Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Welcome to Naturally Original!

Ok, admit it. Life is crazy. It’s tough to juggle family, friends, work, a social life, traveling, household projects, kids (if you have them), and stay sane while trying to show everyone that you care and are really trying to make an effort while also making time for yourself. Palm pilots and iPhones have propelled us into a tailspin where if it doesn’t make it on the digital calender, it isn’t happening. And somehow, scheduling “me time” between 6:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. just deflates the anticipated outcome like a pin prick to a balloon. How can you really unwind when you know the clock is ticking?

So we’re not suggesting anything revolutionary here - - just that we all slow down and take a breath. Not slow to a snail’s pace or stall so long we revert back to a ‘simpler time and simpler place.’ Quite frankly, the world would spin madly on without us. But we heartily endorse making time and space for a little bit of the ‘good life’ in our every day routines. Hence, Naturally Original is born.

Naturally Original is collection of thoughts, tips, ideas and reflections from the creative team at Petticoat’s Advance Farm, a family-run farm in northern Maryland. Although we’ve been growing things and have been following the “farm to table” mentality for years, we’ve just decided to start growing and selling herbs and perennial flowers to the public. We’ll be launching our web-based farmers marketplace later this fall - - but that’s not what this blog is about. It’s about enjoying the small pleasures in life.

Most of us have everyday 9-5 jobs (or are full time students) in addition to working with the farm, and many of those jobs or degree pursuits don’t necessarily qualify us as ‘experts’ on the topics and thoughts we’ll be blogging about. But that’s what makes us different - - we’re really real people. Living crazy hectic lives. We like to think we do it with a little bit of grace and glitz, but we’re also pretty darn average.

With a family full independent, opinionated and diverse women (there are eleven women in our family, ranging in ages from 11 to over 70), we read all of the latest fashion trends in Elle and Lucky but can’t help but wonder “what were they thinking” 75% of the time. We secretly covet the ideas in Martha Stewart Living and simultaneously curse her for saying everything is always so simple when clearly, it’s not (making your own paper looks cool but is messy and not truly something we have time for). We read the classics, We read classic trashy novels, too.

We’d like to be accomplished chefs and read Bon Appetit and Gourmet (and voraciously devour the Food Network and Bravo), but often don’t read the recipe careful enough and are surprised when the caramel ganache needs to be chilled overnight and the whole dessert ends up down the garbage disposal because we don’t have an overnight. So yes - - our weeknight dinners are often combinations and evolved versions of simple recipes and the occasional take-out. We’re often more adventurous on the weekends. And we have a collection of fabulous hand-me-down recipes that are always crowd pleasers but might send the healthy food extremists into a tizzy. There are just days when we require a little mac and cheese made with Velveeta instead of skim low calorie cheddar. Of course, the next day we’ll have an organic mixed green salad with beets and free range balsamic grilled chicken.

We love the decorating tips in Domino and Cottage Living although we think there needs to be some sort of compromise between the two (bohemian, traditional, cottage and contemporary can be mixed, right?). And we simply can’t ignore the good old fashioned advice in classic standbys like Better Homes and Gardens and Real Simple, even though we might resent the advice all the same. If we’re honest, we’re hot and cold about the Oprah show but sneak it in on the occasional day off from work. Her book club selections are usually pretty good reads.

Some of us have been married for 15-25+ or more years with children (some adults, some young). One of us has been married for more than 50 years, one of us is a newlywed and others of us are single (as in not-married, not necessarily not committed) in our twenties. We are a lawyer, hospital administrator, manager, antique dealer, IT professional, educator, retail associate, writer, soon-to-be pilot, and student. Some of us work one job, others balance two or three. Some balance part-time work with school. We are many different women - - just like all of you are.

This blog is meant to be fun, refreshingly honest, hopefully informative and help remind us to keep things in perspective. It’s not about throwing the dinner party that looks perfect - - it’s about throwing the party that entices conversation, looks beautiful, tastes great and doesn’t require Xanax or a 12 hour coma afterwards. It’s about cooking a fresh dinner for your family or friends that doesn’t necessitate days of planning, $700 at the grocery store or visiting twelve different stores for organic, obscure (but oh SO decadent!) ingredients. It’s about sprucing up a room without spending tons of cash or making it look liked a botched episode of Trading Spaces. It’s about planning a weekend getaway that reflects who you really are -- not a crazed race of “must sees” and “must dos.”

We have one single wish for this blog experience - - may our catharsis help you infuse a little bit of the ‘good life’ into your daily grind. And we don’t mean to be cliche when we say that every day has it’s occasions. We truly believe that every day has it’s moments. And, naturally, we should all enjoy them.

1 comment:

Jennifer O. said...

Congratulations on the launch of naturally original, Heather!! Good luck to you and the rest of the naturally original women - I look forward to reading more...
P.S. I'm putting a link to you on The Oxenford Family blog. :)