The Olympics are flying by like a bobsled on a fresh track, so I thought I’d make another cocktail to drink while I watch the wildly unfair women’s figure skating events this week. This is a variation of a gin rickey, with the addition of lychee liqueur. It’s refreshing, like the monobob.
2oz gin 1oz lychee liqueur 0.75oz lime juice (freshly squeezed!) club soda
Add gin, lychee liqueur, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to chill and combine and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with a lime wheel and lychee fruit. Enjoy from your warm, comfy couch while you watch amazing athletes competing in the freezing cold.
This year, we sent Valentines from our cat to everyone on our Valentine list. (Unlike in 2016 when we just sent them to a few of Presley’s favorite fans.) I wanted to send a bunch of little Valentines this year, and I didn’t have anything in my stash that would work. (Also, confession–I think I have an old Paper Source Valentine kit somewhere…but I don’t know where.) I decided to see what Walgreens had in terms of photo cards and I found this design. They are basically a 3×8 photo card that is designed to be cut into classroom Valentines. I chose a serious Presley, a sweet Presley, and a family picture from last spring, sent them off and they were ready in less that thirty minutes.
I used 4bar envelopes from my stash, and some I made last year, and had fun playing with postage stamps. I am very tired of my love stamp selections, so I need to make a point to find something better at the next stamp show. (Also, I regret not buying more of the monster stamps–they are super fun to play with since they come with little accessories in the selvage.)
It felt good to make some mail again. Next up, Olympics mail!
Last year I taught a Valentine workshop online with the Forest Park Public Library. These origami hearts were some of my favorites. They are super easy to learn and they’re so versatile! You can tuck them in with a letter or a card or you can use them to build your own DIY Valentine.
I used this short video to learn the folds:
I folded a ton of hearts to prepare for the class. I used some thin, cheap origami paper and also some really fancy washi, like this purple one above. (Can you see all of the fibers in the washi paper?) Washi makes really dreamy hearts, but the thinner stuff is easier to work with, especially if you’re folding with kids.
For some of the Valentines, I tucked a little message inside the front where the two halves split. I just used thin strips of scrap paper leftover from another project.
I don’t have a better picture of the origami heart card I made because I mailed it last year! But if you wanted to send something more substantial than a tiny origami heart, you could always glue it to a fold-over card. I made a little banner for my message and adhered it with foam squares for some dimension.
I had most of these hearts packed away from last year since we were closing on the house and packing up to put our condo on the market. It felt good to find them again and release them into the mail world along with my cards for this year.
The Winter Olympics are here! We haven’t missed hosting an Olympics party since London (though I didn’t blog about last summer’s outdoor affair) so we are back at it again on Friday for the Opening Ceremonies. We ordering Chinese food and it wouldn’t be a party without a signature cocktail!
I wanted our drink to be gold and glittery so I ordered edible cocktail glitter from Brew Glitter. (It’s a shockingly tiny jar for $10, but a little goes a long way! Each jar is supposed to provide enough glitter for 20+ cocktails.)
It’s very hard to capture the glitteriness in a photograph, but I promise, in person it’s gorgeous!
Going for Gold
2oz gin 0.5oz dry curaçao or triple sec 0.5oz fresh lemon juice tiny pinch of cocktail glitter
Add everything to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled. Strain into a coupe and enjoy while watching the Parade of Nations or bobsledding.
The pandemic has killed my concentration, so reading has been a challenge. In 2020 and 2021, I mostly just read for book club and not much more. January was a really good reading month for me, so hopefully I’ve broken the spell! I also signed up for a winter reading challenge at the Forest Park Public Library. It involves reading twenty minutes a day, which is the perfect amount to stay in the habit, and just enough if I have to read before bed to get my minutes in.
The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe Our January book club read was The Best of Everything. It was a really good discussion book but not my favorite read. It’s billed as the “Sex and the City of the 1950s” and that’s probably a good description. I didn’t love how each girl fit into a stereotypical box, but it definitely gave a good perspective of the single girl life back then and the cocktail scenes were wild.
My Mortal Enemy by Willa Cather Willa Cather’s My Mortal Enemy entered the public domain this year so it caught my attention. It’s a short book, and it’s heartbreakingly beautiful. Without giving too much away, it shows a marriage from the outside and the inside and how it changes over time. The book is titled perfectly. Cather is a book club favorite.
The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi The Lazy Genius Way is a self help book and it’s fine. I guess I just prefer following Kendra Adachi on Instagram and her podcast for my self help needs. There are a lot of good tips in the book, especially for parents. And I always appreciate her message that you get to decide what’s important for you.
Edmonia Lewis: Wildfire in Marble by Rinna Evelyn Wolfe Have you seen the new Edmonia Lewis stamps? I was super excited to order them because her story has a fascinating Forest Park connection (which you can read about here!) Her famous work, The Death of Cleopatra, used to sit at the Forest Park Amusement Park and was found years later in a storage yard in Cicero, Illinois before it made its way to the Smithsonian! I wanted to learn more about her, and this book was an easy introduction to her.
I’m not quite done with Lucille Clifton and William Maxwell but they’re due next week so I wanted to include them in my stacks. I’ve been dipping into Clifton’s poetry after work and Maxwell’s short stories before bed and both have been lovely ways to pass the time. (If you’ve been around long enough you know Maxwell is one of my all-time favorites.)