Sunday, December 30, 2012


______Hidy-ho, lovelies!  Today, I'm guest blogging over at Jen's lovely blog, so put on your party pants and head on over if you'd like, or keep reading on! 


            I bought this adorable military style trench coat a few weeks ago at TJ Maxx.  I was quite wary of doing so because of the price tag and the fact that I live in Alabama, land where it doesn’t get super cold, but after getting some wear out of it recently, I’m really glad I went through with the purchase.  It cost $100 (down from $180), which isn’t too terribly much, but still quite a bit of money for a single item.  However, it’s amazing quality and I know that the purchase was worthwhile because coats never seem to fit me right.  They’re always too small in the arms because of my wide shoulders and too big in the waist, but once I put this one on and it was both cute AND fit perfectly, I knew that I really had no choice but to buy it.


            I mean, it even makes me look like a secret agent or something.  Doesn’t it?  Just call me 007.  I’ll be sneakin’ in yer windows in this thing, except not really because heels don’t really allow that.  Unless you’re a real secret agent, then you’ve probably been trained to do that kind of stuff.  But I’m not a secret agent.  I’m just Ali.


            What are you all willing to splurge on?  For me, it’s items that I know will last me a long time, such as practical leather shoes and classic pieces such as this coat.  Even though it hurts to suddenly kiss your moolah goodbye, in the end, I know it’s a good investment.


Military trenchcoat: Guess (via TJ Maxx)
Heels: man these are old so who knows really
Chevron earrings: Charming Charlie

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Jingle Bells, Batman Smells

Christmas Glittery ReindeersChristmas PresentsChristmas Candy BoxesChristmas BoxesChristmas TreeYellowstone Christmas OrnamentChristmas OrnamentsChristmas Cookies and Tiger Butter

______Hey there, everybody!  I hope that you're all having a wonderful Christmas Day and that you're all able to spend time with your families and friends, or at least that you're having a relaxing day off in general.  Last night, I ate my weight in peanut butter fudge and chocolate covered cashews, but hey, Christmas only comes 'round once a year!  Everyone needs their yearly food-induced coma which they regret upon waking the next day, no?  Eat, drink, and be merry, my delightful citizens!

Christmas Ornaments

The weather here's supposed to get pretty nasty later this afternoon--there are predictions of tornados, hail, and heavy rain.  In other words, the state of Alabama's probably going to take quite the battering in the next 24 hours.  I'm not really looking forward to it, mainly because storms of any sort scare me to death and make me uber nervous and shaky... They always have ever since I was little, so I'm just hoping everything will pass us by without much damage.

______Tornados are really freaky because you never know when or where they're going to hit; they're so unpredictable and you really can't do much to prepare for them other than listening to the weather channel and constantly checking the sky.  I've had far too many nightmares involving tornadoes, and I clearly remember our family having to hide in the basement of our old house when there was an awful tornado nearby.

______But alas, there's no use dwelling on such a disastrous subject on such a joyous day--it will be an interesting way to spend Christmas Day is all.  At least we don't have to worry about running out of food with all these chocolate-covered delicacies... Eeeep!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Spotty Transition

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______With most of the things I do nowadays, it's almost like I prefer to be alone opposed to with others.  It's funny how I'm not afraid to do things by myself anymore.   The thought of picking up my mom's prescription while she waited in the car used to scare the living daylights out of me, but now I will gladly drive myself to a deli for the sole purpose of having lunch with no one but myself and a book for as long as I desire.  I can go to Starbucks and order myself a hot tea and study there with the understanding that sometimes it's okay to buy yourself tea, and not everything you do has to be a social outing.  It's nice, I suppose, not having to depend on anyone but yourself.  Maybe that's why I don't mind doing things alone.  When I'm not with another person, I can do what I want for as long as I would like without the fear of intruding upon someone else's time or feeling like they are being oppressive to my own time.  It's not lonely--it's freeing.

______But yeah, I guess that doing more things on my own is one of the ways I've been able to push myself out of my comfort zone in the past year or so.  Even though I always think that I haven't changed much since entering college, I guess now that I look back at it, I have grown.  Maybe not a lot, but a little.  We grow up bit by tiny bit, I suppose.

______Of course, that's not to say there's still tons of growing up for me to do, because there definitely is.  I still get overemotional about things which some may consider minor worries.  I still lack the proper amounts of confidence to do certain things.  I still have a mini-heart attack when talking on the phone.  Heck, I still sleep with a giant plush whale and lobster (and they are aptly named Mr. Whale and Lobby, thank you very much).  I'm still probably in the wee caterpillar stages of my life, but perhaps one day I'll be spinning my own cocoon and emerging as an ever-most darling little butterfly.

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______In all honesty, I've always been kind of an introvert, though.  I'm one of those people who will gladly be with people, but would rather listen to others speak opposed to participating; that doesn't mean I'm bored or would rather be doing something else, it just means that I'm more than content with simply being there.

______I guess what I'm getting at is that it just took me a while to figure out how to be an introvert by myself.  That doesn't make sense.  That is the farthest thing from sense.  Make sense?  Good.

Dress: Ross ($8, ohoho)
Fur-trimmed ankle booties: Jeffrey Campbell, shoe god
Tights: Target
Anchor belt: Lotus Botique
Necklace: Charming Charlie
Earrings: vintage

Friday, December 14, 2012

Song of Myself

Self Portrait
Self-Portrait, colored pencil on illustration board, 20x28, Drawing II, Fall 2012

______Here be the final project for my Drawing II class!  Our assignment was to create a portrait of ourselves that said something about us, whether that something be super deep or just gives hints about something that defined who we are.  I opted to draw a fairly traditional self-portrait and incorporated a tree ring since I'm always fascinated by the wonderfully organic shapes and patterns which can be found in nature (it's actually cut out in that shape, too, which essentially rendered my hand useless for the rest of the day... totally worth it).  You could say that the tree rings represent the different years of my life, or you could just say that I really like tree rings.  The choice is up to you.  But no matter what the tree rings represent, I think that this is the closest resemblance I've been able to get in a drawing of myself.  Drawing yourself is hard, you guys.  You don't want to make yourself too pretty, but you don't want to make yourself too ugly.  And the whole making it look like yourself thing is a struggle in itself as well.

______Also, there's a Mr. Cicada chilling in the corner by a rose, 'cause obviously they're the cutest lil' bugs nature has to offer.  If one could have a spirit insect, a cicada would be mine fer sure.

Self Portrait Face DetailSelf Portrait Cicada and Flower Detail

______Anyway, I'm just glad to have exams out of the way.  I guess I had it rather easy with only two written exams, though both were weighted quite heavily and required half a dozen pages of writing.  My art classes, on the other hand, just required us to turn in all of our assignments from the semester, including a final project.

______But alas!  I won't dwell on the passing of exams, for they are over now, and I am as happy as a plump bumblebee in a field of flowers.  I'm also ready to get down to business and defeat the huns--err, I mean, bake scrumptious Christmas goodies.

______(but really, defeating the Huns is a priority)

______Peace out, cool cats!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Seeing Spots

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______I've been staring feebly at this post for quite some time now, continuously typing and backspacing words and sentences in an attempt to write something worthwhile, but nothing decent seems to want to come out of my head.  I fear I am distracted, my sweet citizens, for my mind is much too occupied with the dastardliness that is the upcoming exam week (*cue scary pipe organ noises).  Honestly, I just can't wait to get these exams out of the way!  I'm looking forward to baking cookies, listening to Christmas music, seeing a few of my hometown friends, and mindlessly playing old video games and Dance Dance Revolution without having a second thought about doing something more productive.

______What are you guys most looking forward to this Christmas?

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Turtleneck sweater: via TJ Maxx
Dress: Know-Style
Socks: Target (Target is now the land of socks)
Heels: via TJ Maxx
Necklace: Fifth and Orient giveaway
Chain bracelet: Charming Charlie
Twist bracelet: vintage

Thursday, December 6, 2012

An Early Adventure in December

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______Last Saturday, my dearest parents and I visited a local bakery cafe for a lovely outdoor lunch since the first day in December decided to provide us with extraordinarily gorgeous weather--the temperature was a perfect 70 degrees, the sun was shining, the birdies were singing, and all was peaceful in the land of Alabama.  We had been to this bakery cafe once before, but this time I remembered to bring my camera.

______Everything at Chez Lulu is made on the spot with fresh, local ingredients--something my family really loves in places we eat at!  The bread and food is made fresh daily, and the cheese, vegetables, and ingredients come from local sources.  We started out with a basket of wheat-berry bread and an olive oil plate, and then my dad and I opted for some deliciously tomato-y minestrone soup (this was also when I learned that I was pronouncing minestrone wrong; it's not "mine-strown," it's "min-uh-stroh-knee").  For my main course, I chose a most scrumptious cheese platter, complete with bleu cheese, locally made goat cheese, and a stinky cheese of some sort... and all were so very delicious in their own special way, and served with a variety of sweet fruits and a tiny bowl of crumbled walnuts.  It was fun experimenting how the varying tastes of cheeses worked together with the fruits and bread and such!  Cheese is quite the magnificent thing--it can be creamy and sweet, or tart and crumbly...

______Ah, but how I ramble!  I do apologize for getting carried away with cheese descriptions.  Cheese is just great.  Cheese for president.  Cheese 2016.

______Moving on.  After leisurely having lunch outside, we strolled a door over to the Continental Bakery which is also owned by those who run Chez Lulu.  We bought a loaf or two of bread and some scrumptious pastries (I had a ever so dense and sweet brownie, but savored it before I was able to snap a picture--you can understand, right, citizens?).  The bakery was furnished so nicely--I just loved how the bread was displayed on wooden shelves and how the decor was so rustic and friendly.  It was like being a kid in a candy shop all over again, but classier, and with baked goods.

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______All in all, it was a lovely little trip to make, especially with such decent weather.  

______Do you guys have any local eateries that you enjoy?

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