Snapshots

Snapshots

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We had had one of those humid days where we were reminded that it was summer still. Temps soared past the 80s, and the breeze barely moved the flag as the day elapsed before us.  Being an EXTREMELY pale human being, it was a good thing that I was wearing a longer-sleeved dress, because otherwise my arms would have been very sunburnt.

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I am wearing an animal-print dress from TopShop & DolceVita mules.

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We had some of Ryan’s friends from the area stop by, along with Ryan’s family that lived in Vermont. It was a low pressure type of celebration & party, with a lot of overwhelming positivity. Ryan’s friends brought a selection of Vermont beers for us to add to our cooler.

We really did not want this to be about gifts or presents, but about time spent with loved ones.  But naturally with all of that being said, we were showered with kindness & items to start a new chapter in our lives still. Pictured below was a present that summed up that sentiment very nicely, without me feeling like I was posting about who got me what.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter about our ceremony or reception or what we had for a wedding dinner…it matters how much I love Ryan & how excited I am to see how we grow together. We’re a team in life—and that was the true takeaway of this weekend.

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Monday Morning Coffee

When I was little, I used to steal my Grandma’s coffee. I loved the way it tasted—warm and a little bitter, but most importantly, I felt like a grown up. My mommy had some in her cup every morning, my grammy would have some too & I wanted to be just like them when I grew up. So whenever I was over, I would steal the sips out of my Grandma’s mug when I thought she wasn’t looking, but she knew it was me. Who else? My sister was 2 1/2 tops, at this point, and she had other things to do. The coffee was mine for the taking. But instead of scolding me for taking her coffee, my Grandma poured me a small cup of my own, and said it was “okay to have a little.”

I did not stop stealing sips of her coffee until I eventually could have my own cups. I stole some from my mother too. My mom didn’t want me to start drinking coffee for health reasons (fair) but I wanted desperately to be seen as older than I was.  I was mature enough for coffee Mom! I could handle it! I was done growing! All of my arguments were made. My mom eventually started letting me drink coffee every day with her when I was in the 6th grade. It was big doings because I had to wake up an hour earlier than everyone for the middle school bus. I got to have coffee with Mom & I felt like my life was going to happen. Maybe I’d even get asked on a date! That could happen to coffee drinkers, my 12 year old self pondered while sipping her watered down coffee.

Slowly 2 of my sisters started to join in as they too had to get up earlier and earlier. Our days were getting more packed, and somewhere along the way, the coffee time in the morning became scarcer and scarcer. Coffee in the mornings were purely for purpose instead of socializing. Days and schedules were discussed. Things were in motion. The cups we had were on-the-go.

Coffee in college brought back some more aspect of socializing. I had study groups in small Starbucks, and I had some groups where we would stop to grab each other coffee before class if it was on the way–it became a point of discussion. “Oh man, my night was so busy studying xyz…pass the coffee!” In academia, business, pretty much any aspect of life– being overtired becomes glamorous at some point, so you better have a signature drink to match. After college, I entered into the working world where coffee was again an on-the-go experience.  I frequented drive-thrus, mobil-ordered ahead, got my apps. I justified my coffee addiction as “cheaper than cigarettes” but not any more beneficial to my health. I substituted meals for coffee, and felt like I didn’t have time to enjoy any of it because I had other things that were more important.

When I met Ryan, I was not in a good place. I had been on a road of anger directed at everyone and everything.  I felt really lonely, but instead of admitting that, I lashed out and grew distant, or overshared as a test of people’s loyalty. I didn’t know how to be a good friend. Ryan & I met under funny circumstances, and not in our best state of mind thanks to another liquid. We hit it off and ended up going on dates, tip-toeing around the topic for 1 month before he asked me to be his girlfriend with a mouthful of Sour-patch kids. He was introverted like myself, but his sense of humor made me double over. I remembered thinking “I love laughing with him” after a date where he had made me dinner, and couldn’t get the wine bottle to open.

Falling in love with Ryan reminded me about my first stolen sips of coffee. His whole persona was like a cup made just for me–warm, inviting and grown up. He did not want to play games with me, he wanted a real relationship. He wanted to make me laugh and hear about my day, or tell me about his–but most importantly to me, he wanted to be as persistent as a cup of coffee. My everyday choice, my forever go-to.

Ryan makes my coffee for me in the morning. Not every day, but about 3 times or so a week, he brings me a cup of coffee that somehow tastes better because he made it. He puts in a dash of cinnamon, and some sugar, but it’s all about the timing. It’s a small way that he shows me love every single day. When I taste the coffee he made for me, I sit and think about the day ahead, or ask him what’s going to be happening in his world for the day. When my coffee is still hot, the day seems to have that much more potential to it. After he leaves for work, while my coffee is still warm, I usually call my Mom or my Grandma. I feel better after checking on both of them, to make sure that they too got a cup of warm coffee & love that day, because that’s what coffee means to me.

Here’s a picture of Ryan:

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He’s usually behind the camera, but I made him pose for a shot. He’s wearing a soft grey t-shirt, some blue shorts from an unknown time & some Vans as well.

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Outfit of the Day in Schenectady, New York

Last night, Ryan & I ended up going out to see one of my younger sisters perform a set at a local bar in Schenectady, New York. It’s a historic town–settled in 1661 by the Dutch, the word itself means “Place Along the Pines.” There are gems throughout, and even having grown up around the area, there are always different places to see or observe something you had not before.

We stopped at a quiet cathedral parking lot. The architecture of this one has always seemed at odds with the modern residential housing around it. Directly across from it is Union College, which was founded in 1795.  Around the corner of this is my graduate college campus. I have passed this place numerous times and have never stopped. So last night we did. It is massive & almost looming with its beautiful arches & windows. Ryan took the following picture:

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I think this picture really captures the massiveness of this building. I do not know much of its history, but I plan on finding out.

We took some pictures of my outfit:

My dress was from a local boutique during our date night out in Troy ($38). My heels are from Lulus, an online boutique ( $30) and my necklace is Nordstrom ($20). My most expensive item of my outfit was my purse ($50), but as far as purses go, I view it as a deal.

We really thought it was fun to have the contrast of the stripes on my dress with the arches of the windows. It was evening time, so the sun was setting. The air had a small hint of the autumn that is right around the corner–but just a hint.

For now, we can still enjoy the summer under the fairy lights of a local bar, the sun only setting on an evening– not a season, not yet.

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#outfitoftheday feat. a Small Ode to Vans

 

I am wearing the Zara #basictee under a lightweight cardigan from TJ Maxx.  My skirt is Free People & I have on some slip on Vans.

The 1st time I saw Vans was on the Nickelodeon channel. I’m sure I had seen them in real life at some point, but I started to take note of fashion around ~Middle School~.  Suddenly, I became self-conscious of the clothes my Mom had picked out for me, and I was desperately looking for other ways to be stylish. I started subscribing to Teen Vogue around this time, and Seventeen magazine. However, a lot of fashion inspiration came from the television.

My 2 shows were Unfabulous Zooey 101. Both of the title characters wore Vans, and I thought they were SO COOL. Emma Roberts sang about being awkward, and Zooey preached about “doing the right thing” and “kindness,” all while being super-stylish…my first television binges, if you will. I got a neon pink and black checkered pair for going back to school, and wore them throughout 8th grade. I remember them standing out amongst the sea of K-Swiss & Phat Farms. In home ec class, I was told that they were the “ugliest sneakers” someone had every laid their eyes on! I mean, they were different, but when are 8th graders the fashion police? I was crushed for a while, but then I thought I could sort of make sneakers my “thing.” I got a pair of high top Converse (also neon pink & black) for Christmas that year, and I slowly started to re-embrace my love of quirky sneakers. My most outlandish pair would probably be the pair of bright silver metallic Puma sneakers I got in Germany roughly 2 years later. They sadly were worn to death, but I am seeing a resurgence of the metallic hues again. Everything seems to repeat itself in someway, which is why almost a decade after my high school graduation, I find myself experiencing some deja vu, especially when it comes to my love of Vans.