I began this blog as part of a school assignment for the study-abroad.  I hesitated doing it for a long time.  I was not sure I wanted people to read my feelings and know my inner thoughts.  I also come from a generation where sharing everything is foreign, (no pun intended), so this seems like a loss of privacy, and to a degree, it is.  And what about the criticism I might receive?  How would I handle that?

However, once I started writing I realized that sharing what I thought could benefit others. So, I write this blog with some trepidation.  You will get my honest raw opinion, and perhaps details you might prefer not to read.  I take copious notes.  I tried not to be so detailed in my writing, but that wasn’t working.  I have decided being detailed is who I am. The details are what I see, it’s what I always notice.

I won’t cover every day of the study abroad in this blog, but focus on our visits and activities in France and Italy.  Later I may post about our visits in Scotland and England.  I will focus my thoughts on faith, food, and fashion as my title states.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I am also a convert to the church.  I became a member at age 19 in my home state of Pennsylvania.  Joining the church is one of the best decisions I have ever made and put me on a journey I could never have imagined.  I grew up Catholic and have strong opinions from my own experience.  I often address the Lord’s tender mercies in these entries through the instruments in His hands—usually other people.  I believe in God.  I know He answers prayers (not always in the way we had hoped), and I know He is in the details of our lives.  He lives, and so does His Son, Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer.

love food!  I have always loved to cook and create in the kitchen, arrange, decorate, and, especially, eat food. This has rubbed off on one of my daughters who is a food blogger.  You will find some of our family recipes and the history behind the recipes on her blog as well as her own simple, easy, and delicious creations.  But my passion is mealtime.  One of the reasons I went on this study-abroad is because I want to teach students how they can keep their families together with good food and regular mealtimes.  I have found that anything is bearable with good food and conversion.  I wrote a paper about some of my food experiences in Paris and Florence which I’ll link here.  The biking food tour was my favorite activity.

Although I am not a fashion guru, nor a Fashion Design student, what I have learned about the industry on this study abroad was fascinating, and I especially loved seeing where it all began in Paris.  Some of the walking tours were particularly informative and I liked being able to see some of the couture houses, and the stores of present-day famous designers.  I particularly enjoyed hearing the history behind the couture houses and designers.  In Italy I gained real appreciation for the artisanship of fashion design.

I hope by the time you are done reading my blog you will consider the BYU Fashion and Design in Europe study-aboard.  Save your money and do it when you’re young!  What you learn is amazing, and may be what you need to learn to expand your mind and your heart.

I want to thank all those that made this study aboard possible: Brigham Young University (BYU) and my Directors Dr. Dawna Baugh and Natalie Hannock.  Dr.Baugh has expertise in the textile and fashion industry and teaches amazing clothing construction techniques.  Any fashion design student would do well to take her classes.  Natalie, the Director of the Family and Consumer Sciences major, stayed up many hours to book appointments for us before our departure.  She also navigated 25 of us through cities and train stations daily.  Because of her efforts and Dr. Baugh’s we were able to visit and see amazing works of art and learn and see fashion history where it started and where it is today as well as attend a cooking class.  I plan on bringing everything I learned about fashion and food to my classroom.

Last, but not least, I want to thank my husband Phil for helping me with this blog and being my editor.  He has spent countless hours teaching and tutoring me about blogging.  If you are a techie and you want to follow an expert blogger in that industry follow him at Technometria.