At some point in my childhood, the idea entered my mind that sitting on a windowsill while reading a book and listening to the sound of raindrops must be one of the great peaks of human experience.
I've never been very good at New Year's Resolutions. In fact, I struggle with the simple act of setting goals. Why? I'm very unorganized by nature. My mind is a tad bit chaotic-- okay, more than a tad. My mind jumps from one thought to the next, skipping over things of importance and leaping to the next exciting thought.
I think our Spotify Wrapped meant a little bit more to all of us this year. In 2020, the songs on our lists represented the songs that helped us get through the tough times. The songs that consoled us, the songs that we cried to, the songs that gave us strength. As usual, the Bealtes took one of the top spots on my Spotify Wrapped this year. Here are a few Beatles songs that represent the story of this year:
I may be just one Etsy seller, but I think I speak for all of us when I say that we put love and care into every product we create. That's the Etsy difference. And yes, we can be a little bit extra sometimes. We have been known to pack boxes full of confetti and hand-written notes. But that's what I love about being an Etsy seller. I truly love what I do. I don't think someone would pack a simple order in a confetti-filled box if they didn't love what they do! You may have heard a rumor that when you make a purchase on Etsy, a real person does a little happy dance. I'm here to confirm that rumor as fact. And... as an Etsy insider, I would like to let you in my Etsy Gift Guide, composed of some of my favorite Etsy purchases, as well as a few items from my favorites list. Let's get started!
Let me tell you the story of the first time I had mulled wine because it was quite magical... About an hour North of Rome there is a small mountainside town called Castel Gandolfo. The town consists of a mansion, where the Pope used to spend his vacations, a breathtaking view of a lake inlaid in the valley below, and a street of peach and pale yellow buildings resting on a ground of cobblestone. This is where the story begins. The air was cold and the sky was cloudy, and a slight drizzle began to fall. My classmates and I had come unprepared for the weather. Thankful as I was that I had at least decided to throw on a thin windbreaker, I wished I had also thought about throwing on a winter coat. We embarked on a guided tour. The history of the town was fascinating, and the view of the lake, with light-dotted mountains across the way, was stunning. But the cold was sinking in.
"Do you hear the people sing? Singing the songs of angry men. It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again. When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums, there is a life about to start when tomorrow comes..."
Chapter 1: The Harbinger of Fall There is was on the shelf of the grocery store, packaged humbly in a translucent milk jug. Every year, that simple site excites me. Apple cider is, in my mind, the taste of pure fall, and a sure sign that my favorite season of the year is approaching. It's one of those few items that grocery stores only sell at one time of the year. In other words, apple cider is to fall as eggnog is to winter. And as much as I would love to enjoy that sweet taste all year long, there's something special about the exclusivity. If Christmas lights adorned houses all year long, they would no longer be Christmas lights, and if apple cider graced the shelves of grocery stores all throughout the year, it would lose its role as the harbinger of fall. There's a spark inside me each year the first time I see the apple cider jugs on the shelf.
I grew up eating a version of soda bread quite different than the bread my great grandmother ate in Ireland. I grew up eating soda bread that had enough butter and sugar packed in to make it qualify as a dessert. I grew up eating soda bread that was bursting with raisins. I grew up calling said soda bread, "Irish Soda Bread." Now, I call it American Soda Bread.