Friday, September 30

Feminine and Flirty

Tonight I asked my dear husband to take me out for a photo shoot. The first place we stopped had way too many people walking about which made me nervous and uncomfortable and very inhibited. Ridiculous of me but true. The second location was actually the backdrop to a cemetery and was wonderfully quiet and peaceful. Much more conducive to my relaxation and modeling creativity. Here is the result of our excursion. 

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 This outfit was inspired by the completion of the sheer top you see in the photographs. It's one of my own recently finished designs. The truth is that it turned out quite differently than my original sketch, and sewing it presented new challenges due to the quickly fraying fabric. Looking at the photos I'm still not sure I'm happy with how it lays exactly, but when I put it on I feel romantic and sweetly feminine. What do you think?

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I love tights with heels. Beautiful for the fall.

The glasses actually belong to James. I like to borrow them every now and then to make an "artsy statement." Someday I'd love to have my own prescription put into lenses like these. 

Below is a picture from the first location we stopped at. The sunshine was beautiful but unfortunately too many other people thought so too. 


I wonder, do any of you struggle with modeling in public locations? Maybe it's just me but I feel incredibly awkward taking pictures of my outfit when strangers are watching. I like to think of it as an exercise in confidence building. 

Hope you've all had a wonderful week! Love and God bless. xoxo,

Wednesday, September 28

While I Wait...

I love walks outside and I'm going to miss seeing things like this as Fall approaches and Winter follows.   I'm not always the best at photographing flowers but this was my best specimen yet. The colors are so vivid and I love the drop of rain on the foliage in the background. 

I'm learning about that dreaded word we call patience lately. Finding myself constantly in one transition after another and always hoping for the next thing to come. Always wanting to know the future before I get to it so I can be prepared and feel in control. My Bible study has pointed out some cool truths about waiting that are really helping me grow in patience. One of those truths is the reminder that times of waiting are always given to prepare us for what is ahead. Times of waiting stretch our faith and strengthen our relationship with God in a way that immediate gratification cannot. In Scripture we're even told what to do while we wait. We're told to pray. Just as the disciples prayed as they waited for the Holy Spirit to come to them after Jesus' ascension into Heaven. And when 40 days had passed, the Holy Spirit came in a mighty way. (Read Acts 2 to find out all about it!)

I've had this journal since 2007 and love looking back on things I've prayed for and seeing how God answered. It's even neat to see the things He said "no" to and realize how glad I am that He did say "no." Right inside the cover I have these three Scriptures written as reminders of God's promises regarding prayer. 


My prayer for this blog is that it would honor God. This is something I'm growing into; it's something I must pray about. That I would more and more forget about myself as I learn of Him. And that He would change my behaviors from temporal to eternal so that through my life you would see Him and His offering of love and salvation.

Happy Wednesday everyone. Lots of love,

Linking up for the first time with:

Monday, September 26

I Am a Housewife

It's been one of those days where there is simply not enough time and energy to complete everything. I started cleaning our place very thoroughly this afternoon being inspired by the gorgeous weather and refreshing breeze coming in the windows. I had every intention of finishing all the dusting, the floors, the sinks and countertops, the dishes and every surface area til it shone with perfection. Now I'm sitting at the table quite spent and my kitchen didn't get cleaned yet. Which to me makes the whole place appear messy since the kitchen is visible from every room. Upsetting to say the least. And I have to stop because it's time to go back to the school and practice piano and then get any last minute homework finished before the morning. Sadly enough, I didn't even make a supper tonight. Oh cereal, here we come! Ah the shortcomings of my housewifery. I'm guessing lots of women can relate.

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Tomorrow is James' birthday and he wants more than anything for me to bake him this delicious creamy pumpkin cheesecake. It's a recipe we found in Lunds and Byerly's real food magazine. And in case you wish to join me and bake them for the very first time, here is the recipe...

Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake, Your Way
24 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 extra large eggs
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
 1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract 
soft butter for greasing pan

Suggested optional toppings:
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
3 tablespoons candied ginger, finely minced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, creme fraiche, and cornstarch until smooth. Add eggs, pumpkin puree, all but 1 tablespoon sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
3. Heavily butter a 10-inch, removable-bottom cake pan. Pour in batter. Bake 30 minutes.
4. Top with pecans, white chocolate chips, and ginger (or toppings of your choice). Bake 40 minutes longer until firm. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate 25 hours before serving. If enjoying cheesecake plain sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Enjoy 'em for up to 5 days! If they stick around that long.

Sunday, September 25

Surprise Anniversary Trip



On the plane.

Roaming the city.

More roaming...

Love all the color!

We paid a visit to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

I'm guessing this guy was a dancer and needed some new profile shots?

Us riding the escalator. Just a regular every day life experience that really is so much better when you're on vacation.

South Coast Plaza Shopping Center. The Garden Bridge.

 We left on a Thursday afternoon. I had to teach piano lessons until noon that day so we packed everything in the car and he dropped me off at the school early in the morning. After teaching he picked me up and we drove to his sister's so she could take us to the airport. He kept me in the dark until I finally saw our destination listed on my ticket. My first reaction was excitement followed by immediate concern as I realized I hadn't packed travel sized containers of face wash, lotions, shampoos, etc. I explain this to James and he looks at me and says, "Really? Can you show me?" I open my toiletries bag and stare at it like I must've somehow grabbed someone else's stuff. Apparently that morning after he dropping me off, he drove back to the house to repack my things. All of it was in perfect little containers and ziplocked for flying. Sweet man.


California was beautiful. We spent two days in busy L.A. and two days in Orange County shopping and seeing the sights. We ended the trip with this beautiful sunset on our last night. Anyone else have a fun anniversary story? I'd love to hear it!

Tuesday, September 13

Beautiful to See

Source: via Courtney on Pinterest

Source: via Courtney on Pinterest

I love how certain photos combine for an even more powerful impact. These three are all beautiful standing alone, but gorgeous to me when viewed together. 

The sewing machine photo I loved immediately upon seeing it on Gussy Sews' pinboard she calls "Sewing Machine Lust."

The pink flower photo I first saw on Luce de Luce's "Pink" pinterest board. The whole board is amazing and worth a visit.

The brilliant contrast of the dark sweater set against the white background in the last photo is what caught my eye. The floral pattern absolutely pops. This one I found on egle's pinboard called "photography that inspires." It's one among many breathtaking shots.

 Happy Tuesday all with lots of love from me...

Monday, September 12

Monday Bits

My new wallpaper background...


You can check out some other fun prints by clicking on the source link below the photo. Got this idea from Miki and her adorable blog, miki's scrapbook. She also has some other fun stuff on her great ideas and sites post you might enjoy checking out...

 Today has been a busy Monday; I am ready for Tuesday. My lesson planning is done and my homework is ready to turn in. Bring on tomorrow!

James and I are celebrating our one-year anniversary this weekend. He is planning a surprise trip and says I have to pack two cute outfits and one really cute outfit and my swimming suit. And that I should plan to be away for four nights. Of course when I hear I'm going to be away for four nights I automatically make that packing list about a mile longer than just 3 outfits and a swimsuit. It's deliciously fun to await this surprise, but I'm going crazy trying to guess. All I know is what to pack (sort of) and the fact that I won't be able to practice the piano while we're gone. He won't give me anymore details. What a sweetheart! I love my man.

Sunday, September 11

Weekend Thrills

We started off our weekend with a wedding on Friday night. For their party favors the couple gave these metal leaf bookmarks to their guests. The beautiful packaging had a note that said "Fall in Love" and had the couples name inscribed underneath. Cute, yes?

I put it to use immediately and tried to "fall in love" with school work. My most recent goal is to go through a book or two a week gathering information for my final research paper. Have I mentioned how much I love old books?

Saturday began with a trip to the library to return some books that were soon to be due. Of course I couldn't resist picking up some new ones to inspire.

The weather was beautiful and has been all weekend so we took advantage and made spontaneous picnic plans. Stopped at the yummiest pizza place in town...

Drove to a park. Waited for a train. I never realized how wonderful it can be to wait for a train when you actually have time. I love the sound of trains. 

When we got to the park we were met by a friendly amount of grasshoppers. We had to shoo one off our table but not before snapping his photo. At least I think it's a "he."

Loving Saturday...

After our picnic, we went shopping and spent an enormous amount of energy picking out a new candle for our apartment. It's always a treat to smell every single option... maybe I should rephrase that: It's always a treat to find a scent that doesn't make you want to vomit! We ended up with a Tangerine Raspberry scent in the beautiful color called orange.

Sunday started with a trip to church. Then lunch and a short nap. Then a coffee shop visit to indulge in homework, blogging, etc. And hopefully tonight I'll get to do some crocheting. Below is a photo of another soon to be shop item in a soft grey shade and it makes me very happy.


How did you spend your weekend?

Saturday, September 10

I Love Jesus

I'm so excited about this week because BSF resumes. If you've never heard of it, those three letters stand for Bible Study Fellowship International. BSF began over 50 years ago with a small group of women who desired to deepen their faith through a weekly Bible study. It now includes men, women, and children around the world with that same desire.


I heard about this Bible study through my sister. And so far have participated in two studies, the first was the book of Matthew, and the second the life of Moses. There are classes all over the US and in several other countries! If you're interested in finding one near you just click here to do your research. One of the best parts is that all the materials are free. You just go, sing, meet people, learn about God, then leave with your work sheet and study the Bible all week long. I LOVE it! And I'd highly recommend it!

Hope you all are having a fantastic weekend. Tomorrow I'm hoping to post some of my weekend activities. Can't wait! For now, it's time to get some sleep...

p.s. The photo I found on a really cool blog called mrs. alana's miscellany. I loved it at first sight and pinned it immediately. As I was typing up this post, I remembered the photo and thought it would be the perfect complement. Hope you don't mind me using it Alana!

Thursday, September 8

Scarf Tutorial as Promised


Circle Scarf Ingredients:
3/4 yards of fabric 54'' in width (from selvage to selvage)
or 1.5 yards (54") any width cut to 27" would be even better!
Matching thread or non-matching if you wish
Fabric Scissors
Measuring tape
Sewing Machine (or just a needle if you're going to hand-sew)
Fabric pencil or chalk

To be completely honest, the fabric I bought is a decorating fabric and so is of the 54" wide variety. It was pricier than I expected so to save money I bought only 3/4 of a yard. If you choose to do this, you'll have to follow this tutorial from Step 1 to the finish. If you found a fabric you loved and were able to buy a whole yard and a half no problem, then you can join me at Step 4 and follow along to the finish.

Step 1
Fold your fabric in half from selvage edge to selvage edge and iron a crease.
Use your fabric pencil to trace the crease and then your scissors to cut on the line.
This will divide your material into two equal pieces with a selvage edge on each piece.


Step 2
Place your two pieces right sides facing each other. (Important: Your selvage edges should not be touching.)


Step 3.
Pin and sew from one selvage edge to the other selvage edge leaving a .75" seam allowance. This will give you one long piece of fabric. It should be nearly 54" long now and 27" wide.


Step 4.
Fold the fabric in half right sides facing so when it's folded and laying flat it looks like it is 54" long and only 13ish" wide. Match up the seams you made earlier for the cleanest look. It helps to iron down those seam wings as you see in the photo below.


Step 5.
Pin and sew the long edge leaving a .75" seam allowance. When you finish with Step 5 you should have a long tunnel of fabric wrong side out.


Step 6.
Start pulling one end of the tunnel through to line up with the other end so that right sides of the fabric are facing. This is a difficult step to explain so if you have a question feel free to ask me in a comment or in an email (


Step 7.
Pin and sew together leaving a 3" gap. I like to put pins in an x at the point where I need to stop sewing. This way I don't accidentally sew my scarf shut!


Step 8.
Through the gap pull the scarf slowly right side out. After this step your scarf is nearly finished with the exception of the 3" hole along that seam line.


Step 9.
Blind stitch by hand the small opening closed. 


Step 10.
Iron if you wish... or be done. You can wear it hanging long or wrapped around twice. Either way you'll love it! 


Happy sewing everyone...

Tuesday, September 6

The Perfect Work of Perseverance

I love school for the most part I really do, but there are pieces of it that torment me. One of these torments is writing papers. And as a nearly graduated graduate student, I have a huge one waiting at my feet to be written. It's not so much the writing that gets me, it's the researching. And even though I love my topic (piano pedagogy), I find it hard to set aside time to go sit at the library and work. When I manage to get myself to the library, I feel so strongly the temptation to browse the internet reading lovely blogs or I long for the moment when I can go home and create clothing designs. I tell myself, it's just one more semester of studies... just one more....  I wonder if I have what it takes to finish. Am I spent? Do I have any self-discipline and motivation left?

This morning as I was going through my journal looking at Scripture verses I've written down in the past, I came across this one. "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." - James 1:4 (NIV)

I realize this wasn't written specifically to graduate students, but since that is where I'm at right now, I took it to mean I mustn't quit at the task God has put before me. Even though the going is tough, I must not quit. And even though I wonder if all the sacrifice and effort will be worth it in the end, I must have faith that I will reap the benefits of what I sow. And then I realized, that it is in fact paying off right in this moment because through this battle I am learning what it is to persevere. God is working in me. I do have faith.

Blessings to all of you who are persevering through your unique battle. I wish you all the strength and encouragement you need to carry on.


Monday, September 5

From Head to Toe

In case you hadn't guessed it, this is an outfit post. I haven't done one in awhile and was feeling inspired to photograph what I wore on this gorgeous day. James took me for a long walk to a coffee shop where I sat and did homework for an hour or two. Here's what I wore:


Outfit Details...
Hat: Express
Earrings: Along for the Ride
Scarf: gift from a friend from Italy
Purse: T.J. Max
Sweater: Target
Dress: Express
Leggings: gift from my mother
Shoes: Eco-tique

Yes, I am wearing black on black on black with a brown accessory. Yikes! Or maybe not. I like to think the fashion rules that told us never to mix brown and black are a thing of the past. Have you broken any "fashion rules" lately?