Weekend Shut-In Worksheet: Read The NY Times’ Story “Invisible Child,” DIY Wrapped Paper & Listen To Shovels & Rope

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!


  • This week’s New York Times five-part cover story about a homeless child in New York City named Dasani — called “Invisible Child” — absolutely shattered me. You will fall in love with this fierce and bright girl and want so, so, so much better for her and her family. It’s a very lengthy piece, but I promise it is worth every second. A sample is below. – Amelia

    “The experience has left Dasani internally adrift, for the losses of the homeless child only begin with the home itself. She has had to part with privacy and space — the kind of quiet that nurtures the mind. She has lost the dignity that comes with living free of vermin and chronic illness. She has fallen behind in school, despite her crackling intelligence.

    She has lost the simplest things that for other children are givens: the freedom of riding a bicycle, the safety of a bathroom not shared with strangers, the ease of being in school without stigma. And from all of these losses has come the departure of faith itself.”

  • In response to a recent article about how high heels aren’t feminist, Anne Theriault wrote The Consolidated Guide To Stuff That Isn’t Feminist, and it’s amazing. – Winona
  • I’m not a particular fan of Naomi Wolf, but I’m reading her latest book, Vagina, because, well, it’s about vaginas! In it, Wolf discusses the ancient history of the vagina as the divine feminine, explores how sexual trauma impacts the brain, and makes the case for a lot more of a focus on sexual pleasure in women’s health care.
  • I caught an episode of “Breaking The Faith” on TLC, which inspired me to start reading Under The Banner Of HeavenI am completely riveted by the magic underwear all FLDS are required to wear. – Ami
  • I haven’t actually read this yet, but Rolling Stone’s feature story on the meat industry and animal abuse within is getting a lot of talk. I have heard some of my most dedicated carnivore friends proclaim that they’re not sure how they can go on eating meat after reading this piece. I’m scared to read it, but I know I need to read it. – Amelia


  • The new Beyonce album is where it’s at, but once you’ve played that 40 times and need a change of pace, I’d suggest the “Nashville” Season 2, Volume 1 soundtrack, which came out on iTunes this week. It’s AMAZING. – Katie
  • Yeah, I don’t realllllly plan on listening to anything but Beyonce all weekend because her self-titled opus is a masterwork, BUT if you’re not into Bey (what’s wrong?) or need a change of pace, check out the folk-country band Shovels & Rope. I heard the song “Birmingham” while having brunch last weekend, Shazzamed that shit, and then didn’t stop listening to their album, O’ Be Joyfuluntil the Beyonce album landed. – Amelia
  • Thao and Mirah’s self-titled album is a low-key and gorgeous piece of work. I just love female vocalists and these are two of the best. – Jessica


  • Why have I never made gingerbread waffles before? Why did I never know they existed? Must remedy this massive life oversight right away. – Winona
  • These hardware store Christmas ornaments are surprisingly cute! I’m especially charmed by the hex nut snowflake. – Winona
  • I made these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies earlier this week and they were reeeaaaalllly good, especially considering they have no butter or flour and only like five ingredients. – Winona
  • This spray painted DIY wrapping paper is so cute and festive. It’s a great alternative to regular Christmas paper for those of you who want to get your wrapping on this weekend. I’m trying it. Plus, who doesn’t love spray paint? – Katie


  • New York City’s Emoji Art & Design Show started this week and has been extended to December 21. I haven’t been yet, but I’ve heard great things, so if you’re in the Big Apple, check it. – Amelia
  • I plan to spend most of my Sunday afternoon in front of the mirror trying to get my butt to do what Beyonce’s butt is doing below. – Winona