Monthly Favorites / June 2024

Anna R.
July 1, 2024

June was definitely something. I’m exhausted. After a month packed with pride events, a new friend visiting Chicago, and a rather unfortunate and emotional round of layoffs at my corporate job (I wasn’t impacted), I’m ready for a long nap. But I’m keeping it moving with the return of my monthly playlists (check out July’s here) and the launch of my email newsletter (subscribe here). I’ll also be going off the grid a bit in Michigan—well, as off the grid as I care to get. I’ll most definitely still have Wi-Fi. With that, here are some of my favorite things from this last month!

Left Image: A hand holding a black wallet with a gold buckle logo. The background shows a display of various other wallets in different colors, including red, yellow, and blue. Center Image: A pair of black flats with red flower designs and pointed toes, alongside another pair of black woven flats. A red arrow points to the flowered flats with the text "THE FLATS IN QUESTION." Right Image: A person in a video store browsing DVDs. The store has red shelves filled with DVDs, and the walls are decorated with posters of horror movies, including "Halloween" and "The Crazies." The person is wearing a silver tank top, black skirt, and sneakers, holding a checkered bag.

Things I Wore & Loved

Ferragamo Gancini Wallet
A few months ago, I got myself a new wallet for my birthday. I’m pretty picky about wallets because I want something practical yet compact. I was looking for something that could hold about 8-10 cards as well as cash and another small trinket. I ended up falling in love with this wallet. Its bold red leather lining feels really authentic to me while also making the wallet feel more elevated.
Woven Flats

I love a good flat in the warmer months. I love this pair from Anthropologie because they strike a good balance between comfort and classic style. I took them to my cobbler a few months ago to have the insides dyed black, which cost around $13, but I feel like it elevates the shoes so much more. I can’t stand the beige insoles that many sandal brands use; they draw too much attention to the shoe. These shoes also move pretty well throughout the day—they’re sturdy but still flexible enough.
Vans Checked Fanny Pack

I love a fanny pack, and this one from Vans is my actual favorite. It’s huge—legitimately bigger than some of my purses. I can fit my wallet, a mini brush, makeup, headphones, a full-size perfume, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a few other things in there. It also fits a wide range of sizes. I’m around size 16, and I still have half the strap left to adjust, so trust me, it’s big-bitch approved.

Left Product: A stick of SheaMoisture Even Tone Antiperspirant Deodorant with Vitamin C and Niacinamide. The product has a copper-colored container with text indicating it provides 48-hour sweat and odor protection. Center Product: A bottle of Vacation Chardonnay Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen Oil. The bottle is amber-colored with a blue cap and features a palm tree design. The label describes it as "clean, lightweight & refreshing" and water-resistant for 80 minutes. Right Product: A bottle of Montagne Parfums Eau Matcha fragrance. The clear glass bottle has a silver cap and a white label with black text that includes notes of matcha tea, fig, and cedar. The label also states that the perfume is handcrafted in NYC.

Beauty Products I Loved

Shea Moisture Deodorant
Very intimate, I know, but I switched deodorants (a very big deal for insufferable people), and I really enjoy this one. I usually just use some very low-grade men’s deodorant but found it to be a formula I no longer cared for. I’ve tried some higher-end all-natural stuff as well, but didn’t care for it. I’m Greek; I need the chemicals.
Vacation Sunscreen Oil

A moisturizing, shiny oil with sunscreen—how could I not love it? I love literally anything Vacation puts out.
Eau Matcha by Montage Perfumes

Listen, I’m normally a perfume purist (rebranded snob) and only stick to the real thing. But the price on this was too good to pass up. This scent is inspired by Le Labo’s Matcha 26, one of my all-time favorites! Eau Matcha has notes of fig, matcha, cedar, vetiver, and orange. Honestly, I can’t smell enough of a difference between the two. The dry down on Eau Matcha is a bit more figgy and almost creamy. However, I’d still say this is by far the best dupe I’ve ever smelled—99% similar, for like a fourth of the price! Highly recommend!

Left Image: A plate of sandwiches, including cucumber sandwiches with thin slices of cucumber and cream cheese on white bread, and other sandwiches with a different filling, possibly egg salad, also on white bread. Right Image: A bowl of ice cream with three scoops in different flavors, placed on a small plate with two spoons beside it. The setting includes a warm, dim light from a nearby red candle on a checkered tablecloth.

Things I Ate & Drank

Chicken Curry Sandwich
I’ve been obsessed. I made some for a tea party I recently hosted and have been trying to find ways to work it into my meal plan ever since. I fear I have a new hyper-fixation food. Move over, BLTs.
Pingpong Restaurant

I was fortunate enough to entertain a new friend, and we went here for dinner, mostly because it’s right across from my favorite Chicago bar, Wang’s (get the lychee martini and Grey Gardens cocktail). Both have impeccable offerings and a cozy, laid-back atmosphere. We had a number of dishes, including peanut noodles and salmon, all of which were delicious. I ended up getting takeout from Ping Pong again a few days later after a round of layoffs at my company. I was obviously still sad, but it made things a little better. As you might be able to tell, it was so good I didn’t even bother taking pictures.

Listen, spumoni is the best ice cream out there.

Top Left Image: A young person standing under a large, colorful parachute with alternating pink, purple, and white sections. They are wearing a striped shirt and looking to the side while other people in the background hold the parachute. Bottom Left Image: Five cheerleaders lying on the grass in a star formation, heads together and feet outward. They are wearing blue and white uniforms with star designs and are smiling at the camera. Right Image: A green square with the word "brat" written in lowercase black letters in the center.

Media I Consumed

I Saw the TV Glow Movie and Soundtrack
I have been utterly obsessed with this movie and soundtrack. In many ways, this movie fundamentally rewired part of my brain. There are so many different parts of the movie to connect with. Personally, it made me process the idea of always feeling othered and weird. For a large portion of my life, I’ve always felt different from even some of the people I feel closest to. There are a lot of reasons for that, which I don’t care to go into at the moment. But in short, this movie really helped me make some type of peace and understanding of my need to mask and suppress this loneliness and otherness I feel. For the first two weeks after this movie, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. There are just a lot of really unique and meaningful moments in it. Also, in case it isn’t clear, this is very much a Trans and Queer movie—VERY, VERY much so. It’s horror, sure, but more the horror of repressing a fundamental part of your identity. The soundtrack is also really special, deeply nostalgic for any kid of the 90s. Please, if I can persuade you to do one thing, let it be to watch this movie.
America’s Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders

This show (documentary?) made me both ragingly angry and just a bit aroused. Listen, I’m no better than a man, and seeing a hot woman jump in the air and land into a split is objectively really hot. That being said, there are clearly a ton of issues with the organization in the form of racism and extreme exploitation. I think the show does a really good job of painting the complexity and sacrifice a lot of the performers go through to make the team and attain their dreams—sacrifice, in all honesty, I don’t know if they should have to make. Lots of complex feelings about this show.

Duh, babe, did you not think this was going to be on the list? Be for real. It’s been on repeat nonstop. “Apple” and “Sympathy Is A Knife” have been two particular favorites of mine. My brat summer is loading.

Things I Read

Can We Watch Reality TV Guilt Free? Emily Nussbaum Has the Answer for You
On Text Messaging, My Greatest Creative Inspiration

Red Tape Is Making Hospital Ransomware Attacks Worse

The Age Of The Drone Police Is Here

The Legacy of Saint Cecilia

Who’s Afraid Of Skibidi Toilet

Things I Wrote 

Faggy Fragrances: Complete List of Top Picks for Every Type of Scent
Notes on Femme: Beauty, Power, and Resilience
Queer Tech History / Audrey Tang

Left Image: A person wearing an orange shirt walking toward an underpass decorated with a vibrant mural. The mural features various artistic designs, and the sky above is filled with scattered clouds. Center Image: A circular logo for the "Heart of Chicago Soul Club," featuring the text "All Vinyl Rare Soul" at the top, "Heart of Chicago Soul Club" in the middle, and "Chicago, Illinois" at the bottom. The logo has red hearts and a neon-style design. Right Image: A close-up of a hand holding a gold spoon with a sugar cube, poised over a cup of tea in a leopard-print cup and saucer. In the background, there are sugar cubes, a small vase with red roses, and some pastries.

Things I Did

Chicago Mahogany Tours
I love my city. Chicago is the best city in the world and, in all honesty, where everything good originates. Chicago Mahogany Tours is led by Dilla, who you might know from TikTok. The tours focus on preserving Chicago’s often-forgotten history. So this isn’t going to be a double-decker, Sears Tower, downtown tour. These tours focus on actual Chicago neighborhoods. I’ve been on a couple of Dilla’s tours, but this month I went on the Pullman/Roseland neighborhood tour. I learned a ton while getting to see cool things. This is actually one of the few things I think you definitely should do if you’re visiting Chicago, or even if you live here.
Heart Of Chicago Soul Club

I don’t go out much because I usually find things to be overstimulating or incredibly boring. I had so much fun at the Heart of Chicago Soul Club, where they play all soul and funk vinyl. They draw a mixed crowd, and it was really refreshing to be in an intergenerational space. I felt so uninhibited here—it was nice to just dance and have fun and be in a space where no one really gives a fuck or is being weird.
Tea Time with Friends

As mentioned, I hosted a formal tea party this month. It was surprisingly easy to get everything together. I love being able to host—I find it so fun and a good outlet for my creative neurotic energy. I’m currently planning a DIY pizza party for July.

Other Stuff I Loved
I just want to take a moment to shout out my forever love, Pinterest. I’m currently trying to cosmetically redo my bedroom—nothing major, just some new bedding, artwork, and lighting. I’ve been using Pinterest to really help get my design brain flowing. Home decor is actually the hardest creative thing for me to envision. I can picture a lot of things for graphic design or brand design, but for some reason, my brain just breaks when it comes to home spaces. So I’ve been leaning heavily on the app to help me make something of the least attractive part of my house!


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