4/30/2020

Mother's Day Gift Ideas



They say time flies when you’re having fun, but I think the same could be said of time during quarantine. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost May, which means Mother’s Day is just around the corner! With a little over a week to find a gift, I wanted to share a few ideas. Some are very quarantine specific but can still be loved beyond these weird times.

Liba Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager Pillow with Heated Balls + Hot and Cold Terapy Neck Wrap: Sitting at a desk at home all day can be hard on the neck and back, and I think we’re all likely carrying around some tension these days. Either of these would be a great gift for helping mom relax a bit!

Nantucket puzzle: Puzzles are a fun way to pass the time during quarantine, or really anytime. These pretty photos turned into puzzles are all of Nantucket and would be fun to do with mom.

Burt’s Bees Hand Cream + Tula Butter Hand and Nail Cream: Anyone else’s hands super dry from constant washing? These creams are timely and nice to have, global pandemic or not.

Evelyn Henson face masks: The future is face masks. These Evelyn Henson masks are pretty and perfect for the summertime.

Face massage roller: I have an ice roller and it’s one of my favorite things. This face massage roller is a step up and helps relieve tension while cooling the skin. Talk about the best of both worlds.

Personalized stationery: These pretty notecards are timeless and always good to have on hand. Love that you can personalize them too!

Acrylic stir sticks: How fun are these stir sticks?! Perfect for quarantine happy hour.

Printed dish towels: I didn’t know dish towels could be so pretty. You also can wrap them around a bottle of wine as a cute wrapping.

Yeti: Yetis are always a great go-to gift. Currently $25 on Amazon!

Monogram zipper wallet: With not many places to go, mom likely doesn’t need her whole purse. Love all the different print choices for this personalized wallet!

What are your suggestions for a great Mother’s Day gift?

4/29/2020

Tips for E-Learning and Working from Home


Anyone else feel like they hit a slump while studying or working from home? I felt pretty productive toward the start of quarantine but hit a slump about two weeks ago. I was not getting much done and found it hard to stay motivated. I like to consider myself a highly motivated person and wanted to get out of this funk ASAP!

I changed my routine a bit and wanted to share what helped me maximize my day better. Obviously, times are crazy right now, so there will be different strokes for different folks. I hope that this may help some of you too!

Schedule your day by hour
At the beginning of the week, I like to schedule out my week and look at the deadlines I have coming up. I schedule chunks of time to work on each assignment, test or even just random to dos. This helps me feel like each hour has a purpose and I can see when my day will end. While my days at school felt very long, I have made my quarantine days closer to 9-5, which opens up my evenings to just chill out with my family or Facetime with friends.

Write a to-do before starting your day
Anyone else love the feeling of crossing things off your to-do list? It’s one of my favorite feelings, and I found that writing these to-do lists helps me feel more accomplished at the end of the day. I write down activities I do daily anyway like replying to emails because I love looking at the list and feeling like it was a productive day. I recommend doing this first thing in the morning to help start on the right foot.

Drink lots of water
I have been drinking much more water at home, partially because refilling my glass gives me a reason to stand up and take a short break every once and a while. Being stationary all day has made me feel super sluggish, but drinking water helps me feel hydrated and not so bleh. It’s a super easy way to help yourself get a little break and keep your body happy.

Schedule breaks
When I map out my days, I make sure to incorporate time for a lunch break or even just stepping away from my computer. Whether its back-to-back Zoom meetings or taking a test, it’s important to step away and give your brain a break! I recommend giving yourself a time limit so that the break doesn’t go too long and you lose your productivity, but I have to admit I’m still working on this myself.

Get dressed
I love my PJ sets and would stay in them all day if it meant my productivity didn’t see a dip. But even just putting on leggings and a sweater help me feel a tad bit more ready to get something done. I totally recommend embracing the quarantine wardrobe, but suggest an outfit that’s a step up from PJs ;).

What are your tips for staying motivated and finding a groove in these weird times?

4/25/2020

Quarantine Pick-Me-Ups


I’m not sure what the situation is where you are, but Illinois extended the stay-at-home order until the end of May. As I prepare for another 30 days of quarantine, there are a few things that have made it easier during this time of uncertainty. I thought I’d share in case you’re looking for a few pick-me-ups too.

Book of the Month
After a ton of recommendations from my friends, I joined the Book of the Month program. It’s essentially a $15 monthly membership and you choose one of the five books they offer each month. They are hard covered books and ship for free! I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find a book I’d like each month, but they pick a good variety of genres and you can pause or cancel at any time. My first book is scheduled to arrive today, and I have been excitedly checking the shipping updates each day. If you want to try it out, you can use my link to get your first book for only $5! I’m already looking forward to picking out my book for the month of May.

Fresh flowers 
My mom picked up a small pot of pink hydrangeas a few weeks ago and they have been the perfect addition to my desk while I e-learn. It can get a bit mundane sitting at my desk all day because I’m used to running around campus every day and I am not loving the complete switch to being stationary. It may be small, but the pop of pink is a nice change of scenery and a great thing to have in the back of my Zoom meetings ;). 

Blown out hair
Another weird transition for me was going from getting dressed up with my hair and makeup done each day to having no reason to. It felt so odd and like I was on a huge break from school rather than just taking things online. I found that blowing out my hair after I shower helps me feel the tiniest bit more put together, even if I’m putting on leggings and a sweatshirt after. I use the Revlon barrel hair dryer and love it. Gets the job done in 10-15 minutes.

Nancy Myers’ Kitchen Playlist
After about week 3 of working from home and e-learning, I was getting pretty bored with my usual music choices. I found the Nancy Myers’ Kitchen playlist on Spotify and have had it on repeat all week. The playlist has a ton of songs from her movies like “The Parent Trap,” “The Holiday” and “The Intern” to name a few plus other songs that fit the vibe. It’s 16 hours long so it doesn’t feel repetitive and is easy to have on all day.

What has helped you feel a bit better during quarantine?

4/20/2020

Monday Mix: Athleisure for Quarantine


Happy Monday! It’s hard to believe it’s already the start of another week. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve been opting for athleisure during quarantine. I still feel a bit put together, but comfort is key for e-learning and working from home.

Today I’ve picked out a few athleisure pieces I’ve been eyeing recently. Each item is under $30 (woo!) and falls into both the cute and comfy categories. I have a feeling that some more athleisure pieces are in my closet’s future, and these items are at the top of my list.

Are there any athleisure pieces you’ve been eyeing recently?

4/01/2020

Five Book Suggestions for Quarantine


Anyone else have reading on their to do list during quarantine? I finished “Little Fires Everywhere” last week and am currently breezing through “Love at First Like.” I’ve really enjoyed a little extra time during the day to read a few pages and especially love reading before bed.

We still have plenty of time during quarantine to knock out a book or two, so I thought I’d share a few suggestions in case you’re looking for a good read during this downtime. You can find great summaries searching the titles online, so here I’ve linked the books and am just sharing why I liked each. Each is pretty different from the others, so hopefully there’s a little something for everyone. These are all books I’ve read already, and I shared a few books on my to-read list below the suggestions!

The Woman in the Window — This was one of my favorite books I read last summer! It’s a bit of a thriller and kept me turning the pages faster and faster as the book progressed. The ending was definitely a twist, and it’s coming out as a movie starring Amy Adams soon.

Playing with Matches — While none of us are really on vacation right now, this book is a good beach read. It’s lighthearted and very chick flicky. I read the entire book on a flight to California last spring, so definitely an easy and fun novel.

American Wife — If you’re into historical fiction or American history, definitely check this one out. The story is based off former first lady Barbra Bush and her life. This is a bit of a longer book, but I enjoy American history and found it really interesting.

Crazy Rich Asians — I saw the movie before reading the book, but absolutely loved the book when I read it. It’s a bit different than the movie, but still kept me laughing throughout the entire novel. The novel is part of a trilogy, and I highly recommend the sequels as well!

Whisper Network — A review I read before reading said it was like a crossover between “Big Little Lies” and the movie “Working Girl,” and I couldn’t think of a better description. A little bit mystery, a little bit office drama and a little 21st Century girl power. Another book that kept me on the edge of my seat until the end!

As for what’s currently on my to-read list…

 Let me know if you read any of these! Have you already read one—what did you think? What’s on your to-read list?

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