Week Links [10 January]

Good evening! Is it weird to say I’m just grateful to be alive? I really feel like that’s where we’re at with COVID and *gestures broadly at the entire country being consumed by flames.* I recently had my first family members get COVID, so I’m currently quarantined awaiting my test result (I feel completely healthy, so I’m praying for a negative!) The swab is not fun. I can’t believe some people have to do that for work every day!

This hardcore version of quarantine has really started to get to me, as evidenced by my sobbing to Faith Hill’s “Breathe” the other night while doing medical research on the internet (famously a terrible idea!) But being cooped up like this, without even the respite of trips to the grocery store or Starbucks, has also been creatively inspiring and very emotionally revealing. I feel grounded and present in a way I haven’t in, well, possibly ever. It can be challenging to intellectualize your own good fortune, especially at times like this, because more dire circumstances than your own are an unknown (I think I’ve just defined “first world problems”). I really feel it right now. I feel…optimistic? Is that a thing? Have I fallen victim to the New Year’s Resolution Industrial Complex?

Anyway, as usual, I have no cogent way of wrapping this up and segueing into my frivolous round-up, so let’s get to it!

  1. Currently bingeing the Australian show Please Like Me on Hulu. It is an absolute delight. As a result, I can’t stop listening to this song.
  2. I can’t drink for the foreseeable future (I actually mean it this time, it’s not just Dry January) so I ordered all 3 types of Ritual Zero Proof liquor alternatives. I’ve been making martinis with Seedlip, so I’m really excited to try their gin alternative! It really is the ritual for me! They’re running a 20% off backordered items right now, so it’s a good time to grab them.
  3. This mirror from Ikea is a steal of a deal. Will I redecorate my office to accommodate it? Stay tuned. (Update: I bought this one. A little bit smaller but it’s GOLD.)
  4. I’ve been looking for the perfect champagne coupes and these might be the ones. My timing, as ever, is impeccable.
  5. Since I’m an absolute nutcase who loves a project and is in mega nesting mode, I bought this sideboard for my office. I’m completely redecorating the space (I literally drew plans up, despite my complete lack of artistic ability), and I want it to have a mid-century lounge feel. Since you asked, I will be painting the hardware gold. My goal for this room is for it to be like if Stevie Nicks moved into Frank Sinatra’s Palm Springs house. You know, normal!
  6. This book is my Bible right now.
  7. I’m also reading this book, since I technically work with the author!
  8. And while we’re on the subject of books, it really is Survival of the Thickest out here.
  9. Losing my MIND at this Care and Feeding letter that references the Spin Doctors in the year of our Lord 2021.
  10. This remains my favorite tweet ever posted.

And before I go, I’d be remiss not to say that I am terror-stricken and devastated by the insurrection that took place on Wednesday. I don’t want to live in a nation where violent white people can commit open treason and walk away safely while people of color are continually brutalized by the police for merely existing (which is to say nothing of the virulent, egregious anti-Semitism on display). But *the discourse* doesn’t need another white voice taking up space, so I’m just going to listen and keep trying to do the work to unlearn white supremacy and be actively anti-racist. Fuck fascists, invoke the 25th amendment.

Week Links [21 December]

Good morning! I want to express my deepest condolences to anyone who has to work today. I’m off until the 4th, because my job absolutely rules. I will be spending my day baking chocolate babka and catching up on podcasts. I’m also racing to read 50 books by the end of the year…only 4 left!

I hope you and yours have a spectacular holiday season in spite of everything. Merry Christmas!

  1. Taylor has done it again—sneak-attacking us with another iconic album, this time in celebration of her 31st birthday. I was an extremely late-adopter with Taylor, but even if I hadn’t already become a fan, 2020 would have been the year. This girl comes back harder than a ’90s trend. (This post was mostly written a week ago, so I know evermore is already old news.)
  2. I’m going to be posting about my 2020 in books, but one that deserves an unrelated shout out is Beach Read by Emily Henry. I almost wanted to start over from the beginning when I finished it. Powerful, sweet, delightful fun. Also, I read this during a snowstorm, so it was nice to remember that summer exists.
  3. I discovered this jewelry brand on Instagram last week and now I want everything, especially this zodiac necklace.
  4. I got another set of foils in my quest to become a blonde and the bleach lightened the virgin hair at my roots so much that it kind of looked like a ’90s boy-band’s frosted tips (I have since gotten a root smudge). I use Olaplex to keep my hair from falling out from the way I abuse it.
  5. I’m listening to Shit, Actually by Lindy West and the chapter on The Notebook felt like a point-blank execution. I know it’s problematic, and that by extension, I’m problematic, but I don’t care! It’s an iconic love story! (To be clear, Lindy’s book absolutely rules and has made me laugh out loud like a fool on innumerable occasions.)
  6. I need an intervention to prevent me from buying this sweatshirt.
  7. I listened to this podcast episode on unpopular opinions recently and apparently my opinions are not so unpopular after all! Microwave-haters unite!
  8. Bided (bode?) my time and finally managed to snag a new wool coat for 60% off. Debating as to whether I should grab this one too, since it’s SO inexpensive…
  9. Reorganized my fridge again because, much like Angelica Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton, I will never be satisfied. These carafes are such a bargain and look sexy as hell in the fridge. No more ugly cardboard and plastic containers! These ones have a half gallon capacity if that better suits your needs.
  10. I’ve probably already written about this, but I got a matching set of this hoodie and these joggers (when they were on sale, I’m not a millionaire) and I feel LUXE when I wear it. I wish I could afford to get them in every color. Ironically, the first day I wore my sweatsuit, I came across this article by one of my favorite writers, Amanda Mull. P.S. It’s probably only a matter of time before I get this to complete the look, since I’m the worst person I know.
  11. Hanukkah was last week, and while I am not Jewish and have basically zero right to care about this, I am also an obsessively festive holiday person, so I had a 2-person mini feast of “traditional” foods I’d never tried to make before. A friend of mine made me some vegetarian matzoh ball soup and hamentachen, and I made latkes, applesauce, challah, and tzimmes (without the plums, since my husband has a thing about fruit in savory foods). It was so delicious and I’m definitely writing this while I’m eating the leftovers. Taste-wise, the challah wasn’t as good as when I made it on Rosh Hashanah (if this behavior is what gets me cancelled, it will have been a good run), but I’ve gotten so much better at braiding. It was a sight to behold!

Week Links [15 November]

Good morning, comrades! Another week on the books. I realize that this is likely not the case, but it is my sincerest hope that you got Veteran’s Day off to rest and recoup during what has been an exhausting and frankly, traumatizing month. And on that note, I feel like I make this point every year, but even though I am extremely anti-war and feel that the military should be dissolved and its disgustingly over-inflated budget redistributed to fund robust social programs that actually protect American lives, I am extremely pro-veterans and their rights/benefits. Two things can be true at once! Especially given the military’s predatory recruiting tactics and that, for many, military service is the least worst option, the very least they deserve is an annual holiday. *end soapbox*

Anyway, other than being mad as hell about political discourse, I have been staying the fuck home, because I live in a cold climate and I am not trying to get coronavirus! I’m disgusted by how unwilling my fellow, privileged, work-from-homers are to hunker down through winter to mitigate the spread. Can we all just get some soy eggnog and some fun Hanukkah or Christmas mugs and just stop being reckless? Cool! And yes, I do have both of those mugs because festivity is my coping mechanism.

I’ll shut up now! Here’s this week’s list of miscellany and ephemera. La la love you, don’t mean maybe.

  1. Can’t stop listening to this iconic song from 15 years ago! I love Tori Amos so much.
  2. Best modern Christmas album, sorry.
  3. Obsessed with this Etsy shop!! I also love this print shop, and have the Trade Daddy print (of course!) Madison also runs the amazing Instagram account @rulesofculture. She is doing the Lord’s work.
  4. There’s a Schitt’s Creek farewell special on Netflix called Best Wishes, Warmest Regards and I could not emotionally handle it. I may or may not have convulsed with sobs.
  5. Speaking of shows, I think I’m going to watch The Queen’s Gambit. I couldn’t be less interested in chess, but I’ve heard it’s incredible and quite horny.
  6. I haven’t made this cheesecake in a couple of years but it’s my favorite, favorite recipe.
  7. I snagged a past-season version of this Prada key holder on Poshmark for forty dollars and I am in love with it. Mine is blush pink and in perfect condition. I love that it has a slot for my ID, so I can travel light on trips to Starbucks or Target (or really, anywhere, since basically every store has Apple Pay at this point). If you’re patient, you can score really nice second-hand designer goods on Poshmark or TheRealReal…I tell myself that shopping this way is “sustainable” and not “a reckless waste of money.”
  8. I don’t know why it took my so long to buy replacement reeds for all of my oil diffusers, but I finally did. My favorite oil blends are from this Atlanta-based company (although they don’t seem to be selling them right now!), and these seasonal ones from the Target Hearth & Hand line. The little ceramic bottles are aesthetic af…I’ll probably keep reusing them long after the oil runs out. I am extremely particular about scents, so I tend to like things that closely mimic nature (pine, tobacco, etc). Vanilla makes me gag—great flavor, terrible candle scent.
  9. I finally found an ornament storage solution that has a decent capacity and doesn’t cost a million dollars. I bought 2, because I am planning to go so hard with my Christmas ornament collection over the years.
  10. I was fortunate enough to attend the Ifill Forum on Saturday (the fourth anniversary of Gwen Ifill’s passing) where Sherrilyn Ifill and Ava DuVernay spoke about the election and racial justice. Hearing Sherrilyn condemn the prison industrial complex and the way that history will remember this era had me in tears.
  11. I’d be remiss not to mention that we lost Alex Trebek last week. I’d known he was ill for a long time, but it still came as a shock. One of my biggest regrets is that I missed a taping of Jeopardy! in 2017 because I was…too hungover (I am an idiot!!!). I really thought I’d have another chance. My dad went to the taping on his own and now it’s one of his most cherished memories. Jeopardy! has been special to me for my entire life. Even as a toddler, I watched it with my dad—as I got older, I went from marveling that anyone could know the answers to being a fierce competitor. Alex Trebek was a brilliant man—effortlessly classy, a consummate host. He touched so many people’s lives, and I’m so grateful for the way he touched mine.

Week Links [8 November]

Well, we did it. Or, we didn’t do it, but organizers in swing states did it. Special shout out to Philly, Detroit, & Atlanta. I love Atlanta, and when we’re allowed to travel again, I’m definitely doing long weekends in Philly and Detroit and giving them all of my tourism money. I think we’ll always remember where we were when we found out the election had been called—I was washing dishes, and I got a text from my husband that said, “Is Biden President??” I immediately responded, “No,” but then I refreshed the ABC News live map on my phone and my heart stopped for a second. I kind of wish I’d gotten to see the news break in real time, but I’LL TAKE IT. Remember, remember the 7th of November, bitch!

I’ll be critical next week, but this weekend is for celebration. One less thing to worry about. We pop bottles when we vote out fascists.

  1. Never going to stop listening to this song for as long as I live! Let’s make it the most streamed rap song of all time. This is also in the running.
  2. Speaking of patriotism, Whitney Houston’s performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” is the best version ever performed or recorded. It’s hard to find a decent video of it, but this one starts at 1:15.
  3. Really wishing I had these champagne coupes to toast this weekend. *theatre kid voice* Raise a glass to freedom, something they can never take away!
  4. The Target Wondershop is absolutely popping off this year. Can you even handle this lemon ornament? I’m trying to be deliberate about my decoration curation, because the ornaments we had in my house growing up were really special—some from my mom’s childhood, some from ours—and although I am an Aesthetic™ bitch, I do want to bring that happy energy to my own children’s lives, should I ever be lucky enough to have kids (waiting on that vaccine for sure). And if I’m being honest, I’m probably going to get this retro tree in both sizes. I love that shit that was old even 25 years ago when I was a kid is coming back into vogue. *cue “Landslide“*
  5. I finally bought this sweatshirt after weeks of waffling because I thought it might be a jinx. Proud of my vote! Should I get a set of pearls to go with?
  6. My friend Rachel made a playlist of showtunes to blast when Biden’s victory was declared. She is an icon and a national treasure.
  7. Did we know that MIZ Stacey Abrams writes romance novels? Gonna have to find a way to buy all of them.
  8. I’ve been compiling a list of recipes to make if I’m ever allowed to host a gathering again and this is a definite yes. P.S. Very excited to soon have a President who believes in science and will take whatever measures are possible to mitigate the spread of the virus!
  9. I rewatched the 1997 animated film Anastasia on HBO Max on Wednesday (because stress), and I have to say it’s wildly underrated. Name a better voice cast! There are FIVE musical numbers before the 30 minute mark.
  10. My husband sent me this video about the most important run in music history. I’ve been working on this since roughly 2011 and I don’t think I’ve ever successfully done it.
  11. And, like, no neolib, but it is actually a huge fucking deal that Kamala Harris is our first woman Vice President. She has some blemishes on her record that she needs to acknowledge and atone for, and she wasn’t my choice in the primaries, but a Black, South Asian daughter of immigrants and HBCU grad without children who didn’t take her husband’s last name being elected to the second-highest office in the land? Representation matters—in big ways (young black and brown girls in this country get to grow up with a leader that looks like them), and slightly less significant, but still remarkable ways (you don’t have to give birth or let your identity be subsumed by a man’s to make it in politics). Even Hillary Clinton reluctantly took her husband’s last name in the interest of political expediency. This is a bit of a pet issue for me, I’ll admit, but in 2021 we’re moisturizing, drinking water, and not participating in the patriarchy anymore.
it is with a heavy heart that i must admit that young joe biden was a snack

Week Links [4 November]

*I wrote this before the election, so please bear with me. I’m not ready to address it, but I did sob profusely for several hours last night, and I’m pretty sure I went through all of the stages of grief and have come out the other side a bit numb, but otherwise unscathed. We can do this.

Spooky season is over, suckas! Now is my time to shine. I actually love Thanksgiving (because food), but all those browns and earth tones? Just not my aesthetic. In my house, the second Halloween comes to pass (or in this case, the day before…) it’s all Christmas time all the time.

i don’t usually do anything for halloween, but this year since it was on a saturday and i had nothing else going on, i did a bargain-bin version of midge maisel. i even posted an impression on my instagram stories, so i believe i achieved full holiday cringe.

Apart from disassociating due to election stress, I’ve been re-reading Rebecca, drinking lots of water, and filling my entire home with winter-scented reed diffusers. My eyes are permanently dry and itchy from constant doom-scrolling. Not everyone has the privilege/luxury of leaning into self-care, so I’m extremely grateful that I have the flexibility and means to take care of myself right now. I encourage you to find little joyful moments wherever you can, because even if “we win” (as flimsy and hollow as that ultimately is), it’s going to be months or years more of the pandemic and a lifetime more of fighting to repair (or completely overhaul) the systems that brought us here in the first place. Wear a mask, stay home if you can, and please, always punch Nazis.

  1. I would be lying to you if I told you I hadn’t bought this sweatshirt and also this top.
  2. This is my new Christmas tree. I’m blessed with a high ceiling in my living room, so 7ft feels appropriate for my level of enthusiasm. It does not disappoint IRL…it kicks the ass of any tree I’ve ever had. Are you a real tree or a fake tree person? We had a real one maybe once when I was a kid, but I’m a fake tree gal for life. My skinny rose gold tree is no longer in stock, but this one is very similar.
  3. Okay, so the spending freeze has been going pretty well, with the slight exception of Christmas-related items. I figured that technically that’s my household budget, not my personal one, so I got a few little things at Target, one of which was this comforter set. Our current duvet set is blush pink and just doesn’t have the appropriate winter vibe! I feel like this one is just “holiday” enough, but not so obvious that we can’t use it until spring.
  4. This instrumental EP is all vibes.
  5. I love love love Ramy Youssef, so I’m 0% surprised that his special, Feelings on HBO Max, is amazing.
  6. I finally started watching Never Have I Ever on Netflix, and even though I usually don’t have much interest in shows revolving around kids, it’s really pulling at the ol’ heartstrings. I just sobbed to U2’s “Beautiful Day,” actually, so I’m doing great!
  7. On that notes, I’ve been listening to Mindy Kaling’s new short story collection, Nothing Like I Imagined, and it’s so much fun. She’s such a sweet, funny writer, in addition to being a style icon and comedy legend. Every time I try to quit Amazon, they put out something like this. I finally understand drug addiction.
  8. Random, but this is my favorite hot sauce ever. My friend Gilly sent it to me (Recess is one of my favorite coffee shops, so we look forward to her care packages all year). 10/10 perfect flavor. She also sent me this tank, which I wear constantly. It’s made with some miracle fabric that somehow makes me look extremely skinny. Can’t be explained by science.
  9. Anthro’s ornaments section will bankrupt me.
  10. I started watching Nora from Queens on HBO Max, and it’s honestly worth it just to watch Bowen Yang perform “Bubbly.”

Week Links [25 October]

honestly? a vibe.

Good morning! It’s been a minute! I have to admit that it’s hard to come up with ten+ things a week to talk about that aren’t repeats, given that we’re all still stuck inside, going through the motions. I’m going to try to do a spending freeze for a week, starting tomorrow…it should be easy, but ever since I entered the workforce on my 16th birthday, shopping has honestly been my main source of serotonin.

Another amazing source of serotonin that I didn’t truly appreciate until my mid-twenties is…Christmas! So, full disclosure, I am the most annoying and staunch atheist you’ll ever meet (though I try to be very respectful of other people’s views and have friends from several different religious backgrounds!), but Christmas is my jam. I’ve already made my (all secular) Christmas playlists and plan on decorating on November 1st (I think you have to at least wait until Halloween is over). I have two Christmas trees…I do not mess around. I think this will probably be the year I finally upgrade my hand-me-down pre-lit green tree with colored bulbs to a chic white one (the other is rose gold, nbd). Last year I didn’t decorate at all because I was severely depressed and grieving the loss of a family member, so this year I plan to go ALL OUT to make up for lost time. Call me sappy, but I feel very inspired by the Christmas season. During (literally) the darkest time of year, everywhere you look is bright and festive. One incredible thing about getting older is that I’ve become so much less cynical and have learned to actually find joy in things that are meant to be joyful.

Anyway, fair warning: there will probably be a lot of Christmas content from me this year. Also, if you don’t think “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey is at least a Top 5 Christmas song, please unsubscribe.

Well, what follows has nothing to do with anything I’ve written here, so…[insert segue]

  1. Honestly can’t believe I haven’t shouted out the new Sufjan. Get into The Ascension.
  2. I’ve officially reached a new quarantine delusion level. I’m buying handbags and accoutrements as though I’ll ever leave my house again. Where could I even wear platform purple sandals in real life, much less during the plague? Same question, but about these.
  3. Dresses like this are my entire vibe now.
  4. Gonna try this out on my new blonde locks (see below).
  5. Mariah writes about this VH1 Divas performance in her book and that chapter is must-read entertainment. Apparently the drama has been much discussed!
  6. I am hanging on by a THREAD not buying these. Perhaps even by the time you read this post, I will have caved. As someone with (self-diagnosed, to be fair) Reynaud’s who has a complex about never having been able to follow trends as a youth (cut to me purchasing a Longchamp bag in 2016), I am extremely susceptible to capitalistic peer pressure, especially when it involves warmth!
  7. I am too poor to buy everything from this amazing queer, trans-owned jewelry company, but that doesn’t make me want to any less! Plz give me all of the anklets!
  8. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm was actually a delight.
  9. I’ll definitely be making these tempeh lettuce wraps soon.
  10. Be honest—should I get this poster? I love this Etsy shop; I think I’m going to do a Tarantino wall in our media room.
  11. Got these adorable earrings from Flower Dangles. My handmade earring collection is one of my greatest treasures!
*extremely kate-mckinnon-as-keith-urban voice* who did your highlights?

Enjoy what’s left of your weekend, and if you observe the Spooky Season, I wish you a Happy Halloween! -chels

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.

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 [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 [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.