Okay, I will talk a little bit about shoes but this is really a post about what I’ve been doing for the last month (or so) to keep us surviving during our Corona Staycation.  I’ve been fairly quiet on all my platforms as I’ve adjusted to the current state of the world and trying to figure out a new normal.  Or what normal even means these days.  My transition actually started a while ago – I returned from my trip to Miami with a cold.  And not just any cold but one that included a mild fever and dry cough along with lots of other typical flu symptoms.  Dum, Dum, Dum.  Did I have COVID-19?  I will never know.  I did visit my doctor and tested negative for both strains of the flu. That was the only thing she could tell me.  Out of an abundance of caution I opted to isolate myself at home until I felt better … but before that could happen, Virginia closed schools and most of my clients put their offices in lock down or were working from home.  So by the time I felt good enough to go anywhere … there was nowhere to go.  #StayAtHome

Since then, I’ve been settling into working from home (not new to me as it was something I did frequently) but I am adjusting to new coworkers (my husband and children).  Most days have been uneventful but we’ve definitely had our moments … meltdowns before dinner, brotherly fights, curt spousal responses, and the occasional round of yelling (by all parties).  I’ve certainly been less productive as I’ve had to share my laptop and phone with my child – he’s enrolled in online learning classes (via Outschool), streams home safaris from the Cincinnati Zoo, watches book readings from Mac Barnett … you get the idea.  I’ve also had to share my “office” with my husband and oldest child.  They are not the quietest office mates.  Since my office is the dining room table I can’t really complain.  We are now searching for a new desk to enable us to create another work space in the basement.  This will give everyone in the house there own area to work.

But it hasn’t been all work.  There has been homeschooling and cooking and cleaning … you get it.  So to help those of you currently enduring similar struggles, I put together a list of the things that have been working for us.  Ways to entertain, distract or just simply keep it fun!!  #AlwaysFun

My Corona Staycation Survival Guide

Create a schedule – The routine is good for everyone.  We keep ours flexible with blocks of time allocated to various activities. I let the little one choose his blocks for the day and I help him arrange them around what my schedule looks like.  The activities are diverse with some more supervised than others.  There is learning, chores, quite time, exercise and play as options.  #AlwaysChoices

My second suggestion though, is don’t be afraid to ignore the schedule.  Know when things aren’t working and the household is about to implode.  Choose this time to just let everyone chill.  It’s okay to do absolutely nothing for a day. Let the kids destroy the living room building a fort, play XBOX for 3 hours, order pizza delivered for dinner.  Whatever it takes to help restore the balance. #NetflixAndChill

Along those same lines.  Break Rules.  Your children are going to remember this time.  But how they remember it is up to you.  Don’t be afraid to have some fun and let them do things you wouldn’t normally.  Serve them donuts for dinner, let them binge watch Disney movies and stay up past bedtime.  The same applies to you.  Eat cake for breakfast.  Whatever feels rebellious and just a little crazy is kind of what you are going for.  Just don’t go overboard.  It’s not special if it happens every day.  #RuleBreaker

Opt outdoors – we’ve been walking around our neighborhood more and visiting the basketball court to let the boys blow off steam.  We also hit up a nearby nature preserve and visited the cherry trees to see their blossoms. I promise the sunshine and fresh air will do wonders!! #VitaminC-TLC

Become a DIY Queen.  Did you used to get your nails done every two weeks?  Try your own mani-pedi.  Love luxurious baths – make your own bath bombs to enjoy (we are doing this as a science project).  #TwoBirdsOneStone

Use your network.  I’m not just talking about your work network.  Since I’m now fulfilling the position of educator for my youngest child I’m using everything in my arsenal.  I have a friend that home schools and she has been posting her lessons to help those that don’t have time.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your network of friends and family and don’t be afraid to share something you have that others might find useful!! I have saved tons of Facebook posts for everything from science experiments to a new recipe to try.

Want to feel like you have really accomplished something?  Track your accomplishments.  We put a poster up in the kitchen so my child can record all the books he is reading.  I joined an Instagram style challenge to #getdressed everyday and I track my progress with my posts.  #MakeProgress

Use those online networking tools for socializing.  Meet friends for virtual happy hours, join a dance party or let your kiddos call their friends because they are missing socialization just as much as you are. Use this time to reconnect.  Text friends you haven’t talked to in months.  FaceTime Grandma and Grandpa.

Use this opportunity to get out of your comfort zone.  Is there something you always wanted to try or a trend you struggle with?   Red lipstick, those purple pants you were never quite sure how to style, a pleated skirt you have no clue how to wear?  Now is the time to give it a go.  I promise you your home office furniture won’t judge and neither will your new coworkers.

Plan Surprises.  I woke our littlest early last Sunday to take him to see the Cherry Blossoms.  I didn’t tell him what we were doing just said, “You’ll see”.  He loved it.

Improvise.  Try to keep some normalcy in your schedule by still doing the things you used to do – just differently.  My littlest was supposed to have a movie night at his school last Friday so we had it at home.  Friday night date night?  Get dressed, order from your favorite local diner and let your kids be the waiter and serve you.

Read a book.  Pick up that book that you’ve been meaning to read for months.  We stocked up before the library closed but I’ve also been borrowing online, buying used, and trading with neighbors.

Celebrate everything!!  Literally everything!!  National Pi Day – we baked a pie.  My mom’s birthday – we baked a cake.  National Wine Day – you get the idea.  Almost everyday is a day for something.  Figure it out and celebrate.  Bonus:  You can also use these as teaching moments for your kids.

Plant a Garden.  Another project that doubles as a school project at our house.  We chose flowers, herbs and vegetables (beet, potatoes and carrots).  We are planting some now to grow seedlings and the rest will be planted when the frost is over.

Exercise your body and mind everyday.  Just do something.  Go for a walk.  Meditate for 15 minutes.  Whatever works for you.  I’ve been trying to do yoga every morning (I like Lindsey Sampler on Amazon prime or if I have company then Cosmic Kids on YouTube).  If I don’t do that then I try and get in a walk over lunch or in the afternoon.  I’ve also been keeping up with my workout routine three to four days a week.  I’m currently doing one of the Nike Training Club programs.

Be decadent.  Splurge for the pricier bottle of wine or better cut of meat.  Cook the pork shoulder that takes 6 hours on the grill on a Wednesday (because you can).  It’s okay to indulge every once in awhile.  Its a great distraction.

Recognize when you’ve reached your limit.  Set aside social media, turn off the news and tune out for whatever amount of time feels healthy for you.  On more than one occasion I’ve set the phone down and walked away from it for 24 hours.  Sometimes we just don’t need to be that connected or informed.  It will all still be there when you are ready to tune back in.

Take this time to learn something new.  Always wanted to make chocolate truffles?  Never quite mastered the smoky eye?  There is no time like the present.  As newly designated educator, I can tell you this house has been learning all sorts of new things.  Yesterday’s lesson was holograms.  #WinningAtHomeSchool

Use this time to finish projects.  Finish all those things that kept getting moved to the bottom of your to do list because you were simply out of time.  We finally got our basement cleaned.  The boys are finishing their fort in the attic.  I may finally get all my items listed for sale on PoshMark (I’m about half way there).

You can also use this time to start new projects.  The nook in our entry way that I’ve wanted to turn into a coat rack and cubbies – guess what is on hubbies to do list.  The basement stairwell that never got painted after we redid the basement – guess what is out my to do list!!

Meal plan and prep and empower the kids in the process.  Let them pick an ingredient and help find a recipe or let them plan a whole meal.  Even better have them help cook it.  We’ve always done meal planning by the week but it has typically been my husband’s task.  Now the whole family gets a say in what we are eating and the boys help cook.

Along those same lines, make a fancy dinner.  I mean like five course, get out the silver and set the table like the president is coming to dinner fancy.  You can even dress the part.  Have some fun with it.  Invite friends to do the same and have a virtual House Party dinner party.

Make time for self care.  Give yourself a mini facial.  Take a spa day (or even just a morning, or hour).  #Refresh

Keep yourself motivated by setting new goals.  I’ve had two long time goals that I’m encouraged to attempt again (drink more water and do a pull up unassisted – I’d actually like to do more than one but …#BabySteps I have also been trying to meet my steps goal everyday.

Support Your Community

Many folks have also been looking for ways to support others – here are a few of the ways that we’ve been doing this:

Support local business.  We’ve been getting carryout from favorite restaurants when we haven’t felt like cooking.  We also ordered pork from a local farmer who normally wholesales to restaurants.  It was a win for both of us – it gave him income and it gave us meat (which has been hard to find in the stores).  #ReallyGoodMeat  Some have been suggesting to buy gift cards but I would call the restaurant and ask first.  I follow a foodie group on FaceBook and many restaurant owners have said this is actually a liability and doesn’t help them pay staff and bills.

Support nurses and others on the front lines.  Send gift cards or catered food to hospitals for the doctors and nurses (please call and coordinate first).

Share your talents.  I have one friend using her 3D printer to make regulators, another sewing masks and my art loving child is making pictures to be sent digitally to nursing homes were the residents are isolated and not currently allowed immediate access to their mail.

Support those less fortunate.  Our schools have started programs to provide meals even while the schools aren’t open.  Not every community has this luxury though.  Donate to the Feeding America Fund or the food bank in your community.

If you are eligible and healthy, consider donating blood as the American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage due to the outbreak.

A Shoe Distraction

Okay, I promised a little shoe talk so the other thing I’ve been doing as a distraction is looking for pieces that were missing in my closet or on my wish list.  It’s been my little treasure hunt because I’ve been only using the pre-loved market for sourcing.  One thing that has been on my list FOREVER has been a pair of Freda Salvador D’Orsay loafers.  I finally scored a pair from the The Real Real a week or so ago for an amazing price.  I wore them today as my good luck charm.  Not everything on my wish list includes shoes but I figured it is #shoesday after all.  And no, I’m not sharing my list because I don’t want any competition.  #MakeYourOwnList

Leave me a comment and let me know how your household is surviving your Corona Staycation.