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The List: Why Is Everyone Talking About Brené Brown? (Including Me)

And a "baby moon" in Santa Barbara.
Image via Lotusland

Image via Lotusland

On Friday, I went to Santa Barbara with girlfriends for a "baby moon" for my friend Alice Ann (who you may remember from this post). Ever since our friend Wendy moved there two years ago, it's become a tradition to drive up Friday evening, fill her living room with air mattresses, eat dinner on her front porch, and stay up way too late talking, slumber party-style. We spent the weekend bopping around town—visiting wine rooms in the Funk Zone, spending slow mornings in my favorite coffee shop, and checking out the Earth Day festival. Because we've all been so busy this year, it was the first time in weeks all six of us have been in the same place—and the next time we're all together, there may be a mini seventh with us! Here's what else I'm loving this week:

P.S., I'm heading to South Carolina this Friday for my annual National Park trip with Jonah and his mom! We're spending a few days in Charleston then heading to Congaree (staying in Columbia). None of us have been before! What should we do, eat, and see?


Brené Brown's TED Talk has nearly 13 million views, but until a week ago I'd never heard of her. Now, all of a sudden, she's everywhere. She's on billboards all over L.A. and on a first-name basis in my group text ("did you hear what brené said about shame?"). Call me a sheep, but I am totally on the Brené train as of, you know, two days ago. Brown is a professor at University of Houston where she studies vulnerability, shame, and empathy and, although I admit my initial reaction was to be totally freaked-out by what I perceived as cheesiness, I now love her and what she has to say. I'd start with her TED Talk, then move into the Netflix special, then listen to her interview with Gwyneth Paltrow for the Goop podcast and conversation with Dax Shepard on Armchair Expert if you can't get enough (as I did). 


I had a really hard time finding a recipe I didn't want to cook from the blog and cookbook, Dishing Up the Dirt, by Andrea Bemis. After Jess and Caroline recommended it to me last week, I spent an afternoon cruising through recipes like this baked oatmeal, white bean chili, and autumn ratatouille. I finally landed on this sausage kale soup last night, which Jess highly recommended, and it was the perfect hearty soup. I plan on eating it all week, as she did last week!


Aidy Bryant's new comedy, Shrill, based on the bestselling book of the same name, is a bite-sized show about some seriously important topics, a woman finding self-worth and embracing herself in her own skin. It's funny, sweet, and relatable as she deals with dating, work, and both real-life bullies and online trolls. I'm sure her line at discovering she was keeping herself in her own mental prison had rung true to every woman reading this, at one point or another: “It would have saved me so much time and pain." You can watch it on Hulu here!


I could go on and on about how much I love the library—I'm on a first-name basis with Isaac at the June Street branch in L.A., and both Emily and I swear by Overdrive, an app that allows you to download e-books to your e-reader or iPad. But there are several other library apps you should be aware of:

Kanopy: Allows you to stream up to 10 films each month, including an impressive selection of brand-new festival selections, documentaries, and every A24 movie too! Some of my favorite movie recommendations have come from their home screen. 

Libby: This app is a cleaner, more user-friendly version of Overdrive and is the primary app I use for downloading e-books to my iPad.

Hoopla: As my local librarian Isaac likes to say, "Hoopla is sexy." While it doesn't have nearly the selection Kanopy or Libby does, it allows you to borrow titles on the spot without the waiting list Libby often has for bestsellers. 

Of course, borrowing from the library can come with its downfalls (i.e., due dates and waitlists). In the past, I've purchased audiobooks from Audible, but I was recently introduced to a website called Libro that functions exactly like Audible but allows you to support a specific independent bookstore. I reached out to them, and they're offering cupcakes and cashmere readers three books for the price of one if you want to check them out! Just use promo code THELIST.

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