First, it was perfect loaves of sourdough bread, then came the DIY dye jobs. With summer here, we’re calling it: backyard watering holes are the next big pandemic activities. Already, this social media editor has spotted a few prettily posed photos of Texans in made-for-Instagram inflatable pools. And sure, Texas is full of secluded watering holes for beating the heat. But should you want to enjoy a private dip, we suggest going whole hog with your personal water wonderland: sprinklers, Slip ‘N Slides, water toys, the works. As an added bonus, choosing a water park over a blow-up pool eliminates standing water and the pests that come with it. As every Texan knows, mosquitoes are a summer tradition too.
—Taylor Prewitt, social media editor
Following Beyoncé’s Mom on Instagram
Recently, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter’s mother, Celestine Beyoncé (formerly Knowles) Lawson, has become one of the most brightly shining lights on my Instagram feed. Lawson is a prolific Instagrammer, an open book who sometimes posts videos of her grandchildren. From her periodic “Corny Joke Time” videos to her ardent love for Beyhive fan accounts to her activism and impassioned support of all who fight racism, Tina Lawson is the platonic ideal of a baby boomer on social media. This is the woman whose wisdom and guidance produced Beyoncé and Solange. All you have to do is follow and you can learn from her too.
—Emily McCullar, associate editor
A Comforting Cookie
Most baked goods don’t make you feel better about your life for very long. A cinnamon roll might give you a few minutes of peace in an airport. An extra fudgy slice of Texas sheet cake might distract you, for a moment, from the grating construction next door. But each of Henbit’s monster cookies (which ship nationally!) subdues all of my anxieties for at least two hours.
If the monster cookie were a film, it would be The Holiday. The Holiday is almost too sweet a rom-com: there are no unpredictable or stressful moments. But Kate Winslet brings a performance to The Holiday that is so mature and tender that the film is elevated to art. The monster cookie’s Kate Winslet equivalent is a hint of lemon zest. When you bite into the monster cookie, the chocolate is almost too overwhelming and rich. But then the lemon arrives to rein in the sweetness. I’m averaging three monster cookies a week.
—Lauren Larson, features editor