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Friday, June 13th 2014

Break Time: Food for Thought

Shopbop: Jeremy Scott for MoschinoIt always comes back to food with me, doesn’t it? Or wine (although, technically I’d argue that wine is food—um, it’s grapes). Anyway, I have a big weekend of cooking ahead of me—a cookout tonight, snacks for a pool party tomorrow, and smoked brisket on Sunday— so I’ve been up to my elbows in Pinterest boards and recipe forums. Along the way, I found a few articles of interest. Dig in!

Fashion has an obsession with fast food—the recent Jeremy Scott for Moschino collection comes to mind. Styleite looks into the conflicting relationship.
[Styleite]

My favorite food group is sriracha, so I’ve been following the Huey Fung lawsuit case very closely. As long as I can get my beloved green-cap brand, I’m not open to exploring other options. But this blind taste test of different kinds was still interesting.
[Grub Street]

I love puns almost as much as I love food, so this list of pun-tastic restaurant names was right up my alley.
[Diply]

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Friday, June 6th 2014

Break Time: Written by Hand

At a recent family gathering, my cousin broke out a handwriting analysis book and proceeded to “read” all our scribbles. It was great fun except for a brief period where the book led everyone to believe that I might be a serial killer. Turns out I just have really terrible handwriting. Anyway, it was this event that sent me looking for more handwriting-inspired articles. Below are a few of my favorites.

Write “I feel like looking at the moon tonight” on a sheet of paper and use this BuzzFeed guide to analyze your handwriting. Ask your co-workers to do it too and say goodbye to a productive afternoon.
[BuzzFeed]

I love getting a handwritten note, but not one like this. In 2012, a woman found an S.O.S. note in the bottom of her shopping bag, kicking off a global human rights investigation.
[The New Yorker]

Schools are discontinuing penmanship programs, as the act of handwriting becomes less important in the digital age. But what are we actually losing when our nation’s children aren’t taught cursive?
[The New York Times]

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Friday, May 30th 2014

Break Time: So Excited

If you’re anything like me, just reading the title of this post was enough to get the Pointer Sisters’ song stuck in your head for the rest of the afternoon. But it’s Friday, so there’s legitimate reason to be jacked up—having two super-caffeinated drinks helps too. Since we’re all energized, here are a few of the most exciting articles I could find.

Nothing says enthusiasm more than exclamation points, and this blog agrees. It’s collected some of the best examples of egregious punctuation on the web. It’s awesome!!!
[Excessive Exclamation]

Talking whales? Now that’s exciting.
[The Smithsonian]

Nothing gets a crowd amped up like an electric guitar. But apparently, these instruments can also drive sales of polyester pants.
[Ad Week]

--Libby S.

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Friday, May 23rd 2014

Break Time: A Long Weekend

This weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and that means lots of brats, beer, and patriotism (and, in my case, horrible tree pollen allergies). Hopefully you have some sort of cookout or picnic planned, as well as an opportunity to break out a new summer-ready outfit. But before you head out, here are a few of my favorite links from the week to get you through those last few hours of work. Happy reading!

National pride runs extra strong in the summertime, with red, white, and blue decorating everything from city banners to beach towels. It’s pretty apparent that we’ve got this American thing down pat. However, when Smithsonian writer Tom Downey travels to Japan, he finds that they’re actually giving us a run for our money.
[Smithsonian]

Long weekends are always big for the box office, with blockbuster movies kicking off the summer race for ticket sales. I’m an action movie fan myself, but inevitably my friends (cough, husband, cough) will drag me to a romantic comedy. Since so many of these stories are recycled versions of older tales, I found this simple guide to rom-com plotlines helpful.
[BuzzFeed]

It’s important to remember the reason for this 3-day weekend—to honor our nation’s fallen soldiers. This article highlights the life of Robert Capa, the war photographer who joined the first wave of D-Day, shooting some of the most iconic images from the invasion. It’s a fitting read on the eve of Memorial Day.
[Vanity Fair]

--Libby S.

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Friday, May 16th 2014

Break Time: Dig In & Drink Up

I bought my husband a meat smoker for his birthday, and this weekend we’re finally going to try it out! Needless to say, I’ve been scouring the internet for the best recipes. I may have also wandered down the search rabbit hole into some food forums, leading me to find these three articles focused on eating, drinking, and being merry. Bon appetit!

Food is never far from my mind. In fact, it’s usually about midway through lunch that I start thinking about dinner. I’ve always assumed that everyone was the same way. But apparently, some people actually see food as a nuisance. These are the types of people who invented Soylent. (Yes, like the movie. No, not people.)
[The New Yorker]

There’s nothing like an ice-cold beverage on a hot day, and advertisers know this. In fact, some alcohol companies are actually using weather data to direct their marketing plans. They’re able to correlate weather patterns with beer sales to get the most bang for their buck. Who knew Chicagoans drink more when it’s unseasonably chilly?
[Men’s Journal]

I normally don’t get excited by a local news cooking segment, but when undercover comedian Nick Prueher and something called a Meat Milkshake are involved, it’s impossible not to.
[Grantland]

--Libby S.

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Friday, May 9th 2014

Break Time: A Look Back

While spring is a time for new beginnings, I’ve been stuck in a reflective mood. This feeling of nostalgia has me seeking out articles about the past. Here are just a few I found: one funny, one interesting, and one intellectual. Enjoy!

Scoring a great vintage find is one of the best feelings in shopping. But I think I might pass on this steal—the sheep dung part really turns me off.
[Discovery]

Setting aside any opinions you might have on the morality of aquariums and live aquatic animal shows, the plans for the original SeaWorld are a fascinating read. To have had that kind of vision in 1961 is amazing.
[The Atlantic]

Common art history is dominated by men, but artist Annie Kevans is looking to change that. Her latest piece seeks to shine a light on the women who influenced their times and deserve recognition.
[anOther Magazine]

--Libby S.

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Friday, May 2nd 2014

Break Time: All About Art

I’m searching for a new creative project—to date, I’ve thought about decorating my living room, planting a sustainable food garden, learning to count cards, writing a cookbook, or becoming a documentary filmmaker—so I have been immersing myself in all things artistic. Below are a few articles I stumbled across on my quest, none of which helped narrow down my choices.

Of all the things that come to mind when Waco is mentioned, I’m sure cultured artwork and Hermès are not included. However, the Texas town is actually the current residence of the only American ever to design silk scarves for the storied house. It’s a fascinating tale of serendipity and talent.
[Texas Monthly]

While doing “research” about making a documentary (which is totally different than just vegging out and watching movies, by the way), I came across Cutie and the Boxer, the story of artists Ushio and Noriko Shinohara. Their relationship is interesting, to say the least, and this film is truly a must-watch.
[The Daily Beast]

What is art? After hours spent looking at decorating blogs, inspiration boards, design magazines, and indie films, I still have no idea, nor do I expect to. Even experts can’t agree. Check out some of the top definitions from the people who best know the subject.
[Brain Pickings]

--Libby S.

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Friday, April 25th 2014

Break Time: Checking Out

The only things standing between me and a five-day vacation are a few last minute emails and publishing this post. Officially, of course, I am going to remain focused and dedicated until 5pm. But were I to have mentally checked out—which, again, I totally have not—these articles would represent the level of thought I would be capable of processing. Enjoy, and here’s to a fast-moving clock!

When it comes to mindless entertainment, BuzzFeed is king. This list has to be one of my favorites—especially #6.
[BuzzFeed]

Facebook is always a good time-waster. Some people however, use it for more sweet and hilarious projects.
[AdWeek]

Finally, anything even slightly vintage or retro is perfect for distraction, and these dating tips from 1938 are no different. They’re 95% funny and 5% appalling. Or maybe it’s more like 60/40. Either way, I’d bet money the model had a great time shooting this story—and even broke a few of those rules herself.
[HappyPlace]

--Libby S.

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Friday, April 18th 2014

Break Time: Work it Out

I’m heading to Chicago for my first CrossFit competition today, so I’ve got fitness on my mind. (Though, as a workout enthusiast—my co-workers might say, workout fanatic—I pretty much always have fitness on my mind.) Before I start swinging kettlebells in my floral Lucas Hugh ensemble, here are a few inspiring articles to kick-start an active weekend. 3…2…1… read!

The only thing better than working out is talking about how hard you worked out. There are several wearable tracking devices that you can use to help quantify your effort (and add a digital, sporty look to a stack of bangles). But how accurate is the data?
[FiveThirtyEight]

One of the greatest things exercising gives you is a sense of confidence. Knowing what your body can do, and knowing you’ll look great in your favorite pair of skinny jeans, is a real boost. And sadly, women are less likely to feel self-assured than men. The Atlantic looks into this disparity and what can be done about it.
[The Atlantic]

OK, that was a little heavy. This is not. You know those inspirational fitness posters? The ones with the buff, tanned athlete telling you to “push it harder”? Well, The Chive switched out the healthy images for some, er…less healthy, alcohol-themes shots. The result is hilarious.
[The Chive]

--Libby S.

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Friday, April 11th 2014

Break Time: All About The Clothes

I’m in major spring cleaning mode, and the target for this weekend is my closet. The process of organizing my wardrobe got me thinking about clothes, which led to me searching about clothes, a lot. The three articles below are the result of the internet rabbit hole I fell into while I was absolutely not supposed to be working on something else.

Fashion history can be fascinating or just plain weird—we’re talking live reptile brooches here, people. BuzzFeed collected 71 of the wildest clothing facts out there. I found number 66 to be particularly interesting.
[BuzzFeed]

Style trends also have a crazy history of their own. The Smithsonian covers the current “Trend-ology” exhibit at the Museum at FIT. I never knew the tumultuous origins of yellow.
[Smithsonian.com]

I’ve heard of sales inducing riots, but never the actual pieces of clothing themselves. Mental Floss proves how wrong I was.
[Mental Floss]

--Libby S.

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