Weekend Links: Equinox Edition

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” 
― Jim Bishop

Holiday seems but a distant memory now! It’s been back to work, back to projects, back to deep cleaning the house, and all that jazz this week. It’s officially sweater weather and (as of yesterday) officially fall! I still haven’t written up our Greece adventure or caught up on all my To Dos, but we did make it to our annual local street festival, one concert, and have brunch plans tomorrow, so I’m going to call this a winning week. Here’s a nice big batch of links for you to enjoy this weekend, and let me know any of your plans (big or small) in the comments!

Clinging to that summer feeling!

The Cut asks the right questions. I am heartily over the push to make Secretary Clinton sit down, be quiet, or go away. Spite ’em, Madame Secretary.

Secretary Clinton has also been giving some great interviews, including this less formal one with the Pod Save America lads. Worth a listen.

In the body image segment of this week’s Ugh, Misogyny portion of the links, it sometimes feels impossible to be a woman, alive and in public.

In much better news, I forgot to post this last week but Leslie Jones fangirling was hands down my favorite moment of NYFW this year. (Bonus Lizzo, who is of course an active force for good in this world!)

I bow down to Danielle Steel’s desk.

This is journalism.

Oh my god, people, this needs money. Not as much as a number of worthy causes in the world (which you should absolutely be supporting), admittedly, but still. Phryne!


The goodest boy.

This week in Mormon news, The Atlantic publishes a conversation with an author who grapples with Mormonism’s racist history, how it has changed, and what roles it may see moving forward as a very American faith whose main membership is now outside the US and whose racial demographics have changed dramatically over its history.

Old uni classmate and blogger extraordinaire Janssen has had a lot of great ideas and projects over the years, but this is one I’m definitely filing away for if/when I spawn.

The bloggers are pissed, guys.

No one needs this.

ETA, forgot to add the album of the week: Wallflower, by Jordan Rakei 

Weekend Links

“But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.” 
― Stephen King, ‘Salem’s Lot

We’re back from holiday, pumpkins, and we came home to fall! Break out the cashmere and boots, I’m ready for it!

I’ve been catching up on New York Fashion Week coverage, trying to unpack (ha!), and generally reawakening to the world. Thereafter scurrying back undercover in some instances. I’ve also been putting in some time on a personal project which will probably not ever appear here on the blog, but which I’m finding very satisfying–even though it’s cutting into the post-holiday-relaxation-haze I was enjoying.

This weekend I’m hopping to drop into a street festival, pop into some charity, consignment, or vintage shops, and possibly deep clean the house to tick off one of my 101/1001 goals. I might just end up sleeping, however! Let me know what you’re getting up to this weekend in the comments.

Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote an incredible piece for The Atlantic. Read it.

The British Museum is getting a reorganization!

The whole Dear David story (THUS FAR) is the perfect amount of internet weird.

Calling = missed.

Here’s a needle scratch. L’Oreal hires transgender WOC Munroe Bergdorf to be a face of diversity within their brand. She criticizes systemic racism and challenges white people to consider how their inherent privileges have been built at the expense of people of color, and she’s fired for it. Because marketplace feminism and activism are more comfortable than the real thing (a Bitch Media cofounder has a great thread on this).

About bleeding time, RAF.

Rhianna’s beauty line has dropped and the campaign at least is gorgeous. X has done the early testing work as I’m on a strict financial diet when it comes to beauty at the moment…but I am tempted.


This was a poignant piece on male loneliness, why it’s not discussed more, and why it needs to be.

More fun things to stress about, our food is getting significantly less nutritious than it used to be and (yes) climate change may play a role.

Holy crap. Facebook’s reluctance to let people look at its inner workings becomes a bit more clear.

It was never about the policies anyway, it was about who rules. Who has power. Whose voice is heard.”

Glossier dropped another launch.

Album of last week: Taya, by Taya

Album of this week: The Laughing Apple, by Yusuf and Cat Stevens

Summer Bucket List Check In

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.” 
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I’ve mentioned that the weather has taken a turn for the autumnal of late, this past Sunday it reached a new high (or low, depending on your point of view). Ergo, we’re off to Greece, which as you may recall was the first item on my Summer Bucket List. Which means, given the weather, that it’s probably time for a check in on my frivolous summer goals!

Do you see this nonsense?

Buy new glasses. (See comment below!)

Get another piece of furniture for the house. And plants that I won’t easily kill. (I’ve got my eye on some shelves but that will have to be an end of month or October purchase, as we’ve spent that money on Greece. And I regret nothing)

Read a new heap of novels, both trashy and classy.

Finally get that call with my bank scheduled to kick off the proper investment and savings plan we’ve been talking about for months. (Call made but expat status means that we have to go through a few more hoops before I can start this properly. Annoying, but progress made!)

Do another month long blog project. (Nope, fail.)

Lose some weight. I’m typically wary of goals like this, but I’ve decided to just acknowledge that I’m going to work hard on some health and fitness goals explicitly. (I’ve started a new health challenge and X is my accountability partner. I’m only a bit of weight down, but I’m back to much better eating habits and regular exercise!)

Catch up with some long lost pals. (Another “fail,” but what I actually managed to do was make a few new friends instead. Gonna call this one a win.)

Knock out my audiobook goal.

Leave the office at a sensible hour most days.

Go to more movies. (I only made it to Wonder Woman, but I’m actually with falling down on this goal as we spent that fun money elsewhere, such as eating out at Hawker House.)

Throw some kind of party or get together.

Did you have a summer bucket list of any kind? What goals or triumphs have you ticked off over the warm months?

Five Things I Loved in August

“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.” 
― Sylvia Plath

August was supposed to be a quiet month for me, a relatively more relaxed pace at work, other people on holiday, a chance to catch up and get things done, possibly more blogging…

Nope. Hilariously nope. This month has been ridiculous and stressful in the extreme. A few projects at work exploded spectacularly and took over my and my team’s lives, there has been some silly personal drama in the background, and I still don’t feel as if we’ve recovered our flow after our weeks of houseguests this summer (which were not at all a burden, but did a number on the schedules and habits which help keep me balanced). That being said, I’m still urging both X and Katarina to come visit before the year is out because both would obviously be necessary to my happiness

However, we got there in the end. The projects have been righted and we’ve even had a few a few major victories, I’ve got some interesting side hustle opportunities that I’m exploring, and we’re finally going to have some time off next week. Everything’s coming up Milhouse! To celebrate, here is the list of things I loved this month and helped get me through.

It’s My Cushion Compact Case
I saw this product on YouTube and immediately thought it was a genius invention. I was searching for ways to apply sunscreen throughout the day (something I and my pale skin take seriously but still haven’t perfected after years of research) and came across this DIY option that riveted me. One short Amazon.com scouring later and I’ve embraced the tutorial in its entirety and my sunscreen cushion is now a tool I use daily–just before I leave work and head home. This same YouTuber also has another tutorial on how to create your own cushion foundation using the compact which I might be trying next.


Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square
I had a bad week when, in the midst of the work shenanigans, my favorite red lip product went missing. Turns out it had been having a vacation in a coat pocket, and I may have danced a little jig when I found it again. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: for me, lipstick is armor; when mine goes missing I feel less able to kick ass and take names. I have a plethora of lipstick, but this one reigns supreme in the red category and it was nice to rediscover my love for it, even if it was under emotional distress.


The Art of the English Murder, by Lucy Worsley
This is not a new book by my academic girl crush, but for someone who loves a good murder, it was a great read. Pretty sure I’ll be getting this for my father-in-law (who shares my love of Poirot) for Christmas!


“A Conversation With a Former White Nationalist,” by The Daily
The Daily, the podcast of the New York Times has been a great news podcast for my commutes, but this particular episode with a former white nationalist who had to unmake his own racism was exceptionally good. More importantly, he explains the vision of white supremacy he was raised with, how the movement has changed in recent years in an attempt to rebrand itself, and how members of the movement view the current political moment. It’s complex, challenging, disheartening, and hopeful all at the same time.


Lisa Macario sweatshirt
I purchased this sucker way back in May and (due to overwhelming demand for this and her other work) only got it this month. It was worth the wait. When she’s finally caught up on her workload–and I wish her all the success–I fully intend to buy something else for myself.

Weekend Links

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” 
― John Lubbock, The Use Of Life

Howdy kittens! I managed to make myself spectacularly and embarrassingly unwell this week and am still a bit shaky, but the blog must go on! I have some holiday coming up and we’re planning a last minute getaway for it but it really is coming down to the wire to make arrangements work. It’s necessary however, we’re both in need of a break. Generally when I start getting sick or my anxiety kicks up a notch, that’s my body telling me it’s time to cool my jets for a bit.

Here’s a batch of links for your weekend, and let me know what your travel plans for summer have been/are. It’s September, but let’s squeeze just a bit more sunshine out before breaking out the boots and cashmere, eh?

Hilary Mantel manages to write beautifully on a topic lots of people are well over.

In continuing Taylor Swift coverage, this. If you’re going to be a pop culture villain, go for it. Just be good at it.

I may have teared up a bit reading this story.

Uh, hi, Pliny?

Why ignoring white nationalists (code for white supremacists) is a mistake, from a guy who knows.

This week in Mormon News, a movement is causing waves in some LDS communities and noted religion report Peggy Fletcher Stack has the dispatch.

Why I don’t have the slightest bit of sympathy for Javanka.

C’mon, science!

Finally, the damage done by Hurricane Harvey is intense. Here’s a round up of all the ways you can donate and which calls may be scams.

Album of the week: Music From Before the Storm, by Daughter

London Glossier Pop Up and Power Branding

“Touch your customer, and you’re halfway there.” 
– Estee Lauder

Excuse the dive into marketing, ducklings, but since that’s what I do for my actual job, I couldn’t do a post about this fun summer event without talking about some of the technical aspects of the company behind it.

You’ve heard me mention Glossier a few times around these parts and and probably also stumbled across it out in the real world too. It’s a beauty brand that launched in 2010 and proceeded to casually take the editorial and online beauty world by storm. From their initial launch, they’ve rolled out product after product and are apparently expanding their line to include more “lifestyle” aspects to beauty in the future; their next product is going to be a candle, for example.

Glossier is launching in the UK later this year and I cannot wait to finally (hopefully) be able to have regular access to the items of their line that I genuinely adore. A few weeks ago I actually got to go to a pop up shop event they threw in Marylebone which was an opportunity for UK beauty nerds to meet some of the team, and test products that they may have not been able to try before. For a company that doesn’t even ship to the UK yet, it was amazing to see how many people (my humble self included) showed up just to celebrate the brand, for lack of a better term.

Which is extraordinary when you think about it. There was nothing to buy, we just wanted to say hi to team members that (due to Glossier’s social media presence) it feels like their customers know personally, or enjoy a beautifully curated space.

Because Glossier, excuse my fangirling, is genius at what they do.


I mention the brand and the products separately because while inexorably intertwined, they are different things. Where Glossier has set the bar in marketing has been in the solid curation and dissemination of its brand: its visuals, the people it has chosen to make its promoters, and its products all go hand in hand. It’s no mean feat to make something that must at some level be very well and intelligently controlled look and feel effortless.

From a marketing perspective, I routine point to them as one of the most interesting examples of brand and marketing work I’ve seen in years and I honestly would give my right arm to work with them at some point. It’s probably the most out of reach freelance goal a girl could have, but true nonetheless. Entrepreneur even featured founder Emily Weiss recently, with some of the numbers around the brand’s rise to success. They are damn impressive.


It doesn’t hurt that most of the products are pretty great and priced so as not to break the bank. I think they’ve had a few missteps, but they seem to be in the spirit of experimentation so I’m often eager to try products even if feel like a bit of a needle scratch. For instance, I’m really keen to try their new Wowder, but I also feel like it’s a bit of a strange choice for a brand who built their look and core product offerings around the “dewy” skin look. However, I expect that they created this powder…because their customers asked for it. So, in the end, probably smart move.

The whole of Glossier brand really is based on this conversational element–between the customers and the business, between individual customers themselves. Which makes sense for a company that grew out of a blog: Into the Gloss. ITG/Glossier routinely crowd sources feedback on what products their customers want them to develop, what elements of those products would be important to them, and how customers would use them. They have one of the best and most thriving comment sections on the internet (delightfully BS and troll free), and a friendly but authoritative editorial voice.

Guests to the pop up went away with a goody bag of full sized products to tide us over until shipping commences later in the year–a nice change from sample size bits and bobs that many brands hand out for promotions. Another smart move, in my opinion. For actual beauty bloggers and editors, there was an event with Weiss herself and the Beauty Director of Glamour UK on another day (the video interview is quite fun, if you’re interested in all things skincare).

This is a brand I’m not just going to continue to buy, but I’m also going to continue to watch. I believe strongly in the power of branding and am fascinated by organizations, creators, and producers who do it well. Glossier is up there.