9 things I learned in April.

9 things I learned in April.

Today I’m joining Emily Freeman for the first time in forever to share what I learned in April.

azaleas

1. We moved into our new house last May. We didn’t live here for most of last spring, and it has been a hundred kinds of delightful to watch the perennials that we didn’t plant, didn’t work for, and didn’t expect to see popping up all over.

tulips 2

2. Except the ones we DID work for. I’ve learned that planning ahead and planting something is absolutely worth it, even if it doesn’t come naturally.

3. On that note, I’m inclined to put off tasks like those tulips: the ones that require advance planning and delayed gratification. This month I visited a local store and knocked off one of those tasks that I’ve been meaning to do since October. It took 3 minutes. 3 stinking minutes.

I’m learning that maybe I should just do those things already, instead of putting them off for 6 months.

4. On the other hand, I’m learning that sometimes things take much, much longer than I expect. Our vacuum has been on the fritz, and instead of ordering online, I wanted to give that business to a local store. So I visited my local vacuum store … four times. Once to actually buy my vacuum, and three times because they weren’t open as advertised or ready as planned. My default assumption is that local is better, and I hope my purchase is actually better for my local economy. But the experience was horrible, and I wish I’d just ordered it off Amazon.

coffee, introverts, and extroverts

5. Will and I are coffee snobs, but this month I had the best Folgers coffee of my life, which is saying something. I complimented the maker (just a dad helping out at church, not a pro or anything) and asked his secret. He said he’d learned to cope with all varieties of bad coffee at work: double the coffee, and double-filter the brew.

(If you’re not a coffee snob and you love your daily Folgers, no judgment here. I wish I wasn’t so high maintenance about my brew!)

6. I always carry around a few little notebooks in my purse for list writing and note taking, but I always worry I’ll forget to look at my to-do list, or forget which notebook I scrawled important notes in. This month it finally occurred to me to rip the covers off.

Yeah, the covers were cute, and it felt a little destructive. But I’ve had zero problem finding my notes this month. Worth it. 

bootcut

7. Somewhere along the way I got used to skinny jeans. So much so, that when I pulled out an ooooold pair of boot cuts this week because all my skinnies were in the wash, they felt … weird. If you had told 2010 Anne that one day in 2015 she would put on boot cuts and they would feel weird because they weren’t skinnies, and not the other way around, I never would have believed you. But there it is.

8. I ordered my first pair of Tieks this spring … and discovered a secret society. I get asked about them everywhere I go. (Are those Tieks? What size do you wear? Are they comfortable?) They look like plain old ballet flats to me: I’m surprised people can even tell the brand. (Maybe they can because mine are tangerine?)

I did not see this coming, and it’s kinda weird. On the other hand, I’ve met a lot of very nice strangers.

fiesta

9. It’s totally worth it to take the extra twenty seconds to put my dishes away in ROYGBIV order. Or any kind of order. They make me happy every time I open the cabinet.

Of course, it also makes me very happy when the kids unload the dishwasher. But if I’m on dish duty, those extra twenty seconds are well spent.

(I pulled most of these photos from my instagram account. Follow me @annebogel.)

What did you learn in April?

61 comments | Comment

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61 comments

  1. Terry says:

    I’ve wanted to try Tieks, I have a friend who is a big fan, but I just can’t get past the price. What would you say makes them worth the extra bucks?

    • Anne says:

      They’re worth it for me because I have huge (and wide) feet, and finding shoes that fit is tough–there are very few brands that I can actually wear. When I find a brand that works, I buy it. Tieks ARE well-made and comfortable, but most people who don’t have hard-to-fit feet could probably find great shoes for less $$$.

    • Meg says:

      I feel the same way! I want to know why on earth they are so freaking expensive?! What makes them worth $200?!

  2. Chloe says:

    Are the dishes Fiestaware? I have open shelving in my kitchen and have been considering ‘happy looking’ dishes, but as a minimizer I have struggled with spending the money when we have plates already.

      • Dana says:

        I have the Fiesta ware too in red, blue orange, lime green and yellow. I have 2 place settings of each color. Got them about 2 years ago after all white dishes for many years. I smile every time I open my cabinets. I bought mine when Macy’s had a good sale.

  3. Valerie J. says:

    Anne,
    I am always astonished when people recognize a brand of clothes or shoes that I am wearing, mostly because I did not know it was ‘a thing’ and just bought it because I liked it and it fit. It truly feels like stepping into some secret society. I want to ask: ‘How do you know that? Did I unknowingly get into a cult?’. It feels strange, a bit puzzling and funny at same time. Gives me 5 seconds of coolness.

    • Anne says:

      I did a lot of reading and asking around before I wore mine outside, making them unreturnable. Tieks doesn’t make half sizes, and the consensus is that if you’re truly a half size with a medium (regular) width foot, they’re never going to be comfortable because they’re just not going to fit right.

  4. Miriam B says:

    In April, I learned that a specific emphasis within my Master’s degree program was not for me. I made the choice to drop it and opted to graduate this coming December with my original emphasis. So excited to be done with school!

  5. Hannah says:

    For me, it’s worth it to put the silverware in the little plastic divider thing I have in my drawer as I empty the dishwasher. My mother always just dumped her cutlery all in together because it meant less fuss in the short-term. In the long-term, however, well, it’s nice to know how many clean soup spoons you have left before needing to run another load in the dishwasher.

  6. Stacey says:

    What a fun post. I was going to ask you about your dishes too- Fiestawear. I think I may have some new plates in my future… your shelves make me so darn happy! And how do I not know about Tieks? Now I think I want a pair. I had orange shoes a few years ago and they made me so happy. I just tried to find them on line? Am I right that the only way to order them is through their own site? Didn’t see them on Zappos or Nordstroms? Thanks and here’s to colorful feet and cabinets!

    • Anne says:

      You’re right, they can only be bought through the Tieks website. (Unless you find them on ebay or someplace like that.)

  7. jeri says:

    I rearrange my Fiesta with the seasons, darker colors on top in fall/winter, lighter on top spring/summer, also reds/greens alternate at Christmas, etc….I love to see someone else plays with the colors!
    p.s.I buy my Fiestaware at Kohl’s only when it is on sale or with Kohl’s cash.

    • Anne says:

      Fun!

      I didn’t know they had Fiesta at Kohl’s. I found Dillard’s had the best price online, and then when I went to the store it was an additional 20% off, which was a fun surprise. And then I bought extra salad plates on ebay because we go through so many of those every day!

      • Kerry says:

        I’ve always loved the look of Fiestaware, but until recently they didn’t have the exact color of blue I wanted. Now they do: Lapis. (LOVE it!) When I started piecing a set together I got some from Kohl’s, some from Dillard’s – and some for even cheaper on Amazon. The price on Amazon goes up and down so you have to keep watching it, but it’s kind of like a game – when the price is right, buy!

        • Marci says:

          Re: amazon price changes– You do know about Camelcamelcamel.com right? you put in your target price and they email you when it hits that price. 🙂

          • Kerry says:

            No… but I do now! Thanks!! Going to check it out right now – sounds fantastic! (How did I not know about this?!) 🙂

  8. Jennifer says:

    I have to schedule in Anti-Procrastination days for myself to tackle the chores I put off for months…like cleaning our box fans or deep cleaning the humidifier. Obviously I need another Anti-Procrastination day soon.

  9. Tim says:

    I put the dishes way in color order too Anne. Then again, our dishes are blue willow from the restaurant my wife’s grandparents’ ran decades ago. Hmm does this blue go above or below that blue?

  10. Laura says:

    Are Tieks as comfortable as the price indicates I should hope they are?? I’ve been thinking of ordering some myself but haven’t pulled the trigger. I have rather high arches, so most ballet flats are terrible for me.

    • Anne says:

      They’re well made and the cushioned soles are pretty great. They’re comfortable for me, but I think that has just as much to do with the way the shoes fit my big feet as it does with the way they’re made—-just because some brands fit better than others, whether it’s denim or t-shirts or ballet flats.

    • Jamie says:

      I have broken two pieces and chipped one in the past couple of years. But I am really good at dropping things. My friend’s stuff never breaks!

    • Meg says:

      I’ve had Fiesta for 12 years and not a single dish has chipped. A few have been broken but I have little kids, a clumsy husband, and ceramic tile floors in my kitchen.

    • Anne says:

      It’s chip resistant—more durable than the average stoneware—but not definitely not unchippable (is that a word? 🙂 ) or unbreakable.

  11. Marci says:

    I don’t know your exact notebook/lists situation, but moving to the Midori Travelers Notebook has been life changing for me. I keep 4 notebooks in mine (monthly calendar, bullet journal/to-dos, longterm notes, and goals/journal/doodles). These are all blank inserts of one type or another except the monthly. My life isn’t appointment driven, so I never found the right system for planning/to-dos/endless lists until now. Now I have a place for all my lists and appointments to live without being confined to a set amount of space (that was always wrong). Misc shopping lists might still be on a post-it, but they are stuck in the notebook! Being analog helps me see the big picture and focus on long term goals. It also helps me be better at making notes about “little things” instead of thinking they will stay in my head.

  12. Kendra says:

    Oh, I love my Tieks! I’d wanted a pair forever and my parents bought me some as a birthday gift. The sole of mine cracked almost immediately, and they replaced the pair. Great customer service! My Tieks are brown, but I would love to get a turquoise pair! Your dishes are gorgeous; I don’t think I’d be able to put them in any order but ROYGBIV!

  13. Melissa T. says:

    You made my day when I saw your Fiesta ware! I’m a regular reader of your blog and it was just what I needed to give me a little “jazz” this morning! I also have a cabinet full of Fiesta dishes and I love mine. The bright colors make me happy! Thanks for your daily inspiration!

  14. Suzanne says:

    great post. I will have to mull over what I learned this month.

    About that coffee tip…does double filter the brew simply mean use two filters together? Could it be that easy?? Thank you

  15. Valerie says:

    Funny thing about Tieks, nobody ever notices what I have on my feet but yesterday 3 people commented on my silver Tieks. I have strange feet, normal in the front but narrow in the back. So, I am hard to fit too but these are great.

  16. Jamie says:

    Three reasons I like this post:
    1. You said “stinking.”
    2. You have Fiestaware, and that is just happy.
    3. You cannot find your notes, either.

    Fun to hear what you’re learning!

  17. -I learned (or perhaps relearned) that laying out the kids’ outfits and my clothing the night before completely changes the rushed dynamic of the morning routine.
    -I learned the whole “pinterest thing”!
    -I discovered that I love arugula in just about anything.

  18. Megan says:

    I’m a size 11/12 and I’m 6’1 so I love flats! Thank you thank you thank you! I’ve been debating this purchase but this might have persuaded me! Now I just need to decide between Crimson or brown…..or black….

  19. Bethann says:

    Love your list and your tangerine Tieks! Mine are black and I don’t get stopped about them! For those wondering, yes, they’re very pricy, but soooo worth it! I wore mine all day through the Louvre last spring and no foot pain…just plain ol’ tired!!

  20. Brittany says:

    I feel the same about skinny jeans. I remember when they first came out it was such a novel concept and now I just think of them as “jeans” and all other cuts as in their own category.

  21. Maryalene says:

    I hear you on the “local does not always equal better” front. Instead of buying from a big box store, I used a local business for flooring. Now, it’s a year later and the flooring still isn’t right. Could have saved so much time and money by going through Home Depot or Lowe’s.

    Oh, and add me to the Fiesta ware fangirl club!

  22. Stephanie says:

    Your dishes are SO pretty! Where did you buy them?!

    Also – I feel the same way about skinny jeans. I despised them at first, but now I have a pair I love.

  23. Torey says:

    The Homer Laughlin factory is in West Virginia and you can buy Fiestaware directly from the factory, and get great deals on the seconds (which are practically perfect). My sister went there last summer and it was amazing. I love, love, love my Fiestaware.

  24. I love your new blog design. 🙂 I just spent an afternoon trying on shoes. I found a couple that I think are comfortable…but I had to pay more than I normally would. But, my feet have been telling me they want more comfort.
    Question about the Tieks: Do they have any arch support?
    Love your post.

  25. Heather says:

    Thank you!!!! I’ve been looking for comfortable, supportive ballet flats! I’m going to get Tieks in cream today and if I love them the way I think I will, I will be ordering fussy next!

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