5 Friyays: November 13

5 Friyays: November 13

Happy Friday, folks! Here’s some stuff that’s been making me happy this week because I need joy and maybe you do, too. 

Beauty YouTube Drama

If you don’t know who Tati Westbrook is, don’t worry. I didn’t either. I also had no idea that there was a whole world on YouTube where people created beauty brands? News to me. ANYWAY. I was alerted to this drama via my friend Heather who told me I needed to learn about this woman Emily D. Baker – a lawyer who breaks down legal mysteries into layman’s terms. I was not only sucked into the drama around this beauty nonsense, but I found myself actually understanding libel vs. slander for the first time. I recommend Emily – she has a channel and a podcast and the whole nine – for all your pop culture legality questions.

NXIVM (pronouned: Nexium)

My husband and I just finished watching Seduced – the second long-form documentary series to come out about NXIVM, the cult/criminal enterprise that’s been getting a lot of headlines recently. We are both fascinated by cults and what makes groups gather this way and we’ve consumed everything we can get our hands on about NXIVM. Most of the content we’ve gotten so far – including HBO’s The Vow – centered on a woman named Sarah Edmonson, who defected from the group after getting branded with the leader’s initials against her will. Seduced, however, spends time with India Oxenberg and several other women who were part of the criminal complaint against members of the group that ultimately lead to leader Keith Raniere’s sentencing to 120 years in prison.

What I particularly loved about Seduced was that it broke down the nature of cult behavior so perfectly and focused on the women of NXIVM. It was directed and produced by women and boy could you tell. It’s on STARZ, which is lame because who the hell has STARZ?, but you can get a one-week free trial through Hulu and watch all four episodes before the trial expires. Highly recommended.

The International Gritty Explanation You Didn’t Know You Needed


Raising Readers

I have a lot of friends who post about wanting to make sure their kiddos get good books – ones that show them how wide the world is, that represent the world they’ll live in, that teach them and also make them happy and turn them into life-long readers. I’m lucky that I count a few librarians as close friends, so I have go-to places for recommendations. For everyone else, I just found this site that I have adored trolling through this week to find new reads to get my favorite tiny humans. They’ve got everything from “10 Books about Mindfullness for Younger Kids” to “Books that Celebrate Native American Heritage Month” to age-specific breakdowns of topics. Really rad site.

Thanksgiving Food Preferences

One of my favorite things to do is ask people about food – what are their favorites, what do they hate, what could they eat every day and not get sick of it. And this time of year? WHAT a conversation starter. EVERYONE has Thanksgiving food opinions – even if you don’t celebrate it and you only know about it from Friends. So, here’s a quiz that Buzzfeed put together that just made me laugh.


That’s it from me this week – please take care of yourselves. Wash your hands, stay home, breathe deep, and remember this too shall pass because that’s what the laws of time and space dictate, but I get we feel far from that. 

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