HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I embrace the promise that a new year holds and all the opportunities I have to be a better version of myself! I want to judge less, embrace more and take better care of my body. I will also endeavor to be better organized and multi-task less!
I hope your holidays were everything you hoped they would be. As always, ours were a little bit busier than I had hoped. In retrospect, I did very little ‘sitting and soaking it in.’ Some of that was out of my control, but much of it was my decision. Still, it was bliss having my two nestlings back in the nest for a while.
Our daughter, her dog, and her rabbit left yesterday to go back to school. But we have our son for another week!
While I am not one for New Year’s Resolutions, I will try to get back on the wagon after all the indulgences of the past month. I have eaten far too much and far too many foods that I normally don’t. And, I have exercised much too little. I definitely have a few pounds to shed, but more than that, I just don’t feel as well as I would like. My body is talking to me and telling me to take better care of it!
I took down our Christmas decorations mid-week last week. Our Christmas tree, while beautiful, had been up for five weeks and was shedding something fierce. So, it really needed to go. And while I revel in our home decorated for Christmas, I get antsy for the clutter that comes with those decorations to be gone as soon as Christmas is over.
This need for clutter ‘to be gone’ also prompts me to do a wider decluttering at the beginning of each year.
If you are feeling the same way, make sure you join us for the 2023 Declutter Challenge. Each week, for six weeks, we focus on one to two areas of our home to declutter. When you join, I will send you an email each week with a checklist that lists items commonly found in that week’s room focus. Many of these items you can toss and never miss and the checklists are a good jumping-off point for your decluttering.
The challenge has been updated since last year and we’ve added a seventh week, focusing on mental clutter.
You can join anytime! Just click here to sign up.
I always find it easier to rehouse items in my home if I know that they are going somewhere they are needed more than I need them. This post gives suggestions of where to take your donations.
A tip to make next Christmas a little smoother; before you pack everything away, make some notes in your calendar for next November/December of things you think you’ll remember, but won’t. Not only will you have what you need, but just as important, you won’t buy what you don’t need. For instance:
- Do you need any wrapping paper?
- Do you need ribbon? What colors?
- How many Christmas cards do you need to order?
- Do you need replacement lights or lightbulbs?
- Do you need gift tags?
- Now that all the Christmas decorations are down, do you need something to replace your Christmas centerpiece? Consider a living centerpiece! It’s easy to make. Mine has been going for several years, I just swap out the orchids as needed.
make microwaveable heating pads
As folks are coming down with colds and the flu, one of these microwavable neck wraps would be most appreciated!
top ten posts of 2022
In order, from number one to number ten, here are the most popular posts on Nourish and Nestle in 2023:
- 3 Ingredient Dog Treats
- Free Knit Dishcloths/Washcloth Patterns
- Double Seed Stitch Washcloth
- Daisy Stitch Washcloth
- Handmade Gift Idea
- Pickled Jalapeno Pepper Rings
- The Best Margarita Recipe
- Chunky Knit Blanket
- Jar-By-Jar Dill Pickles
- Eyelet Baby Blanket
books read in 2022
Some of these are affiliate links, and I will earn a small commission off the sale of these products, but the price you are charged is not affected. You can see my full disclosure policy here.
I participated in the Goodreads Book Challenge in 2022. I set a goal to read 30 books and fell a bit short at 28. BUT…in my defense…one of my books was 1,272 pages long so it should count as three books! So, then I would actually have exceeded my goal by one!
I will participate in the challenge again in 2023. Since I always strive to be better, I’ll set my goal as 32 books this year! Yay me!
- Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz 👎🏻 really dragged on; I quit reading with about 100 pages left.
- The Plot by Jean Korelitz👉🏻 good story, but a predictable ending
- Black-Eyed Susan by Susan Heaberlin👉🏻 hard to follow
- Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 a charming, light-hearted tale
- In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 The narrator of the story is recently deceased in an accident and shares the actions of the rest of the characters involved in the accident. Kept me interested.
- We are All the Same in the Dark, by Julia Heaberlin 👍🏻👍🏻I think I must not connect with this author. I found it a bit contrived and hard to follow. A past murder and a current mute, abandoned young girl are the two storylines that the characters in the book are dealing with.
- Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻quick moving
- Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell👍🏻👍🏻 👍🏻loved the weave of history and a good mystery
- Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell 👍🏻👍🏻 a good follow-up to the previous book, but I needed a break before I tackled the third. I will get to it soon.
- Brotherhood of the Rose by David Morrell 👍🏻 👍🏻Same author as above, but a completely different premise. Much more of a contemporary spy/counterintelligence novel.
- Pompeii by Robert Harris 👍🏻👍🏻 I read this historical fiction right before we toured Pompeii, and it was a great primer.
- The Black House by Peter May👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻These next three books are set on several islands in the Hebrides, off the coast of Scotland. I read them right before I spent several days there with my dear friend. They are murder mysteries, but more than that, they really gave me a sense of the place.
- The Lewis Man by Peter May👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
- The Chess Men by Peter May👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
- The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 It has been a LONG time since I enjoyed a book as much as I enjoyed this one. It has a Huckleberry Finn/Tom Sawyer feel to it, in that the main characters are young men coming of age in the 1950s. It is just a lovely story with dynamic and complicated characters. This was my first Amor Towles book, and I was a bit sad when I finished it. His writing style is just beautiful. So, I immediately jumped into…
- A Gentleman in Moscow by Amore Towles👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻If you like Dickens-type novels, sweeping stories with interesting characters, you’ll love this one. This story focuses on Count Rostov, who has been confined to a hotel in Moscow, and the associated staff and residents of the hotel. Once again, Towles’s writing style and character development speak to me.
- Rules of Civility by Amor Towles👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 I really did like it, but not quite as much as the other two. Set in 1938 New York, the main character is a young woman who is trying to navigate the time and characters of her orbit.
- Cloud Cuckoo Land👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 This is a challenging book to review. I am typically averse to ‘science fiction’ and almost discarded it because the jacket referred to a character living in the future on a spaceship. If you are similarly averse to futuristic novels, do not let that deter you! Trust me on this! This book wraps up several different characters in different settings and time periods so neatly and with a common thread that really comes together at the end. Several nice ‘aha’ moments and a clear message at the end.
- The Elegance of the Hedgehog 👍🏻👍🏻I very much enjoyed it. Not gonna lie; some of the philosophical ramblings lost me a bit. But I still found it a charming, sometimes humorous book with an uplifting message. They are lovely and sympathetic main characters.
- My Brilliant Friend 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 This book introduced me to the term ‘bildungsroman,’ a novel dealing with a person’s formative years. That’s exactly what this book was, and it was delightful. The book is set in Naples and begins in the 1950s. It is book one of four, so that’s always a good thing for my book queue!
- Chances Are👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 I loved Empire Falls and was glad to find more books by Rich Russo. I really did enjoy this book. He has a lovely way with words that articulated the metamorphosis of each character from young men to their now sixty-six-year-old selves. The main characters are three long-time friends who reunite 40+ years after they graduated from college and share the mystery of a disappearance of a dear friend.
- The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick 👍🏻👍🏻 An easy-to-read, sweet book about a widower finding out who his late wife really was and finding a renewal of his life in the process. I rolled my eyes at times given some of the implausible leaps taken, but ‘charming’ nevertheless.
- Because I loved Empire Falls and Chances Are, I figured I would Nobody’s Fool, also by Rich Russo. I got about halfway through and needed a change. I’m not ready to call it quits, but I guess it wasn’t what I wanted to read then. Like all his other books, you can’t help but have a tender spot for his characters, flaws and all. It’s a simple, rambling story of Sully and those around him who live in small-town upstate New York. I keep renewing it from the library because I do want to finish it.
- Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 This is a hard book to describe without spoiling it for you. At its core, it’s a psychological thriller with an unusual premise and some unexpected twists and turns.
- The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell 👍🏻👍🏻 The cover of the book describes it as a ‘Chilling Psychological Thriller’, but I really didn’t find it to be chilling, psychological, or a thriller. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. But it was more a story of a dysfunctional family.
- When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro 👍🏻👍🏻 Hmmmm…After reading The Remains of the Day and enjoying it, I wanted to read more by the author. I enjoyed the story and the setting (Shanghai, early 1900), but was troubled by the improbability of the story and never really connected with the characters.
- The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 The story of a butler at the end of his career reminiscing on his life and service, with a bit of chosen denialism. A lovely read, but also a bit sad.
- Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 In truth, at 1,272 pages, this should count for two books! And while I loved all the other Cameron Strike books, this one is probably my least favorite. I just really do love the characters more than the actual story. Part of the reason for the length of hte book is the pages and pages of ‘chat room’ transcripts. It may have been just me, but the way they were presented gave me trouble reading and absorbing the transcripts.
- The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 I kept having to remind myself that the author was only 23 when she wrote this book! There are really five main characters that live in a small Georgia mill town. It seems it was set in the late 1930s or early 1940s. The title of the book really is descriptive of the story, the characters are all seeking for a purpose and meaning in their lives. The writing is gorgeous, but the story is a sad commentary on life in a racist and struggling small southern town.
❤a gift for knitters from one of our readers❤
Tove has been knitting knockers for women who have had mastectomies. As the knockers are knit with Double Pointed Needles, Tove found the need for a tool to keep her stitches from falling off when she had to put her knitting aside. Being the brilliant and creative woman that she is, she developed this little device that does just that!
Tove has an inventory of these DPN holders that she would love to give to her fellow knitters. Send your address to her at [email protected]. While not required, if you’d like to pay for the shipping she will gladly accept it! 🥰 I got my holders last week and looking forward to my next DPN project to use them.
Once they are gone, she will not be reordering, so first come first serve. And, due to shipping costs, only U.S. addresses!
Thanks again, Tove! 🥰
These ginger lemon cubes are a handy way to give your digestive system a head start in the morning.
Well my friends, I’m working on a few recipes and projects that I’ll be sharing with you soon! And I’m working on doing my decluttering, as well.
Have a fantastic week!