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 issue 169 ~ week of May 15, 2020
Note from the Editor

Hi <<First Name>>,

Oh, hi, hello it’s your resident wannabe birder, back again to report not on the red-bellied woodpecker I spotted (but it was cool!!) but to confess something. 

You see, in between the corona-fueled bursts of ugly cries, the constant financial hand-wringing, the relentless news-reading spirals, the guilt of not working hard enough or not focusing on my kid enough or not focusing on me enough or focusing on me too much, the concern about humanity in general, the babka consumption, the bad muffins consumption, the 25-crackers-in-3-minutes consumption, the soft pants, the awkward Zoom small talk, the spending too much time on Instagram psychoanalyzing acquaintances, the how-are-you text messages that you genuinely mean but you don’t know if people really want to answer, the hovering dark cloud that never totally leaves, I find myself… bizarrely, confusedly happy. 

These past two months, I’ve been freakishly protective over the very little “me time” I get—typically between 9pm-10:30pm, after my son goes to sleep, dinner is eaten, and household errands are haphazardly accomplished. That hour-and-a-half is when I go deep on the things that are just for me. I read about minor feelings, I watch nightly episodes of a YouTube series on rural Chinese cooking (this article got me hooked), I text mom friends about preferred sippy cups and stacking toys, I scroll the internet for the perfect combination of dried yarrow and echinops to pretend I know how to interior design, I go down rabbit holes about Michael Jordan memes and the ERA and funky rugs

Of course, this doesn’t happen every night—sometimes I crash early, sometimes there are bills to pay and life things to figure out and yeah, the spirals. 

But when it can happen, those 1.5 hours give me the diversion I need to re-charge. #HowDoIDeal? I indulge in my sometimes weird but harmless quirks that are satisfying to maybe only me. A glimpse into my my specific bliss:

Some ‘80s & ‘90s songs I listen to and sing off-key while playing Tetris on my phone: 
• 9 to 5, Dolly Parton
• Paradise by the Dashboard Light, Meatloaf (yes, I realizing the messaging is highly problematic)
• Hold On, Wilson Phillips
• Baby Got Back, Sir Mix-a-Lot (we’re in the truth tree, okay?)
• What’s Up?, 4 Non Blondes
• Jane Says, Jane’s Addiction

Ranking of ocean creatures in order of how likely I am to watch a Netflix documentary devoted to their subject matter:
• Giant squid
• Giant squid
• Giant squid
• Mantis shrimp (is there a good doc out there? I need to know.)
• Whales 

Clothing I definitely can’t pull off but like to scroll through anyway:
• Cropped sweatshirts
• High-waisted jeans
• Jumpsuits (I pee a lot? Feels complicated.)
• Blazers (just have never worked for me. I don’t know!)
• Anything that’s not clear how you wear a bra with it

Cheeses I just think about a lot: 
• La Tur when I want to talk to no one and watch bad rom-coms
• Ossau Iraty because it’s subtle and deserves thought
• Laughing Cow because childhood nostalgia
• Sofia because I’m worth it
• Kraft Singles when I need a grilled cheese
• Harbison because I miss dinner parties

To be honest, sometimes I use this “me time” at the expense of more pertinent things that need to get done. But right now, belting out Wilson Phillips off-key can be more valuable to my head space than crossing something else off my to-do list.What’s on your solo karaoke list? I’d love to hear from you, but def won’t be responding after 9pm.
Hold on for one more day,
Carey, GNI Team 

P.S. Last week, we asked for your tips for finding a good therapist and we rounded them up here This week, we'd love to know what rabbit holes you've fallen into recently when you've needed a distraction. Hit reply and let us know and we might round up your answer in a piece. 
🏡What's New on Stay Home Take Care this Week...

We know where we'll be tomorrow at 11am — watching Oprah herself! Tune in tomorrow for this LIVE feel-good four-part series featuring real chats with wellness experts and tangible tips to help keep your wellbeing a priority during this challenging time. ✨

Sponsored by our friends at WW.

this week's picks

what we're enjoying this weekend
something to make you smile (via @c__l__o)
  1. The shows we're bingewatching like it's our job... 🍿"Last week, in an attempt to recover from Normal People, I watched everything I could — Hollywood for some good period-piece drama, Never Have I Ever for coming-of-age feels, and the new season of Dead to Me because I love a nail-biter." - Olivia, GNI Team 
  2. For a trip down memory lane... 👾 take this typing test for a Friday brain break (but prepare to be transported to your middle school computer class) or try these IKEA-made ideas for fashioning a furniture fort in your living room this weekend. Might as well have a little fun with our new routines. 🤷‍♀️
  3. A peace-of-mind approach with Betterment... 💸 Self-preservation is high priority for our team right now — and that extends to our finances too. Betterment Cash Reserve* is a high-yield cash account that offers more than a traditional savings account, with unlimited transfers in and out and no minimum balance. Get started with as little as $10. #SPONSORSTHING
  4. For a cheerful pop of color... 🌼 "There's no escaping screens these days, but these Baggu phone and desktop wallpapers helped spark joy on my work computer this week. I chose the yellow daisy pattern, which inspired me to scoop up this cute laptop sleeve to 'pack up' at the end of my work day too." - Alisha, GNI Team

  5. The tip we needed to hear... 🗓 It's a tricky time, but if you're able to take a day off right now, consider this your reminder that it's okay to not have somewhere to go in order to take a personal day. While it can be easy to push this off, these hectic times call for the physical and mental restoration of stepping away from your WFH (or out-in-the-world) setup too. 

  6. A little bit of optimization as a treat... ☕️ "Since a lot of our happiness is kitchen-based these days, I decided to upgrade a few of my appliances — I got this milk frother for foamy lattes that make my mornings so much better and this indoor/outdoor grill that I drag out to my little patio when we want something with a little char on it." - Katrina, GNI Team

  7. The rabbit hole we never want to come out of... "I've definitely been cooking more these last couple months, but the real uptick has been in my food show-watching habits. I leave no Bon Appétit video unwatched, have found myself laughing along as Amy Learns to Cook, and cannot WAIT for Selena Gomez's new cooking show later this month." - Tyler, GNI Team 

sponsor spotlight: Nuuly

Things that spark joy: neon, tie-dye, sweatpants... ✨

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Another feel-good for the GNI community: GNI readers can get $20 off your first month with code "GNI20" when you sign up by 5/31.


smart reads of the week

send these to the group chat ✨
we were serious about the furniture forts (via @robertmoltenistudio / @manrepeller)

If you do one thing for fun this weekend, make it tie-dying your socks. 🧦 This NYT article can help you breathe new life into some old-faithfuls, which TBH is kind of a nice feeling right now. If all the tie-dye you've added to your cart has been sold out, here's your excuse to take matters into your own hands. 

Read this if you're raiding your parents' fridge for pizza bagels rn. 🍕 First of all, you're not alone. Lots of people have chosen to hunker down with family through this, and with that comes reverting back to some interesting teenage habits. If you find yourself blaring Vanessa Carlton, rolling your old Soffe shorts up three times, and pouting on the couch when your parents push one too many of your buttons — here's why

Gemini season is coming — here's how to throw a virtual birthday party. 🎉 (They're going to want one.) There's something to be said for continuing to celebrate joy where we can find it these days. These 13 ideas for celebrating special days are very helpful for figuring out what translates and what doesn't, virtually. For instance: "Trust me on this one. Singing 'Happy Birthday to You' over Zoom is kind of a nightmare, both for the guest of honor and the guests." So yes, you're gonna want to pre-record the song part. 😂

"Honey, can you help me swap the living room and bedroom rugs again?" Sometimes ~dealing~ with this precarious moment in time means wanting an around-the-house project to take your mind off things. Maybe it's stick-and-peel wallpapering or perhaps you've been muscling your couch around every couple weeks hoping to get it jussssssst right. Either way, it's okay to lean into these little moments of distraction — in fact, this piece encourages it

Bonus reads: If you're looking for something that will haunt you for the next 24 hours, read this extremely chaotic Robert Pattinson isolation profile (it truly had us like 😳😳😳) — or escape to the English countryside with this more peaceful NYT piece on Paula Sutton of @hillhousevintage. 🌸

enjoying your weekly GNI?

Share it with a friend who's always down to power rank cheeses and take a deep dive on a Robert Pattinson think piece with you. 😂
* Cash Reserve is available to clients of Betterment LLC, which is not a bank, and cash transfers to program banks are facilitated by Betterment Securities.
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