It's difficult to think about anything this week besides the fires in California, especially when so many people I know have been impacted by them. It's hard to grasp that this kind of mass destruction by fire is, according to Governor Jerry Brown, the "new normal," wiping out and coming dangerously close to homes of friends and family, and filling the sky with smoke. Even as far east as Echo Park, the neighborhood I live in, there was ash on our cars this morning. It's hard to know what to do in times like these, but I was proud to run into a friend at Target this weekend who was buying supplies, like eye drops and sunscreen, to drop off at fire stations (here are a few other places to donate to) after his childhood friend's house burned down. This weekend, I mostly stayed indoors because of the terrible air quality, cleaning my house in anticipation of heading out of town for the next five weekends—the silver lining of which is that I also had the chance to catch up on tons of books and movies. If you haven't already, I recommend listening to this morning's episode of The Daily, which does a fantastic job of capturing what it was like to be in Paradise, California last week as the fires wipes out the entire town. Stay safe this week, and here are a few distractions for those in need:
Research shows that there are three predictors of friendship: positivity, consistency, and vulnerability. Age is nowhere on that list, yet it often limits who we socialize with, especially in the United States where multiple generations rarely live under the same roof. This divide can make it especially difficult for women over 50 to meet new friends. A recent New York Times article featured a new wave of women's groups that have an emphasis on cross-generational friendship—and they look incredible. Here are a few worth looking into: HoneyGood's Moxie! (for women over 50), GirlFriendCircles (a sort of match.com for female friendships), Spaghetti Project (with a focus on networking, and yes, pasta), and Honey Root Embodiment Gathering (a four-day retreat for women). Ironically, when I was reading the article in a coffee shop this weekend, I looked up to see a 70-something woman across from me reading the exact same piece. I wish I had the courage to go up and make an introduction (I couldn't figure out what my opening line would be, other than "Oh hey, you read the NYT too??") but we did have a brief moment of knowing eye contact, which in that crowded coffee shop, felt like a small win.
P.S., Read more on the value of a women's group here!
If you've followed Cynthia Chen McTernan's food blog, Two Red Bowls, you already know her recipes—which often reflect her Chinese-South Carolina upbringing, as well as her husband's Korean-Irish background—borrow from the best parts of her melting pot heritage. That's why, when Jonah and I were divided on what to cook for dinner last night, we turned to Cynthia's recent cookbook, A Common Table. It didn't take long for us to land on her recipe for Spicy Gochujang Eggs in Purgatory, her riff on shashuka. It brilliantly adds in gochujang, a smoky, spicy Korean spice, as well as brown sugar for balance. Plus, we already had all the ingredients on hand—which anyone with a well-stocked pantry should, too! Eggs in Purgatory: it's what's for dinner.
Speaking of food, it's time for one of my favorite holiday traditions: the Food52 Holiday Swap! I've participated for the past four years, and it's truly one of my favorite things to do each year. It feels so special to receive (and send!) a box of homemade goodies, made with love, from a stranger with a kindred love of food.
In 1995, Melissa Moore learned her father, Keith Hunter Jesperson, was a serial killer—known by the pseudonym "Happy Face Killer" for the faces he drew on notes to detectives. In this new podcast, Melissa returns to some of her father's crimes and the childhood she always considered to be a happy one. The first episode literally gave me chills—listen to it here!
The Know is a newsletter that wants to make your brain healthier. Every Thursday, they deliver what they call 'mind food' to your inbox, with essays and tips around the topic of mental health. Sign up here, and catch up on some of their past essays here—I'd recommend one, but they're all so good, it's hard to choose!
I've been on a quest to turn my entire beauty routine natural for what feels like years, little by little. I started with the biggies like natural deodorant and skincare, then slowly transitioned the rest of my routine (which I'm happy to cover in a post if you're interested!). This weekend, I finally found an all-natural mascara I love: ILIA's Limitless Lash Mascara. It grabs hold of every lash and makes them longer than any conventional mascara ever did!
P.S., If you live in L.A.... Brunchwork (a popular brunch-meets-networking event) just landed in L.A.—search events here. The popular Venice pop-up community bookstore for women, The Lev, is looking for a permanent home and you can support their CrowdFund here!