Life By Kristen

Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it. – Little Women

Archive for the category “Friday Finds”

Friday Finds March 2017

My father’s family comes from the Azores and I enjoy World War II history, so found this article fascinating about the role the islands played in the war effort.

Reading aloud as adults. Love this. Also: bookworms might live longer, which means more time for reading!

In Maine, the French language clubs unite people across generations and nationalities. Just another reminder that our differences are really just perceptions and that we all have more in common than we realize at face value.

The world’s smallest monuments. Many in Europe, but who knew there was a mini Washington Monument in a manhole!

Speaking of monuments, if you haven’t seen the movie The Monuments Men, I highly recommend it. It’s fairly accurate about how a group of curators, art historians, conservators, etc. helped find and save so many European artworks that the Nazis took from museums, Jewish families, and public buildings during World War II. The book that the film is based on sits on my to-read shelf, but in case you are curious about the history and people, this article is a great resource too.

I have storage bins in my attic with things from my childhood like stuffed animals or objects associated with memories. I often open the bins to try to get rid of things, but then I think about wanting it for the future, so this article on the psychology behind the stuff was interesting to me. Of course, I don’t consider this stuff clutter because it’s nicely organized in the attic. If I could see it everyday, I might think differently. Related: How to see if your ( or your parents’/grandparents’) stuff has value.

Patton Oswalt on grief. I can relate to so much of this and cannot agree more about not knowing the battles that people are going through. If the death of my Dad taught me anything, it’s that every person is dealing with something and you often don’t know it, so kindness matters all the time. It was amazing to me when my Dad passed away that even people who were going through tough things like a childhood friend who was dying of cancer took their time to send me a note.

Friday Finds February 2017

Do you like fortune cookies? I’m not a huge fan, but here’s an interesting history of how they became so popular in the US.

The whole concept of “vintage” clothing started with Davy Crockett’s hat and the lure of old fur.

Speaking of fur, here’s an interesting idea for how to preserve some clothing/history related to Dorothy Parker, the American poet.

Who didn’t read Goodnight Moon  as a child? There’s a new biography out about the author Margaret Wise Brown that I’ll be bumping up my To-Read list, but in the short time, this article gives some history and insights about why it’s such an everlasting book for children.

Speaking of books, as a lover of libraries and a follower of rules, I don’t remember the last time I had a library fine ( I’m such a square). Nevertheless, many libraries are now waiving late fees which I give two thumbs up.



Friday Finds November 2016

I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday. It’s my favorite holiday by far and it was spent with family and friends.

I loved this piece about the many ways people celebrate the holiday and what they make to bring to their annual feast.

Have you watched the Netflix series The Crown yet? I binge watched it in one day as I’m a sucker for 20th century English royalty. Also as a fashion historian, I thought the clothes were great.

Speaking of royalty… the super secret archives of the British royal family, namely Queen Victoria.

The history of the Wellie– from functional boots to fashionable footwear. 

Both my partner and stepson are sci-fi guys. We watch a lot of Star Wars, so I really appreciated this article about female Star Wars fans.

In case you need some inspiration about the state of women and politics, here’s a really interesting website about women who ran for office prior to 1920.


Friday Finds October 2016

I knew it! Writing to-do lists helps your brain.

A guide to the real-life places of your favorite childhood books.

Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress designer is no longer the best kept secret in fashion history.

Cruising with a purpose. Maybe it’s because I work in the non-profit world, but at this stage in my life, I can’t quite get behind volunteering while on vacation, though this idea sounds amazing for retirement.

So cool- the hidden, secret apartments of the New York Public Library.

Who knew?!? The Hallmark Company has one of the best collections of modern art. Article also has interesting bits about the card-making process.

Friday Finds September 2016

Did you watch HBO’s Boardwalk Empire? If not, I recommend. The reason I bring it up is because of the character Richard Harrow is a World War I veteran who has lost a portion of his face and wears a sculpted mask to hide his disfigurement. When I watched the show, it was the first time I had seen anything like it and found it fascinating that there were sculptors who specialized in “portrait masks” during the post World War I era. A new book about the war highlights some of these sculptors, and I am fascinated by this female, Boston-based sculptor who took on the task.  There’s a really interesting video towards the end of the page of her working on a soldier.

The politics of pockets on women’s clothing.

I’m very excited for the newest member of the Smithsonian museum family- the National Museum of African American History and Culture. There are lots of articles going around about the museum, its mission, and collections, but as always, I enjoy learning about the lesser known people of history who made an impact that we never hear about. Here’s one woman whose collection is a part of the museum and story is being told: Mae Reeves and her hats.

Women of the CIA.

Japanese war brides. 

Barack Obama’s “exit interview” by the amazing historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Step parents are parents too.  This made me teary because I take my role as Little Man’s Bonus Mom very seriously.


Friday Finds August 2016

Red lipstick has a tumultuous past.

Have you ever bought food at TJ Maxx or Marshalls? I definitely have, especially around the holidays when they have so many random, yet special things that are perfect for stocking stuffers and gift baskets. Interesting article about the intentional chaos scheme they seem to have going on there.

Speaking of food- spray food. Confession: I used to love Cheez Whiz in college.

The history of skyscraper climbing.

I used to read entire books in the car when I was little. Now, I can barely look at a street sign or the GPS when I’m the passenger. Apparently it’s not just me– car sickness is your brain thinking you are being poisoned.

Librarian Olympics.

You’re not meant to do what you love, you’re meant to do what you’re good at. This was has me thinking… I’m good at making sure lightbulbs are in proper working order, supplies ordered, and so on, but I don’t want to do this with the rest of my life either!


Friday Finds July 2016

The legacy of The Babysitter’s Club. I had every single Babysitter’s Club book, even the special ones. I wish I had saved them, but I donated them to the library where I know so many young readers enjoyed them.

Fast fashion throughout history.

A brief history of the Converse All-Star logo.

Beaver skydiving in Idaho, 1948. AKA beaver transplantation. Weird!

Kodak film and A-Bomb testing.

The oldest living American dies— and she went to Brown, my grad school alma mater.

Whenever I get discouraged about where I am in life, where I think I ‘should’ be and all that, I remember that Julia Child didn’t write her first cookbook until she was 50. She, and other late bloomers, are my source of inspiration!

Friday Finds June 2016

I looked back and I should really title this “women’s history and related causes” since most of the articles I share seem to be connected to that somehow!

A few interesting reads from around the interwebs….


Sydney, Australia’s Jazz Age female career criminals

A brief history of proms in the United States

So much of modern women’s fashion is the way it is because of this woman- Bonnie Cashin.

Art imitates life: As a lover of The Americans, I found this article on a real-life Soviet KGB couple living in the United States both eerie and fascinating.

I’ll definitely see this movie about African-American women mathematicians at NASA in the 1960s- love learning about unknown women’s history.

I want to be this lady when I grow up– teaching yoga at 97!


Friday Finds May 2016

I read a lot of things around the internet on a daily basis, some for work, some for fun. It probably says a lot about me that most of these are about women, are history-related, and are lesser known bits of life ( with the exception of the last one). Enjoy!

The book is on my to-read list, but this was a great synopsis:

The Rise of Rocket Girls: The Untold Story of the Remarkable Women Who Powered Space Exploration

Maybe it’s because I’m from Kennedy country and work in a city that has a lot of Kennedy history and folklore, but I always find Kennedy stories interesting.  Jackie Kennedy’s relationship with her sister was complicated. I didn’t know both sisters had been involved with Aristotle Onassis!

Fashion history- particularly female designers you’ve never heard of- is increasingly becoming a bigger research interest of mine. Here are two articles I found interesting: Victorian fashion and tuberculosis and Angels Costumes, a female-focused, Jewish-owned, London based business that made costumes for some of the most well-known films.

Perfect for spring: The lost gardens of Emily Dickinson.

And lastly, this amazing woman, Jane Little, who spent her years playing bass in the orchestra, passed away doing what she loved. Q and I watched a profile about her on TV not too long ago, so was sad to hear of her passing. In light of my last post about finding a passion and making it work, this seems like an amazing reminder that there are lucky people out there who do what they love everyday, and die doing the thing that brings them the most joy.

Friday Finds- April 2016

The busy pace of life had me saving far less articles this month!

Why do older people love Facebook? While I don’t LOVE Facebook, I do like being able to keep tabs on some of my favorite people, especially since I’m horrible on the phone.

I really like The Olympics. I would never watch swimming, diving, or ski jumping any other time, but there’s something about The Olympics that makes me glued to the TV watching these random sports. Maybe it’s because these athletes have spent so much of their lives preparing for this moment. In any case, this is a great article about a male synchronized swimmer.

As a history geek, I love reading about company archives, particularly those with such a huge following like L.L. Bean. Some great shots of the original duck boots!

Another fascinating woman you’ve never heard of ( and I hadn’t either til I read this): Edith Rosenbaum Russell, fashion designer who survived Titanic– among other fascinating tidbits

A great remembrance and personal story about a music critic and Prince.


Happy weekend!

Post Navigation