HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND you guys!!
Do you have fun plans? Going to a lake house? Enjoying the peace and quiet in the city? Traveling somewhere else?
We’ll be heading to Beverly Shores (AKA Loftus Fam lake house central!) for a much-needed weekend of unplugging and family time. I can’t wait! The end of summer/early fall is my favorite time of year there. We’re really looking forward to it!
I actually had an Ask Jess post planned today, but this felt more fun to write “in the moment”. So here we go! Some fun things to do this weekend:
An Aperol Spritz or Negroni, duh!! Spritz season is almost over, so soak it all up now! 😭There are Cocktails with Neal episodes on how to make both. Both are SO easy and require very few ingredients! To watch, just see my Cocktails IG Story highlight!
Here’s a sneak peak of a recipe from my TJ’s Hacks e-Book (!!!)
(Right now, it’s only available to those on my TJ’s email waiting list–but it launches publicly THIS WEEK!!)
This super quick, healthy grilling dinner is PERFECT for this weekend and so, SO good. All you do is cut chicken into strips, marinate in TJ’s spicy Zhoug sauce for a few hours up to overnight, string it on some skewers, and throw it on the grill! Especially good drizzled with some Tzatziki!
Plus my tip for the best grilled veggies? (Okay, it’s actually my mom’s tip. 😂) Baste them in BBQ sauce! Drizzle some olive oil on ’em, then once they’re on the grill, brush on your favorite BBQ sauce, turn, and continue basting until they’re done. You will never want to grill a veggie another way ever again!
If you need some new reads to download to your Kindle this weekend!
Three Women: This book has seriously taken the world by storm. I feel like I can’t scroll anywhere on Instagram without seeing it! It came highly recommended by Grace and Becca! They recently interviewed Morgan from NYC Book Girl who works at the publishing company. It was one of my favorite episodes! I obviously started following her and Avid Reader Press on Instagram. One thing lead to another and she generously sent me a copy! Thanks Morgan!
The Baker’s Secret: For my WWII historical fiction junkies, I highly recommend this book. It’s about a girl in France who is a baker and how she helps keep her village alive during Nazi occupation.
The Idea of You: Okay, another one I picked up because of Bad on Paper and also Anna said it was the best book she read all year. I didn’t even bother reading the description but was VERY surprised to find out that it was basically a Mrs. Robinson style 50 Shades of Grey. 😂That said, you will tear through it this weekend in about two sittings. IT’S AMAZING.
The Island of Sea Women: Lisa See is one of my FAVORITE authors. My mom and I inhale all of her books, which are Asian historical fiction set in various time periods and various countries, with beautiful and complicated female relationships at the core. This book is no different–it follows two friends who live on a small coastal island off of Korea (what was then one country under Japanese rule) called Jeju. The women of Jeju are deep-sea divers called Haenyeo. While, the men in the community keep house and focus on the children. I had NEVER heard of this before and it was absolutely fascinating to learn about. They would dive even in the dead of winter wearing just a thin layer of clothes! She has a page of her site dedicated to Haenyeo with some videos you can watch, too! Anyway, it is an AMAZING book.
The Amazon description can sum it up better than I can:
This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a world turned upside down. One where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. A classic Lisa See story—one of women’s friendships and the larger forces that shape them—The Island of Sea Women introduces readers to the fierce and unforgettable female divers of Jeju Island. And the dramatic history that shaped their lives.
OMG have you listened to the My Dad Wrote a Porno podcast yet? I feel like we were the only ones who hadn’t started listening to it yet. We played a couple episodes while making dinner and could NOT stop laughing. You will DIE. Our friend Grace whose family owns our favorite wine shop, Joe’s Wine Cellar, turned us onto it. She said she had to stop listening to it on the bus because she couldn’t contain her laughter.😂 Play it in the car on your road trip!
If you need new tunes, head over to my big Best Spotify Playlist roundup–there are so many good ones!!
Neal’s turn in Celebrity–all the concentration. 😂
My friends seem to be the only ones who call this game “Celebrity” but I’ve also heard it called “Fishbowl.” We played this when we were in Montana for my best friend Kate’s wedding. It was THE BEST GAME. If you’ll have a big group around this weekend, I highly recommend playing this game! (Will you film a story playing it and tag me so I can see!? 😂)
For some background, after the wedding, all of Kate and Matt’s closest friends rented two Ski-in/Ski-out cabins. There were like 30 of us playing this game at our house one night. Here’s how to play it:
Give everyone three strips of paper. Everyone must write down a person, a place, and a thing. (One per paper) and then put them all into a bowl/hat/etc. Divide into teams (depending on how many people you have). The bigger the group, the more wild the game will get!
Team #1 will select a person to go first, who will try to get their team to guess as many slips as they can in 1 minute. Once team A’s minute is up, they add up how many slips of paper they guessed correctly and record that many points for the round. Repeat for all teams.
It’s up to you if you allow each person one “skip,” (if they don’t know how to give any clues to the word on the paper) but if so, you can only skip once–if a minute passes and what is on the paper hasn’t been guessed, it goes back into the bowl.
Once all of the slips of paper have been guessed, the round is complete, and they all get added back to the bowl for rounds 2 and 3. After round 3 is complete, add up the total number of slips of paper each team has guessed from each round and the team with the most points is the winner.
Now, the most fun part: Each round has different rules on how the person who is “it” can give their team clues:
Round 1: You can use both words and actions, but you can’t say any portion of the actual name. (So if the word is “Lady Gaga” You can’t say “Lady ____” but you could say, “She calls her fans Little Monsters.”
Round 2: You can use ONLY actions (I.E. act it out Charades style) to get your team to guess the word on the paper. (OMG I’m horrible at this game, IDK how you’d even act out Lady Gaga? 😂Pretend to play the piano? SEE? IT’S HARD!!)
Round 3: You can use only ONE WORD to get your team to guess the word on the paper, so they must choose carefully! (In our Lady Gaga example, “SHALLOW” or “TELEPHONE” or “ALEJANDRO” could be your only clue).
IT’S SO HARD. I was so bad at it, but some people were SO good at it and we were literally rolling on the floor crying laughing. You must play!