January Favorites


Emma is the editor & creator (and occasionally writer) for The Messy Heads. She enjoys yellow curry, print media, and singing to herself.

January is the first month, a new blank calender on your wall full of possibilities. In a lot of ways, we feel wiped clean of the mistakes of our year. Time to make new mistakes, learn more, and hopefully make this year even better than the last. The phrase “New year new me” is tossed around on instagram captions or turned into funny tweets, but I really think there is something to it. The earth has made a full rotation, so have we, and it’s time to figure out who we are again. Back to square one. These are some things that will make you explore in depth who you are, from self-help books to slippers.


Beatles Yellow Submarine- This was my childhood movie, you know the kind that you got in matching pajama sets and sat in front of a box shaped tv, re-watching night after night until the film in the VHS tangled. I remember being mesmerized by the colors, tunes, and the way nothing was certain. Time and time again I have tried to understand- what the heck is going on in this movie? It shaped my visual aesthetic and preferences and gave me a appreciation for the unexplainable.

Lords of Dogtown This movie is raw with chaos, passion, and what it really means to be wildly reckless. This glimpse of young boys who shaped late 60s Venice beach skate culture has altered me in so many ways. Made me want to hop more fences, skin my knees, get in trouble, not care so much about the rules.

Tom Ford documentary A must for anyone struggling with self identity or style. Ford details his own personal struggle, depression, uncertainty of his career, and eventually how he owned his state of mind and turned it into something incredible. He has amazing things to say about women’s bodies and crafting personal style that have stuck with me ever since.

101 Reasons to Be Vegan  This is the first documentary I watched that set me on the path towards veganism. I was simply curious, what did being vegan mean? Why was it important? This short presentation drastically changed the way I viewed the world and altered the course of my life.

Into the Wild This movie alters your idea of how to live life. It leaves you with a sense of seeking a journey rather than a destination.


Tibetan book of Living & Dying- This book changes the way you think about life and death. It connects to many dots and opens your mind. This book helped me through a very hard time in my life and the lessons have guided my everyday thoughts and actions.

I love Your Style by Amanda Brooks- Helps you block out the noise of advertising, trends, peers, and zero in on who you truly are through your clothes. Each page is full of inspiration & advice, how our personalities and style tangle together in this beautiful way.

If You Have to Cry Go Outside– If you are living and breathing and talked to me I have probably recommended this book. Kelly Cutrone was already an idol, but in this book she explains her grit, failures, and ultimately how to find your own brand of success. Within the first chapter, your life will be changed.

You’re a Badass– If you choose one book to read on this list, make this the one.


High Socks– The perfect way to keep on wearing skirts and dresses as it gets chillier. Pairing high socks with short boots, a skirt, and a big chunky sweater- so cute.

Pom Pom Hat– Super slouchy pom pom hats are such a whimsical accessory for winter. They bring me back to that child-like winter spirit, throwing snowballs and deciding between big or little marshmallows in hot chocolate.

Trousers– Especially plaid ones. Paired with a tight turtle neck and a fluffy coat- the epitome of chilly Seattle days.

Huge Lemon Scarf- Bring some brightness and warmth to your look. I love wrapping my scarf multiple times around my neck or letting it hang dramatically. However you wear it- chunky knits and bright colors are the way to go.

Stripes- I’m talking thermal, long sleeved, in autumnal, 70s tones. so rad with jeans, a circle skirt, overalls.. stripes really go with everything. Check out this off the shoulder one from AA.

Bowler Hat A more manly, small brimmed hat to pair with a neck scarf, overalls, a loosely buttoned shirt. A cross between femme and tomboy, this hat reminds me of black and white movies.

Vegan Shoes The holy grail of vegan shoes is located at Asos. Check the “nonleather” option on the left side bar and you still have 21 pages to scroll through of high heel, velvety, snakeskin, glittery, chunky, wonderfulness.

Fuzzy Slippers- It’s cold in the morning & fluffy yet ironic slippers are so cute. Again- check Asos.

Psychedelic Undies– My pajamas are usually an oversized tie dye t-shirt and some boy briefs- but the undies from Jenny Spivak are so much cuter. I love all of these  good vibes undies to go to bed in, cuddle in, read books and listen to records.


Pancakes- So cozy. Something I love about the process of pancakes, stirring the batter in a big bowl and flipping them on a griddle. Plus you can transform them in so many ways- bananas, chocolate chips, apples, cinnamon, blueberries, pumpkin, red velvet- get creative!

Lemon Water- Okay. I need to come clean. I’m addicted to coffee. What else do you expect from a college student living in Seattle who stays up all night and regrets it the next morning? It’s gotten to the point where I get headaches if I don’t have a morning cup of coffee. Time to detox. Now in the mornings I drink a giant glass of water with half a lemon squeezed in it. It really perks you up and helps combat caffeine addiction.

Family Recipes– Dig up grandma’s famous apple pie or something from your heritage and add a spin to it. My family recipes are homemade pirogies & nalesniki. It makes you feel connected to your past and appreciative for your current place in the world.

Cranberry Balsamic Salad- I have never been a big fan of salads- but I love this medley. Spinach leaves, balsamic glaze, dried cranberries, candied pecans. If you have fresh strawberries swap those in for the cranberries!

Pho-  Every time I go into work, I order Pho from Julie’s Garden down the way. It is a heaping bowl of noodles, veggies, & tofu mixed with garlic hoisen sauce, jalepeños, lime, basil, and chile flakes. It really doesn’t get better than that.

Thai Food- This is comfort food to me. Yellow curry, panang curry, pad thai, pad see ew… I love binge watching netflix eating out of a takeout container or having it delivered to my house while I’m having a work or study night. If you are vegan, just ask for no fish sauce & no egg!


Tech Backgrounds– For this month, set this graphic as your home or lock screen to keep you in focus on yourself & your path ahead. Click to download, phone background / computer background.

Passion Planner– Hands down the best planner on the market. It has space for you to plan out your days, major goals to accomplish during the week, write about good things that happened, and it always keeps you on track. You start and end each month reflecting on what you want to improve and focus on, and it guides you through the steps on how to get there. I recommend it to everybody I know.

Collaging-Take those old magazines you have laying around and make a creative night out of it. Focus on a theme: colors, eyes, feelings, or whatever you are attracted to. Cut and paste into your own creation.

Star Walk 2- LOVE THIS APP. Sitting in bed at night, skimming through the night sky and reading stories of constellations. I downloaded it for my astronomy class last quarter but I still love looking through it before I go to bed, trying to connect the stars above me.

Coursera– Take classes from universities across the country in subjects you are actually interested in- FOR FREE. I have found gems like history of film, learning guitar, nutrition, soul beliefs, friendships, buddhism, graphic design- if you want to learn it, it’s on there.

Postmates– This app has saved my life on so many cold nights where I am stuck inside studying and can’t bring myself to leave the safety of my sweats. You can order food from anywhere nearby and have it delivered, Use the code “zaqii” to get $10 credit!

Amazing Nail Art This is by far the best nail page out there. Combination of modern, 70s, colors, sharp lines and squiggly ones. I have so many of her designs screenshot on my phone.

Lip Tints-Herbivore botanicals is a local company with amazing vegan products, I love the packaging & tone of these lip tints. Not gooey or sticky like lip gloss but still with some fresh, natural color. Perfect for cold weather.

Coffee Face Mask– Obsessed with coffee, so why not put it on your face?


Flower- Willow Smith

Big Yellow Taxi- Joni Mitchell

Imagine- John Lennon

Instant Karma- John Lennon

Meet Virginia- Train

Don’t Wanna be Your Girl- Wet

Free Falling- John Mayer

No Such Thing- John Mayer

Why Georgia- John Mayer

Not Myself- John Mayer




  1. Nikhita says

    Hi Emma!

    I absolutely loved this post! I’m trying out some of the things you listed and I have a question.

    Is Coursera totally free? Because I tried to apply for a course and it has two options for paying. But for the total cost, it is just blank so maybe that means it’s free?

    It would mean a lot to me if you could reply, as you have had experience with this app.

    Lots of love,



  2. graciimoar says

    Into The Wild is one of my favourites such a great movie. It has so many things to take away from it I highly recommend it! 🙂

  3. Alice says

    Hi, this article was great, feels like I could have written it myself! You should check out ‘hinds’ music I think you would love it, those girls kept me going while I studied for all of my exams this month:)
    Keep up the great work, xx

  4. Salomé says

    I recently found your blog and your youtube channel and oh god I fell in love with you (Emma and India) I found you very inspirational , you share good vibes and you make me feel better and give me an other way to think and to live my life 🙂
    You are both such beautiful people 🙂
    So much love from a French girl who live in a little island in the Indian Ocean

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