Let's sit and have a chat. First we'll make something comforting (beans and toast) but with a more grown up feel by using Tuscan inspired ingredients. Tuscany is a very adult place in my mind. It's dreamy and romantic with beautiful food, wine and rolling hills scoring the countryside. Purchasing property and divorce are two very adult things and Diane Lane does both in Under The Tuscan Sun. These beans are easy to make, very satiating but feel a tad more distinguished than your average frank and beans. But if you're feeling a more classic style but certainly not average, Joy the Baker makes some mean frank and beans. So, now that we have our meal (and a glass of red wine), let's talk.
Bra Thoughts: underwire, bralettes, or bare breasts? That is the question.
Bottom line: do whatever makes you feel most comfortable in your body. But for the most part, gone are the days of women strapping on heavily padded braziers that made breasts look like cantaloupes (and felt almost as firm). I have memories of boys touching my breasts overtop my bra and I could barely feel a thing. They were still excited to be caressing spheres of thick fabric no matter how much or little actual breast was underneath. In my teens and early twenties, fashion was more focused around being overtly sexy while sexiness now has a subtly to it. It was all low rise jeans, tight spaghetti string tank tops with gel and air padded bras. Remember those?! Or the low cut tank tops that had built-in underwire, which in hindsight was so you could skip the bra but not for my friends and I! We would wear push up bras underneath giving us lift times a gagillion. Our tits looked like they were grown directly from our neck. It was great. By great I mean it was just what we wanted. This was also the time when girls would pull their thongs above their jeans. This one was too much even for us. Just a hair below stripper is where we drew the line. We were teenage girls with dignity, okay?!?! Drinking vodka by the mouthful, chain smoking cigarettes, and starting Ja Rule dance parties everywhere we went. This was also the era of the furiously popular lower back tattoo. That was a given when I referenced Ja Rule, right? Thank f*#king Christ I never got one. And if you got one, I consider you a survivor and I'm here for you. Or maybe you're totally still rocking that tribal design or butterfly. You go girl.
My theory on underwire bras and they're diminishing popularity.
- Underwire is uncomfortable. Period.
- Women are becoming more accepting of their bodies. Well, we are at least trying right!? Maybe we aren't totally there but I do think it's changing. More and more women are speaking out about body image and self love. We can stop pretending our breasts are perfect globes perched atop our clavicle bone. Who knew?! Well, we did. And so did men. So why were we all pretending otherwise?
- Bralettes are very cute and comfortable. Lacey, sporty, strappy, sexy– they have it all.
- Underwire bras feels like lying to me. Lying to myself and to others about my body. Every women has experienced moments of self-consciousness after removing her bra wondering if the person in front of her realizes her breasts are half the size or a different shape than they appeared to be. Isn't it kind of mean to ourselves? Are we telling our breasts they're not good enough or not beautiful just the way they are. Forcing them into a boob dungeon disguised as underwear, like they've been bad or done something wrong for being who they are?! No no. Not anymore! Now I nestle a bralette around them like a cozy boob pocket or I let them sit freely. At first it was an adjustment. I noticed how much smaller they looked and how my clothes looked different on my body. But once I got used to it, I loved it! There was no turning back. I felt sexier and more true to myself, and I swear my breasts look better than ever. They weren't getting enough self love before and now I've finally let them be them and they are happier. If an underwire makes you feel more comfortable, all the power to that decision. I know women with larger breasts who genuinely feel better because they get more support and I understand that. Either way, let's all try and love our breasts just the way they are and in whatever type of bra or no bra that entails. Also, can we all get a Froobs shirt? Yes? Okay.
Let's also take a reflective moment to remember our dead homie fashion trends from the early 2000's: (spoiler: it's bad guys. Real bad.)
- Lace up crotch pants. Because buttons and zippers were too practical. And you never know when you might lose the string from your lace up cleavage shirt. Fingers crossed you're not wearing them on the same day!
- Jeans with no back pockets. No pockets!? But how will I carry anything? Don't worry, sometimes these jeans came with a teeny tiny pocket on the front, about the size of a Werthers Original.
- Cargo pants. This time was about having no pockets or twenty-five pockets. We were all or nothing. Very hardcore. You could carry like two hundred Werthers Originals in cargo pants. (They were good candies and not just for old people, okay?!)
- Halter tops. Perceived as the cutest and sexiest shirt of all time in the year 2000. In my teens I had so many halter tops that an entire drawer was devoted to them. The key to this shirt was wearing a halter style bra that left you with a headache and a deep indent on your neck skin when you took it off at night. Pair one with some pocket-free jeans, tuck your lip gloss into your bra and you're ready for science class or a party!
- Low rise jeans. My mum and my aunt used to call us “trucker butt". They were right. You couldn't leave your house without seeing at least two butt cracks a day during that time.
- Butterfly clips. Wear one to spice up your high ponytail or pull back your hair in seven small segments to show off your unique style.
- Bootcut jeans. A few years ago, my friend went on a few dates with a guy. She said she really liked him– he was kind, good looking and funny. “He sounds great!" I exclaimed. “There's one problem" she said. “He wears bootcut jeans... I can't. I just can't." And I respect that.
- Baggy wide leg raver pants. The photo in that link looks exactly like an outfit I wore in grade nine. I actually owned those exact pants, had the same colourful plastic jewelry and wore my hair in that style.
- A shrug “sweater". Not quite a sweater, not quite a cardigan. Helloooo sexy-granny.
- Yellow Livestrong bracelets. You weren't a good person unless you were wearing one to ten of these.
- Denim mini skirts. All skirts were the shortest of the short and on a hot day you could slip on some old navy flip flops, and two tank tops layered on top of each other to show your awesome colour coordination.
- Trucker hats. To match your trucker butts. Who or what is Von Dutch anyways? I still don't know to this day.
Because of all these terrible pants were considered normal or cool, when skinny jeans and form-fitting pant legs began revealing themselves as the new and ONLY pants to wear, I think I had a mini heart attack. Real thoughts I had:
- “But why does anyone want to wear pants that make their legs look like .... legs?!".
- “My body will look distorted if people see my true leg shape?!"
- “Is this style really going to last though?! Maybe it'll just be a year or two and then flares with rhinestone pockets will be back and everything will be okay!"
I'm very happy we now wear pants that fit our legs. I am also happy to say I don't see bootcut, low rise or lace up crotch pants in my future, but you never know... but I probably wouldn't hate if flares came back in a big way.
Wishing you and your breasts a free flying week!
TUSCAN BEANS + TOAST
inspiration: franks and beans + Tuscan daydreams
the feels: comforting, soft and savoury
eat with: pesto on top, arugula salad, braised/sauteed kale, sausage, ground lamb instead of bacon, sliced avocado, fresh mozzarella, red wine, amber ale
might like if you're into: British comfort food, tending herb gardens, rolling Tuscan hillsides, white bean + kale soup, 12 ways to cook cannellini beans
serves 2 - 3 || time: 30 minutes
- 1 can cannellini beans (white kidney), drained and rinsed
- 1 cup tomato passata (strained and pureed tomatoes)
- 4 strips pancetta or bacon, diced (optional, but if you are not using you will need to add more salt for flavour)
- 1/2 large spanish onion, diced
- 2 dried arbol chiles, finely chopped (or 1 tsp chile flakes)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- fresh parsley and basil finely chopped, 2 tablespoons of each
- two garlic cloves
- 4 slices bread
- grated hard Italian cheese, (pecorino or parmesan) to top
- eggs, (for poaching or frying if desired) – one per toast slice
- salt + pepper to taste
- Cook chopped bacon in a large saucepan until fat is rendered or about 5 minutes.
- Move bacon to separate bowl and set aside. Remove bacon fat from pan except for one teaspoon. Add olive oil and onions to pan and cook over medium heat until translucent, usually 5 - 8 minutes. Add dried chile for the last couple minutes of cooking.
- Add tomato passata and simmer for 5 minutes. Add beans and cooked bacon to pan and simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste and add salt if desired. I find it depends on the the saltiness of the bacon. You may need to add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt if it tastes a bit bland. Try adding a little at a time.)
- Toast bread and poach/fry eggs (if desired). Cut fresh garlic cloves in half and rub directly on to warm toasted bread.
- Place toasted bread on plates, layer on beans and one egg on each (if using). Top with grated cheese and chopped herbs. Serve with side arugula salad.