issue #96 - the one revisiting old favorites
We rewatched all the Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit films.
We spent afternoons at Rho’s favorite playgrounds.
I revisited old book friends (well, Sloan mainly) in finishing the first and third books of The Friend Zone series.
I’ve been background binging Selling Sunset while getting to e-mails in the evenings.
And for the first time in weeks, I picked up my needlepoint projects again and made quite a bit of progress on this rainbow I’ve been promising Rho for months.
There’s such comfort in revisiting old favorites, especially in stressful and uncertain times. And even though things are looking more hopeful, the return to the new normal can be frustratingly slow. These moments of comfort and joy are immensely restorative.
And right now, that’s all I need.
What old favorites bring you comfort in these random times? Hit reply and please let me know!
And if you’re still reading, a couple of updates from me:
6 of the most popular pieces from my Accessory Junkie collection are available for a limited time! If you missed out on it in February, now’s the time to shop it!
I have three speaking engagements this week that are free to attend. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on influencer culture on Clubhouse on Monday evening, a panel at the Hello Neighbor Network Convening on Wednesday, and an interview with Equilibria’s founder on Clubhouse on Friday. Clubhouse links to come, but you can follow me @hitha on the platform (and email me if you need an invite - I have 7!)
What we read this week
The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez - the first in The Friend Zone series, I stayed up far later than I had any businesses to on Monday night reading this in a single sitting. The story focuses on Josh and Kristen, whose memorable first meeting grows into a friendship, and into love with a whole lot of twists and turns. If you’re new to this series, it’s worth reading in order as this book has a major plot twist that informs the second two books. Which is helpful, given that the third book was just published…
Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez - and the third book might be the BEST in the series. Vanessa and Adrian are neighbors brought together by a screaming baby and the slow burn of their friendship into something more is just masterful. Something I admire about Abby Jimenez is her ability to weave in really serious issues - infertility, grief, disabilities - into her stories with incredible heart and sensitivity that I haven’t seen in any other author.
Disabled Veteran Benefits From Smart Home Technology article by Leah Schwarting - Frugal Fam 2 partner works in technology developing smart home resources. I had not considered the benefits beyond my own comfort until we looked at the implications for individuals with disabilities. Considering the recent smart reads about de-stigmatizing disability, it's time we look at ways technology can help bridge inclusivity in all areas of life!
Simply Julia by Julia Turshen - Julia Turshen's latest and most personal cookbook. It's filled with healthy recipes and doesn't focus on weight loss. Try the sesame noodles and white pizza style kale. The book also has essays from Julia about topics like intuitive eating, anxiety, and more. Buy it, read it, cook from it.
Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker - This isn't a heartwarming greed, but it's a gripping one. The book dives into the true story of the Galvin family, who seemed like a sunny family of fourteen (!) living in Colorado in the '70s. But behind closed doors, abuse, mental illness, and violence endured—secrets that weren't discovered until decades later. Again, not a beach read, but I was fascinated by the family's dark story.
The Top 5
How To Keep Your Produce Fresh For Weeks (New York Times)
Confessions Of An Influencer Whisperer (Town & Country)
The Mobster Who Bought His Son A Hockey Team (The Atlantic)
The Catch Up
Famously Fran (Marie Claire)
Happily (N)ever After With Cristin Milioti (Marie Claire)
Wednesday (Beth & Katie)
How To Be More Eco-Friendly In Everyday Life (BBC News)
Whitney Hu’s Favorite Spot In Sunset Park (Intelligencer)
Catching Up With NYC’s “Vaccine Daddy” (The Cut)
Writing A Book Is Weird (LANCE)
The Lives Of Others (The Atavist Magazine)
Things we love this week
Haverhill gifted me the loveliest everyday bracelet (personalized with an R and my kids’ birthstones) in honor of Mother’s Day, which beautifully complements their family birthstone necklace my husband gave to me for our anniversary. Their pieces are incredible quality (they survive my children’s tugging on them and are comfortable to wear when you’re sleeping or exercising). Code HITHA15 gets you 15% off, and I can’t recommend their pieces more highly.
My sleep and stress has been worse than usual, so I restocked my House Of Wise gummies in both categories. I love Equilibria for my daily CBD needs, and HoW complements them beautifully when things are extra stressful or I’m having a hard time sleeping.
Disclosure - I am an investor in House of Wise
I also restocked on a few Amazon favorites - this countertop spray, these black washcloths for post-makeup cleansing, and my favorite inexpensive sunglasses (which don’t fog up when you wear these masks)
Beth & Katie
The Ninja Foodie is on Katie's counter all day every day. She uses it daily to make some of the most amazing food at home from crispy chicken wings to reheated Trader Joe's Gyoza! It's an investment but worth it!
I finished my pandemic rewatch of Gossip Girl and began rewatching Younger. It's streaming on Hulu and the 20 minute episodes are the perfect wind down.
I'm obsessed with these cobalt wine glasses from Black-owned business Estelle Colored Glass. They embody summer and a warm evening spent outside (safely) catching up with friends. I haven't pulled the trigger on them yet, but know they will be among my pre-summer purchases.
Take care of yourself, and please share #5SmartReads if you’re enjoying them!