June 29, 2011

A Dash of Wisdom ♥

What could be more beautiful than a dear old lady growing wise with age? Every age can be enchanting, provided you live within it. ~Brigitte Bardot
Women get more unhappy the more they try and liberate themselves. ~Brigitte Bardot
Beauty and femininity are ageless and can't be contrived, and glamour, although the manufacturers won't like this, cannot be manufactured. Not real glamour; its based on femininity. ~Marilyn Monroe
I don't mind making jokes, but I don't want to look like one. ~Marilyn Monroe
I want to grow old without facelifts. I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I have made. ~Marilyn Monroe
She was the girl who knew how to be happy even when she was sad. And thats important -- you know. ~Marilyn Monroe
"This life is what you make it. No matter what, you're going to mess up sometimes, it's a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you're going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends - they'll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything - they're your true best friends. Don't let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about." ~Marilyn Monroe
We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets. ~Marilyn Monroe
Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it is better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.~Marilyn Monroe
I was always thought to be "stuck-up". I wasn't. I was just sure of myself. This is and always has been an unforgivable quality to the unsure. ~ Bette Davis

Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start observing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering -- because you can't take it all in at once. ~Audrey Hepburn
I am an introvert... I love being by myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky. ~Audrey Hepburn

You can always tell what kind of a person a man thinks you are by the earrings he gives you. ~Audrey Hepburn

Why change? Everyone has his own style. When you have found it, you should stick with it. ~Audrey Hepburn
On a different note, I have a facebook fan page now!! Very exciting development, non? I suppose I am doing this a bit early on in my blogging career, but hey, why put off until tomorrow what you can do today? If you want to make my day, you can just hop on over there and fan this blog's page! Thank you, sweetheart 
~Southern Belle

June 24, 2011

What's the Big Deal with Skirts?

I didn't know it, but that day would change my life. I was briskly walking up the steps, fully ready {or so I thought}, for the ladies' Bible study I was going to attend. However, when I walked through the door, I suddenly felt ridiculously out of place. The reason? Everybody within a ten-mile radius was wearing skirts, while I had my summer shorts on. To put it mildly, it was awkward. But more than that, it was disconcerting. You see, I had never really seen women in skirts. All right, I *had* seen a few mini-skirts in my time, but never the calf-length, feminine ones these girls were sporting. Not only were they different on the outside, but the atmosphere they created was unlike anything I had ever experienced. There was a certain tranquility that pervaded over that gathering, a touch of grace and beauty, which I was not used to. My flesh was repulsed, but in the depth of my heart, something stirred, and I would never remain the same.
Now, over two year later {*gasp* has it really been that long?}, I hardly ever wear pants. You might be thinking that I have something against them. Maybe I've joined a cult and banned pants from the existence of the universe. :laughs: No, I haven't joined a cult, {never will, I follow the one true saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ!!!}, and I will never ban pants from the world. Come on! We wouldn't want guys to wear *skirts* would we? :the horror: Kilts, I understand, are not skirts, but I still don't get the point of wearing them. They look enough like skirts to me :P All right, back on topic: I'll save that debate for another time. ;)
So why do I wear skirts and dresses, instead of pants? I keep leaving you in suspense... If I haven't joined a cult banning pants, you might jump on the next culprit: modesty. Now, we all have different views on whether pants are modest or not. I for one, think they are modest. I know some of you do not wear pants for reasons of modesty, and I absolutely respect that, but I do not have problems with {most} pants. I believe they *can* be perfectly modest. Note the "can". Skin tight leather pants are not high on my list of modest items. :P
All right, you say, not a cult, not modesty... so what is your reason? I call it femininity:
Deuteronomy 22:5 A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this. {NIV}
You might think, "Uh, isn't that a bit of a technicality? Come on, that was in the *Old* testament! Why would God care about what we wear as long as our heart is in the right place?" I agree, I don't think it is exactly the clothes God cares about, but the principle behind this concept:
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Men and women were both created in God's image, but they were made uniquely. Differently. Men are distinct from women, and women are distinct from men. No one tries to refute that concept. In the secular world, {for me, that means non-Christians}, all sorts of theories are coming up to try and describe this difference. Some of them are more crazy sounding than others: books like "Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus" attempt to explain what makes us different. I'm sorry, but separating our origins to distinct planets is a wee bit over the top. ;) For Christians, the answer to why we are created uniquely is quite simple. The Bible shows us that we are created differently because God purposefully designed us that way. When God commanded people not to wear the opposite gender's clothing, it wasn't because he was being picky, but he wanted us to celebrate the differences between our genders through our clothing. Who are we to refuse him?
Romans 9:20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed him, 'Why did you make me like this?'"
Every morning when I wake up, I want to show the world that I am a woman after God's own heart. Don't get me wrong, wearing skirts and being modest is not going to do this for you. These outward signs should only reflect what is on the inside:
1 Peter 3:3-4 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God's sight.
In this world, wearing skirts is taking a quiet stand. It is an act of gentle rebellion. It is a movement: femininity, in a feminist world. We don't need to be like men; we can be equal, but different. I've joined this revolution; this movement to honor our God-given roles. Will you join me?
You don't have to start big: if you are a jeans 24/7 type of gal, wearing a skirt even once a week will be a HUGE plunge. But let me tell you, it is so worth it. My life has been changed since I purposefully highlighted my femininity. If skirts are too much for you, I understand. Maybe you have been a tomboy all of your life, and skirts are a bit.... foreign? Well, why not wear your hair down today. Put on a cute flower headband. Walk around in your favorite high heels. Grab those beautiful earrings you have been eyeing at Claire's. Try on that gorgeous dress at Macy's. Start wearing feminine colors like purple, pink, yellow, and blue. These small touches will make a difference in the way that you carry yourself, and how others perceive and treat you.
It won't be easy. But it wouldn't be worthwhile if it wasn't hard, and Jesus does say that there will be times where we must suffer for his kingdom. No, I doubt you will ever be thrown in a lion's den like Daniel, but you might face ridicule and difficulties. {like NEVER being able to find pretty, modest skirts :P I suggest thrift/consignment/vintage stores} In the end, it will be worth it. More than loving skirts and dresses, I have learned to appreciate the fact that God created me a woman. It is a wonderful feeling, when you embrace the role he has given you!
God bless you, and much love :)
~Southern Belle
*Disclaimer* I do not want this post to offend anyone, so please do not take this the wrong way. I understand if you hold different views from me, and I completely respect that; I know that my view is not the only one on this subject. I only ask that you respect my beliefs. I am definitely not the authority on this subject; ultimately, it is between you and God. Please do not misinterpret my goal! Feel free to discuss your opinion with me, but please do so with consideration, as I hope I have done. :)

June 21, 2011

Fur coats in June?

And other such ramblings. :) Maybe a few grievances too, but I will try to keep those at a minimum...
1. I just borrowed some amazing style, beauty, and chic living books from the library: French for Le Snob {a book filled with French words and their meanings... you know, so you can sound sophisticated and throw them into your conversation. ;)}, From Clueless to Class Act {An etiquette book for the modern woman; it is very helpful so far}, High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly, how to have style {this style book is great because it shows you makeovers of different women with their various focuses like how to have style on a budget or how to have style and reinvent yourself or how to have style in the evening, etc. This is a beautiful resource I could spend many happy hours looking at it and reading.}, Here She Comes... Beauty Queen {Oh, I love this book! It is about old-fashioned beauty pageants and it is just darling. It makes me fall in love with vintage hairstyles, dresses, and, of course, tiaras all over again!}, The "Lucky" Guide to Mastering Any Style {This is practically a style dictionary. I think it is just gorgeous and a must read for any fashionista}, What to Wear for Every Occasion {Another classic by Nina Garcia, this is a lovely book with the most gorgeous fashion watercolors by Ruben Toledo.} Oh, I am having so much fun basking in the sun with a lemonade and reading these classics!
2. These beautiful ballgown just beg to be shared:

Can I say stunning? Although a blue ribbon on a wedding
dress is quite unusual, here, it works beautifully.
I'm sorry, but if you aren't inspired by that, I really don't know what to do O.o
Ooh... so mysterious.
"I'm gonna hit you with my dress!"
So, lovely.
This one is so rock n' roll, yet very vintage. It is... scary. 
Although its funny, the first word that comes to my head is absolutely yummy :)
The most stunning photo ever. I. am. in. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

3. As I mentioned in my previous post, I went to England!!! It. was. INCREDIBLE. I have no words to describe one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. Yes, I finally went, and it was brilliant. :) The cobblestone streets, castles, cathedrals, and culture astounded me, and I felt so at home there. {however, I am sure the natives would disagree; I didn't really blend in... ;)} I really want to go back, but this time not as a tourist, but as a resident. Yes, I am so in love, that I want to go back and live!  All right, I admit, Buckingham Palace was a disappointment. :P Ever since I was little, I have been dreaming of magnificent castles, and I was not impressed with buck house.  Seriously, since so many tourists go there, you might try and let them see more, or at least make it a little more imposing, lavish, and spectacular. All I saw was the outside of a big house, and to put it frankly, it got dull after the first five minutes. However, everything else was lovely. Well, all right, the weather could have been improved; I wasn't expecting it to be so cold! Brrr.... yes, I was wearing summer clothes. :P I mean, it was almost June! Does it ever get warm? Other than that, everything was charming, picturesque, historical, and absolutely thrilling. My favorite part? Ooh! That is really hard. :( I think it might have been St. Paul's.... I am absolutely in love with its stunning beauty. What a wonderful place to worship God! I could spend hours there exploring. You know, gaping at all the splendor surrounding me and wondering what kind of people have walked those halls before me.... it sends shivers down my spine. :sigh: Everything does in England.  I also tried a macaroon while I was there! It was really good, and tasted like coffee. {I got the chocolate flavor, but somehow it turned about to be more coffee like} There was so much to do, and so little time, but at least I can now say that I have been to the glorious land of the Brits.
4. When I got back home, I was not expecting it to be cold like good ol' Britain. But, I wore my luxurious fur coat in June! Oh, it was so cold.... :P Now, however, it has warmed up quite nicely and I have done away with my winter wardrobe :)
5. For the first time in my life, I went to a baseball game. My word, it was so.... ..... ..... unlike anything I had ever experienced. I really enjoyed it, and I met so many fascinating people; I actually can't wait to go to another one O.o Don't worry, I won't turn into a sport fanatic.... I have only acquired a healthy appreciation of baseball!
6. Reese Witherspoon who happens to be drop dead gorgeous, and a stunning actress....
The hair... the make-up... the beauty! {next few photos from online makeover}
One word: VINTAGE! 
Nice and natural :) She is a mom of two kids {I think...}, and
I love how she once said that although she was a glamorous
actress, to her kids, she was just embarrassing old mom!
So kids get embarrassed of their celebrity parents, too?
This has such personality :)
Anyone watched the movie? Uh, I really don't know
its name... watering elephants or something :P Obviously I didn't see it!
Now, I have to go back to the tasks of life.... have a wonderful day! 
Much love :)

June 16, 2011

Summer Essentials

I know, for most people it already is summer, but this post is better late than never, right? Of course, this list is just all of *my* summer essentials. I really don't know what I would do without them!
1. An adorable pair of wedges. Really, I can't stand flip-flops, they are too casual unless you are at the pool, beach, or just hanging out at home. I hate it when people wear a gorgeous dress and their hair is done beautifully, and then they throw on a pair of flip flops O.o It ruins the effect. However, wedges are a wonderful replacement of those dreaded flip flops. I absolutely love wedges as they are supportive, but still have a nice high heel. My favorite type of wedges is an espadrille, a wedge with a canvas upper shoe and a braided straw bottom:
Yes, these beauties are my summer shoe :) They are about 41/2 inches
high, they go well with absolutely everything, and happen to be
gorgeous in the process. What more could a girl want? ;)
{This one is from ALDO}
2. A beautiful sundress. They are cool and lovely, perfect for lounging or as a cover-up at the beach! I have countless numbers of these, from blue to pink and everything in between.
Add a tank or tee under it and, "Voila!"
You have a modest dress for the summer!
{This one is from forever 21}
3. A sunhat with SPF protection.
Isn't this one so tres chic? The ribbon is so beautiful!
 Oh, I can just imagine walking around with this little
beauty from H&M!
4. A great pair of sunglasses.
I just have to show you these Prada sunglasses. They are incredible,
so obviously they have a pretty hefty price tag at Nordstrom. However,
sunglasses are available everywhere, from Payless to Prada, so don't
be daunted; find a good one in your price range. {These were in the 300+ range}
Don't know what sunglasses will look good on your face? Look at the guide below: {All credits to Nordstrom for this helpful graphic}
5. Well, this is summer, so you definitely need a swimsuit! 
I love swimsuits from Shabby Apple, Lime Ricki, Rey Swimwear, Nordstrom, and Land's End. {And even downscale places like Target, they actually have some great swimwear that looked exactly like a swimsuit in Anthropologie! Target seems to stock Anthro's styles the year after Anthro comes out with the original :P}
6. Indian Bangles and ethnic inspired jewelry. Just perfect for wearing with a sundress or boho skirt!
These are from Anthropologie, a store I am not very partial to, despite their inspiring swimwear :P
However, they have very unique jewelry and clothes. These bangles look like they could go well with
a variety of dresses, although I am not crazy about the colors...
7. Sunscreen... yes, you tan people, you NEED sunscreen!
8. A new summer hair-do is vital to starting your summer on a fresh note :) I got one today {very unwillingly mind you}, but I have fallen in love with it, and love the shorter length! It will be very cool for summer, and I love the highlights which will only brighten with all the sun.
9. A pedicure... you know, when you are running barefoot down the beach with the wind whipping through your gorgeous new hairstyle, you should have beautiful toes to match ;)
10. A beach tote which you can fit your sunglasses, sunscreen, and a water bottle into. Obviously, my mind is not here, but at the beach :P
This cute one is from Acccesorize, an amazing
British store which I love! And yes, I have been
there in Britain! {more on that later}
 It is an accessories heaven :)
11. Last but not least, the most important thing is to know that you are loved by Jesus, and you are BEAUTIFUL in his eyes! I am so thankful... God loves you no matter what. That is truly comforting :)
Now, I would love to hear what *you* all can't live without during the summer! please share by commenting, and I might have to add all of your incredible ideas to my list ;)
Much love,
Southern Belle

Ooh la la! {Hats}

Remember the Victorian days of old when women always wore those confectionery masterpieces, also known as hats? They looked positively delicious. Nowadays, I don't really see many people wearing hats. All right, the occasional panama or newsboy cocked on a teenager's head does appear, but hats don't emerge anywhere near as much as they did in the 1940s or 50s. And if anyone other than a teenager takes on this trend, they are either utterly dedicated to fashion, a previous era, or in the most drastic cases, SPF protection. :P {nothing against SPF protection here, but I don't think that should be the *only* reason to wear a hat} All right, I might be generalizing here. Yet the fact remains that people hardly ever wear hats. My theory? Whenever I talk to people and ask them why they don't wear hats, they say, "Well, I would like to, but I don't have anywhere to wear them to!" or "Hats don't look good on me!" To address the first excuse, I must admit that a horrifying trend is taking over our world: hardly anyone dresses up any more, and those that do are faced with stares and compliments. {not complaining about the compliments, but the stares.. well... as long you can keep your poise, it is tolerable} Why have so many people fallen into a rut of clothing complacency? Since when did jeans become the uniform of most people? Where have all the skirts gone? Why do people saunter around in flip flops all the time, forgetting about gorgeous heels? Maybe you have a tiny wardrobe filled with ugly clothes, and you toss that excuse out whenever these questions arise. Or perhaps you just don't care? Is your arthritis plaguing you so you just *can't* wear heels? I'm not saying people should become glamorous movie stars and never be seen without heels, an evening gown, and of course, a limousine, but taking little steps towards elegance will do so much to conquer our dressing dilemma. People all the time tell me how refreshing it is to see me dressed up and looking nice. You know, not like I just rolled out of bed and threw on the first thing I laid my eyes on. Guilty of this? I admit, sometimes I've done this too :P Yet, there is a way out! We can overcome this if we take little steps toward looking nicer everyday. How to start? Well, how about starting to wear hats! ;)
~First, what types of hats are there?
The boater... this hat has a flat top, and is
often created with straw. However, there are
dressier versions that use other materials. :)
{And don't you just LOVE that photo?}

The fedora... nah, you don't have to be a gangster to wear
this hat, especially if it is pink! Al Capone would think it a degradation, but
I think of it as a fashion statement. *Especially* with a fur coat like hers!
Crotched beanie... it just sits on your head, mostly for young girls. {10 and under}
Cowboy hat.... if you're a rancher or something.
Really, I haven't seen many people wear these anymore.
Personally, that is a good thing, although the girl above
looks cute in one. 
Newsboy cap or Gatsby... oh these are so
cute! Just make sure it doesn't puff out like a
mushroom when you wear it ;)
The beret... I am sure we are all familiar with this one: many
artists in France wear this when they are composing one of their
masterpieces, but it isn't just for them!
The panama... a straw hat with a black ribbon. I think it is
fairly obvious where this hat originated :)
The cloche... made popular during the 1920s,
these hats have no brim and slide smoothly
over the ears. As you can tell from the picture,
they are adorable!
The sailor hat.... but really, who wears these?
I think I might safely state {without stepping on any toes}
 that that is a good thing!
The bonnet style hat..... think modern regency or victorian. I have
one of this style hat, and I have gotten ever so many compliments! 
Vintage hats.... they come in all styles, but they are pre-1980.
Furry hats... uh, no comment. 
Straw hats.... they come in all styles, but the most prevailing is the
sunhat style. {see below} They often come with SPF protection, so
that is an added bonus. {bonus, mind you, not the main reason to wear one!}
Sunhats.... floppy and beautiful, these are my absolutely
favorite type of hat. Don't limit them to summer time;
wearing them in winter is gorgeous as well :) Just don't
let the wind carry them away... keep a steady hand on the brim!
Even miss Kate Middleton has been known to do so.
Obviously, there are many, many more types of hats, but I can't list them all because that would take far too long, and I would probably leave some out. :P Only if you have tried all the hats in the world can you claim, "I don't look good in hats!" So please, start trying them on again, and leave your embarrassment behind you.
~Where do I wear hats?
You can wear them on sunny, hot days for starters. {which is about right now}
Then you can wear one to the beach
in Hawai... if and when you go ;)
Wearing a hat to a wedding is a MUST. Check out the photos
of Kate and William's wedding and you will
see many hat wearers. {image via ruffled.com}
Oh, and then start wearing them all the time. It will really change your life! The first time I picked up a hat, I was doing it as a joke, because no one, no one that I knew ever wore hats! But it looked absolutely beautiful, and it was nine dollars {gasp} so I bought it. Now I am gaining quite a large hat collection, and I have started to dress up so much more! Who would have known that one little hat could spark so great a change? It might just happen to you too :)
~Where can I get hats?
Vintage stores and consignment stores and thrift stores usually have hats, but it varies each time you visit since they don't stock items. You can also find good sun hats in the summer at stores like H&M, Forever 21, and random boutiques. My one piece of advise is don't get embarrassed, and if the first one doesn't work, try on more! Start understanding what styles work, and what styles don't, and then dress accordingly. Also, start with a good basic color hat like black, brown, or white. Something that works well with many things in your wardrobe. Then start to expand to more wacky stuff. However, never, ever wear one as  awful as Princess Beatrice did at the royal wedding. Urg. Spare us!

I hope I have not made too uproarious a post!
Much love, 
Southern Belle
BTW, any suggestions for a new name? This one is getting old :P
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...