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Issue #35: Who Run the World? 💃

from In Style: The Badass 50 in 2020: Meet the Women Who Are Changing the World

From Melia:

In addition to my endlessly supportive husband, what’s getting me through the day in 2020 is a small army of smart, funny, creative, empathetic women. My sister (you know her!) sends me an unlimited supply of interesting links, funny memes, and kind words. My girlfriends and I can be  totally honest with each other on our text threads. My dear friend and next-door neighbor leaves fresh scones on my doorstep. 💕

I’m also inspired by dozens of women in public life, who are vulnerable and bold, insightful and wise, hilarious and unabashedly themselves. Here’s just a sampling of the women who are inspiring me now, and whom I hope will inspire you, too.

Writers and Activists: Chanel Miller (I loved every word of Know My Name, the gorgeous memoir of justice and healing following her sexual assault by Brock Turner), Glennon Doyle, Elizabeth Gilbert, Brené Brown

Musicians: Taylor Swift & The Chicks (I play their new albums on loop), Lizzo (everything she does!), Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion sending Tucker Carlson and Ben Shapiro into apoplectic fits with “WAP”

Renaissance women: Kristen Bell, Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, Beyoncé, Dolly Parton -- they won’t be boxed in to one identity and use their talents and wealth for good in the world

Podcasters: Gretchen Rubin & Liz Craft / Sarah Fain & Liz Craft on happiness and thriving, Hilary Rushford on entrepreneurship and creative living, Sam Laura Brown on breaking through perfectionism

Comedian-Actors: Sarah Cooper, Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer, Logan Guntzelman, Iliza Schlesinger

Women in trailblazing roles: The multiracial female-driven action & leadership on The Expanse, Darren’s favorite show

Body positive Instagrammers: Danae Mercer, Jameela Jamil & iweigh

Illustrators on Instagram who capture big moods in small frames: Liz & Mollie, Kristen Ley, Dani Donovan, Paula Kuka, Gemma Correll

Therapists on Instagram who boost our mental health: Megan Clapton, Lisa Olivera

Political and social leaders: Michelle. Hillary. AOC. Elizabeth Warren. Tammy Duckworth. Kamala. The leaders of nations, like badass New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who have handled COVID “systematically and significantly better” than those run by men

This is only a sampling of all the women who are giving me hope and life right now. Let’s give it up for all the women helping us through this pandemic -- the health workers on the front lines, the educators teaching our children under insanely stressful circumstances, and the creatives who are keeping our spirits alive. 👏👏👏 And then, let’s elect women up and down the ballot this November.

Who are the women inspiring you right now? Hit reply and tell us. ❤️

🎙 Latest Episode: Learning to Thrive as an Introvert, Perfectionist, or Highly Sensitive Person, with April Snow

We talk to April Snow of Expansive Heart Psychotherapy. April works with highly sensitive introverts, perfectionists, and high achievers to overcome anxiety, embrace their strengths, and create a life on their own terms. If you’re like us, you fall into at least one of those categories!

April shares why sensitivity is a strength – not a weakness, as we’re often told – that we can channel to make a positive difference in our lives and the world.

👉 Steal This Tip: April Snow Edition

Put self-care in your calendar. I personally set aside Saturday morning – or sometimes all Saturday – as my “me time.” I use that day to catch up on rest and self-care. After a busy week, it’s how I refill my tank.

It’s helpful because it has become my routine, and I can rely on it at the end of the week. For highly sensitive people, we get decision fatigue, and we are constantly mulling over decisions. But if it’s in your calendar, and it’s part of your routine, it just becomes second nature.


Episode 33: Turning Setbacks into Comebacks, with Claire Sturzaker 🎙

We interview Claire Sturzaker, a world traveler and creator of the blog Tales of a Backpacker. Claire shares how what seemed like a major setback in her life – getting fired – was actually an opportunity for change, and helped her deal with other challenges in the future.

Listen to the episode .

😄 Things We Text Each Other

From Melia: Gill’s birthday was this month (yay!), and Darren let her know that this mustard beer debuted that day. Because she Gill despises mayo (how could she?!), I couldn’t help but suggest a companion beverage with her name on it.

😍 Stuff We Love Right Now

On the Interwebs  🖥

From Melia: 

From Gill: 

  • The Pep Talk We All Need
    Don’t we all dream of Chris Hemsworth telling us how amazing we are? This one-minute video is just him delivering heartfelt affirmations like, “You’re absolutely crushing it at everything you do” and “The only thing more beautiful than your smile is your personality” – and I plan to watch it every morning from now until the end of time.

On Our Screens & In Our Ears  📺  🎧

From Melia: 

  • New-to-Me Go-To Comedy

    I’m not sure why I’d never watched a full episode of 30 Rock, because I am a huge Tina Fey fan and have loved all of the clips I’ve seen over the years. But Darren (who loves the show) and I are finding that it nicely fills the void that Schitt’s Creek left in our evenings after we finished the series 😭. It’s a half hour of clever comedy and quirky characters -- as is Fey’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which we have yet to finish but find insanely funny. (P.S. Sara Bareilles is starring in Fey’s new comedy about a former member of “the short-lived 90s girl group Girls5eva,” and I am HERE FOR IT.)

From Gill: 

  • Pop Par-Tay  
    I’ve been listening to a lot of Taylor Swift lately – mostly switching back and forth from the lovely, moody folklore and the pop delight Lover. I also found a treasure trove of ukulele tutorials for Tay Swift songs on YouTube, which has to be the most twee sentence I’ve ever written. Abby Lyons has such helpful videos that I started supporting her on Patreon to get her chord charts and other extras ❤️ Apologies to my neighbors who have now heard me practicing “the 1” and “Paper Rings” 1,000 times.

On Our Plates   🍽 

From Melia: 

  • Chicken Fried Rice with Yum-Yum Sauce 
    Another recent instance of “Darren cooked it, but I had the idea” is chicken fried rice. Technically he didn’t follow this recipe, because he doesn’t use recipes 🤷‍♀️, but it was pretty close. He made the brown rice a day in advance and stored it in the fridge uncovered so it dried out a little. Ingeniously, he also made the glorious pink sauce served at hibachi restaurants, which I was amused to learn is called “yum-yum sauce.” As he recalls, he mixed mayo, ketchup, honey, mirin rice wine, and minced ginger, and there are plenty of recipes online.

From Gill: 

  • Asian-ish Pork Burgers
    I adapted this pork meatballs recipe (possible paywall) from NY Times Cooking into my new favorite summer burger recipe. It tastes like dumpling filling in burger form! Mix ground pork, minced garlic and ginger, chopped fresh cilantro and green onions, black pepper, a handful of breadcrumbs, and a splash of fish sauce. Salt the outside of the burgers. Grill and serve with sweet chili sauce (store-bought or homemade), lettuce, and other fixins.

If you like the Semi-Together podcast, why not share the pod with a friend who would enjoy it? You can also become a patron here.  

Until next time! 


Melia & Gill 😘😘

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