Sugarlaws: Living Sweetly.

a whispering return

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January 21st, 2016 · Print Print

sugarlaws-4{Photo Credit: Rachel Sutherland}

About six weeks ago, I announced some big changes on Sugarlaws for 2016. And then a few weeks passed, and I looked down at my calendar and realized that the month of January is almost over (what??) and I haven’t written a word.

And on one hand, that’s sort of ok. I’ve had some time to sit with my decision and I’m feeling better than ever about it. I’ve received so many incredibly kind words from readers, other bloggers, and friends, and it sounds like you guys are willing to stick with me on this new adventure. Thank you. I may not say it often enough, but know that I’m thinking it, every single day.

But I also didn’t mean for this silence to be quite as long as it was. With every day that passed, it felt to me like it got louder and louder. And eventually, weeks later, I had to admit to myself that something unexpected had happened.

Announcing those big changes had a side effect… suddenly, I felt self-conscious about this site.

What would my next post be? If it’s not about fashion, then what? Law? Politics? Entertainment? Science? Whatever it was, I felt myself thinking, it needs to be great.

I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist, and I felt that rise up in spades in the last month. The next post I wrote had to be that pitch-perfect, incisive, compelling, magical set of words that would sum up everything I want from this blog.

(And if I couldn’t do that, I might as well just not write anything, right?)

But in thirty-four years on this planet, I’ve realized that that little voice of perfectionism isn’t there to help. It never helps. It makes things harder, every single time.

I realized that so viscerally when I became a mother. It took me a while to realize that Bear didn’t care if I was perfect. He just wanted me to be his mom.

And, you know what? I don’t have to be so darn perfect here either. This post isn’t great. I can already tell! You probably can too. It’s about what’s going on in my mind right at this moment, which is a mix of some lofty ideals and some stress about my ability to accomplish them.

You know… life.

But when I started thinking about it, I realized that’s exactly what I wanted to write about. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to solve modern physics or explain the First Amendment. I just have to be honest and open and here. If I can do that, I’m satisfied.

This post isn’t anything special. It’s a little more scattered and a little less eloquent than I hoped it would be when I started writing.

But it’s something.

And that’s the first step.

→ CommentsTags: life








the shape of things to come…

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December 27th, 2015 · Print Print

AtlasFamily-29

What a year this one has been.  I honestly cannot believe it’s December already.  As this year draws to a close, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about this blog, its place in my life, and what blogging means to me. 

This blog has been a huge part of my life for almost a decade.  Over the life of this site, Sugarlaws has received 9.8 million pageviews.  It will hit ten million in a few weeks.  I can hardly wrap my mind around that number.  To the millions of readers who have helped this blog grow: Thank you.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I could say it ten million times, and it wouldn’t be enough.  It has never escaped me for one minute that blogging is a privilege; one that my readers give me every day. 

But lately, my focus hasn’t been on this website.  It took me a while to put my finger on the problem, but when I really thought about it, it was right in front of me. 

In the eight years that I’ve run this blog, it’s been many things.  For the first two years, it was a food blog, detailing how I learned to cook in my first years out of school.  In 2009, I added fashion posts to this site, and suddenly found myself invited to New York Fashion Week, meeting celebrities, doing television appearances, and opening my mailbox almost every day to find new clothes, makeup, and other products.  It went from zero to sixty so quickly that I could barely keep up. 

It was a wild ride.  I got an incredible glimpse into the fashion and beauty industry: an insider’s view.  In the space of a few years, I went from gazing at fashion magazines to watching the shows, meeting the designers, and being part of the narrative that forms the industry.  What an incredible opportunity that was.  It was a dream come true. 

But like everything in life, things started to change.  I moved away from New York, had a baby, started my law practice, and watched the world change over the course of a decade.  Fashion is still a passion of mine, but lately, that passion has ebbed.  I love blogging, but I don’t want to be a fashion blogger anymore.  And in realizing that, I’ve found myself at a bit of a crossroads.  If this blog isn’t a fashion blog, then what is it?

I’m not sure I have an answer for that question yet. 

Nearly a year ago, I wrote an essay in response to a reader question about my career.  My advice was simple: Find something challenging that matters.  Since then, I’ve thought about how that applies to other areas of my life, and the one that I kept coming back to was this site.

I want this blog to be my small corner of the internet, where I can share my thoughts and stories and ideas.  That’s all I’ve ever wanted from this blog.  It just took me a while to realize it. 

2016 is going to bring a lot of changes to this website.  I want to strip everything away from this site until I get back to why I started blogging in the first place.  The layout is going to change.  The topics I write about will change.  The name may even change.  And, starting January 1st, I won’t be taking on any more sponsored posts.  No advertising at all.  I don’t want you guys to buy anything.  I just want you to read. 

2016 is the year I slow down.  It’s the year that I think carefully about this blog and what I want it to be. 

I’m proud of this.  I’m excited for it.  And I hope you are too.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.  2016 is almost here.  I, for one, can’t wait.

→ CommentsTags: life · personal








raspberry baked brie

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November 16th, 2015 · Print Print

Smuckers 10.Final

For the past few years, my attempts at holiday entertaining have been pretty limited.  There was the year Chad and I cooked a turkey while our newborn napped, and then ate pumpkin pie and went to sleep at 9 o’clock.  There was the year I burned the potatoes, followed by the year that my entire extended family ate take-out because I was afraid of burning the potatoes two years in a row.  (I wish I were kidding!)

And yet, starting in October, any time I consider a new recipe, this little voice in the back of my head starts asking: Would this work for a dozen people?  Could this recipe be a holiday recipe?  Because if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that holidays are the ultimate test of any recipe: they have to be easy, simple, and virtually foolproof. 

So this year, I have a plan.  My plan involves cheese wrapped in puff pastry because what plan involving those ingredients could ever go wrong?

The best thing about this plan?  This recipe only has four ingredients (really!) and it’s spectacular.  Your friends and family will fall all over themselves complimenting your skills in the kitchen, and you can just keep your lips zipped about the fact that it takes less than five minutes to prep.  You’re welcome!

My secret weapon is Smucker’s Fruit & Honey Fruit Spread, which is naturally sweetened with honey for perfect balance of tart and sweet flavor!  It’s the perfect complement to rich cheese and fresh berries — and it’s made with simple ingredients and no preservatives, so it’s a product that I’m happy serving to my family.  I used the Triple Berry Fruit Spread in this recipe, but you have to try to Blueberry Lemon!  It’s out-of-control delicious. 

To make my raspberry baked brie, I paired brie cheese with Smucker’s Triple Berry Fruit Spread and fresh raspberries.  The result was an amazing combination of melted cheese, softened berries, and crisp pasty.  The whole thing was melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

For more inspiration, check out a ton of other recipes using Smucker’s Fruit & Honey on their website!

This post was created in partnership with Smucker’s. As always, all opinions are my own!

Smuckers 2.Final

Smuckers 5.Final

Smuckers 8.Final

→ CommentsTags: appetizers · food · sponsored