Tag Archives: self-isolation

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

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

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

A Day In The Life Of Quarantine

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A Day In The Life Of Quarantine

Hello! Unfortunately in Ohio, the coronavirus cases are rising again and life in quarantine for me and Johnny will continue on until who knows how long. We both have been limiting our time in the community drastically and only go out for an errand once a week or so apiece since mid-March. Cabin fever, much?! But, with both of our families being high risk as well as quite a few of my clients, the risk is just not worth it.

As an essential employee, I have been working this entire time and, normally, I loved to let my hair down and go out with Johnny and our friends over the weekend. We all know that this won’t be happening again for the foreseeable future and this question has been asked to me so many times now: What have Johnny and I been doing this whole time?

Lol, it’s a great question, honestly. On a typical day when we are both off, there tends to be a TV show or movie marathon at some point. Johnny loves to play video games so while he’s doing that I like to read, write, or practice my languages. Cooking dinner and breakfast for my man also helps pass the time too and it’s so fun for me because I love coming up with new dishes to serve.

Although it’s summertime in Ohio right now, the weather has just been crap so our outdoor options are severely limited. Before, it was cold and raining nonstop. Now, the temperatures are in the mid nineties and it makes being outdoors for even a minute unbearable. It’s too bad because we both would love to go for a hike but when one of us (AKA me) tends to get nauseous in the heat, it just isn’t even worth it.

Quarantine life has been like being grounded except I can have a glass of wine whenever I want and that makes it a bit more fun! Johnny and I both are itching to get out of the house but safety always comes first. So, in the meantime, I am a-okay being in our little apartment building with LEGO and watching Impractical Jokers for hours on end. ❤

How has the coronavirus impacted your life? What are things like in your neck of the woods right now? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Have I Been Playing?

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What Have I Been Playing?

Hello!! Johnny and I have spent plenty of time in quarantine watching TV shows and movies. We also enjoy documentaries or just pulling some music up on YouTube to listen to while we chit chat. And, I’d be a liar if I said we weren’t playing hella video games on the Nintendo Switch! I am not a huge fan of the shooter games like Johnny but I have definitely been getting down with the following:

Animal Crossing:

You guys already know how much I love Animal Crossing and my heart grows fonder with every single super fun update. For example, starting on July third, you could purchase a wet suit from the store and go swimming! That’s not all, though, because not only can you take a dip but you can also go diving for undersea critters – I’ve even found a few pearls. 😀

Johnny and I have gotten our money’s worth out of this game and then some. It’s always kind of exciting to check in on our island and see what new bugs and fish have made Dingusburg their home. I especially like fishing for sharks!

Trivial Pursuit:

Johnny and I purchased a trivia game from the Nintendo store for twenty bucks and it was well worth it. Not only have we enjoyed putting our knowledge to the test against each other but it is also very fun to play with others. My siblings love it and we spent a lot of our time during our staycation pairing up into teams and playing against each other.

The game features traditional trivia categories like Sports, History, Science, and Entertainment but it is definitely nontraditional when it comes to the answers. You have to earn your pie pieces through a series of different, quick draw formats and we have yet to have any repeat questions so it has remained interesting. Highly recommend for a random knowledge based change of pace.

Super Smash Bros.:

I have been a fan of SSB since childhood and remember always playing as Captain Falcon against my brothers on the N64. We have all of the Super Smash games for each system but primarily play Ultimate on the Switch. There are so many amazing stages and characters to pick from and Johnny and I have the best time playing as total randoms and figuring out how to fight with them.

Normally, I like to play as Pit but I do change it up with Captain Falcon, Link, Joker, Hero, and TERRY. Lol, Johnny and I really love playing SSB Ultimate with my brother, Andrew. He and Johnny are both formidable opponents so it makes victory even sweeter!

Mario Party:

Finally, you can never go wrong with a little Mario Party! Johnny and I don’t have Super Mario Party for the Switch but we have all of the games for the GameCube and Wii. Sometimes, when we’re feeling bored at home we’ll turn a Mario Party on and kill an hour or so. If it’s a lazy weekend afternoon, there ain’t nothing better than throwing back a few glasses of white wine and firing up the ol’ GameCube. The mini games are fun, the boards are exciting, and it’s a complete classic. We usually end up laughing the entire time. 🙂

Which video games have you been playing recently? How do you keep yourself occupied in quarantine? 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? Pt. 3

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What Have I Been Watching? Pt. 3

Hello! As the old saying goes “When in quarantine, do as those who are quarantined do”… Or however it goes. But, we all know that this means watching ample amounts of TV. And I mean AMPLE. We’re talking one new series a week or you’re doing it wrong. Haha, well maybe not that extreme but you get the point.

Johnny and I are both huge fans of the entertainment world. We love movies, TV, music, and video games so we never have a lack of things to do. We also have four different streaming services so the options are endless. As soon as I get home from work or am off on the weekends, we immediately watch some of the following:

Hannibal:

Johnny’s mind was completely blown that I had never seen The Silence Of The Lambs before. Believe you me, I understand how crazy it is that I haven’t seen it either since I am a horror fan. But, my logic was that I’ve gone this long without seeing it, so why start now? I have to say, I loved the movie and can’t wait to watch it again.

In fact, I loved the movie so much that we began watching the TV series called Hannibal, who is played by the incomparable Mads Mikkelson. Long story short, this is all of the cat and mouse drama between Hannibal Lector and the FBI before he gets caught. Every episode leaves me gasping, freaking out, and at the edge of my seat. And, of course, we always have to watch a few!

Hannibal is a show that is absolutely NOT for the faint of heart because every trigger warning imaginable is in it. But, if you can stomach all of the high fashion horror that takes place, then you’re in for a wild ride.

The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks & Rec:

After all of the intensity of Hannibal, Johnny and I will usually end our days with shows that make us laugh. Something lighthearted and pure fun. Cue The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, or Parks & Rec. We have both seen The Office and Parks more times than we can count and typically just end up quoting each episode verbatim.

We have never watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine before and are just about done with it. 9-9 follows the 99th detective precinct in Brooklyn, obvi, and the cast is led by the hilarious Andy Samberg, Terry Crews, Andre Braugher, and my absolute favorite: Stephanie Beatriz (She’s a badass!).

I don’t know if we’ll watch 9-9 again like The Office and Parks & Rec but it certainly has provided us with a lot of laughs. I’ll be the first to admit that it kind of slows down towards the last few seasons but I am looking forward to finishing it. 😀

Le Manoir:

As all of you know, learning languages is one of my favorite hobbies so I love watching foreign films in my free time. This past week, I watched a dreadfully funny French horror comedy called Le Manoir. It was basically a spoof on your classic horror movie thread of staying in an old school castle or mansion and having all of your friends die off, one by one.

A scary plot, yes. But, the cast of twenty-somethings who were such caricatures (social media queen, wannabe actor, etc.) brought so much humor into it. The plot twist ended up shocking me and there were some parts that had me just rolling with laughter. I got to practice French and I was thoroughly entertained. I can definitely see myself watching Le Manoir again!

Blind Date:

Now, I’m sure all of you know by now that Lil Red is not a romantic comedy type of gal. However, I LOVE French romantic comedies and Blind Date was simply adorable. I just feel like the characters in French romcoms are so much more like regular people than anything made in America and it keeps me interested.

There was really no fluff to Blind Date because the man and woman in a very peculiar relationship started out the flick as enemies! I can’t tell you the nature of their relationship because that would destroy the movie. But, if you enjoy foreign films and are looking for a cheeky and very real romcom, then do yourself a favor and watch Blind Date. Similar to Le Manoir, I plan on watching it again ASAP.

Now you know all of my recommendations and I want to hear about yours! What have you been binging on? Which streaming service is your fave? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Looking After Your Physical Health In Lockdown

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Looking After Your Physical Health In Lockdown

When practicing social distancing by staying at home, it can be difficult to keep your physical health in check. It’s no longer possible to go to the gym, run an organized race, or meet up with your sports team. And our normal food, sleep, and hygiene routines have gone out the window. Much has been said about how to look after your mental health in these stressful times, but your physical health is important too. We don’t know how long social distancing measures will be in place, so it is crucial that you stay on top of your fitness now and don’t wait until the lockdown is over.

If you are struggling to look after your health in lockdown, here are a few tips to help you:

Have a routine:

With your professional and social life on hold, all sense of routine has disappeared. You might feel there’s no need to establish a schedule for your days when you barely leave the house, but this may be more damaging to your health than you think. A lack of structure in your life can make you less motivated to look after yourself and promote bad habits regarding eating, sleeping, and exercise. Establish a framework to your days by getting up and going to sleep at regular times, and sticking to set meal times. Plan your days to fit in healthy activities and use the extra time productively.

Get enough sleep:

These are stressful times, and many people are struggling to sleep right now. The quantity and quality of sleep have a huge impact on your mental and physical health. If you don’t get enough, you may find yourself with weakened immunity, cognitive impairment, weight gain, and a higher risk of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Go to bed and wake up at regular times, and make an effort to reduce your exposure to phones and social media in the hours before bed, as these will only impact your sleep further.

Be active every day:

The lockdown has made it harder to motivate ourselves to exercise, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day will make you stronger and fitter, as well as reducing your risk of almost any health condition, including cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and cancers. Not to mention the mental health benefits. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a brisk walk or an online fitness class or a yoga session, schedule in some activity every day, and you will soon feel the benefits.

Eat well:

When you’re always within a stone’s throw of your kitchen, it can be hard to eat right all the time. Although comfort food can be beneficial now and then, you need to maintain a balanced diet if you want to avoid health problems. Avoid the temptation to order takeout and start preparing yourself nutritious meals with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, and take care to reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake.

As well as taking these steps to maintain your physical health, it is also crucial that you deal with any new or existing health conditions promptly. You can talk to a doctor online about any medical concerns, so you don’t even have to leave the house. Stay well!

Featured Image By: Pixabay