The Good Stuff: The Health Benefits of Tattoos, Cephalopod Week, and the Best Bob Ross Pep Talks

It’s a two-fer!! Two posts in a single month, hot dang look at me go!

Small update: I have reopened my shop (!) . I’m trying to keep things on the lighter side until I am officially done with grad school, but if you’re looking for any Bert+Lou cards, they’re available for purchase again. Yippee! I am also accepting wedding suite and glassware orders, albeit in limited amounts. Pet portraits are on hold, as is larger scale art. Thanks for all your love and support (and patience). I appreciate you!

Oh, and of course, happy father’s day weekend!

Can a tattoo help with your health? I’m itching for my next one, so this may help me justify it to my mom (sorry Mom).

Modern Tahitian portraits by Kahinde Wiley challenge history and Paul Gaugin’s problematic racial depictions and over-sexualization of natives to the Tahitian islands he once called home. As much as I appreciate Gaugin’s work, in particular his use of pattern and color, it certainly needs to be addressed how his paintings often (usually?) sexually objectified his subjects as the “exotic other” for viewers back home in France.

The Hong Kong Ballet recently rebranded and all I can say is NEON TUTUS:

Lately I am really feeling the mindset that it’s okay to be good and not great (tying into last month’s article on why Perfectionism is a Hustle). Let’s hear it for living in the moment, self-forgiveness, and letting your heart be your guide.

Can science tell us what beauty truly is? Neuroscientist Anjan Chatterjee weights in on the neurology of creativity.

Feeling down? Here are the best Bob Ross pep talks.

I am all about this article on getting away from busyness and reclaiming your life. ::applauds wildly::

What does your digital footprint reveal about your psychological profile?

Botanical sexism” could be the reason your seasonal allergies are so wicked. “When used for street plantings, only male trees should be selected, to avoid the nuisance from the seed.” It’s like The Handmaid’s Tale for trees!

I am completely smitten with these over-the-top macrame headdresses. Stunning!

Is this heaven?! A dog-themed theater in Texas serves canine-themed films and serves free wine. Sign me up.

Fashion designer Fredrik Tjærandsen’s runway show with performative inflatable garments has me chuckling, but I do quite appreciate it.

The most exceptional trees in Hawaii’i. Be sure to check out the interactive map.

New hero: This dude totally shreds on the recorder.

Something I was previously unaware of but feel strongly about: shark may be in your food or body products! I have signed petitions against shark finning, but who knew there was so much more to it than that (obviously not me, feeling like a doofus over here). Check out this article for more details and for ideas on how to shop smart and take action.

I think I’d like to visit this rainbow village in Taiwan.

Looks like I’ll be adding this lightning bug experience in the Smoky Mountains to my ever-expanding bucket list.

Always stressed? Here’s how your workouts may help or exacerbate the issue (and the resulting levels of cortisol).

In favor of filling your space with that which brings you joy.

In another life I would have gone to school to study cephalopod neurobiology. Thus, I find myself a smidgeon obsessed with them. To celebrate them in all their glory, here is a cephalopod extravaganzaaaaa!

Why scientists love cephalopods (and can ya blame them?!). <3

Finding new ways to see— what we can learn about intelligence and creativity from our friend the octopus.

Cephalopod week, at least as cool as shark week!



The Good Stuff: Glowing Wounds, Neuroscience as Art, + the Best Life Mantras

Buenos dias, mis amigos.

Have any fun plans for this holiday weekend? I intentionally under-booked myself, unlike I normally do (I tend to schedule myself to death and then find myself exhausted and zero percent recharged by the end of the weekend…ugh). I had a moment of clarity in Cabo recently (humble Cabo brag) that I need to actually allow myself time to unwind! I’ve had this hustle mindset of doing all the things and proving (to whom?) that I’m succeeding (let’s not unpack all that baggage right this moment, shall we?), and gosh darnit it’s exhausting.

So this weekend I am planning to sit by my pool, read my book, sleep in, make strawberry margaritas with the succulent strawbs I picked up at the farmer’s market yesterday, and generally just allow myself to lounge. I.can’t. wait.

I’ve got some goodies to keep you busy this weekend, especially if it’s supposed to rain near you like it is here by me and you’re expecting some indoor time :)


As it turns out, there are two types of creativity, and they peak at different ages.

An art historical journey to free the nipple.

Weird science: how a few civil war soldiers started glowing from their wounds…and healed faster.

Feeling work burnout? As someone who cried the week before I left for vacation and then spent days in my own head trying to assess if I’m burned out or just stressed, I wish I’d had this article a little sooner. The point about trying to be the best at all the things really resonated with me!

This celestial photograph just blew my mind (and it was taken by “amateurs”!).

Take this quiz to find out your creative type. The questions are unusual and I love that. I got “The Revolutionary” :)

14 of the world’s most charming libraries.

What exactly is a mantra, and how can it help you live your life more fully? One of mine is “it’s a good day to have a good day”. Even if I don’t fully believe it at the time, saying it helps reset my attitude on hard days and allows me to reclaim what I have left of the day, rather than letting a set back trash the remainder of my waking hours.

One of the coolest videos I’ve ever seen, this neuroscientist/artist creates art work that absolutely blows. my. mind. Without spoiling too much of his process, his idea to utilize reflective gold leaf in order to mimic synaptic firing is gee dang genius if you ask me. I’m so obsessed I even hunted him down elsewhere: instagram, website.

You can now stay at the bus from Spice World. Yep, that’s right! It will be listed on AirBnb and do I suddenly need a trip to the UK?!

Struggling to identify an emotion you’re feeling? Use this emotion descriptives wheel to really clarify and fine-tune how you’re feeling. The only way to work it out is to fully identify and see what you’re working with.

5 books Bill Gates wants you to read this summer. I have officially added all of them to my reading list.

Why you need white space in your daily routine.

Back in the day, I wrote a post about why artists deserve to get paid. If you are trying to find that sweet spot of income as an artist, here’s a guideline for pricing your work!

Perfectionism is a hustle. I never thought about it this way but it makes so much sense.

What a beautiful tiny house in rural Japan can teach us about the health of cities




The Good Stuff: The Truth About Your Wasabi, My New Favorite Instagram Accounts, and The Awesome Women of Geoscience

Hello again and welcome to The Good Stuff. I hope the weather is warm and your windows are open. :)

A taxidermist I’d like to be friends with.

The amazing microscopy of trees.

Who was Marjorie Sweeting? (hint: the queen of karst) ((oh, and also one of my heroes)).

Zonia Baber: Another lady of geoscience and all around badass…

…And a third, Marie Tharp, who pioneered mapping the oceans.

Love dogs? Then you’d better check out NYC’s Museum of the Dog.

The fantastically creative world of Nina Katchadourian.

On awe.

Books spark joy (and why a person’s bookshelves are a great reflection of who they are).

Bookstores worth traveling for.

Did you know? Here’s why your “wasabi” probably isn’t.

These walls bring me so much joy.

What is “the IKEA effect”?

My new favorite instagram account. This guy brings me so much joy….

… okay This one too.

This mother-son duo are translating astrophysics into Blackfoot! It’s gloriously poetic and just fills me with all the feelings!

Take me to the chapel! :D

A rainwater collecting art installation dazzles like chandeliers in the trees.

aaaand some serious stuff:

This politically contentious southeast corner of Utah was protected for 11 months before becoming, quite suddenly, unprotected. This interactive article from the Washington Post makes a case for its preservation, despite the best efforts of the... Environmental Protection Agency? Hmm...

I know too many women who have had their pain or persistent symptoms dismissed (myself included) and it makes me rage! Here are some ways you can advocate for yourself if you feel like your doctors aren’t hearing you (sadly, it’s a thing).

Turmoil in Venezuela has put its national parks in peril.

More ways the Trump administration is sabotaging conservation efforts.

An eloquent article about white privilege.



The Good Stuff: Purple Tea, The Chicago Map Project, and the Most Pure Thing on the Internet

Spring is here! At long last. It’s still sweater-y weather, but the days are getting longer and I can feel that springy tilt to the angle of the sun, and all i can say is


Is spring burn-out a thing? Seriously. I need an extra hour (maybe two) in each day. Between work, grad school, a long distance relationship, and just life, my ability to do it all and balance it all with a positive attitude has been seriously challenged. A year ago when I was running Bert+Lou full time I would schedule these posts. I had a business timeline. Now I’m just wingin’ it when i get a free second. It bums me out a little, honestly, to not be able to commit as much to this web child of mine as I used to, but there’s still so much to be passionate about, so it will persist, albeit less frequently. On a sunny note, I appreciate all of you who have stuck with me through every season of life since the birth of B+L. Y’all give me the steam to keep on goin.

When green tea meets water from the Azores’ volcanic hot springs, an unexpectedly violet brew is born. Adding this to my wanderlust bucket list!

How does GPS technology affect our understanding of place?

Daily things to fall in love with.

The Folded Map Project bridges the distance between Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Do octopuses dream? It seems they might.

A little late in the game, but Bill and Melinda Gates’ annual letter really got me jazzed up. My favorite line: “There is nothing about putting your country first that requires turning your back on the rest of the world. If anything, the opposite is true.” -Melinda Gates

I’m seriously obsessed with this algorithmic infographic that visualizes US immigration as rings on a tree.

Want to get rich buying art? Invest in women artists.

A cartography of consciousness – researchers map where subjective feelings are located in the body.

A new illustrated database for women artists spans the 15th to 19th centuries… created right here in my hometown!

‘The Venn diagram of “female devotees of Dionysus who savagely tear apart Orpheus” and “parties I would love to attend” has an overlap of roughly 100%’ . I laughed out loud reading this article about mobs of women murdering men in western art history.

Unironically, I wasn't able to make it through this full article about reading in the age of distraction. Derrrp.

The highest village in the world has some seriously outstanding architecture.

These national parks wouldn’t exist without women!

This may be the most pure thing on the internet.

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Stay Inspired!

XoXo - Britta

The Good Stuff: A Cowboy Cartographer, Moonlists, and How to Listen to Trees

I have so many goodies for you today. So sorry it’s been a while, life can really get ahead of you, ya know?!

I hope you’re all doing well and had a splendid fall. Does anyone else feel like it was far too brief? I need more “chill” and less “freeze”, if you know what I mean.

Happy Humpday, we’re halfway there!

Enjoy :)

What is Miljøkajakken ?? (One of Copenhagen's smartest initiatives, that's what!)

Growing up I hated gym class. I felt like a failure because running is and always has been a painful endeavor for me. It wasn't until I was an adult that I recognized my strength is, literally, my strength. This article struck a chord with me.  How would my relationship with exercise be different as an adult if I hadn't dreaded gym class so much as a kid?

The cowboy cartographer who lovingly detailed a place's dogs.

Izzy Wheels, a company founded by two sisters to empower those bound to wheelchairs, has the greatest business model.

How to stay positive and productive, as told by photographer extraordinaire Jeff Mindell.

I am newly intrigued by the idea of moonlists.  

These tiny embroidered scenes by Vera Shimunia have me swooning. Those clouds! <3

A lost narwhal has been adopted….by a pod of belugas.

These towns are worth visiting for their adventures, and their bookstores.

Looks like I’ll be adding the country of Georgia to my list of places to visit!

How (and why) to listen to a tree.

“Not always useful, but not altogether useless” is the mantra behind Chindōgu, a Japanese art form I’m a little obsessed with currently.

The double standard of work email exclamation points. (!)

This artist creates maps of Argentinean landscapes through hand-tufted rugs and they. are. GORGEOUS.

This artist is turning abandoned basketball courts into art.

How skim-reading is inferior to READING.

Drawing is the best way to learn.

A stunning 3-D street mural in Santarcangelo.

Way to go Austin! The city has now passed legislation that bans restaurants from throwing away food that can be donated or composted.

This baby may become the youngest person to travel to all 50 states. I’m jealous!

Maps of mountains.

An opinionated (but correct) rant about flannel.

An illustrated field guide to the art, science, and joy of tea.

Maps and books, two of my favorite things!

How a groundbreaking female cartographer (go girl!) charted the evolution of the United States….and the subsequent dispossession of Native Peoples from their lands. Keep this in mind when you carve into your Thanksgiving turkey.

Newly discovered! The largest cluster of deep-sea octopuses ever found. So. Cool.

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good DeathFrom Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me far too long to read this book (damn you, life, always getting in the way!). But it's an excellent read and I highly recommend it. Written conversationally, it is still extremely informative about the plethora burial traditions one can find across the globe, and it touches on what we consider culturally "acceptable" and how that varies from place to place. Truthfully, America has burial and mourning all wrong, in my opinion. We never look death square in the face. We fight it, we try to avoid it with all means necessary, and then when it comes we are absolutely ill-equipped to process and manage it. The author writes from the same point of view, and I was pleased to learn of growing mortuary movements in the U.S. that veer away from multi-thousand dollar locked steel crypts to methods that return the body to the earth, where it originates from (get me my mushroom suit!).
If you're a little squeamish this book not particularly graphic, in case you were wondering. It does include some skeletal illustrations, though.
Loved the book, and it's fitting that I finished it right when I'm feeling like fall is beginning and my excitement for Halloween is growing and my inner goth that I keep (mostly) suppressed is appearing more and more.
A very refreshing book.

View all my reviews

xoxo Britta