Sunday Inspirations 7.31.16

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Let the fields be jubilent, and everything in them;

let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

Psalm 96:12

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Sunday Inspirations 7.24.16

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The heavens keep telling
    the wonders of God,
    and the skies declare
    what he has done.
 Each day informs
    the following day;
    each night announces
    to the next.
 They don’t speak a word,
    and there is never
    the sound of a voice.
 Yet their message reaches
    all the earth,
    and it travels
    around the world.

Psalm 19:1-4

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Late July Sunrise

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Sunday Style: Lace Dress and Ugly Sandals

I wore my white lace dress a second time to church a few weeks ago, styled very similarly to the first time I wore it. The only thing I changed was sandals instead of boots.

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Outfit details:  lace dress ~ thrifted; jacket ~ thrifted;

sandals ~ eBay; necklace ~ MIL’s collection;

ring ~ Avon, I think (it’s old).

Sure, the sandals are comfortable, and keep my feet cooler than boots in the super hot temps we’re having this summer…but darn, if these aren’t about the ugliest sandals in my shoe collection! Don’t they holler “OLD LADY!!” ? Ugh… I bought a new pair of navy sandals a few months ago that are just as comfortable but a bazillion times more stylish; problem is that they are far too casual to wear with a lace dress. But honestly, don’t you think this outfit would look better without those barfy sandals?

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The boots would have been MUCH better. Or even no shoes at all! Of course, it would be rather awkward to go barefoot at church.

Next time I wear this lace dress, I need to wear it with something other than a short-sleeved jacket, and definitely NOT those ugly sandals.

Since the jacket is pretty busy, I kept my jewelry simple.

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Incidentally, this jacket has been added to the donation pile a couple of times. I bought it at a second-hand store while visiting my youngest sister in Iowa, four or five years ago. Every once in a while, I lose enough weight that it becomes too big for me, so I add it to the give-away bag at the semi-annual changing out of the seasonal clothing items. It sits there over the winter, waiting to be taken to the thrift store in the spring. And then, come spring, I realize it would really be perfect to wear with such-and-such, and go dig it out again. Sure enough, either it fits again (darn all those Christmas cookies!) or I can get away with it by wearing enough layers. So…I think the jacket should stay. And the sandals will go!

Simple Summer Style

Simple, breezy dresses have been my uniform this summer. I’ve always loved dresses, but even more so as I get older. Dresses keep me cooler than shorts and tees, especially shift, A-line, or swing dresses. I find them more comfortable, too, like wearing a nightgown during the day. Something I discovered recently is the boho-inspired slip dress – which I wear underneath shorter dresses to add modesty and a bit of feminine flair.

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Outfit details:  chambray dress ~ thrifted; slip dress ~ eBay;

necklace ~ gift; bracelet ~ thrifted; sandals ~ eBay.

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Of course, living out here in the hills and valleys of rural Kansas, finding a slip dress, especially one that is 100% cotton, in a brick-and-mortor store is nearly impossible. As much as I enjoy shopping, I don’t have the time to scour every shop in town when I make the trip. It’s so much simpler to plug in “cotton slip dress” into the search box on eBay and get exactly what I want delivered to my front door!

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A very dear friend of mine gave me this necklace for my birthday. It’s not something I would have picked out myself, but it turns out that it’s perfect to wear with a simple dress to add a touch of boldness. I think it will be great to wear with layers in the early spring, too. My friend has good taste!

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Buying shoes online can be a gamble, unless you are familiar with the brand. These strappy sandals are Earth shoes, a brand that I’m just beginning to get to know. I purchased a pair of Earth shoes earlier this year from Zulily.com on blind faith, and that venture turned out so well, I was willing to bet on this pair of sandals found on eBay for a fraction of retail value. The gamble paid off! These sandals fit well, are comfortable, provide adequate arch support, and don’t look “old lady”.

My recommendation to people who are a tad gun-shy of buying shoes online:  Visit a local shoe store and try on every pair possible. Take notes on brand, size, and style name of the shoes that suit your needs. Then search online to find the best possible price. Zulily.com and eBay are my go-to sources on the web for the brands that work best for my feet: Vionic, Earth, Merrell, Keen, and Dansko. I’ve heard from others that Poshmark is a good place to find deals on name brands, but I have not shopped the site personally. The best source, hands down, for finding great shoes on the cheap is thrifting, either at yard sales or second-hand stores. I’m very, very particular about purchasing used shoes; they must be in nearly new condition or I’ll leave them behind. Once I get them home, I clean them with a Norwex microfiber cloth. Of course, it’s almost pure luck to find your size and the particular style you’re after, but it sure is exciting when it happens!

Sunday Inspirations 7.10.16

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

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Luke 10 verses 25 through 37 was the Gospel lesson for this morning’s sermon, and I thought it was especially fitting with recent events across the country. Love God with everything you’ve got, and love other people. If we all did this, we really could just all get along. Alas, we live in an imperfect world, so we know we’ll never reach perfection. But it should always, ALWAYS be our goal.

Go and do likewise.

Be excellent to each other.

You gotta love everybody.

LOVE.

Adventures in Thrifting, Early Summer Roundup

Adventures in Thrifting, Early Summer Roundup

Summer is yard sale season, which is the thing I like best about that hot, humid season. I haven’t gone sale-ing each weekend, but I’ve gotten out often enough. It’s not like I’m in particular need of anything. But it sure is fun discovering thrifty treasures!

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The child’s rocking chair is solid oak, made by a little family-run furniture store in Minnesota (so small, they don’t even have a website). I had to ask what the price was (which usually irritates me, but in this case, it turned out to be a good thing; if it had been bearing a price sticker, I’m sure it would have been gone long before we arrived to the sale). When the lady said $5, I nodded and casually picked it up…but inside my head, I was doing the happy dance! Woot! The pretty little rocker is now sitting in my baby granddaughter’s room, in her book nook.

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Some of my most favorite pieces of jewelry have come from yard sales. It’s certainly the cheapest way to add to one’s collection! This bracelet and watch each cost 50¢. After wearing the bracelet a few times, I discovered why the person sold it; one of the pins has fallen out, making the bands go wonky. Thankfully it doesn’t fall apart, but it’s still kind of bothersome. My husband believes he could fix it for me, but he’s busy working on The House Project currently. Maybe later.

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Goodwill is still a favorite way for me to get in some thrifting, even in the summer. This was a good haul – jeans, lacy top, workout top, red leather purse, and the best thing:  a piece of Frankoma!

I tagged along with my daughter and her family to a small lake community’s area wide yard sales a few weeks ago and found something I’ve been hoping for – a large bunch of fake philadandron greenery. It’s too dark in my kitchen to keep a live plant perched on top of the cupboards. I was a lot happier to spend $3 than what it costs at Hobby Lobby, even if it’s on sale for 50% off.

The bag is an expensive designer one, according to the woman who sold it to me. For $2. Lucky me! I really don’t care if it’s a designer bag or not; I think it will be nice to pair with fall outfits.

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I really should have taken a “before” shot of this copper bangle. It was so very dirty, you couldn’t even see the fish! While it’s not actually an antique, as the seller claimed, it is vintage and possibly from Mexico. There is a similar bracelet on eBay for $16.99; mine cost $1, plus lots of metal cleaning paste.

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My obsession with all things lacy continues to be fueled by thrifty finds like this. My sisters and I took our Daddy out for lunch a few days after Father’s Day, and on the way back to our cars afterward, we popped into a tiny hole-in-the-wall thrift store. It was worth the while! This lace cardigan was my treasure; sister B found a pair of Justin gypsy boots; sister L found a cowgirl hat for her youngest daugther; Daddy enjoyed sampling the chocolate donut holes the propriator kept urging him to eat.

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Finally, another terrific Goodwill find:  new, in the shrinkwrap, DoTerra Essential Oils starter pack. Three bucks!

Happy thrifting!

Sunday Style:  Patriotic

Sunday Style: Patriotic

Wearing blue, white and red  is both patriotic and summery. I prefer not to wear actual flag print, but I’m not completely opposed to it. There are a pair of heart-shaped flag print earrings in my jewelry box, and if I had a pair of blue/white star shorts, I’d definitely wear them with my red/white striped tee. But this is my favorite way to wear USA’s colors:

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Outfit details:  white peasant top ~ JC Penney’s;

handkerchief print skirt ~ JC Penney’s; red belt ~ old;

red sea glass necklace ~ eBay;

Vionic sandals ~ zulily.com.

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I wore this outfit to church yesterday; it was a cool, drizzly day. Today it’s a bit warmer and a lot more humid. So far, just banging around the house, I’m wearing a blue t-shirt shift dress. If we go to the parade this evening, I may see if my closet has another patriotic outfit lurking inside, but one that is much more casual. Darn…now I’m really wishing I had some star-print navy blue shorts…