14 Bike Accessories For Safe & Stylish Summer Rides
It's no surprise that biking has quickly become the way to get around in 2020. Not only does it give us welcomed opportunities for exercise and fresh air, but it’s also one of the safer ways to travel currently (along with being a perfect socially distant activity). And, with a long weekend on our horizons, it's the perfect time to get outside and cruise — so, we rounded up 14 bike accessories for a cool, comfortable, and SAFE ride.
Whether it's a $17 vintage-style bell that comes in an array of candy-coated colors or a super-rugged folding pannier bag with such an ardent following that it was sold out until recently, the ahead goods will help make your ride secure and stylish. Click through to outfit your bike for the long-summer haul — and be sure to shout out your favorite bells and whistles in the comments below.
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. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
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If 2020 was a normal year, we’d be taking advantage of the summer season to write a whole lot about weddings and wedding dresses. But, with a global pandemic canceling almost everything about life as we knew it, we’re not. Instead, our carts are filled with bike shorts, WFH-friendly office chairs, and face masks (of both the beauty and PPE varieties). We do know, however, that people are still getting married — and that means they’re still finding ways to browse, try on, and ultimately purchase nuptial-ready frocks. Which begs the question: how exactly are they accomplishing this? We started asking around and as we talked to different women across the country, we learned a lot more than how they wedding-dress shopped during such strange times. The women whose weddings were derailed by COVID-19 still managed to have them and, although different, their ceremonies were just as special as what was planned pre-pandemic. Ultimately, we decided to tell the stories not only of their dresses but of the marriages themselves and the unique ways that their unions took shape in the face of one particularly un-celebratory year. DashDividers_1_500x100 The Show Must Go On“I was planning what I wanted to look like long before there was any engagement,” explained healthcare project coordinator Bri Hodges of her dream wedding dress, but as she browsed bridal salons in advance of her March 27th ceremony, she saw a lot of “bling and tulle” that didn’t match the timeless gown she was envisioning. She enlisted bespoke bridal atelier Anomalie to create a shimmering, all-satin number that would make her “feel classically beautiful and regal.” When the dress that Hodges had customized online arrived at her home in Syracuse, NY, and she put it on for the first time, she had “the experience I’d been waiting for with a wedding dress. My mom was sitting on the couch and immediately burst into tears. I felt like Belle from Beauty and the Beast.” Her dress-bliss, however, soon gave way to panic as the pandemic threatened to derail her ceremony. As she waited on final alterations, “Everything started shutting down — and I literally had to go pick up my dress a day early for fear I wouldn’t be able to get it at all.”> We had so many phones going for FaceTime. You could hear my sister sobbing hysterically in the background.> > Bri HodgesBri was determined to get married on the day after the 6th anniversary of making it official with her then-boyfriend: “it was the only date that was significant to us,” she explained. As the pandemic loomed larger and larger, she told us, the guest list “kept dwindling and dwindling,” until it was whittled down to an essential roster that consisted only of Bri’s parents and daughter and her fiancee’s mother and grandmother. The remainder of the 70-person guest list tuned in via video. “We had so many phones going for FaceTime,” Bri said. “You could hear my sister sobbing hysterically in the background.” The wedding party was diverted from the ballroom of the brand-new hotel that had been booked for the nuptials to a fireplace-lit lounge, where the hotel staff surprised Bri’s family with a celebratory, celestial staging of the intimate space. “I thought they were going to do what I asked, which was just to set up some chairs. But they put up twinkle lights, lanterns, and garlands, and set up a cake station and champagne toasting station. I got overwhelmed walking in and not only seeing my husband but seeing how they’d decorated it.” Post-ceremony, say Bri, “we’re hoping to grow our family, so we’re holding off” on re-scheduling the large, proper celebration that she’d originally planned. “I am definitely getting a second dress when we re-do this again in five years,” she says. “I already got the regal look, so I might be a little more adventurous and colorful next time.”DashDividers_1_500x100 The Grand (Wedding) TourAfter City Harvest volunteer director Erin Butler’s plans to hit the standard circuit of New York City wedding-dress purveyors (Kleinfeld, BHLDN, and Lovely Bride) were cut short by citywide closings of non-essential businesses in mid-March, it became clear that she’d have to try another route if she wanted to get a dress in time for her late summer wedding. At the suggestion of a coworker, Butler reached out to womenswear label Carleen about re-creating a dress from the brand’s archive that she’d seen online. “It was long and flowy and really beautiful — it’s completely my style.” With early-pandemic uncertainly at its height, Carleen designer Kelsy Parkhouse “was so happy to have something positive and uplighting to think about, and work on,” said Erin. Parkhouse sent a sample to her in-laws in Minneapolis (where she and her partner were sheltering in place) to be worn during a Zoom fitting. “We had no idea what we were doing,” said Erin, “but Kelsy was really creative and thoughtful — she sent a beautiful package of fabric swatches along with a measuring tape,” and Erin’s partner used painter’s tape to mark changes to the garment’s pattern. “It’s not really my thing to be on display,” Erin explained. “The fact that we could do [the fitting] from the comfort of my own home — I did not feel nearly as stressed about it as I did about going to Kleinfeld.” > We had no idea what we were doing, but Kelsy was really creative and thoughtful — she sent a beautiful package of fabric swatches along with a measuring tape.> > Erin ButlerNow, in lieu of what she and her partner had previously planned — “a very fancy, 300-person banger in Minneapolis”, they’re taking their show on the road — and of course, wearing the sweeping, floor-length gown at every stop. Not only will she don it on her original August wedding date during an intimate ceremony in her in-laws’ backyard but the frock will also make an appearance in Florida, where she and her partner will have “the beach wedding that [my mother] always dreamed of for me. My goal is to wear this dress to as many ceremonies as possible, and perhaps every anniversary thereafter.” Erin is happy to have gone this route and ended up with a dress that she can herself wearing over and over again; “Everything is aligning with the way I feel about textiles and waste,” she said. “I couldn’t see myself wearing a Kleinfeld dress ever again.”DashDividers_1_500x100 A Virtual Affair“We all remember the last thing we did before shelter in place,” says Elisa Benson, manager of lifestyle partnerships at Instagram, “and the last normal thing I did was go wedding-dress shopping.” The Brooklyn-based bride-to-be made the rite-of-passage pilgrimage to Kleinfeld, she told us, “and it was kind of a surreal experience — it was empty.” Two days after that mid-March visit, New York City went into lockdown mode and it quickly became clear that her planned June nuptials were off the table. So, she and her fiancee moved the wedding up a month and decided to live-stream the whole thing from their apartment. This meant finding something to wear ASAP — and circumventing the restrictions making it impossible to shop for a dress IRL. Benson devised a plan to buy, try on, and return as many dresses as she could order, all within the standard 14-day return window that most stores offer. “I basically looked at every white dress that was available on the internet,” she explained. “I kept doing a thing where I was panic-ordering more and more dresses, and obsessively checking the return policies.” She converted her office into a shopping svengali’s war room, hauling in a garment rack and an oversized mirror, and creating a Google spreadsheet to track all of her purchases. > My grandmother is 90 years old and never would have been able to join in person, but she was able to tune in and see all the dresses.> > Elisa BensonOnce her “virtual bridal salon” was fully staged, she streamed a virtual try-on via Zoom for her family. “When I was changing, I would turn off the video on my camera, and then would be like, surprise!” While it wasn’t the in-person experience that many of us have watched unfold on Say Yes To The Dress, Elisa took advantage of the dial-in to expand the audience. “My grandmother is 90 years old and never would have been able to join in person, but she was able to tune in and see all the dresses,” Elisa explained. “My three-year-old niece watched from her laptop at home surrounded by all of her dino and stuffies.” Elisa was thrilled with the results of her digital shopping trip and ended up with a balloon-sleeved sheath from Moda Operandi. “I could see the virtual bridal salon being a trend that outlasts the pandemic. You get to include more people, you get to try stuff on at home, you get to drink good champagne instead of free warm champagne.”DashDividers_1_500x100 Flowers Of HopeIn early March, communications professional Laila Neufville was riding high after an inspiring design meeting with her florist Holly Chapple — one of the last things on the to-do list for her May 23rd wedding. At Hope Flower Farm, Chapple’s property in Waterford, Virginia, they pored over inspiration images and discussed the bridal party’s color scheme. “It was such good energy all around,” said the bride, “I was like, ‘I trust you to do whatever you want. I don’t want to limit or stifle your creativity.’” However, within two weeks of that meeting, said Laila, “things started spiraling.” A trip to Spain to celebrate her 30th birthday and bachelorette, a bridal shower, and then the wedding was put on hold. After Laila joined a Zoom call that Holly organized for all of the brides whose nuptials she’d been scheduled to design that summer (“It was nice to talk to other people who were going through the same process — like, you can grieve [your wedding], but not really grieve it”), the florist invited Laila to host a scaled-down ceremony at Hope Farm. “She was like, ‘You can come say your vows, stay as long as you want; you can watch the sunset, take your pictures, whatever,‘” said Laila.> A lot of what Holly and I had talked about had resonated with me: ‘This was your day, you were looking forward to it. Don’t let something beyond your control take it away.’ You should honor the day.> > laila neufvilleLaila had her eye on a re-scheduled date for her 150-person wedding, but as May 23rd approached, she said, “the [COVID-related] numbers kept getting worse, and I needed some kind of happy or bright spot,” so she emailed Holly about using the farm for an impromptu micro-ceremony. (“She was like, ‘I knew you were going to come back. But I didn’t want to pressure you.’”) The property — a former dairy farm — boasts two barns, a manor house, and 25 rolling acres planted with the flowers that Holly uses in her floral designs. “It’s amazing and so peaceful and you feel like there’s nothing else around you,” Laila said of the bucolic setting. The show-stopping designer dress she’d selected for the wedding was sequestered in the temporarily-shuttered bridal boutique where Laila has purchased it, so a “mad scramble” to find a new outfit commenced — “I was trolling internet sites all hours of the day.” She discovered a strapless Jay Godfrey jumpsuit on sale at Saks Fifth Avenue. “It was different, but I was like, this day isn’t what it’s supposed to be, so I’m gonna wear it. I was so comfortable, and I loved how it looked on me.” She wore a suite of vintage jewelry both borrowed and blue; heirlooms from her maternal grandmother, who’d passed away before she was born. Laila’s father, Fred Yette, used a Chinon CM-4 35mm camera that belonged to her grandfather, a photojournalist, to shoot film portraits of the couple at the intimate ceremony. “A lot of what Holly and I had talked about had resonated with me: ‘This was your day, you were looking forward to it. Don’t let something beyond your control take it away,’” Laila shared. “You should honor the day.”DashDividers_1_500x100 Marriage, Dinner, & A MovieIn late February, freelance designer Theresa Elmets encountered a major hiccup as she prepared for her August 2nd destination wedding in Heidelberg, Germany: a package containing the vintage wedding dress she’d ordered from Etsy had been stolen from the courtyard of her Los Angeles apartment building. This hiccup, however, was soon dwarfed by a much larger one and, by May, Elmets had postponed her wedding indefinitely and made plans to move with her fiancee to North Carolina. Two weeks before their departure, the couple decided that a courthouse elopement would be the perfect sendoff. > I bought it at the Silverlake flea market for $15 dollars and I had it cleaned three times but never wore it because I had a feeling I would wear it to my wedding. I’m kind of superstitious in that way.> > Theresa ELMETSWith the tiered, floor-length lace number that she’d originally chosen no longer an option — “It’s such a specific thing,” she said of the pilfered gown, “I feel like not that many people would enjoy it” — Theresa wore a dress that had actually been hanging in her closet for a year. “I bought it at the Silverlake flea market for $15 dollars,” she explained, “and I had it cleaned three times but never wore it because I had a feeling I would wear it to my wedding. I’m kind of superstitious in that way.” (The white Prada heels she wore — a clothing swap score — had actually been waiting in the wings even longer.) With a cotton eyelet fabrication and a go-go-worthy hemline, the mini-dress was too informal for the destination family affair they’d originally planned, but it was perfect for an impromptu visit to the marriage bureau.“The Los Angeles County courts were all closed, but Orange County is super Republican — it was the one time that worked in our favor,” said Theresa. Outside the Santa Ana Court House, she and her partner snuck away from the crowds waiting outside and privately recited vows they’d written to each other. “I started crying,” she said. “It was really cute. And embarrassing.” Inside, an officiant sat on the other side of a plexiglass barrier (“like a bank teller,” Theresa explained) and took them through their vows. After picking up takeout and having a congratulatory Zoom call with their parents, they watched The Royal Tenenbaums. “I’m still excited to maybe have a wedding next summer, but I don’t want to force it,” says Theresa. “We already had a really nice wedding, just the two of us. And that is also ok.”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.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?14 Places To Buy A Wedding Dress OnlineSay Yes To Matches Fashion’s Wedding Edit31 Showstopping Wedding Dresses For Under $1,000
The Hatch Act is suddenly on everyone’s radar after news broke that the Trump administration plans to use the White House South Lawn for President Donald Trump’s nationally televised nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention later this month. Twitter lit up in response citing provisions in the Hatch Act that would be broken should Trump stage the high-profile campaign event on government property.But what is the Hatch Act, and why is the Trump administration being accused of violating it? Put simply, the Hatch Act says that if you work for a federal agency, you cannot use the platform of your office, which is funded by taxpayers, to advocate for your personal political beliefs. The Hatch Act became law in 1939 to protect federal workers from outside pressures to participate in a specific political activity or risk losing their job. The legislation came about after Democratic officials used federal workers in the Works Progress Administration to help them campaign in swing states. Its purpose is to separate public office from politics.The philosophy behind the Hatch Act is to prevent federal employees from engaging in political activity while on the job which may sound confusing since they, you know, work in politics; however, the lines are made pretty clear. Regulations state that federal employees are barred from “using his or her official title while participating in political activity” or “using his or her authority to coerce any person to participate in political activity.” Political activity in this instance is considered activities directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate, or partisan political group. In this particular instance, this would be referring to the success of Trump’s reelection campaign.But the question remains: What happens to the president and his administration if they engage in this kind of activity? There are some notable exceptions to the Hatch Act. Unless involving criminal activity, the president and vice president are technically exempt from these restrictions. The only instance in which the Hatch Act applies directly to the president – thanks to a 1993 amendment to the Act – is if they use their position to intimidate, threaten, or coerce a federal employee. However, this doesn’t make the talk on Twitter irrelevant. “He may not be violating the Hatch Act, but he is ordering other people to,” Richard Painter, former chief White House ethics lawyer, told the Washington Post. “At a certain point you are using White House resources, and that is a violation of the Hatch Act.”With criminal activity being the exception, Hatch Act violations don’t involve charges or possible jail time. The Office of Special Counsel, a special body set up just for the Hatch Act, investigates and determines whether a violation has occurred. It can be a career-ending error. The decision of whether to punish a person found violating the Act falls on the boss. If they decide not to do anything about it, the investigation ends there. A prime example is White House adviser Kellyanne Conway. She has violated the Hatch Act numerous times but avoids consequences despite the Office of Special Counsel advising that she be removed from her position.In the case of using the White House South Lawn, it could be considered a misuse of congressionally appropriated funds for political gain which would be criminally enforceable. While the Hatch Act violations would fall on Republican National Convention planners and Trump administration employees rather than Trump, misuse of funds could reach Trump. Former vice president Joe Biden has given mixed signals as to whether he would pursue Trump and his allies in investigations should he become president. The statute of limitations for misusing funds would not have run out in 2021, but Biden made it clear he wouldn’t involve himself in Justice Department decisions. “In terms of having the Justice Department go look at an individual or whatever, the Justice Department is not my lawyer,” Biden said in a May interview on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Trump's Latest Interview Was Full Of False ClaimsTrump's Hypocrisy On Schools Reopening This FallWhy Trump Is REALLY Trying To Ban TikTok
British supermodel and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is adding executive producer to her resumé this month. Following the 2018 launch of her beauty-focused website, Rose Inc., a digital platform featuring makeup tutorials and model-approved shopping guides, Huntington-Whitely is expanding her industry expertise into video production with a new mini series, About Face, premiering on Quibi August 10. For Huntington-Whiteley, the six-episode series is an opportunity for young aspiring beauty professionals to learn from some of the industry’s trailblazers, including Glossier’s Emily Weiss, Huda Kattan, Pony Syndrome, Sir John, Jen Atkin, and Kylie Jenner. “When I launched my beauty website, I was learning more about the people behind these beauty brands by covering their products — and it quickly became obvious that we were only just scratching the surface,” she told me over the phone. “I knew each of these founders had a story to tell that brought a unique perspective to what it means to be an entrepreneur today.” Teaming up with Quibi and Alfred Street Industries (the production company behind Project Runway), Huntington-Whiteley started by traveling to Dubai to meet Kattan in the founder’s native city for what she says was an “eye-opening” interview. (The trip took place before the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting travel restrictions.) “Huda’s tenacity and passion for building a brand in a part of the globe that, at the time of her launch, didn’t necessarily embrace a female founder, only pushed her to work harder and made her laser-focused on growing a billion-dollar global company,” Huntington-Whiteley says.The series is not exclusive to brand founders, but also spotlights influential artists and creatives in the beauty industry, like celebrity makeup artist Sir John, who works with stars like Beyoncé and Gabrielle Union. “Sir John’s interview is a stand out for me,” says Huntington-Whiteley. “He’s done my makeup several times over the years, but listening to him speak about his artistry and how he approaches each face with such intention — he’s such a powerful storyteller. He’s not just applying a lipstick, he’s conveying the emotion of that color, and in doing so, triggering the viewer to react to that color through a certain sensibility.”More than anything, Huntington-Whiteley hopes that the About Face series inspires young people — women especially — to see the opportunities in the beauty industry and feel motivated to carve out their own piece of the pie. “For so long, the beauty industry has been dominated by large conglomerates who controlled the manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of beauty brands,” explains Huntington-Whiteley. “What we’ve witnessed in the last five years is a complete disruption of that age-old business model, and for the most part, these disrupters are women. My goal has always been celebrating these founders, artists, and talent who are making waves in this multi-billion dollar business — and you can’t talk about the beauty industry today without talking about the women who are transforming it.”‘About Face’ will premiere August 10th on Quibi.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Camila Coelho Found Her Light To Launch A BrandLana Condor Is The New Face Of NeutrogenaHow This Beauty Executive Finds Power In Purpose
Welcome to Money Diaries, where we’re tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We’re asking women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period — and we’re tracking every last dollar.Are you starting your first year of college this fall? Will you be tuning into virtual classes from your childhood bedroom? Email us here to share your story. Today: a system analyst who makes $62,000 per year and spends some of her money on a True & Co bra.Occupation: System Analyst Industry: Higher Education Age: 26 Location: Mesa, AZ My Salary: $62,000 (plus a tuition waiver of $4,763 for the spring semester of grad school, I will get an additional waiver for the summer) Husband’s Salary: $68,500 Net Worth: -$6,000 (My retirement (401(k) and two IRAs) is around $30,000, and then we have a mix of Fidelity, Ally, and Edward Jones accounts totaling $23,470 split between us. We combine our bills and savings but also have our own accounts and separate checking for individual goals.) Debt: $42,000 in student loans (my husband pays his student loans separately, which are $30,000) My Paycheck (2x/month): $1,697 Husband’s Paycheck (2x/month): $2,180 Pronouns: She/her Monthly Expenses Rent: $1,535 (Two-bed, two-bath in a “luxury” complex. Includes washer and dryer and nice amenities. This place is more than we’ve ever paid in rent and it hurts. But we’re both homebodies (even before COVID) so it’s definitely worth it.) Student Loans: $0 (in deferment because of grad school. Both cars paid off.) Retirement: 7% per paycheck, matched by the state Health, Dental, & Vision Insurance: $133.52 (for my husband and me) HSA: $36.40 plus employer contributes of $111 Monthly Tuition Payments: $800-$2,000 depending on timing. All put on a credit card for those sweet points and paid off in full each month. Utilities: $130 Internet: $85.99 Car Insurance: $75.71 (Husband pays his separately) Renter’s Insurance: $9.58 Phone Bill: $123.19 HBO Max, Hulu, iCloud, Spotify: $31.83 Netflix and Amazon Prime: Husband’s momWas there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? There was not an expectation that I would attend college, in fact, it was assumed I would not. I was raised Jehovah’s Witness and higher education is shunned. I left the religion when I was 16. For my undergraduate degrees, I used a combination of grants, loans, scholarships, and payment plans. For my current graduate degree, I’ve also used a combination of loans, scholarships, and payment plans. I’ve handled the brunt of the cost for my graduate degree, making large payments on my tuition bill every payday. Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances? I knew from a young age that we did not have money. Or maybe that we had money but my family did not manage it well. I remember being younger than six and afraid to ask for something at a store or order something at a restaurant because of the price. My two younger siblings and I frequently had our electricity shut off and we were on reduced/free lunch programs at school. My mom received WIC checks when we were very young. My parents, and later my legal guardians, did not educate me about money and that is probably why I made some of the poor decisions about where to attend college. I didn’t get a credit card until after graduating college because I was always afraid to fall into credit card debt. What was your first job and why did you get it? I was in 5th grade and got two paper routes and started detasseling corn in the summers (if you’re not from the Midwest, Google it — straight-up child labor). I wanted to save up my own money for school clothes and school supplies instead of going to Goodwill with my mom. Turns out, I had to have her on my bank account since I was a minor and she stole almost all the money over the years. I learned to not deposit my checks in that account anymore. I was so excited my first summer detasseling, I saved up enough money for a 64g iPod Classic. Did you worry about money growing up? Yes, I worried a lot about money growing up. Do you worry about money now? Yes, I will always have that fear. It is ingrained into me from childhood. Even though I’ve had good jobs and am well into my twenties and in graduate school, I will never forget the struggles from my childhood or college when I worked three jobs and slept four hours a night while enrolled in 18-21 credit hours and involved in too many extracurriculars. I’m recently unemployed, so that fear and anxiety are very present. At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net? Around 16/17. I sued my abusive birth parents for legal guardianship and lived with my best friends’ parents. They provided unconditional love, a kind home, food, and necessities, but anything else I wanted (like Buckle jeans or Sperry shoes) was up to me. Only recently have I felt that I have some breathing room. In the past two years, my husband and I have been aggressively saving and investing. We can afford me not having a job right now. I also have the ability to look for the right job without pressure to take the very first offer, but I’m also not above working retail if it gets to that point. Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? If yes, please explain. My step-grandmother bought me a new (sensible) car in high school, which I’ve always felt like I did not deserve and makes me seem privileged despite my upbringing. I don’t know if that was their way of apologizing for my shit childhood, but that car put me so far ahead. I still own it, with 130,000+ miles and have no plans to get rid of it anytime soon. My stepdad and that side of my family has farming money, but I’ve never asked about it and don’t even know how many acres their farm is. I’m probably too proud for my own good. I don’t want to owe anyone anything (except maybe my husband since he’s a true partner).Note: This Money Diary was submitted at the end of June. Since then, the diarist has had some life updates: As of July 13th, I am no longer employed at the job described in the diary. My husband and I moved to Arizona for this position and it has been disheartening how little care my previous employer gave in my termination. I was given two weeks of administrative leave with pay. I am in a very lucky position to be married and have the option to get onto my husband’s insurance — I don’t know what I would do if I was single. While I never intended to stay in the role long term, I certainly did not think I’d get fired during a pandemic. The terms of my termination might exclude me from filing for unemployment benefits too. Now I’m one of millions in the job market. I cried and moped around my apartment for the first few days then signed up for LinkedIn Premium, updated my résumé, and signed up for an industry-respected certification. I’m still in my online graduate program which wraps up in December. This program will help catapult me into a completely new career field. Day One7:30 a.m. — Starting the diary with a swerve. Wake up before husband (A.) leaves for work to take a pregnancy test. I’ve felt off for the past few weeks, missed my period, and noticed some weird things that made me think I was pregnant because, of course, I Googled it. Been on the same birth control pill since 2013 and have only had a few scares. Always good to check, right? PRAISE, it is negative!! We are not interested in hatching anything, not now or ever.8 a.m. — Fix my messy bun, throw on a crewneck sweater, grab my glasses, and get comfortable in my reading chair to tune into a webinar that goes until 1:30. I precariously hold my laptop and a cat for the next few hours. At some point during the morning, I clean cat puke from the kitchen floor.12:30 p.m. — Stretch break to make some iced coffee. I let the coffee get cold from when A. makes it and add creamer, ice cubes, and a metal straw. Yum.3:30 p.m. — Snack on some baby carrots and catch up on emails. Get on a Zoom call. 4:45 p.m. — Move from the office to the living room. It’s A.’s computer game night with friends back home. Tuesdays are the one night I tell myself that I can get away with not doing anything related to my online class since he’s claimed the office, but really I just want to be lazy. Just kidding, I watch two lectures and take a quiz. Now all I have left is a homework assignment and a final exam due Sunday. Then a week break before starting my next class which is Data Mining Using Python!7:30 p.m. — I shower and do all the hygiene things (hair, shave, exfoliate, etc.). I love showers but hate the chore of washing my hair and usually only do it once a week or less. I have super long hair and have had enough of it.8:30 p.m. — Since he’s been going into the office every once in a while, A. orders more masks from Amazon from our joint account ($20.57) and new cat boxes with covers from PetSmart ($58.97). We’ve alternated between covered and uncovered over the years but one of them keeps peeing on the edge of the box and it’s getting onto the carpet/wall. I think uncovered is better for their breathing, but we can’t have this in an apartment! We talk about getting our carpets cleaned soon and plan to deep clean this weekend. $79.549:30 p.m. — I make a massive taco with melted shredded cheese, salsa chicken, rice, spinach, salsa, and guacamole. Eat some Doritos after while watching some Westworld.11:30 p.m. — Sweet tooth calls. A. made brownies last week and I have one with some Blue Bell Cookie Cake ice cream and watch YouTube.Daily Total: $79.54 Day Two2 a.m. — Why am I like this. Brush my teeth and crawl into bed.8:30 a.m. — Ignore/snooze my persistent alarms. Throw on leggings, crewneck sweatshirt, and glasses, fill my water, and take birth control and allergy meds. Run a brush through my hair since I went to sleep on it wet and my part is wacky. I’m in meetings/webinars all day. Around midday I have the same iced coffee as yesterday.1:30 p.m. — My manager sends me an email informing me that I was approved for $4,800 towards my tuition this fall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am SO happy. I’ve been on a payment plan putting $860 towards my bill every payday. It’ll be such a relief to add this money to savings and investing this fall. Send A. a message that I have good news and we talk for five minutes.6 p.m. — Special class webinar in preparation for the final and last week. Only four of us join the Zoom call so it turns into a more intimate chat with the professor. He gives us interview and career advice, talks about some of his experiences, and answers our questions about the homework and final. This has been one of my favorite classes so far and I love how personable he is, even though we’re online students.6:45 p.m. — Pour milk into my fancy silver-rimmed cocktail glass and eat some Oreos while wrapping up work. A. did a quick grocery store run earlier this week but don’t worry, there’s another large haul coming soon. 8:30 p.m. — Make one of my favorite lazy meals. Boxed macaroni and cheese with pan-fried mixed veggies on top. This time it’s the store brand cheesy spirals and a mix of frozen squash, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and zucchini. While I eat, I watch the second to last episode of Westworld. Then, more YouTube and Instagram scrolling. Before A. goes to bed around midnight I tell him I’m thinking about doing virtual counseling through my university. I was waiting until things went back to “normal” to find a counselor that I really connected with but it looks like things are heading in the opposite direction here in Arizona. Without going into much detail, I’m processing some complicated emotions and painful memories from my childhood that I’d like help with.Daily Total: $0 Day Three1:30 a.m. — Brush my teeth and randomly decide to trim my eyebrows with my cat watching on the counter. I watched a video of someone using a tiny comb and nail scissors to trim their brows to give them a more polished look and I decided YOLO, mine are thicker than normal and I usually pluck them every few weeks. It turns out so good! But def terrifying having scissors that close to my eyeball. Sleep time.9 a.m. — Another training webinar, one on one with my manager, and then project meetings with my coworker to discuss our current items and review what I’m working on. 12:45 p.m. — Same coffee as yesterday. Take a “lunch” break to show A. how to peel a kiwi and we talk about the stress of his work during these times. He recently got back to a full-time schedule after being furloughed for eight weeks. It was an odd couple of months for us. He received unemployment, but it was a hassle since we didn’t live in Arizona last year. He ended up filing again in our previous home state. He’s so hype to be full time again, but his company is doing massive layoffs next week and his department has to process terminations. He forwards me the SEC filing with the official numbers across multiple business units. We both used to work for the same company before moving and I’m scared for my friends back home. I send them a few messages and we talk through the stress. 2:58 p.m. — Browsing through Instagram and see an ad for True and Co. bras. I’ve been wanting to buy a few more bras that are comfortable for the WFH life. Find two that are on sale; one strapless and one wireless, racerback style that looks more like a yoga top than a bra. My favorites! Is it weird that I like how easy it is to put on a strapless bra? I use a coupon code that I literally just found on Google and save $15. Cannot believe I found two bras for less than $40! $39.954:30 p.m. — I place a pickup order for sandwiches and the hummus munchie from Cheba Hut. Since I’m the one that enjoys eating out more frequently, I try to cover the cost more often. It is disgustingly hot outside and I laugh at the fact that I dress like it’s the middle of winter inside my apartment but have to remove all the layers to venture outside. A. and I watch two episodes of Bojack Horseman before accidentally napping until around 9. $34.1710:15 p.m. — I’m determined to start on my final exam. I outline the topics and examples I plan to use and any sources or slides I want to reference in the paper. All of my other classes have had proctored online exams or presentations for the final, so a 10-page SINGLE-SPACED paper is not the norm. I’m focused on research and stay up until 2 again. Maybe this is my life now.Daily Total: $74.12 Day Four2:27 a.m. — Finally wrap up my research for class. I have a 1:1 with my director tomorrow to talk about racism in our workplace. I sent them an email last week about some comments made during a staff meeting and asked for a meeting to brainstorm solutions. I grew up in a very conservative farming family and was actually a registered Republican until about a year ago. I’ve taken the past few weeks to educate myself and acknowledge how different and privileged my life is compared to others, especially Black people. 9:30 a.m. — Contacts and button-down shirt today. The meeting with my director goes surprisingly well even with technical problems with Zoom! It was nicer talking to her over the phone anyway. Watch more webinars and have a lot of back and forth conversations about test cases with a user. 10:45 a.m. — I drink my coffee hot this morning with the same creamer. I’m debating ordering BBQ tonight from a local, black-owned shop in Tempe…TBD if I can convince A. to eat out two nights in a row. The audacity.12:34 p.m. — Take a break and wash some dishes. The new litter boxes and face masks arrive!1:47 p.m. — I got paid today and $500 is direct deposited into the shared checking account. I usually put $800 per payday into my tuition bill using my credit card since I’m trying to save points for international flights. A. and I didn’t take a honeymoon when we got married in January and we were planning to go to Europe for an anniversary trip. LOL THAT’S PROBS NOT HAPPENING THIS YEAR. Waiting for the tuition voucher to process to see if it’ll pay off my bill for June.2:03 p.m. — I read a Money Diary where the OP talks about being thankful that she made friends before Covid-19. I have been in Arizona about eight months and still haven’t made a friend outside of work colleagues. It is tough out there for adults and now I am homesick. Text with my aunt for a bit — she’s checking up on us since there are fires all over the state and the daily COVID-19 case curve is pretty much a straight vertical line. 2:30 p.m. — I am so distracted today. The cats are being too cute sitting in the recliner and of course, that means photoshoot. I probably take and send the same photos to A. almost every day that he’s at the office. I have a virtual work happy hour at 3. Have my rosé chilled and ready!4 p.m. — That was so fun! There were more than 60 of us. We had a friendly competition with movie trivia using the site menti.com while I drank a glass of Rose D’anjou from the Loire valley. It’s a grenache grape and very flavorful.4:45 p.m. — My order from Ulta was delivered while I was in trivia. I bought Squalane face oil, Physician’s Formula eyeliner, Pixi Glow Tonic, Clinique moisturizer, Essence Lash Princess mascara, Milani setting spray, Elf Poreless Primer, and Elf brow pencil. I’m the type that wears a full face of makeup every day when I’m around people. I’ve been using this time at home to practice and get better at makeup. Hoping the moisturizer products save my skin from this Arizona summer. It was $107 but I paid last week.6:23 p.m. — A. is stuck at work so I take some cheese and crackers back to my desk to keep working. Try to get registered for telehealth counseling but the site isn’t recognizing that I’m a student. Ugh, another excuse to put off getting help. Guess my two cats will have to do for now.7:30 p.m. — A. is still at work so I drive to pick up food for us. I get pulled chicken, smoked wings, macaroni and cheese, French fries, and a strawberry tart. Total comes to $36.08 with $15 tip. $36.08Daily Total: $36.08 Day Five12:30 p.m. — Lazy morning and coffee with A. We sit on the balcony for about five minutes with the cats. It’s already over 105 outside.8 p.m. — Honestly, this day was a blur. I spent the entire day working on homework. I also review my voluntary retirement account options and decide to open a 457(b) but need to talk with someone about the fee structure and get a better understanding of the portfolio. Planning to put $200 per paycheck into the pretax account.9:30 p.m. — We venture out to pick up Crumbl cookies. He pays. We were seriously addicted to these cookies when we first moved and were getting them almost every week and it’s been a personal development thing to only buy them once a month. I have one with a glass of milk at home. I don’t remember what I ate today, probably leftovers or a sandwich. Daily Total: $0 Day Six8:30 a.m. — I’m up early for the weekend and already hate myself for the ambitious plans. I body shower, put on CC cream, eyebrow gel, and mascara and drive to a neighboring town for a haircut. I had planned on getting it chopped back in March but coronavirus. I sign a waiver and she takes my temperature. We both wear masks the whole time and she takes 16 inches off!! My hair pretty much touched the toilet seat when I sat down and was getting unbearable. She bundles up the hair for me to donate. We talk about the next appointment and what my hair goals are now that I’m a whole new person. I set an appointment for three weeks from now for the color job. Cut, consultation, and tip come to $170. I justify this because I only get my hair done a few times a year. $17011:45 a.m. — After leaving the salon, I decide to buy a coffee from a new place. I’m not in this part of the valley very often and look up a place with a drive-through. I buy a cold brew with heavy cream and a tiny bit of vanilla. $4.3912:30 p.m. — I eat another cookie with my coffee as A. and I marvel at my new look. I take some selfies and share them with the world. He says I look like an adult. 1:30 p.m. — Remember that ten-page paper that’s due today? Yeah, I have to write it. Over the next ten hours, I write the entire paper. A. edits and reviews for me and I submit right at 10:57 pm, three minutes before the deadline. Nothing like some solid procrastination to light the fire. 11:35 p.m. — I’m in a dazed state and realize I haven’t eaten anything besides sugar and caffeine earlier. Heat up a chicken pot pie and finish off the rosé from earlier this week. My big reward for finishing the class is watching the final episode of Westworld… WOW! Can’t wait for season four. I eat some ice cream and then carrots. Bed around 2 a.m.Daily Total: $174.39 Day Seven9 a.m. — I wake up and see that I have no meetings today! What is life? I sleep a bit longer and decide to work later tonight. My loyal cat joins me in bed. He’s weirdly protective when I’m sleeping alone.11 a.m. — A. made coffee and decided to work from home today. Tomorrow his company is doing massive layoffs and he’s anxious about the process. He’s pretty sure his job is safe, but I’m not that optimistic. I’m worried for him and all of our friends back home. Both of us have a hard time concentrating with all the news and impending doom. I also find out about Trump’s executive order banning new visa applications. This is going to completely gut the higher education system. Universities like mine have a heavy international student population. I spiral into news reading, toxic Facebook scrolling, and Reddit. I snack on some Doritos during the day.5:30 p.m. — Put our grocery list together and sort through paper coupons. For the most part, we’ve been using Instacart to get groceries, but the prices are SO HIGH. I understand why and try to tip well too, but I decide to brave the chaos that is Arizona right now and go shopping. Mask, hand sanitizer, list, and coupons ready. Buy frozen French fries, chicken strips, chicken breasts, guacamole, two avocados, frozen potatoes, lettuce and spinach bags, provolone, green grapes, salsa, dressing, croutons, red pepper flakes, gnocchi, two bags of coffee beans, strawberries, parmesan Goldfish for me, Pringles, tortilla chips, dish soap, napkins, small paper plates, and replaceable dish brush heads. Can’t find hand soap refills, gallon plastic bags, or frozen gyoza. I pay with our joint account. $84.467:30 p.m. — I went a little crazy last week with Loft clearance. I try on all the clothes and realize the sizing is completely made up. There’s a pair of elastic pleated shorts and a peplum shirt that fit A. and a dress that I could fit two people in! I ask if he wants to keep the shorts for around the house (LOL). It’s always so tough buying stuff online. I usually get things too small and overcompensated I guess? Only four of the nine things are in the Yes Pile.8:30 p.m. — A. and I have sex for the first time all week. We joke about how hot our bedroom is, especially for being newlyweds. Both of us are starving and try to find a local Mexican food place that’s open. Nothing, of course, we live in Mesa and everything closes at like 8. We cave and order Chipotle bowls, chips, and queso for pickup. We finish the last season of Bojack Horseman…and talk until past midnight about the impact of the show. Highly recommend if you like watching animated shows about depression, alcoholism, and the troubles of fame? $31Daily Total: $115.46Money 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. Do you have a Money Diary you’d like to share? Submit it with us here. Have questions about how to submit or our publishing process? Read our Money Diaries FAQ doc here: r29.co/mdfaqsLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?A Week In Seattle, WA, On A $73,000 SalaryA Week In New York, NY On A $1,600 StipendA Week In Portland, OR, On A $60,000 Salary