Weekly Good Things 2024 – Week 5

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

Move!

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”

Create

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

Home

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

Inputs

📺 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

Weekly Good Things 2024 – Week 2

Good Things, and the Weekly Meal Plan.

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.

Got a fresh cut from Lucy Danger (can’t look straight into the camera though…)

Some moments for rest, and thoughts on doing less.

This week I stumbled through the week feeling like I was trying to ward off an illness that was threatening to appear.

Having experienced a bout of brain fog last year that I definitely do not wish to repeat, I’m trying to be more mindful of not just “pushing through” when I’m feeling under the weather.

Rest though, for me, is perpetually challenging. There’s a weird tension between having a lot of physical energy (which I do, most of the time!) and feeling limited by mental fatigue and tanked executive function.

Aside from rest, it’s also a challenge to know what to dial down and pull back from. As someone who enjoys self-imposed structure and strong commitments, I’ve learned to start checking in with myself more regularly: is this goal/commitment/idea actually supporting me right now? Do I have the energy to pursue it? Is it feeding me? Do I need to stop doing something else to make it happen? Do I need to do less of it?

💛 For those of us who chronically add more to our plate, this is your reminder that it is OKAY to stop doing something if it’s not working for you right now.

On that note, this afternoon I stumbled upon 

Anne Helen Petersen’s morning post asking “What is the right kind of busy?” and it hit the point home.

If you’ve reached the point in January where maybe you were hoping for a little bit more energy and get-go – and are feeling existentially tired, please give yourself a little bit of grace!

This Week in Good Things:

🖼 This week I went on one lovely excursion: to an evening event at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum! I had a good time with my friend Amanda. The museum is absolutely magical at night. If you haven’t seen “This Is A Robbery”, the Netflix special about the heist at the ISG, you might enjoy it!

💪 Let’s MOVE! Starting the year off strong, I’ve eased into my new fitness cycle. I’m committed to weekly strength training over the next 16 weeks that is my favorite: boring and effective lifts with progressive overload. I had a pretty fun milestone in the gym this week, too – I had never done Barbell Hip Thrusts, and worked my way up to a couple of reps at #315 pounds on the bar! (Not too shabby for a first time PR!)

✍️ Writing: I’ve focused my daily writing this week on short and sweet Daily Good Things – to continue in the groove of writing and releasing something daily.

🐾 Pup Walks with Friends: we ran into Josie the Pug and her human Jess this week; and several longer walks in better weather while it hit 60 this week after the storms. (In not-so-good things, we had an off-leash Belgian Shepherd come over to try to rough Bertram up yesterday while we were walking by right around the corner from our house – he’s okay! – but I’m still feeling rattled!)

Other Good Things

  • 📖 Reading: I’ll be updating my reading list (here is last quarter). Still reading Jessica McCabe’s new release How to ADHD, finished Richard Kadrey’s fun noir novella ‘The Pale House Devil’ and I’ve started Viveca Sten’s ‘Hidden in Shadows’ – The Åre Murders book 2, a crime drama based in a small ski town. I’m a fan of reading season-matching books, so Scandinavian winter mysteries are some of my favorite to read in January.
  • 📺 Watching: almost done with season 2 of Reacher, who solves problems with low emotional output and his large size. I’m about to kick off party-watching ‘Echo’ with my friend Caroline.
  • 🔎 A handy resource: Fun Activities for Kids (or frankly adults!) to do at Home for when you are bored and want something to get excited about.
  • 🛍 Good Acquisitions: influenced by BookTok, I finally got myself a Kindle page turner and I’m not being hyperbolic when I say it’s a *game changer*. I also got a gooseneck clamp to put it up so I don’t have to hold my device, but I think you can go without that one. Also? LED candles. The ones I got I don’t know if I’d recommend specifically, but I really enjoy the flexibility.
  • 🚘 Tackled a nagging task: after realizing that my registration doesn’t expire for another year and I’m not going to have to go to the DMV this month, I set out to first get myself to Valvoline for an oil change. (For those of you in the Boston area, the Valvoline on Main Street in Waltham is consistently great.) Next up? Inspection sticker.
  • 👁‍🗨 Spa Activity: I’m a fan of eye masks, and keep some in the fridge to put on while I sit and read. I’m still hoping to book some time at Kelo Spa in the next few weeks, but it’s always nice to do a little something for yourself at home.
  • 🤣 Memes and randomness of the week: experiments with malort and industrial food thickener // Lizzo birds (or when you ask a bird photographer what their favorite bird is // for those of you who remember Jessica Simpson’s chicken of the sea, a redux (also, I really do love her sense of humor) // if you’ve watched Saltburn, Edinburgh Rugby // Fendi partnered with Pokémon.

The Weekly Meal Plan:

Last week, made my long list of foods I’d like to eat in January, and published my 2024 Kitchen Resolutions. This coming week I’ve signed up for a zoom cooking class at Pondicheri which I’m looking forward to!

  • Sunday: Taco Night!
  • MondayKapuska (Turkish cabbage soup)
  • Tuesday: Chicken, lentil, caramelized onion rice pilaf (new from Trader Joe’s)
  • Wednesday: Rice bowl with cod, tomato, avocado, cucumber, pickled onions
  • Thursday: Leftovers (or PB Noodles with Edamame and Shrimp)
  • Friday: Out! to Kava Neo-Taverna for Greek. Hopefully. You can only make a reservation the day before!
  • Saturday: Nigella Lawson’s Chicken in a Pot with Lemon Orzo

Lunches: Leftovers, palak paneer, lamb vindaloo, baingan bharta, tadka dal

Snacks: Ricotta, soft boiled eggs, cottage cheese, cheese sticks.

Treat options: Burdicks chocolate winter box. TJ’s Pretzel Breadpudding. TJ’s Iced Gingerbread in the freezer. Peppermint Hold the Cones. Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding. Fried bananas.

🥑 Good Eats from this past week: Spinach and tofu with rice and yogurt. Bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon from Zabar’s. Noodles, crispy pork, mushrooms, bok choy and tahini vinaigrette. I love the combo of tahini and black or rice vinegar and a splash of soy sauce. It was so good I made it twice this week. Also, having the Thai wheat noodles from Trader Joe’s on hand made a few last minute meals easy. Rice bowl with grey sole, bok choy, pickled chanterelles. After my trip to New York, I’ve found myself craving Korean food. On the coldest day, I ordered myself seafood pancake, kalbi, and tofu soup from Kaju. Perfect Shinko asian pears.

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

Weekly Good Things 2024 – Week 1

Good Things, First Snow of the Year, and the Weekly Meal Plan.

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.

Picture of a french bulldog and a corgi walking on snow

I’m wearing my fleece onesie after a full day on the first snowstorm of the year! I had plenty of time in the great outdoors, including running my daily mile in the snow, and then taking Bertram on a walk with his best bud, Sawyer.

Photo of Sam Tackeff in front of a mirror wearing running gear and a race bib

This Week in Good Things:

Let’s MOVE!

  • 🏃🏻‍♀️Running! The first week of the year is always a great week for me to get moving. A few things of note: I ran my first race of the year, the Needham 5k. I’ve run this for maybe a decade now? It’s a great way to start the year!
  • 🏋️‍♀️ Weight Lifting. I’m kicking off a 16 week training cycle with a group of folks. “Boring” progressive overload, how I like it! I did my three workouts at home, and hit my weekly session with my trainer Ryan at AnkFit.
  • 🧘🏻‍♀️ Yoga. We kicked off a four week Vitality series for the New Year at Ompractice on Thursday night, with Tasha Edwards. I let people into class, and had a great time participating. In the mornings, I’ve been taking Yoga with Adriene’s 30-day flow series. (I adore Adriene, and while I love taking our own classes, I was finding that doing a morning class on our platform meant that I was kicking myself into “work mode” before I wanted to. (Adriene is one of my favorite alternatives!) I not so secretly wish she would teach with us!

🌱 Create: I kicked off a workshop this weekend with a group: “One Month, One Goal” where we create and tune our singular focus goals for the month and then check in weekly. I’m also bringing back my *Do The Thing hours, my weekly co-working sessions for folks who registered for the month!

✍️ Writing: I wrote up my Kitchen Resolutions, and Good Things to Eat in January, and my first Ship30 essay “structure will set you free”. Ship30 is a daily writing challenge that I’ve participated in several times over the years. Since I typically write and publish most days anyway, it’s just nice to participate with a group of people doing the thing you like to do.

💪 Saving the Day: I love when I can feel generally useful – and when people give me the opportunity to help! (Note to self: it’s okay to ask for help – people feel good when you give them the opportunity to help!) I got to rescue a dog who was inside for the day while her humans were stuck doing RMV related tasks. And then I got to help with a car situation, and then carry some doors.

🐾 Pup Walks with Friends: a SNOW walk with Sawyer (the Corgi) and her humans; a quick backyard party session with Sylvie the Frenchie.

photo of a tall tree and a victorian house in front of a hazy night sky

Other Good Things

The Weekly Meal Plan:

This week I sat down to make a long list of foods I’d like to eat in January, and published my 2024 Kitchen Resolutions.

  • Sunday: Tortilla Española and an endive salad with mustard vinaigrette
  • Monday: Smoked salmon salad with hard boiled eggs and fried onion crunchies, lemon vinaigrette
  • Tuesday: Farfalle with mushrooms and cheese
  • Wednesday:  an event at the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum with snacks (and hopefully dinner?)
  • ThursdayPierre Franey French-Style Flounder with lemon butter and parsley; steamed bok choy
  • FridaySherman’s Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup with beef
  • Saturday: Pork cutlets with roasted sunchokes (or jerusalem artichoke soup)

Lunches: Leftovers, palak paneer, lamb vindaloo, baingan bharta, tadka dal

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

Treat options: End of the See’s box. Tapioca Pudding. TJ’s Pretzel Breadpudding. 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: Marcus Samuelsson’s Black Eyed Peas (seriously you need these in your life). Smoked Sable on a bagel. Chopped chicken liver on toast. Ottolenghi Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Arak. Salmon roe on toast. Alison Roman’s Slow Salmon with CitrusPalak Paneer and tofu. Salmon and whitefish salad on toast. Fila Manila Kare Kare chicken and potatoes.

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