Weekend Dispatch

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Today marks the beginning of our third week being self-quarantined. It's a surreal feeling. One moment everything feels normal, and the next moment you are painfully aware of how different life has become. Here in New Jersey, things are getting intense as our number of cases and deaths escalates. I feel like this sickness is closing in on me, and it's not a good feeling. I'm trying to remain positive and keep in mind that the safest place right now is in our homes. Since we will most likely be doing this for at least another month, and quite possibly, longer, I've decided to beef up the Weekend Dispatch posts. So, here we go. I'll be including things I've watched, ate, read, listen to, etc. as well as some suggestions and/or what's on my list for the week ahead.


How To Keep Your Kids Occupied During Quarantine

Monday, March 30, 2020

We’re living through some pretty strange times at the moment and none of us really knows how things are going to pan out or when life will resume as usual. Chances are, your little ones have been thrown out of their routine too. In many countries across the world, schools have been closed and we’ve been placed in a lockdown situation where we need to keep our little ones indoors. This, of course, can be challenging. Kids get bored easily. They’re not going to school. They’re not attending their hobbies and extracurricular activities. They’re not seeing their friends. They can’t get out to play at the park or go for fun days out. But that doesn't mean days at home should be dull. There’s so much you can do to keep their minds occupied and their imaginations entertained. Here are a few suggestions:

How To Plan For The Future You Want In Uncertain Times

Friday, March 27, 2020
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The world is full of uncertainty right now. As we wait it out, many countries across the world are in a state of lockdown, and it feels like there are so many unknowns. Forget wanting to thrive, we just want to know if we and our loved ones will survive this testing time. It’s easy to forget what life was like without the constant ticking of bad-news headlines and worrying new developments. Although this particular situation is something none of us have experienced in our lifetimes, it’s fair to say that life has always been about overcoming challenges.

From accidents and illness through to redundancy, divorces and bereavement, no life is completely without its testing times. In fact, it's not these crises which define us - it's our emotional resilience and our response to them and how we handle them. In fact, being confined to our houses is presenting us with a unique opportunity to re-evaluate our lives, to assess the direction we’re heading in, and to set some goals for our future. Planning for better days can be a savior in turbulent times, as it allows you to focus on the positive and take back some control. So, how can you use this time in self-quarantine to plan your next move and actually improve your life?

What To Wear To Be Comfy In Quarantine

Thursday, March 26, 2020
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I've learned a few things during this quarantine, and one of them is how to perfect my athleisure game. In two weeks, I've worn jeans twice, maybe. I've been living in black leggings, cozy joggers, and cute sweats. At one time, I would have considered this type of clothing to be glorified pajamas, but not anymore. I'm totally here for the athleisure look, especially during these times when we are safe at home but still want to be comfortable and look pulled together. Here are a few of my favorite pieces that are versatile and can be worn with jeans or pulled on over a bathing suit.

An Emotional Roller Coaster

Monday, March 23, 2020

Life sure does look differently these days. A few months ago if you had told me our state (and much of the country) would be on lockdown in March, I would have laughed. How silly that would have sounded back then. Now, it's our reality, and there isn't anything we can do about it except adjust, cooperate, and hope our efforts pay off quickly so that we can jumpstart life again.

The fact that this situation unraveled so quickly is daunting. Two weeks ago everything seemed fine. I was going to the gym everyday. The girls were going to school everyday. We were more vigilant about hand washing and touching unnecessary objects as well as our faces, but other than that, everything seemed as it always was.

Best Online Reads

Thursday, March 19, 2020

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. How to load a dishwasher properly via The Huffington Post.

2. What it's like being a healthcare worker fighting coronavirus via Marie Claire.

3. The five do's and don'ts of working remotely via Inc.

We Can Beat This & 10 Things To Do In Quarantine

Monday, March 16, 2020

This is a crazy time in the history of the world. A global health crisis not only poses a threat to our physical wellbeing, but also to our mental and financial wellbeing as well. As much as I support social distancing (I've been doing it since Friday afternoon), it's difficult to see some of my favorite small businesses suffering in order to support these efforts. But I know our collective efforts will pay off in the end by limiting exposure and therefore, stopping COVID-19.

In the meantime, it's overwhelming to take in the abundance of information that's coming from all directions and try to maintain some semblance of sanity and control. While it's been hard for me to limit my time on social media each day as I am constantly checking Facebook for updates and Instagram to see how everyone is doing, I know also that I need to take a break from the constant news stream.

As hard as it is to be quarantined, it's also the only way we will end the spread of COVID-19. Rather than live in denial, embrace your limitations and use this time as a chance to accomplish things you never seem to have the downtime to do.

The Books I Read In January

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

This post is wayyyyy late, I know. It's been a minute since I've had a chance to sit down and devote time to writing this long post. It's an in depth one since January was a very productive month for reading. It was a combination of kicking off the year with a new reading goal and being overly eager to smash it and having a list of really good books to read. 📚 From the moment the clock struck 12 am on January 1, 2020, I hit the books. Literally, I took a single sip of prosecco and moved on to reading! By the middle of the month, I had 4 books read and was on a roll!

Here are the books I read in January:

7 Ways To Save Money On Kitchen Appliances

Tuesday, March 10, 2020
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Our house was built in 1996. Up until a few years ago, most of our appliances were the original ones that were in the house when it was built and when we moved into the home in 2006. Within the past few years, the appliances have slowly stopped working, primarily due to their advanced age. Kitchen appliances are essential to modern living. Over the years, we've gotten adept at buying new appliances. And because we've often had to do so often, we've gotten really good at finding the best sales and knowing where to splurge and where to save. Whether you’re outfitting your first home or shopping for replacements, here are a few ways in which you can save money on appliances.

How to Know The Right Gift to Buy For Her

Monday, March 9, 2020
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No matter how well you know your significant other, buying gifts for her can be a little harder than you expect. This can happen for a couple of reasons. For one, you already believe that she has everything she needs, and two, it may be that you don’t want to buy her something solely for the sake of buying it.

Both of these pose a problem, though, and it creates quite a conundrum. If you don’t buy her something, you come across like you don’t care, but purchase something useless, and you risk the same thing. So, it’s essential to have a solid plan and even a backup plan, whether the gift is big, small, something meaningful, or something fun.

5 Things To Consider When Looking For A Lawyer

Friday, March 6, 2020
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Lawyers aren't just for getting you out of trouble or a bind. You might consult one when you are buying a new piece of property. Or you might call a lawyer if you've been injured in an accident. If you're looking for a lawyer but you're unsure where to begin when it comes to finding the right person for the job, I'm sharing a few tips thanks to advice from a friend's husband (who is a lawyer).

Whether you're need a lawyer on a one-off basis or you need to hire someone long-term, be sure the person you find is suitable for the job at hand. While the search for an attorney may seem difficult and overwhelming at first, there are lots of questions you can ask yourself to ensure you're getting it right. From setting yourself a budget to working out what type of lawyer you need, the more you're thinking about it the better. With that in mind, here are 5 things to consider when looking for a lawyer:

How To Broach Sensitive Topics With Children

Monday, March 2, 2020
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There comes a time in your life as a parent where you will have to broach sensitive topics with your children. Since my daughters are 14 and 17, I seem to be doing a lot of this lately since they are at the ages where they are hyperaware of what is going on around them and in the world. Whether it's the issue of loss or explaining the hardships of life that may have presented themselves too soon, or helping them overcome issues such as bullying at school, all this can take a toll on your child, and so providing a place of safety and comfort for them to learn about these issues and slowly digest them is necessary.

Additionally, sometimes it can be that the topic is extremely sensitive and requires careful thought and protection. For instance, the boy scout abuse lawsuits of recent times have made us all aware just how anyone can be a victim. This can be a tough job for any parent, but of course love, respect and the safety of our child makes this approach less of a difficulty for us and instead a must, and a task for which we must find the right approach. Since our daughters have been raised in the Catholic religion, they've had many questions about the sexual abuse in the Catholic Church that we've had to address both honestly and delicately.

We've gone about our discussions with the following things in mind: