Sunday Scaries [5.3.20]

*extremely DJ Khaled voice* Another one!

enjoy this extremely styled photo…

Did I start this a week ago and then forget about it? Yes! What is time??? This week…sucked. I believe, by volume, I ingested more white wine than food. It took a month, but quarror (quar horror) finally caught up with me and I’m miserable. Going forward, I’m going to make a more concerted effort to get outside in the sunshine and take care of myself (i.e. eat a fruit, stop drinking, take more than 188 steps per day). What else can be done??

  1. ARE YOU WATCHING NORMAL PEOPLE??? I thought I’d gotten “Hide & Seek” by Imogen Heap out of my head 10 years ago but I guess not!
  2. Speaking of Imogen, I always preferred “Headlock.”
  3. I cannot recommend the book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb enough. I mean, I’m a BIG therapy-head, but even if you’re not obsessed with psychotherapy, it’s fascinating.
  4. And on that note, I just discovered Bookshop and I am so excited about it.
  5. We finally painted my bedroom! We used the color “Rainwater” by Behr for our accent wall, and even though it’s definitely a bigger statement than I intended, I get a jolt of joy every time I look at it.
  6. In light of my bedroom makeover, I bought an air purifier, which we’ve needed for ages! We have a cat, a girl with long hair (guilty), and two adults that hate dusting (double guilty). My husband has allergies, and when we redid our bedroom walls I learned that I am severely allergic to dust, so it’s about time we got proactive!
  7. I started watching Mrs. America on Hulu and I am loving it, even though it’s about one of history’s most terrible monsters who is single-handedly responsible for the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment (which could still be a thing if the remainder of the states would ratify it…haha jk…unless?)
  8. Grocery delivery is my new favorite thing. My grocery store finally has available time slots after the initial online order boom. Even though I know the gig economy is…problematic, I feel good about giving delivery drivers work and tips during a potentially financially unstable time! Obviously, though, we’re respecting Instacart strikes and not crossing picket lines!
  9. I need this item.
  10. I love these phone cases. I got this one for my husband and this one for me, since cases are BOGO right now. I may or may not have also accessorized mine with a matching card case & AirPod case
  11. I finally got bored enough in quar that I started a sourdough starter. Wish me luck, I guess? Odd choice after I just learned I have a sensitivity to wheat but okay!

This song ends the first episode of Mrs. America and it cannot be overstated how much of a banger it it.

Until next week! Hopefully!

-c

 

Cat Lady

So, full disclosure, I’m actually not much of an animal person. I never had pets growing up, and I was afraid of dogs and freaked out by cats into my twenties. However, when I was 21, I made a friend named Michael, who had a 6-year-old kitty named Della. She’s 13 now, and I’ve gotten to spend over 6 glorious years with her, which I have cherished, even though she’s an asshole. I have grown increasingly fond of cats over the past half-decade, and while I still don’t touch the litter box or feed her (those are Michael’s jobs), I spoil her with affection and sacrifice all of my nice furniture to her hair and claws. If you know anything about me, it’s that I really value the aesthetic of my home, so having ugly pet supplies is not an option (if I ever have a kid, the poor thing’s going to be playing with wooden blocks, because I’m not letting plastic Fisher-Price stuff into my house).

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della street fig: cutest cat 2007-present

I’m always on the lookout for ways to upgrade my space, and that space includes an animal for the foreseeable future.

Stylish Litter Boxes

I am in denial about the concept of litter boxes. Why? Why does this animal have to eliminate waste inside of my house? Can’t they breed a type of cat that doesn’t do this? It’s frankly vile, but at least it’s less vile than TOUCHING a dog’s POOP with your HANDS when you walk them (Seriously? Why would anyone ever get a dog?)

If this hideous monstrosity needs to be within the walls of my domicile, I’d at least like it to be nice-looking.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Litter Mats

If the existence of litter boxes wasn’t disgusting enough, cat spill little pebbles of litter when they come out of the box, so you have to put down a mat to catch it (and any other surprises that might leak out (vomit face emoji). We have the second one, which I use as an extra mat at the edge of the existing mat underneath her box.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Pet Beds

I mentioned before that Della is an asshole, right? She has two beds, and still chooses to sleep on my furniture (she has a predilection for slipper chairs). Since she doesn’t use her beds, I have no grounds upon which to get her another one, but that won’t stop me from browsing.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Michael and I often marvel that there’s a small, wild creature living with us. She has a very strong personality and is extremely opinionated. Gender is a construct, but my cat…is a girl. I can’t explain it, but she exudes a very feminine energy. I think she’s going stir-crazy with us being home all the time, but she still snuggles under the covers with us at night, so she must like us a little bit. I think, in quarantine, we can all learn a lot from indoor cats: take frequent naps, get as cozy as possible, and learn to relax.

-c

 

 

And that’s on period.

It’s time to talk about everyone’s favorite topic: periods!

People with periods often deal with upwards of 4 decades of monthly maintenance, and that costs a lot of money over a lifetime. Whether you’re restocking your tampons, shelling out $50 for a menstrual cup, or buying bottle after bottle of (natural!) stain remover to salvage your destroyed clothing, the “pink tax” levied upon dubiously-named “feminine hygiene products” is yet another injustice that many women and trans folks face, on top of an existing pay gap.

But it goes deeper than that. Just as organic, wholesome groceries can be prohibitively expensive for many underprivileged communities, so can safe, organic period care. Conventional tampons and pads contain fragrances and chemicals that are terrible for vaginas, but its a risk we’ve all taken at one point or another, out of necessity or ignorance. I grew up terrified of toxic shock syndrome, convinced that I was going to die simply from taking a necessary precaution to avoid shedding endometrial lining all over the place. And beyond this horror, I haven’t even mentioned the impact single-use products have on our environment as they sit in landfills and leach toxins into the planet.

Of course, you can choose not to get a period. There are many birth controls that lessen or eliminate periods altogether. But this speaks, again, to inequality of access. Many people, because of economic status, religious reasons, or geographical location, can’t just go to a Planned Parenthood and get an IUD. And some people, like me, are fortunate enough to have that luxury, but can’t use hormonal birth control for mental/physical health reasons*.

There’s a lot of shame that comes with periods, too. They’re messy, kind of gross, and deeply stigmatized. They can trigger dysphoria. They can make a person feel helpless, at odds with their body. They’re painful. I read a tweet from a gynecologist that likened the pain of severe period cramps to the pain of a heart attack. Some of us experience the pain of a heart attack twelve times a year! But when you tell cis men people that you have cramps or PMS, they rarely take your concerns seriously. You don’t get sick time from work for severe period symptoms. Many people don’t have the option to stay home at all, and have to work in excruciating pain so that they don’t “waste” a sick day that they could use to, for instance, care for their children. Endometriosis, a debilitating uterine disorder, usually goes undiagnosed because we’re taught from a young age to “toughen up” and ignore our pain.

So, in addition to the globs of blood, pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, expense, and environmental impact, you get to wrestle with social and economic injustice every time you see that hormonal pimple start to form on your jawline or forehead. It’s fucking exhausting. So, obviously, capitalism tried to exploit that.

There are a slew of companies working to destigmatize and “hack” periods—panties that absorb 3 tampons worth of blood, discs and cups to collect shotglasses worth of the stuff, CBD pain creams. Reusable products incur a huge up-front cost, but promise to pay for themselves in sustainability and longevity. But as a consumer, “optimizing” your period is a full-time job.

As you may know, Thinx is cancelled. They’ve been embroiled in scandal ever since sexual harassment allegations came out about their “She-EO,” Miki Agrawal. And even beyond her atrocious, toxic behavior, “Girl Boss Feminism” is a cloyingly patronizing tool of capitalism and patriarchy, and we cannot stan. Even though Thinx has done some important work for trans visibility in their advertising, companies that tout themselves as ethical or intersectional really need to walk the walk. It’s hard to sift through torrents of information online to figure out exactly which businesses you can support—ultimately a fruitless task, since nothing truly ethical can exist under capitalism.

All of which is to say that I decided to undertake this small investigative journalism assignment (i.e. online window shopping) to figure out where I can feel good about purchasing period products. I posted a piece about this a few years ago, but things have changed, and so has our collective consciousness about business practices and single-use plastics. I want to have a 100% waste free period by the end of 2020, and donate all of my remaining conventional menstrual products. If you’re interested in doing so too, keep reading.

The Brands

Sustain

Sustain is a sexual health company that was just acquired by Grove Collaborative. I’d been using their condoms for a while, but I only recently discovered that they’d branched out into period care. I just bought their period underwear and I’m really happy with the purchase. It’s a little shocking paying $30 for a single pair of panties, but being able to go cup-free on light days with no concerns about stains was actually really liberating. They offer a menstrual cup, and their single-use products boast organic and plant-based ingredients.

I did a little bit of research, and apparently Sustain was founded by Jeff Hollander (of Seventh Generation) and his daughter, Meika, in effort to make a woman-focused sexual health brand. Would recommend! Just a tip though, if you’ve got a booty, size up in the underwear. According to the chart, I’m a medium, but I got a large and they fit perfectly. Size inclusivity is, so far, is my only gripe with this company, but hopefully as their brand grows through Grove, they’ll expand their sizing!

Knix

Knix is a Canadian brand that doesn’t have the same size inclusivity problem that Sustain has. Plus, they have a bunch of different cuts and styles of leakproof panties, for a very reasonable cost! They’re only $23, and you save 25% if you buy three pairs *furiously adds to cart*. Their advertising features women of all shapes, races, and ages which one could see as pandering, but I found it refreshing that, for once, none of the women on a website looked like me. The panties also come with a lingerie wash bag, which is a very smart move to attract cleaning freaks like me. I bought 6 pairs to take advantage of the “Buy 3” and free shipping, and one of my browser extensions found a $15 off coupon (SOCIAL15). So, for the price of 3 pairs of Thinx, I got an entire week’s worth of period protection. The best part of these is that you can wear them to the gym to absorb sweat too!

They did come under fire for a tone-deaf ad, but they apparently resolved it and apologized immediately (although the only places I could find info about this were the Daily Mail and Fox News, which, as we know, is not a credible news source, but a tool of fascism). I saw the ad, and while it is never my intention to defend a brand, it does seem like it was just a miscommunication that would have benefitted from a more critical eye and better copy.

TomboyX

TomboyX is one of those brands that you always hear about in podcast ads. They’re a gender-inclusive underwear company that makes eco-friendly, ethical underwear in tons of cuts, prints, and sizes (XS-$X). They just launched a leakproof line! They’re definitely on the pricey side, but they do offer discounts on multipacks. I’ve never bought anything from this company, but I’ve only heard great things, and they really seem to care about transparency and inclusivity, which rules. And also, ROYGBIV undies? That’s extremely tailored to my interests.

Modibodi

Modibodi is an Australian company that gets consistently great reviews, and they appear to have a strong charitable focus. Their period panties range in size from 3XS-6XL, and for extra bonus points, they do period swimwear! They also have leakproof & sweatwicking undies for dudes, as well as a vegan line.

Joyja

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Joyja, a branch of Adore Me, period underwear are probably the cutest ones I’ve seen so far, and have a great size range (XS to 4X). They’re really cost-effective ($20, with bundle discounts) and they, like Modibodi, have a buy one, give one model, like the Toms of period underwear (but hopefully less easily debunked, thanks Adam Ruins Everything).

Dear Kate

Dear Kate is another brand (XS-3X) with consistently great reviews that are manufactured in New York City! They’re a bit pricier than the others on this list, but they have activewear and dancewear that lets you “Go Commando.” In 2014, they had an ad campaign featuring women tech executives modeling their products (they often use nontraditional models) which got…mixed reviews. Whether you look at it as undermining women CEOs or making a bold comment on how women in business are objectified, either way, it started a conversation about sexism in the workplace.

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nixit

I recently tried out the nixit cup and I have to say I love it! nixit is a Canadian company that sells a menstrual disc that, in my opinion, is easier to insert, place, and remove than traditional menstrual cups, since it doesn’t use suction to stay in place. Also, apparently you can have sex while wearing a nixit, but I’ll let someone else be the judge of that. They’re made of medical-grade silicone (like proper sex toys!), so you can keep these for years, unlike traditional menstrual cups, which you should replace every three years or so. At $49, it’s an investment, but I think it’s very worth it. Intimina, which makes the Lily Cup, also has a disc, called the Ziggy Cup, which is a little bit cheaper and, apparently, available at CVS!

Dame

If you’re stuck on tampons (trust me, I get it), there’s a reusable applicator on the market! Yes, you heard that correctly! No more shoving the little cotton bullets up yourself with a finger! I wish this had been around ten years ago, it would have been such a lifesaver! This product doesn’t entire fix the waste issue, but if you buy organic, biodegradable tampons to use with it, it’s definitely a step in the right direction! It’s $22, which is not bad, but you still have to buy tampons for it, so it’s definitely not the most economical product on the list.

Saalt

Saalt cups are available at Target, and I’ve never had a problem with mine! My only gripe was that the plastic was rather rigid, but they’ve introduced a soft cup. Saalt products are eligible for FSA/HSA reimbursement (win!) and they have a cup wash which takes the guesswork out of daily cleanings during your cycle. They’re $30, which is a little less of a sting than Lunette cups, which are $10 more for essentially the same product. Cora and DivaCup are also available at Target, for  $30 and $37, respectively.

Reusable Pads

So this is not a brand, but there are plenty of places to get reusable pads and liners online. Peace with the Wild has really cute options, and you can always support makers on Etsy! I made the switch to reusable cotton rounds for my makeup, and I’ll never go back…I think it’s time to do the same for liners! I have one reusable liner from Hesta Organic, which I like, but they definitely stain, so they’re not the most aesthetic. Hesta also makes really cost-effective period panties, so if you’re hesitant to try them because of the cost, this might be a good route!

 

There are a lot of organizations that provide menstrual products to people in need. Bustle put out a list in 2017; a quick Google search will yield tons of ways that you can donate to help people in your community. I just sent a box of bras to Support the Girls, which also accepts menstrual products. My work provides free tampons and pads to students, which makes me very proud (every school/business should do this). No one with a period should ever have to feel shame or desperation. Those of us who can afford the luxuries listed above need to do our part, now more than ever, to make sustainable choices.

*The Pill was, imo, a more revolutionary invention than the wheel or sliced bread, but it can also absolutely wreck your life if you’re one of the unlucky few with severe side effects. Also, tricking your body into thinking it’s pregnant seems…bad? Or if not bad, definitely a weird medical flex, bro. But I have friends whose birth control prescriptions literally save their lives, so how about we EXALT birth control and give it out to every person that needs it for free, eh?

Sunday Scaries [4.19.20]

Good morning, America! Did you get your stimulus check yet? I had to literally go to the IRS website and request it because they “didn’t have my payment information.” They sure had it when we owed at tax time…

It’s been…a week. I’m quickly running out of home projects to do, so I’m just making them up at this point. The other day I collected ALL of the cardboard in our entire house and brought it out for recycling. I put up shelves in my “laundry room” (also known as my basement) for dryer balls & stain spray. I deep cleaned our old bathroom (which now houses the litter box, and was truly so filthy I’m embarrassed). That’s where I’m at spiritually/emotionally with quarantine. I am compulsively exerting what little control I do have, and trying to Serenity-Prayer-it-up about *gestures openly at the unprecedented horror.*

Streetlights | Bonnie Raitt
my queen

I hope you’re doing well in spite of everything! Stay the f*** home!

    1. You must, and I cannot stress this enough, listen to the album Streetlights by Bonnie Raitt immediately.
    2. This is actually my favorite curling wand (for the price, that is). I bought mine on Poshmark for $10 and I’ve had it for years. It serves the best wave.
    3. When I was in my early twenties, I used to throw purple Manic Panic over my dark hair for a violet glow…we’re stuck in the house now, so there’s no work dress code to tell me I can’t have purple hair…
    4. Obsessed with this shower curtain. When we renovated, we got a new bathroom, bu the old one persists…we use it as the cat’s litter box room. Should I get the curtain just for the aesthetic? Wrong answers only.
    5. I stole this from another link round-up but THERE’S AN ENNEAGRAM CANDLE COLLECTION! Have you taken the test? I am a four, but I scored almost equally high as a two. I have to say, the scents are spot on.
    6. I am an absolute freak for the gold-and-lucite look. I can’t wait to update all of the pulls in my house with something like these.
    7. It’s always kind of awkward having to ask for the WiFi password at someone’s house. I love printables like this that you can display for company!
    8. This is the greatest invention ever and I need one for every room of my house!!! And while we’re at it, get me one of these!
    9. I was finally going to get a physical on 4/8, after years of crappy health insurance, but obviously with the virus, all non-essential medical services are pretty much out. I’ve been really curious about doing a food sensitivity test, since I’ve always felt that something is a bit off. I’m checking out Everlywell, and I just happened to snag it on the last day of the 25% off promotion!
    10. Can’t wait to read Jen Gotch’s book! On that note, I had a Kindle credit, so I just bought Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I know I said I was going to stop reading books from Reese’s book club but…I mean…in her defense, they’ve all been really good so far.

See you next week, if there is a next week!

-c

For the Love of God, Take My Wallet Away [Part Deux]

Just like Miley of the Cyrus clan, I simply cannot be tamed. I actually talked about spending in therapy, and my therapist said to be kind to myself about it because we’re living in a time of unprecedented horror!

One thing, other than reckless spending (lol), that’s been getting me through quar life is Twitter. I love that there’s a place that can make me sob, curse god, feel existential terror, and then make me snort laughing in the span of 5 minutes. Completely normal! Please enjoy this exquisite cartoon, from my favorite meme account, Russian Memes United. Translation:

Russian Classical Literature /

suffering hero (main character) / suffering author / suffering reader

Universal Suffering

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weird personal fact: my high school boyfriend was from russia, so he taught me the letters & pronunciations of the cyrillc alphabet. so i can read russian…but i can’t understand it. i will say that a lot of words are cognates with other languages! in the second tier, two of the words are “hero” and “author;” basically the same in russian!

And so without further ado…

Lovin’…is what I bought:

  • A Glossier haul. I got more Solution, the Skincare set, Future Dew, and 2 Generation Gs. I need to start taking better care of my skin yesterday. I never had acne growing up, so when I have occasional pimples now, I basically panic and go nuclear on them. I’ve been getting away with gross negligence for too long…as age 30 looms, I’ve got to get my act together.
  • A Headley & Bennett “Wake Up & Fight” Mask. It’s now recommended that we wear masks while out in public (to protect others from us), so I was going to have to get one eventually. The cool thing about the Headley & Bennett masks is that they’re 100% cotton, made in LA, reusable, and each purchase donates a mask to a health care worker. Plus, they have a filter insert for added protection! I think this company’s entire operation has switched to producing masks, and it’s weirdly inspiring: capitalism, but for…doing good?
  • I caved and got a May Designs mask too. Even after COVID is over, I think we should still wear masks if we’re symptomatic of anything. We need to step up to protect immunocompromised people!
  • Container Store haul! Snagged some pantry labels, canisters, cable turtles, and a cable hider.
  • The Home Edit is putting out another book! I pre-ordered—I’m psyched for it to arrive in September (provided we’re all still alive then)! I have to admit that their first book was, well, not exactly for those of us actually living the low-bar lifestyle (who has an actual pantry room?) but it’s aesthetically stunning and always nice to get compulsive organization confirmation bias from my like-minded idols.
  • On that note, I treated myself to this very professional COVID-19 themed work attire. Let’s just say I’m surviving…not thriving. THE only does limited runs of official merch, and I always miss out on it. Not this time!
  • Madewell sale was still popping off, so I got these boots and this belt bag, which matches my Zip-Top Transport Carryall in the same color. I’ve been looking for a nice-quality pair of leather boots for under $100, and the gods delivered! Also, I love belt bags in theory, but haven’t successfully pulled one off yet. Now is finally the time! Oh, and the boots fit perfectly.
  • I wanted to try out Pact, so I ordered this dress super on sale (in Rosewood Heather & Cadet Blue). I used the code ORGANIC2020 for 20% off!
  • Quibi. So, I’m not entirely on board with the concept, but there’s a 90-day free trial and MATT ROGERS has his own show on there! Gonna have to stan on that one.

Updates!

  • The lilac Madewell jeans didn’t work out…back they go, sadly. They fit okay, they were just very rigid.
  • The Kate Spade wallet is not quite as nice as the one I already have (final sale, though)…it’s obviously very cute, but I’m going to sit on it for a week, and if my feelings don’t change, it’s going up on Poshmark.
  • The Rothys were a win! I’m so glad I went a half size up. Honestly, I could have even gone a full size. If you get this style and you have wide feet like me, definitely size up! These ones are next, for sure.
  • The West Elm bedside table is gorgeous and great quality for the price! My only gripe is that the drawer itself is very shallow and small, but it did force me to go through what I kept in there and edit, so I’m calling it a win.
  • The Thirdlove Pima bras & undies are even more comfy than I expected them to be. I want to live in these bras, for real.
  • The nixit is great! Easier to put in/take out than regular cups and I’ve barely had leaks.

I’m going to put my poor wallet to bed. It’s been fun, but I’ve got to maintain my credit score and be responsible with the stimulus check we’re supposedly getting.

None of this will make up for not being able to see friends and family, missing vacations, or my general feeling of nagging uncertainty, but surrounding myself with pretty things or letting myself have little dopamine hits now and again is really all I can do right now.

What are you doing to stay sane?

-c

Sunday Scaries [4.12.20]

Oops…I Forgot to Post this Last Week. We’ll just dive right in then!

IMG_5199
gonna have to stan on gayme show, hawney
  1. The Swan Princess is, and I cannot stress this enough, is available to stream on Hulu. This is the greatest film ever created. It is unmatched. Give the composer and songwriter Oscars for Best Original Song, you cowards!
  2. This feels like an extremely appropriate purchase.
  3. This video is really helpful for those of us who can’t sew! Also, this tweet definitely made me giggle…
  4. You simply have to stan Gina DiVittorio.
  5. Words simply cannot describe how much I want this couch.
  6. This headboard is to die for. With this bed? I long for the day I can make this happen, but we have a great quality (thought completely not my style) bedroom set that it just makes no sense to ditch.
  7. Why can’t I like things that are inexpensive? This jumpsuit is slaying me.
  8. I think I’m going to do a gallery wall behind my bed when we finally strip the painted-over wallpaper and fix our walls. I’m thinking this color for the accent wall, with prints from this shop on Etsy. I especially love this print, but I can’t decide which color to buy it in! I’ve also been biding my time, waiting to buy this print (orkposters rules, I have this one in my entryway).
  9. This is probably a weird thing to hang in the kitchen of a vegetarian household, huh? Maybe if I offset it with this, it might read as ironic?
  10. I may have written scholarly essays on comedy, but I still laugh at every single “British people be like” tweet on Twitter dot com, so…

 

Sunday Scaries [4.12.20]

WELL

RIP to the campaign of the greatest of all time. Bernie has shown up for this country time and time again, and I know he’ll keep showing up for its ungrateful ass until he draws his last breath. I’m so proud I got to vote for this man—so many people were denied that opportunity by our truly psychotic and unjust “democratic” primary system.

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On a less soul-crushingly depressing note, chag Pesach sameach to all those who are observing! It’s so tough being isolated during a holiday season (although I only begrudgingly celebrate Easter because my mother-in-law is a great cook and she pops off for the holidays). And before you yell at me, we have a very small circle (just me, my husband, and his parents) that still sees each other. We are taking precautions to keep each other safe. I’m literally cut off from my entire family and all my friends so do not come for me.

That got kind of serious but, I think it’s just a sign of the times. As Bowen Yang eloquently put it on Las Culturistas, we’re living in a coronavirus monoculture. Everything we do and say is affected by its presence, even this frivolous weekly round-up post.

  1. Kacey Musgraves’ entire house is perfect. From her closet to her living room to her dining room, perfection.
  2. Where are we getting our grocery deliveries from? I’ve actually still been going to the store, as infrequently as possible, but it seems prudent to take more precaution. I know Instacart was striking, so I don’t want to be a scab, but also my grocery store is partnered with Instacart specifically. Unfortunately, I live *just* far enough away from Boston (literally 23 miles from Fenway Park), so Imperfect Foods doesn’t deliver to my zip, and other options are pretty limited.
  3. I’m pretty decent at doing at-home nails, but since we may never be able to get manicures again, should I get this? I’m very intrigued…
  4. This Etsy shop is making adorable masks!
  5. I desperately need these. Now to deal with the computer cords at the back of my desk…
  6. I cannot stress enough how much you need to be playing the Spelling Bee game. It is my lodestar in these dark times. A true pleasure! Do I only play educational/education-adjacent games? Yes! Should you pity my future children? Definitely!
  7. Amazon Classics (if you’re a piece-of-shit, neolib, corporate shill like me who still uses Amazon) has a bunch of Kindle books for free right now. All of the classics! 1984Jane EyreLittle Women, you name it! Some of them are available just to borrow, but some can be purchased for $0.00, so they’re all yours! I went nuts…I guess this means I have to buck up and start reading proper literature instead of Reese Witherspoon’s book club picks.
  8. This tweet is very specific to my interests, but it filled me with joy in a pandemic, so I had to share it.
  9. May Designs is making the cutest face masks! I’m so glad to see so many companies stepping up and using their resources to encourage people to wear masks. Masks protect other people from you!
  10. John Prine passed away this week from COVID. I wasn’t personally very familiar with his oeuvre, but he inspired so many of the artists I love. His impact was immeasurable and he will be missed. Marc Maron reposted his 2016 interview, if you, like me, want to get to know him better. I asked my husband to recommend a John Prine song I’d like…I had no idea he wrote this. It’s a perfect song.

For the Love of God, Take My Wallet Away

I’m serious. Come to my house, take it away from me, and throw it into a swamp. It has to be a swamp, because I have a deathly fear of alligators and will never attempt to retrieve it.

Being stuck at home all day without diversion is difficult for those of us who are used to being out of the house 10+ hours a day. I am not in any way complaining, of course: I’m so fortunate to live and work where I do. I’m also quarantined with a partner and a pet, so I’m not feeling the strain of a lack of companionship that a lot of people are right now. But it’s been an adjustment. Being at home all day has made me want to streamline and beautify my house, and it’s made me keenly aware of things like, oh, my bras are 5 years old. Things I can normally ignore for a while, like dirty dishes in the sink, become intolerable. Anything that’s not organized by ROYGBIV is an eyesore.

So, I’ve made some purchases. I’m only human (and I need to be loved, just like everybody else does).

Here are all the (nonessential) things I’ve bought since quarantine started and my reviews:

      • Cameron Esposito’s book, Save Yourself, on audiobook. 10/10 would recommend. I’m about 60% of the way through already because I can’t stop listening.
      • ThirdLove, baby! They were having a sale so I finally bit the bullet. I am ashamed to admit how old all of my bras are (you can probably guess how old they are by the fact that they’re Victoria’s Secret PINK…) and I seriously needed to upgrade. I got the Classic T-Shirt Bra, which I cannot recommend highly enough, the Classic Uplift Plunge Bra, the Classic Strapless Bra, and the Seamless Lounge Bra (this was free with my purchase). The only one I’m not thrilled with is the strapless bra, because strapless bras are the work of the devil, but as strapless bras go, I trust it to get the job done.
      • This ban.do necklace. Over a year ago, when I got my initial (ultimately not completely accurate) psychiatric diagnosis, I bought this one, but I had to make an update. Eventually, I’ll complete the trifecta. This necklace is tiny and dainty and perfect for everyday wear.
      • I needed another slipper chair, because I moved our other one into the bedroom (it’s the sunniest room in our house, and, in between the plants, makes for a perfect reading nook!) I love the look of this chair, and I got it super on sale, but I will say that it’s lower-backed than I had hoped, and doesn’t quite fill the space it’s in.
      • This rug. I’m obsessed. It’s so soft, and it brings such a vibe to my bedroom. Great quality for the price.
      • This bag. So cute, and deceptively roomy! It’s deeply important to me that all of my purses can accommodate a reusable water bottle and a book.
      • I love these boots, so much. I’ve needed replacement booties for ages (I wore my Seychelles pair, similar to these, until they literally fell apart). I’ve been looking everywhere; the last place I expected to find them was Target. They’re super comfortable, go with everything, and I didn’t have to spend a fortune.
      • Betabrand Dress Pant Yoga Pants. I really wanted these to work out, since dress pants are a goddamn nightmare for me. My ankles, I think, are proportional to my hips/waist, and in dress pant world this is a no-no. Whoever designs dress pants thinks women are shaped like Humpty-Dumpty, it’s a travesty. All of which is a long way of saying that I returned them. I bought a medium, my normal size, and they were super loose in the waist. If I ever see a pair I like on sale (like, really on sale) I might try again in a small.
      • Lightswitch plates. Unfortunately, the ones I bought are no longer available, but they’re Hearth & Hand with Magnolia black metal. They look amazing and were soooo on sale.

Yet to Arrive/Use:

      • The nixit menstrual cup. I’m all about a waste-free period, so I’m up to try any innovation on that score. I’ve been using the Saalt cup and wash, which I’m perfectly happy with, but the nixit seems like it might be a little easier to insert/take out.
      • Sustain Period Underwear. Basically Thinx, but available through Grove. Sustain is an awesome sexual health brand, and we stan.
      • This pink nightstand! When I first moved into my house, over 6 years ago, I didn’t have a nightstand, so I picked something up at Marshall’s for about $30. It’s cute, but it really doesn’t go with our decor. This will be a perfect fit for our room!
      • I have long stanned Girlfriend Collective, and the Spring collection is no exception. I treated myself to the Paloma Bra & Leggings in “Wildflower.” I may have also gotten some scrunchies…the Unitard is on my wishlist but I have no idea why I’d ever need one. Fun fact—you get $15 off when you sign up for texts!
      • I shopped the Madewell sale for the first time in a while. But how could I have resisted these jeans? I’m probably going to live in this dress, and this one was too cute to pass up.
      • I mentioned this in a previous post, but I caved and bought these. But I will absolutely return them if the fit is not perfect! I swear!
      • More ThirdLove! They’re having a 2/$99 sale on their Pima Cotton Bras, so I snagged this one in Stormy Lilac and Ballet. I should mention: I’m donating all of my gently-used bras to I Support the Girls, which is an amazing organization that you should definitely check out! I also snagged the 7/$47 undies.
      • I’ve had my Kate Spade wallet for years and it’s one of the best investments I’ve made. It’s sturdy, functional, and adorable. Time to welcome another baby into the family…
      • Winc wine subscription. I am not about to go out right now for non-essentials, like wine, but it does suck being trapped day after day without a little something to sip on.

think that’s it, although I wouldn’t be terribly shocked if a random package arrived in the next few weeks. Some of the items in the below section will inevitably be returned (please don’t think I’m made of money), and I’m definitely going to chill out now that quarantine life is becoming the new normal. I think, in times of stress or trauma, we can fall back on old patterns (for me, overspending), but we have to give ourselves some grace right now.

The Minimalist “Mini Edit”

My queens and idols Clea & Joanna of The Home Edit have graciously provided us with “mini edits” throughout quarantine—small one-day organizing projects to help us optimize our homes during this, well, sub-optimal time. Full disclosure, I will absolutely be ripping a few of their ideas off, but this particular mini edit is tailored very specifically to a certain kind of home: one that is already organized but seeking to minimalize. I’m so inspired by minimalist homes, but no matter how much I sell/donate, I never seem to be able to get all the way there. I’m, I guess you’d say, a maximalist clutter queen trying to become a Scandinavian ascetic.

If you are already tidy, but want to take it to the next level, here is my *very Barenaked Ladies voice* One Week Organizing Challenge!

Refresh the Refrigerator*

Be honest—when is the last time you actually cleaned your refrigerator? Like, took everything out and cleaned it? I’m a tidy gal, but I must admit that I’ve done this maybe…twice? I’ve had my fridge for like 4 years. There are plenty of great resources online to set you on your path. Jolie Kerr wrote the definitive guide to deep-cleaning your fridge, but here are my tips:

      1. Take every single item out.
      2. Wash your bins with soap and water, wipe down any shelves you can’t remove.
      3. Check expiration dates. Expiration dates are mostly a scam, and have more to do with corporate liability than health hazard, but some things really should be tossed on schedule. Your miso paste is probably fine, but the sour cream has got to go.
      4. Organize all of the food/bev into categories. Put them back in the proper place, i.e. vegetables in the crisper, cheese in the drawer, etc. It’s easy to get lazy and just throw things in there, but maintaining an organizational system not only makes cooking & eating easier, but saves you time at the grocery store, since you always know what you have. I can’t recommend fridge bins enough. Target’s are great and really cost-effective. If you want to splurge, definitely hit up The Home Edit’s line at the Container Store.

Now, repeat the whole thing with all of your cabinets and drawers. Be ruthless.

Pare Down the Paper*

You don’t need your tax returns from 7 years ago. Off to the shredder! Keep a shoebox handy for sentimental items like Christmas cards and recycle everything else. Basically, all you should keep is tax paperwork from the past 3 years (just in case), identity documents (birth cert, SSN card), things relevant to your current health insurance, and receipts if you itemize. Or, honestly, just digitize everything.

Itemize Your Inbox*

Emails cause some people a lot of stress, and for good reason! They’re omnipresent—they bombard us at work all day, and then in our personal lives they’re receipts, coupons, bank statements, tracking info, personal correspondence, and politics. It’s a lot to take in. My first suggestion is to use a service like unroll.me to unsubscribe from or hide unwanted emails. Next, create broad categories with sub-labels to help organize what’s already there. Soon you’ll be living an Inbox Zero Lifestyle! Here’s an example of ideas for a Gmail side menu:

  • Inbox
  • Career
    • Current Workplace
    • Former Workplace(s)
  • Education
    • Student Loans
    • Alumni
  • Finance
    •  Bills
      • Car/Car Insurance
      • Utilities
    • Credit Cards
    • Taxes
  • Personal
    • Causes
    • Family & Friends
    • Media
      • Newsletters
    • Misc.
    • Tickets & Travel
    • Wellness
  • Receipts
    • Fashion
    • Living
    • Misc.

Go through and delete anything older than 2 years, except tax/loan documentation and personal correspondence. Flag anything interesting that you haven’t gotten a chance to read. Take a deep breath and embrace freedom.

Sift through Your Shoe Collection*

“You’re never going to wear the yellow flatforms, Chelsea,” and other things footwear hoarders say. Truthfully, I feel like all femme-identified folx only need a pair each of the following shoes:

        1. Athletic sneakers
        2. “Fashion” sneakers
        3. Black pumps
        4. Black flats
        5. A “work” heel
        6. Riding boots (suitably waterproof for winter)
        7. Chelsea boots or booties
        8. Leather sandals (for everyday summer wear)
        9. Flip-flops (for the beach or pedicures)

When you purge, make sure you don’t overdo it and get rid of something functional #fortheaesthetic. But don’t get rid of your “fun shoes” either! You’re allowed to have a ton of fun shoes, just make sure you have sensible (preferably hidden) storage. I use this at my house and it fits…most of my shoes. It’s a great price and it looks really stylish. It also comes in a bench version, which I also have (for my husband’s shoes), which could be used as a TV stand as well.

Clean Up Your Carpets*

Do you have a pet? Or even just long hair that sheds? Your carpets/rugs are probably disgusting. No matter how much you vacuum, you can’t make up for the fact that rugs literally live on the floor. And vacuums can only do so much. Unless you’re a billionaire and can afford one of those fancy pet Dysons (please buy me one), a vacuum can only do so much. And every rug has different cleaning instructions (for instance, jute can’t be cleaned with water). Figure out what your rug is made of, Google deep-cleaning instructions, and go to town. You will be shocked at what comes up. This is especially important if you or a loved one has allergies!

Tackle Your Toiletries*

Your bathroom cabinets, drawers, or closet can be a breeding ground for clutter and chaos. Somehow, you can run out of bar soap while simultaneously owning 14 travel-sized tubes of toothpaste. I guarantee you have tubes of lipstick that should definitely be discarded. Getting a handle on your bathroom storage makes life a thousand times easier. This is a great guide to getting started! And since bathrooms are the least fun area to clean, less clutter means less surface area to wipe down—it’s a win-win!

Rehome Your Reading Material

I am a huge book-lover, and I would never go so far as to propose, à la Marie Kondo, that one should only own 30 books, but you probably don’t need all of the books you have. I actually wrote a post about this a few years ago and I absolutely stand by what I said. The beat up copy of Catcher in the Rye from freshman year of high school that you’ll never read again is just taking up space (if, like me, you probably will read that book again, treat yourself to a nicer copy and ditch the public school standard issue). You don’t need to own Faulkner’s entire bibliography; Toni Morrison was influenced by him, and her books are way more enjoyable. If you read her, you get the point.

Bonus Points:

Cut Down Your Closet

Another tricky one. People get very sentimental about clothes. I tend to go scorched earth on my closet every few years and then regret getting rid of that oversized Banana Republic sweater or that too-small Anthropologie jumpsuit that I will definitely fit into again someday. I think Marie Kondo speaks on this subject far more eloquently than I possibly can, so suffice it to say that you truly do not need all of those clothes you never wear. Go through everything, make a donate pile (or resell them on Poshmark!) and enjoy your simplified wardrobe!

ROYGBIV Refresh*

Nothing makes a space visually interesting like color coordination. Organizing your bookshelf in rainbow order (or your dresser drawers, or closet, or literally everywhere in your home) is functional and fashionable. My favorite thing to color-coordinate is phone apps!

this is my actual iPhone right now (i live that zero-inbox, zero-notification life)

*I have actually accomplished all of these things very recently, so I know it’s not impossible!

Sunday Scaries [4.5.20]

Good morning, or afternoon, or whatever because time is meaningless in quarantine! I’ve now organized my home so thoroughly that I have run out of things to organize…onto purging. Overall, though, I seem to have mellowed this week. I’m leaning into stay-at-home life and continuing to be grateful that we have employment, stable shelter, and have not run out of toilet paper. Stay safe and well, my friends.

  1. The Cut did the Lord’s work. And speaking of The Cut, this article crushed me.
  2. I would never spend $350 on a handbag…haha…jk…unless?
  3. Devastated to hear about all the media layoffs happening right now. If you’re not familiar with Brandy Jensen’s work, get to know her.
  4. I started Little Fires Everywhere. Apart from Kerry Washington making some…choices, I really like it. I loved the book.
  5. Speaking of books, I’m reading Where the Crawdads Sing and can’t put it down. I’m a sap.
  6. This recipe is absolutely outstanding!
  7. Although, I mean, Chelseas can change out all the knobs on her bedroom furniture as a treat, right? How cute would these be for a kid’s room?
  8. I don’t really know much about Dua Lipa but we stan an alto who sticks to her strengths. I’ll have to give her new album a listen.
  9. Quarantine has cracked me. I re-upped the wine subscription. A month ago I had literally quit drinking, but alas…
  10. Rest in Peace, Adam Schlesinger. If you don’t know his name, you know his work. He was younger than my dad. COVID-19 is no fucking joke.
  11. And finally, today is the 26th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death, and on this day, and every day, we celebrate the man, the myth, the legend.
Record store finds royalty check to Kurt Cobain from more than 25 ...
source

Until next time,

c