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Woman With A Plan - Issue #38

“You may have the universe if I may have Italy”  ― Giuseppe Verdi

Woman With A Plan

August 31 · Issue #38 · View online
Weekly thoughts, ideas, and information from one woman to another.

“You may have the universe if I may have Italy” 
― Giuseppe Verdi

Mamma Mia, Here I Go Again
Ciao amici, I’ve missed you! It’s been a busy few weeks with a visit from my in-laws and a family trip to Italy. We had a terrific time exploring Rome and Tuscany with the kids. My oldest is obsessed with the Roman Empire at the moment so our timing couldn’t have been better. It is quite rewarding to whisk off from Vienna to Italy in under two hours (with no jet lag!) From the time we stepped off the plane, I was struck by the stark differences from one city to the next. Vienna is immaculately clean and organized. Rome is… Rome. The baggage claim is a circus of espresso bars, sandwich counters, a small playground for jumpy children, and dozens of passengers searching for luggage all mysteriously sent to carousel number 10. Traveling through the city by subway, we lugged bags across damp platforms and tunnels resembling an archaeological expedition. We had to laugh when one elevator was “temporarily out of order” as indicated by a permanent plaque. But then, we emerged from a station to this jaw-dropping view. Che figata! After settling into the coolest Airbnb, we strolled to our first dinner and my stomach dropped as they seated us in a small formal dining room. In Vienna, we’d be toast. I handed my iPhone to our three-year-old and prayed for forgiveness among our fellow diners. As if by instinct, a lively waiter quickly delivered a giant Aperol spritz and the room soon filled with boisterous conversation and friendly strangers affectionally tousling our children’s hair. The entire trip was filled with similar experiences, watching our boys scamper across ancient sights and brilliant piazzas as locals smiled on, giving us understanding glances. After a summer spent conforming to a far more reserved culture, it was a much needed break. When we returned to Vienna, I began asking myself, “How would an Italian handle this situation?” Would they feel self conscious? Or would they simply smile and shrug? Perhaps the secret to the world’s most liveable city is knowing that a trip to Italy isn’t far away.
Media Diet
Preach it, Roxanne (via NY Times).
Loved this piece by Jon Lovett on the death of John McCain.
It’s true, the world would be far worse if John McCain had his way. But it would be far better if more politicians had a shred of his character. And that ought to be mourned. That ought to be grieved. 
Speaking of great losses, RIP to The Queen. I could listen to this one all day. And I dare you to listen to this without crying.
Thank you to Cynthia Nixon’s campaign for calling out this frustrating form of sexism. How many of you have used a heater under your desk in the summertime? 🙋‍♀️
One of my favorite books of the summer was Madeline Miller’s Circe, a brilliant feminist spin on the The Odyssey’s infamous goddess. I immediately followed up with Miller’s first novel, the equally excellent Song of Achilles.
This has to be one of the craziest stories I’ve heard all year. How could they sleep at night?!
Thankfully there are people like this in the world too. Such a beautiful story.
My mom recently shared this NY Times article on German children’s books and sent us a classic wimmelbuch. I was thrilled to discover an entire section of them at the local library, and then my in-laws brought In The Town All Year ‘Round during their recent visit. Our kids have spent hours poring over them, discovering new details with every page. Reminds me of one of my old childhood favorites (sadly, out of print).
This has been our lives all. summer. long. #shlossfloss
While all our friends in the US enjoy Labor Day, our kids are heading back to school on Monday. That’s what I call a holiday! We’ll be preparing over the weekend with these helpful tips.
Open Tabs
Sadly, my Italian shopping was limited to grocery stores and the occasional pharmacy (dannate zanzare!) The best I could do with local beauty secrets were Marvis toothpaste (that price!), this lovely Tuscan body wash, and a moisturizing cream I read about here.
August seemed filled with interesting new product launches… I’ve been keeping my eye on this scalp scrub from & Other Stories. Also, this highlighter from famed makeup artist Gucci Westman’s new line.
Check out this Abercrombie pullover, a great dupe for an older Isabel Marant version.
Officially putting this beautiful sweater on sale watch.
Can’t decide which version of this bag I like better.
I’m already dreaming of a return to Italy, among many other European destinations on our wish list. Normally, I head to Airbnb for accommodations, but we had a terrific stay in Tuscany through Kid & Coe, a site dedicated to family friendly vacation destinations. Perfect for when you know you’ll be spending a lot of time in your rental.
Have a Relaxing Weekend
Woman With A Plan is a newsletter by Sarah Richey, an American expat living in Vienna, and mom of three feminists in the making.
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Vienna, Austria