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 bar with candles and wooden accents, 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 makes me scream a little more than I'd like to admit.

______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. Very Disney-esque. So down the concrete stairs I went to this 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.