Before & After Renovations

Before and After: Blush & Bashful Powder Room

The "before" (totally fine, but zzzzzzzz).

First, please tell me you get the reference in the title. Thank you. Now, you may recall I have a thing for pink bathrooms - I painted the tiny bathroom in our San Jose house a deep rose shade (vastly improved from the prior olive-and-vomit-themed aesthetic). In my new place, the main bath is very much not-tiny: There's an entirely separate vanity area (pictured above) with its own sink and walk-in closet in addition to the toilet-and-bathtub bathroom itself. Which means my "personal suite" in our apartment constitutes about 1/3 of the total square footage.

Which is A-OK by me.

Lifestyle

The Everybody Gets Anxious Activity Book

Available for preorder now: My first kids' book with Erin Williams, and what might be my favorite project I've ever worked on. It was written during lockdown, while all of us watched our children struggling with anxiety. I've dealt with (clinically diagnosed) anxiety for years - as readers of The Big Activity Book for Anxious People and anyone with even a passing familiarity with this site know - and have discovered that, for me, the best ways to cope with anxious feelings are to 1) Talk about them, right out loud, and 2) Find the humor in them, when you can. Which is precisely what The Everybody Gets Anxious Activity Book aims to teach kids - while absolutely never making them feel like they're being *taught* anything, because hello: Activity books are supposed to be fun!

Activities include:
 How to Calm Down When You're Freaking Out! (It's easier than it sounds.)
 Word Search: Stuff Literally Everybody Does (Even if you think you're the only one.)
 Unscramble the Easy Fixes for Everyday Problems! (Sometimes the answer is right in front of you!)
 Design Your Own Emoji That Perfectly Expresses How You’re Feeling Right Now
 Draw Faces On Underwater Creatures, Who Are Feeling Lots of Things (They're in their deep-sea feels.)

I'm excited about this because it's a book I would like to have had, and I'm so glad that my kids (and yours) get to have it now. With this project, as always, I am so grateful for your support.

ENTREES

Surprisingly Speedy Chicken-Ginger Broth (For Ramen Soup)

During quarantine, I got really into making my own ramen. I made it in the biggest possible pain-in-the-butt way that I could, because honestly: What else did I have to do? Might as well spend two days making soup!

Except I don't always want to spend two days making soup. Sometimes - like last night - I want truly excellent ramen, except I want it now.

Enter: This absolutely spectacular (ifIdosaysomyself) broth, which blends in hints of lemongrass and ginger to make it a perfect, ever-so-slightly-spicy base for noodles. It's about two hours start to finish (much faster than most stock recipes), because of a little secret: While it tastes 100% homemade, it actually involves a little cheating (ssh).

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Decor

Preteen Boy’s Room: A Makeover

First of all, I almost sobbed typing the word "preteen" into this post's title, because I had flashbacks to this. He seemed so. big.

Moving on, so I don't watch that video again and start crying.

The thing about my son's room in our last place was that it was...how do I put it...

...

...

...awful.

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Eat

How To Make Your Own In ‘N’ Out Burger (Except It’s BETTER)

Oh my god, you guys, I have unlocked the code for how to make an In 'N' Out burger at home. This is excellent news, because the closest In 'N' Out to me is at least fifteen minutes away, and when I want In 'N' Out I want it NOW, and without having to interact with other humans in the process, thank u. Also, you can see I didn't take very good pics of this particular recipe, because I was busy eating it. Will update later.

OK, let's break it down. Please go for the highest-quality ingredients you can find; it really makes a difference. (Also, it should go without saying, but this isn't In 'N' Out's *actual* recipe; this is my own take on it, but honestly, I can't taste any difference other than liking mine even more. Which is crazy.)

What You Need:

Lifestyle

Holiday Gift Guide (For Everyone!) 2021

Courant charger | Dosist Passion pen | State glasses | Herbivore Botanicals balm

Presenting: Gift ideas for literally everyone on your list, from the very small to the very picky (and everyone in between). And bonus: Nearly everything you see below is from a small, woman- or family-owned business.

Courant Valet/Phone Charger. I am so in love with the look and functionality of these chargers for bedside tables and entryways - I'm giving my parents a matching pair for Christmas (and I told them not to read this post, don't worry). The classic saddle leather style - which allows you to organize your knickknacks while charging all your devices - is my personal favorite, but this smaller style runs a close second. Oh! And they were one of Oprah's Official Favorite Things this year, so you know they're good.

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