I’ve been looking forward to this post for weeks, in large part because I so enjoy sharing the little things with you every month. December was a bust, thanks to some medical stuff (more to come on that next week), so I haven’t put together a list of Things I’m Loving Now for you since November. All that to say, let’s get right to it!
A color pop. I purged some extraneous furnishings from my office and replaced them with this bright yellow Knopparp loveseat from IKEA. It’s lightweight with a washable slipcover, low enough for H to climb up on, and both girls love to cuddle on it together and read picture books. L curls up in the afternoon and listens to audiobooks there. It also comes in gray (my favorite neutral, so the color was a tough choice, but L loved the yellow, and I figured we could use something bright in the office). The price makes it a tremendous bargain, too.
Hanging mugs. I love pretty mugs, so the week after Christmas I picked up a bar and some hooks, and my father-in-law mounted them under a cabinet for me. I love how my favorites are now visible. They add color and pattern to my kitchen! Speaking of mugs, Anthropologie’s artsy new letter mugs are on my list of perfect giftable items for 2017.
Mitten Strings for God by Katrina Kenison. This might be the most engaging, encouraging book on motherhood I’ve read yet. I’m trying to savor it, limiting myself to a chapter a day, letting each one sink in for a while before I move on to the next. More like a collection of personal stories than a how-to manual, Kenison’s memories of intentionally raising her two boys offer a great deal of food for thought.
Pizza Margherita. This gem was my standby when E was in grad school and I was on my own with L at night, and now that he’s overseas, it’s made a serious comeback. I love the simple, homemade sauce and the easy crust. I often double the crust recipe, make the girls a pepperoni-and-black-olive version for their dinner, then pop my own pie into the oven right before I tuck them in. A glass of chilled white wine and a good book make worthy companions. I call it the Mom Survival Dinner.
Grantchester. While I was struggling with medical unknowns during the weeks surrounding Christmas, I had a lot of insomnia. I happened upon the PBS series Grantchester (two seasons, both available on Amazon and free for Prime subscribers). My Anglophile self couldn’t resist: a small village, a handsome young vicar, a slew of murders to solve. I watched an episode a night until I finished it off. Then, I realized the show was based on a series of books by James Runcie. Now I’m polishing off those, too.
Book puzzles. L and I have suddenly become book puzzle junkies. What’s a book puzzle, you ask? Well, it’s a puzzle comprised of book covers, like this Nancy Drew version (or theater posters, magazine covers, cereal boxes, paintings, and so on)–in essence, a big puzzle comprised of a lot of little puzzles. We’re not into big, difficult puzzles with pieces that all look the same, but we love this variety. After giving up the dining table to puzzle construction for a couple of weeks, I commandeered a small, drop-leaf table from another room, set it up in the living room, put a lamp on it, and voila! A puzzle table. Since mid-December, we’ve done five of them. We make tea or cocoa after H is in bed at night and putter away at the puzzle table for half an hour or so. Barnes & Noble has a great selection, both in stores and online.
What are you loving now, friends? What’s keeping your sanity intact and bringing joy to your days? Drop me a line in the comments and let me know. I might want to steal an idea or two from you.