Hello my dear friends!
What’s so beautiful about these days is that life feels like it’s everything all at once.
The new year feels exciting and fresh. I’ve spent some time the past week sorting through my 2018, feeling pretty proud of the ways I challenged myself, and grateful for the surprises the year held.
A fresh year always feels exciting but I’ve been slower this year about defining what sort of personal and professional challenges I want to take on. We’re only five days into this new year so I should go easy, but my surgery at the end of last year and some sickness in my family has focused my lens in different ways.
I’ll be in Los Angeles for the next few days and likely more days this month and next, spending time with my family and you know… doing the important things with the people that matter the most.
I hope these days find you feeling steady and focusing on the things that matter most to you. Ease into this year, find the grace in it all.
I’m so happy you’re here! I’ve got a big batch of recipes coming your way next week: Some one-pot recipes, quick snacks, cakes and chocolate. Yea – we’re still going for it.
Here’s the offering this week. As always, take what you need:
• New year, new Congress: A day of historic firsts in Congress! (NBC)
• Provisions: The Roots of Caribbean Cooking is absolutely the next cookbook I add to my collection. (The Atlantic)
• “The wealthy, both famous and not, tend to be visibly well moisturized.” The Best Skin Care Trick Is Being Rich. Honestly, this rings of truth. (The Atlantic)
• This has my full support: Get Bangs. (The Cut)
• Are you watching the Marie Kondo Netflix show: Tidying Up and fully cleaning your entire life? That’s my plan for next weekend – don’t even try to stop me. Actually, please do try to stop me with literally any other plans besides cleaning. (Netflix)
• See also: The Unbearable Heaviness of Clutter, but like… don’t freak out. (The New York Times)
• My friend Whitney is doing a January cleaning challenge with @lifeinjeneral – everyday a cleaning and organizing task. One month or organizing for an organized year. Head to the Instagram above and peep the stories titled Challenges!
• It’s a wild world: Why are fancy bathrooms all over Instagram? (Vox)
• It’s not too late to plan on a planner: The Best Dated Planners for Every Type of Planner. (NYMag)
• This week I’m making a chocolate version of Everybody’s Birthday Cake! Surely you’ll have a reason to make this cake this year! (Joy the Baker)
• Speaking of cake, IT IS TIME: Cinnamon Roll King Cake. It’s the Epiphany which is when the wise men brought gifts to baby Jesus and told us all we could eat King Cake from now until Lent. (Joy the Baker and Britannica)
• Speaking of Mardi Gras, and it’s officially not too soon to start talking about Mardi Gras, I’m going to start working on head-centered costumes for parades. I love these fabric animal ears from the ever-creative House That Lars Built.
• I very much like the idea of meal prepping with a week of slow cooker meal prep from The Kitchn. Or maybe you were gifted an Instant Pot recently? Here’s a week of easy Instant Pot meals.
• I listened to this new true-crime podcast this week. It wasn’t easy but I’ll leave it here for you: Broken Harts. (Glamour)
• Homemade seed bombs are my new thanks-for-being-great gifts. (Amazon)
Big love to you. Enjoy this day!
I’ve been watching Marie Kondo on Netflix and occasionally ill stand in my closet and visually try to see what I could get rid of then give up. I also don’t like folding clothes. Once I get over myself I really want to try cause I have way to much stuff!
Dear Megan, thanks so, so much for your kind, informative reply. As soon as someone else mentioned Tron’s name yesterday, I remembered an earlier time when Joy spoke of him, and I believe another picture, and his name being Tron. I don’t suppose I will ever stop hoping Elmo will somehow be home again.
Thanks again, and wishes for a happy and long life for you and your Eddie.
Sending love your way and praying that everything is OK with your family. I love your site so much – I read every single post and rave to my friends that you are my most trusted baking resource. So I couldn’t stop myself from just saying THANK YOU for what you do and letting you know that your family is in my prayers.
Wishing you good vibes always?
Aww the kitty baby is so adorable!! Thank you for posting! Is that Tron?
I am sending prayers to you and your family and a big hug!! Do what you need to do, we all understand and will be here when you can visit with us.
Joy, The cat nearly stopped my heart. He/she looks so much like my missing Elmo boy. Elmo was mostly Maine Coon, beautiful, colored like orange marmalade, fluffy coat which made him look larger than he was. Was only about nine pounds, Thirteen years when he took his daily neighborhood stroll. He never returned. We spent big bucks in trying to retrieve him. He left on June 20, 2016. He is now 15 1/2. He had regular vet checkups, was not I’ll. we had never put on ID chip in him, to our eternal regret. We hired an animal recovery expert from Texas. She came here to Virginia. In three days she did amazing work, yo lengthy to go into here. I do know that some cats that end up at shelters, neighboring counties, etc, are often shipped up north yo New York , and New Jersey. Elmo would look older now. Your cat, in this picture, looks oldish and frightened. Could you tell me something about it. If it is female, then , . . . Well, Elmo is male. Joy, I know this is a strange, maybe bothersome story coming your way. Something seemed so familiar about this cat, and just how I think my gorgeous Elmo would look by now. Forgive, thanks, help.
She adopted that cat as a kitten when she was still in California (long before 2016) but he’s not as old as your cat. I always love it when Tron shows up in her photos because he looks like my Eddie. Sorry to hear about your kitty situation.
Shelby, I second Megan’s condolences about Elmo. It’s always so hard to lose our little friends. I had an orange tabby, Parker, for 19 years, and I miss him everyday. Elmo is obviously loved very much, and I wish you comfort in your memories of him.
Thank you, as always, for sharing all these, Joy!
I can’t wait to get my hands on that “Provisions” cookbook as well!
I’ve read Marie Kondo’s book a few years ago and went through decluttering phase right after. I haven’t looked back since and continue to keep my things tidy. Folding and organizing as per Marie till now. Ha! I became more of a minimalist, I must say and that book definitely helped.
I’m sad I’m not in NOLA for Mardi Gras season. That’s a fact. But will live vicariously through your posts until I’m there again :)
Also.. just binge-listened to Broken Harts and well.. mind blown..
Looks like it will be a crime-themed filled January cause I’m binge-watching True Detective right as we speak… aaah! :)
Take it slow and have a great 2019! Who knows, I might bump into you in NOLA later this year!
Lots of love,
I hope things get better for you this year!
Mariya | http://www.brunetteondemand.com
I can’t believe I’ve never thought of making seed bombs as gifts before – what an all-around sustainable gift!
Whatever is going on in your family or with you – they should come first. I am at near the ending times of my life. I have lived it the best I could. Now my husband and I say no to nothing. Expand your horizon – live life as full as possible. Love as fully as you can today. If you have a family member who is ill – hold on to them and don’t let go. Joy – as your name describes make Joy everyday. Work is what you do while you are living your Joyful life.
Thank you for these words of love and joy!
Means so much to me… beautiful of you to reach out with this loving wisdom.
The quotation on rich folks moist skin took me out! Thank you!
I love the kitty
Oh what is in that bow you are holding? I want this! xx
Agreed!! What is in the bowl!?