in my closet (I bought it and the black version at a garage sale for $3). Because of its classic shape and shade, it's very versatile. It can easily be casual, but when I need to dress up a bit, I add a nice top, some heels, jewelry, and bada bing, bada boom...something that works for dinner, a play, wedding, or church. 

I love the modern green + brown + aqua chevron pattern of the shirt. The snowy white lace adds some sweetness to what could otherwise be a tad harsh top. The shirt itself is ridiculously soft and comfortable...so breathable! Perfect for a sunny day when you want something light and airy, but the Grecian sleeves are long enough that I don't shiver inside cooler restaurants.

Now, let's not get too excited. Yes, this is a Michael Kors bag, but not a $$$$$$ one. This is actually from a line designed for the more everyday-woman from a store in Houston. Much more reasonably priced!

 And of course, I've already proclaimed my love for these shoes... Just put some heels on, girls. You'll feel taller and incredibly special. Heels have a way of producing that magical effect.


 This is one of my absolutely favorite tricks: this is actually a short necklace. Because of its length, it lies close to the throat, similar to most chokers. I, however, do not have a long, elegant neck. Mine is decidedly short, so most short necklaces end up looking like bejeweled dog collars on me. 
Not pretty. 
But I have a few short necklaces that I love...so I wear them as headbands! I use this trick all the time and never fail to get compliments on my "headband" when I do so. It's great for when you want to add a touch of sparkle to your look, but aren't the mood to wear something around your neck or happen to already be wearing a necklace/scarf/medal. 

So girls, make a note in your calandar - pick a day and a place. Go treat yourself to a dinner out; it doesn't have to be anything over-the-top. It could even be meeting a friend for coffee and dessert on a Friday or Saturday night. Or a Tuesday one! Make a weekday special and dress up. You deserve it!

You'll knock 'em dead. ;)

Your turn! Show me your Modest Monday. Link up your outfit (it can be as casual or gussied up as you want).

Shout out to Felicity, over at Felicitations for her colorful Modest Monday outfit ---> love the red jeans!

Don't have a blog?
 Email (raewyn83@gmail.com)
 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.}