- 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.
So, I knew it was going to happen eventually, but WordPress finally forced their ugly block editor on us, so I may have to move this blog to a new host. Although, when I considered Squarespace a couple of years ago, it seemed equally, if not more daunting. Maybe I’m just dumb…don’t let the Renaissance Literature tattoos fool you. Oh, on that note, I got another tattoo last Saturday! And I’m getting another one this coming Friday! I cannot stress enough—if you’re in MA/RI/CT, please consider getting your tattoos from Ryan at Famous Tattoos. He’s an absolute pro. The shop is immaculate and I’ve never had a better tattoo experience. Things are different because of COVID, but no lie: during my first session in Dec. 2019, his literal mom came by and hung out while I was on the table. ‘Twas truly a family affair.
Anyway, here’s what I got up to this week. At this rate, I’ll be an expert mindful meditator by September.
- My friend told me about Project Evo and their customized planners. I took the test and got “Architect.” I’m thinking about getting one, but I am the worst at keeping up with planners. The amount of trees I’ve killed just trying to stay organized…
- I’m finally replacing the horrible “boob light” in my office with this absolute beauty.
- I really want this phone case. I know that my colleagues/”customers” couldn’t see it, but I do want to send this energy out into the universe.
- I’m officially the dumbest person on earth. I think I was in denial about how long quarantine would last, so I *did* wait until mid-August to order a patio set, umbrella, and outdoor rug so I could work outside. I guess it didn’t occur to me that when you buy a patio umbrella, it doesn’t come with a base. It’s just a free-floating umbrella! Totally unusable. No stores have bases in stock, and they’re estimated to arrive in friggin’ October if you order them online. Also? They cost 9 million dollars. Thankfully, shortly after writing this, my father-in-law came through with an extra one he happened to have!
- As of writing I JUST made these, and oh my goodness gracious are they fucking delicious.
- Cannot get enough of audiobooks lately. I “read” 10% Happier and Dear Girls this week and they were sublime experiences. The last chapter that Ali’s husband narrates??? Also, hate to be this person, but meditation does work. Sorry.
- On the recommendation of my therapist, I’m finally reading The Body Keeps the Score. I’m only 2 chapters in, but it’s incredible. I didn’t know the author had trained in Boston/Cambridge! A hometown hero.
- I mentioned planners earlier, and I cannot recommend customized May Books enough. I use the diet/exercise one to track my food (I’m working with a nutritionist, this isn’t an obsessive thing).
- Chris Fleming is my single favorite human being on this planet and I can’t get enough of “Sick Jan.” My Twitter bio is literally “Enough turquoise to get into Stevie Nicks’s house no questions asked.” Also, I may or may not have bought 4.4 lbs of boba pearls…
- Happy 10th anniversary to Teenage Dream! This was THE album of 2010, and 19-year-old Chels was forever changed by it. Please enjoy my favorite song on the album, a little classic known as “Peacock.”
Bonjour! Another week of social isolation! The Starbucks near me just reopened, so I’ve gone two days in a row…the small creature comforts keep me sane. Apart from that, it’s been business as usual. I’m trying to go easy on myself. We’re all dealing with immense trauma & grief right now, so if you need to get drunk, or send a booty pic, or reorganize your cabinets again, please don’t judge yourself. If you’re alive and healthy, you’re doing great, and I love you.
- The Alison Roman drama SUSTAINS me.
- This shop on Etsy is selling 3-packs of cotton masks in adorable prints. It’s a buy 3/donate 3 situation. I got these ones. I’m still having a hard time with masks, if I’m being honest. Of course I wear one on the rare occasion I go out, but the feeling that my breathing is being stifled gives me horrible anxiety. Anyone else dealing with this?
- This set of food storage containers is amazing and actually just as good as the one from The Container Store. I bought two sets and then some extra minis. My cabinets will get perfect or die trying.
- The Court Skort sold out before I had a chance to snag one (you snooze, you lose) and I’m mad! Same for the Bike Unitard, which I need someone to convince me I don’t need. This remains in my cart…
- It’s irrational how much I want one of these, considering I have like a dozen reusable water bottles.
- I finally bought the weighted sleep mask! I will conquer my insomnia one of these days.
- I need a pair of these earrings. I’ll take literally any pair.
- Super into Wild Minimalist‘s entire aesthetic! This article about recycling missteps is really helpful.
- Support local businesses during this trying time 🙂
- And finally, rest in peace, Little Richard.
Until next time,
Good morning, or afternoon, or whatever because time is meaningless in quarantine! I’ve now organized my home so thoroughly that I have run out of things to organize…onto purging. Overall, though, I seem to have mellowed this week. I’m leaning into stay-at-home life and continuing to be grateful that we have employment, stable shelter, and have not run out of toilet paper. Stay safe and well, my friends.
- The Cut did the Lord’s work. And speaking of The Cut, this article crushed me.
- I would never spend $350 on a handbag…haha…jk…unless?
- Devastated to hear about all the media layoffs happening right now. If you’re not familiar with Brandy Jensen’s work, get to know her.
- I started Little Fires Everywhere. Apart from Kerry Washington making some…choices, I really like it. I loved the book.
- Speaking of books, I’m reading Where the Crawdads Sing and can’t put it down. I’m a sap.
- This recipe is absolutely outstanding!
- Although, I mean, Chelseas can change out all the knobs on her bedroom furniture as a treat, right? How cute would these be for a kid’s room?
- I don’t really know much about Dua Lipa but we stan an alto who sticks to her strengths. I’ll have to give her new album a listen.
- Quarantine has cracked me. I re-upped the wine subscription. A month ago I had literally quit drinking, but alas…
- Rest in Peace, Adam Schlesinger. If you don’t know his name, you know his work. He was younger than my dad. COVID-19 is no fucking joke.
- And finally, today is the 26th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death, and on this day, and every day, we celebrate the man, the myth, the legend.
Until next time,
Hello! This week was absolutely insane. I spent the first half sick and the second half doing Too Many Activities™. Friday was our annual work outing, at which I spent 2+ hours getting torrentially downpoured on in a sailboat (misery) and drank all the wine cocktails (happiness). Then, I drove out to Western Mass to see one of my dearest friends and go to a show (detailed below), and didn’t get home until 2 am. Needless to say, I am an empty shell of a human who requires sleep and adequate nutrition. So, without further ado, my weekly roundup:
- I saw Jenny Lewis (again) last night in Northampton, and it was a religious experience. She’s still on tour, so get tickets immediately! I might go see her again in Boston or Providence, it was that amazing.
- I’ve been watching Catastrophe again, because I’m never not watching Catastrophe in a loop. Truly the greatest series ever created.
- One of my biggest regrets is not registering for a high-powered blender or Vitamix for our wedding. Just trying to make my own oat milk! Also, if you’re not on the oat milk train, I feel bad for you, son.
- I want to try this restaurant in Newton. There aren’t enough vegan restaurants where I live!
- Must have this faux agave plant for my house (I’m a plant killer).
- This playlist, FIG for CHELS—True/Tested, i.e. the playlist of car songs my husband has been making for me over the past several months, slaps so hard it should be illegal.
- Michael and I are (slowly) watching Westworld. We certainly don’t have the same momentum watching it as we did Game of Thrones (the nonlinear storyline doesn’t propel it forward in quite the same way), but we’re really enjoying it so far. Thandie Newton is a sensation.
- Speaking of HBO, they made a series of My Brilliant Friend, one of my favorite novels of all time??? Watching immediately.
- Put these noodles in my body right now.
- This piece is extremely heavy (TW: sexual assault), but I think it’s an extremely important read. Assault is a political issue. We cannot have hideous men as leaders.
I’m sorry to bring the tears with that last one, but it so profoundly moved me that I had to share it. Silence is complicity.
Now, please enjoy this crappy iPhone picture of the one true god.
Until next week!
‘Sup?! A lot of bullet points today, so we’ll get straight to it!
- ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE IS OUT AND IT’S PERFECT.
- I’m going to see Rob Delaney in August and I might actually die. He is one of my favorite living human beings. You’ve got to read his book, it’s incredible.
- Gimme this soup!
- I made this hair tonic (with almond oil, since it’s all I had), and it smells so fantastic! I don’t know if it’s actually working to make my hair grow faster but it’s not not helping.
- Currently lusting over these sneakers.
- This mask is coming in my Fab Fit Fun box and I’m so excited to try it! I’m trying to get more into masks. Self-care, baby.
- Everyone is obsessed with the show Fleabag but I just cancelled Amazon Prime! Legit cursed. I may have to reactivate…
- I’m pumped to watch the show Special! I listened to an interview with the creator (Throwing Shade!) and it seems like such a groundbreaking piece of television!
- Did you see Kate McKinnon on Billy on the Street?
- Should I try Bubly? Apparently La Croix is over.
- If you think for a second I haven’t started reading the books bc of withdrawals, you’re crazy.
- It’s bound to melt your heart.
- I swear to god if season 5 of Schitt’s Creek doesn’t drop on Netflix soon I will move heaven and earth!
- I am a sucker for marketing and I really want to try these socks out!
- My husband, Michael, wants to watch Mad Men next and I’m so excited. I haven’t seen an episode since the finale aired (RIP to my soul for enduring that bullshit).
- This article by the incomparable Grace Lavery is incredibly moving.
See you next week, mes animaux!
Another week in the books! Enjoy this week’s faves!
- Sex Education on Netflix is the most wonderfully charming show. I can’t stop watching! The young actors are absolutely brilliant and the cast is insanely diverse. One wonderful thing about the show is that it is completely inclusive of LGBT sexuality and relationships, which gets nearly as much representation as straight ones. A perfect, perfect show.
- Melissa Villaseñor’s Lady Gaga impression is the best thing I’ve ever seen.
- I wrote a post a while ago about *feminine products* and trying a menstrual cup and never posted an update! I’ve been using exclusively a cup for a few months now and I’m obsessed. I’ll never go back to tampons and pads! I still keep some on hand for emergencies, but I’m a cup girl for life. The cup I use is not available anymore (it’s Hesta Organic), but I’m interested in trying other brands, like Lunette.
- Not to be a dorky dad, but I just checked my credit report on creditkarma and you should too. It’s super important to be aware of your financial health!
- This Twitter thread about a college professor assigning his students to make memes is solid gold.
- One of you has to buy this because I’m on the Spending Fast and can’t. IT’S PERFECT.
- I’m thinking of trying to do Whole30. Have you ever tried it? My best friend did and loved it—and she looks freaking fabulous to boot.
- This hash brown recipe looks amazing.
- And on that brunch note…Rosé Raspberry Sorbet Mimosas, dude.
- This next one is NSFW, so open at your own discretion—I’m a huge, huge fan of this little guy. I’ve been really reticent about this sort of thing, but I’ve been trying to be more open-minded!
- Bonus Content: The Head and the Heart covers “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and I am deeply, madly obsessed.
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed some of this #content. As always, follow me on all the socials @highwaytochel, and check out my Poshmark store @highwaytochel. Sayonara!
Think I’m gonna get right down to business today, guys! Here’s my week in a nutshell:
- I’m actually doing it, fam! I’m doing the Spending Fast. We’re shooting for a year, but it’s based on need. If I can pay my consumer debt down faster (I have a couple of ways I could do this, but they’re both pending/not guaranteed), we might not need to keep going until 2020, but honestly, the experience has been so empowering that I don’t think I’ll want to stop! I’m rereading Anna’s book, and Katy Goodman’s Insta stories have been super inspiring (she has a No Buy highlight). Just with little tweaks, my grocery bill has started to come down, I’m using cash for purchases, and we cancelled cable (finally!). Student loans go into repayment next month, so things will be really tight—I’m working on starting a side hustle job (more on that later). It feels so good to rid yourself of all the stuff in your life that’s weighing you down! P.S. Anna’s book (Kindle version) is on sale for $1.99 right now, so snatch it up!
- Catastrophe series 4 is streaming on Amazon starting March 15th and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s one of my favorite pieces of media ever made. Sharon and Rob are geniuses beyond measure. I think I’m going to cancel my Amazon Prime subscription after I watch it, which is kind of a big step for me! I’ll have to buy the season of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel next year, but a one-time $12-ish purchase is better than $49-$99 a year to support a company that sucks!
- Since I’m not spending money right now, I’ve been bringing my own lunch to work every day. Sometimes, that means the Trader Joe’s microwave meals that we still have from before the No-Buy, but mostly it’s meant leftovers and jar salads. I stan a jar salad. They are my favorite thing on the planet. People at work think I’m nuts rolling up to the breakroom with a quart Mason jar of lettuce but they don’t even know. You can put literally anything in a jar salad. My last one was champagne-pear salad dressing, snow peas, beet sauerkraut, mixed greens, and vegan cashew parm. Delicious!
- I’m psyched to make this soup recipe. I make a mean tomato basil, but subbing cashews in for cream is genius! My belief about food is that, if you can make it vegan with little to no effort, do that shit.
- I started using the iBotta app, which gives you cash back for buying certain items and submitting your receipts. It’s like coupons, but 2019. I think apps like this can be a slippery slope and convince people to buy products they don’t need, but I go through and find only things that are already on my grocery list, and choose the most cost effective brand. For instance, there was a $1 back bonus on Health-Ade Kombucha, which made it, effectively, cheaper than even the store brand. I’ve made $13 so far, off of only 2 shopping trips.
- Do you read New Darlings? They’re sharing their pregnancy journey right now and it’s so sweet I could scream. I can’t wait until that’s me!
- Dogs aren’t actually smart. Sorry not sorry to break this to you.
- I saw Neko Case when I was in Tallahassee and holy fucking shit was she amazing. If you haven’t listened to her new album, shame on you.
- On that note, Jenny Lewis has two new songs out: “Red Bull and Hennessy” and “Heads Gonna Roll“
- Don Cheadle’s shirt choices on SNL last night were NEXT LEVEL.
- Saved the best for last: RUSSIAN DOLL. RUSSIAN DOLLLLLL! You’ve gotta watch this show. Drop what you’re doing and immediately log in to Netflix. It’s only February but this is definitely the best show of the year. Natasha Lyonne is breathtaking. We just finished last night and I am already yearning for a new season. A perfect, perfect show.
Happy Sunday! I have the dreaded task of homework to look forward to today, but hopefully you have some free time to chill out, max, and relax all cool. Here’s what I’ve been thinking about this week.
- I’m so inspired by the March For Our Lives. I wish I could have gone into Boston yesterday. Be sure to sign the petition against gun violence!
- The Lamplighter, Maria Susanna Cummins—Maybe 19th century sentimental fiction isn’t quite your “thing,” but I am absolutely obsessed with this book right now. The tale of little Gerty is so heartbreakingly sweet. Here’s a link to the Kindle edition, which is free!
- Should I do this? It’d be nice to have Spotify Premium again, but I’m so used to that no-commercials Hulu life, that I’m not sure I can go back! It would save me $7/month, and I’d get another service. I’m torn!
- This tweet destroyed me. Bless the person that saw that connection.
- Give me this vegan queso immediately.
- And on that note, I’m making these tacos ASAP.
- I’m so excited to watch Champions on NBC! I’m into anything Mindy Kaling is involved with, and the cast is stellar!
- Did you know that students and educators get a discount on digital subscriptions to the New York Times? It’s crazy affordable. I just subscribed and am loving all of this nonstop crossword action!
- And, last but not least, John Oliver’s staff wrote a book about gay bunnies getting married in response to Mike Pence’s Marlon Bundo book, and it is truly, truly inspiring. It’s out of stock at the moment, but as soon as it’s back, I’m buying one for my future kid.
See you next week, bunnies!
Sometimes, you’ve just got to make chili, but you don’t have any beans, meat, or meat-adjacent foods in the house. So you improvise! My husband is a garbanzo fiend, so I knew he wouldn’t sweat the substitution.
It’s been bitterly cold in New England for the past few weeks (no lie—we got a storm that was called a “bomb cyclone” in case we weren’t miserable enough), so something hot and spicy was what the doctor ordered.
I whipped this up using ingredients I had on hand, but it turned out so delicious, I wanted to record the recipe for posterity! Enjoy!
P.S. I highly recommend using all organic ingredients, if possible, because of course I do.
Picante Chickpea & Lentil Chili
- 2 cans garbanzo beans*
- 1 c. green lentils
- 6 c. vegetable broth
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 2 potatoes, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 chipotles in Adobo sauce, diced**
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 c. premade salsa (or diced tomatoes)
- 1 oz. bourbon (or 2 oz. beer), optional
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp. Adobo seasoning***
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- salt to taste
*You’re probably a better person than me and make your own chickpeas from dried. In that case, 2-3 cups should suffice.
**Add as much chipotle as you want—just be warned that going heavy on the peppers will make this very, very spicy.
***If you don’t have Adobo seasoning,
get some sub garlic & onion powder, tumeric, paprika, black pepper, and oregano.
Over medium heat, melt the coconut oil in the bottom of a large saucepan or dutch oven. Add the red onion and celery, lightly salt. Saute until soft. Add the red pepper, potatoes, and zucchini and saute until soft. Add minced garlic and stir until fragrant, 30 sec-1 min. Turn up the heat and deglaze the pan with bourbon, if using. Return to medium heat and add garbanzos, lentils, tomato paste, salsa, chipotles, and spices. Stir until fragrant, 1 min. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 mins. At the 30 min mark, check the lentils and potatoes for doneness (I know this is a meat term, but I’m appropriating it!). If soft, turn off heat and add lime juice. Salt/spice to taste.
Serve with brown rice and top with avocado, cilantro, sour cream, or shredded cheese!