15 things that make me happy now.

When IFBC wrapped up last week in New Orleans, I hopped a flight home and promised myself,

‘you’ll take a week off.’

I made lists and plans and to-do’s with bulleted items that included:


lying down

and lounging

and, and


a damn thing.

I wanted seven unstructured days.


Because New Orleans was wild. ifbc2011_nola-082_edited-1

with frozen hurricanes and a clipboard and a watch and an adrenaline high like no other. For five solid days.

I met and mothered every last thing that’d let me. I felt intense and alive and present, but

andie mitchell 2011 (5)_edited-1

tired at the end.

And next week,


next week I’ll begin writing the first of two books. A weight loss memoir first, then a cookbook to follow.

I’ll be deep in thought at Starbucks more often than not. I’ll be having breakthroughs in bitty book shops and wanting to share with you all the things I’ve already written, because I know you’d hear them just right.


So for these seven days, I wanted nothing more than nothing. I spent each of them purposefully. And then, when they were all over, I made a list of what I did- all the things that restored me. I emailed the list to a good friend, because, well, no good reason, really.

Here it is:

  1. A massage. Worth every single dollar.
  2. Movie-going. I much prefer being at the theater to watching anything at home. This is among my top five life pleasures.
  3. Reading. Breezed through two, and currently [should be ashamed to admit but somehow I’m owning it]: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Personal Finance.


4.  Eating outdoors.

photo 3_edited-1

5.  Trying new restaurants- Recent favorites: La Carta de Oaxaca (amazing, slightly frou-frou Mexican. Order the pork tamales de mole negro, entomatadas, and halibut tacos. Do not forget a margarita rimmed with salt.) and Portage Bay Cafe (one of the best brunch spots in Seattle- I recommend spicy chipotle migas and a trip to the French toast bar).


6.  The beach. Spent all of Saturday there with one of my best friends. The perfect place to examine the differences in east coast versus west coast culture. ifbc2011_nola-035_edited-1

7.  Trying unusual-sounding cocktails (the one with squid ink felt fun, tasted less fun).


8.  Drinking lots of coffee.

9.  Watching episodes of Breaking Bad.

10.  Calling my mom every twelve hours. belltown (8)_edited-1

11.  Walking.

12.  Wearing my favorite yoga pants. Probably never getting dressed again.

13.  Making lists of things I want to do this year.*

*Even at 26, many years out of school, I feel like my year is beginning in early September and ending in late May.

14.  Considering then reconsidering then re-re-considering flights on Kayak.

15.  Buying imported Irish butter.

What have you been up to?



29 thoughts on “15 things that make me happy now.

  1. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey

    Hi. Remember me? I’m the girl who always reads and rarely comments because I’m a bad friend. Not to say that I don’t love you because I 115% truly and utterly do. I am so glad you were able to relax for a week after such a big event! I can’t wait for your books! :)

  2. jenjenk

    wow! you were productive on your week off!! far more than me with a week at work! ;)

    congrats on the start of your memoir – i’m sure it’ll be as fantastic as your blog! can’t wait to read it!!

  3. Patricia

    There’s something about September… just makes you want to take inventory. I can’t wait for your books to come out and I will definitely follow your snippets and try to read them just right!

    – I’ve started redecorating my daughters’ rooms because they’ve lived in the residue of brothers’ rooms all their lives. And even though we are only renting this place, I just don’t care anymore. This is where we live.
    – I went to my first ever beach wedding, and it was full of simple barefooted goodness.
    – Tried a martini for the first time ever. I wondered if I looked like Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give or Ashley Judd in Yaya Sisterhood.
    – I watched the entire series of Band of Brothers with my 14 year old daughter
    – and lots of other fun stuff

  4. Stephanie @cookinfanatic

    I may jump on kayak.com and book a flight out west to join you at that Oaxacan restaurant, seriously, ummm drool…! I’ve been nose deep in Diana Kennedy: Oaxaca al Gusto ever since I bought it last year… the cuisine from that region is just amazing. Glad you enjoyed your week off and got to do some amazing things just for you :)

  5. Clarice

    One day it will cost $20 to see a movie, and I will willingly fork over the money. There is something so different about being in a dark theater and seeing a movie.

  6. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh

    Sounds like a good idea. I hope you enjoyed the time to ponder things. My birthday was Friday so I did the same thing and yesterday we took my family to one of the biggest dives in town for the best burgers ever because I’m really sick of the soulless restaurant chains we’re forced to go to the rest of the year for their birthdays! It’s local places for us from now on and they have no choice but to go.


    (They loved it by the way!)

  7. KJ

    I just read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. It’s teaching me how to manage my money/debt…

    And I trained my dog using “Puppies for Dummies” 3 years ago.

    Embrace your personal finance book :)

  8. Jessica

    Mmmm tamales. I haven’t heard of La Carta de Oaxaca but that must happen soon. And Portage Bay is delicious! There is a new cookbook store opening in Fremont next month. Perhaps a potential location for a book signing whenever your lovely books come out??!?

  9. Stacy

    Carte de Oaxaca is certainly a tasty spot (my co-workers swear by it), but being a Capitol Hill girl myself, I have come to love the new Mexican spot across from Elliott Bay, Poquitos. A little frou-frou like CdO, but I think you get more bang for your buck (as far as portions go). If you go, try the Al Pastor and their homemade salsa and chips. Seriously good. (Baracudas, down in Belltown, also has delectable tacos and it’s a cute little spot to stop into if you’re down near the Seattle Center.)

    Not sure what your cocktail tastes are, but Sun Liquor on Summit is the perfect, non-pretentious spot to experiment with something new. Their bartenders are seriously talented, easy to chat with, and keen and helping you find a drink you’ll love. Also, martinis at Tini Bigs and Dilettante (I recommend the hazelnut chocolate espresso martini – only $5 at happy hour) are not to be missed.

    You may have tried all these places already, in which case, I’d love to know your favorite spots in Capitol Hill!

  10. Stacy

    Also, if you’re getting into managing your personal finance, I think you might get a lot from Suze Orman’s “Young, Broke and Beautiful,” which is written with people in their twenties in mind. (Financial responsibilities for kids our age are very different than for people in their 40s and 50s with families or retirement on the horizon.) Love her or hate her, Suze gives realistic and no-holds-barred advice about how to make smart decisions early (while still enjoying life) that will ensure financial stability in the future.

  11. Lisa

    Gosh, my list is identical. Down to the Irish butter!
    It might be possible I sometimes call my mom every 4-5 hours…but I probably average it out at 12!

  12. Parita

    You are a truly amazing writer – I can’t wait to read your books! And I’m so glad you got to take a few days off before another busy period. Good luck writing!

  13. alex

    I agree with both of your Seattle food choices! My husband and I attempted to go to Portage Bay on Roosevelt yesterday, but they are closed due to water damage!

  14. Gina

    I’m just catching up on your blog, sounds like a whirlwind of a conference! I can’t wait to hear more about your book, life, etc.

    I went with Mickey to England over the holiday to meet his entire extended family (on both sides!) We traveled to London for an evening/afternoon, then spent 4 days meeting and greeting, kissing many cheeks, attended a wedding and took trains and cabs all over England. Then I travelled back (staying awake for 24 hours straight) and now I am “working from home!”

  15. Becky

    I teach, so even at 28, my year really does end in late May/early June and begin…well, not September–we’re not that lucky–but mid-August. This year, we’re done on my birthday, which I think is a fabulous birthday present. It’s like they’re taking the entire summer, wrapping it with a pretty bow, and handing it to me as a gift. You really just can’t beat that.:)

    BTW, even though I’m a new reader to your blog, I’m now anxiously awaiting your books. I know things are in the early stages, yet, but I’m thinking a pre-order is in the cards once a release date is set!


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