“Unexpected Travel Plans Are Dancing Lessons From God”


He had a face I couldn’t stop looking at. We’d only been on two dates, but one of them had lasted 19 hours. Now he was sitting in my living room, flicking through my book, reading passages of it aloud to me while I blushed uncontrollably.

Earlier in the week he’d mentioned that he was going to L.A., so I asked him how long he was going for.

“A week,” he replied. “You should come with me.”

I visualised my week in my head. I had no real pressing reason to stay in NYC, and I’m always up for an adventure, but I wasn’t sure how serious he was. I changed the subject. So when he looked at me a couple of hours later and asked, “Well, are you going to come away with me?,” I grinned and said yes.

Three days later, I met him in L.A. We checked into my favourite hotel (and home away from home) and had one of the best weeks ever.


One morning I stole his hat and went out with Christina and Alie from Made U Look Photography to shoot some pictures. I’ve known them for years and they are my absolute favourite photographers. Christina and Alie shot my book cover and killed it — everything they shoot is magic, and I was so excited to see them again!


We started out on Hollywood Boulevard, the iconic street which is paved with stars devoted to the biggest and brightest in show business. Tourists kneel on the filthy pavement, weirdos in costume harass people for tips, and dozens of stores sell the same kitschy souvenirs.


Oh, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get photobombed by Mickey Mouse.


The only stars I got excited about were Walt Disney and Liberace. Pretty telling, really.


That is not forced enthusiasm. It is REAL! Liberace was insane, but he was a fucking boss.


We walked back up Hollywood Blvd towards Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.



Outside the theatre, celebrities press their hands, feet, cigars (Groucho Marx), etc. into the concrete to leave their mark. Almost all of the women who’ve done it have had teeny-tiny hands.



Diagonally opposite the Chinese Theatre is the Roosevelt Hotel which has so much history. Marilyn Monroe lived there for two years when her career was first taking off, and she had her first photoshoot there. The pool features a mural painted by David Hockney, and the hotel is (allegedly) super-haunted. Ooooooooooh la la.


I love this stained glass window at the top of the stairs.


After our quick trip the Roosevelt Hotel, we jumped in Christina’s yellow Volkswagen and drove to Beverly Hills. Such a good sign… In my dreams, all burglars wear a trenchcoat with the collar flipped, an eye-mask, and an extremely conspicuous hat.


Beverly Hills is just as beautiful as you’d imagine. Lush manicured grass and greenery (even in the midst of the drought), palm trees as far as the eye can see, and ornate gates for days.




And impeccable roses which I couldn’t resist getting up close and personal with. (Flower pervert, all day, every day.)


Just loungin’ on someone’s lawn like it’s my own.


The moral of the story is this: take a chance and embrace adventure, and if a cute boy invites you on a cross-country trip, you should definitely say YES.

I love you,

Quote in the title is by Kurt Vonnegut. Photos by Made U Look Photography. Dress by Betsey Johnson, hat by Creep Street, boots by Dr Martens, heart necklace from my upcoming collection!

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Radical Self Love Letters

Carousel: Staying Creative, Being Thick And Fit, Non-Obvious Sex Tips… And More!


September is just about over, and what an incredible month it’s been. I’ve been celebrating my birthday every single day and it has been unbelievable. (Follow my Instagram for a peek into what’s been going on…)

Of course, the downside of celebrating your birthday every day is that it doesn’t leave a lot of room for obsessively browsing the internet. This Carousel is a little shorter than usual, but I’m sure next month’s will be a goodie!

Don’t be one of those “phone people”. It’s easier said than done, but it’s worth striving for. (Alex is aiming to spend less than 4 hours in front of a screen per day. Good goal!)

This is a great article: 7 Tips for Better Sex That Aren’t Glaringly Obvious, because ‘use a vibrator’ and ‘try reverse cowgirl’ aren’t all that helpful.

Divorced couples are taking awesome selfies together! OMG, I love this soooo much.

First romances online in 1996. Awwww. Feelings.

Avril Lavigne and Chad broke up — Canadian royalty — and here’s a letter to mourn the end of their relationship.

How can I stay creative?

The Ashley Madison hack is interesting, not just because it uncovers users, but because it shows the truth about the service: it was full of bots.

What It Means to Be Thick and Fit on Instagram.

Godless parents are doing a better job.

A California Moving Company Will Move Domestic Abuse Victims At No Cost.

What if a penis is too good to break up with?

Real talk, though: If I encounter a dick that’s just too bomb, what might happen? It could result in poor choices such as repeatedly dating freeloaders who never pay for dinner, or tolerating men who like Creed or who wear cargo shorts and tube socks. Sometimes you may lose the ability to speak normally. But that level of bomb dick is incredibly rare.

I Learned the Hard Way Not to Day-Drink with Strangers in the Florida Panhandle.

The Pope versus the wind! This is hilarious!

The original subtweet: remembering the AIM away message.

Nothing says “mid-aughts” quite like leaving a passive aggressive note to that specific someone who may or may not get online and glance at your status. The subtweet before Twitter. The drunk text before iMessage. The handwritten note before iPads. It was an opportunity to really say something without actually saying something—hidden beneath a vague song lyric or movie quote.

Want to make your own salted vanilla sunflower butter? Of course! What a question!

Henry Rollins says bend over America, here comes Trump.

Being an American is to understand where you come from and choosing whether you want to repeat the past or invent the future. A huge number of us have chosen the former. The proof is everywhere.

What you eat affects your productivity. Here’s how to make good choices so that your brain keeps ticking along happily!

Did Drake pull his rap beef game from a self-help book?

Kanye is so Kanye. This interview with Vanity Fair is a pretty fascinating look at how his mind works. I’m very inspired by anyone who is as ambitious and driven as he is.

The 13 best pop songs about women masturbating. Essential stuff, serious journalism, etc.

Masculinity can be so fragile.

Fascinating: this psychiatrist encountered patients who lied about 9/11 all the time. Here’s why they did it.

The “unconscious” motivation usually is related to strong unmet needs during childhood development, such as neglect or abuse, leading to an ongoing drive to seek forms of care and affection even in self-destructive or manipulative ways.

I just spent four days at Walt Disney World (and loved it) but I love this deconstruction of Disney just as much. I had to quote all of these excerpts because they are just perfect.

As J. G. Ballard put it in 1983, the American dream “no longer supplies the world with its images, its dreams, its fantasies… It supplies the world with its nightmares now.”

Even the quirkiest corners of the internet are crowded with full-color, interactive ads for the last corporate commodity we searched for on Amazon or mentioned in passing on Facebook, and now those random searches will result in phone calls from telemarketers who seem to know more about us than we know about ourselves. No matter how we try to wriggle into some virgin corner of the world free from screens or cameras or phones, unsullied by flashing ads or surveillance, devoid of jubilant ballads or beeping devices, we fail. We’re all plugged into a shiny, down-home, buoyant, authentic-seeming global simulacrum, one that not only doesn’t belong to us, but bleeds us of our sanity, our money, and our privacy and sells it off to the highest bidder. We are ravenous and impossible to satisfy. The illusory corporate grid of fantastical characters is real; we are the imaginary ones. The Disneyfication of culture is complete.

That’s when you discover, just for example, that for all of their “Gee willikers!” talk of benevolent innovation, Facebook, Amazon, and Google are now in the business of data mining. Not only did Google merge all of its data across platforms, not only did it serve up ads correlated with keywords in users’ emails, but its Google View cars were outfitted with equipment and software used to steal data off personal computers via unsecured Wifi networks as the cars moved through various neighborhoods. (Allegedly, Google even recruits new employees based on their Google searches.)

The very concept of selling out has fallen out of the modern lexicon. Advertising is everywhere, but why shouldn’t it be? Privacy is dead, but transparency will make us more honest! We are all brands, all sellouts, so what’s the problem? We all manufacture authenticity via social media, so why would we stigmatize such behavior in others? Art-directing yourself, keeping your message on-brand: Everyone knows that’s the shortest path to living your best life.

The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration. This is a looooong read — and not a particularly happy one — but you should do it.

Emails are romantic.

Major word-nerdery: why pronouns matter.

We’re getting new emojis, including the middle-finger and a unicorn. Here’s the complete list. (I haven’t upgraded to iOS 9.1. yet. Why does Apple always release new updates during Mercury retrograde?!)

There’s a firefly-themed park in China and this is the kind of thing that makes the world a marvellous, miraculous place.

Marie Forleo interviewed Elizabeth Gilbert about how to take creative risks, not “helping” people with your art, and the vital distinction between originality and authenticity.

I was interviewed by Terri Cole for her Hello Freedom podcast and we discussed the evolution of my blog, radical self-love, self-publishing, making choices based on what you want, and the healing properties of expressing yourself through your own personal style! I love Terri, she is ace.

Here are Hunter S. Thompson’s tips for life.

On not dating white men.

The Art of Loving and Losing Female Friends. Friendship is not a pale imitation of sexual romance. It is a romance unto itself.

Lisa Frank on Lisa Frank.

Soho House is planning world domination.

Minnesota nice.

Dude. You really don’t need to work so much.


Have a beautiful weekend!

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5 Ways To Stop Obsessing Over Your Crush


Falling for someone can be so exciting, but it can also be intensely crazy-making. Those of us who pride ourselves on being relatively sane, stable and independent can contort into obsessive maniacs with very little provocation. It’s a thrill, but if you are someone who enjoys being in full control of your essential faculties, it can also make you want to hurl yourself out a window.

Here’s the thing: no one is really immune to all this. It happens to everyone, no matter your age, gender, or level of cynicism. That’s why there are so many love songs — sometimes the object of your affection is literally all you can think about.

Allow yourself to get swept away! That’s part of the fun. But if you find yourself constantly daydreaming and twirling your hair around your finger when you should be working on, say, a proposal or thesis or doing your taxes, you might need to force yourself to change mental tracks. Here are a few ideas to help you do exactly that.

One of the things that cements our obsession with someone else is relentless future-tripping. We have elaborate fantasies of what they might do or say, how we want them to look at us, and how we want them to make us feel. But that isn’t exactly fair. As much as we might want to manifest a magical relationship, we cannot control another person. Their free will is absolute, and that’s where our desires start to become uncomfortable. When we rub up against our expectations, the gap between reality and our dream makes our skin ache.

Obviously then, the best thing to do is to release your expectations. But how can you do that? One of my favourite ways to release anything is to let it burn! I keep a huge stash of magic paper by White Magick Alchemy on my altar, and when you light it on fire, it sparkles and sizzles and lets off a tremendous plume of smoke. It’s majestic and you really feel the difference.

Write down all of your expectations: everything you want this person to do, say, or be. Make it as detailed or as simple as you want, just be sure to really feel it when you write it down. Then get centered, put the paper in a fireproof dish (I like my mini cauldron for this purpose), and set it alight. Feel the burden lift.

Hint: you can do this as often as you want or need. I know a woman who burns something every single morning. Righteous.

If your crush has been in your space recently, it’s time to help move out that energy. Be smart, too, about who you let into your home, because people bring energetic attachments and baggage wherever they go. Sometimes when I look at my living room, it feels like it’s full of tiny silver threads left behind by the people who have walked around it. Just like dead and dried flowers are bad Feng Shui — aka stagnant energy — so are the physical objects left behind.

Let’s say your crush came over last weekend, and you haven’t heard from her since. Understandably, you’re feeling a bit insane. One of the fastest ways to start making your space feel like your own again is to clear out anything she may have left behind. A sticker? A water bottle? Throw that stuff in the trash, and don’t just let it sit in a garbage bag. Instead, physically remove it from your house and put it outside on the street. If she left behind a glass or a plate, wash it and put it back in the cupboard. Just moving those objects and either washing the energy off them or physically removing them from your property will bring you more peace of mind.

If you want to take it a step further, clear your space energetically. Use sage or Palo Santo, ring bells, chant or clap in the corners. Reclaim your space. It’s yours, goddamnit! Get rid of those ghosts!

Tapping, otherwise known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is an incredible way to shake off your obsessive thoughts and bring you back to a place of equilibrium. It’s almost always my first port of call when I’m struggling with something that is causing me grief or anxiety.

Tapping is a combination of acupressure and positive psychology, and it works by clearing out energy blockages within your body. You “tap” on various points of your body with a couple of fingers, while at the same time talking out loud about whatever you’re experiencing. It’s a fascinating technique that never fails to amaze me. If you’d like more information about how to tap, check out my (very very old) video about how to tap.

Getting into the tub is one of my favourite ways to enter ritual space. You don’t need to have a bath like Frances from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure to enjoy your time in it! My bathroom isn’t fancy, but once I hit the lights, spark some candles, and fill the tub with scented oils, Epsom salts, technicolour bubbles, etc., it’s like being in another world.

My version of a ritual bath is simple. I get in, ground myself, call in guides, and start talking. I talk and talk and talk until I come to some sense of peace. Sometimes this takes ten minutes, sometimes it takes forty, but it doesn’t matter to me as long as I get to the place I want to be. (You can also tap in the bath if you want to supercharge the process!)

Once I’m done, I do some verbal gratitude, then talk about the things I hope will happen for other people, and thank the universe. I let the water drain out of the tub while imagining it washing off anything that I want to let go of. You can do this same exact thing in a shower. Let the water swirl down around you and watch it disappear down the drain, visualising your attachments going with it. Feels goooooood.

As Madonna once sang, life is a mystery. (Everyone must stand alone…) It’s important to make peace with that and relinquish the need to control everything. It’s when we start gripping tightly onto things, people, even our own identity, that it all starts to fall apart. We mess with our own minds, we feel stressed, and we lose our way. The best way to live life is to step lightly and embrace synchronicity and serendipity. Surrender to the flow of life and enjoy the ride. There’s no other option, after all!

So why not surrender? Why not admit that you are never fully in control of anything? The thought of doing this terrified me for years. I was convinced that I was the master of my own ship… And I am, but the universe is a marvellous and miraculous thing. I find that when I let go of the need to manage every minute detail, magic happens. When I say “magic”, I really mean “incredible possibilities I could never have dreamed up in a million years”. I have finally come to a place where I realise that I am in constant co-creation with the universe. The universe is unlimited by preconceived notions. The universe can create some wicked shit. I’m pretty happy to partner up, plus, it takes a lot of the pressure off!

If you want to surrender, you can do it verbally. My friend Louise wakes up every morning and yells, “I surrender!” from her bed! Another option is to work the phrase into your meditation. On one particularly difficult day, I walked 2 miles down to the South Street Seaport, meditated for 40 minutes while reciting “I surrender” over and over again in my head, and then walked home again.

One of the most amazing things I’ve discovered is that when I surrender, that’s when my dreams come true, and I get what I wanted so desperately… It’s just that now I’ve surrendered, I no longer feel desperation. The dream feels like a gift, rather than a crust of bread after a month of starvation. Surrendering is primarily about your own peace of mind, but it works wonders for manifesting, too. In short, I recommend giving it a try!

I hope these five tricks will help you to stop freaking out over the object of your affections. Remember that if you’re hanging out with someone who makes you feel nuts (see: gaslighting), doesn’t fully return your fondness, or does the ever-seductive withholding dance, there are plenty of other cuties who are much more worthy of your attention. If you’d be embarrassed to introduce your crush to your family or friends, if you find yourself making excuses for their behaviour, or if you just feel sad about how things are going, cut your losses and spend some time working on your own radical self-love practice instead. It is such a better use of your time and energy.

I love you so much, and you deserve to be with someone who looks at you like you are magic.

xoxox always,

Photos via Wildfox.

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10 Magical Ways To Make The Most Of Mercury Retrograde!

10 Reasons To Love Mercury Retrograde!

Mercury goes retrograde about four times a year — which, if you ask me, is four times too many! My old guide on How To Survive Mercury Retrograde is one of my most popular articles for a reason!

Well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Mercury is way retrograde… and I thought you might like to read about it from a different perspective.

There is a silver lining to every cloud, of course, and Mercury retrograde gets a bad rap. It’s not all terrible! I read somewhere recently that Mercury retrograde is a great time to take part in anything that starts with the prefix re-… Well, except “react”! This is the perfect time to refresh, revive, review, reboot, rebound, recall, reconcile, recover, reflect, recycle, reelect, research, refinish, refocus, reformulate… You get the idea!

Here are some ideas to keep you out of trouble, and on Mercury’s good side!

10 Reasons To Love Mercury Retrograde!Photo by Chris Craymer.

1. Renew your vows.
You lovebirds! If you’re already in a committed relationship, marriage or partnership, this is the perfect time to renew your promises to one another. You could have an elaborate ceremony or you could keep it simple: go to the restaurant where you had your first date, look at old photos, talk about how far you’ve come since you met. Bless!

2. Clean out your closet.
I did this last Tuesday and it was a bit of a life-changer! The energy of Mercury retrograde is fantastic for trimming the fat, so to speak, so you’ll have lots of astrological help as you go through your wardrobe and cull it mercilessly! If you need a bit of help doing it, check out my Wardrobe Taming series! (Blast from the past, baby!)

3. Look up an old love or your ex-best friend.
This is an excellent time to revisit those old relationships and see where the land lies. You don’t need to resuscitate them, of course, and often things we try to start during Mercury retrograde end up being short-lived anyway, but there can be a lot to learn from reuniting. You could find that the closure is exactly what you needed.

4. Forgive and forget.
Mercury retrograde encourages us to tie up loose ends, and the ultimate loose end is sourness or bitterness towards someone else. Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die! It’s time to move on, and if you can’t forget, do your best to forgive.

10 Reasons To Love Mercury Retrograde!

5. Take a fabulous holiday.
Even though we’re usually not encouraged to travel during Mercury retrograde — simply because it’s something that is easily affected by the natural miscommunications of this period — if you can get away, you should! Honour any hankerings you might have for a bit of downtime. Go to a tropical island and lie on the beach for a week, or simply have a staycation at home. You’ll feel so much better for it!

6. Relax and take care of yourself.
The classic old checklist of getting enough sleep, staying hydrated and doing a lot of stretching absolutely applies during Mercury retrograde. If you’ve fallen off the H2O wagon, buy yourself a cute drink bottle and keep it on your desk! (I have a vampire drink bottle. I love it.) Make an extra effort to relax before bed, maybe by turning off the television and having an Epsom salt bath, and get your solid 8 hours. Get a massage, do some stretching, and move your body as much as you can.

7. Rejuvenate your living space!
If your house isn’t looking its best, now is the time to start dreaming about it! Your home should be a reflection of your most fabulous self: a place that you’re excited to return to. While it’s not the best idea to make big purchases during Mercury retrograde, it is a truly excellent time to do any research. Start investigating: look at Pinterest for interior decorating ideas, scope out websites for the best prices, and make a list of the things you’ll need. Once Mercury goes direct, you can start to put your plans into action!

8. Work on your CV or personal mission statement.
Mercury retrograde favours rewriting, revising or editing any documents. Why not put that energy to good use and rework your CV or personal mission statement? You could spice up your blog’s bio page or make some long overdue changes to your business plans. Mercury’s magic will help you out as you do it, and you might be astounded by what comes out when you sit down to start writing!

9. Read old journals.
If you go back to your old journals or notebooks during this time, you’ll be amazed by the things you read and the revelations that occur. It will be incredible to you to see how far you’ve come and how much growth has happened! (Plus, it’s usually pretty good for a laugh!)

10. Get a bit nostalgic!
Mercury retrograde is the best time ever to listen to old albums that you loved when you were a teenager, to watch movies that used to mean so much to you, and to revisit activities you have given up. Yesterday, I had a musical trip down memory lane, listening to Marilyn Manson, Sleater-Kinney, Deftones, and A Perfect Circle — all stuff I loved years ago! Why not jump back into that sport or activity you loved a decade ago?

See?! It’s not all bad. Mercury retrograde for a few weeks, so you have plenty of time to get all of this done! Okay… Ready, set, go!

(Still counting down the days…)

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How I Learned Not To Hate Exercise


When I was 25 years old, I rented an East Village apartment on the fifth floor. It was great up there: there were no noisy neighbours stomping on my ceiling, I had easy access to the roof (a definite perk of living in the city), and light streamed into my bedroom. It was great. However, in NYC, unless you live in a fancy (or new-ish) building, there is probably no elevator in your building. The only way up? Take the stairs.

This building was old as hell and totally crooked: suitcases would roll across my floor, and the doors never really seemed to seal. All of this I could deal with, and considered par for the course in NYC. But the stairs, oh God, the stairs! They were the bane of my existence.

Now, a fifth floor walk-up was not new to me — I had been living on Carmine Street for the past year, and my apartment was also on the top floor. But it had less stairs, somehow. When you walked into the front door of this building in the East Village, you’d look up at the landing above and wonder if you’d ever make it.

Several times a day, I would huff and puff my way up to my apartment. Sometimes I would have to take a break halfway. On the outside, I looked pretty fit and healthy… But I wasn’t. Other than schlepping around the city in unreasonable shoes, I did no exercise at all. When I wasn’t getting into trouble — which, let’s face it, was a full-time job — I spent my time sitting on my butt, writing.


I had always hated — and passionately resisted — exercise of any kind. I was an asthmatic kid, so the thought of doing anything until my chest ached was completely unpalatable. Not to mention, I was goth and way too cool for any kind of group activity, so generally, anything physical was a hard pass. I had always thought of myself as someone who was not athletic, not fit, not strong… And I never really cared, until climbing stairs was a challenge.

One day I passed a huge storefront that looked like the Haunted Mansion, which turned out to be a gym. They talked me into doing a complimentary training session, and halfway through, I literally had to excuse myself to go and puke. That was when I realised that I had to do something about my level of fitness. I was only 25 and I was puking after a few step-ups?! I knew that if I didn’t act, my health would only get worse.

I started working with a trainer named Donovan, and slowly but surely, I saw everything change. My body began to transform, but so did my entire mindset. In our hourly sessions, I came to realise that I was so much stronger and more capable than I thought… Which translated to every other area of my life too. I started to actually appreciate and like my body, and stopped averting my eyes when I did squats in front of the mirror. I also realised how essential it is to exert yourself physically!

For me, the biggest benefit of working out is how it makes me feel emotionally. If I miss a couple of workouts, I get unbelievably intolerant and bad-tempered — I start to feel like a temperamental teenager again! It has been bizarre — but enlightening — to realise that challenging myself physically moderates my mood better than anything else I’ve tried.

In an average week, I head to the gym for three days of weight-training and two days of Pilates, and it’s a massive — and massively fulfilling — part of my life.


When I posted the photo above on my Instagram and asked what you guys wanted to know about health and fitness, the response was enormous. I’m not a fitness expert but I know a lot of people who are, and I’m so excited to bring you some content around getting (and staying) motivated, ways to make fitness fun, and — perhaps most importantly, haha — cute outfits to wear while you’re getting your sweat on!

For me, being fit and healthy and challenging yourself is an enormous component of radical self-love. I know that a lot of you have a history of disordered eating or negative body image, and I promise that I’ll keep that in mind as we explore this topic. You’re more than welcome to add your thoughts about what you’d like to learn about on this post! I want to make all my content as helpful and useful as possible.

I love you!

Photos by Anthony B. Geathers, with thanks to Garnett Strother, owner of Strother PT, private trainer in Flatiron district, Manhattan.

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