Lazy Sunday Links

– by Lindsey

It’s Sunday again, folks. You know what that means, right? We do the dirty work of finding fun links for you to peruse whilst readying yourself for the Monday to come. Well, this week’s lazy links are less so. We’re sharing three useful household/cooking/misc. tips from our apartments to yours.


Tip #1 comes from Kelsey, who wanted to clean her grout this weekend. She’s adventurous that way. She followed this handy-dandy guide pinned from This Blessed Life, and she says there’s not a speck of mildew left. Anywho, she wasn’t convinced this Pinterest tip would work (the very idea something on Pinterest wouldn’t come through!), so she didn’t take pictures. You can take her word for it (if you dare).

Tip #2 is from me, Lindsey, who is trying to learn to like hardboiled eggs. I hate boiling water, because I suffer from watched pot syndrome. To get around this, I used Alton Brown’s method of hard baking eggs. They come out perfectly baked. Don’t be scared of a couple of tiny burn spots under the shell. Just peel that right off. For an impatient girl who wants hard boiled eggs, this is a lifesaver. I’m not sure the process of boiling/baking eggs could ever be considered lifesaving, but whatever. You get it. Also, bonus: mix Sriracha and soy sauce for a delicious egg dip!

Tip #3 I stumbled upon at a friend’s house when my stomach was upset. (Shoutout to Kelly and my uneasy insides!) We’ve all been there: we feel so gross we don’t even want to chug the Pepto-Bismol that could improve our sorry conditions. You know what makes Pepto-Bismol better? Refrigeration. Seriously. Try it. No link here, just do it.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, friends! Or, as Kelsey says, “Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. is the worst.”

 

Songs of Summer

– by Lindsey

We’re going to declare this day music Thursday, because we’ve all had a hard week and the world seems a little out of control right now. Right? Right. So, in no particular order, here are three songs on repeat for the Solomon sisters this summer.


Jenny Lewis is awesome, and her new album deserves a listen in full. (Actually, her whole catalog deserves a listen in full, but I digress.) “She’s Not Me” from The Voyager is a standout.

This song (wow, huh?) was the first that put Shakey Graves on our radar, but his latest (featuring Esmé Patterson) is fantastic, too.

Finally,  the song “If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t On The Dancefloor) by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is equal parts indie calm and poppy dance tune. Summer perfection.

Happy listening!

Lazy Sunday Links

– by Lindsey and Kelsey

Instead of a straight up link list today, we thought we’d share a couple of things off our reading lists. I was born first, so I’ll kick things off…


Lindsey’s Picks

My most recent read was Fifty Shades of Gray, which I found to be poorly written and repetitive. If I had to read another sentence with “hitching” breath, boring attempts at plot, or the word mercurial, I think I might throw my Kindle out the window. Hopefully the two titles below will give my brain some much needed nourishment.

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson

A fan of This American Life, I’ve heard Jon Ronson‘s lilting, soothing, very British voice a couple of times. The episode that prompted my purchase of this book, also called The Psychopath Test, featured Jon’s story about (possible psychopath?) CEO Al Dunlap. His discussion prompts questions about the correlation between success and psychopathy. I can’t wait to dig into more of his research about the actual test that, by some accounts, has been taken to the extreme. (Bonus: If you prefer the visual, Ronson’s TED Talk is pretty great, too.)

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

I first came to know Roxane Gay through her excellent Twitter feed. Anyone who live tweets Ina Garten is okay in my book, you know? Anyway, her latest book has come to my attention through countless media outlets. Seriously. Google her, and you’ll find all sorts of positive press. What got me to buy the book, though, are the snippets I’ve read, like “How to be Friends with Another Woman” and her manifesto on bad feminism. I have a feeling I’m going to relate, possibly because her book arrived the same day my order of Brazil Butt Lift (don’t ask) came in the mail. Baby steps, right?


Kelsey’s Picks

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan

This book is only one in a pantheon of books by the Nicholas Sparks of food writing: Michael Pollan. (This is a reference to quantity, not quality, Michael. No hate.) In a last desperate effort to cut down on my Cap’n Crunch consumption, this kitten is one of the next titles on my to-read list. The proclaimed manifesto of this book: “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” In a demoralizing era of diets and fads and GMOs, Michael advocates for a simpler and significantly more satisfying relationship to food.

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel by Anthony Doerr

There is nary a book recommendation list that I’ve seen this summer without All the Light We Cannot See. And at 4 1/2 stars on Amazon with over 1500 reviews, I’m beginning to understand why. From The New Yorker

“The dual protagonists of this gripping novel, set during the Second World War, are the blind daughter of a Parisian locksmith who builds an intricate model of the streets to help her navigate her world and a German orphan whose uncanny aptitude for mechanics makes him valuable to the Nazi war effort…As the strands of the plot converge, the book becomes a meditation on fate, free will, and the way that, in wartime, small choices can have vast consequences.”

I’m all in.

This Is Where I Leave You: A Novel by  Jonathan Tropper

My goal is to read this novel before the movie (of the same title) is released this fall (September 19th), starring standouts Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, and Adam Driver. The four Foxman siblings return home after the death of their father, forced to spend seven days in the same household. I normally don’t enjoy reading/watching (what I’m anticipating will be) a show of dysfunctional degeneration, but I’m excited about this one.


What are you reading, friends? Let us know in the comments, if you’re so inclined.

WWU: Are You Afraid of the Dark? – “The Tale of the Laughing in the Dark”

– by Kelsey and Lindsey

So, it’s Friday night, and you want to watch something new whilst reading sarcastic comments from your friendly, neighborhood bloggers? Oh man, you guys. This Watch With Us (WWU) post is dedicated to one of our very favorite shows from childhood: Are You Afraid of the Dark? (AYAOTD). By favorite, I mean a show we tried to watch to prove to ourselves that we weren’t tiny baby scaredy cats. (Yay cats!)

This episode is on Amazon Prime, because we’re (un)professional instant video watchers and subscribe to everything. If you want to watch along, join us after the jump! (Yes, we realize these posts might not be that fun if you aren’t watching along, but they’re really fun for us. Sorry. Sort of.)

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Desk Decor

– by Lindsey

I don’t know about you, but sometimes a 40 hour work week feels much longer than that. So, this post is dedicated to making our cubicles away from home a little more homey, homies. Here’s my list of (nonessential?) essentials:

A pretty calendar

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 8.22.26 PMNothing brightens my work day like flipping a page on my page-a-day calendar. My favorite is this one from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, because the pages can be used as prints after the year is through. Bonus: A feel a little rebellious when a day comes up with a nude artwork. There are naked people on my desk and nobody says a word because ART. (If you don’t like flipping pages, this one from Rifle Paper Co. is a close second.)

A “What’s that?” piece

I’ve always loved finding unusual items on friends’ desks. These could range from an interesting travel souvenir to a Chia Pet. My favorites are this awesome pencil holder from MOMA that sits on my desk at home and this weird lady with paperclip hair that my dad found at Big Lots. Get creative. Now, this can go too far, and I don’t recommend the extreme, which might include a bright green pig people squeeze as they pass your desk to make a horrible squealing noise. You know, something general like that.

A good pen (or two)

Kelsey loves pens more than anyone I know, so she should probably write this section. However, I feel confident that she would recommend the classic Le Pen (because I know she buys them in bulk). I prefer Sharpie pens because they write well or Poppin pens because the outsides are fun colors and the insides are normal blue. Party on the outside, business on the inside.

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 9.03.53 PM

 A whimsical mug

Hi, my name is Lindsey, and I buy too many mugs. My mug of choice at work is a great dinosaur mug I just stumbled upon in the cabinet one day. (If it belonged to anyone, please know I’ve given it a happy home filled with exotic teas.) At home, I might go for a more elaborate dinosaur mug (sensing a theme?) or this amazing art history study guide of a vessel.

 

A few desktop wallpapers on rotation

If I’m going to ruin my eyes staring at a screen all day, I want that screen to be pretty, darn it. I’ll change out desktop wallpapers at least once a week, if not more. My favorites are freebies offered by some of the design blogs I mentioned in the last Lazy Sunday Links post. Design*Sponge released several (some years back) that I still use today, while designlovefest pops out gorgeous new wallpapers often.

A desk stretch manual to undo all the damage to our seated bodies

Now that you’ve made your horribly open cube feel so cozy, you might never want to get up from your chair. Please don’t fall into the trap! I like to keep a handy sheet of exercises nearby to prompt me to refresh my tired eyes and sedentary body. My yoga instructor recommends these moves, man or woman. Also, for you fellow dry-eyed lovelies in the audience, remember these tips to fight eye strain.

Any great desk accessories I missed?

 

Lazy Sunday Links

by Lindsey

It’s that time again, friends. For your lazy Sunday reading pleasure, I wanted to share a few of my favorite blogs. When I’m not reading true crime articles, I spend much of my internet time perusing all things pretty. These blogs fit the bill.

Design*Sponge: This was the first blog I remember reading religiously. When I was living at home looking for jobs and working on my thesis, I was pretty familiar with the Design*Sponge post schedule. Refresh, refresh! I particularly love taking personal peeks inside other people’s homes, and I really appreciate the historic bent they’ve taken explaining flowers and stones, etc. The personal essays are wonderful, too. Basically, I love it all.

designlovefest: DLF, as I like to call it, just makes me happy. Bri Emery’s bright, happy aesthetic comes through in everything she and her studio produce. Her travel posts could inspire wanderlust in the most slovenly house cat. I always look forward to new desktop downloads as an extra bonus!

The laziest housecat, Stella Luna.

The laziest house cat, Stella Luna.

Oh Joy!: Joy Cho is everywhere these days. Her family is adorable. Her taste is impeccable. (I’ve even watched her maternity dressing videos, and I have no desire to be pregnant.) Her blog (and her book on blogging) are not to be missed.

Kendi Everyday: I like a good style blog as much as the next girl, but sometimes I can’t relate to the person or the clothes I can’t afford. Kendi Everyday is the antidote. She’s that stylish friend you want to emulate, dressing well, but (mostly) affordably. Plus, her writing voice is friendly, approachable and not always about the clothes.

A Cup of Jo: Jo has all the coolness of a typical French girl, but she’s living life as a wife and mother in NYC. Her honesty is refreshing, and she links to some great stuff, too.

All of these blogs do a great job of blending the ideal with the real, mixing posts about clothes or homes with honesty about dealing with break-ups, anxiety, and the overall balance of life. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

WWU: Goosebumps – “Calling All Creeps!”

By Kelsey and Lindsey

Welcome to the inaugural post in our Watch With Us series! We’re trying a kind of Mystery Science Theater 3000 premise in written form. Basically, this is going to be a series smack-talking through shows/movies.

We’re starting with Goosebumps, because why not? Get your Netflix account fired up, press play and read along with our banter, if you’re so inclined. (more…)

Good Reads: An Ode to Graphic Novels

By Kelsey

I used to regard graphic novels similarly to how I regard Pokemon. Not interested. (But adolescent boys/girls are wayyyy into those little guys.)

That is no longer the case. It was only my (incorrect) assumption that graphic novels are for children. Most of these volumes contain tough, mature content, so I would highly recommend these for an adult audience only.

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.

It all started with this book. Bear in mind that I still haven’t finished this novel, but it’s one that I like to mull over from time to time, instead of devouring in a few days. This became the first graphic novel (by Art Spiegelman) to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. It details the author’s interviews with his aging father regarding the family’s struggle for survival during the Holocaust, where they lived in Poland during WWII. To describe the illustrative approach of the novel, Jews are depicted as mice, while the Nazis are portrayed as cats (non-Jewish Poles are sketched as pigs).

Maus is a novel executed with grace. This book will make your heart hurt.

Blue is the Warmest Color

You may be familiar with this title due to the buzz surrounding the film of the same namesake. Please, please, read this book, and ignore the movie that alters the storyline/ending, largely pandering to cheap shock value throughout. This novel is a typical “coming of age” story, albeit one dealing with the additional hardship of struggling with one’s sexuality and the resulting reception by family/friends. Above all, it is a love story. This book is gorgeously illustrated and thoughtfully crafted.

Watchmen

I won’t go into detail here, but this cult classic is next on my to-read graphic novel list. (Lindsey says it’s pretty great.)

Through the Woods

The only thing better than a graphic novel is A SCARY graphic novel. This one is still on my Amazon Wishlist, but one of the short horror stories in Into the Woods is featured on author Emily Carroll’s website: His Face All Red. This is going to give me nightmares tonight, and I don’t even care. Worth it.

Honorable Mentions

I have not read The Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes or Persepolis, but they both come very highly acclaimed.

I love the rich mixture of written word and often meticulously detailed illustrations on each page. It is a new experience,  absorbing both mediums simultaneously. Get to reading, friends.

 

Recipe: Garlic Pickles

By Lindsey

Looking for a weekend project? Like pickles? This is the post for you. Also, if the following video is the first thing you think of when someone talks about making homemade pickles, we should probably be friends.

But I digress.

For my pickle project, I modified this recipe from The Kitchn as follows.

Garlic Dill Pickles

Makes 2 pint jars

58809B4D-F9D3-4045-8B71-F42E4FD3F963Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds Kirby cucumbers

1 head of garlic, peeled and smashed
2 teaspoons dill weed (or dill seed)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
8-10 black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1 1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons kosher salt

 


Instructions

  1. Wash your jars and lids. I made refrigerator pickles, so I didn’t sterilize for long-term storage. If you’d like to go for pickles that will stand the test of time, see the Kitchn’s instructions.FFE382ED-1531-4AE4-A01F-F84672AB54A6
  2. Wash and trim your cucumbers, making sure to get rid of those stumpy ends. Slice them up according to your preference. I chose coins, because I thought they’d be easier to pack. I think I was right.
  3. Divide your chosen garlic and spices equally between your two jars.
  4. Pack your jars with those soon-to-be-pickles.
  5. Boil your brine. Bring the vinegar, water and salt to a boil in a sauce pan.B846E177-769B-42F3-BB72-6FB3867A81CF
  6. Pour the boiled brine over your pickles, making sure to cover the tops of the cucumbers (but not so full to spill). I increased the brine ingredients above, because the original recipe didn’t have quite enough for my thirsty pickles.
  7. Tap the jars to remove air bubbles before tightening those lids!
  8. Let the jars cool, then refrigerate. I waited a week before opening mine. They should keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

Notes: I couldn’t find dill seed at my local supermarket, and I didn’t feel like trekking to Whole Foods. Dill seed is recommended in every recipe I found, but *spoiler alert* my pickles turned out just fine with dill weed.

End result? Slightly vinegar-y, crispy pickles. Plus, I felt like a homesteader/hipster for a little while. You can pickle that!

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Fear of Flight

By Lindsey

If you know Kelsey and I well, you know we like to travel. We actually make for really great travel companions. We we both believe that after a tiring day of cultural attractions, one should get dinner to go and eat in hotel beds whilst wearing jammies. (I know you’re excited about our future travel posts.)

Plane - LindseySAnyway, we sisters share another travel tendency: we both fear flying. By fear, I mean almost panic-attack inducing, stomach jumping, seat-neighbor asking if you’re okay kind of scared. For me, I hate take-offs and landings. Once I’m in the air (assuming that air is smooth as silk), I like to see the tiny houses and colorful patterns of farmland far below. For Kelsey, it’s the opposite. She feels trapped while on the flight and loves watching the plane inch closer and closer to the ground. Maybe we both like control. Maybe we haven’t flown enough. Maybe everyone is born with fears, and this is our shared space in which we try not to barf and cry.

Some of you may be thinking, “What wimps! I love to fly!” Well, for those of you who lack natural empathy and call names, this Buzzfeed post should give you a little insight into the terror we experience.

Why am I posting this now, you might wonder? Well, this Friday I’m flying for the first time in almost a year. I’ve been trying to mentally prepare. This means I:

  1. Don’t watch the news. Unsurprisingly, disasters make me even more nervous.
  2. Download great podcasts. My current favorites are Slumber Party with Alie and Georgia, Welcome to Night Vale and Radiolab.
  3. Wear comfy clothes. I have a giant cardigan picked out already.
  4. Have plenty of reading material on hand. I read magazines during take-offs and landings, Kindle books the rest of the flight. I’m just going to air my shame and say this: I downloaded the Fifty Shades of Gray Trilogy to keep me busy. There’s nothing like poorly written sexy books to keep the mind off crashing! (I also downloaded this book and this book to make up for that choice…maybe.)
  5. Keep a prescription anxiety pill in my purse just in case. I’ve never actually had to take an emergency pill, but knowing it’s there makes me feel better, like a tiny, chemical security blanket.

For those of you who also hate high-speed trips through the air, I thought I’d share some more resources from around the web.

Any other tips for me? Wish me luck.