On Friday morning, the last thing I wanted to do was go to a museum exhibit on Ruth Bader Ginsberg—even though I'd been looking forward to it all week. I'd just experienced a night of insomnia (frustratingly, my first in months), had been fighting a losing battle against a cold all week, and had an enormous pile of work to get through before the weekend. I very seriously considered cancelling, but instead braved rush hour traffic to get to the exhibit's press preview at the Skirball Museum. Almost as soon as I arrived, I knew I'd made the right decision. The exhibit is based on the bestselling book The Notorious RBG, and the authors of the book as well as the curator were there to walk us through it—from Justice Ginsberg's early years to her ongoing present-day impact. I walked away from the preview smarter than I'd walked in, but the lesson that I hope will stick with me is: Inspiration is a fantastic cure for feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Going to the preview didn't answer any emails for me, but when I got back to the office, I had a fresh, creative perspective and immediately began cruising through my to-do list (I mean if RBG can do pistol squats every day, I can respond to that email I've been putting off). Here's what else I'm up to this week:
When Kristen Miglore recommends a cookie, you listen. As the creative director of Food52 (and someone I'm fortunate enough to call a former coworker and friend), she recently published a cookbook full of, well, Genius Desserts. One dessert (which isn't available in the cookbook, but's in her online column on Food52) is Nik Sharma's cookie which reimagines the classic chocolate chip. Rather than using the usual buttery, eggy, sugary goodness, Sharma's one bowl and naturally gluten-free cookies use hazelnut flour, bittersweet chocolate, muscovado sugar, and ginger. I should warn you, they're expensive—the crystallized ginger and hazelnut flour alone set me back almost $20 (though I now have enough for several batches). But they're worth it—they taste like a hug from fall, without the cloying sweetness of, say, pumpkin butter. It's a sophisticated cookie, best enjoyed curled up with a book or wrapped up as a hostess gift.
In Private Life, available on Netflix, Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) and Richard (Paul Giamatti) are obsessed with the idea of having a baby. After sharing full careers as writers in New York, they're now in their mid-forties, pooling their time and savings into IVF and every other type of assisted reproduction. "Plenty of women have babies at 41; I thought I could too," Rachel's character says, completely exasperated. Their desire to have a baby—their own, if possible—is all-consuming, but also full of funny moments and clever commentary on the question we're all too familiar with: Can women really have it all? You can watch it here.
A few weeks ago, Jonah and I made a spreadsheet of our finances, which is never fun, but definitely illuminating. Turns out, we spend way too much on outings with friends (cocktails are not budget friendly), so we decided to put something of a spending freeze on easily avoidable, pricey social outings. The challenge was to do so without becoming recluses—so we started suggesting hangouts that cost little-to-no money. Over the past week, we've replaced drinks with game nights, made pizza with friends at home, hiked in Griffith Park, picked apples, camped, and eaten our way through a taco crawl ($1 tacos are plentiful in L.A.). As we come into a time of year when shopping—for gifts and decorations—is everywhere, it feels empowering (if challenging) to make a few compromises that allow us to enter this time of year with savings, rather than a never-ending wishlist.