One Simple Change: Time Alone (Plus Some News and a “Citrusy” Rum Cocktail

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…

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Recipe for a “Citrusy” Rum Cocktail

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.
Prep Time2 mins


  • *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.

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73 thoughts on “One Simple Change: Time Alone (Plus Some News and a “Citrusy” Rum Cocktail”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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!

  6. 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 :)

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. 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

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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!

  14. 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:)

  15. 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 :)

  16. 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.

  17. 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 :-)

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. 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!