Friday, July 26, 2013

Lust For Valentino

I'm am having some serious lust over this new studded collection by Valentino. I can only dream about these things, as I have limited personal resources due to marriage, children, pets, and life's funny little mishaps that suck the dollars right out of my coin purse.


 If I could only pick one thing from this collection, I would have to choose the reasonably priced (ahem, throat clearing) little number below. I LOVE IT!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kimono Jackets

The kimono jacket was first called out as an upcoming trend in 2011 when top designers were featuring them on the runways. Now they are everywhere for spring/summer, especially amongst the festival-goers. They work because they are easy to wear for most shapes and sizes. These looks incorporate trends like fringe, tie-dye, ombre, block-printing, geometrics and floral prints. The versatile kimono jacket can be worn as a swimsuit coverup, a light evening wrap, or as a statement piece. Would you wear one?


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Non-Traditional Wedding Ideas

Traditional brides wear white wedding dresses and get married in June, right? Isn't that every girl's dream? Not always. Sometimes a girl likes to shake things up and do things a little bit differently.

My best girlfriend got remarried last weekend at the resort at China Peak and had a not-so-traditional cake topper on her wedding cake.
Add a personal touch to your big day by writing a special message or favorite line from a poem for your guests to enjoy - like the one on these coasters.
Bling it yourself! Add some sparkle to a pair of flats by adding glitter or rhinestones at a huge cost savings than if you bought them already embellished. 

Want an alternative to the traditional wedding bouquet? Make your floral arrangement using crocheted flowers or recycled doilies. Great idea, huh?

Finally, be yourself! If you aren't a white wedding dress kind of girl, do what songstress Avril Lavign did - she rocked a black gown to exchange vows with Nickelback front man Chad Kroeger last weekend.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Let me tell you a story...

Happy Independence Day! I LOVE America and thank God everyday for placing me here in the greatest country in the world. I've had the opportunity to travel beyond our borders to countries where people do not have the precious rights we here in America take for granted every day.

Let me tell you a story about the moment I realized how much I valued my American citizenship. In 1991 I traveled with a group from my church to work on restoring a three-story building to be used in ministry in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. There were about 15 of us men and women, all willing to lay tile, repair plumbing, dig trenches, and paint walls - whatever it took to make the place livable. We spent two weeks there - a time when the Yugoslavian civil war was breaking out. It was summer and hot. To get food, we had to walk daily to a local store to buy whatever food we would eat for that day only. It was a culture shock but we were young and thought of it as an adventure. As Americans we wore bright t-shirts and laughed and chatted as we walked. The oppressed people around us wore drab neutral colors and glanced at us with solemn faces. Some even glared. Looking back, I am sure we appeared arrogant and rude, although we were really just innocent and confident in all that our birthright endowed us with. We walked through a park on one outing and were told later there were snipers in the trees. We could have been killed. Another day we visited the town square and saw a black cloaked woman sitting on the ground completely shrouded by her garment, but for her maimed hand that shook a cup begging for coins. Our guide told us her parents most likely maimed her themselves because as part of a lower cast system, being a beggar would at least give her a way to make a living. Maiming her would make her more pathetic, and evoke sympathy and financial aid from those who saw her. I had no words for how I felt about this. In the middle of our time in Zagreb, we took a quick trip to Austria for the weekend - a little break from our hard work. As part of our trip we took a train through Germany in the middle of the night. As we slept in our berths our train came to a stop. Soldiers boarded the train. For whatever reason, they singled us out, demanding our passports and ticket stubs. Then they began yelling that we had not paid enough. We were told that if we did not pay what they demanded, we would be put off the train. I looked outside. We were in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. Our group leader paid the soldiers, who then exited the train. We were safe, but shaken. I remember thinking they can't do that, we are Americans! And my very next thought was but you aren't in America.What a sobering thought for a young American girl. As our two weeks came to a close, and we boarded our plane to fly home, I was more than ready to get back to the absolute safety and comfort (a bottle of Coke and a glass of ice) of my beloved country. As we were flying over the Atlantic ocean and back into America, our pilot's voice came over the speaker and announced, Ladies and gentlemen, we are now crossing into America, the land of the free. Big tears filled my eyes and rolled down my cheeks as I watched the land appear below me. America...gulp, home.
When I returned to my little drafty house that I always complained about before my trip to Zagreb, I bent down and literally kissed the ground and thanked God for my many, many blessings.

My prayer is that my children and the youth of today would hold dear the truths and principles on which this great nation was founded, that they would comprehend their birthright and stand strong and proud to protect it. It saddens me that so many Americans know more about the Kardashians than they do the Constitution. There is no greater place in this world than the United States of America. I say this not in arrogance but in humbleness. May God always bless America.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!


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