This is mildly embarrassing because I like to think I have better things to think/write about, but whatever. I like playing dress-up. I like street-wear costumes. It’s fun. I come from deeply humble fashion roots. My parents are hippies for godsake, and I grew up in a mix of dirty hand-me-downs my parents dug up, cheap stuff from Sears, and frilly dresses gifted from my grandma. I preferred the frilly dresses, and my mom had to bribe me to wear pants by telling me that they made me look tall.
This is Offbeat Home's archive of posts by Ariel Meadow Stallings.
Author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, Ariel acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives, loves, and dorks out hard in Seattle, WA. You can gossip with her on twitter: @offbeatariel
This distinction between cooking and preparing is one that always comes up when I talk to Megan about her inability to cook. I'm always like, Bitch, I don't cook either! That still doesn't mean you have to eat frozen pizzas for every meal Megan defaults to packaged food (which puts her in good company with the majority of Americans), while I default to cutting up produce and cheese and setting them on a plate. Megan's food might taste better, but my food is infinitely cheaper and definitely healthier.
A couple years ago, my father gave me a trunk that had been gathering dust in his storage shed.
"I think this is yours," he said. I wasn't sure, but I took it because I'm a pack rat and even if it wasn't mine, doubtless there was something interesting inside.
And there was! Under my entire childhood collection of ElfQuest comics (!!!), I found a relic of my high school theater days — a vintage CABOODLES makeup case. It still had two yellow post-its taped onto the top that said "ARIEL'S MAKE-UP" and "RUM-TUM-TUGGER IN CATS," relics from the last high school play I was in.
Back in 2006 when I was working a full-time corporate job, while also trying to write what would become Offbeat Bride the book, I almost had a nervous breakdown. Desperate for some guidance and inspiration, I sent an email to my local hero, Dan Savage. His advice was basically that he owed it all to his partner. His then-partner? Terry Miller, who is now (thanks to Washington's marriage laws) Dan's husband. In the 10 years since I had this exchange, I've basically built my het marriage to emulate their gay marriage, and I'm convinced it's been the secret to everything being happy.
I look mostly like my father, but I got my mother's mouth.
The second oldest of four girls, my mother was always one of the loud ones. She talked loud. She sang loud. At her Catholic boarding school, she was always popular among her peers, known for being outgoing and gregarious. She became a hippy and strummed the loudest campfire guitar. She became a midwife and founded a national organization and spoke loudly at international women's health conferences. For her 50th birthday, she produced an entire CD of her songs, and threw a big party for herself. She started the night by announcing into the microphone, "Everyone, please be quiet and stop talking. It's time for me to sing."
Last month, our friends, the hot architects brought their vintage raclette over to have dinner. (Yes, the same hot architects whose wedding I crashed last summer. They've become friends, and in fact we're hiring them to help us with our condo remodel). So, have you ever seen one of these things before? I had not. It's basically this portable double-decker hot plate, with these special little dishes you use to melt a shit load of cheese over veggies and/or meat. You then scrape the hot, oozing, deliciously cheese-greasy mess onto bread (or I guess just straight into your mouth).
Ok, ok, I know it's already February 10th and I'm just now introducing our patron for the month, but you guys! You know her! YOU TOTALLY KNOW HER! This month's Offbeat Home & Life Patron, the reader who supports the site so much that they're willing to make a $200 contribution to keeping us online, is none other than Dootsiebug. This is a picture of her that I stole off of her Tumblr, because that's how I like to make people feel safe participating in online communities. Now, as a thank you to Dootsie, let's get to know her a little better…
Ah, it's a new month here on Offbeat Home & Life, and we have the honor of welcoming our fourth-ever Patron, Laura. She's actually a blogger herself, writing a lot about gluten-free living at gf-archivist.com. I also want to talk about how we can work together to get rid of those weird ads that were showing up in the sidebar.