Head2Toe Soaps Update

So! There’s been quite a lot of updates since I first posted about Head2Toe Soaps almost two years ago!

First update, my business partner and I are now platonic but still very close friends, and our business is still doing very well. It’s something that we still do just for fun, but we have definitely put a small amount of profit aside, although it all ends up going back into the business. We’re enjoying ourselves and having fun along this ride!

Second, we’ve moved from Etsy to our own website: head2toesoaps.com. This allows us to have more creative control over our products, including discounts and special promotions. It also allows more money to stay with us rather than a third party, and our site is also super cute! We keep our inventory up to date on the site at all times, so it’s also a great way to see what we currently have available.

Third, we have done more to reduce our carbon footprint. We changed our packaging from fully wrapped soaps in brown paper with twine to just a small brown strip with a label. This allows not only for less material when packaging, but also allows for our customers who are shopping in person to actually see and be able to smell the soap rather than it being covered by the wrapping.

And last, we are making soap from scratch rather than the melt-and-pour kits that we originally started with. Our ingredients are listed on the label of every single soap, and all of our soap bases are completely and 100% vegan.

We have some staples that you can usually find on our site, including a lush succulent scent with aloe, Himalayan salt bars, lavender and oatmeal, and more. However, we also welcome custom orders which can be placed by sending us a message through our website or contacting us through DM on our Instagram: @head2toesoaps. (Tiktok coming soon!)

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Check out our site and give us a follow to keep up with our ever-growing business.

Thanks for reading!

Help Eugene Find Safety

GO FUND ME – HELP EUGENE FIND SAFETY

Hey everybody, my friend Eugene lives in Ghana and he is one of the nicest, sweetest, cutest people I’ve ever met. Unfortunately, Ghana has introduced one of the harshest anti-LGBTQ+ laws to date, and Eugene’s safety is in danger.

“In regards to the LGBTQIA+ situation in Ghana, Eugene has said -“There’s a lot of ignorance and the discussions around queer people are very very toxic… It’s very hard. You lose your family, you lose everything. Almost no one is out… Constantly in danger… [Danger of] violence, not being hired for jobs… People are wrong. They [LGBTQIA+ Community] just want to be respected in a humane way…” The situation has gotten worse. Ghana’s parliament is set to debate a draft bill which seeks to introduce some of the harshest anti-LGBT laws on the continent. These include prison sentences and so-called “conversion therapy”. Eugene’s recently updated us and said, “There is a terrible anti-gay bill being passed in Ghana which will send anyone who is gay or even suspected to be gay to years in prison. Obviously, this has panicked me for close to three months now and I have been looking to relocate. I’m so tired of this fight to just live a life without fear.” Eugene is planning on relocating to any country where it is legally safe to be LGBTQIA+. “

If you can donate anything to help Eugene reach safety, please click the link below:

GO FUND ME – HELP EUGENE FIND SAFETY

Thank you for reading!

Love More, Stress Less: Paired

Love More, Stress Less: A happier relationship starts with Paired.

CLICK HERE FOR 20% OFF YOUR PAIRED PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION.

(Your subscription covers you AND your partner!)

Paired’s mission is to make couple relationships happier and healthier. Romantic relationship with our partner is one of the most important parts of our lives, but building and maintaining a happy relationship over time can be challenging. Paired wants to make that easier.

Paired prompts you with fun and useful conversations between you and your partner. Every great relationship is an ongoing conversation. Whether you’re already in a long-term relationship or just starting one, Paired helps to make these conversations fun and useful.

With the daily questions feature you get a fun question to answer every day with your partner. Only by answering the question yourself can you unlock your partner’s answer, and each question comes with a research-based fact of why answering it will help your relationship. Paired has couples quizzes to help identify your relationship strength and growth areas, and each week the quiz is on a different aspect of your relationship.

Features Include:

  • Fun, research-based questions to answer with your partner each day to bring you closer together
  • Couple games and quizzes to test and further your knowledge of your partner
  • Bite-sized tips on various topics written by the world’s top relationship academics and therapists
  • Compare and discuss answers with the help of expert tips and conversation starters
  • New questions, quizzes and games available daily

Paired is written by the world’s top couple therapists and academics that drew on decades of research to help you understand what works and what doesn’t in a relationship. An independent study conducted in March of 2021 found that couples who use Paired for 3 months see a 36% increase in the quality of their relationship. Can an app improve your relationship?

Paired is your guide to improve communication, stay connected, and deepen intimacy as a couple. Suggest Paired to your partner to join the community of people around the world building lasting love with Paired today.

Love More, Stress Less. Paired.

Thanks for reading!

Gina Finio – Formal Bio

I am an outspoken pansexual personality who is a regular on the Ross Mathews’ podcast, known as “Bisexual Gina”, delivering LGBTQ+ content via social media and the Straight Talk with Ross podcast.

I am an authentic, upbeat, realist who is not afraid to speak my mind and overshare details of my life. I’m currently living in Tucson, Arizona but I grew up in the Philadelphia area. I’m friendly and approachable but also intelligent and strategic, and I’ve done the work on myself to be self-aware, confident, and charismatic. I’m magnetic, energetic, personable, and unforgettable.

My experience includes 5+ years in the corporate and human resource world, and various experience in areas such as TV, podcast and video production, event planning and management, social media creation, and more. My professional experience in business, my passion and dedication, and my fresh and unique personality and point of view will ensure my success wherever I am able to get involved.

Instagram: @ginafinio (1.5K followers) • TikTok: @bisexualgina (23.7K followers)
Videos featured on popular Instagram meme accounts, such as:
@best_of_grindr (2.5M followers), @hotmessbian (181K), @lesbianmemearchive (110K),
@i.m.a.pan.duh (40K), @alusofficial (150K), and more

Areas of interest include but are not limited to: TV/movie production, podcast production, social media content creation, collaboration, or management, personal assistant opportunities, reality TV, social event (or drag event) project planning, writing (blog content or otherwise), adult entertainment, LBGTQ+, self-improvement, or relationship focused apps or organizations, human rights work, and other opportunities in the entertainment industry.

Contact: gina.finio@gmail.com

Shopping Online

The more shopping that I do online, the more success I have with getting everything that I ordered to fit me properly. I have a couple of tips and tricks of the trade, and since shopping online has basically become the norm, I thought I would share. (Just as a disclaimer – I’m not a fashion blogger, I’m not someone who gets paid or promoted to use or wear brands, I’m not an influencer, etc. I’m just a body positive girl who has some super simple tricks to share on how to wear the most of your orders.)

There’s three main tips that I have:

1. When possible, try to shop somewhere consistently. If you already know the brand, you’ll have a better understanding of the materials you’re about to purchase and their durability and wear. There are several shopping apps that even have many brands included in their list of products, so you can still have versatility in your wardrobe. Shopping on the same app/website also allows for you to gain points and get coupons for return business. (Pro Tip: Take pics of yourself in each garment when your clothing arrives for potential extra review/rewards points.)

2. DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THE SIZE. I cannot stress this enough so I am going to say it again. Do not pay attention to the size. Sizing is not universal, even within a brand’s collection. INSTEAD: Pay attention to the measurements. By looking at measurements over sizing, I have a wardrobe that fits me accurately but ranges from size Small to XXXXL. That is not an exaggeration. Also, by paying attention to measurements, you can ensure the item will have the fit that you are looking for. To know your measurements initially, you can either manually measure yourself or look up the measurements of something that you already own and like that you bought online (or can look up). I usually compare items I’m shopping to things I already have ordered – which helps even more if it is from the same site. I know that anything that’s 19 to 28 inches in the shoulder will fit more on the looser side, where as anything smaller is going to be a bit more fitted. Something 23 inches in length is usually longer with my high-waisted pants, where as 19 inches or less is more crop-top length. (And so on…) By knowing my range, I can better ensure I’ll be able to wear everything I order comfortably.

3. Place your order with enough time to ensure you can find a backup if things do not fit. There’s always a chance that you don’t bat 100 with your order, and if you are planning for something specific, you don’t want to put yourself in a bind. If your order is for an event, make sure you plan ahead. (Side note: When things don’t fit, don’t procrastinate on your return process. If you end up with items that can’t be returned, you can always try to resell through apps or second-hand stores, re-gift the items, or donate to charity.)

I recently went to the mall to do some shopping in-person since I have some upcoming trips planned, but the dressing rooms are still not open due to the pandemic. As a result, this makes in-person shopping just as much of a gamble as online shopping. Yes, you can see the garments in your hands. This does help to ensure the material is what you are looking for. But not being able to try things on does not allow you to know how it would truly fit. Personally, since I was not able to compare the items with the measurements, I only had a 50%ish success rate in things that fit perfectly. The other 50% fit *~okay~* and might fit better when I lose a little weight or style it differently. Even still, without the benefit of trying things on, shopping in person or shopping online are close to the same.

Best of luck!

Thanks for reading.

Quarantine Diaries: Animal Crossing New Horizons

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Full disclosure: After buying Animal Crossing: New Horizons, this now takes up maybe 50% of my waking hours. When I first got it, it was probably more like 80% or some days even 90%. It’s the best game and I love it so much and if you have a switch, it’s worth it, hunny – get it!!

I played Animal crossings as a kid, but it was on my friend’s gaming system so I only played a little bit here and there. Playing the new version has been amazing – it’s what I remember plus so many cool new features. I’ve had such a blast 4fixing up my town, earning and setting up my house, and collecting all the fruits and flowers. I’ve visited some islands of my friends, and also strangers from Facebook groups and Reddit threads. There’s a lot of things that I learned from doing some google searching, and things that I wish I had found out a lot earlier in playing the game. Here are 10 quick tips that everyone who is playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons should know:

AC81. Shake trees from the front while holding your net! You can find furniture, bells, and tree branches that will fall from the trees when you shake them. However, this puts you at risk of course for a wasps nest to fall and sting you. If you are holding the net and shake the tree from the front, you will turn to face the wasps when the nest falls. You can then use the net to catch the wasp before it stings you and sell it for a decent price at the shop. Shaking your trees daily to catch wasps and collect the items that fall can really pay off!

AC72. Bury the bells you dig up each day, but change the amount first! When you dig up the bells from the glowing spot in the ground and bury them back in the whole, a money tree will grow. However, if you change the amount before burying it in the glowing hole, you can harvest more bells when the money tree blossoms. I usually bury 10,000 bells each day, so the tree will give me a 30,000 harvest in the end. I’m sure you can do even larger amounts if you have the bells in your pocket when you go to plant them. This will only work once per day obviously, as you can only bury the money in the glowing hole in the ground that shows once daily. 

AC63. Don’t break rocks if you don’t have to! If you continue to hit them again and again, you will continue to gain materials that jump out. But if you break it, you only get one. You can break the rock if you are on an island that is not yours, or also if you do not like the location of the rock on your own island. But new rocks will only grow once per day, so do this with caution. Also, make sure to harvest the rock completely before you break it! (I learned this lesson the hard way unfortunately.)

AC44. Visit other islands as much as possible! By using Nook Miles Tickets or visiting the islands and trading with your friends, you can acquire things that cannot me found on your own island. This includes different breeds of flowers, trees, and fruit. Using a Nook Miles Ticket will also allow you to gain extra resources and materials when you run out from your island. 

AC55. Collect fruit from other islands, then bury them to plant a tree! You only need to start with even one piece of fruit from a friend to plant a tree and eventually end up with an orchard. If you use a Nook Miles Ticket and find yourself on an island with foreign fruit, make sure to bring back either the fruit or the entire tree. I have all 6 fruits on my island, which comes in handy often for crafting or re-organizing my island. 

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6. Save your cross-bred flowers! You will have flowers sprout each day when existing and blooming flowers of the same kind are planted close to each other, and you should save anything that is not able to be store bought. Aside from red, yellow and white (and in one case, orange), you cannot buy any other color flowers from the shop. Don’t get rid of any cross-bred flowers too quickly, because it may be difficult to get them back. 

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7. Be careful of building bridges before unlocking terraforming! Once you unlock the Island Designer app and can change up the layout of your island, you may regret some bridges and inclines that were build prior to access to this tool. I’ve had to demolish two bridges since unlocking the app, which both cost 98,000 bells to build. I’m not saying not to build anything, because it can make navigating the island that much easier. But choose carefully to avoid having to demolish things that you worked hard for. 

AC18. Save Nook Miles for Island Designer permits! When you’re ready to use the terraforming feature via the newly unlocked app, you will need to buy permits to add new capabilities. These cost Nook Miles, but will be delivered to your phone immediately. waterscaping and cliffscaping each cost 6,000 Nook Miles, and different path patterns cost 2,000 Nook Miles each. You’ll want to have access to everything as soon as the app is unlocked, so I recommend saving up as much as possible beforehand. 

60971353735__00f7b05e-30ee-4437-a118-142485e5b30b9. Utilize your catalog! If you are lucky enough to have friends that also play Animal Crossings, you can visit each others’ islands to have catalog and trading parties! Trading is self explanatory, but cataloging is a little more intricate. If your friend drops an item that you do not have, you can pick the item up and drop it again to add it to your catalog. Your catalog exists at the Nook kiosk at Resident Services, and shows everything that you’ve ever owned. Because you picked the item up for even a second, it gets added to this catalog. Having catalog parties is a great way to give your friends access to your inventory without giving away all your stuff, and vise versa! After the party, you can buy anything they have that you liked for yourself. Note: You can only purchase 5 catalog items per day, which includes special daily items. 

AC210. Some catalog items are customizable! Many of the DIY items that you can craft are able to be customized, but many of your other items can be customized as well. You should check anything that you come across for custom options, as it may help you to better decorate. Some of these items include the magazine, director’s chair, loom, ironing board/set, and many accent items as well on things like the mugs, corkboards, record box, etc. Double check what you can make your own!

 

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Let me know if you want to come visit my island!!

That’s all for the “Quarantine Diaries” series for now. Don’t forget to check my What To Watch series if you missed it. Another series next month!

Thanks for reading.

 

 

5 Entertainers Of The Year

eotyI’ve subscribed to Entertainment Weekly magazine for the last couple of years so that I can stay up to date on new movies, TV, and music. Each year the announce their list of entertainers of the year, which features the most iconic and influential people in the entertainment industry. Here’s my favorites from the very long list of amazing people:

awk1.  Awkwafina
I first got to know Awkwafina on the MTV show Girl Code, where she was one of many hilarious female comics, and it’s been awesome to see her career take off. This rapper turned actress is not someone to sleep on. I believe we are gonna get used to seeing Nora Lum (her real name) more and more on our screens, and I am absolutely here for it!

billie2. Billie Eilish
I love what Billie stands for. Her music is original, different, and unique – and so is she. The statement that she’s made with her clothing is revolutionary, and everybody should be continuing that conversation. She’s so young, and is not going anywhere anytime soon, and I’m very thankful for that.

regina3. Regina King
Regina’s resume is incredibly impressive. She is hardworking and dedicated to her craft, and it really shows. She’s honestly done it all and continues to expand herself to more and more projects. Her voice is heard, wonderfully loud, and relevant. A true idol.

lil nas x4. Lil Nas X
I’m not a fan of country music, but I am in love with Lil Nas X. He is groundbreaking, and I am proud to be a part of the same community. He is one of the most unique people in the entire music industry, and he has created a lane all for himself. He hasn’t stopped since his first chart topper, and he knows how to use social media and meme culture to his advantage. People could learn a few tricks from his playbook, and he is absolutely one to keep an eye on. He’s going to continue to do great things. 

lizzoEntertainer.Cover_5. LIZZO
I stan Lizzo, and I always have. I’ve said it before: LIZZO IS EVERYTHING. She’s truly amazing, grabbing the title not only in the list featured in Entertainment Weekly, but also TIME’s solo Entertainer Of The Year. She is so deserving. Lizzo is the kind of artist that makes you fall in love with music all over again. I look to her music for every mood, every occasion, and everywhere I go. She’s genius, monumental, and exactly what the world needs. Long live Lizzo!

SterlingBrown-FTRHonorable Mention: Sterling K Brown
Don’t sleep on Sterling! He is talented, relevant, and fierce. Don’t let him pass you by.

Thanks for reading!

Head2Toe Soaps

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My girlfriend got a soap making kit for her birthday, and it’s led to a mini business venture for us. The kit came with a goat soap base and some natural exfoliants to add, such as rose buds and chamomile. Vanessa also had several different essential oils to create a variety of fragrances, so our first batch came out really well! We sent some to her family and friends to test, and we quickly learned that people would gladly pay for these soaps. So, we decided to sell the next batch! We added in a new 72b4ddf5-0f01-4327-af3e-5693da9fb099honey soap base as well, which was a big hit. We pretty much sold them all in a matter of days, and we learned to get some marketing and business materials together.

Our most recent batch turned out awesome. We had gotten some new ideas from DIY/craft resources to add in some natural exfoliants that we could find around the house, such as coffee and Himalayan salt. We also added new essential oils that included male and unisex fragrances (because the first batch was pretty feminine overall).

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We now have our original soaps – though we are using a shea butter base moving forward, because this is vegan friendly. The natural exfoliants include rose buds, rose petals, chamomile, marigold, jasmine, and ultra blue lavender. Soothing fragrances include eucalyptus, lavender, rose, tea tree, and lemongrass. I’ve used these myself, and they are awesome. We also have other exfoliants and fragrances to use for future batches (such as peppermint and orange), because we are hoping to create many unique varieties.

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To make sure we were as inclusive as possible, our honey batch was geared towards a more gender neutral audience. Most of the fragrances are unisex, but we also have two male scents included as well. These include cedarwood and frankincense for men, along with sandalwood, patchouli, juniper berry and litsea cubeca that are unisex. The honey base is extremely moisturizing, and we added some Himalayan salt for extra exfoliating.

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We also used the vegan shea butter base to create coffee and cinnamon soap – both of which are natural exfoliants and smell amazing. This is also unisex and full of tons of vitamins that are great for moisturizing skin.

All soaps are handmade, and we are excited to try out new ideas, materials, and methods in the future. Generally, soaps cost $5 each for those local to the Tucson area (or 2 for $8), but we are also able to ship any soap for $10 each (or 2 for $15).img_8728

You can find all our soaps on Instagram @head2toe_soap, where I update the availability daily. You can also buy them directly on Etsy at head2toesoap.etsy.com. Feel free to reach out to Vanessa or myself in any way for more information, questions, or requests.

Thanks for reading!

The Positive Lexicography

definition-of-word-lexicography-in-dictionary-F0JMNFI remember hearing once that there was a word in another language that describes the feeling you get when you think something is so cute that you get the urge to squeeze it. There isn’t a specific word for this sensation in the English language, and this idea of “untranslatable” words has been explored by Tim Lomas, PhD. These words emphasize feelings that we may have had before, but are unable to describe through the use of the language we know. By introducing the ideas and feelings that other languages have words for, we can further the types of happiness that we are capable of understanding through diction.

From this idea, Dr. Lomas developed an index titled “The Positive Lexicography”, which contains these untranslatable words from many languages around the world that relate to happiness and well-being. Dr. Tim Lomas has also written many books, papers, and published articles on the topic, and many others have continued his studies on their own as well. The lexicography is continuously evolving, and can be found on Dr. Lomas’ website. Here are a few examples*:

“Pretoogies” – Dutch:
referring to the twinkling eyes of someone engaged in benign mischief

“Tarab” – Arabic:
a word for musically induced ecstasy

“Tabanca” – Creole:
the bittersweet feeling of being left by someone you love

“Ohanami” – Japanese:
a word for gathering with others to appreciate flowers

“Fernweh” – German:
describing a longing to travel to distant lands; a kind of homesickness for the unexplored

“Morgenfrisk” – Danish:
describing the satisfaction one gets from a good night’s sleep

“Otium” – Latin:
the joy of being in control of one’s own time

worldA social media campaign was created, called “The Happy Words Project”, which can be found on Dr. Lomas’ facebook page. People are encouraged to contribute to the campaign by adding their own suggestions through recordings and videos, which promotes happy wordshappiness and positivity through new words and ideas. You can follow @DrTimLomas on all social media platforms, participate using the hashtag #HappyWordsProject, or follow @HappyWordsProject on Instagram for illustrated words of the day.

Thanks for reading!

*The Unique Joy Of Learning New Words  
Language Article by Katy Steinmetz,
TIME Magazine, October 1, 2018.

5 Reasons Why Lizzo is EVERYTHING

Lizzo is a powerhouse of an artist, of an icon, and of an overall human. She’s been making music for years now, but is now topping charts and making some serious moves with her career. She is for sure one to watch, and I have no doubt that she’s going to start taking over. You’re going to want her voice in your ear, trust me.

Lizzo is absolutely amazing, she is everything, and here’s why.

 

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1. Her New Album
If you haven’t listened to Lizzo’s new album “Cuz I Love You”, start streaming immediately! This dropped on April 19th and has been rocking the charts since. Her voice is so smooth and her music is upbeat, fun, and the best feel good music that’s being produced right now. The beats, the lyrics – she’s incredible. Though it’s not one of her new hits, “Truth Hurts” is really a killer song, along with “Juice”, “Soulmate”, “Like A Girl”, “Exactly How I Feel” .. okay all of them are amazing. Playing on repeat.

 

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2. Her Body Positivity  
Lizzo rocks her body, regardless of not looking like the standard supermodel. She often posts pictures on social media where she bears it all, and loves to have nude shots on her album covers. Though she may be “plus size” – ZAMN is she beautiful. Smooth, silky, pretty, and clearly someone to look up to as well. She loves herself and wants everyone else to know it, and to love themselves too. She’s incredibly stunning and intriguing to look at, and I am here for it.

 

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3. Her LGBTQ Support
Lizzo came on my radar through different LGBTQ content that I follow, and she is a huge ally for the gay community. She shows up for pride events, includes gays in her crew, and throws support whenever she can. A lot of her music is iconic in the gay community, and her sassiness is a trait that I hope rubs off on me as a result of listening to her music. Werk, queen.

 

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4. Her Black Girl Magic
This performance was truly iconic, especially for women in the black community. While singing her single “Juice” on Jimmy Kimmel, she got her hair braided and a pony tail put in on stage. She then continued to dance and swirl it around while it of course stayed perfectly in place… a queen. She also throws mad love to other strong black women in the media, such as her Coachella moment with Janelle Monet or her Insta-love for Tracee Ellis Ross. I appreciate that she supports other strong black women and continues to lift them up. 

 

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5. Her Movie Endeavors 
Lizzo is now breaking out of her box and will be starting in an upcoming animated movie!!
Ugly Dolls is about the towns of Uglyville and Perfectown, where the dolls learn that they don’t have to be perfect to be amazing. This movie has a huge huge huge star cast, including Nick Jonas, Kelly Clarkson, Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX, Emma Roberts, Janelle Monae, Blake Shelton, Gabirel Iglesias, and more. I’m so excited for Lizzo to bring her personality and energy to the big screens in this adorable animated film. Ugly dolls will be playing in theaters everywhere starting May 3rd, so go get your tickets!

 

For more of all things Lizzo, visit cuziloveyou.lizzomusic.com or follow her on social media, @lizzo on Twitter and @lizzobeeating on Instagram.

Thanks for reading!

5 Reasons why JVN is #Goals

Jonathan Van Ness is one of the most amazing people on this planet. That’s not an opinion, it is a fact, honey.

JVN came to full celebrity status as a part of the “Fab Five” on Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye, where he is the groomer, hairstylist, and self-care advocate. His colorful commentary along with his wit and charm have quickly won over all the hearts of America, including mine. He also hosts a Game of Thrones recap web series titled Gay of Thrones, which was nominated for an Emmy, and hosts a podcast called Getting Curious.

He is amazing. He is incredible. He is fabulous. He is gorgeous. He is everything.

Here are the top 5 reasons why we should all follow, love, adore, cherish, admire, and aspire to be JVN:

jvn 51. His Style
I absolutely am obsessed with the boundaries that JVN pushes whenever he steps out to turn a look. His looks are often androgynous, pushing what could be considered “gender norms” by wearing skirts, dresses, and heels. When he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel wearing a sleek black romper and colorful, sparkly heels – I was living for it, honey! He is such a style icon and should be watched for head-turning looks in the future.

 

jvn 42. His Activism
JVN is an outspoken liberal who is extremely involved in activism and making the world a better place. He brings awareness to political issues and supports social issues such as trans rights, women’s rights, gun reform, and more. He was also the first male cheerleader at his high school and went on to cheer at the University of Arizona. JVN breaks ground, stands up for what he believes in, and makes change happen. Regardless of what you believe in, Jonathan is an amazing example of standing up for what you are passionate about.

 

jvn 23. His Podcast
I’ve written about Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness in my podcast favorite posts, but it’s one of the reasons I truly love him. First of all, because I can never get enough of the way he talks, honey. I could just listen to him say “cute” and “gorgeous” on repeat or as my alarm in the morning. JVN also has some really important guests that cover significant topics that dive deep into a variety of issues. From artificial intelligence, to peace in the Middle East, to climate change, to women in comedy, and everything in between! It’s extremely admirable that he takes the time to ensure we hear so many important messages from credible sources.

 

jvn 34. His Ice Skating
We should all learn a valuable lesson from JVN – it’s never too late to learn a new skill. Jonathan has always been obsessed with figure skating, or more specifically, Michelle Kwan, and decided in his adult life to take on the task of learning the art. He posts videos of this progress, showing both his falls and the landings. This is such an amazing message to teach anyone who is watching him. There is a struggle to learning something new; it takes time, patience and determination. JVN is working hard and I can’t wait til we see him land that gorgeous triple axle, honey. #JVNSkates

 

jvn 15. His Hair
Jonathan’s hair – including facial – is truly killer. He can rock a blow out like he is Beyoncé with his long luscious locks blowing beautifully across his shoulders. He is also no stranger to a gorgeous messy bun or top knot, paired with the right accessories of course. JVN’s mustache game is truly incredible as well and always on point. Gentlemen – take a note! Regardless of the length of your hair/beard/etc., know how to manage and take care of it.

 

For all things JVN, visit https://jonathanvanness.com/ or follow him on social media @jvn.

Thanks for reading!

CO$T Projects

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One of my best friends has a cousin who started designing a modern and unique clothing brand after a college project took off via Instagram. What started out as an assignment was developed into a street-wear brand that highlights individuality and uniqueness.

For 150 days, CO$T launched Project one/one, which involved auctioning off hoodies and shirts via Instagram. Each design was entirely unique, featuring portraits of cultural icons printed on a variety of colors that were dyed on by hand. The icons included artists, musicians, comedians and more. No design was ever repeated, making every single item a one of a kind. The piece was posted on Instagram, and followers were then able to comment their bid. At midnight, the highest bidder would win the item to receive via mail.

Truthfully, it wasn’t easy to win. I got close several times on some pieces that I really, really, really wanted to cop, but I was out bid within literal seconds of the midnight deadline. I was outbid by 32 seconds on a Snoop Dogg release, and I was unfortunately in Vegas for an amazing Marilyn Monroe release and wasn’t able to be on my phone at the right time. Other pieces I wanted but missed out on included Cardi B, Fetty Wop, John Lennon, and more. My friend Rachel was able to cop a John Mayer TShirt! They also did a dope SuperBowl series when the Eagles played the Patriots, a tribute series to Mac Miller, and they’ve been involved in many charity projects as well.

On Valentine’s Day, CO$T did a special release where they dropped a set of twin hoodies that were dyed in IMG-2299.pngValentine’s Day style. If my memory services me correctly, this was done via their Insta story, and there was a static price that they made for each hoodie. The first to claim either of the pair would immediately get it. I was able to cop the second of the set, which was extremely exciting since this was my first CO$T win. It was very simple to exchange information with them via Instagram in order to get this delivered, and it was very timely. So on top of the dope designs, the solid customer service was also there.

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IMG-2858After the one/one project had ended, CO$T did a series of 7 sweatshirts of CO$T x Matchbox. These sweatshirts were really my style, since I’m a huge fan of a good crewneck, and they were really unique. Each sweatshirt was a pairing of two bold colors, one of them taking up the entirely of a sleeve with a $ design accenting the other. Once I saw the release with my college colors, maroon and gold (hey Kutztown) I definitely wanted make that mine. Since I had already known how to play the game by this point, I was able to cop it.

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Even though there are no more one/one releases, CO$T still will do time-sensitive releases from time to time on their Instagram. There are also some promotional items here and there, and that’s when I was able to get my latest cop – the Starry Night sweatshirt. It’s another crew neck so naturally it caught my attention – but I also loved the splatter pattern and the gold highlights. It was on sale and promotes on their Insta, so I was able to cop it immediately once seeing the post. Since I’m a friend of the family and I’m assuming Cole knows who I am, he sent me a really sweet personal note with my package thanking me for supporting the brand (it’s the little things).

IMG-2300To cop some of CO$T Project’s dope pieces, go straight to their website at costprojects.com and head to “projects”. Since they are always creating and releasing new things, and sometimes still do auctions / promotions via Instagram, I highly recommend following them @cost_projects. When they are working on new releases, you can sometimes see the process via their insta story, and links to any pieces you see are available in their feed as well. Highly recommending heading over and checking them out ASAP.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Marilyn Monroe (A Rare Look)

If you know me at all, then you know my extreme love for Marilyn Monroe. From my Marilyn wall in college to my tattoo of her signature, I can’t get enough of her.

I’ve seen or own a version of most pictures that exist from her, since there is a finite amount. However, I still love to find new ones that I haven’t seen before, or different versions and adaptations. I was sent an article by a coworker of A Rare Look At Marilyn Monroe, and there were a couple of photos in there that really caught my eye.

Marilyn could not take a bad picture. Every time that camera flashed, she looked flawless in the lenses. At every size, in any style, at any time. Some of my favorite pictures of Marilyn, however, are not the glamorous shots that she is known for. Her beauty and uniqueness shows even in her “normal” or more “every day” type photos. These are the ones that remind me that she truly was someone special.

 

 

It’s true that Marilyn stands for a Hollywood glamour and sex movement that could never be forgotten, but I love to see her classic beauty reside in simple places as well. Whether Marilyn is posing for the camera or the picture is candid, no one can deny her charisma through photographs. She has the ability to evoke emotion in every move, expression, and look in her eyes. And our eyes gravitate towards her no matter what.ss-120313-marilyn-cr-6.fit-880wI also just love so much that she can look absolutely stunning, perfect, and intriguing in a simple picture where she is standing next to some bears eating garbage. She’s amazing.

More to come. Thanks for reading.

A Rare Look at Marilyn Monroe, today.com