Happy New Year, dear friend! December was sweet in our home this year...I hope it was for you too. Some highlights for us were going to see The Muppet Christmas Carol at the symphony, hosting family for Christmas Eve, and gifting the kiddos their pirate ship/princess castle, complete with a treasure map scavenger hunt. But in the lost week between Christmas and New Year, I've been relishing in the slower, quieter, stay in your pajamas all day kinda pace.
Along with resting and recharging after all the festivities and feasting and fullness of the holiday season, I also set aside some time to reflect on the past year and cast vision for the year ahead. I know for some, that kinda thing can cause a lot of stress. But I LOVE the ritual of going through different areas of my life and thinking through what has worked, what hasn't, and what matters most moving forward. And can I tell you one of my favorite things this year? The return of the Celebrating Home list...or as I am now on calling it - The Rhythms of Home. I restarted this monthly list in a creatively dry season this spring and it has been an absolute gift to me...regardless if not another soul reads it! But what has been really encouraging is how often I've have received comments about these simple (but oh so sacred) monthly musings. My business has changed a lot in the past few years (aahhmmm...Magnolia) but these lists have brought me back to my why. My heart is for the home. That is why I started painting in the first place - to capture and celebrate and make lovely our most cherished spaces. And as I am praying and processing through what 2024 holds for Katie Mulder Creative, I know that I want to lean more into that. While the products and offerings continue to grow and evolve...my heart will always come back to home.
a book to read
This month our family read-aloud is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My eldest has already listened to the entire thing thanks to his beloved Yoto player - ha! - but I am reading it aloud chapter by chapter regardless. So far we have loved it! As we do, we watched the Johnny Depp version for movie night this past weekend but I want my kids to see the original too. That music just brings me back to my own childhood!
For my own personal reading, I also finished two books that I highly recommend! The first is Find Your Path by Carrie Underwood. It is a fitness and nutrition book and I found it really motivating. She is so disciplined...which is not my strong suit! She gave really simple ideas for ways to stay consistent with movement and eating well even with a very full schedule.
I also finally finished Keeper of the Hidden Books and it was excellent. It started a little slow but by the end I was in tears. A beautiful story set in Poland during WWII celebrating the power of literature and bravery and friendship. Just beautiful!
the soundtrack of the season
The post-Christmas blues always hit hardest in the music department. I am just not quite sure what to do with myself without my go-to Christmas music softly playing in the background. Thank goodness Spotify has gotten so good at feeding me suggested playlists. I've been recently playing a curated playlist called "juniper" and its been a vibe for sure. Mellow, folky...perfect for all the introverted reflection time I've had.
food to savor
One of the biggest eating habit goals for 2024 is to pick a breakfast and lunch for each week and just eat the same thing each day. I find myself having serious decision fatigue when it comes to my meals and as a result I get over hungry and start making not great food choices - ha! But taking the time to prepare a different healthy breakfast and lunch for myself each day takes way too much time. So, I'm going to give this a try! I've picked out my first week's lunch option and it has been awesome...I genuinely look forward to it each day and it keeps me full! You know I am not one for recipes, but I'll give you my best guess!
In large bowl add in the following:
Big ole handful of arugula
about 1/3 cup of cooked quinoa (I make it with bone broth so it has extra protein) warmed
about 1/2 roasted sweet potato (I make this in advance so I just grab it out of my fridge when I am ready to eat) warmed
small handful of dried cherries
small handful of pistachios
sprinkle of feta cheese
Squeeze of lemon + drizzle of olive oil + salt and pepper
The warm quinoa and sweet potato slightly wilt the arugula and soften the feta and it is just such a nourishing lunch that I genuinely look forward to.
I love taking my Christmas decorations down almost as much as I love putting them up. There is something about decluttering that breathes new life into our home. Each January, as we take down Christmas decor and find spots for our new gifts, I go through the whole house and quiet each room. Because I am so visually energized (or depleted) by my physical surroundings, having excess clutter and disorder can cause me a lot of overwhelm. I thrive when things are ordered and tidy! I'm planning on doing an entire blog post about quieting a room later this month because I really believe it is one of the greatest tools in creating a space that is restful and lovely without spending a single dollar.
And guess what arrived right before Christmas?? You got it...the wallpaper. Finally time to finish the entryway project! And no...in case you were wondering...I didn't get a single wall in the basement painted last month - ha!
memories to make
One of my very favorite yearly traditions happens in January...well the first day of January actually. Our annual Mulder Family Celebration Dinner. Daniel and I got engaged in Charleston and spent one afternoon of that trip wandering cute antique and gift shops. I found a journal that looked like an old book (I actually use it to style our front table...see if you can spot it in the photo below) and I recorded all the details of our engagement story. Now, every so often, I will pull it out to record other major life events - right after our wedding, right before we had each of our kiddos, right before the kids started school - to document these big transitions. We also pull it out every January 1st. As a family we record everything we want to remember about the year that we just closed and everything we are hoping for in the year ahead. We've done this now for three years and it is an absolute highlight. In the past we have gone out for a "fancy" spaghetti dinner but this year we made pasta at home. It is such a sweet time to hear what our kiddos want to remember and to look back at all that changes in a year.
If you are looking to start your own tradition like this, my friend Korie actually makes the most beautiful journals that provide thoughtful prompts to record your memories. Here are a few of my favorites:
in the studio
I have had a stack of new prints sitting on my desk for about two months...yikes! I'm hoping to have those listed by the end of the week and will send out an email to subscribers once they are available. If you are looking for artwork to freshen your spaces, these are beautiful modern landscapes that I hope you love.
Can I also tell you something else I am dreaming about? I've mentioned this above, but as I have been reflecting more and more on what brings me joy in my work the idea of home was evident. I get super excited about so many aspects of building a culture of home but particularly about creating physical spaces. Art obviously plays a part in that, but I think I have something even more to give. I'm chewing on this...letting it marinate...but something in me would love to step into those spaces with others. To help others create curated, lovely, and thoughtful spaces that serve your season. We'll see what comes of it...
In the meantime, cheers to the rhythms of home,