Play Pretend: J. Hannah Stylist

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

It’s been a while since we’ve played pretend in this space. In honor of J. Hannah’s biannual sale (going on now until June 16, 2021), I decided to dress-up imaginary personnel with jewelry from the brand – jewelry that happens to be 20% OFF! It goes without saying that I’m a fan, considering the number of posts I’ve published in this space touting this line. I truly believe it’s a brand founded on good ideals (that is, reduce, reuse, recycle) and worthy of the generation that ascribes to the mantra “less-is-more”. Her collection is inclusive of different groups, and is comparatively affordable considering you’d only need one set of high-quality jewelry. Timeless in its lack of glitz and glam, this is the one set I invest in- and wear every day. Below, I imagine how it could function similarly for others.

For the tomboy.

1. Identity Necklace II 2. Classic Cigar Band 3. Signet Ear Cuff 4. Identity Bracelet II 5. Carob Nailpolish

For the bride.

1. Diamond Form Pendant 2. Duo Form Ring with Pave 3. Duet Earrings 4. Agnes Polish

For the proper one.

1. Akoya Polish 2. Glace Stud Earrings 3. Oval Mabe Pearl Pendant 4. Clara Bracelet 5. Demi Signet Pearl Ring

For the rebel.

1. Identity Bracelet II 2. Ghost Ranch Polish 3. Chess Inlay Signet 4. Inlay Signet Pendant 5. Tetra Hoops II

For the vintage type.

1. Miso Polish 2. Era Locket 3. Glace Hoop Earrings 4. Demi Signet Diamond

For the modern minimalist.

1. Form Ring I 2. Form Ring II 3. Initial Signet Pendant 4. Form Hoops I 5. Chanterelle Polish

Wardrobe Options for a Tiny Space.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

It has been 2.5 years since we moved into our home and we’ve finally got ourselves a closet! You read that right. There are no doors inside our home (not even to the bedroom or the bathroom) and the only closet we own lies on the first floor (which we rent out), tucked underneath a stairwell. Home projects, like all other things in my life, take time. Especially when we insist on doing upgrades ourselves. They also imbue more meaning. I remember the day we bought this space and Mike helped my cousin patch walls and remove wood flooring. I remember my 31st birthday which was spent painting our bathroom an egret white with my parents. I remember that Spring day that Mike and I laid down plastic tiles and fake grass on our balcony, not knowing how long we would be kept indoors … not knowing it would be a year later, and we’d still be wondering. All these things are not only labors of love, but considered essential work for a life of practicality, frugality, and intentionality.

I am a firm believer in the importance of going through the slog, so that we might grow. And rather than paying someone to inlay an undoubtedly beautiful custom wardrobe, we prefer to pinch our pennies and make wishes with our eyes shut tight – so as to be free from the 9-5 grind that most people call life. I mean, decisions such as these are the reasons why I was able to quit a job that I disliked without any future job in place during a pandemic, or why I can afford to work two days a week in my profession in order to pursue other interests such as baking, dog-sitting, and writing.

Despite my exuberance around its inception, it is, after all, just a closet.

All of this to say that the pride I feel from finally having a closet comes from the very days in which I held out “just a little longer” to find the solution that sat well with my values – a solution that was frugal, environmental, practical, and simple. One could never know the would-have-been but I would wager that if I hired a contractor to build me a more beautiful wardrobe inlaid into that tiny crevice behind the showerhead, I might have felt a hint of anti-climactic disappointment or regret at our hard-earned dollars being spent.

When you wait for 2.5 years for the solution that you feel is right in your heart, there is no space left for “what-ifs”. You’ve already imagined and therefore lived out in your mind the alternatives. The right things come to you at the right time. I am a believer in that, too.

This project cost me $149 – which was the cost of the Tarva dresser from Ikea. The labor was donated by me and Mike. We took out the existing built-in cabinet using hammer, screw-driver, and little force. The wall behind it was rough, and the floor was disgusting, a collection of dead bugs, cat litter, and dust bunnies. None of them were a match for my favorite cleaning tool – this vacuum, which is the most expensive and worthy appliance I have ever purchased. Now that the dresser is in place elevated by some legs, I live in peace knowing that I can vacuum the floor underneath it. Mike sanded the walls and added plaster before repainting it our beloved egret white. We had to remove a bit of baseboard, but other than that, the process was easy going and took perhaps 5 hours, including building the dresser from scratch.

In the meantime, these were some of the swoon-worthy dressers I dreamt of, but none of them ended up being the one.

  1. This White Armoire from CB2.
  2. A Vintage Cane Armoire from Anthropologie.
  3. A Cheaper Version of the Cane Armoire from UO.
  4. A Modern Wardrobe from West Elm.
  5. This Slim Minimalist Open Wardrobe from West Elm.

A word to those carving a similar path.

  • Love what you’ve got.
  • Think long and hard.
  • Be patient.
  • Believe in the one.

I live my life as follows. When it’s right, I’ll know.

Vintage Inspired with a Minimalist Twist: My Review of J. Hannah’s Millennially Coveted Jewelry

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

I’ve recently written about how much I fancy the jewelry brand, J. Hannah – the jewelry line, fashioned by a twenty-something Los Angelican, that prides itself in sustainability by using upcycled gold and refurbished stones. J. Hannah’s timeless designs mimic vintage styles from my grandmother’s era while winning the covetousness of Californian millennials, myself included. The brand encapsulates my ideals of worthy jewelry, which is an outward extension of one’s personality that defines style rather than maintain fashion. Jewelry, in my humble opinion, should not be viewed as an accessory, but instead act as a complement to what already exists. I found myself drawn to the brand after recognizing the kindred spirit within its founder and maker, since then acquiring pieces from the collection that are a form of self-extension as well as self-expression. To find out if the price is worth the value that J. Hannah brings, you only need to read below.

Related Posts:

Adorning a modern woman today does not mean what it did during my mother’s time. My mother views jewelry as an embellishment, as well as a suggestion of one’s status and wealth. To a modern woman, the intellect is a better marker for both of those things. This is not to say that jewelry is demoted to something less-than, but it indicates why it is less necessary to be flashy or exuberant. On the contrary, outlandish accessories have negative connotations such as insecurity or a need for attention. In today’s world, boisterous external expression can be misconstrued as a lacking of internal substance. We have the changing times to thank for that.

Jewelry, like any accessory, is best when muted, so as not to detract from the real heroine, which is the wearer themself. Jewelry should not represent beauty, but accentuate it. Likewise, bits and baubles are not meant to mask imperfection and should certainly not usurp the winning qualities of a modern gal. If anything, ostentatious jewelry could compete with more valued traits such as confidence or a winning presence.

J. Hannah understands and incorporates all of these ideals. If jewelry is a true extension of the self, then it should follow that it remain versatile, timeless, and expressive. A modern woman is an evolutionary being, not than a static representation. Jewelry, then too, should have the same capabilities – evolving in significance while fitting into whatever purpose the wearer chooses to pursue. J. Hannah is jewelry for living with, as well as living in – a style for the vintage inclined as well as the most contemporary of persons. Made for the truest of self-expressive intentions, it is jewelry that was never meant to be taken off.

For every wearer, there is a style that has one’s name emblazoned on it. I, myself, gravitated towards the Form Hoop I earrings, for their strong structure and rounded softness. Miniature at best, each classic hoop barely makes their way around the lobe of my ears. They hug so snugly that they are quite literally an extension of myself, always 100% in contact with my skin, so that I forget I am donning them and occasionally fall asleep with them on. Simple, tiny, and understated, but with a solid depth to them and a characteristic certainty, these earrings are exemplary of who I wish to be as a person.

I was also gifted the Objet Pendant necklace by Mr. Debtist, which I think is an appropriate gift from the person who knows me best. The pendant is a seemingly minimalist and simple piece that holds a secret – its complex design as a disguised box. (A similar secret exists in the Niche Ring). The diversity of the necklace comes from its ability to hold both sentimental mementos as well as practical, ordinary objects. This list includes a spare hair-tie, an Advil, a resolution, a precious stone, or a tiny tooth. The flush lid with a snap closure makes the true purpose of the container unbeknownst to everyone except the wearer, its contents made even more private by its illusory, elusive appearance. It is especially representative of my lifestyle, archetypal of both the multi-functional and the abstract, a necklace made for a Gemini.

I wear both of these pieces daily and to every occasion. Marked with the JH emblem as well as a 925 engraving that signals true silver, these pieces are durable enough to withstand boxing classes, professional enough to wear to the dental office, and delicate enough to accompany me to special occasions. Gone are the days of acquiring pieces based solely on beauty, or even value. Jewelry has now transformed into physical translations of your personal statement. On my radar are J. Hannah’s Pivot Ring I, a fidget spinner to calm the anxieties of everyday life, and the Demi Signet. The latter has a Japanese Akoya cultured pearl in lieu of the engravings traditionally centered on such rings. “Historically, pearls have signified the wisdom of experience; they are totems of protection and luck; they are symbols of balance, strength, and calm energy.” Pearls also happen to be my birthstone. The demi signet reminds me of something my grandmother would have worn, but with a smaller profile made for the pinkies of today. I imagine a woman well-versed in proper etiquette, but at the same time, able to voice the most difficult of positions.

If you wish to peruse the collection yourself, feel free to do so using this affiliate link. You may stumble upon a piece that calls your name.

Spring Forward with Parachute’s Brushed Cotton Sheets

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

About a year ago, we invested in the most laid-back, beautifully wrinkled, perfectly tossed linen sheets by Parachute Home. The color was a rich Terra Cotta that never faded despite frequent washing. The linen stayed intact in the face of a forever-kneading cat whose claws I may have forgotten to trim. And there was hardly any pilling involved. We loved our linen duvet cover, but since then I have turned over a new leaf.

Related Posts:

I know not why, but I go through phases like the ocean tide. I will be really into the easy look and low maintenance of linen, then get attracted to the crisp, coolness of cotton. We had switched to the latter for our duvet cover last Fall, trading in our cozy orange cover on Poshmark for a bit of cash that allowed us to buy Parachute’s clean-cut, double-sided brushed cotton duvet. It has been six months and I have yet to go back.

When they advertised the duvet cover as brushed cotton, I did not realize just how soft it would be. It feels buttery to the touch, and that’s not just baker-talk. It feels akin to sleeping in an old tee. I have slept soundly since making the switch, and my husband has commented that it keeps him quite cool in the evenings, even with a fluffy cat between our heads. Like Parachute’s other products, these are made in a 100% family-owned factory in Portugal. It is OEKO TEX certified which means it does not contain harmful chemicals or synthetics.

We were able to snag the double-sided duvet cover, which is ivory on one side and a dark, sage green on the other. It is low-key still available as a sheet set and duvet cover under the ever-so-secret Last Chance section of Parachute where you can find older products at up to 40% OFF. I had it on the dark side all winter and it really muted the room in a way that supported lattes in bed and hours of sleep. For Spring, I just recently gave it a good wash (which I recommend doing every other week) and flipped it over to it’s ivory side. It’s absolutely gorgeous, especially under this mood lighting that teases me with the possibility of rain.

The difference between the linen duvet cover and this one is that the linen cover looks good messy. This does not. Which isn’t so bad since it forces me to make my bed every morning, whereas the linen cover was left alone most of the time. The esthetics were improved after throwing a bright white quilt over it during the colder months. This quilt from Parachute looks like the ticket, although ours was purchased many moons ago when Mike and I had no dollars to our name and we were walking the aisles of Target in search of something to keep us from freezing in the garage we were calling a bedroom. Never mind that our quilt was meant for a Full/Queen bed instead of the California King we now sleep on. Either way, what the brushed duvet cover lacks in careless style, it makes up for in class and comfort.

For the best effect, I would recommend mixing and matching the two fabrics. I have seen photos of the terra linen sheets partnered with the ochre brushed cotton duvet on Parachute’s website, and it is heavenly. We actually kept these linen pillowcases that were gifted to me by my mom on my last birthday, and I find it keeps the room looking less stark. Coupled with the textures of our aforementioned quilt, and the marriage between textiles is pure unicorn magic. Any minimalist could agree that the secret to a barren room is texture.

In the end, it boils down to a matter of what vibe you want in your space. The trade happened around the same time we remodeled our couch with a white linen Bemz cover. It used to be a cotton navy blue color that the Soderhamn couch was sold with. At the same time, we sold our wooden West Elm Mid-Century modern media console on Offer Up and used the proceeds towards this minimalist Ikea one, which better suited our vibe (read also as: better fit our record player). The auburn linen duvet cover that sold out twice from Parachute perfectly matched the previous couch and console, but once we made both switches, the linen cover started to feel out of place.

To be honest, I knew nothing about my home style preferences prior to last-year’s stay-at-home mandate. Initially, I thought I was a bohemian, mid-century modern, Eichler-loving gal. I chose wood pieces in walnut, bright jewel tones for my textiles, and big leafy plants. But after having to actually stay at home for many months, I started to realize that both my space and myself were more aligned with clean lines and simple shapes in the neutral colors of white, beige, gray, and black. It isn’t what I envisioned a creative’s space would look like. But perhaps I need the blank walls to inspire my creations. I guess I feel more at peace when I have a structured space to live and work in.

The best thing I could have done last year to improve my lifestyle was to invest in my home. Little upgrades made big differences, both in my productivity, as well as the quality of my work. Add to that a sense of calm and serenity that helped me relax on my days off, and you’ve got the perfect equation for a well-balanced life. I truly enjoyed my quarantine life and that isn’t because I’m introverted. I believe it has something to do with finding my niche, and when one finds that perfect space where they are most themselves, well, that qualifies as finally being truly at home.

Morning Coffee with Fellow

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more. 

We have been big fans of Fellow for a long time. Our favorite stove-top kettle has been their matte black Stagg Kettle for many years, and we aren’t about the change that anytime soon. Fellow has since then launched their own line of products that allow for an all-Fellow pour-over set-up. The pour-over set includes Fellow-specific filters, a grinder, coffee containers, and even drinking vessels. They’ve also upped their kettle kettle game to an electric version that is efficient in heating water. Luckily, our friends have the entire Fellow line-up and I wanted to share what the experience was like in this honest review.

Related Posts:

Electric Stagg Kettle

One of the biggest upgrades Fellow has made is to provide an electric option for its famous Stagg Kettle. A benefit of an electric kettle is the quick temperature increase as well as accurate temperature setting. This is imperative for coffee lovers everywhere as the temperature of the water affects the quality of the cup of coffee. I am here to attest that the electric version heats up way quicker than the stove-top, taking less than half the time! There is also an option to hold the temperature consistently for up to 60 minutes. You want the water to be consistently at the same temperature during the entire pour-process. And for the more technical coffee drinkers, there is also a stopwatch that allows one to time the pour, which is another important factor for creating the optimal cup of Joe. Nerdier than that? The EKG+ also has Bluetooth connectivity to the Acaia Brewbar Tablet App! Lastly, the electric version is easier to maintain in top-notch condition, as the bottom isn’t exposed to constant scraping against the grates of a stove. Our traditional Stagg kettle has been well-loved and its daily use has resulted in the peeling of the black film on the bottom, exposing the metal silver color. It still works well, but the aesthetics isn’t so great. When the time comes for us to retire Ole Faithful, we may opt for the electric version.

Ode Brew Grinder

In addition to the electric Stagg, Fellow has released its own grinder called the Ode Brew Grinder. The grinder works well for a pour-over, but it isn’t the ideal grinder if you also own an espresso machine. It has a limited range of coarseness when it comes to grinding and it’s finest setting isn’t really that fine. Typically, pour-overs have a coarser setting than an espresso machine and unfortunately, Fellow has created a grinder specifically for pour-overs. However, if you are strictly a drip coffee kind of person, then the Fellow machine delivers! It gets bonus points for it’s matte-black, minimalist aesthetic and simple-to-use dial. One must note that it cannot hold more than a pour’s worth of beans. Unlike other grinders which allow you to dump an entire bag of whole beans into its funnel, Fellow has eliminated the large hopper, likely for improved aesthetics and reduced wasted space. Sadly, their hopper only holds about 40 grams of coffee beans. The grinder also comes with a magnetically aligned catch that would be perfect if not for the rim, which actually causes a good amount of fly-away coffee grinds. At least the built-in knocker reduces coffee retention. A positive note for parents out there: the grinder does display significant noise reduction and is much quieter than the coffee grinder we own.

Pour-Over Set

Fellow has created a pour over set to compete with companies such as Chemex, Kalita Wave, and Hario’s V-60. Let’s start with the dripper itself. Just by looking at it, I wasn’t expecting much in terms of quality to be honest – but I was pleasantly surprised! The dripper has a flat bottom like the Kalita Wave and a very tall column-like shape. I thought that this structure would affect the taste of the pour-over since a majority of the coffee would be sitting at the bottom of the dripper and the column-like shape would keep the grounds stagnant. However, I was amazed at the brightness of the cups of coffee this pour over set made! It may be due to the holes at the bottom of the dripper, which are many and angled at different directions. The dripper works very quickly, moving the water through the coffee and into the glass carafe in half the time that a Chemex would. Perhaps this reduced contact with the coffee and the aeration resulting from the quickly moving, angled drip is what causes the coffee to taste bright. It’s actually a great dripper for novices who aren’t much into the intricacies of creating the perfect cup. This allows for easier, faster brewing with less effort. A great design for the masses! Plus it comes in two sizes. I favor the taller size, so that I could make coffee for all my friends, too!

I am also in love with the 20-ounce double-wall, hand blown, borosilicate glass carafe. It retains heat very well, and there is no condensation at all in the glass. The carafe is cool on the outside and comfortable to hold. Additionally, the lip makes pouring the coffee from carafe to mug quite enjoyable! There is no handle, but the neck is slim enough for my tiny hands. And if you like to sip your coffee, there is a silicone lid included which keeps your “pot” of coffee hot while you enjoy portions throughout the day! It is truly a well-crafted piece.

The only thing I do not like about the pour-over system is their highly specific filters. Since the dripper looks nothing like the other drippers on the market, you essentially have to buy Fellow coffee filters to use this pour-over set. The filters have wide folds, which means when water is poured in a circular motion, some water may be poured outside of the filter. My recommendation is to pour in a zig zag motion, since the circular motion is less relevant with a column-shaped dripper. The set pack includes 30 filters. It may also concern frugalists that the pour-over set is at a higher price point, costing $99.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I would recommend Fellow’s entire line-ups for novice coffee drinkers who primarily drink drip coffee, value aesthetics and can afford the higher price point. It really does make for a beautiful set up in a minimalist kitchen, and you can feel the quality of each product. I can see Fellow’s products lasting and they have a timeless look about them, too. If you’d like to drink great tasting coffee effortlessly, I would recommend starting with this Social Kit, which includes the electric kettle and the pour-over set with the larger sized dripper. Since I do not love the grinder, I am grateful that this set does not include it. You can always buy the Fellow grinder if you want it to match the Social Kit, but I would recommend going with a different one if you have an espresso machine at home. Speaking of espressos, Fellow has wonderful drinking vessels. These stackable Monty Milk Art Cups are so sleek in black and come in three variable sizes for all your favorite espresso-based drinks.

J. Hannah: A Jewelry Line that Rings True

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

J. Hannah is a brand after my own heart, and the founder, Jess Hannah Revesz, is a kindred spirit. She has been described as a minimalist, chic fashionista but when I read her interviews, I see her as more of a muted, sophisticated, ethereal soul practicing restrained maximalism through intentional design choices – and it translates well to her jewelry line.

Growing up, my mother, who was a fashionista in the truest sense of the word, would always describe my style as “old age”. Despite her efforts to mold me into someone who loved diamonds, glitter and glam, my calling remained with materials that portrayed their travels through time – like iron that rusts, silver that dulls, and linens that yellow. So it only makes sense that I fell in love with a jewelry line that mimics vintage styles using 100% recycled materials of the finest quality – the epitome of making something new of old. In fact, 100% of J. Hannah’s cast gold and diamonds are recycled.

When Jess began her company, she was herself making each and every piece. As the company grew, she has maintained that level of sustainability. It goes beyond sourcing truly good materials, although she does that too. Her efforts extend throughout the entire company, from employment to packaging. All employees are guaranteed a fair wage and good working environments. The packaging remains as plastic free as possible. And the products? Well, they remain hand-made.

The collection of jewelry contains styles you would have found in your grandmother’s vanity drawer. Signet rings and hoop earrings dot the online catalog, with modern takes on pendants and lockets mixed in for good measure. Despite the vintage inspiration, the pieces have been updated for the modern woman. This pivot ring, for example, which mimics a fidget spinner, helpful during high anxiety days filled with plenty of work and daily goings-on. Or this Objet Pendant, reminiscent of lockets that used to hold your loved one’s photo or note, but can now be used to hold a back-up hair tie, an Advil, a CBD mint, or a special quartz talisman. My absolute favorite, though, is this niche ring – the perfect be-all, end-all wedding ring for life. Speaking of wedding rings, Hannah recently co-founded a company solely focused on matrimony, called Ceremony.

Far from simply having good, clean, modern design, part of what caught my attention was J. Hannah’s consideration for even the minutest of details. I found it endearing that the company released their own nail polish to fully capture the overall esthetics. In other words, “Why stop at the jewelry itself?” With playful names such as Patina and Eames, the polish collection really pays homage to things of the past, while introducing an application for this generation of young women. They are pleasingly unexpected shades that my mother would never approve of, that which resembles the color of mold and miso soup (Miso, by the way, is my favorite hue). But they are colors that are true to me, each once matching my jewelry. J. Hannah’s big picture mindfulness coupled with extreme scrutiny of the little things that add to the whole is a mirroring of the way I myself approach the world.

Lastly, I would like to leave you with J. Hannah’s words about owning jewelry, in general.

 “Never taken off” is how we want our customers to wear their jewelry, but it’s also a context for their purchase. We do not expect people to be able to afford our jewelry on a whim—it’s a luxury product. We see a lot of language used in our industry that tells women “this product will empower you” or “you need and deserve this,” as though jewelers are providing something necessary or benevolent, which is such a fiction. Jewelry is extra, it’s fun. It’s special and rare and expensive and hopefully something the customer will deeply consider as a special purchase that will last them a lifetime. We envision our customer as someone who saves up for that perfect piece of jewelry they’ve wanted for so long, or to commemorate a major life event. Hopefully they will pass it down one day as an heirloom. This feels closer to reality, which is important when we are continually exposed to entire Instagram feeds that promote excess as the norm. The prevalence of fast fashion works against us in so many ways and everything comes back to sustainability. Trend-based shopping is a wasteful pursuit. If the consumer started thinking about their purchases from a cost per wear perspective, it could change the whole design industry.

-J. Hannah in an interview with Forbes magazine

J. Hannah’s jewelry is far from cheap. It is actually very expensive. But the price reflects quality, as well as a way of living. It accounts for the difficulty in finding sustainable materials, as well as providing well for those who make our stuff. It is meant to change your spending habit, as well as the way you view the fashion industry. Not everyone can go out and buy themselves a J. Hannah ring, just because. Nobody, in my opinion, should. Restraining ourselves from whimsical purchasing of products will rewire our brains to not satisfy our wants so immediately, as well as build a higher sense of value for what we do spend money on. I am all for it.

How to Save for a J. Hannah ring

Why A Kitchen Reno Is Not Happening Any Time Soon

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

Sometimes, this space is as much for my readers as it is for me – a place where I can store letters to myself or record the reasoning behind this experimental project which I call life. Today, it serves as the latter, although my readers may find the value in it too; A kind note to myself as to why a kitchen renovation is not in the cards in our near future, and why that is perfectly okay.

I toyed with the idea of re-doing our kitchen in December, after visiting a few friends who underwent just that. Their pretty white cabinets and shining appliances made an impression on me and had me stumbling down a rabbit hole of quartz countertops and custom-made wooden doors. In my musings, I mulled over all the flaws of our tiny kitchen space – the creaking faucet that is sure to break any minute now, the super thin metal sink banged up from carelessness, the water-logged floorboards caused by a leak every time we ran the dishwasher left undiagnosed until three plumbers later, the oven that clicks without a fan in the rear, the plastic microwave with its sticky hooded vents, the peeling panels stickered onto the laminated cabinet doors and the crusty chipboard slowly giving up underneath these fake countertops – all the things that my dream kitchen did not have.

My consideration even went so far as physically going to Ikea, planning a kitchen with a consultant, getting quotes from the third party counter-top company and the installation crew, and coming up with a game plan to ensue renovation at a moment’s notice. As usual, my husband gave me pause and we agreed to dog-ear the project and revisit at a later month.

During which, all the things I love about the kitchen re-surfaced. I had already written another note to myself about How to Fall In Love with a Kitchen but forgot it in the midst of celebrating all the newness of our friend’s “new” home. Which goes to show that sometimes, we need reminders of our love, such as that which I hold for my own space.

How it was my own bakery for a year of my life, how I know exactly the way my breads will turn out in this faithful oven of mine, how the light hits the fake-wood and adds a soft glow to my mornings and late afternoons, how the countertops never cause me worry and allow me to thoughtlessly spill sauce that would certainly stain marble and leave hot pans unattended which would certainly burn wood, how the kitchen fridge holds enough food for the three of us, how my dishwasher keeps my hands from drying out in the winter time, how we eat breakfast and prep meals around the free wooden island that came with the house and those fold-up-Ikea chairs, how there is just enough room to store all our belongings, how a cabinet in particular holds the exact dimensions needed for my beloved KitchenAid Mixer, how there is a very specific counterspace wide enough to house our espresso machine and coffee grinder, and how it brings me so much joy to stare at my kitchen from the couch, thanking my lucky stars that we get to call this abode our home.

With all of this recognition for our kitchen’s enoughness comes the flaws of doing a renovation. Redoing a kitchen would definitely put us behind on our loan repayment journey, which serves as our number one priority and biggest goal. Redoing a kitchen would take away time from our daily lives, as well as erase my bakery’s memories. Redoing a kitchen will unlikely bring us lasting happiness, as I continue to spill sauce on new countertops and drop things in a new sink while relearning the workings of a new oven. Lastly and most importantly, redoing a kitchen is not exactly what we are about.

In an effort to practice gratitude for what we already have, to live freely from working 9-5, and to live purposefully and to the fullest, I have decided after much consideration not to tackle the kitchen renovation. And while Instagram will feed me mementos as to why renovation is a must, I will be baking away in this darn kitchen, grateful for it supporting all my culinary endeavors, forgiving my experimental failures, and hosting my favorite people while learning and relearning the beauty in the aging of things and the growing of ourselves.

Other reminders and related posts:

Minimalist Holiday Decor with The Sill

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

When it comes to holiday decor, I stray not far from my minimalist tendencies. In much the same way that I favor living plant life for my everyday house decor, I celebrate the holidays in good cheer by littering Norfolk Island Pine on every available surface. Under the impression that “plants make people merry”, I truly feel that there is no better way to deck the halls than placing greenery in nook and cranny.

While my pine trees are purchasable from The Sill, I am also a huge supporter of traipsing about your backyard or neighboring wood to gather acorn, cedar garland, or other berry and evergreen available to you. For city dwellers, a trip to your local farmer’s market to collect eucalyptus could substitute. Or perhaps haul in the olive tree from the patio for a month.

In my opinion, spending isn’t a pre-requisite to decorating with greenery and perhaps there is romance in the acquiring act itself. However, if you’ve found yourself mid-December with nary a moment to plan, The Sill’s holiday collection has a holiday wreath and tree that I dearly love.

I myself own two of the Norfolk Pine Trees and move them about the home regularly. Sometimes, they keep my company in the dining area and kitchen. They also look good on either side of the bed, and occasionally find themselves perched on our media console. Like all plants from The Sill, one can choose their preferred planter. I chose the Grant planter in Cream for that minimalist look, although there is a jolly Holiday Red available. There are also two limited edition colors which are equally beautiful – Forest Green and Pale Gray. The Grant planter has no saucer, unlike The Met planter that I previously wrote about here, so it takes a greener thumb to know when to water and how much. When in doubt, go with less (my running advice for everything). You can shop the rest of the holiday collection here.

My favorite The Sill Plants for the Holidays

How To Care For Norfolk Island Pine

The Norfolk Island Pine is a coniferous wood that would have been extinct if not for a few of their kind surviving the Cretaceous Extinction Event. These few are situated in Norfolk Island in the Pacific, and have evolved to prefer warmer temperatures and ocean spray. The Sill recommends watering every 1-2 weeks with plant placement near medium to bright light. I occasionally mist my two trees in order to mimic the ocean sea, which I’m sure they miss dearly.

This post was sponsored by The Sill, a company delivering joy to people’s doorsteps in the form of foliage. Think of a food delivery system, but for plants. Based in NYC and California, The Sill has a few storefronts for locals to shop at, but they mostly operate via their contact-less delivery service. All content and opinions in this post are mine own, although I do thank you for supporting the companies that support this space. Happy holidays!