Well, 2021 got off to a rocky start, did it not? With everything going on in US politics and the ongoing saga that is COVID-19, it can be challenging to find the optimism needed to face a new year with passion and verve. Taking a balanced approach - complete with lots of deep breaths - is really the only way to proceed. I was so heartened to read Elizabeth Graves' letter at the front of the January/February issue of Martha Stewart Living that espoused a similar mode d'emploi. "My only resolve this year is to embrace balance," she writes. "Working too hard? Ease up. Feeling a little doughy? Put on the sneaks. Really want that mouth-watering sweet? Simply enjoy it." I think we can all agree that firm resolutions have no chance of taking root in a cultural and global situation such as ours. Just make the most of each day.
So, the first issue of the year for Martha Stewart Living straddles the best of everything we need to get us through these opening scenes of 2021: the healthy, the inspiring, the delicious, and the indulgent. The simplicity and the love. It's all here.
The Good Things section is filled with lots of DIY ideas for Valentine's Day, including these cute-as-pie 'pom-pom' cards. There's a recipe for the easiest chocolate truffles on earth and a fun Valentine's Day breakfast idea for kids: frozen strawberry-milk ice cubes in heart shapes. There's a movie-night popcorn and cocktail scenario that I'm definitely going to try, and a really cute craft project for kids: a cardboard animal house, complete with 'wallpaper' and furniture.
The front of the magazine features all the wellness advice we could ask for, including a look at Martha's personal tips for leading a healthy life. There's an excellent article on how to get a good night's sleep, even during times of stress and uncertainty. And no January issue would be complete without a hands-on guide to cleaning and organizing: here it's all about the kitchen, which the editors rightly point out has been working overtime during the holidays. Time to give it a good bath - appliances and all! The article takes you through the finer points of achieving sparkling results.Black Sanctuary Gardens in northern California was a project started by landscape designer Leslie Bennett. Its aim is to provide a green space for Black women to retreat and connect with nature and their loved ones.