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Monday, May 30, 2011

Florals Baby :)

Hello my lovely readers! How has your memorial weekend been? Basically mine has been like this : ear infection. Ugh. But, being sick does give me an excuse to lie around in bed all day, in yoga tights and big comfy sweatshirts, so maybe there's a tiny plus to the pain :)
But, though my ear has been throbbing, and I have been very tired--feel special, because I broke out the tripod just for you guys. I'm actually really loving this whole pretending-to-be-a-fashion blogger thing. It's really fun to put on pretty clothes and pose in front of the camera. Like being a model, without the pressure to be skinny, beautiful, and perfect. Fashion blogging is so much more authentic because it involves real people, with real bodies, flaws and all, with real lighting, and more often than not, a self applied make up and hair job :P
So, I shall continue with this outfit blogging as often as I can, or until something more interesting catches my eye :)


Isn't it cute? The dress is from Wet Seal, the cardigan is from Target, and the shoes were a steal from Target for $10 :)


Now here's the outfit without the cardigan...It's a nice outfit for church with the cardigan, and for a party, dinner, or date :)
And a last silly picture..

So I really like this outfit...not too fancy, it can be dressed up or down, depending on the shoes and accessories, heels could make it fancy, flats make it casual.
So I hope you guys liked it! It has kind of a modern-retro vibe that I like, and I am DYING to get over to Target, because basically, the entire women's clothing section IS modern-retro...I love it. All these adorable dresses and rompers, and cool pair of ripped up skinnies that I have my eye on. I can't wait till my ear gets better..then I can buzz right over and shop :P
Anyways, I know, short post today, but enjoy the pictures and have a fabulous Memorial Day vacation!
Love,
Ari

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Best Things Come In Lace...




So this is one of the shirts I was telling you guys about in the last post! I got it at Kohl's for....$14, I'm pretty sure, and I love the lace detailing on front :)
And those are the shoes I would wear with them...adorable gladiators from Target--$20

And this is one of the other shirts, I also got it at Kohl's for $17...

The shorts I've had for so long I've forgotten where I bought them, and the tank top underneath the tank top (haha) is from Target. (Sorry about the tag hanging from the shirt..I had just gotten it and hadn't clipped it off yet!)

Yeah, I know I can be quite the ham in front of a camera...I don't really know why, but if I feel I look good, I LOVE having my picture taken.

Plus, I thought I was going to have to buy a tripod for my camera, but it turns out my dad had one all along, and its completely awesome! So now I can do shots in LOTS of different locations, which is exciting to say the least!
So those are my outfit shots...I had alot of fun taking them, and I hope you guys like them!
But seriously...I think I am becoming the queen of bargain shopping. I go to Target and Kohl's and Beall's Outlet and just pounce on the sales racks. Like today for instance, at target, I got these little leather heels for ten dollars when they had originally been around twenty four dollars. Getting a deal like that just makes my day--PLUS, they were the last ones on the rack, and my size!
I just love when things turn out that way, don't you? Anyways, summer is almost here, and I am SOO tickled about that fact. I can't wait to sleep in everyday, and spend long hours outside reading and day dreaming and doing whatever I want. It'll be the bestest :)
So, not much news, except tomorrow is my end of the year piano recital and I'm kind of nervous, your prayers would be appreciated!
So sorry this isn't a super long post, but I'm hungry and have other tasks to devote my brain juice to, so enjoy the pictures and have a fabulous weekend my chicas!
Love and bear hugs,
Ari

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Perfect Summer Day









I do so love manicures...



I have nothing to hide..just me, on a perfect summer day.






Hey everybody! It's finally almost summer, and it is just gorgeous down here in Florida, warm, with clear bright blue skies, and, in our case, an amazing pool to jump into when it gets too hot!
So all in all, life's pretty dandy in my little corner of the earth, the biggest thing that's happened to me lately is my karate test...which I will, of course, describe to you.
I was testing for my brown belt test, and I was pretty nervous, I was worried i was going to forget my techniques in the middle of the test or something. What turned out to be the worst was the length of the test. It was two and a half hours and hard labor, and I'm not going to lie to you, it was incredibly hard and painful. I never have been a person that has alot of endurance, I'm a sprinter rather than a marathoner, if you catch my drift. It was really, really hard, especially the sparring at the end. It wasn't that it was so difficult, but I was just so exhausted and drained that every movement was an effort. What really touched me throughout the sparring was my family cheering me on. Even my brother, who usually isn't very demonstrative, was encouraging me and cheering me on, and that, along with my instructor, helped me get through it.
It was really hard, but I'm really glad I did it. I gave it my all, and I'm proud of that.

Also, on a lighter note, I went shopping at Kohl's today and got some amazing deals on some adorable shirts...I'll have an outfit post if you guys want :) It's just been an amazing past few weeks, and I can't wait for summer to start--how about you guys?
Love and butterfly kisses,
Ari


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stories and Lake Superior...



I LOVE this one..





Isn' this place just completely gorgeous? When I'm old and retired, I'm going to build a summer home right on lake superior. It's the best. Birch trees (my favorite) right by the fresh water (my favorite) with lots of cool driftwood and rocks (which is awesome) and cute little northern cabins (which are adorable). See? It's awesome.

Birch trees. Right. By. The. Water. :)

This isn't near lake Superior..but its another lake in Michigan and my goodness, isn't it gorgeous?
Alright--ALRIGHT...here's the second chapter of my story: Secret Keeper. Enjoy!


Chapter Two: Nearly a Slave

She was up before the sun's sleepy rays shone over the horizon.
 It was her day. Her one free day of the week, to be alone and burden-free, to try and forget all the secrets inside her, to just be herself. The sun reflected off the small mirror hanging on the dusty beige wall paper, and she moved over and stared at her own reflection, as if looking at herself would make her more real. Two green-gray eyes stared back at her, and her dark hair was sticking out at odd angles from tossing and turning at night.
Her fingers reached out and touched the glass, tracing the round shape of her face.
She turned away. If only she could just be that girl, without all that was held within her, like a pretty urn fill with dead ashes. Her chin lifted. She wouldn't think of these things today. It was her day. Pulling one her less scratchy dresses over her head, and combing her tangly hair with an ancient comb, she deemed herself presentable, and walked with cautious steps to the wooden door.

Rattling snores emanated from the crack in the door leading to Bo's room, it was a Saturday, he wouldn't be up for hours. She walked down the barren hallway till she came to the kitchen. It smelled like the oily leftovers of a bad hamburger. She wrinkled her nose. Didn't Bo ever clean up after he ate?
There must have been at least five old fast food wrappers on the counter, with the trashcan not ten feet away. Lazy.

She opened the fridge and pulled out some crepes that she'd made for herself last night...then hidden them in the back of the fridge so Bo wouldn't discover them, and figure he could go for a third dessert.
She wondered how much money Bo had made off of her yesterday.
The old cashbox that was her constant companian had been nearly full yesterday.
Alot of people had secrets. Her fingers bit into the delicate crepe as she thought of all the money that should have been hers, money that could help her get out of here, away from Bo, away from everyone that had something to hide and just needed to tell her.

She walked out the dusty glass door and headed out across the main road, to the paths into the forest.
Some girls spent their Saturdays with their friends at the soda shop, laughing with the bar boys and drinking root beer floats.
Some girls spent their free time reading or out shopping. Her? She didn't have any money, she didn't have any friends. Who wanted to be friends with a girl who could speak because she was cursed?
Nobody.

Even in this small town, where everyone laughed at magic, and believed in only what they heard gossiped, everyone knew the curse was real. No one knew why she'd been chosen.
She didn't even know why she'd been chosen. All she knew was that from the time she was a little girl, she'd never said a word, and had always been sitting on that wicker chair, listening to secrets. When she'd cry, Bo would tell her to shut up, a town needs a secret keeper.

"Secrets are what makes a town rot, you hear me? Secrets are what tear people apart. Now you sit in that chair, and you listen to those people. As long as people will exist, there will be secrets. Why should they have to carry them their whole lives?"

Why should she? Why did she have to carry a whole town's burdens on her shoulders.
But she could ask that. She couldn't say no. While Bo profited off of her, she had no voice. The forest sighed around her, as if the trees understood. She scuffed her toe in the cool earth.
Only out here did she feel like a person, not a slave.

...........

So what do you guys think? ive got more chapters coming up...please give me some feedback! And go to the bottom of my blog page and click the wattpad button and vote for my story!! Thanks!
Love,
Ari

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Scribblin Secrets






Thought you'd all like that little glimpse into the purple lovelies of our garden--pansies :)
So how has your week been? Mine has been super busy, lots an loooots of school...I know, uninteresting, but hey--thats reality!
But...what IS interesting, and what I AM excited about, is that I am writing a book on Wattpad.com, and I think its going really well! I would post a link...but for some reason it only lets me share the link on facebook and a few other sites, like twitter, so I can't post the link on here, but I will copy the chapter and let you guys read it as I write it!!
BUT....at the bottom of my blog page, there is a button that connects YOU to MY story :) Please read it, vote for it, like it, LOVE IT!!
DOOOOO IT!!!!
Thanks :)
So....here's the very first chapter of my book entitled 'Secret Keeper'..enjoy!!
Oh...and this is one of the covers I designed for it.


Chapter 1: Silent Figure


Shadows were rippling across her face as she sat on the prickly wicker chair, the harsh noises of automobiles cranking past as they sputtered down the rough road. She stared down at her feet. Hairline cracks in the cement spiderwebbed beneath her, as if the whole floor was about to give way.

Another shadow fell upon her, blocking whatever warmth she had recieved from the sun. She hugged her jade green knit sweater to her arms too late, goose bumps were already popping out across her skin. She didn't need to look up. Just another burdened soul. She clenched her eyes tight as the man leaned down toward her, his bowler hair brushing against her dark hair, his breath against her ear making her insides cringe.

"Yesterday, I lost one hundred dollars at a card game. I was planning to win, I swear. Andy Burkhart must have cheated. I didn't mean to lose her grocery money, I was planning on doubling the amount. But she won't understand."

As she absorbed his words, his shadow and his smell of sweat and cigars slowly disappeared. Another secret. This one hadn't been too dreadful, not too much pain. Just a foolish decision. He would forget, but only after he'd let it go, passed it on to her. Her eyes slowly opened, and her clenched lips relaxed slightly. Not too much pain. Not like the time Celina Durnham had admitted to poisoning her cruel father so she could run away with her lover, or the time Matthias Jernigan whispered to her that he had stolen a large amount of money from a nearby convenience store. Those instances she had nearly fainted from the dizzying pain, the overwhelming feelings of guilt, shame, and fear that swelled inside her with each transferred secret.

Was her time over? The sun was lazily sinking over the horizon dotted with trees and powerline poles. The clammy air was growing colder, and her thin dress was no buffer against the chilly twilight air. She had to wait until the bell rang, but still, the day was winding down, fewer people on the street, fewer confidences to be told. Couldn't she go early? She turned her head around and stared through the dusty windows of the shop behind her.

There was Bo. His white shirt was stained with sweat, and his few remaining strands of hair were slicked back with a day's worth of perspiration. His round cheeks and rounder belly reminded one of a Santa Claus photograph, but the similarity ended with his eyes. They were dull eyes, dead eyes, and only at the sight of money or at the thought of some deplorable exploit did they brighten somewhat, illuminated with a cruel and greedy light. He was behind his counter, and when he saw her staring through the dirty windowpanes, he lazily flicked his glance away.

She wouldn't be leaving until the last bell-tone echoed in the church clock tower. Her skin, pale from birth, grew paler, as the shadows of dusk painted deep, dark circles beneath her haunted eyes. Was she nothing but a box to hold secrets in?

......

So what do you guys think? That's the first chapter, I have two more written as of now...if you have any questions, comment, and I'll post the next chapter soon!!
Oh--and here is the second cover I designed...



Kay! Hope you guys enjoy!
Love and kisses,
Ari

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Comin Back to You

Hey guys! I'm sorry that its been five days...again...but this week school has been super swamp-ish this week :) I'm finishing everything up, getting ready for summer which I can completely not wait for!!
What plans do you guys have for summer? I'm going to be helping with my church's VBS, and going to a worldview conference called Summit in either Tennessee or Colorado..it lasts for two weeks, and its going to be full of students my age and I am so pumped about that!!
I've alwasy been interested in different world views and how to stay grounded in my own...ways to defend my faith and stuff like that, so I'm looking forward to the conference alot :)
So...
I have a confession to make.
I got a Netflix app on my itouch and I got totally addicted to The Office, to Parks and Recreation, and to Dropdeaddiva.
Yeah...it's not good. I never knew how hilarious TV shows could be. My horizons have been greatly expanded :P
It's kind of sad, but I don't have too much to talk about. My life has basically been school, work, organizing my room, reading some much cherished library books (because I hardly ever get to go there) and watching Netflix on my itouch...so my life hasn't exactly been super exciting, but there have been a few things I'm really trying to work on.
One thing was definitely organization, and the other was time management...one book that I really like is:

It's really helpful and fun to read too. It helped me see that I'm organized in some areas, like my books an d my magazines and my journals and stuff, but that I'm disorganized in other areas, like putting things away after I get them out.
So I'm trying to get that part of my life straightened out and it feels really good!
And you know what else feels awesome? Laughing hysterically at the office as Jim and Pam do something diabolical to mess with Dwight's mind :)
I'm sorry its not totally thrilling, and I promise I will be posting again soon :)
Have a great week!!
Love,\
Ari

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Freshborn







I just love fresh basil...it goes with so many different dishes, and I couldn't let these baby basil plants go into the ground without taking some pictures. They were so cute in their tiny planter's pots :)

I loved the contrast with light and shadow in this photo...herbs are fun to take pictures of!

So are tiny purple pansies.

Sorry I didn't get these pictures up sooner--the blogger photo upload wasn't working for a while there, thus preventing me from showing you all :)
How was your Mother's Day on Sunday? sorry I didn't do a grand and special post that day--I was too tired! I woke up early to make Mom some breakfast and give her her present, and then I had to leave to practice with our church's praise band, and by the time I got home I was exhausted, so I actually napped some in my room.
I NEVER nap.
The blinds weren't even shut on my ginormous window.
I can NEVER sleep in daylight,
Yet somehow, I did.
That shows you how tired I was :)
So, I'm sorry I didn't get a post in...but I really do love my Mom and tried to make it an awesome day for her so....
That's really all the news I have for you guys, and I need to get back to studying for my Physics test (and my English project) so enjoy the pictures and have an amazing rest of the week!
Love and kisses,
Ari

Friday, May 6, 2011

Grab Onto Moments As They Slip By....

Do you ever just get a hankering sometimes for the way things used to be?
I grew up a late 90's\early 2000's child. and sometimes I look back at everything, bad hair, wierd clothes, and jellies shoes (I had a pair of those...pink sparkly ones!) and can't help but feel nostalgic. In an era where everything--clothes, shoes, hair, makeup, figures, are all striving towards such perfection, sometimes its fun to look back at the frizzy hair, MC Hammer pants (EWW!), baggy jeans, and loose tshirts and say "Ahhh..those were the days..."
I get that feeling whenever I read some old Babysitters Club books (Did you guys ever read those? I'm pretty sure Claudia and Mary Anne were my favorite characters :P) or happen to hear the Backstreet Boys somewhere, or watch a rerun of Full House--I remember what it was like being a kid, and how much the world has changed since then.
Back then, if you had a boombox, you were the coolest, and everyone was all excited about the Lion King coming out, and EVERYBODY knew about Britney Spears, Christina Aguilara, Justin Timberlake, and Aaron Carter (not that I'm condoning the lifestyles or careers of these people...that was just their era of fame!)

The style wasn't great back then, but it's funny to look back and think "Wow...I used to think those were the coolest ever!" Isn't it wierd how the world changes?
Makes me wonder what the world is going to be like in 2020..will I be looking back to 2011, and having the same feelings I do now about  the late 90's\early 2000's?
It's interesting to think about.
Only a few years have past, and so much has changed. Not that all change is bad, I LOVE my itouch, and I love the clothes and music nowadays too...it's just interesting to my to see how different eras go by, passing silently, never really missed until their over.
When I was living in the early 2000's, I couldn't imagine the world being another way.
it seemed to me that it would always be the coolest and most punk thing to have a bellybutton ring, that N Sync and the Backstreet boys would always be the hottest bands, and CD's would always be the way I would listen to my music. It never occured to me that world could or would change.
And then it did, and me along with it.
Luckily, I can always revisit those eras, through photo albums, music, and TV shows...but it's never quite the same. I can never relive my childhood, and its kind of scary to think about how fast time passes, and how little any of us take time to enjoy each moment, each era as it goes by.
Thinking about the past makes me want to enjoy the present as much as I can, and live it to the fullest, because the world will always be moving, and it never seems to stand still long enough for anyone to really experience it completely.
So I'll enjoy what makes 2011 great, because before I know it, 2012 will be here, and I'll be eighteen, and my teen years will almost be over, and I'll take what makes my childhood such a wonderful memory, and try to preserve that too.
The laughter, the dancing as I listen to music, not caring what my hair looks like, and putting on glitter eyeshadow because its fun..just living to the fullest.
That's what I want to do...how about you guys?
Love,
Ari

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Look Ahead and Smile

Hello, fellow readers and bloggers, it's a lovely Thursday morning, and I was determined to get more blog posts in than I had previously been able to, so here I am!
Do you all like the blog makeover? It's still got some quirks that need ironing out,but I'll fix that in time.
A question for the more experienced bloggers: How does one get a blog header from a website like shabbyblogs.com or the cutest blog on the block.com or a site like that, onto my blog? I know how to do the backgrounds, I just copy the HTML code and put it in...but all the headers I've ever tried to get didn't have a code, so I would try just copying the picture of the header and then putting it in...but it would never fit properly! Any advice? The header I have currently I got from picnik.com, and I like it, but I would like to know for future reference, how to get a free header from a website, onto my blog--thanks!

So I was reading some of my old blog posts earlier, like from August and September, and noticed a big difference from then and now. Is it possible for a blogger to lose the enthusiasm and drive that makes her love blogging? Because lately I may have lost some of that. I noticed it last night when I was editing my photos, and then scouring the Internet for the right header and background, that I had really missed the feeling of being excited about blogging.
I've gotten a bit of that feeling back, which is a great, I can't wait to take my blog to new heights, to push my photography, and really take my blogging to the next level, so to speak.
April was a wierd month for me, full of an almost obsessive desire to change and improve myself in any way possible, and it really ate up alot of my time, energy, and focus.
School, blogging, and photography, all those things that used to drive me so much, kind of fell away, and I hated that feeling of emptiness inside.
So, I'm getting back to the basics, where I needed to be all along, snapping pictures, having a blast with my blog, and not trying to be perfect all the time.
Heaven knows I would have killed myself trying, but I'm done with that. I never have been much of a material girl, and that short brush with that lifestyle didn't do me any good--so I quit!
I'm just going to be me again, and you know what? It feels really good.







:)
So happy to be back.
Love,
Ari

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sunlight and May Flowers

So I finallllyyyy found my camera USB cord, so I got some photography comin up for you guys! I'm so happy I finally found it! it'll be mostly nature photography, that's my favorite style, I don't really know why, I just love taking pictures of flowers and plants and stuff like that, so that's what's usually on here :)

Doesn't that just look like lace going across the sky?



mmmm...I love spring blossoms :)
How was y'all's weekend? I had a great time! On Saturday I drove with my youth group to a local bayou and went kayaking, which was super fun, even though I did get super sunburned xD
No, like REALLY sunburned...It was painful to move my legs for a couple days. But the kayaking was super fun! We went in tandem kayaks, so it was never boring, and we went to all these cool little islands, and it was such a gorgeous sunny day (hence the sunburn!)
I hadn't been able to go kayaking since last fall, so it was really fun to be able to go again--and boy is it ever an arm workout!
Plus, I just love the feeling of being outdoors, in the sun, water and wind...I'm a nature girl like that :)
I've also been a very HUNGRY girl lately...its seems like I eat every two hours....and I am WAY too old for a growth spurt. It seems like I'm hungry all the time..it's kind of driving my mom nuts.
I moan all the time about being starving, and she's like "HOW on earth are you not a giant blimp!! You eat all day long!"
And I honestly have no idea how to answer her.
It's quite disturbing...I mean where does it all go??

Look at the intricate veins...God is so awesome, that even a tiny leaf like this could have a complicated inner design.



Man, I just love this one..the colors, the lighting..yum

These flowers are from my neighbor's garden..I was watering for them while they were out of town for spring break. My neighbor also happens to be my piano teacher, and she is one of the sweetest ladies ever to walk this earth. I think she knows me better than alot of people, and she helps me so much :)



I don't know why I love taking and editing pictures of flowers so much, it really is my favorite type of photography. They take so many different shapes and forms, and they all show such beauty.
I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I did shooting and editing them :)
That silly USB cord was missing for so long, I nearly forgot how great it is to sit down and edit a bunch of great pictures. I had so much fun with this,,I hope you guys do too!
Love and lots of hugs,
Ari