Welcome to the first post of the new year! I’m writing this from my new desk in my new office at my new job 😁

As I mentioned on Friday, I’m starting 2017 with a few changes. First of all, posts are going to come at you Tuesday/Thursday instead of MWF. Feel free to comment whenever, though. I’ll try to respond a little more promptly this year, too!

Also, the blog is staying “Life as Louise” but I’m going to start signing off as Audrey– which is actually what I go by in real life. If you want to stick with “Louise” in comments and what not that’s fine with me, but I figured it’d clear up the confusion if I went with my name 😊

Now here’s a little coffee break catch-up post to begin 2017, similar to my one from Jan. 2016!

If you’re curious, it’s been so good so far with the new job. Sure, we’re only two days in, but I’m really happy about this switch. We’ve settled on the title of “office manager” for me. To be totally real with ya, there are only two people in the office- K and myself. Since he’s the boss, I’m technically not overseeing or managing anyone. That said, my job title might as well be do-all-the-things manager because that’s essentially my job description. (Everything but sales and design- that’s K’s job.)

I fell off the reading wagon at the end of 2016. I’m determined to finish The Joy Luck Club soon and I’ve just started into a book for Erin’s challenge. Hopefully I get my mojo back with these two reads! If we were chillin’ with coffee I’d asked what your first book of 2017 is/will be?

This summer our plan is to visit DisneyWorld with my parents, Fred & Xtina, and family friends. I’ve convinced K that we should take a fall trip, too. I think we’ve narrowed down our options to a cruise or an all-inclusive resort. We’ve done both, so we’ll make a decision closer to time on which place we want to go. Do you have any vacations planned for 2017?

In 2015 we attended NINE weddings. K was a part of two of them. I thought the big wedding wave had past, but this year we’ve already got two on the docket and two couples close to us got engaged on Christmas day. We are definitely not out of the wedding-woods. Haha!

Did you get any fun stuff for Christmas? If we were on a coffee date I’d be asking all about your gifts! My husband got me some great shirts and a food processor. My mother-in-law got me the second illustrated HP book & a wooden salad bowl. My parents also got me a food processor (oops!) and new winter bedding. I’m part of a great gift-giving family, but my favorite part is watching them open the things we bought for them.

On Friday I mentioned some 2017 goals, but over the weekend I came up with a real, concrete resolution. In 2017 I’d like to finally kick the bad habit of biting my nails. I’ve been do it since I was 7 with a brief hiatus during my four weeks in India. (The unavoidable filthy and dust was excellent motivation.) If we were out for coffee I’d ask if you had any tips… I’ve tried the rubber band and the bad tasting polish. Do you have any bad habits you need to kick?

I went grocery shopping on Sunday and picked up some southern butter pecan creamer. I’d totally make you try it on our coffee date!

I won’t lie… it feels weird to post this on a Tuesday. We’ll see if I can adjust πŸ˜‰

Since we’re so close to Thursday I’ll link-up with Gretch & Kristen!

What's New With You

38 thoughts on “Coffee & Chill

    1. Ugh. I swear I go days without touching them, then all at once I bite all the progress off!
      I noticed last night I was biting them while I was reading…. I think there’s a direct correlation there, honestly.


  1. I’m glad the job is already going well! Here’s to a fantastic working year!

    My first book of the year was A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig. I liked it and it was only 99p for the audiobook so that made it even better. It was a nice little bit of festivity to end the year on. My first physical book of 2017 is HP #7 and a short story collection by Neil Gaiman. So far, so good for both πŸ™‚

    No holidays plans for us just yet… probably a lot of weekend trips, with cycling and camping like last year.

    A food processor is a good gift! We don’t have one any more… and I sometimes miss it. I make do with my smoothie maker instead, it sort of works. Or I just resort to elbow grease haha! Kris and I don’t buy gifts for each other, we usually buy ourselves something. I did luck out with lots of edible things though so that’s keeping us going through a cold January.

    I gave up trying to not chew my nails… I just, I don’t know, I don’t mind chewing them haha. It all depends on what I’m doing with my time, and these days I chew them at very specific times like when I was working (luckily, not any more) and when I am on the phone to my family. Other than that, I don’t really chew them so I just go with it.

    Good luck though! And let me know all your secrets when you achieve lovely long nails!

    20-17 here we come!


    1. Thank you!
      I have one more short Christmas-y story I’d like to read within the next week or two before the season is really over πŸ™‚ HP #7 is so wonderful. Honestly, I remember it standing alone in my mind because it’s just the perfect conclusion to the entire series. Also, I have Coraline next to my bed and I’m hoping to check it off the list quick soon!

      I’ve been asking for a food processor for a while now. I enjoy cooking (and I’m pretty good at it), but we go out to eat SO MUCH. I’m hoping to cook more dinners this year and I was so happy to finally get a food processor! So far we haven’t gone out to dinner yet this year! (Ha, 5 for 5 days… wooo… Still, that’s pretty good for us.)

      I noticed last night that I chew them while I read. Hopefully identifying when I tend to chew on them helps me quit! Ha! (I’ll let you know πŸ˜‰ haha!)


  2. So glad you’re adjusting well to the new job – such an exciting change!

    Wow, you got some pretty great gifts! We make salsa (and by we, I mean my hubby – he’s of Mexican descent) in our food processor all the time!

    Disney! Yay! I haven’t been since I was a kid. We want to start saving up soon though to bring the little guy in a few years.


    1. Thanks, Steph. I think the weirdest thing is seeing K all day long, but we’re comfortable with long silences and just ignoring one another. Ha! Plus in the summer we’ll both be super busy and see way less of one another!

      I’m so excited for Disney. I’m in charge of planning it so I’m SUPER pumped!!


  3. 9 weddings?! Lord that’s high, even coming from me! I think I’m out of the wedding woods, we just had 1 last year (we RSVPed no to a second one) and nothing is on deck for this year. Most of my friends who want to get married already are, so I think I should be done besides family!
    I think that’s a great resolution, good luck! I’ve never been a nail biter so I don’t have any specific tips. The only one that I was thinking was either paying to get your nails done, or having some other financial incentive on the line. That works for me – I probably wouldn’t want to bite if I shelled out my own money to get them to look nice. I use it for working out. I owe money to my friend if I don’t text her daily photos of workouts!


    1. 2015 was so nuts for us with weddings. Our fridge was overflowing with invites. Last year we only had three or four. We have at least two this year and probably at least two in 2018. Ha.

      I wish painting my nails/getting a manicure worked. Maybe you’re right- maybe if I was the one paying for it… (All my real manicures happened in hs or around wedding time so usually it was my mom spoiling me.) I should try it at least!


  4. So. Many. Weddings. I think I feel safe saying we are out of that time now but who knows! I am so glad you had a good Christmas and that the new gig with your husband is going smoothly. I totally wish that I could work with my husband everyday. He works from home most days so sometimes I feel like I do and I love it! As far as nail biting, I’ve heard some people say that getting your nails done with a gel manicure can help?


    1. Like, I didn’t think we had that many friends for all those wedding..?! Ha.
      I was nervous about spending all this time with K. I thought it might make evenings less fun or special together. Nah. When we’re in the same room at work we mostly ignore one another unless I have a random story or a work question. Hahaha. I still ask at the end of the day how his work day was. Ha!


  5. 9 weddings is insane! I think we’re over that, now we’re into the baby shower invitations. If you stop biting your nails, you’ll have to tell me what worked since I haven’t been able to quit it either. It’s reinforced by the fact you can’t have long nails to type(or at least I can’t) so if they get to any length, I bite them.


    1. Right?? I swear we don’t have that many friends. Fortunately 2016 only had four weddings (I think). So far I’ve only been invited to a few baby showers. I hope that wave will be a little less crazy!
      In high school I played mallet instruments and percussion, and couldn’t have long nails, so I’ve just always nibbled at them. UGH.


  6. I gotta say, I don’t have any bad habits I need to kick. Hmm that’s sounds weird, right? I think it’s because I’ve eliminated everything that either made me unhappy or I felt was a negative influence in my life so that I don’t have to deal with it.

    glad that you’re setling well in the new job. happy new year!


    1. You have crazy self-discipline and I think that’s incredible. Haha! I’m always so impressed with the standard you hold yourself to! I’ve been struggling with the nail biting FOR.EVER. I’m hoping this is the year that I quit biting my nails, rolling out of bed at the last minute, and procrastinating. (HA.)


  7. I’m a life long nail biter too and I’ve kind of stopped worrying about it. For awhile I tried EVERYTHING to stop the bad tasting polish, putting gel nails over my real ones, chewing gum. Chewing gum is the only thing that really helps me resit the urge when my nails are in really bad shape and need a break. Wishing you all the best in 2017!


    1. Hmm… I don’t chew gum so that won’t help 😦 If I did I’d totally give it a shot! I think bad tasting polish and being self-aware is my best bet!


  8. Happy New Year! I am catching up on all of my blog reading… took an unexpected break! HA. πŸ™‚ Excited to read more about your new job as I work my way backwards, but I am glad that you are enjoying it and have fun plans set up for 2017. We are planning New York and NOLA (again..) and who knows what else. We also have two big weddings and my sister’s baby coming up! πŸ™‚ I am still working on my goals…but may post tomorrow with them… we’ll see. πŸ™‚ I’ve heard that hot sauce can cure the biting thing. Have you tried that? Good luck with your goals… can’t wait to read the list! πŸ™‚ XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things


    1. Haha, Happy New Year! I’d love to visit NOLA- neither one of us has ever been there!
      My best friend is due with her second baby in Feb. so that’s a pretty big thing for us, too!
      I haven’t heard the hot sauce thing, but I HATE hot sauce so that might work…


  9. I bought Michael both illustrated HP books sooo I’m definitely going to have to read those again…even though I just did a couple of months ago! And I guess that means I should just read the entire series again, right?! I’m going to do a post on Christmas gifts. Super materialistic, I know. Ha! It’s like the opposite of the ‘gift guides’ posts!

    I bit my nails FOREVER but stopped a few years ago and now I get compliments on my nails all the time. I have no idea how I did it, but now I have no desire to bite them (except when they’re broken…then I have to rip them off with my teeth immediately).


    1. YAAAAS to the HP books πŸ˜€ I will definitely be re-reading the series with these illustrated versions!! I loved your post on gifts you got! I thought about doing something like that, too! (I was going to do one on things I gave other, but then I was like, ‘Am I patting myself on the back too much for that…?’ Haha!

      I cold-turkey stopped biting my nails when I went to India because my willpower was strong enough (given the dirt, disease, public-ness of everything). As soon as I got back I started again. UGH.


  10. Being young, I’m sure weddings will be on the front for awhile… & then you’ll be bombarded with baby showers πŸ˜‰
    I so desperately need a food processor. I cant believe I’m 45 & have made it through life without one so far.
    I’m not going to call you Audrey … I just want to call you Ms. Office Manager now πŸ˜‰ Ms. OM for short πŸ˜‰ haha


    1. Oooh, girl! You DO need a food processor! Think of all the yummy veggie dishes you could make!! Soups! Salsa! Yum!
      Hahahaha, I’m totally ok with Ms. OM! It almost sounds yoga-y!


  11. Good luck working on the nail biting! I’ve never had that problem so I can’t offer any words of wisdom, but I think having a concrete goal sounds good. Best of luck to you in your new position! Sounds like it’s going well so far!


    1. I was really good about the MWF thing, but a) I didn’t want to burn myself out and b) I didn’t want to run out of content. I’d rather have a million ideas and few days than more days and less quality content!


  12. congrats on the new job, how exciting πŸ™‚ i hope you like the joy luck club. i read that last year or the year before i think. my first book of the year was Dark Matter – very good! disney and fall trip, how exciting!! i love planning trips. so far we have 1 for sure planned and a possible 1 in february, just a little weekend away, but we’ll see.
    oh man.. i used to bite my nails a LONG time ago and kicked the habit, but it was hard. i think the bad polish was eventually what made me kick it, or getting my nails done, like acrylics because even though they ruin my nails, i couldn’t bite them. i don’t do acrylics anymore and haven’t for several years, but i don’t bite my nails. can you just make an effort to use a nail clipper like once a week? that way they never get to a point where you need to bite them? then eventually you don’t need to clipper as much but you won’t be biting? good luck!


    1. Thanks!
      I’m planning to finish up The Joy Luck Club tonight. It’s….ok. I really do like the stories, but unless you read it in one or two sittings you lose track of everyone. (Or…I have anyway!)
      I’m SO excited for our trips. None of them are booked yet so that’s the next step!

      I’m thinking spending money on them might be the solution. I had fake nails for dances and stuff in hs, but I’ve never invested in them before. Maybe if it’s my money and I try to make them look adult-ish, the motivation will be there….


    1. Hahaha, usually I reply to comments in order but I had to respond to this.

      On my first day I typed up an email and K had me copy his signature and paste to the bottom of the email. He told me to change the name, title, and extension number. I changed the title from “President” to “Super President” and he found that quite comical before telling me to change it. Haha!


  13. I’ve been slacking on blog reading so I’ll have to go back to read more about the new job but I’m happy to hear it’s working out for you! I rally enjoyed The Joy Luck Club minus trying to keep track of all the characters. I just started in on Erin’s challenge as well with One For the Money- Janet Evanovich. Hoping it gets me out of my recent slump. I received a food processor last Christmas and it has been my most utilized kitchen appliance to date- you can do so much with it. Happy new year!


    1. KEEPING TRACK OF EVERYONE IS SO HARD. Hahaha. Someday I think I’d like to read it again, all in one sitting. That’s really the only way to keep up with everyone. Ha!
      I’m glad you like your food processor! I haven’t tried playing with mine yet but I’m hoping it’s a life changer! πŸ™‚


  14. The only way I avoid picking/biting my nails is keeping them painted, but the second they start to chip or I start to peel the polish off I’m done for! Once I let them get long (the slightlest bit past my fingertip lol) they end up bothering me because I’m not used to them, even though I like the way long(ish) nails look. My first book of the year was Still Life by Louise Penny anddddd I sadly wasn’t crazy about it! I enjoyed the writing and setting, but was overall a little underwhelmed.


    1. I have struggled with my nails forever. I don’t even remember if I painted them for my wedding because I KNEW I’d bite at them. Ugh. I’m ridiculous. I need to fix the problem soon because I know it’s so bad for my teeth, too!
      I finished my first book for 2017 on the 3rd and I was happy it was over. Ha. It held my attention, but it annoyed me. I plan to review it on Tues!


  15. I’ve been a nail biter my whole life. And, I’ve gone through waves when I try to quit. I finally waved the white flag and decided fake nails is a luxury/vanity thing that I treat myself to and that’s just how it’s going to be.
    I love that we sorta swapped employment. As I was working on my resume yesterday, I was laughing coming up with a job title for me at the shop. “Do all the shit girl” just didn’t sound appropriate for a resume πŸ™‚


    1. I think fake nails is going to have to be the way to fix my problem. Hopefully I don’t have to do it forever… Just until the nail-to-mouth motion stops being so automatic. UGH.

      Resumes are SO TOUGH because it’s so hard to sum up alllllll the things you did. Like, can I just write that the company wouldn’t have even been a company without me…? Haha!


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