Some Unusual Tips On How To Thrive During the Pandemic

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Hi Everyone,

I’m trying to mix things up. And, so today’s post will not be about interior design, for the most part.

It’s more about living in our interiors.

And living through a pandemic.

 

 

And, moving forward into the new now. It will pass, but it will never be the same. However, that might not be such a bad thing. I read somewhere that we’ve been naughty and so God decided to send us all to our rooms.

So, this post is about surviving AND thriving through this Pandemic. Although I do realize that the hardships that many of you are having is creating additional stress. Therefore, I’m going to do my best to help you through it. At least for a few minutes.

 

First the good news:

 

Many of you have sent me the kindest notes and hoping that I’m doing okay. I am. Despite the fact that I’m up too late again, I’m doing well and feeling fine.

However, I rarely leave my apartment. And, when I do, the first thing I do upon returning is I head straight for the bathroom and my bar of dial soap. Then, I scrub my hands for a solid minute.

 

The bad news is that one of the custodians working in my building was recently diagnosed with the virus.

 

I do not know if anyone else in my building has it. But, quite possibly. I am hearing about cases and deaths all around me. I am living in the highest concentration of this disease.

While New York City has more cases, the population is 9 times what it is in Westchester County. And, the majority of the cases are in southern Westchester County which is where I live.

 

confirmed cases covid-19 in US 2020-04-04
See that large black dot? I’m in there, somewhere.

But, really I’m fine.

And, I’m not naturally an overly anxious person. However, it is natural to feel some level of worry. And, I imagine that all of us do.

 

The way it manifests with me is a kind of lethargy.

 

Pandemic-itis.

And, being sedentary only makes it worse.

So, here’s what helps me. And, of course, feel free to share what you’re doing and what helps you.

As we’re basically confined to our homes, how do we combat that feeling like there are cement blocks attached to our feet? The reality is, it’s caused by NOT moving enough. And yet, it feels impossible to move. Right?

But, when we don’t move, we get de-conditioned. And, that will lead to all sorts of other health problems. So, how do you start moving when the very thought makes you want to crawl back into bed?

 

Well, DO crawl back into bed and start with gentle stretches.

 

I also find it very beneficial to stand up and reach down and touch my toes with my hands. Then, I hold that position for at least a minute. This is very good for your nervous system and also allows the blood to move down to your head.

 

Remember to stay hydrated!

 

When I’m in the kitchen and washing up or waiting for water to boil, I will do calf raises or knee beds. For you ballet dancers out there. I do my calf raises in first or second position and plies in second position.

If I really can’t get moving, going outside for a walk is enough to get me started.

 

The next thing I’ve been doing as much as possible is a ballet barre.

 

Unfortunately, I don’t have a real barre, so I use a chair. I find it helpful to butte the chair up against my big cabinet.

A silver lining, for me, to this heinous situation are all of the amazing professional level ballet classes/barres that have cropped up on youtube. The following are my favorites so far. And, they’re not in any particular order.  If you have no interest in ballet, please skip ahead. Or, enjoy the videos!

 

 

Maria Khoreva has a gorgeous ballet barre with wonderful accompaniment. If you recall, Maria is the 19-yr-old super-star from St. Petersburg and a first soloist with the Mariinsky Theater.

Her ballet technique is text-book perfect and so is her English. You may recall that I’ve mentioned her a few times before. In addition, there are also some other videos of Maria stretching and her endurance cardio training. I watched it one day and actually got nauseous watching her. haha. She’s a beast. A very pretty, sweet beast!

 

 

The next ballerina to give an exquisite barre is near and dear to my heart. She’s 27 now and a soloist with American Ballet Theater, Skylar Brandt. As it happens, Skylar is from Purchase, New York. And, I have known her since she was 10-years old as we studied at the same ballet studio! It was obvious, even then that she was destined for great things. She’s ahhhhmazing!

 

 

Andrey Klemm of the Paris Opera gives another gorgeous barre with the etoile, Amandine taking it. She is sooooo clean! Plus, you get some gorgeous live piano music and well. And, handsome Andrey. (I have un petit crush on him.)

 

And finally, from the Dutch National Ballet is another beautiful

barre given by ballet master, Ernst Meisner. The first couple of barres are terrific, however, he only demonstrates the first side. The third one, (linked to above) however, he demonstrates both sides. But, it is a very beautiful exercise, no matter what and also with fantastic live piano music.

Of course, the majority of you aren’t ballet dancers.

However, if you studied ballet in your youth, you’ll probably be able to follow these master classes. I promise you will feel better. Ummm… later on. Ballet is hard! But, it’s the best exercise, IMO.

 

However, if there’s some other form of exercise you love to do, that’s probably on youtube, as well.

 

I’ve always found that when I feel good, I get more accomplished and I’m happier.

So, my best advice is to try and keep moving. You’ll thank me later for giving you that push. If you miss a day, it’s okay, but try to do something at least 4 or 5 days a week. And, if you have kids, get them moving with you, too.

Speaking of kids. I saw a bunch of college-aged boys hanging outside Houlihan-Lawrence. They were right on top of each other, too; about 8 of them and blowing smoke in each other’s faces.

 

Have you heard the new word for that? “Covidiot.”

 

Oh, and, to spice things up, there was a cop parked across the street. I stopped him as he was walking back to his car. He was young and very nice and just shook his head that he had already “yelled” at them. haha. I wanted to say, I think you need to give them a ticket!

 

But, then I went to the grocery store.

 

The killer grocery store.

Oh, Laurel, why aren’t you having your groceries delivered?

Thank you. I TRIED to! I ordered groceries a week ago for a Tuesday pickup and Tuesday morning, they canceled my order!

But, I’m going to try again with Fresh Direct that looks really good. Instacart was the service that crapped out on me.

In the meantime…

 

no toilet paper in Bronxville, NY

 

When the shite hit the fan mid-March, I went on a Sunday evening to my local grocery store. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, so I snapped the above image. No toilet paper! (or meat, milk, bread, bleach on and on…) And, the next time I went in, there were no paper products at all. Nothing.

Last week, in our local online newspaper, a cartoonist, Clay Jones, shared some of his work, gratis. The first one is my favorite. And, so I emailed him and asked him if I could share it with my readers and he said, yes.

 

Clay Jones Copyright 2020 claytoonz.com - - Pandemic preparation

Clay Jones Copyright 2020 claytoonz.com

 

haha! Please check out Clay’s website linked above for more of his brilliant and humorous cartoons.

 

The next part is about keeping ourselves and people we live with safe, during the pandemic. That includes doing our part to stop the spread. In addition, not just safe, but thriving.

 

However, there’s been so much confusion surrounding this virus. And, even the CDC is making it up as they go along. All of this time, they’ve been saying, “no masks, unless you’re sick or taking care of someone who’s sick or you’re exceedingly vulnerable.”

I read that they’re afraid we won’t have enough common sense to still maintain our distance. However, people have gotten sick from folks who are walking around sick but don’t know they’re sick. That’s the problem. And, it’s why we must still stay away from people.

I guess we all have heard that we DO, after all, need to wear a face mask when we venture outside.

 

Oh, very important. I’m going to share and link to a lot of personal care products. By law, I need to tell you that none of this constitutes medical advice. And, nothing I’m sharing is guaranteed to keep you safe from disease.

 

But, I thought it would be fun to share some products that I think are interesting and/or might be useful. Some you might know about and some, you might not.

 

First up. You have to check out Etsy for personal protection masks!

 

There are zillions of them. I’m not exaggerating. And, not only that, but there’s a mask for every person and occasion. Note: the links will be in an upcoming widget. But, the widget doesn’t have any commentary. Before, though, I want to single out a few of the masks.

Many of these masks are pleated or come with a pocket to put in an additional protective barrier/filter. That’ll be in the widget too.

Again, I am not saying that these masks will keep you safe. They say the most critical thing is to wash your hands and don’t touch your face!

 

Chlozzbylibby - chic face maskChlozzbylibby – chic face mask, reminiscent of a Hermes scarf.

 

kikimoraFashion on Etsy - Pandemic preparation

There are masks to match every outfit in your wardrobe.

 

EVAeGIN on Etsy sequin face mask - Pandemic preparation

no matter how formal

 

kikimorafashion rose face mask etsy - Pandemic preparation

Or tacky. Really? Who wants to walk around with a fabric rose over their face? But, I suppose it’s better than a surgical mask.

 

printed faces - monkey face - face mask - Pandemic preparationBut, if you want a face, they have those too! haha

 

Pandemic preparation - Overyourheart - Etsy - cotton face mask - tips to thrive during the pandemic

Overyourheart – Etsy – cotton face mask

 

They even have masks for couples. Hey guys! You’re not six feet apart!!! I guess they’re quarantining together. I’m jealous. Damn…

Below are many more masks. For more information, please click on the individual images. Of course, there are hundreds more.

 

 

Below are some more utilitarian products you might need to have on hand. I figure that people are going to be shopping from home more than ever. And, like here, some of these things are not available in your local stores.

 

 

And below are some interesting hand sanitizers and soaps.

 

And, a few interesting dispensers. A couple of them are hands-free. I don’t know anything about these products. But, most of them have excellent reviews. And, I love the idea of supporting these small boutique companies. Besides, you cannot get the likes of Purell now. They are reserving all of it as they should for the hospitals. Therefore, please check on the ingredients to see if they suit your needs.

 

 

Thanks, guys. Hope that was helpful in some way. Please feel free to share what you’re doing or not doing to cope with the pandemic.

Oh, and please check out the newly updated HOT SALES! Many new things to see and some other changes.

xo,

 

 

5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Tara - April 30, 2020 - 2:59 AM

    I just read the shiny Michigan Governor is going to allow sales of paint and gardening tools and plants and landscapers to get back to work in May. Still, all those people home for all of Marpril and no way to improve! Such a decorator dies in me.ReplyCancel

  • Tara - April 30, 2020 - 2:54 AM

    Lucky Duck! If you lived in Michigan you could not browse or buy paint per order of the Governor. Now, her wardrobe is lovely and her botox is spot on, (if a little shiny,) but really, to have everybody stuck at home looking at their outdated/off/uninspired/ugly painted walls, and also not allow them to browse and buy paint! Torturess! I object!ReplyCancel

  • EVAeGIN - April 8, 2020 - 7:00 PM

    Hi Laurel, thank you for your post and for mentioning my EVAeGIN sequin mask! I’m in Milan, Italy so your mention is really precius! Stay home and everything will be fine. Ciao!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 12, 2020 - 1:26 AM

      I love it when vendors find my posts! My pleasure! Your masks are interesting and fun!ReplyCancel

  • Megan - April 8, 2020 - 6:13 AM

    Hi Laurel! Great post–I loved the cartoon. You need to also look up the one about Beavis and Yoda/’There is No TP for our bungholes!’. I seriously laughed for hours after seeing that one a few weeks ago. I also saw the masks on Etsy’s main page; most of them, I find creepy! I wondered if you would give me a bit of advice, as a frequent reader. I tried posting on a more relevant post, but I think it was closed for discussion. Is 91″ always too tall for a glass top secretary in a standard height room? It’s not near a door or window frame, and I want to keep it open to display beautiful things. I was thinking the glass at the top section may help keep it light. Thanks in advance. 😀ReplyCancel

  • Sue Lehnes - April 7, 2020 - 5:10 PM

    HI Laurel!

    Thank-you for this post!! You keep us all grounded! My friend told me about your blog a few years ago and I have been reading since! I am a fan!! I am in the mist of a Kitchen and living room renovation – crazy!!

    However, I am rereading many of your posts to decide on the back splash for the kitchen and the colors of the new open kitchen, dining area and living area. I feel like you are here helping me out with this project!

    Thank-you for all you do!

    Stay safe and
    wash your hands!!

    SueReplyCancel

  • Ramona - April 6, 2020 - 8:49 PM

    Thank you for entertaining us!!! I am not able to do very much because of chronic illness and used to being in isolation because of that illness; however, fearing to go out is very different from not being able to go out.

    We can support each other with the best of thoughts and the safest of actions.

    I am most affected by first responders illnesses and deaths.

    Love one another everyone. Loving one another, even from afar, boost the immune system.

    Be careful out there Laurel and everyone else.ReplyCancel

  • Ttaciw - April 6, 2020 - 5:08 PM

    Hi Laurel
    Thanks for your latest Blog.
    I’m from New Zealand and here we have code 4 (self isolation). It’s working well, bar the few idiots that flaunt it. One thing I read about face masks is to wash them after use and for extra protection (yes sounds weird) place a sanitary pad inside the mask). Take your shoes off before you go inside your homes and wash your clothes. When you get your groceries home spray or wipe with bleach (diluted). Make sure if you’ve driven your car to wipe the steering wheel or keep some sanitizer if you can still buy it in the car with you.
    Thinking of you all over there. Keep healthy and keep
    safe. xReplyCancel

  • Sheryl Busser - April 6, 2020 - 10:27 AM

    Thanks for the tip. Very good idea. Love both colors.ReplyCancel

  • mrsben - April 5, 2020 - 11:52 PM

    Very wise tips, Laurel. For myself I follow a routine every morning; then with the exception of meal preparations the rest of the day I just basically do what pleases me. It could be going for a bicycle ride, a walk, read a few chapters of a book etc. With that said though; as of late and being a hobby sewer I have been making clinical masks that I donate to whom ever expresses a desire for one. (I use only 100% cotton, two layers, the underside with a pouch for insertion of an optional filter plus they are designed to wear with either ear loops or two runs of elastic behind the head. Also sewn in, is a wire that one can contour to the shape of their nose and cheekbone area for purpose of a better fit.
    There are actually two styles that I am making. One resembling the standard pleated clinical mask whereas the other actually fashioned by a nurse back in 1930 which is is extremely versatile as with moderate tweaking will fit over many styles of N-95 masks as well. Before closing; just wish to say ‘as we are all in this together please be kind to one another’ and as I have three of my immediate family on the front lines (policing and the medical profession) know they would prefer everyone ‘to practice social distancing’ rather than be one of their statistics. (Thank you!)
    -Brenda-ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 6, 2020 - 12:23 AM

      You are so right, Brenda. And, I wish to add that I am seeing a tremendous amount of traffic around here. I’m talking cars, not page views. lol People need to understand that driving around increases the risk of accidents and more work for these Angels who are already beyond over-worked and stretched to the limit. STAY HOME!

      You know as difficult as this is, for some, it’s a gift. It’s a rare opportunity for people to slow down and take stock of their lives and figure out a better way. I’ve been there too. And, although change is difficult, it’s a part of life we all must accept.ReplyCancel

  • Linda - April 5, 2020 - 9:36 PM

    Laurel, glad to hear you are well!

    I have been watching every White House news conference, and I thought I would share my interpretation of what appears to be mixed messages about the general public wearing masks. Logically, if masks protect nurses and doctors, they should also protect the general public, right? And I suspect we (mostly) all understand the importance of doctors and nurses having all the equipment that they need to protect themselves as they expose themselves to Covid-19. (Remember, these people are professionals who are trained in the proper use of PPE.)

    Why do some of the experts think the rest of us should wear masks, while others think our wearing masks would increase the spread? After all, we all know the proper way to wear a mask – right?

    Immediately after watching the news conference in which the recommendation for us to wear masks was made public, the news station I was watching showed some video of some people outdoors in New York City. Some were already wearing masks. One lady wore her mask over her mouth, leaving her nose exposed. In the next shot, a lady was jogging with her mask pulled down, only covering her throat. Obvious conclusion – NO, we don’t all know how to properly wear a mask.

    This is my best understanding of the proper way to wear a mask. 1. Put it on before you walk out your door. They are saying the mask should be at least two layers of fabric thick. Make sure the mask covers your nose and your mouth. 2. Continue to maintain at least 6′ between you and others. 3. Continue to keep your hands away from your face. 4. Do not remove the mask AT ALL until you get back home. 5. Remove the mask and launder it immediately. 6. Then, immediately wash your hands thoroughly.

    Sounds like overkill. Remember that this virus is highly contagious, and some people that have the virus are a-symptomatic.

    It seems to me that masks will likely become necessary for some period of time if we are going to be able to go back to work.

    Stay safe, and stay healthy.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 6, 2020 - 12:07 AM

      No, it doesn’t sound like over-kill. It is safe to say that any protective barrier used in and of itself is insufficient to stop the spread of the disease.

      And, I realize that you’re trying to be helpful. However, I don’t want us to be giving each other anything that could be construed as medical advice; even if it is helpful and correct. That should be coming from the CDC or WHO or some other esteemed medical source. Thanks for understanding.ReplyCancel

  • Nelida Flatow - April 5, 2020 - 5:10 PM

    Youre the best! Thank you for brightening our day with those masks. Now get to work please, I need decorating advice and pronto. I have two loco dogs, one a German Shepherd, the other a Cavapoo,and the GSD( German Shepherd Dog) has eaten my couches. I’d like to have all of my research done to order a new couch while I’m waiting this plague out. Unfortunately my husband will not let me get rid of Tiny Tina the GBD.
    My question is, what are the best fabrics for those of us with dogs.
    Thanks,
    NelyReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 6, 2020 - 12:11 AM

      Dogs should not be eating your couches. I can’t help you there. It sounds like you might need a specialist who can help you train your dogs. But, I’m not an expert in that field either. So, I’m not sure if it’s possible or not. Otherwise, most fabrics for cats should be good for dogs too.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea at Opulent Cottage - April 5, 2020 - 5:07 PM

    Your blog is giving me life these days, Laurel! I’m really enjoying having the time to go through every single post of yours. I think I must have read 75% of your blog this week! My husband and I have spent the last two years trying to find a neighborhood to move to just east of Dallas. We’re in town now and looking for something quieter. We finally found a lovely lakeside neighborhood we adore, and while moving will be on hold for a while, it’s fun to plan for what might be ahead. All of the homes in this subdivision were built in the mid-80s, and now I have time to research how to fix whatever hot mess fixer-upper we end up with hahahaha. I particularly appreciate your posts about moldings, since most of the homes we are finding are completely without. But it will be worth it to live somewhere so pretty, and we are avid DIY-ers who love a good project.
    Thank you for the links, I might actually try the barre workouts. And those masks gave me a laugh! I have been making masks for family and friends who are in healthcare, but mine are just boring Waverly trellis lol. Take care, and sending prayers for your safety in such a crazy time.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Scruggs - April 5, 2020 - 4:12 PM

    Glad you are well- stay safe my friend!
    xoReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 6, 2020 - 12:12 AM

      And you as well Elizabeth! So glad we got to connect before the crazy began! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Mary E - April 5, 2020 - 1:34 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    I’m happy to hear you’re doing well.
    Currently I’m trying to plan my purchases for a kitchen renovation that will start next month. It’s hard to do when stores are closed. So I’ve been shopping the internet & ordering samples.
    I’ve also realized that when you’re staying home with your husband that can’t golf every day like he’s used to, it can be bad for a marriage. Especially when he continues to think that everyone is going a little nuts over this & rules don’t apply to him. 🤦‍♀️
    Lord help me!ReplyCancel

  • Robin - April 5, 2020 - 1:11 PM

    Thanks, Laurel. I especially appreciate your uplifting sense of humor and look forward to trying out the videos. Have been doing yoga each day but this will be fun and something different. A friend and I tried an adult ballet class a few years ago and looked like Lucy and Ethel. Much better in the privacy of my own home!ReplyCancel

  • Rose Mary DiNapoli - April 5, 2020 - 12:50 PM

    Thanks for face mask inspo Laurel, my Mom (89 years old and says this is worse than the Depression!) and I are doing to start making masks today from all my left over design project fabrics.

    Stay safe, sanitized and sane!ReplyCancel

  • Pamela Dunn - April 5, 2020 - 12:40 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    It is wonderful to hear you are well…the most important thing! We are also well here in Northeast NJ, seriously complying with guidelines and staying in house. We have found a distributor who delivers fruit, veggies and meat. The quantities are large so we share with our family.
    Two great things have come out of this. My husband and I get on the treadmill everyday, knowing the importance of staying healthy.
    Secondly, we have continued with our videos to the 4 grandkids each day. I’ve even dressed my husband up as Little Red Riding Hood and we acted out the story! We are laughing our heads off everyday. Now my daughters are sending the videos to their friends.
    We do science experiments, baking lessons, jokes, etc. I spend some time in the evening thinking of something fun to do and we make a video to send them each morning.
    I have never been so close to my grandchildren and they have even started sending videos back to us! Just the best.
    Commenting on Covidiots…I see them right outside my window and I want to scream at them! Agree they should be ticketed.
    Continue to stay strong and stay in. Especially important where we are.
    Best Regards,
    PamReplyCancel

  • Zoe - April 5, 2020 - 12:39 PM

    I found the cartoon funny so checked out the website. Total turnoff and soooooo inappropriate and actually offensive! Please do proper research before you share with your readers.ReplyCancel

  • Kim Doyle - April 5, 2020 - 12:38 PM

    Hi Laurel – am right on board with the hydrating and exercising. There are videos of all types out there now – pilates, strength training, cardio, stretching etc and it does help. Also eating well I believe helps – we love to cook and are doing a lot of it now but even if you are not a cook, there are simple things to make that taste great, are healthy, and make your home smell heavenly – epicurious.com is my favorite source for new recipes. And your past blogs, paint and palette sources have been a fun way to spend time planning what I want to do for next projects in my house. I’m actually going to paint 2 bedrooms in the next week or two – nothing like making your home look better when you are stuck there. So thanks for that – while I’ve read all of your blogs as they came out, it is a treasure drove of design ideas. Thanks for that!ReplyCancel

  • sc - April 5, 2020 - 11:35 AM

    I hope everyone stays healthy – gets through this w/ the least amount of death – we have already lost one friend – young – no underlying health issues – he left 2 daughters – it’s crushingly sad –

    But as we muddle through to a vaccine (12 months, 18 months) – I hope this pause on life finally gets us to see the extreme divisive politics has been bad for all of us – we are all connected by health and wealth (now lack of wealth) – we have to take care of each other to survive – we all need to remember this and act accordingly –

    And those Instacart/ delivery/ Amazon workers need healthcare and sick days – because bare minimum, you don’t want sick people delivering your goods…

    Take care everyone.ReplyCancel

  • Susan - April 5, 2020 - 11:30 AM

    Thank you for finding these great items. I can’t find a link to purchase these items. Will you be setting something up?ReplyCancel

  • TraceyE - April 5, 2020 - 11:26 AM

    What a great post Laurel!!
    I wanted to take ballet as a child, however that didn’t happen!
    I’m looking forward to watching the videos and trying the exercises! It’s never too late to try!!
    I’ve been sewing to keep busy. I’m making some medical masks and headbands with buttons that they can be attached to instead of putting the elastic around your ears, the elastic goes around the button.
    Thank you for taking the time to write this post Laurel!!
    XoReplyCancel

  • Marji Karlgaard - April 5, 2020 - 11:24 AM

    Dear Laurel,
    Thank you for the fresh post! I’m also a ballet fan(atic) and our studio is Zooming all classes to us. But so agree that the peek into the pros barre rooms has been a silver lining to this global pandemonium, and certainly makes going to my room more delightful.
    Here in the SF Bay Area our shop shelves resemble yours. I will be sewing some less fashionable masks for our local senior retirement community, the only fabric in my stash is from Christmas, but I certainly hope they will not be needed by the time the holiday rolls around to make them calendar appropriate.
    Stay well across the continent. Yes, Ballet is the BEST!
    Deep pliés and love be yours today!ReplyCancel

  • George - April 5, 2020 - 10:00 AM

    Hi Laurel!

    My daughter goes to Ballet Academy East in Manhattan. They are doing regular classes online including pointe. She uses a chair as well. Of course we do not have a sprung floor so the jumping is kept to a minimum.

    My wife and I both work at NYC hospitals and things are really bad. Everyday gets worse and it is exhausting. We think maybe 2-3 weeks to hit the peak for the NYC area.

    I can not get groceries delivered either. I’ve spent so much time at home de-cluttering and purging that I may not have anything left in the house when this is over!

    All the best! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Zippy's Mom - April 5, 2020 - 9:36 AM

    Thanks, Laurel, for this post. Always look forward to your posts. A little levity never hurts, especially now : You have some great tips. Never thought of ballet! Found some good no-sew mask sites too, just Google those, in case you don’t sew, like me. Some looked pretty good. Enjoyed these you posted. Thanks!
    Am using a walking DVD as it’s been raining here pretty solid this last week, live near Dallas, also tai chi DVD, helps as it’s relaxing.
    Eating a lot of Udon noodles, stir fried into sauteed onions/garlic (good nat’l antimicrobials) good thing I live alone :), adding a little salmon sometimes, filling, cheap, tasty, very easy/fast to fix.
    Yes, this too shall pass! Thanks for the NY news, Laurel! I love NY so much!! Only been there once on a biz trip years ago and cried when I had to come back here, haha. Y’all are the BEST! Hang in there!ReplyCancel

  • Susan Blakely - April 5, 2020 - 9:36 AM

    I appreciate your authenticity always. Glossing over our situation with pretty pictures is a nice distraction but we need to stay grounded in reality too. We will come through this and get back to living outside our walls but for the time being, let’s help each other. Keep talking (and showing pretty pictures). Bless youReplyCancel

  • Anne Harvey - April 5, 2020 - 9:33 AM

    Thank you, Laurel, for the beautiful ballet videos. The one with Skylar Brandt brought me close to tears. Not sure if it was the music or her spell-binding grace. Alas, my mother wouldn’t let me take ballet when I was little and I had to make do with my Scholastic book, On Your Toes, Susie, which had illustrations showing some ballet positions. LOL. I appreciate you sharing tips and moral-boosters with your subscribers. Stay safe!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 5, 2020 - 3:29 PM

      Oh Anne, Hearing that your mother wouldn’t let you take ballet makes me want to cry! Maybe it was a financial thing? There was a beautiful ballerina with American Ballet Theatre in the 80s and 90s, Cynthia Harvey. I took a class with her once circa 1982 and nearly dropped my eyeballs!ReplyCancel

  • GL - April 5, 2020 - 9:30 AM

    Glad to hear that you’re OK, Laurel. Good ideas to help with the pandemic-itis, too.
    Two additions: some time ago, I started using the Canadian XBX Plan (12 minutes a day, as done by Helen Mirren), and it certainly has an impact on the shape of one’s, ahem, central part — it made a visible change to me in 10 days. Google it and you will find the booklet as a PDF, which I downloaded, and now there are videos as well.
    On a jollier note, I did some of the exercises plus others (the ones not involving lying on the floor) as I was waiting for an hour and ten minutes to get into the covered market in town. The queue was very long, 3 metres between each of us; I got some laughs and some peculiar looks, but I got a workout and I could feel it in my legs that evening!
    Re masks: don’t forget that your mask is potentially infected (that’s its purpose), so it is imperative to wash it after every use: remove it and throw it at once in the washing machine, and wash your hands for the regulation time immediately after doing that. I downloaded the AFNOR (French official standards) texts on masks, as we are now being encouraged to make our own, and the precautions they advise are frankly terrifying — disinfecting your washing machine each time before and after washing a mask, don’t use a dryer, dry the mask in the open air but it must be dry in less than 2 hours… Eek! Oh, and NEVER touch your mask, let alone anyone else’s, which adds to the problems with one of your photos.
    And finally, I can’t see what on earth is “political” about your post — it was a great idea!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 5, 2020 - 3:26 PM

      Thanks so much for all of those extremely helpful tips, Gilly! I’m presuming that the couple has been sheltering in place together. But, if so, then they would not need to wear a mask. Well, not for health reasons. lol

      As for the political thing. I know. However, I honestly don’t care what she thinks. That’s because I am definitely not voting for the virus. Its policies of infiltrating delicate tissues and then attacking cells in vital organs which can become life-threatening to many kind people; people who had the nerve to attend a celebration of a joyous event! That is not the kind of behavior by any living organism that I can endorse or condone. In fact, I demand that it vacate its office immediately! Besides, any leach that kills its host is phenomenally stupid. Don’t you think?

      But, if she feels differently, fine; but she needs to keep it to herself. However, I deleted everything including her blog subscription from my database. Amen.ReplyCancel

  • Rose - April 5, 2020 - 9:28 AM

    Thank you for continuing your blog while there is so much sadness in your “backyard”. These are all great tips and exercise of the mind and body are crucial. Please stay safe and we look forward to your next post.ReplyCancel

  • Arlini - April 5, 2020 - 9:15 AM

    You really are the best. So glad I found you, a couple of years ago. I put a tint dollop of Mentholatum in each nostril when leaving the house. Essential oils, the first medicines you know. Stay safe sweet friend.ReplyCancel

  • Susan - April 5, 2020 - 8:58 AM

    Oh Laurel
    Where did you find a link to order the
    Mark D. Sikes blue&white face masks?
    Saw the pictures of them but don’t see a way to order them
    Thank youReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 5, 2020 - 3:06 PM

      Hi Susan,

      I got them at Karen Kain However, it looks like they are only taking donations for masks at this time. Maybe you can try contacting them.ReplyCancel

  • Parnassus - April 5, 2020 - 8:43 AM

    Hello Laurel, Those ballet videos must be fakes. Human bodies cannot move like that–you will break if you try.

    Taiwan has the same hoarding mentality as everywhere. Before the virus started, I was actually trying to use up my stores of products to get them out of the way as part of a grand reorganization scheme. Bad idea!

    We are worried about you being right in the virus epicenter like that, so please be sure to take extra precautions for yourself.
    –JimReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 5, 2020 - 3:02 PM

      Hi Jim,

      Hahahaha!!! I know what you mean regarding the ballerinas. They are indeed, freaks of nature. They’ve become like contortionists, some of them. Maria, did get her start as a rhythmic gymnast until she was about 9 and then made the switch to classical ballet. Hard to believe, but she won’t be 20 until this summer. Not that she looks older, but she’s incredibly wise, mature and grounded. And, there is no one who works harder than she does! If you have a sec, take a look at her cardio workout. It’s crazy-intense. I would not have been able to do that, even at 19!ReplyCancel

  • Colleen - April 5, 2020 - 7:37 AM

    Our shelves in the toilet paper aisles at the stores have been bare for weeks now. I was disturbed by your pic of boxes of Kleenex for $5.99 and it was on sale! Has that store jacked up the price or is that the norm? I made a stack of masks last week. They are so easy to make. I just think some protection is better than none at all. I’m in Canada as well. We are not happy with your president right now regarding the 3M masks. He is so unprofessional and he may find out soon enough that 3M gets material to make those masks manufactured here..lol..That orange mask you posted looks like a thong stretched over her head.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 5, 2020 - 2:51 PM

      Yes, everything is very expensive in Westchester. However, it’s possible that’s for two boxes or something else. Not sure. I see another price on the bottom shelf that’s $1.99.ReplyCancel

  • Ivis - April 5, 2020 - 7:37 AM

    So happy to hear you are well and taking care of yourself! Good tips too. Stay safe, Laurel. I might add…buy gift certificates for local small businesses, restaurants, bars, etc. I’ve already done my Christmas shopping! I am fearful about small neighborhood businesses.ReplyCancel

  • Sheryl Busser - April 5, 2020 - 6:55 AM

    Enjoy reading your decorating tips! We have been painting our house during this chaotic time. We were on vacation in Arizona in March when all hell broke loose. We are Canadians so upon return had to self isolate for 2 weeks. Our daughter filled our fridge with groceries and picked up our paint orders. I have been agonizing over paint choices for a few months. All of a sudden i had to make a decision so went with BM Classic Gray, Balboa Mist and Thunder. Before Xmas we painted our 3 bedrooms Metropolitan. The color is nice but I wasnt sold on it for our main living areas. Balboa Mist in our bathrooms and mudroom. Thunder and Classic Gray in kitchen/dining and livingroom. We still want to paint our kitchen cabinets. We are considering Chelsea Gray. I think it would look ok with Classic Gray walls? I want to incorporate another color for my backsplash walls and accessories. Any suggestions? I am thinking maybe red? I like Iron Mountain but my hubby doesnt. We painted our mudroom cabinets Chelsea Gray and the backsplash Iron Mountain and I love it! But it is a small section of cabinets.
    The painting has been a great diversion. Good therapy! But i agree with you about the exercise. I try and do one of my 30 min Essentrics Workouts 4 times a week. We also live on an acreage so have the luxury of snowshoeing and skiing. When the snow melts cycling and walks. We get a lot of American news and OMG it sounds awful in the New York area. We live in a small province so not hit as hard yet. I believe our total yesterday was around 200 confirmed and 2 deaths. This virus has had such a huge impact on every one and it is far from over. I want to thank you for all your tips. I spent many hours reading your blog this winter. Also enjoyed this non decorating read. Who knew face masks could be so fashionable lol. Stay safe! Keep us all posted on your health.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 5, 2020 - 2:47 PM

      Hi Sheryl,

      I think that Chelsea Gray and Classic Gray would look great together, but as always, make a sample. I would maybe even paint one door or even a door front that you can get either online or in a store, if they are open. Or, something fairly large that’s wood so you can hold it up in different areas and see how it looks.ReplyCancel

  • Diana Bier - April 5, 2020 - 6:20 AM

    Thanks, Laurel, for an inspiring post.
    For me, routine is important. Every day, I make my bed, shower and get dressed. Stretching exercises are great and I do about 30-45 minutes a day. I’m thankful that I have a job and can work from home during the week. Keeping mind and body occupied is important, so I also read and do crossword puzzles. Now that the weather here on Long Island has gotten a bit warmer, I always go for a nice, long walk every day!
    And yes, this too shall pass–our wonderful scientists and doctors will save us!ReplyCancel