I keep a running list in my creative planner of the little things that bring me joy throughout the month. I love sharing those lists of favorites with you, and word is you love it, too. As I was preparing to write about this month’s list (and reading one of the books on it), the thought occurred that the older I get, the clearer it becomes that the best moments are the small ones: a few minutes with a good book and a hot drink, new yarn on my knitting needles, serving up a new recipe for dinner and hearing only silence at the table because everyone is happily eating. When we can zero in on these little things–the small gratitudes of our lives–we are much more apt to feel content. To feel satisfied. So let’s get on with it, shall we?
My dear friend Lindsay brought me a box of this tea in December when she came to Memphis for a visit. I finally cracked open the box the week after New Year’s, and hardly a day has passed since without me steeping a mid-afternoon or evening cup–or pot–of this aromatic blend. The aroma is so reminiscent of glazed lemon loaf cake that it literally satisfies my sweet tooth. It’s like instant happiness. I love it so much I placed a bulk order on Amazon. *Note: this is one of Tazo’s new Dessert Delights line; they also have Vanilla Bean Macaron and Butterscotch Blondie flavors, but the Glazed Lemon Loaf is my favorite. (Note: link in header.)
2. Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
I’ve seen this book in stores many times over the years, but it wasn’t until someone bookstagrammed it in a TBR (To Be Read) stack that I looked up the description. I’ve added it to my morning basket of books, and it’s fast becoming a favorite source of morning food for thought. As a bonus, each day’s short reading begins with a quote, many of which are good enough to add to my commonplace book. (Note: link in header.)
3. In the Company of Womenby Grace Bonnell.
I’m always bemoaning how no one will buy me books for my birthday or Christmas anymore (apparently everyone thinks I have too many books and/or they fear buying me a book I already own), so this year my sister sent me an Amazon gift card for Christmas. At first, I thought it was odd because she’s not a gift card giver, but then she explained, saying, “I just didn’t know how to pick a book for you.” You’re likely to assume a bibliophile with a bottomless Amazon wish list would have divested that card of its funds in mere seconds. but friends, paralysis ensued. Spending a gift card intended for a book purchase is no small task. It had to be the perfect book.
I spent days ruminating over what I ought to order, scanning my camera roll, looking for The One Book (this is something else I shamelessly do: photograph book covers–in stores, at people’s houses, at the library, even in restaurants–wherever books can be found). I finally ordered In the Company of Women. I’d first eyed it when it was a new release gracing the front table of my local independent. It, too, has joined the stack in my morning basket, providing a solid dose of daily inspiration. If I could, I’d buy a copy for every creative woman in my life. (Note: link in header.)
4. Jenny Rosenstrach’s Back Pocket Pasta with Herbs and Breadcrumbs.
If you’ve ever caught me talking dinner, you already know Dinner: A Love Story is my number one go-to cookbook. But while I’ve made and regularly repeat many of its no-fail recipes, I hadn’t tried the Back Pocket Pasta. Until recently, when I was facing down dinnertime with almost nothing in the fridge. Sadly, the recipe isn’t online, but this is why you ought to buy the book. This recipe is the best kind: simple, pantry-based, delicious, and customizable. I added bacon and green peas, but the possibilities are endless. And it disappeared from my people’s plates like magic.
5. New additions to my skincare and makeup routine.
Skincare has been an ongoing challenge over the past five years; the birth of L and then H changed my skin’s needs in palpable ways. Now my forties are changing it too. I’m a happy user of Rodan+Fields’ Redefine line, but I wanted something to up my game just a bit more. I use a gentle gel cleanser (this one) to remove makeup at night, and I’ve begun using it with a rotating face brush.
I also felt like it was time to change my makeup routine. I’ve used powder-based foundations since my early twenties, but as fine lines began to emerge, my old standbys were finding those lines and settling into them. I also wanted to lighten up my weekday look and make it a bit more natural. I switched to a tinted CC cream and cream undereye concealer.
I’m loving these changes. My skin is baby smooth and my pores are smaller, thanks to the facial brush, and the new makeup is light and natural-feeling. If I get a little shiny during the day, I just dust on a little shine-absorbing powder and go.
What are you loving this month, friends? Drop me a note in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!
Check out:what I was loving a year ago.