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i guess in this little game-show of life, i have gotten my fair share of grand prizes. but it’s nice, even when you feel like you just got jipped out of the jackpot, to walk away with something to show. and from this spin of the wheel of love, i did get to walk away with some nice parting gifts that made the parting itself a little softer to bear.

the night i realized paul and i needed to break up, i felt a very comforting peace. only the second time in my life that i can really recall such a powerful peace about a big decision i’ve had to make. (the first was when i decided to take the job in cincinnati, rather than in charleston, south carolina back in December 2004.) anyway, so peace comforted me. then i went and (like every good student of Modernity) checked my email, where i received word that i–for the second time in my life–had won something. i’d won things based on merit before; scholarships and writing awards. but winning things by random lottery? the only other time was in junior high and i won a script of some movie that wasn’t even worth seeing. it’s in my old closet at my parents’ house still, hopefully collecting value or something.

regardless, so i ended up winning a $500 shopping spree to a designer website, frankeys.com. i received my first batch of winnings on Friday before i left work for the new year. i opened it and laughed, “it’s my break-up presents!”

here are my $200 Frye shoes:

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and my $90 heeled sandals:

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and, the cherry on top, are the cards i’ve received from friends, full of encouragement and, of course, lots and lots of humor. as new found glory once said, “i’d pick my friends over you…”

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following in the steps of Felicity, after a major life change, so comes some sort of physical chang as a sort of memorial to the new days at hand. while i didn’t chop off my hair, i did dye it a couple shades darker. although many people can’t really tell, i am quite content. it’s one of those semi-permanent ones (lasts about a month) so i can be lazy and not have to worry about any sorts of roots. my kind of makeover:

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making my way into work earlier this week, i happened to look down. it was the perfect leaf, strewn in with all kinds of other mottled and ripped leaves. it was a tiny little leaf, in the shape of a heart, with the stem pointing away from the heart-shape. it’s the leaf i’d been imagining if i ever get the guts to get a tattoo:

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and placement of where i think i’d want it to end up (although i’d just want black and white–no color):

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yes, fall is my friend.

i’ve been looking up verses about “growth” and “planting” for this (possibly?) impending tattoo, when i came across this verse, that seemed pretty well timed, considering everything of late:

Colossians 1:10
9-12 We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.

here are the other verses i’ve come across that speak to this idea. i think it’d be cool to integrate some sort of verse into the whole leaf/heart/God image:

Philippians 1:9-11
So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well.

2 Peter 3:18
But grow in the grace and knowledge
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Hebrews 12:15 (New International Version)
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Colossians 1:6 (New International Version)
All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.

Ephesians 4:15 (New International Version)
15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:7 (New International Version)
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

Matthew 13:32 (New International Version)
Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”

Deuteronomy 32:2 (New International Version)
Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.

i’m sitting at home listening to “hey delilah,” ready for the weekend. it’s very peaceful. like a breath of fresh air.

last night i met brianna and, sitting in the comfy couches of starbucks, i sipped my peppermint white chocolate latte and she her eggnog latte (although i’m not positive that either of them were lattes; i have no understanding about any of those differences. all i can tell is whether it’s hot or cold). anyway, we got on the subject of tattoos. it’s not anything i’d ever been interested in, but over this summer, something has begun to change…i think it’d be nice.

the problem has always been that i’m a very safe decision-maker; i shop around before i make any big purchase. i don’t commit to big plans until i’ve had time to mull them over and make certain they’ll work. i keep an excel spreadsheet of my finances and budget. so when it comes to things that will last forever, it’s not exactly in my comfort zone. i look back at the clothes i wore even 4 years ago and cringe–were my skirts really that short?! did i really think the whole newsboy cap was cool?! really?! and i know that that’s as much a result of growing up and settling more comfortably into my own skin (as opposed to society/what everyone else is doing). but still. am i capable to make any decision that lasts that long?

i haven’t decided. but i’ve been kicking it around. i’ve come so far as to think that what i would like to get is something with a leaf or a fern. ideally it’d be a leaf in the shape of a heart of some sort. the idea behind that is that “God is love” and I feel closest/most aware of Him and His grandness when i’m out in nature. everything about nature just seems to edify me and–no pun intended–ground me. i think that’s one of the reasons why i love the color green so much; it’s so symbolic. anyway, so rather than the usual cross or icthus, that’s what i’d get to represent my faith for me.

i was originally thinking it’d be cool to get it on my left wrist (to remind me to spread that love out into the world, be Jesus’ hands and feet in my actions), but that’s where my fear gets the best of me. what if i’m 50 and get self-conscious of it? i’m not too fond of long-sleeves as it is, so that’s a great deal of commitment. the next logical place is my back or on my side. but then i wonder, if i don’t see it, what’s the point? however i used to wear a cross necklace because i thought it’d help me remind me of my faith and the whole WWJD thing, but inevitably i’d forget i was wearing it, so i’m sure this is just another one of those you’re-bound-to-get-used-to-it things anyway.

here’s the best example i could find:

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but i did convince brianna to let me go with her when she gets hers, hopefully next month.

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