A favorite bake so far was the 'perfect pound cake' from Ruth Reichl's book My Kitchen Year (seen above), a slice of which made a delicious afternoon snack on a rainy day with a mug of chamomile tea by flickering candlelight.
- I spent quite a bit of time over the holiday break clearing clutter, and it felt really, really good. As I mention often in my course, clutter clearing is a process, and even though I have cleared all of the clutter from my home in the past, that doesn't mean I'm off the hook for the rest of my life! It's all about finding balance: finding that flow of things coming in and things going out. I think it's perfectly natural to go through phases where life gets really busy, or stressful, or the kids are all sick, and the house just sort of goes to hell. The important thing is to realize you can always pick up where you left off and get things rolling again.
The things I spent the most time clearing out were my own book collection, and my son Bixby's toys. I've gotten into a good rhythm with my home library, so it was easy (and actually pretty pleasant) for me to peruse the shelves and pull out volumes I feel done with. Bixby's room, on the other hand...that's a different story!
If you have children, you know how challenging it can be to get them to let go of any old toys, no matter how threadbare, broken, or unused they are. But thankfully, this time we were able to make a deal: he could choose what to get rid of, and we would take the items down to our local used toy store together to sell. Then, he can keep the money and use it to purchase something new, or save it. I am thrilled that he got on board with this idea.
- Speaking of kids, we are thick in the middle of Tooth Fairy time, since Bix lost his two front teeth over Christmas break! Quite honestly, I am not a fan of the whole tooth fairy concept. I mean, sneaking into your child's room in the middle of the night to exchange a tooth for money...what genius parent came up with that idea?? Every time I have to do it I panic that he will wake up right at the moment I'm switching the tooth! (Is this just because our kid is a light sleeper, or do other parents feel this way too? I'm genuinely curious!)
- It's been a year and a half since we moved back to California, and I am just now beginning to feel really happy with how we have things arranged in our new apartment. It's funny, because I really expected to settle in quicker: we have basically all of the same furnishings, etc., as we did when we were in Rhode Island, and our space here actually has an easier layout than our old bungalow, and yet...it wasn't easy at all! Maybe part of this isn't so much the furniture, but getting our vibes settled in here.
Or perhaps it's because we don't have a pet - our beloved cat Ziggy, who was 15 years old, passed away just a month before we listed our house for sale, so moving in here without him felt very strange. We are tentatively thinking of adopting another cat this year, so maybe having a furry family member once again will make us feel more complete. I don't know! But I'm glad it's beginning to feel homier here, whatever the reason.
- I recorded a video for you! Actually, I recorded it to share with my From the Heart email subscribers, but since I so very rarely record videos, I decided I would share it here as well. Just this once. Probably. In it, I talk about several of my favorite crafty books released in 2016, the sleeper-hit kid gift from this Christmas, clearing book clutter, and I pull a few Creative Joy oracle cards to boost our inspiration today. Click play below to watch: