Saturday

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

I am wrapping up the last of my two-week break and head back to the studio on Monday. It has been such a gift to have an extended period of time to slow down and recharge. I did cross off several things on my to-do list but also was deliberate about not trying to accomplish too much. I took a few naps while my son was at school, I took long walks with a friend and had an indulgent lunch at Le Pichet with champagne. I am profoundly grateful and happy to be here and am ready to get back at it on Monday…

  Le Pichet

Le Pichet

Today we all slept in and have been enjoying a lazy day at home. I’ve been cleaning out the kitchen drawers and re-organizing my pantry…

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I also hope to get to my closet this evening and transfer some summer stuff over to these under bed storage cases I picked up at Ikea last week…

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The weather has cooled and we’ve had some long overdue rain showers and the last of my summer crops are reflecting the change. I’ve harvested the last of my lettuce - this one was stellar. I hope to find more of that variety next year. We’ve been eating it all week tossed with this fantastic tahini ranch dressing

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Last night there was no lettuce and I was solo for dinner and lacking motivation. I ate a bowl of potato chips and a glass of wine for dinner. Keeping it real. By the way, these chips are so good. And doesn’t Heath Ceramics make everything look amazing - even potato chips?! I picked up these little black bowls a few weeks ago when we were in San Francisco…

heath potato chips.jpg

I also bought a few new things during my break starting with this killer lipstick from Kosas. I don’t swipe it on but rather press it on with my finger (even a bit on my cheeks) so it looks more like a stain. Don’t let the bright color scare you off, it creates a beautiful flush and is incredibly flattering…

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I love this look below…

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I couldn’t find a similar track jacket but happily settled for this classic Adidas one that I’ll wear both at the studio and under my oversized tweed jacket…

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I also picked up this cozy and crazy affordable sweater jacket

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And this one too but in the dark green (I had to size down on this one)…

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The last thing I need is yet another pair of boots, but if you need a great everyday pair I think these look pretty great…

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From My Wishlist...

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

I am on a bit of a spending hiatus. Overall I am quite conscious about what I buy, but it feels like I've added quite a bit to my closet and the skincare arsenal lately. So I'm taking a break to enjoy and use what I already have. I feel overwhelmed when I have a bit too much stuff and besides, my savings would greatly appreciate the break. (This is also a good time to re-mention YNAB - go check it out.)

Even though I'm not currently buying, it doesn't stop me from looking and adding beautiful things to my wishlist.

I have long wanted a pair of these Hoffman armchairs at the dining room table...

Hoffman Chair.jpeg

This perfect Clare V clutch in cuoio vachetta leather that I bet ages beautifully...

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Also from Clare V this green bandana...

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These sweet little stud earrings...

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These rose gold black diamond huggies...

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And THESE, holy cow. They are out of my price range but I love these something terrible...

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I'd buy this dress if I were traveling to Italy this summer...

sezane cassandra dress.jpg

And once I get through all of my current favorite facial masks, this one from REN is the next one I'd love to try...

REN wake wonderful.jpg

Also from REN, this body serum...

REN body serum.jpg

And my robe could use an upgrade. This waffle one from Coyuchi is the one I have my eye on...

coyuchi robe.jpg
 

Easter Weekend

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

Along with chocolate bunny eating and hanging with family this weekend, I'm excited to spend some quality time with my new book, Rules of Civility...

Rules of Civility.jpeg

I'm also making this beautiful, herby potato salad from Nadine Redzepi's cookbook. I checked it out from the library a few months back and loved it so much I had to buy it. It's one of my new favorites...

redzepi warm potato salad.jpg

I really hope to spend some time in the garden while the sun makes an appearance. I have seeds to plant, mostly salad greens, and my new Row 7 beets!

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It is a little early to put them in the dirt, but my dahlia tubers from Floret arrived today!

dahlias.JPG

I'm also going to be wearing this sweet jacket I just got from (surprise) Everlane. Seeing as I already have two army green jackets that I love, I got the black one. But if you don't already have an army colored jacket in your closet, get the surplus one. It will be a staple that you will wear year round...

everlane utility jacket.jpg

Also on the fashion front, check out this recent shot of the editors at French Vogue. Perfection as always...

French Vogue editors March 2018.jpg

Last thing for now, I LOVE this mascara from Burt's Bees. (I've found it locally in Seattle at Bartell Drugs.) I'm not usually a regular mascara wearer, but I really dig this one. I learned about it from Katey Denno (celebrity makeup artist and green beauty aficionado), whom I've followed the last several years. I'll write more about Katey at some point, but I adore her. And if she loves/recommends a beauty product, I'm in...

burts bees mascara.jpg

Happy weekend and happy spring!

 

2018

by Kelsi in , , , ,


 

Hello, New Year.

After getting hammered with back to back bugs, the flu, sinus infections...I am healthy and thrilled to welcome the new year. My son and I were fortunate to tag along on my husband's photoshoot last week to enjoy a few days under the Mexican sun...

kelsi dev pool 2018.JPG

While it was wonderful, it feels so good to be home; my favorite place. I am excited to be back in the studio and finally back to my regular schedule this week.

While on break I've been hitting my local library hard. The two books I am currently reading and loving; The Lonely City by Olivia Lang. From the first few pages...

Loneliness is by no means a wholly worthless experience, but rather one that cuts right to the heart of what we value and what we need. Many marvellous things have emerged from the lonely city: things forged in loneliness, but also things that function to redeem it.

And Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, which I learned about from his wonderful conversation "What Matters in the End" with Krista back in October. 

being mortal + lonely city.JPG

My husband gave me these perfect little earrings from Bing Bang for Christmas and I don't know that I will ever take them off. Initials for the two boys in my life. They make me wish I still had multiple holes from my 1990s youth so I could have more...

Bing Bang Letter Earrings.JPG

I also love these tiny skulls...

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I upgraded our kitchen glasses over the holidays and picked up these bodega glasses from Food52 and am loving them. I have the 12oz size and also the squat 7.5oz size which, just like the description says, I use for everything: small dishes for mise-en-place, condiments, ice cream...

Bodega Glasses.jpg

Speaking of Food52, I discovered these gluten-free and vegan spicy ginger cookies on the site and have been making them possibly a little too often...

karlie kloss spicy ginger cookies.jpg

I did reduce the cloves to 1/8 tsp and added a handful of chopped candied ginger. They are heavily spiced and delicious first thing with a cup of coffee, or late afternoon with a mug of peppermint tea. 

Another new addition to my kitchen is this fantastic silicone ladle from GIR...

GIR ultimate ladle.jpg

The GIR spatulas are the only ones I use. I have three of the ultimate size and four of the mini ones. I use them every single day for pretty much everything.

GIR ultimate spatula.jpg

Lastly, I wrote a few months back about my favorite non-toxic deodorant and I have a new one to add to the list. AER from Vapour Beauty is fantastic. It is a gel to powder formula, super effective and long lasting. I bought it online but just saw it at my local Pharmaca

AER deodorant.jpeg
 

The Basics - Personal Care Products

by Kelsi in , ,


 

Most of the basic personal care products I love and use everyday are easy to find. Everything below (with the exception of Cocofloss) I find at my favorite local grocery, PCC. You can also find them at Pharmaca, Whole Foods and Thrive Market. All of them are incredibly effective, non-toxic and free of all the chemicals/fillers that are in most mainstream products.

I wash my hands a lot throughout the day especially when I'm at the studio teaching so I also go through a lot of hand cream to keep my skin from drying out. This sea buckthorn hand cream from Weleda is my favorite. It absorbs right away, is deeply moisturizing and never greasy. It's the only one I use...

weleda hand cream.JPG

Also from Weleda, this sea buckthorn body lotion is fantastic. It rubs in immediately and keeps my skin soft and moisturized all day even in the dry winter months...

weleda body lotion.jpg

A few years ago, an effective natural deodorant seemed impossible to find. I've long loved this one from Soapwalla. However having to apply it with your fingers isn't for everyone. Enter Schmidt's. It is aluminum and artificial fragrance free and equally important, it really works. There are two formulas, one without baking soda which some people are sensitive to. I've used both and love the tea tree one and the charcoal + magnesium one (which my husband also uses)...

schmidt's deodorant.JPG

Weleda's salt toothpaste is incredibly refreshing without any minty aftertaste. Xyliwhite is my other favorite. They also make one for kids that my son loves. All are fluoride free...

 
 
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Cocofloss is really great floss. I prefer mint and we have a subscription that delivers every 4 months...

cocofloss.JPG

I also love this mouthwash my dentist recommended from BR... 

BR Brushing Rinse.JPG

This Dr. Bronner's shaving gel is a favorite of mine and my husband's. (If you prefer a cream shave, this one from Weleda is great as well, plus it is the perfect travel size.)

dr bronner's shaving soap.jpg

The only downside to the Dr. Bronner's shave gel is it's not really the right container for the thin gel consistency so it leaks and makes a mess. I picked up a squeeze bottle like this one at PCC and decanted it which solves the issue...

squeeze bottle.jpg

Lastly, I couldn't live without Burt's Bees original lip balm. I carry it with me wherever I go. I buy a four pack from Thrive...

burts bees lip balm.JPG
 

From My Wishlist...Fall

by Kelsi in , ,


 

Now that fall has arrived, my favorite style season, I'm getting excited about dressing again. Which also makes me want to add a few new things to my closet. I'd start with this crazy cool coat from Sézane...

Sezane Isee coat.jpg

I also feel like I really need these Loeffler Randall boots...

Loeffler Randall Carter.png

I could put these black suede sandals to good use during the upcoming holiday season and beyond...

NearlyNude suede sandal.jpg

I might wear this sweater every single day...

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And even though I currently don't own a single pink article of clothing, this sweater might be my first...

Everlane pink mockneck sweater.jpg

I'd love to have a pair of these tiny gold hoops...

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A new lipstick...

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And my favorite undergarment in an updated color...

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Ready for the Weekend

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

It is hard to believe we are enjoying the last few days of July. Our weekend plans consist of a whole lot of nothing. I feel like we've got "summering" down as we head into August. If you need something good to watch in the evenings this weekend I'd suggest The Defiant Ones. The four part series is really great.

Or if you are looking for something really good to listen to, I urge you to listen to Malcom Gladwell's podcast Revisionist History. It is enlightening and important and he is an incredible storyteller. This is the second season so if it is new to you, definitely go back and listen to season one as well. Queue it up for your Monday commute.

If you don't feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen this weekend, if you have a blender or a food processor you should at the very least whip up this delicious and versatile sauce that I pulled from Bon Appetit. I've made a parsley version, a cilantro one, I've left out the tahini and also included it. You can't go wrong. Truly you can use it on almost anything - salad dressing, tossed with roasted vegetables, on rice or pasta...you get the idea.

And I have a new favorite tank top. These micro rib ones from Everlane are perfect in every way...

They also make a perfect crewneck tee as well. Long enough, not too slim, no cap-sleeve business. I just stocked up on a few more for fall...

I also love this sea salt spray from local Seattle company Herbivore. I use it on both my hair and skin. My five year uses it too - "Mom, it smells like Hawaii!" He's right and it is divine...

One last thing. If you have some brown sugar and olive oil in your pantry go make this simple body scrub. Add a few large spoonfuls of brown sugar to a bowl, add the same amount of olive oil (maybe a bit more) and mix it up. It should have a consistency like this...

brown sugar olive oil scrub.jpg

Then tomorrow morning, step into the shower (don't turn the water on) and scrub your body all over. Shower and rinse and welcome the weekend. Your skin will thank you. 

 

Happy Birthday! (A Gift Guide For the Girls)

by Kelsi in , ,


 

All three of my sister-in-laws (and my mother) celebrated their birthdays in August. They are some of my favorite people to shop for. Here are a few gifts worthy of a special sister-in-law or dear friend...

A canvas tote from My Other Bag. I love mine (pictured below) and have both the classic and carry-all sizes.

Or a beautiful leather one from Cuyana whose motto is "fewer, better things." Can't argue with that.

A universally flattering lip sheer from Beautycounter in Nude or Twig. I'm personally sort of obsessed with their whole line of non-toxic but high performing products.

A good cookbook.

A wallet clutch from Clare V.

Or this military jacket (another gem from the Uniqlo + IDLF collaboration).

 

The days go by...

by Kelsi in , , , ,


 

I remember writing this around this same time last year:

"Then all of a sudden it's like there isn't five minutes of extra time for anything. We become busy with the tasks of daily living,  the days go by, the weeks go by and suddenly it's almost April. I've realized that writing a blog keeps you accountable. It documents the days, the time spent away. The silence."

I've found myself in the same place, and feeling in a bit of a slump. Things are busy; juggling schedules, childcare and just the day to day stuff. And usually during D's nap time, I relish in some solo time to cook, clean up a bit and get things done. But this last week I've just been sitting, blank. Sitting at the dining table feeling unmotivated to do anything.

It wasn't until I was doing my daily meditation with the help of Headspace (which I mentioned a few weeks ago) when Andy addressed the "boredom" that some experience when starting a meditation practice, when I realized that that was exactly what I was feeling, not just in meditation but in life. He went on to explain that the boredom we experience, the feeling of wanting to be somewhere else or doing something else, comes from a lack of curiosity about the process and that we're not really present with what’s happening.

The more we can be present and genuinely curious in each and every moment that’s happening, the less likely we are to experience boredom.

 

"If we’re only interested in getting a result from the exercise and we’re not really interested in the journey and the process of it, then we’re never really going to find the answer we’re looking for. Because the journey and the process is the answer. It’s learning to observe with a soft focus. It is with a curious mind, with an open mind, that we start to experience a greater sense of calm and clarity in everyday life."

I didn't realize how much I was looking ahead until Andy mentioned it. Maybe it happens to all parents of small children. Maybe we do it in the interest of self-preservation - a reminder that these tough times are fleeting and it won’t always be like this. No matter how wonderful your kid is, these formative years are really tough. The demanding, near constant attention required of you as a parent, setting boundaries, battles over diaper changing and lots of "I want to do it all by myself!" make it not always easy to be fully present.

I felt instant relief when I could recognize it and wouldn't you know I came out of my boredom and got up from the dining table. It's an ongoing challenge, to be present. But it's something I work on every day and happy to say, am getting better at. Having a kid has certainly changed me in expected ways. But I do love being surprised by the unforeseen changes as well. I don't think I would have held the goal of "be more present" as highly as I do now had I not had a child. And working on that ultimately makes me a happier, well-balanced human being and it's a skill I can carry throughout my life.

And now here we are. It is already the second week of April. And there are other important things to discuss. Like rhubarb.

I am a complete sucker for rhubarb and those bright red stalks find their way into my shopping cart pretty much every time I go to the market. As Nigel Slater says, "How could anyone not love something known as the pie plant?" I'd love to make this rhubarb-almond cake from this month's Bon Appetit...

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Molly's Roasted Rhubarb (which I too will happily eat straight from the fridge, no bowl required) is stellar. Or just make a simple compote to put over pretty much everything. 

This sparkly top just arrived in the mail this week which I love and first saw on Le Catch. Now I just need a pair of black wide leg trousers to go with it (and a party to attend).

Ilia Lipstick strike it up.png

Historically, I am not a lipstick wearer. I love a good lip balm, or sometimes a nude gloss, but Ilia has made me change my ways. They wear like a lip balm with sheer but rich color with a semi-matte finish. I like Strike it Up and Ink Pot.  

I'm also really enjoying Sarah Britton's new cookbook. I've been a huge fan of hers (you can read about her lentil salad here) and her book does not disappoint.

Now I'm going to go work on being present as I await the premiere of Game of Thrones.