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Sometimes, balance, updates

15 Apr

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Over the course of several days, I’ve written, rewritten, deleted and scrapped this post numerous times. I keep second-guessing all my writing topics and fleeting thoughts because… I just keep getting that nagging feeling I should be doing something else. I SHOULD be doing something else. I have a list of tasks that need my attention; a series of errands and production tasks that need to happen today. My attention is divided between my design website relaunch, (several weeks overdue) production and order fulfillment in my shop, and keeping up with client work. Oh and email. EMAIL! I have orders to ship this week, orders to sand and package, a pop up shop to prepare for this Saturday, wholesale orders to deliver, wholesale inquires to follow up on, and a cat that won’t leave my lap, even if it means he keeps getting dumped out of it, every 25 minutes when I need to grab something outside the office. Oh, did I mention I’m working on a new Skill Exchange event scheduled for Mid-May?

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This week I am trying to balance a reasonable amount of work with a reasonable amount of rest. Trying, anyway. I feel as though I’ve got a giant on my back at the moment, kind of like a cat, always watching me.  If I can keep on top of our meals for the week, and keep vegetables from getting hairy and limp in the fridge, that will also be a bonus. Today I sent my very first set of record dividers to a customer in Australia, which felt a little momentous. My product-babies are moving out in the world, to other continents! Another small victory this week? This little mention of my shop in New York Magazine. (!!!)

 

Vegetables and then some

10 Mar

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Who forgets to add butter to the popover batter? Me. Right here. These dry-looking, not-at-all buttery popovers weren’t bad, (cause they had cheese + herbs inside) but really not what we wanted. Popovers are just an airy vehicle for butter, and thats really why anyone ever wants to eat them. Also, I made these popovers weeks ago, and am just now using them as some very neglected blog content. Here we go!

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We’re back on the CSA bandwagon. Cabbage slaw! Green savory pancakes! Potatoes Anna and baby lettuce! I may have neglected to mention that the delicate balancing act of three CSAs (produce, meat, fish) was too much to handle. Something was always languishing in the fridge, and I couldn’t stay on top of it all. The vegetable CSA  alone is a full job to work through each week, and there is no slacking if you want to avoid veggie-guilt. Takeout sushi became our default subscription for many weeks, I won’t say how many, or how often. We jus now got back into our CSA, just in time for cabbage and root vegetable overload. Cabbage every week. Cabbage in soups, cabbage in salads. Cabbage as the main meal, and ok, some wilted cabbage in the bottom of the crisper. Heavenly things are coming for us though, like strawberries and more spring onions than we’ll know how to handle… and it will be wonderful.

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Oh, and this? Oysters, shoestring fries, and maybe a little bit of bub… just an essential part of the Bay area bounty.

A significant birthday

21 Jan

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A couple days ago, I turned thirty. Thirty was not a scary milestone for me, but it did feel significant. Nothing abruptly changes or ends at thirty, but there is a transition-y feeling lingering in my mind. Ten years ago I turned twenty, and I can barely remember what that felt like. Twenty-year-old Kate was vaguely planning to go to law school after college, not move to Italy, have a huge life transition/crisis, get a design degree in San Francisco and work for herself. Nope, I was a different person then, thinking of a very different life for myself.

A much older someone recently told me to remember the feeling of being thirty, because 10 years from now, forty will feel twice as old. Nice, right?

I’ve always secretly felt eager to be a little older. Maybe its a holdover from being the youngest child, or usually finding myself the youngest among friends. I still feel it, I like being a little older. I feel more sure of myself and my work every year, I feel more confident in knowing when to say no and when to say yes to experiences, people and opportunities. Dare I say, thirty feels pretty good?

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To celebrate and reflect on another year of growing, working and being a full-time grown woman, Intern and I took a few days off mid-week and drove to Healdsburg for a few days of fun and relaxation in wine country. We biked, we napped, we read books, we picnicked and wandered. I didn’t worry about anything for three full days!

Christmas kind

2 Jan

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Christmas was different this year. It was well-rested and sunny; it was calm and genuinely restorative. This was the best Christmas, but I don’t mean that past years haven’t been lovely. This was a something else kind of holiday. It was vacation Christmas, but it was also a taking care by slowing down kind of Christmas. The travelers arrived, the popovers popped and we had extra slippers (and cats) for everyone. We had some Christmas music (but not too much) we had family, good food, relaxing days and cackling + tears rolling down the face rounds of horrible, horrible card games.

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This is the first Christmas that hasn’t come with a recovery period after. We slowed down, we laughed, we took care and then it was over.

Slow down

19 Dec

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The pace of the past week has been a welcome change from the past few weeks. Record divider production is officially complete for the year and the last remaining divider sets are in shops for the final days of holiday shopping. Now that production is done, everything feels much more manageable. I’ve had a lot of worries tied up in this project, mainly because launching a full product line a little more than 4 weeks before the holidays is really, really hard to do. I’ve learned a great deal about wood, lasers, packaging, production, etc, but I have more to figure out in the new year. Despite the challenges of launching so close to the holidays, its been a good (and exciting) run.

On the other side of work, I’ve wrapped up all my year-end client projects, but today I’m kicking off a new client project that I’m very excited about. Skill Exchange will also get a fresh start in early January, with a new event in partnership with the California Academy of Sciences. (!!) I’m planning to get a newsletter out in the next few days with all the details.

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This week we made time to catch up with good friends over a cocktail and snacks, and we’ve been testing and tweaking some holiday recipes in preparation for hosting our first Christmas in San Francisco. Intern and I will be taking a full week off next week to enjoy some down time and recharge with family. Finally, I had time to go to an estate sale last week, and among other things, came home with this beautifully weird ceramic bread bowl. I’ve already wrapped it up and gifted it to a perfectly weird new owner!

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