Even though all the days seem to blend together right now, I’m pretty sure today is Wednesday. We have officially been under the Shelter In Place order since March and now two months later, we are still waiting to hear when life will return back to some semblance of normal. In the meantime, I wanted to share some ideas on what I have been up to while hiding out at home.
Odds and Ends. These are all the things on the “if I just had the time I would…”
For me this started with organizing. The first place I tackled was my bedroom closet. I had been dragging my feet on this one for a while because I knew it was going to be a time suck. There were clothes that didn’t fit and things I hadn’t worn in years. Prior to eight weeks ago, I always had an excuse as to why I couldn’t take this project on. Now with weekend softball games and birthday parties canceled, I had time.
I will say that after I did it, I felt so much better. It is nice to have a clear sightline to my favorite white and navy striped shirt, and when the quarantine lifts and I wear real clothes on the regular, I’ll know exactly where to find it. Along with my bedroom closet, I also took on my kitchen. I love that all my spices now face the right way! I also rearranged my cupboards and grouped things together. Like all the baking supplies in one cupboard, mixing bowls on the spinning rack and my beloved Corningware is now neatly nestled together. Some other projects for us have been hanging long overdue pictures, planting an herb garden (a gift from a dear friend), and finally fixing the broken handle on my dresser.
Change up your skincare routine. My very first job was at Merle Norman, a skincare and cosmetics shop when I was 17 years old. The woman that owned it is a mom of a dear friend of mine and she was (and still is!) one of the kindest humans on the planet. I am forever grateful to Julia for being such an incredible mentor to me. She shared wisdom about life, gave me responsibilities way beyond my years, and let me have the freedom to stretch my creative wings a bit. She also taught me about the importance of having a skincare routine. A famous Julia quote was “I know you’re only 17, but you need to start taking care of your skin now. I promise you that Jen at 27, 37, 57, and 97 will thank you.” As I type this, the 38-year-old me is so grateful for the younger me for heeding her wise words. Washing, protecting, and moisturizing has been a part of my skincare routine for years. I’ve bounced around with various products until about a year and a half ago when I started my journey with Arbonne. Once I learned about their ingredient policy, I was blown away because I had never considered there to be toxins in my moisturizer (and so many other personal care items) before. Here’s a bit more info about Arbonne, if you’re curious. I started using and fell in love with the RE9 anti-aging line. My top favorite products are the cleanser, serum, daytime moisturizer, and night cream. I noticed that shortly after using the products, my skin was softer, the little sunspots around my eyes started lifting and the dryness had gone away. A couple of other products I love are the overnight face mask because my skin has never been so hydrated. I can put it on over the night cream (or just by itself) and forget about it until I wash it off in the morning. Lastly, I love the vanilla lip scrub and salve set. It smells really yummy and has helped my dry lips immensely. And once I start leaving my house and wearing lip color again, I like to pair it underneath my favorite lip gloss in Calla.
Read. I love to read everything from beautiful cookbooks to fun magazine articles and blogs (I’m now obsessed with the idea of wallpapering my laundry room!) to a delicious novel or a book about personal growth and inspiration. Right now I’m reading “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. She dives deep on the notion that we are all meant to live into our creativity while kicking fear to the curb. That each of us has unique abilities that are meant to be expressed in a million different ways and how it is a gift to ourselves when we use those talents in our creative endeavors. It is brilliant. And inspiring. I’m absolutely loving it. It is the dose of confidence and reality check I need in order to bring this blog to life. Plus Reese Witherspoon recommended it and she has yet to steer me wrong! The beauty of reading is an adventure awaits right from your own living room, even better if you’re curled in a favorite blanket! And if I’m being completely honest, a mental vacation is exactly what I need right about not. Maybe you do too? Check out more of my favorite reads.
Clean. If there has ever been a time to clean behind the couch, this is it. We found legos, a bit of loose change, and even a few old jelly beans! With kids at home 24/7, the project of cleaning the whole house is squeezed in around all the other must do’s for the day. For me, it looks like tackling one room or like rooms at a time (I prefer to do bathrooms at the same time because I already have all my cleaning supplies out). Here’s a couple of tips that have helped me be more efficient. Go from high to low. Start by dusting the highest points in the room first so everything that doesn’t stick to the duster or rag falls to the floor and then finish by vacuuming. Oftentimes my kids enjoy wielding a duster so sometimes I get a bit of help in the dusting department. Another trick is having the kids clean the baseboard with baby wipes. Those little babies are the best! In addition to inside my house and with warmer weather just around the corner, I have also been cleaning neglected patio furniture and outdoor toys.
Sleep. As a mama it is easy to skimp on sleep, especially with littles in the house who wake up at all hours of the night. I have tried to push myself even when I’m bone-tired, but what I have found is that it takes twice as long to complete any task and I turn into a mean Mommy in the process. It’s not good for anyone. I love the mornings and have always been a morning person and by getting enough rest I can take advantage of that time. I tend to think more clearly and get things done so much faster in the morning compared to the rest of the day. During this time at home, I have made it a point to get to bed earlier so I can get up and get things done first thing when the house is quiet and everyone else is sleeping. The other thing I love, love, love are naps! I’m not sure there’s anything better than curling up on the couch in a cozy blanket and falling asleep. Or in the backyard. Or pretty much wherever. Even a 20-30 minute power nap can do wonders for my mood and mindset. I’m definitely happier when I’m not exhausted. Bonus if you can convince a kid to nap with you!
What have you been up to? What are some ways you are fighting boredom while at home? What are you getting done? How are you relaxing? I would love to hear what you have been doing.
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