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Seattle is gloomy and the tide's rolled back in...

Photo by Ryan Moulton on Unsplash  I want to talk about depression today. Back in 2011, I was officially diagnosed with a severe mood disorder. My doctor called it a volatile combination of depression and generalized anxiety - with a big 'ol heaping of agoraphobia on top. This is the burden I carried with me every day, to and from college, and then I dragged it through every job I could hold down for more than a year.  And by some miracle, in the last two years, it felt like that burden was becoming lighter and easier to carry with me.  I made the mistake of thinking I could carry it across the country during a pandemic with no repercussions. I was so sure it wouldn't rear its ugly head while my partner and I tolerated month-long Airbnb reservations and desperately searched for jobs. I thought it would stay quiet while I grappled with the reality of not being able to visit family and friends for more than just safety reasons. Now, there are thousands of miles between me and ev
Recent posts

The Best Apartment View in Seattle

  It's a pretty darn good view, but I'll admit it's probably not the best in the entire city. I'm certainly not complaining though because is what I can stare up at when I have my morning coffee and also what I'm gazing at right now as I type this up... D and I moved on October 27th and almost immediately started shopping around for furniture. For the first few nights we had to sleep on an air mattress and stand around the kitchen counter to eat, but it was our place. Our first official place together and that was pretty exciting.  The next step was buying a bed. I'll be honest here -- I've never had a brand new mattress. Something like that had never been in my budget. It's a game changer. Apparently, sleeping on old, used mattresses definitely contributes to chronic neck and back pain.  Those days are over. I sleep well. I can wake up early and without the usual aches or pains. The mattress also came with a set of sheets and these two incredible memory

Apartment Hunting in Seattle is a Nightmare

  My last blog post here was nearly a month ago. Wow, time flies when you're super busy! Our time spent in Tacoma involved eating way too many pizzas from Hank's (once it was safe to go outside again) and binge watching a lot of Buzzfeed Unsolved while applying for any and every job that looked like it could be a good fit. Without much surprise, D found gainful employment before I did. He started his new job two weeks and it's definitely lifted a weight off our shoulders since now we can start looking for a place to live in earnest. (I'm waiting to hear back on two different positions that look promising right now, wish me luck!) Apartment hunting is a lot of things - but fun and easy it is not. Since most buildings are only offering virtual tours it's very difficult to get a proper sense of size and scale in most units and, frankly, the only options really in our budget are units 500 square feet or smaller. But hey -- I've lived the tiny studio apartment life

I moved across the country during a pandemic!

So... a few weeks ago, D and I packed up everything we owned (and donated the rest) to move across the country and try our luck in Washington State. We booked an AirBnB in a historic neighborhood in Tacoma and the moment we landed the steady grind to find jobs began.  A couple of things to note here: 1.) We only booked this AirBnB for a month. 2.) It takes a lot longer to secure a job than I remember. 3.) The air quality here was so bad due to wildfires that we couldn't even leave the room for several days.  I actually wrote a blog post regarding this move over on my website, which you can read here , but I figured this would be as good a place as any to provide an update on how I'm doing and maybe do a little bit of complaining. I need to vent something fierce, you see.  The place we're staying is a craftsman style house that was probably lovely back in the day, but now operates half as a place to stay for travelers and also homes a local soap business. The room we booked

I Made a Kimono-Inspired Face Mask

Let's face it, we're probably all going to be wearing face masks for the foreseeable future. And even if the coronavirus goes away one day or we get it under control globally, it never hurts to whip out a mask next time we have the sniffles and want to be considerate of our fellow humans.  No one said those face masks had to be garish surgical looking garments - enter the fashionable face mask. I picked up several cute ones from Target once it felt safe to venture out in small increments, but I quickly developed a preference for a certain fit and style - the pleated style works well enough, but I wanted something more contoured to my face. I needed something that would charitably hug my large Polish nose - and to be honest, Target wasn't selling many of those fitted styles in fun colors or patterns. So I made my own! There are a lot of face mask instructions and patterns out there: I highly recommend this one and this one . I took a different approach, because I'm diff

I Tried Chloe Ting's 2 Week Shred Challenge

  (Disclaimer: Chloe Ting is not a certified fitness instructor nor is she a qualified nutrition expert. The information and advice presented in her videos do not necessarily represent scientific fact and should be acknowledged as her personal opinion/what works for her body type. ~ To ensure that you are in the proper form and alignment for ALL her exercise moves, seek outside info from a trained professional.) I don't love working out.  There, I said it. But I also don't love the lethargic feeling that comes over me when I spend too many days stationary in front of my computer - which has been happening a lot more since the pandemic began. For a few weeks I picked up a running habit, following my partner dutifully to and from the track at the local school... but rainy days, hot days, and humid days made for a very inconsistent practice and eventually I lost interest. I've tried a few more times to run, but honestly, I just don't find it thrilling. I'd rather go h

I Buzzed My Hair + 4 Reasons Why You Should Too

Earlier this summer, I buzzed my hair off. Now, before you clutch your pearls in shock, a few things should be known: 1) I already had a pixie cut. 2) I didn't sheer it down to a soft fuzz. And 3) I've done this before, so I knew what to expect.  Lengthy hair has long been considered a feminine trait, even though all genders have the ability to grow their hair out long, and several theories have been put forth, some citing the influence of government-regulated military cuts for enlisted men or the inconvenience of long hair while doing hard labor jobs. The idea actually dates back to Ancient Greece , where women wore their hair significantly longer then men and often parted it down the middle.  Kurt Stenn, author of Hair: A Human History , says that one's hair can imply a lot of things about a person - health, sexuality, religious affiliation, social and economic status, and possibly gender identity. Hair can be both an individual expression and indicative of group identit

Bath Bomb Review: Lotusbtr. - Heartmade Body Care

Bath Bomb Review: Lotusbtr. Heartmade Body Care Lush is out.   So I decided it was time to seriously reconsider where I source my bath products and Etsy seemed like a great place to start. Now, I haven't bought or sold anything on Etsy in years, but I knew that it was still a haven for crafty entrepreneurs and was even more delighted that an entire list of Black-owned shops had been curated.  There are some wonderful Black-owned skincare shops on Etsy - honorable mentions go to FreshSeedGlow , Aromaology , and Omiaje - but the business I ultimately chose to give my patronage to was Lotusbrt . (Thankfully, there's a website since the Etsy page no longer seems to exist.) I'm a huge fan of baths - I can't think of a better way to shut the world out for an hour or two. Give me a book, a good podcast, or just some chill tunes and a glass of wine, and I'm in heaven. The only thing that can take a relaxing bath to the next level is the addition of a bath bomb. I didn'

What's In My FabFitFun Summer Box 2020

FabFitFun is one of those subscription boxes that always seemed like it was absolutely not marketed or intended for people like me. I've tried a few subscription services in the past (like Ipsy and Birchbox) but never a "lifestyle" box and honestly, that was largely because I don't like having my home and style aesthetics dictated to me. In the end, I'm glad that I gave FabFitFun a try because the customization options are a lot less limiting than I'd originally feared. It was reassuring that I was able to choose a few items for my box and felt confident that my overall personal profile would be taken into account. There were a few misses in this first box, I'm not going to lie, but a lot of hits as well. Let's break it down: FabFitFun is a seasonal subscription box that contains a mix of goods in a range of categories - from beauty and skincare to wellness and fitness to home decor and tech gadgets. Your eligibility to customize your box depends on

Black-Owned Gothic and Punk Fashion Brands to Support Today

On June 1st, calls for a boycott against Dolls Kill went out after the owner of the company allegedly posted in support of the police after the murder of George Floyd. It isn't the first time they've been accused of racism , so folks have put together a list of alternative brands to support. I would much rather give my business to Black-owned fashion brands and those that are anti-racist. If you are of the same mind as I am, here are a few brands worth supporting: Punk Clothing/Alternative Sinister Sisters Sinister Sisters only have three items on their Etsy shop right now and none of those sexy crop t-shirts would look out of place at a death metal gig. Make sure to stop back in regularly to check for new items, I know that I definitely will be! Nasty Gem Independently owned, every item in this shop is hand-made, processed, packaged and shipped by the owner. Spiky bags and collars, deadly earrings, and chunky steel accessories are the mainstay motifs of N