Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Rainbow Teal

______I've found it increasingly difficult to write blog posts; whether this is the busying that comes with graduate school, knowing that so many are switching to Instagram and other easily digestible forms of social media, or simply wanting to wait until something sparks my brain to write, my blog post capita has definitely decreased over the years.

______Nonetheless, blogging has become a medium with which to discover myself: from learning what makes me tick, to accounting the good nuggets of goodwill that happen, to experiencing those less happy things that bring wisdom, writing down each of these little things shapes me. Blogging has become less about an audience and evolved into more of a personal diary to keep memories and thoughts etched in digital stone.

______Sometimes it's just as simple as noticing the way the downtown lights up with conversations in a range of voices, inhaling the scent of wood-fired pizza in a dimly lit corner of a restaurant, or listening to the clink and clatter of dishes being delivered to and fro. It's noticing the way the evening begins with a pink sunset that drops into a deep purple, shaking a town awake and bringing the night owls to flock from their nests to the street, and simultaneously returning the early birds to the comfort of four walls and a ceiling. It's lighting a candle in your room and watching the flame wiggle and dance along to the low hum of music. Being present and noticing all the small things is what keeps this little blog alive.

Dress: New York & Co (similar)
Rainbow strappy sandals: Lulus
Poof hair band: Amazon
Earrings: Charming Charlie
Nails: OPI I Just Can't Cope-acabana

Friday, July 7, 2017

Rain Makes Flowers

______I witnessed the most pure and selfless form of humanity when I was home at my parents' earlier this summer.

______Picture it: Alabama, an early summer morning. Rain dropped down hard and vertical from the sky; I was in my dad's massive truck that rumbled along the paved concrete of my parents' driveway, popping and crunching pavement chunks as I turned out of the watery cul-de-sac and onto the neighborhood's main road. The wipers swished and squeaked against the windshield, pushing rain away only to be replaced by more of it.

______As the vehicle hummed along the pavement, in the middle of the road I noticed there was a large rock--nay, not a rock. A turtle. A large turtle covered in moss and pine straw, stuck and in dire need of LifeAlert to save its ancient soul. It's head and limbs were retracted into its lumpy shell, and clearly the intense rain took this guy by surprise.  I stopped and pondered whether to not to save this waterlogged turtle friend.

______Just as my car slowed to a halt, an old white Bronco's did as well on the opposite side of the road, it's wipers and its yellow headlights just barely scraping through the thick rainfall. A man dashed out of the car and slammed his front door shut to keep the interior dry, not minding how instantaneously he became soggy as a sopping wet waffle. He whipped open the back door of his truck, snapped on some blue latex gloves, and scrambled for the turtle through the pouring rain.

______I watched with high interest. It was like a movie scene playing before my eyes. A romantic comedy, perhaps. Perhaps this man was seducing me somehow by saving a turtle. If only such a thing could happen to me.

______Like Rafiki holding Simba up for all the animal kingdom to see, the man scooped up the turtle and held him high in his embrace. He brushed the moss and pine straw carefully from the turtle's shell, revealing the pattern the way an archeologist delicately dusts bones at a grave. The man gave me a look. I gave him a look and clapped from the inside of my car, content that this turtle pal had been saved from his morning of misfortune.

______The man set the turtle down on a patch of grass beyond the curb the turtle was facing* and returned to his car. We both watched the turtle, now out of harm's way, and saw it peek its awkward little head out, first a little to test the rain, back in, and then out all the way. Within seconds, the turtle began stumbling away from the road's center. The Turtle Rescue Man was hidden behind waving wipers and a dark windshield, but I knew he was grinning for he was a hero that day.

______Not all heroes wear capes and stop the plight of bank robbers. But they can wear latex gloves and save a helpless turtle's life.

______*Friendly reminder that if you do decide to assist a turtle in need this turtle season, please don't relocate it to a different area! Rather, put it in the same direction it is going in out of harm's way, otherwise it's more likely to turn back around and get stuck in the center of a road again.

Dress: Charlotte Russe (similar)
Heels: Katrina by Sarah Jessica Parker
Holographic choker: Forever 21 (similar)
Tassel bracelet: handmade, similar
Gold bracelets: vintage

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Fishing for Florals + BornPretty


______Another week has zoomed on by like the Wicked Witch of the West on her broomstick through the stormy night sky. It's been one of those weeks where there's been a faint buzz of something on my mind that's been bothering me, something that pokes at my heart, gut, and instinct just gently enough to keep me aware of it at all hours of the day. I'm a strong believer that if you're thinking about something so much you need to take action to resolve whatever it is, whether that's a conversation with someone or completing a task that's been lurking in the future.

______Regardless of these feels, I've been feeling ultra-feminine lately, doing my best to acquire all the pretty floral prints, swishy dresses, and generally feminine articles of clothing that I can. Anything adorned with lace, pearls, ruffles, and/or the color pink is catching my eye like a venus fly trap... catches... a fly.

______Totally good simile there. I'm rusty, okay?

______BornPretty sent me another round of jewelry, and of course I picked out some dainty flower items that are budding (pun!) with details. I received a magnolia flower ring in gold and silver, two delicate floral rings, one plum flower and one lotus, and a skinny silver bracelet carved with just enough details to make someone look closer. As always, you can get 10% off with the code ALT10 at checkout.

______May your minds be free of worries and well-rested. Awwwwwwuh-men.

Dress: KnowStyle (similar)
Fish purse: Betsey Johnson (exact)
Necklace: Charming Charlie
Magnolia flower ring: c/o BornPretty
Three flower ring: c/o BornPretty
Silver bud ring: c/o BornPretty
Flower bracelet: c/o BornPretty
Silver bracelet: c/o BornPretty

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Rose Thorns

 ______My dog was halfway toward the center of the lake, swimming eagerly toward something dark in the water: a massive black duck with one feather that stuck up like a cowlick does on a small child with unruly hair. The duck had a brass beak, beady eyes, and was as still as a decoy near the lake's edge up until the moment my dog darted after him. With a great leap and splash into the water, Gunner was off like an Olympic swimmer, his orange hunting collar catching the sun like a traffic cone in hot sunlight. He was determined to catch this duck even though it swam incrementally farther away from him.

 ______With each stroke of Gunner's paws against the water, the duck quacked. Quack, swim forward, quack, swim forward, quack, duck-paddle forward a little faster, quack, I'm scared this hairy beast is gonna get me now, quack. It was almost as if the duck was saying, "Stop. Please. Stop. Go away. Stop. Omuhguuhuhguhuhhhhhhh. BRUH."

 ______I think he was.

 ______I followed Gunner around one edge of the lake, only to watch him swim after the duck in the complete opposite direction. Now, the edges of the lake aren't friendly mowed lawns from backyards that were smooth and easy to glide around; rather, they are infested with tall grasses, brambles, and thick ferns that gathered dragonflies, wasps, and other insects gifted with flight. My legs were scraped from hobbling over uneven ground and brushing past spindly weeds.

 ______I reached the shore of the lake where Gunner was closest, huffing and puffing and not ready to blow any houses down, and also sweaty as a gym sock that had been used for not one cardio workout, but three. There was a long scrape on my lower leg and another on my ankle. I poured over the events of my dog and his duck-wrangling adventure, helpless to do anything, praying he would not drown of exhaustion from chasing ducks. If I had to, I would jump into the lake and rescue him. But that time had not yet come. I still had hope, though it was very little.

 ______And eventually, and thankfully, and perhaps with enough thinking that I somehow rooted the duck on to speed up just enough, the duck with the skewed feather had gained enough distance from my dog that Gunner stopped swimming and merely paddled in place. Gunner recognized that he would fail to catch up with the duck. He was lost now. He looked around; to the left, to the right, to the left again. He was directly in the middle of the lake.

 ______And there it was.

 ______The neighborhood swan.

 ______Now, the neighborhood swan is no kind feathered friend; rather, dear Charles--oh yes, he has a name, a rather polite name for a rather impolite creature--dear Charles is quite the nasty little scumbag. Born to kill and burning the fires of hell within his soul, Charles did whatever he could to wreck havoc among the lake and any humans who neared him. He possessed a mighty, shriek-like hiss and a threatening wingspan that a small jet would cower in fear at.

 ______Gunner knew that this swan was no equal adversary. Charles would often paddle to where the lake met our grassy backyard, waddle up to the shore, and hiss at Gunner just for giggles and shits. Occasionally the two would have an amicable meeting where Charles may fluff his feathers and Gunner may simply cock his head at the swan, but mostly the two were sworn enemies with their teeth gritted.

 ______Thankfully after some flustered paddling from point A to point B, to point B to point A, and even sometimes from point A to point C and back to B, Gunner returned to my calls and swam up shore, avoiding Charles the swan. He crawled up the sandy shoreline, placing a paw on a dead crawfish as he did so, and shook the muddy water from his back (and on to me, naturally). I yanked him by the collar all the way home, fringing the overgrown edges of the lake, relieved that my sweet little puppers didn't drown doing what he loves most: hunting ducks and responding to the nature's wild call.


Sheer rose bodysuit: Urban Outfitters (similar)
Skirt: Urban Outfitters (similar) (similar)
Heels: Stein Mart (similar)
Necklace: Nasty Gal
Rose earrings:  similar

Monday, May 15, 2017

Finish Line

______The end of the semester is always predictable but something you never quite get used to, like a wave of salty water toward your eyes; you know it'll hit before you can shut your eyes, you brace yourself for it, but it always stings a little, regardless of how many times you've experienced it. It is a mad, heated rush toward the finish line, where days crash into one another the same way the Kool-Aid man recklessly smashes his way through brick wall after brick wall. He is a lawless Kool-Aid man. I'm sure he's got half the police force after him for all the property he's damaged.

______Within an instant, that papery red finish line snaps like an uncooked spaghetti noodle and boom, you're done. And then you're stopped like a pendulum in time, poised in a starry-eyed daze of not being entirely sure what to do with all this free time you've suddenly acquired. The sands of time have stopped falling. They're piled around you in soft lumps and you can breathe again. In, out. Inhale, exhale. It seems all the time in the world has cascaded down like a sweet rain on you, and you can spend it however you want: performing kitschy hobbies that serve no purpose other than to create something for yourself, baking new recipes that have been digitally amalgamating in the bookmarks section of your browser, or reading books you've been purchasing over the course of the year that have been jammed in your bookshelves like an abundance of cheese in stuffed-crust pizza.

______You can never have too much cheese in your stuffed-crust pizza, just as you can never have too many books in your bookshelf. Anyone who says otherwise cannot be trusted. There is nothing more attractive than a bookshelf that is so chaotic and disorderly but full of things that somehow are tied to one another based on the personality of the person reading them. There is also nothing more attractive than a pizza with a fat, chewy crust. There is a relationship between pizza and books, I am sure, I am positive, there must be, somehow.

______May your bookshelves be filled and your pizzas ever oozing with copious amounts of cheese. Amen.

Dress: Lulus
Heels: similar
Necklace: Nasty Gal
Gold bangle bracelet: Lulus
Rose earrings: similar
Rings: vintage

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lavender and Blush

______Green is beginning to speckle Iowa's landscape like freckles on the earth, dandelions are sprouting in patches that straddle sidewalks, and flowers in shades of butter yellow, lavender, and tropical pink are popping up here and there.

______What I love about spring is how slowly everything unfolds; time creeps by regardless of how fast your own life is going, and the bright greens of spring and summer tiptoe in little by little until all things are cloaked in a lush carpet of foliage and flora. It is comforting to know that no matter how quick our day-to-day routine may be, the changing of seasons will always be something to savor over time.

______Living in a world of instant gratification, we can forget how rewarding it is to be patient for things that are important to us; whether that means not knowing the predetermined day of the week a package will show up at our door compared to predictable two-day shipping, or deliberating over a decision opposed to immediately choosing one based on impulse, the drawn-out wait is just as worthy of recognition as is the final destination there.

______I am constantly trying to slow and control time, whether that be through letter writing, the use of traditional media in my artwork, or using those few free moments in the day put away my phone and people watch from my studio window.

______I know I'm not entirely susceptible to the rapid-fire abilities of technology, for I do take my photos with a digital camera instead of using 35mm film (but wouldn't that just be so hipster?) and I did type this entire post on my phone while sipping on a cocktail at a bar with jazz music, rustic bar counters, and bartenders dressed in black vest and white pressed button up shirts. I guess this is what adults do besides tax returns, watching House of Cards, and carrying suitcases around. They type out blog posts on their phones. 

______But like, a $9.00 cocktail--just one, savored slowly over half an hour while I wait for my friend to get off work and type away all businesslike on my phone--is totally an adult thing I can manage. Pretty sure there are three different kinds of alcohol in this thing. And a lime slice. Yeah, lime slices don't mess around. Lemon slice? Whatever. Been there, done that. Lime slice? Something serious is going down.

______You ever see a kid with a lime wedge on the rim of their glass? Didn't. Think. So.

______Enjoy a cocktail sometime this week, friends, slowly and deliberately as possible. Really appreciate it. Responsibly and only if you are legal, of course.

Lace top: Forever 21 (exact)
Blazer: Forever 21
Skirt: Urban Outfitters
Jelly sandals: BooHoo (exact)
Faceted ring: c/o BornPretty
Necklace: NastyGal
Bracelets: all vintage

Monday, March 20, 2017

Ghost Lace + BornPretty

______When the temperature is below thirty degrees, I'm not bothered by the coldness unless there's wind; that being said, there was definitely a wind yesterday that blew everything from my hair to the birds in the sky to places they surely didn't intend to go. I suppose that's why there are so many seagulls circling above the river here--they must have been blown here from a land far, far away.

______There was one morning, however, when I woke up on the happy, buttered side of my bread: outside my windows, falling in the slowest and chunkiest of chunks was the softest, purest, whitest snow my Southern eyes have ever seen. Overnight, the wind halted. There was the silence and stillness that only accompanies snow or a heavy rainfall. The sky was a shade of pale grey that Restoration Hardware would totally dig for their next wall paint color, and the landscape was blanketed in white, white, white, as if mother nature herself had knitted a massive scarf overnight for the earth. Snow plows were purring in and out of my hearing range, pushing snow from walkways and streets, and footprints were pressed into the ground in roads, across grass, and on sidewalks, revealing some of what was below.

______The first time the snow was predicted I didn't believe it for a second because where I come from, a forecast of snow usually means a) rain so cold yer extremities weep gross amounts of tears, or b) there are ten minutes of snow flurries that are as disappointing as a fun-sized pack of milk duds that only has two milk duds in it. Usually fun-sized portions have three or even FOUR milk duds. And I was always the ugly duckling that ended up with two. This has happened to me on more than one occasion--always around Halloween, always a little depressing. First world problems at it's most severe.

______In honor of the first day of Spring, I received two lovely items from BornPretty: this dainty silver blossom bracelet and gold and silver gingko leaf ring, both which are eagerly awaiting the return of warmer weather. I used to be afraid of mixing gold and silver, but when the jewelry does it for you as this leaf ring does, it makes things much less stressful.

______As usual, you can get 10% off your order at BornPretty with code ALT10.

Dress: Lulus (similar)
Lace robe: Forever 21
Heels: Jeffrey Campbell
Tassel Necklace: Charming Charlie
Blossom bracelet: c/o BornPretty
Gingko leaf ring: c/o BornPretty