Risen Favorites of May

Image Description: A still from Harry Styles' "Sign of the Times" music video, a still from Jaunt's "Comfortable" music video, a picture of rapper Lil Yachty, and a large group of people on picnic blankets at Georgetown Waterfront Park pictured watching a film, are collaged together. The words "Risen Favorites Of May is displayed over the pictures in red and white.)

Risen Favorites is a monthly series featuring Risen staff member volunteers who wish to share some of their favorite things from a given month. Topics can include anything from favorite places to favorite photos, favorite teas to favorite soaps. If you have a “favorite” item, place, or even social media account that’s out of this world, DM or email us and we’ll include it! In May, we’re covering BLANK. Enjoy!

Things To Do

Image result for georgetown waterfront park movie
D.C. residents sit in for an outdoor movie night along Georgetown Waterfront Park. (Image Description: Groups of people on mats and towels watch a film on a green field as the sun sets.)

I absolutely love spring and summer because there’s SO MUCH TO DO. Flowers bloom, fruits come into season and BOOM, it’s time to hit the farmers’ market! Ice melts, trees rise tall and suddenly bike paths are clear, wide, and ready for slow, lazy jaunts til sunset. The pool and lake scenes are packed to the brim with colorful bathing suits, picnics, and beachballs. If you haven’t gotten the hint yet, I love warm weather and what it brings. I’m incredibly lucky to live in an area that comes alive at the dawn of warm weather season and doesn’t die down until late November. Swimming, hiking, kayaking/canoeing, open-air shopping, biking (my favorite!) and more are available nearby. If you happen to find yourself living in a more rural or simply less endowed area, don’t fear! Sunshine and the longest days of the year were made to be used up to their fullest extent, and from the skyscrapers of New York City to a farmhouse in eastern Nebraska, summer works. There are plenty of universal activities that can be undertaken anywhere!

  1. The first requires TWO things! (If you’re not into bugs or dirt, like me, then three.) Find a book, (maybe blanket, old tablecloth, etc.), and a nice tall tree or bench. Then, sit down! Open your book and read, read, read. Refreshing isn’t it? Enjoy the breeze, the smell of blooming things, and finally finish that novel that’s been on the edge of your dresser since the third day of school.
  2. Even easier than the first! Strap on your shoes and hit the pavement (or gravel, dirt, etc.) for a walk or run, however far and long you want. If it’s a sunny day and not too muggy, I’m willing to bet that the outdoor scene looks great and will definitely clear your mind for a few precious minutes. If you’re feeling extra frisky, break into a light jog! This is the prime time of year to work out those tired bones and soak up some Vitamin D.
  3. You will need to make a quick grocery trip before partaking in this one. One of the greatest things about the warm weather seasons is the increased color, freshness, and taste that our food can take on each and every day, and I sincerely hope that no matter where you are, you have the ability to take advantage of this true gift. Summery salads of beets, carrots, lemon juice, pomegranate seeds, and more (but I digress…), bright colored smoothies made from peaches and cantaloupe bought down the street from under a white tent, or a simple corn on the cob not even slathered with butter that tastes just right, these are the times where we can live and explore our cuisine at its height. Good luck!

Summer, summer, summer. On your minds as well as mine, I’m sure. For some of us it’s already here and for some it’s just around the corner. Hang tight! No matter what, we can all acknowledge that the fun has just begun. Hope these tips help you continue that fun and bring you a glorious, bright summer!  

Image result for calvin harris
Calvin Harris. (Image Description: Calvin Harris is pictured against a blue checkered wall.)

Slide - Calvin Harris(feat. Frank Ocean & Migos)
Rollin - Calvin Harris (feat. Future & Khalid)
Stay Together - Noah Cyrus
Night Drive - Ari Lennox
American Teen (Album) - Khalid
Confidently Lost (Album) - Sabrina Claudio

As the summertime approaches, I find myself looking for more music that makes me wish I was riding down the PCH on my way to the beach or standing on the rooftop of a building downtown at night. These songs and albums hail a variety of genres, from hip hop to R&B to dance music. These selections never fail to make me smile and get the urge to dance.

Beauty Products

The Body Shop's Vitamin C "Glow Revealing Liquid Peel". (Image Description: An orange bottle with a black pump with the words, "The Body Shop ,Vitamin C written in large print.)
I have naturally dark skin, so my skin color shift in the winter isn’t as significant as those with light skin; however, it does experience dullness. This peel from The Body Shop is an exfoliant that helps remove all the dead skin from your face, revealing its beautiful glow! But in addition to removing the excess from your skin, you also need to protect it. Luckily, the lotion contains SPF 30 and helps to protect the skin from harmful sun rays. These products have been so helpful in helping my skin return to its naturally bright glow and I hope they work for you too!




The album cover of Paramore's "After Laughter". (Image Description: A purple background with various floating objects is pictured around the words, "Paramore After Laughter").

Paramore’s new album After Laughter has been criticized for diverting greatly from Paramore’s typical “punk-rock” music. However this shift towards a funkier, more upbeat sound only serves to reflect their growth as a band. This band has gotten me through the best and worst times in my life and to see them evolve with me is surreal. One of the best things about knowing a band or artist for so long is watching as their sound grows and evolves with you. What Paramore continues to do without fail is to sing about Hard Times and the feelings of hopelessness that all of us may encounter, while wrapping it in a package of upbeat music.

Lil Yachty

The album cover of Lil Yachty's "Teenage Emotions". (Image Description: Various people chat at a movie theater. Lil Yachty sits in the middle of the group, smiling.) 
Lil Yachty’s new album Teenage Emotions has received so many mixed reviews, yet he so candidly expressed his nonchalance towards this as he stated that his music is done “for the youth”. With the oncoming summer, songs like Bring It Back and Forever Young are perfect songs to dance your summer vibes to.

Lo Que Siento - Cuco

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The album cover of Cuco's "Lo Que Siento". (Image Description: The words, "Cuco: Lo Que Siento" stand against a pink, green, purple, and orange checkered background.)

The Chicano romantic has blessed us with a new track heavily dosed with simplistic poetic magic. Cuco also throws in Spanglish on his new song Lo Que Siento (What I Feel), which makes it all the more passionate. This song is sure to lull you into a state of love and serenity.


Image result for comfortable jaunt
A snapshot from Jaunt's music video for the song, "Comfortable". (Image Description: Three people sit around a book, awash with purple light.)

Comfortable - Jaunt
Gap In The Clouds - Yellow Days
I Cried 4 U - feat_yagirl

As spring slowly rolls into summer, more and more I’ve found myself get sucked into the chill music section of YouTube, clicking on video after video of calm sounds with cool art in the thumbnail. Three sounds that have really stood out to me during these browses are Comfortable by Jaunt, Gap In The Clouds by Yellow Days and I Cried 4 U by feat_yagirl. They all capture the low-hanging, hazy feel of sitting out in the sun and letting the warmth sweep over you, giving you space to think, and the freshness that blue skies bring with them. All from the genre of relaxed indie music, they also work beautiful as background music for working (exam season isn’t quite over for some of us sadly!)

Billie Jean (Cover) - EDEN
Another song that has really stood out to me this month is a rendition of Michael Jackson’s classic, Billie Jean, by EDEN. MJ songs are notoriously hard to cover - it’s a tough task to add your own twist to the King of Pop’s music without falling short - and I believe that this cover hit the nail on the head. It paid homage to this song by reinventing it as a modern indie record, which really showcased not just EDEN’s musical ability, but the timelessness of Michael Jackson’s music and lyrics. It’s the balance of these two things that I think really sets this cover apart from others for me, and I would 100% recommend giving it a listen. It’s been on repeat for many days now!


Woman - Harry Styles
Busted and Blue - Gorillaz
Favourite Colour - Tokyo Police Club
Reel Around the Fountain - the Smiths
Young and Menace - Fall Out Boy

[Image Description: Photo of Harry Styles in a white shirt with sky blue blazer and pants, lying amidst red-purple water. His clothes are visibly soaked through. Amidst the water are leaves and an overturned telephone box.]

Although varying in music styles, two new albums I’ve enjoyed this month are the self-titled album by Harry Styles and “Humanz” by the virtual band Gorillaz. The former is a pop album with soft harmonies and background music, accented by splashes of electric guitar.  
“Humanz” is a piece of art, in terms of how it sounds and its visual appeal.
It features the vocals of Damon Albarn as virtual member 2D, as well as various rap artists, and striking graphic art from Jamie Hewlett.
Lone Digger - Caravan Palace
Substitute - FRND
Feel Something - Jaymes Young
Rib Cage - NIXE
Miracle - The Score

These 5 songs are my favorites of the music I’ve discovered this month. None of them sound even close to the same and are all amazing for different reasons. I couldn’t fit them into a genre if I tried, but I would definitely put Miracle as either rock or pop punk.


Shade the Changing Girl
Doom Patrol

[Image description: Comic issue cover with title “DOOM PATROL” in large block letters. A girl reads a comic while lying down. Clinging to the comic book is a pink fuzzy creature with large, yellow eyes.]

The new Young Animal arcs, curated by Gerard Way, are filled with quirky panels. Doom Patrol picks up old characters, such as Negative Man, while putting in new additions. The complex narrative is transportational - it’s a riveting ride that takes you from one plane of existence to another. Now onto its second arc, it is well worth reading.
Shade the Changing Girl is in many ways your typical teenage coming-of-age comic. However, Loma Shade is not your average teenage girl. Actually, Loma isn’t a teenage girl at all, just in the body of one.


Social Media


Image Description: A girl sits with flowers and a cigarette in her hands, wearing a large straw hat.

Image Description: Various colorful works of art dot a white screen.

I started following both of these art based tumblrs (vaccuumchan makes art while womeninarthistory posts art by women) this month and both of them are amazing! Vaccuumchan’s art is so colorful and I love their style. Women in Art History has shown me so many amazing female artists and their work so I definitely recommend giving them a follow.


Image Description: Moda Prismatic's multicolored oval brushes are pictured in a plastic container.

I got these at the beginning of this month and I am in LOVE. They cost $16 for all four at Walmart and they are so colorful and soft (and 100% vegan!) enough for me to use them every day - in fact, they’re so ridiculously soft, I could’ve played with them for hours because they feel like a hug for your face. I would definitely buy them for both the aesthetic and the practical application.

Image Description: L'Oreal's "Infallible Paints Eyeshadow" in various colors is presented against a white background.

I just got this a few weeks ago and let me tell you: this is some next level stuff. I don’t know why the idea of liquid eyeshadow excites me like it does but I love this. It’s easy to blend and the colors are great! I have shade 314 Sunset Fire, which is an amazing name in itself. I’ve only ever tried Sunset Fire but they’ve got so many vibrant colors to pick from that I can’t wait to try them all.