Being in the wedding industry is strange. There will be times, particularly during the winter, when I won't work for two or three weeks at a time. I'll make myself a little bit mad by organizing and re-organizing my home and office and studio... blogging an insane amount, baking up a storm, and then feeling weird because I'm not working. During those times, I have to create work for myself just so I don't feel useless. Not that house-wifely things are ever useless, but I'm a career woman. I need to be working, at least to some extent, or I can get into a serious funk.

There are other times in the wedding industry, namely now, when I feel crazy for the opposite reason. I am so busy that my head is spinning and I've been confusing my events and mis-filing my papers. I always catch my mistakes, but I have to remind myself to slow down and take a little bit of time to relax so I don't lose my mind completely. In the past three weeks I've flown to three different states and driven through eight more. I've been in hot, humid 100 degree temps, comfortable 70 degree temps and chilling 50 degree temps! In the midst of it all, I took an hour out of a recent afternoon to bake some shortbread, brew some tea, and read a chapter of a novel. It was SO worth it. And when I'd drained the last sip of tea from my cup, I was refreshed and ready to attack my work with renewed vigor. For I was also reminded how grateful I am to be busy. Life is good!

I've shared this recipe before, but newer readers may still appreciate it... for me, it never gets old. And the simplicity makes it all the more appealing!

Cranberry-Orange Shortbread

In a large bowl, combine:

  • 1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, sifted
  • 2 & 1/4 cups flour, sifted
  • pinch of salt

When the ingredients are well combined and crumbly, add 1 teaspoon of orange flavoring and 1 cup of dried cranberries (I prefer Trader Joe's orange-flavored dried cranberries). Pat the mixture into an ungreased jelly roll pan. Bake at 275 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges.

Isn't this tea-cozy adorable? It was custom-made for me by my mother's good friend, Sandra Dalrymple. She's an incredible mixed-media artist in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I only wish she had a website...

If you're in crazy-busy mode, like me, please take some time to recharge your batteries! Even fifteen minutes away from the phone and the computer on your patio to breath in the fresh air and listen to the sounds of your neighborhood will give you a whole new outlook on life...  I promise you, you won't regret it!

Images | Plant Design | Styling by Lauryl Lane.