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Lemon Chicken Soup & A Premature Christmas Playlist

Do you have a kinder, more adaptable friend in the food world than soup? Who soothes you when you are ill? Who refuses to leave you when you are impoverished and stretches its resources to give a hearty sustenance and cheer? Who warms you in the winter and cools you in the summer? Yet who also is capable of doing honor to your richest table and impressing your most demanding guests? Soup does its loyal best, no matter what undignified conditions are imposed upon it. You don't catch steak hanging around when you're poor and sick, do you?" — Judith Martin

November is fierce this week! Thin, bright sunlight is sparkling without giving off warmth. The wind cuts. We can finally wear our warm clothes, yet even the thickest sweaters are insufficient. Gosh, I love it.

I like when November cleans house from the rest of the year. Every cobweb is blown away, every pile of old thoughts, like leaves, swept into corners and forgotten in preparation for the Grand Event of the holidays. This year I've given up all pretense of waiting for Christmas music till after Thanksgiving. Waiting has ceased to appeal to me. After all, the rest of the Christmas-celebrating world begins their fun in early November, and 2020 is not the year that I will refuse myself added cheer. In addition, this is the last Christmas I am going to spend as an unmarried woman. Andrew and I agreed to make the most of our final "normal" Christmases with our individual families and enjoy them in a top-level way. This means we get to max out enjoyment of long-held traditions before we form our own way of celebrating Christmas together. Let the Christmas-ing commence, I say! 

In Defense of Anchovies: A Wildly Unpopular Post

I hate fishy-fish. The fishiest fish I'll make a case for eating is a good thick sheet of lox on an everything bagel with cream cheese. But in general, if it's fishy-fish, you can count me out. I really want to be that person who eats kippers on toast, or likes nothing better than a plate of grilled sardines with lemon. Maybe I will be someday. In addition to a pronounced, fishy flavor, I cannot stand bones. I have never gotten on with the idea that fish bones are something to be crunched and savored; I do not want a throat full of pins for dinner. Conversely, if you try to remove every bone from most delicate fish you are left with nothing but a pile of flakes and bits which might do just fine for a taco, but isn't what I wanted to pay $35 for. I make an exception for branzino, because the thrill of eating an entire fish myself more than makes up for having to gently lift the meat from the long, needlelike rib bones.

New Era, Same Hunger

On October 1st when I announced that I was leaving social media for an indeterminate length of time, I really didn't know how I felt about it. I knew that I needed to leave (for the time being), and even on some level that I wanted to leave. But the night before signing out, I got such an intense case of FOMO that I had to text Andrew about it simply to cool the panic. I've always feared disconnection from the people and things I love...I wondered if that was what was ahead of me. I even wondered (and I do still wonder) if it's possible to exist as an active part of this world without social media. Our world is so centered around social media that the assumption on everyone's part is that information is unnecessary to communicate outside of social media. Shops and restaurants do not update their websites with current hours, friends and family mutually suppose that they've seen updates from each other's lives. We forget to communicate outside the realm of social media because there is typically absolutely no need. This is a strange new era, as potentially damaging as it is brilliant and connective. So is it possible to exist in this world without social media? I will not be the one to find out, of course. I still have email; I still have this blog; those are forms of social media. But the exit from Instagram and Facebook, from Twitter and other places online has been incredible. 

Shopping For A Wedding Dress (As A Curvy Girl): 5 Things To Keep In Mind

(a dress I loved, but not the dress I adored)

In the ongoing circus of planning a wedding, the task of finding one's perfect wedding dress can be arduous. Not only must we consider what style we want to wear, but where to shop, and whether the dresses we like are even within our budget. We then churn through the rigmarole of finding exact dresses we'd like to try on, locating bridal shops that carry them, setting up bridal appointments, and deciding who to bring with us for the try-on. If these practical logistics weren't enough, the whole act of finding, "THE DRESS THAT YOU'VE DREAMED OF YOUR WHOLE LIFE," and knowing that, "THIS DRESS WILL FOREVER STAND IN YOUR WEDDING PHOTOS AS YOUR MEMORIES OF THIS DAY," can bring up a crushing amount of insecurity about our bodies. This is true for anyone I'm sure, but I'm a plus size bride so I'm speaking to the plus size brides. 

Things I'm Loving (Besides Being Engaged)

Wow guys. Life moves fast. A month after my last post, Andrew proposed to me in a rather elaborate and wonderful way (most of you know about it. Those of you who don't, I'll spare you the details). Suffice it to say, I'm a terribly happy girl who is now planning a wedding. I will give a few photos as proof of all that happened that day. As proof that the proposal was a surprise, I give you the glaring evidence of me, not having bothered to change out of the clothes in which I had been nannying all day. Literally everyone else was dressed up, and there I was on the brink of this important moment, rocking quarantine eyebrows, frizzy hair, and jeans with frayed cuffs.