Weekend Reads #99

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"Self Acceptance" by Kristine Mays

I'd like you to meet “Self Acceptance” by Kristine Mays.  Many of you have noticed her in the back of my photos on Instagram and in my weekly outfit recaps.  I connected with the artist Kristine Mays over a decade ago, when we were both blogging about our everyday lives on Blogspot. I've followed as she has come into her wire art, and have marveled at how she can take such a rigid medium and make it look so light and fluid. I love how she expresses her thoughts on the world, the news, and body image through her work.  For years I have said if I ever win the lottery (uh, gotta play to win Alison!) I would buy a Kristine Mays.  And Valentine's Day 2018 Karl surprised me with “Self Acceptance.”  I don't think we've exchanged Valentine's Day gifts since we started dating, he totally made up for it with this gift.

We placed “Self Acceptance” in this spot in our living room, planning to find a different home for her.  But we feel this is where she is supposed to live.  The light comes in the bay window to her right and the door to her left and shows her beautiful detail.  Behind her is a self-portrait by Karl's grandfather, next to her is a rosemary plant that keeps going year after year, being added to so many of our meals.  It seems like a good home to have.  And now that we are all at home more than ever before, it's nice to have this additional member of the family hanging out with us in the room we frequent the most.

You can see what works Kristine Mays has for sale at Artsy; Kristine also creates smaller works of art and sells them on Etsy.  To learn more about Kristine Mays and find out where her work is being exhibited, please visit her website and follow her on Instagram

How to Help

If like me, you feel helpless during this crisis there are ways you can help from your home and I want to share them.  If you have an organization that can be helped, please share them in the comments and I may feature them in a future issue. 

Vulnerable seniors are at the greatest risk right now. Meals on Wheels delivers nutritious meals to the country’s most vulnerable seniors. Donations will replenish food supplies, subsidize additional transportation and personnel, and enable tech-based efforts to check in on isolated elderly recipients. Local Meals on Wheels programs are on the front lines every day, focused on doing all they can to keep older Americans safe and nourished in communities across the country. The costs and efforts needed to protect seniors require additional emergency funds. A donation to the Meals on Wheels COV ID-19 Response Fund will help ensure local communities have what they need to continue to deliver a vital lifeline to our most at-risk Americans.  If you can't donate or if you wish to do more, Meals on Wheels needs volunteers to deliver these meals.  Click here to donate to Meals on Wheels, click here to learn more on how to volunteer, and click here to find your local Meals on Wheels program.  

Weekend Reads 

Surviving social media in isolation: a computer scientist on why the quality of your quarantine may come down to how you use your technology. (GQ)

Museum asks people to recreate paintings with stuff they can find at home, here are the results. (Sad and Useless)

Saddened to hear of the passing of Adam Schlesinger.  Known for his band Fountains of Wayne, Schlesinger is also the person behind some of the best known songs in movies and TV. (Rolling Stone)

Emily Post's quarantine etiquette. (McSweeney's)

SXSW has released all their short films online, enjoy! (Mailchimp)

Trying to figure out how to make it when two parents are working from home and you're taking care of kids? My friend Elizabeth has tips. (District of Chic)

I've been thinking about the future of the music industry through all this.  Concerts and festivals are canceled and postponed, but what about collabs?  What about videos? No surprise, Drake was one of the first to address this. (Vanity Fair)

If you're on a cleaning streak, this post is for you to be sure you do it safely. (New York Times)

I've been wearing joggers on repeat, but the joggers I was wearing are no longer available.  This week, Soma sent me their joggers and oh my goodness they are amazing!  They're super soft, not too tight and not too loose, have two zipper pockets and a stretch waistband that also has a tie for a perfect fit. I got size Large and they're super comfortable and I think generously sized.  They go up to XXL and wash really well.  

You’re Allowed to Grieve the Year That Would’ve Been(Zora on Medium)

How Kinfolk Magazine defined the millennial aesthetic…and unraveled behind the scenes. (Vanity Fair)

How Christian Siriano turned his fashion house into a mask factory. (New Yorker)

Several have asked Karl's bread recipe (he's been baking all week, like many of you).  He uses this recipe for Amish white bread from AllRecipes, but I love the addition of honey on this similar and just as easy recipe from House of Nash Eats.  I don't know House of Nash Eats but it's a food blog in the same ad network I am in and I know our ad revenue is down so supporting fellow blogs is a good thing right about now! 

Stop trying to be productive. (New York Times)

Brands being great: AG Jeans committed to a $1M donation to COV ID-19 relief as well as continued pay and benefits for all their 2,000 plus employees at their factories and retail stores through April. I have a pair of their “Prima” jeans and find them some of the best fitting jeans and amazing quality.  They seem to mold to my body, even as my body shape changes.  You can find AG jeans at Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Shopbop, Zappos, and the AG website


I keep getting asked about which podcast to listen to and I haven't even listened to my regular favorites since staying at home. But I found this list from Book Riot of the ten best bookish podcasts to distance you from the news and thought it was a good start! 

Popsugar put a list together of all the musicals currently available on Netflix.

Last weekend I finished Verity by Colleen Hoover.  While I started it that week, reading a couple of pages each night before bed, I consumed 90% of the book in one sitting on Saturday.  I NEVER do that, I always feel too busy.  But making reading a priority that day made a priority for my self and my sanity. A day without the news, a day without getting angry and sad and scared discussing what is going on.  A day of reading a pretty fun book with intrigue and plenty of steamy moments.  I highly recommend the experience.

The only thing I've really watched this week is Making the Cut on Amazon Prime.  Hosted by Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum, it's like Project Runway with a ginormous budget.  They're in Paris, they have stars like Naomi Campbell and Carine Roitfeld as judges, they have designers from around the globe, they don't seem to have a budget at the fabric store.  I haven't yet watched the two episodes that dropped yesterday, I don't have a favorite designer yet!

For Your Entertainment

Maya Hawke is the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, and now that you know this you will totally see both of them in her face. You may recognize her from the 2017 BBC adaptation of Little Women where she played Jo March, or the third season of Stranger Things where she played the character Robin Buckley.  Hawke was also in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood where she played the role of Linda Kasabian. Maya Hawke's first single came out this past August, and her latest release, By Myself, had its video released March 17th. Her album, Blush, will be out this June. While this video feels like a Glamour Shot fever dream, the song is the perfect one to play while making pancakes tomorrow morning or taking a much-needed moment to sit and not look at Twitter or Facebook or the news and just be in the moment.

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. I saw her work on display at the Old Town Alexandria art festival some months back, and admired it then. What an incredibly thoughtful gift!

  2. Thank you for the bread recipe! My husband baked 2 loaves tonight (he’s baking bread like crazy lately) & my house smells wonderful! I’ve had a taste & it’s delicious. Breakfast will be quite lovely in the morning. I must admit, we are eating well during this strange time; too well, actually. I need to start cutting back soon before I really regret it, but goodness, if ever there were a time for stress-eating… Thank you for continuing to do Weekend Reads; it’s my favorite email on Saturday’s!

  3. Thanks, Alison! Totally unrelated, but would you consider doing a post on t-shirts for large-busted women? I’d live to find a good v neck t shirt that doesn’t make me look like I’ve given up.

    1. Seconded! Usually if they fit the bust, they’re clingier than I’d prefer in the middle; if they skim the middle they drown my bust and upper arms.

    1. Re: Schlesinger, I had the first 2 Fountains of Wayne albums on continual repeat in the late 90s. It was a wonderful time for indie power pop — The Dandy Warhols, The Rentals, The Posies, Matthew Sweet too, for example. I was already re-playing Ben Kweller and The Lemonheads before. RIP Adam.

  4. Ooh. I love that sculpture! I would say Karl more than redeemed himself, and in fact, is likely covered for a lifetime, LOL!

  5. It’s been a week. That’s for certain. I dig that sculpture. She’s stunning. I’m finding how much I miss “Art” right now. This is the time where our school (a Visual/Performing Arts High School) would be swimming in showcases, competitions, productions and concerts. I miss my “other” kids. My son has spent more time playing piano and says he misses his music.

    Here’s hoping we gain an appreciation for the things we’ve taken for granted.

  6. Veteran bread-baker here: any bread recipe that calls for vegetable oil can be punched up by substituting an equal amount of melted butter (1 stick butter [1/4 pound] = 1/2 cup; half a stick = 1/4 cup, etc.). Use a little more butter to grease the baking pan. The improvement in flavor is impressive.

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