Good morning dear friends. How are you coping? I hope you’ll start thinking of this blog as a good space. What I am going to share with you all regularly will be some things to get your minds off what we cannot control right now. I don’t know how helpful that is, but it’s what I can do with this space right now, so I’m trying it.
For those who may be just starting sheltering in, it’s not all bad. I have to say there is some good to it. The slowing down of life is really nice. I appreciate our governor taking the stance he did so early on. I feel like in California we will all be a little safer.. Now if the young people could just comply..
Yesterday I sat in the yard and we had the most amazing clouds and beautiful sun. I tried to soak up some warmth. The birds were singing away and not a car or mower was to be heard. Truly peaceful.
Our wisteria has began its annual bloom..as someone said, “Spring is not cancelled.’ I’m trying to find the good.
On the bright side, I am not homeschooling, my kids are older. For those mom’s that are in the thick of these young years..OMG! This would be me..
Sorry I couldn’t resist a little laugh, we need to take them where we can.
It has not been easy being a mom of a teen now either. I have to constantly fight for the youngest to stay in. He loves to be out, the opposite of my older one. We keep telling him this is all for the greater good. It’s not just about us, but many of our young people have been being raised that it is only about them. The sooner we impress upon them this matters, the better for us all. It isn’t fun.
On the bright side, we had a wonderful family meal last night, where no one rushed off. Another bonus, my husband is starting to take charge of meals or being a big part of prepping them. This yummy parmesan chicken he made this week was a hit. We have had good conversation and a family feeling of being together at the table that we haven’t had for a while. I will take it for now.
If you are like me, with four adults under one roof, a family pact, or some house rules will likely be needed. It’s not that my kids are jerks, but they need reminders. Also one of them, not naming names, said this week, “Well mom why do we need to vacuum.. it’s kind of your job.’ WHAT?? He regretted that comment. For my own sanity, I crafted a few house rules. We will see how this goes over..
I cannot play tennis now, but I need to do something to keep feeling happier and not like a sloth. Regular neighborhood (social distance from others) walks with my kids and hubs where we’ve been appreciating spring and having some nice chats have helped.
The original 1982 Jane Fonda Workout which found it’s way back into my sphere. It’s actually an excellent workout! Jane was then 45 and as inspiring as she is now. I remember being in high school when my mom had the VHS tape and I sometimes did it with her. The video I originally linked here no longer works so try here :
From Instagram I found a daily live half hour program I’ve been doing at 10:00 a.m. Pacific. DanceFactoryFitness has a different workout every day and you access it by hitting their profile photo for most recent workout for the last 24 hours. Wednesday had a dance centered one which included a great arms workout using soup cans from your cabinet! My arms were actually burning. Thursday they had body sculpting, so check them out if you can fit a 30 minute workout in. Not fancy, but what we can use right now!
Other ideas on things we can do now..
I grew up in a family full of gardeners, and my dad is an extra gifted one. I have a personal goal each year to be a better gardener like him. I want my yard to be as pretty as his, but I never have time to spend as he does.. Guess that excuse is out! This pandemic came at a the perfect time to start your veg garden and get your yard pretty for summer. It’s heaven to be outside now with the blooming trees and vines, soft bird sounds and way less traffic noise and very fresh air. This book, A Garden Can Be Anywhere is a good one for those interested in starting your own garden by a gal who creates them for chefs and others. She believes they should be as pretty as they are useful.
We should try and use some time each day to time to delve into books and get away from the internet. The Elements of Home is a rabbit hole you can take a deep dive into. A blog follower friend sent me the suggestion and I couldn’t be more excited. It has fun and interesting stories that go along with the history of so many things we use daily. I can’t wait to take this and a nice cup of tea to a cozy corner, something we don’t do enough. Thank you Marla!!
You may have seen my last post about Beauty Secret videos from Vogue. Those are fun and I have already watched a few more today and learning a lot from the young gals to the older ones. I especially like people closer to my age like Amber Valletta and today I watched 80’s model Joan Severence, who is funny and real. A lot to learn on this page!
Beginning today , I’m going to share some of my favorite blogs with you. Each time I post I’ll give you some more to follow. I learn more from blogs than anything. They’ve almost replaced the magazine for me, and it’s good to get tips on clothes, cooking ideas, home decor, travel and just about everything..from real people, not celebs don’t you think?
Some bloggers just have a way they live that I aspire to and one of those is my friend Elizabeth, aka Contessa who lives like an Italian royal in Orinda with her cute pets including a full sized pig named Banksy. I adore her house, her love of life, her way of entertaining and connecting, and her kindness. She’s always sharing some wonderful find or person and there is no comment this woman has not answered and she has so many followers and fans!!
Dani, a Canadian friend I have been fortunate to connect with, lives in a beautiful way. I have enjoyed her Mop Philosphy posts which seem to touch on the little things that make every day beautiful and just what we need even more of now. You’ll love her excellent taste (she just bought and redid a pretty stone house), clothing color stories, recipes and positive affirmations on life. Even her post today about missing her Miami vacation has a upbeat feeling that makes me not want to complain, but carry on with hope. Love her…
More blogs coming ..
I leave you with a piece of fluff, a new obsession this blouse from Loft. I bought it on my last day before quarantine. I was with friends and we didn’t know we were living dangerously out shopping.. I have been wearing it with this belt I bought also. It is just the thing I need now as it feels springy and feminine, but still has long sleeves. My housemates say it looks nice…LOL.
Keep up the faith and good cheer friends. Know we are in this together.
Hugs and be safe,
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Kim thank you so much for mentioning my blog, and in such amazing company too, I am honoured beyond. Our Dear Contessa is truly the kindest, most inspiring woman. Her love of life is exactly what we always need but especially now.
This entire post resonated with me so much, I absolutely love your house rules. I am trying to get my young adults exercising too, we can’t just lay in bed all day. Rules around internet are also a good idea because it lets them actually rest at night.
Finally here the sun is out today. I haven’t checked the news yet and it is getting so that I dread doing so in the morning because of the new cases that are confirmed overnight here in Ontario. Our Prime Minister has been giving daily news conferences and I hope he continues on the weekends because we really need it right now, we need the reassurance.
I am also going to work in my garden, I’m getting out there today with my husband to see what we can imagine, our first year with our new garden.
Who ever could have predicated any of this.
Thank you so much Kim for your kind words and for this blog, it is a beacon right now. XOX
Dani, I didn’t even ask you so I hope it was okay. I love how you live! Glad you are getting sun. So good your PM is someone who is instilling trust and you feel has some care. I do not feel the same here AT ALL. Yesterday when asked to reassure Americans, ours declined. I agree with you on your blog, that PBS and public radio has been my salvation for facts right now. Grateful for them.
I hope you get to enjoy the garden. Take good care of you all. Glad you are staying in!! xoxo
Hi Kim, thank you again for your ideas (love the white blouse by the way!). I’m also so glad that Dani started blogging again.
I have a couple of suggestions for youtube channels to watch. When we were planning our trip to Japan last year, part of my preparation was watching lots of vloggers who live in or travel to Japan; it was really helpful. Along the way I started to see suggestions on the side bar of Korean ASMR channels, ie no talking, just the background noise. It is so calming and restful, not to mention very interesting! My favourites are:
haegreendal (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCazay-C-shtEEUO78ObKGJg/videos) – she is an illustrator who works from home. She lives in a lovely minimalist apartment with her husband and cutie pie young son. There’s cooking and cleaning; she has such good ideas for meals and snacks, and I love the glimpses of her apartment.
My second favourite is hamimommy (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy0229ISL-677SAuK_1In_A/videos) – she has a young daughter and has similar content. I loved the video where they went to her in-laws for New Year and we saw their fridge with a special kimchi drawer! I also watch a channel called Ivy Kitchen – she is an older woman living with her husband and grown up daughter; different style of home, but also lovely meals etc.
I really find them very calming to watch, and I’m so interested in how they live. They both have subtitles in Korean at the bottom of the screen, but there are usually English subtitles as well.
Oh, p.s. I have also discovered Korean dramas on Netflix! The new favourite is called ‘Crash Landing into You’ – about a South Korean heiress who paraglides by mistake into North Korea and is helped by a North Korean army officer – it’s a dramedy. I think we might want to travel to South Korea when all this is over!
Patricia, Isn’t that blouse sweet? These recommendations are wonderful and totally out of my sphere, I so need this. I am going to check all these out this afternoon with my green tea I’ve been having at 2:00 every day. Why is it life seems so much more calming -aka zen I guess there? What a great premise for a show too. I do have South Korea on my bucket list along with Japan. I think it is a beautiful spot and my friend I follow on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/loveswitzerlandsnow/, Rosemary went there recently and took some gorgeous photos! Take care Patrica and thank you for the super suggestions.
LA CONTESSA says
I have TEARS in MY EYES!
YOU do such a GOOD JOB of sourcing and being informed.
YOUR FAMILY IS LUCKY TO HAVE YOU!
SO LUCKY the GORGEOUS HUSBAND is taking CONTROL with DINNER PREP and DELIVERY!
MY Italian is making BREAD at THE MOMENT and meeting a neighbor in the middle of our cul de sac to deliver an ESPRESSO!
ITALIAN ROYALTY!!YOU MADE ME GRIN EAR TO EAR………..I”M JUST WEIRD THATS ALL!!!
I LOVE THE STUFF PEOPLE DONOT WANT NOR HAVE WANTED FOR YEARS!I’m VERY SENTIMENTAL.
SAYING THIS I HAVE “SAVED STUFF FROM THE LANDFILL FOR YEARS!”I USE IT DAILY and do NOT SAVE IT for THAT ONE FESTIVE DAY!!
It makes me HAPPY BEYOND WORDS…………..I think about the people who made it and where they got the inspiration!
Now that I HAVE TO BE HOME on LOCK DOWN I have GORGEOUS THINGS TO ADMIRE AND TAKE MY MIND OFF THE VIRUS!
PERHAPS ITS A GOOD TIME FOR THIS CONTESSA TO GET ON HER HANDS AND KNEES and START TO CLEAN!!!!!!!!!
THANK YOU KIM!!!
I READ THIS AND DANi’s comment to MY ITALIAN!!
Elizabeth, I am so happy to share you here! You are a special soul and I adore you. We are lucky to have the husbands around right? You have made everything around you happy and lovely and that is what a home is…well plus kitties and pets. You are living your best life and I love it. xo
Thanks for trying to raise our spirits, you have some great suggestions here. I like you list of house rules, might need to implement when my daughter comes to visit. She is about to turn 25 and doesn’t live with us any longer but tends to revert to her teen years when here to visit.
Cathy thank you! I know – so great to have the kids back, but don’t want to be back to catering to everyone either! Take care.
I always love your posts! I am lucky to live not too far from Dani and she is as charming in real life as on the page. I am leaning into blogs a lot these days. It reminds me of my early days of motherhood when I first joined the online world. I’m going to whip my house into shape and also try to manage the garden (I try and then end up giving up and hiring someone. I don’t even know how to work a lawnmower!) Hopefully that will keep me fit as well. If not, I’ll give Jane a go again. I used to be a big Jazzercise fan. I’ll have to see it that’s online. And then I need legwarmers! I am going to steal your list for teens. I’m glad I’m not the only one fighting the dishes/glasses battle. I’m jealous of your pool and weather. It’s too chilly here for even the hot tub right now! Continue to keep calm and carry on. Xx
Jen you and Dani are nearby each other? How nice. You are both the loveliest. Makes me wish sometimes I lived up in Canada. People there seem so kind and down to earth- and have great sense of humor! I am feeling lucky for the connection with the blogs right now. I always enjoy yours also! As far as the house I spent the better part of today cleaning up from the weekend, then meal prep and germ abatement.. I don’t even know who I am now.. and here I am doing my blog stuff in the middle of the night. Yet trying to be grateful not to be ill and all that. Hang in there Jen. Hoping you get some sun soon. We still have a lot of rain. Take care! xo
Hi Kim, I’m out here in the East Bay. Thanks for your wonderful suggestions! I’ve always enjoyed your lovely blog as well as Dani’s, love her house and outfits!!! I too, am a fan of the Contessa. A few years back, I was lucky to have met her at a Vintage Faire and again in Sonoma for Sharon Santoni’s, book signing.. Elizabeth is a lot of fun and we shared some great laughs! And laughing is what I’ve been trying to do…every day of our “Shelter in Place”…is this day 5? Anyway, those memes definitely help with the belly laughs! If you haven’t already, check out Jill Kargman and Amy Schumer’s Instagram … .um…HYSTERICAL!!!
Today, I decided to go through and chuck some old tapes and CDs. .Well…one just never knows what you’ll discover in a ancient music cabinet. Full disclosure, I’m 63 and my husband is 67, our taste in music reflects our ages, I think, lol: So far, we’ve been listening LOUDLY to lots of stuff from the 1960s (Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, The Stones, Santana, etc..) and enjoying our own imaginary concerts (not sure if the neighbor’s think it’s so great, no complaints, yet. Ha!) Definitely, injecting some good “vibes” in our home. We have many more decades of varied tunes to go through…and time to enjoy them!
Silver Linings 🙂
P:S: I do have that Jane Fonda ALBUM, on vinyl! lol!!!.
Renee, Thank you! You are so right laughter is what we need with this shelter in place mode. I will check out those Instagrams.. I use to love Jill’s show. What a good idea to get out the albums. I am so lucky to have kept all mine and the husband got me a good turntable. I should start adding those to my dinner prep! I did not know the Jane Fonda came in an album! Wow that’s cool! Take care. xo
David Jordan says
A debt of gratitude is in order for attempting to raise our spirits, you have some extraordinary proposals here. I like you rundown of house rules, may need to actualize when my little girl drops by. She is going to turn 25 and doesn’t live with us any more drawn out however will in general return to her high schooler years when here to visit.
David, thanks so much. I think all kids must revert back to children when coming back to the home. Take care.
I look forward to reading your blog. Thank you for spreading sunshine.
Rosalie you are so kind. Thank you for the note. Made my day. xx
Love the blouse. I have a weakness for white shirts and blouses. I seem to keep buying them. Love Elizabeth’s blog too, of course. She really is THE BEST. And always makes me smile. My teenager loves to stay indoors so not having too much trouble on that front. He’s an airplane fanatic and spends his free hours researching airplanes. Unfortunately, I have to tell at him to do some exercise. Not that I’m the best example … Take care and stay safe. Thank goodness for blogs. At least we can read interesting things and stay connected.
Lorna thank you.. I also adore white blouses. They seem so flattering to me. Glad your son is good at home- and has a good distraction. Both of mine are now are being better about it here for now. I’m so glad we have this little connection with the blogs. Take care of yourself!xo
Marla Siegel says
Thought about you when I unpacked my copy of “The Elements of a Home” yesterday and wondered if you were doing the same. I think I will be reading it at dinner since I can no longer bear to read the paper while eating. Loved your house rules. xx
Marla waiting on mine!! I know I can’t wait and need the distraction.. The news stinks. xo
Thanks so much for continuing with so many great blog posts during this challenging time. I, too, am home with 2 teenage sons right now (16 and 18) and it makes me feel better to know I’m not alone in wanting to come up with some new house rules. Luckily my older son is a great cook and has started to help with cooking. My younger son has been helping more with dinner clean up. It is such a crazy , stressful time but I feel like we can all work together to come out of this a little bit stronger. All the best to you and your family….
Kelley Wright says
Hi lovely Kim! It seems that you are keeping yourself busy during this difficult time. My husband and I have been taking evening walks and it is so strange to see almost no one on the streets and when we do, one of us walks in the street while the other walks to the far side. It has been hard also trying to help our elderly parents. This weekend we took supplies to my father in law who is in an assisted living situation and waited until he could come out to the lobby to pick them up as we hadn’t actually seen him in two weeks. He looks o.k and we speak to him everyday, but it is not the same as visiting in his apartment. I also delivered supplies to my Mom and spoke to her a bit, but from far away. It is just so hard to not hug her right now. We have actually started cooking a bit again (my husband and I eat different food so cooking together is difficult and usually microwaved lol). My sister had to go up to Reno to get her daughter’s things from her dorm as they have shut all that down and she is finishing her semester online. Everything has definitely taken some getting used to. Looking forward to your next post!
Hi Kelley! So good to hear from you. You guys sound like us, a lot more cooking. In fact today I was feeling that I have been running a small restaurant.. I am doing dishes and cooking 3 times a day now. Haven’t done that for years and though the guys help, it’s taking all my time. We are enjoying the evening walks. Thank goodness we can still do those! I feel for you not being able to be close to the parents.. and hug your mom! I hate that I haven’t seen my dad in weeks, but we deliver him things. Still it’s the human contact they need now that is missing. Wow all the college kids are home..That also takes some adjusting.. Let’s keep in touch. Hope you take care Kelley! xo