I recently discovered that Kendra Adachi has a podcast! I’ve been a big fan of Kendra’s work at The Lazy Genius ever since I saw her YouTube series for her book, The Lazy Genius Kitchen. I love the way her brain works: she is smart and systematic, but always makes sure that when solving problems, we name what matters and customize any solutions to us personally. I couldn’t adore her philosophy more if I tried, especially since it really mirrors my own approaches to business & productivity coaching. There are no one-size-fits-all answers, because the answer depends on who you are and what you care about. I could go on and on, but the point is that I love Kendra, and now I love her podcast too.
One episode title caught my eye as I was scrolling: What’s Saving My Life. In it, she explained that this is an episode she tries to do quarterly to share all the things making her happy, helping her feel more grounded, or making life easier overall. By acknowledging what’s saving your life in this season, you are appreciating it and feeling gratitude, and you’re also sharing things that might save other people’s lives, too! Of course, I was instantly enamoured of this idea and immediately started thinking about what’s been saving my life in this particular season. It is a very fun exercise, and I think also gives a great snapshot of what life looks like these days. I’m going to try to do it quarterly from now on, and each time I’ll share ten things that have been making life better lately. Here we go! 10 things from the past quarter-ish that are making life easier.
I got this idea from Sarah at Go Clean Co. who shared that she struggles to get enough protein in the morning and sometimes forgets to eat breakfast at all. I likewise don’t like making breakfast, but I’m cranky and exhausted if I don’t eat anything, so enter: protein coffee! She makes hers with a milk frother, but I have been shaking mine up in a blender bottle (just make sure to let the steam out after the first few shakes!) and it works like a dream. I find that I don’t need any added sugar or cream, and it works great with both vanilla and chocolate protein powders. Easy, simple, and makes the mornings a little bit better.
Mike sent me a Lee Valley email newsletter (beware, all ye who wish not to spend money, unsubscribe thee hence!!) featuring these things, and I immediately purchased them. I got the two-pack of the 1-cup size and have already used them to freeze chili and soup into perfect little cubes that stack up nicely in freezer bags in the freezer. I particularly like that they’re frozen in individual serving sizes because my biggest issue is figuring out what to have for lunch and accessing it quickly. I have plans to fill them again tomorrow with mulligatawny. Yeehaw!
Eufy the Vacuum
All my friends already know that I am truly, madly, deeply obsessed with our robot vacuum Eufy, who I found on Facebook Marketplace for a mere $50 cash. It was one of Go Clean Co.’s top picks for robot vacuums because it’s very effective, very slim, and not very loud. And we love this thing. We have not vacuumed since we got it, and our floors have never looked better. It gets stuck sometimes and it bumps into walls a lot like a little drunk robot, but we feel very fondly towards him and he makes life easier every single day. I am not exaggerating when I saw it is the best $50 I’ve ever spent. (And yes, obviously we put googly eyes on him.)
A recent discovery, this little habit tracking app has been saving my life since the very end of 2023. I am using it to track my daily habits of meditation, exercise, writing and flossing, and I love so many things about it. It can track unlimited habits, which is great because many such apps max out at 3. It’s simple and clean and customizable, so I can add emojis and colours to make it more personalized. And most importantly, it offers a little widget for my phone’s homescreen so throughout the day I can quickly be reminded of which habits I haven’t done yet today, and they’ll grey out as I complete them. I cannot wait for the end of the year too, because they have a really cool-looking colour grid for each habit, showing how many times you completed it.
This app/program has been making it easier for me to get into weight-lifting without feeling intimidated or overwhelmed. It is an extremely simple but well-rounded program that has you do five sets of five reps for 3 exercises per day, on alternating days. This makes it super-simple to follow along and (for me) to stay consistent with it, because it never feels that daunting or super long to complete. You can read an *extremely* comprehensive explanation of why the program is designed this way here, or just download the app here. I only have dumbbells at home so I don’t always increase by the amount the app tells me to, but that’s okay! I’m still growing in how much I can lift, which is pretty fun.
The rec centre near my house has free swimming nights every Monday, and I’ve been really enjoying them! I have always loved to swim, but haven’t done it too much in recent years except for fun in the summer months. It feels good (and also hard!) to get back to swimming lengths and treading water. It’s such a good workout and feels so good to come home and bundle up afterwards.
The Lazy Genius Podcast
I already mentioned this one up top, but I have been loving the show as a whole so it deserves a mention! As I said, Kendra’s way of approaching problems really resonates with me, and I have been enjoying catching up on the backlog of episodes about everything from holiday downtime to division of labour to being a lazy genius about audiobooks. I just like her no-nonsense approach to figuring out what matters most to you in a given subject or season, and finding ways to customize your life and habits to support that. One of her principles is “live in your season”, which I just absolutely love. Finding solutions for the season you’re in is a genius idea, and one I wish I’d known more actively last year in a particularly tough season. Highly recommend giving the show a listen!
Since we moved into our new apartment at the beginning of November, we have had candles for dinner almost every night. I was inspired particularly by Elise Cripe on this, who recently thrifted a vintage match holder/striker to mount in their dining room to make dinner candles easier each night. Actually, writing this is reminding me that since we put away the Christmas candles this week, I have yet to put new tapers out for the table! Must remedy immediately, because nightly candles just makes life feel a little more special, which saves my life in this dark season.
I have a big bowl of clementines on our dining room table and one on our coffee table, and every day it makes it easier for us to eat more fruit and get more vitamin C. Mike almost always gives me a piece of the one he’s peeling, I always have one after lunch, and we usually have one as a snack while we’re watching TV at night. When people come over, they often have one too! They’re fun, easy and delicious – and cheap. Since tis the season, I can get a big crate of them for almost nothing, and they make me happy for weeks.
I’m not going to lie to you, lately things have been feeling a bit dreary, especially since we took down the decorations and the sun has only shown itself like once in two weeks. It’s grey and it’s cold and there is not much growing right now, so my daily dog walks tend to be a bit dull. Except! Our new neighbourhood has a whole bunch of hidden murals in its back alleys, and I seem to discover a new one every few days. Seeing that burst of colour and beauty makes everything feel a bit brighter, even if it’s cloudy and overcast. They light up my morning, and I love posing Bruno in front of them as a souvenir.
Okay! Fun! I love this concept and I love this list. Looking it over, I feel a sense of joy at all the little things that are carrying me and making life better in this particular season. It is really nice to take a moment to appreciate each of them, and to realize what really does make me happy. It’s a good reminder to not stop doing what works (aka, go get those tapers right now! go back to swimming on Monday!) and to continue looking for small things to brighten my days.
PS. This reminds me of my birthday favourites lists! Here are my favourite things from when I was 29.