Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Things I Love Lately

This is the last Things I Love for 2019... It’s been so nice to get back to the blog this year and carve out this simple time for myself writing my lists, sharing some recipes, and reflecting on the books I’ve read. Thank you for reading along!
  • Family - My family. Our family. Your family. All of the families in any composition. The holidays can be hard for so many people. Many of us have “complicated” relationships with family members. We all have loved ones we miss —especially during this time of year. While we needn’t wait to remind those around us how much we love and appreciate them —the idea of wrapping up the year and embarking on a new one certainly lends itself to reflecting on our relationships and taking stock of our blessings. This time with one another is a gift that I try not to take for granted. So hear this: I love you!

  • Snoogling (verb) - Through the holidays and all of the year, physical affection fills my bucket. Winter break means lazy mornings, pajama days, movie-watching, visiting family and friends... all of the situations that create opportunities for extra hugs, cuddles, and curling into our loved ones. So grab a blanket and get your cuddle on!

  • Snacking - This time of year is full of all of the yummy things! While I do enjoy sweets from time to time, my weaknesses are more on the salty, creamy, rich and crunchy end of the Sinful Spectrum. I love homemade ChexMix (that I grew up making with my cousins in my grandmother’s kitchen and now enjoy because my girl, Sara, gifts us this favorite). I completely overdid it this December on Neese’s Sausage Dip (which couldn’t be an easier crowd-pleaser). I dare you to have just one chip-full. For the fancier occasion, I could have made and devoured several of Half Baked Harvest’s Brie and Cranberry Pull-Apart Breads. Good grief! This one will delight the savory and the sweet cravings in every delicious pinch! We rang in our Christmas Eve (a day early —given our travel itinerary) with our traditional viewing of Die Hard and Piper made the cutest Santa Hat Brownies! Christmas wouldn’t be complete without my mom and sister’s homemade brittles. And nothing beats a beautiful cheese and charcuterie board (with Oregon honeycomb, pickled veggies, and marcona almonds served alongside a chilled glass of champagne)! Cheers to enjoying the season with every BITE!

  • People Who Work on Christmas - New this year, we traveled across the country on Christmas morning. It wasn’t exactly the way we planned it (flights were moved after booking) but it was fairly painless. From the Uber driver on the East Coast at 5:30am to the car rental agent on the West Coast upon arrival, everyone we interacted with was cheerful and friendly (and genuinely delighted by our little mint gifts).

  • H&M Sweater - I packed two of these for our trip out west and have been reminded how much I appreciate the simple details that make this cozy and affordable sweater one of my go-to items. I love the v-neck and I love the seam that runs down the front. Give it a French tuck into your waistband and you’re nearly set to go. They do run on the big side. I have one in orange (XS) and one in a darker brown (S) that for some reason isn't offered on this link (but the lighter brown looks tempting).
  • A Well-Received Gift - I could not have been more delighted to receive a sweet text from my friend Megan about how much her family is enjoying the gift of Rosemary Olive Oil that I delivered in the week leading up to Christmas. *such happiness* She had been drizzling it over tons of holiday yumminess and the most recent addition was to Oysters Rockefeller. Look at this! 
  • A New Year - It’s easy to love a new year —especially when your birthday falls within a week of ringing it in! I’m not one of those people who cringes at the idea of “another” birthday. On the contrary, I love my birthday. Anyone who knows me knows that I’ll celebrate just about anything (and my birthday celebrations typically last most of January). The fact that our youngest shares my birthday only makes it more special. While I do joke that I GAVE her my birthday (almost) 13 years ago —leaving me “forever 33” ...the truth is, I’m happy to be growing older and enjoying this life we’ve built. I honestly never imagined one so full and satisfying. I look forward to pausing throughout 2020 to think about and acknowledge all of the “Things I Love...” —whether it’s a book, a recipe, a lipgloss, a hug from my kid, a date with the hubby, the kindness of strangers, or something that made me giggle... I hope if it makes you happy, you’ll read along. Cheers to 2020!

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