April was a wacky month for me. I went to Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, Las Vegas, and a few towns in-between. The only thing consistent was inconsistency, and reading a lot more books while trying not to be carsick. P.S. Make sure you join in for May book club! And I know you already heard about the new Kendrick album… but come on, those had to be on here for honorary purposes.
Cowspiracy– I think this is a MUST watch. Set aside some time this week to learn from this eye-opening documentary. It shows you that you can change the course of our planet by choosing what you put on your plate, and shows you a lot of what big business is trying to hide.
Kiki’s Delivery Service– Such a nostalgic one for me. Kiki is a witch living in a kaleidoscopic colored universe, with her sarcastic as f*ck cat as a counterpart. She travels to a gorgeous seaside town for a year of witch training, where she lives in the attic of a bakery and delivers goods around town on her broomstick. Kiki is iconic.
Make it Boom– This music video from LA Qoolside is funky, the colors are amazing, and really, it’s just a bunch of friends having fun. Also featuring Sasha Lane, the star of American Honey and overall amazing girl. (see this love letter to her dreadlocks)
Noname- I love Noname, I love Tiny Desk Concert. What more is there to say.
Stealing Buddha’s Dinner- This is going to be May’s book for Messy Book Club! Grab a copy and start reading along, the first discussion will be on instagram live on Sunday, May 7th. Have a few chapters read by then so you can tune in and join the discussion.
Newspapers– Maybe it’s just because I love reading the Portland Mercury (sarcastic, great graphics, interesting articles) but I have been reading the newspaper a LOT lately. It feels so nice to have it tucked under your arm as you walk through the streets, even though when I read it, I can’t quite figure out the folds and clumsily open it as pages slide out. I don’t have the natural dad-fold down yet, but I have my black coffee and prescription glasses so at least I look the part.
Falkland Road– *graphic warning* I can’t even really explain the content of the book without talking about it from my perspective. Just pick it up and read it, it will change you. Mary Ellen Mark has a gift for capturing raw moments and emotion, and the quotes she got from these girls are very vulnerable.
The Kids Were Alright- *graphic warning* Ryan Mcginley is a super talented and recognized New York photographer, and this book is a stellar representation of that. His skills coupled with his friends crazy adventures make for the most colorful capsule of youth and rebellion, not always in the prettiest way. I could flip through this book for hours because each photo has such a carefree mood and poses so many questions, I can’t help but wonder what went on before and after each photo was taken.
The Goldfinch– After being recommended this book time and time again I finally picked it up. Don’t let it’s thickness fool you, it’s an extremely quick read. I love writers that fill pages with colorful descriptions and Donna Tartt does just that.
Lisasaysgah– Read our interview with these babes and follow them on social media as well! It’s hard to find clothing companies that keep ethics and sustainability in mind, but this one does that AND features prominently female run companies. Oh, and their styles are so cute.
Heroictarot– Daily tarot readings from Storm! Check him out (also look out for him in Issue 3) 😉
sarahbahbah– Sarah is part photographer part story-teller. I love how she captures such interesting inner dialogue and catches her subjects mid sentence in a natural way that feels like they are stills from a favorite film.
princessnokia– Princess Nokia is KILLING it in the rap game and in living her authentic life. Whether she is topless on a beach smoking a jay or standing up for black women in the media, she has this realness about her. She oscillates from being covered in butterflies to wearing tracksuits in the Bronx, but she is always herself, which is just intoxicating.
Underwear peeking out– Remember how boys in middle (and high) school thought it was cool to sag their pants and show everyone their plaid boxers or Calvin Kleins? Well, you can do it too. Buy a pack of high-waisted white hanes and wear them peeking out of denim jeans.
Monochrome Outfits– All red All blue. All yellow. Making a bold statement with one color head to toe. Works best with loose pants and a turtle neck, in my opinion.
Slacks– The one thing I think should be in EVERYONE’s wardrobe is a good pair of slacks. Classy and comfy, and pair well with t-shirts, sweaters, silky tops, seriously anything. It’s that hint of masculine that can make you either go with it or even it out with a lacey feminine tank top.
Vans– Slip on vans have always been a thing and are currently the only pair of shoes I own.
white rice, cilantro, avocado– That’s seriously it. With a bit of soy sauce. I love this for lunch or just a quick snack.
Bagel with Hummus– The New York in me will not let go of believing that this is the only viable option for breakfast. Also I discovered pumpernickel everything bagels which is a game changer.
Southwest salad– Super simple for college students or if you don’t have time to cook throughout the week. Make a big bowl on Monday and enjoy through Thursday! All you need is: two cans of black beans, diced red bell pepper, corn, chopped onion, cilantro, and avocado (add to each individual serving so it doesn’t brown). Mix it all together and squeeze an entire lime over the salad to preserve and add flavor. It’s super simple but also super tasty.
Funfetti Cake– A LOT of box cakes can be made vegan. Just check the ingredients on the side, since it’s just the dry ingredients they often don’t have butter milk or eggs in them yet. Usually the instructions on the back tell you to add eggs, milk, water, or oil. You can sub one egg for half of a banana (mashed) and milk for almond milk. Butter can be subbed for vegan butter or even applesauce, depending on the flavor of the cake.
Early Breakfasts- A couple of times this month I got up at the crack of dawn and went walking down to the diner a couple of miles away, the on that opens at 5 am. Bring your journal and headphones and order a side of potatoes and toast with jam.
Soba Noodles- I love just cooking these with some soy sauce and a bunch of veggies. Bok choy, corn, peppers, onions, broccoli! YUM.
Picnic- Since the weather is getting nice, gather your friends and grab a baguette (center of every good picnic). From there it gets a little blurrier. Hummus? Vegan cheese? Raspberry jam? Arugula? Some chips and guac? Tag us in photos of your picnics & we will repost them.
Mug Muffins– So you have probably heard of mug cake, but a mug muffin? Grab basic muffin mix, mash a banana and stir with some almond milk until you get the right consistency, which should be a bit thicker than you would normally make it. Sprinkle in blueberries, spoon into mugs, and top with a little bit of cinnamon. Microwave for 2-3 minutes and they are PERFECT!
Disposable Cameras- If you want to shoot on disposable, order in bulk online because the price at the drugstore is 4x more. Throw these in bags or in corners of your house to collect photos over time. When you get them developed you will have no idea what is on there, and relive all of those memories in high contrast, gritty images.
Hidden Brain Episode 68– You know I love a good podcast. Hidden Brain is put on by NPR, and is a cross of psychology and story-telling. I recommend this podcast in general, but in particular this episode. It talks about how we put perfect lives on social media, the effect it has on ourselves and others, and will have you rethinking what you post and put out in the world, and also how you take in other people’s updates.
Go To Church– I went to church for the first time ever for Easter Sunday I went to church. I am not a particularly religious person (okay obviously If I haven’t been to church in 21 years), but loved listening to stories about how to better yourself and clapping along to songs. One of the main singers used to sing backup for Janet Jackson, so he was a show in a silky lavender button up top. I think we could all use weekly reminders of what it means to be a good person, whether that’s in a christian church, a buddhist temple, a mosque, or doing weekly charity work. Something I am definitely going to add to my routine no matter where I am.
Road Trips– This month I went down the California coast on the trek from San Francisco to Vegas, and the best way to do a road trip is to not plan at all. My advice: always stop at the fruit stands, a giant box of strawberries will get you through your day. Peel off whenever you see an unoccupied beach. Gas station stops are also slurpee stops. When you start feeling tired, check yelp and call motels coming up, most will have a room available. Next day explore the town you stopped in, even if it’s in the middle of nowhere, before you get on the road again. Oh, also on road trips there are no rules for music. Flip that sh*t from Beach Boys to Blink 182. Scream out the window.
Bed & Breakfasts- The best way to feel cozy in a city you have never been to is to stay at a B&B. Usually everyone is older and has great stories to tell over black coffee and toast. Also, the hosts are local and will have great suggestions for what to check out in the area that is a bit off the beaten path. Our San Francisco B&B pointed us to drag bars, origami folding, free live music, and festivals happening around town.
Stickers– We have two sticker packs in the shop, great for sticking on various surfaces like computers, faces, journals, whatever. But I also love those giant books of Lisa Frank stickers.
Bookstores- Get to know your local bookstore. Seriously. When you have nothing to do just go sit there. It’s basically like a library, you don’t have to buy anything (but I usually fall in love with some sort of coffee table book and do). When you are feeling uninspired it’s the best place to go, you end up leaning about architecture in Paris, how the digestive system works, what your star sign is, or whatever other title you happen to pull out. Highly recommend you take a friend and pass books back and forth.
Boxing- I usually run, but it’s pretty uncompetitive, just me and my footfalls and music in my ears. It’s more therapeutic than anything, so boxing has been a great mix in my workout routine. I go to Portland City Boxing (which I highly recommend!) It’s in the basement of an Art College with pump up music always playing and bright red punching bags. They have classes throughout the day, so I try to go to one every day, each instructor focuses on different workouts and will totally be there to help you out. + Punching stuff as a workout is fun, trust me.
Biking—Frank Ocean, Jay Z, Tyler the Creator
Lens— Frank Ocean
Wish You Would—Princess Nokia
Spit— Princess Nokia
Don’t Wish Me Well—Solange
Hippie From NYC—David Peel and the Lower East Side
If I Ruled the World— Nas, Ms. Lauryn Hill
Pusherman— Curtis Mayfield
Superfly— Curtis Mayfield
She Said—The Pharcyde
Hey Ma (Remix)— The Diplomats
Heart Don’t Stand a Chance— Anderson Paak
The Dreamer—Anderson Paak
Silicon Valley—Anderson Paak
Good Night—Denzel Curry
Way Hii—A$AP Mob
Love—Kendrick Lamar (my favorite)