Thursday, May 30, 2013

Watermelon + DresseStylist Review


______I'm bringing you guys yet another fabulous and fanciful frock courtesy of DresseStylist--and my gosh, is it lovely as ever!  This dress fits perfectly in the waist so it can support what barely-there-boobies I have, and it stays up no matter how much I jump up and down and all around.  I love it when a dress is snug enough that it stays up on it's own, but isn't constraining to the point where it affects the way you breathe or how much you can eat.

______Thankfully, my breathing isn't inhibited in this dress and I'm able to devour more than one pea without exploding out of it.  I tested the hypothesis myself, and I can eat up to a grand total of four and a half peas.


______The quality is super duper nice, and I especially adore how the interior is lined in silk and how the skirt is so full and twirly.  Something about wearing a dress that ebbs and flows so smoothly when you move sure puts some regal swag in your step, doesn't it?  And man, this dress is full of regal swag.  So much swishing and flipping!

______The coral color is perfect as we transition into warmer weather, and the chiffon is so breezy and ethereal and makes me feel like a gossamer jellyfish undulating on the tides of life.  I'm usually not one to paint myself pretty in pastels, so I'm really liking how this shade of coral-pink is nearly neon.  The color is reminiscent of watermelon, though this dress is not nearly as edible as one.  I don't think most dresses are edible, though.  Not in my part of town.  Strip clubs... now that's a whole different topic.


______I hope you guys are having a rad-tastical end of the week.  I know I am because my dearest dad is finally home after a lengthy two-week trip up north.  He drove a hearty thirty hours from Alabama to North Dakota to see his father before he passed away at the ripe age of 81.  I'm just rather relieved that he's coping well over his father's death, and even more glad that he's finally back home.  Now that my dad has returned, the manliness radiating from his mighty mustache will hopefully scare away any those monsters and bugs that decided they could settle in the dark crevices of our home while he was away.

Dress: c/o DresseStylist (like them on Facebook)
Heels: Jeffery Campbell
Necklace: via Nordstrom Rack
Earrings: Charming Charlie
Hair: styled by my wonderful mommma

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Carmine Red


______This is post number two hundred.

______I feel like that's something worthy of a gold star sticker, or maybe two.  I also feel like it's not since I've had this blog for three years and only having two hundred posts to my name makes me out to be a slow blogger.  I mean, I'm no faster at blogging than a sloth's metabolism is at digesting food--and here's a fun fact for you: it can take a whole month for a sloth to digest its food.

______A whole month.  That's one-twelfth of a year.  Those poor creatures have to sloth around (ha) for weeks until they can taste the deliciousness that is food, er, petals and leaves again.  How dreadful.  I'm usually thinking of the next thing I'll devour once I'm done eating, and it's usually not petals and leaves.  Usually.

______The more you know.


______I'll keep this post short and sweet since you all had to endure what might as well have been a novel in my previous post.  That being said, here's an utterly random question I've been wanting to ask you guys for a while (typed precariously in bold text, of course):

______If you could have a giant insect as your mode of transportation, what would that insect be?

______I'd have to go with a ferocious, sedan-sized bumblebee.  That way, it could puke honey-bee-spit on my enemies and flutter its monstrous wings to create all sorts of wind-induced chaos.


Top: it's just a red shirt ye meddling punks
Leopard skirt: Charlotte Russe
Oxford heels: Jeffrey Campbell (are you sick of them yet?)
Ankle socks: Forever 21
Cicada earrings: via Etsy
Necklace: Charming Charlie

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Of Roses and Noses


______I am about to tell you all a story--a story about appearances. A story about a nose. A story about my nose.

______I promise it won't involve boogers, or dust mites, or other unmentionable nasties that adhere to nose hairs.  And I promise that it's not about how my nose is actually a creature that detaches itself from my face and scuttles through the night, meticulously sweeping the shadows for prey to feed upon.

______Because you don't need to possess that type of sacred, awkward knowledge.

______You see, my nose didn't used to have this crook on it.  It used to be nice and straight, and up until the day that it was not nice and straight, I didn't think much of it.  During the times which my nose was properly level, there was a kid on my bus who frequently reminded me that my ears poked out of my hair in a really weird way.  I had a huge crush on him and his freckles and curly copper hair, and so I hated how he thought my ears poked out.

______To make myself feel better about his opinion of my appearance, I justified, "Hey, as long as my nose is straight, you can't really tell that my ears poke out of my hair."  In my mind, my nose made everything about the rest of my appearance be reduced to a completely neutral state, and as long as one part of me wouldn't magically grow a few cubic millimeters overnight, my life would be all right, and the balance would remain at zero.

______This story takes place in the seventh grade.  I was in gym class, and our class was outside on the football field.  A concrete stadium and a chain-link fence patched with sponsor posters crowded us in.  Clouds stretched across the blue canvas sky like wispy cotton balls, and a hot breeze whistled through the stadium.

______For such a decent day, you wouldn't think my aforementioned face theory was about to be completely obliterated.


______In the center of the football field, some of the "cool" guys began a frisbee tournament.  Other students were jumping rope on the sidelines, lazing on the grass (and quickly springing to their feet when the coaches noticed their lack of physical activity), or circling the track and gossiping about who's dating who, because that's totally the most important topic in middle school.  I was throwing a frisbee back and forth within a small square of girls.  The gym coaches decided we didn't need to run the mile like we did most Fridays, and that alone made class swell that day.

______Of course, all good things must end.  Or be cut short, in my case.

______After tossing the frisbee to one of my friends, I heard a bustle of boyish shouts and screams.  I turned my head and saw a radiant red something flashing toward me; it was growing larger and redder, and I kept watching it, absorbed by it, and not at all questioning whether or not it would hit my face.  What was that thing?  Whatever it was, it would definitely hit my face.  It was coming right at me.  Yup, gonna hit my face, any minute now.  My gaze was as fixated on this red object as a pudgy police officer's at the donut counter.  I wouldn't budge.  I don't think I had time to budge.  Why didn't I budge?

______Wham!  A red frisbee smacked me in the face, and a flash of silver infiltrated my vision.  I heard a slight cracking noise echo from my nose to my forehead to my temples, and I flopped down to the ground quicker than a soggy pancake in a downpour.  My face felt a little bit fuzzy and numb.

______My nose fizzed and throbbed for a moment, and my friends circled around me, mouths and eyes wide in response to my frisbee-battered nose.  Glancing to my right, I saw a group of guys pointing at me on a tilted horizon, and some were grinning nervously (did they think it was funny?), and others looked a bit concerned.  Even to this day, I don't remember who they were, or even their faces; they all looked like clones in their drab grey and black gym uniforms.  Each one dispersed quickly after I met his gaze.

______I managed to pick myself up with the help of one of my friends, and the gym coach ran over to me and instructed my friend to accompany me to the restroom to clean myself up.  My face and nose were beating red, and of course I cried a great lake or two, but after I sponged the blood off and patted my face dry with those scratchy, cardboard colored paper towels, I was back to normal.



______I thought my nose was still going to be in tip-top shape other than some temporary bruising, and that the nosebleed was but a nosebleed; however, a few days after the hectic frisbee incident, I became dreadfully aware that wasn't the case.  Turns out the frisbee changed the blueprints of my nose.  Some cartilage shifted due to the red frisbee, the one which greedily bore into my face, of all the targets in the world.  From the front, my nose leaned to the right, and from the side, it protruded outward like a camel's hump.  I felt extremely bird-like and self-conscious about this change in appearance, and felt as if a permanent pimple had sprouted in the center of my face for all the world to see.

______It seemed as if every one of my facial features somehow redirected any onlooker's attention to my nose, pointing a glowing neon sign toward it labeled, "Ali's Huge Nose--This Way!" This crooked nose was a new exhibit introduced to the art gallery that was my face and it wouldn't be removed anytime soon, no matter how popular it was not.

_____ Upon the realization that I would never have a straight nose again, seventh grade me dubbed my existence null--I now not only had stick-y out-y ears, but I had stick-y out-y ears and a crooked nose.  What a bummer.  I was woeful and did everything in my ability to counteract the appearance of my nose, paying special attention to everything I decorated myself with.  Collars on shirts would redirect attention to my ears like a turn signal.  Certain necklaces could have the same effect.  Glasses were okay, but only if they were rimless.  Wearing my hair up was a big no-no; when my ponytail was parallel to my nose, my nose would seem to stretch in size, creating an unnaturally lengthy ponytail-to-nose ratio.  Hoop earrings?  Doubtful, because large things only make you notice other large things, don'tcha know?

______Everything I wore became a potential enemy, and all thanks to my nose.

______I suppose things remedied themselves over time, though scars will always remain scars.  Eighth grade me didn't much like my nose, though ninth grade me was a little more okay with it, and soon I grew weary of trying to conceal its appearance through cleverly planned outfits and hairstyles.  I could only do so much, and there were only so many different things to wear with my nose at that time.  Eventually, I forced myself to forget about it.  Forget about the nose, forget about it completely, ignore it in the mirrors, ignore it in when I glanced down and saw that nose-blur in my line of vision.

______They say mentality is half the battle; if you can convince yourself you don't care about what something looks like, just like if you can convince yourself you can speak in front of a couple hundred people without imagining what each person is thinking of you, you'll probably begin to believe it.

______They were right.

______It took me a long time to tolerate my new nose.  But somehow, nuance by nuance, that tolerance shifted into acceptance.  One day, I woke up and decided the way it looked didn't bother me.  Heck, I sometimes even liked the way it looked.  Something went right with my frisbee-induced nose job.  As I aged, my facial features seemed to develop around my nose in a decent manner, and it became less and less a centerpiece of my face, and more and more a mere piece of it.  Just another facial feature.  A nose and nothing more.

______Today, I have a strange fondness for my off-kilter nose, kind of like the strange fondness one may have for tattered books that are stained with time and a musky scent.  I yucked at my nose for so long, yet somehow it ended up being a flaw I was satisfied with.  Maybe not from every angle, maybe not every day, but I'm definitely coping with it better than seventh grade me did.

______And that boy with the hair and freckles?  Well, let's just say that his curls don't bounce like they used to, and his freckles are less comparable to chocolate sprinkles on a dainty cupcake and more like raisins on a crumbly, month-old cookie.  A very moldy cookie.  With worms and grubs and other gross, wiggly things festering in it.  That's been stomped on and regurgitated by a half-dying armadillo.

Charleston BW

______Is there something about yourself that took a long time to accept, or that you're still struggling to accept?

Dress: Free People (I got it for $39 at Nordstrom; originally it was $128, yeah!)
Necklace: c/o ShopBevel
Oxford heels: Jeffrey Campbell
Socks: Target
Rose earrings: Charming Charlie
Hair: my momma did it because she is perfect

Friday, May 17, 2013

Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout6

______I can't tell you how many times I go out in these darling little Jeffrey Campbell oxfords and get called out by people telling me how cute they are.  If I ever die, it's not going to be because I went down the wrong creepy alleyway at the wrong time; it's going to be because some zealous literature fanatic wants my oxfords to be the final addition to her Gatsby shrine.

______Speaking of, have any of you seen The Great Gatsby yet?  I was rather impressed by Leonardo DiCaprio's acting (and timeless good looks), the striking wardrobe choices, and the set design.  It was visually pleasing, fer sure.  The Valley of the Ashes was exactly on par with how I visualized it in the book--a soot-covered wasteland with that all-seeing, ominous T.J. Eckleberg sign looming in the distance.  At first, the music was a little odd to me, but I suppose it parallels with the chaos and confusion that the roaring 1920s realm presented, the chaos kindled by alcohol and social statuses and the impossibility of reaching the American Dream.  I'll stop trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about, because I totally don't, and spare you a review.

Twist and ShoutTwist and Shout2
Twist and Shout8Twist and Shout7Twist and Shout9Twist and Shout10

______Now that it's finally beginning to feel like summer, I've been able to do things I'm not usually able to do during college, such as reading for fun--and man, I totally forgot how splendid it is to read something of your own accord.  However, I've been guilty of reaching for a pen and noting repeating elements and themes, along with underlining quotes that reverberate with me.  My mom suggested I read an urban fantasy series by Karen Marie Moning (beginning with Darkfever), and I tore through the first two books of the series in just two days.  I'm trying to savor them now.  Trying.

______My favorite places to read have to be the papasan chair in my room, where I snuggle into my fur blanket like a royal burrito, or the swinging chairs outside, where the light sifts so whimsically through splotches of tree leaves.  Read.  Sip tea.  Pee occasionally.  Change reading positions.  Repeat.  It's a good cycle.

______My mom is probably going to get at me for typing the word "pee" on the Internet.  And for learning that I've been scribbling in her novels.

Twist and Shout5

______Oh, and hey, the most darling lady Katherine (from Of Corgis and Cocktails) featured me as her May style icon, so if you wanna learn more about how much of a dweeb I am, head on over!

Lace top: Charlotte Russe
Skirt: via Modcloth
Socks: Target
Oxford heels: Jeffrey Campbell
Necklace: vintage
Earrings: Lotus Botique

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fringe and Ink


______Something about a long black dress sorta makes me feel like an old lady, or maybe even something more unnerving, like a black widow spider.  Well, 1/4 of a black widow spider, seeing as how I only possess two out of the eight required legs to be classified as such.  Man, did I just use math in a real-life situation?  I sure did.  Gold star for me!

______Speaking of dressing like an old lady, twice today, I was referred to as "ma'am."  Worse, it was by guys my age, or possibly even older.  Ma'am?  I scoff in their general direction.  I have never been more insulted in my life.  How dare those sassy turds call me such a thing!  I am as young and fresh as a recently refrigerated ring of mystery flavored Jell-O.  Not to be mistaken with the Jell-O that has those mushy, decorative specks in them, the ones their father company so confidently dubs, "sprinkles."  I think they stopped putting the papery flecks in after realizing that no sane human being wanted to feel like they were slurping up gelatinized toilet water, but maybe some of you remember it before its inevitable discontinuation.  If you've never had the honor of tasting it, you're not missing out, and I hate your guts.

______I have no idea where I was going with that.  Was I arguing something?


______This is probably the most basic way this new princess dress of mine could have been styled.  The warm and humid weather is beginning to seep its disgusting little way into the land of Alabama, and wearing black makes everything two times as hot, and so dressing it up just wasn't an option.  Doing so would result in subsequently taking a trip to hell, and I'm not feeling hell this week.  Maybe next week.  I think hell is pretty jam-packed on Mondays anyway.


Dress: Kohl's
Heels: Jeffrey Campbell
Belt: Fossil, thrifted
Necklace: Forever 21
Earrings: from a tiny little handmade jewelry store in South Carolina

Friday, May 10, 2013


Rodent Skull in Hair LandscapeFlower BraidI Am Hair CaterpillarCrystal WebOfferingSelf-Portrait

______At times, life can be an immense burden.

______Just when you think,"Ah, at long last, I am home in my dorm and able to go pants-less for the night!", you simultaneously realize you have forgotten your iPhone in the Photography room, most likely on the glass table where you usually set it down while you're slaving away in the darkroom, splashing yourself with chemicals occasionally and having a bit of a nostalgic dance party with your colleagues, one kindled by the 90s Pop Hits Pandora station.  None of you knew each other as children, but the music made it seem otherwise.  You left your phone on the table because as you waited for your prints to wash, you were deep into A Game of Thrones.


 ______After you left your prints to dry, you walked out the door reading the book, your mind focused on remembering the households and the characters and their relationships. There were so many names to remember, but you had a good hang on them, and that made you feel somewhat successful.

Sparkle and FaceGlass and FaceMother

______It is the first day of summer break, and this is the last time you will have to return to that room.  You are forced to trudge a whole six minutes back to retrieve your electronic device that is so vital to your daily existence.  It's there (thankfully).  A girl looks up from her binder and cocks her head at you like you're some criminal scurrying out of there with something that isn't yours.  She has never reacted well to your presence, and you've never been sure why.  You never liked her cropped pants, the ones with the white stripes snaking down the sides like day-old toothpaste.

Light Hands

______And once you're out of the room, you skip down the first two stairs, walk down the rest, and are happy that your phone was there, and happy that you are on your way back.  The walk there wasn't long.  The walk back would be shorter.  You decide to stop by the world's largest Starbucks on campus to order something warm to drink on the way because it has gotten cooler.  It is wedged perfectly between the photography room and your living space, and they know you by name there because you order the same thing each time--a Venti Passion tea, piping hot, unsweetened.

Tiny Bison

______Sometimes, they will draw a heart on the "i" in your name, or maybe rush a smiley face, or say, "The usual?" and it makes you feel a little bit classy, a little bit known, a little bit like you belong somewhere.    Two of them even know you by name.  One knows that your last name is Norwegian.  There is a certain pause at this moment, one that makes you forget how you forgot your phone in the first place.  You're enjoying this little detour, but you won't admit it.  You won't admit how convenient things are for you, and how much you like being able to feel like there's kind of place you belong, at least in the nooks and crannies where there are less people who are more important.  You are not in the mass, and probably never will be, but that is okay.


______You walk back to your conveniently located dorm on campus.  The sun is setting and casting orange light against the buildings, and blue shadows are opposite to them like ghosts with outstretched arms, and there is the smell of spiced flowers in the air.  Things are greener, warmer now.  There are no flowers sprouting eagerly from their buds, no set name for this day that should make it feel any different than the others, but there is the right feeling, the one that seems as if everything has awoken from its hibernation, and is now full of vigor and an honest brightness.  And it is rather serene, the scene which nature has so kindly painted.

Dealership Body ShopLight Mimic

______And that is when you realize that life isn't really such an immense burden, and you wonder why you could have ever imagined such a thing in the first place.  It is the first day of summer break, and you are leaving your pleasant burdens behind.

Spring 2013, Photography I, 35mm film