Wednesday, February 10, 2021

A New Thing I'm Trying for My 2021 Goals

Did you make New Year's goals for 2021? I know a lot of people didn't this year, and, trust me, I get it. Making it through this pandemic is certainly a worthy goal without adding any extras on top.

Personally, goals are my teeny, positive distractions from covid. Since there's little I can control about these circumstances, I've kept my annual tradition of setting goals with Austin as a reminder that I can still set a hopeful trajectory for my life.

And I'm trying a new thing with my goals this year! Which may be pretty obvious to anyone who's better than me at goal-setting, ha. But this year, I'm committing to revisiting them monthly. Too often in the past, I've written my goals on or around the New Year, and then reviewed them in December like I was opening up a fortune cookie to see what it said.

By reviewing them more frequently, I can even decide monthly if a goal is still worth pursuing or not. No shame in changing your mind about what you want to work toward!

By looking over my January 1st goals at the beginning of February, I've already noticed I'm baaaaarely succeeding at my 2021 goals of having better morning and nighttime routines, which is something I still want to work toward. On the flip-side, I did a good job of decluttering in January, and we're almost completely finished with our front living room. (hooray!)

I don't know if I'll share monthly updates on my personal goals, but I'm excited to review them and see how far I've come throughout the year. Sending you all the warm, hot chocolate, hot soup, hot-anything-vibes as it is COLD out there. xo!

Saturday, January 2, 2021

What 2020 Taught Me

Hiiii, remember me?! 
Ana Elliott in the snow in Springfield, MO

I went into 2020 expecting a very normal year where I was going to bake bread, just for fun. Then the world closed down, everyone learned to bake bread, and I didn’t even have the energy to do that. For all of us, 2020 was heavy and disorienting. But I’m thankful for a new year, a clean slate, and the promise of a hopeful tomorrow.

The number one lesson 2020 taught me is to appreciate the little things. Of course, I’m thankful for HUGE things in my life, like health, family, a job I love, etc. But when a year like this removes a lot of the small, everyday routines in life, I’ve learned to chase the tiny joys harder and appreciate the new:

  • the satisfaction from placing the final piece of a puzzle
  • challenging how many times I can flip the same vinyl without feeling sick of it
  • walks around my neighborhood have become an anchor I didn’t know I needed
  • the happy + sad feeling from finishing an addictive tv series
  • sitting around a fire during a snowfall was just as magical as it sounds
  • the shared intimacy of facing a tough year with people I love
Snow dusting in Springfield, MO

Ironically, the one project I did keep up with in 2020 was recording 1 second of (nearly) every day of the year. I went into 2020 thinking this would be a fun hobby, without having any clue that it would become my personal time capsule for a year the world was turned upside-down.

Some days from 2020 feel bigger than others — the day we left the office to work from home, knowing barely anything about what a pandemic was. Easter at home. My best friend’s wedding. Biden winning the election. Thanksgiving and Christmas, to name a few.

But recording 1 second a day gave equal time and priority to every day of 2020, and it’s a good reminder that the bulk of our lives happen in the small moments between each big event.

Sending you so much love + well wishes for 2021, savoring the little things, especially as we face the (hopefully!) final days of this pandemic.


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

5 Springfield Eats for When the Cold Won't Quit

We had a "snow" day last week sans snow, which happens more frequently than the school systems would like, I'm sure. But whether or not we've had any snow to speak of, it's definitely been cold. I'm piling on sweaters and wearing waaaay more turtlenecks than usual—if my 10-year-old self saw me now, she would be appalled.

Cold weather means staying in a lot, but when we go out, I have one priority: Staying warm. I will sacrifice my style in favor of being warm any day. And when we go out to eat, I want comfort food. Here are a few of my local faves for the winter—

Grilled Cheese + Tomato Soup from Cherry Picker

This one comes with no surprise—Cherry Picker's Orange & Tomato Bisque soup + Leland's Grilled Cheese is one of my absolute favorite things to eat when the weather gets chilly. The environment is cozy like a snow globe, and my mouth is literally watering thinking about the blue cheese crumble on that sandwich. As I'm typing, I said to Austin, "we should go to Cherry Picker tonight". So good.

Casper's is one of the places I don't go as often as I'd like. It's in a teeny Quonset hut which fills up quickly, so you have to plan a lunch out right to make sure you're not standing to wait outside in the cold! In college, my dad picked me up from school and took me to Casper's pretty often, and it's one of my favorite traditions with him. They have a lot of menu items, but my favorite is a traditional small bowl of chili

J.O.B. is another good place to stay cozy in the winter months. My favorites to share are the Cheeseburger Cubicles and the Kentucky Hot Brown Cubicles, which taste like a perfectly packaged Thanksgiving meal—definitely a comfort food. We like their traditional brown sugar fries or cheese fries on the side (plus, get fry sauce on the side!).

Winter is practically made for breakfast for dinner. Or breakfast for breakfast, or breakfast for lunch. You get the point. Breakfast food is cozy, and cozy is my main winter goal. My personal favorite at Druff's is the Swipe Right Breakfast Bowl—and you can think of it like a salad, with hash browns instead of lettuce.

(This part is about ramen!!) My favorite at Karai is their Old Skool Ramen—it's a bit savory, not too spicy, and if you get it, you must order the soft-boiled egg as an add-on. Sorry, it's just the rules!! I know this post has been a lot of soups, and while ramen may or may not technically be a "soup"—can you blame me?!

Stay warm out there!