Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pen-paling, and Other Rainy Day Things

      I'm currently keeping my eyes peeled for the sky to clear, and the sun to make it's way out, as my mother and I are to see Joan Jett play outdoors tonight. Why, yes, you did read that correctly: JOAN JETT. I'm over the moon about this show, and even more excited to experience it with my mother.
In the meantime, there is plenty of coffee for me to drink, books to read, and a letter to my best friend to be written.
     Ashley and I have been pen-paling it up ever since she made the move from Ohio to Georgia. It's been my most favorite thing; something to fill the void of us no longer having lunch dates or other adventures. Seeing  letters appear in my mailbox, and reading them with a cup of Ashley's favorite earl grey tea almost (almost) makes the distance easier. It's more personal than a text or email; being able to get a better sense of feeling from quick, excited hand-writing and just knowing it took longer than a voice-commanded message from a cell phone in the car. Keep the written word alive, people! I'm hoping to get a P.O. box for this site soon for anyone still thrilled about snail mail. Do any of you have pen-pals?

Monday, July 28, 2014

DIY: Embroidery Hoop Photo Mobile

Hey, guys! Remember me? Sorry for ditching out last week. I just decided to take a few days to re-group, and get my attitude in check. I apologize for being so negative lately. That clearly hasn't helped me with much at all, so I'm just going to dive back into Rags and Roses with the same enthusiasm I had when I first started blogging. Thanks for sticking around! 
Okay, let's get to this DIY mobile. I was searching on Pinterest for different ways to display photos, and I stumbled upon a few banner and mobile options. So, I thought it would be kind of cool to put the two together in one project. I like that you can switch out the photos and scrap paper, too. Here's how I made it!
Supplies: Three embroidery hoops, acrylic paint, paint brushes, yarn, an adhesive wall hook (I used the cheap off-brand kind and it worked great!), clothes pins, and pictures or scrapbook paper to decorate.
Paint your fabric hoops any color that you'd like to, and set aside to dry.
Cut your paper and photos to your preferred size so that they are ready to be displayed.
Stick your hook to the ceiling, and press it firmly in place. Tie three long strings of yarn to your largest fabric hoop in a triangulated position. Bring the three pieces together at the top to make a knot. Place the hoop onto your hook using the knot you created. Tie your other two hoops onto each other in descending order by size. Make sure they all hang evenly, readjust if needed, and cut off the access string.
Using the clothes pins, arrange your photos, postcards, or paper any which way you please!
I really liked the finished product on this one. It's be really easy to swap out new photos, or even do seasonal/holiday displays. I'm already dreaming up a Halloween mobile. Because, ya know, that's what normal twenty-somethings look forward to. You could even paint your clothes pins for an extra pop of color! I hope this gives you all some inspo on showing off your favorite pictures. Think outside the frame!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Outfit: Swan Dive

     This week has been a mess. Lots of bad news, lots to think about/work through. And, I've had my moments of total negativity and woe. But, I'm starting to digest things and see them for what they are. I've worked through quite a bit in my short time on this planet, and I know I'll work through more. Thank you to everyone who knows whats going on, and has offered support or just an ear to listen. It means more than I can describe. I'm working on measuring my life through the love I get from the people around me instead of the things I cannot change. It's trying, but enjoying what you do have and acknowledging people who do everything to be a source of light for you is way more rewarding. I spent time that I'll never get back dwelling on mistakes, and feeling very alone, when in fact I have a great amount of family and friends who would be present anytime needed. Being a big ball of sad is not worth that wasted time, folks.
     So, with all that aside, let's talk normally, shall we? I'm currently waiting get work over with so that I can be reunited with my dear, Andy; who has been away in Ocean City with his family. I've been counting down the minutes of his return, even though I know he's been having a blast. I decided to step out on a day flooded with not-so-great things to get back into the groove of my regular posting schedule. The end result was good conversation with an old and trusted friend, and these photos. I've been living out the remaining Summer days in this dress, and think that it's going to become a lifelong love. That's a totally normal way of addressing articles of clothing, right? It's been cool and breezy all week here in Ohio, and it's giving me so much excitement for Fall. I'm really not much of a Summer person. I like the golden light and changing colors, instead of this scorching heat and over-grown greenery; yuck! Well, I think I'm off to read away my last few minutes of freedom. Have a wonderful weekend, readers!

Outfit Details:
Dress- Urban Outfitters
Boots- TJ Maxx
Bag- Thrifted
Sunnies- Forever 21

Monday, July 14, 2014

Recipe: Black Bean and Corn Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette

Sorry for the crappy pictures; this was kind of an impromptu recipe post, and these snapshots are courtesy of my phone. I promise you the recipe is much higher quality. The later half of the week and weekend were crazy-busy! I saw The Front Bottoms and Say Anything on Wednesday, and BRAND NEW on Friday, and then spent the weekend with my sister and Nanny (grandma) in between working. Whew. The concerts were both amazing. I got to meet Brian Sella (of The Front Bottoms) again, and Brand New was just out of this world. They sounded perfect, and played every song I could have wished to hear. The experience was so surreal, as this was the first time I'd ever seen them live; I could hardly sing along because I was just so in awe. But, anyways, yeah, this recipe! I mixed this up during a brief period of spare time (imagine that!), knowing that I'd need something simple and filling to prepare for the schedule insanity. I ended up loving the result, and cannot wait to prepare it again; hopefully with a bit of extra time to really perfect it. Here's the skinny: 
Black Bean and Corn Salad (one serving):
In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium meat. Add 1/4 can of drained black beans and a few sprinkles of packaged taco seasoning. Cook until tender, and remove from heat. Next, get some more oil heated in your pan before adding 1/4 can of drained sweet corn. You want your heat up higher for the corn, so that it begins to char slightly; this will mimic a grilled flavor. Add salt, pepper, and the zest of one lime to your corn, then remove from heat. Put your beans and corn in the refrigerator to cool slightly while you prepare the rest of your salad. Chop 1/14 of a red and yellow bell pepper, one roma tomato, and a few slices of cucumber. Use a bit of red onion, too, if you have it on hand! I didn't, and really felt like that's what my salad was missing. Mix your veggies, beans, and corn in a bowl and add a handful of baby lettuces; the mix I buy has spinach, arugula, radicchio, and kale. 
Honey-Lime Vinaigrette:
Juice and zest of one lime
1/2 tablespoon of honey
1 clove minced garlic (heat through in oil to remove sharp flavor before adding)
A few sprigs of cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper*
chili powder*
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
(*seasonings were all to taste)

Pour the vinaigrette over your salad, and toss until evenly distributed. Finish with chopped avocado, a couple lime wedges, and pepper! I ended up putting some crumbled pepper jack cheese on mine, too, and it was delicious. Serve with blue corn chips or flour tortillas for dipping! This salad was very refreshing, filling, and easy; I'm all about throwing what you have in your pantry in a bowl, and making a meal out of it. This would be great for summer cookouts or as a side dish to any taco night. I hope you enjoy it, too!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Outfit: Still Alive For You, Love

Andy and I recently celebrated our anniversary, and we decided to take some  lots photos to mark the occasion. Woops.
     I've known Andy for four years. We've shared big milestones; moving away, birthdays, family celebrations. We've also had to get through times that aren't so great; not always with grace, either. But, it's always come back to this guy. He is patient, supportive, hilarious, and so talented. He can do anything. Like, he literally has to skills and capacity to do anything. Whether its building cars/houses/computers, or taking beautiful photos(like all of these above and below), or playing music, or making the best guacamole ever: ANYTHING. His endless ability is only made more amazing by his quiet and humble nature. There is not a cruel bone in Andy's body. He is unapologetically himself, and I admire him for that.
     It has been a privilege to share these last few years with this man. He's taught me breathe easier; to let petty things go and focus on living more fully. He provides endless encouragement, even when I can't see any source of light. He sees potential in me that I struggle to see on a regular basis, and is the first to recognize any small victories. I am lucky to have this person as a friend and partner; someone to grow with/ watch Drunk History and go on donuts binges. I adore you, Andy.

Outfit Details:
(top set)
Sunnies- Forever 21
Top/boots/bag- T.J. Maxx
Denim- Aeropostale
(bottom set)
Hat- Target
Dress- Forever 21
Clogs- Old Navy
Kimono- T.J. Maxx

(Both of Andy's outfits are totally thrifted, because he rules!)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My Summer Wishlist

I find Summer to be the best season to shop. Mainly because stores offer free air conditioning, but also because dressing for Summer is kind of the best. You can get away with lots of fabrics and prints that aren't necessarily fit for the rest of the year, and generally find some great "end of the season" sales. The items shown above are things that I'm dying to add to my wardrobe. Baby-doll dresses, gingham and tribal print everything, Birkenstocks, all of the kimonos, simple/fitted crop tops, a hat better suited for the warmer months, rose-toned jewelry, and, yes, the One Direction perfume. I'm prepared to lose a views on this post for that, but holy crap, it smells SO good. What's on your Summer wishlist?

P.S.-Come visit me on Polyvore!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Playlist: Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

Here are the only shots I got of the holiday weekend. And, actually, Andy took the one of the fireworks. I know, right? I totally slacked. Especially because I actually had a pretty eventful Fourth of July. I started it out by road-tripping to Cleveland to see my old college friend, Tim. We strolled downtown, then got ice cream on the west side of the city. We caught up a ton, and shared all of our old jokes and favorite stories. It reminded me how much I truly love that city; as if I needed a reminder. Then, I headed back to my humble town to meet my loves, Andy and Laura, for fireworks. We watched them at Ashland's balloon fest which was kind of lame, and kind of awesome for the same reason. They did choreographed balloon lighting to precious songs of my youth, such as The Baha Men's classic, "Who Let the Dogs Out?". Do with that what you will. We filled up on fried foods and shaved ice, and had a religious experience when eating a red velvet funnel cake. *Bless*. The night ended with too many ginger chews due to an upset stomach and coffee that I didn't need. I laughed more than I have in forever, and fully embraced being loud and abrasive with two people I love a lot.
Now, I'm wiped from work and finally catching up on The Walking Dead. WTF, TERMINUS? I'm also trying not to exhaust myself thinking about what this week has in store. Lots of double shifts, and lots of traveling. Laura and I will be on the road for two concerts this week; The Front Bottoms and Say Anything one day, and Brand New for the other. Obvz, I'm stoked. It'll be worth the few hours of sleep. Well doods, I'm ending my night with some slow and sort of sad tunes, because those are the ones I like best. I hope you will, too!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Outfit: Fighting Against Your Lungs

Look at me, in blue jeans! I NEVER buy traditional-colored denim because I am eternally worried the color makes me look not so great. But, I saw these high-waisted beauties at Aeropostale last week for $5.99, and just couldn't resist. I have to say that store has really transformed since my last visit, which was probably in high school to purchase my school uniforms. They had sale bins that lured me in, but I will definitely be back! Surprisingly, I ended up liking the denim rather well. They definitely fit better for a more casual look than all my black jeans. 
Alright, now that I got my obligatory outfit talk out. Let's talk anxiety. I've talked about my struggles with it on more than one occasion here, but it seems lately that it's really had a hold on me. Suffering from anxiety and depression has to be one of the most frustrating and complicated things I have ever been faced with. It's hard to explain the feeling I personally get from being "anxious", because the severity is so unpredictable. Sometimes just seeing a big crowd of people gives me a nervous feeling, and other times I have to try with everything in me just to catch my breath over thinking about work, bills, and the perpetual "what am I doing with my life?" thought spinning through my head. Other times, my anxiety/depression isn't triggered by anything at all. Those times are the worst of all. Here recently, I've really had to come to terms with the fact that this is something I'm probably going to have to deal with forever. But, I've also made the decision to start weeding out the parts of my life that seem to intensify it. This means taking a few big leaps towards something new, even though it is terrifying and I face the possibility of failing. (I'll have more details on that soon enough.) I've also been trying to find someone to talk to about the way I have difficulty processing things in my life. This has been trying, because I have worked with several "counselors" in the past that I did not feel comfortable with at all. I do think it's going to be different this time though, since things are on my own terms. I'm tired of living halfway, and being miserable without knowing why. 
If you have ever or are currently dealing with anxiety or depression, please know that it is just as serious as it feels and also that you are worth getting better for. Be selfish! Understand that it is not going to be easy ever, and that it may never fully go away. But, you can find ways to cope, and people who don't think you're weird or hopeless. Go buy flowers for yourself even if it seems stupid. Look at old pictures from times that you were genuinely happy, just to remind yourself that you are capable of being okay. Know that even at your worst, there is still something to keep trying for, no matter how minuscule. I have been a self-loathing, cynical, unhappy person for too long. I've hidden behind sarcasm and attitude to forget about the real issue at hand. I've damaged relationships, and harmed myself for no reason other than being totally lost. And, its taken me 21 years to figure it out, but I'm finally starting to feel like I have a chance at something else. Something better. You do, too. Whoever you may be, you beautiful person, you. Take care of yourself. You're all you've really got.

Outfit Details:
Hat- Target
Tank/ bralette- T.J. Maxx
Denim- Aeropostale
Flats- Gifted
Purse- American Eagle (found at T.J. Maxx)
Sunnies- Gabriel Brothers

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Recipe: Guacamole Black Bean Burgers

Andy and I celebrated our anniversary this weekend, and we decided to keep it kind of low-key. Actually, we didn't really "decide"; we both casually forgot about it. Woops. Anyways, Andy made these awesome veggies burgers for our celebratory dinner, and they were too good not to share. Here's the scoop!
In a pan, saute bell peppers and onions until they are tender and begin to char. We used red and yellow peppers, and a red onion, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand! You'll also want to start cooking your veggie burger in another pan. We used Lite-Life brand's version of black bean burgers, but I'm also a huge fan of Morning Star's because they have a great spice to them.
After your burgers and veggies are cooked through, set them aside and prepare your guacamole. We used avocado, tomato, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, cilantro and salt and pepper in ours; everything to taste. P.S.-One of Andy's greatest attributes is his guacamole making skill. He is the master, folks.
Now you can start assembling! Toast some thick slices of wheat bread (or whichever bread you prefer), and add your veggies, lettuce, burger, salsa of your choice (we used Kroger brand organic tomotilla salsa and it was AWESOME), and your guacamole.
How good does that look!? These are totally easy to customize, and make for the perfect Summer meal; very little fuss involved, doods.
Try this spin on a Summer classic for your next dinner party or cookout. Or, for your anniversary that you totally did not mean to forget about. Jeesh.

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