Issue #246: mismatched sneakers, mug personalities, confetti 🎊

Friday edition: Our best recommendations for your downtime.
Issue 246 ~ November 12, 2021
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It's Peak Cozy season, and we're wishing you some moments of calm. In this series, we're sharing our best tips on gifting, recharging, and getting the most out of downtime during what can become a super hectic season.
Editor's Note

What makes a gift thoughtful?

Taking inspiration from our readers' stories.

Good morning,

Last week, we asked you to share the most thoughtful gift you've ever received. Your answers ranged from really heartfelt nostalgic things to carefully made DIYs to experiences we wish we could take part in. Here's a few that made us smile (we're taking notes!):

🕵 A gifting strategy: "For my birthday, my sister bought me a laptop/carryall bag. I had saved the link to the bag months ago on my Pinterest. She looked through my boards for gift inspiration. It was such a thoughtful gesture, and a total surprise! I'm going to use her trick going forward—easiest way to get exactly what someone wants and still have it be a surprise for them." —Patty N.

🖊️ A DIY gift: "A friend took plain stationery sheets and decorated the top of each one—she stamped my initials and added some beautiful designs at the top in gold ink. As an avid letter-writer, I found it one of the most thoughtful (and useful) gifts!" —Kelsie H.

✨ A pick-me-up for tough days: "Last Christmas, my fiancé and I had Christmas just the two of us and we only did stockings, which to us means little thoughtful or fun gifts. The BEST gift I got was my own Red Robin seasoning bottle (I am a clucks and fries aficionado). It is my favorite I-had-a-bad-day food, and now I can have it at home too." —Katie M.

🎭 An experience: "I'm that hard-to-gift-anything-to friend. I pride myself in having successfully downsized my life and I just don't want any extra things in my space. The best gift I ever received was a ticket to a show with an all-star lineup of comedians. I went with the two friends who gifted me the ticket and we laughed until we couldn't breathe anymore. I'll never forget that night!" —Shakeela N.

We'll be sharing more of your stories throughout the season, and if you want to tell us about a really great gift, you can let us know here. Thanks for the inspiration! —The GNI team

updates from HQ

  • They're here! You can now shop all of our holiday gift guides. Browse our top cozy picks, our favorite kitchen & food gifts, the very best presents under $25, and LOTS MORE. 🎁

  • A question for you! When you meet a new person for the first time—whether it is at a party, through a friend, on a date, at work, or something else—what do you like to ask them? In other words, what are the questions you like to ask to get to know someone that isn’t “What do you do?” We’d love to hear your ideas!!

  • We're hiring for a part-time remote role! We’re looking for an experienced Sales & Account Manager to join our small and scrappy team. Is it you?! Find all the details and apply here.


Got someone on your holiday list who loves journaling? Need help grounding yourself during this hectic season? These books are here to help you filter out the noise and check in with your inner self:

Sharon Jones’ bestseller and Tiktok sensation Burn After Writing has been sparking joy and confidence in its readers. With different editions to suit any mood, it’s a book for reflecting on the past and setting intentions for the future, and it’s for your eyes only. 🤫

The Alchemy of Your Dreams and The Deliberate Dreamer’s Journal by psychologist and dream expert Athena Laz are an essential guide and diary for interpreting your dreams. Pick them up for a comprehensive dictionary of dream symbols, step-by-step instructions to lucid dreaming, and ways to use these insights in your waking life.

Ready to get reflective? You can pick up these three books today!


weekly picks

this week's picks and reads were curated by Carey Polis
  • I enjoyed Kyle Lucia Wu’s writing style in Win Me Something, about a biracial Chinese American nanny of a privileged and somewhat precocious nine-year-old. Wu is great at getting at the nuance of everyday interactions.
  • Make wine shopping for your next dinner party or night in a breeze with Laithwaites. You can get a case of six expert-curated, top quality wines for $49.99 (and free shipping!). As a GNI reader, you'll also get two free 99-point Italian reds and a pair of stemless glasses. Sponsor

  • If you could use a mug that best reflects your personality, which one are you?

  • I keep thinking about two very different podcast episodes. 1) This episode on quitting from A Slight Change of Plans. It totally reframed the concept to me—it’s not about giving up, it’s about needs and expectations shifting. 2) The first episode of Storytime with Seth Rogen, all about the chance encounters that happen in our life, and how they can lead to something totally unexpected (bonus: Paul Rudd is involved, and it’s quite funny).
    • Plus, a Guest Rec from CEO and Founder of EveryStylishGirl Nana Agyemang: “I love the Relationsh*t podcast and this episode on ultimatums. It focuses on when it’s okay to give your partner another chance or not. I highly recommend it for humor and honest dating feedback.” 

  • I’m not ready to spend this much on sneakers, but I'm gonna keep staring at these deliberately mismatched ones.

  • Two heavy but very good watches: 1) “Passing says so much about race, friendship, and identity without much dialogue. You’ll walk away with more questions than answers but certainty that not everything is black and white.” —Olivia 2) If you haven’t watched Dopesick yet, all episodes are now on Hulu. It’s a heartbreaking watch, but the acting is amazing, says Mary Anne.

    • For a lighter watch, have you watched Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy? Both Alisha and Megan LOVED.

  • Because everything’s a party, here’s a confetti baking gift set that would be great for a baker in your life, and a confetti vase.

weekly reads

take action and take care

Sign up for a workshop to build better relationship boundaries. RSVP to “an intimate open mic where LGBTQ+ South Asians and Indo-Caribbeans can build friendships, connect, and enjoy poetry + music.” Pre-order a forthcoming poetry collection that celebrates trans resistance, history, and communities. Support victims and their families affected by the tragedy at Astroworld Festival.

reader ❤️ from our inbox...

"Thank you so much for Dolly Parton representation in the gift guide. This is why I’ll always open this email first on Friday mornings. The best! 💕🦋" -Ana 


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