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    House Democrats are kicking off the new year by addressing climate change head-on with a new committee, but it’s not all smooth sailing yet.

    California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is expected to become the next speaker of the House, has announced that Democrats plan to form the new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis when the party majority retakes the House of Representatives in January. The committee will be chaired by Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida, who currently serves as a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

    According to Pelosi, the panel will be formed in response to the American public’s demand for action on climate change. “This committee will be critical to the entire Congress’s mission to respond to the urgency of this threat while creating the good-paying, green jobs of the future,” she said in her announcement.

    But when it comes to responding to the threat of climate change, some Democrats do not believe the committee’s creation is decisive enough. Left-leaning activists and incoming representatives, including New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have pushed for Congress to embrace the Green New Deal: an ambitious climate change policy that calls for cutting U.S. carbon emissions fast enough to keep the earth from warming no more than 2.7 degrees by 2100. According to The Atlantic, that would require major moves to cut the country’s current carbon emissions in half by 2030. In doing so, the plan would theoretically also create new jobs in renewable energy, including manufacturing solar, wind, and electric alternatives. Championed by progressives such as Ocasio-Cortez, the Green New Deal is a response to concerning reports detailing major threats from climate change in the near future, including a major United Nations investigation that outlined international risks we could see as early as 2040.

    One key first step for the Green New Deal would be the formation of a respective committee. But it does not appear that the new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis will have the power to introduce and enact the reforms outlined in the Green New Deal. The Hill reports that the panel probably won’t have subpoena power, nor will it have the ability to draft legislation and pass bills to the House floor for a full vote.

    Supporters of the Green New Deal and more progressive action on climate change are thus far unimpressed. “This committee...sounds about as useful as a screen door on a submarine,” a spokesperson for Ocasio-Cortez told The Hill. “As it’s portrayed it’s going to be completely incapable of solving the greatest threat to humankind.”

    Another controversial sticking point was Castor’s refusal to require all members of the committee to reject political contributions from oil and gas companies, which activists have called for. While she recently announced her intention to reject donations from fossil fuel companies herself, per The Hill, Castor has said creating a mandate for other committee members would violate the First Amendment. Ocasio-Cortez criticized Castor’s logic on Twitter, writing, “Loading a climate committee w/ fossil fuel [money bag emoji] is akin to letting foxes in the henhouse.”

    The new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis is a revival of a previous climate-focused panel: the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, which was created in 2007 and dismantled by Republicans in 2010. Although that panel did have subpoena power, it had a similarly narrow mandate as the new committee and also lacked legislative authority.

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    Many New Year’s Eves tend to take on the same exact quality of the one before; it is the same overpriced bars, the same music, the same people, over and over again. Want to break the cycle? Spend your New Year’s Eve in a castle.

    Fortunately, that’s a lot easier than you think.

    According to Airbnb, people are royally obsessed with the idea of ringing in the new year in a drafty stone building that may have once housed nobles — and the vacation home-booking site is more than happy to oblige.

    Castles available to book on the site grew by nearly a thousand over the past year, leading to a grand total of 4,500 available. New Year’s Eve is the most searched-for date for castle bookings, with 56,000 people reportedly searching for them over the New Year’s period going into 2019. Six and a half million people searched for castles over the course of the year.

    The reason behind the uptick in castle desire might be fairly straightforward. Who wouldn’t want to spend a New Year’s Eve pretending to be a background character on Downton Abbey in a ”fairytale” castle in Devon, England?

    In fact, the popularity of castles could conceivably be tied to the ever-increasing presence of royals in the collective consciousness. 2018 saw the Royal Weddings of Meghan Markle and Princess Eugenie, and 2019 will have even more royal content with the third season of The Crown and the Downton Abbey movie.

    Anyway, if you’ll excuse us, we’ll be hard at work searching for last-minute castle bookings for this New Year’s Eve.

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    The future of beauty is here — and you’re invited. Check out the rest of our 2018 Refinery29 Beauty Innovator Awards winners for a full look at the products, brands, and people that are breaking the rules and redefining beauty standards, one lipstick at a time.

    Whether you're bothered by the monthly hormonal breakout, the more curious combination of an oily T-zone and dry, rough patches everywhere else, or a little bit of both (which seem to fluctuate in severity depending on your stress levels and sugar intake), you know that acne knows no one-size-fits-all solution.

    And yet, in the quest for that elusive universal zit-clearing unicorn — and through months of rigorous testing for our Beauty Innovator Awards — we may have come pretty close to the one-size-fits- most class of Holy Grail solutions.

    To find out which acne-targeted toners, spot treatments, and peel pads really deliver on their pore-tightening, cystic pimple-draining, and glowing-skin claims, read ahead. There, you'll find a breakdown of our hands-down favorite acne-care treatments to hit the market this past year, and candid, unfiltered product reviews from our R29 staffers, which will hopefully help you narrow down the pick that's right for you and your breakouts.

    At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

    Think of this guy as liquid exfoliating toner, but thick and gel-like in texture, which just means application is easier — you can pump it right into your hands and pat it into your skin, no cotton round necessary. Thanks to the gentle BHAs, the formula promises smoother skin and tighter pores, without any drying side effects. "I've been using this stuff morning and night for about six weeks, and I think it's making a big difference — even my facialist told me that my pores look smaller," says R29 lifestyle editor Cait Munro.

    CosRx Two in One Poreless Power Liquid, $22, available at Soko Glam

    Hormonal acne can rage in many different forms, and tends to be annoyingly resistant to OTC medication, thus making it one of the toughest types to kick for good. But Danielle DeJoy, R29 's Director of On Platform Reporting & Insights, tells us that this clarifying serum helps reduce those surprise chin explosions that can't be explained by anything other than the mysteries of the body. "At a low point when I was dealing with mountainous hormonal chin pimples, I slathered this stuff all over my face before bed and the bumps had noticeably deflated by morning," she says. "Considering the next-day results, I'm definitely keeping this on hand for whenever I have a bad breakout."

    Murad Outsmart Acne Clarifying Treatment, $44, available at Sephora

    When the Glossier Solution was added to the testing category, R29 staffers were highly skeptical; admittedly, the light-pink bottle doesn't exactly scream medical-grade. But most, especially those with dull, dry skin, were pleasantly surprised by the glowy results. "My most constant skin issues are large pores and a general dullness," says DeJoy. "I used Solution every day for 6 weeks, and I honestly think my pores are smaller and my skin is brighter as a result."

    Glossier Solution, $24, available at Glossier

    Another pick for the glow-seekers, this clean-beauty launch was a fan-favorite. Despite the fact that it retails for a whooping $88, testers found it to be well worth the price tag. "I love everything about this serum," says R29 employee experience coordinator Amelia Villano. "It feels super light and refreshing, smells lovely — like walking through a meadow — and definitely makes my skin glow."

    Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum, $88, available at Sephora

    If you're into easy swipe-and-go treatments, add these little round wipes to your must-try list. R29 beauty writer and video host Mi-Anne Chan tells us she uses them every day, and not just on her face. "At night, I use one pad all over my face, then I'll wipe it over my chest and my arms, too — I swear it's helped smooth out the keratosis pilaris on the back of my arms," she says. "The combination of salicylic acid and willow bark keeps acne away, but doesn't dry out my skin at all."

    First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Acne Clearing Pads with White Clay, $32, available at Amazon

    And the favorite acne product of them all — including the honorable mentions above, plus many other cleansers, serums, and toners up for consideration — has testers totally obsessed. "These tiny hydrocolloid bandage things are amazing," says Munro. "They're basically invisible miracle stickers that will drain a bump completely flat overnight. I honestly get a little anxious if I don't have a full sheet of patches in my possession." Plus, at less than $20 per box — which includes 39 dots — having them on hand won't dent your checking account.

    Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Invisible+ Acne Stickers, $18, available at Madewell

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    Welcome toMoney Diaries , where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.

    Today: an account manager working in sales who makes $64,000 per year (plus has a nannying side gig) and spends some of her money this week on a ticket to see Bohemian Rhapsody.

    Occupation: Account Manager
    Industry: Sales
    Age: 26
    Location: New York, NY
    My Salary: $64,000 ($61,000 with a $3,000 bonus that is paid out quarterly)
    Paycheck Amount (Biweekly): $1,439-$1,511
    Nannying Income: $170 per week

    Monthly Expenses
    Rent: $1,150 for my share in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment
    Student Loan Payment: $0 (My parents paid for my college, and I am eternally grateful.)
    Monthly MetroCard: $121 deducted from my paycheck pre-tax
    Health, Dental & Vision Insurance: $141.33 deducted from my paycheck pre-tax
    Gym: $88
    Utilities: ~$80-$100 (It fluctuates based on the weather.)
    Hulu & Netflix: $17
    Credit Card: $800-$900 (I put all of my nanny money against my balance and roughly $220 per paycheck. This is super aggressive, I know, but I hate having a balance, and my current remaining balance is $1,200 down from $2,400. I'll be done soon; I just want to wipe it out.)
    Phone: $100-$125, depending on whether I go over my data. (I try not to go over my data but, you know how that goes.)
    401(k): $141.92 deducted from each paycheck
    Savings: $150 (Once my credit card bill is paid off, all of my extra income from nannying will go straight to my savings.)

    Day One

    4:30 a.m. — Wake up and start my day. I do my morning routine, which includes Glossier serum, Porcelana (since I have some dark spots), and moisturizer. I throw on a bit of makeup and put on the clothes that I laid out last night. I grab my lunch and the coffee I made last night, brush my teeth, and am out the door by 5:30 a.m.

    8:30 a.m. — I am done with nannying and head to work. When I arrive, I go with my coworker to get a free bagel from the café downstairs.

    12 p.m. — My coworker's manager and my manager walk over to our cubes to ask if they can take us out to a long lunch, which is so needed on this Friday. We go to a little pub downtown and eat some bar food while we chat about this week and how stressful it was. I order a steak salad and a beer, and my manager orders some wings for the table. The managers pay. I love working with nice people who actually appreciate what others do. Afterwards, we head back to the office.

    3 p.m. — I power through the last couple hours of work while eating some of the Honey Nut Chex Mix cereal that I have at my desk. I am a notorious snacker. While working through some reporting, we get hit with a fire drill that takes up the rest of my afternoon.

    7 p.m. — I leave work at 7, which is not ideal. I head home and wash my face. I'm not too hungry since we ate a heavy lunch, so I eat some popcorn, grab a beer, and catch up on my shows. What a nice Friday night. I'm in bed by 10 p.m.

    Daily Total: $0

    Day Two

    8:30 a.m. — The struggle of waking up super early during the week means I can't sleep in anymore. I wake up and make myself some avocado toast and berries with coffee. Then I watch some shows that I didn't have time to watch during the week and text back my mom and sister, who live on the west coast (I fell asleep last night when they texted me). Oh, three-hour time difference struggles.

    10:45 a.m. — I head to the gym and do some cardio for 45 minutes. Afterwards, I stop by CVS to grab my prescription. I'm thankful for my insurance, since this prescription, along with my others, are free.

    1 p.m. — After I go home and shower, I make myself a turkey wrap with mustard, lettuce, cucumber, and banana peppers for lunch. I watch more of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix and end up falling asleep again...whoops.

    3 p.m. — Wow, that nap was needed. I wake up to a text from a friend asking if I want to see Bohemian Rhapsody. I tell him yes and look up some movie times. I purchase two tickets and he Venmos me for his. $17

    7 p.m. — I head out and hop on the subway to meet him downtown. There are a lot of delays since it's the weekend and he lives in Brooklyn, so he's a bit late. I stop into 7-Eleven to get some snacks for the movie: Sour Patch Kids, gummy bears, and Cheez-Its. A random assortment, lol. I don't like paying for overpriced candy, sorrrryyy. $8

    10:30 p.m. — Bohemian Rhapsody was SO GOOD. I take the subway home, wash my face, and brush my teeth. I get in bed and immediately knock out.

    Daily Total: $25

    Day Three

    8:30 a.m. — Awake, and I make the same breakfast — avocado toast and some coffee. I call my mom while I clean my room and tell her about the movie last night, since she knows I'm a huge Queen fan.

    11 a.m. — I head out to Trader Joe's and quickly realize that all of the buses are rerouting. I hop on the bus, which takes a detour, but it's fine because I end up near TJ's. I grab a salad kit, Asian slaw, bell peppers, apples, avocados, bananas, Turkey and Stuffing Chips (don't knock 'em 'til you try 'em), cheese puffs, ground turkey, black beans, yogurt, and tomatoes. $73

    1 p.m. — I get home and start meal prepping. I make some quinoa, heat up ground turkey with taco seasoning, and throw in black beans, tomatoes, and green chiles. I throw leftovers into separate containers to last me a few meals.

    3:30 p.m. — I eat, watch football, and then clean the kitchen. Afterwards, I get in bed and read Beautiful Boy. It's so good. I fall asleep again. I guess my weekly routine is making me more tired than I thought.

    7:30 p.m. — I wake up and I'm so annoyed that I slept this long — what is wrong with me? I shower and then pack my lunch for tomorrow. I also make coffee to store in the fridge overnight and make some herbal tea that's supposed to help with sleep, since I feel like I'm going to have trouble sleeping tonight.

    9:30 p.m. — Fall asleep after picking out my clothes for tomorrow.

    Daily Total: $73

    Day Four

    4:45 a.m. — Wake up, and it's Monday. Joy. Morning routine: serum, Porcelana, and moisturizer. I brush my teeth and grab my lunch. I'm out the door by 5:30 a.m.

    8:15 a.m. — I leave nannying and get to the office at about 8:30 a.m. I look through emails while eating my breakfast of yogurt, a banana, and chia seeds. Then I heat up my coffee that I brought from home.

    12:30 p.m. — Warm up half of the quinoa meal I prepped last night. I split it in half so I can leave the rest in the fridge and eat it for lunch tomorrow. I add shredded cheese and Tapatio for extra flavor. I'm still hungry after, so I eat some of the Turkey and Stuffing chips that I bought at Trader Joe's.

    6:30 p.m. — I head out and head home. I do an ab workout and then make a salad with pre-made salad mix, cucumbers, and balsamic vinaigrette. I also cut up an apple to eat on the side.

    7:30 p.m. — Hop in the shower and lotion up. Since moving to New York, my skin has been SO dry, and my eczema is killing me. I lay out my clothes, pack my lunch, make my coffee, and settle down before bed. Knock out by 9:30.

    Daily Total: $0

    Day Five

    4:45 a.m. — You know the drill already.

    8:15 a.m. — Out the door and headed to job #2 of the day!

    9 a.m. — Make my coffee and add a shot of espresso from the coffee maker in our kitchen. Eat my breakfast of yogurt, chia seeds, and a banana.

    10:30 a.m. — My eyelids have been bothering me lately, so I bite the bullet and order eyelid tape to reset them. (Thanks Michelle Phan and Amazon Prime.) I have monolids, and recently I've been getting a couple of creases, which just make me look extremely tired. Plus, the creases aren't even, so my eyes look a little bit off. I know I'm probably the only one who notices, but apparently wearing the tape will help! I also look for a psychiatrist, since I haven't found one since moving here. I need to figure this out, since I'm running low on my medication. $6.99

    12:30 p.m. — Heat up my lunch of leftover quinoa. I eat it up and surprisingly still enjoy it. Then I grab a cookie from the kitchen.

    1:30 p.m. — A psychiatrist I called calls me back and we schedule an appointment for later today. Thank goodness. He is covered by my insurance, close to my work, and has great reviews. Fingers crossed this goes well! I have been on the same medication for a very long time, so at this point, I just need someone to refill it for me, not prescribe anything new.

    4 p.m. — This day is dragging on, and I am starving. I eat an apple with cinnamon to hold me over before my appointment tonight.

    6:30 p.m. — I leave work and hop on the subway to the psychiatrist's office. Overall, the appointment goes well — we chat about my medical history and I show him my medical records and information. I like the doctor and will continue to see him once a month so that I can get my prescription.

    8:15 p.m. — Head home to shower and pack my lunch for tomorrow. I chat with my roommate, pick my clothes for tomorrow, and then lie in bed while reading Beautiful Boy. I fall asleep at about 9:15.

    Daily Total: $6.99

    Day Six

    5 a.m. — Sleep in a little! I do my morning routine, but I don't put on my makeup since I don't have time. I am out the door by 5:30.

    8:15 a.m. — I leave nannying and head off to work. I arrive at the office and eat my breakfast, which isn't my usual yogurt, but is instead crispbread with avocado and TJ's Everything but the Bagel seasoning. After I eat, I heat up my coffee, add a shot of espresso, and power through the rest of the morning.

    12:30 p.m. — Lunch is the same old thing. Surprisingly, I am not sick of it just yet.

    6 p.m. — I head out to CVS to pick up my prescription. No charge — I love my insurance. Once I get home, I shower and watch House of Cards. I reread some old season 5 recaps before I start the first episode of season 6.

    7:30 p.m. — EPISODE 1 IS SO GOOD. I AM HOOKED AGAIN. I need to stop, though. I make a promise to myself that I will binge this and Making A Murderer this weekend.

    8:30 p.m. — Pack up my lunch and put out my clothes for tomorrow while listening to music. I brush my teeth, throw on some moisturizer, and then lay in bed while reading Beautiful Boy. It's so good, I can't put it down. The exhaustion takes over and I fall asleep.

    Daily Total: $0

    Day Seven

    4:45 a.m. — Morning routine. Out the door by 5:30.

    8:30 a.m. — I head to the office, and when I get there, I immediately eat a yogurt with banana, honey, and chia seeds. Then I heat up my coffee with the shot of espresso and settle in. There was a shooting at a bar near my alma mater, and I spend the morning reading through articles about it.

    10:15 a.m. — It is one of those mornings, so I go with my coworkers to get coffee from the cart outside. I use the $2 in cash that I have in my wallet. $2

    12:30 p.m. — Lunchtime. Same thing. (Last day of it, though!)

    6 p.m. — How is it already 6?! This day flew by. I am debating what I want to do tonight and decide I should just go home and relax. I think I am going to have a bit of a crazy weekend ahead, since it's my friend's birthday.

    7 p.m. — I get home and FaceTime with my best friend back home. I am so tired and cannot wait to go to bed. I tell her how much I slept this past weekend and she urges me to maybe quit the morning job, because it seems to be making me more tired. I strongly consider it, but for now, I like the extra money. I munch on some carrots and hummus, since I'm not too hungry.

    8:30 p.m. — I rinse off, brush my teeth, and start winding down for bed. True grandma life for me over here. I watch another episode of House of Cards and fall asleep by 10 p.m.

    Daily Total: $2

    Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women's experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.

    The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here. Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here:

    Have you been working for at least 8 years and seen your salary increase or fluctuate? If so, fill out this form for a chance to be featured on our Salary Story series!

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    What Does £400 Get You in East London?

    In Refinery29's Sweet Digs, we take a look inside the sometimes small, sometimes spacious homes of millennial women. Today, 29-year-old Pip Jolley shows off her multi-level East London flat — with a crazy good deal.

    Minimalism might have taken over a few of our Instagram feeds, but IRL, sometimes more is just fine. Or at least, that's the case with Pip Jolley and her boyfriend, who filled their two-level Hoxton home with art, antiques, and shoes — his shoes, specifically. All 200 pairs.

    It's a good thing, then, that their three-bedroom home is big enough to convert one bedroom into a massive walk-in closet, with an entire wall covered in Ikea bookshelves of sneakers. "I actually put Dan on a one-in, one-out basis," Jolley says.

    Still, there's not much to complain about. Jolley was given free reign in several parts of the space, with a few pointers (i.e. "Miami Vice" in the bedroom, complete with a "naughty gallery wall," and a vintage record player that doesn't quite work). The resulting space is part-industrial, part-vintage, and all personal.

    "When I'm decorating a room I always make a Pinterest board and gather inspiration from all over to get a vibe," Jolley says. "Decorating your home is a journey and it will mean so much more to you if you can tell a story behind each piece. I don't think I have any rules, if you love it you can always make it work. Eclectic homes are always the best."

    Look inside Pip's home in the video above.

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    We're still in the deep throes of the raging debate regarding the ethics of animal fur in fashion. While some still can't live without it, the polarizing issue has also inspired many fashion houses and fast-fashion retailers alike to start offering enviable faux fur options.

    The final products are far from overly gauche, nor do they only evoke the back stock of thrift stores, unless that's the look you're going for. Instead, these faux fur coats show off updated cuts, cute lapel and cuff details, and bold colors that reach beyond the infamous costume garbs of the past. So when the cold hits and you want to trade up your trusty but expected parka, realize you don't have to sacrifice style — or your love for animals — for something furry that will actually keep you warm.

    When faux fur looks this chic, who needs the real thing?

    At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

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    How do you defend a sex cult? Lawyers for the leader of alleged sex-trafficking cult NXIVM, Keith Raniere, and prominent member Smallville actor Allison Mack plan to use Scientology as the basis for their case.

    Papers filed by Mack’s lawyers in Brooklyn federal court on Friday cited a 2009 case in which a couple unsuccessfully sued the Church Of Scientology for forced labor, one of the central accusations against the NXIVM leaders, Deadline reports. In the Scientology case, a judge ruled that threats to release embarrassing or incriminating personal information didn’t amount to the “serious harm” necessary to establish force.

    Mack’s lawyers argued the precedent applies to NXIVM, which is accused of threatening to release nude photos and embarrassing confessions if members didn’t comply with Raniere’s requests, including free labor and sexual favors.

    “The government argues that Ms. Mack obtained forced labor through ‘threats of serious harm,’ with serious harm being the embarrassment that would result from the exposure of one’s collateral,” lawyers wrote in the court filing. “Courts have found, however, that such an outcome, albeit embarrassing, does not amount to serious harm under the statute.”

    Starting with Mack’s involvement, reports of life inside NXIVM gotten more and more bizarre, including a sex-slave pyramid scheme called Dominus Obsequious Sororium (meaning “the master over the slave girl”), branding Raniere’s initials into women’s pubis, billionaire heiress-funded trips to meet the Dalai Lama, brainwashing, a Law & Order: SVU spin-off episode, and now Scientology.

    Mack has been released on a $5 million bail while she awaits trial for charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy. She and Raniere face a 15-year minimum mandatory sentence, with the possibility of life in prison.

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    With the new year just around the corner, many are looking back at their favorite milestones and moments of 2018, including the royal family.

    “Here are some of our favorite moments from 2018 — thank you to everyone who made this year so special,” Kensington Palace’s Twitter account, which serves as the official handle for Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince William, and Kate Middleton, shared in addition to a video.

    The moments featured in the three-minute highlight reel include Meghan and Harry’s Royal Wedding in May and Meghan’s first solo outing with Queen Elizabeth. Also celebrated in the clip are the birth of William and Kate’s youngest son, Prince Louis, the announcement of Meghan and Harry’s first child, and photos taken in honor of Prince Charles’ 70th birthday. Highlights from numerous charity events were also included.

    This recap video from the Fab Four comes just days after the Queen’s annual Christmas broadcast, where she also reflected on everything that has happened in the past year.

    “It’s been a busy year for my family, with two weddings and two babies – and another child expected soon. It helps to keep a grandmother well occupied,” the Queen said in her address while sitting alongside a display of six carefully-selected photos.

    Among the photos included in the Queen’s video were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s fun family Christmas card, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's bridal party, and a sweet photo of Prince Charles as a baby. A black and white portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from their wedding was also on display.

    So, despite rumors of tension between brothers and sisters-in-law, as well as the rocky relationships between them and outside parties, it’s safe to say 2018 was a special year for the royal family.

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    New Year's Eve makeup is all fun and games until it's 2 a.m. and you're standing over your sink three makeup wipes in, still scrubbing away at your glitter eyeshadow. Drag queens, on a fairly regular basis, feel your pain. These performers are experts at both putting that makeup on and also taking it off when they're exhausted at the end of a long night.

    For drag queens, any old generic makeup remover won't do — they need the good shit. "I've tried MANY different makeup removers over the years and my main concern has always been being gentle with my skin," Baby Love, a Brooklyn-based drag queen, says. "Nothing ages you more than tugging at your skin while drying it out with harsh cleansers."

    We asked four drag queens to tell us which makeup removers really work, plus their tips for taking everything off — from long-wearing lipsticks to glitter eyeliner. Check out their expert picks, ahead.

    At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

    FKA Twink, Miami-based drag performer


    "I swear by Neutrogena makeup removers because they’re so affordable, practical, and feel really good on the skin."

    Neutrogena Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes, $4.99, available at Target

    "When it comes to wig glue or spray adhesive, we use baby oil to remove it from our hair so we don’t scalp ourselves every time we wear a wig or face tapes. We end up ripping our hairs out and walking around with bald spots on our hairline if we don’t do this carefully and religiously."

    Johnson's Baby Oil Original Mineral , $3.99, available at Target

    Miss Malice, Brooklyn-based drag performer


    "I recently converted to Pond's Cold Cream as a makeup remover. So retro, but it works! It’s really moisturizing, which is helpful because all that makeup can take a toll on my skin."

    Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser, $3.97, available at Amazon

    "Sometimes I will use a makeup wipe — I like the Yes To brand, especially cucumber or blueberry — to gently take off lipstick and some of my eye makeup before using Pond's as a cleanser to take off the rest."

    Yes To Yes To Cucumbers Calming Mask Removing Wipes, $2.99, available at Target

    Miss Toto, Miami-based drag performer


    "I use Pond's Cold Cream, but also coconut oil. Pond's works amazing and makes your skin feel great, and coconut oil makes your skin feel so soft, too."

    Vita Coco Coconut Oil, $5.99, available at Boots

    Baby Love, Brooklyn-based drag performer


    "My standard routine starts with Clinique's Take The Day Off cleansing balm. It's a super gentle and non-messy way to start the makeup-breakdown process. And yes, that's a dig at cleansing oils that go everywhere! "

    Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, $19.95, available at All Beauty

    "From there, I take a couple passes with Philosophy's Purity Cleanser, sometimes with my Foreo if it's a heavy face that night. Then, I top it all off with Tatcha's Rice Polish. Excessive? Of course! We're DRAG QUEENS!"

    Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser, $24, available at Ulta Beauty

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    The new year is just around the corner, and many of us are probably starting to think about the money moves we want to make in 2019.

    The financial forecast for 2019 may bring us some surprising twists and turns as Uranus (the planet of radical change) moves back into financially savvy Taurus on March 7, where it will stay until April 26, 2026. With Taurus being a sign that loves stability (and money), having a planet like Uranus in it for the next seven years will push us to think very differently in terms of how we earn and manage our cash. For some of us, this may mean earning our money by non-traditional means or placing less of a value on certain forms of material wealth, like flashy, expensive things.

    However, with Jupiter, the planet of abundance and good fortune, at home in Sagittarius until December 2, 2019; many of us should not only find more opportunities to make money but opportunities to see that money increase.

    Of course, responsible Saturn in Capricorn (along with a few game-changing eclipses on the Cancer-Capricorn axis) will be on hand to make sure that we’re focused on our financial security and saving for a rainy day.

    Take a look at your financial horoscope for 2019 to find out what your sign can expect.


    With the big moves that you’ll be making in your career, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to make the big money too.

    However, with unstable Uranus in Taurus sitting in your money zone, you’ll have to be sure that you’re not spending your money as fast as you make it, as you could be faced with some unexpected expenses or financial dry spells. Uranus will be pushing you to redefine what you value in terms of your resources, your self-worth, and getting what you want.

    The good news is that the changes you make will set you up for life.


    Things are looking up for you financially in 2019 thanks to expansive Jupiter in Sagittarius, especially if you’re married or in a long-term partnership, as your partner will experience some major growth in their income which could contribute to your financial security.

    Though if you’re single, you could still experience a windfall too; either by way of tax or insurance pay out, an inheritance, a return on a financial investment, a loan, or a hefty commission. If you do receive a loan or an increase in your credit line, watch that you don’t borrow and spend more than you can afford to pay back.


    With the eclipses and responsible Saturn activating your financial sector, there’s a chance that you could score an opportunity to make more money, but you’ll have to stay on top of your cash. If debt has been an issue, you’ll find yourself working to pay it off while looking to ways that you can invest or make your money work better for you.

    If you share financial obligations with someone else and you’ve been paying more than your fair share, you may need to have some tough conversations about cash and responsibility. It’s time to heal your wounds around scarcity.


    Things may have seemed a bit unstable for you financially because you were experiencing instability with your career. However, you can expect your financial forecast to improve as your career outlook improves too.

    Some Cancers could receive a raise in pay courtesy of a new gig or a step up where they are currently. Still, your financial outlook will depend on how much you value yourself and the skills you’re bringing to the table. Look to 2019 to provide you with some teachable moments on the importance of knowing your worth and asking for what you’re worth with confidence.


    While fun and adventure will be a big part of your agenda for 2019, don't get too carried away with your spending as there’s a potential for you running up bills and expenses that you may not be able to cover. Why cause yourself that stress?

    If you’ve had an unhealthy relationship to money, you’ll find that the eclipses and no-nonsense Saturn will be pushing you to make the necessary changes. Meanwhile, with Uranus in Taurus shaking up your career zone, your cash flow could change too, though it could be for the better. Be mindful if you're lending out money.


    Your finances may seem a bit shaky during the first quarter of the year, but things should improve by the spring.

    In terms of making money, you could bring in some income via a home-based business or by turning something you’re passionate about into something more. Your professional reputation will also be a hot topic and there’s a chance that you could land a new job or money-making opportunities through the people you know. Your network could be a valuable tool, so don’t be afraid to play up your strengths and toot your own horn, as you’ll never know who’s listening.


    With unstable Uranus in Taurus moving into your zone of debt and finances, you’re going to have to play it smart when it comes to your cash.

    On the bright side, Uranus will be working on your behalf to help you with becoming debt free. It’s also possible that you could end up coming into money when you least expect it, perhaps by way of your partner or someone else.

    If you share a financial obligation with someone else, the stars could also push you to set some boundaries and put an end to a messy money situation. Create a new financial story for yourself in 2019.


    It’s big bank for you when it comes to 2019 as growth-oriented Jupiter in Sagittarius will be camped out in your zone of income for the year. As such, you might find yourself with an abundance of job opportunities to choose from or find your pay or your cash flow significantly increasing.

    Still, with all of this good fortune coming your way, it will be important for you to recognize that you deserve it as a keen sense of self worth will be your way to attract more of what you want. Just don’t overdo it on the spending.


    You’re the cosmic darling of the year with Jupiter, your planetary ruler, at home in your sign. This means that there’s a good chance that you can surpass your financial goals with all of the professional opportunities that you’ll practically stumble onto.

    However, with no-nonsense Saturn in Capricorn camped out in your zone of income, and the eclipses landing across your financial sector, now is not the time for handling your finances or your goals with an ad-hoc approach. This is your shot to build something that will last, so don’t squander it. Honor your worth. Stability can be yours.


    You might find yourself focused more than usual on your finances, and one reason for this is the eclipse in Leo that’s landing in your zone of debt and finances at the top of the year.

    Look to this eclipse (and Saturn in Capricorn) to help you with asserting your confidence so you can move away from an unfulfilling job situation, using money as a means of proving your worthiness to others, or denying yourself of the things you desire.

    It’s also possible that you could find yourself being offered financial support from someone else. Don’t let stoicism block your blessings.


    If you’ve been the sole provider in your household or people within your family circle have become too dependent on your financial help, this year you could find yourself looking to make some necessary changes that will help to take some of the financial burden off of you.

    At the same time, your finances should get a welcome boost as 2019 brings you in contact with a few influential people that can connect you to opportunities that pay well. Though you may prefer to work alone for much of the year, networking could be a jackpot. It's your year to thrive.


    Your financial hopes and wishes could come true this year, though it may require some confidence and taking a few risks to get what you want. It’s possible that you could receive a step up the career ladder, which could also bring a step up in pay.

    If things have felt a bit unstable recently, trust that they won’t be for long. Though the way that you think about money and stability may need to change. Make sure the time and energy you’re investing in getting what you want is being put towards the things you really want. Tame your impulses.

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    Denim, sweaters, even a wrap dress — just about anyone can pull them off. You don’t have to be a styling whiz to know that a pair of jeans that fit just right and a black turtleneck are undeniably flattering and may never go out of style. On the flip side, some fashion pieces don’t come quite so easy. Case in point, leather pants. While Angelina Jolie and the Spice Girls might’ve perfected the look in the '90s, leather pants take some getting used to.

    That’s where we come in. With a trick here and a tweak there, you can confidently add a statement pair or two to your winter wardrobe ASAP. By finding a pair that fit your style, not only are you adding a bit of adventure to your expected lineup, you're also adding warmth and comfort. Vegan, budget, designer, skinny, jogger — with the selection ahead we think you'll find a match. We’re betting you’ll be embodying your inner Posh Spice in no time.

    At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

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    Louis C.K.’s tumultuous return to the public eye continues.

    On Sunday, footage of a leaked standup set by C.K. at the Comedy Cellar surfaced on YouTube. In it, he joked about gender identity and victims of the Parkland massacre.

    “You’re not interesting because you went to a high school where kids got shot,” he said of the Parkland activists as raucous laughter echoed in the background of the recording. “Why does that mean I have to listen to you? How does that make you interesting? You didn’t get shot. You pushed some fat kid out of the way, and now I gotta listen to you talking?”

    He also took aim at people with pronoun preferences, joking that asking someone to address you a certain way is similar to assuming a royal title.

    “They’re like royalty! They tell you what to call them,” he said. “‘You should address me as they/them because I identify as gender neutral.’”

    The recording has since been removed from YouTube, but some audio snippets of the set are still on Twitter.

    In 2017, C.K. was accused of sexual misconduct by five women, all of whom said he masturbated in front of them without their consent. In an apology, C.K. confirmed the accusations and pledged to take a step back from the spotlight, saying he was “now aware” of the impact of his actions.

    “I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want,” his statement read. “I will now take a step back to listen.”

    Now the question arises: listen to whom?

    In late August 2018 — less than a year after his apology — C.K. was back at the Comedy Cellar. Based on the leaked footage, he appears to be using his return to the stage as an opportunity to double down on the kind of broad, senseless humor favored by right-wing provocateurs characterized by being adamantly anti-“politically correct.”

    If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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    Senator Elizabeth Warren has announced her exploratory committee to run for president in 2020, making her the first major candidate to enter the race. This committee will allow her to begin raising money for her campaign.

    The longtime Harvard Law professor turned Massachusetts Democratic Senator announced a campaign focused on her desire to protect America’s middle class; she has long been public with her disapproval of big banks and unregulated capitalism. She has also been vocal about her support of the #MeToo Movement and women’s rights. In her video announcing her exploratory launch committee for the presidency, these are a few of her platforms.

    “In our country, if you work hard and play by the rules, you ought to be able to take care of yourself and the people you love. That’s a fundamental promise of America. A promise that should be true for everyone,” she says. “I’ve spent my career getting to the bottom of why America’s promise works for some families, but others, who work just as hard, slip through the cracks into disaster.”

    Warren is already familiar with the barbarous commentary of President, Donald Trump who has referred to her as “Pocahontas” and a “fraud” on multiple occasions. He has already announced his bid for re-election. According to The New York Times, Warren’s fellow party members questioned if making her DNA results public was playing right into his hands. The Cherokee Nation called her efforts to prove her heritage "inappropriate and wrong."

    The 2020 presidential race is expected to be a crowded one. There are the anticipated candidates we already know such as former vice president Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders. Many prospective candidates – more than three dozen considering Democratic bids coming from business leaders, senators, governors, and mayors – have not previously sought a role in the White House. History was made in the 2018 midterm elections with more women, people of color, and LGBTQ candidates winning races across the country.

    13 months remain before the first primary votes will be cast in the Iowa caucus in one of the most highly anticipated and open races in recent history.

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    Welcome toMoney Diaries , where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking millennials how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we're tracking every last dollar.

    Today: the founder of a beverage who makes $32,000 per year and spends some of her money this week on a chai. Below, we asked the OP some questions about her career.

    How did you get into your line of work?

    "I got into food in high school when I was tasked with cooking family dinner after voicing my distaste for kitchen-cleaning duty. During undergrad, I worked as a short order cook, and after grad school, found that I wasn't suited for office life, so I went back to work in food as a prep cook. I knew I wanted to eventually have my own company, but I was unsure of what it would be. I've also been a catering cook, a line cook, a kitchen manager, a demo specialist, an event lead, a sous chef, a farmer's market manager, and a wholesale operations manager."

    What are the challenges of running a beverage company?

    "Aside from cash flow, the biggest challenge is definitely having to be a Jane of all trades. We're bootstrapped, so there's a lot of learning on the job (a nice way of saying we're winging it), sometimes even side-by-side with a new hire."

    What advice would you give to someone starting out who wants to create their own food or beverage company?

    "Get contracts in place early, hire a lawyer so they don't only favor the other side, and read them them very thoroughly before signing. And do your best to ignore the competition and trust your own voice. If you keep your head down and keep staying true to your vision, success will follow."

    Occupation: Founder/CEO
    Industry: Food & Beverage
    Age: 32
    Location: Brooklyn, NY
    Income: $32,000 (I have been in the food industry for nine years, not including college jobs, and this is the most I've ever earned.)

    Monthly Expenses
    Rent: $600 (I share a three-bedroom apartment with my boyfriend, R., and the total cost is $1,800 because I've lived in it since 2010. We each have an office, but since I make less, he pays more here and I cover utilities and internet. Half my rent is expensed for office and kitchen R&D.)
    Student Loan Payment: $75 (My undergrad was covered by scholarships, so my parents offered to cover grad school loans and pay $525 monthly.)
    Renter's & Auto Insurance: $164.31 (paid through my company account)
    Internet: $84.95 (expensed)
    Gas: $22 (expensed)
    Electric: $85-$150 depending on season (expensed)
    Cleaning Lady: $80 (We split evenly, but my share is expensed.)
    Spotify Premium: $9.99
    Gym: $10.45
    Yoga Studio: FREE in exchange for a limited amount of product monthly
    Ritual Vitamins: $30 (I used to be a total bargain shopper and always get the best deal. Now that I know how much blood, sweat, and tears go into branding, I’m a total sucker for it. I know I can’t really afford $30 vitamins each month, BUT THE BRANDING. Plus they’re minty! Let it be known it was not avocado toast that did in this millennial’s bank account. It was the fancy mint vitamins and pink padded envelopes Glossier packs their products in.)
    Phone: $211.38 (covers my phone and two tablets for employee use on the clock, paid for through company account)
    WNYC Donation: $11
    Insurance: $86.79 (through ACA)
    Savings: $240 to retirement, $100 to “build wealth”

    Annual Subscriptions
    Amazon Prime: $107
    Headspace App: $99
    New York Times Crossword Puzzle: R. subscribes to digital NYT, so I glommed onto his account and tacked on the $5 annual puzzle subscription (down from the $45 annual I was paying before we moved in together!).
    Bon Appétit Subscription: $20 (expensed)
    Fast Company Subscription: $11 (expensed)
    Inc. Subscription: $11 (expensed)

    Other Subscriptions
    Subscribe & Save: $50.33 every three months
    Burst Toothbrush Heads: $6 every three months

    Day One

    4:57 a.m. — There was a blizzard yesterday, and for some reason our flight home is one of only two flights getting out today! Don't know what I did to deserve this, but it means I won't get a parking ticket and the cats will get fed. It's early, but we won't land until 9:45, so I grab a blueberry Rxbar and a hot tea. $7.65

    10:40 a.m. — Finally in a cab home after having to take a shuttle from our terminal to the car rental area because the taxi line at our terminal was closed. The cab to our place in Brooklyn is $32.15. R. pays.

    11:30 a.m. — Once the cats are fed, I make a coffee with one scoop of collagen and a splash of oat milk and then start cooking lunch (sweet potato and black bean chili). R. runs to the bodega to grab a few things — onions, garlic, cilantro, canned chipotles, cleaning spray, bananas, and blueberries. He pays, because he doesn't cook (ever). Start eating while catching up on work.

    3:45 p.m. — It's been a long day, so I make myself a turmeric tea with mix from my friend's company and climb into bed with R. to watch some of The Clinton Affair while we munch on snack mix his mom sent home with us.

    6:15 p.m. — Lunch leftovers for dinner, with an added handful of spinach to my bowl and a slice of cheese on top. We can't tear ourselves away from The Clinton Affair. I'm reading Rage Becomes Her by Soraya Chemaly, and it's giving everything else I read and watch a subtext of female anger. Our CSA box is delivered. We get one as needed through Farm To People, which is technically a subscription, but we skip a lot — if I don't cook, it sits and rots. This week it's on my card. $59.90

    Daily Total: $67.55

    Day Two

    6:30 a.m. — I very much consider myself a morning person, but I still need coffee before my run. After downing two glasses of water, I sip a collagen and oat milk coffee while I do the crossword puzzle, check emails, browse Instagram, and feed and play with the cats.

    8 a.m. — Coffee is done and house is pre-tidied for our cleaning woman (I don't like for her to have to wash dishes or deal with cat litter debris) and I'm out the door for a quick 3.5 miles before yoga. I just started running in May and I hate the treadmill, so I run outside even though it's freezing! I get back in time to make some tea and take care of a few quick tasks before heading out to yoga.

    11:30 a.m. — I stop by the grocery store near the studio to pick up a few supplementary items for what we got in our CSA box. I try not to buy too much, since I'm planning on going to see some friends at the farmer's market on Sunday. I get one bundle each of kale and scallions, some oyster mushrooms, diced tomatoes, dried garbanzos, black beans, cannellini beans, and red lentils. I check emails and respond to work texts on my walk home. A new acquaintance and I are trying to hammer out the details of a new venture I'm really excited about. It would be great for my existing business and would fill a huge need within the food-business community, but there's a lot of moving parts. $20.36

    12:30 p.m. — Come home to a sparkling clean house and fighting cats. R. pays cash and I Venmo him my share ($40). I have just enough time to shower, eat, and put groceries away. Lunch is a reprise of last night's chili with spinach and cheese added. I notice we got a ton of mushrooms in our CSA, and we also got arborio rice, so I guess I'll make mushroom risotto tonight! I check emails and try to get organized for my assistant's arrival. She's still in the training phase, so I basically don't get anything but the most minor tasks done while she's here. She's energetic and eager to learn, but I am really looking forward to her being able to self-manage.

    1:30 p.m. — My assistant arrives and I make us each a tea — chai for her, chai matcha for me. We catch up, discuss a potential new hire, and bang out some admin work before driving to the warehouse.

    4:30 p.m. — Once we finish at the warehouse, I'm starving and a little achey from my workout this morning. I have a case of Snacklins in my car, so we each have a bag. I head to my friend's kitchen so we can all taste test some potential reformulations of my company's existing SKUs (stock keeping units, a.k.a. products). I eat a small square of his chocolate cake scrap while I'm there.

    6 p.m. — I unpack the leftover samples for my boyfriend to taste and start a big batch of my product. We have a kegerator in the house, and the cats opened the taps on a fresh keg while we were away, so I'm going to try and recreate the same flavor. It was expensive and presumably messy (shout out to the cat sitter for cleaning it up), and our floor is completely warped now. We definitely won't be getting the security deposit back. I check emails and do some work while the tea is steeping. R. texts that he's on his way home and I ask him to pick up parmesan for the risotto on his way back. He pays.

    8 p.m. — I am so tired and sore, I almost feel like I'm getting sick, but I probably just need to drink some water. I look up a risotto recipe I can make in my Instant Pot and summon my final bit of energy to make dinner. I have more work I should do while it cooks, but I can't focus on it at all, so it will have to wait. When the risotto is done, I poach an egg to put on top of mine and we settle in for more of The Clinton Affair.

    Daily Total: $20.36

    Day Three

    6:45 a.m. — I have collagen coffee and a chocolate sea salt Rxbar. I'm doing a 10k training program in the Nike Running app, and I'm supposed to do a nine-mile run today. Really don't feel up for it, but I'm trying to muster the energy.

    10:30 a.m. — Back from my run in just over one and a half hours — I did the whole nine miles! It's the longest run I've ever done. I'm not hungry, but I know if I don't fuel up I'll crash hard. I make a smoothie with a handful of spinach, some pea protein, powdered peanut butter, half an avocado, frozen berries, and oat milk. It's not very good. I work on emails while I stretch and sip my smoothie.

    11:30 a.m. — I make myself a turmeric tea and settle in to do a few quick things before I have to leave the house.

    12:45 p.m. — Risotto leftovers for lunch. So yummy. After lunch, I drop off my laundry (paying later) and stop by an ATM. I withdraw $400 from my personal account because I'm on my way to get a tattoo finished! It's my third session, and my biggest tattoo. It looks amazing and I'm in love with the artist — she's done an amazing job. I also withdraw $400 from the business account because I am picking up two cases of wine for corporate gifts this afternoon. It's the first time I've had time and money to even consider doing corporate gifts, and I'm so excited. The wine is sourced from a female-owned and operated vineyard and purchased through a female-owned wine bar. I bring a LaCroix from home to hydrate while I sit.

    4 p.m. — In a lot of pain, but so stoked on the tattoo! It's $300 plus a tip. I didn't have enough cash for a tip last time, so I give her the entire $400 to cover it. I'm feeling babe-a-licious with this new piece. $400

    4:45 p.m. — In Manhattan to pick up two cases of wine, which costs $384. I resist the siren call of Big Gay Ice Cream and then regret my decision. ($384 expensed)

    6:15 p.m. — Get home and there are two huge boxes for us. They're the dinner plates my mom got us as an early holiday gift — a huge upgrade from the blend of Target and Ikea dormware we currently have. I unpack, send some quick emails, and respond to a text from a new freelancer I hired to do social media. We don't have a centralized HQ, so every position at my company is very autonomous and requires a huge amount of trust. At the end of the day, all I can really do is give them instructions and hope for the best, especially for brand ambassadors. I try my best to communicate in a very clear and concise way, and sometimes people just don't listen/read texts/check emails. I'm annoyed and tired and don't want to cook, but I DO want to use a new dish. R. is out for the night, so I pan-fry a salmon filet (also purchased by my mom when she was in town), make a quick spinach salad, and reheat a bit more leftover risotto. Plus wine, et voila!

    8:15 p.m. — A little wine drunk (barely two glasses, I'm a cheap date!). I decide to get into some chocolate R.'s mom sent home with us. Fall asleep early watching Poldark.

    Daily Total: $400

    Day Four

    7 a.m. — Wake up feeling groggy and SUPER cranky because I didn't have a great rest last night. The cats were making a ton of noise and I had anxiety dreams. I'm supposed to do a “benchmark” run for my training program to track progress this morning, but I'm so tired! The dishes my mom sent didn't include cereal bowls, so I go online to purchase the missing set of bowls ($80) on her credit card while I make my collagen coffee and wake up. The Honey app finds an awesome discount code, but West Elm won't accept it since the dishes are already on sale.

    9:15 a.m. — Just enough time post-run to make a turmeric tea and change my shoes before walking to yoga!

    12:15 p.m. — R. brought home veggie momos from a Himalayan spot we love last night for me to eat for lunch because he is the best. They are awesome and are served with this spicy, creamy orange-colored sauce that I keep trying to puzzle out. R. thinks it's tomato-based, but I think it's coconut milk and chilis. I heat them up for lunch and settle in to get some work done. I have a lot of paperwork and accounting to catch up on.

    2 p.m. — Crisis with our biggest distributor. Co-packer says they picked up last week, but nobody has a record of it. The order has somehow vanished into thin air. I also have to put down credit card info to receive a sample of the new packaging — $250 for one unit, but hopefully it will save us money in the long run. ($250 expensed)

    3 p.m. — Afternoon slump! I get a bottle of kombucha from the fridge to fight my coffee craving and soothe my stomach, which has been bothering me since ( Poldark season 3 spoiler ahead) George told Aunt Agatha she couldn't have her 100th birthday. Why can't I stop thinking about that scene? It just broke my heart. I also open my internet bill that has apparently been changed to $84.95(!), so I actually owe money from last month in addition to this month. I edit the auto-pay, which goes out tomorrow.

    4:30 p.m. — I have a meeting and order a chai. ($9.71 expensed)

    7:15 p.m. — We hashed out some logistics and I get assigned some homework. I stop by the ATM on my way to the subway to make a business deposit and take $100 out in personal checking so I can pick up my laundry (tip $2). $23

    8 p.m. — Get home and am famished. My phone died, and when I plug it in I have a text from R. letting me know he's getting a beer with some work friends and won't be home for dinner. I'm bummed to miss out, because he rarely drinks. I poach an egg and put it on top of leftover risotto and spinach dressed with balsamic, plus a glass of wine. I flip through the December issue of Bon Appétit and pick out new cookie recipes to try. The December issue is my favorite because of the holiday cookies, and I love to bake when I have time.

    Daily Total: $23

    Day Five

    6:30 a.m. — Wake up, feed cats, make coffee, do the crossword, check emails, and see the internet bill went through today ($137.56).

    9 a.m. — Back from a quick 3.5 mile run with R. Make a turmeric tea and decide to do yoga at home so I can focus on some much-needed deep stretching and save myself the hour roundtrip before I have to meet with a distributor this afternoon. Home yoga is hard because I get distracted by dust bunnies, playful cats, and to-do lists. I sweep the floor, shut myself in the bedroom, light palo santo, and start with a Headspace meditation to get in the zone.

    11 a.m. — Showered and settling into the workday. It's bill paying day. I pay warehouse rent ($1,470 for 750 square feet, expensed), warehouse parking ($250 for one spot, expensed), warehouse utilities ($253.53, expensed), an overdue bill from the farmer's market ($258 including $50 late fee, yikes!, expensed), credit card payment ($5,000), co-packer payment ($11,280.12, expensed), and some freight payments ($2,266 expensed). Immediately after I pay the farmer's market bill online, I get an email from them letting me know they adjusted the invoice to remove the late fee — annoying, but cheaper! I also decide to go ahead and pay my personal credit card balance out of my savings account rather than eating the interest charge ($1,417.31).

    12:15 p.m. — My distributor cancels our 2 p.m. meeting because he doesn't feel well, so I make lunch plans.

    1:15 p.m. — I meet a close family friend in Manhattan for lunch. She is a teacher and has eight students from the DECA club in tow. We eat at Xi'an Famous Foods. I get the spicy cumin lamb noodles (N1 for life!) and a bottle of water. She pays for my lunch. Afterwards, we walk to a cafe that sells my product so I can talk to her students about my business and marketing. I purchase my product for her students to try and an Americano for myself. The buyer is there and covers the Americano. I tip $1. ($7.53 expensed)

    2:15 p.m. — Afterwards we go to Economy Candy, where I buy cinnamon bears for myself and malt balls for R. $5.17

    3:45 p.m. — I stop by Duane Reade before getting back on the train home and getting gift wrap and cards for the wine I bought earlier this week. ($53.48 expensed)

    4:30 p.m. — Have a kombucha to get over the afternoon slump of filling out insurance paperwork. My delivery driver rear-ended a taxi last month. No damage, but their insurance company sent a huge packet that I need to fill out. We also received new packaging samples, so I text photos to my designer.

    6:45 p.m. — I have another kombucha while I make dinner. I make a kale salad with roasted squash, shaved fennel, apples, and pepita/hemp seed brittle with a LaCroix. When I sit down to eat with R., I realize I haven't placed a merch order yet. I don't know how, but we went through 100 beanies in two months! I order another 100, plus hoodies and t-shirts. ($1,750 expensed)

    9:30 p.m. — R. is still hungry and orders a pizza for delivery. He pays. I have a half slice.

    11:30 p.m. — Not even remotely tired. Maybe a glass of wine will help.

    Daily Total: $5.17

    Day Six

    6:30 a.m. — Feed the cats. R. is up and out for Saturday activities. I try and fall back asleep because I didn't crash until 2 a.m.! Too hungry to fall back asleep. Make myself peanut butter toast and catch up on This Is Us.

    12 p.m. — Sleep a bit more. Now time for collagen coffee. R. will be home soon with ingredients to make cookies for a Hanukkah party we're going to tomorrow. He pays, since I'm baking.

    1:45 p.m. — R. reheats a slice of leftover pizza for me for lunch while I declutter and reorganize the kitchen. I top it with Sriracha and have a LaCroix with it. My friend comes over to meet our new kitty and she brings me coffee, her treat. I unload a ton of tea and adaptogen samples on her during my clean out. We taste some kombucha and I show her how to brew her own.

    6:30 p.m. — I'm supposed to meet another friend for dinner, but she won't be available until close to 8, and I'm exhausted from not sleeping much last night. We reschedule and I make a red vegetable curry with noodles for dinner. I snack on seed crackers and hummus while I wait for it to cook.

    Daily Total: $0

    Day Seven

    6:45 a.m. — Get up to feed the cats. Then I try to fall back asleep briefly before deciding to get up and start the rugelach cookies for the dinner we're going to later. I make myself a cup of tea and prep and chill the dough. While I'm prepping the fillings, I eat a clementine. Then I clean the dishes and get back in bed with R. for some snuggles.

    9:30 a.m. — Collagen coffee before running. It's raining, but we have a lot to do before the dinner this evening, so R. convinces me to run in the rain. Thank god it's only 1.5 miles! We split a vegan homemade version of a peanut butter and berry Rxbar before we leave.

    10:45 a.m. — I have a glass of kombucha while rolling out the rugelach and debating whether R. should go out to pick up breakfast or if we should eat in. We decide to eat in. He makes toast and I scramble a few eggs with spinach, cream cheese, and Sriracha.

    1 p.m. — The blade on my coffee grinder comes loose when I start to make the rugelach topping (freeze-dried raspberries and sugar). I spend 10 minutes Googling how to fix it and find nothing. I give up and go on Amazon to purchase a new grinder for same day delivery, since I won't have time to go out and buy one today or tomorrow and I NEED coffee. $23.90

    1:30 p.m. — Cookies are smelling good and they are making me hungry, so I reheat a small bowl of last night's curry noodles.

    1:45 p.m. — I quality check the cookies and give myself a harsh, The Great British Bake Off -esque review, even though I think they're fine and I know nobody will complain: “The swirl isn't very distinctive and it looks a bit rustic. The pastry is flaky but it's a bit overbaked. That's really a shame, that is,” — Paul Hollywood. After the cookie check, I settle in to handle a few small work tasks while R. naps before we have to head out.

    5:30 p.m. — Quite the Hanukkah spread at the party! I fill up on latkes, pickles, brisket, and a grapefruit bar (like lemon bars, but grapefruit). I wash everything down with a beer and later a small glass of wine.

    8 p.m. — Back at home, I open a LaCroix and handle a few quick work tasks to make sure Monday goes smoothly, including texting with my delivery driver and adjusting the production list for Tuesday. I browse cat toys and hammocks on Amazon but don't buy anything. Afterwards, I settle in to watch The Good Place but fall asleep almost immediately.

    Daily Total: $23.90

    Money Diaries are meant to reflect individual women's experiences and do not necessarily reflect Refinery29's point of view. Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity or harmful behavior.

    The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend — to try on your own, check out our guide to managing your money every day. For more money diaries, click here. Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here:

    Have you been working for at least 8 years and seen your salary increase or fluctuate? If so, fill out this form for a chance to be featured on our Salary Story series!

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    California is one of the states leading the way to lasting change by restricting the use of non-disclosure agreements. The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2019. The law, signed by outgoing Governor Jerry Brown in September, forbids the use of an NDA in settlements involving harassment, sexual assault, or discrimination based on sex, the Los Angeles Times reports.

    Dozens of men and the wrongdoings they have fought to conceal have been uncovered in the wake of the #MeToo movement and a single document has become one of the most prevalent mechanisms: the non-disclosure agreement. NDAs were exposed this year for the long role they have played in silencing victims and enabling men to commit serial misconduct and avoid repercussion s. The document has been extended far past its roots as a tool to prevent employees from sharing trade secrets and become something frequently used by lawyers and companies in settlement of sexual harassment and misconduct claims to keep them out of the public eye.

    Last spring, New York endorsed a new NDA law that also starts tomorrow and only permits confidentiality clauses at the request of the victim. The British Parliament is also in discussions to pass legislation in response to the #MeToo Movement.

    According to USA Today, all 50 states have passed bills in the last two years surrounding sexual harassment, rape kits, and non-disclosure agreements. Another law enacted in California is giving publicly held companies until the end of 2019 to have at least one woman on their board of directors.

    Some experts believe that these laws should go further, suggesting that a law be put in place that prevents perpetrators from leaving companies with substantial financial compensation. Many men accused of misconduct have left their respective employers with payouts amounting to tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars.

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    It's been a big year for Money Diaries! From publishing a diary every day (except for major holidays), to the Money Diaries book by Lindsey Stanberry, it's safe the say that our beloved series about spending and saving reached new heights in 2018.

    For the Money Diary fans who have been paying attention, we've been running an ongoing series all year called Your Spending In Your State. We set an ambitious goal for ourselves at the beginning of the year to publish at least one diary from every state to capture the spending habits and daily rituals of women from across the country.

    On the last day of 2018, we're celebrating the fact that we did it! From Hawaii to Maine, we've published one diary from each of the 50 states. So if you're looking for a great Money Diary binge to close out the year, you can find all the entries from Your Spending In Your State.

    We also followed up with our favorite OPs (and yours) of 2018, so be sure to check out what they've been up to — and what they learned — from writing a Money Diary. And let us know in the comments if you want to see Your Spending In Your State or another special series in 2019!

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    When designer Marc Jacobs announced that he would be reissuing the infamous Bootleg Redux Grunge collection that made his name and got him fired from Perry Ellis back in 1993, we were beyond thrilled. Now, it seems the collection has landed the designer in a spot of trouble.

    According to TMZ and The Fashion Law, Nirvana are suing the Marc Jacobs International brand for using its trademarked (and iconic) smiley face logo on a T-shirt in the relaunched collection. The T-shirt reads "HEAVEN" and has the designer's initials are the place of eyes.

    According to reports, Nirvana, LCC (the legal unit founded in September 1997 by Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and the Courtney Love-controlled Cobain Estate) has handed a lawsuit to the brand, claiming that the T-shirt “infringed Nirvana’s copyright, misleadingly used Nirvana’s trademarks, and utilised other elements with which Nirvana is widely associated to make it appear that Nirvana has endorsed or is otherwise associated with” the reissued collection.

    You may be questioning why the band's representatives are coming down hard on Marc Jacobs, when fast-fashion retailers have been using Kurt Cobain's 1991 yellow hand-drawn logo on T-shirts for years. Well, unlike the likes of H&M and Urban Outfitters, allegedly Marc Jacobs did not receive authorisation or pay a license fee to use Nirvana’s intellectual property.

    The product description on the brand's site also alludes to the band's lyrics. "This exclusive piece from the 1993 Grunge collection was created by Marc Jacobs during his time at Perry Ellis. This bootleg smiley tee sure smells like teen spirit."

    The T-shirt sits alongside checked shirts, cropped cardigans and biker boots, all pieces from the original Perry Ellis collection, which Jacobs re-released in November. He said (via press release) of the collection: "The ‘Grunge’ collection epitomised the first time in my professional career I was unwavering in my determination to see my vision come to life on the runway, without creative compromise."

    Despite being criticised on social media for the smiley T-shirt, Marc Jacobs has yet to respond to the reports.

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    The new year is a time for new beginnings, and there’s nothing like a set of eclipses to wipe the slate clean. January 5 brings a solar eclipse with a new moon in Capricorn. We’ll collectively be zeroing in on what we need to change in our work and professional lives to break new ground. On January 6, Uranus will move direct in Aries helping us to create the momentum we’ll need. Don’t believe everything that you think or hear on the 13th, when Jupiter and Neptune square each other. Aquarius season also begins on the 20th, helping us to examine the future. Venus and Mars will trine on the 18th, making it the perfect time for collaboration. We move into our first lunar eclipse of the year on the 21st, during a full moon in Leo. This lunar eclipse will stir up our feelings as the moon will square with Uranus. Changes that cannot be ignored will be brought to light. How will you wrestle with those emotions? On the 25th, Mars will trine with Jupiter, imbuing our actions with luck! Dreams have the opportunity to become a reality on the 31st when Saturn and Neptune form a sextile!


    You’re going to be making some career changes this month, thanks to the solar eclipse on January 5 which will occur in your 10th house. The moon who rules your home and family life will oppose the Sun, your planet of fun and entertainment. You may realize you need to buckle down at your job after the holidays, as this eclipse occurs in Capricorn. Capricorn is the sign of grounding your desires for expansion in work. This first eclipse will help you define how you see yourself succeeding this 2019. On January 6th, Uranus will end his retrograde and move direct in Aries. These are the last few months that he will spend in your sign, so put his transformative energy to use. On January 18, your ruling planet Mars will trine with Venus, your planet of love and money. A trine is a favorable positioning of planets that help them relate to each other. The 21st of January brings our first lunar eclipse, combined with a full supermoon in Leo. Again, your home and family life will mingle with your sense of enjoyment. The lunar eclipse may reveal something in your personal life that needs adjustment. Begin fine-tuning your own schedule and check in with family members. Mars will trine with Jupiter, the planetary ruler of travel, education and higher thinking on the 25th. These two planets will boost your self worth and confidence! 

    illustrated by Celia Jacobs.


    We enter the new year with a solar eclipse in your ninth house of adventure and education on the 5th of January. The sun, your planetary ruler of home and family life will be undergoing a movement that could create some powerful changes. Tauruses who are traveling or in school need to pay attention. Eclipses are meant to help reveal flaws that need fixing, so don’t hide under your blankets! Uranus, your planet of career moves direct on the 6th in Aries, creeping slowly towards your own sign. This planet is helping to build you up! Jupiter and Neptune will form their first square of the year on the 13th, bringing up illusions of grandeur. Be careful not to oversell anything on this day, as ideas are big but without substance. Take the seeds of ideas from this day and build them up on the 18th when Mars and Venus trine. When these planets are in a favorable position, they can help bring life to brilliant concepts! The Sun will enter your 10th house of career on the 20th, giving you the juice to conquer your field. On the 21st, a full moon in Leo will enter a lunar eclipse in your fourth house of home and family. Lay low this week and remember to recharge. On the 25th, you’ll feel some clarity as Mars trines with Jupiter. The action planet is your ruler of spirituality.



    It’s always good to be ahead of the game, Gemini. January 5th’s solar eclipse in your eighth house will bring your attention to your taxes and outstanding debts at the beginning of the year. Rip it off like a band-aid, and you’ll be able to sail into the new year in style. This solar eclipse also occurs with a new moon, which signals new beginnings. Think positively - the moon is your personal planet of cash so any eclipse will bring financial changes with it. On the 7th, Venus moves into your seventh house of love with lucky Jupiter. If you’re single, this placement will help open up your romantic opportunities. In a relationship? Cuddle up with your partner during these chilly winter nights. The lunar eclipse of the 21st will help you to catch any money matters that you may have missed this month.

    illustrated by Amber Vittoria.


    The January 5th new moon and solar eclipse will affect partnered Cancers a bit stronger than their single counterparts. This eclipse occurs in your house of relationships, but don’t fear! It coincides with a new moon so you may find yourself taking your connection to the next level. On the 7th, Venus your personal planet of home and family links up with Jupiter, your planet of health and work. You’re in the mood to pick up a new healthy habit. Don’t set yourself a resolution - try out a few different options before committing to anything! On the 18th, sweet Venus trines with fiery Mars, lifting your energy at work. Venus is responsible for elevating your home while Mars is in charge of moving things along in your work. Make sure that you have a pen ready! The Sun, your personal planet of cash moves into your eighth house of taxation, and other people’s money on the 20th. Put that credit card down and pay off any outstanding bills you have - you’ll feel freer. The lunar eclipse on the 21st will reveal more money matters to you.

    Ariel Davis.


    It’s time to take on a new lease on life, Leo! The January 5th solar eclipse in your sixth house of health and work will help you create habits that you can follow through with! This eclipse will coincide with a new moon which is wonderful for establishing new routines. When Leos encounter eclipses, they go through a rebirth. How will you redefine yourself? If you’re looking for a new job, Venus, your career planet will help when she trines with Mars on the 18th. The Sun, your planetary ruler moves into your 7th house of love and relationships on the 20th. If you’re single or in a relationship, you’ll get a little more pep in your step!
    On the 21st, your feelings of change from the first eclipse will rise to the surface as the first lunar eclipse of the year arrives in your sign! You may find yourself struggling with creating changes to your lifestyle. Trust that you can make a happier and healthier life for yourself!

    Linny Z.


    Welcome to a new year of fresh beginnings, Virgo. As the zodiac’s most organized sign, you’re ready to welcome the January 5 solar eclipse in your fifth house of creativity and children. This new moon eclipse occurs in Capricorn, helping you to find new inspiration in your world of work. If you’re in a relationship, both you and your partner may cross your wires on the 13th when Jupiter and Neptune form their first square of the year. Jupiter is the planetary ruler of your home life, while Neptune is your personal planet of love. Single Virgos may have big ideas about what they want their love life to look like. Watch your expectations. When these two planets oppose each other, it’s easy to fall out of touch with reality. Be careful how you come across on the 18th. The Sun and Uranus will square against each other creating tension and an urge for change. Whatever is irking you, remember that if it isn’t meant to be, you can find another solution down the road. The Sun moves into your sixth house of health on the 20th, illuminating new routines and wellness practices. Try thinking out of the box with a sound bath or acupuncture treatment.

    Simone Noronha.


    You’re a natural born peacemaker, Libra, and your family may need you to help restore balance on the 5th. This first solar eclipse occurs in your fourth house of home and family, exposing obstacles that you’ll have to overcome together. There’s nothing that you can’t tackle as a team! On the 13th, you may feel like people aren’t able to “get” your ideas in the office. Neptune, your planet of health and work squares against Jupiter, your planetary ruler of communication. Shake it off and move forward with the essence of your grand scheme, until after this square passes. Brighter days lie ahead when the Sun highlights your fifth house of pleasure on the 20th. The 21st’s lunar eclipse in Leo illuminates your job, as the moon is your planetary ruler of career. Have you been considering making a change to your business or work path? You could find clarity on how to create a more efficient schedule or profitable business!

    Sarah Mazzeti.


    You enter 2019 looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, Scorpio. Your love planet Venus will inhabit your sign until the 7th of the month. But the solar eclipse in Capricorn that happens on the 5h will affect your third house of communication and short-term travel. You may notice some large-scale changes at work that you were not prepared for, as the Sun rules your career zone. Take notes and get ready to go with the flow, now is not the time to make a stand. On the 13th, Neptune and Jupiter square, and this may have people making huge promises that they can’t keep. Use your judgment and hold your cards close to your chest as Jupiter is your personal planet of cash. Relax on the 20th when the Sun enters Aquarius and your fourth house of home and family. Everyone will be ready to explore the future, so let your hair down and get into the conversation! The moon wanes in your sign from the 27th to the 28th. Take this weekend off to get deep into your feelings and be kind to yourself.

    Kelsey Wrotten.


    You’re built to weather any storm, Sagittarius. The upcoming solar eclipse on January 5th will occur in your second house of finances. This new moon in Capricorn will reveal the changes that you need to make to improve your finances in the long run — make your money work for you. On the 7th, Venus your planetary ruler of health and work enters your sign, helping to elevate your energy! Manage your expectations from people who promise the world too quickly. Your ruling planet Jupiter squares with Neptune, your personal planet of home and family on the 13th. It seems as though everyone is building each other up but on zero substance. On the 20th, the Sun enters your 3rd house of communication helping you to connect with others. The first lunar eclipse of the year opens your 9th house of travel and education on the 21st. If you’re in school, you could make a startling realization - start course correcting now. If you’re traveling, make sure to double up on travel insurance and prepare a contingency plan.

    Kissi Ussuki.


    You will begin a metamorphosis during the solar eclipse on the 5th of the month. Your personal planet of love will start a new cycle in your sign aka your first house of self. This day will mark a change in you that you can no longer ignore. Spend the weekend getting to know who you want to become in 2019. Conversations about idealism could become tangled when two of your major planets square against one another. On the 13th, Neptune, your planet of communications will square with Jupiter, your planetary ruler of spirituality. If you’re feeling inspired, focus on listening rather than speaking so that you can reflect on your thoughts later on in the week. The Sun will move into your second house of money and finances on the 20th, bringing your attention to your income. Only a day later, the Lunar eclipse arrives in your eighth house of debt and other people’s money. If you’re going through your paperwork, you may notice that you overlooked a bill or your partner needs help managing their finances. Together, you can get through anything! The Sun is lending his luck to help you all through Aquarius season with money matters.

    Loveis Wise.


    The upcoming solar eclipse on the 5th will occur in your twelfth house of spirituality. If you’re in a relationship, you could be faced with some realizations about your partner and yourself. The sun is your personal planetary ruler of love, while the moon is responsible for your health and work. When these aspects of your life oppose each other, you will be unable to ignore the revisions that you need to make. You can handle a little criticism, but be sure to speak with love. Uranus, your planetary ruler, is ending his retrograde on the 6th and going direct in Aries. You can feel your energy building as we move closer towards your season, Aquarius. Jupiter and Neptune will square each other on the 13th, creating weird conversations about money. The planet of dreams is your personal ruler of cash. When he is at odds with luck, people tend to assume that they have a higher chance of winning the lottery than being struck by lightning. Stay grounded, and you’ll get through it. The Sun enters your first house of self on the 20th and that kicks off your time in the spotlight!

    illustrated by Hilda Palafox.


    The upcoming Solar eclipse on the 5th may tighten your circle of friendship, Pisces. The Sun and Moon will oppose each other while in your 11th house, bringing inequalities to the surface. If you’ve been giving too much of yourself to someone else, the eclipse will help you take off your blinders. You can approach the problem one of two ways: mend broken bridges, or gracefully guard your time. The sun rules your health and work, while the Moon rules love affairs and creativity. Singles may see a new side of a potential partner. Where you go is up to you. Watch out what you say at work on the 13th, Pisces. Your planetary ruler Neptune will form a square with Jupiter, your personal career planet. You’ve worked hard to get where you are, don’t let twisted words get in your way! Neptune and Jupiter are a little tricky when they square with each other, they tend to over-promise. It’s always better to over-deliver. On the 20th, the Sun enters your sixth house of health and work. Are you sacrificing your wellbeing for your art? Wherever the imbalance is, you will find it. If you’re pursuing your ambition, don’t let it eat you alive.

    Rachel Jo.

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    Around 2015 or so, adult coloring books arrived on the Amazon bestseller list, and haven’t left since. The response was polarizing: Kate Middleton was reportedly a fan at one point, but Quartz dubbed them America’s “cry for help.” Forbes called them the “dark horse of publishing” that year. Regardless of how you feel about coloring books for those past grade school, studies have proven that they do help some de-stress at the end of the day, highlighting an oft-forgotten means of stress relief: creating art.

    For most people, our creative lives end with our formal arts education in high school. “What happens is people grow up and they think they’re not creative, and so they cut themselves off from this really powerful way of expressing themselves,” says Dr. Christianne Strang, PhD, ATR-BC, CEDCAT-S, the president of the American Art Therapy Association and an assistant professor in the behavioral neuroscience program at the University of Alabama. “Anything that someone can do that can be an entre into connecting with their sense of creativity can be really powerful.”

    “My daughter will say, ‘playing the violin helps me feel good. When I play the violin when I’m upset, I see better,’” describes Girija Kaimal, EdD, MA, ATR-BC and assistant professor in the creative therapies department at Drexel University. When engaging in the arts — whether that’s writing, drawing, music, or dance — you channel your emotions in a constructive way. This is called sublimation. “[When sublimating,] you channel what might be a destructive or difficult emotion into something that’s adaptive and positive,” Dr. Kaimal says. “You don’t go and punch someone, but you might punch a piece of clay, and make something out of it, so you redirect what might be difficult emotion into something positive and adaptive.”

    That said, sublimating, or using art as a form of self-care, can only take you so far. Dr. Kaimal likes to use a home improvement analogy: you can cover a scuff on the wall with a framed picture, or change a lightbulb to brighten up a dark room, but once you start having electrical or plumbing problems, it’s time to call a professional.

    That’s where art therapy can be helpful.

    “You can use art for self-care, you can connect with creativity, you can do your own art therapeutically, but that is distinct from art therapy that is done in relation to a professional art therapist,” Dr. Strang explains.

    Art therapy dates back to World War I, during which artists, Red Cross volunteers, and occupational therapists worked with soldiers to treat PTSD. During World War II, the practice caught on at Walter Reed Hospital. The term “art therapy” was coined in the early 1940s, in the book Art Versus Illness by Adrian Hill, who himself was an artist working in a sanitorium. In the 1960s, the first formal training program for art therapists was founded at Drexel’s Hahnemann University Hospital. In the decades since, art therapy has evolved into standalone mental health profession with masters-level training and board certification.

    “The idea is that we engage mind, body, and spirit,” says Dr. Strang, of formal art therapy. “It goes beyond verbalization, beyond just talking about people and things, so people engage in a different way to meet treatment goals.” Art therapy is about using creativity and art-making to help people understand themselves, find a voice, and “communicate things for which there are no words,” she says. It’s distinct from using art therapeutically, because art therapists are looking to meet very specific treatment goals in relation to issues such as addiction, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. “You can use art therapeutically for yourself, but the principles of art therapy are specifically about the therapeutic relationship and working with an art therapist.” In some states, there’s legislation in place limiting the practice of art therapy to people who are credentialed art therapists. During appointments, art therapists work with patients on a series of art assessments which are “not where we sit down and analyze someone’s artwork,” Dr. Strang says, but rather, where they “have someone do artwork, talk to them, work with it, and use that to establish their treatment goal.”

    If you’re not a fan of traditional talk therapy, art therapy might be an alternative worth pursuing. Several art therapy practices accept health insurance, like Arts Rx in New York, because Creative Arts Therapy is a licensed mental health field. Without health insurance, a session costs between $75 and $155.

    But whether you’re using art as a form of self-care or signing up for an art therapy session, there are a few reasons why art can help you work through emotions and relieve stress. During a 2016 study, Dr. Kaimal found that 45 minutes of creative activity significantly reduced the cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in three-quarters of the study participants. Creating art also produces a sense of pride and accomplishment that’s not necessarily a consequence of skill. “Skill has nothing to do with the benefits of self-expression,” Dr. Kaimal says. “Skill is not a prerequisite. Studies by Jamie Pannebaker and Joshua Smythe have shown that it’s the authenticity of the expression and not the skill.”

    Finding a medium that you enjoy is key to making art as a form of self-care — drawing is different from painting, which is different from sculpting, creating jewelry, or making a collage. “Coloring is the most obvious one, where people use it to zone out and relax to decrease anxiety. Some people doodle, and other people are very comfortable making art on their own, and they make art for the sake of making art, which is in itself a form of self-care,” Dr. Strang says. “People really respond to pain and loss with creativity. Perhaps the best example of that is the AIDS quilt.”

    Coloring books might not seem creative, but you need to make creative decisions every time you work with them — whether that’s deciding whether to fill them in with pencil, marker, or watercolor, or deciding how to engage with the lines. Some people even cut out the shapes to make something three-dimensional. “It’s an entry point into the arts,” Dr. Kaimal says.

    So if you’re suffering from mild stress or just feel more anxious than normal, coloring, painting, or crafting at home might be a good place to find some relief. However, if you think you’re suffering from a more acute form of stress or anxiety, and it’s negatively impacting your life, you might want to seek out a licensed art therapist. Either way, we think your inner child will thank you.

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    Breakfast: There’s a reason many tout this meal as the most important of the day. From stabilizing blood sugar levels to providing a much-needed boost of energy first thing in the morning, eating breakfast has many benefits for your overall health that shouldn’t be ignored.

    But because mornings can feel so hectic, a nutritious a.m. meal doesn’t always get the time or respect it deserves. That’s why smoothies — blended with quality ingredients — are one of my favorites. They’re delicious, filling, and fast when you’re in a time crunch, and you can load them up with all the greens and healthy fats that you want. (Both food groups that nurture your brain and your mood.)

    And, if you crave a heartier first meal or love a lazy weekend morning as much as I do, the truffled farm eggs with smoked salmon or shakshuka recipes that you’ll find here will be favorites — I promise. So set your alarm a little earlier each morning (or batch prep two to three days of smoothies by storing pre-blended ingredients in a quart container in the freezer), and try some of the recipes excerpted here from Drew Ramsey M.D.’s Eat Complete.

    There’s something about starting my day with a beautiful meal that really makes me feel like I’m winning at self-care.

    by Samantha Elkrief, LMSW

    These healthy recipes are part of Clean Slate, Refinery29’s 21-day course filled with new ways to think about food, exercise, and stress relief. Sign up here to get nutritious recipes, fun physical activities, and some suggestions to beat stress that don’t require meditation.


    This is a breakfast that hits the mark for protein and taste, and it also happens to come with its own aromatherapy treatment. Mint calms and refreshes, so start your day by tearing up the mint leaves and taking a deep mindful breath. Pairing blueberries with greens covers a lot of bases for your vitamin needs. The juicy wild blueberries plus an added subtle sweetness from the mint pair well with the taste of the greens.


    - 2 cups fresh or frozen (a great way to trim your grocery budget) wild blueberries
    - 1 cup plain, 2 percent yogurt or plain kefir
    - 1 cup assorted greens such as spinach, baby kale, or collards
    - 1 banana
    - 1⁄4 cup fresh mint leaves
    - 1⁄4 cup hemp seeds
    - 1⁄4 cup pumpkin seeds 4 ice cubes
    - 3⁄4 cup cold water


    Place the blueberries, yogurt or kefir, greens, banana, mint leaves, hemp seeds, and pumpkin seeds in a blender along with the ice cubes and cold water and process until smooth. Divide evenly between two glasses and serve immediately.

    SHAKSHUKA Serves 2 (by Samantha Elkrief, LMSW)

    This is a flavorful and rich dish eaten in North Africa, Israel, Iran, and other Middle Eastern countries (though it has different names and varieties). It’s usually eaten for breakfast, but it can also serve as a light lunch or dinner. The great thing about this dish is you can individualize it as much as you like. The basics are tomatoes, onions, peppers, cumin, garlic, water, salt, pepper and eggs. Other than that, it’s up to you. You can add paprika, or sometimes I cook it with a dried pepper like chipotle to give it a smoky kick. You can add hot sauce or whatever herbs you like. I personally use green peppers as that’s the way they do it in Northern Africa, but in Israel they often use more tomatoes and red peppers. It’s very versatile.


    - 2 tbsp olive oil
    - 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    - 1 yellow onion, diced
    - 1 green pepper, diced1 tsp cumin
    - 1 tsp paprika
    - Salt and pepper to taste
    - 3 tomatoes, I prefer plum, large dice
    - 1/4 cup water, more as needed
    - 4 eggs


    Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Once the olive oil is hot, sauté the peppers and onions over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic after about 5 minutes, as you don’t want it to brown. Then add cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and cook for one minute. Add tomatoes and the water. Cover the pan and let it all cook for about five minutes. Add more water if it gets dry.

    Once the veggies have cooked down a bit and start to look saucy, make three indentations in the cooking pan with the back of a spoon and crack the eggs into them. You want to keep them separate. Add a little salt and pepper and cover. You are basically steaming the eggs in the tomato sauce. I cook them until the yellows are slightly cooked, about 10 minutes. For a true shakshuka, cook just until the egg whites have set.

    Serve on it’s own, with a side salad, pita or bread. Add chopped herbs at the end (cilantro is a good match).


    You might be skeptical about starting your day with four cups of greens, but that'll quickly pass. Mixing greens into your smoothies is an easy way to boost nutrient intake. The fiber in the greens plus the protein in the kefir will keep you full longer. To avoid bitterness, be sure your kiwis are ripe, which means they should be soft to the touch. Leave hard kiwis on the countertop for two to three days to ripen.

    - 2 cups raw fresh spinach
    - 2 cups raw kale
    - 2 ripe kiwis, peeled and quartered
    - 1 cup plain 2 percent yogurt or plain kefir
    - 1⁄4 cup almonds1⁄4 cup chia seeds
    - 2 tablespoons honey
    - 4 ice cubes
    - 1 cup cold water, plus more as needed


    Place the spinach, kale, kiwis, yogurt or kefir, almonds, chia seeds, and honey in a blender along with the ice cubes and cold water. Blend until smooth, adding a few tablespoons more of cold water to adjust the consistency if necessary. Divide evenly between two glasses and serve immediately.


    As a trio, seafood, greens, and eggs in this dish deliver all of the essential 21 nutrients, which you can learn more about in my book. For even more omega-3s (and no food dyes), choose wild salmon, which is sometimes harder to find than smoked salmon. Another option is to make your own cured salmon. Watercress tops the rankings of fruits and vegetables for overall nutrient density. To take this brunch-style breakfast on the go, wrap your eggs and fixings in a large collard leaf, which boosts the nutrient density of the dish. Serious foodies can swap the truffle oil for two teaspoons shaved fresh truffle, black or white, added to two teaspoons olive oil.


    - 1 tablespoon olive oil
    - 4 pasture-raised eggs
    - 2 teaspoons truffle oil
    - 1 teaspoon paprika
    1 shallot or 1⁄2 red onion, thinly sliced
    - 8 ounces watercress
    - 2 tablespoons balsamic or apple cider vinegar
    - 8 ounces smoked salmon


    Coat a large skillet with half of the olive oil and warm it over medium-high heat. Crack the eggs into the skillet, drizzle with the truffle oil, and sprinkle with paprika. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the whites are cooked through but the yolks are still soft.

    While the eggs are cooking, prepare the watercress. Coat a separate large skillet with the remaining olive oil. Add the shallot or onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the shallot starts to soften. Add the watercress and cook for 1 minute until wilted. Sprinkle with the vinegar.

    Divide the mixture among four plates and top each with an egg and 2 ounces of the smoked salmon. Serve immediately.


    Buttermilk, a cultured dairy product, adds zip to this berry delicious smoothie that’s high in vitamin C and key minerals. Including cultured dairy in your diet benefits your health by adding good bacteria to your microbiome. If you can’t do dairy, try cultured coconut yogurt instead.


    - 1 cup 2 percent buttermilk 1 cup plain kefir
    - 3 cups fresh strawberries
    - 1⁄4 cup almonds
    - 2 tablespoons pumpkinseeds
    - 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    - 8 ice cubes


    Place the buttermilk, kefir, strawberries, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and vanilla in a blender along with the ice cubes. Process until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of cold water to adjust the consistency if necessary. Divide evenly between two glasses and serve immediately.

    Unless otherwise noted, all recipes are excerpted from Dr. Drew Ramsey's Eat Complete: The 21 Nutrients That Fuel Brainpower, Boost Weight Loss, and Transform Your Health (Harper Wave, 2016).

    Dr. Drew Ramsey is also the creator of Eat To Beat Depression.

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