medieval chic

I've been slightly puzzled by the semi-recent and pervasive trend of the cross motif. It's everywhere, on sweaters and scarves and leggings and bags and blankets and walls. When I see it I always wonder what the person's thoughts or motivation for wearing it would be. Are they Christians? If not, it's interesting to me that they would want to cover themselves with crosses. Who knows maybe it's a positively influencing trend?

But where did it come from, you ask? Well, I've figured it out. It can be easily explained by a current resurgence in medieval chic. Just take a look at jolly old St. Nicolas here in his cross motif and an uber-chic black-and-white geometric print circa 1400. SO ahead of his time.

Check out these other eventual-trend-setting medieval Saints as well...

St. John Chrysostym, circa 407. A very early use of the motifs.

And then there are St. Ambrose (c. 397), St. Augustine of Hippo (c.430), St. Basil of Caesarea (c. 379), St. Gregory of Nazianzus (c. 390), and many more...

Fashion is so cyclical.

sources: (sweater #1cross blanket, cross sweater, cross sweater, cross sweater, cross sweaterSt. Nick, St. Chrysostym, St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, St. Basil, St. Gregory


:type travel tuesday: {psalm 19}

Psalm 19 is my favorite.

I designed this from photos I've taken (except for the one of the nebula, of course). The first part of the Psalm beautifully describes how creation declares the glory of God. The second part describes the law and statutes of the Lord as sure, right, trustworthy, steadfast, perfect and radiant, more precious than gold, and sweeter than honey. And a perfect bow of praise is tied on to the end of psalm:

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer


:type travel tuesday: {gran caffé san marco, florence}

The Gran Caffé San Marco was one of our favorite little coffee spots in Florence. It had such a charming old-world glam and excellent cappuccinos. We found ourselves going back there multiple times. That was partially because we're creatures of habit, partially because we knew it was tasty, and partially because of the ambiance. It's so fun to just (pay less to) stand at the bar and drink your coffee and then keep moving.


air plant

Alissa got me this adorable Tillandsia and planter for my birthday! I love it. Since it's an air plant I should actually be able to keep it alive! Water once a week? I'll try.


birthday visit

Well, I left my twenties in the rear view mirror last weekend. But Mom and Dad came down to help ease the pain! We had a great time! We ate TONS of food (way too much, really), went to the park, went to the symphony, went to the Dr. Pepper museum with cousin Jordyn!, went shopping, did some relaxing and did a lot of talking. They also brought me great birthday presents! THANK YOU!

A (not so) good friend (haha) pointed out to me that age used to be indicated by saying what year you were "doing" instead of what year you have "completed," which means I'm really IN my 31st year right now. Great! That was supposed to make me realize that I had already been 30 for a year and it hadn't been bad. haha I really don't mind at all, actually. I did wake up feeling more legitimately adult, and with less excuses for being immature, but I wore a sweater with hearts all over it to church anyway.

I'm excited about what this new decade will hold. Bring it on!


domino is back!

DOMINO (one of my old favorite magazines that died during the economic downturn) is back (or so I hear)!!! I am soooo excited! Yes, I will be subscribing. Why did you ever leave me?


:type travel tuesday: {norcineria salsamentaria, rome}

This place had fabulous limoncello (which we polished off quickly), amazing cheeses, sausages, wines, sandwiches etc, and we bought the next day's lunch here when we strolled into the shop around midnight.


ladies' birthday night

Melinda, Alli and I all have birthdays in close proximity and we've been talking about going out for birthday cocktails since...well...last year! This weekend we finally did dinner and drinks to celebrate being born. It was such a fun time!

(Cocktail invite by Oh Happy Day)


it's getting chili

It's finally starting to get (kind of) chilly here in Texas, and I'm happy for some fall weather (too little to late). It's time for chili and cornbread! Does anyone else put pasta in their chili or is that just some crazy thing Brandon's family made up? It's delicious!



It's no secret that I'm really far behind on posting about things, especially this summer's activities. In May we spent a few days in Chicago with Dan and Meg and they showed us around their beautiful city! I have been missing them a lot (always and lately) so I'm posting some of the photos now. It was fun seeing the new dental student and the big-city paralegal in action! We took the train, explored the city, ate liquid nitrogen ice cream at icream, shopped, ate Chicago-style pizza, watched a movie and met up with some friends from Pella in Chinatown. It was a blast!

:type travel tuesday: {tip top tap, chicago}


boring...by the grace of God

I've been reading St. Augustine's Confessions since this summer (took it around Europe with me and everything!), and we're now part of a Confessions reading group lead by our friend, mentor, sponsor and Augustine scholar. It is so amazing to have him guide us through the book, pointing out themes and giving us all kinds of background information and context. Not to mention the discussion that philosophy, english, and psychology grad students add to the experience. I do design. So I mostly just listen and ask the awkward questions. :) The book is FANTASTIC. Apparently, until the 1600s (thereabouts or after, I don't remember exactly) it was the #2 book read by all Christians everywhere, second only to the Bible itself. You should read it.

There have been so many passages I've marked and highlighted that I can't even begin to quote them all. But, the other night at a dinner with friends where we've been going around sharing our own stories (or "testimonies," if you must), one friend shared his amazing journey from death to life, which sounded a lot like Augustine's own journey. It was a beautiful story of redemption where he went from drugs, alcohol and women, by the grace of God, to a sober and thriving life lived for Him. Next, another good friend shared her story, joking that she didn't want to follow him because her story was pretty boring. She grew up in a strong Christian home and never really "rebelled," etc. I was thinking "this is my story too, and it's not as "fun" to tell because it's more "boring." I had similar feelings during a church membership class when we lived in Charlotte where we had to present in front of a group. My testimony took about 5 minutes.

But the situation the other night reminded me of something St. Augustine said in the Confessions that had struck me when I read it...

What shall I render unto the Lord, that I can recall these things and yet not be afraid! I shall love Thee, Lord, and shall give thanks to Thee and confess Thy name, because Thou hast forgiven me such great sins and evil deeds. I know that it is only by Thy grace and mercy that Thou hast melted away the ice of my sins. And the evil I have not done, that also I know is by Thy grace: for what might I not have done, seeing that I loved evil solely because it was evil? I confess that Thou hast forgiven all alike—the sins I committed of my own motion, the sins I would have committed but for Thy grace.
 Would any man, considering his own weakness, dare to attribute his chastity or his innocence to his own powers and so love Thee less—as if he did not need the same mercy as those who return to Thee after sin? If any man has heard Thy voice and followed it and done none of the things he finds me here recording and confessing, still he must not scorn me: for I am healed by the same doctor who preserved him from falling into sickness, or at least into such grievous sickness. But let him love Thee even more: seeing me rescued out of such sickness of sin, and himself saved from falling into such sickness of sin, by the one same Saviour. 
 - St. Augustine, Confessions, Book II, VII, (15)

AMEN! My life story may seem "boring" by the world's standards but Praise the Lord for that, because it is all by His grace and I am so thankful.

(Painting: The conversion of St. Augustine, by Fra Angelico)


wardrobe remix ::: cooler weather

When I saw this outfit by Madewell, I thought, Hey! I can make that, so I used it as the inspiration for (aka copied it) a cooler-weather wardrobe remix. Now let's have some of that cooler weather, Texas.

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