Some people baked bread, some tie-dyed, and others got really, really into storage and organization essentials for their home. Though many parts of the country are returning to pre-quarantine life, the desire to have a home curated just so, isn’t exactly going anywhere.
We dove into the oddly satisfying world of professional organizing to find products that’ll inspire your next project. Spearheaded by “organization influencers” like Horderly, The Neat Method, and The Home Sort, the community of professional organizers and the people who love watching them organize have found a natural home on Instagram, where you can find a seemingly endless stream of immaculate closets, kitchen cupboards, and dresser drawers.
In an attempt to introduce even a fraction of this structure into our own homes, we tapped the pros for their favorite storage and organization essentials. Not only do they routinely use these products in clients’ homes, but they’re all $28 or less. Who knows, maybe you’ll emerge from quarantine as the next Marie Kondo.
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Thanks to the silky-smooth matte bottle and the apéritif’s faint golden hue, creating my concoction felt more mindful than the standard glunk, glunk, glunk of rosé at the end of a workday (Rosé lovers, don’t worry—they’re rolling out Rose Rosé made with fresh petals from their rose bushes this summer). The delicate blend of chardonnay grapes with hints of botanicals like elderflower and hibiscus made for a stunning adventure of the senses, inspiring me to savor every last drop with intention. I found it less syrupy and sweet than traditional apéritifs like vermouth or pastis—and despite the low-ABV (15%-20% depending on the flavor), the beverage tastes just as good on the rocks with a fresh squeeze of citrus or shaken up in a fancy cocktail. It’s nice to know I can still channel my Ina Garten (minus the copious amounts of vodka) by adding a splash of fruit juice, club soda, and a pretty garnish—without my body hating me in the morning.
Beyond the unmatched flavor and attention to detail, Haus has a charming backstory a Pisces like me was obviously bound to eat up. “My grandparents bought this land over 40 years ago, and I’ve been farming the land Helena and I now live on for a decade,” explains Woody. “The first batch of Haus was made on our porch with our grapes, Meyer lemons from our trees, and elderflower blossoms from the bushes near the pond.” While staying close to their roots in terms of production, the duo thinks big, having just launched The Restaurant Project, a charitable initiative to help restaurants hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. “When COVID hit, we were one of the few companies fortunate enough to be growing. At the same time, we were losing sleep over the impact the pandemic was having on our friends in the restaurant industry. We realized that we could temporarily shift our focus to co-creating products with some of America’s favorite restaurants, sell the products online, and give the restaurants 100% of the profits. We’ve launched 13 restaurant collaborations all while running our core business, and to date, we’ve sent six figures in profits to our partners.”
I just turned 27. I have little-to-no interest in many of the things that took up my time when I was 21 (read: stilettos, tequila shots, and chasing after the wrong boys). My running routine is back in action, I have seven house plants, and I’m finally chipping away at my credit card debt. (Alexa, play Grown Woman by Beyoncé). As I update my bar cart accordingly, Haus fits neatly within a vision of my life through a long-term lens and helps me embody the Parisian I swear I am on the inside. For me, New York drinking culture lost its luster a while ago, and the health and productivity issues associated with too much alcohol and not enough shut-eye are not lost on me. In my eyes, Haus is a stylish tincture to cut the edge, a special treat to enjoy with friends, and yes, a small flex for an Instagram Story (sue me).
Will you ever catch me on a Friday night at one of New York’s buzzy, experimental booze-free bars? Probably not. But I’m now more likely to be at home listening to good records with great people, cradling this lovely newfound beverage than throwing back sub-par vodka sodas at the local dive. And until we can all be together again, I’ll be busy staring at the brand’s dreamy collage of rooftop hangs, shared bowls of cherries, and brighter days.
These days, a simple movie night can turn into an overwhelming existential crisis. Do you finally get around to watching that new critically acclaimed series everyone’s been talking about? Or turn on a beloved favorite for the hundredth time? With so many streaming services and on-demand options available, something meant to be fun has become just another stressor in our lives.
But an unlikely hero has emerged to help: Dakota Johnson.
The actor says she, too, was tired of “content overload.” So she and Ro Donnelly, her co-founder in the production company TeaTime Pictures, started creating easily digestible top ten lists on Instagram of all the things they’re connecting with at the moment. “With the pandemic and having everyone at home, we launched the lists sooner than expected so that we could help people decide what to watch easier,” Johnson says. “That’s the goal of it: to make choosing content a little bit more easy.”
Considering Johnson is so adept at recommending what to watch, I hit her up for our latest installment of Your Fave’s Faves to ask what queue-worthy content she suggests. She also shared what she’s been reading and buying lately, as well as some behind-the-scenes tidbits about her new movie The High Note, available on demand May 29, in which she plays a personal assistant to a famous singer (the brilliant Tracee Ellis Ross). Johnson and Ross have an easy chemistry that’ll pair so well with a glass of wine and your comfiest blanket. See? I told you Dakota Johnson was great at picking your next movie night. See more of her selects, below.
The best thing about her character in The High Note
Her ambition and drive seem a little bit other worldly. I identify with the drive to keep going, no matter how many times you’re told, “No.”
The beauty swap that’s changed her skin
I just recently switched everything over to being completely clean and non-toxic and organic, and it’s actually been really amazing for my skin. I did not think that would happen, but it’s pretty wonderful.
The movie you should check out
There’s a new Les Misérables directed by Ladj Ly that I love so much. I think it’s one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen.
How she self-cares lately
I’ve been finding that the sunshine makes everything a lot easier. And on the days when it’s been shitty outside, I feel light-years more depressed. Oh my god, [I love] sweatpants, although, I haven’t really been getting dressed. I just have not. The only thing I put on is, if I’m honest, a bikini every morning and that’s it.
I like making a roast, like roast veggies and chicken or grilled salmon…stuff like that. I actually have a cookie recipe that’s really amazing. They’ve gotten really popular in our house, and they’re very healthy. They’re made with oats, no sugar, and almond flour.
The music Dakota plays to get into character
I was listening to a lot of Aretha Franklin when we were filming The High Note, but I’m always listening to music when I’m working.
The TV series she’s loving right now
Normal People is brilliant. The Great, I also love. But if you haven’t seen My Brilliant Friend on HBO, the second season is completely mind-blowing. It’s beautiful.
The perfect feel-good music
I’m constantly listening to music, but there’s this whole new Perfume Genius album that is really amazing. I probably wouldn’t be able to pick a favorite song. The whole thing is great.
Her favorite workout right now
I have been walking a lot, and I have also been doing hot yoga. I turn the heat up really high in the garage and do hot yoga.
Sephora’s Beauty Insider program has always made shopping in the store feel a little bit more rewarding. Sure, I just spent $50 on less than an ounce of foundation, but I also got a free sample size of designer lipstick with my VIB points, so who’s the real winner here? (The answer is still Sephora. I give them too much of my money.)
To earn rewards—including free samples, birthday gifts, makeup courses, and more—shoppers can join the program for free. Depending on how much you spend in-store per year, you’ll either be a regular old Insider, a VIB ($350/year), or a Rogue ($1000/year) member. As you rake in points by buying stuff, the more valuable the free goodies you can take home. For Rogue members (and occasionally VIBs) that could mean free, full-sized products and early access to the biggest sales of the year before anyone else gets a chance to shop. According to a new statement from Sephora, those perks are about to get even better.
As of May 29, Sephora is updating its famous loyalty program, so here’s some of the updates about where your membership stands:
Points now equal cash. At checkout, all members can use their points to get money off on their purchase. 500 points will get you $10 off in store and online.
Free shipping for all…kind of. Rogue members have always had free standard shipping with all purchases, but now VIB members will earn the perk on all purchases of $35 or more. Standard Insiders must make at least a $50 purchase for free shipping.
Your birthday can get you hair and body products now. All members can choose from new product categories, including products from brands like Briogeo, MILK Makeup, and Sol De Janeiro (crossing my fingers for some Brazilian Bum Bum Cream).
That’s not all. Once social distancing restrictions are lifted, Beauty Insider members will be able to exchange their points for experiences like a one-on-one meet-up with a brand founder, a facial from a skin care expert, or a chance to see how their favorite product is made (it’s still TBD on which brands or products that includes, though).
Sephora is also planning on giving back to the community by allowing customers to redeem points for charitable causes. “Launching in June, clients can now use their points to make a difference,” the statement reads. “Sephora’s Charity Rewards make it easier to support organizations that provide critical aid in our communities.” Basically, by redeeming your points for Charity Rewards, Sephora will match the value of those points to benefit a featured charity each month through the Tides Foundation. Sephora will start with the National Black Justice Coalition in June, before rotating to Project Glimmer in July.
In conclusion, Sephora’s perks just got a whole lot perkier.
Want some suggestions of how to put those points to good use? Shop our current faves below:
Lady Gaga’s sixth studio album, Chromatica, officially comes out Friday, May 29, and she’s pulling out all the stops to get fans hyped. First, she dropped her collaboration with Ariana Grande, “Rain on Me,” which is slated to top all the charts this week. Now, she’s giving us “Sour Candy,” her new song with the K-Pop band BLACKPINK. And, ladies, it’s a smash.
The song is pure dance floor paradise, containing elements of deep 90s house and a chorus that sticks like, well, sour candy. BLACKPINK mans the first verse while Gaga kicks in later with some sultry spoken-word vocals: “I might be messed up. But I know what’s up. You want a real taste. At least I’m not a fake,” she says.
Take a listen for yourself, below:
Fans, naturally, are freaking over the song. Check out some reactions, below:
Fans also are comparing the song to Katy Perry’s 2017 hit “Swish Swish,” but not in a shady way. It turns out both songs sample “What They Say” by Maya Jane Coles, according to the pop music Twitter account PopCrave.
Chromatica is shaping up to be quite the album cycle for Lady Gaga. At publish time, “Rain on Me” and “Sour Candy” occupied the top two spots on the iTunes chart. “How can I take something that’s extremely painful for me and find the one piece of it that’s universally human and help somebody else? And then see what it sounds like,” Gaga said of the album in an Apple Music interview with Zane Lowe.
Gaga still has one more collaboration on Chromatica: “Sine From Above” with Elton John. The two musicians are close friends, having performed together for the first time at the 2010 Grammy Awards. Gaga is also the godmother to John’s children with David Furnish.
If you listen to anyone talk about what to eat during quarantine, it should obviously be cook, talk show host, mogul, and EVOO term-coiner Rachael Ray. Considered the guru of quickie cooking—30-minute meals is one of her signatures—Ray’s approach is user-friendly, not too fussy, and her dishes are always abundantly satisfying.
Even as one of the world’s most visible culinary personalities, Ray admits she’s shifted the way she thinks about cooking and mealtimes while isolating in her upstate New York home with her husband (don’t sleep on their food-and-cocktail Instagram tutorials!) and has basically started a to-go meal service for friends and family in close proximity.
“We’re cooking so much for Instagram Live, my daytime show, and for friends on Zoom who want to keep in touch and stay connected,” Ray says. “The byproduct of all that cooking content is a lot of leftovers. So we’re kind of running our own ‘no cost’ restaurant. We fill up the human bird feeder, which is a work bench from the garden that we put next to the garage, and we label every bagged meal. Then our family and friends come by and pick up their [bags] and we’re able to still share our love of food with them even if they can’t sit at our table right now.”
A doggy bag from Rachal Ray sounds pretty good right about now, but for the rest of us, she’s shared one of her go-to pasta recipes that’ll make any home cook feel like a chef. Ray’s Tuscan-inspired Pici all’Aglione sounds fancy but it’s remarkably easy to make using only a handful of pantry staples. “The recipe calls for a lot of thinly-sliced garlic, cherry tomatoes. lots of fresh basil, good olive oil, salt, a little cheese, and you’re done,” says Ray. “So it’s really one of those comforting dishes because it’s so easy to achieve. And because it’s so few ingredients.” Consider this a celebrity pasta recipe you’ll actually want to eat.
Rachael Ray’s Pici all’Aglione
3-4 tablespoons EVOO
2 tablespoons good-quality salted butter
7-8 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly by hand or using a truffle shaver
The crime? Grand theft on the high seas. (Actually, the judge says it’s “criminal mischief in the third degree, which is a misdemeanor.)
The motive? Losing her damn mind after her boyfriend’s dad attempts to destroy her. And honestly? Fair! As much as I am not a Rory Gilmore fan, as much as I wish she would enunciate and show more interest in her friends’ lives and stop being so infuriatingly cutesy, this is very relatable.
In episode 21, Rory, who is sadly wearing a T-shirt under her dress, sits down with her boyfriend’s dad, Mitchum Huntzberger, who is also her boss. Rory’s lifelong dream is to be a reporter; Mitchum is one of the most powerful media men in the world. The Huntzberger family has shown her the cold shoulder (because Rory’s family rode second class on the Mayflower or something), but Mitchum has given her a summer internship and a chance to prove herself.
“I’ve worked with a lot of young people over the years,” Mitchum, who is handsome and scary, tells her, smiling. “I’ve got a pretty good gut sense for people’s strengths and weaknesses. Whether they have that certain something to make it in journalism.” He goes on, “And I have to tell you: You don’t got it. Now guts can be wrong—mine’s been wrong before, but not often…I just don’t think you really have the drive.”
“You’d make a great assistant,” he adds.
Rory defends herself (impressive, I would be weeping uninterrupted strands of snot at this point) and the next thing we know, she is down at the marina, accusing Logan of flirting with other women, snarling about sexism, and convincing him to help her steal a yacht, using the sweet, sweet words of Moby Dick. This is the Rory I have been waiting for, through almost six seasons of comfortable narcolepsy.
First, Rory asks if they can take a trip on Logan’s family’s yacht. He politely points out there are dozens of people on the yacht, since that is where his sister is hosting her birthday party. Then Rory, champion of the people (sort of), says, “Oh. Well don’t you have another one?” (Of course the answer is yes, but it’s “far away.” What is the point of having a billionaire boyfriend if he can’t even keep his yachts organized?)
Logan suggests a road trip to New York. Rory reacts as if he’s suggesting they go foraging in the city dump and insists they take to the ocean.
Get excited, Friends fans: You can now stream the hit sitcom again thanks to the launch of HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s new streaming platform. The highly anticipated service became available to users on May 27 and will cost $14.99 per month. If you subscribe to HBO already through Apple TV Channels, AT&T TV, Cox, DIRECTV, Hulu, Optimum, Spectrum, Verizon Fios, Xfinity, then you will get HBO Max at no extra cost. See login information here. The same works for people who have HBO Now and are billed directly or through Apple, Google Play, Samsung, Optimum, Verizon Fios Internet, Consolidated Communications, and Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico. Just use your current login to sign into HBO Max. For more information on this, click here.
Which means, naturally, it’ll be difficult figuring out what to watch after you do sign up. I’m here to help. Below are my picks for the best titles—both original and classic—hitting HBO Max on May 27 and beyond. I’ll update this post as more titles become available, but use this as your navigation guide. And when in doubt, just watch Gossip Girl.
Originals dropping May 27
On the Record: Per an HBO Max press release, “On the Record presents the powerful and haunting story of music executive Drew Dixon as she grapples with her decision to become one of the first women of color, in the wake of #MeToo, to come forward and publicly name hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of sexual assault. The documentary chronicles not only Dixon’s story but that of several other accusers—Sil Lai Abrams and Sheri Sher.”
Love Life: Anna Kendrick stars in this new anthology show that examines how people go through several brief romances to ultimately find their soulmate. Those flings, it turns out, morph Kendrick’s character into the person she is when she eventually meets the One.
Legendary: Celebrity judges Megan Thee Stallion, Jameela Jamil, Leiomy Maldonado, and Law Roach watch as groups of voguing teams compete in several dancing showcases. The cast of dancers includes ballroom-culture icons like MC Dashaun Wesley and DJ MikeQ, so expect nothing but excellence.
Lisa Kudrow is here to let us know there are still things we don’t know about Friends all these years later—and we’re here for it. Honestly, there will never be too many Phoebe stories.
During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on May 27, she showed off the gift Matthew Perry gave her from the set when the series wrapped in 2004: the clock cookie jar that used to sit in Monica and Rachel’s kitchen. Of course, it also came with a funny story about why he would want her to have it.
“That was the wrap gift he gave me. We were laughing hysterically, and crying, because it was the end. It’s funny to us because, do you want to hear why?,” she told Kimmel. “We’re shooting a scene, years before we were finished, and my line was, ‘Ooh! I better get going’ like, ‘Oh, I’m late! I better get going!’ Except I didn’t have a watch, and we were shooting it when I realized it was too late—when I realized I don’t have a watch. How do I know ‘Ooh, I have to get going’? So, I just, as the words were coming out I go, ‘Oh good, there’s a clock and I gestured to that [pointing to the cookie jar behind her] and said, ‘Ooh, look at the time, I better get going.’ And Matthew said, ‘Did you point to the cookie jar and say, ‘Look at the time?'”
Here’s a scene where you can see the cookie jar on the Friends set:
And here it is in Kudrow’s office. One of our favorite recent developments is getting to see the shelves in our favorite stars’ homes by way of virtual interviews.
Lisa Kudrow also showed off some of the Friends bobblehead keepsakes she has, as well. Poor Ross’s arm has broken off, and Phoebe’s doesn’t look a thing like her:
In case you’ve been missing your Friends fix since the show left Netflix, it’s now streaming in full on the new HBO Max platform as of this week.
For the past two months, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone looking for at-home date night outfit ideas, but with local restaurants and bars slowly reopening for business, you may have the sudden urge to finally ditch the elastic waistband and wear that cute dress you bought pre-quarantine.
The endless rotation of sweatpants and leggings can put most people in a style rut—so to help you break free from the confines of jersey and nylon, we turned to a couple of our favorite ladies on Instagram for some fresh at-home date night outfit ideas. From dresses with billowing sleeves to silky slips, these looks will ease your white table cloth nostalgia. Full menu below.
Whether it’s your first (virtual) date or your hundredth, puffy shoulders and big, billowing sleeves are an easy way to feel dressed up while still feeling like you’re in a nightgown. The loose fit of these dresses will keep you cool on a warm day, while the sleeves will keep you cozy on your post-dinner walk.
If you have plans to go on a Zoom date, a playful top will stand out against the grainy, four-by-four-inch box—and you can pair it with all kinds of bottoms. Reach for a top with an interesting neckline, ruching, or backless details to throw over anything from a midi skirt to (comfy) work pants or straight-leg denim.
Quarantine has shown that being v cozy and v cute are not mutually exclusive when it comes to matching sweatsuits. Today’s styles are no longer awkwardly oversized, and you make any set feel fancy with the simple addition of gold jewelry, a few spritzes of perfume, and fuzzy socks you actually want to show off.