Difficult Women by Roxanne Gay

I am obsessed with this author. Roxanne Gay is phenomenal. I’ve also read her book Bad Feminist and it was enlightening. Difficult Women was no different. Gay divides up the book with short stories about — you guessed it — difficult women. Each story is endearing, heartbreaking, and gut wrenching. They highlight women, real women, with lives, secrets, and scars. It’s beautifully written and you won’t want to put it down.

I highly recommend this book. As a woman reading this, I related to more stories in this than i care to admit publicly. I fell in love with characters as well as the possibility that my story was difficult but still so incredibly valid.

This book is wonderful. It’ll punch you in the gut at times but it’ll make you fall in love with your “flaws” as well. It’ll make you proud of all the things you can accomplish with the body you’ve been given and it’ll remind you that there are women out there just like you.

Pick this book up wherever books are sold. It’s a quick read but it’s worth it.

Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett

If you follow me on social media, especially Instagram, I’ve posted snippets of this book over the past couple weeks of doodles or great passages. And that’s because  I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS BOOK. not only because it combines two of my favourite things — Fight Club and Feminism — but also because it’s such an intricately fun read that goes by quickly, only to be slowed down because you keep wanting to reread passages. Or show your friends the drawings in the pages.

This book basically flips workplace sexism, which is far more common than I think people realize, and b asically creates a secret club for women or female identifying individuals to help fight it in healthy, substantial ways. It’s awesome. And while reading it, you have several “holy shit” moments because we’ve all encountered these kinds of men or even women in the work place. you know the ones — the mansplainers, the manterrupters, and the like who either explain something in mundane detail that either you just said or know extensively and the ones who like to interrupt you every 5 minutes with either something that is completely off track or is trying to take ownership of the conversation. Can I get an Amen to how freakishly annoying that is?

Also, total sidenote, I wish I read this book earlier in my 20s. It’s super relevant – and IMO, a necessary read for any young woman entering a corporate environment for the first time.  At one of my previous jobs, the rampant, underbelly sexism was astounding. For example, I was told by a coworker and my former boss that, in short, I was only hired for the size of my ass as well as how i looked in a dress. Amongst other things that I don’t feel comfortable sharing on the internet. And because moms (hi mom!). I almost filed a lawsuit against the company but before I took a better job, I ended up leaving all the women there gift baskets with notes about what to expect from certain coworkers and what would make them shut up efficiently. And the stuff I encountered wasn’t even the worst examples I could provide. Anyway, that just goes to show how relevant this book is.

But this book is amazing. It’s an easy read that you won’t want to put down. You’ll relate, I’m sure, to at least 85% of it and wish you could start your very own Feminist Fight Club. It’s full of real life examples and great ways to “fight the man” in real life that don’t feel overtly weird or uncomfortable. I think that’s the thing i like the most about this book. Though the subject matter is a little uncomfortable, it makes ways to implement making your voice heard realistic in a total non self help book kind of way.

So long story short? Pick up this book if you’ve ever wondered how to shut down a mansplainer effectively. Pick this book up if you’ve ever needed reassurance that female friendships are in fact the most powerful force. Or even, pick this book if you have no idea what I’m talking about and you want to learn more.

Feminist Fight Club is hilarious, poignant, and relevant to today’s societal influences. It’s an amazing read that’s informative and fantastic. Pick it up wherever books are sold.

Favourite Quote: Even Beyonce had an alter ego-Sasha Fierce-to help her develop into a more confident stage performer….acting confident, even if it’s an act, will not only convince others that you’re competent, it can lead to actual confidence. If you can’t do it for yourself, try doing it for your alter shego — and hype the shit out of her. 

5/5 

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

If you’re on Instagram, or any form of social media for that matter, I’m beyond positive you’ve seen Rupi Kaur’s poetry shared at least once. Her work is brilliant, thought provoking, and heart wrenching. It will be a sucker punch to the gut you’ll regrettably enjoy. And you’ll hand  your heart over to her articulate words to be gutted, to be reborn again.

Her first book of poetry, Milk and Honey, is separated into 4 sections. The sections are about breaking, healing, loving, and hurting. I read this in the day and am fully planning on reading again when I’m hurting, when I’m healing, and when I’m loving. And full disclosure, I’ve had a rough past couple days so I turned to her words to bring me back to the light. 

Kaur’s words are brilliant. Read this in the best days of your life and in the worst. She’ll remind you that you’re worth it all the same. Poetry can and will save lives. Poetry reminds us that we’re worth it, that there’s beauty in every crevice — no matter how dark it is before you get out.

Favourite line: you must enter a relationship/with yourself/before anyone else 

 

 

The Alcove & State Street Coffee

So I found this after my original spot was way too crowded and people apparently had never parked in a parking lot there this morning. I went on Yelp, found one that was close by, and found this one. At first, I thought it was labeled wrong since it looked like some fancy bar you take hipsters to or your first date you want to impress. But I saw people coming out with to go coffees so I decided to take a chance and see if it was actually labeled correctly on Yelp.

And to my surprise, it’s actually both! it’s a fancy wine/beer bar AND a coffee shop. I never understood how people could work in bars efficiently until I came here. The coffee portion is off to the side once you walk in and they’s limited seating. But the chairs are comfy, the wifi is good, and their coffee is strong. What more could you want?

I mean, if your project goes to shit and you feel like it’s respectable to pull a Hemingway, you’re welcome to. I can only comment on their lattes, WHICH ARE SO GOOD. I need to switch up my milk though as per my nutritionist but still. So good. Can’t wait to come back here for date night and see how they do later on in the evenings.

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But I think my favourite part of this place is that the baristas are kind, funny, and knowledgeable. I hate going to a place where the people making your drinks are just mean or seem really standoffish. I get it, some days people have off days. But could you at least pretend like you know I’m not trying to make my drink order difficult?

This also seems like this would be the place to get there early as I can imagine with the adult beverages on tap, it could get a little distracting. But their clientele at 10AM on a Saturday morning seem decent enough.

Plus, I’m getting work done! Which is always a great sign of a coffee shop in my opinion. Check it out if you’re ever in Uptown Dallas!

4.5/5 

Pique Tea Crystals

Ok first of all, who can believe it’s 2017 already? Where did time go? And how can we make it stop? I’ve got so many feelings, goals, and the like going on right now. But that just might be the PMS talking, who knows.

Anyway, first blog post of the new year, yay!  Recently, Pique Tea Crystals sent me some samples of their tea. And I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. I received Sencha Green Tea, Jasmine Tea, and their Earl Gray — the latter of which came highly recommended by a friend of a friend.

This morning, I tried the Sencha Green Tea as part of my morning mug that I take to work. And though the taste was there, I think i might have used too much water. They recommended 8oz and my mug is about 12, I believe. But the little satchels the crystals come in are adorable. You simply tear open the satchels, pour the crystals into your mug of choice, and then fill the mug with hot water. Or cold, if you want it iced or something.

The  great thing about Pique is that all their crystals are organic, easy to use, and can be found in a multitude of locations, including Amazon. Plus, they have no added sugars and have a ton of antioxidants right now. It’s instant tea without the grittyness or the weird after taste. And their packaging is absolutely adorable & ingenious. But the greatest part? It’s incredibly affordable.

The next one I think I’m going to try is the Earl Gray. After all, it is my favourite kind of tea. Kindof a giveaway but whatever. I love trying new kinds of tea and exploring differnt brands as well. After trying the other flavours, I definitely think I’ll be purchasing some more from them

If you want to check their stuff out, click here to browse their catalog as well as learn more about all the great things they have to offer.

all opinions are my own 

My Life on The Road by Gloria Steinem

I’m just about finished with this book and it’s absolutely fascinating. I say that a lot about some books, don’t I? Well, this is still the case for this book. I’ve always been enthralled by people with seemingly unconventional lives and still manage to change the entire social construct. And this memoir by Gloria Steinem is absolutely no different.

It flips back and forth between present and past stories, which can be a little annoying at times, with insights into how she created the infamous Ms. magazine and constantly learned about her own biases while still trying to learn and affect change. I’ve always been a little fascinated by her as many consider her the founder of modern feminism. Or at least, the 3rd wave of it.

She’s been on the road for so long that it seems to be an intricate part of her being. And she seems to be really comfortable with being constantly on the move. It’s a great insight into how far our society has come but also a wonderful reminder of how far we really need to go for some members of our great country.

Her stories draw you in and wrap you up. You can’t help but be a little in awe of what she’s accomplished over the years with seemingly so little besides words and connections and stories. It’s a great visualization of what it takes to come together and rise against all odds. And it’s a wonderful history of fighting for the greater good. I’d recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about feminism, how far we’ve come, and what still needs be done.

Favourite quote: Adventure starts the moment I leave my door. 

4/5

Sunnie Brook Tea

I’ve bought two of her teas more times than I can count. I may be biased though, because the proceeds go to one of my favourite non profits – Two Wings, where you can learn more here – that helps sex and human trafficking survivors in the Los Angeles area. The nonprofit does beautiful work and I’ve been lucky to see some of the graduates succeed in person while I was living in LA.

Anyway, if you don’t know who Sunnie Brook is, she’s a hair stylist based in Los Angeles and New York who has some serious top notch talent as clients. Such clients include Katie from Scandal, Karla Souza from How to Get Away with Murder, and several others as well. Her store on her website has mostly beauty products that she swears by as well as several tutorials of how to use them. But my favourite, like I’ve mentioned already, has to be her line of tea that directly benefits Two Wings.

I love the Beauty tea and the Organic Lavender Earl Gray. They’re incredibly relaxing, smell delightful, and come in stellar packaging. Even complete with a handwritten note as well! It’s adorable. ANd the fact that i know the woman who creates them and have worked directly with the nonprofit it supports only adds to the benefit. I love supporting local businesses and non profits that spend their money on who they aim to help instead of pocketing it.

You can buy the tea here or check out the rest of Sunnie’s website and tutorials on her website! She’s the sweetest, I swear by some of her products, and I can’t wait to get my hair done by her as well!