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Our World

A monthly series, corralling the various food, products, and entertainment we're currently enjoying.
Our World 1_2

1. Forest App: Part of the nature of my job and being a mom is that I have to spend a lot of time on my phone—responding to emails, checking up on Sloan, posting and keeping up on social media. The list is never-ending. But there are definitely times when I don’t need to be on my phone (like when G and I are watching a movie on the couch) and I reach for it anyways. I downloaded this app this month to help "train" myself not to look at my phone when it isn’t necessary. It works by growing a virtual “forest” of seedlings that grow larger the more time you spend off your phone. It doesn’t sound like it’d work but it’s oddly effective and has helped me be more present. - Emily

2. Milk Books: Photo albums and scrapbooks are slightly dated, but for all the images we upload digitally, I still feel nostalgic for photos you can pull out and hold in your hands. A few weeks after Emily and I returned from our trip to Japan, I used this website to turn our favorite photos into a beautiful bound book, with a list of our favorite places written at the end. It’s a keepsake I know we’ll return to throughout the years. - Geoffrey

Our World 3_4

3. Bose Soundtouch 10 Speakers: The first thing I do when I come home is put on music. For years, I've used my boyfriend’s dorm room speakers plugged into a computer, but recently we invested in an upgrade and bought ourselves a Bose speaker for the kitchen, where we spend most of our time in the evening. Used together (we also bought a wifi adaptor so we can link the speakers we already have to our new speaker), it fills our entire apartment with music. But my favorite thing about them is that the Bose speaker has six buttons on it, which you can pre-program to your favorite playlists, artists, or radio stations, so all I have to do is click a button to start playing music. We used to rarely listen to NPR at home since we don’t own a radio (I always have it on in the car), but I love that now we can listen to it at the push of a button. - Leslie

4. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg: I’ve never been one to peruse the “self help” aisle, but I’m a huge fan of Sheryl Sandberg, so I purchased her latest book as soon as soon as it was released last month. Like Lean In, it’s smart, raw, and filled with brilliant advice, but this time from the perspective of her tragic new role as a single mother. I read the entire thing in a single night. - Emily

Our World 5_6

5. Mini Cube Projector: One of the first things Emily and I bonded over was our love of movies (our first date was to a movie at the Grove). This mini projector is small but mighty, and you can set it up anywhere. I recently demoed one and am thinking of purchasing it to watch movies in our backyard with Sloan this summer. - Geoffrey

6. Tumbler Mini Glasses: When I lived in New York, it felt like every trendy or cool restaurant (Wildair and Contra, Semilla) used the exact same water glass: a wide, very shallow tumbler. It doesn’t sound like anything fancy, but there’s something so sophisticated and dainty about them that make them almost beautiful. I had completely forgotten about them until my boyfriend came across them on Amazon, while looking to replace a few broken wine glasses and we purchased a set (which was surprisingly affordable). As a side note: Some places call them "Spanish Wine Glasses" and sell them for three times as much. I love having wine in them, or using them as water glasses when we have guests over—they just feel special and a little bit nicer than other cups. —Leslie

Our World 7_8

7. Ouai Foam Dry Shampoo: Ever since I started working out several mornings a week, dry shampoo has become a vital part of my routine (in my dance class, we sweat just enough that I can get away with it, not so much that I necessarily need to wash my hair). This foam dry shampoo is the consistency of mousse and makes my hair damp when I apply it, then dries to appear perfectly clean. It gives it a lift, helps me maintain my blowout, and smells amazing. - Emily

8. Workflow App: Similar to the app, IFTTT, Workflow (recently purchased by Apple), automates functions on your phone that would normally take multiple steps. The primary difference from other apps, is that because you can identify multiple steps, there are far more possibilities, easily accessed by a button on the app’s dashboard. For example, I can instruct it to automatically text Emily an ETA every time I map my way home or have my phone automatically remind me to pick up food 20 minutes after I call our favorite takeout spot.—Geoffrey

Our World 9_10

9. The Handmaid’s Tale book and show: My dreams have been a little weird and apocalyptic lately because I spent the majority of the month reading Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale and then watching Hulu’s adaptation. After watching the first episode, my best friend and I decided to start a bookclub of two and read the book at the same time. The story (which also happens to be a brilliant feminist satire) was so engrossing that I didn’t mind jumping straight back into the series once we were done. —Leslie

10. Wild Child Party in a Box: There are few things I love more than planning a party and inviting friends over, but since work has been getting busier and Sloan is increasingly independent, I don’t have the time I’d like to dedicate to selecting perfect decorations (planning Sloan’s Lion King-themed second birthday party was basically a part-time job for a week). This Long Beach-based store offers a “party in a box” service where you tell them the event details and they put together a custom box. It’s perfect for situations when I want to go all out, but don’t have the time or energy. - Emily

Our World 11_12

11. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid: This book is at the same time poignant and other-wordly. Without revealing too much, it’s about a young couple who live in a country that erupts into civil war. As their homeland is destroyed by violence and bombs, they learn that there are doors that can whisk people away to other places, at a price. Hamid’s writing is beautiful and the story will stick with you after you read the final page. - Geoffrey

12. RX Bar in ‘Chocolate Sea Salt’: Whenever possible, I try to abide by the simple rule of, “Don’t eat anything that comes from a wrapper,” but sometimes life gets in the way and I find myself hangry and nowhere close to food at 3 p.m. As a result, I’ve started carrying RX Bars in my purse and car's glove compartment at all times. They taste delicious (my favorite is their Chocolate Sea Salt flavor) and their ingredients list is crazy-impressive for a bar—my favorite flavor, for example, only contains “Dates, Egg Whites, Almonds, Cashews, 100% Chocolate, Sea Salt, Natural Chocolate Flavor.” - Leslie

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