July 23

by Kelsi in , , , , , , ,


 

Last week we broke ground on a long-anticipated dream project, the building of our backyard studio, which will be a work/art space for my husband. Our little one car garage was demolished to kick it off…

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While watching the demo I made Pamela Salzman’s grain-free chocolate zucchini cake (which is crazy good by the way). My happy version of multi-tasking…

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Speaking of cake, Simple Cake by Odette Williams is a wonderful book and one I’d highly recommend for your library whether you consider yourself a baker or not…

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I’m really enjoying this turmeric tonic from Further Food. I blend a scoop of it with cold water and a little honey syrup (recipe for honey syrup here) and then drink it over ice with my favorite glass straw

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I’ve had a lot on my plate the last few weeks and my advanced food prep has been lagging. Thankfully I’ve found a go-to protein powder that I love and helps me get by if I have nothing to grab before walking out the door. I mix one scoop of this Amazing Grass Protein Superfood and two scoops of Vital Proteins Collagen with 12oz of orange juice and whip it up in the Vitamix for an easy and satiating breakfast. And on really long teaching days when I don’t have a break between clients I will make a double batch and bring it to the studio in this 32oz insulated Klean Kanteen

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This Tony's Chocolonely Almond Sea Salt bar is my absolute favorite chocolate and I always have a few bars on hand…

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I just bought several sheets of these beautiful Ellsworth Kelly stamps

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My husband and I both carry around this Memento Mori as a daily reminder to be present and focus on what really matters.

“Meditating on your mortality is only depressing if you miss the point. It is in fact a tool to create priority and meaning. It’s a tool that generations have used to create real perspective and urgency. To treat our time as a gift and not waste it on the trivial and vain. Death doesn’t make life pointless but rather purposeful. And fortunately, we don’t have to nearly die to tap into this. A simple reminder can bring us closer to living the life we want.”

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I am a big fan of Stoicism and recommend signing up for The Daily Stoic which is put together by Ryan Holiday (he has a book by the same name). His other books The Obstacle is the Way and Ego is the Enemy are also worth a read…

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Wendy Whelan’s line to live by is one I live by too…

Energy produces energy.
Photo via    La Ligne

Photo via La Ligne

Lastly, Esther Perel’s On Being conversation is a delight to listen to…

Photo via    On Being

Photo via On Being

One of my favorite parts near the end of the conversation:

When I say, “The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives,” it’s because I do think that the bonds and the connections that we forge with others give us a greater sense of meaning and happiness and wellbeing than just about any other thing — when it’s good, because it can be exactly the opposite, huh?

And now it’s like, how much are you investing in your relationships? And I find that, often, people don’t. They talk about “my partner is my best friend,” and they treat them like shit. They talk about “my friend,” and they haven’t seen that person or talked to that person in years. It’s like, no, you can’t just do it like that. You can’t be lazy. You can’t be complacent about this and put all your energies at work and bring the leftovers home — and all of that stuff.

Or I have this question I’ve been playing with lately, and I just asked it in Sydney. I was like, “How many of you go to bed, and the last thing you touch is your phone? OK, stand up. And how many of you, the first thing you stroke in the morning when you wake up is your phone? Please stand up. And how many of you are doing this while there actually is another person lying next to you in bed?” That’s ambiguous loss, by the way. I’m like, seriously? Seriously?

So that’s what I am trying to address at this point; it’s like, interestingly, we don’t look at relational health enough. We don’t connect it to mental health. We don’t connect it to our overall physical health. And we certainly don’t connect it enough to our societal health, if we want to really go bigger. It’s not the freedom that is our problem. It’s not the fact that we have choice, but they have always gone together with responsibility, with accountability.

You can see more of Esther Perel in her TED talk from a few years back and read her book Mating in Captivity.

 

Summer Ready

by Kelsi in , , , , , ,


 

School is out for the summer and we couldn’t be more ready for it. I’m thrilled to have a break from making school lunches and am looking forward to more leisurely mornings.

We had a real scorcher into the mid 90s this week and I’ve been grateful to have these bamboo roll up shades on our exterior west facing windows to cut the heat. They really do the job but I also love the diffused light they create inside the house too…

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Summer to me also means cobblers and crisps and this fantastic apple rhubarb cobbler from Alanna of The Bojon Gourmet is my current favorite. I mentioned Alanna’s book Alternative Baker and her miraculous gluten-free pie crust recipe last winter…

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It’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything here because I’ve been spending most of my free time reading (or sewing). A few months ago my son D got hit hard with the reading bug and on a family trip to Palm Springs he brought a book wherever we went. Waiting for his food at the restaurant, waiting for the rental car, sitting poolside. My husband and I exchanged knowing glances of “It’s happening.

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I’ve been waiting for this day and as children often do, he is helping me to be my best self. His new love of reading has helped me make time for my own love of reading and I’m making it a priority and letting some of the less important things on my to-do list slide. Together we are in deep with Harry Potter and these illustrated versions are just beautiful…

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D was also just gifted these super rad Gryffindor Vans from his very cool aunt and uncle…

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When I haven’t been reading, I’ve been sitting here practicing my newly acquired sewing skills (thanks to Drygoods Design)…

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I can sit here working away for hours without eating or thinking about anything else. I’m so enjoying the process of learning something completely new and remembering how wonderful that feeling of “flow” is…

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I have a new full-length linen apron that I snagged from Amazon for $17 that I learned about from Aran via Remodelista

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Speaking of linen, one of the best things I’ve added to my summer wardrobe is this Everlane linen jumpsuit

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I wore it to a my brother-in-law’s 40th birthday dinner (pictured below with my stellar sister-in-laws)…

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Always a sucker for pen and paper, I have a new favorite pocket-sized notebook and pen for my endless list making…

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My friend Rita turned me on to Aria Code. Host Rhiannon Giddens is delightful and I’ve been “binge-listening” (is that a thing?) every chance I get…

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Alison Roman’s olive oil roasted chicken is on the menu for Father’s Day…

And our neighbors turned us on to the solo stove which is now on my summer wishlist…

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Happy summering!




 

My Wishlist...Holiday Edition

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

I would love to open my closet and see this gorgeous Paris Jacket from Emerson Fry hanging in there…

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I have long wanted a Japanese style pinafore apron and this one from Rough Linen is perfect. It even comes in a petite option. I’d love it in the charcoal…

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The lovely back…

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I would also like a proper waiter’s apron

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I think this Cotopaxi Kusa Hybrid Jacket is super cool…

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A duffle bag is one of the few styles I don’t have and this rad Brown Buffalo Duffalo fits the bill…

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I am in love with this Clare V belt bag in disco stripe…

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But the truth is I already have a Clare V fannypack that I love so what I think I really “need” is the Clare V Midi Sac

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I’ve been looking at this Everlane cocoon coat for a long time…

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My side table is already stacked with books but I think if I had Educated I’d move it to the top of the pile…

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How to be a Good Creature would have been on my list if I could have waited and didn’t already purchase it for myself…

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And I have long wanted to learn how to sew and here in Seattle, Drygoods Design is the place to do it. A gift card here might ensure that I finally carve out some time in the new year to take a “This is a Sewing Machine” class

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Holiday Gift Guide

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

It is December! We don’t have a tree yet and I haven’t started playing holiday music but I think today might be the day it all begins. And with that, here are some ideas for giving this year…

Billecart Salmon Champagne is my most favorite thing to imbibe ever. It is special and only makes an appearance once or twice a year around our house but I can’t imagine a more elegant gift…

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Except if you brought it with a vintage Champagne bucket

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These beautiful Heather Taylor Home napkins would be a fantastic hostess gift. See all of the options on her website

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Chocolate from Askinosie would make another lovely hostess gift. I have my eye on many of the CollaBARation bars and this coconut milk chocolate. If you don’t know about Askinosie Chocolate read their story here

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I love these Maison Louis Marie candles and picked up a few at Canoe last time I was in Portland. I love No.09 and No.04

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I also love these Cotopaxi Libre socks in a variety of colors…

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This delicious and assertive G. Day body wash is great and reminds me of a more unisex and a cleaner (read: no SLS, parabens etc) version of the Molton Brown Black Peppercorn wash my husband has long favored…

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This gorgeous and super soft alpaca sweater from Everlane

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My brother worked on this Brooks shoe and I wore it for the first time at the studio last week and nearly every client wanted a pair for themselves. They are that cool.

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My husband has a pair too that are equally as cool…

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This gorgeous book from The Aviary in Chicago would be a killer gift for your food-forward friends…

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A pair of these Heath Tartine stack mugs

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This gorgeous walnut rolling pin for the baker in your life…

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Pair it with the fantastic Genius Desserts from Food52

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I cannot recommend Pamela Salzman’s cookbook highly enough. I’ve mentioned her on my blog many times. She has an incredibly resourceful blog and teaches countless cooking classes in the LA area (and now online classes too). She is a natural teacher and her recipes are always accessible, reliable, healthy and delicious. She is my go-to.

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New this fall, Ottolenghi’s Simple is fantastic. I’m gifting it to several friends this year.

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I LOVE these balm sticks from Olio E Osso out of Portland, Oregon. I have them in several colors and they give a beautiful flush of color and feel wonderful on the skin. I buy mine from Ayla Beauty in San Francisco. It’s a wonderful little shop that I like to support and they carry so many of the lines I love like Marie Veronique, BioRecept, Kosås and others.

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For a young girl or boy in your life a subscription to Bravery Magazine

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I love these beautiful tattoos which are pulled from Oliver Jeffers’s gorgeous books…

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I gave his book Here We Are to all the children in our family last year, though I’d recommend it for adults too…

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Also, consider giving to an organization you believe in. I will be giving to On Being

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November 4

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

Last Friday I had the day off so after we dropped our kids at school, my friend Megan and I had big plans…a 1000 piece puzzle and making Samin’s salad from that last episode. M dubbed it “Friendship Salad.” There is a lot of joy to be had in cooking side by side and sharing a good meal. It was a fine day.

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I love this puzzle by the way. I’m a sucker for fonts in general but these collage puzzles are super satisfying because you can constantly make progress - the perfect balance of challenge/reward. I just picked up this one too

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I am excited to host a quiet Thanksgiving at home this year and have been starting to think about what I want to cook. I like to roast chickens instead of turkey and am going to go heavy on the vegetable sides this year. I just bought these gorgeous Staub baking dishes in matte black that I can’t wait to put on the table…

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Before Thanksgiving, I’m putting one of them to use to make this dreamy cauliflower from David Tanis. He’s so great and I love his latest cookbook Market Cooking that my friend Rita gave me for my birthday…

Karsten Moran for The New York Times

Karsten Moran for The New York Times

I also just bought a second Instant Pot, an 8 quart this time, to keep up with my stock making this year - though I’ll have no trouble putting two to use for more things than stock. Homemade stock is a game changer for everything and the Instant Pot really makes it quick and foolproof. I love Melissa Clark’s chicken and vegetable stock recipes. They are included in her newest book, Comfort in an Instant, as well as her original Dinner in an Instant

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I’m also starting to play with baking gluten-free bread and this is a great starting guide

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From making stock and baking bread, I’m all about cooking for cooler fall weather. But I also love dressing for fall too and have happily transitioned my wardrobe. My uniform is pretty much always a sweater, jeans and either hightop Vans or ankle boots. And my most favorite jeans right now come from AGOLDE. Even if high-waisted jeans go out of fashion, I will never go back! These are perfect…

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And these

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Lastly, I love everything about this look. I need to find that sweater…

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October 21

by Kelsi in , , , , ,


 

Samin Nosrat’s book Salt Fat Acid Heat was one of my most favorite cookbooks last year and I have given it as a gift several times. She is a talented teacher and I loved watching her four-part series on Netflix this weekend. I especially loved the last episode where she prepares a gorgeous roasted vegetable salad at home and hosts friends for dinner. I am so inspired I have revisited her cookbook and am reading it cover to cover…

It was only a matter of time - I caught my first cold of the fall/back-to-school season last week. Time to start taking daily immune support. This one is my favorite

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I also consumed a lot of strong ginger and lemon tea with raw honey. You can make a big batch of ginger juice in the blender, but now that I have a proper ceramic ginger grater it is easier than ever to grate ginger in seconds. I can’t imagine not having this little tool in my kitchen

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Re-inspired by Samin I have spent the bulk of my weekend in the kitchen. Making chicken stock in the Instant Pot, our favorite cookies and a batch of the best granola

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I have also made this caramelized onion and lentil pilaf from Nigella Lawson twice this week. It is so easy, economical and delicious. I would happily eat it for breakfast, maybe with some sautéed spinach…

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While in the kitchen I’ve been listening to a lot of Bach, a perfect companion - particularly if Yo-Yo Ma is involved

Speaking of Yo-Yo, his conversation with Krista is pure joy. What a gift of a human being he is. I also loved this recent conversation with Pádraig Ó Tuama and Marilyn Nelson.

These are the kind of things we need for the tired spaces of our world. This is the way we need to move forward in a world that is so interested in being comforted by the damp blanket of bad stories. We need stories of belonging that move us towards each other, not from each other; ways of being human that open up the possibilities of being alive together; ways of navigating our differences that deepen our curiosity, that deepen our friendship, that deepen our capacity to disagree, that deepen the argument of being alive. This is what we need. This is what will save us. This is the work of peace. This is the work of imagination.
— Pádraig Ó Tuama

We spent last weekend in the hills outside Santa Cruz at a family wedding. It was an incredible party and there was an amazing band so we all threw down and danced the night away. I finally got a chance to wear this gorgeous dress from Doen

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And my favorite earrings from Annie Costello Brown. They make any outfit an outfit.

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Simple Pleasures

by Kelsi in , , , , , ,


 

We are enjoying a quiet long weekend at home before getting back into the regular swing of things with school starting this week. Like last year, I am taking the first part of September off to not only help ease us back into school life at home, but to spend two weeks recharging myself and gearing up for the new year ahead. To me September feels more like a time of renewal than January 1st does. 

I have a few house projects on my list, like repainting the hallway,  and lots of purging/organizing endeavors. But I'm also finding time just to think and work on an upcoming creative project that I'm really excited about.

I've finally started an Instagram account for the blog so you can also find me here.

The weather this weekend has been stellar. Comfortably warm but with a bit of a chill in the air that seemed to happen as soon as the calendar flipped to September 1. These are perfect conditions to spend time in the garden.

 

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I harvested the last of my cucumbers and my Row 7 potatoes which were a  huge winner. I'm devoting an entire bed to them next year. I also started moving plants around and cleaning out crops past their due and cutting back the blackberry vines that take over my front slope this time of year. 

I wrote about Floret Farm's book at the end of last summer and followed through and ordered Dahlia tubers from her in the spring. These giants are lighting up the front yard right now...

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I've been making watermelon juice that is even more refreshing than the gazpacho I've been downing the last two days. If you don't have a juicer, simply blend up the watermelon in a blender. Strain it through a fine mesh strainer and let it chill until it's good and cold. When you're ready to drink, squeeze half of a lime in your glass and a pinch of salt.

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It is summer in a glass...

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I have loved watching All or Nothing: Manchester City. LOVED. Go watch it.

I also just finished reading Attachments which was recommended by my mother-in-law (Hi Pierr!). It is such a perfect summer read - great dialogue, smart and incredibly funny. I couldn't stop reading and read it all in one go...

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My hair is the longest it's ever been and after a summer of playing in both the surf and sun the ends are bit fried. I love Weleda products and just discovered this rosemary hair oil. I've been putting it on my ends (and even my scalp) before bed and washing it out in my morning shower. It has made a world of difference.

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I've also been using this wonderful salt scalp scrub shampoo (say that three times fast) the last two months. You use it just once a week though I really want to use it daily I look forward to it that much...

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Also in need of a little TLC after the summer heat and constant sunscreen, my skin needs a little decongesting and I super love this new Squalane + Glycolic Renewal Facial from Biossance...

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I'm looking forward to testing out their new deodorant...

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I bought a few of these air-purifiers recommended by Wirecutter this spring during allergy season and the difference was immediate. After one night, we all woke up with cleared sinuses. Fast forward to last month when Seattle was hit hard from wildfire smoke. We were so grateful to have these in our house. I also bought one for my studio...

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I'm really liking these twin-line flossers. They are also helpful for teaching my six year old how to floss...

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And I have a new pair of favorite jeans. These relaxed boyfriend ones from Everlane remind me of my old 501s from high school. I have the vintage sky blue wash below...

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But I have my eye on the washed black ones as well...

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FATHER'S DAY

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

My son and I are getting ready to celebrate the #1 Dad in our life tomorrow. Breakfast will include a frittata with yukon golds and lots of herbs from the garden and per my son's request, "A LOT of bacon" (presumably so he doesn't have to battle his dad for it). If you need a good frittata recipe Pamela Salzman has some great ones

Father's Day or not, here are some good gifts to celebrate the great husband, brother or father in your life...

This beautiful low-profile wallet from Grovemade in Portland...

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A pair of Allbirds...

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Jim Olson's gorgeous new book...

I LOVE the Marie Veronique skincare collaboration with Kristina Holey. Marie just released a new line for men, though I would happily use it myself. I have my eye on the shave prep + daily wash as well as the shaving oil as something we would both enjoy...

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This razor would be a nice upgrade to go with it...

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If you're in need of more inspiration, check out Huckberry which always has a stellar collection of great stuff. I dare you not to find something there whatever your price range.

 

Sick Day

by Kelsi in , , ,


 

My son is sick today so I have an unexpected day off. I am grateful for the day at home and a few extra hours to do laundry, tidy-up and pay the bills. Luckily I also happened to have all the ingredients to make this way delicious savory oatmeal from David Tanis for lunch. I know what I'm making for breakfast tomorrow...

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The new Cuyana catalog arrived today and now I want (ahem) these three things, starting with this seersucker flounce top...

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This beautiful travel bag...

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And this seersucker dress with pockets(!)...

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Also going on the wishlist is another pair of Annie Costello Brown earrings. Maybe this pair? Or these?! Too hard to decide.

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I recently bought the pair I've been wanting for the last few years and can't stop wearing them. They elevate any outfit. By the way the pants that I am wearing below are these fantastic wide leg ones from Everlane. I just ordered them in white too...

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Something else that looks gorgeous with these earrings is my new dress from Doen. I bought it to wear to a California wedding this fall but plan to wear it every chance I get before then...

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I also took some time today to sit in the sunshine and read a bit of the third Maisie Dobbs book. One of my clients turned me onto the series and now I am addicted. I love historical fiction and these are great fun to read.

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How to Break Up With Your Phone

by Kelsi in , , , , , ,


 

I'm not sure where I first saw the image below but it resonated strongly with me. Often when I have a break teaching and walk down to the coffee shop I pass person after person looking down, only to open the door to a room full of people again looking down, and stand in line to order my coffee behind a handful of people each one, again, looking down...

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Our lives are what we pay attention to.

I hope this slim and life-changing book by Catherine Price becomes as ubiquitous as another slim and life-changing book I love. Read more about it here and also here.

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At home we follow a 24 hour "tech sabbath" beginning Friday at 8pm until Saturday at 8pm (which Price mentions) which has been a game changer. I first learned about the idea of a "tech sabbath" from Tiffany Shlain and her converstation with Krista Tippett.

Do yourself (and your kids) a favor and read this book.