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What Our Team Loved in May

A monthly series, corralling the various food, products, and entertainment we're currently enjoying.
1

We were on the fence about whether we should invest in another pizza oven, like the one we had in our last year. But after over a year of Sundae Sundays, we decided to bite the bullet. There are a variety of models, but we chose one with a small spatial footprint that uses wood pellets, since we need them anyway for our Traeger Grill. While my oven-made pizzas were quite good, this takes it to the next level and we've been using it at least once a week. My crusts are now excellent, with a chew and leoparding (the signature darkened spots on high-end pizza spots) that rivals my favorite restaurants. It's portable, reaches 950° F in a few minutes, and cooks pizzas within 60 seconds, which at $299, makes this the most perfect Father's Day gift out there (though G will also be sharing his picks in a post leading up to the date!). - Emily

2

In my ever-present search to find cocktail alternatives, I came across RAFT, a Portland-based company that makes the most amazing syrups, which I've been adding to sparkling water. I first tried the Citrus Rosemary flavor, then purchased Hibiscus Lavender and Grapefruit Smoked Salt and Chile on my next grocery store run (PNW readers, they're sold at New Seasons!). Each flavor has been more impressive than the last—I love keeping all three in my fridge for variety. - Leslie 

3

It took me far too long to fill my headphones and car rides with the voices of Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham (who Leslie also loves, and first recommended here). I'd downloaded the NYTimes podcast back in December, but when this episode (the first new release in months) came through as a push notification on my phone, I threw it on during my afternoon walk... and wound up taking laps around my block until I finished it. I jotted down various quotes in my Notes app, learning so much in such a short amount of time, and have looked forward to the new releases ever since. (If you're an adult Disney fan like me, this one's for you.) Besides the two previous listed, I highly recommend adding these three episodes to your library. - Jess

4
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I'm in the middle of a long apartment decorating journey, and I'm just starting to dive into some rental-friendly changes that won't come with me to wherever I end up moving next. I'm painting most of the walls and laying peel-n-stick floor tiles in my bathroom, which has been surprisingly fun. The floor tiles have made a huge (and I mean huge) difference in how I feel about my bathroom, and they were actually pretty easy to work with–so much so that I wonder why I've never done this before. Am I slowly blossoming into a rental-friendly apartment DIY butterfly? Possibly. (Or are peel-n-stick tiles just really easy to do? Also very possible.) Follow along with my apartment decorating journey in my Stories and highlights to see some before, after, and in-progress shots of my new and very much improved bathroom. - Kelly

5

As someone who’s struggled with skincare and finding the products that work for me, I’m always on the lookout for new serums, moisturizers, face masks, you name it. This past month I was perusing the aisles of CVS while waiting to pick up some developed film when I came across this product. The words “bright boost” caught my eye, because I’ve been looking for something to help even out my skin tone, so I decided to give it a try. It’s affordable, smells amazing, and is oil-free / alcohol-free, so it doesn’t clog pores. After using it for almost a month now, I feel like my skin looks more radiant and overall healthier and happier! - Lauren

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After getting vaccinated, little introverted me had to face the (mostly exciting) prospect of going out to see people again. Since I wore makeup probably twice in the last year, my makeup collection was in need of a little refresh. I love a no-makeup makeup look so I knew I wasn't looking for anything full coverage. After an hour standing in Sephora going back and forth between three options, I settled on the Saie Slip Tint. For a tinted moisturizer, it's pretty long-lasting and actually moisturizing. When it fades, it doesn't get patchy. They only downside is that the pump is a little hard to use, but I like the formula enough that I'm willing to overlook that. - Cass 

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G and I have become casual mega-fans of Dr. Becky Kennedy, a psychologist who runs an Instagram account with practical strategies for parenting. Her messaging is so succinct and useful, with tips on everything from how to create (and hold) boundaries, how to manage a child's stress, including different ways to respond to whining, and why we're occasionally triggered by our kids. Especially in this past year that's brought about a whole new set of challenges for parents, we've found Dr. Becky's insightful guidance to be particularly helpful. - Emily

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If you've ever worn Vuori to a farmers market, you know how passionate their customers are. Literally two (two!) strangers acknowledged my outfit with some variation of "Vuori, yeaaahh!" upon seeing the small white square that identifies the brand. And I'm a super-fan too, especially since receiving two pieces from their ribbed collection, which they graciously sent me a few weeks ago. Their pieces are extremely flattering, and the items I've had for a year-plus still haven't pilled at all, which I can't say for many activewear brands (lookin' at you, rhymes with, moomooplemin). (Gifted) - Leslie

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Does this selection signify the end of my youth? Perhaps, but I don't even care, because this stuff is miraculous. Vanesa Amaro popped up on my FYP (see? There's a bit of Gen Z in me!) and introduced me to the world of cleaning TikTok, a rabbit hole I certainly didn't expect to fall down, down, down into...but I did. She demonstrates useful tips, like how to deep clean your mattress, how long a sponge lasts (we share a love for Scrub Daddy), and her five favorite cleaning products, which included Dawn Power Wash. I was intrigued, added it to my cart on a recent Target run and it's now become a must-have in our house. It's removed chocolate stains from Justin's white t-shirt, made our sinks look like new, and after a deep clean, gave our refrigerator a much-needed glow up. - Jess

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If you qualify as a Millennial, the chances that you've suffered from burnout at some point in the last few years is pretty high (I know I sure have!). In her new book, Can't Even: How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation, Anne Helen Petersen dives into our generation's feelings of burnout in a way that made my head nod in pretty much every chapter. What role did our Boomer parents play in contributing to our feelings of burnout? Why are many Millennials, including the author, choosing not to have kids (and why has parenting changed so much for our generation?)? With the ever-increasing prices of education, is the idea that a traditional college degree is the key to getting a great job a lie? There's something relatable in this book for just about everyone, and at the very least, it might make you feel a little less alone in your feelings of stress/anxiety/burnout. - Kelly

11

As someone who isn't on a family plan, I felt like I was spending way too much on my phone bill. I wasn't finding any plans from the usual providers that catered to my needs and budget. Flash-forward to seeing one of my favorite YouTubers, Elena Taber, do a sponsored post for a new mobile service, Visible. What sold me was their fixed rate for unlimited data, call, and text. Because, if we're being honest, these days all anyone really needs in unlimited data. Their website is easy to navigate, there are no hidden fees, and the customer service team is readily available to connect with. The cherry on top is that they take care of canceling your old plan so I didn't have to worry about being on hold with AT&T for the whole afternoon. - Cass

12

Another affordable drugstore purchase that became a favorite this past month. Any time I’m out in public I’m almost always wearing lipstick—it’s the one thing I feel bare without. Matte shades of reds and dark pinks are my go-to’s, and I have a fairly large collection that I can’t stop adding to. What I love about this, compared to regular lipstick, is that it easily and smoothly glides on like an actual crayon and lasts all day. The shade I wear is “Rise To The Top” which adds a subtle pop of color and goes with any type of outfit. - Lauren

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