issue #112 - the one on routines

I love a routine.

I love creating them. Tweaking them. Journaling on what’s happening in my life when I fall out of them. Tweaking them again. Tracking how long I stick with it. Reading books and articles about peoples’ routines (this series is a particular favorite).

Most of my routines have fallen by the wayside this year. But there are some (and some rituals!) I’ve stuck with, even in the craziest of times.

My morning routine has always involved meditation, journaling, and some movement. I’m still loyal to my daily Headspace meditations while I’m still in bed, then journaling every morning and night following this format, and doing a quick 15 minute meditation and flow my friend Neeti created for me. Most mornings I have warm lemon water and a full vitamin case on my nightstand, and sip the water and take my supplements (my Ritual multivitamin, an iron supplement, my Seed probiotic, and an Equilibria gummy) before drinking the first of several cups of coffee.

My night routine has one I’m equally consistent with. I’m religious about my skincare routine, and take a moment to ask my skin what it needs (hokey, I know) and to examine my skin before deciding on that night’s routine. Some nights I need extra hydration and massage nourishing products like Ranavat’s serum and bakuchi cream with their kansa wand. Some nights my skin needs a deep clean, and I’ll give it a quick steam and apply this treatment for a deep chemical exfoliation. I take my Equilibria drops, read something (even if it’s just a page of a book), and slip on an eye mask before falling asleep.

I have a “I feel a migraine coming on” routine. An “ease into work” routine. A “I’m freaking the f out” routine (I lie on my infrared sauna mat with my legs against the wall and take a CBD fast melt and listen to Enya - try it).

Routines keep me sane. And while I’ve been beating myself up on not eating as well as I should or exercising more or sleeping enough, I take comfort that these routines are the foundation to build on.

And that, for now, is good enough.

What we read this week


I adored Love, Chai, and other Four Letter Words (review here), and here is your reminder to please pre-order your copy of We’re Speaking!

Speaking of We’re Speaking, I’ll be announcing the full schedule of events soon. I’m THRILLED to be sharing the first event - a virtual launch party with the Chai Mommas’ Happy Chai Book Club - on October 20, 2021. You can register for the free event here, and keep your eyes peeled for even more events that will be online and in-person.

  • Set on You by Amy Lea (out in May 2022) - it’s rare to find books that depict the reality of being a content creator (and a diverse, non-sample size one at that). Throw in a hate-to-love trope and some meddling grandparents, and you have a truly excellent romance that I adored. While I have yet to get in a workout again since reading this, it at least got me to slip on my sneakers and get in a few park walks last week. Baby steps?

  • She’s Unlikeable by Aparna Shewakramani (out in February 2022) - I’ve been an Aparna fan since Indian Matchmaking premiered last year. There is so much to this incredible woman that the show and social media doesn’t show - she’s hilarious, empathetic, relaxed, and just a joy to be around. Thankfully, her book introduces you to the Aparna I’m honored to call my friend, and you should pre-order it immediately.


  • People We Met On Vacation by Emily Henry - Fun and sexy and easy to read - what more could you want from a book that literally has "vacation" in the title?!


  • Seven Days In June by Tia Williams - I devoured this book in just a few days and am already contemplating a reread. If you liked The Idea of You, you'll love this. It's a romance set in the Black Brooklyn literary scene with a balance of trauma, humor, and steaminess.

Hitha popping in to say that I heartily cosign both of these book recommendations. Loved them so much.

The Top 5

  1. Black Iowa police chief faces backlash after bringing change (Associated Press)

  2. Just a Bunch of Easy Ways to Make Vaxxed Hangouts Safer in the Delta Era (VICE)

  3. A Lack of Stamina (The Stripe)

  4. Little Women Remixed, But Not Reimagined (NPR)

  5. Please Stop Romanticizing Your Child’s Lunchbox (Burnt Toast)

The Catch Up




Thursday (Marisa)

Friday (Abigail)

Things we love this week


  • No one NEEDS a new chopping board. But this chopping system has made my nightly Blue Apron cooking even better. The chop & swoop with every vegetable going into their own drawer, the fitted graters, the height of the board easing up pressure on my back (yes, this is a thing and I have no problem admitting to it). I’m obsessed - and I think you will be too.

  • As you’ve seen in my editor’s letter, Equilibria’s CBD is a big part of my daily routines. I’ve been taking their products for over two years (and working with them for the past year), and they have helped my mood stay balanced and my body from aching all the time. They even help me fight my migraines. They’re running a rare subscription promotion right now, where you can get 20% off your first THREE months (not just the first month) on any new subscription, whether you’re an existing subscriber or a new one. Their quiz will help you figure out the right routine for you, and the 1:1 dosage specialist call (included with every purchase) will help you optimize that routine. CBD is a daily ritual for me - it keeps my endocannabinoid system running at optimally (which is responsible for homeostatis and contributes to mood), and also helps take the edge off in stressful situations. If you want to take advantage of this offer and start a subscription, use code hithafall20 at checkout.
    Always consult with your physician before taking any new supplements or CBD.

  • I’m planning my outfits for my book tour (!!!!), and I have two lifesavers to thank. The first is stylist and organizer extraordinare Dawn Anna Williamson, who came over last week and helped me purge and reorganize my closet in 4 hours and helped me begin planning outfits for both Zoom and in-person events. If you live in NYC, you need Dawn. Armoire is my other lifesaver, as I’m renting all the jumpsuits and dresses to complement what I already own to keep my outfits fresh. Armoire’s algorithm helped me find the perfect pieces for my book tour, and I also found myself adding a plaid shacket and a bold sweater to my case for fun. If you’re stuck in a style rut AND don’t want to buy things, give Armoire a try (my link gets you 50% off your first month!).


  • As I noted in one of my picks for #5smartreads this week, I really, really love Estelle Colored Glass. It's feminine and also practical; it's pretty and delicate but can be the epitome of personal expression depending on what color you choose. These champagne coupes are next on my list of "things to ask for at Christmas or acquire as a gift to myself" - I like that they seem vintage and classic and would like to mix and match some colors to have a celebratory glass ready for every occasion!


  • I'm teaching in person again after 18 months on Zoom and got these masks to ease the transition. They're more comfortable and better fitted than a basic surgical mask and are breathable enough for projecting to a room of kids for a few hours. Plus, the designs are really cute.

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

Refer #5SmartReads