November 10, 2020

cool stuff i like

I hardly know what to say this week after the 2020 election! Thank you universe?! One of the great thrills of my lifetime was sharing the news with my daughter that Joe Biden won the election and that Kamala Harris is to be our first female Vice-President.

If you follow my Instagram, and in particular, my Instagram stories, you'll know that I've basically turned my IG stories feed into an activism account. I'll take this moment to repeat something Gabrielle Blair from Design Mom has been saying over and over. Obviously the internet is a vast and public realm. However - I will not hold up my blog and my Instagram account as places for 2016-2020 presidential supporters to congregate. Comments and direct messages from that contingent will be deleted and blocked. Point being - move along. I think it's great that President-elect Biden stated his intention to be a president for all of America - that's how a United States president should function. But I'm not a president, and personally I'd have to see a sincere and meaningful shift in ideology before I would become even conversational with supporters of the 2016-2020 administration.

This amazing essay from the brilliant Rebecca Solnit was written two years ago, and is still very relevant. It elucidates the idea that for far too long, empathy/reconciliation/support has been offered to abusers, at the expense of their victims, as a matter of course.

But Melissa! There are two sides, this sounds so intolerant. Incorrect. There are not two "sides". There are two REALITIES. I absolutely refuse to 'tolerate' and 'try to see all sides of an argument' when it comes to the fact that a large segment of our country feels that white supremacy, institutional and systemic racism, human rights, a living wage for all workers, climate change, healthcare, gun control, and a woman's right to decide what happens to her body are issues to be debated, denied, and discouraged.It's not my job to dissuade, or talk someone down from rhetoric and a belief system that is so destructive. It's my job as a person to denounce it. (Can we take a moment to appreciate how many 'D' words I just used?)

I'd like to refer you also to this post by Gabby Blair, who has written a new piece on the issue of forgiveness and reconciliation; it's a really thought provoking read. Her articles have been resources that I've deeply appreciated throughout this time.

With that said, let's shift to some cozy self care. I think we're all in dire need of it.

We all need ALL the treats, yes? And I'm happy to share a few that were shared to me by the amazing and lovely Natasha Lowe, who is the author of the 'Poppy Pendle' series of books. I recently reviewed her latest book, 'The Daring of Della Dupree' on Instagram, and you can see that post here. (And on the topic of the Natasha Lowe's books - they were my daughter Julia's FAVORITES from her elementary school days, and each book can also be read as a standalone story.) These beautiful books would make for such a charming gift, so keep them in mind during your holiday shopping! Give books! Support writers and the arts!

Natasha kindly sent me a link to this old-fashioned butterscotch pudding and these salted buckwheat chocolate chip cookies and I thought you also would like a look.

Other online items that are heavily on the cozy side this week:

Holiday gift alert! Look at this beautiful puzzle, based on Edith Holden's 'The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady'. There are different seasons!

These pumpkin bars look fabulous.

Lovely autumnal post.

Cozy fall soups from Food52.


I'm getting this virtual Nordic Advent calendar - we've done others from this line and they've been so fun.

I really want this 'Snacking Cakes' cookbook.

A sleepover in a Paris bookshop?!? Amazing!

Emily Henderson's Guide to Comfort EVERYTHING.

Doesn't 'Lullaby' tea sound so nice right now? From one of my favorite tea purveyors.

Cool Book of the Week: I think I might have linked to this book before? Maybe? But I've been wanting to read the writings of Ali Smith for ages. Particularly 'Autumn' - one of a seasonally themed quartet of books. This one in particular is supposed to be amazing and the novel is a Man Booker prize finalist. The book is set in England in the time period right after the Brexit vote, and I've been wanting to read more about what people experienced during that time, as it ran parallel to the situation the United States found itself in after Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election. I'm not sure how to describe the plot because Ali's books supposedly are very stream of consciousness. This one follows the friendship between a young woman and a man who is a century old. Have you read any of her work?

My friends, please take good care of yourself right now. Hang in there! It's been a long time since my last post, I would LOVE to know what you're reading and watching right now! Just started 'The Queen's Gambit'.




  1. Thank you! Are all of your posts like opening a care package? What a treat.

    1. Oh my stars your comment is a treat! Thank you so much!

  2. Thank you! It felt like you are giving balm for the wounds of the past four years. This statement in particular" It's not my job to dissuade, or talk someone down from rhetoric and a belief system that is so destructive. It's my job as a person to denounce it. "

    1. It's kind of all I can think to do - raise my voice on my social media channels, such as they are, and donate money. And write postcards. And to keep hoping!!

  3. Thank you for the virtual care package here! My coworker, now retired and has much baking time, said the Snacking Cakes book is great. And, as I've said, thanks for using this platform to stand up for human rights issues!

    1. Thank you so much Jenn!! I appreciate the kindness and the support!!! We all need all the care packages, in whatever form they appear!

  4. What a delightful post, I so love your Cool Stuff ideas. It was a much needed bright spot on an otherwise trying morning. ❤️

    1. I'm so glad it brightened your day Jenny!! xoxoxo