When I think about where I'd most like to be—physically, but also emotionally—it's at my kitchen island, surrounded by friends, or in Italy. In 2019, we rented a house in Tuscany for a week with friends and had planned on repeating the trip last year. The feeling of being able to travel freely, explore hole-in-the-wall pizzerias, and watch Sloan run around the sloping hillside as we drank Aperol Spritzes with our friends are all moments I took for granted in the moment—but now realize just how special they were. Below are some of my reflections on time in quarantine, and where I hope to find myself later this year:
Where's the first national/international trip you'd like to take? Mexico! Back in April, after we were fully vaccinated, I was watching someone's Stories of their trip to Mexico that looked so incredible that I full-on booked us at the same exact hotel where they were staying (#creeperstatus). We'll be basically recreating this acquaintance's entire trip—we're actually leaving today!—and I'm counting down the minutes until I'm drinking a margarita on the beach!
What's your indoor post-pandemic fantasy? Eating samples at Costco, being able to smell perfumes and candles in stores, and being able to see myself properly in a dressing room mirror or when trying on sunglasses without a mask.
Work and company goals for post-quarantine? Launching a new product, early Fall 2021!
How did your family grow and change during quarantine? In height, sass, and loss of teeth (eight and counting), Sloan is now basically leaving the pandemic a preteen (she literally grew over four inches during the past year).
What are you proud of from 2020? I'm proud of how we managed things as a family. Of course, we had our fair share of struggles and blowouts but there were so many beautiful things to come from it with our weekly tradition of Sunday Sundae, ordering takeout Mexican on Thursday afternoons, and playing Monopoly on Saturday. We used to be so over-booked and, as we enter some semblance of normalcy, our goal is to keep those traditions as cornerstones to each week.
What's one thing you "hated" pre-quarantine that you'd love to do now? Driving out of my way to meet someone for dinner. My best friend Cristina lives in Santa Monica, which used to be a hassle, but now the drive feels like an opportunity to have some alone time in the car, leading up to getting to spend time with her.
Any quarantine habits you plan to apply to post-quarantine? I've gotten a lot better at editing things out I don't need. When you're confined to your home, you're so much more aware of clutter—everything from my closet, to my bathroom, to PR samples. I've implemented new systems where I take care of things immediately, instead of letting them collect dust. In the past, any time there was something to donate or return, I'd pile it up in my closet where it would be forgotten for months or, sometimes, years... Now I try to sort everything that comes into the house immediately, which makes things a lot more manageable.
What's a skill you learned in quarantine you plan to continue post-quarantine? I wouldn't go so far as to call it a "skill," but I've developed a newfound appreciation for watercolors. Beyond the fact that it's extremely cathartic and meditative, it's one of the things Sloan and I look forward to doing together on a quiet weekend afternoon. I invested in a workbook and because I knew nothing going into it, even the simplest tips were mind-blowing to me. The thing I love most about it is that it forces you to be so present and disconnect from everything else.
How did you grow and change over COVID, emotionally? I made my mental health a priority. At one point, all the days were bleeding into one another and I was pouring myself into work. I was so hyper-focused on keeping our company afloat that I lost any balance, and it began to impact my mental health and anxiety. I started with small changes here and there—taking meetings off my calendar that weren't necessary, disconnecting from my phone at night, etc. Those small changes helped create boundaries that I should have set a long time ago and I'm glad that I was forced to make a change.
Any big travel plans that were cancelled during quarantine? We had a trip to go up north last April for the one-year anniversary of my grandmother's death, and were supposed to go to Mexico and Italy for a repeat of our Tuscany trip from the year before.
Any large event you missed in 2020 or 2021 that you plan to make up for post-quarantine? Fingers crossed we'll be heading back to Italy in late July!
Aside from eating indoors and seeing friends, what not-obvious indoor activity do you miss most? Having friends in our kitchen. I love when everyone's crowded around the island, drinking, eating, laughing, and listening to music while we entertain. Also movie theaters (but mainly the popcorn/soda/candy portion).
Are you buying anything in anticipation of post-quarantine? There was a point in the middle of COVID when I questioned whether I'd ever buy clothes or shoes again. I was so over the whole fashion scene in general and, I've gotta say, that certainly did not hold up. I'm thrilled to be getting dressed again and am much more open to trends than I'd been in a long time.
Any concert/event plans coming up? Nope! TBH concerts and large events aren't one of the things I missed. I'd almost always gone to concerts to be a supportive friend or wife, but large crowds just aren't my thing. That being said, I might make an exception to see Harry Styles or anyone I particularly love in a small venue.
What is the one thing you're most excited for in 2021? That moment when you step off the plane somewhere you're really, really excited to go. I'm a nervous traveler, so I'm not happy en route, but the minute I step off the plane when I have an entire trip ahead of me is something I'm really excited about.