Tag Archives: quarantine

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

Taking Care Of My Mental Health In Quarantine

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Taking Care Of My Mental Health In Quarantine

Hello! Living in a quarantine style state can be very taxing on one’s mental health. It’s hard when you can’t see your friends as often and every day outings that you used to look forward to have become a thing of the past. As someone who has struggled with depression for over a decade, I know first hand that it can be very easy to fall into a slump when you’re confined to the four walls of your home day in and day out.

So, how do I keep a positive attitude despite hardly ever leaving my apartment? A healthy mixture of the following keeps me right on track:

Scheduled Pampering:

Once a week, typically over the weekend, I always enjoy using a new face mask. I like having a “treat” that I look forward to and experimenting with different face masks is a fun and cheap way to try something new. I ordered a pack of six different sheet face masks from Amazon and got twelve in total for ten bucks. I thought it was a steal and now I have something new to try for the next several weeks. Score!

Getting Enough Sleep:

I think one of the most important things that one can do, especially if they are currently not working, is to continue with their normal sleep schedule. It is very easy to fall into the trap of staying up late and sleeping in until the following afternoon and that is not good! Try and maintain your regular schedule throughout the day as much as possible. I always find that a sense of normality makes me feel better and a good night’s sleep tends to do the trick, too. 🙂

Exercise Your Mind:

There are so many fun apps and games that are designed to make you think. Believe you me, I enjoy a video game or movie marathon just as much as the next one. But, so much mindless entertainment can leave your brain feeling mushy. Spend an hour or two a day with a good book, a crossword puzzle, or even building with LEGO. I promise that it will be a welcome break from whatever show you’re currently binging and your brain will thank you!

Talking About It:

We are all dealing with the current state of things differently because we have never experienced anything like this before. Everyone is feeling nervous and scared and those feelings can continue to fester into something debilitating if you keep it all bottled up. Have a conversation with a trusted friend or family member and voice what is concerning you or giving you anxiety. You will probably find that they have a lot of similar fears and that is usually really comforting to me and, hopefully, for you too.

With the times that we are living in right now, it is easy to let your own self care fall by the wayside. So, use the tips above and get yourself back to baseline and, then, beyond!

How have you been taking care of your mental health? What make you feel better? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Writer’s Block? Have Some Quarantine Writing Prompts!

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Writer’s Block? Have Some Quarantine Writing Prompts!

Hello! Depending on where you live in this great big universe, you might have been or currently are living in a state of quarantine. As for me, I have been in a lock down lifestyle since March 19th in Akron, Ohio. Other than leaving the house to go to work as an “essential” employee, I probably go out two times a month for groceries and appointments.

Maintaining a blog in normal times is hard work. However, maintaining a blog in a time of quarantine is a whole different ball game. I, myself, have had a difficult time coming up with daily content and sometimes it feels impossible to come up with a blog post for the day.

Back in early 2020, I could find inspiration to write about anything from a quick trip to TJMaxx or an adventure outing with friends. Fast forward over half a year later and the most exciting thing I have to tell you guys is when I get a new LEGO set. Lol, so I understand better than anyone what it means to have writer’s block right now and there is no shame in it!

If you are coming up with question marks for your page, try writing about the following:

  1. Have you picked up any new hobbies or perfected an old skill in quarantine?
  2. What have you been binge watching lately?
  3. How many books have you finished? Which one was your favorite?
  4. How has your garden or potted plants been growing?
  5. What has been the most difficult part about being in quarantine?
  6. What has been the best part about being in quarantine?
  7. Have you cooked or baked anything new?
  8. How has your beauty routine changed since being in quarantine?
  9. How has your work or day to day life been affected by the coronavirus?
  10. What are you most looking forward to doing post quarantine?

We are all having a hard enough time right now so don’t let your blog be another thing that stresses you out. Use the prompts above and tag me in it so I can read it, too! 🙂

Much love. -Sarah

Harry Potter Great Hall LEGO Set

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Harry Potter Great Hall LEGO Set

Hello! While in quarantine, Johnny and I have been enjoying putting together LEGO sets including ones from Harry Potter and Star Wars. Johnny bought me the Hogwarts Clock Tower set for my birthday and we had such fun assembling it that I went ahead and bought the Great Hall set a few weeks later. Although the bigger sets are a bit pricey, they are worth every penny in the hours of entertainment that Johnny and I get out of them.

We stretched the Great Hall set out over the course of a weekend while Harry Potter movies, Impractical Jokers, or The Office played on TV. After at least five solid hours of building our Great Hall was finally complete. The best part? Attaching it to the Clock Tower, of course! Check it out:

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While the Clock Tower set is specifically from the Yule Ball scene in The Goblet Of Fire, our Great Hall set combines imagery from both the first and second films. Don’t believe me? We have Professor Quirrell and the basilisk to prove it! Our sets are, technically, not the most cohesive right now but our two sets combined look AWESOME… From the outside, at least.

In comparison to the Clock Tower set, the Great Hall had a lot more pieces which made it a much more intricate and time consuming build. All the while, it was insanely hot in our apartment so spreading it out over a few days was definitely the move. As always, Johnny and I have a great system when it comes to our LEGO construction. He takes care of all of the detail work, which is impossible for me to do with my nails. I, on the other hand, handle a lot of the big pieces and everyone wins!

Johnny and I like to buy a new LEGO set every few months and I am already looking forward to my next Harry Potter purchases. What’s on deck? For starters, the Whomping Willow set! Then, I would love to add the Astronomy Tower, Hagrid’s Hut, and the Quidditch Pitch. Hey, it’s Harry Potter so I have to dream big! 🙂

What has been keeping you entertained in quarantine? Who else enjoys building with LEGO? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

My Quarantine Beauty Routine

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My Quarantine Beauty Routine

Hi! Living in a lock down state has definitely put a damper on my beauty routine. In fact, I can probably count on under ten fingers the amount of times I’ve put a full face of makeup on since March nineteenth. Sure, it’s nice to be feeling myself after I beat my face but, at the end of the day, it’s not like Johnny and I do anything so what’s the point?

Every once in a while I’ll put some mascara and blush on but, for the most part, my face has been au natural. Because of that, I have really just been enjoying doing face masks on my already blank face in the evening. I have also incorporated a night time skin care routine into my beauty regimen. I used to not have one, as I never took my makeup off before bed. But, now, I always apply my serum, eye cream, and moisturizer before bed too.

Although I miss doing my makeup, I like sleeping in before work more! Lol, what I really miss is shopping. I’m not comfortable making my rounds in a store like TJMaxx or Target yet. And, when I find some cute, in season clothes online I realize that no one will probably see me in it till next year so what’s the point? I mainly have just been ordering my skin care online and extra hand soaps from Bath & Body Works when I need it.

On the bright side, this lack of shopping and applying makeup has saved me money. The lack of going out to restaurants and bars and doing my eating (And drinking!) at home also saves me money. So, when the fateful day comes that I can finally have a TJ’s shopping trip without having a panic attack, I know the haul that will be purchased will be totally guilt free. Score!

What do you miss doing most while in quarantine? How have your normal routines been affected? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Things I’m Missing

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Things I’m Missing

Hello! Johnny and I have been living in a lock down style state since March 19th when the restaurants and bars in Ohio closed down. Since then, the only things I have left my apartment for other than work has been the grocery store, gas station, and my monthly nail appointment. And, on occasion, we might have a friend over for a drink through serious social distancing in my living room.

Despite being constantly surrounded at home by “entertainment” like the TV, streaming services, video games, books, and board games there are definitely some activities in the community that all of the America’s Next Top Model marathons in the world couldn’t replace. I eagerly await going to all of the following once it is safe to do so:

TJMaxx:

Lol, of course TJ’s was going to be the first on my list! You guys have no idea the amount of TJMaxx related memes that I have been sent by people who have genuinely been thinking of me during this pandemic for that reason alone! I miss going on my monthly shopping trips to TJMaxx with my mom more than anything but we have all been picking and choosing what we do very carefully. For example, my monthly “treat” outing is visiting the nail salon where I feel most comfortable. I know I wouldn’t feel safe in a store full of people so online shopping has been the move for months now.

But, trust and believe that as soon as I feel one hundred and fifty million percent okay, TJ’s will be the first place I visit. I have plenty of birthday gift cards burning a hole in my pocket and I intend on using them on a gigantic haul. It’s always nice to have something to look forward to, haha. 🙂

Restaurants/Bars:

It’s not like Johnny and I went out a ton pre-coronavirus but we would usually go to the bar or out to eat maybe once a week or so. These outings were the best last summer when we could have drinks on all of the outdoor patios in Kent. It was just such a nice way to spend an hour or two after work and I miss being able to unwind with our friends.

Most of all, however, I miss going to the bars where the band my boyfriend is in, The Outside Voices, would play. Going to their shows over the weekend was always something we really looked forward to and I know it has been so hard on him to not be doing anything musical. In fact, I think he misses performing just as much as I miss shopping at TJMaxx and that’s really saying something.

Guilt Free Hang Outs:

I have been able to Skype with and social distance hang out with a few of my friends on occasion. Of course, it’s always nice to see them whether that be on the laptop screen or at the opposite end of the room. But what I really miss is being able to hug them and interact more closely. For example, when Lea usually comes over we like to curl up on the couch and drink wine. Not so much anymore, lol.

I miss all of the little things that I never thought much of before. Big hugs goodbye, sitting on the same couch, or venturing out for random adventures – just for starters. A lot of thought goes into doing just about anything now and I miss the spontaneity that comes with guilt free hang outs with all of my besties.

What are the activities that you’re missing the most right now? Do you have a safe “treat” outing that you participate in? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Amazon Skin Care Haul

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Amazon Skin Care Haul

Hello! I live in Summit County in Ohio, which is one of the seven counties being mandated to wear masks anywhere you go now. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, I haven’t been “shopping shopping” in months – just groceries and an occasional trip to the nail salon. So, I’ve had to resort to Amazon for purchasing all of my skin care needs as opposed to making one of my monthly or bimonthly trips to TJMaxx.

Needless to say, I miss TJ’s more than anything. But, I am happy that I have been able to find the brands that I love on Amazon. I also purchased some sheet masks by Celavi because my boyfriend finally caved and said he’d wear one with me. GREAT SUCCESS! Lol, check it out:

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You guys already know how much I love the SkinLab moisturizers and Azure Lux serums so let’s talk face masks. I paid ten or so dollars for twelve sheet masks by Celavi and I considered it a steal. I never have this many face masks on my person at one time and it is going to be so nice to relax with them after a long day at work. Johnny finally participating in the Face Mask Festivities will just be an added bonus!

Online shopping certainly is not the same as making my rounds at TJMaxx but, in the meantime, it is the safest option. I plan on continuing to get my skin care through Amazon until I feel one hundred percent safe going “shopping shopping” again. Until then, you can catch me and Johnny chilling in our Celavi sheet masks all pandemic long. 😀

Are you online shopping more frequently now? Which actual store do you miss the most? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

At Home Concerts

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At Home Concerts

Hello! For those of you who don’t know, my “big girl job” is as an independent provider for people with special needs. I specialize in community integration and the development of daily living skills and have been an “essential” employee throughout the coronavirus pandemic. So, you can imagine how hard it is to do my job of getting my clients out and about in the community when there is a contagious virus and many of them are high risk.

My job has now been limited to the homes of my clients and that is A-okay because it’s what is best for them, their families, and myself. But, that’s not to say it hasn’t been easy, especially when cabin fever is kicking in for everyone. I am constantly trying to come up with fun ways to keep my clients entertained at home to combat the boredom blues and was particularly pleased with my brain blast last week.

My most senior client who I am with the most often during the week LOVES the golden oldies and always tells me about when he saw The Beach Boys and Sha Na Na in concert. After his recollection last week, he asked when we can see those bands live together. I told him as soon as it was safe, as always, and then I realized we kind of could see them in concert.

I told him I had an idea and pulled YouTube up on his TV. Then, I found some live footage of Sha Na Na performing as well as plenty of full length Beach Boys concerts. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw his favorites performing right in front of him again. In fact, he was so elated that he told me to bring his brother up so he could see how much fun he was having. 🙂

My friend and I plan on having weekly “concerts” at home, compliments of YouTube. We have The Beach Boys on deck and who knows what will be next! It was amazing to see him so excited about something and, sometimes, the most fun things can happen right at home. ❤

Which bands have you seen in concert? Who would you love to see perform live? 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