Category: web time wasters

Web Time Wasters

How was your week, guys? Kenny and I had a little mid-week adventure at this gorgeous architect-designed … camper cabin. Since he’s a state employee now, we really try to take advantage of all the days he gets off. Veteran’s Day, ahoy! I also got to meet up with one of my usually-on-the -East-Coast clients here in Minneapolis!

But enough about me. Let’s talk about you, internet.

I wrote this post years ago in response to a reader email, but I find myself referencing it whenever I’m crying over current events. I hope this helps you fellow, empaths: How To Stay Optimistic When Everything Is Horrible.

Welp, my college dorm certainly didn’t look like this.

Christmas breakfast = almond joy rolls.

Dinner tonight = squash noodle soup.

I looooved this post about the reality of ‘Midwestern Nice.’ Really beautifully written.
To live in the Midwest is to experience two realities: the first, all sunshine and bland pleasantries among other potluck-suppering churchgoers; the other, a red-lit underworld where people relay vulgarities through the learned second language of euphemism, eye rolls and loaded silence.

Related: a lot of people say that the Twin Cities are incredibly insular and that it’s really hard to make friends here. If you’re looking for new buddies in MSP, check out Break The Bubble!

If your Thanksgiving is going to include nosy relatives or a creepy uncle who keeps trying to give you “shoulder rubs” this is for you.

And if you’re hosting Thanksgiving like me, let’s familiarize ourselves with how to fix/prevent common entertaining mishaps

Well, forpetesake. This is adorable.

New podcast obsession: Every Branch. Brooke and Sarah cover topics like transforming the mundane, using mistakes creatively, and integrating work and play. Love it!

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to raise a kid on your own?
The hardest bit isn’t having nobody to share the burden, it’s having no one to share the love. Nobody right there when your child tells their teddy that “people are bears, too, but with bones inside”, which you think is the most amazing thing in the history of the world, but you have a creeping suspicion nobody else will, and you can’t go on Facebook or ring your mother again.

Boooookmark! (Some of) The Absolute Best Shit on Netflix, Streaming Right Now

A beautifully written piece on why Serena Williams is important.
Imagine that you’re the player John McEnroe recently described as ‘‘the greatest player, I think, that ever lived.’’ Imagine that, despite all this, there were so many bad calls against you, you were given as one reason video replay needed to be used on the courts. Imagine that you have to contend with critiques of your body that perpetuate racist notions that black women are hypermasculine and unattractive. Imagine being asked to comment at a news conference before a tournament because the president of the Russian Tennis Federation, Shamil Tarpischev, has described you and your sister as ‘‘brothers’’ who are ‘‘scary’’ to look at. Imagine.

I LOVE hearing about people who make huge changes in their life anytime after the age of, oh, 30. Anna Dorfman – everyone’s favorite design blogger – just turned forty. She also moved from NYC to a small town in New Mexico, quit her job of 16 years, and amicably ended her marriage. And she’s doing great! Hats off to you, Anna, and best wishes on your new beginning!

A reminder to dudes who tell women to smile: you’re not the boss of my face.

If you’re offended when people say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” I’d encourage you to read this.

And a few Yes & Yes posts you might have missed: How to spring clean your mind + life, That time I left an enormous tip, How to do things by yourself (and actually enjoy them!)

Web Time Wasters

How was your week, guys? I spent the weekend and first part of the week in New Mexico with my BFF, hiking and cozying up to giant, paper mache skeletons. The rest of the week was one metric ton of ghostwriting, house warming parties, brunches, and a middle school performance of Titus Andronicus. Because nothing says 7th grade like a sixteenth-century play about violence and revenge, right?

Anyway. Links for you!

I’ve been talking everyone’s ear off about Far From the Tree. Without hyperbole, reading this book is an investment in your humanity. Seriously. It’s is 700 pages long, but it’s absolutely worth it. If that’s a bit overwhelming for you, the audio book is read by the extremely emotive and engaging author. I don’t know a single person whose life hasn’t been touched by the topics covered in it.

Just watch the book trailer:

Ahhhhh! Orphaned raccoon thinks it’s a doggg!

We all love Drake. We all love Serena Williams. Let’s collectively imagine their courtship.

  • Went to the gym daily to bulk up in order to become strong and worthy of her, using “for Serena” as his concentration mantra in between reps
  • Played Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” on repeat during Tabata workouts to keep his focus pure
  • Casually looked up tennis scoring names on his phone just before starting conversation with her, clenching his fist and muttering to himself, “It’s love, fifteen, thirty, forty, game, you can do this, Aubrey”

Yes! I loved this post about what simple living looks like for one blogger. (Sometimes it looks like frozen pizza for dinner.)

I’d be remiss in my duties as your Internet BFF if I didn’t tell you that ev.ery.thing at is 40%. EVBERYTHING. Maybe now is the time to try bootcut jeans again? Or a sweater that looks like a moto jacket? Or this super cute skirt!

So sweet! Target’s only plus-size male model says his wife gave him the confidence to take the job.

Do you, too, have a giant bottle of Dr. Bronner’s hanging around under the sink? Here are 7 things you can do with it!

Let’s commit to making Instagram both beautiful and bearable.
First, we all owe one another an apology.  I’ll go first.  I’m sorry I make everything look perfect on Instagram.  In fact, nothing is perfect. Everyone is, in fact, doing the same thing… hiding their pain and disguising their anxieties behind various overhead shots of coffee and donuts.  I’m sorry.  I’m guilty of the same.  Let’s forgive people in advance for their perceived perfection, see past it and love each other anyway.

Related: the power of Instagram’s #vanlife hashtag.

If you’re a blogger and you create link roundup posts like this (which I highly suggest!) here are 10 tips to get the most out of them in terms of connection, traffic, dollars, and potential clients!

Oh, I’m a sucker for list posts and pro-women posts. Let’s all raise our glasses to 16 Things You Should Know Before Dating a Woman Who Has Her Sh*t Together.

This sweater is perfect for the holidays/winter! I’m pretty sure you could make it work with leather leggings or a pencil skirt.

A minimalist music video featuring cats + Dutch electronic hip hop. INTO IT.

Why are little kids in Japan so independent? And how can we help that happen here?

I’ve always thought Rihanna was gorgeous but also quietly wondered what the big deal was. Then Miranda July interviewed her and now I sort of get it.
‘‘You know, when I started to experience the difference — or even have my race be highlighted — it was mostly when I would do business deals.’’ Business deals. Meaning that everyone’s cool with a young black woman singing, dancing, partying and looking hot, but that when it comes time to negotiate, to broker a deal, she is suddenly made aware of her blackness. ‘‘And, you know, that never ends, by the way. It’s still a thing. And it’s the thing that makes me want to prove people wrong. It almost excites me; I know what they’re expecting and I can’t wait to show them that I’m here to exceed those expectations.’’

Yes. Sweden in the fall.

Good writing alert! Everything Morgan writes. Now you know.

What if we thought of this when we thought of wounded war vets?

And a few Yes & Yes posts you might have missed: How I live my life on purpose, How to live out of a suitcase – glamorously, 9 ways to love moving your body.

Hope you had a great weekend, guys!

Web Time Wasters

PicMonkey CollageI’m traveling for the next week, visiting my BFF in New Mexico and celebrating Dio de los Muertos. You can follow along on Instagram if you want to see photos of sugar skulls and cacti! I brought in my friend Desiree to curate this week’s Web Time Wasters for you!

Hello! I am Desiree Spinner from the blog La Petite Peach where I write about being a mama, fashion, food, travel, and life in New England with two littles (and one on the way!). I have a love affair with anything European, but especially Parisian. Finding balance between being a mindful and present mom but also a good friend, wife and writer (that’s my main gig!) is what I am striving for and the blog is the vessel for that journey.

Here is a round-up of all my favorite things lately. Enjoy!

I’m a sucker for knits, especially on cold New England days, Waddler Co. and Babaa are my go-to’s

Hands down, my favorite food blog is the Minimalist Baker. She creates the best vegetarian dishes, and recently debuted her cookbook.
One of my favorite podcasts, and you don’t need to be a parent to listen.
Want to learn French but have zero time? Learn from this AMAZING online course, I know what your thinking….online? YES! You won’ regret it!
Want to start a blog? Here is a super cool blog business plan download I recently discovered that helped me even though I have been in the box for years.
My favorite local coffee and cafe in Boston, a MUST if you are in the area! Check out their Instagram too it’s stunning.
This shoe shop for littles is the best. They are soft and comfy I think my girls have 4 pairs!
This local blogger has me dreaming of the days when I can fit into black skinny jeans again!
How to style a low bun..tres Parisian
This NYC pencil shop has me ready to make a city trip asap! Pencils are the old fashioned way of texting…great one liner NYT!
My all time favorite children’s shops you should be following
Local girl boss over on the Every Day Girl! Love seeing locals get exposure. Tara went from an idea on beauty products to a booming biz.
Through WWOOF, I found a family in the Southwest region of France, who put me up and fed me, in return for long days of tending to their lavender fields. Like any other farming, this was hard work that began at dawn and left me exhausted by the end of the day each day. I was there for a season—from planting through harvest—and saw how the lavender grew, and was then distilled into oils. The experience helped me appreciate every single one of the ingredients used in the products we sell at Follain. It helped me understand how terroir and love is so crucial to these ingredients, and how important it is that we support the people and planet that give us these ingredients.
My new local artist obsession…
I’ll be wearing these boots all winter a New England winter staple
Every writer needs a pretty journal to write in especially these onesHope you had a lovely weekend! Thanks for letting me meet your readers, Sarah!

Web Time Wasters

How was your week, guys? I got to see the amaaaaazing Andrew Solomon speak about family and identity and yesterday we hosted 20 family members at our place for our two-months-post-wedding brunch. Praise be the power of egg bakes and waffles!

Anyway. Links for you!

If you’re here in the Twin Cities and you want to hang out or hear me talk about  writing for a living, I’m speaking at this free event on October 27th. Join us! I’ll be joining other, much more awesome people like Jamie Millard (the co-executive director of Pollen), John Sturgess (founder of Adogo pet hotels), and my husband (climatologist Dr. Kenny Blumenfeld.)

If you’re reading something that requires the use of multiple post-it notes, these will make the job a bit more fun.

I’ve been trying to do 10 minutes of yoga every morning, not matter what. After wading through a jillion mediocre Youtube videos, I found this one. Calming, mellow music that’s not annoying, a few slightly challenging poses but nothing crazy. Perfect for me!

I never really understood SlutWalk. I sort of thought “Okay, you enjoy sex and small clothes! That’s cool. Does it necessitate a parade any more than enjoying beer and jeans necessitate a parade?” But of course, it’s not that straightforward and SlutWalk is for everyone, regardless of your sexual preferences.
Celibacy … caused me to be perceived as a prude, a pariah. Oftentimes the word virgin was hurled at me with as much judgment as the word slut was wielded towards some of my peers.

People assumed things about me — my relationship with my body, my intelligence, my street smarts, my taste, my politics — that had absolutely no basis in fact. Even those who “approved” spoke to me with an odd and unacceptable level of intimacy, once again assuming that they knew everything they needed to know about me based on one piece of information about my sexuality.

Rose and many of the women who have participated in SlutWalks all over the world have felt those feelings too.

Related: Cats against catcalls

I travel by myself about 70% of the time AND I LOVE IT. Here are eight reasons you should try it.

My friend Katie wrote a lovely, honest essay about the reality of going from one child to two.
I’ve known the sting of not being invited along because I’ve had to say no too many times before, due to bedtimes or nap times or just general got-my-hands-full times. I hate that if I get on the phone while my children are awake, I cannot say more than three words, or hear a full story, before someone wails or needs something. (Thank you, inventors, for text messaging.) I fall asleep in front of the TV at night and need a recap of half the show I was trying to watch in the morning. I can’t just pick up and do things spontaneously all that often. Well, sometimes I can. But I can’t rely on it the way I used to. Someone always needs to go to sleep right now. My intentions and actions do not match up the way I want them to.

This essay is really, really not what you’re expecting: How To Lose Weight In Four Easy Steps.

Smoked avocado?!! Tell me more.

Love this! Amaiya Zafar wants to box competitively, and modestly

My sister was adopted from Korea so I found this article incredibly fascinating: China’s one-child policy led to my adoption — and a more privileged life
Sometimes it’s odd to think that between us, Wu Chao is supposedly the privileged child — the boy preferred by Chinese society, the son my family held out for while I was hidden and ultimately put up for adoption.

Have you guys heard of Havenly? For $79, interior designers will help you create concept boards for your spaces and then you can buy the pieces you like at discount prices through their store!

What does it sound like when Florence & The Machine cover a Justin Beiber song?

And a few Yes & Yes posts you might have missed: 3 clever things to do with old blog posts, 9 ways to love moving your body, The art of being happy.

Web Time Wasters

Colorado has one of the lowest rates of teen pregnancy in the nation. What are they doing differently?

I’m location-independent and I so, SO highly recommend it. If you want to live and work from anywhere, you’ll love to read Working on the Road.

I’ve recently decided that I’m not going to be weird or secretive about my age; in case you didn’t know I’m 36. Why are we so weird about aging? And why are we afraid to look our age? An interesting photo essay.

My husband is the senior climatologist for the state of Minnesota (#brag) so I’ve become more and more aware of the effects of our purchasing habits and over population. If you don’t think overpopulation is a problem, I’d encourage you to look at these photos.

SO HELPFUL. How to fly Spirit Airlines (if you must).

Do you have a baby? If so, may I come over and cram it into this?

A few years ago I interviewed Annie about her experience at Burning Man. I wonder what she’d say about this: Burning Man became a festival that rich libertarians love because it never had a radical critique at its core.
Burning Man is earning a reputation as a “networking event” among Silicon Valley techies, and tech magazines now send reporters to cover it. CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Larry Page of Alphabet are foaming fans, along with conservative anti-tax icon Grover Norquist and many writers of the libertarian (and Koch-funded) Reason magazine. Tesla CEO Elon Musk even went so far as to claim that Burning Man “is Silicon Valley.”

Somewhat related: Elon’s Musk’s ex-wife Justine wrote about their divorce.
As we danced at our wedding reception, Elon told me, “I am the alpha in this relationship.” I shrugged it off, just as I would later shrug off signing the postnuptial agreement, but as time went on, I learned that he was serious. He had grown up in the male-dominated culture of South Africa, and the will to compete and dominate that made him so successful in business did not magically shut off when he came home. This, and the vast economic imbalance between us, meant that in the months following our wedding, a certain dynamic began to take hold. Elon’s judgment overruled mine, and he was constantly remarking on the ways he found me lacking. “I am your wife,” I told him repeatedly, “not your employee.” “If you were my employee,” he said just as often, “I would fire you.”

How sweet! A moving company that helps people leave an abusive partner for free.

OUR PRAYERS ARE (almost) ANSWERED! Unsend or edit any text message after you send it.

Oh dear. I love Empire so I was sad to read that Terrence Howard is a bad person who is also crazy.

Bookmarkbookmarkbookmark! Adorable Airbnbs that cost less than $50! And save $20 on any Airbnb with this link.

What happens if you strap a GoPro camera to a cat and let it wander around Hiroshima, Japan?

Real talk: it’s time to clean out your underwear drawer.

And then fill your underwear drawer up with pretty, impractical things like this.

And are we friends on Instagram? I’m over there most days, sharing photos of my horrible early 20s apartment, ‘age inappropriate’ dresses and my Sunday #churchofgratitude posts

Web Time Wasters

How was your week, guys? Mine was busybusybusy with non-work related stuff: haircuts and a million lunches and brunches and phone calls. Our friend Holly was in town, touring to promote her record. It’s so lovely to see your friends doing what they love!

Can I tell you about all the awesome things I found for you? All over the internet?

I love list posts and simplifying. Thus, I love Courtney’s post about 22 things you can do (one at a time) to simplify your life.

I don’t drink beer, but I have three cans in my fridge left over from a house party. OBVIOUSLY, I need to make this dip.

Yes. Show some respect for the brave.
I hope I remember that anyone who is brave enough to stand in front of the world — to read a poem, to share a story, to sing a song, or to (gasp!) give something a try even if they’re not “perfect” yet — deserves my respect.

It doesn’t matter if I think it’s “good” or not. That’s not the point.

Courage, in any form — on key or out of tune, shaky or impeccable — is an extraordinary thing to behold and if you’re fortunate enough to bear witness to such a moment, put down your phone, set down your drink, shut up and listen.

I loved this! Instead of throwing out torn or damaged pieces of clothing, what if you mended them in a way that makes them more beautiful?

A new travel destination for us to be obsessed with: Maine’s Monhegan Island.

Into it. Color by number for adults.

I’m also into these weird wine pairings. I’ll go ahead and test that potato chips + champagne pairing fer ya.

A 20-piece capsule wardrobe!

Related: How to new create outfits with the clothes you already own.

Oooh! The studio apartment that breaks all the ‘small space’ rules. Love their desk and chair!

A beautifully written, surprisingly funny essay: I’m Sorry I Didn’t Respond to Your Email, My Husband Coughed to Death Two Years Ago
I have a cousin who’s also a widow, and she told my sister that she’s not sure if she’d bring her husband back. Which sounds TOTALLY CRAZY to other people, BUT: When you experience a loss like this, you get to see a really wild new amount of life. Suddenly the range of the type of sad you can feel, to the type of happy you can feel, is busted open. The spectrum from happy to sad isn’t a foot wide anymore — it’s as far as your arms can stretch and then to the edges of the room and then up the block and over into the next neighborhood.
So I am not happy that Steve died. But I am happy a lot of the time, which I didn’t really anticipate on this day two years ago.

A great idea for your next dinner party or brunch: Beg, borrow, forage – floral arrangements that don’t cost a penny.

I loved Joy’s roundup of the best things she’s ever eaten (and now I want to eat a strawberry black pepper donut)

Co-signed. The inherent unsexiness of playing it cool.
The sexiest, most enticing, awesome thing on the planet is a person who is fully engaged with life. Get closer, get involved. Be curious, be enthusiastic. Soak it all up! Otherwise, you live a half-life, cowed by fear, marred with self-doubt, consumed by worry. The best way to love your life is throw yourself into it with gusto, right now.

Some really good tips here that I’ve never tried! 5 steps for researching your next travel destination so you’ll find all the best stuff.

Related: 22 pro packing tips and hacks.

The Golden Girls slept with how many guys?! #getitblanche

And a few Yes & Yes posts you might have missed: True Story: I’m in a wheelchair, Life gets awesome when you opt out, and I just really need to tell you that I got this on sale.

Hope your Sunday is lovely!