Urban Cottage Weekend ❧ Happy New Year!! January 3, 2016

Welcome to the weekend at the cottage! Here are a few things that have been happening around here lately, including some of what’s caught my eye out there on the internet. Grab a cup of coffee  or tea (or maybe treat yourself to a hot chocolate) and settle in for some reading and browsing.

Here we are in a new year! Much as the holidays are enjoyable, I admit that I’m glad that’s all behind me for another year. I’m ready to get back to business with my freelance writing and editing at Veranda Editorial, here at Urban Cottage Life and in life in general.

Ready For A Productive New Year | ©  Marlene Cornelis

While I haven’t made any resolutions, I have that urge to reorganize, reprioritize and reenergize. After all, if you start the new year off on the best possible footing it only gets better, right? I mean, just look at my desk now! It couldn’t possibly get covered with papers, books, hair ties and empty coffee cups again! Well, not if I actually adopt the habit of leaving it clean each time I use it. Send me strength, people!

I’d like to thank all of you who take time out of your busy days to visit my tiny corner of the internet. I appreciate every view, like and comment. (If current trends hold, the blog will reach 100,000 total views today. That’s not big in Internet terms, but it’s huge to me!) And when I hear that someone has tried (and liked!) one of my recipes, well, that’s the cherry on top of the icing on the cake. I truly appreciate everyone who is part of the Urban Cottage Life community.

Wishing you all a wonderful year ahead, with more ups than downs (and remember, the inevitable downs make the ups all the sweeter), lots of good things to eat and good health to enjoy it all.

My Word for 2016


Live In The Present | © 2016 Marlene Cornelis. All rights reserved.

In the last couple of years I’ve been seeing people designating a word to represent their aspirations for the year ahead. I’ve given it a lot of thought, and so for the first time I’ve chosen my own word of the year for 2016:  Present. For me, this is about living mindfully, fully engaged in life right now. No more wallowing in the past or lingering in fully realized imaginings about the future. The time that matters is now. Yes, I will honour and learn from the past, and I will work towards my goals and dreams for the future, but my living will be done in the here and now. And that, my friends, is a pretty good present to myself. (Couldn’t resist.) Carpe diem!

A Quick Look Back at 2015

I was pleased to see that my #2015BestNine Instagram photos are such a light and bright collection. And, although I also post nature and other photography there, it’s clearly the food that wins out with other IGers! If you haven’t checked out my Instagram feed yet, you can find and follow me here.

#2015BestNine marlenecornelis on Instagram


A Quick Look Ahead

Confession time: I rarely plan more than a few days ahead for what I’m going to publish on the blog, and a lot of the material just arises spontaneously from whatever’s been going on in my kitchen. Maybe this will be the year I get more organized and get at least a framework of an editorial calendar in place (by which I mean one that I’ll actually follow). That said, I do have some ideas about what will be appearing on the blog in the months ahead, apart from the predictable holiday/seasonal related posts (I’m sure you already know you’re going to see strawberry recipes in June).

There will be more vegetables. More truly simple weeknight meals (see the article, below). A few arts and crafts posts. Maybe another peek or two at different rooms in the Urban Cottage. If I really get my act together, you might see something about my garden. Actually, I’m going to rephrase that to be less self-deprecating since any hope of gardening this year was precluded by whiplash from the car accident I was in. So, instead I’ll say: I’ll celebrate my recovery from whiplash by gardening and sharing some stories with you about that! I also plan to continue sharing hospitality tips, and of course there will be the excess of baking next December that will lead to more posts about vegetables in 2017.

If there’s anything you would like to see me make and write about, please leave a comment to let me know!

Around the Web

Is it time to get real about the myth of from-scratch cooking as easy? It can be, but how it’s sold to us in most magazines and cookbooks isn’t actually easy or simple. A thought-provoking article that has me once again thinking about sharing the kinds of food I used to cook for my kids when I got home from working full-time all those years ago.

Wise words: eight things to let go of. Anytime.

I’ve always known intuitively that creativity is good for my well-being. Now I know why.


I’m pleased that I managed to stick to my posting schedule throughout the holiday season, with a bit of a slowdown in the past week or so. I think I earned that! Here’s what was published on Urban Cottage Life since the last issue of Weekend on December 20: Fruity, Boozy Fruitcake, Applesauce Spice Cake and Lemon Posset. Check them out if you missed them first time around!



  1. I welcome 2016 with open arms, Mar. It’s predecessor didn’t exit quietly and certainly not quick enough. I admire your maintaining a posting schedule throughout the holidays. I’m playing catch up but hope to be current soon. Fingers crossed… Happy New Year!

    • I also look forward to good things in 2016 — the past year sent me a lot of challenges, although tempered by some good things, thank goodness. It ended on a high note, so I hope to keep that up! I actually find it easier to post over the Christmas season since I’m cooking so much — one of my challenges, which I just wrote about in my next post, is cooking enough to have material for the blog! Happy New Year!

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