Wow, it’s sure been a while since I’ve done one of these. If you’ve been around these parts for a couple of years, then you remember these Monday Mishmash conversational posts I used to do with no real purpose other than to share a bunch of random things. I’d update you on happenings around here, share some fun links and let you know about anything else going on. I stopped doing them for the most part in favor of a newsletter (sign up above or below the post!). But for old time’s sake, let’s kick off 2020 with a fresh Monday Mishmash.
So how’s 2020 going for you so far? How do you feel going into a new year? Too early to tell?
I feel good about 2020. It’s not that I think it’ll be easy or be free of struggle and hard lessons, but I feel confident as we ease into 2020. And I think that’s the only way to go. What’s the alternative? To welcome 2020 with fear and hesitation? No. Trust me, that doesn’t work.
On the blog:
If you missed it, I rounded up the top posts of 2019 last week, shared some stats, and had a piece of advice for fellow content creators.
This time of year is big for New Year’s resolutions. Do you have one? I don’t, but it’s not because I think they’re BS.
Today is also Epiphany Day and in France, king cake, or galette des rois, are big business during the month of January. I wrote more about the frangipane cakes in this post.
3 Brands I love
Moo for business cards
I first used Moo in 2012 to make my business cards for Etsy and was so impressed that I still buy from Moo regularly. In addition to my work business cards for my entire team, I also used them for my blog’s business cards as shown above. There are so many options and they’re super high quality in both printing and the card stock used. If you want classy, high-quality printed items, Moo is the brand I recommend to everyone. If you’re a blogger and you don’t have business cards, get some! How many times have you told someone about your blog and not had anything to give them? After about 5 years of that, I made myself some business cards. 😉
Melitta for coffee
I started using Melitta products daily after moving to France, especially the single cup pour-over system. Tom doesn’t drink coffee so there was no point in brewing an entire pot each morning if it would go to waste, or a half pot because the coffee maker would take up counter space regardless. So without fail, every morning I rely on my Melitta pour-over cone and filter. For Christmas, Melitta sent me the yellow porcelain beauty above and I’m in love. I pull it out for special occasions and for everyday mornings, I use a cone like this one.
HelloFresh for some kitchen inspiration
I am not someone who likes to cook. I try to figure out each week’s meals ahead of time but I’m not consistent. When I don’t focus on dinner during the day, what happens is I get home from the gym or stop working around 7:45 p.m. and stare blankly into the empty fridge. This is one area of adulting I fail at. So enter HelloFresh. It’s a popular meal kit delivery service that launched in France a couple of years ago. All the ingredients for your meals are delivered to your door with handy recipe cards. You can choose from classic, vegetarian, or quick to make options.
When I mention HelloFresh to people, they usually comment that it’s expensive. And yes, you’re paying for a service. But compared to takeout or eating at a restaurant, it’s not crazy expensive. You have to decide if the cost is worth less mealtime stress and time spent buying ingredients and figuring out what to cook yourself. I get easily stressed with cooking and end up eating the same uninspired food. For me, paying for a service once a month to spice up my dinner routine ensures that I try new things and spend time in the kitchen. If it sounds like something you’d enjoy, get 25 euros off your first order via my referral link.
If cooking isn’t your thing, I also can’t recommend Seazon enough. They’re a top-notch meal delivery company nationwide in France — not a kit, but actual single-serve meals — that are fresh, not frozen and have ultra fresh, healthy ingredients. Get 20 euros off your first order via my link.
Would any of you who live in France (possibly EU as well) be interested in an English-language book exchange? I have so many already-read books sitting around and would love to offload them to some of my readers. Maybe you’re in the same boat? It’s not always easy to find English books so I was thinking we could do an exchange where you send off some of our books to another Oui In France reader and get a few new ones in return. Voilà, some fresh reading material.
Anyway, I’m trying to keep it small and would like to gauge interest before I go any further. If that sounds cool, email me at ouiinfrance at gmail.com with BOOK EXCHANGE as the subject line and I’ll be in touch. Again, it’s only for those of us who live in France/EU, otherwise shipping costs would be insane. If I can get a group of you together, I think it could be fun.
Speaking of books, one that I’m smack dab in the middle of right now is Red State Christians by Lutheran pastor and journalist Angela Denker. I saw an interview with her on TV and got the book when I was back in the USA last month. Religion and politics are not focuses of this blog and that won’t be changing (I’m not religious and didn’t vote for Trump, for the record), but I feel the dialogue in this book is an important one, especially as we head into the 2020 presidential election.
In the USA, I feel we’re so divided and we can’t make progress as a society unless we really listen to those who feel differently than we do. That’s what Angela does in this extremely well-written book. In the intro she writes, “Too often, in the rush to condemnation and judgment, we miss out on creating spaces for dialogue where dialogue is needed most: between people who disagree.” She put into words so much of what I knew to be true but couldn’t quite express and wrap my mind around.
Alright, that’s it for this first Monday Mishmash of 2020. Do you like these types of posts? If so, maybe I’ll revive them. Hope your week is off to a good start!