I swear it always feels like January lasts 3 months and all of Oct/Nov/Dec lasts about 3 weeks. I’m reminding myself that in the second half of last year I would have given anything for an entire weekend to spend padding around the apartment, sleeping in, reading and writing, planning out the weeks and months to come. So I better go ahead and relish it now. And for the most part I think I’m doing a good job of it. But still, it’s a long month. Below – what’s on my mind, on my bookshelf and in my cart (it will have to linger there for awhile…) as we head into a new week ahead.
ON MY MIND:
- I credit Julia Child (see below) but I was feeling inspired to cook this week. I made this Sausage, White Bean and Spinach soup tonight and am going to try these Ginger Meatballs with Peanut Sauce (found via Meghan of Wit & Whimsy) later this week. I also meal prepped my lunches for the week and went with this super simple combo that I make often (no real recipe): Sauté brussel sprouts over medium heat, then add steamed lentils and top with sesame dressing. That’s it! Easy to re-heat at the office and plenty filling.
- I can’t be the only one that’s itching for a vacation with this frigid weather. I’m dreaming of someplace warm but also really want to prioritize exploring some new cities this year. Alas, we’re also dreaming of buying an apartment. The budget is in a delicate balance these days!
- The joy of really starting to prioritize my diet and fitness in the middle of last year (read more about those changes here) is that by now I’m about 7 months in and on a steady roll. I’m still finding the Sweat App to be great at targeting arms, abs or legs in 30 minutes flat and complete 3 of those workouts a week (I’m currently on week 28 of 3.0 HIIT). Outside of that I try to run twice a week and also throw in a treadmill hike or long walk as a low impact day. I’m also really excited to try Pilates at a local studio! Something that for years I’ve been interested in but too intimidated to do – but suddenly feel like it’s no big deal.. so what if I’m a beginner, that’s how you learn! One thing I’ve started doing is using my weekly planner to write out all of my workouts in advance – so there’s less wavering in the mornings. It’s already in pen on the page, there’s no erasing it!
ON MY BOOKSHELF:
- I just finished My Life in France by Julia Child and absolutely loved it – it’s a love letter to France and food, but more than that it’s such a lesson in always staying curious about the world around you and finding and pursuing new passions at any age. Plus – her relationship with Paul was so lovely to read. Adam and I spent Saturday morning watching old black and white episodes of her cooking show on YouTube – I love when a book leads you down a rabbit hole!
- My virtual book club (over 3 years strong!) has picked Mercury by Amy Jo Burns as our next book. It’s a family drama set in the 90s in Pennsylvania – as a PA native that rarely reads books set in the state, I’m interested to see how true I find the setting. I’ve heard rave reviews so far.
- I’m doing my damndest to write an earnest first draft of a novel this year and have turned to Stephen King’s On Writing for encouragement after my best friend Claire (who is working on the same goal!) recommended it. I have admittedly never read King but his advice isn’t genre specific and I’m finding it really thoughtful.
- I’m starting The Rachel Incident by Irish author Caroline O’Donoghue tonight – it was blurbed by Gabrielle Zevin (of Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow fame, which I loved last year) so I have high hopes. Will report back!
IN MY CART:
- The #75hardstylechallenge was all over Instagram at the start of this year and I’m doing my best to stick with it! Essentially you get dressed every day for 75 days (so until about mid-March), document every outfit and don’t buy anything new. Aside from the heavy snow/rain or bitterly cold days lately I’ve been doing a fairly good job at it so far. I’m not feeling like I need to stick to it 100% but it is certainly making me get more creative with my wardrobe and is a nice financial reset after an expense-heavy 2023.
- That being said, I finallyyy treated myself to some new workout gear (I hadn’t bought anything new in probably 3 years) at the end of last year and so far the hero pieces have been this high impact sports bra (nothing moves, even when running!) and this jumpsuit that quite literally fits like a glove and is under $30.
- While I’m doing my best to not shop these next couple of months, I’m keeping a running ‘wish list’ for things that catch my eye and then once I’m ready to spend, I’ll be able to really assess what will fill wardrobe gaps, what I’m still swooning over, etc. It’s actually been a fun exercise! On my list as of now: this punchy tweed cropped jacket, these classic cat eye sunglasses at a good price and this corset-effect denim dress (I wore a similar silhouette dress from this brand in white to the after party of our wedding and loved it SO much).
- My current favorite lip combo – this Jones Road Beauty liner in Nude Rose and this Urban Decay lipstick in Love Trap. The result is a natural, rosy winter pink with just a hint of shine.
- Adam got me this robe for Christmas and it’s SO cozy for a cold winter’s morning. Feels just like the super plush hotel robes I always love.
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