Marvel Monday: Ms. Marvel Series

Kamala Khan is the superhero I’ve been waiting for. She’s a woman. Dark hair. Dark skin. Brown eyes. A Muslim. There is nothing sexy about her costume. She fights bad guys plus bigotry with her wit and intelligence (along with her powers). Marvel was taking a risk re-introducing the new generation of Ms. Marvel and it was a risk worth taking— it is one of the best-selling digital comics in Marvel history. Just like any superhero, Kamala has her fights. But her fights with enemies aren’t as interesting as the enemies she battles in her personal life— feminism, bigotry, self esteem, body issues, and defending her Muslim faith. Her powers may be impressive in terms of superheroes but the real power is the message Marvel sends— women are powerful, fighting fists or not. 

As someone who has always felt left out, my personality always felt “off” because I was quieter or just had a weird sense of humor, or because I was the only one of my friends that didn’t have blonde hair and blue eyes; I can relate to Kamala’s struggle with acceptance of who she is. When she does get her super powers from a toxic fog, she has an even bigger conflict within herself-  "My chances of becoming an intergalactic superhero are even slimmer than my chances of becoming blonde and popular." he finally gets her wish to be blonde, have a "sexy" costume and she hates it. She later realizes she is just as powerful being herself in a costume she makes. 

Ms Marvel Transformation.jpg

If you want something to read this Labor Day or if you’re interested in starting a comic but you aren’t sure what to pick up, Ms. Marvel is a good one to introduce in your first collection. Not only will it set the bar high for women in comics, but you’ll want to root for a new character. There is no blood (unless you count mutants), there is no cussing for those wondering if their kids can read this, and at the end of the series I felt a boost of girl power. Read it online here or buy it for your bookshelf here.

Trigger Warning Should Be The Title of This Book

I wanted to pick up the A Little Life after reading so many positive reviews on it. I started this book months ago and every time I picked it up, it was so so painful to read but Hanya Yanagihara's writing is so beautiful, I didn't want to stop altogether. I wondered if the 2 years of grief therapy could be easily unraveled by 700+ pages. It wasn't but it was heartbreaking, and crushing. I’ll admit I hated the cover at first. Even the cover was just painful to look at. It’s a man full of anguish. From a stomachache or a broken heart, he is in pain. Now that I’ve finished it, it’s a perfect cover for the book. It’s almost like a warning to the reader- this man’s face is what your heart will feel like if you open it.

I don't think my review on the narrative will really change anyone's mind about picking it up. You either have the heart to read this or you don't. This bildungsroman book follows a group of men from early college years and on. The characters are involved in terrifying abuse of almost every kind and the shame and guilt that grew with them breaks you and you read about the decisions they make based on what terrible circumstances they were put in. I grew to love them, I was angry for them, I wanted to hug them, I cried for them, and I grieved for their pain. Yanahihara writes the worst book I've ever read but at the same time a book that breaks me and reminds how human I am, how kindness goes a long away, how feelings are our worst enemy, and it's a book that will stay with me for a long long time. 

The book is filled with post-its, highlights and bent pages. There are so many passages and quotes I love (I shared one here for Mother's Day). 

"Friendship was witnessing another's slow drip of miseries, and long bouts of boredom, and occasional triumphs. It was feeling honored by the privilege of getting to be present for another person's most dismal moments, and knowing that you can be dismal around him in return."

"We all say we want our kids to be happy, only happy, and healthy, but we don't want that. We want them to be like we are, or better than we are. We as humans are very unimaginative in that sense. We aren't equipped for the possibility that they might be worse. But I guess that would be asking too much. It must be an evolutionary stopgap- if we were all so specifically, vividly aware of what might go horribly wrong, we would none of us have children at all."

"But being with you is like being in this fantastic landscape[...]you think it's one thing, a forest, and then suddenly it changes, and it's a meadow, or a jungle, or cliffs of ice. And they're all beautiful, but they're strange as well, and you don't have a map, and you don't understand how you got from one terrain to the next so abruptly, and you don't know when the next transition will arrive, and you don't have any of the equipment you need. And so you keep walking through, and trying to adjust as you go, but you don't really know what you're doing."

It's a book I would recommend but with caution. Buy it here. 

Mindy Kaling x Umami Burger Collaboration

September is Mindy Kaling's month. Not only is her tv show, The Mindy Project, coming back on Hulu for a fourth season, but her second book, Why Not Me? is coming out September 15th. Mindy may be well known for playing Mindy Lahiri on TMP and Kelly Kapoor on The Office (and credited for writing some of the episodes), but to me, she will always be a writer, and one of the funniest ones I've ever read. I re-read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and each time it's just as funny as the first. She also collaborated with gourmet burger restaurant Umami. There's an Umami down the street from me and of course, I wanted to try it. I normally don't eat beef but I love Mindy so much, if it means I get to be closer to her through a burger, then I'm all in. The burger is organic beef, sriracha aioli sauce, cheese, pickled jalapeños, and onion strings. So how was it??

I'm not a regular burger eater so I don't have much to compare to but in terms of food, it was pretty good. I'm also not a food blogger, I don't know how else to describe in detail the food that makes it sound borderline erotic like some food bloggers do. I really liked it. It was spicy and the aioli surprisingly mixed well with the jalapeño, it wasn't overbearingly spicy. It's available for a limited time, go get it while you can. There's also a $1 donation from every burger sold to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Go, Mindy! 

Marvel Monday: Avengers Assemble

I wasn’t going to do this outfit post because I’ll admit I feel alone in my obsession with Marvel here. I'm introducing a new series, every Monday I'll post something I love via Marvel. I wanted to incorporate it into Gadchick, but the more I think about it, this is what I love and this blog shares what I love. I grew up reading all the Bronze Age of Comics. As I got older, I never really met anyone that was into what I was into. I was too embarrassed and just like any awkward junior high kid, I wanted to be “cool”, had a full identity crisis and abandoned everything I love, including comics. Years and years later, I began picking up my comics again (now they call them graphic novels) and with my recent Marvel Unlimited account, and am now I’m lucky to have friends with the same “nerdy” interests as me, and the internet connects me with people who don’t make me feel so crazy for being so attached to fictional characters. I haven’t dived into cosplay, and I think that’s a territory I will never conquer, but I discovered Her Universe--an online retailer devoted to women’s clothing with “geeky” fashion in mind without looking like a costume. I picked up the Avengers Assemble peter pan collar. It’s subtle enough to know it’s an Avengers shirt if you’re a fan, but not loud enough like a cape (no offense to people who wear capes on the daily like The Caped Lawyer and Thor). There are more geeky things I love here

Details- Top, Her Universe. Faux leather leggings, Karen Kane (originally seen here. Similar here). Flats, Sam Edelman (and they come in wide!) Glasses, Jack and Norma in Chai from BonLook. Lips, Bite Beauty in Pepper,  and Stila All Day Vinyl Lipgloss in Nude Vinyl

Friday Darlings

Every Friday I have a collection of things I find darling. 

+ My favorite cookbook right now is the I Hate Kale cookbook. It's really short, easy, funny, and even though it didn't make me love the bitter veggie after I cooked, it was enough to know I can tolerate it more than I thought. 

+ Photographer Anthony Samaniego captures LA in it's glorious illuminated glory. 

+ Russian artist Ruslan Khasanov mixes oil, water and ink and the outcome is incredible

+  I'm having so much on tumblr (are you following?) This is my favorite tumblr right now

+ I just finished Six Feet Under and it was the most heartbreaking and best show I've seen in a long time. I don't think I've had a show stay with me like this. Last week was the 10th anniversary and it's good to read I'm not the only one who was so haunted and captured by this show. 

+ Is Blogging still relevant? (asking this as you're reading this blog lol) 

+ I've been reading A Little Life since March and I have less than 100 pages but I can't seem to end it. This article explains why I'm not alone in my heartbreak

+ An unofficial Dolly Parton biopic? Yes! 

+ It's no secret I love music, and I recently discovered the city I live in is full of musical history. 

+ So your domestic partner is a unicorn, here's how to deal

Happy Friday! 

Beautiful Things: Rifle Paper Co. x Garance Doré 'Go' Notebooks

Sometimes I have things around the house that are so beautiful, they need to be shared. I just picked up the Rifle Paper Co. x Garance Doré 'Go' Notebooks and they are almost too cool to use but they are so beautiful, it calls for pen to match the blank paper inside. Rifle Paper Co., American artists Anna and Nathan Bond collaborated with Garance Doré, a French artist. The individual companies are both known for their vintage inspired art work and together they make a dreamy team. Buy it here (aff) or here (non-aff). 

Questions Answered!

As much as I love taking food pics, I know not everyone on my personal Instagram account wants to see them. I made an account (@veggie_bombshell) just for healthy food--from tools I use, before and after pics, the food I eat, what staples are in my fridge and pantry, etc. My main goal on this account was to document Whole30. Now that I'm not doing Whole30, I don't post as often but I'll be doing it more often now that I've cleaned off my table and cleaned my kitchen (ha). 

I asked if there were any questions you had about weight loss, and I should clarify I'm not a doctor, I'm not a therapist, I'm not an expert in any way. I did lose 70 lbs in 6 months before I got pregnant but that doesn't validate my advice because I gained it back after labor. I’m not any stronger when it comes to food, there is no secret. There’s no magical motivational pill, there’s no will power that I was blessed with. I’m seriously just a woman who loves food so much. So much. Every day I try, some days I fail, but ultimately, I keep going, but I'm no different than you. I hope the answers below motivate some of you (and remind me to keep going, too). 

Here are your weight loss questions answered!

Read More

A Disney Christmas in August

In January, Scott and I took a mini getaway to Disneyland. It was when I was still in a wheelchair but I didn't want to miss the magic Disneyland has to offer around Christmas. It was the last weekend of Christmas decor and we stayed at California Adventure Hotel. For Christmas I got a Hello Kitty Fuji Instax camera and some great Disney and Sanrio film, it was the perfect time to use them. You can find the Disney film here and the Sanrio film here

I'm so used to a Polaroid camera, I'm not familiar with the Fuji settings and some of the film came out overexposed but I still love the effect. Find more on flickr

Friday Darlings

remember these?? I miss posting these, I'd love to regularly keep up with these again 

Every Friday I have a weekly collection of things I find darling. 

+ I finally decided to get back on tumblr. I couldn't remember my old password and email for my original one, so I started over fresh with a new one. It's a mix of my love for comics, TV, Marvel (mostly MCU), Pietro Maximoff from AOU (I'm a happily married woman but oh my ovaries!! ), Mindy Kaling and music. It's a great place to find new comics, Marvel news, and Netflix's Daredevil gifs, a random corner of the internet I can't find on Pinterest or Instagram (and won't be judged too much).  Follow here.

+ Are you worried about what you should be doing? Me too. This article helped

+ How baseball made (one of my favorite writers) a Haruki Murakami writer.

+ 8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8am. 

+ 100% THIS

+ The Oral History of the Movie Clueless

+ I watched Xiu Xiu play a few years ago in LA and now they're the perfect band for playing David Lynch's Twin Peaks music. Listen here

+ The perfect reading soundtrack according to Bustle. 

+ Did you become what you always wanted to be

Happy Friday!! 

Another LBD

I have enough black dresses but every now and then I come across one that stands out. Any black dress could be perfect for summer but this particular City Chic dress (via Gwynnie Bee) not only has a lightweight fabric, but it has POCKETS. I've recently discovered dresses with pockets and it's the next best thing to a quesadilla (the pockets are even deep enough to hide a quesadilla). 

Glasses- Jack and Norma in Chai. Lace camisole- Hanky Panky via Nordstrom. Denim jacket- Gap  (this similar one is one sale). Dress- City Chic via Gwynnie Bee. Shoes- J.Crew via second hand. Bag- Phillip Lim Medium Pashli via Nordstrom. Bracelets- Kate Spade and The Flourish Leather