Saturday, September 29, 2012

Say Cheese!

Cameras are everywhere today! We have digital minis, Polaroids, Rebels, iPads, phones, and computers -- all with the ability to snap a photo at any moment. You can put these photos in albums or share them instantly on instagram or any social network. So is all this photo snapping and sharing vain? Should we hide from the camera or become a super model in our own minds?

Photos have been around for a long time, and before photography, paintings and drawings of a person were often done. Having a portrait made was a very special occasion. People would dress in their best and sit or stand for a long time as the artist sketched or the photographer took the picture.

When photography started becoming more popular than expensive artist renderings, the subjects generally didn't smile. One, because it would be hard to hold a smile. Two, because teeth were often pulled rather than repaired. Lastly, it was considered by many that it was prideful to smile.

(P.S. The photos above are of my family. The first is my great-great-grandparents on their wedding day. The second is of my great-grandfather and his 21 siblings. Good looking folks ;)

Do you think smiling is vain?

Smiling is a natural occurrence when we are joyful or excited, and joy in the Lord is a very good thing. 
"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." ~ Proverbs 17:22

I really don't believe that smiling in photos is vain, but my caution might come if you wrestle with the temptation of building a haughty spirit. You might think to yourself, "I am the prettiest gal; I take the best photos," or "I want everyone to comment and 'like' this photo on facebook." Ask yourself if posting the photo is for self-glorification. I enjoy seeing photos of modestly fashionable ladies and agree that uploading a photo of yourself is not exemplifying a haughty spirit, but if you are posting a self-taken photo of yourself every two hours, then I encourage you to examine your heart and see if pride has taken root.

"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."
~ Proverbs 16:18

Now you might be thinking, "Abby, I avoid cameras as MUCH as I can. I don't like them!"

Cameras are definitely not something to fear. There are many occasions when a group photo might be taken and your family and friends want you to join in. They want you to be a part of the memory. So jump in and smile pretty! It's more awkward to have to be coerced into taking a photo.

Tips on taking a good photo!

Though you may not be oh-so-cute as my niece Lacie, anyone can be "photogenic"! All it takes is keeping a few things in mind before the camera flashes.

  1. Posture, posture, posture! The way you stand or sit is VERY important -- keep your shoulders back, yet look natural. Avoid posture that alludes to lustful ambitions, i.e., making your body look like a rag doll.
  2. Give your hair a little boost just before the photo is taken.
  3. Eyes bright and cheerful! You can tell a lot from what your eyes say. Avoid the sultry eyes.
  4. Decide if you want to do a full smile, a grin, or just a relaxed pleasant lip. 
  5. If you don't like being in photos by yourself, grab a friend. (Sisters work well, too! ;)

Don't forget to say CHEESE!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Young Style

Out and About

Out and About

Out and About

Out and About

Keeping age-appropriate can be hard in a world of mature women's clothing. It seems culture is increasingly trying to tell us that girls can't just be girls and everyone should look 25, no matter if you are 14 or 41.

As you enter into your teen years, it can be a fun time of playing with color, patterns, and shapes! Your body does a lot of growing, so don't be frustrated when your oh-so-perfect dress doesn't fit next season. Though it is a fun time of experimenting with fashion, be cautious about taking things overboard. Choose garments that highlight your God-given beauty rather than distract.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Buy of the Week!

Adding a bit of lovely to your most basic outfits can cheer up your appearance. If you're like me and you like earrings, but you don't have pierced ears, looking for fun clip-ons can be tricky. Here are some links to what I've found online:

Find your snazzy earbobs and have fun with accessorizing!

**Please note that not all items from this store are recommended by SnP. Happy Shopping, but be mindful of what you purchase as an ambassador of Christ!**

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lip Balm Recipes

Yesterday, Abby talked about "dressing" your lips to keep them from getting dry and chapped in the cooler weather. Here are some recipes for making your own lip balm at home, naturally!

Lavender Lip Balm
~4 tablespoons jojoba, almond, or olive oil
~1 tablespoon grated beeswax or beeswax pearls
~1 teaspoon honey
~1/4 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
~7 or 8 drops lavender essential oil
~1 teaspoon natural lipstick, optional (this is if you want a hint of color)
~container for the lip balm

1. Warm the oil, beeswax, and honey (on very low heat) in a small stainless steel pot. Stir until the beeswax is completely melted.
2. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in Vitamin E oil, essential oil, and lipstick.
3. Place lip balm in your container and allow to set for 3 hours.

Chocolate Mint Lip Balm 
~1 tablespoon grated beeswax or beeswax pearls
~1/8 cup coconut oil
~1/2 tablespoon shea butter
~1/2 tablespoon cocoa butter
~1/2 teaspoon honey
~1 teaspoon cocoa powder
~1/8 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
~3 drops peppermint essential oil
~container for the lip balm

1.Place the shea and cocoa butters in a small pot, and add the coconut oil. Heat over VERY low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beeswax and stir well. 
2. After the beeswax has completely melted, remove the mixture from the heat and add the essential oil, honey, Vitamin E, and cocoa powder, whisking well the whole time. 
3. After everything is incorporated and smooth, transfer to your container and allow to set for 3 hours.

"And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself."
~Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dress Your Lips

As the season changes, you might be experiencing the pain of chapped lips. Wearing something to protect your lips is smart, but ending up looking like a scarlet woman is not.

Lip balm is appropriate for all ages; using lipstick requires more discretion. Here are some tips to help you choose how to dress your lips.

I love this stuff. I have to wear it continually through the fall and winter or my lips will crack and be rather painful. A clear or very pale pink is appropriate for all ages. My favorites are Burt's Bees as they have natural healing qualities and come in many sheer shades.

Lip Gloss

Lip gloss is my easy fix for days when I don't want to put on makeup. It brightens my face and protects my lips. It comes in many fun colors, but should be treated more as a lipstick rather than a balm.

Select a color that complements your countenance for a natural look. A bolder color would be appropriate for a young woman for a more dressy affair. Ask your parents for guidance if you are not yet wearing makeup. 


Overdone and you can look like a less-than-virtuous woman; balanced appropriately, lipstick can add a fun pizazz! The key to wearing a bold lipstick is keeping your other makeup minimal and natural. Lipstick will make you look older, so don't wear it if you are in your teens. It will make you look clownish.

Selecting the right color and type can be tricky. Visit your local mall and try on sample colors to find your perfect shade. Darker colors are for fall and winter, lighter tones for spring and summer.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

F.S.~ A Glance Back at Summer


  As we welcome in the autumn season and all the wonderful sights, sounds, and scents that it brings, we take a look back at the Finishing School topics we have covered through the summer.

In July, it was handwritten notes.

    Picture a woman seated at a desk, her skirt flowing around her, the inkwell open before her, and a quill pen in her hand as she begins to write a letter. The pen against the paper makes a scratching sound with each stroke, indicating the thought that passes from author to paper and soon to recipient. Perhaps her face is in her hand and she gazes into space searching for the appropriate words to express her feelings. 

    That sounds lovely, but how often do we find ourselves in such a position? It is true that quill pens and flowing skirts are not as common as they once were, but the handwritten note is equally as elegant and lovely today as it was when Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy quarreled about true reputations. 

In August it was RSVP...R├ępondezs’il vou plait.

  • If a response card is included, return it within a few days of receiving the invitation. 
  • If there is a phone number or e-mail address for RSVP, respond likewise within a few days of receiving the invitation. Remember that leaving a message is never a guarantee that your response will be received. 
  • If there is simply RSVP, return a handwritten note within a few days.
  • When there is not RSVP, it is still courteous to respond.

Next in August it was The Hostess with the Mostess and Emily Post's "Six Ways to Be a Good Host."

1) Invite clearly.

2) Plan well.
3) Remain calm.
4) Keep your guests feeling welcome.
5) Be flexible and gracious.
6) Be appreciative.

Finally, the last post of the summer was handshakes.

  • A man shakes another man's hand firmly.
  • A woman shakes a man's hand by offering hers palm down, and the man takes only her fingers and squeezes gently before releasing.
  • It is a woman's place to extend her hand to a man.
  • Eye contact is important.

Autumn brings a new set of Finishing School posts!

P.S. Like the new banner? :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

As I Grow

A recent birthday got me thinking about how much I have changed over the past five years. Relationships, likes, dislikes, personal style, goals, dreams, and priorities have changed. I feel so blessed to have accomplished many goals. Some goals and dreams I once had now seem silly; some I still long to see happen.

It's strange to watch a football game and see that many of the players are younger than I, but I don't feel older. When I was little, I would cry when I thought about growing up. When I was 16, I thought I had "arrived" and everything after that would just fall in place. 

And then life keeps on going.

You lose loved ones. You meet new kindred spirits! Old secrets are revealed. Your knowledge of sin and grace deepens. Ideas are birthed, and you just stand back and wonder how did it happen. How did I become who I am today?

I've written many times on Silk and Purple about identity. I had an "identity crisis" (in which many would say it really wasn't much of a crisis at all) when I was about 13, and I seem to be entering into a new smaller one now. Never did I think I would be teaching art to 100 students, and never did I think as a child that I would be writing for you to be reading this. My plans consisted of being a ballet teacher and a young wife, with a bed and breakfast, by the age of 23. Well, unless God does some MAJOR adjustments in the next 11 months, I don't see these things happening by 23. :)

Am I okay with this?

I am -- not because I think I'm doing something far nobler and serving God greater than a young bride or ballet dancer can. It's because I have learned I have a faithful God who withholds no good thing in His fullness of time. I am utterly reliant upon His plan -- in education, matrimony, children, and the caring of aging parents some day. Some days I wish He would let me see His map, but then I think about 14-year-old me and how overwhelmed she would be to meet the 22-year-old me today.

These young-woman thoughts regarding the future are nothing new. People have been thinking "what is to become of me" for thousands of years. I will share with you what I would tell my younger self, if I could, and perhaps you will glean something from the young 22's thoughts.

Dear Past Me,

This is you. Don't freak out... well maybe just a little. I've been thinking about us and how we have grown and thought you might enjoy some advice. You're going to find these things out along the way, but why not get a head start?
  • You will always burn the second batch of cookies. Just learn to love them. ;)
  • Don't be afraid to be weak. Your strength can only be true in Christ.
  • Try new foods, no matter how crazy they are.
  • Keep laughing as you learn to love hard work.
  • There is a difference between talent and determination. If they work together, you can accomplish much.
  • People are going to hound you for not having run after good-looking guys. They are going to think you are strange because you aren't on the college scene, and, at times, you may even wonder if you're making the right choices. Block out those doubts and keep steady at the tasks the Lord has set before you.
  • You don't have to have all the answers. Seek wisdom.
  • Speak more gently when talking with your siblings and pray for them more.
  • Your favorite color will change a million times, so don't paint your room lime green. :)
  • Read more classics and learn more about finance and business. You're going to need to know that stuff.
  • You are no judge. You can't even judge yourself.
  • Live your life with this verse as your banner: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."
The last piece of advice is the most important one. He is ALWAYS faithful. Keep discovering who your Bridegroom is and He will make Himself known to you.

Your future you,

P.S. There is life after wisdom teeth removal.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pumpkin Quesadillas

Fall is just around the corner, and I am already thinking about ways I can use my favorite fall fruit...pumpkin! So here is a unique recipe using pumpkin that you can eat for lunch or dinner.

Pumpkin Goat Cheese Quesadillas 

~1 cup pureed pumpkin
~1/2 to 1 teaspoon cumin
~8 gluten-free rice tortillas, or flour tortillas
~4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
~olive or grapeseed oil

1. Mix pumpkin and cumin.
2. Spread pumpkin mixture over tortillas and sprinkle with goat cheese.
3. Cook quesadillas in oil evenly on both sides.
4. Cut into wedges and serve with lettuce and sour cream.


"What is the secret to great living? Entire separation to Christ and devotion to Him. Thus speaks every man and woman whose life made more than a flicker in the spiritual realm. It is the life that has no time for trifling that counts."
Amy Carmichael  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Question & Answer

Q: Do you ever allow guest posts?
A: Absolutely! We love guest posts. Simply email Abby with your submission. Please know that the post will be looked over by our fabulous editor. We do reserve the right to makes changes to a post, or not post at all, if it does not uphold the same values as Silk and Purple.

Send your posts in! We would LOVE to read them!!

Q: How can I get involved with Silk and Purple?
A: If the Lord is calling you to invest some of your talents in Silk and Purple, then please contact us. Maybe you would like to pray with us or help us share Silk and Purple to reach more young ladies. Or if you are looking to become more deeply involved, you might fit in as a regular contributing writer, a graphic artist, or be a part of our marketing team. Or maybe you're a savvy shopper and like sharing style ideas! 

As the brain child of Abby so many years ago, the one thing she has learned is she can't do it alone! We would so appreciate your involvement!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Souls in Fashion

If you've been on the Internet or tuned in to any news lately, you probably know that this week has been New York Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2013.

So many people -- the super famous, the artists, the media, the models, the buyers, and even the ticket takers -- gathered in one place to celebrate the artistry of style and fashion. The world has its eye on this special week in the Big Apple and waits with anticipation for photos, reviews, and fads.

The people who gather at this event make the decisions today about what we'll be wearing tomorrow, and their inspirations will infiltrate our lives in more ways than what we might think. We could get angry and say all their "art" is trash (and there are plenty of items that would better have a place in the burn pile), but our anger toward their artistic expressions will not change the fact that all these people are souls bound for eternity, just as you and I.

Where their souls are destined brings me to tears. Now, I'm not saying that all involved are destined for eternity without Christ, but largely, as I observe their actions, it's pretty easy to see whether or not they're showing fruits of the Christian walk. Overwhelmingly, I see vanity, lust, greed, idolatry, and pride as the pinnacles to the fashion god's temple.

These souls need Jesus! So how can we slander and become angry? Our hearts should break for them. No, we shouldn't follow them, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't interact with them. We should follow Christ and lead them to Him. My heart mourns to see so much creativity and striving for beauty in so many people, yet they don't even recognize the God who gave them the ability to create!

Take some time in your prayer life for these souls. Think of a creative way to spread Christ's love to them! Write prayers and periodically send them to a famous designer or celebrity, or encourage them through their instagrams or twitter feeds. Or if the Lord calls you to become a fashion designer, design for HIS glory and lead hearts to HIM!

"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Top Trend Colors ~ Warm

I love it when the season changes. Here are some of the most trending colors on the warm side of the color wheel! 

Take a look and see how you can add them to your personal style.




Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Food Memes

I found these memes and thought we could all use a little laughter today! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Makeup Musings

Let's face it. We don't have flawless skin like the airbrushed divas on the covers of InStyle or Vogue. Maybe you feel your skin is a zit factory or maybe you have the occasional Rudolph-the-Red-Pimpled-Nosed-Reindeer syndrome.

Finding the right foundation is essential. Today I'm going to tell you about my favorite foundation, suitable whether you have oily, dry, or normal skin.

Mineral Foundation

I've been using this for years. I can go lighter or heavier, depending on the coverage I'll need for the day. Minerals are so easy on your skin and help nourish rather than just cover. (You can even sleep in them!) Finding the right mineral and color is the trick, so don't be surprised if you have to try a few different types to find your fit. Here are some of my favorite brands at different prices. Check these out with the links below.

If you have dry skin, be sure to apply your moisturizer before foundation.

I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

F.S.~ Handshakes

In America, shaking hands is a typical greeting, especially between men. However, it is also appropriate between a man and a woman. It is important to know that men and women shake hands differently. In today's society, men and women meet in business environments that differ from past experiences, thus creating confusion regarding introductions.

 It was 1871 and the noon stage had just arrived with a cloud of dust in the quaint and busy town. The stairs were put down and a woman stepped out. Her gown was blue and trimmed with lace. A hat with a feather shaded her dark brown hair that was caught up in a twist. The townspeople looking on found themselves unable to stop staring. A gentleman came forward and offered to take her bag.
 "You must be from the ranch," she asked sweetly. "Mitchell?" 
"Yes, ma'am, I'm to take you to meet the family." 
She extended her small hand, and he gently shook it, "Pleased to meet you, ma'am." 
"Pleased to meet you, Mr. Mitchell."

   In contrast, men and women of today meet in conference rooms, dressed in suits, negotiating new ideas. Therefore, the line that once divided manners between men and manners from men to women, has faded.                 

A man shakes another man's hand firmly.

    It's a bit different for a woman. When you are introduced to a man, it is your place to extend your hand. This is especially true in the Southeast, and it is considered rude for the man to extend his first. It is the lady's choice whether or not she wants to shake hands. While men grip tightly, palm to palm, a woman should extend her hand palm downward, and the man should take only her fingers in his hand and squeeze gently before releasing.

     Eye contact is very important in order to insure your undivided attention. Eye contact also communicates trust and confidence.

    While many people will say that these guidelines are archaic, they are traditions that were set by people who took manners seriously and they are worth consideration. While women have entered into realms that typically belonged to men, femininity is something to treasure. Shaking hands in the proper manner is a way to preserve that treasure. Society can only be enriched by practicing the specific manners and social graces of the past.