With any luck, dear readers, you live in one of those super-snowy regions so you can be home today with a nice warm sweater and cup of tea (or cocoa, or bourbon... hey, you do you). And if so, allow me to entertain you with this month’s roundup of links I loved!
It’s January; everyone’s hitting the gym.
I missed this article in June about unvaccinated students being barred from school but was happy to find it eventually. Money quote from my friend who originally shared it: “If I can't send my child to school with peanut products because of potential allergies, how can you send your child to school as a carrier for deadly diseases?”
And apparently they once used fashion to sell the public on vaccines. Hey, if the doctor gave Baby P an “I’m vaccinated!” onesie similar to these, I’d totally make him wear it.
Speaking of diseases, preventable and not, scientists have made a new antibiotic! That’s actually pretty rare, but better yet, scientists made a way to get new antibiotics more easily. Since bacteria are pretty good at overcoming each antibiotic eventually, that’s pretty awesome. (But you should still probably stop taking that round of antibiotics for the cold virus. Just saying.)
And still on the public health front, I loved this story about... well, it’s about menstrual cups. Which is a little awkward, but not nearly as awkward as if you are a teenage girl in East Africa who can’t go to school without one. If you’re looking for a good cause, channel your inner middle-schooler who forgot to bring a panty liner and donate!
I have a soft spot for interesting elderly people, so of course I loved reading about these five ladies born in the 1800s who are still alive today. The stories they could tell!
Your favorite Sherlock and mine, Benedict Cumberbatch, had a bit of a gaffe this week and then schooled us all in the art of a sincere apology. I’m taking notes.
And if that wasn’t enough reading material, here’s a new essay from David Sedaris.
This month’s maps
Continuing with the internet’s latest trend of mapping each state’s most distinctive ____, we have this month’s offering of the most distinctive google searches. Some are obvious (sigh, Missouri), some are eyebrow-raising (uh, Florida?), and some are adorable (head pat, Idaho). Also, apparently Kansas doesn’t have google or something. (???)
Not a map, but geography-related are these portraits illustrating the strangest laws in each state.
And also not-a-map-but-still-geographical-ish are these sarcastic state mottos. My current state is my favorite because PUN!
For the home
The latest HGTV dream home tour is up! I agree with Thrifty Décor Chick, I could absolutely live there. All that beadboard! Sigh.
On the other end of the domicile spectrum, there are these nifty pop-up rentals to create affordable urban housing in Amsterdam. I could almost live there, too... would just need some privacy curtains over those huge windows, yikes.
If you’re in a crafty mood this month, I found a few roundups of DIYs that’ll keep you busy. Apartment Therapy has 50+ DIYs with a dropcloth, Johnnie has 50+ Pottery Barn knockoff projects, and BuzzFeed has 36 (what, not 50+??) ways to hide your home’s eyesores. There are a few silly ones but also great ideas in each list – I’m so tempted to hide our computer peripheral in storage boxes now!
Centsational Girl Kate wrote a useful blog post about monochromatic rooms, and she included an example in nearly every color of the rainbow. If I can’t do neutrals, then monochromatic is my next favorite color scheme!
And finally, if you are itching to spruce up your post-holiday home for cheap, then check out all of H&M’s pillow covers. Some are FOUR DOLLARS, y’all. I have a dozen I’d love to buy this second, just as soon as I’m sure I’m not impulse-buying them from sheer new-mom sleep-deprivation-induced retail therapy (I totally would be).
Food & Drink
For whatever reason – perhaps those extra 500 calories a day I’m eating – a lot of food links inexplicably caught my eye this month. Like this in-depth article about pizza in Naples. (Shoutout to Trianon – glad we hit that spot, even though I hadn’t read this article last summer!)
Gin is the new hip drink? Um, duh.
This guide to the different levels of whipped cream is exactly the sort of super-basic-cook stuff I need to know. I never know when it’s whipped enough, and now I realize I’ve practically been making butter every dang time. Lesson learned!
Here’s a super strange endorsement for melted ice cream in recipes. Apparently it jazzes up boxed cake mix? I must try!
Although these thirteen kitchen & home hacks are really the best I’ve seen so far.
Radio, TV, & Books
You guys. Jay from Serial SPEAKS in a three-part interview! OMG. Though I guess I didn’t learn anything new. I am still sad for his family’s overexposure, and he is still a totally unreliable witness.
As I mentioned last month, I’m continuing to work my way through The Wire. I’m about halfway through the series now, but I wouldn’t have made it this far without these recaps. If you are thinking of tackling this show, they are ESSENTIAL (especially if you are distracted troubleshooting a tiny baby nursing latch while watching).
Here’s a quiz to see if you can match the Harry Potter movie screenshot to the book/movie title. I can! 16/16, bishes.
The one book I read this month I didn’t really love (it was just okay), so I’m on the hunt for more good reading material. NPR has an app to help!
And once I conquer those, here’s a list of novels to read before the movies come out this year. I’ve already read several (though I think I’ll skip Fifty Shades, thanks)!
For whatever reason I had never seen this video until Mr. P introduced it to me this month. Now we have the call-and-response, “Worry ‘bout yourself!” “You drive!” for all sorts of co-parenting situations.
It’s well established that I’m a longtime fan of Amalah, both the person and her writing. So of course, I found her New Years video hilarious. I’d embed it here, except everything is better in Amalah-context, so just click over to see it. (Oh, and here’s take two. Basically I want to be the Storches when I grow up.)
And if I wasn’t fangirling enough already, another tale from Amalah this month was gloriously entertaining, too. (Yes, I still want to be them, if it means I’ll be able to recount my life in such an amusing way.)
Moving on, here are some Disney princesses with way more realistic hair. (Pocahontas made me snort.)
And here are some superheroes in the style of Flemish portraiture.
Two tweets I thoroughly appreciated:
"Prof. Mandelbrot? It's Dr. Schrödinger. I seem to have a problem." pic.twitter.com/DzfNMixYrF— Kevin Fox (@kfury) November 10, 2014
I fucking LOVE science. *is handed peer reviewed journal* Haha nonono I meant CGI pictures of space with misattributed quotes as captions— shut up, mike (@shutupmikeginn) December 17, 2014
This photo alone is adorbs, but the fifth comment down wins the internet.
And finally: GRAND THEFT OTTER.
So long, January!