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Life Lately + The Microwave Conundrum

A big thanks for all of your sweet birthday wishes for Zoey. And I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one making cakes and throwing parties. 😉


She’s recovering tonight from yesterday’s celebrations and today’s excitement of having the AT&T guy here for 3 hours setting up cable and internet. He kept telling me he loved dogs so Zoey did quite a lot of “helping.”

Related…I’m trying U-Verse for the first time and taking a break from Time Warner. My TWC bill had slowly escalated to a crazy amount so I had to make a change.


What’s been keeping me going is this cookie (well, and wine) that I strategically froze and saved from Levain Bakery after my NYC trip. It’s chocolate peanut butter and so what I need to power me through all this cleaning and unpacking.


After 9 days straight of rain and clouds, the sun is finally back and bringing with it Carolina blue skies. Our extended forecast is 70s and sunny for the foreseeable future with cool evenings and crisp mornings.


I soaked it up with a beautiful 4-miler though my new hood. It’s nice to have new running scenery.

So let’s talk about my biggest post-move conundrum. On Tuesday morning I went to heat up water in the microwave for my French press and realized that there was no microwave! It has surprised me how many times in just two days I have reached for the microwave only to remember there isn’t one…heating up leftovers, heating up coffee that’s gone cold, cooking a quick leftover egg yolk for the dogs, making tea, etc.

The health-conscious part of me says DO NOT REPLACE THE MICROWAVE. The slow coffee drinking, tea loving part of me says REPLACE THE MICROWAVE! I’m thinking I can meet somewhere in the middle with a nice toaster oven and a kettle but that still leaves me in a bind with cold coffee and quick reheats.

I’d love to hear from you. Microwave or no microwave? And if you’ve given it up, do you have any tips for easing the adjustment?

Winner of the Daring Greatly Giveaway is #23 Amanda.

Winner of the $250 Food Lion Gift Card Giveaway is #37 Kristen.

Congrats ladies! I have emailed both of you!

{ 47 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Shannon October 7, 2015, 10:30 pm

    I don’t think using the microwave on occasion is a bad thing. As long as you don’t use it multiple times per day, it comes in handy! Not having one makes more work for you in the end.

  • 2
    Nicki October 7, 2015, 10:46 pm

    I couldn’t live without a microwave! I always re-heat leftovers, coffee and tea in it! I also use it to cook sweet potatoes when I’m too lazy to roast them…

  • 3
    Kendra October 7, 2015, 10:47 pm

    We don’t have a microwave and haven’t had one for a year. There are some challenges but overall we get by. I make oatmeal every morning for breakfast, I have to make it by stovetop, takes much longer, but it has become routine. Also there is no quick way to heat up leftovers, it takes time. We have a toaster oven which works great to warm up food- just takes longer. I drink the amount of coffee in my cup, and if it gets left, it gets thrown away or made into ice coffee. I do have friends that have an electronic coffee cup warmer. It seems you have a good idea of what you will gain vs. sacrifice with or without a microwave. It’s doable, but ultimately just what you prefer.

    • 4
      Jen DeCurtins October 9, 2015, 2:16 pm

      Thanks for the input! I’ve never seen an electronic coffee cup warmer!

  • 5
    Kate October 7, 2015, 10:56 pm

    Just finished a complete kitchen renovation and we argued over the microwave! I didn’t want one because it was ugly – but it’s so practical! I’ve already used it enough to make up for it being ugly. But I have to say – we still use a kettle for tea, it’s so much better for some reason!

  • 6
    Rachel October 7, 2015, 11:07 pm

    Buy a Mr. Coffee mug heater! It’s a little electric plug-in coaster that you keep your mug on and your drink stays warm. I got mine from bed bath and beyond.

  • 7
    Ashley @ A Lady Goes West October 7, 2015, 11:35 pm

    Ha! My husband and I lived without a microwave for three years because ours broke and we didn’t want to fix it. Now, I rely on my microwave SO much for cooking my daily sweet potato and more, but when I didn’t have one … I just made it work. But you’ll be using your oven more for sure, which tends to heat the house. I’d say just go buy one! 🙂

  • 8
    Lindsay October 7, 2015, 11:49 pm

    Get a Keurig, game changer! (And you can brew a little cup too) 🙂

  • 9
    Kristen October 7, 2015, 11:49 pm

    Forget the microwave!

  • 10
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine October 8, 2015, 12:00 am

    Micro-win!!! I couldn’t live without mine…ever! Favorite appliance 😉

  • 11
    Betsy October 8, 2015, 2:14 am

    ive been without a microwave for years. You have to get a bit creative with re-heating, but give it a month and you’ll be totally used to it!

  • 12
    Dixie October 8, 2015, 2:50 am

    I haven’t had a microwave for more than 6 years-I also have a daughter who is 6 & a son who is almost 2-haven’t missed it at all. I reheat everything either in a large toaster/counter top oven or on the stove. This includes re-warming coffee in a saucepan on the stovetop, which takes no more than 3 mins. My kids sometimes wish food could be reheated a little faster but I just need to make sure I don’t let them get hanrgy before starting. Going without a microwave is easy but a nice quality toaster oven is a must.

  • 13
    Orla October 8, 2015, 5:16 am

    We havent had a microwave for over 6 years. The last one billowed smoke before we moved & we realised we had more counter space without. You will get used to planning meals etc without one. Remembering to take something out of the freezer the night before to defrost becomes habit. I cant speak for the coffee thing as I love my coffee & tend to inhale it.

  • 14
    Hilary October 8, 2015, 5:51 am

    I think if you find you use a mircowave a lot it might be worth it to just get one! I went through a phase where I tried to be as healthy and safe as possible and considered it but then I realized it is impossible for us to be completely cautious because sometimes just walking outside around smokers or tons of air pollution makes us less healthy too! So I saw go for the mircowave just use it sparingly, and be selective with the type of dish you heat things with!

  • 15
    maya October 8, 2015, 6:51 am

    There is absolutely no scientific evidence that cooking in a microwave is bad for you. It’s just a thermic reaction, agitating water molecules which is what heating the food in a steamer or an oven does. However, the myth that for some reason microwaves are bad or even dangerous persists, just not in the scietific community. Being a bit of scientist myself, I’m inclined to go with that, so I use the microwave like you described, warming up stuff or steaming veg, One thing that is bad is if you heat things up in plastic containers. So always use glass or ceramic, and don’t let plastic touch your food for too long anyway. This goes even for tuppaware and the oven. The less contact food has with plastic, the better. I hope that helps!

    • 16
      Erin October 8, 2015, 9:17 am

      ^ This

    • 17
      Jen DeCurtins October 9, 2015, 2:19 pm


  • 18
    Sara @ Oats & Rows October 8, 2015, 7:14 am

    Honestly, I don’t know what I would do! Thinking now, I feel like I don’t use the microwave that much. But, I am sure I would miss it for a thing or two if I didn’t have it!

    • 19
      Jen DeCurtins October 9, 2015, 2:20 pm

      I know! I’m so torn!

  • 20
    Anne Marie October 8, 2015, 9:13 am

    Ditch it! It is just an extra appliance to have taking up space, and it isn’t a long adjustment before it is no big deal to not have one. I don’t even use the one at work anymore!

    There is also the debate on the safety and its impact on the food its reheating. I’m not sure if I believe in all of that, but I still don’t use one anymore!

  • 21
    Stephanie October 8, 2015, 9:15 am

    Love reading your blog! How come you moved? Especially since you just remodeled your kitchen? Get a microwave;-)

  • 22
    stacey October 8, 2015, 9:23 am

    we got rid of outs a couple years ago. Best decision ever. We replaced it with a toaster oven. We heat liquids on the stove, reheat foods in toaster oven or reg. oven (depending on amount) and it takes up less room. You will surprise yourself with how easy it is to NOT use the micro.

  • 23
    Stephanie October 8, 2015, 9:32 am

    Get the microwave so you have it when you really need it, but get the electric kettle, too, and make the effort to use it. You are a busy person and it’s okay to rely on some conveniences to help get you through the day. Nothing wrong with nuking some leftovers when you are home for a quick lunch or zapping the water so you can get out the door in the morning.

  • 24
    jenna October 8, 2015, 9:33 am

    You can probably survive without one. But to boil or heat water quickly without using the stove – how about an electric kettle? time saver!

  • 25
    Megan October 8, 2015, 9:53 am

    Haha, at my last apartment there was no microwave and at first I freaked out because like you, I use it zap cold coffee all the time. It was an adjustment but in the end I liked it plus it forced me to stop eating frozen meals all the time which was definitely needed. Now I have one and while I’ll use it every once in awhile its no longer the necessity I once thought it was.

  • 26
    heidi October 8, 2015, 9:55 am

    we haven’t had a microwave for at least ten years. we haven’t wanted to sacrifice the space, and i guess we weren’t that reliant on it, because i don’t think it took us long to adjust. i use a kettle on the stove for hot water. i want an electric kettle, but again, space. reheating leftovers on the stove makes for such better texture and even heating, and pizza in a toaster oven is WAY better!

  • 27
    Tory October 8, 2015, 10:21 am

    I recently moved into a new rental apartment. The kitchen is small but very nice and functional, with no microwave. I drink french press coffee every morning and takes all of 2-3 minutes to heat my water in the kettle. (Depends what type of stove you have- I have induction, but gas would be just as quick. Electric probably on the slower side). Really my only conundrum with not having a microwave is remembering to defrost certain things from out of the freezer. I usually take out a frozen muffin the night before, and just planning ahead if there’s anything you may need to thaw ahead of time. Other than that, I like not having a microwave!

  • 28
    Jennifer October 8, 2015, 10:33 am

    I’m a practical girl, so, I say to have a microwave. I have one and it is convenient. I don’t use my microwave all day e’ry day, but it is nice to have for tea or a quick reheat of leftovers when you are in a rush (or lazy 🙂 Been there!).

  • 29
    Tracy October 8, 2015, 10:59 am

    Go with the microwave! Life’s too short to wait for water (or coffee) to heat! 😉

  • 30
    Jenna DeCicco October 8, 2015, 11:08 am

    My microwave broke 4 months ago, and we have yet to replace it! I found it relaxing to use my oven and stove more, instead of constantly popping food and drinks in the microwave. It also left me with a lot of space on my counter! lol I also have a Keurig and tea kettle which takes no time at all for my coffee and tea.
    At first I missed it, but after a week, I told my husband…wait on getting another. I’m doing fine without it!

  • 31
    Emily October 8, 2015, 12:48 pm

    I am confused how not using a microwave makes you health-conscious. Microwave cooking is completely safe (as a previous commenter already mentioned). As long as you don’t heat anything in the microwave in plastic, it is totally safe and healthy. I also like to look at things from a conservation/”green” standpoint, too. I’d say less energy is used to heat your coffee for one minute in the microwave, rather than at least 3 minutes on the stove. And heating leftovers faster in the microwave uses less electricity than cooking it for a longer time in the toaster oven. Just another angle to consider!

    • 32
      Jen DeCurtins October 8, 2015, 1:16 pm

      Glad you brought this up because the whole health thing is confusing! You read so many different things about their safety from so many sources with differing opinions. Even the FDA has the following on their site…

      “Less is known about what happens to people exposed to low levels of microwaves. Controlled, long-term studies involving large numbers of people have not been conducted to assess the impact of low level microwave energy on humans. Much research has been done with experimental animals, but it is difficult to translate the effects of microwaves on animals to possible effects on humans. For one thing, there are differences in the way animals and humans absorb microwaves. For another, experimental conditions can’t exactly simulate the conditions under which people use microwave ovens. However, these studies do help us better understand the possible effects of radiation.

      The fact that many scientific questions about exposure to low-levels of microwaves are not yet answered require FDA to continue to enforcement of radiation protection requirements. Consumers should take certain common sense precautions.”

      Honestly, I think they’re probably fine to use, especially when you’re careful about reheating containers but sometimes I’m lazy and I will throw Tupperware in the microwave. I also much prefer the taste and flavor of food when it’s freshly cooked or reheated in the oven and not microwaved.

      I do like your green angle. Thanks for throwing that in there. So much to think about!

      • 33
        Kelly October 8, 2015, 11:49 pm

        Surely the amount of microwaves that you are exposed to by having one in your kitchen that you use for only a few minutes a day is tiny though, i.e. the body of the appliance shields most of the microwaves from travelling through (so a cup of water on the counter next to the microwave doesn’t get hot)? Agreed with trying to use ceramic or glass containers and avoiding plastic in the microwave though.
        And we have an electric kettle for hot water. So much better for tea to get the water really boiling!

  • 34
    Nicole October 8, 2015, 1:03 pm

    Microwaves are a must! I always shake my head when I read articles about chefs eschewing them. In the life of this busy wife and mom, they make life better! Reheating leftovers, nuking an egg in a cup for a quick dose of protein, defrosting meat, warming a muffin quickly for my son…I need some conveniences in my life! I agree with the idea of sticking with reheating in non-plastic materials. But you do you!

  • 35
    Tracy October 8, 2015, 1:16 pm

    I’d have a really hard time without a microwave!!

    Will you please report back on your feelings about your switch to U-verse from TWC? We are considering the same change and would love to hear if you feel like it was a good move.

    • 36
      Jen DeCurtins October 8, 2015, 1:16 pm

      Yes! I will!

  • 37
    Erin October 8, 2015, 1:18 pm

    We haven’t had a microwave for over a year- we really didn’t use it. We prefer the taste of food from the stove, and it hogged a ton of space in our tiny kitchen! It takes time to adjust but it’s easy.

  • 38
    tara October 8, 2015, 1:32 pm

    i am sooo on the micro train. i pretty much use one daily. i take leftover almost everyday for lunch so if its not a salad it goes in the micro. and i heat my morning coffee everyday in the micro before i leave so that it will be hot at work. i file worrying about the effects of a microwave under the dont sweat the small stuff area in my life but do understand that some people might not think of it like that.

  • 39
    She Rocks Fitness October 8, 2015, 2:28 pm

    Just like everything else in life it is about moderation. If you are only using a microwave a few seconds here and there I don’t see the big deal in it. I think there are worse electrical things we are doing to ourselves…cell phones? HAHA!

  • 40
    Hope October 8, 2015, 2:59 pm

    I’ve never had a microwave except in college dorms and at the place I just moved to this June. While I’ll occasionally use a microwave to heat my lunch at the office, I haven’t even opened the one I have at home. I think they make food taste weird.

  • 41
    Amanda October 8, 2015, 7:52 pm

    Sounds like you use your microwave a lot – and for healthy reasons. Mine makes it easy for me to defrost veggies or frozen break, and makes it easy for me to freeze and reheat meals when I’m tired. I’m pro-microwave!

    But I will say that I moved mine to a less central part of my kitchen on a cart, so my counters are clear, and that was totally worth it. I don’t stare at it all the time, but it’s there when I need it.

  • 42
    Nikita October 9, 2015, 3:36 am

    I would suggest purchasing a good quality microwave and then it’s there for the days you are lazy/need to reheat your coffee or lunch, and the rest of the time you can reheat on the stove/in the oven?

  • 43
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles October 9, 2015, 3:22 pm

    Next time you come to NY you must try Schmackary’s cookies. I just put a bunch in my freezer 🙂 And I do have a microwave, you need it! You just do.

  • 44
    Brittany @ brittanyholtz.com October 10, 2015, 7:04 am

    I am all about the toaster oven, but still use my microwave occasionally. One thing that has really helped me cut back is a water cooler we bought from Costco. It has a hot water despense too that I use for hot tea and quick oatmeal. Love it!

  • 45
    Sarah October 10, 2015, 9:15 am

    If it worries you, and you have the ability to go without…then go for it. I don’t know if I could go each day at work not having a warm lunch. Honestly if anyone’s worried about potential damage from microwaves, they better start researching all the damage that’s caused by cell phones & wi-fi….in my opinion, that’s FAR more concerning.

  • 46
    Katherine October 11, 2015, 8:53 pm

    Growing up my mom hated the micro wave so we only kept it around for popcorn. Since being out on my own (11 years) I’ve never owned a micro wave. I heat everything up either on the stove or in the toaster oven. Like any change its an adjustment but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing! Just a change of habits.

  • 47
    kat October 12, 2015, 9:29 pm

    haven’t had a microwave for years and don’t miss it at all. stovetops do the same thing! it just takes a small shift in planning…5 minutes instead of 30 seconds..

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