15 things that make me happy now.

by Andie Mitchell on September 4, 2011

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 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate September 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm

So with you on feeling like September is the beginning of the year. I want to sharpen all of my pencils and buy a new backpack.


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey September 4, 2011 at 6:32 pm

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! :)


jenjenk September 4, 2011 at 6:37 pm

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!!


Patricia September 4, 2011 at 6:54 pm

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


Stephanie @cookinfanatic September 4, 2011 at 7:33 pm

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 :)


Jessica @ Healthy Dairyland September 4, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I took a week off in between jobs this past November, and spending a whole week in yoga pants and watching my favorite movies – the greatest!! Oh and mmmm imported Irish butter!! Yum!!


Clarice September 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm

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.


Claire September 4, 2011 at 10:05 pm

New Orleans should never be anything but wild :) Lovely updates. Can only imagine what a blast it must have been.


Sarah Jane MacMillan September 4, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I cannot wait to read your memoir! Good job on taking some time off! You deserve it…It feels so good to recharge sometimes =) Makes working hard so much more worth it


The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh September 5, 2011 at 7:20 am

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!)


Carole September 5, 2011 at 8:23 am

Sounds like a wonderful week. I’m likin’ those poster-like photos a lot. :)


Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy September 5, 2011 at 8:30 am

I’d like to go ahead and reserve my copies now. K thanks. xo


KJ September 5, 2011 at 9:09 am

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 :)


Jessica September 5, 2011 at 10:13 am

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??!?


Sasha September 5, 2011 at 10:27 am

FRENCH TOAST BAR?! ftwwww. take me there now! I’m in Oregon so I’m relatively close ;)


Stacy September 5, 2011 at 11:09 am

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!


Stacy September 5, 2011 at 11:14 am

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.


Lindsay @ biking before bed September 5, 2011 at 11:44 am

What a beautiful post. What a perfect list of relaxing activities. And good for you on tackling your personal finance!


Lisa September 5, 2011 at 12:28 pm

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!


Parita September 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm

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!


Erika - The Teenage Taste September 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Glad to hear you enjoyed your week off, Andie! You definitely deserved it! :-D

PS – Is the Irish butter you mentioned in #15 Kerrygold? I love that stuff! <3


alex September 5, 2011 at 8:08 pm

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!


Lisa September 6, 2011 at 9:06 am

Thanks for sharing your week off. I feel refreshed.


Lara @ TresLaLa September 6, 2011 at 9:18 am

Thank you for coming back. I missed you during your time off, but know how much it was needed!


Russo September 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Glad to know I’m not the only one whose year starts in September, even after finishing school, haha! Hopefully you enjoyed your week!


Gina September 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm

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!”


Kathryn | Dramatic Pancake September 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm

AHH! That is sooo exciting! I knew this was a great blog!! ;)


Beth September 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I am in love with Irish butter.


Becky November 2, 2011 at 10:18 am

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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