And just like that, May is behind us. Summer is getting into full swing, and we’re cruising along towards the half way point of 2020 (can’t you believe that?!).
This world that we find ourselves in is certainly not what anyone pictured. And it’s most certainly worse than what most of us were imagining. This pandemic continues to spread, and put people, business and communities at risk all over the world.
Meanwhile, the wounds in America’s cultural social and historical fabric are ripping open at the seams once again, and desperation is turning to outrage in our streets over police brutality and violence against Black Americans. As it should. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “riots are the language of the unheard.” People are tired, heartbroken, angry, confused, and so much more. But it’s important to remember that no fight worth fighting has come easy… and not a single social justice movement in the WORLD has happened without extreme measures, even violence, when people’s voices demand TO BE HEARD. It’s time to start actively listening.
And amidst all this, life still goes on. People have jobs (too many are unfortunately looking for new ones), bills to pay, families to take care of, holidays and birthdays and memories, and a life to try to enjoy and make something out of.
So as we move forward into a new month, the challenge is to just keep going and keep giving it everything you’ve got. Keep learning how to be a better ally for anti-racism… and a better member of your community. Keep practicing the best health habits you can, and heading the advice of experts… keep prioritizing your own health and wellness, of the body and mind, even beyond this pandemic, and remember that you are absolutely deserving of that balance in your life.
Just keep living everybody. When we stop doing that, we’ve truly lost.
Sharing below the things that are inspiring me to eat, think and live this month… plus an exciting announcement about what to expect from me and the blog in the next few weeks!
June is going to be quite an interesting month of eating for me. I’m hitting the road this week… more on that below… and will be eating a lot less home-cooked meals, and a lot more fast food, and quick bites in the car. Balance will be key while enjoying lots of different treats around the country, and still focusing on eating and drinking things that make me feel good. Stay tuned for posts this month on what I learn, and my advice for eating healthy while traveling.
June happens to be National Fruits and Vegetables Month! There’s another excuse to dive in to all the summer produce you can get your hands on. In season now? Berries, avocados, stone fruits, tomatoes, squash, watermelon, herbs… the list goes on. While I may not be posting quite as many recipes this month… I’ll be showing off all the fresh produce I can find around the country… and seeing all the amazing ways I can try it in different dishes.
Some other fun foodies things to expect this month:
- A guide to some of my favorite food and wine pairings (summer edition of course)
- The dream dessert of summer: DIY freezer pops
- A deep dive into another favorite superfood of mine – turmeric – plus amazing tips and recipes to go along with.
WE HAVE TO BE ACTIVELY ANTI-RACIST
Look. There’s a LOT that has been said on this. And still so much more than needs to be said. But as my eyes glaze over from so much scrolling on social media… and so many redundant news updates… I am also acutely aware that not every word uttered is equal in its function and value.
Yes, I too am angry and heartbroken and so utterly furious and tired of the atrocities still committed against black communities in this country, and in the complete and total failure of the very institution that was supposed to make everyone feel safe. We have a shit ton of reckoning todo here… with ourselves and our long-held beliefs… with our own history and the stories we tell ourselves about what this country is and what it really stands for. There’s so much work to be done.
In getting started on that work, I don’t want to spend anymore time waxing on about how I feel about this. I know so many of you share those same feelings. Instead, I want to share some of the hard work and research that has already been done, some of the powerful words that have already been spoken. Now it’s your turn to the do the work, click the links, make the time to read, and learn.
I will end with these stark and true words from Desmond Tutu:
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.“
- A comprehensive anti-racist reading list put together by the New York Times
- A great list of articles to put the current moment in context, put together by The Everygirl
- Another list of things to read, watch and listen to to be a better ally, put together by Well + Good
- Another great list of authors and books to read, compiled by users on Instagram
- The Cut put together a comprehensive list of ways to take actions, including where to donate, where to get involved, where to sign petitions, etc.
- The Fashion and Beauty Features Director at Teen Vogue has put together an amazing comprehensive spreadsheet with different ways to get involved and donate your money. The link for it is in her instagram bio.
- Essence is out with a list of 13 organizations around the country you can get involved with that are helping lead the fight against police brutality.
- Essence has a great list of some of the most popular black-run online boutiques.
- Buzzfeed also has a curation of black owned fashion brands to know about
- And Shoppe Black is a fantastic resource to find out about small businesses around the country, in basically every industry, owned by black Americans. Put your money where your mouth is.
- Some favorites that have caught my eye: Pat McGrath Labs, Pur Home, The Lip Bar, Beauty Bakerie, Valerie Madison, Azizah Handcrafted, and BlkGrn.
- If you’re looking for ways to engage with black content creators and that community, I came across an amazing list made by an Emily Henderson reader… a few of the names she listed include:
- Tabitha Brown – Black Vegan Cooking
- Angela Davis – Black Cooking
- Darius Williams – Black Southern Cooking
- Shea Butter Village – Beauty and Wellness
- Janelle Marie Lloyd – Fashion Influencer
- Onyi Moss – Lifestyle Editorial
- Vanessa Oblinsky – Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger
- Jackie Aina – Beauty Influencer
- Signed, Blake – Attorney & Content Creator
- Aurora James – Fashion Designer & Influencer
- Lee Litumbe – Travel Influencer
- Beauty & The Blog – Beauty, Fashion, & Lifestyle
- Highlowluxxe – Style Expert
- Prissysavvy – Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger
- Chichiromeoandme – Kids Fashion Guru
If you’re looking for 2 simple steps to get started:
1. Donate to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
2. Make sure you are registered to vote, and encourage others to use their voting power as well. It’s up to us to create a government that serves us all.
Okay…time to stop beating around the bush. I have some big news. Avu and I have decided we’re going on a cross-country road trip throughout June and July! We’re driving through 23 states, covering both coasts, and making several amazing stops along the way.
Why are we doing this?
For a few reasons. The first one being, why not? When Avu’s summer teaching program was canceled due to COVID, an entire summer opened up for us. We have no kids yet, no obligations here in Seattle, and a whole world waiting for us. We realized we might not ever actually get an opportunity like this again, so we might as well cross it off our bucket list.
We also knew we had to be in Texas and Florida for family obligations in June and July. Rather than pay hundreds of dollars in plane tickets (and pet fees for 2 dogs round trip), we decided it might be a better idea to drive there. Then we thought, hey let’s make some stops on the way… and the whole idea snowballed from there.
We spent about 2 days planning out a route, and booking accommodations… calling family and friends around the country, and looking for pet friendly AirBNBs. The whole process turned out to be way easier and way less expensive than I expected, and I’ll share the whole thing with you all soon.
We absolutely considered COVID in our decision to take this trip. But with all the isolated driving (which is the main point of the trip), and extra precautions taken at our AirBNBs (we’re paying extra cleaning fees for all of them), we felt that we could mitigate a lot of the risk. And we’ll certainly be packing our masks with us for any and all stops.
Where are we going?
We are leaving from our home up here in Seattle and making our way down the West Coast. Then we’ll head east through the desert, stopping for a day at the Grand Canyon. Once we make it to Dallas, we’ll spend 10 days relaxing with my family. Then we head to visit Avu’s family in Florida, with a stop in NOLA. After that, we head up the east coast, with stops in Savannah, Charleston and Raleigh. After that we hit Nashville, then up to Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Chicago. From there we’ll drive up the Great Lakes to Green Bay (where we will promptly gorge on cheese curds). Then we make the home stretch across the American west. We’ll stop in South Dakota for Mount Rushmore, and Montana/Wyoming for Yellowstone National Park. Our final stop will be in Spokane, before we make it back home at the end of July.
Whew, that was a lot to write. It’s going to be a long 8 weeks, and I am indescribably excited for everything we will see, hear, taste and experience. America is big, and it’s full of a lot of good, bad, beautiful and ugly, and I want to take every last bit of it in.
And I want to share it with all of you on the blog. I’ll be sharing tons of photos and videos from our journey, along with travel tips I pick up along the way, and the insights and learnings we glean from meeting people and seeing communities all over the country.
BEFORE I GO, I’D LOVE YOUR HELP!
If you have any tips, recommendations or insight about any of the stops we are making or places we are passing though, PLEASE let me know in the comments, or on social media!
What else is happening this month?
June is Pride Month! Celebrate inclusivity, and everyone’s right to be who they are and love who they want!! I’ll be on the lookout for great content to share here and on social media to highlight pride initiatives and awareness.
June also happens to be my birthday month. I’ll be turning 28 years old on the 12th… and celebrating the day by driving down the Pacific Coast Highway. I don’t hate it. Stay tuned for a reflection from me on approaching 30…and what I would tell my younger self.
Father’s Day is also coming up this month! In the next week or so, I’m hoping to have my comprehensive Father’s Day Gift guide up for you guys.
Just making sure you caught some of my favorite highlights from May:
- My favorite Eco-Friendly Beauty Products
- Cool Things To Do With Leftover Food Scraps
- Why It’s So Important To Be Mindful Of Mental Health Right Now
- Everything You Need To Know About The Superfood Honey
- How Brighten Up Your Home with Flower Arrangements
- How To Use Herbs To Get Soft Glowing Skin
- Tips For Traveling Mindfully Right Now
- Sunshine Skincare Tips and Products!
- Tons of recipes, including triple decker chocolate cake, and my mom’s chicken spaghetti