Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Engagement Photoshoot

AH! I've been waiting for this day. I'm not sure why I was waiting and not posting...but I was waiting. These pictures haven't even gone on our Facebook yet and we've had them for over a month [and took them two months ago].

Our engagement photoshoot was a blast. Our photographer was an old high school friend who gave us an AMAZING deal. She made us feel super comfortable and we spent most of our time laughing [at Iman]. I believe I mentioned before here the whole story of our amazing photoshoot, but I just wanted to say thank you thank you again to Mica for making our day so wonderful. And super thanks to my MOH for coming out of her death bed to assist us with the paint throwing...even if I did get it in my mouth.

Without further ado, my favorites from our engagement photoshoot. Err. It was hard to cut it down to these, I might post more later :)

Typical us, and he picked out this dress :) 

He's so michevious!

I love this, Mica did such a great job at capturing our tattoos
without it looking like a "pregnancy" pic

I'm taller for once!!

Right before it got intense...

He's still mad I got it in his ear...but I can't reach anywhere else!

Special effects from Molly

This is my mouth with blue paint in it

When we got engaged I did this pose (with my glasses on though)

This will probably be our save the date pic :)

Linking up for Wedding Wednesday like always!! :) Oh, and a post explaining my absence to come!

Chits and Giggles

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Advertising :)

While I'm fairly new to Passionfruit - I have to admit I absolutely love it. I had been looking for a way to advertise or swap buttons, and Passionfruit has been the perfect way. Luckily, I got into it right as they made major changes and introduced Passionfruit 2.0.

Wow! The new Passionfruit is blowing me out of the water even more, and I am so excited to purchase the subscription. There will either be a $9/mo flat rate, as opposed to the current rate of taking a percentage of each ad. I'm planning on taking advantage of the $50 for a year limited time offer. If you do it, you'll keep the rate for the rest of your time with the company. That would be saving $58/yr! Especially beneficial while I'm still getting in the groove of things. I haven't had my first paid ad yet, but that's okay. I'm making lots of friends with swaps!

I wanted to share my ad rates with you, in case you haven't made it over to my sponsor page.

Important! Each ad comes with a Warrior Queen wristband! If you don't want to buy an ad, but want a WQ wristband, I am selling them for $1. All proceeds of ads and wristband sales go toward the fun stuff - my ad purchases [to get myself, and you, more followers], trademarking Warrior Queen [my dream for the past few years] and eventually! funding events and even cooler swag [I SERIOUSLY want to make WQ t-shirts].

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wedding Wednesday Fabric Shopping

Chits and Giggles

So, I never really do these link things every week, but I am super loving Wedding Wednesday. Mostly because it stops me from just gushing about wedding stuff every single day on my blog about being an independent woman...LOL. Also, I feel like I'm actually getting wedding stuff done by talking about it because we are in the patiently waiting time. Just under 9 months to go!

Today I wanted to tell you why I did not post last Wedding Wednesday...because I made it a literal Wedding Wednesday by going dress fabric shopping!!!

The Saturday before my mom got the almost pattern for my dress. I say almost because she is going to make some adjustments to make it specifically to my taste [obviously]. Which meant that the next day I had off [and fiance-free] was fabric shopping!!

My MOH/best friend came with my mother, god mother and I. My godmother is buying the fabric as my wedding present :)

We left bright and early and hit LA traffic, of course. But for this type of thing you don't mess around! We got in the cool new Toll Road/Carpool Lanes to get into downtown in my godmother's Crown Vic [I love driving in that thing, people think you're a cop and they move out of your way!].

We chose to go to the Fashion District in DTLA because it would be much cheaper and nicer than any of the other areas around [yet another reason why I love living in SoCal]. It's perfectly fitting, too, because Iman got my ring from the Jewelry District and we're getting our flowers from the Flower District. YAY for warehouse pricing!

As we walked in my best friend and I were pretty overwhelmed / didn't know what to look for. Luckily, my moms are experts. So we looked at a few pieces and then found this PERFECT fabric. Only, it was small...not enough to make a bodice. The lady told us that they didn't have any other sizes of that fabric and I was so so sad.

But we kept looking and found the same fabric but slightly wider! Still too small, but it was progress. Another lady came over to help us and then she pulled out the full size fabric!!!

That first lady did not know what she was talking about!!! The rest of the pieces of fabric were easy to find and we got some accessories...I'm not giving away too much for fear that Iman will decide to read my blog for once!!!

All of it happened in an hour. We didn't even have to pay for parking!! I didn't cry, but I got super super close. Which I think is a good thing. I'm weird and I cry at the most inopportune times.

After that we headed into Pasadena for some Afternoon Tea [which my MOH won a free tea for two today because she guessed the little prince would be named  George!] and then we all made it back in time for our afternoon appointments.

Successful day!

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P.s. My mom totally injured herself getting into the car when we were leaving and we all got worried that we wouldn't make it on time because we had to stop and ice / butterfly her wound. Silly mama! I'd show a pic but she'd kill me!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Meaningful Ink

I have a obsession that I cannot stop thinking about...I am counting down the days until I can get my next tattoo. [Unless someone buys me one, it's going to be at least a year, but still].

I love thinking that no one, besides me, is ever going to have the same map on their body. They will never have the same moles, scars and wrinkles. I am completely, one hundred percent me. But I still like to decorate my skin to celebrate the thoughts that are in my head. The process is beautiful and a work of art prior to the evidence of the art.

It all starts with an idea.

October 2010, WQ Symbol

For years we drew some sort of WQ with a heart symbol on our wrist to remind ourselves of our strength and self-love. After 2 years, I decided it was time to give myself this permanent reminder.

August 21, 2011

When I was 16, my cousin passed away. He had had cancer from age 2 to 6 and had been cancer-free for two years when he passed. Shortly after, a friend drew the above ambigram, and I held onto it until my brother's 18th birthday. We each got tattoos dedicated to him, our life inspiration.

August 21, 2011
 I still wanted to incorporate an actual sun into my tattoo, and decided to get one behind my ear. I would have liked it to be a little higher because of its size, but I love it.

February 2012

In 2011, my best friend [my "wife"] told me she wanted us to get matching diamond tattoos. I told her only if we did so on some weird body our big toes. A year later, she took me to get these - a symbol of our friendship and our strength.

September 2012

The infinity tattoo with my fiance was the only tattoo I ever got without thinking for months on it. I've known since I was 18, that I wanted to get a tattoo for him in some way, but this was his idea and I love it. Even before I was engaged, I knew that he was there, committed to me.

My next few tattoos will be super fun / meaningful ones as well.

I'm planning on getting "time and change" on my left thigh - a testament of my time at The Ohio State University, and the everlasting friendships. "Time and Change will surely show, how firm thy friendship O-HI-O."

I also want an intricate back piece [much after I'm married]. The angel veins of the heart absolutely astound me. In the bigger strings I plan on including symbols of the people who have changed my life - my family, friends, future children, etc Around the tattoo it will say "If I were to pluck on your heart strings, would you strum on mine?"

Behind my neck I want to get an infinity sign with the word strength spelled in it. The loops will incorporate a heart and a peace sign "peace, love, strength, forever." I've been wanting the peace sign and heart since I was 17.

I plan on someday getting tattoos for my future children as well :) and lately I've been really thinking about getting a chest piece. I'm not sure why, I used to think they were very limiting, but they have really grown on me. I love the beauty in some of them, like Christina Perri's. Basically, I want a bunch of "small" tattoos all over, not necessarily a sleeve or full body piece.  Who knows what else! It is just so exciting to plan this art work.

When I was younger, my friends always talked about piercings and went and got them. I only ever wanted my nose pierced [which I did at 18, and then got the other side pierced at 22]. I've also had my tragus pierced but took it out after a couple of months. I currently don't have my nose piercings in, but I definitely miss having my left one [the one I got first]. Interestingly enough, I found out that my nostrils are different sizes drastically when I got my right side done!

Take a look at my opinion article I wrote for the Daily Sundial last year!

Happy Tuesday!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Warrior Queen Playlist

Happy Monday!!

It's been awhile since I've done a Warrior Queen Playlist (see this post for the last playlist).

I recently bought Spotify's paid account. I usually don't do that type of thing, but it is super cool because I  can download playlists to my phone...aka I can listen to all of the music that I haven't been able to buy without running my phone's data up a storm.

This list has some newer songs and some older ones, but all in all, I think they inspire me to be stronger and love being a girl so much more!

1. Mama's Broken Heart - Miranda Lambert

2. Brave - Sarah Bareilles

3. Catch My Breath - Kelly Clarkson

4. 32 Flavors - Ani Difranco

5. Keep Your Head Up - Andy Grammar

6. Who Am I Living For? - Katy Perry

7. Girl on Fire - Alicia Keys

8. Who Says - Selena Gomez

9. Skyscraper - Demi Lovato

10. Nobody Ever Told you - Carry Underwood

11. Shake Them Haters Off - Kelly Rowland

What songs would you add?

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Friday, July 19, 2013

The Never List

Sometime in high school during a peak in my list-making past, I created a list of the things that I had never done and wanted to do. It included silly things [like going toiletpapering] and serious things [like falling in love]. Throughout the years, I have updated it and posted it on my Xanga.

I've forgotten about it for the last few years [curse becoming a grown up!] but this past week I've redone it!

Never List 
  • Had a surprise birthday party
  • Broken a bone
  • Been to an exotic country
  • Written a full book
  • Spent a day without worrying
  • Kept my room and closet clean for a year
  • Been to the Grand Canyon
  • Made amends with family members lost
  • Accepted that I can't control everything
  • Gone to prom
  • Surfed
  • Been on the radio
  • Had breakfast served to me in bed
  • Gone toiletpapering
  • Swam with dolphins
  • Bought and worn dominatrix boots
  • Learned to play guitar
  • Raced a car
  • Done strip-tease aerobics
  • Driven up PCH from start to finish
  • Played spin the bottle
  • Rode a skateboard in heels
  • Known more than two languages fluently
  • Been seduced in a foreign language
  • Gone paintballing
  • Been serenaded in public
  • Had a cake fight
  • Gotten married
  • Been to a Michigan Game
  • Been a mommy
  • Laid down in the middle of the street
  • Watched Aurora Bourealis
  • Seen a meteor shower with someone else
  • Seen a Shooting Star
  • Been to Mardi Gras
  • Owned my own house
  • Been in a hot air balloon
  • Made my own fashion line
  • Gone to an NFL or NBA game
What is on your list of things you've never done? What should I add to mine?

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hold Your Head High



So, I went to the chiropractor last week and got some x-rays done because they were doing a special and my back has been killing me forever. Yesterday, I got to see my awesome X-Rays. Only they aren't so awesome because...they show that my back is super messed up and so is my neck and I get to spend the next year or so getting adjusted and fixed.

The good news is that, since your nervous system controls all aspects of your body, I will be getting healthier all around! Also, hoping he puts me on a food plan / exercise plan so that I will actually stick to it for once. 

Since then, I've realized something. 

I always say "Walk Tall," "Hold your head high," "Chin Up," etc and physically, I am not doing this. 

My bad posture shows my stress that I carry in my shoulders. It shows the way that, even when I stand up for myself, I feel guilty for doing so. On Saturday I stood up for myself and what I believed in. I stood with my head high, and then afterward...emotionally drained...I hung my head.

I believe that my empathy is to blame, but I should not feel ashamed nor guilty for standing up for myself. I don't always have to apologize. I am a Warrior Queen and I need to stand like I own me. 

Remember, confidence is contagious :)

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Friendship in Times of Need

It's Tuesday and my weekend was far from relaxing. I've come to realize that this summer isn't necessarily carefree for those closest to me, or myself. The positive vastly outweighs the negative, but I think we all need a little extra love and positive energy right now.

Which has led me to this unstructured post that is an open letter to friends from friends everywhere.

Dear you,
Some days I need a little more love and support than others, but I'm too buried to reach for it. Some days I need you to send me that text message of support, that might not even get a reply. Some days I need you to understand that I'm not replying because I do not love and respect our friendship. I have yet to reply because I don't know what words to say, terrified that the one word "Hello" to someone I know cares deeply for me, will break the dam and all of the emotion and tears will come pouring out.
 Some days I need to hear "That blows" instead of a solution to my problems. Other days, I need those solutions and I appreciate every little bit that you do. When you bring food to my house for us to cook and leave the leftovers for later in the week, I appreciate it. When you sit by my side, silent, while I cry, I appreciate it. When you come over and ask for advice, worried to put more on my plate, I appreciate the distraction. 
 I need you to understand that some times I do not talk to you for weeks and weeks even though you might see on Facebook that everything is wonderful and I seem to be spending a lot of time with so-and-so. Please do not get jealous, as I can assure you, my love for you has not faltered. Sometimes I need the support of certain people, but many times, they need mine. I might not text you for a few days because, while I'm busy at work, I am spending every spare second supporting someone else who is going through something tough. I want to talk to you and I won't ignore you. But I can't spend my day worrying that you are upset because I haven't texted you when it goes both ways. 
 Please, do not be afraid to reach out to me any time of day or night that you could need me. I will do everything in my power to love and support you.
Forever your friend,

Do you have any friends going through a rough time?

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Flashback Friday and Why I Moved Home

Today I feel like sharing a very scary story that may seem a bit incredulous, but I promise you it's not. This event happened at a critical time in my life and it was the deciding factor in why I left The Ohio State University despite friendships, scholarships and the ability to graduate in less than three years. To this day I know that I made the right decision for me, but I still get sad when I think about the strong friendships I formed and the distance between us. (Seriously, can someone teach me how to teleport?) Luckily for me many of those friendships remain strong and I have several amazing friends willing to make the trek to California for our wedding next year.

The day my house was on fire

The night my house caught on fire, I was home alone when I went to bed. I made sure to lock the front door,  leave the living room light and TV on before I went upstairs. I don't like to be home alone, but I didn't want to go out and party, like most Saturday nights. I was excited. The next day I was going to buy my first car (on my own). I excitedly chatted on the phone with my then-boyfriend about the next day. I made sure to lock my bedroom door too, because we lived on the edge of "college town" and the beginning of section 8 housing. It wouldn't be my first scare (nothing bad ever happened...we were just 5 girls living in a house with homeless people living in the alley behind it).

Around 2 a.m. I finally fell asleep, still the only one of the five of us at home. Three of my roommates were out of town for the weekend and the other was at a friend's house.

Then, I woke up, terrified. Someone was trying to get into my room. Instinctly, I grabbed my phone and joined in the screaming. Then I heard my name being shouted, over and over again. Once I realized it was my roommate I ran and unlocked the door.

"Raewyn, we have to get out. The house is on fire."

Running down the stairs I remember simultaneously shouting that we need to call 911 (she already had) and I kept repeating "boots and jackets, boots and jackets." It was actually the coldest night of that winter so far, and somehow we weren't the only place on fire.

What I don't remember about running down the stairs, but what is probably my favorite part of the story is that I texted my then-boyfriend "My house burning" (What an awesome text to wake up to when you're girlfriend is thousands of miles away, I'm sure).

As we ran out the front door (in our boots and jackets, thank you very much), we saw that the police had already arrived. I stood out front of our house in shock, staring at it. It was just about 5 a.m., I was being snowed on and there were flames pouring out of my neighbor's house, licking the side of our beautiful Dollhouse.

I watched 3 homeless men get carried out of the neighbor's house as I made sure to call each of my other roommates and tell them what was happening. They shuffled us between a bus and the back of a cop car, while we waited for my roommates parents to arrive. The entire time all we could worry about was our cat, whom I had unknowingly locked in my room, ultimately saving her life.

Fresh snow hours after the fire

After the fire was put out we were allowed in to grab ours and our roommates' valuables since the house would be open in the next few hours. At the time we could only grab a few things because they wanted to make sure the fire was out. 

As we walked in the house we were devastated to see the water damage, in addition to the fire damage. The fire only touched one wall of the house, but the firefighters were thorough to ensure nothing else caught fire. My bedroom and our extra bedroom were the only two rooms untouched by fire or water. I was blessed in this because I was the only roommate who was from out of state. Where my roommates had hand me down furniture and furniture brought from home, I had bought all new furniture only months before. All of my clothes were in that house, I would not have been able to return home to get anything new. As I mentioned, locking my cat in my room had saved her life. 

Taken the day of the fire...completely untouched, laundry still there

She hid under the bed and did not accidentally run into some flames in her fear, nor did she get lost by running out of the door. She did not stop shaking for days and was consequently terrified of ever leaving the house after that, but she was alive. 

Princess Gwenevere, I miss her!

Somewhere in the midst I called both of my parents and spoke to a news reporter. My roommate's parents bought us breakfast and offered me a room for a few weeks while we found a new place to live. We returned later that day to retrieve the rest of our stuff. Everyone drove home early and we hastily stuffed all of our belongings in trashbags. 

Our next stop was the laundromat, where we washed all of our clothes and blankets. I spent only $200.

That's a LOT of quarters

Nicole and I at the Laundromat, happy we survived!

Luckily, our landlord - the most awesome and amazing and gracious landlord we could have ever asked for - found us a new place to live by the end of the day and it would be ready for us by the end of the week. We would be downsizing from a 6 bedroom to a 3 bedroom, but luckily 2 roommates' families lived within 20 minutes of school. 

By the end of the day I had made my decision to move back to California. There was a feeling and a voice inside me that I could not ignore. No matter who hugged me or took care of me that day, I needed my mom. I was 19 years old and brutally homesick. Returning to school for my sophomore year had already been tough. I had spent much of my first quarter as a freshman and all of my second ill due to the weather. As a consequence, my friendships were affected. Determined, I returned the following fall. Fall Quarter was amazing, and winter, too, but I just knew that I needed to leave. 

The fire had started late Saturday night when three homeless men were squatting in my neighbors' recently evicted house. All of their hoarded belongings were still inside. Being the coldest day of that year, the homeless men started a trashcan fire. As my roommate was drifting off to sleep she heard yelling and a big crash. She looked out her window to see flames pouring toward her. The three homeless men were rushed to the hospital, but did not survive. 

The neighbors' house, condemned, a year later, frozen in time

To this day, I am terrified of fire, and I live in a state that's biggest and most common disaster is just that. It's fire season right now, and every year my nightmares come back. I am both fascinated and scared of fire, yet I could not be more proud of my fiance for his dream to be a firefighter. Those men kept my roommate and I calm as they handled our fire that day - only moments after leaving another fire earlier that night. Those men are endlessly brave, and we are eternally grateful. My heart aches for the firefighters Arizona lost a few weeks ago. 

All my love,
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