I don’t know about you, but the last couple of weeks have been emotionally exhausting. I am in dire need of reminding that the world is a wonderful, magical place. Here are a few of the things that are making me happy this week:
[So I had planned to have my new stuffed pumpkin recipe posted today, but I got kind of a late start with dinner yesterday and quickly realized it was way too dark to take good food pictures. So my family had take-out Thai and you are getting a PSYWL post today. But come back tomorrow-- I'll be starting dinner early today and those pumpkin pics will be glorious!]
I originally wrote this Garlic Soup recipe for Valentine’s Day but it’s also probably your best defense against vampires on Halloween. BONUS: It’s delicious and you will want to eat it every day of winter.
Guess what this pregnant lady is going to be for Halloween? Yup, I finally got to order this t-shirt that I blogged about so many Halloweens ago. (I blogged about this two years ago. I NEVER thought I would be the pregnant lady who actually gets to wear it. Life is nothing if not unexpected.)
I never remember to soften the butter when baking. This is pure genius.
Okay, this article is actually infuriating but I want you to read it anyway. Please don’t be this wedding guest. Pretty please.
If you are the easily queasy type, DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO. For everyone else, check out this crazy relative of the star fish called the Basket Star. So creepy but I can’t stop watching!
As everyone who knows me knows, I hate sandwiches. When someone is trying to give you a sandwich they are cheating you out of eating something good. (Ironically, most of my pregnancy cravings have been for sandwiches. I am becoming that which I loathe the most!) This article about proper sandwich construction should be must-reading for everyone who has ever championed those soggy excuses for a meal.
I read the new Tom Rob Smith book, The Farm, in less than 24 hours. It is un-put-downable. (If you haven’t read his Child 44 yet, you really should, but The Farm is a stand alone.)
Mike and I are currently doing the Whole30 diet, based on a comment a reader left here about the book It Starts with Food. Basically, you eat a very clean diet for 30 days, with no grains of any kind, sugar, alcohol (of course), dairy or legumes. You can eat plenty of veggies and meat, though, and you don’t have to count calories or go hungry. (You don’t really need the book to do the plan but it’s helpful if you want to know the science behind the plan. Otherwise, it’s all spelled out on the Whole30 website for free.)
I am not going to lie to you– the first few days were tough. It turns out that I was pretty addicted to sugar. And Coke Zero. But today is Day 8 and I’m feeling really good. I’m sleeping better and I have more energy. Plus, I’ve lost weight already, which is super encouraging.
Way back in 2009, I was contacted by artist Lisa Congdon about using on of my photographs as the basis for a painting. Of course I was flattered, and delight to say yes.
Lisa sent me a print of her painting when she finished it and I absolutely treasure it, particularly since Liberty has since retired and gone to live at another farm where she will live out her days grazing sweet grass and lolling on the sunshine.
I’ve followed Lisa’s career since then and it’s been amazing to watch! In 2010, Lisa did a project called “A Collection a Day”. For 365 days in a row, the artist photographed, drew or painted collections of objects. Sometimes they were quirky and interesting but often they were everyday items that you wouldn’t think twice about. I don’t know quite how to put this but the very act of showcasing these items in the way Lisa did made them transcend their everyday-ness. I highly recommend going through the blog dedicated to the project. Lisa published a book of the collections but it is out of print and pricey pricey.
Lisa’s main blog is an everyday read for me because I find it so inspiring and uplifting, so I was super excited to see she has a new book coming out on April 1st.
Lisa also has a new video class available on CreativeBug called Line Drawing with Lisa Congdon. (If you haven’t taken any classes on CreativeBug yet, I highly encourage you to look into them. The technology is pretty amazing. I have the 12 month unlimited subscription and it lets me take any class I want, any time I want from some amazing instructors. The knitting and sewing classes alone are worth 10x the price.) Even if you are a non-artist like me you will love this class.