April Faves

Spring is in the air, flowers are blooming, the occasional rainstorm's outside--April in a nutshell.
This month I've really begun to wish I was back in elementary school, where homework took five minutes at the most and the afternoons were spent entirely outside.   Now I'm on the home stretch; only a few weeks until summer...

April Faves

1. Windowpane-ing:  I consider this the alternative to plaid during springtime.  It's a bit lighter and airier than the buffalo check that was the rage last fall.

2. Hydrangeas:  Everywhere I turn, these flowers are bound to be there (not that I mind). Hydrangeas are some of the most prettily arrayed flowers--imagine a lawn completely covered in them...

3. Stripes:  Stripes and navy are my favorite couple throughout the year, so why not during spring?  Refer to Kiel James Patrick if you have any questions.

This month was simple, but oftentimes, less is more.  May the temperature blast through the roof and ocean breezes waft up the coast in preparation for the lovely month of May.

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What were your favorites from this month?



"The things you take for granted are things that someone else might be praying for."
Prep For A Day blog

It's taken me nearly fifteen years to fully comprehend how precious life is.  Life is short--too short.
I'm often so worried about other problems and people, and how they will affect me.  I am envious of what others have, and envy is the root of hatred.
I have been so utterly consumed by these feelings that I have forgotten what I already have.  All of the wonderful, marvelous creations that God has gifted me.
Life is too short to be obsessed with others and their possessions;  it is not meant to be devoted to selfishness and pleasure, but it does need to be cherished and enjoyed.
Life is too short to be taken for granted.  I realize that I have overlooked many aspects of my life, simply because they are no longer extraordinary.  After I became accustomed to the fact that these aspects would "always be there," they became lackluster.
Yet, these things could be the envy of another person, in another place, perhaps in another time. That person would give anything to have the tiniest sliver of what I have--and I've lost all gratitude for the life I've been given.
As a promise to myself and my family, I've started the "Today I Am Happy" list, to remind myself of everything I have to be grateful for.  Hopefully, in the years to come, I'll be able to look back and remember and be joyous.  Be grateful.
I encourage everyone to start their own lists, as a way to remind themselves of the joys of life.  If you're ever on the verge of despair, take a look at what you've been given, and have faith in life. Oddly enough, life has a rare way of turning the worst times into the greatest.
Cherish the great times, and the worst times will pass by within the blink of an eye.


Being A Prep For A Week: 4/19/15 -- 4/25/15

I feel as though I accomplished something this week, and that makes everything worth it.  Finally finishing all of those applications was just the relief I needed.  Plus, I'm happily surprised with my choice to sign up for my school's new Virtual Academy. There are so many different classes that my indecisiveness is really coming through.

I'm looking forward to summer--no tests, no strict schedule to follow--and yet I'm also dreading the end of this year.  It's interesting that something can seem to take forever, and yet pass by in almost an instant.  Only three more years until college.  That's a scary thought.  For now, I'm just happy with the time I have left as a freshman.  Life keeps rolling, and I'll keep going along.

Now, on to some of my favorite links from the past week:
My newest website obsession:  Tumblr
My newest reading material:  The Accidental Empress (based on the story of Empress Elisabeth)
On the subject of that book, the best modeling campaign I've ever seen to date

And in the wise words of C.S. Lewis, "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."

How was your week?


Dress Like Audrey

Audrey Hepburn is probably the embodiment of class and grace.  I think our society, especially its young women, could learn a lot from Audrey.  Even in a conservative town in the South, I find myself staring at some of the girls who will walk into school wearing nothing but a t-shirt and barely-there shorts.
I understand the need for comfort, but I think we should make more of an effort. Besides, wearing shorts that are virtually invisible is not going to earn you points with everyone.
Audrey understood casual--in fact, she wasn't one to dress up everyday.  However, she always looked put-together and--surprise, surprise--you could always see her pants.
Take a leaf out of her book, and always dress like the respectable and classy person that you are. People will notice!
Sophisticated, intellectual, artistic, altruistic.  Miss Audrey Hepburn.
Your wardrobe is your armor to the world; always look your best. Tailor your life to your gifts, passions, values, and love of knowledge. Exude self-confidence with the way you walk, what you choose to wear and how you carry yourself-stand up straight, look forward, not down. An egg, fresh baguette, strawberry jam and tea  is a lovely breakfast. Allow meals to linger, conversation to meander and time to wait for you. Treat yourself to sparkling water with a meal every once in awhile.
Simple tops, a comfy pair of pants, and flats--what could be more effortless, ladies?
David Seymour, Paris. 1st arrondissement. Jardins des Tuileries. Dutch actress Audrey Hepburn. 1956.
Audrey Hepburn - casual style. I already have the shorts and shirt for this!
No more barely-there shorts--and that's not a bad thing.
Audrey Hepburn in the Congo while filming of The Nun's Story (1959). Photo: Leo Fuchs.
Love Advice From Audrey -- Prep For A Day
Channel your inner-Audrey;  perhaps we'll have another Golden Age...


The Dreaded Closet Cleaning

Spring cleaning--hurrah?
I definitely prefer being in an organized space, but I'm not going to set my alarm five minutes earlier so I can tidy my room.  It's just too lengthy a process;  besides, I have things to do and people to see.
Closet cleaning can be a bummer, but it's something I look forward to.  Less clothing items equals more hangers to put more clothing items on, and so the cycle continues. You can look forward to closet cleaning as well, if you put yourself in the right frame of mind.
Spring Cleaning Made More Manageable -- Prep For A Day

1. Recycling is Key
We all have that one shirt that's lurking in the darkest corners of our closet, just begging to be worn. Maybe, just this once, you can give it another shot.  Surely you can find something that would be suitable--give it a try.

2. Forget Sentimentality
Oftentimes, sentimentality is a valued character trait.  However, when cleaning out your closet (or anything else of that nature), you need to put aside the sentimental value of most items.  You may have been wearing that dress when you went on that amazing vacation, but if you never wear it anymore, why should you keep it?  The people who accompanied you on said vacation will understand.

3. Keep the Basics
I'm not the best at this rule--I'd rather keep the elegant lace top with the embroidery. It's better financially to keep the basics like tees, jackets, simple sweaters, or a good pair of jeans, because they can be paired with almost anything.  If it isn't broke, don't fix it (or buy another one).

4. Organize to Organize
Since I'm not completely O.C.D., I'm not going to painstakingly color-code every item of clothing I own--but a bit of organization goes a long way.  One blogger recommended organizing items by sleeve length, which is fairly easy to accomplish and keep up.  I also keep a separate section for my dresses, cardigans, vests, tee shirts, and button-downs.

5. Donate
Why tarnish clothes that are in good shape, when they could be worn by other people? Donating sounds difficult, but in reality, it's simple as can be.  Others will be extremely grateful for your donation, and having that knowledge is an even better feeling than having a clean closet.

How do you feel about spring cleaning?


Being A Prep For A Week: 4/5/15 -- 4/11/15

My motto for this week?
Stressed is an understatement, but dying is an overstatement.
I'd been looking forward to this week for months--why?  This week was the Allstate Choral Festival, which is basically a gathering of hundreds of amazing singers, crammed into three days.
After I auditioned for and was accepted into the SSA choir, I started to count down the days until Allstate.  Three whole days of doing nothing but singing is an amazing experience (though some would beg to differ).
The only con to Allstate:  missing school, because that means missing tests.  In fact, I'm going to have to take about three on Monday--no pressure or anything.  Also, I'm starting to work on applications for some different organizations at school, and applications cannot be completed in five minutes.
"i am very busy"

All stress aside, Allstate was just as amazing as I thought it would be.  The campus where it was held was absolutely beautiful (hilly, but beautiful) and the rehearsals were very productive.
Rolling campuses

The clinician (director) of our choir was one of the single-most interesting people I've ever met.  He made the four hour rehearsals seem shorter, somehow.  We improved so much under his direction;  I feel as though my voice has gotten so much stronger over the past few days.
Another pleasant aspect of the Festival is being able to be with friends, both new and old. One of my friends was in the SSA choir as well, and, needless to say, we saw a little too much of each other in three days.  However, experiences are much more enjoyable when a friend is at your side.
Being with friends

We ran into the girls from our middle school choir, whom I wasn't aware I had missed so much. Things will be very interesting next year when they move over to the high school.
Seeing old friends

Allstate is over, but I've taken so much away from the experience.
I'll never forget the words that our clinician spoke to us:
"In the entire universe, there is only one person that is wholly you, and the world desperately needs that person."
Go out and try some new things:  go zip lining, be in a play, audition for a choir.  If you don't ever give yourself a chance to shine, the world will never experience the light that you could have.  And that's a tragedy, my friends.

How was your week?


Outfit: Harem Pants

Part of having a unique sense of style is being able to step out of one's comfort zone.
Harem pants were a popular spring trend last year, but I never considered investing in a pair.  If I'm completely honest, I thought they were too closely related to pajama pants. This year, I happened to see a pair at one of my local boutiques, and I was pretty ecstatic when they fit.
These pants are definitely out of my comfort zone figuratively, but literally, they are the most comfortable pants I've ever owned.  Very lightweight material and very loose fit equals very comfortable clothing.
After an impromptu invasion of my closet, I've found that these pants pair well with a lot of different items--some more feminine, some more edgy.  When I do step out into the world while adorned in the harem pants, I'll probably be pairing them with a mixture of both:  a happy medium.

Mixing prints is another trend that is out of my comfort zone, but my love for this scarf and these pants is so great that I figured it was going to be a match made in Heaven.
Pearls and Blue
The pearls and hues of blue make the outfit a little less harsh, which is ideal for a more feminine look.
Now you'll understand the scarf obsession:  anything that is comfortable, navy, and tassel-adorned will be an immediate favorite of mine.

I have a vision of myself strolling around Europe in an outfit quite similar to this one, sans the floppy hat you might be thinking of.
Sneaks & Sunglasses
This outfit consists of cleaner lines and my favorite sneaks.  I'm definitely feeling a "city-chic" vibe.

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Looking for a pair of harem pants?  Old Navy has the perfect option (and they come in NAVY!).


Happy Easter

I think people look forward to this holiday for three major reasons:
  1. Free gifts (Christmas was a really long time ago)
  2. Being able to immerse ourselves in whatever we gave up for Lent
  3. Showing off "the-perfect-Easter-dress-that-we-spent-too-much-time-shopping-for" at church
All of the above things are quite enjoyable--I've been watching YouTube and eating candy for the past few hours.  However, we're really missing the point with the holiday.  
Imagine if someone you cared for died to save you.  Think of the grief you would feel.
Imagine if this person was able to come back to life--think of the jubilation you would feel!
That's what Easter Sunday is meant to evoke in every one of us:  grief, jubilation, and gratitude.
It's an interesting mix, but it's much more meaningful than a basket of free goodies or the dress you're wearing.
Print and place in white frame for Easter breakfast table. It's not about the bunny, it's about the lamb #Easterprintable

Happy Easter.