Week Links [11 October]

Good morning! Yesterday was World Mental Health Day and my emotional state can confirm! Has anyone else had massive anxiety for about two weeks? RBG’s death followed by literally everyone in the administration getting COVID was the impetus for quite a lot of doom-scrolling. I know I’m not supposed to be happy that *he* got it, and I’m not sure that’s quite the emotion the news inspired, but he has also mismanaged the virus response so egregiously (I consider it tantamount to murder) that over half the amount of Americans that died in WWII have been killed by COVID in less than a year. But remember this time, 4 years ago, when the Access Hollywood tape leaked and we all gleefully thought it had fucked him out of a chance at the presidency? Remember that? If I could bottle that optimism and inject it directly into my veins…

I’ve been listening to a lot of pop music from the early ’00s lately (hello “Pieces of Me” by Ashlee Simpson!), which I’m sure is some sign that I’m emotionally regressing due to stress. After the 2016 election, I drank wine every day and obsessively binged-watched Gilmore Girls, so I’d actually consider this a significant improvement. If the past few years has taught me anything, it’s taught me that we can weather almost any storm and that genuine good can come from tragedy. Can you imagine white people meaningfully discussing police abolition even a couple of years ago? It shouldn’t have taken electing a dangerous fascist/racist/homophobic/misogynist/transphobic/xenophobic administration to get us here, but I can’t see us going back now that we’ve arrived.

All of which is to say that I woke up extremely early this morning and have had a lot of coffee, so I’m cutting myself off from writing anymore about the apocalyptic state of things. Enjoy a martini recipe.

  1. Schitt’s Creek season 6 is on Netflix, on the off-chance that you hadn’t already binged it.
  2. Jester, I have done it again. I’ve always said that the FIRST thing I would do if I ever made real money would be to get laser hair removal from my eyebrows to my toes. Hair removal is a patriarchal scam, blah blah blah, I get it, but as a person with skin so pale it’s translucent and black body hair, removal has eaten away like a third of my life. I have to tweeze my eyebrows and shave my underarms every day. When I did ancestry.com, I’m honestly surprised my results didn’t come back 100% Cro-Magnon or Neanderthal (I’ve…never taken an anthropology course). All of which is to say, though I haven’t hit it big just yet, I have decided to give at-home IPL removal a try. Even if it only delivers 20% of the results it promises, that will still be a huge improvement.
  3. Baking papo secos for the first time today! Portuguese real ones will know.
  4. Would it be psychotic to start using tanning lotion? I’ve heard amazing things about this brand and I think my legs (especially) could really use it.
  5. Mindy Kaling had a surprise baby?! Congratulations to the new mama of two! I’m so excited to read her newest essay collection.
  6. Bowen Yang remains my religion.
  7. Are we all attending Jen Kirkman’s Dysfunctional Christmas Show? I’ve been trying to get to one in LA for years (I have family in LA, jealous???), but the one upside of the pandemic is that I can stream that shit right to my TV!
  8. I’m trying to drink less and ABM publishes this martini recipe? Rude, honestly.
  9. How have I never read this interview with my forever king? I can confirm that at least this Chelsea is a pretty neat person/Birkenstock-wearing kid.
  10. My fourth wedding anniversary is coming up, and while the fourth is pretty irrelevant, the fifth seems pretty significant…needless to say, I’ve been browsing anniversary rings online. I’d like to shop indie/sustainable brands, but it looks like the diamond/white gold combo is très passé, because all the cool companies are doing yellow gold. I did find this delicate cutie on Mejuri, but this is more my speed
  11. And speaking of anniversaries, I just bought our actual anniversary gift. I was going to surprise Michael but I was way too excited!
  12. Finally, I don’t exactly keep my politics close to the vest (see above!), but I feel like it’s so important to reiterate that, despite Biden being very nearly my last choice in the primaries, I am ride or die for Biden-Harris. I’m not optimistic enough to think we’ll have a free and fair election (oh, to be young again!) but it would be shameful to not even try. I vote in person on Election Day because my polling place is awesome and right down the street from me, but not everyone has that luxury. This website breaks down how to register to vote and how to vote in every state. If you’re voting by mail, get that shit in the ballot box yesterday. Make a voting plan, and make sure everyone in your life plans to do the same. Taking ten minutes out of your day could bring us one step closer to defeating the rise of fascism. And it’s not just at the Presidential level–get to know your local candidates and yes, for now, vote blue no matter who.

Week Links [9 October]

when baryshnikov doesn’t understand the value of the name necklace? that’s curtains, honey.

Hello again! This week was all about embracing my inner basic. I’ve been bingeing Sex and the City, a show I’ve seen 100 times, I’m waffling as to whether to buy the purple patent leather Miu Miu platform sandals that are so on sale, and the other day I only left the house to stock up on kombucha. It’s…definitely possible that I’m self-soothing because everything in the world is wildly chaotic. We’ll go with that.

  1. I am certainly not what anyone would call *good* with money, but I seldom make luxury purchases. So it is with great pleasure that I announce that I have scored the bag of my dreams, a bag I have fantasized about for YEARS: the Mansur Gavriel bucket bag. The day I just happened to look into procuring one of these, TheRealReal just happened to be 20% sitewide and new shoppers just happened to get a $25 credit and I just happened to find a pink bucket bag in excellent condition for $245. Which means I paid under $200 including shipping and taxes. *insert Beyoncé “God is real” GIF* Did I go back and buy a second smaller one in white on pay day? Don’t come for me! (Update: They both arrived and they couldn’t be in better condition if they were purchased new.)
  2. On the subject of handbags, I have officially reached a new low and am now stalking the Telfar Instagram for news of drops. With god as my witness, I shall have one. (Update: I got one.)
  3. As a rabid fan of Las Culturistas, I feel it is my sworn duty to inform you that Matt Rogers is hosting a new show on HBO Max called Haute Dog. I watched an episode even though I famously dislike dogs. If you, unlike me, actually find dogs endearing, this is the show for you!
  4. I’m so excited to start reading Arden Myrin’s Little Miss Little Compton.
  5. I binged Emily in Paris on Netflix and it is not helping me deal with my COVID travel FOMO.
  6. I reactivated Audible to get Mariah Carey’s book. If it’s half as good as Jessica Simpson’s was, it will be a highlight of the year. Oh, and Lenny THEE Kravitz also just dropped a book.
  7. Las Cultch introduced me to Peppermint this week (I don’t watch Drag Race, don’t cancel me), and I can’t stop listening to sensual jam “Best Sex.”
  8. Did I buy a name necklace in this style at the same time I’m rewatching Sex and the City? Look…I never said I was a role model.
  9. The 2018 film version of King Lear slaps. One of the most iconic casts I’ve ever seen…royalty of British cinema.
  10. This clip from Catastrophe is my only statement on the vice presidential debate.

Autumn Apple Smoothie

Have you ever made something so delicious and simple that you wonder where it’s been all your life? I certainly wondered that when I tasted this smoothie for the first time. It’s like eating a cold piece of apple pie the morning after Thanksgiving only better, because you can have as much of it as you want with zero guilt (not that I’ve ever exactly felt guilt about my pie consumption…)

I have to confess: I’m not a sweets person! Sugary food does nothing for me, and even the sweets I do like tend toward the sour side (Ina Garten says lemons>chocolate and I simply could not agree more). Even when I do actually get fresh-pressed juice or smoothies, there’s always a savory element—bright citrus or kale in juice, peanut butter or coffee in a smoothie. I feel like whenever I say I hate sweets, people look at me like I must be some health maniac. Not so! If anything, it actually fucks me over, because instead of having a smoothie, fruit, or yogurt for breakfast like a normal human being, I’ll eat a plate of hash browns and veggie breakfast sausage (Trader Joe’s does these both best, for my money). Getting fruit into my diet is really challenging because even though I enjoy eating it when I will myself to do so, it’s never going to feel as satisfying as, I don’t know, Cheez-Its or literally licking the flavor packet that comes with Top Ramen (which is a thing I actually did as a child, is it any wonder that I have a, well, strained relationship with my weight?)

Another flaw in the “Chelsea’s going to become a health guru that drinks green smoothies all the time” was that our blender straight-up sucked. It was a hand-me-down from my grandmother to replace our previous, even shittier blender. It technically worked fine, but it didn’t have enough strength or sharpness, so we’d always find date chunks or 1 random unblended leaf of spinach in our smoothies. It made the depressing reality of eating fruit even more bleak. So, with the endorsement of my dietician (and the permission of my husband to use his credit card), we bought a brand-new blender that was blessedly available in pink (although I genuinely chose the model based on reviews, I swear!) I’m glad I acted when I did, because that color’s no longer available and it’s back to full price! It’s no Vitamix, but it’s a great budget option.

Anyway, the deal was that if we invested in a decent appliance, we’d actually have to use it. The first go-round was a peanut-butter & blueberry protein smoothie (I’ll post that recipe eventually), which was okay, but the second experiment, an ode to New England’s most glorious season, was born today. The great thing about this smoothie is that, while it is definitely sweet, the cranberries add a lovely tartness that you could tone down or ramp up, per your preference.

Autumn Apple Smoothie (serves 2)

  • 2 red apples, skins on and cored
  • 1-2 banana, peeled (I used 1 banana and half a frozen banana, since I don’t add ice to my smoothies)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1 pitted date
  • 1/4 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2-1 cup almond milk (depending on how thick you want it)
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • a dash of vanilla extract
  • a few shakes of cinnamon
  • a dash of nutmeg

Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend on medium/high until thoroughly combined and smooth. The result should be a really pretty pale pink color from the apple skins and cranberries. If you don’t care about the aesthetic, definitely throw a handful of raw spinach in there. It’s my favorite smoothie hack to get the most nutritional bang for your buck. This recipe yielded two full pint mason jars, plus a little extra, since I like my smoothies thin; you could definitely halve the recipe for one, or freeze the second smoothie and thaw it for breakfast the next day (who needs Daily Harvest?)

You can customize this to your heart’s content, as with any smoothie, but a great swap would be to skip the vanilla extract and add a scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use this). Any way you choose to make it, enjoy!

Week Links [27 September]

Good morning, America! I don’t remember the last time I even introed one of these posts. I’m trying not to sink into a “the-apocalypse-is-nigh” mentality but each day is awash with fresh horrors! I’d like to extend my sincerest apologies to all of the white liberals I ragged on for constantly comparing the current moment to The Handmaid’s Tale…I’m humble enough to admit when I’m wrong! I know I’m first for the guillotine come the revolution; I think this GG screen-grab says it best:

Each day is an exercise in remaining marginally optimistic, so this is what’s helping me keep it together this week.

image source
  1. The blender of my dreams was on sale. We got it in pink to match, well, all of my other countertop appliances. FYI, pink appliances are what happens when a 24-year-old makes a wedding registry (no regrets!!). I’ve also been upgrading all of my kitchen tools lately, since I cook multiple times per day and use spatulas until they disintegrate. I already have an aqua motif going on with my pans, so piece by piece I’m collecting tools in “Aqua Sky.” This can opener sparked it—no exaggeration, it’s the best one I’ve ever owned. I finally replaced the vile, rusty can opener that we had that was probably slowly poisoning us to death. And one day I’ll be an adult that owns real knives; until that day, I’m rocking these.
  2. Dr. Jen Gunter is one of the best Twitter follows and a frequent Savage Lovecast guest, so I was thrilled to discover that she’d weighed in on “W.A.P.” A friend of mine also posted a really brilliant and nuanced take that challenged me to have empathy, even for people who aggressively suck, like B*n Sh*p*ro (this is a family blog, no cursing!)
  3. This book hasn’t been released yet, but I read it via NetGalley and I cannot recommend it enough. If you’ve ever fantasized about abandoning your life to move to Scotland (and who among us hasn’t?), this is the book for you.
  4. My goal in life is to never use plastic wrap or anything disposable again as long as I live (lofty!) so I’m definitely getting these. And the company is woman/inventor-owned!
  5. I’m loving Ramy on Hulu.
  6. I perpetually flip flop between being a coffee person and a tea person, so I ordered about 94,000 bags of tea for the impending winter. These are my favorite; I’m sure this is like McDonald’s-level basic to British people, but I simply do not care.
  7. It is with the deepest regrets that I inform you that Colin Jost’s book, A Very Punchable Face, is very good and very funny. I highly recommend getting the audio. I laughed like a fucking psychopath during the scene where Seth promotes Colin to head writer. I have always had an extremely chaotic attraction to Colin Jost, so I feel very vindicated by this.
  8. As I write this, I’m making popovers for the first time, so pray for me. I of course added a lil’ extra salt, course ground black pepper, thyme, and rosemary, because all I do is win. (Edit: these turned out TERRIBLE, but I redeemed them by turning them into garlic parmesan croutons).
  9. I don’t know how I found the strength, but I resisted a MAJOR outerwear sale at J.Crew this week, so I suppose for now I’ll just fantasize about owning this topcoat, this rain jacket, and this trench.
  10. Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on Rosh Hashanah, which really put a damper on my first attempt at making challah (please forgive me for saying that but I was literally baking challah for the first time when I found out). I had and still have a lot of emotions about it, and as a leftist, I feel like it’s my duty to be critical of her legacy and her Supreme Court decisions. But as a woman, I’m so thankful for women like RBG, who were integral in establishing the rights and freedoms that I enjoy. She was a person who was deeply reflective about her own mistakes, and I think that we should strive for that in our leaders…expecting perfection is a mistake, but we should demand that our leaders be humble enough to grow. Thanks, RBG.

Week Links [20 September]

*I’m writing this well in advance of Sunday, so if the world has ended or something terrible catastrophic has happened, please accept my apologies for glibly posting my silly round-up amid the chaos.

  1. Can’t wait to watch Unpregnant on HBO Max! We need more films about abortion that don’t pull a Juno.
  2. Lindy West’s The Witches Are Coming is even better than Shrill. The South Park chapter put words to something I’ve felt for a decade. She’s a genius. And I agree with her entirely that pockets on dresses are vastly overrated!
  3. I started watching Woke on Hulu and Lamorne Morris is a gift. I mean, we already knew that from New Girl, but it was about damn time he got his own vehicle.
  4. This is a weird one, but look at this beautiful pill case! As someone who takes meds every day, a pill case is an essential item to me, and this one is magnificent. As soon as I can justify spending $75 on home organizing gear (free shipping, y’know?) I will be ordering one.
  5. I am running out of room on my walls for prints, but this one might be too cute to pass up. And I can’t rep East Coast without repping Best Coast. I almost got this one for my best friend, whose birthday was this week, but I don’t know if she reads this, so I didn’t want to spoil her present surprise.
  6. Tia Mowry’s Etsy collection is stunning. Give me all of the things.
  7. How did I not discover Jonathan Adler’s J’Approved blog until this week? Will I actually buy toner for my printer to print these coloring pages?
  8. My husband has been complaining about our water filter since the day I bought it (after our Brita broke, I bought the Target version), and we’ve been in a game of chicken about it ever since. I finally caved, as I always do, and bought a 10-cup Soma. I dig the sustainability aspect, and I’m hoping that getting filters sent to us every 4 months will actually remind me to change the thing once in a while.
  9. I bought pumpkin puree just to make this latte syrup.
  10. If you know me at all, you know I had no choice but to buy these shoes. It was beyond my control.

Week Links [14 September]

i worked all weekend on re-organizing and snazzing up my kitchen, and i realized that i have a wild affinity for the color i call “versailles blue.” literally, every louis xvi-era décor has this shade of blue–when the world reopens, check your local art museum to fact-check me. also, sofia coppola’s marie antoinette is an amazing and underrated film.
  1. Is it too soon to decorate for Christmas? I don’t really do Halloween (even though my wedding anniversary is 30 October…go figure), so I’ve started incorporating general fall decorations—pumpkins, jewel and earth tones, and wreaths. I’m sure my consumerism is ruining the earth (and not the 100 corporations that are responsible for 71% of global emissions…), but the Target dollar grab-and-go section (does it have a name?) is my jam for decorations. I actually reuse the stuff year after year, and I like not having to be precious about storing them in the basement. Also, being able to find $3 gems means that you can decorate for even the “in-between” holidays like Dia de los Muertos and Valentine’s Day. I was such a cynical jerk until my mid-twenties, when I realized that, given life’s general bleakness, anything that can inspire a little bit of joy or peace is totally worth it. Which is why I own two Christmas trees despite being a lifelong atheist. Anyway, where was I going with this? These wicker pumpkins are adorable, rainbows belong everywhere, and you’ve got to be kidding me with these cable-knit cuties.
  2. I had no choice but to buy this dress in pale mint. My hands were tied. Now we need a vaccine and a competent government so that I can wear it to an event.
  3. Caved and bought an Ovira. TMI warning: Despite having incredibly easy periods for about 15 years, once I hit my late 20s, my uterus decided to stage a coup against the rest of my body every 25 days, and it has been debilitating. Like, can’t get out of bed debilitating. I’ve tried everything under the sun—lavender oil, magnesium, liver-destroying amounts of ibuprofen and acetaminophen, heat, meditation, stretching, *extremely The Script voice* prayer to a god that I don’t believe in, screaming—and nothing has worked, so I’m hoping that shooting electricity into my abdomen will do the trick.
  4. My husband bought these and these 2.5 years ago, with the intention of rehoming all of his CDs and recycling the jewel cases, but, as he has yet to complete this task, I finally took it upon myself to do my own CD collection, and I cannot oversell how much room it freed up in my office. My bookcase has never looked better.
  5. The perfect tweet doesn’t exi—
  6. I’ve been watching Better Things on Hulu because I’m extremely current and on the pulse of what’s hot. Am I cancelled because Pamela Adlon was/is (?) a close associate of Louis C.K., or am I redeemed because she voiced Bobby on King of the Hill?
  7. I don’t know how I hadn’t heard of NetGalley before a friend of mine posted about it on Instagram but it’s so cool! I, of course, have not been approved to actually read anything yet because I have zero credentials (I’ve literally written two book reviews ever), but I’m hoping that if I start writing reviews here I can accomplish two things: 1. Getting more words on the page! Writing begets writing! 2. Be able to read tons of as-yet-unpublished books fo’ free!
  8. Yoplait started selling lids for those adorable yogurt jars as a part of a capitalist conspiracy to ruin me. My husband loves bougie-ass yogurt, so my house is littered with these types of jars. They’re backordered right now, but soon they will be mine.
  9. I got this Zip Top set in a Causebox and I’m a close to the edge of risking it all and buying the complete set. It was in the Add-On Market for Fall and I totally would have gotten it but $50+ seemed like a lot…until I realized that it retails for $90.
  10. I am so thankful for all the people doing the work that I should be doing and informing me about amazing black-owned businesses to support. Check out this list of 7 BIPOC-Owned Clean Beauty Brands.
  11. I read P.S. From Paris by Marc Levy this week and really enjoyed it. You can definitely tell that it was translated from French, so if you’re really attuned to stuff like that it might be a slog, but as a totally basic Francophile, I loved it. It takes…quite a turn like 75% of the way through. I won’t spoil it because I would have never seen it coming. My one real “note” is that we must end the tyranny of women characters called Mia in novels. These authors must be stopped.
  12. Gonna have to endorse this drug-store toner. I used “Winter Wheat” to tame the brass in my highlights.
  13. I took the Enneagram Test and got a 2, because of course I did. I had previously taken random online tests and gotten almost equal scores for 4 and 2. Just like when I did Myers-Briggs, I never felt a strong identification with a particular type. This time, though, I find myself most intrigued by Type 6. I’ve never heard of anyone else who’s a 6 before, and the more I read about it, the more it totally makes sense for me (in a bad way, unfortunately). Now I really want to read this book when it comes out to learn more.

To borrow a phrase from my fave podcast, “Until next week, have fun.”

-c

Week Links [9 September]

  1. The moment we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived! Get Organized with The Home Edit dropped on Netflix last night! As a rule, I don’t watch anything that bills itself as reality TV, but I can occasionally make exceptions! Home organization, organization in general really, is my greatest passion, so this is like pornography to me. I do worry that bingeing this will cause me to absolutely spin out and reorganize my entire home. I’m already looking at my shelves and drawers disdainfully. I will say that, as nice as the aesthetic component of organizing is, creating functional systems has genuinely improved my life and helped me with anxiety and executive function. There is no such thing as organized chaos. The most creative and successful people I know are organized (and diagnosed and medicated). You don’t have to put your books in rainbow order—The Home Edit is, to some degree, selling an unattainable fantasy. But creating systems that work for rather than against you will change your life, and maybe even spark a little joy.
  2. So, one truly kooky thing that’s been happening is that I’m starting to window-shop my own wardrobe. Like, remember those comfy flats you used to wear to work? Maybe one day you’ll leave the house again and get to put them on! I swear that, since work-from-home began, I’ve exclusively worn my Birkenstocks and my Rothy’s flats. I have not put on a single other pair since March 17. I mean this especially about the Birks, but if you’re going to spend too much money on a pair of shoes, these are the ones. I would exclusively wear Birkenstocks if I lived in a warmer climate.
  3. The TikTok teacher is my queen. Ban homework.
  4. My September Book of the Month is Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi. I loved Homegoing, so I’m sure it will be an amazing read. I actually cancelled BotM because I’m trying to practice what I preach and stop buying physical books unless they’re really meaningful or something I’ll return to over and over again. I obviously want authors to make money, but getting ebooks through the library is absolutely where it’s at.
  5. My best friend sent me this recipe and !!!!!!!!!!!! Deb’s mind!!!!!
  6. My husband bought me this ukulele for my birthday. I promise I’m not a 2011-era Zooey Deschanel type or anything, but if there’s a chord chart in front of me I can play. I do have a feeling that this will be relegated to the decoration realm, but it was very sweet of him and who doesn’t love a pastel rainbow?
  7. THEY’RE MAKING A FILM OF REBECCA STARRING ARMIE HAMMER. Ceci n’est pas un drill! My body is ready! I loved this book as a teen, and I’m re-reading it before the film drops on Netflix in October. The e-book is on Amazon right now for literal shekels.
  8. This is random, but I have an enormous monstera plant in my living room that was overgrown and out of control, so I cut some of the leafy stems off to use as decorations around the house. I expected them to have a shelf-life like flowers but…they simply do not die! I’ve had three in a vase in my bedroom for months that look as vibrant as the day I cut them off. Needless to say, when I discovered that they were immortal, I put them all over my house and now I live in a rainforest.
  9. Finally started watching I May Destroy You and…it may destroy me.
  10. The episode of Black Frasier with Chris Hayes and Clark Neily is a must-listen, if only to shock and amaze yourself by vehemently agreeing…with a self-professed libertarian. Also, THEE Phoebe Lynn Robinson creating a podcast called Black Frasier in these dark times is a gift we do not deserve.

Week Links [23 August]

So, I knew it was going to happen eventually, but WordPress finally forced their ugly block editor on us, so I may have to move this blog to a new host. Although, when I considered Squarespace a couple of years ago, it seemed equally, if not more daunting. Maybe I’m just dumb…don’t let the Renaissance Literature tattoos fool you. Oh, on that note, I got another tattoo last Saturday! And I’m getting another one this coming Friday! I cannot stress enough—if you’re in MA/RI/CT, please consider getting your tattoos from Ryan at Famous Tattoos. He’s an absolute pro. The shop is immaculate and I’ve never had a better tattoo experience. Things are different because of COVID, but no lie: during my first session in Dec. 2019, his literal mom came by and hung out while I was on the table. ‘Twas truly a family affair.

Anyway, here’s what I got up to this week. At this rate, I’ll be an expert mindful meditator by September.

i got indian food on my birthday (8/19) and witnessed a double rainbow!
  1. My friend told me about Project Evo and their customized planners. I took the test and got “Architect.” I’m thinking about getting one, but I am the worst at keeping up with planners. The amount of trees I’ve killed just trying to stay organized…
  2. I’m finally replacing the horrible “boob light” in my office with this absolute beauty.
  3. I really want this phone case. I know that my colleagues/”customers” couldn’t see it, but I do want to send this energy out into the universe.
  4. I’m officially the dumbest person on earth. I think I was in denial about how long quarantine would last, so I *did* wait until mid-August to order a patio set, umbrella, and outdoor rug so I could work outside. I guess it didn’t occur to me that when you buy a patio umbrella, it doesn’t come with a base. It’s just a free-floating umbrella! Totally unusable. No stores have bases in stock, and they’re estimated to arrive in friggin’ October if you order them online. Also? They cost 9 million dollars. Thankfully, shortly after writing this, my father-in-law came through with an extra one he happened to have!
  5. As of writing I JUST made these, and oh my goodness gracious are they fucking delicious.
  6. Cannot get enough of audiobooks lately. I “read” 10% Happier and Dear Girls this week and they were sublime experiences. The last chapter that Ali’s husband narrates??? Also, hate to be this person, but meditation does work. Sorry.
  7. On the recommendation of my therapist, I’m finally reading The Body Keeps the Score. I’m only 2 chapters in, but it’s incredible. I didn’t know the author had trained in Boston/Cambridge! A hometown hero.
  8. I mentioned planners earlier, and I cannot recommend customized May Books enough. I use the diet/exercise one to track my food (I’m working with a nutritionist, this isn’t an obsessive thing).
  9. Chris Fleming is my single favorite human being on this planet and I can’t get enough of “Sick Jan.” My Twitter bio is literally “Enough turquoise to get into Stevie Nicks’s house no questions asked.” Also, I may or may not have bought 4.4 lbs of boba pearls…
  10. Happy 10th anniversary to Teenage Dream! This was THE album of 2010, and 19-year-old Chels was forever changed by it. Please enjoy my favorite song on the album, a little classic known as “Peacock.”
i got this “thirty-ish” necklace from jen kirkman’s capsule collection @ baublebar years ago. my body is so, so ready to not be in my twenties anymore.

Week Links [16 August]

Good morning, starshines!

T-minus 3 days until my 29th birthday. I will do everything in my power to not fall into a deep depression, but who knows what will happen when it actually arrives.? Anyone else get gloomy around their birthday? I don’t think of it as a celebration as much as a reminder of how little I’ve achieved in 12 months. Although, to be fair, for the first time I actually feel really good about what I’ve achieved this year, especially amid a global pandemic and the rise of American fascism.

29 signals the end of an era, albeit an era that mostly sucked. 28 was about getting a cool job that doesn’t make me miserable and about not being broke all the time; 29, I hope, will be about finding my joy. I’m sure that sounds like Instagram-wellness-influencer nonsense (it feels cloying to me, and I’m the one who said it), but for the first time in my life I’m in a period of relative comfort and prosperity (lol @ the idea that I have money,  I mean spiritual prosperity). I feel a sense of self and purpose that I’ve never felt before, although that could just be a general byproduct of getting older. I feel happier, calmer, and finally able to tackle the real, internal work of self-improvement and self-actualization. But mostly, I just plan on drinking less and watching more films.

Anyway, here’s what my rapidly-graying hair and I got up to this week:

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  1. If you live in Massachusetts, I urge you to vote in the September 1 primary. Outside of a VITALLY important Senate race, there are so many progressives running for local office. You absolutely love to see it! You can find your local candidates at this site. P.S. Vote Markey forever and ever, amen.
  2. I watched Knives Out and Midsommar on my recent “vacation” (both are streaming on Amazon Prime right now) and holy shit, 2019 was a great year for film. I cannot recommend them both more highly. It really put the iconic Ana de Armas Updates Twitter account into perspective for me.
  3. I ordered this pajama set in two colors. It is my goal to one day only have matching pajama sets. I feel like excellent home/loungewear is the next tier of adulthood that I must achieve. I also got this adorable set which is unfortunately sold out now. Lemons! So cute!
  4. I’m aware that this is insane, because I don’t eat meat or seafood, but how can I call myself a proper home cook without a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking? Even though I never use recipes because I am a terrible snob who thinks I have some sort genetic predisposition to cooking, I am a total cookbook freak. I just bought Nothing Fancy, and my wishlist overfloweth. If it seems like I’ve missed something…trust me, I have it.
  5. Coupling is on HBO Max. I don’t care if I’ve already talked about this. I loved this show in high school, and though it absolutely does not hold up 20 years later, it is a foundational text and tbh FRIENDS wishes it could have been Coupling!
  6. My local coffee shop uses these coffee syrups and they have to be the BEST I’ve ever had. They apparently only do wholesale, so do I have to open a café?
  7. Have you seen John Legend’s new video?? I won’t spoil it, but…[insert 20 crying emojis]. Congratulations to the best celebrity couple there is!
  8. did buy the Kacey Musgraves candle, and lemme tell you—it does not disappoint.
  9. On the subject of spending wildly frivolous money, this weekend I did a double-feature of Phoebe Robinson on Good for You and Whitney Cummings on Black Frasier. They both talked so openly about their past struggles with money management and the ways their relationships to money changed as they got older. I’m really inspired by it. Money is freedom, so of course I should be saving mine! But I never want to have a toxic, miserly relationship to money that prevents me from doing the things that bring me joy and having fulfilling experiences. Balance.
  10. And speaking of better ways to use your money, please support the USPS by buying stamps! I bought these and these, and the best part was that I bought them using cash back I’d earned from all of my frivolous online shopping. That’s atonement.

Week Links [9 August]

I broke 100 followers on this damn blog. I have ZERO CLUE how that happened but I appreciate you all so much! For reference, I have 91 followers on Twitter… I don’t do any promo for these posts, so I don’t know how you found me, but I’m glad you did. Thank you for indulging my nonsense.

I was listening to Nikki Glaser on Whitney Cummings’ podcast, and Whitney mentioned something about how naming your fear takes away its power. So, I’m trying to name my fear, or rather, my terrifying dream—I want to write! I pathologically don’t take my writing ability seriously—I don’t do revisions or editing. I just jettison my thoughts out into the world as they form. It feels so vulnerable to me to admit that I want something; it feels like standing in front of a crowd naked. What if I’m not good enough?? But then I remember that I have a literal Master of motherfucking Arts degree in Literature. Thoughtful analysis and communication are the only things I’m good at. Even if it’s just my alma mater’s graduate journal, I’ve been published. There is no reason I can’t write something meaningful about Bunheads. So, sorry to be like, Stevie-Nicks-draped-in-turquoise-charging-crystals-in-the-moonlight, but I’m manifesting. Hold me to account!

Apart from the above, this week was dreadfully uneventful, so, on with it!

Whitney Houston Was Too Perfect To Stay - MTV
image source mtv

  1. I desperately need ethical/sustainable fashion brand recommendations. I’m in a fashion rut. I feel really uninspired by my closet (which may have something to do with the damn pandemic, and the fact that I’m in pajamas half the day). Hit me up with your favorite brands, extra points if they’re BIPOC-owned. I’m looking into a lot of the brands on this list. I need to stop shopping at J.Crew, basically.
  2. I got myself a lil’ birthday present. I’ve been lusting over this bag for AGES, and this gorgeous yellow color was on sale. Meant to be! Also, I have a referral link for 10% off if you’re interested! (If you’re wondering, my birthday present from my husband is these earrings in both metals.) And fuck it: in the spirit of manifesting, my Venmo is @highwaytochel if you want to buy me a drink or pay off my student loans.
  3. I upgraded my home office because I’ve been craning my neck for months and I’d like to not end up with arthritis or osteoporosis or whatever terrible posture does to your body. I got these adjustable monitor stands (one for my monitor, the other for my work laptop), and this cute AF keyboard (with an actual number pad, praise be!) I’m in my office 8-10 hours a day, so I really should be taking care of my body! Also, I should be exercising…at all, but that’s definitely a story for a different day.
  4. I just finished Meaty by Samantha Irby, completing my reverse trilogy binge of her work. Hands down my favorite essayist.
  5. I went on a book-buying SPREE. I know Amazon is the devil and Bezos deserves the guillotine, but those daily Kindle deals! My plan is to be totally Amazon-free by age 30. Just like how restaurants say that they’ll use all recyclable materials by 2022 or whatever. I got: The Year of Magical Thinking,  The Collected Stories of Eudora WeltyBird by Bird, If They Come in the Morning…: Voices of ResistanceSick in the Head: Conversations about Life and ComedyFreedom is a Constant StruggleYou Deserve Each OtherThemes and VariationsTomboylandCleo McDougal Regrets Nothing, The White Boy Shuffle, and What Girls are Made ofA mix of rom-coms and radical politics—sounds right.
  6. My queens have honored us with new music. Listen to “WAP” by Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion, and watch the video here. And let me know if you think “wet and gushy” is…way, way worse than the actual lyric.
  7. I’m rewatching This Way Up on Hulu right now and it’s just an absolute gem of a show. Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan are a dream team. I also watched Military Wives, Sharon’s recent film (also on Hulu), and despite the fact that it’s sympathetic toward military things (boooo), it shattered my heart because I am a sap! Oh, and not on Hulu or related to either of these at all, but Coupling is on HBO Max!
  8. Just discovered that there’s a Haitian-American vegan catering company in the next town over that has been doing a special menu during COVID for delivery…my body is ready to receive it!
  9. This Twitter thread broke my heart. BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.
  10. In honor of Christina Schneider following me on Twitter, please listen to “Hot Wife” immediately! Personalia is a gift to this earth.
  11. Happy birthday to the *wickedly* talented, one and only, Whitney Houston. In the iconic words of Aretha Franklin, “Whitney was a talent. Definitely a talent. She had a gift. And Cissy’s baby.” We will always love you.