Guys, this week. It was a year long and took such a toll. You too? It’s all just too much. And I can’t even come close to comprehending the pain of those who lost everything or lost someone in an instant. The insanity of it all has certainly gotten me thinking about what really matters most and how it relates to this teeny tiny corner of the internet. You see, I’ve been holding down the Apt34 fort for a long time, but even nearly a decade in, I’ve still not 100% comfortable with sharing online. It’s so much easier to talk about the happy shiny things. So you get glimpses. Peeks. An idea. But it’s really only a sliver.

Also, it appears when you talk about pretty things, you’re not supposed to have an opinion. Heaven forbid you offend. Or take a stand. But if I’m going to teach my son that when you see something wrong, you must step in and say something, I have to lead by example, no?

So in the wake of Las Vegas, the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, the NFL brouhaha and the generally terrifying tenor of everything in our nation in 2017,  I’ve decided I cannot be silent. And I can’t offer little innuendoes or bury my thoughts on Instagram stories. These days, we’re talking about the literal difference between life and death for so many people.

And while the following is little more than a gesture – no lives will be changed by my words – I do believe words have power. Collective voices have power. Knowing you’re not alone gives others power. And the will of the people has power so I’m throwing my hand up in the air to be counted. I’m doing it here where it will be seen by you. I’m doing it on the phone to be heard by my elected representatives. I’m doing it at the dinner table with my friends and family. I’m doing it with my time, my money, my vote, and any other means I think of. Because I cannot see something so terribly terribly wrong and talk about throw pillows all day.


I believe women’s rights are human rights
I believe gay rights are human rights
I believe trans rights are human rights
I believe healthcare is a human right
I believe immigrants’ rights are human rights
I believe black lives matter
I believe everyone with a platform should #TakeaKnee
I believe gun control is common sense and better for everyone
I believe difference is what makes America great
I believe I am part of institutionalized oppression just by being white, and unless I’m taking active steps every day to counteract institutionalized racism I am a part of the problem
I believe we have real challenges in this country – massive income gaps, education gaps and opportunity gaps, wage stagnation, drug addiction and addiction to stupidity, narcissism, laziness and reality tv

I believe we do need change but it has to come from us – it’s obvious it will not come from seats of power. At least not from those who currently occupy those seats. It will come from how we treat our neighbors and how we treat strangers. It will come from how we respond to what we fear. It will come from how we stand up to oppose discrimination, oppression, and fear mongering. It will come from what we demand as acceptable discourse and examples of leadership.  There are solutions if we use common sense and look for common ground.

I believe I must do everything in my power to protect and advance these rights for every human being.

This means I cannot keep who I am, what I believe or what I’m fighting for off of this platform. Every time you are silent, you are complicit.

So now you know me. Deep down. Not just what color palette I think feels good for fall.

For those who don’t want politics to gussy up their daily Apt34 inspiration, fear not. This site will continue to stick to all things pretty. And should you disagree with my opinions, I by no means think I’m changing your mind. If you feel like you can no longer appreciate my design advice, entertaining inspiration or style tips because you don’t agree with my views, I would be sad to see you go.

But I can look my son in the eyes and tell him – be who you are, be proud and never shy away from expressing what you feel in your heart is right.

With that here are this week’s must click links.

> How to donate to hurricane victims 

> How to help earthquake victims in Mexico 

> How to donate to shooting victims in Las Vegas

> Why we should fight for gun safety

> How you can fight for gun safety 

> If you need to learn even more about guns in America

> How to register to vote 

> How to find your members of Congress

> How to make a difference in 2018

> If, like me, you still wish she was president

> If, like me, you still want to believe humanity exists – I give you a grandpa holding babies in the ICU

photo via norm architects 

What do you think?

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  1. It’s so funny when people say, “Oh, so and so should stick to sports (or acting, or blogging, or whatever) and leave the politics out of it!” I mean, I know we have to make and/or change laws in this country through a certain political process, but speaking out about injustice and standing up for those unable to stand up for themselves isn’t politics. It’s caring about humanity. I agree with all you’ve said here!

    1. Thank you for the support Monica, for reading and for commenting. I agree that we must stand up for those that feel voiceless.

  2. Thank you for opening up. It is not because you have a passion for the aesthetic and looking for beauty in what surrounds you, makes you a shallow person. On the contrary, it makes you more sensitive for all the ugliness too. That is what I think at least. I was born and raised in a part of Europe that has been relatively spared from big disasters in the last decades, for which I can only be very grateful and that is what I tell everyone auround me who is nagging about small issues, that they should count their blessings.

    1. I love your perspective Veerle – thank you so much for your comment

  3. As it should be, My Dear! It just seems to me IF we do not all agree… the very least we could do is put human beings lives first! Thanks for your bravery…. and while it is not world peace if enougnof us are brave it could be world peace! Xo

    1. I love that tought Toby. If enough of us are brave it could be world peace

    1. Thank you so much for taking a moment to comment Anna

  4. Thank you. The silence from so many in the US is alarming and disheartening, to say the least. It feels as if the whole world is watching and the whole world is deeply concerned and disappointed in the direction the country is rapidly heading.

    1. Trust me, we were too and I can only hope that in 2018 we can prove it by getting out to vote and at least partially taking some of the country back. Otherwise, I might be writing to ask if I can move in with you!

  5. I agree. It is all really just too much! Too terrible! 2017 has been the longest year ever. Everyday, every week the amount of terrible surpasses that last.
    Thank you for this post.

  6. ❤️ Thank you for sharing. Thank you for not remaining silent.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and share your comment and support

  7. Yes!!! A thousand times yes to all you said! This is why I read your blog-for YOU, your voice. Yes, you bring beautiful pictures into my life but it’s your wise, strong, compassionate voice that brings me back time and again. Keep up the fight-you are amazing! Thank you ❤️

    1. Thank you for your kind words Farrah and for being part of the Apt34 world

  8. I love your manifesto. Thank you for being courageous enough to share it. Also, thank you for the links. Some of them were new to me.

    1. Thank you so much for reading Kate. I’m thrilled you found the links helpful

    1. Thank you for being a part of why I’m still around Lyn

  9. Thank you for this. I am an African American woman who lives your site. Your words made my evening. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your perspective.

  10. Thank you for using your platform to advance human kind. It means everything.

  11. I believe you are a socialist. All lives matter, by the way.

    1. All I know is I’m proud of my views and going to be loud about them. And while of course, all lives matter, stating black lives matter doesn’t lessen the validity of anyone else. It instead explicitly expresses that they do in fact matter in a culture where it often feels like they don’t. This really interesting article is a great read I do appreciate the compliment though Andrea.

    2. In response to “all lives matter, by the way”:
      Of *course* all lives matter. The reason that Black Lives Matter is a statement worth saying and a movement is that large portions of our society actively work to extinguish the lives of folks who are not white. Two data points: Look at the number of folks of color killed by police. Look at the makeup of the prison population.

      To say “all lives matter, by the way” appears to show that you are missing the point. Saying “black lives matter” is not semantically exclusive with your statement, but your statement implies that there is no reason to single out the lives of black folks.

      Please take some time to read up on this and educate yourself. Labeling someone as a “socialist” is a mechanism to categorize and ostracize them both within your own mind and the mind of others. It’s this politic of division that our President uses that is so hurtful, and that Erin is directly refuting here. Please stop labeling folks as a passive-aggressive form of name calling and start to try to understand what’s going on in the US today if you’re not a white person of affluence.

      We are all human beings and deserve to be treated equally and with respect. Please don’t follow the example of our President and attempt to bluster, name-call, and divide our country. Instead work to find common ground to build a better culture, society, and world.

      Thanks for your consideration in this matter.

  12. Very well said, and thank you for saying it. Two observations: I notice when bloggers do not even mention tragedies. It makes their blog seem purely transactional (i.e., I link to a pretty pillow, you buy it), and lacking humanity. I realize some readers prefer this, but this one does not. My second observation, is that this seems gendered. Another instance of females, in this case bloggers who talk about creating beauty, are being told that they shouldn’t share their opinion, particularly not in this feminized space.

    1. I couldn’t agree more Eden. The feminization of blogging sometimes feels a bit like we’re being regulated into “our place,” yet we’re doing it to ourselves. Definitely food for thought.

    1. I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment Jennifer

  13. Beautifully written. Thank you for using your platform as a means to amplify your voice and your voice as a means to share love.

    1. Sometimes love is all we can offer, but it’s more powerful than we think, right Claire?

  14. This is so powerful and so needing to be said! The message given by my pastor this morning also expressed much of this–only the wording was a little different.
    I will give the credit to you when “quoting” or paraphrasing” this message. Thank you for expressing my sentiments and attitudes toward these things so beautifully!

    1. Thank you for taking time to comment Jeanie. It’s nice to hear this message is also being delivered in church!

  15. I think you are very brave to post this. I am sure you know you will lose followers. But you have gained a follower here with me. I came across this blog accidentally but intend to follow it. I agree with every word you said. I am an older white woman, married to and older black man. We have 2 children although he has others. Every day I fear for all of them and for the grandchildren and the great grands. I see the bigotry and hate for all ppl of color, not just blacks. I see the open expression of it in subtle looks. silent stares and verbal insults. In job denials and shopping hassles. And I will never shut up or sit down. Good for you for being the same way

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and for taking time to comment Linda. I can’t even imagine having to be fearful for my children’s lives every day just because of the way they look. It’s a travesty our country still hasn’t gotten past this point. But hopefully, each generation can take us one step further. I’m going to hold that hope, and make sure I teach my son accordingly. All the best to you

  16. Thank you. It’s so obvious isn’t it. Why has our society become so accepting of any thing other than human decency?

    1. I guess because if you’re as far from decent as possible you get to be president…

  17. As someone who doesn’t live in the US and is not American, it’s always a bit of a relief to read posts like yours. As someone who works in the field of foreign affairs and reads a lot about politics, I am well aware that all Americans did not vote for Trump, that there are a lot of Americans who hold the same point of view on the issues you mention above. But it’s still nice to hear that you are raising your voice, that you are aware that people in Puerto Rico, even if they were not American, need our support, that gun laws should be stricter, that immigrants are a wealth to our nations, that health care is a basic human rights, that contraception is a right and that nobody should have a say over a woman’s body

  18. THANK YOU. We live in terrifying times. Speaking up is key. This poem has been really important to me now more than ever.


    I know, I know
    If you could go back you
    would walk with Jesus
    You would march with King
    Maybe assassinate Hitler
    At least hide Jews in your basement
    It would all be clear to you
    But people then, just like you
    were baffled, had bills
    to pay and children they didn’t
    understand and they too
    were so desperate for normalcy
    they made anything normal
    Even turning everything inside out
    Even killing, and killing, and it’s easy
    for turning the other cheek
    to be looking the other way, for walking
    to be talking, and they hid
    in their houses
    and watched it on television, when they had television,
    and wrung their hands
    or didn’t, and your hands
    are just like theirs. Lined, permeable,
    small, and you
    would follow Caesar, and quote McCarthy, and Hoover, and you would want
    to make Germany great again
    Because you are afraid, and your
    parents are sick, and your
    job pays shit and where’s your
    dignity? Just a little dignity and those kids sitting down in the highway,
    and chaining themselves to
    buildings, what’s their fucking problem? And that kid
    That’s King. And this is Selma. And Berlin. And Jerusalem. And now
    is when they need you to be brave.


    is when we need you to go back
    and forget everything you know
    and give up the things you’re chained to
    and make it look so easy in your
    grandkids’ history books (they should still have them, kinehora)


    is when it will all be clear to them.

    –Danny Bryck

    1. I love this. Thank you so much for sharing Soyoung

  19. As an African-American woman living in these times that are not new to me….I applaud you.

    Thank you for standing up for all rights.

  20. word. the silence of good people makes the baddies more powerful.

    32% of Americans own guns but they are so loud they have managed to bully the majority into silence. F that. Our kids deserve a safer world, I will not give in to the madness of a minority — no matter how tough the slog is.