design

MINT Issue No. 1

12.19.12

Mint Magazine

It was only just over a month ago that my lovely friend Courtney, asked me to be the fashion editor and art director for her magazine, MINT Magazine. This first issue was a big challenge, much like many firsts are (remember learning to write in cursive?). We struggled to get all the contributions and stories in place and are still trying to figure out how the magazine is going to look, but we made it. The first issue was published on December 13th, after some really late nights and photo shoots and lots and lots of black tea.

For now, MINT magazine is available online in PDF form or you can purchase it in print for $28. Sorry it’s so expensive. Until we start making money, we have to use a “one-off” printing service, which is a little pricey. Eventually our goal is to be able to print a full run. It’s also a quarterly magazine (thank jeebus), so the next issue won’t be out until the spring. You can be sure I’ll let you all know when that’s coming.

In the mean time, we are accepting contributors in high-fashion photography (must be an original and exclusive shoot) and creative writing. We’re also interested in art and design that is fashion oriented. Email me at rachel (at) bloodstre.am if you’re interested.

We’re also looking for appropriate advertising. Contact me if you are interested or know of someone who is!

Download or purchase the first issue here.

wellness

The Terrible Twenties No. 001

12.18.12

The Terrible Twenties

Preface
A blog to me is many many things, but first and foremost it is a reflection of its owner. I think a big piece of that is writing about things that matter to you without necessarily catering to an audience. I’ve noticed a lot of blogs recently that feel a lot more like a store or a magazine than they do a blog. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to do things, but when expressing myself, I want to reflect that I am a human. Complete with thoughts, emotions, opinions and innumerable experiences. That’s why I am continuing this column after my fresh start. I hope you like it. It’s all about my struggles and advice through this crazy decade of my life.

Finding Simplicity
I’ve been thinking a whole lot about my goals for this New Year that’s coming up and while I listen to everyone around me come up with amazingly radical self-improving ideas, I keep hearing one resounding thought in my mind; find simplicity.

My mother has long told me that my life is too full. Every time I call her, mid-cry, ranting about all the stresses of my 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 year old life, she always says that my cup is already too full to begin with, so when things get added to the cup, of course it’s going to splash all over. I’ve always known this to be true – I mean when I look at my life, there’s just no denying it. It’s always been this balance of college and working an adult job, having a relationship, paying bills, all of life’s accidents (my dog needing surgery, my car getting smooshed by a tree, etc.), moving every single year, self-esteem, my big huge dreams… that really is a lot to handle.

This year has been crazy for me. I have traveled, gained some new hobbies, ended a relationship, moved to a new house, made new friends, become self-sufficient and graduated college. All of that has left me pretty emotionally shaken, which is probably exactly what I needed to realize I need to make some more changes. Even more? Oy vey. The big changes are mostly out of the way, now it’s all about creating new foundations and being stable. Who knew it would be so hard? Just living in one place, not adding new stresses into my life, paying off debts, cleaning things up, purging unneeded things. It’s so much more difficult than I thought it would be. I have come to realize that maybe I have been thriving in this chaos for so long that I don’t know how to take it slow, but that’s all going to change.

Here’s to not buying a new car, not adopting a new pet, not moving homes, not purchasing new clothes (ahem, within reason), cleaning out every nook and cranny of my internal and external life, taking it slow, catching up, breathing deep, enjoying each day, savoring every bite, slowing down, patching holes, finding simplicity.

[Source]

fashion

Colenimo A/W 2012

12.17.12

I’m still a wittle infant when it comes to fashion, but it’s something I have had an interest in as far back as I remember. My mum used to let me choose my own clothing when I was in elementary school. I used to wear this shiny gold vest and Princess Jasmine headband all the time. I’m proud to stay I still have a love for all things shiny and gold, but have learned to accessorize slightly better in the past decade.

One of my favorite things to do is check out lookbooks and runway shows from designers I find. Colenimo just popped up on my radar last night thanks to Pinterest and it was collared maxi dress love at first sight. To be honest, I might have loved the spring lookbook even more than this autumn one, but I’m showing you this since it’s in season and all.

Colenimo AW 2012

The Colenimo brand was founded by Aya Nakagawa, a Tokyo Mode Fashion University graduate. All of the clothing is made in the UK, where Nakagawa moved after finishing school. The style are classically beautiful and feminine. I love how strongly the clothes embrace the season. There’s something great when you find pieces you might actually see yourself wearing, even though the outlandish high-fashion designers are masterful at their work, they can often be unrelatable to me.

colenimo designer

I love how timeless all these pieces are; perpetual style. You can never go wrong with a clean and simple maxi-dress or a collared button-up. What do you define as the most classic pieces that you keep as part of your wardrobe even when styles change?

Check out more of my favorite fashions and lookbooks on my Pinterest board.

recipe book

Artichoke Jalapeno Spaghetti

12.12.12

vegan artichoke spaghetti

Pasta is weird. It’s just this strange grainy thing that we’re always trying to mask. I think we pretty much only eat it just to fill ourselves up – it’s always the sauce we want to taste. This is wrong wrong wrong though. Pasta is NOT supposed to just be some sort of heavy filling bit to a meal, just ask Italians, they know what I’m talking about. Pasta is full of flavor and life, especially when you hand-make it (ha, yeah right) or buy those fancy ones in the refrigerated section.

Also… pasta and pudding? What the funk? My local grocer stocks the two next to each other and sometimes I have to ask myself if the grocers know something I don’t.

By the way, you may all congratulate me on my first ever recipe! Well don’t congratulate me yet, try the recipe and then let me know what you think. I’ve never really come up with my own recipe before (unless you count the time my little brother and I tried to make savory french toast… we used challah, a whole stick of butter and ramen seasoning packets… let’s not talk about that). I was sitting at work thinking of some pasta recipes last night and wondering if I could bring myself to stomach the jarred sauce I have been consuming lately. Then I thought about sauce… so not even necessary. I want to taste some yummy earthy pasta! So I did and I prevailed and now I am going to share it all with you.

(sorry for the not so appetizing photos. i have bad light in my house at night)

Ingredients

– two cans of artichoke hearts (unseasoned, in water)
– two fresh jalapenos, cut in thin slices
– one yellow chili pepper, cut in thin slices
– one package of sliced mushrooms, the exact amount is up to you – i used the full package
– small bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
– 1 tsp red chili flakes
– 3 Tbs olive oil (optional)
– 1 package of whole wheat thin spaghetti

Directions

On the stove top, using a large sauteing pan, start by heating up the olive oil. You can substitute the water from the cans of artichoke or even some veggie stock if you don’t eat oil. Add the artichokes, jalapenos, chili pepper, mushrooms and red chili flakes in one at a time, stirring. Make sure the ingredients stay moist and don’t brown too much – there should be just enough liquid to keep the vegetables soft. Allow all the vegetables to heat and in the mean time, boil up your noodles. I left the veggie pan at medium heat for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain your noodles and spoon the “sauce” over top, getting plenty of vegetables and a little liquid. If you like olive oil, pur a bit over the top and stir it all together. Top with a small handful of chopped parsley and drink with a flavorful white wine!

Notes

– This is a spicy dish… I like spicy… If you don’t, I’d recommend leaving out one of the jalapenos and the chili pepper and just using one jalapeno and the flakes for a small amount of spice. The dish didn’t leave me with a burning mouth, but it does have a little kick.

– This can be made with fresh artichokes, but getting to the hearts can be quite a pain. Should you decide to use fresh artichokes, simply cut them down to the hearts and saute those first until they’re a bit soft and then add the other ingredients.

– Wouldn’t be half bad with a little Parmesan sprinkled over the top, however I was going for a vegan dish!

curio

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

12.07.12

My friend Courtney and I decided to go check out this movie a few nights ago after I deliberated over it for a while. This book was a landmark book when I was in highschool, just a few years back. I remember reading it my freshmen or sophomore year and having it change my life in obscure, yet deliberate ways. When I began reading the book, I hated it. How simplistic and insulting, I thought to myself. Just because it’s a story about high school kids, doesn’t mean it has to be written so plainly. The book is small and has large text and I was that jerk who was reading Dostoevsky in the corner of the library during my off hours. But I came around. It was when I realized that no matter how simple the book was, I couldn’t deny the parallels I felt toward my life and the characters.

I decided I was a mix between Charlie and Sam and somehow together their experiences made me feel not so alone when I read the book. I finished it in a single day, but the story has never left me. That’s why I deliberated when the movie came out – what if it was terrible? You know, one of those stories about teenagers that some silly adult thought up but never connected to.

the perks of being a wallflower movie

I walked into the theatre with Courtney in tow and immediately asked the ticket man if he had seen the film. “Yes, and I hated it,” he replied. “It’s cheesy, no one’s life is like that.”

My life was like that. Maybe this guy had a great high school experience. Maybe he was a football star who wasn’t secretly gay. Or maybe he was a nerd who happened to have a lot of friends. I don’t know – doesn’t everyone have a hard time? Anyway. I have never cried in a movie before. Unless you can the single tear that slid down my cheek when Dumbledore died… but I mean this movie made me tear up several times. It might be my new favorite movie. Maybe. It’s definitely up there…

The scenes were crafted so well. Everything felt so surreal, like I could be sitting back on my bed in high school, staring at the Christmas lights strung around my room all year long, listening to my mom’s old records and painting my nails, wondering why everything was so hard. Or like I was the new kid in the cafeteria, just trying to find a place to sit and not be noticed. Or like the time I made my first friend in school by typing notes on our calculators in algebra because we wore the same unisex band tee to school that day.

It reminded me of the time my friends made me a trash bag dress so I wouldn’t throw up aftershock on my clothes. Or when my boyfriend wrote “I love you Rachel” in sidewalk chalk all the way down my street in front of my house and pounded on my window in the rain. I remembered the heart break of asking out a guy for the first time, only to be told he agreed to date some other girl during first period and he just couldn’t break up with her in third period.

the perks of being a wallflower

The movie hit home. Maybe it won’t do that for everyone, but it did for me. These people could have been my own friends in school. I could have had these experiences. Some of them, I did. My heart was pounding when I left the theatre – this one will make it onto my shelves for sure. The Perks of Being a Wallflower holds a small special place in my heart and I hope you guys all enjoy it as much as I did!

xx.

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curio

Mixtape No. 001 | Novemberlesque

11.30.12

mixtape - novemberlesque

Listen on rdio

1. feed me diamonds – MNDR
2. upside down – paloma faith
3. karma debt – the mynabirds
4. 1977 – ana tijoux
5. i’m good, i’m gone – lykke li
6. play – iamamiwhoami
7. 1940 – the submarines
8. white nights – oh land
9. oblivion – grimes
10. the golden age – the asteroids galaxy tour

Some of you know that I make a mix cd every month. I have done it for 5 years this coming March. For a long time, I used to send out five copies of it every month to different people. I used to make the art and package up a real CD. I figure now I can just put it here. Thanks for the inspiration blogger friends!

This month I was really feeling the femme vocals. I chose songs from across the map with the common theme of feminine strength.

Hope you enjoy Novemberlesque.

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wellness

Clean Slate

11.28.12

There are a lot of phrases in the English language that depict the idea of starting over

I think perhaps this is because it’s such a common theme in humanity. The cyclical nature of life and experience makes itself present in strange ways. Recently, my blog was hacked. Yeah, weird. By Azerbaijani hackers nonetheless. They deleted all of my content and replaced it with some hateful phrases toward Armenians and images and the like (thank gosh my sister checked out my blog and told me). They didn’t target me, they targeted my server who houses a lot of .am addresses. Anyway. I learned my lesson on not keeping backups of my site (cough blogger friends).

I got pretty depressed about the whole thing, I mean who knows who looked at my site and saw pictures of nude indigenous people and the lovely phrase “fuck Armenians,” but I lost a whole year of content. The whole history of me starting a blog, starting design, starting photography. Clean slate. New beginning. Fresh start. Rebirth.

I’m okay with starting over now though. There is actually a bright side to this whole mess. My life has changed in the past few months, my spirit or essence or persona or whatever, has revolutionized, or still is revolutionizing, rather. Anyway. It’s a great way to reassess what I want to express. This little corner of the Internet is where I have spent countless hours constructing posts of my thoughts, my feelings, my inspiration and it has given me not only a release, but purpose. I know that seems a tad silly, seeing as it’s a blog, not a religion, but it’s my “thing,” as it were.

You see, the first year of blogging showed me a lot about what I want this to be. I redesigned it, tried out several types of articles (some more successful than others) and feel like maybe I have a slightly deeper view of what I’m trying to make. Over the upcoming weeks, I’m going to do some restructuring and redefining, but I’m just rambling now. I know that there’s a high likelihood that no one actually cares about this blabber, but I’m putting it out there, because that’s what this is all about right? You get to look into my carefully curated expressive journal and thusly get stuck reading my semi-narcissistic circuitous jabber.

If you read all that, thank you. If you didn’t, good for you winner. Glad someone is productive around here.

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