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What Our Team Loved in March

A monthly series, corralling the various food, products, and entertainment we're currently enjoying.
1-8

I've been looking for a replacement for my Nike kicks I bought a few years back for our trip to Europe. They were exactly what I'd been looking for: neutral enough (a sleek combination of whites, creams and tans) to wear with just about any athleisure pieces or printed dresses in my wardrobe, and in a cool silhouette that added an edgy touch. When my toes started popping through this past summer, G had an intervention and suggested I find a new pair... Though it's hard to believe, this new style I finally decided on is even better, with the same wear-with-everything vibe, and a subtle pop of coral that will transition to spring and summer effortlessly. - Emily

2-8

I don't mind painting my nails, but the chore of removing polish is enough to make me usually skip polish altogether. For my birthday last month, I treated myself to the Olive and June polish Fierce and Loving (a subtle purple I love) and their Remover Pot, which proceeded to blow my mind. The pot, which uses an acetone-free solution, includes remover and sponges inside, so all you have to do is stick a finger in and twist two to three times. The polish comes off like magic. It's so easy to use that I've done my nails every week since. And before you ask, I'm not sure how easy it is to use on pedicures, but if you're brave enough to do the gymnastics of dipping a toe in, keep me posted! - Leslie

3-8

Y'all...I found it. My favorite podcast of all time. Nora Princiotti and Nathan Hubbard each take you on an epic journey, breaking down and grading each of Taylor's albums in chronological order, highlighting chart-topping singles and her most underrated performances. As someone who considers Taylor Swift lyrics poetry, this podcast was my dream come true. Listening to people who are as passionate as me about her music, but who can contextualize each album with her emotional state and her cultural perception, truly felt like a gift from the universe. You don't have to be a mega-fan of TSwift to enjoy it (though it certainly helps), but it did inspire Kelly and me to listen to each album from start to finish, reminisce about their release (which song was our favorite), discuss our current takes (which song is now our favorite), and conclude which song should be cut from each (we had some hot takes here). Most importantly, it allowed me to experience the rollercoaster that was and still is Taylor's musical career—all the heartbreak, the drama, and those magical melodies that stay with you years after they were released. - Jess

4-8

I love the moment when you turn the last page of a book and know that it's the best thing you've read all year. I had been meaning to read Girl, Woman, Other since last summer and finally decided to pick it up this month to celebrate International Women's Day, which ended up being the perfect time. This book is made up of twelve chapters focused on twelve different people (mostly Black women) and the stories of their lives, through career struggles, family conflicts, breakups, marriages, triumphs, and so much more. A solid 9/10, my favorite read of 2021 thus far, and a book I can absolutely see myself reading again in the future.- Kelly

5-8

As we’re nearing the end of quarantine and can finally see a dim, yet hopeful light at the end of the tunnel, I’ve been reflecting on the habits I developed to improve my mental health over the past year. After going through a breakup mid-pandemic, I was completely crushed, especially since my ex and I had basically been quarantining together. After my brief period of eating lots of chocolate, sobbing at rom-coms, and moping around, I decided it was time to take care of myself again. Meditation, daily affirmations, and journaling helped keep me afloat through it all, and I grew a deep appreciation for self-help books, podcasts, and apps. One of my friends recently recommended the ‘I Am’ app to me, which has quickly become one of my favorites. It’s a self-help app that sends you positive affirmations throughout the day, and most of the time, it’s when you need to hear them the most. Think of it as your best friend sending you an uplifting text out of the blue. Who doesn’t love that?! If you’re someone who could use a little pick-me-up throughout the day, I Am is for you! - Lauren

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As someone who doesn't cook, I eat my fair share of frozen meals. This month I made it a goal to only order in once a week. It wasn't as hard as I thought, especially after a trip to my local Trader Joe's. Bibimbap is a Korean rice bowl dish with a little bit of everything: greens, carbs, and protein! When I discovered this Trader Joe's version, it quickly became a favorite. It can be pretty hard to find so I grabbed a few during my last grocery run. What really pulls it together is the spicy chili sauce! Warning: I'd start with half of the sauce packet depending on what your spicy threshold is. - Cass

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I'd been in a bit of a book rut, picking things that didn't draw me in immediately (short attention span as of late, over here!), but that changed within the prologue of The Last Flight. It follows the lives of two women who are determined to escape their lives, each told from different perspectives, and it's unsettling and thrilling, in a Gone-Girl-meets-Talented-Mr-Ripley sort of way. - Emily

8 copy-8

This game, which Jonah and I received as a housewarming present, is an escape room in a box. The welcome letter inside explains that you've just moved into a house, with a slightly questionable past: The previous owner went missing, and his mother has asked that, if you discover anything strange about the neighborhood, to please tell her what's happened. From there, it takes about an hour to follow all the clues and uncover, through a paper trail and phone calls, what happened to the owner and the woman he'd recently started to fall for. After a year of board games, it was a refreshingly different way to spend an evening! - Leslie

9 copy-8

Until February, book clubs were mere myths in my mind—I'd never joined or been asked to be a member of one, which, at the time, I was fine with (as a slow reader, I never want to show up to a discussion only 50 percent of the way through a novel, or hold up a group because I can't finish a book in a weekend). But, due to quarantine social cravings, a friend of mine pulled together a group of people from all areas of her life—childhood, college, first job, etc.—and asked us to read Memorial by Bryan Washington in six weeks (plenty of time). After one look at the synopsis and this profile, where I learned his first story collection made Barack Obama's list of favorite books in 2019, I was all too eager to dive in. Before our inaugural virtual book club meeting, I would have rated it a 6/10, but following the rich, eye-opening, and slightly uncomfortable conversations, I'd bump it up closer to an 8/10. They enlightened me to some of the larger themes I hadn't really investigated, and Washington's work was ripe with thought starters about family, race, and mortality. Consider me a book club convert. - Jess

10 copy-8

 Of all the former contestants from Bachelor Nation that I follow on Instagram, Ashley Spivey is one of my favorites. I didn't watch her season (she was on season 15 which premiered in 2011, right before I became a fan) but I discovered her years later because of her love of books (duh) and bold political commentary. Ashley talks about a lot of different topics, but one that I've felt compelled to take action on is Be The Match, a bone marrow donation registry that saves the lives of people with life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma (Katie Thurston also supports it). Potential donors sign up to be a part of the registry with a simple cheek swab that you complete and mail back (I put mine in the mail this week). There's about a 1 in 430 chance that you'll end up being the match for someone, but if you are, you could be the only person out of more than 22 million potential donors on the registry who can save their life. According to Be The Match, BIPOC patients are significantly less likely to find a match than white patients—the likelihood of finding a match is 23% for Black patients, 41% for AAPI patients, and 46% for Latinx patients, versus 77% for white patients. No matter your ethnicity, please consider signing up for the registry–you might literally be able to save someone's life. And if you're white, consider passing this message along to your BIPOC friends to encourage them to sign up so we can increase these match numbers for underrepresented groups.- Kelly

11-8

I have to credit our resident robe queen, Jess, for influencing this purchase. Being quarantined alone, there have been more than a few days where I stay in my pajamas just a little too long (aka, the entire day). I'm not complaining, but on those extra chilly mornings, slipping into this robe makes me feel very adult. With the soft and gauzy fabric I know it will be just as wearable in the summer. Doesn't hurt that the rose color matches most of my nightgowns. - Cass

12-8

A simple but sweet favorite from the past month, I’ve been using this cute little tote bag for everything already. This might be embarrassing to admit, but I never owned a tote until now. Not even a cute beach bag! I came across this gem while browsing the Asos website and immediately went through with the purchase. With warm weather and long pool days quickly approaching, this will be the perfect pool bag, beach bag, picnic bag, you name it. It’s also become my go-to grocery bag for my weekly visits to Trader Joe’s, where an employee even complimented it...woo! What I love the most about it, is that although it’s a simple design, the hearts look hand painted and each one is unique. I could rant and rave about this bag for a lot longer, but I'll wrap up by saying that I’m excited to put it to use this summer. - Lauren

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I remember a mere few months ago when I was unwilling to watch a single piece of Marvel content because I "just wasn't into superhero movies." How the tides have turned–Justin and I plowed through WandaVision, the Disney+ miniseries that explores the post-Avengers: End Game world of Wanda (played by Elizabeth Olsen), and couldn't stop thinking about it all month. I'm definitely drawn to female heroes (Captain Marvel is my favorite of the movies), and Wanda's exploration of and reaction to grief was both fascinating and timely during an era where so many are losing loved ones. And if you need one more reason to start it...know that the comedic queen Kathryn Hahn will also be gracing your screen throughout all nine episodes. [Tip from Leslie: I've never seen an Avenger's movie, and learned about five episodes into WandaVision that they're definitely a prerequisite for getting the most from the final episodes!] - Jess

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