life as i know it

My life the past few weeks has become a total whirlwind, all good but moving at the speed of light nonetheless. What’s going on you may wonder… have a seat and let me tell you.

For starters when I went back to work in the Fall it was only for a few hrs. a week, which still gave me ample time to grocery shop, cook, do laundry, etc. It turns out that I’m so good at being the “Director of Brand Strategy” for the new line of felt housewares I’m working on, I’m now in the office four days a week. Still not full-time I grant you, but each day after I leave that job I still have my “pick-up the kids from two separate schools, swing by the grocery store for dinner staples, clean up the breakfast dishes which are undoubtedly still sitting in the sink, shuttle someone to hockey, gymnastics or soccer, start dinner, throw in a load of laundry, make lunches (although my husband and I do share that responsibility), negotiate how many more bites must be consumed and if it was a dessert worthy dinner, remind the kids thirty million times that it’s time to take a shower, double-check with the big one that homework is done and he’s ready for the following day, actually assist in the bathing of the littlest one, remind the kids thirty million more times that it’s now time for bed and ultimately agree to let the littlest one watch ‘one last show’ in our bed before I can call it a day” job to do. I AM TIRED. But that’s not the end of what I’ve got going on. Nope, not even close. Here’s a quick rundown of the little projects I’ve managed to get myself involved in:

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ONE. I just mentioned my job, but here’s a few more details about it. I work for an architect who is also a practicing artist with a passion for creating with wool felt. For years she’s been making runners, coasters and placemats for friends and clients out of felt and recently decided to launch an actual line of felt housewares; felt. by Rachael Grochowski. That’s where I come in. My job is to take the line from a well thought out idea to a reality, and so far we’re off to a running start. Our website feltbyRG.com just went live, NJ Monthly will be featuring us in an article about NJ artisans, were currently being sold in several local shops, we were just accepted as a featured artisan by Scout Mob and we’ve recently started talking about officially launching our line of custom furniture as well. Busy, busy. busy.

TWO. There was an article in the paper the other day about several organizations here in NJ working to provide prom gowns to girls who may not ordinarily be able to afford one. I remember prom gown shopping and how important the “perfect gown” was, more important than the perfect date in fact. It made me sad to imagine a girl longing to take part in this high school rite of passage, but not having the means to get herself a dress. The woman featured on the front page of the article had started an organization called Cinderella for a Day and as it turned out she was based in my own town. So… I emailed her. I have a couple of bridesmaids dresses from back in the day that aren’t doing anything but taking up space and I wanted to donate them. The more I thought about it there more convinced I was that there had to be plenty of other former bridesmaids in my little circle of friends who would be more than happy to part with a bit of chiffon and lace in the name of charity. It turns out I was right. I’m now doing my best to spread the word about Cinderella for a Day and collect as many dresses, shoes, evening bags, etc. as possible before their next big giveaway on April 19th.

THREE. I love Twitter! I love how it allows you to connect with people far removed from your ordinary social circle, interesting people doing interesting things. One of these interesting people is a woman named Katie Visco who is the driving force behind Hot Love Soup. In 2007, in an effort to build a community for herself in an unfamiliar city, Katie started making soup and inviting folks to her home to share a bowl of it. Things snowballed, the occasional dinner turned into a monthly soup party and Katie realized that she was clearly onto something. Soup… nourishing for your body, nourishing for your soul. Katie decided to start a company that makes a variety of from scratch soups and delivers them via bicycle, to anyone who wants/needs some. According to Katie: “People order for themselves, or for loved ones, and each delivery comes with a special song and dance to brighten people’s lives. Often times I find myself being invited into soup recipients’ homes, as if we have known each other for years. The soul of soup is truly magical and I want to share that!” I love her mission and I wholeheartedly agree with the idea that food can nourish you in ways far beyond your belly. I never turn down the chance to get involved with innovators like Katie and while I’m but a small fish in a big foodie sea, I wanted to offer her a little support and a bit more exposure if I could. So stay tuned for a soup recipe courtesy of Hot Love Soup in the near future!

FOUR. A few weeks ago I read about a future food destination which will be about 20 minutes from my house called The Roselle. It’s going to be part farmers market, part cooking studio, part restaurant and totally cool. As it turned out someone from their marketing team decided to follow me on Twitter, which turned into me telling them I’d love to be involved in their adventure, which turned into a meeting with the founder and plans for a private kids cooking class for my two babes and a few friends. I’m truly excited at the prospect of something like The Roselle existing in my community and I’m beyond thrilled at the possibility of being involved in it from the ground floor.

Which leads me to this… While cooking for my family is just as important as it’s always been, finding the time to do it, blog about it and photograph it is becoming more and more difficult. So after much consideration I’ve decided that in order to give this blog as much love and attention as I think it deserves, I’m going to have to start posting on a biweekly basis. I know, I’m a bit sad too— but it will be fine, even better than fine, you’ll see. So until next post I’ll leave you with these wise words from the beloved Julia Child:

“The measure of achievement
is not winning awards.
It’s doing something that you appreciate,
something you believe is worthwhile.”

Well said Julia, I couldn’t agree more…

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