Look how far we’ve failed

There have been a few things lately that I could count as failures and I will share them, because I said that I would not only share my successes but also what I learn from my not so successful ventures. It’s nothing too weighty but it forces me to think of how far I’ve come as well.

Thing number one: Using a wax seal to make a gorgeously finished letter (and then mailing it). Turns out, I used the wrong wax and the entire thing pulled away from the paper. Also, stamps are far more expensive than I last remembered and the letter in question still needs to make it to the mailbox!
I have learned that you need to use actual sealing wax to press a good pattern into and have it stick.

It actually looked much worse than this.

Thing number two: Making a cozy, creamy, comfort food, crock-pot chicken dish entirely without following a recipe. It would have been alright if I didn’t second guess how cooked the chicken was at the end of the first 4 hours. It looks awful now, after I cooked it several more hours, and I can’t bring myself to eat it.
Lesson learned: There can be some pink in cooked chicken as long as it’s the right texture.

Both of these things happening in the same week did get me a little down. I am a perfectionist after all. Yes, I know that I’m hard on myself and have difficulty accepting any real compliment. Doling them out to others is much easier. Last night, I was watching an old episode of The Great British Baking Show, with my parents. Before leaving, I thanked them for all the support and encouragement they give me and said “You’re awesome.” My dad shot back “You’re awesome!” and I accepted it super gracefully with a “meh”. He was quick to back up his statement, telling me to look at how far I’ve come. Maybe I’m not where I want to be, but I’m much closer than I was.

Thankfully, he is right and I think it’s true for a lot more people than just me. Let me pass on his encouragement to you. You’re awesome. Look how far you’ve come.

Soup Season

Our negative degree weather has finally caught up to us here in the Midwest. As I am striving to eat out less, make healthy options the only ones available at home, and enjoy the process, soup is a main staple! My great grandma used to make this amazingly cozy, ground beef and vegetable soup. While, unfortunately, we don’t have the recipe in our possession, my mother found a similar one on Pinterest and we modify it. I recently made a couple large batches and brought some to share with my coworkers. There’s just something about a warming, homemade soup and validation from non-family that it is, in fact, delicious. Chopping vegetables can be oddly therapeutic, not including the onions of course, and pretending that I live in a cozy cottage in the woods doesn’t hurt either.

Let me know if you want the recipe and modifications! Otherwise, here is a little video of happy soup-making time.

Stay warm, friends!

Hope and Sunshine

It’s finally the weekend and I’m sitting on my bed soaking up the sunshine streaming in through my window as I write. I find that inspiration strikes me the most when there is either sunshine, starlight, or pain to draw from.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I want to explore things that I’m fully present in and am passionate about so, I will touch on what some of those things tend to include.

Cooking~
Finding new combinations, learning about ingredients, making beautiful food, all of these things draw me to cooking and baking. A large part of finding things fulfilling or enjoyable for me, seems to involve the narrative I can imagine along with it. Even if it’s just putting some take-out into a pretty dish, cooking and baking is, for me, about how it looks as well as how it tastes.

Aesthetics~
The look and feel of things really enable me to escape to places that I may never get to visit or simply do not exist. After finding “cottagecore, academia, royalcore” and the world of classified groups of aesthetics, my interest in these areas has increased massively. The idea of finding and creating beauty in one’s own life fits into this wonderfully. “Aesthetics” can apply in many areas, but I have a crazy idea for a small business associated with this; more on that later.

Music~
While music has been a part of my life ever since I can remember, I do not practice or hone my skills in it as much as I wish to these days. Singing along with the radio does not count, though a happy thing. I haven’t had any vocal training, and it’s been years since my piano lessons, but one of my goals is to exercise these like I would a muscle. The day before yesterday, I got home from work, sat down and played piano for at least half an hour. It was cringey. My piano is out of tune. As with anything, practice will make this better. I know when I was singing regularly, my control and pitch were much improved.

Writing~
I think my longest standing career dream was to be an author. That dream has also changed but I still love to write. Like piano or singing, this is a creative muscle that I need to exercise to improve. I have never successfully finished a story. Endings are terribly difficult. This applies to my writing as well. Thankfully, blogging here will help me improve my writing and is a wonderful creative outlet to kind of hold my other interests.

Those are the main categories of things I hope to explore and grow in. There are, of course, many facets of this including travel, language, sewing, photography, and design. I want to make life beautiful.

Thank you for joining me.