143 articles

Monday, Monday– or links to my favorite Best of 2015 lists


So according to #2015bestnine, these are my nine most popular Instagram images for 2015. Might not have been the ones I chose, but it’s always interesting to see what the algorithms have to say…

The top 11 moments for women in pop culture in 2015, according to Time Magazine. Because girl power is all the rage these days. Finally.

This list comes out in the summer, but Saveur’s Best Food Blogs of 2015 is a list well worth pouring over.

No list of lists is complete without something from Flavorwire… Here are the esteemed listmakers’ picks for 2015′s best movie posters.

You can take Longreads.com’s list of the Best Essays and Criticism of 2015, print or download your favorites, and consider your subway reading taken care of for a couple of months at least.

And speaking of articles, here are 2015′s top 100 stories in the New York Times, by time spent.

As for music, here’s the esteemed mixmaster Diplo’s Best of 2015 Year End Mix on Soundcloud.

Last but definitely not least, I give you Brainpickings.org’s list of the Best Kids Books of 2015. To be honest, this might be the best list of children’s books I have ever seen. I want everything on it. (Thanks for the tip, @reclaimthetable!)

Monday, Monday (on Wednesday!)– or a few links to organizations that deserve your last minute donations…


WaterAid is just one of the many organizations worthy of our support during these last days of 2015.

There are 2 days left to get in your tax deductible donations for 2015… If you have even a little bit of extra cash lying around, why pay it in taxes when you can give it directly to people who are working to make the world a better place?

World peace is one of those things people are always wishing for… The International Peace Institute (IPI) is a not-for-profit think tank dedicated to making it a reality.

And while we’re on the topic of Peace on Earth, Peace First is dedicated to creating the next generation of peacemakers by replacing the culture of violence with one of inclusion and support through curriculum as well as youth run advocacy programs. If the kids get into playing peace (as opposed to war) the foundation is set for a brighter future.

The Studio Museum in Harlem has been a focal point for black art both nationally and internationally, both through it’s programs and exhibitions as well as it’s artist-in-residence program. In a world of diminishing emphasis on the arts, it is a beacon in the midst of a vastly under-served community. Plus with donation comes membership, so you can check out all of the shows free of charge!

Forgive me for getting super personal here, but as one of the over 2.3 million people world wide living with Multiple Sclerosis, I am particularly motivated to help find a cure. The National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation is both a resource for people living with MS as well as a leader in providing much needed funds for research.

If there is one thing in desperate need of defending, it is our increasingly fragile environment. The Environmental Defense Fund is dedicated to creating solutions that let nature and people prosper.

And speaking of things in need of defending, our right to vote, once seen as inalienable, is beginning to be eroded in many small ways that are starting to build up to dangerous proportions. The League of Women Voters is dedicated to ensuring that all voters have the opportunity and the information they need to exercise their right to vote.

And last, but definitely not least, the scarcity of drinkable water on our planet is reaching crisis levels, especially in the world’s poorest nations. WaterAid is working in the poorest countries to help communities set up and manage practical and sustainable water.

Monday, Monday– or a few links to some lovely magazine subscriptions you might want to consider giving this seaon…

short stack

Two recent issues of Short Stack on of my new favorite food related magazines.

Gather Journal is technically a food magazine, but each issue is built on a theme (the current one is called “Origin” and explores a few areas of natural history that are particularly relevant to where the food we eat comes from.) There are recipes, of course, and beautiful photography. Plus they have great playlists on their website. Two issues a year, for $35.

While Faerie Magazine is written for adults, it might just be the perfect thing for your pre teenaged daughter who not-so-secretly wants to be reborn as Arwen from Lord of the Rings. There are crafts, “otherworldly beauty tips”, gowns made entirely of roses and basically all things enchanted. Published quarterly, at $28 a year.

Esopus is not just a magazine, it is a foundation dedicated to the unmediated distribution of the art and writing of the people it publishes. Every spring you get the most beautiful, uniquely put together, entirely free of advertising (and advertorial) journal of creative work you have probably ever encountered. And if you give a premium subscription, it includes a limited edition artwork every fall. Published annually, starting at $30.

If you or your loved ones don’t already subscribe to The New Yorker, you need to subscribe THIS MINUTE. Thoughtful, intelligent, beautifully written articles about all of the issues and people of the day. You are automatically smarter after you read this magazine. Published just about every week. Subscriptions start at $12 for 12 weeks.

Short Stack looks like a zine, but it is actually a series of small format cookbooks bound by hand and filled with recipes built around a single ingredient and written by various luminaries in the culinary world. The first time I saw one I snatched it up, and as soon as I read it I knew I had to have them all. Six volumes a year for $75.

And last, but not least, is Apartemento, which is an interiors magazine about real spaces that real (and creative with great taste) people live in. Unmanicured and at times really messy, but always captivating and full of inspiration, it is the perfect antidote to your standard, uber-polished shelter magazine. Published twice a year for only €27.

Monday, Monday… or a Holiday Guide to some of my favorite 2015 Holiday Gift Guides

Rebekah's hands

I’m still in the midst of posting my own holiday shopping guides, but I thought I’d take a break and point you all towards some other compendiums of potential purchases as well. Because when it comes to giving presents, the more the merrier!

The adventures in cooking gift guide is superbly minimal and beautifully shot, just like the blog. To be honest, I want everything on this list.

If you have some time, and want to check out tons and tons (and tons) of great gift ideas for the home, go to Remodelista and search for Gift Guides. Or just click here. You won’t be disappointed.

Joanna Goddard’s gift guides for A Cup OF Jo are, in my humble opinion, the gold standard when it comes to holiday shopping. Hands down. The archive of past years are also well worth checking out…

It is true that at times T Magazine can feel a bit overly aspirational, but every once in a while a person just needs to buy a spectacularly designed, perfectly round, handcrafted in Germany, wooden music box that plays Mozart and costs a bit over $100. And their gift guide will always deliver the goods.

My friend Andrea Linett is a master of finding super chic stuff at shockingly good prices. So needless to say, the I Want To Be Her Fun Chic Gifts Under $100 list is not to be missed!

Who in their right mind doesn’t want to check out a selection called The Cut’s Weirdly Specific Holiday Gift Guide? Especially if you appreciate The Cut’s ability to be 100% on trend and totally subversive at the same time…

Last year, I remember being pleasantly surprised at the caliber of gifts on the Esquire Gift Guide… and it looks like 2015′s selection is even better, especially for the finicky men in your life.

Monday, Monday– or a few links to some helpful post holiday cold & flu remedies

neti pot

Every home should have a neti pot. And this one is handmade out of ceramic (unlike the blue plastic one we have in our medicine cabinet) so it’s easy on both the eyes and the environment…

The day after thanksgiving, my daughter woke up with a sore throat and a barely audible voice. I’ve been in high octane remedy mode ever since… and I figure I’m not alone. So in honor of this particular and pernicious part of parenting, I give you a few links to some information and solutions to help beat that ubiquitous cold.

You probably already have some apple cider vinegar in your cupboard. If so, start sipping. You can also add a bit of cayenne pepper to the mix to help knock out that fever before it has the chance to really take hold.

An herbal face steam with thyme, rosemary and oregano will do wonders for your cough or congestion. Plus it’s kind of like turning your kitchen into a spa!

According to several studies, elderberry, when taken regularly, is as effective against influenza as a flu shot. I keep some homemade elderberry syrup in our fridge all season long.

We all know that Vitamin C is great against a cold. Why not make your own chewable tablets?

Omega 3 fatty acids boost the immune system, increase airflow to your lungs and generally make your brain work better by helping to strengthen the outer layer of your nerves. Clearly we all need to have some of this fat in our lives…

Astragalus is one of those plants that is on every herbalist’s list of things-to-take-all-the-time-during-cold-and-flu-season because, among other things, it boosts the immune system, supports liver function and gives you more energy. But did you know that it also helps to prevent white blood cell loss during chemotherapy?

And then, there is always the dreaded neti pot. No one likes them. But they clear up sinus congestion like nobody’s business.

Oh and ps… here’s a link to a post I wrote this past spring that lists a number of other remedies/supplements/etc you might want to consider as the temperatures fall and the health falters…

Monday, Monday– or a few links to some last minute Thanksgiving help

Photo from kokokokids.ru

Photo from kokokokids.ru

Here are some really beautiful ideas for kids crafts in Italian (but you can pretty much figure it out from the photos) and Russian (this site can be translated via Google Translator)

Evidently, Mark Bittman (of NY Times Cooking fame) has figured out how to roast a turkey in only 45 minutes.

Joanna Goddard (of A Cup of Jo) asked a few of her friends (myself included) for their favorite dinner party tricks. I’m gonna be stealing a couple of them for sure!

Starting from square one? Food52 shows you how to do it all, from drinks to food to table decor.

Perhaps you need some ideas for the vegetarian at the table?

It is never a bad idea to go check out what Martha has to say when it comes to crafty ideas for decorating the table.

Get the kids thinking about the “thanks” in Thanksgiving with this fun DIY cootie catcher game.

Monday, Monday– or more links about clean water, evolution and talking to kids about terrorism

Sure, it’s an ad for a book, but you should all watch this video compression of the evolution of the human race. It’s less than 2 minutes long and absolutely mesmerizing…

Here is a nice, easy way to make rosemary oil for your hair, which is great for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is repelling lice.

In my constant quest to use less plastic, I’m thinking I might chuck the Britta filter in favor of purifying my water with a stick of binchotan charcoal in a glass bottle.

A few helpful tips on how to talk to your kids about terrorism, particularly in the wake of the attacks in Paris.

Who doesn’t love checking out creative slightly out of the box ways to use the furnishings you buy at Ikea? Apartment Therapy serves up 10 great Ikea hacks for our viewing pleasure.

Thanksgiving is RIGHT. AROUND. THE. CORNER. But never fear… The New York Times has a whole menu planner that will help your meal come together as if by magic.

And while we’re on the topic, the great Ina Garten serves up some make-ahead Thanksgiving advice on Food52.

Monday, Monday (on a rainy Tuesday)– or more links about unwanted visitors and Jodie Patterson’s house


This week marks the first lice outbreak of the year in my daughter’s class. Suddenly my head itches, even though we have escaped this round without incident, and I find myself googling all sorts of topics related to this creature. I won’t burden you all with that stuff though, so fear not. Photo courtesy of thedoctorstv.com

Sometimes I feel like my battle against clutter is like trying to sweep the beach clear of sand with a dust broom, yet I continue to wage war. Yesterday I worked on clearing some space on my hard drive with the help of howtogeek.com.

I just spent way too much time on One Kings Lane checking out beauty entrepreneur Jodie Patterson’s incredible Brooklyn brownstone and wondering how she manages to run 2 businesses, take care of 5 kids (plus a husband), and keeps her house looking so incredible. But then I remind myself that this was all just a photo shoot and right now I’m sure her boys have their shoes and toys all over the place, her desk is overrun with piles of magazines, and papers and the last 3 jackets her husband wore are strewn around the living room. Or maybe not, but it makes me feel better to believe that.

Homemade ramen noodles. Need I say more?

When you are at your baby shower, opening gifts and being all coy about name choices, I am willing to bet $1000 that head lice are the furthest thing from your mind. But they are a pesky part of the reality of parenting (just one of soooo many…) I just got the dreaded email from school informing us that 3 (yep THREE) kids in my daughter’s class have lice. So it’s time to take action. If this happens to you, this Parents Guide to Lice will start you off in the right direction.

And while we’re on the topic of skin care, what’s all this business about oils vs moisturizers for your face?

And last, but not least, just a guy… reading the Sunday paper.

Monday, Monday– or more links about Halloween aftermath, elections and cooking with kids…

silver witch

This is my favorite photo of this year’s Halloween costume largely because you can’t see any of the cockamamie hand sewn seams.

Allah Akbar, Halloween is over. And in an effort to somehow counter all of the high fructose corn syrup that my daughter has ingested in the past 48 hours, I’m thinking of making Melissa Clark’s shiitake/tofu stir fry from the New York Times. It’s about as far away from Skittles as a person can get and still be potentially appetizing.

I would also like to declare that this will be the last year that I sew my daughter’s costume together by hand. Despite my new handy dandy needle threader, this year’s silver witch dress and cape almost sent me over the brink. I am currently considering sewing machines and am pining over the Bernina classic mechanical (ie totally analogue) models… Swiss precision at it’s best.

Speaking of Halloween costumes, please please take a minute to read Lena Dunham’s brilliant and hysterical piece about a lifetime of failed costumes. I laughed so hard I cried (and I was on the subway, reading on my phone, which is not an atmosphere conducive to such public displays…) After you read it you should subscribe to Lenny, which is a bi-weekly newsletter I actually look forward to receiving.

You may not be focused on it, but tomorrow is Election Day in NYC. There are a few important races out there for some districts… find out if you live in one of them (and who is running for what positions) by checking out the NYC Voter Guide and entering your address. Not that any of you guys have put this off till the last minute, of course, but just in case…

Probably the reason we have all but forgotten about tomorrow’s races centers around the fact that the entire country has been obsessed with the battle for the presidency, despite the fact that we don’t vote till next year. I have largely boycotted the whole thing until now (having to hear the words front runner applied to Donald Trump is almost more than I can bear), but am now beginning to pay attention. This 2016 US Presidential Race cheat sheet from the Atlantic has been a perfect place to start.

Oooooh… a chic (ie: black) french press coffee maker. Because black is the new black.

Or maybe, teaching your kids to cook is the new black… one can never be too sure. Check out what James Beard winning chef Hugh Acheson has to say on the subject and decide for yourself.

Monday, Monday– or more links about podcasts

Ok so this is not the Long Island Expressway mentioned below, but it is a road that I have driven on during the past year. In Hawaii. I wish I were there now, to be honest. Podcast or no podcast.

Ok so this is not the Long Island Expressway mentioned below, but it is a road that I have driven on during the past year. In Hawaii. I wish I were there now, to be honest. Podcast or no podcast.

I have discovered, after many many hours of experience, that nothing turns a potentially endless drive down the LIE into a captivating and sometimes enlightening adventure faster than a good story.

Like the Radiolab podcast about real life Dr Doolittles who are actually figuring out how to talk to the animals.

Or the second episode of The Mystery Show in which Andrea, a writer who nobody has ever heard of, discovers she may have one very high profile fan.

And then perhaps it is fitting to use technology to listen to Sherry Turkle talk (on Note To Self) about the psychology of our relationships with… well… technology. Because I would like to know if, when we get married, we are also marrying our intended’s smartphones.

Terry Gross interviews Gloria Steinem. Need I say more?

Sometimes it’s just cool to learn abut a phenomenal person who you may have known very little about before. Like this State of the Re:Union episode about Bayard Rustin, the black, gay, Quaker pacifist who schooled Martin Luther King in the ways of non-violence and was the unofficial architect of the March On Washington.

Halloween is coming (are your costumes ready?) so perhaps some real life scary stories are just the thing right about now.

And then no list of podcasts is complete without the gold standard, the shining crown jewel of them all: Serial. Which most people have already listened to, but I have only just discovered. I am on Episode 2 and I am tempted to just blow everything else off (including making my kid’s Halloween costume) to just listen to the entire season at once.