Letter 005: A Quickie

Because we're swamped but we love you

Welp, it’s Creamline day and we’re a little behind. We’re going to send out a proper letter next week, but in the meantime, wanted to say hello.

CC: Our friend Marianna Fierro, who did our branding, created some illustrations for us AND WE LOVE THEM. If you missed out on buying her towels when Dame had them in stock, her shop is open again and while I literally bought five from her a few months ago, I want more! The pattern she created for the LA Times is newly available as a towel, so I probably will buy at least that!

And, because she is the patron saint of delightful content, she also made us gifs—if you’re on instagram, search “Creamline” and they’ll come up. Y’ALL. So fun. Please use them! Tag us, tag her, tag a friend who likes great illos. Etc etc.

And now, a few things we’ve enjoyed lately:


Forewarning: my section isn’t going to inspire you to look inward or challenge you to dive into that dense historical biography sitting on your shelf. Brain power is lacking this week, so I’m keeping it lowbrow for my sake and yours. On that note…

Rewatching Ocean’s Eleven: I have seen this movie a conservative two dozen times, and the twenty-fifth was this past weekend upstate while very, very deep in the bag. There was important discourse on the entire franchise amongst the group: a ranking of meals Rusty eats while standing up throughout, our character counterparts (I’m a Danny, thankyouverymuch) and the undeniable fuckability of Vincent Cassel

Delivery from Fish Cheeks: On par with my accidental attempt at giving myself mercury poisoning—more on that in our real letter on Friday—my Sunday hangover boon was a big bowl of coconut crab curry from one of my favorite Thai spots. She’s creamy, tamarind-sweet, and studded with giant hunks of meat. I love her deeply. 

These ACV Gummies: I’m sure my intestines are lined with a sticky red coating by now, but that hasn’t stopped me from running through three bottles of these tasty little things. I usually try to incorporate apple cider vinegar into my diet daily, whether that means a shot in the morning or a splash in salad dressing at dinnertime, but these are effortless and taste like candy if you’re not a fan.

Cinematic Chillout on Spotify: If you’ve ever worked with me or so much as walked by my desk while I’m writing, you’ve probably heard this playlist coming through my AirPods. Sweeping film scores hit the sweet spot for me when I’m trying to concentrate, and after a hiatus, I’m back to letting this play for hours while I get shit done. 

White Hydrangeas from Whole Foods: Sure, I’d rather support my local florist, but walking home with a chai from Punjabi Grocery and a cheap bouquet is the most basic way to activate my brain’s pleasure center. 

A Fresh Brow Gel: I style my brows to go with my makeup and outfit the same way I style the rest of my hair. While I have my go-to gels (this one for a big fluffy party brow, this one for a mostly bare day) this release by just-launched Merit has quickly emerged as my everyday styler. The spreadable formula adds just enough pigment to refine my shape, but doesn’t add any extra bulk so it still looks sophisticated.


I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. My first few years of freelance, I was bad at making time to do the things I love because, even if I was tired or unfocused, I felt like I should have been sending a pitch letter or emailing an editor or posting to instagram or whatever. So, I spent a lot of time not working but not feeling like I could do anything that wasn’t work. It was awful.

In the past year, I’ve decided to chill the fuck out (in moderation) and it’s been great. Some reads I’d recommend:

A Crowded Table from Meg Conley’s gorgeous newsletter, which turns the perky “thrifted!” narrative on its head. I’m still feeling the heart pangs.

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and the Limits of Representation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor at The New Yorker. I’m so happy that Trump’s out of the White House, but have complicated feelings about Joe Biden being the one to replace him. This piece helped me explore those feelings in a productive way. Also, everything Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor writes sticks with me.

Vision Boarding in a Year of Uncertainty by Lane Florsheim for WSJ. I love Lane’s smart, pop-culture-focused writing and this made me want to vision board beyond my secret Pinterest “2021 Visualization” board.

I just reread Esther Perel’s The State of Affairs and loved it just as much the second time around. She’s America’s favorite relationship therapist, I think because she’s also a philosopher at heart—she writes so compellingly about ethics, feelings, and obligations. In it, she quotes from Zygmunt Bauman’s Liquid Life, “There is always a suspicion . . . that one is living a lie or a mistake; that something crucially important has been overlooked, missed, neglected, left untried, and unexplored; that a vital obligation to one’s own authentic self has not been met or that some chances of unknown happiness completely different from any happiness experienced before have not been taken up in time and are bound to be lost forever if they continue to be neglected.”

I didn’t realize that most people feel this way? I thought it was just me, and furthermore thought I felt that way because I’m bad at making life decisions. Good to know! Maybe I should not be so hard on myself!

And, one non-reading thing I’ve been loving lately: GUMBO. My gumbo recipe really depends on what I have around, but it’s mostly based on this Emeril recipe. I’m not really an Emeril girl (because I’m not middle-aged I guess?), but he did start his rise to fame as the executive chef of Commander's Palace, so I figured his recipe would be a good starting point. If you’re graving hearty food with lots of flavor, Gumbo over rice is just the thing. The chocolate roux takes a while, but making it in the oven minimizes the pain-in-the-assness. I generally make a double batch and freeze half so it’s a little easier the next time.

Anyway, that’s it! Hope you’re all enjoying a nice cocktail (even if it’s 0 ABV for Dry January). See ya next week! xx