Thursday, March 26, 2015

What's Up | Work, Family, Stuff

Hey y'all! Long time no post, I know. I get asked frequently what every day life looks like for a 22 year old stay-at-home daughter running a business in the middle of nowhere with Lyme disease, so I thought I'd share what has gone on in the areas of Work, Family, Fun, Health, and Study for me the last few weeks, along with random pictures from my phone because my camera roll is basically my journal.

Work | Schedule
In the past, I've found it difficult to keep up with the blog/business and not create tension with the responsibilities that come from being a daughter at home, like dishes and toddler entertainment. Plus, as nice as it is to think I can multitask by answering emails in between loads of laundry, it's actually very hard on me mentally to switch gears like that. So, this year we've tried a new schedule where I am wholly home-focused 3 days a week and then totally business-focused the other 3 days. I switch off this "mamma's helper" position with my sister Emma who also has a business/school she needs to focus on. It's been working out really great for us! I can get in a 40 hour work week and get all the house projects done that I want to. I love cleaning and cooking, but not when there's business responsibilities hanging over my head. Likewise, I love blogging and business, but it's stressful when there's a mountain of laundry waiting on me. This scheduled balance has been a huge blessing for me.

(Left Snap taken at like 2 am, right picture of a day's hemming work!)
Work | Fresh Apparel
Hemming, hemming, hemming! I have mailed out about 40 skirts to the Kickstarter backers so far, with very positive responses! L.C. King is still working on sizes 28-34, so I've been delivering sizes 35-51. I'm almost finished with fulfilling the pre-orders/backer-orders of the larger sizes and am hoping to put the remaining inventory up for sale on within the next few weeks. There's been several late nights/sleepovers at the "office" and I foresee several more still to come. I still have t-shirts in stock, so if you're looking for a super comfortable t-shirt for summer, check 'em out! I've been considering ordering more sizes of the thermal hoodies, but with winter almost over I'm not sure if that would be wise or not. 26 is the minimum screen-printing order and I'm not sure I could sell that many. Thoughts?

(Taking an outfit pic for instagram faaaail)

Work | Fresh Modesty
I have so many post ideas, y'all, it's insane... but most require either a photoshoot, sewing project, lots of Pinterest research, or further Bible study on my part. Skirt hemming has been my top priority for a while now, so taking even 3 hours to put together a blog post feels wrong because of my responsibility to my backers. Honestly, I haven't worn anything worthy of blogging for quite some time. It's been jeans and t-shirts for working on the house and jeans and t-shirts for hemming. My make-up routine has even been reduced to foundation and mascara every third day. Part of the reason for this is because I haven't taken the time to cultivate my wardrobe lately and it's desperately lacking in several key pieces that would make getting dressed nicely on busy days easier. Just being real here.

(My new boot shelf, our living room in the middle of cleaning)

Family | House Projects
My brain thinks in terms of "projects" and frequently I will get obsessed with an idea until I make it happen. Earlier this year, that idea was purging our basement. Last week, that project was finding a place for all my boots. This week, I attacked the living room and spring-cleaned it within an inch of its life. I steam-cleaned every soft surface and Awesome-sprayed every hard surface, including the floor under the stove and the wall behind the fridge. I know not everyone enjoys cleaning, but I find a ridiculous amount of satisfaction in it. I found this quote and it sums up nicely how I feel, "I was not merely cleaning an oven; I was improving the world." -A.Z. A clean, happy house exudes an air of excellence and welcome that is inspiring to me. I could do a whole post on this topic, but I'll stop here. ;)

Family | Farm
With the pigs in the freezer, the chickens given to friends, and the puppies all gone to good homes, "Farm work" is pretty much non-existent right now. We're gonna have to start mowing here soon though, which ain't no cake-walk.

Fun | Snow
It's been several years since our area has gotten any amount of snow to speak of, so the two weeks or so of ice/visible snow we had were quite exciting! We enjoyed two days of sledding on carhoods pulled behind ATVs and were thankful for a new truck with 4-WD to get up our driveway when the snow refused to melt.

Fun | Columbus Trip
For many months now my sister Emma has been learning to call square/ Appalachian/ folk/ English country dances with live music. She volunteered to call a dance for Foundation Church's annual Sons of Saint Patrick event near Columbus, OH two weekends ago. We traveled up there with a group of friends and had a wonderful time! God shined His face on us in the midst of a stomach bug that threatened to ruin the weekend and kept me paranoid the whole time. ;)

Fun | Teach Them Diligently Convention
Just as I was finished recovering from that whirlwind weekend, Teach Them Diligently was here! Fresh Modesty had a booth there in 2013, but the past two years things have come up that I wasn't able to have one. This year I just attended sessions, perused the vendor hall, and kept Blimey Cow company at their booth in the slow parts of the day. ;) I really enjoyed meeting a few readers of Fresh Modesty, too! Audrey, Emily and her mom, and Cecilia, thank you for saying "hi!"... I feel like I'm forgetting someone. My apologies, someone!

Health | God is Gracious
As most of you know, I have Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and some other strains of tick-bourne illnesses. I go to a wonderful, effective doctor, but the treatments can sometimes be exhausting/painful as they kill off the bacteria. Because I've had so much work on my plate with Fresh Apparel, I've taken some time off from treatments. In the past, this has helped for a little while, but my fatigue, headaches, occasional vomiting, and body aches would come back within a few weeks, telling me I needed to start treatment again. As of right now, I'm able to function pretty normally without the treatments. This is a huge answer to prayer! Although I will need to focus on my health again at some point, my physical ability is not a hindrance to my work/life like it used to be. Thank you so much to everyone who has been praying for me!

Study | Natural Make-Up
I've done a few posts this year on how I'm transitioning to homemade/ natural makeup. Well, the first thing on my list to master is liquid mineral foundation. I had about an hour to work on it last week, with the idea that I would make it and share the recipe with you all (yay something to blog!) but it didn't quite... turn out. I got the color correct and the consistency awesome, but I used glycerin as the liquifier and it's just really gross feeling on the face, even after "soaking in". So, I'm going to have to work at it some more before I share. :)

Study | A Way With Words
This past weekend at TTD I bought a book called "A Way with Words: What Women Should Know about the Power They Possess" by Christin Ditchfield. It has 12 chapters on different types of words and it's set up with Bible study questions at the end of each chapter. I've been using it for my devotions this week and have been very blessed by it.

So, there's a general summary of some things I've been up to lately. I would love to hear the highlights of your week!
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Purple + Black

Hey y'all! I hope you are doing well. I am making excellent progress on the Fresh Apparel skirts! Shipped another 22 out today and have a few more to do before I leave for Columbus for the weekend. Here's what I wore to church last Lord's Day.

As I've been hemming, I've watched a ton of movies/ documentaries (mostly on Netflix). Here are a few of my favorites that are pretty (if not completely) clean: 

The Men Who Built America
The Rockefellers
The Identical (Redbox)
The Song (Redbox)
Gods and Generals
Letters to Juliet
Unconditional (Christian)
Ring the Bell (Christian)
Waiting For Forever
Tiny: A Story About Living Small
Scents and Sensibility
Me Again (Christian)

Here are two other ways I've styled this purple dress. You can click on the pictures to be taken to their original posts for accessories details. :) 

// outfit details //
Dress: thrift store $5
Halftee: long sleeved: $18 w/coupon
Hat: Sears
Boots: ThredUP: $27 credit
Bracelet: Charming Charlie $8
Necklace and earrings: Groupon $10
Belt: Thrift store?

Ah, I hear dinner is ready! Y'all have a wonderful, wonderful day.
Do you have a dress you can style several different ways?
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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Archives // How To Wear Hats

Hey y'all! Several commenters on my last post asked if I had any tips for how to make hats flattering. Well, I did a post on this very topic nearly exactly 5 years ago here on Fresh Modesty, so I've decided to re-post it below in all of it's 17-year-old-me glory. :) I have more tips I can share in the future about specific styles, but these are the basic ones. Enjoy! 


I love hats. Totally, totally love them. But I've heard and seen that some people have a hard time getting a hat to look good on them. :D I've only met one person in my life who truly does not look good in any of my hats. And that's my mom. :P I'm here to share some hat-wearing tips with y'all today. I think 99.9% of people look good in hats... if they know how to wear em. :)

These pictures were taken back in early November [2009] between my brother being born and our family moving, hence the cluttered background. Thank goodness for SLR's! :D

This is Rachel. You've met her before. She took all these pictures. :)
[yes, THE Rachel Clarke. Here is her website.]

How NOT to wear a beret. Mushroom looks are bad. Instead, lean it off to one side or the other and flop it a bit.
Like this.

Another tip is not to have your hair pouffy or wider at the bottom than your hat is on top. Or, if it is pouffyish, add interest to it by curling bits here and there or all out curls or straighten it. Or just use hairspray to make it peicer. Whichever you choose, don't let your hair look like a solid mass of brown or blonde. :)

This hat isn't terribly flattering on me. See how my hair looks wider than the hat? That's part of the problem. The other problem is that the crown of the hat is slouched backwards. When I wear this hat, I push the crown forwards over the brim a bit so it doesn't look too small.

Pretty, plain angora hat. With the furryness of it, I have to make sure that my hair is slimming, or else it looks frumpy. :)

Adding a sleek black ribbon on the side or front works as well.

Here's another unflattering one. These hats look good on my sisters, but not on me. :) Again, it's the hair wider than the crown.

This is slightly better, but isn't terribly cute. The bright green ribbon brings attention to itself, giving more "weight" to the small black hat.

If your hair just won't cooperate, try wrangling it into braids.

And its slimming sometimes. :) Leaving random short curls out of your braids can be really cute.

I got these pieces of hair to be shorter by pulling the front of my hair into a pouf and then curling it. It also kept the annoying hair in front out of my face. :D

Wasn't my clothing-storage system elaborate? :P
This style is really cute for ice skating for winter or with a felt beret for fall.

 Remember this hat wasn't so flattering? Well, with braids, it is!

 So is this one! Amazing, isn't it? ;)

 Now this hat is just like the pink angora one, except the fuzzies are a little shorter. We pinned up one side of it to give it more interest. Facing forward it reminds me of Paddington... (would be cute with rainboots and bright yellow rain coat ;))

 But on the side it's much classier. Unless you make that face. :P
We usually wear it on the side.

 Lest you think these hats only work on me, here is my sister Emma. Her hair is on the pouffy side.

But its still cute. :) braids may help. She actually usually braids her hair when she wears hats.

 Again, no mushrooms, please.

We curled parts of her hair to give more definition and it helped. :)

Don't you love hats? Was this helpful?

Hehe, funny how much can change in half a decade. 
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Monday, March 2, 2015

Rainy Church Day

Hey y'all! The snow and ice has finally melted here and the mud has come! I love mud, so I'm not complaining, it just takes a little more thought as you choose an outfit and shoes.

 For the first time in my life, I finally own black leather boots! I found these on ThredUP and they were absolutely perfect for the muddy weather. They are the most comfortable boots I have ever owned and I love them. :)

 On our dirt roads, it is impossible to keep a car clean. Our entire drive to church is on muddy roads, so if you don't do a hop/jump/awkward exit from the car, you will get filthy. I like knee-length dresses and boots, as I don't have to hold my skirt up to get in/out of the car, and if I get mud on the boot upper I can just wipe it off.

// outfit details //
Dress: Nic&Dom brand: ThredUP
Cardigan: Handmedown
Boots: Gianni Bini: ThredUP
Hat: Walmart: $3
Jewelry: Bridesmaid gift
You can't see it, but I also wore a long-sleeved black Halftee for warmth and neckline coverage

I'm off to make some lemon blueberry muffins for breakfast... y'all have a great day! What did you wear to church yesterday?
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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Green Linen Tunic

Hey y'all! I hope your week has been as productive as mine! I've finally started shipping some sizes of Fresh Apparel skirts, which is super exciting and a relief! 

I'm not sure why, but sewing is one of those activities that I infinitely prefer to do in pants. I think it's because I do a lot of crawling on the floor and there are so many loose threads that skirts pick up. So as I've been spending three days a week hemming (the other three days I'm on house-work duty), I've been thankful for my tunic collection.

 This tunic was a pass-on from a friend who's grandma gave it to her. I love the texture of it, even though it wrinkles (I pretend that's the look it's supposed to have). The thick linen doesn't catch around the hips like a lot of other tunics so it's great for those jeans that don't quite fit right in the waist and need some cinching that would be visible under other weights of fabric.

// outfit details //
Tunic: Flax Brand: Handmedown
Tank: Forever 21: $1.80
Jeans: American Eagle brand: $14 ThredUP Credit
Boots: BearPaw brand: $25 ThredUP Credit
Earrings: Charming Charlie: $3 
Mug: Michael's Craft Stores: $2

You'll notice I rolled the sleeves-- I do this a lot with long-sleeved tunics to help them be more flattering by giving definition on the arms. With long, loose sleeves, sometimes your arms and torso just look like one big mass and it's very widening. A quick flip of the cuff and that problem is solved! :)

Casually drinking coffee like a flamingo.
No time to wait for my hair to dry for pictures today, so I went with an easy messy french braid and called it done. I'm a little sleepy from several late nights in a row, so the coffee has been sticking close to me today. ;)

What have you been up to this week? What do you like to wear when you sew?
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Monday, February 23, 2015

How To Choose A Flattering Coat

Hey y'all! I hope you are staying warm and safe! Last week I shared 3 Tips on Staying Warm + Looking Cute. That outfit didn't have a coat as part of the ensemble and unfortunately sometimes coats are a necessity. Today I'd like to show how the length of a coat can make a big difference in how flattering or frumpy your outfit looks. 

The principle is a very standard one: definition. My mustard coat stops at my hip line, allowing the skirt's length to get it's full effect of making me look taller due to eyeline travel. The black coat stops much farther down, cutting me off at an awkward spot. 

In our family, coats were always the thing you invested in once every 4 years or if you grew out of your old one. I was usually tired of my coat by the end of the first season (and it was always black. boring.). Then, I realized you can find coats on sale or at thrift stores (Or ThredUP) and have a lot more fun with them. I got this mustard one for about $20, instead of investing $70 (on sale) like my mom did for the black one.

Does the black coat look terrible? No. But it certainly doesn't add anything to my overall appearance and I don't feel very put-together. 

I do like to keep two coat lengths, though. Right now I only have this mustard one because I haven't found the perfect long coat, but I'm on the look-out. ;) Another thing to look for is how the arms fit-- the slimmer the arms the slimmer you look! 

When to wear a "shorter" coat:

  • With long skirts
  • With tea-length skirts
  • With knee-length skirts
  • With certain jeans-and-tunic looks
  • With long dresses

When to wear a "longer" coat:

  • With knee-length skirts
  • With pants
  • With knee-length dresses

// outfit details //
Underneath shirt: Fresh Apparel Denim Company
Boots: Groupon: $35
Stud earrings: Groupon: $10

Definition is a simple concept, but one that makes a big difference. :) What's your coat look like? Is it longer or shorter? Do you like how it looks with your outfits? Have a great day!

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