Archive of ‘Life’ category

The January Cleanse

il_fullxfull.710656326_5q8cRyan and I like to do a light detox every January (I posted about past ones here and here, and about the yoga class that almost ended all my resolutions here). If you don’t feel like clicking, basically we just cut out meat, alcohol, dairy, and junk from our diets and amp up our work outs a bit for a week or two. Enough to say we did something, but never enough to really feel much different. This year we went bigger.

clean-the-book-largeWe decided to complete the full three weeks of the Clean program. I was sold on this cleanse over others based on a few things:

  1. You get to eat. No juice fasts for me please, thanks.

  2. I noticed a healthy dose of Western medical information mixed in. My father’s a surgeon and I have great respect for modern medicine. I needed a cleanse that fell somewhere between, “Take some Rx liver medication and call me in the morning”, and, “Let’s cleanse our Chakras today!!!”.

  3. Gwyneth said it works. Say what you will, girl looks amazing.

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We took the easy route and downloaded the ebook to my phone for the cleanse info (which was good because it was 75% testimonial stories and only about 25% pertinent facts), and purchased the hard copy of the cookbook that accompanies the cleanse.

Pretty much, if it’s in here, you can eat it. There are a few non-cleanse recipes, but they are well marked. So we embarked on three weeks of no wine, no coffee, no gluten, no sugar, no dairy and only 1 solid meal a day. Yeah, breakfast is a smoothie and dinner is a pureed soup. I thought it was going to be impossible, but it is really incredibly easy. The big lunch meals from the cook book all taste like spa food and are so good that I don’t miss the 100’s of ingredients I’m not allowed to use. In fact, there is only one single solitary thing that is difficult. Coffee. I want my coffee!!!!!!!

That’s where the chai comes in. I’ve always liked it, but usually as a latte from Starbucks with all sorts of sugar and dairy additives that I can’t have now. After about a week of no coffee, every cell in my body was begging for it. We had a morning meeting that required celebration (more on that in a few weeks), so I decided to cheat and get a small cup. Heaven. So while caffeine is definitely on the NO list with the Cleanse Program, I’ve found that the minimal amount of caffeine in a cup of brewed chai is just enough to perk me up without getting jittery. If I didn’t have it I might just quit the cleanse altogether, so it’s actually a good thing that I’m cheating a little…right? That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

 

New Year’s Eve

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Yup, just call me Smoothie Queen. My New Year’s Eve started with a bright green vegetable smoothie. The “I’ve eaten my body weight in cheese and wine this month” detox/cleanse doesn’t begin until tomorrow, but I thought I would test out one of the recipes today. It tasted…healthy.

I offered some to the kids, and they both jumped at the chance (I think they assumed I’d added fruit to the mix). Lilly tried first, then slowly backed away in horror. She didn’t make a sound, which could have saved Nate. He, not seeing her face, took a swig of my kale-watercress-beet mixture. What Lilly expressed with silent disgust, Nate expressed by immediately throwing up on the kitchen floor. Ryan declined a taste, but with three weeks of my smoothie concoctions in our future, I’m sure he’ll get his turn.

Note to self: add a little fruit to the smoothies.

Looking Back On 2014

IMG_4077  As 2014 draws to a close, I am enjoying some time off. We close up the shop from December 20th until after the New Year, and use the time for relaxation, reflection and planning.

This year was the best yet for both family life and work life. We bought a new home with a large studio space, which has allowed us to separate work-life from home-life with the simple closing of a door. We created new product lines (and have a few more in the works!), continued our partnerships with other companies such as Nordstrom, Martha Stewart American Made and Preserve.

In November we traveled to New York City to attend the Martha Stewart American Made Summit. We have been a part of the American Made Market since February of this year, when they reached out to us personally to invite us to join the marketplace. We visited the Martha Stewart Headquarters for the first time this summer, and were excited to return for the Summit.

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At the opening night cocktail party

 

Heading to the Summit bright and early.

Heading to the Summit bright and early.

Our spoons were included in a pop-up marketplace at the Summit, so of course we had to take a few photos with our creations.

Posing with our spoons at the pop-up market.

Posing with our spoons at the pop-up market.

By the end of the event they had nearly sold out of our entire inventory!

By the end of the event they had nearly sold out of our entire inventory!

Of course, the highlight of the trip was hearing Martha herself talk about running a business. We decided to make The American Made Summit an annual trip because it was the perfect motivator heading into the busiest season of the year. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    After the Summit ended, we stayed in New York another day to do some shopping and digest everything we learned. We even found some great antique shops, and somehow I couldn’t convince Ryan that we needed this guy for the studio.

He really wanted to come home with us, but wouldn't fit in the overhead bin.

He really wanted to come home with us, but wouldn’t fit in the overhead bin.

As soon as we were home from New York, the Holiday season began in full swing and we spent many long nights in the studio creating the gifts our customers selected. As December 20th neared, the last thing we wanted to do was close up the shop to immerse ourselves in the Holiday madness of crowds and traffic and malls. So we did the only sane thing and skipped it in favor of four long days in the mountains of North Carolina. There were less presents under the tree, but it was worth it to light a fire and hole up here: IMG_4051The opposite side of the cabin hung off the top of a mountain, which was the perfect place to have our coffee every morning. IMG_4042The best part was being able to convince my parents to join us. My mother is very into Christmas, so pulling her away from decorations and shopping for the four days leading up to Christmas Eve was no easy task. I think she gave in because of our plans to visit the Biltmore Estate to take in their 63 trees and lavish decorations (not to mention their winery!). We also spent a day antiquing (a pastime I learned from her), so she had a lot of fun in spite of the timing of the trip.

Our clan at Biltmore.

Our clan at Biltmore.

Now we are spending the remainder of the year relaxing around the house with the kids and making plans for 2015. We are in the early stages of another partnership and laying the groundwork for a few new product lines. The silverware boxes are fully re-stocked and ready for action come January. And after another week of unwinding with my family, I will be too.

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