smiling woman using laptop

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Home, in spite of the house.

Home, in spite of the neighborhood.

By the fourth grade, the many homes I’d had

Could be counted on two hands.

Make new friends, be social,

Strike up conversations to be normal.

I talked with words,

Hoping to find another

Who would talk similar words at me

So we would have some words in common

To talk about.

Report cards chastised my love of words—

“She talks a lot.”

“She talks too much.”

“She talks in class.”

Little girl, hush!

Home, in spite of the city.

Home, in spite of the state.

The state lines blurred and swirled in my head

Class clown or introvert?

But the truth is, when the talking came

To a merciful stop,

That was home.

School bus rides spent in solitude,

Left to my thoughts.

An inconspicuous corner in the park

To people-watch.

Quietly learning things

That can’t be taught.

Silently yearning

To accompany none.

To simply be

In the comforting company of one.


Talk is tiresome.

And I’ve talked for too many years.

Home, in spite of society.

Home, in spite of deity.

I covet, I desire, I lust to communicate.

It’s a sin to have waited this long.

To let these words languish,

Unused and unloved.

Herds of unwritten pages

Penned and left silent

Under the varnish of a social façade,

Confused and shoved aside.

The words that aim to hit a woman’s heart,

Not her eardrum.

The words that pull laughter from a man

Residing in the slum of his despair.

The words that inspire the inner child,

Not to give way to fear,

But to demand fear bows at their feet.

Smiling, no matter how many tears scroll down their cheeks.

Surviving collateral damage in the years they toil to be unique.

Braving the verbal batter all the peers who scold their defeat.

Home is right where I write.

Home is right where I think.

Home lies in the honesty of humor, humanity, honor and humility.

Home is in the words

That haunt and transcend language.

And they linger, patient

In the periphery

Needing no translation.

It is the holy dialect of our motherland.

That is the tongue I long to speak.

By: Erica Ruhe 


Remembering Dolores and the Summer of 1999

dolores o riordan-4

While the majority of the world became a Cranberries fan with the iconic song Zombie, I didn’t become a fan till 1999, when their fourth album Bury the Hatchet was released, preceded by their single, Promises. Something about that angry revenge anthem spoke to me (I was an angsty, angry teen) and I also loved the music video cause the wicked witch of the west resembled Fairuza Balk a little. Someone else who was equally a fan of that album was my cousin Melody.

I remember how she and I would listen to the album and daydream about living in London or Los Angeles. That we felt that maybe, in cities like that, our mutual weirdness would be better understood or at least not scoffed or poked fun at, as opposed to where we lived.

My cousin was a bigger fan than I was, to the point that she said, “I wish my name could be Dolores at least it would be better suited for me than Melody. Do-lo-res…just saying it sounds darkly poetic.”

We’d sing along to Animal Instinct whilst applying makeup and drinking conspicuous amounts of coffee and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Clouds of smoke would circle above our heads as we shared lipsticks and secrets, all the while Dolores O’Riordan’s voice at times aggressive, other times ethereal playing in the background. We’d stroll the cobblestone streets of our small Sicilian town, humming Just My Imagination, and dreaming big dreams. This was before selfies were a thing, so I don’t have photos documenting those moments of us together, but they’ve remained engrained in my mind, milk fresh as though they’ve only happened several months ago, and not years ago. How we’d lie both in bed, our long hair meshing together, her’s bleached blonde, mine strawberry blonde, and how it created the perfect sunset hue, and the notes from the songs would transport us elsewhere, somewhere we were convinced that we’d be better versions of ourselves.

On Christmas Eve of 2013, Melody committed suicide—and although I hadn’t seen her in years since 1999 (I had moved to America and she had moved to Turin), I couldn’t stop thinking of the last summer days we spent together. Of how everything seemed possible—when we were young and fearless. And we didn’t know it then, but maybe, we already were the better versions of ourselves but we were just too blind to see it.

Now, with the recent and unexpected death of Dolores O’Riordan, I can’t help but think about how Bury the Hatchet had been the soundtrack of my last days spent with Melody. And how often, these last five years, I’ve found myself listening to the familiar songs as a way to feel closer to my cousin, as a way to be transported back to those careless summer days.

And now, I’m merely left with the songs and the memories of a summer that’s gone and with it its dreams.

By: Azzurra Nox

Makeup Muse: Elle Fanning


To shake things up I decided to do my first collab with the awesome Brooke (brookeclarke.com, go check her blog out, it’s seriously tops!). We both agreed to do our take on Elle Fanning’s effortless Cannes 2017 makeup look!

One thing that Elle always has is beautiful skin, so for this look you’re going to want to prep your skin with some hydrating cream and primer. Some of my favourite light day creams are The Body Shop Seaweed Oil Control Day Cream ($20) or Clinique Superdefense Daily Dense Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 ($48), these creams are perfect for acne-prone or oily to combination skin types. If you’re more on the dry side, you’re better off choosing a richer cream.

For this look, the focus was on the lips whilst the eyes were almost left bare (almost meaning that they chose natural looking colours rather than something bold). And while the lips were supposed to be the main attraction, the look was softened by a rose/blush hue.

I attempted to recreate the look whilst putting my own spin on it so this is more of an inspiration than exact photocopy.




Products* Used:

Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer

Urban Decay ABC Gum Eyeshadow (on lid)

Urban Decay Anaheim Eyeshadow (as liner)

Lancome Color Design Eyeshadow in Chic (in crease)

Wet N’ Wild Eyeshadow in Creme Brullee (on brow bone)

Medusa’s Makeup Brow! Wow! Wow!

Urban Decay Star Bronzer Natural Glow

Lancome Le Crayon Khol in Blanc (in waterline)

Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot Translucent Powder

Lancome Long-Lasting Undereye Concealer in Ivoire

Urban Decay Afterglow Powder Blush in Score

Jeffree Star Cosmetics Skin Frost in Peach Goddess

Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Liquid Lipstick in Rosematter

It Superhero Mascara

This is a fairly easy makeup look that can be recreated in 20-mins! Perfect for days when you’re running late or don’t feel like having too many products on your face!



*All products used were purchased by writer.

By: Azzurra Nox