Fashionable

I love fashion. I have loved it my whole life. From when I was a little girl in the 80’s wearing 4 pairs of socks stacked on top of each other to the 90’s when I experimented with wearing my skirts over my pants to my college years when I studied Apparel Design and Technology at Florida State University to now where I can be found sharing my fashion sense here on my blog and on Instagram!

I used to dream of being a big time fashion designer living in New York City, dressing models, cutting fabrics, making the hard call about sleeve lengths. Or even transitioning over to print and working at a fashion magazine. My fashion design role models were Zac Posen, Norma Kamali, Vera Wang and Dolce & Gabbana.

When I graduated from college, I immediately headed off to the big city to make my dreams come true. I got an internship at LaROK, moved into the first apartment that came along in Brooklyn and started to live those big dreams!

The internship was 4 months long and in those 4 months, my love for fashion never died, but my interest in continuing to work in the industry started waning. I had a few friends at my internship that weren’t eager to rip my small town heart out of my chest and feed it to the gods of fashion, but they were the exception, not the rule.

It’s no secret that the fashion industry is competitive, cutthroat and very much an industry where it pays to be out for number 1.

Does that sound like me to you, gentle reader? Guess how many people in the fashion industry count Star Wars as their favorite movie…let’s just say, I didn’t encounter any. And being a nerd? Well, that wasn’t exactly de rigueur, by industry standards at the time.

Star Wars Darth Vader sweater styled by Star Wars

I quickly adopted the tell-tale black wardrobe popular with the New York fashion scene. Something that still baffles me to this day. As one of the fashion capitals of the world, how is black their go to color? There’s a whole rainbow to work with, people! Find a new hue!!

All this to say that sometimes dreams are just that and they have no place in the real world. Causing a big shift in how I viewed my life once the dreams of being a fashion mogul faded.

I went on to work in the bridal industry, as a nanny, in a preschool, in social media and now I’m a worship leader at local church back in the smaller town I started out in. Somewhere in the midst of my life, this little blog was born.

I never thought I’d enjoy writing as much as I do (though the signs were always there…I always loved the essay portion of exams and doing book reports.) Life is a big twisty bobcat pretzel and if you fight to take the twists out, then you’re sort of missing the point.

I sometimes think about that alternate universe that spun off when I made the choice to move to New York and work in fashion. Somewhere out there, there’s a version of me that has dedicated herself to sleeve lengths and runway shows. She’s sacrificed Christmases at home, friendships with real people and eating a healthy diet for the more glamorous life of a famous fashion designer. She dresses Beyonce for the Met Gala and goes to fancy parties. But she doesn’t write and she doesn’t go to Star Wars conventions and she definitely doesn’t lose time thinking about her future mutant powers and what her superhero costume might look like.

I don’t say this lightly…alternative universe Liz is so basic!!

Platonic Friendlationships

Downton Abbey Season 6 Spoilers Ahead…

 

 

 

I confess. As I’ve watched Downton Abbey the last 2 seasons, I’ve come to wish that Branson and Mary would try and make a go of it. After all, they get along famously and make each other genuinely better people (especially in Mary’s case.) Plus little Sybbie and Master George are growing up together anyways. Why not just go ahead already?

Tom Branson and Mary Crawley Downton Abbey platonic friendlationship blog post
Photo from dailymail.co.uk

But, after Sunday’s episode, I have finally accepted that it isn’t meant to be. Mainly because Mary married another dude. So all my dreams of the perfect ship have drowned.

In the aftermath of disappointment, a new feeling and deeper understanding of Mary and Branson has taken shape. Theirs is the perfect example of a platonic friendlationship done splendidly right. Possibly the only one on TV that I have ever witnessed. (Arguments could be made for Jerry and Elaine from Seinfeld or Phoebe and Joey from Friends.) See, what happens most of the time (and especially on soap operas) is that man meets woman, man loves woman, man loses woman, man finds new woman, man loves new woman. And the same is true on the women’s side as well. Anyone with television watching history knows that the best couples start out either on opposite ends of the spectrum (hating each other) or as the very best of friends (and not realizing they love each other.) Enter Mary Crawley and Tom Branson. Not only did they start out at opposite ends of the spectrum (he a chauffeur, she a rich aristocrat and them hating each other) but after the deaths of not one, but both of their spouses, they became the most unlikely pair of best friends. Hence the thought that they might end up together.

Instead, they remain dear and devoted friends. (In fact, Tom was the best man at both of Mary’s weddings. Chew on that one!) They are friends who love one another deeply, but who didn’t so much as look sideways at one another in a romantical way (despite my fervent prayers for it to happen.) Perhaps it was because he was married to her sister. It could be that the class lines just couldn’t be crossed. But I think it’s because sometimes, every once in a while, men and women can truly just be friends and nothing more.

I have to say, this has not been my experience. If I haven’t had feelings (unwanted or otherwise) for a guy, a guy has had feelings (unwanted or otherwise) for me. In fact, the best friend I have, who is of the male species, is my brother.

Platonic Friendlationships are very hard to come by. And harder to keep. Which is why Mary and Branson not getting together (and fulfilling my hopes and dreams) is a really, really good thing. I often desperately need to be reminded that men and women can be friends without the mushy stuff getting in the way. That it isn’t all about roses and rainbows and kisses in the rain. Sometimes it’s about honesty and kindness and a person you can rely on to always be there, even when it’s hard.

TOm Branson and Mary Crawley platonic friendlationship PBS blog post
Photo from gpb.org

(Deep breath and shoulder shrug) I wish it was as easy as having a team of writers craft the perfect scenario and just being directed to follow a script. If that were the case, then maybe I could have written it so that the men who’ve come into my life could have just been my friends. There would be no suspicion of ulterior motives. There would be no longing for something more. Just friendship at it’s finest. Honestly, I don’t even know what that would look like. Girl friends, I get. But boys? I’m 33 and I still can’t figure them out!

I will take a lesson from Tom Branson and Mary Crawley (I suppose I need to get used to calling her Mary Talbot now?) I will keep hope alive that men aren’t always trying to get into my pants. That maybe there’s a Branson out there who just wants to be in my life and see me happy, even if it isn’t with him. Perhaps especially if it isn’t with him. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

Fear and Hatred in America

Donald trump hatred anger election blog post

I am baffled. I am disillusioned. I’m super confused. And there’s one word that can sum up all my feelings…TRUMP.

Donald trump hatred anger election blog post
Photo from BusinessInsider.com

Someone please explain to me what the actual hell is happening in our country right now? How can anyone get behind the hate-mongering that Donald Trump has been spreading since the beginning of his campaign. Are we so desperate for something different that we’ll just accept the first racist, bigot that comes along and shouts…”Make America Great Again.” Sounds a lot like “Make America White Again” to me.

It’s true. America is a great nation. A nation of freedom and opportunity, where a person with a dream can come here and have a chance at seeing it realized. What will happen when we start erecting walls and kicking people out? What kind of dreams can we expect from a nation that is ruled by fear and hatred instead of dreams and aspirations.

I don’t like to get overly political in my blog posts. This is a happy place where I like to gush about Star Wars and Disney and Marvel and Jane Austen. A place where happy thoughts live. It’s hard to think happy thoughts when the prospect of a Trump presidency is even remotely possible.

The scene at his victory rally in South Carolina can be described as nothing short of scary. Trump shouts, “Mexico is killing us — absolutely. We’ll do the wall. Don’t worry. We’re going to do the wall. We’re going to do the wall and by the way, who’s going to pay for the wall?”

And the crowd shouts, “MEXICO!” 

Adolph Hitler Trump blog post
Photo from Humanismandculture.com

This scene conjures up the image of a young charismatic Adolph Hitler screaming about how the Jews were killing the Germans. That they needed to be eradicated. People adored Hitler and believed Hitler and were devoted to Hitler. The way people adore and believe and are devoted to Trump. They take his words as truth. And no matter what he says, they give him passes. They let the bar drop a little more every day. And no, I don’t think the comparison is undeserved or harsh. I think it’s spot on.

If you believe that Donald J. Trump is a follower of Christ, then I call into question your definition of a Christian. Christ spoke of peace. He spread words of love. He talked about loving God above all else and loving our neighbors second of all.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12: 30-31

Mark 12:30-31 The Bible love God, love your neighbor
Photo from Slideshare.net

No commandment greater than these. Guess who our neighbors are…

The thing about harkening back to the golden age when America was “great” and ISIS didn’t exist…America was not without troubles in the “golden age.” Women didn’t have rights, African American’s didn’t have rights. Anyone other than white males didn’t have rights. There was a Civil War. There was slavery. There were 2 World Wars. There were concentration camps on American soil for the Japanese. There were assassinations and an arms race with Russia. There was a war in Vietnam and a war in Korea. Let us not forget the struggles that America has gone through to get to where we are today. America will never be without troubles.

See, we live in a sinful world. Plain and simple. And as long as we are humans, that sin will remain. The best we can hope to do is confront that sin with understanding and love. Not anger and suspicion and hatred. That’s not the kind of country I want to be a part of. That’s not the country I love. When America becomes something unrecognizable, what will we do to change the tide? What will be required of it’s citizens to uphold the freedoms that all men and women deserve?

America was never without greatness…what America are you living in, Mr. Trump?

39 Times Rom Coms Pissed Me Off

You know what really burns my butt? Romantic Comedies!! Because here I am over here…liberated female, free from the ties that bind me and then a movie like When Harry Met Sally comes on and all that level-headed nonsense goes right out the window because…reasons! It just burns. It stings actually.

Pissed Off Yoda

And the worst part is that Romantic Comedies and Dramedies and Sitcomedies and all manner of romance, to be honest, make me weak at the knees. One shot of a semi shirtless Mr. Darcy emerging from the pond at Pemberley and I know what I’ll be dreaming about that night. One little romantic speech from Tom Hanks and farewell normal, everyday human male specimen…don’t even bother, cause you’re no Hanks! Again I say, it burns! Because I don’t want to have that vision in my head. That romantic ideal and yet there it sits. Waiting for the moment to strike. The moment when a guy chooses to take me to a Starbucks for a first date instead of guerilla paintball a la 10 Things I Hate About You. Or at the airport while boarding my plane and no one comes to stop me from getting on…how rude! Or how about when I’m at a holiday party with no date and then…no one bursts through the door to save me.

The beautiful truth is that I can save myself, thank you very much. Always have, always will. The crappy side effect of my frail humanity is that I still want to be saved sometimes. In moments of weakness and ice cream… I want it.

And I’ve decided that Rom Coms are to blame. It doesn’t mean for a second that I’ll stop watching them, because I’m a weak human girlie specimen. And also…reasons! Regardless, here are the 39 romantic moments that just piss me off!!! Who’s with me??

(**This is not the order in which I love hate these movies.)

39.The Switch

The Switch Jason bateman gif Rom Com Movie Moments

38. Love and Basketball

Love and Basketball Gif Rom Com Movie Moments

37. No Strings Attached

No Strings Attached Rom Com Movie Moments

36. Leap Year

Leap Year Rom Com Movie Moment

35. Never Been Kissed

Never Been Kissed Rom Com Movie Moment

34. My Big Fat Greek Wedding

My Big Fat Greek WEdding Rom Com Movie Moment

33. Someone Like You

Someone Like You Rom Com Movie Moments

32. She’s All That

Freddie Prince Jr. She's All That Rom Com Movie Moments

31. Jerry McGuire

Jerry MaGuire Movie Moments

30. The Bodyguard

The Bodyguard Movie Moment

29.  Grease

John Travolta Grease Rom Com Movie Moment

28. The Wedding Planner

The Wedding Planner

27. Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted Rom Com Movie Moments

26.Say Anything

Say Anything Boom Box Movie Moment

25. Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp spaghetti gif Movie Moments

24. Clueless

Clueless Paul Rudd Rom Com Movie Moments

23. The Nanny Diaries

The Nanny Diaries Rom Com Movie Moments

22. Friends with Benefits

Friends with Benefits Justin Timberlake Rom Com Movie Moments

21. Jane Austen Book Club

The Jane Austen Book Club Rom Com Movie Moment

20. Because I Said So

Because I Said So Gabriel Macht Rom Com Movie Moments

19. Hitch

Hitch Rom com movie moments

18. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

17. Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing Patrick Swayze Movie Moments

16. Emma

Emma Movie Moments Mr. Knightley

15. Moulin Rouge

Ewan McGregor Moulin Rouge Movie Moments

14. Sleepless in Seattle

Sleepless in Seattle Rom Com Movie Moment

13. 27 Dresses

27 Dresses Rom Com Movie Moments

12. Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman Rom Com Movie Moment

11. The Mirror Has Two Faces

The Mirror Has Two Faces Rom Com Movie Moments

10. 13 Going on 30

13 Going on 30 Rom Com Movie Moments

9. 10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You Rom Com Movie Moments

8. While You Were Sleeping

While You Were Sleeping ROm COm Movie Moments

7. The Proposal

The Proposal Rom Com Movie Moments

6. Love Actually

Love Actually Rom Com Movie Moments

5. The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride As you Wish Movie Moment

4. You’ve Got Mail

You've Got Mail Tom Hanks Rom Com Movie Moments

3. Bridget Jones’ Diary

Bridget Jones' Diary Rom Com Movie Moments

2. Pride and Prejudice (mini series)

Pride and Prejudice Mr. Darcy Movie Moments

1. When Harry Met Sally (My favorite of all time!)

When Harry Met Sally Rom Com Movie Moments

 

OK, so some of them aren’t Rom Coms. There are Rom Drams and Rom Musical Coms up there, but you get my drift. Romance is stupid and yucky and I love it hate it!!! Hate with a capital H and that stands for Hate and that rhymes with Hate!

Which Rom Coms are your favorite least favorite!!

7 bonus movies that I was reminded of after hitting publish:

Fools Rush In

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The Holiday 

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The Decoy Bride

mBkbZzc

My Best Friend’s Wedding

giphy

Return to Me

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Sweet Home Alabama

sweet home alabama 1

Runaway Bride

4-Runaway-Bride-quotes

The Beach is My Dream, the Ocean…My Nightmare

I love the beach. Perhaps you follow me on Instagram. If you don’t…come on over: @nerdinthesand. But if you do then you know without a shadow of a doubt just how deep my love for the beach runs. It is a physical representation of the happiest place I could ever imagine being.
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I feel calm when I’m at the beach. I feel like I’m home out there. I feel like I know myself so clearly and that if I just reach out I could probably touch the hand of God, like in Michelangelo’s painting in the Sistine Chapel. I don’t feel like a hurricane when I’m at the beach. I feel like a palm tree, deeply rooted and able to stand the harsh hurricane winds. My soul says, “Do your worst for you can’t touch me out here.”
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Everywhere else I’m the hurricane and the surrounding trees have to survive me. But here is where I am truly what I was made to be. A
song sung on the breeze. A shadow on the sand. Perhaps that’s why being away from it for 8 long years was just too long for my soul and eventually the shore had no choice but to call me back.

I do not feel the same way about the ocean. The ocean scares me. Deeply, down to my toes.

My mom likes to watch Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Every July I start to hear about things like Goblin Sharks and Vampire Squids and Fangtooth Fish and Giant Tube Worms and all manner of creatures that sound better suited for a horror film than for the ocean. A place I think we truly don’t belong. Though I don’t at all feel that way about space….interesting.

If Atlantis were a real place and it was up to me to search the depths of the ocean just to find it, then it would stay lost forever.

On my recent road trip up to New York with my brother we drove through Delaware. This took us across the scariest stretch of road I’ve ever been on. The Lucius J. Kellam Jr Bridge – Tunnel. It’s series of bridges and tunnels that stretch over an expanse of the ocean itself. Not a bay or a lake or a gulf or a stream, but the edges of the ocean. Look left and you can just make out a distant horizon that must be the shoreline, but look right and you are faced with the expansive stretch of deep blue sea with no end in sight.

I thought for sure that while we crossed it, some catastrophe would hit. Maybe we’d get stuck in that tunnel for hours on end only to be engulfed in the very ocean the tunnel was supposed to protect us from. Or we’d get stuck on the bridge in traffic and a Sharknado would come sweep us away into the ocean where the rest of the sharks were lurking.

I was never afraid of the ocean as a child. It’s only in adulthood when the overactive fears of our imagination are given a voice. As children we have those same fears, but the monster under the bed is just a shadow and shark attacks are less likely to happen than car accidents and lightning never hits the same place twice.

Adults know that shadows only exist where there is a sliver of light. We know that sharks are a reality and of course lightning can hit the same spot twice, it’s not like it has memory or anything.
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The beach is my dream and the ocean, my nightmare. How funny that the two should be so intertwined for I could never have the dream without the nightmare. For one to exist, the other has to as well! The irony is not lost on my. Or rather God’s imminent sense of humor. He’s constantly laughing at my fears, the way a loving father laughs at a child who’s too scared to look under the bed. “Sweetheart, there’s nothing under there. Don’t you trust me? Have I ever let you down?”
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2014: A Year in Review

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It’s funny how fast things can change. January 2014 started out hopeful. I was on the verge of starting some new projects. I had finally abandoned making resolutions that I was never going to live up to. I had accepted New York as my home (which was a very big deal.) I had a new hairdo (picture above.) And overall I felt really good about the year. I’d chosen the word Bold to start my year off and I was already on track to make that word a reality!
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But things change. I was in a blind spot and I couldn’t see what was about to happen. After an entire year to process these events, I won’t rehash them now. I’ll only tell you what came out of this very dark time in my life. And after these things happened, I didn’t think I could ever be Bold again.

Prior to what I can only describe as a life-changing moment, I had begun to rely on myself and my own ideas and dreams. Which can be big and beautiful and wonderful. But nothing I dream up comes from me. It all comes from God. And I had forgotten that. And when we forget such important things, God will take any opportunity to make sure we remember. He took my pride and allowed it to be torn away. He took the things I thought were true and allowed them to be turned upside down. He stripped away the people I had always trusted and turned to for everything and instead reminded me to turn to Him first and foremost!! And I am better for it.

After January, I sought out a Christian counselor and got some wonderful help. It was not the lowest I’d ever been, but I was pretty low. And I just have to say that if you are facing a challenging season of your life… go get some outside help. You cannot do it alone. Turn to God and then turn to the leaders you know and get the help you may need!
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8 weeks of counseling helped me to clarify a whole lot of things. 8 weeks of counseling helped me find out what it means to be truly Bold. 8 weeks of counseling taught me that I can’t do it alone, I can only do life with God at my side. My pride was overwhelming before that. And after that, I knew that it’s only in my weaknesses that true strength can be found.

I started writing more music. I started working on the scripts to what is now my fun and awesome web series. I started writing children’s books again and coming up with a million more ideas for my future. But all with the confidence that “I can do all through Christ who strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:13) Something I knew long ago and only had forgotten.

I wrote a song last year that I was able to share with some friends. Up until that point, I had written hundreds of songs that I never shared with anyone. But Christ allowed me to find my Boldness. God laid these lyrics on my heart and I want to share them with you all. And if you ever want to hear what it sounds like, I’d be happy to sing it for you.

Bring Me to My Knees

Bring me to my knees. Cause in my strength I fall.

It’s only in my weaknesses. That I give You my all

When I stand up on this mountain top I lift my eyes in praise

But the valley is where I learned to pray

When the water’s rising over me My soul is all but lost

That’s the time when I turn to you the most.

(Chorus)

When I bow my head to praise Your Name, Your grace, it covers me

When I step outside that grace I cannot breathe

But You reach Your hand back down for me

And pull me to Your love

And You whisper, “Child, I am enough”

(Chorus)

Jesus, Majesty! I bring my offering

Only to You I sing.

Jesus, Majesty! I stand on the mountaintop

My heart is Yours, Lord I lift You up.

2015 is starting out beautifully so far. But I know that nothing lasts forever (except Christ’s love, of course.) Tomorrow, things could fall apart. Tomorrow, tragedy could strike. But no matter what happens, I know my faith in Christ will see me through. I have been blessed with people who watch and enjoy my web series (if you aren’t watching yet, Click Here.People who read and enjoy my blog (if you aren’t reading yet, Click Here.) I’ve been blessed with a bevy of new ideas for the year to come and have chosen the word Today for my word of the year. As in “Seize the day” “No day but Today!” “Give thanks for this is the day the Lord has made.” And I can’t wait to see how God blesses this word for my life as well as this year! So stay tuned, cause I am determined to love life even more than I love it right now!!!
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So… what’s your word?

Why We Watch…

Last night saw the 86th Annual Academy Awards Ceremony. Broadcast to millions of people in many countries and tons of languages. I don’t have all the statistics as to how many, but given what live TV is these days, I know it was a lot. And it was a great show. Very entertaining and so, so funny. But with all that is happening in the world right now I had a fleeting thought of “Why am I watching this?”

Did you know that Russia has sent troops into Ukraine and they are on the brink of war?

Did you know that people are dying in Venezuela right now in the wake of protest and revolution?

We live in a world of conflict. And impending war. We live in a world where millions of people are enslaved, are dying of disease or of the unimaginable fact that they don’t have enough food. We live in a brutal, unforgiving world. And that simple fact is why we watch.

The Oscars are the stuff of dreams. We mere mortals sit on our couches and watch our royalty walk around in pretty clothes and talk of when they were us. And it’s inspiring. Hearing Lupita Nyong’o declare “Your dreams are valid.” Or Matthew McConaughey tell us the three things he needs in life, “someone to look up to, something to look forward to and someone to chase.” Being reminded yet again of the ways Angelina Jolie continuously uses her celebrity to do amazing things in places of need. The sheer fun and enjoyment that Ellen Degeneres brings to everything she does (that entire pizza bit and the selfie that broke Twitter.)

Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP

Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images 

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Photo by Twitter @corinnefoxx

Photo by Twitter @TheEllenShow

If we are being honest, the Oscars are a thing of whimsy and something that most of us only ever dream could happen. But that is why we watch. Because we need to hope and dream and think not only of the harsh realities that are ever present in this world, but the wonderful fancies that our deepest hearts wish after.

I love the Oscars. I love losing myself in the glamour. And we need that. Because when we all wake this morning the world is still calling. The problems are still there needing our attention. But for one magical night we are allowed to forget and that is why we watch…

Wizard of Oz Revisited

Last night a friend and I went to see The Wizard of Oz on the big screen in Imax 3D. And let me just recommend, that if you have the chance to go while it’s in theters, you should go! It’s always been a visually beautiful film and the 3D element adds so much more.

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I had a bit of a realization while I was watching it. And if you’re a child of any decade after the 60’s then you’ve seen this movie many times, as I have. I’ve seen it as a child and as an adult, but I guess I was paying closer attention last night.
And what struck me most was that Oz is merely a dream. Was anyone else aware of this sad truth?

My whole life up until this moment, I have believed Oz to be a real place Dorothy went to and got sent back from. Not merely a dream.

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Perhaps somewhere deep in the back of my mind, where I hide all my grown up thoughts and inclinations, maybe I knew. It sort of made me sad to think of the movie in this different way. Almost like I finally came home from Neverland and grew up.

So I am officially rejecting this realization and am returning to Munchkinland where all magical things are still real. Like Wonderland and Neverland and Oz!!!
I much prefer to live in technicolor and to dream in black and white!