Sunday Kind of Love xxi

Welcome back to another installment of Sunday Kind of Love! This week, I’m going to attempt to be less materialistic, since this list is usually my purchase wet dreams. With one exception everything on here is either free or personal. As I go into 2019, I want to be more mindful and creative—I want a less cluttered home and a less cluttered mind. I know everyone says this nonsense at the beginning of every year, but instead of setting firm resolutions, I want to be kinder to myself and just encourage myself to look within instead of getting external validation from purchases and other people. So, with that said, please enjoy this picture of Sam Weir, a true icon.

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pic via hello giggles
  1. I’m doing a no-buy January! Okay, so I have read Anna Newell Jones’s book already, but I think I’m going to reread it for inspiration. The idea is not to spend any money on anything except essentials and subscriptions that haven’t run their course yet, which for me are gas, groceries, car payment, car insurance, student loans (they kick in in April), Hulu, Netflix, my Oui Fresh box, and paying as much off my credit card balance as possible. I won’t be eating any meals out or buying anything new unless it completely runs out (shampoo, makeup, etc.) Katy Goodman from Vivian Girls and La Sera did a no-buy December which she talked about on her Instagram stories, and it was really inspiring to hear about her success!
  2. I finally watched the Freaks and Geeks A&E documentary and I ugly-cried the whole time. It is so inspiring and heartbreaking. Paul Feig wrote the pilot on spec, which almost never gets picked up, much less goes to series. So many people believed in that show (and also, Paul Feig is a genius). Plus, the mere existence of John Francis Daley fills me will an unimaginable amount of joy.
  3. Michael and I just rewatched the original seasons of Arrested Development and, my god, it is a perfect, perfect show.
  4. I am so excited to watch Dumplin’. I can’t even tell you.
  5. My friend bought me this for Christmas and I almost died.
  6. Okay, okay, I’ll talk about one purchase. I got this little bag for 30% at Madewell when it was first introduced and I absolutely love it.
  7. In the past week, since I’m OFFICIALLY done with school forever and ever amen, I’ve been writing more than I ever have. I’m working on a YA novel about a study abroad trip to Oxford (sound familiar), and a collection of personal essays. I wrote one this morning about the New York Times Crossword and living with bipolar, and I’m thinking of posting it here.
  8. Soup season is officially here! I’ve been making my minestrone non-stop…I have to post the recipe here! It’s a loose take on the minestrone recipe from the Thug Kitchen cookbook and I’ve never had better in my life.
  9. I’m thinking of changing the name of this weekly post. I’ve been doing it for a long time, and it’s starting to feel weird that I just named it after a song instead of coming up with an original title. So if you notice some random new post in your inbox, don’t be alarmed! It’s just me.
  10. I’m goin’ back to Tally the first week of February! I am stoked, dude. We’re seeing Neko Case at the Moon while I’m there! I can’t wait to gorge myself on a SoDough doughnut and tacos from El Cocinero! The best part is that this time I don’t have to fly into Jacksonville and drive over because I actually found a reasonable flight to the TLH airport!

Also, just a quick plug for my DePop and Poshmark shops! I’ll be adding a ton of new stuff in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! I’m @highwaytochel on both accounts, and I always take offers if you leave me a reasonable one in the comments.

In the words of the great philosopher, Phoebe Robinson, #ByeQBye!

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Christmas Kind of Love

So, full disclosure—while I don’t identify as Christian (my dad’s fam is totally secular and my mother’s is lapsed Catholic AF), I L O V E Christmas. The opportunity to decorate my home with even more white and gold? Sign me up! I have two pre-lit trees—one I inherited from my mom (it’s green with colored lights) and one skinny 6′ rose gold tree that I got at Target before the 2016 election (that year was dark, so I decorated very early). I didn’t decorate last year because our house was under construction, so this year I went ham. But this is just a dry-run for next year, which will be over the freakin’ top. I’m already depressed about January coming and having to take down all my glitz. As long as it’s down by Valentine’s Day, I’m fine, right?

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That said, here are some holiday faves!

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Best Ways to Give Back

Around the holidays I go beyond my usual small monthly donations! Here are some of my fave charities and ways to give!

Planned Parenthood, International Refugee Assistance ProjectACLU, KINDNAACP, SPLC, Support the Girls, RIP Medical Debt, The Trevor Project, It Gets Better, ITMFA, and so many more!

Best Christmas Songs

My husband, the sweet angel of earth that he is, made me a curated playlist for Christmas called FIG for CHELS—Christmas Edition, because he is perfect. There are quite a number of songs on here I’d never heard before. “You’re a Gift” by The Both is my new favorite! And we can’t forget Holiday Soul Party!

I started compiling a Christmas album playlist for myself, but I got very, very lazy. Also, I work in a store that plays nonstop Christmas music (which I’m actually very here for) so I got my fill this year!

What’s your favorite Christmas song? Mine is “Father Christmas” by The Kinks!

Best Presents

  1. Gift a subscription! FabFitFun & Oui Fresh are my go-tos, but there’s also Birchbox, Ipsy, Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s (great for guys!), quip, graze, LOLA (because practical), Book of the Month Club, or Bark Box (for those weirdo dog people in your life!) I’d suggest streaming services, but tbh just give a friend your password if they don’t already have Netflix.
  2. Gift Cards to Amazon or Target—these will never not get used.
  3. What I call “The Cornucopia”—hone in on one interest and make a gift basket out of tiny items! If your friend is a writer, buy them fancy versions of everything they need—a journal, pens, notepads, sticky notes, stickers, washi tape, paper clips, you name it! Most people (not me, obviously), but most people won’t indulge themselves in that gold stapler or adorable jar of wooden pushpins because function > fashion. Useful gifts are always the best gifts, and tons of little gifts, imo, are better than one. I did one of these for my husband for our first Christmas together and those items are still floating around the house.
  4. A memory. This might sound dumb, but this is the perfect gift for the person who has everything. Example: I’m gifting my favorite professor a framed photo I took of the Bodleian Library at Oxford, because I first heard of it in his class and his support was the reason I got the opportunity to go there. I hope that, for years to come, he can glance over and think warmly about one of his favorite places.
  5. And finally, a free idea, since not everyone in the world spends money like a millionaire (guilty!)—a hand-written card or letter. Literally who writes letters anymore?! I’ve done this a couple of times for various events (sometimes accompanying a gift, sometimes not), and it always gets a great response. Not everyone needs external validation all the time (guilty!) but people love knowing how special they are to you!

Best Holiday Decorations

Anthropologie, West Elm, Target, Pier One, CB2, and Cost Plus World Market have reliably fantastic stuff, although you know ya girl got every damn thing from Target.

Best Christmas Movies

I am about to seriously out myself right now, but I’ve never seen Die Hard or Home Alone. I know. I suck. Truth be told, I’ve never actually even watched A Christmas Story from start to finish. I am not a movie girl (I blame the ADHD). I’m a TV addict—hit me with a Doctor Who or Downton Christmas special any day.

My personal favorite holiday films: It’s A Wonderful Life (true life: I was in a stage production of this when I was 16), the Mickey Mouse & Muppet versions of A Christmas Carol, the Jim Carrey Grinch, and of course, ELF, the best Christmas movie of all time.

P.S. Love, Actually isn’t actually that good, which is insane, because THAT CAST. And liking The Nightmare Before Christmas isn’t the same thing as having a personality.

Best Shows to Binge-Watch on Christmas Break

You probably only have a week off, so these are some shows you can absolutely finish before the new year! Snuggle up with your cats and watch these masterpieces!

Amazon: Catastrophe, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Netflix: Great NewsSchitt’s Creek, The Good Place

Hulu: Difficult PeopleThe Handmaid’s Tale

Best Audiobooks for Your Drive Home

Becoming by Michelle Obama, Everything’s Trash But It’s Okay by Phoebe Robinson, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle, This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps, Feminasty! by Erin Gibson, Shrill by Lindy West, So Close to Being the Shit, Y’all Don’t Even Know by Retta

Bonus Content: Chag Chanukah Sameach!

So, Hanukkah has been over for a minute, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t attempt to observe. I was too lazy to make actual latkes, but I did a run of potato soups as an homage to the culinary concept.

I didn’t buy a menorah because I kept thinking that cashiers would judge me for adding one to a cart full of sparkly Christmas garlands, but I have my eye on a few for next year—this one, this mod one, this gorgeous gold one, and this colorful one.

And good on SJ to give us a Hanukkah song that’s way better than Adam Sandler’s.

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I hope anything on this list is helpful to your holiday season!

P.S. Michael’s Christmas stuff is all 50%-60% off right now, so get thee gone.

P.P.S Send me #thoughtsandprayers that it doesn’t snow anytime soon.

Sunday Kind of Love xix

Hello, hello (Hola!)

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Welcome back to another edition of SKoL! This week (tbh, month) has been a nightmare for me, personally, but I’m finding my groove and fixing my skin (more on that later).

  1. I bought Super Bounce and Solution from Glossier and I’ve already seen noticeable improvements in my skin! I also use their Boy Brow and I’m obsessed. Just ordered a few more goodies: Zit Stick, Stretch Concealer, and Perfecting Skin Tint.
  2. Ewww, David!!! I just started watching Schitt’s Creek on Netflix and I’m completely obsessed! Catherine O’Hara is a DREAM. What Would Moira Do? is my official life motto. If you’re wondering, yes, I have joined the Jazzagals. 
  3. I was a good little chicken on Black Friday and didn’t buy that much stuff. Just a Kate Spade phone wallet from the surprise sale (RIP, Queen), some Girlfriend Collective swag (these, this, & this, plus the discontinued? Monroe bra), a naughty “couples” purchase or three, the new Oui Fresh lip gloss shades, a cute bag from New Darlings on Depop, a SodaStream, and I *think* that’s it. But knowing me, some crazy packages are going to show up.
  4. I’m going to see Neko Case in February! I haven’t seen her since my first date with my husband in 2013, so I’m super excited! The show is in Tallahassee, so yaaasss, I’m goin’ back!
  5. I just watched Annie Hall again (for class!!!) and I know, I KNOW I’m supposed to hate Woody Allen (AND I DO) but I fucking love that movie—I can’t help it. In the opening scene, when he describes his working class childhood on Coney Island as an alienated, weird, smart kid, I felt seen (on film) for the first time #representationmatters). I mean, my family isn’t Jewish, but the dynamics are s i m i l a r. Watching it again felt like visiting an old friend. 
  6. I just read The Assistant by Bernard Malamud and it has my whole heart. It’s the tale of an immigrant grocer in New York whose failing business sees a revival when he hires Frank Alpine, an Italian-American man who learns a lot about shopkeeping and even more about morality. If you like books that start with robbery and end with circumcision, this book’s for you!
  7. Now I’m reading Nicole Chung’s All You Can Ever Know. It’s incredibly moving and complicated. I’m a longtime fan of Nicole’s writing, from The Toast days, and I was so excited to finally get my hands on a copy of her memoir.
  8. Ariana Grande is my personal Lord & Savior. Thank u, next.
  9. I may or may not have just splurged on this because I am a RECKLESS, IMPULSIVE, BIPOLAR WOMAN.
  10. Chag Chanukah Sameach! I know I’m technically late because the sun’s already down (December, right?), but Happy Hannukah to all my practicing homies!

See you next week! Or, you know, sooner if I decide to start blogging again.

-C

Sunday Kind of Love xvii

I know what you’re thinking—did she die?? I mean, kind of. I got back from Europe and immediately started a full-time management position working for a huge corporation. It’s not as glamorous as it sounds, and I won’t name-check it, but trust me, you know this place and you probably love it. So my limited free time has consisted mostly of sleep, meditation, and NY Times crossword puzzles.

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the ivy brasserie in bath, uk

So, as an apology for my absence for like, two months, I’m doing a mega-post of favorites!

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rock star // dress // bag // glasses 

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Today is Primary Day in Massachusetts! Get out there and rock the f***ing vote! Find out more here!

I saw The Book of Mormon at the Boston Opera House and it was AMAZING. Buy the original cast recording here!

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Casually met Stacy King aka Sucré at Great Scott the night before my birthday. NO BIG DEAL, SHE’S ONLY MY IDOL. Get her newest single, In Pieces, and while you’re at it, buy “Inside,” Loner, Absentee, and A Minor Bird too.

I started using a tongue scraper and honestly, it’s the best thing that’s happened to me in my adult life. I use this model (it came in the Oui Fresh July Beauty Box!). I recommend copper because it’s a bacteria-resistant metal—and aside from that, it’s cute as hell! My mouth feels so much cleaner and the mouth is the first stop for overall health, so it makes sense to take good care of it, right?

Dear Coquette is back. That is all.

I read Call Me By Your Name and dear god. It’s perfect. Plus, Armie Hammer narrates the audiobook so *salivating emoji*

Just bought a Girlfriend set of this bra and these leggings, because being the cutest girl at the gym is extremely important to me. Next pay cycle I’ll be grabbing the same in Jade (hopefully the Paloma bra will be back in stock!) I currently have this set: bra (in powder blue)/ leggings. I’ve also been rocking this ban.do yoga mat, which people at yoga class think is a riot! Although I will say that in terms of functionality, my lulu mat is far superior.

Younger‘s Season 5 is done, so binge that shit! Catch up on Hulu.

I just read Guy Branum’s My Life as a Goddess (available wherever books are sold), and it was incredible. I couldn’t put it down. It’s smart, hilarious, and moving. I’ll probably break down and buy the audiobook for my eventual re-read—hearing Guy perform it sounds like such a dream. Watch him slay on Conan.

I am currently reading Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. I’m really enjoying it so far, and I can’t wait to see how they’ve interpreted it for the film!

I’m listening to Kate Nash’s Yesterday Was Forever while writing this post and I’m loving it! Stream it via this link, but also, y’know, purchase it to support our girl!

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the gates at kensington palace

Lykke Li put out an album this year?? I had no clue, but as soon as I found out, I listened to it obsessively. so sad so sexy is just full of bops!

Today is release day for Erin Gibson’s Feminasty! If you don’t know Erin, she’s the co-host of the incomparable Throwing Shade podcast with Bryan Safi. I pre-ordered this puppy on Audible—it was a tough choice between the book and audio but since I’m used to listening to Erin & Bryan every week on the pod, audio won out!

Sherri & Max Bemis launched a Kickstarter! This comes on the heels of Max announcing that Say Anything is no more—some exciting changes are in the works! Pledge to support their dreams and help them keep creating art! Bonus Lucy & Coraline content, too.

JK was sponsored by FabFitFun on I Seem Fun so I finally caved and got a box. I’ll report back once I receive it—I’m excited! I love a subscription box because I am the bougiest.

Just discovered Mitski and I’m so mad none of you told me about her.

Alone Together is one of the best written shows on television right now. I’ve watched the entire series twice—I watched it and then immediately forced my husband to watch it (he loves it).

Have I talked about American Vandal on here yet? I’m way late to the game but American Vandal is a perfect, perfect show. I’m obsessed. Who drew the dicks??

Y’all know I’m obsessed with Madewell, but I went super nuts for my birthday. I got this bag, this bag (monogrammed), this clutch, this wallet, this hat, these jeans, these jeans, and probably way more that doesn’t even immediately come to mind. Take my credit card away.

I started a Depop shop. I’ve tried (and been successful with) Poshmark in the past, but I’m trying something new! Buy my designer stuff! I’ll probably upload these items to Posh as well (I’m open to offers!)

Can’t wait to read In Intimate Detail by Cora Harrington! If you don’t know Cora, you may have seen her viral Twitter thread on thin privilege.

I discovered Fopp while I was in England. If you live in the UK you must go there. I bought 6 books for £3!

I’m sure it’s basic as hell, and I’m a wine peasant, but this Dry Riseling never disappoints. Pro-tip: always make sure to buy dry Riselings, not off-dry (demi-sec), otherwise you’ll basically be drinking sugar-water.

Marmite is GREAT and we need to start using it in the US!

The Lindbergh Candle Co. shop is open for pre-orders! This is my favorite candle company (their reed diffusers are incredible—I have one in my bathroom and I get so many compliments!) I love supporting small businesses (this one’s out of Atlanta, one of my favorite places).

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wadham college at oxford

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Okay. I’m exhausted. That was a lot. I hope some of this tickles your fancy! I’ll just be in my office, diffusing some Stress Away, and enjoying one of my very rare days off.

Adieu!

-c

Sunday Kind of Love xii

Welcome back to another installment of my link roundup! I had to get new tires for my car this week, so I’m broke, but I’ll be fantasizing about all of these wonderful things:

I’m re-reading The Hobbit for my Oxford Fantasists class this July, and it’s so, so cute to read as an adult. It’s so clear how much Tolkien loved medieval lit.

Anyone else super excited to see SOLO?

I can’t stop listening to Margo Price‘s All American Made. She is the second coming of Dolly Parton, and this album is so, so good.

Give me all of the Caboodles. ’90s kid 5ever.

Cannot wait to watch Ibiza! Phoebe Robinson and Vanessa Bayer are my faves!

I want this light fixture like you wouldn’t freaking believe. This is on my purchase list for when I finally get a “grown-up job.”

I haven’t started The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 yet, but I’ve heard it’s amazing (and super dark). Dare I take the plunge?

I’m thinking of doing this to all the drawers in my house. Too much? #neverenoughorganization

I can’t seem to get enough of this song right now. Belle & Sebastian forever!

Not to get all downer-y on ya, but I started using this app a couple of days ago and I’m really liking it so far. Great for keeping yourself accountable!

 

catch u nxt wk!

-c

Sunday Kind of Love xi

Well, summer lasted for about a week. Now we’re back to gloomy 50 degree days, because, apparently, life is a rich tapestry. Why do I always start these posts by talking about the weather? Because I’m from New England and that’s the most exciting thing we have? Probably.

In any case, here’s what’s been going on with me, since you asked:

I went on vacation to Tallahassee last week, and I brought way, way too many outfits, courtesy of my Away luggage. The carry-ons are inspired—they charge your damn phone! I bought a massive one for my trip to England in July! I know buying stuff they advertise on podcasts is basic, but these suitcases are by far the best I’ve ever owned, and I’m not getting paid to say it!

I’m reading Not That Bad, a collection of essays curated and edited by Roxane Gay and MAN OH MAN is it a fun romp for the whole family. Just kidding, it’s a living nightmare! Girls and women and transfolk endure so much—it’s hard to read about, but so important. The thesis of the collection, in short, is that, as women*, we’re taught to internalize our abuse, to rationalize with ourselves that what we experienced was “not that bad,” when truthfully, any assault is “that bad.” Minimizing our pain and not holding abusers accountable contributes to the perpetuation of rape culture. But you should read Roxane explain it much more eloquently than I ever could. TW rape and sexual assault.

I start class on Tuesday, again (does she ever stop doing school?), so I just spent a small fortune on books. It’s a Recent British Short Fiction class, and we’re reading all things A.S. Byatt and J.G. Ballard. Brits really love going by their initials, huh? (cough J.K. Rowling cough) Because I love you, here’s a pdf of Ballard’s complete short stories—my personal fave is “The Smile.”

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This casita is too much. I would simply die to have a guest house. Maybe I should finish my own home renovation before I start expanding…

I am so excited to see this movie that I can hardly breathe. One more week!

My girl Courtney Barnett put out a new album on Friday and it is so freaking good! Plus, the deluxe edition (which hubby definitely bought for me yesterday at Newbury Comics) comes with an adorable tote bag!

A cluttered house is a cluttered mind. I’ve linked to these babes before, but seriously, The Home Edit is pure, unadulterated organization porn. The older I get, the more of an anal-retentive organization freak I become. Don’t let me into your house if you don’t want it cleaned!

I am truly offended that none of you has bought this for me yet.

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image via rolling stone

I caaaaannnnn’t stop listening to Cardi B‘s Invasion of Privacy. I need to go to Cardi B rehab. My favorite of her songs? Gosh, thanks for asking! Toss up between “I Like It” and “Moneybag.” I mean, come on with this line: “I said bae, it’s a snack / he said it’s a entrée / with them pretty-ass twins you look like Beyoncé.” INSPIRED.

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I didn’t wake up to watch the Royal Wedding, because 4am is too goddamn early, but don’t get it twisted—I’m all in. From the pics I’ve seen, I know Oprah and Serena Williams were there, the hats were fierce AF, and Rev. Michael Curry took everybody to church.

 

See you next week!

-c

Sunday Kind of Love x

‘Sup, y’all? It seems like spring is finally creeping its way in…in Massachusetts we get like 9 months of winter, about 2 days of spring in early May, and then oppressive summer for the rest of the time. It’s so great! #thxglobalwarming

Also, it’s the end of the semester, so things are peak stressful. Here’s what’s up.

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  1. PRAISE THE CYBORG GODS, Janelle Monae’s new album is out! It is a revelation. Buy it immediately or forfeit all pleasure. P.S. There’s a movie. This is not a drill.
  2. I bought a pink air fryer because of course I did. Gimme all the fried cauliflower.
  3. We added this runner to Chez Fig this week. Cute jute!
  4. My finals are all due in the next 11 days and I’m buggin’ hard. Anyone got any study tips?
  5. Did you watch the season finale of Jane the Virgin? I’m still shook.
  6. I need this one-piece for the beach! Also, this, because I’m predictable.
  7. New Kimbra is lit. Snag it.
  8. I bought another pair of the same Warby Parkers because I am so in love with them. Who trusted me with a credit card?
  9. I writing a paper on solo performance, stand-up, and gender, and I’m focusing on the work of comic Rhea Butcher. Get their album Butcher and their collab with wife Cameron Esposito, Back to Back!
  10. Michelle Wolf is the hero we need, but don’t deserve.

Later days, buddy!

-c