Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas


Just popping in to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I hope that you all enjoy this day, whether you're spending time with your friends and family, or going to see a movie, or just staying home and staying warm.

I'm going to take the rest of 2018 off to really enjoy the time with my friends and family, and I'll be back in 2019 to ring in the new year with you!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Traditions

Merry Christmas Eve! I've been having the best, most relaxing last few days before Christmas. I've done some visiting with friends and some last-minute shopping (which is my standard - I always work best with a deadline!), but mostly I've been hanging out and relaxing. I know that I really needed this time, and it feels so good. I've been trying to work on so many different projects at once, and it's been taking a bit of a toll on me. So this time has been amazing.

I've also been taking part in some of my Christmas traditions! I don't know if you guys have any traditions that you do every year around the holidays, but my family definitely does. Some of them are more "real," and others have been turned into a little bit of a joke, but we continue to do them regardless.
ONE - Christmas Movie Watching
I know - this is a tradition shared by many, many people. Some of our favorites are Elf, White Christmas, The Santa Clause, Miracle on 34th Street, and It's a Wonderful Life. I like to watch with a nice warm hot chocolate, and plenty of mini marshmallows.

TWO - Family Shopping Trip
Every year, my mom, my dad, my sister and I all go out to the mall to buy Christmas gifts. As we've gotten older, the trip has gotten pushed later and later and closer to Christmas, which makes the mall a little bit crazier, but we survive. Sometimes I buy more things for me than for other people, but I still get things done! And we always finish off the night with dinner at either Cheesecake Factory of California Pizza Kitchen.

THREE - Seeing a Move
We always try to see one movie over the Christmas "break" as a family. Sometimes it's a Harry Potter or Star Wars movie - this year I'm hoping that it's Mary Poppins Returns. Sometimes we go out to dinner afterwards, and sometimes we eat too much popcorn during the movie and the thought of another meal makes us sick!

FOUR - Christmas Eve Mass
For as long as I can remember, we've always gone to Christmas mass on Christmas Eve. The time we've gone has changed - and recently I've instituted my own tradition of a blowout at Drybar before mass! - but it's always been Christmas Eve. When I was younger, my dad would read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to us after we got home, too.

FIVE - Snoopy and the Red Baron
This one is a tradition that my dad started when we were younger, but it stuck and continues to this day. Every Christmas morning, before we can come downstairs to start opening  presents, he has to play (very loudly) "Snoopy and the Red Baron" by The Royal Guardsmen (you can listen here). You've probably never heard it (even though my dad claims that it's a classic), but it is a really fun and catchy song.

SIX - Day after Christmas Family Gathering
When I was young, we'd always go to my grandparents house on Christmas Day. But after my grandparents passed away, and my cousins started having kids of their own, it was harder to get everyone together on Christmas. So now, the big holiday gathering is held the day after Christmas. Some of the holiday stress is over, so it's more relaxed, and everyone has a great time seeing each other and spending time together.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Friday Favorites

I probably say this too often, but - what a week! I'm off from now until after New Year's, which is great, but also means that this week was really busy at work getting things wrapped up. Plus, I accidentally spilled water on my laptop at the beginning of the week, and it had to be sent out to be repaired - I probably won't get it back for another two weeks, which feels like SO LONG! Luckily, my sister had an extra laptop she wasn't using (thanks, Jess!), but it's still not "mine" and it just makes everything a little bit more complicated.

I am really looking forward to this time off, though! I have some fun get-togethers planned with friends and family, but I'm also looking forward to having some time to just RELAX! I hope that you all get to do some of that, too.
Read on to find out my favorites from this week.

ONE - To All the Boys sequel
If you're anything like me, you've watched To All the Boys I've Loved Before at least once on Netflix, if not multiple times! This week they announced that the sequel is officially happening, and I am officially excited.

TWO - The joy of "Schitt's Creek"
If you haven't seen "Schitt's Creek" yet, you definitely need to watch. It is hilarious and delightful and cheery and every other positive adjective you can think of. This article is a really fun look at the show and the culture behind it.

THREE - The Final #Hamildrop
How could I not share?! I'm so sad that these are coming to an end - it's been such a fun thing to look forward to each month. How many other musicals have remixes where former presidents appear? It's just crazy! Plus, hearing Christopher Jackson sing this song is just truly so incredible.

FOUR - Best Movie List
I love end-of-year lists, so here's one of them - the best movies of 2018. I have not seen all of the movies on this list, but hopefully I'll get to rent one of two of them over my break. Let me know what you think the best movie of the year was!

FIVE - First pictures from the live-action Aladdin
I'm so excited for all of the new Disney movies that are coming out in the next year or so - the "live action" Lion King, and then this! Check out the pictures to see a first look at how the cartoon is coming to life.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Winter Wonderland

If you've ready anything I've ever written here, there's a good chance you know that I don't like winter. It's cold, it's hard for me to get around, and I end up stuck inside for hours on end. But... sometimes it is pretty. I'll give it that. Decorations are out in full force right now, and there's nothing that will put you more in the holiday spirit than looking at a gorgeously decorated tree, or a bright and shining light display.

Sometimes I get called a bit of a grinch... I'm not one to start watching Christmas movies or listen to Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving. It's just not my thing, and it never will be! But I do always enjoy getting together with family and friends. So my favorite things to do in winter are things to experience with my favorite people.

So if you're looking for something to do in Pittsburgh right now, here are my suggestions.
ONE - CARNEGIE MUSEUM
I went here earlier this month for a holiday after-hours event, and the Hall of Architecture had been turned into a winter wonderland. The room was filled with six giant Christmas trees, each decorated with a different theme. This one was my favorite - though I won't lie, I don't exactly know what the theme is supposed to be. They also have an elaborate Nativity scene on display (or, technically, a presipio, according to the plaque). And once you've had your fill of decorations, you can browse the rest of the amazing museum. Before or after, stop at the Cafe Carnegie for a bite to eat or a a really delicious cappuccino.

TWO - WARM UP IN AN IGLOO
I am so excited about this one - it's new this year! Coffee Tree Roasters in Bakery Square has a few "igloos" set up so that customers can enjoy their coffee (or hot chocolate) outside in their own personal igloo bubble. I could not wait to check this out, and am now definitely a fan. It combines some of my favorite things... coffee, and not having to talk to strangers!

THREE - PHIPPS
I pass by Phipps almost every evening on my way home from work, and even from the car you can tell that their holiday light display is stunning. They really go all out, and it is completely worth it. If you're planning to go, make sure you go online and buy your timed ticket entry ahead of time - the closer it gets to the holidays, the more and more crowded it gets!

FOUR - ICE SKATING
This one isn't on my personal winter list - wheels don't get great traction on ice - but I know lots of people love it. It may not be Central Park, but ice skating in Schenley Park is very popular and almost certainly less crowded. And if you're looking for something a bit closer to shopping and restaurants, go downtown to PPG. When you're done skating, you can walk to Market Square and do some shopping at the Holiday Market booths.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Consider It: The ADA

Normally, this would be something that I'd mention in passing in a Friday Favorites post, since it's based on a video, but there are too many things I want to say about it, and I think that it deserves it's own post.

A while ago, I wrote about the Divided States of Women (here) - a show created by Liz Plank where each episode addressed a different topic facing women at the time. She's back now with another show - Consider It. This time, she and her co-host, political consultant Shermichael Singleton, discuss issues dividing the nation.
I've always loved that Liz includes disability rights along with all of the other topics she covers. It sounds obvious, but disability issues are still often not covered or considered along with other human rights/equality issues. In the most recent episode of the show, the topic they consider is the Americans with Disabilities Act, and whether it's still effective.

I also love that no matter what topic Liz is covering, she makes sure to include people actually affected by the issue in her conversation. So in the episode about the ADA, Liz starts out by talking to Emily Ladau, a well-known disability activist.

Emily made SO MANY points in this episode that mirrored my exact thoughts. I kept nodding at the screen and saying "Yes! Exactly!" If anyone had seen me, I'm sure they would have been so confused. Emily talked about how the ADA didn't have "enough teeth" - there is no one to enforce it. Liz made maybe my favorite analogy ever, comparing it to decaf coffee - "it tastes good, but then what?" They talked about how great it would be to be able to just go out without having to plan every step of the process ahead of time, and the stigma around disability to society and the weird things that people say to Emily when she's out and about.

Later on, actor/comedian/activist Maysoon Zayid joins the conversation, and talks about how it's absurd that all of the responsibility of the ADA is placed on the person with a disability. They also talk about the lawsuits that are sometimes filed against inaccessible businesses, and how sometimes, many are filed by the same person. And here, Maysoon makes one of the arguments that I make all the time - just because they were filed by one person doesn't make them any less valid. She goes on to say that if she had the time, she'd do the same thing - go to every place she might ever want to live/work/visit and sue them if they weren't accessible. This may sound harsh, but you have to remember - the ADA has been around for over 20 years. It's federal law! Places that remain inaccessible are choosing to ignore the law, and are telling people with disabilities that they don't matter.

The episode is really well done, and I highly recommend that you check it out. You can watch the ADA episode here.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Celebrating the Season

Now that my final is over and the semester has ended, I can finally feel like I'm starting to get into the holiday spirit. I watched my first Christmas movie over the weekend (I guess, technically, it was my second - I couldn't resist checking out Christmas Switch on Netflix).
One of my favorite things to do is going to concerts/live shows, so I figured - what better way to get into the spirit than to go to holiday concerts?! So this past week, I went to not one, but two, holiday shows - Ingrid Michaelson and the Broadway Princess Holiday Party.

Ingrid's show was at the Carnegie Library of Homestead Music Hall. I'd actually never been here before - it's an old library, but it doesn't look like anything you'd expect when you hear the word "library." It's beautiful and grand, and looks like it could've been a wealthy family's private theater in their mansion. The accessible seating was a little bit tight, but the location was close to the front, which was really nice.

The show was great - a perfect mix of holiday songs and her classics. I love concerts that aren't too "rehearsed," and this one definitely fit the bill... at one point, Ingrid saw a tiny baby and her mom going back to their seat, and stopped the show to say hi to the baby and hold her on stage! That's my favorite part about live shows - experiences like that, that you don't see on TV or a concert DVD. And, of course - Ingrid has an amazing voice and the songs definitely put me in the holiday spirit.

And then I finished off the week with the Broadway Princess Holiday Party! I was SO excited for this show, and it didn't disappoint. I've watched YouTube videos of the show when they perform at 54 Below in New York, and I couldn't believe I'd get to see it live. It was at the Improv, which is another place I hadn't been before. The event description invited attendees to wear their best princess gown, so I couldn't pass up the chance to wear this dress again!
The show is called a "Princess Party" because the performers are Disney and Broadway royalty. They're the original Broadway Cinderella, Jasmine, and Belle (who is also the voice of Meg in the movie Hercules, who sings one of my all-time favorite Disney love songs). And because this was a Holiday version of the typical party, they sang a mix of Disney classics and holiday songs. It was incredible! I went with a group of friends who are all Disney and Broadway fans, and after every song we kept looking at each other and making faces that said "OMG they're singing this song too!?!"

Laura Osnes (Cinderella) sang a song from Thumbelina, which is definitely a lesser-known movie, but one that I used to watch all the time with my friend and my sister. Courtney Reed (Jasmine) sang a version of "All I Want for Christmas is You" that definitely rivals the Mariah version! And hearing Susan Egan (Belle/Meg) sing "I Won't Say I'm in Love" live was just so amazing. And I have to also mention Benjamin Rauhala, the Fairy Godfairy/Music Director who did such an incredible job arranging the songs into beautiful three-part harmonies.

Both concerts were so much fun, and really helped to me to start feeling like "it's beginning to look (sound?) a lot like Christmas!"

Friday, December 14, 2018

Friday Favorites

This week was both a stressful and an exciting one for me - stressful because my final was this week, and also exciting because my final was this week and now it's over! It'll be nice to have a few weeks of break from classes before they start up again in January.
I'm celebrating the end of the semester by going to see the Broadway Princess Party tonight! I have been looking forward to this for WEEKS and am so happy it's finally here - I'll be getting to see original Disney and Broadway royalty perform! I have actually watched YouTube videos of their New York performances, and still can't believe they're coming here and I'm going to see them live.

My favorites from this week:

ONE - Billy on the Street
I love Billy on the Street - it's really funny to see how people react when they're approached (semi-aggressively!) out of nowhere. And of course, Billy on the Street with Lin-Manuel Miranda is a wonderful intersection of my interests! Sometimes I can't believe there are people that exist who haven't heard of Hamilton, but this is proof that there are.

TWO - Disability Holiday Gift Guide
Another great gift guide for any holiday shopping you have left! The gifts are not all disability-related (though some are), but they are all sold by people with disabilities. If you're someone who likes to support small businesses, these are great places to look.

THREE - Thank U, Next Video
I know this came out last week, but I can't stop watching/listening. The video is an homage to so many of my favorite romantic comedies - Legally Blonde, Mean Girls, 13 Going On 30, and Bring It On. It's so fun to watch and catch all of the different movie references, and the song is super catchy, too.

FOUR - Buzzfeed's Best Fiction of 2018
I'm really looking forward to spending some serious time reading during my "break." Buzzfeed published a list of what they believe to be the best fiction of 2018, which seems like a great place for me to start when I'm looking for my next book. I've actually only read one on the list so far (Circe, which I loved), so I have lots to choose from.

FIVE - REPUTATION STADIUM TOUR TRAILER
I had the best time seeing Taylor Swift in concert over the summer, and I can't wait to relive it by watching the video of her stadium tour. The trailer looks amazing, and the actual video will be released at midnight on the morning of New Year's Eve, so it'll be the perfect way to close out 2018.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Kandy Kane Xpress Holiday Festival

This weekend, I took a short day trip back to Stow, Ohio to make an official appearance as Ms. Wheelchair USA and to celebrate the season at the Kandy Kane Xpress Holiday Festival with the Dane Foundation.
I've mentioned the Dane Foundation before - they're the non-profit behind Ms. Wheelchair USA, but they also do a lot of work around quality of life items for people with disabilities, especially toiletries and other household items that are often taken for granted but are not generally covered or provided by other services. The holidays are a really special time for them, as one of their initiatives is Project Elf, which allows community members to provide gifts for people with disabilities in their area. The Kandy Kane Xpress is one of their annual fundraisers that helps to raise money to make Project Elf possible!

The Festival took place at Stow City Hall, which was totally decked out! There were cookies to decorate and enjoy with some milk, letters to write to Santa, and other crafts to do, too. And of course, you couldn't leave without getting a picture with Santa and Mrs. Clause! The Grinch and Elsa also stopped by to say hi to everyone. It was really great to see all of the families running around and having a great time.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

An Afternoon with Sonia Sotomayor

As much as I love living in Pittsburgh, sometimes I feel like we miss out. Some people consider it the midwest (I do not), but we're certainly no New York or DC. Lots of tours either do not make it here at all, or make it here mid-week at 8 PM when you have to be up for work/school the next day. Less than ideal, for sure.

But sometimes, things happen in Pittsburgh that I cannot believe I am lucky enough to be able to attend. That's what happened last week when I went to Duquesne University to hear Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor talk and receive an award.

Going into the event, I didn't really know what to expect. Details had been kept very vague... all we had was a date and a start time. But it ended up being a fascinating, Q and A-style discussion. Justice Sotomayor answered a few questions from the President of Duquesne and from Judge Rendell, a local judge, and then went on to answer a series of questions that had been pre-submitted by a variety of Duquesne students.

Justice Sotomayor used these questions to share stories about her life - growing up in the Bronx, making it to Yale, what it's like being on the Supreme Court - and her story is truly a fascinating one. But there was one answer she gave that really stuck with me.

One of the students asked about affirmative action, and how Justice Sotomayor responds to claims that that's the only reason she got into Yale. Her answer? "So what?" I'm sure I'm paraphrasing now, but she essentially said - it doesn't matter how I got in, what matters is what I did after I got in.

That's something I think about a lot. At time, there are things - I call them #WheelchairPerks - that I get from being in a wheelchair (for example, I got to sit up front at this event), and even more doors that are being opened to me as Ms. Wheelchair USA. It can get to be overwhelming to think about whether or not I really "deserve" to be places or do things. But her mindset of not worrying about why/how something came to be, and instead focusing on what I can do because of it - that's something I can get on board with.

People use the word inspirational a lot now, but to me, her talk was inspirational in the truest form. It really did inspire me, that afternoon, to think about my life, and my path, and what and how I want to do to keep moving forward.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Christmas Pajamas

I love being festive and getting new pajamas each year for Christmas, but I also love being comfortable. I'm not a huge fan of button up pajama sets - they're usually not soft enough for me. So this year, I decided to go less obvious with the Christmas theme, and picked something up that I could wear for the holiday and the rest of the year, too.

Each year on Christmas morning, we have family over for "brunch." But as people have gotten older and gotten married and had kids, the crowd has dwindled a bit, and now it's a smaller and more relaxed gathering. So what I really wanted was something that I could get away with wearing to brunch, without being too sloppy!
Clockwise, from left: harem pants, sweater, top

I picked up this pajama top, this pair of harem pants, and this sweater from Aerie. Anytime a pajama top says "softest," I am in. I love the lace detailing on the top, and how comfy it is! I know the top is part of a matching set, but I wanted to be a little bit festive still, so I picked up these harem pants in red. I'm not usually a harem pants fan, honestly, but for pajamas and lounge clothes, all bets are off. And since a little tank top is not really enough for December in Pittsburgh, I grabbed this sweater in green to complete the Christmas color scheme and make sure I kept myself warm enough.

I can't wait to wear this on Christmas morning and celebrate with my family!

This post uses affiliate links. All opinions are my own, but I may earn a small commission on any purchases you make.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Friday Favorites

This week has been a long one for me. I'm getting over some sort of cold, so I can't stop sniffling, and have had to carry Kleenex with my everywhere I go. This always happens to me - when things finally start to slow down and relax just a little bit, my body decides that it's had enough and can't take it anymore. But I'd rather have this than a cold WHILE everything else is going on, so I guess I'll take it.

In very exciting news, though, one of my best friends had her baby, and I got to meet him!
On to this week's favorites...

ONE
The Eat'n'Park Christmas Tree Commercial
Back before TV was mostly watched on Netflix/Hulu, I watched a lot more commercials, and the Eat'n"Park Christmas Tree commercial is the most iconic. I love reading about the story behind the commercial, and if you haven't ever seen this, you should definitely watch.

TWO
DJ Earworm 2018
I will be honest - I do not know most of these songs! But it's fun to listen to a mash-up of the year's most popular. I have been listening to Thank U, Next, so I did recognize that at least!

THREE
 Pittsburgh is on the cool list
Lots of love for the Burgh this week! I love whenever Pittsburgh makes the news for a good reason, and this one is definitely good. Pittsburgh was the only US city to make National Geographic's "global cool list!"

FOUR
GFY Gift Guide
I posted a tech gift guide earlier this week (here), but each year one of my favorite blogs Go Fug Yourself does a really comprehensive gift guide. I love their picks, so if you're in need of some inspiration, check it out.

FIVE
Hamilton duet
I know, I know - another Hamilton song?! This is from the Mixtape, and it's a song from the musical sung by Regina Spektor and Ben Folds. It is gorgeous, and it will definitely put you into a good mood on a Friday and start your weekend off on the right note. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Tech Gift Guide

I'm a huge fan of "smart" technology. For me, they're more than just fun and novel - they actually give me independence and help me function better! Things like turning lights on and off, controlling other electronics, keeping a cup of coffee warm... these are everyday things that are made so much easier for me by smart technology. But the best part is, they're not made just for people with disabilities - they can be used by anyone. That's my idea of universal design, and I love it.

Since it's the holiday season, I wanted to share some of my favorite smart technologies in a gift guide. Whether or not you're buying gifts for someone with a disability, it doesn't matter - these gifts will be appreciated by all!

Apple TV
I love my Apple TV. I can watch Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, iTunes.... it works with all of the streaming platforms! It also syncs with my music, which is great, and also pairs really well with my phone. It comes with a remote, but I can use my phone as a remote instead, which is especially convenient when I'm watching from the comfort of my bed!


Amazon Fire Stick
I actually don't have one of these, but my sister does. If you have more Amazon things than Apple ones, I can see how this would be the way to go. It pairs with Echo devices, so you can tell Alexa to "pause Fire TV" and she does!

Apple Watch
I wrote a review of my Apple Watch here, and I still recommend it as highly now as I did then. I don't use it for fitness tracking (although it's great for that), but I do use it to read and reply to texts, see what e-mails are coming in, etc. My favorite fun feature is the ability to control the camera on my phone. I can't take selfies because I can't hold the phone up high enough and reach the camera button, but being able to press the "shutter" button on my watch makes things easier!
 
Philips Hue Starter Kit
I've written about these before, too (here). They are my absolute favorite thing. I have the "white ambiance" kind which means they can be both bright white, yellow white, and everything in between. I have them set to turn on slowly, like sunrise, every morning, which helps me wake up just a little bit easier. And I can use my Echo to turn all my lights on and off, so I don't have to worry about having another separate switch. Plus, who doesn't love being able to control the lights from bed!

Amazon Smart Plug
This is the easiest of everything on the list, but still really useful! It makes anything plugged into it "smart" - so if you don't want to buy the fancy smart lights, you can just plug your lamp into a smart plug and control it that way.

Philips Hue Single Bulbs
This goes along with the starter kit, above, but is just additional single light bulbs. The starter kit comes with either two or four bulbs, but if that's not enough, you can buy more separately.

Amazon Echo Spot
I know - definitely not the first time I talked about this (here and here). I think the Spot is my favorite Echo - not too big, but still has a small screen so you can see videos or look at the weather forecast.


This post uses affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for any purchases you make, but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Very Velvet

I love wearing leggings. When you're sitting for hours, wearing something with a thick, stiff waistband and a button and zipper is just not comfortable. Now that I've worn leggings/jeggings, I know that I can never go back. I don't know what I'm going to do if or when they go back out of style... buy a ton of them and stockpile, I guess?

But I also like to look nice, and not just sloppy - and sometimes leggings just feel too casual. So what's great about leggings being in right now is that there are dressier options. I've already written about my obsession with leather leggings here, but I recently discovered velvet leggings, too - another new favorite.

I actually wore this outfit on Thanksgiving - I wanted something that looked nice for our family meal, but was also comfortable, since it is a holiday centered around eating! They were so comfy, but definitely looked more polished than just regular black leggings. They're festive, too - I think they're perfect for the holidays. I'm sure they're going to pop up in some more pictures throughout the rest of the winter, because I'm definitely adding them to my rotation.

I can't share my exact leggings because, like most of my pants, they're actually a kids size. Women's sized pants are so long on me (even petites) that it's not even worth it. Luckily for me, though, there are some really well-dressed kids out there!

I've been seeing velvet popping up all over - not just in leggings, but in tops and dresses, too. I picked some of my favorites in the widget below.

This post uses affiliate links. I may earn a commission from any purchases you make, but all recommendations are my own!

Monday, December 3, 2018

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Happy International Day of Persons with Disabilities! Don't worry if you didn't realize this was a thing until now... I'll be honest and say that I didn't, either. But this day was actually instituted in 1992 by the UN, to promote rights and well-being of people with disabilities, and to increase awareness to people with disabilities in all aspects of life.
The 2018 theme is "empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality." I love this theme! It fits in perfectly with my own passions and goals, and everything that I'm working toward during my time as Ms. Wheelchair USA. I'm really excited to learn about this holiday, and to be able to share the message with other people, too!

I thought that in honor of the day, I'd share some of my favorite disability advocates that I've found via social media. They're great people to follow to learn more about disability issues, and living with a disability.

Molly Burke
Molly is an amazing YouTuber who is also blind. She makes some great videos - some about disability, some not. This recent video of hers is one that I highly recommend watching - it's a great reminder about why people may not always want to talk about their disability.

Alice Wong
I talked about Alice Wong before in this post. She has SMA like I do, and is really involved in disability advocacy and activism. She's great at sharing issues and amplifying people's voices. If you want to learn more about disability issues, she's a great person to follow.


Jillian Mercado
Jillian was the first model with a disability featured in Teen Vogue, which I think is so cool and so impressive. Her work focuses on increasing representation of people with disabilities in the media, and she shares stories of her travels on Instagram and Twitter, so follow along! She actually got to go to the UN in New York earlier this year to speak about disability representation.

Nyle DiMarco
You may know Nyle from his Dancing with the Stars win - if you do, you may already know that he's deaf. Follow him to see the work that he's been doing since his win to increase awareness to Deaf culture and other disability issues.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Friday Favorites

What a week it has been! I know that I said I can't believe November is ending, and that's still true, but this week was loooong. I am really, really looking forward to the weekend.

This week saw the end of the City of Tomorrow Challenge... unfortunately, my team was not one of the winners, but that doesn't mean our idea has come to an end! It was still an incredible experience, and we learned (and accomplished!) so much in a really short period of time.

This week was also the Health Activist Expo, making it the one-year anniversary of me completing my Fellowship last year. It was great to be at the Expo as an observer, rather than a presenter, and see all of the amazing ideas this year's fellows came up with!

Onto the favorites...
 
Bon Appetit's Test Kitchen Obsession
I've written about my love of the BA Test Kitchen videos before, especially Claire's videos where she makes gourmet versions of junk food. Reading this article confirmed that other people love the videos - and the chefs themselves - just as much as I do! 

Interacting with People with Disabilities
Technically, this article is about advice for helping shoppers with disabilities during the holiday season, but the advice is really valid year-round. Take a look for a few minutes, especially at disability etiquette, and help make yourself more comfortable in social situations. I promise, we're not scary... and no, I'm not going to run you over.  

Great British Bake-Off Illustrator
Are you all as obsessed with the GBBO as I am?! This show introduced me to Paul Hollywood, and for that I'll be forever grateful! It's different from a lot of American cooking shows in that the contestants are really friendly with each other, and root for each others successes! This is a fun read about the illustrator tasked with drawing each of the baked goods made by all of the contestants throughout the season.

Get your Flu Shot
This is my semi-annual reminder to get your flu shot - it's not to late. This is why it matters that you get one, even if you personally are not worried about the possibility of severe effects of the flu. 

More iPhone Alarm Sounds
If you're anything like me, you use your iPhone as an alarm, but don't exactly love the harsh, blaring sound choices. Read this to find out how to "unlock" more alarm sound options!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

November in Review

I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but I cannot believe that November is over and it's about to be December! It seems like the month absolutely flew by... and I think that's because of how busy it was for me. I had something going on almost every day, in addition to work - it was a really crazy month!

I thought it might be fun to do a little recap of the month... touch on things that I've mentioned, and some that I haven't had the chance to.
City of Tomorrow Challenge
Working on the proposal for this challenge has taken up most of my free time this past month, but it's absolutely been worth it. I've never done anything like this before, and I feel like I learned so much and really pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I don't have any business background, but I definitely learned the importance of making connections. So many people were so generous with their time and energy, helping us learn, but also putting their support behind our idea. In some ways, it felt a lot like "The Little Engine That Could" - we just kept chugging along, taking it one step at a time and just making sure we kept going.

The finale event, where the winner will be named, is actually tonight, but regardless of whether we win or lose, I am so glad that we took part in this.

Accessible YOUniverse
It's crazy that a year ago this week, I debuted my idea for Accessible YOUniverse at the Health Activist Expo (read about that here). While I may not have mentioned it in a while, that doesn't mean I have forgotten about it! Over the summer I got official fiscal sponsorship (which means that under a parent organization I can operate as a nonprofit and accept tax-deductible donations, etc.) and have been spending time this month working on getting the website up and running. Hopefully I'll have more news to share about this soon, so stay tuned!

Favorite Purchases
My online shopping may have gotten a little bit out of control this month, and I'm not sure it'll really slow down much in December, as I start to buy holiday gifts! But I did pick up a few things this month that I really love. I love this sweater from Madewell so much that I bought it in another color during the Black Friday sale - it's so soft and comfy. I've switched from makeup brushes to a Beauty Blender recently, and really like the way it makes my makeup look. This gift set comes with two sponges, two cleansers, plus a traveling case - it's an amazing deal. I picked up this blanket from Target on a whim, and it's one of the best impulse purchases that I've made in a very long time.


Fiddler on the Roof
I saw Fiddler in the Roof over the weekend at the Benedum. I always love going to shows, so it was nice to have one to go to over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, What made it extra special was that the cast dedicated all of their performances while they were here to the Jewish community, after the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. It's not even "my" community, but it's been so touching to see how Pittsburgh has banded together in support. While the circumstances that brought out the true Pittsburgh spirit were awful, the city really does have something special - we consider fellow Pittsburghers family.
 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Giving Tuesday

A lot of days this week are about shopping and buying (Black Friday, Cyber Monday), but today is about giving. Giving Tuesday is a day dedicated to giving what you can, to celebrate that spirit of the holiday season, rather than the receiving.

If you can, giving money to the non-profit of your choice can go far towards helping them fulfill their mission. If you can't, commit to volunteering your time, or help share the causes on social media.

I wanted to share four causes that are important to me - please consider donating to one of these, or to one of your own favorite causes. Don't forget to check if your company will match donations!

Cure SMA
Of course, the first on my list will always be Cure SMA. They're dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by SMA, and have funded the seed grants for a lot of promising research for SMA treatments and cures. They actually funded the seed grant for what became the first-ever FDA-approved treatment. Obviously, this is a very personal cause for me, and one that I'm more than happy to support

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
I'm on the New Leadership Council of the PSO, which works to get a new, younger audience interested in the symphony and classical music. I think that supporting the arts is SO important. For as analytical as I am, I definitely value the intelligence and creativity that goes into creating music of all kinds. It's harder and harder for the arts to get the public support that they need, which makes me really sad - they're always something worth supporting.

The Dane Foundation
The Dane Foundation is the organization behind Ms. Wheelchair USA. They focus on providing quality of life items - paper products, toiletries, linens, etc. - that often aren't covered by insurance and other organizations. The holidays are a really busy time for them, as they also provide gifts for families affected by disabilities who would otherwise not be able to afford presents.

Community Living and Support Services (CLASS)
CLASS is a local disability and advocacy organization where I serve on the Board of Directors. They're a Pittsburgh institution of sorts - Mr. Rogers would consult with them when talking about disability-related issues on his show! They do really great work, and it's important for me to be connected to the disability community here in Pittsburgh. 


Monday, November 26, 2018

Leather Legging Love

Do you ever think you'll totally hate something, but it ends up that you actually love it? For a solid two years, I absolutely refused to wear maxi dresses... I had no real reason for it, but I just thought that I hated them and they looked childish and I would not wear one. And then I tried one, and couldn't stop buying them.

Leather leggings fall into that exact same category for me. I don't exactly know when it happened, but I've become a leather legging person. They're one of my favorite pieces of clothing now... I actually even own them in multiple colors. If you work in a more casual environment, like I do, I think they can be worn to work, and they are great on the weekend - especially when it's too cold for a skirt/dress.

I wore this to work last week. I love this top with the leather leggings - it makes them look more polished and professional, I think. But if you're looking for something a little more casual, a sweater like this one makes a great outfit, too. And I love the color - it's so different from the normal black that you think of for leather leggings.

My actual leather leggings are sold out (and are also a kids size), but I'm sharing some other options in sizes that more of you will be able to wear in the widget below.

This post uses affiliate links. I may earn a commission from any purchases you make, but my purchases are not sponsored and all opinions are my own.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Friday Favorites

I hope that you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving yesterday! We had a great dinner (well, we eat early, so technically it was lunch), and then I lounged in my PJs for the rest of the evening. We have a pretty big gathering - I think the count was 23 yesterday, plus 3 dogs (including Lily) - so it's great to catch up with family and spend time together.

The rest of my weekend will be a good mix of fun, work, and relaxing! I have some homework to do, but I'm also going to see Fiddler on the Roof, which I'm looking forward to. My middle school music class put on a mini-performance of the show, but I don't actually think that I've ever seen the show itself. Hopefully you all have some fun plans for the rest of the holiday weekend, too, even if they're just to relax and stay in - sometimes those are my favorite kind.

Now, on to my favorites from this week.

Amazon's Black Friday Sale
Did you see my post from earlier this week about the Amazon sale going on today? I love using Alexa to control the things in my house - this is a sale that you definitely don't want to miss.

November #Hamildrop
There's only one more #hamildrop left, in December, so we're coming to the end of me sharing these with you. This one is a really fun look at what Hamilton would sound like as a typical musical, and not the hip-hop version that it is. And of course, it's a treat to see Lin-Manuel step back into the titular role.

Lion King Trailer
It's still more than 6 months away from a release date, but Disney released a minute-long trailer for the new Lion King movie. The cast looks amazing, and I'll see almost anything Disney makes - especially if it's about jungle animals! Really looking forward to this one. 

Eat'n'Park Commercial
I know this post is video heavy, but I had to share. I was watching the Macy's Parade on Thanksgiving morning and saw this iconic (in Pittsburgh, at least) commercial. I saw this every single year as a kid, and to me, it really means the start of the holiday season.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving 2018


I wanted to pop in today to say Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Thanksgiving is a holiday of gratefulness, and of giving thanks, so it seemed like the most appropriate day to let you know how grateful I am for all of you.

It's been a real journey writing this blog for the last year and a half now. I really wasn't sure how this would be received when I started writing - I wanted to write something that people with SMA/other disabilities could enjoy and relate to, but also something that people without disabilities could connect to, as well. It's been a bit of an experiment in terms of figuring out what I enjoy writing about and what you enjoy reading about. And of course, it's also been an experiment for me in terms of figuring out how to balance my work, blogging, and my other commitments outside of those things, too.

So I wanted to say thank you to all of you for sticking around and bearing with me as I continue to figure this out. I really love writing here, and have loved connecting with all of you. Happy Thanksgiving - I am so grateful for you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Black Friday Spotlight, Amazon Edition

I'm not going to do a huge Black Friday sales round-up this year - there are so many sales happening, and it's kind of overwhelming. I've never been one to do Black Friday sales in person... it's way too early and crowded, and even the thought of it makes me crazy. I am definitely a fan of online Back Friday sales, though. No need to wake up early, can shop in your PJs - that's much more my thing.

I just want to share one major Black Friday sale with you, because it's such a great deal that I don't think anyone should miss. All of Amazon's Echo devices are on sale, so if you've been thinking about getting one, now is the time to do it.
Clockwise, from top left: Echo Show, Echo Plus, Echo Spot, Echo Dot

I wrote about my Echo here - I have the Echo Spot, and I love it. It has made things so much easier for me - I can control the lights for my room with it, which is huge if you can't reach a normal light switch from your wheelchair! But even if you don't have that particular problem, you can use it to turn off the lights when you're all warm and toasty in bed and don't want to get up to turn the lights off. I also use it to make phone calls, get the news and the weather, and even to do Headspace meditations. Plus, if you're a Prime member (which you probably are, and if you aren't, you should be!) you can listen to music on it, too. If you get one with a screen, you can use it in the kitchen to read recipes off of, and of course, you can set a timer on it, too.

The Echo Spot and the Echo Show are the ones with screens. The Spot, which I have, is perfect as a night table/bedroom device - it's small and sleek, and has a clock/alarm/anything else you'd want in your room. The Show is perfect for the kitchen - it's bigger, so the screen is perfect for recipes or cooking videos.

If you're looking for something with a better speaker, and don't have as much about the screen, go for the Echo Plus. And if you just want something basic, the Echo Dot is a great choice.

This post uses affiliate links. I may earn a commission from any purchases you make, but my purchases are not sponsored and all opinions are my own.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Dick Thornburgh Disability Service Award

I've been loving all of the advocacy and activism work that I've been doing over the last year and a half. "Loving" isn't even exactly the right word - I've become so passionate about it, and I've learned so much, and I've been introduced to so many new people and experiences and opportunities. If you're just a blog reader, it may seem like this is something that I've always done, but in reality, this has been a whole new world to me. I am so incredibly grateful for all of the people who have helped me get immersed into this community, and for the people who have really been my cheerleaders and champions, and who have invited me to groups and places to help me become a part of the conversation surrounding disability and accessibility advocacy.

And while it was never my goal to be recognized for the work that I do, I am truly honored whenever people recognize the work that I am doing. A few weeks ago, I received one such honor - the Dick Thornburgh Disability Service Award. Each year, this award is presented to a student at Pitt who has made a difference in the lives of children and adults with disabilities. The Award was presented during the Thornburgh Family Lecture, where I got to meet Governor and Mrs. Thornburgh and their son. They have been passionate disability advocates for many years, and I was so lucky to have the chance to meet them.

Since it was the Thornburgh Family Lecture, it was also really special to be able to have my family (and friends) be with me to receive the Award! We were all treated to a really interesting lecture about a service dog training program that pairs puppies with inmates at a local prison for the first year and a half of the dog's life. The prisoners do all of the basic obedience training that the dogs require before they can go off to the more "advanced" training kennel for service dogs. It was really touching to hear stories of how much the inmates loved working with their dogs. We got to meet Ella, an incredibly cute service dog-in-training, and see her show off a few tricks, too.

It's always hard to wrap up a post like this one, because everything that I could say sounds really cliche. But truly, I am so grateful and honored to have received this award, and I can only hope that the work I do lives up to the legacy of what the Thornburghs have done.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Friday Favorites

It's really starting to feel like winter... and I can't say I'm ready for it. We had our first real snow today (plus some sleet/freezing rain), and I was not a happy camper. Plus, there are holiday decorations going up all over! I'm just not ready for any of this. I already can't believe Thanksgiving is next week - I seriously do not know how that happened.
Hopefully, this week's favorites are a nice break from thinking about dropping temperatures.

The Watcher
I love long-form journalism, where the writer really has time to dive into a subject and write a really in-depth story. This one is no exception, about a family who bought a house only to receive some really menacing notes. It's a fascinating read - I cannot imagine what I would do if this happened to me.

Broadway stars sing Taylor Swift
I love this song from Reputation, and apparently, so do these two Broadway stars. This cover is SO powerful and beautiful, and a bit haunting. Highly recommend.

About Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol is an icon in general, but he's also a Pittsburgh-er, so we really love him around here. The Warhol Museum is one of my favorites in the city - there's a room with silver "cloud" balloons that you can actually touch and it's really cool. This article is a little look into his life and him as a person, as told by people who knew him.



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Fall Closet Colors

Last weekend, I did a huge closet clean-out. I didn't quite go through the whole thing, but I made it through about 75% of it, and got rid of so many things that I hadn't worn in years. It felt so good to have so much more room in my closet! I also organized everything by color and sleeve length, and move all of my summery things out so that I had room to actually see the things I could wear. It's amazing... now I just have to make sure I keep up with it, which is always the hardest part.

When I do a closet clean-out like this, it always ends up with me actually buying more clothes! I realize "holes" that exist in my closet (for example... there are a lot of black tops, but a lot less color than I'd like), and I find things that fill in those holes. Or.... sometimes... I just find things I really like and now have room to actually fit them in my closet. Either way, it means that I've been doing some online shopping lately.
I've been looking for things that are professional, but casually so - not preppy or too buttoned up and stiff. Enter Madewell. I was browsing Nordstrom and found a top I really liked, but not in my size. When I saw it was from Madewell, I decided to check their site directly, and was instantly obsessed. It's a J.Crew sister brand, but definitely more relaxed styles than J.Crew.

I love all the jewel-tone colors, and especially love this purpley/maroon wrap top. It's the perfect mix of professional and casual that I was looking for, and I love that the wrap part of the top has a little hook-and-eye to keep it securely closed. I feel like the color is so perfect for fall - I tried to get it with the amazing colors of the leaves changing, but the weather wasn't totally cooperating! I am always into peplum hems, because they give me more room around my feeding tube, and this one hits just right. It's one of my new favorite tops, and I have a few other new Madewell favorites, too - check them out in the widget below.


This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, November 12, 2018

City of Tomorrow Challenge Update

I wrote about my team's proposal for the City of Tomorrow Challenge before, in this post - and I have exciting news to share! Our team was one of 13 to be chosen to move forward as a semi-finalist. This means that we're one step closer to bringing accessible ride-sharing to Pittsburgh. We're really excited, and really passionate about making this happen.

To make sure that our proposal is as complete as possible - and to make sure that it fits what our potential users really want - we need some help. If you live in the Pittsburgh area and have a disability, we want your input! There are a few things that you can do to help:

1. Fill out our survey
Click here to access our survey - it shouldn't take you more than five minutes, but will give us really useful information as we work on our proposal.

2. Tell us about your commute
We want to know about your current commute now - what it's like, what options you have - and if there's anything that would make your commute better. Here's how you can do that:

Click this link below to visit our proposal page. Then scroll down to the comment section, and click the blue button that reads "comment." You'll have to sign in. We'd love to hear things like...

-Paint a story about the value ride-share brings to your daily routine.
-Talk about the barriers you face everyday.
-Have something specific you'd like to us to consider?

3. Share, share, share!
Share this with as many people with disabilities in Pittsburgh as you know! 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Sweater Weather

While it's no secret that I'm not a fan of cooler temperatures, I do love a warm, cozy sweater. There's nothing like wrapping yourself in something comfy on a day when it's cold and windy outside. I'm really picky about how things feel, though - when I'm looking for a comfy sweater, I need it to be soft and not stiff.

I have a few different favorite styles of sweaters, so I've pulled together some options for each type.
Wrap-front Sweater
One, Two, Three, Four
This is my favorite style of sweater. I love the Madewell sweater so much that I included it twice, in two colors (the second and third). It's so incredibly comfortable, and I love how rich the colors are.

Winter White
One, Two, Three
I definitely don't follow the "no white after Labor Day" rule. I think that a white sweater with a dark pair of jeans can look so sleek! I love the bigger turtleneck on the third sweater, and Uniqlo cashmere (the first) is such a great deal.


Open Front Cardigan
One, Two, Three 
I think open front cardigans are a lot more comfortable than the button-up, standard kind - it's almost like wrapping yourself in a nice, warm blanket! These strike a nice balance between looking cute and being cozy.



Friday, November 2, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy November! I've never been much of a Halloween person, especially as an adult - it's been many years since I've dressed up, and I try to avoid going out on Halloween weekend! However, I do enjoy dressing Lily up. This year, I saw a Minne Mouse costume/harness while we were in Disney over the summer, and I couldn't resist. She's super picky about what kind of costumes/clothes she'll tolerate... nothing is allowed to touch her head, or else she thinks she's frozen and will stay still like a statue until you take it off! I don't understand what she thinks is going to happen, but it is hilarious to watch.

Read on to find out this week's favorites.,,

Tree of Life Victims - How to Help
Pittsburgh is still dealing with the aftermath of the weekend's tragedy, and will be for a long, long time to come - even after media attention is faded. This article lists the different ways you can donate to help families and the Tree of Life Synagogue itself. I urge you to consider donating if you're able.

October #Hamildrop
Would it even be a Friday Favorites post if I didn't include something Hamilton related? We're coming to the end of the monthly #hamildrops - only November and December are left now. But October's, a cut song from the musical, is sung beautifully by Sara Bareilles.

Harry Potter collection at PBteen
Did you know that Pottery Barn Teen has a Harry Potter collection?! I am a huge fan, and while some of the items in the collection are a bit young for me, some are absolutely things I'd love to own! This Deathly Hallows Bluetooth speaker is the perfect subtle nod to the series.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

#NDEAM: National Disability Employment Awareness Month

I'm a little late on this one, since it's the last day of the month (Happy Halloween!), but October is actually National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). It's a bit of a mouthful of a name, but it's a really important month and something that I wish more people knew about - it actually wasn't something that I'd heard of until this year!

I've talked before about the quick assumptions that people make when they meet me - and one of those is the assumption that I don't have a job. Unintentionally or not, people definitely have a hard time untangling physical disabilities and mental impairment. And it's also absolutely true that the rate of unemployment for people with disabilities is drastically higher than the rate of unemplotment for people without disabilities. So I'm glad that there's a month that can bring awareness to both things - that people with disabilities are underemployed, and that they are more than capable of having jobs and careers.

I had the honor of speaking at Pitt's event for NDEAM, jointly held by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Disability Resources and Services office. This was my first "big" talk about everything that I've been doing... it's easy for me to get it down here, in words, but I was a little more nervous about speaking in front of people. I usually don't stress to much (or rehearse too much) for public speaking things - I want it to sound natural and conversational, and not over-rehearsed. But this time, I was asked to speak for 15-20 minutes, which is the longest, by far, that I've ever been asked to talk! Luckily, the talk went smoothly, and I was able to talk about what I've been doing and answer questions, too. I was really glad to see the topic being discussed, and proud that I was able to be part of it!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

What I'm Loving

Since I haven't been posting as much as usual, I wanted to share some of the things I've bought recently that I love. These are just an assortment of things that I bought to try out on my own, and have used them enough that I feel good about recommending them to all of you.

Corkcicle
Technically, this is intended to be used for wine, but I actually love using it for coffee when I'm at home. It has a lid, so I don't have to worry about spilling, and it's insulated so it keeps my coffee warmer for longer. The lid also has room for a straw, which is necessary for me. Plus, it's light enough that it's east for me to lift. Win-win-win-win for me!

Foreo Luna Play Plus
I tried a Clarisonic for a few uses when they came out years ago, but my face did not react well! It was way too rough for my face, which ended up red and irritated and with more breakouts than before. This Foreo Luna Play Plus, though, is the perfect facial cleansing device for me. It's made of silicone, and it's super gentle on my face, but my face does feel nicer and softer after I use it. It vibrates, and feels like it works in my face wash better than I ever could with a gentle washcloth, but isn't at all irritating. I also like that it can't get gross and dirty like a typical "brush" head does. This version uses replaceable AAA batteries - they also sell a more expensive version with a rechargeable battery, but I'm really happy with this one.

Shisheido Whipped Blush
I never thought that I could use anything but a powder blush, because of how oily my skin is - I thought that it would just make things worse. But this being described as "whipped" really is accurate - it's not quite a cream, but it definitely isn't a powder, either. I use a stippling brush (this one) to put it on and blend it in. A little tiny bit goes a very long way, but it blends in really nicely and looks a lot more subtle than powder blush does, in my opinion. It doesn't make me look more oily, and lasts a long time on my skin.

Drybar BrushCrush
I'm obviously a huge Drybar fan - I've used their curling iron and blow dryer, and think both work really well. So it was no surprise to me how much I love the Brush Crush, too. It's a straightening brush, so it's a cross between a regular hairbrush and a straightening iron. I use it on days that I don't wash my hair, and it does an amazing job in making it look smoother and less frizzy, and it also gets out the "line" in my hair from my ponytail holder. Best of all, it's way faster than it would be to use a straightener. It's pricey, but in my mind, absolutely worth it.


(Note: This post uses affiliate links; I may earn a small commission for any purchases you make.)

Monday, October 29, 2018

#PittsburghStrong


I don't have the words for a full post about the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill over the weekend - I think there are others who have written much more eloquently and touchingly than I could. But I also didn't want to just post as usual today without acknowledging this horrible, terrible act. So I'll be back tomorrow with a post, but today just want to take a moment to acknowledge and reflect on this tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with all affected.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Friday Favorites

I'm so happy to be back sharing my weekly favorites with you! I think for now, I'm going to stick to a 3 post a week schedule - there's just been so much going on that I have to figure out how to make time for everything that I'm interested in doing!

I'm also really excited that I was able to share my proposal for the City of Tomorrow Challenge with you earlier this week. It's something that I've been working really hard on, and it's so special to be able to share it with all of you, too.
Now, on to this week's favorites.

Nick Kroll and John Mulaney's Autocomplete Interview
I've written about how great I think the show Big Mouth is, and Season 2 came out last week... of course, I've already watched and finished it! I think all of the Wired autocomplete interviews are fun - it's hilarious to see what people are frequently searching for online! Nick Kroll's and John Mulaney's is particularly funny - worth a watch!

Gmorning, Gnight
My love of all things Lin-Manuel Miranda is well-documented, so it's no surprise that I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. Lin is a prolific tweeter, and he's known for his good morning and good night tweets - tweets that start or end your day with well-wishes, or advice, or encouragement. The book brings them together into one place, and is beautifully illustrated. If you're looking for something to raise your spirits, this book absolutely does the ticket.

90210 on Watch What Happens Live!
My pop culture tastes really run the spectrum - I started watching Riverdale because Luke Perry, who played Dylan McKay in the original 90210, is on it. I'm also a huge Housewives fan, and so this skit on Watch What Happens Live was an amazing intersection of all my interests. Two of the Riverdale actors re-created a famous 90210 scene, with Luke Perry watching (and trying not to cringe). Amazing!

No, You Can't Get the Flu from the Flu Shot
This is something that is not news to me, but I love Teen Vogue for writing about it in such a heads-on manner. This is such a huge misconception, so I'm glad they're addressing it without giving any space to anti-vaxxers. If you haven't yet, get your flu shot!!!

(This post uses affiliate links.)