24. Sauce

June 17, 2018

Soft serve ice cream shop sign on light blue sky

Photo by Annie Shelmerdine

Hi, friends! Here’s what I had going on this week.

Writing

Sauce Theory

The Very Chill, Super Manageable Meal Prep Plan I Swear By, And You Will, Too

Reading

This weekend, I read Shrill by Lindy West. It made me realize how much I miss reading her work every day on Jezebel, and also, like, how that feels like a lifetime ago and also not that long ago at all. Anyway, she’s great and it’s a good read. 

Also:

A Theory of Animals, Jezebel. If you read one thing this week, make it this essay on immigration.

Why Alex Jones, Mike Cernovich, and Joe Rogan Are All Selling Skin Care and Can You Build a Lifestyle Brand Around Erectile Dysfunction?, Racked.

How I Learned to Stop Judging And Love Insta-Witches, Catapult.

Is Acne Cool Now?, The New York Times. (This is…a very dumb hed, but the article is interesting.)

Dear Kanye West: North and Chicago Are Not Your Karma, Bitch. “Many fathers view male sexism and abuse as an immutable constant, but instead of working to confront that, they seek instead to control their daughters’ bodies.”

How Instagram Threads Became the WikiHow for Gen Z, The Atlantic. This is so cute.

Secrets from Sex and the City’s Bawdy, Outrageous Writers’ Room, Vanity Fair.

The History—and Mystery—of the City’s Best Cream Cheese, Edible Manhattan. Old story but like…really, this cream cheese is low-key life-changing. They recently started selling it in a cheese shop near my office and I was excited because before that, I had to basically get it on the black market (aka my friend’s co-op). 

I’m ashamed of my past behavior at work: do I need to change fields?, Ask a Manager. Such a lovely response here.

Watching and listening to

Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations with Anthony Ray Hinton (this will leave you like…in a rage at our criminal justice system), the Melittology episode of Ologies (BEES!), and the Kanye episode of Still Processing. Also Queer Eye Season 2! (The first episode goddamn wrecked me.)

Best life

Last week, I decided it was time to buy a beach chair! (I rarely go to the beach, but I am going on a beach vacation this summer and wanted a really great chair. And I figured since I only have to buy one, I could get a nice one.) I was inspired by the chair I used at my friend Alanna’s parents’ beach house in the summer of 2016; I liked it so much at the time that I took a picture of it / the brand for exactly this moment. I am pretty sure the one her parents have is this $30 one, but I went with the “deluxe” $42 version.

In other news, this non-traditional baby book/journal ($49) is gorgeous.

Housekeeping

Here’s your periodic reminder that if you like my weekly links, you can Venmo me for a cup of coffee, a drink, or extra guac at rachel-w-miller.

The week ahead…

It’s solstice time!

23. Ish

June 10, 2018

close up photo of cherries

Photo: Joanna Kosinska

This week, I lost track of how many times I said “I feel like my brain is on fire.” But I spent my Saturday at the Healthyish Homecoming event in Brooklyn (I had a press pass) and it was so great. The event space, the food, the panels, the crowd, the vibe…everything was so good! Also, we had amazing weather in Brooklyn yesterday. During the extremely long lunch, my coworker Jess and I walked over to the waters’ edge and hung out for an hour and it was just like…so restorative. I got to hang out with Alisha from Girls’ Night In and I attended the panel on self-care and the panel on natural beauty. It was just so nice to spend a beautiful day being really present, surrounded by so many smart, talented, thoughtful WOC talking about topics I care about.

The big themes of the day: that vulnerability is a huge part of self-care — like, actually admitting you have needs is a big part of caring for yourself or being taken care of; the huge role that community and friendships (and honestly and vulnerability within those relationships) play in wellness; fucking capitalism; and the fact that self-care kind of has nothing to do with bubble bath and sheet masks and everything to do with caring for and being comfortable with our inner selves.

It’s so damn hard to capture a conference/event in a recap or in an IG story, but here are a few quotes I wrote down that I’m still thinking about:
– “The best way to run is in silence because you listen to your body.”
– “We don’t really know how, as a society, as a community, how to love.”
– “We do a lot of Things. We’re so obsessed with the idea of self-are activities that weren’t not actually sitting with ourselves.”
– “Literally nothing anyone does has anything to do with you.”
– “Part of taking care of yourself is getting to know yourself.”
– Jenna Wortham on her self-care: “I’m doing more daily check-ins with myself vs just checking things off a list.”
– “Our bodies are now conditioned to exist in a state of performance and aware of an external gaze.”
– “The easiest way to care for people is to just show up.”

Writing

9 Life-Changing Things To Try In June

Editing

Mindful Masturbation Is A Thing And Everyone Should Try It At Least Once

17 Neutral Nurseries That’ll Make You Forget All About Pink And Blue

Everything You Need To Know If All Your Friends Are Apparently????? Having Babies????

Reading

I finished Emergent Strategy last night! Also:

How One Woman’s Fight to Save Her Family Helped Lead to a Mass Exoneration, The New Yorker.

Remembering the Magic of Kate Spade, The Cut.

The Critic Whose Olive Garden Review Went Viral Remembers How Anthony Bourdain Spoke Up For Her, BuzzFeed.

On Mental Illness, A Cup of Jo.

The Last Conversation You’ll Need to Have on Eating Right: The Follow-ups, Grubstreet.

When Brands Use Plus-Size Models and Don’t Make Plus-Size Clothes, Racked.

Being One of the Only Black Actresses on Sex and the City Was a “Surreal” Experience, Vanity Fair.

The women behind your supermarket’s sustainable seafood, The Lily. “Many women are making more money than the men in the nearby villages — a lot more. Many men are unemployed. The women, in turn, experience very high rates of street harassment, domestic violence, and abandonment.”

My Visit to the World’s First Gym for Your Face, The New Yorker.

One of the Queen’s Guardsmen Wore a Turban During Trooping the Colour for the First Time Ever, People.

Stop Buying Pride Products From Heteros And Support Queer-Owned Brands Instead, BuzzFeed.

Divide Your To-Do List Into ‘Easy’ and ‘Hard’ Columns, Lifehacker.

Toddler Activity Center DIY!, A Beautiful Mess. This is so goddamn cute.

5 things you didn’t know about Auntie Anne’s, Biz Journals.

And a woman’s remarkable and lovely thread about how her friends showed up for her when she was grieving.

Listening to

The hair episode of Ologies. (I was walking down the street laughing out loud while I listened to it.)

The Sarah Ban Breathnach episode of Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations.

And “We’re Here For Your Anger, Jessica Walter” from Still Processing.

Loving

This oversized wedding hat, Mr. Wacky, and this fitspo meme that tried its best.

Best life

Buy a copy of Prince & Knight for the little one in your life.

I did The Queen’s Jewel exercise in my journal last Sunday night and it was really good! I’ll be doing it again tonight.

Today I did a major meal prep. I made pickled onions for the first time, along with perfect chicken, shaved Brussels sprouts, roasted root vegetables, shaved carrots, chopped yellow peppers, chickpeas, and homemade lemon-tahini dressing.

I have been creeping on glass meal prep containers on Amazon for a while now, and a couple weeks ago, I happened upon a lightning deal for a set! (I got them for $18 but they are currently $26 for the set of five, which still isn’t too bad.) They are surprisingly lightweight and I am really loving them so far.

In other news, I am here to report that jade rollers are great. One night, while approximately 15 tabs deep in blogs and YouTube videos about lymphatic drainage, I finally bought one, not really knowing what to expect, even though people swore they “work.” Like, what does “tighten skin” even mean, you know? I bought one from Amazon for $23 and used it for the first time on Monday morning. When I looked in the mirror after I was done rolling, I actually said, “Holy shit,” out loud. Like…I was not aware that I was so puffy, or that that is what my eyes are supposed to look like??? Anyway, I’ve been keeping mine in the fridge and rolling my face each morning and I am really into it!

And today hit a 100-day streak on Headspace!

The week ahead…

It me.

22. The code

June 3, 2018

Photos: Taylor Miller

I exist to a lot of people only as an avatar, and if you’ve never met me — or, really, if you don’t see me IRL regularly — you would have no real way of knowing what I look like on a day to day basis. Putting photos of myself on the Internet is…not my favorite way to use said Internet! It’s kind of funny to consider that the majority of people who “know” me don’t know that I wear white jeans basically every single day, especially because it’s such a defining thing about me. (Even my not-friendly neighborhood street harasser has commented on this fact multiple times! Men are fun.)

But now you do know, because this week, I finally published the post that’s been in my head for a long time — all about how giving myself a dress code has been one of the most liberating (and responsible) things I’ve done for myself. It’s been a while that I’ve published something like this, and it felt really good to put it into the world. The feedback has been so genuinely nice/thoughtful/curious, which is exciting, and it made for an above-average week.

Here’s what else I was up to!

Writing

Giving Myself A Dress Code Changed My Dang Life

I also worked on this DIY foot refresher spray video.

Reading

Still reading Emergent Strategy, though I’m toward the end now. Also:

How an Aspiring ‘It’ Girl Tricked New York’s Party People — and Its Banks, The Cut. God, this is WILD.

“As an Added Bonus, She Paid for Everything”: My Bright-Lights Misadventure with a Magician of Manhattan, Vanity Fair.

If You Don’t Hate Plastic Straws Already, You Will Soon Enough, Jezebel.

We Are the Original Lifehackers, New York Times.

The Most Hated Bachelor in America Explains Himself, GQ.

Which Sleepytime Tea Is the Sleepiest?, Healthyish.

Lena Dunham Explores Alone Time After a Break-Up, Vogue. I am no fan of LD these days, but this is a good essay.

It’s Time to Clean Your Computer, Inside and Out, Wired.

How to stay stain-free while you’re wearing white clothes, Quartzy.

Why Are My Fellow Whites Still So Awful at Naming Children?, GQ.

Listening to

Was Kevin Cooper Framed for Murder?, The Daily. This will fill you with rage about our criminal justice system.

Dendrology, Ologies Podcast. So good.

Best life

I bought a new lightweight rain coat ($32) a few weeks back and so far, I love it. The pink is so pretty and it’s just really soft and comfortable. (I bought a Medium, FYI.)

Fun news: the WORLD’S BEST peaches that I wrote about way back in the day are finally on sale for 2018! (I have been checking the McLeod’s website every week since the end of April because I wanted to order a box for my team and didn’t want to miss the window.) You can order them here. It’s also totally worth going in on a box with friends if you don’t personally have a need for 20 or 40 fresh peaches.

Last night I did my heartsong journal ritual, which I highly recommend! And I’m planning to do this Queen’s Jewel journaling prompt every week in June.

And my morning meditation continues apace! I meditated on 20 mornings in May (3-10 minutes per session, but usually I did five minutes). Headspace is great, y’all!

The week ahead…

Summer vacation planning!

My skincare and beauty routine

May 28, 2018

beauty and skincare products on gold tray

Since everyone loves talking about skincare these days, myself included, I thought I’d throw all of my favorite products and potions in a single place! Here’s my routine and everything I use: 

Cleansing and calming

Mornings

First, I cleanse my face with Garnier micellar water ($6.61) and a reusable bamboo nursing pad ($13.90 for a set of 10) or — in the summer — I’ll wash with COSRX Low-pH Good Morning Cleanser ($10.90).

Then I apply either The Ordinary Niacinamide serum ($12.01) or Klairs Vitamin C serum ($28.45 — I alternate each day.

For fragrance, I’m currently into Riddle Oil (code for $5 off here) and Jo Malone Sea Salt and Wood Sage.

At some point while I’m getting ready, I take my Ritual vitamins (get $5 off with this link). And I apply CND SolarOil Nail & Cuticle Oil ($8.50) right before I leave the house.

Evenings

I’m a night showerer, so most of my bedtime routine centers around that. First, I use micellar water to remove my makeup. Next I’ll do a dry brush ($9.95) on my entire body. I put on my Shhhowercap ($43) which is truly amazing and totally worth the money if you wear a shower cap a lot (which I do). Then I get in the shower, which is basically my least favorite activity.

I used the generic version of classic Dove body wash for years, but I just switched over to the generic version of the Dove Beauty Bar for sensitive skin ($17.41 for a pack of 16 bars) at my dermatologist’s recommendation. (BTW, if you live in NYC and happen to need a dermatologist: some of my coworkers recommended Dr. Lian Mack of Glamderm and I can confirm she is great. She’s also a black woman!) If I’m shaving, I use The Art of Shaving lemon shaving cream ($25 — got off free table at work and I love it).

While I’m in the shower, I wash my face with Glossier Milky Jelly ($18 — get 10% off with this link) or — in the summer — Dr. G Hyper Brightening Cleansing Foam ($18.85). Then I brush my teeth with my Quip toothbrush and Marvis Jasmine Mint toothpaste ($10.50), which I love. I truly hate all water-related chores and activities, but doing these things in the shower makes everything more bearable because I don’t have to deal with water splashing everywhere (because water was already splashing everywhere).

After taking the shortest shower possible, I get out, pat dry, and moisturize my entire body with coconut oil. (I bought a HUGE tub on sale on Prime Day last summer, which turned out to be a great choice.) I swear by coconut oil + a dry brush for really soft skin.

Next I pat a few drops of Radha Rosehip Oil ($14.95) on my face, while my skin is still damp. This stuff is AMAZING; it totally lives up to the hype.

Then I floss with Cocofloss ($22 for a three-pack).

A few times a month, I do Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel ($13.90) and then every 6-8 weeks, I’ll do a Goodal Water Full whitening (ew) sheet mask (available on Amazon for $8, though I buy them at Club Clio in NYC for $2 each). I didn’t, like, get sheet masks until I tried these; they are just so soothing and good! And if I have any sort of blemish, I apply a Corsx patch ($4.97 for a 24-pack), which are actual goddamn witchcraft.

Right before bed, I apply cuticle oil again. Then I put on my Grace Eleyae satin-lined cap ($20.96) and a Slip silk eye mask ($45 but it was a PR gift). I’ve been using an eye mask literally every night since I was 15 and have tried all different ones over the years and am honestly not that picky, though the Slip one is definitely luxurious.

black silk sleep mask on white duvet

Glowing up

My makeup routine is pretty quick/simple/unchanging. Here’s what it involves:

I dab a little bit of old/cheap/free sample foundation or concealer on my eyelids as a primer and then apply a Memebox eyeshadow (not sure the exact color — it’s from a palette I got from the free table at work — but it’s just a matte neutral brown). I use Maybelline Define-a-Lash in Blackish Brown ($4.49) for a light brow fill and as eyeliner. Then I curl my eyelashes and apply L’Oreal Voluminous Primer ($8.60). Once it’s dried, I apply a few coats of Doucce Punk Volumizer Mascara ($24).

Then I do IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Illumination concealer in Tan ($18), followed by e.l.f. Beautifully Bare blush in Rose Royalty ($4).

Finally, I sweep Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light ($46) all over my face. This is the most expensive makeup item that I own but I love it — it sort of sets and smooths everything and gently blurs it like an IRL Instagram filter. Also a single compact lasts me forever. (Like…a year. I’ve been wearing it since fall 2015 and I’m only on my second or third compact.) Then I dab some Glossier Haloscope in Topaz ($22) on my cheeks and apply Cover Girl Outlast lip color in Natural Blush #621 ($6.85).

Once a week, I do an at-home manicure using Sally Hansen cuticle remover ($5.85) followed by a coat of Sally Hansen 7-in-1 Complete Care ($7.50) and a coat of Dior Nail Glow ($28). And I get a salon pedicure like…once a year; otherwise I just do my toes myself.

And…that’s it! I’m pretty loyal to most of my products and always feel kind of proud when I use up an entire bottle of something. I also don’t try new things terribly often; I did kind of get into the whole skincare thing last summer and bought a bunch of stuff, after years of, like, using Cetaphil and micellar water and calling it a day, but I haven’t really added much since then. I’ve currently got a way to go with my serums, so it’s (sadly? maybe?) going to be a little while longer before I give in to the siren song of all of the pricey cult-favorite serums and potions and tools that all of my friends and coworkers and basically every woman over the age of 28 has been trying/buying/discussing as of late. But god knows I love a pricey cult, so we’ll see how much longer I actually hold out! 

Further reading:
Skincare Is Good and Also Works
The Year That Skin Care Became a Coping Mechanism
All the Insane Ways Men Do Skin Care

21. Flow

May 27, 2018

artwork by Amber Ibarreche that says "currently not letting anybody fuck with my flow"

Image & art: Amber Ibarreche

This week, a pipe burst at work, and the area in front of the elevators on our floor looked and sounded like an actual shower; I helped throw a baby shower for my coworker Erin, and it ended up being so fun — one of my favorite afternoons in my entire time at BuzzFeed; and I went to a Smirnoff event on a boat that included beautiful sunset views of the Statue of Liberty and former Bachelor Nick Viall. Oh, and all of this happened on the same day. It was a week!

Here’s what else I was up to…

Writing

23 Jokes About Working Out That Will Make You Say “LOL, Real”

Reading

Yesterday, I finished Hey Ladies! and today I started Emergent Strategy. (Get a sense of it from Episode 19 of The Call with Erica Williams Simon.)

Also:

Under The Skin: Why That ‘Arrested Development’ Interview Is So Bad, NPR. “Many of us — yes, women, but humans in general — prepare for conflict by trying to toughen up. We build leathery skins and metal bones, and we learn how to fight back without being blamed for the force we used. Come at us throwing rocks, and we cross our forearms and hope they bounce off. Come at us in secret, we run for light. Come at us harder, we at least try to get away. But there is something about these gentle poisoned touches, where someone puts a hand on your shoulder and says, ‘I understand, but after all,’ and an audience cheers, and something bad seeps underneath your skin and up your neck.”

I Also Went to the Royal Wedding, New York Times Magazine. “‘Why do you care?’ is a question that has been slapped against me like a cold, slimy haddock carcass many times since the royal wedding became a topic of conversation last fall. The answer is: I don’t care at all, and yet I must know every detail or I will die. Do I love ‘Suits,’ the show on which Meghan Markle portrayed a former paralegal? Yes. Have I ever seen ‘Suits’? Absolutely not. Do I have plans to watch it? No, no offense. Am I addicted to Meghan Markle? One hundred percent. What is the cure? More Meghan. Am I Meghan? Unclear. Am I not not Meghan? Almost certainly. What would I do if Meghan attempted to install herself as a monarch ruling over the United States? Strike her down. Do the inner workings of the British monarchy affect me in any way? Meghan loves cross-body bags.”

The Profound Presence of Doria Ragland, The New Yorker.

#BikingWhileBlack: NAACP and Black Motorcyclists Sue Myrtle Beach, SC, for Discrimination During ‘Black Bike Week’, The Root.

Origin Story Part I and Part II, Victoria McGinley. These are so, so good.

Love Means Never Having to Say…Anything, New York Times. “I think when you’re both sick it makes it easier and harder at the same time.”

Home Depot Employees Get Every Bad Job Experience In One Place, Splinter.

Why You’ll Find Sex Toys in the Beauty Department, Racked.

Kim Kardashian’s Beautiful, Sinister Weight-Loss Sponcon, Jezebel.

Getty is trying to bring disability inclusion to stock photos, Fast Company.

8 Ways to Take Beautiful Photos of Kids, A Cup of Jo.

Here’s Why You’re Always So Hungry for Lunch at 11 a.m., Bon Appétit.

How Changing Just 1% Of Your Day Can Completely Transform Your Life, MindBodyGreen. I love the idea of thinking of 15 minutes as 1% of your day.

Is this life-giving? Questions to Reflect On, Homesong.

Watching/listening to

The Forever 35 podcast and Ali Wong’s new Netflix special, Hard Knock Wife.

Best life

I had dinner with my friend Rachel at Pequeña in Ft. Greene on Saturday night. It’s women-owned and the food was delicious, and we had a lovely evening. Def recommend if you’re local!

I can confirm The Strategist’s take on this dress ($38). I ordered it in white and as soon as it arrived, I liked it enough to order a second one. (See it on me here.) One note: I ordered a medium to be on the safe side (you just never know with sites like this) and it’s a tad big, so I’m going to have it tailored, and I ordered the second dress in a small.

I bought a pair of black leggings from Girlfriend Collective a couple years ago when they had just launched and were doing the “Just pay $20 for shipping and your leggings are free!” deal that I 100% thought was a scam at first. (I was deep in the “Are these leggings a scam?” beat at the time.) The leggings turned out to be great, but I had sort of forgotten about the company. Since then, they have expanded their line and their branding is extremely my shit, so I recently ordered some new stuff. I got powder blue full length leggings ($68), , a matching bra ($38), and a lightweight wrap ($38) and all of it is great.

light blue yoga pants and sports bra + light blue wrap from Girlfriend Collective
Also, you may recall my recent comments about how white/ivory yoga pants have been basically trolling me as of late. Well, Girlfriend Collective is currently having a Memorial Day sale where if you buy one pair of leggings, you can get an ivory pair for 50% off. So…guess who is about to be the proud owner of some ivory yoga pants!!!

The week ahead…

I’m very excited to spend my day off tomorrow organizing my closets/drawers in preparation for summer!

20. When love is the way

May 20, 2018

Yesterday’s Royal Wedding was lovely and beautiful and modern and glamorous and I loved every second of it. The entire time, I was just…verklempt. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex! I can’t stop thinking about it. (Is this…what sports is like???) I loved Meghan’s dress. (Like, really.) I loved her veil. I loved her mom. I loved Harry’s beard and his tears and his lip-bite. I loved the sermon and the cello and that choir. I loved Meghan’s second dress and her messy bun and that car. It was all just so lovely and happy! I’m sad that it’s over and that we’ll basically not get any more of it or, really, of them. For now, I’ll be over here watching The Crown and imagining what Meghan’s life is like now while also buying every skincare and makeup product she’s ever mentioned.

Here’s what else I was up to this week…

Writing

Just 21 Times Mindy Kaling Was An OG Wellness Hoe

If You Need To Get Shit Done At Home, Try Putting On Sneakers

Tiny Life Tip: Do One Small Task Every Single Day As A Gift To Future You

I Tried The Pretty Vitamins That Are All Over Instagram And TBH I Love Them

Editing

This Peanut Butter Hack Will Make Washing Your Dog So Much Easier

Just 21 Completely Genius Life Hacks From R/LifeProTips

Just 13 Wholesome Things Jennifer Garner Has Been Up To Lately

29 Jokes About Finals That Will Make All Students Laugh Then Cry

50 Productive Things You Can Do Right This Minute

17 Things You’ll Only Laugh At If You Have A Niece Or Nephew

Reading

Finished Pachinko and definitely recommend it. I was actually really shocked by how much it felt like the story had in common with 19th and 20th century stories of black people in America. I also really loved the ongoing motif of cloth and laundry — just like really lovely and tender and distinctly feminine. Next up: Hey Ladies!

Also:

Meghan Markle’s Givenchy wedding gown was beautiful. But the woman wearing it was unforgettable., Washington Post. “What was most noticeable were all the things that the dress was not. It was not a Hollywood red-carpet statement. It was not a Disney-princess fantasy. It was not a mountain of camouflaging tulle and chiffon. … Its beauty was in its architectural lines and its confident restraint. It was a romantic dress, but one that suggested a clear-eyed understanding that a real-life romance is not the stuff of fairy tales. The dress was a backdrop; it was in service to the woman.”

Thanks, Meghan Markle, We Needed That, New York Times. “Here was Meghan Markle, this beautiful bride, this self-described feminist. This divorced biracial woman, 36 years old, who had built her own career. This black princess. Maybe I had avoided the spectacle because I was afraid for her, afraid for us, because I thought it might be too much to hope that others could fall in love with her, too. But they did.”

The Royal Wedding Means Nothing and Everything to Me, The Cut. “Just as I fantasized about what it was like to finally have a black family in the White House, I find myself wondering about all the juicy black girl moments that are happening in Windsor Castle. Though she probably has a keratin treatment and extensions, is someone in the castle pressing her edges, because they seem to be incredibly flat in every photo?” I think about this exact thing more than I care to admit.

Meet The Kingdom Choir, The British Gospel Choir That Snatched Our Wigs At The Royal Wedding, Essence. Also, I was wondering who styled them so I appreciated this.

Also: this love letter Meghan Markle wrote to her mom a few years ago and this poem she likes.

Prince Charles to walk Meghan Markle down the aisle, Lainey Gossip.

What Are the Most Bizarre Royal Etiquette Rules?, The Cut.

#SayHerName: 100 Years Ago, Mary Turner Was Lynched, Very Smart Brothas. “Mary Turner was eight months pregnant when she was lynched on May 19, 1918. It all began, as do many things in America, with a mediocre white man.”

Courage and Power from Pain: An Interview with Viola Davis, Brené Brown.

Missing Hope: A Trio of Miscarriages, and What Happened After, Catapult.

This thread on the importance of great teachers.

Yanny vs. Laurel Couldn’t Break the Internet Because We’re Already Broken, Esquire.

The 18-month coffee debate, and other stories of office coffee wars, Ask a Manager.

25 Tweets About Men That’ll Make Women Shake Their Heads And Softly Say “Damn”, BuzzFeed. Dead.

Watching / listening to

The Meghan and Harry Lifetime movie. Two of my coworkers told me they watched it twice so I finally watched it on Friday night and…oh my god??? I’m like…still angry about how good it is?

Also:

How I Discovered I Wasn’t Straight.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason’s album.

And yesterday’s performance of Stand By Me.

Best life

I’ve been using bamboo nursing pads ($13 for a set of 10 on Amazon) an alternative to disposable cotton pads in my skincare routine. They are much softer/smoother than a washcloth, and they are actually big enough that I can reuse the same pad for several days.

I love lavender as a flavor so I’m so here for this lavender sangria.

And it’s getting warmer so I’ve been back on my cottage cheese bullshit for breakfast.

The week ahead…

Shooting a couple of videos and getting a pedicure!

Desiderata

May 20, 2018

Yesterday I was using Wayback Machine to poke around Meghan Markle’s old lifestyle blog, The Tig, and I came across this sweet entry from Feb. 24, 2015:

“A poem that has long stayed with me — for inspiration, clarification, and the ultimate food for thought. It was actually an episode of Oprah’s Master Class with Morgan Freeman where I heard him quote this for the first time. And on whatever dark day it was, where I was riddled with self-doubt, where I was questioning my purpose and focusing on all the minutiae that really truly does not matter — and I heard this. It burrowed into my heart, finding a cozy place to call home. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

-Max Ehrmann”

19. Tender

May 13, 2018

So, I’ve really, really been wanting to buy some plants, especially now that spring (and Instagram) is bursting with greenery. But for more than a year, I haven’t let myself because I’ve felt really, really guilty about the plants I’ve killed. (It’s true: I — the Adult In The Room, the one who cares deeply about taking care of your things, a human who can keep white jeans, white sheets, and a white couch clean — am plant incompetent. I’m not proud of this fact!!!) Not buying any new plants felt like the responsible, mature thing to do.

Then on Thursday, I came into possession of a very pretty little pot at a gardening-related press event, and that kind of pushed me over the edge. Like, I couldn’t just have this NICE POT and not put a plant in it!!! Especially not after seeing all the beautiful plants and flowers during the event!!! So on Friday afternoon, I went to the farmers market and bought two plants. An aloe plant and a snake plant, specifically. (And before you think, oh, that’s a good choice, no one can kill an aloe plant or a snake plant, know that I have indeed done just that.) I also dropped $20 on a ranunculus bouquet because YOLO. And I swear, this time is going to be different.

Here’s what else I was up to this week:

Writing

How Much Of A Wellness Hoe Are You?

14 Products That’ll Relieve Your Sore Muscles, Aching Head, And Sensitive Skin

Editing

19 Heartwarming Stories That Will Make You Want To Start A Garden

14 Easy Ways To Raise Children Who Love Nature

17 Things That’ll Make You Never, Ever Want To Hunt For An Apartment

7 Small Words And Phrases That Make A Big Impact On My Mental Health

Reading

I’m Not Black, I’m Kanye, The Atlantic.

Gossip explains our culture. And nobody explains it like Lainey Gossip., Washington Post. “Where athletics are perceived as hypermasculine and are, in turn, afforded almost comical reverence, celebrity gossip is a girly, guilty pleasure. ‘How many 24-hour sports channels are there?’ Lui asks. She notes that SportsCenter and its ilk are simply reporting on gossip. ‘Who’s getting traded to who? Who’s signing a deal? What happened in the locker room? . . . That’s basically what we do on a gossip blog: Who is going to sign on to this movie? Are they going to get along with this person? It’s the same!'”

The Love Story I Never Thought to Tell, A Cup of Jo. “I was asked to give a speech at this wedding. At first, I dreaded this, too. What on earth could I contribute? I don’t know much about marriage, having never been married. But then I realized: I know plenty about love.”

Lilac, the Color of Half Mourning, Doomed Hotels, and Fashionable Feelings, The Paris Review.

The Promise of Vaping and the Rise of Juul, The New Yorker.

Why I Take and Share My Selfies on Instagram, Man Repeller. “I know I’m considered a public figure and that scrutiny comes with the territory, but selfies do attract a varying panel of emotions: joy, pity, ease, envy. They are an unspoken conversation between the creator and the consumer, and that dialogue is sometimes the reason I post in the first place. But does this conversation favor, even romanticize, the underdog? It seemed to favor me when I was in a darker place.”

The Things I’ve Done to Drastically Reduce my Anxiety, Lark & Linen.

Love letters as writing samples, the candidate who spoke Pirate, and other tales of amazing resumes, Ask a Manager.

23 Very Silly Tumblr Posts That Are Going To Make You Laugh Despite Yourself, BuzzFeed.

Best life

In other plant-related news, I spent my weekend making a broadleaf plantain skin salve that’s just about done!

And I’m currently obsessed with the @onbeinginyourbody Insta account.

The week ahead…

Royal! Wedding! Time!

18. Full bloom

May 6, 2018

Photo: Nani Williams

It’s officially “wow, who gave these fuckin’ plants the right?” season here in New York! Today I took another herb class at Remedies (today we played with white pine) and then walked all over Brooklyn; everywhere I looked, shit was in full beautiful bloom. It was pretty glorious; all the plants basically looked like the jazz hands emoji. I’ll admit that I don’t find spring as emotionally uplifting as most people do — I actually find myself getting increasingly sad as the temperature goes up, and feel most myself on the coldest driest days of winter — but that doesn’t mean I’m not still moved by lush green leaves and tree branches dripping with pink and white blossoms. And I appreciated the fact that the backdrop for today’s plant parade was very cool and a bit gray. It just was a very soothing, restorative weekend and overall, I’m feeling all right.

Here’s what else I was up to this week…

Writing

9 Life-Changing Things To Try In May

19 Practical Mother’s Day Gifts For Moms Who Are Hard To Shop For

Just 7 Great Books Every New Grad Should Own

+ a review of Headspace here.

Editing

The #1 Thing I’ve Learned About Work After Reading 100,000 Work Advice Emails

16 Of The Most Helpful Subreddits You Should Look At Regularly

7 Small Words And Phrases That Make A Big Impact On My Mental Health

This Acupressure Mat Makes Back Pain, Insomnia, And Stress Seem Like NBD (I bought the mat after editing this!)

Reading

I was having trouble sticking with Parable of the Sower so I picked up Pachinko instead. I feel like every woman I know is reading it right now. I’m about 15 chapters in and it’s great so far; I like how straightforward the writing is, while still working in so many lovely little details. I’m genuinely excited to keep reading this one!  

Also:

I’m Prettttty Sure the Trump Administration Is Conspiring With the Self-Care Industry to Make Me Go Broke, Splinter. “You may be saying to yourself that I’m a slave to my own mindless consumerism, that I use unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with unresolved trauma surrounding the 2016 election. To that I say, ‘Hmm. Doubtful.’ If Alex Jones can call David Hogg a Nazi and not get his YouTube channel suspended, then I can blame my careless spending habits on the Trump administration working in concert with the machine elves who run Sephora.”

Glennon Doyle Is Coming to Get the White Women, The Cut.

I tried leaving Facebook. I couldn’t, The Verge. “Facebook had replaced much of the emotional labor of social networking that consumed previous generations. We have forgotten (or perhaps never noticed) how many hours our parents spent keeping their address books up to date, knocking on doors to make sure everyone in the neighborhood was invited to the weekend BBQ, doing the rounds of phone calls with relatives, clipping out interesting newspaper articles and mailing them to a friend, putting together the cards for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas, and more. We don’t think about what it’s like to carefully file business cards alphabetically in a Rolodex. People spent a lot of time on these sorts of things, once, because the less of that work you did, the less of a social network you had.”

Vitamins Are Trendy. Vitamin Stores Aren’t., Racked.

White People’s Unseasoned Food Isn’t Just an Internet Meme. It’s a Centuries-Long Obsession, Quartzy.

What Does Being Pregnant Feel Like? Part I, The Cut. “Sometimes I felt a lot of creaking and grinding and pulling, like I was an old whaling ship. But I also felt like the whale, because whales are full of milk and oil and follow the moon and sing to their sweet calves in the dark water. ”

The split mind of postpartum depression, Motherwell. “‘Depression has nothing to do with how much moms love their kids,’ I told her. ‘It’s a treatable illness. A cruel mix of ping ponging hormones, brain chemistry, exhaustion and feeling totally overwhelmed.’ Essentially I force fed empathy to a mother who refused to believe that maternal love, the real kind, would ever succumb to the weakness of depression.”

Good, approved jokes for the White House Correspondents’ dinner 2019, Washington Post.

The Sick-Day Mascara Trick, The Cut.

The Pitch Meeting for Wishbone (from The Toast).

“…Cause we can do this, if that’s what you want to do.”

Listening to

The Cleo Wade interview on the MindBodyGreen podcast.

Best life

I completed my first month of Headspace! Since I’m done with all three Basics packs, I started the Work – Focus pack (I’m doing 10-15 minutes per session) and am still doing the daily meditation for 3-5 minutes each evening. It’s good.

I’ve only been trying the Flex period disc for a few days, but so far, I’m really into it! I like it a lot better than I liked the Diva Cup. Also, I feel personally targeted by the beautiful website.

The week ahead…

Just enjoying the windows-open life! 

17. Paint the town pink

April 29, 2018

Photo: Social Cut

So, I basically had zero time to recover from Beychella and then Janelle Monáe came and hit us wih Dirty Computer on Friday! I watched the ~emotion picture~ last night (it’s like…Eternal Sunshine x Black Mirror x black women so…extremely my shit) and have been bopping to the album all day today. Two weekends in a row with all this black female art! Like, my skin is clearer, my plants are thriving, and I’m feeling highly favored and blessed.

Here’s what else I had going on this week!

Editing

15 Easy Ways To Make Your Beauty Routine A Little Less Wasteful

9 Things That’ll Finally Help You Kick Your Plastic Straw Habit

Reading

What Fullness Is, Roxane Gay on Medium.

How Janelle Monáe Found Her Voice, The New York Times Magazine. “Discretion is a survival strategy, a coping mechanism especially useful for black women living in the public eye.” Jenna Wortham on Janelle is 100.

The Young Brujas Reclaiming the Power of Their Ancestors, Broadly.

I’m Not an ‘Infertility Warrior’, The Cut.

Sephora’s Lawsuit With Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Is a Staggering Case Study in How Beauty Products Are Sold, Racked.

Mindfulness Meditation Advice for the Anxious and Distracted, The Cut.

17 Wonderful Reader Comments on Grief, A Cup of Jo.

This Woman’s Story About How She Gave Birth In A Hotel Room With The Help Of YouTube Videos Is Amazing, BuzzFeed. This did NOT disappoint.

Listening to

This episode of The Stoop about black ballerinas.

Best life

Here are two good tips from Lifehacker: toss your dirty detergent cap in with the laundry and cool a bunch of baked goods with an ironing board.

I’ve been trying to pack my lunch more often; this week, I made perfect chicken and then roasted frozen root veggies and frozen Brussels sprouts and topped everything with a little goddess dressing before eating. Prepping everything involved minimal work/cleanup, and it was really yummy! This week I’m doing breakfast meal prep for the first time in like 100 years. I also bought this pretty food storage set for my lunches.

I don’t need these creamy Nike sneakers, but I reallllly like them.

And if you’re in the market for some bougie hipster Millennial workout wear, you can get $20 off a purchase of $100+ at Outdoor Voices with this referral link (and I will receive a $20 credit FYI).

The week ahead…

Just making lots of content!!!

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