We made it through 2015! It’s hard to believe. For me, 2014 was a year of wedding prep and craziness. As for 2015 … it felt more like a year of getting into my groove, both with this blog and in a fresh marriage, and also just kind of chilling out. I’m never very good at that, so I’m not sure how well I did in that department, but I might work on that even more in 2016. Maybe my focus word for 2016 should be “CHILL.” What do you think?
Speaking of chilling, I did quite a bit of that on the blog front in December. With holiday craziness and spending time with family, I took a bit of a step back with the blog and only published two major posts: my Chicago recap and my list of favorite podcasts from 2015 (that’s one you should bookmark). It felt good to step away a little bit, to regroup and get re-energized. Plus, I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like no one has a ton of time for reading blogs around the holidays anyway.
But don’t worry – I’ve been hard at work doing some behind the scenes prep for 2016. I’ve got a lot planned for the upcoming year. There will be a million cookbook reviews coming at you with some fun recipes, and I’ve been doing some major chocolate chip cookie research for you guys. Hold onto your hats. Here are some fun things I’ve been enjoying in the month of December:
cookbooks – I ALWAYS love reading cookbooks, but I had a bit of a resurgence of it in December. I’ve had a handful of sick days lately (I was actually sick for the whole month of December – I think I had mono? I’m better now; don’t worry), and on one particular sick day I sat on the couch for a few hours and finally finished reading through the Huckleberry cookbook. That book is SO GOOD. I want to make everything in it. But that afternoon reminded me of how much I truly love cookbooks – cooking from them and just reading through them.
I received a nice stack of new ones for Christmas, and I can’t wait to dig into all of them. I started reading At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen, one of my new books, and I love it so far. It’s a good one for getting into the healthy eating kick for the new year – I feel so inspired to make a lot of food from scratch with fresh vegetables and hearty grains. And like I mentioned above, prep yourself for an onslaught of cookbook reviews in early 2016. There were a ton of fun ones that came out in 2015 and I can’t wait to talk about them with you guys.
freelance illustration – I don’t do a ton of freelance work because it has to be a really fun project for me to spend that time away from working on the blog. So when my longtime friend, Ellen (who’s currently living in GUAM!!), asked me to illustrate the Singapore Sling cocktail recipe as a gift for her parents, I was thrilled to do it – both as a favor for a good friend and because it’s the kind of thing I love to illustrate.
The Family Stone – This has got to be my favorite Christmas movie. I think I watched it for the first time two years ago, and Robert and I watched it twice again during this holiday season. First we watched it during a present-wrapping session, and then I watched it in the car with the commentary on while Robert was driving us to Ohio for Christmas. It makes us cry every time, and the commentary really solidified for us how much we love it – The acting, the writing, and all of the little details they put into the set and whatnot for this movie make it a true standout. You could enjoy this one at any time of the year, but you should try to squeeze it in before the winter holiday season totally disappears.
RECIPE BUCKET LIST
• Gingersnap Chocolate Cream Pie with Bourbon Pecan Crumble from Kale and Caramel
• Healthy Carrot Muffins from Cookie and Kate
• Salty Chocolate Date Caramels from Heartbeet Kitchen
• Creamy White Bean & Tomato Soup from Love and Lemons
• Gingersnap Breakfast Risotto from How Sweet Eats
Illustration at top created with colored pencil and Photoshop.
Prints of my illustrations are available in my Etsy shop, and you can find prints plus other products with my work on them (like wall clocks) in my Society6 shop.