Good morning all! Today is July 1st–a brand new month–and I have a question for you: HOW WILL YOU LIVE BEAUTIFULLY IN JULY? Seriously, I would love to know! It has been my goal for the past year to inspire YOU to live with purpose, faith and beauty–but the thing is…blogs are so one sided. There’s no “response blog” for me to check the progress. 🙂

So please share with me your plans. Is it a recipe? A fashion trend (are you loving navy and white like me!!!???) or some sweet new seedlings that have just made their home in a pot on the back patio? Whatever it is let me know.

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Speaking of navy and white, that is actually what our Style Wheel big deal is this month! This color combination is always so refreshing and seems to cut through the oppressive heat of Texas Summers. I must give you a sneak peak of one of my favorite pieces: these white jeans from West and Lou are my new favorite staple and an official part of my Summer uniform. They are high waisted (fun trend) and have holes ripped in the knee (I’m so hard core.) FYI: if you prefer a more traditional style without the holes, they’ve got them, too! Grab this Palm cropped top while you’re at it!

Add a pop of red, with your Navy and White and you’re all set for the 4th of July festivities!

the art of living beautifully, navy and white, summer fashion, white jeans, palm trees

Question: what do you think of the picture??? Our sweet and talented Patrizia is out of town in Italy for 2 1/2 months (lucky duck) so my other favorite photog, Corrie Barto,  is filling in for the Summer. She took beautiful pix of the fashion and food for July (see more below) but she actually specializes in senior portraits. I had the pleasure of working with Corrie in June, and styled her Senior Spokesmodel shoot. So fun!

My potager garden is doing incredible! I don’t have any veggies yet, but lots in the making, and to be honest, I can’t believe everything is still alive! Every morning the boys and I go out to check progress and water. They end up getting in some sort of water shenanigans with the hose, or play hopscotch on the garden path while I drink my coffee and bask in the pleasure of not killing the vegetation. Go me! I’m shocked to say this, but our time in my potager garden is very treasured. Y’all, I think my black thumb is turning a bit green!

a teeny tiny tomato

a teeny tiny tomato

 

My verse for the month is Mark 5:36.

Jesus said…”Do not fear, only believe.”

Last Friday we were told my father has to have open heart surgery, his second in eight years. In two days time we will take him to the hospital to undergo a four hour surgery where the doctors will perform 5 bypasses on his genetically diseased heart. You can imagine the anxiety my family and I have felt about this news, and the fear and ‘what ifs’ circulating through our brains like a mocking bully. At church on Sunday, this verse from the Gospel of Mark was the very first scripture we read, and I have no doubt it was a message from the Lord, meant to calm my anxiety and strengthen my faith.

Daddy and me on Father's Day

Daddy and me on Father’s Day

This verse is so relevant to many other scenarios, so whatever challenges you are facing this month (both known and unknown) I hope this verse will bring you peace.

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I haven’t highlighted a woman of faith in almost a year–last time was my piece on Anne Neilson–so, I am excited to tell you I am currently working on a post about McKinney’s own Sharla Bush of Sharla’s Boutique. I know you will enjoy hearing Sharla’s story of faith and fashion…and she was gracious enough to share with us her famous chocolate cupcake recipe–and yes, you must sift the flour FOUR TIMES!

cupcake, sharla's, chocolate, the art of living beautifully

Oh! And I have some cool news: I will be doing cooking demonstrations on July 11 and July 25 at 1:00 PM at Oil and Vinegar! This culinary gift shop has been one of my favorite spots since I began cooking in 2004. They carry a variety of delicious sauces, marinades, imported olive oils and vinegars, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity! Here is a peak of the two dishes I will be preparing.

the art of living beautifully, chicken tagine, moroccan food, shiskabob, grill, summer food the art of living beautifully, steak, grill, cous cous, panzanella, summer food

I’ll be teaching at the Watters Creek Location in Allen and the Shops at Legacy location in Plano–more details to come. I hope you will stop by and see me!

Friends, have a blessed July–and don’t forget to comment below some of your plans to live beautifully this month! xo

 

-ciao for now-

lauren

photo credit: Corrie Barto

 

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