Make Ahead Thai Mango Salad from The Faux Martha

After eating my way through a couple diets in my late teens and early 20s, I now have one mantra for feeding myself—lead with vegetables. I’ve heard this advice a thousand ways over the past 10 years. From Michael Pollan who said, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” And from Bringing Up Bébé, where a French mother recounts putting vegetables on the dinner table first to feed the grumbling children begging to eat. (Maybe she didn’t say grumbling. Maybe only mine grumbles?) Let them fill up on that, she said, before setting down the next course, which has led me to believe that a 2-course meal does not need to be fancy. For us, that looks like a salad before pasta or pizza. For me, that looks like a salad before dinner, at lunchtime. And a salad at lunch only really happens if I prep in advance. So I’ve added this Make Ahead Thai Mango Salad to the menu.  Read more

Well, the verdict is…still out for us. To hire deep cleaners a couple times a year or do it ourselves? That is still the question. At a minimum, we will be maintenance cleaning over here, which means we need to keep our cleaning supplies around. But what supplies do you actually need? Are they reusable and durable? User-friendly and efficient? Affordable and effective? Compact and easy to store? Below is a list of the cleaning supplies I’ve landed on to make this mundane task of cleaning more doable + a giveaway from OXO. Read more

There’s a running discussion over here—to hire out deep cleaning or continue doing it ourselves. I’m team hire. Kev is team DIY. I posted about our debate last year here on Instagram, and boy did you have your opinions. “Hire it out! It’s worth every penny.” “Outsource. It’s been wonderful for our marriage.” “No one will clean your house like you do.” “I would never hire cleaning out.” “Wait, you can hire out deep cleaning?!” I just assumed you could hire out deep cleaning, more like hoped you could hire out deep cleaning. Maybe you can’t? Come to find out, you can, and you can’t. Here are my findings. Read more

When we started designing our home, I was pretty sure every room would be as colorful as Hal’s turned out to be. Either my color palette was refining itself, or I just couldn’t pull off more than 3 colors at a time. It’s probably the latter. Because in my junior year as a graphic design major, I was reamed in front of the entire class over my color palette choice on a magazine redesign project. I am not so great at pulling off a lot of colors at one time like Jenny Komenda, one of my favorite designers. So we renegotiated a rug, a large piece of framed art, and a couple bright pillows from downstairs to Hal’s room, and they felt right at home and like a cousin to her bathroom.   Read more

Before we moved in, the only spot of color in the house, outside the vintage green pendant in the kitchen, was Hallie’s blue vanity. Brittany, who worked with us to design our home, picked out the color. My brain was so decision fatigued by this point in the building process, after seeing a swatch on a screen, not in real life, I said “Love. Let’s do it.” And we did it.  Read more

Chambray work uniform from The Faux Martha

I have a work uniform. Maybe you’ve noticed? And since I work from home, it’s my around-the-house and out-of-the-house uniform too. Chambray every single day is my mantra. “Mel, shouldn’t you consider another fabric?” Kev says as I pick up yet another chambray top. I said the same thing to Kev a couple months into dating about the color of his clothes. He only knew the color blue. I resonate with that boy now. Read more

Lemon Olive Oil Pistachio Cake from Love and Lemons Every Day

My friend Jeanine from Love & Lemons makes the prettiest cookbooks. They’re bright, delicious, happy, and so well designed. Like a magazine and cookbook all in one. Even Kev, not the cook of the family, got lost in her new book, Love & Lemons Every Day. Maybe not as lost as he got in her Lemon Olive Oil Pistachio Cake after work, where he hacked into this tiny work of art with a dull metal spatula. “Gimme that spatula, Kev.” I followed suit.   Read more

Butternut Bánh Mì Pizza from The Faux Martha

When we lived in Oak Park, IL, when we were young and alive, when we didn’t have enough money to take the train downtown to Chicago, I stood next to the continental divide sign, legs spread wide, imagining I was standing on two magnets pulling water to opposite ends of our coasts. Would I spilt in two like the water? Turns out I’m not that malleable. Not nearly as malleable as a recipe. We’re straddling two seasons right now, standing in muddy, dead grass with glints of green over a slice of Butternut Bánh Mì Pizza, between winter and spring. Read more

 
 
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