winter persimmon margaritas | making self-care a priority

cocktails, drinks, recipes, tequila, winter

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How much healthier could I be in six months, if I made self-care a priority today?

That’s the question that’s been on my mind the past several days, but before diving into that topic, I wish you all a happy 2018! I seriously can’t believe that we’re already two weeks into the new year. Our Christmas tree is still up, and we are still nightly turning on the outdoor lights that span our rooftop and front porch. We technically haven’t even had our traditional holiday dinner, so we’re keeping it festive until we do. Hopefully, we’ll enjoy that before April.

How was your NYE celebration? Did you pop something fun? What intentions and goals do you have? I’m still fleshing out my ideas and strategies for 2018. I’m never actually “on time” for traditional resolution-making, but it is one of my favorite things to do. List-making and planners and all.

If I were to ask my mom what one of my biggest personal challenges has been, she wouldn’t even hesitate: prioritizing. I tend to fervently say yes to an interesting project or agree to meet someone else’s needs without fully filtering the pros and cons. I want to please. Others. I over-commit, and even though I might deliver, I pay a harsh cost. My physical health suffers, my relationships wilt, and my sanity takes an unfortunate and uncomfortable ride in the backseat.

When I was little, my mom would drive me and my sister down to Arcadia, Florida to visit our grandparents over Christmas. It was an hour-and-a-half ride through twelve small towns. I still have their order memorized. Before we’d pile in our brown Corolla, my mom, adjusting her glasses, would raise her eyebrows, give us the stern eye, and tilt her head, “Girls, go to the bathroom before we leave.” When I’d protest that I didn’t need to go, she’d insist and quickly respond, “Preventive maintenance!”

I think I hear her words anytime I’m gearing up for a long road trip. Preventive maintenance. She didn’t want to stop along the way and slow us down. When I didn’t adhere to her advice, I paid for it with childlike embarrassment, as there weren’t many bathroom stops along the country roads we took.

I’ve struggled to write this post for nearly three weeks now. Just before Christmas, I started experiencing severe stomach pain. It was so crippling that I stayed in bed for nearly three days straight. I googled every symptom I was experiencing and gave myself a pretty solid WebMD diagnosis of either an ulcer or a possible hernia or even, perhaps, gallstones.

I still have yet to see a specialist, but my symptoms have slightly lessened in severity, mostly due to some lifestyle changes. It was ones of the worst holiday seasons I’ve ever experienced, and I’d planned it out to be the most sparkly BEST. This was the first year that both Steve and I were no longer working in the service industry. We didn’t have to pop bottles for 700 people or clean up puke in a bathroom or wait until 3:00AM for the last guest to leave the restaurant to finally drag our beleaguered selves back home.

Despite the scenario I described above, this year’s experience was still worse than any of the holidays spent at the restaurant. And I can say that it was partially a result of not adhering to my mom’s simple advice. I hadn’t adequately prepared. I’d run myself into the ground. I’d pushed myself too far, and as soon as my body had the chance to relax, it decided to shut down and cry for mercy. And, go figure, I was actually mad at my own body for that cry, even though some unwanted and inconveniently timed rest was what I truly needed.

It was almost as if nature were mimicking my circumstances and telling me to stop and let go. We woke up to frigid temperatures and six inches of snow on Christmas morning. We took the chance opportunity to sleep in a little longer. We couldn’t work on fencing or paint in the shop, so we popped a bottle of bubbles and continued catching up on Game of Thrones. It was our one day “off” where we could let go a little and not think about our current remodel or my stomach issues.

“The more compassion you can show yourself, the more you will flourish.”

Laura Silverman, founder of The Outside Institute

We had laid out the best of plans for renovating our bathroom in the month of December, but as we’ve discovered during our remodeling of this rundown, 1950s-era farmhouse, nothing works out according to plan. Just before we began to tear down the drywall earlier in the month, our septic system backed up. There were no records or floor plans anywhere stating where the actual septic tank was, so we dug. And dug some more. And we finally had to enlist the help of our local plumber to find it.

Once we fixed that particular problem, our second water line clogged up, right while we were demolishing the bathroom. For the second time in a month, we had no running water. As we uncovered the tile and sub-floor, our problems and the timeline for our project had increased yet again. On the bright side, our friends Kyle and Maeve have generously offered their shower to us. We’ve also gotten to be keen experts in taking the “sink shower”, as I like to call it. And then there’s the local sauna. Their therapeutic infrared sauna is a stress-reliever, but mostly we’re there for their SHOWER.

VinCO, which is Colorado’s annual four-day wine and horticulture conference, starts tomorrow, so we won’t be getting much work done this week. It’s looking like we’ll be fully functioning by early next week. There will be celebratory bubbles. That’s a non-negotiable.

Thank. God.

Back in mid-December, I made a persimmon purée and added some winter spices to the mix. It was a perfect match for the gingerbread flips I shared with you two posts ago, and it’s spectacular in these margaritas. Persimmons have been on my radar this season, and I’ve loved baking with them and incorporating them into seasonal cocktails. This particular recipe is a welcomed respite in the colder temperatures. There’s nothing like a refreshing burst of citrus in the middle of winter’s chill.

And the spiced persimmon purée ties the citrus and cozy together just perfectly.


persimmon margaritas

  • 1 1/2 ounces añejo tequila {I used Milagro}
  • 1/2 ounce applejack {I used Laird’s}
  • 1/4 ounce dry orange curaçao or liqueur {I used Pierre Ferrand}
  • 2 ounces persimmon purée {find the recipe here}
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • cinnamon rimming sugar {see recipe notes}
  • lime wheels, for garnish
  1. Prepare the persimmon purée and let cool before using.
  2. Mix together the cinnamon rimming sugar, referencing the notes below, and pour a generous amount on a plate.
  3. Take a small wedge of lime, run it across your cocktail glass, and gently dip the glass into the sugar mixture.
  4. Fill cocktail glass with ice.
  5. In a mixing tin, combine the tequila, applejack, orange curaçao, persimmon purée, and lime juice.
  6. Add ice and shake well until well chilled.
  7. Strain into your prepped cocktail glass.
  • This recipe yields one cocktail.
  • For the rimming sugar, combine 1/4 cup cane sugar with ground cinnamon, to taste. Mix well and store in a  well-sealed jar. Use it for all your winter citrus margaritas!

How are you incorporating and prioritizing self-care this year? What goals do you have for your creative life, business life, or personal life, and how are you making sure that you meet those goals? Have you ever thought, like I did, of self-care more like a bandage, like it’s a frivolity you apply after a wound or a detrimental event? I want to know how you’re prioritizing YOU this year because I’m faltering in the process, and I want to know how you’re making it work.

How am I prioritizing self-care? Here are a few of my ideas for incorporating self-care, mostly written as a commitment to myself, as a way to measure my progress over this next year, but perhaps you can take away something that might help you.

Here goes:

  • I’m going to get my eight hours of sleep by putting myself to bed earlier and giving up “screen time” on my phone or computer after dinner.
  • I’m making sure to nurture my friendships by calling, texting, writing a letter, Skyping or meeting up in person more frequently.
  • I’m giving up caffeine and learning to make homemade matcha and golden milk lattes, so I won’t miss the cozy factor while giving up the buzz.
  • I’m starting the day with movement and incorporating yoga and running back into my routine, so that I’m strong and resistant to illness and fatigue.
  • I’m finding ways to be more organized, so that I have a place and system to put things, avoiding clutter and pileup.
  • I’m choosing a mantra to focus on this year, and for me, it’s “choose joy.” I’m fervently pursuing JOY in every circumstance, even when sadness or depression is the easier answer.
  • I am, most importantly, taking the time to answer questions and commit to projects, so that my health is paramount, and my word is solid.

XO and the happiest, richest, healthiest, satisfying, and prolific of new years to you,


  1. Angie says:

    Chris and I signed up to take Taekwondo with the kids. we are (financially!) commutes to twice a week for 6 months and it is a TOUGH workout. So if I can just get my diet under control, things could be looking up in the health department!

    • Whoaaaaaaa. I so want Steve to sign up for a workout with me!! That’s so awesome. And it seems the only ones that really work for me are the ones I seriously commit to or pay for. Get it! I am thinking about going to a local Pilates class. Remember when I went with you twice? Or was it once? 🤔 We were just talking about that last night. Good luck on the progress!!! Maybe I’ll send you some healthy-ish breakfast cookies instead of something mega chocolate-y! 🤗

  2. susurrus says:

    I’m sorry you haven’t been feeling well and hope your self care resolutions will get you back to full fitness. The one that resonates with me most is to choose joy whenever we have a choice.

    Lovely pictures as always by the way!

    • My response must’ve never sent – I meant to say that “choosing joy whenever we have a choice” is basically my theme this year. It’s a challenge, but it only builds a habit the more you do it, so that it’s even easier to lean towards the positive the next time a problem pops up. Thanks so much for the well wishes!! I am already feeling much better. 💞

  3. speak766 says:

    Great post. Self care is so important. Thank you for sharing this. Wish you the best – speak766

    • Thank you so much. It’s SO important. It’s especially important and helpful when unexpected issues come up – self-care preps you for those moments and gives you the resilience you need. Wishing you the best, as well.

  4. Wow thanks for sharing all of those challenges Jayme! That must have been difficult to articulate so well. I struggle with self-care as well, but I definitely try to get 8 hours of sleep when I can. That’s the most important self-care step for me. I wish you luck on all of the renovations and continued work on the vineyard! Also, I hope your stomach issues go away very soon! xo

    • I’m smiling because it was challenging articulating what was going on! For some reason, writing has been like pulling taffy. The words don’t want to spill out easily. I totally agree about getting those eight hours, and I try to get that every night. I am an entirely different person, when I do. I’ll totally take the luck, too!!! It’s kind of a “break week” here because we have to attend a wine conference. I’m happy to delay the fencing project a few more days. 😬 XO to you, Kelsey!! 😘

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