Monday, May 17, 2021

my favorite new cleaning product: Saint Olio

 


I used to the be the girl who thought if the wet spaces (kitchen/bathrooms) smelled like bleach, then they were clean. During the pandemic, especially, I really upped my cleaning game.While it smelled clean and I knew that bleach would kill whatever germs were living in our home, I started to think about the fumes we inhaled and the toxins and chemicals that we were inviting into our home. 

I started researching household cleaners and just when I decided to make my own, I came across Saint Olio, a brand that makes cleaning products the are not only anti-microbial but they smell good too. I did a deep dive into the brand and I loved the philosophy of SD Kaven, the company's founder. I like that the cleaning products in her line are  synthetic-free while scented with essential oils. 

I bought the three main scents as well as the limited edition. Originally, my plan was to use the first one and then move on to the second scent when I finished the first one, but I've found that I like using the different scents according to my moods. I love how clean my kitchen is and how our home just smells  wonderful.  

The Originals Trio Pack (the one I purchased) is $75 with free shipping. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

when this is over

 


I have to admit that this thought has run through my mind hundreds (thousands?) of times in the past 400+ days that we have self-quarantined in one way or another. When I just couldn't face making another breakfast, I would close my eyes and think about brunch, marvelous, delicious, heavenly brunch. Bellinis, crispy bacon, a delicate omelet with goat cheese, avocado toast drizzled with chili-infused olive oil, bright red, perfect strawberries the size of a baby's fist and lemon blueberry pancakes.  I would get happy just thinking to myself, "Oh, when this over, I am going to go on a tour of my favorite brunch spots. Soon. Soon."

I actually can't remember the last time I went out to brunch. I think maybe January, 2020? It isn't only brunch that I miss but flights. I miss the long six-hour flight from Seattle to Boston when I would relax, sip something sparkling and read Elin Hilderbrand's latest book about Nantucket. I would be offline for a glorious few hours and have nothing to do but think about what I would be doing when I landed in Massachusetts. I miss that. 

I miss dozens of things from watching Waverly gain confidence in swim class to the way she flings herself into the arms of her favorite people. I miss my favorite people too. 

And yet. 

There is something that happened that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I got to spend an  uninterrupted 400+ days with my toddler. Yes, toddlers are A LOT. The questions are non-stop all day. They LOVE a food so you buy it in bulk and the next day, they can't stand the food you now have enough of to feed an entire pre-school class. Still, I look at her face and I listen to her questions which make me see the world from her point of view. I am fascinated as I watch her grow and navigate her world, as limited as it is right now. 

In the normal world, my husband and I would have been on planes going somewhere around the world, either working or visiting family and friends. Instead, we have been limited to this house of ours. We slowed down. We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner together. We've built endless Magna-Tile towers. We've colored, painted and tended a garden. I've spent languid afternoons in our bed with Waverly in what is supposed to be a nap but turns into "chat chat chat" as she likes to call it. I tell her about moments in my life and what we will do in the future. Sometimes we fall asleep, Waverly's head tucked just under my chin. I listen to her steady toddler breathing and I drift off too only to wake up with a pudgy hand resting on my face. The love I have for this feral, fantastic, kind, sweet girl of mine is something I could never have imagined. 

As this pandemic winds down (hopefully!) I am looking forward to expanding Waverly's world again and going back to swim classes and flights to see our favorite people but for now, I hold this little one close to my heart and softly tell her that soon we will be diving into our favorite lemon-blueberry pancakes together. Soon, my sweet girl.





Wednesday, March 3, 2021

An easy way to feel good: the clean fridge


Not long ago, I opened the fridge to make breakfast and there were so many different take-out containers teetering on top pf other items that I decided to just take everything out, condiments included and start over from scratch. I no longer wanted to play a game of Jenga every morning when all I wanted was to make egg bites.

Out went all the take-out containers, sad forgotten fruits and vegetables,  condiments that had expired or had lids that I could no longer remove.  The deli/cheese drawer held the foil-wrapped remains of various cheeses and meats that should have been thrown away awhile ago. Also gone were the bottles of sparkling wine I kept on hand which I had stocked prior of 2020, before brunches with friends became a thing of the past. 

The drawers themselves needed a good scrubbing too, which was easy to do once it was emptied. Then, after a trip to Trader Joe's, I carefully started adding back the items that I know we will use, rather than ingredients that I aspire to use. I can't count how many clamshell containers of Arugula I bought because I thought tuna salad on Arugula would be a healthy choice for lunch but I just never made it.

Waverly loves yogurt so we have three types - container, pouch and smoothie. We have quite a few cheeses because we eat eggs often for breakfast and I like to add goat cheese or Swiss/Gruyere to my egg bites.  The produce bin has actual fruits and vegetables that we will eat as well as my favorite dip (Everything but the Bagel). Behind the bags of salad are ready to eat raw vegetables. 

For beverages, I moved out the hard seltzers and made room for cranberry juice and seltzer. Every morning, I drink a 32 ounce bottle of water with about 1/4 cup of pure cranberry juice (no sugar) along with the juice of one lemon. It's wildly tart but I feel like it gets my engine going. I also found a fueled creamer that I love (Stok). 

Cleaning out the fridge was such a simple thing but it gives me so much pleasure every time I open the fridge. I no longer have to check each condiment to see if it expired or balance all the take out boxes to just get two eggs. We have also decided to cook more often at home and to keep our take-out orders limited to once a week.

Next, the pantry. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

My Updated Studio Space

 


Working from home with a toddler has been a challenge. My desk is usually piled high with toys and books, in addition to papers, files, items for review, recipe ideas etc. I have always had a hard time focusing when my environment is cluttered, so last month, I hired someone to help organize my space which included installing shelves for some of my glassybaby connection.

In addition to the new shelves and room arrangement, I was merciless with what I decided to keep on my desk. I disposed of a lot of the clutter that distracted me and kept only things that made me happy like the mermaid that I picked up in Harwichport or the bowl of oranges that I share with my Waverly instead of packaged granola bars which were packed with sugar and only made me hungrier after I ate one (or two or three). 

One of my favorite things about my new space is the glassybaby wall.  I collect glassybaby votives which were displayed throughout our home but it didn't make an impact to me.  Now with these shelves from Amazon, my collection looks organized and clean. 

This new set-up makes me feel light and focused, even if just offscreen is Waverly's toddler space, complete with her own desk, a doll named Phoebe and Magna-Tiles.  I wouldn't have my studio space any other way. 

If you aren't familiar with glassybaby, get to know this extraordinary company here



 
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