Some things that I bought this month, thanks to things that I read:
Martha Stewart Living is my favorite magazine and encourages me to buy a lot of things, the good part is that I rarely regret these purchases. This month I bought:
A New Way to Bake by Martha Stewart. I was influenced by an article with a recipe for breakfast cookies AND watching lots of British Bake Off on Netflix.
Some new summer dresses from Winter Water Factory. I have been on the hunt for some easy dresses for the summer but I just can’t deal with all of the sleeveless dresses out there, as if we all have Michelle Obama arms!! And when I found a summer dress with sleeves, they were usually a crew neck and I need a deep V. I also wanted to find some dresses that were probably not made in sweatshops and had some fun prints. So…obviously this was hard to find. THEN I read an article (in Martha Stewart Living) about an artist that makes her own fabric and when I went to the website I found these adorable dresses! Cute, made of cotton, with sleeves and a deep V AND made in the USA. Just ordered these two, hoping they fit right! (img from Winter Water Factory)
I have been inspired to step up my earring game by a soon-to-be 2nd grader at school who just got her ears pierced and always wants to compare earrings. She is disappointed when I only rock my CZs. I mixed it up with these beauties from J.Crew, seen on a blog post. Avoid blog posts if you don’t want to buy things! Except for this one, obviously.
I bought a loom from Natalie Kaelin, a local artisan who had a class through Level Up Lou. My first project is okay but did not photograph well so I am using a way better looking picture that I found on Pinterest of what my future weaving goals look like!
I bought a lot more stuff from Target in May, something I need to do less of! Hoping to have a more mindful summer, shopping wise, and actually use the things that I bought!
I just finished Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and promptly posted this fact on Instagram. Here is what I wrote about it:
Finished my 3rd book by Elizabeth Gilbert. Thinking that Eat Pray Love was for my 20s and Big Magic is for my 30s!
I read Eat Pray Love in 2007, I was 23 or 24. I had just moved into a new apartment in Brooklyn with a magical women named Emily. She and I had a lot in common, we both went to college in the Midwest, we both loved Sex and the City, we were also both dealing with super sad breakups AND we had both read Eat Pray Love. I remember the two of us drinking tea and talking earnestly about love and life and finding ourselves. The book allowed us to do what everyone should do in their 20s, think deeply about themselves. What we want, who do we want to become, who do we want to be with. The book gave me permission to be self absorbed and I don’t mean it in a negative way. Gilbert was criticized for her book being “privileged-lit,” it must be nice to be able to take off and travel for a year and just write about yourself! But I didn’t take it that way. I think it is important for ladies to push themselves to experience the world, meet new people and it is okay to be selfish about those experiences, using them to shape who you are.
Big Magic was a different experience, and I am glad I am reading it at 33. I am in a different place reading this book. Louisville instead of Brooklyn. Happily in a committed relationship instead of tearfully single (the fun-single part came in my later 20s). Working in my ideal job, after figuring out what I loved about my first job and whittling away the parts of it I hated. I didn’t need as much introspection but still wanted to be inspired. For me, Big Magic, is about being brave enough to share your passions with the world. I know (for the most part) what kind of person I want to be. I know where I want to work and what I want to do. And I know for sure who I want to be with. Reading this book helped push me to think about what I want to tell the world and allowed me to think it was worth telling!
It also gave me a quote to remember whenever I am worried that people don’t like me:
T and I have a summer project that I have been excited about getting started all year. He taught a class on the history of food at the high school and, to help prepare, we stopped by the cookbook section at the main library downtown. There are over 120 shelves of cookbooks at the main library and we thought it would be fun to randomly pick a cookbook each week and try out a new recipe during the summer.
This week brought us to 641.692 also known as the seafood cookbook section. Perfect timing for us because of all the leftover shrimp that we still had from the other night! So we looked through most of the books on the shelf and picked one:
The Romagnolis’ Italian Fish Cookbook was published in 1994 and written by Franco and Margaret Romagnoli, a couple that had a PBS cooking show from 1973 to 1975 called The Romagnoli’s Table. Sadly, I could not find any clips of this show on YouTube! But there were a lot of greatarticles about the Romagnoli family. A lot of great information about how they were inspired by the success of Julia Child’s show and how Franco Romagnoli, then a camera man at WGBH in Boston pitched the idea to people at a dinner party at his house. The show was an inspiration for many Italian chefs to come, including one of my favorites, Lidia Bastianich.
Okay so back to our dinner! It is hard to ignore pasta when you are making Italian food, so we went with a recipe for scallops and shrimp (all that shrimp!) with penne pasta. I am also using the project to start to learn how to cook, so I took care of the scallops, nbd. We also put peas in instead of capers and red pepper flakes instead of hot sauce.
This picture, taken at last night’s end of the year party, perfectly encapsulates my feelings and goals for this summer. Summer officially starts for me today, now that graduations and faculty meetings and parties are over. And after what I consider my most difficult (but not any less rewarding) year of teaching has come to a close. I am very determined to make the most out of this summer. This summer I want to read only the books that I love, not the books that I feel like I have to read. This summer I want to eat food that I love, and not waste my time on junk that I eat mindlessly. This summer I want to try new things that I’ve always wanted to try, like weaving, canoeing and baking (even though it will probably be too hot to bake in my attic studio). This summer I want to only do things that make me as happy as a giant bowl of shrimp with too much cocktail sauce.