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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 befo…
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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 looked…

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 difficult…

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 hiking…

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 identity.

Bath Bomb Review: Lotusbtr. - Heartmade Body Care

Bath Bomb Review: Lotusbtr.Heartmade Body CareLush 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't grow up w…

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 the …

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 Nasty Gem, but you can fin…

If You Are Silent, You Are Complicit

A week ago, the world witnessed the brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police. In the days to follow, the Twin Cities would erupt into protests and riots demanding justice and change. Some of those riots became violent when police escalated. Some of us watched as our favorite shops and restaurants burned to their foundation.

But lives are always more important than property and merchandise. These businesses can rebuild, with help from their communities, and they will. But those killed by police brutality and systemic racism will not rise from the ashes, and it is this injustice that we must all stand firmly against.

I know that most of you reading this are white. And here's my message to you: fellow white person, we need to get our shit together and learn how to truly be anti-racist. It's not enough to sit idly by and claim that we aren't racist because we've never dropped the n-word or crossed the street to avoid a Black man. It's not e…

10 Youtube Channels to Subscribe to Right Now

~It's official - I've run out of things to watch on Netflix.

And if you're anything like me, you're so over Tiger King and Disney+ just isn't releasing the second season of The Mandalorian fast enough. Thankfully, there is always a plethora of new content on Youtube to keep us entertained. So without further adieu:
10 Youtube Channels to Subscribe to Right Now
Come for the glam (and jokes about gingers and invisible eyebrows) but stay for the gore. Glam&Gore is the perfect channel if you want to mindlessly binge full transformation videos - think kid's birthday party appropriate Disney Princesses → what would really happen if Cinderella took a tumble down the stairs. Glass is sharp, after all.  
Mykie is hilariously funny and provides a lot of fun tips and tricks on getting your latex wounds or foam prosthetics to play nice. You'll learn more than you ever wanted about the merits of scab blood and why scar wax is the devil. 
Anthony Padilla