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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Kid by Phillip Lim + 3.1 Phillip Lim for Tatami

He's on a roll....



Super cute! You all have to check it out! Click here for more looks from the collection.

Which reminds me! Phillip Lim designed some bad-ass sandals for German sandal maker Birkenstock, specifically for the Tatami line. I'm loving it!




(Photo credits: Barneys.com, eluxury.com)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Flat Out War!

Before I scare you, I just want to assure you that this is a light and fluffy fashion-y post on flats! I just thought the title sounded catchy! Hahaha!

Anyway, one of my favorite bloggers, Jill of Kikay Exchange asked for a review on Tory Burch vs. French Sole flats. To keep things spicy, I will also be throwing in Repetto and Lanvin flats into the mix! I will try my best to do an exhaustive review so that you can shop wisely, and come out tops in the world of flats.

French Sole of London



HISTORY:
Not to be mistaken with French Sole Shoes of New York (which was founded in 1978 and implicitly claims to be the original), "French Sole London was founded in 1989 by shoe designer Jane Winkworth. With a passion for ballet and ballerina style shoes and with a background of art , painting and design, Jane decided to set up the first ever “concept” company selling only ballet style footwear. Starting out as a Mail Order company run from the basement of Jane’s home in Chelsea and with the late Princess of Wales as one of her most devoted fans, the business quickly grew and the first store in Fulham opened in 1991 with a second store in prestigious Sloane Street following later in 1997. The company now supplies over five hundred outlets, stores and concessions globally and is preparing to open two new stores in London with a further six stores planned for early next year."

COMFORT:
This was my first pair of ballerina flats as an adult and I have to say, it shouldn't have been. Because it has the softest leather and the most flexible rubber soles that it feels like I'm walking barefoot! Compared to French Soles, other shoes just don't feel as comfortable. I wouldn't even trade it for cute Marc Jacobs flats because those hurt like hell! Why? French Sole leather is truly amazing! The super soft leather molds to your feet with wear, and its ribbon ties serve a purpose other than making the shoes look pretty! You can tighten or loosen the fit of the shoes by adjusting the ribbons! Just like with real ballerina flats! Really, I've been spoiled by French Sole flats so now I can only make do with the softest leather.

STYLE:
This is a classic style that will last for decades! Goes with everything too! I've worn it with shorts while running errands and I've worn it with a cocktail dress to a wedding reception! So it's very versatile and worth every pence! Hehehe!



PRICE:
From £55.00 to £65.00, which roughly translates to P5,000 to P6,000.

AVAILABILITY:
Available through their London boutiques on Ellis Street (near Sloane Square), Marylebone Lane (near the high street mecca that is Oxford Street and the fashionable Mayfair district), and their discount store in Surrey outside London. Also available in stores in the UK like Selfridges, House of Fraser, Shoe Studio, Topshop, Bentalls and John Lewis plus many other stores worldwide. You can also buy it online through the website.

Tory Burch Reva Ballerina Flats



HISTORY:
According to an article published in The Wall Street Journal, "Ms. Burch didn't invent the shoe. Instead, she took note of the popularity of $300 ballet flats introduced by designers such as Marc Jacobs. But rather than compete head-on with them, she and her husband set out to build a highly commercial shoe that would sell at a lower price.

They formed a joint venture with Vince Camuto, a co-founder of Nine West, who enlisted his Brazilian factories to make a high-quality, affordable shoe. His creative director helped design a shoe that was sleek and low-cut, but had a sturdy shank for support and a flexible rubber sole for comfort. Elastic in the heel area made the shoes fit snugly without gaping.

"We wanted a practical shoe, a sexy ballet shoe with our logo -- which we knew would sell," says Ms. Burch, who named the style after her mother Reva."

COMFORT:
When I tried on a pair at the store, it was very comfortable as the leather was buttery and the semi-thick rubber sole provided just the right amount of bounce. But when I first wore it out while running errands, I realized it still needed breaking in! The elastic at the back sort of dug into the back of my heel so it it was uncomfortable to say the least.

Then again, the SA told me to get a pair half a size smaller as the leather expands and the elastic at the back stretches. But hardheaded me, I still went for my real size. So now that the shoe has stretched, true enough, there is that extra space at the heel of my shoe. I guess I should have listened to her. Took a while for the shoe to feel real comfortable, but now that it is, I can walk in it for hours! So from my experience, you should either get half a size smaller or be willing to wait for the shoe to stretch!

STYLE:
While the logo ornament makes this style of flats instantly recognizable (and often copied!), I am not entirely sure if this style will remain a classic, as it has only been around circa 2006. But if we let numbers do the talking, according to The Wall Street Journal article, "more than 250,000 pairs in more than a dozen shades of the Reva ballet flats have been sold". It has been declared a cult classic, although I think this claim remains to be seen!

That being said, it's a simple piece with just the right hint of glam. You can wear it with a basic tee and jeans, or a plain tunic dress, just throw on a pair of big sunglasses and you'd look instantly fab no prob!



PRICE:
$195 or roughly about P8,100

AVAILABILITY:
Tory Burch is currently sold at their freestanding stores in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Greenwich, South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA, East Hampton, Bal Harbour, Chicago and their first outlet store at Woodbury Common in NY. The collection is also available at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales stores nationwide, and at nearly 250 specialty stores throughout the United States. Outside of the US, the collection is available at Holt Renfrew, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols London and Dubai, Lane Crawford and select stores throughout Europe.

Repetto


HISTORY:
From Vogue US - "Rose Repetto made the very first pair of Repetto pointe shoes for her son, a dancer, in 1947, and a lot has happened since: Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov and countless more performers, male and female, have worn them. Brigitte Bardot requested that pair be fashioned with a hard sole so that she could mambo in Roger Vadim's 1956 film...And God Created Woman. It was then that the street ballerina slipper we see now on Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and Sofia Coppola was born; the style has since been made in patent leather, pony hair, and suede, and in nearly every color imaginable."

COMFORT:
Super comfortable! As comfortable as French Soles! Molds to the shape of the foot with wear as well! I wouldn't recommend wearing these during winter though. The leather sole is quite thin, and I made the mistake of walking ten blocks of New York City streets in these in the dead of winter. I could honestly feel the icy coldness of the concrete pavement seeping into my feet. By the time Dear Hubby and I got to our friends' place, my feet were FROZEN and I could barely move my toes!

So, lesson learned: Wear only during Spring/Summer.

STYLE:
Let me again quote from the November 2007 issue of US Vogue, where they declared Repettos one of the 7 Closet Classics:

"To call Repettos classic is an understatement. So what is it about them? Comfort? Surely. Elegance? That, too. Nostalgia? If you ever took a ballet class when you were a girl, probably. And if you were at all fashion conscious in the eighties, you may harbor as much love the later lace-up jazz version (which Serge Gainsbourg and Mick Jagger famously wore) as you do the pretty-bowed ballerinas. The good news is, Repettos are ubiquitous (kind of like flip-flops but much, much chicer), you can get on board the bandwagon now even if you have no history with the brand.You won't be the first, but we can guarantee you won't be the last."



PRICE:
$180 to $210 which roughly translates to P7,500 to P8,700.

AVAILABILITY:
Short of saying go to Paris, these are a bit hard to find as these are not as widely available as the first two. I've seen a couple at Bergdorf Goodman, and in little boutiques in most US cities. I got mine in a little shop called Bird in Brooklyn. My best bet is to search for it at finer department stores or chic little boutiques when you travel abroad. Should you go to Hong Kong, check out Lane Crawford and On Pedder. They stock Repettos! (On Pedder Jakarta carries Repettos as well.)

Lanvin



HISTORY:
From fragrancex.com - "Founded in 1889 at 22, Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré by Jeanne Lanvin (Paris 1867 - 1946), Lanvin is the oldest Parisian fashion house.

From Haute couture (1909) to men's fashion (1926), decoration (1920), and perfumes ("My Sin" in 1925, "Arpège" 1927), the young milliner became the Ambassador of French elegance; transforming her hat and clothing workshops into a veritable fashion empire.

Jeanne Lanvin drew inspiration from her only child; Marguerite (later known as Marie-Blanche de Polignac, a talented opera singer). Marguerite succeeded her mother in 1946 and remained in charge until her death in 1958."

Today, with Alber Elbaz at its helm, he has transformed the oldest fashion house into one of the hottest labels around. Under his creative direction, Lanvin came out with covetable leather flats and boots circa 2006 and up to now, the demand for these never cease.

COMFORT:
I don't have one yet, so I can't really say. It's on my must have list though, as a pair of Lanvins will happily round up my collection of flats! I have tried several pairs though and I have come THISCLOSE to buying a satin with patent leather version that was on sale for $230 at Barneys, but they weren't really comfortable. Based on the other pairs I have tried though, I can say that the regular leather ones are very very comfortable. The patent leather ones are bit stiff though and may require breaking in. The elastics of the satin versions with leather trim were a bit stiff as well. So it really depends on the leather of the Lanvin flats you are getting. I would say go for the regular leather ones.

I do have a pair of Lanvin boots made of regular leather, and they are super comfortable. So buttery soft I can chew it off! Hahaha! Anyway, I suggest that you pick a pair made from the same leather as below:



Lanvins also have a hidden heel so while it looks flat on the outside, it's not entirely flat. Another reason why Lanvins are so comfortable!

STYLE:
A simple and classic shape with no frills. Goes with everything! Definitely a classic in my book! I'm not entirely sure if it's worth the price though.

PRICE:
$495 to $545, or roughly about P20,500 to P22,500. This is what's stopping me from buying a pair! This is too much to pay for flats. Hopefully I find one on sale!

AVAILABILITY:
Widely available for something so pricey. Guess that goes to show how in-demand these flats are. Check out Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, and other fine department stores and boutiques. In the Philippines, Lanvin flats are available at Homme et Femme in Shangri-la Mall.

Hmmm, now that I've laid it all out for you, I guess there was no point in declaring an all-out war amongst these flats. In my opinion, they can all peacefully co-exist in your closet. Who says you can't have it all? =)

(Credits: frenchsole.com, toryburch.com, online.wsj.com, shopbird.com, Vogue US, barneys.com, fragrancex.com)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Style SOS from Scuba Girl

OT (desperate for your advise): Help! I am working on a semi-casual, 90% boys, office environment (can’t wear denim jeans and shorts). I think my fashion style is getting on a down low! I usually wear slacks and knitted blouse. What else I can I wear? Any ideas you can share? Please I am super in need of your advise. I’m gonna go shop tomorrow so please help!!!!! – scuba girl

Thanks for your email Scuba Girl! First things first, you have to tell us where you work! 90% boys! Woohoo! I know a lot of single girls who'd kill for your job! Hehe! If not, care to let the girls know which industry you're in? =)

Second, semi-casual corporate attire! You are one lucky girl! Sounds like a dream job. I never liked wearing corporate. I'd rather spend on pretty flats and a great pair of jeans than buy something I never really want, but need. So least you don't have to buy corporate suits, decent ones cost an arm and a leg these days. Anyway, I'm rambling. Hehe! Ok, enough chitchat for me so I can cut to the chase!

If you're work dress code is semi-casual, I think we can turn to J. Crew for inspiration. Since they specialize on basics for preppies, I think the following looks I've collected can be the jump off point for picking out pieces you can wear to work. Because even if the company dress code says semi-casual, you still need to look polished and professional, and I think preppy basics will do the trick! Best of all, you can get J. Crew look-alikes from department stores and retail chains and local boutiques.

I highly recommend that you start with a good pair of pants, whether it be capris, chinos, trousers or wide legs, anything really as long as you feel comfortable wearing it. This is your foundation and from here, you can mix and match your top, shoes and accessories to create different looks...

As you can see in the following photos, capris can look professional with heels. You can pair it with a feminine top with just enough frills, a cardigan or a button down shirt...




I'm not entirely sure about your company's stand on tees, rugby shirts or boatneck tops for work, but I think it can be dressed for success when worn with heels and accessorized with just the right touch of feminine flair (i.e. double-strand beads, bangles or cuffs, or a colorful necklace)




If casual tops look too casual, you can put a cropped jacket, or a short-sleeved sweater over it! (Even with long sleeved tees! I think the contrast would make it even more interesting.)



Then again, you can always wear a standard button down shirt, but choose a couple in pretty shades of pastel to make it more girl-y?


If wearing a skirt is not an issue, I really like this look, with or without the scarf...


I think working with basics and a bunch of boys can be fun fashion-wise, just try experimenting with color combinations and accessories to remind you that it's fun being a girl! =)

Hope this helps! Just let me know if you have other considerations and I will gladly work that into the equation!

(Photo credits: jcrew.com)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sharing My Outfit Day: Inspired by Lolo

My inspiration for this outfit is my Lolo Cesar, my mom's dad. I actually think I got my love for dressing up from their side of the family. He was never the type to wear house clothes. He was always dressed up even if he had nowhere to go. His signature style included a tweed fedora (always! even in summer!), checkered pants, Penguin polo shirts and cardigans on chilly days. I also distinctly remember his penchant for wool sport coats and wooden canes. He often looked mismatched, but that was part of his charm. He was an old school gentleman through and through and I love his story of how he courted my lola. He had his piano mounted on a flat bed truck and played the piano on top of the truck outside her house! Talk about grand gestures!



Sunglasses: Ray-Ban
Scarf: Collection 18
Button down shirt: Topshop
Grandpa Cardigan: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Tweed Coat: Gap (Php500 from the Camp John Hay overruns store)
Belt: Marni
Jeans: J Brand
Shoes: Tory Burch

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sharing My Outfit Day: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I bought Dear Hubby a bumble bee scarf for Christmas 2006 because he wanted one. He never got to use it that much though because he said it didn't keep him warm enough! I didn't want a good thing to go to waste, so I asked him if I could use it.

Now it's mine!



Scarf: Springfield
Puffer Vest: Alice + Olivia
Shirt: Old Navy
Hoodie: H&M
Jeans: J Brand
Socks: Target
Boots: Lanvin

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Architectural Skyscrapers

Women's shoes won't be turning heads anymore just for the sheer height of it. This season, wedges and heels are all about structural shapes, fine details and interesting twists! Check these babies out, as seen at net-a-porter...

Giuseppe Zanotti Cut Out Wedges


Miu Miu Wooden Carved Heel


Miu Miu Crystal Embellished Stiletto


Marc Jacobs Bobble


Stella Mc Cartney Lucite Heel


So no matter how simple your outfit is, you can always get the attention you want with stand out shoes! Yeah, talk about standing out from the crowd!

(Photos from net-a-porter.com)

Sharing My Outfit Day: Beat 'Em Black & Blue

Yes, you may have noticed by now that I do not have many clothes. And I tend to stick to my favorite pieces for days or weeks on end! Hahaha!



Sunglasses: Tom Ford
Scarf: Isabel Marant
Tee: Old Navy
Hoodie: H&M
Coat: Tulle Los Angeles
Shorts: Topshop
Tights: Target
Ballet flats: French Sole
Tote: Marc by Marc Jacobs

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Q&A

Hey Tin! Monette's getting married next week. Need advice on where to get our nails done near Makati Shangrila area. Not really familiar with Makati spas because I only go to nail tropics in eastwood. Thanks :) - Cathy

Hi Cathy!

You're in luck! There are plenty of nail salons and beauty salons near Makati Shangri-la so that shouldn't be a problem! Here are my top-of-mind places to go to, although there are plenty more to choose from for sure:

Salon Prive
4th Level, Makati Shangri-la Hotel
Ayala Avenue at Makati Avenue
Makati City

Since the salon is inside the hotel, this saves you time and effort since you do not have to venture outside. I am not entirely sure how good their nail services are, but it could be worth checking out.

But if the bridal party is in the mood for something more relaxing and pampering, then nail spas within the vicinity are your best bet!

Nail Spa
Unit 106 First Midland Condominium
109 Gamboa St., Legaspi Village
Makati
Tel: 817-3128, 830-0702

California Nails & Day Spa
G6 Asian Mansion II
107 Dela Rosa cor. Nieva St.,
Legaspi Village, Makati City
Tel: 772-5760

Hi..help! where can i buy a cream-to-powder foundation in the philippines >.< tnx! - Phebbles


I haven't been home in a couple of months, but my best bet would be Beauty Bar! They carry Smashbox cosmetics and they should have the Conversion Cream to Powder Foundation in stock.

If any of you dear readers have tips or suggestions regarding Cathy and Phebbles questions, we will super appreciate your help! Thanks!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sharing My Outfit Day

The weather was so nice today I though I'd bust out my spring jacket and sandals (with socks though hehe)!



Scarf: Isabel Marant
Tee: H&M
Cardigan: Jacob
Jacket: Topshop
Jeans: 7 For All Mankind
Sandals: Chloe
Socks: Target

Recyling Candle Jars

When it comes to scented candles, there's some sort of a "hierarchy" as well - with Diptyque joining those labels enjoying the best views from the top of the wax totem pole.

Each candle jar sells for at least $55, so yeah, these candles don't come cheap. It comes as no surprise then that creative types find a way to extend the life of these luxuries...



According to Now Smell This, "Diptyque was established in 1961 by three friends: painter Desmond Knox-Leet, set designer Yves Coueslant, and Christiane Gautrot, who was working in an architecture firm. Their original plan was to design and market original cotton print fabrics, but scented candles, introduced in 1963 as something of a sideline, turned out to be more popular than the fabrics."

In a similar twist, design blogger Habitually Chic has acutely observed that Diptyque candle jars have reincarnated as "chic pencil cup holders"...



Uh huh, gracing the work desks of designers like Peter Som and Alexander Wang. A reader even suggested using it for make up brushes, as she has. Pretty clever huh? Well, I would do that to if I spent so much for a candle! Gotta squeeze it for all its worth! Hahaha!

Now these Diptyque Holiday Candle jars are really pretty...


I wouldn't think twice of storing whatever I can stuff into them! One for loose change, another for rings, even earrings, buttons, and so on...

Now if only I can cough up the dough...

(Photo credits: aromaessentials.com, Habitually Chic, instyle.com)

Friday, March 14, 2008

LBDs

Cute and fresh little black dresses as seen at the Fendi store re-opening:



Uhm, just hem your dress darling! It's about to give...

But who says looking a bit disheveled is a bad thing? Ask Amy Winehouse who's rocking a Spring 08 Fendi belt with her LBD, exposed bra straps and tattoos (hmmm, maybe "crooning" is a better word for it...)


Yes, there's a little black dress for everybody. Still a wardrobe staple I must say! Kaiser Karl would heartily agree!


(Photo credit: style.com)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lanvin Bridal



The line is called Collection Blanche and according to Vogue UK, "is a little tongue-in-cheek - instead of classic styles, the Elbaz bride has a sense of humour. While the materials remain decadent silks, washed faille, silk tulle, taffeta, lace and chiffon, the collection includes a kaftan (for the bride in the sun), a trench (for the wife on the go), a tulle cardigan (for the romantic) and many other styles that break the rules of conformity for a bride on her wedding day."

To see the collection, swing by the Dover Street Market, 17-18 Dover Street, London W1.

(Photo credit: Vogue UK)

So You Want To Be A Buyer

Christina Binkley of The Wall Street Journal takes us behind the scenes and shows us how buying is done after Fashion Week...



You'll see why the runway looks evolve into "commercial" aka wearable pieces, once they hit the stores...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Wife is a Gangster

Last Sunday, Dear Hubby wanted to go out and take photos because it was such a nice day. The sun was bright and shining, never mind that it was -4°C because of the chilly winds. He said that he wouldn't leave the house if I didn't join him. Now I get cold really fast, so I reluctantly bundled up. I mean hey, I do have to provide moral support to my budding professional photographer, in good weather and in bad.

So Dear Hubby took his time and clicked away for a good hour, or so it seemed. Here are a couple of my favorite photos:




But it was just so darn cold! I just couldn't stay outside, so I told him to:


Hehehe! Not that it made him, but still.

I rushed inside our building, by way of the garage and while hanging on to the grills, told him to hurry up or else I wouldn't open the garage door for him! But he took his time looking for interesting subjects, and I had to wait "patiently". Finally, he stole this shot...


And walked into the garage, laughing all the way as he fiddled with his camera. He then showed the photo he took of me and told me I looked like a gangster behind bars! Actually, I have to agree! I looked like a mean little toughie! Hahaha!

So anyway, being the fashion blog that this is, here's my gangsta outfit:


Hoodie: H&M
Sunglasses: Tom Ford "Whitney"
Scarf: Isabel Marant
Sweater: Topshop
Tank Top: Mango
Jacket: The North Face
Jeans: Grab
Sneakers: Converse (not seen)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Saint Joseph's Feast Day: March 19 + Novena to St. Joseph



I would just like to share with you this 9 day novena that you can start tomorrow, March 11, and end on the 19th, the Feast Day of St. Joseph.

St. Joseph is the Patron Saint of Workers, but he is also known as the Patron Saint of Real Estate and of Families, among others. But I suppose, he is also the Patron Saint of Single Women.

When I was 25, my mom told me to pray to St. Joseph for a good husband. I assumed she was worried I would turn into an old maid! Hehehe! I told her I was not interested in having a boyfriend or getting married, but I figured, I had nothing to lose in doing so. A couple of days later, from out of the blue, a friend of mine emailed me a 9 week novena to St. Joseph and I took it as a sign to really take my novena seriously.

On the first week of my novena, I went to Sunday mass and gingerly took out the novena I printed out and prayed with all my heart. The funny thing is, that was the same night I met my husband. I did not realize we set our first date on the first day of my novena to St. Joseph. What could be a better sign than that? That was six years ago. Today, I am happily married to the love of my life, who takes pleasure in saying that he was heaven sent to me! Hahaha! We are also celebrating our first wedding anniversary this month. Imagine that!

I am sharing with you this novena that I found as I could not find the exact novena that my friend emailed to me. If you would like to find THE ONE, buy/sell your home, or get the job that will make you happy, pray to St. Joseph.

Pray, believe and have faith that miracles happen! I know they do! =)

FIRST DAY:
The man nearest to Christ Jesus was His foster father, Joseph the carpenter. John the Baptist saw Christ briefly near the Jordan and knew that his work as Precursor was over. The Apostles lived and worked with Christ during the brief days of His public life. But Joseph presided over the events of Christ's Infancy, provided for Him the house that sheltered Him from birth to baptism, and was of all the men of earth the one at whose hands Jesus received most in service and love and unselfish devotion. Born of a royal line, Joseph was a carpenter. That trade he passed on to his foster Son. Joseph was destined to immortal honors of the Church, yet no spoken word of his is recorded in the Scriptures.

Still the Church with good reason cries out, "Go to Joseph."
This injunction we confidently obey as we pray:

The Prayer of Saint Joseph

O God, who in thine ineffable providence was pleased to choose blessed Joseph for the spouse of thy most holy Mother, grant we beseech thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom we venerate as our protector on earth. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

SECOND DAY:
There is always a cause for the choices God makes. Out of the long procession of men through history, God selected Joseph to be the husband of Mary and the protector of the Savior. Joseph's youth was one of stainless virtue.

His young manhood was marked by deep religious faith and a burning desire to see the Savior of Israel. His was a life of honest work and of a humility that fitted him for his part in the hidden life of the Savior. Little did he dream as he visited the synagogue on the Sabbath that someday he would be the protector of the synagogue's God. Little did he understand that the trade of carpenter that he was learning would be the means by which he would provide food and clothing for the world's maker, would be the trade that he would teach the creator of the universe.

Without knowing what it was that he was getting ready for, he gave to his simple jobs the full devotion and the full strength of a character of a simple, honest man.
In these ordinary ways did he fit himself for the extraordinary assignment that God would give him.

Remembering this splendid man, who walked the simple ways, we pray:

The Prayer of Saint Joseph

O God, who in thine ineffable providence was pleased to choose blessed Joseph for the spouse of thy most holy Mother, grant we beseech thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom we venerate as our protector on earth. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

THIRD DAY:
Tradition has it that Joseph had taken the vow of virginity, thus renouncing the right to marriage. At any rate he lived a life of purity. He was stainless among men and pure in the sight of God. But God in His providence had greater designs for Joseph than mere abstinence. He chose Joseph, the just man, for the delicate mission of sheltering Mary's virginity and at the same time being her loyal spouse and guardian of the Incarnate Son of God.

Legend tells us that he was selected by a miracle: The barren rod that he held in his hand blossomed with lilies. Perhaps. But surely his soul was bright with joy when he knew that God had given him to be the partner of his life the rose of Sharon, the stainless lily of Israel, the flower among all the flowers in God's garden.

He accepted his bride and his new responsibility with the determination to make her happy, to keep her safe, and in her company to carry out whatever were Gods plans for their future.

So Joseph and Mary were married, and they established the holy house of Nazareth. There they lived most exemplary lives.

To this strong and pure protector of Mary we pray:

The Prayer of Saint Joseph
O God, who in thine ineffable providence was pleased to choose blessed Joseph for the spouse of thy most holy Mother, grant we beseech thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom we venerate as our protector on earth. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

FOURTH DAY:
Wedded to the loveliest of brides, entering marriage with strong ideals and a trust in God's provident care, Joseph had a right to expect love and security that come with consecrated marriage.

While marriage for him was the beginning of a high honor, it was also the beginning of a new pain. While it added to his royal dignity, it was also the occasion of poverty, patience, exile, obscurity, confusion and wonderment.

For at once he found that his virgin bride was with child. What could this possibly mean? He wanted to think her stainless, but what of this clear evidence? He was confused and bewildered. And while it was distasteful to a man of his simple reticence, the law of his people demanded that he put her away.

Since Mary herself did nothing to enlighten him (for she was committed by God to secrecy) his confusion gave way to grave doubt, and doubt in turn gave way to firm, honorable resolve to take action.

What a period of suffering and suspense this must have been to Joseph. In His own good time, God would reveal the wonders of the Incarnation of His Divine Son. But to prepare his soul for so great a miracle, God chose to cleanse his heart in suffering.

Remembering his trial and suffering, we pray:

The Prayer of Saint Joseph
O God, who in thine ineffable providence was pleased to choose blessed Joseph for the spouse of thy most holy Mother, grant we beseech thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom we venerate as our protector on earth. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

FIFTH DAY:
Pain and patience in the service of Christ and His Mother soon turn to joy. The visit of the angel brought an end to Joseph's problems. The Child whom the lovely Mary carried was the Son of the Most High. He had no earthly father, for God Himself was His Father. The Holy Spirit had wrought the wonder in Mary's body.

Over Joseph there came in a rush the realization of what his marriage meant. He among all men of earth was to be the guardian of the Mother of the Savior. Upon him would rest the responsibility to protect the Christ Child, to provide His home, to watch over His childhood, to lead Him into the safe maturity that would be a prelude to His public life.

The home? Joseph had only the house of the carpenter to offer. The food of the Son of God would be plain. The clothes He wore would be those of a laborer's child. But Joseph silently vowed that the Christ should never want for a heart to love Him, for hands to serve Him, for feet to run His errands, for a back to shoulder whatever weight God would let him bear.

Joseph and Mary smiled upon each other and together waited for the coming of the Son of God, the Savior of the world.

To Joseph, guardian of Mary and protector of the Infant Savior, we say:

The Prayer of Saint Joseph
O God, who in thine ineffable providence was pleased to choose blessed Joseph for the spouse of thy most holy Mother, grant we beseech thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom we venerate as our protector on earth. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

SIXTH DAY:
To us Christmas is a day of uninterrupted joy. To Joseph it was a day of the brightest light and the deepest shadows: a blazing sky and a chilly cave; the presence of angels and the cold shoulder of the villagers; faith and sorrow; intensest joy in the Infant and grief that he could give the Infant only a stable and straw and his ineffectual service.

The story of Joseph and Christmas is dearly familiar to us. It was decreed that they leave the comforts of home and journey to Bethlehem. The doors of the crowded inns were slammed in his face. He quested through the night until he found the cave and prepared it for his bride and for the coming Child.

His was the joy of hearing the song of the angels and watching the procession of the first adorers. His was the pain of seeing Mary shiver in the cold darkness and of remembering that they had been forced to leave in Nazareth the cradle that he had made with such loving care.

He was the first sentry in the court of the new king, His first man-at-arms, His prime minister, His treasurer, the faithful disciple of the master, who had yet to speak His first word.

To Joseph at Christmastide we say:

The Prayer of Saint Joseph
O God, who in thine ineffable providence was pleased to choose blessed Joseph for the spouse of thy most holy Mother, grant we beseech thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom we venerate as our protector on earth. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

SEVENTH DAY:
Compared to the powerful and important Herod, Joseph was in the eyes of his times a nobody. Yet as this faithful carpenter and saint made smooth the ways of his Lord, worked for His comfort, and knelt to adore Him, Herod plotted the destruction of this Child, whom he looked upon as a possible rival for his throne.

Herod had tried to turn the Magi into messengers of death, but these wise men had on a warning from God, through the star-lighted night found their way to the king. Failing this, Herod sent his soldiers out to kill the Child and end the threat to his brief and pitiful power.

Another visit of an angel ... and Joseph is moving through the night, leading the ass that carries the sacred burden of Mother and Child. Eyes alert for danger, staff gripped tightly against possible threat, feet tirelessly striding forward, a few coins in his purse, his locked shop left behind him, Joseph travels the glorious and ignominious road to exile.

But God had chosen well when He chose this protector of Mother and Son. The journey was safe, the exile comfortable, and the return happy and secure.

To Joseph, guardian of Jesus and of Mary in danger and in exile, we say:

The Prayer of Saint Joseph
O God, who in thine ineffable providence was pleased to choose blessed Joseph for the spouse of thy most holy Mother, grant we beseech thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom we venerate as our protector on earth. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

EIGHTH DAY:
Wonderful things have happened in the long annals of mankind, but none have been more wonderful than what occurred in the little house and shop of Joseph in Nazareth. The earnings of a laborer provided the food for the creator of heaven and earth. Into the little carpenter shop comes the young Jesus, apprenticed to a trade. Joseph guides the hands that guided the course of the stars; he teaches the maker of sun, stars, and planets the craft of making tables and chairs for peasants and yokes for oxen.

The Trinity looks down to the lovely trinity of earth - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit beautifully mirrored in Joseph, Mary, and Jesus. Modern Christian homes receive their design and pattern from this model. Modern Catholic marriage is here given its lovely example. The hearts of Mary and Joseph create a union close and dear and intimate and utterly beautiful; together they live and think and plan and work for the Child, who has been given into their keeping. Their's was a beautiful family.

Remembering the happiness of Joseph in Nazareth, we pray:

The Prayer of Saint Joseph
O God, who in thine ineffable providence was pleased to choose blessed Joseph for the spouse of thy most holy Mother, grant we beseech thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom we venerate as our protector on earth. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

NINTH DAY:
Death in the days before Christ was often frightening, often terrible. It was left for Joseph to show us for the first time the perfect way to die. Graciously God let him know that his work was done. Jesus was almost ready to enter His public life; in that the humble carpenter would play no part.

He obeyed the voice of God in death as he obeyed that voice in life. But for him the voice had no terrors.

As Joseph lay on his bed, Jesus and Mary were close to him. His head rested on the virgin breast of his untouched bride. His hand rested in the firm grasp of his foster Son. Jesus was speaking gratefully of what Joseph had done for Him. Mary was saying a loving thank-you. His thoughts were being lifted up ... and up ...and up toward the heaven that lay ahead and the glory that comes to those who have done their simple duty well. Jesus and Mary followed their beloved protector to the grave.

In his place in glory the whole Chruch has sought him, called him its faithful guardian, and known that from his powerful intercession favors past counting would fall upon the world of men and women, whom he regards as his beloved sons and daughters.

To Joseph in heaven we say:

The Prayer of Saint Joseph
O God, who in thine ineffable providence was pleased to choose blessed Joseph for the spouse of thy most holy Mother, grant we beseech thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom we venerate as our protector on earth. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia.com)

Friday, March 07, 2008

The New Old Navy

New stuff out at Old Navy now! All the safari inspired pieces are on sale (Belle, the rompers are now just $19.99, and Raissa! Those sandals you wanted are 50% off!) and have been replaced by lots of maxi dresses and racks of white shorts, tops and dresses! They also had these Kenneth Jay Lane-ish necklaces, bangles, cocktail rings and earrings! So perfect for lounging under palm trees as you bury your feet into the powdery white sand...And hey, not bad either for when you're running errands. Imagine yourself wearing these as you rush through the grocery store aisles! What a jumbled lovely mess! Old Navy, you really are surprising me! In a good way!



But has it come to this? That I have to seriously contemplate if I should buy a pair of sandals that only costs $16.50?



I really am trying my darn best to limit my shopping activities, so I make it a point to think long and hard before spending. Yes, even if it's a measly sum. Aren't you so proud of me? Heehee!
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