Thursday, April 17, 2014

Awk+Awe | My Mom!

Hey y'all! Hope you've had a lovely week. My mother kindly agreed to let me share her outfit with y'all today! I have gotten requests for fashion inspiration for those who may not be in the same stage of life as I am currently, so I thought you might like to see my beautiful mom! 

Awkward: 
  • Cooking bacon in your hotel room and everyone who walks past asking about the glorious smell. :P
  • Laughing so hard you can't finish your sentence when it really wasn't funny at all. 
  • The 8 minute period of time when your coffee finally kicks in but before it mellows out. Without fail you end up dancing and singing uncontrollably for those few moments. 
  • Having to get up in the middle of Bible study to take allergy medicine because it's spring AND they have cats. 
  • Texting who you thought was your friend inviting them to dinner, but instead texting their old number. When the new owner texts back about the mix-up, you get to talking about what you had for dinner and end up sending them a roll recipe, not having any clue who this new person is. :P 
  • Involuntarily screaming every time you hear someone squash a bug. Makes you cringe.
  • Your pattern maker's shippers getting mixed up! I got a roll of children's patterns back instead of my skirt pattern! Sooo yet another little delay while I wait for the actual pattern to arrive. ;)
  • How many times a day you shower in allergy season. There might have been a day this week I showered every 6 hours. :P 
  • Losing your cooking skills. My sister has been in charge of making breakfast and dinner for the last year or two, so when her lymes medicine put her in bed with nausea starting last week (did I mention 6/8 of us are now dealing with it?), I had to take over cooking again. FINALLY meals are starting to get better, but it's been a funky learning curve as I practice. I've always thought I was a fine enough cook, but apparently not. :P 
  • Not being able to decide which pair of silver shoes you like better online, so you order them both. 
  • When there's so much you want to talk about with someone that you don't know where to start. 
  • Using candy shooters to pelt candy into your friends' mouths. 
  • Receiving a hot pad in my bag of "goodies" from the bank when I opened Fresh Apparel's bank account (!!!). 

Awesome:
  • The response to yesterday's post, the introduction to the Let's Talk series. Things keep going through my head to share with y'all. 
  • This quote: "I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." - E. B. White
  • Whole hog roasts! Our neighbors are awesome and built themselves a pig roaster and then raised a pig and cooked it for our whole church! It was a gorgeous day with lovely fellowship and could not have been yummier BBQ. 
  • Getting back into running a little bit. I don't take my energy level for granted anymore. 
  • Being able to lay in bed and look up quotes on my phone. Google's given me so many gems this week. Just love carefully chosen words. Like this, "Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value."~ Albert Einstein
  • Potato planting parties at our friends' farm! Love feeling the freshly tilled dirt between my toes and getting a sunburn! 
  • My little brother loving his new clothes from thredUP so much that he wore all 4 shirts at the same time... all...day...long...
  • Scrolling through Pinterest laughing at jokes. 
  • Mayonnaise. Seriously, I love that stuff.
  • Spending all of Sunday afternoon and evening exhausted from the powerful, incredible sermon your pastor preached during the morning. 
  • Being blessed by friendships with people from different walks of life who can give different perspectives and encouragement to you. Never underestimate the power of simply asking someone, "You doing alright?" with sincerity. Caring eye contact is an amazing thing. 

Doesn't my mom look lovely? This is just an outfit she put on for wearing around the house today. This skirt is one of her favorites and she gets compliments on it from complete strangers all the time! 
//outfit details//
Top: Ann Taylor: ThredUP
Tank: Forever21: $1.80
Skirt: Handmedown
Shoes: Gift
Earrings: Droplette


I hope y'all have a blessed day! What's been Awk+Awe about your week?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Let's Talk | What Are You For?

Hey y'all! I'm so sorry about the unannounced blogging break! I've been dealing with a lot of various things and for my own sanity blogging needed to fall off my radar for a little while. :)

Today I'd like to give an introduction to a series. It's called, "Let's Talk". My purpose is to share my thoughts on topics that relate to our lives as young women seeking the Lord. These may be short or rambling, some may be some obvious, and some may not be a popular opinion. Y'all let me know if I need to hush up. ;)

Encourage, empathize, and exhort are the three words that I just realized are my goals with Fresh Modesty. As I "speak" on these topics, realize my desire is to put my arm around y'all so we can support one another with our words, actions, and prayers.

Empathize: understand and share the feelings of another
Encourage: give support, confidence, or hope to (someone)
Exhort: strongly encourage or urge (someone) to do something (myself included)

Here's what's on my heart today: Being known for what I'm for not for what I'm against.

Yes, I'm against sin, but I'm for forgiveness. I'm against the devices of the Devil, but I'm for the power of the Lord. I'm against selfishness, but I'm for serving. Y'all see the difference? Instead of focusing on destroying the negative, in Christ we should have the desire to rejoice in the positive. Our old man has passed away-- DEAD-- and the new man has come. Why dwell on the old except to thank the Lord for His grace?

When we put our energy into getting rid of the bad, we can exhaust ourselves and forget to see the good. Many moons ago when I was confiding in a friend how frustrated I was that I couldn't get a guy out of my thoughts, she gave me this advice: "Instead of sitting around thinking about not liking him, invest in other relationships and endeavors and your crush will fade into the background." Her point was that we can make an idol out of not making an idol, when we should be lifting the Lord before our eyes instead.

Which is a better witness for the transforming power of the Gospel: 

  • To be known as the girl who is never sad, or as the girl who is always joyful? 
  • To be known as the woman who doesn't talk badly about her husband, or as the wife who delights in honoring him?
  • To be known as the girl who never wears pants, or as the girl who always dresses with feminine grace?
  • To be known as the girl who doesn't say bad words, or as the girl who speaks with kindness?
  • To be known as the woman who controls her temper, or as the woman who exudes patience? 
  • To be known as the Christian who tolerates the unsaved, or as the Christian who wants everyone to know the joy of Christ?

I'm afraid that a lot of what is on the internet these days is putting down what is bad with not a whole lot of focus on the positive. Let's talk about what we're for and strive to be known as His. :) What do y'all think?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

1 Button-Down | 3 Days | 3 Ways ~ Day 3

Hey y'all! I've been busy today! We did the weekend's cooking and I ran to the grocery store (not a short trek living out where we do) this morning and then this afternoon we went to see Captain America 2 with friends! Best part of the movie is when my sister realized I was wearing the same arrow necklace as Natasha. ;)
// outfit details //
Black eyelet dress: Express: ThredUP
Button-up: Thrift store: $1
Shoes: BC brand: ThredUP
Earrings (same as yesterday. :P They match this shirt well and for whatever reason I can't find all my other favorite earrings right now): Thrift store: $1

This challenge has been so much fun! I hope y'all enjoyed it as much as I did! Please check out and go thank Ashley, the Boyer's, and Callie (haha, we had very similar outfits today!) for hosting with me! Link up (to your direct post) below! :)

Y'all have a blessed Lord's Day tomorrow! 

Friday, April 4, 2014

1 Button-Down | 3 Days | 3 Ways ~ Day 2

Hey y'all! I'm overwhelmed by all the positive response to my little story yesterday! You girls are seriously the biggest blessing to me. If you missed it, click {here}. I hope you're having a great day!
 I put on one outfit this morning and my sisters were both like, "NO" even though I really liked it. :P I'm glad they are honest. Remember how this shirt was huge? Well, since I don't really have any more high-waisted skirts that would help with the flouff, I went ahead and altered the side-seams real quick to make styling this easy on myself. :D I didn't realize my sleeve was unrolled while we were taking these and I don't have the heart to wake my sister up to take them again. :D 

// outfit details // 
Shirt: Thrift store: Old Navy Brand: $1
Tank: Forever21: $1.80
Skirt: Thred Up: Ann Taylor
Flip flops: Sears? 
Earrings: Thrift store: $1

Go check out Ashley's, the Boyer's, and Callie's outfits! As a reminder, make sure you link to the specific post that has your Day 2 outfit, not just your blog in general, that way things stay neat and organized. :) 

Thank y'all so much for participating! You can probably tell from my exhausted expressions, but I'm tired with a capital T today. Guess I've lost more sleep than I realized.  How's your Friday been? 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What's Up | The Story Behind Fresh Apparel

Hey y'all! I'm not ready to launch just quite yet, but I thought it would be fun to keep y'all in the loop of things to come. You may have noticed my hints of business meetings and whispers of being consumed with a project-- well, that project is "Fresh Apparel Denim Company"! (!!!)


Here's the story, from the beginning. 

February 2012: I created the "Dark Denim Wide Waistband Skirt" because I was wanting a classy denim skirt. I of course blogged about it here on Fresh Modesty and on my almost-forgotten sewing blog, Eager Hands. It became instantly popular on Pinterest and I received a ton of positive response. More than praise, however, I got a request: "MAKE ME ONE!!" or, "Tell me how to sew one!" 

December 2012: I released, "How To Sew Denim: A Step-by-step Guide to Creating Wide Waistband Denim Skirts", a 72-page eBook that teaches you how to sew a custom skirt for yourself. I wanted others to be able to enjoy this skirt, but I didn't have the time to be sewing them for other people. I renamed the "Dark Denim Wide Waistband Skirt" the "Errand #17" for space's sake. ;) 

2013: I continued creating denim skirts for myself and sharing them with my readers, who began to exponentially grow after a few plugs by popular internet content creators on Facebook. Requests to sew for others who did not have the skills continued to stream into my inbox and I would be sad I couldn't help provide them with modest clothing as I turned each one down, knowing I'd have to charge over $180/ skirt because of the time it takes me to make one. 

October 2013: I read Empowered Traditionalist's blog posts about starting a clothing line and realized, "Hey, it doesn't take $100,000 to launch a clothing business!" Also around that time my friend Jordan Taylor had a very successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for his new album and my wheels began turning. 

February 2014: After going through a rough season of health, more than ever I realized, "I have one life. What's holding me back from pursuing my dreams?" So, we had a family meeting about it and all agreed this was something I should go for. I began googling my fingers off, reading "Fashion for Profit" books, and looking for a manufacturer. My first couple weeks of research proved pretty useless-- I started to get discouraged and almost gave up, until one night I just googled something one. more. time. and all of a sudden link after link appeared and I stayed up until 3 am emailing companies and writing down information and praying it would turn into something. Over the next few weeks I heard back from manufacturers, got denim pricing information, and ordered myself a day planner to keep it all organized. 

March 2014: I met with two manufacturers and got labor estimates from them. I received denim samples in the mail and registered a domain name. I researched buttons and labels and hired a logo designer. I've spent hours doing calculations over and over, seeing where I could shave costs here or possibly do better there. I've been bleeding coffee as I try to manage all this on top of still helping around the house and blogging and launching Bell Tower Boutique and going to Florida for a weekend.

Now: I took a day trip to Bristol, TN (6 hours from my house) to meet with a manufacturer there on Monday and decided that's the company I'll go with. Currently, I'm waiting for my pattern to finish being perfected by a pattern maker, then I'll send that to the manufacturer so they can make a sample and make sure I love how it turns out.



What to expect: In the next 2-3 weeks I will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise the initial capital needed to run the first line of production for the Errand #17 skirt. If you're not familiar with Kickstarter, here's how their website explains how it works: "Project creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing — projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money. "

I'm not just asking for hand-outs, though. Kickstarter is awesome in that I can offer "rewards" if y'all pledge certain amounts. Essentially, I'll be "selling" the skirts before they are put into production. This way, I won't have to go into debt to start Fresh Apparel. I'll also be rewarding t-shirts for backers who want to help get me going, but may not be able to afford a skirt. I won't claim they're going to be cheap (at least by my standards. Made in the USA, wot!), but they will be worth it. And if I don't make my goal, y'all aren't out any money and I don't start the business, simple as that. :)

If everything pans out as planned, I will also be making other skirt styles available from Fresh Apparel. I thought it wise to start small, though. And because of that, there will be a limited number of skirts available as rewards on Kickstarter, so once it launches, don't hesitate. 

My success depends on you-- my friends and readers. Let's keep this a secret for now, but once I launch the Kickstarter, I'm going to need y'all to get on your best sharing shoes and tell every skirt-wearing person you know about it! It's been an awesome project for me so far and I'm ridiculously excited to be able to offer this to y'all. 

Thanks for letting me share! I hope that satisfies your curiosity! Please feel free to ask any questions and I will try to answer them! Love y'all so much. 

1 Button-Down | 3 Days | 3 Ways ~ Day 1

Hey y'all! Today kicks off the One Button-Down | Three Days | Three Ways event! Plus it's Awk+Awe Thursday! Woo! 

 Awkward:

  • Being able to get most of your to-do list done and still be in your pajamas. I try to not do that, but I could. 
  • When you look up the lyrics to a song and you think either, "I've been listing to THIS?!" or "Woooah I love this now!"
  • Considering yourself a pretty strong person... until customer service tries to talk to in to staying another month. *sigh*
  • Having a completely full-blown freak out session last Friday. I couldn't breath in between ranting about a million things and flopping all over beds and pacing and arms flailing and shaking with excitement over things to come. I hope y'all are getting as pumped as I am for this skirt line. 
  • Getting a numb mouth on April Fool's Day thanks to my dad putting baby orajel on my toothbrush. 
  • When dreams mix with reality and you start typing on your phone at 1 am... not good. 
  • Walking around a strange town and not being used to the weird friendly people like the residents are. 
  • Arriving home hoarse from singing at the top of your lungs for 4 hours trying to keep yourself awake. 
  • Being asked to speak in front of the church... and not really having a plan. 
  • Doing all my skirt line lists/numbers/information on lined notebook paper instead of on the computer. I can stay better organized and focused that way somehow. Plus it means I can take my work into the field (literally) with me. 
  • Realizing you're wearing two different flip-flops as you're on your way to lunch with someone. 
 Awesome:

  • This warm weather! I didn't think about it being in the 80's when I chose this shirt. :P 
  • Friends who take time to help you brainstorm about names or crunch numbers or visit factories. I could not do this without their support. 
  • The power steering fixing itself.
  • This quote, which is working its way to being my life's motto: "Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls." ~Mother Theresa
  • Driving around with no place to go, arm hanging out the window singing at the top of your lungs on an absolutely GORGEOUS day to clear your head and revive your spirit, sipping alternately cold coffee and warm mandarin orange soda. Cured.
  • Bell Tower Boutique
  • Not being nervous as I head to a business meeting. Seriously, the grace of God is amazing because I was once the shyest girl you'd ever seen. Finding confidence in Christ is the best feeling ever. 
  • Watching storms blow in. 
  • Getting to take a factory tour when I met with my manufacturer on Monday. It was such a beautiful, friendly place. 

This is the only outfit I had thought of when I picked this shirt for this challenge! It'll be interesting to see what I come up with tomorrow. :P Because of the warm weather, I rolled the sleeves up as much as I could. To show off the button detail on my skirt, I tied the button-down, which also helped make it more flattering since it's so loose on me. 
// outfit details //
Shirt: Charity Shop: $1
Tank: Forever21: $1.80
Skirt: Made By Me: {click here for directions}
Bracelet: Borrowed from my sister
Flip flops: Sears?
Earrings: Walmart
Necklace: GroopDealz : $3.99

Go check out Ashley's, The Boyer Sisters, and Callie's blogs to see their Day 1 outfits! I hope you'll join us. Enter the link to your post below and grab the button to add to your post! For more information about how to participate, Charlotte wrote an awesome post with all the information. {click here to read that}


1 Button Down | 3 Days| 3 Ways 
 

Have an awesome day!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Review | Halftee, My Best Friend

Hey y'all! I hope you are AWESOME on this fabulous Tuesday! I have a life-saver to rant about today that may or may not be on your radar depending on how closely you read my outfit details and how long you've been reading here at Fresh Modesty. ;) It's no secret, I'm a huge fan of the Halftee!

 Here's the outfit I'm wearing today as I recover from my trip yesterday (11 hours of driving on 3.5 hours sleep) and try to prioritize my crazy long list of to-do-now's. I would so appreciate prayers that I stay sane through the next few weeks to months as I try to launch this denim skirt line! The Halftee made this outfit a total no-brainer which I reeeeally needed today.

 // outfit details // 
Tunic: thredUP: free! (I ordered it and when I got it they said they refunded me because they found a flaw in it! I totally don't care since it's just a causal top anyway)
Halftee: c/o Halftee.com
Capris: American Eagle: thredUP
Flats: Ann Taylor: thredUP


I'm not exaggerating, I wear Halftees basically as quickly as they can go through the wash-- that is, if my sisters or mom don't get to them first. We only have 4 between us and are constantly coordinating who gets them when and which color. For full disclosure, these Halftees were provided to me for reviewing. All glowing opinions are mine and I'm so excited they are one of my sponsors for April!

I did a quick search here on the blog and pulled out a few of my favorite outfits that really would not have been possible without the Halftee. I'll put the link under each picture so you can visit the original post if you'd like. I'm also including the date just because it's fun to see how my style's evolved and just how long I've been loving the Halftee. The brown one I've had the longest and it seriously shows no signs of wear.
// Peacock // April 2012 // Lesson Learned // June 2012

// Floral Sundress // June 2012 // Bronze Age Top // August 2012

// LBD // September 2012 // White Eyelet // June 2013

// Coral + Turquoise // August 2013 // Vintage Spring // August 2013

 // Maxi Dress on the Beach // September 2013 // Weekend in Florida // March 2014

 One of the worst things about layering to make things modest is the extra bulk that makes clothes unflattering. Not a problem with the Halftee! It fits snugly (never, ever had a problem with it riding up or moving without my consent ;)) and eliminates the heat and bunching of a full t-shirt. Tops that I wouldn't have considered before because of the lack of sleeves or wide neckline are completely easy for me to make fit my standards thanks to Halftee.
Okay, so the best part about Halftee being a sponsor this month is this: I have a discount to share with y'all!!
20% off coupon code:  freshmodesty20

I better stop ranting and let y'all go order now... Do you have a Halftee? Do you love it or do you love it?