Links & Love & Stuff: XXL Edition, With Lots Of Links That Link To…Me (Sorry)

I've been sort of busy lately. Book promotion surrounding the release date, as it turns out, involves near-daily interviews and mailings and emails and pitches and such, which has resulted in me spending a lot of time writing a lot tons of articles for sites other than this one. And so this XXL link roundup contains far too many links that relate to me personally and/or were actually written by me. I'm sorry. They're fun, though, I promise :) .


On Tiny Little Protests And Being Embarrassing

Here is me, sitting on the roof of my car somewhere along I-5, holding up signs that my son and I scrawled on the blank pages of a Melissa & Doug coloring book that we picked up at a roadside gift shop specializing in BBQ rubs and adorable wall hangings that read "Wine A Bit; You'll Feel Better."

The signs I'm holding in that photo, in case you can't read them, say "SCIENCE MATTERS" and "FACTS MATTER." My son wanted his to say "MAD SCIENCE." We had been reading about Saturday's March For Science all morning, but hadn't thought to plan ahead so we could join one. We drove through miles and miles of dusty fields on our way home from the campsite where we'd spent our weekend, trying to explain what was happening to our son via the story of the Lorax. Finally we stopped, and bought a coloring book to make signs with. Then we parked our car by the freeway off-ramp, set beach towels on the blisteringly hot roof, and I crawled up, aware that I was about to seriously embarrass myself.

Then I started yelling. Mostly call-and-response chants, because despite the fact that they don't make a whole lot of sense for a party of one, I like them.


Book: Dropped.

Aaaaaaaand: It's out! As of this morning, you can buy a copy of The Big Fat Activity Book For Pregnant People here and here and here and here. You can buy it  here and here if you live in the U.K., and here if you speak Polish, and someone is selling it on eBay (which makes no sense because it only came out two hours ago but that's okay) and someone else is making YouTube videos about it set to a way-chillaxed slow jams soundtrack. (Please be aware that that last discovery just made my day.)

In short: You can find TBFAB anywhere books are sold, both online and out there in the real world, where you have to interact with people and stuff. (Hey, remember Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail?! Go to your local bookstore and make Meg Ryan's day.)

I'm not exaggerating in the slightest when I saw that this is without a doubt my favorite project I have ever worked on. And - am I allowed to say this? - it mayyyyyyyyy also be one of the funniest books about pregnancy ever, thanks entirely to my impossibly hilarious coauthor Erin Williams, and an editorial team that was inexplicably willing to let us curse like sailors in a book about unborn babies. Also, the cover art includes Ice T, Alexander Hamilton, Sinead O'Connor, the Olympic gymnast who was Not Impressed, and that jackass who cut you off in traffic because he was talking on his Bluetooth. All of this seems to me like a very good thing.


Off The Grid

Kern River Campground | Bakersfield, California

The first thing my children do when they wake up in the morning - every morning - is ask to watch TV. The answer is virtually always no (except for on the weekends, when the answer is yes, of course; here are some Quentin Tarantino movies and Doritos; go away). But over the course of each and every day it pops up over and over again:

Can I watch Wellie Wishers? No.


Next Week In NYC: Book Tour, Whee!

For those of you in the NYC area: I wanted to post some information on what Erin and I will be up to next week, in case any of the events sound like something you'd want to come to (which obviously would make me the happiest ever).

Thursday 4/27 at 7PM: Housing Works Panel, "Writers on Pregnancy & Parenting" (Manhattan, N.Y.)

The Big Fat Activity Book For Pregnant People officially comes out next Tuesday (!!!!! dying), and on Thursday at 7pm Erin and I will be appearing at a panel at Housing Works Bookstore & Cafe (a super cool venue, for those of you who haven't been there before). We'll be there with phenomenally successful writers (and generally fascinating women) Emily Gould and Ylonda Gault Caviness to talk about what it's like to be a writer and a mother. I have a feeling it'll be a hell of a discussion, and I'd so love to see you there.


A Broccoli Salad I’ll Actually Eat (Because Bacon)

This is so much more delicious than you think it is.

I was at Mollie's house last weekend for a pre-Easter parade lunch, and MAN do she and her husband ever feed us well when we're there. (The dishes generally include a lot of mayo. I am okay with that.) Her husband made deviled eggs that were so delicious that I ended up eating my daughter's leftovers. By which I mean the leftover bites that had actually been in her mouth, and that she had decided needed to come out again. (If you are a parent, you know this is relatively normal and often your best chance of getting to eat anything over the course of the day. If you are not...sorry.) I learned that HoneyBaked Ham isn't, ham baked in honey, but an actual thing that people wait on interminably long lines to buy (and I totally get why because oh my GOD it's so good). And finally, I ate - with considerable reluctance - a broccoli salad.

When faced with a table of deviled eggs and ham (and pumpkin muffins and potato salad and mimosas), my default tactic is to skip the green stuff, lest it take up valuable space in my stomach that could otherwise be dedicated to muffin-consumption. But then I overheard Kendrick saying about Mollie's broccoli salad, "Oh wow, there's bacon in this?" and Mollie said, "Yup!" and okay fiiiiiiiiiiine if I have to, I'll try it. Reluctantly.


Podcast: Atomic Moms with Ellie Knaus

This isn't the kind of thing I normally do, but I had so much fun appearing on the Atomic Moms podcast with Ellie Knaus that I thought I'd post the entire episode for you right here, just in case you're interested in hearing the (completely uncensored) truth about my exit from the acting industry, why I think "giving up" isn't always a bad thing, why I was so catastrophically unprepared to become a mother, and more. I've done a handful of podcast appearances over the years, but this one was by far my favorite, because it reminded me that there are few things more interesting than meeting someone who forces you to go both literally and metaphorically off-script.


My (Incredibly Boring) Ranch House Got An (Incredibly Cool) Facelift

When we first moved into our house, I did a lot of work on the inside - adding entryway tile, turning a tiny bedroom into an office/playroom, adding lighting, et cetera - but aside from doing some (necessary, thanks to the drought) xeriscaping, I pretty much gave up on the house exterior. It was tan and dusty blue - with an orange-brick "accent wall" - and sure, I figured, I could paint it...but it'd still look like what it was: a more or less personality-free ranch house built in 1969. It's not the kind of house that screams, "Emphasize my architectural details and singular flair!" Because on this house, details and flair are nowhere to be found.

But still, every time I drove up to the house, it bugged me how much I disliked it. So the first thing I did was paint my door pink. This was done pretty poorly, because I did it myself, but at least it helped (a little). Then I decided that the orange brick was the next-worst spot, and my friend Erin helped me do a mortar wash on it. And then, when we had our kitchen done, I was so impressed by how excellent and affordable the painters were that I asked for a quote on painting the house, and: yes. (FYI, in case you're local: I used Proficient Painters. If you click over to their site you'll see pics of this makeover, but that's not because they did the work for a discount or anything - I just liked them a lot, so I gave them pics to use in their gallery.)

What I decided to do: give a sort of nod to the house's 1969 build date with a mod-ish color palette of white, black and pink, and then figure out a few places to add high-impact details.


The Great Impossible

No-Name Blouse (similar)  Destroyed Jeans Who What Wear Slides

Vivienne Westwood Purse Hat Attack Fedora

I'm going to call this look "Re-Emerging From Hibernation." All winter long, you know what I've been wearing? These. In public. The first time I did this my mom looked at me in mild horror and said "...But those are pajamas." Except I never wear them as pajamas, because that might mean they'll be in the laundry and I won't be able to wear them where I really want to wear them, which is everywhere, all the time. Whatever, I'm cold and my muscles have atrophied from lack of use and I've spent the past five months turning a very special shade of pale that is more or less translucent (with attractive red blotches in key spots, like on my face).


Suddenly Surrounded By Makers

There's no friend like a friend who's willing to paint with you.

I was on the phone with Francesca the other day and we were talking about my solar fountain project and my mortar brick project and the park strip redo and the bananacakes and all the other things that you can find on Ramshackle Glam lately in the category of Awesome Things I've Never Done Before, and she said, "Huh. don't really have to come up with ideas for your website anymore. You can just hang out with your friends."

This is true.