Joy List Monday on a Wintry Morning

The weekend flew past in a whirl of snow and now it's Monday again. I don't know where the time is going.

watercolor art print calendar, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

The other day Dana Barbieri wrote a beautiful blog post about stopping time so she can savor these precious days before her children get too old to enjoy the holidays. I wish I could stop time, too. Snuggle into these cozy days, snow whispering on the other side of the windows, candles flickering in their jars, hot tea steaming in my mug.

christmas decorations, snow globe, crafts, mason jars, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry
But time keeps slipping by. I can't change that.

I can, however savor. Savor each moment. Keep my Joy Lists. Stop what I'm doing throughout the day and lift up thoughts of gratitude.

houseplants, jasmine, flower buds, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Be glad for things like the jasmine flowers forming on the plant in my studio window.

Snapping this photo I noticed I could already smell the sweet scent of jasmine. It wasn't my imagination; when I looked, I discovered a few buds had already opened.

houseplants, jasmine, flowers, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

If I hadn't been paying attention I might have missed it.

I might also have missed the silly scene out the upstairs window from the other day:

winter, joy, squirrels, corncob, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Oh, those squirrels make me laugh. I'm glad for their presence in our yard (even though they did keep digging up my onions this summer). I'm glad for the presence of the birds at our feeders, too. Sweet chickadees and finches, nuthatches and bluejays, cardinals and sparrows, juncos and woodpeckers. I try to remember to stop and watch out the window throughout the day. They bring me so much joy.

I hope you are managing to find time to listen to your joys, too. Maybe even write your joys down in the mini gratitude journal Dana and I created for you (it's not too late to subscribe and download your own).

Joy List Monday: 

a weekly ritual
a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces that make life magical and to set aside time for gratitude each day

My list today:

watercolor, handmade, gifts, holiday packaging, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Wishing you a lengthy list.

p.s. Etsy's running a special promotion for first time customers and it's ending tonight at midnight. Make a $50 purchase in one shop and receive a $10 credit toward a future purchase. You can read all about it here. Might be the time to finally take the plunge and purchase something you've been eying in my Etsy shop.

p.p.s. Spoonflower is having a flash sale offering free shipping through noon, Tuesday December 13th!

p.p.p.s.  My website now accepts Paypal as a payment option! I was so excited when Squarespace announced this the other day. Now you have the choice of paying with credit card, Apple Pay or Paypal. (Learn more about my policies here).

*I made this jar years ago, inspired by this. I still love it and it's one of the few decorations I put out at Christmas time.


  1. Love your tree toting truck decoration. How about the recipe for the butternut pasta sauce? I could use one that would convert the non-squash eaters around here. Thanks! ­čśŐ

    1. Thanks so much! I love that little truck, too.

      The "recipe" is made up and I didn't really measure anything (that's how I cook most of the time). I've made it a few times and it is really easy and tastes so good. Here's an approximation:
      1. cut the butternut squash in half and remove the seeds and stringy bits (you can roast the seeds and they make a nice snack). Place squash face down on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes (depends on the size of the squash). Remove from oven and let cool. Spoon the flesh from the skin and discard the skin. At this point you can use the squash in your sauce or refrigerate or freeze it for later use. It's nice to roast more than one squash at once so you can have it on hand for when you need a quick meal.

      2. Roughly chop some onions (about a cup) and saute them slowly in a pan on low heat till they're nice and golden. Add minced garlic (2-4 cloves) and a pinch of red pepper flakes (for some optional kick).

      3. Add the roasted squash and stir. The squash should be soft enough to smash into the onions and garlic.

      4. Pour a bit of milk till you get a nice creamy consistency. You don't want it too milky or too dry. Stir until everything is combined and nice and hot, just a few minutes.

      5. Using an immersion blender partially blend the sauce. (Matthias preferred this with some nice chunks of onion, but if you want a smoother sauce you can fully blend it).

      6. Add salt and pepper to taste and if you have some fresh sage on hand, roughly chop it and use as a garnish.

      7. Serve over your favorite pasta -- this is especially good with fresh cheese ravioli.

      Hope you get a chance to try it!

      Oh, and the roasted squash seeds (mix the washed seeds with a bit of oil and roast for about 15 minutes) are really yummy sprinkled with Japanese rice seasoning if you can find it. Seaweed and sesame seeds.

    2. Thanks so much and I will definitely be giving it a try. Happy holidays!

    3. Hope you enjoy it!!

      Happy Holidays to you, too!

  2. I loved your Joy List my friend. I had to chuckle about Elf. :-) It is a holiday favorite at this house.
    Merry Christmas my friend,

    1. Thank you, Carla!

      It was a funny movie. I'm glad I finally got around to watching it!

      Wishing you a lovely Christmas, to my friend. Stay warm!!

  3. Just read your last few blog posts, Anne. All I can say is wow! Your work is so beautiful and I really admire your positive attitude and weekly joy list. Congratulations on all that you are doing!! Wishing you many blessings this holiday season!

    1. Oh, thank you, Judy! You have always been such an encouraging and supportive creative influence.

      Wishing you many blessings as well. I have a feeling that 2017 is going to be a good one for both of us!!

  4. The mason jar scene is such a lovely Christmas decoration! Not had much time for writing a joy list today but one thing comes to mind - Gizmo, who always used to be an outdoor cat is spending more time indoors. We spend the evenings sitting side by side and he dreams and twitches, purrs and snores contentedly whist I watch the television. It has become quite a ritual! :)

    1. How sweet for you to be spending time with Gizmo like that! Our animal friends sure do bring a lot of joy!

  5. So many successes in 2016, Anne! I am just delighted to watch your creative journey unfold. Can you feel me cheering for you out here in Vermont? xoxoxoxo

    1. Thank you, Karen! I can feel it and it brings me so much joy!

      xo and then some.


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