Taking Stock

{Blogged over reruns of RHONY #TeamBethenny}  Something occurred to me as I was yet again berating myself for failing to squeeze in a few minutes for a blog post--this is not what I envisioned.  When I first came up with this idea (in collaboration with my friend Jen, now at @crystalsandcrunches), it was to create a space for working women-- with posts about things to wear to the office, things to do on the weekends in Orange County and Los Angeles, especially for families, beauty tips, recipes, book reviews-- just topics that interested me, with the hope that it would interest others too.  Overshadowing all of this was my eagerness to write.  I love to write.  I have written in journals my whole life and even though I write for a living, legal writing is nothing like the writing I enjoy.  Legal writing is where creativity and free flowing prose go to die :)  What I never factored into this grand idea is the time it takes to plan out a post--and then the time it takes to actually sit down and write it.  Lots of time. I usually do my social media browsing at night after the kiddos are in bed- not what I would call my optimal creativity zone.  Actually, I don't even know if I would call it my awake zone.  So while I haven't given up on shaping this blog into that dreamed of space, for now-- when I have a few moments-- I am going to do what I first set out to do.

I'm just going to write.

Tonight, I'm going to give you a quick book review of a book I just finished this morning before work- its called Exit West.  I had read recommendations about it everywhere and I thought I'd try it.  It was a fast read (I think it took me about 3 mornings before work-- I read while I'm getting ready) and I'm not sure how I feel about it.   It was described as an adult The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, but it didn't have any of the magic and whimsy, which might be why I am lukewarm about it.  Its also about war and refugees and what happens to the common person -- not just the loss of daily necessities (like food, electricity and the internet), but things that provide identity and structure (like one's country).  These are heavy topics and ones that are on my mind anyway because of what is happening in our world.  And it stuck with me, each chapter that I read.   The way human being sometimes treat other human beings is horrifying at times.  So while I think this was a good book, and a thought provoking book, I'm not sure I would wholly recommend it.  I might give it a 5 out of 10.  I think you have to be in the mood for a tougher read.   If you do read it, let me know what you think.  I am in a book drought but looking for some recommendations!! Sweetly, Michelle

Sweater Dresses + Butternut Squash Soup Mash Up


 {Written on Inauguration Eve while packing for a quick weekend to Palm Springs}

I have mentioned this before but I am going through blog- revamping issues.  I'm trying to figure exactly what I want to do with GDSL in 2017. As part of that contemplation, I was thinking that every once in a while, I will combine a fashion post with some sort of a practical post. Maybe a fun craft to do with your kids, maybe some make up or skin care tips, or maybe sharing some of my go to recipes (I have like 3!) Tonight it's a soup recipe...read on, brave reader!!

 The Dress

About this dress – – there really is nothing better for the office then a pretty, comfy, air-condition thwarting sweater dress! Pair it with a pretty furry vest and some statement shoes and you are set! 

 Shoes|| Dress || Vest

The Recipe 

I really love soup (who doesn't, right?).  It feels good in your tummy on cold days, it is (mostly) healthy and not too hard to make (which is fortunate because my skills are limited!)  I am making an effort in 2017 to get in the kitchen and MAKE (not order) food for my family (I am by and large a DoorDasher!)  Butternut squash is one of my favorite soups and it's easy, so I thought I'd share! The recipe below is relatively quick, and only has a few ingredients. I think this is a good way to get into cooking- with a simple recipe. I may never graduate to anything more complicated but that is a-ok!! I am going to start sharing my go-to recipes (get ready to pull out your slow cooker!)  Let me know what you think or if you  have any modifications to this recipe that make it even better! (or if you have an easy recipe to share!) GDSL Tip: You will need to play around with the puréed squash and the chicken stock to get this soup as thick or as thin as you'd like. After you blend, add the stock back in sparingly, little by little.  I like a thicker type consistency, so I use less stock. Experiment and see what you like! Happy souping! Sweetly, Michelle

Butternut Squash Soup

1 (2 to 3 pound) butternut squash, peeled and seeded
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut squash into 1-inch chunks. In large pot melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add squash and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove squash chunks with slotted spoon and place in a blender and puree. Return blended squash to pot. Stir and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Serve.
(Recipe Courtesy of Food Network Kitchens)