This week felt like the first of what will be our “new normal” around here. Meaning Adam started commuting back to his office in New Jersey and I started working, permanently, here at home. As with any big change, it’s going to take some adjusting but overall, after 12 years behind at desk for 9+ hours a day, I’m pretty excited by the promise of a little bit more flexibility in my day to day life. Below – a few thoughts before we head into the weekend.

ON MY MIND:

  • Today is Juneteenth in America. In brief summary – while the 4th of July celebrates independence from Britain – that freedom only applied to White Americans, while Black Americans remained in slavery. Even after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, the state of Texas continued the practice of slavery until over 2 years later, when on June 19th, 1865 slavery there was finally abolished – and truly all Americans were free. You can sign the petition to make this a national holiday here.
  • My 25 minute walk to the office and back was among the best parts of my day and I miss that daily time spent out and about in the city – and my legs sorely miss the routine of 3+ miles it entailed. With my new commute only about 3 steps from my bed to my desk, I’ve been talking myself for a “faux commute” each morning and afternoon. Just to get out and get some added exercise in. Without the rushed stress of an actual commute and with the added benefit of making up a new route each day – it’s felt great so far. Stop me before I become David Sedaris – his essay on becoming obsessed with beating his FitBit goals is one of my favorite pieces of his writing.
  • As restaurants begin to reopen in new, modified and socially distanced ways – I miss the particular buzz of a crowded NY eatery more than ever. I loved this article (found via Cup of Jo) where authors share their favorite restaurant stories.

ON MY BOOKSHELF:

  • I’m thrilled that after years of toying with the idea I’ve finally started not one but TWO book clubs. The first will meet in person here in NYC and the other will meet virtually so that anyone, anywhere can join. For the NYC book club this month we’re reading Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo and for the Virtual club we’re reading The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. If you’d still like to join but missed the sign-ups send an email to jessica @ thesteelemaiden . com
  • One of the easiest ways that you could honor Juneteenth is to take the time to learn more about the history of our fellow Black Americans. I just finished The Nickel Boys by author/journalist Colton Whitehead which is based on the story of a real Jim Crow-era Boys Reform School and was so heartbreaking and beautifully written. I immediately ordered The Underground Railroad by Whitehead too.
  • In honor of Pride Month I’ve been reading Sissy by Jacob Tobia – a “coming of gender” story that recounts their experience growing up gay and gender non-conforming and how they hid/grappled with that and then finally learned to live out loud. It reminds me a lot of Mindy Kaling’s writing – with humor and pop-culture references thrown in alongside more difficult personal truths.
  • You may have noticed if you clicked on any of the above book titles – I’m now sending book-buying traffic to Bookshop instead of Amazon. If you make a purchase I will receive affiliate commission, but far more importantly – this site supports independent bookstores nationwide. See my full Bookshop store here.

IN MY SHOPPING CART:

  • After taking advantage of some big sales back in May, I haven’t bought a thing yet this month and might even do another “no shop month” in July like I did last year as a kind of mid-year reset. That being said – being at home so much has really turned my attention to the fact that we could use some more bowls in this household. I like the look of these light blue ones.
  • Same goes for workout wear, as I realize I’m in desperate need of gym shorts. Am I brave enough to try the bicycle shorts comeback trend? This very simple pair look comfortable but still chic – with in the world of workout shorts seems like no small feat.
  • Okay – and just for fun – something impractical and splurge-worthy that I’ve been eyeing. How pretty are these shoes? Even if I would have to make up a reason just to walk them around the block.