Life Essentials


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what is essential.

It’s hard to think of essential… because very few things are actually, very completely, essential.

Let me give you a little peek into what I find essential these days.  Some of these essentials are a edible, some are a luxury, some are sparkly… it’s just a little bit of real life.

Essentials start in the kitchen with big bins of King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, sea salt in my Dad’s old Tupperware salt shaker, and these perfectly simple metal measuring spoons.


Here’s a peek at my purse essentials.  I LOVE a look inside stranger’s purses.  Here’s mine:

Eye glasses.  Booth&Bruce, London.

Alba Tinted Lip Balm in Bloom.

Over-sized Timex.  I love this watch so much.

Green snakey wallet from Banana Republic.

My favorite orange hair clip.  My favorite flavor of Tootsie pop:  orange.

Grid Paper Post-it Notes from Tracy.

Note pad for daily lists and skinny Sharpie marker… they don’t bleed… they’re the best!! (not pictured).

aand… the iPad.  A total luxury.

Not pictured from the purse:

a cucumber, countless receipts, empty chapstick tube, chop sticks, garlic skins, socks.  I dunno…


I LOVE button down shirts.  Totally classic.  Plus!  If you’re feeling spunky, these shirts look great unbuttoned real low with a pretty bra.  I’m just sayin.  I rock that look when  I’m just Joy… not Joy the Baker.  Joy the Baker buttons up proper.

These are JCrew.  Swoon.


Nail polish is an essential luxury.

Sally Hanson, Smooth and Perfect Satin.  Essie, A Cut Above.  Essie, As Gold as it Gets.

Simple.  Girly.  Sparkle pretty.


I celebrated my Mom’s birthday this week.

On your birthday, ice cream sundaes are essential, as are birthday candles.  Mamas are also essential.  Love you, Mom!


I need to tell you a weird thing.

This is a little vintage glass that sits on my desk.

Late at night when I’m tired of working on the computer, but still trudging though… I decorate my computer with little gems, and I put a fox pin broach on my sweater.

Its… just a thing I do.


Sunday morning at Church in Hollywood is essential.

What a blessing this place is to me.


Warm, brown sugar sweet grapefruit.

Broiled grapefruit reminds me of  sleepovers, Florida, and riding a bike with no hands… one of those weird childhood brain things.


Friday night, glow-in-the-dark bowling is essential.  Friday night, doing-anything-besides-sitting-on-the-computer is actually what’s essential.

Ps…  I’m a truly awful bowler.  I stop caring after exactly three rolls.


This cat animal has become essential to my life.



Potatoes are ESSENTIAL!!!

… especially when they’re in Hasselback stylings with crazy homemade pesto.

salt and pepper

Salt and Pepper are totally essential.

I made these salted Chocolate and Vanilla Bean Cookies ages ago.  They still have a soft spot in my heart.


Lentils are essential.  Cheap, mutable, delicious.

Also, I’m hiding there in the spoon in my favorite pink and red wrap skirt.

Wrap skirts are also essential.  No biggie.


I took a company field trip (which means it was just me driving a car…) to visit the photo studio of White on Rice Couple.

Two words:  prop studio.

Aaaand… I swoon.


Flour+Sugar+Yeast+Lemon Zest=

Lemon Raspberry Breakfast Rolls.

You’ll thank me.  I know you will.


Pie is essential.  So tremendously essential.  It’s the first thing my dad taught me how to make, and it’s my absolute favorite thing to bring together in the kitchen.

Make an Apple Pie from start to finish.  It’s just one of those things that you should do at some point.  It’ll teach you about care, patience, love, and apples.  That, indeed, is essential.

Very little is actually essential.  I know.

But these are the things, both frivolous and delicious, that I’m currently surrounded with.

There… don’t we feel like better friends now?

115 thoughts on “Life Essentials

  1. LOVE this list. My essentials include warm bootie slippers, coffee, iPhones, yoga pants (for comfort, not yoga), running sneaks and ice cream!

  2. Oh Joy, let’s be friends! I’ve got that same glittery pink nail polish. It’s happiness in a bottle. And we can bowl terribly together. (I went bowling with some friends last night and finished one game with a grand total score of 3). Always look forward to your posts.

    p.s. very cute watch!

  3. Gorgeous- and hilarious. I have a special bracelet that I put on when I need to power through late at night; it glints and smiles but feels heavy too. Makes me want to work faster, to get it all done, so I can put it back in its box.

  4. I have a very similar wallet to you but in purple. I don’t know how I ever coped with a tiny non-snakeskin wallet before. I loved seeing some of the things that go into making you you!

  5. A lovely post- it’s always nice to see what bits and bobs peeps recommend (I always find something good there!) And I totes agree about the essentialness (is that even a word?!) of cat monsters- my cat and two dogs create so much craziness and joy in my life :D

  6. I dig this post. I’ve been wondering for the longest time where your watch came from because I looooove it. Sprinkles are a definite essential in my life. It honestly makes my day to see sprinkles on top of anything, cookies, doughnuts, my cat, anything. Graph paper too. Love the graph paper. And you! <3

  7. I would love to move into Todd & Diane’s prop studio and never leave. Or Matt’s. Heaven on earth.

    And Orange Tootsie pops, eh? I have a red one a few times a week. I love reds.

    Ironic that you mention King Arthur flour, specifically. Earlier in the week I did a post about flour and asked if folks thought the brand of flour matters, i.e. Gold Medal, Pillsbury, King Arthur, store-brand, etc. and I’m glad to know you put the King on your essentials list!

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