issue #116 - the one coming back to normal-ish
…and thank goodness.
This leg of my book tour is wrapping up (there’s a chance I’ll be in Boulder in December, but that’s it!) and I am really proud of every single event, that I got to meet every person that I did, and the book is resonating with so many of you.
This is the first week in over a month that I’m not splitting my time between my desk and a hospital/physical rehab facility, getting on a plane or bus, or on hours of Zooms all day everyday.
I’m finally catching up on the important-but-not-as-urgent e-mails. Pulling together photos and videos into Reels. Setting up a new planner (my friend Laura just launched her planner company - she’s a mom of 4, a physician, and a content creator so I will try everything she recommends). I’m spending more quality time with my family, which we all needed so badly. I’m even cooking and exercising again, and finding it easier to wake up early in the mornings to take care of myself and a little bit of work.
For the first time in months, I feel like me. Not caricatures or job versions of me, but the nerdy, silly Hitha that I forgot I was. The Hitha that jams out to Linkin Park, watches all the holiday rom coms and sci-fi series (preferably ones that star Katee Sackhoff), read books with my big kid and play Legos with my younger kid, strolls through Central Park listening to Red (Taylor’s version for the gazillionth time), who embarrasses her kids with her terrible dancing while she cooks dinner (and apparently my taste in music), and the one who is pausing for a second because 2021 has been the most.
It’s normal to be thinking about 2022 goals and dreams. Right now, I’m dreaming of more family time, on continuing to deliver on the big things I’ve put in motion this year, of writing more (for myself first!), and more Taco Bell.
In my belly AND in my partnerships. A girl can dream and continue to work for it.
What we read this week
I haven’t read a new thing in the past couple of weeks but I hope to have some new book reviews for you soon!
Life's Too Short by Abby Jimenez - I read this book in one night. Literally about 6 hours. It’s fun, funny, smart, and surprisingly deep. I thought it would be your basic romance novel but it was way more interesting and surprising. If you need something to escape the holiday crush for a few hours this is it.
Kate Slater aka Dr. Kate
How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith - This book has rocked my world. It is, quite simply, a must-read for any human being who feels like they've been lied to by their high school history class.
You Got Anything Stronger? by Gabrielle Union- I loved Gabrielle Union's first book and this did not disappoint. She's extremely candid about all the things people avoid talking about: infertility, being a stepmother, and more. Her essay about raising and supporting her daughter Zaya is a must read. She also includes a touching tribute to Isis, her Bring it On character.
The History of Pumpkin Spice (ZORA)
Why Does the Father Usually Pass Down His Last Name? (The Atlantic)
Heart of Dinner Is Serving Up Hope (Glamour Magazine)
How to cope with chronic annoyance in motherhood (Motherhood Untitled)
11/1 - Lale
Two kids, a loaded gun, and the man who left a 4-year-old to die (Washington Post)
Here's When Hallmark's 41 New Christmas Movies Will Air (Oprah Daily)
11/2 - Hitha
What Climate Change Looks Like Around the World (Teen Vogue)
11/3 - Kate Slater aka Dr. Kate
The second assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (The Atlantic)
How Critical Race Theory Became a Political Target (Washington Post)
11/4 - Marisa
CDC Adds Mental Illness to High-Risk Covid List (Washington Post)
Who Had Covid-19 Breakthrough Cases? (NY Times)
11/5 - Abigail
Patti LaBelle and the McBride Sisters Talk Wine, Food and Tradition (Wine Enthusiast)
Hey, It’s Your Korean Dad (Bon Appetit)
11/8 - Lale
Climate shuffles superpowers (Axios)
11/9 - Hitha
The Infrastructure Bill Is Desperately Needed, Engineers Say (Scientific American)
11/10 - Hitha
Alicia Keys Gets What She Wants (Marie Claire)
11/11 - Hitha
It's Time to Make Child Care a Health Benefit (VeryWell Health)
11/12 - Hitha
Brooke Shields is just getting started (The Washington Post)
Things we love this week
Here are the things that have kept me going in the past few weeks:
I would be a disaster without my Equilibria CBD. I take the daily gummies in the morning, the extra-strength daily drops before bed, and the relief cream everyday, wherever I hurt. Which is everywhere. If you’re new to EQ, you can use my code hitha to get 15% off your order (and stock up some holiday gifts while you’re at it!)
Yes, I am a broken record about Equilibria, but it’s because it WORKS. CBD has been a huge benefit to my life, and I hope it’s the same for yours. If you’d like to learn more about it, you can watch this video I created explaining the science of CBD.
I met Taryn Toomey, the founder of The Class, last week (and I confess that I’m a little bit in love). I’ve heard a LOT about her famed fitness method, and decided to give it a try this week. I am so, so, so glad I did. It’s movement meets mindfulness meets a lot of sweat, which is everything I need right now in a 30-45 minute package and available as a Apple TV app so I’m not looking at my phone first thing in the morning. They offer a 2 week free trial, which I highly recommend trying it. If it works for you, great! If not, that’s cool too. I still love my Peloton, Dryp by Soha, and a long Central Park walk.
Armoire has kept me dressed and looking, if I do say so, incredible at every single book event. From a hot pink silky short suit to the most perfect polo dress to the sweater I’m most likely going to buy because I love it so much, it’s the sartorial gift that keeps on giving. Their algorithm is the fashion equivalent of TikTok - take some time to teach it, and it will reward you with gems you never saw coming. My link will give you 50% off your first month - give it a try!
I’m 6 months pregnant and I’m home on modified bed rest. I only want to be in comfy, breathable clothing that can stretch and move and won’t make me hot. I ordered this set and then immediately placed an order for 5 more sets. I also have the pants version (which I love) but now with pregnancy body heat the shorts are my go-to.
Kate Slater aka Dr. Kate
I'm eight months pregnant and my butt feels like someone roundhouse kicks it every hour on the hour. The Ignite by SPRI Stable Ball Kit has saved my ass - literally. It's like sitting on a slightly bouncy cloud!
I was asked for a random thing I love, and this definitely fits the bill for "random" - BUT I really do love this organic honey mustard dressing. It reminds me of the kind my grandma used to buy when I was growing up and pairing it with some vegan nuggets feels like a youthful indulgence and a walk down memory lane all in one for days when I just want some old-fashioned, middle-class American comfort food.
This is a reminder to bring lotion with you when you travel. Hotels rarely have enough (the little one lasts a day) and as it gets colder, we need to stay moisturized. If you forget, visit a drugstore and get some Aveeno, Gold Bond, or your favorite brand. Instant trip upgrade.
Take care of yourself, and please share #5SmartReads if you’re enjoying them!