Well, hello, after a little break! I hope you are enjoying the new year and are delving into lots of fun projects and holding true to your resolutions, if you made them. I finally gave up my streak of baking pies, cookies, and cakes every other day, and I temporarily traded in my apron for my running shoes. I am feeling a lot more invigorated because of the switch! Until I find some balance, I am locking up the baking chocolate and the sugar.
Over the past few months, our home remodeling process is really showing us what we tend to hoard or obsess over in this house. As we purge, reorganize, and rediscover “lost” items, while sifting through the boxes and piles, we are finding surplus amounts of the most random things. Like six bags of brown sugar, each one hardened and collecting dust on a bookshelf in the basement. How did that happen?! I also came across five bottles of expired sunscreen, six pie plates, and four bags of cream of tartar. I am finding that the more unorganized we are, the more the waste and clutter piles up. It is time to shake things up around here.
Our first plan of attack was to move a portion of our collection of 35 houseplants to a less obtrusive home. During our kitchen renovation, we relegated the plants to a corner of the living room, where they couldn’t help but cram our sitting area and walkway. We thought that moving the plants to a higher location would free up the space and give some action to a high window in the dining room. This houseplant facelift cost us one trip to Home Depot, and we spent less than $20. The results were beyond satisfying, and the area feels much brighter and lifted, not to mention, much more organized! I especially love the off-centered position of the oak board.
As I write this post this evening, I am listening to Christmas music and packing up gifts for my family. Yes, I am about a month behind, but the thoughtfulness and love are still going strong. You see, Steve and I make a culinary herb blend every year. We harvest the herbs from our garden, painstakingly dry the herbs throughout the summer, blend them in the fall, and share the blend with our friends and family. It is always a hit. We planned ahead and purchased the required glass jars and waited for their arrival. And waited. They never made it into our hands, for the box was taken from our porch over the holidays. Whoever opened the stolen box was probably severely disappointed to find two flats of glass jars!
We finally received the replacement shipment this past week, and we took a snowy afternoon and blended the dried herbs. As we processed the herbs in the Cuisinart, the aroma took us back to our summer garden and reminded us of the warmth and bounty to come. The jars are completely adorable, and I can’t wait to showcase them here on the blog and make them available for purchase! This year’s “yard blend” is heavy on parsley and oregano, making it perfectly suitable for a pasta dish or a vegetable omelet.
I am closing with some photos taken this past week. Cheers to snowbound days, cats in boxes and sunbeams, bringing the outdoors inside, and cheerful bouquets. I am off to craft a couple of winter bourbon-based cocktails to warm up this chilly evening!