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Weekend Ready #2

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Happy Friday! It’s been a long grey week in Chicago. Time seems to go in slow motion when you don’t see the sun. In this week’s edition of Weekend Ready, I am sharing what to cook for dinner on Valentine’s Day,  how I stayed focused at work, and romcoms to stream this weekend.

How to Make Truffles 7

How I stayed focused at work:

A few people have recently asked about this via Instagram. I work for myself and I work from home. This means that I have the luxury of setting my own hours and creating my own projects. Some people thrive in this situation and others struggle to get work done. I have a strategy that works for me.

I use this paper planner to write out my goals for the week and each day. I keep normal business hours, usually I am working from 8:30-6 one weekdays. Each day I have about 3-5 specific things that I am trying to accomplish. These things might be completing parts of a project, writing a blog post, or taking a call with a potential client. 

I always try to keep my calendar as clear as possible. I have become very selective when it comes to which events I go to. If something is going to take time out of my day, I will have a less productive day. Sure, it would be fun to meet a friend for lunch or to take a midday coffee break with someone asking to meet me, but I know myself and doing those things will take me out of work mode and make it harder to get work done that day. For me, a big part of being productive is just saying no.

Try to set yourself up for success. It feels great to accomplish all your goals for the day. I make a point to set realistic goals for each day. I don’t schedule as much on Thursdays so that I can catch up on anything I didn’t finish earlier in the week, or just do some life maintenance.

Lastly, I think decision fatigue is real. I work on my to-do list and goal setting on Sunday, and during the week I don’t wake up and decide what I am going to do that day. I just start working on what is on the list. I hope all that make sense and is somewhat helpful.

What to cook on Valentine’s Day:

I have shared several recipes for sweet treats on the blog recently:

Valentine’s Day Ice Cream Sandwiches

How to Make Chocolate Truffles

Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies with Cheesecake Filling

And if you are looking for a dinner recipe, here are a few:

Beef Tenderloin

Red Wine Cacio e Pepe

Beef Pasta Skillet

Valentine’s Day Ice Cream Sandwiches | These ice cream sandwiches made with Hudsonville Ice Cream and boxed brownie mix are a perfect Valentine’s Day Dessert.

What to watch this weekend:

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, I am focusing on romantic comedies that will make your day a bit brighter.


Serendipity – I love this movie starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale as people who randomly meet and then try to find each other again. It’s sweet and uplifting and the cast is amazing.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days – A modern-day classic, how can you not love this movie?

The Year of Spectacular Men – This indie stars sisters Zoey Deutch and Madelyn Deutch and is directed by their mother Lea Thompson. I thought this movie felt more real than most romcoms.

Younger – There are five seasons of this show about a woman in her 40s who pretends to be in her 20s to get a job. It’s fresh easy to binge watch. 


Across the Universe – A musical set in the 70s that features a soundtrack of Beatles music.

Jane the Virgin – Love and romance is a big theme of this telenovela. It can be a little hard to get into the rhythm of this show, but it is so good and full of twists!

Sixteen Candles – A John Hughes classic starring Molly Ringwald as sixteen-year-old with a crush on a popular guy at school.

Let it be known that Netflix’s selection of romcoms is disappointing.

Amazon Prime:

The Notebook – The movie that made Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams household names is a one of those movies that I stop and watch everytime I catch it on tv. It’s sappy, but oh so good.

Hitch – One of the rare romcoms that Charles likes, this is the one that a guy will enjoy watching. Will Smith stars as a dating consultant who is juggling his love life with his client’s.

Destination Wedding – I haven’t seen this one yet, but it stars Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves and is set in California wine country. Seems like a good combination.

Or… in case you want to watch something about love gone wrong:

All Good Things (on hulu) – This movie starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst tells the story of Robert Durst, who is also the subject of the documentary The Jinx.

The Breakup (on Netflix) – One of my favorite movies set in Chicago, this film depicts the downfall of a relationship and stars Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (on Netflix) – It is hard to say much about this one without giving away too much, but this film starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, and Mark Ruffalo is part sci-fi and part romcom.

Sliding Doors (on Netflix) – A Gwyneth Paltrow movie that explores two scenarios, one based on her catching her boyfriend cheating, and another where she is unaware of his affair.

Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies with Cheesecake Filling are a Valentine's Day treat your sweetheart will love. These cookies take the flavor of a red velvet cupcake, and put it into a cookie.

What to read this weekend:

Olivia Rink wrote about how to stay in touch with long distance friends.

If you have a black tie occasion coming up, my friend Jenn found the perfect dress.

Emily has 12 thoughtful and free ideas for Valentine’s Day.

Jenn has six ways to be productive when it is too cold to go outside.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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