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A better 2012

I totally dropped the ball on most of my goals for last year. It’s just the truth.

When Jeff and I decided to let me quit my marketing job, the agreement was that I would spend my time learning new skills to put toward a future career that I would make for myself. I know that I will never be happy working a regular job with regular hours for someone else, so I was excited to have the opportunity to work towards self-employment.  So, last year was about honing new skills and working on projects that may one day earn us a small income, namely through writing and photography.

I did not do the best job I could have of learning or using those skills last year. I’ve realized that my perfectionist mind has a way of stopping my progress completely if for some reason I feel that the work I’m doing isn’t perfect. I also have a bad habit of dooming myself with feelings of futility, that I’m doing months and months of work that will never pay off. And lastly, I’m realizing that I require a lot of unsolicited praise. If I’m not told that my work is good, I’ll just assume it isn’t.

In the last month or two I’ve finally started to pull out of that thought process. I’m starting to see value in my own work, to feel like it’s adding up to something worthwhile, and to accept that it won’t be perfect but that it will still be good. I wish that it hadn’t taken a year to feel that way, but I’m hopeful that I can do better to impress myself this year, to work hard to get the things I want, and to be who I want to be.

So maybe I should tell you exactly what has been causing me so much grief in the last year and what it is I’m finally excited to be working on. I’m writing a cookbook. It has been a ton of work but it’s finally coming together enough to see that all that work is adding up to something good. But not just that, I’ve also been learning how to take professional quality photos, for the book and also in the hopes of making a career out of photography some day.

Whew! I’ve waited so long to share that! Here’s a little sample of what you’ll find in the book…

Persimmon Walnut Breakfast Bread

Pork Katsu

Pork Katsu


I can’t wait to share the finished product with you! Cheers to a better 2012!

What is something that you hope to accomplish this year?


Christmas quiz

Hey everyone! Jeff and I are heading up to the Chattanooga area for round one of our Christmas festivities. I’m leaving you guys with this cute Christmas quiz I’ve seen around the blog world…

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Well, I hate egg nog, but your standard hot chocolate from a powder doesn’t cut it either. It’s gotta be real hot chocolate from melted shards of good quality chocolate shaved right off the bar. Nutella helps too.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? We always had the presents from Santa sitting out where we could see them as soon as we ran into the living room. Santa and his team are way too busy to wrap presents.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? When I was young we used the colored lights and covered every inch of the house with them. That was magical to me and definitely my preference. We did the white lights when I was older and it just didn’t feel Christmas-y.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nah, I can find plenty of good reasons to kiss my husband without it. 😉

5. When do you hang your decorations up? I’m all for leaving the month of November for Thanksgiving, so when we decorate next year I’ll probably wait until the first week of December.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? I live for the stuffing! And a good sweet potato souffle with the brown sugar and pecan crumble topping.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? I remember one year my sister and I got bean bag chairs for Christmas. They were both wrapped in boxes bigger than we were and we spent the whole month of December trying to guess what was in them. The chairs were fun, but I think we had more fun playing in the empty boxes!

8. What is on your Christmas Wish list? Many things. You can always appease me with photography books and asian dishware.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We always got to open one gift each on Christmas Eve and it was usually pajamas. Anti-climactic.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? We’ll be decorating for the first time next year and I know for sure that I want all of our ornaments to be either handmade or deeply personal, so I’ll make enough to get it going and we’ll add to it every year when we have kids.

11. Snow? Love it or dread it? I love the stuff. Something happens to the air after a snowfall, it’s still and quiet and empty-feeling. I really like that. However, the sound of snow compacting under your winter boots is like nails on a chalkboard to me.

12. Real tree or fake tree? We always had real growing up and I do love the smell, but I think we’ll be going with a fake one to be more environmentally friendly and so that we don’t have to spend money on a new one every year. We might get a real tree once or twice just for fun.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? The first thing that popped into my head when I started thinking was a Caboodle makeup box that my aunt gave me as a young teen. Girls love boxes with lots of compartments.

14. What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you? Getting to see all of our family. Jeff and I are the only members of our families that live in Atlanta. His family is 2 hours north and mine is an hour+ south, so we can’t just pop over for tea whenever.

15. What is your favorite Holiday dessert? While I like all of the typical holiday desserts like pumpkin pie and pecan pie, none of them are really my favorites. I always want cake and there’s rarely cake.

16. What is your favorite tradition? We didn’t really have any traditions that I can think of. I would like to make handmade Christmas ornaments with our children every year when we’re parents though.

17. What tops your tree? I’ll probably make a fancy origami star.

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? I am not afraid to say that I really enjoy receiving! Who doesn’t like getting stuff? I do get a thrill though when I pick out a gift for someone that perfectly suits them and they’re really excited about.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?  I like the more solemn songs sung by a full choir, can’t think of the names though.

20. Candy canes, yuck or yum? I’m not really a huge peppermint fan but I don’t think they’re gross.

21. Favorite Christmas Movie? I have probably seen The Santa Clause 50 times. Tim Allen is my Santa.

22. What do you leave for Santa? I always left chocolate chip cookies. I think our future kids should leave a wedge of cake though. 😉

23. Do you have a Christmas morning tradition? Not really. We always opened presents and ate sausage balls for breakfast and then hurried over to Granny’s to do it all over again.

24. Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall? I hate malls. Hate em’. We did about 80% of our shopping online this year and it was wonderful. I only had to step foot in a mall once.

25. Christmas letter or Christmas card?  I don’t think we’ll do either, I’ve never been a card person.

That was fun. :) Hope you all enjoy your holidays, talk to you afterwards!


We’re in!

Hello all!

I just unpacked my computer after days of being without the internets (how did I ever survive?) I’m exhausted from the move this past weekend and the subsequent unpacking and organizing, and yet there is so much more to be done. We still have to go back and clean up the old place too, so the work is far from over.

Just wanted to pop in and let you know that I’m alive, I’m hoping to be back to blogging regularly soon, and that I have so much to show you! I’ll take some pictures of both the old and new places soon, but for now I leave you with this picture of a big fuzzy caterpillar I found when we were moving out of the old place…

Fuzzy yellow caterpillar


Talk to you again soon!