Things I Read This Week: May 12, 2017

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How was your week (and weekend)? I had big plans to enjoy the sunshine yesterday, but instead I ended up binge-watching Master of None season 2 and I have no regrets. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Apartment Therapy – A Travel Editor’s Soothing San Francisco Sanctuary
We bought a grey sofa last week and now I’m thinking that the logical next step is to replicate the living room pictured above piece-for-piece. I especially love that rug!

GQ – Dwayne Johnson for President!
Is there a reality series about Dwayne Johnson in the works yet, or is he too busy making what seems like seventy movies a year? Because I would watch that very, very much.

The New Yorker – I Work From Home
Oh, it’s just too real.

Flare – “Even When I Was Only Eating Three Apples a Day, I Knew I Was Too Big”
This interview with Victoire Dauxerre (former model and the author of Size Zero: My Life as a Disappearing Model) is a worthwhile look at the toxic ideals of beauty prevalent in the world of high fashion. France has introduced laws that ban fashion houses from using “excessively thin” models and require ads and magazines to add a “photographie retouchée” (retouched photograph) label any Photoshopped image, but it’s going to take a long time for the culture of modelling to change in a significant way.

Bon Appetit – Ina Garten Microwaves Her Oatmeal; Continues to Remain Perfect Anyway
“After breakfast, I always go for a walk on the beach from 8 to 9. It’s a great way to start the day.” Preach, Ina. This sounds like a really good way to become a morning person.

Things I Read This Week: May 5, 2017

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How was your week? Happy Cinco de Mayo! Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Bon Appetit – The 5 Best New Sandwiches in America
I NEED this lox sandwich (above) from Philly Style Bagels. Anyone up for a road trip to Philadelphia?

GQ – Brad Pitt Talks Divorce, Quitting Drinking, and Becoming a Better Man
“The terrible thing is I tend to run things into the ground. That’s why I’ve got to make something so calamitous. I’ve got to run it off a cliff.” Wow, this is … so much.

Extra Crispy – What Happens When You Drink Too Much Coffee
Spoiler alert: it’s not pretty.

The Atlantic – The Fear of Feelings at Work
This is so interesting: “Negative emotions can help us in the workplace to be more effective thinkers, to dig into the facts of what may go wrong. To mandate that we should just be positive at work takes away from the idea that emotions have evolved to help us adapt.”

Food & Wine – Ultimate Cinco de Mayo Guide
Celebrate Mexican culture with recipes for all the drinks, cakes, and (of course) tacos you could ever hope for.

Things I Read This Week: April 28, 2017

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How was your week? Buds appeared on all the trees seemingly overnight and May is just around the corner, so I think it’s finally safe to say this: it’s springtime. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Bon Appetit – Grilled Steak Salad with Beets and Scallions
I’ve made variations of this salad before, and it’s always delicious. Use a mixture of greens you like, and go for skirt steak if you can find it — despite its reputation as a tough cut, skirt steak is really tender when cooked to medium-rare and cut against the grain, plus it’s usually less expensive per pound than strip steak.

Saveur – The Real Reason Chinatown Produce is Crazy Cheap
Hint: it has nothing to do with subpar produce. Thanks to low overhead and their proximity to distribution warehouses, Chinatown produce vendors are able to pass on savings to their customers, as well as offer a wider selection of fruits and vegetables that are difficult to find elsewhere. Bring a reusable bag and experiment with produce you’ve never tried before!

The Guardian – The Ungrateful Refugee: ‘We Have No Debt to Repay’
A great read for anyone looking to get a more nuanced understanding of the challenges refugees face when arriving in a new country.

Racked – Princess for a Day, Disney Bride for Life
“The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, because Disney weddings happen ’round-the-clock … Brides and brave-faced loved ones arise as early as 3 a.m. to begin hair and makeup prep, employing glam squads whose typical call-times occur in the middle of the night. The guests, too, rise promptly — weddings that take place inside Disney’s Florida theme parks begin two hours before regular parkgoers enter, which means they can start as early as 7:30 a.m., or two hours after parks close.” This is next-level commitment.

Extra Crispy – Why Baking Is Good for Your Mental Health
File under “articles to refer to next time someone asks me why I’m baking yet another loaf of bread.”

Things I Read This Week: April 21, 2017

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How was your week? Toronto’s a good place to be this weekend — the Maple Leafs and the Raptors are still fighting through the first round of their respective playoff matchups, the High Park cherry blossoms are predicted to bloom any minute now, and tomorrow is Record Store Day! Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Bon Appetit – Braised Chicken Thighs with Squash and Mustard Greens
This is more of a cold-weather dish, but this spring has been all over the place and I think I have at least one more weekend of slow braising ahead of me before we (finally!) set up the barbecue for the season.

The New York Times – The Year of Conquering Negative Thinking
Have you ever noticed that it’s much easier to help a friend see their strengths and talents than it is to recognize our own? Why is that? We may never be able to completely escape our negative or anxious thoughts, but we can certainly learn to control them. One strategy: consider what advice you would give to a friend in a similar situation, then apply it to yourself. Deep breaths! We can do this.

Chatelaine – We Packed up the Kids and Moved to Tanzania. Then Things Fell Apart
This author’s account of moving her family from Ontario to Tanzania is far from the Eat, Pray, Love-esque travelogues we’ve become accustomed to seeing in the past few years, which is refreshing (not to mention incredibly anxiety-inducing!). Would you ever make such a huge, life-altering decision without a back-up plan?

The Stranger – The Heart of Whiteness: Ijeoma Oluo Interviews Rachel Dolezal, the White Woman Who Identifies as Black
Wooow. Ijeoma Oluo’s patience is unparalleled. This whole conversation seems like it required nerves of steel.

High Park Zoo – Help Name the Baby Capybaras!
The High Park Zoo’s three new #capybabies need names! You can submit your suggestions on the Zoo website until May 3rd; voting begins May 8th.

Things I Read This Week: April 13, 2017

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How was your week? The Toronto Blue Jays are back! The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs started this week! This can only mean one thing: watching loads of sports and eating tons of snacks. Here’s what I’ve been reading, a day early because I’m traveling tomorrow for the Easter holiday:

Food & Wine – 17 Great Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
If you missed National Grilled Cheese Day on Wednesday,  catch up this weekend with one of these delicious-looking sandwiches, including the Époisses Grilled Cheese and Pepper Jelly Sandwiches (above), which I need in my life immediately.

NBC Sports – Flipping Out
October 2015 was a heady time: “Hotline Bling” was on heavy rotation, Obama was still President, and the Toronto Blue Jays won the 2015 American League Division Series over the Texas Rangers after a controversial 53-minute seventh inning in Game 5 that had everyone in our neighborhood bar gawping at the screen, occasionally breaking the silence to ask, “what in the hell is going on?!” MLB.com columnist Joe Posnanski and Parks and Recreation co-creator Mike Schur recap “a game NOBODY HAS EVER SEEN BEFORE” in what is definitely my favourite piece of sports writing ever.

PRI – These Capybaras Escaped the Zoo for a Summer of Love. Now They’re Back, With Babies
The High Park Zoo: come for the cherry blossoms, stay for the #capybabies!

Stereogum – What Happened To Ludacris?
Ludacris got married in 2014, is currently worth an estimate $25 million dollars, and has a huge movie coming out this Friday, but something tells me that wasn’t really the point of this question.

The New York Times – The Fighter
This feature on Sam Siatta, a veteran Marine who committed a violent crime upon his return from serving in Afghanistan, is one of three NYT pieces to win a 2017 Pulitzer Prize. It’s a sad story about PTSD and the cost of warfare, but worth your time this weekend.

Things I Read This Week: April 7, 2017

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How was your week? I woke up to snow this morning, so I’m hiding out with a book and coffee until it melts. It’s also the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, so if you’re a history nerd like me, you should watch CBC’s 360 documentary, narrated by Peter Mansbridge. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

The Kitchn – How To Make a Cheese Danish for a Crowd
How amazing does this danish look? I’m visiting family next week and can’t wait to make this for brunch on Easter Sunday.

Wired – An Aircraft Design That’ll Make You Love the Middle Seat. No Joke
I’m six feet tall and mildly claustrophobic, so unless I’m traveling with two other friends in my row, I always book an aisle seat to avoid hours of anxiety and battles over the armrest. This new, wider middle seat design looks like a great concept and I hope to see it on planes in the near future — I’ll probably still choose an aisle seat, but at least I won’t feel so badly for the person in the middle!

Vice – Life After Betraying the Hells Angels
A fascinating glimpse into how the witness protection program changes someone’s life.

Food & Wine – 98-Year-Old Man Bakes Over 144 Apple Pies to Honor His Late Wife
“Everything [Leo Keller] bakes, he gives away for free. He whips up baked goods for the sick, for fellow widowers and widows, and even provides baked goods for funeral receptions. ‘To see the smile on their face. That’s worth all the money in the world. Nobody can buy that,’ Keller, whose caregiver occasionally helps make the baked goods, commented. ‘That smile means so much to me.'”

Munchies – These 3 Dudes Drove 1,000 Miles to Try the Only McDonald’s Pizza in America
I remember eating McDonald’s pizza as a kid and being less-than-impressed — after my friend’s “Make Your Own Pizza Party” at Pizza Hut in 1993, every other chain restaurant pizza paled in comparison — so I don’t know if I would spend two days traveling to West Virginia to try it again. How far would you drive for a taste of vintage McDonald’s menu items? I wonder if they also still carry the Arch Deluxe

Things I Read This Week: March 31, 2017

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How was your week? It snowed in Toronto last night, so spring continues to let me down. Might have to put my tips to jazz up a regular weekend to good use again this week. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Apartment Therapy – Unusual Exterior Paint Color Combos That Actually Look Really Great
Somehow the all-black house above manages to steer clear of any easy comparisons to the Addams Family Mansion. I also love the New Orleans rowhouse with rainbow fishscale siding. Which one is your favourite?

Vulture – Why Bones Was One of the Most Interesting Love Stories on TV
I spent a semester in university marathoning every available season of Bones — at that time, this meant speeding through 8 seasons, or 165 episodes — while studying for exams and writing papers. Whether or not this was a valuable use of my time remains to be seen, but I can still hum the theme song from memory, and that has to count for something, right?

Entertainment Tonight – Buffy the Vampire Slayer Cast Reunites for 20th Anniversary
Speaking of David Boreanaz, can you believe it’s been 20 years since Buffy first appeared in our lives? I’m long overdue for a rewatch.

Food & Wine – Food Safety Experts Are Not Pleased with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Cookbooks
Spoiler alert: it’s because her meat recipes don’t include a final cooking temperature, which could put people at risk of consuming undercooked meat and contracting food poisoning. But Gwyneth’s not alone; few cookbooks include this type of information, relying instead on visual or tactile clues (“roast until juices run clear” and the like) to indicate when a dish is done. Point is, if you’re worried about salmonella, you should become familiar with recommended food temperatures and invest in an instant-read kitchen thermometer to make sure your food is cooked properly, rather that relying solely on instructions.

Extra Crispy – Why Snoozing Actually Makes You Lose Sleep
You’ve heard it before, but here it is again: hitting snooze in the morning is bad for you. I say this as someone who sets half a dozen staggered alarms every morning and gets up long after the last one has been silenced. Maybe it’s time for a sleep schedule, or even going back to using an alarm clock instead of my phone. What about you? Do you have any tips to avoid oversnoozing in the morning?

Things I Read This Week: March 24, 2017

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How was your week? Listen, I know what you’re thinking: “Sarah, you just posted about carrot cake a couple of weeks ago.” And you’re not wrong. But hear me out! First of all, this is carrot bread. And second of all … okay, fine. You’re right. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Smitten Kitchen – Carrot Cake with Cider and Olive Oil
Look, if you love carrot bread, you love it, and if you hate it, you should move on to one of the other links in this post. I promise* to lay off the carrot-based baked goods in the future.

Vulture – The Year of Living Publicly
You’ve probably seen this profile of Jenny Slate posted all over the Internet — I guess the Chris Evans connection makes this story pretty juicy — but you should read it because Jenny Slate seems like a hilarious, genuinely nice person. Another good read: Chris Evans Fights Back (the title makes it sound like he and Jenny are fighting, but really it’s just about being a superhero).

Food & Wine – How Your Instagram Posts Created a New Starbucks Drink
It’s satisfying to see a brand listen to customers and move so quickly to put a popular “secret” item on the menu to offer a consistent experience, like Starbucks did with the Cold Buster, though I’m still on the fence about steamed lemonade. Has anyone tried this drink yet? Did you like it?

Washington Post – SNL to Finish a Record-Shattering Season by Doing Something It’s Never Done Before
Beginning on April 15th, SNL will go live coast-to-coast for its final 4 episodes of the season, airing live at 11:30pm ET/8:30pm PT. As someone who watched SNL religiously during the Will Ferrell years before completely abandoning it for over a decade, I think that the show’s sudden resurgence in popularity is fascinating. Will you be watching these episodes live in your time zone?

Science of Us – There’s a Psychological Explanation for Why Tetris Is So Addicting
Did you know individual Tetris pieces are called Tetrominoes? Isn’t that just the best?

*note: promise not binding.

Things I Read This Week: March 17, 2017

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How was your week? Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Remember: stay away from green beer (gross) and don’t say “St. Patty’s Day” — it’s Paddy, derived from the Irish Pádraig, not patty, which is what you put in a burger. Okay, now go have fun! Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Bon Appetit – Smoked Salmon Breakfast Salad with Crispbread
I was going to lead with Molly Yeh’s wonderful-looking Mint Coconut Chocolate Cake, but I had to at least try to pretend that we’re eating healthy this week. Maybe this salad for breakfast and cake for lunch and dinner? Seems balanced enough to me …

Slate – Watch the First Trailer for Coco, Pixar’s “Love Letter to Mexico”
I’m so ready to ugly-cry during this movie. Coco is out November 22nd!

Food & Wine – The Crucial Reason Why Honey Nut Cheerios’ Mascot is Missing
Have you noticed that Buzz has vanished from Cheerios packaging? I wondered about this during a recent trip to the grocery store. Turns out that the new packaging is part of a General Mills campaign to raise awareness about disappearing bee colonies. They’re giving away bee-friendly wildflower seeds to help #BringBackTheBees — you can sign up for free seeds every Monday to do your part!

The New York Times – The ‘H-Bomb’ Fizzles: The Harvard Brand Takes a Hit
Am I the only one whose fascination with Ivy League schools is derived from multiple viewings of Gilmore Girls and Legally Blonde? I didn’t think so. Another interesting read: Are Final Clubs Too Exclusive for Harvard?

The Guardian – Charli XCX: the mixtape mystery and a pop career in flux
Chances are, you know Charli XCX even if you’ve never head of her (good luck getting her hook on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” out of your head now that I’ve brought it up). Like Kesha, JoJo, and many other pop stars before her, she’s been absent from the charts as a lead artist for years now due to — what else? — a dispute with her label. If “Dreamer,” the lead track off her new mixtape Number 1 Angel, is any indication of what her delayed third album has in store, then we’re in for a treat if and when Atlantic releases it. #FreeCharli

Things I Read This Week: March 10, 2017

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How was your week? I’m visiting my parents for the weekend, which means lots of good meals and a visit to my favourite flea market with my dad on Sunday morning. Can’t complain! Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Food & Wine – Classic Carrot Cake with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
I see this cake in my immediate future. Mainly because I need this cake in my immediate future.

Bustle – Here’s How The Women’s Strike Affected The Workday
Some stats on how the Day Without a Woman affected Wednesday’s workday across various industries. Also: How Men Failed the Women’s Strike Before it Even Started.

Glamour – Chrissy Teigen Opens Up for the First Time About Her Postpartum Depression
A million emoji praise hands for Chrissy Teigen’s essay about dealing with anxiety and depression after the birth of her first child. This is an important discussion and I’m glad Queen Chrissy is joining the conversation!

The New York Times – Opinion: White Resentment on the Night Shift at Walmart
Tracie McMillan is a food writer who went undercover at Walmart and Applebee’s to study the American food supply chain for her book, The American Way of Eating. Like J.D. Vance’s excellent Hillbilly Elegy, which the NYT selected as one of their 6 books to help understand the current political climate in America, McMillan’s opinion piece gives us a glimpse of why things went the way they did in November. I don’t think we’ll ever stop looking for answers, but this is a start.

Vulture – The One Scene That Got William Daniels to Play Mr. Feeny on Boy Meets World
Raise your hand if you grew up in ABC TGIF’s Boy Meets World era and wished Mr. Feeny was the principal at your school. (Also, raise your hand if you’re now getting ready to re-watch all 7 seasons of this show as soon as you’re done catching up on Riverdale …)