The List: Why We Got Rid Of Our T.V. After Less Than a Year

And the pop I'm totally hooked on.
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Our new living room, rearranged to accommodate for no T.V.

Our new living room, rearranged to accommodate for no T.V.

Remember when I worried that buying a T.V. would lead me to watch more of it? Eight months later, I can confirm: I became one with my couch. Since adding a T.V. to our living room, Jonah and I watched a little more each week until we were watching about five times as much as we used to. I don't think watching T.V. is "bad," in fact I'm pretty sure shows have never been better—but when Jonah and I took time to reflect on our newfound viewing habits, we agreed they were making us less happy, instead of more happy. We were watching T.V. automatically and passively, instead of pushing ourselves to do something more creative and rewarding (for us) after work. 

About a month ago, I wrapped up our set and slid it under the couch, replacing the hole it left with art and a stack of "to read" books. The change was immediate. We started cooking more elaborate, challenging meals, Jonah signed up for a wood-working class and I'm doing more ceramics, we're reading more, and spending more time talking and having neighbors over. Now, when we watch shows, it's at a friend's house or on a computer. It's much more intentional, which is the piece we'd lost. I'm not arguing that anyone should get rid of their sets—that's just what worked for us—but it did serve as a reminder to take time to reassess what's making you happy, then seek-out simple changes. Here's what else I'm loving this week:

1

In Mona Awad's BUNNY, which came out earlier this month, a Heathers-like group forms the popular girl clique at a New England MFA program. They call themselves "Bunnies," and are more sinister than even a suicidal Heather, but pull from the same dark humor. Read: If you didn't like Heathers, you will definitely not like this book. But, if you're game for a wild ride of cult rituals, cutting writing, and a dark twisting narrative that wasn't totally unlike Donna Tartt's The Secret History, you're in for a treat. 

2

As Melissa Clark puts it: Mediocre pasta salads abound. But that doesn't mean you should count out all pasta salads. Even though Jonah and I have been pretty deep in cooking our way through one of our favorite cookbooks, a vegetable bounty from a friend's garden inspired us to branch out for a few meals. We made this fennel-packed green pasta salad (which replaces the usual rotini with cheese-filled tortellini!), then added zucchini and chard to this pasta salad base another night. It's a perfect alternative to the mayonnaise-drenched pasta salads we're all used to (though, I'll admit, there's a time and a place for those too). 

3

We have slow food, slow fashion, even slow sex but, as far as I know, the adjective hasn't yet gone mainstream in relation to magazines. But it's the perfect way to describe publications like Kinfolk, Cereal, and other independent magazines (a list of my favorites is included here!). The format, photography, and content are laid out in a way that encourages you to slow down to read. The rushed, mid-workday approach I give to most articles just doesn't work when you're presented with a mix of poetry, personal essays, and understated editorial shoots. Though I'm usually drawn to the easily digestible magazines that mirror the online experience (my favorite is New York), I picked up a copy of each Kinfolk and Cereal this week, with the self-mandated challenge to read each cover-to-cover before they expired into coffee table decorations. For two mornings last week, I woke up early, made myself a cup of coffee, and settled into my couch with a copy. In place of the rushed flipping I do with most magazines, these took me all over the world, from a gorgeous engagement ring store in downtown L.A. to Susanne Kaufmann's new hotel in Bezau, and personal essays that inspired my day. If you're looking for something quicker, The Happy Reader's Instagram sometimes includes little snippets from their articles, like this mini-interview (this is my public plea for them to pick these back up!).

4

With the exception of a major Brie Larson phase circa 2005 which everyone seems to have conveniently forgotten including Brie Larson... my favorite "pop" is from the 1960s and '70s. But I'm going set aside my hipster tastes for a second and say it: Contemporary pop is really good right now. There are so many catchy, complex, can't-help-but-dance songs out right now, I couldn't help but make a playlist of a few of my favorite mainstream, yet B-side, hits. Give me Charlie XCX, Miley, and even a little Lil' Nas. If you aren't feeling the pop, I've been adding my favorite songs of the year here

For a quick crash course on pop, consider watching Vox's Earworm and New York Times' Diary of a Song (I fell even more in love with Lizzo after watching this).

P.S., Have you seen the big news? We launched our summer line of shoes on the Shop today! This week, our Editorial Team is heading to one of our favorite L.A. salons to celebrate with pedicures—what are some of your favorite summer polishes?