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Meghan Markle Is Changing Royal Wedding Protocol—and Other Notes from the Week

Catch up on all the news you might have missed with our handy summary of the week’s top stories.

We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.

Joanna Gaines Is Expecting No. 5

If the cold has been getting to you this week, news that Fixer Upper’s Chip and Joanna Gaines are expecting their fifth child is sure to warm your heart. In a classic awkward Chip move, we were all graced with an in-depth explanation of how it all happened. (TMI! But can’t you just see Joanna laughing and rolling her eyes??)

Cuter still, Joanna shared their sonogram featuring baby’s little heartbeat. Swoon!

Many fans were devastated to learn that the fifth season of Fixer Upper would be the last, but we were pleased that Chip and Joanna had chosen to prioritize their marriage and their family with this move. We just didn’t realize how serious they were about that! —Monica Gabriel Marshall

Women of Hollywood Say #TimesUp

After several months of men’s careers unraveling due to sexual harassment and assault allegations, a cohort of women revealed this week their plan for achieving gender parity in Hollywood. #TimesUp involves a legal defense fund to support underprivileged women, legislation to combat harassment, a call to action for companies to achieve gender parity, and a request that women wear black to Sunday’s Golden Globes in solidarity. The original plan is backed by women such as America Ferrera, Reese Witherspoon, and Eva Longoria, but hundreds more have pledged their support.

The open letter that accompanied the plan’s unveiling read: “We are grateful to the many individuals—survivors and allies—who are speaking out and forcing the conversation about sexual harassment, sexual assault, and gender bias out of the shadows and into the spotlight.” In just a few days, support of the cause has taken over social media and news cycles as women rally together to see this cause realized. —Megan Madden

Winter Bomb Cyclone Hits Northeast

For those of us on the East Coast, it’s as if one minute we were dreaming of a white Christmas and the next we were plunged into an icy vortex that has confined us to our homes, long underwear, and woolliest socks. Not really what we had in mind. Meteorologists are calling the storm a “bomb cyclone,” classified for its sharp drop in atmospheric pressure. Several East Coast states have declared a state of emergency as icy winds and snow ground flights and threaten the lives of many homeless people exposed to the cold. On the bright side, this is an opportunity to be thankful for our warm homes and to perhaps reach out to those who are less fortunate. —MGM

Here’s What Everyone’s Predicting for 2018

In with the new, out with the old, right? With the new year come new trends, and if those in the know have anything to say about it, 2018 is shaping up to look like a pretty trendy year. As your feeds have been flooded by predictions this week, here’s a quick roundup of five of our favorites:

You may be diligent about leaving your devices outside of the bedroom, but 2018 will mark the year we welcome technology into the bedroom—technology that helps us capitalize on our best sleep. Be prepared to see smart mattresses and highly sensitive sleep trackers hit the market this year.

If you were on the fence about turmeric lattes, prepare to see a bevy of spices move into the limelight this year. Adaptogenic herbs and spices have traditionally been a healthy way to flavor without adding calories, but watch for them appearing in coffees and smoothies for their anti-inflammatory benefits. Black pepper green smoothie, anyone?

Your drugstore makeup counter is about to get a lot cleaner—and greener. Clean color cosmetics will be popping up everywhere, and the highly pigmented colors that were once relegated to chemical-laden products will be equally accessible. Along these lines, 2018 promises to be the year that natural makeup will no longer be second-rate in quality to its non-eco-friendly counterparts.

Nut milks might have taken over your dairy aisle the past couple of years, but get ready to see an abundance of nut-based yogurts this year. Products that were once reserved for super-niche vegan crowds will become widely available with brands such as Kite Hill and Ripple hitting the shelves at mainstream grocers.

Only time will truly tell what trends we’ll be rocking on our bodies by year end, but if we take a nod from influencers, it’s looking like some surefire wins. Layers, slits, wide legs, rainbow everything, berets, and larger-than-life earrings will be the statements of our 2018 year in fashion. Because January is the perfect time to refresh and repurpose your closet, we’re betting you already have a lot of what is in store. —Megan Miller

Rumor Has It: Meghan Markle Intends to Break a Huge Royal Wedding Tradition

We’ve all grown up with the idea of our father giving us away at our wedding—or at least the main male parental figure in our lives. Heck, this idea is even the catalyst for the entire plotline of ABBA’s Mamma Mia. It’s a staple even in the most untraditional of marriage ceremonies—and definite for the most traditional, aka an actual British royal wedding when your grandmother is the head of the Church of England. So it is notable indeed that Meghan Markle is looking to break away from this ancient tradition and instead choose that her mother give her away, at least according to rumors. While she doesn’t seem to hold any bad blood against her father, Thomas Markle, she’s particularly close to her mother, Doris Ragland, who divorced her father at a young age. Again, this is based upon speculation; no royal decree or public statement has surfaced, but this rumor has much more substance than typical pre–royal wedding rumors. (Remember all those tabloids falsely reporting the queen was aghast by Kate Middleton’s dress?) I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see how this royal wedding will differ come May 19. —Maria Walley