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Emily & Kirby’s Wedding

RZ7A5785 I can’t tell you how excited I am to post these today. We haven’t even put the photos up on Facebook, and our families are the only ones who have seen them. Needless to say, it’s time! Our wedding was one of the best days of our lives. We got married at my grandparents house in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the middle of a redwood grove. My parents got married there almost 35 years ago, and then my brother and Katherine got married there close to 6 years ago. My grandparents have lived on that property since my mom was a little girl (for 44 years) and I grew up running around through the fields and playing at the creek. In the groomsmen photos the guys are even standing in front of my grandpa’s barn where I spent hours hanging out with him while he worked. It’s a truly special and magical place.

We then moved down to Kirby’s mom’s house (Kirby and I both grew up in Santa Cruz and met in high school) which is down near the ocean and next to a lagoon. Kirby grew up in that house, and it was the perfect place to hold an intimate party for all our closest family and friends. We did everything for the wedding with help from family and friends. The only things we outsourced were rentals and photography. Everything else we did on our own. Katherine did the flowers (which were one of my favorite parts), I bought a cheap dress on sale and had it completely remade, Kirby and I handpicked every piece that the groomsmen wore, we chose all our music, my Dad played some songs that were special to us, and I designed and made all of the invitations, favors, table numbers and anything else that was there. It was a huge collaborative effort, and we couldn’t have been more pleased with how it all came out. It represented Kirby and I perfectly, and it was a perfect way to start our lives out as husband and wife.

We’re launching Wedding Wednesdays, starting today, where we give you all sorts of advice on things from how to make your own cake topper to how to throw an epic bachelorette party. I didn’t post a lot of detail photos from wedding because those are coming in later posts. I can’t wait for you to see our photos, so without further ado… Our Wedding: 07-20-2013 RZ7A5536 RZ7A5729 RZ7A5598 RZ7A5661 RZ7A5916 RZ7A5997 Walking down RZ7A6217 RZ7A6330 Little RZ7A6262 RZ7A6378 RZ7A6627 RZ7A6587 RZ7A6797 RZ7A6819 RZ7A6923 RZ7A7188 RZ7A7109 IMG_1810 RZ7A7397 RZ7A7478 RZ7A7710 RZ7A8038 RZ7A7938 RZ7A8078 Click through the gallery to see more. Photography by our amazing and wonderful photographers, Aim & Arrow

How will we fight

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So I’m going to be honest with you. Election night for me went a little bit like this – I got drunk and cried at a bar with a bunch of friends, emailed saying I wasn’t coming into work the next day, and proceeded to have a pity party for myself and how this result was going to affect my white privileged life. Not my most shining moment, but it was real. I feel like I felt my feelings and that’s okay.

The next day (after I slept off my hangover) I went into self-care mode. Watched the series finale of Buffy (helpful inspiration – we will triumph over evil again and again, etc – and I am in desperate need of a pep talk by Joss Whedon btw), hardly went on Facebook, took a walk and called my mom and asked what she did when things were this bad – the civil rights era? The Bush era? What should we do?

What should we do? That was all I kept thinking. I was sober and ready to think of the more important problems – how we will protect people of color, Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQ+ communities…

I kept saying to myself: “This is only day 1.”

“This is only day 4.”

“This is only day 10.”

We will strategize, organize, talk to each other, try things and try other things instead – we will figure out the best way to fight for our values and we will do it for as long as we need to.

My mom said she wants Trump to hear an enormous outcry every time he does something that goes against our values, and I agree. I want to flood the right places with calls. I want to have huge marches. I want to give them hell.

But it is only the beginning. For now, I am looking for sustainable ways to incorporate fighting back and engaging in my community into my life, and learning about what works, how I can play on my strengths, and how to use my family and friends as resources.

At the end of week 2 of this weird apocalyptic reality we’ve been handed, here’s what I’ve come up with:

Green Initiatives 

For my personal cabinet for the next four years, I have appointed my BFF Emily as my Chief Green Initiatives Commissioner & Hippie Consultant. She has done hours and hours of research on all things green and environmentally friendly. I call her whenever I need to check what’s killing me in my house: “Is soy still a thing? I heard that candles are bad now? What should I clean my sink with?” I love having her on speed dial – she is all-knowing and wise.

I’ve already been using cloth napkins and coconut oil for a while now, and switched to a menstrual cup a couple years back to cut back on waste. I’ve also wrapped my Christmas gifts in brown paper bags, and plan on doing so again this year. But I wanted to take more steps since Trump doesn’t believe global warming is a thing and will fuck up our progress on trying to save the planet.

So far, I have switched over to 100% renewable energy for our apartment. It was only going to be a couple of extra bucks a month, and now we are supporting clean energy just from a couple clicks on our energy provider’s website. Take a look at the website of your provider and see if they have a renewable energy program – it literally took me 2 minutes to make the change, and it’s something that could make a big difference if more people join in.

Here’s my list for the other things I want to do to do my part:

  • Make my own household cleaners
  • Get refillable containers and get common items in bulk to reduce package waste
  • Switch to beeswax candles (nontoxic and purifies the air!)
  • Use essential oils + coconut oil instead of scented wax for my wax melt air freshener
  • Watch Before the Flood

Have more ideas? Tell me in the comments!

Get Involved

In addition to Emily, I have added a couple of friends and my sister to my Bad Ass Bitches Feminist Collective Committee. Texting, ranting over drinks, sharing articles – they are my powerful tribe of intelligent AF and brave women who inspire me to do more in the world. With ideas from them and encouragement, here is what I have tried so far to be more involved in my community.

I attended a peaceful protest in my city and marched to protest hate and promote diversity and love. I follow a local group that organizes these events on social media, and I’m hoping to attend more. There is a women’s march in LA in January that I also want to attend. I believe protesting is helpful and meaningful, and found this article to be helpful in explaining that position, in case you’re interested.

I also found this app that compiles locations of safe and/or unisex restrooms for trans, intersex, and gender nonconforming individuals – add bathrooms in your area when you see them so people can pee where they feel safe!

I’ve also called my local representative for the first time in my life, and I’m going to make it a habit. The staffer was so so nice, and I want to just keep the pressure on for my reps to take a vocal stand against all of the very wrong things that are already happening in our government.

I sent an email today to my loved ones that may be shopping for Christmas soon, and asked that they consider using the money they might spend on me to instead donate to organizations I care about (I included links to Black Lives Matter, my local NPR station, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and my local LGBTQ+ organization). I’m not sure how I will donate yet and where, since money is a little tight, so I felt like that was something I could do in the meantime.

Next on the list:

  • Find the best ways to keep track of local town hall meetings and other events
  • Gather ideas of sustainable ways I can help local organizations further their causes
  • Find good sources for local government news to stay informed

What have you found that’s effective when engaging locally?

Don’t back down

The biggest urge I had on election night was to not listen to the news for four years. The idea that I’ll have to listen to that man’s voice, as the representative of the voice of our country… I just couldn’t. I wanted to hide. I couldn’t imagine getting more bad news day after day, hearing him spew hate and being allowed to do it while holding the highest office in our country.

But that would be the most privileged and unhelpful thing I could do. I would be trying desperately to ignore the things I am lucky enough to have the option to ignore, and try to force this new fucked up arena into the “normal life” category. Nope. We have to stay informed. We have to stay angry. That’s what will fuel us. We can’t hide for four years, or move to Canada, or try to get California to secede – those things aren’t helpful. We need to stay and fight for those who need our help and protection.

It’s going to suck. But not as much as it will suck for our LGBTQ+, POC, and Muslim neighbors. We need to fight as hard as we can for them – this is our mess, and we need to clean it up and stand up with the resources we are lucky enough to have.

So that’s what I will try and do. And I don’t want this post to come off as self-congratulatory – I really just want to share ideas. What has worked for you? What have you tried that actually doesn’t work? What do you think I can do to help more?

Here is another helpful list of things we can do to help if you want more!

We need to keep talking, keep reminding ourselves that this isn’t normal, and keep the fire to fight stoked and ready. I’m loving all the thoughtful conversations on social media and off and I know we can all come together to do something to help.

<3

 

 

Bathroom sink miracle

So, I’ve had a battle with our bathroom sink since we moved in. There was always this corner that pooled water every damn day, and all this gross scum made my cute pedestal sink all frat-house-looking.

I scrubbed. And scrubbed. And bleached. And Comet-ed. And nothing worked.

Then, someone (guess who? Emily, as fucking always) told me to use Bar Keeper’s Friend. And you guys, that stuff worked when I was about to give up all hope. Check it:

Before:

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After:

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It may be a subtle change to you, but this is LIFE-CHANGING for me. Pretty, white, shiny silver, lovely little sink! Yay!!

Only thing: I cannot get my bathtub to fall in line. No intimidation tactics, verbal abuse, violent threats, or even, dare I say, the unstoppable Bar Keeper’s Friend itself, can get that thing looking clean. It’s all porous and weird and when I try to bleach it it gets these brown streaks…? BKF helps, but it is still unsatisfactory. Any ideas?

My bathtub is like some intense level of evil, so I hope that in your normal life BKF can help solve any cleaning woes you may have in a flash – I had to share the good news because that shit is not messing around. Let me know what you think if you aren’t already a fan!

 

 

Pillow Upgrade

We’re going through another home improvement fit lately – I feel like it comes in waves. For a while, we’ll be like, “Our house is amazing!” – or we’re just lazy – and nothing new happens for a while. Then all of a sudden we realize we need to do 5 projects like RIGHT NOW and it needs to all be done like YESTERDAY and we can’t stand it.

For example, one day I was SO DONE with my bedroom pillow situation. I got this throw pillow at TJ Maxx just as a placeholder for when I found a pillow that I really liked (but didn’t break the bank). Then I totally forgot about it, and suddenly it was an emergency.

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I just felt like the pattern was a little too Pinteresty for me, and I wanted something a little more grown up and interesting. Then there was the issue of an accent color to add to the navy, white, grey, and mint theme. Emily suggested pale pink, which is a great accent color that I’m into lately – but I just loved the idea of keeping everything in this room cool – it makes me feel so calm for some reason. I know that Emily Henderson says to mix cool and warm colors or whatever, but what can I say, I’m a rebel.

Then there was the issue of how I was going to afford 3 throw pillows – everywhere I looked it was so expensive. I caved and had to have this one – it was love at first sight. Then Emily changed my life and told me about the affordable pillow covers at H&M – her genius idea? Buy the affordable pillow covers from H&M, then go to Ross and find a cheap ugly pillow to stuff it with. So much cheaper, and surprisingly easy!

With that, our bedroom face lift:

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I went with green – I think it complements the mint duvet well but adds some depth – plus I don’t see that deep green very often and I was into doing something different. This color combo makes me feel so relaxed, guys.

What do you think? How do you make your bedroom into a relaxing sanctuary?

(P.S. Yes, I hang my robe on my light. Again – me = rebel.)

 

 

 

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