to do lists of the semi-adult: episode 15

to do lists of the semi-adult

As you guys know, Jewels is a very good cook, and I am…a novice in the kitchen. Lucky for me, I can always call Jewels if I have a question or need help, and lucky for you guys, today on the podcast we talk about our favorite kitchen gadgets to make cooking a little easier.

We both love coffeemakers with a timer and have a really cool apple peeler and corer. I love my George Foreman grill to make cooking meat easier, and Jewels recommends steel mixing bowls to make baking easier. My favorite kitchen gadget might be my teapot, partly because I use it all the time and partly because I think it’s pretty cute. Jewels says she uses her tiny spatula a lot, and it also seems pretty cute.

We think that sharp knives and good cutting boards, a salad spinner, and a food processor can also make a world of difference. But the No. 1 thing that has made it easier for me to cook is Blue Apron. For a more inexperienced cook like me it has made me much more confident in the kitchen, and I’ve gotten to make some really cool meals that I wouldn’t have made on my own. Jewels and I have a few free weeks we can give out to new Blue Apron customers, so if you guys want to try it for a week, email us at raesdays [at] First come, first serve.

What do you guys use that makes things easier in the kitchen? Let us know!

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or by using our feed link. You can also always find them on my Podcast page. You can find me right here at Rae’s Days, on Instagram, and on Twitter. Jewels is at Oven Lovin, on Instagram, and on Twitter.

(Links to products are affiliates, and they are all products we have used and recommend. Also, my second newsletter on what I’m watching and reading and think is cool is going out later today, you can sign up here.)

new outfit: winter lounging

winter lounging

This has been a VERY COLD February for Chicago. I thought I could skip Winter Dread this year, but it just arrived a little late. To stay warm lounging around the house, I am wearing sweater leggings from American Apparel, and a sweatshirt and scarf from Target. When I have to go outside, I put on my warmest puffy coat and my new Jessica Simpson rain boots. My Bulls hat was a gift, and it keeps me warm and repping Chicago.

For some cheer in the middle of your frozen week, consider signing up for my newsletter. Another one will go out this week.

the royal we

the royal we

Becoming a princess may be a fairy tale we’ve all grown up with, but finding a relationship where you are loved in spite of your flaws is a true happy ending. Both Bex and Nick make mistakes, but that both of them are allowed to be imperfect but still in love is what makes The Royal We so touching.

Unfortunately, as real life knows all too well but fairly tales gloss over, love isn’t all it takes to make a life together. And when you fall in love with the future king of England, the roadblocks to happy ever after are a bit bigger than in a civilian relationship. Like a sledding hill compared with Mount Everest.

Bex Porter, American exchange student to Oxford, and Nick Wales, as in Nick OF Wales, future king of England, begin their relationship as all the best relationships start: bonding over awesome terrible TV with awesome terrible snacks. Spending late nights eating junk food and watching the next installment of Devour, a supernatural American soap opera, is one of the truer ways to fall in love that I’ve ever read. (After all, weekly emails over a TV show is part of what drew me and my own man together–TV and true love are both magic.) And when the two give in to their feelings, finally, it’s sweet and charming and touching, and Nick is every bit a prince (the lowercase kind–a nice, caring gentleman).

But a paradise of twinkies and soap operas can’t last forever. Eventually their relationship will have to come into the light, like an evil twin vampire that is surely on an episode of Devour. And when the palace is through with Bex, she’s not sure she can still see herself when she looks in the mirror.

Not every love can withstand a family that changes the way you look and act to be their version of “acceptable,” and not every relationship is built to exist in front of vicious paparazzi and internet commenters. But the thing that makes Nick and Bex special is that they aren’t extraordinary. They don’t have a perfect love that can make it through anything–they have a real love that gets beat up, and is hard to hold on to, and can be full of doubts one minute and full of grace the next. Nick and Bex are not immortal, they are not angels, they are not superheroes. They are human. And that makes them perfect.

And their relationship isn’t the only great one in the Royal We. There are friendships built in college dorm rooms that last through grown-up jobs and real-life stresses. Bex’s twin sister Lacey and Nick’s brother Freddie provide some of the best support and create the worst obstacles, as siblings sometimes do. And Nick and Bex couldn’t have relationships with their fathers that were more different if they tried.

And like any great soap opera, there’s backstabbing and plotting; the sex is sexy, and sometimes scandalous; there’s sharp one-liners; and plenty of moments that made me laugh out loud and some that made me ugly cry.

The Royal We is so funny, warm, and full of life, it will be the perfect way to warm up after this dreadful winter. It comes out April 7, but you can get the first seven chapters for free right now on Amazon.

outfit for the office on a cold day


We are SO CLOSE to the beginning of the end of winter, but unfortunately we’re not there yet. I finally replaced my snow boots with these from Macy’s, and I like them very much, but in cold weather you’ll need an additional liner or extra-warm socks. This outfit helped me stay warm in the office with lots of layers, a warm sweater, and fleece-lined tights.

Boots are from Macy’s, sweater from Penney’s, purse from Target, black button up is DKNYC. It’s another gray day here today but I hope it’s sunny and warm where you are.

Also, if you want to sign up for my newsletter on books, tv, stuff I think is cool, and couples I’m currently shipping, you can right here!

rae’s newsletter


I would like to start a newsletter that goes straight to your inbox not more than once a week. It would be more casual than what’s on here, and mainly on what I’m reading, watching, and stuff I think is cool. More book/TV/life club-y, and less one-topic post-y.

I am still going to be posting regularly on here, and the newsletter will not be the same thing twice because I don’t want to bore you to death. I’d love for you to give it a chance if it sounds like your thing, and you can sign up for Rae’s Newsletter right here. (Like Bob from Bob’s Burgers, I just name everything by putting my name in front of it.)

The first newsletter won’t go out for another week or so, but let’s get this party started by signing up, you know? If there’s anything you particularly want to talk about, let me know!

to do lists of the semi-adult: episode 14

to do lists of the semi-adult

Ever feel like you just can’t stand looking at another baby picture on your Facebook news feed? Not me and Jewels. We LOVE baby pictures and want to see all of them. We also like pet pictures, food pictures, screenshots of texts, and basically any kind of snippet into your life. And if we don’t want to see it, that’s cool, we’ll just skip it or follow someone else, no worries.

In this ep, Jewels and I tackle what we document on social media, and what we do to document personal life for ourselves. We have both used Project Life, which is an easy, flexible scrapbooking system. You can see some of our project life spreads hereherehere and here. I also keep a file on my computer desktop where I stash pictures I like when I happen to see them, and then occasionally I’ll upload the whole folder to a picture printing service and print them all.

We also worry about keeping up with digital storage, and Jewels mentioned, a service for keeping your digital photo files safe. (There are apparently a ton of companies that offer this kind of service.)

I like to keep a sketchbook for personal documenting and journaling every day stuff, and Jewels uses her planner to write to journal a little bit, too.

In the lighting round, I talk about the amazing book The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, who run Go Fug Yourself, and Jewels is reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. This week I was cooking with Blue Apron again and Jewels made beef and mushroom stroganoff meatballs.

Also, everyone should buy this Stila liquid eyeliner from Sephora, if you’re into liquid eyeliner or thinking about being into liquid eyeliner. It is the best.

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or by using our feed link. You can also always find them on my Podcast page. You can find me right here at Rae’s Days, on Instagram, and on Twitter. Jewels is at Oven Lovin, on Instagram, and on Twitter.

vin from mistborn, in her mistborn cloak


Vin from Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy is a great leading lady to start off my year of leading ladies (one of my New Year’s resolutions was to read more books by and starring women).

Sanderson uses clothing to distinguish his characters and their emotional states–which is pretty much how clothing works in real life, too. I’ve drawn Vin before, when she was at a ball, but this Vin is in her Mistborn cloak and in her element.

Vin has used disguises her whole life to disappear into something less threatening so that people will overlook her. But her Mistborn cloak lets everyone know that she is special–and dangerous. She isn’t hiding her power anymore, she is embracing the part of herself. In her cloak, Vin is the Heir of the Survivor, possibly the Hero of Ages, and the Savior of Luthadel.

But, of course, that isn’t all she is. She also loves wearing dresses, and she is in love with Elend, and she cares for her friends. She is many things, and embracing one side of her doesn’t erase the rest of herself.

My drawing is ink and watercolor, and here’s a (very short!) slideshow of it coming to life.

My other posts on Mistborn are: