This week hasn’t been the most ideal start to 2018. Not in a bad way. But just a messy and exhausting and chaotic way. I knew it would be a stressful way to start the year but that’s life sometimes. While everyone is planning for the new year and probably has groceries in their fridge, feels rested and is getting back into a routine …I’m over here feeling like a crazy woman with my life in three different places, craving some food from my own kitchen and trying to keep up with responsibilities while at the same time unpack our lives so we have some sense of normalcy.
But we’ve made it to Friday. And while it was quite the week that was bookended by a respectable snow storm….we’re here! And I’m so thankful to be semi settled and able to breath a bit and plan for the week ahead. I also realize a lot of this stress is my own fault. I really don’t like how hyper focused I get when it comes to settling into a new place, but it’s really hard if not impossible for me to think and focus on work when my home feels like it’s in a million pieces. Nick’s like, “It’s okay to take our time and do this slowly.” And I’m like, “Um, no we can’t. I need to feel settled so I can feel sane. Right now my mind feels like a clouded mess.” Maybe that’s an area for some growth Robyn…
So we went to town for 72 hours settling the place the best we could right now. Between that and keeping up with clients and email and the business as a whole I’m feeling exhausted and intellectually empty. But I also realize I only work for myself right now, what a gift it is to have this flexibility and how this could be a whole other doozy of a week if either Nick or I were starting new jobs.
All that to say, if the start to your 2018 is feeling less than restful and planned and rhythmic…that’s okay. I’m right there with you 🙂
By Tuesday I did make it to the grocery store instead of eating every meal out. And after seeing my sister in law make so many things in the Instant Pot (that I’m calling Instapot for short) I decided I wanted to use ours way more. We received it as a wedding gift and while we use it sometimes, I think I felt intimidated by it so I kept resorting back to the familiarity of pots and pans.
Well no more. I made this lentil soup for lunch this week in about 25 minutes start to finish which was tasty. So you could say I’m feeling inspired. Making dried beans and grains in this thing is a whole new world. I use canned beans all the time because they’re easier. But dried beans are cheaper and you don’t waste a can. And I feel less bloat after I eat cooked-from-dry beans. Side note –> bloating is normal. But if I can easily avoid some of it, I’m in.
All you do is add a 1:2 ratio of beans to liquid, add a splash of apple cider vinegar (which helps with digestibility) and set the instapot on high for 40 minutes. When it’s done let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then quick release the valve. That’s it! No more overnight soaking or water boiling over. Grains are also insanely easy and take 10 minutes. Oh the possibilities. I’m pumped.
I was talking to a friend today about how I wanted to get in the kitchen more in a less hurried + practical way. To cook and try new things (like making bread) in a way that’s slower and enjoyable and therapeutic in a way. Instead of racing against the clock to get lunches + dinner prepped for the week in an hour. Sometimes that’s what fits and works, but I want to create more margin to cook for stress reducing self care vs just trying to feed myself. So if you have some favorite instant pot recipes or recipes in general, share them in the comments!
Now onto the apartment.
We’ve lived in a lot of small spaces, but I was a little worried this apartment was going to be too snug. We went back and fourth between two apartments before we rented this one. The other one was a few blocks away and was 1000 sq, feet but more expensive. This apartment was in a slightly better location (farther away from a busy avenue) and a bit smaller at 750 sq feet, but less expensive. We went back and forth, but ultimately it made sense to save a chunk of money. Doesn’t it always? Columbia left me with some hefty debt, so it felt like the easy decision to live in a smaller space and put that money towards student loans. It’s a two bedroom – the second bedroom in this apartment is pretty small, but it gets the job done. We essentially wanted an office space/spare bedroom for family and friends to visit which could be turned into a nursery when we decided to expand our fam 🙂
Now after moving in, I’m so so so glad we chose this apartment. We have so much more space than I realized! And I love the old charm and coziness of this place. The fireplace, arched walls leading into the kitchen, slightly creaking hardwood floors and our neighbors make living in this brownstone feel homey.
The few things I hoped for when we were looking was a brownstone apartment, an open kitchen and a walkable central location. I feel lucky we found this place at an off season price.
It’s smaller than we hoped, but I’ve learned with some good organization and creativity, small spaces work. Our last apartment was an 875 sq foot one bedroom and ironically in New York, it almost felt too big. Call me crazy.
We still have some work to do with hanging things on the wall, getting the second bedroom settled and trading out our kitchen table but that will come in the next few weeks. For now, it feels like we have a home again and that feels good.
I love the kitchen SO MUCH. You can’t reach the top cabinets without a ladder so things we only use every few months are up there. Along with extra paper towels and all that kind of stuff. I love the huge island and white cabinets and granite. I can’t wait to entertain in this space now that we have a kitchen that is totally open to the living space. We need to get bar stools and find somewhere to put the wine.
We have a new kitchen table coming from Wayfair and sadly are selling this farmhouse table we got just under a year ago. It’s too big for the space and makes it feel crampy and tight. So we have a circular table with an extendable leaflet to add that will allow us to seat six when we have guests over. So if you’re in Boston and want this table…email me 🙂
The tv is a bit much for the mantle and for this space (its such an eyesore I think), but for now it’s working. We’d like to get a smaller tv but need to sell this one first. We plan on hanging stuff to recreate the same gallery wall we had at our last apartment this weekend. That’s all the stuff laying on the coffee table.
I love how wide the hallway is so we could have more storage space since we don’t have a hallway closet. We do have a washer and dryer though that are tucked into the hallway closet. I will take a washer and dryer over a hallway closet ANYDAY. After 4 years of basement laundry and laundry mats, I’m so excited about doing laundry in my own home.
Again, we have some wall hanging to do. I’m not sure what I want on the walls so I’m playing around with it.
The bathroom I really like too. The shower is bigger and more updated (our old water pressure was like a trickle) It’s also bigger than our old one and has a lot more drawer space.
With only one bathroom, I’m glad it’s big. The shower curtain is super high so we had to order a new curtain off Amazon.
The bedroom initially looked way smaller without furniture in it. Both Nick and I were surprised to find out when everything was moved in, the space was way bigger than we first thought.
And the second bedroom is currently a storage space for extra stuff. I take client calls in that chair right now, but ordered some things through Wayfair (obsessed with their stuff) this week and it will eventually have a desk space in front of the window and a futon against the right wall. The room is small (7×13) so a couch felt too bulky. When people visit we can either fold out the futon or set up an air mattress. We thought about a bed, but it didn’t seem like the best use of the space since at best we have guests stay with us once every 1-2 months.
That’s that! I told Nick you’d have to yank me out of this apartment. After six moves in less than 4 years, it’s going to take outgrowing the space or a major life change for me to want to move again.
Cheers to 2018 in a new home in a new city. We are loving the slower pace and familial feel so far.
Have a great weekend!