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A Comforting Pasta and What to Listen to While You Cook It

I'm on a mule and I'm going fast and...
Our friend, Rachel, took this photo but this is where we'll be camping! 

Our friend, Rachel, took this photo but this is where we'll be camping! 

After feeling cooped up and stressed out for a few weeks, Jonah and I decided to take a somewhat impromptu trip to Zion and the Grand Canyon for a long weekend getaway! The lack of Wi-Fi we're anticipating means I'm writing this a few days before we depart, but also that I will be blissfully, completely unplugged. I will, of course, be taking photos along the way and posting a recap later this week, along with our tips for staying safe and distanced (rest assured, all precautions will be taken). I'm looking forward to a change of scenery and by that I mean there's a very good chance I'm on a mule descending into the Canyon at the exact moment you're reading this... Here are some of the things I loved last week, pre-mule: 


Sylvan Esso is a longtime favorite of mine, dating all the way back to one of my very first Lists! Ever since their third album "Free Love" came out last week, I don't think I've listened to a single other thing. Take it from me: The cozy/synth-y vibe is the perfect soundtrack for road tripping to National Parks, cooking pasta solo, and long morning walks when it's cool enough to feel like fall in L.A. Start with "Ferris Wheel," "Frequency," and "Ring." 

The lighting is wonky since I took this at night, but it was *so good*

The lighting is wonky since I took this at night, but it was *so good*

In anticipation of last Tuesday's presidential debate, I decided I'd need something deeply comforting to bookend the stressful experience (little did I know just *how* stressful it would be). The antidote? Pasta. I was thrilled to discover that I already had everything on hand for this One-Pan Orzo With Spinach and Feta, minus the frozen peas and dill. After the debate, I poured myself a glass of wine and set to work, letting the smell of sautéed garlic ease the tension of the potential impending collapse of our democracy and our President's public callout to a neo-Nazi group. I plated the pasta with some seared salmon on top, and a side of make sure you're registered to vote.

P.S. The recipe above is from the New York Times (which I highly recommend you subscribe to, if you have the means) but I found this recipe which looks similarly delightful and is not behind a paywall. 


Since quarantine shuttered theaters (except for that one performance of Godspell), magician Helder Guimarães' Zoom show, "The Present," has become living proof that theater can exist outside of, well, a theater. The show draws from his own "experience with quarantine during childhood" while he performs illusions—honestly, I'm not completely sure what to expect from that, but aren't you intrigued? His 24-week run sold out but tickets are available for his grand finale on October 17th. Jonah and I will be there! 

For two years, before quarantine began, my friends Alice, Maddie, and I made it a priority to see every show at the Pasadena Playhouse. It's one of the traditions I've missed most, so I was thrilled to hear that they launched PlayhouseLive, a streaming service that includes some of their plays as well as a behind-the-scenes series on the making of their 2019 rendition of "Little Shop of Horrors." 

P.S. Don't forget about Broadway HD and plays available on Audible (I particularly enjoyed Carey Mulligan's heart-wrenching "Girls & Boys").

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1. I haven't listened to this podcast yet (started by cupcakes and cashmere readers!) but the name alone, "Pray for Us," made me laugh. 

2. My cousin, a longtime advocate for people with disabilities, helped launch this app which helps make the process of voting more accessible!

3. I love this sweater a lot. 

4. Chelsea Handler nailed this one

5. Two random things I recommended recently that I still haven't stopped thinking about: Supper Club by Lara Williams and "Better Things." 

6. How to safely date in person during COVID... 

7. Scary movies for October I will most definitely not be watching because I'm a wimp.

8. Hey you! Sign up to call voters (I'll be there next Saturday at 10 AM)—it's super easy, super fun, and makes a huge difference! 

P.S. Last week was nuts, between trip prep and a number of other life things going on, so I had zero time to read but I brought approximately eight books for my four-day trip... many more recs coming your way next week! Until then, keep an eye out for Kelly's next book roundup, coming to a screen near you! 

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