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 issue 146 ~ week of November 22, 2019

Note from the Editor

Happy Friday <<First Name>>! 

For the past few months, but especially since temperatures have started to dip, I've been thinking about how to get out of the cycle of going out to eat or grabbing a drink every time I want to catch up with a friend. 

While I love the act of gathering around a table, I’ve realized that making every occasion food and drink-centric is often my biggest obstacle to making plans in the first place. Like many, I don't always feel my best when eating out for multiple meals a week— so I often get discouraged from initiating plans as a result. With that in mind lately, I’ve been taking some time to write down some of my favorite non-restaurant activities to try with friends when it’s cold out. Here’s how my list is shaping up: 

1. Make friendship bracelets. I did this in my apartment with a small group a couple months ago and it was the coziest activity. We made camp-style bracelets with embroidery floss and letter beads with words like “pasta” or whatever we were into that week. 👯‍♀️

2. Stay indoors, somewhere else. One of my favorite winter traditions is to rent a cabin that’s not exactly in a “destination” location and pile in for a weekend with friends. It's a great (and affordable!) way to spend a quick 48 hours under the same roof with some besties, just like old times. (Note: I can neither confirm nor deny that one year we made the whole trip Harry Potter-themed. 🤓⚡️)

3. Host a game night or viewing party. I can no longer deny it—I am a Quiplash stan. It’s a fill-in-the-blank game you can cast to your TV so everybody can input their answers via their phone. You can even join the game from afar, so I’ve actually Facetimed long-distance friends in with the help of a laptop so they could play along with us. (Heads up: This is a great game to play with family next week.) 👾

4. Share hobbies. You're probably really good at something your friends want to learn! Don't undersell yourself. I was so excited recently when my friend Kate said she wanted to teach our group how to crochet. About a month ago, we all agreed on a date (it's tonight!) and she bulk-ordered supplies, which we’ll just Venmo her for. It's a far cry from our Friday nights of yesteryear, but I'm pumped! 🧶

For many of us, next week's Thanksgiving hustle and bustle is bound to come with all sorts of foodcentric stresses and pressures. But this year I'm challenging myself to think outside the turkey. Instead of stressing about what side I’m bringing to the table (spoiler alert: it's mac and cheese), I’m thinking about the other traditions I can take a hand in starting. Pre-turkey candle-making, anyone?

'Til Next Week, 
Tyler Calder, Editorial and Content Lead at GNI

in the journal this week

what our team is writing about
👩‍👩‍👦‍👦Ask Alma: Advice for Setting-Boundaries With Family (From a Real Therapist)
Navigating complex family dynamics can be especially tricky this time of year–when tensions are high due to travel, coordinating plans, and holiday expectations. So we sat down with a therapist from Alma to get some much-needed advice heading into next week.  

🤗 Let's Talk About Sustainable Gifting This Holiday Season 
In Partnership With Everlane.
This year, we're trying to be as mindful as possible and gift from trusted sources. To that end, we teamed up with the crew at Everlane to learn more about their sustainable products (and yes, we put together a gift guide of our favorites).

🎁 Read This? Gift That: The Books to Give Based on the Reads They Already Love.
In Partnership With Book of the Month.
Picking out a book for a loved one can be tricky, but nothing feels better than completely nailing it. So what's one to do? This guide will help you decide what reads to buy for the book worms in your life, completely based on the page-turners they've loved this year.

📚 Bookish Girl Fall: Our Interview With Jasmine Guillory 
In Partnership With Book of the Month.
You know her from her crowd-favorite novels like The Proposal, The Wedding Date, The Wedding Party, and Royal Holiday. We sat down with lawyer-turned-writer Jasmine Guillory to talk about her reading routines and how she writes books we love so much. 

this week's picks

what our team is loving this week
cozy corners (via @dominomag)
  1. Upgrading some crucial kitchen items 👩‍🍳 with this cute and practical apron that doubles as a potholder and this bamboo cutting board that has a slot for your phone to stand up (super handy when you have a recipe you're following). 

  2. Preparing for Thanksgiving 🎧 by listening to this cooking playlist, curated by the Barefoot Contessa herself (!!). 
  3. Waterproofing our footwear. ❄️ Thursday Boots' new "go-anywhere" Lace-Up Boot collection is a literal dream for boot nerds everywhere. (Seriously, Google “Goodyear Welt Construction”–it really is that cool.) We're snagging the Combat Boot in white because it's as high-quality as it is drool-worthy (and GNI readers enjoy free shipping). #SPONSORSTHING
  4. Saving our sweaters and using this fabric shaver. 💫 It's perfect for breathing new life into sweaters that are starting to show signs of wear. "I got one last year and it's extremely pleasing to see all those pesky sweater pills go away." - Alisha 

  5. Bringing this beautiful hosting gift with us. 😍 Made by our friends at Pineapple Collaborative (a female-founded biz from our hometown of DC) this just-released olive oil is equal-parts gorgeously packed, smooth tasting, and ready to be delivered to all your end-of-year events. 
  6. Keeping up to date with our (long!) Netflix queue 🍿 by following @seewhatsnext on Twitter. On our radar: The Christmas Prince: A Royal Baby (December 5) and John Mulaney's newest comedy special, coming out later next month.

sponsor spotlight: Dame Products
Have you heard of the pleasure gap? 樂   

It’s like the wage gap, but for more intimate night-in activities, which women are four times more likely to identify as "not at all pleasurable.” So what gives? 

We're looking forward to better nights in ahead, and lucky for us, Dame Products is a women-founded company making toys that work to close the pleasure gap. We’re huge fans of products like the Pom (it's flexible and forms to your needs) and Eva II (which is hands-free and made for couples), because they’re developed and tested by real people with vulvas.

Want in on the effort to make the world a more pleasurable place? GNI readers get 15% off at checkout with code GIRLSNIGHTIN15.

smart reads of the week

from the GNI Team
they're pie COOKIES (via @zestyzimmerman)
🥘 Want to bring something new to the Thanksgiving table without offending anyone? In some families, your eagerness to make a new, fancy stuffing (with chorizo and everything!) is just never going to fly when grandma's got a recipe that dates back to the 1950s. Sure, innovation is cool, but this piece makes an argument that tradition doesn't have to be the worst

📺 Maybe Jeopardy is and always has been the great unifier. This week, in a bittersweet moment that definitely brought tears to our eyes, a contestant on the famed game show answered his Final Jeopardy question with a simple "We love you, Alex" – and it's true. News of the legendary host's cancer diagnosis sent pangs through our heart earlier this year, and we're not alone. This piece reflects on why the show and its host mean so much to us

📚 Do you enjoy reading books on your phone? 👀 This defense of it made our eyes hurt but HEY, we'll entertain the idea. The mother in us is worried about your screen time, but you can't argue with progress. "I like the smell of the pages and holding my progress in three dimensions. But I can stay up for hours staring at my stupid phone, and I cannot say the same for a paperback book." 

🙅‍♀️ Rethinking "We need to talk." Hi hello this just in – this phrase is kind of terrifying to receive, even if it feels direct and to the point when you're on the giving side of it. Want to be a little kinder to the person whom you need to talk to? Consider sparing them and subbing in something else, at least according to this piece

🎰 Bonus Read: Here is a warm and fuzzy story about Tom Hanks being as great as you'd imagine
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walking into the weekend like...

Me post-turkey. (via @alyssalimp and @forever35podcast)
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