1.30.17

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A word. A picture. A sound.

Lay your palms upward and gently crepe-ing upon these static spaces between us, and I’ll show you wonderment in fingertips stained blue. Our bodies wear and tarnish as even facades of magnificent cathedrals must. Another day, another rain shower eroding the stone pillars. Another day, another layer of grime. Invisible from one day to the next until one day becomes a hundred days becomes ten years. One Alabama January, I looked down at my hands on a steering wheel and realized I was moving much faster than I thought. “We’re getting old,” you said in the last letter you sent to me, and I imagined that it was snowing when you wrote it and that you were wearing the sweater with the moose on it. “We’re only twenty,” I replied in the last letter I sent you, and I put on three sweaters to write it because I wanted to feel close to you and also because you scare me. The Alabama winter did not demand such armor, but I left them on until I fell asleep and woke sweating in the early hours of morning, when I removed them one by one. I thought this an appropriate metaphor. In the lamplight, indigo ink gathered and settled in deepening skin canyons, and I started to cry.

Future People – The Alabama Shakes

– Lauren

5.31.16

6.16.16

Good Things

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Skincare | Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack. I’m a sucker for face masks, so when I placed my first Glossier order last month, I had to get one. I opted for the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack, and holy moly it makes my skin so soft. I can’t wait to try the Moisturizing Moon Mask.

Haircare | Lush BIG Shampoo. I’ve had quite the shampoo debacle over the past few months. I haven’t been able to find one that works for my hair and isn’t filled with massive amounts of harmful chemicals, packaged in ridiculous amounts of plastic, or produced using unethical standards. The first Lush in my state opened up recently, and even though it’s an hour and a half away from me, I took a trip up there to see what I could find in the way of shampoo. The girl at the store recommended BIG to me, and I love it. It’s made with sea salt, which is really fun, and keeps my hair voluminous and oil free.

Music | Volcano Choir. I love how music attaches itself to specific moments in my life. When I listen to Volcano Choir, I think of my freshman year of college when I shared a dorm room on campus with three other girls and how we would go to the record store on cold Saturdays and get orange cake and coffee from our favorite German bakery afterwards. I bought this record on one such Saturday, and it fills me with nostalgia whenever I put it on.

Podcasts | Stuff You Should Know. Now that I have my first big girl job, I’m having to get used to sitting at a desk and staring at a computer for eight hours a day, which is a lot easier said than done. However, I’ve discovered that listening to podcasts while I work is the secret to making the time go by. Stuff You Should Know has become my go-to podcast since I started my job. The premise is that the show’s hosts pick a topic – anything from pacifism to Alexander Hamilton to poop – research the heck out of it, and talk about what they learned.

Essential Oil | Young Living Purification. I recently got a diffuser, and I’ve been loving coming home at the end of the day and diffusing my favorite essential oils. Currently, I’m loving Young Living’s Purification oil. It’s a blend of citronella, rosemary, lemongrass, tea tree, lavandin, and myrtle, and it smells so good.

Food | Sunday Suppers. I’ve had this cookbook for a while, but I’ve recently discovered some new recipes in it that have become new favorites. My favorites at the moment have been the shakshuka and the challah. And food aside, the book itself is an aesthetic dream. I highly, highly recommend.

TV Show | A Series of Unfortunate Events Netflix Series. This show has been getting mixed reviews amongst my friends, but I absolutely loved it. I read these books when I was in elementary school, and admittedly, I was a little skeptical about Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, but I think he did a really good job. The style reminds me of a Wes Anderson film, which doesn’t hurt my feelings one bit.

Article | Am I Annoying? This article by Man Repeller really resonated with me. I have social anxiety and I’m very much a people-pleaser, so I’m frequently worried that I come across as annoying in school, work, or social situations. This article made several really great, non-cliche points about why we shouldn’t worry about seeming annoying to others.

Art | Tommy Ingberg Surreal Photo Art. I love surrealist art, so when I stumbled upon these surrealist photographs, I fell in love. The photos encapsulate the spirit of surrealism really well. They look like a Magritte painting come to life.

Activity | Ceramics. This past semester, I had an open space in my schedule. Most college seniors in that position would have been thrilled to have a light schedule for their final semester, but because I am the overachiever that I am, I decided to use that opportunity to take a class in something that interested me. So I took a class in ceramics, which was so fun. I’m not master potter by any means – in fact all of my mugs are incredibly asymmetrical – but it’s so satisfying to drink my morning coffee out of a mug I made myself.

What have you been loving lately?

– Lauren

Good Things

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Movies | Roman Holiday. I love watching black and white movies on rainy days. Roman Holiday is a really great one that follows a princess – played by Audrey Hepburn – as she sneaks away from her handlers to spend a ordinary day in Rome.

Drink | Matcha. Matcha has a ton of health benefits. It’s packed with antioxidants, improves your immune system, and boosts concentration. Plus, it’s very tasty. Matcha can be prepared like tea or a latte, but my favorite way to drink matcha is in matcha water. Just mix a bit of matcha with some cold water and shake it up.

Music | This Justin Bieber cover. This cover of Love Yourself is so catchy and fun.

Writer | Joan Didion. I’ve been loving Joan Didion’s memoirs recently. So far I’ve read The Year of Magical Thinking and Blue Nights. I love Didion’s writing style, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of her books.

Magazine | Oxford American. Oxford American is a literary journal that celebrates southern art and writing. So many people see the South as culturally defunct when that just isn’t true, so I love that there are publications like Oxford American that celebrate art and culture of the South.

Reads | Classic Poems Modified for Climate Change. I’m not sure how anyone came up with this idea, but these famous poems modified for climate change are so funny. The Waste Land and April Rain Song are my favorites.

Art | Lee Jeffries’ portraits of the homeless. I’ve been really interested in low key photography lately, and this photo series by Lee Jeffries is stunning.

Podcasts | New Yorker Fiction. I’ve been listening to podcasts like crazy lately, especially during my art classes. One of my favorites is the New Yorker Fiction podcast. In it, a writer who has been published in the New Yorker chooses a story by another writer who has been published in the New Yorker and reads it out loud. Then, fiction editor Deborah Treisman and the featured writer discuss the story.

Swimwear | Kortni Jeane. Check out Kortni Jeane for some really cute, vintage-inspired swimsuits. Best part? They’re made in the good old USA.

Shampoo | Shea Moisture Peace Rose Oil Shampoo. This shampoo is organic, fair trade, sulfate free, and smells so good. Also, a portion of the profits go toward supporting women-led business in the communities where the ingredients for the products originate.

Essential Oil | Rose Hip Seed Oil. Rose hip seed oil is my go-to essential oil at the moment. I’ve been using it as a moisturizer and eye cream, and it’s doing wonders for my skin. Rose hip seed oil has so many skincare benefits. It reduces the appearance of scars, moisturizes, and has anti-aging properties, to name a few.

Jewelry | The Giving Keys. The Giving Keys is a jewelry company that makes cute and simple necklaces and bracelets out of keys inscribed with inspiring words. The idea behind the keys is to spread positivity by passing the keys on to people in your life. Also, the profits help people transition out of homelessness.

xxx

What have you been loving lately?

– Lauren

 

Good Things

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Tunes | Born Ruffians and this version of Novels by Rusty Clanton. I’ve been in a bit of a music slump lately. Usually I’m discovering new music all the time, but this season, that just hasn’t been the case. The exception to my musical drought is Born Ruffians. Their song “Needles” is fairly popular, and it was the only one I knew of before I clicked on their Spotify profile on a whim and discovered what I had been missing. Another song I’ve been loving lately is Novels by Rusty Clanton. I found this song while on a late-night Youtube binge, and I’m so glad I did. I’ve been listening to it nonstop.

Listen | Serial. I began listening to Serial per recommendation in early December, and I’ve been hooked ever since. The premise of the podcast is that investigative journalist Sara Koenig researches certain events and attempts to get to the truth of them. For instance, Season 1 followed Koenig’s attempt to decide whether or not a Maryland man, who was imprisoned as a teenager for murdering his girlfriend, is rightfully imprisoned. Season 2 is about Bowe Bergdahl, the American solider who walked off his post in Afghanistan, was imprisoned by the Taliban, and was the recent subject of a controversial trade. The podcast is incredibly engrossing, and I’ve been recommending it to everyone.

Attire | Ankle Boots. I got a pair of black ankle boots last winter, and they were an instant favorite. One year later, and I’m still wearing them nonstop, so much so that I had to get another pair in brown. They go with almost anything – jeans, leggings, dresses – and provide some much-needed warmth for this girl’s poor circulation during these cold days.

Body | Nourish. Lately, I’ve been trying to be more conscious of the things I put in and on my body. While I was browsing the shops of downtown Savannah a few months ago, I passed a window full of bath products and made all of my friends turn around and go in the shop with me. And thank goodness I did. Nourish is a cute little shop with locations in Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida that sells handmade, all natural bath products. They have everything from soap to lotion to shower gel to candles to bath fizzes. I love everything they sell, and literally everything smells good. I’m not exaggerating when I say I smelled every single thing in the shop, and not one thing smelled bad. My favorites at the moment are the salt scrubs, the face sponges, and the white tea ginger soap. One really cool thing about Nourish is that they include a list of all the ingredients they use in their products as well as a description of what each ingredient is. Each product, including its packaging, is biodegradable. They contain no parabens, sulfates, or animal products. Nourish products are available online, and they ship (hint, hint).

Bath | Acure Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner. A few weeks ago, while in the shower, I decided randomly to read the ingredients of my shampoo and conditioner and made the disheartening discovery that they contained lots of sketchy chemicals and additives despite insinuating via product names and packaging to be organic. The next day, I went to the store and read the ingredients for tons of bottles of shampoo and finally found one that is all natural, sulfate free, paraben free, gluten free, phthalate free, cruelty free, fair trade, organic, and vegan. Also, it smells really good and makes your hair really shiny. All around win in my book.

Drink | Teavana Youthberry Wild Orange Blossom blend. Two words. Pink. Tea. It’s no secret that I’m addicted (and I mean addicted) to coffee, but an addiction to coffee comes with an addiction to caffeine. There was a time when I would get horrible headaches if I didn’t have at least one cup of coffee per day. As someone who doesn’t like to take medicine for every little thing, this was a problem, especially when I was in a situation where coffee wasn’t available. So I cut back and tried to substitute coffee for tea, which has much less caffeine than coffee if any at all. And while I wouldn’t say that I’ve completely replaced coffee with tea (or that I ever truly will in my heart and soul) I’ve been loving the youthberry wild orange blossom tea from Teavana lately. It’s pink. It’s delicious. And the loose tea is really pretty.

Activity | Knitting. I taught myself to knit during my senior year of high school and for a few years after would knit a scarf here and there. Lately, though, I’ve gotten back into it and have been really enjoying trying out new stitches and patterns. I’ve even started selling the scarves I make with plans to open an Etsy shop soon.

Blogger | Deer Circus. Bridget, owner of Deer Circus, writes the most beautiful essays and takes the most beautiful photos. I absolutely adore following the minute, day-to-day facets of her life.

What have you been loving?

– Lauren