I am proud to say I fell under the spell of that organizing enchantress Marie Kondo. Slightly ashamed because I didn’t actually read the book or watch the Netflix show. My mom told me, and I watched a YouTube video on my way back from Belgium so I could ensure all my clothes would fit in the suitcase with my bottle purchases. Usually there are a lot of those so figuring out how to make it all fit and be under weight is quite the feat. Probably why I’ve lost two suitcases already… however also why I excel at Tetris.
Anyway, one week I decided it was time to “Tidy up” the house, including my honey’s side of the closet which was quite the exercise. He did not take the mantra of “Does this spark joy” seriously at all, but at the end of it his closet was lighter a few pairs of old clothes and the clown red boat shoes I despised were gone. Granted I didn’t even ask if those sparked him joy… they don’t spark me with any joy when he walks out in them. Cheers to victory in that they are now gone for good, donated to benefit someone else who will hopefully love them more than I did.
For those who don’t know, Marie Kondo is the magical author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Available on Amazon) , also a series on Netflix (Check it out via her page). Her method, the KonMari method, is about gathering all of your belongings, by category not literally all at once and keeping those items that spark joy. I took my tidying up room by room as it seemed to be the best way to tackle some serious spring cleaning as well. She claims this method is founded in Shinto belief of the energy or divine spirit of things. I’m not sure my flip-flops have a divine spirit, but it made me realize the ones being held together by a bread bag clip were probably at the end of their divine spirit. Don’t judge.
Again I haven’t officially read her book or watched her series though one is in my Amazon cart and the other in my Netflix list. Shockingly though her YouTube videos will make you thrilled to refold every scrap of clothing in your dresser and beyond surprised to learn you’ve been folding socks wrong your entire life. Rolling them into a sock ball to keep matching pairs together ruins the elastic in the sock. Folding them the Kondo way keeps them “alive” longer and has them taking up far less space in your suitcase. I now fold my underwear and look at a pile of laundry like a meditation exercise (her folding is alarmingly calming). Though I don't always show the garment my love and affection...it survived the tidy. It knows how I feel. Shows you can always learn something new. I’d say I learned to fold all things better, but my mother had an hour and a half class with my entire family on how to fold a towel after she lost her shit at the linen closet. We folded every towel in that house… twice. I can fold me some towels.
As I said I went room by room in my house. Closets, bathrooms, and kitchen. However, when I got to my bar, I found that when I asked, “Does this spark joy?” to the stuff in my bar, the answer was emphatically yes. Being completely transparent with you, NOTHING was removed from my bar. Not a glass, mixer, or bottle. I started with six bourbons and I ended with six bourbons. I even kept the three bottles of absinthe I have, and I haven’t opened two of them. However, though everything causes joy, I did take a moment to organize my vast collection to better be able to find what I’m looking for in the midst of creating. I doubt it lasts through the first cocktail party, as my inebriated mind is not nearly so organized. I do always manage to wash my face and brush my teeth though. Priorities.
Our house has officially been KonMari’d and we’re perfectly joyous about it. Well I am. My honey and the fur babies could care less. It’s worth a toast!
How many of you have tried the KonMari method? How many want to go refold their laundry now? It is scary how that happens. Cheers!
Working in the beverage industry is hard on the health. Drinks, too much dipped, battered, and fried bar food, and being up till the wee hours of the morning can’t be great for anyone on a consistent basis. So, six weeks ago I signed on for a health challenge with a local gym. I agreed to the strict workout plan as well as a protein heavy diet. Of course, that meant giving up something that I enjoy almost nightly in one form or another. Alcohol. What kind of diet doesn’t allow alcohol? Answer is all of them. Unfortunately, alcohol is on the big list of no-nos if you want to get fit, healthy, or just need a break.
The choice to pursue a healthy lifestyle is always worth a standing ovation. However, making big changes can be difficult. For myself as well as many others, cutting out alcohol can change social outings, how the day ends, and how they generally unwind after a stressful day. Having a drink is a social experience. However, walk into just about any bar and your non-alcoholic options are slim to sugary. I know that forbidden s-word in the realm of health. Usually you have the option of sodas, tea, lemonade, or the ever-infamous seltzer and lime. Asking for a non-alcoholic cocktail could land you with a Shirley Temple, which does nothing to enhance your bar experience or make you feel like a grown up. Basically, your options are low.
Luckily there is a non-alcoholic revolution taking place and the next big thing in drinks looks to be people not drinking…alcohol that is. There is even a company, Seedlip, that has crafted the world’s first non-alcoholic distilled spirit and brought their philosophy of elevating the mocktail to a sophisticated balance sweet, savory, and herbaceous to bars in the UK as well as California and New York. You may have seen my Instagram video about discovering this out of the box new product. I’m still perplexed by it and spent a fair portion of my six-week challenge toying with recipes and applications for one of the Seedlip flavors (Garden 108). I’ve already ordered the second flavor (Spice 94) and reordered the Garden 108. I think I love this stuff and am happily making a permanent spot for it on my home bar. It’s delicious with just soda water, like a gin and tonic sans well... gin.
As my challenge comes to a close, I get to reflect on the progress I’ve made and the changes I want to make moving forward. Discovering that a glass of wine or cocktail was a way to signal the end of my day, not a necessity was a big takeaway. Finding out that I could have the same effect from a mocktail without breaking my diet and that this was a change I wanted to take past the challenge was a surprise. Though I still plan to enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail every so often, I do plan to enjoy a few more nights sans alcohol. Who knows maybe one of these recipes will inspire you. Please enjoy these 10 recipes of elevated mocktails to curb your cocktail cravings while staying dry!
I wish I had coconuts on hand to drink this tropical combo out of, and maybe a hammock, and a tropical breeze. Someone just send me to the Caribbean. The sweet blend of pineapple with coconut water is mellowed by the quick bite of lime juice to balance it all out. Excuse me, an island state of mind is calling.
2oz. Pineapple Juice
2oz. Lime Juice
In a tumbler (or better yet a coconut) pour the pineapple juice and lime juice over ice. Fill to the brim with coconut water and enjoy!
My challenge has ended since starting the research for this post, but the big takeaway from the whole experience is that sometimes you don’t want a drink. You want something to signify the end of your day. Something to sit back and sip on that says good job, you made it through and now it’s time to relax. Normally this would be a beer, a glass of wine, or on a bad day whiskey neat. However, by pushing myself to not have alcohol I found that these mocktails gave me the same satisfaction. Cheers!
Celebrating all that we raise, sip, guzzle, clink, drinks and most affectionately cheers with!