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our best recommendations for your downtime
issue 225 ~ week of june 18, 2021

editor's note

Happy Friday <<First Name>>!

Summer is truly on the horizon here: I’m swapping my sweats for shorts, restocking on sunscreen, dodging the last of the cicadas, dipping my toes back into lunch dates out in the real world, and munching on the sweetest in-season fruit like strawberries….so that’s what my weekend will mostly look like!

Tomorrow is also Juneteenth, the oldest nationally recognized commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It’s a holiday for celebration, reflection, and self-education. I didn’t learn about Juneteenth in any of my textbooks in school, and I admit I only understood the full history of the holiday last year, which is a real shame. On Saturday, I’ll be digging into reads like this one and listening to podcast episodes like this one. While this commemorative holiday is important, I am also reflecting on the fact that inequality and structural racism still persists in a very real way. For many Black Americans though, Juneteenth is a lively and joyful celebration, and this weekend might look a little more like continuing the vibrant celebrations that have been happening for generations.

Whatever the case may be, I hope you have a safe, cool, and relaxing weekend.

— Alisha Ramos, founder/editor at GNI
This week's picks and reads were curated by: Alisha Ramos

weekly picks

ideas for unwinding this weekend
  • This is the pre-summer body pep talk that I needed.
  • A very good Juneteenth reading list from Bookshop.
  • “Collective trauma requires communal healing.” A thoughtful ritual guide for what we’ve learned and lost in Covid from Ritualist. (h/t Priya Parker)
  • Move over potato chips — we’re all about the crispy and tasty wild salmon skins from Goodfish. Upcycled from a sustainable fishery in Alaska, this zero-carb snack is packed with protein (10g), marine collagen (hi, smoother skin) and omega-3s. Just for GNI readers, get 20% off your first purchase with code GIRLSNIGHTIN20Sponsor
  • There’s a lot of chatter about the influencer world rn. I’m also anxiously thinking about my eco-footprint whilst piling my cart with new, summery clothes. That’s why I enjoyed this podcast episode with creators Jazmine Rogers and Gabby Masuda Ambata who share how they’re interpreting their roles as “influencers” and how it intersects with their sustainability efforts. (h/t Tyler on our team for the rec)
  • I appreciated this Oh, I Like That podcast ep where hosts Rachel Wilkerson Miller and Sally Tamarkin shared their honest feelings about Pride this year.
  • Bookmarking this sheet-pan gnocchi recipe (!), which Carey recommended in our Slack and described as a mochi-like inner texture. Immediately sold. ✅
  • This deep-conditioning hair mask from Black-owned brand Bread Beauty Supply is very much on my radar. I’m trying to embrace my curly hair (3A curls! If you know, you know). I love that the packaging lists what curly types it’s great for, which to me signals that they get it. (Shoutout to our friends Claire & Erica for the rec.)
  • Attention fellow Hawa Hassan fans! Basbaas sauces are back in stock!
  • I have these sort-of-utilitarian (the chunkiness!) but still passable as fashion-y sandals in my cart right now as a slight update to my Tevas. I also saw these “plush” slides floating around our Slack, which look like the chic version of those pillow slides that have been trending all over.
  • On a scale from 1 to 10, I’m about at an 11 in terms of how excited I am that Lupin is finally back for Season 2! It’s a deliciously fun, twisty, and suave must-watch for summer, IMO.
  • "Curling up with a good book before bedtime has always been a soothing ritual of mine. Currently, I'm reading Angela Davis' Women, Race and Class written in the 1980's, which dives into the intersection of feminism and race in America. As a Black woman and a creative, this book has empowered me to control my narrative and redefine what liberation means for me." - Shanetta McDonald, Founder of Motif and Host of The Motif Podcast Guest rec
  • I’ve been learning a lot from one of my favorite recent IG follows, Schuyler Bailar, who is the 1st trans D1 NCAA men’s athlete. This recent post in particular was helpful in learning the most respectful trans terminology.
  • I’m adding Leitz sparkling rosé and Wolffer verjus to my list of fave non-alcoholic bevs to try this summer. Thanks to readers Emily K. and Jean B. for the recs! (P.S. Are you getting our Shopping emails? Update your preferences here). 
  • I bought this rainbow beaded necklace from Etsy for $16. It's on-trend and the colors make it a fun summertime accessory.
  • Nervously laughing at this too-real, imminent scenario for all of us.
  • Last but not least, I’m biased, but I’m excited for our upcoming launch at Whiled: a hand-dyed and extremely roomy tote bag, in collaboration with a talented artist. Coming next week...
Sponsor Spotlight: Our Place
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From the brand who brought you the much-coveted Always Pan comes an exciting kitchen launch: smartly designed knives and a cutting board that’s beautiful enough to be a serving dish.

Our Place spent over a year designing the perfect knife trio: the Everyday Chef’s Knife, the Serrated Slicing Knife, and the Precise Paring Knife. Yes, that means it's time to toss those dull hand-me-down knives—these knives are the cooking game changer you didn't know you needed. Each one even comes with a special groove that shows where to hold it correctly. 

The cutting board, made from American Black Walnut wood (it camouflages stains!), has a useful juice trench to capture any liquid. Plus, you can flip it over so it doubles as a serving tray for summer picnics. It stores easily but we prefer to keep it out where everyone can see it.

GNI readers can save 20% off knives and cutting boards with promo code GNI20 through June 25.
we love a coffee table moment. (pic: @aubriecrivaro)

weekly reads

reads to share with the group chat
  • Excuse me — sheet pan ice cream sandwiches? I’m on board. (Epicurious)

  • Read or listen to this podcast interview (NPR) with the author of the new memoir-meets-history-book On Juneteenth by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Harvard professor Annette Gordon-Reed. Adding to my TBR list.

  • “How I stopped saying horrible things to myself.” An excerpt from Katie Sturino’s new book, Body Talk, that I needed. (The Cut)

  • A fascinating read on red velvet cake, and where it sits in the context of Black food history and its prevalence in some Juneteenth celebrations. (Washington Post)

  • Four books to broaden your Pride Month reading list. (NPR)

  • “For many Americans, juicy, scarlet watermelon is a must for Juneteenth.” I appreciate the respect for the seeds. (New York Times)

  • THOROUGHLY enjoyed this fun profile of the “mysterious” and v fashionable Lori Harvey. Lori is Steve Harvey’s daughter and Michael B. Jordan’s girlfriend (!!), as the article notes several times. Trust me, I followed her so fast on Instagram. (Bustle)

  • Three transgender kids share their stories. (Cup of Jo)

  • A new zine that shares Asian American stories on food and identity. The name is perfect, IMO. (Food and Wine)

 take action and take care


Ways to take action this week... Observe and educate yourself about Juneteenth, which celebrates the emancipation of enslaved people in America. Support education that centers Black history that is too often ignored by the education system, through Black-led organizations like The Black School, Claudia Jones School, and Noname Book Club.

Ways to take care… Celebrate Juneteenth’s history on screen, through documentaries/docuseries like High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America's Freedom episode (Netflix), which focuses on Juneteenth and Black cuisine in Texas, and Miss Juneteenth (Amazon Prime), which follows a decades-old pageant honoring the holiday. 

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