Sunday Scaries [5.24.20]

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…

the first one is shyly hiding behind its more handsome brother

It was only my second time EVER baking bread and I’m pleased with how it turned out! I did the pan of water trick the get the outside to be hearty and crusty. I used this recipe. Fun fact: King Arthur Flour is an employee-owned company and we simply have to stan! So, apparently, is Bob’s Red Mill (I was already a fan girl!), and you have to read the sweet story of Bob and his wife Charlee </3

I never thought I could like baking, but I think the trick was to make savory baked goods (I’m a savory bitch for life). I feel like there are 2 quarantine types: baking people and pickling people, and I’m proud to say that I’m both! (I’m an overachiever) I’ve been making these pickled onions, per Miel Bredouw’s recommendation, and I don’t remember what food tastes like without them.

Apart from baking, I finally got back to watching Mrs. America and it is really so, so good. Margo Martindale is a treasure, and if she doesn’t get nominated for an Emmy I will protest the Academy (or whomever does the Emmys). It does a great job of addressing how exclusionary the women’s liberation movement was. P.S. I’m so glad Phyllis Schlafly is dead! What a truly evil human being! The “subjective” portrayal of her on the show is not enough to fool me into having sympathy for one of the nation’s most heinous villains!

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Anyway, here’s this week’s list!

  1. Something extremely important happened in music this week…no, I’m not talking about “Rain on Me,” though it does bang. I’m talking about this!
  2. There is, and I cannot stress this enough, a website with transcripts of every episode of Frasier.
  3. I desperately need one of these. I’m going to break my back being hunched over a computer all day.
  4. Gonna join Book of the Month because I’m a huge nerd!
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. I got a subscription to Causebox because I had a code, okay????
  9. 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!
  10. 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!
  11. This pasta recipe is legendary! Or as John Legend would say, magical!
  12. This site seems very cool for minimalist jewelry.
  13. The grill pan I wanted came back in stock finally!
  14. Inkbox is my new favorite thing. I have this one on my thigh and this one on my sternum. I cannot W A I T to get another tattoo at Famous.
  15. I’m making this cinnamon roll recipe right now for my father-in-law because cinnamon rolls are one of his favorites. They also happened to be one of my favorites, but this is an act of altruism, I swear!

Until next time!

-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?

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.

Shout Out Sunday 8.25.19

I wrote this an age ago so we’ll get right to it!

  1. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng lived up to the hype and then some. It’s incredible.
  2. I cannot even explain to you how much I want this bag.
  3. So I treated myself to this bag.
  4. My husband and I have been watching Cheers on Netflix and it’s such a fun throwback!
  5. I got to see Rob Delaney perform a couple of weeks ago and it was sublime!
  6. I was desperate to get into another series after reading the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, so I started reading To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. The best part is that I’m reading it on my Kindle for free using the Libby app!
  7. This jumpsuit has been in my cart for months. Should I cave and get it?
  8. My Grove Collaborative box accidentally shipped this month even though I didn’t need anything (my notification must have gone to spam). Within a day, customer service responded to me, refunded the entire order, and asked me to donate the items rather than return them. Is it any wonder I love this company? I was able to give a bunch of toiletry items to a friend who’s moving in a couple of weeks.
  9. What did you think of Whitney Cummings’ newest special?
  10. I can’t find the exact one I have, but this is my favorite lipstick.

Until…tomorrow!

Shout Out Sunday 6.16.19

Good morning! I’m actually putting this out on time this week, considering last week’s came out on Wednesday. It’s Father’s Day, and I know that can be really rough for some people. My dad and I are pretty close, but my heart goes out to all the people who might be struggling today. In honor of this holiday, may I wish a happy Father’s Day to Jeff Goldblum only:

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just a little jeff to bless your timeline (image source)

Well, let’s get right to it, shall we?

  1. Lyz Lenz’s piece on “Sex After Jesus” is so moving.
  2. I am obsessed with the Public Goods aesthetic! How is it possible that I only heard of this brand this week? It’s a lot like Brandless, which I’ve talked about on here before, but it seems to be specifically membership-based, like Grove. The older I get, the more I love minimalism.
  3. I’m so into this new trend of alcohol-free bars! I would totally buy an artisinal mocktail. The fun of drinking is just being out with your friends, isn’t it?
  4. I really want to watch the Black Mirror episode with Miley Cyrus, but the mere CONCEPT of Black Mirror scares the shit out of me. I don’t need that “what if cellphones but too much” energy in my life.
  5. How are these baskets only $6? Please give me all of them.
  6. I…can’t stop watching Laura Prepon’s Instagram videos. She has a YouTube channel too, if that’s more your speed.
  7. I caved and signed up for another year of Amazon Prime for the cheap Kindle books and to watch Fleabag. I’m a monster. And I’m aware that I will inevitably buy the jumpsuit.
  8. A meme was going around Twitter last week to share a photo of yourself as a child that has the same energy of you as an adult. My post is…on brand.
  9. Modcloth’s dresses are on sale but you’ve gotta act fast since sizes are going!
  10. I started a “Words Wednesday” series where I’m going to post a piece of creative writing weekly. Check out last week’s post!

Songs of the Week:

Lazy Line Painter Jane” by Belle & Sebastian. This has been one of my favorite songs for years and years, but I saw it on someone else’s Spotify playlist today and all of the feelings came rushing right back to me. A perfect jam.

Does He Love You?” by Rilo Kiley. This week’s creative writing piece will be a short story based on this song (if I can finish it on time!) I’ve been planning to get a tattoo that says “I am flawed if I’m not free” for ten+ years…should I finally just do it?

Back next week with more! TTFN!

So Fresh and So Clean Clean

If you know me personally, you know that I am a bit of a freak for organization.

One of my long-term life goals is to start a professional organizing service, but unfortunately, with the popularity of Marie Kondo and The Home Edit, the market is a bit saturated (also, I have literally no idea how to start a business). A clean home/workspace brings me an immense sense of calm, and has been an invaluable tool in maintaining my mental health. Cleaning and maintaining a household is hard work when you’re severely depressed, but it’s just those little actions that can help to lift you out of a funk*.

I decided to compile some of the things that have helped me conquer the chaos, because so many articles online rely on the reader to buy expensive products or have limitless free time, and, babe, we’re not all IG influencers. I’m out of my house for work 50 or more hours a week. If you search “entryway organization” on Pinterest, you get images of million-dollar homes (I don’t know how much houses cost, to be fair). I don’t have the time or resources to have a Pinterest-perfect home, but that doesn’t mean I can’t love and cherish my space.

Here are some of my favorite tips, tricks, and products for keeping a chaos-free home!

  • Actually KonMari your house. I know it’s controversial because most people have hoarding tendencies (way to generalize, Chels), but it’s the first step in the process and you can’t skip it. If you’re drowning in things, you’ll never get a real handle on your home. This is a blanket solution to your too-much-shit issues, since it applies to every room and every category in the house.
  • Sell stuff! Selling your used clothes and bags on Poshmark or at consignment stores can make getting rid of things into a game. I know people who’ve had luck with housewares on LetGo. You might as well get cash money as a prize for organizing.
  • This article on how to deep-clean your fridge is totally invaluable. It’s got to be done! I guarantee your mayonnaise has expired.
  • The dollar section at the entrance to Target! This section varies seasonally—it could even have different products in it week to week—but it almost always has storage solutions like bins, boxes, and jars, usually in adorable colors. P.S. Speaking of storage solutions, The Home Edit just dropped a collection at The Container Store and it is #goals.
  • Do the dishes while you cook. Nothing is more discouraging than finishing dinner only to face a massive pile of gross dishes. The best hack for this is to…
  • Use dishwashing gloves! Using gloves in the kitchen has changed the game for me. You don’t have to touch any food remains or wash your hands fifty times as you clean. Even though I use natural cleaning products, I still worry about residue on my hands from cleaning sprays, so this has spared my hands a lot of grief!
  • Reusable bags for every damn thing. I bring a reusable bag or two with me every time I go into a store. These fit everything, and they fold down into practically nothing. People have an inherent tendency to hoard tote bags (guilty), but if you narrow it down to a few you really love and actually use them, you spare yourself ever having to contend with those gross plastic bags ever again.
  • *very Oprah voice* EVERYTHING GETS A BIN. These are my personal favorite at the moment—I took everything in my office and separated it into categories (stationery, notebooks, sentimental items, etc), and it has made things so easy to find!
  • Containers, dispensers! Decant all your stuff into reusable containers and then just buy refill packs or concentrates. If you have, for instance, your dish soap in a glass bottle, then you can tell at a glance exactly how much you have, and won’t be tempted to buy extra “just in case.” Look under your sink and tell me how many extra bottles of countertop spray you have.
  • Take inventory before every trip to the grocery store. Seems like a pain in the ass, but how many bags of lentils do you need? Utilizing bins, containers, and turntables in your cabinets and fridge will make this a total breeze. Also, this spice rack is a game-changer if you’re like me and have every spice known to man.
  • Laundry gets taken out of the dryer, folded, and put away on the same day. This may sound like a no-brainer, but if you set a pile of underwear on top of the dresser because you’ll fold it and put it away “later,” it’ll still be there in a week, minus the ones you’ve plucked from it to wear (am I the only person that does this?). Laundry is my least favorite chore because it is never and can never be finished, but the quicker it’s out of sight, the quicker it’s out of mind. If you hate laundry too, the KonMari is crucial—when you have fewer articles of clothing, everything has a clear and designated place, so putting away your clothes is a breeze. Maybe one of these days I’ll actually do a capsule wardrobe…
  • Set reminders on your phone to water your plants. This is a new thing I’m trying. Pick a day a week, or month, depending on your plant’s specific watering needs. I have let so many plants perish from negligence, including a spider plant my husband managed to keep alive for the better part of a decade. Dead plants kill the visual vibe of any space, but living plants are good for the air quality in your home and make you seem like a classy adult who has her shit together!
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this is why you’ve got to water your plants. look how droopy and lopsided he is! i’m hoping i can bring him back to life.

I’m sure I could come up with a million more tiny things I do each day to keep my living space under control, but the above are tried-and-true methods that have taken me from being an absolute slob (just ask my parents) to a person who’s fiercely proud of her home. If you live with a partner (or kids), it can be hard to adjust to new routines, but I promise that in due time, they’ll see the myriad benefits of a clean space and get into it too!

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too many drawer dividers is just not a thing.

I apologize for the quality of the photos—I just used my phone and didn’t clean up beforehand—I wanted to show pictures of my actual day-to-day house, post-organizational implementation. It’s never perfect, but it’s always colorful.

*In no way am I endorsing the idea that you can “cure” depression by cleaning your house. That’s nuts. But since small tasks can be so overwhelming to those of us who deal with these issues, accomplishing them can be genuinely uplifting.

*somewhat* back on my bullshit

So I know I literally just posted a list of shit that I like, but now that I am “somewhat back on my bullshit,” I can’t stop.

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Here’s the home & beauty edition you’ve all been waiting for!

  1. I bought dishwashing gloves and it has CHANGED EVERYTHING. I snagged these from Grove, and it has made cleaning even more of a joy than it already was.
  2. I started using Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo and I LOVE IT. I’m more of a co-wash gal (I use New Wash, in case you were wondering), but this makes my hair feel squeaky-clean on those occasional real washes. Get it at Grove or Target!
  3. I got this face wash as a free gift with my Grove purchase (seriously, bitches, sponsor me), and I really like it! It smells great and it feels like it’s actually exfoliating my face (hormonal breakouts are a bitch). It’s soooo cheap at Target and it’s 95% natural, so it’s a no-brainer.
  4. These storage bins are LIFE. I just bought a few for my fridge and I fully plan on buying even more of them until my fridge is so organized that I get 5150’d.
  5. Target sells Native deodorant now! I’m dying of happiness. This is hands-down the BEST natural deodorant I’ve ever tried. Fuck aluminum and parabens! You don’t need them! Once your body adjusts (give it a few weeks), you’ll never go back to normal deodorant in your life. It’s a bit pricier than traditional deo, but it’s worth every penny. I’m finishing up a tube of unscented right now, but next up is Lavender & Rose!
  6. Target also sells Quip now! I’m sure there’s some back-alley, evil, corporate downside to all these indie brands being coopted by a big store like Target, but choose to see the bright side, which is the amount of exposure these great companies are getting! Quip is my new favorite thing—it times your brushing with 2 minutes of vibration in 30 second intervals, and LET ME TELL YOU, no one brushes their teeth for long enough. I am a fastidious brusher, a person who has famously been called out by a roommate for “brushing your teeth more than anyone I’ve ever met,” and even I do not brush my teeth for a thorough two minutes every time. Get on it!
  7. This Grove set is out-of-control cute. My husband keeps asking me which one is the hand soap and which is the dish soap, but it’s worth the annoyance to have my kitchen sink look this cute.
  8. I started actually using a probiotic every day, so I’m basically immortal. I take Lovebug’s Here’s the Skinny, and it’s available at drugstores!
  9. I’m so excited about this month’s Oui Fresh Beauty Box. I can’t wait for this HAN cheek & lip tint—I’m obsessed with their super-pigmented eye shadow.
  10. I tried Hello Fresh after cancelling my Blue Apron account (I had a great discount code), and while I really like the service, the portions are a little meager compared to BA. HF also does a bit more of the prep for you—garlic cloves come PEELED—which makes the prep faster overall. Meal kits aren’t super practical for my lifestyle right now, but if they fit into your budget and your schedule, these are both great options! Here’s my Hello Fresh referral link!

I’ll leave it there! Now to actually make one of my Hello Fresh meals and finish watching this truly godawful Hallmark Christmas movie!