I never had dreams of a house in the suburbs with a yard and a fence, but the older I get the more I do have a vision of a small cabin, tucked back into the woods, with some water nearby, and maybe a little garden to the side.
The windows are open all the time, some biscuits or perhaps cinnamon rolls on the counter, and a door that swings wide open for anyone who cares to visit. On your way in, you can hear the sound of jazz on the radio just over the barks of the dog.
I’ll greet you at the door and tell you pull up a chair while I make some coffee in the French press. David’s building the fire, he’ll be over in just a minute. And don’t let me forget about the book I have to give you—I loved it and I know you will too.
We’ll talk and laugh, and I’ll make you leave with a plate of something.
And as you’re preparing to go, I’ll give you a good firm hug and tell you I love you; you’ll be a little embarrassed by my open displays of affection (but that’s okay, because in these times we have to be fearless about love).
Hey, it was a really stressful week. Let’s go on a nature walk.
“We don’t make magic; we make money.” The dark underbelly of Disneyland.
“I had often wondered if anxiety medication would prevent me from thinking I was about to die on a plane, or if it would prevent me from caring that I was about to die on a plane. It was most definitely the latter.” Hello, my name is Ashley, and I have a deep and abiding fear of flying.
My senior year of college, I got really sick. I don’t really remember how she realized I was so sick (maybe I called sounding not quite like myself?), but my mom hopped in her car and drove the three and a half hours to take care of me. The rest of her visit is a total fog, but the sense of comfort and relief I felt when she walked through the door remains with me to this day. I think that’s why even as an adult, homesickness never really goes away.
For a southern gal, I’m late to discover famed Black southern chef (and Virginia-native) Edna Lewis. Now I can’t get enough of stories about her influence and what we’re still learning about southern food culture today.
I’ve been listening to Last Seen, a podcast about the most expensive art heist in history.
For The Bello Collective, I wrote about why it’s okay to indulge in stories, even when the world is crumbling around us (there are also 10 recommendations for new podcasts here!).
I recently re-watched Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet. I am happy to say that version—with the cherubic Leonardo DiCaprio—holds up mightily well. It’s soundtrack—which is equally brilliant—makes this list of the 40 best movie soundtracks of all time.
I fucking hate myself for even typing these words, but I’ve really been enjoying these overnight oats and this chia seed pudding for breakfast. Yuck. There, I said it. Please forgive me for fulfilling the dream of every Instagram influencer who endorse these recipes endlessly. The truth is, they’re both filling, can be dressed up with fruits or nuts, and take like 10 minutes to put together the night before. I’m sorry.