Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Easy Elegant Hairstyle: Fishtail Bun

 
 
Here is a picture of the fishtail bun after it is completed.
 
The braid across the head is a French braid; the braid that continues after all the hair is picked up is a fishtail braid; in the video, I accidentally called it a French braid!



Monday, April 29, 2013

Recipe Recommendations

Here is my new favorite recipe. It is very nutritious AND easy! It contains protein, vegetables, and whole grain. It is from Whole Foods for the Whole Family cookbook.
 




 Super Six Layer Casserole

1c. uncooked brown rice (or another whole grain)
1lb. browned ground beef
1/2 cup. diced onion
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1c. chopped carrots
1 zuchinni, chopped
... 1tsp. salt
1tsp. basil
1-2cups tomato juice
2-3Tbsp. Worteshire Sauce
1-2cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2cup wheat germ

Layer rice, meat, vegetables in casserole dish.
Sprinkle salt and basil.
Pour over tomato juice and Worteshire Sauce.
Top with cheese and wheat germ.

Bake, tightly covered, at 350' for 1 1/2 hours.


A Weekend in Feminine Dress

For A Weekend in Feminine Dress I post pictures of my outfit (or a friend's outfit) that I take sometime over the weekend to encourage other women to dress like a Catholic lady!  I'm also posting where the outfit was purchased to hopefully give you some ideas for finding modest clothes!
 
I'm sorry about the poor quality of the pictures today.  I did not take them until late and it was raining outside so we had to stay indoors and out messy house is somewhat visible in the background. 


 
I wore a pink floral skirt with a pink top.

 
I also wore a black raincoat that I found at Gabriel Brothers for $12!

 
Shoes
 

 
Hair

 
 
I'm Wearing:
 
Pink shirt from Goodwill
Pink floral skirt from thrift store
Black shoes from thrift store
Black raincoat from Gabriel Brothers
Earrings from Claire's
 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Tips for being Modest AND Elegant


                                                                  
I have heard women say that they would wear skirts more if it was not for the frumpy, farm girl look that goes with it.  Here are a few tips I've learned over the years for looking modest AND elegant and avoiding the frumpy look.
 
 

 
 
1. Try to avoid wearing jean skirts.  The dressier the fabric, the more put together and elegant you will look.  I like to wear black skirts on an everyday basis and dress them up with cute blouses, jackets, and scarves.  Wearing a more formal looking skirt (not necessarily more uncomfortable) will help to create an elegant AND modest look. 
 
TIP: Look for skirts at consignment and thrift stores!  If you get dishwater or baby food on it, it will not be a big deal.
 
 
2. Shoes!  Wearing elegant shoes helps to feel elegant too, and think and behave like a real lady.
 
TIPS:  Some of my favorite places for shoes are consignment stores (usually very lightly used) and on sale at department stores.  Shoes really aren't hard to find.
 
 
 

3. Wear a belt.  For some reason, a belt adds class.  The picture above is a good example of how even a jean skirt can look elegant if the right accessories are added.  Belts are sophisticated and help to add form to the dress.  Notice the sash that Our Lady wears in most of her apparitions.  A Catholic Lady does not wear frumpy sacks!

TIP: Look for belts at thrift stores or on sale at department stores like Kohl's or Target.





4. Wear jewelry to complement your outfit.  Don't be afraid to dress modestly either.  Look at this somewhat rugged looking, warm coat.  It doesn't look at all frumpy.  I think it helps to add bracelets, earrings, and necklaces.  It also makes a big difference to have confidence when you are dressing modestly and feel and act like a true Catholic Lady.
 
TIP: Find pretty accessories at Claire's or at department stores on sale.  I like to shop at the end of summer or after Christmas, when the best sales are available. 
 
                                 
 
5. Layer.  It is easy enough to make a dress or blouse modest by adding either a cardigan over it or a shirt under it.  I am so glad I learned this trick because I no longer have to pass up those cute tops that are just too revealing.  I just add a shirt underneath to fix both the gaping neckline and short sleeves.
 
TIP: It is possible to find inexpensive layering shirts and cardigan sweaters at thrift stores or on sale at outlet stores.  Buy a shirt a size smaller than you normally would if you plan to wear it under a dress or blouse.
 
  
6. Hairstyle is very important to get an elegant look.  Wearing my hair up makes me feel more elegant than when I leave it down.
 
TIP: I find some very pretty hairstyles on Pinterest.
 

 
7. Hats!  This is more a matter of choice than anything.  Hats help to create that dressy, elegant look for a special occasion.  I honestly thought I looked terrible in hats, until I tried it.  Hats really help to create a ladylike, modest and elegant look!
 
TIP: Look at department stores!  If you shop in the late summer or autumn it may be possible to find hats on clearance.
 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Skirts: The Principle of the Thing


In the movie, The Young Victoria, beautiful dress represents
an era of order, virtue, and beauty.
Wearing skirts is a great issue of debate in the conservative Christian woman's world.  Some say they are frumpy and "homeschool mom" looking.  Some say they are anti-feminist and old fashioned.  Some say skirts are just too cumbersome and dressy to wear around the house all day to do chores and change diapers.

If you are one of these people, think again.

Skirts are also elegant and distinctive.  Skirts have a great influence on a woman's soul.  They effect society.

I began to wear skirts exclusively when I was sixteen.  I met a girl who wore skirts beautifully.  It wasn't because she had decided to do so based on principle; it was because she grew up dressing so.  I didn't know this at the time; I just knew I loved her style!  I immediately began to copy it.  I sniffed out all the dresses in my house (of five sisters) and fell in love with them!

Looking back I can see that my friend did not dress based on principle, but out of habit.  It was this fact that attracted me to her style.  There was an easy grace that she had in a skirt, something that I had never been accustomed to.

Women for centuries have worn skirts thus, nonchalantly and elegantly.  Ladies wore skirts simply to say that they were women, created that way by God.

God made men and women different.  We are NOT equal.  Don't read on until you accept that.

Now, clothing is a symbolism to show who we are, like the uniform of a police officer or the costume of a nurse.  Since men and women are different physically and physiologically, their clothing reflects that.

I know some women will say, "Fine.  I agree with that.  I can show I'm different than a man by wearing a certain kind of jeans."  I say no.

"The wearing of men’s dress by women affects firstly the woman herself, by changing the feminine psychology proper to women; secondly, it affects the woman as wife of her husband, by tending to vitiate relationships between the sexes; thirdly, it affects the woman as mother of her children by harming her dignity in her children’s eyes. Each of these points is to be carefully considered in turn."

-Letter to Religious leaders of Genoa condemning men's dress worn by women by Giuseppe Cardinal Siri, 1960  (Read full letter here: http://www.tldm.org/news6/modesty4.htm)

Mothers and skirts protect and nourish the family.

This is not an outdated and passing statement.  It is the truth.  There must be a distinctive difference in men's and women's fashions in order to emphasize (and protect) the tremendous differences between men and women and their respective roles.  Even though the Revolution in fashion has been dramatic; skirts are still considered feminine!

Yes, skirts are for the Catholic Lady.  To protect Christian civilization: femininity, women, and skirts should not change.

“Society speaks through the clothing it wears…It is often said almost with passive resignation that fashions reflect the customs of a people. But it would be more exact and much more useful to say that they express the decision and moral direction that a nation intends to take: either to be shipwrecked in licentiousness or maintain itself at the level to which it has been raised by religion and civilization. 
(-Di gran cuore - an allocution of Pope Pius XII to a Congress of the "Latin Union of High Fashion” on November 8, 1957)

And so, women who want to show who they are wear skirts.  It is because of principle.  It is to distinguish the beauty of femininity.  It is to defend the proper ideal that women are good.  Women protect virtue.

(If you are interested in what influenced the Revolution of Fashion, read my article here: http://thecatholicladyblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-revolution-of-fashion.html)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On Innocence


Innocence is the awe with which a child will look at something that is truly beautiful.  Innocence is the perfect appreciation of beauty.  Innocence is only possible in those who possess a pure and unsullied soul.  Innocence is rare.

Yes; it is rare to see someone who still has this important virtue as an adult.  But even worse, it is rare to see children who still have innocence at three or four years old!

The loss of innocence is definitely related to our society, the lack of knowledge of God, and the lack of ability to marvel at beauty.  In times past children were taught to marvel at the beauty of God's creation and the beautiful things that men built.  Today we lack this virtue, the ability to be inspired by beauty and to attempt to recreate the good things that we see.

Whether it is a floral bouquet, a Church, a book, or a hat, all things must be created in an objectively beautiful way; the way that God intended them to be.  To determine if something is beautiful, four attributes must be present, according to St. Thomas Aquinas:

-oneness
-goodness
-truth
-symmetry

This does not mean that beautiful things are alike.  There is great diversity in the type of beauty that is present in different things.  For example, a sunflower, house, picture, and dog may all possess the qualities of beauty but in no way look or act similar.  A child, however, will marvel at the uniqueness of each and meditate on their meanings.

Innocence seeks beauty.  It could maybe even be said that it feeds upon it.  This is why in our sterile society- where beautiful things are few and far between- innocence is rare.

We need to have innocence.  We must be able to appreciate the intense rightness of each person, place and thing when it aligns itself with the unique duty, function, or position God made it to be.  Children are born with this ability.  To preserve it, encourage your children to marvel and analyze.



Here's a great article about what is happening to modern children and what to do about it:

http://www.returntoorder.org/2012/12/a-generation-of-monsters/

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Weekend in Feminine Dress

 
Sunday was a Legion of Mary function at our Church and here is what I wore:
 
 
Beatrice and me with flowers for Our Lady.

 
 
I'm wearing:
 
Pink shirt from Dress Barn
Khaki jacket from Dress Barn
Black linen skirt from Thrift Store
Light green scarf from Rome, Italy (from my sister)
Black shoes from Burlington Coat Factory
Watch from thrift store
Bracelet from Claire's
Earrings from Kmart
 

 
 

 
 

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Revolution of Fashion


Even shoes can reflect the beliefs of the wearer.

Looking back in history the progression in women's fashion (especially during the twentieth century) is very obvious.  What drives this movement and change?  Is it merely the natural progression of time or is something behind it?
I do not claim to have all the answers, but I have read much about fashion, the Catholic Church and society.  There have been numerous prophecies and warnings concerning fashion and here are some favorite references:



 “Society speaks through the clothing it wears…It is often said almost with passive resignation that fashions reflect the customs of a people. But it would be more exact and much more useful to say that they express the decision and moral direction that a nation intends to take: either to be shipwrecked in licentiousness or maintain itself at the level to which it has been raised by religion and civilization.  -Di gran cuore - an allocution of Pope Pius XII to a Congress of the "Latin Union of High Fashion” on November 8, 1957

“Religion does not fear the dagger's point; but it can vanish under corruption. Let us not grow tired of corruption: we may use a pretext such as sport, hygiene, health resorts. It is necessary to corrupt, that our boys and girls practice nudism in dress. To avoid too much reaction, one would have to progress in a methodical manner: first, undress up to the elbow; then up to the knees; then arms and legs completely uncovered; later, the upper part of the chest, the shoulders, etc. etc.” -Letter between two Freemasons in 1928, cited in Dressing with Dignity, by Colleen Hammond, p.62

 “There shall come a time such as has not been seen by any man until then…so great a turmoil will occur that no greater shall ever have been nor ever be expected apart from that which shall be experienced at the judgment...The Church shall weep… It is yet far off; but it shall arrive ineluctably…you shall see a sign but you shall not recognize it; but notice at that time women shall dress as men and shall behave licentiously according to their whims, and men shall dress as women.”  -St Vincent Ferrer (La Mujer En Pantalones, by Professor Gustavo Daniel Corbi, p.15 and Los Ultimos Tiempos, Circulo, Zaragoza, 3rd Edition, by Rev. Prof. Benjamin Martin Sanchez, pp.63-64.)


“In those times the atmosphere will be saturated with the spirit of impurity which, like a filthy sea, will engulf the streets and public places with incredible license…Innocence will scarcely be found in children, or modesty in women.  -Prophecy of Our Lady of Good Success in the 17th century concerning the twentieth




Most modern women probably do not realize the full impact of what they are doing by dressing provocatively or like men.  It is extremely revolutionary to do so.  Revolution in fashion is very evil since its only object is to move society towards total nudism.  We can see this on some public beaches and in many women's fashions.  It is becoming more common to see women (and men) wearing less formal clothing and less clothing in general.
The informality and immodesty of clothing will result in damage to society.  When restraint is lifted in fashion it is also lifted in the enforcement of morality.  In other words, the deterioration of fashion is equal with the deterioration of morals.
If a lady will counter the Revolution of fashion by wearing longer skirts and feminine clothing she will be doing great good!  Also, the influence and attraction of others by her counter manner of dress is an excellent way to let others know about this campaign.
1960s dresses have a fitted bodice with very full skirts
1920s Flapper era; dramatic changes seen, much shorter skirts and dresses are loose and boxy

1940s dresses are narrower and businesslike sportswear becomes fashionable



Modern day women wear pants, traditionally an article of menswear in the western world


   

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Women In Combat



In January the government legalized allowing women in combat.  Our country should be ashamed!  Such an egalitarian measure will promote disrespect and disorder in the military.  Men who do not stand up for and protect women will loose their respect for everything else.  If they are not fighting for their wives and children, who are they fighting for?  It is natural for a man to provide for the welfare of his family!  It is natural for a woman to be his inspiration and accept his protection.  Throwing away the traditional roles will create chaos.  This so called "equality" of men and women in the military will create problems such as the natural desire of the men to protect the woman (causing danger to others during combat), increased frequency of rape, and women being unable to do the same physical tasks as men in an emergency.

Below is an excerpt taken from LAF.org.  (Read the full article here: http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/feminism-related-issues/why-men-fight/)

"There is another serious problem that requires no sarcasm. According to John Luddy, in a 1994 backgrounder for the Heritage Foundation, “History shows that the presence of women has had a devastating impact on the effectiveness of men in battle.” Why? For example, “a review of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War… revealed that men tried to protect and assist women rather than continue their attack. As a result, they not only put their own lives in greater danger, but also jeopardized the survival of the entire unit. The study further revealed that unit morale was damaged when men saw women killed and maimed on the battlefield.”


Here is a great article about women in combat:

http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/taste-see-articles/co-ed-combat-and-cultural-cowardice

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Weekend in Feminine Dress

I have decided to begin "A Weekend in Feminine Dress"!  I will post pictures of my outfit (or a friend's outfit) that I take sometime over the weekend to encourage other women to dress like a Catholic lady!  I'm also posting where the outfit was purchased to hopefully give you some ideas for finding modest clothes!

Pictures were taken on our front porch since the weather was beautiful on Sunday!

 
 
 
I'm wearing:
White blouse from New York and Co.
Floral skirt from a Front Royal, VA Thrift Store
Belt from Gabriel Brothers
Black shoes from Goodwill Thrift Store
Necklace from Target
Bracelet from Claire's
Watch from Thrift Store

Spring is here!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

On Prudence

*Below is a guest post from my friend, 'Lady Virtue'!  She has agreed to write monthly on a select virtue for The Catholic Lady.*

 
Prudence means having good judgment or wise thinking before acting.  It means taking a good look at my thoughts, words and actions to be sure they are balanced, sincere and right before Our Lord before I act on them.  Should I persist in these anxious thoughts about the future or should I put my future in God's hands and trust in Him that the grace will be there when I need it?  Should I tell this person some gossip I just overheard about someone else (even if it is true) or should I keep quiet since it might ruin their reputation?  Should I spend this free time relaxing to recoup my energy or should I push forward to finish my "to do" list and become more stressed and show it by being impatient with my family?
 
Prudence also means avoiding excesses in thought, word and deed.   Should I keep dwelling on the hurtful words someone said to me and rehash them over and over in my head and let it bring me down, or should I ask God for the grace to forgive the person and make a decision to move on?  Should I continue to be overly patient with someone's sinful habit, or should I courageously speak the truth to them in love?  Should I love my child to excess and let him do whatever he wants, or should I say "no" at the right time and gently discipline him?
 
Prudence overseas the other virtues.  Like a soldier guarding a fort from the enemy, prudence stands guard over my soul and helps it choose right motives and actions.
 
Scripture has much to speak to us about Prudence.  Proverbs has many verses on it.  Here are two examples.  "A fool despises his father's instructions but he who heeds admonition is prudent."  Prov. 15:5  "A prudent man sees danger and hides himself; but the simple go on and suffer for it.  Prov. 27:12  And one from James - "Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger."  James 1:19
 
Ladies, let us in this month of April, choose to practice praying for the virtue of prudence and choose to practice it in our daily thoughts, words and deeds.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Baby Smiles are So Sweet!!!

Photo: The little man!
Thomas in a good mood! :)

I Wear Skirts

My attempt to dress modestly at five months pregnant!

The body and soul are not separate.  Therefore, how one dresses and behaves is directly proportionate to the state of one's soul.  Wearing skirts for a woman influences her soul to become feminine, like God made her.  It brings her contentment.  A second reason to wear skirts is to be modest before God and others.  It is necessary for us with original sin to wear clothing that will prevent sins of impurity.  The final reason to wear skirts is to counter the revolution of fashion.  Women today wear such provocative or unisex clothing that it is shocking to see a lady dressed in a modest, feminine manner.  This shock is good for society and helps people to see the drastic and good change that a return to order will bring.  Think of things being themselves in a healthy, wholesome way.  The true Catholic Lady is a mover of society.

On Elegance

Gone with the Wind is a movie filled with elegance and beauty


Elegance is an important attribute of the Catholic Lady.  It is also a rare find.  Our society is too quick to care much for elegance and most people are too practical to think about it.  What makes something elegant?  "Dignified gracefulness or restrained beauty of style," says the Merriam-Webster dictionary.  Elegance is the care taken to surround oneself with things that are beautiful and elevated.  Furniture, pictures, clothing, hairstyles, food, manners, and ideas all can be elegant when chosen with careful good taste.

One of my favorite movies is Gone With the Wind for the elegance that exists throughout the film.  The Southern people had a love of good things and they still have it today!  Maybe you've heard the term, "Southern comfort"?  It's hard to understand that elegance that only a slow paced society can appreciate.  Without this elegance the soul is stifled in business and slowly conforms to the ways of industrial motivation.

How are we to create a comfortable, slow-paced, elegant society?  Think of what you love and what makes you who you are.  Is it home cooking, decorating your home, sewing beautiful clothes, hosting parties, or tending your rose garden (perfect season for it!)?  If so, you have something to build upon!  Elegance is "dignified gracefulness" and "restrained beauty of style"; the ability to surround yourself and your family with good and comfortable things!

Try it!  Elegance is addictive!

St. Gemma Galgani

Today is the feast day of St. Gemma Galgani.  This is also my sister's birthday and she has always had a special devotion to this saint.  I love this photograph of St. Gemma because her look is so severe and so kind at the same time!  St. Gemma received the stigmata at the age of 21.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Easter Photos

Happy Easter from the Zimmermans! 

 
My dress is Grace Kelly inspired in case you were wondering;)
 
Thomas with his jacket off and shirt un-tucked!  Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo before he got untidy!

Carrot cake

A sweet couple

Best picture of the hat I have:)

The Catholic Sun


Wherever the Catholic Sun doth shine,
There's always laughter and good red wine.
At least I've always found it so
Benedicamus Domino!

Trianon

I lately read Trianon by Elena Maria Vidal.  This book I have read before and it is one of my all time favorites.  It is about Queen Marie Antoinette of France.  The title Trianon is named after her little dairy farm that her husband, King Louis XVI gave to her as a retreat.  The book is excellent since it is written from a Catholic perspective and tells of the nobility of France with respect for both their devotion and heroism.
Marie Antoinette travels from Austria as a young girl to marry her husband the Dauphin by proxy before even meeting him in person.  She is lighthearted and loves gaiety while her young husband carefully tries to guard her from the scandal and criticism of the court.  When King Louis XV is declared dead the young couple weep together in great consternation since they do not think they are old enough to run the country.  France, the eldest daughter of the Church, is facing turmoil and strife as the ancient customs of centuries of religion fail to adapt to the modern ways of the revolutionaries.  Slander corrupts the image of the Queen whom the revolutionaries attempt to use to assist in the overthrowing of the monarchy.  Marie Antoinette calmly faces a mob that converges upon the castle with heroic composure when she brings her two children onto the balcony with her to show her innocent motherhood.  Eventually the Queen is imprisoned with her husband the King, her son Louis-Charles the Dauphin, her daughter, Madame Royale, and her saintly sister in law, Madame Elisabeth.  They receive the King’s last blessing and embrace and wait with dread as the King is taken to be guillotined.  They hear the shouts arise and know he is dead and later hear of the faithful priest who accompanied him to his death and whose voice arose afterwards, “Rise to heaven son of Saint Louis!”  Perhaps this helped to sustain Marie Antoinette when her son was taken from her and corrupted and possibly killed and later she is summoned to her death.  When she reached the guillotine, Queen Marie Antoinette treaded on the executioner’s foot and her last words were, “Excuse me; I did not do it on purpose”.  She died a martyr of Church and country and remained a true lady until the last.

The Four Temperaments


I recently purchased this book and have been enjoying it ever since!  The four temperaments are one of my favorite topics!  The four temperaments were developed by medieval philosophers and are based on ancient thought.  Many saints knew their temperament and were able to perfect it.  The temperaments include choleric, melancholic, sanguine, and phlegmatic.  A brief description of each:

Choleric- Extravert, man of action, strong-willed, leader, expressive, loves debate, confident, impatient, makes decisions based on will

Melancholic- Introvert, thinker, analytical, critical, sensitive, idealistic, moody, deep, makes decisions based on ideas

Sanguine- Extravert, fun-loving, lots of friends, life of the party, loves variety, prone to vanity, makes decisions based on people

Phlegmatic- Introvert, diplomatic, peaceful, methodical, calm under pressure, loyal, dependable, peacemaker, likes structure, dry wit, makes decisions based on feelings

My main temperament is melancholic; it's really helpful for me to know this.  Before I knew about the temperament I tended to worry and over-criticize a lot more than I do now! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Great Article on Marriage


Here's a great article called, "The Bottom Line on Marriage".  Please check it out and tell your friends about it since this is a really important issue right now.  The legalization of same-sex marriage is being pushed in the Supreme Court right now!  I believe that every person should have the right to do what they wish WITHIN THE GUIDELINES OF GOD'S LAW, but not without!  Without God's law, even murder could be legalized in the name of liberty!!!

http://www.tfp.org/current-campaigns/traditional-marriage-crusade/the-bottom-line-on-marriage.html

Easy Elegant Hairstlye

Here's an easy, elegant hairstyle that I've been using for my hair for years.  It takes only a minute and is pretty sturdy once you've put the clip in.  The video is a little hard to see because my hair is so dark but I think it's simple enough to learn from the video.

I'll be posting more hair styling videos in the future and I hope they help you to spend every day feeling like a lady!
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