Saturday, January 10, 2015


Something we should all strive to display or be described as:

Poised (adjective) - having a composed and self-assured manner; having a graceful and elegant bearing.

Despite the noticeable challenge in front of her, she remained poised throughout the entire crisis. 


Sunday, January 4, 2015

The year that counts!

Can't promise that I'll start updating my blog more often this year, but as usual, I do have my annual resolutions post for you RIGHT NOW!

On January 1, I officially celebrated my four year anniversary of living and working in our nation's capital. Looking back, all four years have been a mixture of learning and growing...and quite a bit of fun too! While there have been trials and at times painful lessons, God has always been there--ready and waiting to draw me closer to His heart. It's taken some recent circumstances and reflection to let Him do that too. 

When I look back on 2014, there were several areas in which God noticeably worked in my life, convicted me and really called me to make my faith my own and live for Him. Lately, that passage in John 15 keeps coming up in either my reading of Scripture, conversations with friends, songs on my Pandora or sermons at church. That's not coincidence; it's the Holy Spirit working. 

In John 15:5, Jesus proclaimed, "I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me." I think that verse sums up my year in a lot of ways. It seems that 2014 was a "pruning" year that required right (but also difficult) obedience in my heart--willingness to let God shape me into the person He created me to be, choose to seek Him alone and walk with faith along His narrow road.

I have to say that I'm looking forward to the promise of a new year, and I hope that it is one that brings honor and glory to Christ. Whenever I start a new year and formulate goals, I always notice an overarching theme. For 2015, it's "the year that counts." 

Here are the ways I want to make that theme a reality:

1) Take better care of myself
- Exercise at least once per week (small but achievable goal)
- Get more sleep (realize its value)
- Eat better (plan healthy meals)

- Read the Bible daily (just started this year-long reading plan)
- Pray more often (alone and with others)
- Build stronger friendships with other believers (seek out fellowship within the body of Christ)

- Intentionally spend time with people who challenge me spiritually and intellectually
- Get out and about weekly (allow myself to have more fun)

2) Save more money
- Eat at home more than I eat out (much easier said than done)
- Live by a budget
- Invest 

I truly believe that God has something special planned for the year ahead, and I intend to intentionally seek Him so that I don't miss out on His part for me in it. 

"From the first to the last breath I breathe, the Lord watches over me. You hear my cry and You know every need. The Lord watches over me."

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Survive and Thrive

Just wanted to share a couple definitions. I constantly ask myself, "How do I know that I'm winning?" and then adjust my steps accordingly. But at the end of the day, I know I'm winning when I'm surviving and thriving.

Survive - to remain alive or in existence; to continue to function or prosper
Thrive - to grow vigorously; to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances

"She doesn't just survive. She thrives."

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Chapter Four

2014 Mission Statement: Posted above my desk at work
This post is long overdue, and I've entitled it "Chapter Four" because this year marks the beginning of my fourth in DC. If you remember, just a little over 3 years ago, I packed my bags (just 3 in fact), boarded a plane and moved to a city I'd never even visited. I'm happy to report that this place is still exactly where I'm supposed to be.

I had so many wonderful plans for my blog last year, but God clearly had some very different, albeit wonderful, things in store for me. Truly, He opened up some doors that I could've never foreseen, and I'll continue to praise Him for His faithfulness.

While I'd like to be more regular at documenting my life and providing fashionable conversation here, I'm not going to count it as failure if I don't. Life is lived outside of the interwebs after all.

But what is a new year without resolutions?

As usual, this year I have plenty of goals, including specific categories with separate lists, sub-points and sometimes sub-sub-points. That's just who I am: a listmaker.

But, everything that's in my "2014 Success Plan" goes back to one overarching, all-encompassing theme, thesis, determination, mission statement...whatever you want to call it.

I want to invest in people and learn from people. 

I've always been a "people person," and that's because I believe people are valuable. They are worth impacting, deserving of love, kindness, investment and friendship. People also have a wealth of knowledge in areas that I don't because, even with similarities, everyone's life is different. I want to make sure I'm learning from people just as others are hopefully able to learn from me.

So how do I want to measure success this year? Through the people God puts along my path, allows me to influence and learn from.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dressing Up for Sunday Brunch

Everyone loves a good brunch with friends, but for Washingtonians, it's a weekly occurrence. After a long hard work week, a Sunday brunch is just what you need to cap off a great weekend of social affairs. Whether you're going to a nearby restaurant after church, inviting friends over for a home cooked meal, or having a potluck with too many delicious foods to choose from, don't forget about your outfit!

There's practically nothing more appropriate for the occasion than a girly, floral dress. Find a great pair of sweater tights (it's still winter after all) and pull out your favorite detailed cardi (everyone should have one already). Put a lovely vintage locket around your neck and wear a pair of oxfords or cute flats. A statement clutch is all you need to make your brunch look a hit!

Get the Look:
1) Dress by Nadinoo - $168 - Anthropologie; 2) Sweater Tights by HUE - $20 - Bare Necessities; 3) Beaded Cardi - $70 - Topshop; 4) Oxfords (in olive) - $69.95 - DSW; 5) Jane Austen's Emma Clutch - $325 - Kate Spade; 6) Vintage Locket - $35 - vgvintage

As an added bonus, I wanted to share a recipe for French Toast that I cooked for all my friends a few weeks ago when we had brunch. My mom made it for my family on Christmas morning, and I've already had another friend snag the recipe for his recent brunch, so it's taste-tested and approved with flying colors. Enjoy!

1 one-pound loaf French bread, cut diagonally in 3/4- to 1-inch slices
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups half and half cream
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (use up to 1 tsp if you'd like)
3/4 cup butter
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
3 tbsp light corn syrup or pancake syrup

Directions: Grease a 9X13-inch baking dish. Arrange the slices of bread in the bottom. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour over bread slices, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup; heat until bubbling. Pour over bread and egg mixture. Bake in preheated oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Serves 12.

Happy brunching!


P.S. A quick note on the dress I chose for the look, it was designed by Nadia Izruna of Nadinoo. She's an independent designer based in London, and I had the honor of interviewing her a few years back for Dedicated Follower of Fashion and then again for N.E.E.T. Magazine. She was still getting her start and gaining notoriety back then, so I actually screamed when I saw her designs in Anthropologie. I always thought Nadinoo would fit in there, so it's wonderful to see the brand in stores! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

What I Wore: On a Lazy Sunday

Now that I'm supposedly a grownup, I appreciate Sundays more than ever. Halfway through each week, I start longing for my Sunday afternoon nap. By Friday and Saturday, I forget I'm tired and need to rest because the weekend fun draws me in. However, by Sunday morning after church and brunch, exhaustion catches up with me once again, and it's time to pull the covers over my head, shut the curtains, forget about my cares, and sleep it all off.
This long weekend (thank you, President's Day!) has provided a double dose of relaxation, and I have taken full advantage. I needed time to truly relax and catch up with life, give myself a chance to ponder everything that has transpired.
While I've always enjoyed the quick pace out here, I think it's important for one to stop and just think--appreciate or re-evaluate life's events. Too often, we let things come and go without the smallest care, or we don't make time for pursuit of our dreams. Maybe I'm just sentimental or don't want to miss out on an important lesson. Who knows?  
I guess I keep going back to the theme I named for this year: What will you make of yourself? For some reason, it's been coming up constantly, and I know there's a reason for it. All I know is I want to be ready for whatever God is doing in my life and not miss out on it, so that must be why I find myself appreciating and pondering in times of solitude.
On a different topic, I wish I could've snapped a few of these photos outside, as it was so bright and sunny! However, that sun was just a tease because the cold air was too much to bear, so I stayed in the warmth of my cute kitchen. 

Speaking of my house, my friends say that I live in a cottage. It's quaint, cozy, and eclectic--complete with a spiral staircase. More photos to come later on. Since I just moved in about three months ago, I still have some decorating and organizing to do.
Hope you enjoy what is left of this glorious weekend!

What I Wore:
Fringed Cowlneck Sweater - Anthropologie
Jeans by Cult of Individuality - Blue Seven (Oklahoma City boutique!)
Riding Boots by Arturo Chiang - Shoe Gallery (best kept secret in OKC?)
Earrings - Forever 21


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Design School: Color Blocking

Moving forward with Fashionable Conversation, I have some exciting things in the works! First thing you can expect from the blog is more voices. I've always been a huge fan of collaboration because I thrive around others, and I like sharing things I enjoy with my friends (and people in general). To create an even larger "conversation" here on the blog, I'll be bringing in guest writers this year. Partly because I have really hip friends with great things to say and also because I'm a social girl who likes having her friends around. 

Mary: sister and guest writer
That being said, I am very pleased to introduce my first guest writer for Fashionable Conversation during today's post! She is none other than my beautiful sister and best friend: Mary. If you followed my blog during the summer, we did a few outfit posts together, so you probably remember how cute she is. Mary is currently finishing up her last semester of college where she is studying graphic design, and I can't brag enough about how incredibly talented she is and look ahead to how she'll impact the world (side note: I convinced Mary that graphic design was her calling before she chose a degree, and I was right). Welcome, Mary. It's all you today! - Sarah

DESIGN SCHOOL: Color Blocking
Brought to you by Mary

I love color blocking. Apparently, it is trendy.

As a graphic designer, I am picky when choosing prints or garments because I can’t shake my training in trying to rationalize every detail of a design. Why did they put that shape there? Is that a tasteful typeface choice? What about the kerning? Enough of my nerdy-ness. This is a fashion blog. All this to say, I am pleased with the current trend of graphic shapes found in fashion today. From color blocking to geometric-patterned woven sweaters, a well-designed graphic element on a garment always catches my eye.

Beat The Whites With The Red Wedge
My love for color blocking comes from three incredible art and design movements: Constructivism, Bauhaus, and De Stjil. You’ve probably heard of Bauhaus (the British goth-rock band used this term for their name) or De Stjil (The White Stripes used this moniker for their second album).

Constructivism was a design style that utilized basic shapes and color as a means of communicating a feeling. It was most popular in Russia during the early 1900s and vastly used in propaganda style posters, including El Lissitzky's "Beat The Whites With The Red Wedge."

Bauhaus was a radical design school in Berlin, Germany from 1919 till 1933 and was eventually shut down by the Nazis. This didn't keep the artists down though, as they relocated to Chicago, eventually resulting in the awesome art culture that is still there today.

Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930
De Stjil, Dutch for “the style,” was a design style that sought abstraction of elements until they became their purest, simplest geometric forms, using mostly or only primary colors. Piet Mondrian, the most well-known artist from this movement, popularized square and rectangular blocks through a series of art pieces, each called composition (see Composition II at left).

What I love about these art movements is that each were visually similar subcultures in three different countries. Rebelling against the conventional art and design at the time, they utilized simple geometric shapes and color as their primary design elements. It's pretty incredible that the style is still fresh and modern in 2013--evidence that good design never dies.

So indulge yourself in color blocking, but please appreciate the roots of this style.

Part One:
1) Jumper - $131.55 - ASOS; 2) Felt iPad Case - $25.50 - MyFeltAttic; 3) Patchwork Clutch - $36 - ASOS; 4) Black & White Dress - $276 - SHOPBOP

Part Two:
5) Blouse by Vince Camuto - $60 - Shoebox; 6) Geometric Brooch Set - $18 - ClairAshley; 7) Skirt by Kate Spade - $178 - Saks Fifth Avenue; 8) Color Block Manicure via New York Times

Mary Alexandra