Monday, June 25, 2012

summer wardrobe

Where I live, summer is hot. Not burning hot, just hot. Daily 80s, 90s, sometimes 100 or over - so nothing extreme, but enough. And in the summer, as in all the other seasons of the year, the quest for comfortable modest clothing is important...and often difficult. We're in the time of year when wearing as little as possible is actually nice - but not when it means compromising principles and exposing ourselves unnecessarily. The need for modest clothing is just as important now as it is in cooler months when we can wear layers, denim, tights, fashion sweaters and boots. In fact, here's where our decision to be modest can get seriously put to the test. 

But, to my great joy, it seems that light, flowy, mid-length skirts are the fashion this year, as well as bright colors, peasant tops, and retro designs. Summer styling heaven!

So, I'm here this afternoon to give you a little peek into my summer wardrobe. Every outfit and item (including the color[s] shown) here is something I actually have and wear, and each picture is linked back to the listing on the website so you can investigate more yourself! Enjoy!

These four skirts are part of my sister and my essential outfit building pieces. All four are very light weight, don't need a slip (yay!), and are long enough to do any of our favorite activities (or necessary ones, like sitting) without causing a...distruption *chuckle* I pair them with pretty much everything!

Lands' End Logo

These are also lovely - easy to throw on if I'm in a hurry. We also have three of last year's version of the same shirt in navy blue and black - and we actually like those better. But these are nice too (just watch your straps *grin*)

go to homepage

This is our favorite store. Just hands down. We can *always* pick up something here, and even though sometimes our finds need a leetle modifying to make them *perfect*, it's normally as simple as adding a cami or mini-sweater. And it's pretty inexpensive :D

I'm actually wearing this middle pink one right now. The lime green is my favorite - I believe it matches everything I have (although my sister might disagree *grin*) :) We do wear camis under these shirts, just as an FYI.

When I'm not in one of my Old Navy skirts, I'm in these crops. Due to my body shape (larger hips and a small waist), my normal size in pants leaves a lot of extra fabric around my waist that sometimes even the drawstring can't help with. But overall, these are a win. (I'm wearing them right now :D)

This is our cami headquarters. We have their wonder camisole in white, black, pink, and two different shades of neutral/skin tone. They are high enough at the neck that you can actually use them to add color, and tight enough that they don't add bulk to your outfit

Target logo.svg
I've found it's hit-or-miss with Target when it comes to fashion *chuckle* But while we were in SC, we definitely hit the bulls-eye on the clearance rack! There were some lovely peasant blouse-like tops that are very light and airy and pair well with my crops and jeans. It's hard to find skirts that look right with long peasant tops and not look like you're one big tube all the way down - so if I do have to wear them with a skirt, I normally add a belt or tuck them in somehow :) 

Merona® Womens Kimono Top w/Smocking - Assorted Colors.Opens in a new windowMerona® Womens Smocked Checked Peasant Top - Assorted Colors.Opens in a new window

Merona® Womens Chambray Smocked Peasant Top - Assorted Colors.Opens in a new window


and since no outfit is complete without shoes.....


My lovely Hobbit feet (7.5 US WW) make finding shoes that fit and are comfortable is a real challenge. Naturalizer is probably my favorite place to shoe-shop, and we picked up these beauties discounted at an outlet mall in Smithfield, NC on our way to the beach:
Naturalizer Sana Sandal

For all my pool-deck-trotting I do in June and July, I need something that won't fall apart or absorb yucky water, but still is comfortable to wear. Each year, I get a few pairs of cheap, colorful flip flops to fill this need and they normally hold up very well! My colors this year:

So that's part of my summer wardrobe for this year! Now, what I wear to the pool in the mornings is very different than my normal apparel....maybe I should do a post on that too :) Would y'all like that?

What sort of outfits do you wear in the summer?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

summer sunday afternoon smoothie

Now that summer has officially arrived, the weather has switched from rainy and cold to blazing hot. We've already had several days in the high nineties, with several more on the forecast for this week. Perfect smoothie weather! I've been drinking a lot of them lately, since it's something that's soothing to my sore throat and congested sinuses and throbbing head.

For a "typical" smoothie, I start with yogurt - either Vanilla or Plain, whatever we happen to have on hand. Today, I got to scrape the bottom of the vanilla container:

Then the "add fruit" part. Sometimes I do strawberries and banana, sometimes peach and banana, or sometimes I just throw about one cup of mixed frozen fruit into the blender (with or without a fresh banana - I didn't use one today) and then...

...add orange juice or milk (OJ today)....

...and a little little bit of honey to take the edge off the yogurt....

...and there you go! A fresh fruit smoothie. I added a dried coconut garnish to mine (kinda overdid it though, I'm sipping it right now and it's all settled to the bottom so I'm getting a mouthful of flakes everytime :P)

It's a still yet stormy Sunday afternoon - everyone in the house is quiet. We have VBS set-up tonight, but other than that, there's not much going on. This week is going to be busy, with swim team every morning and VBS every night, as well as it being the last full week I have until I leave for Nicaragua. It's been a great summer so far, and I'm looking forward to the next month ahead!

On a side note, has anyone seen Pixar's newest movie Brave yet? I'm thinking about going to see it with a friend in the next week or so, and was wondering what y'all's opinions are. PluggedIn doesn't love it, so I'm a little skeptical...but then, PI has been wrong before :P Just curious...

Closing with the Scripture we read today in church (I love the Psalms, btw):
Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.
- Psalm 95:6-7
Bless and be blessed today!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

awkward and awesome // 6.21.12

I like Thursdays, 'cause I get to share those little bits of my life that normally get overlooked in the general busyness of my currently crazy life :)

☼ forgetting my stroke count during my 50 backstroke race, and taking an extra stroke *right* at the wall and subsequently bashing the back of my head/neck on the aforementioned wall with a loud thump. solicited several comments such as, "Are you okay, honey?" and "Whoa, you really whacked that wall!" and "I saw that coming from the alright?" At least I only added .20 seconds on my time *wry grin*
☼ playing around in the pool with Mallard during break and missing a shot (basketball) from about four feet from the net and two hands on the ball and then grinning with a "Oh, I'm just warming up" :D Let's just say I'm not related to LeBron all :P
☼ hanging out with friends at the pool who are all playing "Plague" on their iPhones and hearing comments like, "YES! BACTERIA!" or "Oh, oh, oh - hemophilia!" or "Oh yeah, it's evolving and it's...TUMORS!" or "Oh really? Well yesterday I was killing like two million people a day" or "Greenland just WON'T DIE!" or "Look, look: 'Sweden declaring national crisis'...*cackling* Maybe they should declare world crisis...."
Sometimes I wonder....*shakes head*
☼ winning our first scored swim meet of the season!
☼ singing the Star Spangled Banner to open the meet. This is the second time I've done it, but because of my cold I asked Titiana and our friend Alexander to join me - it sounded pretty good, the three of us :)
☼ getting cast as Alice in Bye Bye Birdie!!! This is going to be such a super show - lots of singing, dancing, humor, and fantastic costumes. If any of you are around September 14-16, you should think about stopping in for a show...
via pinterest
☼ listening to my fantastic Pandora stations, as usual. Country, praise and worship, country, pop, country, soundtracks, country, CCM, country, etc. *grin*
☼ working hard out the garden all morning and coming in with muddy feet, crazy hair, sticky shirt and wet from the hose to clean up and sit down for milkshakes - courtesty of Mother Dear.
☼ being at the pool four hours a day, four or five days a week plus meets and meet line-ups - honestly folks, our swim team is The. Best. Everyone there is just awesome. Plain and simple. :)
☼ realizing I only have two more Sundays left here before my trip...let the countdown begin!
☼ camping trip with coaches and lots of 13 and older swimmers last weekend - yummy food, massive soccer game, midnight capture-the-flag with headlights as the flags, "Body Body" after that, staying up till 2:30 with a small handful of folks singing praise songs with some country tunes thrown in, lazy wake-up morning, Bodo's for breakfast. It was fantastic ;)

via pinterest
Thank you all for the long comments and cheerful emails and chats y'all sent me over the past few days - they were super special! I'm still not better, but I'm not worse. I cannot WAIT to have this behind me. It's the price you pay when you swim....sharing all that germy water *blech* Anyway. It's given me plenty of time to read my books and watch period dramas and pin lovely things and catch up on sleep. But boy, am I ready to be better!!!

Have a splendid afternoon, y'all! I'm off to my first rehearsal for Bye Bye Birdie this evening and should rest up before then :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

left behind?

Today is Day Four of Being Very Sick. At least I'm not exhausted today - my strength is coming back. At least my closed up, sore throat is gone. At least. But I still am *completely* congested and my head is aching and my stomach hurts. Other than that, I'm fine.

Okay, enough with the pity party and the sarcasm. I did need to get that out though...

I'm here at home, trying to be content. This is the second day of swim practice I've had to miss out on. I actually went yesterday and just watched and hung out, but today Mama and the girls almost forcibly held me down and said I couldn't go. We do have a meet tomorrow, and I guess I need my rest if I want to swim that. But it's SO HARD to be left behind.

I don't like being left behind.

And I've been fighting that feeling in more than one area of life recently, so it's kinda interesting that I get to spend the whole morning here thinking about being left behind.

You see, with that "unusual" decision of mine NOT to leave my family and go to college this fall, I've had to start coming to terms with what that actually means. It means that I'm going to be here, in my hometown, for a whole school year, working, spending time with my family, playing piano, acting, and most of all, praying for direction for what I should do next. Which sounds great, right?

Yeah. Just not to the folks who are concerned that I'm not going to "do" anything with my life. Not going to get a good education (??), not going to get a good job and make money. Which are valid concerns. But I just don't think college is the solution to those problems. At least, not for me this year.

But just because I'm taking a gap year doesn't mean others aren't. And I know that, come fall, when everyone's busy at college and I'm not, that I'm going to miss being with them and wish I hadn't been "left behind" to "miss out". Miss out on what? Oh, I don't know. Just whatever they're doing. But really, deep down, I know that I'm never left behind - 'cause this gap year is what I feel God has asked me to do for Him, and He wouldn't do it just to make me feel lonely for no reason. I'm going to grow this year, I know.

But still. Today is one of those days. I'm sick, sitting in bed writing thank you notes and reading books on my Kindle (another story for another day :D), looking at adorable bedrooms on Pinterest, and listening to country music. And still I have too much time....time enough to count off on my fingers the days I have left until I have to say goodbye.

And it probably won't be that bad anyway. The time will fly, and it'll be winter break and then spring break and then summer again before I know it. But still.

Oh, the thoughts one has when one's home sick from the pool....

Monday, June 18, 2012

isle of palms 2012

Our annual trip to the Isle of Palms happened a little early this year due to the plethora of activities we're invovled in during June, July and August. We left on May 30th, and got home late on June 5th.

Leia turned 16 while we there, and my grandmother threw a big birthday party for her on the 3rd (the day before her actual birthday)

with our dear little Aunt Elle who we managed to see about five or six times during our stay - can't get enough of her!!!

with our cousin William

with cousin Zoë
this baby never fails to crack me up. love you zu!

my grandmother (in the red) just re-connected/discovered her long lost second cousins (to her right and left). They're sisters, and if you've ever seen The Waltons, you'll know what I mean when I say that these two lovely ladies are the real-life Baldwin sisters :) Oh, and that's my Annie's (grandmother) brother, my Uncle Billy, on the right.

down time...on the iPhone :)

is her watermelon suit not the CUTEST ever?

love this. Daddy and Baby.

On Leia's actual birthday, we went to our favorite restaurant: The Wreck on Shem Creek.

Zuzu and Marfa (Martha) weren't so sure they liked the boiled peanuts.

it's hard to believe she's sixteen! time flies...

we had nice surfing weather a few of the days. the waves weren't very big, but they were steady and fun to ride!

Overall, it was a very relaxing and successful family vacation! I love South Carolina :) It was so much fun seeing all the Clemson stickers on the cars, and the "House Divided" ones with the Tigers and Gamecocks instead of the Cavaliers and Hokies like it is up here *grin*

See you next year, IOP!