Immunity Boost

by Kelsi in ,


 

Well that didn’t take long. The shift in weather and the start of school brought the first cold of the season to our house. Along with going to bed early and eating well, when I’m trying to keep myself healthy I’m a big believer in immune support. My current staples:

We take this Host Defense Mushroom Comprehensive Immune Support year round. My son takes the liquid version in a bit of juice each morning…

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If you can take a high dose of zinc at the very first sign of a cold, you have a good shot at stopping it in its tracks. If I feel even a tinge of a sore throat coming on, I will take two dropperfulls of this Eidon liquid zinc in a small amount of orange juice at least twice a day until symptoms disappear…

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I’ve mentioned black elderberry before. This is also something we take daily during prime cold/flu season as it is antibacterial and antiviral and it tastes amazing. I love this Gaia Black Elderberry syrup

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Jarrow Colostrum Prime Life is another one…

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I still make my own ginger juice but I love how convenient these Trader Joe’s No Joke Ginger juice shots are. (Sidenote: these are also delicious added to my favorite Bee’s Knees cocktail (decidedly not for immune support)…

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This Health-Ade Kombucha in ginger lemon is wonderfully potent and now available at Trader Joe’s…

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I also double up on my usual Vitamin D dose…

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And I always make sure to take a high quality probiotic. My favorite right now is this one from Visbiome (formerly VSL3)…

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You can also find most of these at Thrive Market, Pharmaca or your local PCC or Whole Foods.

 

Fall Style

by Kelsi in ,


 

Fall is still my favorite time of year - the change in weather, la rentrée and the fashion. Here is a list of some staples, a few new additions, and plenty from my wishlist starting with these two Clare V bags, the midi sac in black croco and the foldover clutch with the shoulder strap

Photo via    Clare V Instagram

I love these silver Mansur Gavriel ballerina flats

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Purchased last winter (and mentioned here), I still love my Salt Strap (seen below on my standby Clare V Gosee bag). It is the perfect length, super comfortable and I get stopped and asked where to get it nearly every time I’m out…

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I picked up this super affordable and aptly named Perfect Rain Jacket at J.Crew a few weeks ago and it’s still on sale!

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Also at J.Crew I have my eye on these Nike Blazer sneakers

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These high-rise vintage chinos in green and gray…

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And for the lofty wishlist of Things I-Absolutely-Do-Not-Need-But-Love, this gorgeous dusty pink faux fur coat

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I did however buy two of these perfectly cut thermals from Uniqlo in beige and gray…

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And also this oversized Levi’s Dad Trucker jacket

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I love the goldenrod color that’s been popping up the last few fall seasons but it doesn’t suit my skintone. But this Everlane sweatshirt caught my eye this morning. I might just be able to pull off that deeper mustard shade…

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Also from Everlane, I picked up this silky cotton oversized shirt (I sized down for a slightly less oversized look)…

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And lastly (and arguably most important) denim. These two from AGOLDE have been my staples the last few years. I think they are perfect in every way. Jamie High Rise (see also here)…

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And Riley (see also here)…

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End of Summer

by Kelsi in , ,


 

School started again last week and just like that we slipped into the September groove. There is still sunshine but a definite chill in the air, and even an epic thunderstorm over the weekend to boot. The garden looks amazing in its lush overgrown state…

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The squash and potatoes have been harvested, new kale starts have been planted and we are enjoying the last days of the sungolds…

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With cooler temps on the way I likely won’t get a chance to use it until next summer but I just picked up this beautiful little pool from local Seattle company Mylle

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And don’t knock it ‘til you try it, Spaghett is the late summer beverage we’ve been sharing with our next door neighbors. We’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe:

12 oz Miller High Life

2 oz Aperol

Juice of one lemon

Serve over ice.

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I implore you to go and make this one pot chicken from Jamie Oliver as soon as possible. Watch this video and yes it really is that easy. Make it even easier by subbing a handful of already peeled garlic cloves for the whole head of garlic.

And with the end of summer comes the changing light. As the sunrise creeps ever later, I’m looking forward to trying out the Casper Glow Light to make waking up in the dark a little less jarring…

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Kitchen Basics - Housemade Ricotta

by Kelsi in , ,


 

One of the simplest, yet meal-altering things you can make in your kitchen is fresh ricotta. It resembles nothing like any store-bought version (even the good ones) and it takes hardly any effort. My lunch yesterday, sun-golds and chives from the garden, Maldon sea salt, olive oil and still warm ricotta…

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HOUSEMADE RICOTTA - originally via Ina Garten’s Cook Like a Pro

4 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons good white wine vinegar

Line a fine-mesh sieve with two pieces of cheesecloth. Dampen the cloth with water and set the sieve over a deep bowl.

Pour the milk and cream into a medium stainless-steel or enameled pot and stir in the salt. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand until it curdles, about one minute or so.

Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl for 20 minutes, occasionally discarding the liquid that collects in the bowl. Transfer the ricotta to a container, discarding the cheesecloth and any remaining liquid. Use immediately or cover and store in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.

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There are so many ways to enjoy fresh ricotta, but you can also add it to a frozen pizza for a stellar upgrade. My favorite is this 3 Cheese Pizza from Trader Joe’s (seen below). I always keep a few in the freezer for nights when I don’t feel like cooking. Simply add dollops of the ricotta to the last minute of cooking to warm. Then top with a drizzle of good olive oil, some Maldon salt and fresh basil.

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July 23

by Kelsi in , , , , , , ,


 

Last week we broke ground on a long-anticipated dream project, the building of our backyard studio, which will be a work/art space for my husband. Our little one car garage was demolished to kick it off…

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While watching the demo I made Pamela Salzman’s grain-free chocolate zucchini cake (which is crazy good by the way). My happy version of multi-tasking…

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Speaking of cake, Simple Cake by Odette Williams is a wonderful book and one I’d highly recommend for your library whether you consider yourself a baker or not…

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I’m really enjoying this turmeric tonic from Further Food. I blend a scoop of it with cold water and a little honey syrup (recipe for honey syrup here) and then drink it over ice with my favorite glass straw

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I’ve had a lot on my plate the last few weeks and my advanced food prep has been lagging. Thankfully I’ve found a go-to protein powder that I love and helps me get by if I have nothing to grab before walking out the door. I mix one scoop of this Amazing Grass Protein Superfood and two scoops of Vital Proteins Collagen with 12oz of orange juice and whip it up in the Vitamix for an easy and satiating breakfast. And on really long teaching days when I don’t have a break between clients I will make a double batch and bring it to the studio in this 32oz insulated Klean Kanteen

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This Tony's Chocolonely Almond Sea Salt bar is my absolute favorite chocolate and I always have a few bars on hand…

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I just bought several sheets of these beautiful Ellsworth Kelly stamps

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My husband and I both carry around this Memento Mori as a daily reminder to be present and focus on what really matters.

“Meditating on your mortality is only depressing if you miss the point. It is in fact a tool to create priority and meaning. It’s a tool that generations have used to create real perspective and urgency. To treat our time as a gift and not waste it on the trivial and vain. Death doesn’t make life pointless but rather purposeful. And fortunately, we don’t have to nearly die to tap into this. A simple reminder can bring us closer to living the life we want.”

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I am a big fan of Stoicism and recommend signing up for The Daily Stoic which is put together by Ryan Holiday (he has a book by the same name). His other books The Obstacle is the Way and Ego is the Enemy are also worth a read…

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Wendy Whelan’s line to live by is one I live by too…

Energy produces energy.
Photo via    La Ligne

Photo via La Ligne

Lastly, Esther Perel’s On Being conversation is a delight to listen to…

Photo via    On Being

Photo via On Being

One of my favorite parts near the end of the conversation:

When I say, “The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives,” it’s because I do think that the bonds and the connections that we forge with others give us a greater sense of meaning and happiness and wellbeing than just about any other thing — when it’s good, because it can be exactly the opposite, huh?

And now it’s like, how much are you investing in your relationships? And I find that, often, people don’t. They talk about “my partner is my best friend,” and they treat them like shit. They talk about “my friend,” and they haven’t seen that person or talked to that person in years. It’s like, no, you can’t just do it like that. You can’t be lazy. You can’t be complacent about this and put all your energies at work and bring the leftovers home — and all of that stuff.

Or I have this question I’ve been playing with lately, and I just asked it in Sydney. I was like, “How many of you go to bed, and the last thing you touch is your phone? OK, stand up. And how many of you, the first thing you stroke in the morning when you wake up is your phone? Please stand up. And how many of you are doing this while there actually is another person lying next to you in bed?” That’s ambiguous loss, by the way. I’m like, seriously? Seriously?

So that’s what I am trying to address at this point; it’s like, interestingly, we don’t look at relational health enough. We don’t connect it to mental health. We don’t connect it to our overall physical health. And we certainly don’t connect it enough to our societal health, if we want to really go bigger. It’s not the freedom that is our problem. It’s not the fact that we have choice, but they have always gone together with responsibility, with accountability.

You can see more of Esther Perel in her TED talk from a few years back and read her book Mating in Captivity.

 

Summer Ready

by Kelsi in , , , , , ,


 

School is out for the summer and we couldn’t be more ready for it. I’m thrilled to have a break from making school lunches and am looking forward to more leisurely mornings.

We had a real scorcher into the mid 90s this week and I’ve been grateful to have these bamboo roll up shades on our exterior west facing windows to cut the heat. They really do the job but I also love the diffused light they create inside the house too…

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Summer to me also means cobblers and crisps and this fantastic apple rhubarb cobbler from Alanna of The Bojon Gourmet is my current favorite. I mentioned Alanna’s book Alternative Baker and her miraculous gluten-free pie crust recipe last winter…

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It’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything here because I’ve been spending most of my free time reading (or sewing). A few months ago my son D got hit hard with the reading bug and on a family trip to Palm Springs he brought a book wherever we went. Waiting for his food at the restaurant, waiting for the rental car, sitting poolside. My husband and I exchanged knowing glances of “It’s happening.

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I’ve been waiting for this day and as children often do, he is helping me to be my best self. His new love of reading has helped me make time for my own love of reading and I’m making it a priority and letting some of the less important things on my to-do list slide. Together we are in deep with Harry Potter and these illustrated versions are just beautiful…

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D was also just gifted these super rad Gryffindor Vans from his very cool aunt and uncle…

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When I haven’t been reading, I’ve been sitting here practicing my newly acquired sewing skills (thanks to Drygoods Design)…

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I can sit here working away for hours without eating or thinking about anything else. I’m so enjoying the process of learning something completely new and remembering how wonderful that feeling of “flow” is…

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I have a new full-length linen apron that I snagged from Amazon for $17 that I learned about from Aran via Remodelista

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Speaking of linen, one of the best things I’ve added to my summer wardrobe is this Everlane linen jumpsuit

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I wore it to a my brother-in-law’s 40th birthday dinner (pictured below with my stellar sister-in-laws)…

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Always a sucker for pen and paper, I have a new favorite pocket-sized notebook and pen for my endless list making…

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My friend Rita turned me on to Aria Code. Host Rhiannon Giddens is delightful and I’ve been “binge-listening” (is that a thing?) every chance I get…

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Alison Roman’s olive oil roasted chicken is on the menu for Father’s Day…

And our neighbors turned us on to the solo stove which is now on my summer wishlist…

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Happy summering!




 

Spring!

by Kelsi in , , , , , , ,


 

It is Spring! The chives and tarragon in the garden are pushing through the dirt. I have my work cut out for me with the insane amount of weeds to pull but with the beautiful days we’ve been having I hardly mind.

Lucas’ Papaw Ointment is my new go-to multipurpose salve for chapped lips, cuticles, scrapes and garden splinters…

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I’ve been transitioning my winter clothes out and adding a few new things to the mix like this Clare V midi sac that I can’t stop wearing…

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I’ve also added the Clare V framed Flore handbag to my birthday wishlist…

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I recently found the perfect size pocket notepad with tear away sheets from Rifle Paper Co to carry with me for my endless list making…

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And these Paper Mate Flair felt tip pens are becoming my new favorite…

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This Patagonia woolie pullover has been wonderful for cutting the chill when it’s too warm to wear a jacket…

One of the biggest highlights this month is I finally started taking sewing classes at Drygoods Design. My husband gave me the trilogy class series which was on my personal xmas wishlist. The space is gorgeous, the fabric selection is killer (see the Japanese cotton I bought for my tote below) and the small classes are a delight…

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If you go check out the shop in Pioneer Square I’d also highly recommend going to Elm Coffee Roasters for a latte with their house-made hazelnut milk, maybe swing by Jujubeet Cafe and order the avocado toast on the gluten-free bread from Nuflours and then head up Jackson to Kobo in the International District. Last time I was there I picked up this rad nightlight for our bathroom made by Boy Designs

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The new mantra on the letterboard at home is courtesy of the wonderful On Being conversation with neuroscientist Richard Davidson

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And along the same line of thinking I am really digging Atomic Habits by James Clear

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He is spot on articulating what I personally believe and try to embody on how making seemingly inconsequential small adjustments every day can be incredibly powerful and help us become our best selves.

“It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis. Too often, we convince ourselves that massive success requires massive action.”

This sentence is my favorite:

Progress requires unlearning. Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your believes and to upgrade and expand your identity.

And for an incredible example of how small things lead to big things and how we can expand the limitations we often set for ourselves on what is possible, go watch The Dawn Wall on Netflix…

 

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

by Kelsi in , ,


 

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for.

All words in this dictionary are new. They were not necessarily intended to be used in conversation, but to exist for their own sake; to give a semblance of order to a dark continent, so you can settle it yourself on your own terms, without feeling too lost—safe in the knowledge that we’re all lost.”

 

A quick breakfast...chia pudding

by Kelsi in


 
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This vanilla chia pudding recipe comes from Amy Chaplin’s beautiful book At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen which has been in my cookbook library for the last few years but I’ve been revisiting. It’s a great one.

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It is fantastically easy and my go-to make ahead breakfast. Top it with berries, stewed apples or my favorite, simple fruit sauce. I often take it with me on long teaching days when I need something quick and nutritious to eat. My favorite container is this Klean Kanteen insulated canister

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And this is my favorite on-the-go cutlery from Black + Blum

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VANILLA CHIA PUDDING

serves 6 - 8

1/2 cup chia seeds

1 vanilla bean

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for an hour or two

4 cups filtered water

7 Medjool dates, pit removed

pinch of sea salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons coconut butter or coconut oil

4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place chia seeds in a medium bowl.

Drain and rinse cashews, and add to blender with 4 cups water, dates, salt, cinnamon, coconut butter or oil, vanilla extract, and the scraped seeds from the vanilla bean (add the vanilla bean pod to the bowl with the chia seeds). Blend on high until completely smooth.

Pour only one cup or so of the liquid into the bowl with the chia seeds and whisk thoroughly to prevent clumping. Add remaining liquid and whisk again. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes, whisking a few times. Place in fridge for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight) or until completely chilled. Remove vanilla pod before serving. Store in the fridge for up to five days.

 

Snow Dayz

by Kelsi in , , , ,


 

We are coming off of a long week of epic snow here in Seattle…

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School closures allowed for some good sledding runs in the backyard…

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There was also boredom (my son’s). So I made him read “Let Children Get Bored Again” in the NYTimes. Kidding, but it is a great article that you should read. It’s a good reminder for us adults too…

And in a throwback to my childhood, we made Shrinky Dinks. While my son was busy drawing characters from Zelda, I traced a favorite photo of him…

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I made the soccatas from Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook The Clean Plate for breakfast and they are super easy and so satisfying, especially on a cold winter morning…

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I harvested the remaining kale from the garden that I planted back in August, just in case it didn’t survive the heavy snowfall…

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Which reminded me to make a Row 7 seed order. I ordered two pounds of the Upstate Abundance Potatoes that were a hit last summer and a packet of these new absolutely beautiful Tetra Squash

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I had my eye on that classic Filson briefcase to carry my laptop but my husband just gifted me his AER Commuter Bag that I love…

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Brandi Carlile’s 2007 album The Story may be the last cd I ever bought before everything went digital. I used to listen to that title track over and over when I was alone. I would crank it up so loud, her powerful voice overwhelming everything. I have now watched and listened to her recent grammy performance over and over which brings tears to my eyes every time and I can only think “what a badass.” Thank god for artists and thank god for music…

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