Sunday Mornings

Good morning dear reader! I hope your weekend has been filled with fresh air and a little sunshine. I can feel spring coming. Can you? Hang in there.

The photo above is a picture of bacon-and-chocolate -covered -strawberry-roses. Remember how on Thursday I mentioned I once did one fun Valentine gift for E? That was it. It was during my first year in Los Angeles and I decided to get crafty. Needless to say the roses (and how I delivered them) were a big hit. Now the bar has been set too high. (Also, I apparently had sushi that week?? I dunno.)

As for this week, I want to bake a chocolate cake. Not for Valentine’s Day per say, but mostly because I know it will be a rough work week. I feel like it will be good therapy/self-care: baking (and eating) a chocolate cake. Options one, two and three. (Feel free to add your vote or share a favorite in the comments!)

Besides looking at several dozen chocolate cake recipes, I found a few other tidbits on the ‘net this week.

Enjoy the day! Chocolate cake for everyone!

XO

 

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Gift Guide for the Movie Lover

Earlier this week I shared some of my favorite gift ideas for the foodie in your life. Today, I’m back with ideas for your favorite movie lover.

For this particular list, I’ve included a few “experience” gifts. I think those are often the most fun to give to someone because it creates memories and stories to share later. Here’s a few ideas to help you find the perfect gift:

A membership or gift certificate to a local arthouse cinema. You may have heard a particular theater name dropped by your movie fan before, but in case you need a little help finding that arthouse theater check out the lists here or here. This is a great stocking stuffer!

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Castro Theatre, San Francisco

A next level gift to effect is buying a pass to a film festival they’ve always wanted to attend (or the flight that will help them get there). Sundance may be too hard to organize this late in the year (typically finding a place in Park City is difficult by mid-December), but there are several great regional festivals in the spring, summer or fall that are options too. Granted this particular gift may include a discussion before you buy a flight or pass for someone, but I promise this get-a-way trip will be an experience they won’t soon forget!

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SIFF Cinema Uptown, Seattle

A membership to a local film society. There’s not a full organized list online, so your best bet is to google the person’s city plus “film society” or “film festival”. That should help you find the non-profit in that area that has a mission to promote film and art. (If you need help finding a good one, email me.) This is a gift that’s both fun and feel-good. Many of these non-profit orgs do specials around the holidays for just such gifts!

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The Graduate (1967)

Blu-rays are always an option, but the trick is picking the right film. It’s all a matter of knowing taste, both yours a gift giver and theirs as a gift receiver. I think you can never go wrong with gifting a few classics like Casablanca,  Dr. Strangelove, The Graduate, or the James Bond collection.

An alternative to the blu-ray: a gift card for streaming service through iTunes, Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, HBOGo, SundanceNow (for the doc fans) or TCM/Criterion’s FilmStruck. Films are increasingly moving to these online services, so while it’s not the most fun gift to open it’s the reality of how most people are watching their movies.

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Napoleon Dynamite poster, Etsy

Film art and posters! The options here are endless. You could go with something classic like Sunset Boulevard or The Apartment. Or try something a little different, like a minimalist original design. Mondo is one of the more famous stores for this, but you can also find an assortment on Etsy: Ghostbusters, Funny FaceHarry Potter, Vicky Christina Barcelona, Napoleon Dynamite. Or even a “badly drawn” portrait of Orson Welles for that Citizen Kane fan!

Apple TV. We received this as a gift last year and it has been used far more than our blu-ray player ever since. The Amazon Fire is a decent alternative (though we rarely use the one I received for work). For someone that streams movies through Amazon over iTunes, it may be the one to get.

What have been your favorite movie gifts of the past?  What are you getting your movie lover this year? (Don’t worry, I won’t tell them!) I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Good luck with your holiday shopping!

Gift Guide for the Foodie

Holiday gifts. There are so many options to choose from. Where do you start? Well this week, you’re in luck. I’m here to help!

Today, I’m posting a Gift Guide for the Foodie: a few of my favorite cooking and food items that I’m sure will please anyone on your gift list. All (but one item, #2) are things E and I have either received as gifts in the past or have bought ourselves. Nothing but rave reviews here.

So without further ado, this year’s Gift Guide for the Foodie:

  1. Help save the environment while you shop for your produce! We made the switch to reusable produce bags this year and love these cotton muslin bags from Simple Ecology.
  2. For when you need meal planning inspiration, roll the Foodie Dice!
  3. The Toddy Cold Brew coffee maker is a definitely favorite in our household. Easy to make, sits over night and you have coffee good for a week!
  4. For the wino, Honig’s Sauvignon Blanc – Late Harvest is lovely. The Honig winery is one of my favorites in Northern California and this dessert wine is a highlight.
  5. pit mitt is a must-have for any BBQ-er in your life.
  6. For the foodie who is also a history nerd, I recommend: A History of Food in 100 Recipes by William Sitwell
  7. A stylish mortar & pestle is handy for every chef and doesn’t take up much counter space.
  8. A cocktail kit is nice to kick things up a notch while traveling and a perfect stocking stuffer!
  9. Give the gift of cheese. I promise, it will be their favorite gift. (Also if you want to send me something from Cowgirl, I’d be cool with that.)

Stop by on Thursday for part two of my Gift Guide, focused on the film fan in your life!

Have you started your holiday shopping yet? What are some of your favorite foodie gifts?

Sunday Mornings

I love autumn. I’m spending a few days in the beautiful Appalachians of North Carolina. Colored leaves. NorthFace layers. Cozy time sitting in a rocking chair by a fireplace. Cathead-sized biscuits. I’m in heaven.

Hope you are enjoying this beautiful autumn Sunday.
Here’s a slice of the internet for coffee time.

    • Margaret Brown (whose short The Black Belt I’ll be posting about next week) released a new short with the New York Times and it’s fantastic. Glenn Beck humanized. Well done, Margaret. Watch “Never Trump. But Then What?”
    • The man behind Twitter’s @ArthouseTrump reveals himself.
      This sounds familiar: “I noticed early on in high school that there is definitely a very ugly and petty part of the film community, especially online. It seemed like a lot of people use their knowledge of movies as a starting point to belittle others and brag about how much smarter they are than everyone else. It became a kind of boring contest to see who had seen the most obscure films, who could word the most persuasive argument, who could nitpick every word of someone with a different opinion who might not be as articulate.”
    • I’ve always loved Pete Souza’s behind-the-scene photos of the Obama administration on Instagram. With less than 100 days in office for the Obamas, Souza has been posting some of his favorite throwback photos.
    • I have a soft spot for ceramic mugs. Love the texture and shape of this one.
    • I would not be surprised if Chris Kelly’s past year on the festival circuit influenced the creation of this piece on SNL, but this skit nails it. Been there, both as moderator AND audience member. So good.
    • A beautiful tea towel with an important message.