1. Atlas Obscura, The Book: I ordered this tome as a gift for my husband and myself. We like weird stuff, and when we travel we enjoy going on ghost tours as well as visiting oddity museums and the like, so I figured this book would be right up our alley. I’ve been aware of the Atlas Obscura website for some time now but hadn’t really looked at it much until last week, after I listened to an older Bizarre States episode that had Dylan Thuras, one of the website’s creators, on as a guest. Also, when I went to the terrarium workshop at The Apollo last week, the book was one of many displayed in the rental office area where the workshop took place. The book suddenly felt like it was calling to me, so I had to order a copy! This book is beautiful, and I can’t wait to dig in and read about “the world’s hidden wonders.”

2. Manefit Beauty Planner Lily Whitening + Brightening Sheet Mask: I recently found a display of k-beauty items at CVS, so clearly it was a sign that I needed to buy yet another sheet mask. I decided on this Manefit mask, which was one of the first sheet masks brands I ever tried after receiving one in a k-beauty Birchbox! I believe this mask cost me around $2 or $3, but you can buy a pack of 5 for $10 from SokoGlam. The “whitening” aspect is not meant to make your skin look whiter (jesus, the racial implications of that…) but to lighten dark spots and even skin tone. I can’t say I see any improvement in dark spots after one use (I mean…that would be a literal miracle), but I’d give this mask another shot.

3. Sally’s Box Friendly Collagen Eye Patch: While perusing the k-beauty display at CVS I also decided to try out eye patches for the first time. I believe this pair cost around $3. It took me a second to figure out how to apply them—at first, I put them on upside down AND tried to attach the wrong side to my face, so it’s no wonder they wouldn’t adhere. #eyepatchfail. Once I discovered what seemed to be the correct way to wear them (with the fatter portion under my eyes and the flat side against my face) they stayed on securely for 20 minutes. Honestly I can’t tell if they had any benefit, but it was fun to sneak up on my husband and freak him out.

4. Pea Pesto: I finally got back to cooking dinner this week—my husband has been crazy busy with work and has been getting home too late for a real meal. Now that his schedule has lightened up a bit I’ve been making us real dinner again! I had pinned this Minimalist Baker recipe for Pea Pesto Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Arugula, so I made that for dinner on Wednesday, with some modifications. I only used one clove of garlic in the pesto instead of four (which would have been WAAYYY too garlicky for us). I also sliced and sautéed the garlic in olive oil before blending it into the pesto, because I find that even a little bit of raw garlic can be too strong for my taste. I skipped the parsley because I didn’t want to buy a whole bunch only to use a little, and I used pistachios instead of pine nuts simply because I had some on hand. Obviously I used parmesan instead of vegan cheese, because who am I kidding…I heart actual cheese. And the pesto turned out REALLY well! I stirred the pesto in with cooked fusilli and chopped fresh tomatoes, and my husband and I gobbled the pasta right up. I will totally make this dish again!

5. Lightlife Veggie Deli Slices: I eat soy deli slices pretty regularly, so when I saw these new flavors (Chickpea & Red Pepper and White Bean & Kale) at Whole Foods I bought a pack of each. And to be perfectly honest? They’re both kind of a hot mess. First of all, the package is supposed to be resealable, but it’s just not. Maybe I’m opening them incorrectly, but when you peel open the side that reseals you end up also opening parts of the package that don’t reseal. And the slices themselves are totally stuck together. When you try to peel them apart, they break into pieces. The white bean & kale slices hold up a little better than the chickpea & red pepper ones, but man…I’m a little surprised these made it to market. I know, that’s harsh. But I’ve bought Lightlife’s other soy deli slices a million times before and have never had as much trouble peeling them apart as I’ve had with these two varieties. So unless they fix the issues with these slices I won’t buy them again. I’ll happily still buy Lightlife’s other soy deli products—I actually just bought some the other day!