Friday, May 29, 2020

Friday Favorites

I don't know if it's just me, but May has felt incredibly long. It's felt like real summer here this week - in the mid 80s, which has been beautiful - but normally, summer would mean lots of eating outdoors and restaurants and hanging out with friends on rooftops, which obviously isn't happening this summer. So it's just a bit of a strange feeling.
On to the favorites for this week!

I know that some things are starting to open up, but I still think this is a good resource for deciding if/when to shop. I have definitely been making purchases, but I've tried to be mindful, and tried to mostly focus on small businesses.

I am really looking forward to watching this rendition of the Babysitters Club this summer! I always wanted to be as fashionable as Claudia, and she's probably the original inspiration for all the black clothes in my closet.

I mentioned that I've been sending more handwritten notes recently, and decided that I wanted to step up my pen game, too. This fountain pen makes me feel so fancy and sophisticated whenever I use it!

This is a(nother) great video from Molly Burke, and I am totally with her. Disabled isn't a bad word - it's totally okay to use it - and I much prefer it to "differently abled."

This is a super cool article about how Marvel worked to make their Avengers video game have disabled representation! This is so incredible, and something that I do not see often, either (though admittedly, I am not a big gamer).

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Recent Reads

I really found my reading groove again in May. Some of that I probably from making reading into a daily habit, but I'm also pretty sure that a lot of it is also due to the nicer weather. There is nothing I love more than taking my cappuccino onto the deck and losing myself in a book for a few hours. I didn't actually realize how many books I'd read until I started putting together this post!

Here's what I read during May.
I was really looking forward to reading the Hunger Games prequel - I love the original trilogy so much. And I definitely enjoyed the prequel, but I think I forgot how hard they are to read. Not like they're difficult, reading-level wise, but hard to stomach the awful things that happen during the course of the story. The story focuses around Snow, as a young adult, and I did like seeing how the Games became the Games we know of from the trilogy.

I reminded myself to read this after I watched the Normal People miniseries on Hulu. Sally Rooney has such a distinctive way of writing, and I could definitely see parallels between Conversations with Friends and Normal People. I think I enjoyed Normal People a bit more, but I think that Rooney writes complicated characters in a really truthful way.

Another blogger (and a friends from CMU) shared this on her Instagram stories the other day, and it reminded me that I watched this movie on Netflix a long time ago. The story is told entirely through letters, and while it took me a bit to really get hooked on on this way of writing it, I was sold by the end. It's a cute, sweet story.

This was my favorite of the bunch, by far. I love a story about female friendship, and loved how diverse it was without that being a trite plot point. Sarah Watson is the creator of the TV show "The Bold Type," which I also love, and also is focused around female friendship, so I wasn't surprised that this book was so well done. I think it's technically a "Young Adult" book, but don't let that stop you - I really loved this book and found it so heartwarming!

I read a lot of dark books this month without realizing it. This is kind of Lolita-esque, if told from Lolita's point of view, and the story keeps going back and forth between the present time (and the #MeToo movement) and the past. I think it gives you a lot to think about once you're finished reading, but again, reading it wasn't always easy.

I finished this book in a day or two - it's a short novel, or long short story. It doesn't follow a chronological format - it really jumps around a lot, kind of looking at an event from the points of views of all of the different people involved. It left me wanting more, but in the best possible way.

I've had this book on my iPad for a long time now, and this seemed like the perfect time to dive in. It is long - it's a collection of diary entries from Tina Brown, during her time as Editor of Vanity Fair. I felt like I was living vicariously through her, going to parties and restaurants in New York City from the comfort of my deck! In my "other life," I have always dreamed about working for a magazine, so I loved the insider's look at what it could be like! It also made me want to start keeping a diary, but that hasn't happened yet...

Don't let the title of the book fool you - it's actually a biography of George Washington! This was probably the most fun I've ever had while reading a biography about a historical figure. It was easy to read, and was interesting to learn about some of the exaggerations, or the things that tend to get glossed over when written by a male author rather than a female. And it was educational without being dry and boring!

Monday, May 25, 2020

Pandemic Purchases: Suetables Initial Necklace

I know that the concept of shopping (outside of groceries and necessities) during quarantine is a fraught one. Is it good to shop and support the economy and businesses who need an income to stay afloat? Or are you putting people's lives and health at risk when they're at work in the warehouses, packing and getting things ready to be shipped out.
I've tried to land somewhere in the middle. I'm not going crazy, but I've done some online shopping. And when possible, I've tried to support smaller businesses. So when the perfect initial necklace popped up as I was scrolling through Instagram, I knew I had to have it.

I've always had a thing for wearing my initial - not necessarily my whole monogram, but just an H. When I was in middle school/high school, there was a huge phase of wearing shirts with your initial on them, and I had SO many. I know that monogram necklaces were all over the place a few years ago (and really, are timeless), but now that it looks like initial necklaces are in, I'm so excited. I don't tend to rely too much on trends - I tend to wear what I like, when I like - but I'm not opposed to being in style, either!
I've come across a lot of initial necklaces, but I really do think that this is my favorite. It's so delicate, classic, and simple. I'm almost always a silver jewelry person, other than rare exceptions. If you're more of a gold person, though, you can get the necklace in gold instead.

I love that you can wear it alone or layer it with other necklaces, and it would really go with any outfit. I also really love that you can pick a chain to go with it of whatever length you want! Normally, chains are 16 inches, but since my torso stopped growing after my spinal fusion in 6th grade to treat my scoliosis, 16 inches is actually pretty long on me. I got the 14 inch chain, and on me, it's just slightly longer than a choker, which is exactly what I wanted.

Even though I'm mostly living in t-shirts these days, I've been putting on the necklace some days just to feel a little more polished and put together! Plus, whenever I remember that I'm wearing it, it just makes me happy.

And I want to especially call out the incredible customer service at Suetables. When I e-mailed with a shipping question, they got back to me the same day (in a pandemic!), and honored a shipping code that technically shouldn't have applied to me. I was so appreciative!

Friday, May 22, 2020

Friday Favorites

It feels very strange right now to think that this weekend is a holiday weekend. Since I'm working from home, it is actually still a day off work from me... but since I'm still not going anywhere, it doesn't feel all that different. I do hope that I get to spend a lot of time outside, in the sunshine - the fresh air is really keeping my anxiety down (especially as things start to open up and I start to worry that people aren't being careful).

Not much else to share right now, so let's go on to this week's favorites.
I love being surrounded by so many creative people in my life! My good friend Katie's (the artist) sister has starting making jewelry out of the scraps of wood left over from the furniture she makes. I love unique jewelry that still looks classic, and these little wooden studs are exactly that. How cute are they?! I have my eye on one of her necklaces next.

I think Ben Platt's voice is one of my absolute favorites. His range is so incredible, and he sings so many different music styles so well. His new song is no exception! Also - the recording of his concert at Radio City Music Hall is on Netflix right now, and definitely worth a listen, too. It makes me excited to think about going to a live concert again sometime.

I have loved MZ Wallace bags for so long, so when I saw that they had a bunch of things on sale right now, I jumped at the chance to get one. I got a Micro Crosby, perfect for just the essentials, and love it so much I have been carrying it around the house since I have nowhere else to go!

Taylor Swift put the recording of her Live From Paris concert on Netflix, too - so much great music this week! I love all the acoustic versions of her songs; you can really hear the emotion in them. If you don't want to watch the whole show on Netflix, the songs are on YouTube too.

What a world we're living in that Emily Post's great-great-granddaughter is answering questions about Zoom etiquette! She does give some great tips, though, especially that it's okay to say no to virtual get-togethers just like it's okay to say no to in-person ones usually!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

New Quarantine Habits

I'm not one of those people who thinks that we all need to be super productive while we're all at home - I think we all need to get through this time in whatever way best works for us. I've mentioned that I spent my first few weeks watching a lot of TV and trying to settle into some sort of new normal. And once I started to settle in, I found myself wanting to fill my time with a few other things. It helped create the sense of normalcy for me, and helped me feel like something good was coming out of all of this; some new habits that I could build that will hopefully continue far beyond the pandemic.

It's been fun, and a bit of a silver lining, to have the time and opportunity for things that I've been wanting to do, but maybe hadn't gotten around to. Or some things that I had never thought about before but have become a new part of my routine. They give some order to my day, and give me something to look forward to. So here are the new "habits" that I've picked up in the last few months.
Headspace for sleeping
I've mentioned this in a few posts, but it's become such a pivotal part of my new routine that I need to specifically mention it again. Listening to Headspace right before I fall asleep has been the most peaceful way to doze off that I actually look forward to it! In addition to the wind downs, I've also been enjoying their sleepcasts, which are longer and more story-like, with a wind down built in.

Reading at least 10 minutes a day
This is something that I've been trying to get into the habit of for a few years, but seems like it may have finally stuck. At first, I felt like I was spending a lot of time mindlessly watching TV, so setting a 10 minute goal was a good way to train my brain back into the habit of actually focusing on a book again. But since I actually do love to read, I usually end up reading more than 10 minutes. Either way, it reminds me that I can be just as engrossed by whatever I'm reading as I am by TV.

Letter writing
Since we're all connecting so much virtually right now, I decided to go old-school and start sending more snail mail. I've loved taking the time to take pen to paper, and write a short and sweet note to friends and family members. I've already written more notes during quarantine than I have probably in the last year, combined! Having gorgeous, personalized stationary definitely makes me more excited to write more notes, too (see this post here for my stationary).

I took Spanish throughout high school and even into college, but have let it slide since then. I've had Duolingo on my phone for forever (their headquarters are in Pittsburgh and their founder is a fellow CMU alum!), but never really stuck with it. I now have over a 40 day streak, and the competitive side of me is now totally unwilling to let that streak end. I've really been having fun practicing my "espaƱol" each day!

Monday, May 18, 2020

I Can See Clearly Now: Warby Parker Glasses

I know they're trendy right now, but I've never really been a glasses person. For as long as I've been able to, I've traded my glasses for contacts. But I haven't been wanting to wear my contacts right now - it seems like such a hassle, and the fact that we're supposed to avoid touching our eyes makes me want to wear them even less.

But because of my reluctance to wear glasses, it meant that I didn't really have a good pair to wear. I had a pair from a few years ago, but they were so thin that my field of "see-able" vision was really small. After spending the last few weeks squinting all day long, it got to be too much, and I knew that I needed to get a new pair.
Of course, being me, once I decided that I wanted a new pair of glasses, I wanted them NOW. Patience is not known to be my strong suit! Years ago I'd done one of the Warby Parker try-ons, where you order five pairs of glasses and they send them to your house to try on... and ended up going to the store to buy a pair! But I didn't want to go through that waiting process, because again, impatience! So I "tried on" a few pairs virtually through Warby Parker's app, crossed my fingers, and placed an order.
And they turned out so well - this is the "Lovell" style! I went ahead and ordered the blue-light blocking option, because at this point, I figured that it couldn't hurt. The website warned that they might be delayed, but I think they made it to me in a little over a week, which is really not bad. I've been wearing them every day, and it's so nice to be able to actually see again - no more squinting at my laptop screen. I think that the app was really accurate - it's obviously not the same thing as actually trying them on, but it came really, really close.

I highly recommend if you're in the market for a new pair of glasses during quarantine (or even after). And of course, if you have more patience than I do, you can order the five pairs to try on at home for free, but rest assured knowing that the virtual try-on option is a really good one, too!

Friday, May 15, 2020

Friday Favorites

Another week in the books. It's actually been kind of a relaxing one for me - last week involved a lot of tying up loose ends for my MPH program, but since last weekend was my commencement, that's over! It's a weight off my shoulders, and yet feels so strange - I genuinely can't remember what my life was like before I was in graduate school. Even though I couldn't celebrate with my friends and family in person, it was nice to "see" them virtually, and I'm so honored that so many people wanted to celebrate my special day with me!
I've mentioned that Lily has been loving all this extra time surrounded by people. How cute and funny is she in this picture - I was in the yard down below, and she wanted to come join! (Don't worry, she could never actually fit between the posts, so she was totally safe).

On to the week's favorites...

When I got Disney+ a few months ago, one of the very first things that I did was re-watch every episode of Lizzie McGuire. My fingers are crossed that the reboot ends up happening, but for now, we have this fantastic virtual table read of the "I need a bra!" episode.

Center Stage is one of those movies that I watch every time I stumble on it on TV. It's just such a fun movie, and I even though I've (obviously) never been a dancer, I loved watching what seemed to be the behind-the-scenes of ballet life... even though yes, I realize it was fake. So the REAL behind-the-scenes of filming the movie is great!

I love Idina Menzel and Ben Platt, and they do not disappoint in this duet. What a beautiful take on a Disney classic!

I mentioned that I've been using Headspace to help me fall asleep. If you're having trouble, these are some good tips for getting a restful night's sleep.

Last, but DEFINITELY not least - the recording of the ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST of Hamilton is coming to Disney+ on July 3! This is a full year earlier than originally planned, and I am so excited. Truly, the good news that the world needed right now. I am so incredibly lucky to have seen it performed live (which I still think everyone should do when it's safe!!), and can't wait to re-live it, and to see the original cast, too. So exciting!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Pandemic Purchases: AirPods Pro Review

When I bought my AirPods a few years ago, I couldn't believe how I ever lived without them. The only thing I wished they had was the little silicone tips that make the earbuds actually stick in your ears, because I think they're more comfortable. It wasn't enough to stop me from using the AirPods daily, but it was on my wish list.

So when I saw that Apple came out with the AirPods Pro, which are the noise-cancelling version of the AirPods with silicone tips, I was so excited. I tried to hold off on buying them for as long as I could, because the AirPods that I have still work perfectly fine. But with all the extra phone and video calls that I'm doing right now, both for work and for fun, it seemed like the right time to bite the bullet and buy them.

Just like the "regular" AirPods, I've been using them daily and don't know how I waited this long. The noise cancelling aspect is great - it doesn't totally block out every single sound, but it does a really great job. Even when I'm not actually listening to anything, the headphones still block out ambient noise almost completely, and people talking are really muffled. And once I'm listening to music, it's all that I can hear! You can also turn the noise cancelling effect off/on, both by pressing on the earbuds themselves, or by the volume slider in the Control Center on your phone.

They've been great for all my Zoom calls, and they don't hurt my ears even when I'm wearing them for a few hours at a time. They come with three different sizes of silicone tips, and you can go through a really short check on the phone to make sure the ones you're using have the right seal. And just like all Apple products, I love how seamlessly they switch between devices, so I can go from using them on my laptop for a video call to using them on my phone without issues. The battery life is a little shorter than the regular AirPods, but if you're worried about them running out in the middle of something, you can always use just one of the earbuds for a bit while you charge the other - even just 10 minutes of charging gives you another hour or so of listening.

Were they something that I absolutely needed? Probably not. But they have made my life more pleasant in the last few weeks, and I see myself using them long after the stay-at-home orders end. I already can't wait to use them to block out my dad's 70s music on our next family road trip!

Monday, May 11, 2020

A (Virtual) Graduation Celebration

As of this weekend, I am officially a Masters of Public Health graduate from the University of Pittsburgh!
This has been a LONG time coming - about six years, start to finish. My MPH actually got off to a rather rocky start, because I had to withdraw from my very first semester to have my feeding tube surgery, and take the next semester off after that to recover. So I guess, at that point, there was really nowhere to go but up for the rest of my time at grad school! And luckily, the rest of my time did go smoothly.

It wasn't always easy, though. As a part-time student, grad school was a huge balancing act, with work, school, my personal life, and other commitments (usually, too many commitments). While it was made somewhat easier by the fact that I was taking classes in the same department that I worked for, that didn't somehow magically make more time appear! Being a part-time student while still working full-time meant sacrificing evenings and weekends, and concerts and dinners with friends and so many fun things that I wanted to be doing, but knew that I shouldn't. I didn't always make the right choices, and I definitely complained at times when I did make the right choices but wasn't happy about it (I'm still sad that I had to miss an Andrew McMahon concert to study for an exam!).

But of course - it was absolutely worth it, no question. I studied engineering as an undergrad, and I knew a little over halfway through my time that I didn't really want to BE and engineer. But I wasn't exactly sure what I did want to be, and I definitely wasn't ready to go right into grad school, because I was really worn out from my bachelor's. So when I happened into my job in public health, I felt so lucky. Because I realized that public health was what I wanted to do, in some way, shape, or form. So after I had sufficiently recuperated from my challenging time at CMU, I knew that I had to go back to school for my MPH.

My MPH program, and the professors that I've had the opportunity to study under, and the fellowships that I've taken part in - all of that has had such an immeasurable impact on where I am today, and what I'm working on. Had I not discovered public health, I'm not sure that I would be working in disability advocacy the way that I am now, because so much of my public health experience has shaped that. So yes, the time and work and effort have all paid off, many times over.

 Because of the stay-at-home orders, my commencement ceremony was not exactly how I imagined it! But in some ways, it feels sort of fitting to be graduating with my MPH during a public health crisis. And thanks to Zoom, I was able to celebrate with friends and family, just like I would have done if the ceremony had been in-person. So, with that...


(Major bonus points to anyone who gets the reference!)

Friday, May 8, 2020

Friday Favorites

I actually have something very exciting going on this weekend - my (virtual) MPH graduation! It has been a very long time coming, and I can't believe it will actually be over. I don't really know what the virtual ceremony will end up like, but I'm excited for it nonetheless. I'm sure I'll have more to share next week!
 I had to record something earlier this week, and it was the first time that I've done my hair and makeup since the stay-at-home orders began. It felt so weird to me, especially because the farthest that I had plans to go was outside in my hard. I had almost forgotten what I looked like with makeup on, ha!

Now this week's favorites:

ONE -  Julie Andrews and her Daughter
I love Julie Andrews so much - she just seems like the best. She and her daughter were really cute when Kelly Clarkson interviewed them together in this clip.

TWO - Harry Potter Narrated
Different beloved Harry Potter actors are taking turns reading a chapter of the very first Harry Potter book! This is such a fun idea - the Harry Potter books were actually the first I ever listened to on audiobook, and the narrator, Jim Dale, was my absolute favorite. I just think there's something really special about hearing Harry Potter read out loud.

THREE - Apple Watch Band
I normally have a leather band on my Apple watch, but it felt like "too much" for just wearing around the house. This nylon loop is the perfect, more casual alternative - and because it's a loop, it really is completely adjustable, so it's guaranteed to fit your wrist.

FOUR - Becoming on Netflix
A very welcome addition to my "Favorites to Stream" post from earlier this week (here). I loved Michelle Obama's memoir, and I was so disappointed that her tour didn't stop here in Pittsburgh. This documentary was a great way to get a glimpse of the tour and her life.

FIVE - Disney Channel Original Movies, Ranked
Growing up, my sister and I absolutely LOVED watching all of the Disney Channel Original Movies. I don't completely agree with these rankings - I would put Zenon much higher! - but man, what a walk down memory lane!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Favorites to Stream

I've finally found my reading groove again, but I've also been watching a lot of TV. Netflix, Hulu, HBO - you name it, I've been streaming it, and I don't think I'm alone in that! I'm someone who likes to have background noise, whether it's music or TV, so I almost always have something playing. Because of this, I have lots and lots of TV recommendations! I'm going to spare you from the FULL list (it'd be WAY too long of a post), but thought I'd share some of my favorites in case you're looking for something new to watch right now.
Best Comfort TV
These are the shows that I can watch over and over - they're my tried-and-true shows that always make me feel better when I watch.

Gilmore Girls (Netflix)
This is probably my number one most watched TV show. It's funny, it's fun to watch, the characters are great, and the Gilmore's coffee consumption rivals my own (or vice versa, I guess). And a bonus is if you're watching this for the first time, you can listen to the amazing Gilmore Guys podcast as you watch!

The West Wing (Netflix)
I was way late on this show - I only watched it for the first time maybe 5 years ago or so? And I have already watched it multiple times since then. It's a show about government and politics that's sincere rather than cynical, and really - it's about the people, not about politics. I feel like watching it actually makes me feel hopeful!

The Office (Netflix)
For years, I refused to watch The Office, claiming that it just wasn't "my kind" of show. I was WRONG. It is hilarious, but also really sweet in between the laughs. It's a great comfort show - the plot is not hard to follow, and every episode will make you laugh!

Parks and Recreation (Hulu)
This show is also the perfect mix of funny and sincere, and I love how much it celebrates female friendships. I think the show takes a season or two to really hit it's stride, but once it does, you'll be so glad you stuck with it. The talent in this show is so impressive - it has so many great comedians.

Schitt's Creek (Netflix, Hulu)
This is a recent show, and I wasn't sure it "belonged" in this category, but it really is the epitome of comfort TV. Don't let the name fool you - it's not a crass/crude show at all. Again, like my other comfort recommendations, it's sweet and funny. It has Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara, so you know it's going to be hilarious, but it's also just genuine and sweet and good.

Best Dark Shows
So basically, the opposite of the previous list. Shows that I love, but are definitely dark and twisted.

Breaking Bad (Netflix)
When I think of great but dark TV, this is at the top of my list, because it has a main character that you can't believe you're rooting for, because he's not exactly a "good guy." I don't know that I think there's a "bad" episode, and it's a rare show that ended while it was still on a high.

American Horror Story (Netflix)
So, I don't love every season of this show equally, but the good ones are so good that I felt like it deserved to be here. Season 1 is by far my favorite, but each season is standalone, so don't feel like you need to watch in order.

The Night Of (HBO)
This show is only one season long - a miniseries, I guess? - but it's incredible. It's a mystery of sorts, where you spend each episode trying to unravel and figure out exactly what happened, and you learn a little bit more each episode.

Game of Thrones (HBO)
I'm pretty sure that everyone has already seen this, but that doesn't mean it's not good! It's very twisted, and it's a show in the things that you think can't possibly happen do actually happen. But it's such an immersive story and one that keeps you on your toes the whole time you're watching.

Best Current Shows
These shows are airing right now, or have dropped recently, and I cannot get enough of them.

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist (NBC, Hulu)
I love this show! I'm obviously always on board for a show that features singing and dancing, but this show isn't like Glee. I don't want to spoil anything, but it's such a well done show and really worth watching. They also are really striving for diverse representation - they had a song "sung" by a deaf character (played by a deaf actress!), and it was beautifully done.

Normal People (Hulu)
I really enjoyed the book that this show is based on, so I knew I'd like this too, but it's kind of "hard" to watch (but worth it!). It's very realistic, which results in some painfully awkward, cringe-worthy moments where you just want to scream at the TV. But the story is so well told and I couldn't stop watching.

Never Have I Ever (Netflix)
This is a really cute, fun show from Mindy Kaling - kind of a rom-com in TV form following a high-school girl. Even though she's young, the show itself doesn't feel too young, and I was so drawn in to the teenage drama - I wanted more episodes! I also loved that there's more than just teen drama - there's a big focus on identity and sense of self that anyone at any age can relate to. I will note that there's a throwaway plot point about being in a wheelchair that I didn't love, but it's forgotten by the second episode and the rest is smooth sailing.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Mother's Day Gifts

It's going to be a different kind of celebration this year for Mother's Day, for sure. Since I'm quarantining with my mom, it's not super different, but my family always went out for brunch on Mother's Day, which is clearly not happening this year. And I know many people won't be able to celebrate with their families! So just like Easter and other holidays between March and now, this year's celebrations will have to be slightly different.

Whether or not you will physically be with your mom on Mother's Day, you can still send her a gift to let her know you're thinking of her. And of course - there's always Zoom and FaceTime.
Flower Bouquet
Carly designed this gorgeous bouquet, and 20% of the proceeds go towards No Kid Hungry!

Pretty Tea Kettle
Since we're all homebodies right now, this is the perfect time for this gift, and it'll also look great sitting out in the kitchen.

Soft Throw Blanket
Perfect for your mom to use while watching TV or reading a book.

Lemon and Mint Candle
Doesn't that just sound like the perfect scent right now?

Waffle Knit Robe
Short and light, which is perfect for the upcoming summer months.

Pajama Short Set
I don't think there's a thing as too many pajamas right now, especially soft and comfy ones like this set.

Body Butter and Bar Soap
Both of these are homemade by my aunt! And honestly, they've been so amazing and keeping our hands from being dry and cracked from all the extra hand-washing. (Plus, they smell AMAZING!)

Insulated Stemless Glass
Perfect for sipping wine, coffee, tea, or whatever your mom's beverage of choice is.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Friday Favorites

Happy May! It's weird to think that I spent the entire month of April without going further from my house than a short walk down the block and back. It's surreal in that I can't believe that there was an entire calendar month that I spent in my house (I know it's been well over a month, time-wise, but the calendar month just seems different to me), and yet, this does feel like a "new normal" in a way that the thought of actually going somewhere also seems weird to think about. These are the times we're living in, I guess!
But really, nothing too much went on this week. I'm hoping that April showers really do bring May flowers, and that we have some sunny days ahead of us this month. Obviously, I like to take advantage with time on the deck when I can!

On to this week's favorites.

ONE - Quarantine Dreams
I actually haven't been having the vivid quarantine dreams that everyone's talking about - maybe it's the Headspace that I've been doing right before bed? But I think it's fascinating that so many people have been having extra-vivid dreams right now. Have you?

TWO - Return to Me Q&A
Return to Me was one of the movies that my friends and I watched on repeat at sleepovers in high school. We were actually JUST texting about it last week - it was clearly a formative movie for us - and then I found this Q&A with Minnie Driver about the movie yesterday and it felt like fate!

THREE - Ladies Who Lunch
Last weekend, I watched the tribute to Sondheim that a whole bunch of Broadway stars took part in on YouTube. There were so many great performances, but this trio was definitely a standout!

FOUR - COVID Vaccines
This is a really interesting look at all of the different types of coronavirus vaccines that different groups of researchers are working on. Isn't science cool?!

FIVE - Comfort Books
Authors sharing their comfort books is one of the best things that I could have hoped for right now, and I know it's going to be a great list when The Princess Bride is at the top of it! Definitely adding some of this to my list.