Tag Archives: pandemic

Reunited And It Feels So Good

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Reunited And It Feels So Good

Hello! After many a video chat dates with my BFF, Lea, we finally were able to reunite in person as she is fully vaccinated and Johnny and I just need our second shot. I had been looking forward to our real life reunion for several months and, needless to say, I was counting down the hours until I was done at work and could see my bestie again.

As always, Lea and I had a fabulous time girl talking, reminiscing, and laughing hysterically for hours on end and I felt so incredibly thankful for that time with her. It also gave me the opportunity to officially ask her if she’d like to attend my family only wedding ceremony! Throughout the pandemic, video chat dates with my friends helped keep me sane but there is nothing like seeing someone who you love so much in person after months of going without.

With so many of my family and friends getting vaccinated, it truly feels like a bright light at the end of such a dark tunnel. Seeing Lea was my first in person hang out with one of my friends since mid December and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time because I had had a rough couple of days. Taking a break from my stress even for just a little while to go through a litany of all of the dorky things my BFF and I did in high school was the best thing for me.

I always say that every hang out with Lea is my favorite but this reunion definitely tops the charts. I cannot wait to get more real life hang outs scheduled in the books and I am so delighted for my best friend to be able to join Johnny, myself, and our families on my wedding day! ❤

Have you been able to reunite with any of your loved ones recently? What are some of your social distanced summer plans? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Have I Been Watching?

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What Have I Been Watching?

Hi! In pandemic times, there has been nothing better than finishing up the day’s work and sinking into the couch to watch TV or play video/board games with Johnny. Whether together or separately, we have been watching a lot of feel good shows lately… Minus one insane documentary we watched on Hulu! Let’s discuss:

Superstore:

Johnny and I are huge fans of Superstore and, although we are both saddened by the show’s completion about a month ago, we agreed that it ended on a really solid note. We looked forward to new episodes every week and miss it so much that we just decided to watch it in its entirety again. Superstore is an amazing show to try out if you are looking for a laugh and every character is funny in their own way. My favorite characters are Dina, Marcus, and Glenn and Johnny freaking loves Sandra lol!

My 600 Lb. Life:

When Johnny is at band practice, I normally settle in with Animal Crossing and an episode or two of My 600 Lb. Life. This has been one of my favorite shows for years and if you’re friends with me on Facebook, then you know I am constantly posting about it! Dr. Now is my freaking hero and My 600 Lb. Life really inspires me when someone succeeds in their weight loss journey. I spend each episode rooting for the patient and it makes me proud to see people trying to turn their lives around for the better.

One Punch Man:

My brother gives me lots of great suggestions for animes to watch and while I continue to look forward to season two of Demon Slayer, I have been working on finishing One Punch Man. I am currently halfway through season two and really enjoy it! Although it is not as dark as Castlevania or Demon Slayer, I like the Dragon Ball Z-esque vibes that it gives off with all of the insane monsters and fighting and I am obsessed with cool as a cucumber Saitama. He is so funny! I plan on watching Death Note or The Promised Neverland once I am all done with One Punch Man.

Shrek 1 & 2:

I have actually never seen the other movies in the Shrek franchise and that’s fine because the first and second movies are my favorite and that is enough for me. This past month, I watched both Shrek one and two and laughed just as hard as I did when seeing it for the first time. My dad took me and my siblings to the first Shrek in theaters and we all loved the Shrek 3D ride at Universal Studios so I have a lot of happy memories attached to both movies. Shrek never gets old and the soundtracks simply slay!

Q: Into The Storm:

Q: Into The Storm is a documentary on QAnon that aired on HBO and is currently on Hulu. Johnny really likes documentaries and wanted to check it out because he heard it was crazy so down the rabbit hole we fell. Other than very basic knowledge, I knew absolutely nothing about QAnon and Into The Storm was an investigative piece on who Q might be.

This documentary legitimately gave me nightmares and I had to shield my eyes and cover my ears during a fair amount of it. It is not for the faint of heart in any way shape or form but it was highly educational and eye opening because I really had no idea about any of it. After having watched it, I never want to hear anything on the subject again and trust and believe I had to watch like ten episodes of Superstore to get myself back to baseline once the six part series was finished.

What have you been watching recently? Which TV shows or movies do you recommend? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

COVID Precautions I’ll Be Keeping

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COVID Precautions I’ll Be Keeping

Hello! We are all eager for the COVID-19 pandemic to be over and done with and while there is a huge light at the end of the tunnel, we still have a ways to go. It is exciting to think of what our lives will be like after the pandemic but it is important to not throw caution to the wind and act haphazardly with the health of yourself and those around you. I, for one, plan on keeping these precautions in place post pandemic:

Masking Up:

Thinking back to pre-pandemic times, it’s hard to understand why you wouldn’t wear a face mask if you aren’t feeling well and need to be out in public. I have always been good about staying home if I am feeling under the weather but I will continue to be keeping face masks handy in case I need to go to the doctor or the pharmacy. I also plan on wearing face masks even after the mandate is lifted in crowded areas like grocery stores and shopping centers. You can just never be too safe after living through a global pandemic!

Social Distancing:

I don’t know about you guys but I actually love the social distancing in public. I value my personal space and it has been nice to not have people all up in my business while running errands. Protecting my personal bubble while I am out and about will continue to be a priority for me because it really has made me feel so much more comfortable while in public.

Contact Free Grocery Shopping:

A few months ago, Johnny and I began doing contact free grocery shopping to help limit our exposure and have both agreed that we could never go back to doing in store shopping again. At our local grocery store, Giant Eagle, the curbside grocery pickup is free and incredibly convenient. Our shopping gets delivered right to the car by an employee and it has completely changed our grocery game. The curbside pickup has been an option at Giant Eagle even before the pandemic began and we will definitely keep on making the most of it.

Mental Health Breaks:

Working in the care field during a pandemic has easily been one of the most difficult things that I have ever had to do and my mental health was really suffering. I have to take care of myself, first and foremost, before I can adequately provide care for others and began being more lenient with myself about taking a day off every once in a while. My mental health breaks allowed me to chill out in the safety of my home and regroup and I would return back to work feeling refreshed and capable.

Post-pandemic, I am going to be much better about listening to my body and what it needs and if that means a day off to get myself together, then that is okay. It is really hard for me to take time away from my clients because I miss them so much even if it is just one day but occasional mental health breaks will allow for me to be the best provider I can for them and it is well worth it.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been insane, for lack of a better word. However, it taught me a lot of best practices that I plan on using long term to better protect myself, loved ones, and strangers. ❤

Which COVID precautions do you plan on keeping? What are you most looking forward to post pandemic? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Great Ways To Make The Most Of A ‘Hopefully More Free’ Summer

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Great Ways To Make The Most Of A ‘Hopefully More Free’ Summer

We need not begin with the regular preamble speaking about how tough and strange the last year has been, and how excited many of us are to receive a semblance of normal, touch wood, this upcoming summer. You already know every viewpoint on the topic, and have likely expressed some yourself.

However, what we can suggest is a few great ways to make the most of this summer provided you have the space and the freedom to do so. Many of us are dying to see our friends again, and simply cannot wait to blow off some steam and socialize as we really need to. It’s as simple as that. But how can we make sure we make the most of it without feeling like a child in a candy store? After all, when we go from being able to do almost nothing to having every opportunity open up again, choosing one thing, by implication, prevents us from choosing everything else.

That can leave us anxious.

In this guide, we’ll discuss a few measures that you can take to make the most of this summer at your own worthwhile pace. Let’s get started:

Join A Summer Sports Team:

A summer sports team can provide a fun challenge for obvious reasons, but they can also help us feel more connected to other people and meet new folks alike. For this reason, volunteering for a team in your local community, donning rugby training wear to help you curate your own team, or simply spending time joining a new martial arts club could be a good idea, and may even help you connect with a new discipline you never knew you needed.

Try A New Cuisine:

Trying a new cuisine may seem like something you can do any time, and it can. However, there’s nothing quite like the blossoming of the warmer seasons to get food ‘in season’ and to support the return of local businesses opening with confidence. Perhaps you could order authentic ingredients that help you make the most of this cuisine type too or you could spend some time going on a restaurant tour with a friend. There’s nothing better for bonding than eating with someone, particularly after a long absence from one another.

Start Documenting Your Travels:

Documenting your travels can be an excellent way of inspiring you to go further afield, try something new, or to simply note down your thoughts about being allowed to travel around the world again (or within your country’s borders). Documenting your travels in this nature could be aided by recording your days with your mobile phone, writing a blog on a website, or in simply making a scrapbook or journal of your thoughts throughout the day. Little efforts like this help you take some time for you and may even help you come to insights you weren’t expecting.

With this advice, we hope you can make the most of a free summer and, most importantly, to enjoy it through and through.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Vaccine Team

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Vaccine Team

Hello!!!! Johnny and I have been incredibly eager to get our COVID vaccine and about three weeks ago it was announced in Ohio that anyone over sixteen could get the shot after March 29th. Finally!! I am so pleased to say that by an insane stroke of luck, I was able to get Johnny and myself into one of the last appointment slots on April 1st to receive our first shot of the Moderna vaccine.

I’m not going to lie, it was very difficult to find an appointment time for the both of us because almost every single day at every single location vaccinating was fully booked. I went through the websites of pretty much everywhere in a forty-five minute range and kept coming up empty handed. So, like I said, it was a huge stroke of luck when the last location I checked still had some times available on April Fool’s Day. And the best part? It wasn’t a joke, either!

Johnny and I made a short drive to a Marc’s in Broadview Heights and it was actually pretty wild because we were driving on the highway in whiteout snow conditions. Thankfully, we arrived to our location safe and sound and were in and out in roughly a half hour. The vaccination process at Marc’s was so efficient and, frankly, I would have waited all day to get it because the feeling of relief I had after my first shot would make any waiting time well worth it. I am already counting down the days until our second shot.

While side effects after the vaccine vary from person to person, Johnny and I both experienced soreness in the arm we got the shot in for about a day and that was it. It was uncomfortable and we both agreed that the pain was similar to what we felt after we got injured in a car accident when we first started dating. But was it unbearable? Absolutely not and my arm felt much better after a nice, hot shower the following morning.

The peace of mind that Johnny and I feel after our vaccine is such a welcome sensation after being hunkered down for the past year and change. Of course, we will still be following all COVID safety precautions but it feels good to know that not only will we feel safer around other people but they can feel safe around us too.

I wanted to share my vaccine experience with all of you and am hoping that it will encourage those on the fence to reconsider. This vaccine really can save lives and it would, honestly, mean so much to me – especially as someone who has worked in the care field with high risk families throughout the pandemic’s duration. Johnny and I will be receiving our second shot at the end of April so make sure you check back for a Part Two update!

How has the pandemic changed your life? What is the vaccination registration process like in your area? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Love It: Contact Free Grocery Shopping

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Love It: Contact Free Grocery Shopping

Hi! As the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, it is always best to find ways to limit whatever exposure you can and contact free grocery shopping is an amazing way to help with that. Johnny tried curbside pickup grocery shopping from our local store, Giant Eagle, earlier in February and loved it so much that he claimed he will never grocery shop any other way. With such praise, I figured I could give it a try too and ended up doing our shopping curbside pickup style at the end of February. I have to say, Johnny was so right – it was great!

Giant Eagle’s curbside pickup program has one of the employees do your shopping through a list created online and then you go to the store and your purchases get loaded into your car for you which allows for a completely contact free experience. It also gave me the thrill of online shopping even if it was just for food, lol! At first, I was having a lot of problems with Giant Eagle’s website running super slowly but once I logged on at a less peak time it was smooth sailing from there.

Online shopping for groceries was kind of weird at first but it actually ended up being really easy and insanely convenient. It was nice to be able to see all of the sales and promotions clearly from the website and apply coupons on the spot. I felt like I was able to take my time browsing the site instead of power shopping to get out of the store quickly which introduced me to options that I didn’t even know existed. Like frozen buffalo cauliflower!

I also was so thankful for the option to edit the cart once my order was placed because, in true Sarah fashion, I forgot a few things that I needed. I swear, I am always forgetting at least one or two things that I needed when I grocery shop which always ends up turning into an extra trip to the store. Online grocery shopping was no exception but, this time, I got to go back to my order and add the items that I forgot. No extra trip necessary. 😀

In my youth, I can remember how much I enjoyed grocery shopping with my mom and, pre-pandemic, I loved my trips to the grocery store. However, it is so important right now to utilize the options that different businesses have available to limit exposure for all parties involved. I am so glad that I gave curbside grocery shopping a try and plan on using it until it is safer. 11/10 would recommend!

What do you like to shop for online? Would you ever try using curbside grocery shopping? 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.

Featured Image By: Pexels

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