Music for the Resistance

I have been coming across some amazing music lately that has been emerging out of the bullshit that is the news lately. In need of some revolutionary protest songs? I’ve got you covered.

Sara Bareilles wrote this amazing song for This American Life, when they asked her to write about how she thinks Obama has felt during this election. It is so beautifully performed, and the whole vibe is just beautiful and quiet and strong – I’m pretty obsessed.

Pussy Riot came out with a new song with one of the best hooks of all time:

Let other people in/ Listen to your women/ Stop killing black children/ Make America Great Again.

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The video is pretty intense, so get ready for some hard core no bullshit punk girl power stuff – and for a world imagined where Trump rules. *shudder*

I also just heard a beautiful song by Alicia Keys, one of my favorites as well – she has recently talked a lot with the media about how she is revisiting the idea of wearing makeup, and exploring how wearing her hair and skin in their natural state is a form of empowerment and resistance. This song has a great message and is just another beautiful ballad by one of the best:

If you haven’t listened to anything by Kendrick Lamar or Beyonce’s Lemonade, get on that, too.

If you’re looking for ways outside of music to challenge injustice, I recommend checking in to the Standing Rock Reservation on Facebook – a small thing you can do to stand with the protectors from afar. If you do, follow these instructions:

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What are your favorite acts of protest lately?

 

 

 

Ghost Garland

I don’t know what’s going on with me, but it’s like I got bit by the Pinterest bug or something – I all of a sudden am fine with the idea of cooking (what??) and I had the extreme urge to craft the other day and make homemade Halloween decorations out of found items.

It was kind of weird.

But, I had to share this random but kind of adorable (to me) thing I did – my little ghost garland!

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So easy, if you are looking for a quick way to get in the Halloween spirit this weekend.

This what I had laying around:

  • a Sharpie
  • a bunch of white gift wrap tissue paper (I feel guilty throwing it away so I save it? #hoarder)
  • a stapler
  • twine (I don’t know why)

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The twine is very fally-y, don’t you think? I think I ordered it on Amazon (still don’t know why) and I think I will also tie it around vases and such to make the place even more fall-like.

So, as you can probably see, the process is pretty simple. I just took a corner of tissue paper, rolled it on itself into a little ball the size of a tiny ghost head, kinda pinched, cut it so it had a little ghost skirt, grabbed the part of the twine I wanted it to hang on, and stapled. Add three sharpied circles, and you’re on to the next. It took me no time, and was a fun activity to do while watching Buffy. How in the Halloween spirit am I?

You can kind of fold and manipulate the tissue paper to hide the staple, or you can just say fuck it it’s a DIY ghost, I don’t care if they see a frickin staple, cuz I’m awesome and made this myself because I have so much Halloween cheer to share.

Look how cute they are!

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Anthony’s mom got us that cute string of jack-o-lantern lights a few years back. :)

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They’re making me pretty happy right now, along with the gingerbread wax melts Anthony’s mom sent us for our good-smelly bathroom light/wax melter thing (making our place smell like fall amazingness), and a centerpiece of orange and yellow roses Anthony brought home from an event he worked at the other night. I shall put twine on it and have the most festive apartment ever!

 

What festive fall things do you got goin on? Any DIYs we can all do while watching tv?

 

 

 

I’m back!

FINALLY! The blog has been down for a couple of months, but after multiple support calls and breathing exercises, I finally got MM back up and running!

I missed you guys. And I want to catch up! So I thought I would just give an update of what’s going on and what I’ve been up to lately…

First off, Anthony got a job! Yay. We were pretty concerned like, a week before he got it – we were hoping we wouldn’t have to move to where there were more opportunities. But luckily, we are staying put. And after the idea of leaving was a real thing, I’ve been so into Santa Barbara – I’m falling in love with our place and our city all over again.

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I am re-watching my favorite show, Buffy. This is amazing for a few reasons – one, I haven’t rewatched the series since I was probably in high school, so I have a less black-and-white view of the whole thing, and can appreciate some of the nuances a bit more – plus catch on to the obvious metaphors a lot quicker. Second, it keeps me totally entertained while Anthony is gone at work in the evenings. And the best part – 90s and early 2000s fashion. Which is now… now fashion. This article pretty much sums up the hilarity and fascination.

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I’m getting pumped for Halloween! Here’s what I’m thinking for my costume:

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(P.S. I don’t get this double image thing… I’m not hip.)

So basically I’m going to be a 90s robber………

Still need ideas for a costume? Check out this post or my Halloween Pinterest board.

If you already have your costume picked out, what are you gonna be??? I would love to hear in the comments!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic fall season so far, and I’m so glad to be back on your phones and computers, chattin it up again! <3

Summer of Chill 2016

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I hope everyone is enjoying their summer! It seems the blogosphere is determined to cut mine short by posting about shopping for fall already… Stahp it! I have summer weather until Halloween in California, let me live in denial that it will ever be over, just a little longer!

I have had a great summer so far. Nothing crazy, no elaborate travel plans or long getaways – just a mellow summer mostly at home. But this summer is different. I needed this summer to be something special. I have decided that this summer is….

Stephanie’s Summer of Chill, 2016.

Imagine that in lights on a marquee, announced by a guy with a moustache over a loudspeaker or something. Because that’s how baller it is.

I went into this summer needing a break. Just in general. Anthony finished his PhD in March, then graduated in June when we threw a big party, and it the midst of it all he was trying to find jobs. It was pretty stressful. Really stressful, actually. The months leading up to summer were just intense.

So intense things were happening, but also I had gotten into this intense productive mode where I was doing all this shit to like, become a put-together person. It was probably a coping thing – trying to make sure I crossed all my t’s and dotted all i’s so I could feel better about what felt to me like a pretty chaotic couple of months. Here are some examples:

  • I was tracking how many drinks I had, how I ate, how much I exercised, etc. – every day, using this app
  • I was feeling guilty for not blogging enough
  • I was posting things like this, and trying to find magic ways to get my shit together around the house
  • I was posting things like this, feeling like I needed to lose weight but also resenting that idea (and trying to laugh about it while I figured it out)
  • I was feeling guilty about not working out enough
  • I was feeling guilty that I wasn’t saving enough money, and that I was spending too much

So there was a lot that I felt like I needed to improve, or tackle, or manage, or advance about myself. And I had a day where I realized how insane my brain was getting – it would go round and round, trying to find something to fix, trying to find something wrong, so I could pounce on it and fix it. It was like this Pinterest mentality of hyper vigilance I had established over my life. I finally realized what a weirdo I was being – Why, Steph?! Fucking chill. out.

That’s when I decided – we are taking a break. A BREAK. From all of it. Here are all the things I decided to get rid of for the summer:

  • Guilt, about anything
  • Self-improvement projects
  • Exercise routines that aren’t fun
  • Tracking of anything not fun or that produces guilt (see above)
  • Negative thoughts about my body

And I just, let go. I focused on doing things that were fun. We made a summer bucket list (which I am shooting to post about soon, but if not, no guilt). I did more stuff outside after work. I didn’t think about how much beer I had that week, or if I was getting enough cardio. I stopped caring how clean my house was, or how my belly looked in that top.

I don’t know, my head was just in the right place to just stop fucking caring about that shit. And it worked.

Why just the summer, you may ask? Why isn’t this just your new life?

Well, telling myself that it was just for the summer to start was a way to really let go of the guilt completely, because things like finding ways to save money are things I will need to get around to eventually, but not necessarily now. So I thought, okay – I can really just forget about it for a while, and I’ll pick it up in the fall, if I want to. But the idea was, if I could just get in the right mindset, hopefully this will be the new state of things.

And it has been an amazing, stress-free summer. It really was so great, you guys. I just lived my life. Now it’s August, and I still have so many fun things I still want to do while the weather is still warm – but I am also learning to prioritize fun things all year round. I established great healthy habits while I was in my intense phase over the winter months, that have stuck throughout the summer, but without the guilt and fastidious tracking. And some new productive habits have just naturally emerged – Anthony and I have worked on cooking at home a lot more, which is saving us money and allowing us to eat healthier. I realized I didn’t have to have the intense attitude to make improvements like that – and, more importantly, guilt doesn’t have to be a part of it.

As I mentioned, the rest of the world is getting ready for fall, and work is starting to get busy again (work has been so slow for the summer, which helped a lot with the carefree attitude) – so I can feel some of the old ways creeping back in. I’m extra tired and stressed this week, so I have less energy to go do fun stuff after I get home – but I’ll adjust. I just need to keep the spirit of chill alive through fall, too.

What has helped center me back to that mindset is asking myself this question, that I kept thinking when our friend was visiting a few weeks back…

What would I do today if I were on vacation?

I love playing tourist in my own city, and just because I worked that day doesn’t mean I can’t take dinner up to the mission and have a picnic, or grab a beer at a new restaurant in town, or walk down to thrift shop after I get home. Sometimes I save all the fun for the weekend, and do all the boring stuff after work – working out, cleaning, catching up on shows. I realized I need more balance, so I don’t get so bummed when Monday rolls around. My life can happen in between Fridays! I need to get off the couch more and treat my life like one big summer vacation, work or no work.

 

I’m into it, guys. I’ll let you know if I can keep the spirit alive as we get closer to fall! What have you done to de-stress lately and enjoy summer?

 

 

 

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