My wristwatch broke a few days ago, the hands frozen in a random high V. I’m inappropriately bummed about it! It took me a while to find a watch I liked, and this one—a mesh banded and metal mixed babe, silver and gold—goes with everything, looks classy af, and has basically become my sartorial security blanket.
A 32nd birthday gift for myself, the watch has factored into my daily routine for the past two and a half years. I put it on each morning and take it off each night… like, well, clockwork. Now it is a phantom accessory. I keep catching myself staring at my naked left wrist after absentmindedly pulling it up to check the time.
I’ve decided to take the watch to a repair shop rather than simply buying a new one. The former has proven an infinitely more complicated choice than the latter. (But really not complicated at all, dear reader. I’m just comparing the work involved in finding, reviewing, and connecting with a reputable repair shop versus, you know, clicking around Macys.com for a few hours. Hours I can no longer track with my darling watch! <cue first-world wounded howl>)
Beyond the feeling of style and consistency a wristwatch offers me, I love my arm candy because it helps me pick up my phone less. And no need to light up my computer screen to check the time and risk dicking around online for 15 minutes before I come to and realize I’m late for a meeting. Just as a for example.
So now, as I find a place to fix my cheap but cherished timepiece and wait for her to be returned to me in tick-tock shape (ha), I’m considering a purchase of a wall clock to achieve a similar kind of stylish analog present-mindedness effect. Here are nine I’m choosing between from my macro.baby shop on Society6 as I hand off my Skagen to the nice clock man with the glass eye and await my beloved’s return.
Cool wall clocks
// by macro.baby on Society6
Yes, kettles, as in tea kettles.
Whaaaat, you ask? Who am I, you ask?
As a longstanding diehard coffee consumer, I’ve been asking myself the same questions.
A few weeks ago—three tomorrow, to be exact—I wasn’t feeling very well. I had a coffee on my nightstand as I laid in bed, trying to nap off whatever bug was bringing me down. The smell of the coffee, though, kept waking me up and making me feel queasy.
I haven’t had a lick of it since.
Considering I quit drinking alcohol almost three years ago, I am still surprised at my ability to be surprised when I fully quit something that has been part of my everyday life for over a decade. But I was drinking five to six cups of the strongest coffee I could find a day, and now I’m… a tea drinker? It’s weird. Surprising. And weird.
There are several upsides, obviously, to cutting the extreme caffeine. I’m saving money not purchasing $4-a-pop pick-me-ups. My energy is way better, ironically enough. More consistent. Fewer crashes. Less dramatic energy surges and lethargic dips. I l-o-v-e that I don’t feel restless/ manic if I haven’t had my morning coffee. AND, best of all, the ritual of making tea is way more fun.
I’m not fancy. By ritual, I mean literally just boiling water. But it’s like when you’re 16 and learn to drive and get a $300 janky, old, dump-destined beater that is a straight-up diamond in your eyes because it represents freedom, delicious freedom.
That beater = boiled water for me right now. <insert heart eyes, hashtag EZ2PLZ>
Once I passed the two-week coffee-free threshold, Justin and I decided to get a new kettle for the house so I could boil water like a lady. (Technically we had one already but it was, well, a dump-destined beater that was ~16 years old itself.)
Here are some places I found awesome options, including a few unexpected locales. So many tea pots, so little time (and also counter space).
Travel the world from the comfort of your own stovetop. World Market’s options range from beautiful embossed cast iron kettles to marbled enamel numbers that would play perfectly in a white-cabinet kitchen.
The Etsy marketplace is often a go-to when I’m shopping for jewelry or décor, but I didn’t think of it right away for tea kettle shopping. Don’t make the same mistake. There are some really lovely options available, including punny pots like Mr. Tea, who pity the caffeine-fiending fool, and many vintage goodies, like this amazing Corningware cooker.
Yet another destination you might not consider right away, art museum shops often have a curated section of hip home goods. For example, The Art Institute of Chicago’s Museum Shop has a sparse but mighty selection, and MoMA has some seriously great stuff that will ensure your tea routine is a work of art. (PS. I bet your local bookstore also carries some tea related must-haves.)
Ah, good old Amazon. Fun options abound, though we ended up getting none of the above and, instead, going for function over style, purchasing an energy efficient electric kettle that can boil water in mere seconds.
Le sigh. It’s cool in a practical way, but I’ll be in the market for adorable mugs soon. This, friends, is what kitchen-based compromise and communication looks like.
Can you believe we’re almost one month deep into 2019? I’ve commenced Hibernation Mode throughout most of it, which you could have probably guessed given the following “stay inside under lots of covers” nature of the following obsessions that have been consuming my January.
Apartment Therapy’s January Cure
Ya’ll been Kondo-ing like it’s a verb. I’ve been doing something similar. The website Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is a program that breaks down the often overwhelming act of cleaning your place into daily assignments—curing cabin fever and pack rat-ism in one swift swipe of the dust cloth. With assignments like #9 (do a bathroom cabinet cleanout) and #18 (clean the floors and treat yourself to flowers), this is a to-do list I can get behind.
Some of the key projects Justin and I tackled this month: organizing and purging all of our office and art supply cabinets, upgrading our cleaning equipment like the vacuum cleaner and even our guest towels, and sprucing up one room with a few new décor elements. We got a new grid patterned shower curtain from Amazon that we both love and a black and white nude sketch from Etsy that we framed and hung above the towel rack. Racks on racks.
This TED Talk
Therapist Mandy Saligari so wonderfully explains emotional habits that begin forming when we are children—why they happen and what we can do to conquer the unhealthy ones as adults. For a talk about emotion, her logic is surprisingly the most moving part of the whole thing. This one’s worth a listen.
Two new podcasts by writers
Writer Mike Ingram’s new podcast Day Jobs features interviews with artists who are trying to make art while making a living. Though he’s only three interviews/ episodes deep, I enjoy the tips the interviewees offer for how they get creative work done during their day job (ie. a construction worker writes on his phone during a lunch break). It’s realistic and inspiring to hear their stories.
U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith’s podcast The Slow Down is produced in partnership with the Library of Congress and the Poetry Foundation. Regardless of how you feel about the rise of the Insta-poet, I’m all for the growing power of poetry and the myriad ways poetry has become more accessible to the general public in recent years. An Insta-poet Smith is certainly not; she’s brilliant and The Slow Down’s short five-minute episodes—described as “a different way to see the world, through poetry”—have been a welcome meditative addition to my mornings.
Twitter’s #SundaySentence challenge
This Chicago Public Library branch that opened LITERALLY WITHIN A BLOCK FROM MY APARTMENT (!!!!)
“How To Become A Writer”
You gotta read this essay by Lorrie Moore.
Pick Up Limes recipe videos
This blog is run by a dietician who lives in the Netherlands. She’s named Sadia and she’s beautiful. Her voice is beautiful. Her blog is beautiful. Her food is beautiful. Her personality is beautiful… ah, le sigh.
I’ve been watching her YouTube channel’s recipe videos. They make cooking and eating vegan food not seem so terribly challenging. I’m a wannabe-veg, so I’ve been sprinkling her recipes throughout my occasional carnivore eats. One of my favorites right now is the Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie Bowl (that’s my beautiful re-creation of it at the top of this blog post), and I’ve been putting my own spin on the Mushroom and Lentil Tacos with Creamy Garlic Avocado Sauce.
Until a few weeks ago, “New Amsterdam” was just a TV show that starred the man I know and love as Tom Keen from The Blacklist. Turns out he has a real name (actor Ryan Eggold), AND that he is also an excellent Dr. Max Goodwin, the good-hearted renegade medical director of New Amsterdam Hospital. If you’re hibernating and need an entertaining, feel-good watch, hit up this mind-numbing show that I’ve been binge-watching on Hulu.
Last Sunday, Justin and I grabbed brunch at B’el Bar & Kitchen on the corner of Belmont and Elston. (The crispy hash browns and pressed coffee are da voom.)
When we were leaving, the bartender slid-chased us down the icy sidewalk. I’d forgotten my fuzzy earmuffs on the back of my chair and he had braved the cold to get them back to me. A good man. Nay, a saint.
I thanked him profusely, said a little thank you prayer that we always leave generous tips even if the servers are shitty (this guy was great), and then realized… I would have been OK with leaving behind these muffs—a Walgreen’s “winter section” desperation buy. That’s a sure sign I need/ want a new pair.
I prefer earmuffs because they don’t nightmare my hair. Going bare-eared turns my earrings into icicles. Infinity hats leave me with an unsightly coif crease. Hat hats (ie. beanies) make me look like that lady from Dilbert.
Online shopping I went. I found a lot of cute options made from a variety of luxe materials. I like the poofy, bombastic ones best, but, depending on the material, your ears can be as coy or as loud as you like. Regardless, they’ll be warm. And that’s the real reason for the season.
I know the saying goes:
“If these walls could talk!”
But what about all the old phones?
And if being a fly on the wall was an option…
I’d rather be a spider.
During the holidays, I love to send Christmas cards to my family. Immediate family only because, like a wedding guest list or an AIM friend list mid-growth spurt, holiday card rosters can fill up quickly if boundaries aren’t put firmly in place.
But I’m always left scrambling to find their addresses. Yes, addresses I’ve sent postcards and photos and newspaper clippings to a million times. Grrr. Why don’t I ever save them? It’s the same routine: Search, sweat, ask, receive, praise be, write, mail, move on to other shiny things, repeat in two months.
It seems rude at this point to keep asking my grandparents and siblings for their A/S/L (address, street, location) when they haven’t moved in years.
I refuse to load the addresses into my phone, which would be the smartest thing to do, but that just feels so cold and impersonal. Instead, I want to be the kind of woman with an address book. Because that feels like it would be lovely.
Oh, now, don’t be so surprised at my motives.
I am, after all, a Pisces.
This one feels almost right:
I like this one, too:
Well, this is just fun:
Ah, found it. This… is the one:
Reader, I bought it.