my makeup today

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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:
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my new favorite kitchen trick

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.

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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?

a new project

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. :)

the french pantry

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)

And bonus,
– “L’eau qui pique” – Sparkling water

excursions, vol. 3: villeneuve-les-avignon

Just across the river from Avignon is Villeneuve, which is of course not new (silly French) but is a cool little town in its own right. One evening, we went to check out the Fête de la Musique, where the band was purportedly singing in English but really it was “yaourt” as the French say. We had great burgers from a “truck food” and enjoyed the beautiful evening. Best of all, four adults made the short trip in an old Mini Cooper. It was too funny, like a clown car!
Avignon et Uzes
Summer
Avignon et Uzes
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the once and future makeup

Recently — okay, not that recently, in January actually — I was reminded by my mom that I once wore a Dior foundation, and said to myself, huh. I had almost no memory of this! So I thought it might be fun to put together a little post about my go-to products now and their (probably objectively just as good) predecessors.

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(This is from last July on our third anniversary :) )

A beauty blog I read recently gave a name to something I have always experienced as a closet beauty junkie: even if you really like a product, it’s just so fun to try something else. In other words, few things merit a “repurchase” unless the product is completely fantastic and/or at a desirable price point.

Without further ado, the things I love now and their antecedents!

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dinners this week vol. 3: some complicated meals and a weeknight winner

I had an amazing time in Paris last week with my mom! But it was kind of nice to be cooking again :) I think Parker felt the same way — I’m pretty sure he subsisted entirely on weird snacks while I was gone. So this week we made:

our favorite carnitas (actually, Parker made them this time), which is more of a weekend recipe just because it takes a while – but it’s not hard at all.

-a delicious soup from this cookbook with pinto beans and 20 cloves of garlic — actually, 26 cloves! And bizarrely, that was not even the dominant flavor. It was delicious and also more of a weekend thing because it takes quite a while. Plus, they advise making it a day in advance, which we did.

– this weeknight winner: mushroom marsala bake. It only required one pot!

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– lastly, we marinated a pork tenderloin in soy sauce, dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper and Parker prepared it in some magical way. I think he seared it on all sides, then wrapped in in foil for 15 minutes, then finished in the oven for 15 minutes. But temperatures, etc, are all unknown to me. He also went nuts and made this as a side dish. Pretty sure that his rage was the dominant flavor there (only joking, it was delicious!)