Web Time Wasters


What’d you get up to this week, guys?  My week was mostly consumed by my sister’s wedding (!) and this photo shoot.  Both exciting, both time consuming.  Only one of them was fluffy.

Anyway.  Links!

Lately I’ve been drowning in good music.  Three indie songs I love:  Don’t swallow the cap // Open // Ways to go and three pop/hip hop numbers I’m digging: Warning // Thank you // American girl.

I loved this post about the best of summer recipes and activities. (fried zucchini blossoms! tomato sandwiches!)

So sweet! 30 photos that capture the best moments in people’s lives.

Ahhh!  This swimsuit!

Things to cook/bake/stuff in your face: bacon and egg baked avocados, lemon ricotta waffles with poppyseeds, zucchini coconut noodles.

OH GOD YES. Parties we should be throwing instead of weddings.

The Starter-Baby Shower: Things are getting pretty serious, so you’re taking the plunge and buying a dog together. When you bring home your pet, you’ll want your friends and family there for a brunch to commemorate the occasion. After all, they’ll be looking at Instagrams of this animal every day for the next half-decade. Get them invested now. Gifts — or at least GIFs — required.

Helpful!  18 diagrams to help you save your clothes (in the event that you want to roll your sleeves like they do at J. Crew.)


Related: I’m Agnostic, but I liked this post about how to be an Atheist without being a dick about it.
(note: the writer’s tone is pretty condescending but a lot of the information she’s communicating is useful.)

There are so many people in the world—marginalized people, brutalized people—whose experiences I could never understand. Unthinkable violence. Generations of systemic oppression. If faith is what certain people need to feel okay, then who am I to tell them otherwise?

Oh, but Martha Stewart is a badass.

In the event that you’re not quite where you thought you’d be in your 30s: 11 famous people who ‘made it’ after their thirtieth birthday.

I’m calling it.  The Best Journal To End All Journals. And a super cute portable speaker.

I’ve written before about my feelings about prison reform. These last words of inmates before they’re executed is chilling and thought provoking.

“I love you. I will be waiting for you on the other side. Son, be strong no matter what happens, know that God is looking over you. Jesus mercy, Jesus mercy, Jesus mercy!
(Translated from Spanish) Brother-in-law, take care of the family and let it be united.
(Translated from German) Yoli. My beautiful princess. You are all my heart and soul and I love you so much.”New obsession: sequin art.

There are tons of clothing retailers who manufacture plus size clothing but inexplicably refuse to carry in their stores and only sell it online.  Do you think that’s stupid?  Me, too.  Here’s a draft of a letter you can send them to tell them how you feel about it.

Is it possible to have a sweet, loving, mutually supportive break up?  And even sort of celebrate it?  My girl Alex thinks so.
My relationship is ending — and I’ve decided that this time, I want to do it differently. “It” being the imminent conversations, the awkward pauses + tender embraces, the practical matters of packing + sorting (who’s mug is this? can I keep this shirt?) and of course, the goodbyes.

Still (somewhat) useful!  10 lifehacks from 100 years ago.

Some Yes and Yes posts you might have missed: How to network if you’re an introvert, How to roadtrip solo, You’re not a fraud. I promise.

Also!  If you appreciate my taste in links, you can always follow me on Twitter where I tweet my favorite read of the day every evening.  If you’re really ambitious, you can check out the #yandy hashtag where the tweets have been handily organized for your reading pleasure.

Hope you had a great weekend!



I hugely appreciate the Sunday Web Time Wasters feature, and most weeks I eagerly await the new batch of good advice, beautiful and yummy things and cool, thought-provoking stories I wouldn't have learned of otherwise.
However, I was really bummed by the "how to be an atheist without being a dick about it" link. Most atheists I know are very respectful of my faith, but I have definitely met some majorly condescending dicks. This post mostly talks about how utterly dumb, destructive and bigoted she thinks religion is and gives some pretty half-a*d suggestions to be "nice" to people. Most atheists I know, including my boyfriend, a staunch atheist, with whom I've had many great conversations about our differing beliefs, could write far less condescending, more meaty posts. (and, to me, as a religious person, who believes strongly in marriage equality, social justice, immigration reform, and the right to every individual to determine what they believe based on their own individual consciences and reason, it feels cruel and overly lump-all-religious-people-together-y). I guess I'm just not the target audience…


Well, anon, most atheists I know are assholes, so it's a matter of the people you know, I guess? I'm a pantheist, so they never come after me. But they are really disrespectful to religious people who they think "are ignorant". Respect is the key word here.

Holly And the Ivy

To be honest, Anonymous, I got the same feeling from that Atheist article and I'm Agnostic and stopped reading as I got fed up with the way she was talking about religion. True, there are a lot of bad things (an good I might add) about religion, but surely you should still be respectful when talking about them as it isn't all bad. Some people gain a lot from having something to believe in, others don't, it's just the way it is but that person doesn't seems to acknowledge that at all. Maybe I'm not understanding atheism (or she's not portraying it any differently from what I thought it was in the first place) It felt like the writer wasn't trying to -not- be a dick at all, and just reiterated the fact that some atheists can be "dicks" after all, and have no way of respectfully talking about what other people believe in.
I don't know if what I said makes sense, I find it all rather complicated to explain myself when it comes to religion, but I feel a bit let down by that article.

It's such a shame really, that was the only link I was disappointed in this week too…

Sarah Von Bargen

Thanks for your feedback, guys. And I can very much see where you're coming from. The tone that the writer takes *is* totally condescending (which I'm not into) but I think the information she's communicating (particularly 'don't tell people how to handle their own shit') is super useful and applicable.

Tami - Teacher Goes Back to School

Sarah – that documentary is absolutely brilliant, go watch it right now! It was really well done and I thought they handled the people who decided to follow him with some well deserved tenderness. I get super embarrassed for people, so I was really worried they were going to be humiliated. I'd love to hear your take.


Not sure if the comments are still updated after the day of, but I think this message from my boyfriend (the atheist) adds a helpful perspective. I shared the article and my frustrations about it with him:

Take every thing you've ever done with the church that you've enjoyed. Every interaction, every prayer, every blessing, every mass. Every thing you have felt built up and supported by religion, every time you can turn to your neighbor and thing "through God, we are united." Every time you hear some is praying for you and it makes you feel better. Every positive thing. When you talk about religion, it's those things that shape how you talk about it. They have shaped your opinion and your beliefs. Your habits and rituals are (overall) positive.

Imagine if all of those experiences were negative. Every interaction, every prayer, blessing, and mass was a time you would turn to your neighbor and think "I feel so disconnected from this person." Mass was a time to feel isolated and alone. Every time some talks about how we should sit and pray, you feel like you're being forced. If your parents sit you down for dinner and do a prayer, you feel like it's a wedge growing between you and your parents. "I don't believe any of this" just goes through your head. Every prayer feels false, every blessing a burden. Maybe, even worse, religion was the reasoning behind horrible things in your life.* Instead of lifting you up, religion was a reason to bring you down, act against how you felt, and make you feel less than what you are. Maybe your parents kicked you out of the house for not believing in god. Or they kicked you. Maybe religion was the reason for abuse in your family (either physical or mental). For a lot of people (not everyone, but a lot) when they talk about religion, it's those things that shape how they talk about it. Maybe not just to them, but those around them. The habits and rituals of religion are overwhelming negative.

When people talk about religion, they aren't just talking about what they did last Sunday, how their religion (or lack of it) helped them make decisions yesterday, or what they said before dinner. They are talking about years of habits and ritual.

When those two collide — the overall positive views of religion and the overall negative views of religion — it's hard to stay civil. There's so much emotion and daily habits that it's hard to see where the other person is coming from first. When you think "for something so wonderful in my life, how can someone else think it's bad?", there's someone else thinking "for something so horrible in my life, how can someone think it's good?"

I really believe civil discussion starts not with your own thoughts, but learning about someone else's. You have to let go of what you think for a second, and consider another's thoughts first. For religion, it can be very difficult to step out of that.


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