the moth

December 11, 2014


Each episode of The Moth begins with a theme, for instance, “A Work in Progress” or “Off the Record,” where individual storytellers come to The Moth Mainstage to tell their stories. Located in both Los Angeles and New York City, The Moth also tours the United States and hosts story slam nights. The thing I love about The Moth is that rather than investigative pieces or reporting, it’s simply a collection of people’s real-life stories. It makes a nice rounded out addition to podcasts like Serial or Planet Money.

Many of the speakers on The Moth are also writers, so the podcast definitely has a strong tone of voice that’s different from TED because it’s much more literary sounding. Some of the stories are incredible, some are heartbreaking, some are hilarious and others are so relatable you’ve experienced them before you’ve even heard them.


December 9, 2014


Half of the reason I chose to feature Laura is because her photos are just downright gorgeous. She has one of those aesthetics that I wish I could emulate. Capturing Utah and her travels in a light that is only hers, you can follow her life and passions through her Instagram feed. Her photos are also well curated – her account isn’t one of those accounts that is so curated that you can’t tell who she is, which brings me to the second reason I love following Laura. Her personality and captions are just so… hilarious, but hilarious doesn’t quite catch the essence. Laura is equal parts comical, witty and down-to-earth.

Some days you’ll see photos of her husband in the morning light, some days you’ll get a picture of her dressed up as an old lady. Every day is good though.
Also make sure to check out her online store and blog here.

To see more, find Laura’s Instagram at @topsyandhavoc
To see my feed, clicky here

Kuu Lamp

December 8, 2014

Kuu Lamps

Kuu Lamps

Kuu Lamps

Kuu Lamps

Happy Monday, y’all! Ahhh I hope everyone had a great weekend. I sure did. I went for a nice little hike, visited the Georgetown Christmas market, made nachos and watched the Broncos game with my bestie and guy. Just so calm and rejuvenating. While looking around for some Monday morning inspiration, I came across these gorgeous Kuu Lamps and felt so many emotions about them. Do you get emotions about lamps? I seriously do. Lighting, it’s such an important thing in my realm.

I love that these lamps give off a glowing light and are made out of a material that’s both structured and cozy. I can’t decide which color lamp I would buy. The thing is though, I don’t buy lamps. I just can’t sink money into things like lamps when I’m still renting a house. It’s silly, because these don’t look like they’d take much installation… maybe after I put in the effort to paint my rented walls, I will put some effort into upgrading my lighting situation.



(additional photos source)

Holiday Desktop Wallpapers

December 1, 2014


2560 // 1920 // 1680 // 1440 // iphone // ipad

It’s that time of year, officially! It’s been Christmas time around my home for a month now, but I can finally start celebrating the season now that it’s December. The truth is, I put my Christmas tree up a week after Halloween and if we’re friends on Rdio, you know I’ve been jamming this for a few days as well. So now we can all upgrade our tech to have reindeers and crass sayings.


2560 // 1920 // 1680 // 1440 // iphone // ipad


2560 // 1920 // 1680 // 1440 // iphone // ipad

What’s your favorite part of December? I have so many. I love when Christmas lights go up and I really love the annual Christmas parade. I always allow myself to have a peppermint white mocha at least a few times through the month, so that’s a nice treat. I also love the colors, the snow, the foods at this time of year. I love the carols and the movies and buying gifts for those I love.


The wreath in the bottom design was sourced from here.


November 27, 2014


50 things I am thankful for this year (in no order, total stream of consciousness)

I, Rachel Ridings, am thankful for…

1. Snoopy doo, my best friend in the world… Who happens to be a shih-tzu
2. getting through this time
3. Jeffy Weffy, my boyfriend and best friend and rock
4. heated blankets
5. my brothers
6. my job
7. the mountains
8. my mom
9. the ability to financially support myself
10. the few early mornings I managed to get up for this year
11. lists… I couldn’t live without lists.
12. fluffy scarves
13. my friends. all of them.
14. food (where do I begin?)
15. my boyfriends family and their love for me
16. beer and breweries and beer tasting
17. pie baking contests
18. my therapist, Donna
19. cuddles
20. the feeling of wind on my face
21. my new iPad
22. the garden I once had (that only had broccoli in it)
23. Pinterest
24. my nephew
25. Burt’s Bees Chapstick
26. water, cold water, i love it
27. the smell of wood on Jeff’s clothes
28. bike rides to work when it’s warm out
29. good conversation
30. Colorado in general
31. the times when I can’t stop laughing (I’ve had so many this year)
32. brianna’s blog, one of my biggest inspirations
33. christmas lights
34. this blog and the motivation it gives me
35. my one cozy sweater
36. almoooost paying off my car
37. changes in weather and seasons
38. my pursuit of minimalism
39. bad teen drama television (seriously, i am so thankful for this)
40. meals with friends new and old this year
41. instagram and the community I have made there
42. pine trees
43. Jeff’s beard
44. my travels
45. iMessage
46. Apple TV
47. sweet foods
48. my body and all it’s imperfections
49. My tiny and cozy apartment
50. For anyone who read this!

Image source


November 26, 2014


Guys, I love instagram. I love it almost as much as the word “guys”. I’ve been dreaming of making this column for a year now and have been held back by my ever-suffocating perfectionism. I never knew how to lay it out, or if I should wait for the day when I have my ideal blog design and yadda yadda, anyway, here it is. It’s imperfect and perfect and I just need to publish things and stop waiting for them to be perfect. In my head this column is called “instagrammy’s,” you know, like an award show for instagram photos, but I’m going to tone down the cheese and figure out a proper name later.

My very first choice for this column was so easy. Zach’s photos are some of my favorites on all of instagram. He primarily shoots landscapes in Colorado and elsewhere and I’m a big sucker for landscapes. Something about his particular captures just makes me swoon. I think it’s the fact that none of his photos look like the easy shot. He clearly puts work into getting the photos he posts and it inspires me to stop snapping photos of my breakfast (jk i don’t do that, usually).

The colors he highlights are super interesting to me – whereas it’s quite popular to edit with darks and neutrals these days, Zach chooses to create really bright scenes with highly-saturated (shall I say dreamy?) colors that give an ethereal and whimsy kind of feel.

To see more, find him at @zckrf
To see my feed, clicky here


November 5, 2014


Do you guys listen to podcasts? I’m relatively new to the world of them and have my boyfriend to thank for this new love of mine. Jeff listens to podcasts a lot. Actually Jeff does most of the cool stuff that I later adopt. He’s just naturally cool. I can’t remember what those people are called, but I’m like one level down from cool. I’m an early adopter. And this time around, I’m a seriously seriously late adopter.

I love podcasts. L-O-V-E LOVE. I listen to them on the way to work and while I’m cooking dinner every night. They’re great because I’m a finicky music person; it has to match my mood exactly, or I prefer silence. Podcasts, however are so different. They offer stores and information and they’re so engaging. They’re entirely different from the whole experience of listening to music. My current favorite podcast is Serial.


Serial season 1 is currently in progress and gets released weekly. The content is about a murder case and is being told from the point of view of a narrator. I love Serial because it reminds me of a book on tape, but it’s actually real life. Every week, more of the story unfolds with the new episode, unlike most other podcasts, which are a new story or topic every week. The host, Sarah Koenig, has tremendous talent in her storytelling and I appreciate that she gives us a really full view of the story. Her reporting appears to be incredibly honest and she’s open about her conclusions and biases and leaves plenty of room for the listeners to develop their own opinions.

The general premise of the podcast revolves around a murder that happened 15 years ago. Koenig is interested in this case because the alleged murderer has been in prison since his senior year of high school and as Koenig says it, something about this case is just… off. Whether or not Adnan Syed, the alleged murderer is guilty or not, is only a piece of the story. Koenig has interviewed many many people for countless hours and has come to one main conclusion so far: at the very minimum, the court’s proceedings and conclusions do not appear to have justly proved that Sayed was guilty. Too many facts are amiss, too little was proven at the time. Koenig shifts back and forth between believing that Syed is telling her the truth that he didn’t do it and also examining certain details that might prove that he did.

The story is gripping, thorough and has kept me on the edge of my seat every week.


Where to listen:



November 4, 2014


Look who’s back already! Making good on my promises and all.

I have a confession. I’m dying for some snow over here. This is a confession because I am an ardent (and self-proclaimed) snow hater. Actually I love snow, I just hate the thing that happens after snow, where everything is bright and dirty and cold and not pretty. But this year, everything seems to be staying unseasonably warm and bright and sunny and I’m wearing all black and have shifted to drinking hot beverages and where is the damned snow? I also remembered Brianna’s snowy trip to Keystone at the beginning of the year and am so needing this.

Oh, art. Yes, how does that tie into snow? It doesn’t. Besides that this art has bright whites and reminded me of winter and then I pitched myself out into left field there. Sorry. Here are a few of the artists that have been inspiring me lately. It’s sort of strange when you see these thick themes running through your life and you can’t exactly explain why this reoccurring element keeps coming back. That’s me with paint. Over the past year or two, some of the most natural and intrinsic inspiration in my life has all boiled down to paint. Oil, watercolor, acrylic, doesn’t seem to matter, but the art I am loving is definitely paint.

I signed up for a pottery class a while back and haven’t had a chance to get in… maybe I should be doing a painting class (like this) instead…

Sources: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Chia Pudding

November 3, 2014


I’m pretty sure that if I write one more post about how I’m going to be a better blogger/human/everything someday, the Internet will actually just explode. I know I sound like a broken record, but this time I mean it. I promise promise one more strong attempt at coming back to this place with some dose of regularity and bringing actual posts to life, rather than booming off about my content creation dreams.

This has legitimately been one of the busiest months of my life. I didn’t even have the emotional capacity to text people back within a 3 day period (or at all) over the past few weeks. I started my new job and a few weeks later got thrown to the wolves and I’m lucky I’m not sitting off in a dimly lit corner somewhere rocking back and forth muttering “label text” over and over to myself.

The new exhibition that just opened at the MCA Denver is truly stunning and I’m incredibly grateful to have been a part of making it all come to life. BUT. But, wow. My coworkers are all in a sort of blank stupor where those who haven’t taken days off to recover are passing one another and giving the faintest smiles before hugging themselves and glancing around anxiously, as if another piece of art might leap out in front of them and demand to be hung on the wall. *shudder* I ate pizza 4 times last week. I also only spent 4 hours in my home in a 24 hour period. I also earned myself an extra week of time off from work. I think I have a chemical addiction to coffee now and I used to hate the stuff. Anyway, enough of my Art Museum Woes for today.


It’s been a long time coming but I climbed right back onto the horse today and am ready to start a new diet and exercise routine and honestly, I need to start new routines for just about everything in my life, but I am not going to tell you how bad my tooth-brushing routine has been lately. Actually, I’m going to tell you about… CHIA PUDDING.

What to say. Let’s start with the fact that the first time I made chia pudding, it was just downright awful. It was just chia, almond milk and vanilla and it turned out like frog eyes in a bath of no flavor. But I went back to the drawing board and came up with this recipe that’s totally amazeballs and will maybe even make a believer out of your boyfriend.



– .5 cups chia seeds
– 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
– 1.5 teaspoons agave nectar
– .5 cup vanilla yogurt (whichever kind you prefer)

Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium tupperware. Make sure that they are mixed quite well, the yogurt will take a bit to become blended in. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy in the morning.

To serve like I did, put chia pudding in the bottom of a jar, layer a thick serving if muesli above it and then create a small mixed berry smoothie out of almond milk, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries for the top layer. This breakfast will give you great sustained energy all day and will definitely keep you full until lunch.

Bath Season

September 14, 2014

(click the products to see more info)

autumn bath essentials

Ahh, the birds are migrating south, my knuckles have windburn and I’m dusting off my boxes full of boots, sweaters and scarves. The cold has arrived a tad early this year in the mountainous west.

If you live in Colorado, you can queue up your best Cher eye roll, apply a layer of cow breast lotion and bear with me for a moment while I explain just how crucial bath products are to those who don’t know and live near sea level.

You see, those of us who live at high elevations aren’t crazy only because the lack of air, we’re crazy because of the manic nature of our weather. For instance, yesterday it was 55 degrees and raining all day. Tomorrow, it will be 85 degrees and sunny. It’s like this… all the time. With all the back and forth, Coloradoans are a little nuts. One cuckoo trait of a true Coloradoan (not to be mistaken with a native… do all states get crazy about defining who is a native and who isn’t…?), is your knowledge and use of all things… moist. Yes, moist. Stop gagging, it’s a real word that really has meaning here. Moist as in, if you don’t use good products during bath season, your already-dry-as-fux-from-the-elevation skin runs the risk of developing some deep crevices. There, I said moist crevices only 27 words apart. Are you spewing yet? Okay. Stay with me, it gets worse. If you use harsh soaps during the months of September through oh, let’s say May, your dermis will get itchy and red and you might sprout scales and a tale and now you’re probably spewing from my hyper-visual word selection, aren’t you?


So the lesson is, buy the good stuff. Don’t let dandruff define you as a person. And for heavens sake, stay moist. Moist crevices. Gag. What are your favorite products for bath season? See a few more of mine here.