Whenever we have a cold February week like this, I think of something my old high school math teacher said. We had returned to class after a cold weekend and he said he spent the weekend cold, hungry and having to pee.
I have no idea why he said that to us, but I remember we paused and kind of nodded like, yeah, that is actually how you feel.
As you can imagine, life working full-time and caring for a soon to be one-year-old can be overwhelming in both good and challenging ways. Sometimes each day feels like running a marathon. Here are some recent favorites in many categories:
I fell down the beauty Youtube rabbit hole a few years ago recovering from surgery. Watching the videos felt relaxing. I had been minimally into makeup and skincare. All of a sudden I was really into it. Now, I have fun trying new products.
Women have a complicated relationship with beauty products and procedures. On one hand, no one should feel like they should have to do wear makeup to feel beautiful. On the other hand, we’re harshly judged for our appearances, even more so as we get older, and should be able to decide what makes us feel empowered or confident, or, simply, good.
My skincare routine isn’t too involved – though it does involve some Ordinary serums, moisturizer, sunscreen, under-eye cream, and a mask once or twice a week. But it’s made a big difference, to me, at least.
I enjoy methodically applying skincare and makeup each morning. You can match the colors or methods to your mood or clothing. It’s some people’s art.
Tower 28 is totally my vibe. It’s sunny California, beachy, glowy, natural.
From my fluorescently lit bathroom in frozen Minnesota, I desperately pack on bronzer and blush to look like I’ve been frolicking in the sun all day even though I haven’t.
This blush is pigmented and lasts most of the day – it’s easy to blend and appears natural. Unlike many supposed “cheek/lip” multi-products, this actually looks good on your lips. The balmy texture doesn’t feel sticky or oily when you blend it on your face.
I also LOVE the lip jelly. I bought one of the milky lip jellies in the shade coconut. I’ve been searching for the perfect lip gloss/lip oil and this is as close as I’ve gotten.
It’s not too sticky, but it has just enough grip to actually stay on your lips for a while. The texture is plush and comfortable, reminding me of a lip oil. Also, the scent isn’t too strong. It smells very slightly coconuty. A drugstore lip oil I really like is the Cover Girl Clean Fresh Tinted Lip Oil. I wear them with a nude lip liner.
I’m not as crazy about the Tower 28 bronzer, but like it enough to use it up. I bought Gold Coast (medium neutral bronze) and find it doesn’t really show up on my skin and feels oily.
Quince is a brand known for selling $50 cashmere shirts. They claim to source sustainable materials and streamline their production in order to sell luxury products at lower prices.
I reach for this hoodie ($34.90) multiple times a week. There’s nothing fancy about it but it’s really comfortable. When I ordered it, I expected the material to feel like the fleece jackets from Old Navy or Target. I was surprised the material feels extremely smooth and silky inside and out. The cut is boxier so an extra small fits me well. I hate tight sweatshirts. It’s like a very plush, soft fabric. I’ve now washed this shirt many times on delicate and try to air dry, but it has not pilled. I am absolutely buying more of their fleece shirts.
The other sweater I ordered in pink – 100% Organic Cotton Boyneck Crew – I don’t love as much and the tag is scratchy. But I do like it. The sweater fabric is very heavy and thick. This runs a bit smaller than the fleece hoodie.
If you do want to buy something from Quince, feel free to use my referral link for a mutual $20 off (in case hyperlink doesn’t work) HTTP://RWRD.IO/5P8DHW8.
I’m on an HBO kick. I don’t get to watch a lot of TV anymore but am working my way through these shows.
I was kind of into Downton Abbey – but I am more drawn into The Gilded Age. There are lots of fantastic hats, clothing, and intrigue, of course. It reminds me of House of Cards, except old timey.
If you followed Cynthia Nixon from And Just Like That to The Gilded Age, it’s a trip. Someone had tweeted maybe Steve could find love with Nixon’s character in The Gilded Age. I’m sure Ada would also be content hanging out on the couch with Steve, watching TV and eating ice cream each night.
Take Out With Lisa Ling
Lisa features different Asian food communities in her new show – from a Bangladeshi community in NYC to her hometown of Sacramento.
The other night I fell down a 2 am rabbit-hole about the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, trying to convince Jake to buy a fig farm.
I read about Locke, California, a muchly abandoned town that was built by and for Chinese immigrants in 1915. There are still some business open such as a bar and Chinese restaurant. Someone on Reddit’s Bay Area sub had mentioned taking a detour home through the Delta and being utterly enchanted by the drive. Others chimed in to recommend other small towns and restaurants to visit in the Delta along the way.
I was floored from having never heard of Locke, CA to hearing about it twice during one week.
Somebody Somewhere is unlike any show I’ve seen before. It’s funny, it’s full of heart, it’s musical, it feels very midwest. I didn’t know who Bridget Everett was prior, but wish I had known about her for a long time.
Sam’s hometown reminds me of some of the places we lived and visited when we moved throughout the Midwest for Jake’s job. It brought me right back to the main street of Osage, IA where I used to work.
One of our most ordered foods are Green Mill’s Boneless Wings. I don’t know if it’s just a Hamline Ave location thing or if it’s the same at them all, but the boneless wings are really good. They’re not those stale little nugget turds, but actually luxe, hand-battered white-meat chicken strips tossed in your choice of sauce with chunky homemade blue cheese dressing.
I haven’t loved all of the wing sauce flavors, but like the Jim Beam, Diablo or Buffalo best.
Green Mill doesn’t serve fancy food, but, at least at the Hamline location, puts a lot of care into the dishes. My other favorite dish here is the spicy Desert Fire Pasta with chicken. The last time I ordered it, I was pleasantly taken a back by how spicy it was. Even the walleye is good. Also, if you call in your order, they will deliver nearby.
I know ordering from food delivery services isn’t ideal, but we have utilized them more frequently since having a baby. Peninsula Malaysian Cuisine is available via these services. I haven’t tried most of their menu, but we’ve enjoyed everything we’ve ordered from them. I like the green curry with vegetables and tofu, combination fried rice, roti, and chili chicken (one of the best fried rices I’ve ordered since we used to pick-up at Shuang Cheng).
Yum Kitchen: The cookies. Oh my god, the cookies, they are perfect. I love cookies. Every time I order them from bakeries I’m disappointed. Even fro the fanciest bakeries I find them bland and under-salted. Yum’s are real buttery and perfectly salted.
We don’t dine out often, well, because of baby (will change as the weather warms) – but I did enjoy a lovely lunch with a friend at Bay Leaf Indian restaurant in Eagan. I think the vegetable korma and pea/paneer dishes had the same sauce, but at least it was a good sauce. We also enjoyed garlic naan and chai. There weren’t many people dining-in and it felt very safe. We had initially tried to go to Persis, but found it closed and the phone disconnected.
Had dinner at Young Joni before the vax/mask mandate ended. It was absolutely dreamy. Top notch customer service, perfect food. I got the umami mushroom pizza and enjoyed all of the Korean and flame-tinged vegetable side dishes.
While house hunting, enjoyed happy hour at Oliver’s in Shoreview.
The happy hour burger is like a fancy big mac with a flavorful beef patty and side of secret sauce. Sweet potato fries are worth the upgrade (if you’re into them), because they’re thin, extra crisp, and nicely salted.
We also took the baby out for one of her first meals out at a Red Lobster between meal times. This may sound weird, but one of the things I look forward to the most (besides the Cheddar Bay Biscuits) is the house salad with french and blue cheese. It’s just always good here. There was a point during the pandemic where they only offered Caesar salads so I’m excited they brought them back. It’s a really good place to pig out on french and blue cheese salad and biscuits if that’s also your thing.
- Starbucks Chai Frappuccino with coconut milk, no whip.
- Cahoots Spicy Ginger Chai Latte – it’s intensely gingery and delightful iced – yes I’d still drink iced cafe drinks even during a blizzard.