With all that is going on in the world today, the safest place to be is at home. We have been told to self-quarantine and practice social distancing. With all of this coming to a head so quickly, it is no wonder that people are going a little stir crazy. Today, I am sharing a few tips on how to stay sane while social distancing! I work from home a lot – now mandatory WFH – so I am pretty familiar with that cabin fever feeling. Sometimes, the only other human I see all week (other than Eric) is the UPS man. Eating canned veges and binge watching Netflix will only get us so far!
Check out my Tips on How to Stay Sane While Social Distancing below!
WORK ON REDECORATING
Do you have a project that has been on your punch list for weeks, but you haven’t gotten around to it yet? Now is the perfect time to work on it! The weather is getting nicer by the day, so why not open up those garage doors, get out the table saw and get to work! Below are a few projects that we are going to be working on over the next few weeks!
- Get our front porch furniture out of the garage, hose it down and touch up any paint chips
- Go through and purge our Master Closet – putting clothing and accessories in donate and sell piles
- Work on finishing our Dining Room Revamp
- Start organizing – pick an area of your home that you have been meaning to organize and go for it! We need to work on our pantry, under our sinks and the attic!
I’m am, by no means, suggesting that you leave the house to hoard supplies, but it does make sense for you to have a few essentials as you try to socially distance yourself for the foreseeable future. First, make sure that you have enough food for about a week. We picked up some non-perishables like your typical soup and canned veges, but we also got some meat, like hamburgers, chopped meat, chicken breasts, etc. that we froze. Additionally, utilize food delivery services like FreshDirect, Insta Cart and Peapod so you don’t out yourself in a position to have any human interaction as you stock up. Also, now is a great time to try meal prep kits like Hello Fresh! We have been using Hello Fresh for about 3 years – ever since we renovated our kitchen – and WE ARE OBSESSED! Second, make sure you have cleaning supplies and of course, hand soap to ensure that you can maintain hygiene protocols. Finally, order some things to keep yourself occupied! Think board games, video games, puzzles, a good book or pick up that hobby you have always been too busy to start!
Gone Girl is a dark story about the sudden disappearance of a wife, Amy, from her home in Missouri. Her husband, Nick, quickly becomes the main suspect in her disappearance. The book is unique in that it is told from three points of view, Nick’s, Amy’s diary and then, in the second half, from Amy herself. I enjoyed this book and enjoyed the mid-story twist. Since this was the first thriller I had ever read, I was not familiar with the “unreliable narrator”, so for me, the mid-story twist was unexpected and very exciting for me. I also liked that the story left you hanging at the end. Most of you may have seen the movie, but I always feel that a book outshines the movie! Overall, I enjoyed this book enough to read Gillian Flynn’s next two, reviewed below.
Sharp Objects is a story about a journalist, Camille, who has been sent back to her hometown to report on a recent series of murders and disappearances of preteen girls. Along with the drama on being back in her hometown with her mother and half-sister, Camille has her own personal problems. This book has a series of twists of its own that are on par with Gone Girl. I enjoyed this book and I liked that nothing was tied up in a neat little bow at the end. Overall, this was another great thriller that I would definitely recommend.
Dark Places is a story about a girl, Libby, who is the sole survivor of the mass murder of her family, in which her brother was arrested and convicted for. The book takes place many years later. Libby is broke and desperate and begins looking into the murder further, in the hope of making some money. This story is heart wrenching and the ending was unexpected and complex. Overall, I am pretty happy with Gillian Flynn’s trio of thrillers.
Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel is about a girl, Ani, who has been plagued by the ghosts of her past her whole life. In order to overcome and escape her past, Ani created an entirely new persona, from her clothes to her job to her accent to getting engaged to a wealthy and handsome man. For me, this book was Devil Wears Prada meets Gone Girl. I was, however, waiting for a big twist that never really happened. I think that I hyped up the ending into something that it really wasn’t. I don’t know if that made the ending more unexpected or more predictable, but the story from beginning to end was exciting and thrilling and the ghosts of Ani’s past were completely brought out into the open. I definitely could not put this book down and I ended up finishing it in less than a day!
In a Dark, Dark Wood is a story about a group of girl friends who go on a bachelorette party that does not end well. All of these ladies have secrets, especially Nora and Clare, who also have a long history between them. I loved the setting of this book, which takes place in a creepy, secluded mansion up in the mountains. The whole setting gave off a Clue-like vibe that just set the tone for this book. I also liked that the real twist didn’t happen until about half-way through the book. The twist was totally unexpected, although I did think that the ultimate ending was a little bit predictable (but maybe that is just because I have read so many thrillers and mysteries at this point). Ultimately, this book is a must-read!
The Good Girl is a story about a woman, Mia, who is kidnapped and held hostage in a secluded cabin by an unknown man, Colin. Mia’s family will stop at nothing to find her, but nothing is as it seems. This book slowly unravels the complicated relationships between families, friends and lovers. The unexpected twists in this book and the heart wrenching ending made this another thriller that I couldn’t put down!
Pretty Baby follows two women, Heidi and Willow, as their lives become intertwined around a 4-month-old baby. Heidi, a wife and mother of one, takes in Willow, a 16-year old homeless girl and her baby, Ruby. The book mixes flash backs and flash forwards to tell the story, which caused me to not be able to turn the pages fast enough! This is a sad and riveting story that wasn’t quite a thriller, but was a page turning nonetheless.
This next trio of books by Liane Mortiarty are also among some of my favorites!
The Husband’s Secret is a story about the perfect family, the Fitzpatrick’s. Imagine a life with a wonderful husband, a successful wife, three beautiful daughters…all brought to a screeching halt by a letter written by your husband, addressed to you to be opened upon his death. Imagine further, that this letter holds the deepest, darkest secret that a man can have. Cecilia finds this letter and struggles with what to do with the information it holds. Does she keep it to herself and move on with her life or does she attempt to right the wrongs outlined in the letter. What happens to this family if they have to deal with the consequences? This was a very compelling story. The secret is revealed pretty early in the story, however, the inner struggles that Cecilia and her whole family go through and then the unexpected and gut wrenching twist in the end make for another page turner. Do you think justice was served in the end?
Big Little Lies is a unique view into the life of a series of mothers, their families and the politics of elementary school. Each character has a series of secrets, all of which come out into the open. Some are even intertwined with each other in unexpected and murderous ways. This is one of my favorite books. For some reason, I loved the interactions between these characters, the differences between them, the growth they had during the book, and overall, I loved the twist at the end. This is a must-read for all of you out there! Again, if you have seen the HBO TV series, I still would highly recommend this book!
What Alice Forgot is fun and frustrating story about a woman, Alice, who loses her memory in the midst of a divorce, a hectic life, three children who she can’t remember and family feuding for reasons that she doesn’t understand. I have to say that I really liked this book as well. There is something about an amnesia story that just gets me. It was an interesting point of view, however, it was also quite frustrating as well. All in all, I was impressed with all of Liane Mortiarty’s books and would recommend them all.
Some other options include:
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The Last Anniversary: A Novel by Liane Mortiarty
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner
I am also reading the In the Woods series right now and I am loving it!
What I am Binge Watching
Cheer on Netflix
Outlander on Netflix/Stars
Love Is Blind on Netflix
The Pharmacist on Netflix
Hart of Dixie on Netflix (one of my fav old shows to re-watch)
My Favorite Board Games
The Video Games We are Addicted To
Little Big Planet
SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR SPECIAL SOMEONE
What better way to spend your time at home than with that special someone?! Eric and I have been loving that we have no schedule and nowhere to be on weekends. That leaves our days wide open to spend quality time together! One of the things we love most, especially during the weekends, is waking up and cooking breakfast together. While that may not sound that exciting, we love spending extra time cooking up a true breakfast and making fresh brewed coffee. Some of our favorites are belgian waffles, omelets, homemade cinnamon toast and of course, a freshly brewed chemex coffee using our favorite local beans! Let me know if you guys are interested in seeing a Chemex tutorial. It took us a few tries before we got the hang of it, but now it is like second nature!
GET A JUMP ON SPRING CLEANING
I mentioned working on organization and Spring cleaning earlier, but there is seriously no better time! Last year, we had our Dream Closet built. It had everything we wanted and needed, including an amazing amount of organization. As silly as it may sound, our Closet renovation was life changing! Even Eric agrees! Being organized makes it so much easier to keep our closet clean, kept us motivated to put away laundry and has made packing and unpacking super easy!
WORK ON YOUR COOKING SKILLS
Whether you stocked up on necessities or not, you probably have a bunch of random ingredients in your refrigerator or pantry. Why not put those items to use?! Take a look through some recipes and figure out how to throw together a delicious meal or snack?! We made these red, white and blue jello shots for 4th of July and I still have some left over jello! Eric also came home with apples on his last apocalypse run at Costco, so why not make a fruit with jello mold?
HAVE DATE NIGHT…IN
We decided to cancel Friday date night just to be safe. As much as we wanted to get out and celebrate our respective birthday’s at one of our favorite local restaurants, we didn’t want to take a chance of exposing ourselves to others right now. Instead, we created an at-home DIY version of our usual date night. We had meats, cheeses, wine and then cooked a delicious meal together! There is nothing that bonds us more than working together to cook a meal while dancing around the kitchen!
HOME WORK OUTS
Just because we are being advised to stay home, it doesn’t mean that you have to totally abandon your workout routine. We are lucky enough to have a Peloton, but for those of you who don’t have any expensive workout equipment, you can still find ways to exercise! I purchased a few inexpensive workout items that allow for me to do a full body workout from the comfort of my living room! I usually pick one or two of these downloadable workout videos to do daily!
Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope these ideas help you stay busy while we are self-quarantined and social distancing during this ordeal! Please stay safe and healthy!