Friday, August 19, 2016

Starry Eyes + BornPretty

______BornPretty always sends me the loveliest accessories as I am sure you all know, and this set of items did not disappoint. I opted for some silver jewelry as I have been lacking in that area and picked a few stellar pieces: this silver star ring, twisted silver bracelet, moon and star earrings, and a pointed chain necklace. I'm always impressed with their quality as it's tough and long-lasting; I know that these will be no different, and I'm digging all things star, planet, and galaxy-related right now. And forever. Pluto is still a planet and I believe in it.

______Ahem. As usual, you can get 10% off with code ALT10 at checkout.

______Now that I've roamed around Iowa City enough both on foot and bike, I feel comfortable with my environment and excited about living and teaching here for the next couple of years. Rather than having a downtown littered solely with bars and bar food, it's peppered with delicious eateries, unique shops, and coffee cafes galore. Each place has its own personality: there's a coffee shop with Edison-style lights and knotted rugs on the floors, a kitchen shop with hand thrown bowls and mugs, and a couple yogurt shops with brightly colored chairs and glass windows for walls.

______I know I haven't seen everything there is to offer here, either, but I look forward to peeling away the layers of this city. I've been biking a lovely, foliaged trail that hugs a river and swoops around a lake, but I know there are more trails out here. Just the the other day, I was driving and noticed a couple of neon helmets pop out from beneath and bridge and then dip down into tall grass that hides a path. As I looked over, I saw a yellow sign designating a bike trail.

______How do you explore new places?

Necklace: c/o BornPretty
Bracelets: c/o BornPretty
Moon and star earrings: c/o BornPretty
Star ring: c/o BornPretty

Friday, August 12, 2016

Bubblegum Genie + Gamiss

______Gamiss sent me over some beautiful items this week. I was sent this tie-dye wrap skirt, pearl open necklace, knot bracelet, criss-cross ring, and pink pearl earrings. Everything is in tip-top shape and the order came in just a week. I'm in my new apartment building now, and whenever an item is delivered to me, the delivery person rings a bell that actually sounds like a house alarm going off. It's the loudest beep that sends my heart up my throat and made me squeak like a choking mouse the first time I heard it.

______Any who. Freaky alarm aside, you can check out Gamiss's Facebook page here.

______I'm going to give mega-respect to those of you who have mastered the art of taking your own blog photos. Usually, my most wonderful momma Hval snap photos for me, and the process is usually done in a quick twenty or thirty minutes. Now, however, things are different; I am in the corn-infested land of Iowa (seriously, corn is fifteen cents an ear here) and all on my own. Just me, a tripod, a self-timer, and limitless fields of corn surrounding campus. Let the games begin.

______The other morning, I scouted out a place for photos not far from my apartment. In the forest next to where I'm situated, a long set of steep, concrete stairs trail down to a wooden bridge. These woods seemed charming before, as I had seen two deer, multiple squirrels, and a little grey rabbit scuttling through them. So down the concrete stairs I went to wonderland where I smacked my tripod into some ooey-gooey mud and did the posing thing on the creaky bridge. I was soon stumbling around with my camera figuring out how to get everything in the frame and sharp.  It took me a solid hour to make some decent photos and I was sweating by the end of it.

______It's hard being on both sides of the camera.  But with time, I'm sure I'll learn.

Lace top: c/o Gamiss
Tie dyed skirt: c/o Gamiss
Necklace: c/o Gamiss
Bracelet: c/o Gamiss
Criss-cross ring: c/o Gamiss
Earrings: c/o Gamiss
Heels: Jeffrey Campbell

Monday, August 1, 2016



           My bike whizzed along the hot pavement, its tires crunching rocks and spitting them out behind me like tiny meteorites. The sun had finally submitted to the clouds that had rolled in, leaving me with a breeze that was as cool, calm, and collected as an Abercrombie & Fitch store’s atmosphere. Except thankfully, the outside smelled much less terrible and much more like dirt and honeysuckle. I prefer dirt and honeysuckle over the migraine-inducing stench of an A&F store any day.

            I biked on past the familiar trees, turn-offs, and corroding metals that littered the old highway. I had biked this road hundreds of times due to the low traffic and rolling slopes and remembered a variety of landmarks that described the locals: a butterfly banner that whipped in the wind and whispered, “welcome,” a house with a tin roof that shined copper and nickel, a rusty '48 Ford with one broken light, and a rocking horse that sat on the porch of a fenced-in home. 

            I heard a rumble of thunder. It was faint and far away, but I was arrogant and confident enough in my biking abilities that I figured I could out-bike any storm if necessary. Screw Tornado Chasers, I was the Tornado Runner Away-er. Let it be known that I did not realize I could not out-bike any storm if said storm was coming from the direction of my home. Naturally, I thought it was going to always be behind me. Naturally, I was an idiot.

            Suddenly, a vertical strike of lightning branched down from the sky and struck the ground in a nearby neighborhood. I totally flipped and made a verbal screech. A car coming from the opposite direction had its windshield wipers on, indicating rainfall. The lightning strike was followed by a boom that shook the ground. There were flashes of lightning that lit up the sky, flickering on and off like the lights in a room.

            As soon as the cars had passed, I made a U-turn and headed for the hills (aka my parents' home). I was about three miles from home at this point, but it was no use: the thunder continued to boom and crash like Zeus had started a rock band, intense lightning show included. Honestly, Zeus? This was not the time. 

            The lightning went sideways and flashed even quicker now; Zeus must have hired a hoard of Pikachus to help with the light show. I turned off at a nearby town and rolled my bike under an arched alcove. There was a fire station in my view. Under its awning, sitting casually in rocking chairs, there were a few men sipping some beers, laughing, and pointing at the skies. I checked my phone and my dad was already on his way to rescue me from the freaky-leaky skies. Just as he pulled up in his rumbling Diesel truck, the sky broke open and soaked us both.

            Cheers to Daddy Hval for rescuing me in the midst of an immense downpour... he's the real MVP.

Monday, July 18, 2016


______The exam room was small, square, and covered with carpet that looked like tweed plucked from a thrifted menswear's blazer. A pleasant woman told me to sit down in a squeaky grey chair to wait until the optometrist came in. I waited for a few moments, observing the clunky optometry devices and an eye test poster with letters that became smaller toward the bottom. Except instead of letters, there were pictures of mammals going from whales and dolphins to lobsters and killifish.

______Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. I greeted the optometrist and we exchanged a few words. Before I knew it, she was rummaging through drawers for a few tiny bottles of liquid.

______"Now I'm going to put these drops in your eyes," the optometrist lady said ever so sweetly as she hunched over me. Her hair was short and fiery. Not losing a second, she immediately dropped a foreign substance into my already light-strained ocular passages. I blinked rapidly and my eyes involuntarily shivered in their sockets like frightened little kittens. She repeated the process three more times, and my eyes continued to weep and quiver after each chilly drop until they were puffy and red.

______"We'll let that sit for a while so you're all dilated," the eye lady said.  She rolled her chair over to a computer, leaving me with nothing more than a tissue to wipe the tears from my poor, raw eyeballs. I dabbed my eyes weakly. There was a strange yellow liquid dappled across the tissue. Blood of the dragon, I thought. I am a khaleesi. I can withstand this hardship.

______And I waited. And I waited. And I began to feel desolation, fear, and all things synonymous with apprehension creeping into the netherlands of my foggy mind. Where is this place, and what is this place, really? I heard voices, but they were not of this room; voices which exchanged cheerful words about scratchy eyes and a green bottle of contact solution. How could a man be speaking outside this square, grey room in such a cheerful tone? This was not a cheerful place.

______The lady swiveled over to me and began the next part of the eye exam. She spun a metal machine over to me and I placed my chin in its curved plastic chin holder. In what kind of place does a chin holder exist? This one, apparently. Directly in front of my bringers of vision, my seers of sight, was a rotating dood-dad that contained a series of lights. No good can come from a rotating doo-dad, I thought. Especially since the word "doo-dad" itself brings to mind piles of doo, piles of poo.

______And so the lights began to flash and rotate around my iris. Some were horizontal blue strips, some yellow and round, and one with a round, red dot in the center, but they all shared a horrendous brightness. Some flashed across my eyes quicker than strobes, and others held my gaze for a bright, painful while. When it was all over, I blinked tears and noticed that the lights in the room had multiplied by three and turned a hazy purple-pink.

______And so it was done, and my eyes were free of obstruction... minus the fact I was unable to see without squinting.

Top: ASOS (exact)
Skirt: Charlotte Russe
Necklace: Charlotte Russe
Earrings: Charming Charlie
Rings: c/o BornPretty
Quartz bracelets: local artisan
Heels: ASOS

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Starburst + BornPretty

______BornPretty sent me over some summery items recently: this braided bracelet, a polished set of midi and regular rings, and a gold metal bracelet. I've always loved the contemporary look of midi rings and these will definitely be a versatile set to mix and match with other rings. I'll wear them until my skin is as wrinkly and leathery as that of a dinosaur's. No offense to the dinosaurs; they work those wrinkles. Dinosaur commentary aside, you can get 10% off your order with code ALT10 at checkout.

______I'm still into the poofball trend. I hope it's still a trend because I'm kind of obsessed with poofballs and telling people to "touch my poofball" all the day long. How they respond is how you know whether or not you want to keep being their friend.

______I officially only have one month until my parents and I travel up to Iowa to move me in to my new apartment and studio for the next three or so years... and don't get me wrong, that's incredibly rad and I am pumped to start riding out the next phase of my life, but it's also coming on fast. I'm currently in the process of packing trinkets, bath goods, and other such miscellany.

______It's a ride on the struggle bus. Not only have I found about nine chapsticks, four dead flies with just a few remaining limbs, and a plethora of bobby pins lost from over the years, but also I'm questioning what items are worthy enough to endure the 12-hour road trip up to the corn-infested land of Iowa.

______Do I take my ceramic pumpkin teapot for shelf decor? Do I need to pack all three shades of red lipstick, or just the best one? Do I need to take only books I haven't read, or should I lug along a few favorites? How likely is it that I'll really need this many socks? How many pillows should be on my bed? Can one ever have enough pillows on their bed?

______So many questions with so few answers from the world.


______Long story short, apologies if I fall off the blog radar for the next couple of weeks; on the up side, you can always find me on the Instergrandma!

Dress: Charlotte Russe (similar)
Necklace: Charming Charlie
Braided bracelet: c/o BornPretty
Corn chain bracelet: c/o BornPretty
Rings: c/o BornPretty
Poofball hair tie: Amazon
Jelly shoes: Juju