Good Stuff!

Hello, Smarties! Welcome back to Good Stuff, our link round-up chock full of things to be happy about. It's Friday, the weekend's a breath away, and it's time to get this party started right? Y'all want this party started quickly, right?


1. If Martha Wash were available to shout-motivate me every day, I'd accomplish a lot more.

2. Remember when dancing used to look like aerobics? And now aerobics looks like dancing? WHOA.

1. You can bet your feminist hineys that I'm going to be purchasing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's newest book Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions the very second after I finish this post. This book supports Adichie's goal of "moving us toward a world that is more gender equal," a movement I think we can all get behind. Adichie wrote the book in response to a friend's request for advice on how to raise her (the friend's) daughter as a feminist. And, although it is explicitly NOT a parenting book, I don't know how I'll read it without happily treating it as such.

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Need a hit before you can run out and pick up the book? Here. Enjoy Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's excellent TED Talk, "We Should All Be Feminists." It'll get you through until you're reading along with me.

2. So, this piece is from 2014, but feels especially relevant this week of International Women's Day. Here we have Pamela Clark's "35 Practical Steps Men Can Take To Support Feminism." It's full of real, actionable, hands-on ways for men to turn their ideological feminism into practical, living feminism.

Because, bros, you can believe in women's equality all you want, but if you're still assuming that your female partner's going to fold all the laundry, or your mom's going to plan Christmas, or you only consume media produced by men, or you think feminism is a "women's issue," THEN YOU'RE NOT A GODDAMNED FEMINIST.

Here. Read this. Do what it says. You'll be better for it. We'll all be better for it.

AMIRITE? Dudes! Get your goddamned kids to help pick up, too! (Image Source)

3. I know this is going to shock you all, but did you know that I LOVE Moana? You know the movie about a scrappy teenage girl of color finding her own heroism in a battle to revive her ecofeminist utopian island nation through love and understanding? The one whose soundtrack heavily features Lin-Manuel Miranda? And whose comic foil to Moana's earnestness is voiced by my longtime pretend boyfriend, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson? The one - and only - Disney tale that neither includes, nor needs a romantic subplot because, holy shit, saving the world is plot enough for any good movie? That one?

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I know it's not new. In fact, it's out on DVD now. But I still can't get enough of it. So, I'm totally indulging the girls (HAHAHAHAHAHA! WE ALL KNOW I'M REALLY INDULGING MYSELF!) by listening to the excellent Moana soundtrack on repeat, playing with our fantastic Moana Lego set, and looking forward to buying this set, too, which features a working fish rotisserie.

WORKING. FISH. ROTISSERIE. Swear to Te Fiti, it's true.

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We're all enjoying a deep, obsessive dive here. My littlest, most evil child is planning on dressing up as a kakamora, one of the movie's coconut-shell-wearing pirate antagonists, and I've got a Tamatoa costume idea I'm working up. In our free time not occupied by other Moana-based pursuits, we've been enjoying videos featuring the movie's stars online. This one's a goodie, if you're also inclined to join us in our enthusiastic madness. It shows the interesting behind-the-scenes process of recording, along with the actual stars of the movie. If you're 4, 7, or, you know, 38, and into the movie at all, this is worth a watch.

For those of you who missed Auli'i Cravalho's performance of "How Far I'll Go" from the Oscars, you need to watch this. It'll give you chills.

4. In 2014, Leanne Brown launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the publication of her cookbook, Good and Cheap, whose premise is to teach readers how to eat well on the monetary equivalent of the USA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The book functions on the assumption that readers can afford only $4.00 per person per day for food, the daily allowance for SNAP recipients.

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The book is available from all the usual places (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.) and used to be available on Brown's website, where buyers could also donate copies to SNAP recipients, nutrition programs, food pantries, and the like. Now, even better, PDF's of the book are available for free for all who need or want the recipes and tips for eating well and cheaply featured in the book.

So that's all great, and good for folks who depend on SNAP, and generous, and all that. But what I really want to talk about right now is chana masala. Specifically, the chana masala on page 93 of Good and Cheap, because PEOPLE, it is delicious, extremely easy to make, and goes from ingredients to dinner in about a half an hour. We've been on a real chana masala kick in our house these days, and my Smartner and I have been sharing it once a week for the past month or so. (The girls aren't fans, but that's because they don't know any better, not because it's not delicious.) If you like excellent food with a social conscience and an eye toward budgeting, I highly recommend this book and this meal.

And there you have it, Smarty readers! I hope you enjoy this good stuff as much as I have been! Happy weekend!