Thursday, January 15, 2015

January, and it's an opportunity to start fresh.


The month of January brings with it opportunities to change a habit or start something new.
It feels like anything is possible...a clean slate and a fresh start await.
A tidy home and garden are on my radar.
My goal is to tackle one job each day so that I don't get overwhelmed and give up!



I spent several hours cleaning up our medicine drawer and I am embarrassed to confess that there were lotions, salves, pills and cold remedies that were expired as far back as 2010!
I bagged them all up and took them to our local pharmacy for recycling.
These pharmaceuticals are toxic and should not be thrown away in the regular garbage.

I've also been eating far too much and some of my choices have not been Weight Watcher Point Friendly items!
So it's time to get back on track...
I'm not beating myself up either, nor should I.


Thin crust and delicious...but I ate too much of it.


Caesar Salad


Bouillabaise 


Lemon Meringue Cake!


and bubbly....



I recently bought a slow cooker and made some homemade beans from scratch...

I want to make some soups and stews in the cooker.
 The idea of starting dinner early and having dinner cook throughout the day and be ready without much fuss appeals to me...
(especially when I am tacking the closets and doing some "deeper cleaning" projects)


I've gone through all my books and donated more than half of them...
I've kept my favourites.





I plan on re-reading Debra's book before I go to Paris.

I read Jennifer L. Scott's blog and I quite enjoy her books. She is hard at work on her third book.
On a recent blog post she discussed cutting out distractions at home...
I am so easily distracted so I was interested in what she had to say...
you can read her thoughts here.


I received this book last year for my birthday from a good friend and have made a few of the recipes.
Soups are a great way to use up leftovers and stretch the budget...
I like to make them on a cold blustery day...
while I am busy chopping I like to be quiet and mindful
and if there are any leftovers they are good for lunches and can easily be frozen for future use.


I had all the ingredients for this soup on hand...
it's a rich and comforting soup 
but it's a little high on the WW Point Scale.


Yummy


I know it's January because the Snowdrops are blooming.


Have you got any projects on the back burner?
Are you editing your wardrobe, cleaning out closets, bagging up donations for the charity shops?
Perhaps you embarking on some self improvement, taking a new class or are trying some new recipes.



"New Year's Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change."

~ Sarah Ban Breathnach ~


35 comments:

  1. I love your tidy garden. I've got guys planting right now, getting ready for our spring. Planting California natives, in support of my new commitment to planetary health.

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    1. Native plant gardens are really popular here with our summertime watering restrictions.
      Hope you'll share the pictures on your blog.

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  2. Have you read Paris to the Moon? A wonderful book by an American journalist in Paris. I think I may have mentioned this in a previous comment--if so, sorry. It's really good though!

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  3. I haven't found my snowdrops yet but the bulbs are definitely poking out. I'm off to the editor this afternoon regarding my children's book project. I am definitely back in the WW way of thinking. You might enjoy a collection of essays and reminiscences titled "Paris in Mind" edited by Jennifer Lee. I am revisiting my copy because it transports me. It is 3 centuries of Americans writing about their romance and frustration with Paris.

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  4. I second frugal's recommendation of Adam Gopnik's book (and he's actually Canadian-American, so kinda one of ours ;-)

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    1. I'll be reading it as soon as it is available at the library.

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  5. That bright pop of green in your garden is so cheerful. I third the recommendation for Paris to the Moon. I desperately need to go through and clean out our medicine cabinets too. If I get any time over the weekend may tackle that project.

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    1. Funny isn't it how we can "forget" to cull the medicine chest every year?
      The book is on reserve at the library so I'll have it soon...

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  6. I am having a big edit of my wardrobe and finding it hard work but also quite releasing.

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    1. I was never very good at getting rid of things until I was forced to when I lost weight...that made it easier but I did say goodbye to many great pieces.
      Good luck with your task...

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  7. I have all those books too! Such an inspiring post. I've only cleaned one drawer and the results were shocking. Your pictures are so bright and happy.

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    1. I found it easy to cull the novels but my French books are much too dear to part with!
      "Shocking" is the perfect word to describe the recent medicine cupboard purge!

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  8. I was just thinking of your Paris trip and would like to recommend a restaurant that we enjoyed through a recommendation by food writer, Patricia Wells. It is called The Bar de la Croix Rouge. Patricia suggested the Assiette San Germain, a roast beef sandwich and a small salad.Do have it with a glass of Brouilly. We had to wander the streets to find it, but wandering the streets in Paris is great fun. ( 2 Place Michel Debre in the 6th)

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    1. Thank you AR I have made a note of those recommendations.

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  9. My big project is finishing my no. 2 son's high school graduation quilt. He graduated in 2010 and I'm pretty ashamed of myself that I never finished it. My goal is to do a little every day and so far I've been successful. I'm almost done! Yeah, yeah, yeah. Hope I never let a project go so long again. I'm also working on purging papers and organizing. That pizza looks terrific.

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    1. I recently just finished the hemming of the edges of a rug that I hooked about 7 years ago so I totally get what you mean about leaving things undone for a long time!

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  10. As always you have transported us to thoughts of Paris; and of course, reality, here at home...cleaning, purging...etc.....and healthy eating habits...you never cease to amaze me...

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  11. That pizza looks delicious! It would be hard to hold back. I'm involved in some major sewing projects around here, and am cleaning out drawers and cupboards, one or two at a time. Little by little. How great that you've been out in the garden already!

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  12. Oh I am now inspired! I have so many closets needing straightened,cleaned! I am thinking about the garden...at present i have three dogs running through my back gardens. I can only hope they survive. I hope you have a wonderful weekend planned. Hugs!

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  13. There's still unpacking and sorting to do when I get home this weekend. The garden is non-existent - just a patch of grass with a hedge, really, so there are plans to be made for it. Your beans look yummy!

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    Replies
    1. Please let me know if you need cuttings or plants from our garden.
      Will you hire a landscape architect to help with the design?

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  14. The flatbread pizza sure looks yummy! Is it from a local restaurant or homemade?

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    1. We went out for lunch at The Oak Bay Beach Hotel Pub...they do amazing thin crust pizzas...I shared it with a friend.

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  15. This is my year to really get my house in order. My son will be moving soon and I'm looking forward to some empty cupboards. I've cleaned out and re-packed my Christmas decorations . Now they all fit very neatly on the shelf ( a good size shelf ) and won't fall on top of me when I open the cupboard. Next I've cleaned out 1 draw of my filing cabinet took about 3 hours to sort through the paperwork. I plan to do a little every day or ever week. I'm convinced if my house is in order I'll clean less and enjoy more.
    Kind Regards
    Karen

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    Replies
    1. Mother has been shredding her files too and says theat the shredder keeps overheating with all the papers!
      I like the theory behind the clean and tidy house needing less work...

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  16. Your Snowdrops are beautiful!
    I can't live without my slow cooker, and boil a chicken in it once a week. I put it in at night, with onions, celery, turmeric, carrots and lentils. In the morning I remove the chicken,cut up the meat and put it back in the soup.

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    1. What else do you cook in your slow cooker? Do you have a favourite slow cooker recipe book?

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  17. This is the year I clean out the attic. Thirty five years of accumulation and memories. It won't be a one-day job and I can't begin until the weather warms up. The attic is as cold as the outside. To say the least, I am not looking forward to it, especially since I have a difficult time letting go. Wish me luck

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  18. Your attic project sounds like it might be fun...there may be things that you have forgotten about! When we cleaned out our lower level before the renovations I sold a lot of things on usedvictoria and the rest we donated...it's amazing how fast one can accumulate "stuff!"
    Good luck!

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  19. Looks like some delicious eating to me. Makes one wish they could pull up a chair!

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  20. Oh my gosh, Robert and I went for a mini break to Seattle, and one day at an ihop lunch followed by an Olive Garden supper, and I gained two pounds! I know that in the large scheme of things two pounds isn't a big deal, but it's so much better for me to get on top of it right away rather than ignore it for a week.

    You are so lucky on the island. Our snow drops are really only in the thinking about peeking up stage. I do have a sprig of heather and some pussy willows beside my bed though. I adore winter blooming plants and try to grow as many as possible. Actually, have you ever read the Beverly Nichols Merry Hall books? The most charming books. He goes on and on about winter blooming flowers. Speaking of book, the Ines de la Fressange book is one of my most favourites. X

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  21. I haven't read any of Beverly Nichols books but a friend has all of his and has offered to loan them to me...I am reading Louise Penny right now and then I 'll read the book Paris to the Moon...so many great books to choose from...we are fortunate are we not?

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  22. First, we own all the same 'favorite' books, lol!! Second, that Bouillabaise looks amazing! Do you share recipes?? And lastly, I am a McCoy collector (do not add any more though) and noticed your jardinieres with cooking utensils - I love that!

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