Sunday Funday – November 27

Happy Thanksgiving, people of the internet! I hope you enjoyed a long, lazy day with your loved ones and remember to wear your stretchiest pants. Here are recommendations for what to read, listen to, eat, and do as I recover from a week of epic feasting.

READ. Seveneves by Neal Stephenson is on sale for $2.99 (ebook)! Not sure how long it’ll last, but if you like science, outer space, badass women, speculative fiction, the apocalypse, or feeling like you’re one tiny, tiny fish in a very vast ocean…this is the book for you.

LISTEN TO. If you read my Sunday Fundays with any regularity, you’ve probably noticed that I listen to the same podcasts every week…so I’d really love any podcast recommendations you can make! I like brainy, non-fiction podcasts from which I can learn something. Hit me with your best shot!

EAT. I procrastinated my Thanksgiving shopping just long enough that, when I arrived at Central Market, the kale section was absolutely decimated. The portion of the produce cooler labeled “ORGANIC SNOOTY PERSON KALE” was entirely empty, aside from a few scraps of wilted leaves. I begrudgingly drove from store to store until I found one halfway-decent looking bunch of kale, and eventually managed to toss together this delicious Kale-Pomegranate-Bacon salad. Quite tasty!

DO. Remind yourself that Christmas isn’t all about presents, but they’re certainly fun to buy and give. I treated myself to an early Christmas present and I could not be more excited.

Sunday Funday – November 20

Whoo buddy, that cold front has really moved in! There’s nothing quite as magical as the first few days of winter…until your lips are so chapped you’re pretty sure they’re going to fall off. Anyone have product recommendations for seriously chappy lips?

Here are recommendations for what to read, listen to, eat, and do from my adventures this week.

READ. This thoughtful analysis of Trumpian economics.

LISTEN TO. The story of Ian, who hustles truffles to top chefs in NYC. Sounds weird? It is. And totally fascinating.

EAT. The croissant breakfast sandwich at Cherrywood Coffeehouse. I don’t know why it tastes so good for such a simple sandwich…but it’s damn tasty. Cherrywood is a popular, neighborhood coffee house, so the parking lot is always full. Don’t be deterred! There are plenty of tables inside and out, and the kitchen works quickly even during peak times.

DO. Love board games but don’t always want your brain to be reduced to mush? Takenoko is the game for you! It’s got everything: simple rules that are easy to pick up, cute pandas, good replay value, and plenty of strategic options. It’s going to be a great game for post-Thanksgiving feasting when we’re sitting around with our pants unbuttoned lamenting that we ate too much.

Sunday Funday – October 16

I love the middle of the month when my second paycheck hits my bank account! Here are recommendations for what to read, listen to, eat, and do from my adventures this week.

READSix of Crows by Leigh Barduo. If you liked The Lies of Locke Lamora, you’ll like Six of Crows. (Side note: if you didn’t like The Lies of Locke Lamora, I don’t think we can be friends anymore.)

LISTEN TO. Planet Money podcast episode Cat Scam. It’s a very insightful look into how the internet has shaped our economy and purchasing behaviors. And, of course, there are cats. What is the internet without cats?

EAT. Lick Ice Cream. Seriously, y’all, their Roasted Beet & Fresh Mint scoops are the bomb.

DO. Remember to vote! Early voting in Texas begins Monday, October 24. You can find out what (and who!) will be on your ballot by clicking here and selecting your county.

Sunday Funday – October 2

It’s October which means it’s almost kind of maybe a little bit Fall here in Texas! I’ve busted out my scarves, fuzzy socks, and even bought the most beautiful sweater dress…but it’s still pushing 90° outside. Here are recommendations for what to read, listen to, eat, and do from my adventures this week.

READ. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. This one was recommended to me by a friend (thanks, Chims!) and I’m only a few chapters in and already lovin’ it. If you enjoyed The Lies of Locke Lamora or The Mistborn Trilogy, you’ll probably like Six of Crows.

LISTEN TO. The latest from the Freakonomics podcast, Why Are We Still Using Cash? It’s a very thought-provoking look at how currency is actually utilized in modern societies, and even explores what would happened if we went cash-free. I did an informal poll of my friend group to ask which they current utilize more, cash or card. With 10 votes, it seems like my friend group is overwhelmingly carders, while only 3 use cash regularly.

EAT. Slow cooker beef and dumpling stew. This is a great base recipe for creating your beef stew of choice–toss in some onions, garlic, and your herbs/spices of choice and you’re good to go on any cold day. This recipe is also truly a one-pot endeavor, so clean up is a cinch!

DO. Rock a fanny pack. Seriously, these things are ~tHe BoMb~. They’ve got eight gazillion secret pockets, thread nicely through belt loops, and come in so many adorable patterns. I’m a little late to the fanny pack revival party, but I have arrived and I am ready to throw down. Throw. Down.

Sunday Funday – Father’s Day!

Happy Sunday, and Happy Father’s Day! I’m delighted to dedicate this post to my dad, who I lovingly call Padre. Here are recommendations for what to read, listen to, eat, and do this week à la Dad. 

READ. REAMDE by Neal Stephenson. My father turned me on to Neal Stephenson when he introduced me to Snow Crash in early high school. Stephenson is an incredibly intelligent writer and, like any good sci fi author, a futurist. He also writes strong, badass women in all of his novels. REAMDE is no exception.

LISTEN TO. Tangerine Dream, a German electronica band originally founded in late 1960s West Germany. Ambient and deep, Tangerine Dream makes fantastic driving music (and my Dad certainly loves driving). Golden Earring is another one of his favorites; also fantastic for road trips!

EAT. Apple pie with cheese. My Padre makes the best apple pie–good enough that my neighborhood friends (now grown adults) will still come over to my parents’ house for a slice if they get word it’s been baked. Pies last about 24 hours in our house. Each slice is always accompanied by a thick slice of sharp cheddar cheese, which is the absolutely perfect complement to the light fruitiness of the baked apples.

DO. Thank your Dad for everything he’s taught you. I’m fortunate to have a father who taught me how to change a tire, shoot a gun, make a classic pancake breakfast, use a power drill, stick with something I want nothing more than to quit, read ravenously, explain a complicated subject clearly, use deductive reasoning, and how to love and support someone unconditionally.

Thanks, Padre. I love you.

Sunday Funday – June 12

Great news! My closest girlfriend married a super handsome gentleman (and the love of her life) yesterday in what was the most beautiful, tender ceremony you could ever imagine. Those lovebirds have a lifetime of endless opportunity and partnership ahead of them and I get all verklempt just thinking about it. Here are recommendations for what to read, listen to, eat, and do from my love-filled adventures this week. 

READ. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, a novel about a traveling Shakespeare troupe spreading art and humanity after an epidemic decimates the population. A guest at the wedding recommended this to me and I have already added it to my Kindle queue!

LISTEN TO. Girltalk’s album, Feed the Animals. It is a masterpiece of mashups and happens to be some of the bride’s favorite jams. She’s got pretty great taste.

EAT. Or in this case, drink. Nothin’ like a shot of bourbon to ease the pre-wedding jitters.

DO. Check out the NextDoor app, which is a sort of neighborhood-based Craigslist. It’s a great way to meet your neighbors, locate lost pets, and develop your community.

Sunday Funday – June 5

Being an adult is exhausting, you guys. These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of work, house, and lovin’ on my peeps…and it’s so nice to sit down tonight to type this update and give myself a little bit of mental breathing room. Here are recommendations for what to read, listen to, eat, and do from my adventures this week. 

READ. The Tiffany Aching adventures, a subset of the Discworld series by the genius Terry Pratchett. Written in Pratchett’s witty, imaginative style, it is perfect light reading for fans of Harry Potter.

LISTEN TO. This classic 90’s hip hop jam.

 

EAT. It’s so hot outside because Texas is a disgusting hellhole and I can’t deal with it. Enjoy this light, summer-friendly couscous salad to fill you up without weighin’ you down.

DO. Congratulate The Man for being such a champ. He sacrificed his whole weekend to work on the house (including a four-hour trip to Ikea). He’s #1. <3

Sunday Funday – Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommas out there, but especially my Momma! As a humble tribute to the #1 mom around, here are recommendations for what to read, listen to, eat, and do inspired by the woman herself.

READ. Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky. My mom is a classic Ravenclaw: extremely smart and passionately in love with learning. She introduced me to Mark Kurlansky and his superb histories of food (seriously, who knew you could learn so much about cod?), which I highly recommend.

LISTEN TO. A brief biography of Andrew Jackson on Washington Post‘s Presidential podcast (which my mother introduced me to). Does Jackson remind you of anyone campaigning today..?

EAT. When my brother and I were little, my mother would make us tea on rainy days. The tradition lives on to this day. Next time you’re looking for a tasty tea in Austin, head to Full English in South Austin.

DO. My parents enjoy the occasional caribbean cruise but are now making eyeballs at some alternative boating experiences. Perhaps you, too, would fancy a canal boat cruise?

Sunday Funday – May 1

Happy Sunday! If you didn’t know, I’m a huge politics nerd. Here are my 100% bipartisan recommendations for what to read, listen to, eat, and do from my adventures this week. (Image from ABC News.)

READ. This quality reporting on the White House Correspondents Dinner after party. A highlight:

“We just this year got an au pair!” said an old white guy, who looked important, under an oil portrait of another white guy, the Marquis de Lafayette.

LISTEN TO. Thirty minutes of sick burns from President Obama at the aforementioned White House Correspondents Dinner. (I have such a huge crush on Obama, you guys. I doubt I will get to see another president who is able to incorporate style, personality, intelligence, and humility so seamlessly into their every move again in my lifetime.)

EAT. Throw your Thursday night dinner waaaay back to the days of the young US and eat like our two greatest explorers: Lewis and Clark. One September 18, 1805, they enjoyed a hearty stew of candles, bear oil, portable soup, and horse meat. #throwbackthursday #morelikethrowupthursday

DO. Vote! Austin is voting on May 7 whether or not to require ride-sharing drivers like those driving for Lyft and Uber to undergo mandatory fingerprint background checks. Your vote matters! Go vote!

Sunday Funday – April 24

Happy Sunday! I’m happy to report that nothing outrageous has happened this week and nothing in my house is broken and it’s definitely not my fault. Here are my recommendations for what to read, listen to, eat, and do if your garbage disposal didn’t take 8 hours to replace today. (Shout out to The Man and his Dad for untangling that mess.)

READ. About how the salmon you’re eating may be full of drugs. That’s right. Drugs.

LISTEN TO. While you paint the guest room because breaking a paintbrush ain’t no big thang compared to having to replace an entire garbage disposal, check out the Presidential podcast from The Washington Post.

EAT. This super-scrumptious and oh-so-easy crockpot tortilla soup. Crockpot soup is pretty much how I live my life right now as I’m juggling a new job, continual home updates, and the need to sleep every once in a while. (Chicken optional, if you care about that kind of thing.)

DO. Feed friendly chickens black oil sunflower seeds. They go crazy for those little bastards.