Hello friends! Happy Sunday and a proper HAPPY NEW YEAR to you!
If you missed me last Sunday, I was pictured above – camping in the sand dunes of Padre Island with Will. We turned the back of Will’s Jeep into a kitchen because the wind was too intense to cook outside and I can confirm that he’s the sweetest man in the world for being the first person up in the cold to make us coffee in the morning. I happen to like washing a car as much as I like making it a filthy mess, so I think we’re a good pair. And we’re properly showered now. And I’m finally no longer chomping down on sand in my mouth. Happy New Year, indeed.
Here’s the rub about this past week – I wasn’t ready. I know a lot of people took the week between holidays off, took social media breaks, made vision boards and otherwise reset, but I was not so fortunate. I was busy dragging out deadlines and otherwise spinning my wheels such that there haven’t been any clear lines between the completed work of 2021 and the tasks of 2022. Can we stop pretending like it’s a clean break when the calendar flips over to January because I’m over here in the mud. I also happen to be at the point in deep house cleaning this weekend where it’s an absolute mess and I question everything I own but THIS IS ME WORKING MYSELF OUT OF THE MUD.
I’m welcoming the groove of this year slowly, rather ungracefully.
I hope this finds you easing into this year gently. Here are our Sunday links. As always, take only what you need. And wow – take it easy today.
• Remember when I tried to teach myself how to swim last year and unceremoniously quit after I realized I hated it? I took up running which, wow I love(?) and ran myself a little half marathon. I’m still deciding what I’ll take on as a new layer this year. I’m thinking I’ll take a watercolor painting class. Will I be any good at it? Likely no… which, I look forward to. Here are 10 Insightful Tips From People Who Prove It’s Never Too Late because it ain’t over till it’s over, friends! (NYT)
• At the start of every new year, my friend Karlee Flores of Olive and Artisan reintroduces her concept of a Gentle January. A start to the year where we ease itn, recover from the holidays, do things that please us and just take all the diet and detox talk down to zero. It’s a revelation and I’m working on it. (Olive and Artisan and Instagram)
• This week’s 4-ingredient peanut butter cookies are old and new and I hope you whip them up. (Joy the Baker)
• I’m currently in the midst of revamping my house. This spring marks my sixth year living and working in The Bakehouse and it shows. I’m thinking of this giant rug for the high traffic area between the dining room and the kitchen and dare I get a fancy frame TV? Knowing me I’m going to keep these tabs open on my computer for at least two months. I’m slow at spending large sums of money. (Wayfair and The Verge)
• The unglamorous part of revamping my house is the purging of all the… what even is all this stuff? I like cooking and crafts and those take up cabinets and closets I’ll tell ya! The hardest thing for me to purge is books but somehow, this weekend in the year of our Lord 2022, I’ve finally let me college English Lit textbooks from 2003 go. It’s time. I think. I only took one back out of the donation pile to keep. I flip through every book I want to donate and invariably find a polaroid, an airplane ticket stub, a note… something that makes the book an actual time capsule so I dust off the spine and place it right back on the shelf. I did a book I have yet to read: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo (Parnassus Books)
• I loved this piece by Nikki Darling in the LA Book Review. Diet Coke and a Game of Chess: The Radical Work of Eve Babitz and Joan Didion.
• This post on Instagram stopped me in my tracks this week. I don’t know Lynn Bagley but my heart is with her. Life is everything all at once so viscerally sometimes.
• I’m currently watching Being The Ricardos and as a person who has seen every episode of I Love Lucy several times each, I think Nicole Kidman gives us an incredible Lucille Ball. Next up I’m watching 14 Peaks to feed my obsession with mountain climbing documentaries. (Amazon and Netflix)
• These past few week I’ve had plenty of time on the road between Texas and New Orleans which means I’ve listened to every podcast available. Most notably, this truly infuriating two-part true crime deep dive into Casey Anthony by RedHanded. Maintenance Phase on Marianne Williamson. Cara Nicoletti on Taste. And American Radical about Rosanne Boyland and January 6, 2020 (still not sure how I feel about this last one.) (Red Handed, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and MSNBC)
• My friend Bev makes fantastic playlists and I’ve got her latest “Frosty Toes and Gloomy Glows” mix on repeat. (Spotify)
• No one: CocoCola: We’re making a boozy canned Fresca!!! (Yahoo)
• We’re officially in Mardi Gras season which means I’m teaching my annual Bakehouse Live King Cake class this February! (Eventbrite)
Enjoy this weekend! Remember, it’s Gentle January.
Also a quick housekeeping note, joythebaker.com will be down for a few days this coming Monday – Wednesday. Just a bit of housekeeping but we’ll be back in time for next weekend’s baking and links.
My love to you!
I am feeling the Gentle January completely. I’m easing in with gentle flow yoga, afternoon walks and evening tea. And considering mid-month of January is stated as one of the most saddest times of the year, I’m taking the naps, therapy baking, and tv/movie binging to heart with kindness. Watched the most recent Wes Andersen film. Thank you for this list. We will get through the year and To-Do lists graciously.
I impulse bought a frame TV a few months ago and don’t have any regrets. I get compliments on it all the time! Changing the pictures is a bit clunky, I don’t know why in this day and age it’s so hard for them to set up the app properly is the only annoyance.
Love Gentle January so much, gentle allthemonths is what we need this year! Thanks for talking about it on Insta :) Also this: “Will I be any good at it? Likely no… which, I look forward to.” – this is SO SMART! I started calligraphy as a hobby about 3 years ago and may I tell you I was quite rubbish at first, but now I’m quite ok and I still really love it. My “muse” isn’t always in the house, but hey, it ebbs and flows, like everything else I guess. Much love to you <3
Boozy Fresca! Hell Ya, I’m down for it. Thanks Joy – Happy New Year!
Here it is 10 days in and I’m still not ready for 2022. I’m all for this gentle January.
“Things! Burn them, burn them! Make a beautiful fire! More room in your heart for love, for the trees! For the birds who own nothing — the reason they can fly.”
Hi Joy, I recently read this excerpt from the Mary Oliver poem “Storage” and it really resonated, your post today made me think you may appreciate it also.
Nice Kari, and thanks for sharing that!
WORKING MYSELF OUT OF THE MUD really hit and will be the words i carry with me this week. thinking of making pb cookies too. thank you for your words always, and happy new year, Joy.
I read “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” on the very long flight to Mumbai for a bff’s wedding a few years ago. It will absolutely gut you. I recommend keeping something light on hand as a palate cleanser for when you need breaks, but it is very much worth the read.
I wasn’t ready either to start this first past week of the year, more or less for your same reason, but we’re gonna make it!
enjoyed reading this one! happy new year and happy camping! :)
Love to have you back here on Sunday, Joy! Thank you. We are going gentle over here as it feels there is no other way right now.
I am taking a free (as in no patterns) quilting class! And just watched Summer of Soul which was incredible.
We got a Frame TV! I was against it at first but it has added so much to my life and is so pretty to look at.
Gawd dang I needed that list of never too lates. Thank you so much for your vulnerability, kindness and permission to be.