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.

Set out for some change of scenery in Texas (Houston, at the Land Bridge)

Last week I found myself getting a last minute change of scenery in Houston, Texas. I made a snap decision to get a ticket to see 3 month old Michael-Poundcake, and help my bff Caroline get a little extra sleep during the night while I fed some bottles and got in some late night snuggles with the sweetest baby.

I’ve never actually been to Houston in January, and very much enjoyed blue skies and mid-50s/low 60s for most of my time there. In addition to lots of happy baby time, I also managed to get my requisite fresh tortilla eating, and consume two breakfast kolaches.

February 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? January felt like a bit of a wallop, but I still managed to make time for myself. Many of my intentions remain the same month to month, but I try to pick out a few new things regularly!

Out and About

Photography Walk with my nice camera • Movie Theater on $7 Tuesday • Dog Walks with friends (already squeezed one in this morning!) • Movie Night at Home with Popcorn • Monthly Boston dinner with my friend Kathy • Monthly family dinner out with my mom and brother (Capital Grille?) • Disney in Anaheim!

Good Eats

Formaggio Kitchen Cheese Tasting • Still working off my Food in January List • Clementines, Grapefruit, Cara Caras, all the citrus! • Lunar New Year Treats: (Longevity Noodles, Eight Treasures Rice) • Food in California (I’ll be at a conference, and then a day at Disney)

Self Care

Yearly Dermatologist Appointment • Wax some things off • 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


Lift (Weekly Lifting 3x at home with lifting schedule printed out, 1 at gym) • CRAW

Update Lists

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


Daily Hobonichi Cousin (Food, Gratitude, Mood) • 2024 Calendar • Sketch in Sketchbook • 2024 Kitchen Resolutions


List 5 things to giveaway on Buy Nothing • Order lid screws for toilet • Get knives sharpened • Break down the massive cardboard box in the back • Finish TAXES • Quarterly Kitchen Purge


📺 Watch: Polite Society  Délicieux • Spirited Away • Reservoir Dogs • The Lost Boys • Anatomy of a Fall • True Detective (TV) • The Brothers Sun (TV) • Fargo (TV) • The Bear (TV) • New Season of Queer Eye (TV) • Jury Duty (TV) • Dr. Who (TV)

This Week in Good Things:

🔎 Taste Test: Girl Scout Cookie Throwdown: Caramel DeLites vs Samoas, for #science — some noticeable differences out the gate: bag and box. I grew up selling Samoas as a Brownie, personally. Samoas are generally a little smaller, darker and slightly toastier coconut. Caramel DeLites a tiny bit sweeter. Honestly I’m surprised at how similar they still ended up tasting! (Nominally prefer Samoas, but it’s hard to tell them apart much more than the color!)

💪 Let’s MOVE! I think the most wild thing – a few weeks ago, I decided to try out some Barbell Hip Thrusts. I had only tried them at home with a heavy dumbbell, and because it wasn’t ever very comfortable, assumed that I’d not be able to do well with the barbell. In week one, I started out getting to 315 pounds, and by adjusting the setup, got up to 495 pounds last week, which honestly is *wild* to me.

✍️ Writing: been enjoying writing in my Hobonichi, and also writing for guidance, where you write questions and then listen for the answers – with the new Julia Cameron book, Living the Artists Way.

🐾 Pup Walks with Friends: we had a very fun romp with Gus and Hazel, our pug friends in the little pen.

🌸 Flowers of the Week: Purple mums (two colors) from Trader Joe’s. Looking forward to my spring flower share starting!

Good Ideas

This wisdom from Marie Poulin. (I’ll note that for me, personally, chill nervous system usually is a result of a good dose of adventuring!)

Other Good Things

  • 📖 Reading: I’ll be updating my reading list (here is last quarter). I’ve been reading Mistborn (Wax and Wayne) before diving into the new Sarah J. Maas Crescent City Book this week.
  • 📺 Watching: Party-watched ‘Echo’ with my friend Caroline, and finished watching BEEF. I can best describe BEEF as a show where each successive episode you say to yourself “well.. that escalated quickly”.. until you get to the very end. The Last Repair Shop on Disney+ if you need a heart warming 40 minute documentary about music in LA schools. Got started on the newest season of Queer Eye.
  • 🛍 Good Acquisitions: the Aquanotes Big Shower Edition (these are incredible). I use this the pad every time I take a shower. Still wildly enjoying my Duraflame Electric Fireplace, including our new morning routine where I read next to the fire, and Bertram sleeps in his dog bed in front of the fire.
  • 🤣 Memes and randomness of the week: This insane speedskating race at the youth olympics // I’m obsessed with this woman’s father who goes to the bar every week with a list of topics for his friends to discuss.
Bacon, egg, and cheese kolache at the Kolache Shoppe

The Weekly Meal Plan:

Still working through my long list of foods I’d like to eat in January. I’ve been eating my meals with some of the fruits of my labor (a Pondicheri cooking class where I made minced garlic, ginger, a green masala, and a coconut masala)

  • Sunday: Saucy scallops with mushrooms and rice
  • Monday: Tandoori chicken and naan, leftover vegetables in fridge
  • Tuesday: Steamed fish with rice, baby bok choy, braised mushrooms
  • Wednesday: Rice bowl with salmon, tomato, avocado, cucumber, pickled onions
  • Thursday: Yuba (tofu skin) peanut noodles
  • Friday: Out! to my neighbor’s for dinner
  • Saturday: Beef Nachos
  • Sunday: Formaggio Cheese Tasting (yes…. on Superbowl Sunday)

Lunches: Leftovers, baingan bharta (despite this review), tadka dal, tuna melts

Snacks: Yogurt and berries (I’m on a berry kick, even though they aren’t in season), soft boiled eggs, cottage cheese, cheese sticks.

Treat options: Burdicks chocolate winter box (working my way through one bite at a time). TJ’s Pretzel Breadpudding. TJ’s Iced Gingerbread in the freezer. Peppermint Hold the Cones. Fried bananas. TJ’s Chocolate Cheesecake Freezer Bites

🥑 Good Eats from this past week: Trader Joe’s Peanut satay sauce with chicken, rice, and cabbage. Bacon Egg and Cheese Kolache from the Kolache Shoppe. Sonny + Joe’s Sauteed Eggplant. Copper Cow Churro Coffee Pourovers. Layla Peach Drinkable Yogurt.

What are you eating this week?

Previous Years:

Something I really enjoy doing is flipping back in my journal or my blog to the week of the year over the past several years. When I write it out in a list like this, it feels like a nice accomplishment!

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

xo, Sam