Seven Quick Takes // What I Wore Sunday

Linking up with Conversion Diary and Fine Linen and Purple!

-- 1 --

I wouldn't have if I couldn't have, but I can, so I will.  I said I'd do a What I Wore Sunday linky--had all the images ready and everything!  Credit to my sis Caroline for the photographs (and flattering pose advice).

Polka-dot dress:  Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit (Bealles)
Cardigan:  Mossimo Supply Co. (Target)
Flats:  Mossimo Supply Co. (Target)
Costume watch:  Premier Jewelry
Glasses:  Walmart (is that a brand?)
Gold crucifix:  jewelry store/gift shop at the tippy-top of Saint Peter's Basillica
Naturally frizzy hair:  genes, by Mother Nature

-- 2 --

I hauled the Squirt into the car last Sunday for a 55 minute drive to the closest Marionite Rite Catholic parish: part of an idea I've had in my mind for the past six months beginning the Squirt's Catholic education and enriching my own.  It was a pretty little church, sparse but arranged like other Roman Catholic churches I've been in (not the octagonal ones, thank goodness!).  Though there wasn't an abundance of art, what they had was mostly iconography--with a photo of Pope Francis and the traditional Sacred Heart painting--and lots of pretty writing in Arabic.  So pretty.  Did I mention how pretty it was?

I expected the Mass to more closely resemble the Latin extraordinary form, but it too appeared to have been modified via Vatican II.  The priest faced away from the altar, responses came readily from the congregation, and I only counted two veils.  Before the reading, the lecterns turned to the priest and asked him to bless them, which he did, and then blessed the rest of the congregation as well.  For the sign of the peace, the ushers walked down the aisle, from the front to the back, and greeted only the people on outside of the pews.  Instead of shaking hands, the ushers placed their palms together in a prayerful gesture and held them out, and the people placed their palms on the outside of the ushers' hands and slid them off.  I've never known anyone from the Middle East very well or otherwise been exposed to the culture, but I assume that is how they shake hands!

The sacred music consisted overpowering voices chanting in Lebanese, though I could discern an "amen" and an "alleluia" every once in a while.

I didn't get to take any pictures or stay around and socialize because the Squirt was being Especially Bad.  But I don't regret taking him, and I'm really glad we went.  I wouldn't mind going back, so . . . we'll see how my days work out that I'm free and able to drive two extra hours to attend church.

-- 3 --

Yesterday was my mom's birthday, so my sister made a homemade red velvet cake with cream cheese icing.  It was so soft and spongy and moist.  Happy birthday, Mom!  Happy birthday, Uncle Chris!

-- 4 --

Here is the sprightly lady at a the tender age of [message garbled]--ahem.  My sister took the photo of her on the same day she did the ones of me above.  I tried to give her some instruction, but the posing and look-capture is all her.

I edited this photo in RAW format for clarity, lighting, and sharpness.  Also messed with the noise reduction, which I'm not entirely sure is necessary.  I can't remember if I adjusted the white balance or not.

No makeup--pretty good, right?

But I wanted to give her the softness a little makeup would add (not that she needs it--my dad is insistent).  So I converted the RAW file to JPG and uploaded it to Photoshop.  Using the Perfect Portrait action from Coffeeshop Blog, I smoothed her skin, reduced redness, whitened her teeth and pupils, highlighted and brightened her eyes (these things are done manually by "painting" on the photo in different "layers").  There probably wouldn't have been much to do if I'd had my soft lens filter on the camera that day.

In the latter photo below, I played with lighting so that it looks like the evening is creeping up from behind on the left.  (The photo was taken at dusk.)

Last, in Picmonkey, I added some color to her lips and cheeks

and experimented with different types of effects.

There's even a tool to smooth/remove wrinkles, but I stand against that on principle!

I feel like I'm getting more and more ready to start a little side business soon.  Thoughts?

-- 5 --

Tomorrow my sister and I are attending the wedding of a college friend of mine.  I haven't seen him since my own wedding, and I'm looking forward to toasting the nuptials and dancing like nobody-that-I-actually-know-is-watching.

-- 6 --

The Squirt got his British passport in the mail on the same day Queen Elizabeth's great-grandson was born.  He is now officially a citizen of "her Britannic Majesty."  I quipped on Facebook that someone should be made aware that my boy is now available and eligible for the position of Tiny Gentleman-in-Waiting.

-- 7 --

Read the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets--hope to have the introductory post on that up before Monday (fingers crossed?).  See Jenna!



  1. lovely!
    you know, I liked the first picture of her best...

    1. Thanks! The feedback I'm getting seems to be that the most natural, un-tampered with, and realistic photos are the preferred ones. I wonder if that has anything to do with the flooding of Instagram photos all over the place these days.

  2. I like the first and last photos. Amazing what editing software can do now. I'm such a novice.

    1. Well thank you, let's learn and share together!

  3. I meant to ask when you first mentioned you visit to the church, what do you mean by things being in Lebanese? Syriac, the liturgical language of the Marionite rite? Standard Arabic? North Levantine Arabic (the native language of one of my boys)? Just wondering. :) Languages are fascinating for me.

    1. Oh! I don't know! I knew they were from Lebanon, but I'm not sure what language it was. If/when we go back, I'll be sure to ask.

      I love languages, too. You must speak several. Btw, do you have an Irish accent? It's so neat meeting third-culture families!

  4. That dress/cardigan combination is super cute!! And so is the picture of your mama. I think I like the last two. The sepia tone of the next-to-last is pretty.

    Props on reading the first chapter. I will be looking forward to your post! :D

    1. Thanks! My mom used to tease me as a teenager that I dressed like a librarian/old lady. Guilty. Hey, at least it's kind of coming back in style, right? That preppy, prim look!

  5. Cute outfit! And i like the editing you did (although your mama is pretty without it too!) the last photo is my favorite. Hole your friend's wedding goes well :)

    1. Oh thank you, I think she is pretty too! I've been meaning to ask: what do you use to shoot your photography: camera, lens, editing program, etc.? I adore it!


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