Monthly Archives: August, 2014

What I Wore Sunday: Old Dress, New Bling


It was my birthday yesterday! As my new, much more mature self, I have decided that it’s my birthday weekend, so I will do what I want, including wearing an outfit I’ve worn a dozen times before.


Dress: Mossimo for Target
Shell: Funky Frum (sadly out of business)
Shoes: Payless
Toenails: Wet ‘n Wild in Lavender Creme
Jewelry: Charming Charlie

My mom sent me actual birthday presents this year. I was so surprised and excited! I only recently went to Charming Charlie for the first time. I was looking for a dress (which wasn’t in stock at that location), but as soon as I walked in, I remembered my mom telling me about the place.

If you haven’t been, you should go. Charming Charlie carries trendy, budget-priced jewelry and accessories that are sorted by color. So, if you need a silver evening bag (like I did in May when I was also looking for a dress), you don’t even have to look at the green, red, or brown ones. They’re in a totally different section of the store. And when I say “budget-priced,” I mean a real budget, like my sad budget that is full of student loan debt.

My new affinity for Charming Charlie, my love of birthday presents, and my trust in my mom’s taste made me extra excited to see that logo on the tissue paper these beauties were wrapped in.


It came as a matching set, but I could definitely wear them separately. Since I have been building my wardrobe around blue, this is the perfect addition to my jewelry collection. It made this kimono dress feel like new and made me feel like a million stylish bucks.

Thus, many thanks go to my nearly-telepathic mom and Mr. Charming Charlie for his boutique. Check out what everyone else wore Sunday at Fine Linen and Purple.

P.S. I did not get paid to write this post, but I probably should have!

Answer Me This: Well, *That* Didn’t Last Long


It figures that just when I found a new link-up I liked, it’s being retired. This is what I feel like when my favorite beauty products get discontinued. (I am creature of habit, so that happens more often than you might think.) Here goes nothing!

1. What is your favorite picture book?

I love almost anything with beautiful art. Simcha recommended a book with lovely drawings of the Holy Family a while ago; I tucked that post away for future children (and/or my godson). I also adored The Sign of the Seahorse, which probably foreshadowing my love of Finding Nemo.

2. Are you a boycotter?

No. I don’t doubt the efficacy of boycotts when properly organized and carried out on a wide scale. I think there are some retired bus drivers from Montgomery who would agree with me, if perhaps begrudgingly, still. Nowadays, I don’t think people care about much enough to suffer all that a boycott entails. The Montgomery bus boycotters had to walk for miles in the heat to stand up (literally) for what they believed in. I don’t know many people in the U.S. today who would willingly suffer that much to make a point, even if the point they’re making is as critical as that was. It’s the paradox of the Cross: to win greatly, we must suffer greatly.

3. How do you feel about cheese?

Yum! My heart breaks for the lactose intolerant who can’t enjoy a good pizza (or even a bad pizza). I will eat American slices in sandwiches because it’s easy and it keeps, but my favorites are provolone, Colby Jack, and sometimes pepper jack on turkey sandwich. Mmm.

I used to think there was no such thing as too much cheese, but then I found that I don’t really like cheese enchiladas, which are stuffed with cheese by definition. It’s so rich that I can’t appreciate the cheesiness. #cheeseproblems

4. How many pairs of sunglasses do you own?

I own exactly one pair of sunglasses. Until about two years ago, I owned zero pairs. Living in Austin, Texas, convinced me that I was becoming a danger to myself and others by ducking beneath the visor while driving. I wear glasses all the time (never contacts), so I knew prescription sunglasses would be expensive, but they are absolutely worth it. They’re Wayfarers, so they look classic and stylish, and I can see! I’ve even perfected taking them off, taking my regular glasses out of the case, putting my sunglasses in the case, and putting my regular glasses on—while walking. I’m so fancy, you already know.


An installment of WIWS from May.

5. How long has it been since you went to the dentist?

Yeesh! It’s been way too long, especially considering that my father was a dental tech when he was in the Air Force. It’s been more than a year. In my defense, when I was unemployed and had time to go, I couldn’t afford it and didn’t have any health insurance. Now that I have a job again, I don’t have any time off, and my health insurance doesn’t include dental. Maybe I should add that now during open enrollment. I’m coming up on my official 1-year date, so I’ll have vacation time, finally.

When I was a kid, I remember having Dentist Day at school (which was probably not actually called that), when they sent in a dentist to talk about oral health. He said that often, people in their 20s get caught up in other things they need to do or buy and forget to go to the dentist. Then when they do turn up, their teeth are terrible and they are stunned at the work that needs to be done and how much it costs.

I really hope that story doesn’t turn into my life.

6. If you could visit any religious site in the world, where would you go?

Only one? It would be nice to visit St. Peter’s Basilica. I used to live in Europe, but I never made it to Rome. I wasn’t in a very solid place in my religious life, though, so perhaps that was for the best. And now the Sposi Novelli visit can be that much more meaningful, God willing! ;)

Check out Kendra’s answers and more at Catholic All Year.

What I Wore Sunday: Purple Polka Dots


This was a very busy but good weekend. I had a lot to do, and I got a lot done, including wearing one of my favorite dresses, which I have somehow omitted this summer. The surprising mildness of this summer caught me off guard. At this rate, it might cool down before Halloween!


Dress: Old Navy
Shirt: Old Navy
Shoes: DSW
Toenails: Wet n’ Wild in Red Red

As I was flipping through my dresses, which I try to wear on Sundays because they are usually my best clothing, I realized that I haven’t worn this dress yet this summer. One of the benefits of taking a photo in my church clothes every week is that I have learned (a) I actually don’t wear the same thing every week, and (b) I can see exactly how long it has been since I wore a specific item. My rotation is a lot broader than I thought.

I considered adding my brown skinny belt, but it clashed with the dress more than the shoes do. I also considered wearing a green shirt instead of this bright purple one, but it didn’t pick up the green polka dots the way I thought it would. White could work, but not green. There are actually gray polka dots mixed in, too, and although I love the color combo on the dress, I’m not sure that would work as such a big accent. Adventures in color combinations!

We had Fr. Associate tonight. He is from Sri Lanka, so his name is difficult for many Americans to pronounce. He started his homily by making some lightehearted jokes about the struggles people are still having with it. In our defense, it’s only been seven weeks, and we’ve only seen him for five of those. It’s hard to learn something you only encounter once a week. It took me forever to finally memorize the Nicene Creed again. (To be honest, it took me a while to re-learn in college, too.)

He continued to speak about the first part of today’s gospel, which I found intriguing. There are so many ways you could go with the latter part: priestly/papal authority, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the significance of St. Peter’s keys. He focused on St. Peter’s identifying the Messiah by his true name. As Fr. Associate explained, our names are often the first way people really identify us, and when we are remembered, those names are attached. What memories do we want attached to our names? It was one of the most balanced homilies I’ve heard in a long time. What a blessing.

Answer Me This: The Fighting Irish Sign of Peace


Whaaaaat? Two weeks in a row? And I posted What I Wore Sunday yesterday? Who’s being a better blogger? Yes, it’s me.

1. What is your favorite room in the house?

I like the dining room best. I’m there as I write this.

I shared a bedroom for my second year of graduate school, so I spent most of my time in my “office,” since I needed my desk to work. When I lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment, I kept my TV and computer in the living/dining room, so I got used to working at the dining room table or on the couch. Now that I have a (shared) house and my own bedroom, I still spend most of my time at the dining room table. So, even though my favorite room is the dining room, it’s not about good. It’s about my computer.

I’ll be honest: a lot of things are about my computer.

2. Do you subscribe to any magazines or other periodicals?

Define “subscribe.” I get only two hard-copy magazines: my alumni magazines from the University of Maryland and the University of Notre Dame. Those come automatically, though.

I get a ton of email newsletters, though, and those are only for sites that don’t have blogs. Most of my email is newsletters.

3. How do you feel about the sign of peace in Mass? Enriching? Awkward? Overdone? Just right? Some combination of the above?

It’s definitely a combination. It’s the one part of Mass where you interact with members of the congregation directly, as opposed to responding or praying or singing in unison and just assuming that everyone is with you. (Except for the Lord’s Prayer, they usually aren’t. Sad times.) I like that part.

On the other hand, I find it a little distracting to switch from a mode of deep prayer, since heaven has just touched Earth (a.k.a. the consecration of the Eucharist), to social “nice to meet you” mode, then back since I’m about to eat Jesus. There’s a headspace problem in there somewhere.

On a third hand, I have seen it go crazy. When Mass is delayed because everyone has to walk across the church to find a friend and exchange a hearty hug or ask about someone’s hip surgery (which varies with age), and even the choir is busy mingling, it can be overwhelming. That is a reasonable description of the sign of peace at Notre Dame dorm Masses, a custom I saw carried on by my grad school classmates. I never liked that part of Mass. I hate it when I dislike any part of Mass.

On yet a fourth hand, there is a Scriptural basis for making peace with your brother before you approach the altar.

4. What is your least favorite sound?

Knuckles cracking, or any part of someone’s body being cracked or popped. This includes my own, even though I have to crack my thumbs all the time. It’s such a gross sound, and it’s disturbing to see someone cracking their neck. If another person did that to you, you might die!

5. What was your favorite TV show (or shows) growing up?

Define “growing up.” I loved Muppet Babies, Tiny Toon Adventures, and the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I played the Pink Ranger on the playground at recess. I also had a thing for Nick at Nite, so I liked The Munsters, I Dream of Jeannie, and Bewitched despite their being way before my time. I am currently watching my way through Sabrina the Teenage Witch on Hulu and reminiscing all the way. Speaking of the WB, I used to love 7th Heaven and Dawson’s Creek, and I still love Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

6. What are your favorite TV shows now?

I have been watching Degrassi for so long that I think this counts for both questions! It’s so ridiculously dramatic, but I CAN’T STOP WATCHING. Most of my recent favorites have ended, such as 30 Rock, Being Human, and How I Met Your Mother. (I’m still mad about how HIMYM ended. I’m so mad I never even finished my mournful blog post about the finale!)

These days, I watch Once Upon a Time, Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, Graceland, and Covert Affairs. I watch them all online, though. No money for cable TV around here.

Check out Kendra’s answers (and others) at Catholic All Year.

P.S. Akismet was missing a lot of spam lately, so if you try to comment and it doesn’t appear immediately (no moderation), use the contact form or email me at lindsay at Thanks!

What I Wore Sunday: Old Faithful


No prefatory comments tonight. I’m getting straight to the good stuff.


Dress: Target
Shoes: Old Navy
Headband: Goody
Necklace: gift

I love this dress. I’m usually partial to clear empire waists. This falls a little lower than my empire “waist” line, but it’s not down at my natural waist, either. Yet it looks good. It is also incredibly comfortable, so much so that I’m wearing it as I write this post, over two hours after I got home from church.

I like wearing necklaces when I have the right outfit for them. This icthus with cross is a special one. My mom might not be into Christianity much herself, but she does have good taste.

I lectored tonight, and the first lector showed up before Mass, so that was quite a relief. I didn’t want to have to run around like the last time! Today was one of the Sundays where the second reading has the same theme as the others (which are selected to match one another; the epistle just goes in order straight through each one), so I was especially excited. I practiced extra so I would hopefully help at least one person in the congregation understand a little better than before. I also hoped mightily that I could hear a homily that tied in all the readings, right down to the psalm. It was practically handed to him!

Nope. It was good to see our pastor again; he’s been MIA at the Sunday evening Mass for a while. He noted that this gospel is particularly hard to preach on. Jesus is kind of mean to the Canaanite woman—more than once—and he changes his mind. It’s like the cleansing of the Temple: Jesus’ actions are unsettling. Fr. New Pastor gave a fantastic explication of the gospel, encouraging us all to expand our boundaries of what has been done before, what we like, and what seems right to be open to new directions God may be making known to us.

As I reflected this morning, I thought about how this particular set of readings speaks to God’s call to all people of all nations, even the ones we don’t like or think are beyond help or not worth saving. Isaiah commends the “foreigners” for their devotion to the Lord despite living outside of his chosen people. The psalm directs all nations to praise God. St. Paul admonishes the Jews for not accepting his preaching and praises the Gentiles for accepting him, hoping that their scandalous example will inspire the Jews to get with the program. And Jesus opens his heart and his healing powers to a woman from a race the Jews hated, showing that God is now choosing some more people.

If we really believe that the call of God is irresistible, and we really believe that his mercy is endless, and we really believe that he desires to draw all people to himself, we have to accept that he will accept people we don’t accept. He loves people we don’t love. He can forgive anything. Who do you most dislike right now? The world is erupting with huge problems, so there’s plenty to choose from. The Islamic State? Governor Perry? The police in Ferguson? The armed men who shut down the Ebola hospital in Liberia? People who are lobbying to reopen closed abortion clinics in Texas? God loves those people. Every single one. I think today’s gospel calls us to remember the limitlessness of God’s mercy and love.

tl;dr: August 2014


There is no tl;dr link-up post for this month, but that works out nicely because I did not post this on the first Tuesday of the month like I was supposed to. Swing by Call Her Happy anyway.

Here’s my tl;dr:

  • I am settling into my new job. I am backing up my old supervisor this week while she’s on vacation, and I’m learning to back up Accounts Payable for another coworker for the next two weeks while he’s on vacation. Basically, I’m taking over the office, one department at a time.
  • I am not going on vacation. I don’t have any time off from work, I don’t really like traveling, and it’s not in the budget.
  • Still doing my summer Psalms Bible study.
  • Still single.
  • I have been intentionally drinking more water, and I really love the way it makes me feel.
  • Wunderlist and You Need a Budget [discount/referral link!] are my two new favorite apps.
  • Two of my roommates from undergrad came into town. We crushed at trivia and ate fantastic Austin food.
  • I went on a delightful day retreat hosted by Austin CNM.

That’s my last two months in a nutshell. What have you been up to?

Answer Me This: First-Timer!

I didn’t think my week was quite full enough of link-ups, so here’s another! My Quick Takes are usually random, but this is sanctioned randomness.


1. What do you still want to do this summer?

I didn’t really make any summer-specific plans this year. Being off a school-year schedule means that calendar seasons mean a lot less to me than they used to. I need to get my hair done, but that’s about it.

I am planning a joint birthday party for one of my roommates and me, though. I guess that’s a summer thing because we were born in August, although the party is in September. Summer in Austin lasts from March to October, so a Halloween party is almost a summer one!

2. What’s your favorite kind of pie?

Apple, hands down. One of my guy friends from grad school invited my household over for dinner once. He made an apple pie for dessert, and it was one of the best pies I have ever eaten. This was way before Pinterest, so when he said he got the recipe from the Internet, I honestly don’t know where he meant. I’m too afraid to ask, to this day, because it might just have been magical. I would be okay with that.

I do want to try to make these apple pie cookies sometime, though. They sound incredible!

3. How much sleep do you need each day? How much do you get?

Ha! When I started writing these answers late Sunday night, I think I scoffed out loud at this question. One of my current short-term goals is to go to bed earlier, sleep better, and get up on time. It’s not going nearly as well as my resolution to drink more water.

My whole family are late risers—even my dad. He was in the military, so he had to get up early, but he didn’t want to. I don’t think so, anyway. In college, after I decided that I wanted to become a teacher, I started forcing myself to become an early riser. I worked a few hours in the morning before classes, so that was a good motivator. While I actually was a teacher, I was up at my alarm every day (especially when I shared a bedroom).

I don’t know what happened to that early riser. Campus ministry was all about staying up and out late, and I don’t think I’ve fully transitioned back to regular hours yet. I managed a regular workweek, but mornings are still tough.

One of my favorite preachers, Msgr. Stuart Swetland, says there are two kinds of people in the world: those who wake up and say, “Good morning, Lord!” and those who wake up and say, “Good Lord, morning!” Guess which one I am?

4. Do you prefer to swim in a pool, lake, river, or ocean?

I prefer pools. I’ve never been lake or river swimming. I don’t swim much at all, actually, because it’s terrible to get my hair soaked without blow-drying it immediately. #blackhairproblems

I can swim, though. I lived on a tropical island as a kid, but I was afraid of water. My mom thought that was ludicrous and forced me to take swimming lessons. Problem? Solution!

5. Do you know any poems by heart?

Yes! I learned “Jabberwocky” in the third grade and can still recite it to this day. Praying the Liturgy of the Hours has led to my memorizing all the psalms for Night Prayer as well as all three canticles and Week One, Sunday Morning Prayer. That’s all, though.

6. Do you use the public library?

Oh, yes. As a book reviewer, I receive a fair number of free books, but I don’t get all of them that way. I also find that the library is a great way to get out-of-print books. I read Who Gets the Drumstick? (by the mother of the family from Yours, Mine, and Ours) and Maria Trapp’s memoir that way. So much happens that The Sound of Music doesn’t even begin to cover!

Check out Kendra’s answers (and everyone else’s) over at Catholic All Year.

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