Yesterday’s view from the Williamsburg Waterfront
It’s Biz Notes Wednesday! I’m feeling overly excited about that fact, likely because we’ve been cooped up for the past few days and I’m experiencing some cabin fever. Somehow, we were one of the lucky few in the NYC area that did not lose power- only internet for a brief period. So we’re feeling very thankful about that. But on to today’s topic!
Last week was a bit of an off period work wise. Out of nowhere I was flooded with worry and self doubt. I felt tired, unsure of what I was doing, hugely hesitant to move forward, and almost paralyzed at the thought of doing so. Everything came to a head last Thursday in a lovely mid afternoon tears session in which I word vomitted everything I was feeling to Brandon. And in a much needed tough love approach, he basically told me to put my head down and keep working. If I was focused on work and keeping myself busy, I wouldn’t have time to let these thoughts overrun my days. Oh, uuummm …. right.
Think about it. When you’re super super busy- facing deadlines, project due dates, and more- you have no time to think negative thoughts, drown in self doubt, or feel sorry for yourself. I remember having a conversation with the Chief Marketing Officer of the first company I worked at. Making small talk in his office one day, I muttered about how busy he must be during the holiday season/end of Q4. He immediately said that he was crazy busy, but loved it. And not in some disingenuous corporate way, but that he truly was a better worker when he had a lot on his place. It forces you to be completely intentional with your time, and highly efficient in all that you do.
October has been a bit of an odd month. It’s been a slower month in some respects, but a busier one in others, marking the beginning of some big next steps and investments towards my business. It’s this combination that sent me into my downward spiral last week. It can be so hard to keep yourself going sometimes, and not because you don’t want to do the work but simply because you’re unsure. But letting those thoughts of self doubt take over is even worse. Believe me- it made for one unpleasant week! And once I was reminded of the solution- to just keep going- everything came back into focus. It was unreal how quickly my mood shifted. But also unreal how quickly I forgot the solution. So take this post as your reminder.
Even though I’m on steady ground once again, I’m so curious- how do you combat self doubt? Any tips or techniques? One can’t have too many!
Maybe it’s partly Hurricane Sandy’s fault, but this is all I want right now. The coziest of dinner parties with close friends, red wine, and dishes like roasted butternut squash and caramelized onion lasagna. As inconvenient as small city apartments can be at times, I think they are the perfect setting for dinner parties such as these. I love the exposed brick, rustic wood, and layered elements of the table, incorporating sheepskin, linens, and knits. I imagine that curling up in a blanket and watching a favorite movie is definitely in the cards for the evening.
If you’re on the East Coast, best wishes for staying safe! Hopefully making plans for a gathering such as this will help the week go a little faster. x
1. cocotte, 2. plate, 3. pillow, 4. wine glass, 5. measuring spoons, 6. sheepskin
Image Credits: table, lasagna, knit, person
Greetings from windy Brooklyn, guys! How are you all doing? Anyone lose power yet? Brandon and I are hunkered down in our apartment crossing our fingers we don’t lose power. I think we were a little late to get on the prep game, as by the time I got to the store last night there were no more flash lights. But I think we’ve got enough candles to light our 650 square foot home for the next few days if need be. I was, naturally, too busy thinking about the food, which we’ve got a ton of but will of course go bad should we lose power… hmm. Note to self: learn to better prepare for hurricanes.
Ok aside from the hurricane- this past Saturday we went to Howl-A-Ween at the Williamsburg dog park. No, we don’t have a dog, but how could we miss a costume contest for all the neighborhood pups?? It was such a riot seeing all the doggies in their costumes, some of which were so creative! I can’t choose my favorite- I’m torn between the mailman and dinosaur. It definitely made me more inclined to dress up my future dog. Do you guys dress up your dogs or pets? Would you dress up your dog if you had one? They’re just so adorable!
HOLD : Your favorite mug (I have been a longtime admirer of these)
DRINK : A cup of tea (Even if you don’t think you’re a tea fan, give it a try! It’s the coziest thing I can think of for a fall day. Psst- on a related note - chai tea cupcakes actually exist and sound amazing)
MAKE : Homemade candy (Between yesterday’s caramel recipe, and last year’s peanut butter cups, it doesn’t look like you really have a choice here)
For Halloween last year, I made homemade peanut butter cups, which are as delicious as they sound- and an extremely dangerous item to have about 50 of in your freezer at one time. This year I contemplated making homemade Snickers or Almond Joy Bars- all good choices, but I was craving something more classic. Enter fleur de sel caramels. I am a caramel fiend, people. I really fear for my teeth when this stuff is around, which is why I decided to make them right before I had family come into town so I don’t find myself eating the entire batch! You could wrap these guys in wax paper or serve them on a platter. The flaked sea salt against the glossy caramel makes for a pretty killer presentation, so I went that route.
Are you making homemade candy this year? Any recipes I have to try? Send ’em my way, and have a lovely weekend! xx
Fleur de Sel Caramels adapted very slightly from Ina Garten
- Vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon fine fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing it to drape over 2 sides, then brush the paper lightly with oil.
In a deep saucepan (6 inches wide and 4 1/2 inches deep), combine 1/4 cup water, the sugar and corn syrup and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the mixture is a warm golden brown. Don’t stir — just swirl the pan.
In the meantime, in a small pot, bring the cream, butter and 1/2 teaspoon of fleur de sel to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and set aside.
When the sugar mixture is done, turn off the heat and slowly add the cream mixture to the sugar mixture. Be careful — it will bubble up violently. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees F (firm ball) on a candy thermometer. Very carefully pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.
When the caramel is cold, pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut the square in half. Starting with a long side, roll the caramel up tightly into an 8-inch-long log. Sprinkle the log with fleur de sel, trim the ends and cut into 8 pieces. (Start by cutting the log in half, then continue cutting each piece in half until you have 8 equal pieces.) It’s easier to cut the caramels if you brush the knife with flavorless oil like corn oil. Cut glassine or parchment paper into 4-by-5-inch pieces and wrap each caramel individually, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator and serve the caramels chilled.