2. I will read anything Virginia Sole-Smith writes about foot and diet culture, and this newsletter about processed foods unpacked a lot of baggage I didn’t even realize I had:
When we read about how “ultra-processed foods” are formulated specifically to “hook” us with their heightened levels of salt, sugar and fat, we almost never hear about this piece of it. Yes, these foods are designed to taste very, very good. But your emotional relationship to that food is much more about access and permission than it is about flavor. This is even true of all those rats in the studies that show sugar acts like cocaine on their brains: It only has that impact after they starve the rats. […] All of this makes sense because sugar is not cocaine or heroin. Glucose, like water, is a substance critical to our survival. You can’t be addicted to water, but you sure want to drink a lot of it if you go awhile without any.
3. Fashion trends of the past: The Peculiar Flapper Fad of Rouged and Decorated Knees
That’s the latest Instagram roundup. First the art–
More from Crocodile Jackson:
And for the therapy– this one hits hard (just found the From The Fainting Couch account and it’s pretty great):
This is hilarious every single time I watch it (sound on):
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I don’t really review anything other than fabric and patterns, but there are a few things I bought recently that unequivocally make my life better. Maybe they’ll make your life better, too?
1. Coway Airmega 1512 Air Purifier
We bought this early in the summer to deal with wildfire smoke. It’s the recommended air purifier from The Wirecutter; it was also highly recommended by friends. Everyone is right here–the first one we bought for the bedroom/top floor helped with my allergies so much, we got another one for the main floor. I wake up so much less stuffy now and it makes cooking odors just disappear. And it handles wildfire smoke like a champ. (Sold out at Coway but you can find them at Am*zon, W*lmart, or Bed, Bath & Beyond.)
I bought this on a whim to get free shipping from YesStyle, which is kind of like playing beauty roulette, but I won big: This is the best hand cream I’ve ever used. There’s no fragrance and it’s not greasy, not even a little bit. It magically makes your tired old crone hands look plump and even. The medication in it (an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, according to a friend) helps all your little scrapes and hangnails heal amazingly fast. And it’s $10 for a big tub. (Looks to be temporarily sold out at YesStyle, but you can find it on eBay or Am*zon.)
I’ve been working from home for 18 months now and I don’t think I’ve used my actual office in about a year. I blame Toby, who wants company while he sleeps on the couch, but I’ve also found I like moving my workspace throughout the day. The laptop stand that sits on my desk felt too hard to tote around, so I found a folding one that attaches to the laptop itself. Amazing! Raising the laptop even a little bit really helps with my posture and it’s so convenient to have it “built in.” Your spine will thank you. (Buy direct from Moft or from Am*zon, if you must.)
We finished the last of the construction in the bathroom Saturday–but I did decide to paint an accent wall after all, so it’s not 100% done yet. (But wow is it nice! Like being in a hotel every day!)
But I took a break from remodeling and just sewed all day Sunday and it was lovely. I’m working on the gray zip hoodie and it’s not as boring as I thought, mostly because Jalie patterns ask for so much detail:
Welt pockets! Topstitching! If you ever wonder why you need a cover stitch machine, just sew a Jalie pattern and it’ll pay for itself.
My big brother is 45 today! (But you wouldn’t know it to look at him–he got our dad’s “don’t show your age” genes [I did not].)
I’m so proud of him for holding it together for the pandemic and homeschooling Skyler for a full year. I didn’t realize what a toll that was taking until Skyler started school this year, and the difference in both my brother’s and my nephew’s happiness is obvious. Alan made a hard choice to keep his kid safe; he committed to it; and he did it well, even though every day must have been a struggle.
That kind of sums him up: He commits to something and he does it no matter what, whether that’s being married or feeding his family or helping his neighbors. He’s so generous with his time and good at so many things–a true polymath with an engineer’s brain.
I know Mom would be proud of him and how he’s handled a hard few years, and we are too. Happy birthday, Alan! I love you.
1. This was a fascinating read about the history of women brewers (and how that history got erased, of course): Women used to dominate the beer industry – until the witch accusations started pouring in
2. Love to learn about etymology:
3. This is your reminder to channel that Peggy Olson energy today (and every day):
Last fall I saved an outfit from Australian brand Gorman, which features wonderful bright prints and very expensive items and shipping:
I was just getting into matching sets for WFH Winter (I made a few; they never got blogged) and that bright print and contrast ribbing stuck with me. Fast forward a year and I found some tropical French terry and contrast rib from Jumping June Textiles and it call came together:
I don’t think this will end up being a “look for less”–that European fabric is $$, but it also won’t pill after three wears like the cheap blends I used last year. I have a zip hoodie and some throw pillows in line ahead of this but soon I’ll have my bright set!