MURDERER WALKS FREE, AGAIN

On August 23, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer Rusten Sheskey arrived to an apartment complex to address a call “after a woman reported that ‘her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be on the premises'” according to BBC. The boyfriend was 29-year-old, Black father of six Jacob Blake. There was an active arrest warrant against Blake related to charges of sexual assault, trespassing, domestic abuse, and disorderly conduct, which police were aware of at the time of their arrival to the scene. Police initially attempted to arrest Blake with use of a taser. Later, as Blake leaned into his car that contained three of his children, Officer Sheskey shot him seven times. No other officer fired and charges were not filed against Sheskey.

Neighbor Raysean White recorded the violent shooting of Blake, which has left him paralyzed from the waist down. There has been much discourse on whether Blake was resisting arrest, if he was threatening officers with a knife, but there is no refuting what is shown in White’s video. And the video shows a man walking away from police, being grabbed by his shirt, and shot at arm’s length seven times. It is sickening. The spread of the video sparked unrest throughout the country and incited protests in Kenosha opposing the racial injustice experienced by Blake, as well as other Black Americans.

Among the protesters in Kenosha were counter-protesters, including 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse. The protests took a turn for the worse and became violent when Rittenhouse fatally shot Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and injured Gaige Grosskreutz with an illegally-acquired assault style rifle. The teen was at the Kenosha protests “to protect private property and help as a medic” he claims. This past week, the jury found him not guilty on five charges, including first-degree intentional homicide.

Violence against any human, even the police officers involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake is condemnable. As is shooting a man seven times. Kyle Rittenhouse’s actions are condemnable. He claimed his actions were a result of self-defense; and true or not, he chose to bring an illegal and deadly weapon into an already dangerous environment. No shots were fired prior to his. We can’t ask the victims he shot dead for their accounts, either. After $2 million was raised for his bail by “supporters” he was spotted posing with members of Proud Boys in a Wisconsin bar smiling, flashing a white power hand sign. Rittenhouse is a deranged man with zero remorse for his actions.

It is not pleasant or easy to acknowledge the racial injustice present in the world and US. In fact, it’s easier to ignore, especially if you’re white and benefit from it. The sad, hard truth is that Rittenhouse was able to walk free because he is a white man who is on the advantageous side of the country’s racial injustice, and was on trial in a case ruled by race. Black people are not given the same forgiveness Rittenhouse received and their version of events are less commonly believed. Rittenhouse was regarded as heroic and brave, gifted his $2 million bail, yet Black protesters are violent and to be feared.

The verdict from this past week is a travesty and hugely fails to deliver any kind of justice to the victims and their loved ones. It is completely illogical that someone can kill two unarmed men and shoot one armed man and walk free.

“You cannot claim self-defense against a danger that you create.” – prosecutor Thomas Binger

CHRISTMAS 2021 WISH LIST

Christmas is arguably my favorite time of the year because it’s so romanticized, and I love any excuse to romanticize my silly little life. But, it can be a challenge to pick out gifts for yourself and others when the holidays roll around. So, I’ve created a few wish lists you can take inspo from. Happy holidays peeps.

for the girls

Glossier The Beauty Bag $28

A good makeup/travel toiletry bag is so necessary, and this Glossier one is not only cute, but it’s functional. Your bottles can stand up in it and there’s a removable pouch inside, too.

Dior Addict Lip Glow $35

This oil hydrates your lips all the while bringing out their natural color and adding a non-greasy, non-sticky gloss. And there are lots of color options!

Olaplex Healthy Hair Essentials $60

Every girl wants healthy hair and Olaplex plays a big part in making that happen. This set has everything you need to start your healthy hair journey.

Aritzia Wilfred Free Free Fleece Jogger $88

Pair these sweatpants with a matching Tna Cozy Fleece Perfect Hoodie ($70) and it’s a look. Plus, this way you can get away with wearing sweats out of the house.

Ugg Classic Mini II Boot $150

Emma Chamberlain is wearing Uggs so we’re all wearing Uggs. I’ve stayed true to my Uggs all these years, and this mini style is my favorite right now.

for the guys

Hims products (prices vary)

Hims offers products from hair care to supplements to mental health medication and even therapy. I think they have something for every guy, and we can all appreciate the focus on men’s mental and physical health.

Hydro Flask 32 oz. Wide Mouth $44.95

Having a quality water bottle like a Hydro Flask encourages hydration. They have great insulation that will keep your drink cold or warm all day long, as well as tons of color options. Girls know the significance of an emotional support water bottle.

Howler Brothers Depot Jacket $125

This Howler Bros jacket is a great basic for any guy. It can be layered over a tee or flannel, and effortlessly adds to any outfit. A perfect closet staple.

Carhartt Relaxed Fit Washed Duck Sherpa-Lined Utility Jacket $129.99 – 149.99

Something about Carhartt jackets… this utility jacket can be styled so many different ways and works for different styles. Plus, its sherpa lining will keep you warm in the winter months.

Yeti Hopper Flip 8 Soft Cooler $199.99

I don’t know why, but every man has a use for a cooler and this Yeti cooler is a perfect option. You can travel with it and guarantee your drinks and food stay cold.

gender neutral gifts

The Ordinary The Daily Set $19

Everyone should take care of their skin, and this daily set by The Ordinary puts skincare on a silver platter for you. If acne is more of a concern for you, consider The Ordinary The Balance Set ($29).

Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag $38

Not only is this bag stylish, it’s practical. It can be used while walking your dog, going on a run, running errands. Are you going shopping and want to have your hands free? You got it.

Baies / Berries Candle $68

Scent is a very important factor in a space, and this Baies candle is described as “the tangy coolness of freshly picked blackcurrant berries.” It’s also a best-selling candle, so you know it’s good.

Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum $86 – 285

This perfume is a gender neutral scent with over 250 five star reviews on Nordstrom. One buyer says they’d take a bath in this scent, and another describes it as the scent of the gods. It’s rich and woody, and a delectable scent for any person.

Ugg Slippers $90+

A good pair of slippers is the best, and Ugg does slippers the best IMO. There are hundreds of styles to choose from, but I think the Women’s Scuffette II ($90) and Men’s Tasman ($100) are two solid, gender neutral styles.

Sunset Projection Lamp $20.99

Sunset lamps have been having a moment lately, and I can understand why. Lighting can change the entire vibe of a space, and who doesn’t want to watch a sunset in their room?

FALL 21 FASHION

This fall is going to be all about texture: leather, knitwear, mesh, and subversive basics AKA basics with a twist. I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but remember to go into this season of fashion with sustainability in mind– don’t buy into megatrends that everyone will be sick of in a month. Invest in timeless pieces you can make work now and in the future. A lot of pieces in this post aren’t necessarily new to fashion and can be found in a thrift store, and a few can even be DIY’d. Cheers to that.


TROUSERS

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: thank you to all things good for the variation fashion has given us in women’s pants these past few years. Trousers, work pants, suit pants, whatever you want to call them, are versatile– more so than jeans IMO. Trousers can be styled with a simple ribbed tank, a sweater vest, a crew neck, a going out top, AND can be worn in a business setting. They’re the ultimate pant.

Aritzia Wilfred Effortless Pant $148
Zara Full Length Pants $45.90

MESH BLOUSES

Mesh blouses are a great closet staple. They can be paired with a fun or simple bra underneath, or under a leather blazer. My favorite way I’ve seen them styles is with just the middle button(s) buttoned.

Princess Polly Bare Soul Top Brown $55
Motel Rocks Kelly Shirt in Mesh Sage Smoke $29.00 (on sale!)

SUBVERSIVE BASICS

According to GQ, subversive basics cover all manner of tanks, tees, and other simple essentials that have been twisted off their axis. I’ve also seen a lot of DIY projects where people use tights and cut out shapes and holes to make their own subversive tops.

Princess Polly Holly Asymmetric Straight Leg Jean Light Wash Denim $76
Zara Vented Seamless Top $25.90

These asymmetrical jeans and bodysuit are a safe way to dip your toes into the subversive basics style. If this micro trend is over and gone soon these will still be stylish. Another reminder to invest in not-too-trendy trends, AKA clothes that you’ll be happy to wear for longer than a season.

Liky Florence White / White Inés Vest £65
Knwls Pulp Top (sold out)

These two UK-based clothing brands have incredible, collections. Liky Florence is a London based sustainable knitwear line run by 18-year-old Fashion Design Foundation student Lily Picchioni. Knwls is the brainchild of Charlottle Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault, featuring sheer mesh, cutouts, and textures.


PLATFORM LOAFERS

I don’t think you understand… I’m obsessed. I’m not a huge fan of preppy style, but there are bits and pieces of it I can appreciate and loafers are certainly one of those. If you have the means to ball out on this timeless style, check out these Gucci loafers. Insane. Add a pair of Aritzia’s Tna Base Ankle Sock and you’re golden.

UO Sally Square-Toe Loafer $59.00
Sam Edelman Laurs Platform Loafer $150

ARM SLEEVES / ARM WARMER TOPS

I think arm sleeves are a fun wya to spice up an oherwise

H&M Top and Arm Warmers $17.99
Zara Knit Arm Sweater $25.90

You can DIY your own top with arm warmers by cutting any long sleeve top or tights!


HONORABLE MENTION
sweater vests, leather blazers & cowboy boots

CURRENT BEAUTY FAVS

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask $22

This product is just *chef’s kiss* I used my friend’s one night and was at Sephora the next day to get my own. Since I started using it regularly my lips rarely feel dry throughout the day. And it’s a nice little pampering touch to add to your nightly routine. I know the $22 price tag is a little concerning, but this is type of product that lasts because you use such a small amount.

PS I have the color Sweet Candy, but my friend had the OG Berry and I’d recommend that over Sweet Candy. Both amazing, though, of course. And there’s even more options.

Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm $17.99

Why are you still using makeup wipes? I know you know they’re bad for you. Versed’s makeup melt is 10/10 and has antibacterial, eye-safe eucalyptus oil and vitamin E. It’s gentle, claims to work for all skin types, and removes makeup quickly. Stop hurting your skin and the earth with nasty makeup wipes and try this cruelty-free melt, you won’t regret it. I’m almost out of my second bottle.

Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil $28.00

We all know Olaplex is a God-send, and this oil is at the top of my favorite products from them. It protects colors, fights frizz, and triples as a heat protectant. Like the Versed balm, this stuff lasts a lifetime. It claims to work on all hair types, too!

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin $4.99

Pores? I don’t know her. I randomly decided to try this cleanser instead of my usual CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser and I’m so, so glad I did. My skin is combination to oily, certainly not dry, but this product has worked wonders. It didn’t make my skin more oily (but, remember, even oily skin needs to be moisturized). What it did do is delete my pores. I have never used a product that did this, not even Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant that everyone raves about. Everyone’s skin is different and I know Paula’s Choice is some people’s holy grail, but this cleanser is what did it for me!

Trader Joe’s Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream

Beware… this product may be discontinued. BUT, it does make appearances in holiday packs and variations so if you see any of the above, automatic snag. It is a perfect formula– smooth, non-greasy, and has a simple, clean smell. The hand cream is made with coconut oil, hemp oil, 20% shea butter, and is paraben free. It’s a staple in my daily routine. Moisturized, soft hands = good hands.

A good runner up to this product is Trader Joe’s Honey Mango Shave Cream ($3.99), for those who use shave cream. Most of TJ’s “For the Face & Body” products are extremely popular (and affordable!) like their Hair Serum, although I haven’t tried that one out.

IF YOU’RE NOT VACCINATED… WYD?

It’s been about a year and a half since sh*t hit the fan due to the coronavirus. And despite the development and distribution of a vaccine, things aren’t back to normal. They’re actually getting pretty bad again. Why is that? Because too many people are unvaccinated. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but those who are unvaccinated (and are eligible for the vaccine), are largely contributing to why COVID-19 still has the ability to thrive, take the lives of people, and affect every living person’s livelihood.

This isn’t to say unvaccinated people are the only reason COVID-19 still exists. According to NBC, 125,000 fully vaccinated Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus and 1,400 of those have died. However, this only accounts for .08% of the 164.2 million-plus people who have been fully vaccinated since January. Additionally, it’s estimated that 98 to 99 Covid percent of deaths are among the unvaccinated.

At the end of the day, it’s unvaccinated people who are driving this pandemic. And honestly, if you’re part of that group you don’t have much room to complain about the mask mandates or any measurement put in place by the government and suggested by health officials to save and protect lives. There is a solution– a free and simple one at that, begging for you to carry it out. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, yet many (too many) are turning the opposite direction.

The only justifiable explanation for why someone is unvaccinated is a real lack of access, or they’re ineligible to receive it for a reason like being under the age of 12. Fortunately, vaccination accessibility has greatly expanded in the US and is so available that offices and pharmacies etc. are accepting walk-in appointments. The accessibility argument stood stronger in the early days of the vaccine, but doesn’t possess nearly as much strength today.

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, free, and our chance to save lives. Even former president Donald Trump, whose political party is among the groups with the highest rates of vaccine hesitancy, is endorsing the vaccine and calling it “a real lifesaver.” His statement is especially true now with the highly transmissible delta variant that is spreading like wildfire.

I want life back to normal for myself and the rest of the world, and I want this catalyst for resentment to be gone. There is no logic to being against the COVID-19 vaccine or any vaccine. If you aren’t vaccinated because you’re “doing just fine” and don’t personally feel like you need to get vaccinated, that is simply not true. We need to encourage others to get vaccinated! It may be uncomfortable, but life for the past year and a half has been uncomfortable.

Other important information:

In addition to the original alpha variant of Covid we’ve all come to know, we now have the delta, gamma, and lambda variants. All viruses constantly change through mutation which results in variants like these three. In fact there are more variants than what has been mentioned, and The Illinois Department of Public Health has the variants of concern listed with case numbers here.

Read here for information from the CDC on how to protect yourself and others.

Find COVID-19 vaccines near you here.

REMAINS OF 200+ INDIGENOUS CHILDREN FOUND IN CANADA

UPDATE: The remains of 182 more Indigenous people were found at a site near a Catholic Church-run residential school in Cranbrook, British Columbia. They’re believed to belong to the Ktunaxa nation.

Last month, the remains of 215 Indigenous children were discovered underneath a former Indigenous boarding school in Canada. Some of these children were as young as three years old. The school, located in Kamloops, British Columbia, was a policy attempt to “assimilate” the children to Western culture. These assimilation efforts included destroying indigenous languages and cultures, and forcing the children to convert to Christianity.

The bodies were found using a ground-penetrating radar, and it’s possible there are more to find according to Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation. Kamloops Indian Residential School opened in the late 19th century and operated until the late 1970s. The Catholic Church ran the school up until the 1960s. Every body found was that of a student. The deaths of the 50 identities which were able to be determined range from 1900 to 1971, but the 165 others have no available records to do so.

A survivor of Kamloops Indian Residential School, Garry Gottfriedson, told CBS News, “We were made to feel ugly because we were told we were ugly. We were made to feel like we were nothing but dirt, and that has remained with me to this very, very day is it’s you know, I’ve never felt that I was good enough for anything.”

The recent events bring to light the discrimination and violence Indigenous peoples experienced and continue to face– in Canada and beyond. They are collectively marginalized, with one in five Native Americans having reported discrimination, for example. Additionally, 38% of Native Americans reported they or family members have experienced violence and 34% reported threatening or harassment based on information from a 2017 study. The discovery is Canada is sickening, and Indigenous peoples are in need of support and advocates as they have always been. These deaths are part of an Indigenous mass-murder in Canada and justice is deserved.

How to support Indigenous communities: educate yourself and research the land you’re living on, stay informed about Indigenous rights problems, include Indigenous peoples in discussions of climate change and land use, buy Indigenous products, donate to Canadian charities that help Indigenous communities in Canada, donate to Native American COVID-19 relief funds

Additional sources: BBC, NPR

SUMMER 2021 TRENDS

People of the world, it’s time to start shopping for this summer. The most constant theme I’ve been seeing recently is ’70s styles like psychedelic prints and patterns and I’m here for it. This is truly a great time in fashion.

tankinis

Frankies Bikinis Peace Strapless Bikini

Princess Polly Recycled Nylon Niccola Bikini Set Pink / Orange

Frankies Bikinis is the blueprint for stylish swimwear and they’ve done it again with their new styles and prints. Important to note: Bella Hadid was seen wearing a tankini recently, so it’s happening.

psychedelic and hibiscus prints

Zara Flowy Mini Dress

Urban Outfitters Phoenix Plunging Tie-Back Tank Top

I’ve been waiting for a new print to come in style and psychedelic is IT. It’s simple, but complex at the same time.

OMIGHTY Hibiscus Tank Dress in Pink

Zara High-Waisted Printed Pant

Hibiscus print is so reminiscent of the 2000s for me and like all trends, it’s coming back.

coach

Coach Pillow Tabby Shoulder Bag 26

Coach Ergo Shoulder Bag In Signature Jacquard

Coach recently had a huge rebrand and they hit the nail on the head with it. I think this is a trend that will stay through the summer, and I’m super excited about the brand’s comeback. Plus, their older/vintage purses are in style like the signature jacquard print.

striped button downs

Zara Striped Shirt

Pull&Bear Unisex Striped Poplin Shirt

Button down shirts are something everyone needs in their closet because they’re so versatile. They can be worn as is, as a swimsuit coverup for a day at the beach, as outerwear– anything.

french blue

Princess Polly Finlay Bodysuit Blue

Urban Outfitters Edith Cropped Wrap Sweater

I recently discovered I like wearing blue and I’ve been seeing this specific shade of “French blue” everywhere. It’s the perfect pop of color to add to your wardrobe.

halter tops

Pull&Bear Halter Crop Top with a V-neck

Cider Women’s Pink Sleeveless Top

Halter tops are such a classic and timeless summer style, and even just a solid halter top is a fun piece that adds more than any other basic IMO.

STOP ASIAN HATE

Yesterday March 16, 2021, eight people were shot dead in the Atlanta, Georgia area, most of which were of Asian descent. According to law enforcement the attacks began around 5pm and took place at three Atlanta area spas. The first attack took place at Young’s Asian Massage Parlor in in Acworth– a suburb outside of Atlanta. Police arrived at the spa to five people shot. Four of the five have died, and the fifth was in stable condition as of Wednesday. An hour later were the second and third attacks took place at the Gold Spa and the Aromatherapy Spa in Atlanta. These spas are located across the street from one another, and all four victims were Asian women. The South Korean Foreign Ministry has confirmed they were Korean women.

The suspect of these murders is 21 year old Robert Aaron Long of Woodstock, Georgia. He claims his actions were not racially motivated and that he frequented the spas, but the word of a murderer is not trustworthy. This was racially motivated. The Atlanta Police Chief believes it’s too early to say whether or not the murders were a hate crime. “He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations as something that allows him to go to these places, and it’s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate,” said Police Captain Jay Baker about Long.

The victims are Delaina Ashley Yuan, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Yan, and Daoyou Feng. Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz was identified as injured. 

What occurred yesterday is a tragedy and it brings to light the violence Asian people experience. Hate against Asian people has risen during COVID-19, as well as attacks against Asian Americans. The organization Stop AAPI Hate has reported 3,800 incidents of hate against AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) people from March 2020 to February 2021. In Texas alone, Stop AAPI Hate reported 63 incidents of anti-Asian American hate just from March 19, 2020 through July 1, 2020.

Racism is alive and well in the United States, and even if Long’s actions weren’t racially motivated (let’s be real– they were) does not take away from what Asian people experience. The Asian community experiences extreme xenophobia, and all Asian hate has an effect. It’s why “jokes” like “Kung Flu” and “China Virus” are harmful. Hate begins with words, and regardless if your hate runs deep, it may cause someone else’s to. Stop Asian hate and stop white terrorism!

Donate here to help.

Sources: USA Today, NBC News, BBC News

SARAH EVERARD

Sarah Everard is a 33 year old woman from South London. She was a marketing executive, a daughter, and a victim of violence against women. On her 50 minute walk home to Brixton following a visit to a friend in Clapham, Sarah was murdered. On this walk she disappeared, and one week later her remains were discovered in a woodland area in a neighboring county 56 miles away. Sarah was wearing bright clothes, walked on busy streets, and it was only 9:30pm.

Sarah’s death has ignited action to discuss violence against women and girls. London activists organized a “Reclaim These Streets” vigil, although it was cancelled and is instead raising money for women’s charities. At the Clapham Common vigil, police can be seen in video pulling women, handcuffing them, and even pinning some to the ground.

The Assistant Commissioner of the police, Helen Ball, said the crowd at the vigil began to grow as people began making speeches and the police were “faced with a really difficult decision.” Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked the Metropolitan Police for a full report of what happened after witnessing “upsetting” footage online.

However, the police’s mishandling at Sarah’s vigil is not what’s most important here. Women feel connected to Sarah because what happened to her is every woman’s greatest fear. We could all be Sarah. Women are scared to walk alone, they’re scared to walk at night, and are trained to stay alert. The hashtag #textmewhenyougethome is trending right now with the goal to bring awareness to Sarah’s death, as well as bring attention to the huge problem that is violence against women at the hands of men. 97% of young women in the United Kingdom have been sexually harassed. Women don’t feel safe, and men are to blame. Protect your daughter, but also educate your son. Sarah was only walking home. Women should be able to walk home.

Police Constable Wayne Couzens has been accused with Sarah’s kidnap and murder. She was killed by the system that is meant to protect her. Upon Couzens’ arrest he was additionally charged with indecent exposure concerning an incident as a fast food restaurant three days earlier. He will go to trial in October for Sarah’s kidnap and murder.

Sources: NPR, The Indian Express

THE TEXAS WINTER STORM

I’ve been a Texas resident my entire life and what’s happening right now is not normal. Some towns, including where I’m from, experienced snow in January unlike it had it years. Just a little over a month later it happened again. This time, however, thousands of Texans have been left without power for days on end, and now drinking water is becoming a scarcity. My college town just got back regular power after three days of it going in and out, and we’re crossing our fingers it lasts.

So what is causing this insane power outage? It’s not wind turbines. Wind power only makes up approximately 7% of the state’s energy, anyway. According to the New York Times, “The main problem was frigid temperatures that stalled natural gas production, which is responsible for the majority of Texas’ power supply.” The state’s natural gas infrastructure is not prepared for the low temperatures, and their failure can largely be blamed for what is happening. Many conservatives like Governor Greg Abbott are placing the blame on green energy sources without any truth to their statements.

The Texas Tribune specifically states the power outage is a result of two things: the decision to not require equipment upgrades to better withstand extreme winter temperatures, as well as the choice to operate mostly isolated from other grids in the United States. Texas has a privatized power grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), to avoid federal regulation. When the state was in a similar power outage in 2011, it received aid from Mexico by importing power from the country. Now, millions in north Mexico are without power from the Texas storm freezing natural gas pipelines.

Of the half a million Texas homes without power, many citizens are having to relocate to warming centers and to the homes of friends and family. An example of a Texan who traveled to find warmth is Senator Ted Cruz, who’s vacationing in Cancun, Mexico. You may assume he left before the chaos ensued, but you’d be wrong. It’s comparable to when Austin mayor Steve Adler traveled to Cabo after telling Austinites to stay home to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The effects of the ongoing power outage is staggering. Texas’s infrastructure is not built to deal with climate change and they need to invest in renewable energy for a plethora of reasons. 90% of the plants that failed have been oil, gas, and coal plants. There have been 34 deaths, 20 of them being from Texas. ERCOT officials say Texas was minutes away from “catastrophic monthslong blackouts.”

In conclusion, Texas needs help and there are ways we can do so.

Donate to a Mutual Aid Fund: Houston, Dallas, Austin

If you’re a Texas resident, the Austin-American Statesman has a guide on how to conserve power here.

If you need to find a warming center, call 512-305-4233.