For years, I have been trying to steal the title “Queen of Christmas” from Mariah Carey. I always put up a tree, but starting in 2016, I really turned the Christmas cheer up to an 11 (it’s been a rough several years for the world!) But this year, things might look a little different. As I’m expecting twins at some point between, well, later today and my to-be-scheduled induction on November 1, I may just not have the energy or the time to create my usual Winter Wonderland.
So this year, I am embracing all things fall! I didn’t even wait until September to start with the pumpkin spice lattes. Fall is definitely the best actual season, at least weather-wise, but as someone who doesn’t eat candy and hates scary movies, Halloween has never really been my thing (even though my anniversary is 10/30 and we had a candy buffet at our wedding…go figure).
As much as you may try to deny it before it actually happens, having kids does majorly change you, and I realize that I’m about to raise two Scorpio babes who may actually be born on Halloween. I definitely needed a spooky season attitude adjustment, so I’ve started a Halloween and fall décor collection that will hopefully be as insane as my Christmas collection by the time the kids are old enough to Trick or Treat.
We are a cat family, so this kitty skeleton is a must. They also have a bat version…I’m planning on getting several bats to hang on the wall in our entryway.
I love these skeleton dudes, and I want to get a bunch to pose on our furniture, but I’m such a jumpy person that I’ll probably have a mild heart attack every time I walk into a room and see one.
Apparently I’m just really into skeletons, because this skeleton man is on my front door, and even though he annoyingly clangs around every time we open it, I would die for him. My favorite decoration I’ve ever owned.
I love this bottlebrush Halloween wreath. Wreaths are one of my favorite ways to decorate seasonally, since they don’t take up any counter space, they’re easy to store and reuse year after year, and they don’t require any special skills or gear to hang, like Christmas lights do. A pushpin, Command hook, or over-the-door hanger will do the trick.
This raffia wreath might just become a year-round decoration in our house.
I hung this felt autumn wreath on the door in our main entryway. It’s protected from the elements by our glass door, and it’s super light-weight, which makes it perfect for such a high-traffic area.
I’m drinking my morning coffee out of this ghost mug right now. This version is so adorable that I might have to get a few just to decorate with. Maybe I could fill them with candy? Does anyone else collect holiday mugs and swap them out every season? Just me?
These neutral pumpkins come in two sizes and colors, and if I had unlimited money I would buy 400 of them.
Couldn’t resist this plaid pumpkin. In my opinion, pumpkins are the best fall décor pieces, because you can leave them out well past Halloween. If the colors coordinate, you can even incorporate them into your Christmas decorations!
I’m 24 weeks pregnant today, on the 24th! I feel like stuff like that never happens (or at least, not since I turned 19 on the 19th of August, 11 years ago). 24 weeks is a big milestone, since the babies are now considered viable (meaning that if something were to go horribly awry and they needed to be born now, they’d likely survive). That sounds kind of bleak, but it’s actually really comforting to me! For the first time in 6 months, I’m fairly confident that my little cantaloupes are going to be a-okay.
I’m also turning 30 in a few weeks and I’m actually really excited! I’m kind of amazed I even made it through my twenties. In a few months, my life will be unrecognizable. It’s a nice parallel—I was born in 1991 and my kids will be born in 2021, as my life enters a new stage.
Bowen Thee Yang has been nominated for an Emmy. The first featured player on SNL to ever be nominated. Bowen must be genuinely exhausted by all the history he has made at this point. I genuinely love every single actor who is nominated in his category (including Paul Reiser, though I have never seen The Kominsky Method), so however the voting goes, I’ll be happy. Bowen has been a shining light in my life for years and I love to see him get his flowers.
Ted Lasso season 2 premiered yesterday and my body is ready. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve fallen so head-over-heels for a new show. And to think I almost cancelled AppleTV+ right before I discovered it.
Madewell now has a Preloved shop! I knew they had a jean recycling program, but this is next-level. I’ll definitely be ordering (and then recycling) some maternity jeans because buying those new is expensive. I’ve kind of outgrown the Madewell aesthetic (there just isn’t a boho bone in my body, and boxy cuts don’t suit me), but I maintain that they have the best jeans in the game and I had missed wearing them!
My husband and I started watching McCartney 3,2,1on Hulu last night and it’s better than I could have imagined. It’s like it was tailor-made for my exact interests. I was thrilled to find out that “Michelle” was partially inspired by Edith Piaf’s “Milord,” one of my favorites! (La vie en rose came out while I was in high school, so I went through a big Little Sparrow phase).
On the subject of McCartney (my favorite subject!) Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen has not disappointed. I’ve been eating some meat because it’s calorie and protein-dense which is important during pregnancy, but I am feeling the pull back towards plant-based living. It’s just what makes the most sense for me and my family, but you do you!
Never Have I Ever season 2 is out! I absolutely love this show, which speaks to my eternal love for Mindy Kaling, since media about young people rarely interests me (ironic, considering I am currently manufacturing two young people). I Googled it and the actor who plays Paxton Hall-Yoshida is a few months older than I am (30) so it’s okay to think he’s ridiculously cute.
Bought these chairs for my dining table. We currently have a pub-height table with 2 stools that won’t work for us once the babies arrive. I’m going to pair them with a cheap-ish Ikea table and upgrade once we don’t have little Tasmanian Devils running around our house. I mentioned Detransition, Baby earlier, and there’s a moving passage about how once women enter their 30s, dining sets become very important to them…I’m sure it was a condemnation of sorts, but I deeply related to it.
Lately I can’t stop listening to The Kinks. I wonder if it has anything to do with the name we picked for our daughter…
Get pregnant, they said. It will be magical, they said.
I was lucky enough not to get morning sickness in the first trimester, just fatigue, but last week’s heat wave and humidity had me so sick that I was rueing the day I was born. Things are still touch-and-go, but I’ve started to feel them kick, so that kind of offsets how horribly pregnancy has been treating me recently. I’m officially 21 weeks today, and trying to figure out how I’m supposed to survive the next 15-17 weeks…
I’ve officially picked the babies’ first names, so I may do some sort of “reveal” on here (the closest I got to a “gender reveal” was posting a screenshot of my blood test results on Instagram stories accompanied by a gif of Homer Simpson screaming, so…)
As much as I may have previously been irritated by how myopic pregnant people become, how singularly focused on “the baby,” now that I’ve been there, I can attest that it is real. I think it has to be evolutionary, some sort of biological imperative to keep the fetus healthy by focusing ALL OF YOUR ATTENTION AND MENTAL/PHYSICAL ENERGY ON THE BABY. It’s all I can do to watch TV without also researching baby swing safety ratings. I’ve literally told my therapist that I’m exhausting myself with this, so I certainly don’t blame my friends or family for tuning me out for a while. I’m sure by this time next year, I’ll be begging for Sauvignon Blanc in an IV and a chance to be away from them for 5 minutes. One thing that’s really important to me is to not martyr myself in the process of becoming a mother. I’d like to remain myself, albeit with some small satellites orbiting me.
Ugh, enough about me. It’s been an insane couple of weeks, hasn’t it? Between the Olympics being racist, Britney’s statement on her conservatorship, Bill fucking Cosby going free, and Rand Paul sending out an email with a dog-whistle typo in it, it truly feels like we’re living in the darkest timeline. I’m glad about having a long weekend, but proclaiming “Happy 4th” seems hollow at best, if not entirely tone-deaf. So…just enjoy your long weekend if you’re lucky enough to have one. You deserve to rest.
After much research and no success finding something cheaper that I actually liked, I have purchased the stupidly expensive, aesthetic coffee maker. The other contender was this coffee maker from Drew Barrymore’s line, but the adorable green color was out of stock.
Excited to try this cheek and lip tint. I’m almost 30 and still haven’t really figured out how to wear makeup, so this kind of product is the only thing that will get me to wear blush. This one is my current favorite, but I have it in the color “Cherry Cosmos.”
This week on Las Culturistas, Matt and Bowen sang this song, correctly calling it “One of the best songs of all time, one of the most beautiful women of all time, one of the great films.” I can’t even explain how many times I’ve watched this movie.
I’m going to attempt to resist buying these, but these are THE most ’90s sandals ever. Everyone’s mom had sandals just like this. Giving me such Nine West vibes.
Good morning, America! I can’t tell if COVID Mondays are worse (because the proverbial weekend will never come) or easier because they’re hardly different from any other day. I wish I had anything interesting to report, but I sat around knitting and bingeing Gossip Girl all weekend so I’m even boring myself. The weather where I live is going to inch into the 40s and 50s this week, which may sound horrible to people in most climates, but in New England? It’s a mitzvah after a cold and snowy winter.
Stay warm, stay safe, and as King Diamond would say, stay heavy!
I just found out that Jenna Lyons has a show and I may need to reconsider my disdain for all reality-based television series.
I bought this bag bundle during their 25% off Valentine’s Day sale because I’m obsessed with jinxing myself. I am truly like two purchases away from becoming a Victorian ghost, haunting the moors while my soul is trapped between earth and the afterworld.
I caved. In my defense, it took almost a year to get me to crack. And yes, I had a coupon code.
There is no one I stan harder than Deb from Smitten Kitchen, so when I was on a cooking tear on Saturday, I made this macaroni & cheese and these brownies. I slightly burned the brownies because I got distracted after turning the timer off (never do this if you have ADHD!), but overall my kitchen was the place to be this weekend. Don’t worry—I served roasted broccoli to balance out the utter lack of nutritional value.
I just started using this toothbrush. I’ve been using their flat body scrubber for ages, having received it in a subscription box. Loving this anti-microbial eco option! I’m a really vigorous brusher, so I’m skeptical of any toothbrush that boasts a replacement head (quip utterly failed me), but these are actually up to the task! And the best part is that they only need to be replaced twice a year and are recyclable.
I might get a few of these to brighten up a room I’m redecorating. Definitely a different style for me! This one isn’t as much my taste, but goes perfectly with the color scheme.
Happy (very belated) Valentimes! I’ve never been much for this particular holiday, since I hate candy, cold weather, and obligations generally, but a cozy Valentine’s Day at home this year is just what the doctor ordered. This was my eighth V-Day with my husband, if such a thing is to be said. He shares my general sentiment (he’s even more of a Grinch than I am; he’d forget his birthday and Christmas if I didn’t remind him), but he knocked our first Valentine’s Day out of the park. We saw Nicole Atkins at Brighton Music Hall, and it remains one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. Quick tangent: Nicole is one of the finest singer-songwriters on the planet, in addition to being SO NICE in person.
In other news, the entire country is frozen. I’m from Massachusetts, so winter storms are par for the course and we have the infrastructure to deal with them. My heart aches for the Southern states who weren’t prepared for this climate catastrophe, and whose leaders are incompetent, hypocritical assholes who don’t care whether their constituents live or die (looking at you, Ted Cruz). One of my favorite comedians, Jen Kirkman, put together an amazing thread of all the ways to help Texas. I feel very, very grateful to be where I am right now, and also to have a husband who does all the shoveling and snow maintenance.
Today (2/20) would also be Kurt Cobain’s 54th birthday. I’m a lifelong Nirvana stan (literally lifelong; Nevermind came out almost exactly a month after I was born), so I always get reflective on this day, as well as on April 5th (the day he passed). He had only just turned 27 when he died (two and a half years younger than I am now!) but in his short life absolutely changed the world. I’m tempted to say he was ahead of his time, but he wasn’t…he was living in the present while the rest of the world languished in the past. Happy birthday, king.
With all that being said, stay warm and safe and listen to some Nirvana today.
I cannot tell a lie: the Always Pan is worth 100% of the hype. I just bought a second one (although in retrospect, I should have gotten the Dinner for 4 bundle). The pan going to be my new go-to gift for friends. And as soon as the lavender comes back in stock, one of my parents will be #blessed with a hand-me-down.
I’ve been loving In the FLO by Alicia Vitti. My psychiatrist actually recommended it to me, since she knows my ultimate goal is to get in sync with my body and be on as little medication as possible. The term “biohack” makes me want to vomit, but the author makes clear that she doesn’t mean it in the tech bro way. I’d never even heard of the infradian rhythm! Obviously boo biological essentialism and sex ≠ gender, but I’m also sick and fucking tired of the fact that all of our conventional knowledge and medical studies are based on male bodies.
I’m rewatching Gossip Girl on HBO Max because I have zero respect for myself (actually it’s because the girl I tutor was assigned to read the book in her Y.A. Lit class). I watched it for the first time when I about 24, having missed the boat in my teen years, and it’s amazing how much my perspective has changed in the intervening time (I’ll be 30 in 6 months). The show is…VERY CAVALIER about sexual assault in a way that cannot have been healthy for my generation to watch. However, for each troubling moment, there is one equally joyful and iconic, such as the fact that, canonically, Lily van der Woodsen has slept with both Trent Reznor and Slash.
I searched vintage glassware on Etsy on a complete whim and found this set of floral glasses. They match a juice pitcher that belonged to my husband’s late grandmother almost perfectly! They were extremely close, so I’m excited to be able to display this sweet little trip down memory lane. The rest of the shop has super cute stuff for great prices.
*Bernie meme voice* I am once again posting this about a month late. In fact, I’m posting this so late that a new Bernie meme (mittens) has already come and gone, replacing the “I am once again asking” meme. We stan a sustainable grassroots king, but c’mon Chelsea—stay ahead of the meme cycle.
I’ve been emotionally all over the place, so it felt disingenuous to be posting about redecorating my office while I was in a private hell. 2021 has been a trip so far, but things seem to have stabilized, and now everything’s coming up Milhouse. My grandmother and her sister got their first doses of the vaccine the other day, which is the first time it’s felt like this all might actually end. When my mom sent me the picture of my grandma getting the vaccine, I think I took my first deep breath in 11 months.
Anyway, here’s a post that has been languishing in my drafts for weeks. Here’s to fresh starts!
I just read Chloe Liese‘s Bergman Brothers series, and I might actually die waiting for the Axel/Rooney novel. I ship them so hard. Also, my friend is an author and apparently knows Chloe personally! I’m starstuck!
Thinking about painting all of my bedroom furniture (which is a horrible dark wood stain) white with this tutorial. Doesn’t make sense to replace all of the furniture, but…
I did get this bedframe. A gold canopy bed! Can you imagine anything so magical??
Loved this podcast episode about the Crisis Pregnancy Center scene from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. And not that I need to clarify my position, but I’ll take any chance I get to shout out that abortion is healthcare, a right, and needs to be protected at all costs.
We did it, Joe. We have a new President. Yesterday was emotional, I’m not going to lie. Even though I am absolutely a dirtbag leftist who did nothing but hate on Biden and Harris during the primaries, I feel renewed by this change. Biden’s been in office for 5 minutes and he has already rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, reversed the Muslim ban, and halted deportations, so things are in motion. Now if we could just implement Medicare for All, cancel student debt, and 1000x more importantly, reunite the families separated at the border…
Regardless of the ultimate outcomes achieved by this administration, I’m proud to have cast a vote for Biden in a free and fair election that toppled a wannabe autocrat. And now for a blog post that has nothing to do with any of that.
My guilty pleasure show, The Resident, is finally back for a new season (Fox/Hulu). I knew intellectually that a show that takes place in a hospital was going to have to do a COVID plot, but I still hated it! We watch television to escape, people! The first episode is honestly triggering. What’s worse is that they cover my boyfriend, actor Matt Czuchry, in PPE the whole time, so you barely get to gaze upon him. A damn shame. Luckily, they decided to do the rest of the season in a post-COVID flash-forward, so I can continue to be ride-or-die for this questionable show.
Just bought this wall hanging for my office after a long search for “the one.” Can’t wait to share pics when the refresh is complete!
I’m never not on a quest to refresh my bedding, and I am feeling this duvet. I ultimately went with this set, since I’m not Anthro-rich. I added this blanket, which may be the softest thing I’ve ever touched.
Dyed my hair with Overtone’s Rose Gold for Brown Hair and it is…vibrant. I kind of wish I’d gone with the subtler version, since my hair is pre-lightened, but I’m sure it’ll fade. It’s a coloring conditioner, so it’s non-damaging. My hair feels really healthy!
Snagged these adorable flats at Nordstrom Rack. It doesn’t count as crossing the picket line if I get them off-price…right?
January 19th was Dolly Parton’s birthday, and I’m genuinely incensed that we haven’t declared it a federal holiday yet. We don’t deserve her.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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“*
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?
My friend Rachel made a playlist of showtunes to blast when Biden’s victory was declared. She is an icon and a national treasure.
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!
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.
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.
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.
*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.
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.
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.
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.
I love love love Ramy Youssef, so I’m 0% surprised that his special, Feelings on HBO Max, is amazing.
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!
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.
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.