🎵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 11/19/2023.


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. Yini

Experiences: Sweatbox DC is a high intensity interval training gym with locations in DC and VA, gifting sessions is an easy idea!


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.

Travel bags: TW Totes' luxury weekender, backpack, and lunch bag make great gifts for the person on your list who is returning to the office.

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