Tag Archives: lockdown

More Fun & Games

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More Fun & Games

Hello! A few weeks ago, Johnny surprised me with a bunch of board games for us to play together and the last one in his haul arrived in the mail earlier this week. We have been having such a good time playing something other than Diablo III nonstop and are especially partial to the adventure board game, Horrified. Clearly, we enjoy more intense gaming options but that doesn’t mean we don’t like silly games too – and the latest addition to our board game collection definitely falls under that category! Check it out:

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Johnny and I are both huge Seinfeld fans and after purchasing Seinfeld Clue, he couldn’t not get the Festivus board game! Lol, Johnny and I were both in stitches just from the box and the directions. We have yet to play it because we think it would be better with more people but are excited to try it out during future game nights with our friends. As the box states several times, it really is a Festivus miracle and has inspired Johnny and I to get our own Festivus pole come the holiday season.

When we’re not saving our village from movie monsters in Horrified, Johnny has just started helping me with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I spent my childhood watching my siblings play Zelda games and while I have tried playing a few, I have never beaten one. Johnny, on the other hand, has beat them all several times and promised me he would guide me through Ocarina of Time when we inherited our friend’s Nintendo 64 and all of his old games. I’m still getting the hang of it and I am so glad to have Johnny’s expertise every step of the way.

Finally, I just beat Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door which Johnny got me for Valentine’s Day. In my youth, I rented this game from the video store but couldn’t beat the final boss so I was thrilled to reign supreme well over a decade later lol. The Thousand Year Door was such fun to play and I can’t wait to get the N64 Paper Mario so I can have the complete collection!

What is your favorite board game? How about your favorite video game? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

My Thoughts On The Elisa Lam Documentary

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My Thoughts On The Elisa Lam Documentary

Hey! So yesterday, we discussed various forms of my lock down entertainment but I left out one major talking point in the TV section. I had just watched the Netflix documentary, Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel and it was all news to me. Despite the Elisa Lam story apparently being huge in 2013, I had no idea about any of it – the haunting viral video, the dark past of the Cecil Hotel (American Horror Story even based Hotel off of The Cecil!), and all of the conspiracy theories of what could have happened to Elisa even though her death was ruled an accident.

Because I had no past recollection of the Elisa Lam story, I devoured the four part under four hour long documentary in one evening. It took me a while to digest all of the information because the “elevator” video was playing on a loop in my head. However, after thinking about it for a few days, there is still something about the Elisa Lam story that just doesn’t sit well with me. At the end of the day, we have no firm idea of what her last few days were like which makes the case feel severely lacking in closure. I don’t believe in any of the far fetched conspiracies about the case but I have a feeling that the management of the Cecil Hotel knew more than they were letting on. The hotel manager didn’t seem particularly trustworthy to me and she had an extremely defensive standpoint throughout the documentary.

Speaking of conspiracies, I thought that this documentary focused way too much on them. I was completely shocked to learn at the very end of The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel of Elisa Lam’s struggle with her mental health as well as her family’s confirmation of it. Instead of starting a conversation about mental health, the documentary almost encouraged the Internet Sleuth sensation while only briefly glazing over a life that these “detectives” ruined – Pablo Vergara’s. Elisa Lam’s story just felt like it got added in after the fact.

This is the third documentary that I have watched recently on Netflix and I can’t say that I have been very impressed with any of them. Each documentary has just had so much extra crap muddled in that I feel like it doesn’t do the actual story any justice. While the first two episodes of Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel were really gripping and informative the remaining two indulged heavily in conspiracy theories which was a missed opportunity for more meaningful conversation.

What are your thoughts on the Elisa Lam story? What was the last documentary you watched? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Mental Health And Who Is There To Support You

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Mental Health And Who Is There To Support You

It is understandable to see how one’s mental health can be effected during the COVID-19 pandemic as everyone’s lives have changed so drastically in one short year. Jobs, finances, and socializing has all been turned upside down and that’s enough to stress anyone out. We all hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and normality will return soon, but in the meantime, if you are finding yourself struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression that you reach out and get the support you need.

Here are some useful suggestions on who you could turn to:

Mental Health Charities:

Mental health charities are wonderful as they have a stash of resources, trained staff, and professionals available to help. They can guide you and assist if counseling is needed, help you assess the best options available in your location, in addition to offering their services twenty-four hours a day. It is worth noting with charities, that there is a vast range of services offered and that some charities may have a more in-depth knowledge relating to specific age groups than others.

Your Family Doctor:

Approaching your personal doctor or physician is also a good port of call if you have any mental health concerns. They will be able to offer excellent guidance on additional support that can be provided and help arrange this for you. Whilst in some cases, they may even be able to prescribe medication to help support your recovery. As you will already have some relationship with this medical professional you may find this an easier first step than approaching someone new.

Employer:

Most employers have some kind of support system in place to help their employees. This will range from office workers that have occupational health benefits or private insurance included to actors and actresses that have an intimacy set coordinator in place to support their mental well being. Although you may find it tough approaching your boss to discuss these matters, know that they are there to help and support you.

Family And Friends:

Sometimes it can be easier to speak to someone you know and trust. Who is better than those that love you the most? Reaching out to a family member or close friend can make seeking help easier for some people. They already have an understanding of your situation, circumstances, and struggles. They are able to offer a friendly ear and, in some cases, can take some of the burdens you are feeling and offer or apply practical solutions to lift your mental load. Schedule a Zoom call with your best friend the next time you are feeling down, it will do a world of good.

It is important to talk about our feelings in such stressful times, not bottle them up! This will only make the pandemic feel more overwhelming. Schedule a call with a professional or a friend you trust to help ease mental health struggles and just know that you are not alone in feeling that way, at all.

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My Lock Down Entertainment

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My Lock Down Entertainment

Hi! My lock down entertainment has mostly consisted of watching movies and TV and playing video games with Johnny as well as practicing Duolingo and reading at my leisure. Prior to the pandemic, Johnny and I already had a majority of the available streaming services and I was thankful for all of them then and I’m even more thankful for them now because we will never hurt for something to watch! Here is the latest of what we have been enjoying lately:

TV Shows:

Johnny has currently been making his way through a couple of Ken Burns documentaries and if I don’t feel like watching, then I might pop on an anime on my computer. Johnny and I recently watched Castlevania on Netflix and, despite season three not being the best, it was overall really good. My brother recommended Parasyte and Demon Slayer to me and I absolutely loved Parasyte and finished it in a matter of days! I am now working my way through Demon Slayer and plan on giving Death Note a try next.

When we are not watching our shows separately, Johnny and I love tuning into the new episodes of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, Superstore, and Saturday Night Live every week. We also just binged The Mandalorian in a week! I am absolutely obsessed with The Child and already can’t wait for season three. Since The Office has been taken off of Netflix, we are watching King Of The Hill as our comedy and I am absolutely obsessed with Bobby too, lol. I am also very much looking forward to Netflix’s Sandman series which should be coming out at the end of 2021!

PS: For my fellow French speakers, La Mante on Netflix was excellent. 🙂

Movies:

Johnny and I really haven’t been watching too many movies lately. We watched Mad Max: Fury Road on Valentine’s Day at Johnny’s request and it was whatever, haha. It was just a two hour long car chase! Other than that, we watched Casablanca a few weeks ago which was fun because I had never seen it and Johnny has only saw it once. Trust and believe we said “we’ll always have Paris” like five hundred times while Johnny built his LEGO Paris skyline set. Obviously, we thought it was pretty funny lol!

Other than that, I watched a couple of French movies on Netflix in the past few months and both of them were awesome! If you like foreign films, then definitely check out Mon Frere and The Most Assassinated Woman In The World.

Reading:

The last book that I read was The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher which was not only crazy AF but fairly disturbing. I definitely needed a palette cleanser after that so I am just in the process of finishing The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley. It is a charming, weaving tale of how one little book ended up bringing together a group of unlikely friends. I only have a little over one hundred pages left so be on the lookout for a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club soon.

Duolingo:

On my last Duolingo update, I had just reached my one hundred day streak and I am currently past one twenty-five. I am so proud of my commitment to learning French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech as well as all of the progress that I have been making because I can definitely tell a difference. I also still can’t recommend Duolingo Plus enough. It is so nice to have unlimited hearts during a difficult lesson and also ad free which speeds up the process immensely.

Video Games:

For Valentine’s Day, Johnny got me Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door for the GameCube and I have been having so much fun playing it! I have been on a huge Mario kick during the pandemic and beat Paper Mario: The Origami King and Super Mario Galaxy which were both a blast. I have basically dropped off of Animal Crossing but will pop back on once they do an update for spring. You can only catch the same fish and bugs so much, ya know? Johnny and I play a lot of Diablo III together and we are also about to inherit our friend’s Nintendo 64 so we are really looking forward to that!

While going out would be nice, it’s just not safe right now. But you know what is nice for me? Ample time to watch all of the shows I never had time for, read all the books, and improve on my favorite hobbies – all while helping slow the spread of COVID-19. Enjoy your time in and make the most of it!

What has been your lock down entertainment? Which streaming service do you use the most? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Learning A New Craft In Lock Down

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Learning A New Craft In Lock Down

Hello! Life in lock down is, honestly, so boring at this point but the safety of ourselves, loved ones, and complete strangers is important and it makes all of the monotony worth it. If you have exhausted all of your ideas to keep you occupied at home, then it might be time to retire from your streaming services and try a new craft. There are so many amazing videos, kits, and how to guides out there to create something new and, today, we’re going to discuss a few of those options:

Knit Kits:

If you are interested in knitting, crochet, or macrame or would like to take the hobby up again, then there are so many websites that you can purchase kits from. Ranging in difficulty from beginner to intermediate and advanced, each kit provides you with the pattern, step by step guide, and materials needed for you to make a scarf, sweater, or blanket. Stitch & Story, We Are Knitters, and Wool And The Gang are all great websites to browse through for your next project! When the weather is nice, you could even host a social distanced knitting circle in your own backyard.

Restoring Old Furniture:

A trip to the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or even shopping online through Facebook Marketplace can give you access to all kinds of gently used furniture just begging for a makeover. You could repair, repaint, or reupholster new life into secondhand items and redo your entire living room. Not to mention, make some extra cash if you ever want to turn your craft into a side hustle. Don’t forget garage sale style apps as well as Poshmark if you would like to profit from your new hobby.

Building With LEGO:

My boyfriend and I absolutely love building with LEGO and, although it isn’t a craft per se, I just had to include it on this list. Did you know that a LEGO replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night will soon be available for purchase? What about a botanical collection that boasts bouquets, bonsai trees, and succulents? LEGO is constantly adding new sets with unique pieces and colors and are always finding innovative ways to work surprises into each build, which makes it an exciting hobby to have.

You can showcase your creative side with LEGO through free building or incorporating different sets into your home decor. I would sure like to have a LEGO Starry Night hanging on my wall!

Homemade Products:

Making your own cleaning products, candles, and bath and body care can be a really fun hobby, makes great gifts, and helps save you money. Online guides will help you develop your new craft and you can even experiment with your own recipes once you have a better idea for the best ingredients and techniques. You will feel comforted in knowing exactly what is going into the products that you are using and, who knows, it could just turn into a side hustle in the future if you create something really good!

Don’t forget to check in with your local businesses and boutiques because some of the owners might be offering online workshops for homemaking different products or art. For example, the local specialty knitting shop in my area, Harps & Thistles, offers knitting kits too and it’s always cool to shop local. 🙂

Have you learned a new craft during the pandemic? How about improved on any old hobbies? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Whole Lotta Nothing

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Whole Lotta Nothing

Hi everyone!! Valentine’s Day has come and past and, now, I am eagerly awaiting the warm weather and (hopefully) lack of snow that comes with the spring time. It is exciting to think of the possibilities that come with spring amidst the COVID-19 pandemic because warmer weather means the opportunity to social distance with friends outside. Unfortunately, we are not quite there yet as Ohio has been getting hit with a fair amount of snow, which means a few more months of a whole lotta nothing.

Johnny and I will have been hunkered down for an entire year on March 19th and we will continue doing so until it’s considered safe. However, I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t getting a little impatient waiting for it! The excitement of the holiday season has been long gone and, while it has been nice hibernating, it will be even nicer to enjoy the sunshine and see people in person (while following all safety regulations) as opposed to on the screen of my laptop.

Despite having a whole lotta nothing going on, I still feel insanely lucky because boring is good right now. Being tucked safely into the apartment with Johnny watching our shows, listening to music, or playing games is the best thing that we can both be doing for ourselves and loved ones and I am proud of our dedication for the past year. The pandemic is a scary thing but knowing that we are both doing everything we can to protect people is really comforting to me.

If the cabin fever is starting to kick in more intensely for you in your lock down lifestyle, I get it completely. But, in a few short weeks, the sun will be shining and being outdoors with friends will be possible and I encourage all of you to keep holding on until then! Being able to say that you’re doing a whole lotta nothing during a pandemic is something to be grateful for, no matter how boring it is. Sink into the couch, start that new series on Netflix, and let the countdown till spring and better times begin!

What is your lock down lifestyle like? What are you looking forward to come spring? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Creating Your Dream Home

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Creating Your Dream Home

The COVID-19 pandemic has given us more time at home than many people have ever had before – myself, included. It looks like we will still be staying in for the foreseeable future so we might as well be spending this time in what we consider a “dream home”. If you are considering to start changing things up at your place, now is the perfect time. Not only is it a good time to start spring cleaning but, I’m sure everyone’s place is in desperate need of sprucing up and rearranging after spending almost an entire year inside!

Today, we are going to examine a few ideas from big to small to help you get started on creating a dream home that you can ride out the rest of the pandemic in:

Starting From Scratch:

If you are so sick of your house that you don’t even want to be in it anymore, you could start from scratch with our biggest change of building a new home. A brand new home that is completely designed by you and your family will, without a doubt, be your dream home since you had a say in everything about it! Sit down as a family and draw sketches of what you’d like your place to look like as well as a list of must haves that you need for it to be your dream home. Take a drive with your family to find the best location for your new place and don’t forget to obtain a building permit for said location or a building permit in Mississauga if you are in the area.

Adding More Space:

If you love your house but it’s starting to feel a little cramped, a much lesser project than building from scratch would be adding some extra rooms to your home. Whether this be a back sun room, an additional floor, or a guest suite, the additions will give your family more home to enjoy while allowing all of you to space out comfortably as we continue on with our lock down lifestyles. A guest suite could also become a lucrative business if you ever choose to rent it out!

Mini Makeovers:

Going room by room and giving each one a mini makeover is a surefire way to freshen up your space without breaking the bank. Mini makeovers can range from painting the room, installing new flooring or carpets, purchasing a new statement piece of furniture, or simply swapping out the decor from different areas of your home to make it feel like new again. Come up with a dream design for each room in your house, create a budget that you are comfortable with, and see what mini makeover magic you can create.

Home improvements and renovations to get your place up to your dream standards are not only exciting but are a great way to kill some free time while in lock down. Break out a dream journal for your house and get to work on creating a space that’s perfect for you and your family.

3 Ways To Keep Busy During Lock Down

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3 Ways To Keep Busy During Lock Down

As the days in lock down turn into weeks and the weeks roll into months, it can become increasingly difficult to know what else to do with all of this extra time on your hands. Well, most people always wished they had more time and now that it has come, we should put it to good use. Whether it’s spending more time with the children or learning something new, it’s safe to say that this opportunity will probably never become available again. Without a firm quarantine end date in sight, check out this list of three ways to keep busy during the lock down:

Learn a New Language:

The benefits of learning a new language go beyond being able to order food while on holiday. It also comes with both personal and professional advantages. On the personal side, it strengthens your IQ, and it is also a great workout for your brain. These cognitive benefits help to ward off dementia and enable you to be more decisive and focused on the task at hand. Did you know that learning a new language also sharpens your sensory perceptions in terms of touch, hearing, sight, speech, and movement? Not many other hobbies can attest to this claim.

On the professional side of things, having bilingual skills greatly opens up your job prospects and makes you more attractive to employers. For companies, it allows for a greater ability to reach new customers in new markets worldwide. Learning a foreign language also sharpens your communication skills making you a more rounded employee.

Take Up a New Hobby:

With most people working around the clock in today’s modern societies, not much time is left for extra-curricular activities and hobbies. Yet the advantages of having hobbies are priceless. For one thing, it keeps you present in that moment. A lot of time is spent regretting the past or planning for the future that most people never truly live in the ‘now’. Hobbies can be used for stress relief as it diverts your attention to something that creates pleasure. Hobbies help you connect with people or groups with similar interests. This encourages feelings of inclusion, support, and community, which is great for your mental health.

There are many hobbies that you can consider taking up, including writing, photography, cooking, and gardening. If you think that you have green fingers, why not get out of the house and into your backyard and try to grow something a bit different than the standard household vegetables. As summer is on the way, try growing some pineberries (white strawberries) or some achocha pods. If you’re really adventurous, you could look up how to grow a luffa gourd, then have the added benefits of organic sponges for your bath or kitchen. No matter what hobby you choose to take on, it will certainly help you while away the extra time on your hands.

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Give gardening a go!

Catch Up on Family Time:

Spending more time with your family can be done in multiple ways thanks to the technological advances in video calling. If you don’t have immediate family around you, then you could link up with them via Zoom, WhatsApp, and many more similar programs. Family time is probably the most important use of our time, yet hardly any time is committed to it. Why not jump in and play some fun games online with your kids or video call your aunt or grandparents – you’ll certainly be glad you did!

Dedicating your time to worthwhile hobbies will make your quarantine much more enjoyable. Choose something you’re interested in and watch a day go by as you immerse yourself in something new!

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