Lately, I’ve been increasingly obsessed with my longtime hobby, makeup + beauty. Part of this is due to my discovery (not at all ahead of the curve here) of Jaclyn Hill and Manny Mua on YouTube, although I have to say that I can’t imagine wearing as much makeup as either of them pretty much ever. Nevertheless, I suddenly find myself regularly wearing three colors of eyeshadow, which is certainly a change from my “eyeshadow?” routine of yore. Another contributing factor has been my subscription to BirchBox, which is super fun too (and makes a great gift!). While I certainly think it’s up to each person to decide on the makeup routine (or lack thereof) that’s right for them, for me, I find it relaxing and sort of meditative to spend 10 minutes in the morning slathering my face in product. Here’s what’s in my makeup tray at the moment:
No, it’s not the mandoline that we just bought, though I love that too. My new favorite kitchen trick is free, always different, and informative. It’s colorful, satisfying, and inventive. It’s getting cookbooks out of the public library.
We’ve had harissa-marinated chicken from Ottolenghi; tortilla española from Flour; and tiramisu from Jamie Oliver. We tried tuna tartare with a cucumber and poppy salad taken from Ottolenghi too. It’s been so fun to get new ideas, to cook from books instead of screens, and to lose neither money nor bookshelf space in the process.
I got the idea for this trick from my dear friend Michael, and now I can’t imagine turning back! Have you ever gotten cookbooks out of the public library? Would you ever do this?
Parker and I are just back from our trip (on which more later), and we’ve decided to embark on a new project. Inspired by my recent (and first (!!)) viewing of Vertigo (I know, shameful), I found this list of the BBC’s 100 Top American Films. Last night we watched the first one, #100, Billy Wilder‘s Ace in the Hole.
Kirk Douglas in Ace in the Hole
It’s the story of a newspaperman who’s been fired from 11 major city newspapers, and gets himself a job at the Albuquerque local paper. I’m loathe to say more because we went in knowing nothing about it and it turned out to be an incredible film experience on every level: plot, dialogue, aesthetic, acting… Kirk Douglas was fantastic. Basically, I’d really recommend it!
Have you ever gone through a film list (or a filmography of a certain actor or director)? Which one? I already feel like I’ve learned something and it’s certainly been enjoyable so far. :)
45 minutes from Avignon is a small town called Seguret. Between Seguret and Mont Ventoux lies Mourchon. (You can find their wine all over the US, and I recommend it! Especially the rosé…!) Once a year, they have a picnic for their fans. My host father, Raynald, is a contractor, and he built the house and the production facility there. We drove up, got the picnic out of the car, walked around a corner, and entered heaven.
As dusk fell, people mingled while live music played. We crashed some friends’ picnic (but we did add our own food to the mix, so it wasn’t so greedy!)
And it even merits a sunset picture…
One weekend, I took off to Lyon to meet my brilliant friend Lochin, who was sadly suffering from food poisoning :/. Nevertheless, we managed to have fun traipsing around Lyon, a city that took me by storm. I was “ravie” (ravished) and plan to return in a couple weeks with Parker to continue exploring.
As I mentioned before, our program organized several excursions for the group over the course of our six weeks in Avignon. The second one, and maybe the best one, was to the Cistercian abbey Sénanque, the picturesque town of Gordes, and the red village Roussillon.
I mean, srsly.
My host mother Hélène prepares the most wonderful, simple dinners. Too hot to turn on the stove? A big Salade Niçoise appears. Need a bit of protein? Let’s have Oeufs en Cocotte, or simply put out slices of ham with the lovely heirloom tomato salad. All that’s left in the house is pasta and a single, lonesome tomato? Add a bunch of herbs, an unholy amount of garlic, and a generous glop of olive oil and you’ve got a “pistou” for your noodles.
Almost every dinner, there’s a tomato-heavy salad and fruit for dessert (side note: they salt and pepper their cantaloupe, and it’s great). They don’t drink every night, and when they do, they pour small amounts of rosé over ice cubes. They don’t snack between meals.
So, my take-home of all this is twofold. On the level of practices, I’m eager to make the weekly farmer’s market near me a part of my routine so I can replicate the beautiful salads and dessert fruits that I’ve become used to.
The second bit is more of an observation. Here are five things that are always in Hélène’s pantry that are rarely in mine (a peek in my pantry reveals a million kinds of beans, chipotles in adobo, and canned-tomato variations… I guess it’s obvious how much we make chili-ish meals!)
– Canned green beans
– Canned, high-quality tuna (and its cousin, tinned sardines)
– Chives, which she keeps chopped up in the freezer and adds to EVERYTHING – when’s the last time I used a chive?!
– Eggs (OK, I have those too, but I don’t use them as wisely)
– A selection of cheeses and fruits for dessert purposes (funny, both of these might be a snack in the US)
– “L’eau qui pique” – Sparkling water