February Coffee Date - 2018 - Skillful Cook
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February Coffee Date - 2018

An inspirational sign, showing birds at the shore, expresses the need for love and a sunset.

Sometimes it's nice to just chat, right? It's the end of the month (SCREAM how did that happen) and I'm feeling a chat day. It's our February coffee date!

I'm drinking a Royal Tea Latte that I did not make at home because no matter how many times I ask at Sencha, they won't tell me how they make it, which means that I am destined to continue to going there day after day, spending my money on this creamy miracle of a drink.

What are you drinking? Coffee? Matcha? Hot chocolate? Or maybe that yummy turmeric ginger tea from Trader Joe's? Have you tried that?

Alright, coffee date. So here's what's up.

Eyelash Extensions

Help! I got eyelash extensions for the first time ever and now I am about to lose all my money. They are amazing.

Before / After:

Before and after eyelash extensions.


  • The actual appointment took forever. It seems really awesome to lay on your back, totally still, with your eyes closed for 2+ hours... until you actually try to lay on your back, totally still, with your eyes closed for 2+ hours at which time you realize HELLO THIS IS ACTUALLY KINDA HARD.
  • It is the equivalent of throwing your money out the window. They are so expensive! The first installation (can I call it that?) was $250 and - oh, bummer - you have to get them filled every 2-3 weeks?!? for another $75?!? I mean, I like them and everything, but I have a hard enough time paying $50 for a haircut once every six months.


  • You look like a queen.
  • Wake up and go.
  • Low maintenance.
  • You look like a queen. (x2)

Have you had extensions? Do you know of an affordable place to keep up this new habit in the Twin Cities? Please spill.

Yoga, Kinda

I've been doing yoga lately! Except it's not *real* yoga, it's technically called “yoga inspired fitness.”

For about two months I've been using an app called Asana Rebel and I really love it. I am working my way through the 7 Week Full Body Toner set, which, for me, is basically a live set for creating a How-You-Think-You-Look-While-Doing-Yoga and How-You-Actually-Look-While-Doing-Yoga meme. But still. I like it. It's a nice calming workout where I can a) usually break a mini-sweat, and b) be feel-good-sore the next day.

Highly recommend!

Do you guys use fitness apps?

Grocery Delivery

OMG! This is the future! Bjork and I have been using Instacart for almost a year now (both in personal life and also for the studio groceries), and I am not going to lie: it is one of my favorite things about my life right now.

Ingredients on a cutting board with a knife.

We paid $100-ish for free delivery for one year. When I need groceries, I just put in an order on my phone, schedule delivery, and wait for it to arrive, usually in pajamas.

Things I've done with the time I saved by not going to the grocery store:

  • Yoga
  • Cleaned out fridge
  • Laundry
  • Walked Sage
  • Worked
  • Read a book
  • Watched TV
  • Painted my nails

We tip our drivers, usually 10%, so in that sense, it costs more than if we didn't do delivery. Also a bummer - shoppers seem to REALLY struggle with finding certain things such as orange sweet potatoes. Come on, guys. But, on the other hand, I'm not impulse-buying a few throw pillows during my grocery runs (thank you very much, Target) which means maybe we're saving money in some weird way.

I still love to peruse the grocery store in person from time to time to get excited about food and recipes, but when I do, it's not in a frenzy to get 101 groceries, and that feels really nice.

Grocery delivery - yay or nay?

Seasonal Sads

Here in Minnesota we are hitting that point in the year that really brings out the Seasonal Sads for a lot of people. Did you know this is actually a thing? Seasonal Affective Disorder. For me, motivation is low, anticipation of warm weather is high, and general feeling as we wait for the seasons to change is meh.

A black and white photo of a dog on a chair.

It's funny, because I love Minnesota, and I love snow, but February is about the time when my winter love dries up. A person can only take so many cloudy, cold days before needing an actual warmth lamp blasting on their face. Wait, isn't that a thing? I can't remember what they're called but... do I need one? Can someone talk to me about this?

I'd love your thoughts on this. What do you guys do to work your way out of those wintery sad feelings?

Speaking Of Sad

The school shooting. It's too much. I hesitated to even mention it because it's so heavy. But I don't think silence honors their lives.

A winter scene with snow covering an empty field beneath a sky tinged with orange.

I have vaguely followed the news, most specifically and importantly, the list of those who lost their lives in this tragedy. I am supporting Everytown for Gun Safety, because as a nation I feel strongly we need to see a move towards more common sense safety laws. I'm also excited about what's happening with the students at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School as they rise up and make their voices heard. So there is hope, always. But I hate that it's in the context of something so heavy and sad.

To the families and friends of everyone effected - I'm so, so sorry. Our hearts are with you.

As I've been processing this heartbreak, I found this article insightful (Brene's whole book, actually, as it relates to agreeing and disagreeing on polarizing issues), and this one, too. But articles and books can only help so much when the loss is this significant.

How do you all process the news when it is so devastating?

That's all. From the fluff to the hard things. This is what I would talk about if we were actually on a coffee date, so that's what's here. The real stuff.

Before we go, one more thing. You know what? You are doing a really good job. I know sometimes it feels hard. But you're doing it, one day at a time. Keep it up. ♡

Sage would like to look deep into your eyes to let you know that she's cheering you on.

A smiling man and woman are in the front seat of a vehicle with a dog between them.

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ve been dealing with my SAD by finally spending a few moments each morning in my cozy spot on the couch, next to my dog coffee in hand going through my FLOW mindfulness workbook. You get that happy weightless feeling you get after a good hike or when you feel the warm breeze on a perfect spring day. I don’t know, it just feels good. If you haven’t heard of FLOW magazine check it out. It’s also a bit pricy but oh so worth it 😉

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    minnesota SADs are REAL, i tell ya. you’re not alone gf. march is typically my hardest month, uh bc it goes from 60 degree beauties to 2 feet of snow falling on top of us, bleh. they make vitamin d lamps, though, if you’re interested! i’ve never used one but my girlfriend swears by hers. OH! & if you find a reasonable eyelash extension place in TC, keep us posted! i want to look like a queen! xo

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      March is usually the toughest for me too. Everything is so DIRTY under all of that snow!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    I have a SAD lamp that I bought during my first winter in Montana and I love it! I have the “HappyLight” brand, which I got at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I keep it at my desk and turn it on for the first half hour or so of my work day, while I am checking emails etc. I am a psychologist and I won’t get into all the (likely boring) science of why they work, but I’ll just say that I love mine and often highly recommend them for my patients whose depression comes on or worsens in the winter.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Adding to Maggie’s comment…the SADs are REAL up here in Canada. Even though the days are getting longer, the amount of snow we’ve had has been super tough to have any motivation to get through the day.

      My friend has SAD and is lending me her SAD lamp – gonna try that out and see if I feel any different until spring is here.

      And back atcha Linz…YOU are doing a heck of a job. You, exactly as you are, are enough, and you’re doing the best you can with the tools you have. <3

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        I live in WI… ugh to this time of year! I got a light for SAD and it basically helps me feel more peppy and awake and generally more ‘happy’ during the day if I use it on a regular daily basis. I turn it on for 15-20 minutes in the mornings while I’m drinking coffee and getting ready. I know a lot of people that have them here and they use them in the mid mornings at our office. I got mine because of a recommendation from a psychiatrist, but bought it on amazon for about $50. Amazon has a ton of options if you search ‘SAD light’. Use it daily for a couple weeks before you pass judgement on it’s affects. The psychiatrist joked that he thinks most people in this part of the country should use a SAD light!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    I have cried so many times about this school shooting, especially hearing the students and families talking about their experience. But seeing these kids come together and stand up has been so freakin’ inspirational. If they are our future then out future is bright. I, too, support Everytown, but I’m also supporting these students who are going to make a difference. I donated to the March for Our Lives and will go to the March (easy for me since I’m in DC) to show these kids that, as an adult, I support them and what they’re doing. It’s the least I can do.

    I think I’ve skipped the SADs this year because it’s been so mild here. Heck it was in the 80s last week! We’ve gotten very little snow, which actually bums me out a bit.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      You could have written my post for me! I was sitting in my house in late February, in DC, with the windows open in shorts. Though now that it’s back to typical winter weather, I’ve gotten stuck with a terrible cold.

      Those kids are inspiring the hell out of me, I was definitely not as well spoken at their age. But they are speaking, and giving me some real hope for the future.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thank you! I really needed this today! I’ve moved offices (my whole company has) and it’s feeling like a really sad, unproductive day, but you’ve cheered me up immensely. Way to go you! By the way, I think I’ll give that fitness app a try… Thank’s on that as well. Stay warm and happy, even through the sads. 🙂

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    The shooting. It breaks my heart. I work in the Florida Capitol Bldg and I went outside to attend the rally. Initially, I felt sadness and grief. As I stood there, I watched a group of students from FAMU marching up to the rally… I noticed parents, small children, grandparents all there for the same thing. They chanted. They held signs calling for gun control. I was overcome with feelings of inspiration, hope and relief. I am excited about what the Parkland kids and others are doing. They are turning this awful tragedy into a positive movement. They are giving me real hope for the future.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I live in Arizona, where it’s sunny ALL. THE. TIME. Seriously, we look forward to rainy days. The tourists and winter visitors make us crazy at this time of year, so although we don’t have Seasonal Affective Disorder, we have Snowbird Affective Disorder (often cured by large glasses of red wine and hard cider).

    Sadie and Bella send play bows to Sage!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Sherry – couldn’t agree with you more. I am in Scottsdale and yes it’s beautiful this time of year, but my sadness comes from the lack of rainy days and drought. I’m a native and I can’t wait for the traffic to ease up when the snowbirds fly back to their homes. Hahaha

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I agree! I’m not a rep for either of these companies and I love Latisse or RF’s LashBoost!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        I’m totally a rep for that company and will happily help you get on the Lash Boost train! It is way cheaper than extensions and they’re real and yours!

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      YES, Lash Boost!! Amazing. Not sure how it works but it does; maybe keeps the lashes lubricated so that they don’t fall out and have time to grow? I use it on upper AND lower lashes, and eyebrows too. My tube has lasted more than 2 months; takes about 6 weeks to see the effect. May seem expensive but you can pay once to have a 10% discount for auto supply.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love all of this so much! I just wanted to encourage you that I love this whole coffee date thing! I love your blog so much and find myself calling you “my friend” in conversation about your blogs and amazing recipes because I think of you so dearly! Thanks for doing what you do and for sharing your heart with all of us.

    Spring is coming!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Do you have an Asian supermarket in your area? The bigger ones here in St. Louis stock royal milk tea, I suspect that might be what your latte is, or includes. We have bubble tea places here and I love the cold royal milk tea with bobas.

    I have thought about grocery delivery, but I get too excited about grocery shopping (daily, sometimes several stores, probably an issue!) and like to pick out my own things. If I get too busy though, I might try it.

    I recently downloaded the Headspace app and am trying to meditate, or learn to. I am going to get that yoga app! I have never tried it specifically because I know I won’t look right/will fall over, etc.

    I have been taking VERY HOT baths to help with the sad. Candles and ice water nearby and just sitting. Also, hugging and loving on and petting my yellow lab really helps. Something about all that fur and cuteness usually can alleviate some of the sad!

    All I can say about the shooting is, I’m sad that this is the world we live in. Years ago I was so happy to bring one of my kids lunch during school. As we were walking back to the classroom there was an “intruder drill” announced. The class quickly got into a tiny copy room and we all crouched down and were to remain silent. This was so scary FOR ME, and very sad when I realized this is just a common drill for the kids. Tornado drill check, fire drill check, intruder drill check. Just awful.

    Thanks for the positive words, you are doing a really good job too! Nice having tea with everyone this morning!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    I really was at a coffee shop and I really did have a coffee date with you and I loved it!!!! Sage in the chair was exactly how I was feeling and I laughed out loud when I saw him!! Thanks for all you do to inspire us ~ you are the best…Pat in Michigan

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am excited about trying the Asana Rebel app – thanks for the recommendation! I just started using the Lose Weight in 30 Days app (primarily for the workout push) and I like it a lot; small time commitment and I have been doing it while I wait for my dinner to cook. =)

    And much as I might like the idea of having yet another task taken care of so I don’t have to leave the house, I think grocery shopping is the one thing that keeps me from genuinely becoming a hermit. I do love wandering around the grocery store (as long as it’s not during busy hours!) and checking things off of my list, so it’s actually something I look forward to doing. Hence why I’ve never been interested in doing meal kit deliveries either. Maybe it’s a control freak thing, too? I wouldn’t deny that side of it. 😉

    Thanks for the Coffee Date. Love you and your blog!

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    I LOVE my lash extensions, but I also agree that they are expensive. I live in Appleton, WI and get filled every 3 weeks for $40. I used to go to place who charged $1/lash for fills (she moved). I rarely cut my hair, don’t dye it, am fairly low maintenance so I totally justify this high maintenance indulgence! Get some lash serum and they last longer!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Hi Kelly! What is the place called you go to in Appleton?! 🙂 I’m about an hour away! I have yet to find a place in Wausau!! Any suggestions welcome!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Great post, Lindsay! I love this coffee date concept! I love love love Yoga With Adriene! She emails you free yoga classes you can do at home, she is SUPER inspirational and caring (reminds me of you and your writing, actually….), and she does good things for people. Cannot recommend highly enough! I am SO hesitant to try food delivery b/c usually it seems like a TOTAL rip-off, but did I read correctly that you paid $100 for just a year??? With the recent shooting, it has inspired me to FIGHT. I am also supporting whatever anti-gun law(s) I can and sharing with everyone! I live in CA’s Central Coast, so I don’t get seasonal sads (sorry!). Sage always brings a smile to my face! Thanks for yet another great post!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    I always read, but very rarely comment and I just had to this time. I wanted to let you know that I so enjoy your posts and that you always seem to have the RIGHT thing to say about the hard things. Also, I really love that last photo of you guys!

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    HI! I have lash extensions and love them!!! My stylist, Sher@Sher Extensions ( TN) is a professionally trained expert from Xtreme Lashes. I consider my time with Sher as Sher-theraphy a moment to treat myself. Lashes make you look ageless, more youthful…enhances your eyes, and just makes you feel more alive when you look in the mirror even when you are tired, plus the Queen factor! Tip: Got a go to a trained professional, not everyone who does lashes do a good job, some take short cuts that can cause problems. Research for yourself about the adhesive and lash application, it is important to find an Xtreme lash professional.(no I don’t work for them ha ha). Just an FYI. NO more SAD.. in mid winter. XOXO

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m the type that will pay for convenience since my time has value. Therefore, I want to love grocery delivery SO MUCH. But I just can’t with all the fees. Tip, delivery, service, AND (this is what really gets me) the prices are higher than what you would pay in the store. I did an order at costco for instacart and the fees/price hikes/tip totaled over $40 on a $80 grocery purchase. I know some of this can be mitigated by doing their annual plan, but DANG that’s a lot to pay for convenience. And while its all in the small print somewhere, the price hikes feel sneaky to me.

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    My parents live in Wisconsin (not too far from the Twin Cities!) and my mom was expressing the same winter sadness. She said there were only 4 days of sun so far in the month and everyone she’s talked to has had a real rough time shaking the winter blues. It is definitely real and I know a lot of people who hit up the tanning places just for some pseudo warmth and light.

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thanks for sharing about the lashes… Ugh! I have blonde lashes, but I just can’t bring myself to spend $150 are my local salon to get them done (sigh). I’m hoping that they will get cheaper, but two hours of a motionlessness session like it never will. As for grocery delivery, it’s a miracle that we can even get pizza delivery on the mountain! I like the concept. I worry about produce selection, I’m extra picky…lol!

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m drinking coffee. I have a small portable french press at my desk at work, along with beans and a grinder, so I make it every morning. That’s the only thing I actually go out of my way to enjoy something good without spending money on Starbucks. 😀

    I actually recently started yoga as well!! I use an app called Down Dog. It’s been fun so far. I’ll check out your app too.

    The SADs are too real in Kansas City. I did not see the Sun at all last week. Cloudy the whole time. It’s shining today, so that’s already the highlight of the day!

    You’re also doing a great job! I get so exceited every time I see an email update from your blog. Keep rocking 🙂

  20. Skillful Cook Logo

    I could never do grocery delivery because I need to poke at every single fruit and vegetable in the store before I choose the one that is just right for me!

  21. Skillful Cook Logo

    You’re just the best. Your warm tone and comforting approach to facing the tough stuff is always so inspiring. No clue on the eyelash extensions, but I’m so intrigued! Let us know if you find a good deal in the metro! I second Yoga with Adrienne, too. I feel like Feb is always the hardest month in MN, so I’m pretty stoked for it to be on the way out. We like to hit up the local indoor pool and the Como Conservatory this time of year, too – there’s something about the humidity that’s so rejuvenating. I hear you on the school shootings, too. I’m a middle school teacher, and it just always hits so darn close to home. I’m so full of admiration for the teens taking a stand, though. It feels like the first time in years that I can turn on the news and not be overwhelming with anxiety. Clinging to the hope they’re instilling in our nation, for sure – and planning to get on my feet for a March next month.