Resources To Work Out at Home

One of the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak is the fact that the gym is closed. Needless to say, many are trying to work out at home.

Honestly, I’ve been working out at home for pretty much my entire life. I find it not only much easier (especially considering the fact that I wake up at 5:30 a.m. to work out), but I find that it’s cheaper. Here are some ways that I do workout from home:

  • Amazon Prime: Amazon Prime has so much more than The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. It also has a ton of great workout videos — from kickboxing to yoga. I find that this is an added bonus to having Prime, because I use this a lot.
  • Jillian Micheals: Completing a Jillian Micheals shred workout is something that is on my bucket list. This is a great option for someone who is trying to get in shape because it gives you a complete workout. You can get the DVD on Amazon, or you can download the video to your devices. Disclaimer: you will need weights to complete this, so make sure that you have some on hand.
  • Running/Walking Outside: Since we are spending quite a bit of time inside, it is more important than ever before to ensure to get outside and enjoy fresh air. So, on nice days, try to make sure that you get outside to enjoy the sunshine. One thing that I am trying to do is to try new places to hike in my state that are on my bucket list. Also as a bonus, it also has a calming effect on the body as well.
  • Get a Mini Stairstepper: Money is going to be super tight these days, so I am not saying getting expensive equipment. That said, there are so many great workout options on Amazon that are less than $100. I have this mini stair stepper, and I absolutely love it. I use it while I am watching TV and it gives me a great leg workout. Furthermore, I also enjoy using this with arm weights to burn a few extra calories. I also love this, because it’s easy to store as well.
  • Apps: There are quite a few apps — both paid and free — that are devoted to fitness. My favorite is FitOn, because it’s free, but you have Peloton, and so many others. I would definitely check those out on your phone’s App Store.
  • YouTube: This last option is probably one of the cheaper ones. YouTube is such a great resource for anything, because you can get so much information for free. This includes workouts. This is a great option to check out as well, because you get a workout class for free essentially.

Hopefully these options will be helpful for getting a workout in during this difficult time. While this doesn’t apply to me, one final tip is to check with your gym to see if they are offering classes virtually as well. That is definitely a way to also keep them in business as well.

How are you getting a workout in without the gym? Let me know in the comments below.

I Participated In My First Readathon: Here’s How It Went

Many of you know that I am a huge fan of the YouTube Channel Peruse Project. Last week, Regan announced that she was doing a readathon. Of course, I was going to participate in that.

The TBR: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah and Tweet Cute by Emma Lord.

Friday: 

I started on Friday. I was already reading the Great Alone, so I continued doing that. At that point, things were beginning to happen in that book so it was easy to get engaged in the book. I read for a bit in the morning, and then I did some work for work. After that, I did go ahead and get some groceries which was an ordeal.

Once I finished, I did go ahead and alternated by reading and crocheting the entire night.

Saturday: 

Reading during the morning has been a habit of mine for many years, so I got up and continued to read The Great Alone. I also had to go to the bank, which I did once I finished breakfast.

When I came home from the bank, I went ahead and finished the Great Alone. As a side note, I really loved the book and if you’re looking for an amazing read to escape from the craziness of what’s going on now, I highly recommend it. I knew then that I deserved a break, so I decided to put the book down for the time being.

That said, it was really nice out, so my boyfriend and I went to the beach and did a mile long walk. We also stopped at Walmart to get Animal Crossing, and got takeout.

Once we got back from our adventures, I did begin Tweet Cute on the way home. And for the rest of the night, I pretty much alternated from reading and playing Animal Crossing.

Sunday: 

Not much to report here. Sunday was a mixture of cleaning (Sunday is usually my cleaning day), laundry, crocheting, and reading. I did finish Tweet Cute on Sunday night, and it was the perfect uplifting easy read. I decided at that point, I wasn’t going to start another book, so I went ahead and ended it there.

Overall, the readathon was a great way to make a dent in my reading list. The Great Alone was on my mashed potato reading list, so I am really happy that I was able to get through it as well. I also loved both books, and am now currently researching more of Kristin Hannah’s backlog.

Have you participated in a readathon? If so, what was it like?

What I Love Wednesday: March 25

Welcome to week two of quarantine. Currently, everything is shut down in my state except for the grocery store and pharmacy, and we’re continuing to social distance. That said, this list is mostly comprised of things that I’ve been watching this week, along with a few others sprinkled in. That said, here’s what I am loving this week:

Love Is Blind: As many of you know, I am the worst at binge watching TV shows. Let that sink in as I tell you that I have watched the entire first season of this show in less than a week. I will admit, I am pretty proud of myself for that too.

Love Is Blind, for those of you who haven’t seen the show, is a Netflix reality show that has people go into pods and try to fall in love based on the conversations and emotional connection. Once they get a proposal, they then can meet.

The show is pretty much like the Bachelor and the Circle combined, and I loved it. I highly recommend this show if you’re looking for something to binge.

Animal Crossing: Animal Crossing came out on Friday, and I have been obsessed with it. I am new when it comes to video games, so it took me a while for me to get used to my Nitendo Switch. Once I did, all bets were off. I have been playing in between working and doing some other stuff (one thing that I don’t want to be is irresponsible), and have been enjoying it.

Little Fires EverywhereI read the book last year, and I loved it. Needless to say, I am really happy that Hulu made this into a TV show with Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. It premiered last week, and I’ve only seen one episode so far. However, I am hooked. I can’t wait to watch the other three episodes in the next few days.

Things I’m Doing For My Mental Health Right Now

This is a trying time for many. For some of us, we are working from home for the first time in our lives. Some of us are experiencing the anxiety of not getting paid — whether it may mean that it’s a reduction in hours or not getting a paycheck whatsoever. And, of course, there is the increasing anxiety of what’s going on in the world. The cases — and deaths — of Cornavirus have increased daily to a number that’s frightening.

In times like these, self care is more important now than ever before. Here are some of the things that I’ve been doing to take care of myself during this crazy time in between working from home:

Getting Dressed In The Morning: Since many of us around the world are in quarantine, chances are, you’ll be thinking that you can wear PJ’s all day and no one will ever notice. Yes, that’s true. That said, I have found that I feel really crappy about myself when I don’t get dressed. I also don’t feel as if I can get motivated unless I’m wearing something that’s not PJ’s. So, get dressed. But, you don’t have to get dressed in your typical workday clothes. I have been wearing sweatshirts, and comfy pants since this began.

Enjoying Nature: It is springtime. That said, it’s nice weather outside. So, whenever there is a nice day, I’ve been getting outside. This weekend, my boyfriend and I went to the beach and walked the boardwalk. After the walk, I felt instantly better. Here in Connecticut, there are a lot of great hiking places to enjoy. So, on those nice days, why not road trip to some of them? After all, now we have the perfect excuse to enjoy nature — six feet apart while being in small groups no less than ten that is.

Exercise: Many of us probably are without a gym right now, because they are all closed. That said, I am the queen of working out at home, because the only time that I am able to do so is at 5:30 in the morning. One of the things that I’ve been doing is making sure I still workout in the morning for 20-30 minutes a day. Exercise is crucial because it helps you both mentally and physically. I will be posting about some great ideas to work out at home later this week, but there are so many options to still get your workout in.

Watching TV: The concept of binge watching has been completely lost on me. That said, I am trying to use this time to watch TV shows that I’ve been procrastinating on. This is something that I’ve been doing and enjoying. I finished the Morning Show last week, and am working on Love is Blind. After that, I am going to watch Little Fires Everywhere, which I am really excited because I loved the book.

Doing things that I love: I have a lot of hobbies. I love reading. I love to crochet and knit. I also am getting really into Animal Crossing. Making time for things that you love is extremely important — and do wonders on your mental health. That said, since we are quarantined in our homes and

Texting/Calling Friends: Social distancing doesn’t mean that you can’t talk to your friends. Thanks to my iPhone, I am able to keep in touch with family and friends easily. However, I do want to make one thing clear — just because we are social distancing doesn’t mean that you always have to answer everyone’s call or text back immediately. If you’re not in the mood to talk, that is completely fine as well.

Organizing/DeCluttering: This was definitely one of my resolutions for 2020. So far, I’ve been cleaning out stuff and rehoming books that I no longer have any interest in reading. I’ve only done a fraction. of what I wanted to do, but I am so proud of my accomplishments thus far. After all, there is no better feeling that getting rid of stuff that you no longer use and declutter. And, you’ll be so proud of yourself for doing so.

Treating Myself: The stores may be closed, but I’ve noticed that there are a lot of online sales — such as local businesses and stores that are currently closed. And, with all of the extra time, I wanted to make sure that I am stocked up with books and craft supplies. So, I’ve been treating myself quite a bit to items that I was planning on purchasing anyways, but getting a better deal on them.

How have you been helping your mental health during this time?

Shopping My Way Around CT: Small Businesses To Check Out During This Time of Crisis

This is a scary time for everyone — especially small businesses. Over the past week, many of them had to close their doors unexpectedly without any end date in sight. That said, I wanted to take time to give a shoutout to some of the local businesses that I love that really could use our support right now. Many of these places are some that I’ve talked about on my blog on a regular basis. This is going to hurt them, so I’m hoping that this blog can help give them some awareness.

Shining Starz Dance Studio, Branford, Connecticut: Fun fact: Shining Starz is actually owned by one of my best friends from high school! Like many places across the state, the studio is closed. Theresa Shine, the owner, has taken a more virtual approach. She created a private Facebook page where enrolled students could do the classes from home until the end of March. That said, if you’re looking for something to do to stay in shape during a time when the gyms were closed, I would definitely reach out to them. You can find them on Facebook by clicking here.

RJ Julia Booksellers, Madison, Connecticut: RJ Julia is a book lover’s dream. They have so many great events, and it has every bit of charm from a classic local bookseller. What I love most about this book store is honestly the staff. They are so helpful and knowledgable about books, and give excellent recommendations. RJ Julia closed their doors to browse books on Monday. However, that didn’t stop the chain. They are offering phone orders that can be shipped to your door, and of course, online. If you need a great book, I highly recommend you checking them out.

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SV Decker, Milford, Connecticut: It’s no secret. I love SV Decker. I get all of my healing gemstone jewelry from there, as well as several of my silver pieces. I love SV Decker simply because of the quality and the good vibes. SV Decker is now strictly online only, but is offering both free shipping and 20 percent off. Definitely pluses!

Do you have some local businesses that deserve a shoutout during this crazy time? Please let me know, and I’ll write another post featuring them.

What I Love Wednesday: March 18

Hey there everyone! I am currently at home quarantined and doing my best to practice some social distancing. That said, I still wanted to share my faves this week, despite the fact that I am limited since I am home.

Here are some things that I am loving this week:

If you know me, you know that I am a huge fan of S.V. Decker. Since my go to place in Hamden closed last year, I have been getting a ton of my jewelry from her. Before she closed last week, I purchased the celestial ring, which has become one of my favorite pieces. Signet rings are my favorite, and I love moon pieces. It’s perfect for layering with other rings, or by itself. Like many other businesses during this crazy time, S.V. Decker had to shut their doors, so be sure to check out the website for these, and many more pieces.

  • Peter Cetera’s Solitude/Solitaire:

In last week’s post, I talked all about how much I’ve been getting into physical music. Last weekend, I found my mom’s old cassettes. One of them was Peter Cetera’s Solitude/Solitaire. The album has one of his most well known songs, Glory of Love. Since discovering the tape, I have been listening to it nonstop — and not just on my little Walkman. I even listen to it on Spotify. That said, if you’re looking for something to jam out to, I highly recommend that album.

  • In Five Years by Rebecca Serle:

Like many of us, I have a lot of time to do some extra reading thanks to Social Distancing. I just finished In Five Years by Rebecca Serle and absolutely loved it. It is about a woman named Dannie, who has it all. She is a successful lawyer, she just got engaged, and she has everything that she believes that she wants. She then is transported to five years in the future, where she wakes up next to a different man. Because of this vision, Dannie is hesitant to get married, and meets the man. Naturally, this is awkward. I loved this book. I actually read a few of Rebecca Serle’s other books, including the Famous in Love books, and the Dinner List and loved them. When this book came in, I had to download it right from my Nook and read it. I absolutely loved the book, and I highly recommend that book if you are looking for something to read.

Just Stay In.

I actually wasn’t sure if I wanted to blog about this, or if I should even discuss it on my blog and go about it almost as if it was business as usual. But, since this is my personal blog, I almost feel as though I can’t address it.

The world is in complete chaos right now. Many places of business are completely shut down, many of us are still working from home, and some of us are temporarily unemployed. Grocery stores are practically empty with many of the essentials.

Italy is in a state of complete and total chaos. I have a friend who lives in Italy, and I constantly worry about her, as well as her family. And, I’ve read that the U.S. is about ten days behind Italy.

First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers go out to those who are affected by this — whether by battling this illness, or financially. My thoughts go out to our healthcare workers, who are trying to keep everyone safe — including themselves. I wish nothing but good health for everyone.

All of this is terrifying. And, the sad thing is that this is only the beginning.

As of Thursday, my work has been closed and will be closed for the next two weeks. At least. Last night, the State of Connecticut has placed a ban of all in house dining, and closed gyms and movie theaters.

However, there is a message that each and every one of us is hearing from our state representatives — stay home. And, that is what each and every one of us needs to do. We need to social distance — even though this may be awful and isolating. I live alone, so it’s definitely lonely even though I have Lucy.

This is our new normal.

Many of us think that this is being too extreme. However, looking at Italy and realizing the we are only a few days behind is honestly scary. Therefore, I think the least we can do is stay home for a bit.

And, it doesn’t have to be boring. Think of this as unlimited amounts of self care time. If you’re like me, you probably have a ton of books to read, crochet projects, and tv shows to watch. I’m also working from home, so that means I can probably have TV playing in the background while I work, which is something that I love to do. Or, blast music while you work, which is something that always increases productivity. For Lucy, this means having a lot of extra time out of the crate, which is something that I am truly grateful for.

Use this time to just unwind. Many of us are constantly on the go — which could be an indicator as to why this is so challenging — and always complain that we don’t have any time to enjoy the little things in life. Staying home isn’t always a bad thing. And, right now it’s absolutely necessary.

As for this blog, I’ll continue to post regular posts as much as possible.

Stay healthy, everyone!

Are You Caught In A Reading Slump? Here Are Six Books to Help With That.

As much as I love reading, every now and then I get in a reading slump where I am tearing through books slowly. The cause varies. Sometimes it’s due to life circumstances or the fact that I am reading a slower paced book that makes me uninterested to pick it up.

Whatever the case may be, let me tell you that there is no better feeling than overcoming a reading slump. Usually for me, it’s being able to get into a really good book. So, here are some books that help me overcome a reading slump:

  1. Heartstopper Vol. 1-3 by Alice Osman: This graphic novel tells the love story of Nick and Charlie. Charlie and Nick start out as being just friends. Soon, the two begin to fall for each other. Throughout the volumes, Nick deals more about his sexuality, Charlie opens up to Nick and so many other adorable side stories. This is the type of book that will devoured in one sitting.
  2. Anything by Colleen Hoover: I love Colleen Hoover’s books because they always keep you in suspense and they have twists and turns. I love it! I’ve only read a few of her books to be honest, and I am obsessed with them. Gradually, I’m getting through her backlog, but if you love suspense, drama and romance, these are the books for you.
  3. After by Anna Todd: I binge read this series in January, and I pretty much read all four in about a three week time period because I couldn’t put these books down. The series talks about the unhealthy relationship between Hardin and Tessa. And, fun fact it’s a fan fiction of One Direction. I guarente that if you were to pick up this series, you are going to fly through these.
  • 4. How to Walk Away and Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center: Over the past year, I have been going through Katherine Center’s backlog after she was my July 2019 Book of the Month. I love her books because they are so heartfelt and you become absorbed in the story. How to Walk Away talks about a woman who gets in a plane crash and can never walk again. She loses everything — from her new job to her fiancée. Yet, she finds a new life and love. Things You Save In A Fire is about a firefighter named Cass who has to move halfway across the country to take care of her sick mom in wake of a scandal. She is the only woman in the firestation and soon begins to prove herself — along with the alliance of the Rookie by her side. Both books were devoured by me.
  • 5. The Wives by Taryn Fisher: This was also a Book of the Month pick for me, and let me tell you I was hooked from page one. The book is about a woman whose husband has more than one wife and believes that he’s dangerous. One day, she decides to confront one of the wives — to the point of stalking. The story has a ton of twists and turns, and as I said from page one, this book sucks you in until you finished it. I highly recommend this if you are looking for a quick plane read.
  • 6. Anything by Taylor Jenkins Reid: Taylor Jenkins Reid is the author of the bestselling Daisy Jones and the Six, which is similar to a Fleetwood Mac tell all. However, all of her books are just excellent. I’ve only read three — Daisy Jones and the Six, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and After I Do. And, I could not put any of them down. I have yet to work through her backlog, but I know that they are going to be amazing when I do get to them.
  • Hopefully reading some of these books will pull you out of the reading slump. What are some books that pull you out of a reading slump?
  • What I Love Wednesday: March 11

    Happy Humpday! This week, I actually don’t have a lot of favorites. I actually debated about not posting a What I Love Wednesday this week, but I wanted to make sure that I see the positive of every week. Listing the things that I love is showing me how to do so.

    So here are my favorites:

    • New Music:

    There are so many amazing new releases out that I can’t stop listening to. Lately, I’ve been loving the new releases from: Lady GaGa, Selena Gomez Harry Styles, Katy Perry, and Demi Lovato. I have had Stupid Love on repeat for a while. 2020 is going to be a great year for music. What is really exciting is that I will be getting to see JoJo in May. So, it’s going to be a great year.

    • Physical Music: 

    I also have been collecting a lot of great physical music, such as vinyl, my iPod and cassette players. I recently found a cassette and a vinyl player, so I am so excited to build that collection. For cassettes, I actually have a ton of them from when I owned a car that had a cassette player, so I am excited to be able to listen to them again. What I am so excited about is that I am able to listen to Taylor Swift’s Lover on cassette too, thanks to Urban Outfitters.

    I love the feel of actually owning music to be honest, and for me, it adds something to my day to listen to it. I’ve started to listen to music during my commute to work, and it puts me in a positive mood.

    • Urban Outfitters’ Snoopy Attire:

    I have been scoring a ton of stuff from the Urban Outfitters clearance bin with Snoopy on it, including this Snoopy shirt. For those of you who don’t know, I am a huge Snoopy fan. For a while, I would get the cheaper Snoopy shirts from Kohl’s. However, what I love about Urban Outfitters is the quality of the shirts. The sweatshirt that I had was really thick and really comfortable, and has become a huge part of my weekend wardrobe. If you love Peanuts, I highly recommend that you check out their stuff — you can score some great deals on it.

    The Hardest Lesson I’ve Ever Had to Learn

    On February 25, 2019, I woke up to find out that my mother died overnight. My mom was 57. The day prior, we were picking out carpet samples to redecorate the family room.

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    The cause? A heart attack.

    It’s been a year since she had passed away, and now that the numbness has worn off, it’s starting to get real. I am no longer protected by shock – I am starting to truly begin to realize that she is gone. I can still hear her car radio in the driveway when she came home from work. I can still picture her wearing her Southern Mom sweatshirt while cleaning with her iPod shuffle blasting loud disco music. Writing it now, I realize that those memories are further away then ever before. However, they are all I have left.

    The thing about losing a parent in your 20s is that everyone tells you how to feel. Others will say things to simply say something – even though it is not helpful. And, many of your peers will not understand what it is like to lose a parent simply because they haven’t.

    That said, losing my mom taught me something – that life is truly short. We really don’t know how long we are here for. It’s too short to worry about the small stuff – even though it’s easier said than done. And, because of that, it’s important to enjoy and live life to the fullest capacity. That is why it’s important to me to try to do things that make me happy.

    I believe that happiness is composed of the little things. For me, it’s listening to music while I am taking a bath, or morning walks with Lucy. I do some sort of workout every morning, as it is a form of self care. I try to make more time to read, and do things for me. By cramming my day with a ton of things that makes me happy is most important, as it helps me feel as though I am taking care of myself and balancing better.

    With that being said, losing my mom the way that I did reminded me to cherish every moment that you get to have with your loved ones – simply because you don’t know how long you will have with them. Many of us often associate that mindset with the elderly. However, we need to apply that mindset to everyone in our lives.  So, that means being grateful for loved ones who call when they are concerned about something. Or, spending time with family even though sometimes it feels like it’s an item of the to-do list.

    Learning that lesson was the hardest one that I ever had to learn. I keep on thinking about my mom and all of the things that I took for-granted. I think about how much I miss all of the little things with her. In fact, I just miss her in general.

    Nowadays, I try to do more to make me happy in life

    That said, I ask you all to hug your loved ones and cherish them. That time that you spend with them is truly the best gift you can give yourself.