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!

READ

#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.

WATCH

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!

LISTEN

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.

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2015 Goals: June and July

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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.

READ

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.

WATCH

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?

LISTEN

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

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

Washington State: Port Ludlow

Edmonds-Kingston ferry

My Washington State weekends continued with an overnight bachelorette party for my long-time friend, Beth. I managed to take exactly zero pictures of actual people over the weekend but when you’re surrounded by this much awesome beauty who really needs people? (Kidding! Kidding!)

Not pictured: the most epic taco bar of all time, the giant hot tub at Soak on the Sound, the abandoned military complex at Fort Worden, cheese tasting at Mt Townsend Creamery, a ten-person dinner at the delicious Sweet Laurette, tall boys of Rainier, bluegrass covers of “Angel from Montgomery”, and one beautiful bride-to-be.

Stupid beautiful sunrise #1

Looking south towards Edmonds

North to Bellingham

Fort Worden State Park

Conservatory Coastal Home, Port Townsend

Port Townsend marina

Stupid beautiful sunrise #2

Perfect Puget Sound

Sunday morning ferry jamz

Washington State: Guemes or bust!

I did none of the work, got half the credit AND a cookie

Months and months ago I got a random direct message from my buddy Lauren: “I know we’ve never met but I think we would travel really well together.” Lauren and I have been internet buddies for YEARS but live on opposite ends of the country and had never met IRL. We invited our mutual buddy Beth of 3Up Adventures along to round out our wine and adventure trio. Together we hatched a plan to head north to the islands.

Taylor Shellfish, Seattle

Thursday afternoon I skirted out of the office a touch early to meet Beth and Lauren at Taylor Shellfish for oyster happy hour. Turns out everything we like about each other on the internet translates perfectly to real life. We were laughing, gossiping, and cracking sex jokes in under five minutes. Our server loved us and the nice couple trying to enjoy their oysters in peace shot us some long side eye. We scooted home to my house, dropped our stuff, and cruised over to Ballard where some Seattle-based friends of mine were doing a mini set at the Conor Byrne Pub. Most of our weekend was to be spent outside of the city so I was anxious to share a little city flavor before we busted out of town. Thanks to Tom and Mark for setting up the weekend right.

Thursday night crooners.

Friday morning, we grabbed some dim sum in the ID, picked up our rental car, and hit the road! We chatted as we cruised up I-5 SO PUMPED to be getting out of the city on an insanely gorgeous day. Lauren had snagged us a killer rental house on Airbnb that turned out to basically be a fairy wonderland. Built to spec by the owners, the house is all natural light and about bringing the outdoors in….including the giant window in the shower that allows you to admire the scenery as you wash your hair. Prepped some pizzas for dinner before setting out a leisurely wine walk (exactly what it sounds like) to enjoy the sunshine and explore our new “neighborhood”.

To the ferry!

Seaweed-y goodness

Basically magic

Happy hour

One with nature

Friday night dinner

Kitchen graffiti

Wood stove snuggles

Somehow Lauren and Beth convinced me to wake up at 5am (I thought we were on vacation?!) to climb a mountain. God bless them, they are so pretty I would follow them anywhere. Turns out they were right (the worstttt) and we did an early morning ferry two-step before landing on Orcas Island, part of the San Juan Island chain. I spent a far amount of time boating in the San Juans and Gulf Islands (their Canadian cousins) when I was a kid but I haven’t been up there in years. They are even more stunning than I remember. All weekend long Beth, Lauren, and I would exclaim at spontaneous intervals, “THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL!”. We were never wrong.

Morning ferry to Orcas

Brown Bear Baking, Eastsound, Orcas Island

The hike up Mt. Constitution was bookended by trips to Brown Bear Baking in Eastsound and the Island Hoppin’ Brewery for a post-hike flight. Both were killer and come highly recommended. While standing in line at the bakery, an older gentleman in front of us leaned over and told us “more is more”. His advice was spot on and we happily polished off a small collection of baked goods and “more is more” became the unofficial motto of the weekend.

Top of Mt. Constitution

Island Hoppin’ Brewery, Orcas Island

Our time together was magic. It’s rare to find friends that you instinctively travel well with and these two are my people. Can’t wait until we can be together again!

Orcas Village, Orcas Island