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Friday Favorites

friday favorites

(Getting some inspiration to switch up my diet and cooking habits!)

Happy Friday!

It’s been an insanely busy week, and while I’m grateful to have so much work, it also keeps me away from the blog. I had a lot of great ideas for what I wanted to post this week, but man, after editing and writing for 8+ hours each day, I was burnt out!

I wasn’t online much this week, but there were a few things I enjoyed in between work and sleep:

  • Harling Ross from Man Repeller decided to dress like her 2000s high school self for a week, and it was fun to go back and reminisce about the good ol’ days of polo shirts and flared jeans (both of which I hear may be coming back again…sigh).
  • I’m a busty lady, and have had to rely on underwires to support me for my whole adult life. Thankfully, companies are starting to figure out how to make bras for people like me that don’t involve wires digging into my ribcage! Thanks, BUST magazine, for letting me know they’re out there!
  • After switching birth control recently, my skin suuuuuucks again. Like, 13-year old breakouts bad. Thankfully, I found a simple fix to my skincare routine that seems to be working – tea tree oil! I add a drop of it to my cleanser each night, and it seems to be keeping my breakouts at bay. Now, if I could find an easy fix for the bloating and hormonal rages…haha…grrrrr.
  • If you like your salsa blazing hot, with a bit of sweetness, definitely try the Charlie’s Salsa Four Pepper Hot version! It kind of has a barbecue-sauce-like flavor, and it’s hot enough to numb your whole mouth, but I really like it! I think it would be great on wings, mixed into queso dip, or eaten plan with Fritos!

I hope everyone had a great week, and that you find something fun to do this weekend! We’re dog-sitting this weekend, so it’s going to be a fun one. I’m looking forward to wearing their butts out on a hike or at the beach – if I can tear them away from D (they’re both madly in love with him). ūüôā

5 Reasons I Quit Magazines

i quit magazinesIn the spirit of following my 2017 mantra of “good enough is good enough,” I want¬†to remove magazines from my life. I hope that I can return to them more mindfully in the future.¬†While this won’t be a permanent life change, I wanted to take a break from them for a few reasons.

It was a waste of money.

Most of us don’t think twice about dropping $5 on a magazine every so often. However, if you read as many as I do, it can easily become a $50+/month habit. If you get into reading small-batch or international magazines, the cost can easily skyrocket. I¬†reduced my spending a lot by using my local library’s free magazine app. However, they don’t carry everything I read, so I was still spending $10-15/month. I can’t justify spending that much on reading material anymore.

The other nasty side of magazines is that they’re almost entirely ads. Whether it’s a fashion magazine pushing the latest trends, or a health magazine pushing new supplements or exercise equipment, the pressure to spend after reading is too much as well. I don’t like being prey for advertisements. I know I’m being advertised to all the time, but any progress to remove them from my daily life is worth it to me.

It was a waste of space.

Even after reducing the number of magazines I buy on a regular basis, I still find they pile up quickly. Before our last move, I piled them up and found I collected over a dozen over the past few months alone. I don’t tend to re-read things, so after I read them they just sit around collecting dust. In an effort to reduce visual clutter and useless waste, I want to keep the magazines I do read in the future to digital copies only.

I felt too much pressure to keep up.

Anyone who has ever read a Martha Stewart magazine knows my pain. Home magazines in particular are a sore spot for me. I¬†get stuck down the rabbit-hole of wanting to organize, clean, and plan my home into oblivion after reading them. I always feel guilty for not doing more or being good enough. Fashion and travel magazines just remind me that I don’t have to money to keep up with the young jet-setter they’re aimed at. So for now, I need to quit playing the comparison¬†game and repeat to myself “good enough is good enough.” I don’t need to know how to organize my bathroom in 20 different ways – how I did it is already fine.

They still bear unfair and negative messages toward women.

While some publications improved on this, many merely became more covert in their demeaning messages toward women. Fashion magazines may promote diversity or body acceptance, but they still largely show women with unrealistic body types. They still tell us that being thin is glamorous, and being curvy is purely for sexual appeal. I appreciate the progress, but we have a long way to go.

Many women’s magazines also promote we¬†have to be superwomen who run marathons,¬†have insanely¬†successful careers, travel the world, raise perfect children, volunteer every weekend, clean our¬†homes obsessively, and cook restaurant-quality¬†meals¬†for our¬†families each night.¬†I can’t keep beating myself up over what I don’t do, so I need to just stop reading about it for now.

I want to focus my time on books.

Instead of focusing my reading time each night to the instantly gratifying, ad-filled magazine stack sitting on my iPad, I want to read more substantial stuff.¬†Reading magazines always had an addictive quality to them. Getting a new issue was a rush. I pour through the pages with reckless zeal, only to feel a crash when I was done. I don’t know how they do it, but magazines are like a damn drug to me. For a long time, though, they were the only reading I could stomach.

After graduate school, I was burnt out on reading almost anything. Add to that a career grading essays for hours every day, and I was usually too mentally exhausted to pick up a book. So for years, I didn’t read for fun beyond magazines.

Now that I have more time and mental energy to devote to books, I’m getting back in the habit. I was surprised how rusty I became, to be honest. At first I got distracted all the time, and I found reading took longer. However, after a few¬†books I’m mostly back to speed-reading my way through everything. I’m also focusing my attention on reading books by women and about women.

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So for as long as I can, I promised myself I would actively avoid reading magazines. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop reading them forever. I just need a break to find other things to occupy my time and mental space. I also want to find more publications that speak to what I want to read about. Being more mindful of what I read is important to me, and I know this “cleanse” of sorts will be a good first step!

Print Magazines: A Love Story

print magazines

One thing¬†I haven’t done much of over the past year¬†is read print magazines. This is partly because¬†I don’t have the budget for it – over time, even cheap subscriptions add up. I also don’t have to buy many of my favorites in print anymore, thanks to the free digital service my local library provides. Going digital also helped me save precious space in our apartment – though I do sometimes miss thumbing through a stack of old Vogue or Real Simple issues for inspiration.

Every once in a while, though, I’ll make a special trip to my local¬†bookstore or newsstand to bring home a few ‘zines I can enjoy on a quiet afternoon or evening, usually with a coffee or tea in hand. I don’t know what it is about print magazines, but they make for a more relaxed¬†experience than swiping through magazines on my iPad. I read more carefully, more slowly, and more mindfully. It’s a ritual I didn’t realize I missed until I went back to it recently.

My occasional splurge often introduces me to¬†publications I wouldn’t otherwise read. I picked up a copy of More recently, and found that I enjoyed it more than I did many years ago. Maybe I’m at an age where I relate to the content, or perhaps they were the ones who shifted – who knows. All I know is that I will definitely go back for More (pun totally¬†intended) again.

So¬†while I can’t go back to making this a regular habit, I do think I’ll take the extra few dollars (and few minutes) to pick one or two print magazines each month to savor over some tea and my new favorite chocolate from Trader Joe’s. While it is a frivolous expense, and one I know now I can certainly live without, it’s one that I do miss more than I remembered.