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Hidden Gems

Things that make the world a better place

Weyes Blood’s Titanic Rising album

I won’t pretend that I knew about Weyes Blood’s genius before anyone else did because Natalie Laura Mering’s (known as Weyes Blood) blossoming success is no secret. In fact, I’m sure some of you have heard of Weyes Blood in the last year, after the release of her latest album Titanic Rising. But I also think there are many of you that know nothing of this emerging artist, so I’m still going to plop this album, right here, in this Hidden Gems article. Weyes Blood has the voice of an ethereal space angel. It’s okay, if you don’t know what that sounds like; I didn’t either, until my friend Tom invited me to her intimate concert at the Turf Club last spring. Dressed in an angelic white power-suit, Weyes Blood enchanted the whole venue with her psychedelic rock sound and pet crickets that chirped in the silent moments of her set. I left the concert as a superfan of this futuristic version of Linda Ronstadt and haven’t stopped listening to this Titanic Rising album since. For fans of Linda, Mazzy Star and albums that melt from track to track, this one’s for you. \ AL

Monty Don: Gardener/TV Host/Writer/Fashion Icon

Monty Don calls himself an ‘amateur gardener.’ If that’s the case, then he is the best. Over the years, Monty has built a gardening empire through his shows and books. If you haven’t heard of him, it’s probably because he’s a Brit and all of his shows are broadcast on the BBC. But thankfully, Monty’s most accessible show ‘Big Dreams, Small Spaces’ is available to stream through Amazon Prime – it’s a charming Mary Poppins Gardening Reality Show mashup. Monty arrives, teaches the home gardeners a few lessons, hacks at a tree, then disappears. The home gardeners are then left to complete their garden visions. I love that it has a real DIY feel to it and sometimes things don’t get completed as planned. Monty’s finest show, however, is ‘Gardeners’ World,’ a weekly gardening program stretching from early spring to late autumn where Monty invites you into his own jaw-dropping garden. You’ll meet his golden retrievers Nigel and Nellie, as well as a handful of other passionate gardeners: the nerdy yet trendy Adam Frost, the posh and well-spoken Rachel de Thame, and of course the vibrant flower-obsessed Carol Klein. I watch with a notebook and pen, jotting ideas down to incorporate into my garden. The new season has just begun! Stream it on Brit Box along with many other UK gems. Monty’s shows are like an escape into a secret garden. Now you have the key. 🗝 \ Tom

itsblitzzz Instagram/Youtube

Follow itsblitzzz for the ASMR, subscribe for the lifestyle content. Julia creates videos that make you feel like she’s your best friend, which is something we could all use right now. Cozy up with her before bed while she brings you a snack and brushes your hair. Or, watch her share tips from her waste-free, vegetarian lifestyle in L.A. Her channel is eclectic and always satisfying. A few recommended videos for the current situation: ASMR sleep hypnosis + treats for sleep… (Julia at her ASMR best), What I REALLY eat in a day… (some inspo for sustaining yourself at home 3-meals-a-day), and *natural nail care routine*… (for those of you venturing into doing your own manicures). Recipes, product rec’s, pole dancing, bondage, and the occasional travel vlog – you’ll find it all here, delivered with unparalleled transparency and overwhelming hand movements. Also follow her cat @itzzz_ruby_ if you’re into that. \ Carmen

Junebug (2005)

The movie Junebug centers around the story of big-shot George as he returns to his rural childhood home with his new wife Madeleine, a Chicago gallerist. When Madeleine takes a trip to visit a self-taught artist that lives close to George’s childhood home, this becomes the perfect moment for George to introduce his new wife – right? His parents, his brother, and his brother’s very pregnant wife Ashley (played by Amy Adams!) welcome them in their own unique ways. Ashley is sweet and talkative and totally curious about her new sister-in-law and is the heart of the film. Adams was nominated for her first Academy Award in this breakout role, but this movie remains unknown by many. The film is a dramedy and flips between laugh-out-loud lines to somber and serious scenes. Above all, it’s heartwarming and Amy Adams is absolutely unforgettable as Ashley! \ Tom

Zojirushi 5 ½ cup Rice Cooker

As a frugal human, spending $100+ on any small kitchen appliance initially seems ridiculous. That being said, it should mean something that I’m promoting the purchase of a rice cooker that costs ~$100 during a pandemic. Say hello to the Zojirushi Rice Cooker. Not only is it as cute as a bug’s ear, but this rice cooker makes perfect rice every damn time. Cooking rice on the stove can be mastered, but a rice cooker takes away all the uncertainty. Simply, rinse your rice, measure the correct rice to water ratio and push a start button – then walk away for ~ an hour, let it do its thing and come back to a bucket of warm, magical rice. Dramatics aside, having a rice cooker is life changing. You can buy yours, here. \ AL

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