Tuesday, February 25, 2020

February 2020 Recommendations


1. Moving your mail icon off of your home screen on your phone. Mine is on the bottom bar always taunting me. The last two weekends I moved the icon to the third page on my phone and it has been awesome. I had a deadline this weekend so I had to check in on Sunday but still great. Do it.

2. Qtica Extending Top Coat. I like this more than Seche Vite, which I have used for years. 

3.  Olive Garden dressing. I hate the Olive Garden as a dining experience but I would drink this. My salad intake is way up.

4. Ask for samples. I only buy beauty products from places that allow for returns, but I'd rather have a sample 100% of the time. Half of a sample is all it took for me to know this product much loved by many was not for me. More individual packaging but less waste than throwing a large container out when it's returned. You can't get samples of everything, but you'll never know until you contact the company and ask. 
5. Rechargeable flameless candle lighter. I love this. Affiliate link. Less waste than junky plastic lighters or matches.

What are you recommending this month?


Monday, February 24, 2020

TWTW - February dreamin'

Friday I had an acupuncturist appointment that got me home after 7. MFD had made pizza and salad and I was in bed early and slept well. Last week was another humdinger. 

Saturday out the door to visit my niece and nephew early, followed by a Target run. That combined with Whole Foods delivery via Amazon is how the grocery game was won this week. 
We took an hour and 50 minute walk in the afternoon. The 14+ year old dog only needed to be carried for less than a minute each five times. He did awesome. 
MFD's friend Albert joined us for dinner (MFD made salmon and salad, I made snickers dip). When they left to go to a meeting I finished a book and that's all she wrote. 
Close to a two hour walk = assed out dogs.

Sunday MFD was gone for the day by 9. I got the sheets changed and in the laundry, towels put away, showered, cleaned out two drawers that were accumulating crap, did some food prep, work worked for about four hours, did some reading, painted my nails (Zoya AJ and OPI Made it to the Seventh Hill!, enjoy this photo of them before I fixed them). Between work work and household management work I didn't have much time to loll around.

Weekly food prep: Breakfast is yogurt with granola and fresh blueberries. Lunches are hard boiled eggs with bell peppers and cantaloupe on the side. Snacks are baby carrots. Dinner is leftover Pioneer Woman pot roast with mashed parsnips. I also have salad stuff to eat and I am making vegan mac & cheese when I work from home on Wednesday. And of course I made Gus and Mae's million dollar food. This is the pot roast just as it was going into the oven...ain't nobody got time to hold a photo collage for Sunday dinner's photo.




This week is packed to the gills. Let's get to it. 

Happy birthday to my little girlfriend Natalia today!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - for once in your life, here's your miracle

1. It's happening. It’s allll happening. It's light later. 17 days until Daylight Saving, 24 days until my birthday, 28 days until spring.

2. In honor of Toni Morrison's birthday Tuesday. Sent to me by my mom.

3. Back to making a version of poop soup which I used to feed Gus for him and Mae. Homecooking for dogs. They have the life. I get pissed when I have to cook for myself during the week but I will cook for those old dogs any time.

4. And The Bed Saga continues.
5. Let's just go three for three on doggish things and talk about how Good Dog has stellar fries and is a super solid lunch spot in the city. 
6. What I've been gorging on this week: my mom's brownie bites. 
7. I organized the shelf in my laundry area that is ugly as sin and needs a complete do-over along with about a million things in this house but it's amazing how something so small makes such a huge difference. I can get on a roll sometimes but I really like small and quick organizing projects. 

8. Inquiring minds want to know: how many alarms do you set in the morning? I set two alarms 20 min apart, the second is the in case of emergency alarm and that is typically going off when i get out of the shower. Are you a snoozer? I used to be a snoozer but I broke myself of that. 

9. Reminder: Be a good girl when you want to be. If that's never, that's fine. That's just fine.

10. Ecards: 

Since I went after Bloomberg yesterday (and candidates rightfully did the same in the debate last night), my only post-debate comment is people must chill over "infighting." Do you know how much these people have on the line? How much time, energy, and money they've already spent, the enormous scrutiny and pressure they're under? We're narrowing the field, of course there's going to be infighting. I'd rather see people speak and work with passion than be up on stage like a dead piece of cardboard sharing milky tea politely with others. Politeness and an unwillingness to really get into things like racism, misogyny, and classism have contributed to where we are. It'll be fine. Stop talking about electability and polls and vote for your candidate in the primary. When primary season is over we move on to the general election. But in every and all cases if you care about this but the only thing you're doing is wringing your hands on social media, you are part of the problem. Put your shoulder into this and do something. If you are not a door knocker or a phone call maker there are post cards to write, texts to send, money to donate. Do something.

What appears after the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts is a song lyric to whatever I'm listening to when I start to write the post. This week is This is It by Kenny Loggins

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Message of the day for Wednesday, February 19


Image via The Week
Not Bloomberg.

That's it. That's the TL, DR message. Read the article the image came from. It’s a good one. 

But it comes from a known Bernie guy, and people inside and outside of the Democratic Party like to write them off as people who will only vote for Bernie. I am not a known Bernie guy. 

My modus operandi in primary season is to encourage people to vote for whoever is still in the race that best reflects them. I don't push candidates and I don't shit on candidates. I vet candidates and I do that quietly. I might talk to a few friends about it, but that's it. I'm still doing that. 

So don't take this as me shitting on a democratic candidate for president. Because to start, Bloomberg is not a democrat.  He's a republican opportunist oligarch using his billions to kick up a massive shitstorm with his newly minted Democrat nametag to capitalize on vote blue no matter who. 

It turns out that who does matter. And it does not include Bloomberg. I will vote for any name opposite trump on the ballot in November aside from Bloomberg because I’m not a hypocrite. He is everything I hate about the current president but with a D behind his name. Pick literally anyone else from the field and I will vote for them, or a dog or a fart, but I will note vote for a man who worked hard to put black and brown people in cages in NY when I have fought hard against people who did it at the border. More republicans should have told their fellow republicans in 2016 that trump was a hard no in primary season. Loosen the hold on white supremacy. Do not sell your souls for this option.

Bloomberg encouraged and expanded stop-and-frisk (stops up 605% in his tenure as mayor of NYC) and protects racist systems. He grew the prison population. He launched a surveillance and profiling system targeting Muslims. He has 40 sexual harassment/discrimination lawsuits against him from women. He had a policy of finger printing food stamp applicants. He changed the rules and bought himself a third term as mayor of NYC, a two-term seat. He is against a living wage. He obliterated the affordable housing stock in NYC. He has pushed privatization of public education. 

He donated to Toomey and others to get them into and keep them in office. I know, I know, he was donating for Everytown to get them on board with gun violence prevention. We can debate the merits of groups and PACs endorsing and funding incumbents over people who actually reflect an organization's mission later, but understand that in 2016 Toomey won here in PA by a sliver and was never going to do a damn thing to move the needle on gun violence prevention. What exactly did Bloomberg think he was buying, a fucking miracle? Bloomberg knew exactly who he was funding and exactly how Toomey would vote during his time in office. Bloomberg's money has ensured GOP senators like Toomey get into and stay in office, which has allowed this president to do anything he wants with zero checks, stack the courts at all levels with conservatives, and for the GOP to give people like Bloomberg an enormous tax break. Hate Kavanaugh? Thank Bloomberg! You have Kavanaugh for life. Oh, Bloomberg gave a few bucks to democrats along the way after he ensured a GOP majority to rubber stamp the current administration ? Goody for him. 

Now he's spraying his money like spittle all across the country, saturating markets with his messages, allegedly as a democrat. 

And people are fucking buying it. People who I thought were progressive are fucking buying it. It's primary season, democrats. Vet your candidates. Do your research. Follow the money.  Google is your friend. If you vet Bloomberg, you'll find he ain't it.

We all know the perfect candidate does not exist. Everyone is flawed. We are human. So are they. Purity tests are hurtful, right? But Bloomberg, he ain't it. There's dealing with things you don't like in people and then there's selling your soul to the devil. This is the latter. Don't do it. I don't understand why people are pushing him when a field of candidates exists - every single one further to the left than him. 

If you hate trump and want him out at any cost, including the price of installing another racist, misogynist, classist man who is actually not a democrat and doesn't give a shit about the American people, then you are not seeing the systems that have brought us here or you see them and don't care and will sacrifice black and brown people, women, and the poor to put another person in office like the one who is in there now, just with better impulse control on twitter and with actual billions. You are not seeing that he is the tip of an iceberg of problems that we need to work to change. If you have ever railed against kids in cages, do not for one second consider voting for a man who worked hard to make sure black and brown kids got put into them. 

If white republicans had discussed white supremacy and misogyny among themselves in 2016 we might not have ended up with trump. There were other options. Are the conversations comfortable? No. Has the existence of black people in this country ever been comfortable? No. If we want actual change we need to address the systems, not only the man at the top of them. 

No matter what "side" you're on, you should not want a racist, classist, misogynist in the White House. 

Because Bloomberg is the other side of the same coin, he just has a D behind his name for now. Getting behind Bloomberg - especially during primary season - is a vote to uphold white supremacy and patriarchy and classism. Period. There is no ignoring that. And if we can’t beat trump without installing another racist, classist, misogynist, then we get what we deserve. Us white liberals will just have to suffer (in ways we consider suffering people like these) like we have long asked black and brown voters to suffer (who actually suffer in ways we will never truly understand due to real policies of people like these and those who support white supremacy over everything else). 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Making a Difference With Your Clothing



Almost a year to the day ago I posted about fast fashion and consumption and didn't touch on it too much for the rest of the year. Time to check in and revive this topic. While the major onus is on governments and corporations to make huge changes to battle climate change, individually we can make little changes that add up to make a big difference for the Earth. With one of leading contributors of pollution being the fashion industry, the easiest way anyone can start caring for the Earth is by reexamining their fashion choices. Keep reading on to figure out how your wardrobe can help the Earth.

Find Out the Current Impact You’re Making
Some people are motivated by keeping track of things and measuring changes. You? Not really me, but it's good to figure out the current carbon footprint you’re making with your fashion choices. Look into trying an online fashion footprint calculator in order to find out how much your spending habits and clothing choices are contributing to climate change. Knowing where you’re starting off will make it much easier to figure out how much of a difference you’re actually making once you start being more mindful. Do you rent clothes for special events? How often are you buying fast fashion? Do you donate all unused clothing items? Let's get down into it. 

Donate or Sell Your Unwanted Clothing
Once you’ve gone through your entire closet, you’ll want to divide your entire wardrobe into keep or donate piles. If you have trouble deciphering what you want to keep versus what you want to donate, ask yourself the following questions: does this still fit me? When is the last time I’ve worn this? Does this accurately reflect my style? Answering one or all of those questions will help determine if you should actually keep your item versus getting rid of it. If it’s the latter, offer it to a friend or look into donating to a local organization. If neither of those will work, call Vietnam Vets for a pickup. If you have higher quality in good shape clothing from brands such as Madewell, Free People, Lululemon, etc. that you’re willing to get rid of, sell your gently used clothes online. Thred Up is super easy, you just pack them up and send them off. Donating or selling your clothing will reduce your carbon footprint, help eliminate clothes from entering landfills and give your clothes the second life they deserve. Not having a bunch of crap to get rid of in the first place is the most desirable, but after that, finding a second life for your stuff is the next best thing you can do.

Create a Minimalist Wardrobe
So much of our closet is often filled with clothes we never wear or have only worn once or twice. In order to reduce your footprint, cut down your wardrobe to only include the necessary pieces. Some people can jam with having 10 to 20 essential pieces in a capsule wardrobe, making their wardrobe a lot lighter and working to create variety with what they have. If that interests you, you can check out following a guide to creating a minimalist wardrobe to help prevent you from buying extra clothing and downsize your carbon footprint.  You can check out Steph's spring and summer capsule wardrobe here to get a better idea about that. 

Shop Eco-Friendly
Of course there will be times where you’ll want to add new styles to your closet, so let's talk shopping in an eco-friendly way. This can be by shopping secondhand online or by going to your local thrift and/or vintage shops. I've had great luck on Poshmark and Thred Up. Another way is by looking into ethical and sustainably made fashion. Shopping sustainably means supporting companies that have less water usage in the creation of clothes, sustainable packaging, the use of recycled materials and low impact dyes in the clothing.

Of course, the very best way to reduce your carbon footprint when it comes to your clothes is to wear them until they die then use them in another way. Very seriously, the rate at which many people buy new clothes is mind blowing when you think about how your grandparents got by with their wardrobe. Over the last year I have bought less than I ever have, and what I have bought I was very picky about. I used to buy a bunch of shit - $5 t-shirt here, $15 dress there, get rid of them at will, whatever. That shit added up. I can see in my mind the exact items of clothing I bought last year because they were all bought with intent and there were much less of them than there have ever been been before. I only bought one item that was a straight wish add (not filling a hole I had in my wardrobe). It feels good to stay in line with what I set out to do. It's helped me feel less cluttered and wasteful and I haven't felt deprived.

Are you trying to cut down on fast fashion and be more mindful with your carbon footprint in regards to clothes?

Monday, February 17, 2020

TWTW - the one that is not three day for me

Friday I have seldom been so happy to see a week end. I moved the email icon on my phone out of the home bar on the bottom and onto page three for the weekend and it was fucking glorious. While MFD was making dinner I did my in-home walk. He made steaks and asparagus and fries in the air fryer and we zoned out on the couches with Parks & Rec and me with a book. 
Saturday was leisure-tastic. I finished a book, read an entire other one, and started a third. I painted my nails (Zoya Annie and Charla) and did a bentonite clay mask, we did a family walk on the trail near our house with me splitting off early to bring the old dogs home, and I did a super simple dinner of salad, corn bread, and chicken drums in the air fryer. 
Sunday My mom came over for a visit bearing bagels and her delicious baked goods. MFD and Vincent went to Quaker meeting and I did an in-home walk and showered. What else what else. Normal sheet changing and towel washing and putting the house in order. I should have done laundry but I argued with people I don't know online about why Bloomberg is so fucking terrible instead. After years of saying we were going to we finally bought a new sectional for the shore (no ottoman, but the sectional is the ottoman color) and went to dinner at Margaritas since it was right across from there. The service was great but the food was fucking terrible, we had immediate regrets/should have gone elsewhere. I finished reading Just Mercy and whew. 
Weekly food prep: Breakfast is savory oatmeal and a banana. Lunches are salads with a hard boiled egg side car. Snacks are baby carrots. Dinner is spaghetti with veggie meat sauce from the freezer, garlic bread to use up bread from last week, and side salad - MFD is making that Monday night. I'll probably do sheet pan veggies and smoked sausage mid-week. That's one of the only meals I am cool with making the day of during the week. So no pics because the only things I made were hard boiled eggs and oatmeal and cut up some stuff for salads. Oh I lied. Here are some tomatoes. Bye.



Is this just a weekend and books and Thursday Thoughts blog anymore? In this season of life, seems like it. I am not off today, but I do feel more rested than I have in a while.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - I’ll take you down the only road I've ever been down

1. What life has looked like lately. I've been working a lot and not doing much else. I'm tired down into my bones and deep into my brain.

2. Thanks for joining us or checking out Show Us Your Books on Tuesday. Gus is approaching 15. I have read over 1,000 books sitting next to this dog. It's wild when you think in terms of stuff like that.

3. I've been doing my best to get eight hours of sleep and I've kept up with walking at least a mile a day and doing my face routine at night - the latter being two self care pieces that I loathe doing but self care is not always about cool and fun things. It's about things that actually maintain yourself. I've been keeping up with no buy too outside of two books in the past week. Yikes. I have excuses but they're like assholes, everyone has them and they stink.

4. What I got from the library this week.

5. Things contributing to my exhaustion outside of deadlines and all the things that come with them:

6. It's quite a conundrum when you fuck up and buy the wrong item and you hate coconut but hate food waste more.

7. This makes my black heart sing.

8. Happy Galentine's Day, friends. I'd be absolutely nowhere without my girlfriends.

9. Reminder:

10. Ecards: 

I can't believe I had 10 items this week. 

What appears after the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts is a song lyric to whatever I'm listening to when I start to write the post. This week is Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Show Us Your Books February 2020


I'm pulling this together on Sunday and I'd rather be reading the book I'm reading right now (Long Bright River). Lots of kindle books this month because I had to get through a lot of Netgalley reads, other than that hi how are you let's talk about what we've read over the last month, okay? 

Here's what I've been reading since the last linkup.
Buy it links are affiliate links and buying through them supports this link up 

Engrossing Reads

Long Bright River by Liz Moore - A contemporary book set in Philly, a mystery with female leads, the opioid crisis which is an every day conversation in our house, and the author uses the title of the book in the first 40 pages? How could I not love this. I was sucked in and couldn't put it down. This is my favorite read of the year so far. Thanks to Heather for the recommendation!  I actually bought it because I was #366 on the library hold list and ain't nobody got time for that.   Hard cover, own     buy

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid - The second book one a row set in Philly and written by a woman. This book flew by - good writing and pace and managed to retain a certain lightness even through its heavy topics: race, class, ambition, intention vs impact. People are not liking the end but it fits the book and main character if taken in as a whole. Hardcover, own   buy 
Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore -  I was desperate to get my hands on this book. It’s powerful and a lot to swallow: what women deal with in this world, have always dealt with from men and patriarchal society and yes, other women; and the avenues they take to exist without being crushed, the dark humor they bring, the hope that survives despite the big and small cuts men don’t feel, will never feel. Set against a desolate Odessa, TX, background, the writing is gorgeous and the story telling makes it feel far from a debut novel. Books like these are important, and I know saying that automatically makes some people not want to read them or some people want to read and shit on them, but I'm saying it anyway. If you are not a fan of books about hard things or unhappy endings or nuanced writing in which you can hate the situation or a character but still admire the writing and see what the author is doing, this book is not for you. Also, I pre-ordered a copy of this book even though I already read it which is not something I typically do because I think its cover fits it so perfectly and I think it's important to support books like this from debut authors and pre-order is the best way to do that. Netgalley, free ARC, book comes out March 31.     pre-order

A Cold Trail (Tracy Crosswhite #7) by Robert Dugoni - Another solid Tracy read, story-wise. I like seeing Dugoni address working mothers/gender differentials of working parents as well. Can't wait for the next in the series already. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Passed the Time Just Fine

The Museum of Desire (Alex Delaware #35) by Jonathan Kellerman - I cannot believe I've read 35 books in this series, I think it's the longest I've read. It's definitely surpassed the Kinsey Milhone alphabet books. If you are familiar with this crew, it's standard fare which at this point is sort of like pulling your favorite blanket over yourself and sometimes you find a piece of delicious candy in it and sometimes you find it needs to be washed. Netgalley free ARC

The Scholar (Cormac Reilly #2) by Dervla McTiernan - Solid second effort in this series. It's not setting the world on fire but I'll read more. Philly library paperback

A Good Neighborhood by Therese Ann Fowler - I have complicated feelings on this book. To start with the simplest item, there's a Greek chorus narrator aspect that I like that many people will not. The writing was good but the build up to action was long. There was also too much in here: racial profiling, frivolous lawsuits, hints of pedophilia...the racial profiling in this neighborhood would have been more than enough. And speaking of that...I could see trouble coming a mile away, and the detached tone of literally the entire book in the aftermath was hard to decipher - was that purposeful, meant to mimic the neighborhood, or was that a white author writing about an issue they can never truly understand? Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald - Everything including the kitchen sink can be found in this book and I found myself saying huh, now this quite a few times. Not always in a good way. It was a wild ride, that’s for sure. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Truly Devious #1 by Maureen Johnson - I like books about criminals and crime, but this book showed me that I don't have a lot of interest in the whys behind why people like criminals and crime LOL. I thought it was clever and I liked the back and forth in time but when I enjoy YA books there's a certain element to them that was missing in this one and I can't exactly iterate what that is.  Philly library hardcover

The Misfortunes of Family by Meg Little Reilly - I liked reading about the Bright family and enjoyed the writing, but the end POV was pretty powerful and made me think about what that would have been like interspersed through the story. Solid read, I'll read more by Meg Little Reilly. Free copy from Netgalley  in exchange for an honest review

All this Could be Yours by Jami Attenberg - Family dysfunction junction what's your function. There's eight loads of shit in this book, keep peeling back the layers. Philly library hardcover

Finding Claire Fletcher (Claire Fletcher #1) by Lisa Regan - I love Regan's Josie Quinn series, so I thought I'd try another by her. This was quite good while simultaneously being hard to read because of the subject matter. Kindle e-book


Not Worth It

n/a

Did Not Finish

This Bright River by Patrick Somerville - A classic case of the carpet doesn't match the drapes in which case the carpet is the interior and the drapes is the cover, which is the reason I plucked it off the shelf. Philly library hardcover


What have you been reading? 

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This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next linkup is Tuesday, March 10, 2020
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