How I’m Surviving Quarantine


In short, it’s been touch and go.

Like everyone, some days have truly been great. When the sun is shining and my inbox is under control, the chance to spend more time with my kids has been a gift. When they are fighting, or bitching about doing school work while I’m on a work call, when it’s 55 degrees in the middle of May, it’s not so fun. I’ve swept, mopped and done more laundry than ever before, which is strange since my kids seem to wear the same three things in rotation, along with beginning my career as a short-order cook.

Not going to lie, I am pretty jealous of the people quarantining without kids. I mean, I love mine but I’ve never been good about being at home with them for long stretches of time. I leave the educating and entertaining to the professionals. There’s definitely some newlywed couple out there going on so many hikes, crushing Netflix and getting their cute new home all spiffed up. On the other hand, we’re just all over here trying not to burn the place down. So far, so good.

I know we’re on the brink of getting out of this but with another month until childcare returns here in Kentucky and no exact date on reopening camps or pools, it seems like we could be all be primary care givers for a bit longer. And even those without kids to cramp their style (I kid, I kid. I love them but really, they are cramping my style a little bit), the return to normalcy is going to be slow going. Thought it might be worth sharing some little things that are keeping some semblance of sanity during the big Q.

Daily Walks with Funny Podcasts:

Just like the Geico commercial predicts, I’ve become my mother. Brenda is an AVID walker. Just moseys around her neighborhood on the daily, chatting with neighbors and getting her steps in. I’m certainly not as friendly but have become a staple in my ‘hood for my daily, if not twice a day, walks.

The goal is to get my steps in while maintaining my sanity with some peace and quiet. I put on my headphones, turn on a podcast and zone out for thirty minutes or so. My favorite podcast hosts are my quarantine bffs. Granted, I look like a crazy person when I start chuckling to myself but desperate times call for desperate measures and I’m willing to sacrifice any sense of dignity to keep my head screwed on straight.

As a pop culture fiend in need of a daily giggle, I’ve stuck with the more frothy, silly, bravo-centric podcasts. If you’re of a similar mindset, here’s my go-to rotation.

The Morning Toast – Love that it’s a daily show, love the sense of humor, love that they share essentially the same taste in shows as me. Jackie and Claudia are my corona-times besties and I love checking in on how they are managing time in the Q. Since a new episode comes out every day, it’s an easy way to stay in the pop culture loop without spending time scrolling endlessly on IG and Twitter.

* Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino Danny is the cutest and oh so hilarious. I love his Real Housewives of New York and Beverly Hills recaps more than words can adequately express and his episodes with guest stars have been on point throughout the quarantine. If you’re not a bravo-addict, his deep dive episodes on specific movies and shows are equally funny.

* Bitch Bible with Jackie Schimmel – When I’m in a fiesty mood and feeling a little bitchy, I turn to Jackie for a good vent sesh. She can rant with the best of them and it makes me feel not alone in being irrationally angry about everything that is happening in the world and within the four corners of my house.

* Absolutely Not with Heather McMahan – You all know I am a Heather stan so I am consuming every second of content she is putting out in the world. Her corona episodes have had me cackling, especially the one she recorded with her sister Ashley.


My Nespresso Machine

Right before this all started, I became something of a coffee addict. I’ve always been a morning cup kind of girl but sometime early in 2020, I turned into my grandma and started downing coffee ALL DAY LONG. Not sure how it happened, all of a sudden though, I was drinking coffee the entire day at the office.

I blame our Nespresso machine which I love oh so much. I already had one at home after falling in love with the one we bought for the office, so thankfully I haven’t had to deal with any coffee drop-off.

When we shut down the Lemonade office, I brought home a bunch of Nespresso pods to keep my addiction going strong. Making a cup in the morning helps me start the day off on the right foot and makes me feel a little like being at the office. It brings some normalcy and a lot of deliciousness to my day.

I know some people balk at the price but honestly, you can get a great machine for about $150 and the pods are WORTH it and are far less per cup than a Starbucks order. They also include a pre-paid mailing envelope to recycle your coffee pods, which makes me feel like I am doing something good for the planet. Whenever I drop a bag in the mail, I am filled with a bizarre sense of happiness. Yes, it’s strange but whatever.

If you’re considering getting one, I’d recommend signing up for an email list at William-Sonoma or somewhere like that so you can take an additional 15 or 20% off your purchase.

Coffee Please

Puzzles

Nothing helps me zone out like a good puzzle. It’s the easiest way for me to leave stressors like work or to-do’s by the wayside for an hour or so. The only problem is I tend to get hyper-obsessed and sit slouched in front of one for hours on end.

Earlier in the Q, I did a 2000 piece one and I was LOCKED in. It really helped in those first couple weeks. I just started a new one that I got from a friend and it’s a nice distraction on rainy days.

If you haven’t already, text your friends and see if they have puzzles you can borrow or swap. I only do them once and then try to give mine to friends. It’s like a book club with more pieces.

 

Get to Puzzling

 


 

Summer House

Not sure why I waited so long to get on the Summer House train but I’m so glad I am finally on board. This show is like cotton candy- total fluff but just a taste brings you so much joy.

The concept is a bunch of friends who live in NYC and rent a summer house in the Hamptons where they party non-stop every weekend. There’s no unnecessary following them around during the week with boring work or hanging out at home. Every episode is another weekend of raging. They just wrapped up season four so you have just enough episodes to enjoy without getting overwhelmed. I recommend starting with season two since the first season isn’t quite as great. We went back and watched the first season after plowing through seasons 2 – 4.

This show was exactly the kind of escapism we all need during corona times. I lived vicariously through them while drinking along. I can’t get my hands on any Loverboy yet (the hard sparkling tea two of the cast mates created) so instead I’ve been crushing Twisted Teas and Rose to channel my inner Amanda.

If you watch, please DM me so we can discuss since it’s my favorite topic of conversation these days.


These Tommy John Joggers

We’ve been at this for two months, so I know you all have plenty of loungewear on hand but these joggers are one of the best things I’ve purchased in quarantine. Soft but don’t fall apart or pill up when you wash them. Comfy enough to be pajamas but presentable enough to wear out for a quick errand.

 


CBD

If you haven’t jumped on the CBD train, now is the time. Pretty much every day ends up with me at my wits end, attempting to avoid exploding like a cartoon whose head pops open in flames. Adding CBD to my routine has helped even me out and avoid those extremes.

Just a little in the morning and I feel much more at ease. If you hate the taste, you can add it to your coffee instead of dropping it under your tongue. There are also capsules available. I’ve tried a few different brands and have had good results with them all.

Currently I am using Bluegrass Hemp Oil, which is a Lexington-based, female run company with a bunch of products I love (their dog treats have been clutch for our new puppy – more on that coming soon). They have capsules, tincture oil and some really awesome bath salts that are great at the end of a long day.

Other brands I’ve tried and liked include Medterra (their Good Morning capsules are my favorite), Equilibria  (their gel capsules are some of the easiest to swallow) and Bloom (the oil tastes a little like Nutella).

There’s been plenty of other things keeping me sane – mostly Natty Light Seltzers, Wine, White Claw, Netflix and this mop – but now you have the highlights. Feel free to send me all your saving graces and maybe I’ll do a reader round-up.

Photos by Avistoria – McKenzie Compton

meet danielle

mom of three, small business owner. balancing life and style in louisville, ky

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