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Oh, the highs and lows of Corona. Last weekend was rough and it went into this week. Tuesday I had a call with my business consultant and ended up in tears. But I took a day to go outside and spend a few minutes in my front yard absorbing sunshine, I got my hands dirty in the garden, I made friendship bracelets with my daughter, I showered and used all my masks and scrubs and lotions and potions, and I went to bed early and I felt worlds better. There's this feeling that right now we need to be productive, whether we're bored or slammed with work and/or homeschooling and/or caring for others and/or dealing with our health. And it's unfair. We're dealing with a freaking pandemic, something none of us have experienced before, and it's not just happening to us, or to our community, or even to our country but the entire globe. And that's some heavy shizz, and it's going to affect all of us, likely at the weirdest and worst and most unexpected moments. And that's okay. And the best thing I did all week was have one of the ugliest nose-faucet puffy eye twisted-face cries I've had in years. Letting it out reduces its power and allows us to move forward. Much love to all of you.
How to Help
I shared this in the Wardrobe Oxygen Community on Facebook. Today is a virtual Small Business Saturday in DC and it felt appropriate to re-share. The businesses we support now are the ones that have a chance to make it through. I know we don't all have the money or ability to buy from these businesses right now, but that doesn't mean you can't help them.
More than ever, small businesses you love need your support… and it does NOT need to be financial! Small businesses can be online retailers, your favorite cafe in town, your personal trainer, the company that replaced the siding on your house or seal-coated your driveway, the hotel you stay at every anniversary, or your favorite blogger or comedian or YouTuber. Some no-cost ways to help:
- Use your social media to share them. Share their articles on your feed. Mention them in Facebook groups when people are asking for suggestions. Tag and mention them in your Instagram stories. Do a #throwbackthursday sharing a photo of their product or service or location (and don't forget to tag and mention them). Invite friends to like their Facebook pages, join their Facebook groups, etc.
- Leave honest and detailed reviews, whether it's on Yelp, their Facebook page, TripAdvisor, or for influencers like me, on Fohr
- Visit their websites. Google notes traffic, and it helps them rank higher for searches. Even if you can't afford to buy something from that business, visit their website and click around. For blogs, visit the actual blogs, not just their social media or the emails you get.
- Engage. Leave comments on their Instagram posts where other people can see they have an engaged audience. Leave comments on blog posts, the Facebook pages of brands, participate in discussions in their Facebook groups.
- Give them compliments, let them know why you love them. Small businesses right now are struggling to stay afloat, and a positive comment can be just what they need to get through the day and keep pushing forward.
- Give them grace. Know that shipping may take longer, errors may happen, things may not be as seamless or perfect as they were before. Small businesses are scrambling to keep things running with this new normal while also applying for loans and grants, having frantic talks with financial institutions and accountants, upsetting conversations with staff, and dealing with constantly changing rules and news each day they wake. Your support makes all the difference.
Speaking of small DC businesses, my Year of the Woman t-shirt is from The Outrage, a DC business participating in the virtual Small Business Saturday. For reference, I bought a size Large.
By now I hope you have checked out Fiona Apple's latest album, Fetch the Bolt Cutters. It's on Spotify, it's fabulous, it has been on repeat at Casa Gary. Enjoy this interview with the artist. (Vulture)
In honor of her 94th birthday, a look back at Queen Elizabeth II's rainbow wardrobe. (Tattler)
There are two Americas now, the sick and the bored. I am totally feeling this piece, though honestly, my life is if anything busier since sheltering in place. (Gen on Medium)
ADA Collection makes some of my very favorite belts; see me wear them here. The founder Ada Deferrari is currently offering a free body shape guide and a free class to dress the body shape you have right now.
“When people try to be cheerful about social distancing and working from home, noting that William Shakespeare and Isaac Newton did some of their best work while England was ravaged by the plague, there is an obvious response: Neither of them had child-care responsibilities.” (The Atlantic)
If your hands are seriously chapped from all the washings, I can't recommend Combat Ready Balm from Skincando enough. Skincando is an organic, woman-owned, DC-based skincare line and Combat Ready Balm is a product used by US soldiers in war zones as it helps treat dryness, itching, eczema, minor abrasions, post-shaving burn, chafing, scars, bug bites, and sun/wind burn.
I loved Alabama Shakes, seen them several times including one show at Ram's Head in Baltimore that didn't sell out and I was right up on the stage. I love Brittany Howard. And I love this piece about her. (New Yorker)
In the WO2 Community on Facebook this week we've been discussing wireless bras. If you're more the “small of bust” than I and looking for a comfy and pretty bra for staying at home, I know many who love the everyday bra from underbares. Underbares is an ethical and sustainable Washington DC-based intimates brand.
Looking for a cool way to update your pad? I love these neighborhood map prints from Cherry Blossom Creative, a DC-based stationery shop and creative studio. While the collection is primarily neighborhoods in the DC metro area, there are also maps for cities around the country such as San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and the South End of Boston.
“Amazon has never been more powerful, but the consequences of its power have never been more visible.” If you're shopping Amazon when you have other options, you really REALLY need to read this. (New York Times)
Hey folks, if you haven't heard, the Parks and Recreation cast is reuniting for a special episode April 30th on NBC to benefit Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund. The writers, producers, and cast will match donations up to $500,000 combined. (Glamour)
The series finale of Empire was so disappointing. I know it was rushed due to SIP regulations but dang, they couldn't pull it together a bit more with clips from the past kazillion seasons? I would have loved something to remind me why I stuck around all these years. It's a shame because this series started off so strong.
As a family, we watched The Willoughbys, a new family film on Netflix. Dude, this movie is SO WEIRD, it's like a candy-covered acid trip but we parents were engaged (it helped to have a famous cast voicing the characters and having NO CLUE what in the world would come next), and our daughter thought it was FABULOUS.
As I mentioned in a previous Weekend Reads, Colleen Hoover had all her eBooks for free one day and I got them all. I read Verity and liked it, and then started on her book Hopeless, not realizing that Verity is NOT her typical type of book and this was some YA romance stuff. And I noped out of it and started another book. But then I decided one day when I wanted some light and mindless to go back to Hopeless and finished it in one day. Yes, it's a story about high school seniors, a lot of it is cliche, the twist at the end I sort of saw coming (not all of it, but the jist), the first time the two got together and got all romantic was steamy but the other times I quickly scanned and moved on. This wasn't bad, but not my genre so don't take my word for it. With over 10,000 reviews on Amazon, the book gets a 4.6 so I am clearly not the right demo.
At some point I preordered Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies by Tara Schuster and it showed up in my Kindle so that will be the book I start this weekend. I've made a little routine of starting Saturday with breakfast, coffee, and a book to separate it from the week and from work. I'll be sure to let you know what I think of it!
And speaking of books, I've made a storefront on Bookshop. I used to track books read in Amazon but Bookshop supports indie bookstores so I'm switching to them. When you shop at Bookshop you can support DC bookstores such as Kramerbooks.
I LOVED all the book suggestions last week, keep it up! Several have emailed me that they got new books based on your recommendations and I am noting them for when I am out of books I already purchased!
For Your Entertainment
Missy Missy can't you see, we need your music during the quarantine. Thank you to Missy Elliott, who has provided us with not only new music but some of her legendary videos to go with it. Enjoy “Cool Off.”