Tag Archives: ohio

Quarantine Life: It Can Still Be Fun

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Quarantine Life: It Can Still Be Fun

Hi! When I first moved into my apartment, I LOVED that shit. Seriously, it was awesome. A young business owner going here, there, and everywhere and then returning to my cool little place once the day was over. The annoyances of every apartment like loud neighbors and crappy air conditioning didn’t seem so bad because, in all reality, I wasn’t there that much.

Fast forward a year and some change later and, now, my boyfriend and I are confined to our apartment on the daily. Our on the go life style of a blogger (me) and working musician (he) got severely cramped by the coronavirus and the minor annoyances at chez nous have turned into major headaches.

Despite our quarantine living quarters not being ideal (It’s like living in your own personal sweat lodge.), Johnny and I still manage to have fun in our tiny little sauna. So, I am here to remind you that it is still possible to enjoy yourself from the safety of your home. In fact, the fact that I know I am safe at home makes my time that much more enjoyable.

It has been a big change to go from constantly being out to sometimes being fearful to leave the house. Unfortunately, that is the current state of things right now and once I accepted that boredom came with being safe, I felt a lot better about being home. It took Johnny and I while to come up with the perfect combination of at home entertainment but now that we have hit our sweet spot, this whole quarantine thing ain’t so bad. (Our most effective combo is playing The Office after Law & Order SVU.)

Yes, we have consumed more media content than is probably recommended for a lifetime but we still experienced new things. For example, Johnny bought me my first LEGO set and since then we have been hooked on building together. Or who can forget Hanks For The Memories when he introduced me to Forrest Gump and I taught him a thing or two about Cast Away.

Lame? Yes. Super fun? Obviously, or I wouldn’t be blogging about it! Now is the time to watch all the TV you can, so get hooked on a series with some friends and gab to your heart’s content. Watch something totally random. Order a book you would never read on your Kindle. Try cooking a difficult but delicious looking recipe. Your activities are, admittedly, limited at home so you might as well try to keep them interesting!

The most important thing I try to remember as Johnny and I continue to hunker down is a positive attitude. Of course, I’m not thrilled by any of this. But, it’s the best thing we can do to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. I also keep in mind that I will never get the chance to sit through an entire season of America’s Next Top Model in one day totally guilt free again. That is a positive and it makes sinking into the couch and hearing Johnny’s disgruntled comments about my favorite show all the more sweeter. 🙂

How do you keep a positive attitude during the coronavirus pandemic? What has been your favorite hobby to pass the time? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Keeping Sane In Quarantine

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Keeping Sane In Quarantine

Hello! Yours truly and my boyfriend have essentially been in quarantine mode since March nineteenth when the restaurants and bars in Ohio first shut down. Johnny was on furlough and just recently went back to work while I have been holding down the fort with my clients the whole time as an “essential” employee.

Our interactions with others (outside of work) has been very limited to occasional social distance hang outs with a friend or two and a weekly errand if we need anything from the store. This has, by no means, been the most fun I’ve ever had but with numerous high risk clients and family members, safety always comes first.

There was a point when cabin fever was really setting in and “this sucks” was my signature catchphrase for most of the day (Just ask Johnny!). So, what have I been doing to keep myself sane during close to four months of lock down? All of the following:

Writing Daily:

It has been really important to me to try and keep my daily schedule in tact, which means writing every day for lifewithlilred. Is coming up with content difficult when there’s literally nothing to do? YES!! But, it keeps my brain active and it’s fun for me. I have been continuing on with my schedule of getting up early before work to write and it is just the push I need to get myself up and going each and every day.

Reading A Ton:

There is only so much TV you can watch and video games you can play until your brain feels so mushy it would be a pleasure to read a dictionary. I have definitely been at that point, myself, in quarantine so I try to read a little every day. As usual, I have been loving reading my thriller/mystery books. The best part? A good whodoneit keeps my mind working once I’ve put the book down as I try to figure out what happens next. Bonus!

Perfecting Skills:

It has REALLY sucked not being able to go for my weekly figure skating practices because I looked forward to them so much. So, now, I have been focused more than ever on perfecting things that I can do from home. Like learning languages, for example. About two to three times a week I practice French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Czech while once weekly I work on American Sign Language.

Is sitting on my couch practicing languages as fun as hitting the rink? Yes, actually, in its own way. And, it gives me something to do on a scheduled basis which is why I think I have been so dedicated to Duolingo for the past few months.

Not Going Social Media Crazy:

With everyone butting heads with different opinions right now as well as constantly being flooded with news of the mainly bad kind – social media can feel overwhelming, especially right now. If scrolling through your newsfeed is making you feel more upset than entertained, then maybe it’s time for you to take a brief hiatus. Plenty of my friends have and I find myself shying away from checking my Facebook 24/7 too.

There’s only so much bickering and bad news you can take and if you’re seeing it all of the time, it’s no wonder why you might not be feeling your best! Take a break from your social and replace that time with something that makes you laugh online like your favorite comedy YouTube videos or dog related memes. :*)

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How have you been keeping yourself sane in quarantine? How have you been keeping yourself safe? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How Do I Go Out Social Distance Style?

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How Do I Go Out Social Distance Style?

Hello! A follow up question that Johnny and I usually get asked after “what do we do all day?” while in quarantine is “how do you go out?”. The answer? Very carefully, of course! Other than going to work, we limit ourselves to one to two individual errands per week and we always have our face masks on and hand sanitizer at the ready.

As far as grocery shopping goes, I try to do a big shopping haul once a month. My supermarkets are trying to social distance the best they can with one way aisles but I feel like not everyone cares to use them. So, if groceries are needed, I try to go first thing in the morning before stores get too crowded.

If there’s a random place we need to go to like the gas station, bank, etc. both Johnny and I formulate a game plan that will get us in and out the quickest. We also have masks and sanitizer on hand in our cars in case we need to make an unexpected stop. It’s just best to be prepared, is all.

Finally, as you all can see, I got my hair and my nails done. How did I do that? Very carefully, of course! Lol, actually, all of the salons I go to for my beauty treatments are being exceptional at following the highest safety precautions. I was informed by either the owners of the salon or an employee of what was being done to keep everyone safe and I felt comfortable with all of the measures being taken. Like the following:

  • Getting your temperature taken before entering.
  • Masks required by all (Employees and customers).
  • Washing hands required immediately after entering.
  • Limited number of employees and customers in at one time (Under ten).
  • Way beyond six feet of room between everyone for social distance standards.
  • Plexiglass between employee and customer (At nail salon).
  • Sanitizing after each customer.

With all of the amazing steps being taken to keep each salon up and running safely, I felt okay going in to get pampered. I spread each appointment out by a week or two so I wasn’t going out too frequently and I was so happy each time because I felt safe and totally awesome after going months without being able to go to a salon.

Johnny and I are taking all of this craziness in stride and are living our lives right now by doing only what makes us feel comfortable. How we feel might not be the same as everyone else but it works for us and that’s all that matters to me. ❤

What social distance standards did stores in your area put in place? Are masks required where you live? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Cotton Candy Grapes: YUM

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Cotton Candy Grapes: YUM

Hello! Everyone has a different taste when it comes to their preferred snacks. Some have a sweet tooth and others enjoy the salty and savory. I, myself, love my salty snacks and don’t eat sweets very often. However, a certain time comes around every month that leaves me craving ALL of the sugary goodness. The worst part? I never have anything to satisfy the cravings in my apartment! Until now. Allow me to introduce the cotton candy grape:

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I don’t know if any of you have heard of cotton candy grapes or if they are an Ohio thing. But, every summer when the farmers markets begin opening, my Facebook newsfeed is flooded with customers raving about this cotton candy flavored fruit. I have always been interested in trying these because, despite lacking a sweet tooth, I love cotton candy… Go figure, lol. Unfortunately, I have never seen them at the grocery store before…

Until my last grocery shopping trip, that is! For Mother’s Day, I went to Giant Eagle to get flowers and decided that I might as well restock my cabinets while I’m there too. Giant Eagle has a much wider selection than my normal stomping grounds of Marc’s but they are definitely more expensive, which is why I don’t shop there often.

Although I felt like I was splurging on all of my Giant Eagle purchases, it was hard to say no to things that I’ve never even seen before. Like my grapes, for example. I couldn’t believe it when the cotton candy grapes were just casually sitting in their fruit department and put the bag into my cart with cat like reflexes, eager to go home and try them.

And, let me tell you, these grapes did not disappoint. Popping one into your mouth is the equivalent of taking a tiny bite of cotton candy and it’s delicious. And it is a WAY better option than eating an entire box of chocolate while Aunt Flo visits for the week! 😀

Do you have a favorite food that not many people have heard of? What are some foods that are unique to your area? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Keeping Things Exciting In Self-Isolation

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Keeping Things Exciting In Self-Isolation

Hello! It has come to the point in Ohio’s stay at home order where I am beginning to realize that this shit sucks. Lol, of course being at home is for the best right now and I completely agree with it but, damn, I’m going bored out of my mind. A few days ago, I decided that a little more excitement needs to be happening at my apartment before I go crazy. Here are a few of the ideas that I know I’ll be trying and a few extra ones for all of ya’ll:

Drinks On The Balcony:

Literally one of the first things my boyfriend, Johnny, and I say to each other on a nice day is how we wish we could be outdoors at one of our favorite bars in Kent. So, the next time the afternoon is bright and sunny when we both get off work, we are going to make a delicious mixed drink, set up some chairs on my balcony, and enjoy an evening pretending we’re out with our friends.

So, that last part was lame. But, concocting a rum punch, making some snacks, and spending an evening outside isn’t! If we can’t go out to our old stomping grounds, we might as well just make “Sarah’s Balcony” our new favorite bar!

Build A Model:

Johnny and I have been on a big Lego kick lately because of the insanely fun contest show “Lego Masters”. We have watched the documentaries and the movies and, now, we are ready to try our hand at building some for ourselves. One of our next plans is to order a big Lego set like the two thousand piece pirate ship and work on it together.

I have never played with Lego before and Johnny loves it so I know it will be a fun evening or two spent in block building harmony. Plus, seeing the end result of what we created is a huge exciting bonus. 😀

Make Things Grow:

Although there is nowhere in my apartment community to garden or plant flowers, I can still have some indoor plants! Potted flowers, herbs, or plants are a great project to work on. Or, if you have space to plant on your property – take it outdoors! Tending to a plant and helping it grow is so rewarding and there is nothing more exciting than seeing the first sprouts of your success.

Take Advantage Of Your Options:

In Ohio, carry out is still going strong at restaurants. And, what’s better? It just became approved to do take out drinks, as well! Although Johnny and I have cooked at home almost every day of this quarantine, it is still nice to get a treat. Hopefully this upcoming weekend, we will be ordering Mexican food from our favorite restaurant and Margaritas to go for a day date.

Is this the best option? No. But it’s a damn good one and no matter how bad I want to eat at a restaurant, sitting on the couch while eating Mexican food, drinking Margs, and watching Community with my beau sounds like an enticing close second. Take advantage of the options going on in your area and use it to spice up your day!

There is nothing wrong with saying that everything about right now sucks. But, be that as it may, there are still options to have some fun. Use the ideas above to help you get started!

How do you keep things exciting in self-isolation? How do you plan on treating yourself during this crazy time? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Things I’m Looking Forward To

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Things I’m Looking Forward To

Hello! Sometimes the best way to keep yourself sane during these difficult times is to just plan ahead and think of all of the exciting stuff you’d like to do once stay at home orders have been lifted. Believe you me, I have quite a few locations on my list as soon as I can safely go but with safely being the key word! When I am feeling down and out about the current situation, I just think about spending time at the following:

TJMaxx:

Lol, obviously TJMaxx is going to be number one on my list! Had I known that the last time I went shopping at TJs was the literal last time, I would have gone much harder. So, now, I look forward to a future massive haul filled with warm weather clothing, skin care, accessories and whatever else my heart desires. Hell, I earned it after months on end of being in lock down!

Elysian Nails:

When I first realized I wasn’t going to be able to go for my monthly fill at Elysian Nails, I was really upset. I know this sounds petty but that is the one thing I look forward to every month like clockwork. To me, there is nothing better than that hour or so of pampering and I always leave the salon feeling so good about myself.

I couldn’t imagine being without my acrylics so, until those salon doors open up, I bought myself an at home acrylic kit so I can attempt to DIY them. There will be more to come on that later when the kit arrives in the mail – we’ll see what happens. 😀

The Shear Shop:

I have to tell you all, I do feel quite lucky because a few days before the stay at home order was issued in Ohio, I got my hair cut and my nails done. But, Lil Red is going to be making a drastic change to her locks once this order has been lifted and I am absolutely itching to get into the salon chair. Look out for a brand new me!

Going On A Date:

Of course I love hanging out with my boyfriend at home and our impromptu date nights but I cannot wait to go on an actual night on the town with Johnny. Drinks on the patio at a bar, a dinner out – the works. I don’t care where we go and it doesn’t have to be expensive, just being in an actual restaurant and having a drink and dinner made for me is more than enough. And getting dressed up will be the cherry on top!

The Skating Rink:

It has been well over a month since I was last able to go for a lesson with my coach at the skating rink and I miss it dreadfully. Ice skating is not only my favorite form of exercise but it’s a creative outlet for me and it’s hard not to be out on the ice once a week. I’m thankful the weather in Ohio is clearing up so I can go for walks but nothing is better than a brisk skate on the ice.

Above are just a few of the things I’m looking forward to doing once it’s safe to do so and just thinking about it makes me feel a little better. What are you looking forward to? Where is the first place you’re going to go? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Having A Virtual Drink

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Having A Virtual Drink

Hi! It’s so crazy to think that just a few weeks ago, Johnny and I were participating in game nights with our friends over the weekend. Now, we are safely tucked away in my apartment after work and on the weekends due to Ohio’s stay at home order to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

We have a pretty close knit group of friends and we miss them. So, over the weekend we had a virtual drink over FaceTime with a couple we are friends with named Kevin and Christine. It was so nice to chat with and “see” someone other than ourselves and I just had to tell all of you about it in case you are missing the homies, too.

Try scheduling a virtual drink with your besties while hunkering down is the name of the game. You will seriously feel so much better after you have a conversation with a friend that isn’t over text message and it can create a pleasant evening or afternoon if you are having difficulties figuring out ways to occupy yourself. Pour a glass of wine, sit back, and enjoy. *Virtual cheers to you* 🙂

How have you been keeping in touch with friends in self-isolation? What is the coronavirus status where you live? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Be My Friend!

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Be My Friend!

Hello! With the stay in order in Ohio still going strong, I definitely have been spending more than the average amount of time on social media. So, I figured it was a great time to remind all of you that you are more than welcome to friend me on Facebook at: Sarah Mushenheim. Just send me a message so I know who you are and I’ll accept your friend request so you can see all of the dope memes I’ve been sharing. 😉

And, in case you don’t know what I look like, this is my profile picture:

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Catch ya on The Book! 💃

Self-Isolation Check In

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Self-Isolation Check In

Hi! Towards the third week of March, Ohio issued a stay home order that put a name to the suggested self-isolation constantly being recommended. This means that the only times you should be out in the general public is if your work is deemed “essential” or you are shopping at an essential business like the grocery store, pharmacy, or are stopping at the gas station.

This hasn’t been too bad, because all of the nonessential businesses and restaurants have already been closed for a while so it’s not like a bunch of fun stuff instantly got taken away. Both my boyfriend and I work in fields that are considered “essential” so we are lucky enough to still be able to go to work. But, trust and believe that as soon as we get off of work, we are hunkered down in my apartment for the rest of the day.

My time in self-isolation has proven to be pretty fruitful. I love spending time with my boyfriend playing video, card, and board games and watching all kinds of good movies and shows. Recently, we got into watching Lego Masters and that has been our latest obsession in quarantine.

I also have made good on my promise to read Doctor Sleep by Stephen King and have been enjoying that greatly. And, as often as I can, I try to practice the languages that I am learning on Duolingo: French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Czech. It makes me feel good to exercise my brain after what feels like nonstop TV time and it also really helps to break up the boredom with something more mentally stimulating.

What I am most excited about during this stay at home order, however, is that the weather is finally nice enough to hike – which is still allowed! I am looking forward to being more active with walks as often as I can because I am in such a slump without being able to go to the skating rink. So, hopefully this will help decrease all of the energy I have in the evening from not doing much of anything for the past month! 😀

How have you been spending time in self-isolation? Did you set any goals for yourself to accomplish? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

I’m So Excited!

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I’m So Excited!

Hello! One of my favorite things about dating my boyfriend, Johnny, is that we always have so many exciting plans to look forward to. We both love being out and about, planning trips, and going to concerts and we definitely will be doing a lot of all of that as we continue trying to kick winter out the door in Ohio.

Upon the warmer weather, I can’t wait to go back to our favorite bars with a patio to have drinks and play games with our friends outside. But, I am absolutely chomping at the bit to get to our bigger plans, because we have quite a few! Including:

1) Seeing Jesus Christ Super Star at Playhouse Square in Cleveland. My dad got me and Johnny tickets for Christmas because it is my favorite musical and I am simply thrilled to be able to see it live. I am also lucky enough to see it twice because one of my old theater friends invited me to go with her, too! 😀

2) The Rolling Stones concert in Cleveland! Aw yeahhhh. Johnny, my parents, my brother, and I will be in nosebleed seats attendance for this show. My dad hasn’t seen the Stones since the 70s and Johnny and I have never seen them and they are his all time favorite band. So, needless to say, we are over the moon excited.

3) Johnny and I will also be attending a Marilyn Manson and potentially Ozzy Osbourne concert if his health permits. My MAN got me tickets for Christmas just like I asked him to and I cannot wait to see my other man, Marilyn Manson, perform for the third time. Johnny hasn’t seen him live before so I can’t wait for him to experience that! Ozzy Osbourne performing would just be the cherry on top.

4) And, finally, for Johnny’s birthday I got us tickets to Riot Fest in Chicago. Riot Fest is a three day music festival and My Chemical Romance will be headlining. We don’t know anything else about the lineup except for that but it was enough to make me buy tickets because Johnny is always talking about how he’d love to see them live again. Our long weekend in Chicago is one of the major highlights of this summer and I am so happy I was able to score tickets that sold out within eight minutes for the two of us!

It’s always nice to have something to look forward to and Johnny and I have an abundance of that. I can’t wait to fill all of you in on all of these exciting events when they happen so keep it posted!

What are you looking forward to? What concerts are you attending this year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah