How We're Embracing Quarantine Life | Week 4

April 08, 2020
It's so easy to get into a funk with the state of things right now and about once a week I just have an off day. I think it's okay and almost necessary to give in to those emotions and then refocus. If you're interested in a great article, this one from the Harvard Business Review really takes a deeper dive into the emotions that we're feeling and one that I've shared with everyone in my family. For me, I try to channel what this experience has allowed me to gain. 
Quality Time with Gary || Before this quarantine, Gary and I barely had any time with one another during the week. If we were lucky it would be a couple hours at night, but we were both working on projects and it wasn't truly quality time, with the occasional "how was your day" and "what are you working on?" Even though this is a high stress time, we are more of a team than ever, especially both working. It's the two of us trying to navigate this and we get to talk about every little thing - celebrating little victories along the way - like making it through a particularly hard day! We eat all three meals together, share all the household chores and now instead of spending our nights on computers, we're watching a movie or a show! Weekly date nights after this will be happening so much more frequently! 

Watching Sophia Learn || Maternity leave with Sophia was a blur, weeknights and weekends never seem like enough and now I'm with Sophia 24/7! There are no breaks and she is in a crazy mommy phase! These last few weeks have been incredibly eye opening in not only parenting, but in teaching Sophia and seeing her learn new things. Just in the last week alone she's started saying new words and phrases and it's so exciting because she didn't know them and now she does. Obviously I know this will continue to happen, but being able to see it first hand and not a daycare teacher or my mom telling me is amazing!
Organization station || Oh man, I love organizing as it is, but this quarantine has brought it to another level. I've cleaned and organized the fridge, ordered spice bottles with labels, purged clothes and just about everything else in our condo and it feels great. I've ordered a lot of new organization things to make things "work" and look prettier. Also, if like organization videos, the Home Edit has a channel called "Master the Mess" that I've been watching non-stop!  
I ordered this spice bottles and labels- I've been wanting everything to look uniform for the longest time!

I have this organizer for pouches in the fridge and then I use this one in a cabinet for little odds and ends like candles, food coloring and baking items. 
I ordered this "mini" organizer to put under the sink in the bathroom. We have an oddly shaped vanity so I hope this works. 

New found love for Pinterest || I used to be obsessed with Pinterest and then I sort of stopped pinning. But I've found myself pinning to my dream home board again because this experience has shown Gary and I that we are craving more space and an outdoor area for Sophia - a move to the suburbs may be in our future, still a distant future, but one we're considering way more seriously now! I've also been cooking so much more than I have in the last year. Every meal isn't something new, but I am experimenting more and I have the time to do so - you can follow my recipe board here. 

What are some things that are getting you through quarantine? 

On My Radar

April 06, 2020
Back again for another quarantine Monday! How was your weekend? Were you able to get outside and enjoy some weather? I find that getting outside for even 30 minutes helps break up the day and make it somewhat "normal." I decided to download the News App and through that I have access to all their magazines, similar to what Texture used to have (Apple bought it) you can view them whenever and however you want. I've been able to go through a few of my favorites and screenshot some things that I want to try and some other things that are already in my cart. 
  • Olay released a new line of serums that looks very interesting to me. There is a B3 with hyaluronic acid, one wrinkle corrector and one tone perfection. Really interested to see how these work so I'll probably make my way through each one at some point. They are a bit pricey for a drugstore product, but I do have good experiences with Olay products. 
  • In keeping with the skincare theme, the Neutrogena gel boost cream sounds really good too. It's said to brighten skin and make it look more awake - something I could use more of - especially since we're in the house almost 24/7 these days. 
  • Admittedly the packaging really struck me with the Jergens Sol Water Mousse. I think it's going to be comparable to the St. Tropez water mousse for a fraction of the price. I have the St. Tropez one and rarely use it, so I should probably use it up before buying another one, but this one looks like it would be a good dupe. 
  • Marianna Hewitt is one of the founder's of Summer Friday's so when she announced last week that they released a new balm, I immediately went online to Sephora and ordered it! I can't wait for it to arrive -I'm a huge fan of all their masks! I haven't really been wearing much lipstick lately, so this balm will be great to just have on for an almost finished look. 
  • In that same Sephora order I purchased the instant brush cleaner that Emily Gemma mentioned in a favorites post. I really don't like cleaning my brushes and don't clean them enough - so hopefully this quick cleaning one will help with that. 
  • A little random, but we're trying to transition Sophia away from the pacifier. So far she only has it for when she sleeps, but I'll like to break her of the habit all together. I saw Paci Weaning System and became intrigued. I think she's too young to understand any tricks of reasoning like, there's another baby that needs your paci now. So I'm willing to try this!
  • After three weeks of quarantine, I miss my cold brew. We have really great coffee at home, but I'm craving cold brew and since there is no quick end in sight, I think I need to get my own cold brew maker!
  • When all of this is said and done I think we will all have mastered most of the things we're used to paying money for and for me that will mainly be getting my nails done. I did realize that aside from just having polish, I don't have any proper tools needed. I have this set in my cart ready to purchase!

Have you tried anything new that you're loving lately?

My Experience with Meditation

April 03, 2020
Happy Friday, friends! This week Gary and I decided to put up a calendar and mark off the days until the date we think this will all be over -it's an arbitrary date, but gives us something to look forward to.  It helps to mark off each day and feel like we're getting closer to the end. I really thought that I would finally get into the meditation mindset in the month of March, but not surprisingly the month that I could have used it most threw us for the biggest loop ever. My schedule changed mid month (as did everyone else's) and suddenly finding 15 minutes for this reset just wasn't a priority. 
I started the month off really strong dedicating 5-15 minutes each day to meditation until March 11th. At first I signed up for the Calm App and then for Headspace, but realizing that they weren't truly  "free" apps, I went to Youtube and found a few great guided meditations. The two weeks that I was diligent about getting meditation in, it was because I put that time into my calendar and made it a part of my day. Even with that, I still can't 
As zen as I get, playing on the floor with Sophia!

I think what this entire process taught me was that meditation is just not for me. I am not one of those people that can train myself to quiet my brain from going a million miles a minute. Forced relaxation is not something that I am comfortable with - be it yoga, massages or acupuncture. I enjoy two out of those three, but it doesn't mean I am able to fully quiet my mind. That type of stress relief actually has the opposite affect on me because I am not getting the results I should be getting

I wanted each month to push me with things I didn't necessarily want to do or need to do, but wanted to get better at or learn. In this case, I learned something about myself. This wasn't the first time I tried meditation, Gary has been asking me to medidate for almost 6 years now and it's just not for me. Perhaps in a few years it might be, but at this point in my life, I don't think I'm there. 

Moving on to this month's challenge and one I'm excited for - Spanish practice! I downloaded DuoLingo which is free and have started my quizzes! I set my time for 10 minutes a day and I'm really looking forward to sharpening my Spanish language skills. 

How are you at meditating? Are there any tips or tricks that I should have tried? Stay safe and healthy! 

Working From Home with a Toddler | Our Daily Schedule

April 01, 2020
Gary and I have been working from home for the last three weeks and we feel incredibly lucky that our companies have afforded us the opportunity to continue working during this unprecedented time. The first few days we had my mom here and then decided it would be best for her to go back home to be with my dad. I think we can all agree that this is probably the most anxious and stressful situation we could imagine,  but I just keep telling myself that this too shall pass! 
Gary is growing the quarantine beard 😂

Sophia is a little over 1.5, so activities that keep her attention are hard to come by and while screen limits aren't really applied anymore, I do like to keep her active. Gary and I plan our our days the night before and basically decide who will be on Sophia duty throughout the day - it doesn't always work since she's in a real "mommy phase," but we do our best and Gary leads a ton of projects with so many conference calls, that Sophia usually crashes! So here's a glimpse into our day!
Sophia has been waking up a little later these last few weeks and there are no complaints here. We have a little breakfast and I'm usually online for work a before 8:30. I still get semi ready putting on bit of makeup and trying to look somewhat presentable. She'll get a morning show and we FaceTime with my mom so she can say good morning!  
One of us will take Sophia for a morning walk around 9:30/10. No more stroller walks for this girl, she's Miss Independent and wants to walk by herself. 

We come in and whoever wasn't outside goes on duty while the other person answers emails or does work- it's also snack time. We play, color, paint or do one of the sensory activities I found until lunch and succumb to at least 30 minutes of Buster the Bus so both of us can work. 
I have not eaten at home so much in years and I've been really enjoying cooking dinners, but lunch we keep pretty simple with sandwiches or frozen bowls. While Gary and Sophia eat, I usually try  to get a 20-30 minute workout in. When I'm done I throw some food down and get Sophia down for her nap. She typically naps from 1-2:30/3. 
Outfit change!

This is our time to get as much done as possible! When Sophia wakes up we take it easy for about a half hour and then try to get outside one more time, weather permitting. We'll color with sidewalk chalk, walk her baby or go dig in dirt - anything to keep her busy and outside. 
Made a caprese salad with tilapia made in the airfryer

Around 4:30 I start prepping dinner so that we can eat together at 5:30. It's early, but Sophia's night time routine starts at 6:30. After dinner we keep the TV off and play games - recently Gary and I have started to learn TikTok dances (I know, the things we do in quarantine 😂) so Sophia has loved watching us - she usually just jumps around. We have a quick FaceTime call with my parents to say good night too! 
I still try to maintain the same night time routine we had pre-quarantine days as well as her nap schedule from daycare. We tag team bath time at 6:30. While Gary is doing the bath, I'm cleaning up the kitchen, vacuuming and disinfecting the high touch areas and then it's milky, jammies & reading time. Our bedtime routine is about 30 minutes and she's in the crib by 7 (not always asleep in a timely fashion though 😁). I sit near her (usually scrolling instagram) while she holds my hand to fall asleep. Then I'll come out and meet Gary on the couch. 
This is when we both try to get ahead of the next day. Anything that wasn't pressing during the day, I do at night, if possible. It's not ideal, but it gives me a head start on the next day and a way for me to give attention to both work and Sophia, this is also when I'm working on blog posts. We usually have a show on the background and recently we've been watching the last few seasons of the Mindy Project that we missed when it moved to Hulu.

I'm typically in bed by 9:30 with lights out around 10 and mentally preparing myself for another day of our new normal. 

It's obvious that I'm not really including the snacking that I am inevitably doing or the dozens of facetime calls we have throughout the day. I also have my phone with me all the time so I can check work emails when I'm not at my computer! It's not perfect but it's worked for us with a toddler who really loves to play with us and doesn't like to be alone #socialbutterfly!

What's the biggest change from your daily routine to now?

Recently Purchased | Amazon & Others

March 30, 2020
I typically start my posts off with a Happy Monday and today is no different, so I hope the weekend was not like Groundhog Day for you and you guys got up to something a little different than the week. We have been doing our best to stay positive, but admittedly it's hard with no true end date in sight. I typically don't shop that much online, but these are different times and I found myself ordering things I wouldn't normally because of really great targeted ads or being influenced by others. A little retail therapy is good for the soul! 

  • Sophia has pretty much been impossible to get into her stroller, so we decided to get this little push car buggy which should be here this week. I am so excited to hear her say "oh wow" when she sees it and hopefully this means we won't be walking at a glacial pace around the neighborhood now. 
  • This casual jumpsuit with pockets is perfect for lounging around the house but still looking put together for "work!" Also comes in a shorts version and cropped playsuit set. The material is super comfy! 
  • These dot markers were great in theory, but I think Sophia is a little too young for them because she just wants to eat them! We'll try again, but for those of you with older kids it comes with some activity sheets too! I purchased this roll for all the paining and coloring we've been doing! 
  • I was convinced by Lindsay to purchase the Olive & June "everything box" especially since my nails could use a little TLC from gel and dip manicures. I'm really excited to get this set and try my hand at doing a really great manicure with the non-toxic polishes. 
  • Totally targeted on Facebook by Kid Made Modern website and I bought the arts and crafts supply library. It's 1,000 arts and crafts for kids. I will say that the most of these activities are too advanced for Sophia, but they have pipe cleaners, pom poms, fizzy sticks and felt - so we can do some cute crafts while we're quarantined. I also feel really bad that Sophia is missing out on projects that she would do at daycare so I really want to do fun things with her. 
  • Took advantage of the Nordstrom 40% off sale and purchased the Longchamp tote that I have been wanting for years. These seem pretty indestructible, which is perfect for me. Hard to tell if these Quay sunnies will work on my face, but I'm excited to try them. I also purchased some Native shoes for Sophia and sized up so that they would be good through the Spring and Summer. She loves them and didn't want to take them off even during nap time!
Have you been doing a lot of shopping during your time quarantining?