Staying home leaves little potential for variety, which is why our entire team (and many of you!) reacted so strongly when I wrote about my Sundae Sunday tradition. The made-up tradition created something akin to a holiday that I now look forward to each week. In a way, it's helped to make up for cancelled travel and life plans. On a recent team call (our entire company hops onto a Google Hangout every afternoon, so we can touch base on work and catch up!), we began talking about the other traditions we've created in quarantine that help make this time at home feel a little more special. Here are a few more of mine, as well as Leslie, Jess, Kelly, and Cass':
1. Go out for coffee and pastries on the weekend: We make coffee and breakfast at home Monday through Friday before Sloan starts (virtual) school and we begin work, so we've made it a new effort to get out of the house first thing on Saturdays and Sundays. It's a nice way to create a differentiation between the weekdays and weekends and I like having something to look forward to first thing, even if the rest of our weekend is quiet and free. It also is a good motivator to get out and moving, especially since we usually end up at a deserted park so Sloan can run around. Other times, we drive around the city, showing Sloan places we've lived before, our favorite areas she's never been to, or spots with pretty views. It serves as a nice reminder that coffee and juice, when enjoyed outside of your normal routine, can feel really special.
2. Nightly games of Go Fish: One of my favorite nightly routines to emerge during quarantine has been our family games of Go Fish (sometimes we mix it up and play Guess Who?). Knowing that it's one of the things that's set in stone for us to do together is really nice. It also usually segues into some semblance of a dance performance/party, which is such a positive way to end the day.
3. Rediscovering old hobbies: When I was younger, I had so many hobbies and these days, many things I do is through the lens of whether it can be turned into content, or benefit our company. In an effort to get back into creating things, just for fun and without a bigger purpose, I've started making things while watching rom coms a couple of times a week. Whether I'm creating a friendship bracelet, lanyard, or jewelry, it's a nice way to unwind at the end of the day and to start and finish something, just for myself.
1. Midweek popcorn and movie night: Most evenings, Jonah and I watch a show or two on the couch, but on Wednesday or Thursday (when the week begins to lull), we select a movie and eat it with a huge batch of popcorn for the full "theater" experience—including no hitting "pause," which I do about a thousand times on a regular night. I make popcorn using this method in our Staub Dutch oven, and add Brightland's 'Awake' olive oil, and a ton of Trader Joe's Elote and Chile Lime seasonings. Euphoria, to me, is an IPA at the movies, so I give myself a "movie theater" pour of beer, too. Oh, and of course we use this method to choose our movie! We're so devoted to the tradition that our popcorn bowl and seasonings are one of the only items in our kitchen now that remain unpacked.
2. Restorative yoga and chill: Most mornings, I begin writing at 6 AM (I find that writing fiction, even if it never sees the light of day, keeps me creative!). But one or two mornings a week, I treat myself to a 45-minute Restorative Yoga class on Peloton, taught by Aditi Shah. The class moves slowly—it's basically one long savasana—and is such a wonderful way to start the day as the sun rises. I use a huge pillow as a bolster and bought a set of these blocks for the practice.
3. Have a solo evening: As much as I love spending time with Jonah, before quarantine began, I relished nights to myself. On evenings he had plans, I'd pour myself a glass of wine and turn on The Bold Type. Now that neither of us has plans, we build "solo nights" in once in a while where we spend our evenings apart. One of us will head upstairs with dinner to read while the other has the downstairs for just an hour or two. It's surprisingly restorative, and it's always fun to reunite around 9 PM to share what we each watched and did!
4. Have pancakes every Monday: Growing up, all of my friends knew about "Pancake Sunday," a standing, weekly invitation to descend on my parents' kitchen for my dad's pancakes (it also helps that my best friends lived on the same street as me!). Jonah and I have diligently maintained the same tradition in our own home, even now that we don't have visitors, and have taken to making a double batch so we can use the leftover batter on Monday morning to kick off the week with one of my favorite breakfasts.
1. Buy a bouquet of flowers on Fridays: Friday evenings are generally when Justin and I do our weekly grocery or farmers' market run. I've gotten in the habit of treating myself to a floral bouquet each time, and selecting flowers of a fragrant variety that are still in the budding stage. I place them in a vase on our dining table (aka my desk), and by Monday morning, they've bloomed and give off an intoxicating aroma. It's like having a diffuser, only better, and it sets the week off on a high note.
2. Takeout Tuesday and Thursday: While I've been relishing the extra time at home to try all the recipes I never thought I'd get to, I've hit a bit of a wall when it comes to the number of days I have the energy to cook dinner. We implemented Takeout Thursdays back in April, and it's recently grown to also include Tuesdays as well. We tend to rotate between a few of our local favorite spots (Roberta's, Little Fatty, Gjusta, KazuNori, Jon & Vinny's, and In N Out) and mix it up with new restaurants we'd been meaning to try before the pandemic.
3. #cupcakesandcashmere Peloton rides: If you follow @shopcupcakesandcashmere on Instagram, you've likely seen our invitations for any Peloton owners to join our outstanding weekly team ride that takes place most Tuesday afternoons. They're the closest thing I'll get to group fitness classes for the foreseeable future, I love the community aspect, and they hold me accountable to exercise–plus, they're so much fun. I wind up texting Kelly (clearly you can catch the two of us on the bottom half of the leaderboard) throughout each one to comment on the playlist, instruction style, or my energy level, and this little bit of structure each week has been therapeutic. We even have an internal Peloton Slack channel that's filled with sweaty selfies, class and instructor recommendations, and general banter about the rides we take. Every Tuesday, I wake up excited for the clock to strike 4 PM.
1. Virtual movie nights: Every few weeks, my movie crew (aka me, Jess, her fiancé, and her sister) "gets together" virtually to watch a movie on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video at the same time. We text each other throughout and FaceTime after to discuss, of course, and it feels ever so slightly like watching a movie in the old days. I always have popcorn and some kind of candy (usually Hot Tamales, let's be honest) to really take it up a notch.
2. Order a Thai food feast for one: At least once a month I order myself a Thai food feast from a local spot around the corner. Living alone means I don't usually order much when I get takeout, but early on in quarantine I realized that sometimes I want green curry AND eggrolls AND pad thai AND fried rice, so just I order it all and feast on leftovers for a week. I've been doing this since March and still going strong.
3. Morning coffee walks: One or two mornings every week, I walk about a mile roundtrip to my neighborhood Starbucks. I grab a mask, put on a podcast, order my coffee through the app, and head out around 7:45 AM when there's almost no one outside yet. Ordering ahead means I'm in and out in about 30 seconds, and I look forward to it pretty much all week.
1. Make something with my hands: It might be more accurate to say that I try to do this once a day. At the beginning of quarantine, it was crochet and wall hangings. More recently, it's been sewing and jewelry making. One of the best purchases we've made in the last few months has got to be our sewing machine. Everyone in the apartment has taken to using it. From making face masks to altering the clothes in our closets that need a little TLC, we're hooked. Up next on my DIY adventures is making clay earrings.
2. No phone time: I spend a ridiculous amount of time on my phone and feel the shame every time my phone's weekly report notifies me that my screen time has increased over the last week. So now, when I know there's nothing urgent and the workday is over, I try not to be so attached to that tiny screen. The easiest time for me to forget my phone is actually when I'm watching a movie. I put something on that I like and literally remove my phone from my sight. Even for just two hours, it's nice not to have brain space be consumed by scrolling or answering messages.
3. Having dinner as a family: When I told people I was planning on quarantining with my family for a couple of months I was met with some skepticism. A lot of, "Are you sure you're going to be able to handle seeing them 24/7?!" but funnily enough we don't actually see each other that much. My parents trade-off on visiting their office and my youngest sister is busy attending online classes. Add to that the semi-odd hours that I work and you'll find that we have plenty of space to miss each other. Since arriving, my Dad has made us all commit to a 6 PM dinner every day. It almost makes me feel like little a kid again but has been incredibly grounding.