Welcome! I'm Olivia Howard, a 21 year old homeschool graduate, lover of practicality, beauty, and FRESH.
This blog is for your encouragement. I share my outfits+life to that end and I pray you are blessed by your visit.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer of Dresses | Bridesmaid's Luncheon

Hey y'all! I am still smiling about the absolutely amazing past 6 days I've had and can't wait to share with you all that went on around my bestie's wedding! Last Wednesday at noon the bridesmaids gathered at the bride's grandmother's home for a lovely time of resting and enjoying good food before the crazy next couple days. 

I didn't have much time to get ready since I had been practicing doing hair on another bridesmaid that morning, but that's the best part about dresses-- suuuuper easy to just throw on! This is an eShakti dress that I was so certain I've blogged before, but I just scrolled through every post and it's not there. :P I paired it with sparkles~ earrings, belt, and shiney rhinestone shoes and hair comb. :) 

// outfit details //
Shoes: ThredUP
Belt: borrowed from my 7 year old sister
Earrings: JustFab: $6.99
Hair comb: Gift from my dad 

This dress is super comfortable and it was perfectly suited for the occasion. eShakti is pretty cool in that you can customize the dress for your measurements! This dress is a jersey material that is easy to wear and care for and the embroidery takes it up a notch. 

I had never used a hair comb before, but it matched this dress so I swooped it up into my hair... and I liked it, so I left it! I was excited it came out looking like this my first time trying it. :) 

Later this week in Summer of Dresses: rehearsal dinner dress!

Are you a dress girl or not so much? Hard to believe I didn't used to be! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Review | Navy Striped Cotton Skirt

Howdy! Brief break in Summer of Dresses (y'all tired of those yet? lol, I have three more coming up!) to share what I wore to church last week. Deborah & Co. sent me this lovely Navy Striped Cotton Skirt to review!

It's a lovely material, perfect for summer. I love the nicely fitting waistband; features elastic and a zipper!

I honestly haven't tried to style it yet with any other tops/ accessories, but I can see it being very versatile. Laying in bed trying to think of what to wear Sunday morning this ensemble popped in my head, so I went with it. :) 
// outfit details //
Shirt: handmedown: Velvet brand
Shoes: ThredUP
Headcovering: c/o Garlands of Grace
Bracelet: Groopdealz
Belt: Thrift store: $.50, if that

Be watching for a full review of Garlands of Grace coming sometime soon! Here's a hint: I'm super excited.

Thank you so much, Deborah & Co for this skirt! I encourage y'all to check out their online shop. They have lots of skirts and other resources for the modest lady! 

It's the week of my bestie's wedding! And my sister has it in her mind to replace her bed with a hammock in our room today, so I better get going...
Friday, July 11, 2014

Let's Talk | With You About Courtship!

Hey y'all! I wanted to let you know about something going on Saturday night that you won't want to miss! 

I will be joining Bree from Cover Up for Christ on her Facebook page to answer your questions and just *talk* about the concept of courtship! Granted, we really have no experience or authority on the subject, but nevertheless sometimes it's good to just chat with friends about things, y'know? So that's the plan. 

Brief overview of "Courtship" as is generally understood in the conservative church today:
  • Courtship is term used for a relationship-before-engagement in which the man and woman are seeking to determine if it is the Lord's will for them to marry, preferably with the help of family and trusted friends. 
  • Courtship is VERY individualized and there is no set method to follow nor will two courtships ever look the same. 
  • The intention of courtship (as opposed to, say, dating) is that the girl remain under the protection and guidance of her family and specifically father during the process, as is the norm set forth in the Bible- that a woman is always under the authority of a man, whether that is her father or husband. (1 Corinthians 11:3)
  • Choosing to "Court" instead of "Date" does not make pre-marriage fool-proof. No matter the method, we are still fallen, sinful creatures and must look to the Lord for guidance in all things. 
  • Generally, courtships tend to be a lot shorter than dating relationships and move quicker into engagement because of the very deliberate nature they have. 
There is a lot more behind the whole idea, and if you are completely new to the concept, I encourage you to check out the Courtship Series Bree has on her blog.

So, please, join us Saturday, July 12th at 8 EST on Cover Up for Christ's Facebook page to talk! It really will be a chat-- y'all ask questions, we reply, y'all ask questions, we reply, so we need y'all to come participate! I think we'll be there chatting only thirty minutes to an hour, so don't be late!

Summer of Dresses | Casual Outdoor Reception

 Hey y'all! Summer of Dresses continues! You know how I wore that black dress to a wedding on Friday? Well, I had been planning to wear it to a "we-got-married-months-ago-far-away-but-we-want-to-celebrate-with-you reception" the next day. I had about 8 minutes to change between the bridal shower and leaving to help clean it up and then go to the reception, so this is the dress I found and threw on, grabbing this Halftee out of the dirty basket from wearing it on Thursday.

I ended up letting my hair down to kind of hide the slightly strange neckline situation. :P Despite being super wrinkled, I got a lot of compliments on this dress. You may notice that these are the same shoes, bracelet, and earrings I wore for the previous three Summer of Dresses. Some people keep the same outfit and change out the accessories, but I prefer to change outfits and use the same accessories when I'm doing event after event after event. I don't know why, but it's easier for me to quickly change the big picture and let the details adapt to the situation. ;)

// outfit details //
Dress: ThredUP
Halftee: c/o Deborah & Co
Earrings: Gift

 The reception was beautiful and a lovely way to spend a Saturday evening. How do you deal with super quick outfit changes?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer of Dresses | Bridal Shower #2

Hey y'all! Hope you're having a fantastic Wednesday! I need to work on Fresh Apparel stuff today while I have "time" so no Awkward and Awesome this week... although I have a bunch to share! :) 

Last Saturday afternoon my good friend Tricia Ann and I hosted a bridal shower for our bestie Kaliste. 

The theme colors were yellow and peach with hints of turquoise, so I was really excited to find a dress on ThredUP that matched the party decor. :)

My easy-peasy-hey-I'm-at-Target gift to the bride was a tub full of cleaning supplies, all in the party colors.

 I was in charge of decorations and had a blast hanging lights and making pompoms to decorate the barn we had the shower in. I had great help, too!

Tricia Ann created this lovely cupcake display! It was the centerpiece of the food table and looked simply perfect. 

 We spread quilts on the floor for the young girls to sit on so they could be close to the gift-unwrapping action. 

Future sister-in-law of the bride, Tricia Ann, and sister of the bride. :) 
I love this picture so much, I had to include it. I never did catch what was said, but isn't laughter the best? 

With the barn doors open so the breeze could blow through, Michael Buble' playing in the background, and general merriment abounding, we had a wonderful afternoon celebrating and showering Kaliste with gifts for her new home and life.

// outfit details //
Pearl Earrings: Gift

This dress is strapless, so I safety pinned it to my bra straps to keep from having to pull it up all the time. Since it was a Saturday afternoon occasion, I used the denim jacket to tone down the fancy of the ohsoperfect dress. Usually I don't like mixing and matching such different styles, but this was fun. 

Have you ever hosted a bridal shower? What were the theme colors? What did you wear?