First off, thanks for reading! I started this newsletter because I know a lot of people are looking for shortcuts to the good stuff (good stuff = things to eat, cook, buy, read, do) and I’m hoping I can help. I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to optimize my life and I’d love for you to reap the benefits of my crazy.
So here’s what you can expect from this newsletter: A little bit of everything, and all good stuff. I’ll share things I’m cooking and things I’m buying for myself, Rob, and Lilly (haven’t met Lilly? She’s the best.). I’m a new-ish parent so you’ll find lots of baby recs (as well as things I don’t think you need) and I live in Brooklyn so you know there will be lots of outerborough favorites.
I’m new to this, and very open to suggestions so please let me know what you think and what you’d like to see more of!
Reading: I took The Book of Dust with me on our family vacation to Hawaii and couldn’t put it down. Now I’m working my way through the entire Philip Pullman canon and simultaneously kicking myself for taking this long to read them and savoring every page. (Mom tip: I read on my Kindle while nursing or when Lilly is napping on me.)
Cooking: Alison Roman’s new cookbook, Dining In, has been on heavy rotation in our house, both for inspiration and specific recipes. It’s everything I want to eat/make, helpfully consolidated into book format: colorful, healthyish food, with tons of texture, and enough curve balls to keep it interesting. Last night we made arctic char with green romesco, cumin roasted carrots with yogurt, and blistered cauliflower with dates and tahini. Highly recommend getting the book but for now try her grain salad, which can be adapted every which way, and this foolproof-even-if-you-don’t-cook-fish slow roasted salmon dealie.
Eating: I take my nut butters *extremely* seriously so believe me when I say that Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter is next level. Slather on excellent bread (She Wolf miche in our household) and add your favorite jam (Sqirl, duh) for a total food happy dance.
Listening: Long car rides are torture for me (and Rob, by extension) but we’ve found that the Bon Appetit Foodcast is the best way to keep us both entertained. They get all sorts of dorky about things like the platonic ideal of avocado toast and I like to pretend I’m a guest on the show and chime in with my opinions. BA, if you’re listening, it’s olive oil over butter—always.
Baby entertaining: Less than six months into parenthood, I’m already familiar with the BATTLE OF THE STUFF. There is so much stuff. Which makes it even more important to identify the toys/books/knickknacks that are actually worth keeping around. Right now, we’re very into anything Lilly can chew on, especially Sophie the Giraffe (the squeaking makes her giggle and the edges are great for gumming) and this extremely chic wooden teething toy our friends Megan and Michael got us. We’re also reading to her a ton and love books that both adults and babies can enjoy, like the Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie series—these make me laugh out loud and have great messages for kids.
Buying for myself: I rarely cheat on Birchbox but I discovered this creamy Grown Alchemist cleanser at my last Heyday facial and had to buy it. It’s great for combination skin like mine and smells pleasantly herbal (Rob is even into it). I also recently invested in these jazzy velvet M.Gemi flats—planning to pair them with jeans and sweaters all winter long.
And one more for the road! With 2018 staring me in the face, I’m getting serious about going through all my pictures from this past year and printing copies of great ones for friends and family using Adorama’s speedy, affordable, and super high quality service.
That’s all for now! Stay tuned, and send me any questions in the meantime—I’ll pick a couple to answer in dispatch #2!