Monday, December 26, 2016

A Weekend In Feminine Dress

Welcome to A Weekend In Feminine Dress on The Catholic Lady Blog.  This is when I post pictures of myself or a volunteer wearing a modest, feminine outfit including where it was purchased in order to encourage the apostolate of feminine dress.  If you would like to submit your photos, please contact me at:  Thank you!

It's still Christmas so I hope you're still celebrating!  Today my husband was off work so we visited his family to exchange gifts.  This worked out well for us this year since it was much more relaxing to visit our families on separate days and much less exhausting.  Here's what I am wearing:

Yesterday at my family's house the children did a Nativity play which my Mom arranges every Christmas.  It is very informal, especially now that we have so many little ones.  It basically consists of her reading the story while the children dress up.  Nevertheless, everyone has grown to love this family tradition.

A week ago was Beatrice's 4th Birthday and she got this goose purse from one of her aunts.  I think it is adorable:

A few weeks ago we had our only snow so far, so we took advantage of it:

Thanks for visiting!  Many Christmas blessings to you and your families.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Weekend In Feminine Dress: Christmas Dresses

Welcome to A Weekend In Feminine Dress on The Catholic Lady Blog.  This is when I post pictures of myself or a volunteer wearing a modest, feminine outfit including where it was purchased in order to encourage the apostolate of feminine dress.  If you would like to submit your photos, please contact me at:  Thank you!

This week I'm sharing this picture from inside our Christmas cards for Weekend In Feminine Dress.  The girls' dresses are from my Mom, who I think purchased them at The Children's Place.  I can't believe there are only three more days until Christmas!  Who's excited to welcome the Christ Child?

THANKS FOR VISITING!  May you all enjoy a very Merry Christmas full of blessings!

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Weekend In Feminine Dress: This Week In Photos

Welcome to A Weekend In Feminine Dress on The Catholic Lady Blog.  This is when I post pictures of myself or a volunteer wearing a modest, feminine outfit including where it was purchased in order to encourage the apostolate of feminine dress.  If you would like to submit your photos, please contact me at:  Thank you!

Below are a couple of pictures from yet another busy week!  We did so many great things in the past few days but unfortunately I did not get many photos.  Actually taking good pictures is going to be my goal for the rest of this season, let's see how that works out...

St. Nicholas Day!  They were all a bit nervous when I reminded them he doesn't bring treats to naughty children.  But somehow they qualified for his list.  Beatrice and Rebecca's dresses are both hand-me-downs from friends and their shoes were brought by St. Nicholas (bought by my Mom).

And here is a very non-professional photo of my everyday look.  I think I've actually shared all of these items on the blog before.  Layers provide a little extra coverage (not to mention warmth).  It seems most of my clothes right now are red, black and grey; maybe I need to work on that?  But it's nice for Christmas anyway! 


Red Top- Old Navy
Grey Top- My sister?
Skirt- Max Studio


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dressing Daughters in Winter

I loved this illustration as a girl and used to try to
imitate her lovely, feminine winter style!
Dressing daughters in a feminine way is a worthy apostolate.  It teaches them to appreciate who they are and enriches society with women who understand their natural strengths.  Even during winters of sweatpants and parkas, many good mothers realize the importance of continuing to dress beautifully.  Here is what I personally have found to be helpful:

-Tights, leggings and layers!  These three words are the key to keeping young girls warm in cold weather months.  Turtle or mock neck tops under dresses or a sweater over top are often all it takes to make a dress suitable for winter (I've even seen this done to girls' summer dresses).  Layer warm socks over thick cotton tights or leggings on a very cold day with sturdy shoes or boots and you're all set.  Of course, the hat, gloves and coat can make things even warmer and it's really fun to find them in feminine styles.

-Keep priorities!  I know I'm always saying this, but it honestly helps me a lot to remember why we dress like ladies and in turn dress our little girls like girls.  It becomes much easier to find the inspiration to continue dressing nice in winter.  Thrift stores are really my best tip for finding pretty things for girls at $2 or $3 that they can wear all winter and not have to worry about staining or hard wear.  I have found the most adorable classic wool coats for the girls at consignment sales for a fraction of what they would cost new, which I know I would never afford.  They grow so fast and it is not necessary to make a huge investment in Janie and Jack or Laura Ashley (although if you can afford it, I'm definitely not stopping you).

I'd love to hear your advice on keeping little girls warm in winter in the comments below!  I expect it becomes more difficult to find feminine clothes as girls get older so please let me know any suggestions for this as well.  Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

King Baldwin, A Manly Inspiration for Femininity

Baldwin IV was a great crusader and King
despite his young age and leprosy.
Do people today even know what duty is, let
alone do it with such heroism? 

I just finished reading a short novel on the life of King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem.  As a boy he contracted leprosy, became king, fought tremendous battles in the Holy Land and finally died of his disease at twenty-four.  His story is the most marvelous example of fortitude I have ever read- he never strayed from his duty.

But how is such manly heroism an inspiration for femininity?  As I read King Baldwin's story I was continuously struck by the simplicity of always doing what is right and at the same time the great self-discipline this requires.  How many people can go through life always doing their duty?  How many people today even know what their duty is?  We are corrupted by selfishness and indulgence to the extent that we don't even try!  King Baldwin was surrounded by bad people and he persevered consistently, at a very young age, through the greatest horrors and pain of this world- seemingly without flinching.  This is truly greatness for man or woman!  This is truly a feat impossible without supernatural grace.

Women dedicated to the apostolate of femininity must marvel at manly heroism and support it with womanly heroism.  What is womanly heroism?  And how does it apply today?  The answer to this is like King Baldwin- at once very simple and very great.  We must do our duty: obey the laws God, the laws of the Church, the laws of marriage, the customs of our family and heritage, the minute calling of our changing daily errands.  These things themselves are simple, but the constant adherence to duty is hard.  We must strive for perfection in every little thing until we can realize that self-discipline is ultimately getting rid of ourselves and filling up with God.  The little way of St. Therese of Liseux is an example of this, as are the great acts of King Baldwin.

Even a "little act" like praying the family Rosary requires self-denial as
proven by how few families actually keep up the practice today.
Specifically, a mother's life is full of calls for self-sacrifice.  Living on little sleep, constant calls for cheerful answers when she's tired and grumpy, enduring the aches of pregnancy, presenting herself as an offering in some way to every member of her family requires sacrifice.  But is not sacrifice however small the greatest, the most noble act after all?  King Baldwin realized this.  We can use every act of self-denial to imitate the sacrifice of Our Savior and the Blessed Mother- who sacrificed herself to become perpetually the Mother of God and us all.  All of the Saints sacrificed until they loved it.

We as women are able to glorify God with femininity more than in any other way because He made this our duty.  This concept requires taking up our cross every second, whether it is the cross of being different and old-fashioned, the cross of public prayer and reparation or the cross of preparing breakfast or starting the family rosary with little energy and inspiration.  We must learn to love the cross.  It is life changing in a very literal way.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Life Update!

I promise I still care about you all and the apostolate of The Catholic Lady!  Sometimes, life just really takes over.  Below is a little update of our life lately- with pictures.  AND: I'm making a promise to come back with weekly (or more) feminine dress and idea posts including some of the girls even if they must be short and sweet :).  Please let me know what else you would like to hear about and I'll work on it.

So, a little news that many of you already know:
A baby!  Yes, a little boy due beginning of April.

And the always energetic (they hide it well in this photo) brothers and sisters.

Beatrice and Oliver were sick for a few days each over a period of a couple weeks with a nasty respiratory virus.  I really get stressed out over sickness, which I hardly ever do.  Usually, I'm pretty laid back to the point of laziness...  I would love to hear of your success avoiding/fighting winter bugs with essential oils like eucalyptus or other natural immune boosters and remedies?

I am busy but honestly enjoy spending most of my time keeping them in hand.  I am 5 months along and very grateful for a healthy pregnancy.  I am feeling large already though and have only just passed the halfway mark, hmm...  Let me know if you have any clothes ideas.  I have recently bought or made some new skirts and tops so will be sharing on here.  I have so much trouble dressing this point in pregnancy (maybe why I have not taken many outfit pictures lately).

And we are preparing for Christmas!  Let's just say I'm thankful for a few more weeks to get everything done. ;)

We are still living in the same house by the way, with two bedrooms.  So it is getting a bit tight, even though I love this house and kind of hate to admit that.  Please pray for our house to sell quickly once we list (in Feb/March 2017).  We already plan to buy my husband's family's home so there is no stress of finding a place which is such a grace.  Once we move I expect our new house will feel enormous!  Have any of you buried the St. Joseph statue or medal when trying to sell a house?

That's all for now, folks!  But like I said, I will be back very soon with more, so stay tuned.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Guest Article from The Handmaid

*I am publishing an article today from The Handmaid, a brand new blog whose young writer contacted me recently.  She has this message: "I am a Catholic teen who finds it hard to live in a godless society that distorts truth. I am writing about culture, the art of femininity, and anything that is missing or lacking in the society today especially for teenagers. I promote godliness in elegance, traditions, faith, and all the treasures of culture that are nearly lost today. I hope you enjoy the blog and find encouragement to stay in the fight to restore the treasures of a time nearly lost that contain the grace and favor of God."
Doesn't that sound great?  Go on over and take a look at this encouraging new site!*

(Republished with permission from The Handmaid Blog.)
Today, society focuses mainly on personal desires and dreams and, although this is good, it is not of excellence. Excellence requires perfection and ultimately, God, since He is perfection. Society says “Follow your dreams” and “Be who you want” and so on and so forth. This is a good thing to do; to find ourselves and our place in this world. However, without God, we cannot fulfill our ultimate purpose. God is saying “I want more from you. You can do so much more! You have the power to do great things.”
When we comply with God’s Will, the whole of humanity will shine and prosper. As St. Catherine of Sienna says “Be who you were meant to be and you will set the world on fire.” How do we know God’s Will? This is a very difficult thing to do when our modern society pushes the agenda that only you matter. That thought must be dismissed right now. We all matter and most importantly, God matters. You cannot say that God does not matter when He is existence itself. That is to say that you yourself do not matter either then.
So, how do we know what God’s Will is for us? Well, He tells us! Sometimes, He gives us talents and passions that direct us towards different things. We will always be attracted to our vocation when we comply with grace. He gives us our talents and when we use it to the best of our ability, we honor Him because we show how good He is. However, sometimes it is not the easier road. Consider an orchestra. Some players play strings, some play brass, and some play others. All contain many varieties of instruments. Some more difficult, some louder, some softer. What a beautiful inequality it is! No song would be a masterpiece without such a variety of instruments. What would the Hallelujah Chorus be without its depth in components? God gave each person the talent and the passion for that instrument and when they all play to their utmost capacity, they attain perfection and the beauty resonates. The same goes with God’s plan for the earth, as all different roles that when played together, resonate and echo through the very essence of creation.
 Another way God tells us what He wants of us is through prayer. So many times we think we have everything in control ourselves and we forget to listen to God. It is like when you are listening to a song you really like and you begin to shout it out at the top of your lungs (ok, we’ve all done it!). You end up singing over the song and cannot hear it anymore. Sometimes, you start to even sing it your own way and even though you may sing very well, the song has been changed. The masterpiece of the song is the original and although copies may be good, they will never be the way they artist wrote it. The original is perfect because how he wrote it is exactly how he wanted it to be. Well, it is the same with God. He wrote creation and we sing with Him. When we begin to sing loud enough, we do not hear Him anymore and we do our own thing. Even if what we do is good, we are not becoming with the masterpiece that each of us is supposed to be. When we learn to be silent, we will hear God, and we will learn the song the way He wrote it, and it will be clear that that is the perfect way. We will listen and realize the beauty and brilliance of our part in the ensemble of the world.
We are made to shine and lead others to Christ through love. We are weak ourselves but we have a strong Father who will always help us when we believe in Him. When we love God above everything, then our dream is to honor and please Him in what we do. We cannot do this however when we only focus on ourselves and what we want because then we become self-centered and have no room for God.
So, let us pray, and most importantly, listen, so that God can work in each of us and teach us to be the best version of ourselves and find the fire in each of us. Fire is made to shine bright and light everything in its path. We, too, are made for the same reason. When we find our fire, God will be the wind that blows and spreads our fire until the whole world shines even brighter than the sun. This is our calling. To be the light of the world. God is waiting patiently for you, and loving you. So don’t wait till tomorrow! Start following your spiritual dream!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My Favorite Feminine Fall Finds!

Ladies, I am here today with what is probably my very favorite post of the year!  And that is...Fall Fashion!!!  I am so excited about these beautiful things and hope you enjoy looking as much as I have.

This jacket amazes me.  I love the simple quality cut and lovely color for fall.

What about a classic double strand pearl necklace for special occasions?

If anyone is searching for a formal gown, Dillard's is the place to go.  I love this dress (and twenty others on their website which are shockingly quite modest)!

This skirt has been on my list for years.  It is warm, seems flattering, and comes in many colors.  What more could you ask?

I just love the silhouette of ponchos.  This one looks toasty.

I just saw this dress today and fell in love!  In my opinion it is perfection.

I've had my eye on these booties from Chadwick's of Boston for awhile now.

This peplum top looks like elegance itself.  It even has a velvet ribbon with a little bow!

Maude Skirt from Boden, which looks very warm and comfortable.  Am I the only one to love those heeled boots as well?

And a matching Kate Spade wristlet, why not?  Perfect finish to any fall ensemble.


Monday, October 24, 2016

The Three Principles of Dining

There are so many imbalances in today's world that it's not suprising food is one of them.  So many people struggle with eating healthy, having meals on time or sitting down at all during the day to relax and enjoy a meal.

There are days when I struggle to make dinner.  I barely get food on the table let alone make sure it is healthy or presentable.  There are times when lunch is delayed because we are so busy or (lots of days) when breakfast is cold cereal and milk.  But the perfect meal is something I aspire to!

What is the perfect meal?  I think it can be broken down to three basic principles of dining:

Nutrition is of course the first reason we eat.  But in today's fast paced world and amid so much packaged junk food, preservatives and unnecessary sugars, nutrition can be easily overlooked.  It is helpful to learn about a balanced diet and the foods that are good souces of the essential vitamins and minerals that keep us healthy.

Taste is also an essential principle of food!  We all have likes and dislikes which are probably part of who we are and based in our past and traditions.  Taste is an art, it identifies the skill and experience of a true chef.  It makes us attend to the ingredients and analyze the style of whatever dish is being enjoyed and takes mealtime up to another level, allowing us to perceive through our senses.

Presentation- Eating is more important than just feeding the body as many health nuts like to believe.  A good meal nourishes the soul as well.  But food will not administer to the soul unless the perfect ambiance is created by the artist.  Who is this artist of ambiance?  Often the mother!  Teas, soups, homemade breads and muffins, crock pot meals or birthday cakes- all recall a special season and have the potential to create so much more than just another meal.

Some nourishing autumn recipes:

10 Fall and Winter Soups

White Chicken Chili

Maple Pecan Pie

The Best Granola

Crockpot Applesauce

Easy French Bread

Shepherd's Pie

A Weekend In Feminine Dress

Welcome to A Weekend In Feminine Dress on The Catholic Lady Blog.  This is when I post pictures of myself or a volunteer wearing a modest, feminine outfit including where it was purchased in order to encourage the apostolate of feminine dress.  If you would like to submit your photos, please contact me at:  Thank you!

Hello, everyone!  It's been a long few weeks since I've posted.  I have not been organized lately and when things are not in order I find it difficult to blog.  Also, it's been so rainy and hard to get any good quality many excuses.

Anyway, here is an outfit I wore recently.  I really like this wool tweed skirt in cooler weather.  I made it a few years ago.  However, for some reason it's hard to find tops that go well, this particular outfit is not my favorite.  It doesn't help that my fall wardrobe really needs updated...but of course that's a fun problem; I actually have a fall fashion post coming this week!


Skirt- I made!
Top- Burlington
Cardigan- Consignment
Shoes- had for a long time...


Monday, October 3, 2016

A Weekend in Feminine Dress

Last week my husband was on vacation so Monday we visited a nearby lake.  The kids loved it!  The weather was perfect and sunny, the water was warm.  The beach was deserted on a school day so they had free range while we sat in the shade.  And fortunately I was able to get these few pictures.  I am going to make Beatrice and Rebecca's dresses qualify for Weekend In Feminine Dress until I download more of my own outfit pictures this week.  Both of their dresses are hand-me-downs from friends.

 Thanks for visiting!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Why to Look Foward to a Peaceful and Cozy Autumn

As the days get shorter and cooler, I along with many people look forward to coziness.  Does that sound silly?  Well, I'm going to tell you why it's not.

The principle of the Incarnation is the relationship between the body and soul, the natural and supernatural, the human and Divine.  It is a beautiful mystery to meditate on because within it lies the secret of happiness.  We spend our whole lives seeking happiness!  Why does the relationship between body and soul hold the key to happiness?  Because God designed our human nature to coexist perfectly with our eternal soul, intellect and will.  And when it does we are happy, recognizing that perfection exists in God and in every good thing that He made.  It is very encouraging even in sufferings when we realize the brilliance of this idea.

Why coziness?  Coziness is a physical sensation of peace.  And peace is the state of soul only attained by those in a state of grace.  Perfect peace is in Heaven.  Do we desire Heaven?  Then why not also desire as much heaven as this earth can offer?

What is coziness?  Well, if you're like me it's a loving family, crackling fire, warm spicy tea, good company and great conversation, reading or knitting.  If you're a little more energetic it might be picnics and hayrides, fine meals and holiday gatherings.  It is a result of the physical comfort and security of order.  An impressive ability of those who have real peace is to maintain and spread calm even when challenged by chaotic and revolutionary people.

I can't think of a better season to create a peaceful ambiance within the soul and the home than autumn!  And what better artist than the Catholic lady?

Are you interested in the idea of an ordered, Christian society?  You need this book!
Do you look forward to a peaceful and cozy autumn?? 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

It's Football Season and There's a Problem

It's football season and go Steelers of course, but there's a much bigger issue that many people are ignoring.  Some players like Colin Kaepernick are refusing to stand for the national anthem.  Don't these football players realize it is the freedom of the United States of America (free because of Christian principles) that gives them the chance to play at all?? This issue is really frustrating me. Those who do not stand and salute the flag should be suspended and thrown out of the stadium!  Read the article above.

A Weekend In Feminine Dress

Welcome to A Weekend In Feminine Dress on The Catholic Lady Blog.  This is when I post pictures of myself or a volunteer wearing a modest, feminine outfit including where it was purchased in order to encourage the apostolate of feminine dress.  If you would like to submit your photos, please contact me at:  Thank you!

Thanks to some beautiful submissions from Theresa and Lisa, I have not posted pictures of A Weekend In Feminine Dress for awhile which means today I have two outfits to show you!  We have been so busy around here; the time really does seem to fly.  I am so ready for fall fashion but it's still 80's here so trying to wait...  Let me know if you all have any ideas for transitioning into fall when it's still warm fashion wise.

Sweater- Goodwill (NWT $80 from Ann Taylor)
Blouse- Consignment I think?
Skirt- From a friend, Valleri
Bow Shoes- Goodwill

Sweater- Consignment
Skirt- Valleri (George brand)
Shoes- Second hand (Etienne Aigner)


Monday, September 12, 2016

We Must Love the Church

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

I am a Roman Catholic.  I love the Church.

Devotion to the Church is more important than ever today in order to counter many errors, but perhaps especially the extremes of revolt and of moral relativism.

A rebellious spirit is very harmful to the Catholic Lady and is an attitude often encouraged by cynicism and excessive, displaced armchair philosophy.  Those radical groups who fringe the Church and justify their existence based on the hopelessness of the Church itself are intolerable and dangerous.  It is they who cultivate revolt and pride against God Himself and take upon themselves the judgement of the world.  Yet we are all nothing but the most fragile creature in the hands of the Almighty Creator!

Moral relativism is the opposite extreme within the Church and this error leads right out the door to heresy.  Moral relativists deny Truth and doctrine, then are hopelessly lost without absolutes.  It is reason and logic that bring us to God and we need objectivity so that we can know, love and serve Him in a concrete way.  God wrote the natural law on each of our hearts and made our human nature to seek after Him.  It is the greatest philosophers who have been led to the Church through human reasoning, which always lets in torrents of grace.

The Church is the rock in a valley of confusion and tears.  The Church has authority, infallibility and indefectibility and we have the assurance that "The gates of hell shall not prevail against Her" (Matt. 16:18).  How can we ask for more?  How can we not feel tremendous love in return for the love the omnipresent God has shown us by establishing such a shining beacon in His Church?  And who are we to either question His authority or deny His Truths?


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Weekend In Feminine Dress: More from Theresa and Lisa!

Welcome to A Weekend In Feminine Dress on The Catholic Lady Blog.  This is when I post pictures of myself or a volunteer wearing a modest, feminine outfit including where it was purchased in order to encourage the apostolate of feminine dress.  If you would like to submit your photos, please contact me at:  Thank you!

I hope everyone had a relaxing labor day weekend.  This is our official first week of school!  We are homeschooling Thomas (5) this year for Kindergarten and so far so good.  So needless to say, we've been busy.

Anyway, thanks again to Theresa and Lisa we have some beautiful pictures for Weekend In Feminine Dress!  Their outfits are so creative and feminine and I am very happy to share them below with Theresa's message.

"Here's a couple more pictures if you'd like to use them.  Lisa and I like to color coordinate sometimes, but it was not planned today, it just happened! :)  Our outfits are once again mostly from second hand stores.  The items that are not, are as follows:
My fascinator - Ross
My sandals - DSW
Lisa's necklace - Walmart
Lisa's sandals - Fred Meyer
God bless, Theresa"

Thank you again, ladies!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

A Weekend In Feminine Dress

Here is a message and picture I received for A Weekend In Feminine Dress from Theresa, a faithful reader of The Catholic Lady Blog.  Thanks so much Theresa and Lisa for sharing.  You are beautiful examples of femininity, modesty and elegance.

"Here's a picture of what my sister Lisa and I wore for Mass on Sunday.  I think just about everything came from St. Vincent de Paul second hand stores, except for my cardigan which came from Walmart (definitely a surprise find), and Lisa's blouse, which came from Fred Meyer.  God bless, Theresa"

Thank you!!

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