Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Vintage Values

by Charlene Scott

Photo Credit: Ben Cooper ("Painting #17)
I know very little about vintage fashion. If I wear vintage clothing, it's because it's old and was probably bought at a thrift store without any thought to its value. I do know about a few things vintage, however. They aren't just from the 50's and the 70's – chivalry and compassion go back to the dark ages, and even the beginning of humanity, I believe. Mirriam-Webster's gives several definitions of chivalry, but I want to focus on the last three.

3: gallant or distinguished gentlemen

4: the system, spirit, or customs of medieval knighthood 

5: the qualities of the ideal knight : chivalrous conduct  

I think the concept of chivalry is interwoven with a basic value of compassion. T.H. White's “The Once and Future King,” embraces the core idea – might does not make right. In a world where power becomes the ruler of morality and value, keeping a code of conduct that is dependent on goodness and protecting the weak becomes vintage – a relic of storybooks and child's play.

 A case should be made for the knight in each of us. Despite the appeal of the masses to be charitable for a tax deduction or to gain publicity for some good deed done, the chivalry that was worth mentioning in the storybooks and epic poems of old was one that disregarded awards or punishments and existed as a higher law – it was almost a spiritual thing.

Opening a door for someone is great – I'm sure they appreciate it, especially the people that have their hands full or cannot open it for themselves. However, pulling out your little wooden sword and hacking away at the injustice that lives at your local Children's Home or unfairness that resides in the Assisted Living center but has no outside visitors may be a far graver need for the knight of your childhood self who believed that you could be and do anything you set your mind to.

 It is not stylish in the masses eyes to do with less rather than running after the latest thing, but it is a style of its own wisdom that looks for the hard things. The hard things are not always, but are often also the right things. If what were right were always easy, then it would be done much more often than it is. What is it for you that is hard, but right? I don't call my mother often enough. In fact, I call my mother very rarely. I try, but it's hard for me. For some people, this is not worthy of knocking sword and shield against and challenging to an emotional duel, but for me it is.

 There is far more honor in rediscovering or discovering for the first time what you believe your knight's chivalry means to you. It will do you and your community far more than the sticky politics that will likely last forever all over the globe and never be solved as history has shown us again and again. So, Reach inside yourself and find your gallantry – pull out your wooden sword, don your helmet plastered with sparkly stickers and mount your my little pony so you can charge confidently into the battle that happens within and around you all the time.

 Charlene Scott keeps her other writings here, find her on Twitter @purveyorofhope.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Current Mood: Swooning Over Stripes

We don't live in a world where black and white are so easily separated.  We're constantly sorting through the shades of grey.  However, I'm thinking I'm going to be wearing a TON of stripes this Summer and incorporating them into my home decor.  One of my favorite outfits to wear is a black (or navy) striped shirt, jeans & red flats.  It's my go-to outfit for shopping at the grocery store or grabbing coffee at Starbucks with a friend. 

We the Free Break Point Raglan

I basically HAVE to own this Free People outfit above immediately.  It's the perfect relaxed Summer look, right?  (TOP: We the Free Break Point Raglan, $88, Free People) I'm loving the colored jeans that are coming back into style, too.  Who knew they'd be back?
Image 1 of Flying A Stripe Slouchy Dress

Stripe Slouchy Dress, Flying A, $161.37, ASOS

Photos via Pinterest

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Obamas Meet the Royal Family in London, Catherine's Dress Steals the Show

Kate Middleton's Reiss dress

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge (a brand new royal) met Barack and Michelle Obama in Ireland and Kate's dress stole the show (as usual).  The Obamas are touring Europe and met with the Royal Family in London yesterday. 

For the meeting, Kate chose to wear this cream Reiss dress (the same designer of the blue dress she wore for the famous engagement photos.)  Apparantly, the dress sold out in stores after she was photographed in it.  The designer trended on Twitter and the Reiss website even had to temporarily shut down because due to very high traffic.  (Can we say, yikes.)

Catherine and Prince William just returned from their ten-day honeymoon after their already-in-history-books wedding.  Ahh, she's a true princess.  She's rocking a tan and looking beautiful (still looking wedding-day thin).  I think it's safe to say that, as the patterns tell us, she is a style icon.  Every dress she chooses is praised by the WORLD.  Tough shoes to fill. 

LUCKY STRIPE photo | Pippa Middleton

P.S. Here's Pippa Middleton running errands in London in a Zara dress. 

Photo Credit: ABC News & People

Kim Kardashian's $2 Million Engagement Ring

Kim Kardashian & Kris Humphries announced their engagement this morning. In true Kardashian style, Kim tweeted, blogged, Facebooked & sold the story to People Magazine.  The usual routine for getting engaged, right?  Of course, the queen of glam didn't let us down with her Lorraine Schwartz 16.5 carat diamond ring (worth 2 million dollars!).  Is Kim trying to top off Princess Catherine's engagement ring or just being the ultra-glammed out Kim Kardashian? Either way, congrats to Kim & Kris! Any Kardashian wedding will be a media festivity, so we're all excited to see the DRESS!

Photo Credits: People Magazine

Friday, May 20, 2011

Don't Worry So Much

by Sarah Davis
Is your worrying preventing you from getting enough rest?

There are A LOT of things in this world that can make us worry: people's attitudes, events, paying bills, etc.  However, it's not as important as your health.  Worrying and dwelling on negative emotions is bad for your body because it not only weakens your immune system, but it gives you an excuse to neglect yourself.  You might not be as likely to nourish yourself with self-care ( getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, working out, eating correctly.)  

I have a confession to make.  I am a former perfectionist.  I don't know what I was thinking but I always knew what I wanted and that was that.  I didn't want anything else.  I am learning, though, that perfectionists chase something that does not exist.  Breaking news: there is NO SUCH THING as a perfect life.  We all (I repeat, ALL) have to deal with sloppy messes, tons of drama & a lot of suffering.  It's life.  However, if you can accept all of that and learn how to smile with your feet emerged in a huge disastrous mess, you win.  You have figured out the key to happiness (accepting things for what they are, going with the flow & staying positive.)

When you're happy, you're less likely to worry.  Things are still happening (and they always will be), but you are smiling so you don't notice them.  I  just heard a powerful Mars Hill Bible Church podcast by Shane Hipps where he talks about "shattering the illusions & living in reality."  Living in reality is incredibly hard to do.  There are tons of ways to distract ourselves from facing the problems in our life & we believe a lot of lies to stay within our comfort zones.  For instance, if you are in a relationship that just isn't working, you have to face reality.  The idea that someday it will work so you need to hang on is an illusion.  So, you have to shatter the illusion and find happiness in reality.  

Worrying does nothing for you.  So, do as much as you can with the time you have and then relax.  Your happiness comes first.  Your life & health depend on it.  Your fear is an illusion that shapes the way you approach major things in your life.  You can handle a lot more than the fear inside of your mind says you can.  One of the best quotes I've ever heard is, "Fear stands guard at the gate of opportunity."  Remember that the next time you can't sleep at night because you're so anxious about something happening the next day.  

(Plus, God handles everything you can't, so there is nothing to worry about if you feel like it's something SO large that you can never change.) Perfect love casts out all fear.  Sometimes I think we worship fear, allowing it to guide us down a weird, empty path.  We can all probably vouch for the emptiness you feel when you never give that one thing a chance, that thing that could have changed your life.  Worship God, fill your mind with good, positive thoughts and travel down a wholesome path that shows you that you can absolutely accomplish anything.

So, let go of fear and show those negative emotions they have NO place in your beautiful mind! Sleep soundly, breathe peacefully & don't let fear destroy your body, your dreams & your happiness!

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Animalier Bronzer from Dolce & Gabbana

Currently loving Dolce & Gabbana's limited edition Animalier Bronzer.  The leopard print is fabulous and exotic.  With Summer (almost) finally here, it is the perfect time to pick up a new bronzer, right?  Who can pass up a bronzer with leopard print? 

Photo via Dolce & Gabbana

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Style Files: Bonnaroo 2011

TIP:  As you read this blog entry, listen to "Paris (Ohh La La)" by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals on YouTube.  Thank me later. 

1. Baskin Bangle Set, By Malene Birger, $165, Shopbop
2. Vintage Short Brim Floppy Hat, Juicy Couture, $68, Shopbop
3. Laurier Headband, ONE by Eddera, $145, Shopbop
4. Knot Waist Shift Dress, ASOS, $71.72, ASOS
5. A Fresh Start Pants, Sass & Bide, $253, Shopbop
6. The Front Row Headband, Dauphines of New York, $80, Shopbop
7. Lace Body Conscious Dress, ASOS, $80.69, ASOS
8. "Hunter" Rain Boots, Jimmy Choo, $425, Nordstrom

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Let's talk about that dreaded, controversial topic. You know, abortion.

by Sarah Davis

Wishing you a warm Mother's Day today to every type of mother out there! Mothers that adopted, mothers that are single and even women who took someone else's child under their wing- you all are some amazing people who deserve to feel proud of doing life's most important job.  (The hardest job, too.) In the most basic sense, a mother is someone who gives birth to a baby.  She carries the baby inside of her own body and then brings it into this world.  Then, a new life is here living on this planet. 

Today, on the blog, I want to talk about babies.  I'm 25, so I'm at the age when the people around me are starting to get married and have babies.  They're cute when they laugh and say funny things, but they are a lot of work.  They are a 24/7 project that leave no time for you.  When you have a baby, your whole life changes because you have this little thing that you have to take care of.  For a lot of people, this is the most beautiful experience they could ever wish for.  But for others, it sounds so scary, that they think of abortion.  They say no to being a mother.  They don't want their parents to find out, or they want to put their own life first because their careers are just getting started and they know abortion is an option.  Again and again, I think these subjects that are hard to talk about (like abortion) come down to what we are scared of.  For me, I think telling my parents that I was pregnant, even if I was married to a pastor a church and we had been married for ten years, would be awkward.  I can only imagine what it would be like to be sixteen.  However, if there is one thing that I have learned in my own life (which has been nothing short of a lot of crazy stuff), it is that if something is put in your hands and you say no to it, you will regret it for a very long time.  Likewise, you CAN (I, repeat, you can) handle anything that comes your way. 

I had the opportunity to hear Lila Rose speak at a dinner on Wednesday night and my life was forever changed on the topic of abortion.  I was one of those people who was against abortion, but always thought, "It's not for me to judge."  I would drive past those people with abortion posters of dead babies on the side of the road and think "That's TOO much, I was trying to have a nice day."  However, as I listened to Lila Rose, who is only 22 years old, speak about this topic, it hit me that babies are helpless.  Babies are so helpless and vulnerable that they need protection.  Without a mother, for the first nine months, a baby is so helpless that it needs to be dependant off a mother's organs, blood and nourishment.  Without her, it would die.  Whenever you think of this precious little fragile human inside of womb, I think it puts a new perspective on abortion. 

It's easily forgotten that we were ALL once these babies.  We all came into this world helpless and vulnerable.  So vulnerable, that on our own, we would have died.  When you think about yourself now, whoever you are or however old you are, think about what it would be like for someone to give up on you when you are ENTIRELY helpless.  It would break your heart and you probably would feel like giving up, too.  What if someone said, "I can't deal with taking care of you, so I am going to kill you?"  Pretty harsh stuff, right? 

I just want to put a disclaimer out that I'm not writing this to pass judgment on anyone.  I know it's a sensitive subject for some and affects people in sometimes a very strong manner, but I think it is important to say that abortion is very wrong.  As Americans, we fight and fight for the humane treatment of chickens and cows, but we allow an option to end the life of babies.  We don't support the ethical treatment of babies?  We support the seals, we support the endangered tigers, we support cage-free eggs but no celebs are out there openly fighting to end abortion.  It's obviously not the hip thing to do. 

Every single person who ever lived had a mother who carried them while they formed and fed them when they were new to the Earth.  Every single person's mother said no to abortion.  One of the most important things you can do while you're alive is have children.  Some may disagree with me, but raising good children who can carry on your family name sounds like a way to invest your time and money. 

If you are a woman who has found yourself pregnant this Mother's Day and thinking about abortion because you're alone, please check out the resources you have before you consider abortion.  As a mother, you should feel empowered to take care of such a fragile human being. 

 Women's Choice Network in Pittsburgh: http://www.mypregnancycenter.org/

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pittsburgh: Art All Night 2011

by Sarah Davis

Every year in Lawrencville, there is an art show that lasts all night in an abandoned warehouse.  The empty space transforms into a hotspot for the night as people from all over the city come to display, observe and buy local artwork.  Last Saturday, artists of all backgrounds were encouraged to enter one piece of art into this free, uncensored, "anything goes" art show.  This was my third year attending & it was a pretty decent time this year.  Along with displayed artwork, the event also includes artists doing live artwork.  Here are some photos from the event in case you missed it!

There's a familar face! Rose Davis with her artwork.   

Live Art:

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