Weekend Shut-In Worksheet: Watch “The Normal Heart,” Listen To Dolly Parton’s Latest & Try Jamaican Veggie Patties

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 holiday weekend! 


  • Ordeal by Linda Lovelace: I have seen the Amanda Seyfried film “Lovelace” and the documentary “Inside Deep Throat.” But until I read Ordeal by Linda Lovelace this week, I didn’t know the truth as Linda herself experienced it. The child of abusive parents, she was trapped in an abusive relationship with a boyfriend, Chuck Traynor, for several years while he pimped her out and forced her to appear in porn. The memoir takes you back to a time when domestic violence laws didn’t exist and porn was dangerous for actresses and unregulated (even more so than any problems it may have today). Ordeal should be a must-read for every feminist. – Jessica
  • “Sushi’s Secret: Why We Get Hooked On Raw Fish” (NPR): Here’s why sushi fans (meeeee) love the stuff so much. Basically, salt. – Jessica
  • “Dictionary of Common Rave Terms” (GlowSticking.com): I have a handful of friends who are all going to a rave this weekend. They kept using terms like “PLUR” and “Kandi” and I had no idea what they were referring to. If you’re a non-raver and you want to know WTF your EDM friends are talking about, I found this glossary of rave terms quite handy. – Katie
  • Garden & Gun Magazine: Even if you have no interest in gardening or guns, you MUST check out the magazine Garden & Gun. It’s focused on the south, but it’s full of great writing, amazing recipes, and gorgeous home tours. This month’s summer issue is especially good. Flip through it while drinking a homemade mint mojito, if possible. – Winona


  • “The Normal Heart” (HBO): On Sunday night at 9 p.m. EST, HBO is airing “The Normal Heart,” an adaptation of the TONY-award winning play. Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer star as a gay couple at the beginning of the AIDS crisis and Julia Roberts is the only doctor in New York City who seems to care. I watched a screener recently and, whew, does this pack an emotional punch. Everyone who has sex should know more about the beginnings of this devastating disease. – Jessica
  • “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (in theaters): I’m sure no one is surprised to hear that I am an “X-Men” fan. I always loved the cartoon as a child and have seen the numerous films (good and bad) more than once. I’ve heard good things about the latest movie and there is nothing I love more on a rainy day than watch Jennifer Lawrence. – Sophie
  • “Enemy” (On Demand): Two people have recommended this newish but sort of obscure Jake Gyllenhaal movie, not because they say it’s great, but also because he plays two characters, both with that sexy mountain man beard. – Amelia


  • Kerri Leigh: We all know I’m a huge country fan, so this week I jumped at the chance to go see up and coming country singer Kerri Leigh in NYC and she was AWESOME. She only has one song available on iTunes right now but I definitely recommend you check out her website for more. – Katie
  • Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels On A Gravel Road: You know those moments where a song randomly comes on the radio, and it speaks to your soul? I had one of those moments the other day with Lucinda Williams’ song, “I Lost It.” I went home and looked it up and fell in love with the whole album– Winona
  • Dolly Parton, Blue Smoke: To continue with today’s unintentional country theme … Dolly has a new album, you guys, we should be rejoicing! – Amelia


  • Crockpot Tilapia: This week I made tilapia in my slow cooker. It was so easy — I just popped the fish in for two hours, took a nap, and woke up to a yummy dinner. – Jessica
  • White Bean & Avocado Guacamole: I also made this white bean guacamole. It’s more dip-like than guacamole-like, but who cares? – Jessica
  • Buffalo Chicken Mac N Cheese: I had the most delicious buffalo chicken mac and cheese this week, so my friend sent me a link to the recipe she used and I’m going to take a stab at it this weekend. – Katie
  • Jamaican Veggie Patties: I am obsessing about Jamaican veggie patties right now. They’re such a simple, satisfying meal, and you can get super creative with the filling — I love doing spiced garbanzo beans, sweet potato, peas, and onions. – Winona
  • Potato Skins: On Sunday, our pool opens for the first BBQ of the year. After chatting them up all week, I promised to contribute at least three different types. I’m leaning towards BBQ Chicken, Greek, and Crispy Garlic– Sophie


  • French Braiding 101: I can fishtail my braid like a champ, but I have no idea how to do a normal, run-of-the-mill french braid. I’m hoping Lauren Conrad can teach me this weekend. – Katie
  • Spray Prints: If I have time on my extra day off (YAY!) I’m making one of these DIY spray prints for my bedroom. – Katie


  • Spinning Meals: I’m using the app Spinning Meals to plan meals. It comes with only a couple recipes in it, so you have to add the rest yourself. – Jessica


  • Marvelous Sugar Baby by Kara Walker: This weekend I’m going to a Kara Walker exhibit at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn. The visual artist and MacAruther “genius” grant winner has created a giant sphinx called “A Subtlety,” which is partially made out of sugar donated by Domino. – Jessica