Of all the things I read this year, this book will definitely stay with me the longest. Based on a disturbing school that operated for 111 years, Colson Whitehead tells the story of two boys sentenced to reform during the Jim Crow-era in Florida. The details are haunting, and the work is so incredibly written, it's not hard to believe Whitehead already has a Pulitzer under his belt.
Until this past week, I hadn't gone for an annual physical in three years. I regularly see my gynecologist and dermatologist but had trouble finding a doctor I loved, so I just stopped. When a friend had a medical scare, I felt inspired to get bloodwork done but didn't know where to start, which is when another friend recommended One Medical to me. In short, One Medical is like the startup version of going to the doctor. For $200 a year (mine was covered through my insurance), it offers membership-based primary care—you can see a travel doctor, go for a physical, or head in to have a bad cold checked on. My favorite thing about it is how easy it is to make appointments, through their app, and how welcoming the office feels. You can even get prescriptions for common, treatable ailments like UTIs, yeast infections, allergies, and rashes through the app—without having to go in. There are also locations all over the U.S., which share the same database of medical records, so you can visit any location if you're traveling or have moved.
This month, I officially became a puzzle person. After a recent procedure, Justin, my mom, my sister and I all gathered around this 800-piece Jiggy puzzle and spent the *entire* afternoon working on it (I wound up finishing it within 48 hours). Jiggy's designs are all done by female artists, and the packaging also happens to be one of the most impressive I've ever seen. Plus, they provide you with puzzle glue so you can paste the final product together and use it as an art piece (which I absolutely plan to do). I love that it required concentration (while keeping me off my phone) and provided me with something I can now proudly hang on my wall!
I listened to the Spice Girls a lot as a kid, and given the sheer number of Barbies and "Spice Girl" outfits I had, I shouldn't have been surprised when my little brother gifted me these sneakers for my birthday last month. Besides being floored that an 18-year-old boy knew me so well, I was even more shocked at how much I loved these shoes once they were on. They're subtle and classic enough to wear with any outfit, but they still give me the kind of height I usually only get from booties or kitten heels. If you're looking for a boost, or to "spice up your life," give these shoes a try!
Recently coffee started disagreeing with me, which is par for the course with most of my long-term relationships. But this time I decided to try and work through our issues, turning to a new coffeemaker that promised smooth coffee with (thank goodness) lower amounts of acid. Although the process is a bit too labor-intensive, the results are worth the effort! So now coffee and I are back in the good books—I am an attentive partner, listener, and consumer.
I heard about weighted blankets only recently (where have I been??) and wanted to try one to ease the anxiety I've been having in the run-up to the holidays. I stumbled upon this super soft, 12-pound sherpa blanket while wandering the aisles of Target and knew it was meant to be. I've been sleeping under it for two weeks now and have noticed that I fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep through the entire night. Not to mention, it's warm enough that I don't really need to turn my heat on while I sleep anymore, so my electricity bill also highly recommends this blanket as well!
When I shared our favorite bedtime stories a few months ago, I included my ultimate favorite, The Kissing Hand. The beautiful and poignant series about a raccoon family touches on the hardest changes in childhood (going to school, being apart from your parents, and more). The series recently changed our lives again when we picked up A Kiss Goodbye, a story about the raccoon family's move. As we approached our own move, I could tell Sloan was as nervous as she was excited. This story helped work through her emotions (and mine!) in order to say goodbye to our Larchmont home and say hello to our new Studio City one.
I could tell you I don't like to pick favorites when it comes to items in my closet, but that would be a lie. My grey waffle Parachute bathrobe is not only the most worn piece I own, but it's also my favorite (it was a holiday gift from my future in-laws last year). I love it so much that I actually sleep in it most nights of the week. Recently, I decided to add a second robe into the rotation, and their Cloud Cotton Robe in Amber has made a welcome addition. It's incredibly comfortable, light, and breathes well – plus, the amber color is a bit more fun!
Ever since finding my workout stride earlier this year, I've been exercising consistently every weekday (goal is to make weekend workouts more consistent as well!). When I head to Guatemala over the holidays, I wanted to be able to keep up the good work, so I invested in a set of these extremely cute and functional arm/ankle weights from Bala (in white). I'm planning on using them to add a layer of difficulty to this twenty-minute workout, and a few core workouts I've downloaded on a combination of The Nike Training Club app, Melissa Wood's app, and The Sculpt Society app (free trials means I get to test out all three!).
I finally caved and upgraded my iPhone 7 on Black Friday. I was hoping to make it to the next new phone release, but the state of my camera was slowly deteriorating to the point of no redemption. The camera on this new phone is truly insane, and I got accustomed to the lack of a home button way more quickly than I thought. Now when I film content, I feel confident in the quality, so I'm really looking forward to bringing this along on all my trips next year!
It only took me EIGHT years to finally make it to the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, it's fine. I went early, and with a mission: vintage rugs for my new apartment. I can't say much about the clothing, which is plentiful, but if you're in the market for home goods, I'm a fan! I got out of there at 10:00 AM with two beautiful vintage rugs and an appreciation for my earlier self who had dragged herself out of bed at 7 on a Sunday to get there before the rush. If you find yourself in the mood to thrift on the second Sunday of the month near Pasadena, I'd say it's worth a trip (here's Emily's guide to it).
Emily has recommended this lip balm in the past, and when my lips reached critical dryness this winter (thanks to my many, many years-ago rounds of Accutane), I decided to give it a go. It is great for dry lips or to prep lips for lipstick, but my main use has actually been to tame my eyebrows when I don't want to use a gel or pencil! It adds some much-needed eyebrow shine and surprisingly keeps them in place all day long.
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