Lady Tip: Join a CSA

paiges produce

This week, Alicia at Jaybird wrote a post all about the joys of learning where your food comes from. It reminded me that I’ve never mentioned that H. and I joined a CSA this year…and it is awesome.

I’ve wanted to be a part of one for basically forever, but when I lived by myself it wasn’t super practical. This year we decided to split a share with one of H’s coworkers, and now we get a bag full of surprise vegetables every week. Pickup day is seriously the highlight of my week. So far we’ve had tons of peas and lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, some herbs, zucchini, peppers, and green onions. We even had one of these dudes, which I had to do some research to identify:

It was kohlrabi.

It was kohlrabi.

The best part of joining a CSA? Now I’m motivated to try out new vegetables I’ve never cooked before. I even got to make fried green tomatoes for the first time (because, like, what else am I going to do with green tomatoes?)! I’m not an adventurous person in any other arena, but when it comes to food, I’ll try pretty much anything. This CSA has been tons of fun because it’s pushed me to get out of my food ruts and encouraged me to try some new things. It also guarantees that I’ll eat way more vegetables.

It’s a low stress, relatively low cost way to get tons of vegetables (no grocery trips!) and I sort of like that it eliminates a lot of decision making. I know that on Wednesday night I’ll be eating whatever vegetables get delivered that day.

If you don’t have your own garden, you should definitely think about joining a CSA next year. Ours is called Paige’s Produce and I’d definitely recommend it! But if you’re not in the Columbus area, you can look up CSAs near you with this handy website.

What about you guys? Are you part of a CSA? What sorts of crazy fruits and veggies have you received this year?

Cover image via Paige’s Produce; kohlrabi image via Food Politic

The Mindy Project Style

the mindy project clothes

Over the past week I’ve developed an obsession with The Mindy Project. After watching True Detective, it’s been nice to watch something that isn’t about murder (oh, and that actually features a female character who isn’t paper thin and/or dead). Anyway, there are about 5 million reasons why I love The Mindy Project, but right now I want to talk about the clothes. The clothes!

I really and truly hate shopping, and I don’t even like looking at clothes online or in magazines because (astrology comment warning!) I’m a Taurus and I like fancy things, so I generally end up wanting everything I see, getting that gross itchy materialism feeling, and then getting obsessed with things I can’t have and feeling guilty about wanting things that ultimately will not contribute to my happiness or make the world a better place. I’m a really fun person to hang out with, OBVIOUSLY.

But Mindy’s clothes are just such a dream that they’re really bringing out my inner fancy lady. Everything’s so colorful and some of it’s wacky enough to remind me of Carrie Bradshaw’s weirder outfits. She even makes me want to consider pencil skirts again, even though I know that my body type just makes pencil skirts look obscene (the problems of having birthing hips). She’s always wearing sequins and glitter and mixing patterns and I JUST LOVE IT ALL. I mean, just look at this ensemble!
the mindy project fashion

I found this wonderful Tumblr, The Mindy Project Style, that provides links to all of Mindy’s awesome outfits. Of course, this made me realize that everything she wears costs like a million dollars, so I guess I’ll just have to be content with the more colorful things I can find in my closet (like two dresses from Anthropologie, a few things from J. Crew, stuff I’ve had since high school, and a bunch of things from Old Navy even though I always say I’m going to stop shopping there).

If you’re as into this stuff as I am, you’ll probably also like Taylor Swift Style and What Would Zooey Deschanel Wear?

My Favorite Albums

Father-John-Misty-Fear-Fun
I’ll admit that I’m more of a song girl than an album girl. There are few things I love more than just putting a great song on repeat and getting into it (I’m aware that this is really annoying). Still, there are a few albums that have been ultra important to me. These are the ones I listen to all the way through, then immediately start over from the beginning. These are the ones that just pop into my mind sometimes, and I can’t do anything else until I take the time to listen to them again. These are the ones that make me feel connected to music the same way I did when I was in high school. What are your big albums? Tell me in the comments! Or just listen to my favorites (I included either Youtube streams or Grooveshark links):

Fear Fun, Father John Misty

I’ve listened to this one so many times that I think I ruined it for my husband. Whatever. FJM’s voice is just so pretty, even when he’s saying crazy things. “Nancy From Now On” is my favorite, but every song’s fantastic. This might be my favorite album ever.

Enter the Slasher House, Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks

It’s hard for me to believe that I just heard this album for the first time a few months ago, because it wormed its way into my head immediately. Those first 30 seconds just fill me with so much anticipation, and the beginning of the first track makes me so happy. Obviously “Little Fang” is the best song. Duh.

Red, Taylor Swift
I could’ve put any Taylor Swift album here, but this is the one I first fell in love with and the one I’ve played on repeat through countless writing sessions. I just love the way “State of Grace” kicks off the album, and every track is so full of emotion. “All Too Well” is one of my favorite Taylor tracks ever.

Camp, Childish Gambino

I know a lot of people don’t take Childish Gambino seriously, but I don’t care. I have this album almost memorized, and I love that it’s a true album. It tells a story, it’s full of contradictions, and it really tells you a lot about Donald Glover. I don’t love everything about Childish Gambino (there’s some casual misogyny that’s hard to stomach), but I love the way this album sounds. Sometimes I listen to individual tracks when I’m working or working out, but it’s best as a whole. If you’ve written him off, give this one a chance. I’m not saying he’s Kanye, but he’s pretty damn good.

Kaleidoscope Heart, Sara Bareilles
Call this one cheesy if you want. It’s still great. As I’ve mentioned a few times, I wore this album out when I was going through a rough time, and it really helped me. It’s still a go to listen whether I’m feeling good or bad. “Gonna Get Over You” and “Let the Rain “are my favorite tracks.

Rock N Roll, Ryan Adams
Here’s what I like about Ryan Adams: even when his songs are ugly and rough, there’s still always something pretty about them. There’s his falsetto, or some jangly guitar, or a really nice lyric. This isn’t one of his more popular albums, and it doesn’t really even sound like most of his music, but it’s my favorite. I used to listen to this on the drive to high school. “So Alive” is the best track.

What about you guys? What are your favorite albums? Let me know!

Wednesday Link Party!

Happy Wednesday, guys! I hope you’re all having an awesome week. I’ve been working A LOT, but don’t think that means I haven’t had time to watch the entirety of True Detective. H. and I started it this weekend and I immediately fell for it. Rust Cohle, you are something else. If you guys ever want to talk about the show, I’m always here. On with the links!

Some pep talks from Anne T. Donahue.

David Lynch’s philosophy on drinking coffee is just as David Lynch-y as you would expect.

The Hairpin interviewed Julie Klausner: “I love it when smart people get together and talk about The Real Housewives or a Broadway show or Shailene Woodley, or, “Did you hear what that person said that, that’s hilarious, oh, what a crazy weirdo”—that’s my bread and butter.”

“Feminine sadness,” from Rilo Kiley to Lana Del Rey. As someone who spent a lot of time in college just listenin’ to Rilo Kiley and feelin’ sad, I get this.

How to make yourself a better writer without getting an MFA degree.

Anne Helen Peterson writes about the joys of reading like a teenager: “Teens don’t have to spend an hour in traffic to attend a distant cousin’s baby shower; teens don’t have to wait in line at Ann Taylor Loft to return three pairs of shoes you ill-advisedly bought after two glasses of wine.”

James Franco reads a lot of books, but none of them are by women. Flavorwire gives him a few suggestions.

The boys and I saw The Sacrament this weekend and I really enjoyed it. I mean, it’s about a cult, so OBVIOUSLY I enjoyed it.

The term Manic Pixie Dream Girl was once useful and interesting, but now it’s just sort of lazy, dismissive, and (often) misogynist.

And finally, an interview with True Detective’s show runner. Seriously, I had a few problems with the show, but damn it if it wasn’t one of the most compelling things I’ve seen in awhile (and I watch Love It or List It, you guys).

Creative Ladies 2.0

Creative-Ladies

Have you been wondering what happened to Creative Ladies? Have your Thursday been hopeless, bleak, devoid of lady inspiration? Have you been struggling to see the point of it all since I stopped posting Creative Ladies interviews?

Okay, so maybe that’s a little dramatic. No one feels like that. But I did want to let you guys know that Creative Ladies isn’t gone. Creative Ladies will never die, much like a vampire or my love for Prince. I still have a couple of Creative Ladies posts lined up, but I’m thinking about changing a few things. First, though, I thought I’d explain what I actually want to do with Creative Ladies.

My motivation with the series is, honestly, primarily selfish. When I read an interview with an artist, I always want to know the behind-the-scenes stuff. What’s her workspace like? What books inspire her? What makes her feel discouraged? Who are her role models? I like getting inside someone’s head and hearing about what it takes to actually make something, and a lot of times interviews don’t focus on the making part of a creative work. Because I’m super nosy and, apparently, shameless, I wanted to see if I could get cool women to tell me about their creative lives. I also like the idea of a standard questionnaire…for one, because I simply do not have the time to craft specific questions if I’m going to featuring one woman a week, but also because I just like seeing how so many different people interpret the same questions (Design*Sponge does this with Biz Ladies, another series I really love).

But beyond my selfish desires, I also want to inspire other people. It’s nice to pull up the curtain a little bit so that all of us can see how the women we admire make things…and I really like spotlighting the artists I like, too!

So what do I want to do with Creative Ladies going forward? For starters, diversity is extremely important to me. Yes, I want to make sure I feature lots of different kinds of creativity (I have a tendency to interview writers, because those are the people I know, but I want to find painters, dancers, and all sorts of other creative types, too!). But I also want to feature every kind of diversity. As I know from the reader emails I get, a lot of girls and younger women read Welcome to Ladyville, and it matters to me that they all see themselves represented here. Too often on “ladyblogs” or “lifestyle blogs,” we only see white faces. It makes it seem like a creative life is this thing that’s only possible for white women, when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. We all have the capacity to be creative. I don’t ever want a young woman to read this series and think, “None of these women are like me.” Representation very much matters, and I try to do my best to show that.

I also want to know what you care about! What questions would you like me to ask future Creative Ladies? What do you want to know about their lives? Although the questions I pose are the ones I’m most curious about, I also want to know what you guys wonder about other ladies’ creative lives. Also, some of my questions are sort of boring. Do I want to know if someone has an actual process? Yes, but that question still sounds really boring. Any and all suggestions are welcome!

And, on a smaller note, I don’t want Creative Ladies to be a promotional thing. Yes, I love to mention projects you’re working on and I’m happy to schedule my posts around a new book release or whatever (we need to support each other!), but I can usually tell when someone’s doing this just to promote themselves. This is about sharing a fun look into your creative process, not just pushing something. That said, you don’t need to be shy about mentioning your projects! I love to talk about them and encourage readers to check them out.

If you have any suggestions or ideas, please comment or email me at welcometoladyville@gmail.com. And if you’re a creative person who identifies as female, please do email me. I’d love to interview you! Creative Ladies should be back very soon, and I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am!