Sunday Letter, No. 11: New Jersey, Love You. Humidity, Hate You.

Hello and happy Sunday! And hello to the sunshine that has finally decided to join us after a week of rain and rain and thunderstorms and then more rain here in New Jersey. Rainy days have been great for my productivity but terrible for my mood. If we could make every day like in the mid-70’s, low humidity, with the time to really enjoy my porch “office”, I’ll be able to have the perfect productivity/mood balance.

It wasn’t a perfect balance of productivity and good mood that got this Sunday Letter written; it was sheer determination! I need a little more of that so I can get some of these unfinished and, in my humble opinion, really good posts out. But for now, let’s catch up in a Sunday Letter.

Sunday Letter, Vol. 11: New Jersey, Love You. Humidity, Hate You.

Can someone tell me how to deal with humidity once and for all?

I LOVE summer in New Jersey. I love the beach, I love planning picnics in the parks, I love avoiding all the out of state tourists who don’t know how to navigate a highway (maybe not so much the last one). In fact, if I’m getting ready to hit publish on all the things that make NJ a GREAT state for summer. The one thing I hate about summer in New Jersey? The humidity.

The other day I stepped outside to run errands and it felt like I walked into a steamy shower. I do love a good steamy shower but not on my doorstep. My hair especially does not like it. It is a frizzy, untameable mess and I don’t have time for this.

The product I hear the most for combating the frizzies is Living Proof Humidity Shield. Anyone else have a favorite way to tame their hair in this bathwater apocalypse?

I’m mad at people on Instagram Stories.

Now since we’re talking about things that make me mad in this Sunday Letter, let’s talk about what people share on Instagram stories.

When I was working, I barely ever had time to watch people’s Instagram stories. I got to sample a select few, mostly people I’m friends with and bloggers I know in real life and then some accounts that I really interact with. Now because I have more time (for full disclosure: I often zone out on Instagram when Violet’s nursing) and I get to watch a whole lot more stories.

What drives me nuts is “fashion and lifestyle” bloggers who don’t know anything about the clothing styles they’re wearing and only promote cheap things from Amazon.

Don’t get me wrong; I know and appreciate that these bloggers are hustling and showing their audience what they want, which for many is cheap, trendy, easily purchased clothing items. I am most likely not showing my audience what you want with this rant-y post invading your calm Sunday (feel free to leave all angry comments below). However, it would just be nice if every link I clicked on wasn’t some “dupe” from China being sold on Amazon.

Yes, making fashion accessible is commendable. But at what price to the environment and small, local businesses? I do my fair share of shopping from and sharing things from big corporations but I try to balance that out with shopping small and shopping for quality when I can. I’ve unfollowed many of these bloggers and am not “swiping up” anymore unless it’s a blogger I trust.

And just to round out this rant a little more": please, please, please learn how to talk about the clothes you’re promoting! Someone trying to sell a dress was talking about a high-waisted dress when what they really meant was an empire waist. Another said a dress had a multiple asymmetrical pieces to the hem when she really meant a handkerchief hem.

And don’t get me started on espadrilles! Not every shoe with a braided rope around the edges is an espadrille. I thought I was going crazy until I looked it up. An espadrille is defined as a CANVAS SHOE with a plaited FIBER SOLE.

This is definitely a rant but I think that if you’re on my phone trying to sell me things, at least know how to use the correct terms. Okay, ending this rant now.

There isn’t enough time to watch all the shows.

Let’s get on to a more positive topic: TV SHOWS. Specifically, there are way too many good things to watch right now. Of course, I can’t help but keep rewatching Grey’s Anatomy during nap time but I’ve got a lot on my radar. Plus most of the really good shows out there right now I try to save to watch with Nick. That’s what love is all about.

Currently we’re working our way through When They See Us. It is so incredibly heartbreaking to watch that we’re not bingeing it. If you watch one show on Netflix this summer, let it be this one.

Other shows we’re watching at the moment (or plan to watch soon!): the second season of Big Little Lies, The Weekly every Sunday, Riverdale (that’s mostly me tbh), and the new season of Handmaid’s Tale.

What are you watching? What should I be watching instead of Grey’s Anatomy AGAIN?

Maternity leave. Stay-at-home mom. Working mom. Why is this so hard?

Last but not least, it wouldn’t be a real “letter” if I didn’t tell you what’s weighing on my heart kind of heavily: maternity leave.

I usually rejoice when the first day of summer rolls around. That means school is out for summer and I can finally go to the bathroom whenever I want and sleep past 6am and eat a leisurely lunch. Except since I’m on maternity leave, the first day of summer is a reminder that I’m on borrowed time.

I can’t wait to experience this first summer with Violet. I am in awe on the daily with how much she makes my life better. But it also signals the beginning of the end. In September, I need to go back to work so that we can give Violet all the amazing experiences we dreamed of sharing with her since before she was born.

Even knowing that there’s a purpose for working doesn’t make it easier. I love being a stay-at-home mom. I love the little games we play together and the cuddles. Even the tough parts are okay, most days.

I know I am luckier than most. We chose a daycare that we really feel will give her the best care possible. I know that many, many women are amazing working moms. I see that every day and it makes me so proud to see them and their children thriving. But no matter how much I try to remind myself of all these things, I still have a huge lump in my chest thinking about the end of summer.

Whew what a Sunday letter! Promise you’ll come back next time?

And now for some Sunday reading…

What will $100 a night for an Airbnb get you around the world? Some pretty amazing places actually

Could you be setting goals that secretly make you miserable?

I know this already made the internet rounds but I love Judith Viorst, Alexander and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and her advice on how to be happy.

Do you have a Goodreads reading challenge? I do and, of course, I’m already behind. So what’s the secret sauce to actually achieving your reading goals?

Stories about food and family are the best ones and this one is a good one.

Alternately laughing and feeling horrified about the world we live in: Honeymoon Hashtag Hell

I fall in love with Bon Appetit more and more every day and am especially into their guide to your 30’s which is full of awesomely thoughtful articles