Salt & Fog

The Art of Veronica Casson

Book & Record

6 things I'm loving this month

Adventures & Parenting, Book & Record, NightstandVeronica CassonComment

1.  The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

tidying cov

I am way behind everyone at being a Marie kondo convert. Mainly for the reason that I was waiting for my name to come up on the library hold list for The life-changing magic of tidying up. It came up being pretty good timing it being available right after Christmas and all.

I am about halfway through doing the recommended purge for all of the items in our home that do not “Spark Joy.”  There’s a surprising amount of them. Clothes was first and thank goodness for that. 

Here's a pic of our bedroom mid purge.


2.  Beigey Brown Lipstick

sephora lipstick

I always have one go to lipstick per season that I use pretty much everyday.  Last winter it was Moxie Rise up by Bare Minerals which has been almost impossible to find this year.

So, Instead I have opted for Sephora's Rogue lipstick in ingenious. It is a subtle, almost nude, color that adds just the right tint for day time. 

3.  Satchmo at the Waldorf


Julie surprised me with tickets to this new A.C.T show. John Douglas Thompson does a remarkable job of bringing Louis Armstrong and others to life in the one man show, depicting a backstage conversation with Armstrong relating the events of his life after one of his last performances.

You'll have to be in the Bay Area to se this one but some tickets are still available from the A.C.T. site if you are.

4. Salt & Fog January Mix 

jan mix

What we are listening to this month, on our January Mix, is a mix of  some great new stuff and a few things we missed in 2015 (and a few of our favorite songs ever thrown in for good measure).

And more Hamilton because who could get enough Hamilton? Not us!

5. Down Dog App


Like many people, I vowed to change my eating and exercising habits at the start of the new Year. I love Yoga, but finding the time, money and overcoming my shyness (I am a closet introvert) to attend a class has always been a big stumbling block.  The Down Dog App has completely upped my exercise game.

The routines are clear and easy to understand with enough variations that they don't get too repetitive. There are also very yummy yoga-ing soundtrack options to boot. And that's just the free content!

If you have been looking for a new way to Yoga check it out.


6. Her Story


The first season of Her Story is currently available for on the Her Story website. 

What is Her Story? It's a very well done creator made show "that looks inside the dating lives of trans & queer women as they navigate the intersections of desire & identity."

It is very clearly a work of love. Having seen and read a ton of stories dealing with transgender people I love that this one does not focus on the transition as much as transwomen living their lives and finding relationships.

Her story also get props for giving a voice to a prospective partner of a transperson. They need a voice too sometimes. 




Book Shopping: my tips and tricks

Book & Record, NightstandVeronica Casson2 Comments

I adore book stores. I find them soothing the way others do a spa day or yoga retreat. The general quiet and soft murmur of other customers. The warm lighting. The shelves of experiences past and yet to come.

I do my best to support any bookseller, particularly independent ones, but I do not have a large expendable budget. Its crazy challenging.  To ease my discomfort of being overwhelmed, by finding too many items I would love to purchase with little chance of getting them all, I use this method.

Step one:

I take a quick snapshot of any title that interests me.

Step two:

When I am ready to leave (usually at the urging of whomever I am shopping with) I do a quick scroll through the photos I took and see if there is any title I cannot live without and purchase that one. 

Bonus step:

Once home I review my photos and after a little bit of research or internal searching I post the ones I want on my wish list (I currently use Evernote, but have also used Good Reads, Amazon wish lists and pinterest boards.)

Here’s what I snapped during this last trip and why. 

Bring Up The Bodies, By Hilary Mantel


Mantel has written a lot of excellent books, including one of my all time favorite novels Fludd.

She has become most well known for her Cromwell Series of books, a fictional account of Thomas Cromwell's rise to power in the court of Henry VIII. This book, Bringing up the Bodies, is the second in the trilogy and Wolf Hall is the first.


As a long time fan of Mantel’s work I have been meaning to read her most popular novels and have just not gotten around to it. After finding this one on sale I thought it might be the time.


Annihilation, By Jeff Vandermeer


The first in the Southern Reach Trilogy. It is a Sci-fi thriller about four scientists who visit a remote area of civilization called 'Area X' that has a reputation for inflicting mayhem on anyone who visits.


You know who likes Annihilation and the rest of The Southern Reach trilogy? Friken’ everybody.

Another book series that I have heard a ton of buzz about. It was on the shelf with the other two parts of the series looking all tempting with its pretty graphic covers. 


RAT QUEENS , Volume one: Sass and Sorcery.
Story by Kurtis J. Wiebe and art by Roc Upchurch


The first volume of a fantasy comic series about four foul-mouth adventures.


There was a sign on the shelf marking it as the 2015 GLAAD Media Award winner which made me pick it up and take a peak. The art was pretty and after reading the first few pages it looks like it might be a lot of fun.



M. O. Walsh’s debut novel got a lot of attention after it’s release. Set in Baton Rouge it involves a horrible crime perpetuated on 15-year old girl who is a favorite of the neighborhood.


Another one I found in the bargain bin and considered grabbing. I have heard very good thing about Walsh’s prose but have kept my distance knowing there will be violence done to a minor. Any story that involves kid violence has been really hard for me to sit through since having our son. It’s also the reason what I have not watched the supposedly amazing first season of True Detective.




 Ron Lieber, The New York Times “Your Money” columnist's book about how to raise money conscious kids.


Who doesn’t want “Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money, “ as the cover promises? I sure do. I am taking strides to be grounded, generous and smart about money as a grown up. Perhaps reading this could help me pass on better money habits to Luke. I do think this is intended for older kids though.



WOMEN - by Chloe Caldwell


novella that explores an affair and the aftermath between two women who have a nineteen year age difference. 


I am a sucker for this little card displayed on bookstore shelves. The ones that say “Staff Picks” or “reader favorites” and ha s a little review or quote on them. This one said, “…..” and it got me to pick up the book and read the first page.

Here’s what I read and liked:

Sometimes I wonder what it is I could tell you about her for my job here to be done. I am looking for a short­cut—something I could say that would effortlessly un­tangle the ball of yarn I am trying to untangle here on these pages. But that would be asking too much from you. It wasn’t you who loved her, or thought you loved her. I wonder what I could write that would help you to understand that it is profoundly easy to fall in love with an olive-skinned woman that touches you just so, and who has a tattoo of a quote from Orlando trail­ing down her back. Show me your tattoo again, I’d say in bed. She’d pull up the bottom of her shirt, and I’d trace my fingers over the cursive words by Virgin­ia Woolf that read: Love, the poet said, is a woman’s whole existence.


This was the one I finally purchased. I decided I would easily come across the others again but there was a chance I might not encounter Women if I did not pick it up then. Which would be a shame as I really was drawn to the first page and loved the store review.

Monday Morning Music — The National: Sunshine on My Back

Book & Record, TurntableVeronica CassonComment

We are enormous National fans in our house and try to take a listen to anything they put out. This track, which I think is an unused cut from the Trouble Will Find Me sessions, is coming along with the purchase of the "Mistaken for Strangers" movie.

It is unmistakable The National in flavor. It conjures up imagery of an early morning jog through a shadowy urban environment. At least to me.