Like Mother, Like Daughter: Christmas Eve

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My mom. There’s no one like her, and that’s an understatement. While home on a two week hiatus from civilization, we taped another one of our “chats” and it was fun. But where’s the surprise in that? It’s been a little while since we taped this so I don’t actually remember what it’s about but I’m sure you’ll really enjoy it.

On Dressing at Home…

unnamed-37While in college, I would come home and rush to my closet to pull out my fanciest and most impractical pieces, things like five inch yellow leather wedges and teatime raw silk frocks. Going to school in The Valley (of Western Mass), I had the opportunity to wear plenty of flannel, knit sweaters, and yoga pants, so at home, they were rarely part of my agenda. Since moving to NYC, however, this scenario has taken a 180. I attribute the shift to my ratcheted up city wardrobe and the fact that I only leave the apartment in sportswear when a class is involved. At home, I lounge around, run errands, go to class, and see old friends in a uniform of slouchy sweaters, black leggings, and camp socks. Luckily, no one seems to mind. This is probably because I always smell so good. The photo above is an example of something that I wore to morning coffee with my parents. It’s a little ratty, even for my home looks, but I’m willing to share it, because I have no shame. I packed a good deal of clothing for my nearly two week break and after reflecting, I realize how gluttonous I was in the matter. I cycled three pairs of jeans, five t-shirts, three sweaters, and two pairs of boots, leaving me feeling like a dummy. My mom says it’s because we didn’t have any fancy plans but I say it’s because I was especially lazy this time around. Below is an example of my at-home uniform. I also found my favorite t-shirt, which was *life changing.*

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favorite cookbooks of 2014

This has been a great year for cookbooks, with titles so incredibly stylized, they are far beyond books with recipes. Long gone are the days of dense, illustration-less cooking bibles. Now, you’ve got to be niche, providing something for everybody: vegans who swear, hipsters who don’t travel, and people who only consume soup. Below are a few of my favorites, which I hope will encourage me to cook more in the new year!

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Favor Flours by Alice Medrich and Maya Klein; Heritage by Sean Brock; The Soup Club by Courtney Allison, Tina Carr, and Caroline Laskow; The Portlandia Cookbook by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein; The Kitchn by Sarah Kate Gillingham; Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi

a replacement life

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After I read A REPLACEMENT LIFE, I was high off of it, telling everyone I knew who I deemed to have good taste that it was a must. I read some really fabulous books this summer—funny to be writing about them in December, I know—and luckily Boris Fishman’s debut was one of the first. I was trying to decide if there was some pathological explanation for why it took me nearly six months to jot down my thoughts, but that’s not important, what is important, is how amazing this book is. While that’s an embarrassing understatement, it’s the most succinct way I can express how I feel about this book. It’s definitely one of those hug-worthy books*. You know, the type that expresses nearly everything you’ve ever thought? A friend whose opinion I hold in high esteem recently dove into the tale and described it as “particular” and I couldn’t believe that in all of my internal musings, I hadn’t thought of that. She noted that each grammatical placement, each word choice, was so carefully situated, and to appreciate those subtleties, you have to be of the discerning kind. A REPLACEMENT LIFE is a novel for someone who appreciates the craft of writing, the texture and love of it. There are too many half-written and half-edited novels that are being churned out so constantly these days, and society just accepts that, which in effect, is applauding, mediocrity. So, to find one that sets itself apart, both stylistically and thematically, is a real treasure. Very rarely is there a symbiotic relationship between plot and prose that results in the reader getting exactly what they want. But alas, that is what you have with A REPLACEMENT LIFE.

*and saying that a book is “hug-worthy” is the biggest compliment I can give

stuffed

Stocking stuffers. What started out as an innocent little addition to the Christmas gift tradition has turned into something completely different. While on the check out line at Sephora, I noticed dozens of impulse items and couldn’t help but paw at all of them. Who doesn’t need airplane-approved Fresh seaberry oil? Okay, that’s beside the point. The point is, that so many of these goodies were stamped as perfect stocking stuffers, yet, were all fairly pricey for what they were. Which leads me to question: are these types of gifts antiquated? Back when I was a kid, things that got stuffed in stockings were things like midges, plastic Care Bears, fun pens, and, if you were lucky, sample size perfumes. If you couldn’t tell, really nothing over five dollars. But today, we’ve raised the stakes and now stockings aren’t as harmless as they used to be. Really, they’ve just become vessels for more gifts. Because apparently it’s more fun to pull gifts out of a inflammable sock than it is to find them under a Christmas Tree. With that, I give you nouveau stocking stuffers and a little reminder of a simpler time:

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