REal Talk Jan 6 2022 – Reflecting on our favorites from 2021

Happy New Year, one and all!! This week, we reflected on some of our favorite things from 2021 – shows, food, travel, etc. What were your favorites from the past year?


Susie (00:00):

Happy new year, Bonnie~

Bonnie (00:02):

Happy new year. <Laugh> It’s a weird new year. I have to say…

Susie (00:07):


Bonnie (00:08):

It’s not as happy as I wish it were. I have to say…

Susie (00:12):

Well, you had a weird holiday season. So I think that probably contributed too,

Bonnie (00:16):

It did. Yeah. Covidy nonsense in my family and extended family. I was, I stayed healthy somehow through it all, but I think not just for me, but just every school’s not back in session and everybody feels a little unsure of what the winter’s gonna look like. So it just, I don’t know. I miss the old days. <Laugh>.

Susie (00:39):

Yeah. I mean, I also think you didn’t get to ring in the new year with, you know, any kind of big celebration. So there’s that.

Bonnie (00:46):

Very true. Very true. Yes. Anyways…

Susie (00:49):

Nonetheless, Happy New Year.

Bonnie (00:50):

I hope new and good things are to come for everyone out there. Yes.

Susie (00:56):

So I hate to say it, but I’m feeling optimistic and hopeful about 2022. It feels like a jinx, but I think not this year, because really, it feels like after two years of a lot of uncertainty and rollercoastery at this point, we just kinda have to take it by the horns and make it what it will be. Right. It’s not gonna be free of COVID. I think we’re pretty certain about that at this point. And we just have to go with the new reality. So we thought we would take some time to reflect back on our highlights from 2021 and think about all the positive things that we experienced. So why don’t you start Bonnie?

Bonnie (01:44):

I made a quick list of things just off the top of my head that I thought would be fun to just mention TV. There was quite a bit of TV <laugh>, especially in the last few weeks for me and my family, but a few shows that left an impression on me. I wrote down. So made, which is incredible. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> A lot of these shows are hard to watch, but just insightful, thoughtful stick with you kind of shows made physical, which I loved. “Only Murders in the Building” was incredibly entertaining and provided some good laughter for us. The White Lotus”, which was creepy, but we did go to Hawaii this summer. And so it was very funny to watch that show in the midst of traveling to Hawaii “Mayor of East Town”. I loved The Landscapers”, which I just watched over the holiday was incredibly creative and Olivia Coleman was spectacular. So I have to mention that. And the most recent thing we watched, which I don’t know if it counts for 2021, cuz I think it came out the day before was “Don’t Look Up” which is kind of intense, but amazing. Nonetheless, everyone needs to watch that movie. So that’s what I have for, for entertainment. Did you put any entertainment down Susie?

Susie (03:05):

No I didn’t. I just mentioned on my little post-it note that I was felt really great about having read, I say, read in quotes because I listened mostly to my books, 27 books in 2021, which I know are you serious? Yes, I know. I’m so glad I kept a list because I never would remember them all. I have a terrible memory for what I read and see, but mm-hmm <affirmative> I feel really great about that. I wanna do even more this year, it was a mix of fiction, nonfiction, heavy light, you know, so, so a nice mix and I enjoyed most of them in one way or the other. And so hope to continue that this year.

Bonnie (03:45):

So you don’t have a favorite?

Susie (03:49):

I can’t say no, I’ll have to go back and look. There are certainly ones that stand out, I’m sure on my list, but the show that stands out to me out of the funny TV shows I watch it’s actually “Squid Games” and I’ve told you I was very surprised that I liked it as much as I did cause I, we have very different tastes, you and I in entertainment and I very much liked escape and watch light happy things with happy endings with nice, nice, neat bows. I have enough intensity in my life. I don’t feel like I need more of my entertainment, but Squid Games while super intense and disturbing, I thought was very well done. The acting was exceptional, lots of great characters that you could get behind. And so I recommend that if you haven’t…

Bonnie (04:36):

I still need to see that. I still haven’t watched it yet.

Susie (04:37):


Bonnie (04:41):

Awesome. My favorite purchase or actually gift to me this year were sweatpants from Madewell <laugh> I have to mention that because I know a lot of you out there have been wearing sweatpants for several years. I have not because we have not really stopped working and I didn’t even have a pair of sweatpants that I loved. And Matt got me some for my birthday and I, I wear them every single day and they’re like the softest yummiest sweatpants. So if you’re looking for a pair made well <laugh>,

Susie (05:14):

I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in a pair of sweatpants. So it makes me laugh.

New Speaker (05:17):

See, I know, but as soon as I could put them on at the end of the day, I put those baby’s on.

Susie (05:23):

I’m excited for you.

Bonnie (05:24):

Yeah. Thank you. <Laugh> I also wrote down Dr. Teal’s epsom salts. Yes. For the bath. Yes. I finally got my soaking tub. My first master bath of my adult life we put in last year have a tub. That stuff is amazing. It comes in all sorts ofsmells.

Susie (05:46):

What’s your favorite scents? Probably depends on what you’re going for.

Bonnie (05:51):

Yeah, there’s a citrus one. That’s really good. And then

Susie (05:54):

That’s my favorite.

Bonnie (05:55):

Eucalyptic one that’s more kind of medicinal in a way, but it’s very relaxing. Yeah and now they have a whole wall of ’em at target. They like put in, you used to not find it very well.

Susie (06:07):

Oh that’s good to know!

Bonnie (06:07):

Yeah, there’s like a whole wall.

Susie (06:10):

Actually looked, I think last time I was there and I didn’t see any…

Bonnie (06:14):

Behind the makeup on the back wall there, they have Epsom salts.

Susie (06:18):

Wow. Well, as you know, I’m not a big bath taker, but you’ve turned me onto the merits of it. Actually Noah started taking baths. So I had gotten him some Epsom salts and then I took one, a bath with the citrus one and it helped me sleep so much better that night. So I’m a little bit addicted, although I don’t quite have the patience for baths.

Bonnie (06:40):

For a bath. Well, for your suggestion, I started listening to audiobooks and podcasts and that’s what I do while I’m in the bath. So it’s kinda like I can do two things at once, which is nice.

Susie (06:53):

Yeah. Yeah. And then you don’t have to be holding a book or a phone or anything.

Bonnie (06:58):

Yes. Do you have anything else on your list?

Susie (07:02):

Yeah, I have travel and food. Yes. So I’m excited that we got to travel this year and especially after yeah, 2020 feeling locked down completely. So we went to LBI in the summer. I went to Charleston to visit family a couple times actually. And then we went to Austin, not Boston. Oh, did we go to Boston? No..

Bonnie (07:25):

I did. I went to Boston.

Susie (07:27):

You did! You went to Boston? Yeah. I, we did go to Boston. I forgot. We went to go visit Northeastern.

Bonnie (07:32):

That’s right. That’s right. Yeah.

Susie (07:34):

Yeah. I forgot about that. We went to Austin as well, but my favorite trip and probably yours was Hawaii. We separately went to Hawaii. I’m just glad that we got to go at all. Yes. it was super crowded, but my highlights were Haleakalā on Maui. We did the sunset, not the sunrise and it was just the most beautiful thing I think I’ve ever seen in my life. And then we got to swim with the dolphins in Oahu and that was a huge highlight, much better than I expected. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and we just loved all of the food that we ate in Oahu, every bite, every morsel from the shaves ice to the musubi, to all the things, it was really a party in our mouth in, Hey, <laugh>

Bonnie (08:22):

Say that fast five times.

Susie (08:23):

That’s right. What else is on your list?

Bonnie (08:25):

I put just some local things that I kind of feel like I got to know over 20, 21 as we were and you know, visiting friends outside and not eating inside. So I wrote down Picketts, which I’d been to many times, but that kind of became for me a great place to go because they had the back outdoor patio overlooking the golf course, a great place to grab a drink and maybe a pizza or something with a friend. And I just appreciated that space

Susie (09:00):

That’s on my list too.

Bonnie (09:02):

Yeah. I also wrote down…

Susie (09:04):

Particularly love their burgers.

Bonnie (09:05):

Oh yes, my husband loves their burger.

Susie (09:08):

Yeah. Pickett’s burgers are great

Bonnie (09:09):

Kitchen was another local place that was newer to us that I really enjoyed getting takeout from there over this past winter, especially. And just, I wrote down that I created this soup at home. Matt reminded me is like, it’s like the soup of the year for our family. I will type up. I just made it up based on like other recipes I knew, but I make it almost every week and my entire family, devours it, all three of my kids. It’s a sausage kale soup with potatoes.

Susie (09:42):


Bonnie (09:43):

And you add some apple cider vinegar and some sriracha. And it’s just a chicken broth base soup with lots of onions and garlic and tons of kale at the end. So it’s healthy, but filling. And for some reason, everyone in my family loves it and it just is like, makes me happy.

Susie (10:04):

That sounds so good.

Bonnie (10:05):

Throw it together. And everyone will eat it and it’s healthy and nutritious. And so I wrote,…

Susie (10:11):

Reminds me of a soup. I used to make that I forgot that I like and except for the potatoes, so, and potatoes would make my family really happy. So I’m gonna have to make that. I also had on my list Fox and Falcon, who I just am so happy that they have continued to stay vibrant in the community in spite of all the challenges of COVID. And I think their food has gotten better and better. I recently had their, I think it was fettucine Dan, Dan, which is like an Asian take. And I am almost always disappointed with American restaurants, try to do some Asiany thing, but it was really good, really delicious.

Bonnie (10:50):


Susie (10:50):

So I was very pleased about that and I really love their what is it called? Their Nashville hot chicken sandwich, something like that. Yes. Crunchy and spicy and a huge mess, but it’s so good. <Laugh> and I also, we both went to Lorena’s a few times in their new location. Yes. Love their burger is delicious and I love that they have a burger on them menu. You know, the space I think is just much more accessible than the other definitely location. It’s much more hip and it’s fun and there’s a bar and we just really it’s like our new go-to place. Right. When it’s safe.

Bonnie (11:29):

Definitely. It’s not too loud either. You know, the prior tenants was just very loud in there and now it’s very comfortable and yeah, we meet with friends and catch up and quality food. Good drinks, totally agree.

Susie (11:42):

Which is great. And my last thing that I had on here is my discovery of every plate. I’ve tried every meal prep service out there and our like we’ve now landed on Every Plate. I’m sure I have a referral code

Bonnie (11:58):

I have to write this down. I want your referral code…

Susie (12:00):

And you know, it’s, I, I call these meal prep things now the CD club of the 2000 twenties, you know, how we used to like join for the free CDs and then you would, you know, you cancel…

Bonnie (12:13):

Then you switch. So, yeah. Right. So I’ve tried them all. But what I like about this one is they only give you the ingredients that you need. So I know like one of the other ones gives you like honey, but they give you a pot of honey instead of just the right amount. So then you have like a little bit of leftover honey and you have a little leftover, like Italian seasoning. And I hated that. So then this just gives you the right portions and also it just helps us portion control. Cause it’s just enough for the four of us mm-hmm <affirmative> and then we don’t have extras too bad.

Susie (12:43):

We don’t have leftovers, but we don’t have too much so that, you know, even though we like it, we don’t have more to go to and it’s variety. So I don’t have to think about like trying new recipes and my kids love that we’re trying new things without, you know, taking up more time. And it’s something really easy for me and Scott to share the responsibility. As I can say, just go in, we get the box, we get three meals a week. Cuz we found two is too many. We get three a week. We get the big box of ingredient. We divvy it up into our Ziploc bags for each meal, with the recipe card in there so that any given day can just pull a whole bag out. And so I can say, Scott, you know, I can’t make dinner tonight. Can you just make a meal from the meal kit? And you know, I’m sure the kids can manage it too if we put them to the task. So I love it. It really helps with the two working parent family.

Bonnie (13:39):

I definitely need to try that. Especially as we get busy here with spring market, which feels like, yeah, it’s already ramping up it’s?

Susie (13:46):

Yeah. I think you’d like it and I could certainly manage it and you know, your kids could even do it. So I highly recommend.

Bonnie (13:54):

Very good.

Susie (13:55):

All right. Oh and I wanna just mention, we did help 42 families last year, right? You said the number 42 or 43, 42 is what I have in my book. Yeah. Which is a record for us. And we’re just super, super excited that we were able to help so many people get into homes, sell their homes, move on to the next chapter that we did it and got rest and saw our families and saw friends. So it was a really great year in spite of ups and downs.

Bonnie (14:24):

I agree somehow we’ve not found a balance, but a better balance than we’ve had in the past. And we’re really lucky to say that we have amazing clients that are just lovely to be around and, and we’re looking forward to another year of wonderful meeting, new families and helping more people.

Susie (14:44):

Yes, absolutely.

Bonnie (14:44):

It’s good stuff.

Susie (14:45):

Yes. And interst rate for the week is 3.375 for the 30 day. No, no. That’s for the 15 I believe. And then 3.6 for the 30 year I believe. Yes. Mine it’s 3.6. No that’s right. 3.375 for the 30 year and 2.6, sorry for the 15 year. So that’s still pretty incredible.

Bonnie (15:18):

Yes. 3.37 is not bad. It did go up. It was 3.25 on January 4th. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> yesterday. So crept up a little bit today. But yeah, still historical.

Susie (15:32):

It’ll probably go up and down. Yep. Yes. Yep. And we know of one new listing or two new listings, I think this week in Maplewood, south orange, but they are definitely starting to come out. So get in touch.

Bonnie (15:45):

Yes. Get in touch sooner than later. So it’s gonna be a rat race <laugh>.

Susie (15:49):

That’s right. All right, everyone. Happy January. Onward.

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