January 7—Get a fresh perspective While I'm not really tackling the bedroom on this cure, this is where I spent my 10 minutes. I've been very undecided about what I should do there, and while it is generally a comfortable space to sleep, it lacks character. I made no final pronouncements on the space after my meditations, but I do at least feel like the creative juices are flowing, and I've got some ideas to think through at a later date. This was also the day that I availed myself of those Amazon gift cards I got for Christmas, and there are some cord management items and organizational materials on their way, in anticipation of the next couple weeks' work. I don't even want to tell you how much satisfaction I got out of the few hours I spent researching cord ties and label makers. • January 8—Select one project from your list to complete this month The main project that I'd like to tackle this month is getting the TV wall-mounted, and putting a new piece of furniture in the place of the old credenza. My friend Charmaine gave me this great brass etagère, and Ed and I are planning to cut it down a bit so the TV can hang over it. (Don't worry, while it's got some sexy curves and serious brassiness, it's not a designer piece, and we won't be doing any damage to something of great value.)
Some smaller projects that I've already started working on: moving furniture from other rooms into the living room so we have a functional layout, injecting some red into the living room, organizing the office/dining room closet, and painting the blackboard accent wall. I'd really like to come up with a better solution for Chibi's cage and supplies, and I ordered some better containers that will take up less floor space, but doing anything more during January seems a bit overambitious. Ed and I have been talking about making some sort of built-in solution, and if it comes to fruition, I'll post about it later.
• January 9—Choose a piece of art to frame I love Tara's advice about choosing art that either makes you smile or makes you think, and while I adore art that makes me think, I'll admit that I tend to choose art that makes me smile. There are two prints that have long been on my wishlist, given that they make me giggle every time I see them, and I've decided that this is the month to give them a home. I'm finishing a Ph.D. in French history, and the first print that I've selected really appeals to that side of me; "Sloth" by Sebastian Gomez De La Torre, a riff on David's "Napoleon at the St. Bernard Pass," truly does capture the world spirit on horseback. The second, "Gratuitous Simian Profanity" by David Fullarton just inexplicably tickles my funny bone.
• January 10—Get your get-together together Given that January has been and will continue to be such a hectic month, Ed and I decided to have something small and low-key, so using Pingg, we just invited another couple over for February 2nd. More generally, we love hosting, so we're planning on having a larger party at some other point in February, once our schedules loosen up a bit.
• January 11, 12, & 13— Flowers, kitchen organization & cleaning, make yourself a meal Fortunately, Ed and I run a pretty tight ship in the kitchen, and when we moved in together we were merciless about redundant cooking gear, so there wasn't much by way of reorganization or pruning that needed to happen. Saturday was much more of a scrub day, with the counters, cabinets, oven, microwave, and fridge getting a thorough dose of elbow grease.You've already been privy to the contents of my fridge, so I'll spare you more pictures of my cleaning process, but here's the joy of the "after."
Red tulips really topped off the day, making my living room a much happier, brighter place. On Sunday, I gave my dinner party recipe a test run. When we visited my family at Christmas, my dad, who's a hunter, sent us home with a ton of venison, so for the dinner party, I'll be serving a venison roast with celeriac, potatoes, and parsnips. The base recipe comes via Jamie Oliver, but I'm notorious for tinkering with recipes, so the result included some Carolyn improvisations. Served with fresh bread, a glass of wine, and a simple spinach salad, it was the perfect way to top off the weekend.
(Images: Carolyn Purnell; photo of etagère by Charmaine of My Best Friend Craig)