Testing a new format for myself this week…
Favorite Things I Wore This Week: This Juliet Dunn dress. It is so breezy and comfortable and I adore the pattern. I also have been shocked by how much I love and wear my silver Birkenstocks. They’re so easy to slip into and they go with everything from sundresses to jeans. I like that they require no buckling/strapping in.
Favorite Things I Bought This Week: This was a good shopping week. The items I ordered that I’m most excited about: this enormous pump-style sunscreen to keep by the back door as a visual reminder to apply SPF; this dress as an option for an end-of-summer wedding; this Vuori tank; and this striped nap dress.
Favorite Things I Ate This Week: For Father’s Day, I made Landon a roasted chicken, tangerine, and fennel dish that I’d pre-seasoned and then marinated in Pernod, olive oil, orange juice, etc from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook (seen above); rice with toasted orzo (also from the Jerusalem book); and a salad with greens, potatoes, olives, and green beans tossed in a yogurt-dill dressing (from Paul Kahan’s Cooking for Good Times). I was pretty pleased with how everything came out, but I especially loved the yogurt-dill dressing. I love sauces like that — I want to dip everything in them. I’m also not normally a big breakfast person but I’ve been eating Good brand cottage cheese (elite!) with fresh fruit mixed in, or everything bagel seasoning on top, and it’s just the perfect amount of protein. Lastly, I can’t get enough lemon ice cream this summer. Trader Joe’s has a delicious one out called “When Life Gives You Lemons” that has little bits of buttery shortbread mixed in — wow. It’s delightful. We also love the one from Van Leeuwen this summer, which is a lemon-poppyseed-muffin ice cream. My mouth is watering thinking of them.
Favorite Thing I Read This Week: Nearly done (73% at time of writing this) with Remarkably Bright Creatures and I’m finding it delightful. The characters are arch and interesting, the pace is good, the overall plot quirky. I like the way she conjures setting in this book — I feel like I know Sowell Bay, the layout of the aquarium, what Tova’s home feels like, etc. She isn’t overly detailed about it but there is a clear representation of physical space, rooms, weather, etc in the novel that is transportive.
Favorite Thing I Watched This Week: Strangely, the US Open. I am not a sports person — I still cannot crank up the energy to begin to try to understand the rules of most sports — but I guess once you’re in your late 30s, you start to enjoy golf. Part of it, I think, was the Netflix series “Full Swing,” which introduced me to many of the current players and their backstories and certainly made things more interesting. I do know a lot about golf already, though. My parents are avid golfers and I spent countless weekends out with my Dad on the course, taking down his strokes with those tiny red pencils on the scorecards clipped to the cart wheel. They also put me in a number of clinics and camps when I was younger. I remember one time, I won a chipping and putting contest when I was maybe 8, and the reward was a Taylor Made brand visor. I got home and showed it to my dad and he said, “Are you going to wear that?” I shrugged. He ended up keeping it and wearing it and I felt so important because of that! Like, I had achieved something and the reward was valuable to my Dad! I still have good feelings about that funny exchange. Anyhow. Despite that upbringing, I still could not bear to watch the hours of professional golf my parents would videotape and watch on the weekend evenings, and so I was tickled by the way this year’s US Open gripped me. I don’t even know the gentleman who won, but when he did, I found myself welling up with tears! It is so moving to watch a professional athlete achieve something great. Honestly, it’s poignant to watch anyone achieve something remarkable in real time.
Favorite Thing I Drank This Week: I found an unfiltered Txakoli at Organic Butcher in Bethesda that was super funky and delicious. Txakoli is a lesser-known Spanish grape that Landon and I discovered in Spain about eight years ago. It is usually very dry and slightly effervescent, and therefore a perfect accompaniment to tapas or pintxos. Also a great aperitif on its own. In San Sebastian, we learned that they often pour txakoli in a specific way, and they call it “breaking the wine”: servers will pour the wine from a ridiculous height above the glasses, probably to introduce more air and effervescence into the glass?
Favorite Thing I Did This Week: A tie between an early rainy pizza and movie night with my children and a walk with a girlfriend. Both afforded me the impression of stopped time, and reminded me that what really matters in life is connection with people you love. It has been a frenetic time in our house because our nanny has been on vacation, my brother and his family are coming into town for over a week, we are prepping for an even wider family reunion, my children are doing camp from 9-3 and then swim practice from 3:30-4:30, and overall, there is just a lot happening. I’ve also been sick (again, UGH! — I swear that someone coughs in Kansas and I catch it) and had to start a new course of antibiotics! Anyway, just to say that there was a part of me that felt like it was not a great time for a movie night with my kids or a slow stroll with a friend, but those ended up being the high points of my week. With both, I felt totally suspended from all the pushes and strains of my day, and I returned to my responsibilities with calm and perspective. It was great to re-center in these ways. Just a reminder that it never seems like a good time to go for a walk or watch a Disney movie with your kids, but you’ll never regret you did.
Something I’m Thinking About: I saw a quote this week that said, ‘Be comfortable with who you are when you’re alone.’ I’ve been thinking a lot about that, or perhaps a slight variation on the prompt: Who are you when no one is looking? Like, be the person who lets the staff know when the bathroom is out of toilet paper. Return the cart not just to the front of the store, but to the actual queue in which they’re kept. Wipe up the spilled sugar on the coffee bar. Help someone out if they seem confused by the protocols in a given store, restaurant, etc. In other words: I want to be a person that stands up straight and does the good and right thing, even when inconvenient or not my job. I’ll be the first person to admit I’m not always this way, but the prompt put some extra wind in my sails.
Something I’m Working On: There have been a lot of demands on my time lately, and sometimes I find myself wanting to snap: “That is just not a priority for me right now!” My girlfriend had a great suggestion for this. She mentioned that she was in the midst of overseeing the staging and inspection of her home for imminent sale, and that a friend had texted and called and texted again asking for her input on something relatively trivial. She said her response was: “I saw you texted and called. I am in the middle of the inspection of my home. I will get back to you this evening.” It gave me a different path forward, one that acknowledges receipt and sets expectations on response. For most of my life, I have responded to things immediately, as they come in, knowing all along that I was not doing a good job of prioritizing, but perhaps priding myself on being responsive and polite. More recently, I’ve been punting the things that do not need immediate attention further out, and have felt better about the alignment between my time and what matters to me, but have not been effectively communicating these deferrals to other parties involved. Now I feel like I have a formula to use when I’m underwater but cannot respond immediately.
Favorite Things I Found This Week: Did you know I update my Shop weekly with recent finds? But, the items on my mind right now…
THIS CHIC SEA DRESS — SO MANY GOOD FOJ OPTIONS THIS YEAR BUT I MIGHT SNAG THIS ONE
SUMMERSALT RUFFLE BACKFLIP SWIMSUIT — 30% OFF!
DORSEY’S KATE LAB-GROWN DIAMOND NECKLACE — I’VE BEEN EYEING THESE SINCE I SAW ONE ON COURTNEY GROW
CB2 COOLER GLASSES — WE USE THESE AS WATER GLASSES IN OUR HOME AND I JUST ORDERED AN EXTRA SET AFTER I BROKE ONE!
DROOLING OVER THESE FENDI SANDALS
What’s happening in your neck of the woods?