Of all the rooms in my house, I probably spend the most time in my kitchen. This is the place where the nurturing happens. It’s the first stop of the day, everyday: specific coffee cup selection and the morning fill up. It is here where the meals are cooked and plated or packed in lunch bags. The pet fish lives on the counter. The dog’s food and water dish are here. The narrow pathway in front of the fridge is the main thoroughfare of our downstairs. No matter which of the three external doors we choose to pass through several times each day, we must traverse the kitchen. The bags and coats and dirty socks are tossed here. The wine is poured here. We trip over each other and over the toys here. The 5 second rule is strong and the Clorox wipes rampant, but never mistakenly swapped for the baby wipes, at least not yet or to my knowledge. Homework has even become a thing at the tiny four-person breakfast table. The first books are being read independently here in front of a messy craft-adorned backdrop. When I go home to my parents’ house, my favorite thing to do is sit on a bar stool in the middle of the kitchen while my mom cooks and my sister chops and I catch a breath and slurp coffee while the kids do laps elsewhere. Same applies in Connecticut while the Murphys dish up their favorite Blue Apron concoctions and I try to identify ingredients and memorize how the heck you prepare them or if they even sell those things down here. Same applies at the Olivers: valuable kitchen time strategically placed between a football game in the living room and at least 4 kids in the playroom. Your coffee creamer is my coffee creamer, my guacamole is your guacamole. Kitchens speak a common language.
My love of a delicious, cozy kitchen made it extra exciting to spend a couple of hours catching up with Laura in her kitchen, home of her new adventure SiftRVA. I have been drooling over Laura’s Insta-goodies, gorgeous gluten-free sweet treats, for months. I thought I noticed she was getting extra crafty over there, and then suddenly, SiftRVA came to life! Thankfully, Laura was willing to let me take a peek into her world of decorating and capture her craft in action. Her kitchen provided the perfect comfort for both of us to settle into rhythmic conversation about cats, education, marriage, and the difference between frosting and icing. She graciously allowed me to meander the downstairs and get all googly-eyed over the furniture in her dining room hand-crafted by her father-in-law.
AND - you know how you always sample what you’re cooking along the way? WELL - to my very sweeeet surprise - this holds true for the photographer as well. That’s right, friends. I sampled those beautiful Buttercream Valentine Cookies currently displayed at the top of the blog on siftrva.com. Fret not and don’t feel left out. There’s an “order here” link, so get on over there and get you some!
Laura - because she’s legit - also has a ton of treats all over her kitchen just for the sake of perfecting her own recipes and making sure her people have the most fresh eats! And so, I was sent home with the sampler platter. Bless this woman. I am starting to understand why her hubby Josh wakes up at the early morning hours in the middle of winter to go running. Much to the happiness of my own family, I unveiled the platter, and we stood around the kitchen island and ate it all. All of it. The geodes, the buttercreams, and the cake. I felt it was the best strategy and the healthiest to just go ahead and eat it all and be done with it, you know, for the good of the people.
I’m so proud of Laura. If you hop on over to her lovely website, www.siftrva.com, you’ll find her story, which she tells so humbly and honestly. Her recipe for success encompasses all the hard things that would give her justified permission to throw in the baking towel and set up camp on that ridiculously cozy sofa under the painting made by her mom. (What a talented family, by the way!) However, add a generous handful of determination and a dash of passion, and here we are with a little taste of heaven coming right out of a local neighborhood cul-de-sac.
We’re all cheering for you, Laura! Get it, girl.