Monday Miscellany: Hello, 2018!

Looking out along Manhattan Beach Pier.

Above: Manhattan Beach Pier. We enjoyed a fabulous New Years Eve brunch at Fishing With Dynamite, and took a walk along the pier. Later we hunkered down at home for the evening with champagne, cheese and crackers, and some movies.

Happy New Year!

I don’t know about you, but I’m plenty glad to see the back-end of 2017. Other than our travel, it felt as though I mostly muddled through the better part of the year. Heading into 2018, I feel more focused and have some actual goals in mind. I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, but here are some things I’m setting out to accomplish in the first few months of 2018:

  • Creating a monthly newsletter.
  • Producing some videos. (Scarf tying, packing tips, travel, etc.)
  • Getting into a regular exercise routine. I did a trial membership last Spring at a local Pilates studio, but cancelled after a few weeks. The music was often so loud that I couldn’t hear the instructor. I also felt we spent more time on floor exercises than on the reformer machines. Honestly, I can do floor exercises at home, don’t need to pay for that. I’m going to check out some classes at a local yoga studio that is highly recommended, and am going to try to get le Monsieur to join me!
  • Once we have our kitchen back again, I want to do more cooking. I have been thumbing through some of my cookbooks for inspiration. Both of us could benefit from a healthier, more plant-based diet.
  • Clear out more clutter, and let go of Stuff we’re not using. Clearing out the kitchen and bathroom for the renovation made me painfully aware of how much we’ve accumulated in 21 years of living in this house. Our garage is now half full of boxes of it. I’m determined that we’re only bringing back into the house what we actually use regularly. The rest will be donated or yard-saled.

Somewhere, Underneath All The Dust…

Black and white tiles in bathroom. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

We’re beginning to see progress on the home renovations! It’s not that there hasn’t been progress, but it’s mostly been plumbing, electrical and framing, which isn’t always apparent when everything is down to studs and floorboards. The tile work in the bathroom is almost complete, and the new kitchen floor is scheduled to go in tomorrow. After that it’s painting, cabinetry, countertops. According to the job foreman, it will go much faster from here. We knew this would be a big disruption and I think we’ve rolled pretty well with it. But I’m getting weary of the relentless dust, and am REALLY looking forward to having a kitchen sink and a washer/dryer again. We have decent local laundromat, but it’s always crowded.

Distractions

I’ve been reading L’Appart by David Lebovitz (a Hanukkah gift from le Monsieur) and enjoying it immensely. It chronicles his years-long quest to find, purchase and renovate an apartment in Paris. Also includes some tantalizing recipes!

We’ve just finished Season 4 of Peaky Blinders on Netflix. A very satisfying season with some interesting twists.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon.

If you haven’t yet seen The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, you’re missing a real treat! It’s set in New York in the late 1950’s. Snappy dialog (it’s written by Amy Sherman-Palladino), great sets and music, and gorgeous costumes. This is an utter confection.

Did you do anything special for New Year’s Eve?

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27 Comments

  1. Maria Coles
    January 1, 2018 / 4:38 am

    Happy new year . I read your blog with great interest and enjoy it so much. I’m here in London and we too are having our house renovated . The big build of a new extension begins next week so finally a decent kitchen by Easter. I love your fashion style although cannot always afford them. US is cheaper but shipping costs are exorbitant.
    Lovely to see your choices though many thanks
    Maria

  2. Linda Scott
    January 1, 2018 / 4:41 am

    Susan – Happy New Year. Might I suggest you try committing to a home yoga practice. Check out Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube…

    • Kate
      January 1, 2018 / 9:41 am

      Linda, thank you for suggesting Yoga with Adriene. I took the first class today and signed up to receive daily classes through email. This is perfect.

  3. Sue J.
    January 1, 2018 / 4:58 am

    Your blog is wonderful, Susan, and is a regular part of my life. I am both educated and inspired by you. The French touch is the frosting on the cake. I wish you and your loved ones une tres bonne annee 2018! (pardon the lack of accent marks)

  4. Juli J. Engel
    January 1, 2018 / 5:26 am

    Dear Susan, sending wishes for a very Happy 2018 to you and your family. I’ve been following your blog for 5+ years now; you continue to be an inspiration to me, and I’ve learned so much from you. My husband and I will be making our first trip to France together later this winter! Through your wardrobe posts I’ve made my capsule choices (15 pieces plus a few “wild card” options) for our three-week trip. Carry-on only and a Longchamp Pliage tote for in-flight essentials. I cannot thank you enough for the difference you’ve made, not only for myself, but many other faithful readers.

  5. Sarah
    January 1, 2018 / 5:44 am

    The bathroom looks great! Construction is SUCH a disruption! We have been through building 2 houses and my dd and sil moved in with us this summer (and into fall) while their kitchen and bath were re-done….it seems to move so slowly, but it will be marvelous….keep the faith!
    Happy New Year!
    I also received L’Appart…can’t wait to dig into it!
    BTW I lived in France for 3 years 15 years ago with my husband and 2 young kids…your aesthetic is wonderful…very French, but you!
    Love your blog!

  6. Marie Maulorico
    January 1, 2018 / 5:50 am

    Happy New Year Susan. Love the bathroom tile combo! Wishing you and your little family a bountiful 2018 and that you’re able to check off at least a few items from your very ambitious list.

  7. January 1, 2018 / 6:06 am

    Dear Susan, Hoping that you and your family will have a joy-filled and healthy 2018 — and that you’ll continue sharing with each grateful reader (like me!) your wit, wisdom, and joie de vivre. Many, many thanks for your generosity and commitment… 🙂

  8. Jan
    January 1, 2018 / 6:26 am

    Dear Susan – hope 2018 is filled with everything you desire! I’m definitely with you on the decluttering/letting go vibe and pleased to see another Peaky Blinders fan (we binge watched seasons 1-4 over the month of Dec 🙂 )So pleased I found your blog in 2017 – it’s wonderful!

  9. Lea
    January 1, 2018 / 7:03 am

    I love the tiles (mosaic is always my first choice) in the bathroom and look forward to see what you’ve chosen for the kitchen.
    Je vous souhaite, a vous et votre famille, une Bonne et Heureuse Année remplie de santé et de joie.

  10. January 1, 2018 / 7:13 am

    We went to see “Churchill” last evening. Powerful movie, although I must say we both had trouble understanding his speaking! But I do recommend it, especially if you’ve been watching “The Crown.” Happy New Year to you.

  11. January 1, 2018 / 7:58 am

    Lovely delightful Susan!
    thanks for–
    1. Me redoing my travel packing-my husband is grateful!
    2. Me redoing my eyebrows –aging eyebrows need help!
    3. Watching your Netflix recommendations–fun!
    4. An outlook on life that brings fun to all your readers!
    5. Exercise: thanks for mentioning the loudness of some studios–no fun–(and actually not energizing)
    and finally:
    just generally thanks for being you–bringing so many interesting comments from
    your readers which are also helpful to all of us!
    Best wishes for a peaceful 2018!
    Mary

  12. Cleo
    January 1, 2018 / 8:19 am

    Happy 2018 Susan! Have you tried Curves?I went regularly when it was on my way home from work. (Takes more mental effort to get there now that my work situation changed, which is an important factor for finding a gym….has to be convenient!) The machines on the circuit will firm you up fast. Not much for cardio, I walk for that and am looking into some aerobics classes, but I love the muscle tone I get from the machines. The circuit is just half an hour….and mostly femmes d’un certain age!

  13. Patricia Levitt
    January 1, 2018 / 8:49 am

    Thank you for a great year , looking forward to seeing what you have in store for 2018 . Just a word to those who have said your fashion suggestions are a little expensive . I also find many are out of my price range . However , there are many stores to investigate and finding articles maybe not as good quality but very very similar and affordable, and allows me/us to duplicate the look . Thank you for all your fashion suggestions I am now a faithful follower. Happy New Year to you and your husband .

  14. Greta
    January 1, 2018 / 9:11 am

    Happy New Year to you, Susan. I love your newsletters and posts and look forward to videos (especially on scarf tying!,). Everything you do is stylish, sensible (and I do NOT mean stuffy) and accessible to real women. I also read L’Appart – in one day! It was like a trip to Paris. Also loved Mrs Maisel and have recommended it to everyone. That was the NY I remember growing up. Your reno and my recovery from foot surgery seem endless but we both know the joy we’ll finally have at the end of this journey (they’ll probably happen around the same time!). Wishing you and Monsieur a year full of exciting and happy travels✈️

  15. Gingerr
    January 1, 2018 / 10:08 am

    I had a similar experience with a kitchen redo. I packed a lot of things that didn’t seem worth unpacking, and they got given away.

  16. Kay
    January 1, 2018 / 10:17 am

    Good riddance, 2017. This July will be our semi-annual trip to France to see the family there, and this time all my little grandkids are going along. The youngest hasn’t been yet, and her older cousins are already preparing her for the wonders of Le Jardin du Luxembourg and the carousel. We spend a few days in Paris before hoping the TGV to Savoie. 2018 has to be a better year. It just does.

  17. Angela
    January 1, 2018 / 10:43 am

    Love the floor tiles, totally timeless. We had a great 2017 with my husband’s first year of retirement. It was two years early and a massive financial gamble, but so worth it. We’ve holidayed, renovated, gardened and decluttered…again! We’re trimmer, healthier and happier and are looking forward to more of the same. Wishing you and your family a very joyous New Year from New Zealand.

  18. Pam Farrell
    January 1, 2018 / 11:10 am

    Just wanted to thank you for your engaging blog. I’ve really enjoyed reading it over the past year and I appreciate the hard work that goes into it. I appreciate it. Happy New Year Susan!

    • Ann
      January 1, 2018 / 1:05 pm

      Hi Susan! Happy 2018! I have most enjoyed reading your blog since discovering it a little over a year ago. I have found your travel advice and packing ideas to be immensely helpful…and shopping hints too! (Picture dollar signs flying away)
      I look forward to keeping up with you again this year.

  19. January 1, 2018 / 11:16 am

    Well, we’re on the same wave length. I truly understand the disturbance of the dust. It never ends until you’re truly finished. Yes, to taking stuff to the laundry-mat. Take-out food gets pretty boring. Adored the latest episodes of Peaky Blinders and can’t wait for the Leibowitz book. It’s so gratifying giving stuff away and honing your stuff. Happy New Year. Looking forward to lunches together.

  20. Elizabeth
    January 1, 2018 / 12:35 pm

    A very happy and healthy New Year, Susan! 2017 was a good year for me because I happened to bump into your blog last March just before my “60th”. Your blog was just what I needed to survive this scary birthday and I always look forward to reading your articles. After reading about the boxes sitting in your garage, I know how frustrating that can be. I just started reading a book called Spark Joy, by Marie Kondo, which guides the reader through a decluttering process. It’s interesting, thought-provoking and I’m learning a lot. Why am I reading this book? We’re hoping to down-size.

  21. January 1, 2018 / 12:41 pm

    Happy New Year, Susan! Thank you for the lovely year of posts – I don’t comment that often, but I do read every post. Wishes to you for a speedy end to your renos, and all the best for 2018.

  22. Nancy
    January 1, 2018 / 2:17 pm

    Susan, I so enjoy your posts – I am almost 80 and love to see what you are wearing – keeping up with styles. Have traveled to Paris several times so love to read about you travels there. Thank you so much for keeping me up to date at least clothes wise. Happy New Yea to you and your family.
    Nancy

  23. January 2, 2018 / 12:57 pm

    The bathroom tiles are beautiful!
    Watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel tonight.
    Best wishes for 2018.

  24. January 3, 2018 / 11:12 am

    OK! Am immediately ordering L’Apart! Susan and so many of her sage readers cannot be wrong about this book. 🙂 And I will also watch Mrs. Maisel. Didn’t know anything about her until you mentioned her a few days ago in the context of your mid-century style longings.

    And Susan — yoga changed my life at age 70. I’m nearly 2 years into it (classes twice a week) and now have a home practice, too. May I urge you to try to find an excellent yoga teacher and take classes? It’s made innumerable changes to my fitness (strength, flexibility, breathing, etc.) and my disposition. I hope you enjoy your yoga journey.

    I hope you feel truly appreciated today, given so many readers’ expressions of gratitude for you and your guidance on several fronts. 🙂

  25. Amy
    January 5, 2018 / 5:32 am

    Susan, I just finished reading L’Appart; I pray your renovation experience pales by comparison!

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