Hello friends, how are you holding up these days? We’re into week four of shelter in place here in Austin, and I’ll admit, some days I am happy and positive, and other days (…er, other hours!), I am down in the dumps and feeling the weight of our current reality. I hope no matter what your circumstances, you’re able to find some sort of relief with self-care during this uncertain time…
While we’re all practicing safe social distancing at home, some of us are turning to favorite movies and mind-numbing reality TV. Some of us are stress baking (and stress eating), or taking up knitting, or, possibly, scrolling through Twitter trying to catch up with the absolute worst news just to feel in control. (Some of us are doing all of these.) We are all dealing in different ways. I’m here to encourage you to read.
Sometimes a book finds you at the perfect time. It really feels that way, like it finds you.
For basically four years of my life, I will have been pregnant or nursing…counting this pregnancy and upcoming postpartum life, too. That is a lot of time nourishing a baby – whether inside or outside of my body! I remember when I found out I was pregnant with baby number two and I was in the full swing of nursing Jude (he was nine months old at the time – we ended up switching to formula when he was 10.5 months). Suddenly, my body needed to sustain keeping two babies thriving…while also keeping myself healthy!
I say it time and time again, women truly are real life superheroes…just look at what our bodies can do! But while eating my greens and keeping up with my water intake is great (and sleeping well…and getting daily exercise…the list goes on and on), right now it’s essential for me to take a prenatal vitamin with key nutrients for both baby and me.
Happy 2020! After a busy start to the year, I’m finally back in the kitchen whipping up a whole slew of new recipes. It’s been fun to learn new tricks and try new things…
My fiance and I went to New Orleans for Christmas with our families, and he came home with the flu. No fun, right? I wanted to make him something with ginger knowing that it has a lot of medicinal benefits, and this Ginger Carrot Soup came to mind. It’s incredibly easy to make and inexpensive as well. I topped mine with a swirl of balsamic vinegar, but it would also be great with cilantro or toasted pine nuts or chopped basil. Want a vegan version? Sub in vegetable stock for chicken stock.
As the days grow colder, my desire to shimmy under a warm blanket and read by a fire grows, too. During the holiday season, I like to step away from new book releases and advanced copies, and nestle in the comfort of a great reread. This year, it’s Little Women in preparation of the Greta Gerwig remake. I can’t wait to watch Jo and Laurie again! Just like rereading an old favorite, there is much beauty and wisdom to gain from the pages of a picture book. I’m a firm believer in family gathering around a book and reading together, and what’s better than a cozy, wintertime read? The ideal “cozy” book is kind of hard to describe; it’s one of those “you know it when you see it” type of things. For me personally, “cozy” usually involves darkness, nature, a blanket of snow, and friendly creatures. “Cozy” means mothers and children, fluffy pillows, and soup. Here are some picture books that bring these elements to life for a great family storytime!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Except when you are in a mad panic because you have NO idea what to get your friends and family. Well, as a bookseller, it’s my duty to recommend some crucial, irresistible reads to gift this holiday season. Below are some suggestions for those special people in your life who deserve a book that just GETS them. A little bit of history, inspiring memoir, a cookbook, some music, an old classic– there’s something here for everyone. Check ‘em out! read more
I don’t know about y’all, but I believe few things can cure all like a hot shower. Ever since having a baby, it’s one of the few moments of the day where I get to be alone with my thoughts. Well…maybe the dogs are staring from behind the shower curtain and maybe Jude is in his bouncer just feet away babbling and hitting all the buttons (#realreality)…but even with what often feels like chaos around me, I am oh-so-relaxed and always look forward to 10 minutes to myself (well, mostly…haha). So, what’s one way to make your shower situation even better? If your guess is a glass of wine – YES you are correct…but also using really awesome bath products just kicks that shower time up a few notches. Which brings me to the razor of my (and yours…you wait!) dreams. Insert: Billie. Trust me, it’s THAT good. read more
I absolutely love food. It’s one of my favorite things, for the obvious reasons (it’s delicious) and for the bigger picture stuff. I find food to be a celebration of culture, travel, and storytelling through generations. It’s a beautiful way to spend time with family, to explore the unfamiliar, and to simply feel…good. Warm. Comforted.
I also happen to love books, funnily enough for so many of the same reasons. Books and food bring people together, across space and time. So books ABOUT food? Forget about it. There’s plenty more, including great works of fiction about food (Robin Sloan’s Sourdough and Elizabeth Acevedo’s With the Fire on High instantly come to mind), but I figured I’d give y’all some nonfiction for a change! Here are a few books that will inspire your inner chef! read more
Have you ever noticed all these goofy holidays that keep popping up? Any given day, it could be National Bubble Wrap Appreciation or National Punctuation Day. Listen, both of those things are important, but is it necessary to have a day dedicated to them around the nation?! One major holiday that I’ve come to love, though, is Grandparent’s Day! Now, I know it’s behind us, but grandparents are always worth celebrating – plus, with fall and winter holidays around the corner, it’s the perfect time to spread the grandparent love with your littles. And let me tell ya, there’s quite a few beautiful books that honor these special people in your life, and I’m going to be sharing some of my personal favorites.
I worked at an ice cream shop in high school, so just walking into one sends a wave of nostalgia through me. My days were spent making waffle cones, decorating ice cream cakes and scooping hundreds of cones. It wasn’t a bad gig.
Honestly, I don’t have that much of a sweet tooth, but when it comes to ice cream, my fiance, Alex, claims to be an expert. No matter how full he is, he always finds room for a cone. So when I suggested we do some “research” for this post, he didn’t hesitate to say yes. And I don’t blame him! There are a bunch of great spots here in town to grab a scoop… read more