#PassportToParis OOTD & Travel Edition

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Hello everyone, and happy Friday!

So today, I decided to take the #fbf route because this OOTD was supposed to get posted a little while ago.

A little while ago meaning…. several months ago.

Time sure seems to fly, and so did I… to Paris this past year!

So let’s get started, shall we? ūüôā

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A little ways away from Notre Dame (and an awesome stand that offers nutella crepes, SO good!).

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And this spot?

It just seemed like a really, really nice place to read.

I wish I could have plopped myself down where that person was sitting and relax for a sunny afternoon by the water, leaning against that lone lamppost.

With a hot cup of tea.

Ahh yes, it’s definitely fall today.

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We went walking this-a-way and that-a-way and found numerous lovely places for photoshoots! Too bad my luggage had been lost, which led to…

dressing myself with my mom’s clothes,

dressing myself with my sister’s clothes,

doing makeup using my mom’s small arsenal,

and… shopping!

IMG_2648  The lightweight maxi dress with the jungle green print was something I picked up the first day in Paris, and I wore that piece like crazy!

Paired it with the Love Culture hat I thankfully did not put in my luggage and the H&M purse that stayed with me the entire time as well ūüôā

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Such enchanting views, I loved seeing all the beautiful things in that city!IMG_2662

Lots of amusing events happened here as well, but that can be saved for another time.

Let’s get one last look at the outfit, shall we?IMG_2670

A light and refreshing outfit that allowed me to carry all my essentials for a day of exploring in the city of love!
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I hope you had a fun time with me and enjoyed this post –

I’m thankful I was able to visit another part of the globe and see the wonderful creation – the sights and the views and the places to go – for myself!

Have a lovely day!

Love,

Jess

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[stylespace] Retro Repeat OOTD

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Hello, hello!

So today, I’m featuring the Zara laser cutout heels that I’ve been showing for the past few posts, haha.

I thrifted the patterned sweatshirt (What’s the pattern called? Not houndstooth, but something similar…) and…

I wanted something not too crazy to clash with the top today, so I paired it with this statement necklace from Windsor.

The gleam from the stones adds some visual interest, but the fact that it’s in the same color palette as the sweatshirt helps it hang as a subtle piece.

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To keep this office-friendly, I paired it with a black pencil skirt from J. Crew (thrifted!) and the heels! ūüôā

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The pattern makes me so dizzy but deliriously happy inside, haha. I love the coziness of the knit, but do y’all understand when your accessory/a sharp corner of a desk gets caught in the yarn and unravels a part of it? Merp.

#firstworldproblems

#knitpicking

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A closeup from head…

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To toe!

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All ten of them, in fact. ūüėÄ

Have a lovely day!

Love,

Jess

[snapshotspace] Introducing Nathalie Cheng Photography

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Happy Saturday!

Are you relaxing from the long week and eager to lounge about?

Well, I’m glad you stopped by my little corner of the interwebs and joined me for a bit!

And while I’m at it, let me ask you a simple question:

Have you ever seen something that made you get the feels, and you just couldn’t get enough?

I have… like when I have a nice cup of hot tea, a good book, and some afternoon sunlight filtering through the blinds to bathe my room in warmth. Wow, that’s such a sweet blessing to me. What things get you?

And… every time I encounter a new event, time, place, person, or blog that stirs up those lovely feelings, I have the need to share it!

Because it’s not fully enjoyed by me unless I can spread the loveliness to others, wouldn’t you agree?

And so… I would love to introduce you to Nathalie Cheng Photography! I’ve mentioned her on my blog before, and she just started an amazing website that literally took my breath away when I first saw it. Seriously, who knew that such an inspiring, delightful woman of God was blessed with such fierce photography skills?

Seriously, it’s like I get such amazing encouragement from Nathalie, and then she goes ahead and decides to inception that by channeling nostalgic and loving feels through her work with the camera lens! Feels upon feels upon feels!

[insert smooth transition here, hehe ūüėČ ]

This is a recent¬†wedding that I believe she second shot for (please correct me if I’m wrong!) and… I can’t get over it. The colors are so gorgeously caught, and the moments are precious to behold. If these images start becoming Pinterest-able, I think I’ll need to keep posting such lovely things in whatever boards I come up with! Hehe.¬†

So if you’re interested in seeing something absolutely delightful to make your day brighter, I suggest you just click on over¬†and check out the up-and-coming photographer who also happens to be one of the sweetest people God is using for His glory ūüôā

Join me in my excitement, and have a lovely day!

Love,

Jess

[stylespace] the closet among the cliffs

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Sometimes, there’s nothing more refreshing than making a journey to the waves. In a world that tries to make people look and feel big, the right perspective can make or break your focus on your purpose. Taking the time to be reminded of truth as the ocean spray settles on my face and the breeze whistles by is a privilege for which I am so thankful.

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We‚Äôre not so big or important, you and I. Having the right possessions, the perfect outfit, the ideal career, or the best mannered family can appear imperative for ‚Äúmaking it‚ÄĚ in life. It‚Äôs a sham. I love feeling small because I¬†am¬† small ‚Äď on my own, it is impossible for me to be a good person, a loving friend, or able to stand in confidence before a holy God. A grace indeed it is to be reminded of this by such beautiful and caution-inducing creation! The cliffs have a way of doing that to a person. Or maybe just to me.

But I digress.

It seems funny that I say the aforementioned comment and then meander into a [stylespace] post, does it not? Thankfully, fashion is not nor will it ever be my life, but it is indeed a pastime I enjoy very much and I give thanks to God for allowing me to dabble in it : ).

In [stylespace], I‚Äôll be uploading a [stylspace series] of how to maximize the outfit utility of a pair of booties. You may have a similar pair to style in a similar way, or might just gather some principles and be on your merry way. As you wish, reader! I also have the vest and delicate hammered necklace make guest appearances throughout to show their versatility ‚Äď you don‚Äôt need to have a piece for every occasion. Make what you own work for you, and enjoy this post!

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Loving the chillier-but-not-quite-enough weather. The comfort level of an outfit (usually) trumps style for me, but I’m glad this seemed to work out nicely enough. ; )

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The warmth of the shearling vest complements the bold jaguar print and vivid color of the top.

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Side note: I appreciate the privilege of being able to own a bag that endures all the throwing about I do when I run errands and handles the groceries I occasionally stuff inside. It doesn’t hurt one bit that it’s cute, too!

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These wedges are surprisingly comfortable and soft. I love their gentle folds, as well as the fact that they streamline the ¬†overall look. Boots that cut off at the ankle tend to shorten the legs, but these don’t offer such a hurdle to get over even if they do cut off at the ankle.The smooth lines ascending from the toe to the heel assist in elongation.

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I nabbed these navy shorts from Francesca’s Collection – I honestly couldn’t resist because of the pi√®ce de r√©sistance – the lace trimming! It called out my name, and I answered!

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And so it begins…

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Would it affect your perception of the following picture if I told you that only a few yards away, several children were breaking off the stalks and sword-fighting with exuberant yells?

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And that they were still there as these photos were being taken, and that their parents were following closely behind?

No?

I’m glad.

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Yup. You can see them in the background. And I loved every second. Can’t get enough “awkwardness” to make you realize that the world is already a strange, strange place. I don’t mind one bit that I can add a little sprinkle of that to their days. Hopefully, they didn’t mind either. : )

Have a lovely day!

Jessica

[thoughtspace] the glory of the artist

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If you find a house on the corner of X Avenue and¬†Y Way, take the key from under an aging potted plant. Insert it with a few careful jiggles to the left to ensure it opens cleanly. Enter the house and take in the various busts of famous artists and writers of time past. Ascend the wooden stairs on the right, but take care to walk on the left side on the fifth step to¬†avoid the groaning creak that sends tingles up and down one’s spine. Take a few steps to the end of the hallway and¬†turn right to come¬†face-to-face with a plain door. Look for a¬†doorknob that gleams from the hands that have polished it for years. Grasp it firmly, and then turn¬†it ever so slightly.

The door swings in without a sound, and the whisper of a breeze drifts from the doorway to brush the back of a man much too busy to pay you any notice. His dark brown hair is unkempt, and his frame still save for his quivering hand and his squinting eyes. The paintbrush moves from point to point, connecting hues that previously did not seem to fit. The man works feverishly, blending colors to connect to the larger vision.

As you inch forwards, your eyes scan lower and lower on the canvas. Somehow, you edge too close and bump into the man’s hunched back. He flinches with a start and moves off his stool.

Before you lies a painted replica of the Mona Lisa. Behind the easel lies hundreds of small replicas. Your heart sinks as you¬†look at the storefront’s simple name: Artistic Originals. He answers your questions, saying that he paints these to adorn the mantels of the masses. But what of¬†the satisfaction of conceiving the spark of an idea and executing the project, you ask? None to speak of, he says. And so the unasked question lingers in the open air – who is the audience that motivates the man to create anything in the first place?

Is this man an artist? Is he worthy of receiving glory? Who receives the credit of the piece – this man or Leonardo da Vinci?

That God created all things beautiful and glorious is indeed marvelous. Genesis 1 makes it clear that all of creation was initiated and brought to fruition by the Lord and Creator of the universe.

Psalm 19 declares “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.”

This¬†means something ¬†for the blazing sunset that trails over the horizon with an entourage of clementine orange, soft lavenders, and penetrating navy. This means something for the waters that stampede off the cliff’s edge and crash onto the eroding bedrock, roiling and churning at the base before settling into perfectly still lakes. This means something¬†for the peregrine falcon that streaks across the sky, agilely penetrating¬†all obstacles¬†to snag a darting rabbit¬†in perfect time.

And it is this: to God, and to Him alone, be the honor and glory and praise due His name.

It is indeed a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31). To think upon the sinfulness of man and the holy wrath of the Righteous One makes me tremble. It drives me to share the truth with those who will hear, that they may come to know the peace of knowing that they are not only reconciled, but adopted into the family of the Judge of the universe.

It is also an incredible privilege to behold a glimpse of the creativity, majesty, and beauty of the perfect One. O to be blessed to see, hear, touch, and smell the world that God has made! It drives me to draw near to Him and love His people as well as those who are created in His image – all peoples. What better way is there to love someone than to care for them in the eternal way? There is no answer that will satisfy other than living and speaking the gospel to the nations in joyful obedience to the Father.

When God created all things, He did not speak it into existence because He desired to hear us admire His handiwork. He did not make us because He needed creation to acknowledge His perfection. Rather, the creation of all things demonstrates His perfection in love, graciousness, power, and wisdom. It points us to Him. With wisdom the foundations of the world was created, and with love a sinful world is promised the defeat of death and the triumph of the Lord.

Artists typically make things for one of two (or simply both) reasons. One, they need a means to provide for themselves and create or imitate mass products. Two, they create the paintings and statues and whatever else may be for their own sakes.

And in some way, every human artist makes something for the approval of someone.  Even if they compose a beautiful work, their craftsmanship must be appreciated by at least one other person so they can have a livelihood. They can find satisfaction in what they do, but that means little if paintings go unsold and the stomach growls.

This makes it so amazing that God created all things and works all things for the glory of His name. He does not need to hear our praises nor see our delight when we experience breathtaking sunsets and feel the power of winds whipping at everything in their path. Blinding lightning dazzles us and we ooh and ahh at the booming thunder Рyet it is nothing new to the One who orchestrates all. He is complete and one in Himself. And yet, He is pleased to receive our praises as we recognize by His grace who He is! He delights to hear the prayer of those whom He has redeemed! He takes pleasure in answering prayer and carrying out His will in the lives and circumstances of everyone, for His glory and for the good of those who love Him in their hearts!

We do all things for the audience of One. He does all things for Himself, for He alone is worth of all praise! Hallelujah!

He is the Author of history and the Author and Perfector of faith (Hebrews 12:2). In Him there is no variation or shifting shadow (James 1:17) and He is love (James 4:8) incomprehensible and divine. God could have given us a drab world with no color or wonder, and yet He chose to fill the universe with amazing intricacy that we cannot fully understand any one aspect!

His grace makes one be still and know that He is God (Psalm 4:4).  His power and love move us to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19). His kindness and tolerance and patience lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4).

This is not to discount what God enables people to accomplish. It is wonderful to witness the beautiful works that men have fashioned throughout the years. God created us in His image (Genesis 1:27) and it was an act of grace that we are bestowed with diverse artistic talents. O, that we would not take pride in them, nor what the world thinks of them, but that we would do all things unto the glory of Him who gave us abilities to steward (Colossians 3:23-24)! When I see or hear something that makes me pause in wonder, I want to take time each time to thank Him for allowing the world to have such beauty.

And for that day when Christ will return and the world be made new and His kingdom established! As C.S. Lewis wrote in The Last Battle, ‚ÄúAnd for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.‚Ä̬†An eternity awaits to be in the presence of the one and only God, and to rejoice and know Him without sin or blemish in us because of Christ!

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For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

AMEN!

[craftspace] bee our guest!

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Once upon a time, a man and a woman fell in love. Some time later, a sparkling deposit of promise was unearthed, and preparations for the lifelong union were underway.

And of course, it called for a bridal shower.

And with a bridal shower, there come favors for the guests!

Here is how the favor tags were designed and created.

Step 1.) Print out the desired design that will serve as the focal point. As this was a honeybee theme, I decided to go so out of the blue no one would guess it:

yes, a bee. Many thanks to the friend who found this image, as it was perfect in terms of design and the vibe it was supposed to exude.

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Step 2.) Obtain the fundamentals (something to put the design on). I found these lovely tags at Joann’s for $1.50!

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Step 3.) This step is optional. If the color of the tags are not what you were looking for, there is always (40% of the time 90% of the time) a solution!

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aka watercolor paints, in this case…

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and makeup sponges because they offered the most bang for the buck. I only needed one for the entire set!

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Step 4.) Make your day! So what I did here was chose green, because I thought the colors would complement splendidly with the printed bee cutouts.

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and stipple away!

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I mixed various shades of green, and I made three before…

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I realized that wasn’t going in the right direction. So, praising the Lord that I had extras, I set about the actual set.

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and made about 28?

Step 5.) Attach the cutouts to the dog tags. Being the resourceful (sometimes) person that I am, I used my clear nail polish as the glue to attach the two. I haven’t owned glue sticks since… well, I would write elementary school, but that would be untrue. I had one two years ago, haha. Kid at heart, I tell ya.

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If you decide to go the route I did, remember to apply quickly and in thin layers (you don’t want it to soak through too much!). I painted a quick oval and a small dab in the middle to secure the paper to paper.

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Looks pretty nifty like this, no?

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What a bunch of busy bees. Heh. I crack myself up.

Step 6.) Write a note of thanks/whatever your heart desires (so long as it is kind and encouraging!). Here, my inherited corny musings come alive: “thank you for bee-ing here!”

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Step 7.) Make the trail mix. For 25-30 people, we used 2 boxes of Honeycomb cereal, 3 bags of chocolate chips, one tub of almonds, and a packet of banana chips.

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Mix them all together and put them in cellophane bags!

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For a fun touch, we purchased honey sticks and included 3 for each guest.

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Ta-da! Gift tags handmade with some tender, loving care.

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The decorations were absolutely lovely, and the leftover honeysticks were put to good use as additional decor.

It is amazing to see God bring two people together who yearn to live lives honoring Him and through marriage, working together to do so by loving one another as (soon-to-be) husband and wife! Congratulations, HoneyBee ūüôā We’re praying for you!