Five Friday Faves

I’m trying out this new curated Friday faves thing. Totally not because my book editor asked me to do it (ok, she did, but she didn’t have to ask twice) but because I love having opinions! And this is my blog so I get to! These picks aren’t sponsored at all. They’re just random stuff I like, both fluffy and serious. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep up the fashion-y recommendations because my interest sort of stops and ends at good lipstick and great boots, but here goes…

Here are five things that worked for me this week:


1. Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook At Home. Tariku and I love to cook together and we’re obsessed with Chef Marcus Samuelsson. I love all of his cookbooks, but this one is particularly cool because it includes a section about cooking with kids. Not to mention awesome music playlists. Chef Marcus is a great role model for T. He was adopted from Ethiopia as a toddler by Swedish parents, and I use his recipes as teaching tools not just for how to make incredible fish sticks, but also how to honor and integrate different cultural influences in order to create something with an incredible flavor all its own.


2. MAC Syrup lipstick. Where have you been all my life?

3. Lily Burana’s Letter to My Possible Son, in Dame Magazine. The suicide of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn caused my friend Lily to reflect on faith, parenting, and the possibility of raising her daughter as a son. “The First Commandment of child rearing is to parent the child you have, not the child you wish you had.” I can’t get it out of my mind.

4. Jamelle Bouie’s newsletter. This writer/photographer is a columnist at Slate Magazine, who writes brilliantly about politics and race. Plus his last issue had a killer tomato sauce recipe!


5. These Seychelles boots. Heel not too high to walk around but high enough to make you feel tall and sassy. I have these in two colors and wear them all day long every day.

Star Spangled Babes


Check out this article from today’s New York Times about Operation Bombshell, the burlesque class my friend Lily Burana teaches to fellow army wives with deployed husbands.

The story of how she came to teach such a class is beautifully told in her latest memoir, I Love a Man in Uniform. One of the things that blew me away about the book was how thoroughly I was able to imagine myself in her shoes.

My husband was a Marine and it informed a lot of who he is today. A couple of years ago, Weezer played at the old Naval Air Station in Alameda, where Scott had been stationed once upon a time. It was really moving for him to come full circle like that, to be living out his dreams in the same place that they once seemed unattainable.

I Love a Man in Uniform is a story about a woman’s struggle to integrate the different facets of herself and to find a way to feel whole in the world. In many ways, I believe that 2010 is going to be all about that same struggle for me. I hope I can pull off an outcome as graceful as Lily’s.

Here’s a picture of me from my burlesque days- just to prove that there was a time I didn’t live in t-shirts encrusted with boogers and applesauce.