when to take that first trip together, FLiP W Magazine January 2015

This article is being re-posted from FLiP Magazine January 2015.  FLiP Magazine is a great publication with insight into pop-culture for both men and women! Aeri Rose is a regular contributor to FLiP W, the female focused half of the magazine.  You should definitely check it out, and subscribe for the free digital editions! Even if I’m quiet here…I’ll always find something to say there!

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“When to Take that First Trip Together”

By Aeri Rose

This month’s article is definitely a case of “do as I say, not as I do,” because honestly the best first date I can imagine would be a backpacking (urban or backcountry) adventure somewhere.  Why?

A) It is an excuse for a weekend backpacking adventure.

…and…

B) Because it is a brief and intense way to really get to know this new person of interest.

But then, I’m one of those perpetually single types, so what do I know?

But if I was going to hazard a guess to the best time to go on that first get away with your new beau, and offer tips on planning the adventure, this is what I might say…

So the basic relationship timeline goes something like this: meet, friend each other on Facebook, spend the weekend stalking their page with your girlfriends, go on a first date, spend a whole weekend together, spare toothbrush in the bathroom, spare dresser in the bedroom, fart/drool/snore barrier is broken (this seems to fluctuate in the time line based on the individual), fight, break up, get back together, move in together, here it gets a little vague, and then viola happily ever after. Of course not every relationship makes it to every step. But if your budding relationship seems to be cruising along down the time line and you’re itching for a new adventure for two, I would schedule that first trip somewhere after “fart/drool/snore barrier is broken” and “move in together.”

If you haven’t broken the bodily functions barrier, I hope you are ready, because there is no way you will make it through a red-eye flight, mystery airline meals, and/or an overnight train ride without crossing that bridge.

If you have made it this far, congrats! Crack open a travel magazine and follow these Do’s and Don’ts when planning that epic first adventure!

1) Don’t take him somewhere you’ve been already. Don’t try to show him something you thought was wonderful and you want to share with him.  There will be time for that kind of trip later. For this first one, try to avoid places where you have pre-set expectations for his response.  Don’t make the trip a test. Do go somewhere neither of you have been, so you can share in the discovery and experience together.

2) Don’t go to a secluded love nest in the Caribbean or somewhere equally isolated.  Even though you’ve made it past “spending the whole weekend together”, having your own errands and your own apartment can be a comforting escape exit if necessary.  Even if you’re having a great time, an isolated love nest can leave you feeling trapped.  Do go somewhere with versatility: alone time, culture, nightlife, etc.

3) Do keep it short and sweet. Try not to plan any year long around the world journeys just yet. Stick to a weekend adventure. Hold off on the big bucket list treks until you can be sure you won’t go crazy after 30, 60, 300 days of the same bad sports jokes and compulsive need to straighten the silverware when you eat.

4) Do consider both of your interests when researching the local attractions. Be willing to compromise on activities. Encourage him to do something you’re passionately interested in, but be willing to branch out of your comfort zone and do the same for him too. Don’t expect to do everything together though. A little alone time is healthy and can be exciting, especially if conversations start to lag half way through the trip. Taking time to explore alone will give you hours of fresh conversation fodder when you’re back together.

5) Don’t consider the trip a superhero/sidekick adventure. Sure you want to show off how chic and independent you can be, what a cultured traveler you are, but stop pruning your feathers peacock! The way you two behave on this trip is a small glimpse into the future. So treat this trip like the partnership you hope your relationship will be, and enjoy the journey together.

=====================================================================================Have you ever had the urge to just drop what you were doing, pack a bag, and set out on an adventure? Five years and over two dozen countries later, Aeri Rose is proof that excitement, independence, and discovery await those who are bold enough to say “yes” to life’s craziest choices. When not exploring the world with her little grey backpack, Aeri Rose can be found living a nomadic lifestyle traveling the United States as an artist and entrepreneur. To follow Aeri Rose on all her adventures, check her out online at aerirose.com or travelingwithaeri.com; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aerirose.”

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fashion for all seasons, FLiP W November 2014

This article is being re-posted from FLiP Magazine November 2014.  FLiP Magazine is a great publication with insight into pop-culture for both men and women! Aeri Rose is a regular contributor to FLiP W, the female focused half of the magazine.  You should definitely check it out, and subscribe for the free digital editions! Even if I’m quiet here…I’ll always find something to say there! And this month I was a feature designer, with a model sporting my duds on the cover page! Check out the full article below:

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Photography by: Andrew Nimrod Hair and Makeup by: Angela Rose Model: Alexis Nicols

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Q: How did you come up with the idea for this editorial?

We have been expressing nature in art since cave drawings. It only seems natural to me to explore the organic lines and natural flow of the environment in our clothing. There isn’t a color or shape that can’t be found in nature. So nature is really a limitless source of inspiration and ideas.  I chose the four seasons as a way to explore the variety of nature with something of a loosely limiting factor to help focus my thoughts.

Q: Once you had the idea, how did you go about creating with the designs for each season? Tell us about each season and what the inspiration for each was.

Spring is a pink blooming daisy. It is a cotton sun-dress that is hand-dyed using a dip/drip dye technique I have been working with for some time.

Summer is a blooming rose.  It is a three piece ensemble: a skirt with wire edging to give it shape and structure, a strapless fitted top, and a green rose hip vest designed to mimic the tiny green leaves found at the base of a rose blossom.

Fall was focused on displaying the vibrant color palate of fall leaves.

For the Winter look I wanted to explore frost and the hibernation that trees go through in the cold.  There was plenty of white Ice Queen looking pieces in her outfit, but the accessories in this look were really important to me. They are brittle brown branching pieces of jewelry designed to mimic the bear vulnerable branches of trees in the winter.

Q: How did color and fabric play a part in the design for each season?

When building up the layers of a costume couture piece, your work is half design and half sculpture.  Many of the fabrics were chosen based on the texture and dimension they would lend to my design concept.

Q: Your choices for the summer season are darker than most would expect.   What brought that on?

Nature, really. In our minds, summer is bright, bold, and neon because neon goes great with our new store bought highlights and spray tan.  But look around you next summer.  The natural world is at its fullest and most lush. The spring flowers can be pastel, young, and fresh; but summer flowers are vibrant, tropical, and confident under the steady sun beams of each hot summer day.

Q: As a designer and fashionista, what is your favorite season?

I love spring.  It is fresh and new. It starts out chilly, dragging in the tail end of winter fashions and outerwear is still a consideration.  But like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, we steadily shed layers to reveal the fun colorful inspirations that will carry us through the summer.

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Q: You refer to your company as a Costume Couture Boutique.  What does that mean and why do you classify yourself in such a way?

So when you think about the difference between costumes and clothing, the word “costume” implies that one is dressing specifically to look like a different person or thing (thank you Merriam Webster).  Dressing to look different than what one feels is their natural state.  I also use the world costume to imply that my looks are more heavily influenced by particular and unique sources of inspiration, and designed to have a great deal of visual similarity to their inspirations.  It does not mean that these pieces can be worn once a year at the work Halloween party, or that weird Convention your new boyfriend wants to take you to.  If you like what you see, wear it whenever you want!

Couture really just means “the business of designing, making, and selling fashionable custom-made women’s clothing” (again, thank you Merriam Webster), which is exactly what my small boutique does.

So I am carving out a tiny little niche in the fashion industry, producing high-quality, hand-made, theme-specific women’s couture and ready-wear pieces.

Viva La Hand-Made Revolution!

Q: How and why did you get into costuming?

Women have a weird relationship with clothing.  Some are more adventurous and explorative than others, but for the most part shopping for everyday wear is a bittersweet chore.  We love new clothes, but there is always a bit of a drag on our inspiration.  What cuts and colors are season? What is proper for our age/position/societies standards?

With costuming that is different.  Women feel freer to choose what they love and not what they think they should be wearing.  They explore different silhouettes that make them look and feel beautiful.  They choose colors that make them beautiful, and themes they find fun.  I love dressing women in costumes because they allow themselves to fall madly in love with what they are wearing.  I just wish I could find a way to help them carry that same energy into their everyday looks!

Q: Your designs were recently featured in Baltimore Fashion Week.  What was it like seeing your designs on the runway?

So Awesome! It is one thing to have a vision in your head, or to see the clothing sitting stiffly on the dress forms, but once a piece is on a model she breathes life into it.  That is when a designer really gets to see this idea as she envisioned it.  And that’s when she gets to share that vision with others.

For the Cirque De Cru fashion show I sent each model down the runway with a balloon, to lend a fun carnival air to the evening.  They had so much fun with the balloons! I was worried that it would be an encumbrance that would mess up their strut on the catwalk, but all the models got so into it, which was so great and really filled the collection with exactly the energy I was hoping for.

Q: What’s next and where do you see Aeri Rose going?

At Aeri Rose we like blurring the boundary between high fashion and your imagination. We want to help our customers have fun with their clothes.  To that end, our most recent collection “Cirque De Cru” was a ready-wear collection inspired by 1940’s traveling entertainers and circus folk.  It is easy to go down the rabbit hole with a circus theme, but we really refrained from going over the top in order to make this fun flirty theme more accessible to more people. We hope to continue to maintain this balance: going to over the top costume couture to keep our imaginations sharp, and then pulling back to flirt on the edges of interesting themes and historical periods for inspiration for ready-wear collections.

Q: How can our readers keep up with you and your work?

They can follow me on twitter (@TravelingAeri), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/aerirose) or online at www.aerirose.com.  I am especially active on the Facebook page, posting new shows, new designs, and fun ideas pretty regularly.

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road-dog routines

After a long winter at home, I can see the road beckoning on the horizon, and my little heart goes pitter-patter with excitement.

I have spent seven months straight at Mamma Bear Base Camp this year, a practical eternity to a hopeless wanderer, and as the end of my stay draws near I feel the need to take a moment to reflect philosophically on the emotional roller-coaster  I have ridden.

Sometime in early June I arrived home fresh from a successful show season on the road, elated with the new developments, bursting with plans to conquer, and a little nostalgic for the thought of spending some quality time with family and friends.

Yet by the end of September the daily grind of normalcy was starting to take its toll. My part-time office job was pounding out new linear paths in the artistic labyrinth of my mind. Reconnecting with friends meant a parade of well dressed, first apartment-ed, newly wed, career focused fine upstanding young adults marching past. I even began to experience a sort of Stockholm Syndrome. I could be one of those be-suited socialites. Should I be striving to become a well-coiffed, demurely mature, subtly fierce young professional, shattering glass ceilings with a single spreadsheet? Perhaps. I gave it some serious consideration. I brushed off my resume and rattled off a few cover letters.

My exciting life of art and travel seemed so foreign and alien so quickly that not even the arrival of my long awaited vardo could reconnect me with the colorful fairy I loved to be. It sat awkwardly in our suburban driveway, squat and bright with its purple walls and orange trim, and dared me to remember who I was.

vardo

The memories came back slowly. The disconnect was real. Days of khaki slacks and office coffee, car payments and the thought of real estate had made an adult out of me.

Then I woke up this morning and I could practically smell the wild sage and desert sand of Arizona. I found myself craving a WaWa Sandwich…a staple of highway nourishment.  I found I could actually focus on the thought of packing, an insurmountable mental block just a few days earlier.  I mapped my route and learned I had not one but two of my best friends directly en route and simply demanding a visit.

This is the balance I fight to maintain. When I am on the road I love so much about it. The color, the energy, the new friends I meet and the adventures and misadventures I have . But I miss my old friends. I experience such hiraeth; longing for a return to my college days when all my closest friends lived just around the corner. But those days are gone. My friends, fierce young professionals that they are, have carved niches out for themselves all over the world.

But for me at least, perhaps they are still just around the corner. It is just that my neighborhood has gotten a whole lot larger. A trip around the block lasts from late January to early June and takes me on a lap around the continental United States. A visit across town is more like a journey across the ocean and a crash reunion with ex-pats and euro-rats.

I know it won’t always be like this. So until the day that I find my own niche to carve out, I’ll just stay happy with my endless wandering, and content myself with my road-dog routines.

Here’s to stale coffee and sandwiches. To counting the miles, singing out your heartbreak and happiness to the open road, and going crazy one white line at a time.

Until the day we can all be together again,

~Aeri

the art of the exotic palate, FLiP W November 2014

This article is being re-posted from FLiP Magazine November 2014.  FLiP Magazine is a great publication with insight into pop-culture for both men and women! Aeri Rose is a regular contributor to FLiP W, the female focused half of the magazine.  You should definitely check it out, and subscribe for the free digital editions! Even if I’m quiet here…I’ll always find something to say there!

FLiP W Cover November 2014
FLiP W Cover November 2014

 

The Art of the Exotic Palate: Trying and Declining New Foods

By Aeri Rose

flip w article nov 2014

Being polite can be very similar to knowing an intricate dance. When you don’t know what you’re doing, it is easy to step on some toes. And when traveling abroad, it is easy to feel like you’ve packed two left feet. Just like a ballroom dance, research and practice will help you avoid a misstep, but sometimes you just have to jump in and do the twist. So, to help with those impromptu moments, this month’s travel article is called “The Art of the Exotic Palate: Trying and Declining New Foods”, and we will talk about a particular situation when a polite and graceful demeanor is the most important: during meals. So, enjoy our stories, and our universal tips to help keep you fed and happy on your next vacation.

Tip # 1: Be Inquisitive and open minded! Taste and try everything.

Remember you are on an adventure, you are open minded, curious, and hoping to turn strangers into friends all around the world. If someone has invited you into their home, invited you to share a meal, or even just made a recommendation after seeing you hem and haw over the lunch menu, accept their advice! Even if it ends up being the worst thing you’ve ever tasted…at least you will have a new story to Like the time I was encouraged to try silk worms in a Korean marketplace. They were served in a clear plastic cup with some broth and a toothpick. High in protein I was told. I was able to crunch a few down before they got cold, and they really weren’t even that bad. OK so maybe they were really gross. But I ate them and lived to tell the tale! And you can too!

Tip # 2: Taste but don’t waste!

Some dishes are recognizable, others strange. Some smell amazing, others…strange. When trying new things, take small portions so you will still be able to finish a dish even if it is not to your liking. Please do try to finish what has been served. Your host might have been using your visit as a chance to prepare some specialty dishes with expensive or hard to find ingredients that would be a shame to throw away if the crazy American took too much and couldn’t finish it. Remember, if you like something you can always follow the tiny first helping with a second larger helping, provided everyone else has already served themselves as well.

It is important to note that while food should never be wasted, often leaving one or two bites on a plate is the unspoken signal that your appetite has been satisfied.

Tip #3: Don’t be childish or immature if you encounter unexpected, unappetizing, or visually shocking

My Sicilian grandmother came to America when she was 17, and shortly after arriving in Maryland she was invited to a crab feast. Anyone who has ever shelled crabs knows they are odd, ugly little things that are cooked alive. She screamed when she saw them, and thought she was being made to eat a giant spider. My point is…everyone eats weird things in weird ways. It’s only weird if you aren’t used to it. So contain your gag reflex, control your urge to dissect your meal like a 7th grade biology lab, and keep your screams to a minimum when exploring exotic meals.

Tip # 4: Follow your host’s lead.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do! Preparing and eating foods and drinks like the locals will give you a chance to taste and learn about a new thing, or a new way to enjoy an old thing. Take tea for example. Everyone has a way they like to drink their tea: with lemon, honey, sugar, milk, hot, cold, etc. When you’re traveling don’t drink tea the way YOU like to drink it, drink it the way the locals do. When you’re in England, take tea with milk and sugar and a piece of shortbread. When you’re in Turkey take it strong in a tiny clear glass with too much sugar. In China? Dump some leaves in a cup, swirl them around, and spend the rest of the time trying to figure out how they drink the tea so gracefully without getting mouthfuls of tea leaves. And then call me and tell me what you’ve learned, because I still haven’t figured it out!

Tip # 5: If you absolutely cannot attend or cannot eat a dish served, say “No” as soon as possible, politely, firmly, and perhaps up to three times.

Being a picky eater, or having something else sort of planned that night are not really acceptable reasons to decline. But, if you know that fried crickets and blood pudding will be on the menu and you just will NOT be able to navigate a graceful decline at the diner table, than perhaps declining the initial invitation is your best choice. If you do have to decline, do it as soon as possible. As in, DO NOT accept and later change your mind, and definitely DO NOT accept and then stand them up.

Some acceptable reasons to decline might be because of known allergies or strict dietary restrictions, or because non-negotiable travel plans have already been booked. Like, for example, if you are a vegetarian hiking through the Gobi Desert and a Mongolian nomadic family invites you into their Ger to share their evening meal, you can be certain it will be 99% comprised of various cuts of goat meat, organs, and cheese products with perhaps one onion diced and boiled in your honor. As a vegetarian, you might find it easier to offer them some sweet mint tea and continue on your way.

So to recap, the dinner dance can be intricate, but there are always some general guidelines to keep in mind to help navigate any meal without stepping on too many toes. And when in doubt…say please and thank you and make your mamma proud.

Good luck and enjoy! Buon Appetite!

=====================================================================================

Have you ever had the urge to just drop what you were doing, pack a bag, and set out on an adventure? Five years and over two dozen countries later, Aeri Rose is proof that excitement, independence, and discovery await those who are bold enough to say “yes” to life’s craziest choices. When not exploring the world with her little grey backpack, Aeri Rose can be found living a nomadic lifestyle traveling the United States as an artist and entrepreneur. To follow Aeri Rose on all her adventures, check her out online at aerirose.com or travelingwithaeri.com; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aerirose.”

so here’s the plan…

Remember those pesky details I mentioned in the last post? Well, it seems that details spawn faster than the Easter bunny’s slutty cousins in the spring.  Cause boy oh boy is it going to be a crazy summer for me.  Wanna hear all the details so far?

Well you better, cause I want to tell you! If you don’t I guess you could just stop reading. Go away!

Still here? Awesome.

So.

Right now I am in Waxahachie, Texas.  I got here about a week and a half ago after a hastily, though skillfully, completed pack down in Arizona.  Here, I quickly moved into the super wonderful booth I am renting for the season and prepared for opening weekend of Scarborough Faire.  I do love the booth. I’m rather proud of it, honestly.  The clothing racks are curvy branches and really give the shop an organic flow.  And I put them up myself. With a power drill!  The skirts look colorful and wonderful hanging on them. Roxanne and I have had a great time playing fairy, and I have every confidence that she will be awesome when I have to drive away and leave her in charge of things.

Look at my racks!
Look at my racks!
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Aeri Rose, Scarborough 2014

So when am I driving away and leaving her in charge of things? In two days. Aah!!

On Sunday afternoon I will climb back in to Shelly the Sportvan, who is currently full of everything I’ll need to set up a booth at the Virginia Renaissance Festival and all of the things I hopefully will not need when I return to Scarborough at the end of this mad adventure.

After I climb into Shelly and turn her on I will proceed to drive from Waxahachie, TX to Denton, MD- approximately 1500 miles and/or 22 hours of straight driving.  I will need to do that drive within 48 hours in order to catch a flight to Italy from Dulles Airport by 11:00 pm Tuesday night.  I am hoping to do it in about 30 hours, leaving me “plenty” of time to catch up on necessary things like renewing my business license and/or sleeping.

So I climb on the airplane and delight in the ability to sleep, or read, or do anything other than pay attention to where I am going.  Ten hours and fifteen minutes later I land in Istanbul, Turkey where I will probably try to go explore  the city for a bit if they will let me out of the airport. I have a heinous 24 hour lay over after all.  I am certainly not spending all that time staring at other bleary-eyed travelers near Gate B30 of the Ataturk International Airport.

Anyway. So flight to Turkey. Mini Turkish Adventure. Short flight from Istanbul to Rome. Hopefully manageable navigation of customs, etc. Catch commuter train from Airport to Termini Station. Catch 10:30 pm train from Rome to Cefalu, Sicily. Enjoy train ride down Italian coast and Train ON A FERRY ride across the bit of water separating Sicily and Italy.  Get to Cefalu. Get picked up by family in Cefalu.  Yay family!

Operation: Crazy Family in Sicily Adventure begins. Yippie!

Operation: Crazy Family in Sicily Adventure ends. Boo!

Return to Annapolis again via heinous Istanbul layover. Return the evening of May 1st.  Sleep, or something.

May 2nd I drive out to the Virginia Faire Site near Lake Anna and meet up with Team Wonder-Fairy to set up our booth.

After that it starts to slow down. I just have a wedding on the west coast to catch, and to get back to Scarborough for the end of the faire. And then get back to Virginia. Somehow. Even though I’m probably leaving Shelly with the Wonder-Fairies to use as a safe and dry storage spot. And then there are some more shows and festivals along the east coast I might do. Or maybe I’ll be running out to help in Colorado.  Or maybe back to Italy with my sister.

Who knows!

I’ll be somewhere on the planet. That’s good enough for me!

Bring it on summer! I have caffeine and glitter! I’m not afraid of you!

Wonder-Fairies Unite!
Wonder-Fairies Unite!

 

Wish me luck and stay tuned for updates, mishaps, adventures, and mushrooms! Mushrooms? Sure, why not?

 

With Love,

~Aeri