Leisurely reads. Quirky tips. Meet your weekend BFF with the lowdown on the coolest art, culture, food, travel, TV shows, music and more.
Nov 20, 2021
What does the perfect day off look like? Today, we take a stab at crafting one, mixing up a classic childhood tradition with some Japanese anime, sipping on fizzy gin and Hawaiian beers, visiting an Indian thrift store you can peruse from anywhere in the world and some physical (and mental) fitness to top it all off. Because we’re cool like that, we’ll even tuck you in with some cozy ways to get a perfect night’s sleep. Welcome to the Weekender. I will be your guide today, so please keep your hands and feet inside at all times … Just kidding! On this ride, you get to sprawl out as much as you like.
--Based on reporting by Joshua Eferighe
Your Morning Dose of Happiness
1 - Waking Up is Better with Cartoons
Lying in bed on sleepy mornings, watching cartoons ungroomed and without a care in the world, was once a sacred childhood ritual. So for our perfect weekend, it only makes sense to bring it back, right? If you’ve been out of the animation game, Aggretsuko is the way to go. The Japanese anime is a spin-off of the famous Hello Kitty character Retsuko, who, in this telling, is a shy red panda miserable at her desk job. At night, though? Well, that’s when Retsuko transforms into a death metal karaoke superstar. Escape your workday blues with these trippy three seasons on Netflix.
2 - Rise and Shine
Of course, some of you may not be content staying in bed. Early risers should consider joining yogi Adriene Mishler and her dog, Benji, for some sunrise yoga — although don’t fret if you’re reading this late, as her workouts are all archived online. The routine is 15 minutes of basic stretches and strengthening exercises for all skill levels. The actress and co-owner of Practice Yoga Austin founded Yoga With Adriene to make the benefits of yoga accessible to all with her free, high-quality sessions on YouTube. The entrepreneur also provides a monthly themed calendar with an accompanying playlist to make joining her online community of 10 million-plus even more appealing.
3 - Sweets for Breakfast
You can choose to eat right. Or you can embrace the weekend … by tossing out all thoughts of responsibility. If you are of the latter camp like me, then consider sleeping in and then crunching down on a bowl of Twinkies for breakfast. Yep, there’s a cereal for that. At nearly 200 calories per bowl, your diet may not appreciate this wake-up call. But while the mind may be strong, the flesh is weak, and these bite-size mini Twinkies are a delightfully surreal treat. Pick them up at Walmart.
Getting Out of the House
1 - A Surreal Experience
Staying inside on the weekends should be a crime. But if you’re in a region where lockdown measures are still in place, virtual options abound. I suggest exploring the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Spain. With a layout and vision crafted by the surrealist Salvador Dalí himself, this museum is home to the single largest and most diverse collection of his work, ranging from holograms and sculptures to other artifacts representing his artistic journey. Among the many offerings are some of his most famous, such as Port Alguer, The Spectre of Sex-Appeal and Soft Self-Portrait With Grilled Bacon. Not in Spain? Check out the virtual tour here.
2 - Thrift Like a Boss
Ah, the chaos of the thrift store — a weekend staple. Any professional bargainer knows a trip to the resale store is a mission where your only assignment is to find deals and make it back safely to your family. While COVID has stripped this bargaining affair away in the physical sense, some store owners shifted online. One particularly fantastic one is the Indian-based online thrifting treasure The Fine Finds. Founded by Bengaluru-based entrepreneur Aparna Balasubramanian, you can find vintage options from ’60s-style floral patterns to jersey dresses popular in the aughts. Leave the anxiety behind this time — just go to Instagram for some stress-free shopping.
3 - Time for Brews
Let’s face it, if you’re living in Hawaii, every day is a weekend. But a tour around Maui Brewing Co. will give even paradise a new edge. Beyond having a restaurant with fresh local food, beer tastings and souvenirs, this brewery is an island gem known for its unique flavors, such as the Pineapple Mana Wheat and the Pau Hana Pilsner. Not in Hawaii but wishing you were? Maui’s brews are in the mainland too — just put your ZIP code into this form and find the perfect restaurant or store selling the types of sips that will make you dance a hula and shout “Aloha!”
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All You Need for a Night In...
1 - Dinner Done Right
With this recipe, there’s no excuse not to get a little creative in the kitchen. Shakshouka (also known as chakchouka) is a perfect entrée to experiment with, because it’s easy, fast and filling. The Israeli dish calls for pepper, onions, tomatoes and eggs, seasoned with rich, tangy spices of cumin, paprika and chili pepper. Usually served for breakfast, the recipe is so tasty you’ll find yourself craving it even in the dead of night.
2 - The Perfect Read
The golden hours are the perfect time to cozy up with a book. We recommend When My Name Was Keoko, a work of historical fiction about Sun-hee and her older brother Tae-yul, who lose their identity — their language, flag, customs, even their names — when Korea comes under Japanese occupation. With family as her only sense of normalcy, Sun-hee is shocked when her brother enlists in the Japanese army to serve in World War II. Written by Linda Sue Park, this book is not for the faint of heart.
3 - A Nightcap to End Your Day
This thick, foamy cocktail can pass as a milkshake with its souffle-like finish, thanks to its egg white and heavy cream build. Named the Ramos Gin Fizz after Henry Charles “Carl” Ramos, who invented it in New Orleans back in 1888, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well the gin, citrus and club soda complement some of those less traditional additions. The best part? You can easily make this from the comfort of your home.
1 - Unwind with a Documentary
This may be the only documentary that actually wants to put you to sleep — and you’ll be glad it did. TheScience of Sleep is a wonderful deep dive into the troubling effects of everything from sleep apnea to insufficient rest, exploring the causes of sleep problems in order to discover the solutions to stave them off. Led by Dr. Michael Smith, director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at Johns Hopkins University, it’s currently airing on CuriosityStream, a fascinating new streaming platform with thousands of nonfiction films and series covering everything from food and animals to space exploration.
2 - Purify Your Space
Your bedroom is your sanctuary, a place of refuge. So there’s no enjoying a good weekend with it in a funk. Air purification systems remove allergens, dust and other particles that make breathing difficult. But more than just cleaning up your air, these devices give your space an energy boost too. Samsung’s Cube Smart Air Purifier is wind-free and virtually silent, making it a seamless decor addition. A couple of nights breathing this and you’ll never want to sleep without one again.
3 - Rest Easy, Side Sleepers
Life can be painful if you’re a side sleeper. Pillows don’t naturally fit between your head and shoulder, leaving your neck slouching all night as a result. And while folding the pillow can work, who feels like doing bedtime origami? This contour memory foam side sleeper from Bed Bath & Beyond provides support that also cradles your head, solving those restless nights. Ain’t nobody got time for turning and tossing on their day off.
4 - Better Sleep, Better Life
There’s now a much easier way to fend off the Sandman. This SmartSleep light therapy lamp by Philips is designed to guide you to the best rest possible, using built-in sensors that monitor your bedroom’s temperature, noise, light and humidity levels to recommend your best sleep setting. Fall asleep with its light-guided breathing program and wake up naturally with its colored sunrise. Don’t you feel more serene just reading about it?
Quote of the Day
“Cheers to the freakin' weekend.’’ - Rihanna
What’s your favorite way to spend your Saturdays? Share your thoughts, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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