The last couple of years, we’ve gotten by with pumpkins for fall decorations and an annual leaf wreath, too. At the age of six, with ideas growing as tall as her height, Hal wanted to take our decorations closer to spooktacular. Her word, not mine. “Spooky like bats, Mom.” Thank goodness the bats are out on Instagram. I knew just what to do— make fall fireplace bats. Read more
I got the dreaded letter in the mail but deferred for 6 months because Hal was in preschool. And, like clockwork, as promised, the dreaded parcel came again, 6 months later. Jury duty. Duty. My duty, despite needing to be available to get Hal on the bus in the morning and off in the afternoon. Despite being self-employed with previously scheduled deadlines. Despite, despite, despite. So, I made muffins outta jury duty—wholesome make ahead banana coco carrot muffins made entirely from pantry staples, including Happy Egg Organic Free-Range Eggs™ to stock the freezer for breakfast this week. Because jury duty starts today.Read more
Ahh, it’s reveal day for Tara’s Pantry Makeover. I wish I could have captured the excitement in the air and the long exhale out we felt during this process. But maybe you can feel it by looking through the pictures? Pantry Peace. You can see everything at once, retrieve something easily, and put it back without having to dig or think. We’ve handled Tara’s pantry, so she has the bandwidth to handle the bigger, more uncontrollable parts of life. It’s one of the best gifts you can give yourself, in my opinion. And all the people said amen. Amen. To Tara, thank you for having me in your home and being willing to share it here.
There’s nothing quite as intimate as opening your pantry doors to a group of strangers on the internet. When I first shared the before of mine a couple of years ago, I would have preferred to open my underwear drawer instead. Today, another brave soul is opening wide her pantry doors to the internet. I’d like to introduce you to Tara and her pantry. It’s a very familiar pantry to me, a whole lot like the one I grew up with and the one I created as an adult. Most of us think the pantry is a problem exclusive to our home. Well, maybe we shouldn’t think too highly of ourselves; it’s a pretty universal problem. Pantry items look great on the shelf at the grocery store and not so great at home. It’s to be expected. It’s also to be expected that the little cardboard flap on the top of the box won’t keep your items as fresh as promised after opening. So we say, “Why bother?” This is a mindset that carries over to the pantry. It’s a beast too crazy to control. Or maybe it’s not? Read more
We’re back to the rhythm of the school year, a rhythm I’ve come to crave. We really let things go this summer—from cleaning to meal planning to using a calendar. I’m itchy to get things back into normal working order, mostly so life works. Maybe you’re rowing down the same stream? If so, it may be a good time to take a look at the pantry, whether you need a little tidying up or some major help. My mantra: Handle the things within your control so you have the bandwidth for the rest. Let’s handle the pantry. Over the next two weeks, I’m focusing specfically on the pantry, answering some great common questions that came out of The Minimalist Kitchen Course earlier this year. First up (today)—how to add a pantry to your kitchen without a remodel. Next—how to make an organizational plan for your pantry, working with a real-life pantry. Finally—a real-life pantry makeover and reveal. Read more
Emotions are high this morning, making it a good day to write about intimacy and the internet, a conversation I keep coming back to, a conversation I’d love for you to inject your thoughts into. It’s the first day of kindergarten for Hal. This morning was piled high with anxiety, hers and mine for her, with comforting southern buttermilk biscuits, with a clump of toilet paper in the toilet from a single 5-year-old sneeze, with dishes leftover from last night’s boxed mac and cheese (or mackin’ as she calls it) and caesar salad, the back-to-school dinner she requested, with lots of sweet smiles, too. I have the quintessential first-day-of-school pictures on my phone, plus a quick video we took before hopping in the car. And I find myself asking a question that’s become so familiar over the past 2 years, what do I share on the internet? Do I share our most intimate moments, like the one above? When I choose to share them, do they lose their intimacy? I’m 100% certain they do, and entirely unsure at the same time. Read more
“Everyday” is a word I think about a lot. I like to protect it like the prized possession that it is. And by everyday, I’m not talking about the special occasion, I’m talking about loading the dishwasher, getting dressed in the morning, making dinner on a weeknight, driving to work or walking to the grocery store, and digging for your shoes at the backdoor before running out—you know, the things that intersect with your Monday-Friday life, your everyday and every-other-minute life. These tiny, mundane, ordinary occurrences have the potential to make your day go smoothly or completely unravel. For the unraveling reason (and life can unravel way too fast for me), I have this rule for myself—handle the little things within my control ahead of time so that I have the capacity to handle the big things outside of my control. This is me setting myself up to succeed. Or at least trying to.Read more
Last summer, we went to Jackson Hole with family, and I fell in love with a grass. I also fell in love with this mint chip green smoothie. It was long and whispy, the grass, with that wind-blown, sideways Justin Bieber hair, so dense and lush, holding on to water like a dew-soaked spider web on a fall morning. It was unlike any grass I’d ever seen in real life. Though, I had a vague memory of reading about eco-friendly grasses in an old copy of Martha Stewart Living, bookmarked on an iPad we no longer had. It had to exist. [Article found by Haley!] I had the perfect spot for it. After an internet search, I found a miracle no mow grass, promised to be drought-tolerant and eco-friendly. Was it too good to be true? Read more