Shout Out Sunday

**This is last week’s post that I managed to never publish. Travel back in time to November 10th as you read this.**

Hello, hello (hola!) I’m pretty sure I just outed myself as extremely old by making a 15-year-old U2 reference, but there’s no shame in my Dad-joke game. We’ll get right to it this week, then!

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  1. I recently started a tutoring job at a local community college and I just have to say how inspired and hopeful it makes me about the future. I went to a predominantly white university in suburban Massachusetts, so my college experience was wildly different than the population I’m working with. The students who come to the tutoring center are so kind and motivated to succeed—getting to know them and be a tiny part of their stories makes me better and is the highlight of my week.
  2. This is old news at this point, but Jeannie Gaffigan was on WTF with Marc Maron and her interview was fascinating. I can’t wait to check out her book!
  3. Elizabeth Warren released a Medicare for All plan and we simply must stan. Without getting too personal, I recently had a huge bomb dropped on me re: my employer-provided health insurance, so this issue both ideologically and personally affects me. The healthcare system in this country is so broken (my therapist certainly agrees!), so two of the Democratic frontrunners running on unequivocal M4A platforms is hugely important.
  4. On that note, I can’t stop laughing at this tweet.
  5. Speaking of Twitter, Hunter Harris is the best person on there.
  6. Sunnyside on NBC is such an amazing show, but of course, as is typical of smart comedies, didn’t get its due. Networks taking away all my favorite shows—that’s Cancel Culture.
  7. Winter has officially come to Boston (the forecast says snow on Tuesday), so it’s time to revisit my favorite coats: the Everlane ReNew Long Puffer and the ReNew Lightweight Puffer. And, I have to admit, I bought a peacoat at Target and I’ve been wearing it every day.
  8. I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately, but I’ve been revisiting a ton of ’90s alternative rock, and I will absolutely give myself vocal nodes singing along to Celebrity Skin. Truly one of the best and most iconic albums of all time. I stan the legend Courtney Love!
  9. I got the new iPhone in the mint-green color and honestly, it’s ruining my life. I was so suspicious of FaceID but I have to admit…it’s really convenient?? Also, the screen is bigger than on my last phone, so it makes doing the NYTimes Crossword easier and that is truly my only priority in life.
  10. I’m going to New Orleans next month! I’ve been once, in 2016 right after my wedding, but this time I want to do it right! What should I do while I’m there?
  11. *very local reference* The Red Lentil in Watertown is incredible. Bostonians, flock!
  12. And most importantly, tomorrow is Veteran’s Day, and while I am personally vehemently anti-war and military spending, one thing we absolutely should and must spend government money on is taking care of veterans and their families. And, tbh, all vulnerable populations. Not doing so is, frankly, un-American!

Au revoir, mes enfants!

Shout Out Sunday

Good morning! Going to be a short and (sort of) repetitive one, since I’m rushing out the door to tutor. P.S. Yeah, I’m an English tutor! If you’re local to the Boston/Providence area email me at chelsea.e.harper@gmail.com to set up a sliding-scale lesson! Beyond that, here’s my week in review!

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source: netflix. watch just keep livin’? and i’m gonna die alone and i feel fine!
  1. Saw Jen Kirkman (again) on Friday night and she was amazing, per usual. Catch her on tour!
  2. I went to a polo match yesterday and it was SO. MUCH. FUN. You’d think polo would be really hard to follow but it’s actually really accessible and interesting! We got to even go behind the scenes and meet the horses since my friend Annie is an amazing horse girl and has mad connections. Going to Newport Polo was so laid-back…next time we’ll definitely have to tailgate! I’m actually thinking about maybe taking a riding lesson at Fairfield Farm…can you believe I used to be afraid of horses?
  3. I am on an eternal quest to find cute pajama sets, and these are looking mighty fine to me. Leopard print forever.
  4. It’s sweater szn, baby! Yes, yes, and yes!
  5. Girlfriend Collective is ALL 15% off right now, and I managed to score additional discounts with code WINGIT. I hope it still works for y’all! I got the Topanga Bra & High-Rise Leggings in Daybreak.
  6. Treated myself to a few Everlane goodies: this shirt, this shirt, and these jeans are Choose What You Pay!
  7. Re: the fashion posts above, I’m really trying to sort through all of my clothes and purge, purge purge! In a perfect world, you should only have to KonMari once, but I think a refresh every few years is warranted. I’m learning important lessons about impulsivity and purchasing. Remember how I bought myself these Docs? Yeah…they gave me a blister about the size of a quarter. Will be returning, if possible. Sometimes you try to incorporate something into your style that just doesn’t fit…
  8. And last but not least, it’s my best friend’s birthday today! SHOUT OUT SARAH.

Until next week!

Shout Out Sunday

Good morning! I technically have a long weekend this since I took Monday off to take the MTEL, so happy 2nd Saturday to me! I’ve been reading up a storm lately and I’ve had a country song in my head, so that’s the de facto theme of this week’s round-up. Mercury is in retrograde AF—can you tell? I’ve been super lethargic and uninspired…I’m hoping the cosmos can get its act together soon and end this tyranny.

Enjoy!

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look at my cute cat!!!
  1. Please bring some joy into your life and read Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. My fingers are crossed that he’s writing another because I truly cannot get enough.
  2. I have treated myself to some shoes.
  3. I have treated myself to a statement earring because LEO SEASON IS IN FULL SWING.
  4. Elsie’s article on how she changed her life is so inspiring!
  5. Kacey Musgraves has this aggressive motivational water bottle and now I need it.
  6. I’m not crying, you’re crying. I’ve had this song stuck in my head for over a week. Pre-order here.
  7. Living for these Target pajamas.
  8. These are literally the best pens on the planet. My therapist agrees, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  9. I can’t even explain to you how much I want this bag. Anyone have $400?
  10. VERONICA MARS IS BACK. All hail Therapy Logan.

Peace out, cub scouts!

Shout Out Sunday

Happiest of Sundays to you, dear reader! It looks like I wrote this post for last week and then completely forgot about it, which is why I could never make any money blogging! Summer is passing by all too quickly (we’ve had record-breaking high temps this weekend). I haven’t even been to the beach yet!

Please enjoy the usual ramblings!

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  • You had better believe I bought these earrings. I’m also obsessed with Blush Daisy, who should be restocking soon. I got these and these last week.
  • My “thing” has always been fun glasses/sunglasses, but every since I became a DGW (daily glasses wearer) at age 22, my sunglasses flair has significantly decreased. I need prescription sunnies (world’s tiniest violin), and those tend to be more expensive than wacky Target finds. Thankfully, Zenni Optical has my back! Just bought these and these in a sunglass tint for when I’m feeling alternately vintage and glam. I also have these sunglasses because apparently I was too young to really *get* Lolita when I read it?!
  • As a somewhat…hirsute lady, I’ve been meaning to try this razor! My thoughts & prayers are with my fellow pale-skinned, dark-haired gals.
  • Just found out about this website, so maybe I’ll give it a whirl! Making money writing seems like an impossible dream, but who knows?
  • Living for my Oxalis rollerball these days.
  • At CVS the other day, I asked the pharmacist what I could take that’s stronger than melatonin to help me sleep…she literally suggested dosing myself with Benadryl. I mean, I’m doing it (I’m a desperate insomniac), but I also got these Olly supplements.
  • Can’t wait to read this book. Emily Nussbaum’s NYTimes reviews are my favorite.
  • I’m really enjoying Stranger Things season 3, but this article really nails something I’ve noticed while watching. It’s not really all that eighties anymore, is it?
  • Here’s a handy reference for streaming junkies like me. Mostly just excited about Veronica Mars.
  • Should I get the Fleabag jumpsuit, the Stranger Things romper, or both?

Catch ya later!

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.

Shout Out Sunday

Good morning, friends! I know it’s…Tuesday, but Sunday was Mother’s Day, aka the worst day of the year, so I took a knee and bailed on the post. This week I’ve been reminiscing a lot about England, how fortunate I was to get to live there for the better part of a month. It was a dream come true, and I can’t imagine not recreating the experience again soon.

The rest of this post has exactly nothing to do with any of that, it was just on my mind.

Enjoy this week’s round-up!

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bath, england
  1. Johnathan Rice’s new album, The Long Game, is out!
  2. The Netflix show Dead to Me is SO GOOD. I can’t stop watching it.
  3. This article makes me want to wash my sheets twice a week.
  4. I am obsessed with this dress! I scored it on clearance in store for even cheaper (and during a 20% sale), so check your store to see if it’s in stock. Size up because Wild Fable is junior’s!
  5. Now that I caved and got Allbirds (I love them, by the way—they absolutely lived up to the hype), should I get Rothy’s? The pointed yellow ones are calling my name…and they’re washable!
  6. Boston is getting a new art museum!
  7. I cried just reading about the new Linda Ronstadt documentary. I can’t wait to watch it.
  8. Maris Kreizman wrote this devastating piece for The Atlantic and it nearly broke me.
  9. It’s been a week and I still can’t tell how I feel about this SNL short. Is it genius or the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen?
  10. I’m going to read this book next—I’m totally fascinated by French culture in general, but French motherhood is something I think Americans can really learn from.
  11. Is the velvet trend finally over? I mean, I’m going to keep a couple of pieces, but I’m glad to see it go. Like off-the-shoulder tops—what were we thinking? What do you think the next inescapable trend will be?

Until next week!

-chels

Shout Out…Tuesday?

I’ve been MIA for a minute, for which I apologize profusely. I’m going to try to get back into the swing of writing, but ask any writer—it’s the hardest thing on earth.

My husband and I went to Syracuse last weekend to see a Bowie tribute show, which is exciting—Syracuse is a really cool city! Every time we visit, we hit up my favorite restaurant, Strong Hearts Café, which is totally vegan! The best part is that they have a huge menu of different vegan milkshakes which are soooo delicious. I mean, it’s always exciting to see our Syracuse friends, but Strong Hearts, tho.

My No-Spend Year is still going strong! The No-Spend has been such an amazing, eye-opening experience. I am so much happier than I was when I was spending frivolously, and I appreciate the things that I do buy so much more. I’ve managed to knock out over $2,000 in debt in less than a month! I honestly don’t even know how that’s even possible since that’s more than I bring home in income! It’s amazing how resourceful you can be when you’re on a mission.

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installation at the high museum, atlanta, georgia

Okay, without further ado, here’s the week in Chelsea:

  1. CATASTROPHE IS BACK.
  2. After years and years I finally caved and started watching Game of Thrones with my husband, and I regret to inform you that I love it. I know enough about the series to not get attached to most of the characters, so I feel very prepared to take it on. We’re at the start of season three. I do have some issues with the show (they’re way too exploitative and gleeful about rape, for instance), but it is indeed very entertaining television.
  3. I started the Neapolitan novels! I borrowed My Brilliant Friend while I was in Florida last month and I loved it! I bought the second one on Kindle because I couldn’t wait, but I’m going to check my local library for the other two.
  4. Barry on HBO is back March 31! This is seriously the best new show I’ve seen in years. Bill Hader is truly one of our finest actors. If you haven’t watched it, steal someone’s hbogo password and get on it!
  5. I watched The Feels on Netflix this weekend, and while it’s very poorly rated, it also stars Constance Wu as a lesbian so how could I not have watched it?
  6. I want to watch Leaving Neverland but I’m also afraid that if I do I’ll never sleep at night? I remember, as a kid, when all the Michael Jackson allegations were going on, I found it so completely distressing and disgusting. So many abusers are protected from consequences by their fame or money and it’s a disgrace. Anyone who’d jump to Michael Jackson’s defense can moonwalk the fuck out of here.
  7. This nursery tour is everything. I feel like my whole life has just become a countdown clock to having a baby of my own!
  8. These leggings are great. I love finding good quality clothes at a great price!
  9. The new season of Friends From College is great, btw.
  10. I saved the best for last, kids. Today, not only did my The Home Edit book come today, but JENNY LEWIS’S NEW ALBUM, ON THE LINE, IS OUT TODAY*.

*Okay, so my pre-order just came early and it’s not out until Friday but EITHER WAY!

I hope some of these recommendations freak your week!

-chels