Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

This is the second closedown day/summer move-in weekend at work. This one is a little slower than last week, so I figured an update was in order. I know that to everyone else it’s Saturday, but I definitely woke up to an alarm and I’m wearing shoes and sitting at my desk at work, so it’s Friday in my heart.

This week’s edition includes recipes of things I have been tinkering with and a few books I have finished in the last couple of weeks. Enjoy!

  1. One of my book clubs met last Tuesday, and we usually each bring a snack or some type of food to share. The snack I brought this month was margaritas. My go-to recipe is one I found in one of the Sweet Potato Queens’ books (I believe it was The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love), because it’s four ingredients I can pour together, stir, and call it a day. Well, I like Triple Sec in my margaritas, so my version is technically five ingredients. And the grocery store didn’t have frozen limeade on Monday night, so I used the Simply Limeade, and now I have a new favorite way to make them that’s not quite so syrupy sweet. Anyway, combine 12(ish) oz. each of tequila and/or triple sec, Corona (or a Corona-esque beer – they’re actually better with Sol if you can find it), 7-Up (not Sprite or any other lemon/lime drink – it makes a difference), and frozen limeade (or Simply Limeade that you’ve slightly frozen). Stir, serve, and enjoy. It’s the perfect hybrid of frozen and on-the-rocks margaritas, and it is potent
  2. I’ve been dabbling with no-churn ice creams, and I took two flavors to Cookbook Club last Friday – Nigella Lawson’s no-churn coffee ice cream and Eric Kim’s no-churn Scotch ice cream. In related news, I enjoy boozy ice creams. And the no-churn is so easy to make (it’s essentially frozen whipped cream). This may become a habit. Cottage cheese ice cream is the next experiment.
  3. The Seven Stones: The Seastone by Robb Arbuckle – This is the first book in a new middle-grade series, and it’s a pretty standard good vs. evil, magical academia trope. It incorporates a lot of mythology and elementals and historical references, so it’s also pretty ambitious. I’m interested to see if many of those things will become significant to the plot of the series or if the author will focus on a few of them to tighten the narrative (I can see clear arguments for both, depending on what the author wants the story arc to be, so this interest is curiosity rather than criticism at this point). It made me want to read more of the story, so it was a successful first installment!
  4. I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver – This was my second time reading this book because I recommended it for my church book club. I loved it just as much the second time (and listened on audio, which is also good). The main character is nonbinary, and this is the story of their coming out and finding the people who love and support them. Deaver does a great job of showing the anguish and self-doubt that often accompanies this process. I wanted to fight everyone who hurt Ben throughout the book.
  5. The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman – I really love the Thursday Murder Club series. I was feeling puny Sunday so I was not up for much else but lying about and drinking tea and reading this book. I started and finished it that day.

Added bonus – a morning routine is so important, and this kid is going places. But not until he’s had his morning lemon and honey constitutional.

I hope your weekend is going well!

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Hello, friends! We are heading across the street for lunch today because it’s staff discount day in the cafeteria and also because there are empanadas there. We are going a little early because it’s Reading Day at UNT (i.e., no classes are held), and we want to make it to the cafeteria before it is teeming with the students who are hopefully using this small break before Finals Week to sleep in and catch up on some rest.

It’s also Cinco de Mayo (i.e., the reason for the empanadas, probably). Please consider supporting local Mexican-owned businesses (particularly if they make tasty drinks because yay Friday) or donating to one of the following organizations:

I’m so happy it’s the weekend (soon). Here are five things I enjoyed this week:

  1. As an aspiring older female writer, I’m excited that people are seeking them out. Keep seeking, folks. I’m coming. Also, I love all the books listed in this article that I’ve read (e.g., if you haven’t read Lessons in Chemistry, you’re missing out), and I expect that June’s TBR is going to include some of the ones I haven’t.
  2. An excerpt from Maggie Smith’s memoir You Could Make This Place Beautiful. Have you read Goldenrod? I’m so glad she wrote it. 
  3. Carrie Fisher is being honored with a Hollywood Walk of Fame star, which was appropriately announced on May 4.
  4. Nigella Lawson’s Cook, Eat, Repeat is the audiobook I’m currently listening to. Nigella reads it herself, and I love how her humor comes across not only in her words but in her voice. I wouldn’t usually listen to a cookbook (and honestly, I skipped right through the recipe for black pudding meatballs just like I would if I were reading through the print copy because the description was already sufficiently vivid and…yuck), but I am enjoying this one. I’m going to need the print copy, though, because I’m now craving some of these foods. Just not the meatballs.
  5. And finally – I have jumped on the Substack bandwagon. Eventually, I want the paid portion (which is not active yet, so everything that’s there can be perused for free) to be an opportunity to share some of the fiction I’m writing. But for now, I’m having fun musing about how to be/feel like/identify as a writer when you have multiple jobs/gigs, a full-time job, children, volunteer work, high-maintenance pets, or other time-consuming responsibilities. I’m currently posting once a week on Wednesdays, so subscribe if you want to hear more!

I hope you get a chance to do something fun today. Have a good weekend!

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This week has been an experiment in balancing fun and rest. I took both Tuesday and Thursday nights off. Tuesday was very restful. I came home, laid down on the bed to cool off for a minute, and woke up four hours later. I got up, ate a bowl of cereal, watched an episode of Veronica Mars, and went right back to sleep. Last night, however, I couldn’t slow my brain down, so although I technically took the night off, I can’t really say it was relaxing. I finally just gave up and worked on a project I need to have finished soon.

Wednesday, we painted rocks at work (fundraiser for We Care We Count). That night, we worked on a percussion part that we’re doing on Sunday before choir practice, and then I got to go to this month’s Molten Plains at Rubber Gloves. The show was phenomenal. 

Tonight is cookbook club. I’m taking a lasagna skillet because I don’t have time to make a full lasagna in the slow cooker, and it is now officially too hot to turn on the oven in Texas.

Here are five things I enjoyed this week:

  1. A list of the best bookstores in every state that I found on Pinterest led me down the rabbit hole until I also found 13 beautiful bookstores I need to see. I like having lists like these in my proverbial back pocket just in case I find myself in one of these cities with an afternoon to kill. You never know.
  2. The Spite House by Johnnie Compton – The audiobook was great and appropriately creepy. It’s not scary in the jump-out-and-get-you way, but rather a slow, eerie burn, which is the type of scary I prefer. The fact that I could only listen to the last half of the book during the day is a testament to its spookiness. The story was well-told and moved along really smoothly.
  3. Balefire: Poetry for the End of the World by Elizabeth Wilder – I took a poetry class several years ago from Elizabeth, and it was so helpful. I enjoyed this collection. One of my favorite things about it is the spare use of language that marks every word as intentional and full. Added bonus – it’s free today on Amazon! I’m not sure how long that will last but grab a copy if you can.
  4. This is a succinct synopsis of some of the best advice I’ve heard about pitching to a literary agent. Just in case you or anyone you know is interested in that kind of advice. In related news, I’d be a great literary agent. *ponders*
  5. I love this piece on how to fight for your library, particularly as many are being threatened with defunding for simply operating as libraries are meant to operate.

Tomorrow is a busy day. I have book club at the library (we’re discussing paranormal fiction) in the morning. Then I have lunch with my friend Karla and a birthday party for another friend afterward. I’m practicing with Sarah during the evening for our performance next Friday. May definitely need a nap and a whole lot of downtime on Sunday. I took Monday morning off because we were going to go to the club, but we postponed that outing. Am I giving up my morning off? Absolutely not.

I hope you have a fun and relaxing weekend and find that beautiful, elusive balance!

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It’s my mom’s birthday! She is officially an octogenarian! She’ll be so excited that I told the internet that. 

And happy Good Friday to those who observe. Although…is “happy” the right adjective there? Happy death of our Lord? Yay, crucifixion? Congratulations on the commemoration of Jesus being murdered by the state under pressure from an angry mob? 


Hi. It is Friday – the end of the work week – and that is something to be happy about. 

  1. I never know what to take for Easter brunch at church. Side dish? Breakfast casserole? Something I can make the day before? Nothing but a healthy appetite because I already am going to be there as assisting minister at the 8:30 service and contrary to my personal feelings/raising, I don’t actually have to do everything? Heavily leaning toward the last one, but have not completely ruled out blueberry monkey bread as an option.
  2. I am enjoying Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m working on my essay collection of to-do lists for complicated days. I set a goal of 10,000 words for the month, which averages out to a little less than 350 per day. Totally doable.
  3. Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley – This book was so good. I listened to the audio, but I may buy the hard copy because I can see myself re-reading it. What most stood out to me was the perfect pacing – it was fast enough to hold tension and keep the story moving but slow enough to build suspense. It felt like it was happening in real time. 
  4. Weyward by Emilia Hart – I liked this one a lot. It was just the right mix of dangerous and cozy. The book follows three generations of women who have a specific power, and the way they use it is quite satisfying. The audio reader was great – she made it super easy to distinguish between the three characters telling the story.
  5. As I’m pondering ways to make my apartment cozier (i.e., stuff more bookshelves and reading nooks in there), I often stumble across lists like this one. My current project is figuring out a way to divide the living room and dining area without making it feel cramped. I am considering getting rid of the big table. Maybe. I’m going to move things around and see how they work.

I hope you are having a good day and have an even better weekend!

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Happy Friday, friends! I took Monday off as a continuation of my birthday commitment to do absolutely nothing but what I want for a few days, and it was nice. I made a pasta salad, which I’ve eaten all week for lunch (and sometimes also dinner – it makes so much), and binge-watched Veronica Mars most of the day. It was great.

Having a four-day week this week was also nice. We should do this always. Well, always until I retire. Then it’s “I do what I want” all day, every day.

Here are some things I’ve run across this week. Enjoy!

  1. This list of tips on how to read more was written in more pandemic-y, home-alone times, but they’re still applicable. My favorites are the ones that lean toward “read what you like and ignore the haters” and “schedule reading time like an appointment/job.” I also find that connecting with other people over books makes me want to read more and also introduces me to fascinating new things I wouldn’t have read otherwise. Also writing reviews/reflections helps. You know what? All of these tips are solid. Take the ones that sound like they’d be useful to you if reading more is on your vision board.
  2. I love everything about this column, included in Roxane Gay’s Audacious Roundup (which you should also follow). I especially like the shout-out to Marcella Hazan and the story about Nonna eating peppers out of the jar. I’m excited to see future updates. 
  3. In working through my Audible library, I ran across something I picked up a couple of years ago – Courting the Wild Twin by Martin Shaw. It reminded me of some of the discussions we had in performance classes in grad school, with lovely moments such as “Myths are a secret weapon. A radical agency for beauty in the age of amnesia – an agency far beyond concept and polemic.” I enjoyed the nostalgia. Lots of connected-but-still-badly-in-need-of-more-editing tangents, so maybe the print copy would have been an easier read than the audio.
  4. We had our annual Equity and Diversity Conference here yesterday, and it was probably the best one I’ve attended. Hina Wong-Kalu was my favorite speaker. 
  5. And finally…they had me at “Stanley Tucci.” A peek inside his pantry was just what my week needed. Also, I’m 100% in favor of pasta for breakfast.

I hope you’ve had a great week and have an even better weekend!

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To Tammy on her Birthday

Today is my sister’s birthday.

My first forever friend.

The person with whom I have the most inside jokes.

My “we can fight but if you so much as look at her unpleasantly I will end you” person.

I’m very protective:

(and not at all trying to make her kiss her elbow because MeMaw told me that if she did, she’d turn into a boy. I don’t know where you heard that vicious rumor.)

We grew up here:

With these people:

Lots of room to run, play, make mud pies, stage wedding ceremonies for our cats, chase the dogs, and swing until we threw up.

One of the things I love most about Tammy is her exuberant enthusiasm for all things joyful.

Like good teas from Equal Exchange.

Or a day to binge-watch Disney+

And getting her hairs done.

And Christmas.

And making sure the dogs are clean.

And marrying this guy.

I love our coffee (and sometimes pie) outings.

(KIMZEY’S. It took me this whole week to remember the name.)

She’s the person I call if I need cake and don’t want to eat it alone.

She’s the first person I call when I have good news, because she’ll be even more excited for me than I am. She’s the first person I call when I have bad news, because she already has a plan.

She is passionate, principled, warm, funny, organized, curious, responsible, and diligent.

I’m so blessed to have her as a sister.

I love you, Bock. Happy birthday!

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I met Maggie when she was a student working in the building where I was a night desk clerk, where she fit in really well with our weird staff.

She endeared herself to me pretty quickly because:

  1. She would work the night shift on the weekends, which were otherwise horribly difficult to schedule.
  2. She often hung out at the front desk with me when I was working, but in an unobtrusive way. Just the right kind of company.
  3. She was the mastermind behind the original Suzanne-a-thon, an all-night appreciation event, which I appreciated in return.
  4. She liked and encouraged my choice of nicknames for her, which mostly consisted of words that begin with “Mag.” Magnanimous was the one I used most often.

Soon, she was promoted to night desk at another hall. We IM-ed all night during our shifts, and we sat by each other at Friday staff meetings, where she totally wore green.

Soon we became good friends, which doesn’t typically happen quickly for either of us, but we seemed to click.

We shared similar hobbies.

We went shopping together.

We often enjoyed brunch with messy coffee (hers) together.

We even saw the Smurf movie. I really, really have to love someone to watch the Smurf movie with them.

And she must really, really love me, because she got up at ridiculous hours and went outside to go running with me when I forgot my personality and decided I wanted to train for a marathon.

She liked (most of) my friends and got along well with (most of) them. One in particular:

Maggie and Michelle and I lived together for a while, and that was so much fun. Well, for most of us.

Then Maggie moved to Houston, but we still text and IM almost every day. The first time I visited, we had pie.

And, of course, brunch.

We don’t see each other very often, but when we do, we make the most of it with delicious food and (sometimes) matching pjs.

All this is to say that, although my view of Valentine’s typically mirrors the words of another Maggie, the day always makes me think of my favorite Maggie.

The best Maggie.

The only Maggie for me.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Magamemenon.

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January 2023 TBR

New year, new reading goals! I’m excited about becoming more familiar with the books on my shelves as well as (slowly) whittling down my massive TBR. Here’s the plan for January.

Book Clubs


First, I’m finishing up Welcome Home by Najwa Zebian. It’s a great reminder to be true to myself (and also to figure out what that means in the areas where I’m still a little fuzzy on the subject). 

For many people, home means family. I still refer to the farm where I grew up as home, because even though I haven’t lived there for almost thirty years, the people who brought me into this world, whose influence shaped a lot of who I am, are there. And I feel at home at my sister’s house. I know where things are and how it runs and what’s expected of me there. 

I also have a circle of chosen family – people I know I can call on and count on at any time. Maggie, Michelle, Sarah, Steph. Then there are others in the circle from Spiderweb and church and work who would definitely have my back in a fight (not that I am in such situations very often…at least physically). As someone who lives alone, I have to make more of an effort to see my family – both biological and chosen – than those whose family is in their house, and the older I get, the more I value relationships with people who seem to put as much effort into them as I do. Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer focuses on female friendships, but I expect that the concepts expand across gender, and I am excited to tuck into it!


I know I said 3-4 selections, but my TBR is soooo large. I’ll calm down in a few months. Probably.

  • Series – Having never read anything she’s written, I already like two things about Diana Xarissa. First, her last name will let me check off the letter X on my alphabet reading challenge. Second, all the series she’s written are titled in alphabetical order. For example, the Markham Sisters series starts with The Appleton Case, then The Bennett Case, etc. I will probably read those at some point, but this month, I am intrigued by the first book of her new series, the Midlife Crisis Mysteries, which was released in November, called Anxious in Nevada. I am also happy to report that it’s my turn with the library’s copy of the latest Inspector Gamache mystery – A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny – so I’ll be reading that one, too.
  • General fiction – I have this one marked with the notation “read without knowing the premise.” Intrigue! So while I’ve linked you to it, I have obeyed Past Me and not read the blurb. This should be fun. As an added bonus, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler also contains one of GirlXOXO’s January keyword prompts (all), so it’s my selection for this challenge.
  • Memoir – Dear Bob and Sue by Matt and Karen Smith, has been on my list ever since I heard my friend Lois talking about it. It’s a series of letters the authors wrote to their friends while they were traveling to all 59 national parks.
  • Food memoir – I’ve thumbed through the library’s copy of Sobremesa by Josephine Caminos Oria, and I may just end up buying it before the month is over. It looks like everything I love in a food memoir.
  • Essays – I have been a fan of Laurie Notaro since The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club, although it hurts my feelings a little to notice that it came out 20 years ago. I feel like she and I have grown up together, so I’m excited to hear her take on middle age in Excuse Me While I Disappear.


For the past year (or three?), any time I’ve put a book on a monthly TBR or was given it as a gift, I moved it to one of the shelves in the living room so that I had easy access to it. Then I put it back where it belonged when I finished it. As a result, I have quite a few books lined up on my living room shelves that I meant to read but didn’t (and thus haven’t made it back to their usual home). So I’m going to read a few this month that I’m still just as excited about as when I first planned to read them. 

  • Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi – This book was planned to fulfill one of the prompts for last year’s POPSUGAR challenge (set in Tokyo, a sister city to New York), and it’s one of the first books I ever bought at Patchouli Joe’s
  • Writers & Lovers by Lily King – I can’t exactly remember how this one ended up on this shelf other than I really like the title and the cover. My best guess is that I ran across it when looking for books with the word “winter” in the title (Lily King also has a book called Five Tuesdays in Winter) for last year’s GirlXOXO challenge.
  • A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White – Knowing my love of foodie fiction, Michelle gifted this to me a while ago. It’s one of the ones I pick up and read through when I just have a few minutes, so I’m going to actually finish it this month. Hey – another book to discuss at Rise and Shine! I really am going to try not to dominate the conversation. I promise.

What book are you most excited about reading next?

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I typically spend December reflecting on the year that’s ending, and part of that process is reading through my journals and blog posts. Several times throughout the year, I have mentioned home and pondered what it meant. One particular quote stood out – “Perhaps home care is self-care?” Home isn’t just the place I live physically, although one’s environment is important. It also involves a sense of belonging – of being secure and loved and accepted – particularly within myself, so that no matter who I am with, I can still be at home. So even before I started reading Najwa Zebian’s Welcome Home, I was already preparing my mind to explore it in this context, but of course, there’s always more to learn.

Merriam-Webster defines home as…

“…one’s place of residence”

I always enjoyed having people over and feeding them in The Before Times. But then COVID protocols shut that down, and the adjustment was hard and, at times, heartbreaking. In many ways, though, it was also nice. I really do like having the space all to myself. It can be a mess, and I don’t feel the need to explain or apologize for it. It’s also less of a mess because there’s no panic cleaning (which results in some actual tidying/cleaning but mostly consists of “oh, shit, I don’t have time to actually go through all this paper on my table because people will be here tonight so I’m going to shove it into a bag and put it in the office closet where it now lives forever and ever amen.”). Additionally, being home alone sets a clear boundary for when I need solitude.

Every once in a while, though, I get a little pang of nostalgia (usually when I’m looking at entertaining arrangements on Pinterest). I’d like to find more of a balance this year that honors my home as my sanctuary but also is welcoming to those I want to invite into it.


*sighs; wants*

I would love a house. With a backyard for some (very) minor gardening but mostly for looking at the sunrise and birds and the moon while I drink my coffee/tea/wine, undisturbed by passing cars or neighbors. With a garage so that the neighborhood squirrels will stop chewing on the wires in my car, the neighborhood cats will stop peeing on it, and the multiple hailstorms each spring will stop adding dimples to its hood. With a decent kitchen and laundry room. With walls and a ceiling I don’t have to share with strangers. With more room for books.

This is unlikely to come to pass this year, unless I suddenly get a huge promotion/raise. So instead I’m focusing on how to make my apartment, which has its odd quirks but overall is a decent place to live, more homey.

“…the social unit formed by a family living together”

This one is a little tricky, as I do not “live together” with anyone. I’m expanding it to include those who are family (both biological and chosen). I’m pretty good about spending time/keeping up/supporting some of them; I could do better with others. 

“…a familiar or usual setting; congenial environment; the focus of one’s domestic attention”

Last year – my lush year – I paid special attention to the places where I feel like I fit the best and that brought me the most joy/peace/calm/etc., so I feel pretty well set up for this one. It’s been interesting to see how quickly I notice not only when a setting feels off for me but also when it’s just right. It’s made decisions about which social situations, responsibilities, and tangible objects to take on and which ones to give up a lot easier.


This makes me think about nesting, which can go a number of ways for me (not all of them good). I do tend to make cozy nests, which I really love while I’m using them, but then I leave them where they are, and as it turns out, an unoccupied former nest is just a lot of stuff out of place and probably some tea/coffee cups that need washing. I may need to find a way to create more permanent, aesthetically pleasing nests that I (and the occasional guest, I guess) can enjoy without having to put them together and take them down every time. I have some ideas.

“…a place of origin”

As my parents age, I’ve been spending more time at the farm. I used to make it home three or four times a year, but I’ve been going at least every other month for a while. I like to check in on them because they (and by they I do mean we as a family) tend to downplay struggles, so it’s good to see with my own two eyes what’s happening. I also just like the drive. It’s one of my favorites. 

“…at home”

  • Relaxed; comfortable; at ease – This is not my standard MO. I tend more toward the tense/anxious/fidgety end of the spectrum. But I look forward to finding ways to mosey toward the other side (or at least in the direction of middle ground) this year.
  • In harmony with the surroundings – I’ve been trying a few new habits at home already that seem to make it cozier and more harmonious. Work may be a challenge. I have a few steps in mind, including taking more frequent breaks any time I start to feel overwhelmed, using broader scheduling blocks for tasks (to adjust for inevitable interruptions to them), taking mental health days when I first need them rather than waiting until they’re almost an emergency, and, just in general, advocating for myself as fervently as I advocate for others.
  • On familiar ground; knowledgeable – I love learning, so this part is exciting. There are specific topics/skills I want to improve this year, including music theory and experimentation, reading/speaking Spanish, editing fiction, writing poetry, etc. I’m sure I’ll come up with more as the year progresses.

“…to be at one’s place of residence”

So much of my stress and mental health struggles could be more easily handled if I would just say no and stay home more often. I never, ever regret staying home. I really like it there. I don’t know why I find it so difficult to make it happen more often. I want get better at it this year.

“…to a vital, sensitive core”

This phrase jumped out at me, but so did the use-it-in-a-sentence example they gave. “The truth struck home.” I spent a whole year examining my core values, but that process has continued in the years that followed, because as we change, so do the things we value most sometimes. Currently, I would still list hope, generosity, and joy as some of the main things that drive my decisions, but the older I get (and thus, the more I discover there is to learn), the more important it seems to keep curiosity in the forefront of my mind, too. I’m sure these values will play a role in my exploration of home this year.

Two of the ways I want to do that is through two things I love – eating and reading. 

I’m going to make recipes that remind me of home. I haven’t decided if I’m going to post recipes and stories throughout the year or if I want to compile them for discussion as a 31 Days series in October (leaning heavily toward the latter, but we’ll see). 

Welcome Home was a solid start for books with home as part of the title and/or theme. I probably won’t get to all the ones I’m considering this year, but here’s the list so far:

Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer

At Home by Bill Bryson

My Hygge Home by Meik Wiking (February)

A Place in the World: Finding the Meaning of Home by Frances Mayes

The Poetry Home Repair Manual by Ted Kooser 

Patricia Wells At Home in Provence by Patricia Wells

The Home Edit by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin

At Home on an Unruly Planet by Madeline Ostrander

Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith

At Home with Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott

Eat, Drink, Nap: Bringing the House Home (Soho House)

This is Home: The Art of Simple Living by Natalie Walton and Chris Warnes

Placemaker: Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace by Christie Purifoy

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Do you have a theme word for the year? I’d love to hear what it is!

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If spring and summer are water months, the fall and winter are for fires.

Well, outside fires. I’m clearly in the hygge minority when I say that I don’t like fireplaces. They’re smelly and dirty and are more likely to make me sniffly than cozy. If I ever find a house that doesn’t have one, I will know it’s the house for me. I’m pretty resigned to never finding that, though, because it seems that all the newer houses have them. Apparently, it’s a big selling point. In Texas. Where it often reaches the upper 60s and 70s even in the dead of winter.


I do appreciate the glow and warmth of a communal fire when the air is crisp. I’m lucky enough to have several friends with fire pits in their backyards who generously invite me over to enjoy them. A warm blaze, a little cozy beverage, and camaraderie. Happy.

In addition to actually being able to walk from my car to my office without ending up a sweaty mess, there are many things I love about fall and winter. Boots. Sweaters. Soup. Cider. I enjoy baking in the winter, so I often have biscuits, scones, cookies, and cake lying around. Occasionally I get industrious and even make a pie.

I like warm beverages all year long, but they feel especially soothing when it’s cool outside. My go-to adult beverage is typically wine, but I also tend to keep Southern Comfort and peach schnapps around (don’t scoff until you try it – mix equal parts and enjoy) during the winter. I often drink it cold, but it’s better warm. Add apple cider or cranberry juice if you really must. Downright medicinal.

Shorter days make it easier for me to slow down and relax. I occasionally experience a little seasonal depression, but it doesn’t happen every year. Perhaps that’s because I actually rest in the cooler months. I typically sleep better in the winter than at any other time of the year.

I’m excited that we’re entering the time of the year that I find the coziest.

Cozy seasons are an important part of lush life.

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