This new series takes you behind-the-scenes into the "creative diets" of our staff. Each week, one of us will share a list of five things that grabbed our attention or inspired us creatively that week.
This week's list is from our Editor-in-chief, Carrie Beth Wallace. These are the things C.B. would share with you over coffee this week if she could.
One: These Chocolate Chip Cookies
I'm fine openly admitting that I've gotten to a point where I roll my eyes at much of what the Gaines' empire has become. Once an avid fan of everything Magnolia, I've reached the point where it's gotten too big for me to love anymore. Mainly because I just can't keep up with everything they're doing at once. I'm a big believer of the "stay in your lane" mentality, and Magnolia has exploded to the point where I've sort of forgotten what made it special to begin with.
However, Joanna Gaines' chocolate chip cookie recipe is one our family discovered in quarantine and quickly (and unanimously) added to our limited collection of recipes we'll make for the next 50 years.
This is a cookie for every occasion. The perfect pick-me-up for that friend on your heart this week. A dozen of these babies simply placed on a white plate makes the perfect end to a summer evening spent on the porch with your dearest ones. Trust me, make them, and you'll see.
... The kids and I think it's got something to do with the fact that unlike many, this recipe uses exclusively brown sugar. We prefer adding a little cinnamon, and freezing half the dough for later. Portion control is essential here. Also, if you find a way to protect your chocolate chips in quarantine for long enough to bake with them, let me know.
Two: This Acrylic Calendar
Whether you're working from home or in the office right now, this acrylic *dry erase calendar would make an incredible addition to your workflow. The material is high quality, and the price point is right at the sweet spot of not making you feel like you have to live with it forever. Unless, that is, you love it as much as I do and have sworn your allegiance to its affordable wonders 'till Kingdom Come.
*This is not an ad.
Three: Dallis Foshee
I knew this gorgeous gal when she was a middle schooler, but had no idea she painted at the time! Fast-forward a decade, and now artist Dallis Foshee is a student at Auburn University with quite the bright future ahead of her. Check out her website for available work, and give her a follow on Instagram to stay in the loop on what's coming next!
I've kept tabs on The Art of Manliness intermittently over the last several years or so. It's unabashed style and position on all things masculine help keep me in touch with at least some of what's relevant to this demographic of my audience.
Though certainly not representative of my opinion or views on everything, AoM is always an entertaining read and gives me a different perspective on subjects I wouldn't otherwise seek out. (For example, How to Whistle with Your Fingers.)
Their article entitled You’ve Got to Be a Man, Before You Can Be a Gentleman found its way to me this week, and I simply had to put it on my list to share.
Here's how it begins...
“Over-sentimentality, over-softness, in fact washiness and mushiness are the great dangers of this age and of this people. Unless we keep the barbarian virtues, gaining the civilized ones will be of little avail.” –Theodore Roosevelt
Good 'ole Teddy. Am I right? Needless to say, the author goes on from there, dishing out some harsh - albeit legit - advice for men about why "the real power behind manners and decorum lies in restraint." Though some of it could potentially be found offensive, I'd invite you to read it with the knowledge that it's shared here only in fun. Take what you will, and hold the author accountable - not the messenger! ;)
*Edit: Truthfully, any article that quotes John Wayne in McClintock! will get a share from me every time. (Where are my John Wayne fans?!) No, Wayne couldn't really do much in terms of acting, but I have dear childhood memories of my grandfather sharing his films with me (and then falling asleep while I sat enthralled!) and they will always keep The Duke close to my heart.
Five: This Album by Nina Simone
I find myself working throughout the day to a variety of different kinds of music, depending on the task at hand. This album is indisputably legendary, and hearing those first few notes of I Put a Spell On You never fails to give me that powerful, oh-so-feminine, je ne sais quoi feeling.
I've put Nina back into my rotation. Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you.