Newsletter Archive

Covid diaries, climate bright spots, and the frozen cocktail we all need

Hi there,

So, we got Covid. Thankfully, it was mild, though persistent. Rob was our patient zero and the rest of us got it shortly after — though it took us a full 14 days to all test negative again. And while there were many stir-crazy and anxiety-filled moments during our quarantine, there were plenty of bright spots as well. We were extremely fortunate to have manageable symptoms, flexible work schedules, and plenty of support. Our friends Emily and John dropped off farmer’s market treats, my dad read to Lilly every day, and we got multiple shipments of ice cream (thanks, Annie and Kristen!). And, amazingly, we were able to borrow a friend’s house in Montauk for a few days for space and access to water. 

As we reenter the world, I’m trying to maintain a little of the space we had when we do all our crazy running around. That means being more deliberate in what I schedule, not filling up every waking hour, and being more comfortable staying in place. And since I assume I have a short period of immunity, I’m hoping to do some group fitness classes and luxuriate in grocery shopping sans mask — at least for a month or so! 

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Feeling ok and not ok + a big birthday, Gen Z explainers, and SPF for all ages

Hi there,

I’ve been thinking about feeling ok and not ok at the same time. As in: Lilly turns five tomorrow and I’m full of awe and love for this sparkly, weird, curious human. As in: 19 children from Uvalde, all undoubtedly sparkly and curious themselves, won’t see another birthday — not to mention the victims of mass shootings in BuffaloPhiladelphiaTulsa, and more.

I was talking to my friend Elana about this and she pointed out that these things are not in tension. “We cannot serve, be kind, be activists, be marching, be donating if we let ourselves get completely emotionally and physically depleted.” She pointed to this amazing fanzine as an example — created to help young activists maintain wellness and mental health.

It’s our job to continue to be angry, sad, and sickened. To do whatever we can, whether it’s donating to Everytown or sending a message to your senator, calling elected officials, or focusing on down-ballot candidates who have the opportunity to enact change at the local and state level — not just on gun rights but abortion, gender-affirming healthcare, and more. 

It’s also our job to take care of ourselves, in whatever ways feel right. Last weekend, we went to Coney Island to celebrate our dear friend Caleb’s 5th birthday. It was was a perfect blue sky day and kids ran gleefully from ride to ride. I didn’t worry about anything besides sunburn, I didn’t check Twitter, I smiled so hard it hurt. We need those times as much as we need the moments of private or collective grief and anger. 

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Why abortion isn’t a women’s issue and what we can do now + a beautiful take on grief, date-sweetened chocolate, and flavor flours

Hi there,

I wrote this newsletter on Monday, right before I got the news about the draft (emphasis on draft: abortions are still very much legal) SCOTUS opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. Over the past few days, I have been processing what this means, not just for reproductive rights but for all the rights that are connected to Roe. I have been thinking about what it means to raise kids in a country that is trying to take agency — over their bodies, over who they marry, over how they conduct themselves in the home — away from them. We’re not moving to Canada but I’m not going to say that thought hasn’t crossed my mind. 

And so, assuming we aren’t fleeing, the next step is understanding what is happening and what I/we can do about it. My original May recommendations are below, and I hope you find them helpful. But first, I’d like to share some resources that I have found useful in thinking about where to put my energy, resources, and anger/sadness. 

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The messy middle, a new way to tahini, and the easiest way to get kids out of the bathtub

Hi there,

It’s raining in New York today. On the walk to school, Lilly and I were talking about how plants need water to grow. “Oh! So tomorrow there will be soooo many flowers?,” she said, splashing through yet another puddle. Reframing the situation through the eyes of an almost 5-year-old was the nudge I needed to shake off my own black cloud of a morning.  I wrapped up my consulting projects a couple weeks ago to take time to find my next role. After a period of brief euphoria (talking to people! no Slacks!), I’ve hit the stage of second-guessing myself and feeling anxiety about NEVER FIGURING IT OUT. This is not unsurprising or unfamiliar — I’ve been here before, after leaving jobs, coming back from parental leave, ramping down/ramping up consulting. Despite all this, it hasn’t gotten easier. I also know I’m not alone. I have also been reconnecting with friends and people in my network who are in their own exploratory phases. I’ve yet to meet anyone who enjoys what my friend Becca calls the “messy middle.” Most people like answers, and it’s easier to rally around beginnings and endings.

Continue reading “The messy middle, a new way to tahini, and the easiest way to get kids out of the bathtub”

Transition time, oyster delivery, and late-in-the-game retinols

Hi there,

This weekend is the vernal, or spring, equinox. I know this because Rob forwarded me the latest newsletter from The Fermentation School, a very cool organization run by women fermentation experts. I have no idea how he ended up on their mailing list but their emails are delightful. The most recent dispatch reminds us that the equinox is when there are equal amounts of light in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. It’s a moment of transition between seasons, and, incidentally, a great time to take up a fermentation project. While Rob is our resident fermentation expert (he makes an excellent version of Sqirl’s Lacto-Fermented Hot Sauce), I am definitely the expert on transition. 

And I do feel the shift. Things are changing. (Not the news — that is still so catastrophically bad. So much to be sad and upset about.) But the bulbs that my dad planted last year have sprouted green stalks, friends are gathering without texting negative Covid tests, and we’re planned our first big plane trip for this summer. The kids feel the shift too, and with them it comes through in maniacal joy and giddiness.

It’s time to shed something, even if it’s just a few layers, and move forward. I’m ready and excited for a new phase. 

Continue reading “Transition time, oyster delivery, and late-in-the-game retinols”

Geriatric millennial musts, sporty-cute swim gear, and the startup I wish had existed when I had babies

Hi there,

This month began with Lunar New Year, a welcome reset after a rocky January — culminating with, of all things, frozen pipes and a stomach bug. So far, the Year of the Water Tiger has been treating us well, even as the world feels increasingly scary (Russia invading Ukraine this morning being the latest nightmare).

Rob and I took our first flight in two years and it was blissfully normal. We watched a Bond movie, ate some nuts, got dehydrated. Positively 2019. We spent a whirlwind 48 hours in Miami, visiting my favorite spots from growing up, mainlining strong-and-sweet Cuban coffee, and soaking up Vitamin D. I even learned how to make a reel, just in time for my 39th birthday (next week!).

And yet, despite thinking February would be my time to pick my head up and be able to think clearly, I still feel very much in it. I’m not sure what it even is anymore. I think the truth is I can’t wait for that moment anymore. It’s up to me to force the space to think and plan and plot and do all the things that will make me feel like I’m progressing, not just maintaining.

Continue reading “Geriatric millennial musts, sporty-cute swim gear, and the startup I wish had existed when I had babies”

Lists! Plus the skin-sloughing bar we can all use, easy-peasy eyeliner, and truly toasty socks

Hi there,

What is there to say about 2022? We’re here, and we’re doing the damn thing. Every day that the kids are in school feels like a miracle and a gift; same with each time the sun comes out (11 degree temps notwithstanding). Our days are both long and short, and punctuated by frequent Encanto dance parties (Finn’s favorite song is “Surface Pressure,” also known as “Donkeys!!!!!”). I love our little chaos factory but am also already intimidated by the  between here and warmer, brighter days. 

My friend Melanie introduced me to Youngna Park, who has a wonderful, highly relatable newsletter filled with kid and grown up recs. Her latest, “20 Things Getting Us Through January,” is exactly where I am: What is the universe of fun, delicious, and entertaining things that will distract us from the fatigue of another pandemic winter? 

Continue reading “Lists! Plus the skin-sloughing bar we can all use, easy-peasy eyeliner, and truly toasty socks”

Haven’t we been here before, the cookies must go on, and small brands to gift year-round

Hi there,

Over the last 48 hours, the world has shifted. Originally, I was going to write a quick newsletter with a mix of belated gift ideas and festive recipes. And I’ll still share those. But I know I’m not alone in feeling shades of March 2020. My texts are full of some variation of: WTF, so exhausted, confirmed exposure, hunkering down. It’s not the way that I expected this month and year to end but maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised. As Ed Yong writes, we’ve repeatedly shown that we are unprepared for this pandemic, in all its forms (note: skip this article if you’re already overwhelmed).

So what is there to do? We’re dialing back our plans, keeping the kids out of school, and testing on repeat so we can travel to Maine safely. We’re also continuing to optimize within the now-shrinking boundaries. Our kid cookie party will now be outside and distanced, with individual decorating stations, and we’ll be streaming Big Band Holidays at home, a redux to last year. We’ll do our best to be safe, and keep our news intake at a moderate level. 

Continue reading “Haven’t we been here before, the cookies must go on, and small brands to gift year-round”

Gratitude! Plus weeknight cooking inspiration and the daily seaweed bite you didn’t know you needed

Hi there,

Back in March 2020, I started a gratitude journal. Inspired by my friend Dawn (more on her below), I’d log the day’s small victories every evening before bed. In early pandemic days, these were very small wins indeed. Now I’m on my fifth notebook and the habit keeps me grounded even when things feel aswirl.

Things have definitely been swirly recently, with nonstop kid illnesses (nothing serious), looking for progress amid the stop-start, up-down nature of consulting, and processing the shift toward a post-pandemic life filled with boosters, rapid tests, and calculated risks. Through all this, I’ve been extremely thankful for all the good listeners in my life and for the daily joys that I scribble down in my journal. On today’s list: Finn standing on the arms of our chair like a pirate and yelling “Garbage truck! Garbage TRUCKKKKK!” A walking meeting that was energy-giving and netted me 10,000 steps. Carving out time to write this little newsletter. 

And so, gratitude! Lots of it. I’m also taking notes from my friend Gina’s Month of Gratitude, especially her tips on how to show yourself some thanks.  

Continue reading “Gratitude! Plus weeknight cooking inspiration and the daily seaweed bite you didn’t know you needed”

Buddy system, pumpkin spice alternatives, and a pandemic kid book worth crying through

Hi there,

Earlier today, my friend Becca and I cohosted a workshop on brand and consumer insights (reply if you’d like the replay link!). It was so fun and reminded me how amazing it is to work with people you know and trust, and who complement your skills and expertise. This might sound obvious but it’s something I’ve been missing lately in my professional life. I am lucky to get to connect and work with super smart founders and companies all the time but it’s usually just me on my side, which gets lonely and makes it easy to second guess myself. That’s why, as part of my ongoing optimization drive, I’m aiming to team up with friends to work on projects together. Buddy system, right? 

On the kid front, we’re somehow weeks out from Halloween and I’m very grateful for the Primary Costume Concierge service, who is helping fulfill Lilly’s dream: “I want to be Rey on the top and Princess Leia on the bottom. And Finn will be BB8.” If you’re in a pinch, I highly recommend browsing their easy DIY ideas; that’s how we came up with our Cookie Monster and Princess Poppy of years past. And, if you’re wondering, Rob is going to be “Luke when he gets old” and I’m going to be Queen Amidala. 

Continue reading “Buddy system, pumpkin spice alternatives, and a pandemic kid book worth crying through”