February 28, 2011

Modified Arts

Last week Scott and I spent a good amount of time in downtown Phoenix. With the way our schedules are this semester we haven't had much time to come and hang out there. Well, since Scott had an errand to run, and I had class that morning, we decided to make an afternoon out of it and visited some of our most favorite spots in downtown.

Cardigan: J Crew; Morning Hour Dress: c/o Modcloth; Tan mircrofiber tights: c/o We Love Colors; Mary Janes: Dansko

While on our walk Scott and I stopped in front of Modified Arts. In high school and early college Modified was the place to be, and Scott and I have so many good memories of evenings spent enjoying amazing shows. Scott even played there once! Some of my favorite shows there were The Early November, and countless local shows where Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World, and Sam Means and Nate Ruess, both formerly of The Format, would show up and either hang out or play along. Man, those were the days.

Modcloth was kind enough to send me this pretty dress. I felt the cut was just perfect, and I really adore the detail on the top half, and also the pretty bow around the waist. Oh, and it's made out of a jean material, which is always a bonus in my book. I just love anything jean!

Today Modified Arts is more centered on art gallery showings. Occasionally they still have small shows, but nothing compared to the "Big Indie Shows" they used to be famous for. When they stopped having those types of shows that we all came to know and love, the community seem to dive into a time of despair. Today we are still hoping that a new, and equally lovely, music venue will open up in the area and allow us to have more shows in Phoenix once again.

Phoenix truly is a city full of love, and I am so thankful to be a part of it.

What do you love about your city?

February 27, 2011

Orange Picking

While out in downtown Mesa the other day Scott and I saw an orange tree that was calling our names. Since it was on the side of the street, and not in someone's yard, I felt it completely appropriate to pick a few oranges for a future smoothie.

Much to our dismay there were sharp sticks/thorns on the tree branches, and we definitely both got poked (Scott more than me). Scott was a real trooper though and pulled two oranges down for us.

See the pretty bird's nest that we spotted in the tree? Promise we didn't disturb it!

Yesterday we used the oranges to make a smoothie (which ended up being a bit of a dud, unfortunately). I really wish we had more fruit trees in the area. Apple trees would be lovely!

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone! Anyone have any fun plans?

February 26, 2011

Chandler Adventure

Last month I recieved this amazingly cute shirt from Spotted Moth and immediately took photos with it. Well, with the craziness of school, keeping up with daily posts, working for State Press, etc., I plum forgot to share the photos I took with it styled.

Photosynthesis Blouse: c/o Spotted Moth; Jeans: Levi's; Shoes: Sperry's

Scott and I took these photos next to the abandoned house we visited in Chandler, Arizona. The house was a bit spooky for me (and full of bees) so we figured taking photos away from it would be our best bet. No bee stings for us!

This weekend I am up to my neck in homework, and have to finish so much reading before the weekend is out. I also have a few blog posts to work on, and will (hopefully) be shooting an Arizona State University baseball game on Sunday for my photojournalism class. I am really hoping I can stay focused through this whole weekend, and will come out a less stressed out person on Monday.

Hope everyone has a wonderful, stress-free weekend!

February 25, 2011

To Write Love On Her Arms

Today I want to talk to you, all my wonderful blog readers about an organization that is so near and dear to my heart, To Write Love On Her Arms.

I would like to begin by telling you a bit of a personal story. When I was in high school a very close friend of mine dealt with bouts of depression, cutting, and attempts at taking their own life. Until the end of our friendship (for reasons completely unrelated) I was right by my friend's side, trying to help them as best as I possibly could. In 2006, during my first semester in college, my friend who had gone through so much, introduced me to To Write Love On Her Arms. I perfectly remember being in their bathroom one afternoon, watching this video that introduced myself to the organization and Renee's story. This video was the start of something great for my friend and I, and was exactly the spark of hope they and I needed and had been searching for. Tears of hope streamed from our eyes that day. To know that there were others, so many others, out there dealing with similar situations mades us not feel so alone. To say that Renee's story has been an inspiration in my life would be an understatement.

Sunnies: Ray Bans; TWLOHA t-shirt: c/o TWLOHA; Skirt: Banana Republic; Black microfiber tights: c/o We Love Colors; Boots: Steve Madden

Today I would like to not only tell you about my outfit, but also about TWLOHA as an organization, and what they are doing to make this world a better place.

TWLOHA's mission statement is: "To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery."

Since 2006 TWLOHA has answered well over 150,000 messages worldwide, and has also donated over $850,000 to treatment and recovery, and has hopes of breaking $1 million in 2011. TWLOHA is able to do this in part by donations and contest winnings, but mostly by the sale of their merchandise, which can be found in their online store, and also regularly in Hot Topic, Zumies, small boutiques, etc.

The orginial TWLOHA t-shirt was printed to fund Renee Yohe's recovery. Jamie Tworkowski, found of TWLOHA, met Renee when she was taken in by close friends after a treatment center was unable to support her during her detox. Renee eventually returned to an inpatient facility, and Jamie got to know her and learned more about the topics she was struggling with. In order to pay for her treatment, Jamie and other close friends sold t-shirts. Soon after Renee entered treatment, and Jamie wrote her story and gave it a home on Myspace. From here people sent messages and left comments that showed that they too understood her struggle. Months later TWLOHA was formed.

Today TWLOHA works as a non-profit as travels the world with their dedicated employees and volunteers to events, tours, concerts, conferences, and special invitations. TWLOHA is well known for having a strong connection to the music world, and will be participating in their fifth consecutive Warped Tour this summer.

Personal story: When I was in high school and early college I used to come to the Women's Club of Mesa for local shows (Dear and the Headlights, Awake & Alert, etc.). It's a historical building that was built in 1931 as a place for the women involved in the General Federation of Women's Clubs of Arizona to come together and work as one to better the lives of their families and others. The mission of the Women's Club reminds me a lot of TWLOHA, and their little building is a place that I now cherish for many reasons.

TWLOHA not also travels around the world promoting treatment and recovery, but also works closely with licensed mental health counselors who train the TWLOHA staff and interns in the area in which they all work in, "presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide."

Kaitlyn Suveg, Director of MOVE Community Conferences/Copy editor, who I worked with closely to present this special post to you, said "The metaphor we like to use is that TWLOHA is a bridge between a person struggling alone and their help, whether it be a parent, friend, pastor, mentor, or ultimately (and hopefully) a counselor. We value the concepts of vulnerability, honesty, and a trusted community. We try to validate the pain of people who struggle and point them to places of hope and healing, and walk alongside them as they journey toward that help."

For more information on TWLOHA please check out their FAQ page, and also all their online presence: Website, Blog, News, MySpace, Facebook, Behind the Scenes blog, Here We Collide, MOVE Community Conference, Street Team, and Twitter.

TWLOHA is an organization that is so incredibly important, and is doing so much good in the world. Please show them your support so they can continue to spread love to millions of people around the world.


February 24, 2011

The Coffee Shop's Sweet Treats

So I already told you that Scott and I grabbed some sweet treats from The Coffee Shop, but I didn't tell you what we got! That day they had so many goodies out, and I was so tempted to get not one, but two treats. However, I came to my senses and only got a lemon whoopie pie. Scott also got a berry coffee cake, and we shared a pomegranate iced tea.

Both Scott and I really enjoyed our treats. My lemon whoopie pie was amazing! I absolutely love anything with a lemon flavoring, and was so happy that they had a lemon treat out.

Our view from inside The Coffee Shop.

The Coffee Shops is one of my most favorite coffee and sweet shops in the Valley and I only wished I lived closer. I would be there every morning for a yummy latte and a scone before class.

What's your favorite coffee shop? What about sweet shop? Know of any good ones in Arizona?

Agritopia Farm Stand

Farms in the city are few and far between, but sometimes it's since to go out to Gilbert and vist the Agritopia development where they have a farm stand, The Coffee Shop, and Joe's Farm Grill. Not too long ago Scott and I decided to stop at The Coffee Shop for a sweet treat, and thought it would be nice to check out the Agritopia farm stand while we were there.

Grey cardigan: Banana Republic; Black cardigan: Levi's; Flannel: Nordstrom's Rack; Jeans: Levi's; Mary Janes: Dansko

Lately the sun has been warm and I have found myself yearning to travel to a small town to enjoy a nice walk, shopping time in cute boutiques, and lunch at an amazing sandwich shop. I have been thinking that a small town in Colorado, Steamboat Springs, would be perfect. It is one of my favorite towns in Colorado, and somewhere I've spent quite a bit of time in. If only I could take a jet plane there for the day!

Citrus is in an abundance here in Arizona, and I just love when all the citrus trees are in season. Last year Scott and I went venturing around an orange grove near where I went to high school. We didn't take any oranges, but I was so tempted to pick a juicy orange off the tree. My absolute favorite farm though, Schnepf Farms, has peach trees and last year Scott and I went and picked peaches. I'm hoping that this year we have time to do that again.

Life lately has been busy. Last weekend was my cousin's wedding, and this week I am getting ready to start study for mid-terms, and continually working on some writing projects. I still can hardly believe that it's almost March! Where has the semester gone? Pretty soon I'm going to be wearing a cap and gown, Anthropologie dress underneath, and walking the line to get my diploma! WOW! For the last year I have been saying I want a pretty dress from Anthro to rock on graduation day. I guess it's time to start the hunt!

Do you have many farms in your area? What kind of fruit is produced in your area?

February 23, 2011

Odessa & Tony's Rehearsal Dinner

Last week before Tony and Odessa's wedding we had a rehearsal at the venue, and also the rehearsal dinner at Bucca di Beppo. The walk through at the venue went really well, and was actually pretty fun. We all had to work on how fast we were walking, and how slow we should go down the aisle during the actual wedding. Afterward we all met at the restaurant and had a huge family sized Italian dinner in the pope room with the entire wedding party, cousins, parents, siblings, significant others, and the cutest little niece I ever did see.

Here is my cousin Odessa, her now husband Tony in his tuxedo shirt, and their little cousin Rebecca.

The bride to be and and her mom, my Aunt Evelyn.

For dinner we had caprese salad, caesar salad, pizza, eggplant parmesan, spaghetti and meatballs, lemon glazed chicken, and a white sauced pasta with vegetables. Oh, and plenty of bread!

There were lots of toast that night for the happy couple!

My handsome date for the evening!

For dessert we all shared a sampler plate. The apple pie and tiramisu was my favorite!

Myself and the bride-to-be with in her pretty white dress and faux veil with feathers.

And of course my cousin and aunt, being super sweet as as always. I just love these two so much and I'm so thankful that they are in my life.

Promise to share more from the wedding soon! Congrats again to Tony and Odessa!

Watson's Flowers

Growing up I always passed this little old flower shop that had an amazing vintage sign, and the wear and the tear on the outside to prove it had been opened since 1927. Since spring is in the air (it's been in the 70's here!), Scott and I thought it would be fun to make a stop there to admire the quaint building and their pretty flowers.

Dress: Nordstrom's Rack; Black microfiber tights: c/o We Love Colors; Boots: Steve Madden

Cardigan: Banana Republic; Button shirt: Vintage/was my dad's; Jeans: Levi's; Shoes: Sperry's

Growing up I always adored this little flower shop, Watson's to be exact, and always went there when I was in need of flowers for a special occasion. I definitely got my prom corsage there. For Valentine's Day Scott bought me my pretty sunflowers from there. I really love the ideas of buying flowers locally, and it's just a bonus that the shop is so cute.

Since winter isn't officially over I'm still holding onto dark winter looks, even though my outfit had no sleeves and I didn't have a cardigan on. However, I feel like dark colors are really just a part of my personal style and something I wear all year long. In the spring though it is fun to bring in some lighter colors for good measure.

These shoes were an amazing score at Last Chance! Blue (er, greyish) suede shoes baby!

For spring I would love to make a few light colored purchases. I've been dreaming about making some vintage purchases at Mercantile and Butter Toast Boutique. I see some bright prints and colors in my near future!

What's your favorite flower shop? What's your favorite flower?