Small Step No. 07

I love grocery shopping.

It’s always been my favorite place to shop (perhaps because it’s the only place I shop?). Forget Target; just point me to the nearest grocery store and set me free for an hour or two.

Heaven.

And while I’m fairly rigid with ingredient lists, I’ve found I’m all-too-often thwarted by healthy foods that aren’t the slightest bit healthy (hat tip to the time I brought home gluten-free/dairy-free cinnamon rolls loaded with sugar and a million incomprehensible ingredients).

Recently, I asked the ever-wise Elizabeth (from Purely Elizabeth fame, and also an IIN alum!) how she focuses on simple, healthy choices daily, and not surprisingly, she has her own little grocery store mantra:

Shop the perimeter.

Elizabeth spends 90% of her time in the outer aisles of the grocery scooping up fresh produce, organic ingredients and whole foods. “The inner isles are where a lot of snacky, processed food is. So I fill up my cart with perimeter products, then only leave myself a little space for inner isle items like Purely Elizabeth granola.”

It’s similar in theory to another well-loved healthy-eating adage: You can eat whatever you want as long as you cook it yourself. Craving pasta? Get the stovepot. Feeling guac? Grab the molcajete. Want to experiment with new foods? Shop the perimeter.

There are tons more wellness tips available for the taking (especially for you folks in Phase Two!), and I suppose that’s why I love this small steps series so much. It’s finding that freedom isn’t rooted in rules or regulations, but in simple boundaries ripe with exploration. In the trying, and the trying again.

In the finding of new mantras, at the grocery and beyond.

Tell me: what small steps are you exploring these days? I’d love to hear!

 

p.s. Today’s Small Step is brought to you by Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a genius alternative to an expensive 4-year degree. Enjoy 25% off your enrollment by emailing [email protected] with subject line “DFM DISCOUNT.”  Or, check out a few more Small Steps like how to read more, and how to drink more water (finally).

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A Tricoastal Woman: Journalism and Writing

newspapersI went to the Oakland Book Festival last weekend. While I thought the panels and talks I went to were very good, the name is misleading. This event is really the Oakland Ideas Festival.

Very few of the program items focused on books, authors, or literature. There was a poetry reading, but otherwise the only readings were for children. Even the programs that featured fiction writers – there were a couple of them – didn’t include readings.

As a writer, I was disappointed that the festival doesn’t do more to promote books and authors, especially local authors. But since I’m also an idea junkie, I had a good time.

A panel called “Free Press and Fake News,” with Mother Jones editor Clara Jeffery, The Nation senior editor Sarah Leonard, The Intercept deputy editor Roger Hodge, and East Bay Express editor Nick Miller, left me chewing over a lot of ideas.

Two things in particular caught my attention. The first was that there has been a forty percent drop in the number of journalists in recent years. That’s mostly because there’s been a drop in the number of newspapers as well as a tendency by the ones that remain to reduce the size of their staffs and “do more with less” – that absurd idea of modern management.

What this has meant is that there are many fewer reporters covering state government – not just state legislatures, but also the many agencies of state government, some of which are very powerful. Worse than that, there are many fewer people covering city councils, school boards, and other local government entities, especially in smaller towns.

The Washington Post’s current motto is “Democracy dies in the dark.” That’s true on the local level as well as on the national one.

As I may have said before, I was practically born on a copy desk. My mother always said she wasn’t the first woman copy editor on the Houston Chronicle, but she was the first pregnant woman on the copy desk. When I worked on the Chronicle as a copy girl one summer, I worked with people who had known me before I was born.

My parents started each day by reading the paper and commenting on it in detail. I grew up learning not just to read the news, but to parse it, to analyze the editorial decisions that went into making up the paper, to question things. That means I grew up understanding journalism with all its flaws, while still believing in the absolute importance of thorough reporting as part of our democratic system.

I still believe in that.

It occurred to me while listening to this panel that the most important thing someone who is interested in journalism could do right now is to move to place with no serious newspaper and start one. If done as an online venture it could be done on the cheap. And I have noticed that there are a number of non-profit news outlets doing great work these days. There’s no reason you couldn’t fund local news that same way; some people already do this. Of course, it would be a hell of a lot of work and there wouldn’t be much money in it even if you did get some grants.

People who’ve retired from bigger papers and have a little pension or a severance package are in a position to do this, but it would also be good if some younger people would create their own jobs this way.

Of course, for those without much experience, there aren’t enough small papers out there where aspiring journalists can build their skills before starting their own pubs. I mean, it takes the guidance of a good editor to learn how to cover a city council or police station. The only answer I have to that is that folks should study journalism at a good school that also publishes a good student newspaper.

My alma mater, the University of Texas, and its superb student paper, The Daily Texan (where I worked when I was in school), come to mind, but I’m sure there are others. Obviously, the best choices are state schools with modest tuition (if there are any left), since you’re not going to make a lot of money doing real journalism. Also it would probably be good to pick up some tech skills while you’re at it.

My parents started their own paper forty-five years ago – with a print pub, since that was pre-internet. They each had twenty-five to thirty years of experience when they did it, and they were fed up with working for the Houston newspapers. They started a weekly in our small town (which was fast becoming a suburb) and then did two more companion papers in nearby communities.

They were hell on wheels when it came to covering city councils, school boards, and water districts, and smart enough to make sure they also got lots of photos of high school sports. They were also stony-cold broke – so broke that my father made most of his drinking money by doing a bit of low key pool sharking at a local bar. (Old guy wearing trifocals, how good could he be?)

Fortunately, my father also figured out how to run a newspaper business office and got some good ad clients, because they sold the paper for a nice chunk of change and were able to retire. Unfortunately, without their passion behind it, the news coverage went to hell after it was sold. But at least I didn’t have to support them in their old age.

The financial side of all this brings me to the second thing the panelists said that stuck with me. They all said, “Subscribe.” The advertising model doesn’t work well any more. They need the money.

I see this repeated everywhere: pay for the news or we won’t get any. And while I think that’s a good idea, it’s also true that most of us can’t afford to pay for all the different publications we’d like to have access to. So it’s still a difficult situation.

It reminded me a lot of the Patreon program that many fiction writers and other artists (and probably some freelance journalists) are using to bring in income these days. The changing landscape of publishing, just like the changing landscape of journalism, is making people come up with creative ways to getting paid.

Of course, there are only so many artists one can afford to support. But clearly it’s a time for creating new ways of paying people to bring us news and insights, whether they’re reporters or scholars or artists.

Thinking about the similarities between journalists and fiction writers when it comes to making a living made the Festival resonate with me. It was a good event.

But it still wasn’t about books.

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Copenhagen: Part Two

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

The days we had were chilly in Copenhagen. They weren’t at all what I would call warm. In fact, one of the days we were there it smelled like snow in the air. We wore many layers most days and tried to choose activities that gave us shelter when we needed a warm up. Thank goodness for outdoor heaters, blankets at restaurants, and warm candlelight. The idea of hygge isn’t a gimmick here but a necessity for life…well it should be, right? This is where the concept was born. The idea of hygge is quite a trend these days to the point I rather avoid the phrase, but here it isn’t a trend, it is a way of living and enjoying. From finding a whole shelf dedicated in every grocery store to candles to it literally advertised on boards at restaurants, hygge is something I was intrigued to experience first hand in the place it was born.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Living in Michigan we do similar things during the cold dark months of winter. We have lower light after dark, we embrace the storm brewing outside, we light fires, we surround ourselves with cozy throws and furs. It is part of surviving the harshest months we have. I am always looking for ways to enjoy the winter more as it is the hardest season for me so I loved experiencing the things that the Danish were doing on cold, wet, dreary days while we were in Copenhagen. Many days we would get croissants and pastries at local markets and slowly enjoy them with amazing coffee from Coffee Collective and take in the city passing by. Just watching the city move as people moved throughout their day was an absolute pleasure. The same things would happen despite the weather. The bikers biked, the cars went by, families walked with strollers, everything remained at its normal pace despite the weather. It was just one more thing that intrigued me as a northerner myself. Rainy days are quieter back home, but here the rain never seemed to be a deterrent to continue doing daily things.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Our days in Copenhagen at the end were full of observing, taking in the culture more and more as we became more comfortable with the city. We had no guide for what we were experiencing so it was interesting to just take it all in. One of my favorite places we visited was the Hay Design House. Hay is a culmination of much of the design culture and experience of Denmark. The colors were the most inspiring, but once again the idea of playfulness within design was undoubtedly refreshing. Things weren’t done for show, but instead for fun and enjoyment. Things were thought through from the color combos to the way the item functioned. I fell in love with the green tones they used in their collection. It still is affecting me now as I choose colors for our home.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

The idea of playfulness is something that I continue to come back to since our trip. Everyday objects that bring you joy is an important idea when decorating or designing. It is an idea I hope to bring to our home in the coming months and years because of what we experienced in Denmark.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

One of my favorite things we did one afternoon was take Hayes to the Round Tower. It was on my list because of the light in the space and the brick floor was so beautiful and I wanted to experience it. I have been to other towers that had a better view and offered more in other ways, but this was one I wanted to experience because of the beautiful shape of it. Not to mention I figured it would be a wonderful way to wear out Hayes before lunch. Sure enough after a hike up and the run down the boy was ready to crush some street falafel with us.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

My favorite day of all of them we had in Copenhagen was the day we went to Tivoli Gardens. When Mike’s dad mentioned it as an idea I went along thinking it would at least be a fun activity for Hayes. Looking back it was one my favorite days we spent in the city. We wandered over from our apartment and saw the city from a foot, then we landed at the gardens just as the sun came out and it began to get warm. It was a gorgeous and amazing place and I am not someone who enjoys amusement parks.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Tivoli was one more example of how play is encouraged in this culture. As one of the oldest amusement parks, Tivoli Gardens has rides, amazing food options, and incredible communal spaces for concerts or lounging. Ducks, peacocks, geese, and more wander the park and kids love chasing them all. There are dozens of places to enjoy a meal. Not to mention a few wonderful options to eat inside a greenhouse. I had a REALLY hard time choosing where to eat considering the adult side of me wanted to eat at the amazing Gemyse, which was more or less my dream of what I would do for a restaurant, but far from kid friendly. Though they do offer fire pits for you to roast marshmallows around a very cool firepit in Hay outdoor chairs…so hygge and perfect for a chilly day.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

All around the park you will find amazing architecture, design, and experiences. I couldn’t get over this ice cream stand in the park. The design was so good and really had fun with the idea of an ice cream cone making it into a pattern.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Ultimately we landed at a greenhouse restaurant that offered the most traditional food options of them all. We enjoyed pickled herring here and a full lunch tray of smoked salmon, røgbrød, and wine and beer. I have always loved the idea of eating in a greenhouse so it was wonderful to experience it on this chilly day here at Tivoli. I literally couldn’t recommend going to Tivoli Gardens more. Hayes not only enjoyed the food, but he chased ducks, laughed at flowers, and we all laughed so hard that day. It was an amazing place to go whether you have kids or not.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

During our time in Copenhagen, we had to move the last full day we were there. Our apartment we had was only available for 4 nights so we spent our last one at STAY Seaport on the recommendation of our host. The location is brand new and there is a lot going on in the area, but it is a very different side of the city than what we had been experiencing. The apartments are beautiful and very well done and the staff is excellent, but currently, it is very new and there isn’t much nearby in terms of food or drink so it is a little bit of work to get groceries back to your apartment. It worked out well for us, but if you do stay here, just know it will take some work. It is nearby a subway station though.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

We loved our apartment at STAY Seaport. It had 2 huge bathrooms and bedrooms, a washer and dryer, gorgeous views of the ocean where we could nearly see Sweden, and a very well equipped kitchen. They thought of everything in our apartment and I think in a few years once more is completed in the area, this will be a stellar place to stay from an amenities standpoint as well as the quality of the rental. We loved how affordable the stay was for us for one night since most apartments are hard to rent for only one night.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

During the last few days of our stay, Mike and I took an afternoon to dive back into the city together while Hayes spent time at the apartment with his grandparents. We both wanted to experience the Design Museum Denmark. Our love for Scandinavian design is pretty serious so we wanted to know the history even more than what we had learned in design school. It felt like great research for our home as well.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

If you are a design nerd I highly suggest stopping in here. The museum is small but it is mighty. Not to mention the restaurant looked amazing even if we couldn’t enjoy it. I would go back to eat here in a heart beat. The whole experience was beautiful and possibly one of my favorite small design museums I have visited.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

All of our museum experiences were top notch, though. One of the other days we decided to do the National Museum of Denmark. This is where they gave us a discount for bringing Hayes with us as well as gave us a beautiful and clean Stokke stroller to use while we wandered the museum. How amazing is that? Everywhere we went in Copenhagen we felt that life was catered to us as parents of a young child. Such a refreshing experience!

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

The same day we visited the National Museum, we also stopped at the gardens at the Rosenborg Castle, which are free to the public. Since Hayes loves being outside this was a safe place to let him run around, smell flowers, chase ducks, and enjoy the sun while we wandered our way back to our apartment.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

This final half of our trip is when I learned to relax as a mom with Hayes. When I did I realized how much more of the city I was taking in. I also was better able to see what Hayes was seeing in the experience. I found so much more happiness and contentment in our travels. There are tons of things I took away from this trip. I was inspired to add in more play to my work, make a point to enjoy things more deeply, but the biggest thing I took away that will affect me now for years as a mother was that things really will be what they are going to be. Kids need very little in life but love. It was something I knew, but I think all the months of working to get him scheduled and more made me forget that in some ways. You get through the sleeplessness and schedule breaking when you travel and it is all okay. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Breaking the routine is okay and should be encouraged when traveling. It shouldn’t be like it is at home, or else why did you come? Now, back home I have less worries about things than I did before. It feels good. Whether that is Danish or not I don’t know, but I do know the Danes taught me to relax and enjoy life even more. That is one of the best things I felt I took home from this trip.

Traveling in Copenhagen, Denmark as a family of three with a toddler. Read about our experience on The Fresh Exchange.

The last day we woke up in Copenhagen it was 5 AM when the sun started rising. I forgot to close the black out curtains the night before. I looked out our window of our room and saw the horizon filled with the pink hues of the sunrise over the wind turbines out on the water and I felt sad to leave, but I also felt so thankful for that we took this trip. I felt I was leaving a better version of myself because of Copenhagen and Denmark. I hope we return sooner rather than later. There is so much I want to experience in this amazing country. Thank you, Denmark for being the most enjoyable, kind, warming, and relaxing place I have ever been to. I carried home very little souvenirs, but I brought home the deepest sense of what hygge means. That to me was the most important thing I could have brought back with me.

Source: http://ift.tt/1t9CPFe

Neutral Territory


I came across a photo of this home on Pinterest and realized that it’s epitomizes the feeling of my Shifting into Neutral post from Monday. I don’t know anything about it except that it was designed by Brian Paquette who is an interior designer in Seattle but sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

Source: http://ift.tt/1mSXkxt

JamStack: A Compact Amp to Clip on Your Guitar

JamStack

Have you ever wondered why musicians have such muscular arms? We’re no experts on the subject, but we think it might have something to do with having to lug instruments and gear everywhere. Guitarists, however, will be happy to hear that they’ll no longer have to break a sweat when going to and from practices and shows. JamStack is a convenient little amp that’s designed to clip onto your guitar and be ready to use within seconds. Plus, the amp’s proximity to your guitar eliminates the chance of any loose cables getting in your way in the middle of a song. Some musicians—especially beginners—find traditional amp setup to be such a hassle that it kills their drive practice or perform.

JamStack - Recording

Sourced from iPhon.fr

The JamStack connects to your smartphone, which is also attached to the guitar thanks to a handy smartphone mount, to expand its sonic capabilities. “By integrating with your smartphone it allows you to access any effect, play along to your favorite songs, perform loops, tune and much more,” reads the company’s Indiegogo page. “No more cables, no more limitations. Play guitar anywhere, with outstanding tone and volume.” Using mobile apps like Amplitube, Ampkit, and ToneStack, which are all available for both iOS and Android, “The JamStack can emulate any guitar sound, with accuracy and velvety smoothness.” The amp’s designers explain that people will also be able to use their phones to play backing tracks through JamStack, and since they’ll have access to “any effect pedal, loop station, and recording studio,” every guitar player will finally be able to unleash their inner Hendrix.

JamStack is designed for a rough life on the road and is tough enough to handle most playing environments, whether you’re on tour or heading downtown to busk. Plus, its underside is made from the same soft polymer used to make guitar stands, so you’ll never have to worry about it scratching or damaging your instrument. The amp weighs 1.9 pounds and is easily light enough to carry in a single hand. By contrast, traditional amplifiers can weigh over 70 pounds and require their own rolling cases. No wonder the JamStack team calls their product “a little powerhouse.”  To make transporting your gear even easier, simply slip JamStack into your guitar case.

JamStack - Mount Strength

People sometimes associate amps with noise and sheer volume, but JamStack offers great-quality sound for musicians across all genres, whether you’re a heavy-metal shredder or a finger-style acoustic guitar player. “The JamStack has 10 W of power, is louder than acoustic guitars and hand drums, and more than loud enough to perform outside,” the company says. The amp is also wireless and has enough juice to last for eight hours before having to be recharged. If you need a break from playing, switch to listener mode and use JamStack as a high-end Bluetooth speaker.

JamStack - Rear

JamStack’s crowdfunding campaign ends in just 13 days, though the company has already raised about $200,000 in support of their product. The amp is expected to start shipping in August, so start thinking about the songs you’re going to perform at summer jam sessions and lakeside barbecue sing-alongs!

Source: http://dornob.com

JamStack: A Compact Amp to Clip on Your Guitar


Have you ever wondered why musicians have such muscular arms? We’re no experts on the subject, but we think it might have something to do with having to lug instruments and gear everywhere. Guitarists, however, will be happy to hear that they’ll no longer have to break a sweat when going to and from practices and shows. Read more…

Source: http://dornob.com

Progressives and The Suit

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This isn’t a political blog, but clothes have an inherently political dimension. For decades now, jeans have coasted on their association with egalitarianism, democracy, and honest, proletarian integrity. Similarly, the M-65 field jacket – in the Army approved “Olive Green 107″ color – was transformed in the 1960s by counterculture types, who re-pressed the jacket to serve their anti-war aims. In a great essay on the history of the US military service jacket, Troy Patterson once wrote: “Country Joe at Woodstock, John Lennon at Madison Square Garden, and Jane Fonda on the Free the Army road show all treated costume as commentary.”

Today, clothes continue to be political. Most notably, far right movements are using the suit to give their hateful ideology a veneer of normalcy. Richard Spencer, for example, wears herringbone tweeds, gold coin cufflinks, and a sweptback, hipster hairstyle known as a “fashy” (or “Hitler Youth,” as the style was worn by members of the Nazi brigade). And he isn’t the only one. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bumped into someone on the internet – from Twitter to Reddit to StyleForum – where someone will express how much they love prep, but also wish to see Jews put in ovens. (Nevermind the obvious irony that traditional American style has been heavily shaped by Jewish clothiers). 

In some ways, there’s a natural association between conservative tailoring and conservative politics. In his book Rebel Style, Bruce Boyer nicely frames the 1950s and ‘60s culture wars in terms of clothing:

After World War II, the burgeoning middle class looked in two different directions for the more outward manifestations of style: either to a version of the Eastern WASP Establishment for the traditional business uniform and the slightly more casual Ivy League attire; or to the underclasses, which favored the more heady and urbane zoot suit or rural motorcycle/ blue-collar look. Most middle-class young men – particularly those who had been in the army and enrolled in colleges through the economic incentives of the GI Bill – looked to the Eastern Establishment for inspiration. As epitomized in the film The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956), Establishment dress was the somber business uniform of corporate America in an era of understated power.

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As Boyer puts it, establishment types wore the suit; anti-establishment types took to chambray shirts, white tees, leather jackets, and jeans. Those stereotypes hold less power today, but they’re still useful in explaining why the suit represents what it does. And, to be sure, tailored clothing still mostly survives in the offices of banking, law, and government – the three pillars of establishment capitalism. 

That association with patriarchy, power, and traditionalism only goes so far in explaining why the far-right like suits. After all, I’m not talking about everyday conservatives (who I like), but rather extremists. In a 2013 Salon article, Richard Spencer said the alt-right has to look good in order to make their views palatable to middle-class Americans. If his movement means “being part of something that is crazed or ugly or vicious or just stupid, no one is going to want to be a part of it.” To counter the stereotype that people like him are “tattooed, illiterate rednecks” (his words), he wears soft-shouldered sport coats. 

To be honest, every time I read one of these guys, I want to burn my entire wardrobe. But good tailoring is a beautiful thing, and it shouldn’t be beholden to some nut jobs. 

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So, I thought I’d put together some photos of progressives in suits, from academics to actors, philosophers to politicians. The thing to remember is: the suit is the lingua franca of menswear. A common language in terms of clothing, shared between speakers whose native languages are different – political, religious, or otherwise. 

It’s not hard to find photos of progressives wearing suits well. Many classic style icons had left leaning politics. President John F. Kennedy, most obviously, but also Paul Newman, who was a lifelong Democrat. Newman was a vocal supporter of gay rights, even in the 1960s, when speaking up about such issues was less safe. Similarly, Marlon Brando often took very public stances on civil rights, including marching on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr. 

Beyond the regular names, there are the underrated style icons – Gore Vidal (pictured at the very top of this post debating William Buckley, a conservative thinker who outclasses most today), Lewis Lapham (featured in a Put This On video), Sidney Poitier, Gregory Peck, and Julian Bond. Even less appreciated is Stanley Marcus, CEO of Neiman Marcus. In his book Minding the Store, Marcus wrote about his struggles in reconciling his work with his politics. During the Jim Crow era, African Americans were barred from trying on clothes in department stores, as it was believed they’d “defile” them. Marcus changed that for his shops, which lost him a lot of customers. He told them “good fucking riddance” (OK, not the middle part).  

I also think about the people who inspired me to wear tailored clothing in the first place – mid-century jazz musicians, postmodern French philosophers, and writers such as Robert Lowell and George Frazier. All wore their clothes in that dégagé way I think makes tailoring look especially good. Tussled hair with unlined, floppy collars and three-roll-two sport coats. Even if the style is kind of prep school today, they put it together in a manner that felt edgy. 

To be sure, there are plenty of examples of sensible, middle-of-the-road conservatives who have worn tailored clothing well. This post isn’t so much to bash conservatives as it is to say good tailoring is for everyone. Even if enthusiasts, such as myself, find themselves in the company of some pretty rotten people these days. 

(Thanks to Voxsartoria, Reginald-Jerome, and David for their help with this post)

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Source: http://dieworkwear.com/

Bold Bedding To Brighten Your Bed

design by Mark D. Sikes

An easy way to perk up your bedroom for spring and summer is with fresh new linens. I rarely use a complete matching set (it reminds me of 90’s “Bed-in-a-Bags”) but rather mix different kinds of shams, duvets, quilts and pillows. Here are a few schemes I pulled together that say “SUMMER” to me!


Scheme 1- I love this Dorothy Bedding from Biscuit with it’s cool blue and tiny red dot floral.  Bring out the red with their pique shams and a patterned accent pillow or two.

Scheme 2- Cornflower blue is SO happy for summer- use solid quilted Euro shams along the back of the bed, bordered king shams and duvet and then fun floral accent pillows from Lulie Wallace.

Scheme 3- I just about DIED over this blush otomi headboard (pair of twin beds in a little girls room anyone??). Pair it with blush tipped bedding and a funky bolster with an ethnic feel.

Scheme 4- This fern wallpaper would be stunning on the wall behind a wood spindle bed or linen headboard. On the bed use these patterned Euro shams, bordered king shams (bonus point for getting them embroidered) and use a white duvet or quit and this cozy cashmere throw in green!

Scheme 5- Channel Mark Sikes with this seersucker-type stripe duvet and shams, this gorgeous Les Indiennes quilt and funky striped throw pillow.

The post Bold Bedding To Brighten Your Bed appeared first on Elements of Style Blog.

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DIY Makeup Setting Spray

DIY Makeup Setting Spray- click through for the full tutorial! Here we are with another beauty post! Can you tell we love makeup and skincare? And though we enjoy doing our makeup every day, it can be rough on our skin. So when we can, we opt for natural products that will nourish and moisturize our skin as opposed to some harsh ingredients that dry it out.

Makeup setting spray is necessary when you want your makeup to blend together flawlessly and last all day long. It tends to be costly, and since we use setting spray every day, we go through bottle after bottle. To save some money and our skin, we decided to make our own! Since we’re into DIY skincare, we had all of the ingredients at home, which is a huge money saver!

DIY Makeup Setting Spray- click through for the full tutorial! Supplies:
6 ounce spray bottle
funnel
vegetable glycerin
rosewater
witch hazel
-water
citrus essential oil
vinyl stickers (optional)

DIY Makeup Setting Spray- click through for the full tutorial! Step One: First, add two tablespoons of glycerin to your spray bottle using a funnel.

DIY Makeup Setting Spray- click through for the full tutorial! Step Two: Next you’re going to add 8 tablespoons of rose water to your bottle.

DIY Makeup Setting Spray- click through for the full tutorial! Step Three: Add two tablespoons of witch hazel to your mixture.

Step Four: Next up, add 4 tablespoons of water to your bottle.

DIY Makeup Setting Spray- click through for the full tutorial! Step Five: Last but not least, add 4 drops of essential oil to your bottle. We used citrus oil so the spray wakes up your face, but you can use lavender or any other oil you’d like!

DIY Makeup Setting Spray- click through for the full tutorial! Step Six: Now shake it up! Mix it all together so everything is cohesive.

DIY Makeup Setting Spray- click through for the full tutorial! Step Seven: This step is optional, but we added some vinyl letters to our spray to jazz it up a bit!

DIY Makeup Setting Spray- click through for the full tutorial! DIY Makeup Setting Spray- click through for the full tutorial! This setting spray smells amazing, and it will make your face feel refreshed and hydrated! Which is all we really want in the morning, right? Try making your own and you’ll never go back to store-bought makeup setting spray! Britta & Carli Garsow

Credits // Author and Photography: Britta & Carli Garsow. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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