Picking the cover of a book is not a solo endeavor. There are a lot of opinions and things that need to be taken into consideration because, as we know, people judge books by their covers, as they should (I think).
I feel really confident about the cover. I think this cover, the one we finally arrived at, matches the contents of the book and the story. It fits. But it took A LONG time to arrive at this cover.I wanted to share with you a few early iterations and how we came to this conclusion. I think it’s fun!
I always think behind-the-scenes stuff is interesting (if this is putting you to sleep, there will be a recipe on Monday and it’s a good one!).
I recently abandoned this lil’ series I’ve been doing for a few years now. Mainly because I update so often on SNAPCHAT that I figure this is sort of pointless but there’s no writing on Snap so I’m back! And maybe you’re not on Snapchat so that’s another reason why it’s back.
I’m somewhat new to the snap and it took me a very looooong time to: A. Understand it. Holy shit it’s confusing. B. Actually start liking it.
But I Iove it. If you’re not using it, here’s my case: On Instagram everything is perfect. And I get it, we want to feel a bit inspired, we want things to be beautiful. Instagram was sort of built for this. But not Snapchat. It’s supposed to be the complete opposite. Anyone who you think lives a very curated perfect life, go on Snapchat and look them up. You’re instantly like, ohhhh they’re normal. And if you still feel like they’re not very relatable then they probably just aren’t. Haha.
I also get a little weird on snapchat. I let my hair down. I speak in my dog voice and most of the time my snaps are just Amelia trying to eat stuff she shouldn’t be eating.
This summer has been busy but not so busy that I haven’t enjoyed each day. There have been some rough moments too, mainly with family drama that makes me really sad when I think about it. This summer has been a good reminder that life isn’t supposed to be perfect, even if so many other things are good. Challenges are a part of the package.
Corgis are broken up into two categories: Welsh Pembrokes and Welsh Cardigans. Pembrokes are either tri-colored or that crouton, light brown color you’re probably used to seeing. I get a lot of corgi related questions and emails so I figured I’d put a bunch of things here.
1. Corgis are nosey. I grew up with dogs all my life so I know most dogs are nosey but OMG I swear Amelia is the nosiest dog I’ve ever met/owned. She wants to know everything.
She wants to know what’s in your bag, what’s in your pocket, the last you thing you ate, she wants to know all your secrets. When people come over they have to put their purses on the table because she’ll stick her head in my friends’ purse and pull everything out. And plus, who am I kidding. I love nothing more than to talk about my dog.
2. Corgis bark. A LOT! Corgis are used to herding (mostly) cattle. In order to move that cattle, they have to bark A LOT and loudly! They’re not afraid to bark to get their point across. Basically, Amelia barks at everything: sounds outside, when she’s hungry, when she’s moody, when she’s excited. Ugh.
3. Corgis shed. If I saved all of Amelia’s fur hanging around the corners of the house, I probably could’ve knitted an incredible throw by now.
4. Corgis are affectionate/needy. Amelia is a cuddlier which is nice because that’s why I have a dog. I want to live with animals that love me!
5. Corgis are bossy. Amelia likes to be in control. She wants to be the boss all the time. But I’m da boss so this is our daily struggle. She barks and cries and whines until she gets her way. Unfortunately for her, I am kinda patient and good at blocking her out and ignoring her.
6. Corgis have hind legs that look like rabbits. This is cute and weird all that the same time but I swear their hind legs remind me of lil’ rabbits.
7. Corgis can hold conversations. When I tell Amelia no, she usually grumbles back at me. When I ask her a question, she usually tilts her head and whines. We have full on conversations. They’re very animated.
8. Corgis need jobs. For the first year of Amelia’s life we strapped a backpack on her and put stuff in it. She needed to feel like she was accomplishing something. We’ve also taken her sheep-herding and it’s helped a whole lot with her internal My-So-Called-Life-type of angst.
9. Corgis LOVE food. She has no idea how lucky she is that I make food all day for a living. No idea. Amelia is very food driven which is good and bad. I can get her to do just about anything for a rind of watermelon. But she also has been known to steal bagels, eat whole blog posts and has no shame in eating a moldy bologna sandwich she finds in the bushes.
10. Corgis always look like they’re smiling. It’s true. The way their mouths open when agape it always look like they’re smiling. And you know, most of the time, Amelia is smiling inside because she is one of the happiest friendliest dogs I’ve ever met. The world could be crumbling but she’ll still be in a good mood. This is why I love her so much.
Today I’m taking a break from my Amy Schumer-binge watching to discuss one of my favorite topics: props! YAS. Maybe you have your own food blog and wanna add a few things to your collection or maybe you’re just super nosy and wanna know what I use. Or, maybe you’re like me and just love flatware, plates and mugs. Either way, this is all the stuff I love to use when shooting food. I’m also including a bunch of stuff I’m currently coveting because yes, I do need more stuff.
Probably my most used category of prop-age. A few years ago, I started throwing ceramics and I surprised myself by actually being able to make things that could properly contain liquids and foods. Who knew! I use a lot of my own small bowls for “ingredient shots.”
And these bowls from Anthropologie are pretty too. I bought them on sale for about $4 a piece. Scour the sales!
I forgot who makes the big orange bowl but I got it from a ceramicist in New Mexico. The peach color is exactly the color I think of when New Mexico pops in my mind.
I have a collection of Heath plates for my apartment. They’re simple and classic and food looks great on them. They’re also incredibly sturdy, which is great because I don’t want to stress about expensive ceramics breaking when I’m just eating some random quesadilla I made in 5 minutes.
One of my favorite plates is this one from Someware Goods. Her stuff is beautiful.
I also love the light blue flat plates with this lip all the way around. (Forget who makes them and they’re not marked on the bottom.) I actually need some new plates so if you have ones you’re coveting, let me know!
I’m really on the look to buy some new flatware. I use this collection that I bought from Amazon the most.
And this spoon! One day I’m gonna actually eat some soup with that spoon rather than just stare at it.
These types of accessories are my guilty pleasure. Put me in a store and I’ll come out with a tons of useless little things that have no real purpose other than “looking cute.” A lot of these items have been collected over time and weren’t bought all at once–that would be a bit crazy.
Please judge this book by its cover because I think it’s a good indication of what’s inside. There is lots of pie (naturally). There are pretty flower arrangements. There are fluffy things like whipped cream and soft fabrics. And those crafting scissors make an appearance or two. Also, AMELIA. That bitch is in da book A LOT.
I’m like one part excited and happy to share this with you and another part completely petrified. Like, part of me wants to hide under my bed and come out after the holidays. I’m at my most comfortable in the kitchen, writing and cooking and listening to music and saying inappropriate jokes with Billy. The part that scares me the most is having to present something like this to you, to shout this off the rooftops. This is the part that feels very uncomfortable. But here I am, screaming at you! Haha.
That’s not to say I’m not incredibly proud of this book. This book is personal. It feels like good piece of me is throughout; in the recipes and in the writing and in the use of lots of pale pink and grey and orange. It’s me.
There’s lots of Amelia in this book, too. TONS! She has a dog leash and doggie doughnuts and, and…lots more. This book is one part crafts, one part recipes with tidbits about how to make your days a bit more meaningful and exciting and fun.
The book is really about being happy. I cook and create because nothing makes me happier. And I firmly believe that this is the reason you probably do it, too. These recipes are meant to bring sparks of joy in the midst of our mundane and sometimes challenging lives. We can’t always control the larger things in life, like our jobs and relationships and family problems, but we can control how we spend our Saturday mornings. This book is about living with a bit of intention.
There will be more posts about the book, leading up to its release, which is October 6th (EEEK!). I want to write a post about making this book because OMG was it equal parts fun/hard/sweaty (heatwaves galore!).
I also think it might be helpful to see a proposal process?!
Honestly, writing this book reaffirmed my belief that nothing makes me happier than making, creating, cooking and hanging out with Amelia.
In publishing, pre-orders are extremely important. So, this is me pleading with you to pre-order. It also means that come October 5th or 6th, you’ll have this cute thing right at your doorstep! Also on Amazon it’s on sale for only $13!! (That’s about half off!)
Thanks in advance for your support. I can’t do it without you.
May is gone. I feel like so much stuff happened in May that the beginning of the month feels like light years away. I didn’t do an April round-up because I sort of forgot and then by the time I did remember, I was like, did anything really even happen in April? And the answer is NO. April was boring A.F. But May was exciting. So much happened so I’m thinking we should jump right in.
Well, Chicago was awesome. It was my first time in the city and I loved it a whole lot. By no means is this a guide of any kind (I wasn’t there long enough for that), but it is a round-up of places I loved.
The first night we ended up snagging a last-minute table at Fat Rice. The food is interesting and delicious: Portuguese influenced Asian food. It’s spicy and flavorful and full of combinations I’ve never had. And oh man, the potstickers were attached to this crepe/almost-Parmesan-crisp-like thing. I feel like I’ve had a lot of potstickers in my life but these were way different and cool.
The drinks were good too. It got dark quickly so this was the only photo I took worth showing and luckily it was one of my favorite dishes: da prawns.
The next morning I went to Intelligentsia in Logan Square. A lot of people were recommending other coffee shops but my morning coffee needs to be near where I’m staying because no one wants to talk to me/interact with me before I get it my body, you know?
I live near an Intelligentsia here in LA and the thing I loved about the Chicago Intelli was the lack of people. I went in, they were nice, I got my coffee, walked out and drank it! SIMPLE!
I’ve driven across the country exactly eight times. Eight times! I love road trips, even though I sort of hate driving. But I think I just hate driving in LA, which if you’ve never driven here just know that it isn’t the most relaxing, hand-out-of-the-window-in-the-wind kind of driving. There’s traffic and people arguing over parking spots at Whole Foods.
There’s something about open-air-driving that I really love. I got a lot of that in New Mexico a few weeks ago. Before my trip, which was hosted by The New Mexico Tourism board, I had only driven through Albuquerque a few times. As a kid, I was obsessed with Roswell and aliens. (We’ll get back to that later.) Would you like to see some photos and hear about my trip? It was special; there’s a reason New Mexico is called the land of enchantment.
I arrived in Albuquerque, picked up a car and got some lunch at El Modelo. One thing you learn very quickly in New Mexico is that the history is rich and the food is at its best when it’s not fancy or expensive.
I feel like a gigantic broken record when I say this, but OMG March flew by. How are we in April right now? I want February back. Actually, I’d be happy to re-live March again. Time is so fleeting, it moves so quickly that it’s actually scary. I wish I could freeze moments in times, months in time and just savor them a bit more. I sound like a gigantic baby but this is why my mom tells me 20s fly, 30s fly, enjoy them.
The month started off with all of the trees in Los Angeles blooming like crazy, like this one.