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our best recommendations for your downtime
issue 223 ~ week of June 4, 2021
editor's note

Happy Friday <<First Name>>!

This past weekend was spent in what can only be described as a panicked online shopping stupor as I tried to figure out what the heck is even in style right now for sandals. After hours of searching (with Mare of Easttown in the background, of course), I landed on the most straightforward pair imaginable. Plus a pair of sweatshorts. Old habits die hard. 🙃
My post-vaccine life’s gone from 0 to 100 real fast, and we’re officially in summer calendaring territory now. Over this past week, my cal’s been booked up with two weddings, a bachelorette party, and a friend’s book release party — and not to mention the lower-stakes, medium-hangout stuff! All very happy and good things of course, and I’m feeling incredibly privileged and lucky to be vaccinated and healthy.
And yet, I’m feeling overwhelmed anticipating multiple social hangouts in a row after the past 15 months in relative isolation. How do I interact with humans again? Is there any way we can slow this thing down? No joke, I have a book about how to make small talk in my online shopping cart right now. It’s going to be an awkward girl summer.
In our @girlsnightinclub Stories this week, a lot of you shared you're feeling similarly, grappling with questions from "How far can we plan in advance?" to "Who are even my real friends right now?" and "Can I travel with kids if I'm vaccinated and they're not?" One thing that's brought me joy in the midst of all the gray-area feelings and decisions were your answers to the following question: 
What was the first post-vaccination plan you made?
Meeting my newborn nephew!
A nice dinner out with friends!
A manicure and long-awaited haircut!
Seeing grandparents!
Hosting brunch!
Sending my daughter back to school!
Buying Sylvan Esso concert tickets!
It seems like some of us are starting to tiptoe into new (happy, confusing, complicated) territory. In the coming days, I'll be rehearsing responses to “How have you been?” and memorizing less cringey variations of “How are you?” to prepare for it all. For now, I think I’ll just lead with, “It’s great to see you.”
Until next Friday,
Alisha Ramos

P.S. For any fellow entrepreneurs out there, I'm picking up this book to accompany me on some of my upcoming travels. If you're reading it too, would love to know what you think

weekly picks

ideas for unwinding this weekend
  1. Anyone else dreading the "So what'd you do in quarantine?" question?... Join Real for a conversation next Tuesday all about managing expectations as you re-enter society. (Because it's okay if the answer is a simple "not much.") 📆
  2. If you're hitting the open road for the first time in a while... This ergonomic Ostrich pillow could be calling your name. Just go right ahead and swaddle your neck like a baby. (Trust us on this one.)  😂
  3. For that new notebook feeling... Baronfig knows the reasons you use (and love) your notebook are endless. That's why their confidant notebook comes in three styles: classic for open-ended thoughts, guided for habit-forming, and limited for all your most experimental ideas. GNI readers can use code GIRLSNIGHTIN21 for 20% off an order of $50 or more. 📒 Sponsor

  4. Make this the summer you keep up with loved ones with... "Letterloop! It's an easy way to create a private group newsletter with anyone you want. I use it with my college friends and we love it as a way to stay in touch." - Leanne L. 📬 Reader Rec
  5. Just hear us out: web series are better than ever rn... Bookstagrammer Lupita Aquino and author Kristen Arnett (of the just-released With Teeth) launched Books, Beers, and Babes, Paola Velez is a DELIGHT in Pastries With Paola, and 10/10 would watch more cartoonists and comedians. 🍺
  6. They're baaaaaaack. Yep, we're talking about banana clips... "Pulling your hair back with one of these says 'I tried, but not that hard.'" - Alisha, CEO/Founder 🍌 Overheard at HQ 
  7. This week's low stakes hot take... This is the best way to eat dessert. We will not be taking questions at this time. 😋
  8. Y/N: Are these candles too pretty to burn?... We'll let you be the judge. 🕯

    Bonus rec: Do not sleep on this eyebrow pencil from our friends at Winky Lux. (It's especially great if you're going for natural-looking brows.) 👀

    👋 Have something that's been helping you unwind lately? Tell us about it and you could be featured in an upcoming Reader Rec.
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weekly reads

reads to share with the group chat

1. Naomi Osaka and the power of 'NOPE.' (New York Times)

2. Yes, Knit-Lit is a thing. Here's
a not quite comprehensive list all the fictional characters that knit. (Believer Mag)

3. Want to stop your revenge bedtime procrastination? Stop working late
. (SELF)

4. Casey McQuiston on Margaritaville shirts and the being out that comes after coming out. (Oprah Daily)

5. Say it isn't so... FOMO is (supposedly) making a comeback(VICE)

6. But what if we're not ready to
say goodbye to The Bold Type?! (Harper's Bazaar)

7. Just 101 ways to be a good neighbor. (Apartment Therapy)

8. Read this if you're nervous about welcoming a new baby into your friendship. (The Lily)

Bonus read: Another '90s thing is back.
And this one is miniature. (Architectural Digest)

 take action and take care

cw: some of the below links reference forced assimilation and settler colonialism, specifically in relation to the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

Ways to take action... Donate to For the Gworls’ campaign to raise $500,000 for rent and affirmative surgery for Black trans people in the month of June. Learn about the recently discovered Indigenous mass grave and support the healing process for communities affected by forced assimilation. 

Ways to take care… Unwind with a new read that you can pick up from a Queer-owned bookstore. Access mental health services for Indigenous survivors of violence from the Sovereign Bodies Institute.

heading into the weekend like...

someone tell me where to acquire this croissant couch please (by @roman.plyus via @cherrybombe)
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