great read: “I Don’t Know What’s Best for You”

These are not my feet. I am not on vacation.
These are not my feet. I am not on vacation.

Courtney Carver of the minimalist blog Be More With Less recently had a lovely post titled “I Don’t Know What’s Best for You.” It really struck a chord.

I (like a lot of people, I’m guessing) was not taught to trust my own judgment or intuition as a child. Growing up in a hyper-conservative Christian environment, my gut instincts were “bad” and “sinful” and could not be trusted. Thankfully, there were plenty of straight white dudes I was taught to trust instead: my pastor, the principal at my evangelical Christian school, my dad, etc.

This mindset of “other people know what’s best for you” followed me well into adulthood. To some extent, that’s necessary–I wouldn’t presume to know more about my car than an actual mechanic, or try to DIY a colonoscopy. But I shouldn’t be afraid to question the experts, especially if my gut says they’re wrong.

Relying on authority figures to tell me how to live my life–from therapists to the woman who cuts my hair–just isn’t so helpful anymore. It’s a crutch. It became a habit born out of the discomfort of indecision and ambiguity. It’s really hard not to know the answer, not to know what to do next, to feel out of control and lost and alone. Solution? Find someone to tell me how to live my life! (No wonder cults are so appealing.)

That’s why Courtney Carver’s post was so freaking refreshing. SO RARELY do people actually say “I don’t know what you should do. Trust your gut. What do YOU think you should do?” I’m totally guilty of this–I’ve been more than happy to dish out unsolicited advice about just about anything. (Working on it.)

Instead of rushing to find someone to tell me what to do, hopefully I can do things like take time for meditation/mindfulness, or journal, or just give myself permission not to make a decision yet. It’s OK to not know the answer or next step. Hopefully, in time, it will come. ❤

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a bright, glam, maximalist capsule wardrobe

Capsule wardrobes are everywhere right now. But most of them seem to be made up of snooze-worthy neutrals: lots of black, white, and gray. Those that have “a pop of color!!!!” include, like, one navy/olive/eggplant top or scarf. PASS.

And yet I’m realizing that even though I’m a maximalist in some ways (bright colors! ruffles! asymmetry! leopard print! layers!), I don’t actually want a closetful of crappy fast fashion. I have the bizarre-o desire to save my money for quality clothing I love to death and that will last.

GASP! Is this maximal minimalism? (Minimal maximalism? Messy simplicity? Bright, uh, something?)

Inspired by my stylish frayun Kelly (of Feminist Sticker Club and Cat Sticker Club fame), I’m toying with the idea of slowly creating a capsule wardrobe…but one heavy on PINK and SHAGGY TEXTURE and SHINE:

bright pink capsule wardrobe

(Gold miniskirt: Never has it been so clear that “versatile” is subjective. THAT PINK SHAG COAT THO)

Seems like the point of a capsule wardrobe is to buy fewer, better things that delight you; wear them often; and keep them for a long time. (“Better” being a vague catchall for quality, fair-trade, eco-friendly, etc. etc.)

I, erm, basically have the opposite of a capsule wardrobe. While I typically assuage my consumer guilt by shopping at Goodwill and frequently purging stuff from my closet (thanks, Marie Kondo!), this results in a sort of CHURN ‘N’ BURN that doesn’t actually reduce my consumption. I admit it: I’m a (fashion) commitment-phobe. Novelty gives me a rush.

confessions of a shopaholic gif

Anyway, I stumbled on the blog A Small Wardrobe and LOVE these guidelines for shopping:

– Only buy things that are exactly what I want.
– Only buy things that fit perfectly.
– Only buy things of good quality.

If only everything in my wardrobe fit those guidelines!

Notice that price isn’t part of the equation. As someone who, ahem, has difficulty sticking to a budget…

confessions of a shopaholic

…I know this means I have to patiently save up for nice stuff, NOT BUY A TON OF IT ALL AT ONCE. This will involve the dreaded Delayed Gratification I’ve heard so much about. (Hrrumph.)

In any case, I’d like to think zany, bright, colorful capsule wardrobes can exist. Jenna Lyons of J.Crew claims that leopard-print is a neutral. Why not?

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nerd crush: Danny L Harle

If a tall, pale, bespectacled Englishman wasn’t already nerd girl catnip, give him a winning personality and musical superpowers and he’s utterly irresistible. I’m talking, URBVIOUSLY, about Danny L Harle (catchphrase: HUGE DANNY).

huge-danny-crush

This gent from London started out as the cello-playing son of a saxophonist, studying classical music, composing soundtracks, and playing jazz on dinner cruises, according to the UK Standard. Then he got into synths in a big way. He recently blew up after releasing hella catchy electro-pop gems like “Broken Flowers” and the fantastic “Super Natural” with Carly Rae Jepsen (although my fave might still be In My Dreams):

There’s something pure about his music…unabashedly upbeat, head-bobbing, body-moving pop. Bubblegum lightning! As much as you can tell about a stranger from their YouTube videos and internet presence, he seems endearingly sincere, taking an infectious joy in his work. From a Clash Music interview:

[M]y music is all an expression of love for music and there’s no element of irony or sneeriness.

Although his music definitely has niche, hipstery appeal (the label he’s on, PC Music, has been described as “postmodern exhibitionism,”) he doesn’t seem pretentious:

I don’t want the music just to be for nerdy people. I am a nerdy person and I love nerdy people but I want to make these big expressions for people to project their own ideas upon.

Need proof of said nerdiness? Well, Danny L Harle loves cats and science, so HOW ABOUT THAT:

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What to get your vagina for Christmas

vagina diagram cross-stitch christmas
Clearly I had way too much fun making this. (Original photo: Hey Paul Studios)

Hello, do you bleed out of your womb-hole? If not, this won’t be as relevant to you, but feel free to stay and help yourself to the snacks.

(NB: Some women don’t have vaginas and/or uteri, some people with vaginas/uteri aren’t women, some people with vaginas/uteri don’t have periods, and some people will be squicked out by my repeated use of “vagina” and “uteri” and may be excused from the dinner table.)

This is NOT an ad and I did NOT get these for free, but holy shit they are maybe the best thing ever:

thermacare menstrual heat wraps
CAT-APPROVED.

I heard about these from Anonymous Friend (because I do not want to embarrass her). It’s like a pad–it even has an adhesive back–but you stick it inside your underwear below your belly button. Then for the next 8 hours IT IS WARM and eases your cramps and you can flop on the couch happily (or go to work!). It’s like a hot water bottle you can wear under your clothes without anyone knowing. AHHH.

A 3-pack is $6-$8, so not cheap, but sooooo worth it. They’re at Walgreens, CVS, Amazon, etc. You could also just buy the kind that heats up your lower back and stick it in your panties. (YOU DO YOU.) My point is, they make periods suck way less, and I am a fan. The only bad part is that they aren’t reusable, so the wasteful aspect is troubling, but honestly cramps win out this time.

So if you were like, “Drat! I NEVER know what to get my reproductive organs for Chrismakkuh!” now you know. (OK, a donation to Planned Parenthood works too.) To quote Tiny Tim, happy holidays, and may your uterus and other various body parts stay cozy and warm!

(That was Tiny Tim, right?)

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Where my basic bitchez at?

ugg-boots

Confession: I am listening to Dolly Parton and reading a Harlequin romance novel about a librarian titled Love Overdue.

WHAT THE FUCK

(Yes, moooost of my blog post ideas of late are just retreads of the same theme: “OMG I just realized I can stop hating XYZ and repressing myself and just like what I like and stop trying to be a hipster! MIND BLOWN!” Yes, this is another in that vein. I WARNED YOU.)

You know what else I like, other than cheeseball books and the Gilmore Girls soundtrack? PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES. WEARING FLUFFY SLIPPERS. GREY’S ANATOMY. YOU’VE GOT MAIL. LIFETIME MOVIES. TOP 40 CHRISTMAS SONGS.*

All of which makes me want to stab myself in the face.

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