As New England winter slowly drags along from twinkly Christmas season to cozy snow day season and into dark slushy season, I need a reason to get excited about the little things. Routine and structure and predictability are healthy (and after years of upheaval, comforting), but variety is the spice of life, and lofty goals/crazy new habits are the spice of mine. I actually bought hot sauce the other day. If that doesn’t tell me that I’m bored, I don’t know what does.

As is apparently tradition, I’ve been making lists to keep myself motivated and curious. In case anyone out there besides me is getting tired of the same slow and sludgy days, here’s some things that are picking me up lately, ranging from beauty to beverages to all kinds of things in between.

  • Podcast- My Favorite Murder– Funny, heartfelt, empowering. A classic. Nothing new here. I love these ladies, and cackling like an idiot in the grocery store.
  • Palmer’s Skin Therapy Cleansing Oil– To combat dry skin in the winter. It takes makeup off gently and is basically like conditioner for your face. Plus it smells like roses.
  • Music Mondays 2019 playlist on Spotify- My friend Mark and I text each other a different song every Monday morning and are compiling them into a playlist. It combines geeking out about my songs with finding a new hidden gem- two of my favorite music-related activities. Check out the playlist here.
  • Nighttime teas- I’ve been a morning tea drinker for years, but recently started bulking up on herbal teas to help me wind down at night. The feeling of putting the kettle on knowing it’s almost time to climb in bed is so soothing. It also feels very eighteenth century- bonus.
  • Madison Reed hair dye- It struck me that your early twenties are the perfect time to accidentally mess your hair up by trying something crazy. Fortunately, Madison Reed has amazing stuff, so that didn’t happen, and my hair looks great right now. It’s salon quality but super affordable, and so easy to do at home that even I, who can’t paint my own fingernails, didn’t mess it up.
  • Vivino app- As a fledgling adult who doesn’t know how to intelligently buy alcohol, I need all the tips I can get. This wine app lets me search for and compare different types of wine, read about what “tannic” means, save wines I like so I can find them again later in the store, and essentially feel like I know what I’m doing.
  • Thrift store movies and music- I’m slowly building up my collection of action and romcom DVDs, as well as my collection of oldie CDs for my car. It’s very tangible, which is satisfying, and there’s a simplistic pleasure to popping in a CD that takes the stress out of choosing a playlist. Every time I go to a thrift store, I look for some good $5 CDs or DVDs to grab, and it’s a guilt-free buy every time.
  • Candles- It’s a crime that it took me so long, but I’m sold. Eating boring leftovers for dinner? Light some candles. Need a soothing scent to get rid of a tension headache? Light some candles. Feeling the itch at Target? Buy a candle or two. Want to spice up your afternoon of Netflix? Go home and light your two new candles. Suddenly everything is better. My current favorite on my dresser is called Woods and Roses and I haven’t been able to find it again since buying it and I’m scared of burning it all up and having it be gone forever.
  • Gusto’s in Beverly- Lately I’ve taken to doing reading (or writing!) in a location other than my bedroom. It makes my days off feel more intentional. Gusto’s is the smaller of two coffee shops in my neighborhood, so even though it’s well-known, every time I’m there to snag a hazelnut latte and a corner table, it feels like my little secret.


There you have it, everyone. Surefire secrets to a your best February yet. Just kidding. But I hope any or all of these tidbits inspires you to find the little things in your life that make getting up in the morning a little sweeter- even if the morning isn’t quite as bright as we’d all like yet.




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