I am absolutely fascinated by other people. I know that sounds weird, but it’s so intriguing to find out how other people live, what they spend money on, what they’re reading at the moment, etc. In fact, one of my guilty pleasures is reading the Refinery29 Spending Diaries and seeing what other people spend compared to what they earn. You can learn a lot about yourself by studying other people. Another fascinating thing is routines – they really define people, and it’s so interesting to hear what people include in their routines. My sister-in-law occasionally does a post on what her typical day looks like, and I decided to do something similar with evenings. In case you are, for some reason, fascinated by how I spend my time.
Since I work from home, and Sean works in an office, the evenings are where we see the most change in routines throughout the year. I thought it would be interesting to introduce an ‘Evenings with the Mongans’ series where I occasionally post what our evenings look like – our typical evening routine, our current favorites (listening, watching, cooking, etc.), and our bedtime routine. It certainly won’t be a monthly thing, but I might try to do one every season, or at least a couple of times a year. Whenever I see a change in our routine, really. So here we go!
Our Evening Routine
As we dive into warmer weather and continue taking advantage of our new kitchen, our evening routine has been changing ever since we moved back into our house at the end of February. This is what it looks like at the moment:
5:00pm – I stop working and usually spend some time working on Mongan Moments or A Pair of Passports or any other creative project that has been on my mind that day.
6:00pm – Sean gets home between 6-6:30 and takes Giorgio out if I haven’t taken him out recently. I try to wait until Sean is home before opening a bottle of wine, but usually at this time I already have a glass in my hand! Once Sean gets back from walking Giorgio, we start cooking together. While cooking, we catch up on our days and usually listen to either music or an audiobook through our Amazon Echo.
7:30pm – Dinner is ready! Since we do not have a table, we eat on the couch. It’s not an ideal setup for dinner and a conversation, so we usually put something on TV during dinner. Now that we are getting some nicer weather, we eat at our outdoor table every chance we get. The rule is pretty much, if it’s not freezing and it’s not raining, we are eating outside. After dinner, we try to clean up as much as possible so the washing is done and out of the way.
9:00pm – Around 9, we have the one more episode? debate. I’d say it’s 50/50 on whether we indulge in more of what we’re watching. If so, we’ll finish up the episode and get ready for bed. If not, we usually start getting ready for bed early and spend some extra time reading in bed before going to sleep.
10:00pm – Sean takes Giorgio out for his nighttime walk while I indulge in my evening skincare routine. Every once in awhile Sean comes home to find my face covered in some sort of mud/lotion/whatever mask concoction. That’s always a fun surprise to witness! Once the face has been pampered and my teeth have been brushed, it’s off to bed!
Cooking… Recipes from our new cookbook, One Pan and Done. Sean bought it for me for my birthday back in December, but we just recently started testing it out. I love one pan dishes because it means less clean up at the end of the night, and the recipes we’ve tried so far have been delicious. We also just got the Inspiralized and Beyond cookbook and can’t wait to try some of the recipes! Check out more of our favorite cookbooks and recipes here.
Listening to… Everything Alexa can play for us. Once we moved back into our house at the end of February, we plugged in our Echo Dot for the first time and are absolutely addicted. So much so I’ll probably write a full post on it! We love playing Question of the Day and play our audiobooks via the Dot while cooking. At the moment, we’re listening to A Short History of Drunkenness, and our favorite radio station is Naughties Pop!
Watching… Shameless. I used to watch it back in college and forgot how great of a show it is. All of the episodes are on Netflix, so we’re powering through. We are also still watching Game of Thrones. Sean keeps threatening to start watching on his own since I’m never up for it; I enjoy watching it, but sometimes it’s just too much effort in the evenings. I like to blog and edit photos while watching TV and, if I turn away for one second during Game of Thrones, I end up confused for the rest of the episode!
Reading… I’m currently working through a big “stack” of books – really it’s a small stack of physical books and a long list of books to be read on my kindle! At the moment, I’m reading Beartown by Fredrik Backman and Sean’s working through a ton of business-related books.
Obsessing over… The canvasses we had printed for our hallway (they’re the main photo for this post!). Seriously, they turned out even better than we expected them to and it’s impossible to not smile when walking by them in the hallway. Everyone who has visited our house since we hung them has commented on them. They’re definitely our favorite artwork in the house at the moment!
Our Bedtime Routine
One of my best friends recently told me that having a bedtime routine has been a game changer for her quality of sleep, so I decided to give it a try. I’m prone to routines by nature, but wanted to put a focus on what I am doing before bed, especially when it comes to looking at my phone. This is my bedtime routine:
10:15pm – Before getting in bed, I fill up my water bottle. Realistically, I usually forget and ask Sean to fill it up for me, but we’re working on that. Then, I put on my pajamas (if I’m not already lounging in them) and spray our pillows with the Ren pillow spray (I’m obsessed!). I plug my phone into its charger and set it on my bedside table with the intention of not looking at it again before bed.
Once I’m in bed, I usually read for a bit. I’m trying to read at least one chapter every night, no matter how tired I am, just to keep up my reading. Oftentimes, Sean goes straight to bed so I read by the light of my Kindle only. We’re keeping our eyes out for bedside table lamps so we can change this, and also trying to sync up so we’re on the same read/sleep schedule.
11:00pm – Once I’m done reading, I put my book down, take a sip of water, put on some lip balm, and attempt to go to sleep. I am an awful sleeper and will lie awake thinking of all sorts of things. However, I’m falling asleep much faster on our new Eve mattress, and also find that it’s much easier for me to fall asleep if I succeed at not checking my phone.
I hope you enjoyed this look into Evenings with the Mongans! Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see included in this post in the future. And drop your recommendations for things to watch/cook/read/listen to below!