Tag Archives: pandemic

Must Have Products For Ultimate Relaxation

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Must Have Products For Ultimate Relaxation

With the pandemic still going strong and cold weather on the horizon, there is no better time to turn your home into a relaxation station to keep yourself safe and warm. Today, we are going to look at a few key elements to provide for the ultimate R&R experience from the comfort of your house or apartment. Let’s get to it:

Sound Machines:

Sound machines are an ideal option if you have trouble sleeping or concentrating when working from home. These handy little machines can give you a range of different sounds from white noise to crashing waves and rain falling. Not to mention that they are great for soothing infants! Sound machines can be a perfect replacement for keeping the TV on before bed if you need some noise to fall asleep as it will eliminate the harsh lighting, which is doing you no favors as you try to nod off.

Speaking Of Sleep:

Speaking of sleep, when was the last time that you got a new mattress? Your mattress should be replaced, roughly, every seven years and a brand new one will do wonders for relaxation. Do your research and find a quality mattress for sale so you can sleep peacefully every night. A new mattress combined with a sound machine will surely help you feel more well rested when the alarm goes off in the morning.

Soothing Hobbies:

There are plenty of hobbies that are, easily, more relaxing than others and include everything from knitting and reading to adult coloring books. Engaging in a hobby that promotes mindfulness is a great way to step away from the stress of your day to day life. Spending some quiet time with yourself lost in a good book or creating something beautiful is one of the best ways to spend a snowy day in.

Soft Lighting:

Harsh, bright lighting is never conducive to helping you relax. Of course, brighter lighting in appropriate areas like your kitchen and office are a necessity. However, you can opt for softer, dim lighting in the living room and bedroom to increase your relaxation even more. Dim lights enhanced by twinkling fairy lights or a Himalayan salt lamp will create a lovely ambiance and can allow your body to get in a more zen state come evening time.

Ready, set, relax with the products above to turn your snow days in into much needed R&R time for you!

Bath & Body Works September Freebie

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Bath & Body Works September Freebie

Hi! Treating myself to my favorite bath and body care is one of my favorite things to do, which is why I love shopping with Bath & Body Works. When you shop their sales or their amazing semi annual sale, you can score the best deals and I always look forward to replenishing my beauty care hoard with them. What’s more, they are constantly sending coupons in the mail for freebies and percentages off your purchase. This past week, I picked up this super handy September freebie:

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no better freebie than a pocket sized hand sanitizer! When it came to picking out which scent I wanted for my hand sani, it was important to me to find one with a fairly neutral scent. The last hand sanitizer by B&BW that I picked out years ago was a fall fragrance but it was so overly pungent that I never wanted to use it. While there were more exciting scents to choose from, I ended up with Be A Good Human, which is a simple citrus fragrance.

This pocket sized hand sanitizer is ideal for being on the go since it fits so comfortably on your person or in your purse. Although it was an inexpensive freebie, I was so happy with it and thought that it was a great idea on B&BW’s part. I will definitely be using my Be A Good Human sanitizer often and plan on purchasing it again once I run out!

What is your favorite Bath & Body Works scent? Which store offers the best freebies and promotions? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What’s Cookin?

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What’s Cookin?

Hello! I have always enjoyed cooking and have fond memories of making anything and everything together with my mom. Cooking in the kitchen in my apartment is an entirely different story, though, because it’s so small and I don’t know about you guys, but I like having lots of room to spread out when I’m making food. I also don’t know about you guys, but I fell into a bit of a depression during the most extreme parts of the pandemic and that left me never feeling like even attempting to make home cooked meals.

The stress of working throughout the pandemic as well as a job that I wasn’t entirely thrilled with really contributed to my slump and it made it hard to do just about anything when I would return home from work. However, this past month has been a complete one eighty as I accepted a new position that I am in love with. Every day, I have come home so happy and both Johnny and I can’t remember the last time I would get off work in such an amazing mood.

Because of this, my love of cooking has definitely been reignited and I have been making meals several times a week for me and my husband to enjoy. Below are some of the favorite recipes that I have whipped up so far and it has felt great to have delicious meals to serve every night. Check it out:

This past month, I have made mac n’ cheese, veggie enchiladas, quesadillas, and pizza. I also used a super easy recipe for pepperoni bread for my non vegetarian husband that he is crazy about. When I began cooking again, I wanted to find simple recipes with limited ingredients as I only have one small counter space to work on in my kitchen. It has been a huge success and I feel proud of myself the entire time. In fact, I feel so happy that I normally will be singing or humming to myself as I chop veggies. This is a far cry from sitting on the couch in misery waiting for yet another air fried meal to cook!

Cooking dinner is a love language that I have learned from a young age from both my mom and grandma and I love being able to express that again. I really enjoy getting creative with the dinners I make now and while I’ll follow the basic recipes, I always try to doctor them up to make it even better. Our favorite recipe is, easily, the jalapeno popper quesadillas and it makes me feel wonderful when Johnny will request them every other night lol. 🙂

I am looking forward to all of the yummy meals that I plan on making and Johnny is looking forward to eating them. One of the last times I made dinner this past week, I told him that it feels good to feel like me again and I wake up every day now eager to go to work and come home to engage in one of my favorite hobbies again. Here’s to delicious meals for all! ❤

What are some of your favorite recipes? Who is the best cook in your family? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

3 Things You Should Do To Take Care Of Yourself Today

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3 Things You Should Do To Take Care Of Yourself Today

Whether you want it to or not, time keeps moving forward. Why not embrace it instead of dread the march? By achieving a proactive mindset, you can care for your body and mind to stay healthy and age with grace. Here are three proactive steps you can make today to better care for yourself:

Make An Appointment With Your Healthcare Provider:

Everyone looks into a mirror multiple times each day. As you do, you will notice changes in your face and body, and perhaps things that you may want to change. One thing that many people hone in on are their eyes. If you observe that one or both of your eyelids are drooping, make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your options. They may diagnose you with ptosis, which is the medical term for drooping eyelids. Your provider can prescribe FDA-approved ptosis eyedrops to treat the drooping eyelid. Any further treatment or issues can be brought up at this visit.

Be sure to add any other issues to the visit to maximize efficiency. Have your annual physical, well-check, and mole check at the same time. Talk with your provider about any aches or pains you are experiencing. Go over all medications and vitamins to determine efficacy and potential interactions. This is a great opportunity to ensure you are receiving the proper dosages. As time passes, your body will change. Keep your provider up-to-date on anything you need.

Check In With Your Mental Health Professional:

After living through different stages of the pandemic, you have likely experienced some sense of helplessness, isolation, or frustration. You may have lost your job or even your home. Differing outlooks on politics and science have led family relations and friendships to areas of strain. Whether any of these topics impacted your life or not, taking care of your mental health is an imperative step towards overall well-being.

Contact your insurance company regarding available mental health providers in your area. Another option is telehealth or virtual visits. Insurance may cover these or you can find licensed professionals online that offer reasonable fees. Do your due diligence and research before you engage to ensure you are getting the best services for your needs.

Meditation is a useful tool in the practice of mental health self-care. Here is a relaxing ten minute video to enjoy:

Create Or Maintain An Exercise Routine:

No matter what your current stage in life, exercise will benefit your general health. (Always consult with a healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise program or if you have any concerns.) You can start slowly with leisurely walks and then build up to more intense sessions. If you like strenuous workouts, consider signing up for a local 5K and begin training. You can get personal bonus points by finding a run that benefits a charity that you support. If you enjoy human interaction and as gyms reopen, sign up or reactivate your membership. Another option for you if you appreciate alone time is to sign up for a fitness streaming service to get fit in your own home.

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Take time out of your busy schedule to take care of your body and mind. The steps you take will benefit you both now and in the future.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Live A Healthy Lifestyle During Quarantine

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Live A Healthy Lifestyle During Quarantine

Though vaccines are now being mass-produced and administered, some start to slack when it comes to focusing on their health. Vaccines can help protect us, but they do not guarantee 100% immunity. That is why we should put extreme importance on maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle. Now that you are spending more time at home, you can use this opportunity to start devising a plan on how you can further improve your overall health and well-being. Try starting with the following:

Exercise Daily:

Our regular visit to the fitness center and outdoor walk in the morning are some routines that were disrupted by the ongoing lockdown. Many find it hard to continue their usual exercise because they do not have the same equipment that they use in the gym. However, the lack of daily exercise has many negative side effects.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lack of adequate physical activity can lead to illnesses, such as obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, as well as type 2 diabetes. Not exercising also causes bone and muscle weakness, which can lead to serious illness as you age.

To help your physical body, experts say that you need to engage in some form of physical activity once or twice a day for approximately 30 to 90 minutes. You do not need to have special equipment to exercise at home. If you still cannot jog or walk outside, you can start by going up and down your stairs or walking briskly around your garden or backyard. You can also do jumping jacks, sit-ups, planking, and side bends.

Eat Nutritious Foods:

The pandemic caused fear worldwide, and the idea of running out of supplies caused many to hoard non-perishable foods that can be stored for a long time. Canned goods have been the go-to items of many. But in reality, these types of food are often unhealthy. Studies show that bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical used in canned packaging, can migrate from the can to the food itself. Ingesting high amounts of BPA can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Many find it hard to buy fresh produce because most markets are still closed because of the lockdown. However, the fruits, vegetables, and meat you see in the supermarket are as good as what you can get from local butchers and farmers’ markets. Though they are perishable, there are still ways for you to extend their shelf life. Make a conscious choice to cook fresh and nutritious foods instead of turning to canned goods or instant-cook items.

Pay Attention to Your Body:

Excessive weight gain has become common since the lockdown began. Aside from eating unhealthy foods, many are at risk of obesity because they turn to eat as a way to cope with the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic. As mentioned above, the two main things that you can do to prevent this from happening are to exercise regularly and eat a healthy, balanced diet. You can also stock up on fresh foods like leafy greens and fruits that can boost your immune system.

If you are older or near your senior years, you will also notice body changes, such as weakness of bones and muscles. Though these are normal changes, you can still help your body by taking in calcium-rich foods like milk and dairy. Hair loss is also common for older people and younger adults that are experiencing high levels of stress. Since salons are not yet open in many places, you can give yourself DIY or chemical-free hair treatment solutions right in your home.

Get Enough Sleep at Night:

Some adults find it hard to sleep at night because of the anxiety and stress caused by the pandemic. But time and time again, our doctors advise us to get adequate sleep at night because it is the time when our bodies repair and recharge. You are also giving your brain the chance to rest and function correctly the next day. Generally speaking, humans need to have at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night, but this still changes depending on one’s age:

  • Newborn 0-3 months: 14 to 17 hours
  • Infant 4-11 months: 12 to 15 hours
  • Toddler 1-2 years: 11 to 14 hours
  • Preschool 3-5 years: 10 to 13 hours
  • School-age 6-13 years: 9 to 11 hours
  • Teen 14-17 years: 8 to 10 hours
  • Young adult 18-25 years: 7 to 9 hours
  • Adult 26-64 years: 7 to 9 hours
  • Older adult 65 years and older: 7 to 8 hours

Living in a world threatened by a deadly virus is not an easy thing to do. Many are trying their best to adapt to the new normal, especially when it comes to their way of life. If you are struggling to find your footing, know that it is a process and you are not alone. Soon enough, you’ll be able to find effective ways to stay fit and healthy while living amidst a pandemic.

Target Run

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Target Run

Hello! I have not been in a store just to browse since the beginning of the pandemic and you guys have no idea how much I have missed it. For a while, I was only going grocery shopping and I stopped doing that a few months ago, opting for curbside delivery instead. Now that I am fully vaccinated, I feel much more comfortable running errands so when my sister texted me last Saturday morning asking if I wanted to go on a Target Run, I couldn’t say no!

Kristen picked me up with my niece, Valerie, and I was so excited because Target is Val’s favorite store and I have never been there with her. Such good taste at just two years old! It seems so simple but that small outing that lasted a little over an hour was enough to make me insanely happy. It was, finally, a warm spring day in Ohio and driving in the car with Kristen and Val with the sun shining and music playing on the way to Target felt like the first semblance of normal I’ve had in a long time.

I am just as surprised as all of you that my first window shopping trip in over a year wasn’t to TJMaxx but Target is a close second and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We even ran into Jared’s really quickly after our Target trip so I could check on the progress of my wedding band and it is looking amazing. Kristen and I are planning on doing another shopping excursion soon because we are both in need of new summer clothes and I can’t wait. Here’s to many more safe outings all summer! ❤

What have you missed the most during the pandemic? Which store is your happy place? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Instant Transformations To Any Room

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Instant Transformations To Any Room

The COVID-19 pandemic has been long and incredibly difficult and I am sure we are all SO sick of our houses by now! If this sounds like you, then it’s time to shake things up in your home to get it feeling like new again so you can better enjoy your space. From big projects to small, the following suggestions will add an instant transformation to any room. Let’s get started:

Update Your Flooring:

Threadbare carpets and old linoleum flooring that never looks clean no matter how many times you Swiffer have got to go. Think modern and sleek with interesting tile floors in the kitchen or bathroom while opting for grander options in the living room like oak hardwood floors. Cozy up the space with plush rugs and blankets for the perfect rustic chic motif. Sometimes, the best place to start when transforming a room is from the ground up!

Let The Light In:

If a lack of sunlight in your home office is making it feel like five PM at one in the afternoon, then your productivity is sure to suffer. How about having some large windows installed? Not only will the natural lighting instantly transform the space but it will make your home office the best in the business – especially if you were working in a cubicle pre-pandemic! The sunlight pouring in will eliminate cozy home office vibes to a more work appropriate space and it might just be the cure for that mid afternoon slump.

Make A Statement:

A surefire way to transform any space is with a new piece of statement furniture. A great place to start would be with the couch because I am sure we can all agree that it has gotten an ample amount of use in the past year and change! Shop for sales or explore secondhand stores to find that special piece that you didn’t know you needed. If your home is feeling blah but you can’t pinpoint why, a few new pieces of furniture should quickly solve that problem.

Clear Some Space:

The new hobbies we began during the pandemic deserve an appropriate space to be practiced in. Once you are done with an overall decluttering of your home, target a specific area to turn into your new painting studio or writing nook. Having a special space to continue perfecting your new craft will help shake the boredom blues and will, surely, become your favorite place in the house because it is just for you. Home gyms or game rooms are another good option to turn a space into something brand new.

We all deserve a little home makeover after living through a global pandemic and the ideas above will instantly transform any space!

All Better!

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All Better!

Hello!!! Johnny and I got our second shot of the Moderna vaccine on April 29th and it completely knocked us both off of our feet. I am pleased to report that after two days of full on misery, I am back to normal and can better explain what we went through because I have the energy to sit at my computer! The following may sound awful but it is so worth it to have the vaccine and be better protected for ourselves, loved ones, and strangers. Let’s get to it:

About four to five hours after our shot, we both experienced pain in our arm and a very restless night of sleep. I also think we both had a fever that night too. Upon awakening the following morning, absolutely everything hurt. My arm, my legs, head, stomach – you name it. All day, Johnny and I experienced a fever and chills and went from bundling up in blankets to blasting the air conditioning almost every half hour.

The day after our shot, moving felt physically impossible and I slept off and on for a majority of the day. Johnny did not experience any nausea from the shot but I was very queasy and could only drink water or juice while he could snack on bland foods like crackers. I cannot recall a time when I felt sicker than the day after our second shot and I was excited for the day to end so I could wake up and, hopefully, feel much better. Unfortunately, that was not the case for yours truly although Johnny felt almost back to normal two days after aside from being tired.

We both had a fever that night and I woke up so nauseous that I still couldn’t eat anything. Even if I wanted to, I had no appetite whatsoever. From about ten in the morning to two or so, I vomited five times and laid on the couch or in bed while Johnny played video games. By four thirty and several Tums later, my nausea subsided enough that I was able to eat two small bowls of my mom’s homemade mac n’ cheese and half of a piece of pizza from Pizza Hut. It was one of the best meals I have ever had!

After eating a little bit, the haziness of the past few days lifted considerably and I felt more worn out than anything. Once again, I woke up the following morning in a sweat through nightgown so I am sure I ran a fever throughout the night and was happy to no longer feel any nausea. I just felt weak and tired from all of the strain on my body and lack of food. However, what I felt wasn’t debilitating because I am sitting here writing and that definitely cannot be said for the day before!

Now that I am feeling back up to snuff, the pain and discomfort Johnny and I both experienced after our second shot feels like a vague memory. I feel proud of the both of us for being vaccinated knowing the possibility of the side effects and we would want to be the first in line to do it again if need be.

The COVID-19 vaccine is such an important tool in flattening the spread of the coronavirus once and for all and it is up to all of us to implement it. We have seen the utter devastation that it causes and masking up and getting your vaccine shows that you care about your fellow community members. Although I experienced almost every side effect the vaccine has to offer it was so worth it and Johnny and I can’t wait to see our friends and family while being better protected.

Which side effects did you experience after the vaccine? How long did they last for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

See You Tomorrow!

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See You Tomorrow!

Hello!! I am writing this two days after I got my second Moderna vaccine and your girl is not doing so hot. The day after was complete misery and while today is much better than the first, it is exhausting to do just about anything. So, with that being said, I will see you all tomorrow when I am, hopefully, feeling much better! Much love. -Sarah

Vaccine Team Pt. 2

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Vaccine Team Pt. 2

Hi! I am so pleased to announce that as of April 29th, Johnny and I are fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine. When we got our first shot, we drove to the location in white out snow conditions and this time around, it was like driving in a monsoon! Rain, snow, and hail were not going to stop us from getting vaccinated and I am very thankful that we made it to both appointments safe and sound.

Similar to when we got our first shot, Johnny and I were in and out in about a half hour and were feeling good for most of the evening. Then, five or so hours later, we both took a turn for the worst with really sore arms, headaches, and what felt like a fever for me and chills for Johnny. We were SO miserable that night and the following day and we both just couldn’t get any relief. There was, honestly, a part when I started crying because everything hurt so bad.

Johnny had to keep reminding us both that what we were experiencing was better than getting COVID and while that didn’t make me feel any better at the time, he is most certainly right. Being fully vaccinated despite all of the aches, pains, and restless nights makes it all one hundred million percent worth it.

Although the second vaccine shot was no joke whatsoever, I still highly encourage everyone to get themselves scheduled for their vaccination. I feel so happy and proud to do my part to keep my loved ones and complete strangers safe and am incredibly thankful to begin feeling safer around others and have people feel protected around me too. Please join me and Johnny on the Vaccine Team!

What was your COVID vaccine experience like? Which side effects did you have? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah