Hello all! Welcome to Our Sweetly Spiced life, our little corner of the internet where we’ll be sharing our adventures in simple cooking and decor/furniture DIYing from the Kansas City area, where we live with our adorable two furbaby cats, Kisa and Shadow, who have graciously adopted us as their humans and allowed us to share their domain.
About us and our Journey
Since college and Cory’s first teaching job, we’ve moved to the KC metro area, where we’ve been working in our respective musical fields and learning to balance work, our relationship, social life, healthy eating/habits, and the never-ending list of projects that comes with buying and updating our first house.
Sometimes (ok, a lot), it’s a struggle: we let healthy habits fall by the wayside because we didn’t meal plan at the start of the week or because we stayed out late having a blast with friends or family and snoozed the next morning’s alarm for our workout half a dozen times. Or we put-off the house to-do list because need to cook but still want time to curl up and watch a movie together. Or we become hermits, working at breakneck speeds to rip wallpaper down, repaint all the rooms and redo baseboards but forgoing time with friends and family. In the end, we’re striving for balance. The house isn’t likely ever going to be completely “done,” we’re going to have days where we overeat junk food or miss a workout… and that’s ok. It’s about the journey; after all, that’s what life really is, right?
So we’ve reset our priorities and are focusing on enjoying this amazing journey together—finding the joyful and happy moments each day and living more mindfully in the present—instead of speeding through distractedly and getting bogged down by what we didn’t accomplish instead of celebrating what we did. There’s so much in life to do, to see, to learn… and there always will be. Now we’re taking it day by day, loving and living as best we can, always working to improve in the all myriad aspects of our life but recognizing that it doesn’t all have to happen right now. It’s all about the journey.
This summer, with Cory off work for a couple months and with my gigging and teaching schedule a little lighter, we started talking about how we’d love to spend our days. We love helping others (it’s part of why we both teach, after all), but we also like creating and trying new things together; thus, Our Sweetly Spiced Life was born.
What to expect at Our Sweetly Spiced Life
Recipes: Over the course of the last few years, we’ve learned that we really enjoy cooking together, trying new recipes, and creating simple dishes. While we occasionally will make longer, more involved meals (special occasions, rare open weekends, etc.), we’ve found that we’re most successful eating well when we stick to quicker, simpler meals, and that’s the majority of what you’ll find here at OSSL.
We tend not to label ourselves or stick to particular diets (vegetarian, vegan, keto, paleo, raw, etc.), as we’ve found over the years that when we draw rigid lines around our eating, we feel extremely guilty whenever we deviate or fall of the wagon and end up bingeing and wallowing in frustration instead of just working to do better next time. Instead, we’re focusing on eating better; it may not be perfect, but we’re striving for improvement, which for us means less meat and dairy (Joelle doesn’t feel great after too much dairy these days, so we eat it less and less) and more fruits, veggies, and whole grains. No matter what you eat or what diet you adore and abide by, we hope you’ll find something tasty to try and enjoy!
Here and there amidst the entrees, smoothies, brunch foods (Joelle believes all the best foods are brunch foods), sides, and desserts, you’ll see the occasional cocktail recipe too. We love creating new drinks and sharing them with friends. After all, standards like rum and coke get old after awhile—not to mention that much sugar makes us feel terrible these days, and not all of us can drink whisky/scotch straight like Cory (my hubby the bad-ass).
DIY: Having moved into our first house almost two years ago, we’ve learned a lot about basic remodeling as well as the expense of having someone else do things for you, so we’re working to do what we can ourselves. Right now our furniture is a hodge-podge of mostly college-age pieces trying to appear cohesive, but with a small arsenal of tools at our disposal and lots of creativity and willingness to learn, we’re slowly upcycling what we have, building new pieces, and creating decor for our almost completely bare walls without destroying our budget along the way.
As it turns out, little things can make a big visual difference, and creating pieces ourselves has been tremendously rewarding and fun. While we love a good Netflix binge as much as the next person (we’re finally getting to Stranger Things 2 now!), it’s been nice finding things to do together besides consume entertainment, especially when those things foster conversation and growth in our relationship. We’re sharing our creations with you as well as the tips and tricks we learned in the process, figuring we surely aren’t the only people out there with old furniture, bare walls, tight budgets, and the desire to create!
I’m so excited to be starting this journey with Joelle and with all of you! I’m an elementary music teacher who loves sharing knowledge and helping people. It is immensely fulfilling to be able to instill knowledge in students and others; I try to do this each and every day. I enjoy seeking out new opportunities and new ways to grow, both personally and professionally. While I’m pretty easy-going and laid-back, I always want to put my best work forward and give my all in whatever I’m doing. Coffee is an addiction of mine, as well as chips and salsa, and I love good music, especially classical and jazz. In my free time I enjoy reading, playing video games, competing with friends in board and card games, spending time outdoors, cooking, and working on DIY projects.
Working with my hands has always been something that I’ve enjoyed. It seems only natural, then, that I would like making recipes and DIY projects to bring to you here! I love working with new and different flavor combinations. You will likely see many recipes featuring fruity flavors melded with spice, since that is one of my favorite pairings. I’m excited to see where blogging is going to take me and am honored that you’ve decided to stop by. Don’t be a stranger!
Hey there! It’s so nice to meet you; I’m sure we’re going to be great friends! I’m a freelance flutist, gigging here and there and running a private flute studio where I teach amazing students of all ages. I also work part-time in an office pushing paper and solving puzzles for an insurance team, hustling to help make ends meet while still pursuing the creative/musical endeavors that feed my soul. I love to create, explore, travel, and share what I’ve learned along the way.
When I’m not working, you can find me curled up with good book and our cats, bingeing TV shows on Netflix/Prime, wandering KC and making things with Cory, listening to music (punk, classical, folk) or catching up with friends and family over a coffee, cocktail, or epic strategy board game battle. I’m thrilled to be launching Our Sweetly Spiced Life with Cory and hope that you find in this space not only tasty recipes or DIY ideas but also kindred spirits; after all, our goal here is to help you along your journey, wherever you may find yourself today and wherever you may be headed tomorrow.