Weekend Shut-In Worksheet: Chill To Cecile McLorin Salvant, Make Some Baba Ganoush & Read Swamplandia!

Activities are wonderful, but sometimes, it’s fine to want to shut the world out for a couple of days, and make some serious time for you. Don’t be afraid of FOMO, either. There will always be another party, another pub crawl, another picnic. The time you’ll spend indulging in the things you want to do, alone, are well worth it. Here’s a handy list of awesome things to do this weekend!


  • Frisky favorite ModCloth is having a sale on hundreds of items, including summer staples like sandals, bathing suits and sundresses. Whether you need a retro beach towel or a corkscrew shaped like a handlebar mustache (just kidding, no one needs that), ModCloth has got you covered.
  • I never met an Anthropologie sale that I didn’t attack like a yuppie at a farmer’s market. It’s the only way I can afford to shop there! And sale items are an additional 20 percent off this weekend.


  • My days and nights revolve around the book I am currently reading: Swamplandia! by Karen Russell. The super-quirky novel, which was a 2012 nominee for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, stars a tween girl named Ava Bigtree who lives at her parents’ alligator wrestling theme park, Swamplandia!, in Florida. Her beloved mama is the star of the show, but early on in the novel, Ava’s mom dies from cancer (don’t worry, I’m not spoiling anything) and the theme park is forced to close. Ava’s dad and siblings are struggling to cope with the loss of their mom and the family’s income. There are ghosts, and magic spells, and wry, witty social commentary. It is truly a joy to read. I will be sad when it ends.
  • If you’ll escape this summer without a single wedding or bachelorette party, then you’re one lucky bitch. I had never thought much about the consumerism surrounding bachelorette parties (penis straws anyone?!) but this piece in Bitch Magazine gave me a lot to consider.
  • This week saw the tragic end of Google Reader, an RSS feed that served as a crutch of many a blogger. Alas, not everyone was weeping as much as I did. Over at The Washington Post, blogger Ezra Klein explained why he wouldn’t mind weaning himself off RSS feeds forever so he doesn’t get trapped in a “Filter Bubble.”


  • I just discovered the recipe blog Not Eating Out In New York (I’m a little slow) and I’m bookmarking recipes like a madwoman. Cathy, the woman behind the blog, wanted to save more money by eating out less, so she challenged herself to cook all her own meals. Meals my mouth salivates just to read about, like fried artichoke hearts with blood oranges and olives or cream of cauliflower casserole with cured salmon. All her recipes are posted online, along with posts about her observations on food and cooking. Time to re-read Ami and Winona’s post on 10 Cooking Questions Ami Is Almost Too Afraid To Ask.”
  • Baba ganoush is the way to my heart. I might just have to marry this paleo roasted garlic baba ganoush recipe.
  • The four-day Fourth of July weekend is about one thing and one thing only: lots of drinking (okay, and patriotism). A few of these blueberry mint juleps will have you singing the “Star Spangled Banner” until your neighbors call the cops.


  • If you haven’t seen Wet Hot American Summer,” we can’t be friends. Ever. It’s got Amy Poehler, Janeane Garofalo, a young Bradley Cooper, and a lot of Paul Rudd’s open-mouthed making out. It is screening on Netflix. Huzzah!
  • My new favorite reality show to kinda hate but actually unironically love originated across the pond. It’s called The Only Way Is Essex and it’s sort of like “Jersey Shore” meets “he Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills” — that is to say, really trashy people who all hook up with each other and like to show off how much money they have. Also, vajazzling plays a prominent role. Don’t ask. The “TOWIE” stars are Brits from a small city called Essex, where their accents are so thick I do not understand what they are saying half the time. My BFF and I watch one episode together every night before bed. It is streaming on Hulu Plus.
  • Are intense documentaries more your speed? Then grab a box of tissues and check out Whore’s Glory,” a depressing-yet-so-educational doc about sex workers in three different countries. It’s also screening on Netflix.
  • No Netflix or Hulu Plus? Poor thing! Get thee to PBS.org and start watching one of my fave shows, “Call The Midwife”!


  • I heard jazz singer Cecile McLorin Salvant performing on NPR and added her album, Woman Child, to my Spotify immediately. If you like Jolie Holland, you’ll loooove Salvant.
  • We could all chill out a little more, especially in summertime. A web site called Headspace offers free audio of guided meditation, which you can do in 10-minute increments your leisure from a laptop or mobile device. Take my word for it: meditation helps a girl destress.