A major concern I have heard (and felt myself) is that with Joe Biden's win, white liberals will go back to their comfy routines and the action will stop. It's crucial to keep learning, stay aware of the issues, and to continue to take action. One thing that has been helpful for me is newsletters - instead of scrolling when I wake up in the morning I read through a few newsletters. These are my favorites that keep me updated on race, equity, and current events (note - I never make it through them all, and I've heard from friends that these newsletters are great for late night feedings with new BBs).

Fortune has some great regular newsletters, these are my favs (subscribe to any by selecting them here):

  • RaceAhead is a weekly newsletter about DEI in the workplace.
  • Broadsheet is a daily newsletter that shares stories about powerful women in business, and the things that impact us.
  • CEO Daily rounds up everything you need to know happening in corporate America, and often leads with a write-up on leadership (which more often than not includes CEOs' stances on DEI initiatives).   

Anti-Racism Daily provides daily actions to dismantle white supremacy. 

New York Times Race/Related explores the ways race impacts our daily lives.

Washington Post About Us explores identity in America through race and political movements. 

Teen Vogue Take: Teen Vogue has emerged as the wokest teen mag out there in 2020 and their daily newsletter highlights current news, history lessons, and hot takes centered around social justice. Meanwhile as a teen I skipped the articles to swoon over pix of Devon Sawa and Usher. Good for these teens. 

The Betches Sup is a sarcastically hilarious take on the daily news.

Rebekah Gienap's Raising Kid Activists newsletter is a great parent resource. Last week's emails included a guide for addressing kids' stereotypes and a list of ten resources for an activist family.

Politico's Weekly Education: COVID Edition dives into news around education policy and politics. https://www.politico.com/newsletters/weekly-education

The HBR Hotlist: a weekly collection of HBR's most popular stories, usually includes 3-4 stories on being an inclusive leader. I also recommend subscribing to the Management Tip of the Day.

11 Newsletters to Keep You Learning & Doing the Work (newsletters on race and equity)

Monday, December 14, 2020

The 2020 Pollsters' Blind Spots (Teen Vogue): tbh I didn't know pollsters' role and how important they are in shaping our future. A look into what they do, what went wrong in 2020, and how to fix.

A brief history of Georgia's runoff voting (Yahoo News): Spoiler alert -no one else does runoffs because its roots are racist af! (P.S. if you're in GA please vote for Warnock and Ossoff - make your plan for early voting today plz)

America was expecting a COVID baby boom but they got an egg freezing boom instead (The Lily): Egg freezing at Langone is up 41% compared to this time last year - even though NYC clinics were closed for 3 whole months! What is up with this? 

Ethiopia's Humanitarian Crisis Explained (Vox): Brief on the conflict in Ethiopia and the humanitarian crisis that ensued.

Disenfranchising voters with disabilities (NYT): People with disabilities represent 95% of COVID deaths in Alabama, yet SCOTUS blocked a trial judge’s ruling permitting Alabama counties to offer curbside voting as a reasonable accommodation to disabled voters. A whole side I hadn't considered.

How to Build Trust in the COVID-19 Vaccine  (The Atlantic): A follow up to our #WakeUpWednesday conversation last week.

Is Mormon Culture Really Plastic Surgery Obsessed? (Vice): Why can't I stop reading about Mormon lifestyle??!!! RHOSLC has turned me into a monster!

Is American Dietetics a White-Bread World? These Dietitians Think So (NYT): The argument that dietitians ignore different body types and diet needs. Proud to see a colleague of mine quoted on the inequitable barriers to entry in the nutrition industry!

How to make your virtual company holiday party not suck (Inc): Practical tips to rethink the company holiday party. It doesn't have to suck. 

2020.12.13 Sunday Reading List

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Hi everyone! A lot of you have asked how you can contribute for the education challenges etc, and so this holiday season if you have gained anything from this blog/instagram account over the last few months or had a good laugh with Tik Tok Tuesdays, I'm asking that you help me clear out some teacher wishlists. There are two teachers who have contributed to a lot of different Wake Up Wednesdays (which yall all learn from!) and who are doing amazing work - AND you can support students, teachers, and Black authors in one swoop:

Ms. C.'s 2nd Grade Wish List

Ms. F.'s Middle School Book Drive 

If you would rather keep it local (totally cool!) there are a few options:

  • TeacherList where you can search your zip code to find teacher wishlists in your area 
  • https://www.donorschoose.org/ and pick a teacher's project to help fund (there are some really cool projects!)
  • Venmo/Paypal your teacher friends for lesson plans
  • Send gift cards, coffee, wine to teachers you know

I sent a book set and some school supplies to the lists above, not saying this to to toot my horn but because peer pressure is one of the most effective ways to get people to donate (: 

Thank you for your support!

Action item: teacher wishlists

Monday, December 7, 2020



What Do Inclusive Leaders Sound Like? (HBR): A study analyzed leaders' behaviors and audience reactions to determine which behaviors drive audiences to believe perceive their leaders as inclusive. Must-read for anyone leading people in 2020.

'Flexing their power': how America's richest zip code stays exclusive (The Guardian): Housing inequality is all systemic and it even happens in California.

The Dream Job Is Dead. Long Live the Good Enough Job (Refinery 29): What does it mean about you if you're not pursuing your dream job? 2020 has completely changed my perspective on work and this was a timely read.

It’s time to recognize the forgotten Americans who helped elect Joe Biden (WaPo): Six Native Americans were elected to Congress and Native Americans tipped the scale in a lot of states in this election, despite all they are currently up against when it comes to voting rights. 

As Police Departments Outsource Officer Training to Save Money, Society May Be Paying the Price (Time): For profit education companies running police trainings with no regulation or oversight - what could possibly go wrong? This article goes into how police training works (or doesn't) - and the fact that officers can be out in the streets before ANY training, and looks at states that require less training for police offers than for barbers. I just...

The number of Black female founders who have raised more than $1 million has nearly tripled since 2018 (Fortune): And their businesses are trending to be more successful in 2020 than their counterparts. Let's keep supporting the Black-owned businesses!

How Black Lives Matter Is Changing the Church (New Yorker): Side eye to the churches who serve a radical liberal activist but are currently "avoiding politics" which is code for "letting racism slide".

Sunday Reading List12.6.2020

Sunday, December 6, 2020

The days are getting shorter and I may or may not have conquered all of Netflix and HBO Max before December, which means it's book time. Let's make sure supporting Black authors stays a priority (because if you just did the reading in Summer 2020 and then resumed your regular reading list it was virtue signaling). I try to order from my local Black-owned bookstore (Mahogany Books for me), I'm linking to the Amazon listings as a reference. 

Pro tip: check out e-books and audiobooks (fo FREE) from your library. Mine uses the Libby app and is SO easy to use, and my woke librarians post BLM reading lists.


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi: Oprah's book of the year (and we know O does not miss) is the story of two half sisters born in Ghana who were given two very different paths follows their families through 300 years of generations and I could not put it down. 

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams: Named to NPR's best books of 2019 and TIME's 100 best books of the year, this book has been described as Bridget Jones meets Americanah and follows a young woman as she navigates decisions and tries to figure out what she's doing.

An American Marriage by Tayari JonesA newlywed couple is torn apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Never have I loved AND hated characters so much in one read. This one is heavy, definitely not a vacation read but a must-read. TIME, NPR, and Oprah all have it on their 2018 book of the year lists.

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite: Betches calls this a mix between Sharp Objects and Dexter which is really all I need to know to put this book on the top of my to-read list. 

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Another one I finished in 3 days. Chimamanda's story of race identity in America is so, so good. If you're craving more Chimamanda after this one get Half a Yellow Sun next.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett: This New York Times #1 Best-Seller is my favorite book I've read this year. The story of Black twin sisters, one who goes on to pass as white and one who does not. 

Ordinary Light: A Memoir by Tracy K. Smith: A coming of age story that explores the meaning of home and the bond between mother and daughter with the backdrop of race.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid: I am on the hold list for this NYT best-seller about a white blogger who calls the family's Black babysitter in the midst of a family crisis. 

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole: I love a mystery/thriller and this NYT best-seller comes recommended by Grace so it's at the top of my winter reading list. This book about a gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood that may not be what it seems is said to have Rear Window and Get Out vibes.

Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo: Forbidden romance, love story, cultural identity, yes please.

The Playbook Series by Alexa Martin (starting with book #1 Intercepted): The author is married to an NFL player and uses her experience to craft this series about dating and football. NPR named the first and second books in the series best books of 2018 and 2019. 

Educate Yourself

Again, if your learning stopped when the protests and social media quieted down, you were virtue signaling. The more we know the more we understand the issues and solutions. Let's commit to getting through these during the winter months. These books can be heavy, so I read them in conjunction with a lighter book.

White Rage by Carole Anderson: Ok when I ordered this one I thought it would be about how angry white allies fought the system (because I'm used to books being written to make me feel good #whiteprivilege), but this is quite the opposite. I learned so much about American history, the barriers white people put in the way of progress, and the ripple effects this had. Interesting how history repeats itself...

Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad: This daily study book requires about 15 mins/day and is REQUIRED no matter how much work you've done. I just wrapped week two and have learned a lot.

How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi: Great read, not necessarily for beginners. This one really opened my eyes to everywhere that racism exists and my role in fixing.

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Questions About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum: So many of y'all recommended this book about racial identities and the US divide, currently in my audiobook queue! 

Winter Book Club: Black Authors

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

🎵Listening: Spotify's Lo-fi Christmas playlist is great background music. 

⛓Accessorizing: I have this sweat-proof mask chain in "Flashy" and it is required in 2020. Especially convenient for outdoor dining and drinking so you don't have to set your mask down or put it in your dirty purse. I wear it with this insanely comfortable satin mask with a filter pocket.

🏋️‍♀️Exercising: I finally caved and got a Peloton bike. If you cave too you can use my referral code for $100 off accessories: WTQY7W. Besides the bike I love their strength workouts and bootcamps, especially with Jess Sims. AND finally found dumbbells at Target.

🎧Listening: In my attempt to get 10,000 steps a day I'm listening to a lot of podcasts (send recs please). Code Switch's "The White Elephant in the Room" digs into the racial voting trends we can't stop talking about (what's up with the Latinx voters and Trump? And the Christians??). Invisibilia's "White vs. White" shares the story of a city council member who claimed he was Black, and what does it even mean? Case Closed tell binge-worthy true crime stories that have actually been solved. Currently gearing up for season 3's Amish murder mystery.

📺Watching: On HBO Max: Based on the Apollo Theater's adaption of the book, Between the World and Me is powerful and educational. Michaela Coel's  I May Destroy You is the best show I've watched in 2020. Netflix: I would usually roll my eyes at these people but some reason the Andersons got me in Country Ever After. Everything Pharrell touches turns to gold and his attempt to start a gospel choir Voices of Fire is no exception. 

👖Wearing: I may be single-handedly keeping Old Navy open with my sweat suit obsession. Even though I look like a middle school boy headed to gym class, they're so soft I live in them. Joggers and sweatshirts. Plus I accidentally threw in this insanely soft sherpa sweater in forest shade that I love.

🍾Practical: I love a glass of champagne but I hate opening a bottle because I'm never going to finish it. These bottle stoppers work for wine AND champagne and keep my champs/rose bubbly for days.

Stuff I Like RN 11.2020

Monday, November 30, 2020


Everyone has that racist [insert family member], and while the pandemic is getting a lot of us out of  divided holiday dinner table conversations this year, some people will be (safely I hope) stuck in these situations. And unlike the Thanksgiving after the last election, wed don't have a new Adele song to bring us all together. Some friends I know are having practice sessions over Zoom (it is that serious!) and some have set boundaries for off topics limits at the dinner table. Either way, as an ally we need to be ready to step up and have some tough conversations this holiday season, so I pulled together resources for the statements I hear the most.


First, keep in mind that shaming does not change minds or behaviors. Trust me, I want nothing more than to tear people apart, but as an ally there is a bigger picture we are working towards here and it's not about a temporary rush for me.

Second, arming ourselves with vocabulary and facts is helpful. Note that it's not THAT helpful depending on who the discussion is with (*cough cough Fox News*) but it helps me feel confident in my arguments.

Third, keep in mind that behavior change is hard. We're not going to change that uncle's mind at one dinner discussion, but we can get the wheels to start turning.

Fourth, listen and keep an open mind (I know). 


The "but Tr*mp has done so much for Black people" uncle

Oh right because he said so at the debate! This article outlines facts about the "things" 45 has "done" to "help Black people".

The "I'm tired of people saying I'm privileged because I'm white" auntie

White privilege does not mean you don't have struggles, it means you have not struggled because of the color of your skin. Starting on page two, this  report has 50 straightforward examples of white privilege to use.

The "BLM protests are violent/looting/scary" uncle

The media did make it look like these protests were violent and full of looting, however, 93% of the BLM protests were peaceful. This is impressive considering this has been the largest movement in American history with over 9% of the country participating. It is really important to focus on the issues the protestors are fighting for and not get easily distracted by media reports of looting.

The "I don't see color" auntie

I know you are coming from a good place with this, but when you don't acknowledge skin color you are erasing the Black experience, and the role of white supremacy in suppressing Black people.


The "I'm not racist so it's not about me" cousin

That is great that you aren't racist. It is important to keep doing the work though. No matter how not racist we are, as white people we have all benefitted from white supremacy and have a responsibility to fight racism and commit to learning.

The "why should I have to feel bad about what my ancestors did" cousin's boyfriend

No one is asking you to feel bad or give up what you have. We are asking that you recognize the reality Black people face every day in the U.S. and to use the power you have to make change.

When we donate to the food bank this holiday season we aren't saying "I didn't cause hunger so why should I feel bad about it". When we are giving gifts to Angel Tree or Salvation Army for Christmas we aren't saying "I didn't cause poverty, why should I have to feel bad about it". No, we aren't even questioning our duty to use our privilege and power to improve circumstances for others. What makes this situation different? 

The "Black people should behave better so they don't get shot by the cops who are just doing their jobs" uncle

Actually, Black people are murdered by police at two to six times the rate of white people. In cases where the victim is unarmed or poses minimal threat, Black people are 3.5x more likely to be murdered than white people.They are more likely to be stopped, arrested, and charged for any offense than white people. 

The "but Black on Black crime!!" auntie

Interestingly enough, white people commit crime against white people at about the same rate, but since white crime isn't racialized we just call it "crime". Even when you correct for poverty, crime rates across all races are much higher, but the rates are actually the same when looking at Black crimes against Black versus white on white. I would love to talk about options to fight poverty since that is such a strong indicator of crime.

The "Black people should pull themselves up by their bootstraps like I did" uncle

Oof.. I have a #30DayEducationChallenge for you! But for real, centuries of inequality in the U.S. have given you a lot more opportunities to "pull you up by your bootstraps" (that phrase makes me 🤮), and restricted Black people from a lot of the things that enabled you to do this. For example red lining, GI Billhealthcareeducation - to name just a few. 

Racist Comments

These suck so bad. But there are some responses to get the wheels turning:

What makes you say that?

That hasn't been my experience.

Do you really believe that? I'd like to learn more about why.

I didn't want to say this in front of everyone, but that comment you made at dinner was inappropriate and racist. Comments like that are hurtful to [insert group] and perpetuate dangerous ideas.

Preparing for the holidays with your racist uncle

Monday, November 23, 2020


America Had a Reckoning on Race This Year. The Election Showed How Little Has Changed (Time): The work did not end with the election. See y'all out there.

"Emily in Paris" and the Rise of Ambient TV (The New Yorker): I call it background shows and keep them on when I'm doing social media stuff or tedious manual work (I loved my open concept office and the noise helps me focus). This list  (and the Fab 5) has gotten me through 2020.

Pandemic Pet Therapy (NPR): There is actual psychological research out there that says we are more than just crazy dog people. 

The Cult of Peloton: how it became a pandemic obsession (Independent): I caved and got one. And if I am dropping that kind of coin, you know it's real.
The Best Way to Improve Schools? Invest in Teachers (Vox): They studied 150 interventions around the world to figure out this one. LMAO my IG could have saved y'all a lot of time and money!

Write Down Your Team's Unwritten Rules (HBR): I'm going to do this tomorrow. Such good points about the extra stress it puts on employees who aren't sure what's ok and what's not.

98 Million Tik Tok Followers Can't Be Wrong (The Atlantic): Ok I get Tik Tok, I don't get this.

Diverse employees are struggling the most during COVID-19—here’s how companies can respond (McKinsey): BIPOC, women, and LGBTQIA+ are experiencing greater challenges and mental health issues than their counterparts. This study outlines the research and the action steps companies can take to support.

Sunday Reading List 11.22.2020

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Shopping Black owned is more important now than ever. On top of the fact that Black entrepreneurs face significantly more barriers in starting and maintaining a business than their white peers, Black owned businesses have been disproportionately impacted by COVID - I broke it all down visually here and at the bottom of this post. One small act you can do today in the fight against systemic racism is to shop Black-owned businesses for your holiday gifts this year. I sourced the IG following for a list of your favorites and compiled below - check out these products and let me know if there are others I can add to the list!

This is a living post, I will continue to update as more recommendations come in. Last update 11/18/2022.


Ink prints: Love the art on Winnie Weston (based in Alexandria, VA! hey local to me!).

Prints and paintings: Beautiful artwork from Lindsay Bri Adams, I'm eyeing this.

Prints and canvases from Hello Allison ArtLove.

Prints: ArtxMariah creates amazing hand drawn prints and even temporary tattoos!

Prints: Black Girl Free has prints and inspirational cards made my an IRL friend of mine who paints inspirational murals all over the world (follow her IG for some real inspo).

B&W Prints from Pretty In Ink - I'm digging this Fight the Power print!

Textiles, prints, workshops from Jen Hewett.

Athletic/Athleisure Apparel

Athleisure: Solely Fit for athleisure - I have my eye on these leggings .

Running: For the runner: running mittens and face masks from White Paws Run Mitts.

Activewear: Love love the bright colors and patterns at Glamourina! Sizing goes up to 3XL. No one can have too many leggings in 2020 and these Sahara colors are perfection.

Yoga: Beach Hours is a Black and woman owned brand with fun patterns. Sizing up to 3XL. 

Sets: Roam Loud has tops, bottoms, and matching sets. I like that you can filter for the intensity of the workouts. Sizing up to 2XL. 


Select one of these independent Black-owned bookstores. I get my books from Mahogany Books here in D.C. (they ship nation wide).


Whiskey: Uncle Nearest small batch whiskey is run by the first female and first BIPOC to run a major whiskey or spirit brand ever. 

Wine: Theopolis Vineyards' California wines come highly recommended from a few friends - the Sirah was specifically mentioned.

Wine and Rosé: McBride Sisters Collection has holiday gift collections and their Brut Rosé and canned SHE-CAN Spritzers come recommended!


Adishaah Candles has some great scents in this small batch, hand poured candle shop.

3 brothers started FRÈRES BRANCHIAUX, a hand poured soy candle company that donates 10% of proceeds to homeless shelters in the US. A Forever Wakanda candle!! I cannot!

Glo Through It  : wish I could smell through the screen. Just ordered the Peace candle for myself!

KSM Candle Co has gift options from candles to virtual candle making classes to candle of the month club memberships to curated gift bags.

Mermaid Noire hand pours candles in Maryland. I have and regularly burn Yemaya and Eye of the Tiger.

Vela Negra sells black wax candles in unique scents. The Coquí candle looks divine.


Positive MessagesNatural E Beautiful has a "Love Yourself" collections that I...love. For kids and adults.

Leisure: Really fun looks Dressed in Joy. LOVE these biker shorts.

Pre-loved: Sustainable fashion at Pulchritude. This striped pouch is a great stocking stuffer.

Hoodies: The Museum DC has sweatshirts, hoodies and hats.

Women's wear: Day to evening women's clothing at MDOTROSS, eyeing this maxi for myself or a giftcard for a friend.

Hoodies and hats from Double or Nothing Apparel.

Make a statement: IN X OUT Apparel has all the clothes with the positive messages. My SIL got this sweatshirt from me last year!

Lingerie: Suzy Black for lingerie, including plus size.

StylishAddie white for trendy clothes, I have my eye on this grey comfy looking dress.

PoliticalBailwick's Madam Vice President T and "America: Under New Management" T are perfect for about 73 million Americans.

D.C. Stuff

Ts:  Nubian Hueman's Native T and Locals Only T are great gifts for D.C. locals.

Stickers and mugs: Feed the Malik creates guides and reviews Black-owned restaurants in the DMV. Support her work AND D.C. Central Kitchen by purchasing these Bring Black Chocolate City mugs and stickers.

Apparel: Bailwick makes my favorite D.C. gear. I own this tank top, this t, and have my eye on this hoodie.


Baked Goods: Brotha Bakes' online bakery has me 🤤. These cupcake jars look... just wow.

Baked Goods: Ke's Konfections for bundts, brownies, cookies, and ice cream. Harrison is getting these cookies n cream cookies in his stocking and can we talk about this cookies n irish cream bundt???

Popcorn: When you've had real good gourmet popcorn there's no turning back. Hello, Lammar Marie Gourmet Popcorn. This Double Chocolate Pretzeltopia Popcorn looks like Heaven.

Juice/Cocktails: The handcrafted juices made from all locally sourced ingredients from T is the Name look perfect. Someone send me a gintini stat. And if I were in NY I would be ordering the Capricious Sun on the reg. 

Herbs and spices: Shop Herbs and Spices has curated gift boxes so it is literally 0 work for you.

Biscuits: I'M SORRY BUT BACON CHEDDAR JALAPENO BISCUITS TO MY DOOR? Mama's Biscuits has vegan and gluten free options, and donates thousands of biscuits each month to local causes. 

General Gifty Things

Home Goods: Yowie has home goods with a whole collection dedicated to homes for plants, perfect for all those who are celebrating their first Christmas as pandemic plant parents! Also love their prints.

Stationery and Cards: Neighborly Paper for stationery, paper, and cards - spoiler alert: a lot of you will get this one from me, I can't stop laughing.

Goods: Fair trade fashion and unique goods at Nubian Hueman. Into this white sage bundle, and if you're shopping for anyone in D.C. this is it.

Flowers: Taylored Grace has beautiful florals for local delivery.

Kitchen, kids, wellness, fashion: So many great gifts from Post21.com.

Socks: I bought lots of gifts from Define Socks - the recipients loved the taco socks and the watermelons.

Journal: The Journal You'll Actually Finish provides prompts to inspire creativity and help you get your ish together in just a few days each month. 

Calendars: Practice self empowerment with these 2021 affirmation calendars from Black Girl Free.

Christmas Shop: Midnight Reflections has adorable printed wrapping paper , plus some fun ornaments like this Black Santa emoji ornament.

Plants: EcoVibe has you covered for all things plant gifting - check out their gift collections in all different price ranges! 


These make great additions to your baby registry too!

Puzzles: Every kid on my list is getting an empowering Puzzle Huddle puzzle. Obsessed. Plus 20% off with the code HOLIDAY2020!

Baby Clothes: For the bb's - Random Rompers Apparel

Clothing: Buddha Babe has all the accessories, bibs, blankets, and clothes for the BBs covered. This Local Legend long sleeve bodysuit and this Big Poppa bib are adorable.

Clothes and Toys: Little Nomad Shop has so many great gifts. #CoolAunt coming through with some sweet toys.

Teethers: Pretty Please Teethers makes natural, modern, minimalist teething toys for littles. We have the Rainbow + Rays Teether, and I really like their gift boxes.

Baby products: Eizzy Baby makes easy modern baby products. We have their silicon bibs, suction plates, and snack cups!

Representation: Little Muffincakes make products that represent diversity. We have the Make Believe Majestic Blanket and I love their pillows!

Jewelry and Accessories 

Golds: Lelia Mae has beautiful gold jewelry including personalized items and a great under $50 section.

Jewelry: I want all of it from Lingua Nigra. The I Can See the Light earrings have my name all over them.

Jewelry: Sassy Jones Boutique's jewelry and accessories make great gifts.

Jewelry from Get Bold Jewels with a founding story I love.

Jewelry: My grad school classmate runs Chapman's Jewelry out of Detroit, love that they do custom jewelry.

Jewelry: Clay earrings from Bobbi Made This. Step up your Zoom game with these green arch earrings.

Jewelry: Beautiful earrings and accessories from sister-run BR Design Co. A whole section for neutrals!!

Masks: Look good and DO good with SchnelleCares masks. They donate masks and a portion of funds to Boston orgs. The holiday collection has masks that can rival your tacky sweater AND classy New Years designs.

Office and Work Gear

Blue Light Glasses: Uvea sells fashionable blue light glasses, I like these speckles and I've never seen shapes like these!

Laptop and Cellphone Covers: Chic Geek has really fun covers for iPads, laptops, and cell phones. Real into this crocodile case and this unicorn keyboard cover.

Skin Care

Soap: Refineful sells organic soaps in natural scents that look delish.

Soap and Body Products: Naked Bar Soap Co. has soaps that some of yall absolutely swear by. This Oatmeal Milk & Honey Butter Bath Bomb looks divine, and so does this Sugar Cookie Sugar Scrub

Skin products: Garner's Garden carries 100% natural skincare products, I'm eyeing the [extremely affordable] clay mask collection.

Bath Teas: Live Soaked is a mother-daughter team (swoon) who make bath teas. Everyone could use this Calm blend.

Body products: Nude Essentials for clean body products. My skin needs this whipped triple butter.

Sanitization: Brit's on-the-go safety kits are THE gift of 2020.

Body butter and cream: Affordable and free of harsh chemicals, Arome is great for moisturizers.

Body Butter: MedusaButters makes their products with all natural ingredients you can find in the description.  

Body Butters, oils, and creams: Chic Ezotic Body has everything from body wash to whipped butters to beard oils. This sugar bomb whipped gourmet butter  and this beard oil make great gifts.

Why Shop Black-Owned

Black-Owned Shopping Gift Guide

Tuesday, November 17, 2020


Writing from my Christmas-decorated living room watching Lifetime Christmas movies. I'm a believer in November 1 as the go-live date for Christmas decor but married someone who believes Christmas week is acceptable, so for the last few years we've compromised on Thanksgiving. Due to the unprecedented year (and my declining mental health?) he agreed to November 1 this year. All it took was a global pandemic and looming civil war.

Kamala Harris didn't become vice-president-elect by saying 'no worries if not' (The Guardian): Taking this kick in the butt.

How to Thrive When Everything Feels Terrible (HBR): Action steps we can take towards success when everything around us is negative (lol "negative" is generous - a dumpster fire?)

Why White Men Love Trump's Coronavirus Response (The Atlantic): I'm genuinely seeking to understand what is going on in the heads of 73 million Americans. 

What a Florida Reparations Case Can Teach Us About Justice in America (Time): Interesting approach to reparations that proves it is doable (because really if Florida can do it, anyone can).

The Look of Mormon (Allure): Look I haven't watched Real Housewives since Atlanta season 1 but I am ALL IN with the Housewives of Salt Lake City and was shocked to learn that Salt Lake City has the 2nd highest number of plastic surgeons per capita- only behind MIAMI (wut?!). If you want more on the topic check out Be There in Five's Mormon Mommy Blogger deep dive.

What's up with Minneapolis Police since George Floyd (WaPo): We desperately and quickly need to fix policing.

When Religion Leads to Trauma (New York Times): Got into this topic when a therapist encouraged my church small group to set "religious boundaries" with families this holiday season. My religion is a big part of my life, but this part of "Christianity" is something I struggle to reconcile with.

Check back for posts that are in the works: Black-Owned Holiday Shopping Guide, Book list, Stuff I Like RN.

Sunday Reading List 11.15.2020

Sunday, November 15, 2020

We are officially in the sprint to election day, the final stretch, the few days that could swing the election. If you haven't already voted, please do so early if you're able (too much can go wrong on Election Day) or drop your ballot at a ballot box (it is too late to mail now BUT if that is truly your only option drop it in the mail and cross your fingers). 

The next few days are a whole team effort, here are ways to get involved: 

Women for Biden Get Out the Vote Marathon: Join women across the country as we rally these last four days for a GOTV marathon. From Saturday through Election Day, join us as we help voters in swing states get to the polls. A virtual campaign "dance marathon," every day will feature phone bank trainings, surprise guests, dance breaks and calling voters to ensure they have what they need to VOTE.

Get Out the Vote: Get Out the Vote has virtual opportunities (I'm calling voters in PA to make sure they know where to drop off their ballots) and in-person opportunities such as canvassing and poll watching. Go to the website and select your state (or any state if your's isn't listed) for opportunities.)

Phone Banking for Biden: 2020 Victory Fund has lots of virtual events over the next few days to support voters.

Election Protection Volunteers: This organization has opportunities for legal professionals (law students, paralegals, lawyers) and for regulars like us. Hotlines, poll watching training, etc. 

Volunteer with Chefs for the Polls: Bae Jose Andres' World Central Kitchen is at it again providing food to the polls in states with notoriously messy polling places. 

Feed the Polls: If you're in Philly, Denver, Phoenix, or Miami you can sign up here to volunteer to get food to voters waiting in long lines. You can also donate $$ here.

Donate to get pizza to people in long lines in 39 states

A note about phone banking: I am top 10 most awkward people I know. I hate talking on the phone - what is it 1995? And are people going to be mad at me for calling them? And, and, and? But here's the thing: phone banking increases voter turnout by 4% which is more than enough to win an election so my personal concerns are null. Yes, I hope by the next election we are not in a global pandemic where we can actually canvass but right now this is what we've got. I've done phone banking since January and it is a) very easy - minimal thinking involved, b) very straightforward - you log on, you don't have to download anything, and you follow a very specific script. We can do hard things.

Election 2020: Volunteering in THE Home Stretch Weekend

Saturday, October 31, 2020

 It's almost election day and the fight to sway voters is going to go until the last poll closes. Tomorrow I'll send out election day volunteer opportunities (please send me any opps you know of for me to compile & share), and preparing for Election Day. 

Friendly reminder about boundaries that came up in my small group yesterday - we need them, especially now. Let's bust it to get Joe and Kamala in office, and maintain our health at the same time. This article has especially helpful tips for how to set and maintain healthy boundaries. 

Today we're going to talk about Joe Biden's Healthcare plan. In message testing, this is the second most influential message in swaying voters behind economic recovery. Sharable infographic here

The message

Joe Biden wants to give everyone a choice to enroll in a health plan, make sure no American pays more than 8.5% of their income on premiums, and bring down the cost of prescriptions by allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies.

The Plan: Health Insurance Access

  •  Affordable health insurance for all: a new choice for a public option like Medicare
  • No one will pay more than 8.5% of income on health insurance. 
  • Increase the size of tax credits to provide more coverage, lower deductibles, and lower out-of-pocket costs.
  • Expand coverage to low-income Americans by automatically enrolling those who make 138% below the federal poverty level.

Health Care: Affordability

Biden and Harris will cut the cost of health care and make the health care system less complex to navigate.
  • Stop "surprise billing"
  • Tackle market concentration
  • Partner with the health care workforce 

Health Care: Prescription Drugs

Many Americans cannot afford prescription drugs while drug companies profit off of sick individuals. Biden and Harris plan to address this by:
  • Repeal exception allowing drug corps to avoid negotiation with Medicare over drug prices.
  • Limit launch prices for drugs that face no competition.
  • Limit price increases for brand, biotech & generic drugs.
  • Allow consumers to buy prescriptions from other countries.
  • Terminate pharmaceutical corps' tax break for ad spending.
  • Improve supply of quality generics.

Health Care for All

Joe Biden believes that every American – regardless of gender, race, income, sexual orientation, or zip code – should have access to affordable and quality health care. 
  • Defend health care protections regardless of gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation
  • Double America’s investment in community health centers
  • Expanding access to contraception and protect the constitutional right to an abortion
  • Expand access to mental health care

2020 Election: Joe Biden's Plan for Healthcare

Thursday, October 29, 2020

I want to start off by acknowledging the police shooting of Walter Wallace, Jr. My privilege finds it unbelievable that this continues to happen over and over and over again, and my heart is broken. Reminder to please focus on the issue (police training, Black lives) and not the distractions (looting). 

We NEED a change and we are in the most important days of 2020 leading up to this election. As we discussed, the most impactful way to sway voters is to tell them about Joe Biden's plans, and today we're talking about the higher education plan.

The Message

Joe Biden is running for president to rebuild the backbone of the United States – the middle class – and this time make sure everyone has a chance to come along. In today’s increasingly globalized and technology-driven economy, 12 years of education is no longer enough for American workers to remain competitive and earn a middle class income. 

The Plan: Community College

  • Provide two years of community college or  training program without debt
  • Create a new grant program to assist improve student access to community college
  • Tackle the barriers that prevent students from completing their community college / training credential.
  • $50 billion investment in workforce training, including community-college business partnerships and apprenticeships.
  • Make public colleges and universities tuition-free for all families with incomes below $125,000

The Plan: 4 Year College

  • Double the maximum value of Pell grants to increase the number of middle-class students who can attend college
  • People making $25,000 or less per year will not owe any payments on their undergraduate federal student loans and also won’t accrue any interest on those loans. Everyone else will pay 5% of their discretionary income
  • FIX loan forgiveness for public servants

The Plan: Institutions
  • Establish a grant program to support under-resourced schools that serve large numbers of Pell-eligible students. The funds will be used to foster collaboration between colleges and community-based organizations to provide wraparound support services for students, especially veterans, single parents, low-income students, students of color, and students with disabilities who may face unique challenges.
  • Stop for-profit education programs from profiteering off of students.
  • Crack down on private lenders profiting off student debt
  • Protect post-9/11 GI benefit for veterans and qualified family members
  • 18 billion in grants to these four-year schools, equivalent to up to two years of tuition per low-income and middle class student, including DREAMers and students who transfer to a four-year HBCU, TCU, or MSI from a tuition-free community college.

2020 Election: Joe Biden's Plan for Higher Education

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Hope everyone is hanging in there. Quick PSA to please, please early vote or drop off you ballot at a ballot box or your election spot (a lot of sources are saying it's too risky to mail this late in the game). Early voting matters so much because let's be real, who knows what's going to go down on election day (remember the primaries when they closed the doors on Kentucky voters?), and there are a lot of people who can only take time to vote on Election Day. See y'all out there.

Now onto the reading list.

What's Up With 45's Claim That He's Done More for Blacks Than Any Prez Since Lincoln (WaPo) Some people have come at me with this claim for awhile now 🙄. Here are the #facts referenced by historians as well as a breakdown of what he has "done for Black people". PS remember the 30 Day Education Challenge where we learned that Lincoln was actually kind of trash? 

What If the Goal Was Friendships and Not Marriages (The Atlantic) I just loved this read.

93% of Black Lives Matter Protests Are Peaceful (Time) And other #facts about 2020 protests.

How To Inspire Your Team Through a Crisis Without Toxic Positivity (Fast Company) As an eternal optimist, toxic positivity has been a big lesson for me in 2020.

Startbucks Will Link Executive Pay to Diversity (CNN) $$ where the mouth is, we love to see it.

The Summer That Started With George Floyd and Ended With Breonna Taylor (Medium) A powerful look into the Summer of 2020.

The Liberal Election is Happening on IG (Axios) Not surprising that Facebook, where the parents/grandparents live, is the conservative playground. While IG has all the liberal posts, these posts have way more engagement than the ones on FB. Interesting stats. Data nerds tune in!

Crocs Are Back (WSJ) If you know me, you know I've been on Crocs sandals for years. YEARS - and you likely got the sandals after I forced you to try mine on! The arch support and the full sensory experience from the textured sole is like no other sandal out there. Guess at least 2020 is the year that saved Crocs from going out of business 🤷‍♀️

Sunday Reading List 10.25.2020

Sunday, October 25, 2020


Two weeks to the biggest election of our lifetime y'all  As we discussed, the most effective way to sway voters is to spread the word about Joe Biden's plans (NOT spreading negative stories about 45). Send a few emails, post on Facebook, repost the Instagram post that outlines it. Today we are discussing the #3 most persuasive topic for voters: Education. Some of you may remember that I used to work in education (in public schools and then policy) so this 👏 is 👏 my 👏 JAM. 

Talking Points

  • As president, Joe Biden will provide educators the support and respect they need and deserve and invest in all children from birth, so that regardless of their zip code, parents’ income, race, or disability, they are prepared to succeed in tomorrow’s economy.
  • Joe and Kamala want to get everyone back to school safely, and they have a plan. They would get schools clear guidelines and resources to implement them, support state and local officials, and always follow the science. 
  • In the long term, Joe and Kamala believe every American should have access to quality, affordable higher education. Joe and Kamala’s plan makes public college tuition-free for the vast majority of families, offers free community college for all, and invests $70 billion in HBCUs and other Minority-Serving Institutions.

    The Plans

    President Biden will support our educators by giving them the pay and dignity they deserve.
    • Joe Biden will triple Title I funding to provide higher pay for teachers in low income districts.
      • Note: Title I provides financial assistance to local educational agencies for children from low-income families 
    • Fix and simplify existing Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, creating a system that actually helps
      • Note:  If you teach full-time for five years in a low-income school or educational service agency, teachers may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500. Like most other govt programs, this is extremely complicated to navigate and requires lots of red tape cutting that many can't do.
    • Invest in teacher mentoring, leadership, and additional education, providing opportunities for teachers to advance their careers and keeping quality teachers in schools.

    Joe Biden will invest in resources for our schools so students grow into physically and emotionally healthy adults, and educators can focus on teaching.
    • Double the number of psychologists, counselors, nurses, social workers, and other health professionals in  schools 
    • Turn schools into community hubs that provide this wraparound support for an additional 300k students & families
    • Funding specifically for improving public school buildings. to address health risks
    • Defeat the NRA - again - to keep schools safe

    Early Childhood
    Joe Biden will start investing in our children at birth.
    • Universal Pre-K for 3 and 4 year-olds
    • Expand home visits through the ACA 
    • Fund early childhood experts in community centers
    Tomorrow we'll focus on Joe Biden's plans for higher education - stay tuned!

    2020 Election: Understanding Joe Biden's Education Plan

    Tuesday, October 20, 2020

    Alright yall, the countdown to the biggest election of our lifetime is on, let's hit the streets. As we discussed, the most impactful way to sway voters is to inform them of Joe Biden's plans as that information is not making its way to people as quickly/memorably as Trump news. Today we're going to talk about the Biden Harris plan for economic recovery. Trump leads Biden in voters' confidence in the ability to revive the economy, but messaging around Biden's economic plan has been one of the most proven topics to move the needle for voters. I'll also be sharing graphics on Instagram that outline what's below in case that is easier to share.

    How to have conversations about the 2020 election

    These are intense times and if you have a pulse it's basically impossible to stay calm in these conversations. In my phone bank trainings we learned a helpful model called the LARC:
    L- Listen ("If you could change something about the country what would it be?)
    A - Acknowledge ("that sounds tough", "it sounds like ____")
    R- Relate ("as someone who has ____, I also care about ____")
    C - Connect ("I support Biden-Harris because they also share our concerns around _____ and have a plan for it")

    Joe Biden's Economic Plan 

    "Donald Trump says the economy is great because the stock market is up and wants to cut medicare, medicaid, and social security in order to fund more tax cuts for the rich. Joe Biden says a strong economy depends on a strong middle class and wants only the wealthiest 1% to pay higher taxes so we can expand health coverage, invest in clean energy and infrastructure, and create 5 million manufacturing and technology jobs." (via)

    Joe Biden will use the full powers of the Presidency to implement re-opening plans outlined by medical experts. This includes:
    • COVID testing capacity
    • Surge supplies to COVID hot spots
    • Contact tracing
    • PPE for healthcare workers 
    • Ensure healthcare facilities have the supplies they need such as ventilators
    • Protections for frontline workers
    • Bold action vs. arbitrary reopening dates

    Joe Biden will work with Congress to ensure relief gets to the people who need it, fast. This includes:
    • Boosting unemployment benefits
    • $377 billion in immediate small business loans with accountability to ensure money actually goes to small businesses (and not *cough cough* Kanye)
    • Expediting aid to businesses who commit to helping workers stay employed through the crisis
    • Enforce real conditions and oversight on big corporations.

    Joe Biden's plan includes financial relief for those who need it:
    • Families: Additional checks to families should conditions require.
    • Young people: Forgive a minimum of $10,000 per person of federal student loans.
    • Seniors and People with disabilities: Increase monthly Social Security checks by $200/month.
    • Working people: emergency paid sick leave to everyone who needs it
    • All people: Ensure no one has to pay out of pocket for COVID-19 testing, treatment, or vaccines.

    Joe Biden's Economic Plan: Additional Talking Points

    • Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will fight for hard-working families. 
    • As we’ve all seen, the Trump Administration rewards wealth over work, and prioritizes big corporations over working families. 
    • Joe Biden and Kamala Harris know we cannot just build things back the way they were, but we need to build a stronger and more inclusive society. 
    • Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will create millions of new jobs

    2020 Election: Understanding Joe Biden's Economic Recovery Plan

    Wednesday, October 14, 2020

    One of the topics dominating my group texts right now is the relationship strain, or complete loss of relationships, due to the upcoming election. I conducted a poll on Instagram to get some numbers around this and here is what yall said:
    • 51% have cut off relationships because of disagreements around the election
    • 81% have strained relationships because of the election
    • 67% said the strain is more with family than friends
    I asked for tips and resources on handling these conversations and people submitted a lot of really thoughtful advice which you can see on my Instagram highlights here. While there is a lot we can learn from each other on this topic, I also did some research on what the stats says works when it comes to swaying voters on the biggest presidential election of our time. Here are the takeaways: 

    Voters: The Stats

    • 11% of registered voters are undecided on who they will vote for.  
      • 53% of these voters plan to do their own research to make a final decision 
      • 20% plan to decide based on the debates.

    The Issues

    • Americans largely support Trump's "plan" for economic recovery, but support Biden on most other issues (see below): 

    • 72% of voters polled fear the rise of racism
    • 66% of voters fear rioters and looting - this is higher than percentage of voters who fear Coronavirus.
    Important note about the stats above: those polled said they do not get their news from Fox News (my first assumption). These fears come from other news sources - mostly found on social media.


    • Most undecided voters could recall recent negative stories about Trump but could not recall any positive stories about Biden or his policies.
    • Negative information about Trump has limited impact in swaying voters.
    • The key to swaying voters is to educate them about Joe Biden's plans and policies.
    • Messaging on specific topics has a bigger impact in swaying voters:
      • #1 (tie): the economy
      • #1 (tie): healthcare
      • #3: race issues
      • #4: climate change
      • #5: education

    Actions We Need to Take

    The research and polling says the highest impact activities we can do are those that share information about Biden's plans and policies. These actions are going to matter all the way up to the minute the polls close on Election Day.
    1. Share information about Biden's plans on social media (I will commit to synthesizing Biden's plans in a shareable format on Instagram and here on the blog. If you're not already receiving these posts as emails, sign up so you can easily forward to your networks and repost on social).
    2. Educate yourself on Biden's plans and share what you learn with your network. Here is where you can research on your own.
    3. Sign up to phone or text bank for Biden here (I've done this for months, it's very very easy and not scary at all).

    Action Steps to Sway the 2020 Presidential Election

    Monday, October 12, 2020