three girlfriend recommendations

Do you oil your hair? 

To me, it always seemed counterintuitive since the whole reason for washing hair was to get rid of the grease, but a long time ago at a girlfriend’s behest I bought some oil, and then, for whatever reason, I kinda forgot about it.

dry and poofy

However, the other week, probably about three days after I’d last washed it, my hair was feeling super dry and wiry, so I squirted some Moroccan oil on my hands and ran my fingers through my hair, paying special attention to the ends and using my palms to press down the more frizzy out layer of hair.

The transformation — felt, more than seen — was astonishing.


My hair went from brittle and crispy-frizzy to shiny, soft, and curly. I could practically hear the hair sucking up the moisture and sighing with contentment.

I don’t need to do this all the time — maybe once every couple weeks — but it’s a real treat when I do. 

Makes me feel fancy.


This summer I finally figured out how to use the pressure canner that I’ve had for about 15 years. I canned green beans and nothing exploded (though it turns out my kids prefer frozen green beans to canned; the canned ones do have a different flavor), so now I’m getting into bone broth. I’d always bought cases of boxed broth from Costco, but the homemade stuff is much richer and more flavorful.

And then on a walk the other day when I mentioned my blossoming love affair with pressure canned bone broth to a girlfriend, she said, “You know the trick with onions, right?” I didn’t, so she enlightened me: add some onion skins along with the other veggies and it’ll turn the broth a gorgeous rich bronzy-brown.

And what do you know, she was right. 

without onion skin, with onion skin

with onion skin, and without

It doesn’t take much — just a single layer of onion paper from a couple onions is enough to make the magic happen.

And then some friends butchered a hog and gave us a five-gallon bucket heaped with bones. 

My pressure canner is getting quite the workout.


There’s a new little bookstore coming to town! It’s called Parentheses and it’s gonna live right across the road from the bakery where I work, in an old abandoned warehouse that Magpie’s owner leased.

See the “for lease” sign on the warehouse on the left? That’s the place.
(photo from 2020)

A few days ago I saw on Facebook that the bookstore owner (her name is Amanda) has a kickstarter campaign to raise the money to buy the stock. I pledged 10 bucks — a bookstore next door to where I work? cool! — and went on with my life. 

But then this week, Sofia, a local writer I-kinda-but-don’t-really-know but I’ll call her my girlfriend for the sake of this post’s title, popped into the bakery and we started talking about the bookstore. The deadline is next week, she said, and if they don’t meet their goal, then they don’t get any of the money. Get your friends to pledge!

As of today they’ve got 6 days left and they’re only halfway to their goal of fifty thousand dollars, YIKES.

Door to Parentheses is on the left; big door in the middle will be the entrance to the shops.
photo credit: Kirsten Moore

So listen up, people. If you’re local and like to read (we all like to read, right?), consider chipping in five bucks — or fifty!

And if you’re not local but wish you were, or simply want to support female-owned, independent bookstores, then do. Who knows, maybe some day you’ll find yourself in the Shenandoah Valley, and you’ll decide to drop by the bakery for a croissant and then mosey across the road to the browse the stacks in a sunny bookstore next to the train tracks, and it will be as lovely as it sounds.

This same time, years previous: cheese tasting, round two, change, spiced applesauce cake with caramel glaze, the quotidian (11.17.14), sock curls, lemony lentil goodness.


  • Anna C.

    I grew up with home canned green beans from my grandparent’s backyard garden. Our family’s preparation is to heat them through in a pot on the stovetop with sliced onion and plenty of butter (I saw my grandmother put in a whole stick for a quart of beans for a holiday meal — not sure that’s the ratio she’d use on a normal day). They aren’t the same as frozen, but they are quite tasty in their own way.

  • Thrift at Home

    I do have a hair oil! It smells absolutely FAB and that is my favorite thing about it – it’s the Rose Hair Elixir from The Innate Life and let me tell you, it is not cheap. I also have really liked their scalp treatment but I see it’s been discontinued, booooo. Your hair is so pretty – love the threads and curls of silver.

    I do also deliberately use onion skins in my stock. But I also use carrot tops instead of celery to use the tops and so my broth has a greenish tinge, ha!

  • Amanda Friss

    Hi there! This article is so lovely. Thank you so much, Jennifer! And thank you, Misha and Jennifer Jo! (And your son, Jennifer!) It means so much to me that people are supportive of the store. I’ve always believed in the power that independent bookstores have in a community (and women-owned businesses) but it’s so nice to hear that I’m not alone in that. Keep spreading the word if you can. Only 59 more hours to go! I appreciate you all so much!

  • Misha Leigh

    I live in a completely different part of the country (PNW) but had to make a pledge to a woman owned bookstore! Thank you for letting us be a part of it. Really hoping it happens for them.

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