Tag Archives: cooking

Stay Sane In Quarantine With These Hobby Ideas

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Stay Sane In Quarantine With These Hobby Ideas

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that we are living in scary times. This global pandemic has pushed most of the world into lock down and quarantine, and even when working from home, it’s pretty boring! You’re unable to see friends and family, and you can’t even bounce off of the fun of the office to feel better about things. Instead, you get the chance to sit, twiddle your thumbs, and wait for life to resume in some kind of normality.

The thing is, this is not how it works. It doesn’t work like that because you have to consider your mental health. You need to keep busy, and for that, you need a hobby. This is especially true if you are in quarantine alone. So, let’s take a look at some of the best hobbies you could take up to stay sane through these unprecedented and unnerving times:

Visit National Parks – Virtually:

You may be desperate for a change of scenery, but you cannot leave the house. So, you need to get out virtually, instead. Make the use of your WiFi and get online to national parks and glaciers. You’ll be able to travel the world and view national parks without having to leave the house. Sure, it’s not quite the same, but it’s going to take the mystery out of the world you can’t explore properly!

Enjoy Puzzles:

You need to exercise the mind to keep the brain busy, and that starts with a PennyDell Puzzles crossword puzzle subscription. Puzzles are going to help you to keep your mind sharp and teach you new things. It’s also going to give you the chance to enjoy something in this quarantine that will continue long after.

YouTube Art Classes:

Did you know that there are drawing tutorials on YouTube? Most people aren’t aware of them and yet there they are, ready and waiting for you to learn from them. You may not be much of a drawer, or you may be an artist that requires a brush up on skills. Either way, drawing tutorials on YouTube are going to help you to hone your skills.

Concert Films:

The musicians out there are going to love the chance to enjoy available concert films like these online. You can choose to go through the entire Netflix collection, of course, but consider branching out a little. Concert films and other musical elements are going to be the most fun option for you in quarantine!

Learn To Bake:

While the shops are selling out of basic baking ingredients, you can still learn to bake with any number of online video tutorials. You can also learn how to cook elaborate recipes that you can batch and freeze for later. It’s so important that you choose a course that inspires you, whether that’s lunch or cakes you want to bake.

Hobbies are important to help keep you sane right now so try some of the tips above while you’re stuck at home!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Dinner For Two Pt. 2

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Dinner For Two Pt. 2

Hi! On April first, Johnny and I celebrated seven months of PASSIONATE LOVE with each other. Thankfully, neither of us said April Fools and it was easily the best day I’ve had since all of this self-isolation business. If you recall from previous posts, I love cooking for my boyfriend. And if you recall from a very previous post, Johnny surprised me with dinner he made a few weeks ago when I came home from work.

Just when I thought that he couldn’t top himself, he raised the bar as he always does. On our seven month, we both got dressed up and when I got home from work I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened the door. As I stepped in, I heard music playing on our record player, smelled garlic bread, and saw a fireplace screensaver burning brightly on the TV.

The best sight of all, though? Definitely seeing Johnny standing in the kitchen in a button down top and skinnies stirring a huge pot of spaghetti. We ate a delicious meal that he got stressed out cooking at our coffee table that he cleaned off special for the occasion. Then, we drank champagne and listened to all of our favorite songs. I lied when I said it was one of the best days of self-isolation because it was one of the best days of my life.

This has been a very stressful time for both of us and it was so nice to escape those feelings of unease for the day to celebrate our relationship. Johnny’s theory was that he wanted to make the dinner special because he couldn’t take me out to a restaurant. He succeeded with flying colors and, to me – a night in like that trumps going out on the town any time.

How have you celebrated special occasions in self-isolation? How have you kept your spirits up during this difficult time? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Passing Time In Self-Isolation Pt. 2

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Passing Time In Self-Isolation Pt. 2

Hello! Crazy times, amiright? And, amid all of this craziness, it is so important to keep yourselves safe and healthy. This means limiting your time in public as much as possible. And, you know what? That’s fine by me! I have been having the best time hunkered down with Johnny (my boyfriend) playing Rock Band, watching Band Of Brothers, and indulging in our new obsession of Magic The Gathering. As much as I enjoy an evening at the bar, a quiet evening in is definitely what I prefer.

I had to laugh at a meme that said something like “when you realize your normal lifestyle is considered a quarantine” because that holds quite a bit of accuracy to me! But, if you’re still struggling to find ways to keep yourself occupied, allow me to suggest the following:

Learn Something New:

Sure, you could spend your time in self-isolation binging TV… And, believe you me, I’ve had my fair share of America’s Next Top Model marathons. But, you could also use this time to learn something new. Take a virtual tour of a museum, which is now being offered through a lot of establishments. Try your hand at a new language. Give a craft on Pinterest a shot. You’ll be amazed at where you end up once the self-isolation recommendation has lifted if you chip away at a new skill every day.

Cook A Great Meal:

I am so thankful that I went grocery shopping a week before all of the closings started happening because my pantry is fully stocked. And, since going out for dinner isn’t possible right now, I have enjoyed cooking in my kitchen every day. I love making breakfast over the weekend for my boyfriend and revel in when I can have dinner ready for him when he gets home. It is never not satisfying to me to lay out a meal that I made.

Open up a recipe book and give a few new ones a go, cook an old favorite, or bake and decorate a cake. An afternoon helping mom or dad bake cookies always goes down well for the little ones, too!

Exercise:

Unfortunately, all of the skating rinks in my neck of the woods are closed so I cannot have my weekly skate sesh. This sucks but it also doesn’t mean that I can’t still be active, which is so crucial when you’re stuck at home and being more sedentary. Do some crunches during your TV time or lift some weights. And, although community hangs are frowned upon – going out for a brisk hike or walk around the neighborhood isn’t.

Rearrange/Redecorate:

If you’re beginning to feel the effects of cabin fever, try rearranging your home or the room that you spend the most time in. Switching out knick knacks, changing the position of the couch, or reorganizing your book or movie shelves can breathe a whole new life into a space. And, if you’re on the hunt for something brand new, order online and make sure you love it since you’re going to be seeing a lot of it for a while. 😉

Although things feel scary right now don’t let it get in the way of enjoying yourself as you try out the ideas above!

How has the coronavirus effected you? What have you been doing to stay occupied? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip EVER

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The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip EVER

Hi! One of my favorite snack foods has to be spinach artichoke dip with tortilla chips or Wheat Thins. I love the cheesy goodness along with the crunch of your dipping utensil and I enjoy it so much that I can eat it by the fork full! One of my client’s moms just so happens to make the best spinach artichoke dip that I have ever tasted and I am going to share it with all of you. The secret ingredient? Water chestnuts! Prepare to drool in five, four, three, two, one…

Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • 1 bag of fresh spinach (Think the size of a salad mix)
  • 1 bar of Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 can of water chestnuts
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts
  • 1 small bag of shredded mozzarella cheese

Chop up the veggies, mix everything together, and bake until light brown on top.

This recipe for spinach artichoke dip surpasses any kind that I’ve ordered at the restaurant or bought at the store by a landslide. The variety of cheeses combined with the crisp crunch of the water chestnuts makes my taste buds do a dance for joy every time. This is the perfect treat to make for a party or game night with your friends (I’ve already made it quite a few times for my “crew” and it has been a hit.) … But you might want to double the batch as it will go quick!

What is your favorite snack food? What do you like to cook for entertaining guests? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Make Your Home Feel Like Christmas

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How To Make Your Home Feel Like Christmas

It’s winter, the days are shorter, and the feeling of wanting to stay inside and watch movies is getting stronger by the minute. Not to worry, most of us have had the winter blues at some point. Christmas is an excellent opportunity to get into the festive spirit, decorate your home, and invite friends and family over to enjoy the holidays with you. Here’s how to make your home feel like Christmas for your celebrations:

Make it smell nice:

Having scented candles around the house can do wonders for getting you into the festive spirit. Feel free to change candles throughout the week, and try pine-scented candles as well as clove and cinnamon. Along with candles, if you have a real Christmas tree, the natural smell of pine will go beautifully with other Christmasy scents. Feel free to make your own candles if you’re feeling particularly adventurous!

Make warming recipes:

A delicious way to dine this Christmas is to create wholesome dishes that will keep you warm this winter. While you may want to save yourself for the big day, the Christmas period is a time for indulging so don’t feel bad for having a few extra treats. Recipes that taste particularly good when it’s cold include soups, stews, and roasted vegetables. Traditional recipes and comfort food can be enjoyed in abundance during this time. Try to cook this recipe for homemade chicken and drop dumplings, a delicious recipe that is both seasonal and harks back to grandma’s cooking.

Light it up:

Placing lights around your house will automatically give it a Christmas feeling. Keep the lighting warm and low, with soft lamps and candles rather than overhead lighting. Outdoor lights will go wonderfully in your backyard, especially when the sun has set and you look outside your window in the evening. There are many kinds of lights that you can go for, but consider using energy-saving lights, as the cost of lighting decorations and electric lights over Christmas can be very expensive.

Set up treats around your home:

Setting up bowls or jars around the house filled with Christmas goodies is a nice way to enjoy some sweet treats while also functioning as decoration. Cute ideas include filling these bowls or jars with candy canes, chocolate coins, and marshmallows. Having these treats on hand is great when you’re making hot chocolate, as you can grab a couple of marshmallows or chocolate pieces to add on top.

Blankets, throws, and cushions:

Staying cozy at home with a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate or mulled cider automatically makes me feel Christmasy. Having blankets and throws on your couch adds a nice winter feel, especially if you are lucky enough to have a natural fire. Thick knit blankets and woolen cushion covers are both comfy and fashionable additions to your interior design.

Spending time with loved ones is the best way to enjoy Christmas. After all, that’s what the season is all about. How ever you choose to enjoy the winter period, keep it festive with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Breakfast Of Champions

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Breakfast Of Champions

*Trigger Warning: This post contains references to eating disorders.

Hellooo everyone! Eating “normally” has always been something that I’ve struggled with. From eating too much to not eating at all and a battle with bulimia, food turned into my best friend and worst enemy. I still struggle with occasional spurts of not wanting to eat or a strong desire to have a binge and purge sesh and do my damnedest to fight the urge. And, I have to say, I have been doing a great job and I am proud of that.

One thing that has helped me with my food related issues has been trying to create a normal schedule for myself of when to eat. And, for once, this includes breakfast – something that I would avoid until around May of this year when I was settled into my apartment. For some reason, there was nothing more satisfying to me than waking up in my own place, opening my refrigerator to examine the food that I bought by myself, and making something tasty to eat.

Now, mind you, it’s never like I’m making some super gourmet breakfast extravaganza. Rather, I usually opt for something easy like my favorites of eggie in a basket or a bagel with a sunny side up egg and a slice of cheese on it. I also will go for just eggs and toast or a bagel with cream cheese. As a vegetarian and not a vegan, I am very mindful of where my eggs come from and always choose the cage free/free roaming option and these are a staple you can find in my fridge more often than not along with bagels and a grainy loaf of bread.

Eating breakfast was never important to me until I started realizing the impact it had on my day. It made me drive to work without dreading it, I would feel satisfied but not bursting at the seams, and I wasn’t obsessively counting down the minutes until lunch. My attitude seemed to improve tenfold and by the time lunch rolled around, I wasn’t chomping at the bit to indulge in a huge meal.

Of course, I value my beauty sleep and don’t always have the time to cook something for myself in the morning. But, I like that I have made this positive and healthy change in my life and have been keeping up with it. And, guess what? Adding an extra meal didn’t effect my weight in any way shape or form, which was my main concern.

Living as an eating disorder survivor is a difficult thing, because it’s always going to be a nagging little thought in the back of your mind. Very much how it is with my self harm struggles. But, the harder I work at making healthy choices when it comes to food, the weaker those voices become. And, maybe some day, I won’t ever have to deal with them at all.

What do you like to eat for breakfast? How do you make healthy choices when it comes to food? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Comfort Food

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Comfort Food

Hellooo everyone! When I’m in the mood for it, I love to cook. But, that is something that I really haven’t done in a while, opting for quick hunger fixes like sandwiches, eggs, cereal, and mac n cheese (of course!). I’ve wanted to make some more fulfilling meals for a while now but haven’t felt up to it. However, the bad bitch is back (lol) and I spent Sunday morning cooking up a pasta salad that will feed me for the week as well as some carrots with a butter glaze and rosemary. Check it out:

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When I go grocery shopping, I try to buy a lot of fresh veggies to eat with hummus as a snack. It’s important to me not to be wasteful so I really do try to eat absolutely everything that I buy before hitting the grocery again. In my fridge, I had a bag of baby carrots and some lovely little cherry tomatoes that had been sitting there for a while so I decided to make some simple culinary magic happen with the ingredients that I had in my fridge and pantry.

I enjoyed my cooking time so much because I feel like I haven’t made a substantial meal since moving into my apartment and it felt good to create something delicious for myself. Self care includes eating good food and I’m hoping that my mental health will improve while I work my way through the pot of pasta salad that I made all by myself.

Here is the makeshift recipe I created for the salad if you’d like to try it out for yourself. I know I’m partial to it because I made it but it is such a nice, light pasta salad perfect for summer!

  • 1 box bowtie pasta
  • 2 small jars of artichoke, pour it all in (liquid included!)
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes
  • Large chunks of mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese sprinkled over top
  • Seasoned with: Salt, pepper, basil, parsley, and oregano

And, for the carrots, I cooked them up, let them cook some more in butter, and then seasoned with salt, pepper, and rosemary.

I hope you enjoy my hodge podge pasta salad as much as I did and feel free to add your own twist onto it! 😀

What is your favorite dish to cook? What kind of food do you love to eat in the summer time? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah