dear bride

Dear bride,

You look gorgeous, you know that? You really do. It's the one time in your life you're wearing false eyelashes and they work. They'll make your eyes pop in your photos.

And your wedding is perfect. Everything looks great. Please don't worry about what others think about your wedding or whether you should have added more personal touches. No one is here to see the decorations. They're here to see you.

You've been waiting for this day for ever. Or so it feels like forever. And the day has finally come -- it's the peak of dating, the big finale, the best day ever!

Actually, stop there. Today, is not the finale. Today is not the peak. It's the beginning. It's one blip on the radar of your life. Sure, it's a special day, a day where you feel good about wearing this much makeup and a really expensive dress, but it is just one piece of your life, and maybe not even the most important piece.

Tomorrow is more important and every day after that. The day you have the worst day at work, and your car breaks down and you get in a fight but you choose to lean in and still love him, and still trust in your relationship -- that is a more important day. Today, on your wedding day, love is easy. Three years from now when you're figuring out a budget together, love is not as glamorous.

This isn't to say that marriage won't be fun or wonderful or that there won't be moments of love. There will be those moments. I know you think you know that guy you're marrying, but you don't. You've just scratched the surface of who he is; you only know a little bit of his hopes and dreams and the very fabric of what makes him the man you love. Each day you have the opportunity to know him more, to support him more, to learn how to love him more.

I know you think you know everything right now. But you're really young. My goodness you're young. I'm not sure how your parents said yes to you getting married... especially because five years from now you're going to be suspicious of anyone knowing what they're doing getting married right out of college. In the next few years you're going to learn a lot about life, and a lot more about love. Good thing you're marrying someone who will help you learn those things

This is a lot to take in right now. It's overwhelming but I just wanted to encourage you today, on your wedding. Five years from now, you're going to look back at your wedding and think back to that day-- a beautiful, momental day, but just one day that begins a much bigger and better journey. Get excited.


Happy five years Evan. Life is pretty great with you. 


a prescription for ordinary days

Some days are really ordinary. Let's just say that. And some days I want fireworks, a big event with laughter and late nights. But instead, it's laundry and traffic and responsibilities ... the same old routine. 

I think, whenever possible, it's good to inject special into the everyday. Like eating cake for breakfast or wearing glittery nail polish, or maybe wearing something out of your comfort zone. For me, the injection is a kimono with fringe. This is not my normal uniform. It is loud and bright and makes a statement. And on an ordinary weekday, it's just what the doctor ordered. (Because there should be doctors who prescribe cute clothing... )

kimono c/o: gypsy threads
jeans: bdg


let your yes be yes

There are things that you learn about yourself. One thing I have learned about myself, and perhaps it has finally suck in (can you hear my husband saying finally!?), is that I am (too) quick to say yes. 

I say yes without thinking, without hesitation, without consideration. While this makes me agreeable, it can also make me flaky because there are times when I have to replace my yes with a no

Last week I said yes to teaching kids' camp at my church. And as the week rolled into view, I wondered why I said yes -- it was a good thing to say yes to because I love my church and the work they do -- but I was also prepping for another yes I had already said -- a yes to Renegade Craft Fair the following week. 

So my yes was hard. I worked all day, then went to kids' camp held in the evenings, and then came home to sew. And a lot of me regretted my yes. 

There's this guilt we have in saying no. And by saying we, I mean me. I feel guilt. So I say yes to dinner, when really I'm tired, or I say yes to an event, when part of me knows I don't have the time to commit fully. Honestly, sometimes it's good to to force yourself to say yes -- we don't live life binge-watching Netflix -- but then there are crucial times when the yes should really be a no

Here is the thing: when you have your yes be yes-- when you can fully commit with all of you, it is far better than a lackluster yes, a yes where you regret being there, a yes you have to pull back later. Nine times out of ten, I want my yes to be a full commitment. 

In the end, I am grateful for my time at kids' camp. I did enjoy each moment, and let's be honest, kindergarten girls are pretty cute. However, it was also slap-in-the-face wake-up call. I need to consider what I say yes to. There are good and beautiful and wonderful opportunities and it is so good to take part in them, but before I step in, I need to consider my answer -- and whether I can make it a full yes. 

Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Matthew 5:37

What do you need to say yes to? What's better to say no to? 


backyard swings and to-do lists

You know those things that you mean to do? Those things that linger on the to-do list for ages? And each day, you're like, someday. Some day this will be a priority.

Yes, me too.

In fact I have quite the to-do list -- mentally, typed into my phone and scrawled on notepads. Some are important, some not-so-much. Some things have been on there for years. And I'm happy to say I finally checked one item off.

The back story: Our little house has actually quite a big backyard, (big for city limits, that is), and holding center court is an enormous willow tree. The tree guy said it's one the biggest he's ever seen in Seattle. When we bought our house I told the husband that the tree would some day be perfect for a swing.

I kept saying it. We talked about buying one. And then our neighbor made one out of part of fallen tree in his own backyard. The seat is rustic and perfect and of course, it sat on our deck for a few weeks before we finally got around to hanging it this past weekend.

One (fun) item checked off the to-do list. I feel accomplished.

p.s. can we talk about maxi skirts for just one quick second? I left my token maxi skirt in Uganda for Asher, and have been looking for a new staple for awhile. This one has a bit of a swing-y action at the bottom, which makes it quite fun.

skirt: c/o Gypsy Threads
top: Target
sandals: Seychelles
necklace: Mandy England
bracelets: Nordstrom Rack


watermelon mint daiquiri

one of my favorite parts of New Orleans was a simple stall in the open-air market in the French Quarter.

The stand was called "Organic Banana" and you could buy a 16-ounce fresh fruit daiquiri for $6.99. And being New Orleans, you could take the daiquiri with you, to sip while you walked.

In Seattle, it's not legal to drink a daiquiri in the street, but you can make pitchers of it for backyard or porch sipping. I've made several versions since returning home, including my most recent variation with watermelon and mint.

watermelon mint daiquiri

2 cups frozen cubed watermelon
1/2 cup pineapple or other juice
handful of mint leaves, torn
juice of half a lime
3 shots of rum (of course without this, it's just as good)
1 cup of ice

blend ingredients well, serve immediately with a garnish of mint.

You can use nearly any fruit here. This weekend I tried peach, and left the mint out. I've also made mango daiquiris. In both cases, the fruit does not need to be frozen, but freezing the fruit makes it a little more refreshing on a hot day.


messy hair

When I was in junior high -- and I admit -- well into high school and part of college, I did my hair to an almost obsessive level. Pony tails couldn't have "bumps" -- remember those days? -- and my hair had to be perfectly straight.

The thing is, my hair does not lie perfectly straight. It's got this slight bend to it, that makes one side turn in and one side turn out. This drove me nuts as a 17-year-old. Each morning I entered the bathroom armed for battle, mousse in my left hand and curling iron in my right.

Two things changed.

One, I got lazier. Or rather, I started accepting that my hair would not be perfectly straight. I can straight-iron the heck out of it, but once I step outside, some bends are going to appear. I started asking for haircuts that would fit with my hair's natural shape, rather than bringing along a magazine clipping of a hair style that would never work for me.

Also, I got a little lucky, because messy hair -- at least where I live -- is in style. Perfectly coiffed, pin-straight is still beautiful, but hair with bends and kinks, is just as acceptable.

As I get older, (I know, in the grand scheme of things I am not that old), I am coming more and more to terms with things about myself. Sure, accepting the texture of hair is a small thing, I think it's just one part of a journey to be happy with who God made me to be.

my recipe for messy hair

Towel dry and comb hair.
Blow dry hair, scrunching as you dry.
Dry hair to about 80 percent dry, then spritz in sea-salt spray
Scrunch a little more -- finish with hair spray, if desired.


a little shift in direction

I keep trying to make time to blog but lately the day job, and then etsy shop have taken up most of my time. Also, sleep. By the time I have a moment to blog, my bed calls me and suddenly the ideas I have for a post seem lame in comparison to catching up on my beauty sleep. (And this girl needs beauty sleep.)

I have been thinking a lot about blogging. It was my first love -- way before my etsy shop-- and I love it but more and more I'm finding that I don't have a ton of time for it. And when I do blog, the audience I once had seems to have disappeared. (I think they're hanging out on Instagram.)

That's fine, I get it. Today people like photos, not words and I can be wordy. And honestly it's made me really think about why I write on the blog. Is it for comments? Is it for recognition? If I honestly think about it, I know the answer is yes to both of those.

I think on some level it's fine to want recognition for the work that you do-- to feel like what you put out there is appreciated. But I do not want to be driven by what others think of me, or how they respond to me.

All this to be said is that there will be a little shift on rouge + whimsy. I am going to be sharing less recipe posts, less diy posts (not that I've done one in forever) and a few less outfit posts. Instead, I'm going to be sharing more about what I'm thinking about, dreaming about... It'll be less Pinterest and more library book.

I hope you stick around, but if not, that's cool, too. It'll give me the chance to practice what I preach. 
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