I was fully prepared to bring you another Meal Plan this Monday, but instead, I thought I’d share how we’re keeping busy during quarantine – I just felt like more people might be able to relate to it right now.  We’ve been in the house (except for essential trips to the grocery store) since March 15th so if you count that up, this is our 23rd day in quarantine.  If you would have told me this would be life right now, there’s no way I would’ve ever believed we’d last 23 days, let alone however many days this ends up lasting!  I attribute our survival to a few things and I’m sharing them in hopes that they can help you too – whether you’re rolling solo, as a pair or responsible for keeping a whole crew alive.  I’m sharing the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Best of Intentions

When this quarantine started, we told the boys that bedtime was 10pm, wakeup was 7am and school work started at 8AM.  After they were done schoolwork, they could do whatever they wanted with their time BUT we would all take a family walk in the evening depending upon the weather.

That lasted about three days…

We can always have the best of intentions, but for us, sticking to a daily schedule just wasn’t working and I had to take off my control freak hat, figure out what was actually working and have some heart for my two boys whose worlds just got turned sideways.  So what did we do?  We did away with bedtimes and wakeup times – crazy, I know!  We told them that as long as they got their schoolwork done and their grades were good, we didn’t care what time they woke up or went to bed.  At first, they went a little nuts staying up til 5AM which does not produce a level headed teenager for school the next day so we went back to the drawing board.  We then came to the agreement that they could stay up later, but all the Wifi would be turned off at 1AM and we expected them to be out of bed by 11AM.  That’s worked better for sure!  Some days, they’re up and working before 11AM bc they like to have all afternoon free and some days, they’re crawling out of bed when we wake them up at 11AM.  What we’re trying to remember is this is new for everyone and it doesn’t have to be perfect!  Shoot, there are some mornings that I sleep til 10AM which is total insanity for me, but why not take the extra sleep while we can, right?!  I do have to mention that we’re very lucky that our boys are older and we don’t need to “teach” them everyday.  I really feel for all the moms out their with younger ones right now!  Since the boys are self-sufficient in that area, it gives us the perfect window for us to actually get some work done and while I feel we’re more efficient at this time, I feel like we’ve never worked harder!  “Doing church” without seeing people in person is totally new for us, but its also allowing us to come up with new and creative ideas to connect!

 

The Kitchen

I tried thinking of a cute little phrase for this area, but let’s keep it simple.  I’m cooking SO much more than I would on a typical week and for me, I love it!  Some days, I’m making breakfast, lunch and dinner, others just dinner.  Some days, I’m baking banana bread bc I refuse to let bananas go to waste and some days, I’m eating frozen chicken nuggets from the air fryer bc I have zero desire to adult.

What I have found is that continuing to meal plan helps with the grocery bills.  Upping your monthly grocery budget at this time is essential – we’re cutting back in other areas.  When you think you’ve snagged enough snacks at the grocery store, you’re wrong, grab a few more.  If anything, be easy on yourself right now and do what works for you!  Wanna pig out everyday, do you boo boo!  Wanna keep up on your healthy lifestyle?  Here’s a fist bump from me to you!  Wanna bounce back and forth between the two?  That works too!  There’s no set way on how to quarantine, so just do your best!

Here are some recipes we’ve been loving lately:

Banana BreadCookie Brownies | Waffle-Crusted Chicken | Old Bay Shrimp & Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner

You can check out all of my Meal Plans HERE

Laid Back

One thing I’ve really enjoyed during this quarantine is the down time.  We can binge a whole series if we want.  I can read a whole book in one day.  Face masks?  Let’s do them WHENEVER!  Don’t wanna do my hair?  Don’t have to!  Whatever you want goes right now!  Its the perfect time to do some self-care and just chill.

Some shows we’ve been bingeing during quarantine:

The Morning Show, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Chef Show, Gordon Ramsey’s Ultimate Cookery Course, All American, Dave Chappelle Mark Twain Prize, Pete Davidson Alive From New York, F*ck That’s Delicious

 

Some books I’ve read/am reading right now:

 

Some self-care faves:

 

Just Have Fun!

Like I mentioned above, all of this staying home has really helped me to loosen up!  We are enjoying family time as well as one-on-one time through all of this!  I’ve really tried to make time with Mike and each of the boys individually and all together as a family.  We’re watching movies, baking together, taking long walks which always turn into races (life with boys) and playing a TON of games!  Yes, I may have a basketball hoop in our entrance along with a magnetic dart board on the living room wall – decor has really gone out the window! – but we are making memories people!

Some games we’re currently loving…

 


If you get anything out of reading this blog post, I hope that it’s to look for the good in this time.  If this hadn’t had happened, we would have been running around like raving lunatics this week.  We wouldn’t have any of these bonding moments.  We wouldn’t cherish being able to facetime with family members on their birthdays.  There are so many little things that have become big things through all of this so I remind myself to stay grateful for each and every days.  I think when you start each day with a mindset of gratitude, it changes the ball game or in this case, quarantine!

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t offer my sincerest gratitude to every essential worker out there caring for everyone affected by COVID-19.  I have quite a few family members in the medical field risking their health to care for those who need it most.  I don’t think words can begin to express how thankful we as a family are to every essential worker out there, especially those in New Jersey.  Stay Strong and Stay Home! xo

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