Tuesday, March 26, 2013

quick link: bring your feminist self to work

(this photo has nothing to do with this post. but isn't my kitty adorable?)

I'm not feeling the slightest bit inspired to write anything lately, so check out Bring Your Feminist Self to Work (Every) Day, a really interesting article about being a feminist in a male-dominated professional space. 
First and foremost, you have to overcome your own inevitable sense of “imposter syndrome,” take up space, and speak up. When I’m at a meeting in an intimidating place with what I perceive to be lots of smart, successful people, especially if the room is mostly populated by men, I force myself to say something at least once. It doesn't have to be right away (sometimes I gain courage by listening and observing first), but I can’t leave the room without contributing something. That’s not just for my own advancement; it also helps the team get used to hearing women’s voices and perspectives, in general.
The above concept really stood out for me - the idea of making sure, as a women, to say / contribute something, especially when the environment seems intimidating. Not only is this good for being recognized professionally, this also helps others get used to hearing a woman voice her perspectives and opinions in a male-dominated professional environment. I have taken this to heart and have forced myself to speak up regularly at round-table meetings at my job. It's been less than three weeks and I already see a significant shift in how I feel about my own agency in my job, and how some of my colleagues perceive me and my contributions. People who used to act like they didn't find me particularly important or valuable are taking the time to engage with me on professional and personal levels. All that from less than three weeks of trying to get over my own sense of intimidation.

Feminism for the win (again).

Friday, March 22, 2013

music: jake bugg

I have deep love for folk-like indie music. There's not a single Avett Brothers song I dislike. I also listen to KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic program a ton - I have had to drive a lot for work lately, and streaming their program is much better than listening to my same old music over and over. Their live sessions at the studio are almost always excellent (PS. Cold War Kids are live on today's show).

(I sound like an embarrassing mother, but seriously. what an adorable little boy.)

Jake Bugg was on KCRW's live show back in February, and it was seriously one of the best live sessions I've seen in a long time. He's an 18 year old British kid, but don't let his youth fool you. His music sounds like Bob Dylan, but Jake's voice is a different kind of unique. Seriously, I can't even do it justice - just listen / watch the live session here.

And if you have Spotify, Jake Bugg did a live session for them that is available for streaming. I find it far superior to his EP.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

jessica valenti

In case it wasn't obvious, I am a feminist. It is one of the labels I identify with most strongly, and I believe that I owe much of who I am today to the feminist movement and becoming involved in it. Many feminists have their "click" moment, and mine was at the age of 22. I don't remember the context of the thought or even why it came to me, but I suddenly realized that some people were always going to treat me differently (badly), regardless of what I accomplish or how good a person I am; that for many people, including many people in positions of great power, nothing I can do will ever trump the fact that I am a woman. It was a daunting realization, but also spurred me to not sit on the sidelines and to be vocal about the misogyny that is still very much in existence in our society. And once you start seeing it, the little things, the small injustices, even the language used, you can never unsee it. And once you start realizing that misogyny is affecting your life in subtle but important ways on a daily basis, you can't help but feel passionately about righting the gender imbalances in our society.

Jessica Valenti is definitely my role model in regards to what I as a young woman can contribute to this fight.  For starters, she founded Feministing, the best feminist blog ever. Her books, especially The Purity Myth, gave voice to many things I felt and saw growing up, and reframed it in the context of sex-shaming and unreasonable societal expectations of women. She has shown me that it is possible to be a confident, outspoken feminist and that being so is incredibly rewarding, despite the difficulties that come along with being a strong female with strong opinions and a voice that wants to be heard. Yes Means Yes, a collaborative work with Jaclyn Friedman, has taught me how important enthusiastic consent and embracing of female sexuality in a way that is empowering, not objectifying or dehumanizing, is to ending rape culture.

Jessica also writes for various publications and her Tumblr is wonderful. One of my very favorite articles Jessica has ever written is this one. She takes one portion of Sheryl Sandberg's TED talk that stuck out for me as well - that success and likability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women. Taking that assertion one step further in this article, Jessica explains why she will always prefer success over being liked. 
Wanting to be liked means being a supporting character in your own life, using the cues of the actors around you to determine your next line rather than your own script. It means that your self-worth will always be tied to what someone else thinks about you, forever out of your control. - Jessica Valenti, "She Who Dies with the Most 'Likes' Wins?"
And I 100% agree with her. I've always been pretty strong-willed and unwilling to ignore injustice or unethical behavior, which means I have never been one for universal popularity. And I'm fine if that. I used to struggle internally sometimes about wanting to be liked, but that struggle has been put to rest for me. If I really wanted everyone to like me, I would have to give up such significant portions of my personality, my very self. And that's just not a sacrifice I would ever want to make.

Nor would I be able to. I have quite the mouth (and I love it). I am so grateful to feminism for giving me the validation I needed to be my whole authentic self - and to Jessica Valenti for giving voice to my generation of feminists. And now go read her damn article - I have not done it justice in this post.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

santa barbara farmers market

One of my favorite things about SB is the Farmers Market. The cost of living isn't exactly the lowest in this town, but having affordable fresh organic produce is a definite plus. My sister, who lives in a food desert, cannot even stomach the little produce she finds in her area; after growing up in CA, she knows what a carrot is supposed to look like, and the ones at her local Walmart are not cutting it.

(this is what a bunch of awesome carrots look like.)

The Husband and I generally drive or bike downtown for the Saturday market, and grab whatever we need for juicing (we're stereotypical Californians, I guess) and recipes for the week. I also almost always pick up a bouquet of flowers or a new plant. All my favorite flowers are blooming right now (ranunculus, anemones, sweet pea, poppies) so The Husband had to put the kibosh on my flower buying spree. We now have white anemones all over the house and they make me SO HAPPY.

(spring is springing)

Our favorite vendors are Tutti Frutti Farms (we asked one of our favorite late-night dining spots where they get their amazing veggies, and Tutti Frutti was the answer!) and Fairview Gardens. There are a ton of other amazing vendors selling baked goods, farm-raised meat, and cheese. 

(tutti frutti's amazing selection of greens)

One thing I have learned in choosing vendors is that not all farmers market vendors are selling organic produce. Keep an eye out for "Certified Organic" labels, certificates displayed, etc. If you aren't sure, ask!

(gorgeous haworthia. ignore my unmanicured nails. they are now bright pink. also i feel stupid and narcissistic posting a photo of myself. oh well.)

I also picked up the little guy above. A friend of mine informed me it is called a haworthia and is part of the aloe family. I just bought it because it has stripes.

Friday, March 15, 2013


I'm giving the universe one more month before I take drastic measures.

quick link: meat free in australia

Next week is officially Meat-Free Week in Australia, but you don't have to be living in the southern hemisphere to participate in such a positive activity. The point of not eating meat for a week is not to convert anyone to vegetarianism, but to highlight how much meat as a society we really are eating - the short answer is, too much. It's drastically affecting our health and our environment. 

Sustainable Table has a recipe book of 21 meat-free dishes that is available for free download here. I already don't eat much meat at all, but am really excited to try some of these recipes. Zucchini patties for breakfast? Quinoa risotto for lunch? Yes please!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

a poem by rudyard kipling

This lovely poem by Rudyard Kipling was posted on A Cup of Jo many months ago. It is definitely something to aspire to, for all of us, including the ladies (despite the final line of the poem).  I am far from perfect and definitely cherish the reminder that being a good person with kindness, confidence, and integrity is the loftiest of goals.

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son! 

—Rudyard Kipling

Monday, March 11, 2013

artist: josie portillo

Josie Portillo is an LA-based illustrator whose work is so amazing. I first learned of her from her work on NPR's 2012 calendar, and then my undying love for her was cemented by her illustration based on a short story by Gabriel Garcia Marquez:

(Esteban's Village source)

(UFO's source)

She also has a darling blog with lots of doodles and beautiful things to look at.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

quick link: designlovefest desktop backgrounds

Designlovefest is awesome for a million reasons. One of them is their selection of free desktop wallpapers. They're sized for Apple products (iPad / desktop), but they transferred just fine to my Windows desktop with barely any cropping. 

I'm currently rocking this one:

Simple, happy, and modern. Oh, and yellow is my absolute favorite color, so that helps.

This is amazing as well:

And this one:

Now go and make your computer pretty.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

quick link: makelike design studio

Makelike Design Studio & Print Shop is a design collective located in Portland, OR (love that town! got my back tattooed there!). I'm currently loving this cactus print and these cards.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

quick link: everlane clothing

I'm super cheap but try to make a token attempt at looking, if not fashionable, like I looked in a mirror for at least five seconds before leaving the house. Popular fashion and I are not getting along lately (seriously, why is it so hard to find a skirt that hits below the knee and a shirt that isn't see through or cropped? I miss modesty and feminine clothing), so I've fallen back into the jeans and t shirt uniform. 

And you guys, I've found the best t-shirts ever. For fifteen dollars. They're high quality cotton and the fit is impeccable. Everlane is seriously the best. I have a couple of their v-neck tees, and they're so flattering and comfortable. They have fifteen dollar tees for men as well. The Husband is getting a couple of them whether he wants to or not.

They also have pricier items, including cashmere sweaters and weekender bags. The best part is, when you sign up (for free), they immediately send you a code for getting free shipping and returns for your first order. This helps ensure you figure out what the perfect size is. In my opinion, they run true to size.

Go buy yourself a damn t-shirt. You won't regret it.