Hahahaha. You’re Weird.

I’ve been made fun of for how I dress. When I was in middle school, hoards of girls pointed and screamed at me while I walked down the hallway while wearing my favorite Debbie Gibson pants. They were acid washed and covered in fake flowers.

I make a lot of mistakes. I’ve worn some awkward, ill-fitting, and stupid stuff.

The article of clothing I own that gets a lot of stares and double takes is a vintage Dries Van Noten vest I bought in Antwerp. The sleeves are deliberately missing and there’s always the hilarious person who goes, “Did you get in a fight?” or “They didn’t finish it!” or “I hope you didn’t pay full price!” Most of the people who say such witty remarks aren’t with us anymore.  I immediately murder them after they say it with a swift slice to the base of the skull. I bet some of you were thinking it and you’re lucky you didn’t say it out loud because you would already be dead.

Dries is known for being an intellectual designer, having excellent craftsmanship, beautiful fabrics, and worldly references. There’s a running commentary with his garments where you think there was a mistake, but you realize it was planned all along. He designs for a woman who isn’t concerned with being sexy, or obsessed with looking skinny. She doesn’t care what men think. #nastywoman

Because my vest is unfinished, you can see the structure of the shoulder and the interior stitching, something we are rarely in tune with today.

People get grossed out when I tell them I can eat a can of anchovies without flinching. But if I really want to watch guests try to stay polite, I make an aspic. If you have gelatin, then it’s aspic time! You name any ingredient and you can plop it in there to create magnificent and revolting food! It can be “fancy” with champagne and caviar, or healthy with chunky, diced carrots, savory beef broth, and an enormous, yummy hard-boiled egg, or make some with tomato juice and layer it with cream cheese and pickled celery! Guaranteed to satisfy and impress!!


So, weird. But just in case I was coming off too weird and snotty, you need to watch me scarf down a Kraft American grilled cheese while wearing my Abercrombie & Fitch sweatpants. My husband still does a double take.



Old Shit

So, old shit. I’ve been thinking about getting old, feeling old, and different types of old. Same old shit.

While I was sitting on the couch and feeling old the other day, I looked down and took an inventory of my ensemble. I’d describe it as sloungewear with an heirloom, heritage feel. And well, it was all old, but in different ways.

Fake Old

1. A new, Colorado proud, graphic t-shirt depicting things people do there but I never will. It’s a “legacy” brand so that means it was “worn in” for me (thanks?) with raw edges, pre-pilled fabric, and weathered printing. There’s a clear mark where you can see where the edge of the screen ends. It attracts small tufts of cat hair.

True Old

2. A vintage slip that I bought 20 years ago and repaired a dozen times since. It’s adorable and it actually makes me want to say “Let me slip into something more comfortable.” It’s feminine and it was a fortune when I bought it but it’s still here. I lament the demise of the slip.

Made Old

3. Some Vera Wang “Simply Vera” jersey pajama pants: again, pilled, threadbare, the elastic is dry-rotted and all it it does is hang on you so you have to be careful going up and down the stairs otherwise you’ll break your neck. You can’t sleep in them or you’ll risk losing circulation.

Scary Old

Just pokin’ around, I quickly discovered the oldest food that I have in my house is pomodori sott’olio. It’s way old and I don’t even remember making them. It’s my mother-in-law’s recipe and it’s delicious but I can’t quite seem to make them like she does.  However old they are, they’re still tasty and safe cuz I ate one a few days ago and I’m still alive.

Here’s the recipe:

Dried Tomatoes

Mix the following in a glass jar of at least 1.5 l for at least a month before serving:

Fill jar with dried tomatoes to the brim, in at least 3 groups, adding spices for each third. Then pour in good olive oil to cover all and close for at least one month.


  • whole cardamom seeds
  • curry leaves
  • whole dried green pepper corns
  • whole juniper berries
  • dried whole coriander seeds
  • whole pimento seeds

the quantities are as you see fit…!!!! I keep one jar brewing while I use the other.

Is this where I say “stay young” and not mean it?

Sister Time

The scariest sentence in the world to me is, “Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit.”

It’s quickly followed by, “I have a swimsuit you can borrow.”

Both of these are often delivered by a sunny, cheery, beachy person inviting me somewhere with the promise and positivity of sunshine and casual  human laidbackness.

The only time it doesn’t send a shiver up my spine is when my older sister says it. Because if you’re a sister, you share a hell of a lot with her, and since she is older, I’m simply continuing in a long line of little sisterness where I just do what she says, as I have always done, and always will do. Forever.

She quickly threw it at me before I had time to think too much about it. It was a well-worn, sporty, high-cut, racerback, with aqua trim, covered with an active, snakeskin motif and a logo that suggests you have energy and were involved in athletics at one point in your life.

I have no idea where it came from but I wore it.

2017-07-23 17.20.40

We sat in the hot tub and the suit stopped being important. The bubbles and jets bounced me around and I stopped noticing how tight it was, that it was too short in the torso, and that I wasn’t quite “prepared” to wear a swimsuit if you know what I mean.

It was quiet for awhile and then my sister said, “There’s a mini oil cooker in the kitchen.” She wasn’t thinking about how bright the stars are in the mountains but apparently, she had a plan.

Hush puppies.

Only my sister knows how much I love hush puppies. (I love them mostly because they’re the cutest named food in the world but I also think they’re delicious.) I’m lucky enough to have a sister make them for me and when there’s a convenient mini oil cooker, there’s a good chance they’ll appear.

She magically whipped them together and gave me the job of making sure they came out in perfect crispy time. We dunked them in ketchup to cool them off so we could eat them right away.

I ate as many of them as I could and I did it in my borrowed swimsuit.

Je Suis Yvonne

When it gets hot in the summer and I get cranky, my husband will invariably ask me, “Is it time to become Yvonne?”

Yvonne is a force to behold and she isn’t exactly what you think of when people talk about how “all French women are chic.” Yvonne is a 75 year old French woman from the Loire Valley who lives in small country house without air conditioning and doesn’t take shit from anyone. She scowls at children and judges your garden. But most of all, she wears an enormous light brown, raw linen dress with lace trim with her name hand embroidered in red at the neckline.

2017-07-14 12.33.26

Yvonne has worn this dress for 10 or 50 years. It’s hard to tell. It miraculously hides stains and it’s so big, you can’t sweat on it. It’s kept at the bottom of a musty trunk in the colder months. It’s not special either! She gets them at the Puces de Vanves for less than 20 euros.

2017-07-14 12.33.45

Yvonne likes to drink French martinis (which would be redundant if we really were in France). It is one part Lillet and 2 parts orange vodka (ideally Grey Goose but Yvonne is a little cheap) and garnished with a frozen orange slice. It’s cold and refreshing.

2017-07-14 12.51.37

She wears matching Chinese slippers from the dollar store around the corner and fails to see the humor in that.

2017-07-14 12.27.46

So on this French Independence Day, raise a glass in solidarity and channel the no bullshit, had enough, no-nonsense, ruggedness of Yvonne.

Vive la résistance!

The heat will just add another layer of feistiness.

Things to Do in Long Eaton When You’re Dead

Life brought me to the East Midlands in the U.K. last week. Even the locals asked why I was there and told me it wasn’t “the place to be.” I still learned about some stuff though. Foremost, “brown sauce” which was offered to me every morning with my toast, eggs, and sausage. It’s really yummy!

File Jul 06, 12 32 43 PM

It’s like barbecue sauce but since they present it with a British accent and in a ramekin, it feels fancier. “HP” stands for the “House of Parliament.” Imagine having a sauce called “House of Representatives” and what the food scientists would make it taste like?
This is “lace country” but it’s not quite the booming business it once was. I spent the day in Nottingham and found a small booth in a mall called the Victoria Centre. The shop lady had a faraway look in her eyes when she said they were the only shop left. Most of what she sold was stiff, polyester blinds or souvenir pictorial lace panels with scenes from Robin Hood. I’m classy so I bought the only 100% cotton tablecloth she had that she said was made on the same loom as the Cluny lace from the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress. (One step closer to royalty!) She also threw in a free doily that I know my husband will appreciate.

My Dad’s Statement Pieces

Here is my dad’s hulking watch. I don’t think I ever saw him not wear it and even today it’s really weird to not see it on a wrist: his wrist. I was always amazed by all the extra information on it that I assumed only he could figure out. He also seemed to know how to set every watch that ever existed and what battery they used and how often it needed to be wound. I wonder what was happening in his life when it stopped on Tuesday, the 1st of some month of some year. He was probably yelling at a golf ball somewhere.

File Jun 16, 11 16 47 AM

My dad liked to make popcorn. And when he made it, he made it in this ridiculous thing:


The “Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper” was a sensation in its day. Pour in the oil, throw in the kernels, watch the arms “stir” them clockwise over the skillet, and when the dome is filled with piping hot popcorn, you flip the whole thing upside-down so the dome becomes your feasting vessel. Did I mention that you can put a few pats of butter in the lid so that it lightly rains down upon the popcorn as it pops? Genius!

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there. Go watch Caddyshack and have some ridiculous popcorn.

Two things

Two things. That’s all I’ll do here.

This is my grandma’s recipe for biscuits. It’s a no frills recipe that uses shortening and a biscuit cutter that hung by the oven and that was rarely cleaned. She had 5 kids so eat your biscuits and be quiet. Try ’em!

2017-03-12 12.21.48-1

This is one of her aprons. There are a bunch of stains on it that are for sure from biscuits. It’s a homemade apron that says “Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket” on the bib.

File Jun 06, 11 51 25 AM

She also knew how to kill a chicken.