Web Time Wasters

How was your week, friends? I rang in my 40th birthday, celebrating with a few nights in the Hudson Valley with Kenny. We spent the day doing all my favorite things: poking around small towns, swimming in a lake, browsing used book stores, and eating good food. Lovely! Now I’m in the Lehigh Valley (extremely recommended!); you can follow along in Instagram Stories if you want to see what I’m up to!

Links for you!

What I asked for on my birthday.

I wrote this nine years ago (!!!) and I stand by all of it: 31 Things I’ve Learned In 31 Years.

I’ve been devouring this novel on my trip and dog earring sections I want to revisit.

I loved this! On Being A Great Aunt
“One of the best ways I’ve found to foster a rapport with kids is to ask them for their opinions. Say you’re out for ice-cream and can’t decide between strawberry and chocolate. Ask Ms. Five-Year-Old and then go with what she recommends. Her face will light up. Kids are often underestimated, so when you value their opinion, it’s esteem-building.” — Tracey

Somewhat related: Things You’ll Never Hear A Three-Year Old Say

I’ve been experimenting with putting evvvvvverything into my Google calendar and I’m very co-signed on this.

What you can do about the Amazon Rainforest Crisis.

Related: these tofu bites are legit so, so good. Really!

Have you ever heard of the ‘prosperity gospel’? or ‘manifesting abundance’? I have A LOT of feelings about both of them and I talked about them on this podcast episode. Listen here!

Extremely related!!!

Such a clever way to cover a radiator

I loved this and it also made me laugh out loud.

Your friend enters the restaurant, glowing from head to toe, looking absolutely radiant. “Mama Hotdog! You look amazing!”

You have a really stressful day and nothing’s going right. “Mama Hotdog, I’m exhausted.”

You watch the sunset over the ocean, blazing rose and gold across the heavens, and contemplate God’s majesty. {Nodding thoughtfully, awestruck} “Wow. Mama Hotdog.”

A Brief History of Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker Lip Balm. (I used this all the time!)


I am very much enjoying this Youtube channel (and if you love weird hotels, you will, too!)

Web Time Wasters

Extremely ready to poke around the adorable downtowns of historic Pennsylvania! This is Easton, PA if you’re curious. 

I’m writing this from Teaneck, New Jersey! I’m on the first leg of a 12-day trip out East, starting with Kenny’s family reunion. Tomorrow, the guys are headed to Six Flags and I’m headed to the Jersey Shore, which I’m disproportionately excited about. Exactly HOW much will it be like the show?!

If you want to follow along with my trip (New Jersey, the Hudson Valley, The Lehigh Valley) I’ll be staring all of it on Instagram Stories.

Links for you

I’ll be flying and driving a ton over the next two weeks, so please let me remind you of this $7 travel must-have. It will make your trip sooooo much nicer!

Related: The 10 Best Home Base Cities For Road Trippers.

I was on the Cook It Real Good podcast talking about the No Grocery Challenge! If you’re drowning in tomatoes, zucchini, and apples this is the time to challenge yourself to use it up and skip the grocery store! Click here to listen.

A great Twitter thread about pricing, negotiation, and freelancing.

Related: you know about our free, private Facebook group Money & Happy, right? And that I make applicants promise not to use the space to sell their MLM products?

Zombie snail!

How to design your life based on intentional living values
Fundamentally, this approach works well because as Annie Dillard says, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” If the small ways we show up each day align with the vision of the life we want, we’re much more likely to look back on a life encompassing our vision over the years.

I’m always a bit skeptical about ‘ethical’ websites that encourage you to throw away things you already own and then buy new things that are ‘ethical’ (when the most ‘ethical’ thing you can do is … use and repair what you already own or buy secondhand.) That being said, The Good Trade has a lot of great articles and resources for when you truly do need to buy something new.

Related: How to stop buying shit you don’t need!

There is no rush.

You’ve probably already seen The Crane Wife being shared and posted around the internet, but if you haven’t it’s a must-read.
These were small things, and I told myself it was stupid to feel disappointed by them. I had arrived in my thirties believing that to need things from others made you weak. I think this is true for lots of people but I think it is especially true for women. When men desire things they are “passionate.” When they feel they have not received something they need they are “deprived,” or even “emasculated,” and given permission for all sorts of behavior. But when a woman needs she is needy. She is meant to contain within her own self everything necessary to be happy.

That I wanted someone to articulate that they loved me, that they saw me, was a personal failing and I tried to overcome it.

Here’s what vegetable you are based on your zodiac. I’m cauliflower!

An important read if you have white teenagers boys in your life.

Hope you had a great week!

Web Time Wasters

Why isn’t this song famous???

How was your week, friends? Kenny and I had a two-night staycation at a lovely hotel here in Minneapolis and were, as always, amazed by how rejuvenating it can be to get out of your routine. Even when you’re only a few miles from home!

I spent the rest of the week working on wildly unsexy blog + business things. Eventually, they’ll help me create an online space that’s better, more useful, and more useful for all of us, but for now it’s 17-part Asana checklists and lots of Googling.

Links for you

I try realllllly hard not to give unsolicited advice (for the record: I’m not good at this, yet) but I loved Grace’s post about 5 pieces of unsolicited blogging advice she’s glad she ignored.
“You Should Really Get Married — Brands Will Feel You’re More Reliable.” I will never forget this statement. Ever. I remember where I was (Balthazar), what I was eating (Eggs Florentine), and the feeling of white hot anger that shot through my body like it was yesterday. I was having a friendly breakfast chat with a fellow blogger and he pointed out that if I was to get married (this was prior to my first marriage), I would see a huge change in ad support. This blogger had a feeling that I was coming off as “too young” and “too unsettled” for larger brands to want to invest in me.

I loooove DIYing house projects, but is it actually cheaper?

Ahem: Quit Your Terrible Job.
If “buck up and ignore it since there’s nothing you can do about it” worked as advice for anything, I and every member of the Advice Columnist Industrial Complex would be out of a job, so let’s skip that approach.

Related: How to quit your job without another one lined up 

Did you know that every winter, I lead retreats for my friend’s company? Yes! If you like luxury villas and working out (or just lounging by the pool and eating food prepared by a personal chef) you can join us in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, January 18 – 25th!

What happen when you attend an influencer event and most of them have smaller bodies and larger followings than you do?

Rephrase the questions you ask yourself.

Korean BBQ-inspired cauliflower? YES.

Just buy a different pair of jeans.

Related: If Beyoncé Finds It Hard To Love Her Body, No Wonder The Rest of Us Are Struggling
We’re constantly told that if we feel as though we’re failing, we must be more Bey. We have built an inconceivably high pedestal for her. As a result, I suspect that even Beyoncé doesn’t feel like Beyoncé every day. In the Guardian, Laura Snapes wrote ‘perhaps this is Beyoncé at her most human…to aspire to thinness is equated with fatphobia, lapsed feminism and shilling for the patriarchy…but so is feeling as if you don’t live up to society’s ideals.’

A sweet story from Jane Fonda about Greta Garbo

Literally 20 years after everyone else, I’m finally reading this and – spoiler alert! – there’s a reason it has 1,200+ 4.5 star reviews and is taught all over the country!

I made this apple pie recipe yesterday and it’s a) different than any other apple pie recipe I’ve ever seen b) amazing!

This Twitter thread is fuuuuuunny!

Hope you had a lovely week!

Web Time Wasters

How was your week, friends? On Thursday, I was on Twin Cities Live talking about how to shop for your REAL life, not your fantasy life. Today, my 17-year-old niece is coming for a quick visit and I’m using my Graduate Hotels Hall Pass (not sponsored!) to spend the night in the Minneapolis Graduate Hotel. We’re going to poke around the U campus and grab breakfast at the famous Al’s Breakfast. Fun!

Links for you

A timely quote + how you can help

I tore through this novel in three days. SO GOOD. I hope someone has purchased the movie rights!

Reduce food waste + make a mean green Bloody Mary – win/win!

Did you know that most airlines charge $150 EXTRA PER WAY for unaccompanied minors? Here’s a round up of airlines that charge less.

Daaaaaang. 4 Things Brands Should Do For The Environment Instead Of Launching A New Sustainable Line.
Labels may think they need to reinvent a product to make it more sustainable, but they don’t. “Durability is something that brands overlook very often,” said Xavier Vital, a global service manager at environmental consultancy SGS. “It’s something where you can have the same product, just connect sustainability with quality, and make this product last longer.”

Related: The Life Changing Magic Of Making Do
Making do is a deeply pragmatic philosophy. It means asking of our things the only question we should ever ask of them: “Can you fulfill your intended use for me?” The answer – if we can be honest, and resist a moment of discomfort, inconvenience or boredom – is, extraordinarily often, yes. Making do is about taming the reflex to discard, replace or upgrade; it’s about using things well, and using them until they are used up. Taken literally, it simply means making something perform – making it do what it ought to do.

Also somewhat related: 21 next-level DIY paint ideas (read: maybe you don’t need to gut your kitchen and bathroom.)

And under the heading of ‘making do’ – here are a few products that help everything in my life last longer + look better. As a side note, I’m not particularly handy or crafty, so rest assured that if I use these, you can, too!

  1. Bulk generic magic erasers
  2. Fabric shaver (de-pill everything you own!)
  3. Sewing kit
  4. Iron on patches
  5. Stitch Witchery (for ‘hemming’ things)
  6. Mineral oil – to make all the wooden things you own look nice

I loved this interview with Billie Eilish.

Bookmarking this recipe for tomato season!

High five! Starbucks offers expanded benefits for trans people!

Somewhat related: an update on the woman who inadvertently ‘invented’ the gender reveal party.

Most of the podcasts I listen to are about psychology, self-development, etc etc etc. Listening to So Obsessed was such a breath of fresh air and I scream laughed at least three times. Go listen!

This also made me laugh.

A tiny pep talk.

Hope you had a great week, friends!

Web Time Wasters

How was your week, friends? On Monday, I ran The Get What You Want Workshop  live and people loved it!

It was so fun to try a different format, after hearing that so many people found six-week courses overwhelming. I re-filmed the whole thing in small chunks (and without my cat yowling in the background) so people can buy it, watch it, and choose the sections they want to revisit – without wading through one giant, two-hour video. If you wanted to take part and were afraid you missed out, you can start watching and downloading here!

Links for you

In our Money & Happy Facebook group, we talked about our favorite budget-friendly beauty products and I will not stop shouting about coconut oil + these microfiber wash cloths to remove my makeup. And they’re black so they won’t look grimy with your eyeliner smeared all over them! They’re $8 for 3 and they last forever – so much better than disposable makeup wipes!

If you live in MSP and you or someone you love is about to give birth and you want support, Gather Birth Collective looks amazing!

Also for MSP-ers: if you’re interested in becoming a better ally to the black community (and earning community education credits if you’re a social worker) this workshop presented by Humanize My Hoodie is for you.

I loved this ‘Beauty Uniform’ interview with a 60-something American woman who moved to a tiny fishing village to England to take care of her mom. She has a great attitude about everything!
I always feel really happy when I’m doing something fun and adventurous. I used to be really worried about swimming the cold sea. I don’t like being cold, and it’s VERY cold in England. But then I thought, I can cope with this. And I swam for half an hour! It’s such a shock when you first jump in, AHHH!!! Now my sixty-something friends and I jump off the rocks and swim to the beach. We chatter all the way there and all the way back. It’s really invigorating. Apparently cold water makes you toughen up.

I am EXTREMELY team Elizabeth Warren, but I love that Cardi B is partnering up with Bernie Sanders to get more young people voting.

Why is this birthday card so cute?!!

The truth about being a successful creative freelancer.

Multiple times a week, I get spammy emails from companies who want to pay me $50 to put links to their site in my blog posts. I LOVE how Paul is dealing with this!

Cow BFFs.

I really appreciate when home decor blogs highlight rented spaces – not everyone owns a 2,000 square foot house in LA! – so I loved this post about a renter’s DIY-filled entryway.

A lovely essay about going home again + if you can/should stay.
Trips back home are like this. They’ll always be like this: frantic races to see family and friends, sleep-deprived, hungover and nostalgia-drunk, fighting off exhaustion with a steady stream of Dutch Brothers iced coffee and #400s with extra pepperoncinis from Phil’s 1500 Subs. Between reunions and goodbyes, I sit in traffic in Southeast Portland and drive too fast on the back roads in North Plains. I track the time that’s passed between my visits by the wrinkles on my great aunt’s face and the trees my brother planted in the yard next to the chicken coop. 

“I’m so sorry I can’t stay longer,” I say, but really what I mean is, “I’m so sorry I left.”

Funny, funny.

If you appreciate my taste in links, we should be friends on Pinterest. I pin TONS of great stuff there on the daily – travel, self-development, money stuff. Follow along here!

Web Time Wasters

How was your week, internet friends o’ mine? Some buddies and I checked out Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists at MIA and it is so good! My fellow MSPers: you should go!  I also continued on my quest to find the best hashbrowns in the Twin Cities by visiting Grandview Grill and had one of my favorite summer friend-dates: walking around Lake Nokomis.

Links for you!

Remember: On Monday, I’m running The Get What You Want Workshop in the much-requested two-hour format instead of a six-week course nobody can finish! Click here to grab your spot. I hope to see you there!

I was on the You Are Infinitely Loved podcast this week, talking about making decisions that align with our values. Are you doing that? You can listen here!

Yup. Same.

I’m reading this book and it is SO good! It confirms what I’ve always suspected and it’s a great addition to your happiness tool kit.

A pyramid of transformation.

What a kitchen remodel!

I take the art of conversation weirdly seriously so I loved these tips from our collective Cool Aunt Terry Gross.

Vaguely related: have you heard this old Childish Gamino track Sunshine? It includes the line “Terry Gross on the mic, I’m the talk of the nation.”

A beautiful essay about loss and inherited laptop.
I blinked. “Endings are like little deaths,” she’d written in her notes on the Bridges book. “We forget that they can be entrances to the beginning of a new life.” The computer began to bleat, a rumble of distress. The screen flickered, blindingly white, and then faded to black, and so, it embarrasses me to say, did I.

Captain Awkward says what we’re all thinking: “Dear What’s Wrong With Me,
What if nothing is wrong with you and the problem is you’re married to an asshole?
That’s it, that’s my whole answer.”

Adding these Mango “Burrito” Bowls to my to-make list!

Also: vegan ‘Parmesan’ cheese?

Not sure why there are protests in Hawaii? Here’s a good explanation.

Hope to see you on Monday!