Rack ‘Em Up | 40 Essential Spices for Your Kitchen

It’s January, and we’re all looking for ways to get healthier in the new year.

You could go the typical diet route that everyone seems to jump on this time of year. Of course, that often means boring, bland food, and you falling off the wagon right quick.

There is another way. Spices exponentially bump up the flavor of your food, and many of them have compounds that have been prized for thousands of years for their medicinal qualities.

The Spice House

Today I have the definitive list of the 40 spices (all available through The Spice House) you need in your kitchen to make just about anything.

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Let the Selfish Knitting Begin!


All of our holiday knitting is done, and now we have a chance to settle into the bleakest months of the year with some woolly goodness, and some knitting projects made out of gorgeous yarn that we will actually get to wear for a change.

Madeline Tosh Merino Light Fingering in Winter Wheat

Do you have your yarn and patterns? Be sure to tell us what you’re up to in the comments below, but in the meantime, let me show you what’s on my plate for Selfish Knitting New Year!

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My 24 Favorite Posts of 2012

Happy New Year, friends!

New Year’s Day always feels like such a fresh start to me. And even though Papa Bear are right in the middle of what might be the busiest couple of years of our lives, there are so many exciting things on both my short-term and long-term to-do lists, and I am downright bright eyed and bushy tailed about it.

Culinary Tea Book

There may be a lot of cooking with tea happening. Color me inspired.

Despite being a little drunk. Mimosas, you know. For it is New Year’s Day.

I’m ever so excited to take Leave Me to My Projects to the next level in 2013, and gear up to start a second blog over at the barbering business page of the hubs and I, Beardsgaard Barbers.

So what does the next level of Leave Me to My Projects look like? Filled out, is what. If you’re a blogger, you know this, but if you’re not, let me tell you, when you’re doing this blogging thing day in and day out, your idea of what your blog will be and what it actually is at that moment start to meld into a sticky goo.

As such, I know there are plenty of areas of this blog that need to be more filled out and better organized, all of those resources I have stashed need to be added (although I knocked that one out this week, so go check out the newly updated category pages, like the Food page!)

And now that the holidays are over, I will have ever so slightly more time to do all of this. So I’m going to get to it!

In the meantime, I have put together a little list of my favorite 24 posts from 2012 to remind myself how far this blog has come in the last year. Take a look back with me, will you?

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Merry Freaking Christmas!

It’s Christmas, friends, and with all of our family gatherings wrapped up in the previous week, Papa Bear are enjoying a long-awaited and magical LOTR-filled day of togetherness.

The One Ring

And with this, Leave Me to My Projects is going to wrap it up for the year. I’ll still be working, but behind the scenes to polish up the blog, do a little reorganizing, and make this blog in reality what it is in my head. Because seriously, that blog is the BOMB.

This last year has blown me away with readers (yes, it is still mind boggling to me that I have readers – the sometimes 1,000 a day arriving here have my undying gratitude) that have taught me and challenged me to grow as much as I hope I have helped them.

Thank you, each and every one of you.

Solstice Greetings!

Today marks the winter solstice, the day of the year when the least of the sun’s rays reach us down here on Earth.

Today in Chicago, the sun rose at 7:15 a.m. and sets again at 4:23 p.m. Compare that to the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, when the sun rises at 5:16 a.m. and sets at 8:29 p.m.

Here in Chicago we got our first snowfall of the year that stuck, right after a day of torrential rain. I’m sort of terrified to see the block of ice I imagine my car to be encased in this morning.

Snow Queen Winter Solstice Yule Goddess 5x7 Greeting Card by Emily Balivet

Snow Queen Winter Solstice Yule Goddess 5×7 Greeting Card by Emily Balivet

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