Winter 2019 Coffee Date

We’re doing the Winter 2019 installment of the Coffee Date series! This is where we catch up on relevant topics that maybe don’t fit neatly into the regular posts about food and home on here, and a place where you can find lots of what’s going on with us in one place. See here to get the whole scoop on coffee dates!

We’re covering the recurring topics of apartment things, Virginia is for lovers, what we’re watching, new mom stuff, oh baby, just for fun, beauty, and unpopular opinions.

BUT FIRST. The most exciting update since we last did this… Husband passed the bar! We’re still partying. Guess I should stop calling him a “baby lawyer” now. He’s the real deal!

Anyway, get your coffee/tea/this hot chocolate that I can’t stop drinking, and LET’S DISH.

Apartment things – We cried uncle and got a storage unit. We finally decided that no matter how we arranged or rearranged, our apartment literally was not big enough to house all of our stuff without being a cluttered, anxiety-inducing mess. BUT. We also didn’t want to get rid of said stuff because we will (hopefully) be moving to a bigger place in the not-too-distant future. It is so nice to not feel claustrophobic in our apartment, and also to not have to be ready for an impending avalanche any time a closet door is opened.

In possibly more exciting news, a rug has been ordered for the living room. After months (months!) of indecision, I finally picked one. And it’s kind of an out-of-left-field choice. I am getting nervous for it to get here because the rug I originally got for the living room was my worst purchase of last year (and possibly ever). But also excited! I will share it with you, unless it’s a huge embarrassing flop in which case I’ll never bring up rugs or make you bear witness to my torturous rug shopping again. STAY TUNED.

Also, am currently reading Myquillyn Smith’s new book and am finding it very helpful in all decor/room organization/furniture layout things!

Virginia is for lovers – I didn’t think I would ever say this, but winter here is kind of nice. 

I do miss the Michigan snow, and the camaraderie that is formed through braving heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures together. But I will also admit that it’s pretty nice to be able to go outside mid-January in a jean jacket and be comfortable. And there’s year-round sunshine! That has been easy to get used to. 

What we’re watching – Tidying Up! We jumped on this bandwagon big time. With zero regret. I am generally wary of any type of minimalism because it can seem really restrictive and not practical, but I very much enjoy Marie Kondo’s approach of all the things in your house needing to “spark joy” versus my stereotyped minimalism standard of “you can have four shirts”.  Plus, Marie is the cheeriest person and is so fun to watch!

Now my latest obsession is refolding everyone’s stuff to make all of the drawers look prettyyyyy.

PS – please never tell Marie we got a storage unit because we have more stuff than we can currently house.

New mom stuff – Dry shampoo!!!! Dry shampoo has been tricking people into thinking I’m a regular hair washer since 2011.

Having a baby has given me even more things that I’d rather be doing than washing/drying my hair. Hair washing is just such a process. Interrupted sleep and resulting low-energy of new parenthood coupled with a general avoidance of hair washing has made my love for dry shampoo even deeper. I am especially partial to this unscented one.

Also! For the few-and-far-between days that I do wash my hair, this towel has been a game-changer. As in, cut my blow dry time in half!

Oh baby – We got a stroller. Similar to the rug shopping, there was a lot of indecision involved here, and more researching and review reading than was probably necessary. But a full-sized stroller feels like such a commitment! They also are expensive, so not something I can just replace if I hate. We went with this one and L-O-V-E it so far. I almost named it as my best purchase of 2018, but felt like I needed to use it more before giving it all the accolades. Do you want me to do a full review of it??

Just for fun – I am on the cusp of becoming a plant lady. 

I have talked myself out of going hog-wild in the plant section of whatever home improvement store I find myself at many times recently. My plan is to start small. Research what plants are safe for cats/babies. Research what plants are good at surviving indoors with people who don’t understand plants. Get one such plant. See if cats/baby are even interested in messing with it (pretending I don’t already know the answer to this. please humor me and my plant dreams). And THEN go hog-wild.

Beauty – In a moment of short-sightedness, I ordered a very small quantity of my regular face soap. And then I promptly ran out of said face soap, only realizing my mistake when I went to do a soap graft (you know, when you stick the remaining sliver of your old bar onto a new bar to maximize soap longevity and minimize waste), and realized I didn’t have another bar. Since I am almost never willing to pay for any sort of rush shipping, I drove myself to Target and got this cold cream instead. And I’m hooked!

If you don’t know what cold cream is, or are thinking it’s some sort of topical cough suppressant (my theory when I first heard of it), it’s like a mix between face wash/makeup remover/oil cleansing. Basically, it’s all of those things in one. You rub it all over your face and it dissolves makeup(even mascara!)/dirt/oil/etc. I am into it because it leaves my skin super soft, has taken the place of several other of my nightly products (hooray for simplifying things!), and it seems like a beauty product that has stood the test of time. Which I like.

Unpopular opinions – I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no beating a classic grilled cheese with white bread and American cheese. Classics are classics for a reason. And I know it’s not cool to say that you willingly eat American cheese. I’ve consumed a lot of grilled cheese, and tested a lot of different bread/cheese combos. They’re mostly good (what could be bad?), some are even great. But white sandwich bread and American cheese is the best.

Looking ahead – This part of the year always seems so relaxing to me. Maybe it’s the slow pace/bad weather combo: After the non-stop excitement of the holidays, January/February feel refreshingly uneventful. A very good time to establish new routines. So, I’m looking forward to getting into more of a groove in Virginia. 

Spring cleaning! I have a feeling this will be a biggie this year. We have watched Tidying Up so you know we are serious. But really, we probably will be doing a big organization/purging overhaul before spring.

We also did not meet the deadline of getting the apartment squared away pre-Christmas (I am laughing that that was even my goal). What we want to do requires more dollars than we have, so things are slow-going. But! Going none the less. Rooms are starting to come together, which I’m excited to share in the coming months!

This season is also one of my favorites for food! (Although, now that I’m thinking about it, I love all seasons for food.) Winter might be my actual favorite because of comfort food like this weeknight cassoulet or this pumpkin chili or this baked applesauce and OF COURSE inclemental weather requires chocolate chip cookies. And! There are some really delicious foods coming to the blog in the coming weeks!

Lots to be excited about!

And of course, I hope that by our spring coffee date, our apartment is filled with plants that are left blissfully undisturbed by our cats and baby, and are adequately watered by me Husband. Dreams!


4 thoughts on “Winter 2019 Coffee Date

  1. Mandy. You are seriously my favorite and I miss you so much. I absolutely loved reading this because I can actually hear and see you saying it! I miss your expressions and your awesome sense of humor! So glad things are going well for you and your family. Can you move back to Michigan already though!?!

  2. Brittany! Oh my GOSH I miss you so much, too! I was sold on moving back until our first winter here… But we will hopefully be back for a visit this spring 🙂

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