March has been such a busy, but fun month so apologies for missing a few Fridays of late. Based on some statistics I can see “behind the blog”, I think it has been a good time to forego creating new content that might be missed during this spring-break and holiday filled month. Instead, I have been focusing my energies on redesigning my website so look for that by the end of April. I have also been holding back on publishing my latest interview with a woman who you will really enjoy getting to know (as have I!). Look for that post most likely next week.
In the meanwhile, I thought it might be a good time to share some of the things I have been making, using and doing in my non-blog life! I call these types of catch-all posts Links Friday. Here goes…
The Bookmarkk’s Carol Prendergast contacted me after my interview with Emily Keneally of Alice Walk was published. The Bookmarkk is a site that seeks inspiration from men and women of all ages, based on a list of 20 questions ranging from topics such as your favorite travel spots, books, Instagram accounts to follow, phone apps and a lot more. I though it would be fun to do and while I didn’t answer all of the questions, below is an abbreviated version of some of the answers I provided. Check out their site and you may just find your next binge-worthy Netflix show, restaurant to try or wine to discover…
At the risk of making myself sound incredibly old, this winter I was looking to improve my slipper game. I’ve taken to just wearing socks around the house and while they are warm, offer no support. I was essentially seeking footwear I may have referred to as a “house shoe” if I were from a different era which I sometimes think I am. We don’t wear shoes in the house – don’t ask me why – it’s just our habit. I tried and failed with lots of different options from one of my favorite sites, Zappos which I am sure is going to cut me off one day for the number of purchase-returns I have conducted. Anyway, I came across a brand called Birdies on Instagram, but was reluctant to purchase a pair because I didn’t know the sizing and if the return process is complicated, I am out.
Enter ItsForNow, a Boston-based company that is an incubator for smaller brands that only have an online presence, but want to get some retail exposure. I follow them and learned they were hosting Birdies for a limited time so I scurried into the Seaport and am now the very happy owner of their style named The Lark (below). I LOVE these slippers. They are suede with a faux shearling liner that is not too warm. They provide some support thanks to a sturdy rubber sole, are so comfortable and fashionable at the same time. They run pretty true to size and you can private message me if you want more information. I am really hoping they come out with some spring colors soon, hint hint!
At the risk of giving you the impression that I lounge around all day in bathrobes and slippers (only partially true – kidding), I want to share another new love which is my robe from Lake Pajamas. Admittedly, I love robes and do not discriminate. Short, long, terry, cotton, you name it, I wear it. I know there are people who “robe” and those who don’t. Which camp do you fall into?
If you love your robes, I found this one and promise it is the softest cotton that is just wonderful to wear. I love pink and this soft petal color is just perfect. I am definitely planning to purchase a new pair of pajamas from this site as well. True to size in the robes at least. I may size up in the pajamas. I discovered Lake by following the cutest young blogger, Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam.
Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Petal
Also at Julia’s suggestion, I tried and really like Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Petal. It is not, however a 100% clean product so I use it only on occasion. I don’t wear a ton of makeup, but love lip glosses and some lipsticks. After watching a documentary related to the thyroid, I decided that the one makeup item I would try to always have be as clean as possible was anything that was near my mouth so these are what I use on the daily now…
Beautycounter Lip Gloss in Bare Shimmer (new color)
Gabriel Lip Gloss in Soft Berry
Juice Beauty Organic Lip Moisturizer
I should point out that these last three are all manufactured in the United States. Winning.
As far as cooking goes, I tried this Roasted Beet Hummus recipe from Minimalist Baker and served it on two occasions with great success. I think it would be so pretty as part of an Easter appetizer spread. Or you could serve it on a crostini topped with some crumbled feta and maybe the tiniest bit of dill…
Have you heard about Alison Roman’s book, Dining In? In it is her recipe for Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies that has taken the internet by storm. Even Deb Perelman posted about them on her blog, Smitten Kitchen. Alison’s writing is engaging and her recipes are almost conversational. Some of them have clever titles and all of them look appealing. I haven’t delved deep enough into the book to do an honest review, but have made a few wins and maybe one that was just so-so. The shortbread cookies are indeed worthy of the praise they are receiving, as was this Chocolate Tahini tart that I brought to my cousin’s for dinner. The next recipe I want to try is for a Grilled Branzino with Preserved Lemons – yum. You can check out Alison’s website for more recipes and to learn about her cookbook…
And here is an appetizer that is perfect for a Spring gathering. It is Spring, right? I made it two Easters ago and it was a big hit, especially with our niece Holly who we miss every day. It’s a simple crostini that has a spread of mild goat cheese, topped with sliced, ripe strawberries, a pinch of salt, lots of freshly ground black pepper and some fresh basil. You can also add some balsamic glaze to take it over the top…
Let’s talk about books.
I recently finished and absolutely loved The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck (thanks Nicole and Susan for the rec!). The author takes on subject matter that sheds a different light on a very tragic period in history, in part based on her personal story. Currently, I am reading this for bookgroup and it is a page turner, this for motivation (thanks Marta!) and this for inspiration. I cannot wait to get my hands on The Immortalists, Chloe Benjamin’s debut novel and The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah’s new novel.
What are you reading? Please let me know in the comments. I love to keep a list.
Let’s talk about kitchen hacks. Do you have a bunch of silver jewelry that has turned color and the jewelry cloth just won’t cut it any more? I had this experience with some necklaces and bracelets and decided to try this method I found on the internet to clean them up. I have to say it worked really well so if you find yourself with some jewelry you want to bring back to life, all you need is a few kitchen products to make it happen.
Hands smell like garlic? Rub them on your stainless steel faucet – it works! Do you have any kitchen hacks? Please share!
Lastly, these two kids are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in May and are heading back to scenes from their honeymoon both to visit their daughter who is studying in Florence and to explore untraveled parts of Tuscany and Umbria. Woohoo! Maybe we can recreate this photograph. And pray we don’t encounter too many selfie sticks along the way…
May, 1993. Gotta love a fanny pack!
Thanks for reading. Happy Easter and Happy Passover. Until next time…
One Year Ago: Two Days In New York
Two Years Ago: Carrot Pineapple Cake
Three Years Ago: Blackened Fish Tacos