Selfies and Self Love

My friend wrote this amazing article about being a proud selfie taker and I could not agree more.

I will never be ashamed of my selfies. It is not vain to think you are cute or fly looking. It’s not shameful to document experiences like good hair days and having fun with make up.

Take selfies with your friends. Take them in the morning when you have interesting bed head but also really don’t want to leave the covers. Take them inside or take them out in public (just be careful and don’t get hit by cars or poles). I’m pretty sure you get the point. Anyway, I love selfies and I love the article.

OOTD: A Queer Kid’s Super Hero Cape

You’ve seen a couple different styles from me so far, all of them colorful and quirky in some way, some more masculine, some more femme, and some a weird but awesome mix of both. This style is one of my all time favorites. It is my casual staple; that style that you don’t have to think much about and that feels so much like home that it’s as if you are bringing ‘home’ with you. It’s simple, it’s comfortable, but you know you still look fly AF and could easily conquer the world. It’s basically my super hero cape, and the best part about it is that it tends to make me look like I fell out of some video game or indie comic book.

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I am obsessed with these joggers. I have four pairs of them in different colors, mint, orange, forest green, and black and I would love to find them in pink and blue.

When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia I swore off wearing clothing with zippers, buttons, and hard fabrics because it just hurt my skin too much, especially sitting in my wheelchair. For a little while, all I wore were the same pair of sweatpants every day; and while sweatpants undeniably have an essential spot in my lounge wear wardrobe, feeling like I couldn’t play with fashion like I used to, or get excited about the clothes I was wearing was really depressing. So when I found these pants that were soft twill fabric, with *gasp* an elastic waistband, and a street style drop-crotch silhouette it felt like a miracle. So while I still refuse to remove my sweater in 90 degree weather if I think it will “ruin my ensemble” it’s good to know that comfort doesn’t have to be completely sacrificed for style.

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Pants: Italy Morn Chino Joggers 

Boots: Viva (Amazon) with custom laces from my ribbon collection

T-shirt: Toca Boca (Target’s new GENDER NEUTRAL CLOTHING LINE, so excited)

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This style has so many variations and possibilities. The basic formula is a colorful pair of my beloved joggers, a statement tee (comfortable yet eye-catching, whether it’s a fascinating print, Bob Ross’ face, or a drawing of an alien taking off it’s human head), and colored boots. Docs work great for this, but as you may have noticed none of my boots are actually Doc Martin’s, just some off-brand amazon version. Each piece of clothing, down to your socks, should make a statement on it’s own. I also tend to pair this with a yellow fanny pack (because yes, I am that hipster millennial) with my chain of grape pompoms and leather leaves hanging down that I found at Nordstrom Rack (to be pictured in a later post), because I love it and it’s super handy to cary stuff in when I’m using my cane or just being active with my hands.

My clothing philosophy is that if you love it and you feel amazing, then you can pull off ANYTHING. Fanny packs and elastic waist pants do not have to be the un-cool tourist mom look they used to be. Even the ‘un-cool tourist mom look’ doesn’t even have to be the uncool look it used to be. Fashion is not about a set of rules, and while it helps that years of art school have given me a subconscious ever-present sense of color theory, the most important thing is that once you make your own rules, you make it believable. Because if you feel confident and amazing, you are going to look confident and amazing.

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Here is me on a small decorative bike. If you want more posts about power clashing, how I chose my outfits, fashion rules that are straight up lies, and other ‘behind the scenes’ type stuff comment below. But let’s be real, if I’m excited about it I’m going to write about it either way.

Also, props to Project Runway for their beautifully diverse range of models and designers this season, and finally speaking up about the fact that yes, real humans come in all different shapes, and good fashion will make their bodies and personalities shine.

Neither your size, nor your gender, dictates that you have to dress a certain way, or follow specific fashion rules. Where what you love, and own it.

Brand Obsession: Storybook Cosmetics

Can we just talk about the magical amazing and upcoming brand that is Storybook Cosmetics? If you haven’t heard of it, it is a cosmetics line (mostly brushes and eyeshadow palettes, but their inventory is growing) started by three sisters and as the name suggests everything they create looks like it fell out of a fairytale.

As an artist/designer who happens to be obsessed with make up, their product and package design blows my mind. My partner recently purchased their Wizardry and Witchcraft eyeshadow palette and my heart began to melt as they opened the box and pulled out a velvet drawstring bag. Inside the bag was what looked and felt like a hardcover book of Magic Spells, but inside was the palette of 12 amazing colors and a built in full mirror that I could actually see myself doing my make up with. Not only do their products look gorgeous and make you feel like you are living the fairytale dream, but the quality and pigmentation is exceptional.

Each color is rich and smoothly brushes on an unbelievable amount of vibrant color in one stroke. The high pigmentation makes it feel almost like a cream eyeshadow, but it is in fact a powder, it blends so easily and will not crease or give you that oily feeling of some cream shadows.

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Just look at the collection of matte, pearl, and metallic shadows. I have to say Sorcerer (deep red) and Bewitched (gold) are my absolute favorites, but honestly I loved every color so much that when I was first trying this out I went completely overboard with impatience and tried to use them all in one look. Needless to say I did not pull it off, but that was of no fault to this palette, and I’m sure much more experienced make up artists than I could find a way to use every one of these magical colors and make it look easy.

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Once again, the packaging. It really does look and feel like a book of spells.

I have yet to try their brushes, but the designs are once again completely captivating. Not featured here is there upcoming line of Secret Garden inspired brushes with actual flower petals in the handles, which you can see on their Instagram @storybookcosmetics. This is not a sponsored post, in fact I doubt they know I exist, I just had to share my obsession with their designs and can not wait to see what they come up with next.

 

(All pictures and products property of https://storybookcosmetics.com)

OOTD: I scream for Ice Cream

If there is anything I love more than mixing patterns, colors, and textures, it’s playing with gender. Juxtaposing the pink and blue pastels with the more saturated red and purple. Soft feminine lace, suede, and stockings, contrasted with a the ‘tomboy’ silhouette of the boxy crop top, sleeves rolled up with a backwards cap like I’m the toughest kid on the block. There is nothing I love more than looking like a manic-pixie dream boy, and as summer nears it’s end I wanted to make use of the playful scenery around my local ice cream shop.

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Shoes: Zara

Suede Pinafore: Primark

Crop Top: Forever21

Lace collar: @Elyseeart (Etsy)

Pleather Hat: Target

Stockings: Sock Dreams

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Face: Nyx transparent setting powder, Sonia Kashuk liquid light concealer, Tarte clay blush in Paaarty

Lips: Spank by Sugarpill, lavender eyeshadow from the pantone watercolor palette, and Nyx jumbo eye pencil in Milk blended as a highlight

Eyes: Pantone Watercolor Palette (peach, pink, and lavender tones)

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OOTD: A Queer Kid’s Pretty in Pink

Molly Ringwald’s character Andie is an absolute fashion dreamboat. If I could suddenly wake up with the closet of any character it would be either her or Ducky. Either way the clothes in the movie are so inspirational I can’t believe it took me till THIS YEAR (2017) to watch it for the first time. I know, I live under a rock. Anyway, here is my queer kid’s fashion take on none other than Pretty in Pink’s Andie.

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Dress: Primark

Vest: Thrifted

Earrings: Vintage Clip on’s Inherited

Flower crown: Tilly’s

Boots: Viva Boots (Amazon)

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Make up:

Eye shadow: Pantone Watercolor Palette and Storybook Cosmetics Magic Spellbook Palette

Face: Nyx transparent setting powder, Sonia Kashuk liquid light concealer, Tarte clay blush in Paaarty

Lips: Nyx Matte Lip cream in Sydney, Blended with Nyx Pin-up Pout in Almost Famous, and a soft overlay of eyeshadow from the Pantone Watercolor Palette

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Coping Skills: Grounding

Grounding is one of my favorite coping skills because it can be both preventative, such as bringing you back when you begin to spiral or start having symptoms of anxiety, as well as having some more hardcore techniques if you are in a full blown panic attack or feel like you are past the point of no return. I promise, nothing lasts forever.

Grounding is all about literally bringing your feet back to the ground, as well as mentally pulling you back to a solid safe space in reality.

There are a lot of different techniques and not of them will work for you. For example, one technique is breathing (inhale for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts), but if I was really anxious and some one told me to breathe I would want to scream and punch them in the face because for me it’s just not helpful. Please don’t punch people in the face though, just know that what helps some people can do the complete opposite for others.

The first technique has to do with different exercises and activities you can do to occupy your mind and put it to work doing something neutral and distracting.

  1. Counting colors. Think “I Spy” except you can play by yourself. Choose a color, like red, and look around you to find everything that is red. Some people like to actually count every red thing they see, I personally just like to take a second to mentally note “that book over there is red” before moving on. Don’t actually move around to do this, unless you are walking somewhere in which case stay on your path, just observe your surroundings and try to notice the details. My favorite technique when I am outside walking is instead of looking for one color, I try and find the smallest details of color, such as a green stripe on a gum wrapper, or an orange sticker on someone’s car. There are no rules, if you want to find the whole rainbow, or change colors after you’ve found 5 things, just do whatever works for you.
  2. Mental Math. This seems to work best with people that are average in skill at mental math (like me), if it’s second nature to you and way too easy it is not going to occupy your brain, and if it’s way too hard to the point that it is just frustrating its going to hurt more than help. Basically you pick a 3-digit number like 253 and subtract 7. You keep subtracting 7 from your answer until it gets too simple and then you pick a new 3-digit number. Again, if this sounds like something you could do in your sleep or like high school has come back to haunt you, don’t do it.
  3. The 5 senses. Ask yourself, what can you feel? Maybe you can feel the carpet on your feet, or the air from a fan blowing on you, whatever it is focus on that sense until you can name three things. What can you hear? Cars outside, your dog walking around, your own breathing, whatever it may be. Do this for all of the 5 senses, hearing sight smell touch and taste. When you are done it can be helpful to remind yourself that all of those things you just named mean that you are here, right now, and you are safe. (My partner wanted me to add that they love putting their bare feet in the grass and focusing on that feeling, so if you know you love walking in the grass or sand, or smelling a specific candle, make your settings work to your advantage and bring out your favorite scented lotion, or head outside to find a patch of grass.)

These next techniques are when you need to bring in the big guns as they say.

  1. Ice Diving. This is exactly what it sounds like. Get a bowl big enough to fit your face/head and fill it with water and ice. Then, dunk your face in the bowl for a seconds and let cold shock your system back to reality. (Holding ice or a frozen orange, or freezing a knotted wet rag and then untying it are less extreme versions.)
  2. Tactile sensory objects. Sometimes your brain is just past the point of trying count colors, in these cases grabing something tactile and focusing on the feeling can be very grounding. This could be things like silly putty, soft stuffed animals, fidget toys, weighted objects like weighted blankets or those stuffed toys filled with rice, or even just holding something warm like a handwarmer or sitting with a heating blanket.

The last thing is something I do a lot not just as a coping skill but also just as a regular every day practice in my life, and that is crystal meditation.

It might sound daunting, and I’m sure there are official techniques for this, but honestly the method I use is something I completely made up on my own because it felt right. Now I do also work with crystals in a spiritual way, but you do not have to be connected to any specific religion or spirituality to find this helpful. Think of the crystal as just something to hold and focus on.

For those who are into crystals and witchy woo stuff read on, if that is not your thing just scroll down till you see these bolded words: so you have your stone.

When I am grounding with crystals I tend to go for my favorite three: Green Fluorite to connect my mind and heart , Eudialyte to help me be more present in my body and to help counter self doubt, and Angelite which is my ‘god stone’ because it helps expand awareness and strengthen communication, especially with guiding spirits and angels.

Choose a stone that feels right for you and the situation, or go with an old favorite.

So you have your stone. Hold it in your hand and focus on pouring your energy into the stone. If it helps to use visualization you can think of your energy as a rope being pulled or a vine growing from your center and into the stone. This is similar to focusing on the energy or rhythm of of your breathing as you might do in yoga or other forms of meditation.

At the same time you want to be opening yourself to the ‘clean’ (read: not filled with anxiety) energy from the stone and allowing that to replace the panic or tightness in your body.

Even if you are a skeptic or do not believe that you can tap into the energy, feeling of god, or what have you, that embodies everything around us. Just humoring yourself for a second and focusing on the visualization should occupy your mind long enough to ground you. Granted, spending the whole time frustrated about how ‘stupid’ this feels is not grounding, so as I mentioned in the very beginning if it is going to frustrate you, try something else.

As I said, different things work for different people, so try some out and let me know how it goes, or leave your own favorite methods in the comments below.

Activism for those who can’t protest.

As someone who gets major sensory overload and panic attacks in crowds I hate that I have to opt out of not only counter protests and marches, but most vigils as well unless I know they are being held in a small space by a small group. But that doesn’t mean I can’t do anything.

Be an emergency contact for your friends who are marching, and encourage them to write your number on their arm with sharpie.

Offer child care for those who are protesting.

Donate to organizations and charities. Just make sure to do your research first.

Help with sign making, whether it’s hosting a gathering with supplies, or making signs to hand out to those who may not be as handy with a marker.

Uplift the voices of others by sharing their words on various platforms.

Offer a safe space for friends who need self care breaks or a place to go after the protest.

Offer a listening ear to those who are scared and angry and just need to vent.

Use your words and writing to counter hate every where I see it instead of staying silent.

Not staying silent.

I have been trying to find the right words to talk about what is happening in the United States right now, what has been happening for a long time but has been especially spot lighted during the recent events in Charlottesville, VA. I feel as though everyone has said everything there is to say, and much more eloquently than I am doing right now, but I am not going to stay silent. As a white person, I can not and will not sit back as a silent bystander. Let me make this clear right now, I do not tolerate actions and words motivated racism, islamophobia, transphobia, fascism, or anything else that these people stand for. I am terrified (but not surprised) that the men and women who protested in Charlottesville didn’t even feel the need to wear masks, because they saw nothing wrong in their actions and knew they could get away with it. The fact that they showed up with torches preaching white power, and no one was killed or hurt (aside from anti-protesters preaching against violence), no police showed up with tear gas and SWAT gear, no one was arrested on site, that… that is white privilege. None of this is okay, and neither is it something new. So Listen, listen and amplify the voices of people of color. Listen to those who are marginalized. Raise up their stories, and whatever you do, do not stay silent. Because in silence, you may as well pick up a torch yourself.

Wish List: August 2017

Pythia Botanical Oracle Cards hand illustrated by Nicole Rallis. I tend to prefer Tarot to Oracle cards, but the allure of botanical illustrations is just too appealing to pass up. This deck, mixing my love of plants and all things witchy has me so intrigued.

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50$ from Little Red Tarot

A Panda Bear Sandwich Pocket Maker. How adorable is this? It’s like those PB&J pocket “Smucker’s Uncrustables” that all the cool kids bought for lunch, except you can put what ever you want in it! Seriously, cute little bear shaped pockets of your favorite sandwich variations. Completely irresistible.

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Only 7$ on Amazon

This clam shell light with an iridescent shell and color changing pearl. Let’s be honest this is essential for any aspiring merpeople like myself. I just want to hold it in my hands and stare into the soft glowing light and pretend the world is magic and everything is okay.

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30$ on CottonOn

This beautiful black and purple pentagram shelf. I have been fawning over this all month. I don’t even have the words. I mean, objectively only the top three shelves are level enough to be useful, but regardless this is everything I want in my home decor aesthetic.

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275$ (AUD) on Beserk.com

This fabulous pink umbrella with a flamingo handle and little flamingo feet on top. Imagine this folded standing by your door on those little pink webbed feet. I’ve always felt a kinship with flamingos, maybe it’s the fact that they are naturally pink and a little awkward but also undeniably fabulous like me.

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23$ on Amazon

OOTD: A Queer Kid’s Miami Vice

A queer kid’s interpretation of Miami Vice. Oversized yellow blazer, crushed velvet shoes, and nice shiney cars.

Blazer: Thrifted (Goodwill)

T-shirt: Target boy’s section

Shorts: Primark

Socks: Forever21 Men’s

Shoes: Forever21

Confession, I have never actually seen Miami Vice. I did however have fun making my partner take pictures of me around the Subaru service station.

Peep those crushed velvet slip ons in the sunlight.

What am I so pensive about? And how is that car so unbelievably blue? Only Miami Vice knows.