The past few days when I wake up in the morning, usually between 6 and 7, I can feel the change. And not just the time change. I hear birds singing in the morning, instead of hearing the radiator hiss. As the sun appears I see water dripping from the roof as the snow piles in my backyard get smaller. Spring. Well, almost.
This past winter, dare I say it, hasn’t been so bad. Typically winter is when I’m holed up in my house, miserable and grumpy. This year I made the effort to actually leave the house. I had breakfast with friends. Shopped. Went to a mall spa. Wandered a local museum. I even snowshoed and went on a few hikes when we had strangely warm weather! But I also had quite a few things that helped me get through winter, and we’re not quite done with it yet, so here’s my list:
The Instant Pot
- TWow. I did not believe the hype on this one. I tried a crockpot roughly 3-4 years ago and I hated it. Food was bland, dry, mushy. It got moved to the basement relatively quickly. The dogs (ahem) got me an Instant Pot for Christmas as I’d been talking to a few friends who liked theirs. Thus began my love affair. I’m a #SundayMealPrepper, and every week since we’ve gotten it, I make a soup for the week in it. Roasted tomato, broccoli cheddar, corn chowder, french onion, butternut squash…the list goes on. I love that I don’t have to use more than one pan, that I can get it set and cook something else, and that it’s done and I don’t have to worry about it in usually around 10 minutes. Last week I cooked chicken breast in it for a curry chicken salad and then made soup while that cooled. Just get one. Really.
- I’ve been a gamer since I was a kid. Super Mario 3 is one of my favorite games (fun fact: Aaron bought me a tanooki Mario t-shirt when we were dating) and I’ve always been mostly into Nintendo and platformers. Aaron introduced me to the concept that I like a certain genre of game bought me a couple and that basically ended him touching the Switch from December – March. My favorites: Monster Boy, Shantae Half-Genie Hero (not embarrassed to admit I bought this after seeing Chrissy Teigen was obsessed with it), The Messenger, and I just finished up Iconoclasts. They’re all Metroidvania style platformers if that’s your jam.
Books & Books
- I bought and received a lot of books. I didn’t finish most of them, some were pure pleasure reading, and others to get learnt (if you know me, I hope you hear me saying “GET LEARNT!” in the tone of voice you’re accustomed to).
- Hey Ladies! A ridiculous journey through emails featuring every female millennial stereotype. I read in two days and it was like hate reading email threads from people you don’t know. If you want a quick and amusing read, go for it.
- Unladylike – I bought this on a whim when I was at a local museum. While it is a delightful overview of feminism thus far, I’m a bit disappointed re: intersectionality. It’s written by two white ladies and while it seems they try, it isn’t really good enough. If you want a good overview, amazing illustrations (Tyler Feder is wonderful!) give it a shot.
- Fed Up – I’m currently listening to this audiobook, which delves into the emotional labor of women. You’ll definitely find yourself nodding, mmhmming and angrily shaking your head on this one.