Monday Memos // 97

Listening:

"Everything Apart" by Foxwarren.

“No No No” by Beirut.

“The Modern Things” by Björk.

Reading:

Destined to Marry the Cute Bartender - Sometimes you’re not meant to be with the guy who is always on time and has already bought the tickets.

Dear Friends, I think I figured out what I want to do for my birthday: Holiday Party Idea: Make Everyone Dress Like Cake

Dessert as fashion inspiration. (image by CYRUS MCCRIMMON/Denver Post via Getty Images)

Dessert as fashion inspiration. (image by CYRUS MCCRIMMON/Denver Post via Getty Images)

Craving:

Delicious things I’ve consumed recently: pumpkin pie, apple pie, and chocolate pecan pie (slices, slivers, and crumbs). Broccoli rabe pesto pasta. A laminated baguette (that’s a baguette wrapped in croissant dough) from Arcade Bakery that I cannot stop thinking about (so flakey! so buttery!). Scarr’s Pizza grandma slice and vegan Caesar salad. Roasted scallops, fennel, and turnips. A flourless chocolate cake with butterscotch ice cream… Tis the seasoning for stuffing yourself with comfort.

Arcade Bakery, a magical place in the lobby of a Tribeca office building (image via thenewpotato)

Arcade Bakery, a magical place in the lobby of a Tribeca office building (image via thenewpotato)

Wearing:

Sweaters and sweatshirts. Coats and jackets. Hiker boots and thick socks. A red wool hat. Plus, my grandmother noted that I’ve worn the same thing three consecutive visits in a row—a billowy black dress. Hey, it’s classic and comfortable.

The winter look.

The winter look.

Watching:

I haven’t been on my solo movie dates like usual or really having too much time for television, but the Netflix series version of Get Shorty has been very entertaining to watch. GBBO is delightful and soothing as always. I can’t wait for the upcoming new seasons of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and High Maintenance.

Treasuring:

Family, family, and more family: To get to see my family so much this year has been a true treat. It’s nice when you don’t have to catch up on a thousand broad stories of “this is what I’ve been up to,” but rather fill in the fun details of recent adventures. I’m learning more. I’m laughing about whacky things. I’m relishing in the comfort when I just need someone I can be quiet around, and fully myself.

This sums it up. Myself in the middle.

This sums it up. Myself in the middle.

Monday Memos // 57

Listening:

Terrible, Thanks for Asking. Hosted by author and notable widow (her words) Nora McInerny, this is a funny/sad/uncomfortable podcast about talking honestly about our pain, our awkwardness, and our humanness, which is not an actual word. A favorite episode: Episode #2: I’ve Made a Huge Mistake

Natch Beaut podcast. Comedian and self-proclaimed "Beauty Passionista" Jackie Johnson attempts to take the seriousness, mysteries, and intimidation out of makeup and skincare as she gabs with fellow artists about what beauty and self-care means to them. A favorite episode: Episode 16: Beauty Fails with Georgia Hardstark.

How to Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black. An in-depth interview show, hosted by comedian, author and actor Michael Ian Black.  Black sits down with some of today’s most provocative writers, entertainers, artists, innovative thinkers and politicians for humorous, thought-provoking conversations that dive into the creative process and the intricate minds of some of the most influential voices of our time. A favorite episode: Episode 38: Tim Gunn.

Reading:

One of the few reasons I am already looking forward to summer: Lauren Groff's new book "Florida." When Lauren signed my copy of "Fates and Furies" she wrote: "The next one's for you." I believe it!

The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida -- its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind -- becomes its gravitational center: an energy, a mood, as much as a place of residence. Groff transports the reader, then jolts us alert with a crackle of wit, a wave of sadness, a flash of cruelty, as she writes about loneliness, rage, family, and the passage of time. With shocking accuracy and effect, she pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury -- the moments that make us alive. Startling, precise, and affecting, Florida is a magnificent achievement.

Read "Fates and Furies" now if you haven't already.

Read "Fates and Furies" now if you haven't already.

Craving:

I have eaten three different household versions of Thanksgiving feasts. Three different versions of pumpkin pie. (Plus an assortment of treats including cherry pie and chocolate cream pie and pumpkin roll and crescent roll cheesecake squares and berry cobbler... Hello sugar rush!)

I always see these inventive ways of using leftovers and they have me keeping the stuffing and turkey in mind. Like: turkey and mushroom dumpling soup, leftover sweet potato casserole grilled cheese, leftover cranberry sauce greek yogurt coffee cake, breakfast hash with mashed potato pancakes, and stuffing waffles.

Wearing:

  • Flannel (tis the season).
  • Wool socks (my pair of Smartwool socks have stood the test of time).
  • Boots (thanks to my mom for passing on an incredibly comfortable pair of Kork-Ease boots to me).

Watching:

Finally saw "The Big Sick" and enjoyed it. Heavy on the comedy, not overly romantic, plus a much-needed dose of Holly Hunter.

I have fallen fast for "Search Party." A single-camera dark comedy about four self-absorbed twenty-somethings who become entangled in an ominous mystery when a former college acquaintance suddenly disappears. All the characters and cameos are brilliant. If you find yourself adoring Elliott, go check out all of John Early's other stuff. 

I need to start watching "At Home with Amy Sedaris." Her and her brother are some of my heroes.

Looks like Florida. (image by KC Bailey)

Looks like Florida. (image by KC Bailey)

Treasuring:

Driving. I don't necessarily love driving, but sometimes it's therapeutic to just set out on the road and drive for several hours. This past week I make a new trek on the Pennsylvania turnpike (plus a tiny bit of Ohio's). The rolling hills and snow-covered patches were beautiful. I listened to so many wonderful podcasts, too.

Celebrating. Birthdays, holidays, togetherness. Giving gifts, giving thanks, giving hugs.

(hand drawn type by  maddy nye  for designlovefest)

(hand drawn type by maddy nye for designlovefest)

Monday Memos // 56

Listening:

"Sound and Color" by Alabama Shakes.

"That's Why (I Love You So)" by Jackie Wilson. Those dance moves!

Reading:

A must-read in this time that I'm calling an earthquake of garbage and monsters: Men Don’t Get to Decide What Counts As ‘Sex’ By Liz Meriwether.

A satirical read for this stuff-yourself-silly holiday: Thanksgiving Nutrition Tips: Eat Whatever You Want, but Not That. Make food your singular focus while eating. Of course, there will be conversations at the Thanksgiving table. And that’s completely O.K. — as long as you stay out of them. Don’t speak and try not to listen. Earplugs are a good idea or, if you can, simply avoid all noise. Light is also hugely distracting. Think about a blindfold.

I've never experienced any overwhelmingly uncomfortable Thanksgiving meals (cheers to supportive family members!), but Philip is the man to ask: Thanksgiving, Solved! How to Deal With This Dreadful Holiday.

Stop. Wait. Don't. (image by Paul Windle via NYTimes)

Stop. Wait. Don't. (image by Paul Windle via NYTimes)

Craving:

Celebrated my mom's birthday at Proof restaurant in DC. So much deliciousness.

I had a Butternut Squash and Apple Soup, which was garnished with cumin yogurt, truffle piccadillo, and sourdough croutons. Then I ate the Ora King Salmon with pickled mustard greens, a sticky rice cake, shiitake mushrooms, and shoyu sauce. Perfection. Everyone's dish had us oooh-ing and yummmm-ing. 

For dessert we tried the Warm Chocolate Hazelnut Cake—topped with gianduja gelato (chocolate hazelnut) and espresso sauce—and the Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake—topped with almond streusel and vanilla ice cream. I almost licked the plates clean.

I couldn't find a good picture from Proof, but the photography on  Coming Soon's  website is amazing. You'll want to buy everything, too. (image of  Mosser Glass  Pink Milk Glass Cake Stand via  comingsoonnewyork )

I couldn't find a good picture from Proof, but the photography on Coming Soon's website is amazing. You'll want to buy everything, too. (image of Mosser Glass Pink Milk Glass Cake Stand via comingsoonnewyork)

Wearing:

Nothing new to talk about regarding my own clothing adventure, so here are some fabulous things for adornment:

Patches by  Amber Ibarreche .

Patches by Amber Ibarreche.

Bingo! Sweatshirt by  Tuesday Bassen .

Bingo! Sweatshirt by Tuesday Bassen.

Smiley metallic crew socks by  Hansel from Basel .

Smiley metallic crew socks by Hansel from Basel.

The Laurel Twist Mule by Loeffler Randall.

Watching:

Recently Viewed: The pilot episode of "Sea Oak." A genre-bending comedy from renowned author and creator George Saunders featuring Glenn Close as a working-class woman who dies in a home invasion and comes back from the dead full of rage, determined to get the life she never had.

Interested In: "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." A darkly comedic drama with—Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell. "The Florida Project." Willem Dafoe, my messed up home State, strong emotions... sold. "The Square." A Swedish satirical drama directed by Ruben Östlund and starring Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West, and Terry Notary. The film is about publicity surrounding an art installation, and was partly inspired by an installation Östlund and producer Kalle Boman had made.

Treasuring:

Dreaming. I've been having some wild dreams, which have been leaning on the side of entertaining and humorous. Quite enjoyable, really. I've also been doing a lot of daydreaming. It's nice sometimes to stare off in a car window or walk around the fall foliage and think fondly about people, places and things.

Gifting. 'Tis the season and I love gathering presents. Making them, wrapping them, compiling them, looking at gift guides, researching best things... 

(Illustration by  Alessandra Olanow  for Cup of Jo.)

(Illustration by Alessandra Olanow for Cup of Jo.)