Saturday, December 30, 2017

Racing Stripes

______I've always been compelled to keep a personal timeline through text and image since I was young, and this has been accomplished through a variety of mediums: diaries, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, and even restaurant napkins. Diaries and the like are basically self-portraits you write in order to figure yourself out, to figure out wha image you are projecting into the world. That being said, I don't always see my own image clearly, which is perhaps strange since all this text is accompanied by none other than pictures of myself.

______I see photos of myself and don't always recognize them as me. I see them as someone I recognize on a daily basis but often fail to view that person as myself. I've always struggled with body image, but recently it's been less about body image and more about attempting to construct who I am in my head, noting what it is other people see in me--not necessarily just in terms of physical appearance, but with personality and demeanor, too. I feel like I'm composed of parts and pieces due to pulling personalities and styles from my friends and other influences, taking in their little witticisms and sayings and absorbing and merging them with my own. Perhaps all this image-taking and writing is just me trying to figure out how everything I've come into contact with congeals into one cohesive Ali.

_____ I know I have blonde hair and hazel, sometimes dark green, eyes. I have a scar on my chin from crashing my bike into a parked car and a caterpillar-like scar on my leg from where I had a large birthmark removed many moons ago. I nibble on my nails but don't bite them. I twiddle my hair a lot. I've got some pretty decent sewing skills and lots of pin-pricks on my fingertips to prove it. I spend more time with words in my head than I do speaking them. I get exhausted by people quicker than most, and thus need a solid amount of alone time per day. I don't think I've gone a day in my life without nibbling on some form of chocolate.

_____ Though I have a plethora of photos of myself from day to day that I can look at and definitely confirm as me, I suppose I never think of myself as a specific-looking person when I'm doing something. I suppose in the end, that's what's important: seeing yourself as the actions you perform or the things you do rather than solely your outward appearance.

Dress: Lulus (similar)
Jacket: F21
Gloves: ASOS (similar)
Tights: ASOS
Heels: Jeffrey Campbell
Choker: Valfré (similar)
Rose earrings: Charming Charlie (similar)

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Glitter Bomb

______Glitter, rhinestones, metallics, and faceted glass... though acceptable year-round, they seem even more appropriate during the colder months, as they resemble those scintillating and radiant wintry moments like dripping icicles or glittering snow piled in comfortable tufts on the ground. It doesn't get terribly cold in Alabama until late January (traveling from Iowa to Alabama, I gained fifty degrees and shed a few layers of clothing) so one must make up for the lack of winter through other mediums: festive Christmas decorations, twinkling lights, even the way one dresses.

______It's strange to not partake in any of the Christmas decorating at my parents' home; rather, I come home to perfectly fluffed garlands, draping lights, crisply wrapped presents, and tiny elves strategically sprinkled in various nooks and crannies. I miss watching a tree become slowly enshrouded with ornaments until nearly every branch has something nostalgic dangling from it, just as I miss the way the outdoor lights snap on right as night falls. I no longer have much of a way to decorate for Christmas in my Iowa apartment, that is, unless you count the white icicle lights which reside in my apartment year-round or the fir-scented candles that crack like a fire. I feel that decorating any further would be a waste as I end up coming home over the holidays anyway. It's a strange in-between state to be in.

______Nonetheless, I still celebrate in all the ways I can: listening to cheesy, overplayed holiday music and more contemporary versions of the same thing, wrapping and making presents for my own friends and family, and baking a variety of holiday themed goodies are just a few...

Top: Lulus
Skirt: Urban Outfitters
Fur vest: Charlotte Russe (similar)
Heels: ASOS (similar)
Rhinestone tights: Amazon (exact)
Opal ring: gift from dad
Choker: Forever 21
Open glass bracelet: c/o BornPretty
Earrings: Charming Charlie

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Back To School + Wade and Belle

______Here's another lovely pair of tights sent to me from Wade and Belle: these, an opaque black that once again weren't painfully tight but still stayed up all day long. Their motto is literally "Not Too Tights" which is the greatest because, hey, guess what, they're not lying. You could down an entire can of peas (or beans, or sliced potatoes, or a whole chicken because that's actually a thing--an entire canned chicken--which is unsettling) and still have enough wiggle room for dessert. Dessert is very important, my friends.

______I can already tell this semester is going to be a hectic one, what with teaching two classes, taking an English Philosophy class where I read and write a response to a new book ever week, and all while constantly trying to better my work. The moments where I have free time (that are also tranquil in the sense that I am not worrying about anything) are rare, but I savor them more than ever now. That's not to say I don't enjoy how overstuffed my days are, because I definitely do love having something to keep my time slots full; it just seems that graduate school is almost over even though I still have two years left, and savoring it as it zooms by is a nearly impossible task...


Top: Charlotte Russe
Skirt: similar
Tights: c/o Wade and Belle
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell
Choker: Nasty Gal (similar)
Earrings: Charming Charlie
Rings and bracelet: all c/o BornPretty

Monday, September 4, 2017

Strange Tides + Wade and Belle

______Wade and Belle sent me over not one, but three pairs of sheer tights to make some outfits with for the next few posts. I received a pair of diamond patterned tights, tiny polka dotted ones, and a sheer black pair to make some outfits with over the next few posts. The best time to wear tights that aren't entirely solid is when the weather is crisp, but not freezing, which is right about now... viva la autumn!

______The first ones I'm trying out are the Diamond Tights. What I love about these is how the waistband isn't suffocating but the tights remain in place all day long without having to do the infamously awkward pull-dem-tights-up dance. I also have this issue where if tights are too restricting up top, I end up getting cramps about halfway through the day. These didn't do that to me, which is the hugest hoorah and something I myself can never seem to find in tights.

______Also, being taller than average, these tights are the perfect fit so that I don't end up a victim of Horrid Drooping Tights Crotch. You know what I'm talking about: when it feels as if the legs of the tights aren't long enough and you're wearing tights made for small children, or worse, tights made for ants. All their tights are one size fits all and stretch just the right amount to fit you so the pattern doesn't become all skewed and elongated. Snug as a bug in a rug!

______We had the most fascinating light today: mid-afternoon, it poured through the trees in salmon pink blotches. The sky was the softest grey, almost peachy, and the entire landscape was tinted orange, as if someone had put a massive warming filter on the sun. There was absolutely no wind and it seemed eerily silent for about an hour and a half; insects stopped hissing and buzzing, there seemed to be no human activity outdoors, and the leaves of plants and trees were still as pond water. It reminded me of the calm before a storm, except after this strange light event, there was no storm.

Sheer holo top: Forever 21
Black dress: Lulus
Diamond tights: c/o Wade and Belle
Heels: ASOS
Necklace: vintage
Diamond bracelet: c/o BornPretty
All rings: c/o BornPretty

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. Its 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 he instantaneously became a soggy 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 clawing turtle and held him high and away from his body. 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