Today on Weekend Meanderings, a few books to get the year off to a great start, a fun closet edit method, my workout uniform and lots of Meyer lemon recipes.
Happy New Year, friends!
It’s Saturday and I’m joining Kim and Elizabeth for Weekend Meanderings.
Our weekly roundup of inspiration and goings on.
Did you take time off to relax, unwind, and unplug, over the last few weeks?
I sure did and it was wonderful.
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It’s 2023 and I’m ready to hit the ground running.
So let’s get to it!
THREE BOOKS TO GET THE NEW YEAR OFF TO A GREAT START
Every January I reread Elizabeth’s Gilbert’s Big Magic. It’s a gem of a book and if you haven’t read it I highly recommend. In addition, last year I read Atomic Habits by James Clear and When You’re Ready, This is How You Heal, a collection of essays by Brianna West. Add both to my list of excellent rereads for the New Year or anytime you seek encouragement and inspiration.
MY WORKOUT UNIFORM
I know it’s cliche to talk about getting in shape at the beginning of the year. Yet … here we are. Actually, I began my get-back-in-shape program last October by joining a gym that offers step classes. That’s right, I’m stuck back in the 90’s with my step obsession. For me, the key to fitting in a daily workout is to remove as many obstacles as possible. One of which is what to wear. To make this a no-thought-required situation I’ve adopted a standard workout uniform. Boring perhaps, but effective. I’ve found the pieces I love, that fit me well and acquire them in multiples. That way I can’t use the ‘oh no, my workout clothes are in the laundry’ excuse. There are so many other better excuses. My current workout uniform is pretty basic … black leggings, black sports bra (I like a high neck in case I’m out in the sun) and various loose fitting tanks in a variety of colors. I pull my hair up with claw clips to keep it completely off my glistening – ha! – neck. And I love these cushy ankle socks – I have them in white, gray and black. Last but not least my beloved Hoka’s … are you tired of me talking about them? Seriously, they’re the best which is why you see everyone wearing them. I have Clifton 8’s in two color combinations … they’re great for walking, running and pretty much anything. And I just bought this pair of the Bondi 8’s that I noticed a lot of women wearing in my step class.
In addition to twice weekly step classes, I’m in the middle of a 4-week walking program in St. Lucia. That’s right. St. Lucia. Obviously, I’m teleporting via my NordicTrack treadmill … and one of it’s many iFit training programs. Jim loves iFit’s running programs and has been running all over the world in some amazing places.
I also do a daily dog walk although its become more of a challenge as Pippa gets older. Both Pippa and Maggie are slow walkers with lots of starts and stops. But every step counts. It’s quite a change from our Sasha-the-lab years. We called Sasha our personal trainer and she dragged us along … we could barely keep up.
ALLISON BORNSTEIN CLOSET EDIT
Do you know Allison Bornstein? I didn’t, but I’m glad I do now. She’s a stylist and from what I can tell during the pandemic she took social media by storm helping people edit their closets with helpful videos. And conducting personal editing sessions online. I’m considering doing a session, but it’s helpful to do a good closet edit first.
Allison has a 5-step editing process, the AB method, which you can watch here. The 5-step process goes something like this.
- Identify your ‘regulars’. Your regulars are the items of clothing you wear all the time. These are not necessarily pieces you love, but they’re the pieces you actually wear day-to-day. For this process Allison suggests putting your regulars on a rolling rack (more on rolling racks in a bit).
- Identify your ‘nevers.’ Nevers are items you don’t wear. Maybe because you don’t like them, they don’t fit, they’re damaged or you LOVE them but don’t know HOW to wear them. Once this is done, categorize the nevers into three groups.
-The no’s – don’t like, doesn’t fit, isn’t repairable, etc. to donate, sell and toss.
-The not now’s – may be out of season pieces or pieces you’re not yet ready to part with. Remove the not nows from your closet and store them elsewhere (in suitcase under the bed, in a bin in the garage, etc.) and revisit them seasonally.
-The how’s. The how’s are pieces you love but don’t know how to wear.
- Revival – this is the process of matching your how’s with your regulars and creating outfit ideas. Allison suggests taking pictures of the outfits and placing them in a folder on your phone. During this step you’ll identify pieces you may need in buy in order to complete outfits for your how’s.
- Categorize – place the pieces back into your closet organized by category and color.
A word on rolling racks. They’re a great thing to have for several reasons. Obviously, for use during closet edits and just having fun putting outfits together. They’re also ideal when packing for trips, especially longer trips. It’s nice to see everything hanging rather then tossed onto the bed. I use this rolling rack. It easily collapses flat to tuck away when not in use. This one is a lot more expensive but has a shelf on top and on the bottom which is ideal for trip packing because you can add shoes, bags, and other accessories on the shelves. During our nomad years when we were selling, building then selling and buying we lived in several rental homes and apartments. The closet situations were abysmal and multiple rolling racks saved us. We turned extra bedrooms into walk-in closets by setting rolling racks around the room. They also came in handy when a flimsy closet bar came crashing down under the weight of my clothes. Instead of testing the repaired bar, I slid a rolling rack underneath and spared myself the another trauma.
A few things I use to keep my constantly edited closet organized ~
GRAPPLING WITH LOSS
Just before Thanksgiving, I wrote about my friend, former boss and parental figure, Harry Parsley. Harry and his wife, Ellen (my Mother Parsley), are the proprietors of Silver Stag Winery in Napa Valley. Harry was kind enough to share his Thanksgiving (holiday) wine recommendation on the blog. Jim and I enjoyed his recommended wine – 2019 Coombsville Reserve Cab – on Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Sadly, Harry passed away a few days before Christmas. His family shared this moving tribute.
Two years ago this week I lost my ex-husband, Al. ‘Ex’ has such a negative connotation and there is nothing negative about my feelings for him. Warm, funny, smart, kind and generous … are just a few of the words that come to mind when I think of him. Perhaps I should just say he was my dear and treasured friend.
And an incredible father to three daughters who I love and adore.
Next week will mark one year since I lost my father. My dear, sweet dad.
Losing these three amazing people over a two year period has been difficult. And I’ve struggled. I came across this poem by Henry Scott-Holland. There’s much comfort to be found in it and I find myself referring back to it and sharing it again and again. Loss is something we all experience and as her late majesty the Queen eloquently said, ‘Grief is the price we pay for love.’ I hope these words resonate with you as well.
MEYER LEMON RECIPES
Just before the latest storm hit I harvested our Meyer lemon tree. The tree is only in its second season and I can’t believe the amount of lemons it produced. Wow.
My lemon basket runneth over and sent me to Google in search of Meyer lemon recipes. Here are a few of the many I’m going to experiment with this month. Starting with the Lavender Meyer Lemon Tom Collins cocktail … you can watch my video here.
I’m not a big gin fan, but I loved this. I used Barr Hill Gin which is made with honey. The honey combined with the lavender syrup and lemon … oh my gosh. So good. To make the lavender simple syrup I used Morton & Bassett lavender, if you can’t find it locally try this.
So there you have it, this weekend’s meanderings.
Let’s visit Kim and Elizabeth to see what they’ve been up to.
Odds & Socks ~
Over the holidays we watched some good, and not so good TV and movies. On the good side … Jack Ryan season 3, Emily in Paris season 3, Tulsa King, Hollywood Houselift with Jeff Lewis, For the Love of Kitchens season 2. We went to the movies to see Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody which is phenomenal. Whitney Houston was my era and I was crying by the end of the first scene … and the tears kept rolling throughout the movie. Naomi Ackie, who plays Whitney, deserve an Oscar nomination. And Stanley Tucci is excellent as Clive Davis. On the not so good side, we thought Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery was terrible. We didn’t get beyond 30 minutes and should have given up after 15.
Plotting your course for the New Year? Read this.
On New Year’s Eve I made a perfectly cooked prime rib using this method. I also made popovers, but they didn’t rise. Wah wah. Last week I tried again and lo and behold they rose … but not as spectacularly as I’d hoped. Several Instagram friends recommended using a special popover pan and I ordered this one. Other suggestions included using pan liners, self-rising flour, lowering oven temperature, refrigerating the batter for several hours and leaving the batter a little lumpy. If you have any thoughts, leave me a comment. Oh, and I used Ina’s popover recipe.
If you missed the last weekend meanderings, you can catch up here.
As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!