Good morning! I have barely left the house in ages since I’m pregnant and only half-vaxxed (I had to wait until the second trimester), so I don’t have much to report, but here’s what little I can recommend at the moment.
Finally caved and bought this water bottle. The one thing I didn’t consider was that it has a greater capacity than my Soma filter, so filling it is an enormous production. (I ended up solving this by picking a water dispenser up from the Container Store).
Treated myself to this cutie after a very long purse-buying hiatus.
This deodorant is so good. It’s still a natural deodorant, so it’s not magic, but it really holds up, even in hot weather. I got mine at Ulta.
Even though I have only recently joined the motherhood club, I’ve been A Mom for a while, as evidenced by my excitement over this gadget.
Pretty much none of my bathing suit tops fit me now that I have pregnancy boobs (which, for me, is still nothing to write home about), so I’m trawling the J. Crew sale for something with some structure that can accommodate the new additions.
My husband and I have been watching The Nanny on HBO Max and apart from the obvious things about it that haven’t held up over the past 30 years, it is a near perfect show. Sylvia Fine is my idol.
This has been sitting in my drafts for at least a month, so good on me for being so topical and relevant! I’ll write something meaningful in the next post, I swear. I promise that I do have a vague knowledge of current events, even from within my bubble of isolation. Enjoy the following things, in the event that you somehow missed them in the past month.
I’m finally trying out Magic Spoon, after hearing a bunch of rave reviews. It’s really pricey, but it’s packed with protein, which I need more of in my diet, as I don’t eat much meat. I haven’t had Froot Loops in about 20 years, so I’m psyched to have a version with 0g of added sugar.
Good day, sunshines! I’ve been deep into an all-consuming work project all week, so I don’t have a ton to share. Did anything catastrophic happen in the world? I’m completely tuned out (and I have to admit that ignorance is, as they say, bliss).
Where I live it’s still freezing cold, but it’s just now starting to show signs of the early spring thaw, which can’t come soon enough. I’ve been excessively cautious about the virus and haven’t done anything or seen anyone since the fall, so I’m looking forward to an outdoor brunch on a warm day in the not-so-distant future.
Did I really just start this blog post with small talk about work and the weather? Send me to the guillotine. Anyway, have a good night and a pleasant tomorrow and stay safe!
Currently knitting a baby blanket out of this yarn. I got three skeins–I’m planning to do the middle section in a slightly darker blush pink. God forbid I ever have a boy…
I’m re-re-reorganizing my kitchen counters (mostly to accommodate my Always Pans, if I’m being honest) with this shelving unit and this toaster. I also got this electric kettle and I’m obsessed! Being able to control the exact temperature is a game-changer. Temp is a really important factor in coffee quality, but in addition to that, I’ve used it to make perfectly lukewarm water for yeast and non-scalding water for tea.
Speaking of yeast—this is bar none the best and easiest pizza crust recipe. If you don’t have a KitchenAid stand mixer, I highly recommend saving up for one. Alternately, you could simply get married and put one on your wedding registry. 100% worth making a lifelong commitment to another human being.
One of my myriad terrible qualities is that I can’t seem to walk out of a Target without buying a cute mug. But in my defense, the only two left were the C (for Chelsea) and M (for my husband, Michael), so I think that legally obligates me to get them. The colors also coordinate with my entire house, so, you do the math.
Is the terrazzo trend over? I love the look, but I’m hesitant to leap into anything trendy. Except, of course, “millennial pink,” since pink is a neutral in my book. Maybe I could start small, with a phone case? I’m gutting and redoing our second bedroom in a pastel rainbow theme, and these colors are perfect for an accent wall.
Redid my entryway/mudroom with these hook racks. I’ve never been able to resist a brass accent.
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.
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 morning! I want to express my deepest condolences to anyone who has to work today. I’m off until the 4th, because my job absolutely rules. I will be spending my day baking chocolate babka and catching up on podcasts. I’m also racing to read 50 books by the end of the year…only 4 left!
I hope you and yours have a spectacular holiday season in spite of everything. Merry Christmas!
Taylor has done it again—sneak-attacking us with another iconic album, this time in celebration of her 31st birthday. I was an extremely late-adopter with Taylor, but even if I hadn’t already become a fan, 2020 would have been the year. This girl comes back harder than a ’90s trend. (This post was mostly written a week ago, so I know evermore is already old news.)
I’m going to be posting about my 2020 in books, but one that deserves an unrelated shout out is Beach Read by Emily Henry. I almost wanted to start over from the beginning when I finished it. Powerful, sweet, delightful fun. Also, I read this during a snowstorm, so it was nice to remember that summer exists.
I got another set of foils in my quest to become a blonde and the bleach lightened the virgin hair at my roots so much that it kind of looked like a ’90s boy-band’s frosted tips (I have since gotten a root smudge). I use Olaplex to keep my hair from falling out from the way I abuse it.
I’m listening to Shit, Actually by Lindy West and the chapter on The Notebook felt like a point-blank execution. I know it’s problematic, and that by extension, I’m problematic, but I don’t care! It’s an iconic love story! (To be clear, Lindy’s book absolutely rules and has made me laugh out loud like a fool on innumerable occasions.)
Bided (bode?) my time and finally managed to snag a new wool coat for 60% off. Debating as to whether I should grab this one too, since it’s SO inexpensive…
Reorganized my fridge again because, much like Angelica Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton, I will never be satisfied. These carafes are such a bargain and look sexy as hell in the fridge. No more ugly cardboard and plastic containers! These ones have a half gallon capacity if that better suits your needs.
I’ve probably already written about this, but I got a matching set of this hoodie and these joggers (when they were on sale, I’m not a millionaire) and I feel LUXE when I wear it. I wish I could afford to get them in every color. Ironically, the first day I wore my sweatsuit, I came across this article by one of my favorite writers, Amanda Mull. P.S. It’s probably only a matter of time before I get this to complete the look, since I’m the worst person I know.
Hanukkah was last week, and while I am not Jewish and have basically zero right to care about this, I am also an obsessively festive holiday person, so I had a 2-person mini feast of “traditional” foods I’d never tried to make before. A friend of mine made me some vegetarian matzoh ball soup and hamentachen, and I made latkes, applesauce, challah, and tzimmes (without the plums, since my husband has a thing about fruit in savory foods). It was so delicious and I’m definitely writing this while I’m eating the leftovers. Taste-wise, the challah wasn’t as good as when I made it on Rosh Hashanah (if this behavior is what gets me cancelled, it will have been a good run), but I’ve gotten so much better at braiding. It was a sight to behold!
I am an absolute sucker for personalization. Monogramming? Yes, please! It’s such an easy and often, inexpensive, way to let the people in your life know that their gifts are just for them. Anyone else come from a huge regifting family? *raises hand aggressively*
I’m sure there’s some deep-seated psychological reason that I like personalized gifts (it could be the regifting thing I’ve just mentioned). I’ve always been kind of a private person, especially with my family (the primary purveyors of gifts), so it wasn’t until adulthood that I felt that gift-givers really *got* me, and even now, I mostly choose my own gifts, or buy them for my damn self (gif of Beyoncé in “Independent Woman Pt. 1”). Or, it could be that the Carrie necklace from Sex and the City imprinted on me at a young age. Either way, I think that intentional gifts, ones made just for the gift-giver, are so special, and can range from a homemade card to a monogrammed luxury bag. Below, I’ve included several across different price ranges that I’ve come across this season.
These personalized name rings are a perfect gift for anyone with children or pets. I have one with my cat’s name on it, because I guess I’m that person now, and it arrived in just over 2 weeks in beautiful packaging.
This initial necklace is dainty, adorable, and once again, perfect for anyone with kids or pets. Or, if you’re me, you can buy one that spells out “ADHD.”
I think the seller of this custom necklace intended for buyers to requests to have important names or dates engraved on them. But again, if you’re me, you currently have two in your Etsy cart, one with the names “George, Jerry, Elaine, and Kramer,” and one with “Frasier, Niles, Daphne, Roz.” They can’t legally prevent me from doing that.
These custom Pisa necklaces from Baublebar are the best. I have one in the white multi-color (my name) and one in black/gold with my birth year. They take up to 9 letters or characters. They give me summer camp craft vibes!
Did you know you can customize Converse? I did this once years ago and they were a big hit. They let you choose everything, from the eyelets to the stitching, and you can embroider text or designs onto them to make them totally one-of-a-kind.
If you have a fashionista in your life, but you’re (like me) a “practical gifts only” person, may I suggest the Louis Vuitton 6 Key Holder? You can customize it with different materials or colors, and hot-stamping is totally free, so you can monogram the gift for yourself or your loved one. PLUS, LV ships insanely fast (like, under 48 hours fast). Don’t ask me how I know that. I already had the Prada version of this key holder, which I somehow snagged secondhand in perfect condition for $40, so I can confirm that it’s an adorable and extremely useful way to organize your keys.
I’m putting this one in the higher $$$ category just because of how wide the price range is, but you can get a Cameo from about half of the cast of The Office. You can also get one from Sean Gunn (Kirk from Gilmore Girls) and I literally can’t think of a more iconic gift. There are some people on there who truly seem way too famous to bother with this, but I’m not questioning it! Should I do something as unhinged as buy one from the Soup Nazi? Actually no. Scratch that. GEORGE WENDT IS ON THERE.
Good morning, comrades! Another week on the books. I realize that this is likely not the case, but it is my sincerest hope that you got Veteran’s Day off to rest and recoup during what has been an exhausting and frankly, traumatizing month. And on that note, I feel like I make this point every year, but even though I am extremely anti-war and feel that the military should be dissolved and its disgustingly over-inflated budget redistributed to fund robust social programs that actually protect American lives, I am extremely pro-veterans and their rights/benefits. Two things can be true at once! Especially given the military’s predatory recruiting tactics and that, for many, military service is the least worst option, the very least they deserve is an annual holiday. *end soapbox*
Anyway, other than being mad as hell about political discourse, I have been staying the fuck home, because I live in a cold climate and I am not trying to get coronavirus! I’m disgusted by how unwilling my fellow, privileged, work-from-homers are to hunker down through winter to mitigate the spread. Can we all just get some soy eggnog and some fun Hanukkah or Christmas mugs and just stop being reckless? Cool! And yes, I do have both of those mugs because festivity is my coping mechanism.
I’ll shut up now! Here’s this week’s list of miscellany and ephemera. La la love you, don’t mean maybe.
Can’t stop listening to this iconic song from 15 years ago! I love Tori Amos so much.
There’s a Schitt’s Creek farewell special on Netflix called Best Wishes, Warmest Regards and I could not emotionally handle it. I may or may not have convulsed with sobs.
Speaking of shows, I think I’m going to watch The Queen’s Gambit. I couldn’t be less interested in chess, but I’ve heard it’s incredible and quite horny.
I haven’t made this cheesecake in a couple of years but it’s my favorite, favorite recipe.
I snagged a past-season version of this Prada key holder on Poshmark for forty dollars and I am in love with it. Mine is blush pink and in perfect condition. I love that it has a slot for my ID, so I can travel light on trips to Starbucks or Target (or really, anywhere, since basically every store has Apple Pay at this point). If you’re patient, you can score really nice second-hand designer goods on Poshmark or TheRealReal…I tell myself that shopping this way is “sustainable” and not “a reckless waste of money.”
I don’t know why it took my so long to buy replacement reeds for all of my oil diffusers, but I finally did. My favorite oil blends are from this Atlanta-based company (although they don’t seem to be selling them right now!), and these seasonal ones from the Target Hearth & Hand line. The little ceramic bottles are aesthetic af…I’ll probably keep reusing them long after the oil runs out. I am extremely particular about scents, so I tend to like things that closely mimic nature (pine, tobacco, etc). Vanilla makes me gag—great flavor, terrible candle scent.
I finally found an ornament storage solution that has a decent capacity and doesn’t cost a million dollars. I bought 2, because I am planning to go so hard with my Christmas ornament collection over the years.
I was fortunate enough to attend the Ifill Forum on Saturday (the fourth anniversary of Gwen Ifill’s passing) where Sherrilyn Ifill and Ava DuVernay spoke about the election and racial justice. Hearing Sherrilyn condemn the prison industrial complex and the way that history will remember this era had me in tears.
I’d be remiss not to mention that we lost Alex Trebek last week. I’d known he was ill for a long time, but it still came as a shock. One of my biggest regrets is that I missed a taping of Jeopardy! in 2017 because I was…too hungover (I am an idiot!!!). I really thought I’d have another chance. My dad went to the taping on his own and now it’s one of his most cherished memories. Jeopardy! has been special to me for my entire life. Even as a toddler, I watched it with my dad—as I got older, I went from marveling that anyone could know the answers to being a fierce competitor. Alex Trebek was a brilliant man—effortlessly classy, a consummate host. He touched so many people’s lives, and I’m so grateful for the way he touched mine.
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.