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our best recommendations for your downtime
issue 220 ~ week of May 14, 2021

editor's note

Hi there and happy Friday, 

A few weeks ago, I shared my Throwback Thursday Ritual (TBTR) — time I set aside each week to explore a childhood interest. This recent wave of nostalgia is probably influenced by the ‘90s and Y2K aesthetics currently decorating Instagram (has anyone else noticed those?) combined with the way the pandemic has made me cling to the comfort of the past. But, the truth is that rewinding to unwind has helped me reconnect with my inner child in some really unexpected-but-wonderful ways. Here's what I've learned:

🤗 Find your fuzzy place. Mine was in East High. Yes, the one from High School Musical. For you, that cozy feeling might come from the hot tea you've sipped every morning since childhood or the dandelions sprouting in your backyard. Don’t forget how much of your truth lives in that feeling — take time to capture it and build a ritual around it.  

❤️ Revisiting favorite characters can feel like catching up with childhood friends. I’ve always admired strong-willed characters, like Naruto Uzumaki, the self-proclaimed “number one knucklehead ninja." I've realized that these characters can help remind us what we value most in our ourselves and others — something I'll hold close as we prepare to re-enter the world and reunite with our people.

🎨 Nostalgia can spark creativity. When I revisited my favorite shows and movies, I realized the amount of care and world-creating that went into those stories. From the dreamy details in Spirited Away to the characterization in Teen Titans, revisiting these reminded me what can happen when you create from a space of purpose and intentionality. 

And on that note I’m firing up an episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog — for creativity's sake, of course. 😉 What rewind to unwind ritual are you starting this weekend? I'd love to hear about it at the link below. 👇

Have a good weekend, 
Zeniya Cooley, Editorial and Social Intern

P.S. Have a favorite nostalgic pastime? Tell us about it (or something else you're doing to unwind) and you could be featured in an upcoming Reader Rec.

weekly picks

ideas for unwinding this weekend
wallpaper and plant inspo 😍 (via @trezzoha)
  1. The mediocre-in-the-best way-possible programming you should probably watch tonight... This site allows you to specify which streaming services you've got, the genre you're craving, how long of a movie or show you're looking for, and more. Our tip: Sort by mediocre movies only because sometimes a solid 73% on Rotten Tomatoes is just what the doctor ordered. 🎥
  2. An afternoon snack to accompany your TBTR... String cheese! If you forgot it existed until this very moment, consider this a sign to pick some up this weekend. (And if you're craving something sweeter, try this PB&J-inspired recipe — made for your inner child — instead.) 🧀
  3. Because dogs can't drink smoothies... Tailored Pet knows that you have your dog's unique needs in mind (like more energy or smoother digestion!) and crafts personalized dog food for their best health — then delivers to your door with free, carbon-neutral shipping. Save 60% on your first subscription order with code GNI60. 🐾 Sponsor

  4. If you're heading OUTSIDE (can you believe it?), try some... "Body Glide Skin Glide Anti Friction Cream! I’m a fat woman who loves wearing dresses, but if I didn’t wear shorts underneath, my inner thighs would be bright red and painful after a day of chafing. This cream is a lifesaver as the weather warms up. I put it on when I get dressed and it lasts all day — my legs really do feel like they’re gliding against each other like butter!" - Emma W. 🌀 Reader Rec 
  5. A cartoon to dip your toe into... "I highly recommend watching The Mitchells vs. The Machines — it was one of the most fun movies I've seen this year and stars (the voices of) Olivia Coleman, Abbi Jacobson, Maya Rudolph, and more. I love the use of animation and that it's a part of Netflix's Representation Matters collection." - Alisha, CEO/Founder 🍿 Overheard from HQ
  6. Some internet things we can't stop watching... how to train yourself to be a back sleepersome "icy" ASMR, and a bowl of comfort — featuring Lao Gan Ma honey. 😍✨
  7. Raise your hand if you're looking for a home project. We've got three... A foresty wall paper, a peel-and-stick flooring solution (perfect for a bathroom, doorway, or kitchen 👀), and this dreamy collab for pottery lovers and IKEA hackers alike. 🌻
  8. A very good bop... "Home" by Kymara and Bobbie Johnson is a perfect lower yourself into the tub with no intention to get out anytime soon jam. (Also, this cover art!) 🎧

    Bonus rec: Waiting for this service that lets you book private gardens to become more widely available, but until then picking up some of these incredible dried (pink! hot pink!) Pampas stems from The Sill. 💐
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weekly reads

share these with the group chat
a very good puzzle and book giveaway you can enter here
This week, play a game with us. Below, we've pulled our favorite line from six reads we loved this week. Pick the ones that grab at your heart, give you a much-needed belly laugh, or make you think, and dive right in. 👀

On the great garden gnome shortage of 2021. "Love them or hate them, garden gnomes are a staple of quirky (creepy?) yards everywhere, as ubiquitous as the hot pink plastic flamingo. Since the coronavirus pandemic started, gardening centers have experienced record sales, and recent reports show they’re not slowing down anytime soon." 😱 (Food52)

It's the little things. "This isn’t a food fetish; it’s horny grocery shopping, which isn’t shopping while horny, necessarily, but is rather a version of shopping in which the mere consideration of groceries becomes its own erotic act." 🍑 (Grub Street)

These Instagram accounts aim to make therapy less white. "I’m conversant with terminology like 'holding space' and 'insecure attachment,' and I’ll deploy them for literally any reason. I know what the amygdala does. If you could grade people on being in therapy, I’d be gunning for an A+. Despite my type A approach, this has all kept me relatively level and functional. But the past year has been different." 🌼 (BuzzFeed)

Have you heard of ~dirt drops?~ "The magnetism of a good mug is hardly a new phenomenon. But during the pandemic, many ceramic artists have seen the kind of customer excitement more associated with clothing lines or concert tickets. ... 'One customer told me the last time they felt like this was trying to get tickets to see Beyoncé.'" ☕️ (The New York Times)

Maybe it's a Blob Girl Summer. "The truth is I am a Blob Girl. I am part of a vast middle sector of womanhood who are pretty bad at Being Women in the way that involves an arsenal of products and a wealth of knowledge to address every detail of our femininity with attention and care and perform it with the practiced grace of dancers." 🙃 (Insider)

Cicada season calls for a definitive ranking of pop culture bugs. "From the ugliest, ooziest, most irradiated bugs in horror movies, to the cute and chirpy ones that often accompany animated protagonists on their journeys to self discovery, bugs are everywhere in pop culture." 🐛(The Ringer)

Bonus reads: Two very good oral histories — this one of Tom Holland's sensational Lip Sync Battle performance honoring Rihanna (Insider) and this one of the Dawson crying meme (Vox). They just never get old. 😂

 take action and take care

Ways to take action this week... As local businesses continue to reopen, support working families through Jobs with Justice, donate to Restaurant Opportunities Centers United Pandemic Response Fund, and learn about the Fight for $15.

Ways to take care… Find a local support group to share experiences with people living with mental illnesses, connect with pro bono therapists for essential workers, and access free frontline worker mental health care.

heading into the weekend like...

maybe this will be the weekend (via @lunascalloway)
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