I think I’ve officially lost track of how long we’ve been self-isolating…and for those of us in NY, there seems to be no end in sight. I’m so grateful to have a job that I can do from home, but I’d be lying if I said that this virus outbreak hasn’t altered the scope of my work. While some of you have mentioned that you welcome the distraction of personal style posts & pretty spring fashion, I also realize that we are living in a very different world right now & I want to share content that is both practical & helpful for navigating these circumstances.
So, today’s post is more lifestyle-related & I’m sharing what I’ve been up to lately – including the tastiest meals I’ve made, the workouts I’ve been doing & the best things I’ve purchased since quarantine began. Hopefully this gives you some new recipes to try, fun activities to do & simple ways to make this time of staying at home a little more enjoyable!
THINGS I’VE BEEN BUYING
All these are exclusively from Target & Amazon because they have the quickest delivery available (so many other retailers have delayed shipping right now). I love utilizing the order pick-up option at Target & I’ve discovered that many of their items actually have special deals/lower prices when you do it this way – for example, I can get my favorite coffee for $2.00 less! Here’s the best of what I’ve bought over the last month:
Ribbed Crewneck Tees
My t-shirt drawer has been needing a little update, so I was happy to discover these cotton/modal blend tees. They are so soft & stretchy and the ribbed detail gives them a more refined look (perfect for dressing up or down). These come in 11 different colors & they’re on sale now – I bought two in blush brown & white (not see-through at all!). These are a little more fitted than your average tee, so I’d size up if you prefer a looser fit.
Acrylic Stackable Organizer Drawers
Quarantine provides the perfect opportunity for organizing…and since we have the added benefit of packing for our upcoming move, we’ve been purging a lot and working to identify what we need to maximize storage space once we’re settled with my parents. I bought some of these clear drawers, which are ideal holding vitamins, first aid items, toiletries or makeup – you can set them side by side or stack tall & they come in two different size options.
Who else feels like they are snacking constantly while stuck at home? I’ve learned that if we don’t have healthy options on hand, I will end up eating my kids treats (hello, leftover Easter candy). So I am trying to keep a constant stock of my favorites like this grain-free granola (so good with fresh fruit & yogurt), these roasted pistachios (no shells to hassle with) & these cheddar cheese crisps (pairs very well with red wine!).
File this under things I should have bought years ago. I cannot tell you what a difference this has made & how much it’s helped me to stop slouching & hunching over my desk all day long. It’s comfortable and you can wear it under or over your clothes – I put mine on around 9am & take it off at 3pm.
Reusable Silicone Straws
I love that these are color-coded & come with their own carrying case so everyone in the family gets one. These come with a little cleaning tool, but I usually just throw ours in the dishwasher. We typically keep these in the car for easy access on-the-go – although we haven’t been going out much lately, I know these will come in handy on our cross-country trip in a few weeks.
As soon as the kids started doing school from home, we realized that we didn’t have enough chargers for all the devices in the house during the day – and, let’s be honest, we were getting a little tired of hearing them argue over who had a lower battery life and needed it more. So we bought two of these wireless chargers and put one on the main floor & one upstairs near their bedrooms. It’s such a great price & is compatible with most devices (works for AirPods too!).
Geometric Earrings + Straw Headband
I used to love walking through Target to just browse their new arrivals & try things on…but those days are gone, so now we have to do it all online. When I was buying the tees mentioned above, I needed a little more to add to my order, so I threw in these fun accessories at the last minute and I couldn’t love them more! Both of them are 5% off right now when you use Target Circle (sign up for free here).
Adult Coloring Book + Colored Pencils
We’ve been trying to get creative with family activities since quarantine started – challenges be an ordeal or an adventure…so we are doing our best to focus on the latter & make fun memories for the kids. We’ve done outdoor scavenger hunts, game olympics, fitness challenges, and our new favorite: art night. I ordered coloring books on Amazon for everyone – my son got this Harry Potter coloring book, my daughter got this summer scene coloring book, my husband got this muscle cars coloring book & I chose this street style coloring book for myself. We turn on some music & sit around the table while we talk, laugh & color together – it’s the perfect activity for those rainy evenings when we can’t go for a family walk.
Core Sliding Discs
I’ve definitely been buying more workout equipment over the last month & these are the latest addition – try them for an effective core workout like none other! These are double-sided so you can use them on hard floors or carpet. If you don’t already own resistance bands, there’s a great combo pack with sliders here. This is a great reference sheet for different moves to try with them.
Elastic No-Tie Shoe Laces
These are a game changer if you’re like me & have been wearing sneakers more lately. Just take out your regular laces & replace with these and you’ll have shoes that you can easily slip on & off! After I bought mine, I ordered some for my mom & dad since they have a harder time bending over now that they’re older. These come in 22 different colors & would also be great for little kids!
Silicone Stainless Steel Tumbler
We’ve been trying to do a family walk after dinner each night when the weather is nice – it’s such a great bonding time and the dog loves it when we’re all walking him together. Since it’s usually a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood, I’ve started bringing my wine along with me in this sleek tumbler. It’s vacuum insulated so it’s great for hot or cold drinks + the lid keeps your drink safe from splashing out.
Expressie Nail Polish
So many of you have messaged me asking about at-home manicure tips and I think this video is the best tutorial I’ve seen (I use the same techniques when I paint my nails). I recently picked up these new polishes to try & was amazed by how fast-drying they were! They have a slightly angled brush, which I think is so much easier to use. I got the shades Second Hand, First Love and In A Flash Sale (perfect for spring!). Right now, Target has a promo where you can get a free bottle of nail polish remover when you buy two of these.
Pixi Eye Patches
I’ve mentioned these before but I just ordered more on my latest Target order pick-up because I’ve been using them so much. They really are the best eye patches I’ve ever tried for depuffing and hydrating. Highly recommend!!
Olly Energy Gummies
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had the hardest time with my energy levels lately (probably doesn’t help that we’ve been staying up much later than usual since quarantine began). I’ve sung the praises of this brand for years so I decided to try these gummies to see if they would help. I’m chronically low in B12, so it’s a supplement I need anyway + this flavor is so good. I definitely feel like I’m more motivated to get going & able to focus better throughout the day.
MEALS I’VE BEEN COOKING
If there’s one thing that quarantine has forced us to do, it’s to have more meals at home. If you’re like me, you’re probably running low on ideas. I’ve been trying out tons of new recipes and, to be honest, there have been some hits & misses. So I thought I’d share with you the ones that my family has loved & that we’ve now added into regular meal rotation at our house. These are all gluten-free and most are Whole30 compliant too!
One-Skillet Spinach Artichoke Chicken
I made this for the first time when I was in Oregon for Christmas with my family & it was a huge hit! You can serve it over mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower.
Paleo Fish Tacos
This is my Dad’s favorite recipe of all time – he asks for it weekly! I buy the Siete Almond Flour Tortillas and heat them up in a small pan until they get a little crispy (if you’re not GF, you can use whatever brand you prefer). I recommend using slightly less sparkling water than is called for, so the batter is thicker. I serve with homemade guacamole & these chips (also love these for a grain-free option).
Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
There’s nothing easier than a good crockpot meal – just throw everything in, set the timer & forget about it! This is so easy & delicious – I recommend doubling the sauce ingredients so you have extra. I also modify this a bit and use Coconut Aminos instead of soy sauce & this unsweetened ketchup (you can add more honey if you prefer it a bit sweeter). I serve with jasmine and/or cauliflower rice & French green beans.
Crispy Zucchini Fries
This obviously isn’t a meal in & of itself, but these are such a tasty side dish! I make them when we have burgers & they get devoured. I use this ranch dressing (if you’re dairy-free, this is a good alternative).
This tastes so similar to the Taco Bell version I grew up eating – definitely a more indulgent (and filling!) meal, but so worth it if you have a craving for Mexican food. Her sauce recipe is amazing & I’ve ended up using it for homemade enchiladas too! I double the recipe for our family & use Siete Almond Flour Tortillas for myself and these white corn tortillas for everyone else.
Maple Walnut Crusted Salmon
This sounds & looks so fancy, but it couldn’t be more simple. My kids aren’t huge fans of salmon, but they gobble this up. If you don’t have walnuts, you can substitute pecans (I did this last week & it was just as delicious). I serve alongside Japanese sweet potatoes & roasted broccoli.
Black Pepper Chicken
This tastes just like Chinese take-out…without the guilt (or MSG)! And don’t worry if you don’t have fish sauce on hand, it’s just as good without it. I serve this with jasmine rice and/or cauliflower rice.
Honey Mustard Sheet Pan Chicken & Brussels Sprouts
I love this meal because it’s quick & easy and you only have one pan to wash when you’re done! I recommend cooking the chicken for about 15 minutes before adding the Brussels sprouts (unless yours are very large) – mine were smaller & ended up a little overcooked when I made this the first time. I also double the sauce to have some extra leftover (trust me, it’s so good!).
WORKOUTS I’VE BEEN TRYING
Active by PopSugar
This site has over 500+ workouts & you can join for free! They have pretty much everything you could want – yoga & pilates, dance, high intensity cardio, low-impact exercises, boxing & barre. There’s a good range of 20-60 minute workouts & most don’t require any equipment (the 60-minute cardio boxing is my current favorite).
Modern Savvy Run Club
My blogging BFF just launched a running club challenge that starts May 1st & I’d love for you to join us! Just download the Nike Run Club app (it’s free) and request to add Alyson Seligman as a friend. Once accepted, she will send you the invite to the challenge, which is to complete 30 miles by May 31st. Even if you’re not a runner, you can jog or walk the miles – it’s a great way to stay motivated to move a little each day & get that accountability that we all need right now!
I just discovered this sweet girl a couple months ago and, once quarantine began, she started sharing at-home strength training workouts on her Instagram. I’ve created a workout folder & saved all of them so I can reference them easily – you can choose whatever weight works best for you & I like that she offers modifications for certain moves. Other Instagram accounts that I like to follow for workouts: Alexia Clark, Cara Loren & Megan Roup.