Joy Curators

daily inspirations, curiosities, and obsessions


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Music: 12 Songs for Summer

Time to refresh your music collection, because these tunes and good weather go together.

Some Synth-pop perfect for early morning runs:

Neighbors – Wild Enough

Freshly pressed and catchy as hell:

MØ – Gone and Found

 Uplifting and smooth like butter:

Yuna – Live Your Life

The bizarre but fun Indie Pop darlings:

tUnE-yArDs – Water Fountain

A Rap song with a great beat:

Fabolous – Cuffin Season (The Soul Tape 3)

When you want to pretend your life is a fancy vodka commercial:

Vario Volinski – Falling in Love (Original Mix)

Or stare out the window, pensively:

Mimicking Birds – Bloodlines

Or dance around your room to happy punk music:

The Rich Hands – Teenager

“Don’t tell me what to do I’m a ghost!!”:

Cibo Matto – MFN

A sweet, sincere, and beautiful acoustic cover:

Courtney Barnett – Bein’ Around (Lemonheads Cover)

A fuzzy anthem from Northern Ireland:

Joy Land – Sea States

And last but not least, a feel-good classic:

Miriam Makeba – Pata Pata

Enjoy and please follow!

Missy

 

 

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How White Should My Pinterest Be?

When I browse Pinterest, I feel guilty about the lack of high-quality, glamorous images of racially diverse women. Am I the only one?

In case this spiel on the whitest of white guilt hasn’t given it away, I am a white person. I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in a relatively diverse area. I’ve traveled to places that are less ethnically diverse. That aspect of those places depressed me in a way that realizing a friend hasn’t read my favorite book would: the people who live there don’t know what they’re missing.

That’s kind of how I feel about Pinterest.

Should I really be surprised that a platform populated by religious (mostly Mormon) housewives lacks a more accurate representation of society as a whole? In some parts of the country, a sea of whiteness is a reflection of that society.

But this is the internet, and the internet is nothing if not diverse.

My guilt isn’t about Pinterest’s neglect of women of color in general, it’s about my role in this neglect. Pinterest is a reflection of how I see the world and where I gather inspiration. It’s where I go to aspire and apply trends. For me, Pinterest replaces the need to buy fashion magazines; I can be my own Anna Wintour.

However, I browse through my own whitely populated boards and sadly realize that I’ve ignored a major part of the population. Most of my pins are from fashion editorials. Lamenting the shortage of fashion editorials featuring non-white models is not a new sport, but I think I just made varsity.

Realizing my myopia, I made a decision to seek out glamorous images of women from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. At first I was worried that promoting diversity on Pinterest when I, myself, am white makes me guilty of tokenism. But if I think the images are beautiful, who cares whether or not the women look like me? Alex Wek is my new favorite makeup muse, leading me to conclude that the same eyeshadows and lipsticks that look great on someone with very dark skin work equally well on very pale skin, but I digress.

Pinterest is a place where people can create their own icons. That is why it needs more pictures of fashionable and fabulous women like Bianca Jagger, Eartha Kitt, Lupita Nyong’o, and Fei Fei Sun. We all can gather inspiration from these women and plenty of other POC. Besides, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn are getting painfully boring.

-Missy


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Zing up Your Summer Palette with Homemade Ginger Ale, a Charming Cocktail, and a Zesty Salad

Full disclosure: I woke up hungover on Sunday morning. Usually my go-to drink for a woozy stomach is ginger ale.

Ginger is known to reduce nausea. Because of this, it’s also helpful for dealing with morning sickness and stomach flu.

Unfortunately, I was completely out of ginger ale, but I did have ginger root. Here are three delicious things I managed to whip up. I invite you to try them out. Each is perfect for summer and, despite their nauseated origin, especially great for entertaining.

Homemade Ginger Ale

ginger root

1 cup of sugar

sparkling water

slice of lemon (optional)

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Finely chop or grate about 1 1/4 inches of ginger root

Pour 1 cup sugar into a pot of 4 1/2 cups water

Put on stove, cook on high, stirring until the sugar devolves

Once boiling, add your ginger

Boil together, tasting occasionally with a spoon (be careful! It will be hot!)

Allow enough water to evaporate so that the taste is condensed. This should take 10 to 20 minutes. Your goal is to create a liquid that is both very sweet and strongly tastes of ginger. It will be diluted when you add the sparkling water.

Allow the concoction to cool.

Strain the liquid to remove the bits of ginger.

Pour into a glass, filling it halfway. Top it off with sparkling water and a squeeze of lemon to taste.

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Charming Summer Cocktail (Non-alcoholic or Alcoholic)

This is equally simple and sure to impress guests. You can either use store-bought ginger ale or make some yourself from the recipe above.

 

blackberries, mixed berries, or raisins

ginger ale

thyme, dried or fresh

white wine (optional)

 

Place a few berries in each glass. (I like to freeze the berries beforehand, but it doesn’t really matter. Throw in an ice cube or two if you don’t.)

Crush half a sprig or less of thyme with your hands to release the flavor and place it in the glass.

Pour in the ginger ale.

Let sit for three minutes to let the flavors mingle.

Add white wine if you wish. It’s equally good with it or alone.

Serve!

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You could also mix these ingredients in a bowl to make a punch.

 

Light Summer Salad

The ginger vinaigrette is what makes this salad taste bright, zesty, and refreshing. It’s surprisingly addicting.

 

apple cider vinegar

baby salad greens

cocktail tomatoes

ginger root

olive oil

parmesan cheese

Ginger Vinaigrette Dressing

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Finely chop a 1/2 inch of ginger.

Mix with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.

Add a dash of olive oil.

Allow to rest while making the salad.

 

The Salad

Use baby mixed field greens or baby kale leaves as your base.

Chop two or three cocktail tomatoes into fourths, more if you use cherry tomatoes.

Cover with very thinly sliced parmesan cheese.

Stir the vinaigrette, and pour it over the salad.

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Enjoy!

Missy

 

Face Yoga: Loss of Face for Vanity’s Sake

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Ranjana Khan is a 57 year-old mother of two, but her face wouldn’t tell you that.

Take a calm moment and follow along with Khan in the most comprehensive face yoga video I have seen.

Be prepared to make some silly faces followed by feeling an overwhelming sense of serenity.

I’m not sure what the verdict is on whether these stretches work to either prevent visible aging or exacerbate wrinkles — but after following along with Khan I stopped unintentionally furrowing my brow when busy.

Serenely yours,

Missy


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I Agree with PacSun Mom

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If you were to ask me what I think of PacSun, the surf-skate inspired clothing brand for teens, I would flatly tell you, “I don’t.”

That changed while I was walking through my local mall on a shopping trip this week. I saw this display in the front window of the PacSun store. (There might have been one or two more shirts, but same general effect.)

At that moment I felt compelled to walk into the store and explain how the window made me weep for humanity, or at the very least take a picture and tweet my disapproval. I don’t have a smart phone (long story) or a misguided belief that the store manager has any say in what is displayed in the front window, so I didn’t.

However, I don’t blame PacSun Mom for wanting to voice her opinion. I think most of us can agree that purchasing the shirts was probably not the ideal way to do so. That said, I admire her for making a stand and I resent other people for trying to belie her sentiment because she is Mormon or was shopping with her 18 year-old son. Religion plays a major part in censorship in America, but I don’t believe that it does in this instance.

As someone who would be considered both politically and religiously liberal, I was offended by PacSun’s display.

I was most offended by the fact that they were the *only* apparel for young guys being displayed in the front window – as if to say “this is the coolest stuff in the store.”

I resent the fact that this objectification is so highly regarded by PacSun that they would make it unavoidable to anyone walking past the store. As a woman, that sh!t is embarrassing to see.

Why?

Women are not nameless accessories and we all are responsible for a culture that promotes this notion to young men.

If we want to break this cycle, we have to teach young men and women to respect each other’s anatomy as well as their autonomy.

I get that some people want to embrace the female form, but there are less objectifying images that could be used to do so.

M


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Real Life Still Life: A Free, Easy Way to Dress-up Your Home

This is a perfect activity for someone who owns stuff and wishes to display that stuff in an attractive way.

Is that you? Great! I thought so.

As you may know, a Still Life is a work of art that showcases inanimate objects in a grouping.

Here are a few examples in my home:

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Food and flowers are extremely common in Still Lifes (yes, that is the correct plural), so today we are going to keep it simple and utilize the food in your kitchen, and the plants in your (or your neighbor’s) garden.

Scour your refrigerator and pantry for fresh edibles.

Fruits such as apples, grapes, oranges, and bananas are lovely, but don’t overlook root vegetables such as onions, garlic, and potatoes, as they can provide contrast to an elaborately decorated plate or brightly colored flowers.

Don’t worry if you can’t find much variety, some of the best arrangements are made with only one type of food.

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Now you must locate an attractive dish or bowl.

The dish can be a part of your everyday plate-ware, a special serving dish, or an antique you bought to display.

I think the best Still Lifes involve medium size dishes/bowls, but it really depends on the size and quantity of the objects you plan to arrange. If you have three cherries, a shot glass would do the trick; however, if you have 15 watermelons, a clawfooted bathtub would be better suited.

If you don’t have any fresh fruit or veggies in your kitchen, have no fear! Pull a Warhol and arrange some cans!

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If you are having trouble making a balanced arrangement with your items, try limiting yourself to five objects. I find that this is the quickest way to achieve balance.

Top it off with a sprig of greenery like a cutting from a bush. Alternatively, pick a few flowers and tuck them into the arrangement.

For my favorite arrangement, I built a mountain of cheerful, sweet-smelling clementines on top of an antique pewter dish and accessorized  it with a branch of greenery that brings life to the scene. I placed it on the kitchen peninsula so that it can be enjoyed from many angles.

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There you have it! A simple way to fill your home with living art!

Lilo and I are hoping to gain more followers, so if you enjoyed this post, please follow us. 🙂

Thanks,

Missy

Flake It ‘Til You Make It: A Cure for Snowy Sunday Stoicism

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rug flakesIf you’re stuck in the East Coast’s almost perpetual winter barrage like Lilo and I are, I’m sure the novelty of snow has well worn off.

Let me change that for you.

As we all know, outside snow is cold and wet; there is only so long you can make snowballs, igloos, snowmen, ice facials (stick your face in snow, pretend to be a Real Housewife who can’t feel her face anymore but looks sooo good!), and chocolate snow cones (add a little water to Hershey’s syrup, pour the mixture on top of a bowl of snow, eat it) until your hands turn blue.

. . . but what about INSIDE snow?

“What’s that?!” you say?

Well, children, don’t get too excited! It’s paper, not magic.

That’s right, let’s make snowflakes.

Snowflakes are for all ages, require few resources, and serve a decorative purpose. You can make them while binge watching Twin Peaks on Netflix. They make people happy. Get excited for snowflakes, dammit.

INSTRUCTIONS:

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First, find any piece of paper. The one I’m using in this picture is construction paper, but printer paper is always a classic. Sometimes I use linen paper if I want to be fancy, but it is truly up to you.

Find a pair of scissors that are sharp and easily manipulated. For this reason I would advise against using kitchen shears.

Now, we have to turn the rectangular piece of paper into a square.

To do this, first take the lower left corner and pull it diagonally to make the left edge and the top edge flesh.

Once they match, crease the paper to hold the fold.

Now, cut the remaining rectangle off.

The remaining paper is now square shaped, but leave it folded into a triangle.

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Fold the right corner of the triangle to the center point.

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Do this again to the left side, bringing the left point to center.

This creates a diamond shape.

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Fold this diamond shape in half, using the line in which the previously folded sides meet as your axis.

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This is a top view of the final result.

From here, cut as your heart desires! Just do not slice either of the folded sides off completely, as they hold your snowflake together.

 

I like to take inspiration from the patterns on Nordic sweaters, plants, Native American tribal patterns, and architecture. Lately, I have been deeply inspired by the work of British interior decorator David Hicks and his geometric patterns. (I will certainly do a post on him on the future.)

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You could find inspiration from Gothic architectural features such as rose windows, pointed arches, and the quatrefoil shape. 

Or just snip away randomly! You do you!

If you don’t have a pair of scissors handy, or just don’t want to clean up the resulting confetti byproduct, there’s an app for that. I recommend Paper Snow 2.

Happy snow day,

Missy