Shop this look on my LTK here
Can you believe we’re in March already? Also – can you believe it’s almost been ONE YEAR since COVID-19 changed our lives & the World as we know it forever..? Me neither. But I’m glad to still be here, beyond thankful for my health & the health of my loved ones and feel so much sadness for those who haven’t gotten a break from the chaos in any sort of way. I’m sincerely thinking of you and rooting for all the amazing things to come your way. From a personal standpoint, I can relate to some of the hardships that many of us unwillingly experienced in the last 12 months. I remember writing this post 8 months in to document how I was feeling at the time, sort of as an outlet to vent but also in hopes I can come across it years from now and compare how the impact of the pandemic has affected me later on.
Not to continue on with the negativity, because it’s not my thing & takes away from the reason you’re tuning into this post, but I’ll start & end my “advice” segment with this: Once you hit rock bottom, there’s no other way to go other than UP. After losing all of my projects due to contract terminations literally overnight, having zero income to anticipate + piles of bills stacking up, it felt as if I was being served a sh*tstorm sundae daily for breakfast, lunch & dinner for several months. But in all that darkness, with nothing to do but nothing, I finally sat with myself & took it in. Every emotion circulated through me like an endless wash cycle. Little did I realize I’ve been needing to do this for myself long before a Pandemic set the pace for me to get around to it. I always made excuses not to dedicate time for myself; work always took priority – over sleep, over personal events, over just about most of my life including self-growth. Now I had nothing but time & like they say, it’s truly everything.
All I can say is, look where I am now. Much more grateful, appreciative and overall a more mindful human being – I feel better positioned to navigate all aspects of my life, personally to professionally to politically & socially. A priceless outcome of a horrific year that finally has an ending in sight. I hope this helps shed some light – we’re making miraculous moves with vaccines & things are definitely on the UPswing. Hang in there friends, the worst of it is over!
Now back to your scheduled content ;]
LIVING ROOM REFRESH
After a few comments from Thomas mentioning our living room is looking very “modern” these days, much to my shock I finally felt like I agreed with him. Everything was pretty much black & white with shades of grey. The only pop of color was the green coming from the plants. Earlier in the month, when the sun sets at 5pm, I definitely felt the darkness creep in & if you too are self-diagnosed with S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) then this can be a problematic environment to wind-down in after a long day. So I decided that Spring was going to come early for us.
One trip to HomeGoods & Hobby Lobby (each) and I was able to give our “modern” living room that much-needed refresh of Spring vibes. I normally don’t go for brand new throw pillows (opting for covers instead to interchange per season) but after having mine for close to 6 years, it was time for some new ones with fresh fluff. Once I swapped out the old with the new on the couch, hung an artificial wreath with lemons on the door and switched out the tray on the ottoman, I felt so much better about this space & my mood lifted along with it. Definitely a simple solution if you’re needing some inspiration (or extra happiness) during this time.
I’ve definitely done more “watching” than reading these last two months (whoops.) Usually I’m back into the swing of finishing a book every 1-2 months by the time Spring/Summer rolls around – I’m big on reading outside in the sunshine whenever I can. So in the Winter, when it’s miserable AF out, I’m fully dedicated to the couch by 6pm to tune into one of the several movies/shows/series we’ve started or have since finished in the past month. Here are some of our faves we’ve watched or are currently watching:
The Sinner – so suspenseful & addicting.
Bridgerton – because, duhhh.
Queen’s Gambit – might restart it again..
Sex & The City – I didn’t realize how much of the series had to be edited out to show on E!…so you know ;]
Friends – because, could I BE any more obsessed?
WandaVision – starts slow and a little confusing figuring out where it’s going but by episode 4, HOLY MOLY!
Soul – so many happy tears, love love loved it.
Greyhound – if you like history & Tom Hanks, this one’s for you
Promising Young Woman
I Care A Lot
*And yes, I’ve happily subscribed to all of these streaming platforms (+ Hulu) – bite me.
Homemade Tuna Poke Bowl
Thomas & I have been cooking up a storm most weekdays, sticking to our healthier intentions previously set in January. One of our new favorite dishes is a Homemade Poke Bowl (instead of taco bowl that we used to have weekly; we might have only had it 1x since the start of Feb.) I’ve never had a desire to cook fish when we lived in the City/Hoboken but here at home, we’re fortunate to have access to some of the best fish markets around. So I challenged myself to my first sesame ahi tuna recipe & it was a huge success!
I followed this recipe for the fish marinade (pour over fish steaks & let sit for 10 min before cooking) & cooked each steak on a stovetop skillet for exactly 4 minutes high-heat – 1.5 min per side, then 30 seconds for the 3rd flip. Then immediately take them off the skillet and onto a separate plate, cover with tin foil. Even when the steaks are removed from the direct heat of the stove, they’ll continue to cook for several seconds as they’re transferred to the new plate and it happens fast!
If you prefer your tuna on the raw(er) side, watch the sides of your tuna steaks and remove them before the top and bottom cooked portions meet in the middle of the steak. The beauty of cooking fish, especially tuna, is that you can watch it go from raw to medium-rare to well-done within a matter of minutes. And most importantly, while cooking – DO NOT take your eyes off them, not even for a millisecond – trust me. We’ve also made our poke bowls with Swordfish (baked in oven) – I’ll share that recipe in a later post soon :]
A Hoppy, Non-Alcoholic Drink
Unlike me, Thomas stayed fully committed to his Dry January plan & in doing so, tried out several known & new (to him/me) non-alcoholic beverage options over the course of those 4 weeks. He admitted to have fallen victim to an IG ad for HOP WTR & was curious to try it out. Needless to say, he’s ordered it 2-3x since ending his sober streak. I love the taste of these too! They kind of taste like seltzer waters, but have a slight hoppy aftertaste to them similar to a lighter IPA or Ale. Our favorite is the Mango flavor – by far!
WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS MARCH
For Valentine’s Day, Thomas gifted me something so beyond special – my very own Cherry Blossom Tree! We just tagged it this week and hopefully getting it in the ground early in April. I’ve always adored these trees and how gorgeous they are once in full-bloom. The anticipation of having one to look at from the kitchen/breakfast nook windows are giving me instant butterflies from the thought alone #PlantNerd.
The excitement regarding the tree has also triggered the brainstorming of more outdoor landscaping plans/projects for this spring. Along with replanting/relocating some of our existing shrubbery, I’m very eager to see what else will pop up from the soil that I haven’t seen/known of (I’ve never seen the house during the spring months.) I’m also very eager to set up our new grille & work on our outdoor seating/entertaining spaces, along with reorganizing our garage and (hopefully) going forward with the addition of a small, separate shed to store our lawn equipment separate from the garage – which has become a full-blown gym.
WEST COAST SKI TRIP
We’re relocating to the west coast (Oregon to be exact) for two weeks starting mid-March! Thomas has been tracking the snow report since the start of the winter season, determining that OR was getting the most consistent snowfall & that we should plan our annual ski trip out West here this time around. Having never been to OR, I happily and excitedly agreed! A change of location/pace would do wonders for us mentally/physically/emotionally, from work to play (aka ski time.) We’re so excited to have something like this to look forward to. And then once we return, it’ll officially be the start of Spring! Well, according to the Calendar at least ;]
I’ll be sure to continue posting during our trip, as well as recap everything about it once we return!
A FEW THINGS I’M LOVING LATELY
As you can see above, I recently got a new order of bralettes, boy shorts & bodysuits from Skims & I’m obsessed obsessed OBSESSED! Everything I’ve purchased from Skims (in the past to now) has been a winner – especially the bralettes; they’re all I wear. Also the bodysuits are fantastic – I just got this everyday t-shirt one and this cami one in the seasonal ‘Cypress’ color. PS for sizing – I got my true size small for everything except the boy shorts, which I sized up one for – to accomodate my peach more comfortably ;]
*Also here’s the link for anyone interested in my non-skinny jeans, because apparently they’re [skinny jeans] are “out” but my millennial self refuses to accept such ridiculousness. Here’s an idea GenZ Trendsetters: how about we keep both!? Flares & Skinnies 4Ever – along with my side part!
This set of 2-pack tanks from Amazon. I think I’ve worn them every single day for a year (no joke lol.) They’re the perfect layering pieces or great for wearing alone on a warmer day/workout occasion. I also have these 4-set camisole styles which I wear when all my other tanks are in the laundry, which is often.
My CARV Digital Ski Instructor that I gifted myself over Christmas. I finally got a chance to try it out over Valentine’s Day Weekend skiing Stratton. Seriously so blown away by this! Not only did it accurately calculate each run with mileage/distance insights, but it also provided me with an assessment of my performance for each run skied. Ranking everything from my balance, edging, rotary, and pressure on a scale from ok to great. And if you connect your headphones to Bluetooth, you’ll receive same-time performance summaries during & after your run so you can truly implement the tips/suggestions to improve on for the next run. Needless to say, I’m STOKED to use these again while skiing out West – hoping I’ll get really really REALLY good by the end of our trip 😀
After noticing some of my plants were showing signs of unhappiness (brown leaves, droopy even after watering) I came across the PlantIn app after seeing an ad about it being able to diagnose plant diseases instantly when you photograph your plant & it’s troubled areas. Sure enough, it works! I’m so happy I was able to not only figure out the problem(s) but be able to take care of them quickly before it became too late. If you’re a plant parent, you NEED this free app.
Came across this awesome small business Jaydee Studios that upcycles designer fabrics and makes them into masks! I purchased this Fendi one & this Celine one and so so happy with how they fit and adjust. So comfortable to wear too. Now I understand this might seem like a silly thing to spend $80 on, but I rationalized the purchase with the following: 1) Masks aren’t going away anytime soon, 2) My purchase helps to support a small business during the Pandemic, 3) This shop upcycles existing fabrics and gives them a second life, & 4) I’d rather spend $80 on something from Fendi or Celine rather than $700+ like everything else those brand items cost (the 4th reason clearly not the most rational, but YOLO these masks make me happy and that’s what matters.)
Not that I’m applying makeup often, especially on the eyes, but there have definitely been times where I wish I had better options of liquid eyeliner & mascara at my disposal for when I want to look extra put-together for Zoom calls. I heard great things about the Tarte Maneater Mascara & this waterproof liner from Stila so I purchased both for myself to try. HIGHLY RECOMMEND both – esp if you have tiny lashes (the brush head goes from small to large bristles so every lash is met with mascara) or if you have lower lids that often smudge up any liner application (also I didn’t have to retouch AT ALL during the day – gamechanger!)
We’re anticipating a very exciting start to April, but I can’t disclose anything yet! The superstitious person that I am is too afraid to say much more about it at this time BUT once the truth is revealed, it’ll so be worth the wait (maybe lol.)