Welcome! Here you’ll find the chronicles of my adventures in cooking, making over our new home, traveling, being a farmer’s wife, and all the absurdity that seems to follow me around.
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Women rocked it this week. This week’s Friday Favorites are all about strong women and beautiful things.
As I recapped last week, I LOVED visiting Nashville. Great food, great music, great history. It’s also seen a boom in recent times and as you walk down Lower Broadway there’s an interesting mix of old honkey tonks, new honkey tonks trying to look like old honkey tonks, and restaurants with some amazing interior design. I mentioned we visited Acme Feed and Seed, a newer restaurant/bar which really nailed the vintage warehouse look. Merchants, however, was my favorite for interior design and is in a notable hotel that which apparently put up many music legends over the years. I think I’d call their look ‘vintage glam Southern diner’ — that makes sense right? How amazing are those floors?!
I don’t watch morning TV, but I have always thought Kelly Rippa of Live! was a tiny little powerhouse. She got a lot of flack last week for taking a day off to process the news that her long-term employer kept her—the headliner of the show—in the dark about Michael Strayhan’s move to Good Morning America. Everyone was waiting to see how she handled her return….and I thought she nailed it. She took ABC to the woodshed as much as she could and I hope that she inspired other women in the workplace to stand their ground, demand a seat at the table, and expect respect. Huge props to Kelly #strongwomen. You can watch it here.
Etsy Goes Solar—On a HUGE Scale
A former student of mine who used her capstone project to propose an innovative strategy to take Etsy towards 100% renewable energy—including it’s shipping AND makers—announced last week that Etsy is moving forward on adopting this strategy with a goal of being 100% renewable by 2020. Guys, this is a HUGE initiative because many companies in e-commerce don’t look past their own facilities when considering clean energy when shipping and production are often their biggest issue, but Etsy is taking responsible for its entire carbon footprint and will work with it’s makers around the world to install solar systems on individual homes to work towards carbon neutrality. Congrats to Chelsea and Etsy!!
After the Rain
I stopped by Rose Hill Farm to see TimTheFarmer and as we were chatting on the amazing wrap-around porch, we got pinned there by an absolute downpour. It’s the kind of porch where you can sit there through a wild storm and stay completely dry – I loved sitting there! Then, as the storm cleared out, the light became absolutely amazing, looking out over the apple orchard and blueberry patch. Otis was clearly less impressed.
I know everyone else is talking about this this week, but Beyoncé dropped a bomb of a record this week. I’m so out of the loop that I had no idea a big album was coming out, but by Monday, after hearing all the hype, I was intrigued. I downloaded it and was blown away. If you take it at face value (and not a marketing ploy as some are claiming) which I’m choosing to do, it’s an amazing tour of her personal journey through infidelity and the experience of black women, “the most disrespected person in America”, to quote Beyoncé quoting Malcolm X. The video that accompanies it is incredibly deep and thoughtful and emotional and beautiful (even at it’s darkest). Every track is something you’ve never heard before and explores all sorts of musical styles. It’s rock and soul and pop and hip hop and brass band. You’ve never seen this Beyoncé before. She’s all grown up. And an aside, it doesn’t matter who ‘Becky with the good hair’ is … why don’t we look squarely at the man at fault here?
Ok friends, I’m looking forward to a weekend of gardening and tag sales. And you can bet Beyoncé will be the soundtrack to my weekend :). Have a great weekend!
POSTED IN: Beyoncé, farming, feminism, Hudson Valley, interior design, Kelly Ripa, Nashville
POSTED IN: Beyoncé, farming, feminism, Hudson Valley, interior design, Kelly Ripa, Nashville
Hey guys. It’s Friday. You know what that means? In 5 more days I’ll get a day off, wahoo! And, it means a trip to Costco, which will include buying 8 lbs of Kerry Gold butter and 6 lbs of uncured bacon to get us through the month #allthefat. With that vision in your minds, let’s get to right to what I was loving this week.
Where are my Serial junkies out there?! If you didn’t listen to the first season of Serial, do it now. Then, listen to Undisclosed. Undisclosed is a little hard to get through as it’s super dense and full of a lot of legal technicalities and I admittedly zoned out during at least 30% of it, but it’s still super interesting, and convincing, and scary. The last couple weeks have been cool because Adnan Syed’s post-conviction relief hearing took place and was covered by both podcasts. It was really interesting to hear the pro-Adnan camp cover the hearing and Sarah Koenig cover it with her “unbiased” journalist approach (unbiased is in quotes because I’m not sure she is). I’ll say I find Susan Simpson a bit glib which I don’t think does Adnan any favors and I also find Sarah Koenig a bit of a wet noodle (commit already), but still, I really appreciated the chance to compare the two versions of the hearing, rather than only hearing from one party, and I’m still convinced of his innocence. #freeadnan
2. Water bottle
I’m Katie and I have a water bottle addiction. It started in 3rd grade when I would freeze a plastic bottle full (but not all the way full) of water overnight and take it to class with me the next day. Not to toot my own horn, but I was an early adopter of Nalgenes in the late 90s and to this day, have a water bottle with me everywhere I go (and probably a good build up of BPA). I’m always trying to find the perfect water bottle – I pick up free ones at conferences and try all the different kinds I find (on sale). I really wanted to like Liberty bottles because they have a social responsibility component, but they leak and dent. I’ve developed a preference for bottles with straws, but learned the hard way, that most of them leak when air pressure or air temperature changes. I’ve had an entire bottle slowly leak all over my carry-on on the airplane because of the pressure change … ackkk! My sister swears by Contigo bottles and promised me they wouldn’t leak, so I picked one up before I went to Colorado and gave it a try. And, it rocked!! It didn’t leak and it turned out to have a handy clip so I could hang it from the seat pocket. After years of searching for the perfect, non-leaking, straw water bottle, I may have found it. I know…nerd alert! Can you really believe I just devoted 200 words to a water bottle??
3. Taylor Swift
I was horrified last week when Kanye West’s song came out about Taylor Swift – the continued misogyny and narcissism in his music grosses me out more than most other musicians and the arrogance associated with claiming he made Taylor Swift famous is absurd. I was never a T Swift fan during her country days because her voice grates on me, but her new album is ok with me, since it’s so engineered that her voice isn’t front and center. #thecritichasspoken Anyway, all this is to say, I’m not a fan of either of these two, but I LOVED Taylor Swift’s Grammy Speech. Despite her pitchy voice (in my expert opinion), she continues to be one of the better celebrity role models for young girls (even with her thigh gap) and I am stoked that she called Kanye out.
So, I never thought I would own Uggs. After the Britney Spears-fueled obsession of the mid-2000s, I wanted nothing to do with them. But…I’d seen this pair on a friend and they didn’t really look like Uggs, they looked like sweaters on your feet. This was in 2010. It took another 6 years (10-15 years post Britney) for me for me to seriously consider them. I saw they were on sale recently (because we never pay full price), so my mom got them for me as an early birthday gift. Now, I get it. They are so comfortable and cozy and this pair, that can be tall or short, are totally like sweaters for your feet/legs. It’s taking all my willpower not to wear them to work. Orrrrrrr…since I wrote the dress code, perhaps I should rewrite it??
5. Homes with views
I was lucky enough to grow up in two homes with amazing views in Colorado. Check these out. This is my dad and stepmom’s house with a stunning view of Pikes Peak – from my bed (evening light and morning light).
This is from my mom and stepdad’s deck overlooking a frigid Horsetooth Reservoir.
Have a great weekend everyone!!
For anyone who’s taken any sort of women and politics or feminism course, the phrase “The Personal is Political” will have immediate meaning. For those who didn’t, you can read about its origin and meaning here. Today’s Friday Favorites aren’t really about women’s lib, the title is more a way of saying, let’s get (a little) serious today. For some reason, this week has seen multiple things come across my social media channels that I actually stop, click on, and consume, which is rare. So, I’m sharing them here.
1. Presidential Candidate Meme
2016 is shaping up to be a wild, and potentially terrifying presidential, race. I’m not looking to bring politics onto this blog, so that’s all I’ll say about that. I’m bringing it up though, because this week, this meme swept through social media and what I found so interesting about it is that people on all sides of the political spectrum were posting it. The armchair sociologist/political scientist in me is fascinated by this, given the fact that there are a couple candidates who are really firing people up on both sides, but neither have mainstream appeal. This will be an interesting election to watch play out, as long as it goes the right way ;). Also, the guy writing it sort of looks like Trump…coincidence??
2. You’re so pretty…Don’t be so bossy
This video, by the Huffington Post is burning up Facebook. I think this video is powerful and eye opening, particularly for people who haven’t read Lean In (see below). The instilling of gender stereotypes/roles in children through language is something I’m fascinated by. On one end, always focusing on a girl’s looks and telling her not to be bossy can pigeon hole her into a particular role, take focus away from her ability and intelligence, and hold her back from having the confidence to accomplish the highest level of whatever is she might want to accomplish – which we need her to do solve humanity’s most urgent issues…not to be melodramatic or anything. On the other end, what is the solution? Because, treating girls like boys is certainly not it. How do we embrace and encourage the amazing and powerful differences between genders while enabling both boys and girls, women and men, shes and hes and theys, to reach their full potential? That’s the conversation I’m interested in.
3. Radical Candor
Confession: I have never had professional feedback at any point in my career. At first I didn’t mind. I’m stubborn and independent and always do things right #not, and I’ve always bristled at criticism. Now, as much as I don’t want to hear criticism (or praise, which makes me equally uncomfortable), I’m starving for it. I’m starving for it because I want to know how I can be better and I’m starving for it because I need to give it and have no idea how.
All of my bosses have generally given me free reign—and I genuinely appreciate their confidence in me. I don’t hear about it when I’m doing well, and if they’re unsatisfied with any part of my performance, I have no idea. I recognize now, that not giving feedback can both be a sign of confidence in me, but also a sign that they’re not either not invested in my professional development/the organization’s optimal operations and/or don’t, themselves, know how to give feedback.
Now that I have a team that works for me, I have nothing to reference—no role model, no mentor—when I try to give feedback. It’s a constant challenge for me and I’m often sifting through human resources websites looking for guidance. I want to give them feedback, both on strengths and opportunities for improvement. This article came across my Facebook feed from a former student who is now pursuing a career in HR and it really resonated with me. I encourage you to check it out and welcome tips on giving feedback!
4. Lean In – Read It!
If you haven’t read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In yet, do it. It’s one of two books I read every year or so (the other is Andy Cohen’s The Andy Cohen Diaries…the absurdity of this statement is not lost on me). I don’t necessarily agree with everything in it, but it has had a major role in how I’ve approached my career in the last 3 years and how I advise graduate students to go get it, whatever “it” might be. And for the record, everyone should read it, not just women.
5. Family Time and Cookies
I am so grateful we had the chance to spend last weekend with my hilarious and adorable and crazy nephews (and my sister, BIL, and good friends). We packed a lot into last weekend, which you can read about here, and made some amazing memories. Speaking of making amazing things – the paleo chocolate chip cookies we made this week have totally kept me going amidst a crazy schedule. It also turns out I completely mistold the story, so I added an additional update here.
Happy weekend everyone!