Monday, July 21, 2014

Woa, you guys check out this throwback! I was digging around an old hard drive recently when I came across a bunch of 16mm film dailies, including a few of this baby. What a dreamboat! Maybe I should make another film soon, yeah?

Watch the videos below:

alex 8 from Allison Vallant on Vimeo

alli 9 from Allison Vallant on Vimeo

Monday, July 14, 2014

Now, let's be completely honest here and let me just say that I am not. A gardener. I did not get those genes. I do not have the green thumb skillz, no I realllyyy have more of a black thumb, and have been known to kill a cactus or two in my time (yep).

But our poor house really had no landscaping to speak of when we moved in (except one giant bed of bright red mulch under the front window?), and it was looking a little sad. We do have two ornamental trees (not matching, though?) and two nice big hardy barberry bushes in the front. ALL of that was covered in creeping vines and various giant weeds, including the front porch, when we bought the place. So we really havent done much planting of new plants, just weeding out old vines, trimming trees, removing dead branches and repairing the porch and gutters that have been damaged by all the over-growth thus far. But this summer, when our neighbors mentioned that they plan to rip out a nice sized-chunk of their (gorgeous!) garden to make way for sod and small playset for their grandchildren, we jumped! at the chance to take some free plants off their hands.

So I got to work ripping out the front lawn (above are the before photos from a few weeks back), and installing a modest landscaped garden bed instead (woohoo, no more mowing those awkward triangle-shaped spaces!). We opted for a cedar-esque looking plastic and wood-fiber flexible landscape edging that would match the actual cedar edging we put in the back around the brick patio (more about that in a minute), and free wood mulch from the compost site.

Voila! We ended up with a few different types of hosta, purple stevia, yellow flowering creeping jenny, another type of purple-pink flowering ground cover that I dont know the name of, and small sedum bushes (autumn pink flowering, I think?). The piece-de-restitance are three (!!!) lovely peony bushes that they were so generous to offer us, and that we took and put under the front window. They are looking really sad right now, as you are not supposed to move them in the summer, but we did wait until after they flowered and are hoping they'll get their roots nice and established before they go dormant in the fall. You can see one of the peony bushes in the neighbors yard that had just flowered though (top left of the picture), so beautiful! (That area still needs new edging and mulch, so I havent photographed it yet). In back, around the patio, we added real cedar edging, which will keep the mulch from falling out of the beds every time it rains. And, will allow for some other low flowering bushes to creep over the edge. I cant wait!

To the right of the patio we added some european ground ginger and some more of that pink flowering cover we discovered in our neighbor's yard, though I dont know what it's called. The hostas we planted last year, and were given to me by an aunt. The ferns were transplanted from my mother-in-law's garden, and are perfect for that space. It's super shady back there, and they add a lof of softness to the base of the house and around the brick patio. I think the patio garden beds are coming along nicely, though I have plans to add something low and flowering in with the ferns, and a large bush of some kind at the corner, to give us a little color and privacy from the neighbors (hydrangea? dogwood? recommendations? It would get pretty much full shade and would need to be pretty hardy as the wind picks up in that spot during storms, and kind of tears up my hostas that are there now.)

We'll also finish tearing out the chain-link fence (which, turns out, is not so easy to do when it's all grown into all of yer trees and such! As evidenced but the photo below, which is all we've managed to get out so far!) and replace it with a nice horizontal wood fence (next year, I'm hoping!!) and then possibly some additional landscaping along the fence.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dudes. I'm sorry, 2014 has been seriously getting away from me. I cant believe it's July! Let's pretend that didnt happen. And so how better to pretend to do that but with AN OUTFIT POST! I wore this casual outfit recently, when Alex and I took a spontaneous trip up to the Como Conservatory. I hadnt been there in so long, maybe since middle school! And it was the perfect muggy, Minnesota summer day for it.

dress: from Emma? // sandals: Birkenstocks, my summer sandal of 2014, thrifted // bag: American Apparel

It was seriously so gorgeous, wayyy moreso than I remembered. I could just be that I have developed much more of an appreciation for plants now. I mean, check it out, they have an entire room for different species of ferns! Alex looks overwhelmed by it all.

And get ready you guys, because this is just the beginning. It's officially the start of a new era for dotluv. As you may have noticed, the blog got a major redesign (and still has some minor bugs to work out, apologies.) But boy, do I have a whole slew of posts in the works for you. A whoooole lot of house updates, and some exciting news. Stay tuned! And as always, thanks for sticking around ;)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Although this is belated, I think it really has taken me a few weeks of the new year to formulate what changes I need to make for myself this year. And so, some words + pictures for you (but mostly me, we all know the real reason we really blog our resolutions for...)


+ Take better care of my skin, particularly on my face. Cleanse EVERY DAY, moisturize EVERY DAY, and remove makeup at night ALWAYS (I don't do any of these things with any sort of regularity). You are growing older missy, and so is your skin! It is time to take care of yourself.

+ STOP CHEWING MY CHEEKS! Okay bad habit, the buck stops here. I will get this under control if it kills me. Because you guys, this is killing me! (not literally, obviously) But it is an ugly habit, one that guarantees that I get a bunch of canker-sores and go through a thousand tubes of chap-stick a year, all while garnering funny looks from people as they watch with fascination while I stress-chew my own face off.

+ Read more books. I have a seriously long queue this year and feel an urgent need to finish them all (which is not unlike the urge I commonly feel to cross things off my to-do list, but definitely more related to the knowledge I'll consume and enlightenment I'll feel as opposed to the former). I have been flying through the Game of Thrones series (actually, the books are called A Song of Fire and Ice) and it really has rekindled my love of reading. I'm hoping I can keep that momentum going when I finish the series!

+ More traveling in 2014! Big and small trips. We already have some exciting tentative plans for the Fall (which I will fill you in on at a later date, dont you guys worry), but I definitely want to be more spontaneous with small trips and vacation days this year. Carpe Diem, Allison! Those vacation days won't use themselves!

+ And, as always, TAKE MORE PICTURES! I always do great with this one through most of the year, and then taper WAY OFF in the Winter at the end of every year. I just lose that motivation with the change of seasons and frigid cold. Work on strategies for getting yourself motivated and inspired and MAKE ROOM for photography all the time.

PS: I have to say, looking back on my resolutions for 2013, I feel pretty good about how I did. I touched on every single goal except for that last little one :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

You guys, I just realized why my blogging has been slacking lately (read: almost completely non-existent). It's totally because I've been replacing my blogging habit with my Instagram habit (read: micro-blogging). It makes total sense! What used to be wardrobe_remix photos taken in my house (I havent taken a single one in 2013), are similar, but are now just selfies I take at work. So in celebration of this discovery, I will give to you an officially blogged Instagram bathroom selfie roundup of some of the best from the past few months, haha! You can always follow me on Instagram if you dont already. And if you do, apologies for the redundancy!
PS: You can finally see the progress I've been making in growing my hair out in these pics. My favorite is the way it looks in the middle right photo, the one where I am wearing a beanie. I wish it could look like that all the time! The girl in this street style photo was my original inspiration (wah I cant find the original source now!). But I'm almost there! I can almost taste it.

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