It's been two weeks. Two weeks of surprisingly easy vegetarian eating (and three days of slightly more difficult vegan eating, because @ Cheese).Read More
We're deep in the throes of Pumpkin Spice season.Read More
Vegan, gluten-free, super healthy, good-for-you chocolate chip cookiesRead More
This is the best apple crisp you will ever have, and it's so healthy you can have it for breakfast! I often eat it for breakfast AND dessert.Read More
I had no idea Under Armour even made running sneakers until last year...Read More
The mornings are getting crisper, and the local orchard is selling apples, which can only mean one thing, fall is here! (slash, it's the season of my favorite breakfast).
This is a super-easy, super-healthy, super-tasty breakfast that will start your day on the right foot.
- 1/2-1 C Cottage cheese/Greek yogurt (I like the low-fat/no-fat versions)
- Dice apple into microwave safe bowl.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon (I do about two full sprinkles).
- Microwave for 1 minute.
- Make sure apple is to your preferred consistency. If it is too hard, microwave 30 more seconds.
- Stir apple with spoon, push to one side of the bowl.
- Put cottage cheese in bowl (I like to use 1/4 c cottage cheese with 1/2 c greek yogurt andmix them together).
- Eat and enjoy.
When I first had this, I was skeptical about the warm apple and cold dairy, but it is so good! It's like warm apple pie with frozen ice cream on top (okay, it's nothing like apple pie, but you get the combination). I like to round out my breakfasts with some sort of whole grain/fat/protein combo, this morning that was a pumpkin spice oatmeal protein cookie topped with peanut butter. Now, get excited for your breakfast tomorrow (pro tip: a lot of local orchards sell discounted apples as "seconds," and they'd be perfect for this).
*This is going to be one of those superficial, navel-gazing-adjacent blog posts...trigger warning (and, yes, I acknowledge that hair journeys are often synonymous with embracing natural hair textures, and I am not being tone-deaf or trying to appropriate).
Yesterday, I got my hair cut. It's a drastic change, as I have never really ventured above the chin-length since childhood. In third grade, I remember chasing one of my friends on the playground, envious of her Pippy Longstocking style braids. My hair was never long enough to braid. My parents were pragmatic, and I was a wild child, I would never sit still long enough to have my hair "done," so they would keep it short (as my dad was an artist, he could see a straight line, and would cut it himself).
All throughout high school and college, I competed in sports, so I needed to be able to put my hair in a ponytail. I grew my hair long enough so that I could easily pull it back. I never thought to try a short style, it would be impractical for my day-to-day. Sure, I got many ill-advised layers, but altogether, my hair was always collarbone-to-just-below-the-boob length.
Post-college, I wanted to grow it out, see how long it could go before I was tempted to have it cut yet again. I grew it about halfway down my back before realizing that getting hair in my food was a nuisance, and it was too long to wear down (especially in the summer).
This past weekend, I attended a friend's wedding and in the pictures I felt like my hair just wasn't doing anything for me. I wanted a change (I know many other women that get this same urge to chop post-breakup). However, when discussing this with another friend (who was completely encouraging about taking the leap to lob/bob) I realized that part of the reason I wanted to keep my hair long(ish) was to rebel against the notion that "professional" women can't have long hair (though I would call myself professional-adjacent). Growing up, though I had super short hair, the doctor at my mom's workplace had hair down to her butt. She would wear it pinned into a bun, but occasionally, she would adjust the bun and give us all a glimpse of her undone hair. It was a sight to be seen, silver and gray cascading down, only to be meticulously twisted back into a bun. Even she knew that long hair couldn't be worn down in the workplace, that she had to keep a "professional" appearance (see Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter books; coincidence she only "lets her hair down" for the Yule Ball?)
To me, long hair has always been a sign of femininity. I was a tomboy and self-proclaimed ragamuffin in my youth, wearing my brother's hand-me-downs, and ignorant to the ways of womanhood (and as a bra-burning hippy, my mother encouraged this lack of gender stereotyping). When I became attuned to the beguiling power of long hair, I set out to grow mine. But now, I know that defining one's sexual prowess or currency via something as superficial as hair, while it may be tempting, is a follicle fallacy. It is absurd that our society even cares about hairstyle, let alone has conditioned hoards of women (and men) to believe a certain style is professional. If long hair is feminine and short hair is professional, are femininity and professionalism mutually exclusive? Does a modern woman have to forfeit her status as a sexual being to go into the workforce? Is this why people are so keen to call short hair a "mom" look? These dated notions adhere to a standard that has been imposed equating long hair with temptress (sexual being) and short hair with non-sexual professional woman/mom (this is not even touching on the comments about "butch" haircuts).
I say, wear your hair however you see fit, and don't let it dictate your status (as anything). Be a professional with long hair (bonus points if you wear it unkempt), be a temptress with short hair, beguile with your bob (or lob, or whatever style you want). And always remember, hair is nothing more than dead cells.
I wanted to like this book, I really did. Because I knew Rupi Kaur from her period-positive photography series, her instagram, and she seems like someone I would generally like to hang out with. Because everyone has read this collection of poetry (poetry people and otherwise). Because I know firsthand the struggles of being a writer in today's world. Because it's hard out here for a poet, for real. Because I am all about supporting my fellow artists, creatives, women, and people in the hustle.
But all of that couldn't get me to like the book.
Milk & Honey is Kaur's debut #1 NYTimes bestselling collection of poetry and companion drawings. From Kaur's website:
milk and honey, rupi kaur’s debut collection of poetry and prose, is a #1 new york times bestseller. it was first self-published in november 2014. the self-published edition quickly topped north american charts. its grassroots success lead to andrews mcmeel publishing releasing it under their name on october 6 2015. the book has since been a runaway success finding a home in the hearts and homes of readers across the world. milk and honey has sold over 1.5 million copes. remained on the new york times bestsellers list for over a year and has been translated into over 30 languages.
On principal, I support this grassroots endeavor. I unsuccessfully tried to get my YA novel published, and I know how crushing that can be. I also know how validating it can be when something that "the powers that be" have rejected gets accepted by the masses.
And that's where I find myself at a crossroads with Milk & Honey. Poetry is simple, but so many people find it out of reach, or inaccessible for many reasons (ivory towers and all that). Kaur has somehow managed to transcend these preconceived notions about poetry and reach the masses, show them poetry, make it accessible. But to me, Milk & Honey is not poetry. It is clickbait and to call it a book of poetry is a misnomer. It is a collection of quotables wound together into a four part narrative. On their own, they're enjoyable to read, like Post-Secret was enjoyable to read. But to compare this book of poems to the likes of Sonia Sanchez, Adrienne Rich, or any number of deeply feminine poets, is an oversell.
On her Instagram, which has over 1.5 million followers, Kaur regularly posts images of her poems and accompanying drawings, and I think this is the medium best suited for her work. Among the landscape of listicles and hand-lettered quotes, Milk & Honey is at home. Maybe it is Kaur's level of intimacy with the reader, her excessive use of "I" and "you" and "our." Or maybe it is the lack of nuanced metaphor or simile that had me struggling to call this work something equivocal to poetry. Or maybe I'm just bitter that her new-media endeavor worked out in a way that mine didn't (I don't think it's this, but I acknowledge that it could be, given the reality).
I want to believe that Kaur wrote a good book of poetry, and since it has a grassroots beginning, it isn't a watered down piece of mass-media candy. But it's hard to find the nuance. For me, when I am writing poems, I like hiding messages under metaphor. Weighing each line down with simile and obscurity, so that it means something for me, but the reader has to do work to get to the true meaning. I like reading poems that make the reader do work to suss out the meaning. To duck and crawl between the lines to find the true essence of the author's intention. Milk & Honey lacked that.
The message is uplifting, however. It does aim to empower the powerless, which is a noble goal for any art.
But it doesn't matter what I think. Clearly her work has resonated with millions of people, and forged connections were there were none. If reading her book has made anyone feel less alone, then it's done its work.
It's just a pity it's not for me.
Some things I have been loving this past month...Read More
The garden has been overflowing with squash, ergo, I have been eating a minimum of one squash per day. This past week was autumnal, so it was cool enough to make my favorite "pizza," socca. Socca (also known as farinata) is unleavened, quick, flatbread/pancake made with chickpea/garbanzo flour. I use it as a pizza-like vessel, but you could definitely make the socca as a cracker alternative, or just a appetizer/snack.Read More