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7 Ways to Treat Yourself in 2021

Start fresh in the new year.

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| January 13, 2021
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Let’s face it. We were all hoping that come Jan 1 we’d wake up to a world of vaccines and civility. You can’t blame us for having dreams.

Life can be hard, but you can make it a little bit easier by taking time to treat yourself right. Here’s a starter list of ways you can keep yourself well-treated all year long.

Treat Yourself in 2021 take-out

1. Level up your takeout game (from a locally owned eatery, of course).

Does your body require sustenance? Would you prefer someone else to make your meal for you? Break out of your take-out rut AND support local businesses all in one fell swoop! Here are a few favorites that we’ve enjoyed in the past year.

For a traditional touch of traditional ‘class’ Canlis and The Calcutta Grill at Newcastle Golf Club are open for business and have fun options.

Is the rest of your week jealous of Tuesday? Check out Cocina Cielo (Downtown Bellevue) and sister restaurants Tapatio Mexican Grill (Newcastle) and Tapatio (Factoria). The food they serve ranges from straight-up comfort food to fresh, but unfussy Mexican cuisine.

Dessert for dinner? Delight in the churros from either Cocina Cielo or Tapatio Factoria. Closer to Newcastle? Gather the fam and go all-in with the Churros Locos.

Haven’t tried soup dumplings yet? Get a to-go order from Dough Zone Dumpling House, which has locations in Bellevue, Issaquah, Redmond, Renton and Seattle.

Treat Yourself in 2021 virtual wine tasting

2. 2021 = Virtual Vino

Have a virtual wine tasting with friends and family. Take turns picking good, reasonably priced bottles (psst Bartell’s can help on both accounts). Even if you aren’t feeling fancy, it’s a great opportunity to have a generous helping of vino and reconnect with people as best we can. And besides, grapes aren’t bad for you, right?

Treat Yourself in 2021 candle-lit dinner

3. Candle-lit dinner

Whether it’s a family affair, or (COVID permitting) a send-the-kids-to-stay-with-family-or-friend’s-house date-night in. With the pandemic closing in on its first birthday, take the opportunity to bring back a bit of the ‘before times’.

Understandably, some of us have let our standards… slip. But for at least one night, clear the kids’ schoolwork, and your temporary office off of the dining room table, make a meal with whoever is still in the equation, and bust out fancy plates, cloth napkins, and the good silver. Or at minimum, just steer clear of disposable plates and pre-packaged cutlery that comes wrapped in a tiny, near-useless napkin.

To help kickstart your at-home event, here are three meal options that toe the line between date night and family friendly:

Enchilada Twist
Enchiladas Suizas – From Food Network

Tapas Tri-Fecta
Gambas al ajillo – From Food.com
Spanish Tortilla – From NY Times
Patatas Bravas – From NY Times

Easy Indian Favorite
1-pot Tikka Masala – From Minimalist Baker

Treat Yourself in 2021 spa time bubble bath

4. Draw a bubble bath with all the bells and whistles!

Scented candles. Chocolate. Nice bath salts or bath bombs (Dr. Teals and Smith & Vandiver are our favorites) Relaxing music. And, of course, a glass of wine. Or a White Claw. Or something stronger depending on how the day went.

Treat Yourself in 2021 bling bag Harry Potter LEGO

5. Wanna add a little fun to your work space? Go figures.

We like to pick up a handful of blind bags/boxes from LEGO (Harry Potter!), Playmobil or Funko (so many options). We build a small stash and open one on rainy days to get a little endorphine rush and a fun new desk mascot. Plus they’re portable and easy to store for when you need to move your ‘office’ into the closet for a week. Don’t ask.

Treat Yourself in 2021 picnic

6. What should Yogi, Boo-Boo and you have in common?

When the sun returns, pack a LEGIT picnic (cheese, salami, fruit, crackers, chocolate, wine, the works!) and make a day trip of it, whether up a mountain, on a trail, on Bainbridge, or beyond!

Don’t feel like planning ahead? Swing by Bartell’s on your way to your destination:
Wine: Indian Wells Cab
Chocolate: your favorite Theo bar
Fruit: Gently Dried Apple or Mango from Peeled.
Chocolate covered fruit: Chukar Cherries
Salami: Zoe’s Meats
Crackers: La Panzanella

Treat Yourself in 2021 Treating Others with Kindness flowers

7. Treat yourself by treating others.

Few things can make you feel better than making someone else’s day with a small kindness. Resolve to spread some cheer in 2021. Drop off flowers to a friend or neighbor who could appreciate a splash of color.

Bake and distribute cookies made from your favorite recipe. Hand-write a batch of notes to love ones and pop them in the mail.

No matter how you choose to treat yourself, just do it. You can’t take care of others without taking care of yourself.