Aly's Newsletter: TGIF
But there's a lot of work to do this weekend...
Thought you wouldn’t make it this way, didn’t you? I know I didn’t. between the nonstop stressful news cycle and the last burst of holiday content, my brain sometimes feels like it’s ready to implode.
But it’s the weekend! Well, almost. And I do need to work this weekend, but I’m taking a few hours off tonight to have dinner with my friend Shari at a place we’ve never been before (yes, it’s a tasting in the name of journalism, but it’s still dinner with a great friend), and I am really excited for the mental reboot. And martinis. Never forget martinis. And, to be honest, the break from my newsfeed and my phone’s pop-up news alerts.
Speaking of food, and cooking (though I am NOT cooking tonight!)…a few nights ago, I was on a group text with my friends Amber and Lisa, and we were talking about cooking, and cooking comfort zones. I mentioned that rice — something pretty simple for many people — was something of a cooking blind spot for me. I try, but I often mess it up, and it gets frustrating for me. Even though conceptually, it’s really simple, somehow I sometimes miss the boat.
So, I pledged that I was going to practice until I feel more comfortable making it, and last night I made a non-dairy spin on risotto that involved sauteeing in some garlic spinach and mushrooms along with lots of other herby and aromatic goodness. It’s on my Instagram stories if you want to check out the recipe and how it turned out before it expires!
But I share this not as a humble brag about me doing well at something I’m not generally all that good at, but as a challenge to everyone for this weekend, try to do something that intimidates you just a little. That can be trying to cook something you normally have trouble with, trying a new workout, calling that person you are crushing on but feeling shy about, or anything else you don’t feel confident in but really wish you did feel that way. You may surprise yourself!
Here's what I'm working on this weekend and into next week.
For Forbes.com, I'm still accepting pitches for dessert cocktails. This can be hot cocktails (say, a boozy hot cocoa) or cold (like an espresso martini) but I'd love it if it has some sort of festive nature for the season. Each cocktail pitched to me for this MUST include the following to be considered: Name of bar/restaurant (hotel bars/restaurants are fine too), location, URL, description (don't need a recipe), quote from bartender/bar manager (please remember to include their name and title), and image of the cocktail.
For Forbes.com, I'm also looking for tips for planning your And Just Like That..SATC reboot viewing party. Open to cocktail suggestions, set up, etc. If you have an expert to quote, please have them email me!
For SPY.com, I am looking for pitches for all of the following:
a - best cookware sets to gift this holiday.
b - best 4-slice toasters. I'm aiming to stick to major retailers for this one, like Amazon, Walmart, etc, but am also open to specialty retailers with really fun models.
c. Edible gift ideas. As a variety of people with a variety of interests are going to be reading this, I want to include a variety of types of options ... Lower cost to luxury, so stuff like Edible Arrangements, Harry & David, Godiva, but also fun different things like Fly By Jing sets.
d. Best Turkish towels to gift this holiday season. I actually was just sent a gorgeous Turkish bathrobe and honestly if it was a towel I'd be wrapping myself in it daily.
e. Best stylish recliners. SITTING IS UNDERRATED. Looking to focus on options from Wayfair, Target, Amazon, CB2, West Elm, etc.
4. For AllRecipes, I'm rounding up the best hot food containers to take on a snow day.
5. For RetailMeNot, I’m still accepting pitches for best galentine’s gift for your BFF.
For any of these, please make sure to email firstname.lastname@example.org and start a new email thread with the assignment and the outlet it's for. As for deadline, as I always say - the sooner the better, and if I finish something early, it's done. but ideally I'd love pitches for ALL of these by Monday.
Here's what's published in the last few days:
Mariah Carey and Milk Bar Join Forces to Launch a Dreamy Holiday Cake
Chipotle Has the Perfect Gift for That Friend Who Hates Cilantro
Mariah Carey’s Cookies Are Back for Another Holiday Season
Cardi B Launches the Most Cardi B Whipped Cream
Get a Taste of The Rock’s Cheat Meals
You Need to Try Martha Stewart’s Recipe for Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies This Holiday Season
Burger King is celebrating a birthday with 37 cent Whoppers this weekend
Where to score free cookies and discounts on National Cookie Day
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Have a great afternoon (you’ll probably hear from me again this weekend, of course!)