issue #93 - the one about learning new things
Have you learned anything new recently?
Small things. Big things. Random things.
Here’s a few fun facts that I learned in the past few weeks:
flower food is nothing more than plain sugar. And to extend the “life” of your cut flowers (because they’re already dead), keep them in cool, dark environments and change the water regularly. A drop of vodka or bleach can also help prevent the water from getting murky! I learned these fun facts during my IG Live with Poppy Flowers, and am enjoying the arrangements we made as I write this editor’s letter.
cannabis has a very rich tradition in South Asian history. Cannabis satvia (the species used by both Equilibria and House of Wise) is commonly grown in the South Asia region for millenia. Cannabis is consumed in the observation of Maha Shivaratri - a Hindu holiday honoring Lord Shiva - as a way of honoring his consumption of bhang (a tonic made with the seeds and leaves of cannabis), which he drank to soothe the pain after consuming the poison that came from churning the milk ocean. You can read up on the story here. Telling my mom this story actually got her to try Equilibria for the first time, and she’s really responded well to it! A heads up that Equilibria is having a 22% off everything sale in honor of their second birthday, and my code HITHA can be used for an additional discount. I purchased the Mint Brilliance Box subscriptions for both my parents, and restocked my supply of Daily Treatment Oil, Relief Cream, bath bombs, and their Mindful Mineral Soak.
My acupuncturist mentioned that gut health and seasonal allergy symptoms are linked, and so I went down a Google rabbit hole. This article outlines how a healthy gut is one area to help manage allergy symptoms. There’s a lot more research being done in gut health (that also ties in with this amazing book) that I’m looking forward to learning more about. But for now, I’ve recommitted to my probiotics, cooked foods, and more rest.
What we read this week
While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory (ARC provided by NetGalley, out July 13) - Jasmine Guillory’s latest might be her greatest. I adored Ben from The Wedding Party, and getting a deeper look in his life and his relationship with actress Anna Gardiner was a joy that I needed badly. As always, Guillory never fails to address the hard and honest issues, but she does so with humanity and grace and respect. Go pre-order this one!
How To Be Queen by Jennifer Magley - this quick read was exactly what I needed. It’s a retelling of the tortoise and the hare in the context of a woman in the corporate world being gaslit by her managers (sound familiar)? Despite its slim profile, it is a powerful read that I will be keeping on my desk to remind me of my power.
Speaking of Queen Energy, I’m co-hosting ‘Harnessing Your Queen Energy’ next week with the coach that helped me identify and harness my own. Sign up here!
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri - I know I'm late to The Namesake, but I am so glad I finally read it.The book follows a Bengali couple as they immigrate to America and have children. Gogol, their oldest son, is a compelling character, navigating identity, love, and more. The writing is captivating and I was nervous the whole time that I would finish it too quickly.
Friends And Lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey - Hailed as one of “the most successful Black authors of the last quarter-century” by The New York Times, Eric Jerome Dickey recently passed away after a battle with cancer. Black women everywhere have long wanted to see our everyday relationships shown without trauma on the page and EJD did just that. He wrote smart, fun brain candy and the world was better for it. This is one of my favorite books of his.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot - My book club is reading "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" and though I'm still reading it, it's eye opening in so many regards. The fact that so many of us are just learning her name when her contributions already touch all of our lives in terms of advances in the study of DNA, inoculations, physical health and microscopic well-being. This is the science biography you didn't know you needed to read.
White Feminism by Koa Beck - I'm deeeeeeep in Koa Beck's (@koabeck) new book "White Feminism" which talks about the historical and harmful White supremacist origins of the modern feminist movement, and about the urgency for a more intersectional, expansive framework for feminism.
The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid - If you're looking for a bit of escape in these gloomy winter months, I recommend this fun, fast read. It has qualities of a good beach read, but with enough depth to keep you engaged. It's also just great storytelling.
The Top 5
Mayors decry partisanship over covid relief, saying city needs are real (Washington Post)
The Catch Up
In The Mojito History Is Muddled (Whetstone Magazine)
Blame The Anniversary Effect (My Sweet Dumb Brain)
Political Solidarity Is A Solution to Attacks Against Asian Americans (Harper’s Bazaar)
Day Care Makes The World More Tender (Romper)
Things we love this week
Stumbled across a few new Amazon finds that are bringing me joy - compostable toothbrush heads for my SonicCare toothbrush, this bra/crop top that Jess Keys recommended and is now the only bra I wear, and this ribbed workout set that’s as perfect for lounging as it is for walks or a yoga flow.
I also finally splurged on my very own Agatha Crispy (what Jess Keys named her toaster oven/air fryer combo), and it is absolutely glorious. Jess wrote the most comprehensive review on the model I bought, if you want to learn more.
I was recently given a cast iron pan (a friend had two) and it has changed my life. I use it near daily to make toast, bake pasta, fry rice, and more. Cleaning it is surprisingly easy (my main concern before I got one). I'm a convert.
Bio Oil. My skin is normally dry during the winter but this year? I’m slathering on lotion, crime, showering with nourishing body wash and it’s still not enough. Adding this cult favorite oil (68k 5 star reviews) has cured me. I even put a few drops in a bath with Epsom salts for an early start at soft skin.
Insight Timer App- it's free, has so many great meditations to match your mood and needs for the day. And listening to their kid's section is often a part of my 7 year old son's bedtime and helps us both unwind and get into sleep mode.
I just successfully defended my dissertation (heyo Ph.D.!) and as a congratulations, my advisor sent me a forty-pack of Jalapeno Cheddar Cheetos, my absolute favorite snack on this planet... because she loves me and wants me to be happy.
I'm loving this podcast, featuring my friend Lissa Lo and her fabulous co-host, Natalie Trevonne--two blind girls bridging the gap between the disability community and the fashion industry by telling the stories of dope creatives killing it in the game today. Take a listen, and give them a follow on Instagram.
Take care of yourself, and please share #5SmartReads if you’re enjoying them!