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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

It's the day before Thanksgiving and I couldn't be happier...I'm homeeeeeeee!

Oliver the Owl says 'Happy Thanksgiving' too. 
It's cold, and a bit on the rainy side, but it's home. After a very rainy drive, I made it back and was whisked off to Panera Bread by my mudder for a late lunch...last night and today were busy as I had two papers to finish, but they've both been submitted, so hello, Thanksgiving!

I know we're one day away from all the Christmas madness exploding on the scene, so I'm soaking up fall as much as possible.

“Fall has always been my favorite season. 
The time when everything bursts with its last beauty,
as if nature had been saving up all year 
for the grand finale.” 
~Lauren DeStefano


Here's some of my favorite things from this week so far:

Fontina grilled cheese + tomato soup  = bliss.

SLEEPING IN UNTIL NOON, for the first time in a long time. So good.

Hugging the brothers who are teenagers and taller than me, but still as goofy as four-year-olds.

White cheddar macaroni. Heaven + love rolled into one creamy, cheesy bowl.

Peppermint chocolate Milano cookies...how did I not know these existed??!?

Sunny, cold photoshoots for Christmas card pictures. I love what I do and the people I am blessed to photograph.

Hot chocolate on a cozy couch while snuggled up with the best friend, a warm dachshund, and pillows.

Jeans and boots. This Texas girl is home for Thanksgiving indeed.

Gold, orange, and red leaves that are crunchy, swirling perfection as they float through the air and pile on the ground.



The leaves are all falling, and they're falling like
they're falling in love with the ground.” 
~Andre Gibson

Picking out which pies and desserts to make for tomorrow.

Cats. Cats are grand, especially when they stretch out and nap on a chair. There's something so cozy about the sight of them curled up in sleepy fluffiness.

The 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who on the silver screen - yes, I was able to see it in a movie theater full of Whovians and friends. We held hands, laughed, shrieked, and almost cried at the brilliant magic that was Matt Smith + David Tennant. John Hurt was quite epic as well, as the War Doctor.

I also dressed up as Clara Oswald and got my picture with a Dalek.

Life is good.

“I am grateful for what I am and have. 
My thanksgiving is perpetual…O how I laugh 
when I think of my vague indefinite riches. 
No run on my bank can drain it, 
for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.” 
~Henry David Thoreau

Fall Footwear

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Fall is official boot weather - my favorite kind. I kiss goodbye to sandals, flip-flops, and thin soled-shoes, and welcome boots with open arms.

I'm on the hunt for some new good boots this fall that will last me for a good bit. Currently, I don't have many that fit, and while I love finding hidden boot treasures in thrift stores, I'm thinking I might have to actually order a good quality pair that will last me a while.

Here are some of my favorite styles: 




1) Cherry red rainboots// Hunter // 2) Blue oxford ankle wedges// Sperry Topsider// 3) Tan wedge ankle booties// Newlook// 4) Black stiletto ankle booties// Payless// 5) Brown suede slouch boots// Aeropostal // 6) Black knee high wedges// Stylebop//  7) Burgundy slouch boots// Payless // 8) Classic black rainboots// Hunter// 9) Grey ankle booties// ALDO // 10) Brown leather riding boots// Macy's// 11) Combat boots// Dailylook// 12) Black stiletto boots// Payless // 13) Cowboy boots// CountryOutfitter // 14)  Brown buckle boots// Forever 21 


1. Cherry red rainboots: Hunter // I love, love the color of these and am seriously considering investing in a pair. From what I've heard, they're worth it, despite the $140 price tag. 

2. Blue oxford ankle wedges: Sperry Topsider// The blue + tan are a lovely combo; nice casual every-day option. 

3. Tan wedge ankle booties: Newlook// I have a similar stiletto pair that I found at Goodwill; I feel like a model when I wear them and always get compliments! I wish I had a wedge pair also, simply because wedges are more comfortable and easier to walk in. 

4. Black stiletto ankle booties: Payless// Great with skirts + leggings and go with any outfit. 
5. Brown suede slouch boots: Aeropostal // I call these Elven boots because they look soft, comfortable, and very wood elf- as well as Santa elf-ish. ;)

6. Black knee high wedges: Stylebop// Wonderful to walk in and perfect for cold days. 

7. Burgundy slouch boots: Payless // I love the color. Most people go for neutrals (black, brown, grey) when it comes to boots, but I love how they can add color to your outfit. 

8. Classic black rainboots: Hunter// I can't decide which color I like more - black, which is more versatile, or red, which pops more. 

9. Grey ankle booties: ALDO // At first I didn't think I could wear ankle boots because I'm already so short, but I fell in love with them after seeing Clara, the newest and most petite companion on Doctor Who, rock several pairs. 

10. Brown leather riding boots: Macy's// A very classic choice that goes with practically every outfit. 

11. Combat boots: Dailylook// Coming back into style, thanks to hipsters (and Doctor Who, again). A very fun, street look. 

12. Black stiletto boots: Payless // Every girl needs a classic, well-fitting pair of black high heel boots. 

13. Cowboy boots: CountryOutfitter // A must-have if you live in Texas. Literally. Every one here wears them at one point or another, whether to a football game or to go country dancing. 

14. Brown buckle boots: Forever 21 // A simple cut with a little bit of extra, thanks to the buckles. 

Some of these are obviously quite pricy  - the Stylebop black knee high wedges are over $1,000! I wanted to share an idea of the styles I like right now...I certainly don't have the budget to buy some of theseboots! 

Are you a boot person? What's your favorite style? 

Austin Style Snapshots

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Happy Thursday, friends! It's the week before Thanksgiving break, so things are in high gear around here with trying to finish papers and assignments due before Thanksgiving. I'm sharing a few photos from the fashion shoot I did with Caitlin + Spencer in Austin. You can check out more outfit shots over on the lovely C's blog. 


This was the first of Spencer's outfits that I shot - and so perfect for fall! I'm always a sucker for scarves and boots.


But this was by far one of my favorites...I loved how her peach cardigan popped against the white steps and made her green eyes stand out!



So pretty! You can see more here

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Going home? Traveling to spend it with long-distant relatives?

One of Those Days

Monday, November 18, 2013

Oh, Monday.

I was and am not mentally, emotionally, physically, and sleep-wise ready for you.

It really hasn't been that horrible of a day, but at the same time I kind of want to kick someone. Hard. And then crawl under my covers with a good book, take a nap, and ignore the world for two weeks.

It's one of those days where the phone won't stop ringing at work, you're not that crazy about the outfit you're wearing but have no time to change, the hours stretch on agonizingly, the homework + to-do list is piling high, and to top everything off, it's warm outside. 

BAH.

It's just...one of those days.


How to Live with Tragedy

Thursday, November 14, 2013



This week is just like any other week.

Only, it's not. 

As Anne said, ten thousand people - even more - have been swept away by waters beyond control - away from family, away from land. Away from life.



Parents and children and relatives and friends. Human beings who breathe and smile and raise their eyes to the sun just like we do. Who didn't have a chance because the waves were too high  - and because where do you run when you're on an island surrounded on all sides? 

People are gone. Swept away like autumn leaves in a breeze. And our world still goes on.

We wake up each morning, put on our happy music, order our Starbucks, study and laugh with friends, go to the movies, make plans for the weekend, talk to loved ones on the phone, sleep in a warm bed, safe + secure. 

November is a month of thanks. But why are we only grateful in the midst of tragedy of other people? Why don't we walk every day with  our feet kissing the earth with living thanks

It's hard. Our lives are so busy with work and school. It's easy - to get caught up in only what happens to + affects our world.

But the world isn't made of typed facts on printed paper delivering the news.

 It's made up of living, breathing people. 





Like your baby brother, your aging grandmother, your mom, your best friend. If they were possibly lost, missing. gone...

You'd cry out, take a stand, scour the world, raise funds, pray, hope. 

We need to do all of that for our brothers and sisters in the Philippines. Because all those people? They're someone's baby brother, aging grandmother, mom, best friend.


Human beings are amazing in their ability to serve and care for complete strangers. And if we're truly trying to make this world a better place, to live out a life of love as Christians, to give thanks, then we need to pour out that service + care. 

If I can afford a drink from Starbucks, a pair of new boots, or a book...how much I can give, even if it's a little, to help a survivor or contribute to search + rescue aid. 

This week is just like any other. But we can make it so much more than that.

____________________________________________

Please, please consider donating to the Philippines relief fund
While many have donated, the UNICEF and the Red Cross have nowhere near the necessary amount to help the enormous and widespread effects of Typhoon Haiyan. We have so much to be grateful for...so why not be grateful that we can spare enough to donate something? Even if it is just a few dollars, or $15, or $25, every penny counts. Every penny is used towards saving a child, grandmother, mother, best friend.

 Please also keep the victims of this natural disaster in your prayers for safety and healing. 

Wednesday Things

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It's Tuesday, but somehow it feels like it's already been a full week. Or perhaps every day is extra long when you're sick.

(Edited -- It's 8:41 p.m. and I just realized it's actually Wednesday, not Tuesday....I really am out of it.)

Either way, over here I'm...

wearing a huge scarf every day. Y'all, it's cold. And while this is what I wished for, it's no bueno when you're sick.

drinking tons of vitamin C and hot tea with lemon

getting excited for Thanksgiving break (mostly at the chance to sleep for 10 hours straight)

talking about the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who that premiers on the 23th. Matt Smith and David Tennant on the same screen as the same person? Yes, please. My heart is also breaking slowly at the realization that Matt's time as the 11th Doctor is coming to a close. Cue waterworks.

loving every second of Thor 2 that I saw with friends last weekend. UGH. So good. Loki was by far the best character. Tom Hiddleston did a fantastic job (is that any surprise?) and merely re-cemented his status as the smoothest villain.

prepping for the spring and all of the new challenges that will come with that.

eating all kinds of soup. Soup is so wonderful.

looking forward to the last football game of the season, which promises to be amazing.



 I'll probably lose my voice from screaming. And I'm not a football fan, really. Something about nighttime games in the cold and cheering on with friends makes it a wonderful experience though. 


and laughing over this extremely accurate meme.


Ain't that the truth, though? 

Adventuring in Austin

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy first day of the week, friends. It's definitely a "Monday" over here...I'm most definitely under the weather, had a test this morning, and have a full week ahead of me. 

Since I'm not very photogenic at the moment, I thought I'd share some pics from my recent impromptu trip to Austin, one of my favorite cities. 

It all started when Caitlin called me up on Saturday afternoon and asked if I'd be willing to shoot some styled fashion outfits for her portfolio (she's a fashion apparel major). In Austin. How could I say no? 

Caitlin and I actually roadtripped to Austin last semester with her best friend and co-blogger Jessica, so I couldn't wait for another adventure on the streets of the hipster-ish + wonderfully weird city. 


Caitlin + her friend Spencer, who was our lovely model.  


Playing with lights and shutter speed. Top knot required, of course. 


Here's a sneak peek at one of the outfits - Spencer did such a fabulous job carrying out any instructions I gave her. A wonderful model to work with!


The girls. They were both such good sports. And equally stylish. 


The lovely + fierce red-headed Caitlin. Love her style and how she can rock a mean scarf! You can see the rest of her outfit here


Oh, Austin. You're so weird. We fit in well. 


 And we loved every second of it. I had a blast escaping to another city, taking in the gorgeous Capitol, urban streets, scrumptious bakeries, vegetarian food, and catching up with old friends!

Til next time, Austin. Stay weird. 

Weekend Links

Saturday, November 9, 2013



Hello, lovelies - hope your week went well. I'm hunkered down and trying to battle off a cold at moment with vitamin c, hot tea, and orange juice.

As I'm a bit under the weather, I thought I'd share some of my favorite posts from around the blog world this week. I love blogs and reading them, especially ones that add a bit of special beauty to the weekend. So today, I hope you have time to breathe and rest...so make yourself a cup of tea and settle down for some reading.

November grace + goals from Jessi...such a great idea.

Brenda's sharing some fall snippets from her life  this week - including books + tea.

How to make 40 outfits from 12 classic wardrobe pieces.

Loving this Fontina and White Cheddar with Bacon Macaroni...mmm. Perfect dinner for cold nights.

Are you a shoes with socks girl? Have you ever pulled it off?  I haven't tried this yet!

These coffee cozys are too cute. Love.

Alex's beautiful fall style as always brings happiness to my fashion + fall-loving heart.

How to make a Thanksgiving Tree of Thanks. 

Austin Style - I had the opportunity to road trip to Austin with my fabulous Caitlin for a fashion shoot. She styled several looks which I photographed, including what she wore. That girl knows how to wear a mean scarf!

Why sometimes it is good to be silent and secret about the heart. 

Have a lovely weekend, friends. 
May it be full of glorious sunlight, cups of hot tea, and peace. 

Falling for Fall

Friday, November 8, 2013



Y'all.

I love fall so much. I love it so much that I have a Pinterest board solely for all things fall with the same title as this post. Fall is my favorite season.  There's so much promise and excitement and beauty and magic in fall...life gets cozier, adventures beckon from around corners, road trips create giddiness, and inspiration swirls like the gold and red leaves in the wind.

There's only a few weeks left in the semester for us students (!) and excitement is growing. Thanksgiving's drawing near, the last few college football games are coming up, and the hint of holiday joy is manifesting.

I love life (as crazy busy as it is) right now, so here are some of my favorite moments so far from this fall.












I'm off to see friends, eat some chocolate, and enjoy this Friday night. May your weekend be ever so lovely. 

A New Look

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hello, friends - happy Monday to you!

You may or may not have noticed, but a few things have changed around here. The blog got a new look! I loved the cozy, bookish look of my old template, but I felt it was more than time for something new and something that better fit the direction the blog is going.

Thanks to the lovely Alexandra Marie from Into the Woods. I stumbled upon her delightful blog recently and loved it + her vintage style. When she announced she was offering her blog designing services, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. She did a wonderful job, so if you're looking for a blog update, definitely check her out!


 I love what she came up with, especially the art sketch of my velvet pink skirt and shopping bag from the picture above, which is now the header.

 I think it's more than apparent now how much I adore pink + orange...especially the Kate Spade hues, as seen in this post. So now things are a bit brighter, fresher, and more colorful. 

You can't go wrong with pink, after all. 

Hope you like the new look. Feel free to click around! Because it was just installed, we may make a few tweaks, don't be too alarmed if things jump around and change a bit.  Have a fabulous week and I'll be back with a new outfit post soon!

xoxo, 
Grace

A Very Happy November to You

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Happy November!


The week is finally over - as is October! - and I made it to the weekend.

WHEW.

To say I'm tired is a bit of an understatement.

A lot happened in the past few weeks...

I blogged every day for 31 days.
Shot three photography sessions.
Took and wrote more tests and papers than I want to count.
Went to two concerts.
Was visited by my family.
Road tripped to a Japanese Garden and wrote about it for school.
Finally started catching up on Once Upon a Time. 
Worked and worked some more.
Saw Legally Blonde the musical.
Wrote.
Managed to get some sleep.
Had my first pumpkin latte.
Made a video for a local non-profit art organization.
Dressed up as Peter Pan + then Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween.

I really do feel like October flew by! September seemed to drag on and on, but October was over in a few blinks. And now it's November!

Craziness. Life is speeding up and I'm trying to adjust...so thankful for Advent, which is about to start and will hopefully remind me to slow down in anticipation of Christmas. I'm still trying to hold off on the Christmas carols so I'm not sick of them by the time that December actually rolls around. I definitely try to be one of those people who adheres to "No Christmas music until Thanksgiving" rule.

November promises to be very full with papers, photo sessions, classes, work, and gearing up for the home stretch of the semester. But of course, I plan to soak up the fall sunshine, sweater-wearing weather, and other autumn joys.

October is my favorite fall month, I think, because it's contemplative + life-giving, but November has a special excitement and quickness of its own. So I'm welcoming it with open arms.

Happy November, friends. Here's to it being a lovely one. 

{31 Days} Day 31: Loving Where I Am - Right Here, Right Now

Friday, November 1, 2013


The last day of 31 Days.

Y'all.

I want to talk about happiness. Because I am happy.

Happy with where I am right now, at this very moment...and right here, in the midst of the craziness of college life and being a student.

Sophomore year is treating me very well. I am taking 17 hours, working part-time, doing an independent photography study,trying to stay involved with my residential college, planning to dive in even more into church ministry/events, and working towards getting back to my healthier self.

I have a full plate to say the least.

But. I. Am. Happy.

I am truly content and eager and beyond excited for what these next few months will bring, despite all the challenges and stress and responsibilities that lie ahead. I realized the other day suddenly that I was excited for each day and that I wasn't worrying or pushing myself into stress or thinking the frequent "What ifs?" that freshman year held for me.

I can't really explain it another way other than to say I'm in love. With how my life is right now.

That's not to say everything has been roses and sunshine over here. I've had dark days, days where feelings of failure and loneliness whispered at my door. I've been knocked over by a few waves and lost my breath and footing for a moment...but I've always been able to come back to air and sun through God's grace. Just because difficult and hard things happen to you or to loved ones doesn't mean you can't be happy. You can...in fact, the hard things make you even more aware what a precious gift life is and how much it should be treasured. That you can be happy with it.

What's even more surprising than my realization that I love my life right now is a second one that I haven't felt this happy and content in this certain way in a long time. I loved freshman year and my senior year of high school, but there was always stress, always something hanging over my head, always something that I wasn't quite happy with either in my life or about me.

Perhaps it's because I'm now 20 and finally feeling comfortable in my skin, confident in my abilities, secure in the knowledge + experience of freshman year - that yes, I can handle this.

So I am happy and excited. I love where my life is right now: what's happening, what I'm learning and working on, the possibilities that are unfolding. I'm excited to expand this little blog, to freshen it up with a new look and design (!!), to work on my novel and get it into shape, to continue getting back in the groove of healthy ways. To polishing and challenging my photography skills, to learn magazine editing, to keep growing my freelance writing, to enjoy a glorious fall, to formally try my hand at food photography, to make short films, and to experience a wonderful semester.

I am loving every moment. Of where I am, right here. Right now. 

And I think that's part of living out our calling - being happy with the now, with the present moment. It's knowing that each day will bring challenges...but that we need to embrace each day fully. It's only when we are happy where we are right now that we can be who God called us to be.

Because He made - and is calling - us to be happy.

Right here. Right now. 

{31 Days} Day 30: Find Your Community


Day 30 of 31 days. 

Community is such a wonderful blessing. God recognized this from the start when He said about Adam, "It is not good for man to be alone" (Genesis 2:18).

Community and friendship is what brings us closer together, what gives us a glimpse of Heaven....where we will all one day be together.

Community is another family, another home away from home. A place or state of being where you can express yourself and share your thoughts, what's on your heart, or the talents God has given you.

Community comes in so many different forms and can be completely different for each of us.

Perhaps your community is found from school and friends, in a place where young minds meet and collaborate and work + laugh together.








Perhaps your community is at church, with the people you see each Sunday, who believe as you do, who pray + encourage you.




Perhaps your community is found in where you live - where you eat, sleep, wake, discuss, joke, and live with peers who not only love + support you, but will hold you when you cry, carry you when you can't walk, laugh when you need it, and always be right down the hall or one floor away.








Or perhaps, you find community in all of these. 

Perhaps, there is community everywhere. We just have to open our eyes and recognize it. 

So go find your community. It is so worth it, I promise you.