Welcome back to our On a High Note series – a roundup of inspiring, lighthearted and/or helpful ideas to try, read, make, cook, drink, do, and so on–– during the week ahead! Quarantined or not, it’s always important to plan things to look forward to, right? Grab your cup of coffee, and let’s jump in!
Read: Save Me the Plums
(Note: I’m linking to Amazon, but I’d recommend purchasing from local bookstore if you’d like to buy the physical book! They could really use our help right now! My favorite Chicago bookstore, Volumes Bookcafe does local delivery and pickup! The library is another wonderful option for both physical books and e-books!)
If you’ve been looking for something light and interesting to read, this is it! It’s easy to see why it’s a New York Times bestseller. I adored author Ruth Reichl’s writing style as she tells the story of her career and how she wound up as Editor in Chief of Gourmet Magazine, despite having zero magazine experience. It’s a peek into a world I know nothing about, but one I’ve always been drawn to!
Here’s the Amazon description:
When Condé Nast offered Ruth Reichl the top position at America’s oldest epicurean magazine, she declined. She was a writer, not a manager, and had no inclination to be anyone’s boss. Yet Reichl had been reading Gourmet since she was eight; it had inspired her career. How could she say no?
This is the story of a former Berkeley hippie entering the corporate world and worrying about losing her soul. It is the story of the moment restaurants became an important part of popular culture, a time when the rise of the farm-to-table movement changed, forever, the way we eat. Readers will meet legendary chefs like David Chang and Eric Ripert, idiosyncratic writers like David Foster Wallace, and a colorful group of editors and art directors who, under Reichl’s leadership, transformed stately Gourmet into a cutting-edge publication. This was the golden age of print media—the last spendthrift gasp before the Internet turned the magazine world upside down.
Complete with recipes, Save Me the Plums is a personal journey of a woman coming to terms with being in charge and making a mark, following a passion and holding on to her dreams—even when she ends up in a place she never expected to be.
We’ve had a record player for many years, and it’s one of our favorite things! Life had gotten so busy before this “forced slow down” that we hadn’t played any records in months. We’ve started playing them a lot more lately and realized how much we missed them! Aside from the old-school sound, there is something special about listening to an album the whole way through. You gain appreciation for songs you never knew existed before.
Always wanted a record player but haven’t gotten around to getting one? It’s the perfect time to start up a vinyl hobby! I’d recommend starting with an Audiotechnica, like this one––or, if you’re willing to spend a bit more for higher sound quality, this is the Audiotechnica model we have! Note: Both don’t have built-in speakers, so you’ll want to buy those separately (the sound quality for built-in speakers isn’t good anyway!) We play ours through Sonos!
Vinyl subscription: If you love discovering new music, consider a “record of the month” club! Neal’s friend started Vinyl Me Please, which starts at $25/month and lets you choose your package: the “Classics” package includes Jazz, Blues, and Soul, “Essentials” package includes music across genres, and the “Rap & Hip Hop” package includes, obviously, rap and hip hop!
Do: Subscribe to a print newspaper
When we were in Mallorca staying at Cap Rocat, they delivered the New York Times to us each morning to read over breakfast, and it was such a treat! We realized how much we loved reading a real print newspaper! It’s such a different experience and a nice way to slow down and read something you never would normally be able to learn about. I especially love the arts section and travel sections.
When we realized we would be spending a LOT of time at home for the foreseeable future, it seemed like the perfect thing to subscribe to. It gives you something to look forward to each weekend morning! We get the three day delivery (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and it’s $7.50 per week. You can just do Sunday though and it’s only $5 per week right now!
Follow: My friend Stacy’s chalk art!
My friend Stacy is the kind of person who is constantly surprising you with new talents. (But like, you’re not actually surprised, because she’s good at everything). Her latest one is chalk art, and during quarantine, she’s started creating INCREDIBLE chalk murals in her driveway with her daughter, Ashlyn! She just recently was featured on our local WGN news, but my goal is to get her on Ellen. 😉You can’t not smile looking at these works of art!
Watch: Old movies
Neal and I have decided that we want to start watching more old movies together! (I’m actually typically not a big movie person, but I do like old movies–they’re so much lighter and happier!)
Last night we watched the first 007 movie (Dr. No) and I think we’re going to continue the Bond movie marathon! (Definitely a “husband approved” shared hobby for you both, ha!)
Other old classics on Netflix: The Graduate, Guess Whose Coming to Dinner, Raging Bull, The Stranger, and more! Amazon has several as well––like Some Like it Hot, To Catch a Thief and more!
Make: Your own cold brew!
I started making cold brew last week and let me tell you, it makes me spring out of bed in the morning I am so excited for my first cup of iced coffee! If you missed it last week, I shared my method for making cold brew here along with a delicious (SUPER easy) homemade creamer that will make your morning coffee 100x more joyful!