When you work for yourself, when a hobby turns into a job, it’s tough to measure success. And, where the internet is concerned, it’s nearly impossible.
My friend Kelly, the talented woman behind Design Crush, has an ongoing project to share a quote a day everyday this year. I must confess to kind of hating the typical quote sharing on the internet and can guarantee that I do not follow your inspiration board on Pinterest. (It’s not you, it’s me –– if I never see the Keep Calm meme again it will be too soon.)
Kelly’s quotes are different. They move beyond the fluff and hint at the best quiet, focused, or selfish bits of driven people. They reveal truths, minus the saccharine. And occasionally, the smart words she shares stop me in my tracks. read more »
The best desserts are the simplest desserts. A few flavors, choice ingredients, and enough finesse that everything together is so much better than any of the ingredients alone.
It took me a while to really understand tarte tatin. For the longest time, it seemed to me it was just an upside down apple pie. Don’t freak out –– I’ve seen the error of my ways. A good tarte tatin is spare, with a deep caramel, pleasantly soft apples, and a dreamy puff of pastry to hold it all together. Here, I’ve swayed from tradition only slightly by adding a pinch of sea salt. And instead of store bought puff pastry, I went ahead and made my own rough puff pastry (which is, if you’re worried, fairly simple to make.) read more »
With a chill in the night air and a few recent professional disappointments, the past couple weeks have been a time for long, hot showers. At night, the bathroom all steamy, I listen to the BBC News, which focuses on Africa in the evening and often serves as a reminder that, with my safe home and clean water, I’m still ahead by more than any of us deserve. No one can blame me for being rooted in my own life –– it’s an essential part of being human –– but remembering that all I have is mine by chance is good way to keep things in check. read more »
I love the feeling of getting home after even a short trip. There’s a brief window where all the comforts that you’ve missed trump the endless list of things that need to be done, or organized, or cleaned. I arrived home from a quick trip to Wisconsin last night, and am thrilled to be staring down a fall weekend completely void of plans. On my agenda are things like finishing the girls’ Halloween costumes, buying pumpkins, and traveling to the Blue Ridge Mountains to take in some fall color. But before all that, I’m totally going to sit on the couch with a big cup of coffee and decompress. It’s been a heavy week and I think we all need a little break.
So, let’s leave things at that and get into some weekend reading. read more »
Our family of four relies heavily on a delicate balance of personalities. Brian, whether by nature or force of will, is stoic and patient almost all of the time. I strive for the same, but most days just holding it together feels like an accomplishment. If there’s one thing you don’t have a lot of as a parent of two, it’s space, both personal and mental, and I need a lot of it. I thought, now that our littlest one is in school five days a week, I’d have plenty of time to recharge and conquer the world, but it seems the more space I have, the more I need. Making up for lost time, no doubt. We had thought our girls each took after one of us –– the oldest being sensitive and prone to the same types of high highs and low lows that her mother experiences. Until recently, our youngest seemed to have inherited her father’s quiet introspection and mellow exterior. I say until recently because just a couple weeks after she turned three, something changed. All of a sudden, there were tantrums, as well the intense desires and a stubbornness that you might expect from any other toddler turned preschooler. We just really didn’t think it would happen to us. read more »
Home decor, especially kitchen appliances, can last a long time, so even though I was born after the heyday of burnt orange and pea green, the palette persisted well into my childhood. Even now, overly warm wood stains, yellow undertones, and dimly lit television shows all send me running for aesthetic cleansing. This may be why I have such difficulty embracing the hues of October. Besides the pervasive orange-ness of the season, to embrace all things squash or pumpkin is to admit defeat. For me, winter squash signals the end of the growing season, meaning everything from now until April is either a storage food or from someplace else. read more »