Web Time Wasters

How To Make Dryer Balls From Yarn from Design*Sponge on Vimeo.

I’m back from Mexico!  Goodness, it was lovely.  I don’t know why I waited so long to go!  I spent almost two years in Southeast Asia before I traveled south of the border.  I hit the ground running, attending a Wits show the day after I got back.  Now I’m reveling in using my whole wardrobe, doing laundry, and having some semblance of a routine.  On February 22nd, I’m back on the road, heading to Alaska for the Iditarod!

Now!  Links for you!

A super random offer: are you coming to St. Paul for Red Bull Crashed Ice Feb 20-22? If you are and you’d like to sublet/Airbnb my apartment, it’s three blocks away from the action and I’ll be in Alaska!

Do you get wound up, worrying what people are thinking of you?
“Everyone is staring at how weird I am.”
“Everyone is staring at how gorgeous you are,” he replied.
“No, they think I look gay and out-of-place. Like I’m some weirdo the likes of which they’ve never seen.”
“Well you can choose to believe that. Or choose to believe they are looking at you because you are beautiful. It’s your choice. You’ll never know what they’re really thinking. So you can choose the option of feeling terrible about yourself, like you don’t fit in. Or you can choose to feel confident, like everyone is looking at you in admiration. Which one is going to get you the better result? Which one makes you happy?”

I’m looking for expats and locals to write Mini Travel Guides.  Is that you?  Do you know about any of these countries?

Yikes.  The reality of the cost of healthcare – Anna’s $111,618.02 birth story.

A deeply random recommendation: I picked up this memory foam bathroom rug at Target and now I’m recommending them to everyone I meet.

Ha!  Think every fashion blogger is flawless and perfect?  I loved these outtakes.

I’ve been doing this for years and it’s super a lovely, low-key way to keep memories of parties and celebrations.

Even though Christmas is long-past, I like to keep track of companies that give back so I can use them to buy birthday/anniversary/hostess gifts.  Here’s a nice round up.

This dress is perfect for winter, don’t you think?

I totally, totally agree that the joy journalists are expressing over Sochi’s hospitality problems is tacky.

First: Any journalist on an all-expense-paid-and-then-some trip to Russia to cover the Winter Olympics is living a dream. Every reporter there is experiencing a great privilege. Speaking from experience, it’s one an overwhelming number of journalists covering the games from newsrooms half a world away would give their eye teeth for.
Second: Your door doesn’t have a handle yet? You have to throw your toilet paper in the trash instead of flush it? Those living conditions are exponentially better than what billions of people around the world experience every day. 

Things to make/cook/bake/eat: creamy polenta and mushrooms, truffled popcorn, persimmon prosciutto and brie grilled cheese, crispy buffalo style quinoa sliders with sweet corn and scallions.

A round of hilarious tweets from 2013.

I want to live here.

Love it.  A hilarious Twitter account for …. a vegetable?

Are you a money rebel?

Know you need to unplug?  Can’t quite figure out how?  A guide.

One of my tricks for carry-on-only packing is neutral clothes and colorful accessories.  This scarf is perfect!

A reminder: the food you eat and the way you take care of yourself can change the world.

When we’re healthy we don’t contribute to the profits of the medical system because we don’t need it as much! What’s more, we cut down on the amount of pharmaceuticals that are dumped into the environment – which is so significant that in some rivers and lakes, male fish are turning female just from exposure to water contaminated by birth control pill waste. Antibiotics in the meat industry account for most of the antibiotic resistance in the world, which is a global health crisisHope you had a great weekend, guys!


K. Joy Figueroa

coming out of feedly lurking to say that the first link/quote was BEAUTIFUL and i have saved that blog post to copy into my gratitude/love notebook (new "thing" for 2014!). THANK YOU for that.
and the yarn balls too!
love from madrid.


My first reaction to #SochiProblems was "seriously, they're complaining about no wifi?" I'm from the former USSR, and we sometimes had to go without electricity/water. Russia has SO many more problems than badly-done accommodations – look at the average person's living conditions, look at the political problems, etc.

And yet… The problems with the hotel are a symptom of greater incompetence. The Olympics are a way for the host country to impress the world. Sochi is supposed to be a display of Russia's supposed strength/competence/shininess – Russia on its best behavior. Offering hotels with toxic water and doubled toilets is like showing up to a job interview 15 minutes late, under the influence, popping gum and wearing sweatpants. This is absolutely something important and indicative of bigger issues.

Granted, many people are very shallow and never go past "hahaha those weird Russians" and that happens with every issue (just look at Colbert's clip about Ukraine's Maidan, for example). Talking about the hotels, though, isn't automatically shallow, and for many visitors, this is the first real taste of Russia's problems they get. Maybe some people will realize that a chunk of the Russian population has to deal with this or worse every day.

As a final point to this novel of a comment: incompetence is different depending on context. It's not like Russia doesn't have the resources to pull this off. Russia's not an isolated country in a land previously torn by civil wars; it is a country that is a borderline superpower and that spent 37.5 billion Euros on preparations. The incompetence and corruption go hand in hand.

Hey, at least the Olympics will make Russian food popular in the US ^_^ (and delay Russia's invasion of Ukraine by a few weeks…)



I have to agree with Anna above.

Also I'd like to point out something about business travel: It's not "living a dream" or "experiencing a great privilege". It's a person doing a job. Ask anyone who has to travel far from home on business and spend long hours working while they're travelling. It's NOT all fun and games and it's not a "dream". You're away from your family, you're working your behind off, and when you're reporting events like this, you're on call and on the job 24/7.

And it doesn't matter how the rest of the world live. Complaining that the hotel room they booked over a year ago isn't ready (or any of the variations we've seen) has no relationship to other people living in different circumstances. Otherwise anyone who has ever complained about waiting in a line somewhere, about their electric bill, or their car breaking down, or any other "first world" issue needs to shut up for ever and ever amen.

It's a perfectly valid complaint that a hotel room at an international event doesn't have drinkable or usable water, or that the toilets aren't ready, or even that whole rooms aren't ready … especially when the whole world is watching.

Sarah Von Bargen

I think it's reasonable to complain that your hotel room isn't ready. I don't think it's reasonable to complain that the water that's coming out of your shower head or your sink isn't drinkable. The majority of the world doesn't have drinkable tap water and the resources that go into making tap water drinkable are huuuuuge.

Also, if you're a journalist and you've worked abroad or traveled outside of the western world throwing your toilet paper in the trash and drinking bottled water are 100% par for the course.


But as Anna pointed out in her comment:

1 – Russia is not a developing country or a country that has just emerged from years of civil war.
2 – Hosting a major International event is a country's opportunity to shine and to show they do provide clean running water and flush toilets and clean living conditions for their citizens.

Russia is a modern, first world, superpower of a country that was chosen to host an International event based on the fact that it COULD supply safe running water (among other basic needs) to the athletes, the visitors, the audience, and the thousands upon thousands of support staff that would be there.

If you're a journalist travelling to war-torn Afghanistan, of course you don't' expect to have running water and flush toilets and you're prepared for that experience. If you're travelling to an event like the Olympics or the World Cup or anything like that (especially when you've been told that you'll have all the standard modern amenities) then you're not prepared to have to find potable water outside of your hotel.

I think a lot of people are getting a little too full of themselves with the "no one else lives like Americans live" mindset. Yes, a lot of the world lives in poverty. But a hell of a lot of the world lives as well as or even better than Americans live, too. We are not the only 1st world nation out there. And we need to quit talking like no one else can live up to our standard of living except us.

Sarah Von Bargen

There are many first world countries (Taiwan to name one, where I lived for a year and a half) where the tap water is undrinkable and you can't flush toilet paper. I don't think these things are an accurate measure of how wealthy or developed a country is.


What is an accurate measurement of how wealthy or developed a country is? This is an honest question.

And I can't refrain from noting that apparently Russia is developed enough to wage war on its neighbor… I guess the money saved on hotel construction has to go somewhere, right?

Forgive my bitter tone. My birth country is being invaded and I KNEW this would happen after the Olympics. I was hoping to be wrong.


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