issue #103 - the unorthodox one

Have you watched My Unorthodox Life on Netflix?


In a time when unscripted television is focused on drama and absurdity, Julia Haart takes great care to share her story of leaving her ultra-Orthodox life without disrespecting the world she’s left.

We see it all - co-parenting, individuals finding their own relationship with faith, family conflict (and more importantly, resolution). It’s one of those shows that makes you feel better after watching the entire season in a single sitting, and also wanting to be adopted into the Haart family.

Julia and I also have the same taste in wallpaper (we both have Fornasetti’s monkey wallpaper - her in her office, me in my family room), which makes me love her even more.

The show is such a contrast from Housewives, where the drama is manufactured and bad behavior is often rewarded with renewed contracts. The Haart family is not perfect and you see plenty of familial conflict. But you also see them talking through their frustrations, work things out together, and just love on each other.

What we consume (eat, drink, read, watch) does affect our health and behavior. It has me wondering if the reasons I’m a little more fiery and argumentative right now is because it’s Housewives season for me (devoted New York and Beverly Hills watcher here), and if reading this book left me more stressed and with terrible dreams than usual.

In any case, I’ll likely rewatch the show again, and will be keeping my fingers crossed for a second season until my copy of Julia Haart’s memoir arrives next year.

What we read this week


I re-read The Startup Wife (review here) and had the great pleasure of interviewing author Tahmima Anam. It’s a very smart, funny, and thoughtful book - highly recommend picking it up.


  • People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry - A rom com based on When Harry Met Sally is irresistible to me and this was fun from cover to cover. In addition to the romance, Emily Henry touches on ambition, family drama, and the magic of travel.

The Top 5

  1. Dara Treseder Is the Reason You're Obsessed With Peloton (Marie Claire)

  2. There Are Only Six Books Written By Men (Jezebel)

  3. The Delta Variant Isn't Just Hyper-Contagious. It Also Grows More Rapidly Inside You (NPR)

  4. Renting Clothes Is Worse For The Planet Than Just Throwing It Away, Study Shows(Fast Company)

  5. 7AM to 7PM: How Mama Phnewfula Frederiksen Runs Her Eco Kids Boutique (VeryWell Family)

The Catch Up




Thursday (Abigail)


Things we love this week


  • I’m a longtime fan of Dagne Dover, especially their neoprene bags. I’ve had to re-purchase the Dakota backpack (my dad took my original one) and my Ryan laptop bag (mom took that one). Our Wade diaper tote is holding strong and the bag I frankly use the most these days. They’re offering 25% off their entire neoprene collection with the code REFRESH, and I have my eye on the medium Landon for my fall travels.

  • Breakfast can be a struggle with the kids in the morning, but this chocolate milk mix (fortified with protein, spinach, and prebiotics) has been a winner. It reminds me of the old school Carnation Instant Breakfast mix, but much healthier.

  • This laptop (gifted as part of my partnership with Intel) has been an absolute gamechanger lately. The slightly taller screen means I have to scroll less, the battery life is superb (13 hours!), and having Excel in all its Windows glory (the Mac version is NOT the same) has been a welcome change.


  • My sister and I got this cutting board for my dad for father's day and I'm tempted to get one for myself. It's made from recycled plastic and renewable sugarcane and 50% of the profits are donated. Plus, it's sleek and stores easily, important for small kitchens.

Take care of yourself, and please share #5SmartReads if you’re enjoying them!

Refer #5SmartReads