Carousel: Tips For Great Writing, ’90s Alt Girls, And Ronda Rousey On “Do-Nothing Bitches”

Elizaveta Porodina

August, you have been insane, in the best way possible. I hope your month has been just as action-packed as mine! This Carousel is coming to you live from Los Angeles — I booked a spontaneous trip on Thursday and arrived on Sunday afternoon. Yay! (See my Instagram for palm trees and other very Californian things.)

Here are my favourite reads of the month. Enjoy ’em!

When you’re done fighting for it: the upside of finally giving up. Oh yes. Sweet relief.

25 famous women on being in charge.

“I realized in all the cases where I was happy with the decision I made, there were two common threads: Surround myself with the smartest people who challenge you to think about things in new ways, and do something you are not ready to do so you can learn the most.” — Marissa Mayer

This is so real. 27 Unforgettable Things All ’90s Teenage Alt Girls Did.

I’m not mad, that’s just my resting bitch face.

In the aftermath of Cecil the lion, Delta has become the latest airline to change its rules on transporting game trophies. The crazy thing is that they had been happily doing this for years! WTF? Oh well, better late than never.

Here’s how Louis C.K. makes decisions. (Louis C.K. and I are birthday twins, and I love him sooooo much.)

Ronda Rousey’s astrology chart is fascinating and she also says amazing things, like when some reporter said she looked a little chunky, she replied, “I train for combat not to fuck millionaires.” OMG yes. Don’t be a “Do-Nothing Bitch”!

“Being put in the position of being a role model, I don’t think I’m infallible enough for that. I have this one term for the kind of woman that my mother raised me to not be, and that’s a ‘do-nothing bitch’, or I call it a DNB a lot of the time. Like, the type of chick that just tries to be pretty and be taken care of by somebody else.”

These photos of Detroit then and now are fantastic!

Here are 50 short tips for great writing! Yesssssssss.

Anam Cara and the Essence of True Friendship: Poet and Philosopher John O’Donohue on the Beautiful Ancient Celtic Notion of Soul-Friend. This is so, so beautiful.

“A friend is a loved one who awakens your life in order to free the wild possibilities within you.”

What about the scholarship of selfies?

Oh, Angelyne. So L.A.

Nepal is the latest country to offer “other” as a gender option on their passports. (They join Australia, Pakistan, and India.) Fuck yes.

Has Tinder really sparked a dating apocalypse? Yeah, not so much…

Mindy Kaling’s guide to killer confidence is pretty great, to be honest.

Here are a few principles for predicting and manifesting from Danielle LaPorte.

How Witchcraft Is Empowering Queer and Trans Young People.

Why is my ex’s happiness making me so sad? This is great advice for anyone, not just the recently broken-up.

Shirley Manson and Butch Vig on 20 years of Garbage.

“The one thing I really have come to understand as an adult is that female sexuality is so powerful. And a lot of young women don’t realize how powerful they are. I think they think their sexuality makes them weak, and therefore they have to use their sexuality in weak, kitten-esque ways. In fact, the opposite is true.” — Shirley Manson

Dreamy multiple exposure photos of L.A..

There’s a Bill Murray scratch and sniff book! And it’s only $6. So you should probably buy a copy.

Sound Baths Move From Metaphysical to Mainstream.

How do celebrities keep their weddings a secret? STEALTH!

What happens to those businesses after Gordon Ramsey, Tabatha, and the business gurus come in to try and fix them? Well, a lot of them go under. Here’s Theresa’s ON POINT analysis of the situation.

Awesome: Sky Ladder made of fireworks by artist Cai Guo-Qiang! Even better, this was his fourth attempt — he dreamt about doing this as a child. “Despite all life’s twists and turns, I have always been determined to realize it. Sky Ladder today is tender, and touches my heart deeply: it carries affection for my hometown, my relatives and my friends.”

A new (well, unreleased) Bikini Kill track is now available for your listening pleasure!

There’s an underground amusement park in Transylvania… And we should all go.

Interesting stuff: Love in the age of big data.

They imagined that a happy relationship was built consecutively in seven years. The foundation was a strong friendship, based on John’s laboratory findings that couples who spoke more fluidly and in more detail about each other and their pasts were more likely to stay together. Then came sharing admiration, “turning towards” each others’ bids and developing positive feelings about the coupling. Once that had all clicked into place, a pair could proceed through learning to manage their fights with, among other techniques, a process they dubbed “dreams within conflict,” whereby people try to see the positive dream inside what looks like a partner’s negative position. At the top–the pinnacle of a great relationship–came helping each others’ dreams come true and building a shared sense of purpose, like volunteering or traveling the world.

These Boots Were Made for Stalking: When Women Harass Women Online. Imagine being manipulated, threatened, and humiliated because someone really, really wants to be your friend.

These taxis in Mumbai are gorgeous!

How One Airline Ticket Can Equal Two Seats. Good tips for international playgirls!

There was a $100,000 statue of Baphomet unveiled in Detroit. Some people weren’t thrilled about it, but you have to watch the video. It’s amazing… There’s a very theatrical Satanist giving an incredible sermon about it while a goth girl looks SO bored behind him!

I’m obsessed with this mix.


She can RAP her ASS OFF!


If you loved Home Alone… This is your jam. And all the videos after this are stupid things that made me laugh this month.







Here’s to an incredible September!

Love you,

Photo by Elizaveta Porodina.

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Radical Self Love Letters

Florence: You’re Too Beautiful For Words, So Here’s A Thousand Photos



ear Florence, you are the city dreams are made from. Our time there was brief — three days — but beautiful and action-packed. Every evening, we headed back to our Airbnb absolutely exhausted. It was a whirlwind, and while I wouldn’t classify it as a “relaxing” trip, we flew back to our respective corners of the globe feeling totally inspired, reinvigorated, and excited about life.

We’d planned to take the train to Venice on our last day, but the weather forecast of torrential downpours and never-ending thunderstorms put us off somewhat! We were happy to have another day in Florence… And we’ll go to Venice next time!


I had heard about the Duomo (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore) but I didn’t know that much about it, just that it was a must-see. On our first day in Florence, we walked down a skinny street into the city centre… And we were confronted by it. Photos cannot do it justice, and the scale is incredible.


The detail — carved doors and panels, contrasting materials, etc. — is astounding. They started constructing the Duomo in 1296 (!!!) and it was completed in 1436. Like I said in my video about Rome, I had never been so close to something so old. Italy’s history makes America seem like a toddler in comparison.


Professional jumper!


Florence is a city of contradictions: some streets are crawling with tourists moving in a loud horde past empty United Colors Of Benetton stores, while some are like this, completely empty except for a sliver of sunshine and a bicycle. It’s an incredible city to just get lost in.


I loved this cover! Sunglasses on marble busts?! Amazing!


A Prada bag used for garbage? Why not? Oh, Italy!


Photobooth time… We are physically incapable of passing one up. Honestly, if you want to trap someone from Generation Y, just put a bear trap in a photobooth. Got ’em!


One of our favourite places in Florence was Luisa Via Roma. It was decorated like a rainbow wonderland, full of enormous My Little Pony sculptures and technicolour clothes. Swoon. The danger of it all!


Check out those knockers! Hahah.


One night after dinner, a waiter poured us some glasses of limoncello. I was grimacing as soon as he grabbed the bottle, because we’d had a not-so-wonderful limoncello experience in Rome. (It was disgusting: sweet, sickly and warm. Blech!) So you can imagine our surprise when this limoncello was great, easy to drink and adequately chilled. It fueled some hilarious conversations, dancing in the bicycle lane, and a random jaunt to the Four Seasons for overpriced but lovely cocktails.


You’re never too old to ride on a carousel… Or be photobombed by your BFF!


One of our favourite places to hang out in Florence was the Gucci museum. It is AWESOME. There’s a cafe attached to it and I am not ashamed to say we visited more than once. You can buy Gucci chocolates!


Who doesn’t want to drink their latte out of a Gucci Museo official mug?! Nobody, that’s who! And by the way, your coffee comes with little cookies in the shape of the interlocking G logo. Sick. I nabbed some packets of official Gucci sugar for Emily and smuggled them back to America. What a good friend!


Wearing my new Missoni turban (I went a little nuts in Missoni) with the most subtle tank top on the planet, hahah, a sequin pencil skirt, and Nike sneaker wedges. Living the dream. By the way, Nike sneaker wedges are the way of the future. Comfortable, stylish, and they give you just enough height. I walk miles in mine every single day.


I was a couple of months into quitting sugar when we went to Italy. During a Pilates session, I told my instructor Jan how excited I was to go on the trip. “The gelato will change your life!” she exclaimed. “Yeah, I know, but I just quit sugar and I don’t want to backslide…” I replied. Jan is extremely health-conscious and as a result, her body slays. So when she said, “Fuck that! You HAVE to eat gelato in Italy!”, I took her seriously. Hahah.

Yes, the gelato was awesome, and yes, I had it a few times. But now I’m back on my no sugar regimen and I feel fantastic. (I really recommend it.)



I have no idea what these say…


Ugh. Florence is so gorgeous. We took this on our last night, before heading to the rooftop bar at the Westin for delicious but cataclysmically-strong drinks. (The view is beyond.)


Shauna and I were totally obsessed with this window at Patrizia Pepe. I love the outfits on the left and right. A cropped sweater t-shirt with a pencil skirt, studded belt and striped jacket tied around the waist? KILLING IT. And the studded motorcycle jacket with the shift dress is a winner too. So inspired by these looks.


Italian widow style. Doesn’t she look like she’s a getaway car driver, waiting for her new lover to run out of the bank with a big bag of cash?


Bar Gala! I picked up this skirt at a vintage clothing store, what a great purchase. It’s like a candy wrapper from the 1970’s. My pink turban is from Amazon, it’s made of terrycloth and I have them in all different colours. Best thing ever for a bad hair day.




Our trip to Florence was so quick, but it left such a massive impact on all three of us. I am absolutely obsessed with Italy, and I can’t wait to go back! 2016, here we come!

Love ever,

Photos by Lisa Jane Photography

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How To Figure Out What You Want To Do With Your Life… Once And For All!


One of the questions I’m asked most often is, “How do I figure out what I want to do with my life?” It’s a big question, no doubt, and there is no magic bullet answer. But to avoid getting mired in analysis paralysis, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to get so much closer to figuring it out.

On Saturday, my friend Ellen — who is my Miracle Worker co-founder — and I hopped on Skype to talk for 10 minutes about what you can do if you don’t know where to start. If you’re reading this through your email, click through to the article for the embedded audio file!

Of course, now the key is to take our suggestions, write them down, and do some brainstorming!

If you’d like to join us for our second intake of Miracle Worker, click through for all the details! (P.S. Enter the code hellyes for $100 off!)

Much love,

Photo by Made U Look.

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These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: August 2015


It’s been a while since I shared a few of my favourite things in a dedicated post. (Like, almost two years. Oops!) This has been such a crazy summer that there is a lot swirling around in my brain. Here are some highlights…

I’m obsessed with artist Oliver Hibert. I discovered him through Instagram, promptly bought one of his prints, and then realised he was doing a tarot deck. Only the Major Arcana is done so far, but it’s insanely great.

Hilariously, on the same day I ordered the cards, Kat ordered them for me too! (Psychic twins for real.) Anyway, I’ve been making a practice of pulling one card each morning and then looking up the meaning. It’s really helping me get familiar with the cards, and the art is so bright and psychedelic that it makes me feel great. Nice to saturate your eyeballs with something surreal in the morning!

If you’re feeling it, buy yours here!


It’s Venus retrograde until September 6th, which means that it’s a fantastic time to look back at the old styles you used to love and see whether you can repurpose them. Instead of going shopping, flick through the back of your closet and see what you can unearth! This is exactly what I’ve been doing, and it has lead to a massive uptick in the wear of my favourite Betsey Johnson pieces.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been rocking skull rompers, dresses covered in guns, floral sundresses, and a fit and flare dress with a zipper down the front. It’s so much fun to get back into my old favourites, after almost a month of wearing the same thing (a Helmut Lang miniskirt with my Adidas cap and Nike sneaker wedges).

The best part about it has been remixing the pieces and wearing them in a totally different way. I used to wear this skull romper with a 1950’s circle skirt and kitten heels — remember that time Betsey looked up my skirt? Today, I’m wearing the romper with a hot pink skater skirt, sneaker wedges, and a backwards cap. Gotta keep evolving!

You might be feeling the urge to go back and revisit some old sartorial classics, too… And I encourage it!


Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver is one of my new favourite books. It arrived on Monday morning and I read it in one sitting (with several pauses to copy down a huge number of quotes and passages). The book has a quote from Sera Beak on the back (another one of my all-time favourites), so I should have known it would be incredible.

The response to the passage above (posted on Instagram) was massive, and I think that’s because it’s so simple. We can spend endless time going back and forth about people, but really, all we need to do is ask ourselves how we feel once they’ve walked away. If we feel good, happy, inspired, uplifted, then they should be welcome in our lives. But if we feel exhausted, guilty, drained or miserable, then we need to enforce stronger boundaries.

I loved this quote below too. If any of this resonates with you, you should definitely buy her book. I’m pretty sure it will rock your world like it rocked mine.

“The forces of karma need no manipulation. After all these readings to all kinds of people, I know one thing for sure: If you’re destined to be with someone, nothing can stop it. You won’t need to rope, trick, or drug them into loving you. Those books that leave women terrified of just being themselves are somehow both tragic and hilarious at once.” — Tosha Silver

Dear Drake, I love you. He released this track at the end of July and everyone on (warning: the site is addictive) thinks the song is about his ex, Nebby. Well, we all know Drake has a lot of feelings, so that wouldn’t be a big surprise to me.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter to me who it’s about, all I know is that I love it. I went out dancing on Saturday night and when this came on, I just about lost my MIND… And it would be cruel not to share the love.

Press play below and turn up your speakers!


Summer is the most fun time of year, because no matter where you live, the cities really turn it out. There are exciting activities all over the place, and all you have to do is reach out and grab them! After all, if you’re not taking advantage of the city you live in, you might as well be a hermit. This is my current wallpaper and I’m taking it to heart in a big way.

With this in mind, on Saturday morning, I dragged my tired ass out of bed at 6am to go on a massive slip and slide! Slide The City was alive and kicking in NYC and there was no way I was going to miss it. Whizzing down that slide on an inflatable tube was the BEST way to start my day, and afterwards, walking through the city in my bikini and a saturated kaftan was pretty hilarious too.

Slide The City has dozens of locations around the USA and if it’s going to be anywhere near you, you should definitely make it happen. My only tip? Don’t wear eyeliner. Hahah. I was an instant raccoon!

Here’s to enjoying the rest of the summer…

Eternal love,

Slide The City photo by Jen Epstein.

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New Moon Magic: August 2015

New Moon Magic: August 2015

Mmmmm. Do you feel that? Jupiter went into Virgo on Tuesday, and brought with it a huge, magical blast of effervescence. It is SUCH a delicious time, and it’s about to get even better!

Why? This Friday/Saturday we’re going to have a gorgeous New Moon in Leo. Beautiful things are about to happen. Life is about to get so much more sparkly and rich. This may have been a challenging year so far, but the tide is turning. Can you feel it? I can!

To help you make the most of this delicious New Moon, Mystic Medusa has the astrological overview, and I’ve got suggestions for how to use the energy to your advantage. Let’s do this!

New Moon Magic: August 2015


L.A. – Friday at 07.53
NEW YORK – Friday at 10.53
LONDON – Friday at 15.53
DUBAI – Friday at 18.53
HONG KONG – Friday at 22.53
SYDNEY – Saturday at 00.53
AUCKLAND – Saturday at 03.53

IN THE SKY… (Mystic Medusa)

This is one of the most golden, beautiful and auspicious New Moons of the year. It is in Leo – the Sun, Moon, Venus and Eros all together in sunny Leo and activated by rad planet Uranus.

Magic can occur in creativity, romance, glamor and enterprise. It’s a good time to re-affirm belief in yourself and your capacity for love and prosperity. In the days following this New Moon, you could easily anticipate some sort of a development that affirms just that. It’s brilliant for taking an artistic punt or revealing your feelings, if the opportunity presents itself. You ideally don’t pursue, of course, because our lady Venus IS still Retrograde.

A back-track, revision or reassessment of business/life models and beliefs could prove extremely lucrative. This Moon comes with Mercury in league with Pluto so depth dialogue could occur. For more, see your Horoscopes or a do a New Moon tarot reading on the site. It is a 12 Card reading that you can do any time, if you are a subscriber.

New Moon Magic: August 2015

ON THE GROUND… (Gala Darling)

Oh, how I love Leo energy. When I think of Leo, I think about a beautiful woman strutting into a room and turning every head. She has big hair, she is glamour incarnate, she’s warm and generous, and her charisma could power a small town. To me, Leo is the embodiment of the fierce feminine. To give you an idea, Charlize Theron, Halle Berry, Iman, Jackie Kennedy, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Coco Chanel and Diana Vreeland were all born under the sign of Leo.

Here are some ideas to help you get your Leo on…

How do you want to feel when you look in the mirror? How do you want to dress and express yourself? How do you want others to see you? A wonderful way to channel the Leo New Moon — and set some big, sexy, beautiful intentions — is to write a Babe Statement.

In a Babe Statement, you drop down into your desires and put them on paper. It’s like a mission statement, but more focussed on how you want to look and feel. The key to making it super-powerful is to write it all in the present tense, so think about what you want and write as if it’s already true.

Here are some prompts to get you started.

When I look in the mirror, I feel… I express myself by… Other people say I am… My style is inspired by… When I get dressed, I feel… When I walk down the street, I… My favourite things about myself are…

For extra Leo points, write this as you burn gold or yellow candles, in front of a mirror. When you’re finished, put it on the wall near your closet or vanity. Read it every morning for inspiration and a magical rush of Leo boldness!

If you’ve never created your own custom ritual before, this is the time! Check out Magic And Mischief: Create Your Own Full Moon Ritual for lots of ideas. Just remember that a New Moon is symbolic of a fresh start, while a Full Moon denotes the end of a cycle.

Since Leo is a fire sign, I’d recommend bringing as much fire into your ritual as possible. Lighting candles is a great place to start, but how far can you take it? What about having a bonfire on a beach? How about going to see someone spin fire (or doing it yourself)? Writing down the things you’d like to manifest and burning them is extremely powerful too.

Performing magic while you look into a mirror is extremely powerful, and very Leo. But you can’t do it unless your mirrors are charged up and ready to go. This is a fantastic time to cleanse, charge and charm the mirrors in your house, and Veronica Varlow will show you how to do it.

If you love to be femme, re-up your efforts and go big: invest in some texturising hair product and fluff out your hair like it’s nobody’s business. Get clear about your boundaries. Think of the lion: regal, powerful, and Working It 24/7. Tell the people in your life who suck your energy or don’t worship you like the god/dess you are to BACK OFF! Express your needs and desires, especially when it scares you. Ask for what you want.

Remember that this is a beautiful blessed New Moon. It is going to feel so good. Do something that makes you feel sexy and powerful, and remember to wink at yourself in the mirror before you go out to make mischief!

If you want more ideas, or just some other hints on how the Leo New Moon might affect you, New Moon Manifesting has a great post with a lot of pointers. You might also like 10 tips for New Moon rituals that get results.

By the way, I second Mystic Medusa’s recommendation of the 12 card tarot reading on her site. (It is eerily on point.) Subscribe to her for heaven’s sake! Mystic’s daily emails are an essential part of my day.

I cannot WAIT for this New Moon! Remember to share any photos of magical goings-on with the hashtag #radicalselflovecoven on Instagram!

Kiss kiss,

Photos from Wildfox.

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