5 Random Things: August

August is flying by so quickly that I almost forgot my favorite post of the month! But here we are with a few days to spare. Phew… As the summer winds down, I’m trying to spend my time focusing on enjoying every last drop and trying to not think too much about the fact that fall/winter/the election/flu season are quickly approaching.

Amalia goes back to daycare full-time later this week which I’m both excited and nervous for but her school has put almost overwhelming precautions into place and we’ll be taking things day by day which is all that anyone can do at this point I think.

One of the most exciting updates of my month was that I had a call with the Biden campaign to talk about how I can help by using my voice. I learned that his campaign staff is incredibly smart and thinking outside of the box which gives me hope for November.

The other thing I’m very proud to finally share is that I’ve been working with TEAM Westport and a very open-minded member of the Westport Planning & Zoning committee along with some incredible local high school graduates to throw an event later this week (live tickets are sold out but you can still join streaming) about why our town is so white (it’s not an accident) and what you can do about it. It will not only be incredibly informative, but you’ll leave with action steps that you can take to make a difference.

The two main topics that will be covered are affordable housing and racism in our schools. For anyone local who is reading this, I hope you will join us either in-person or streaming.

What I’m reading and watching

Books – I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austen Channing Brown: I finished this memoir in 3 nights and could not put it down which is rare for me with non-fiction. It was short but incredibly impactful. The author shares her story of growing up and working as a Black woman in a career that has been predominantly white. What I loved about it was that she shares her personal experiences in a beautifully raw way.

This quote sums up a lot of what she discusses:

“If Black people are dying in the street, we must consult with white feelings before naming the evils of police brutality. If white family members are being racist, we must take Grandpa’s feelings into account before we proclaim our objections to such speech. If an organization’s policies are discriminatory and harmful, that can only be corrected if we can ensure white people won’t feel bad about the change. White fragility protects whiteness and forces Black people to fend for themselves.”

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: I’m halfway through this novel and while it’s not a page-turner and can be slow at times, it’s overall a great book with incredible character development and has taught me even more about race in our country through the eyes of an African immigrant. It also has a beautiful love story which is never a bad thing, IMO. Americanah is the story of a woman, Ifemelu, who leaves her home in Nigeria to study in the United States and her ex-boyfriend, Obinze who leaves for London to start a new life as well.

TV Shows Ted Lasso: Anel and I were looking for something light and funny and binged the entire first season of Ted Lasso in a night. It’s short, sweet, and heartwarming… And I love Jason Sudeikis even more now as if that were even possible. He plays Ted Lasso, an American football coach who is hired to coach a soccer team in the UK despite the fact that he knows almost nothing about soccer. While it’s (somewhat) predictable, it will make you smile and laugh. And that’s something I think we could all use right now.

Documentary Boys State (Apple+): Although I haven’t finished it yet, Boys State is a very entertaining Apple documentary that follows a group of 1000 high school boys in Texas as they hold a weeklong state government simulation. I had no idea but this event happens yearly in every state and yes they have one for girls as well. The cameras follow 4 boys in particular who are charismatic, outspoken, and, well, politicians at a very young age.

5 Things I’m Loving

1. Work from home playlist: I love listening to music but always have a hard time focusing on work (unless it’s mindless) with music playing so I often work in total silence. But then Headspace made John Legend their “Chief Music Officer” and shared a playlist he created specifically to help you focus and it’s pure gold. I also love their  Lo-Fi Times focus playlist which simultaneously calms me and keeps me motivated. Headspace has an entire focus section that they specifically created for those of us working from home and while I haven’t explored all of it, the playlists have been really helpful.

On another Headspace note, I tried the Goodnight Body with Elmo meditation (3 mins) with Amalia the other night and it really helped her calm down before bed.

Transparency note: I worked with Headspace on a collaboration at the beginning of the year but my contract with them has ended. I still love, use and support the app!

2. Native Union weighted phone charger: I bought this phone charger as a stocking stuffer for Anel a few years ago and always put it on my gift guide for men. But when my phone charger kept slipping behind the nightstand, I finally bought one for myself. It’s nice and long and the weighted knot keeps it in place so you don’t have to bend down and fish around for your charger on the ground. It’s the little things these days, I tell ya.

3. Tuckernuck tiered striped dress: I bought this dress (pictured above) to wear to my sister’s upcoming socially distanced baby shower and couldn’t resist wearing it before the event. It is perfection. I’m pretty sure I’m going to copy this entire look for the shower with my pink espadrilles and these raffia earrings that I found on Amazon for $10.

Someone told me I looked like a coastal ballerina in this photo and it was just about the best compliment I’ve ever received.

4. Our new nightstands: I have definitely overshared these on my IG stories but I’m head over heels for our new nightstands. If you remember, we’re in the process of decorating our bedroom and the nightstands were the first thing to arrive. My friend and designer, Dana, found these beautiful oak dressers from the One Kings Lane x Bed Bath and Beyond collection that she thought would look great as oversized nightstands. She wasn’t wrong! They’re not my usual style but I just adore them. I got a lot of questions about quality when I first posted them and I’ll say again that I’m truly impressed.

If you like the style, but want something smaller, the same collection features actual nightstands that are also very pretty.

5. Olive & June nail kit: My friend Ailsa sent me their Studio Box when she saw me hemming and hawing over getting a manicure on my IG stories. I’ve never been able to successfully give myself an at-home many until this kit. The whole set up start to finish is great but the MVP is the Poppy which can be attached to any nail polish bottle to make painting your nails 10x easier. CCT is my personal favorite shade of polish from Olive & June. It’s similar to Essie Ballet Slippers which has been my go-to for as long as I can remember.

What is one thing you’re loving this month?

Photo by Julia Dags.

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