*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.
Can’t wait to watch Unpregnant on HBO Max! We need more films about abortion that don’t pull a Juno.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My best friend sent me this recipe and !!!!!!!!!!!! Deb’s mind!!!!!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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!
As of writing I JUST made these, and oh my goodness gracious are they fucking delicious.
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.
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.
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).
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…
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.”
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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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?
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
I just finished Meaty by Samantha Irby, completing my reverse trilogy binge of her work. Hands down my favorite essayist.
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.
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!
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!
I’m sure there are already 19,000 cocktails named this, but given my use of not one but two Italian liqueurs, I feel that it’s appropriate. I couldn’t tell you why, but the other day at Trader Joe’s I was struck with the desire to get a bottle of Aperol, something I’ve never actually owned before. I’ve had a few Aperol Spritzes before, and Negronis (I know, technically that’s Campari), but I’m not really super familiar with Aperol. I had to Google to even figure out what it was made of (gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona, if you’re wondering). The touch of Aperol gives this cocktail a really pretty pink/peach-y color that is piuttosto adorabile, if I do say so myself.
This drink tastes like heaven. It’s sweet without being too cloying—like a melted lemon popsicle on a summer day. I don’t know if this is just a regional thing, but it’s like getting Richie’s Italian Ice from a cart in Boston Common. You can tweak the proportions however you like to make it more or less sweet (or potent). I never measure anything, so the recipe is actually just approximations, but it was roughly equal parts of all 4 ingredients, maybe a little heavy on the limoncello.
1/2 oz. Aperol*
1/2 oz. limoncello*
1/2 oz. vodka*
1/2 oz. lemonade*
*or just equal parts of each, depending on how much you want to make
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously until very cold. Strain the liquid into a martini glass. Top with a club soda float (if desired) and garnish with a slice of lemon.
Happy summer sipping!
(My martini glass is from Anthropologie. I got it right before my wedding in 2016, but there’s similar here and here. Also these coupe glasses are to die for.)
Good morning! I took a bit of a sabbatical for personal reasons, but I’m back and writing and maybe I’ll even share some of that at some point. So, I guess, here’s the past month of things!
I am a Succession stan, so Cousin Greg’s new video is the only thing I have the capacity to care about right now. Congrats to Nicholas Braun on his Emmy nomination!
I started Bunheads, finally. There’s really no excuse for the fact that I hadn’t seen it, Amy Sherman-Palladino being my problematic fave and all. It’s basically like, “What if Stars Hollow but…California? And dancing!” but it’s enjoyable as everything else she puts out. I’m clocking the recycled references. And Sutton Foster holds it down as our Lorelai proxy—not an easy feat!
So…did you know that they have original press photos from movies and TV shows on eBay? I may or may not be lurking on every single one feat. Niles Crane.
I’m watching every version of A Star Is Born in chronological order right now and it is an absolute journey. They’re all available on HBO Max.
John Legend’s WTF is a must-listen podcast episode. I can’t wait to check out his new album, Bigger Love, which has been out for a while, but since I listen to nothing but podcasts, I’m usually a few weeks behind the curve.
On that note, Jim Carrey was recently on WTF as well. He’s a modern sage and humanity doesn’t deserve him. I’m looking forward to reading his book, Memoirs and Misinformation.
As someone who has been on quite the quarantine drinking roller coaster, I’m interested in finding alternate ways to treat myself that still feel decadent. I’ve heard really good things about Seedlip, a brand of non-alcoholic distilled spirits. It’s a UK company, but apparently tons of bars in NYC stock it. I may or may not have bought the bundle…will report back.
This might sound insane, but I’ve recently rediscovered my deep and abiding love for Taco Bell. As someone with Food Issues™️, I haven’t really eaten fast food in about a decade, but I have opened my heart back up to my childhood fave. If you know what to order, it can actually be one of the healthiest fast-food chains, and it’s definitely got the best and most varied vegetarian options. The best part? You could pay for a full meal with the loose change you find in your couch. Get thee a bean burrito and a spicy potato taco.
We lost a real one last month. Rest in Power, Rep. John Lewis. This man devoted his life to service and the Civil Rights Movement, and I’m humbled to have shared the planet with him for 28 years. I do worry that including this news item in this sort of post is inappropriate, but it truly is something that has affected me recently, and I want to leave the tributes to those more eloquent and informed than I am.
Good morning! I’ve made an extremely controversial decision and started writing the date the British way, because (I capitulate) it makes more sense and is more aesthetically pleasing. This, from the same woman who changed her iPhone to 24-hour time in England and was perpetually confused for 3 weeks. Don’t worry, I’m not conceding in the aluminum vs. aluminium debate. Also, what a fuck-you thing to do on “Independence Day” weekend, innit?
Anyway, it’s been a big week for culture, so let’s get to it:
The most important thing that has ever happened in my entire life happened this week, and it’s the TRILOGY of Las Culturistas‘ “Top 200 Moments in Culture History.” It has moved me. It has shaped me. I laughed, I cried, I screamed, I gasped.
Miel’s album is coming out on 22 July and we simply have to stan! Her new single, “Must Be Fine” is avail to stream on Spotify right now!
The last thing I need is an excuse to drink, but I love a lemon drop.
I finally got the crossbody of my dreams for a ridiculous price. Call me basic all you want, but it’s a classic MJ shape. One day I will have the finances to justify a full-price, current season, actualMarc Jacobs bag, but today is not that day. Okay okay okay, maybe I also got this one too, but literally how could I not at that price??
I got this moisturizer in my Causebox and I really like it. It’s super lightweight, smells great, and has SPF 30. I also got this serum, which I haven’t tried yet, but apparently I’m supposed to be using hyaluronic acid all the time now? All of my products seem to have it. I guess 28 is old in skincare years.
Currently binge-eating these lentil chips, and concerned about the subscription option…quitting wheat (based on my Everlywell results) has been a journey!
Please don’t judge me for the particular retailer, but I may have gotten this case set for my new MacBook, and this ergonomic mousepad set for my work computer. Between the computer, my phone case, and my ribcage tattoo, I am way, way too on brand. Perhaps next is just blowing this print up and hanging it in my office?
I read The Cactus by Sarah Haywood this week and in spite of myself, really liked it. The Eleanor Oliphant comparison is apt; they both have wildly unlikable protagonists. Like, truly, awful people you’d never want to be around. I will say, I think Susan’s about-face is a tad abrupt (I know motherhood is a moment, but like, probably try therapy instead of having a baby).
We finally set up our AppleTV (and by we, I mean my husband bought it off a friend over a year ago and it sat unused in his office, until I got frustrated attempting to screen mirror with our TV on Friday and set it up), so we will be using that to watch Hamilton on Disney+ (which we have a year free trial of through our mobile provider).
Speaking of D+, anyone else just counting down the minutes until Black Is King?
Morning! From the title, it may seem like I’m ambivalent about my father (hardly the case), but I am deeply ambivalent about “Hallmark holidays,” because I am a joyless person. Mother’s/Father’s Day just feels like a marketing scheme for bougie brunch places, my favorite of all the places that I’d prefer not be clogged with toddlers while I’m trying to enjoy my mimosa. See? Joyless! And now I’ve made myself crave a mimosa, though I have neither orange juice nor sparkling wine. Chardonnay and lemonade? Y/N? (I’m writing this on Saturday morning, so it’s not out of the question that I may nip off to the store.)
Speaking of the store, I still haven’t returned to grocery shopping, but I plan to resume in the very near future. I have gone to Target briefly a couple of times. I hate wearing the mask—it gives me so much anxiety and for some reason, I clench my jaw really tightly underneath. Is that a thing? But obviously, as I’m not a MORON WHO DOESN’T CARE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE, I rock a mask 100% of the time I’m out in public. Which brings me to my next gripe:
People BE going to restaurants with outdoor seating and not wearing masks! What the actual hell? I have been isolated in my house for 100 days! Do you know how emotionally difficult that is for someone with depression? I’m simultaneously living my best and worst lives, missing my friends and family, for what? So that a few absolute knobs can cause a spike in infections that keeps us home until I’m in my mid-thirties? Absolutely not! I haven’t been able to get my teeth cleaned or my glasses prescription updated, but you can have fried clams overlooking the beach? Please eject yourselves into the sea.
Have I complained sufficiently? Haha, it feels good to be back on this, my public private place to talk to myself.
Speaking of my delicate skin, unable as it is to produce melanin, I have given myself over to the gods of Curology. A friend recommended it to me, as my prior attempts at skincare consisted of occasionally using an oil cleanser and forgetting to take my eye makeup off at night. It’s only been three days, so I’m not seeing a visible difference, but my skin feels really soft and I’ve actually started to maintain a nightly skincare ritual, which is a small miracle.
Speaking of custom products designed specifically for me, I also caved and ordered Prose. I heat process my hair twice a week (or so) to varying degrees, I dye it, and my hair is naturally very curly and dry, so I’m giving actually taking care of it a go. I went all in and ordered the oil too, because why not? I truly can’t believe it took until I started going gray for me to actually give a shit about taking care of my hair, but there’s no sense in dwelling on the past.
I have tentatively begun home workouts. I have a legitimate phobia of exercise or movement generally (I legitimately talk about this in therapy, it’s a long story). I have sobbed in gym parking lots, unable to walk in. I successfully completed this video without having a panic attack, so I’m going to see what else Miss Adriene has to offer. I’d really like to check out some body-positive yogis, so plz lemme know whomst to Google. I’m not averse to a paywall!
Even though it’s 14,000 degrees out, I was in the mood for a really big Cab the other day, so I tried out Bread & Butter‘s. When I drink reds, I tend to like them less bold, like Pinot Noirs, but I began my wine journey as a Cab girl and I’ve gotta honor my roots! Also, we’re chilling our red wines, right? The hill I will die on is that we all drink whites too cold and reds way too warm.
We finally bought *actually good* Bluetooth speakers and it has been a game changer. We got this one for me (super portable!) and this one for our house. In addition to awesome sound quality, they’re such fun pops of color against our mostly black-and-white decor. And big bonus, they have a “party mode,” so you can play music from both of them at the same time. Surround-sound!
I’ve been on something of a health journey lately; without going into too much detail, I’m trying to be more mindful about food and making sure I’m actually nourished. I customized a May Designs notebook to keep track of my meals, water intake, and, yes, exercise. It’s super cute, and I feel like it will be something I keep reordering.
We did it! Another week of social distancing down! And now it’s a long weekend! I may even attempt to venture outdoors, although I’m basically a moleperson at this point, so I’ll have to bring sunscreen & shades.
I think I mentioned in a previous post that I have a sourdough starter and it was finally ready to use this weekend! I made 2 loaves of sourdough, although the first loaf is not as aesthetically pleasing as the second…
Speaking of which, my best friend and I are starting our own FaceTime book club and our first pick is Kindred by Octavia Butler. It’s…incredible.
Also speaking of books, my friend wrote her thesis on Motherwit by Onnie Lee Logan and it’s only $4.99 on Kindle right now. I can’t wait to read it!
I am SO OVER shaving. I just want every follicle on my body to die! I am truly about to spend my life savings on laser removal.
I got a subscription to Causebox because I had a code, okay????
I started whitening my teeth because of course I did. My dark teeth have always been a huge insecurity of mine, and it certainly doesn’t help that I’m a coffee and wine drinker. I’m using this treatment system, this pen, and this polish. Here’s hoping I don’t destroy my enamel! I’m definitely starting to see results!
I’ve been doing these Instagram song challenges, and they have brought SO much joy to my life! This is my first one, my second & third which are in progress, and a spinoff playlist that I had to make because there are too many iconic songs from 1991!