Bermuda Jungle | February 6, 2015 | Comments (0)

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What I wouldn’t give for sunshine and weather that warranted head-to-toe linen! These scalloped shorts from Asos and a drapey linen tank in a fun jungle print from Madewell are both perfect for casual island wear. The new year feels so far long ago, especially when everything outside is buried under 3′-5′ of snow and some forecasts project a whopping 85 consecutive hours of snowfall starting again this weekend.

All of New England is crying uncle, and I feel like half the people I know are enjoying Denver weather at Creating Change (which I think just proves I keep excellent company).

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The Fairmont Southampton’s perky pink palette against fresh blues and greens is a sight for sore eyes! Wore a pair of low-maintenance sunglasses in a classic wayfarer design and my beloved Plague of Pigeons anchor earrings from Pretty Penny back in Oakland for accessories…plus some wrist candy from Flock, one of my favorite South End boutiques here in Boston, as well as Alex & Ani.

I’m also really into this super sheer, YLBB lip balm/tint from Royal Apothic called Tinties Lip Butter. Mine’s in Coral and it’s that rare, holy grail shade for me!

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It’s been two weeks since my last post because I severely underestimated what post-op would look and feel like after having four wisdom teeth removed. Oh my god, it was awful. I’ve never been under general anesthesia before, and I started to panic a little when they went to put the IV in! “I’ve been through natural childbirth and delivered an eight-pound newborn,” I remember telling them in a shaky voice, “I don’t know why I’m being such a baby about this.”

Then suddenly I was waking up and my mouth was so dry from the drugs that I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I remembered exactly nothing they said about post-care instructions, so thank goodness M was there, and after she tucked me in at home and went to pick up the pain meds and antibiotics at the pharmacy, they gave her the runaround and she ended up having to elsewhere to fill my prescription. By the time she got home, the medication from the surgery had worn off and I was miserable, and stayed that way for about a week and a half. I only just this week started to resume eating normal foods and might even brave popcorn this weekend, which is really exciting, as silly as that sounds.

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Shoes so sexy you’d never know they were vegan! By Olsenhaus. Not a whole lot else is new…a coworker pal of mine and I had a double salon date at Trephin, which is right around the corner from our offices downtown. I lucked out and ended up with a Best of Boston: Best Hair Colorist Winner, Nina Ganci, and it was the perfect pick-me-up after being bedridden by recovery and housebound by snow for nearly two weeks. Head over to my Instagram for a preview!

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Everything else is work-work-work before a bunch of us head to LA for our annual Awards Dinner at the end of the month. We’re honoring an incredible crop of folks: Modern Family & Glee, Honeymaid, and Houston Mayor Annise Parker. Our Master of Ceremonies couldn’t be cooler, because she’s Sandra freaking Bernhard, and we have a killer lineup of special guests and performers. I’m looking forward not only to seeing all our efforts come to fruition for an amazing event in support of LGBTQ families, but also to palm trees and sunshine and sipping well-deserved tiki cocktails from a poolside cabana, and some quality time with my rad colleagues.

Whatever your weather, I hope you’re all cozy as kittens out there.

XOXO,
FFAF




SBJ @ 5:30 PM

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Union Park | January 22, 2015 | Comments (0)

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The other day we had brunch at one of our favorite South End spots, who cheerfully informed us that they were out of baby donuts but had opened a BRAND NEW DONUT SHOP mere blocks away. We carried on with our brunch (chicken and donut waffles took center stage), but oh man, as soon as I can chew real food again, we are picking some up. I know they sound super frou frou and at $3 a pop, pretty indulgent, but listen to these flavors: blackberry lavender, honey lemon pistachio, salted toffee, sesame Sriracha, chocolate cake, and vanilla glazed.

Plus baby cinnamon-sugar donuts in trios! Blackbird, we’re coming for you.

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It was coooooooooooooooooold this day, so I broke out my new Uniqlo Ultra Light Long Down Coat. I really didn’t want to break down and get one of these godawful things, but this winter has been brutal now that I’m commuting daily. I wanted something light enough to layer under my pretty long black coat, but substantial enough that I could just throw it on alone for errands (or brunch, apparently), or those notorious below-zero, IDGAF winter days.

Barring winning the lottery and filling up a closet with Belstaff, I did NOT want to spend Canada Goose dollars on something I want to hiss at whenever I look at it, which is basically anytime the feels-like is above 20°F. That I can handle without compromising style, thank you kindly.

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I wore an old silk minidress I’ve had for years under a faux shearling Jack by BB Dakota vest from Modcloth, with cashmere tights and ‘Colston’ leather riding boots from Enzo Angiolini in a really cool khaki green that M is fond of referring to as “zookeeper” green.

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For accessories, I wore this leafy leather necklace by Mariele Ivy, who does Young In The Mountains now. The winged skull is from London’s Galibardy. I’ve also got on some Alex & Ani charm bracelets and the Orb ring from J. Crew. I threw second-day hair into this messy, undone side braid that just sort of fell into loose waves. Different, but fun!

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That’s it for now! The next four days are going to be a druggy and hopefully not too pain-filled stupor of recovering from wisdom teeth surgery. I’m dutifully knocking back organic pineapple juice as instructed by a friend and hoping for the best!

XOXO,
FFAF




SBJ @ 9:30 AM

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Monday Mashup: Selma, MLK Jr., LGBTQ Updates, This Girl Can, and more… | January 19, 2015 | Comments (0)

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Fun fact: Today’s beautiful Google Doodle honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is by one of Boston’s own Roxbury artists, Ekua Holmes. She’s done magnificent work!

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Yesterday we went to see Selma together as a family at a local indie theater. It was wonderfully well-paced and acted, powerful, and moving even when you go in with the expectation that you will be moved. Today you can dive even deeper into Selma with Rep. John Lewis, read MLK Jr.’s longest ever interview, which I highly recommend, or simply track #blacklivesmatter actions, essays and Twitter feeds (I see you, Oakland) to take a moment out of your day and reflect on how incredibly hard people have fought for equality, and how much work is left to do, and what your part may be in all of that.

No nation can suffer any greater tragedy than to cause millions of its citizens to feel that they have no stake in their own society. -Martin Luther King, Jr. 

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Congressman John Lewis, via Garden & Gun

On a very different note, the costumes from the film! In my dreams, it’s what the Bobby From Boston warehouse looks like (Note to self – Bucket List: 2015 Edition). The colors and textures and tones were wonderful; things felt so soft and muted, but vibrant. I can’t even deal with what a babe Tessa Thompson is:

Here’s a neat quote from director Ava DuVernay on Ruth Carter’s Costume Design:

Ruth did an amazing job with a small budget. We made the film for $20 million, and we had two days to shoot the bridge, in 100-plus degree weather, in the Deep South, on the actual bridge, with some survivors of the real march — it was a lot for Ruth and her team, who all did an outstanding job. It was important that the people of Selma be represented: who they were, what they look like.

Let’s go back to Tessa one more time:

SO CUTE.

I can tell you what isn’t cute I won’t be seeing: American Sniper. An old colleague of mine said it best on TwitterSniper, which encourages fear of brown “others,” made $30M on the Friday after the – more than Selma’s total take thus far.

Needless to say, if you haven’t gone and watched Selma yet, what are you waiting for? There was a huge upset last week when the Oscar noms were announced, leaving POCs and women (and POC women in particular) absent from many of the categories. No headline captured my thoughts and feelings as perfectly as this one from the good old Oakland Tribune:c78bspzl9dserwzubi1r
As did this post from Autostraddle. 

You can also watch this, because they really are just the cutest, most photogenic, loving family, who’ve been nothing but awesome in the face of hateful backlash when their Instagram feed went viral last year. It wasn’t all negative – Kordale, Kaleb and their gorgeous daughters have clearly won themselves a huge fan club the world over, because people aren’t as horrible as it might seem during weeks like the one we’ve just had.

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Don’t skip This Girl Can, a short video that’s a “celebration of active women up and down the country who are doing their thing no matter how well they do it, how they look or even how red their face gets,” from a national campaign in the UK. It’s so much more than that, watching it!

One thing that struck me was how much everyone in the video is totally, 100% feeling themselves.

I see that in the women I know whether they’re running marathons, competing in StrongWoman competitions, learning MMA, working with personal trainers, playing roller derby or cycling their faces off. I see it in myself, too, whether I’m on horseback or in a barre class (which I highly recommend for all riders – stay as supple as you want your horse to be).

Here’s what else was on my radar last week:

Here are the handmade feminist thought flags you never knew you needed. You’re welcome!

A-Camp Recaps arrived! Reading them feels like going back to Mt. Feelings, it really does, and I just want to reiterate that going to camp is one of the best gifts you can give yourself, and you’ll fall in love with everyone there.

Same-sex marriage is headed to the Supreme Court!

The map showing the rising percentage of poor students in our public schools is alarming, and a reminder that this country needs to get its damn priorities in order. This fictional rant just gets more and more on point with time, sadly.

Finally, the secret to smarter working teams is revealed.

Have you been to many World Heritage Sites? We just crossed another off our list in Bermuda.

I’ll also finally be getting my wisdom teeth out this week, and I’m dreading it! It’s silly, but I DON’T WANNA!

Feel free to share encouraging words, survival tips, or just commiserate in the comments. And thanks for reading this far – I just felt like doing something a bit different today.

XOXO,
FFAF




SBJ @ 12:09 PM

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Old St. George’s | January 17, 2015 | Comments (0)

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Ducks in a row! So cute!

Welcome to St. George’s, which used to be called New London, and why the English bothered to go any further than this is beyond me. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to a spattering of buildings and structures from the early 1600s, lots of wee little islands home to old forts and batteries, and the most striking harbor waters I’ve ever seen in my life. Lucky ducks, indeed!

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It was New Year’s Eve day and we all decided to spend the afternoon there after I returned from a morning horseback ride. You can’t tell, but I have a swollen lip from where a branch smacked me in the face while cantering up a narrow but lush, tropical trail!

The 1.5 hr. ride went at least an hour over (I wasn’t complaining, believe me – the views and galloping through the waves breaking at my toes were spectacular) and my best friend, M and the petite had all been waiting for me. I tried texting from atop my horse, Lucky, to no avail. M was so worried she’d been calling every stable on the island! I was sweaty and sore and smelled like a barncat, but peeled off my jeans and tank and threw this dress on, mussed some dry shampoo into my hair and twisted it up into this haphazard twist, and off we went to St. George’s.

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Which is gorgeous, as you can see. Old and marvelous! I’m a sucker for glossy black doors, may our next home be blessed with one. (We can’t mess with the Victorian palette on ours.) Can you see the little crosses in the wood panels above the green shutters in St. Peter’s Church? After it blew down 84,000 times, they wizened up and made a framework from precious Bermuda cedar, with limestone walls and a slate roof just like every other standing house there.

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This fantastic old penny farthing was one in a pair permanently parked outside the delightful Bermuda Hat Lady Millinery Shop, which was sadly closed for the holiday. The windows were decked out with Christmas decorations and returning to have a look around inside would justify another trip back on its own! So darling, and the millinery looked divine.

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The famous golden onion for the NYE drop in St. George’s Town Hall!

All over the island you could see some still-battered areas from Hurricanes Gonzalo and Fay, which gave the island a one-two whack within days of each other last fall. Sailboats washed ashore or flipped upside down in a bay, swaths of upturned or lashed trees in great big fields, a few rooftops crumbling under blue tarps whipping around in the wind, and a few of the shops closest to the water in St. George’s were just reopening after fixing damage and flooding.

Shop owners met customers with genuine warmth and gratitude – there’s a still a long winter before throngs of tourists return with an influx of cash, and living on the island is expensive. Outside of an obligatory stop at Marks & Spencer, we made an effort to spend at shop local and handmade as much as possible!

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I’ll take a break from Bermuda to post some wintry looks next time, but I hope you’re enjoying a look around this gem of an island through my lens. Keep warm, the feels-like this sunny Saturday morning is -10°F!

Fete of Florists’ Dress – Modcloth | Nude Patent Wedges – BCBG Generation (similar here and here) | Grey Chain Belt – Zara (excellent alternative here) | Crackled Leather Hardware Clutch – She & Lo | Cole Haan Sunglasses

XOXO,
FFAF




SBJ @ 9:58 AM

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Hello, Hamilton! | January 9, 2015 | Comments (0)

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HAPPY NEW YEAR, KITTENS!

We learned our lesson after two East Coast winters and booked a trip someplace warm and gorgeous to celebrate the holidays. A breezy two-hour flight from Boston, Bermuda was an easy choice…sort of. We chose a resort perched atop the curvy end of the fishhook-shaped island in case the things we’d read cautioning LGBTQ travelers held any water – we figured being confined to a private beach for a week was more or less the point of our trip anyway, and crossed our fingers.

Those concerns dissipated within moments of landing. One of the most incredible things about Bermuda is how warm, friendly and giving Bermudians can be. They’re wonderful, and I never once felt our family was treated different from any other family. Exploring every parish, whether by ferry, taxi, on horseback or a hike, was so much fun.

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Our room was perfect, as you can see from the view, but one of the first things we did once we arrived in Bermuda was head into town for some much-needed provisions. When traveling with a teenager, having the right snacks and beverages (the latter for grown-ups especially) is key.

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Hamilton is Bermuda’s capital, its main port, and the only city on the island. Aboard the Majestic Lady, out of Jews Bay into the Little Sound and then the Great Sound, it’s a quick and pleasing ferry ride away. Miles Market was a godsend, stocked with treats from The Owl’s Brew, an impressive tea selection for the kiddo (thank heavens for the electric kettle in the room – she brewed like four cups of Chai per day), lots of fresh produce, irresistible pastries and fancy cheese. Like much else on the island, it’s pretty expensive, but like I – and the New York Times – said, you cannot afford to mess around with a teen in tow!

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Bermuda’s got these cheerily painted houses all over, and they just sing against the backdrop of blue skies. I haven’t got a picture of it, but there was one in the most beautiful lipstick red, soft and creamy, but bold. It looked like a red velvet cupcake! The roofs are tiered and made of whitewashed limestone, built to resist hurricanes and catch rainwater stored in cisterns, mostly self-filtering and requiring a fresh coat of nontoxic paint every few years. If it seems green it’s because it IS green, though they’ve been doing it forever for four centuries because there’s no fresh water source on the island.

Survival can be stunning.

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All the hidden alleys opening into courtyards reminded me of the closes in The Old Town of Edinburgh, though of course these ones were decidedly more tropical. We explored Front Street along the water, which is where all the cruise ships used to dock (I believe now they do so at the Dockyard, but that’s for another post!), and the blocks all around it.

During the Twelve Days of Christmas, and perhaps even the whole off-season, Hamilton is quite sleepy in the evenings. It’s a nice change of pace, though. When we weren’t at Bouchée in town, which quickly became a favorite, we had lots of quiet evenings in, either hanging out on our balcony chatting and snacking and drinking or people-watching down in the resort lounge or at one of the many restaurants.

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And then back at the resort, there was this beach. A magical, glorious slip of beach with its soft pink sand, little coves, and perfect ocean. Bright and happy kiskadees chirping from nooks and crannies in the bluffs, no rocks, no seaweed, and thankfully no Portuguese man o’ war in the warm, warm water. That it was amply stocked with chairs, umbrellas, towels and an equally well-attended restroom didn’t hurt, nor did the seaside bar and grill just steps away. Rum Swizzles, FTW!

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On that note, it would appear that rum causes me to point an awful lot. How odd.

More to come! Did everyone have a sparkling New Year? Go anywhere special? Going anywhere special before spring rolls around? We’re already daydreaming about going back – how could we not? I repeat: a two-hour flight! We’d stay in a little cottage rental or something the next time around, I think.

Keynote Dress in Blue Seascape – Madewell | Gold ‘Dillon’ Sandal – DV by Dolce Vita | ‘On The Town’ Earrings – Kate Spade (similar pair here) | Pave Barrel Pendant – Michael Kors | Glitter Bordeaux Sunnies – D&G

XOXO and Happy 2015!

Love,
FFAF




SBJ @ 7:50 PM

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Walden Pond and the Audubon | December 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

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Ah, the stark white of New England winter. If you want to shipwreck your already broken heart against the ice-filled shores of another bleak December solstice, paralyzed for months at a time beneath a slab of grey marble sky as you helplessly watch the breath of your beloved float and then disappear into the kind of cold that presses like a knife against your frozen throat and whispers, “Keep walking,” move to New England. Move to Maine! Or Montreal, even. So dangerous and pretty, all the ritual and fuss.

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Today it snowed and didn’t stick, but these were taken around Thanksgiving Day. My boss invited us to dinner, and on the drive to his new home a few towns away we saw a gorgeous pond with a few swans paddling around in it, the land around it beautifully dappled with snow, likely part of one of the Mass Audubon’s many wildlife sanctuaries. I made a mental note to return and explore, and when we came back the dusting had become a full-on blanket of white.

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As we trekked around in our wildly inappropriate footwear, all I could think was how superior (and how much warmer!) it would be to explore on horseback. Needless to say, one of my top priorities in the New Year is going to be finding a way to reconcile my incredible new job with my love of riding, which has been on the back burner for the past few months. To make it to spring, I’ll have to pull out all the stops – horses, pink sandy beaches for welcoming in 2015, a trip home in February.

I reckon drugs and fancy lamps would be easier and cheaper, but they sure don’t sound as fun.

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I don’t think I’ve ever stood on sand mixed with snow and still crispy fall leaves! Oh, Walden Pond, there’s a first for everything. A few folks – locals, one imagines – stripped down and jumped in, howling and thrashing in the frigid water, and we promised ourselves we’d go back after a big fresh snow, in proper snow boots and waterproof coats, to stomp around on the pond once frozen.

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This hunk of wood was a deep dark green, and looked almost like bone.

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Close-up of an excellent vintage fox-hunting scarf that (I believe) I found at the South End treasure trove Bobby From Boston.

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This is my new favorite skirt, from Modcloth! It’s a fantastically heavy tweed in black and white, lined, it’d be hard to screw up an outfit with this as your anchoring piece. It’s called the Vice Versatility Skirt and there are still two left! I paired mine with black tights and riding boots from Gilt, an easy black short-sleeved pullover knit top, also from Modcloth, and a velvet tuxedo blazer from Ralph Lauren (similar style at J. Crew here), and tucked the scarf into the skirt for a pop of color.

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I’ll do my best to squeeze in another post before I hop on a plane Friday and escape the weather, but if I don’t see you before then have a wonderful holiday and the happiest New Year! I’ll be back in the blink of an eye with a glance back at 2014, and of course some sun-soaked happiness from my winter vacation.

XOXO,
FFAF




SBJ @ 10:31 PM

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

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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,
FFAF




SBJ @ 12:20 AM

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