The January Cure

Morning!

Have you guys signed up for and/or read about Apartment Therapy’s January Cure? It’s essentially a daily schedule of tasks for folks looking to start the year with an organized and clean home. I’ve been somewhat following along, and it’s that extra little kick in the booty I need to do some serious deep cleaning around here (ie: the fridge, the dussssty basement, etc.).

This weekend’s assignment was to bring home flowers, organize the kitchen, and to find a recipe and make a meal. Seems fairly easy, right? Well, this was our kitchen island on Saturday morning. Fresh off from a run to the grocery store, our island had remnants from that shopping trip, as well as other goodies that made their way here during the week. Bad, I know.

january cure

So….I managed to clean up the island and a few other “problem areas” in this room (did you notice the dumping ground in front of our entry way bench?) and I threw a number of expired items out of the fridge. Don’t worry – I didn’t take photos of the past-their-prime fridge items:). I also managed to buy some lovely french tulips. I thought they were certainly worth the $5.99 I paid for them, and I love having something fresh and new in the kitchen, especially during a month that seems quite dull and grey.

january cure

I also made dinner, and although I technically didn’t follow a recipe, I made one of those what-do-I-have-that-sounds-tasty salads. I threw together arugula, beets, edamame, feta cheese, glazed walnuts, dried cranberries, and topped it with homemade olive oil + vinegar dressing. It was pretty delicious.

So that was my January-cure filled weekend day. What about you? Are you guys curing? Just following along online for fun? Already so organized you don’t even need the cure?

Bring it on, 2014

Good morning, friends. Like each of you, I’ve been counting my 2013 blessings, and planning and dreaming about what the new year might bring. I’ve decided that this is the year of trusting. No overthinking. A lot of doing.

just move

On the eve of 2013, Kyle and I took a walk. I remember feeling unsure of the year ahead. Not in a bad or good way, just unsure. Like my spirit needed to get brave. I needed to put on my big-girl pants and just do stuff. Leap. Without fear of failure.

This year was different. On the eve of 2014, I went on a run. By myself.  I was overwhelmed by the stillness in the air. By the clarity in my head and heart. This year, I know who I am. And it’s finally enough. Not perfect, but enough. Enough to tackle hard things, and be okay if everything doesn’t fall into place as planned. It’s okay to not have everything figured out. Instead of fearing the unknown, I’m going to embrace it and trust that everything will work out in the end.

trust

So, here’s to truly trusting in 2014. Trusting there will be good days, bad days, and ugly days. And with a little luck, hopefully there will be some great days too.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve friends! We’re busy celebrating the holiday with family today, but before we get busy making merry, I thought I’d show you just a few small holiday details around our home. I kept the decorations fairly simple this year, but it’s still felling festive around here.

holiday-home-2013_11 holiday-home-2013_10 holiday-home-2013_9   holiday-home-2013_6 holiday-home-2013_5 holiday-home-2013_4 holiday-home-2013_3 holiday-home-2013_2 holiday-home-2013_1 holiday-home-2013

We hung just a few strands of lights outside this year with a little greenery, and I must say, I’m a sucker for these round lights from Target. We have them on our tree as well (which I’m missing a photo of!) and they are my favorite lights to decorate with.
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Cheers to enjoying the holiday with loved ones and making new memories!

{Last Minute Gift Idea} Lemon Simple Syrup

And just as we all thought, we blinked and Christmas is upon us. How does that happen, every single year? I’m relieved that our shopping is done, our gifts are wrapped, and the stockings are stuffed. All that’s left for me to do is complete my first season working in the retail business (whew!) and then it will be time to celebrate the holidays. Heck yes!

If you’re still on the hunt for an easy homemade gift (perfect for neighbors, friends, hostess gifts, etc.), I spotted this recipe in the December issue of Southern Living and gave it a whirl this weekend. It’s simple, and yummy too.

lemon simple syrup

Ingredients:

1 vanilla bean
3 cups sugar
2 cups water
6 lemons, sliced

Instructions:

Split vanilla bean; scrape seeds into a saucepan; place bean in pan. Add sugar, water, and lemon slices. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard solids. Cool completely. Pour mixture into 4 (8-oz.) jars. Cover with lids. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.
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TO USE THE SYRUP: Add to gin, vodka, or bourbon cocktails; iced tea; or lemonade.

And, this recipe comes with a free, downloadable label, which certainly adds that extra special something to the gift.

lemon simple syrup

I’ll be back tomorrow with a holiday home tour. We kept things simple this year, so there’s just a few things to share, but it’s still feeling festive around here.