Welcome to “Notes from”, The first post in what I hope to make a series of notes from life. If this isn’t your thing, no worries! Recipes are here to stay, just skip this one and move on to the food.
I’ve been wanting to write a post/series of this nature for…well…forever, but with all things creative, it tends to take a backseat. A backseat to keyword research, recipe development, and work and life.
But life has changed. It has changed in such a profound way that I find myself longing to share all the goings-on.
So here are some notes from May.
Well, it turns out that spring in the country is a magic show with new tricks around every corner every morning.
I spend my mornings walking through my gardens checking on all the things, buds, flowers, plants, and herbs.
I don’t know where I would be without the “Picture This” app, I snap photos of everything I find in hopes to learn more about the plant (i.e. is it a weed or a flower?).
It is fleeting though! The apple tree blossomed and was GORGEOUS for a minute. A few days later the tree was full of bright green leaves but the flowers were gone.
It goes by so fast, I bemoaned to my mom.
“That’s why in spring you have to feast your eyes” she said. And that my friends, is peak Mom wisdom.
In a word the garden is – overwhelming, but getting easier. I have big plans this year but I feel like I am weeks behind, is that how it always feels?
We have had a bumper crop of rhubarb, no thanks to me! The rhubarb has been here for years and happily just pumps out more rhubarb than one could possibly use. I happily continue to snip off those long ruby stems and throw them into just about everything.
I made a rhubarb chamomile margarita this weekend – genius if I do say so myself! I may formally recreate that as a recipe here. If you love rhubarb check out some of my other rhubarb recipes here
Well… you know the saying, make plans and god laughs? God is LAUGHING! LOLing all over heaven 🙂
I was determined to knock out big renovations quickly, and then it took 5 months to get contractors to walk through the door for a quote! Now here we are 10 months later still waiting for work to start.
The good news is that we are gutting both bathrooms this summer, start date TBD… we are basically just waiting for faucets to arrive, and then the contractor will give us a start date.
I am so so so excited to share the designs. We are really going for it in the guest bathroom, subtle design is not really our style 😉
If you are new here, Jordan my partner is an interior designer so I have an unfair advantage. However, I love design and we work super well together. About 90% of the time we are on the same page and can really riff off of each other's creativity.
Here is a mini peek into the design elements for both bathrooms (yes that's a spoon in the picture on the right, I don't have the hardware yet but that is the color metal we are using for faucets, etc.)
Once the bathrooms are underway I feel like we will have a much more realistic idea of how and when to get other projects done.
Basically, I have had to dramatically shift all of my expectations. This house is now a 10-year project, not a 10-month project.
House reno goals for the summer:
- Complete bathrooms (or at least start them..see, adjusting expectations as I type!)
- Overhaul carport – this is going to be a fun project
- Paint kitchen – a huge project
- Wallpaper guest room #1 – another huge project that may not get done based on bathroom timing.
Oh this month was a doozy in the reading world! I was off to a slow start this year and then May hit and I’ve basically spent all of my free time with my nose in a book or listening to an audio book.
Favorite books this month, I loved most of them (with the exception of the Shirley Maclaine Camino book which I found to be painfully awful) … but my 3 favorites were:
- The Salt Path – Raynor Winn. This was the kind of book that you hold to your chest and sigh after you read the last line. A memoir written by a woman who loses her home and finds out her husband is terminally ill all within the same week. With nothing to lose, they set out on the “South West Coast Path” a 630-mile walk in England. It is wild and heartbreaking and inspiring. Of course, I now want to walk this path, as soon as I finish the Camino!
- My Oxford Year – Julia Whelan. I am an audiobook fiend and Julia Whelan is my favorite audiobook “reader” this is her debut novel and it was simply wonderful, and charming, and of course, I think you should listen to it because Julia Whelan is a gem!
- Book Lovers – Emily Henry. Super sweet and charming page-turner. The perfect beach read, which happens to be Emily Henry’s other popular novel “Beach Read” also a great one!
Are you reading anything wonderful? Share in comments!
WELLNESS BOOK OF THE MONTH
I am committed to read one “work” book per month in addition to all of my pleasure reading. This month I read “Anatomy of Anxiety” written by a brilliant friend Dr. Ellen Vora, a functional medicine psychiatrist.
In the book, Dr. Vora digs deep into the mind-body connection and offers a multitude of lifestyle tips to support one's path to lessen or heal from anxiety.
Notes on productivity – I have struggled with focus since the beginning of the year. Partially because I've been on my own healing journey (see below) and also because my office space became a furniture storehouse after we moved all of our stuff from the apartment in March. Enter the Pomodoro technique. If you are unfamiliar it is a time management/ productivity technique where you work for 25 concentrated minutes and then take a 5-minute break. I am literally dumbfounded by what a 25-minute timer can do for my productivity. Highly recommend! I started using Pomodoro last week and you will notice a huge uptick in my posts since then. Genius. (I use the online timer found here https://pomofocus.io/ )
Notes on Gluten-Free Living
I shared on Instagram a few weeks ago that I have recently switched to a gluten-free diet. I have many feelings about this, but most importantly please know this is for health reasons. I was recently diagnosed with colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. Removing gluten is necessary, at least for now. I plan to retest my inflammatory markers after a few months and then reassess.
For the most part, gluten-free is fine, and I feel very well equipped to navigate this change (it is, after all, my job). However, I am very surprised to find many gluten-free products on the market that are simply not good.
This experience has certainly lit a fire to keep developing GOOD/ DELICIOUS/ PERFECT gluten-free recipes. Know that behind the scenes I am currently on my 6th test batch of the world’s best gluten-free blueberry muffins. I take this assignment very seriously.
In the meantime, I am so grateful for wonderful restaurants like “The Junction”, a local favorite in the Catskills, that makes a killer burger and offers a gluten-free bun option.
Notes on Farmers Markets
Farmers' markets are in full swing as of 2 weeks ago and this means I spend my weekends bopping around from market to market – #LifeGoals. Some markets even bring cute animals for me to gawk at for hours #WinningAtLife
I am volunteering at one of the local farmer's markets this year as part of the team to provide educational programming. I head up the food /cooking demos (no surprise) and will be spending a few Saturday mornings doing my thing in my new local community.
Are you hitting up your local farmer's markets? Do you have any favorite “must buy” items that you look forward to every year?
I was thrilled to find a fish monger at the local Barryville Farmers Market this year! We came home with bushels of clams and oysters and I whipped up a watermelon mignonette. So good!
Thanks for reading my Notes From! If you made it all the way to the end… well, we are now best friends 🙂
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