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!
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