Money bail is the practice by which people who are charged with crimes and are presumptively innocent are held at Rikers, a notoriously dangerous jail complex named after a man whose claim to fame was that he returned fugitive slaves to their owners, unless they have the financial means to buy their freedom, Money bail means people who can't post bail are more likely than people who, all other facts being the same but who are released pre-trial to be convicted, to be convicted of a higher charge, and to serve a longer sentence. There should not be two justice systems, one for those who can pay and one who can't. Here's what you can do.
1) Donate to a local bail fund (in Brooklyn: Brooklyn Bail Fund).
2) Get trained to court watch and hold prosecutors accountable for their bail decisions (in New York: Court Watch NYC).
3) Read this NY Mag article about the rampant sexual abuse perpetrated against women who are in custody at Rikers Island, often by the guards themselves.
4) Tweet #closeRikers to @NYCMayor and join the Close Rikers campaign.
5) Join Color of Change's nationwide campaign to end money bail by organizing locally and pressuring the corporations that profit off of money bail, including signing their petition to the banking industry to divest from the bail bonds industry.
After two babies, a lot of what I used to wear at the office just doesn't fit me anymore. It's not just the weight fluctuations - my rib cage, for example, expanded to accommodate growing a baby. Other clothes that still fit aren't conducive to having to pump at work. And since I can't rock my maternity shorts at work, I feel like I'm regularly on the hunt for pieces that manage to be both professional and flattering.
Work-wear gets a bad rap for being boring and bland (not to mention frequently uncomfortable), but if you have to look professional full-time, that's a lot of hours to spend in clothes you mildly hate. And there's no reason to do it that when more and more brands crafting interesting, office-appropriate clothing with a commitment toward sustainable and ethical production. So as I try to build up my grown-up wardrobe, here are some of the items and brands on my wish list:
For an easy, every day look, I love this boxy blouse by town clothes, paired with of mercer's skinny black trousers. I would probably live in this combination.
I also like this dramatic color-blocked dress from of mercer, and think it would pair nicely with this cozy but still structured cardigan from babaa (love the bright yellow).
For warmer days, this linen wrap dress from conscious clothing looks pulled together while still keeping an easy-breezy feel to it. And how sweet is the floral print on this button-up from reformation?
More staples that I could see entering heavy rotation: this silk tee from elizabeth suzann and a polished but oh-so-comfy black skirt from the champion of everyday, reliable clothing, everlane (with pockets!!).
I can't get over this gorgeous, raw silk jumpsuit by ozma. It would simplify the morning routine to just throw this on and run out the door; you can imagine it going from work to dinner meeting to drinks perfectly; top it with a blazer and it would pass muster in a more conservative office environment too. Of course, knowing me, I'd spill on it instantly, and sticky little fingers are an unavoidable part of life right now, but a girl can dream, right?
I've become a little obsessed lately with chia pudding, which is suprising after I bought some a few years ago, tasted it, and promptly discarded it, the texture too much like snot.
But I was at our local health food store picking up lunch a few weeks ago and wanted a little snacky something, something sweet-adjacent, and found some coconut chia seed pudding and decided to give it another try, and I'm so glad that I did.
My tasty snack ended up also being super filling, which was great, because I feel like I'm constantly hungry at work. So I started looking up recipes and it turns out that it's super easy to make at home (and a great activity for little helpers to participate in).
(Never mind her dirty shirt, please).
Chia pudding checks a lot of boxes: it's healthy (loads of omega 3s, antioxidants, fiber, calcium and protein), it's easy to make, the kiddos love it (even the baby, who is super picky), it's filling - oh, yea, and it's delicious.
My favorite is making it with cashew milk - I'm usually a fanatic about coconut milk everything, even places where you wouldn't think it would go (cold brew, anyone?) but here, I found the coconut milk a little too thick. Having tried chia pudding with coconut milk a couple of times now (both homemade and store-bought), while I always like a coconutty flavor, I prefer the texture when made with cashew milk. It's perfectly silky and slippery and cool - yum!
So here goes - not so much a recipe as a series of very basic steps that you can still successfully manage when quite sleep-deprived (not that anyone around here knows what that's like):
And that's it! It's delicious plain, or topped with a variety of fruit - some of our favorites are cherries, pomegranate jewels, and mangoes (I toss in the frozen mango chunks from TJ's and then it keeps my pudding nice and cool while I walk to daycare dropoff, and then by the time I get into the office it's defrosted and ready to eat).
I'd also love to try making it with fruit juice instead of cashew milk - it's supposed to be delicious and I can think of all kinds of fun combinations that would be yummy.
So that's it, friends. What about you - any other chia fanatics out there?
Diptyque's Eau Rose shower foam.
Supremely soft, sustainably sourced and ethically made towel from Odd Bird Company.
Another snuggly soft towel option from Minna Goods, this one handwoven in sunny colors in Guatemala.
A moisturizing and cruelty free body polish with organic coconut oil and rose petals from Herbivore Botanicals.
A warm and floral candle from Boy Smells.
A slippery and citrusy shower jelly sustainably made in the USA by Lush.
An executive order has temporarily halted the separation of children from their families at the border, by instead proposing to keep families together in detention centers. Meanwhile, there are no plans for reuniting the thousands of children who have already been separated.
1. Call your representatives in Congress: contactingcongress.org. Demand they take action to keep families together.
2. Find a protest in your area for June 30 and go: www.familiesbelongtogether.org.
3. Donate: The Florence Project (firrp.org); Kids in Need of Defense (https://supportkind.org/about); RAICES Texas (https://www.raicestexas.org); The Texas Civil Rights Project (https://texascivilrightsproject.org/keepfamiliestogether-volunteer/).
4. Make a card as part of the Comfort Campaign - a handwritten letter of welcome and comfort for children in immigrant youth shelters, and send by July 4th to The Comfort Campaign, 4470 West Sunset Boulevard, Box 217, LA, CA 90027.
5. Sign the National Domestic Workers' Alliance petition to the Trump administration, demanding that they stop holding children and families in cages: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/kids-are-still-in-cages?source=FBTsite622.
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought I'd share my date night routine (not that it's getting much use these days! But still). Whether it's getting ready for a first date with lots of butterflies, or finally going somewhere with your long-term SO that requires actual (non-yoga) pants, or any other occasion when you want to feel a little fancy, there's something a little exciting about getting gussied up to go out.
*It's always nice to start with a fresh face; lately, I've been turning to these Farmacy sheet masks with coconut gel. I love how clean they leave my face, and you get that glowy, lit-from-within skin. Plus, there's lots of extra product in each pouch, so I rub it into my hands and neck. Added bonus: no harsh ingredients or animal testing.
*Date night is the time for a pretty pout. RMS's lip shine in sacred has that perfect blend of color and sheen while also moisturizing. Get double duty out of it by rubbing some into your cheeks for a natural-looking flush. Made with organic ingredients and cruelty-free.
*Increase the wattage when you bat your lashes with tarte's Gifted Amazonian clay smart mascara. The volume-boosting formula adds drama while the moisturizing ingredients keep lashes healthy - I love how you can wear this all day without lashes getting brittle, clumpy or flaky.
*Tame flyaways and make your hair smell amazing with Mullein & Sparrow's rose and vetiver hair serum, handcrafted in Brooklyn from organic, cruelty-free ingredients.
*No chipped manicure on date night! Habit Cosmetic's nail polish in Tabou is the perfect pop of color, and as an added perk, its formula will strengthen and nourish your nails - without harmful ingredients and cruelty-free.
*Finish it off with a spritz of something fancy. The warm florals of Tocca's Brigitte is sexy and sophisticated - like Ms. Bardot herself.
What's your date-night getting-ready routine look like?
After the success of last week's sake-glazed salmon, I wanted to try my hand at another marinade, this time heading south of the border for some inspiration. Just an hour or so of sitting in a marinade, even one that took mere minutes and a handful of ingredients to prepare, makes for a big flavor payoff.
To make the marinade, combine:
*1/2 tsp dried oregano
*1/4 - 1/2 tsp dried chili powder (I used 1/2 tsp and did not find it too spicy)
*One scallion, chopped
*3 garlic cloves, roughly minced
*Juice of 1/2 lime
*1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
*1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper your fish - I used about 1 1/4 lbs of cod - and then let sit in the marinade in the fridge for one hour.
When you're ready to cook, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and then pan fry, 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through.
You can serve as is, or scoop into tortillas (we used corn ones, warmed over the stove for a few seconds on each side), and topped with: red cabbage, cilantro, scallions, avocado and lime juice.
It's been awhile since I've bought new jewelry - I usually wear the same pair of heart-shaped studs every day, and rotate between two necklaces, if I wear one at all (it used to be three, until one of them broke).
There was a time in my life when I layered on endless cheap accessories (including armfuls of those plastic black bangles that had a revival in the early 2000s emo crowd, I must admit), but I feel now I've strayed too far in the opposite direction with my extreme minimalism (or, some would say, just plain old boring-ness).
From left to right: Elaina; Sundara.
When J and I were looking at engagement and wedding rings, I knew it was important to me that any gemstones be conflict-free and sustainably sourced, and I was excited to find lots of rings made from recycled gold (which cuts down on all the environmental impacts of having to mine for new metals). We ended up picking out rings from Ken and Dana Designs, a New York designer that met all our environmental criteria, had beautiful pieces, and were all around lovely to work with. I couldn't be happier with the rings we ended up with, and it was definitely worth every penny.
From left to right: Mable; Bridgette.
However, when it comes to non-wedding jewelry, I was looking for pieces that didn't require quite so much of an investment. So I was curious to see whether I could find more everyday jewelry that shared that commitment to ecologically-friendly, ethical production without breaking the bank. After a little bit of digging, I've found so many beautiful choices that now the difficult part will be not buying everything! I've tried to focus on pieces that are priced at a budget for every day wear.
Good news! Ken and Dana also has a collection of non-wedding jewelry, and they are beautiful. Like the delicate Rinlet necklace (left) or the super fresh Kalika earrings (right).
Dana Bronfman is another NYC designer who uses reclaimed metals and ethical gemstones to create must-have pieces with a little urban edge - like the Tiny Trina Pendant necklace (left) or the Tiny Trio Cuff (right).
From the opposite coast, Beklina is a family-owned business in Northern California emphasizing organic, sustainable fashion and showcasing independent artists and designers. I can't get enough of their candy-colored French enamel lockets (left), and this lovely long turquoise necklace (right) is so pretty and elegant.
The tag line for fashion company Ash & Rose is "ethical, sustainable, beautiful," Their extensive jewelry collection is also affordably priced, which is good because they have a ton of gorgeous, wear-with-everything options to choose from - like these nest earrings (left) and this stacking chevrons necklace (right).
Ruff & Cut embraces natural textures and raw gems in an aesthetic that echoes their commitment to sustainable jewelry, as seen in their Hammered Silver Medallion Pendant (left) and Aureole earrings (right).
Wild Mantle bills themselves as a socially and environmentally conscious fashion company, which comes across in their small jewelry collection handcrafted from sustainable materials, like the unique Mica necklace (left) or the graceful Heartwood earrings (right).
Zady is primarily a fashion house for men and women with an emphasis on environmental sustainability. Their jewelry is versatile and perfect for everyday wear - like the hammered gold bar necklace (left) or the island gradient necklace (right), both of which would lend a touch of class and style to just about everything in my closet.
Helpsy is a NYC-based company curating fashion (including shoes and accessories) and home goods with an emphasis on social and environmental responsibility. Their wide selection is budget-friendly, and you can find everything from the cheeky - like this Feminist necklace (left) that I must have, proceeds from which also benefit Planned Parenthood - to the sophisticated - like this crescent moon necklace (right), proceeds from which funds educational training for women artists in African communities.
I was excited to find so many options that emphasize style without sacrificing a commitment to ethical and sustainable production, and surprised to see how much is fairly affordable.
We've just scratched the tip of the socially responsible, eco-friendly fashion iceberg, but it should be plenty to get you started on any Valentine's Day gift wish lists <3
*Did anyone else watch How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days a million times over? No? Our tv in college went through a period where it broke and the only two movies we had in the tv room were How to Lose a Guy and Love Actually, so I remember a period when I just watched those two repeatedly because no one could be bothered to bring a new DVD into the tv room. Anyway, the title for this post comes from the first of those two. Enjoy!
This is one of my new favorites: it is so, so easy to make, it's absolutely delicious, and it's good for you too. Full of omega-3s and low in mercury, salmon is also a sustainable choice if you buy wild-caught from Alaska or Washington State. I usually don't mess around with salmon too much - it's plenty flavorful on its own - but I wanted to step my game up a bit and this marinade, adapted from simplyrecipes.com, comes together in seconds with a big flavor payoff.
To make the marinade:
Combine 1/2 cup sake, 1/2 cup mirin, and 1/2 cup of soy sauce with 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, 1/4 cup white sugar and a dash of red chili flakes.
Cover one pound of salmon with the marinade (either in a freezer bag or a sealed Tupperware) and place in fridge for one hour.
To make this a complete meal, I used this time to cook my quinoa, replacing half the cooking water with low-sodium chicken broth for extra flavor.
When you're ready to cook, pour the marinade into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, then reduce heat (do this carefully - mine caught fire thanks to the alcohol in the sake and mirin). Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan and place the salmon skin-side down in the pan. Pan fry for 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through, basting regularly with the reduced marinade.
To serve, scatter chopped scallion and toasted sesame seeds on top the fish. I also tossed a pound of baby spinach into the heated pan and sautéed that quickly to make a complete meal out of it. We even saved the sauce and used it on tofu and broccoli the following night, getting even more bang for our buck out of a delicious dinner that took minutes to prepare.
Hello, my loves! Hope you all had a happy and relaxing weekend. Every weekend should be a three-day weekend, don't you think?
Highlights of this one included an impromptu visit from a dear friend from California, picking up nursery hand-me-downs from good friends (and getting to spend some quality time with their adorable baby in the process), and a long-overdue haircut for me.
I am so so excited to be pregnant, but I can't deny it's been taking a toll on me (and my back, and my feet, and my ability to sleep . . .). Plus, work has been busy and stressful, and it was time for some pampering. So I used the gift certificate J got me for my birthday and took myself to the Scott J. Aveda salon for a little me time.
Nothing like a fresh haircut and blow out to add pep to your step. Plus, the ladies at Scott J really know how to take care of a tired mama to be! (Seriously, if you're in Brooklyn and looking for some hair care, go see Marlo. After bouncing around different salons for ages, I think I've finally found my hair home.)
In addition to the cut, Marlo recommended a botanic treatment to revitalize my color-treated and winter-dried hair, which was just what I needed. Not only did it make my hair feel fantastic, I also got treated to a hand massage while the treatment was being absorbed by my hair - and a little shoulder rub before heading to my chair for the trim. And because my hair was too thick and heavy to hold any curl from a round brush by itself (one perk of pregnancy: crazy hair growth), Marlo broke out the curling iron and hair pins to make sure I left feeling bouncy and pretty.
My hair is so cute, you almost don't even notice the bags under my eyes. I also splurged on a new lip gloss - Aveda's Nourish-Mint gloss in Star Dahlia, which really does have a nice moisturizing texture. You can't really go wrong with Aveda products - responsibly sourced, packaged in sustainable materials and produced with renewable energy, plus they always smell great and get the job done. So all in all, pampering time was a success!
It was also a nice reprieve from the recent temperature drop. We finally had our first snow of the season! It's mostly melted away, but the cold remained. Below, a round-up of ideas to keep you cozy and warm as we ride out the rest of the winter months.
1. Super cute woolly sheep slippers.
2. Signature hot chocolate with house-made marshmallow from City Bakery (make your own marshmallows at home with Ina Garten's recipe).
3. Coyuchi's cozy striped wool blankets.
4. Fair trade, 100% organic, super comfy heather flannel pajamas.
5. Knit slipper socks on sale now at west elm.
6. Mulling spices from Greenpoint Trading Co.