Aaand I'm back! (For good!) After an incredibly restful and reviving week spent hiking all over the Pacific Northwest with my boyfriend and his mom, sans wifi (is there anything better than the PNW?), I got back to L.A. this weekend. While most of my trips this summer were the type that required a vacation from my vacation, this was just the break I needed. Highlights included a challenging but rewarding 17-mile loop, the most idyllic lodges on a lake and along the ocean (where we saw several Grey Whales!), and a detox from all tech, until I hit Seattle, where we ate at five out of six Renee Erickson restaurants in one day (I'm still full). Here's what I'm up to this week:
Take advantage of the last few days of California summer before we catch up with the rest of the States and head into fall! Free People is hosting free events through the end of the month, like yoga on the beach, morning meditation, and surf lessons. Sign up here!
While in Seattle last weekend, I had the opportunity to finally eat at Renee Erickson's The Whale Wins. We ordered just about every starter, then purchased her cookbook—the unassuming sardine toast being a sleeper hit. Its the fennel-y, briny(er) version of the Spanish-inspired Sardine toast I love on the opposite coast, served at Lilia in Brooklyn (which I made at the end of this post!). My recipe, adapted for the blog: Pile butter, sardines, roasted tomatoes, and fennel on top of a thick slice of sourdough bread. Serve with wine. Get drunk off both and pretend you're in Spain.
In Seattle, we made a 5-minute pit-stop into Elliot Bay Book Company, which turned into an hour of browsing. Since I had just finished a candidate for an upcoming Cupcakes and Cashmere Book Club Book, I picked up Good Morning, Midnight from the Staff Recommendations which described the post-apocalyptic novel as "haunting and gorgeous" (it's also Colson Whitehead's favorite book of 2016). I haven't even broken the spine yet, but based on the description it sounds like a cross between two books I love, Station Eleven and The Brief History of the Dead. Can't wait to dive in this weekend!
Also on book horizons: The first chapter of the latest Lisbeth Salander novel was released and it's promising! Though worth avoiding if you're a Stieg Larsson purist.
Lake Bell's latest movie (her first since In a World...), I Do... Until I Don't, makes the argument that marriage should be a contract with an option to renew. The characters are caricatures of exactly the people you'd expect in a movie questioning marriage—the hippie, free-loving couple, the unhappy couple hoping a baby might save their relationship—and (I have to warn you) the reviews have been less than kind, but it's amusing enough for an easy-to-watch movie.
Tomorrow night, one of my favorite organizations, SoFar Sounds, is hosting a world-wide concert to benefit Amnesty International with three-hundred gigs in sixty countries. Like all Sofar Shows, the bands are secret until you arrive, but if you're lucky, you'll find artists like Ed Sheeran, Chance the Rapper, The Staves, and Andrew Bird. Details here. If you can't make it tomorrow night, there are SoFar Sounds all over the world happening all the time (there's one every night in L.A.!). Check out the schedule for your city here or watch two of my favorite SoFar performances here and here (you never know what you're going to get!)
When a friend of mine asked me to be her bridesmaid, she snail-mailed the request with the prettiest, simple gold bracelet. I wore it for months leading up to the wedding, feeling excited every time I looked down at it, and was thrilled when I discovered at her bachelorette party that the other bridesmaids had done the same! Now that she's married, it serves as a reminder of what a fun weekend it was. This DIY bracelet looks almost identical and is so easy to make. I love the idea of making a few as subtle friendship bracelets for girlfriends!