Dan and I officially rounded out our first week of self-quarantine yesterday. Truth be told, both of us have been working so much that we haven’t had time to get bored (yet), but I know everyone’s situation is different. We’re both thankful to still have jobs that we love, a cute house to spend this weird time in, and an even cuter emotional support dog to cuddle when the world seems all-too-bleak.
I wanted to share a few ideas for how to pass the time and maybe even become better versions of ourselves in the process. Here we go…
Spring Cleaning + Organization: This is probably the top recommendation I’ve seen online, and it has been so fun to see everyone’s before and after shots of their organized pantries, closets, etc. My recommendation would be to start with one room, work your way through it and then move to the next… this should be productive, not overwhelming! Last weekend, I completely emptied and reorganized our pantry and now I find myself in there, just staring at my handiwork during the day. If you have items you don’t want or need anymore, as always, give it to Goodwill! Our donation centers here in Middle Tennessee are still open and they’re taking measures to practice social distancing – you just drive up, drop your donations and go about your day.
Cook or bake something new! As someone who enjoys cooking, this one really speaks to me. I have a pretty extensive cookbook collection that I’ve acquired over the years and I’m excited to really dive in and try some new recipes. Lucky me, I’ve got two of the best taste-testers living under the same roof.
Plant something! It is spring, after all. I just started some echinacea and zinnia seedlings so that they’ll be ready to plant in a few weeks when the weather warms up. I’m also planning to get some tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs going. You can find starter trays, soil and seeds all on Amazon. Or, if you just want to add some life to your space, treat yourself to a fun houseplant! They truly make a space feel so much cozier. You can read more about my journey to becoming a plant mom here.
Read a good book (or twelve). Making more time to read was actually one of my goals for 2020… and now that’s seeming pretty attainable. I did order this book from Amazon – it’s about Madame Clicquot, the lady who turned the Veuve Champagne house in Reims into an empire. We visited while we were in Paris a few years ago (more on that here) and it was such an amazing experience. Book of the Month club has a really reasonable subscription option, or if you’re watching your spending, you can always utilize free resources like your local library’s online offerings of books, audio books, podcasts and more.
Get moving. Yes, most gyms are closed. No, that doesn’t mean you should just stop working out. It’s so important for our physical and mental wellbeing to stay active! Even on my most meh of days, I make sure to take Barb for a 30 minute walk and I ALWAYS feel better after. I have been taking Pure Barre classes virtually all week and it has been so good for the soul. Lots of other gyms or studios are offering drop-in virtual classes and YouTube is also a wealth of free workout videos.
Clean out your inbox. I don’t know who needs to see this (me), but now is a great time to declutter your digital life too. Go through your email inboxes – both work and personal – and delete anything that isn’t necessary. It might seem small, but you’ll feel SO much better after.
As promised, here are a few items we’ve purchased from Amazon to make this time at home easy, cozy, productive and fun (for all 3 of us):
Side Hustle Ideas
I want to be sensitive to the fact that this particular season of life might be really tough for some folks financially. When we moved from Chicago to Houston, I found myself “funemployed” and needing to make some cash to supplement the little bit of freelance work I was doing at the time. One thing that I started doing (and this goes along with the organization piece above) was selling my gently used, unwanted clothes on Poshmark. As you’re going through your closet, you can make a donation pile and a pile of newer/higher-end items to list. To put things in perspective… to date, I’ve made more than $1,200! The app is incredibly easy to use and offers a ton of helpful resources for getting started and best practices. Plus, it’s totally free to ship your items – they send you a pre-paid label and you can just pick up some envelopes and boxes from your local post office. If you do decide to download the app, make sure to use code EBGABRI – you get $10, I get $10… everybody wins. I’ll be sharing more about reselling via Poshmark and consigning through The RealReal soon.
Another thing I did to make money on the side was walking dogs through Wag. We lived close to a huge medical center in Houston and there were a lot of healthcare professionals whose pups needed some TLC during the day. Given our current circumstances, I’d have to imagine there are a lot of dogs that need walking or sitting. If you love animals, this could be a great option for you!
I think the unofficial word of 2020 is “unprecedented.” No doubt, these are weird times, but we’ll get through it. Let’s all just remember to allow each other (and ourselves) a little grace. Be respectful of the fact that not everyone is still gainfully employed – people are struggling. Help out where you can and make sure to connect with the ones that you love. Just because we’re all cooped up at home doesn’t mean we can’t make this a great year.
Love you all and I can’t thank you enough for following along with this tiny little corner of the internet.