present joys

Week of June 5, 2023


Words by:

Joyce Chai + Michelle Jolliffe-Saper


Picked up a brown butter banana jam bun from Twelve Triangles

Pace of travel

I’ve been in Scotland for the past couple of weeks! My preferred way of travel is one that’s unhurried and allows myself the charade of living like a local. Strolling the aisles of specialty grocers to see what regional delicacies (read: snacks) are sold. Creating a running route which weaves through different parts of town with a bookmarked bakery set as my final destination. Convening for coffee and conversation with Michelle before diving into studio work. Maybe mundane and full of missed opportunities, but these are the kinds of moments I cherish most.


Last week Van and I took a day trip to Glasgow and stopped in for a bite at Gloriosa, per a recommendation by Michelle. It might have been my favorite meal of our trip so far–everything was so simple yet stunningly executed. We shared some focaccia and a few different plates of veggies and loved every bite.

Mackintosh House

While in Glasgow, we also popped into the Mackintosh House, a re-assemblage of architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh’s Glasgow home where all original fixtures were preserved and on display. Michelle and I have remarked on our shared “snoopy” tendencies, harboring curiosity for how others live and arrange their own homes, so walking through the rooms of the Mackintosh House was a pure delight. The home is a proper representation of the Glasgow Style, which draws influence from the Celtic Revival, Arts and Crafts, and Japonisme movements. The result is so elegant and draws out a keen sense of awareness, not only for the aforementioned styles but also the ways in which their combined influence has extended.


There’s a yellow flowering shrub called gorse (or whin) that’s abloom all over Edinburgh at the moment. Michelle pointed it out for its surprising scent–one that smells distinctly of coconut sunscreen. Nature is wild.

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop

Joyce has been in town and we’ve been having a great time together! We took some time last Saturday to explore the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop through a course on clay plaster with a very jovial instructor named Duncan. The simple act of trying a new medium with levity and curiosity is always exciting to me and even more so to be able to do it alongside Joyce!

Photo: Mailchimp

Second Act

This video series that Mailchimp puts together is pretty great. Thus far, I’ve enjoyed the short introduction into the worlds of Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles and Black People Will Swim.

Photo: Hunza G

Hunza G

I’m looking forward to a trip to Marseille in a few weeks and I have my eye on these crinkly, colorful, Dua Lipa-vetted swimsuits by Hunza G. Excited to explore the city and take a salty dip in the Mediterranean.

Photo: Bon Appetit

Just Keeps Getting Better Lentil Salad

It takes a bit of effort, but this salad is worth the time spent making it. Peeling every lemon rind, blooming every spice, and crushing each olive is rewarded by a final product that tastes delicious and feels like it’s also supercharging every cell in your body.

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