I started writing this post last week before we learned the results of our presidential election. In my draft I had written “celebrating – election … ??” Even though I hoped with every fiber of my millennial female being that we would elect a smart, competent woman as our next president, part of me was worried. I woke up on Wednesday morning to the news and I cried. I cried for so many reasons, which have been hard to understand myself, and even harder for some of us to explain to other people not coming from our perspective. (“Our” meaning people who were sobbing on Wednesday and beyond.) I’ve gone through all the stages of grief, some more than once, and I think I’ve rewritten this paragraph at each one. I’m sad and I’m disheartened, but I’m trying to move forward in this stage of acceptance with the hope of good things to come and a greater understanding of why we ended up here.
As a woman, this election affected me in a very specific way. I was getting fired up about my worth as a woman even before we knew the outcome. To deny that this election was affected by sexism is, in my opinion, irresponsible. It was certainly not the only thing going on, but it was there, plain and simple. Somehow on Wednesday I started channeling my frustration and anger about what was happening in my country into an idea that makes me feel like I’m doing something that matters. That’s why I created the “Nasty Woman” design you see at the top of this post. I identify with the “nasty woman” title for my own reasons, and I took into account some of the reasons of my peers when designing it as well. I want it to serve as a constant reminder of what’s most important to me and of my overall worth as a woman.
It is now available as a print and on t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, wall clocks, mugs and more in my Society6 shop. And for every “Nasty Woman” item that sells in my shop, I will donate all my profits to the charity Girls on the Run. That means that with your purchase you’re helping to empower the Nasty Women of our future. This organization is “dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.” They do this through various lessons surrounding self-understanding, teamwork and relationships, plus some running games. Each 3-month session ends with a 5k. I chose this charity because I gained a lot of my self-worth and confidence by growing up as an athlete. There’s something about it that makes you feel strong and capable. Girls who’ve completed this program have said, “Girls on the Run made me realize that I am the boss of my brain,” “I know that whatever I set my mind to do, I can do,” and “I learned how to be comfortable in my own skin.” I just found out a friend of mine works with her local chapter of Girls on the Run, and she can vouch for their impact on the girls who participate and the people like her who volunteer. An organization like this is so important, and in the wake of the presidency we are currently gearing ourselves up to experience, this support of strong women could never be more imperative for young girls everywhere.
So are you with me? Where my fellow nasty women at? I hope you buy something for yourself and for every nasty woman you love.
All that being said, I like to keep this blog a positive place. That’s why I do these posts called “Things I’m LOVING,” not “Things I’m Hating.” Even in the midst of all this sadness and despair, I have a lot to be thankful for and there’s a lot of life to be lived and love to spread. So I’m going to continue doing that. To recap, since my last TIL post I’ve shared a mini version of my wedding cake as a celebration of my second anniversary, ice cream sandwiches to celebrate Lindsey’s book and her beautiful new baby, slab pie to commemorate Yossy’s book, the epic annual pumpkin party (and I had an IRL one with friends, too), a recap of my visit to Cleveland with my favorite nasty woman sister-in-law, and salted caramel chocolate crackles from Sarah’s book to celebrate Cynthia’s gorgeous baby. In addition to all that, I also spent another weekend in Cleveland with my family and two of my best friends married each other. See?! So much goodness still happening. Here’s some other stuff I’ve been loving lately:
#bakeamericacakeagain – I’m sad. See above. But this hashtag makes me happy because it’s full of pretty cakes, and I think we could all use a little more cake in our lives right now.
Qapital – You guys – I’m a total math nerd who loves budgeting apps and super-organizing my finances. If I wasn’t an artist I’d be a CPA. This app called Qapital is one of my new favorite things. It’s a savings app that helps you put away money based on your daily habits, without you having to think about it. For example, I use the “round up” rule, which rounds up every purchase of mine to the nearest even number, and saves that excess. (So if I use my credit card to buy $26.50 of groceries, it will automatically put $1.50 into my Qapital savings account.) I also use their “guilty pleasure” rule, which for me means that when I buy Dominos (no judgement), I automatically save $5. (That one got activated the other weekend). Other rules include the “spend less rule” (for when you spend less than your budget), the “set & forget rule” (a fixed amount to be saved on a schedule like weekly or monthly), the “apple health rule” (for hitting your fitness goals), the “freelancer rule” (saves 30% of your income to put away for taxes – so smart!), the “52 week rule” (saves $1 the first week, $2 the second week, etc.), and then it connects with IFTTT which means there are a million other ways you can use it. I use the IFTTT function to save $1 every time I post on Instagram. I LOVE THIS APP!!! I’ve averaged a savings of $15-20/week with my three rules, and I like having this “out of sight, out of mind” stash of savings that’s not directly connected to my checking account. (Although it’s very simple to withdraw money back to your bank account.) Qapital also sponsors a fun personal finance podcast hosted by a female comedian, called Spent, which I’m loving as well. I’M NERDING OUT OVER THIS. Please try this app so I can share my love with someone.
Anysharp Knife Sharpener – I was offered a sample of this knife sharpener and since Robert and I have been in search of an easy-to-use, effective knife sharpener for our kitchen, I agreed to try it out. From our first use we knew this thing was amazing. It’s quite small so it doesn’t take up a lot of room in our kitchen, and with a few quick swipes of your knife blade, it’s like having a brand new knife again. We have a few favorite chef’s knives that have gotten extremely dull, and the knife-sharpening rod we had gotten (like this one) was not giving us great results. This Anysharp one makes our knives possibly even sharper than they originally were, and they now cut things like butter. If your favorite knives have gotten really dull and you’re looking for a solution like we were, I would highly recommend this product.
Paqui Tortilla Chips – I attended the Natural Foods Expo in Baltimore recently to check out some products, and this was one of the samples I got there. I wasn’t expecting much when I ate these (I just packed them as an afternoon snack for work), but I was blown away. I love the Cool Salsa Verde, which is like sour cream and onion with a hint of spice, and then the Nacho Cheese Especial, which is like Doritos but WAY BETTER. My local grocery store doesn’t carry the Nacho Cheese flavor (sad face), but I’ve been getting the Cool Salsa Verde kind to eat with hummus.
Salted Peanut Butter Cookies – The peanut butter cookie episode of the Spilled Milk podcast featured these cookies, and as soon as I heard about them I knew I had to make them. I don’t often like peanut butter cookies because I find them to be too dry, but these ones sounded like something I’d be interested in. So that weekend we had some guests over and I made them, and they were everything I wanted in a peanut butter cookie – large, chewy, moist, flavorful, and there’s chocolate involved. They were a huge hit. If you’re a peanut butter cookie lover, you need to try these.
The Book of the Month Club – I found this through an ad on Instagram and they got me good because I immediately went to their website and signed up. With this club you get to choose one book from 5 very carefully curated choices of new books across various genres. (You can add up to two extra books each month for $10 each.) If you want to skip a month you can easily do that and it will just extend your subscription by another month. So you’re essentially just pre-paying for some well-selected hardcover books. At the time of my joining, I chose my book of the month and added two extras to my box. (I couldn’t help myself.) Their price through this club was less than their current price on Amazon, so it was also a bargain. I love to read and have always enjoyed losing myself in a good book, but I’m not always the best at staying on top of new non-cookbook books these days. So I’m hoping this club will help to encourage me to make more time for reading novels, etc., while keeping me informed of some new great titles. PROMO CODES: I reached out to BOTM and they were gracious enough to give me some promo codes for you guys. You can use “BOTM5” to try a one-month membership for $5, or “30TOTE” to get a 3-month membership for $29.97 (normally $44.97) and a free BOTM tote bag. Enjoy! (This paragraph contains an affiliate link.)
Pukka Clean Green Tea – This was another sample I got from the Natural Foods Expo. I drink green tea every day, and this is the best I’ve ever had of the non-mint and non-fruity varieties. There’s something so clean and fresh about it. Unfortunately my local grocery stores don’t carry it, so when I run out I might just buy it in bulk on Amazon.
Period Stuff – The One Part Podcast recently did a 2-episode special (here and here) highlighting two different but similar organic tampon companies, Lola and Cora. I’ve already tried Lola and I’m a fan of their product, but Cora was new to me. Learning about how both brands started their companies was very interesting. I also enjoyed their discussions about our weird period culture and how we can improve it. Both brands also give back in different ways, which is wonderful. I’d suggest giving one or both of them a shot, and they’re both using the genius idea of a subscription system. (Has there ever been a greater need for a product subscription than for tampons? Why has it taken us so long to get here?) I’m also a huge fan of Lola’s campaign to #makeperiodsgreatagain. If you’re a menstruating woman, these brands are a perfect example of how you can “vote with your dollars.”
I spent time in DC for a friend’s bachelorette celebration over Labor Day weekend, and we had soooo much fun. That was my first time in DC just hanging out, and I was very impressed. Here are some highlights from our visit:
• Pole Pressure – A small pole dancing studio where we took a beginner class. It was fun, empowering, and a fantastic workout.
• Cafe Saint-Ex – I had huevos rancheros with slow-roasted brisket. BRISKET.
• El Rey – Great tacos and booze! Get the nachos.
• Cafe Citron – A fun salsa bar where we danced our faces off and put our Zumba moves to good use. Go to the basement and ask someone to dance with you. SO FUN.
• Perry’s Drag Brunch – Silly, but fun. And the food was actually really good for a breakfast buffet. Make a reservation and go with a large group.
• Chaia Tacos – Deliciousssss plant-based tacos in Georgetown. Be sure to get a fresh juice and/or iced tea as well.
• Old Glory BBQ – Good BBQ, great mac and cheese.
• Muncheez – Lebanese street food that was out-of-this-world good. Can’t go wrong here, and they’re open late.
• A Baked Joint – Holy crap I had the best breakfast sandwich of my life here! My egg sandwich on their goat cheese and herb biscuit was life-changing. Their coffee drinks are also great, and DO NOT skip one of their homemade baked goods. I got something like a homemade Twix and my life seriously may never be the same.
• “Challah If Ya Nasty” aka Goat Cheese and Sage Stuffed Pumpkin Challah by Kale & Caramel
• Peach Almond Snack Cake + In Defense of Food Blogs by Ruby Josephine
RECIPE BUCKET LIST
You can find all recipes from these lists on this Pinterest board.
• Savory Dutch Baby from B. Britnell
• Loaded Mediterranean Street Cart Fries from Pinch of Yum
• Sheet Pan Eggs from Food52
• Tomato-Braised Eggs + Creamy Baked Polenta from Two Red Bowls
• Ruth Reichl’s Diva of a Grilled Cheese from Food52
• Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Love and Lemons
• Roasted Garlic Basil Pesto Potatoes with Arugula from Dolly and Oatmeal
• Italian White Bean Soup from A Couple Cooks
• Date-Sweetened Vegan Chai Latte with Tahini from Will Frolic for Food
• Slow Cooker Maple Chipotle Pork with Cheesy Polenta from How Sweet Eats
• Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana from Girl Versus Dough
• Coconut Butter Hot Chocolate from The First Mess
• Adult SpaghettiOs from Bon Appetit
• Molly’s Chocolate Halva Babka from The Fauxmartha
• Homemade Twix (Bars + Tart) from Not Without Salt
Illustration at top created with Adobe Illustrator.
Prints of my illustrations (plus other products with my work on them) are available in my Society6 shop.
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