issue #59 - the one where I lost it

Friday was a bad day.

I screamed - a lot.

Rho cried - a lot.

I got lectured by my parents - a lot.

It was a lot.

I am eternally grateful for my parents and their generosity in housing us, watching my boys while we work, and keeping us safe and healthy during this global pandemic. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t counting the days until we return home and finding a routine again in this new normal.

Life isn’t going to look like it did before. We will still be working from home (but with childcare!) and going out sparingly. There’s a very real chance that school might be remote or a hybrid model for Rho and we might be right back here in the fall.

I desperately hope not. But it’s a real possibility, given that we’re still in the first wave and it’s surging in Texas and Florida.

This is my long-winded way of telling you to wear a mask whenever you go out, continue to stay at home as much as possible, and to be a good citizen.

And don’t forget to vote and to keep being actively anti-racist.

And to drink more water.

If this is your first e-mail from me, welcome! In addition to writing the book How To Pack, I'm an entrepreneur and angel investor, an avid reader, and a mom of two boys (a 5 year old and a 1 year old).

Every Saturday, I share the 25 best reads from the Internet (culled from the daily shares on my Instagram), the books I've read that week, and things I'm generally loving at the moment. You can join the conversation on all these articles - and more! - in my Facebook group.

Looking for my packing list template? Here you go!

#ThingsILove This Week

  • Have you taken the BOM Pledge? It’s the easiest way to support Black-owned businesses for the things you’d already be buying. The Lowkey box has sold out, but there are some Highkey subscriptions left! (The BOM is a Black woman-owned business)

  • School is officially done for Rho and we are a week into a digital detox for him (no iPad, no TV, no exceptions). Our saving graces have been these blank jigsaw puzzles (he colors them, I do them) and this massive bulk bag of LEGOs (the ONLY thing to keep him occupied for a decent stretch of time). These trays are a lifesaver to keep puzzle pieces, LEGOs, and worksheets corralled and somewhat tidy. And bless because this child loves worksheets and I’m more than happy to oblige.

  • A reminder that my giveaway with Tastefully Simple is still open! I’ll be picking a winner on Monday night.

  • This playlist is the cheesiest thing ever, but it’s also what I’ve been listening to on repeat all week.

  • My jumpsuit addiction has hit my activewear wardrobe. This PRU bodysuit is insanely comfortable and perfect for yoga or DRYP workouts, and I keep checking their website to see if they’ve released it in different colors or prints. (PRU Apparel is a Black woman-owned business)

  • Speaking of DRYP, it’s my new fitness obsession. The method combines yoga, pilates, cardio, and strength to an incredible playlist, and Soha is the kindest hardass ever. I actually look forward to these workouts. Use code Hitha25 to get 25% off your first month!

  • Are you following @ziwef on Instagram? Her live interviews with Alison Roman and Caroline Callaway are a must-watch and will make you feel uncomfortable - but that’s the point.

  • As New York begins to open up, I’m stocking up on the new essentials. I’m all stocked up on masks (BURU and Discover Night make the best ones, in my opinion), and have picked up some washable gloves and door openers/styluses as well.

It’s my birthday next week, and here’s my wish list:

  • Comprehensive police reform, starting with the abolishing of qualified immunity and for all proposed increases to police budgets to be redirected to mental health first responders.

  • The Always Pan from Our Place - I’ve been obsessed with this pan for months now.

  • For COVID to continue trending downward in New York and schools & childcare to safely reopen

  • Another BURU housecoat (not that I need one, but the heart wants what it wants)

  • A weekend/summer home in Bucks County (a girl can dream - and manifest)

  • To start playing tennis again! Which gives me an excuse to splurge on this bag,

  • An Eternal Fleur arrangement to brighten up my desk.

What I read this week

  • You Had Me At Hola (ARC provided by NetGalley, out August 4th) - A telenovela romance novel set in an actual telenovela production?? This book filled my Jane The Virgin withdrawals and had me smiling the entire time I was reading. Jasmine and Ashton are dramatic, emotional, and surprisingly relatable. This book offered a fascinating peek at the production of a television show (much like One To Watch), and I just adored this book. Definitely preorder it.

  • Tabitha And Magoo Dress Up Too and Antiracist Babyare daily reads around here with the boys.

Happy pub week to these amazing books:

  • Party Of Two - Jasmine Guillory’s latest - and in my opinion, greatest. A steamy romance set in law and politics and is just a joy to read.

  • Head Over Heels - if you’re having Olympics gymnastics withdrawals or you need your hope restored in the sport after watching Athlete A - or both - then this book is for you. I loved it.

  • Take A Hint, Dani Brown - Talia Hibbert’s writing is so hot that I’m shocked my Kindle hasn’t melted yet. Dani Brown - the sequel and sister to Chloe Brown, her debut - weaves in South Asian culture with such sensitivity and respect. Enjoy it.

  • The Last Flight - I’m not a thriller person. If I pick one up, it has to have a wealthy family, someone going missing, and some kind of tragic episode for the woman protagonist. The Last Flight ticks all these boxes, and is so well written and gripping. If you’re a fan of Cristina Alger’s books, you’ll enjoy this one.

I’m building outmy Bookshop store, which will house all my favorite books in all the categories. Please consider purchasing your books code HITHA for 3 free books when you start a membership) to support independent bookstores!

Hitha’s Favorite Things

The Top 5

  1. The Woman Who Helped Save Joe Biden (Politico)

  2. 'Who will protect you from rape without police?' Here's my answer to that question (The Guardian)

  3. The End of the Girlboss Is Here (GEN)

  4. Derm Diaries: “I’m A Dermatologist–Here’s My Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Routine” (Women’s Health Mag)
    Be sure to follow Laura on Instagram - she’s an incredible content creator.

  5. On Performing Gratitude (Jezebel)
    Prachi is an incredibly talented writer, and her book on AOC is excellent.

The Catch Up