April 28, 2014

temps rising

This country gal is ecstatic that Michigan's ridiculous weather finally sobered up. What a relief to feel sunshine and warm wind on my face instead of Jack Frost jabbing at me with a thousand tiny spears.

This is an outfit I put together for last year's trip to Southern California. 

April 26, 2014

divine mercy - answer me this (vol. 3)

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday! Happy canonization of the wonderful Popes John XXIII (23) and John Paul II! Does today make it their first feast day? I vote much yes. I'm really trying not to be jealous of a certain friend of mine who is in the Eternal City for this unbelievably powerful event. (It's not working too well.)  I'm hoping to wrangle her writing abilities upon her return so we can hear about ALL THE THINGS.

Now, for the third "volume" of Answer me This, a fun little Q & A link party with Kendra of Catholic All Year.

1. Do you hate clappy clappy church music?

That depends on what you mean byclappy clappy. My parish is a charismatic church, where all liturgies (and the overall ministry) are oriented to encourage growth in the Holy Spirit and the charismatic gifts He chooses to provide. We tend to use a more contemporary style of music during our Masses and worship, although I don’t think the majority of it qualifies as clappy clappy. We sing Matt Maher, Chris Thomlin, Ed Conlin-type music, as well as some traditional hymns, and some of it, I think, is clappy, but not horribly. I don’t mind it. 

2. What is your priority: eating or sleeping?

April 24, 2014

super quick takes ~ 7QT (vol. 35)

Happy Easter Friday!

It ain't over yet, folks! I thought I'd join the Quick Takes party with Jennifer over at Conversion Diary.

1.  Congratulations to Natalie Sisak for winning a copy of Finding Grace!  And thank you to Laura and her publisher for providing the autographed copy of the book.  Email your address to irisvip94@gmail.com, and we will have them in the mail to you straight away!

2. I created this wee graphic the other day... I've only recently discovered the quote, and at first thought it was from a song, but when I noticed it was from the great John Paul II, I was almost giddy. Now that I read it over, it does sound like something he would say.

April 22, 2014

julia's boeuf bourguignon

"Carefully done, and perfectly flavored, it is certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by men," wrote the great Julia Child, Queen of Food, the mistress of this recipe.

Amen to that.  Quite possibly, one of my favorite things about Easter (any holiday, really) is the food.  Boeuf bourguignon is traditionally one of our main courses for Easter; the madre and I add our own touch, and make this every Holy Saturday for breakfast on Easter morning, which is usually around 3 a.m., when we return home after the Vigil.  One of the great things about this recipe is that one can prepare it up to a day in advance.  The gravy thickens as leftovers, and oh my.

It's heavenly.  I mean, just look.

Ingredients:

April 21, 2014

finding grace book giveaway - CLOSED -

Well looky here... another first for my 2014.

Lovely Laura Pearl's of the String of Pearls blog awarded me a copy of her novel, Finding Grace, in her most recent giveaway, a victory of which I had not a clue until she reached out to me via the Book of Faces (the kids call it "Facebook") and told me that I had won.  (Thank you, Laura!)

It took long enough to find the time and opportunity to read it with all the wrapping up of school to be done, and now that I've finally had the chance, I thought I'd write a little review, and give y'all the chance to win a copy, signed by Laura herself, for YOURself!  Consider it an Easter Week/finally spring present from me to the lucky winner.

April 20, 2014

Jesus Christ is Risen! || what i wore easter || answer me this (vol. 2)


Happy Easter, dear friends and readers!

I  hope this post finds you happy and well, and rejoicing in the Lord's Resurrection.

And I hope you enjoy that little re-creation of how I used to illustrate the event as a child (although I can't say my drawing skills have much improved).  ß 

In a day or two, I could tell you a little about our Easter traditions with a whole boatload of pictures - tell me honestly if that's even something you would be remotely interested in.  But for now, I'm joining Kendra again for her new link-up, Answer Me This.  I had so much fun going through the link-up and reading everyone's responses, I thought I'd do it again, whilst participating in Fine Linen and Purple's What I Wore Sunday, something I haven't done in a long while.  I essentially took a break from fashion blogging (if you can call what putzing around I do "fashion blogging") for most of the winter, because I am a wuss in the cold, and I don't have my indoor studio set up yet.  Oh yes, I have plans for that.  Anywho.  Let's get down to business.  (Mmmhm.)

1.  What did you and your family wear to Mass on Easter Sunday?

April 16, 2014

what god has done for you

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in Him
may not perish, but have eternal life."

~ John 3:16

"But God shows His love for us, 
in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us."

~ Romans 5:8

"For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by men and hating one another; but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by His grace, and become heirs in hope of eternal life."

~ Titus 3:3-7

April 14, 2014

christina perri comes to town

Last Friday night, Erin, Aemelia, and I embarked on a wee adventure to the shady land of Detroit, to find ourselves in the second row of Christina Perri's Head or Heart Tour concert.  (I have the prettiest groupies ever.)
And I only took about 4,598 pictures.  (Don't worry, I didn't post them all here.)  There are some of which I am quite proud.  I thought I'd share them with you, if you weren't following live on the Instagram (@iristhephotog).  Pardon the cell phone photography.  DSLR cameras aren't usually allowed in these types of settings, so I didn't chance bringing mine, lest it be confiscated or me forced to walk all the way back to the car.  The latter happened at the first Stirling concert I attended.

April 13, 2014

palm sunday & a liebster link up with kendra (catholic all year)

Happy Palm Sunday, kind folks!

"Jesus knew the appointed hour for him to die; he had pondered all the prophecies concerning himself and was waiting until everything had taken place that the prophets said would occur before his passion began. When all that was accomplished the passion would then follow, in the due ordering of events and not at the compulsion of fate.

April 10, 2014

plans & projects

"Spring is the time of plans and projects." ~ Leo Tolstoy

Y'all have NO idea how happy I am that spring finally decided to show up.  I don't need to say anything about this winter, because most of y'all know just how insane it was.  Snow-pocalypse!  Our lovely state came so close to breaking the 133-year snow record of 93 some inches, and I'm not going to complain one bit that it didn't.  I do have to admit, though, it sure was pretty.

April 8, 2014

lifey things

Last week in photo class, we were supposed to take a self portrait that would show something about ourself.  This is mine.  On my down time, you're likely to find me with my giant schnoz buried in Tolkien.
Yes, I gave myself a haircut last week, and didn't tell anyone beforehand.  A giant one.  No, it wasn't to cover up some hideous mistake that resulted from my boredom and access to scissors (not that that's ever happened before).  Goodbye, luscious orange Amy Pond curls.  Although Amanda said it makes me look even more like Karen Gillan, so no complaints here.

April 4, 2014

chocolate covered pretzel rods

When we were younger, Navy brother was given the opportunity to sing in Prague at an international choir festival with the boy choir he was a part of, and to help with fundraising, my mother made and sold hundreds (no joke) of chocolate covered pretzel rods.  Let me tell ya, they were a tremendous hit.

April 2, 2014

heaven is for real (movie review)

I’m not a fan of Christian movies.  There, I said it.  I really just don’t like them… normally.  In the past few months, however, I’ve been pleased with the influx of truly well done Christian films.  First, Gimme Shelter, then, God’s Not Dead, and last night, I was given the opportunity to attend a screening of Heaven is for Real before its release to the public.  (Thank you, Ave Maria Radio!)

“Is heaven a hope, or as real as the earth and sky?”  That is the question that opens Heaven is for Real, directed by Randall Wallace, and based on the true story of Colton Burpo, the insanely adorable 4-year-old son of a Todd Burpo, a pastor (and fireman and wrestling coach) from small-town Nebraska.  Colton nearly died during an emergency surgery from a ruptured appendix, and who, some time after his recovery, began to share bits and pieces of his trip to heaven in his near-death experience.