whether you just scored that promotion and are consequently lookin for a way to treat yourself to something you deserve, or you’ve just been through a simultaneous breakup/mental health spiral/hurricane and are…lookin for a way to treat yourself to something you deserve, here are a few simple ways to add a little something extra to your day!
1. start your day by adding a dash of rose water to your morning coffee
you are what you eat, or whatever
2. go look at water, flowers, or animals
i am very lucky in that i live essentially down the street from a combination lake/conservatory/zoo. if the only thing down the street from you is a pizza hut, a taco bell, a combination pizza hut and taco bell, make a day trip out of it! driving an hour or two in search of your nearest large-ish body of water will always feel like a tiny vacation in the middle/at the end of an otherwise 9-5 week. or find somewhere where you can see flowers in the middle of winter. i would say to leave your phone behind, but i will always be the first person to tell you that if you didn’t instagram it, it didn’t really happen.
3. wash your sheets, blankets, pillowcases. take a bath before bed. use your favorite lotion. have the best sleep ever
and if you can’t sleep, put on a relaxing video and revel in the fact that you get to spend those extra conscious minutes with your fresh sheets and your clean little self
4. roast something!
even if it’s the end of a long and dark and lonely week and you’re cooking for one, throwing meat or vegetables in your oven and pulling out something hot and browning and bubbling and better smelling than yankee candle could ever, will always be the answer to all your problems
5. make banana bread!!!!!!!! i think everyone who’s ever made a list like this has put this on there. but that’s probably just a coincidence
6. live in the moment
by way of doing something in celebration of whatever season it is. pack a salad full of seasonal produce, dress in anticipation of every possible type of weather and go on a hike, despite the rain and the bugs and the pollen and the snow. you’re tougher than all of that.
7. say no to something you’ve always hated! say yes to something you’ve always wanted to do!
8. resurrect an only-mostly-dead friendship
because chances are you’re busy and life has taken you in one direction or another, running parallel but not together with that of your high school bff who you fell out of touch with for no reason in particular. and you’ve been ships-in-the-night-ing it for far too long. and as the old adage goes, the real treasure was the friends we lost along the way and, like the helpless little succulent by the window that you almost forgot to water until it was almost too late, managed to revive. if only for a night.
9. reserve a bunch of books or movies or whatever you’re into at the library
waiting until they’re all available for pickup will be just as difficult to get through as that time you accidentally ordered that guaranteed-in-two-business-days book from amazon on a friday afternoon, thus recreating that christmas morning-y feeling that you had when the package finally arrived. but for free this time!
10. make some 6-ingredient fancy af and easy ap (as pie) pan-fried gnocchi with browned butter and a strawberry balsamic reduction for your next weeknight dinner!!!
- 1 package gnocchi*
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- ¾ cup strawberry balsamic vinegar**
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- a pinch of ground black pepper + more to taste
- good-quality parmesan to taste, grated
- cook gnocchi according to package
- melt the butter in a light-colored saucepan over medium heat. continue to cook until the crackling and foaming dies down. then use a spatula to stir the brown bits off the bottom so they brown more slowly and evenly. once the butter solids have turned golden, remove the pan from heat and remove the butter from pan immediately.
- heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. fry gnocchi until they are browning and crisp. (don't rush this! let those little guys do their thing and you won't regret it, i promise.)
- while the gnocchi is frying, bring the vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan. reduce heat to medium-low and let cook until it has thickened into a syrup-like consistency. stir in a pinch of black pepper.
- when the gnocchi is done, carefully pour off the oil from the pan and lower the heat to medium.
- reserve a tablespoon or so of the balsamic reduction. pour the brown butter into the pan with the rest and stir. pour the mixture over the gnocchi and toss to coat, cooking 1-2 minutes. remove from heat, pile on to a plate, and top with cheese and more black pepper if you wish.drizzle with the reserved balsamic and enjoy!!
*i like world market’s pecorino gnocchi, but you can use any kind you’d like