Welcome to CUP OF TEA, a bi-monthly post/newsletter where I highlight some of the best content I’ve found on the World Wide Web over the week(s). From inspiration, to intriguing articles, things I find amusing (re: my odd sense of humor), and the quirkiest social trends. Just my cup of tea.
It’s been a while, so a bit of a lengthier post today!
- Thank You, Cancer is one of the most beautiful articles I’ve ever read by the late Shalin Shah, who lost his battle with a rare form of sarcoma cancer just this past May. Shah was only 22 years old, a wise and loving soul, and was in training for a two-year service with the Peace Corps when he was first diagnosed. His widow, Frances, is a friend of a friend whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting once, very briefly. Forever changed by this personal experience with terminal cancer, Frances Shah is continuing her husband’s legacy by also joining the Peace Corps. Read about her experience with faith, her search for beauty and happiness, and the heart-wrenching way she has dealt with grief–on her personal blog here. (Yes, I ugly cried.)
- For the digital business-minded, The Art of The Follow-Back is a really interesting read; talks about the whole “follow for follow” thing and “brand marketing” that dominates social media these days, and Instagram’s newest Twitter-like feature, which lets you know if someone is following you or not. My biggest takeaway? “Social platforms are changing how people interact with each other, and this shift is important for marketers to understand these behaviors when developing new ways to reach their audience and foster community.” How do we create community? We connect, whether that’s through engaging content, social media haggling, or the art of the hashtag… what’s important is that your followers/consumers are getting value, and that’s what will keep them coming back. (PS. I love free things soooo… HubSpot and Iconosquare is offering a FREE downloadable eBook right now: How To Use Instagram for Business – how to get followers, build your audience, set goals, and measure success! Downloading right now as I type!)
- Teenagers these days are weird little brand geniuses and tech-savvy adults, who say gibberish like “it’s lit” and “yaaaaassss.” (Back in my day, we had predictive text aka. “T9,” and used IMEEM & Xanga! Okay, does anyone even remember Imeem?)
- Also, it’s that glorious time of year again–last week, I binge-ate two boxes of GIRL SCOUT COOKIES. Thin Mints, to be exact. And this LA Times article has just informed me that for the best possible earthly experience of these heavenly cookies, I should pair them with wine. Brunello, to be exact. (*mind blown*) Also, the writer likes her Thin Mints straight out of the freezer…let’s be friends.
- If you haven’t seen SNL’s brilliant take on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, educate yourself and do it. Now. (Okay, please?)
- Because we’re two months into 2016, and everyone needs some encouragement.
- Fellow foodies! Zagat posted a really interesting report on “The State of American Dining,” which looks at food trends in major cities across the nation. For instance, the least generous restaurant tippers are in San Antonio, while the cheapest eats are found in Detroit and Minneapolis. Italian remains the most popular cuisine in the US, while the trendiest ingredient is, still, sriracha. And the survey affirms that Americans really like to Snapchat their food–over half (54%) of foodies in Los Angeles have no problem with pulling out their cellphone at dinner; in moderation, of course.
- Speaking of Snapchat, here’s some “key” advice from the Success King himself, DJ Khaled.
- “We’ve seen the Bro. We haven’t seen an Asian Bro.” – Actress/comedienne Rachel freaking Bloom is just the coolest person in the world. She did a recent interview with The Daily Beast where she talks about her award-winning CW show, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” and its commitment to better representation and diversity on mainstream television. The show reflects where Bloom grew up in Southern California, and I’d agree, the West Covina setting where I grew up is also pretty accurate. Rachel says:
I think diversity is simultaneous with telling new stories because, I don’t know, “White People Hanging Out in a Coffee Shop” has been done. Diversity is just more artistically interesting to me because you’re in new territory and the whole purpose of making art, in my head, is to explore topics that haven’t been explored. We’re a nation of immigrants. That’s what being an American is.
(Side-note: Read my exclusive interview with the Filipino-American actor on this show, Vincent Rodriguez III! This dude was so cool to talk to, and he’s making TV history!)
- The very real struggle for taco-lovers, and the very, very simple solution.
- Have you heard of the Mod Notebook? It’s brilliant, from the concept to the online launch to the product itself. It syncs all your notes online so that you always have access. It’s a bit pricey ($29 + shipping), but it ships out the next day and is incredibly versatile for something as simple as, well, a notebook. I probably wouldn’t recommend it for students, but maybe for freelancers or traveling business-folk, or people with a lot of thoughts and feels (I’m lookin’ at you, memoir and book writers). And for an even MORE fun and versatile notebook, check out Rekonect!
- Breakout star: Jordan. Fisher. in. Grease. Live. (I know he’s 21, okay…) Oh, and speaking of Grease…
- Yep, today is #ThrowbackThursday, but it is also Facebook’s 12th birthday, so they did a really neat thing and made it “Friends Day,” taking certain nostalgic photos/posts from your timeline and compiling into a cute little video of you and your friends. Yay friends!
- I have this thing with reading multiple books at the same time. I tend to start reading a new book without finishing the others first, and I have no idea why. Regardless, here’s a brief list of what I’m devouring currently:
– The Emotionally Healthy Woman, by Geri Scazzero
– Beautiful Mercy, by Pope Francis, Matthew Kelly, & Dynamic Catholic
– The Name of God is Mercy, by Pope Francis (my first free Audible book, and because Pope Francis, duh.)
– Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes (they just released the movie trailer for this & I already know I’m going to ugly cry, it’s fantastic)
– The Comprehensive ENFP Survival Guide, by Heidi Priebe (because over the past few months I’ve been obsessed with personality type)
- A single photo can take you back to a specific memory, a time, a place, a person. At last, I’m saying goodbye to 2015 with a more personal memoir-type project that I started in the beginning of last year, thanks to the editing app VSCO. Here, for your photo aesthetic viewing pleasure: