I have fond memories of the MySpace days when I edited all of my pictures with Windows Photo Editor — what a life, right? Now I spend a lot more time and money editing photos for my Instagram and blog, and I want to share my knowledge with y’all! It feels like every blogger has a preset pack these days and it’s super overwhelming to pick which one to try.Read More
I have a confession to make — I didn’t buy anything during Lilly Pulitzer’s Summer 2018 After Party Sale. I didn’t even look at the website! Before any of y’all get worried that I’ve had a personality transplant, it’s good to know that I’ve been busy — time-wise and financially — with exciting news. We bought a house!Read More
I sing Adobe Lightroom's praises to anyone who will listen, but the photo editing that will always have my heart is VSCO. For those who aren't familiar with the app, it's a social media/iPhone editing platform that was seriously the only way to have a cool Instagram account back in the day. Not only is it easy to use, but the filters are super customizable, which allowed you to create a feed aesthetic before having a feed aesthetic was a thing. I personally couldn't get enough of the A6 filter, and almost all of my pictures were given a desaturated, slightly cool look thanks to the filter pack. Of course, my Instagram feed is now bright and colorful, but I'm able to understand Lightroom partly because of my experience with VSCO.Read More
I occasionally re-share articles that I've written for other publications here on xo, Ayana. While my blog tone is relatively lighthearted, these articles are typically heavier reading — I love this happy corner of the Internet I've created, but I don't ever want to ignore things close to my heart for the sake of branding. I felt led to share this article after reading about the tragic death of Andrew Stoecklein, a popular megachurch pastor in Chino, California who died by suicide at 30 years old. While I grieve for his family, especially his wife Kayla and three sons, I've also been enraged by the cruel things I've seen online.
Pastors have said terrible things about this man's eternal fate, about perceived spiritual weakness, about depression being impossible once you accept Jesus. Lies, lies, lies — and damaging lies that make it hard to trust church leadership. Additionally, some religious publications have published as much detail as possible about the incident, which goes against the recommendations for Reporting on Suicide.
No matter how far we've come, we still have work to do.Read More
Raise your hand if you have a weird relationship with your curves. (Picture me jumping up and down enthusiastically.) I got my first "training bra" when I was 8 years old and have had hips since I hit puberty. I've written about my self-image struggles, but one of the things that has complicated my journey is that I've always had a large chest and butt with wide hips. Even when I was much skinnier, I felt disproportionate to the people around me.