January and The Power of Positivity

Typically I am not a big fan of January, with it’s bleak gardens, juice cleanses and “dry” themes. This year I decided I was going to embrace the first month of the year with a new attitude and zero plans to be a dry anything. Instead to taking away things I love, (champagne, I am talking to you) I have decided to add things in to my daily life, and I can tell you after the first week that it has already had a positive effect on me. Here is how I started my year and some things to look forward to in 2017.

First of all, I too felt burned out from the holidays, not feeling  great, clothes fitting weird, sleep off. My exercise routine had taken a nose dive, and so had my diet. While trying to avoid all the blathering about exercise and diet in my inbox, I happily opened up Heather Christo’s newsletter, where she shared her 3 Day Soup Cleanse. Heather’s recipes have saved the day for us many a meal, as recently diagnosed food allergies for all of us in my family have made cooking challenging. Heather’s focus is allergy free cooking and her recipes are delicious, easy to follow and perfect for modern life. I highly recommend her latest book, Pure Delicious. The best part about these soup recipes is the simplicity. Roasted vegetables and onion, vegetable broth and an occasional splash of coconut milk made these fast and easy to do. As I bragged on FB, I made one soup during the breakfast/lunch before-school circus, and I was even showered. Woohoo!

Heather Christo's 3 Day Soup Cleanse. Image courtesy of Heather Christo

Back to the soup cleanse, which I didn’t really do as a cleanse, but it still worked wonders for me. I ate my normal breakfast of gluten-free oatmeal with fruit and an almond milk latte from my Nespresso machine. After I hit the gym or walked my dog I had a bowl of soup for a snack and a banana, and then I ate a bigger bowl of soup again for lunch. I took it to work with me in a thermos on the days I was out of my home office. Our family dinners included soup and a protein, like salmon or chicken, plus roasted potatoes. And a glass of Secret Squirrel red wine, my new winter favorite. I did this every day. And I lost five pounds, slept like a teenager, and feel great. It feels so good I am going to continue next week as well! I didn’t give anything up, I added vegetables and fiber to my diet. I skipped the bread, even though my kids did have it with some of the meals. Everyone was happy.

By adding something positive (healthy food and exercise) together with enjoying something I love (a great glass of wine) I felt like I got started on the right foot. It is motivating to see results of doing something positive too, and it makes me feel like it is realistic for my busy busy life. I didn’t give anything up, except for the dread of a dreary month. Goodbye “dry January”, hello health and happiness.

My closet emerged from the holidays just as jumbled as I was so it was time to take action. I yanked out all the tired t-shirts and sweaters and weird dry cleaner hangers and tumbled shoe boxes and rehung it all by color and style. It didn’t take long and it is way easier to get dressed when I know where everything is.

That means there is room for some new things. I make a rule not to buy any more fall/winter unless A) I have been stalking it and it is now a killer deal or B) It works as a transitional piece. It can be mighty tempting with all the sales right now, so if you need to do something like refresh your black sweaters or white blouses, this is a good time. And things like cashmere can be worn year round so that is always a good investment. That, and if you have been holding off on a good coat. Now, what can we look forward to fashion wise this year? Here is a sneak peek at a few of my favorites….

Joseph Altuzarra Spring 2017

The new femininity is a defining point of the spring season and is bringing some major girly fun to closets. I love the ruffles on skirts, blouses, even pants. Ruffles are like the happy pill of fashion. They make everything lighter, fresher, and full of personality. This cinq a sept Sia Ruffle-Front Silk Blouse kills it.

Dries van Noten army jacket

Bell sleeves have made a reappearance as part of the 90s flashback that has been going on this past year. The bell sleeve has that certain "Je ne said quoi" that really ups a style game. Go big or go home with this look, be it a jacket, sweater, or blouse. I love the cheeky print of the Topshop Moth Print Blouse, and of course, this Burberry coat, be still my heart.

Adler Waldorf Shirt

Stripes and nautical themes always seem to make their way into spring closets. I like adding a striped mens style button down to my winter looks for a fresh look. The button down is going to be anything but basic this spring, from shirt dresses to off the shoulder and oversized looks. I like the idea of looking at a classic piece in a new, modern way. This Acler Waldorf Shirt is crazy good.

This month I am trying to do something fun each week, which gives me something to look forward to!  On my list are seeing Windborne's The Music of David Bowie: A Rock Symphony with the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall. It may be the only way I can get my husband to the symphony.

Years ago when I ran cooking schools, my chef friend Linda Burner Augustine did a January dinner party theme cooking class titled, “Beat The Winter Blues Dinner Party”, which was always a sell out class. I am resurrecting this festive theme for a great evening with friends at home. What better way to catch up with people in a low key way than to throw a dinner party?

Favorite look from the 2016 Golden Globes, Jennifer Lopez in Giambattista Valli 

Also on the agenda? Golden Globes on Sunday. My daughter and I always have something sparking to drink and watch the red carpet, where last year Jennifer Lopez's beautiful yellow  Giambattista Valli was among our very favorite dresses. The Globes are the least stuffy of the award shows, and with the fabulous Jimmy Fallon hosting, it should be a fun evening.

Last night after reading the millionth dire post on FB about people having “exit strategies” and how our world is going to explode, I went in and talked to my husband. I wanted to know what he thought. He is almost always the voice of reason (except for maybe when driving….) and we talked calmly and honestly about what to expect with the incoming president. His mother, Grace Cole, was a state legislator for 15 years and an amazing and respected lawmaker. He grew up in a Democratic and very political household. He has a realistic yet positive take on everything and I trust and believe him. We all could benefit from some calm, from some positive thinking, and from some action, and I don’t mean by packing your bags for Canada. Stand up for what you believe in, do the right thing.

This year, make a positive impact on your life by the choices you make for yourself and for others. Good always trumps evil. Next week it is back to fashion and in the meantime, have an amazing weekend. And Go Hawks! xx


  1. As always, Lisa, your writing is effortless and enjoyable to read as it is so well done. And you're right about January being a month about taking away. I love the idea of adding in and it certainly will help getting through the bleak gray days of winter here in Seattle. Although this splat of cold but blue sky weather has been a joy! Thank you for the shout out. I always loved that "beat the winter blues" cooking class theme.


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