Help Me Get to New York for BlogHer15!


Hi friends! I need your help to get to New York! I am a proud #BlogHer15: Experts Among Us Voices of the Year Honoree and have the opportunity to accept the award in person at the BlogHer15 conference in New York City!

Last year I wrote a blog post about my experience growing up as a fat person and how that played out in some of my personal relationships. I wrote about the stigma and invisibility I experienced as a fat woman, particularly a queer fat Latina woman.

My story is not unique – so many people responded sharing similar stories. Now I get to fly across the country to present my writing to a huge group of bloggers and social media superstars. I get to share my story and in a way, the story of so many others.

I began blogging four years ago. Skinned Knees began as an eating disorder recovery blog – to help keep me accountable in my recovery and to shift the narrative of how we talk about those with eating disorders to include people of color, people of different sizes, incomes, sexualities, genders, and more. Today, Skinned Knees focuses on feminism, body positivity, and culture.

Blogging has given me the opportunity to use my voice to do something important for myself and my community. Being able to physically accept the BlogHer15 Voices of the Year award would be a dream come true, validation for the years I’ve spent writing my heart out, and motivation to keep doing it.

Here’s where you can help! I am asking for donations to cover the cost of a round-trip flight from Los Angeles (where I live) to New York City, plus transportation and/or housing costs. If you have access to airline miles you can share or know of a place I can stay in New York City, please be in touch!

Anything you can donate would be incredibly appreciated – literally every $1 counts. Thank you for believing in me and what I do! 

Easy Vegan Banana Bread Recipe


Hi friends! I have a confession to make. I don’t know how to cook. I always say I don’t like to cook, which is true, but that’s primarily because it doesn’t exactly make sense to me. Baking though? I *LOVE* to bake. If I could bake every meal and snack, I would. Today I want to share with you this delicious vegan banana bread recipe (adapted from here) – but first, let me expand a little bit about why cooking doesn’t make sense to me!

I grew up around some great cooks – my grandmother, my aunts, and my mom are all amazing cooks. My mom made dinner at home 6/7 nights a week growing up, my grandmother made me breakfast before school every morning, and for every family get together, all of my aunts each contributed a dish or two. I was pretty lucky to be fed yummy primarily Mexican home cooked food!

As a kid, my mom would try to teach me recipes but I didn’t really have the attention for it. I also hated touching or being around raw meat which made it difficult to really learn how to make the dishes she would make. Once I became vegetarian in my 20s, there were very few things left that she could teach me how to make that I could actually eat. Yeah, I could probably learn how to sub out the meat and use some other kind of protein but it wouldn’t taste the same and I’m not big on processed fake meats anyway.


Another reason cooking doesn’t make sense to me is that I’m used to cooking for one person, myself, and occasionally someone else. Most recipes make *so much* food! And that’s ok, especially in terms of leftovers but it’s also hard for me to eat all that food before it goes bad or I’m just tired of eating it.

And there is something super fluid to me about cooking. Even with a recipe, there’s so much leeway and improvising that I literally get overwhelmed. For me, cooking isn’t structured enough. I just don’t understand how to do it! Does anyone else have this problem? I try to learn all the time though – there are some things I know how to make that I love but stand me in front of a stove with an empty pan and I’m just like ……?

But yes, baking! Baking makes sense. The recipes make sense. The measuring things makes sense. The throwing it all together and then putting it in the oven makes sense. Even improvising in baking makes sense to me. There is more of a balance that you have to maintain when you bake – which is why it was super fun to make this banana bread, especially since it is vegan!


Easy Vegan Banana Bread Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes


  • 4 medium over ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (coconut oil works well here!)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (brown works well but so does granulated)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two bread pans.
  2. Slice your bananas and add them to a bowl with the sugar. Mash the mixture well.
  3. Add the oil, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the banana mixture and mix well.
  4. Sieve the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the banana mixture. Fold into banana mixture well.
  5. Fold in the sunflower seeds and walnuts.
  6. Divide the mixture into the two bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.

Store your bread wrapped in foil or an air tight container. It tastes absolutely delicious warmed up or my favorite – toasted and slathered with peanut butter.


So tell me, which do you like better – baking or cooking?

If you have any amazing vegetarian or vegan recipes for 1-2 people to share, please send them my way!

DIY: Unraveled Dip-Dye T-shirt


Hi! I’m Aurora Lady. I created a t-shirt company that focuses on feminism, DIY, and love. Yesterday Jen, Daisy, and I shared a photo shoot that we worked on together, featuring my “Girl Gang” t-shirt. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you a little DIY I put together. Think relaxed, loved, rock’n’roll…. even a little bit vintage-y. This one is a head turner, but it’s so easy to wear you might forget why people are looking at you with a slight smile.

​When I created my first t-shirt series, Feminasty, it was very important to me that it have the opportunity to reinvent itself in the hands of everyone that embraced it. DIY is my jam– it’s a way to give new life to something you love that might not be just perfect for you yet. The do-it-yourself ethos is something that radically empowered me as a young person, saddled with lack of funds and a lot of gumption. I thought very specifically about what sort of material the shirts would be printed on (ethically made in the USA), the shape (it had to work on folks of varying body types, from small to xxxlarge– I’m working towards even more sizes!), and the style (flowy, comfortable, dirty-living ready).

I wanted each shirt to not only be able to handle a DIY, but to inspire you to create a DIY!

What you’ll need:

  • a t-shirt, white or light colored. This particular DIY works better if you use a shirt sized larger than what is fitted. The more fabric you have to work with, the better! (Get the Girl Gang tee here)
  • Rit liquid dye in the color of your choice (I used fuchsia)
  • sewing needles (You really only need one, but I loose these babies like crazy and therefore would feel like a jerk not telling you to have a few on hand)
  • thread in the same color as your t-shirt
  • latex gloves (if you’re a DIY rebel, you don’t technically need these. The RIT dye will stain your hands though!)
  • small pearls with a hole straight through the middle (5-10, depending on your penchant for pearls)
  • large pearls with a hole straight through the middle (5-10, depending on your penchant for pearls)
  • butter knife
  • iron
  • 1-quart plastic cup (something you don’t mind getting stained by dye)
  • rhinestones with back clasps (I used some made by Bedazzler)


Dip Dye-ing Your T-shirt:

Start in an area that you won’t mind getting color on. You can always lay out old towels or rags to catch whatever dye might get everywhere.

Fill your cup with warm water, about 3/4 of the way full.

Add a drop (and I mean ONE DROP!) of dye to your water. Be careful! It’s easy to go overboard. Your aim is to give the shirt a light coat of color. You don’t need much dye at all to make this happen.

Gather one edge of your t-shirt in your hand and run under faucet of clear water. You are wetting your shirt before you dip it in dye– this allows the dye to travel up the shirt, adding more of a gradient effect to the shirt, and not a hard delineation of color.



Once wet, go ahead and dunk that corner of the t-shirt in your dye cup. Set a timer for about ten minutes, and then check on your t-shirt.


Is it dark enough for your tastes? Leave it in longer if you want a richer color. Keep checking every five minutes and pull it out when your color is achieved. Heads up– your t-shirt color will be lighter when it dries.

Pop that t-shirt in the dryer (after 6pm, of course!) or hang it on a line for a few hours if it’s sunny. Dry that sucker out!

Unraveling Your T-shirt

Cut the bottom hem off from your shirt. Who needs hems? Not you, that’s for sure!


Here’s where the magic happens. Start by picking at the bottom edge, where your hem used to be. Your threads with come loose with persistence. Do your best to pull out the threads from side to side, rather from top to bottom. This creates a longer stretch of unraveling.


Eventually your unraveling will taper up to a point. You can keep unraveling til this finite point. And then start over in a new area.


This unraveling technique is easy and fun, but it takes a LONG time. It’s great to do while waiting in a doctor’s office, in line at the grocery store, or marathoning episodes of Daria.


I chose to unravel huge areas in the front of my tee, and in the back. I also made small areas of unraveling along the neckline and along the sleeves.


Adding Pearls and Rhinestones to Your T-shirt:

I chose to add stones and pearls randomly all over the top of the shirt. I scattered them so that they were a bit denser towards my shoulders.

Attach these only in areas that HAVE NOT been unraveled. The unraveled areas of fabric are uber delicate.

These stones are the easiest thing ever! Just press the prongs through your fabric, so that they’re sticking out of the INSIDE of the fabric (basically, so that your jewel is on the outside).


Press gently on the prongs, so that they lay flat against the fabric, using your butter knife.

​ Ta-da!


Pearls are your finishing touch! Simply thread your needle with thread (about 10 inches long) and create a knot at the end. Poke you needle where you’d like the pearl to be in the shirt, back to front, so that your knot is right up against the back of the fabric and your thread is fully out the front side of the fabric. Thread your pearl through and then poke your needle through the opposite way. Do this two times for each pearl, and then tie off your thread with a knot.


You’re done! Wear your t-shirt everywhere! I’d love if you Instagrammed your creation– tag me at @auroralady and hashtag #feminasty. For more rad DIY tshirt ideas, check out our pinterest board!

My Girl Gang Is Magical. Is Yours?


Hey friends! So a couple of weeks ago, this magical conversation started. My rad friend Aurora Lady asked me if I would be into modeling a DIY shirt from her Feminasty series and if I would be into my super friend Daisy Noemi photographing me in a pretty park. HI! How could I possibly say no? I already knew I wanted to tell you all about Aurora’s t-shirt series but this was above and beyond what I expected!


Aurora and I met almost two years ago through the zine community in Los Angeles. She is a super talented artist and wrote the zine, Don’t Hide Behind Your Skirt. I immediately recognized that she was a super cool babe but she basically blew that out of the water when she told me last year about her plans to début a feminist clothing line. So far, there are four shirts in the Feminasty series and each one is fierce as fuck. I can’t wait to see what else she comes up with!


And I’ve introduced my friend Daisy here on the blog before – I also met her through the Los Angeles zine community. She’s an incredible artist, zinester, and as you can see here, photographer. This was my second time working with her and I love it. She’s great at putting up with my awkwardness (haha!) and creates these dreamy gorgeous photos – all shot on film!


One of the things I love about these shirts is that Aurora encourages you to go DIY on the shirts to make them unique to your Feminasty personality. She deconstructed this shirt with carefully crafted rips, some pink dye, some pearls and some rhinestones. Don’t you love how it came out?


I know I post outfit photos often and while Aria used to take many of them, lately I’ve taken them all myself. This was completely different experience though! We were working as a small team of people to turn a vision into a reality. I’m in love with how Aurora styled my outfit. The t-shirt came out amazing and she made the skirt I’m wearing too. I don’t think it was intentional, but it totally matches my hair. Speaking of hair, Aurora also did my hair and make-up for the shoot – I felt like a Courtney Love princess, which is like the best thing ever!


Since the zine community brought us all together, Aurora came up with the idea to have me reading from a bunch of floating zines. How fucking cool, right? I love how there are zines in this photo by friends that I love and some that were totally new to me. As nerdy as this sounds, it was like dancing around in a sea of floating zines. Total love.


The entire day was amazing. I got to dress up and play around in a little pocket of nature with two of my dear friends. We chased the sun around, stomped through plants, and played in the dirt. I had glitter on my eyes and messy hair that exemplified my rough around the edges femme identity. I’m looking for the members of my girl gang – are you one of them?


Thank you for letting me share this special project with you! You can get your own Feminasty shirt by going to Aurora’s shop. And if you order by May 2nd, you can get 20% off of the Girl Gang design featured here with the code “girlgangtwenty” – so don’t miss out on that! Get one for your badass mama for Mother’s Day?

Oh, and because we love you, stay tuned for a special DIY post tomorrow to learn how Aurora spruced up this already awesome shirt!

Which one of the Feminasty shirts is your favorite?

Photographer: Daisy Noemi | Stylist, Hair, Make-up: Aurora Lady | Model: Jen Venegas

Girl Gang t-shirt: Feminasty by Aurora Lady, deconstructed | Pink & black tulle rhinestone skirt: DIY by stylist | Red heart-shaped sunglasses: stylist’s own | Black combat boots: model’s own | Blue rock ring: Magpies for Moons

DIY: Citrus Mint Linen Spray


Hi friends! You know I’m all about easy DIY projects and so I’m super excited to share this DIY linen spray that is not only easy but customizable. I’m using essential oils from InstaNatural and they smell fantastic. I have used linen sprays for years but have never though to make my own until recently. I appreciate how simple it is to make something that I normally pay a lot for and now i’m excited to use different essential oils make a bunch in different scents!


I love how versatile essential oils are in general – you can use them for so many things! I am obsessed with linen sprays though especially because there are carpets and curtains in my home. And three indoor cats. I always have windows open to keep air circulating but I also like my home to smell super fresh and invigorating sometimes. That’s where linen sprays come in for me.

Even if you don’t have indoor pets though, this is great for freshening up your home or your car or any other space with linens, carpets, upholstery, etc.

Ready to learn how to make it?! Here’s how!



  • Peppermint essential oil
  • Lemon essential oil
  • 1 ounce spray bottle
  • 1 ounce of distilled water or vodka
  • Funnel and/or measuring cup if needed



1. Add 1 ounce of distilled water, vodka, or a mix of the two into your spray bottle.

2. Add 8 drops of peppermint essential oil and 12 drops of lemon essential oil (or use a ratio that smells best to you!).

3. Put the sprayer top back on the bottle, give it a good shake, and you’ve made linen spray!


Some useful tips:

  • You’ll want to shake it every time you use it just to make sure it’s mixed well (the essential oil will settle on top – this is normal).
  • If you want to make a bigger batch, in a larger spray bottle for example, just adjust your ratio of water/vodka to essential oil. We used 20 drops of essential oil per ounce of water/vodka.


Where to use your new linen spray:

  • Spray it on your curtains, rugs or carpets to freshen the room.
  • Use it on your towels before you shower to get a nice pick me up when you get out.
  • Spray it on your hair scarves to freshen them up before or after wearing.

There are so many other uses for this around your home!


You can also use different essential oils to create the linen spray of your dreams. InstaNatural has a good selection of essential oils and other products. I think lavender would make an amazing linen spray to spritz your bedding with before bedtime. Or spritz a towel with lavender spray to place over your face during shavasana when practicing yoga. I’m telling you – so many uses! And so easy!


Which essential oils from InstaNatural would you mix together in your linen spray?

This post was sponsored by BrandBacker.