Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: 2015: MAKE LEMONADE

inslee by design


As evening descends on Nolita on this final night of 2014, I sit on my sofa and sip a lemony mescal cocktail. Oh sweet sofa. What a year we’ve had.

Where to begin?

Usually on new years eve I feel bursting with reasons, reasons for life, reasons for the past year, explanations and theories about the future. I’d be the same way tonight, but as anyone who has ever been a mother knows that life with a child becomes simultaneously sweeter, more full, more beautiful, but also much more frazzled, hurried, imperfect.

Disclaimer: I did not have a child since my last blog post. And I have no idea what I'm talking about. But...

I did adopt a puppy. And as a new furbaby mother, I am just as frazzled as the best of them.

 Right now, my husband, still soaking wet from his shower is on his hands and knees,with his head in the crate, asking “why are you sad?” to the puppy because she hasn’t squeaked her toy in five minutes.

We are the picture of new parents.

And so, with all the new puppy joy has also come a lack of time to dwell and analyze the year in my traditional way. I’ve had to begin “thinking about someone other than myself”… a concept I’ve dreaded and fretted over since birth practically.

Or at least since early childhood when I became aware that my mother thought about me, not her self, on almost every occasion and at every opportunity. I would watch her selfless love in awe and think to myself, “I may not be cut out for this…” Turns out, everyone's cut out for it, once they find something furry enough to think about. Ophelia is just the thing.

Anyway, this will be a flash-pickled new years prophecy to accommodate impending chasing the “mr taggles” toy session we have scheduled next.

Today I spent the afternoon baking a lemon ricotta cake. It contains an insane amount of lemon zest. The zested lemons later became my husband's cocktail ingredient as he prepared this evenings drinks. It made me so happy to see that we each could find a way to delight in and create with these simple, bright, clean, promising fruits.

And then it hit me. The year of the fruit. 

I don’t care what the pantone color is. I don’t care what the runways say. I’m declaring this year the year of the citrus. I pretty much nailed it last year when I declared it the year of the botanical, so if I were you I’d invest heavily in organic clementine farming, because I’m most likely right.

And, when it is the year of the lemon, what do you do? You grasp at the most readily available phrase in your phrase cabinet and run with it. Because, it’s almost “mr. Taggles time” as I mentioned…

This year we will realize that life is short. Life isn't plural. That we only get one life. It’s imperfect, it’s handed us PLENTY of lemons. It’s asking us what we’re going to do with them.

And what will we do with them? Well, we’ll realize that pining for something else, for another reality, for a better reality will not work.

This is it. This is the show. These are our lemons. 

And so my friends, we will take these lemons we have, no matter how many, or how fancy these lemons may be, no matter if these lemons have a doorman or five flights of stairs to walk up and a suspicious mouse problem, and by god, we will make lemonade. 

We will make the best lemonade money can buy and then we’ll harness the power of collaborative entrepreneurialism, social media, and most expecially love, and we’ll run the best damn lemonade stand you’ve ever seen.

Happy new year my friends. It is full of sweet promise for us all. 

Read more

merry merry! fariss family christmas card by winifred paper

  A few glimpses of the beautiful Christmas Card that Winifred Paper and I created in collaboration for Anderson's and my first Married Christmas Card! Look at the custom letterpress job on b...

Read more

January 2015: Meet Suzanne, Simoné, and Cissy

Three friends, out and about in winter finery. As in any group of three, there’s distinct roles in play here. Suzanne, chronic ear-muff-wearer is the first to let you know she’s always been the sm...

Read more