It’s that time of year again: time to make the Halloween trail mix I love so much!
To make, just combine equal parts candy corn, peanuts, dried chopped dates, and dark chocolate chips.
It’s delicious, and it’s the only way to make candy corn even remotely edible.
Last weekend, it was quite nice in Houston and I was craving some fall activity. Since the pumpkin patches are all geared toward people with children and there isn’t a cider mill within a half-day’s drive of here (when I did a Google search for cider mills near Houston, Google—who knows my exact location and everything about me—told me to go to Uncle John’s in Michigan, to which I responded, “DON’T YOU THINK I WANT TO, GOOGLE?”), Eric and I took a little road trip to Pioneer Farms in Austin.
From what I saw on the Pioneer Farms website, I was expecting (or hoping for) something like Crossroads Village, which is like Colonial Williamsburg lite in Michigan. It’s loads of historic fun (or at least it was the last time I went there, in 1995). In reality, Pioneer Farms was…not nearly as good as Crossroads. It wasn’t terrible, and Eric and I had a lot of fun on our trip, but the place just sort of strange and disorganized. When we bought our tickets, the guy told us that he was also the blacksmith, but he was done for the day. (The website said the blacksmith demonstrations were from 10-3. It was 1:30.) And one got the impression that maybe the defunct farm machinery and the items and furniture in the restored houses weren’t exactly historically accurate…like maybe someone went to an antique store and was like, “Oh, that looks very pioneer-y!” and grabbed a bunch of kitchen stuff that was actually from the 1930s, not the 1870s. (If you think I’m being too harsh, consider that the master bedroom in the first house we went in had a mirror like this—still in the cardboard packaging!—leaning up against the wall in the master bedroom.) Their motto seemed to be “DGAF;” it left a lot to be desired, but that was all part of the adventure!
It wasn’t all bad though. The highlight of the farm was, hands down, the collection of buggies and carriages from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Well, that and the look on this naughty little donkey’s face as he decided to really make his presence known to us.
I told you: DGAF.
Photo by: The Kitchen McCabe
If you’re craving pumpkin foods right now, might I recommend this whipped cinnamon pumpkin honey butter from The Kitchen McCabe? I made some this week and it’s so good!
I have been loving “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” lately, and his new segment on pumpkin spice lattes is no exception.
(I actually would love to drink a cable knit sweater spice latte.)
In other timely-segments-from-John-Oliver-news, How is Columbus Day still a thing?
I bought this “Midwest” T-shirt in August with a birthday gift card and it’s my favorite thing in my closet right now.
Always good to represent your roots!
After Jess wrote about her Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (and then I had a chance to see it on her pretty face in person) I went on a mission to find it myself. It’s only sold at traditional Sephora stores (which I found out after going to an Ulta and a JC Penney Sephora) and I went in with the intention of having them make me a sample so I could wear it for a few days and see if it was worth buying. I tested all the shades on my arm and liked the Dim Light the best, even though it felt like the least sexy one. (Would you rather be Ethereal, Luminous, or Dim?) But turns out, this is like the one Sephora product they do not make samples of. Learning that, I was like, “Eff it” and asked if someone could color match the new Bare Minerals liquid foundation for me, which I also wanted to try.
I ended up with the most knowledgeable and cool salesgal ever, and when I said that the Bare Minerals was a little too dewey for my taste, she suggested setting it with…the Hourglass powder! So I ended up right back where I started. And she actually suggested the Dim Light, despite its sad name. (She also said the Ambient Lighting Palette was the best bang-for-your-buck option, but I said I didn’t really plan to contour, to which she said, “THANK YOU!” and went on a little rant about how Kim Kardashian is making women believe they should be contouring daily.) The Dim Light did look lovely on my face, so I decided to splurge and buy it.
I’ve been using it for about a month, and I absolutely love it. My new routine is eyebrows, eyeliner, mascara, undereye concealer, and a little gel blush…then I put a little of the powder on an old Bare Minerals brush and apply it all over my face. The powder just softens everything a little and looks very glowy and healthy…basically, it’s an Instagram filter IRL. So: win!
“I am thinking about success, ambition, and blackness and how breaking through while black is tempered by so much burden. Nothing exemplifies black success and ambition like Black History Month, a celebratory month I’ve come to dread as a time when people take an uncanny interest in sharing black-history facts with me to show how they are not racist. It’s the month where we segregate some of history’s most significant contributors into black history instead of fully integrating them into American history. Each February, we hold up civil-rights heroes and the black innovators and writers and artists who have made so much possible for this generation. We say, look at what the best of us have achieved. We conjure W. E. B. Du Bois, who once wrote, ‘The Negro race, like all races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men.’ We ask much of our exceptional men and women. We must be exceptional if we are to be anything at all.”
— Roxanne Gay in The Price of Black Ambition for VQR. This essay is on point and deeply moving; I was in tears. But then I pulled it together and did something I’ve been meaning to do since August: went to Amazon and bought Gay’s book Bad Feminist because I need more of her in my life.
This video is basically my favorite thing ever.
Skeet, skeet, skeet!
Photo by: Pinch of Yum
On Sunday night, Eric and I made a really good fall dinner: ancho turkey chili with cornbread and apple cider margaritas. The apple cider margarita recipe is an old favorite, but the chili recipe was new. It came together easily (I only had ONE coughing fit from inhaling jalapeño fumes, which is progress for me—next time, I’ll be smart and wear a surgical mask) and I subbed brown rice for the farro. We went to Whole Foods for the ancho chili powder and grabbed some cornbread from their bakery while we were at it.
The only thing about the chili that was, um…unusual, is how filling it was. Like…extremely, kind of strangely filling. Eric and I both took normal servings and topped the chili with cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. I was about nearly with my bowl when I suddenly realized that I was really full. Eric said he was too. We both stopped eating but over the next…rest of the night…we both just felt SO full. None of the ingredients were particularly unusual or new to us, so I cannot figure out we both felt like we had eaten twice as much. The chili was really delicious, but this was rather confusing.
Never one to give up on leftovers, I tried the meal again last night; I took a much smaller serving to start and paced myself, and it was fine. So maybe the first experience was just a weird fluke? Maybe the smaller bowl I used last night helped? I’m not sure. In any case, it’s a really good chili recipe, and probably a good option if you need a hearty lunch recipe to help you get through your afternoon.
After finishing Gone Girl last week, I decided I wanted to see the movie, so Eric and I went to see it on Friday night!
Thoughts and spoilers ahead…
- Overall, I liked the movie, but I felt it lacked the high-stakes thriller vibe of the book. The beginning of the book filled me with dread. During the movie, well…I’ve felt more intrigued watching episodes of “Dateline.”
- My reaction to the book was that the first half of it was great, and the second went downhill. I felt the opposite about the movie; the first half was meh, but the second half was a lot better.
- This is one of the most true-to-the-book movies I’ve ever seen. Since I had just finished it, a lot of the dialogue was fresh in my mind and I was super aware when it was coming directly from the book. Presumably it’s because Gillian Flynn wrote the screenplay herself; I liked that about it.
- More men going down on women in movies, plz!
- I’ve read a lot of criticism about the way Nick’s and Amy’s stories were told in the movie. Amy’s is told with her voiceover so it’s always clear that it’s just her perspective. But Nick’s is told from the omnipresent POV, making him seem far more reliable, and also like less of a raging asshole. This is actually my main complaint about the movie: Nick was not made to look like the raging asshole that he is…which in turn makes Amy look like a “psycho bitch.” Which she is…but I felt like the best thing about the book was how it dug deeper into the stereotypes of the lazy, cheating husband and the shrill nagging bitch wife. This telling felt a lot less complex, and made it seem like Nick was not a saint, but a mostly decent guy who got wronged by his crazy bitch wife. And maybe that’s the reality, but it felt like the question surrounding that—of who was really right in this situation—was one of the most defining aspects of the book. In the movie, it felt like the question had already been answered for us.
- I didn’t like Go in the book but I liked her a lot in the movie.
- Tyler Perry, likable? Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either. And Missi Pyle’s Ellen Abbott was great.
- Thanks for the side peen, Ben Affleck! (Eric thinks it was a body double; I don’t because it was such a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, what would be the point?)
- When I read the book, I didn’t really buy the Desi murder plot. But hot damn, I bought it when I saw the movie. It was so gruesome, but I thought it was the best scene in the movie; it was so perfectly choreographed and the music was on point.
- I’m pretty sure the girls sitting next to me in the (packed) theater were drunk; they kept giggling throughout the movie and it was just so annoying.
- Remember when I said the plot twist reminded of me Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None? Well, Refinery29 posted an article this weekend suggesting that Agatha Christie was the original “Gone Girl,” a theory I will now treat as fact.
Bottom line: the movie was pretty good, as far as book adaptations go, but I think it missed the vibe of the book in some critical ways. I’m really glad I read the book before seeing it.