January again …

shepard baking co sweets | simple pretty

It’s January again. A time for new habits, whether it’s dry-January (truth be told, this is not the year for that), or exercise, or just general self-improvement. Like most of us, I’ve already radically re-jiggered my life thanks to lockdown, and so I view this new year as a time of re-commitment to the re-ordered world.

Here are a few things I’m relying on as we roll into 2021:

  • I am cooking more than ever before … and in order to minimize shopping trips, I need to be more organized than I was in my pre-pandemic “let’s run in and pick up a few things for dinner” life. I’ve found Appointed’s weekly meal planner (a free download +  there is an abundance of elegantly-designed options to choose from) to be an invaluable planning source.
  • I’m also cutting back on sugar after the bacchanal of Christmas, but was delighted to try Shepard Baking Co’s package of meltaways and caramels (pictured at top) over a December pop-up and am hoping to get to the new Wicker Park location of Lost Larson very soon to try their cinnamon roll, with a ham and cheese smørrebrød for balance.
  • What would a new-year’s resolution be without a commitment to exercise? I bought a mini-trampoline back in 2017, but what really got me hooked on the workout was The Ness launching a digital platform right as lockdown started. I’ve followed them on Instagram forever and promise that it’s as fun as it looks, and is a fantastic workout to boot.
  • ‘Tis the season of thank-you’s, but why not start a new tradition and send someone a letter, right now, just because? If you say “but I need new stationery”, may I suggest these adorable Miffy-themed notecards from Papier as an option.
  • Find small ways to celebrate the everyday moments that are passing us by as we wait for the vaccine. I listened to a podcast with Darcy Miller in the run-up to Christmas and was happy to be reminded of her extensive array of ideas and projects to add a little creative fun into our “what day is it” existence.
  • Speaking of podcasts, I’ve recently added Lindsey Tramuta’s “The New Paris”  to my subscription queue … and it’s a great slice of French culture through American eyes.
  • And yes, Instagram. Embarrassed by how much time I spend (waste?) there, but happy to have an outlet to the world beyond my sleepy little town. I’m newly addicted to Museum of Restaurants as it’s led me down so many happy rabbit holes, including two intriguing spots in Berlin, Sofi (pastry!!) and Otto (packaging!!). Wanderlust forever.

photo at top by jane potrykus