Around the same time I embraced Reels on Instagram, I became acutely aware of just how much I needed some new equipment to help with the creation process. The flimsy little tripod I'd used for years no longer did the trick, but when this rather large attachment (which also requires this and this) showed up to our house after G ordered it, I was initially skeptical. This contraption, which is apparently also a microphone suspension boom, is a miracle worker and not only can be attached to basically anything, it swings up and down and around to accommodate whatever it is you're looking to film, whether you're styling roses or documenting the comical differences between 2019 and 2020.
After dedicating a not-insignificant amount of time to researching the best activewear to both lounge around and sweat in, I landed on Girlfriend (which you may recognize from this post!). The brand is about as sustainably and ethically made as they come, and so flattering and comfortable, with a great price point. While I also bought a bra from their Float collection that I love, the wide straps on the Paloma feel not only supportive but are chic enough to wear with my favorite high-rise jeans! So far, I've only purchased it in black, but I'm considering branching out from my all-black athleisure to this periwinkle.
As a white former student, with white parents, who will (hopefully) someday be a white mother, I wind up breathing out a single word at the end of each episode of Nice White Parents: "Yikes." This New York Times/Serial Productions podcast examines everything we think we know about "diverse" and "integrated" schools, and reports on various New York public schools attempting to provide equity and equality for their students. The first two episodes in particular were tough pills to swallow, as host Chana Joffe-Walt unveils the ways in which white parents control the curriculum, gifted programs, and finances, even in a school where they are in the minority. It's eye-opening to say the least, and while I've been grappling with whether the host should have been a person of color, it's worth listening to, even if you don't have children yourself.
A month or two before COVID happened, I got an email from a large magazine looking for people to test out a new eyebrow product. I answered a million questions about my eyebrows and declared my love for Glossier's Boy Brow, gave my address, and forgot about it. In April, a package showed up on my doorstep with this brow crayon from Maybelline, and I was beyond curious to try it (because my love for Boy Brow has gone unchallenged for years). Turns out? I love this product. It's the perfect brow product to use in quarantine because it's super easy to apply so the effort level is low, but it provides almost the same effect as Boy Brow. I've been wearing it a lot this month (I just started wearing makeup again, ha) and at $8, I'm really not mad at the price tag, either.
My ongoing quest to find the perfect solid shampoo and conditioner hit a new high when I tried out the Solid Seaweed version by No Tox Life. This brand was already on my radar because of their very popular dishwashing block (I'm counting down the days until we run out of dishwashing liquid so I can give it a try) and due to the fact that it's founded by a mother-daughter duo. I picked up the 1 oz version at a nearby zero-waste store a few weeks ago and tried them immediately. All the other bars I've tested either lather up well but leave my hair feeling stripped (we all know that too-squeaky clean feeling) or don't lather, making it difficult to get the product into my hair. These bars lather up so nicely that I'm able to get the product into my hair without rubbing the bar for too long. I woke up the next morning with shiny, soft hair that, for once, had a little bit of volume!
You can tell just how long we've been in quarantine when someone is this excited to spout off about her new vacuum cleaner. I'll be the first to admit that vacuuming is just not one of the chores I'll happily do. Ask me to sweep the floors, wash the windows, or clean dishes—no problem. But pulling out a hulking vacuum cleaner just always feels so cumbersome, loud, and unfulfilling. When our old model petered out after ten years, we decided to try out the Shark, which has nearly 4.5 stars out of over twelve thousand reviews, and let me tell you—it does not disappoint. Not only is it remarkably easy to maneuver, it's light enough to seamlessly go up and down stairs, thoroughly cleans spots without the need to go back over them multiple times, and the process of seeing everything it sucks up in its transparent holder (which is also simple to pop out) is very appealing. Needless to say, it's completely changed my relationship with vacuuming.
This is fairly random as far as 'Our World' picks go, but last Friday night, Jonah and I went for a walk around 9 PM and as I was looking up at the sky, I saw what I can only describe as a ball of fire travel across the sky for several seconds. After frantically, unsuccessfully trying to turn Jonah's attention to the sky, I told him about the "asteroid or meteor" I'd just seen. He understandably thought I was talking about a brilliant shooting star, but as soon as we got home, I did some research. Though I was unable to find any news report, I learned that "fire balls" are an actual night sky phenomenon I've somehow gone my entire life without witnessing—and that the American Meteor Society is an excellent resource for reporting and reading about them! After reporting my fire ball, I browsed reports and found that sixteen other people had seen the same thing—and even received a video the next morning of the fire ball I witnessed, taken from an AMS "sky camera system." (It was pretty much the most validating email I've ever received.) If anything, I hope this serves as a reminder to look up, and a resource for the next time you see some spectacular night sky activity! And yes, I've had Pitbull stuck in my head ever since. I've included the video below!
As I've previously admitted on the blog, I will eat the same thing over and over, until one day, I can't even look at it. I'm currently on month three of a new late night treat and haven't gotten sick of it yet, so it felt worthy of a mention this month. I take two to three Joolies dates, a scoop of Wild Friends Peanut Cashew Super Butter, and two squares of Hu's Simple Dark Chocolate bar, and BAM! A perfectly salty, sweet, and satisfying dessert. Doesn't hurt that I'm supporting three small businesses in the process (bonus: the founders of Wild Friends are cupcakes and cashmere readers!).
The final season of my favorite foreign-language show on Netflix was just as insane as I thought it would be. I know I've mentioned Dark's earlier seasons here before, but the third season really just kicked it up a notch. It's honestly a little hard to follow (you may need to draw out a family tree while watching), but if you like sci-fi/fantasy and time travel specifically, and can handle a TV show that's well, dark, right now, give this a try. I was crying and clapping by the finale, because wow. The writers really went somewhere (like... into another world) with the last season, and somehow, they pulled the damn thing off.
As someone who gets more blemishes on her body than her face, I've struggled to find a routine that treats body acne. When this product came out, the easy-to-apply and lightweight formula was exactly what I was looking for. I tested it before a socially distanced trip to the flea market where I knew I'd be sweating (TMI?) quite a bit. I've since started using it every day that I go outside and am happy to report that I've only gotten one spot since (which I'm pretty sure was hormonal). I love that the spray absorbs into my skin super easily and is lightweight enough to reapply throughout the day. A lot of people recommend tea tree oil to treat blemishes but it has unfortunately left my skin dry and irritated. If you've had a similar experience, this light body mist might do the trick for you.