Our family has been trying our best to keep our evenings and weekends full with a varied mix of walks, books, movies, and, of course, board games. Lately, we have been loving Rummikub, a spin-off of the classic card game, Rummy, that utilizes tiles instead of cards. While it's a little too advanced for Sloan to play without some adult assistance, she loves being on one of our teams and helping strategize (aka, playing cheerleader!). Few things help me unwind from the workday better than a game of Rummikub and a cocktail by the fire.
For years, I thought I didn't like red wine, but it turns out I was just drinking the wrong ones. When Emily hosted The Bachelor at her house a few weeks ago, I accepted a glass of Sophie James' pinot noir and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it! It was much brighter than any red I'd ever had, while still tasting rich enough to enjoy with a bowl of Geoffrey's bolognese. Because their wine is only available through their club (side note: their story is incredible), I signed up for the waitlist. A few weeks later, I received an email from their PR team. I'd expected an email telling me I could join the club, but instead I received an email telling me that Sophie had recognized my name from the waitlist (she's also friends with Emily) and had offered to send a few bottles my way. I was completely floored by her generosity (still am)! For the past week, I've been savoring each of the bottles—two red and two rosé pinot noirs—with a single glass each night, until I place my next order!
I was plowing through Tieghan Gerard's (a previous cupcakes and cashmere contributor!) new cookbook, Super Simple, before we began making all our meals at home, but now I've gone all in: Finding inspiration from her Instagram stories, sifting through every entry on her blog, and still making my way through her published recipes. I have yet to be disappointed by a single meal – and have found a few favorites (many that include shelf-stable ingredients!) we're adding to our rotation now that eating out is off the table. I love her Meanest, Greenest Pizza, Ginger Sesame Chicken Potstickers, Lemony Broccoli Pesto Pasta, Oven Fried Southern Hot Honey Chicken, and I plan to try her Saucy Garlic Butter Shrimp with Coconut Milk and Rice Noodles in the next week or so.
Curb is back and better than ever. If you're not familiar with the show, the series showcases Seinfeld creator Larry David playing himself as he experiences and navigates life's annoyances in Los Angeles. This season touches on topical issues, as well as building off the past series arcs of being about, well, nothing. Larry is opening his own coffee shop this season, but he's also on-and-off again with his wife, fighting Los Angeles restaurants and their "ugly sections," and dealing with an ongoing misunderstanding turned lawsuit. It's truly laugh-out-loud funny and something I look forward to every Sunday evening.
If you aren't already familiar with Gary Janetti, whether it be for his work writing on shows like Family Guy and Will and Grace, his hilarious Instagram presence as a sassy Prince George, or even his marriage to Brad Goreski, formerly of The Rachel Zoe Project, let this book be your introduction. His book of essays is at both times, poignantly vulnerable and laugh-out-loud funny as Janetti tells some of his greatest coming of age tales. I picked it up last week for some light amusement and could not put it down until I reached the end. If you're looking for something humorous yet utterly personal, I highly recommend reading this!
For anyone out there who likes Doritos (Nacho Cheese flavor, all day, every day), you have to try these bean chips. I've still been able to find them to varying degrees of success–the Nacho Cheese flavor has been out of stock at the stores I shop for a few weeks, so I've now tried Pico de Gallo, Himalayan Pink Salt, and Jalapeño Nacho– but these chips are easily my favorite #quarantinesnack. They're made from BEANS, which means they have double the protein and 4x the fiber of Doritos to theoretically keep you fuller longer. (They're also gluten-free and vegan, if you care about such things.) I never thought I'd be so passionate about bean chips, but these feisty triangles have won my heart.
As a kid, I lived for the nights when my older sister and I would play "spa" and put on one of those peel-off when it drys face masks. Is there anything more satisfying than pulling the whole thing off in one piece?! Now that I am a bit older, and perhaps slightly more cautious when it comes to buzz-wordy skincare lotions and potions, I try to choose products that are as clean, environmentally friendly, and ethically produced as possible. I recently received a jar of Fleur & Bee's Prince Charcoal Detox Mask and have been using it weekly for a little quarantine glo-up. A small amount goes a long way to make your skin feel baby-butt soft and incredibly radiant.
Since February, I've been doing little things I can to boost my immunity. I've been eating nutrient-dense meals and occasionally raw garlic cloves (which Jonah loves...), in addition to taking two supplements my doctor recommended: Elderberry and Lysine. In between, I've been chewing an immunity-boosting gum, Mighty Gum, which includes many of the vitamins and minerals multi-vitamins do, like zinc, elderberry, and Vitamins A and C, in addition to adaptogens—plus it's a bit fresher than garlic breath!
I treasure my morning coffee ritual. It's one of the few things that gets me out of bed in the morning (both because I am not a morning person, but also because I usually have a cat planted on top of me). Pour-over became my technique of choice about two years ago, after I started saving my $4 Intelligentsia cold brew order for special occasions, but I haven't really mixed it up since. I'd watched one of my favorite Insta stars, @olive.eeeats, using a frother each morning and had it in my Amazon cart for a few days, then finally pulled the trigger. It's insanely easy and makes the experience feel so fancy! I add the frothed milk to my coffee (giving me the illusion that I'm indulging in a latte) and I've started making vanilla steamers (warm, frothed milk with vanilla bean paste) when I need a drink that feels a bit more soothing.
You know how everyone in Los Angeles walks around in loose-fitting, vintage-inspired jeans? That was never me simply because I couldn't find any that fit me right. At 5'2" with a smaller waist and bigger hips, vintage jeans looked truly awful on me. Enter: these Free People jeans. Unlike most Free People jeans, these are created for women with my exact body type. They're tailored to create extra room and flexibility in the thighs and hips while retaining that vintage structure. I currently have them in Indigo and Quartz, but I know I need them in the buttercream color for summer!
When I'm feeling crappy and just need a solid smile, I scroll through @dogs_infood on Instagram. If you like dogs and food (so... everyone???), this account literally just Photoshops dogs into pictures of delicious food, and the effect is incredibly heartwarming and funny. You can even DM the owner to get your own pup 'shopped into some food (I've been meaning to get Alexa a feature!!)
A few weeks ago, I attended a talk at Pop Up Grocer where Jessica Koslow, the chef and owner of Sqirl, talked about the various ways her restaurants plan their menus to minimize food waste (@ my man, jam), support regenerative farming practices, and, generally, do their part to take action against climate change. She then encouraged the audience to check out Zero Foodprint, a nonprofit that partners with restaurants (like Sqirl!) to support farmers and breeders who implement healthy soil projects, effectively reducing carbon emissions and producing more delicious, sustainable food. ZFP was just named "Humanitarian of the Year" by the James Beard Foundation and provides a list of all of their partner restaurants here. We get to exercise our right to vote with our forks every day, and could all make the effort to be more conscious consumers when dining out (or taking out!) as well.
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