The List: A Simple Idea for Your Next Free Weekend

And an ode to butternut squash...
Author:
Publish date:
Brunch at Fia this weekend! 

Brunch at Fia this weekend! 

This weekend, I was back home in Los Angeles for the first time in almost two months (!) and outside of a few plans—an engagement party, brunch with friends who just moved here, and wedding veil shopping with girlfriends—I spent the last 48 hours recuperating. I went to Burke Williams for their Radiance Facial, which they gifted me, but I was so impressed by it that I'm already planning on treating myself to one a few days before my wedding. Most gloriously, I read a lot and watched even more. The big news around here is that I finally finished Season 3 of Handmaid's Tale after starting it way back in August, and all I can say is: Blessed be the fruit. This week is packed, but I'm already looking forward to another laidback weekend at the end of it! Here's what I'm loving this week:

1

Natasha Frost, Quartz's travel and tourism reporter, recently guest-edited their lifestyle newsletter Quartzy and shared this brilliant idea: 

Lately, I’ve been planning day trips based around a particular theme, to keep it manageable: a “printed matter”-themed day recently took me to a museum of posters, a six-story second-hand bookshop with folders of different maps, and a flash sale of inexpensive risograph prints. (If I’d had more time, I might have gone to a sale of vintage postcards or a tiny exhibition of the various ways alphabets devoted to animals have solved “the challenge” of the letter ‘N’.)

The idea of planning a day around a theme has the excitement of a scavenger hunt, with the benefit of discovering something new in your city or doing something you wouldn't otherwise. Jonah famously leads our friends through "taco crawls" in search of the best tacos for his birthday every year, and this weekend, after feeling inspired by the Irish book I'm slowly reading (only so I don't finish it too quickly, I love it so much!), The Heart's Invisible Furies, I invited friends over for a mini-themed afternoon. I initially wanted to head to an Irish bar to try the cocktails the characters spend an entire chapter drinking (Snowballs), but in the interest of time restrictions, friends came over so I could mix the drink for them. The shared goal—even one that's so arbitrary—made the activity feel more special and fun than simply drinking rosé would have. I'm looking forward to planning afternoons around some of the even vaguer themes Natasha suggests: "things in tubes" (!), more food quests for the "best of," or planning "a day around mini-destinations starting with a single letter." 

2

How much butternut squash is too much butternut squash? I've been eating alarming amounts of the stuff, ever since the weather in L.A. started passing as "fall," which I purchase by the bag at Trader Joe's (I prefer to buy it from the farmers market instead of pre-cut in bags of plastic, but I'm giving myself a pass this week in the name of "I don't have the time or energy to saw through a squash right now" so forgive me!). While I could eat it roasted, straight from the pan (at 400° F for forty minutes, with a splash of olive oil, salt, and maple syrup), I've also been eating it in curries, this simple Moroccan tagine, and simply tossed with gem lettuce, olive oil-lemon vinaigrette, and shredded rotisserie chicken. 

3

I've always loved memoirs and documentaries, but recently I've been gravitating specifically towards founders' stories. Maybe it's the excitement of someone following their passion against all odds (as the Peloton founder John Foley shared on his "How I Built This" podcast episode), succeeding beyond their wildest dreams (as Nike founder Phil Knight did in his book Shoe Dog), or failing spectacularly (as Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes did in the fantastic HBO documentary The Inventor, which I highly recommend!). Any more founder stories I should dive into?