We’re continuing with our series featuring some of the creative people that we know. Every Tuesday we will introduce them as they share with us the ten things they can’t live without. Today we are introducing our dear friend and fashionista, ballroom dancer, design guru, thrift enthusiast, avid reader, cheese connoisseur and blogger of In a Clutch Lucky Rouse.
Location: Atlanta, GA
Reading didn’t make it onto my first draft of 10 things. Retrospectively I think it’s because it’s as natural to me as breathing so I don’t think about it as a “thing”. I keep a book in my car to read during lunch, right now it’s the Great Gatsby. I have kindle apps on my phone and laptop, an actual kindle with about 200 books on it, and a huge stack of friends waiting for me on my coffee table at home. I read at long stoplights, in line at the grocery store, surreptitiously under the table during meetings, and during long gaps in conversation. My boyfriend was kind of offended when I kept pulling out a book while we were hanging out until he came home to meet my family and saw where I inherited my bookworm genes from.
At the tender age of 16 I started ballroom dancing lessons. The only reason I started was because I went to a private school 45 minutes away from my house and was dreadfully bored without having any friends close by. I wanted to take belly dancing lessons so I opened up the phone book to the B section and of course stumbled upon ballroom dancing first. I can swing, rumba, tango, waltz, and many others with the best of them. Though I don’t get to ballroom dance much any more it’s a skill I’ll carry with me the rest of my life. These days I take classes on hip hop, jazz, and an awesome class that teaches stage presence. Pick the thing that makes you feel the most alive, agile, powerful, bulletproof even. That’s how I feel when I dance and it’s incredible. Find your thing if you haven’t already.
[three] these 4 articles of clothing
Despite the fact that I have a huge closet and an interesting array of clothes since I began my office job I pretty much rotate these four pieces of clothing. I couldn’t survive without my two ¾ length sleeve cardigans, my black skinny stretch pants, and a pair of dark denim jeans. I have a small fortune in denim but instead I wear these black pants that are made by Miley Cyrus that I found at Walmart for $3 and these jeans that my dad picked out for me at Macy’s and cost $20. Really? Macy’s and Walmart when I have Rock & Republics, Raven Denim, and True Religions in my closet…..? Really. I wear the black skinnies with a cute tee, put a cardigan over it, and throw on a pair of heels. Or jeans and a respectable sweater with a pair of riding boots. And that’s it….pretty much every day at the office.
[four] classic disney movies
My sister and I were limited to two TV channels growing up: Disney and Nickelodeon. At night Disney had this segment called “Vault Disney” and it would show all of these classic movies with handsome men who dressed nicely and girls who wore dresses that swished when they walked. My favorite movie is the Happiest Millionaire; a coming of age tale of Cordelia Drexel Biddle. She is fabulous; she sings, dances, and finds love. In this genre fit all of the classic Disney movies like “The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit” or “Moonspinners”. These movies are timeless and something that I’m looking forward to sharing with my own family one day.
[five] friends & family
I could write a novel on all of the friends and family that I wish to pinpoint but I’m going to challenge myself and take it in to one paragraph. Kristopher Haughton and I met when we were respectively 5 and 7; then we found each other and became best friends again in college at the ages of 19 and 21. We only took a 14 year break. We are in contact no less than 8 hours a day and have a terrifying amount of inside jokes. My boyfriend is amazing; outdoorsy, handy, super handsome, smart, and of course hilarious. Our ability to consistently hold ridiculous conversations without cracking a smile deserves a medal. I’m fortunate to have two great sisters and parents who are unfailingly supportive. It’s great when you know you can always go home. Even though I live in the south now I have a circle of friends I made as a child in Virginia that I try to see as often as I can. There’s nothing like sharing jokes that are 10+ years old and still laughing hysterically about them.
[six] urban decay eyeliner, dr. bronners magic all-in-one body wash, and bobby pins
I’ve worn black Urban Decay eyeliner every day for the past 2-3 years. Since it really stays put my eyes haven’t been void of the gentle smudge of liner for well…2-3 years. Dr. Bronners body wash is downright awesome. It’s got a sharp peppermint scent that makes your body all tingly and getting you squeaky clean. I recently discovered Lavender and Rose scents which I am happy to say are so soothing it actually helps me sleep at night. Of course the bottle is covered in propaganda hippie nonsense that no matter how many times I read it I’m still confused about what the message is. I can look past the foolish bottle though and enjoy the therapeutic effect of the wash. Bobby pins are another must have. They are in the pockets of all my pants, in the bottom of my purse, cup holders of my car, the floor of my apartment, and the paperclip holder at work. Bobby pins fix everything from hair that’s been rained on to a quick updo for an evening out.
I just discovered NPR and it’s changed my life. I’ve already mentioned my wonderful boyfriend but I firmly believe the NPR is major factor to our making it past that initial infatuation phase. After he introduced me to NPR we all of a sudden had entirely new and obscure topics to discuss over dinner and we bonded over it. Despite my parents claims that NPR stands for National Propaganda Radio I love Fresh Air and This American Life. The book reviews, local segments, and global news are always excellent. Even though I can’t always keep up with pop culture anymore I can always fill the silence in a conversation.
[eight] your dekalb farmers market
This is my absolute favorite part about living in Atlanta. It’s tons of exotic fruits and vegetables for dirt cheap. Freshly baked breads and pastas all for my taking! I discovered mustard greens, the beauty of organic carrots, and if I so choose I could by an entire breadfruit. I make the trek there biweekly and stock up on greens, various root vegetables, fresh breads, and cheeses. Their cheese section is absolutely incredible, I’m slowly making my way through the various regions and countries: Swiss cheese, Wisconsin cheddar, German butter cheese, etc… I can walk out with bags and bags of beautiful food for $25-$30.
When I was 21 I realized that I’d been working retail since I was 17, about to finish my Associates Degree, and hadn’t really lived. So I finished up school, quit my job, and went to school in Spain for 3 months. It was by far the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. I made my first adult girlfriends, learned a new language and culture, embraced the siesta, and felt like I’d finally started growing into the person I was supposed to be. I feel a very strong attachment to Spain that I’m sure will continue the rest of my life. The pride of Spaniards is quite famous and apparently it’s contagious. Espana te amo!
[ten] saving money
I love looking at a receipt and seeing how much money I saved or the even better feeling of seeing the amount in my savings account grow every month. I love it so much my blog, In A Clutch, is all about how I navigate my finances. Shopping smart is a big part of my life so of course I love thrift stores and finding things free next to a dumpster like my cute little coffee table you see up there. Thrifting is a fussy mistress which requires constant attention! You must thrift often and be prepared to walk out empty handed more often than with a treasure trove of vintage items like ostrich skin purses, coral low heeled pumps, and leather belts. I was on my 3rd thrifting journey of the week before I landed on a pair of Italian high waist leather shorts and a Christian Dior watch. I’ve also adopted a policy of “love it or leave it” which goes for everything. Clothing, movies, food, really anything you can think of; unless I absolutely love it I don’t purchase it. I despise paying to eat mediocre food so unless I am socially obligated you’ll rarely find me at a chain restaurant, instead I’ll be hunting down hidden gems in strip malls that serve the best Vietnamese Pho around. I scour the internet for free or cheap activities and try to always have a few options when the weekend rolls around. So when I’m a millionaire by the age of 35 I’ll remember this 10 things post with fondness and then buy out Your Modern Couple and turn it into a worldwide confederation of ceramic animal loving designers.
Stay tuned for text Tuesday when we shake it up a little, remember when we opened up our 10 things to our readers? We decided to start sprinkling them in among our usual 10 things-ters. So to kick it off next week we’ll feature one of our readers and blogger of Because I Can Margarita Gonzales.
Until next time!