Week/End

(and a 3-day weekend at that)

lucy and victoria

macchiato

glade arch, central park

DON’T TALK TO ME!: One writer spent a week trying to chat up people on New York City subways. Results, unsurprisingly, were mixed.

I WANNA TRY: This gorgeous eggplant and feta sandwich. Two of my favorite things, placed in between bread. What could possibly go wrong?

EMAIL ASSISTANCE: I’ve been a fan of Lisa’s autoresponder email technique since she started it earlier this summer. Any biz owners (or actually, anyone) who suffers from a crazy Inbox will enjoy her post on why an autoresponder will change your life!

I’M CRAVING FOR YOU: I’ve updated the Candy page! Don’t forget to swing by there on the regular for my favorite finds from small businesses, artisans, and new-to-me shops, as well as additional links to articles the likes of which you might find in a Week/End post (I’m always finding them!). And, apologies if I just got the song ‘Candy’ in anyone’s head for the day (oy).

ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE: I really enjoyed reading this personal essay about making what you want in life happen. Anything really is possible!

LET ME EAT CAKE: I was totally wowed by Alison’s beautiful White Layer Cake with Strawberry Buttercream. Well done indeed! Aren’t her photos beautiful?

LAST CHANCE GIVEAWAY: Don’t forget to enter the Parima Studio giveaway! It closes this coming Sunday evening. Sunday will also be the last day to get 15% off prints in Patricia’s shop with the code PSROSE15!

ACTING FRENCH: A really wonderful piece on how one man immersed himself in the French language this summer…and learned a lot about himself and culture along the way.

PROTECT YO’SELF: This month on The Well, Meg and I wrote a whole series of posts around the theme of “protection” in blog and biz life. Be sure to stop by and check out all the posts! We covered legal stuff, financial stuff, protecting your stuff, and even protecting people in your life.

AND FINALLY, THE LABOR DAY SALES: So. many. good ones! Be sure to check out the “In This Post” section below for a longer list, but a few worth noting: Barney’s Warehouse is offering extra discounts on sale items (this sale is often where I scoop up designer shoes at ridiculously good prices); Nordstrom is, of course, offering a great sale on summer items and many fall pieces too (like these boots!); and J.Crew is offering an extra 40% off sale styles with the code WEEKEND (these embroidered shorts are now on MEGA sale!). That’s just the tip of the iceberg…see below for more!

What in the….??? How is it already Labor Day weekend? I feel like I blinked and this summer was gone. Just me? This weekend, we’re staying local but still have a full weekend planned: game night with friends, girlfriend brunches for me, enjoying an empty Upper East Side before the madness of a New York fall begins next week (it always amazes me how the Tuesday after Labor Day, the city feels like it swells with people again. You forget that that’s what it feels like 9 months out of the year here!). It’s been an interesting summer to say the least, and I’m so looking forward to fall’s cooler temps, the change it might bring, and of course, the wardrobe that comes with it.

What are you up to this lovely long weekend?

In this post:

SHOP LABOR DAY SALES!

Nordstrom | Shopbop | Bauble Bar | Old Navy (I just got these leggings and love ‘em) | Meg Biram | Barneys Warehouse | Furbish (15% off everything with code ENDOFSUMMER) | J. Crew

IMAGES: via my Instagram

Have a great long weekend, everyone!

This month's quote: "All we can do is the best we can do."

Hot Commodity: Perfumes from Commodity Goods

I mean, this packaging.

commodity goods perfume

Earlier this week, as I was scrolling through Instagram, I noticed this snap from Lauren, and was instantly intrigued (as you can tell by the conversation we had!). A new-to-me perfume line, with insanely good packaging? Telllll me more!

After heading to the Commodity Goods website like Lauren recommended, I was sold. With Commodity, you can find a totally unique fragrance, right in the comfort of your home. The company works with a 160 year old French fragrance house, and creates all the fragrances in L.A. To try any of ‘em out, you simply order a $9 sample pack (called a “fitting kit”), decide what you like, and place an order. I’m a TOTAL sucker for unique perfumes, especially ones that won’t be recognizable. I also find find it’s easy to get a headache hanging out in places like Sephora or a department store, where all the scents (and people) can overwhelm. I loved the idea of testing out a fragrance in Commodity’s collection simply by spritzing one on each morning, and then seeing which one one suited me as the day passed by. Find a fave, then order directly from their website. Easy enough!

And, I mean, the packaging. If Lauren’s Instagram didn’t convince you, holy chic do these things look good sitting on a dresser. The women’s collection of Commodity perfumes features these light, pretty bottles with gold labels; the men’s collection is equally as striking.

I’ve already ordered my own sample pack and cannot WAIT to get it — I’ll be sure to report back on which scents I’m digging. I’m also kind of into the idea of layering the scents, just to see what happens, like this video demonstrates (hmm…Gold Magnolia? Tea Mimosa?). For $9, it’s a fun little beauty experiment, no? Plus, if you end up ordering a full size perfume, Commodity lets you put that $9 towards your purchase! If you end up ordering a sample pack, be sure to come back here and tell me which scent you loved.

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Recipe: Homemade Ricotta

Yes, you can make your own cheese at home!

homemade ricotta recipe
I remember the first time I ever made a fresh ricotta — it was like magic. It was a few months into culinary school, and the particular kitchen we were in had a bunch of milk and half and half that needed to be used up, lest it end up spoiled in the garbage. Chef told us to get some huge pots — the kind you’d use to make gallons of stock — and pour all the milk in it. Not but a little while later, we had beautiful, soft, fresh ricotta cheese. It was nothing like the gloppy, congealed kind I’d come to know from the grocery store. No, this cheese was light, fluffy, and as soft as a pillow. What’s more incredible is that it’s one of the easiest things to make at home (and impress your friends with).

The recipe? Curdle some milk. No really, that’s it. You boil some dairy — whole milk, and whatever other full fat cream or half and half you have on hand — then put acid in it. Use lemon juice, vinegar, or as I did this weekend, both! Strain it, and let it hang out for a few minutes, and boom, you’ve got ricotta cheese. It’s really as simple as that.

recipe for homemade ricotta

The real joy in making fresh ricotta at home is deciding what you want to put on top of it. I’m particularly fond of it spread on some toasted bread, and topped with bright flavors like a vinegary cherry tomato salad with basil. But it’s light sweetness and softness means it’s also perfectly at home with a drizzle of honey and a bit of melon, too. You’re really only limited by your imagination!

If the best part of fresh, homemade ricotta is deciding what to garnish it with, the second best part is the surprise and delight of your guests when you serve it. Most people won’t expect you to make a fresh cheese from scratch at home, and they’re doubly surprised by how different — and more luxurious! — it is than the ol’ store bought kind. Give it a try! Here’s what you do: Read the full post +

In this post:

Images: by Victoria McGinley