I sing Adobe Lightroom’s praises to anyone who will listen, but the photo editing that will always have my heart is VSCO. For those who aren’t familiar with the app, it’s a social media/iPhone editing platform that was seriously the only way to have a cool Instagram account back in the day. Not only is it easy to use, but the filters are super customizable, which allowed you to create a feed aesthetic before having a feed aesthetic was a thing. I personally couldn’t get enough of the A6 filter, and almost all of my pictures were given a desaturated, slightly cool look thanks to the filter pack. Of course, my Instagram feed is now bright and colorful, but I’m able to understand Lightroom partly because of my experience with VSCO.
I occasionally re-share articles that I’ve written for other publications here on xo, Ayana. While my blog tone is relatively lighthearted, these articles are typically heavier reading — I love this happy corner of the Internet I’ve created, but I don’t ever want to ignore things close to my heart for the sake of branding. I felt led to share this article after reading about the tragic death of Andrew Stoecklein, a popular megachurch pastor in Chino, California who died by suicide at 30 years old. While I grieve for his family, especially his wife Kayla and three sons, I’ve also been enraged by the cruel things I’ve seen online.
Pastors have said terrible things about this man’s eternal fate, about perceived spiritual weakness, about depression being impossible once you accept Jesus. Lies, lies, lies — and damaging lies that make it hard to trust church leadership. Additionally, some religious publications have published as much detail as possible about the incident, which goes against the recommendations for Reporting on Suicide.
No matter how far we’ve come, we still have work to do.
Raise your hand if you have a weird relationship with your curves. (Picture me jumping up and down enthusiastically.) I got my first “training bra” when I was 8 years old and have had hips since I hit puberty. I’ve written about my self-image struggles, but one of the things that has complicated my journey is that I’ve always had a large chest and butt with wide hips. Even when I was much skinnier, I felt disproportionate to the people around me.
Life is full of cheer because APS IS HERE! I try not to be too corny, but there’s no other way to express my excitement for Lilly Pulitzer’s After-Party sale. Save the date: It’s September 10-12, 2018. With only a few days left until the sale begins, I wanted to round up all of the questions I get most frequently about the sale. If you have any additional questions, leave them in the comments! Also, make sure you to scroll down to enter the giveaway at the bottom — it’s a good one.