She’s Here: The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

The Nordstrom Anniversary sale is typically one of the retail highlights of my year. I read the blogs. I save items to my wishlist. I spend an embarrassing number of hours reviewing every page of product and place multiple orders. The dopamine kicks into overdrive with every add to cart.

But this year is different. We are experiencing a global pandemic. I now work from home and haven’t left the house except for a few vet appointments and trips to the grocery store. I haven’t seen my friends or co-workers in person this entire time. And I have not worn real pants in 5 months. FIVE MONTHS. I am scared of real pants now. I have blow dried my hair twice and applied mascara less than a handful of times. My spending habits are different because life is different.

Like so many people, we’ve been impacted financially. It’s enough that I’m being more thoughtful about consumption (and my husband’s wrath). We are still beyond fortunate and, in so many ways, COVID-19 shined a very bright light on our privilege. So I won’t be spending with reckless abandon during the Anniversary Sale this year, hoarding sweaters and booties and beauty products and home goods. I’ll buy a few things that I know will be well-worn, will last, and will fit this current state of affairs.

So, without further ado, I’ve curated a collection of items I’m buying for myself, goodies that I’ve bought in years past and loved, plus a few other splurge-worthy options. Enjoy!

BP Cozy Top: I bought a similar style last year and honestly nothing says pandemic chic to me more than tie dye.

BP Joggers: If you’re gonna get the top, you gotta get the bottoms.

Free People Arden Extra Long Cotton Top: I love Free People tops (they are consistently so well-made) but I refuse to pay full price. I bought a similar style pre-pandemic in light blue. Cozy and long. Covers the bum. Great with leggings.

Free People Main Squeeze Hacci Sweater: Continuing my love of Free People. This just looks like the perfect sweater to pair with leggings and slippers and sit on the porch with a fire in the fireplace while drinking a glass of wine and watching bravo.

Free People Turnt Bodysuit: I don’t think I can pull off a bodysuit nor do I think I want to (long torso probs), but if you are someone who can, please get this and report back.

Chelsea28 Ribbed Off the Shoulder Sweater: So cute and looks really cozy, but also I need another sweater like I need a hole in the head.

Leith Cozy Long Cardigan: I have two of these from past anniversary sales and, while they do pill a little bit, they are cozy yet flattering and can be dressed up or down with skinny jeans or leggings. Also great for travel.

Nordstrom Signature Cascade Double Face Wool & Cashmere Coat: She is an investment, but oh my god. She is beauty. She is grace.

The North Face Miss Metro II Water Repellant Hooded Parka: So warm and cozy and great if you live in a climate with insane winter wind chill. I used to own one, but accidentally melted the back of it while standing too close to a fire and all of the feathers blew away (True story), but now I live in the south and it’s just not that cold. (PS runs small)

Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Lite Long Cardigan: Barefoot Dreams cardigans are actual dreams come true. They hold up so well, even in the dryer, and can be worn around the house, when traveling (perfect for planes – remember those?) or while running errands. Y’all need at least one Barefoot Dreams cardi.

Nordstrom Moonlight Dream Pajamas: These are the best pajamas on earth forever and ever amen. I also love this print, but I have approximately 8 pairs of these pajamas already from prior anniversary sales and must restrain myself.

BP Sleepy Lounge Tee: I love to stock up on tees like these for all lounge occasions. The price is just so good and these are so soft and drapey.

Zella Restore Soft Longline Bra: I have 0% interest in brassieres right now but sometimes you do have to go out in public and this seems like a very comfortable option for doing just that.

Ugg Fluffette Slipper: Are you sensing a theme? Do I ever want to return to normal clothes and shoes or do I just want to live in comfortable and cozy and soft forever????

BP Maya Mule: BP shoes are always a good value and I love a mule and the snakeskin adds a fun twist for a very, very good price.

Caslon Aidy Water Resistant Wedge Sneaker: These run too narrow for my sasquatch feet, but perhaps they’d look great on you.

Kork-Ease Lanka Wedge Mule: I have a pair of Kork-Ease booties from five years ago that are still going strong. They are so well-made and really comfy and also I love a wedge and a mule and here’s both married together in footwear harmony.

Adidas Swift Run Sneaker: These are the most comfortable, perfect for long walks and the elliptical and running errands (but probably not “serious running”) sneaks. I have them in black from a few years ago, but really wanted these. Alas they have already sold out in my Fred Flinstone feet size.

Kiehl’s Jumbo Ultra Facial Cleanser: This is not exciting, but I love this cleanser (no fragrance, straightforward ingredients) and it’s a good price for a super-sized tube.

Charlotte Tilbury Glowing Gorgeous Eye Secrets Set: In the Before times, when I wore makeup every day, these creamy eye shadows were my favorite. They last all day and I like that I can swipe them on with my finger in the car on my way to work like a true adult woman.

Le Labo Santal 33 & AnOther 13 Ea de Parfum Duo: This gift set is only available during the anniversary sale and is an excellent value for two of their best fragrances. when I actually used to leave the house, I wore another 13 every day and have never received more compliments about a fragrance in my life.

Slip Mega Scrunchie Set: You might be saying “$45 for scrunchies?” and you are not wrong. That’s a lot of money for some scrunchies. But these are the best scrunchies. I don’t make the rules.

NEST Grapefruit & Sicilian Tangerine Classic Candle Duo: Nest candles (and reed diffusers) are the best. They are strong and the fragrance lasts. Sicilian Tangerine is one of my favorites. I was introduced to it by a NY Mag article about Carole Radziwell and she did not steer me wrong.

Nordstrom Bliss Plush Throw: Amazing price and these hold up so. well. even after tons of washings and pug snugs.

Spinach & Cheese Strata

Christmas breakfast is that glorious thing sandwiched between ripping presents open like a crazed banshee and playing with all of your new toys. It’s best enjoyed with coffee and boozy beverages (mimosas and bloody marys, perhaps). And it’s even better when you just have to pop it in the oven as soon as you pad downstairs in your Christmas slipper socks, still bleary eyed with an epic case of bed head. 

Enter the strata. It’s basically savory bread pudding and tastes like a quiche and a frittata made sweet love and popped out a delicious cheesy, crusty, eggy baby. Prep everything the night before and bake it the next morning. Easy as pie. Or strata.

Spinach & Cheese Strata

Servings 6


  • 1 loaf ciabatta, cubed
  • 1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup gruyere, grated
  • 1 cup extra sharp white cheddar, grated
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg


  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  • Cube ciabatta and spread in one layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly toasted and dried out. Set out until cooled to room temperature.
  • Thaw spinach in microwave and remove all excess liquid. (My handy method is to wrap it in one million paper towels and wring it out.)
  • Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and continue cooking for one minute. Stir in spinach, remove from heat and set aside.
  • Grease baking dish with remaining tablespoon of butter. Spread half of the bread cubes in the dish and top with half of spinach mixture and half of cheese. Repeat layering with remaining bread, spinach and cheese. Whisk eggs, milk, nutmeg, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl and pour evenly over the strata.
  • Cover strata with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day, let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes while preheating the oven to 350°F. Bake uncovered in the middle of the oven until golden brown and cooked through, 50 minutes. To get it extra crispy on top, broil for 1-2 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  • Eat, sip your mimosa and help yourself to seconds.

Green Bean Casserole

Green bean casserole is a holiday staple. Savory, creamy and crunchy all at once. And in theory, you’re even consuming a vegetable among all of the carb-y deliciousness of mashed potatoes and stuffing. But if cans of cream of mushroom soup and green beans have been the main ingredients in the casseroles of Thanksgivings past, it’s time to take things up a notch and make the classic Thanksgiving dish from scratch this year.

(Don’t worry – those crispy fried onions on top? They still make the cut.)

Green Bean Casserole

Servings 8


  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 lb crimini or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb frozen green beans
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano
  • Crispy fried onions


  • Preheat the oven to 375. Butter a large baking dish and set aside.
  • Next, do yourself a favor and prepare your mise en place. Basically this is a fancy French term for “everything in place.” As in, dice the onion and bell pepper and chop up the mushrooms so everything is ready to go.
  • Next, melt two tablespoons of butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Sautee the onions until they are softened and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Toss in the bell pepper and mushrooms and stir everything together.Let the veggies cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Next, cook the green beans according to the instructions on the package. (I prefer the stovetop method, but if you want to microwave them, no judgment here).
  • Once they are cooked, add the green beans to a bowl of ice water. This will prevent them from continuing to cook and prevents mushiness.While the green beans are cooling off, grate the cheeses. Sample accordingly. Mmmmm. Gruyere.
  • Drain the green beans and add them to the rest of the veggies, mixing to combine. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  • Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to a large saucepan over medium heat. Want to save yourself from doing more dishes? Use the same saucepan used to cook the green beans.
  • Once the butter has melted, add ¼ cup flour and whisk constantly until the mixture begins to turn golden brown. Congratulations – you just made a roux. (Hint: a roux is also the key to delicious turkey gravy – it’s essentially a thickening agent).
  • Add the milk in batches and continue to whisk. This part requires a little muscle and a lot of patience, but it will result in a delicious, creamy sauce. Also known as a béchamel. This is the foundation for most creamy sauces (and the basis for the most decadent macaroni and cheese you will ever indulge in… but that’s a recipe for a different day).
  • Add a little salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Then stir in most of the cheeses, reserving a little for later. Taste. Swoon.
  • Pour the cheese sauce into the veggie mixture and toss to combine thoroughly.
  • Add the veggie mixture to the baking dish. Top with the remaining cheeses.
  • Now it’s time for the finishing touch – the crispy fried onions. I love the Trader Joe’s brand, but you really can’t go wrong here.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 375. Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 10-20 minutes until browned and bubbly.
  • You can also make the green bean casserole up to one day ahead. Just be sure to bring it to room temperature before baking
  • Serve. Enjoy. Fight your loved ones for the last portion. It’s THAT good.


The Perfect Roast Turkey

When I first moved to the Midwest eight years ago, I decided to impress my then-boyfriend’s family with a home-cooked holiday dinner, complete with a turkey and all of the trimmings. While I considered myself to be a relatively adept cook, this seemed like a serious challenge and something that I should probably train for. Yes, I said train.

Armed with Google, and a stack of cookbooks, I researched and tested and prototyped and came up with The Perfect Turkey Recipe.

After spending hours in the kitchen, I’m usually not as enthusiastic about what I’ve made as my guests are, but this time I was. The turkey was incredibly juicy, flavorful and so tender that it practically fell off the bone.The secret? It’s all about the brine. Brining a turkey (or any poultry really – I’ve done it with chicken too and it was fantastic) is essentially submerging the bird in a saltwater mixture overnight. Sometimes fresh herbs and spices are added. Sometimes sugar or other sweeteners. If you’re feeling lazy, you can even buy brine mixes from retailers like Williams & Sonoma.

My brine recipe is really simple – salt and water. And that’s it. The night before you plan to cook the bird, take a large pot or bucket and line it with two garbage bags or use a brining bag. Fill up the container/bag with four quarts of water (or more) and 1 cup of kosher salt and stir well to dissolve the salt. Submerge the (already defrosted) turkey in the mixture and let it chill overnight. True story: it was once cold enough outside that I let the turkey brine away outside because there wasn’t room in the fridge.

On Thanksgiving day, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and remove the turkey from the pot/bucket and give it a thorough rinse. Pat dry and rub the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper. The next part is key – starting at the cavity, slide your hand between the skin and the breast to loosen the skin without tearing it. Do this on both sides and (don’t laugh) massage each breast with a tablespoon of butter. And by butter, I mean butter. The real deal. No margarine.

Next up, it’s time to add various aromatic herbs and vegetables to the cavity to help flavor the meat (and the drippings which you’ll want to use to make gravy). I usually add a whole yellow onion that I’ve stuck with a few whole cloves, and a bouquet garni (basically a bunch of fresh herbs tied together with kitchen string) consisting of thyme, sage, parsley, bay leaf and, really, whatever else you might have on hand (tip: some grocery stores sell a “poultry” blend of fresh herbs in the produce section – this has everything you’ll need all in one handy package). You could also add carrots, celery, or sliced apples. You really can’t go wrong. Tie the turkey’s legs together using kitchen string to keep all of the goodies inside the cavity.

Now place the turkey in the roasting pan breast down. The juices all run into the breast (thank you, gravity) as the turkey cooks and turn what is usually the driest part of the turkey into tender, delicious turkey bliss. Between the brining and cooking breast down, you will make turkey magic. I promise.

Baste the turkey with two tablespoons of melted butter and roast at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes has passed, baste with more butter (or pan drippings) and turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Continue to roast the turkey, basting every 30 minutes, until the thigh registers 165 degrees. Depending on the size of the turkey, this will take about 3-4 hours.

When it’s done, tent the turkey with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least one hour minutes before serving. The turkey, giant beast that it is, will continue to cook during that time.

My husband and I no longer eat meat – including poultry – (we’re pescatarians, which I know sounds so incredibly high maintenance), but I still cook this for our families and it’s always, always a hit.