Saturday, January 14, 2017

Reading Lately

Patient HM: A story of memory, madness, and family secrets by Luke Dittrich

Tragic mental strife
And ice pick lobotomies
This book's a bummer.

The Mansion of Happiness: A history of life and death by Jill Lepore

Going to put it off
Patient HM was too much
Sorrow for right now.

Power Vegetables by Peter Meehan

Recipe intros
Are funny little essays
Let's all eat more kale!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

What's Making Me Happy This Week

Some silly and some serious things that are making me happy throughout this very trying week.

// Baddie Winkle. 1) "Stealing your man since 1928" is Instagram's greatest bio. 2) She is all the #goals.

// Dan Rather's Facebook posts. Just long enough to explain his point fully - not too long that I don't read the whole thing. He's a great, succinct writer and I like forward to his new venture, News and Guts.

// Meryl Streep's Golden Globes speech. HEY PEOPLE WHO SAY 'SHE SHOULD STICK TO MOVIES' -- one of the functions of art is to comment on society. Preach, Meryl!

// Christmas-present-to-myself silk pillowcase - I like it a lot!

// Bo the Dog. I was intrigued when C named her new stuffed dog "Bo" because neither she nor Josie name any doll or stuffed animal anything* besides "Baby", "Big Baby", "Tiny Baby", "Doggie"... and it turns out she named her Bo because she has a bow at her ear. So her name is actually Bow.

Here I asked C to "do ballet with Bow" and she spun around and fell to the ground dramatically, just the like the Nutcracker's principle ballerina. Exeunt Bow.

*exception: Douglas the stuffed dog. Doug-a-wus has a tag with her name on it and like all of C's loveys is a GIRL, she'll have you know.

// Early morning puzzles with Bow.

Favorite loveys: Bunny, Corn [a unicorn], and Horsey. (These are all Jellycat stuffed animals -- so cute). After this we were at La Bonne Bouchee at 7 am picking up a beautiful cake for a work party and their incentive - the sugar cookie of their choice! The case was full of intricately decorated pink and red Valentine cookies but they chose what they've liked before: a brown-iced horse cookie.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Christmas and New Year's

We spent Christmas at my parents' house but Santa delivered a playhouse a day early! A model just like C had requested, "with a door and a window."

I bought some new plants at the great nursery in WashMO.

Crab legs for Christmas Eve dinner.

"Pop Pop, you may pet my back."

Making orange pull-apart bread with Aunt Elise.

"OK you may hold me."

Almost time for presents!

Check up time.

Frozen matching game.

The Sneeze with Grandma.

I was on call the week after Christmas and New Year's Day. We had a low-key NYE; Jenny came over for a low carb feast of buffalo drumsticks with homemade blue cheese dressing and deviled eggs. I followed the buffalo wing recipe from this book but used drumsticks because drumsticks are my FAVE (plus even the organic ones from Costco are cheap).

The whisks and hooded towels have been very popular recently, as has Memory Yoga. When we started playing that game C could mimic the poses but didn't grasp matching -- now she wins the game against adults who are trying to beat her (Luke).

Jenny spent the night at our guesthouse (!) and on New Year's Day we went to Nick and Gracie's for brunch.
Gracie and her one of her cats... what a mug, huh?

Nick's recently published paper has been picked up by major news outlets, including the New York Times - - this was cited in my weekly NYT health newsletter. Congrats!!!

Secret Life of Pets with new friends (and a cat hiding under the bed).

We attended only two of the holiday events I had planned on but it was a relaxing, fun few weeks - even my call week was a chance to catch my breath.

Happy 2017, all!

Reading Lately

Reviews of my latest library books.

5 Minute Hairstyles by Jenny Strebe

It's not for those post 
Telogen effluvium
I need extensions.

EveryDayCook by Alton Brown

Cookies, pies, and more
Way too involved anyway
I really miss carbs.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

What's Making Me Happy This Week

// This Room and Board blog post about velvet. So beautiful and I want that pink sofa!!!

// I've starting following @charrrl_iie on Instagram -- her collars are (WAIT FOR IT) on point! She has a daily art project going on at her throat everyday and I think it's the coolest. Click here for an interview with her. Meanwhile I'm off to Gimme Flair to browse (which will lead me to all of Etsy). And La Vidriola -- wacky and I dig it (this is amazing). Let's roll into 2017 with some silliness, shall we?

// Hearing (faintly) Luke sing and play the piano at night again - because we rented the townhouse next door!

// Being back on the low carb wagon. Day 3. Sigh.

// Getting home early this week with time to play:

Sunday, December 25, 2016

2017 Resolutions

Resolutions 2011 // Word of 2012 // 2013 // 2014 // 2015 //  Summer 2015 and Summer 2015 eval // 2016

WORD FOR 2017:


My goal for the year is to schedule more activities in advance and to be intentional and disciplined about how I spend my time. I was thinking about this recently when I realized I needed a haircut and color and when I called the salon, my stylist was booked for weeks (of course). Initial Veruca Salt reaction: I WANT IT NOWWWW! Second reaction: Why don't I make these appointments in advance? (For one thing, my work schedule is different week to week and is created about 6 weeks out -- great for flexibility, difficult for planning). Maybe a more accurate word of the year is proactive rather than reactive. Nothing new here -- the previous six resolution posts revolve around the same goals - more cooking, more exercise, more planning -- but life is getting more chaotic and if I don't plan and organize more effectively, running behind on the activities of daily living will shut out any time for personal growth projects.


// Scheduling my personal training sessions a month at a time with Courtney (Hi Courtney!!!)

// Schedule swimming lessons (in the works) to achieve my goal of lap swimming. (I want to start tennis lessons but haven't found time to go by the club for a tour - doesn't bode well).

// Buy a monthly massage membership. (I like this resolution)

// Schedule my 15-30 minutes of yoga a day (the app allows to add classes to your calendar).

// Amanda and I are going have dinner and attend one cultural event per month. (January's outing is already planned: dinner & dancing with someone else dancing --> Pastaria and Big Muddy Dance Company's Menagerie.)

// Set aside time for meal prep on Saturday or Sunday - actually write it down in my Get To Work Book. I'm very excited to start cooking regularly again. (Here's something I don't need but really want: the All-Clad slow cooker with browning function! To decrease number of pans to clean? I'm sure I'll find a reason).

// Schedule Sunday suppers with friends - very low key, no stress get togethers that require only a quick tidy-up and takeout.

// Reach out to people I don't know (or don't know well) but want to get to know because their work is interesting, they're doing cool things, etc. Come to the suburbs and tell me about your project! I will feed you!

image via

Personal growth projects:

📷 Shoot Along camera course starting next week.

🏊 Swimming lessons. I've been wanting to explore lap swimming for a long time and squandering the opportunity of living next to a heated indoor lap pool is ridiculous.

📚 Read at least one book a month (sounds very easy - but weeks like the last one happen, in which I fall asleep next to a sick kid every night).

😬 Personal un-growth project: I want to lose 20 pounds before our big vacation this year. UGH. This requires that I plan menus, make almost all of my own food, log everything in myfitnesspal, and - horrors! - give up carbonated beverages. Low Carb Land, here we come.

image via

🏋  In addition to working out with Courtney, yoga to mitigate the damage of a desk job, and swimming (and tennis?), I'm resolving to watch my shows on my tablet on the stationary bike or elliptical (better than sitting still) - I bought the second season of Outlander (going to have to find a bike situated out of the line of sight of other gym goers -- some of those scenes are NSFW(out) 🔥🔥🔥) Luke has opted out of The Man in the High Castle and The Crown - those will be gym shows.

Same goes for magazines. I was using the Texture app on my tablet but it crashed and froze so much I cancelled it and just today treated myself to the print issues of magazines that I look forward to reading - Real Simple, InStyle, Rachael Ray, Oprah, Bon Appetit and BUST (which I've never read before, but definitely want to support "magazine and website that provides news, entertainment, celebrity, lifestyle, and fashion from a feminist perspective.") To guard against clutter (the reason I used Texture to begin with) - I will deposit these in a gym-bound bag upon receipt. Cycle, ellipticize, peruse. 

We're rearranging the house a bit and I'll be able to use my TRX (and RIP) trainers at home too. Obstacles are crumbling, excuses are evaporating...

I've learned from experience that a little mindfulness - or follow through, or organization, whatever you want to call it - in one area of my life reinforces positive behavior in others. Went to the gym in the morning -- eats a nourishing breakfast. Got to bed before 10:30 - easier to wake up early. Spent an afternoon in the kitchen cooking and catching up on podcasts -- intellectual satisfaction tied to gustatory satisfaction and the contentment of opening the fridge to containers of delicious meals for my family for the week.

For a post on a theme of discipline this has been a scenic ramble through motives and aims and hopefully some measurable outcomes. 2016 has been a great year for me personally but in 2017 I want to be productive.

Here's to a great year, friends!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Lipsticks, Chopsticks

Realizing I have a bajillion lipsticks but rarely wear them, I embarked a 12 Days of Lipsmas project:

Lancôme Hypnotique; Lancôme Bow and Arrow; YSL 72;
Tom Ford So Vain; Bobbi Brown Russian Doll; Nars Dragon Girl

Cover Girls Lots of Lava!; Armani sheer 504; Bobbi Brown Brocade;
Perricone No Lipstick Lipstick (unnamed shade); Perricone Super Berry; Rouge d'Armani 400

Takeaways: lipstick makes a big difference! -- Mint Julips is a great product -- Armani sheers are my all time fave.

Josie was sick all week leading up to Christmas. Irritable, febrile, clingy. On Thursday she felt better and we went to Ramen Tei for the first time. Here she uses chopsticks and proclaims the noodles delicious!