HOW I SUNDAY: ISSUE 37
by Michele Burgess
For me, Sunday is about giving yourself the gift of doing what you really want to do. Don’t do anything that feels like a chore or an obligation. Sundays should be fun, easy and guilt-free. Do you want to go to SoulCycle in the morning but then get back into your PJs for the rest of the day? Do you want to watch YouTube tutorials for three hours to teach yourself how to do a fishtail braid? Do you want to bake a Funfetti cake and eat it in bed while you watch Dateline? DO IT. It’s Sunday. It’s your day. (And yes, I’ve done all of those things.)
Professionally, I’m a product developer in the beauty industry. It’s something that I absolutely love and am very passionate about. I’ve done development in hair care, skincare, fine fragrances, bodycare, makeup, and home products like candles and incense. I get to create products that make people feel good and like they’re treating themselves to something special. I love being a creator and making the world a prettier place one product at a time.
In my free time, I love cooking and hosting parties. I was a bartender in college and throughout most of my 20s. I loved meeting new people at the bar, making cocktails and planning events. I lived in a small studio in New York City for many years and always hosted wine nights and pizza parties for my friends at my place (even though my kitchen pretty much consisted of a minibar fridge and microwave). Hosting was always something that brought me a lot of joy.
After living in tiny New York City spaces for the majority of my adult life, I met my husband, Greg, and we bought a condo in Union City, NJ. We have a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline from our living room window and a gorgeous kitchen that has become my sanctuary. In a way, cooking is a lot like product development. You’re constantly innovating with ingredients to make something beautiful (or delicious).
Now, let’s get into Sunday. I start my Sundays by sleeping in (usually until around 9am). Then I get up, put on my Sunday Forever kimono and open all the blinds to let the sunshine in. After that, I light a couple of candles, put on some music (usually Bruce Springsteen or some other classic rock) and start making breakfast.
Making Sunday morning breakfast is a ritual that I look forward to every week. Greg works in real estate so typically Sundays are his busiest days for showings and open houses. He usually leaves around 11am and is gone for the rest of the day, so getting our special morning moments together over breakfast is something we both really love. I have a whole list of breakfast recipes that I’m continuously adding to just for Sundays.
We’re typically savory breakfast people, so usually the recipe involves eggs. I love making omelets with fresh herbs and cheese or baked eggs with caviar if we’re feeling fancy. Sometimes I’ll switch it up, go the sweet breakfast route, and make something like lemon ricotta pancakes or waffles with rosewater whipped cream.
I love the whole process of preparing a meal, from picking out the ingredients that I’ll use and preparing everything in the kitchen to setting the table. One of my favorite things in the world is the sound and smell when you first put olive oil and garlic into a hot pan on the stove. I try to take in each of these moments and fully enjoy them.
Cooking on Sundays is very much like a form of meditation for me. I am not focusing on anything except the joy of making the meal. No outside thoughts come into my mind. I can just feel totally at peace and in the moment.
Once breakfast is ready, I’ll set two places at our kitchen island bar, pour some fresh orange juice and call Greg in to eat. We sit together over the meal, giggling, chatting and talking about our weekend. Sometimes he’ll show me pictures of the homes he’s going to show that day. After breakfast, I clean up the kitchen while Greg showers and gets ready for work. Then I kiss him goodbye and wish him luck as he leaves.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love the rare occasions when Greg doesn’t have to work on Sundays and we can enjoy the day together. But as a woman who previously lived in New York City for a decade by herself, there’s something so magical about having the place to myself for the day. When I close the door after Greg leaves, I think to myself: Today is my day.
I like to switch up my Sunday afternoon activities depending on my mood, the season, the weather. Some things are pretty consistent, though. I love a good bubble bath, I usually have some beauty products to test for work at some point, reading cooking and home décor magazines. I usually always call my mom at some point to check in and say hi. She always laughs when I call her on Sundays and asks if I’m having “my day.” Sometimes I’ll cuddle up on the couch and put on an episode of something true crime-related (I have a thing for it).
On some Sundays, I’ll go to a workout class, have brunch with girlfriends, run some local errands or do a closet organizing project. During the fall and winter time, I love making a cozy, all day slow-cooker recipe that we can have for dinner when Greg gets home from work.
The point is, Sunday feels like a special day (to me) because it is. It’s the day I get to sleep in, have breakfast with my husband and then have my afternoon to do whatever I want. Sundays are the gift I give myself to reset, recharge and reflect on how good life is.