Thursday, December 26, 2013

Oh really? Wow!

With the major holidays over, the majority of my family now knows of my impending departure to the Land Down Under.  What are the most common comments I’ve heard?  “Oh wow, what made you decide to move there?”  “I’ve always wanted to go there!”  And then something along the lines of, “you’re going to meet an Australian man and we’ll never see you again.”  Of all the places I’ve gone this destination is definitely the one that seems to be on everyone’s bucket list.  Oddly enough, it’s actually NOT on my bucket list of countries to visit.  I figured it was (because I mean, it’s Australia – where else can you visit a continent that’s a country as well??), but when I looked through my list it wasn’t….  Oh well, I can still cross it off as a continent and a country.  My favorite is when my aunt asked why I was moving there and I told her I had a visa and she replied, “well so do I, but I usually use mine at Walmart.” At the end of the day, I just can't believe how blessed I am to have such a supportive family - do they want me gone?  Definitely not, but  they're willing to send me off with their blessing...

What's your favorite remark when you've told someone of your travel plans?

question (noun)
1.  a sentence in an interrogative form, addressed to someone inorder to get information in reply.
2.  a problem for discussion or under discussion; a matter for investigation.

question (verb - used with object)
1.  to ask (someone) a question; ask questions of; interrogate.
2.  to ask or inquire.
3.  to make a question of; doubt: He questioned her sincerity.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Intangible Gifts (a.k.a. Charitable Donations)

You've got office coworkers to buy for and you don't know what to get them.  Or maybe you're just tired of buying people stuff you know they don't need, but you've got to get them something.  There are tons of things on the interwebs about giving donations to charities in lieu of tangible Christmas gifts.  So how do you tactfully tell someone that's what you did?  I searched the internet, and couldn't come up with anything.  *If you've found a site/blog let me know!  I thought it was weird - everyone telling you to make a charitable donation instead of giving a gift, but no one would tell me how to tell my recipient they weren't actually getting a gift.  So I had to take matters into my own hands. 

With a little creativity, and some time, I was able to come up with some little "poems" to include in a Christmas card for the recipient.  I wanted the somewhat impersonal aspect of a charitable donation to feel like it was actually meant for them.  With the hundreds upon hundreds of charities out there, it's easy to find one to represent everyone!  One of my coworkers is a huge dog lover, so a local animal shelter was a no-brainer for her.  My boss coaches baseball for all his kids (and basketball), so I knew something sports themed would work perfectly for him.   My other coworker was a bit more difficult, but as you can tell from her poem, just a little outside-the-box thinking made hers personalized as well.

I added a little strip of paper with an explanation of the
work the charity does....

It doesn't have to be fancy, you can just write it on the
top of a Christmas card....

"It's Christmas time once again, we all struggle with what to send.
So with some premeditation, I've made a charitable donation.
Since you long to visit Machu Picchu, I thought an alpaca in Peru
would make a great gift for you."

As I'm sure you've gathered I'm not going to win any awards with this, but I think it got the idea across.  I hope this helps get your creative juices flowing when it comes time to write your own cards.  I'll let you know how my coworkers react :)

intangible (adjective)

1. not tangible; incapable of being perceived by the sense of touch, as incorporeal or immaterial things; impalpable.
2. not definite or clear to the mind: intangible arguments.
3. (of an asset) existing only in connection with something else, as the goodwill of a business.

4. something intangible, especially an intangible asset: Intangibles are hard to value.

One Giant Leap

Well, I did it.  I'm moving to Australia.  After contemplating and researching for so long it all happened a bit fast in the end.  I decided to do a booking with First Abroad for their Absolute Oz Jobs program.  They'd help me with a bank account, place to stay for my first week, job search database, figure out my phone/SIM card situation - all those things that I could do myself but could probably do faster with them.  So I booked that and realized that ticket prices weren't going to get any cheaper.  Every time I checked they had gone up and if I'd booked my Oz Jobs program I'd better buy a ticket because March was coming up fast!  So, on my 25th birthday I bought a ticket to Sydney.

I'll be honest, I'm a bit terrified sometimes at the prospect.  And yes, sometimes I just try not to think about it at all...  Everyone asks me why I'm going and I don't really have one good, solid reason why.  I have tons of reasons, lots of little things and thoughts that added together made me take this leap.  But one good reason?  Nope.  So I just tell people I'm going because I can.  And that's partly true, so I just leave it at that. 

Move (verb)

1. to pass from one place or position to another.
2. to go from one place of residence to another.
3. to advance or progress
4. to have a regular motion, as an implement or a machine; turn; revolve.
5. to sell or be sold

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Open Doors

Moving halfway around the world is a bit terrifying when you contemplate doing it alone. 
BUT, I don’t want to stay in PA because of fear.  Fear of going alone, fear of not knowing anyone on the whole continent, fear of regret if I don’t go, fear of a lost reputation.  I travel, that’s what I’m known for and that’s what I love – so if I don’t go, what does that mean?  I also don’t want to go simply out of pride.  I’ve told people I was planning on going and I don’t want to be that person who always talks big and never does anything.  I told some friends about it a few weeks ago and one of them said, “oh she talks about moving overseas all the time and never does”.  I’ll be honest, that hurt.  And then I had to ask myself, do I really do that?  Do I always talk about moving overseas and never move?  I’ll admit that I talk about wanting to move overseas, but I never really had a plan to do it….  This time it feels different because I’ve sort of got a plan, a plan that doesn’t hinge on the job I’ve applied for 3 times and for which I am still technically waiting on a response. 
It was so encouraging to have friends at prayer meeting last night asking God to give me wisdom as I try to decide whether He would have me go.  That doors would open or close as He sees fit and that if He has bigger and better plans for me that I’d know it....  I’m just not sure I’d know what an open door from God feels like. 



Door (noun)

1.  a movable, usually solid, barrier for opening and closing an entranceway, cupboard, cabinet, or the like, commonly turning on hinges or sliding in grooves.
2.  a doorway: to go through the door.
3.  any means of approach, admittance, or access: the doors to learning.
4.  any gateway marking an entrance or exit from one place or state to another: at heaven's door

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Health-Nut Oatmeal Muffins

I've been working with this recipe from Sugar-Free Mom (that I found on Pinterest) for quite a while now and decided I'd share my tweaks with you all.  She calls them Personal Sized Baked Oatmeal, but I only ever make them as muffins (they make a great snack at work).  Sadly, she takes much better photo's than I do....  The recipe is great as is, but I didn't really like the banana taste and wanted to make it a bit healthier so here's what I've got.  The original recipe is really easy to adapt - so go for it!

1/4 cup of Chia Seeds
1/2 cup of water
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups of applesauce (unsweetened) *I used home-made
**you can add some shredded zucchini if you like, decrease the amount of milk if you do
1/2 cup of honey (I usually use a bit less)
2 cups of rolled oats
2 cups of cooked quinoa *I usually cook mine the night before or use leftovers
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup of flax meal
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 ¾ cups milk
1/2 cup chopped nuts (whatever kind you like)
10-12 oz. dark chocolate chips


  1. Mix your chia seeds and water together in a bowl and let sit (stir occasionally so they're evenly soaked).
  2. Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, and honey together in a bowl (you would add your shredded zucchini now if you want - I've used frozen & fresh).
  3. Add in oats, quinoa, chia seeds, salt, baking powder, flax and cinnamon  - mix well with wet ingredients.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Pour in your milk and mix well to combine everything - don't worry, the batter will look runny.
  6. Add in your chopped nuts & chocolate chips (you could also use fresh, frozen, or dried fruit too).
  7. Put your cupcake liners in your muffin tin (spray with cooking spray if not using liners). This recipe usually makes about 24-30 muffins.
  8. Use a 1/4 measuring cup to fill your muffin cups - they don't raise, so fill them full.
  9. Bake for about 32 minutes or so.
  10. Cool for about 5 minutes and take out of the pans (I've found that if you let them cool in the pan too much condensation builds up).
I make a batch and keep 5-6 in the fridge for the week (I take them to work for a healthy snack) and freeze the rest, taking out 5 more every Monday morning until they're gone.  Enjoy!  

Muffin (noun)

An individual cup-shaped quick bread made with wheat flour, cornmeal, or the like and baked in a pan (muffin pan) containing a series of cuplike forms

Monday, October 21, 2013

Don't Wait...

My mind is running in a thousand directions. Granted that's probably an exaggeration, but my thoughts really are all over the place. I've basically been sitting around for the last...I don't know year or so waiting to find someone to travel with me. After many failed attempts, I decided that since I couldn't travel I should work on my degree. So although the year hasn't been a total waste (I've almost got 3 classes finished this year towards a degree - of course I haven't decided on a major yet, but that's a story for another post), I haven't really traveled since my sister and I went to Thailand in 2011. We took a super short trip to Panama last year, but it was so short it almost doesn't count. I'm so, so glad we did go though, because now that she's married (and kids will probably soon be on the way), that very well might be the last trip we take together for a very long time.

All this non-travel is getting to me and starting to make me irritated, well, maybe restless is a better word. I've been reading quite a few blog posts lately and I'm really starting to think that I'm going to have to go it alone. As one of the blogs pointed out to me (Twenty-Something Travel), if your only alternative is not traveling then you'd better go solo. That fact, plus finding out about house sitting and Australia & New Zealand Holiday Visas, made me really think that I couldn't keep waiting for someone to have the money or the time to go with me. If I wanted to travel I was gonna have to try it on my own. I'm not that outgoing or independent, and I'm sorta scared to death at the possibility of trying it on my own, but isn't this what my blog is about? Doing things on purpose?! There are a hundred reasons to wait - a friend might finally be able to go with me, I have a good job I'd have to quit, I will really miss my family... The list could go on and on...but as Steph from "Twenty-Something Travel" said, "Don't wait for someone else to make your life happen. Go out and earn it yourself."

Pithy Quotes & Such

I love quotes and witty sayings - I appreciate the wisdom of others.  
Here are some I stumbled upon recently and thought I'd share - I've done my best to give credit:

wisdom (noun)

the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


I'm taking a government class this semester, so it's been quite interesting so far, especially with the whole shutdown.  I understand some of both sides of the argument, but this is one of the best articles I've read about the "who's fault is it?" question. 

Hopefully you'll take some time to read it, regardless of party affiliation: Who Shut Down the Government

govern (verb)

1. to rule over by right of authority: to govern a nation.
2. to exercise a directing or restraining influence over; guide: the motives governing a decision.
3. to hold in check; control: to govern one's temper.
4. to serve as or constitute a law for: the principles governing a case.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Don't Waste Your Life

 My CLC (Christian Living Class) at church is doing a study using the book by John Piper "Don't Waste Your Life".  I have to admit that after finishing the book I'm now a bit surprised that I'd never read it before.  It totally fits with the the "theme" (for my momentary lack of a better word) of my blog.  I want my life to have a purpose, and therefore, I don't want to waste my life.  I still haven't quite determined if I'm currently wasting, or perhaps have wasted part of my life already.  In chapter 7 "Living to Prove He is More Precious than Life" Piper focuses on a Wartime Lifestyle and in Chapter 9 "The Majesty of Christ in Missions and Mercy - A Plea to this Generation" on missions.  Those chapters definitely stick out most in my mind.  Mostly because while doing the chapter about the Wartime Lifestyle I was also reading "Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society" which is set during WWII (you can read more about that book here).  Also, having listened to an audio book of Flyboys, I knew many more stories than John Piper quoted in the book.  Nothing gets me quite like our military and the men and women who sacrifice so much...

The chapter on Missions also struck me because I seem to have always been drawn to missions, but I've never quite known why.  Or perhaps never quite wanted to admit that one of the reasons is simply that I love to travel and to do missions requires travel.  While studying abroad at Saints Bible Institute I distinctly remember Sam Spatola telling us that if God wasn't calling us to go somewhere as missionaries, then we should go home, make lots of money, and give it to missions.  I'm not certain that I've done so well at making lots of money, but I've certainly tried my best to always give to missions.  Oh and by the way, John Piper totally agrees with Sam :)  John Piper quotes J. Campbell White about missions (it has really stuck with me):
The evangelization of the world is the only enterprise large enough and important enough to provide an adequate outlet for the Church's wealth (p 171).
Piper then goes on to say,
"We will perish with our wealth if we do not pour ourselves out in ministries of mercy at home and missions among the unreached peoples.  We are very wealthy in America.  All the money needed to send and support an army of self-sacrificing, joy-spreading ambassadors is already in the church.  But we are not giving it." (p 172)
Several of the missionaries our church supports, and many more I know personally, are under supported.  I even know a couple who had to come back to the States because they didn't have the funds to stay.  Shouldn't that break our hearts a little?  I realize that might all be part of God's plan for their lives, but it seems like a shame when the American church is more than capable of supporting them financially. 

I can definitely recommend this book, it's full of truth and has some great "lessons" that I think we could all learn.


1. to consume, spend, or employ uselessly or without adequate return; use to no avail or profit; squander: to waste money; to waste words.

2. to fail or neglect to use: to waste an opportunity.

3. to destroy or consume gradually; wear away: The waves waste the rock of the shore.

4. to wear down or reduce in bodily substance, health, or strength; emaciate; enfeeble: to be wasted by disease or hunger.

5. to destroy, devastate, or ruin: a country wasted by a long and futile war.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Guernsey Island & Vacation Reading

I've been back from vacation for what seems like months, but has sadly only been a few weeks. Vacatoins are just so wonderful, and we always have such fun, so it's quite sad to arrive home. We had some adventures taking my "toaster" down to Myrtle this year. I just don't think it likes road trips! We did, however, make the best of our mishaps, and we made lots of memories in the process.

My dear friend Emily suggested that I read Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  I will admit I almost didn't even bother because, who writes a book with such a title?  And what in the world would such a book be about?  Well, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I did a quick google search to see what the book was about before I requested if from paperbackswap.  It sounded interesting enough so I figured I'd give it a shot.  I should probably point out that although I love to read, I don't ever read while at the beach.  My cousin and my sister read the whole week long, but I'd rather walk the beach or be in the water.  For whatever reason, this year I not only took a book to read, I atually read it.  The whole thing. 

Somehow, in my google search, I didn't realize that the book is written in the form of letters.  What a neat idea.  This book (and the weather in North Myrtle) combined to make it possible for me to actually sit on the beach and read a book.  The book was just entertaining enough to keep me engaged, but also not too demanding that I couldn't put it down to go take a walk or hop in the ocean.  The story was so compelling I definitely had to remind myself at the end of the book, that it was mostly fiction.  But, Guernsey Island is real, and (I'm sure you can guess what's coming next) I want to go there!!  The island sounds so quaint and it definitely seems worth a visit to me.

So if you're looking for some beach reading, I would submit this as a perfect beach book.

Quaint (adjective)

1.  having an old-fashioned attractiveness or charm; oddly picturesque: a quaint old house.
2.  strange, peculiar, or unusual in an interesting, pleasing, or amusing way: a quaint sense of humor.
3.  skillfully or cleverly made.

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Wonderful Time of Year - Vacation

Getting ready to leave for our yearly vacation (early tomorrow morning as a matter of fact), I've been thinking about how we always go to North Myrtle.  I'm sure there are lots of reasons why my uncle chooses North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - but I don't really know many of them.  Regardless, he always rents a place there, so that's where we go :)  We know our way around and it works for us...  This article is so great Ode to the Annual Repeat Summer Vacation and I thought I'd share it with you all.  Those who return to the same location, or even the exact same house every year will probably enjoy it immensely. 

Here are two of my favorite parts, probably because I can relate to them:

"Our routine is quite simple: Swim. Nap. Eat. Rinse. Repeat. The start of the week is customarily filled with discussions of all the activities we might finally get to this year...____...but really, who are we kidding? We’re not going to do any of it."

"I’ve also learned the difference between traveling and vacationing, two words that are often used interchangeably but mean different things. A vacation typically involves travel, but travel is not always a vacation. Sometimes it’s quite the opposite—fraught with uncertainty over where to go, where to stay, what to see. Vacations are a respite from all that." 

our semi-annual, vacation photo-shoot

Beach (noun)

1.  an expanse of sand or pebbles along a shore.
2.  the part of the shore of an ocean, sea, large river, lake, etc., washed by the tide or waves.
3. the area adjacent to a seashore

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Oh the places you can go....

I'm not sure if this would really qualify as a bucket list, it's just places I would like to visit and some things I'd like to do at some point (don't worry, this is the short version *no really, it is*).
·         Walk the red carpet at a movie premiere
·         Stomp grapes for wine
·         Visit an active volcano (Japan 2006)
·         Touch an elephant outside of a zoo (Thailand 2011)
·         Stand on the Equator
·         Go to the Winter Olympic Games
·         Go to the Summer Olympic Games
·         Live in a house on the water
·         Work on a Cruise Ship
·         Learn to surf (Panama 2012)
·         Drive across the Seven Mile Bridge, Florida Keys
·         Drive down Route 1 Pacific Coast Highway in California
·         Drive from Monaco to Nice (France) in a convertible
·         Washington, D.C. – U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (2012)
·         Virginia – Arlington National Cemetery (2012)
·         San Francisco – see the Golden Gate Bridge (2008)
·         Swim in all 4 Oceans
    o   Atlantic (Virginia 2002)
    o   Pacific (Panama 2012)
    o   Indian (Western Australia 2017)
    o   Arctic
Travel the World!!!
·         Corcovado, Brazil (Statue of Christ Redeemer)
·         Ride a camel in Tombouctou, Mali
·         See a black rhinoceros in Zimbabwe
·         Visit the “Floating Gardens” of Xochimilco in Mexico City and visit the Aztec Ruins (Chichen Itza) in Mexico
·         Italy
    o   Rome - Coliseum, St. Peter’s & Pantheon (2007)
    o   Venice - St. Mark’s Basilica and a gondola ride (2007)
    o   Florence - Duomo, Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (2007)
    o   Milan – Il Duomo and The Last Supper by da Vinci
    o   Alberobello, Apulia
·         Bushmills, Antrim, Northern Ireland –Giants’ Causeway
·         Go sailing off the coast of Croatia
·         Greece – Acropolis, Parthenon
·         Paris, France - Tour the Louver, Notre Dame, and the Basillica de Sacre Coure (2005)
·         Haut-Normandie, France – Visit Mont-Saint-Michel
·         India - the Taj Mahal, Golden Temple of Amritsar, Jaisalmer Temple
·         Germany -Visit Neuschwanstein Castle and Hesse-Darmstadt (the city my ancestors
        immigrated from in Germany)
·         Spain (Madrid, Granada, Barcelona, Galicia)
·         Israel – Swim in the Dead Sea
·         Dublin, Ireland – visit the Guinness Factory (2007)
·         Visit temple ruins in Thailand (2011)
·         London, England - Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, British Museum, and Hyde Park/Kensignton Garden (2007)
·         See the Swiss Alps
·       Japan -   Visit the Kiyomizu Temple
·         Turkey - Visit the Hagia Sophia
·         Peru - See Machu Picchu
·         Russia - Tour St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Kremlin, St. Petersburg (see the Petrodvorets) and
·         Jordan – Visit Petra
·         Prague, Czech Republic – Visit the Old Town Square (2010)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

You're A Grand Old Flag (pt 2)

Finally finished...not gonna lie, the hood was hard to paint.  It just doesn't lie flat well enough for you to get your stars ironed on where you want.  Anyway, here's what it looks like prior to washing.  I'm a bit concerned that the colors will all run or that it won't soften, but will stay stiff.  The red sections that were "spray" painted aren't really stiff at all, but the blue where I sponged the paint on is super stiff....

I threw it in the washer by itself for a quick (8 minute) wash cycle with just a bit of soap and crossed my fingers.  It came out of the wash and wasn't stiff and the colors hadn't run!  Success!  So very excited :)
Here's what it looks like after the first wash and dry:

It's not as dark blue, but it still looks great.  I would suggest though, that if you're not going to paint the inside of the hood (still not sure if I will - I don't really have more paint), that you tape off the inside edge of the hood.  If you look closely in on the right side of the photo on the hood I got blue on the inside edge.  Also, here's a downside to sponging on the paint.  As you can see from the photo, there are parts that are darker because you got more paint than on other sections.  For some reason there's also little white spots (almost as if I didn't cover everything, but I know I did!).

Well, there you have it - my "review" of a DIY Flag Sweatshirt.  Good luck!

You can find Part 1 of this craft here

Flag (noun)

a piece of cloth, varying in size, shape, color, and design, usually attached at one edge to a staff or cord, and used as the symbol of a nation, state, or organization, as a means of signaling, etc.; ensign; standard; banner; pennant.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Flushed: How the Plumber Saved Civilization
by W. Hodding Carter

"The unsung hero of human history was, of course, the Brain of Drains, the Hub of Tubs, the Power of Showers, the Brewer of Sewers...the humble plumber." -- W. Hodding Carter

Here's a quick description/summary from Amazon -

When we consider the amenities that really make a difference in our well-being, surely good plumbing must rank near the top. But rarely have we taken the time to appreciate the engineering marvels that bring clean water into our homes with the turn of a tap and the flip of a lever. Until now.
Witty, anecdotal, and thoroughly entertaining, Flushed chronicles the long and notable history of plumbing, while following Hodding Carter's travels and travails around the most underappreciated pillar of civilization. It's a winning combination of history, science, and firsthand experience -- a book that will both entertain and educate those who have never contemplated the hidden intricacies of this miracle of everyday technology.

This book is amazing :)  I have no idea what made me put in a request for it on, but I think I read somewhere that it was a fascinating book.  To be honest, it sat on my shelf for quite awhile until I finally decided that I should just read it so I could put it back on paperbackswap.  It blew me away - I'm not one for "bathroom" talk or anything related to suchthings (as anyone who knows me could confirm), but he presents the information in such a compelling way!  It's easy to read, but also gives a lot of information.  Plus, at the end he gives some great things happening in India where they could really use some sanitation help.  The inventions are fascinating.  It's been a few years since I last read it, but I could read it again...maybe this will be my beach reading this year.

civ·i·li·za·tion  (noun)
1. an advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture, science, industry, and government has been reached.
2. those people or nations that have reached such a state.
3. any type of culture, society, etc., of a specific place, time, or group.
4. the act or process of civilizing or being civilized
5. cultural refinement; refinement of thought and cultural appreciation

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Great Debate: Modesty

It would seem that suddenly there's a conversation going on about Modesty.   Jessica Rey's talk/speech on modesty, entitled "The Evolution of the Swimsuit", has been making its rounds on the internet (and it's definitely thought-provoking) and I just came across this article that gives a great look into the issue of modesty.

My favorite line from Jessica's speech was: "Modesty isn't about hiding ourselves, it's about revealing our dignity."  That line reminds me of Ms. DeRosset's book (you can read my post on her book here ) and why dignity and modesty go hand-in-hand.  I grew up being taught (ok, often forced) to dress modestly, but the reasons given always made me mad.  All I ever heard (regardless of how my parents phrased their response) was, "guys can't control their minds, so you have to do your best to help them out".   That never seemed like a very good answer to me, but I did as my father asked (although "modesty" was probably the biggest thing we disagreed on - and often).  I've since learned a lot about modesty, especially through some great books, but I'm not gonna lie - I still struggle with it.  It's so much easier to wear whatever I want without thinking about it, and often it's cheaper too! 

Anyway, I'm off on a rabbit trail - all this to say that Rachel Evans makes some great points in her article and it's definitely worth a read.  While I generally agree with her points, I would caution on her second point, that just because something is culturally acceptable doesn't make it modest.  I think that the opposite would be a better guideline for you.  When something is culturally immodest then you are being immodest regardless of your personal feelings on the matter.  In Liberia (and many African nations) it was immodest for women to wear pants.  That is changing, but when I visited it was true, so we wore skirts. 

I especially like the statement she made at the end of her second point: "We don’t stop lust by covering up the female form; we stop lust by teaching men to treat women as human beings worthy of respect." AMEN SISTER!  While I realize that "Men are wired differently than us, it is implausible to assume one can teach the testosterone out of them", I do think that teaching respect for women is very important and would certainly not hurt.

P.S.  Jessica's designs are great, but I've never purchased one so I can't vouche for them.  I have bought some of the Hapari Swimwear tops and loved them.  They're not all modest, but they do have several modest options and they have some great sales.  Another great option is LimeRicki - just in case some of you women are still on the hunt.

bathing suit (noun)

a garment worn for swimming.