It’s New Year’s Resolution Time!

Do you have any resolutions? I’m still trying to figure out mine, but I know WORK HARD and PLAY HARD are both on the list. But then again, when isn’t it?

The biggest challenge of making resolutions is staying motivated. With all of life’s distractions, it’s pretty easy to get off track.

I find a good way to stay motivated is to have little reminders around my house/on my computer/phone wallpaper that help me remember what’s important and what I’m working towards. Today I put together a little roundup of inspiration posters I found on Etsy that will help you stay motivated whatever your resolution might be. I’ve got my eyes on a few of these, now I just need to come up with the wall space!

Hang an inspirational print in your office, next to your front door, in your bathroom, or wherever you are able to easily see it. The point is to stop, read one of these mantras and STAY ON TRACK. If you’re in a pinch and need a temporary reminder, a post-it on your bathroom mirror works wonders!

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Hello! I’m baaaaaack.  The past few weeks have been somewhat chaotic so I haven’t had any major organizing projects in the works. We’re also still moving my parent’s stuff out of the house, so we can only do so much before we’re officially settled. I feel like once that happens, I can start making our master TO DO list which I hope to share with you.

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Let me introduce you to a few drawers in my kitchen that drive me BONKERS. Haha. Bonkers. I totally typed that word.

First up. This “equipment” cabinet/drawer situation up there. It’s a cabinet that has two pull out drawers and I always JAM it with things instead of putting things back properly. The problem is that there’s too many things in those shelves that don’t belong. SORTING TIME!

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In my opinion, an essential skill for the proper man is knowing how to prepare a darn good cocktail.
I will cover the basics in this column, and to kick it off decided to start the most complex of them all.

The Bloody Mary.

She’s spicy, complicated, and nourishing. She’ll cure your hangover, and put hair on your chest.
Unfortunately for you corner-cutters, the only way to do it right is from scratch. Unlike most classic cocktails, the recipe is hazy and often improvised. While a benefit, that can also cause anxiety if you don’t know how to do it right.

I’ve come to appreciate my first serving job in college most for requiring me to make the scratch bloody mix every Sunday morning before brunch shift. I became the go-to guy because my mix was fiery and robust. I never used a measure, as the bloody is all about taste. Once you have a truly balanced bloody, you’ll forever know when another is not up to par.

So, gentlemen, let’s go over the basic ingredients you’ll need on hand to whip up an impressive four star breakfast cocktail on the fly. My rule of thumb: Start with a few dashes. Taste. Add a little more. Taste. Add a little more!

Vodka is fine, but I prefer gin. Hendrick’s adds a pleasant herbal kick. Tequila also stands up nicely to the mix for a bloody with a smoky backbone. Pick your poison.

Tomato juice.
I don’t think homemade juice is entirely necessary here, albeit next level. A bottle, can or carton of good quality 100% tomato juice will suffice. You’ll want roughly equal parts tomato juice and booze. Combine over ice.

Lemon juice.
A citrus tang is important, however in moderation. An overly-lemony bloody is actually my least favorite kind. For this definitely use a squeeze of fresh fruit.

Hot Pepper Sauce.
Tabasco is the traditional choice, but I like to shake it up. Sriracha is a newfangled favorite, though generally I tend to prefer Louisiana hot sauces, Crystal being my favorite.

Grated fresh horseradish root makes the most delicious bloodies, but in a pinch prepared horseradish from the jar will do (note: NOT horseradish cream). A little spoonful goes a long way. Make sure your guests can handle it.

Super important. The Worcestershire sauce is what lends the meaty bite. It’s the umami. That said, for a Bloody Maria I’ve successfully substituted Chipotle hot sauce. If you’re going for an Asian twist with Sriracha, maybe try soy sauce in place of the Worcestershire.

Black pepper.
Yep, lots of it. Ground fresh.

Celery salt.
A blend of celery seed and salt, it’s the signature finish. Sprinkle generously on top.

A celery stalk is classic, though I find it terribly distracting and cumbersome. This is a good time to raid those jars in the back of the fridge for a pickled assortment. Olives, cornichons, cocktail onions, dilly beans, okra, green tomatoes… it all works! Skewer on a bamboo kabob stick, add to glass, serve, and get ready for a “wow!”

Alright, lesson over. So how do you like yours?

I love notebooks. I always have and I am pretty sure I always will. The problem I find with notebooks is that I don’t always finish them. There’s something that makes me lose steam and jump ship. Am I alone here? Maybe it’s just that I love a clean slate and starting over? Maybe I get bored easily? Maybe I would finish writing in an entire notebook if it was ORGANIZED. We shall see about that.

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I’m sitting in my office right now taking a break from making a birthday cake for Cooper. I’m having a really small get together for his birthday tonight and I’m feeling a tad bit stressed. But then I started thinking…. I should just ask for help. What a concept!  It’s not that I don’t want help; I just never know what to ask of people because I am always planning on doing things myself. It never occurs to me that I can farm things out and use people as resources. I just don’t operate that way.

So, I’m going to take charge and ask for help today. I’m thinking of all of the things that need to be done and I am going to give some of my family members jobs. And to think I would have done this ALL MYSELF.  No wonder it’s hard to relax and enjoy a party!

My mom is coming over early and I am going to have her wrap presents and set the table. My dad will help me wipe off the table on our deck, put out the wine glasses & decant wine. My husband will help me straighten up the house and put the dishes away and possibly  clean up the bathroom. We’ll see. Now that I know what I want help with, it should be easier to ask!

Suddenly I don’t feel as stressed out.


The holiday season is easily the best time of year for the everyday gentleman to flaunt his refinement. Back-to-back holiday parties invite a little semi-formal flair, and as recent years have shown, appropriated antiquated men’s formal wear is on the rise. Waistcoats, suspenders, brogue Oxfords, and bow ties have not only made their way back into modern dress, but even casual wear. Hence the proper man has little excuse not to polish up the cuff links for a special occasion and impress. A fitting starting point I think is the bow tie. No, not the clip-on. The real kind.

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