Friday, October 29, 2010

Fashion Tip Friday: Simple Style

Last week I wore an outfit I absolutely loved.
It was just so simple and comfy and I pulled it together in about 90 seconds.
(Sometimes when I'm in a hurry I'm able to piece things that I don't necessarily think of when I have the time to think. Weird.)

I know these are *once again* bad photos, but literally I was about to change into my sweats and sweatshirt for the evening (because that's what you would usually find me in if you came to my door) and realized how much I loved this outfit and that it would be perfect to share and explain!
(Yes. Queen once again of the run-on sentence.)

Because, really, all this outfit is is a jacket over a tee and jeans.
But it's the details that make me love it!
And it's the details that take it beyond just run-of-the-mill.

The purple shoes are the ones from yesterday's Sassy Shoe Thursday post, and they really give the outfit an interesting pop of color.
Not to mention, their shape is classic without being too everyday. Does that make sense?
I rolled my gray skinnies. (That I've seriously been wearing I think nearly every day. If you live in Colorado Springs and see me on a consistent basis, you know this.)
Rolling skinny or straight leg jeans is the one of the latest fall trends. I usually cuff them, but I like this.
Now, that jacket is just a plain black dress coat, but I rolled the sleeves (because they bother me when they're down). But, the fact that it's layer over a plain cotton tee adds a little more interest.
(And I love mixing textures.)
If my shirt was a rayon or other dressier material, it would have kicked the outfit up a notch.
Chunky earrings make it feel not-so-plain.
My hair is just a simple blow out, directed back with a round brush, which added to the casual feel of the outfit.
(Usually I sweep my front fringe across my forehead... except that I have a cowlick and never quite get the results I want. Ever.)


See? So simple. Yet, it has an almost indescribable interest to it.
Now, when I first put it on that morning I paired this belt with it.
(I think it originally looked better than it comes across in this photo.)
BUT, by the time I got to my second scheduled thing that day, it was just too restrictive.
(I have a hard time with belts around my middle.)
So, I took it off.
And I wound up liking the outfit better without.

pulling it all together...
Gray Skinnies that I adore and wear constantly: H&M 
Shoes: brand says "Connie," vintage, Goodwill
Tee: Mens Hanes V-neck (Multi-pack in the mens underwear section. Ha!)
Jacket: Goodwill (I almost didn't buy this! My amazing friend Tammy found it last June and said I had to get it. So thankful for friends that see what we can't... and encourage us 'til we see it, too.)
Belt: Came with a Liz Claiborne silk dress that was 99 cents at my favorite thrift store... that I've actually never worn.
Large gold hoops: Forever 21
Gold rhinestone bracelet: Nate's Grammie
Chunky gold bracelet: Thrifted from my favorite store.
Little gold ring: Grams

Now, I could have added a long, knotted gold chain down the front, but I wanted to keep it simple.
I also could wear this with trouser jeans, tuck the shirt in and pull the belt through the loops for a different look.
And during the summer this would look great with some dressy shorts.
See all the different options?
I could EVEN put on my glasses (that I should really wear more often but always forget about 'til I need them and don't have them with me, like now as I'm typing) and look all studious.

The whole point is to have some pieces with interest.
Like the gray jeans. They take it a different direction than regular jeans would... especially being rolled.
And the purple shoes... because your shoes don't have to be all matchy-matchy with the rest of your outfit!!!
They just need to not clash... too badly.  *wink*

And, yes. That's my suitcase in the background because I hadn't unpacked yet from the trip I took the weekend before.
(An AWEsome trip! Where I was totally blessed and amazed!)
And, yes. That's stuff piled on the edge of my bathtub, because I tend to throw things there.
Like my fuzzy pink bathrobe.
Ugh.

Then again, this is a real blog about real fashion for real women who live real lives.
So, maybe I should just say that I'm keepin' it real... yo.

So, the POINT of this post is that simple can still be fun and fashionable and have personality... just pay attention to some of the details!
(I could have worn black shoes, but why do that when I could wear purple??? See what I mean? It just makes you feel. extra. good.)

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sassy Shoe Thursday: Vintage

Over the past couple of years I've discovered a love for vintage shoes.
(I know some of you are totally grossed out right now!)
I've had many friends swear they would never put their feet in a pair of shoes that had been worn by someone else... much less worn by someone else twenty years ago.
At least, they swore that until they went shopping with me and found a great pair and were instantly converted.
*evil laugh*

I just think shoes used to be made a lot better.
Now-a-days you have to pay a king's ransom to acquire a new pair of shoes with great details, supple leather and superb craftsmanship!

Which is why I've found vintage is the way to go.
You get all those things AND they already have a fun personality.
(Yes, shoes have personalities. If you think otherwise, you obviously haven't been reading this blog for very long.)

You do need to be careful that they don't pinch anywhere or bend your footsies in an odd way, because their shape isn't really going to change.
BUT, if they fit well, then you've found a gem.

And, you're never going to guess this, but the best place to find great vintage shoes is at thrift stores.
You're shocked.
I know.

So, not only are you finding an amazing pair of shoes...
but you're paying an amazing price!

Some things I look for in my hunt for great vintage shoes:
*Something that stands out.
*Not too granny-looking.
*Soft leather.
*Make sure there aren't any stains.
*Check the straps. A lot of times they may be broken or fraying.
*That the soles are still pretty decent. But, if they are worn and still a great shoe, ten dollars at the cobbler is worth it.
*That the insoles aren't gross. Because that's just... well... too gross.
*That the color is still hard and fast on the toes and heels. (One of the first places to go.)
*Notice the vintage brands that you love and that work well on your feet, then keep an eye out for those.

I found an amazing pair of vintage french shoes a few months ago and passed on them because I wasn't sure how I would wear them. (I also thought Nate may detest them greatly.)
I broke one of my cardinal rules!
**If it's a great, great thing with a unique personality, get it! It doesn't matter if you're not sure how to wear it, you'll figure it out later.**
I have regretted leaving them on that Goodwill rack ever since. Oh, the agony.

Here are some new (old) favorites that I found this last June at one of my favorite haunts (the Goodwill down on South Circle for all you Springs peeps):


(I know the lighting isn't that great. I took these in my bathroom/closet as I was about to get comfy for the night - ie sweatpants - and the daylight for good photos was already gone. Yes, those are flip flops in the background.)


And here's a sneak peak of how I wore them recently:
(I'll show you the rest of the outfit tomorrow for Fashion Tip Friday. Simple... easy... pulled-together with personality.)


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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Mexican Campaign

iEmpathize has been working with the Mexican government's Anti-Trafficking Task Force to raise awareness of the staggering problem within their borders.
This video is part of a new media campaign to help the nation address this horrific issue.

Mexico City Short: The Way Home (English) from iEmpathize on Vimeo.


(To find out more about how iEmpathize is engaging with the world to stop human trafficking, go here.
 Or to join with them financially, go here.)
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Monday, October 18, 2010

In Awe.


I'm always blown away at what God does with what we have to give.
In fact, I'm increasingly convinced that the loaves and fish Jesus multiplied wasn't just about feeding the 5,000.
It was Him showing us that when we take the little that we have and give it ALL to Him, He will multiply it beyond measure...
beyond anything we ever thought possible...
 far beyond anything we could ever do on our own.
It goes so much deeper than physical food for hungry people
and becomes more about spiritual food for hungry people.
A little boy gave all he had.
Someone who would not have ever stood out in a crowd,
easily overlooked,
just an average human being...
who gave all he had to Jesus.
To God.
To the One who breathed the stars into existence.


We pray and seek and listen,
and then we create something as best we can out of our life experiences and the limited knowledge we have and hope that maybe,
just maybe,
it will feed a few people.
But it's when we step back and offer it...
ALL of it...
to God that He comes and inhabits it.
He fills it.
He breathes life into it.
That's when it is multiplied beyond anything we ever thought possible.
It becomes so much more than even what we originally intended it to be.
The little that we had to give, we gave.
The average, wouldn't ever stand out in a crowd, easily overlooked...
we gave.
All of it.
To the One who breathed the stars into existence.


Because our words are just that: our words.
But when we let God come and inhabit them,
they become His words.
He speaks.
And hearts are changed.
And people are healed.
And the blind receiving their sight.
And we are witness to a miracle.


And we are in awe.


Because all we had to give was a few loaves and fish.
But we gave it... all of it.
Then stepped back and watched as God took it and fed not just the people that were there, but the rest of the world for an eternity to come through the impact it had on those who originally heard.
Because one miracle done in the heart of one person leads to another miracle in the heart of another person and on and on and on...


And that's how we change our world.


And I am in awe.



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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Letting it get the best of me.

When I've asked multiple children multiple times to empty the trash in the evening
and the next morning I blindly throw a coffee filter away without first checking if it was actually emptied
and the filter falls to the floor and grounds go everywhere because
it wasn't emptied,
...that's when Motherhood gets the best of me.

When I've given fifteen minute warnings
and ten minute warnings
and five minute warnings
to let everyone know how close they are to walking out the door for school
and we get to time-to-leave time and still
no one is ready
and there is still a mad dash
and everyone winds up being late out the door for the third day in a row
...that's when Motherhood gets the best of me.

When I go into the laundry room to find socks for one child and discover
the other child has, 
in the process of doing a craft the day before,
taken clean clothes off the ironing board and folding counter and left them
all. over. the. floor mixed in with the dirty clothes
...that's when Motherhood gets the best of me.

When it's bedtime and we go to tuck everyone in and I discover that
the sheets that have been soiled the night before are still on the bed
because I forgot to pull them off that morning and put them in the washer, and because heaven forbid anyone else would be able to pull them off the bed and put them in the washer,
and I wind up having to make a make-shift bed on the floor just so everyone can go to sleep on time
and the mattress can only just now dry out
...that's when Motherhood gets the best of me.

When I step on the lego in the middle of the floor in the middle of the night
with my bare feet,
the same lego that I had pushed out of the way just a few hours ago and somehow it has magically found it's way right back into the path of where I walk,
and it makes me stumble so I lose my balance and step on more legos that have magically found
their way into the middle of my path even though it has been made very clear that they need to
not be there... ever...
...that's when Motherhood gets the best of me.

But when my youngest son gets home from school
and says he is sleepy and just wants to snuggle for a bit
and we lay on the couch with our legs intertwined and the cuddly blanket pulled up
and we're quiet for a long while
and then speak in hushed tones of Storm Troopers and Rosie the Tarantula and the squirrels out back
...that's when Motherhood gets the best of me.

And when I'm tucking my daughter into bed and she tells me of her day
and speaks to me of her dreams
and reads to me lyrics from the songs she writes in her journal
and asks if sometime just the two of us can go out shopping and maybe to Starbucks, just us two
...that's when Motherhood gets the best of me.

Or when my second-born shows me the picture he drew at school of a very detailed sort of
imaginary thing
and tells me the story of what the thing is doing
and how the thing came to be
and details of the thing's whole family
and I see his eyes light up with the beauty of imagination and creativity
and then he says, "I made it for you, Mom,"
...that's when Motherhood gets the best of me.

And when I'm standing in the kitchen and my oldest comes in quietly behind me
and slips his arms around my shoulders and rests his chin on my head,
because he's so much taller than I am now,
and just holds tight for quite a few seconds
and then says in his deep, masculine voice, "I love you, Mom,"
and then stays there a few seconds more before walking away to whatever he was doing before
...that's when Motherhood gets the best of me.

Because I'm learning,
as I walk this crazy, disaster prone, joy-filled road
that it's always better to let something like this get the best of you.

I'd rather it get the best of me now than get to the end of the road and realize,
looking back,
that I wish I would have let it get more of me.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Perfection.

This is taken straight from Jak & Jil Blog.
I just loved it. So much.
The dress. The texture.
The short front with the long back.
The feathers.
Absolutely to. die. for.
(She was headed to a ball, hence the ears and veil.)

I darn stinking need to get me some awesome ankle boots with fun detail, like, yesterday.
(But, not those exact ones. That would be lovely,
And then I'm going to pair them with something uber-feminine.
*sigh*

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Conversations with Ian

Finishing up lunch after church...

Ian, very serious: "For some reason I really like Jordan."

Taylor: "That's because he's your brother."

Ian: "Yeah, but I really like him. I follow him around a lot."

*pause*

"And even when he doesn't want me to follow him around, I stay there."

*pause*

"I like playing Wii with him."

Ian grins with spaghetti noodles hanging out of his mouth.
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Friday, October 8, 2010

Worship Leading (...and life)

This is so good.
Yes, these are thoughts on worship leading, but it translates to every area of our lives.
Honor, thankfulness, being a good steward.
It's all a given... but it's a given we often quickly forget.
Love Kim Walker-Smith's heart.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sassy Shoe Thursday: So Sad

I've been on the hunt for what seems like forever. (A year.)
Last winter, I thought I had found them.
Gorgeous. Nearly the most beautiful closed-toe, closed-back non-suede leather black heels in the world, short of Louboutins.
In fact, in the reviews on Zappos, girls said they were the closest you could get while avoiding that hefty price tag.
These were still way more than I ever spend on shoes, even with the gift card I was using.
(The only time I spend money like that is on guitar parts or hair stylists.)
But, they were beautiful.
The only ones I had found that spoke to me.
A friend warned me that she had not been impressed with Dolce Vita's, but a blogger I read has a few pairs and likes them... so I decided to go for it.
(After all, I'd been searching for months and not found a non-suede pair of closed-toe, closed-back black leather heels that didn't look like frumpy-woman shoes.)


I ordered the first pair in time for Christmas, but the leather was wrinkled and I had to send them back.
Boo.
The second pair came.
They looked perfect. (Perfect enough. See? The leather is still a little wrinkled on them, too. But, it was acceptable. I'm picky, but realistic. Kind of.)


I wore them twice for only a few hours each, though, and then noticed *gasp* the leather was separating, inside from outside.
I thought maybe it was just a bit.
I wore them a third time.
It happened even more.

(Yes, I know the label reads backwards. Remember, iPhoto Booth does that.)

I was so sad! These shoes are like a beautiful work of art in every way, all the way down to the gold inner liner. If I listened closely I could almost hear the angels singing at their gloriousness.
Oh, my heart!


But, truth be told, they were not easy to walk in.
Now, I could be considered a queen of high heels. But, these? For some reason I was all wibbly-wobbly, even though I didn't want to admit it.
They have a 1" wrapped platform, so they should be manageable, even with the 5" heel.

They sat in my bathroom all summer long. On the edge of the bathtub.
I would just look at them and marvel at how beautiful they were, knowing I needed to contact Zappos, but not ready to part with them just yet.

A couple weeks ago I emailed them.
Zappos only takes returns that haven't been worn,
but they made a one-time exception for me because of the defect.

So, maybe it wound up being a good thing that the leather separated.
Because, really, I didn't walk very well in them.
They definitely were not wear-on-a-platform, play-guitar, jump-around, run-after-the-kids kind of heels.
And for that kind of mulah, they darn well should be.

Which has led me to a new, non-negotiable standard in stilettos. (Notice the great alliteration there?)
They must meet those requirements, or they will not find a home in my closet.
Given, those are all standards I had before, I was just compromising.
(Oh, the weakness beauty can bring out in us.)

Today they went back into their box. I printed the return label.
And I said a very sad goodbye to possibly the most beautiful shoes that have ever been in my possession.


I am once again on the hunt.
(Not that I ever really left it.)
This time my standards will stay strong. (Ooooo!!!! Good alliteration again.)

(God? Are you listening? Could you please bring me what I'm looking for? Preferably at an unbelievably low price? Maybe at a thrift store? I'd really appreciate it. After all, you know what will work best for me even better than I do. And you care about details... even these kinds of details. Because you care about me.)


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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Free Marriage Seminar!!!

If you live in the Colorado Springs area, Marriage Today is putting on a free seminar at New Life this Friday & Saturday!
Jimmy & Karen Evans are amazing teachers with God-given insight into marriage; what makes it work, what doesn't, and how you can make yours an amazing adventure for a lifetime.

The bottom-line truth is you have to invest.
If you're not moving forward, your moving backward.
If you're not growing, your withering.
In marriage, there is no such thing as stagnant.

The event is free, (Oh, did I already say that?) but you do need to register here.
Or, for more information you can go here.

Nate and I will be there. Come and invest in your marriage with us!

(Did I say that the seminar is free? So, no excuses.)

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Stopping for a laugh...

A conversation with friends tonight reminded me of my love for the Muppets.
The kids and I visit their youtube channel every few months just to laugh.
(They've been posting new videos for a little while now.)

Won't you join me for a few moments for a good laugh?
Here's a dose of our beloved Beaker:
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Random Outfit Post

I wore this last week.
These pants are to-die-for comfy.
They can be bagged out, but I cinched the bottoms up just because.
Because I wanted to.
Because I can.


(Please forgive the not-smiley-ness. I was in kind of a hurry. I look like I'm trying to be all Zoolander-ish.)
Notice the painted fingernails? I never paint them! It's a new strategy so maybe I'll stop picking at them so much. It's worked for a week!  =^) 

pulling it all together...
Tank: Favorite EVER. Tag says "Active." $5 (I have, like, seven colors.)
Cardi: Target clearance years ago.
Cargos: Thrifted last week for $1.50.
Shoes: Tahari. Birthday gift from Nate last year.
Aviators: Wal-mart (Love! Most are too big. These are perfect.)
Necklace: Thrifted, knotted.
Gold Bracelets: Grams', Nate's Grammie's, & Thrifted
Ginormous Gold Hoops: Forever 21

Ian wanted in on the photo shoot.
So cute.

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Support Letter

This is an email that I just sent to friends and family regarding something I'm taking part in tomorrow. If you would like to support me in this, please click the Stop Child Trafficking Now Walk button over on the right side, or simply go here. Every single contribution helps. (This may sound familiar because of this post.)


**Please know that this email contains information that may be disturbing to some people, but it is the truth of what is happening even right where we live. If this is something that is too much for you, please skip down to the words in bold, "All you need to do is this."**

Hello, wonderful, lovely friends and family!

Over the past year I have become aware of a huge tragedy that is taking place in our world, and specifically our nation. In fact, it is going on right where you live.

Most elementary schools have around a few hundred children. But, imagine if there was an elementary school that had 3,000 children. Now, think of what would happen if every single day the children in that elementary school disappeared. They just simply vanished. The next day the school filled up with 3,000 different children... and they disappeared, too. And the next day. And the day after that. The world would fly into high alert to find out where these children were going! It would be on the front page of every news source across the globe. "3,000 Children Disappearing From School Daily!" Every government would get involved to figure out what was going on and put an end to the disappearances. Yet, this is what is taking place in our world daily. Across the globe, 3,000 children are being trafficked into modern slavery every single day. Even in YOUR TOWN. Children are being taken, some stolen some sold, and forced into every kind of slavery, including sex slavery. Some of these children are forced to service up to 40 men a day, even here in the United States! They are beaten, they are raped repeatedly, they are threatened with their lives or the lives of their family if they try to escape. 

Children as young as four years old.

Modern day slavery does exist. And it's going on right here, in every single one of the 50 United States.

I am proud to have joined forces with Stop Child Trafficking Now. Their campaign to end this injustice focuses on a bold, new approach focusing on the demand side of child trafficking by targeting buyers and predators of children. Their approach comes from the view that if we can end the demand for child slavery, we can end child slavery.

This coming Saturday I am taking part in the Stop Child Trafficking Now walk with thousands of individuals across our country. Our goal is to raise funds to put an END to this horrific crime, as well as to raise awareness. So many people simply do not know this is taking place, especially right here in our country... right in our own neighborhoods.

Up to now I have not been able to raise hardly any finances for this campaign. I know budgets are tight, and the economy has affected us all. But, I'm asking if you'll join forces with me to put a stop to child slavery. This is a crime that will continue no matter what happens to our wallets. In fact, as our economy has tanked, the demand for child sex slaves has only increased. So sad and extremely appalling, but very true.

All you need to do is this: 

1.) Visit http://www.sctnow.org
2.) Click "Donate Now"
3.) Under the "Support A Participant" enter Angela White
4.) Click "Support Me" and make a donation.

OR you can paste this link into your browser and it should take you straight to my participant profile:
http://sctnow.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&eventID=613&participantID=10832

Even $5 helps.

And, regardless of whether you're able to make a financial contribution, please, PLEASE educate yourself on what is going on. Here are some great resources that will bring you face to face with the reality of modern day slavery:

http://www.sctnow.org
http://www.iempathize.org
http://www.thea21campaign.org

Thank you for considering supporting me, and therefore showing compassion to the children that are enduring this tragedy. We can look at all the facts, we can see what is going on, and we can choose to turn away when it becomes too overwhelming. These children don't have the choice to turn away. This is the life they live every single day.

Thank you for your support, whether financially or in your thoughts and prayers,
Angela White
http://www.stilettosandgrace.com

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