Weekend Brunch

An ode to one of my favorite meals

an ode to brunching

“Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”

– Guy Beringer, “Brunch: A Plea”, Hunter’s Weekly 1895

A few weekends ago, Joe and I were watching back episodes of Good Eats on Netflix, when we happened upon an episode devoted to brunch. The episode opened with the origins of brunch — both the meal and the word. A portmanteau of breakfast and lunch, you know, I’m sure. But as to where the meal came from? Many believe it came from the tradition of late morning breakfasts following a big hunt in England — and, when civilly served on Sunday, around noon, allowed for Saturday night shenanigans.

The word brunch first appeared in print in an 1895 edition of Hunter’s Weekly, in which author Guy Beringer wrote an article entitled “Brunch: A Plea,” and proposed the idea of a Sunday noonday meal that would start with coffee and light spreads for toast before advancing on to heavier, savory dishes. He was on to something; though it took several years, brunch became popular in the U.S. in the 1930s.

I love brunch, and I always have. I’m not talking about the restaurants that serve tired old buffets of food that sit out for hours, with crappy bottomless mimosas that taste like Sunny-D and Cook’s. I’m talking about real brunch, a proper, sit-down, leisurely meal, and if I’m being extravagant, with at least three beverages (a hot tea to start, then a Champagne or Bloody Mary, and ending with an espresso). For me, it’s one of the real pleasures of the weekend. Recently, some writers have argued otherwise (especially in New York, where brunch is either revered or reviled), but whether served at home or enjoyed out with friends, you can count me firmly in the brunch-loving camp. It doesn’t have to be scene-y or expensive to be good — in fact, some of my favorite brunches I’ve made at home with Joe. So yes, consider this my ode to brunch.  I hope it inspires you to slow down, sip, and enjoy this weekend!

A little week/end reading on brunch:

The Birth of Brunch: Where Did This Meal Come From Anyway?
At Brunch, The More Bizarre, The Better
It’s Time to Shut Up About Brunch
Yep: Brunch Really Was Created to Cure Hangovers

Happy weekend, everyone!

This month's quote: "Take your pleasure seriously."

9 Sweater Tunics to Wear With Leggings


So those fabulous over-the-knee boots I bought earlier this fall? It’s only begat one problem — they’re kind of all I want to wear now, and with that, I only want to wear them with leggings and a big cozy sweater. I’ll be honest — up until recently, leggings have not been a huge part of my fall wardrobe. I was a stick-with-skinny-jeans kind of gal, thank you very much. But like all other trends that seem to become classics — skinny jeans, maxi dresses, et al — I’ve been a late adopter and once on the bandwagon, don’t really understand what took me so long. So yes, I’ve been stocking up on leggings, too. Leggings need a specific kind of top, and with cooler temps, that means warm, chunky sweaters.

I had a couple of these types of knits in my wardrobe, but especially love how they look with the taller boots, so I’ve been on the lookout for a couple more sweater tunics to wear with leggings. I know I won’t shut up about Banana Republic’s new collection and styling this fall, but seriously, it’s been really good — I added this sweater and this one to my collection (the latter looks a little short on the model, but I found that if I sized up, I got a more drapey, tunic-y look that covered all the necessary bits. And hello, zipper details!). This sweater tunic from Gap comes in a couple different colors and is currently on sale; and if you are looking for a slightly different silhouette, I’m in LOVE with this gorgeous pumpkin-hued poncho (how fun, right?).

Ok, so I’m pretty sure I’m one of the last people to adopt the leggings/sweater tunic look, but if you’re still hesitating, trust me when I say — if maxi dresses are summer’s secret pajamas, leggings and sweater tunics are fall/winter’s. Bundle up!


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Beauty Review: Burt’s Bees Spot Treatment

burt's bees targeted spot treatment review

It happens every year, and nearly every season. As the weather begins to change, my skin totally freaks out. The result? A delightful mix of super dry patches, and acne that seems to pop up out of nowhere. Does this happen to you too?

Causes aside, I find that most seasons, switching up my skincare routine and products (i.e., more hydrating formulas in colder months, not using as hot of water, abiding by these tricks to avoid breakouts) can typically clear up any problems. But this autumn, for whatever reason, I’ve had a hard time kicking the little blemishes that have cropped up. Maybe it’s stress, or not getting enough good quality sleep, but my usual switch-ups weren’t having the desired effect. So, it was time to bring in a blemish treatment.

Deciding on a more natural acne treatment was a bit new for me this year, as it’s not something I’ve struggled with since switching to a primarily natural/non-toxic beauty routine a few years ago. Benzoyl Peroxide, a common chemical used to combat acne in many drugstore beauty products, is super effective, but for me, super damaging. I used it throughout my teenage years over acne on my forehead, and kind of wish I hadn’t. My skin is pretty sensitive to it now (becoming inflamed, red, itchy, and usually peel-y), and from what I’ve read, BP has been reported to cause increased sun sensitivity, and generate free radicals. I’ve also noticed that the skin on my forehead appears to have aged faster than anywhere else — it seems thinner, with lots and lots of fine lines, and correspondingly, this is the only place I applied a BP treatment for years at a time. Hmmm. I have no official way to confirm that BP caused that aging, but it makes me wonder, you know?

For me, going down this hard-line pimple defense route meant turning to salicylic acid, another common blemish medication — primarily because it can be derived naturally from willow bark. This made it much easier to locate a more natural product that relied on willow bark extract. And, I found it in Burt’s Bees Spot Treatment.

burt's bees acne spot treatment review

You probably know Burt’s from their great lip balm treatments, but many people aren’t familiar with their skin and hair care products. This little vial has been liquid gold — almost literally! The formula is a mix of alcohol, herbal extracts, and of course willow bark. You can dot a little of the liquid on your fingers, or put some on a q-tip and then apply to your blemish (it took me a few weeks to figure that one out…doh). I find the formula shrinks pimples quickly, and can eradicate them almost entirely within a day or two. It’s dramatically reduced the severity and number of blemishes on my skin.

Downsides? The smell is a little strong, though I found it dissipates within a few minutes (and especially if you apply regular moisturizer over the treatment). And, I really do recommend using a q-tip to apply, otherwise, you end up getting a lot of the treatment on your fingers, and it soaks in so quickly you end up using more than you need to. I wouldn’t recommend applying this over large areas of your skin, but for that zit that just appeared out of nowhere, it’s a good product.

I like that this treatment is widely available both online (here and here) and in drugstores everywhere, so if you want to give it a try, you hopefully won’t have any trouble finding it!

More beauty reviews to come…I’ve been playing around with a lot of new fun skincare goodies lately!