Wednesday, January 11, 2017


______The temperatures peaked in the mid-30s for the first time in what seemed an eternity.  The snow that was blanketing the ground when I left Iowa was completely melted upon return, except for a few frozen patches that lurked in the shadows. It was a much-needed break after so many days filled with icy blasts of wind, unexpected snowfall, and a raw throat from sucking down so much dry air. I do love the quiet and solitude that comes with grey days and snow, but it's nice to escape what Southern's call "the devil's dandruff."

______Good thing the devil acquired some dandruff shampoo. Things were getting a little wild there for a minute.

______BornPretty (use code ALT10 for 10% off) sent me a four leaf clover ring, blue necklace, and an open rhinestone bangle. More accessories to add to my mountain of accessories, and I am absolutely loving all the glitz, especially when the skies are grey and the temperatures a wee bit sad.

______I also busted out this vintage jean jacket trimmed with rabbit fur that screams "Slightly Gaudy Upper Half of a Canadian tuxedo." I'm still not sure if it's stylish n' unique or straight up makes me look like an oddball. I snagged the slightly tacky garment nearly two years ago but haven't had any days cold enough to wear it. That's one of my favorite thing about living in the Midwest: I'm actually able to cuddle up in sweaters like I'm being coddled by a dozen golden retriever puppies without feeling like I just did an intense interval workout. I can wear furry scarves and fur-lined cardigans and stay toastier than toast. Boots and socks are a necessity rather than a choice that always ends up making my feet too warm.

Jean jacket: vintage
Dress: Forever 21 (exact)
Tights: Nordstrom (exact)
Heels: Jeffrey Campbell
Clover ring: c/o BornPretty
Necklace: c/o BornPretty
Rhinestone bangle: c/o BornPretty

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Flying Solo

______It was as dark as it could have been along an ice-encrusted highway in Iowa at four in the morning. Wind blasted the windshield. There were heaps of snow at the shoulders of the road from the plows that had shoved them there the night before, and a thick blanket of white covered the fields the airport shuttle whizzed by. Stars speckled the clear, inky sky like lint on a black T-shirt, winking and blinking and probably trying to flirt with each other under the cover of night. I glanced at the dashboard in the shuttle: in lime green, the temperature professed it was a toasty -4 degrees Fahrenheit.

______I made my way through the first airport easily enough; it was rather small and the signs were massive and colorful with writing even giants could read, kind of like Airporting For Beginners. The plane began boarding and I sat next to a kind middle-aged man on the plane who was more than content I switched seats with the woman-and-baby duo previously sitting there. When the plane descended from Iowa into Atlanta an hour and a half later, the man generously offered to show me my way around the airport and to my next gate. I was quite thankful for this as the Atlanta airport is a eclectic smorsgaboard of escalators, subway systems, moot stores, and human beings who shuffled eagerly from one place to the next.

______It was definitely not Airporting For Beginners. It was Airporting: Expert Mode, Gold Collector's Edition.*

______*with voiceovers by special guest Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

______The man and I paced through the airport like two bros on a mission, speedier than any subway system could ever be, and he even implored to carry my bag. My bag was a one-hander opposed to a backpack that distributed weight evenly, and it was weighing me down like a willow tree that sagged one way after a heavy rain shower.

______It was safe to say I did not turn down the offer. We passed a bar filled only with two bored employees who wore white shirts and loosened black ties; both were scrolling through their phones to occupy their slow morning. There was a Sonoma store boasting wireless noise-blocking headphones and a Swarovski store stocked with glistening jewels that dazzled under hot white spotlights. The smells of various fast food joints--hamburgers that sizzled on greasy grills, spicy Thai cuisine, and slimy burritos--all permeated our noses.

______I wondered if people ever went there solely to shop and eat. I would.

______As it turned out, our flights were in the same wing of the airport. We got coffee between our two gates had a jolly conversation pertaining to dogs, Alabama football, the state of the economy, and a strangely similar tradition our families had of going out to watch a movie on Christmas Day. I discovered he had five dogs in his residence, three of which his wife had brought in as shelter dogs. I could only wish my life would be as exhilarating and dog-filled someday. There is no sarcasm whatsoever in that sentence.

______I hopped on the plane, hugged the kind stranger goodbye, and after a second 34-minute flight, was reunited with me mum and pop in the land of Alabama.

Top: Forever 21 (similar)
Skirt: Forever 21 (exact)
Heels: Jeffrey Campbell (similar)
Sparkle tights: TJ Maxx (similar)
Necklace: Forever 21
Bow ring: c/o BornPretty
Bone ring: c/o BornPretty
Rhinestone cuff bracelet: c/o BornPretty
Twist bracelet: c/o BornPretty

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Black Velvet + BornPretty

______I haven't purchased jewelry in two years and it's all thanks to BornPretty and their eclectic selection of shimmery accessories.  Thankfully their products are always on point and the recent set of items I recieved is no exception; that being said, I've had a wee bit of an obsession with choker necklaces ever since they made their revival from the 90s, and this heart choker brings me back those perplexing days of middle school and the its curious fashion trends.  I also received a silver bone ring, rhinestone bowknot ring, and a thin criss-cross bracelet.  All sorts of things that mix girly and edgy.

______As always, you can get 10% off your order with code ALT10.

______Somehow we are already three weeks away from winter break even though it feels like the semester has just begun and that I only started making my way around the land of Iowa.  Whereas I only used to know where one Walmart is, I now know where both are. I know. It's wild. I also know of many more local spots that once I may have never discovered were it not for outings with friends. Some of the entrances to these places go underground or up to another floor and have tiny doors squished between two buildings that nearly go missed when one passes by. These places remind me of the scene in that beginning of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix where the buildings split apart to reveal a secret building in the middle...

______Nonetheless, I'm already dreaming of baking mountains upon endless mountains of cookies that spill over the countertops of my mother's kitchen (she reads this and dreads such disarray in her domestic space), shopping at home where the bell-filled sounds and piney smells of Christmas permeate the stores, and seeing the glittering lights at night that speckle the homes of my parents' neighborhood.  Even driving along what is normally a mundane highway at night is transformed over Christmas, for each of the traffic light poles is accented with a lit-up snowflake, reindeer, or bell marquee.

______The same goes for up here in Iowa: I'll admit to driving around at night just to soak in the delicacy that is the light-wrapped trees and lampposts on and off campus. It really may be the most wonderful time of the year...

Top: TJ Maxx
Skirt: Urban Outfitters
Oxford heels: Jeffrey Campbell
Socks: ASOS
Bow ring: c/o BornPretty
Rhinestone heart choker: c/o BornPretty
Bone ring: c/o BornPretty
Thin cross bracelet: c/o BornPretty

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Twinkle Toes + BornPretty

______BornPretty sent me over some glitzy goodies again this month, and thanks to them, I have been upping my collection of silver jewelry. They sent me these trailing silver earrings, diamond netted bracelet, rhinestone cuff bracelet, and a dainty silver ring. I'm embracing all things glittery: jewelry, glitter eyeshadow, and even glitter body gel are in my fashion vocabulary right now. Perhaps it is the thought of being a snow princess in Iowa that fuels these sparkly wants, or perhaps it is simply a result of the appeal of shiny things.

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

______It's a blessing that BornPretty sends me goodies every month, for if they didn't, I'd be more likely to forget about that #bloglife. I haven't completely dropped off the face of the earth, but this past month has beens so busy with grad school critiques, classes, and teaching that I've been running on empty. Plus there's that whole "staying sane" thing that goes in there somewhere... I digress. I hope everyone has been enjoying the cooler weather that's settled in.

______Leaves are starting to fall that crunch like crinkly chips on the ground, trees are yellowing ever so slightly, and the morning begins with crisp prairie air that makes your throat shiver when you suck it in. And everyone is pulling out their boots and cardigans to begin the layering that will last all the way through winter... because here in the Iowa, winter is very real, and winter is always coming.

______I made a pigeon friend the other week. There's a bridge that I ride my bike beneath in the mornings and this pigeon, who I soon dubbed Carter, would always be waddling around beneath it. He was a solid chap, with feathers of emerald and magenta wrapping 'round his neck like a silky scarf, and a fluffy body that would puff up if one approached him too quickly. Day after day, I would ride by him, say hello, and take some pictures of his fine, flirty self.

______I noticed that Carter had an orange anklet around his foot and after mentioning my pigeon-pal to my dad, he informed me that there were numbers on the band that described from whence the snazzy bird came. I couldn't ever get close enough to grab Carter to look at some of the numbers on his orange band, but I did squint enough to figure out what pigeon organization he was part of. I soon learned that this pigeon was part of the National Pigeon Association, meaning he was someone's domesticated pet pigeon. Also meaning his name probably wasn't Carter.

______Only trying to help, I suffered through many attempts to clasp his chubby body between my hands, but he'd waddle away or fly to an unreachable fencepost if I got too close. He was kind of a piece of shit, but he was also basically my boyfriend based on how many pictures I took of him and how much I showed him off. #pigeonboyfriend #luv

______Alas, this pigeon-ship didn't last long, because for the past couple of days, I haven't seen Carter in sight. Perhaps he has gained enough energy and was able to continue his journey. Perhaps he simply needed a break from flying. Or worse: perhaps he had found another woman to woo.

______Godspeed, Carter.

Studded jacket: similar
Dress: Kohls
Heels: ASOS
Earrings: BornPretty
Rhinestone net bracelet: BornPretty
Silver ring: BornPretty
Rhinestone cuff bracelet: BornPretty

Friday, September 9, 2016

Two-Faceted + BornPretty

______BornPretty sent me a package that is essentially fairy crystal jewelry, for it's complete with gold-plated jewelry that boasts faceted prisms glittering with rainbows. I received an adjustable cube ring, crystal cube open cuff bracelet, and some mint and rainbow rhinestone earrings. I actually own the bracelet in silver, but loved how sturdy and thick the metal was that I had to have it in gold, too. Never one to disappoint, BornPretty s products are of superb quality, especially considering the price one can buy them at. I'm especially fond of the variety of crystal cube items they have!

______As usual, you can get 10% off with the code ALT10.

______Naturally, since I found a comfortable spot in the woods to take blog photos here in the land of Iowa, karma decided I did something terribly wrong to disturb the balance of the universe... what I'm saying is karma decided to drop a tree on the planked bridge I became so accustom to taking photos on. That honestly felt like a painfully relevant metaphor to life--when something falls on a bridge you've come so comfortable crossing, find another way to cross.

Top: TJ Maxx
Skirt: Urban Outfitters (exact)
Necklace: Charming Charlie
Jelly shoes: Juju (similar)
Bracelet: BornPretty
Ring: BornPretty
Earrings: BornPretty