Monthly Archives: July, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 226

— 1 —

Yikes. I drafted a 7QT three weeks ago and never actually posted it! That might be a new record. In the meantime, I have attended another wedding and also moved to a different part of Austin. I live in a house with two delightful roommates now. No more awkwardly laid-out, tiny, expensive apartment for me!

— 2 —

In preparation for the move, I went through the donation bag that was living in a corner of my closet. I rescued one t-shirt and one dress, but all the rest went to the local St. Vincent de Paul Society store. I love a good clothing purge!


The bags in the photo contain approximately the following items:

  • 3 paperback books (I don’t buy many these days, so I usually buy ones I know I’ll want to keep)
  • 2 pairs of shoes
  • 2 dresses
  • 3 skirts
  • 3 t-shirts (I think I’ve bought two t-shirts total since I finished undergrad)
  • 3 pairs of pants
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 12 blouses (I estimated low)
  • 5 sweaters
  • 2 sweatshirts

That’s not including the six shirts in my rag bag, four other long-sleeved shirts with sleeves that are too short, a handful of jewelry, and one pair of slippers that are being sent to I also threw out three pairs of really battered shoes.

Is it just me, or does filling up bags with clothing to be donated just make you wonder why you ever had so much stuff?

— 3 —

Wedding #3 was two Saturdays ago. I wore a dress I’d worn before, but with different accessories so I could feel like it was a new outfit. I forgot to take any photos, though! I was running behind, having done my errands in the morning more slowly than anticipated. Since my roommmate and I were just barely late for the ceremony, I feel vindicated for my lack of pre-wedding action shots of my outfit.

Wedding #4 will also require a remixed outfit. I have a candidate in an old bridesmaid dress with new accessories, but I haven’t committed yet. I have just about three days; that’s enough time, right?

— 4 —

Also related to my move in #1, I now feel even more like a grown-up. I rented a U-Haul, enlisted a few friends, and packed up my stuff to prepare. I have always had to move mostly by myself before, and I’ve never had to move furniture, so it was an adventure. We finished in great time, though, and I was declared “an easy move.” Hooray! I was especially pleased to find that all of my stuff fits in my new room (and the rest of the house, plus a little storage in the garage). Once I decorate and get some storage bins, I’ll be all set.

— 5 —

In other moving news, I was supposed to help one friend/former coworker move on Saturday morning and then return to help her (now former) roommate move on Sunday morning. About fifteen people showed up on Saturday, though, so we got the first move completed in record time. We were so jazzed that we went back to do the second move right away! After that (which was much tougher because it had almost all the furniture), we did a no-furniture move of my friend’s new roommate, and then the remnant rejoiced in pizza.

I forgot I was supposed to go to Confession that evening, but it was just a scheduled thing and not a specific need, and I had a wonderful time watching Finding Nemo with my roommates during that time slot anyway. “Just keep swimming; just keep swimming; just keep swimming, swimming, swimming….”

Or, in my case, “Keep not sinning; keep not sinning….”

— 6 —

Life without cable is interesting, to say the least. I have been working my way through Degrassi Junior High to help compensate for having to view the current Degrassi exclusively online. I’ve been so inspired by the authentic 80’s fashion and appalled by the extreme drama. Dawson’s Creek had nothing on those Canadians (except ridiculous vocab)!

There is also some nostalgia. I had to screencap this moment: Wheels calls his birth father on a rotary payphone.


— 7 —

Watching DJH is also great inspiration for the 80’s/90’s birthday party my roommates and I are throwing in a few weeks. I’m so excited! I’ve been trying to throw this party for a year, but I didn’t have a location or occasion until now. Any tips on teasing long hair?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

What I Wore Sunday, Vol. 41

What I Wore Sunday

This was not a great weekend for timely memes, but I had an unusually good time getting ready for church.

Dress and undershirt from Old Navy. Shoes from DSW (I think). Earrings and necklace were gifts.

Dress and undershirt from Old Navy. Shoes from DSW (I think). Earrings and necklace were gifts.

I finally read the Building a Remixable Wardrobe series from Putting Me Together, one of the few fashion blogs I read. (You’ve either got to be modest and/or someone I know in real life. If you’re interested in who I follow, comment!) I don’t have the cash flow to commit to a wardrobe makeover right now, but I started taking Audrey’s principles to heart. Purple is my favorite color, I look good in it, and I hadn’t worn this dress in a while, so on it went. It’s from an Old Navy dress sale several years ago. I almost bought the same one in blue! The undershirt was purchased the same day, so it matches exceptionally well.

Relative to the color principles of wardrobe remixing, I have always felt that chocolate brown works well for me and with this dress. I don’t own purple shoes, but black just doesn’t look right with this outfit. I have purple butterfly earrings, but I went with the pale purple crystals to draw out the roundness of the polka dots and my Confirmation cross to match the crystals from the earrings. All in all, this was one of my favorite outfits ever.

Regarding the content of Mass, the music was pretty blah. Our priest took the opportunity to give a homily on the Lord’s Prayer, but when I pre-read the readings, what stuck out to me was persistence and perseverance. The Gospel included the Lord’s Prayer, sure, but the rest of the Gospel, the psalm, and the entire first reading were all about persistence and perseverance. “Keep asking. Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. God hears you, and he will answer you.” That was what I heard, and it was what I needed, especially since I still don’t have a new job (or a husband, for that matter). I needed encouragement that God is listening and that he will respond according to his will and in his time. I just wish that the priest had gotten that same message. Oh, well. Heaven still touched Earth. Good times.

Booking Through Thursday: Moving


What kind of moving experiences have you had with your books? (Or, just in general if you’ve got good Moving Day stories–and who doesn’t?) Did having to pack and move your books cause any changes in your book-collecting habits? Make you wish you had everything on an e-reader?

This is remarkably timely because I moved just recently. I’m still in Austin, just in a different part of town. More about that in my 7QT tomorrow.

I inherited all the boxes I needed for my move (and then some) from my friend Guy, who recently moved into town from New York City with his fiancée. I’ve never been much for putting my stuff in boxes for a move. I realized that’s because I usually move using just my car! I was grateful for all of his book boxes, though. They were just the right size (about 5x5x18″) and number to fit all of the books on my shelves.

My confession is that the books I own now aren’t all of my books! I have about six shelves in my old room at my parents’ house. When I was home for my grandfather’s funeral this summer, I used my Goodreads app to scan all of those books into what I’m calling my off-site collection. I didn’t scan every book though, because I would be perfectly happy to see some of those books disappear. If I thought it’d help, I’d let my sister sell some during textbook buyback at Maryland.

Regarding my main site collection, I’m pretty pleased with it. I have some of my teaching books that I just couldn’t leave behind, an ever-growing collection of Catholic and Christian books, and of course all my Harry Potters. Packing them did make me grateful that I’ve kept my purchases under control. Most of what I’ve acquired in the three years I’ve been in Austin has been books to review or free review copies. I don’t have a real e-reader, just my iPhone, so I didn’t feel the real effects of having e-books versus physical ones. E-reading is more about getting fast copies from NetGalley and always having something to read. I finished the first Sherlock Holmes anthology that way, and although it was delightful, I am pretty glad I didn’t have to pack it.

Guest Post at Waltzing in Beauty

It’s pretty late in the day now, so this almost doesn’t count as a post for today, but I’m going to declare it so anyway. Wedding #1 connected me with Christina, Kat’s wonderful maid of honor. I found out after the wedding weekend that she is also a blogger, at Waltzing in Beauty. She runs a series where real women answer questions about real beauty, and she invited me to contribute!

"Waltzing in Beauty" wordmark

What makes a beautiful woman?

A beautiful woman radiates with joy. I sign all my cards and emails “with joy,” because I honestly believe the joy of the Lord is what gets me through my days. Joy can manifest itself as confidence and peace. Sometimes I’m having a fantastic hair day. That makes me feel confident and attractive, which makes me joyful. Other times[…]

Read the rest at Waltzing in Beauty.

Breaking Open Revelation (Review: “The Lamb’s Supper”)

Photo courtesy of Goodreads.

Photo courtesy of Goodreads.

I love learning. That sounds so cheesy, but I really do! My favorite learning experiences are always connected to finding out earth-shattering new information about something I thought I already knew well. I used to think that car turn signals were activated by the car (not the driver; in-car navigation systems seemed unremarkable at first!), and I used to know that the “Holy, Holy, Holy” at Mass came from Scripture, but not how. Thanks to a long-term book loan from a friend and the Catholic 20-Somethings summer book club, I have now read The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth, by Scott Hahn, and I have learned so much.

You may remember my review of Rome Sweet Home, also by Scott Hahn, from the beginning of the year. Hahn is a former Presbyterian who reasoned his way to Catholicism based on his understanding of covenant theology and his deep knowledge of Scripture. I expected more of the same in this book, and I was proven correct. In The Lamb’s Supper, Hahn tackles the Book of Revelation (which is singular—no “S”) and reveals that the fullest understanding of the book must be united with our understanding of the Mass.

Read the rest at Austin CNM

What I Wore Sunday, Vol. 40

What I Wore Sunday

Let’s start with last week’s outfit.

Now featuring full-length photos, thanks to a new home with a new mirror!

Now featuring full-length photos, thanks to a new home with a new mirror!

Confession: This was my first real repeat since I’ve been joining in with What I Wore Sunday! I took Mary’s advice about repeating outfits to heart, and it worked out so well. This dress is one of my favorites, and I look good in it, so I decided to be like a Frenchwoman and look good again!

The dress is from Target last summer, shoes from Payless (as usual), and the undershirt is from Old Navy. The necklace is a gift from my friend Niki (the same Niki whose wedding I was in a few years ago). I had it long before I got the dress, but they go together so perfectly.

I had a pretty delightful evening yesterday. My church outfit was just a frill.

Dress and white bolero from Target, black camisole from Old Navy, shoes from Payless.

Dress and white bolero from Target, black camisole from Old Navy, shoes from Payless.

As with the last church outfit I posted, I wore the bolero to a wedding and then re-wore it to church the next day. I believe in rewearing clothes—but only once or twice!

I had a great experience at Mass. I was on time, I met up with my friends, our priest’s homily was a good balance of connecting all the readings and encouraging us to be like both Mary and Martha, and the choir even did a not-terrible rendition of Matt Maher’s “Remembrance (Communion Song)” for the offertory.

Remembrance (Communion Song) by Matt Maher on YouTube

The closing song was too much for me, though. It was on a separate photocopied half-sheet, which is never a good sign. (If you don’t like your hymnal enough to use it for ten years like you’re supposed to, don’t buy it!) It was awkwardly peppy. And then came the clapping and tambourine. Simultaneously. I stopped singing and politely waited until the song ended, and then I enjoyed a lovely dinner and Amy’s run with my fantastic companions. It was a great church Sunday.

Booking Through Thursday: Pets, and Summer Reading Redux


Well, that was a week full of no posts. On to the good stuff.

July 11

How do you feel about books about dogs or pets? Fluffy stories of fluffy family members? Solid books on training them or taking care of them? Touching reminiscences of trouble and the way a person’s dog (or pet) has helped get them through? Any favorite books to recommend?

My attitude toward books about pets is much like my attitude toward actual pets: I don’t like them. I haven’t come close to having pets since I was a kid. My current lease doesn’t allow me to have them. I can handle other people’s dogs just fine as long as they don’t lick me, but I don’t want any of my own. I read Black Beauty, and I read a little Saddle Club when I was in middle school, but I’ve just never found animals that appealing.

July 18

Do your reading habits change in the summer? Do you take your books outside more? Do you curl up in the air conditioning? Do you read fluff instead of serious books? Are you too busy playing in the sun or gardening or whatever to read much at all?

Taking a book outside? In this heat? No, thank you! I am much more likely to be enjoying air conditioning in the summer than any other time of year, especially while reading. I usually have more time to read, although I can’t say I actually do more reading. I’ve never changed my reading material to fit the seasons, but I am more likely to do something like committing to a new series because I’m more likely to be able to finish it in a reasonable time frame, unlike my near-decades with The Princess Diaries and Jessica Darling.

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