Entries Tagged as 'Friends'

The week in review: USA! USA!

July 5, 2015

Last Monday, I was thinking about my lifelong friend Heather, and how we hadn’t caught up in way too long. We’ll often go, like, years without truly catching up, and then we’ll spend eight hours in a Starbucks talking about everything. And I was thinking to myself that since she lives in D.C., it shouldn’t be that difficult to have one of our marathon catch-up sessions soon. The next day, she actually texted me that she and her boyfriend would be in NYC for the holiday weekend, and wondered if Eric and I wanted to meet up with them. Catching up with her and getting to know her boyfriend over tator tots, nachos, and patriotic JELL-O shots at Pork Slope was a pretty great way to spend the 4th, and was definitely my favorite moment of the week!

Here are some other highlights…

Writing

“Catalyst” Is Your Favorite New Feminist Wedding Magazine

21 Wedding Registry Items That Are Totally Worth It

10 Life-Changing Things To Try In July

8 Tips For Taking Better Photos Of Fireworks With Your Phone

Eating

Breakfast at SCRATCHbread this morning!

Reading

Prisons that withhold menstrual pads humiliate women and violate basic rights, The Guardian.

The Abortion That Let Me Be a Mother, BuzzFeed. This gut-wrenching essay is a must-read.

Juice Contract, The New Yorker. “Juice Your Own Adventure and the Juicee mutually agree that the Juicee does not have to go to the gym today, or maybe ever. From a legal standpoint, drinking a green juice is the same thing as doing between six and twelve hours of high-impact cardio.”

Lesbnb, Bitches Gotta Eat. This is just delightful.

Do these exercises for two minutes a day and you’ll immediately feel happier, researchers say, The Washington Post.

Holly Madison Reveals The Hell That Is Playboy Mansion Life, BuzzFeed. “I feel like there comes a time in every woman’s life when you have to become a feminist.”

All Dolled Up: The Enduring Triumph of American Girl, Racked.

I Was A Victim of Reddit’s FatPeopleHate Because I Refused to Be Ashamed of My Body, xoJane. “It amazes me what a man will say to a woman that he is not sexually attracted to. Because he despised my body, I had nothing left to offer the world in his eyes.”

Sexts, Hugs, and Rock n Roll: On The Road With The Teen Social-Media Sensations Of DigiTour, BuzzFeed.

Federal Judge: My Drug War Sentences Were ‘Unfair and Disproportionate’, The Atlantic.

Mom Spends Beach Vacation Assuming All Household Duties In Closer Proximity To Ocean, The Onion.

Nicholas Winton, Rescuer of 669 Children From Holocaust, Dies at 106, The New York Times. This was so incredibly humbling. 

Beauty Behind Bars and Prison’s Underground Beauty Culture, xoJane.

Why We Don’t Keep Secrets In Our House {Child Abuse Prevention}, Denver Metro Moms’ Blog.

Beyond Marriage Equality, Nicolette Mason.

Pretty still life photography in 8 tips, A Subtle Revelry.

Encouraging thought of the day, Adulting.

The week ahead…

I’ve got a BuzzFeed photo shoot this week…I spent my morning making boob-shaped confetti for it!

A fancy animal gallery wall is the perfect gallery wall

June 29, 2015

When Eric and I went to the beach with our friends Carly and David a couple weeks ago, we started our day with breakfast at their apartment. And that’s where I saw their amazing gallery wall.

Cat gallery wall

This is what Carly told me about how their wall came to be:

“David was drunk is 2011 and stumbled across an artist who painted ‘Gentleman Dogs in Suits’ on Amazon and bought it on the spot. A previous version he told me of this story including him buying it on the street, but now he’s saying this never happened and he doesn’t remember telling me that. Agree to disagree. This was a time that he still went on Facebook, and he found the post, celebrating his purchase!”

“He hung it in his room and decided it was lonely, so he decided to expand the collection (probably also on a drunken whim).”

“Then came Carly: the beautiful and intelligent woman who would sweep him off his feet and three years later become his wife! I loved the art he already had, and thought it would be a thoughtful Christmas gift for my new boyfriend to add to the collection, so two more portraits by a different artist were hung on his wall. Then we moved in together, and people started getting them for us as housewarming gifts. My mom found some coasters depicting dogs as famous people at a garage sale and she had them mounted for us. My sister added the giant cat on the upper right when Rosie and Frankie joined the family. We got another famous print of two very chic cats painted over a page from a french novel for my bridal shower, and on and on it went! We opted for a tortoise shell green background, because I thought it gave it a den-like feel.”

Cat gallery wall

I love this! (Coincidentally, here is a similar gallery wall I came across yesterday, that actually belongs to a guy I am loosely connected to through the wedding industry.) It seems like people are always saying they don’t know what to hang on their walls because they don’t have good photos to frame, and gallery walls are kind of a pain to create. Doing completely unexpected artwork is both practical and fun!

A thoughtful housewarming gift

April 13, 2015

At our potato party a couple weeks ago, my coworker Emily brought Eric and me the nicest housewarming gift!

Housewarming gift

The card said, “This is a traditional housewarming gift I learned from my mom—’Bread so you shall never know hunger. Salt so your life shall always have flavor. Sugar so your life shall always have sweetness.'” In the cute Brooklyn tote was fancy sea salt and Maple syrup (and she’s a very experienced food editor, so I highly trust her recommendation) along with a baguette. (There was booze too, which Eric, Emily, and her boyfriend all shared before I could take a photo.)

Housewarming gift

I just thought it was such a thoughtful gift that I had to share! Moving to a new city can be really daunting, and reminders that you have genuinely great people in your new locale go a long way.

BuzzFeed: 13 Ways To Be A Good Friend To Someone Getting Divorced

March 30, 2015

Maaaaybe don’t sign them up for Tinder right away.

divorce

Image: Alice Monkongolite / BuzzFeed Life

More advice here.

BuzzFeed: How To Be A Friend To Someone Who Has Had A Miscarriage

January 28, 2015

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed Life

Advice from people who have been there. Read it here.

The week in review

January 19, 2015

This weekend, my friend Dallas took the train up from D.C. for a visit! Despite the fact that Saturday was insanely cold and it poured on Sunday, we had a great time.

Here were the highlights…

Shopping at the Birchbox store in SoHo. After Birchbox, we wandered over to the going-out-of-business sale at C. Wonder, where I found something I had been looking for for more than a month: a chic little leather belt bag. Yes, it’s a fanny pack and I have NO SHAME about that because not having to carry a purse over my shoulders feels like feminism and freedom and I love it. It was also $20, so that was a major win.

Going to the Harlem Gospel Choir brunch. Fun, but realllllllllly touristy. (Overheard: “They’re talking about Jesus A LOT.”)

Hitting up the Brooklyn Flea. We started our trip with donuts from the Dough stand and then had a lot of fun shopping. I ended up with some great vintage books and issues of Cosmopolitan from 1939 and 1940.

Sipping the best hot chocolate at Emeline’s. I now know that all hot chocolate should have cinnamon sprinkled on top of the whipped cream.

Taking in the Met’s Death Becomes Her exhibit. This was the main reason Dallas scheduled her trip when she did; more thoughts on it tomorrow!

Staying up late talking about the meaning of life (I mean…basically). But really, talking about everything from losing a parent to relationships to life goals to body image to social media. Friendship, man.

Basically, we had a blast! One of the best things about being in NYC is that it puts me in much closer proximity to my friends, and I’m so excited that visits like this will be a regular thing here.

Other things of note this week…

Reading

When Will The North Face Its Racism?, The New York Times.

Ellen Craft, the Slave Who Posed as a Master and Made Herself Free, Jezebel.

Miss American Dream, Medium.

How Buzzfeed is Trying to Kill Me, GQ.

Watch 100 Years Of Black Hairstyles In Less Than A Minute, BuzzFeed.

Man Spends 16 Years Turning An Old Plantation Into A Memorial To Honor The Once Enslaved, Sunny Skyz.

Let’s Get Drinks, The New Yorker.

I am not a mother, but I can have an opinion on parenting, Daily Life.

There’s An Unlicensed “Frozen” App Where You Deliver Anna’s Baby, BuzzFeed.

It Is One Thing To Date Your Father But There Is No Excuse For Not Knowing The Difference Between The Tudors And The Hapsburgs, The Toast.

Damage, The Big Roundtable.

If Hermione Were The Main Character In “Harry Potter”, BuzzFeed.

I’m also still working my way through I Am Not a Slut, and I started Pageants, Parlors, and Pretty Women: Race and Beauty in the Twentieth-Century South this week, which is so interesting so far.

Writing

How Often You Really Need To Shower (According To Science). Which got a huge response and got picked up by TODAY, among others!

19 Vintage Photos That Celebrate Black Women’s Beauty

Your Wedding Needs 100% More Nacho Fountain

The week ahead…

Moving into our new office at work and enjoying the four-day week!

The Neapolitan novels

December 20, 2014

Over the past two weeks, I read the first three novels in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan book series: My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. I cannot stop thinking about these books.

(Warning: do not judge a brilliant book by its 1990s-Lifetime-Movie-esque cover.)

The books were recommended by my friend Jessica; she told me that they were about a female friendship that began in Naples in the 1950s and spanned several decades, and that when the books begin, we know that one of the friends, now in her 60s, has gone missing. Since I didn’t know anything else about it and I’m not usually drawn to fiction, I wasn’t really sure where My Brilliant Friend was going at and I was a bit slow to get into it. But about midway through it, things started to click for me. I really got into the story during Book 2, and by Book 3, I couldn’t read it fast enough. I thought there were only three books, so I was both excited that there is a fourth, but also disappointed that Book 4 won’t be translated into English until September 2015.

The books are about the highs and lows of a female friendship, yes, but they are also about family, class, identity, marriage, work, sex, success, motherhood (and the lack of desire to be a mother), and womanhood. The writing is beautiful and extremely honest; the characters are often frustrating (and at times extremely unlikable) and just…real. And the books are relatable, often in ways that surprised me. (I also think that a lot of the protagonist’s experiences would hit home for African-American readers.)

I didn’t know that feminist principles would be so central to the book, and they actually sort of snuck up on me. And I’m not sure why, exactly, because the way women are treated is apparent—at times brutally so—in the early parts of the book, when the main characters are young girls. But I think because the early parts are told through the eyes of a young girl, it’s less keenly felt. But as the characters enter their teenage years, you begin to get a real sense of women’s lack of choices and their lack of mobility, and by adulthood in Book 3, it’s just like HOT DAMN, THIS IS SOME REAL TALK. But it’s not preachy at all; I think what makes the books so good is how plainly the narrator talks about these things.

If you liked Middlesex and/or The Interestings, you should read these books. If you did not like those books…read these anyway.

These would make for a great book club selection, though I do think you’d need to read all three books to have a real discussion on them. It’s also the kind of “women’s literature” that can and should be read/enjoyed by both sexes. I don’t think you can talk about the treatment of women in this book without examining masculinity and the expectations placed on men. Also, fuck, it’s high time we all read more female authors writing about women’s lives.

As the books went on, I found myself highlighting a ton. Here are some of the quotes that really stood out to me…but don’t read them until you’ve read the books so they can unfold for you in context!

“But staying near her meant staying in her world, becoming completely like her. And if I became like her, who would be right for me if not Antonio?”

“Because I’ve had it; it’s always the same story: inside something small there’s something even smaller that wants to leap out, and outside something large there’s always something larger that wants to keep it a prisoner. I’m going to cook.”

“There are people who leave and people who know how to be left.”

“I said to myself every day: I am what I am and I have to accept myself; I was born like this, in this city, with this dialect, without money; I will give what I can give, I will take what I can take, I will endure what has to be endured.”

“How easy it is to tell the story of myself without Lila: time quiets down and the important facts slide along the thread of the years like suitcases on a conveyor belt at an airport: you pick them up, put them on the page, and it’s done.”

“I knew very well at that that time, too, there had been shame. And uneasiness, and humiliation, and disgust: accept, submit, force yourself. Is it possible that even happy moments of pleasure never stand up to rigorous examination? Possible.”

“The more of a slut you are, the better off you are.”

“A male, apart from the mad moments when you love him and he enters you, always remains outside.”

“[The men] preferred to pretend that what happened at the hands of the boss miraculously didn’t happen to the women important to them.”

“He’s marrying me to have a faithful servant, that’s the reason all men get married.”

“Men, dazed by pleasure, absentmindedly sow their seed. Overcome by their orgasm, they fertilize us. They show up inside us and withdraw, leaving, concealed in our flesh, their ghost, like a lost object.”

“I was his wife, an educated wife, and he expected me to pay close attention when he spoke to me about politics, about his studies, about the new book he was working on, filled with anxiety, wearing himself out, but the attention had to be affectionate; he didn’t want opinions, especially if they caused doubts…even though I had had an education he did not want me to be capable of independent thought, he demeaned me by demeaning what I read, what interested me, what I said, and he appeared to love me only provided that I continually demonstrated my nothingness.”

“Maybe, I thought, I’ve given too much weight to the cultivated use of reason, to good reading, to well controlled language, to political affiliation; maybe, in the face of abandonment, we are all the same; maybe not even a very orderly mind can endure the discovery of not being loved.”

“But although we were all women, we struggled to understand what a woman was. Our every move or thought or conversation or dream, once analyzed in depth, seemed not to belong to us.”

Jessica had mentioned to me that the author of the books is quite mysterious—Elena Ferrante is a pen name, there are no photos of her, she’s never done a live interview. After reading the books and then a bunch of articles about her last night, I really appreciate that. The lack of an author with a strong persona allows you to get lost in the book and read it like an autobiography (which it likely is to some degree), but means there isn’t a clear ending in your head based on what you already know about the author’s own life. (I was surprised to read that a lot of people think the author is actually male; after reading the books, I genuinely have no idea why one would think that.) I haven’t decided yet if I’ll read her other books while I wait for Book 4; I’ve heard The Days of Abandonment is really good, but I’m a little afraid to mess with the perfection of this story in my head by introducing other characters and situations that are similar, but different. I…may just re-read these books again next week.

The week in review: The houseguest

December 14, 2014

This weekend, we had our first visitor! It was my friend Julia’s first trip to New York so I tried to find a good mix of fun things to do with her in Brooklyn and Manhattan. We basically just walked from one food destination to another, stopping to shop along the way. It was a blast.

The highlights:

Donuts at Dough. We opted for cinnamon sugar, salted chocolate, and plain glazed. I’m honestly still not over them yet.

Shopping at Brooklyn Flea. This was definitely one of the best parts of the weekend. I didn’t buy the gold scissors (THIS TIME) but I did buy a matted page from an old anatomy book (it features a diagram of a chastity belt) and some opaque pastel vintage christmas lights.

Ramen at Ippudo. There was a two-hour wait for dinner, so we headed to a bar nearby for drinks. I had McKenzie’s Seasonal Hard Cider which was SO GOOD. The wait actually went by pretty quickly and the ramen was really good.

Shopping at the Union Square Holiday Market. We did this because we had some time to kill but it ended up being really fun and worth it. (We found the perfect Christmas gift for my mother-in-law so I’m pretty pumped about that!) My only regret was that we weren’t hungry when we were there because all the food booths looked and smelled amazing.

Brunch at Peaches. The roasted potatoes were the best ever. So was the soundtrack. And the omelet. It was all just SO GOOD.

Other things of note from this week…

Writing

31 Subscription Gifts They’ll Love All Year

These Guys Created Beard Ornaments To Decorate Your Face For The Holidays

19 Guys With Tat Sleeves Who Will Make You Thirsty

Here’s What You Should Make Your Family This Christmas

31 Brilliant Ikea Hacks Every Parent Should Know

Reading

I finished My Brilliant Friend on Thursday and started The Story of a New Name first thing Friday. I’m hooked!

The week ahead…

The countdown to Christmas is on!

BuzzFeed: Making Friends In Your Twenties Vs. Your Thirties

November 7, 2014

(Photo via Giphy)

Read it on BuzzFeed!

The best birthday gift ever

September 24, 2014

My friend Dallas and I share the love language of gifting. At the beginning of the summer, we started exchanging small pen pal gifts each month, a fun little activity that we had both been wanting to do. And, unsurprisingly, she went all-out with my birthday gift. (So all-out, in fact, it took a little while for her to collect everything and I didn’t receive the gift until September. Which was fine because 1. I didn’t care at all and 2. it was totally worth the wait!)

The best birthday gift ever

She basically brought my Pinterest boards to life BUT did it with products I’d never seen before, thus making the entire gift totally perfect, surprising, and delightful. 

The best birthday gift ever

The best birthday gift ever

Each little present was wrapped in brown kraft paper with a note written on it to explain why she chose it. Here’s what each one had in it…

For your princess hair, on days when you just can’t: a light green turban. (I started freaking out as soon as I read the note because I knew what it was going to be, and I’ve been saying I need a turban forever.)

Because flamingos y’all: fun flamingo clutch.

Because every girl needs a little KSNY: Kate Spade iPhone case. (Also the reason I will NOT be upgrading to the iPhone 6. I’m so excited about this.)

Because I knew you’d love it: “I’m a grown-ass woman and I do what I want” temporary tattoo.

Because…truth, am I right?: “Bitches get shit done” pin.

For inspiration to one of my favorite writers: mint green “write that shit down” pencils. (!!!!!!!!!)

Because who doesn’t love a bow? And also…Kate: Kate Spade bow earrings.

(And on the one that said “Open me last please”…)

Because we’re in a lean-in circle of two: prints of Dallas and me having long-distance girl talk. (It took a second for me to figure out that they were’t just totally adorable…but that they were actually designed to look like us! Also I love that Chuck makes an appearance in mine.)

The best birthday gift ever

She TOTALLY nailed everything and I love it so much! Also, I have a lot to live up to come December. 

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