Creamsicle Cocktail | @thefauxmartha

It doesn’t matter what your relationship status says on Facebook. It gets complicated on Valentine’s Day. So many unspoken hopes. Too many unmet expectations. I hope he brings home that bottle of wine I’ve been eying and the movie I never told him I wanted to see. Surely he can read my mind by now. Especially on Valentine’s Day. Read more

Winter Citrus Salad | @thefauxmartha

We’re spontaneous people in theory. But in actuality, we’re just negligent planners. Adding something to the calendar more than two weeks out gives me a little anxiety. And planning a trip that involves doing things besides heading to the lake or the beach is out of the question. When we go out to dinner or coffee, we go to the same spots. It pains me to spend money on things I might not enjoy, and Kev has this knack of attaching monetary values to everything from parking to a glass of wine. What I’m trying to tell you is that we have issues. Someone plan a trip to Europe and take us? Read more

Building a Minimalist Pantry | @thefauxmartha

At my first design job out of school, we had an efficiency box. If a step in the workflow seemed inefficient, you put anonymous feedback in the box—either a problem or a solution. Upwards of 12 people touched a project during its lifetime. To meet deadlines and create great work without mistakes, an efficient workflow was key. It hit me while dialoguing about Minimalism in the Kitchen during the A Couple Cooks podcast—the kitchen pantry should be no different. It should be smart and efficient. It should work for you, not against you. So, I built a minimalist pantry. Read more

No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars | @thefauxmartha

I started off 2016 with Hallie, my 2 year old, on my back. We dug out the baby carrier (the one she hated as a baby), put on our winter gear, and went out for a hike along the Mississippi. It was a warm winter day. Sunny but crisp, and cold enough to keep the fresh fallen snow fluffy. Hallie had been her typical twonager self that morning—grumping around about this and that. I’m sure I didn’t sound all that different. We were trudging through life. In that moment, I made a promise to myself. We would thrive this year.  Read more

Sunshine Smoothie | @thefauxmartha

I’m Buddy the Elf when it comes to winter. I still shriek sounds of joy at the first snowfall (and every snowfall thereafter). Breathing in the crisp, cold air makes my lungs feel alive. And hikes along the snow-covered banks of the Mississippi etch permanent smile lines into my face. But sometimes, even a good streak of grey days can leave me feeling blue (and leave Hallie feeling like a caged animal).  Read more

Peanut Butter Balls | @thefauxmartha

“Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration.” —Donald Knuth, a computer scientist

I added that quote to my email signature after Kev shared it with me. He knows my struggles. As of right now, the number 8855 is barely legible, set in white text on a red background, and hovering to the right of my email application. I’m a minimalist in most areas of life except my inbox. It’s a complete disaster. It gives me hives when I think about it, so I don’t. I have trouble pressing delete and unsubscribing from reoccurring emails. I mark every email as unread. And replies take at least a couple days for me to formulate my thoughts and sentiments. I live a paralyzed life when it comes to email. Read more

Minimalism and Vegetarian Tacos | @thefauxmartha

They called me quirky growing up. Repeatedly. I just assumed they meant to say funny. Miss Sharp, my first grade teacher, reserved the last 10 minutes of class for me to do stand up. Everyday. I thought I was funny, but now I know she was probably just tired of standing up. I’ve never been good at delivering punch lines, and I can’t imagine I was any better at age 6. They meant what they said. Read more

Brussels Sprouts Roasted in a Peanut Harissa Sauce | @thefauxmartha

I’m not good at good-bye. Neither is Hal. She avoids it about as well as she avoids nap-time. Twenty minutes after our guests leave, she rhythmically ask where they are. Somehow she’s forgotten the awkward, prolonged good-bye or lack thereof. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I understand that phrase better now that we have an apple tree in our backyard. The poor kid never had a chance. Read more