• Get it Together

    Bright.  Clean.  Labelled.  Airy.  Smelly-good.  Organized. 

    None of these terms describe my current storage situation.  Yes, my home is lovely, and yes, this blog makes it look like my things are constantly put together, but the truth is that almost every cupboard and closet in this house are like a cartoon; Open the doors, and an avalanche of stuff will knock you over.

    Drawers in the kitchen and in living room end tables are disorganized, shoved full of so much crap.  We constantly fish for lightbulbs and rolls of toilet paper, never knowing if we have any.  Potatoes sprout vines in our pantry and somewhere in our kitchen, I know we have a George Forman grill.... I'm just not sure where.

    I'm consistently inspired by the incredible work by The Home Edit, and posts like this one from The Makerista showing her impeccably organized fridge, but in my own house, I've let clean cupboards and organized closets go the wayside.

    My mission (goal? resolution?) in 2018 is to get organized.  I know I'm buying multiples of gloves, batteries, too many heads of garlic because I have no idea where anything is- and this is a small house!! Finally, last weekend, I said enough, and decided to begin in the kitchen.

    I emptied all of our food-storing cabinets, tossing more expired spices and sprouted onions than I knew could exist, and took an inventory of what was left- cereal, different types of rice, bread flour and all-purpose, nuts of all kinds, a few cans of leSueur peas, spices- and sat down with the laptop to search The Container Store for storage solutions.  Going a step further, I found Etsy dealer Vinyl Edge Designs and set to work creating labels for all.  

    So far, only my labels and two storage jars have arrived, but I have the feeling the UPS man will be stopping by the house several times over the next few days.  Our kitchen, the entry closet, and cleaning closet in the powder room are first priorities, as they're the spaces that are seen the most by visitors.  Next, I'm hoping to tackle our clothes closets upstairs and our vanities, and then, the dreaded basement.  

    I'm sure this is a project that will go on all year, but I'm hopeful that an organized home will cut down on the junk we don't need, the food we won't eat, and the junk drawer that will finally, fully open.  Stay tuned.

  • Clique Boutique

    In the early 2000's, when tight satin party dresses, Snookie hair bumps, and too-tan skin was all the rage, so was over-tweezing one's eyebrows.  I was a victim of such a thing (don't believe me? Check this out. Where are my eyebrows??), and over-tweezed with the best of them.  

    It was in 2014 that I ran across Clique Boutique on Frankfort Avenue.  Originally, I walked in for eyelash extensions, which I kept on for quite some time.  During that first visit, Clique owner Janna Flowers recommended that I stop tweezing my brows, and instead, let her take care of me.  Janna's gentle touch and confident guidance made me more comfortable than I've ever been with someone's fingers so close to my eyes.  It took several months for them to grow in, but now, after years of her service, my brows are as wonderful as I could imagine.

    Janna and her crew of ladies know that each client is different and customize every service- from waxing to organic spray tans- to every person who walks in their doors.  After 10 years in business, the system at Clique seems to be working- the clients there are overwhelmingly loyal.  Lately, Janna has been recommending that her clients try the little-known treatment of dermaplaning- a way of removing the top layer of skin so that her clients can get greater benefits out of their products at home.

    Chic and comfortable inside, with soft modern music (like Portland jazz group Pink Martini), there are times I want to stop in more often than the recommended once monthly visits. Each time, I'm greeted by name, offered something to drink, and immediately set at ease, knowing that here, I'll be in the hands of women who's biggest beauty belief is to stay away from trends and remain timeless in one's self care.

    GIVEAWAY ALERT!! Clique owner Janna Flowers has been kind enough to offer YMS readers a chance at a free brow shape and tint! Beginning at 11am EST today, Tuesday, January 16, 2018 until 5pm EST Friday, January 26th, 2018, any reader can enter to win by emailing me at yoursmostsincerely@hotmail.com. One entry per day only. The winner will be chosen at random, and notified via email on January 26th, with the gift card delivered via US Mail. Good Luck!

    ** this post was sponsored by Clique Boutique.  all thoughts and opinions are my own **

    ** photos by Kyle Lueken **

  • Cleaning Out

    I’ve had a terrible way of eating since I came out of the womb. My earliest memories of food include my grandmother making “fluff;” peanut butter mixed with marshmallow creme sandwiched between saltines and wrapped in my lunchbox. I remember dinner sometimes consisting of a singular forced bite of green beans followed by multiple ice cream sundaes. Every time a dessert was made using Eagle Brand Milk, I’d eat way too much out of the can and those baking would be worried that the dish wouldn’t turn out correctly.

    In my early twenties, my first job took place at an office just a block away from a supermarket. I distinctly remember at least once driving over on my lunch break and coming back with a half gallon of Breyer’s chocolate ice cream. The entire box served as my lunch, with no regrets. I know that there were times at my first job in Louisville, when I would walk to the Thornton’s next door to grab two gas station hot dogs, a bag of Grippo’s potato chips, and a Mountain Dew.

    Now, in my mid- 30’s it’s no different. I can’t resist the taste and sort-of crunch of chocolate-glazed Entenmann’s donuts. I’ll buy a box at the grocery, make sure they’re up front with me on the drive home. I’ll have two eaten by the time I’m out of the parking lot, scarfing them down so quickly that I almost can’t breathe. The box will be gone by the end of the night. If I have a craving for sweets with no dessert in the house, I'd quickly mix up shortbread dough- just butter, sugar, and flour- and eat it right out of the bowl. It had to be immediately followed with a sprite or ginger ale since my stomach would be so upset.

    I love food…. I love wholesome food as well- bean soup, salmon in every way, shape, and form. I’m a huge fan of a sizzling ribeye covered in garlic. I love locally grown produce, grass fed beef, buttery and meat-y. But I love sugar.

    It was in mid-December, on the third day in a row of bringing home Entenmann’s and wolfing the whole box that I took the remaining 3 donuts and sealed them in a ziplock bag and hid them from my boyfriend in my desk drawer. Later that night, I looked at photos for the blog and realized how ridiculously big I was, and finally realized I had a problem. I went to bed early, crying over what I had done to my health, my heart pounding and my pulse in my ears from just the walk up the stairs. When Bryan came home and found me half-asleep already, I confessed to the donuts hidden in the desk (which he removed… I’m still not sure of their fate. He may have eaten them), and we had a very long talk about how to reset my eating habits and my cravings.

    After a bit of research, and a very long discussion with one of their counsellors, I decided to begin a juice cleanse with The Weekly Juicery to break my bad eating habits. I’ve just wrapped up day 10, and am hoping to begin phase two in a few days by adding in a couple of raw food snacks each day, then moving on to more food daily.  The plan is to continue to incorporate more freshly pressed vegetable juice into my life from this point on.

    I’ve been working on The Weekly Juicery’s rainbow cleanse, starting each day with Lively Lemon- lemon juice with alkaline water and cayenne- and ending with A Nutty Date- almond milk with cinnamon, sweetened with dates. In between, 4 juices full of kale, cucumbers, beets, romaine, ginger, lemon, and, in one, blue majik algae fuel me through the day.

    Here’s the thing: I’m not hungry. At all. Instead, I’ve been downing juice every 2-3 hours, staying hydrated, and going for a nice long walk (on the treadmill, since its freezing outside) every day. I’ve added in Pilates classes twice a week, and have a plan to start lifting again once solid food comes my way.

    So far, I’ve lost almost all signs of belly bloat as well as just over ten pounds.  While a long-term healthier me was the goal, I would have never expected this much weight loss so quickly, though I’m sure part of the weight will come back on once I start eating again. But, I feel good, and my skin has never looked better.

    I’ll keep you posted on progress, and plan on giving you a day-by-day as soon as I wean myself into a new normal.  I can’t think Christopher Kent at The Weekly Juicery enough for his almost-daily conversations and pep-talks, and I'm looking forward to what real health feels like.

    ** this post is not sponsored in any way **

  • Rosemont Floral Blouse

    Oh, friends…. Remember this summer when I fell head over heels with that gorgeous Tory Burch blouse? The full sleeves, the tie-neck. It was perfect, and feminine and floral, and almost completely unlike me in every way. Still, that blouse got a heck of a lot of wear last year, so when the same style in a new pattern dubbed Rosemont Floral, I knew I wanted it!

    With roses in all sizes and all shades of blue dancing across an ivory silk background, this top is again one that’s a little out of my comfort zone in the feminine arena. Still, every time I put it on, I feel polished and pretty. I’ve been slowly working my way through my wardrobe, editing down to pieces that I just love and that work with my everyday life. The result is pieces like these: quality materials with what feels like timeless style.

    Swirling with navy, a little formal and a little frilly, I knew that this blouse would photograph beautifully in my clients’ 1800’s mansion in Old Louisville, with dark navy walls and pale blue French tile on the living room fireplace.

    ** photos by Kyle Lueken **

    ** this post is not sponsored in any way **

  • NEW LISTING!! 8121 Avanti Way, Louisville

    Former builders home offers it all to a new family: HGTV perfect kitchen with two-tone cabinets and rough wood hood, bar counter, open dining room with fireplace, and a rear yard that snuggles up next to wooded area with apple orchard will make the lucky new owners feel like they're secluded, despite easy access to Bardstown Road and the Gene Snyder.

    3 bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths provide plenty of space for a family.  Master has ensuite bath and closets, while one of the additional bedrooms is huge- a bonus room turned bedroom over a 4-car tandem garage!  Offered at $198,500.

    Brought to you by Joyce Duncan, Semonin Realtors.

    For more information, click here.

  • On 2018

    My sweet readers, Happy New Year to you all!  

    I'm astonished that 2018 is here, in many ways.  2018 marks the year that I've officilly spent more time living in the 21st century than the 20th (for those keeping count, that means I'm about to be 35).  2018 marks the 12th year that the man and I have stuck by one another.  It's the first year that I'm entering into without either parent, the first that I'm completely independent in terms of decisions I make regarding old properties, the family estate...

    2018 also marks the 5th year of this blog.  While Yours, Most Sincerely got off to a somewhat unprofessional and rocky start, the last year brought about a change in both the site as well as my view of what it could be.  With my first sponsorships, a partnership with a kind and incredible photographer, and a conscious plan for upcoming posts, I saw readership improve, my own motivation skyrocket, and- in 2017- my business saw a huge boost of clientelle as a direct result of YMS content.  I would have never dreamed that there would be a benefit to running a site like this, aside from not drowning in my own thoughts, yet, here we are.

    I'm pleased to announce that in 2018, I'll be teaming up with Jelly Design Studio to give Yours, Most Sincerely a major facelift.  Options you've been asking for- like subscriptions, search options, a more streamlined layout- will be available.  

    I know we're still weeks away from the culmination, but I'm tickled pink at the thought of finally looking professional.  Together, with my wonderful partners, photographer Kyle Lueken, and Melissa Bandera at Jelly Design Studio, I'll reveal the new space as quickly as possible.  

    Growth- what a wonderful New Year's Goal.

    ** photo by Kyle Lueken **

  • NEW LISTING!! 2726 Hollywood Terrace #106, Crescent Hill

    Warm and cozy Crescent Hill condo is ready for new loves to call it home!  This first floor unit stretches the depth of the building, and is flooded with light from both sides.  Built-in bookshelves and gas fireplace keep things comfortable in cooler weather, while large, covered deck offers space for outdoor living during Louisville's warmer months.

    Two large bedrooms with ensuite baths and closets allow enough living quarters for almost any size family, while large living and dining area keep things modern with new lighting.  Kitchen, with granite counter and stone backsplash, has ample space for an additional eating area, and has a large walk-in pantry and launry closet.  Offered at $137,900.

    Brought to you by Joyce Duncan, Semonin Realtors

    For more information, click here.

  • The Peanut Butter Ball

    My grandmother is guilty of passing on false information.  That's not to say she was a liar, but that she protected her recipes within an inch of her life.  The recipe for the Italian Creme Cake she so loyally baked every birthday and Christmas was typed out on a three by five index card, with the name of it's original baker, "Ruby," written in her script at the top right corner.  However...  this recipe card, though it's been followed, shared, and framed in my kitchen, is not the real recipe.  

    Her sweet bread loaf, I've never been able to replicate.  I have no idea how it was actually made.  The same goes for her angel biscuits, jam cake, cooked caramel icing, and her peanut butter balls, in a way.

    The peanut butter ball recipe- again, typed on an index card, with her best friend, Melba's name hand-written in the corner- is as accurate as any could be, yet contains outdated measurements; a can of flaked coconut, part of a cake of parrafin wax...

    Over the years, I've turned out at least one batch of these every holiday season, and if done correctly, get eight dozen perfectly-shaped, quarter-sized bites of goodness. A can of flaked coconut equates to about a cup of the packed flakes.  I prefer pecans for the non-descriptive "chopped nuts," and melt real butter instead of the margarine the index card calls for.  Still, though, I've found no proper measurement for the parafin.

    The result is a buckeye-looking "deluxe peanut butter ball" according to those who eat them.  While the idea of eating a little parrafin wax is off-putting to some, I find that it melts a thinner dipping cholocate that coats easier and dries more slowly and therefore less lumpy than the pre-made dipping chocolate counterpart you can find in any grocery store these days.  

    They taste like Christmas.  They bring back memories of my grandpa standing anxiously at my right, ready to remove and re-insert the toothpicks we used to dunk into the melted chocolate.  They make me think of family gatherings and wax paper in a decorative tin box.  And, whether or not its the real recipe, they taste perfect.

    Melba's Peanut Butter Balls, with Naoma's Twist:

    1 box powdered sugar

    1 packed cup sweetened flake coconut

    1 cup smooth peanut butter

    2 melted sticks of butter

    1 cup graham cracker crumbs

    1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

    12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

    1/3 cake parafin wax

    Mix together the first 6 ingredients, and form into quarter-sized balls on wax paper.  

    Melt together the wax and the chocolate, and dip the peanut butter balls in almost all the way.  Let sit until hardened, then use finger to cover the toothpick holes.  

  • NEW LISTING!!! 369 Winton Avenue, Crescent Hill

    Cute and comfortable 2-bed, 2-bath bungalow in Crescent Hill is awaiting new owners!  With airy rooms, French doors, covered front porch and huge rear deck, this sweet little home is the ultimate in cozy.  Easy access to Frankfort Avenue, St. Matthews, or downtown Louisville, nestled in a quiet neighborhood off of Brownsboro Road. 

    First floor features living room, kitchen and dining, along with a breezy bedroom and full bath. Master suite stretches throughout the second floor, with dual-sink vanity, glass shower, and multiple walk-in closets, as well as a large, private deck overlooking the rear yard. 1-car garage, and attached 1-car carport.  Offered at $249,900.

    Brought to you by Joyce Duncan, Semonin Realtors.

    For more information, click here.

  • Old Fashioned Bourbon Milk Punch

    One more Christmas post, and I swear I'll move on to 2018:

    I'm not a lover of eggnog, and unless its the super thick cavity-and-cellulite-causing kind in the carton, boiled custard isn't my jam (the exception: that made by my chidhoold next door neighbor, an older woman we called Aunt Lois.  She would make huge vats of the stuff and cool it on her snow-speckled porch.  Neighbors would just walk over and take a scoop).  

    When Garden & Gun released The Southerner's Cookbook, I scoured it for old favorites... pimento cheese, cornmeal catfish, hoppin' john.  One recipe that kept popping out at me, though, was Milk Punch.  Described as a boozier, less-sweet version of eggnog, Garden & Gun suggests using brandy, and I've found that while Huber's Orchard Apple Brandy in a batch is just divine, Old Forrester works just as well.  I use an ounce of heavy cream and an ounce of whole milk (organic, local, raw, if I can find it) instead of half and half.  

    A dusting of nutmeg and vintage hobnail coupes make this simple drink just as beautiful as it is delicious.

    Garden & Gun's The Southerner's Cookbook

    Milk Punch, my way

    1 1/4 ounces brandy or bourbon

    1/2 ounce dark rum

    1 ounce heavy cream

    1 ounce whole milk

    3/4 teaspoon vanilla

    1/2 ounce simple syrup

    Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled three-quarters with ice. Shake vigorously until chilled, about 30 seconds.  Strain into a glass and dust with grated nutmeg.

    ** this post is not sponsored in any way **

    ** photos by Kyle Lueken **