This Week’s Bits & Bites
Forever ago, I started writing a weekly bits & bites column. Not long after, I decided to make it a monthly thing. And then, well, I sort of stopped. And I have no excuse for that other than sometimes I suck at commitment and other times I just don’t have a lot of interesting stuff to say and between those two things let’s just say it’s been a couple of years since I’ve written either one.
But I’m baaaaccckkkk, baby! Inspired by the Chopped Podcast about takeaways from their recent food blogging conference that I would have loved to attend (wah), I decided to resurrect this feature and give it another go. Because sometimes all I post are recipes and then often all I talk about are those recipes but there’s a lot more rattling around in this head of mine and sometimes it’s fun to share what I’m obsessing over.
A more artful life. I recently realized that our four-year-old’s playroom wasn’t getting much, well, play. That’s when I realized she may have outgrown it – and I haven’t kept up. She loves art and I love art and it wasn’t long before I was obsessing over the concepts of the art room and process art. So over the past few weeks, I’ve converted part of her playroom into an art area and I’ve been setting out daily invitations to create. Her creativity is in overdrive and I’m feeling like an awesome parent. Which as most parents know is a great – and, sadly, usually pretty fleeting – feeling.
The kitchen renovation that wasn’t … yet. A couple of months ago I was all, ooh ooh! We’re finally starting our kitchen renovation! We got as far as our pantry (which I love more than I ever thought I could love a pantry) and then pretty much petered out. And that’s because a couple of months before that, we put French doors in our dining room (where there was just a blank wall before) and we decided that building a deck – so, you know, we could actually go in and out the door – took precedence over the kitchen. Between that and having to replace the dishwasher (we bought this one and are loving it so far), we haven’t made any progress. But the kitchen renovation is happening! Soon! I hope. Please let it happen soon.
I was going to subtitle this “personal bits” but, yeah. I’m glad I thought that one through.
Books I’m reading:
The Artful Parent by Jean Van’t Hul – I was totally stoked when my local library had this one available right away. Kid’s art obsession = fed! I think I’ll need to buy this book, though, so that I can have it for life.
Essentialism by Greg McKeown – a book basically about concentrating on one thing that you’re really good at instead of dividing yourself infinite ways and never really being effective at any of them. A book I have been reading for about six months because I for most of that time I have been reading seven books at once instead of concentrating on the one book. Hmmm.
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott – I’ve started but, for some reason, never finished this one several times (detecting a pattern?) but I was committed to finishing it this time. Such a beautiful, inspiring book about writing and so much overall life inspiration. This passage, in particular, gives me chills every time I read it:
“It helps to resign as the controller of your fate. All that energy we expend to keep things running right is not what’s keeping things running right. We’re bugs struggling in the river, brightly visible to the trout below. With that fact in mind, people like me make up all these rules to give us the illusion that we are in charge. I need to say to myself, they’re not needed, hon. Just take in the buggy pleasures. Be kind to the others, grab the fleck of riverweed, notice how beautifully your bug legs scull.”
For a control freak like me, it’s like, right. Yes. Just chill, already. Be nice and take in the buggy pleasures.
Podcasts! The past few months, I’ve been polishing up my food blogging skills by listening to podcasts whenever I edit photos. My two favorites? The Chopped Podcast (also mentioned above) by Marly of the vegan blog Namely Marly. There’s always something new, and I find the podcasts both thought-provoking and relatable. I also love listening to the Food Blogger Pro podcast by Bjork Ostrom. Both, in my opinion, are must-listens for food bloggers!
These are the foods I’ve been loving the looks of this week.
These Ritz cracker sandwiches from A Beautiful Mess. Too cute.
This looks SO GOOD: Greek-Style Roasted Mushrooms with Red Pepper, Herbs, and Feta from Kalyn’s Kitchen. Yum.
Rose Apple Pistachio Tart. Basically not so much food as a piece of art. From A Cozy Kitchen.
This Cantaloupe Lime Fizzy Cocktail from Cafe Johnsonia. I’ve been so totally embracing fall but these – summery as they are – absolutely make my mouth water.
And these Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash Bowls from Cookie and Kate. YASSS.