Was there a sport you were really into when you were younger that you haven’t spent much time on as you got older? Blake always talks about basketball in that sort of adoring, nostalgic way. It was a huge part of his childhood and teenage years – a time when he could clear his head alone practicing in his driveway or pick up a game with neighborhood kids at a local park. When I think back on the one form of exercise that used to be that stress reliever for me, it’s running. From high school through college (…really until I joined the workforce), running was my daily therapy. Not running on a treadmill, but getting outside in the sunshine and heat of summer or bundling up during the winter months. I was never a lover of a gym run – there’s just something about being outside and feeling the wind on your face or the sun on your back. And even though summers are brutally hot in Austin, I lived for that crazy sweaty high that a summer run brings.
Happy 2020! After a busy start to the year, I’m finally back in the kitchen whipping up a whole slew of new recipes. It’s been fun to learn new tricks and try new things…
My fiance and I went to New Orleans for Christmas with our families, and he came home with the flu. No fun, right? I wanted to make him something with ginger knowing that it has a lot of medicinal benefits, and this Ginger Carrot Soup came to mind. It’s incredibly easy to make and inexpensive as well. I topped mine with a swirl of balsamic vinegar, but it would also be great with cilantro or toasted pine nuts or chopped basil. Want a vegan version? Sub in vegetable stock for chicken stock.
As the days grow colder, my desire to shimmy under a warm blanket and read by a fire grows, too. During the holiday season, I like to step away from new book releases and advanced copies, and nestle in the comfort of a great reread. This year, it’s Little Women in preparation of the Greta Gerwig remake. I can’t wait to watch Jo and Laurie again! Just like rereading an old favorite, there is much beauty and wisdom to gain from the pages of a picture book. I’m a firm believer in family gathering around a book and reading together, and what’s better than a cozy, wintertime read? The ideal “cozy” book is kind of hard to describe; it’s one of those “you know it when you see it” type of things. For me personally, “cozy” usually involves darkness, nature, a blanket of snow, and friendly creatures. “Cozy” means mothers and children, fluffy pillows, and soup. Here are some picture books that bring these elements to life for a great family storytime!
We’re in the home stretch to Christmas and you know what that means? Last minute gift shopping! I’d like to think of myself as a professional procrastinator when it comes to my holiday shopping every year. On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I have such great intentions but often don’t get to everyone on my list. Which means that last-day-to-ship-in-time-for-Christmas-Eve banner in bold print at the top of every website finally gets me to act fast! SO! I’m here to help all the last-minute folks, like myself, find some incredible gifts certain to bring holiday cheer to all the ladies in your life.
Ohh the weather outside is…definitely COLD! We bundled up and hit the town for a little coffee date on Lake Austin. Jude fell asleep on our way to Mozart’s, so Blake and I enjoyed a coffee date just the two of us before the lil man woke up and was ready to MOVE outside. We’re just days away from 10 months over here and this boy is officially a wiggle worm. He is very vocal and let’s us know quiiiickly that he wants to be down and walking (with our help!). And while mom and dad are absolutely getting their steps in these days (and passing out before 9pm because of it, ha!), what a joy it has been to spend the holiday season together. Mozart’s forever has a special place in our hearts because Blake and I grew up coming here, it’s where he proposed and now we get to bring Jude to enjoy their yummy pastries, this view and the outdoors all at once. Such a lovely place to come as a family! read more
I know we’re reaaaally hitting that last minute shopping window with this gift guide…but hey, if I can help provide some solid ideas that won’t break the bank, I am here for it!! Plus, all of these retailers ship in time for Christmas Eve!
This guide is for all the ladies in your life – the coffee and wine lovers, the plant mamas, the world travelers (how darling is that passport cover?! On sale for $19…), the r&r type (candles are always a yes!), the tech accessory obsessed ladies (I actually ordered that color block Airpod case I loved it so much…$9!) and the beauty gurus (#15 Glossier Cloud Paint blush is hands down the best, $18!!). This list will have you covered and breathing a major sigh of relief. Hooray – you did it!! You nailed an awesome gift AND didn’t overspend. Give yourself a pat on the back and pour yourself another glass of champs. Merry Christmas, to all! 😉
As for rush shipping, here are the options to get your gifts in time for Christmas:
Madewell: $5 rush overnight shipping (ends today 12/20). Urban Outfitters: Express Shipping on 12/22 to receive by 12/24, OR Rush Shipping by 12/23 to receive by 12/24. Nordstrom: Free delivery by 12/22 to receive by 12/24. Anthropologie: Order by 1pm ET 12/20 for 12/24 delivery + FREE shipping over $50.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Except when you are in a mad panic because you have NO idea what to get your friends and family. Well, as a bookseller, it’s my duty to recommend some crucial, irresistible reads to gift this holiday season. Below are some suggestions for those special people in your life who deserve a book that just GETS them. A little bit of history, inspiring memoir, a cookbook, some music, an old classic– there’s something here for everyone. Check ‘em out! read more
I don’t know about y’all, but I believe few things can cure all like a hot shower. Ever since having a baby, it’s one of the few moments of the day where I get to be alone with my thoughts. Well…maybe the dogs are staring from behind the shower curtain and maybe Jude is in his bouncer just feet away babbling and hitting all the buttons (#realreality)…but even with what often feels like chaos around me, I am oh-so-relaxed and always look forward to 10 minutes to myself (well, mostly…haha). So, what’s one way to make your shower situation even better? If your guess is a glass of wine – YES you are correct…but also using really awesome bath products just kicks that shower time up a few notches. Which brings me to the razor of my (and yours…you wait!) dreams. Insert: Billie. Trust me, it’s THAT good. read more
I absolutely love food. It’s one of my favorite things, for the obvious reasons (it’s delicious) and for the bigger picture stuff. I find food to be a celebration of culture, travel, and storytelling through generations. It’s a beautiful way to spend time with family, to explore the unfamiliar, and to simply feel…good. Warm. Comforted.
I also happen to love books, funnily enough for so many of the same reasons. Books and food bring people together, across space and time. So books ABOUT food? Forget about it. There’s plenty more, including great works of fiction about food (Robin Sloan’s Sourdough and Elizabeth Acevedo’s With the Fire on High instantly come to mind), but I figured I’d give y’all some nonfiction for a change! Here are a few books that will inspire your inner chef! read more
This week has been rainy and cold…which means we’ve finally reached the fall season in Austin, ha! And while most days I’m not a huge fan of this combination (…dogs + rain = mud eeeverywhere in our house haha), this week was different because we totally embraced the crazy weather and it was maaagical. My sister and I spent an afternoon hiking down to Barton Creek (…the dogs stayed home haha). Mud, rain, cold wind…it was invigorating. We were both so happy! I know I say this all the time, but getting outside and spending time in nature really does revive the soul.