Weekend Recs #22: Intimacy, banana pudding bars, and really good lighting
Plus: The album I've been looping for weeks.
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This is Weekend Recs, a weekly send of ideas and diversions for your downtime. Not subscribed yet? Here you go:
Editorial note: Alisha is on maternity leave. In the meantime, Downtime is edited by Aliza Abarbanel.
Four ideas for your weekend…
I just finished this moving meditation on relearning how to build intimate connection from Mimi Zhu, whose poetic reflections on things like performing success on social media I’ve ironically long admired on Instagram. Lyrical, emotional, and queer, it’s not your average self-help book. I now quote the title constantly to my friends and my inner critic—be not afraid of love!—and I’ve found myself thinking about many other elements too.
I recently moved apartments, which means most of my life is in boxes. I might not have a dining table, but I did snag a few new color-changing Hue lightbulbs, which you can control with your phone to bring good vibes to even an empty room. They are $30 on sale right now, which seems like a lot for a lightbulb, but the sheer amount of colors at your disposal means it doubles as an art piece (and I know people who have used the same bulb for years). As someone who gets migraines, I also like that I can adjust the brightness shade by shade.
🍋 Recipes to cook right now
Charred lemon risotto: A new staple recipe excerpted from Sohla El-Waylly’s new cookbook Start Here (which was featured in our recent fall cookbook roundup) that elevates ordinary ingredients to great heights. Cheesy, bright, and highly comforting.
Green curry lentil soup: We’ve had a cold snap here in New York, so I’ve been leaning hard on this spicy soup from Christina Chaey, which is studded with creamy sweet potatoes and greens. It packs a punch, relies heavily on pantry staples, and freezes beautifully.
Banana pudding cheesecake bars: A dreamy, creamy, stunner from baker Tara O’Brady that combines the best qualities of many favorites. Stash a pan in the fridge and call it dessert meal prep?
📚 Britney Spears Book Club! 📚
Thanks to everyone who voted in last week’s poll! We’ll discuss Britney Spears’s new memoir on Sunday, November 12th via Substack’s “chat” feature which is available for paid subscribers on their app, which I recommend, or on the website after you log in. It’s a fairly short read—I’m loving it on audiobook and finished most of it in two days. Talk to you then, SO much to discuss. –Alisha
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What paid subscribers got this week: A lively community thread full of great recs on what to watch and read in spooky season and beyond. Think: streaming Practical Magic, reading Bunny, and much more.
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A grab bag of links and reads worth sharing with the group chat.
Some people are using the app designed to track workouts to find love on the run.
The Art of Friendship: How to Seek Out Specificity [Shondaland]
The case for having a “books friend” and a “workout friend” instead of one friend group for everything.
A big investigation into the networks’ infighting, allegations, and Bethenny Frankel’s calls for a reality TV star union.
The New Meaning of Tattoos [The Atlantic]
A fascinating peek into how shifting aesthetics and developments in tattoo removal tech are changing tattoo culture.
Practical Magic: The Lucrative Business of Being a Witch on Etsy and TikTok [New York Times] *gift link*
Social media is creating a booming interest in supernatural services like readings and rituals, far beyond Halloween.
🌼 And more fun fluff…
Arlo Parks’ Tiny Desk is the epitome of good vibes. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon. // A very cute idea for a homemade card/gift. // These retro cotton towels feel so plush and reset my whole bathroom vibe. // A genius way to store and display bags.// Turn those apple cores into a low-waste spiced syrup for baking, drinks, and more. //
Links continued below…
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