‘i hope you don’t mind me writing’ album review

Kristin

While basking in the ocean air on the Oregon coast last week, a song caught my ear from a nearby seafood restaurant. SoundHound retrieved the song as Lucy Spraggan’s ‘Fight for It”. Nothing gets me going like finding new artists, so I was excited to have a new name to scout out. I was enchanted instantly with her ethereal vocals and almost Ingrid Michaelson-like sound.

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Before I knew it, I was cruising through her Spotify listening to her most recent album “I Hope You Don’t Mind Me Writing” and I was blown away by the thoughtful words, and unique sound. My big thing with musicians is difference; how are you setting yourself apart from other musicians? Lucy has this airy feel that is so delightful but also so entirely her.

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If you need a calming album to get you through your week, I’ve got just the link for you. Check out the album below and follow her on her social accounts to stay up to date with what she has going on!

LISTEN HERE.

Instagram stalk HERE

Hit the official website HERE

put your records on

Matti

Happy National Vinyl Record Day from the ladies of V+V! I couldn’t help but make a trip to one of the coolest vinyl shops in the Portland area, none other than Jackpot Records. Located on Hawthorne Blvd on the east side of town, they’re getting ready to celebrate their twentieth anniversary next month. At this rate vinyl will never go out of style (thank god).

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A special thanks to the incredibly talented Joaquin Sabarots for capturing these magical photos!

poems for the people

Rachele

Rupi Kaur’s book of poetry was real, raw, and uncovered the painfully honest yet undeniably true side of poetry. My love for “Milk and Honey” and all things poetry inspired me to attempt my own version of these strategically sketched  short works of art.

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a poem for the people who were told all they are is a “pretty girl”

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a poem for the people who have felt pain you cannot see

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a poem for the people taking back themselves

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over the moon for under aurora

Libby

My infatuation with Under Aurora began when I stumbled across their Women We Love Organic Hand Lotion. Brought to life in collaboration with illustration pro Leigh Cox, this product struck me as being such an inspiring way to celebrate creative women with visions and dreams. Cue the unwavering heart eyes for everything about this brand.

When I delved in to Under Aurora’s shop, it’s no wonder I was hooked. By blending plant-based ingredients, essential oils, cruelty-free testing and eco-friendly packaging, this vegan beauty brand struck a cord with me and I just haven’t been the same. From “The Poet” Botanical Body Spritz to the lemon zinger Brightening Face Scrub, these products compliment my energy, my creativity and my own sense of beauty. See why these are my favorite products below.

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gettin’ pretty with finola jewelry

Libby

GUYS.

I’m so excited to finally share with you Vol. 4 of Smitten! I recently partnered with Finola Jewelry and Anastasia Gentry Photography to bring our V+V fans an exclusive giveaway.

Based in Cincinnati, OH, Finola Jewlery appeals to the type of woman who’s in tune with trends, but also values her own sense of style and strives to assert her independence as opposed to blending in with the masses. An example? Fringe and tassels are currently all the rage, and the Avai Blush Tassel earrings draw inspiration from this trend while rockin’ their own personality and flair.

I love that each handmade piece of jewelry from Finola emboldens every woman to embrace their style and individuality. See below for more from our shoot + head to our Instagram to win a pair of the Celeste Gold Tassel earringssmitten vol 4smitten vol 42smitten vol 43smitten vol 44smitten vol 45smitten vol 46smitten vol 47smitten vol 48smitten vol 49smitten vol 410smitten vol 411smitten vol 412smitten vol 413smitten vol 414

Dying for a pair of these earrings? Head to our Instagram to enter the giveaway!

all things vintage

Matti

My first blog post!! Hi V+V, I’m Matti, and if you know me, it’s very fitting that this post has to do with my love for all things thrifted. However, I was absolutely not born with a passion for thrifting, and finding hidden gems amongst piles of crap was a skill that took some time to master. It started with me being dragged to Goodwill almost every week by my mother (hi, mom) who honestly is the real master of thrift shopping. Once I started to strike some luck at Goodwill with random stuff like cool jackets or shoes, it sparked my interest in the world of second-hand shopping.

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yes, I might have a jacket problem. but the best part is that almost all of these were under 20 dollars. goodwill is THE best place for coats/jackets.

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light fixture from the garage sale warehouse.

I got the idea to do this post a couple weeks ago when I got so excited about my recent haul from The Garage Sale Warehouse that I spammed my Instagram followers with an excessive IG story depicting all of my glorious finds. To share the good thrifting mojo, here are some of my greatest thrift-shopping accomplishments and where to get the best goodies in Portland, OR.

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both bags from house of vintage. stool from the garage sale warehouse.

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top from goodwill. earrings from buffalo exchange.

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pretty stripey pants from goodwill. shoes from house of vintage.

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bench, basket, & plant (yes I somehow thrifted a plant) all from garage sale warehouse. blanket from house of vintage.

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basket from garage sale warehouse.

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fan from lounge lizard. tray and macrame plant hanger from garage sale warehouse.

Are you sensing a trend here? The Garage Sale Warehouse is like a second home to me. It’s a magical place that everyone needs to take a visit to at least once. Just warning you, it’s MASSIVE, and so is House of Vintage. A good and bad thing, the sheer amount of volume this warehouse contains can scare people off, but my number one tip is to take it one section at a time. I promise you’ll find something if you just take it slow.

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luggage from an actual garage sale. plant basket from goodwill.

I need to talk about these luggage pieces for a second. I could not contain my excitement when I spotted these at a garage sale down the street. The guy was selling a bunch of his parent’s old stuff, and I hit the jackpot and got them for 5 DOLLARS A PIECE and in perfect condition. Don’t underestimate garage sales, people!

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shoes and jeans from goodwill.

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coffee art from garage sale warehouse. vintage ice crusher from a garage sale.

If you’re looking for clothing and accessories, House of Vintage is going to be your go to. This place has so. much. stuff. It’s a bit pricier, but most of the items are of higher quality. You can find anything denim in addition to cool bags, hats, and shoes, so you can’t really go wrong. I recommend Goodwill for kitchenware such as plates, cups, and bowls, as well as home furniture. Goodwill is also a disguised jackpot for amazing jackets at a price that you cannot beat anywhere else. The Garage Sale Warehouse is my favorite place to find pretty much anything. From wicker chairs to pillows to lights to art. This place honestly has it all.

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bag and jeans from goodwill.

I hope this inspires you to go out and find your own vintage treasures. Once you start getting things at discount prices, you’ll get addicted just like I am (whoops). Let’s go shopping!

 

creating beauty for berlin skin

Libby

For years now, I’ve been smitten with Berlin Skin. An all-time favorite when it comes to minimalist beauty brands, Berlin Skin naturally and effortlessly enhances my skincare regimen. The energy, the aesthetic, the aroma – every single component of this brand inspires indefinite heart eyes for beauty brand enthusiasts.

I’ve been particularly loving the cocoa eye butter and the geranium + rose toner. With high-quality, sustainably sourced ingredients that dazzle each and every small batch, every product from Berlin Skin is made with love through and through. For the rejuvenation and nourishment you need to infuse inspiration in your every day, choose Berlin Skin.

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meet matti

Libby
V+V, meet Matti. She’s our new content creator and we’re so stoked to have her join our girl gang!
Matti is a creative powerhouse and is full of inspiration. In addition to revamping V+V’s Tumblr, she’s bringing her eye for aesthetic to our Instagram page and her flair for vintage to the blog.
Read below to learn more about Matti + keep your eyes peeled for more of her amazing work coming soon.
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meet matti

What do you love most about photography? I love photography because it gives me the ability to capture my perspective in a creative way.

How do you reinvent your sense your creativity? Every time I feel the need to get inspired, I go out and find a new cute shop or neighborhood that I haven’t been to and just walk around to try and find something that sparks my interest.

Who do you listen to when you’re editing photos? When I’m editing photos, my current go-to artists to listen to are LANY, Jackson Dyer, or Jack Johnson if I’m feeling a more calming/nostalgic vibe.

 

women build women

Gabrielle

Sarah Sharp is a woman of wit and grace. She could be described as the best friend or sister that you wish you had and never knew how much you needed. I had the honor to pick her brain and now get to share some of her indispensable wisdom.

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VV. Tell us a bit about yourself

SS. My name is Sarah Sharp. I grew up in a suburb outside of Portland, Oregon, where most of my family still lives. Now I live and work in Brooklyn, where I’m a copywriter at an advertising agency. Besides those things I like to cook, tweet about my feelings, blog (sometimes), I’m learning to embroider, and about to buy a new sewing machine.

VV. As a woman working in the advertising industry, what have you learned?

SS. I genuinely feel like I’m learning all the time. Gross, I know. I think it’s always that way; you just have to keep getting better. I’d say I’ve grown most in the strategic part of being a “creative,” like how to present to people I’m intimidated by; how to defend work I believe in; how to accept feedback graciously, or get what I need via carefully worded email. I’m still learning this stuff, but it’s honing these more administrative skills that lets your actual work, the ideas you have, get better and really shine.

VV. What has been one of your proudest moments?

SS. I think the moments I’ve been most proud of myself are small ones that symbolize a lot. I’m sentimental that way.

There was a time last spring, leaving work in that perfect not-quite-summer New York sunshine. My partner and I had finished a really productive day and the weather had us in great spirits, so we went to a nearby bar where they put an apple and a half into a juicer and juice it into a glass already half full of whiskey and you drink two and need to lie down. Anyway, we went there and had some of those apple juice drinks and an appetizer and then went our separate ways. As I was wandering through soho by myself I realized that I was just really happy. The sun was still out, I was wearing a new dress, and I had no plans. It had been a tough year—moving to a new city, getting my first real job, going through a breakup. I didn’t realize how exhausting it all was until I was through it, noticing for the first time in that sunny spring moment that I had made it, that I had been making it for a while.

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VV. What would you like to see change for women in the working world?

SS. I want to see socialized feminine traits valued the same way socialized masculine traits are. It’s totally fine for women to “lean in,” but we set women up for failure when we suggest that being more traditionally masculine is the way to solve inequality, not least because it isn’t the sole job of women to dismantle inequality, but of course, because women are judged more harshly than men when they’re assertive and outspoken like we tell them to be. It’s a trap, and a mental gerbil’s wheel that gets us nowhere. And most of all: women have grown up in the same world but lived very different lives from their male counterparts. We have different skills and perspectives because of that, and they are incredibly valuable! I want women to be able to own their experience and perspective, and bring their best qualities to the table, even if they’re considered feminine. For this to happen, we have to start acknowledging all the structural bias we give more masculine traits, and make space for all types of humans on the gender spectrum to be successful.

VV. Do you have any words of advice for women and in what ways do you think that women can continue to build each other up and empower one another?

SS. Two things. One: let yourself acknowledge when things are hard or fucked up. It’s important to take time to be disappointed, angry, and just fucking annoyed sometimes, especially with someone who can relate. Sometimes all you want is for someone else to say, “Wow, that’s so unfair. I’ve experienced that too. I’m sorry.” Find that person. You can only understand the powers at be if you acknowledge they exist. You can only protect yourself, and advocate for a safer, more inclusive world if you’re honest about the need for those things. You need a safe space to have those feelings and conversations. I think we owe that to ourselves and each other.

Being a professional while compensating for privileges you don’t have is exhausting, but it’s also a type of resistance training that pays off. Processing this stuff makes you smarter. Understanding how the world works, how power works, makes you more insightful. Feeling the need for change makes you more generous. I have to believe those things win.

VV. You have a witty and humorous twitter, what inspires these tweets?

SS. I tell people on the internet my stupidest jokes and most embarrassing personal stories and in return I get validation. It’s kind of like, who needs a significant other?

Honestly, it’s a good way to practice brevity and it’s helped me develop my voice a lot. I hate that I just said that, god.

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VV. You share your own blog posts with some beautiful insights and intimate thoughts, what inspires you to write these?

SS. At work, most of the writing I do is for presentation slides. I’m stupidly optimistic so I will say that presentation writing is somewhat of an art and it has made me sharper. But in college I was writing pages and pages and pages, making up whatever arguments I wanted about female character development or why exactly a painting could make me nostalgic. I miss being able to stretch an idea over several thousand words—just to have that much space to play with.

I’ve loved writing since I was a kid, but it just occured to me in the last couple of years that I can actually sit down and write about personal things that are challenging me, and get somewhere, find a coherent argument along the way. I like sharing that stuff because, as with twitter, I like validation. I’m sort of joking, but I do like hearing or seeing that other people feel the same way or appreciate what I have to say. That’s always nice.

VV. As a writer what would you say to other women pursuing writing?

SS. Hm. I’m going to give advice I need to take, which is: just start calling yourself a writer and then write, and then keep writing—even if you’re worried you aren’t that good or that you have nothing new to say.

I learned to ski when I was five and fearless. Now I’m a competent, even good, skier but I’m also a fully-formed adult who understands physical pain and hospital bills. If I tried to learn to ski now, I’d be so afraid.

You’re probably never going be less afraid of starting than you are right now. The vulnerability, the distinct flavor of failure and rejection, your own internal pressure to be better—these are constants. Take a deep breath, remember that literally every person who writes first decided they were allowed to take up that space, to put that title by their name, and do the same even if you feel like you’re faking it.

If you’re already doing all this keep going and please give me advice.

VV. Any final thoughts?

SS. Thanks for having me! Follow me on twitter. Kidding. Sort of. @sarahissharp

VV. Seriously, follow this gal on Twitter and while you’re at it, check out her blog. You won’t regret it!

metaphysical album review

Kristin

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One of my all time favorite bands, The Technicolors, have released their brand new album ‘Metaphysical‘ and it GOES. I can’t even explain their sound really, because it is so unique from anything else I have ever heard. To be honest, there is something almost transcendental about this album. This record proceeds through with confidence and gains an energetic momentum and satisfying rhythm as it moves from one song to the next. Everything from the lyrics to the layout feels very intentional, and I really appreciate that.

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From the song itself ‘Metaphysical’ to ’26 on a Tuesday’, the band moves through what feels like a monopoly board of sounds; finessing punk-like chords in ‘Metaphysical’ while simultaneously putting out melodic, Sunday morning pop vibes in ‘Little Charmer”. This album perfectly showcases The Technicolors’ vast musical skill set and further defines their position in the industry as an alternative-rock powerhouse. They are effortlessly cool and entirely authentic and because of that, they are a force to be reckoned with.

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The Technicolors first began releasing music with 8123 studios in 2015 and since then, have toured and released music what feels like nonstop. Each song that comes out seems more fitting for their image and style than the last, and it’s safe to say that they will only continue to grow into their sound as time goes on.

I will definitely be playing Metaphysical on repeat for the summer, and I look forward to seeing where they go from here.