Serendipity: the Artwork of NWSA and Baltimore.

Saturday was full of art. The best kind of day.

I walked around the NWSA (National Women’s Studies Association, by the way) poster session and looked at the booths from different organizations and publishing companies, and was so inspired. I had to get a print of this amazing artwork I found at the Syracuse Cultural Workers booth.

Art by Erik Drooker, words by Käthe Kollwitz, a 1920s German artist.

You can purchase the print, as well as these powerful postcards I picked up at their website,   SyracuseCulturalWorkers.com

Saturday was a day of serendipity. I met so many completely unique and inspiring individuals. One of them, an artist named Minnie Chiu, approached me while I was writing a few postcards to home. We started talking about our conference experiences and about art. 

Turns out, Minnie was a fantastic feminist artist. She told me about how after the election, she took all the rage and disappointment she was feeling and channeled it all to make a postcard series. She then used those postcards to spread word of the Women’s March. 

She was just so inspiring and I wish I was a bit more eloquent but I don’t know how to describe the awe I felt around all the powerful, fierce women and feminists at the conference. She even gave me a few of her postcards!! 

Postcards by Minnie Chiu.

You can buy her artwork at her Etsy store Practicing Democracy.

Later that day, after going to a roundtable on publishing in feminist scholarly journals, I decided to go out and explore the Charm City a little bit.

In truth, I had heard there was a free art museum that has a very famous collection, and I knew I would be disappointed if I didn’t stand in front of an original Vincent Van Gogh painting and contemplate life when I had the chance. Not only did the Baltimore Museum of Art have Van Gogh, but they also had the largest collection of Matisse paintings in the world! 

It was an emotional experience, to be sure. Georgia O’Keefe, Diego Rivera, Andy Warhol, the list of names goes on. I actually took a ton of pictures, but I’ve decided not to post them. It just doesn’t do it justice. 

What I will say, is if you ever get the chance to go to the Baltimore Museum of Art, take it. Admission is free, but hours are limited so be sure to check their website. 

Bonus Tip: take the Purple Route of the Charm City Circulator to get to the museum from the Federal Hill area. It’s free! 

As I was waiting for the bus to take me back towards the convention center, I spotted some awesome street art. Taped to the light pole at 22nd Street, miles from the convention center, a poster for Trans Rights. Social Justice in action. Feminism hiding in plain sight. I was moved.

Found at St. Paul and 22nd, Baltimore, MD

I joked with my roommates when I got home, the word of the weekend was serendipitous. Seriously, though, the muses shone down on me this weekend. 

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Hiking Closer to Home

I’ve been missing the forest something fierce since we can’t back from the gorge. Today it has been raining and yucky and I haven’t even been able to use my coping mechanism for wilderness withdrawal: hiking closer to home. Everywhere we’ve ever lived, even the smallest apartment in the slummiest neighborhood, has had a park within a ten minute drive. If there’s a park with actual wooded areas within fifteen, I’ll drive the extra mile.

A couple of days ago, my roommate and I took her dogs for a hike in the park around the corner, called Lapping Park. They have a couple of great hiking trails of varying shorter lengths, one a little less than a mile, one about a mile and a half, and one around three miles long. The longer two follow Silver Creek for a ways and offer beautiful views of the water. 

We elected to take the medium sized hike, due to time restraints. The dogs had a blast, especially when they saw we were collecting sticks (which I was doing for a project I might tell you about another day). We even found some fallen logs and a wooden bridge to work on their agility. It felt so good to just get out and breathe in the fresh air. To be around nothing but trees and not see cars, power lines, and screens everywhere. 

I recommend everyone find their local park and go for a walk as soon as possible. No matter the weather, your bound to find something beautiful to see and the fresh air will certa do us all some good. Here’s some pics of how cute the pups were and how awesome Lapping Park was.

Red River Gorge: fall trip

Last weekend the Hubby and I took about 36 hours to reset and unwind. Our favorite place to do that is in the Gorge. If you are from Louisville or any of the surrounding areas, you know Red River Gorge is a backpacker and camper’s paradise. It’s located in Daniel Boone National Forest and it is full of gorgeous scenery, great hiking trails with awe-inspiring views, and great fishing. We set up camp in our usual spot, on a sandy beach cozied up against a curve in the Indian Creek, an offshoot of the Red River.

We call it our home away from home, our special camping spot. It is literally the perfect spot and no one can ever find it because it is hidden among the back country and primitive camping sites. We tend to avoid camping grounds and try to always set up away from other people. We’re here to enjoy the most basic wilderness, and maybe a couple of human comforts like fire and booze. 

The evening was spent with a couple of great friends, food cooked over an open fire, and great conversation. We took turns hunting for firewood and tending to the fire. The sense of community built in the time it takes to pitch a tent and organize your campsite is an indescribably good feeling.

Sunday was spent on the trails. We got a late start but thought we might have enough time to do the double arches loop. It’s about 5 miles round trip. On a normal day, it would be simple. This Sunday we had 4 dogs and a 3 year old. It took a bit longer than expected and we ended up walking at least a mile in the dark. Luckily they had a gravel trail for easy trekking. 

The trail was arduous but so very worth it. Red River Gorge in the fall is the most beautiful sight you could think of. I felt like I was standing in a stock photo. The colors were fantastic and when viewed from the height we achieved they felt almost unreal. 

I can’t wait to return to the gorge as soon as possible. I haven’t been yet during the winter, but I would love to wake up and peer from my tent to see a soft powder coating the ground. There are so many more trails to explore, and I haven’t even begun to talk about the super cool rock structures that the gorge is full of.

Gorillaz Fictional Band Member Drops Sick Playlist

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Photo credit: Wikipedia  

 

Mostly, Facebook is just a great way for me to waste a lot of time, but every once in a while, I find a real diamond in the rough of my news feed. This week, that diamond came in the form of an article from Bullet about Gorillaz fictional bandmember and lead guitarist, Noodle’s newest project: a playlist on SoundCloud. To be honest, I had forgotten about the Gorillaz until I saw this article. I was so excited to learn that the Gorillaz have a new album coming out, and they’ve been doing super random, cool promotional stuff, like giving each band member their own origin stories. The newest thing that’s been released in the ramp-up to their new album is this playlist I mentioned on SoundCloud, and it is everything my feminist dreams are made of.

Noodle has released a funky, fantastic, and feminist playlist to hype you up and get you moving. I have listened to the 28 minute long playlist at least 5 times since I found it a couple days ago. Every voice you hear is female and that is pretty damn cool when they’re rapping about riding low and singing about not giving a fuck. Noodle’s playlist is a fabulous reminder that being a girl is powerful!

Plus, like 26 minutes in, she hits me with the Tardis! Girl, you’re awesome. Thanks for the tunes 🙂

Ok, now I gtg find these backstories… Who is Noodle?

Listen to 私 Noodle❗️ by Gorillaz #np on #SoundCloud

Free & Cheap Yoga in Louisville **Updated 7/18/17**

I love Yoga. I love going to yoga class, more than practicing at home, because being in the space, surrounded by like-minded yogis, seems to really help me center myself into my practice more than I can when surrounded by the distractions of home. That being said, I do not have a yogi’s bank account. Yoga classes in Louisville can range from $20-25 a class, a luxury I simply cannot afford for an hour of stress relief and exercise. I have compiled a list of free and cheap or donation based classes for myself, and I have been asked about the list a couple of times now. So, I thought I would share it with all of you lovely people. Many of these classes are called “Karma Classes,” which is a great practice many yoga studios follow, where they offer a donation based or “pay what you can” class. I encourage you to please donate something, if you can, in order to keep these classes around. I categorized the classes by DAY to make your life easier.

Your Welcome!

Sunday

  • The Inner Warrior @ 1760 Frankfort Avenue has a FREE class from 5:30-6:30. They have a Karma Jar out for donations, though, and it goes toward their Karma Drive which help keep homeless Louisvillians warm  this winter. **You must register on their website before class.
  • 502 Power Yoga has Yoga for Recovery from 2:00-3:30 pm. This is a donation based class. This class ties in the 12-Step program, for those of you who may be struggling with addiction.

 

Monday

  • St. Paul’s Church at 2000 Douglas Blvd in the highlands has a yoga class for $5 from 5:30-6:30 pm.
  • Shelby Park Community Center has a free community yoga class from 6-7 pm on Monday nights.
  • There is a $5 yoga class at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park on Mondays at 6pm. During warm weather this is outside, and I honestly don’t know if they move it indoors to the community area for the winter. If anyone does know, please comment and share!
  • Wanna enjoy some hops with your bend? Flat 12 Brewery hosts a donation-based yoga class at their brewery every Monday at 7:00pm. They are located in Jeffersonville at 130 West Riverside Drive. There is a $5 suggested donation, and $1 off your pints!

 

Tuesday

  • There is a yoga class on Louisville Waterfront Park from 7-8pm now until September 12th. It costs $5.
  • There is a class at 6:00 pm at the Fern Creek Community Center for $7 on Tuesdays.
  • From 4:30-5:45 Yoga East offers a $5 community class at their St. Matthews Studio at 115 Wiltshire Avenue, 40207.

 

Wednesday

  • E. P. Tom Sawyer Park has a yoga class at 6 pm on Wednesdays for $5. Like the Monday class, I’m not sure if it’s been moved inside because of the winter.
  • St. Paul’s Church at 2000 Douglas Blvd in the highlands has a yoga class for $5 from 5:30-6:30 pm.
  • The Inner Warrior @ 1760 Frankfort Avenue has a FREE class from 7:30-8:30. They have a Karma Jar out for donations, though, and it goes toward their Karma Drive which help keep homeless Louisvillians warm  this winter. **You must register before class on their website HERE
  • Across the water, at the Jeffersonville Riverstage, you can catch a yoga class from 10:30-11:00am hosted by Inner Spring Yoga. Its FREE!
  • Yoga East has a community class from 4:30-5:45pm for $5. It is at their St. Matthews studio. They also have a $5 Gentle Yoga class at their Highlands Studio from 11:00-12:15.

 

Thursday

  • There is a community class at the Family Health Center at 834 E Broadway from 6:00-7:15pm. It is $1. This class is hosted by the Kentucky Yoga Initiative. They have a whole schedule of community classes. You should check that out HERE.

Friday

  • Yoga East has $5 Chair Yoga class from 10:30-11:45am. Chair Yoga is great for seniors and yogis who are in a wheelchair.

 

Saturday

  • 11am-12pm at Tim Faulkner Art Gallery there is a donation based yoga class. This is sponsored by the Kentucky Yoga Initiative and it is my personal favorite yoga class.
  • Yoga on Baxter has a $5 community class on Saturdays from noon to 1 pm.
  • From 10-11am at the Jeffersonville Riverstage there is a free yoga class hosted by Inner Spring Yoga. I love that this class is outside, but hopefully early enough to beat the heat, plus nice and breezy by the river.

 

This is, by no means, a complete and comprehensive list of affordable yoga options in Louisville. I would love to keep adding to this list, so if you have anything to add, please comment!! Also, if you’re looking for a yoga buddy, don’t hesitate to reach out.

 

Namaste,

Rach

Buy Local Fair Roundup

Last Sunday was the 4th Annual Buy Local Fair here in Louisville, KY. This is a big event where local businesses set up booths in one of our beautiful parks and Louisvillians flock to get coupons, drink bourbon and discover cool things to do in our hometown.  Any chance I get to learn about my awesome city, I take! I was so excited to explore the fair and find some neat things to do this summer.
I am terrible about taking pictures when I’m out having fun, but I did collect a lot of literature, so I just wanted to share with you a couple of places I discovered that are really neat in Louisville right now. There were what seemed like hundreds of businesses, from restaurants and boutiques, to wineries and yoga studios and hometown tour companies. The possibilities really are endless in Possibility City. I am only going to cover 6 places that I’m really interested in, but I’d love to hear about your favorite “hometown tourist” spots here in Louisville.

1. Louisville Salt Caves

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The Louisville Salt Cave is something I’ve been interested in for a while. They carted in 5 tons of 250 million year old Himalayan Salt and a halogenerator to create a pure air environment that is allergen free and saturated in negative ions, which increase your serotonin levels, making you happy! Additionally, salt therapy, or “halotherapy” helps with a plethora of health issues, including respiratory issues, dermatological issues, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and more. This one is definitely on my list to check out soon.

2. 502 Power Yoga

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I have been wanting to join a yoga studio for a while now, but there are so many different types I didn’t know what to choose. I saw a lot of studios at the fair, but 502 Power Yoga  stood out to me. They are the only studio in the state that teaches the Baptiste Method, and I love how they talk about yoga as a lifestyle, and community. On their website it says their goal is “to empower people to transform their bodies, minds, lives, and communities one breath and one pose at a time.” That sounds like something I want to be a part of. They have a new student introductory package of unlimited classes for 40 days for 40$ and that’s really freakin’ good. My first class is this Saturday! So look for an update on this cool new studio.

3. Tattoo Charlies

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To be honest, I didn’t just discover Tattoo Charlies. I’ve been a fan for a long time, and I actually have two gorgeous tattoos from them, and my sister has one. They have amazingly talented artists who really work with you to create the perfect image. This goes for the Tattoo Charlies on Dixie Hwy, too! Also, they have vegan ink, and that’s really neat.

4. University of Louisville Art Scene

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We all know University of Louisville  is a great place to get an education, but this summer I want you to remember that UofL also has loads of different activities and exhibits to entertain you, some at very little to no cost. While I was at the Buy Local fair I got several pamphlets from UofL. One was for one of their current art exhibitions, called Summer Breaks: Labor, Leisure, Lust… Y’all know how much I love art and alliteration! That’s going in until August 5th, I’m definitely gonna check it out. The Hite Art Institute at UofL actually has 6 art galleries they maintain. That’s an entire day worth of culture and entertainment! Additionally, they have enough art on the campus itself, there’s a tour revolved around it. Its called the Art Walk.

5. Louisville Vegan Jerky Company

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Ok, to be honest, I didn’t see the Louisville Vegan Jerky Co. at the Buy Local Fair, I saw them at the Flea Off Market, which is another fun local event we have. But I reallllly wanted to share this awesome product with you. It is gluten-free,  non-gmo certified, soy based jerky and it is seriously yummy. Plus, they have a Jerky of the Month Club, where you can subscribe to get 3 bags of jerky delivered to your door for 20$ a month. PLUS, 1$ of each month goes to an animal sanctuary that needs funding.  So many pluses!

6. PlayThink Movement and FlowArts Festival

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The 5th annual PlayThink Festival is going down June 15-19 this year in Berea, Ky, about two hours from Louisville. It includes a lot of really cool things to do, learn ,watch, and buy. Though I won’t be able to attend this festival,  it looks like it would be perfect for my hippie self, and anyone who considers themselves a hippie or a free spirit. It looks like tickets are selling out fast, though, so I would hurry over to their website and get one if you’re interested.

 

This is only a tiny taste of what Louisville has to offer. I tried to showcase a variety of things to entertain you this summer, but trust me there is SOOO much more Louisville has to offer, so keep checking my blog throughout the summer for more fun things to do in Possibility City! And as always, I would love to hear about your favorite spots in The Ville!

From Possibility City,

Rachael

xo

ColourPop Cosmetics Review

I recently went vegetarian (again…) and I have also been thinking about other aspects of my life and how I can make them cruelty-free and animal friendly. Of course, this is really just an excuse for me to go shopping and buy more stuff, which isn’t sustainable at all… but I digress.

So a friend told me about ColourPop. She mentioned that they were cruelty free and best of all, for your first purchase you got 5$ off! This paid for the shipping when I ordered 3 items from their website.

The website was full of gorgeous, deep colors and a great selection in lip colors, the main cosmetic I was shopping for. I found the Ultra Matte Lip line to be full of rich, pretty colors. I picked out the deepest red I could find, called LAX. I love how each shade of Matte Lip featured a corresponding Lippie Pencil so you could order both and not worry so much about the colors not matching. I ordered the Lippie pencil in Creature.

I have bought and returned several lipsticks from different drugstores because I didn’t like the texture or it rubbed off too quickly. I did not have this problem with the Ultra Matte Lip or the Lippie pencil. The color was very rich and true to the color on the website. It last a really long time, too. After two hours of continuous talking at work my lips had only just started fading and the color was still really vibrant. I was really impressed with how good it looked after a couple hours and I only had to do a little touchup.

The only complaint I have on the Lippie Pencil is that it is plastic-covered and it requires a sharpener. I wish it was the kind that you twist to refill, instead of sharpening it because it is an odd size and doesn’t quite fit my sharpener.

I also bought the Super Shock Cheek Matte Powder in “Bon Voyage.” I just wanted a face powder that could give me even coverage and help my foundation to stay all day. I love that the powder is super matte and it is really soft, almost moist. I use a simple blush brush to apply to my whole face and the color matches really well and applies evenly. After two hours I did have to reapply, but my face wasn’t as shiny as it normally is.

Overall, I loved all the cosmetics I ordered from ColourPop and I LOOOVE that they are cruelty free! Compared to some of the big makeup names, ColourPop is really affordable, each piece was only eight dollars a piece and the coupon code paid for the shipping and handling. I will definitely be ordering more of the Ultra Matte Lip Colors and I would like to try their Cream Gel Liners, too!

I am trying to  live a more earth friendly life. I’m not giving up my lipstick, but I’m proud to buy cruelty-free cosmetics and other products. As I do so, I will  continue to review them. I would love to hear what products you swear by that come from cruelty-free, vegan, and earth conscious companies.

Positive Vibes

xo

Rachael