It is that time again peeps! Time for February Favorites. Here’s a list of a few things I tried/bought in February that I have heart eyes for. Enjoy!
- Love is Love by Elsa Charretier, Phil Jimenez, and Various Artists
I’m not a huge comic book person, I’m not really into superheroes much. I do like graphic novels, but I’ve never been a comic book nerd. I first heard about this LGBTQ+ comic book from a podcast (I can’t remember which one), but the host interviewed Phil Jimenez. Phil Jimenez is a world renowned DC comics comic creator and is very popular in the world of comics. Again, I’d never heard of him because I’m not really intrenched in the comic book world. But apparently there’s a huge queer community within the comic world, both creators and readers. After the Pulse Nightclub Shooting last June, a bunch of comic creators got together and wanted to do something in memoriam for the lives lost. They came together and created this wonderful comic book full of queer goodness. It will shatter your heart when you read it. But it will also help you process your pain, I know I’m still carrying around some hurt from the shooting. I cried a lot when I read through it, but I guarantee there will be stories you can relate to in there. They tackle many different topics from coming out, queer hate, figuring out you are gay, and memorials for those lost in the shooting. Some comics have DC superheroes in them and some are unrelated. It is a beautiful and magical book. You can get a copy of it on Amazon, here.
- Kodiak Cakes Pancake Mix
So I’ve been eating healthier for the past couple months and part of that has been upping my protein intake so I can build muscle mass (strength is sexy). Most food products that tout “added protein” are extremely dissatisfying and taste like chalk. I discovered Kodiak Cakes after a referral from a friend, and I have been pleasantly surprised by them. They are fluffy like normal pancakes and although they don’t have a ton of flavor to them, they are a good substitute for regular pancakes. 14 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per serving. One serving makes 2-3 pancakes depending on how thick you want them. I usually add some cinnamon and vanilla extract to the batter to give them a little flavor, and I usually use sugar free syrup on them as well. They come in two varieties; buttermilk and oat & honey. I’ve only tried the buttermilk one. They also have gluten free mixes and all of the mixes can be used for waffles as well. Just add water! This one box has lasted me all month and I’ve made them 2 or 3 times this month, check them out! They can be found in most major grocery stores.
- Pick Me Up: A Pep Talk For Now and Later by Adam J. Kurtz
GUYS. THIS BOOK. I had to yell that because sdsfjasfhdfjkhdskfjsd! As a person who struggles with depression and anxiety, this book is a godsend. Adam J. Kurtz gets it. He understands that sometimes we need pick me ups because life is hard and scary sometimes. This book is like having a mini therapy session on every page, but not one that drains you. It helps you journal out your feelings and also gives you little tid bits of “pep talk” to help you get through whatever is plaguing your mind. I’m someone who gets a lot of comfort from words, writing them and reading them. This book combines both of those things perfectly. If you feel yourself in need of a pick me up, just turn to a page and work through those feelings boo! Adam J. Kurtz has another book called 1 Page at a Time, which I haven’t bought yet, but it’s on my Amazon wishlist. He also has some really cool shit to buy on his website. Lots of pins, patches, frequent meltdown cards, sorry I was an asshole balloons, and journals. Check it out, here.
- Pins and Patches
We all know that 90s fashion has made a comeback, and being the giant lesbian that I am I have embraced the hell out denim on top being a trend again. I basically lived in a jean jacket from ages 6-12, so I am stoked about jean jackets being the thing right now. The jacket itself is an Old Navy men’s section steal, I think it was only like $15 on sale. And of course I had to emblazon it with all kinds of flair (lapel pins and patches). Yes, that is a 2pac lapel pin. Yes, that is a Bingo Bronson from Broad City lapel pin. All of the patches are iron ons because this bitch is not domestic enough to know how to sew, I know it’s easy I’m just too lazy to learn. All of the patches and pins are from different vendors, but there are a few sites that buy patches and pins from their original creators and sell them, kind of like superstore for pins and patches. The two I love to frequent are called Gimme Flair and Strange Ways. It is very important for me to support independent artists, so I try to only buy from those types of shops. Etsy also has a wonderful selection, that is where I got the Bingo Bronson pin. There has been a lot of art theft within the patch and pin community (big companies stealing patch and pin designs from independent artists and selling them as their own), which is super fucked. So do your research before you buy from companies like Urban Outfitters and Forever 21. Support indies!
- Music: Big Sean, Maggie Rogers, and SZA
There’s so much good music out right now, I had to share some of my favorites from this month. Big Sean’s new album, I Decided really surprised me. I haven’t really been a big fan of Big Sean’s previous work (except I Don’t Fuck With You), but I listened to this album on a whim and now I can’t stop bumping it. I watched an interview he did with Jimmy Fallon about the album and he explained the concept. Basically the concept for the album is what would have happened to him in his life if he wouldn’t have chosen to be a rapper or if being discovered by Kanye West never happened. Listening to the album as a whole you can tell the work he put into it and his collabs are dope. He really emerged as a storyteller on this album, and I’m digging it.
Suggested songs: Halfway Off The Balcony, Bigger Than Me, Sunday Morning Jetpack, and Light.
The next artist I can’t stop listening to is Maggie Rogers. She is brand spanking new to the music scene, but there is something so unique and fresh about her style. Her songs are very dreamy and her voice has an airy quality that is showcased well. She is categorized as a singer songwriter/indie artist. She got mad props from Pharrell Williams, the Godfather of new music, watch this video if you want to smile. She only has an EP out right now, but it is definitely worth a listen.
Suggested songs: Alaska, Dog Years, and On +Off
SZA SZA SZA. She is amazing. She’s been around for a while, but I just became hip to her. She is a neo soul (think Erykah Badu) and R&B artist, and most of her songs are super mellow and chill. Her name is reminiscent of the great RZA of THE Wu-Tang Clan. She’s done collabs with Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, and Rihanna. She has one album out already, and is set to drop another one in the next few months sometime.
Suggested songs: Drew Barrymore, Child’s Play, and Babylon.
All of this music can be found on Spotify and Youtube.
- The People v. O.J. Simpson
Holy shit. I know I’m behind on this because everyone watched it when it aired, but it just came out on Netflix and damn. It is so good. I had the opportunity to teach the O.J. Simpson trials as a part of a novel study I did with my 11th graders a few years ago, and I loved it so much and the kids loved it too. I’m an unsolved crime junkie. I am also a huge fan of American Horror Story, so I knew I would love this show. It is made by the same people as American Horror Story, it is their new series called American Crime Story. They already have 4 more seasons planned out and I am so pumped. Each season takes on a different crime or situation (all based on books written about these events) that has happened in the United States. The next season is about Hurricane Katrina and is set to debut in 2018. Just like with American Horror Story, some of the main actors will be continuing on with the next few seasons (Sarah Paulson, swoon!). I haven’t been able to focus long enough on an hour long TV show in so long, but this one kept my attention so easily. I finished it in a week. The casting was spectacular (except for Ross from Friends being cast as Robert Kardashian lol). I loved the focus on Marcia Clark, and how they really raked her over the coals for all the wrong reasons. I can’t wait to see how the next few seasons turn out. If you haven’t watched this yet, DO IT.
- Cuvée Coffee: Black and Blue and Bang Energy
So I’m not much of a beverage person, I usually just drink water or tea. I have never been much of a coffee person, I hated coffee that wasn’t loaded with sugar until my ex introduced me to *actual coffee*. I like cold brew coffee a lot, I just don’t drink it super often. I used to buy Chameleon Cold Brew at the store, but then it got kind of expensive, so I stopped buying it. I recently found that a coffee shop out of Austin, Texas started distributing canned cold brew to my grocery store (HEB for all my Texans). They sell individual cans and a 6 pack of cans. The coffee shop is called Cuvée coffee and the canned cold brew is called Black & Blue. It is cold brew coffee that has been blasted with nitrogen, so it has all of the qualities of cold brew, but since it is canned the freshness stays intact. Apparently you can also get it on tap around Austin and some areas of Houston. It doesn’t have the bitterness that a lot of cold brew coffees have, it has a little bit of creaminess to it (think the foam that forms on the top of your beer). I pour mine in a glass with ice, a little bit of vanilla almond milk, and a drizzle of agave nectar for some sweetness. If you live in Texas, check your local grocery store or go to their website to see where you can find it.
The second drink I tried this month is called Bang Energy. I’ve been looking for an alternative to powder amino acids (pre-workout) for a few weeks now. I like powder aminos, but I get burnt out on them quickly. The same flavor nearly every day wears on me a bit. For those of you that don’t know, amino energy is a healthier alternative to energy drinks or different kinds of animal proteins. Most often amino energy is used as pre-workout for increased energy throughout your workout. Some powders make you jittery like caffeine or energy drinks and some just gives you an extra boost. It usually comes in powder form, just like protein powder and you mix it with water. I drink mine about 15-30 minutes before I workout and it helps me stay energized throughout my workout, whether it is cardio or weightlifting. It also helps with muscle development. I saw Bang Energy at the grocery store and did a quick google search on it to make sure it was safe to use. It looks just like an energy drink can, and kind of tastes similar to an energy drink (minus the gross taurine flavor). Bang Energy drinks have creatine (helps with building muscle mass) and BCAA infusion (branch-chain amino acids), which is nice because you get the power of creatine, but also the power of aminos in one place. The impact of creatine on the body has been debated widely by people in the body building community, so there is some controversy there, but so far I haven’t seen any negative impacts. There are 6 different flavors of Bang Energy, I have tried the Cotton Candy and the Star Blast. The Cotton Candy one is super sweet and has kind of a weird after taste, so I didn’t end up buying that one again. The Star Blast one was much better, it has a fruity flavor. I feel like they give me the same energy I get from my powder aminos, but they also give me a break from the same flavor over and over. I haven’t tried the Champagne flavor one yet (pictured), but it’s next! Bang is zero calories too so you don’t have to worry about burning any extra calories off. You can order them online or check your local grocery store.
There you have it folks! Hopefully you found something new on this list to try out, as always all of these products have been tried by yours truly and none of them sponsor me (hit me up sponsors!). Check out some new shiiiiiiit!