All About That Balsam | December 14, 2014 | Comments (0)



You’ve got to be living under a rock not to feel that this holiday season has proven itself to be a very different one from those in recent memory. It’s been well over a month since my last post, and the afterglow of a few weeks’ worth of incredible shows in early November (after one of which I spent a few moments talking with Kim Gordon – the Kim Gordon of Free Kitten/Sonic Youth/Body/Head fame and then some) was quickly replaced with dread, frustration and anger at the Ferguson Grand Jury decision, and then again in the NYC Grand Jury decision in the killing of Eric Garner, as well as the deaths of Tamir Rice, a child, in Cleveland, and Akai Gurley in Brooklyn, both unarmed and senselessly killed by police.

We are not only nowhere near close to living in a post-racial society, racism is killing innocent Americans with impunity, and our existing systems facilitate this. This is not going to be an organic process. It has to stop.


I’ve had precious little left to give at the end of the day lately (not that business as usual here at FFAF would have felt right). After a much-needed Google hangout with folks from the incredible Autostraddle Speakeasy last week, though, I felt a little more able to fall asleep soundly, to awaken into something other than a sense of dread, to take it all back on again, restored.

It’s so important to do what makes you feel centered and strong again as a QTPOC trying to deal with this country right now, because the energy it takes to keep marching, protesting, educating and informing is no small thing. It can be mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting to stay engaged when intersectionality is largely ignored, and feeling like you’re always compromising on something, whether it’s being POC in queer spaces or queer in POC spaces.



As QPOC parents, it’s important that we try and find the balance between providing security and some semblance of normalcy in scary or uncertain times, and making sure we’re having healthy, real discussions with our child when she is weary and feeling isolated. Her high school, while excellent, lacks the diversity of her old school districts in the Bay Area, and the older she gets, the more it seems she takes after her mother, but I digress.

There isn’t much else to say; we’ll still fight and keep our voices raised in the hopes that a deep and lasting sea change occurs. I don’t have answers or know what the future holds, but staying silent isn’t an option. The luminous Anita Dolce Vita of DapperQ said it best earlier today (from her Saint Martin vacation, bless her heart):

Because #blacklivesmatter is not a moment, but a movement – one that requires a wide range of resources.

Here is a list of other Black-centered, Black-led, mighty organizations striving for justice, kindly provided by Kay Ulanday Barrett:


So it was later than normal, and smaller than normal, and things are more somber than usual, but we got our tree and it’s a deliciously fragrant balsam fir at good old Allandale Farm. We used maybe a third of our ornaments – the left are going to have to sit things out this year. We still haven’t gotten around to putting up the lights outside, but we have at least got a foxy wreath on the front door to welcome friends, and princess pine garland on the mantel. It’ll do!


Told you it was wee! (And yes, M’s sweatshirt is the raddest.)


The tree hunting outfit was mostly hidden under a very long and fabulous wool coat by Forecaster of Boston from Macy’s, which is keeping me toasty for my daily commute now that winter’s begun in earnest. The brick red cords are from the Gap, and the wonderfully comfortable booties are Saturday by Kate Spade.


The tree-trimming skater dress in navy is from Cotton:On and the creamy turtleneck is Uniqlo. The gold braided horse hoof bangle is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry from Low Luv x Erin Wasson. The look of pure “Are you kidding me with this right now?” on Gunny’s face is courtesy of Caturday.


You can take a walk down memory lane and see past tree huntin’ posts – my favorite is this one from California – and if you need some inspiration for holiday party attire, check out my Autostraddle post from last year! Last night I wore this Lakeside Libations dress from Modcloth to one, and it was a hit! The next post will feature the surprisingly hearty and swingy Vice Versatility skirt, also from Modcloth – can’t wait to get it up soon.


To everyone who marched in today’s Millions March all across the country, thank you. The photos out of NYC are incredible, with organizers estimated 30,000 in attendance and zero arrests made. I’ll share one here, but do check out more photos and info over at HuffPo.

Photo by John Minchillo/AP

Love and solidarity,

SBJ @ 12:20 AM

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Sunday Matinee | November 2, 2014 | Comments (0)


Did everyone have a Happy Halloween? We brought spooky cupcakes to a low-key gathering at our friends’ house in Jamaica Plain, where the trick or treaters came in droves instead of the trickle our tiny, dark one-way street normally sees. Kids of all ages go door-to-door dressed in their Halloween finest, from the darling to the damned. (I did leave a big bowl of candy out on the porch for the ghoulish souls who braved our steps while we were gone, and that sucker was bone dry when we got home!)

From OITNB’s Alex Vause to Vacation Santa and the grim reaper, to a banana accessorized with banana hands, banana beer, banana chips and – what else? – actual bananas, Wednesday Addams, a lumberjack, and my tongue-in-cheek take on 2014 Miss Andry USA, most guests dressed up and drank an intoxicatingly dark purplish black witches’ brew (gin, creme de violette, a  fresh-squeezed lemon juice) and chowed down on bourbon-glazed roasted chicken, to-die-for pumpkin mac and cheese, all kinds of insane veggie sides and the crown jewel of the night – candy corn Fruity Pebbles rice krispie treats. It was cozy and festive and perfect.


It’s a good thing we spent much of Saturday gathering cold weather supplies for the kiddo; it began snowing this morning and kept up through the afternoon, though none of it stuck. We’ve been wanting to see Dear White People at long last, so we braved the weather to head to our local indie cinema for a matinee. Gloves were mandatory! It’s still pretty blustery out, and we’ve got a fire going and homemade chicken tortilla soup on the stove.



This zany old theater was built in 1937 on an abandoned church site and still has an incredible amount of character, and has won several awards for having the best popcorn around. (It’s true. So good, with real butter, and today they were making hot, fresh caramel corn right in front of you and handing out tasters for free.) It reminds me of the Landmark Piedmont in Oakland, but without the weekend prizes and such!


It was packed, and the movie was witty and bold and great and you should see it. Afterward, we picked cast favorites: Lionel was mine, and M’s was Reggie! Then you can head over to Autostraddle and read what The Speakeasy had to say about it.


Even though it snowed in the beginning of the first November we were here, and even though this time last year we were already swaddling ourselves in the electric blanket (thank you, Costco), the first snow of the season is always a primo opportunity for New Englander melodrama. It’s really not all that unlike back home, when we’d freak out over unseasonably sweltering weather when everyone else in the country seemed to be sporting parkas and thick knits. Same beef, different coasts! My point is you’d better suck it up and roll with it. For me, rolling with it means full-throttle pastels, including little pink hearts.



And ridiculously impractical silky shorts with eyelash lace trim and an oversized scalloped edge and a frothy confection of a cozy cap with a gigantic pom pom. I rather like to think it says, “Look, I get it, old man winter’s here right on time, but I’m not taking it that seriously.” It helps that I have a tropical vacation to look forward to – we learned that lesson the hard way, twice!


Real talk, though: Our food truck lunch breaks are numbered. M’s have already abandoned Government Center and her side of the Greenway, but my Dewey Square trucks were still bustling and busy on Halloween. Soon I’ll be trading in getting catcalled before breakfast for risking breaking my neck on icy, packed sidewalks. Better prepare myself!




Here’s a different sort of mama brag: Can I just take two seconds to say how cute my mom is? This past week she’s celebrated under a rainy day ticker tape parade to celebrate the SF Giants World Series win, scored a pair of Mad Bum undies, and she’s started NanoWrimo. I’m so proud of her and can’t wait to read what she writes. Her word count is kicking butt!




I’ll leave you all with this fantastic Twin Peaks-inspired editorial for some post-DST style motivation. Outfit details below, see you kittens again soon!

Scalloped sweater tee in Merino Wool – J. Crew | Lace-trimmed shorts – Express | Tights – Ann Taylor | Wool Coat with velvet collar – Hamnett | Socks – Kate Spade | Boots – Saturday by Kate Spade | Knit Cap – Garage | Gloves – Aldo | Earrings + Cuff – J. Crew


SBJ @ 8:18 PM

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Ivy League | October 26, 2014 | Comments (0)


It was not very New England of me to wake up and feel like denim-on-denim was the only way to go, but I did it anyway. High-waisted Gap jeans paired with an ultra-thick boy’s oxford from Ralph Lauren. Deal with it.


That not-so-sweet Gunny doesn’t appear to be a fan, or perhaps he just doesn’t appreciate the humans interfering with his precious outside time. SPOILED BRAT CAT. Really loving the double-trouble rose gold Erin Fetherston x Jewelmint bangles for a little girly clang-clang.




Fall is in full swing, obviously. I wonder if we’re having an unusually long one, but either way, I’m glad it seems like it. We’ve missed a few primo weekends on account of nonstop car shopping and research, but I’m super relieved to say we returned the rental today and I’m picking up the new baby tomorrow night after work!

Seeing some epic weekend road trips in our future.


Bringing in some tawny, chestnut neutrals in the form of accessories tempered the boldness of the blues and scarlet coat. These Bandolino pumps, scored on a random lunchtime trip to DSW, are insanely comfortable thanks to the rubber sole and heel and that chunky heel.

I looked high and low for the same pair in black for work to no avail, but I am desperate for a well-made, comfortable, simple but chic black heel – and with winter weather and downtown Boston streets to contend with, the chunky heel is a must. Let me know if you’ve seen anything that might fit the bill in the comments! The bag is a Cynthia Rowley oldie but goodie, the pea coat a Woodstock, Vermont boutique find.


We couldn’t believe that some neighborhood kids were actually playing outdoor ice hockey in the background. Ice hockey? Outside? In early October? WHAT IS THIS BIZARRE LAND.






Side note: If any of you sweet readers happen to be transfeminine people of any and all shapes, colors, sizes, abilities, and styles, and would be interested in being part of a super fun, Boston-based Qwear photo shoot, click here to find out more. The date is November 15th, and the photos will be used for their Femme Faetale series. Don’t be shy if this sounds like something you’d be into!



In devastating news from back home, the Lex is closing in 2015. It’s really difficult to articulate how deeply this shook us way out here. San Francisco is a known heart-stealer, but presumably when you leave your heart there you can always go back to it, at least. I’m feeling less and less like that’s so these days.

I’m guilty as charged as one of countless families who prioritized their kid’s education over allegiance to the city and left home and family behind. I didn’t want to, but that’s sacrifice. That’s the very definition of risk/upside (and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t always harbor the hope that all this would be more or less temporary). So I think often about people, families especially, who haven’t got the means and/or resources to tough it out and stay in the place they call home. Leaving because it’s the only way not to go bankrupt or homeless or hungry is a tough call for anyone to have to make; choosing between a decent quality of life and staying where you feel you belong is a dolorous dilemma indeed. I think of folks who don’t have the resources or means to leave even if they need to, and how extremely vulnerable they are, whether they call San Francisco home or not. I’ve always rigorously welcomed change but this, this is rough to witness.


In a lot of ways, the city’s sole lesbian bar closing – despite what some articles say, this was it for us as far as a permanent cornerstone – is a particularly alarming death knell for the SF I know and was born and married in and fiercely adore.

The news has done the unthinkable and made me love the city a little less, but the Lex will live on (and how!) in my, and so many others’, hearts. People came from all over the world to walk through those doors, and I’ll never forget the first time I did.

San Francisco, when it breaks hearts, sinks them utterly, but for better or worse, it’ll always be home.

Next up, my DC adventures from last week! But first, darling, it’s a cold October.


SBJ @ 9:01 PM

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Rooftop Ride | October 15, 2014 | Comments (1)




Last week’s awe-inspiring Blood Eclipse Retrograde Nightmare Moon Deluxe™ left quite a cosmic wake. More about that in a little minute. I can’t be the only one experiencing growing trust issues with Susan Miller, or grappling with this crazy month.

Did you know that I’m an Aries? Well, I am.  The zodiac’s mindless headbanger. Harumph.



October 10th was supposed to be a dream, according to dear Miller. A golden, gorgeous, champagne dream of a day, behold:

October 10 brings one of the happiest days of the month…By October 10, a golden triangle will click into place in the sky and help you enormously…you will adore October 10…Mars will be in the best possible angle to Jupiter, also October 10, a blessing that will color the effects of the eclipse in a very upbeat way…One of your most fortunate days of the month: October 10, when Jupiter and the Sun will collaborate on your behalf and Mars will be in the right angle to help you too. 


“Hey, can you see any golden triangles from there?! Not yet? OK, cool.”



The true story is that on October 10, 2014, our trusty nine-year-old Pontiac Vibe – the one with the gay Obama bumper sticker, the one still proudly repping Oakland after a cross-country trek with two foul dog-beasts panting in 100-degree heat the entire way, the one that often smells like a barn, the one we planned to hand down to the petite (who finished driver’s ed recently and is starting behind-the-wheel lessons soon) when she was at long last a licensed driver, the one we paid off ages ago – was felled by a Masshole. With us in it! 

The infamous Massachusetts Left. The driver was cited for failing to yield (we had the green light). The car is quite possibly totaled, and we were shaken up pretty good in the process. Thankfully we’re both okay, and triple-thankfully the kiddo wasn’t in the car to experience the whole thing. (We were on our way to pick her up from a friend’s house!)


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Now we have a rental, a police report, and are cleared of injuries, but waiting to see what the verdict is on the car. Not only did the accident dismantle October 10’s golden triangle on a Friday night, it hosed our 3-day weekend! VERY RUDE!

Looking on the bright side (beyond being safe and sound, which is The Most Important), we finally booked our holiday vacation, my tender colleagues did actual happy dances when I got back into the office today, and life in general is swimming along prettily on all fronts. We’re jumping in headfirst to all this college planning with the petite, which is overwhelming and so exciting, albeit bittersweet. (Honestly, bittersweet doesn’t do it justice – the feeling is unimaginably beautiful and devastating.)



I’ll leave you with this last little gem. It landed on my screen earlier tonight, and completely turned my week right-side up!

I just wanted to say how much I love reading and looking at FFAF! There are days when I just need to get through the day and be ok or I’m feeling super lonely, it makes me feel less alone reading your lovely blog and it’s so inspiring. Thanks for being a positive femme voice!

Uniqlo Leggings Pants || Lion Print Top – H&M || Long Field Jacket – J. Crew || Leather Riding Boots – Wythe NY (Gilt) || Beaded Wood Necklace – Gift from India! || Ring – House of Harlow


SBJ @ 10:14 PM

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State Park | October 9, 2014 | Comments (0)

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We had a little heat wave sneak back and dance around over the last week or so, presumably in solidarity with the West Coast. A small group of us decided to have one last hurrah al fresco at Hungry Mother’s wily and tasty new sibling restaurant, State Park, also in Kendall Square in Cambridge.

Those crazy pants masterminds serve delicious pitchers of Pimm’s Cups or Tom Collins right to the table. What else are you gonna wash down fried cheese curds, fried oyster po’boys, fried chicken and collard greens with – water!? Don’t be crass.


I broke out this maxi dress one last time and topped it with a natty little houndstooth vest I picked up at the final Providence Flea of summer because SEPTEMBER. As we wrapped up our meal, a bluegrass band began to warm up and we decided to make ourselves cozy and stay awhile longer inside.


Some sort of Virginia malarkey! Hungry Mother State Park is an actual thing, which I did not know. I do know that it’s kind of a blast in terms of decor, which you’ll see more of below, and some truly epic dioramas are displayed in a big side room. All the little teensy tiny people camping or hanging out lakeside with their wee bitsy bums!

The thought of someone making mini people the size of an ant and carefully ensuring that each of them got a shapely rear end just really amuses me for some reason. (I’m guessing Pimm’s, although I’m quite sober now and still rather tickled.)

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I love this vest. I’ve also worn this belt more recently, it’s definitely got a whimsical Western vibe and just has great details and proportions, especially with that ornate brass buckle that doesn’t overwhelm. My Brooks Brothers crystal pendant and feather earrings from way back when I went to FemmeCon in Oakland for jewelry, along with a mix of J. Crew and Madewell cuffs.

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Horse looks freakishly realistic, is actually some sort of magical painted tin folk art. The bluegrass was fantastic, I wish we could have stayed longer to enjoy it but after some shuffleboard, pinball and that epic dinner outside, we were ready to call it a night after 3+ hours.


That tomboy look is nothing but trouble. You can see that she, too, seized the warm weather moment and trotted out her shark shorts and Ray-Bans one last time.

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Dress: The Addison Story || Vest: Providence Flea || Chunky Peep-Toe Shooties: Jessica Simpson || Belt: Vintage || Sunglasses: Warby Parker || Crystal Pendant: Brooks Bros. || Asst. Cuffs: J. Crew, Madewell

Hope you enjoyed this post – I’ll get into some autumnal duds here soon, and my DC trip is around the corner, but this is definitely a solid recommendation if you’re ever in town – either State Park or the fancier, sit-down Southern decadence you’ll find at Hungry Mother.

Friendly Toast is just around the corner, in fact, so one could have a fantastic day brunching there in the morning, checking out The Garment District’s three stories of insane secondhand, vintage, costume and new clothing and accessories, brave Cambridge Antique Market a short trek away, come back for lunch at State Park, catch an indie flick at Kendall Square Cinema, and then discuss over an amazing meal at Hungry Mother. And then not eat for like a week, because you’d be absolutely stuffed.

Be sure to check out the adorable post at Autostraddle featuring 21 super cute and badass QPOC couples. We’re in it!


SBJ @ 7:51 PM

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The HuffPost Live Butch-Femme Face-Off | September 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

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Last week I took part in a panel on HuffPost Live about butch and femme privilege. The live segment sought to address how lesbians face different challenges because of their gender identities, specifically down butch-femme lines. Our fantastic host, Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani, asked why there’s so much infighting in our community over who has less privilege – butches or femmes.

It was not lost on me that the majority of the panel represented websites for MOC folks – I was joined by Anita Dolce Vita (who is marvelously femme and a dear pal) at dapperQ, St. Harridan’s Mary Going and Mo Willis of Bklyn BoiHood – wildly popular (and necessary) havens for bois of color, dappers uninterested in femming it up, and a Bay Area-based maker of masculine suits re-engineered for women and transmen. The truth is those sites are more or less Goliaths powered by teams of people compared to the little one-woman show that is Fit for a Femme, so we also touched on how deep and rich butch resources are on the internet and how that might be closely connected to the fact that there is so little media representation of butch women in pop culture.

HINT: This doesn’t count!

Any time a group can’t find themselves in the media, they tend to create that space for themselves on the web. Femmes crave that same community, which makes it an even bigger shame that one of our biggest online and “IRL” spaces – FemmeCon – won’t be happening next month in Atlanta, GA. Of course, Southern femmes, and especially Southern femmes of color and trans femmes, are being hit the hardest by that lack of community. But a femme can dream, and we’ll get there one day.

Watch the entire segment below and let me know what you think in the comments!


SBJ @ 11:14 PM

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South End Sunshine | September 11, 2014 | Comments (0)


Sunday brunch with friends is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Since our closest friends here are planning a move that’ll take them five or six hours away from us (and so much closer to both their families – makes it very difficult to put up a fuss of any sort!), we’re trying to squeeze in as much time together as possible before they embark on their next adventure of home ownership in rural PA. They are done, done, done with city life – a sentiment I’m hearing more and more of from my peers on both coasts – but one I’m not ready to share just yet.

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We chose one of our favorite South End spots, since we could just take a short stroll to make the tomboy’s afternoon hair appointment and do a little window shopping whilst out and about. It was a glorious day, super warm with beautiful blue skies, and lots and lots of open studios. There also happened to be a film crew blocking off streets and everyone in the neighborhood who owned a canine was out and about, parading fancy breeds around.


Cheeky tomboys in the phone booth with their haircuts.


We brunched at the Buttery, but while the tomboys sat at the barber, the other femme and I decided to pop into The Gallows for a bit of refreshment. I’m a sucker for any drink with the name “Albemarle” in it, heaven help me.


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I have two of these James Perse dresses – one in this safari green, another in black – and they are insanely comfortable and easy to wear. Perfect for a day like this, but I’ll easily wear both into autumn with tights and boots and cardigans or leather. The best part is I found ‘em both for a song, brand new.


Some funky accessories like this vintage elephant belt, an antler tine pendant wrapped in a bullet casing with a gold bear on it, and an old estate sale LV clutch brought the whole Lesbian Zookeeper Chic look together, along with a pair of chunky sandals in tan leather.




The living garden wall in the vestibule at The Gallows.

Guess what? This weekend we’re celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary with a little getaway. Things have been wonderful but busy with the new school year, wrapping up my first month at the new job, and the usual start-up hustle for M. Plus, we’re learning from the past two fall seasons and getting a jump-start at preparing for cooler weather; bringing the firewood rack up from the basement and getting our kiln-dried wood ordered, clearing porch and patio furniture, we had a chimney sweep in last weekend, replaced our water heater a little while ago and are seeing to a few other good housekeeping things to get in order before the storms come down and that’s that. And I’m headed to DC next month – it’ll be my first time there, and I’m not even a little bit sad it’s on business!


SBJ @ 11:30 PM

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