Welcome to my 31st post for One Simple Change!

My kids just got home from 12 days at sleepaway camp. They had a really wonderful time, and this makes me very happy.
You know what else makes me happy? The memory of the 12 days glorious days I had to myself.

Now don’t get me wrong: I missed the heck out of my kiddos when they were gone. But having lots of time to myself was nothing short of fantastic, and I don’t feel the least bit guilty about saying that. I have a rather big project that I am working on (keep reading for more info) and almost 2 weeks kid-free meant I could really dive in and get stuff done without the typical distractions. It also gave me tons of time to just get lost in my own thoughts: it’s been while since I’ve been able to do that, and I must say I enjoyed it a lot.

I have always loved doing things by myself: I guess I just like my own company. But it’s become increasingly hard to carve out “quality” time just for me in recent years for various reasons since I am always busy with the kids, house, garden, blog, etc., etc. Do you feel the same? That finding time to relax on your own is a challenge?

If so, I want to encourage you to start scheduling some solo downtime into your days….time when you can just think, and check in with yourself to make sure YOUR needs are being met.

I love taking walks alone; I also enjoy cooking alone. I think everyone needs to find their own ways to spend time alone…even if it’s just for a few minutes every day.

You know what else? If you’re in a relationship and you have children, make sure to spend time alone with your partner on a regular basis. Cook or go out to dinner, go to the movies, go for a hike, or do whatever it is that you both enjoy. Spending kid-free time with my husband was another terrific thing about the past 12 days because we simply have not done this nearly enough in the past few years. We spent last weekend wandering around New York City together and we had an absolute blast. It made me realize we need to schedule the time to do stuff like that even when the kids aren’t officially away.

So what about you? Do you get enough time alone? Time to just be with your thoughts and to take care of YOU? What do you like to do on your own? I’d love to hear if and how you plan to find more time to be alone from now on.

Now for the news! Plus a cocktail to celebrate…

I am writing a book, and it’s based on One Simple Change! In fact, the title is: One Simple Change: A Holistic Approach to a Healthier Life. It’s a book I’ve always wanted to write: a holistic lifestyle “handbook”, with recipes :)

Since my first post for this series, my goal with One Simple Change has been to inspire you to adopt new habits that will make you healthier (whether you do just one thing that I suggest…or everything). The content of the book will be similar to the content of One Simple Change on the blog, but I am working hard to make sure that it’s not the same…that it’s much, much better. One Simple Change will be published by Chronicle, which excites me beyond words: I absolutely love their books.

I’m hoping things won’t change much blog-wise while I am working on the book: I’ll still try to post at least one recipe every week, and I’ll still have a weekly One Simple Change post for you. But if things do get a little quiet here over the next few months, you’ll know why.

So let’s have a cocktail to celebrate, shall we? Then it’s back to work for me…

Recipe for a "Citrusy" Rum Cocktail

Yield: serves 1

Prep Time: 2 minutes

To make the orange blossom syrup, combine 1 ounce (or more) orange blossom water (available in Middle Eastern shops) with an equal amount of honey. Over low heat, warm the mixture until the ingredients are dissolved/combined, then remove from the heat and transfer to a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator, and use to sweeten this and other cocktails, plain yogurt, etc.

As an alternative, you can sweeten this drink with a plain simple syrup, or one into which you've infused fresh herbs.

Double the ingredients to make 2 cocktails.


*1 1/2 ounces rum (I used Bacardi, but I've heard good things about Don Q as the company is quite committed to sustainability)
*1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
*3/4 ounce orange blossom syrup
*1 dash blood orange bitters (I like this one)
*edible flowers for garnish (optional: I used borage flowers), plus a wheel of lemon or orange)


Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a glass and add more ice, plus optional edible flower(s). Slit the citrus wheel and place on the rim of the glass before serving.



  1. 1

    merry jennifer — August 25, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

    Yay! I’m so very excited for you!

    Also, I’m glad you had those 12 days alone, without the kids. I completely understand that need to be in a quiet space, with no distractions, and just yourself to keep you company. For me, it’s critical to my well-being (though I don’t get it enough).

    And, yay!

    • Winnie replied: — August 25th, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

      Thanks all around MJ. The days alone were both productive and restorative :)

  2. 2

    Julia — August 25, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!! I can’t put it in any bigger caps than that. I am thrilled for you, and can’t wait to see the book in person!! xoxo!

    • Winnie replied: — August 25th, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

      Thank you so much J. See you soon, I hope :)

  3. 3

    Stacie @OneHungryMama — August 25, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

    Thrilled to hear your wonderful news!!!! Cannot wait to read your book. So excited!

    • Winnie replied: — August 25th, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

      Thank you Stacie!!!

  4. 4

    kaela — August 25, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

    Congratulations!! That’s such exciting news. Yay!!

    • Winnie replied: — August 25th, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

      Thank you Kaela! I am really excited :)

  5. 5

    MikeVFMK — August 25, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

    So happy for you! And I can’t wait to see the book in my hands. It’s a wonderful idea and thanks to you it will be in homes everywhere.

    • Winnie replied: — August 25th, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

      Thanks you Mike!!! I appreciate your support so much :)

  6. 6

    Paula — August 25, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

    WiCheers to you Winnie! So happy that you are writing a One Simple Change book. It will be a fabulous, informative and much sought after book I’m sure. This has been a favourite feature of mine on your site and to be able to have your wisdom and recipes compiled in a new book is going to be wonderful. Wishing you much success with it.

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

      Thank you Paula for always cheering me on. I appreciate it so so much :)

  7. 7

    Cathy — August 25, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

    So so excited for you, Winnie. You totally deserve this recognition and I’m going to be one of the first in line to get this book, and have it signed by you! Much love and good thoughts for the time ahead, xoCathy

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

      Ok can’t quite imagine signing books at this point, but that’s a fun thought. See you soon. xoxo

  8. 8

    Ethan — August 25, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

    Amazing news Winnie! If anyone should write a book like this, it is absolutely you!

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

      Thank you Ethan :)

  9. 9

    Betty Ann @Mango_Queen — August 25, 2012 @ 6:39 pm

    Congratulations, Winnie! How wonderful for you. I share in your joy. Can’t wait to get my hands on your book. Sounds so simple – One Simple Change – yet, I’m sure it will be packed with a lot of insight and helpful lessons. Thanks for sharing the news with us! All the best :-)

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

      Thank you, sweet friend!

  10. 10

    Stella — August 25, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

    AHHHH! Oh my goodness, I am so excited for you!! Congratulations. I know you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you, but enjoy these exciting feelings, yay! I can’t wait to get my copy.

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

      Yes LOTS of work. Exciting, though, and I know you can relate :)

  11. 11

    kelly — August 25, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

    Wonderful news, Winnie! I’ve loved reading your One Simple Change blog posts and making my life a little better each week. I can’t wait to buy a copy so I can see what other wonderful things you have in store for us :)

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

      Thanks Kelly!!!

  12. 12

    Carol Sacks — August 25, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

    Mazel tov, Winnie! So excited for you and so well-deserved. Can’t wait to give you a congratulatory hug in-person. In the meantime, have a drink or two or three for me:)

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

      Thank you Carol! And let’s have a drink together in September!

  13. 13

    Cooks_Books — August 25, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

    Congratulations! I love the idea of One Simple Change — so inspiring. (I’m working on slowing down, but… ) It will be wonderful to see your ideas in book form. Oh, the cocktail looks delicious too. Cheers!

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

      Thank you :)

  14. 14

    Sara Kate — August 25, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

    Winnie!!!! I’m thrilled for you! So much has happened in a year (remember our conversation in Atlanta about it?) – can’t wait to see an advance copy, ehem…

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

      Thank you Sara Kate!!! And “duh”…of course you get an advance copy :)

  15. 15

    Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) — August 25, 2012 @ 7:22 pm

    Winnie, I am SO proud of you. You are inspirational. xo

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

      Thanks dear friend!

  16. 16

    annelies — August 25, 2012 @ 7:22 pm

    Congrats Winnie. The book sounds like something right up my alley and such a germane topic for others looking to keep making healthier choices. Exciting news! Consider this comment my cocktail glass clinking against yours in celebration.

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

      Thank you…and clink!

  17. 17

    Jeanne — August 25, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

    Congratulations! Hooray! So exciting!

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

      Thanks Jeanne!

  18. 18

    Isabelle @ Crumb — August 25, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

    Fantastic news, Winnie. I’m so excited for you. :) I’ve really been enjoying the One Simple Thing series on your blog…. Can’t wait to see it in the bookstore!

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

      Whoa what a crazy though. Thanks Isabelle!

  19. 19

    Lora @cakeduchess — August 25, 2012 @ 11:21 pm

    Cheers and congrats lovely lady. I love your One Simple Change series. I can’t wait to get a copy of your book. Very proud of you! xx

  20. 20

    Lyn — August 26, 2012 @ 7:54 am

    Congratulations! That’s a book I am really looking forward too. And, yea, Chronicle – I’ve always loved their work too, since I ran a bookstore. Maybe the publisher of the best quality books out there so no surprise they found you!

    About taking time away from kids – so important and not often valued in this “kid-centric” life of ours. A really good suggestion. As a grandmother and mother of four, you will look back and realize how much this contributes to your kids’ value system too!

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

      I love your comment…thank you!

  21. 21

    David @ Frenchie and the Yankee — August 26, 2012 @ 8:43 am

    Congrats! And what a great cocktail to celebrate this! Good luck with the next few months.

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

      Thank you David!!!

  22. 22

    Ken┃hungry rabbit — August 26, 2012 @ 8:51 am

    Congratulations! You’ll need a lot of alone time for this new book project. I’m so happy for you and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. You wish for it and now you have it. xoxo

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

      Thanks Ken…see you soon I hope ;)

  23. 23

    Laura — August 26, 2012 @ 9:35 am

    I totally agree on the solo downtime thing being so important. Having it and using it wisely makes us a better person. And making this cocktail up would be a VERY wise use of some quiet time if you ask me.

    Congratulations on the book! I love this “one simple change” series and can’t wait to flip through a paper version :)

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

      Thank you so much Laura!

  24. 24

    Lynda — August 26, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

    Congratulations, Winnie – that’s fantastic news!

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

      Thanks Lynda!

  25. 25

    Faith — August 26, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

    So, so, SO excited for you, Winnie! And I can’t wait for your book!!

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

      Thank you Faith!

  26. 26

    Kathryn — August 26, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

    Congratulations again Winnie, I’ve found this series so inspiring and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the book!

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

      Thanks Kathryn!

  27. 27

    Regan @ Cabot Creamery — August 27, 2012 @ 6:21 am


    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

      Thank you!

  28. 28

    autumn — August 27, 2012 @ 7:34 am

    Ahhh!!! Winnie! This makes me so happy. HUGE congrats.

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

      Thank you so much Autumn!!!

  29. 29

    amelia from z tasty life — August 27, 2012 @ 10:29 am

    Winnie: I had been wondering when the book idea would come up, because this series is SO incredibly inspirational and also very very tactical (real changes that can be done). So I join the crowd in saying: hurray!!!

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

      Thanks Amelia…your support means a lot ;)

  30. 30

    Oui, Chef — August 27, 2012 @ 10:39 am

    Congrats on the book project, Winnie…..I can’t wait to hear more about it in the upcoming months!

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

      Thank you Steve!!

  31. 31

    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — August 27, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

    Congratulations on your book, Winnie! So exciting! :)

    • Winnie replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

      Oh thank you so much Laura!

  32. 32

    Beth (OMG! Yummy) — August 28, 2012 @ 10:16 am

    Congratulations Winnie! Wonderful news (the time alone and the book deal!) Can’t wait to hear about the process and the progress!

    • Winnie replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

      Thanks so much Beth!!!

  33. 33

    Kate | Food Babbles — August 28, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

    Congratulations Winnie! That is wonderful news and I’m so happy to hear about your book. Cheers! This is also a lovely cocktail. I adore the orange blossom syrup.

    • Winnie replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

      Thanks Kate!

  34. 34

    Kelsey — August 29, 2012 @ 10:36 am

    Wooo hooo!! Congrats, Winnie! I LOVE the concept! You must be floating!

    • Winnie replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

      Floating but also freaking, if I am being honest! I have a lot of work ahead of me :) xoxo

  35. 35

    Hannah — August 29, 2012 @ 11:42 am

    Congratulations, Winnie! I am very happy for you and can’t wait to read your book. Cheers to you!

    I agree, time alone is so important – I feel more centered/energized when I carve out a bit each day.

    • Winnie replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

      Thank you Hannah xoxo

  36. 36

    Jeanine — August 29, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

    I’m so excited for you Winnie! So well deserved, yay…

    • Winnie replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

      Thanks Jeanine…appreciate your support so much :)

  37. 37

    Jayne — August 29, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

    Winnie! Huge congratulations! I’ve loved this series and just know I’m going to love your book, well done! xx

    • Winnie replied: — August 29th, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

      Oh, thank you so much Jayne!