Without the joys of travel and adventure this year, most of us are turning inward to fill the days. Each month this year I’ll be sharing some of my favorite things that are bringing me joy in quarantine – from what I’m listening to and what I’m snacking on and beyond.
I love podcasts and I’m always going back to The Skinny Confidential Him & Her podcast by Lauryn Evarts Bosstick and Michael Bosstick. This podcast has always been one of my favorites for how real Lauryn is and how she always aims to bring value back to her audience. Listening to her podcasts are super inspirational and make you feel empowered to just crush your life. She interviews experts in wellness and lifestyle on her podcast and you can take away tangible tips from listening like how to form healthier habits, tips and tricks for beauty, best practices for entrepreneurs, how to build your brand and so, so much more.
I’ve been binge-watching so many shows recently as work has slowed down around the holiday season. Grey’s Anatomy is my current obsession, which, if you don’t know, follows the lives of surgical interns in a Seattle hospital. In each episode, you are introduced to new patients and ailments while the drama of the OR follows the doctors (and nurses) in and out of the hospital. If you’ve been putting off watching this show for years (like me), consider this your sign to get started and try to avoid spoilers.
Another show I’m currently binge-watching while typing is Bridgerton. This popular Netflix show follows a young girl in 1800s London who is entering her first marriage season, where the women of this time are expected to present themselves as eligible for marriage to the men in hopes of receiving a proposal. Daphne Bridgerton is, however, hoping to marry for love and not duty, but when certain expectations and scandal falls around her, her expectations must shift while she navigates how to save her place in society.
In trying to think of which movies I was loving this month, I realized that I barely watched any movies because I continuously kept watching the movie After and its sequel After We Collided over and over and over again. This will be a bit repetitive as you scroll further down since my book-obsession was also the full After book series! The movies, however, are both available on Netflix and was the start of my After-binge. The movies star Josephine Langford (sister of 13 Reasons Why Star Katherine Langford) and Hero Fiennes Tiffin (who once played a young Voldemort in the Harry Potter series). The movies are totally corny, but I haven’t met anyone who has watched it yet and said they didn’t like it (well, except my boyfriend when he walks in and says “AGAIN?!”).
And here we transition into the book series! The After series consists of four novels and a prequel, written by Anna Todd. It follows college freshman Tessa Young as she meets older, rebellious, British, Hardin Scott. While they are constantly at odds at first, they quickly realize they can’t stay away from each other. They have a crazy, chaotic and – yes, I’ll say it – at times toxic relationship. But the books are so entertaining you’ll find them hard to put down! Interestingly, these novels actually started as One Direction fan fiction on Wattpad (Hardin Scott was originally written as Harry Styles!). This books won’t change your life with a big life lesson, but it will be wildly entertaining.
I could not talk about music this month without talking about Taylor Alison Swift. As we say in Swiftie Stan World – she is the music industry. The surprise Evermore album was such a delight and I love the more indie vibes this album, and folklore before it, served up. My favorites are most definitely Ivy and Willow, but so many songs on this album just light my soul on fire.
Another album I can’t get off repeat recently is Machine Gun Kelly’s Tickets To My Downfall – quite opposite from Taylor Swift. Machine Gun Kelly is surprisingly my celebrity crush and this album makes my middle school self so happy with the pop punk emo style MGK took on for this album. Truly every song is a BOP but Forget Me Too (with Halsey) is a current fave.
Cooking has been a huge part of quarantine life, but one of my staples recently has been pesto egg whites for breakfast. I’ve been cutting back on dairy so all I do is mix a store-bought non-dairy pesto with egg whites in the skillet. Sometimes if I have some extra time I’ll add in chopped tomatoes and onions. I actually got the idea from my favorite brunch at The Turning Point, an amazing breakfast-lunch spot with several locations on the East Coast. It typically is served over breakfast potatoes, but I just use wheat or rye toast, buttered (non-dairy) chopped up.
I don’t kid myself into thinking I’m a style guru, by any means, but I found some pieces that I love this month, and that I’ve been living in. I found these Offline Leggings from an influencer I follow – I truly can’t remember if it was Alyssa Lenore or Christin Bryant, but you should totally follow both ladies! The Offline Leggings from Aerie feel just like my Lululemon Align pants but are half the cost. I think mine are just slightly too big and they don’t stay up *super* well but they are still the most comfortable leggings I own. I’d recommend sizing down if you are interested. They are also currently on sale!
Some other items I’ve gotten recently, either as gifts or given as gifts for the holidays, are mostly Etsy finds. This sweatshirt that says Kamala and Joe is so cute and looks so soft. It was a great gift for my sister. I received this “I’m speaking” sweatshirt, inspired by the VP debate, and it is beyond comfy. This Rose Apothecary sweatshirt was absolutely perfect for my mom who is a huge Schitts Creek fan. My mom, my sister and I all have these Obama t-shirts.
So which destination am I currently daydreaming about right now? My best friend recently moved from San Francisco to Telluride, Colorado and the community sounds beyond wonderful. I have family in Colorado, but have never been to Telluride. There are beautiful snow-topped mountains as far as the eyes can see as the town is settled in a canyon. It’s only 8 blocks wide and 12 blocks long, but from what I’ve learned so far, this small town is filled with boutiques, eateries, and local businesses. I can’t wait to visit!
New year, new me – am I right? I know the new year is so overwhelming with messages that you aren’t enough, which sucks, but it is such a nice time to refresh. Recently, I’ve been turning to the Tone It Up app for my workouts at home, since I’m not yet willing to go to the gyms in my area. Tone It Up has lots of quick and efficient at-home workout classes. Some require equipment and others don’t. They also often run “challenges” where a community of women will do a weeks-long program of the same workouts and follow nutritional guidelines.
One of my favorite purchases this month was custom maps of cities I love. I found these custom maps from an Etsy seller who creates these beautiful digital files. To print them for my home, I sent the files off to Shutterfly to create 16×20 matte prints. I ordered basic frames off Amazon to hang them, and voila! We haven’t yet hung them in the home because I actually ordered a few more recently so we’ll have four total city maps to hang.
Another purchase I’m loving recently is this Revlon hot brush. You’ll have to check back to see how I am enjoying it after a few weeks, but I tried it for the first time today and had an AMAZING blow out in no time. It totally removed the need to straighten my hair after it was dry. I love a time saver!