Girl Power Fridays: The Evergreen Burrow

Welcome to my latest series, Girl Power Fridays! I started this series as a way to showcase the awesome and talented women I admire and want to give a place to share their stories, whether it be a businesswoman, artist, musician, or just a badass lady.

For my first installment, I talked to Rebecca of The Evergreen Burrow. I first saw Rebecca’s art on display at this year’s MomoCon & immediately wanted to spend all my money.

The Evergreen Burrow is a “fabulous world of handmade geekery, where you can let your nerdy flag fly to your heart’s content. We strive for an eco-conscious approach and a friendly atmosphere where people of all fandoms and ages can find something for their taste and budget.” My favorite item I purchased was The Babe with the Power patch that is pictured below. It’s going to look amazing  on my feminism themed denim jacket this fall.

babewith

Photo courtesy of The Evergreen Burrow on Etsy

Rebecca’s Story

Q1: How long have you been creating jewelry & your other merchandise? What got you started?

I have been making stuff for as long as I remember! I’ve always been crafty but the first project I remember being proud of was my ‘babushka barbie’- I made an outfit, kerchief and all when I was 6 or 7.
I’ve been doing cons on and off for about 6 years- pretty seriously for the last 3. I was dragged to my first anime con by some college friends and I haven’t been able to look back since.

Q2: Where do you draw your inspiration for your art?
I love geek culture- the inclusiveness, the attention to detail, the absolute enthusiasm and joy people have about the things they’re passionate about. I’ve always loved books and reading, and I’ve recently gotten into more video games. I try to merge those interests with the need to be a little subtle about fandoms.
I strive for the kind of geeky art that is in itself a sort of undercover code, a secret language between fans that is, objectively, just really pretty.

Q3: If you have one, what is your favorite piece that you’ve ever done?
I’m pretty darn proud of my “Do no harm but take no shit” banner pendants- they were a challenge to design and I went through so many rough drafts, bad sketches, and cups of coffee before I settled on their current iteration.

Q4: What advice do you have for other women looking to break into owning their own small business and/or the traditionally male dominated “nerd culture”?
Support each other. There’s enough room for all of us, and it can be real rough out there. Find your support networks- build them if you have to- but find your people and hang on.
This goes for all creatives- we do our best work when we support and promote each other, when we feel safe enough to take a leap, when feedback is honest and helpful but not cruel.

You can find The Evergreen Burrow on Twitter, Etsy, & on their website.

Headed to Dragon*Con? Be sure to stop by The Evergreen Burrow’s booth at Dealer’s Hall and buy some stuff!

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Mixtape Monday: Summertime Sadness Vol. 1

It’s been a while since our last Mixtape Monday. For some reason, summer always makes me in the mood to listen to the weirdest music. Sometimes it’s cheesy 90’s country that I grew up on, sometimes it’s blaring Sublime at all times of day, and sometimes it’s sad indie music.

Right now, it’s definitely the latter. Sad indie music always takes me back to the summer after high school when I had infinite time to scour last.fm for the latest music releases & spend lazy days off at the pool with my friends before heading off to college. Now, my sumertime sadness playlist fills me with sweet nostalgia to get me through my brutal commute & battle my insomnia. I hope you love these tracks as much as I do.

Mixtape Monday, 7/17, Summertime Sadness: Vol. 1 {Click to listen}

  1. “Thirteen” – Big Star: I first learned about Big Star from the book “Love is a Mixtape”by Rob Sheffield. While I was reading it, I put on the music he was writing about it and it made for a beautiful, yet heart-wrenching emotional journey through the book about love and loss. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest checking it out. But have tissues handy.
  2. “City Love” – John Mayer: I don’t know what it is about John Mayer, but I will always have a soft spot in my heart for him. Especially the album “Room for Squares”. The whole album is fantastic, but “City Love” is my current favorite. Other highlights are “Neon” & “83”.
  3. “Fresh Feeling” – Eels:  The first time I heard this song was during a season 1 episode of Scrubs called “My Hero.” In the scene, J.D. visits Dr. Cox and tries to get him ‘back in the game’ & I was feeling all the emotions my little 13-year-old heart could handle.
  4. “Summer Girl” – Family of the Year: I used to work at Ticket Alternative & Atlanta Music Guide. I found out a lot about smaller bands there & one of those bands was Family of the Year. “Summer Girl” is perfect for this playlist, but their song “Hero” was featured in the movie Boyhood and is definitely worth checking out.
  5. “You Wouldn’t Have to Ask” – Bad Books: I don’t have much to say about this one except that I have the seemingly unpopular opinion that Bad Books is better than Manchester Orchestra.
  6. “Spiders” – Lovedrug: This has been one of my favorites since ~9th grade. I first heard it on my crush’s MySpace page & I immediately started listening to it so I could seem into the same bands as him. We’ve all been there. The boy is long since forgotten, but the love for Lovedrug still lives on.
  7. “Primitive Girl” – M. Ward: I got into this song back when I was still picking singles to listen to based on song names. This is faster than the others on this playlist, but still hits me with that rush of melancholic fueled nostalgia.
  8. “The Dress Looks Nice On You” – Sufjan Stevens: I’ve always loved this song, but I really want to learn to pronounce his name. Does anyone know how?
  9. “Black Hole Sun” – Copeland: This cover has always been hauntingly beautiful to me, but with Chris Cornell’s recent death, I think it’s even more so. It’s a great tribute to the original.
  10. “Oh! Sweet Nothing” – The Velvet Underground: So this song isn’t really “indie” in the way that the rest of these are, but I got into it during my “I’m-too-cool-to-listen-to-top-40-phase” in high school while researching Andy Warhol. It never ceases to make me feel contemplative and relaxed all at once.

 

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Remembering to breathe amongst the chaos

I don’t know about you, but I often feel like I’m always on the go. Between working in social media (social really never sleeps, y’all. Work never stops at 5pm), hobbies & projects, & trying to have a social life– my plate is full.

I’ve talked to a lot of my friends and co-workers about it too. It seems that no one knows how to slow down, take time for themselves, and reconnect with the people closest to them. That’s what inspired this blog post. More of us (especially women) have to learn when to close the laptop, turn off the phone, or decline that invitation to Happy Hour with an old college accquaintance. After some research, I’ve found these tips to slow down & I want to share them with you. Keep in mind, these exercises are meant to help you enjoy life & focus on the most important parts of your day.

Take the time to prioritize daily to-dos. I just recently started using a Chrome browser called Momentum. It has a space for to-dos, daily objectives, and comes equipped with calming, beautiful backgrounds from all over the world & inspiration quotes. 10/10 would recommend.

momentum

Enjoy nature. Honestly, this is not my favorite idea, but that’s largely because I live in the deep south & it’s about 99% humidity right now. But really a 5-10 minute break to step outside and breathe in some fresh air can really do a body (and mind!) good.

Connect with family and friends. Few things make my heart full like a day of fun with my family and closest friends. One of the things I want to challenge myself to do is put away the electronics & practice active listening to connect on an even deeper level.

Give yourself more time. Stop. Overscheduling. Yourself. I am guilty of this. Oftentimes, my day is spent largely in the elevator of my office building running from one conference room to another. Next time you’re jotting down new tasks and meetings in your calendar, factor in more time when estimating how long things will take. Breathing room will make your day feel less rushed and cause less stress.

Make time for yourself. When was the last time you took time to read, watch a favorite movie, or try a new hobby? Pick a night and set it aside as valuable time to spend with yourself to replenish that emotional piggy bank.

Remember your goals and aspirations. It’s easy to get bogged down with the day to day, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Each morning when you wake up, take a few minutes to reflect on your aspirations. Think about the milestones you’ve already hit and your drive to achieve new ones. Try doing this for about five minutes each morning before getting out of bed to really set the tone for your day.

 

Have you ever tried any of these tips? Did they work for you? Let me know in the comments!

 

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The {Procrastinator’s} Father’s Day Gift Guide

I’m very guilty of procrastination.

This time is no different. It’s Friday morning & I still haven’t gotten a gift for my dad for Father’s Day which is SUNDAY (eek!). After talking to some of my friends, I realized I’m not alone–apparently we’re all a bunch of procrastinors!

So in the spirit of needing a great gift for my dad, but on limited time, I’ve put together this Procrastinator’s Father’s Day Gift Guide to make your life easier with gifts you still have time to get, courtesy of next day shipping and/or Amazon Prime.

fathersdaygiftguide

For the easily amused dad: I don’t know about your dad, but my dad always loves those tabletop/desktop games that come out around Christmas, so this bowling desktop game from Uncommon Goods really caught my eye ($8.00-$45.00, depending on size)

For the techy dad: Dad can have fun an immersive world without ever leaving his favorite recliner with this Samsung Gear VR headset ($69.99)

For the auto enthusiast dad: This compact powerhouse charger fits in dad’s back pocket, will jump start your car, Also charges smartphones, tablets, speakers, and more.

For the hipster dad: This 4 beer jelly set from Uncommon Goods is for the dad who’s already been down that whole home-brew road and needs new ways to commune with his favorite fermented beverage.

For the outdoorsy, but sleepy dad: Give dad a break with this inflatable lounger that floats on water and comes equipped with cup holders and a headrest.

For the indoorsy sleepy dad: These slippers from UGG honestly have “dad” written all over them.

For the dad who’s always connected: Still the best fitness tracker/watch/supercomputer around. If your dad’s an Apple guy and he doesn’t own one of these yet, the time has come.

For the organic dad: This face & beard wash from Lush Cosmetics is one of my favorite things even though I don’t have a beard. This creamy, citrusy wash is also cruelty-free and vegan, which any crunchy dad will appreciate.

For the beachy dad: It wouldn’t be a Father’s Day gift guide without a tie. This Hawaiian print tie is perfect for dad if he’s ready to head to the beach later this summer.

And finally, for the classic dad: You can never go wrong with cologne, especially Cool Water. It’s the daddest scent ever & will instantly remind you of your childhood when you smell it.

 

 

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The Bachelorette Week 3 Recap: “Let The Big Dog Eat!” edition

I’m sad to say, this will be my last week getting to use a Whaboom quote as the headline for my recap. Let’s jump in.

Last night’s episode picked up with DeMario (eliminated last week on a group date after his ex girlfriend showed up) showing back up at Bachelor Mansion begging Rachel for another chance. All the guys were out there watching, ready to kick his ass, but thankfully Rachel turned him away and no one had to act too much a fool.

After the DeMario drama died down, we went straight into a rose ceremony where Rachel eliminated Jamey, who is just not that memorable, Blake E. (who loves talking about penis), and Lucas aka Whaboom. Jamey had a classy exit. The same can’t really be said for Blake E. & Whaboom. Their toxic bromance reached a breaking point. Their exit interviews were mocking imitations like children do to annoy each other. It was so immature, but glorious all the same time. ICYMI: I’ve included TV Guide’s video below.

http://www.tvguide.com/videos/embed/the-bachelorette-the-whaboom-song/

Like last week, this episode included 2 group dates and 1 1:1 date.

Group Date #1: Jonathan “Tickle Monster”, Alex the Russian, Bryan the Chiropractor, Peter (My Final Rose pick), Will, & Fred (Rachel’s childhood camp friend). Rachel took the guys to the Ellen show, where they played a rousing game of “Never Have I Ever”. Alex the Russian admitted to peeing in the pool at Bachelor Mansion & Jonathan “Tickle Monster” seems baffled that Rachel has kissed some of the guys already. Like, hello Tickle Monster, we’re in week 3.
After the show, they head to dinner where Fred “Camp Friend” finally gets his chance to kiss Rachel. It was a little cringey. Too many kissing noises. After the kiss, Rachel grabs the group date rose, asks to speak to Fred in private, and then SENDS HIM HOME WHILE HOLDING THE ROSE. It was so savage of her to bring the rose along, making him think he had this in the bag only to be booted back to Dallas. Alex the Russian got the group date rose instead.

1:1 Date: Anthony. Super uneventful. They rode horses on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, where apparently you can bring horses into stores? I have no idea. Anthony got a rose at the end of the date, so I guess Rachel saw something in him.

Group Date #2: Jack Stone (Creepy), Dean, Kenny “Pretty Boy Pitbull”, Brady, (who?), Bryce (who??), Eric, Adam (WHO?!), and Lee. Seriously. When she was calling some of these guys’ names during the rose ceremony, I was like “WHO?!” This date was weird. Corinne, Raven, Alexis, and Jasmine from Nick Viall’s season showed up to watch the guys mud wrestle. The girls appeared under the guise of helping Rachel pick a man, but honestly, they were there for more camera time before they head to Bachelor in Paradise. During the date, tensions rise between Lee & Eric. Lee thinks Eric doesn’t have enough experience to be on the show, but Rachel clearly disagrees and gives him the group date rose. I don’t know why. I don’t think I like anyone in this group except Kenny.

Reminder, there’s not an episode of The Bachelorette next week due to the NBA finals, so the next new episode will be on June 19th!

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The Bachelorette Week 2 Recap: “The only leg I have to stand on is my TWO legs” edition

And we’re back. Episode 2 of Rachel Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette aired last night with all the drama and cliches we’ve come to expect from The Bachelor franchise. Let’s jump right in.

Week 2 featured 2 group dates and 1 one-on-one date. Pretty standard when there’s still this many contestants in the house. Like clockwork, Bryan (the chiropractor who got the first impression rose [FIR] last week & was Rachel’s first kiss of the season) did not get any dates this week. The FIR recipient never does. If you remember, Rachel got the FIR on Nick Viall’s season, so she’s likely bonded with Bryan over that.

Group Date #1: Lucas (Whaboom), Jack (Creepy), Kenny (Pretty Boy Pitbull), Fred (Rachel used to be his counselor at summer camp), Blake E. (Loves his penis), plus Dean, Jamey & Iggy who are just not that memorable.

Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis aka Rachel’s friends (yeah, right) appear to help Rachel pick a husband. They’re hosting a challenge called “The Husband Material” obstacle course where the guys must change a diaper, rock a Baby Bjorn, vacuum in a straight line, drain hair from a sink, wash dishes, set the dinner table, then get a bouquet of flowers. Ashton Kutcher proclaims “I don’t think Rachel’s husband is in this group” only after telling Mila that he knew she was the one from the first day he met her. He must have forgotten about his 8 year marriage to Demi Moore in between there. Unfortunately, Whaboom wins the challenge and extra time with Rachel, but Dean comes out of the date with the rose. Why? I have no idea. She must like his smile. He’s very bland.

Blake E. has an obsession with Whaboom. If you didn’t already know, they appeared on a show together called Ex Isle on WEtv several years ago. Whaboom brought his girlfriend Brittany on the show so they could work out their issues. Part of the show’s premise is that they bring in attractive singles to try and tempt people to leave their relationship and be with them. Blake E. was one of those singles. Lucas and Brittany eventually broke up and Brittany moved in with Blake E. as friends. Blake has a lot to say about Brittany, like he had to have her legally evicted because she tried to steal his dog. Brittany has posted on her Twitter that Blake mistreated his dog, including feeding him protein supplements so he would gain more muscle. I don’t know. The whole situation is messed up, but for entertainment’s sake. Let’s all take a moment to appreciate this picture of Blake’s first personal training “client”.

blakee.

One-on-One Date: Peter gets a date card that says “I’m looking for my best friend.” They go on a date with Rachel’s dog Copper to Bark Fest in Palm Springs, California via a private jet. We saw nothing but dogs (I’m not mad at it) and cutaways of confessionals of Rachel and Peter both talking about how into each other they are. The audience doesn’t see it, but more power to them. Peter gets a rose at the end of the date and will move onto Week 3.

Group Date #2: Lee, DeMario, Will, Josiah, Eric, Matt, Adam, Jamey, Diggy, and Alex. Rachel takes them to a high school gym to play basketball, where surprise, Rachel’s “friend” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is there waiting to teach the men a thing or two about basketball. I find it highly interesting that Abdul-Jabbar is on the show after making these firey comments about it back in January. In any case, the basketball lessons did not help. It was some seriously awkward basketball spectated by random extras filling the bleachers along with millions of viewers at home. After the game, a woman who identified herself as Lexi asked to speak to Rachel. She then told Rachel that she was DeMario’s girlfriend of seven months and that he had never broken up with her. Long story short, Rachel is pissed, DeMario denies it, Lexi proves it, DeMario is sent packing.

After Rachel tells the guys what happened, they turn on the charm and lay it on a little too thick for my comfort, including badly written poems, Adam busting out more dolls, and Bryan doing a back adjustment for Rachel. While the cocktail party is going on, DeMario shows up at the gate of Bachelor Mansion and asks to speak to Rachel. Chris Harrison obliges and goes to get Rachel. The last thing we see is Rachel walking to speak to DeMario and the guys panicking, ready to kick his ass. To be continued….

See you next week.

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Mixtape Monday: Fresh Finds Vol. 2

By: Ashton May

Hello, Mixtape Monday-ers! The film festival ended yesterday, and I’m in Cannes for one more day. As such, this week is another great playlist of fresh finds. If you were really into the songs on last week’s mixtape, here’s direct link to the playlist here.

So here’s another batch of new/ new-ish music to enjoy this week! And if you have the day off today, happy Memorial Day! Listen while you read HERE

Mixtape Monday, 5/29, “Fresh Finds Vol. 2”

  1. “Suitcase” – The New Electric Sound
  2. “Loud(y)” – Lewis Del Mar
  3. “A 1000 Times” – Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam
  4. “Frozen Pines” – Lord Huron
  5. “Told You So” – Paramore
  6. “I Miss Those Days” – Bleachers
  7. “Miss America” – Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles
  8. “Three Rings” – Grizzly Bear
  9. “Star Roving” – Slowdive
  10. “Dive” – Coast Modern
  11. “Redline” – Beeches
  12. “Strangers” – Halsey, Lauren Jauregui
  13. “Sweet Creature” – Harry Styles
  14. “I Hate It” – Jailbox
  15. “Waves” – Dean Lewis
  16. “Cool Blue” – The Japanese House
  17. “Something Here” – Day Wave
  18. “Nice” – Rye
  19. “Do You Remember” – St. Lucia.
  20. “Giants” – Savoir Adore
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