Hi friends! Goodmorninghellohowareyou? Welcome to the Middle of January.
A few years ago, at the suggestion of friend (and incredible JtB food photographer) Karlee Flores, I took on the life-affirming concept of Gentle January. Rather than smashing my soul into crushing goals and expectations at the tail end of the holiday season, Karlee suggests we take January all the way easy – be GENTLE with ourselves. It is, afterall, the middle of winter or, what editor Abby referred to as “if a month was a hangover” and what other creatures on this earth are trying to Tony Robbins their lives right now? Can we have a minute? Can we have a month? The answer is yes.
This Gentle January I’ve caught up on The Real Housewives of Potomac. It’s messy. It’s a balm. I’ve ordered coat hangers for my new closet in Houston but haven’t yet hung a thing. I’ve taken early morning walks and discovered that there is a whole class of people willing to walk in the dark before the sun comes up. I bought myself flowers at Trader Joe’s. I’ve spent some time to just think about how I want to feel this year and what little steps I can take towards that feeling.
If you smashed yourself into this month and you want to pull back a bit – let this be your call. Chill. It’ll all unfold with time. It’s Sunday afterall.
Speaking of Sunday. Can you believe this is the 400th (!!!) Let It Be Sunday post? The first Let It Be Sunday post dates back to 2014 with a selfie in my friend Whitney’s house in Los Angeles during the going away party she threw for me before I moved to New Orleans. What a time it’s all been. We have all been digging around in this life together for a lot of years, haven’t we? I’m thankful for you. Today’s Sunday post is a soft pillow. As always, take only what you need.
• This week’s long read is a feline led deep dive into interspecies friendship and it had me reaching for Tron who remains unimpressed by my existence and honestly, I respect that. Ugly Cats and the Loneliness of Man (LARB)
• This week I had the distinct honor of chatting with my friend Deb before her book signing of Smitten Kitchen Keepers here in Houston. Our chat was in front of a room of 100 people which is oddly par for the course for us? We had our last great chat at my book signing a few years back. We’ve been on the internet together for so long that we realize, catching up and gushing about food in front of everyone is just what we do. If you don’t have Keepers, you’re missing out on an epic collection of Deb’s best recipes. It’s a must for any cookbook collection. (Blue Willow Bookshop)
• I am not a cryer. Are you a cryer? Sometimes I wish I had more tears to offer but that would require me to spend more time with my feelings and…. nah. BUT – a sad song while I’m in the car by myself has me reaching for the tissue in the glovebox. Crying: my radical plan to get rid of my worst tendency in 2023. (Slate)
• This is the first Mardi Gras season I’ve been away from New Orleans in years which means I’m carrying on with a January mostly free of glitter and plastic beads. I’m actually getting my taxes sorted and… ok, I’m remembering how the rest of the country does the start of a new year. What I will not forsake is the season of King Cake. It’s the best way for those of us missing New Orleans to honor this festive time, even if we’re celebrating by reconciling business bank accounts. The most accessible Mardi Gras bake is this Easy One Dish King Cake though my favorite is a show stopping Pull-Apart Mardi Gras King Cake that bubbles up over a cast iron skillet. (Joy the Baker)
• Let this month’s cozy manifest as a pot of Homemade Hamburger Helper. It makes a big pot and I promise you’ll miss it when it’s gone. (Joy the Baker)
• It’s not that I neeeeeded another fleece. It’s that I neeeeeeded this Everlane fleece for it’s statement collar and long backside. Also pockets. This fleece paired with bike shorts and tennis shoes is my brand of Houston winter attire and I’m deeply sorry for those of you buried in snow. (Everlane)
• Branding soup as a blender soup for two perks my ears and feels like something I’m willing to accomplish on a Wednesday at 6pm, maybe. (Instagram)
• I hope you have twelve people you’d like to make birthday cakes for this year because these are my 12 Best Birthday Cake Recipes. I refuse to pick a favorite and insist you make them all. (Joy the Baker)
• A new outrage: You Don’t Know How Bad the Pizza Box Is. Ok but like… how much worse is it than the Boboli “pizza crust” that had a chokehold on Wilson family Friday nights through the 90’s? I would argue this makes a case for my secret love of frozen pizza. (The Atlantic)
• Ranking Every Celebrity Bathroom in Architectural Digest. I don’t want to be this way but I couldn’t not scross through alll 133 of these and I’m sorry in advance if your brain functions in the same way. (Buzzfeed)
Enjoy your Sunday friends. Be gentle.
My love to you.