Your Joy Quotient Should Only Go One Direction

Bon jour Dames Nation!

It is we, matriarchs of another nation, the Adult Fans of One Direction, aka AFOOD Nation, Cassie Niespodziewanski and Candice Tindell! You might know us from some of our tumblr greatest hits like this 100% real dialogue from the week Zayn left, or perhaps this totally chill primer on Harry’s Big Dick Energy? You might also recall when Candice described Harry as a High Class Renaissance Venetian Courtesan. Perhaps one of Cassie’s high art doodles? Even after the boys announced their “hiatus”, we stuck around and still post about our favorite four boys. With Niall and Harry on tour for the better part of a year-and-a-half, we had plenty to melt down about. We do
so love a good fandom meltdown.

Exclusive footage of the inside of our brains when we think about 1D

If you don’t know us for screaming about four boys, we’re tickled to meet you. We first met in college theater eleven years ago, and sometime around 2009, our brains fully merged, a phenomenon we refer to as “SAME BRAIN” when we don’t just finish each other’s sentences, but say a full, original sentence completely in unison. We moved to Chicago after school and in late 2014, fell down the One Direction Rabbit Hole.

In which Harry is Harry and Niall is all of us

Our entrance to the fandom is not unlike many other stories: Cassie showed Candice a picture of Zayn’s CryBaby hair from the 2014 AMA’s, and when Candice revealed she couldn’t name any other member of One Direction besides Harry, we watched the ‘Steal My Girl’ music video so Cassie could educate her. Three hours of music videos and “1D Funny Moments” later, we were hooked.. In February of 2015, after much impassioned texting about the start of the On The Road Again Tour, we started our blog. In the four years since, we’ve met incredible people from all over the world, from right near us in Milwaukee, Germany, the UK, Australia, Malaysia, New York City, L.A., and everywhere in between. We are constantly awed by the dynamic, interesting, smart, funny, lovely women we now count among our dear friends. In April of 2018, we even travelled an ocean to see Harry twice, meet some of our favorite blog friends, and fulfill a dream of going to the UK together. We can’t imagine what our life would look like if it weren’t for One Direction, but there would be infinitely less joy... and fewer sequins.

Candice (on left) is a Niall girl but she’s also an avid reader and checks out no fewer than four books from the library at a time. She sings in a band and hopes that tricks people into thinking she’s cooler than she is. At her day job, she attempts to dismantle the patriarchy one training at a time.

Cassie (on right) is a Harry girl, but she sometimes does improv and sketch, cooks and records it on Instagram (@chasspod), and live tweets the Bachelor (@Chasspod), and is personal makeup artist to her friends and loved ones. Today is also Cassie’s actual 30th birthday, and she can’t think of any better gift than fervently gushing about her favorite things to all of you.

Links and Sundry from CANDICE!

I definitely peaked gigging at the House of Blues Chicago.

In Defense of Cake

Cake is my favorite food. But it’s January. So while many are well into their healthy resolutions, I remain steadfast in my devotion to cake.

It’s easy to see how cake got a bad reputation. Many deem it too sweet, basic, and merely a celebratory tradition on birthdays and at weddings. For me, it’s a more refined, decadent way of life. So, I’m here to remind you just how important, dare I say holy, cake is to our own history: Some regions of America can track their history in the sorted layers of their cake recipes’.  And Ruby Tandoh (of GBBO fame and fellow 1D stan) wrote a beautiful article that explores our historical relationship to sugar and it’s intersections with race, class, and sexuality. And did you know that slaves used to dress up like their master’s and mock them at cake walks?  

To get closer to cake in 2019, I recommend All About Cake by Christina Tosi (of Milk Bar infamy). It’s beautiful, decadent, and unpretentious.

Some among us claim they’re “not dessert people”. I understand that it’s a matter of taste, but my god at what cost? Life’s too short; let me eat cake.

A New Year’s Resolution

I’m a terrible cook. Okay, not totally true. I can make about six things well. But traditionally, if a recipe requires a protein other than chicken breast (I know), and more than 10 ingredients (I know, okay), I immediately bypass it. I was raised on casserole. Sue me. Luckly, my father has taken to using my parents’ kitchen like a medieval innkeep (brewing beer, bread from scratch, and cheese making etc) and introduced me to America’s Test Kitchen. Yes, unlocking everything on their website comes with a small monthly fee, but their YouTube channel is a great way to cheat the system. They have great recipes, tips, and, perhaps my favorite, product reviews. In fact, their executive editor, Lisa McManus, is so delightfully salty about underperforming kitchen tools that it feels more like you’re part of a sassy gossip session with your beloved, career-driven aunt. Oh, these idiots made the thermometer handle too short and you’ll burn yourself? Go off, Lisa.

Slather your Skin in Luxury

You know what’s great? Luxurious skin care products. You know what even better? Affordable luxurious skin care products. Look no further than The Ordinary. The only problem? The descriptions of their products are lengthy and confusing. I have in no way tried every one of their products, but here are some of my favorites.

Skin concern; fine lines and wrinkles

Retinoids are great if you know how to use them! I recommend their most gentle product which has all the same benefits of normal retinols, but isn’t as irritating. Start using once a week and work up to three times a week. You shouldn’t layer this product with Vitamin C treatments or acids. It’s a good dupe for so many products!

Skin Concern; Dullness, dark spots

Vitamin C is your friend! It’s great for skin brightening and fading dark spots over time. This product has helped fade some of my lingering acne scars. Full disclosure, Vitamin C does have a metallic smell and a stinging sensation the first couple of times you use it. Great dupe for this!

Skin Concern; Pimples, acne, redness

The Ordinary’s combination of Niacinamide and Zinc is a great, less drying alternative to salicylic acid though both can address pimples. I use the Niacinamide and Zinc when I have hormonal breakouts and my skin is red and angry. Salicylic acid and witch hazel can help with pimples and overly-oily skin. Be careful and work up to more uses a week so as not to dry out your skin. Dupe and Dupe.

For everyone; Oils and Hydration

For years, I thought that denying my skin hydration would help cure my oily skin and acne. Big Time Whoops. I recommend oils for anyone. My favorites are the Marula, Argan, and Rosehip oils. Bonus: they can also be used on things like dry hair, cuticles, and dry elbows! The Marine Hyaluronic is also a great alternative to the stickier formulation of hyaluronic acid.

Bonus Products:

I can vouch for both of their makeup primers and their caffeine solution is an instant eye de-puffer! Their lactic acid is a great way to exfoliate without using a harsh scrub and a great dupe for this cult beauty product.


Thanks a lot, Dante for completely re-shaping our idea of Hell, as explained in this New Yorker longread. Which would be one less thing to read in at least one iteration of hell.

Get Involved without Getting Overwhelmed

I work in sexual violence prevention so I know how overwhelming getting involved can feel. You don’t have to do everything, but it’s empowering to do something! Here are some good places to start: 

Links and Sundry from CASSIE!

Cassie carving her crowning culinary achievement of 2018: Momofuku’s Bo Ssäm a la Bon Appetit

As I luxuriate in the first moments of my 30s, I want to wax rhapsodic about my favorite comfort entertainment. I imagine that we all have, inside us, a box where we keep our joy. Mine is wrapped in green sparkle paper, as it happens, but the gist is: we make deposits and withdrawals of joy to this box throughout our days and lives, so it’s important to check the levels. I think of this as my Joy Quotient, and to help keep it at optimum running speed, I ingest a lot of entertainment that feels like a warm hug. If I engage with something brutal but necessary (hello: the daily news cycle), that’s a withdrawal. To make a deposit, there are go-tos I have that always add back to my joy box. Kind of like chocolate after a dementor. As the Northern Hemisphere suffers through the dark, long winter days that can sap our joy, I present some of my favorite, big return deposits. So wrap yourself in a warm throw, keep your feet snuggly, make a mug of your favorite tea, serve a bowl of your most indulgent soup, and get ready to raise your Joy Quotient!

Please, Samin, let me be your best friend and eat food around the world with you!!!

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, a four episode docu-series hosted by Samin Nosrat (based on her best-selling, James Beard award-winning book of the same name) warmed the cockles of my heart this December. Nosrat feels less like a celebrated chef (which she is, to be sure) and more like your most welcoming, sagacious friend as she travels the world to focus on what she posits are the four essential elements of cooking. Even I, a prolific crier, was surprised by how much I cried during each episode. It is as much a study of culture as a study of science, but much like an oven to focaccia,  Nosrat’s warmth transforms it into a love letter, an opus, to cooking. The beautiful simplicity of the whole show is wrapped up in her final missive: “Be Thoughtful. Be curious. And use salt, fat, acid, and heat, to guide you to delicious food. And if, for some reason, a dish doesn’t turn out well, it’s okay! You can always try again tomorrow.” Picture me weeping.

Playing House and BFF account for a solid 20% of my quote lexicon..

If you love best friends who share the same brain, you must listen to Womp It Up Podcast! It’s hosted by real life best friends Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair who you might remember from their tragically short-lived NBC sitcom Best Friends Forever or their incandescently charming USA sitcom Playing House (both of which you really must add to your watch-list). Parham and St Clair have been through some real shit and share a sense of playfulness and intimacy that grounds their larger-than-life characters. St. Clair plays Marissa Wompler, a high school student who “has no idea how old [she is]” and Parham plays her life-coach Charlotte “Char-Dawg” Listler. Each episode a guest comedian adds another character to their Marina Del Rey, which now reads like a deranged Stars Hollow. The belly laughs would be enough to keep me, but my favorite feature is Listler’s Love Lockdown, where “Marissa and Listler” answer fans’ big life questions. While the characters live in heightened reality, the two respond with loving, thoughtful advice so earnest it usually makes me cry. Every week is a party and a life-affirmation, and it’s such a pleasure to be invited.

Episode Starter Pack:

  1. Spotlight On: Judy Toots with Mary Holland

  2. Live from DCM with many great guests. This episode is a great intro the Marina Del Rey world

  3. Spotlight On: Chris Gainz with Jon Gabrus

  4. Spotlight On: Monty Sutton and Bront LeFleur with Jessica McKenna & Zach Reino

Moira Rose giving voice to the question most often on my mind

There’s another comedy so well balanced that it feels like a private party and I’m on the list: Schitt’s Creek. It is at once the funniest thing you've ever seen and! A family growing and learning how to love each other better and! The greatest rom-com on television. You might think they are just another clan of horrible people behaving terribly, but the citizens of Schitt’s Creek and the Rose family show how you can be flawed but still loving and worthy of love. I can’t stress enough how excellent Catherine O’hara is on this show, but really, everyone feels like your favorite character.

If you’re already on board, it came back this Wednesday! An embarrassment of riches rained on us to promote this glorious return: everyone’s favorite Sam Sanders talks to Dan Levy on It’s Been a Minute, Annie Murphy talks the ubiquity of Ew, David, and shopping with Dan Levy For David (!!!) as he talks about his ‘Baby”, and costume vision and styling with Dan Levy.

My beloved co-worker brought this Dancing Harry from Amsterdam for me. He lives on my desk. He boosts our joy quotient when it’s at critical levels,

And, in addition to these established joy enhancers, let me share a handful of fun links:

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