Carrolls, we are attractive

There are a few posts I am working on that I promised last week, but I had to take a break from that and share with everyone how beautiful my family is:

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Or at least how beautiful the incredible Meg Borders made us look. Family portrait success! This is just one teaser photo that has me dying to see the others.

P.S. Notice the hair? I finally did it all the way, not just the streak, not just the dark, but both – all skunky like and everything. (For a while I was just rocking the dusty brown with a blond streak, but with fall right around the corner I finally decided it was contrast timez!)

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Painting a New Way

I have painted quite a bit. Arguably, I do not do it enough these days, but in my last semester I had fun trying my hand at transferring some of those skills onto the computer. I am not much one for still life paintings, but it seemed like the logical (and assigned) place to start. So below is my apple, fully rendered in Adobe Illustrator – with a mouse not a Wacom. On that note, I should probably buy a Wacom Tablet.

apple

And to conclude today’s post, here are my links for the day:

Today’s tune – after watching all the “highlights” from the VMA’s, which I am just not even going to comment on, I ended up also watching Katy Perry’s Brooklyn Bridge performance and have literally developed this problem where I can’t stop listening and grooving to Roar. I’m pretty sure I could do Kenpo all day long if this was the one and only song on the soundtrack.

Inspiration – or death by cuteness, rather, over this Instagram. Now I also want a hedgehog.

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Clothes I want to wear – YUP. All of these, posted by Emmadime from current lookbook for Textile Elizabeth + James, designed by those boho chic Olsen peeps.

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OMG (cheap) SHOES

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Being a woman, I naturally have some body image insecurities (gasp!), but for the most part, I am comfortable in my own skin – although a bit awkward at times, I do try and embrace it. But, my calves, regardless of how much I work them out, they remain consistently shaped like those baby carrots I like to dip in my hummus. Still, it’s ok, it’s how I am made, but it does make buying shoes very difficult.

I am very skilled at finding thousands of shoes I love the style of online, but I can’t ever bring myself to purchase any because something that may look awesome off, may only accentuates the baby-carrot-ness of my lower legs. In particular, I have been looking for a pair of ankle boots (channeling my inner Cher Horowitz) for, like, ever.

I have probably tried on over 100 pairs in the last year. Really. Anywhere I went that had a contender, I would try them on. The other day, I went into Target and tried on 15 or so shoes, as per usual, and many of the ankle boot variety. Then, I saw them. And the angels sang – or maybe it was just a kid throwing a tantrum a few aisles over, but they worked. My legs are still baby-carrot-like, but the shoes don’t make that any more obvious then it is shoe-less. Oh boy, you guys, the best part: $35.

In the last few months I have donated a lot of clothing and really tried to make an effort to only purchase items that I love. Really define and stick to ‘my style.’ I understand that there may be times that this means spending a little more money for quality, staple pieces that I will want to keep and wear for a really long time. I also always think back to something that was pressed on me in my art classes – the most expensive paintbrush you will ever own is the $6 paintbrush you have to buy 100 times. But these shoes, they really seem to be good quality (I can actually, comfortably run in them, though I won’t be replacing my Nikes for legit jogs anytime soon) and are really solid, for $35, so I am just loving the money saved. The best of both worlds.

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You can buy them online or I have seen them in all the stores right now. Oh, and no Target sponsorship here, I just am really happy with these kicks.

Well, with that here is the tune I’m dancing in my blue black suede shoes to today – it’s an oldie but one of my favorite goodies from high school, Four Tet, As Serious As Your Life

And some serious inspiration coming from this – amazing portrait by Lou Ros, see his (breathtaking) online portfolio here

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Naturally, I need this outfit to go along with my new shoesies – via Lovely by Lucy

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Maybe this will hold me over for a little while, shoe-wise. Pshh, AS IF!

So Far…

Since quitting my job and moving to Ventura life has ceased to feel real or regular, but finally this week a ‘routine’ has been developing and it is a welcomed friend. Even though I have all day to get some class done, any chores, dog care, and maybe even a workout, the day can still manage to fly by. It was finally this week when I started to make a list first thing in the morning of all that I wanted to finish that I actually feel a little more together.

Mostly the superficial things have been the biggest changes, meaning no more smart-casual work clothes (that never felt like me anyway – time to clean out the closet and revisit that) and no more loads of makeup or time spent trying to de-fro the hair. I am still spending my whole day on the computer, either working through some freelance design projects, brainstorming some ideas of what this ‘Ryann Moore Design’ life would look like, either the short or long term, and hammering through some classes.

Jenny’s life (the dog) has pretty much remained unchanged, except in that any time I move, she does too. She might be sleeping all day, but gosh darn it, if she isn’t going to do that right next to wherever I am, which I can only imagine is exhausting but it does make me feel lurv-ed. Every once in a while I can’t stop staring at how cute she is when she is sleeping and I just pounce on her for some mid-day cuddles, which she might find to be more annoyed by than anything, but it is a good time for me. It has been a VERY nice thing to have her with me all day. Whether it ends up being me working for myself full-time or finding something more conventional, it would be the coolest if I could keep that part of my life these days consistent – although I do understand it is pretty rare to find a job where you can have your pup with you.

Anyway, that is the update. I really do have some stuff I want to share with you but I am still trying to figure out a suitable way of taking photos as the tablet’s Instagram shots have just been disappointing:

Jenny Sweepy copy

(It’s horrible quality but thankfully Jenny is so cute that it kinda saves it. Kinda)

In the meantime, here is my song of the day:

And a project that has me totally inspired – Israeli pianist and conductor Arie Vardi website by Sasha Firs via Behance:

Arie Vardi Website Design by Sasha Firs

And an outfit I wouldn’t mind adding to the wardrobe (to replace one of those silly smart-casual gettups) – from the ever talented Kelli Murray‘s Blog:

Kelli Murray Outfit 2012

Last but very much not least, happy birthday to this handsome devil, my daddy:

daddio jimbo

My tale of unemployment: Week 1

Time is flying. How is it already Thursday? This week has been so surreal and it is just the start of how things are going to be for a while.

As I have shared here and all over social media, either in fits of excitement or serious panic, I quit my job a few weeks ago and my last day was last Thursday. We actually moved to Ventura almost three weeks ago, but due to some personal reasons and just to ensure that I didn’t royally screw over some of my coworkers who had PTO plans, I stuck around until the 8th, on some very gracious friends couches and extra bedrooms. You know who you are and thank you very, very much, again for your kindness.

So now it has been four official normal-work days without the work. I mean I am not sitting around staring at my own belly button, I am working through school and a few freelance projects, but it was still a very different experience than what I am used to. Maybe it is too early to say, but I am already torn about what to do with my hair makeup. Obviously I don’t want to waste the time, energy, or product to get myself dolled up for the computer screen, but then sitting around like a slob all day (which may or may not have included an hour or two of literally just wearing my robe yesterday) – is a little depressing.

But really, I am such an introvert that I kinda love it. In fact my biggest concern so far is eventually loving this lifestyle so much that I decide that I don’t actually want anything to do with the real world.

Here is what my days this week looked like:

  • Woke up at 7 (this easily could have been 10 AM as I am the champion of sleeping, but I felt too guilty to sleep longer than Alex got to)
  • Made breakfast for myself and Alex (meaning reheating the breakfast casserole I make on Sundays for the week)
  • Watched the Colbert Report and Daily Show whilst eating breakfast and drinking my grapefruit juice (I skip the interview sections because I generally don’t care, unless it is Kevin Spacey, like on Colbert yesterday)
  • Took Jenny out (no wildlife sightings today keeping the count since our move at 1 bobcat, 1 baby coyote, 0 cougars)
  • Iced coffee, which is, just heavenly
  • Treehouse Web Classes (working my way though deep dive of CSS right now, wild and crazy stuff)
  • Snack time yay!
  • More class
  • P90x – still can’t walk.. laugh.. move..
  • Shower time yay!
  • Protein shake (this recipe needs some serious improvement so I wont bother sharing it with you)
  • More class or freelance work
  • General to-dos, emails, etc.
  • Blogged or worked on blog post ideas
  • More class
  • Got dressed
  • Long dog walk or puppy park
  • Did my housewife duty and made dinner
  • AND repeat……

On the side of everything I am also continuing to work on my personal website and while I have taken some very basic photos of myself, the photo below, source: gillagilla makes me want to have a fun portrait session for real.

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Back from the Dead – and a Pinterest Challenge

Naturally, my first instinct is to apologize for being gone for so long. But then I realize that is the beauty of this blog. It is mine and I started it for me. Even if it grows into something a little more mature one day, I don’t want to lose sight of that. After all, let’s be honest, sure I would love to be specialized enough here to only do DIY and design related posts, but again, this is my blog, and while those are the things I enjoy, they are not all that there is to me and certainly I am no real expert at either (while I am always working to get there).  Those elements will always be a part of what I want to include on this corner of the internet that is mine, but I first and foremost always want this to be a place where I write whatever I feel like, when I feel like it.

I realized all of this only after specifically trying to ignore the fact that I had a blog for quite a while because every time I thought of it I was filled with a horrible swirl of both guilt and irresponsibiltiy. I have wanted to be a blogger for a long time, and now that I had it up and going, how could I let it just sit there? Then I got over myself, sat down and thought about what I wanted this site to be like and the lightbulb of the first paragraph hit me. And the truth is, life has changed a lot in this time I have been silent, and I see now that in order to keep my sanity – something I am generally holding onto by a thread – I had to put it to the wayside. It was just not the right time or place to try and create any sort of content – it wasn’t the therapy I needed then (because after all, blogging is generally my source of therapy.)

Which leads me to some very exciting news:

  1. I quit me job… literally YESTERDAY was my last day, crazy-sauce.
  2. I moved to Ventura, CA (sure its a beach town to beach town move, but this is pretty extreme for us. The comment we heard most often from our South Bay friends: “Might as well be Canada.”)

What this means for me/my family/my career/this blog:

I don’t know exactly yet, and that makes me incredibly excited (also slightly terrified)

All I can really do right now is make some goals, so far I have the following:

  1. Complete my web design/development studies on Treehouse to build upon the Graphic/Web Design program I was in at Otis College of Art and Design
  2. Make the blog a priority while never forgetting I am blogging for me and about what I want – so since I am the queen of over-promising here, I won’t say it will be every day, but I do plan to set aside sometime each day to focus on it, whether that results in 1, 3 or 5 posts a week, we will find out. This set aside time may also just turn into simply a brainstorming sessions that I occasionally share with you. I don’t have a solid plan yet, just ideas and my life is in such a transition period that really thinking about how I want to shape my life is an amazing opportunity that I can’t just squander. Well, it will be that and fun DIY or home improvement work that just makes me happy as  a clam.
  3. Be better about keeping the house clean and my plants alive – now, instead of being in the office all day, I will be around them and in my place, so even if this wasn’t a goal, it would probably still happen. I just can’t work in filth and I would love to see happy plants rather than the sad wilty ones I have today.
  4. No longer go days without moving – Ok that is a slight exaggeration, but honestly with work, school, freelancing, and finally taking a break from it all, I was successfully sitting, to go sit some more, to go home to sit at the computer or on my couch. Being at home 24/7 will make me stir crazy, so I will be taking the dog on many more (longer) walks and may even do some P90x or yoga on my “lunch breaks”

So in the spirit of getting right to it, I have joined some AWESOME (read: far-superior) blogger ladies in Kisha of Chronicled’s Pinterest Challenge: from INSPIRATION to CREATION! While it would seem pretty explanatory, what it is is taking one of those hundreds of I’ll-do-someday pins from your DIY board (come on, I know you have one, everyone does) and making it yourself, like in REAL LIFE! Whoa. Duh I want in. And we have a month. Double duh.

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The hardest part has been deciding what to make for Settling Sideways. I do have a ton of amazing contenders on my ‘Things I want to do it myself‘ board, after all. But I figure, given that I have a little more free time on my hands than usual.. I will start with idea I like and if there is time left over, get going on second or third idea.

So here is what I will be doing first:

IKEA Hack Storage

with some yummy leather handle pulls:

Leather Handle Pulls by The Brick House

image 1 – by K. Klose as featured on IKEA Hackers / image 2 – by Morgan at The Brick House

I have had an old, IKEA-style storage thing, like the one in the first photo for years. I can’t bring myself to toss it because I always store stuff in it, but I have always hid it away in some corner of our apartment because I am not a crazy fan of how it looks. I think if I paint it white, add some lovely wood and black doors, and maybe some leather handles, I could let it shine out in the open. Maybe put some bar fixin’s on top? Should be a fun trial and error, in the very least.

With that – please be sure to check in on the other amazing projects happening for this challenge – four pretty badass ladies with some great blogs:

Amy of Love on Sunday : http://loveonsunday.com/

Donna of Soul Pretty : http://soulpretty.blogspot.com/

Renee of Typewritten Bubbles : http://www.typewrittenbubbles.com/

Kisha of Chronicled : http://www.chronicled-blog.com/

Do you find this pinteresting? Check back at the end of the month to see all our final products!

Trying

So the theme of June and July (so far) has been – DISTRACTION. I hope I get to tell about why, soon, but for now that is all I can share.

I am kind of a negative, dark and stormy person. This is just a fact, not hot-of-the-press news, but the reason I bring it up is that it is particularly hard to function like a “normy” (that is all of you, sorry) when you are a dark and stormy person that is totally distracted, ALL of the time.

Another thing about dark and stormy persons is that inspirational quotes generally annoy before they inspire. I mean, I want to be the kind of person that is all about ‘Keep calm and carry on’ or whatever the latest fueling motivational is, but I am not, and therefore I am just full of eye rolls and whatever other pretentious, judgemental expressions there are. That being said, every once in a while, every leap year, maybe, I find one that I don’t hate so much and might actually resonate with, a bit.

I’m on Twitter (sorry, my writing skillz aren’t stellar today, I promise this all comes together) and I follow Bob from Biggest Loser. I don’t watch the show, but I used to work at the Starbucks that he frequented and basically he is EVEN MORE fabulous and kind in person than he seems on tv. Also he has great shoes. Anyway, he is the kind of person that loves those sunshine-in-your-coffee kinda quotes. Generally, I am my normal ‘meh’ sorta person about all of that, but today he actually posted one (from @dailytherapy [can I get an eye roll?]) that said the following, and more than making me feel all warm and fuzzy, it was actually something I think I needed to hear and take in:

“No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you’re still way ahead of anyone not trying.”

I think I haven’t really been trying.

More than being the kind of person that gets pumped up by some silly words, I want to be the kind of person that tries. So, I am going to get on that.

Hope you all had a wonderful 4th, celebrating ‘Merica, and all that. Turns out the country we live in is getting cooler and cooler every year – I mean DOMA’s dead, and that alone was worth (much more than) this hangover I am rockin’. That, and, my dog somehow didn’t commit doggie suicide due to the fireworks just outside our door which is incredibly awesome. Being a (dog) mom is the most stressful of jobs.

Also, this is pretty great: dog stash!

And now is when I eat all of the quesadillas!

 

*Patience for the randomness of this post is appreciated.

** Picture-less posts feel really weird.

An Illustration

Thank goodness it’s Thursday  — and almost Friday, am I right?

On this almost, almost weekend I thought I would share my first assignment from one of the classes I am taking this semester – a self portrait fantasy caricature. It’s a fantasy in that I fantasize about my arms being that tiny or my neck being that long. Or at least I am hoping the professor buys that..

And as Jenny is my very fuzzy little shadow and a general source of my happiness, adding her seemed more than appropriate.

Ryann and Jenny Characature

Hope you all have a wonderful Thursday evening, fantastic Friday, and a splendid weekend.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. CAREY

I have had a rough week. One of those, lose your phone, cannot get a good night of sleep, stressed about your last trip happenings and those to come in your upcoming one this weekend, sick dog, kind of weeks. And I am turning 25 in just a bit as well. Not that 25 is old, but I have viewed it as a sort of milestone for a long time. When I was younger I would think, “how awesome is my life going to be when I’m 25?!” “25?! Just imagine how many incredible things I will have accomplished!” “How many creative and awe-inspiring companies do you suppose I will be running by 25?”

Naturally, things are a bit different than that starry-eyed little lady had imagined. And not to be all, ‘woe is me’ or anything, but hitting this milestone has really had me questioning, how did I get here, what am I doing with my life, why haven’t I done more or at least made more progress towards my dreams? Remember how much of an awesome and motivated and driven and do-all-it-takes kinda person you used to be? Clearly something went awry along the way.

Then an odd thing happened. This morning, I was listening to some crappy radio station where they were announcing celebrity birthdays and for whatever reason when they announced that Drew Carey was turning 55 today, I thought, wow, 55? That is 30 years older than me. 30 years is a long time. 30 is even larger of a number than 25. And in the next 30 years, sure I probably will buy a house, change jobs a few times, but life won’t be totally changing as quickly as it was throughout these first 25 years. Surely in these next 30 I can truly be refining who it is that I am, determine what defines me, and figure out what sort of things I want to really accomplish in this lifetime. If you think about it, the amount of life changes that occur from 0-25 it is pretty nut-balls. For some reason, this made me feel better.

Sure I still wish that some of the decisions I made along the way were different, but there isn’t anything that I can’t work to correct or still make an effort to redirect my life towards (and I am.) At (nearly) 25 my biggest problems are: 1. I set totally unrealistic and impossible expectations of myself, pretty much guaranteeing failure and subsequent depression – time to start setting baby step, or reasonable goals for myslef, my life, my happiness; 2. I am a realist often leaning on the side of pessimism who uses sarcasm and self-deprecating humor as a crutch, yet at the same time, am a person who desperately wants to be a bright, colorful, optimist, rock star, creative junkie – but sometimes you have to just accept who you are and not get bent out of shape trying to fit into a mold that isn’t yours, even if your natural mold is in the shape of a black cloud, rather than a gold star; and 3.  I have chronic the-grass-is-always-greener syndrome and excel at looking at all that I have and compare it only to those who have it better, but the truth is, life is pretty sweet – putting things in perspective is on the top of the list of skills to develop in the next 30 years, preferably 3, not 30.

In summary, what I realized is that I am so tired of feeling sorry for myself. I am so tired of then feeling guilty for feeling sorry for myself. I am tired of my laziness and my immaturity. I am sure my loved ones are tired of all that as well. 24 has been a challenging year, but a good one in that a lot of thinking has been done, maybe not a ton of real action or progress, but mental planning for the very awesome things that HAVE to be in my future. Because I won’t settle for less.

And to end this post, I would like to thank Drew Carey. Thank you for being a lot older than me. And Joyeux Anniversaire to you!

drew-carey

/via/

P.S. That photo on the left is Mr. Carey about 33 years ago, age 22. Lookin’ sharp kid-Carey.

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Snack Time

Maybe this is too transparent, or will be post that I look back on in the future and feel I went one level too deep or too personal, but the truth is that I bit off more than I could chew last semester and I struggled quite a bit. Or rather, I bit off too much without the proper dentures to get the chewing done. Hence me taking this month to get my ducks in a row so that I am prepared and ready to incorporate classes again and still have time for myself, my relationships, and this blog – on top of the other responsibilities on my plate.

I kept feeling so overwhelmed that I never knew where to start and all I could think about doing was taking a nap. Under the coffee table. I hate feeling self-pitying – I try and never lose sight of the fact that there are many out there with a far worse situation than what I am in, but sometimes one just enters a spiral and you end up leaning on those you love in an unfair way to pull you back up for air.

Anyway, to try and combat having a constant defeated feeling, I started, and it may sound cheesy, but writing down three things I am grateful for and the list of things I accomplished that day. Too often I was going to bed thinking about all the things I had to do or how little I actually completed, instead of being positive and focusing on the successful things about the day. So now, the last thing I do before I hit the hay is pull out my journal and pour out some good ol’, glass-half-full, yay-I-did-it kinda stuff.

So far it has helped and for sure one of the things that I am going to be writing down today is how grateful I am that my current job allows me to have three day weekends every other week. Today is one of my days off and I have been having such a nice me-day. Part of this lovely me-day has included two of my very favorite snacks —

Apples with almond butter: Not much too this, I cut up my apple, squeeze a little lemon juice, and dip into some almond butter. The end.

Apples and Almond Butter

Avocado and fried egg: Avocado, some fresh lime juice, cilantro, garlic salt, fried egg, salt and pepper, all topped with a little Siracha.

Avocado with Fried Egg

 

I hope you, too get a good me-day soon. Warm hug-filled thoughts go out to all of you – thank you for reading and having this short story of mine be heard.

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