- The moment we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived! Get Organized with The Home Edit dropped on Netflix last night! As a rule, I don’t watch anything that bills itself as reality TV, but I can occasionally make exceptions! Home organization, organization in general really, is my greatest passion, so this is like pornography to me. I do worry that bingeing this will cause me to absolutely spin out and reorganize my entire home. I’m already looking at my shelves and drawers disdainfully. I will say that, as nice as the aesthetic component of organizing is, creating functional systems has genuinely improved my life and helped me with anxiety and executive function. There is no such thing as organized chaos. The most creative and successful people I know are organized (and diagnosed and medicated). You don’t have to put your books in rainbow order—The Home Edit is, to some degree, selling an unattainable fantasy. But creating systems that work for rather than against you will change your life, and maybe even spark a little joy.
- So, one truly kooky thing that’s been happening is that I’m starting to window-shop my own wardrobe. Like, remember those comfy flats you used to wear to work? Maybe one day you’ll leave the house again and get to put them on! I swear that, since work-from-home began, I’ve exclusively worn my Birkenstocks and my Rothy’s flats. I have not put on a single other pair since March 17. I mean this especially about the Birks, but if you’re going to spend too much money on a pair of shoes, these are the ones. I would exclusively wear Birkenstocks if I lived in a warmer climate.
- The TikTok teacher is my queen. Ban homework.
- My September Book of the Month is Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi. I loved Homegoing, so I’m sure it will be an amazing read. I actually cancelled BotM because I’m trying to practice what I preach and stop buying physical books unless they’re really meaningful or something I’ll return to over and over again. I obviously want authors to make money, but getting ebooks through the library is absolutely where it’s at.
- My best friend sent me this recipe and !!!!!!!!!!!! Deb’s mind!!!!!
- My husband bought me this ukulele for my birthday. I promise I’m not a 2011-era Zooey Deschanel type or anything, but if there’s a chord chart in front of me I can play. I do have a feeling that this will be relegated to the decoration realm, but it was very sweet of him and who doesn’t love a pastel rainbow?
- THEY’RE MAKING A FILM OF REBECCA STARRING ARMIE HAMMER. Ceci n’est pas un drill! My body is ready! I loved this book as a teen, and I’m re-reading it before the film drops on Netflix in October. The e-book is on Amazon right now for literal shekels.
- This is random, but I have an enormous monstera plant in my living room that was overgrown and out of control, so I cut some of the leafy stems off to use as decorations around the house. I expected them to have a shelf-life like flowers but…they simply do not die! I’ve had three in a vase in my bedroom for months that look as vibrant as the day I cut them off. Needless to say, when I discovered that they were immortal, I put them all over my house and now I live in a rainforest.
- Finally started watching I May Destroy You and…it may destroy me.
- The episode of Black Frasier with Chris Hayes and Clark Neily is a must-listen, if only to shock and amaze yourself by vehemently agreeing…with a self-professed libertarian. Also, THEE Phoebe Lynn Robinson creating a podcast called Black Frasier in these dark times is a gift we do not deserve.
I broke 100 followers on this damn blog. I have ZERO CLUE how that happened but I appreciate you all so much! For reference, I have 91 followers on Twitter… I don’t do any promo for these posts, so I don’t know how you found me, but I’m glad you did. Thank you for indulging my nonsense.
I was listening to Nikki Glaser on Whitney Cummings’ podcast, and Whitney mentioned something about how naming your fear takes away its power. So, I’m trying to name my fear, or rather, my terrifying dream—I want to write! I pathologically don’t take my writing ability seriously—I don’t do revisions or editing. I just jettison my thoughts out into the world as they form. It feels so vulnerable to me to admit that I want something; it feels like standing in front of a crowd naked. What if I’m not good enough?? But then I remember that I have a literal Master of motherfucking Arts degree in Literature. Thoughtful analysis and communication are the only things I’m good at. Even if it’s just my alma mater’s graduate journal, I’ve been published. There is no reason I can’t write something meaningful about Bunheads. So, sorry to be like, Stevie-Nicks-draped-in-turquoise-charging-crystals-in-the-moonlight, but I’m manifesting. Hold me to account!
Apart from the above, this week was dreadfully uneventful, so, on with it!
- I desperately need ethical/sustainable fashion brand recommendations. I’m in a fashion rut. I feel really uninspired by my closet (which may have something to do with the damn pandemic, and the fact that I’m in pajamas half the day). Hit me up with your favorite brands, extra points if they’re BIPOC-owned. I’m looking into a lot of the brands on this list. I need to stop shopping at J.Crew, basically.
- I got myself a lil’ birthday present. I’ve been lusting over this bag for AGES, and this gorgeous yellow color was on sale. Meant to be! Also, I have a referral link for 10% off if you’re interested! (If you’re wondering, my birthday present from my husband is these earrings in both metals.) And fuck it: in the spirit of manifesting, my Venmo is @highwaytochel if you want to buy me a drink or pay off my student loans.
- I upgraded my home office because I’ve been craning my neck for months and I’d like to not end up with arthritis or osteoporosis or whatever terrible posture does to your body. I got these adjustable monitor stands (one for my monitor, the other for my work laptop), and this cute AF keyboard (with an actual number pad, praise be!) I’m in my office 8-10 hours a day, so I really should be taking care of my body! Also, I should be exercising…at all, but that’s definitely a story for a different day.
- I just finished Meaty by Samantha Irby, completing my reverse trilogy binge of her work. Hands down my favorite essayist.
- I went on a book-buying SPREE. I know Amazon is the devil and Bezos deserves the guillotine, but those daily Kindle deals! My plan is to be totally Amazon-free by age 30. Just like how restaurants say that they’ll use all recyclable materials by 2022 or whatever. I got: The Year of Magical Thinking, The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty, Bird by Bird, If They Come in the Morning…: Voices of Resistance, Sick in the Head: Conversations about Life and Comedy, Freedom is a Constant Struggle, You Deserve Each Other, Themes and Variations, Tomboyland, Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing, The White Boy Shuffle, and What Girls are Made of. A mix of rom-coms and radical politics—sounds right.
- My queens have honored us with new music. Listen to “WAP” by Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion, and watch the video here. And let me know if you think “wet and gushy” is…way, way worse than the actual lyric.
- I’m rewatching This Way Up on Hulu right now and it’s just an absolute gem of a show. Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan are a dream team. I also watched Military Wives, Sharon’s recent film (also on Hulu), and despite the fact that it’s sympathetic toward military things (boooo), it shattered my heart because I am a sap! Oh, and not on Hulu or related to either of these at all, but Coupling is on HBO Max!
- Just discovered that there’s a Haitian-American vegan catering company in the next town over that has been doing a special menu during COVID for delivery…my body is ready to receive it!
- This Twitter thread broke my heart. BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.
- In honor of Christina Schneider following me on Twitter, please listen to “Hot Wife” immediately! Personalia is a gift to this earth.
- Happy birthday to the *wickedly* talented, one and only, Whitney Houston. In the iconic words of Aretha Franklin, “Whitney was a talent. Definitely a talent. She had a gift. And Cissy’s baby.” We will always love you.
Good morning! I’ve made an extremely controversial decision and started writing the date the British way, because (I capitulate) it makes more sense and is more aesthetically pleasing. This, from the same woman who changed her iPhone to 24-hour time in England and was perpetually confused for 3 weeks. Don’t worry, I’m not conceding in the aluminum vs. aluminium debate. Also, what a fuck-you thing to do on “Independence Day” weekend, innit?
Anyway, it’s been a big week for culture, so let’s get to it:
- The most important thing that has ever happened in my entire life happened this week, and it’s the TRILOGY of Las Culturistas‘ “Top 200 Moments in Culture History.” It has moved me. It has shaped me. I laughed, I cried, I screamed, I gasped.
- Miel’s album is coming out on 22 July and we simply have to stan! Her new single, “Must Be Fine” is avail to stream on Spotify right now!
- The last thing I need is an excuse to drink, but I love a lemon drop.
- I finally got the crossbody of my dreams for a ridiculous price. Call me basic all you want, but it’s a classic MJ shape. One day I will have the finances to justify a full-price, current season, actual Marc Jacobs bag, but today is not that day. Okay okay okay, maybe I also got this one too, but literally how could I not at that price??
- I got this moisturizer in my Causebox and I really like it. It’s super lightweight, smells great, and has SPF 30. I also got this serum, which I haven’t tried yet, but apparently I’m supposed to be using hyaluronic acid all the time now? All of my products seem to have it. I guess 28 is old in skincare years.
- Currently binge-eating these lentil chips, and concerned about the subscription option…quitting wheat (based on my Everlywell results) has been a journey!
- Please don’t judge me for the particular retailer, but I may have gotten this case set for my new MacBook, and this ergonomic mousepad set for my work computer. Between the computer, my phone case, and my ribcage tattoo, I am way, way too on brand. Perhaps next is just blowing this print up and hanging it in my office?
- Love these earrings from TalkUniqueDesigns on Etsy.
- I read The Cactus by Sarah Haywood this week and in spite of myself, really liked it. The Eleanor Oliphant comparison is apt; they both have wildly unlikable protagonists. Like, truly, awful people you’d never want to be around. I will say, I think Susan’s about-face is a tad abrupt (I know motherhood is a moment, but like, probably try therapy instead of having a baby).
- We finally set up our AppleTV (and by we, I mean my husband bought it off a friend over a year ago and it sat unused in his office, until I got frustrated attempting to screen mirror with our TV on Friday and set it up), so we will be using that to watch Hamilton on Disney+ (which we have a year free trial of through our mobile provider).
- Speaking of D+, anyone else just counting down the minutes until Black Is King?
- Save Stereogum.
au revoir, les enfants
I’ve made no secret of my obsession with stand-up comedy. Both of my favorite stand-up podcasts have ended their runs (Put Your Hands Together and 2 Dope Queens), so I’ve been bingeing specials just to feel whole again. And what better time to immerse yourself than during a quarantine? I live in a state that is sort of opening up, and has a decent-ish handle on COVID, but I’m not taking any chances. Imagine if I died to go out to, like, Bertucci’s. Or worse, imagine if I went out, got asymptomic COVID, and infected someone else! The level of selfishness of my fellow man never ceases to amaze. All of which is to say, wear a fucking mask, take what precautions you can, and find things to do at home. Might I suggest…watching these? For your pleasure, a list of the specials I’ve watched since stay-at-home orders went into effect. There will be more.
*these are all on Netflix unless otherwise listed
Taylor Tomlinson, Quarter Life Crisis
Fortune Feimster, Sweet & Salty
Pete Davidson, Alive From New York
Alice Wetterlund, My Mama is a Human and So Am I (Amazon)
Michelle Wolf, Joke Show
Gary Gulman, The Great Depresh [x2] (HBO)
Hannah Gadsby, Douglas
Seth Meyers, Lobby Baby
Marc Maron, End Times Fun [x2]
Joe Mande, Joe Mande’s Award-Winning Comedy Show
Jenny Slate, Stage Fright
Trevor Noah, Son of Patricia
Patton Oswalt, I Love Everything
W. Kamau Bell, Private School Negro
Eric Andre, Legalize Everything
Whitmer Thomas, The Golden One (HBO)
Ronny Chieng, Asian Comedy Destroys America!
Simon Amstell, Set Free
Donald Glover, Weirdo
Judah Friedlander, America is the Greatest Country in the United States
We did it! Another week of social distancing down! And now it’s a long weekend! I may even attempt to venture outdoors, although I’m basically a moleperson at this point, so I’ll have to bring sunscreen & shades.
I think I mentioned in a previous post that I have a sourdough starter and it was finally ready to use this weekend! I made 2 loaves of sourdough, although the first loaf is not as aesthetically pleasing as the second…
- There is, and I cannot stress this enough, a website with transcripts of every episode of Frasier.
- Gonna join Book of the Month because I’m a huge nerd!
- Speaking of which, my best friend and I are starting our own FaceTime book club and our first pick is Kindred by Octavia Butler. It’s…incredible.
- Also speaking of books, my friend wrote her thesis on Motherwit by Onnie Lee Logan and it’s only $4.99 on Kindle right now. I can’t wait to read it!
- I am SO OVER shaving. I just want every follicle on my body to die! I am truly about to spend my life savings on laser removal.
- I got a subscription to Causebox because I had a code, okay????
- I started whitening my teeth because of course I did. My dark teeth have always been a huge insecurity of mine, and it certainly doesn’t help that I’m a coffee and wine drinker. I’m using this treatment system, this pen, and this polish. Here’s hoping I don’t destroy my enamel! I’m definitely starting to see results!
- I’ve been doing these Instagram song challenges, and they have brought SO much joy to my life! This is my first one, my second & third which are in progress, and a spinoff playlist that I had to make because there are too many iconic songs from 1991!
- This pasta recipe is legendary! Or as John Legend would say, magical!
- This site seems very cool for minimalist jewelry.
- The grill pan I wanted came back in stock finally!
- I’m making this cinnamon roll recipe right now and I’m so excited to eat them.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.*
I hope you’re doing well in spite of everything! Stay the f*** home!
- You must, and I cannot stress this enough, listen to the album Streetlights by Bonnie Raitt immediately.
- 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.
- 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…
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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!
- 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!
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.
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.
- Kacey Musgraves’ entire house is perfect. From her closet to her living room to her dining room, perfection.
- 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.
- 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…
- This Etsy shop is making adorable masks!
- I desperately need these. Now to deal with the computer cords at the back of my desk…
- 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!
- 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! 1984, Jane Eyre, Little 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.
- This tweet is very specific to my interests, but it filled me with joy in a pandemic, so I had to share it.
- 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!
- 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.
*extremely Bernie Sanders voice* I am once again asking you to bear with me as I change the name of this series. I wrote a massive post yesterday so I’m just gonna yeet this one out into the world. Thanks for reading!
- Can’t wait to watch Whitmer Thomas’ HBO Special.
- I’m officially in the acting-out-musicals stage of quarantine and right now it’s Evita (the Madonna/Banderas soundtrack). I literally injured my toe from dancing barefoot on hardwood, so, it’s getting serious. Also, not trying to brag but my “Buenos Aires” is top-notch (but it’s no Patti).
- This song is a classic and I’ve listened to it so much that I somehow know the words despite not knowing Spanish.
- I probably shouldn’t be ordering anything non-essential but this breadbox is so goddamned cute. I feel like, even when I don’t have any bread in the house (which is often), it’s such a good hack to keep your kitchen counters clear.
- I really want to replace all of the knobs on my kitchen cabinets and these mf-ing pulls. Also, I just got the tentative okay from my landlord father-in-law to paint my cabinets white! A DREAM!
- Should I watch Watchmen? My best friend keeps telling me I’d love it.
- I am obsessed with this video.
- I’m very into sleep hygiene/sleep routines. I use a weighted blanket, a pillow mist, satin pillowcases, and an eye mask every night, and ban.do has some really cute ones on sale right now.
- I’m growing out my hair right now to a goal length I can only refer to as “sister wife,” so please let me know which hair-growth snake oil I should buy. I have a massive backstock of Care/of vitamins (I never remember to take vitamins) and I wash my hair twice a week, but apart from that I’m not really doing much other than dustings every 10-ish weeks.
- Now that Everlane’s out, where the hell do I shop? Thinking about checking out Pact. They seem pretty affordable!
P.S. I’m not going to watch Tiger King so literally don’t even ask.
Okay, so by this year, I mean 1/1/19 to present. As I may have previously mentioned, I took a really prolonged break from spending money so that I could (successfully!) pay off ALL of my credit card debt. I also refinanced my student loans and got a lower interest rate on my car loan, so despite the fact that I absolutely was not making a living wage, I managed to kick some serious financial ass. I would not have been able to do any of this without my amazing husband and my in-laws—they’re so supportive and generous.
The crazy thing is, I went through and tallied up what I spent on everything on this list, and it’s roughly equivalent to what I spent on copays and medication for the year. Not trying to be controversh, but I shouldn’t be able to get an enormous tattoo, furniture, and an iPhone for less money than basic healthcare. In the spirit of that sentiment, please join DSA and consider volunteering for the Bernie Sanders campaign /end rant.
It’s also worth mentioning that a couple of the things mentioned below are from truly evil corporations that I, as a feminist socialist, do not want to continue supporting. Disengaging with major retailers is hard work, and participating in capitalism at all means that we all have the “damn’d spot*” on our hands. Next year, I hope this list is all small businesses and sustainable retailers, but all I can do is try my best. So without further ado, here are the purchases I made last year that were absolutely worth every penny:
Owning this device has kind of ruined my life, to be honest. I was already pretty addicted to my phone, but the size of this screen and sleekness of the device have me hooked. The best feature, by far, is the fact that I can more easily do the New York Times crossword on this screen, which is truly the only thing I care about in this life. And I have to admit, I love the facial recognition. I know Apple is probably conspiring with the government and stealing my identity or whatever, but the level of convenience of opening things with Face ID is…almost worth it? Saying this really feels like the Chrissy Teigen tweet about Airpods, don’t cancel me.
Casetify Phone Case
This thing is indestructible, and comes in about a billion designs. I, of course, went with the sunflower pattern. I got a discount code from a podcast for 20% off, but I’d absolutely pay full price for another one.
I finally did it. I caved and bought AirPods. I was going to buy them through Apple, but I found the same ones on Amazon for considerably cheaper (I bought this silicone protective case too). I…love them. I can’t believe I didn’t buy them sooner.
Magnetic Car Mount
A lot of phone shit, I know. but I’ve tried every type of car mount on the market, and this is by a mile the best. The magnet is super strong, and you can just stick it inside your case so you don’t have a big ugly sticker on the back. The best part is, for only $6, it’s a 2-pack, so you can give one to your significant other. My husband is still rocking an iPhone 6+, but the gear’s ready for him whenever he decides to upgrade.
The Comfiest Cardigan
Target has really been coming thruuuu with cute clothes and décor lately. This cardigan, from their A New Day line, is legitimately the coziest garment I own. I love it so much, I went back for another one.
The Best Earrings in the Game
Okay, so I’m wildly biased, because creator and entrepreneur Shelly Harper is my cousin, but damned if I don’t love her work. She is a fucking artist. Harp Designs is a woman-owned, woman-made brand out of Oakland, CA, and it makes the jewelry at retailers like Madewell look like an absolute lil’ bitch. Everything she makes is outstanding, but these earrings are so fun that I had to have them in gold and silver.
A Kitchen Table
The pub table in my kitchen had been rickety for a while, but for the ~$100 I paid for it, it certainly served its purpose. Helping my mother shop for her new home, I stumbled across this beauty, basically a dupe of my old table, except cuter, and I simply had to have it. It could be a little sturdier, but to its credit, I built it, so…
Savage Lovecast Magnum Edition
IT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO ME, OKAY! I’m done with podcast ads, they’ve been my undoing! This podcast is my must-listen of my week, and I respect Dan so much for evolving and growing and doing everything in his power to get progressive ideas into the mainstream dialogue. Nobody’s perfect, but I’ve never not enjoyed an episode of this show. I also subscribed to Slate Plus for Dear Prudence and Stitcher Premium for Groceries, and I have zero regrets (except for the fact that Stitcher is quite possibly the ugliest, least user-friendly app on the planet). The Stitcher subscription won’t last, but ad-free podcasts were absolutely the highlight of 2019 for me.
Netflix & Hulu (no commercials!) Subscriptions
To be fair, I’ve had these for a lot longer than a year, but when you’re trying to live that homebody life and save money, these services are indispensable! We got rid of cable about a year ago, so this is the only way I can keep up with my programmes. For the combined total of $20.98/month, I get more TV than I could ever find the time to consume. Beautiful.
Monthly Charitable Donations
I’ve been donating $5/month to the ACLU & Planned Parenthood since the day after the 2016 election. It’s not much, but the number of donors to these organizations is often as important a metric as the amount donated. Planned Parenthood is an organization which is particularly near and dear to my heart, and from whose services I have personally benefitted. I also give to WERS, which is the local radio station out of Emerson College, because independent radio is important, and for my money, it’s the only radio station in the Greater Boston Area that plays anything I’d ever want to listen to.
Hell yeah. So, here’s the story from A to Z—when I was 21, and towards the end of my last pre-husband relationship, I impulsively got a matching tattoo of (gag) Minnie Mouse on my ribs with my ex-boyfriend. That was in July…we broke up in November. So, for nearly 7 years, I’ve been living with this incredibly stupid-looking reminder of the guy I started dating when I was 18. No shade to him—I truly hope he’s living his best life, he’s a great guy—but it also seems psycho to have this permanently etched on my body. So, I put out some feelers on Facebook (I know…) and my friend Lauren hipped me to her shop. After perusing the various portfolios of the recommended shops, Famous Tattoos in Dartmouth won out. It’s clean, not too far away, and the work speaks for itself. Cut to a few months later—it was the best body art experience of my life. Ryan Vidinha is incredibly talented and so skillful with the tattoo needles. I sat for a cumulative 6 hours between two sessions, and he made it an absolute pleasure. And SO REASONABLY PRICED for what he was able to accomplish. My shop 4 life. Having a beautiful piece of art in place of what used to be an embarrassing blemish is so freeing. Best money I’ve ever spent.
Oh, and I got another tattoo, whilst I was on vacation in Florida. Gaze upon it. Apparently I wore the exact same outfit to both.
Laser Tattoo Removal
I know, I just got an enormous cover-up tattoo. Why wouldn’t I just do the same in this case? Look, I tried. Because of the placement of my wrist tattoo, and how heavily the line-work was done, it’d be nearly impossible to do a cover-up that wasn’t giant and blobby to cover the black. Luckily, I discovered Disappearing Inc. Utter pros. Tattoo removal is a long, expensive process, and I’m so lucky to have Jenna as my technician. The tattoo is 3 stars (from the corner of the pages of Harry Potter, I truly was an absolute dumb bitch as a youth) and they’re so poorly done. They never healed correctly. I’ve cringed looking at them for years, and I’m so excited to see them slowly fade away. Read up on how tattoo removal works—it’s nuts and fascinating!
So it’s been a wrap-wrap-wrap up, a 12-month wrap-up. Thanks for tuning in!
*You know a bitch got out her 1973 edition of the Riverside Shakespeare to make sure she typed that correctly. Act V, scene i of MacBeth, my fave play 4 life.