I conned someone into being married to me for seven years. Don’t you forget it, I like to play the long game.
I conned someone into being married to me for seven years. Don’t you forget it, I like to play the long game.
I finished Work Wife this week and damn, it really got me in my feelings. Like, I did not expect to be moved to tears so often while reading a freaking business book! I’ll write more about it in its own post because I have so many thoughts, but for now I’ll say this: as someone with a work wife of my own, I really found the book inspiring and useful. It’s out in the US on the 5th of March, so put getting a copy on your to-do list this week.
Here are some other things I’m loving right now:
Omg this photo of Lupita (10/37). What a vision! An icon! A real life goddess!
“Tina — that’s my rabbit’s name. Tina, I just found out is a boy. She got sick and they had to insert a catheter and they called me and said “Amy, you know, this is a male rabbit.” I was like, “What? What?!” So I just think of Tina as a big queen.” I feel like I put an Amy Sedaris item in almost every week but seriously, she’s such a joy I can’t even help it.
Little Simz has a new album out - Grey Area - and between this release and Solange, I feel like it’s Christmas in March. We are blessed.
I really want these tiger mules from Of a Kind.
I can’t stop staring at this photo of Dan Levy and I can’t tell if it’s because I want to bone him or be him. Can it be both? I should probably go back to therapy.
One of my big goals for 2019 is to be better about talking about money. I didn’t grow up talking about money and my family has always been sooooo shush about anything to do with finances, which made figuring out personal finances in my early 20s really difficult. I just kind of assumed that somehow, magically, money stuff would always work out and it wasn’t until we moved to the UK and almost lost everything that I was like, “Oh, shit. I guess I need to manage this.” So I’ve been trying to get better at money stuff the past few years, and this year I want to get more comfortable talking about it, asking for it, and making it work for me.
Reading about how Aminatou Sow makes and, more importantly, spends money was really powerful for me this week. I also found this recent episode of CYG in which she and Ann have a really honest conversation about freelancing and finances really relatable and useful. I highly recommend listening to it if you’re self-employed or thinking about going out on your own.
And on that note, I’m going to go and update my budget and plan for some trips that I want and need to take this year. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!
The painted tile used in this photo by my amazing friend Ed Liddle.
I’m especially down with Sound of Rain. I feel like it makes my heart pump to a different beat.
Nine years of drinking wine and mostly laughing together. 🖤
Photo taken in Provence in October 2017.
How are we folks? The sun in our corner of England is shining and it’s freakishly warm. I hate it! But I love it, too. And here are some other things I love/like a whole heck of a lot.
Let’s start with a smile - an eight minute and 25 second smile, because that’s how long Amy Sedaris chatted with Stephen Colbert. I need to know: where did she get that dress?!
To follow up from last week, the Channel 4 television programme about Laura Dodsworth’s Bare Reality project is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever seen. I hope it’s shown to teenagers is schools - I think it could change the way so many young women feel about and understand their bodies.
I always like to know what people are reading in movies, so these 50 literary cameos in 90s movies was very fun to read. Did they miss any good ones?
“If you’re a person, everything is personal – that's just the way I feel. I’ve come to recognise that my own sensitivity is not just emotion, but it’s empathy. It’s how you position it, how you frame it. You could say I’m too emotional, or you could also say I’m deeply aware of what’s happening in the world, deeply connected to the world, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. What other way is there to live?” Love this Extraordinary Routines interview with Debbie Millman.
I also LOVE Debbie’s exercise of writing down your 10 year plan and then re-reading it every year until the ten years expires. I’m going to put mine on paper this week and I’ll let you know how close I get to making it a reality in, well, ten years.
Does anyone want to hire me to design a newspaper for them? I’d have so much fun doing it.
Ogling the heck out of these colourful panels by Eva LeWitt. Sooo pretty! I think a long panel would look really great above my sofa. Maybe I should put that in my ten year plan?
Taylor Lorenz gives us a fascinating look at how kids feel about their existing internet identity when they’re old enough to become aware of it. There will undoubtedly be much more data on this over the next many years and it’ll be really interesting to see how the photos we share of children impact them as they get older and come into themselves.
No, you’re crying reading this thread of mostly wonderful folks praising Starlee Kine and mourning the loss of Mystery Show three years after it ended. God, that show was good.
Hanna and I fell hard for these recently rediscovered and remastered Bauhaus typefaces while researching a project this week. This g in particular made us weak in the knees.
I’m done with winter. DONE. And I know, in England we have it easy (so sorry, Minnesota!). But even so, every part of my being is craving al fresco wine hangs and springtime sun. I’m chasing sunbeams (as/when we get them) around town and counting down the days until we can shed some layers and have some real fun.
Photo taken in Provence in autumn 2017 - doesn’t it look so warm and inviting?!
I’ve been looking at properties online and folks, I hate to say it, but there are an awful lot of ugly chairs out there in the world. Particularly desk chairs. Think about it! You might even own one.
I was at Ham House today and want to know what I saw? Loads of beautiful chairs. Can you imagine in 100 years, people touring our grandest homes and crowding around a blue and black mesh monstrosity, a docent talking about how helpful it was for lumbar support, and everyone just sadly nodding. BLEAK.
If you think too long about all the home offices, schools, and businesses that house these millions of office chairs— with their billons of clunky plastic roller wheels, useless adjustment levers, and foam armrests— and then think about all of them slowly rolling their way to landfill, it’s almost enough to make you want to disown the human race.
Luckily, the world has lots of good in it too. Here are some of the things that sparked joy for me this week.
Laura Dodsworth’s latest book includes interviews with 100 women about one of their most intimate relationships: the one they have with their vagina. Alongside the interviews are photos of each woman’s vulva, and when you look through them, it’s a truly powerful reminder of just how beautiful, unique and fucking amazing our bodies actually are. Read more about it in The Guardian or get a copy to proudly display on your coffee table. But whatever you do, don’t ignore this important piece or pretend for a moment that it’s shameful.
I wish everyone would read this article by Jason Cherkis about Dr. Motto’s work to help prevent suicidal patients from killing themselves and how his work is being carried out by other like-minded doctors around the world. It’s insightful, so important, and maybe a lot more simple (albeit compassionate and thoughtful) than we may think. Reading this has also reminded me of the power in simply reaching out and saying “hi, I see you” to friends who are going through a tough time. It can feel inconsequential and stupid, but it can sometimes help– or maybe even save– a life.
I was elated and honoured to receive an advance copy of Work Wife by Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur (the powerhouse duo behind Of a Kind) in the mail this week. I’m only a few pages in but will definitely follow-up with my thoughts once I’m done.
And speaking of work wives, after leaving my family’s WhatsApp group in a bit of a huff (not my finest moment) after a political discussion kicked off, I decided to pre-order I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations by Sarah and Beth of Pantsuit Politics. I’ve so enjoyed their podcast conversations over the years and I’m really looking forward to diving into this after its pub date next month.
One more on the book front: when pulling Danny Meyer’s Setting The Table off the shelf to lend to a friend last Sunday, I flipped it open and accidentally read about a hundred pages. I first read it in 2016 and felt so completely that everything I believed about the hospitality industry (which I worked in form the age of 17 to 24) was affirmed. Danny is an inspiring leader– and I know this because even just reading his book makes me want to be a better person. If you care about treating your customers right, I highly recommend you read it.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY.
Warming wool socks, bright sunshine, a perfect Satsuma– so sweet and juicy.
Hugs from friends, silly memes shared in group chats, all things green and growing.
Aching muscles, a forgotten lump of Morbier in the fridge, my cat.
Crisp white wine, a favourite jumper, good music playing in the background all day long.
These are the things that I want to acknowledge on Valentine’s day, the little everyday things that lift me up and fill my life with so much joy. Love can be inspired by so many people, places, and things and I think we should celebrate these things every year on Valentine’s Day. And every day after that, too.
Photos originally taken for a Bottle Bitches magazine feature, which no longer exists in the ether, in which I described this Loimer Gruner Veltliner as tasting like an explosion of citrus with a briny finish, and then suggested pairing it with a big sailboat in the Mediterranean. Naturally.
Why is it that beauty products run out all at once? My shampoo, pomade, deodorant, cleanser and soap are all on the brink of disappearing in one catastrophic cosmetic calamity. The same goes for makeup. One minute you have a fully functioning makeup bag, and the next you have a stub that used to be an eyebrow pencil and a flaky wafer that used to be a bar of bronzer. How do these disparate products, all such different shapes and sizes, seem to run out at the same time? It’s truly one of life’s greatest mysteries and I don’t like it at all.
But here are some things I do like!
I’m sorry to say this, Katie Heaney, but I always thought Kevin was the hottest member of Backstreet Boys. I did not, however, realise he was like a billion years older than everyone else! How is he 47 and A.J. McLean is only 41??? Bonus fact: it’s wild but also sweet that all of the BBs are still on their first marriages.
“Man. Bitch, I need to hear this. I listen to my mixes every day, and I just get like, Fuck! Yes! I am excited about life!” LIZZO FOR PRESIDENT by Allison P Davis. And the photos by Pari Dukovic? ICONIC.
I’m not taking my annual springtime trip to my parents’ oasis in Florida this year, but that’s not going to stop me from buying this beautiful Baywatch red swimsuit and closing my eyes and daydreaming of sunshiny weather.
Amanda Mull wrote about influencer culture and how it normalises expensive beauty procedures, specifically veneers, and it’s really fascinating and also really sad.
I kinda brushed my friend Ed off when he recommended I watch Catwalk: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit about beautiful award-winning Canadian cats and their obsessive owners, but then I watched it and was TRANSFIXED. First, the amount of shit these cats let their owners do to them is mind-blowing. My cat wouldn’t put up with any of it. Second, the lifestyle required to support this hobby is almost as mysterious to me as my aforementioned beauty product mystery. Someone please make a follow-up documentary showing us how all these people make money. Thank you in advance.
Speaking of cats, I think I’m soon going to become one of those mad cat people and start making my own cat food. We’ve spoiled Le Chat with roast chicken and the odd scrap of bacon or steak and now when we try to feed her packets of cat food (even the fancy brands) she just looks at us and whines. Honestly, I can’t blame her, but making her food seems a bit daunting. Has anyone tried this before? Any tips are very welcome.
Photo taken in Provence in October 2017. We’re going back in June this year and I honestly can’t wait.
Catching up on Giles Peterson’s Radio 6 show and one of the books I haven’t quite finished, all while warding off scurvy.
I’ve been enthusiastic about a number of books that I’ve started the past few weeks, but I haven’t actually finished many of them. Like this one, The White Book, by Han Kang. My friend Ed lent it to me at the start of the year and I read the first half in a short sitting, so taken by Kang’s vignettes of foreignness, grief, family and imagined lives. I’m looking forward to curling up with it this weekend and reading to the end. With more grey skies and rain in the forecast, it feels like a perfect time to disappear into someone else’s world.
Staying up way too late and preemptively calling bullshit on every piece that will be published this year about productive people waking up at 4:30AM.
Also really excited to see Highasakite again at the end of the month with my Frenchie-bestie. 🖤
Hanna and I made* these cute little jam jars for the TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWells goodie bags this year. I guess you could say that helping clients share what they do is kinda our jam.
*lovingly hole-punched and rubber-banded each one
Today is TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWells, which means that the months of graft and hard work behind-the-scenes have finally come to fruition to create our 5th and most attended event yet. This is my second time playing a role on a TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWells committee, and my third live-tweeting the day (follow us at @TEDxRTW but pls don’t point out any spelling or grammatical errors because today is stressful enough already tyvm).
This is also the second TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWells event that I’ve helped sell out. Not to brag, but I’m pretty damn good at promoting events (and you can hire me to do that).
All that to say that I’ve been a little short on internet reading this week, so this round-up isn’t as expansive as it usually is. I’m sure you don’t care. And that’s fine. But here are some things that caught my eye:
I’m IN LOVE with these concrete basins/sinks made in the UK. But omgggggg whyyyyyy do companies like this never put prices on their websites?!?! I mean, I kinda get it, but a ballpark figure would be really nice.
I really want a Rose Apothecary sweatshirt but omg those international shipping fees? Ew, David.
As you can see from the photo above, I’m still on the celery juice train. Mostly because I’m insufferable, but also because I’m throwing all the spaghetti at the proverbial wall (is that a phrase?) and trying to see what sticks with getting rid of the eczema that’s decided to camp out on my eyelids and around my mouth. Ahhh stress! It’s a bitch. The Dream Cream from Lush also seems to be pulling its weight in the battle over my face’s wellbeing. And it smells wonderful too!
I’m so glad Dolly Alderton’s Love Stories podcast is back. Her interview with Stanley Tucci about love, food, and being an American in England is so wonderfully charming. I should probably buy his cookbooks, right?
Okay! That’s it! I’m gonna kick some serious ass at TEDxRoyalTunbridgeWells and then I’m going to take it really easy because this event is wonderful and emotional and completely draining all in equal parts and I’m gonna need some time to recover after. See you next week!
Today has been a pain but these waxflowers are sparking lotsa joy.
If I could have a super power, I’d want the ability to transfer my period pain to a deserving man of my choosing. Maybe not every month, I don’t want to be that cruel, but maybe, like, once every three months. Hell, I’d even settle for once a year.
I’d close my eyes and think of a man that wronged me. I’d think about hitting the bastard with the waves of nausea, the hollowing pain of the walls of my womb being scraped out like a Halloween pumpkin, and the agonising cold sweats that keep me from getting any real rest. I imagine the man suffering. Just as I do, month after month.
Just as so many of us do.
Remember the popcorn trees? Well, I’m happy to report that they’ve started blossoming. These pink snowberry blossoms made my heart so happy on our sunshiny walk in the countryside today. Here are some other things I liked a lot this week:
You can tell an American came up with this celery juice malarkey bc the daily recommendation of 16oz requires the juicing two (2) heads of celery and European Barbie refrigerators do not allow for that much celery stockpiling. But also: I’m totally buying into the woo-woo and am pretty sure celery juice helped clear up an eczema flare-up I had this week? 🤷🏻♀️
I’m absolutely obsessed with Schitt’s Creek. Read Richard Lawson in Vanity Fair talking about just how gosh-darn good the show is, read Alex Jung in Vulture recounting a shopping trip he took with Dan Levy + the sartorial choices Dan makes for the cast, aaaand listen to Dan Levy and Sam Sanders have a charming conversation. I love all of it.
I enjoyed Rachel Cusk in the NYT writing about driving, specifically driving in the UK. It makes me want to get my UK license even less than I did before. Which was already like basically zero.
Because it’s about to get very cold, I just wanted to tell you that these Falke socks are very good and very warm. Stay cozy out there, friends!
Very into silk scarves, German Pinot Noir and Michelle Obama’s Becoming rn.
If I’m being completely honest, I was afraid to read Becoming. I find most political memoirs to be heavy on incredibly bullshit-sounding anecdotes and the kind of aspiration quotes that your uncle who used to be a Marine likes to yell out in the middle of a junior high football games. “The difference between winning and losing is not quitting!” No thanks!
But Becoming isn’t like that at all. It’s an honest, moving, and incredibly thoughtful look at race, gentrification, opportunities (and who gets them), growing up, giving a shit, and love. I’ve teared up more times than I can count, so touched by how much she’s giving us in these pages. In many ways, Becoming reminds me of Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and I hope it has similar staying power on our cultural bookshelf because Michelle’s story is important, poignant, and well worth a read. I wish everyone would pick it up and read it.
All week I’ve been fixated on the idea of buying a new cookbook. Like I just need to be whisked away to somebody else’s organised kitchen and feel soothed by the fact that their right burner knob isn’t broken and that they know exactly what to do with sumac, a spice that I bought for an Ottolenghi recipe years ago and have neglected ever since. (Does it go bad?? what are we supposed to be doing with this???)
I studied book publishing in college*and remember a professor once explaining that cookbooks are like travel books, they transport readers to a different place while opening up a world of possibility and adventure. They’re practical, but they also let you get lost in the daydream of a better life, and right now, in the grey of January, I think what I’m really looking for is an escape. I want good natural light. I want fresh produce that’s been ripened by the sun. And I want all my meals to be as picture-perfect as the life I’m trying to bullet-journal into existence.
And even though I don’t need a new cookbook (I have so many already, many of which are still fairly new and disgracefully under-used) I want one, and have my eye on this one which is actually quite cheap! Perfect for a thrifty January. This next week, I just might buy it and escape from this grey world for a little while. And who knows, maybe Ella Risbridger will tell me what to do with the rest of that sumac.
Speaking of the ever-present grey, here are a few things that sparked my interest and/or made my week a little brighter!
This is the cutest typing test. And not to brag, but I can type 85 words a minute. 💁🏻♀️
I’m so on board with Anne T. Donahue coming out and speaking the truth: Chasing Liberty was a charming and perfectly entertaining movie. Plus it introduced little teenage me to Matthew Goode and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t had massive crushes on both him and Mandy Moore ever since. Sigh.
House plant? CHECK.
Pale pink walls? CHECK.
Insufferable Millennial home design? CHECK!
I really like this article on how recessions have shaped fashion and interior design.
I would also very much like to sit in the Pederson lounge chair.
LOL’d reading the reviews of the Wenger 16999 Swiss Army Knife Giant. Be sure to forward it along to your dad**. He’ll love it.
And lastly, so much of this piece on millennial burnout by Anne Helen Peterson hit home. This brilliant cartoon about the mental load women take on in relationships by Emma Clit is mentioned in it and should be required reading for everyone in a heterosexual relationship***. And this response to Peterson’s article by Tiana Clark about black burnout is very thought-provoking and important. What a time to be alive!!
And now, having shared that last one, I feel that the pre-amble to this post is absolutely a sign that I need to CLOSE THE COMPUTER, KATE and chill out before I burn out****. Bye!
*Guess how fun it was to graduate with that degree in 2009!
**And everyone else too.
***Could someone also send this to David? It’ll be better if it doesn’t come from me.
****Isn’t it so sadistic that this thing that I do for myself and for fun is like a mini job that I put on my to-do list each week? Hahaaaahhhhhh 😱
This photo isn’t from today, or even this week. It’s from a walk I took along the beachfront in St Leondards-on-Sea in October. My business partner was getting inked and, as babies aren’t allowed in tattoo parlours, I took her one year-old out in the pram to get some fresh sea air. While I walked, I looked at the little babe sleeping in front of me, her perfect cheeks jiggling as I wheeled over bumps, and I thought about how we’re never really ready for the things life throws at us. Starting a new business, makin’ a bebe, moving to a new country, etc etc etc. There’s no such thing as the perfect time and we’ll never be 100% ready. So just do it already!
Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
I only worked two days this week before stampeding right back into the warm embrace of the weekend like a 3 year-old running into her mother’s arms after the first day of pre-school. Or I guess they call it nursery here? Idk. I don’t have kids, I don’t know kid things. Anyway! These cold grey January weekends are kinda great. The weather practically forces you to stay indoors wearing wooly socks with a pile of books and a warm beverage beside you while you scroll endlessly on your phone. What a time to be alive! But seriously, I love it. And here are some other things that I loved this week:
Really loved Patricia Lockwood’s review of Rachel Cusk’s trilogy in the London Review of Books. (I too want to know why we have to know about Clif Bars!!) I’m now 2/3 of the way through the series and am getting so much pleasure from listening to (okay, reading) Cusk’s characters’ stories. I actually think it might be making me a better listener but I haven’t seen people much lately so I might just be making that up?
I can’t really think of an occasion where I’ll need to make a pig out of a lemon, but I also can’t think of an occasion where I won’t want a little lemon pig adorning the table. Lucky for me (and you, and all of us) Jacques Pépin has taught me (us!) how to make a lemon pig. Pls expect to see cutie-pie little lemon pigs when you next come to dine.
“People don’t understand the amount of studying and research that goes into greatness. But I absolutely understand it.” Rereading Beyoncé’s interview in The Gentlewoman from 2013, when she was just 31 and so damn fresh-faced. A great reminder to get your study on, hunny!
“We can look at an askew shower rail, or a bizarre slash of outlying supportive concrete, or some mildew, or a kitchen the size of an Amazon package, and go: hmm, bad. Crucially, the city's landlords and property developers do not have these traits, and so that is what divides Us from Them. They are slugs and we are falcons. We must peck them to death with our glorious beaks.” Joel Goelby’s London Rental Opportunity of the Week has long been one of my favourite columns on the internet. The first time a friend forwarded one to me, I was sitting at the bar in Smith & Wollensky on John Adams St., sipping a vodka martini and waiting for David to join me. By the time David got there, I had mascara running down my face and the bar staff was giving me a wide berth, so afraid of the hysterical woman sitting at the end of the bar. Anyway, I caught up on the column this week and belly laughed so many times. I recommend you do the same, especially if the London property market makes you want to cry.
So great to know that this old favourite/digital gem, Fuck You Very Much, is still alive and well on Tumblr. Not sure how much longer it’ll last, so clicky-clicky before it’s gone.
I love this series by photographer Josephine Sittenfeld, “Reunion”. I usually find then-and-now photo compositions like this a bit silly but these feel so genuine - like you know that Sittenfeld wasn’t asking the subjects to take up their former poses for instagram likes, but instead to show something true about the human experience, and I really like that. (Also omg little baby Ellie Kemper in her college photo!)
Aaaand lastly, If you’re a woman, you probably already know this, but, generally speaking, the medical community doesn’t give a shit about us. Or, as reproductive psychiatrist Catherine Birndorf puts it, “If men can’t get an erection, it’s a natural disaster…But very little is studied in women because of our reproductive capacity and because of patriarchy. We need to try to understand women better.” This article about the role estrogen may play in women with schizophrenia is fascinating and really fucking important, too. READ IT READ IT READ IT.