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On a High Note: Vol. 11

Happy Monday, friends! 

I hope you’re feeling refreshed after the weekend! It’s time for another edition of On a High Note: A Monday roundup of inspiring, lighthearted and/or helpful snippets and ideas to try, read, make, cook, drink, do, and so on!

Got your morning (or afternoon) cup of coffee? Good! Read on as Kendall and I dive into this week’s highlights! 

On a High Note: Vol. 11

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Homegoing, Yaa Gyassi 

On a High Note: Vol. 11

“I started and finished this book over the past week and finished it yesterday. Without a doubt, I can say it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. An incredibly powerful illustration of the mark slavery left on America. It follows the descendants of an Asante woman and her two daughters (half-sisters, who aren’t aware of the other’s existence). One daughter is married off to a British white man involved in the Gold Coast slave trade, the other daughter captured and enslaved, held in the very same castle in which the other sister lives in luxury, before being sent to America. The story spans over 200 years, through modern-day, each chapter shifting to a new generation and new character. 

“No novel has better illustrated the way in which racism became institutionalized in this country.” –Vogue 

Currently on backorder via, but available via (also benefits local bookstore of your choice!) Also in stock at Amazon.” ––Jess 

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Mental Health Reminders to Rely on in Difficult times

On a High Note: Vol. 11

Photo via Wit & Delight, by Frederico Pompeu on Unsplash

“If you had to describe 2020 in one word, which word would you choose? Yea, I have no idea either. Challenging, horrifying, grateful, important, enlightening, and transformative all come to mind, as do a million others. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the emotions that accompany this year, check out this article via Wit & Delight on mental health reminders to rely on it difficult times. While mental health is always important, it’s imperative to check in with yourself and your feelings during the most trying of times.”  — Kendall 

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“Happy Hits” on Spotify 

On a High Note: Vol. 11

“If you need to get out of a music rut and want something happy and totally dance-worthy, I just stumbled upon Spotify’s Happy Hits playlist and there are so many fun summery mixes on it! (For someone who never listens to the radio anymore, I was also introduced to a lot of new songs I’d never heard before! ???? #oldlady) Perfect for playing in the background while you’re working and also upbeat enough for a socially distanced happy hour!” –Jess 

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Zippy Orzo Summer Salad

Zippy Orzo Summer Salad

“How fresh and flavorful does this salad from Pinch of Yum look?! Summer 2020 will be full of picnics and al fresco dining so I’ve been on the lookout for fun, packable recipes that will be tasty on the go. Looking forward to pairing this one with a tall glass of lemonade and finding a grassy spot at the park to enjoy!” — Kendall  

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Love Notes Fragrances

Love Notes Fragrances

“I placed a big Love Notes order after discovering them via Friday’s post “30 Black-Owned Businesses + Brands to Shop Today!” All-natural, custom scented soy candles, they’ll be perfect for summer nights outside and for pick-me-up gifts for friends and family! I think we can all use some extra TLC right now”! — Kendall  

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Birkenstock “Eva” Waterproof Sandals 

Birkenstock "Eva" Waterproof Sandals 

I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW. WHO AM I? I’ve jumped into biker shorts, tie-dye, and now BIRKENSTOCKS!? Who knew quarantine would make me so trendy? I think this all stems from both valuing comfort even more than usual, and just embracing all the fun. ???? I just purchased the Birkenstock “Eva” sandals–which are only $45 and they’re made of this waterproof foam material. I need waterproof sandals for summer (especially with our camping trip to Michigan coming up!) so I decided these were a good pair to try out to “dip my toe” into the whole Birkenstock thing, so to speak. Are they ugly? Yes. Are they ugly cute? I’m getting there. I ordered them from Zappos (3 day shipping, yay!) so I’ll let you know how I like them come Wednesday! 

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Understanding Environmental Racism and How to Fight It 

Understanding Environmental Racism and How to Fight It 

“I found this Q&A with pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha via Goop equal parts horrifying and uplifting. Hanna-Attisha exposed the widespread lead contamination that poisoned so many residents in Flint, Michigan, back in 2015. While I’m sure you’re all aware of the situation in Flint, her book details how it happened, why it continued to happen, how it finally stopped, and what we can all do to help fight environmental racism. Here’s an excerpt from the piece: 

‘The Flint water crisis is one of the most emblematic examples of environmental racism, and lead contamination is a long-standing example of what environmental racism means and how it works,’ Hanna-Attisha says. “Lead is an irreversible neurotoxin that can adversely impact the developing brains of children, setting communities back for generations.’

Despite the staggering realities of systemic racism that she’s confronted in her work, Hanna-Attisha is, in her own words, forever an optimist: She believes we can prevent environmental contaminants from having lasting impacts on our nation’s most vulnerable communities. That change begins with education and activism.” — Kendall 

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Aloha Spreads Coconut Peanut Butter

Aloha Spreads Coconut Peanut Butter

“You’ve seen me talk about this coconut peanut butter from Aloha Spreads on Instagram stories before, but I just placed another bulk order and had to share again on the chance you missed it. (FYI, they also have almond butter, but the peanut is better!)

THE WORLD needs to taste the joy that is this peanut butter! I first was introduced to it by my friend Kai when I visited her in San Diego. She gets it at her local farmer’s market, so I had to buy some to bring home. I was in a deep despair when I ran out, but it turns out, they also sell online!

The only ingredients in it are coconut and peanuts. No added sugars! I don’t know HOW they make it taste so good, but they do. A little piece of the San Diego Farmer’s Market in your kitchen!

(FYI, if you order the 6 pack, it’s free shipping! Believe me, you’ll want to stock up, plus, they make the best little gifts to spread (hehe, get it?) a little joy to a friend or neighbor!” –Jess 

Happy Monday, everyone! Cheers to the week ahead! ❤️