love list

the love list


If you read my last post, you know my trip to Palm Springs left me motivated to be more present in my online and real-life existence. I even decided my word for the year is REAL. (I know it's a little late in the game to be setting goals and intentions for 2017, but we all know late is better than never and all that jazz.) So shit is about to get as real around here as I can manage!

There's so much hyper-curated fakery floating around on the internets, I sort of feel it my duty to share with you--in addition to things I find beautiful and wonderful and inspiring--what my life is really like. This includes the fact that our bed currently looks like a tangled rat's nest of sheets, book, pyjamas, and kitty litter that we can't seem to vacuum out completely. And that, despite all the travel I do, I'm freaking out about my upcoming trip and feeling like I should cancel it all and just stay home and binge-watch Harlots on Hulu (#guiltypleasures). It includes, too, how I pitched such an infantile temper tantrum this morning, I threw a blanket over my husband's head. Like a three year old. No joke.

(Luckily, my real life also includes the fact that I came back to my senses and I have a very chill husband and he forgave me and we ate lunch outside on a picnic blanket under the spring sunshine and shared half a bottle of rosé.)

So my life, like all our lives, vacillates between crap and delight, sometimes multiple times per day. I'm learning to roll with the punches a little better, which is why I'm dedicating this week's Love List to something I'm trying to weave into my life more fully: mindfulness. This week, I give you the resources, articles, apps (and cocktails) that have been helping me feel happier and more present in my life. Enjoy!

- First up is my new crush/hero: Dan Harris. My best friend told me I needed to read his book, 10% Happier. She's a life coach and a pretty savvy lady, so I generally follow her advice. I'm so glad I did. I loved this book! As an over-achieving, stressed-out, skeptical, child of the seventies, I feel like it was written just for me. Dan talks openly about his history of drug use, his all-encompassing ambition to make it in the broadcast news business, the on-air panic attack that led him to meditation, and how mindfulness practice has allowed him to be calmer, happier and more successful in life. It's all served up with a generous amount of wit, humor and self-deprecation, leaving you feeling that if this self-described "fidgety skeptic" can do meditation, so can I. 



- Which leads me to my next favorite thing lately: Headspace. I've been using this app since reading Dan's book and it does what it says it does: makes meditation simple and helps you clean up all the clutter in your mind and create a little more space for the thoughts, activities and people you want to focus on. Setting aside 10 minutes/day to focus on being mindful is already paying dividends for me in terms of better sleep and stress-management (blanket-throwing tantrums aside). It's definitely worth checking out if you're interested in meditation, but are turned off by all the woo-woo surrounding it and/or don't know where to start.


Image by  Amanda Paa

Image by Amanda Paa

- Amanda over at Heartbeet Kitchen wrote a great post about her recent trip to Paris. She and her husband booked tickets spontaneously, did very little research and hopped on a plane. They discovered that wandering a city without a to-do list ten miles long is one of the best ways to enjoy a new destination. They wandered the streets on foot, stopped to check out whatever caught their eye and interacted with locals as much as possible.

Here's my favorite part of what Amanda wrote: "Perhaps one of the things I was most moved by was their communication. Simply put, phones were obsolete when people were with one another. Whether that be a bar, restaurant, coffee shop – I literally never ever saw someone with their head buried in a device. They were solely focused on the conversation, the moment. What a wake-up call to the lost beauty of personal connection here in the United States." 

This sounds like the perfect sort of mindful travel to me--being in the moment rather than racing around ticking off the sights you "must" see and the food you "have to" eat. For my upcoming trip to Scotland, I'm going to take a page out of Amanda's book and spend more time wandering without specific goals or destinations in mind!


- Since my phone (a.k.a. Devil Device) is often the main thief of my ability to be in the present, I've started using the Moment app to track my usage and set limits on how much phone time I log each day. The non-intrusive notifications it sends after every 15 minutes of me checking social media and/or falling down a wikipedia rabbit hole have really prompted me to put my phone down more often. 



- Instagram feed of the week: Nitch. Inspiring quotes from amazing people. Plus, beautiful black and white portraits. Always seems to provide little gems of advice at just the right moment.



- And (of course) a cocktail recipe to help your weekend feel a touch more chilled out. Rhubarb + fennel + vermouth? Yes, please. Head on over to Honestly Yum for the recipe. 


Happy weekend and XO!


the love list

the love list ||


I hope you've been enjoying the first week of spring. I for one am pretty excited to see springtime springing all over the place and so many lovely flowers poking their little heads up through the soil. After the unusually cold and wet winter we had here in Seattle, spring couldn't have come soon enough!

I can't wait for farmers markets overflowing with spring produce and blooms. I'm working on some new spring-inspired recipes to help you put those tender asparagus, sweet english peas, and tart rhubarb to use when they do make an appearance. I'll have those coming your way soon! In the meantime, here's a Love List with some of my latest obsessions and favorite things.

- I am in love with this Cup of Sunshine Dust my friend Sherrie sent me to try out. Maybe because we've been in sore need of sunshine in this corner of the world. Maybe because this warming mix of turmeric, ginger, lemongrass and pepper is such a great way to kick start my day. Whatever the reason, I'm going to be mixing this Sunshine Dust into steamed milk for a caffeine-free boost throughout my day. I'm also going to see if I can work it into some other sweet and savory dishes. I'm thinking maybe a marinade for grilled chicken or fish. Or a golden milk tart with coconut cream and lime. Or spicy turmeric caramel corn. Stay tuned!

Image: Sherrie Castellano for  Big Heart Tea Co.

Image: Sherrie Castellano for Big Heart Tea Co.


- Instagram feed I'm crushing on this month: Christèle Ageorges. The dreamy aesthetic of this Paris-based journalist, stylist and set designer is always so inspiring. And her floral arrangements are gorgeous. I'm going to be attempting to reproduce this one with cherry blossoms from our yard:

Image Christèle Ageorges via Instagram

Image Christèle Ageorges via Instagram


- I am over-the-moon excited to be attending my friend Natasha’s photography retreat in the Scottish Highlands this May! Natasha has gathered a super-talented group of photographers and makers who will be sharing their knowledge with us. We’ll gather around the table to learn, share delicious, locally-sourced meals (I’ll be cooking one!) as well as venturing to the Isle of Skye, Loch Ness and a local distillery for vintage scotch tastings. There will also be a crochet workshop and I'm hoping to get my hands on some of the gorgeous yarn Natasha produces on her farm.

There are still a few spots left if you want to come hang out in the Highlands for this amazing retreat. Details and registration are here.

Image  Natasha Seidel  via Instagram

Image Natasha Seidel via Instagram


- This Vietnamese Steak au Poivre from Food & Wine. One thousand times yes.

Image  Con Poulos  for Food & Wine via Instagram

Image Con Poulos for Food & Wine via Instagram



- I recently discovered Belong Magazine and I'm feeling it pretty hard. This quarterly digital and print mag celebrates the art and community of blogging, social media and entrepreneurship, and encourages women to use their passions for a purpose, to be authentic, and to encourage one another. Yes to all of that!


Image via  Belong Magazine

Image via Belong Magazine


- And last but not least, this Grapefruit-Cardamom Gin Fizz from the lovely ladies over at the The Modern Proper. Because it's Friday and because no Love List is complete without a little boozy inspiration for your weekend!

XO and Happy Friday!


the love list

the love list on


This week I’m working on some new features for the blog. My friend Kyle stopped by yesterday to cook up an amazing dish I’ll be posting next week. I’ll also be announcing the dates of the pop-up dinner I’ve been talking about for what feels like ever. Kyle and I will be teaming up to bring you a menu of bright summer fare served under the stars. I’m thrilled it’s finally happening! Stay tuned for details.

the love list on

I’ve been having so much fun collaborating up with other cooks, photographers and creative souls lately, I’ve decided to make that more of a regular occurrence around here. So I’ll be sharing more recipes and stories from some of my creative friends here on the blog.

If you are interested in working on a food, photography or travel project together, shoot me a mail. I love getting to know new folks and sharing knowledge and inspiration with each other!

While I edit the pile of images I shot with Kyle, here’s a little Love List to brighten your weekend!

- First up: The delightful instagram feed of Elie Obeid. I met Elie at Fragments coffee shop the last time I was in Paris. Not only does he make a perfect cup of coffee, he also takes beautiful pictures of his favorite spots in the city. Following along via his feed, I feel like I’m taking a little walk through the streets of Paris every day!

- As long as we're on the topic of photography, there’s an Eggleston exhibit at the Portland Art Museum until August 21. I’m super jazzed to take a little road trip down the coast and check it out. Also, it’s a great excuse to go eat at my favorite spots in Portland. (Hello, Blue Star Donuts!) All my PNW people: see you there!

- If you’re looking for a great recipe for your next bbq or summer shindig, check out this Potato-less Potato Salad. (Is your brain hurting yet?) Sherrie over at With Food + Love made this little gem of a salad from lightly blanched, perfectly tender radishes. It has all the classic flavors of potato salad, without all the carbs. Even if you aren’t trying to lay off the simple starches like me, this salad is a refreshing reinterpretation of a classic that’s delicious in its own right.

- I love, love, love this article on scruffy hospitality my friend Lillian posted on Facebook! Scruffy hospitality entails: “Not waiting for everything in your house to be in order before you host and serve friends in your home.” I’m definitely guilty of feeling like I can’t have friends over if the house isn’t in perfect order. This was a good reminder that inviting friends into our home is first and foremost about connecting with the people we love.

- And no Love List would be complete without a cocktail! Check out these Golden Raspberry Lillet Cocktails Heidi Swanson posted over at Quitokeeto. Lillet cocktails, always and forever.

photo:  Heidi Swanson

Happy Weekend, friends!


the love list on