Tag Archives: self-care

Recharging

Wow, it’s been a minute since I last posted, huh? Life has been lobbing a few more boulders at me than I could handle as of late and I’ve been struggling just to keep my head above water. But things are looking up. I’m currently lounging in a super swanky hotel room in Nashville, TN recharging my battery. It’s just a mini-vacation and I’m only tagging along while my girlfriend* is here for a work thing. But this escape has been so necessary.

Things got very serious and heavy and scary for a bit; I nearly lost someone I care about and was, for the first time in my life, put in the position of saving someone’s life. It was a terrifying and humbling experience and I don’t wish it on anyone. The after-effects still linger. My heart still races at the sound of sirens. But the tears and anxiety are subsiding. My friend survived but nothing will be the same again.

So I’m here, hundreds of miles from home, giving my body the rest it’s been craving for weeks, reflecting on what I just went through and building my reserves back up once again. I’m not doing touristy stuff and I don’t really even feel like exploring. I just need quiet right now and distance. This is my post-trauma self-care. Quiet escape to try to find my calm center once again.

*Yep, you read that right. Girlfriend. I has one. And she has been phenomenal in helping me through the aforementioned traumatic experience. I’m a lucky lady.

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Bear with me…

I have numerous ideas for posts floating around in my head but not nearly enough time, focus or emotional energy to begin a single one. My life just got very messy and painful and complicated and scary. And I’m working through it as best I can, feeling disjointed and frazzled and scared and free and joyful and hated and loved all at once. Thank goodness for my amazing therapist, acupuncturist and supportive friends. I’ll make it through this, as I always do, because I must. I’m trying to be as gentle with myself as possible right now, though that’s taking some serious work as I am the Queen of Self-Punishment. I want to be open to all the new possibilities and life lessons that are arising from this major change, even when that means having some awkward and/or painful conversations and getting called out on my shit by loved ones who care enough to not leave no matter how hard I push.

I’m learning to let go and leave my comfort zone, to embrace the unknown and make peace with uncertainty. To say this is difficult would be an understatement, though I realize I’m far from unique. I don’t know too many people who are particularly fond of change, especially life-altering, heartbreaking change that jolts us out of our safe comfort zones. But knowing that this is a universal human truth doesn’t make the getting through it any easier. Just a little less lonely, I suppose.

It’s a Very Vegan Femme Xmas!

Hello lovelies. I am doing my damnedest to get into the holiday spirit and I was inspired by FuckYeahFemmes‘ recent post on gift ideas for femmes to make a little list of my own. (Forgive me for borrowing/expanding on a few ideas, S.)

1. Handmade lotions and potions!

I am generally all about pinching pennies but every once in a while it’s nice to splurge. It’s also nice to support independent (and vegan!) artisans. My very favorite soap is made by a small company called Metropolis Soap Co., which I discovered at the Renegade Craft Fair here in Chicago a couple years ago. All natural ingredients and the soaps smell divine. (And they’re all vegan!) They contain coconut and shea butters so they’re super moisturizing. My very favorite is the Agave Nectar and Green Tea (though being a neo-hippie, the Earth and Patchouli comes in a close second). Metropolis also makes whipped shea butter, lip cream, aromatherapy oils and herbal spa soaks.

If you’re more the DIY type, you can use this simple recipe to make your own moisturizing sugar scrub:

Mix one part sugar (I like to use turbinado) to one part oil (I find that almond or jojoba works best). Generally 1/2 cup of each is good for a small jar. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil(s) and mix. And that’s it! (Sandalwood, frankincense, lavender, bergamot, and patchouli are all good choices for things such as anxiety, depression, fatigue and stress.)

Merry pampering!

2. Tools of the Trade

Hi, I’m VeganFemme and I’m a makeup junkie. Admitting is the first step, right? Even though I’ve already got quite the collection, I can always use more. Luckily, there are more and more companies putting out vegan cosmetics nowadays. The entire e.l.f. line is now vegan and a bonus…it’s cheap! I have some brushes from them and honestly have found zero difference between those and the ones I used to have from Sephora. They also have huge eyeshadow palettes with all the basics any artist would need at great prices (and they have sales all the time).

Another favorite of mine is Sugarpill cosmetics. I’m on a mission to collect all of their loose shadows along with every matte shade that’s vegan (all the loose ones are).

Of course, all of that requires storage solutions. And lesbians love storage solutions, right? Caboodles ain’t just for teenagers, femmes. That is why this bad boy is on my own Xmas list.

3. Sexy stuffs

Tired of the typical boring, ugly harnesses available to us fabulous (vegan) femmes? Yeah, me too. But have you seen these?

This is my new favorite, the Veronica, available at Good Vibrations. There’s another equally cute one in the same style with a red-and-white horizontal stripe pattern. So femmetastic.

                           If you like sparkles, there’s the Princess from ASLAN, available via the Sensual Vegan. That same style also comes in a sleek, shiny black vinyl and can be found at a few different online retailers as well as the wonderful Smitten Kitten in Minneapolis.

Finally, there’s this cute purple corset number that Early to Bed carries. It even has tabs on the inside to attach garters!

4. Self-care!

Y’all know how important self-care is by now, right? And you probably also know then that it isn’t always easy to budget for self-care.  So wouldn’t that make a fantastic gift for friends and family? Here in Chicago, as I’ve mentioned before, we are lucky to have the Sage Community Health Collective. Sage offers trauma-informed, harm-reductionist healing services such as acupuncture, bodywork and herbs on a sliding scale basis. They also offer gift certificates and this holiday season are selling wellness soup packs, Chinese herbal tea and more. And if you don’t have something like Sage in your community, try calling local acupuncture and/or massage clinics to see if they offer gift certificates.

5. Cruelty-free Warm Fuzzies

I think the only tolerable thing about winter is the cute accessories you get to wear. And everybody could use another scarf or hat, right? Etsy has lots of vegan options. Cammobear has some super cute slouchy, pom-pom hats and softspoken makes lovely scarves and berets. And I am absolutely loving this “accidental cowl” from The House of Hemp.

6. Femmespiration

Nowadays there are tons of blogs, websites and Facebook groups dedicated to femmes. I love the great and almighty interwebz, don’t get me wrong, but there are certain great texts that are worth owning. Here are some classics:

The Persistent Desire: A Femme-Butch Reader edited by Joan Nestle
The Femme’s Guide to the Universe by Shar Rednour
Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity edited by Chloe Brushwood Rose and Anna Camilleri
Visible: A Femmethology, Volumes 1 and 2 edited by Jennifer Clare Burke
Femmes of Power: Exploding Queer Femininities by Ulrika Dahl and Del LaGrace Volcano
Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme edited by Ivan E. Coyote and Zena Sharman
Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch/Femme Erotica edited by Tristan Taormino

7. Charitable donations

If, by chance, your femme happens to have every little thing they need, you might want to consider making a donation to a worthwhile charity in their name. Here are some excellent organizations that could use whatever you can spare:

Sasha Farm
Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois
The Night Ministry
Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP)
National Network of Abortion Funds

Happy Holidays y’all! Fellow femmes, what’s on your list?