Is this fabulous?!! My very favorite winery, Darioush, used it in a message sent to me!

I haven’t created a new blog in some time as I’ve been learning how to do what the title says, in that order. . . . and I’m by no means at the “thrive” level yet! So here are some ideas, thoughts and images I hope you’ll enjoy.

Day 5 of truly staying home, or as they say “sheltering in place”. The advantages? No bra, no makeup, yoga clothes 24/7. Do you want to join me in a glass of wine mid-day? Kidding! Really. I have organized my closet (spectacularly, if I say so myself). I have vacuumed or swept daily as all 3 of my animals are shedding their winter coats, today I cleaned the bathrooms, and every hair on my face is plucked. The biggest decision I made yesterday was whether to wash my hair like a normal human being (yes, I did). So now I’m working…..

I read the latest issue of Architectural Digest and found an entire story on home office spaces. They run from the sublime to the ridiculous. I have a small office at home (we live in a very small home by choice as we’re empty nesters and want only spaces we use filled only with things we love (or in this case, serve a very specific, dual, purpose). My desk is an adjustable table from Wayfair that my friend and designer, Jim Williamson, suggested. I can leave it low and use as a coffee table or raise higher to desk level. Behind me is a credenza with office supplies & printer. I’ve got light from both windows and lamps and doors on two sides for privacy. When I’m not working it becomes a second seating area with a blue velvet sofa bed, two overstuffed chairs, the table and credenza. It works. The main thing if you are working from home and aren’t used to it, is to create a space that is specifically for W.O.R.K. When you sit in that place, you have an agenda, a space and privacy to get done what you need to get done. And, according to all the gurus out there, a sofa just won’t do as an office. Here are some of the designs out of AD:

Bored at home? Radio Times has a list of the 50 of the best movies on Netflix right now. Check out the list here.https://www.radiotimes.com/news/on-demand/2020-03-18/netflix-best-movies/

So what I’ve learned from this CO-VID 19 situation is this. The Serenity Prayer works wonders, we cannot predict when our lives will return to normal, and we can make the best of it! How often have you wished for time off? * How many times have you read a recipe or seen a cooking show and wanted to try it out but just haven’t had time (and yes, you an order food online for delivery or, of necessity, wear gloves-shop quickly with list and no lolly-gagging-and check out, run home, wash hands, wipe off containers and voila, you’re a young Julia Childs!! Here’s a list of things to enrich, educate, delight, connect and soothe you:

Let your children cook, make messes, learn – they’ll remember it and it may lead to the joy of both cooking and eating new things!

Note that my husband does all the cooking and I eat like I’m at a good food restaurant daily. But I am the baker. I used to bake bread weekly. I’m going to bake bread while I’m home. It’s therapeutic and produces a wonderful aroma, a chance to throw something against the top of the cabinet over and over and it’s DELICIOUS. My mother passed away last year and the earlier memories are now coming back clearly – she sat me up on the cabinet while she cooked and let me tear up lettuce, grab handfuls of chocolate chips and get nibbles. It’s one of my favorites. Here are a couple of recipes to try – one for you, one for your kids:

Potatoes Au Gratin

12 oz bacon, chopped & browned
2-1/2 c whipping cream
1-1/2 c whole milk
3-1/2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
8 oz arugula
2 cups grated gruyere cheese

Layer potatoes, salt/pepper, ½ arugula, 1/3 cheese, 1/3 bacon, 1 cup cream mix. Repeat Bake 1 hour 15 minutes at 350. Let set 15 minutes before serving

Mother’s Sugar Cookies

2/3 c butter flavored Crisco or butter 3/4 c sugar 1 egg 1-1/2 tsp baking soda 3/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp vanilla 1 tsp grated orange peel 2 c flour 4 tsp milk

Cream shortening/butter & sugar, ad egg, vanilla and orange peel and mix. Sift dry ingredients and blend two mixtures. CHILL DOUGH. Roll out and use cookie cutters or spoon out onto cookie sheet. Bake 350 til barely golden.

READ. I just finished a great book, Long Bright River, by Liz Moore. Its a mystery novel with a twist that it’s about a female police officer working a case and looking for her missing sister. I devoured it in one day. It was everything I look for in a book. in Audible, I’m going back & forth between Infinite Possibilities by Mike Dooley, and The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. They cover the same subject matter but the first is more cosmic (go to tut.com and subscribe to Notes from the Universe and you will be happy every time you receive the daily email) and one is by a Harvard researcher (Shawn, a young man who grew up in Waco and went to Harvard, where he became a researcher).

How often do we get to be fanciful with our children?

I was a working mother in an executive job most of my children’s lives. We took them to parks, played, cooked, swam, read to them and with them, took them to museums, movies, water parks and on vacations. But sometimes it was hurried. The moments that we invest in intentionally being with them is worth all the riches in the world. They’re eager to learn, play, and simple BE with us. Pull out all the stops while you have this precious time…..take them outside at least twice a day for sunshine and running and chasing and hiding. Make that fort out of blankets and stay in it as long as THEY want you to. Let them eat cookies for breakfast once in awhile and ice cream for dinner. Let them blow bubbles, take baths in the daytime with bubbles and toys and no matter the mess. Your presence, your joy in them will let them know all is well, all will be well and we are all together. And, by the way, I will not be hurried with people I love, forevermore.

Stay Safe, Be Kind to One Another, And Know That You Matter!

Until next time…..
gailya.silhan@compass.com 214.801.4417

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