As I was working on this post I looked back to see what I had published since the last Things I’m Loving post, and I was surprised to see that I’ve only published two other blog posts within that time frame (my Minneapolis recap and my orange cinnamon rolls.) I find that hilarious because I feel like I’ve been doing so much work for the blog in the last few months – it just doesn’t always show up in the form of consistent blog posts. It’s such a perfect example of this “slow blogging lifestyle” I’ve been embracing, which I talked about more in depth in a recent episode of the Chopped Podcast. I love chatting about blogging-related topics like that, so I had a blast talking to Marly about my thoughts on the subject.
So even though you’ve only seen two blog posts from me in the last two months, I’ve been busy developing and testing recipes, doing some big picture planning for the year ahead, and working on my photography, etc. I have SO MANY THINGS I’m excited to share with all of you in the coming months. But in addition to all of that, I’ve also been doing a lot of life-livin’. Some things I’ve been up to include: a bachelorette weekend for my bestie plus her wedding (and I have another bachelorette weekend over this holiday weekend), an impromptu blogger meet-up, visiting my in-laws up in Watkins Glen, riding my bike more often with Robert (but still not often enough), we had our two-year wedding anniversary, and I’ve been trying my hardest to eat all of our summer produce from our CSA. Ah! Summer is the best, but it goes so quickly.
As for this post’s illustration, it’s a pattern I made with all of my chocolate chip cookie illustrations from this post and this post. What’s really fun about this is that now I have a bunch of cool products in my Society6 shop with this on it. LIKE LEGGINGS. Leggings, you guys! Robert told me I have to buy a pair, so it’s happening. I can’t guarantee I’ll wear them in public, but it’s happening.
Here are some fun things I’ve been loving lately:
S’well Bottles – These things are known for keeping drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours. They’re also very stylish. I was gifted two of them for my birthday back in June, the 17oz size and the 25oz size. I was told that the 25oz perfectly fits a 750ml bottle of wine … so we put that to the test. Robert and I packed a picnic (including a bottle of wine in our large S’well bottle and water in the smaller one), and went on an hour-long bike ride before stopping for a dinner picnic in our local park. Our water was still cold, and our wine stayed perfectly chilled down to the last drop. It was perfect! I also used them for having cold water with me on the hot beach one weekend, and it was amazing. Highly recommended!!!
True and Co. – I’ve been giving my bra wardrobe a major overhaul lately. A year or two ago I ordered a bra from True and Co., which I liked, but it wasn’t the most comfortable bra in the world. It needed some breaking in. But I recently pulled it back out and it’s become one of my favorites (now that it’s broken in). Third Love is still my favorite bra company because their bras fit me very well and are also extremely comfortable the first time you wear them. However, their selection is a bit limited. I was looking for a front-closure racerback bra, and after Victoria’s Secret failed me miserably I ordered one from True and Co. (this one). I totally love it, plus this other one I picked up recently. And actually, both of these were pretty comfortable on the first wear. So while Third Love is my first choice for bras, I also love True and Co. for extra options. I’d say they place more of a focus on making pretty bras rather than comfortable bras (compared to Third Love, which are also very pretty – don’t get me wrong), but I love both companies because their bras are designed with real women’s measurements in mind, and they are well-crafted. If you have any favorite bra brands online, please let me know.
Betty Liu’s gifs – Lately I’ve been so infatuated with Betty Liu’s gorgeous photography (both food and wedding photos), and she’s a total sweetheart as well. She’s kind of become known for her fabulous stop-motion “vignette” gifs on Instagram. (She posts shorter versions in her blog posts.) Her work is breathtaking, so you need to check it out if you haven’t already done so. I’m working on some gifs inspired by hers for an upcoming post, so stay tuned!
Inappropriate cakes – As the maid of honor (well, matron of honor, technically) for my best friend, I took it upon myself to make an inappropriately-shaped cake for her bachelorette weekend (hehe). I had done this before when I was the maid of honor for my other bestie. As I was making the cake this time, I realized I needed to share the recipes I use for it because they’re so fantastic. The cake recipe I use is this chocolate one from Not Without Salt. It’s secretly vegan (you would never know), which makes it quick and easy to make because it’s a dump-and-stir recipe. The flavor is phenomenal, it’s super moist, and it’s hard to over-bake (which is great for weirdly-shaped pans …). I use the leftover batter to make cupcakes. As for the frosting, I use The Fauxmartha’s infamous Salted Nutella Buttercream. The name there pretty much says it all. And then I decorate the cake with some aptly-placed chocolate sprinkles … just sayin’.
My Dad Wrote a Porno – Lots of raunchy stuff in this post! This podcast is HILARIOUS. You might already know about it because they have 8 million listeners. Here’s the premise: the main host reads an erotic novella written by his father (under the pen name “Rocky Flinstone”), and his two funny friends help to provide commentary on it. They’re British, which makes it even more fun for me as an American. While this podcast is obviously NSFW, it’s hardly sexy, which is what makes it so funny. The book they’re reading is so painfully bad, it’s fascinating in its own way. Like I said, this podcast is not safe for work, and for me that’s true more because I laugh out loud way too often during it. So it tends to be better for me when I’m driving. They recently started season two where they work their way through book two of Rocky’s series, and it’s possibly more funny than season one. They also do little minisodes where they talk to people about the podcast, including a fun episode with Elijah Wood. If you’re not listening to this podcast, you’re seriously missing out on some good laughs.
With Her – Here’s another podcast for you: This one is a behind-the-scenes look at the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. There’s only a couple episodes so far, but I’ve really enjoyed them. The host is not at all associated with the campaign, but they obviously allowed him to take on this project (and he’s obviously biased). I’m excited to see where it goes. And if you enjoy that one, you’d probably also enjoy the Slate Trumpcast, which takes a look at the Trump campaign from all kinds of interesting angles. (That one is also extremely biased, with a Trump impersonator reading some of his most outrageous tweets in each episode.) As a podcast junkie, both of these provide a new way for me to keep up with this crazy election.
Salsa Radio – While at a tequila bar during my recent bachelorette weekend, I got obsessed with the music they were playing. I pestered our waitress to find out what it was for me, and it was simply “Salsa Radio” from Pandora. This has become my new soundtrack for epic kitchen-cleaning sessions and Saturdays filled with blog photo shoots and recipe-testing. It keeps me pumped and happy, ready to dance at a moment’s notice.
Iced Vermonts – The “iced Vermont” was the drink I had at Nina’s Coffee Cafe in St. Paul, and I finally started recreating it at home. (It’s the easiest thing ever.) At home I make it with cold brew concentrate + milk (an almond/whole milk combo) + a drizzle of maple syrup. It goes into my coffee thermos with a bunch of ice, I shake it all up and I’m good to go. The maple syrup adds such a lovely note to my iced coffee and I’m obsessed.
It Was Me All Along – I just finished this last week and WOW, is Andie Mitchell a beautiful writer. This is her memoir about her food addiction, her incredible weight loss of over 130 pounds, and her journey of finding a healthy, balanced relationship with food in her life. I found it fascinating and at times almost too painful to read because I felt for her so much. She seems to be an amazing person and now I just want to be her best friend. (Is that too much to ask?) I also have her gorgeous new cookbook, Eating in the Middle, and I’m excited to read my way through that as well. Just flipping through it I know I want to make everything. I would highly recommend picking up both of her books.
SOME GOOD INTERNET READS:
RECIPE BUCKET LIST
You can now find all of these (and past ones) on this Pinterest board.
• Weeknight Vegetable Curry from Sprouted Kitchen
• Homemade Coconut Chocolate Milk from Kitchen McCabe
• Next Level Zoodles with Creamy Corn Sauce from Pinch of Yum
• Corn, Cucumber, Peach and Avocado Salad from Love and Lemons
• Gooey Butter Cake Cookies from Dessert for Two
• Rosé Champagne Mojitos with Champagne Syrup from How Sweet Eats
• Mexican Rice Stuffed Peppers from Healthy Nibbles and Bits
• Chicken and Green Beans with a Garlic Ginger Pan Sauce from Bev Cooks
• Honey Cake with Caramel Buttercream from The Vanilla Bean Blog
• Quinoa Burgers from The Fauxmartha
• Broccoli Rabe Arancini with Marinara Sauce from Flourishing Foodie
• 3 Ingredient Sweet Potato Pizza Crust from Pinch of Yum
• Slow Cooker Carnitas Tacos with Summer Peach and Tomato Salsas from Food52
• Creamy Corn Basil Pasta from Shutterbean
• Cauliflower Stuffed Shells with Butternut Squash Sauce from Joy the Baker
Illustration at top created with pencil and Photoshop.
Prints of my illustrations (along with other products with my work on them) are available in my Society6 shop.