What I’ve been up to lately

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Hi guys! I know it’s been a long while, but it took me some time to start feeling like myself again. The Covid-19 outbreak and social distancing period really had an impact on my mental health (but thank God for my physical health during this time!).

While things haven’t changed much for me in terms of work – working from home but (thankfully) still working full time – they changed a lot socially. I really felt the distancing part: I was very much missing my friends and family, missing my very long walks and my weekends exploring the city. I also miss wearing my “presentable human” clothes and looking like a woman, instead of a troll 90% of the time (my fiancé is a lucky man huh?! 😅).

And I don’t know about all this free time other people on the internet have been talking about. I only gained 2-3 hours daily: the ones I was previously spending on my commute to/from work. These hours have been immediately added to my sleep time, so now I’m finally an adult with optimal sleeping habits. (yaay!)

For me, the hardest bit was in the first 2 weeks. I felt like all I did was wake up, look into screens (laptop for work, smartphone to communicate and Netflix to relax) and then go back to bed. This is probably why I didn’t even feel like posting anything on my blog (although I have so many unposted pictures from past vacations) because I needed to do anything else that didn’t involve a screen. Now I’m more relaxed and I actually love my working from home routine (which at the beginning was causing a lot of anxiety) and the fact that I get to spend so much quality time with my fiancé.

So what did I actually do during these two months (besides having emotional breakdowns)? Let me break it down for you (pun intended 😄):

1. A lot of cooking (and eating)

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finally had time to actually cook: not in a hurry like I usually did, but for pleasure. I LOVE cooking, especially baking. So I went crazy for the first 3 weeks of quarantine – maybe more. Tried all the recipes I wanted, which was great until I realized how much weight I’ve put on. Cause you see, I also love eating delicious food and I of course ate everything I cooked. So what I’ve concluded is that I need to wait until I have some kids to really get into cooking the way I want to, because otherwise it’s waaay too much food for two people.

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My food epiphany during this time? I realized how much I love lemons! Give me lemon everything and I will eat it: lemon chicken, puy lentils with lemon, lemon and poppy-seed cake, lemon tart and my favorite thing ever – lemon raspberry cake.

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I’ve never been prouder of anything I’ve ever created!

2. Got into Yoga

Like really into it. I used to be quite active before all the social distancing (~8 km walks and running 2-3 times a week), so staying indoors really didn’t agree with me. Add all the eating and then working out became a necessity rather than a choice. Although HIIT would have been more effective and might better match my pre-covid level of activity, I wanted to practice something that wouldn’t involve jumping at all. Also craved for something that would stretch my muscles after sitting all day at the desk in a wooden chair (ouch!).

Found out about Yoga with Adriene from The Anna Edit and I have to admit I was hooked from day 1 (even though on day one I felt I had the flexibility of a very thick tree trunk). I did her 30-day Yoga Challenge and completed it and now I’m doing her Yoga for Weight Loss series (which is super hard, help!). Adriene is the best and I can see why she is so beloved! I think it was also her approach that got me hooked, not only the activity.

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Don’t worry, this is not how I’m doing yoga – I do have the appropriate equipment 😁

Yoga is definitely my jam and I love that I’ve developed a habit of doing it daily. I think it’s the perfect combination of building muscle, increasing flexibility and meditation. It just makes me feel so good!

Since I got so into it, I’ve ordered myself a serious yoga mat and I can’t wait until it arrives – maybe I’ll do a tiny post about it.

3. Embroidery

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This one seems a bit weird, doesn’t it? Well, during my “aversion to screens” period I wanted to find a hobby that would use my hands (other than cooking and painting my walls haha) and I’ve always wanted to try embroidery. So I ordered some embroidery sets online (because I had nothing on hand except needles) and sewed away! Like I do with everything, I overdid it during my first week and after 7 days of sewing non-stop, I got a pain in my index finger. However, if you practice it like a normal human being it’s a very relaxing and satisfying activity and I found it easier than I expected it to be.

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4. Watched a lot of YouTube

This is probably something that everybody does, but I wanted to share my favorite channels/videos just in case you were looking for the same kind of “escape” as I was during this time (feel-good videos, aesthetically pleasing interiors or just plain entertaining) or just ran of ideas of what to watch:

  • Hot ones – interviews in which people who are more or less famous eat wings drenched in very hot sauce while answering some great questions. Some of my favorite episodes are the ones with Paul Rudd, Shia LaBoeuf, Jay Pharoah, Kristen Bell, Margot Robbie, Pete Davidson, Justin Timberlake and Zoe Kravitz.
  • The Anna Edit – I think I love Anna the most maybe because I identify with her the most (due to her hair and similar love for food). She has great style, she keeps it real, she’s funny and she just makes you feel better.
  • I Covet Thee – If there’s someone that I follow that has the best neutrals look – both in her style and in her interiors – it’s Alix. Her videos are just so aesthetically pleasing and her voice is so soothing! I wish she would redecorate my house, she’s very good!
  • bestdressed – Ashley is just the best (pun intended ahaha) – followed her initially for her style and self -deprecating humor that I SO identified with, but she’s just so entertaining no matter what she creates. She went from being a YouTuber and film school graduate to having a career in fashion, go to NYFW, interview designers and even go backstage and all I can say is #goals. Keeps it real and is someone you genuinely root for.
  • Jenna Marbles – a YouTube veteran that has kept herself relevant in this new era of social media. She’s super down to earth and posts random, yet entertaining stuff. My favorite videos of hers are the ones where she shows all her favorite tiktoks.
  • The Try Guys – a recent favorite, although they’ve been on the internet for a while. Four guys who make YouTube videos about how they try stuff. They are very funny, especially when they try female activities. My favorite videos are: the one where they try fitness videos at home, the one where they get nail extensions, the one where they try an 800$ spa, any video where Keith loses his shit and any video where Ned is drunk.
  • Emma Hill – I like her style and her dogs are adorable (she has 5 of them!). Has recently made an apartment renovation series that can keep you busy if you’re into that.
  • Kate Lavie – discovered her recently and honestly her home is just a Pinterest dream come true! Not only is it big, has tall ceilings and windows, but it’s also just #goals in terms of decor. I would move into her kitchen asap.

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5. Watched some TV shows and movies

Again, something that probably everyone has done. I like to have something familiar in the background while cooking, so I’ve “rewatched” How I Met Your Mother and Agatha Christie’s Poirot – not the entire series, but just a few episodes here and there. Otherwise I didn’t really get into new series. Continued Better Call Saul and Westworld, two shows I can recommend hands-down. I can recommend many others if you’d like, but the list would be too long here, in an already too-long post (but we can discuss in the comments if you’d like).

In terms of movies, here’s a list of what we watched (for the first time):

  • We watched the entire Resident Evil franchise so that you wouldn’t have to. Save yourself the time and just watch the first one if you’re curious, it’s the only decent one. The second and third were kinda forgettable, but the last 3 were just downright laughable.
  • The Invisible Man, which did a pretty good job of keeping me on the edge of my seat.
  • Game Night, which was pretty funny and entertaining.
  • Knives Out was just okay, but that’s because my expectations were high as an Agatha-Christie-Sherlock-Holmes enthusiast. The feel was definitely there, but the twists weren’t so wow (still recommend it because I think Chris Evans has never been this handsome in another movie and I wouldn’t want anyone to miss that).
  • Earthquake Bird was another mystery movie that I watched. It was okay, but no life-changing stuff.
  • Juliet, Naked, a drama-comedy fit for a light Sunday afternoon.
  • The Lake House is a cheesy romantic movie, but I enjoyed it. It stars Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock and it’s that perfect flavor of the 2000s that you were looking for! 😊
  • Tolkien, which was very good! As you may have guessed, it tells the story of the author of the Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit, but before he actually wrote these. It was lovely and it made me want to watch LOTR again!

Also watched O.J.: Made in America, an Academy Award winning documentary about O.J. Simpson which drove me absolutely insane (the facts did, not the documentary itself). It’s very well made and I do recommend it if you want to find out about the O.J. Simpson murder case.

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6. Tried out new products

During this time I had the longest no-make-up streak of my adult life, so I thought I might take better care of my skin and come out of this thing looking younger. Joke’s on me – even the most expensive products can’t entirely combat the effects of stress.

Anyway, that didn’t stop me from trying. I bought some serums, face masks and face creams that I’ve been trying out during this time and that I’ll talk about in an upcoming post. I also tried out an exfoliating foot mask and honestly this one had the most visible results.

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However, visible results or not, I think some self-care is important anytime, but especially at a time like this, so even a relaxing bubble bath can make a difference!

Bonus: Went back to some familiar favorites

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This was definitely a coping mechanism. Even under “normal” times of stress I feel the strong need to watch familiar movies or TV shows – the ones that remind me of a more stable, happier time. So besides HIMYM and Poirot, I also went back to some other “blankie” movies/tv shows: rewatched some Parks & Recreation episodes, The Fifth Element, Twilight (one of my guilty pleasures, sue me – it reminds me of simpler high-school times), The Matrix and even all three Lord of the Rings. Also re-read the first Harry Potter book and the craziest thing of all: installed The Sims 4 and played for a few days (haven’t played this in 10 years I think). However, the gamer life isn’t for the adult version of me. I lost a whole day playing non-stop and felt guilty as hell at the end of the day, not to mention my bad disposition for losing an entire day.

I think this is it. Besides, of course, the “normal” stay at home activities of deep cleaning, regular cleaning and organizing everything from bookshelves to drawers to the wardrobe. Also went for some walks around the neighborhood on some evenings and spent my time mostly on Pinterest and Instagram, daydreaming about vacations and peaking into other people’s lives.

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and yes, I am wearing jeans at home – but only the comfiest ones and only during the working week (it makes me feel more productive) Top is from Mango, Jeans are from Topshop

What did you guys do during social distancing? Anything exciting? Anything new and out of the ordinary? What did your “best day” look like? What about your “worst day”? Let me know in the comments below.

See you next time, hopefully in better spirits and increased mental health. In the meantime, stay safe and stay happy!

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