It’s definitely wintertime! We’re on our second snowfall and my little town is mostly covered in ice. When you live in a shore town, things obviously sway toward warmer weather. But, I do like the wintertime because it gives us a chance to downshift a little and reflect inward. January has historically been my time to take notes on the past and set new strategies for the future. This holds true for home, family and business.


This year I’m taking a brand new approach to Olive and Herb – realizing how much I truly love this creative outlet for myself and how it inspires me to create more in the kitchen for my family and as an artist with my visual craft. My hope for this blog from the beginning was to inspire everyone from foodies to families alike in finding their groove for running an efficient kitchen (no matter how busy their lifestyles are), to show how it can be easy to eat well and from scratch on a daily basis and create images that remind people why food really is such an art. It also is a place for me to be experimental with my own creativity in how I photograph and discover more in the world of art and cuisine. But there is even more to it than that!


Screenshot: "Snow Day"


A little back story: This Christmas my son was asking for a toy kitchen. I’m not sure where this came from since as far as I know none of his friends have a toy kitchen that he would have had the chance to grow an affection for. As far as I knew, the only kitchen he spent any time in is our full-sized one.


In general, his wishlist tends to shift over the time frame leading up to Christmas so I wasn’t putting too much stock in this at first. Then one day I was dropping him off to school and he was looking through a circular of toys and sales and he burst out “Mommy! This is the one! This is what I want from Santa!”. He pointed to a toddler kitchen (and not a very nice one, I would add) and I asked him “You seem pretty excited about the idea of a toy kitchen. Can you tell me why? What would you do with a toy kitchen if you had one?”. He replied sincerely, “If I had a toy kitchen I would be able to cook for you and Daddy and make everyone feel happy – just like you do for us, Mommy.”.


Well, obviously I went immediately to purchase a toy kitchen for him after my heart, pure liquid from the flash fire melting it had just encountered, had somewhat solidified.


It occurred to me that cooking isn’t just something we do to nourish ourselves and our families. It’s something much, much more. It’s a way of showing and giving love and nuturing. It’s something to enjoy and share and teach and grow.


Screenshot: "Snow Day"

Screenshot: "Snow Day"


So, I decided there must also be a fun way to communicate that – and what better way than to encorporate a little video series that can truly give a peek into how I see life in the kitchen and how it can stretch outward. From cooking with kids, community and my genuine love for the beauty that is food. I hope these little vignettes will inspire you to embrace your kitchens as places that cook up and serve healthy portions of love!


The first one takes place on the day of our very first snowfall of 2015 and follows my little guy and myself in our journey to make a cozy hot chocolate together. You can find the complete recipe here!