It’s the time of year when the girls come down after bedtime and ask for a lemon hot; a mug drink made with a slice of lemon and a squeeze of honey and a generous pour of hot water. One of those things I made up once when looking for a placebo effect to settle listless-restless spirit syndrome. It worked and the cure stuck around. We’ll find the mugs only half drunk a few day later by their bedside, but the calming effect seems more than worth the effort.
The garden is full of dark reds, greens, sharp oranges, and sunny yellows, decay around one corner (the zucchini), and abundance (the tomatoes) around the other. Alma has asked me how many days it is until Halloween so many times that tomorrow we’re going to make one of our old fashioned hand-drawn calendars for the countdown. It is Joe’s absolute favorite season. Full of melancholy for me–am I that much of a summer person? must be.
a few favorite things lately…
+ Loved the chance to hear Wes Anderson talk about the inspiration for The French Dispatch. Don’t miss the bonus episode, listed below the interview, with cast members reading New Yorker essay bits aloud. (You can also find these episodes on spotify or itunes podcast.)
+I just recalled how much I love Dorie Greenspan’s Mediterranean shepard’s pie. The kids would love it better, they told me, if I left the butternut squash out. Make it for yourself the night before and take the day off why don’t you. I’m scrambling to use all my tomatoes right now, but dreaming of a loaf of pumpkin bread.
+ David Leibowitz’s dense newsletters. The guy is a great writer. Recently he reminded me of wonderful things we can eat here in his “Foods I Miss from America.” Have you ever purchased a mallomar in your life? I haven’t! must do.
warm things: These kids’ $20 soft top and pant sets are true to size, wash well, and get worn a lot around here. The girls layer the long sleeves under dresses and wear the pants both as a layer or on their own. The colors are nicely muted too. I first found these through Grace Patton, a shatterproof mom-of-eight recommender.
Wool layer sets are fantastic for keeping kids warm as well. I’ve been a fan of Ella’s Wool in the past, but they’ve been sold out and haven’t restocked for a bit. My sister-in-law Hannah went ahead and stress tested a new brand, and recommends Simply Merino. Lovely natural colors and comfortable on the skin, not itchy at all.
Our wood floors get so cold with the cold weather. I get chills up my bones just stepping on them without slippers for a moment or two in the wintertime. Ugg as a brand has gotten very ritzy but the quality still seems excellent, so I’m not sure where that leaves me…their boots are astonishingly warm, waterproof, and expensive. But today I’m here to recommend these $20 sheepskin insole inserts that they make. You can slip them into slippers, or any other poorly lined boots, and the warmth factor for your toes increases dramatically. There are so many fun slipper options out there (see below!), but often they aren’t truly well lined, so a combo-hack like this is the best. And, if you already own well-made but worn-down boots or slippers, having a new insert can years of life to the shoe.
Slippers on my mind to try this year: overland, nootkas, uggs. Something like these Charix glove shoes would also be lovely. You won’t see a fully-opened back slippers, “slides”, on this list because I don’t like them. There’s something fragile about them; slides like that are not for cold houses with staircases. They are for warm deserts when wearing a slipper just sounds nice. I could see birkenstock birki rubber clog with a warm insole added though. That would work well. Can you tell I end up wearing slippers in the mud? I really like having some sort of rubber sole because I often tramp out to the compost in my slippers.
+ I ordered a number of things from Sezane to try. I was briefly swept away by a vision of myself with a seventies belt and far flung wide-leg jeans. And: those colors! However I was brought back to earth by texting my sister pics of my wildly petite self trying these things on. A few of their tops worked well for me though! They feel great for those days when I still want to dress comfortably but want it to feel special. This turtleneck sweater—love the row of buttons and the height of the neck, and this collared shirt–I didn’t risk the monogram, but that would have been fun.
Last time I wrote a favorites list in July I asked for a recommendation from you, and got some good ones. So: any good recommendations for nicely made children’s jewelry? I imagine Etsy has something like this? Perhaps a trusted brand you rely on? It’s so sad to watch the girls accidentally snap a poorly made necklace or have rings (bendable, I get it! but still) just break after one use.