I don’t know about you, but January-February is not my time to shine. Every year around this time, my mood dips and my therapist reminds me that I do not perk up until March. It’s like Groundhog Day, but for seasonal depression. I’m taking my little walks, I’m imagining a version of me that reaches out to friends, I’m watching a lot of feel-good tv. The Hulu gods have smiled upon me and early-released Love Island. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that watching 5+ hours a week of teeny-tiny 20 year olds in thong bikinis say things like “ick” and “early days” smooths my brain and lifts my mood.
Thanks for being here. I’ll see you again next month with assuredly, and regrettably, more Love Island discourse. Onto the links!
• I’m a longtime reader and admirer of Jenna Park. Depending on how long you’ve been online, you may remember her from the early aughts blog Sweet Fine Day. Jenna has a new Substack called Everything is Liminal and it’s so good. Start with this post on blogging, algorithms and being Gen X. (Substack)
• If there’s one thing I’m going to do it’s repeat myself. I take online barre classes with Lauren Leavell and I love them (and her) so much, I will not shut up about it. Spoiler alert: Virginia Sole-Smith also takes these barre classes and had Lauren on her Burnt Toast podcast to talk about it. Listen here. (Lauren Leavell Fitness, Substack)
• No one believes me, but the Bad Bunny playlist on Spotify is the perfect thing to listen to while you’re writing. I can’t get enough. Another thing I can’t get enough of? The dad jeans he wore to the Grammys. Are Levi’s 501s coming back? (Vogue)
• Speaking of the Grammys, one of my favorite culture writers Scaachi Koul wrote about the looks JLo was giving to Ben Affleck during the awards show and lol the camera operator who kept zooming in on them. (Buzzfeed News)
• One of my favorite pop culture podcasts died (RIP, Pop Chat) but then I learned that they’re just re-working it and giving it a new name. It’s daily, so we’ll see how long I can keep this up, but welcome to my playlist Commotion. (Twitter)
• I’m obsessed with TikTok. This we know. But I’m also super grossed out by the prevalence of people filming strangers (without consent!) for content. This article is so smart and also low-key terrifying. (Buzzfeed News)
• Jamelle Bouie is one of my favorite thinkers and writers. In his NYT column he writes that the attack on the dignity of transgender Americans is an attack on the dignity of all Americans. Read it here. (Related, he’s a great follow on TikTok.) (The New York Times)
• Amil Niazi writes so honestly about parenting. When I read this, I forwarded it to all my friends. For The Cut, Amil writes about why she can’t parent from a place of despair, even when she’s in it.
• I made my first recipe from the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook, Keepers: New Classics for Your Forever Files. It’s this amazing cabbage and kielbasa recipe with homemade croutons. So good! If you haven’t bought the book yet, grab one here. (Bookshop.org)
• I’m hosting two events in Nashville. First up, on March 23 I’m hosting this author event with Lacie Waldon at Parnassus. Then on April 22 I’m teaching a social media workshop for writers. We’re going to tackle how to promote your writing if you leave Twitter. (Parnassus Books, The Porch)
• An argument for Drake cake (sorry, Joy). (TikTok)
Somehow every link you post is always exactly what I want to read! Thank you, Kim, for helping cut through the noise of the internet and curating such a great selection of online reading material for the rest of us dum dums who aren’t v deft at navigating social media (read: me) Also, I love that new Smitten Kitchen cookbook! I made the spinach butter spaghetti recipe on the cover and it rocked.
Joy the Baker
I agree! We’re so lucky to have Kim!
Love Island, Tik Tok and Bad Bunny? That’s a lot to take on so early this morning. I think I’m seeing a trend here my friend and I don’t know what to do about it. Do love Smitten Kitchen cookbook though. Oh, and leaving Twitter, by now it’s a no brainer considering where it’s heading. Thanks for sharing.
I too am waiting for the true signs of spring. Usually daffodils and crocuses emerge as the first flowers that appear. That kind of tells me Spring is not far off. Apparently shorter days and lots of darkness affect one’s mood. When I am not baking and using some of Joys wonderful recipes I am looking out the window thinking about what colorful plants I can grow whether it be flowers or organic vegetables. I am eagerly awaiting for it to warm up a bit. Till then thank you for the recipes to try.