The pandemic has caused the oddest things to bring me joy. Right now, it’s the deck construction happening out my kitchen window. The Husband and I (luckily) purchased a new condo in December - right before all of this *gesticulates wildly* popped off. After we moved in, we noticed the house across the alley behind us had a lot going on. Since February 2020 we’ve seen:
New windows being installed.
New kitchen appliances arriving.
New furniture being delivered.
The installment of solar panels on the roof.
The old, scarily leaning brick staircase from their tiny backyard taken down and replaced with gorgeous stone. This involved the use of a concrete mixing truck… and that was my morning coffee break entertainment.
The newish but rather ugly fence around their tiny background taken down and replaced with a pergola looking style.
The old porch and staircase from the house taken down.
Right now, they are in the process of replacing said porch and staircase. They even moved where the staircase is located which completely changed the look of everything.
I am highly invested in this house now. It’s my own HGTV show.
It’s been ages since I read a proper romance novel. I decided to pick up Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins which has been staring at me from my bookcase for months. I’ve always loved a good Western but this one has something extra. The hero is a multiracial, formerly enslaved man who is successful in business by passing for white. Our heroine is a Black woman who longs to run her own restaurant. So, this has all the regular tropes of a good romance, but a lot more substance than you sometimes see.
If you love that baked feta pasta that took over the internet a few months ago, you might be interested in this article about feta. Who knew there were so many varieties? [Cooking Light]
From reading circles to Reese Witherspoon. Women are the reason for book clubs. [WaPo]
These statistics will make you sad and angry. [Culture Study]
A shark threw up a murder mystery. [Atlas Obscura]
What to do with all those things you've decluttered or spring cleaned. [Greatest]
Art in the agar. [NPR]
What happened the last time the Suez Canal closed. [Vice]
If you're into ASMR and bookish things, these recommendations are for you. [Library Journal]
The dos and don'ts of your garbage disposal. [Apartment Therapy]
Cupcakes are older than you think. [Atlas Obscura]
Of Rembrandt and reputation. [The Daily]
The experience of being transgender in the prison system. [Ear Hustle]
How so many Filipinos came to be nurses in the U.S. and a disproportionate part of the COVID death rate. [Code Switch]
It's not your imagination. Allergy season is worse and longer. [Short Wave]
I enjoyed these episodes from this week's dive into the Planet Money podcast archive.
We are fans of the Liam Neeson punching things genre of films. This week, we watched Cold Pursuit. At this point, everything in this genre is kind of the same - Liam Neeson is a good bad guy, or a good guy with a very particular set of bad guy skills - but the movies are still immensely enjoyable. This film, however, had a satirical dark humor to it that made it stand out from the rest.
Jumped on the Bridgerton bandwagon this week! This is literally my idea of a perfect quarantine show. Light, addictive, and lovely to look at. The super rich colors and glorious costumes and staging leave me swooning. As a fan of romance novels, I knew I would love it, but I've been practically giddy watching this show. We only have two episodes of season 1 left and I'm already planning a rewatch.
Every Monday, we eat vegetarian for dinner. I used to always default to pasta based dishes, but I'm trying to mix things up. This week, I made skillet ratatouille with pesto toasts. It was fine but I can't figure out why the recipe didn't quite hit the spot. The pesto toasts (we used jarred) were delicious. Maybe I'll have to try serving it over polenta as the recipe suggests.
When we first started "real" food with the kiddo, she was a big fan of the baby oatmeal. Eventually, we mixed in various frozen fruits to make it more interesting. (Raspberries turned it Pepto pink!) When our final container ran out, we tried switching to plain instant oatmeal with the same frozen fruits. She was adamantly not a fan. She did, however, always eat the oatmeal served for morning snack at her daycare. I asked about the recipe. While the caterer couldn't provide it, they did give me an ingredients list. It looked like a baked oatmeal. So, I made this blueberry banana baked oatmeal. It was a hit! Now I make a batch every few weeks. After it cools, I cut it into portions and freezer it. On the days we serve this for breakfast, we just nuke it in the microwave.
I request that all current events be turned in to sea shanties.
I love shopping in small boutiques with unique goods. When the pandemic hit, I opted to do all my window shopping online. Luckily, one of my favorite DC stores, Shop Made in DC, has a great website. Now, they’ve gone one step further and created a pop-up boutique and art show highlighting products from women makers. It’s called She DC and I highly recommend you give it a look.
I took Monday and Tuesday off and I’m going to clean all the things! Probably not the bathroom floor grout though - even if it’s been on my list for months.