I hope you had an amazing holiday! Ours was incredible in that we really did absolutely nothing other than hang out.  Tomorrow (Monday) will be our first day back at work in two weeks.  (!!)  Dave & I were both in serious need of a recharge and we got it.  We haven’t slowed down like that in a year or so…  I feel so much better.

We baked cookies with the boys…

 

I actually took a little time to wrap gifts…  (instead of my usual shoving them in to reused bags that may or may not say “happy birthday” on them 😉

 

 

We settled into our new family room (the old design office) and created a little art studio space for the boys…

 

The boys camped out in the family room in front of a the tree for a couple of nights and then Dave & I set up the air mattress and must have spent almost every night of our holiday there, watching movies and staying up late.  = so fun!!!

 

 

There were lots of sword fights…

…and we celebrate Justin’s 4th birthday.  He wore the antlers he made for his preschool pageant the entire day.  (below)  Although he’s a little bit of an introvert, he absolutely LOVES to get dressed up in accessories or costumes.

 

{Lou, Dave & Justin}

We also organized so much of the house and cooked  a ton.  I brought home some of the handprinted Eco Sacks from our shop (by Oh Little Rabbit) and the inside of my fridge is actually pretty.  It’s one of those tiny little details that makes me disproportionately happy:

 

{Yes, I have a cheese problem.}

One of the hi-lights of our time off was when a beautiful package of champagne and Vosges chocolates arrived from Julia Molloy & her team at Molloy Management.  (pic below) We had a champagne & truffle tasting with the boys (chocolate only 😉 and it was so much fun!!!  It came with instructions on “how to eat a truffle” and the boys are now adept at taking here three ujjayi breaths before tasting the first bite of a truffle.  Our chocolate tasting morphed into a cheese tasting and we tried a few new cheeses we’d gotten recently.  I videotaped a conversation between Justin (4) and Christian (6) debating which cheese was their favorite.  It went something like this:

               Justin:  “I love the 6 month manchego.”

              Christian: “No, the 3 month manchego is better!”

Ridiculous.  (But I agree with Justin.)

Lately we’ve been having such a good time tasting and enjoying new foods together.  I try to include the boys in our tastings and I love seeing their palettes develop.  The tasting gift set from Julia was filled with some crazy truffles like a curry dusted one and they absolutely loved it.  Reading the truffle eating instructions (which included ujjayi breaths and reading about each truffle and what was in each one and the history behind them) made it so much more interesting than simply gorging on the chocolate like I normally do.  (I really do…  I’ve housed a couple of boxes of chocolates this Season alone.  Wups.)

 

{So speaking of Julia Molloy (whom I’m crazy about) …  it’s been about a year since I “met” her when in search of some help with streamlining my business.  She has been invaluable and our goals feel so much more clear and obtainable since Julia’s been helping us.  I can’t sing her praises enough and if you’re a designer and haven’t checked out her blog yet,you need to asap!!  She offers so many different types of services & programs depending upon what you need and the blog alone is packed with good info and advice. }

Anyway…  We’ve been doing a lot of cooking from recipes over break and I’m gaga for Plenty, my newest cookbook, full of vegetarian dishes.  (I don’t have more than a few cookbooks and although we’re pretty big meat eaters, I’m in love with this one!!  We’ll often pair the meals with meat or add some in.)  Plenty’s so beautiful, I keep it on the coffee table.  Here’s a pic of a chickpea fennel carrot stew we added chicken to…

 

 

It was topped with pesto & fresh basil leaves and it was Heaven!!  We ate most dinners in the dining room by candlelight (our chandelier isn’t yet on a dimmer 😉 which we all love…

 

 

Having some time away from work has been so good for me.  I’m the type of person who gets really consumed by my job (I love it!!) but I’ve realized over the years that downtime is so key.  Honestly, it took a couple of days for the break to even sink in.  I had to make a concerted effort to keep my phone (emails!) away and just be.  I’m going to make more of an effort to add some breaks into our life this next year because I’ve missed my guys so much.  Having the studio/ shop open on Saturdays in December (and having only 1 real day a week with them) wasn’t a great situation for us.  We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about it and have decided that for now, we’ll have the shop open on weekdays as planned and will have weekend hours on select dates each month and by appointment.  We’ll keep the website updated and will post the dates there.   (If & when we’re ready to have full weekend hours, we’ll go there.)

 

 

I’ll be back soon but wanted to wish you a happy new year!!! Thank you so much for coming along with me (and reading through the typos!!) on this ride.   When I started the blog a few years ago, I had no idea what an impact all of you would have on my life.  I really can’t thank you enough for the support and kindness you’ve all sent my way.  I started in this business five years ago feeling determined, yet alone and anxious…  scared.  And now I feel excited and a part of things… so much more confident, truly, thanks to you.  There have been ups & downs for sure, rejections and bad business moves, but there have also been yes’s, tons of new friendships & an opening up of beautiful families and homes to us.  I can’t thank you enough for being here.  Whenever I meet one of you in person, it’s so cool and it feels like meeting a friend.  Big hug.