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Lupita Nyong’o & Joseph Quinn were honored at CinemaCon ahead of the release of A Quiet Place Part III. Lupita’s dress is Celine! [Just Jared]
Oh, wow: Gerry Turner, aka The Golden Bachelor, is already getting a divorce after three months. Yiiikes. [Hollywood Life]
Casting Jeremy Strong as a young Roy Cohn… magnifique. [Socialite Life]
Taylor Swift, TikTok and Tortured Poets’ track five. [LaineyGossip]
Apparently, “Beyond All Repair” is a great podcast. [Pajiba]
Kirsten Dunst is out and about, promoting Civil War. [Go Fug Yourself]
The trailer for Ti West’s Maxxxine. [OMG Blog]
Jonathan Bailey & Michelle Yeoh brought their beauty to CinemaCon. [RCFA]
Paul Rudd stepped out in NYC. [Seriously OMG]
More creepy & scary stories and some unsolved mysteries. [Buzzfeed]

The Wales children return to school next week. There’s been chatter for months about when Prince William and Kate would do public events together, but since Kate’s cancer announcement on March 22, no firm plans have been made. Everything is being kept open-ended, although “sources” insist that William will be “back at work” when his kids go back to school. Those sources conveniently forget about the fakakta school run, which is the excuse given for why William can’t do anything. Speaking of, the Daily Beast’s Royalist column suggests that William wants to be the work-from-home Prince of Wales and eventually King Work From Home. It’s getting weird…

Prince William is planning a return to full time royal duties beginning next week, combining digital ‘WFH’ digital appearances and in-person engagements to maximize “impact” in what sources said would be “a template” and a “dry run” for his future reign.

William, who had not been seen or heard from in over three weeks since before his wife Kate Middleton announced she had been diagnosed with cancer, returned to public visibility Wednesday with a social media post paying tribute to a leading female soccer player retiring from England’s national team. It was a carefully calibrated dip of the toe back into public life, and ongoing digital engagement of this kind is understood to be a key plank of his strategy for combining the unexpected intensification of his royal role occasioned by his father’s illness with being a “family man,” bringing a kind of “WFH” approach to the business of royalty as one friend put it.

While Kensington Palace declined to comment on what exactly William’s plans for the next few weeks are, and did not respond to questions about whether William would be doing more work online, his office previously briefed journalists that he could expect to be seen back in public again once the school term recommenced on Wednesday next week. The Daily Beast understands that this is still the plan and he will be making a series of in-person public appearances over the coming weeks.

A friend of the couple told The Daily Beast: “In many ways the next few weeks and months will be a template for his future reign because he will have similar personnel available after he succeeds to the throne, even if that doesn’t happen for many years. I think you’ll see him try and balance the demands of state with the demands of being a good family man, taking care of his sick wife and making sure his kids are doing OK. I’m sure that will mean doing more stuff online. He can ‘WFH’ and do hybrid working a bit. Frankly, it has more impact because it reaches many more people.”

Another source, a former royal courtier, told The Daily Beast: “William and Kate had hoped to have several decades as Prince and Princess of Wales, and, god willing, they will still get them. But what is interesting about the next few months is that William is being forced into a dry run at being king much sooner than he might have imagined such a thing would come to pass. Of course he doesn’t welcome it, but there will certainly be some fascinating straws in the wind about what the reign of ‘King Billy’ will look like.”

One thing that seems certain when talking to friends and advisors of William both recently and over the past few years is that he has no intention of emulating his grandmother’s model of doing several hundred engagements a year and being patron of hundreds and hundreds of charities. Instead, the goal will be to represent less causes but have more “impact,” to use a favored term.

But be in no doubt: if the last few weeks have shown anything it is that the needs of Kate and the kids will always, for William, trump the demands of state and charitable organizations. Kate is doing well, her team says, but if a conflict arises, William will likely have little hesitation in canceling royal engagements to focus on family.

[From The Daily Beast]

“But what is interesting about the next few months is that William is being forced into a dry run at being king…” What’s interesting about the previous four months is that William was asked to step up and he balked. He lied repeatedly, he and his office manipulated photos and videos, he showed up drunk to day events, he drank at day events and then stumbled over to a Welsh school, and then he kept on lying. He’s a 41-year-old man – 42 in June – who was a ball of lies and chaos for months and now he’s positioning himself as “this is what my reign as king will look like.” As for the whole “work from home” angle… QEII always said that she had to be seen to be believed. Charles feels the same way – that a king must be seen, must be out with his subjects. The future King Huevo’s motto is “who wants to day-drink on a Zoom call?”

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

The Duchess of Sussex and Tom Parker Bowles have two things in common: they’ve both blogged about food and both are launching food-centric projects this year. Meghan is doing a California-based cooking show for Netflix, and Queen Camilla’s son will publish a cookbook called Cooking and the Crown this fall. Would you believe that the reactions to Meghan and Tom’s projects are being met with wildly different reactions from the royalist media? The royalist media has been in meltdown for weeks at the very thought of Meghan selling cookware. Meanwhile, the queen consort’s loser son literally used his royal connections to write a cookbook based on food served in palaces and castles. He put a crown on the book cover and “crown” in the book title. Obviously, this means that Tom Parker Bowles is sending a “message” to… Prince Harry. Because SPARE!

Queen Camilla’s son Tom Parker Bowles is bringing out a new book and it sends a message to Prince Harry after his damning Spare memoir, according to an expert. Food critic Tom’s book will feature over 100 recipes, from state banquets to breakfasts and behind-the-scenes facts about life in the royal kitchens. The book, Cooking and the Crown: Royal Recipes from Queen Victoria to King Charles III, is scheduled for publication in the UK on September 26, 2024.

Speaking about the book, royal author Phil Dampier told Fabulous: “Tom is very much supporting and celebrating the monarchy, and would never do anything to damage it. He is sending a message that you can talk about the monarchy in positive terms and not denigrate it as Harry did in Spare. Harry washed his dirty linen in public and that is something Tom would never do. He is the complete opposite to Prince Harry whose book was one long ‘poor me’ moan.”

Tom and sister Laura Lopes are Queen Camilla’s children from her previous marriage with retired British Army officer, Andrew Parker Bowles, who she divorced in 1995.

Unlike Prince Harry’s Spare, which revealed numerous personal details about the royals, including how William allegedly attacked him and how he labelled Meghan “difficult” and “rude”, Phil expects Tom to be “discrete” in his book. He explained: “Tom Parker Bowles has always been the soul of discretion where the royals are concerned, which can’t have been easy for him. As a journalist he is inevitably a natural gossip and he must have been privy to so many secrets over the years, like when his mother was going to marry Charles, and so many bits of inside information that others would kill for. But he has remained discreet and would obviously never do anything to upset his mother, who trusts him totally.”

Phil theorised that some may consider Tom to be “cashing in” on his royal connections by “writing a book about royal recipes”, but added: “You can hardly blame him.”

The royal expert added: “He’s not the first person to write such a book and there’s nothing to stop any other author applying to visit royal archives, you just have to go through a process. But obviously he can ask the Queen for a few titbits about royal banquets and events which others might not have access to. There are always going to be critics saying he is exploiting his position, but he didn’t get any choice as to who he is related to and whatever he does someone will carp from the sidelines.”

[From The Sun]

Just so we’re clear, they’ve now moved the goalposts to “it’s perfectly fine to cash in on your royal connections just as long as you’re dishonest and you never say a word against the Windsors!” That’s why the royalist media has collectively shrugged over Tom’s tacky exercise – because they know he will not spill any royal tea. In print anyway. Because despite Phil Dampier’s insistence that Tom is the soul of discretion, we can make direct connections from Camilla and Tom to Tatler Magazine’s shenanigans and to Giles Coren (one of Tom’s closest friends) and from there, half of the society gossip about the Waleses, the Sussexes and more. A mother and son who have Piers Morgan and Jeremy Clarkson on speed dial don’t get to play the “we’re so discreet” angle.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

Our new Gossip With Celebitchy podcast comes out this weekend, and I was sort of confronted by the fact that I do not have one comprehensive conspiracy for what the hell is going on with Prince William and the Princess of Wales. All I know is that we’ve been lied to consistently for months and there’s a movement afoot to cover up and ignore the lies. But why have all of these lies happened? Why did it feel like Carole and Michael Middleton had gone silent for months on purpose? Why were sightings, photos and videos of Kate manipulated, staged or faked? It still doesn’t make any sense.

Something else which doesn’t make any sense: the new move to suddenly portray William and his mother-in-law as still extremely close. Don’t get me wrong – Carole was a huge part of why William married Kate. Carole took a huge role in “managing” William and Kate’s marriage for years. But at some point (circa 2021), suddenly Carole didn’t seem to have much control over William anymore. I still remember the bonkers tantrum coming from Middleton HQ over whether Kate and her family would attend the unveiling of the Diana statue. That was some kind of breaking point, in my opinion. Plus, now that Party Pieces collapsed, we see that the Middletons were grifters the whole time and that William got played. So what’s up with the “Carole and William went to a pub together” story? And why is the Mail running this “William and Carole are especially close” reminder?

She’s been his mother-in-law for 13 years – and over the decades, Carole Middleton has become not only family but a close friend the Prince of Wales can ‘confide’ in. Recently, the pair were reportedly spotted at a ‘low key’ pub outing in Norfolk, as the Princess of Wales was thought to have stayed at home. It is understood that Kate’s mother was staying with her and William, 41, in Norfolk over Easter – while her daughter is being treated for cancer.

It’s no wonder that William and ‘second mum’ Carole, 69, have over the years formed a bond. One expert in past has also remarked how she has taught her son-in-law ‘how a loving and supportive family works’. She has provided a ‘real sense of normality amid any chaos’ for the Prince since he married Kate in 2011, royal biographer Angela Levin told The Sun in 2021.

‘[Carole] made him feel secure, comfortable and protected and he didn’t have to worry about what he said or be responsible for her emotions,’ she claimed.

Carole has also been on hand as a supportive, and very involved grandmother to William and Kate’s children. Speaking to PEOPLE, one palace insider also said that Carole and her husband, who only need to take a short drive from Bucklebury, Berkshire to Windsor, are already ‘an enduring factor in the upbringing of their grandchildren’.

The Prince is also close with his wife’s parents because of their united commitment to Kate’s happiness and safety. As reported by Mirror, author Jennie Bond earlier this year told OK that ‘attacks’ from Omid Scobie’s Endgame left William feeling ‘guilty and angry because he promised Kate’s parents that he would protect and look after her’.

‘The attacks from Omid Scobie were vicious, so William will feel guilty because all she’s done is fall in love with someone who happened to be a future king,’ she said. ‘There’s obviously a lot of baggage that comes with this – it’s a unique and different life which you’ve got to have a very thick skin for.’

William also found a mother figure in Carole, with him and Kate relying on her support after his brother Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left the UK, a source told The Sun in 2020. They said: ‘William’s in-laws have become like second parents and Carole is almost a Diana-Type mum.’

The insider added that William and Kate visited Berkshire ‘quite a few’ times following the Sussexes departure.

[From The Daily Mail]

There’s a theory that Carole and Michael Middleton have actually been mostly in charge of the Wales kids this year, and the pub visit – if it happened – was something like a custodial drop-off. That theory is interesting, and obviously, we don’t know. We’re just shooting in the dark. What I don’t get is why there was radio silence from Carole for months – all while Pippa and James Middleton were on separate luxury holidays while their sister had just been diagnosed with cancer – and this week, we’re getting a sighting and a regurgitated story about William and Carole’s closeness. WTF is going on behind the scenes?

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

In four years, the royalist-commentary class has completely rewritten the history of the Sussexit. They’re repeated certain lies so many times, they’ve actually believe them, despite Prince Harry refuting many of those lies on the record, in interviews and in his memoir. Harry has made it perfectly clear that he wants a relationship with his father but that he loves living in America with his wife and children. He considers California to be his home now, and his wife and children are his top priorities. There’s a concerted effort to portray Harry as desperate to go back to the UK, desperate to be a working royal again, desperate to beg his brother and father for forgiveness. The latest effort is centered around this fakakta “church service” to mark the ten-year anniversary of the Invictus Games in London next month. Will Harry go, will he bring Meghan, and now: will Charles order Meghan and Harry to become part-time working royals?

The Duke of Sussex is said to be “eager to return to London” to help “take up some of the slack” as the royal family faces low resources, amid King Charles and Princess Kate’s cancer diagnoses.

In an exclusive interview with HELLO! Canada, Christopher Andersen, author of The King: The Life of Charles III, argued that Prince Harry is looking forward to coming back to the UK next month for the 10th anniversary celebration of the Invictus Games – and that he believes Harry would be open to the idea of working as a part-time royal.

“In fact, he’s eager to return to London and help take up some of the slack now that the medical issues of the King and the Princess of Wales have thrown the monarchy into a state of crisis,” the author told HELLO! Canada contributor Chris Daniels. He also believes it would be in the King’s best interests to grant the Duke and Duchess of Sussex the part-time roles they had originally asked for.

“If they could all put these perceived slights and resentments behind them, Harry and Meghan could be hugely valuable assets to the monarchy at a time when it could use all the help it can get.”

However, even if Harry is ready for reconciliation, his closest family members might not be. Given just 45 minutes with his father after he flew to the UK following news of the King’s cancer diagnosis in February, Harry also asked to meet with his brother, “but William refused,” said Christopher, who maintains “bitterness” still exists between the brothers since Harry released his take-no-prisoners memoir Spare in 2023.

“Keep in mind that the Prince of Wales is saddled with the enormous responsibility of holding both his family and the monarchy together while his wife and father cope with their serious medical issues. He simply doesn’t have the bandwidth to deal with the baggage that inevitably accompanies Harry. Having the ‘spare’ back in the royal fold would simply be an enormous distraction, despite his good intentions.”

[From Hello]

William “simply doesn’t have the bandwidth to deal with the baggage that inevitably accompanies Harry.” I don’t think William has the bandwidth for much of anything, and that’s the larger (unspoken) issue. “If they could all put these perceived slights and resentments behind them, Harry and Meghan could be hugely valuable assets to the monarchy at a time when it could use all the help it can get.” In fact, they were prepared to put aside the very real trauma and abuse they suffered to be part-time royals and still work for a dying institution. That offer was refused, so they built their lives apart from the institution. This fantasy where Harry somehow “offered” to come back to work is not coming from Montecito, it’s a fantasy being spun… seemingly by Buckingham Palace, as a way to pit the two brothers against each other and get William off his ass.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red. Cover courtesy of Hello Canada.

A few years ago, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt spent months dragging her mother to regional performances of Dear Evan Hansen. I’m pretty sure Angelina Jolie saw that musical more than a dozen times. That’s when we knew – Vivienne is a musical theater girlie. She’s a theater nerd. This was confirmed by Angelina last summer, when she announced that she would step in as a producer on a Broadway-bound musical adaptation of The Outsiders. Vivienne had seen the musical first and she dragged her mother to it and convinced Angelina to invest and produce. Angelina also announced that Vivienne would step in as her assistant as the musical transferred to Broadway. All of which means that Vivienne and Angelina both walked the carpet last night for the opening night of The Outsiders.

Angelina looked amazing – so healthy, so happy, so proud to be there with those theater people, so proud of Vivienne too. Vivienne happily posed with the cast and they all seem to get along really well. I would not have chosen these colors for Angelina, but she looked gorgeous in her satin (?) gown and cape. I haven’t seen any IDs for Angelina’s look, but I would guess that these are pieces designed by Atelier Jolie, the fashion collective she founded last year. The earrings are especially bonkers! Angelina spoke to People Magazine exclusively about the Broadway opening:

The Outsiders on Broadway is a family affair for Angelina Jolie and daughter Vivienne.

“Viv is a young artist who focuses her efforts on her support of others,” the actress, 48, tells PEOPLE ahead of the April 11 opening of Broadway’s adaption of The Outsiders, which she co-produced. Her daughter worked on the production as a volunteer assistant. Jolie described how Vivienne, 15, got her into the musical, “She saw an early workshop a few times and then invited me to it.”

PEOPLE previously reported that the pair also met with the book’s author S. E. Hinton, who famously wrote The Outsiders as a high-school student in the 1960s. Of Vivienne, Jolie adds, “She has been there to assist in any way she can and has learned so much from [score and co-book writer] Justin Levine and the whole creative team.”

Jolie tells PEOPLE that “it’s been a privilege to be a part of the process” of bringing The Outsiders to the Great White Way, adding, “I have so much respect for Broadway and all who work within.”

“I’m excited for audiences to see it,” she continues. “I’ve been in the theatre watching as the first reactions came in, including the often very emotional reaction from young people. It’s very moving.”

[From People]

Previously, Angelina described Vivienne as someone who loved to work with creative people behind the scenes. Angelina said that Viv reminds her of her mother, Marcheline Bertrand. Which is really beautiful… Angelina lost Marcheline in 2007, and then welcomed Viv and Knox in 2008. Can’t believe Knox and Viv turn 16 years old in July!!

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

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On Wednesday, Prince Harry appeared at a BetterUp summit in San Francisco. Thursday, Archewell confirmed two new Netflix series currently in production. It doesn’t take a conspiracy theorist to draw a line from the Sussexes’ events and news to… Prince William’s rather sudden emergence. William hadn’t been seen or heard from since March 19. Then on Wednesday, he tweeted out a message to a Lioness (a female footballer). On Thursday, we got a rather odd report that Huevo was out drinking in a Norfolk pub with Carole Middleton. Then on Thursday evening, William took Prince George out to an Aston Villa football match. This is actually the first time there’s been a public sighting (with photos) of one of the Wales children since Christmas as well.

The Prince of Wales and Prince George attended an Aston Villa match together in their first public outing since the Princess of Wales’ cancer announcement. Prince William was seen smiling and applauding in the Villa Park stands in Birmingham with his eldest son on Thursday evening.

George sported an Aston Villa scarf as the pair celebrated the club’s 2-1 win against Lille in the first leg of the Europa Conference League quarter-final.

William was seen turning to his son to say something as he applauded Ollie Watkins’ opening goal for the club.

[From The Telegraph]

Somewhat hilariously, I’ve already seen people doubting the authenticity of the photos and videos. I mean, I get it – Kensington Palace’s credibility is in the toilet. The Windsors’ credibility is in the toilet. But this wasn’t a sketchball “trust this grainy video stage by the Sun” situation. William and George were genuinely at this football match, they were photographed widely and they were on camera during the game. There were also just regular people with smartphones who got pics of both George and William behind-the-scenes. If anything, this proves that all of the other “sightings” of William, Kate and Carole were, um, questionable at best.

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Photos courtesy of Getty, Cover Images.

During awards season, there was a renewed interest in Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes’ relationship. Ryan and Eva have a long-standing policy of not walking red carpets together. They’re also very private about their home life in general. Ahead of the Oscars, there was a lot of “will they/won’t they” speculation about whether or not they’d make an exception, but they did not. Instead, Ryan went with his mom, stepfather, and sister while Eva and their daughters, Esmeralda, nine, and Amada, seven, watched Ryan’s final dress rehearsal for “I’m Just Ken.” After the ceremony, a source explained that they don’t do red carpets because Eva is over that noise and “still sees it as a job.”

While Ryan may have not taken Eva to this year’s Oscars, he took her brother, Carlo Mendez, to the SAG Awards. Carlo is also an actor and has been active in film and television for almost 20 years. He’s currently promoting his new movie, a noir thriller called Demise. During an exclusive interview with E! News, Carlo confirmed just what we all hoped would be true: That Ryan is an awesome person who fits right in with the Mendes family.

“Ryan is an awesome, funny, down-to-earth guy,” Carlo shared. “I cannot say enough about him, and I’m really learning a lot from him. Just an amazing guy.”

After Ryan forever-connected with Eva while making The Place Beyond the Pines in 2011 and met her family, “he immediately fit in,” Carlos said. “He loves the whole Latin lifestyle, the salsa, the Spanish, the Cuban—he loves all that stuff. So, he fit in like a glove.”

Carlo and Eva have another sister, Janet Levy, while their eldest sibling, Juan Carlos Méndez Jr., died in 2016 at the age of 53 after battling throat cancer. Carlo wears a little vial of his big brother’s ashes around his neck to keep him close.

So Ryan getting along with everyone, including Eva’s dad Juan Carlos Méndez and mom Eva Perez Suarez, was no small thing for the family-centric actress, who pressed pause on her movie career to focus on raising their daughters, Esmeralda, 9, and Amada, 7.

While fatherhood isn’t something Carlo is planning on at the moment—”If it happens, it happens”—the 46-year-old is content being the fun uncle to Eva’s kids, as well as his 17 other nieces and nephews.

Uncle Carlo may even be too fun, he acknowledged, but “I just love joking around! It lifts your spirits to make people laugh, smile and just be uplifting and help people believe in themselves.”

[From E! News]

I freaking love this! Getting along with your in-laws isn’t always easy, especially when you’re entering into a close-knit family that has its own traditions. I can see how it would be intimidating trying to navigate fitting in with and respectfully assimilating to a new culture. This is not exactly the same thing, but I come from a big yet close Italian-American family (my mom and her cousins all grew up in the same neighborhood). Poor Mr. Rosie had to learn the names of like 29 aunts, uncles, and cousins when he went to a family wedding a few months after we started dating. He also had to use that Catholic school education to charm a few family members, lol. And although he always threatened to get them, he never actually used earplugs when around all of us.

But back to Ryan and the Mendes family! They sound like they would be really fun and the good kind of chaotic to be around. I would kill to be a fly on the wall of one of their big family dinners or get togethers just to hang out, eat good food, dance, etc. I know that there’s zero chance of this ever happening but I would die if Eva or Carlo ever posted a video of Ryan doing the salsa. Please, someone, make this happen.

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This story makes me really, really angry. Consumer Reports, which is an independent, nonprofit org, has found that Lunchables contain “relatively high levels” of lead, cadmium, and sodium. The sodium levels were almost one half of the daily recommended limit for a child. That’s pretty worrisome, but the amount of lead and phthalates (a chemical used with plastics) is absolutely terrifying. My kids don’t eat Lunchables on the regular, but they do eat them from time-to-time as a special treat. CR’s findings are so troublesome that the organization is trying to get Lunchables removed from the National School Lunch Program.

Consumer Reports is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to remove Lunchables and similar lunch kits from the National School Lunch Program. The organization made the announcement on April 9 after a test of 12 store-bought versions of Lunchables and similar lunch and snack kits found “relatively high levels” of lead, cadmium and sodium. The sodium levels in the kits reportedly ranged from 460 to 740 milligrams per serving — nearly a quarter to half of a child’s daily recommended limit.

Additionally, all but one of the kits contain harmful phthalates, a group of chemicals found in plastics that the National Institute of Health states is “detrimental to human health” and can lead to reproductive problems, diabetes, obesity, certain types of cancer and more. A spokesperson for Kraft Heinz, maker of Lunchables, tells PEOPLE that the company has “taken great steps to improve the nutrition profile of Lunchables,” including reducing the sodium in all Lunchables crackers by 26%.

“All our foods meet strict safety standards that we happily feed to our own families. We are proud of Lunchables and stand by the quality and integrity that goes into making them,” the spokesperson said. “According to current science, processed foods arbitrarily classified as ‘ultra-processed’ are not necessarily less nutritious. In fact, many processed foods contain added nutrients, providing even more benefits to the consumer. The classification of foods should be based on scientific evidence that includes an assessment of the nutritional value of the whole product, not restricted to one element such as a single ingredient or the level of processing.”

Along with Lunchables, CR’s test also included kits from Armour LunchMakers, Good & Gather, Greenfield Natural Meat Co., and Oscar Mayer. CR has since launched a petition to the USDA, already garnering over 10,000 signatures in favor of removing the popular lunch kits from the National School Lunch Program.

“Even in small amounts, lead and cadmium can cause developmental problems in children, with risks increasing from regular exposure over time,” the petition states. “And eating too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure: about 14 percent of children and teens have prehypertension or hypertension. Please remove these processed food kits from the lunch program, and offer our children healthier choices.”

“Lunchables are not a healthy option for kids and shouldn’t be allowed on the menu as part of the National School Lunch Program,” Brian Ronholm, director of food policy at Consumer Reports, said in a statement. “The Lunchables and similar lunch kits we tested contain concerning levels of sodium and harmful chemicals that can lead to serious health problems over time. The USDA should remove Lunchables from the National School Lunch Program and ensure that kids in schools have healthier options.”

About 28 million students each day in over 95,000 schools and educational institutions in the United States are provided with meals under the federal National School Lunch Program, according to the School Nutrition Association. About 19 million of those meals are free, while 8.5 million are paid in full and 1.1 million are served at a reduced price, according to the association report.

A spokesperson for the USDA tells PEOPLE: “USDA takes very seriously our responsibility to ensure school meals are of the highest nutritional quality. This is why we have a new proposed rule which aims to align our programs with the latest nutrition science and modernize our services to best serve kids. Strengthening the nutrition of school meals comes from a common goal we all share: to help kids be healthy.”

“Importantly, USDA doesn’t allow or disallow individual food items. Our requirements address the overall content of meals – some of them on a daily basis and others on a weekly basis. So, the Lunchables described in the article would need to be paired with fruit, vegetables and milk. In addition, a school who wanted to serve a higher sodium product one day has to balance that with lower sodium items on others,” the statement continued. “Many schools are taking steps to use more scratch cooked and local foods, and USDA has supported these efforts through expanded grants for equipment, training, and local food procurement.”

[From People]

This is absolutely f–cking unacceptable. I’m so pissed that I need to address it one by one. First, we have the phthalates, which can lead to “reproductive problems, diabetes, obesity, certain types of cancer, and more.” Like, how many damn think pieces have we had lately that ponder why Americans are increasingly having all of these issues? I keep seeing Tweets from anti-vaxxers that blame the rising cancer rates on the Covid vaccine when really, the call has been coming from inside the cafeteria all along. And let’s talk about the lead. The Daily podcast talked about the lead found in applesauce pouches on their Feb. 29 episode. Just listening to what happened and *how* it could happen was infuriating.

Third, “taking great steps” to improve your product’s nutrition and only listing that you’re removing sodium and not some of the other ingredients with irreversible effects kinda gives away the game. Capitalism at its finest, #amirite?! Poison the children because it’s cheap and then when you get caught, take some of the salt out to say (now) you (kinda) care. Finally – and my understanding of this comes from listening to that The Daily episode, but the USDA and FDA need to step up their game because if Lunchables is meeting the “strict safety standards,” then we have a more serious problem. They need more funding and the entire industry needs to be overhauled with more regulation and better standards. It is simply unacceptable to let companies get away with feeding our children (and us; remember the two Hot Pockets recalls?) foods that can poison them and cause them lifelong problems.

Ina Garten says she originally doubted anyone would be interested in her life story, which is wild to me. Today we know her as the Barefoot Contessa, from both her successful East Hampton specialty food store and her popular Food Network cooking show. But did you know that before those careers took off, she earned a pilot’s certificate in North Carolina, flipped houses in the DC area, and wrote the nuclear energy budget and policy papers for the Office of Management and Budget under Presidents Ford and Carter?? I didn’t!! The Contessa is a Renaissance woman! Thank goodness a friend convinced Ina that her story needed to be told — and by her. Be Ready When the Luck Happens comes out October 1, and this week Ina stopped by the Today Show to talk about the experience of writing a memoir, and the meaning behind the title:

“Well for a long time, I thought, ‘Who would be interested in my story?’ And a friend said to me, she said, ‘Somebody’s going to write your story and it should be you.’ And I thought ‘Oh, that’s a good point.’ And we started on it and she helped kind of bring me to places I had forgotten. It turned out to be a really interesting experience,” Garten shared in an exclusive interview on TODAY April 11.

One of those places was Washington, D.C., where Garten worked as a budget analyst for presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

“She would take me to like the place in Washington, where I decided to leave Washington and said, ‘Put yourself on the steps with Jeffrey having the conversation about leaving him and leaving Washington and you moving on.’”

Revisiting those life-changing moments was emotional for Garten, but she also says that they illustrate how she got to where she is.

“Be Ready When the Luck Happens” is yet another example of Garten’s pioneering spirit and courageous career.

“I think shifting gears was scary. I jumped off a few cliffs, thinking, ‘How is this going to work out?’ It would have never happened if I hadn’t. Having the courage to do scary things is really what propelled my story,” she said.

As Garten wrote the first draft to her memoir, she turned to love letters her husband Jeffrey wrote to her when they first started dating.

“I had those as a record. It was really quite extraordinary,” Garten said. The letters ended up being a reminder of things the two of them had experienced earlier in life.

“There were things that I thought never happened but they were in the letters and it made us realize that, ‘Oh yeah, that’s right, that did happen.’”

With her stunning East Hampton home and numerous accolades including a James Beard Award, it would be easy to say that Garten is one of the lucky ones. She says that’s not exactly the case.

“I always thought that I was really lucky, but as I look back, I started to realize that I’d actually done a lot of the work. I taught myself how to cook, I built houses, I build things and that I did it because I loved doing it. I realized when it came to be that I was lucky that I saw a business for sale and that I was ready. It wasn’t just that I was lucky — I was ready when it happened.”

[From Today]

First of all, YES to being the one to tell your own story. Especially when you’ve saved the love letters your husband of over 50 years has written you! As for Ina’s take on luck, I couldn’t agree more. And I thought we’d never see eye to eye again after #Bagelgate. Nothing can replace or shortcut the value of the work you put in. (Well, nothing except for Nepo.) But I also appreciate Ina’s vantage in looking back and seeing how things developed. While you’re living your life, it’s hard to see how what you’re doing in any given moment may be helping towards where you’d like to be. Ina’s realization that yes she was lucky, but more importantly, she had laid a foundation from which she could jump, is a reminder to give ourselves some grace. What we’re doing now can count for something bigger down the line.

When I moved to New York for college REDACTED years ago, my mother gifted me with a hardcover copy of E.B. White’s Here Is New York. One of the best lines in it is, “No one should come to New York to live unless he is willing to be lucky.” With Ina’s help then, let’s add that if you’re willing to be lucky, you better be ready.

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