I know my last Friday Five was littered with the word ‘love.’ Typically, I’m not one to appreciate an overly effusive manner, but hand to my heart, I’m really loving some stuff lately.
These four gems have been ‘hits’ for me this past month, amidst some legit misses as well. But I’ll get to those another day. For now, here are Four Things I’m Loving Lately:
My sister told me to watch this series simply to see the transformation of John Krasinski from Jim of The Office to Jack Ryan, CIA analyst and reluctant agent. My husband and I watched the entire season in about three days, and we have already looked up when season 2 will be released.
This series is like Homeland meets The Night Manager, both of which I enjoyed. If you’ve got a weekend to kill, you might just get hooked. Krasinski brings some intelligence and affability to the role. If you really want to get a feel for how Krasinski has beefed up and filled out since his days at The Office, watch 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. I read some articles in which the CIA agent-on-hand discredits the movie, which isn’t surprising. He’s not well-portrayed at all. But from what I hear from soldiers who do work like this, his attitude is…familiar. :)
This isn’t Oscar-worthy stuff, obviously, and you’ve got to suspend reality for a few hours, but it was a nice way to pass some time.
Vermont Spice Pumpkin Cake (Food 52)
Maggie found this recipe to bake in celebration of the fall equinox. Um…does anyone else track this fall equinox business? I was like: what? But who am I to turn down a Vermont Pumpkin Spice Cake? We got the supplies, and she whipped that up over an afternoon. I served as her sous chef (baker?), bringing her measuring cups, whisking away ingredients back to their pantry homes, rinsing dishes at her discretion. She sat in a chair at the island and actually mixed everything by hand, no standing mixer at all. It was worth it just to watch her mix butter and sugar with a plastic spatula and wooden spoon.
The cake turned out moist, light and swathed in maple-infused cream cheese frosting.
I ate it. Wheat and all. I felt like a beach ball afterward, and it was worth it.
Here is Maggie’s version…..
We sort lost our minds prepping for the hurricane. That was my first legit prepping scenario, and suddenly I understood a mentality that I’d slightly mocked over the years. You know how you watch those prepping shows and laugh and think: that will never be me?
Readers: that was me.
We spent a small fortune on water, food, plywood, dehumidifiers and then odd items that made no sense including high-end dish soap and, for the first time, a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s that I haven’t even used. I was at the fancy grocery store, and suddenly I was throwing all sorts of expensive stuff into the cart. I can only think it was a mentality of now-or-never that made me think a hurricane required St. Andre brie, five bottles of expensive-for-me wine and Stonewall Kitchen hand and dish soap.
Now that the storm has passed and we’re all about 5 pounds heavier for the brie and wine, I realize how much I’m loving this dish and hand soap. It was the last scent I smelled, assuming I’d hate anything parsley scented, but I do really like it. Having nice dish soap makes me want to do the dishes more. That’s not a joke, either. That’s some serious #truth. While I realize $10 for dish soap is a little crazy, I’m calling it $10 well spent because I’m doing more dishes and loving doing them. So, you know, it’s a win-win.
Do you have any favorite brands?
Also, can I just say, I love that the company calls it ‘home keeping.’ Words matter. Home keeping is so much nicer and more accurate than, say, cleaning. There is an art to home keeping, and I have often wondered if it wouldn’t be more satisfying if we all didn’t recognize the beauty of it more often.
I know it sounds like I’ve lost my marbles. You can now understand what it’s like for my husband on the daily.
My sister got me this introductory Tatcha skincare set for my birthday. Readers: these products are high-quality, super gentle and smell lovely without being cloying. I love them.
The moisturizer is my favorite, so light and clean but also moisturizing.
I also love the rice polish. It’s such a gentle exfoliator. It starts out like little bits of sand and then turns into a beautiful, sudsy face wash. I am also really enjoying trying a cleansing oil and may be sold on this idea moving forward. The double-cleansing business isn’t drying at all.
Having said all of this, my skin doesn’t look or feel any better, per se. Now, I typically use products on the more expensive side anyway, so it’s not surprising that Tatcha didn’t revolutionize my skin. But, I thought maybe I’d wake up feeling less parched or flaky. Unfortunately, I still struggle with lizard skin from time-to-time (daily).
I would definitely buy Tatcha products again if I had extra cash for skincare or if I was splurging. Otherwise, I will try some less-expensive brands.
I’ll say that Tatcha’s packaging and attention to detail is impeccable. My box arrived with a hand-written birthday note and was wrapped in beautiful rice paper. I was impressed. It felt like such a splurge-gift. I’m tempted to try Tatcha’s sunscreen and will report back.
That’s it for me. I’ve got articles due, class readings to go over and a discussion post to compose. I’ve also got dishes waiting to be washed, laundry going and 4 bathrooms that somehow didn’t get cleaned by my children this weekend. Add to this an editorial meeting, a soccer game this afternoon and ballet drop-off and pick-up, and my day is shaping up. I’ve got to prep dinner ahead of time, lest I wither with a migraine and tell everyone to fend for themselves.
Onward and upward.