swiss chard from the garden in fall leaves

hello, goodbye

fall, gardening, musings

the blog

Well, hello and happy….December!?! Yeah, I know it’s been awhile. I just got back from spending a week down in sunny Florida, in my hometown, to recharge, recenter, and visit my family. I had the most amazing and memorable time. The days there seriously flew by, and all of a sudden, here I am back in Denver, just as I was finally beginning to relax and regain a little sanity.

It is good to get back into the swing of things; although, I could easily trade Denver’s cooler temperatures and snow boots for the palm trees and sunshine I’m already missing.

Lately, in the midst of harvesting the last of the garden and preparing for a hectic holiday season, I’ve been meditating on the simple fact that time is truly a gift. We have the opportunity to either waste it, leisurely enjoy it, or make the most of it and squeeze every last drop out of it. Personally, I haven’t been the best steward of my time as of late. I have run myself ragged, been overly self-critical to an almost crippling degree, and not given myself the rest that I need for proper functioning.

So, here are my thoughts on saying “hello” to what I want more of and saying “goodbye” to the stuff that no longer serves a purpose, accompanied by some photos of our garden’s beautiful, final hurrah. And if you need a little reading music, this little song pairs quite perfectly.

Let’s rewind a few months back to summer. That blurry photo above? That pretty much depicts how my summer felt. My job at the restaurant demanded six-day workweeks because of our weekly summer concert series, a revamp of our by-the-glass wine list, and a cocktail list makeover. In the midst of the busyness, I squeezed in a trip to assist with wine-making in Oregon, flew down to Georgia for a weekend family reunion, and took a press trip to France.

Steve and I even did our first radio interview on Wine Life Radio back in September {if you want to laugh at my nervous self, talking about the restaurant, bubbles, and Pinot Noir, you can give a listen here}. As soon as I felt I had a moment to catch my breath, though, I would have a wine article due, or I’d glance out at the garden and realize I had herbs to harvest and tomatoes to pick, process, and preserve.

And then there was the blog.

I would eschew writing a post because I felt didn’t have the perfect photos, or I had gotten behind and felt the post was no longer relevant. And that is when the blog temporarily curled up and died. What once gave me joy became a looming, demanding burden in my mind’s eye. I have had to accept that there may never be a “perfect time” to write, and that the imperfections along the way and the messy reality are, surprisingly, captivating and endearing. I am realizing that it is also okay to give myself permission to actually live my life and not to feel compelled to document its evolution along the way. It is really okay to take a break.

All of this sounds so simple. Why is it always so difficult to actually put into practice? I’m totally chastising myself here.

I am realizing that living a “fulfilled” life does not necessarily mean cramming it full of activities, obligations, and projects. A fulfilled life means feeding ourselves with proper rest, letting go of things {projects, people, objects} that no longer serve a purpose, and making room for what we deem important at this point in our lives. So, yeah, I am ready for some change.

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I don’t know about you, but I am even more excited about making changes in the fall season, than I am come New Year’s Day. I guess it all traces back to my childhood, when I counted down the days until I could buy brand-new school supplies, go shopping for back-to-school clothes, and open those blank spiral-bound notebooks, just waiting for the first scribble. A fresh, new start with endless opportunity. Those memories symbolize change, newness, the learning of new skills, and the implementation of ideas. It was all so invigorating!

So, here are five actions I’m implementing right now, along with five that I’d rather never see in my life again.

5 Things I am Saying “Hello” to Right Now

  1. Being okay with where I am right at this moment. I don’t want to look back at the past or be upset with myself for not being where I think I should be. I want more contentment with the process of becoming. I could also add to this point, “manifesting happiness.” It is a choice. I am choosing peace and choosing to cultivate a positive outlook!
  2. Moving more. I want to run and feel physically strong. When I take the time to work out and fuel my body, my confidence rises. I am setting myself up to run a half marathon next year, and so far, I’ve already peaked at four miles just this evening. I’m still in my running clothes, as I’m typing this!
  3. Spending intentionally. My dear friend, Batya Stepelman, of the Sparrows + Spatulas blog, recently inspired me. She and her husband went on a “shopping fast” for a couple of months and saved an impressive amount. I am going to eat at home, deal creatively with the wardrobe I have, and rent movies from the library. No more absent-minded purchases!
  4. Creating daily. I’m not talking about placing unrealistic pressures upon me, but I am talking about looking for ways create more – sketching regularly, practicing my piano, making a new cocktail or recipe, or writing a haiku. Even rearranging furniture counts!
  5. Getting up earlier. I work late. That’s the nasty truth right now. It is so challenging, however, to simply put myself to bed, when I get home, sometimes around midnight. Can you imagine getting off work at 5:00 and then going to bed within an hour? Yeah, not likely. I am going to force myself to get up at the same time each day. The days are so short right now, and if I don’t get enough sunlight hours, I get seriously depressed.

5 Things I am Saying “Goodbye” to Right Now

  1. Procrastinating. I think I just might the world’s worst procrastinator. Sometimes it works out great, like when I clean my house, empty my email, and polish the glassware, all because I am nervous about a writing assignment. The procrastination feels justified! I was reading Real Simple recently and had a profound epiphany from one of their articles: if a task only takes five minutes, do it now, instead of putting it on your to-do list.
  2. Comparing myself to others. This one is lethal for me. Comparing my work, life, or ideas to someone else’s is creatively stifling. It kills friendships and prevents any forward movement in my own life. As I reinvent my creative and design career, I tend to look at others, who have “succeeded” and sometimes find myself depressed. I am trying to simply work hard and congratulate myself on my progress, as well as being genuinely happy for the success of others!
  3. Feeling guilty about relaxing. I have a tough time doing nothing. As soon as I lie down on the couch, my mind is racing onto the next project, and I am scanning the living room for my to-do list. I think that I will be a better relaxer, when I stop the procrastinating!
  4. Thinking the world is out to get me. I tend to brace myself, when I venture out into the world. All of that tension and worry is wasted energy, and my emotional state is a product of my own making, not a product of my environment.
  5. Over-committing. This one is a tough one. Sometimes, the timing just isn’t right. The opportunity might sound amazing, but what does it cost me or my family? My health, peace, sleep, and sanity are much more valuable to me. Instead of saying an emphatic “yes” to helping a friend or taking on another project, I am going to say, “I will get back with you.”


I will go ahead and close this post with a few more photos. They do speak a million words, and I have already written a little over my norm here already! Here’s to all of us living more intentionally, welcoming more creativity into our lives, respecting boundaries, being authentic with our answers, slowing down, knowing when to say no, and letting old habits die.

I wish you a very happy beginning to the holiday season!




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  1. Darling, darling Jayme…

    I have so many things to say, I don’t even know where to begin.

    Let me start with this: authenticity. Recently, I went to Advertising Week here in NY. I listened intently to a panel of creatives, including Jamie Oliver, discuss their different success stories in the industry. And the common theme? Authenticity. I turned to my mom (who came with me-my biggest fan) and said, how do you know if you’re truly authentic?

    It’s posts like this one, Jayme that show your true colors. You’re not afraid. You speak your mind. We are human beings, not robots, and crave feeling. I could relate to this post on so many levels… You know those pics of your cat? It struck a chord with me. I have cats. They’re a pain in the ass but I love them. And when I saw your little guy hanging with you in the garden, I thought of my cat. The one who is literally walking across my computer as I type. So, you might think your pictures are not ‘perfect’ but really, it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

    As a blogger, there is so much competition. There’s that looming feeling if you don’t keep up, you’ll fall out of the race. But it’s the authentic blogs that survive in the end. Because your readers are loyal. And will come back when you’re ready 🙂

    OK- one last thing… because you probably didn’t have your coffee yet and I’m in like 5th gear.

    We are in the restaurant industry as well. I totally get it. My husband comes home at 1 am, sometimes 2, and you don’t just go to bed. The hours are long, hard and unpredictable. The restaurant never sleeps.

    i hope you have time to relax and enjoy yourself this weekend! Sending hugs. This post was lovely. xoxo

    • Hi, Emilie!!

      I know I am totally late in responding to your kind words, but don’t let that give you the wrong impression. Thank you SO much for taking the time to communicate from your heart and share your thoughts. I appreciate you for doing that!

      You are right about the world of blogging being one of competition. It also, as you well know, is a world of support and commonality. I love the bonds I’ve formed, and I find such encouragement from heart-felt comments like yours.

      About that looming feeling. I have really gotten verbally abusive to that nasty voice in my head that nags, “Why do you even do this blogging thing? Can’t you just pick a direction? No one even cares. Everyone’s already said this at some point before.” SHUT. UP. Seriously, if I ever placed my life in that voice’s control, my creativity would die.

      Thanks for sharing that your family is also in the business. It is an amazing one! Dynamic and challenging and fulfilling. At the same time, I could use a little less time on my feet, a schedule that allows me sunsets and sunrises, and days off on holidays. It is extra tough because Steve and I both work as somms at the same insanely busy restaurant. It’s mega high profile, and it’s also the only time I wear serious makeup. Otherwise, it’s a bandana and a fresh face for me – HA! It’s great, as far as carpooling goes, and Steve is amazing to work alongside; however, it stresses our relationship because we always see each other, and we have a great difficulty separating home life from work life. We are reevaluating our job situations together – for the sake of our relationship and personal fulfillment. Here’s to a more balanced 2015!!

      Your words on authenticity ring true. The bloggers, who are authentic, are the ones who end up succeeding and thriving and connecting. I’ll continue on that path, because, when it is all said and done, I am only here to please myself. That’s also very easy to say! 😉

      Anyhow, thank you for your support and kind thoughts. You’re an inspiration on authenticity for me. Have a wonderful holiday season! Hugs from my keyboard-crawling kitty to yours. And a big, fat hug from me!

      XO, Jayme

      PS – I think I said what I wanted to say. Somehow, my screen timed out, and I lost my original, completed response! 😉 I’ll totally blame the cat on that one.

  2. stevesteese says:

    Great post Jayme! Inspiring and insightful, with excellent photos as always (especially of the cats)!! A great review of the harvest season with momentum for change this holiday season!!

  3. […] |  lots of scales and chord progressions on the piano. #newyearsresolutions Wasting  |  my time, worrying what people will think. Stop. This. Now. Drawing  |  triangles in my sketchbook and calligraphy each evening. Wishing  […]

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