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  • The Refresh vol.2: armchair critics, the false promise of a perfect kitchen, your new hostess gift

    Welcome to The Refresh! Every Wednesday I share the things that are getting me over the hump and through the week.

    1 // Dealing with negativity on the internet

    Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess, aka the undisputed Internet Queens of DIY and OG bloggers, had a frank conversation on their podcast about the perils of making your private life public. I’ve been following these two sisters since their early days, and it was really refreshing to hear how they process negativity, criticism, and feedback. 

    2 // This article about the false promise of a chick-flick-worthy kitchen 

    After the first installment of The Refresh last week, I got a ton of DM’s about the two kitchen island choice à la Nancy Meyers. And then THIS article popped up on my feed. 

    The author had the same question as I did (TWO Kitchen Islands?!) and unpacks that with two of her friends–who she refers to in the article as “Friend Who Has The Best Taste of All My Friends” and “My Rich Friend, Whose Kitchen Is Actually Bigger and Better Than Nancy Meyers’s, and also has Two (kitchen) Islands.”

    It’s worth a read if you have any feelings at all about the seemingly pristine kitchens that serve as backdrops to our favorite shows and movies. I’m looking at you, Big Little Lies

    3 // Daniel Radcliffe will read Harry Potter to you–ahem–to your kids

    J.K. Rowling just launched “Harry Potter at Home,” which aims to brings the Wizarding World to a new generation of at-home readers. Each week, a new chapter of the first book drops, with a new celebrity narrator. The first chapter is read by none other than our very own Daniel Radcliffe aka ‘Arry Potter, the Boy Who Lived.

    Watch here for the video version or on Spotify for the audio-only. Audible is also offering the first Harry Potter audiobook for everyone for free!

    4 // These seasonal wreaths are my new go-to housewarming gift

    I’ve been looking for a way to brighten up our front door now that our entryway is looking fresh as fuhhhh.
    And Google led me to this family-run farm in Santa Cruz that sends handcrafted wreaths straight to your door. They even offer subscriptions for those who are looking to switch it up every season. 

    I’m a firm believer in buying yourself flowers every once in a while, and these feel like the designer version of that self-care practice–plus they age beautifully! I have a similar lavender one hanging in my bathroom and it’s still looking/smelling pretty dang good, considering it’s a few months old.

    I think they’d make for a perfect hostess or housewarming gift–especially if you’re trying to send well wishes from afar. 

    5 // Virtually touring (and voting on!) every space in Apartment Therapy’s Small/Cool Contest

    Apartment Therapy brought back their annual Small/Cool Contest, and I’m having a blast perusing and voting on all of the contestants. Retro boho to desert chic to whimsical and weird–every possible style is represented! It’s a good primer on how to best maximize your space, even if you’re living in more than 1000 square feet.

    6 // Playing the oldest known board game

    I’ve never been much of a puzzle or games person, but I’ve recently gotten into backgammon in a big way. My brother has a vintage set that has marble chips and beautiful leather detailing that we’ve been using. And now, of course, I’m on the hunt for my own. 

    Turns out, there are thousands of beautiful backgammon boards to choose from. You gotta love Etsy–and Johnathon Adler.

    7 // The margarita mix that tastes like pre-COVID cruise

    As part of my ongoing campaign to Make Weekends Actually Feel like Weekends™, I’ve been whipping up craft cocktails on Fridays and this margarita mix has been on regular rotation. A little tequila, triple sec, and Tommy’s blended smooth! You can’t go wrong.

    8 // Lastly–A plea to Moms everywhere

    Since losing my mom last year, Mother’s Day has a bittersweet hue. It’s important to us that our kids remember their grandparents, and so we’ve tried as a family to use this as an opportunity to honor the memory of my mom and Antonio’s mom. But I don’t have any photos of my mom with my kids, and only a handful of my dad and my kids. And in going through my mom’s things, it gutted me to realize that we have shockingly few photos of my mom. She was usually the one working in the background to wrangle us all and take the photo.

    So, here is my impassioned plea to parents (and specifically moms) everywhere: Take photos of your kids, sure. But take photos with your kids.

    I was talking about this with my girlfriend Carly the other day and I think the biggest hurdle for most parents is purely logistical–it can be tough to find someone to take a picture of the whole family. I sent her a link to my favorite tripod and phone holder, and now I’m passing it on to all of you. Get out there and take some family photos with you in them! Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

     

     

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