The Highlands

Remember when I went to Scotland over a year ago? When I first got back from the Highlands I was simply (and rather predictably) overwhelmed with how utterly gorgeous it had been. People would ask about my trip and I would just gush to them about how much I loved Scotland. It was hard to find words and I also felt like I was cheapening the love Scotland and I had shared by obsessing about it to everyone. So I tabled this blog post. Well, I’m about to ditch America for a few weeks and need to space on my phone. Ha! Turns out my heart has a price and that price is photo storage. 

Scotland is unfairly beautiful. Crushingly, overwhlemingly, astoundingly beautiful. I spent three full days in the Highlands driving along winding country roads taking photos out the window on the way to the Isle of Skye. The region has dynamic history that, in many ways, is tied to the US through immigration and America’s general approach to assimilating white cultures.

Though I’m not normally much of a group tour person, I got a great recommendation for the Skye High tour with Haggis Adventures out of Edinburgh. Couldn’t recommend them higher. The price was reasonable, our tour guide was friendly and super knowledgeable, and the tour was extremely well paced. I saw more than I ever would have on my own and didn’t even have to figure out how to drive on the left side of the road.




This week

Fashion designer and environmental campaigner Vivienne Westwood rides on top of an armored personnel carrier (APC) towards the home of British Prime Minister David Cameron's home in Chadlington, Oxfordshire on September 11, 2015 to highlight the Government's plan to use hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to recover fossil fuels from the ground in regions of the north of England. The vehicle parked outside the prime minister's home before a group of protestors in gas masks led chants and held banners calling for the Government to change it's policy on the controversial plans. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Friday lifespo: Vivienne Westwood on a damn tank. Sticking it to David Cameron over the environment. | Leon Neal via Getty

I’m writing this while watching Serena battle it out with Roberta Vinci in a match that’s WAY too much of a nail biter for my taste. Every point for Serena feels like a victory but Vinci is forcing us to pay attention. She is on those returns like nothing else with fast footwork and sharp serves. Seeing two women battle it out at this high level of competition is inspiring. As feminists we have a responsibility to help each other out but we also can’t shy away from healthy competition. Love watching badass women duke it out.

Vinci won. </3


Seattle educators on strike! And five ways to support the strikeFall book selections. Against comments. Hipster Barbie living #thatPNWlife.


Serena slaying dumbo journalists asking dumbo questions. Who else is watching the US Open?


The Arcs – Yours, Dreamily, (a new side project from the lead signer of the Black Keys)

2015 Goals: August


Sidewalk blooms, North Ballard

Prettiest lunch date

Downtime: August was just a lovely blur of sunshine, work, sunglasses, chores, weddings, homies, and summer.

Shilshole Marina, Seattle

Summer BBQs done right

Happy 21st birthday to Dan!

Exercise: I’ve been experimenting with exercising later in the evening. For years, I would work out immediately after work but with a 50 min commute I was just too hungry and tired and it wasn’t happening. Now I come home, make and eat dinner right away, chill for a bit, and then work out around 8pm. It’s not a perfect system but it’s yielded more consistent results than before. And my strength is improving! Yoga with Adriene has been fantastic for gaining strength and flexibility. Her jokes are corny but, hey, so are mine!

Bridesmaid-ing on the beach, Carkeek Park

Snack break

Travel: Just over a month to go….and I’m ready. London is all set and Spain is coming together as Siiri’s fall plans solidify a bit more.  Need to brainstorm a rough packing list so I don’t box up things I need in the move (plug adapters and my passport come to mind).

August bounty

Retirement: I managed to not freak out the day the stock market nose dived! And then I held off for two whole days before looking at my accounts. Working on taking deep breaths and forgetting they are there.

Currently receiving much fiscal inspiration from my buddy Megan who is blogging openly about her six month campaign to get her financial house in order on The Billfold.

The beat lives on

Arts: Blerg. This just hasn’t been on my radar. It’s like summer, man. So in true summer spirit I went to two outdoor concerts with my beloved Kat: Alabama Shakes at the gorgeous Marymoor Park concert space (new to me!) and The Coup at the Mural, part of KEXP’s awesome free summer concert series.

The Seattle Public Library summer reading challenge really pushed me to try new things. While I wasn’t successful in completing a “bingo” I did tackle some new or lesser explored genres. Plus, the bingo square prompts were so fun!

Published the year you were born [1986]: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Finished in a day: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Author under 30: The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht (didn’t finish this one, it just wouldn’t hold my attention)

And a fun beach read plug for The Royal We by Heather Cock and Jessica Morgan. A well researched and engaged meringue of a novel! Would probably be equally great for a rainy weekend under a fluffy blanket.


Under the needle

*Edited to include all the books I read and rudely forgot to post. I’ve been posting book recos on instagram under #LTTW2015readinglist.

This week


Feel those Labor Day ~~vibes~~

I started rewatching Mad Men a few weeks ago and have been feeling some very 60s vibes (also young Peggy!). There’s also something about rewatching a show at 29 that you first watched at 21 that is just a complete mind bender. Betty is 28 is the first season. I’m sure that felt at least half a lifetime away at the time and now I have a weekend off between the weddings of two of my closest childhood friends both of whom have fresh masters’ degrees. Life is a trip, man. The weather isn’t exactly going to cooperate this weekend but I’m hella pumped to have some friend time, start purging my objectionable amount of personal belongings in preparation to move at the end of the month, and maybe even veg the eff out this weekend. I’m thinking a day dedicated to each. What are you up to?


Dirtbag Karl Marx. Security cameras with party hats. Go-to pop culture references. My beautiful friend Sarah on two years of struggling with infertility. This epic Go Fug Yourself thread on bad first dates.

Last week Ten thousand days ago, Boots Riley from The Coup was interviewed by my friend Jesse alongside local artists Gabriel Teodros and Geo. The conversation was incredible and enriching. Read Boots’ new book if you have the chance.


Kat and I finished Sense8 and give it extremely enthusiastic thumbs up. Wilco live on KEXP. Kat introduced me to Kasey Musgraves and her Tiny Desk Concert is just delightful.


Wondaland Records – Hell You Talmbout (Listen immediately and let it really sink in.)

Tell Us Something – I Didn’t Sign Up For Idaho, or, Kim Kardashian’s Got Nothing On Me! (My girl Katie – who just got married! – tells the ultra hilarious story of her first time camping.)

NYPL Podcast – Chimamanda Adichie and Zadie Smith on Race, Writing, and Relationships (“I think it’s important for brilliant women to step out as hot babes.” This far reaching conversation is a dream world.)

This week


Ready to nap


Why your rent is so high. Bernie Sanders, Black Lives Matter, and the racial divide in Seattle. Take better nighttime photos (your dimly lit cocktail deserves it). Rose McGowan: Hollywood badass. The privatization of Sesame Street. This list of ridiculous nicknames George W. Bush gave foreign leaders and members of his staff.


National Geographic remade their atlas to reflect melting ice caps. John Oliver on sex ed.


This American Life – The Problem We All Live With, Part Two (a follow up to last week and just as good)

This week

why are we defunding PP

Hat tip to Ann Friedman, internet crush forever.


The abortion I didn’t have. 200 books (by women) every man should read. A list of modern relationships (every single one applies). How rich was Mr. Darcy really? Brits guess at American health care costs (and Americans cry). Multi-parenting in the Netherlands.

Katha Pollitt on how to defend Planned Parenthood:

We need to say that women have sex, have abortions, are at peace with the decision and move on with their lives. We need to say that is their right, and, moreover, it’s good for everyone that they have this right: The whole society benefits when motherhood is voluntary. When we gloss over these truths we unintentionally promote the very stigma we’re trying to combat. What, you didn’t agonize? You forgot your pill? You just didn’t want to have a baby now? You should be ashamed of yourself. [emphasis added]


Go outside, you maniac, you only get one August.


SUMMER ’15 (a seasonal playlist from me to you!)

This American Life – The Problem We All Live With (highly recommend this episode on school segregation and integration)

This week

For years I had zero “beauty routine”. I flipped past the beauty section in women’s magazines in my rush to get to the features. I strolled right past the lipstick and colorful compacts at the drug store. I nodded quietly at parties when people discussed curling irons. Blessed with good skin and tame-able hair I just sort of shrugged and went on with my life. Least you think I suffer from complete, all-encompassing vanity I also had no idea what I was doing. Mascara? You’re pretty straight forward. You can stay. Eye shadow and lip gloss? Sure, you seem simple enough and are also easy to bail on. But lipstick? That took me until 28 to figure out. Still stick to a small handful of tried and true shades. So when a co-worker gushed to me about her eyebrow experience at a salon in my neighborhood I was intrigued but also sheepish. I made an appointment online for a weeknight Kat isn’t typically home. I wasn’t exactly embarrassed it just seemed like something that shouldn’t take the vast majority of my 20s to figure out. Turns out I have what the esthetician called “good brows” (#blessed) so I’ve been living my own She’s All That story arc without realizing it. The next day I tried to capture my freshly curated brows in a selfie for a girlfriend with much more experience and the results were comical. There just isn’t a way to capture your eyebrows that doesn’t make you look like a cross eyed goofball. Selfies, saving us from ourselves!


#HowIQuitSpin is an epic poem in 140 character bursts. Speaking while female. Rich people raising rich kids. Ebola vaccine! Millennials be dad-ing.

Must read: New York magazine profiles the 35 women that accused Bill Cosby of sexual harassment.


Based on a review in Socialist Worker, Kat and I started Sense8 (streaming on Netflix) and have fallen head over heels. Plus it’s short enough for us to finish before we move; mission accomplished!


Have you tried out Spotify’s new Discover playlist? Two hours of music perfectly curated to your taste (based on your listening history) delivered to you every Monday. I am a FAN.

2015 Goals: June and July


Sailing on Lake Washington

Forgive me, condensing June and July is my final attempt at catching up. Rollllll with it. Summer is just one big blur anyway, right?

Downtime: It’s summer which is the most leisurely of all downtime. Been lounging around to nearly sloth-like levels, soaking it in before everything goes insane again.

Peas by Siiri, Cuoco, Seattle

Like a boss

Penultimate lunch break, Meat and Bread, Seattle

Exercise: After several weekends of being out of town, fête-ing soon-to-be-married people, and general revelry I decided to dry out a bit. This has taken the form of a personal ban on weeknight drinking. Wellllll, “ban” might be a stretch but a sharp lessening. It’s dovetailed nicely with our living room fitness campaign. My buddy Erin, creator of the supremely awesome Birdseed field guide, introduced me to on the living room floor, a tumblr for all your free youtube workout video needs.

My parents circa 1985. Happy 30th anniversary!

Travel: Spent the Fourth of July weekend in Chicago attending a political conference and seeing my peeps. Had an incredible dinner at Publican with some internet buddies. Met up with my brother and Margaret for a catch-up lunch at Avec (homemade nutter butters!) before scooting to the airport. The trips to Chicago are always too quick and I am excited about the prospect of a work related trip next winter.

My trip to Spain morphed and became a week in London and a week in Spain whoneedsmoneyletsdothisssssss. Kat and I are moving out of our apartment after two beautiful years of cohabitation and I’m seizing the prospect of a rent-free October to get on an airplane and peace out for a bit. London is fairly much squared away thanks to some native Londoner I picked up to be my tour guide but Spain is still somewhat up in the air based on what pans out with Siiri’s DIY culinary school adventure (follow her on instagram for jealousy inducing travel photos). There will definitely be some Barcelona time so send over your best beach/bar/tapas/clandestine cava drinking spots my way.

Nosies who dine, Publican, Chicago

Monday mornings with Em, Chicago

Couple of fools in looooooove

Margaret and Mike, Avec, Chicago

Flying into Seattle

Retirement: Slow and patient saving to hit the next investment threshold like some sort of adult.

Totally appropriate dockwear.

Bastille Day picnic

Arts: Been hitting the books hard! Summer is peak reading time for me with warm temperatures and the desire to be outside. Read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists, a tiny pamphlet you can breeze through in an evening. Polished off Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel on the flight to Chicago and read Olive Kittenridge by Elizabeth Strout on the way home. I’ve recently been on a bit of a memoir bender, plowing through Redefining Realness by Janet Mock, My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss, and The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson. Last but not least I absolutely inhaled Tiny Beautiful Things, a collection of Dear Sugar columns by Cheryl Strayed. Seattle Public Libraries is running a summer reading challenge for adults complete with a book bingo card! It’s been a fun way to stretch myself outside of my typical book picks.

My non-literary arts diet has been a bit lean. Once again indulged my undergrad nostalgia and saw Neutral Milk Hotel at the Paramount. Cruised on down to Ballard Seafood Fest to support two of my local faves The Dip and Eldridge Gravey & the Court Supreme. Snuck in a Thursday night set with my buddy Tom Eddy. Other than that it’s been a big ol’ nothing. Will have to keep my eyes out for a good fall arts preview.

Beach! Beach! Beach!

Madison Park, Seattle

Saturday mornings

In the Kitchen: Summer Capellini with Clams

Summer Capellini with Clams | Liz Takes the World

Linguine with clams is something my mom used to make for us when I was a kid. It wasn’t particularly fancy but I do remember it making me feel very Italian. Or however “Italian” a kid with a hella Anglo name surrounded by zero Italian families can feel. The concept of traveling via my plate started early apparently. I was itching for something to make when I found myself home alone one evening last week. I started flipping through some cookbooks and this gem from Dinner: A Love Story caught my eye. Juicy clams with my favorite summer vegetables. It felt like a great way to cook through a short dip in our crazy beautiful, stupid hot summer. In keeping with the tradition I grew up in, I swapped fresh clams for canned (also way cheaper and easier to source).

Summer Capellini with Clams Adapted slightly from Dinner: A Love Story

Serves 2-3 with leftovers

1/2 lb dry capellini pasta

2 shallots, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 can clams

1/2 c dry white wine (for Pete’s sake, pick something good and worth drinking)

1 ear of corn, kernels removed

1/2 c cherry tomatoes, halved

Basil leaves, sliced into fine ribbons

Boil water and prepare the pasta. Capellini, being teeny, takes about 5-7 minutes to reach al dente. Pour yourself a glass of that nice white wine you picked up at the store.

While the pasta is cooking, heat some olive oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan and add the shallot and garlic. When the shallots have softened add the can of clams, juices and all, and the white wine. Season with salt and pepper and let simmer until thickened slightly. Magically this is usually when the pasta is done so you can use this time to drain the pasta and place it back in the now dry pot you used to cook it in.

Add the corn and tomatoes and stir to combine until the vegetables have heated through and absorbed the flavor of the clams. Fold in the cooked pasta. Plate and garnish with slivers of basil.

This week

Guemes Island, Washington State

Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii guyssssssssssssss. It’s been a second. Hope you missed me, I missed you. Life got nutso. Life is slightly less nutso now. For every blog post there is a season. I hope you’re having a great summer.


Pride and Prejudice + Onion headlines. Gorgeous watercolor comic by my buddy Sarah Rosenblatt on the moral corruption of Birthright. Clueless outfits for the modern era. (Spoiler alert!) America’s work culture sucks. Eternal high fives to Lindy West for her defense of taking up space. Housing in Seattle: “segregation [was] baked into the design of the city.” Forever dreaming of Summer Fridays.

While I declined to read the New Yorker piece on how Seattle is going to break off from the continent, slide into the ocean, and kill us all, other people found it useful/interesting/worth their time. You make your best choice. I’ll be on the patio drinking a nice Walla Walla Valley merlot and admiring the mountains.


Kat and I finished our nine (?) month odyssey of rewatching all of Gilmore Girls. Pretty sure I took it harder than she did but with only two months left of living together every moment is precious and every milestone seems to require marking. Any suggestions for what to watch next? Preferably something we can watch together and finish by the end of September?


Death, Sex & Money on Siblinghood (oof da, lots of real life here)

Nisha Bolsey on Eleanor Marx (an approachable history of a complicated life)