“Just another manic Monday…” Are you going to hate me for putting that song in your head? Don’t hate. It’s a great song. Tune in every week, because I’m planning to blast away your Monday blues with an eclectic, upbeat post. A mind-dump, if you will. I love my book reviews and literary meals and the occasional Friday Night Dinner, but those posts take a lot to plan, execute, deliver. Sometimes a girl’s just gotta talk. Or write. Or talk while I write. “Hockey puck, rattlesnake, monkey monkey underpants.” (Had to sneak that in there.)

So, have you heard about the Instant Pot yet? (Many people say “Insta Pot,” which I actually prefer. Too bad the people who named it didn’t ask us.) I’m OBSESSED. About three weeks ago, no fewer than three of my coworkers talked about the Instant Pot ALL. NIGHT. LONG. (That’s 7pm-7am, so, a lot.) We’re nurses, and our conversations are usually on the stranger side of things, so for so much talk time to be devoted to a kitchen appliance was out of the ordinary. That’s all it took. By the next work weekend, I had an Instant Pot on my counter. My biggest trepidation was the size. My kitchen is closet-sized, and I already own a crock pot… do I really want to add another space hog? I’m telling you, don’t think, just put that baby in your Amazon cart and click. Total game-changer. It’s a pressure cooker (main reason to get it), a slow cooker, a yogurt maker, a total one-pot wonder. We’ve eaten more hot meals at home in the past three weeks than we probably did in the prior 2-3 months. Fork-tender pot roast: 45 min, DONE. Greek gyros: 30 min, DONE. Risotto. RISOTTO! When I made it for the blog, I stood over the stove for, I think, 1.75 hours, just stirring. 20 min, DONE and amazing. Okay, but I’ve buried the lead. IT’S A TOTAL HUSBAND UPGRADE! You’re looking at the Matt 2.0– upgraded software, faster processing speed. He’s cooked almost as many meals in it as I have! This is the guy who’s go-to meal is either eggs, cereal, or a smoothie. He’s made cheeseburger macaroni, butter chicken, a frittata… all on his own. That reminds me– I owe Amazon a thank-you card. Get yours here. You’ll bless me as you set up your Instant Pot shrine.

That’s the one I have and love it. They also have a Bluetooth one. Crazy cool.

(BTW, this is my first attempt at any reimbursement from stuff I talk about here. If you click through these links to buy, your price will be the same, but I’ll receive a small commission from Amazon.)

What are you watching right now? I have so little time for TV these days that most of my shows have been neglected. I’m at least three seasons behind on Criminal Minds, I’m still on season 2 of The Good Wife, I never finished the first season of The Catch, and I have about 8 episodes to catch up on for This Is Us. (That’s the hard one– trying so hard to stay away from spoilers!) Despite all of that, I just started a free trial of Hulu to watch The Handmaid’s Tale. Are you watching it? I’m a little nervous that only the first three episodes are streaming so far. HOW MANY EPISODES ARE THERE? WILL I GET TO SEE THEM ALL IN MY FREE MONTH? Tell me now, please, before I get hooked. That’s how they get you. It’s smart, though. Netflix is dumb. They dropped all of the Gilmore girls revival at once, so I used my free month, watched it once, then cancelled it. I know, I’m such a cheapskate.

So, I’ve never read the book, and my M.O. is to read before watch, but I’m making an exception because I know it’s going to be all the buzz. Whether or not it’s an accurate social commentary right now remains to be seen, in my opinion. I’m partly watching to see if Alexis Bledel can redeem herself after her less than stellar acting job in GGAYITL. What are your thoughts so far??? Scary as they say?

Last thing this Monday: while many of you are just starting your work week and the hassles that accompany that, Mondays are sort of my Saturdays. Or maybe my Wednesdays. Hump day. I work Friday and Saturday nights and sleep through part of Sunday. But, I’m still recuperating from the long night shifts and it’s my husband’s busiest work day. So, it’s my first day back at home with two little ankle-biters cherubs who have a bit of a Mama hangover. In other words, Mondays are hard. I’m with ya. Be gentle with yourselves, keep the coffee brewing, and add some chocolate. It helps.

Maybe I’ll add chocolate to our kickoff meal plan this week. I’m loving your menu submissions– follow my Facebook page and keep ’em coming!

A Literary Feast -- Monday montage