Thursday Check In – Ten Slices of Internet

SCL recently commented that I was on a roll when it came to finding Internet, so we’re overdue for a roundup here at aglassofmilk.  Cheers, dear readers:office space.:
(I so badly want built-ins, and my husband and I keep agonizing about whether or not it’s worth losing hours of baby nap time while they’re being installed.  So instead, I will pin all the built-ins.)

1.  Emma Watson is going to star in Beauty and the Beast, and Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel Miranda will be in the new Mary Poppins, and this is entirely too much for the nostalgic part of my brain to handle.

2.  Speaking of all things Hamilton, I like Miranda’s freestyle on Jimmy Fallon much better, except for the little part of this one with Oprah.  You get a car!  You get a car!  Dying.  (Also, I loved this piece, and I truly think, whether you’re a hardcore Hamilfan or not, Miranda is a genius, and we haven’t even seen the best of what he has to offer yet.)

3.  This parking lot (via Tsh) is the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen.

4.  AGOMYR sent me this link, and it’s a testament to what Leo is most known for.  Numbers 4 and 12 are my favorites.

5.  JK Rowling is inspiring (see above comments on absolute genius)

6.  Loved listening to this (old) Lively Show episode with Mica May, the founder of May Designs.  I love her books!

7.  I love, love, love Read it Forward.  You can’t click on a bad link.  (And if you like kidlit, The Nerdy Book Club is my favorite)

8.  This is a long piece (via Joy the Baker), but at the end, I was weeping.  It’s about a dad, acceptance, and the struggle that comes with growing up and taking the first steps into the world on your own.  (WEEPING.)

9.  I wish people were honest about how much they tip.  Do you agree with this about food delivery?  It makes me wonder if I’m tipping everyone correctly.  Hair coloring, anyone?

10.  Years and years ago, I followed Brown Eyed Baker’s blog every day.  Time passed, and I fell out of the habit of checking, but I’m right back on board with her now, and loving her Weekend Dish posts as a way to get caught back up quickly.

There is so much I want to watch right now.  Netflix is starting a series about Queen Elizabeth, called The Crown, I’m dying for The Affair to come back (fast forward three years), I’m testing the waters with The Good Place and This is Us (undecided on both of those so far), and Joy the Baker wants me to watch Tony Robbins: I am Not Your Guru on Netflix.  All that and I still haven’t finished the latest season of Kimmy Schmidt, or caught up with The Mindy Project, which I hear gets better in the latest season.  Phew!  Looks like I need to hunker down with my TV.

Wins of the Month – September, 2016

After listening to Elise’s recent podcast about how she uses her Get to Work Book, I am on board to celebrate each month’s wins.  Her planner leaves a space for this*, and she explains why in her podcast:

“Sometimes our months pass in such a blur that we forget to celebrate these important wins.  It often feels like there is so much left on my plate, that I don’t even think about it; I don’t even think about what’s been done.”


Yes, this.


September wins:

  • Broke out my duck boots for the first time
  • Got plans in motion to host people at La Moneda for the first time in months
  • Ordered paper invitations for said event (Paperless Post forever)
  • Sent care packages to a handful of people I adore
  • Switched out my closet and Gooplet’s closet for cooler weather, and sent another huge bag off to ThredUp
  • Deep cleaned a bunch of things that were long overdue
  • Read 8 books!

*Elise also leaves a space for things you need to let go of at the end of every month, but that’s another post entirely.


News to Me [slow cooker bourbon bacon baked beans]

That you could make baked beans from scratch was news to me.  I mean, I guess I knew it was possible, because it’s not like they magically appear in cans, but I had certainly never seen a recipe for them.

I didn’t much care for baked beans when I was a kid, until I arrived at someone’s house for dinner and they were on the table.  Wooden Nickels taught me that you eat what’s put in front of you with a smile on your face, so I did, and I kind of liked them.  There’s something satisfying about a hotdog with baked beans.  And when they’re homemade, dinner feels a little more intentional than it would with the ones in the can.  Like, you didn’t just resort to hot dogs because you had no time to cook, you planned them because nothing shows off the beans better.


Given my recent affinity for the slow cooker, Jessica’s recipe came my way at the exact right time.  And while I drastically reduced the amount of bourbon she called for, because it’s not my favorite booze, I loved how these beans turned out.  You cannot start making these too far in advance.  The beans need to soak overnight, and then the slow cooker runs for 10-12 hours, and then the beans just keep sitting in that magical sauce you’re making.  So my recommendation is a little different from Jessica’s:  soak the beans all day, then run the slow cooker all night.  In the morning, let the beans hang out until you need them at lunch or dinner.  The sauce will be thick and syrupy, and you’ll keep coming back for one more bite.

To make a ton of baked beans, you will need:

  • 1 pound dry navy beans
  • 10 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into pieces
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

The night before (or not–see my recommendation above), add beans to a large pot and cover with water. Drain the next morning.

Bring beans to a boil in a large pot of water, let simmer for 30-40 minutes, then drain. While beans are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until crispy and fat is rendered, then remove bacon with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel. Reduce heat to medium-low and add onion, cooking for 8-10 minutes, until caramely and soft. Add in garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then turn off heat.

Add water, bourbon, brown sugar, bbq sauce, ketchup, ground mustard, vinegar, molasses and worcestershire sauce to the crockpot and whisk well to combine. Add in beans, onions (and all of the bacon fat) and bacon to the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours, stirring occasionally. After 10-12 hours, turn crockpot to “warm” setting or turn off completely and let sit anywhere from 30 minutes-2 hours, which will help the sauce for the beans thicken even more. These taste even better the next day!

Note: after 10-12 hours the liquid may still seem “liquidy.” It is imperative to let the beans sit for a while on the lower setting (or on the off setting, still covered) so they become thick and syrupy like traditional baked beans.

The Point of it All/How to Celebrate Everything [half birthday cake]

I am six months into life with The Gooplet, and I often tell people that I feel as though I have maybe, finally, possibly stopped treading water.  I say maybe, finally, possibly, because I’m so hesitant to commit to saying the words out loud, lest everything we worked so hard the past half a year to establish be swiftly taken from us in one blow.  Because babies.

But I think, maybe, finally, possibly, we have a semblance of normal.

I was big on half birthdays in elementary school, as I imagine almost anyone with a summer birthday would be.  I lived in the golden age of elementary school, when you could still bring in cupcakes on your birthday, which meant that those of us who celebrated in June, July, or August got to spice up those boring winter months by adding our half birthdays to the slate of students celebrating the real day  January 26 was my (half) moment to be the center of attention.  And oh man, am I ever into being the center of attention.

Fast forward thirty-odd years, and here I am with a little person celebrating his very first half birthday.  There must be cake!  Half a cake, to be exact.  We’ve done this before.  We’ll do this every year!  I made the cake on his birthday, but I wasn’t paying full attention, and it didn’t turn out.  Like, sunk completely, didn’t turn out.  What would Mary Berry say?

There must be some piece of me that knew not all was lost, because I hung onto the cake, and lived life for three more days, when Jenny Rosenstrach’s latest cookbook arrived on my doorstep.  Jenny speaks my love language.  It’s family dinner.  She writes about people and food and the serious connection between the two in ways that get at the deep, mushiest parts of my soul.  That’s not an exaggeration.  Ina is aspirational,  Jenny is inspirational.  And her newest book tells us to celebrate everything.  Because babies crave routines.  Families crave rituals.  And the best ones are the ones that happen around the table.

So about a week after Gooplet’s half birthday, we celebrated his half birthday anyway.


With the ugliest, and most disastrous half-cake ever.  But we started something.  And I hope it continues for years and years and years to come.

Thanks, Jenny.

Thursday Check In – Technology

Click the photo to shop the look | Kristin Brophy of Fancy Things blog featuring a gold moroccan pouf, West Elm rug, Voluspa candles, West Elm desk, Kate Spade gold dots agenda, and Urban Outfitters gold desk lamp | Follow @liketkit on Pinterest for more outfit inspiration #liketkit:

What technology do you have at home?  What do you really use?

We had:

  • 2 phones
  • an iPad
  • a Kindle
  • an iBook
  • a ChromeBook

But the Kindle doesn’t work anymore because it’s so old (3G anyone?).  And the ChromeBook was for work and I don’t work anymore and I miss it.  And the laptop is not going to last too much longer.

So I think I want:

  • a ChromeBook (you can get one for $150!!!)
  • an iMac (they’re less than laptops, and I’m shallow and just like the way it will look as “command” central in my house)
  • a new Kindle?  No new Kindle?  Help me out with that one

Okay, your turn.  What do you have? What do you use?  What don’t you use?  Is my plan a good one?  Or totally a waste?


On Meal Planning

Dear readers, I’ve been wanting to run a series on meal planning for approximately ever.


Like, since I started this blog in the Golden Age of blogs, 2009, forever.

see through.:

I finally started figuring some real true, good stuff out.

family space.:

But I need to know what you want to know.

better than subway tile.:

Do you meal plan?  Wing it every night?


Wish you had a plan?  Don’t care?

windows open.:

Tell me everything, and ask me all your questions.




Thursday Check In – On Being Full

Whenever I watch someone blast their life all over Facebook and Twitter, declaring their happiness each step of the way, I always stop and wonder,

“If you need to announce your happiness to everyone, are you really that happy?”

Happiness just is.  It doesn’t need to be announced.  It’s a feeling that takes over every part of you and makes you feel full inside.

I want to feel full.


And for once, that has nothing to do with food.

When I feel full, I don’t check my phone compulsively.  I don’t worry about what everyone else is doing rightthissecond.

When I feel full, I make time for friends.

When I feel full, I’m not afraid to say no to something, if it means more quality time spent on something else.

When I feel full, it feels like my priorities are in line with my actions.

When I feel full, it means I’m happy to sit on the floor with Gooplet and watch him try to figure life out.

It’s the best feeling.  And I’m making it happen more.

Starting now!


On Gooeyness [Ali’s Cookies]

In college, I spent junior and senior years living in my sorority house.  If I remember right, there were 33 of us there at any given time, and plenty of other sisters who would drop by for dinners, especially on nights when the cook, Blanca, put out her cookies. There were always several flavors, but the ones we all went crazy for were some magical combination of chocolate chip and toffee, completely underbaked, so that everything remained as gooey as possible. We were all hopelessly addicted.

 Ali’s cookies are the closest I’ve come to repeating that gooey-ness in my ten (!) years since graduating. The entire point of these cookies is that they are loaded beyond belief with chocolate chips, both white and semi-sweet.  Like, you can’t take a bite without landing at least five. They’re amazing.

The recipe comes via her husband’s family, and is famous among our friends and former coworkers.  Just like with a regular chocolate chip cookie, you can prep the dough, and leave it in the fridge or freezer to have it at the ready anytime. That is, in fact, how I recommend making them because it is absolutely impossible to eat just one.


And maybe, just maybe, I used them as a vehicle for my Ben and Jerry’s brownie ice cream the other night. For testing purposes, of course.

To make Ali’s cookies, you will need:

  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 1 C brown sugar, packed
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 3/4 C flour
  • 1 1/2 C chocolate chips
  • 1 C white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix butter and sugars with a mixer till light and fluffy, a couple of minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat till incorporated. Add baking soda, salt, and flour and do the same. Fold in chocolate chips by hand.

Bake cookies on a parchment-lined cookie tray for seven minutes. They will still look underbaked. And they might be a little. And that’s part of the magic.

Thursday Check In – Planners

Can we use Thursdays to check in with each other, dear readers?  Can I ask you random questions and tell you random thoughts about important (read: not important at all) things?  Okay, great.

Sixth grade was the year I ditched the school-provided assignment book for a seriously swanky planner I scored at CVS.  (It was the most boring, gray book in the world.  But it was mine to do with as I pleased.)

I practiced writing my assignments in my best handwriting.  The girl who sat near me in science had the most perfect handwriting in the history of ever and I strived to make mine the same.* She “crossed out” her to dos in highlighter, and I tried so hard to make it work for me, but I’m forever a scratcher-outer girl.

As the years went by, my planners got fancier, until one year, when I splurged on my first Day Designer (side note-I miss vlogging).  It was the first time I went from the layouts showing me a week at a glance, to each day at a glance.  I haven’t looked back since.  (The last two years, I’ve purchased my Day Designer through Whitney’s line at Target, and I love those just as much as my big purchase.)

There are so many great-looking planners out there, I thought I’d round up the ones I see on my Instagram feed the most, along with a bonus accessory to go with each.  Do you use any of these?  Is there one you love I’m missing?  Is your Instagram feed not clogged with planners because you’re maybe a little less type-A than I am?  Strange!

Undated Blank Day Designer - A Yearly Strategic Planner & Daily Agenda for the Creative Entrepreneur. $55.00, via Etsy:

The Whitney English Day Designer / Day Designer for Blue Sky

Whitney English Day Designer For Blue Sky at Target:

Day Designer for Blue Sky desk accessories

Giveaway: Win a Free Simplified Planner by Emily Ley! // by gabriella @gabivalladares:

The Simplified Planner

May Designs Blog:

May Designs x Emily Ley Collection

How I use my Get To Work Book | Nicole Reaves:

Get to Work Book

“I put my new Clearly Kelly planner stamps to work in my @gettoworkbook to organize details for the PDX workshop this weekend. Look how well they work…”:

Clearly Kelly planner products

*Bonus point to SCL and Queen Cupcake if they know who I’m talking about.

On Weeknight Dinners [mediterranean chicken stew with cinnamon couscous]

There are few things in life I’m more wary (warier? I like the sound of that) of than a recipe that contains the words simple or easy in the title.  This chicken stew is not that.  It claims to be a weeknight dinner, and I think that’s an adjective I can get behind in my dinner descriptions.  While “simple” and “easy” recipes often skips steps, or entire ingredients, to save time, that also often leaves them lacking in flavor or substance.  But a “weeknight” dinner is most likely both simple and easy, without having to be directly advertised as such.

Did I just overthink that?

I overthink almost everything.


I made this weeknight dinner from The Kitchn on a weekend, which is good, because while I’m fairly confident in my ability to put dinner on the table on a weeknight, I’m certain I can do it on the weekends.  I wanted to add toasted almonds, but otherwise, it’s a great dinner, and a real departure from our usual standbys (read: PASTA).  I’d make the cinnamon couscous on its own, should I find myself alone for a meal in the future.  That’s the stuff dreams are made of.

To make Mediterranean Chicken Stew with Cinnamon Couscous, you will need:

For the chicken stew:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, in puree
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, cut into bite sized pieces, skin removed
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (I left this out because I hate olives)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the cinnamon couscous:

  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (10-ounce) box plain, quick-cooking couscous
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (throw some zest in if you’re using juice from a real, live orange)

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and oregano, cook for one minute while stirring. Pour in crushed tomatoes, chickpeas, chicken broth, bay leaves, and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Add chicken, lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
For couscous, heat chicken broth, oil, and salt until boiling. Add couscous and raisins, stir, remove from heat and cover. Let rest until all liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork, add cinnamon and orange juice. Use fork to mix until combined. Set aside.
Remove stew from heat. Add olives and lemon juice. Serve hot over couscous.