Sense Appeal XXXI


Hi everyone!

Bringing the sense appeal series back to BOD for old time's sake (and because it's all I got time for.) Enjoy!

for the eyes:
I was hired as the on-site photographer for the occasion. Job perk included being in on the secret before all the other sibs.

My middle brother, James Joseph Jr., proposed to his bride-to-be Laura this weekend. She's goodness on the inside and gorgeous on the outside.

So thrilled to call her sister!

While I'm at it, huge congrats to my high school bestie, Juj and her Justin, who will wed this fall. And a very marry Christmas to come for Matt and college bestie, Olivia, set to do the same in December. Photo ops here and here.

for the mind:
I've always identified with introverts. It's funny because I spent high school cheering in front of large crowds and cherish my college memories from rush. Still, I recharged on my own, processing those extroverted experiences by posting about them, like here and here.

What I've come to realize is that while I am no extrovert, I often confused being extremely introspective with introversion. I need to pause; I need to process; but, I also need my people.

Similarly, I find collective experiences with little interaction to be a calming happy medium between the two extremes. Skiing provides this. So does cooking, reading or playing cards. I discovered it this weekend while riding bikes through Buffalo Bayou with William. The trail isn't wide enough for two, so one by one we enjoyed the company close-by along with the solitude of our own thoughts.

for the ears:
These two TED talks tie into my above observations:

"The good life is built with good relationships."
While time spent alone and in reflection recharges us, it is our close, quality relationships--with family, God, friends and significant others--that count the most in our lives. This held true in recent conversations with my grandma, Marmie, and grandpa, Grandpa. When asked a series of these questions, they both lit up most when talking about their loved one.

Marmie recounted the travels she and her husband, my Bobo, shared--to Acapulco, London and New York City.
Grandpa grinned as he reminisced spotting Lu, my grandma, for the first time in a long black dress.

We get lost in the moments with the ones we love, not in our own heads, something Matt Killingsworth is into:

"Maybe, to really be happy, we need to stay completely immersed and focused on our experience in the moment."

Completely focused on finishing this post, I'm really happy right here, right now.

fashion for feel:
The Runaway fit - on sale now in select sizes!

When I visited MK in NYC, I regretted not purchasing a pair of flares I tried on. When Annie (blogger bestie-more below!) mentioned she bought a pair of Mothers at this boutique, it felt fated I buy these at the same spot to make up for passing those up last fall. They're the perfect fit, shade of blue and got their first wear that very night.

for taste:
So this is kind of embarrassing, but I'm willing to share it with this audience only because you know it's happening anyway:

Blogger bestie Annie (of Take A Bite) and I met halfway between our hometowns--Oklahoma City for her and Houston for me. She documented the twenty-four hour trip in full here, but I can't resist sharing a few "bites" of our Dallas dining experiences.

We started with a mezze style Greek lunch accompanied by a rosé that tasted much better than it looked.

dedicated to our hostess at the Halliday Inn, Nico
That night, we headed to HG SPLY CO., high on her list of to-eats, and went bowl for bowl.

sweet granola // savory avo toast with perfectly poached eggs
And the next morning, we bid adieu to our blogging bestie weekend with what I deemed the best cup of coffee I'd ever had at Ascension. Breakfast wasn't half bad either, as you can see.

May you have a happy Easter in the faithful love of your family, friends and loved ones. A final reminder from Blessed is She during this holiest week:

He did it out of love for us. Let what you do this week be out of love for Him. For it is all that matters.


3, 2, 1


I have always known the rule of thirds where decorating is concerned. Proof is here in a piece I contributed with the Camille Styles team; number five of my fifteen designer tips to styling a coffee table: three's company.

Supposedly it holds true in writing, too. The principle that listing or describing things in threes is simply more satisfying, effective and well-balanced than any other number.

I have three sisters. Three brothers too.

Last year, I added three baby boys to my nephew count. My best friendships have always come in threes:

In high school, me, Amy and Makenna were attached at the hip. Quite literally here.

I found myself in a three-girl room at Hardin House freshman year of college. There, I found my very best friend.

Senior year, it was me, Nicole and Olivia living on Longview. These were some of my happiest homes and best years to date.

I failed to realize the recurring theme the number three had in my life until recently. It started with Lent, when instead of making one sacrifice, I opted for the 1-1-1 approach. You give up something. you work on something; you do something.

It resurfaced when, winding down at the end of my run, I literally ran into a meeting for writers at my neighborhood church. I decided to stay. The speaker provided insight from her book: Pause Pray Play. She explains the three steps that led her to a more fulfilled life. From there, I noticed the number more and more, here and there, and kind of everywhere.

cards from katie & CO., local Houston paper and invitation shop
I found it in little things like the number of congratulatory cards I had to purchase for people I love celebrating big things in their lives: a new job, an engagement, and a first home.

The little things helped me find it in bigger things.
It's how many words it takes to express some of our most profound feelings: I miss you, I love you, I am sorry.
It's the count that divides a day with morning, noon and night.
It's the count the divides a lifetime with past, present and future.
It's the amount of names we are given.
It's the number of items I list in my gratitude journal every night.
It's the number of words in a devotional site, Blessed Is She, my mom discovered and shared with her daughters.

These three words also start the verse that a fellow blogger, former co-worker and close friend, Jessi, shared with her followers recently. I could be forcing dots to connect or making something out of nothing but pure coincidence. But, Jessi also shared something her grandfather always says,
"When God speaks, he speaks in threes."
So, I'm convinced it's not pure coincidence and like decor and like writing, God decided there was something beautiful, balanced and fulfilling about things in threes and wanted to show me that.

I have certainly seen it and had to share it with all of you. May it motivate you to become a little more aware of the significance behind things that are seemingly insignificant.