do what you love.

“We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.”

-E.B. White.

I love choosing paint colors, browsing bookstores, drinking coffee, and reading magazines. I love making music playlists, scrubbing sinks, and driving fast with the windows down. I love sitting around fires, hiking, and playing with fonts.

What do you love?

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favs

…sometimes, I just feel like sharing bad ass things I find. This is one of those times.

♥ Elsie’s Thrift Tips. You know how people used to camp out for concert tix to go on sale? Once I sidewalk-camped for a Savers half-off sale. Not because it’s necessary like.at.all.. more because I wanted the funny/stupid story. But also because I totally heart thrift shopping that much. I get really eager to switch up my wardrobe in the fall {back-to-school nostalgia?} and this post was well-timed and well-done.

Mari Kasurinen’s sculpting. I’m a child of the 80s and had a boatload of My Little Ponies. How fabulous is this pop-culture-y take on repurposed art? Omlikealot.  This one of Pan is my fav {Frida Kahlo is my close second}!

Veganomicon {the cookbook}. Written by the same gals who run Post Punk Kitchen, this is my fav cookbook lately. Maybe I’ll review it after I really splatter it up with red wine and unrefined coconut oil. I’ve had crazy-good success {ie, husband feedback} on lots of recipes from this cookbook. The chickpea cutlets with mushroom gravy are kick-ass and the recipes are online and linked for ya. Yer welcome.

Mod Podge Rocks {blog}. First, the name “Mod Podge Rocks Blog” happily reminds me of this Arrested Development gag. Good times. Second, this is the best website evah! I hosted a Craft-and-Bitch, mod podge style, last Friday night, and beforehand was searching for inspiration to pass on to those attending. This blog is all you need to get serious ideas flowing. {who still mod podges?}

Capsule Wardrobes. Have you heard of this concept? Essentially it’s a shopping//style concept in which you focus on building a super-versatile wardrobe on astonishingly few crucial pieces. It’s different for everyone {depending on your work wardrobe needs, budget, etc} but it’s built on the idea that we often buy things we don’t wear, and wear to death the things we love. This may kinda-sorta conflict with my thrifting habits, but the minimalist in me totally love this idea and am putting some thought into it now that I’m pushing 30 and feeling the need to sharpen up my style just a little.

That’s what I’m diggin lately – how about you??

cooking confessions

I totally love food. I love eating, and I love making food. For others, mostly (though cooking for one can be fun sometimes, too.)

I met up with an old friend for lunch last week. I don’t see her nearly enough, and last time I saw her I was still a meat-eater. We were catching up on life and she asked what hobbies I’m up to lately – crafty-wise, and I drew a blank. I haven’t been in the make-stuff mood (or with the house projects and work and everything else I just haven’t had the time). But I realized I totally don’t feel like I’m missing a creative outlet these days because I still gotta eat… and thus, I’m still always cooking something new!

It got me thinking about my cooking style. I don’t know if I’m weird or normal in my cooking habits, and I want to know, what do you think? And what is your cooking style? My cooking quirks and philosophies in a nutshell:

  1. I rarely repeat recipes. I have a few regulars that come up in the rotation like vegetarian chili, lettuce wraps, spaghetti sauce, vegetable curry, and black bean burgers (above pic!)- but those don’t require a recipe anymore and may be pretty far from their original source by now. I think of them as my own at this point.
  2. Instead I cook based on ingredients I have. Maybe this is backwards, but I buy things that seem weird or interesting, then Google how to use them.
  3. I hate wasting food. If I make something I don’t love, I find a way to doctor it up or use it in something else. I made some hummus a few days ago and it’d been sitting in my fridge making me feel guilty since the day I made it! (I can’t afford to eat it every day – hello! Those snack calories add up!) So tonight I whipped up the Chickpea Cutlets from the Veganomicon cookbook (with the mushroom gravy of course!), and instead of cooking the entire amount of chickpeas, I cooked half, then stirred in the hummus, too! They were DELISH! And I felt so super clever.
  4. I don’t know how to make really basic things. When I was a meat eater, I never cooked a steak, a whole turkey, or really pork of any variety. It intimidated me. Vegetarian cooking is easier – Vital Wheat Gluten? Nutritional Yeast? Sure! For some reason, those lesser- known, hard-to-find ingredients don’t freak me out even though I have no idea how to poach an egg or how long to bake a potato in the oven. Seriously. (I have another philosophy that people who hate cooking just don’t understand there’s more to life than meat and potatoes. I’d hate that, too).
  5. I am not a baker. I do it sometimes but it stresses me out and I kinda sorta hate it. There’s too much measuring involved!
  6. Just like crafty folks are always looking to hack overpriced home decor, I can’t eat out without trying to dissect the meal. I had some spinach enchiladas last weekend at my fav place for our anniversary date and drove myself INSANE trying to figure out the cream sauce. I could have devoured the entire plate there but brought home half just to better inspect. No joy. I’m even more impressed with that joint – the mystery!
  7. In my opinion, there’s almost nothing some herbs can’t fix. Cilantro or Rosemary are my favorites and one of them can usually rescue a dismal recipe. Oh yes, same with salt! People who are anti-salt are so weird to me. A little salt does wonders! I refuse to feel guilty for adding some salt to my veggie-heavy recipes!
  8. I am constantly surprised by the taste perfection of weird-sounding combinations. Pears and gouda, Jalepeno Blackberry jam, cilantro and watermelon salsa. It amazes me they don’t become mainstream. The first time I had Pear and Gouda pizza I thought – how is it I am just discovering this?!
  9. I would love to have a cooking blog one day, but I don’t feel I have the time for it now. It’s gotta be a LOT of work (the photo-styling/editing alone intimidates me, let alone inventing recipes!). But I haven’t counted it out. There are so many good ones out there and they are so inspiring. I love people who love food.
  10. Food matters. It’s tradition, it’s social, it fuels us. What we eat (or don’t) is a social /political statement, and it defines us. Cooking for someone, something good for them, is one of the most loving things you can do whether it’s appreciated or not! And a large food-budget, assuming you are buying good quality stuff and making your own gourmet dishes – is totally a justified expense! If you can afford it, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be feeding your family and yourself things that will make you fulfilled and happy and healthy.

So how about you? What are your confessions or weird ideals about food and cooking?

summertime – checking in.

How is everyone’s summer?! Mine is just lovely. Highlights: Boating//laying in the park reading//peach bellinis//pink sparkly toes//tree-planting//yoga//eating on the deck//walks//farmers market every Saturday//grilled pizzas and veggie burgers//rose-infused lemonade//spray-painting old stuff to make it new again//camping//house decorating projects//new sunglasses//festivals and crafty vendors//sun-bleached hair//days at the lake//meeting the neighborhood//lots of fireworks//sundresses + headbands//veg cooking//new {to me} county library//hot & sticky skin {yes, I do totally love that}//yard-planning//this song//this book//strange mail from weird places//fresh herbs//inspiring others and being inspired.

It’s been a damn good summer.

And just for fun, here’s my summer covet-list for the remaining weeks. Fun dresses for beating the heat, cute yoga attire, classic khaki shorts, comfy tee, non-leather sandals, and new mirrored aviators to replace mine that broke at the lake! Throw in a concert or 2, a pitcher of margaritas, and a road-trip to round out that list {oh, and an extra couple grand to pay for it all- hehe} and I am one happy girl. {Did I mention daydreaming is my other fav summer activity?}

I hope everyone’s enjoying the sunshine!!

fashion distraction

Don’t you think one of the best things about winter is getting to wear crazy tights and awesome boots?

boots

{source}

It is SNOWING today for the first time this season and I’m pretending to hate it. I mean, I will hate it by tomorrow for sure. But today it’s inspired me to drag out all my tights and hats and scarves. And read lots of fashion blogs. Because suddenly I get to wear MORE LAYERS! And incorporate OUTERWEAR! And if I skip the gym and drink too much spiked eggnog NO ONE WILL KNOW UNTIL SPRING! So yeah, ok, I totally hate winter but I love putting away the shorts and tank tops.

And also…. I should be plugging away at cramming for my Accounting midterm, but I’ve got a 20-minute attention span for things I hate. One positive of homework-avoidance is I get lots of other undesirable tasks done when I should be studying. Like grocery shopping, cleaning the floors, getting an oil change, marathon-cooking? CHECK. Those all suddenly seem less horrible pitted against the alternative. My fridge is full and my house is clean but reeks of pot roast and potatoes.  Pot roast and potatoes I can now EAT and hide my sins under wool and corduroy for months.

rawkin’ fall garb.

Yesterday I decided I have to really stick to a budget. Stop spending money. Learn to work with what I’ve got.

Then last night I had a dream, and in the dream I had the most perfect outfit. I recreated it with Polyvore so I wouldn’t forget. I’m afraid my life won’t be complete if I don’t obtain a very similar ensemble immediately.

dream outfit copy