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Hello! Hello! Welcome to another weekly episode of Good Things where I give you a peek into my everyday life during the week, and roundup my good links, ideas, books, and more.

We made it to the last day of the year! I’m spending the day doing some planning, tidying, reading (including re-reading my own Winter Good Things Guide I published at the beginning of the year) and blog posts from years past. I always love the last week of the year for the “in-between energy”.

January Intentions

Each month I sit down and write out a list of intentions for the month ahead. It’s not exactly a to-do list, more like an “options” list. Place-holders also help me make space for more exciting adventures! How do I want to feel this month? Like I eased into January with purpose and renewed energy.

Out and About

Photography Walk with my nice camera – documenting New England winter wildlife • Movie Theater on $7 Tuesday • Dog Walks with friends • Movie Night at Home with Popcorn • Winter at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with Amanda (Jan 10th) • Monthly Boston dinner with my friend Kathy • Monthly family dinner out with my mom and brother

Good Eats

Food in January List (work in progress!) • Rancho Gordo Popcorn for movie nights • Candied Citrus • Annie’s with crab, tomato paste, sherry • Kapuska (Turkish cabbage and meat stew) • Lamb Biryani

Self Care

Self-Care List • Massage • Eye Masks in the fridge in the morning • Stick on Nails until you can get a manicure again • Float Spa (want to test Float and The Indoor Oasis) • Sauna at Kelo


The Needham New Year’s 5k • Lift (Weekly Lifting 3x at home with lifting schedule printed out, 1 at gym) • CRAW • Yoga (weekly Ompractice, daily 30 days) • Pilates (Reformer – SolidCore at Arsenal)

Update Lists

Inputs List (Podcasts, Reading, Watching) • Recipes to Cook • Cooking Projects 2024 • Bean of the Month • Hobonichi Prep for 2024 • Placeholders for “Once in a Lifetime monthly activities” • Favorites 2023 (see inspiration)


Write (Daily Ship30) • 2024 Calendar • Sketch in Sketchbook • 2024 Kitchen Resolutions


Tidy up outdoor plants for winter • List 5 things to giveaway on Buy Nothing • Haircut • Updated addresses for New Year Cards • Valvoline • RMV • Labcorp • Order lid screws for toilet • Get knives sharpened


📺 Watch: The Banshees of Inisherin  The Taste of Things • Killers of the Flower Moon • Past Lives • Poor Things (theater) • Michael Clayton • The Northman • The Holdovers  Past Lives • The Killing of a Sacred Deer (before Jan 22) • The Iron Claw (theater) • ‘Menus-Plaisirs — Les Troisgros’ (theater) • Fargo (TV) • Reacher (TV) • The Bear (TV) • New Season of Queer Eye (TV) • Jury Duty (TV) • Beef (TV)

📆 Accountability Workshop on 1/6/24

  • Something I’ve been toying with for the past few months has been how to help other people move things forward. I’m of the belief that community is one of the best forms of accountability. For years I hosted a weekly *Do The Thing Hour, which is currently on hiatus, but love the idea of co-working towards getting things done together! I’ll be trying out something new in January, a “One Month, One Goal” workshop. We’ll come together to identify a *singular* goal you’d like to tackle in 30 days, and work together to make daily or weekly actions on your goal both measurable and more easily implementable. We’ll then have a shared goal tracker (via a fancy Google Slide Deck) Sign up here for the live class, or the recording if you can’t make it! January 6th on Zoom + 30 days of fun! $42.

This Week in Good Things:

  • 🍏 A quick trip to New York City: my friend Rebeqa was visiting from Luxembourg! Highlights included an excellent Korean lunch at Han Bat (seafood pancake was the best! kalbi, kimchi fried rice, tofu stew), hot chocolate at Burdicks, dinner at Mercado Little Spain (pan con tomate, tripe stew, lentil soup, salad with avocado and goat cheese, another salad with egg and tuna, flan, and my favorite basque goat cheese cheesecake). A breakfast sandwich at Sip + Co (bacon, egg, cheese, on a bap). A points upgrade to the Kimpton Eventi (lovely!) Punctuated by wandering through Bergdorfs, Muji, and spending a lovely afternoon in the Housing Works Bookstore doing our end of year review and planning.
  • 🇹🇷 House Dinner with Turkish Food – my neighbor Elif cooked up a veritable feast for us all: köfte and vegetables, mercimek köfte, sarma, börek, carrot salad, potato salad (with yogurt and cornichons!), hummus, fried peppers, baklava. I have the true luck having neighbors I truly adore!
  • 🐾 Pup Walks with Friends: a walk with Sawyer (the Corgi) and her humans.

Good Things to Think About

What’s your backup? This year I’m working on backup lists – ideas for when to downshift because of lower energy, or when I need to intentionally reduce chaos or spend more time resting. I’ve been also thinking of Minimum Viable Consistency: “What’s your chicken fingers in the freezer version of your newsletter? (or whatever you’ve committed to)”

The “Hand-Copying Method”: I’m intrigued by the practice of copying writers by hand (as popularized by Gary Halbert) as a way to practice better writing and learning new skills. I’ve been trying to think of who I’d like to practice this with. Nigella Lawson?

Other Good Things

  • ☕️ Morning coffee with Crescent Ridge Eggnog by the “fireplace” with a good book. I drink my coffee black all other parts of the year.
  • 🔥 Watch (but not with family): Saltburn. (Murder on the Dance Floor is now stuck in my head and may never leave.)
  • 🔎 Use the Difficulty Michael Caine – a very short clip (90 seconds)
  • 🚀 Learn something new: Aprilynne Alter’s viral video on Youtube Thumbnails (and psychology) even if you have no desire to make a youtube channel, this is fascinating.
  • 🪡 Capturing the year: an embroidery journal (I love the idea of capturing the year in art, journaling, or other mediums.)
  • 🍽 To bookmark: The Trader Joe’s subreddit (where I find out about new in-stock items)
  • 🤣 Memes and randomness of the week: mortadella shortbread (I’m sorry) // the last week of 2023 // people are so good sometimes (New Seasons Parking Lot Girl) // if you are a Wellesley, please enjoy wabancam

The Weekly Meal Plan:

I’ve been working on a little project around what I’d like to eat in the New Year. Today I found myself thumbing through two of my favorite authors – Nigel Slater and Nigella Lawson, who seem to have captured what I want to eat at any time.

Lunches: Leftovers, palak paneer, tofu on greens

Snacks: Ricotta, soft boiled eggs, cottage cheese, cheese sticks, tofu, chicken broth.

Treat options: Tapioca Pudding. TJ’s Pretzel Breadpudding. Chocolate mousse. TJ’s Iced Gingerbread in the freezer. Peppermint Hold the Cones. Walker’s Shortbread. Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding. TJ’s Apple Tartin Tartelettes. (You’ll notice that this list keeps growing – I have a bad? habit of getting fancy desserts from Trader Joe’s from my freezer and taking forever to eat them.

🥑 Good Eats from this past week: I include a weekly meal plan in each week’s Good Things, and things never *actually* go as planned! Some of the standout additions include: Korean seafood pancake, Trader Joe’s tarte tatin with ricotta, basque goat cheese cheesecake.

That’s all for now! Hope you have a great week!

xo, Sam

What are you looking forward to in January?

Previous Years: