Keep from getting bored during lockdown

quicksilver trail san jose

pictured: Alamden Quicksilver Trail, a great way to get outdoor exercise while social distancing.

Starting at midnight, March 17, 2020, than San Francisco Bay Area went on a lockdown to help stop the spread, or at least slow it down, of the coronavirus also called Covid-19. All non-essential workers in the area are ordered to stay home. Many businesses are shut down, and everyone is ordered to stay in their homes unless they need to buy food, go to the pharmacy, see a doctor, buy gas, or go to the bank.

The bright side, is that restaurants are still allowed to serve take-out, so we can still enjoy chik-fil-a, burritos from our local taqueria, and even fancier food from our famous local eateries. The hardest hit sector during this time will be retail shops not deemed essential.

Although we are all stuck inside our homes during the lockdown, which lasts until mid-April, there are still things we can do to maintain our sanity and parts of our lifestyles. Without further ado, here are my tips for surviving the Bay Area Lockdown-or any lockdown that may be happening anywhere in the world.

Grab take-out

If you are like me, you get bored of your own cooking. Call your favorite restaurant and find out when they are having take-out hours. Place an order, and pick-up your favorite food while adhering to social distancing rules by staying 6 feet apart from other people waiting for food. Also, remember to tip them! Someone had to cook your meal, take your order, and wrap up your food. Please leave them a regular 20% tip.

Organize your house

You know that closet you have been meaning to clean out? The garage you have been meaning to organize? The guest room still in boxes? This is a great time to sort through things, and get organized!

Dive into a new book

If I had a penny for every-time someone told me they don’t have time to read, I would be very rich! Well now, you have time to read! Pick up that book you have wanted to read, and dive in! You can still order books on Amazon and get them quickly. Here are a few of my recommendations, I’m kind of a bookworm:

Shop online

Support your favorite stores online. While you might not need a new outfit for an event this weekend, you may still need other items such as new pajamas, slippers, etc. Order online, and keep the economy flowing!

Support small business

Many small business can take phone or online orders, and then ship to you. Call them and see how you can shop from them while on lockdown.

Take walks and keep active

One of the best ways to keep your spirits up is to stay active. Get out of the house and take a walk. If you do take a walk, make sure it isn’t a busy path and maintain social distancing guidelines.

You can also stay inside! Find a workout on demand or online, and get your cardio on from your house. Go in the backyard and play. Stay active, and you will feel better.

Have online meetups.

Randomly Facetime your friends. Schedule group chats via Facebook, Skype, or Zoom. You can even have group happy hours online! Keep in touch with your friends and family by utilizing video chat technologies.

Check in on elderly friends and family

Anyone over the age of 60 is being told to stay home. See if you can run errands for, and help out, an elderly neighbor, friend, or family member. Please Facetime them too! They are bored at home, and need human interaction. Do what you can to help. My Mom loves to get random Facetime calls, it’s a fun technology the elderly can enjoy.

Watch cooking shows and test recipes

OK, your normal ingredients are sold out at the supermarket due to panic buying in the community. Why not try something new? Watch a cooking show and take notes. You can try a new recipe and have fun testing new foods, ingredients, and cooking methods-just don’t start a fire ok? Keep the flame on your cooktop normal, don’t try anything fancy with flames. Just sayin’

Start your own online business

Have you been dying to sell your crafts online, but never got started? Are you itching to start a blog? Do you want to develop a new app, but have been short on time? Now is the time! Make the world a better place with your new business venture. Start a new company, you have the time. Interest rates are low too, in case you need a business loan. It’s the perfect time to be an entrepreneur. Get started!

Well, those are my tips. Feel free to leave yours in the comment section below!

Also, remember, this is temporary. We will get through and life will eventually get back to normal. The economy will go to back to flourishing, and we will all look back on this as something to tell our grandkids about. We’ve got this!

Remember to wash your hands!

Thanks for stopping by,

XOXO

Cathy


Frame Les Second mini tote bag review

frame mini tote bag

pictured: Frame Les Second mini tote bag in yellow stamped croc /

How cute is this mini tote bag, which doubles as a cross body bag, from Frame Denim! I absolutely adore this little bag. Mini bags are back in style this year, and this cute little tote bag not only fits right into the spring 2020 trend, it offers a ton of functionality. Love that!

For the spring 2020 season, I wanted a bag I could wear everyday, which fit into the current spring 2020 handbag trends. The Frame Les Second mini tote seemed to be the perfect handbag. It offers versatility, on trend colors to choose from, and the “IT” handbag size of the season. Love!

The Frame Les Second mini tote bag is a smaller version of Frame’s Les Second tote which is a classic daytime handbag. The mini version offers the small silhouette which is on trend this year, without sacrificing interior space. It also offers a cross body strap, so that the bag can be worn on the forearm, by hand, over the shoulder, or cross body. It also has a secure zipper closure, and a slim, interior pocket.

What fits inside the Frame Les Second mini tote bag

frame les second tote frame mini les second tote bag frame les second mini tote bag review

The Frame Les Second mini tote bag fits everything we need on a daily basis. It fits a wallet, phone, keys, and lipstick. Even with these daily essentials, there is a still room for a small snack, or small digital camera. It has just enough space.

I’m loving this bag in cheery yellow. It instantly gives off a happy vibe. If yellow isn’t your thing, it is also available in neutral hues, the color of 2020-classic blue, and bright pink. It also happens to be priced under $400. Love that!

Shop the Frame Les Second mini tote bag online:

This is a great bag for daily wear. It fits everything we need, plus it can be worn several different ways, to fit the occasion. The stamped croc leather is sturdy, and does not scratch easily. It can be tossed around a little bit without showing any wear. I’ve been wearing it out with my kids, while running errands, and for lunch meetings. It’s a great bag!

The Frame Les Second mini tote comes in both stamped croc, and leather. Both have a great look, and offer a sturdy finish.

Which color if your favorite?

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

small tote spring 2020 handbag trends


Homeschooling tips

homeschool tips

pictured: my son taking advantage of the nice weather and working on his history schoolwork in the backyard

If you are in a school district which happens to be closed due to the current shelter-in-place orders, you are now a temporary member of the homeschool community! Also, if you are interested in homeschooling long-term, these tips work for you too! Welcome!

Although my kids are currently enrolled in public school, I used to have two of my kids in an online school. I home-schooled through an online school for a total of five year, so I am well versed in the home-school world. Even better, since my kids attended an online school, we know how to handle the current school-from-home environment children are experiencing across the country right now.

If your school district is acting the same as ours, your children are home until mid-April. Teachers are creating lesson plans, using online learning environments, and utilizing virtual classrooms as we speak. Many children have already started learning online from home, while others are waiting for direction from teachers and school districts. It may seem overwhelming to you and your children, and your nerves may be high; but never fear! This is an easy way to learn with a little organization, and self-motivation, to stay focused and maximize your time during this trying time.

Chances are, your children have very little distractions right now since the majority of extra-curricular activities have been temporarily cancelled during this time of social distancing. This allows ample time for children to adapt to online learning, and concentrate on working on lessons from home.

Without further ado, here are my homeschooling tips for kids currently learning from home!

Create a quiet space

Find a spot in your home where your kids can go to school. If you have a home office, spare room, guest room, formal dining room, or other location in your house away from other people, turn it into a temporary classroom.

Make sure you have a desk, card table, table, or other desk-like surface, with a comfortable chair, for your child to set up a classroom.

Make the area look school-ish. Grab a mug from the kitchen and place pencils, pens, and scissors inside of it. Also grab a tape dispenser, stapler, ruler and other supplies your child may need. Take these items and place them on the desk, card table, or table your child will use for school.  Also, if you have a globe, place it on the side of the desk or table to help create a classroom vibe.

Make the space look kid-friendly. You can even hang up their artwork on the wall to make it more comfortable. The environment your child learns in needs to look like their own. If it looks like a pristine, stuffy, formal dining room, they won’t feel comfortable and relaxed. It needs to have a classroom vibe.

Give your kids a laptop or computer to use

You child will need access to a laptop, or desktop computer in order to do their schoolwork. Make sure they have ample access to one in order to watch virtual lectures, and access Google classroom as well as other digital tools.

If you don’t have a computer, laptop or other needed supplies for your child to be able to learn from home, contact your school district. Schools are providing meals and supplies to those who need them.

Keep a regular school schedule.

If your child normally wakes up at 7am, keep waking them up at 7am. Keep the same food routine, hygiene routine, and sleep schedule. This will keep your kids on track, and feeling a sense of normalcy. Of course, they can still wear fuzzy slippers or pajamas to homeschool, I mean, why not enjoy that small perk?

Stay organized

Make sure your child keeps a checklist with all assignments and due dates. They may be given assignments all at once, or periodically. This means your child will need to manage his/her time to ensure assignments are turned in on the right date, and completed in a timely manner. Help your child spread out their workload and meet deadlines. This is great training for college since teachers may be giving them a weekly syllabus! I have my kids keep a checklist in a journal, and label each assignment with it’s due date. There is a great sense of accomplishment every time you check something off the list as complete.

Keep your child moving

You may, or may not, get PE homework during this time. If your child’s PE teacher does not leave exercises to do from home, make sure your child takes a daily walk, jog, or plays in the backyard. Keeping your child moving will not only help them to stay healthy, it will help them keep their spirits up.

Socialize at a distance

No, I don’t mean planning in-person play-dates. You can create a free account on Zoom, and have virtual, video meet-ups! Your child can schedule video conferences with his/her friends for up to 40 minutes on Zoom. They can also FaceTime each other, or use Skype. With video conferencing tools or video chat tools, they can see each others’ faces, and chit-chat about anything, and everything! Encourage them to plan these meet-ups and stay in touch with their friends. They’ll enjoy seeing their friends faces, and hearing their voices.

Lastly, support your child

Your child may feel sad about being at home without friends and teachers. On the bright side, your child will still have email, and possibly phone access to their teachers. But if they need immediate help with a lesson or assignment, be patient and help them out. They will appreciate your help.

That’s it! Homeschooling is pretty easy and stress-free as long as you stay organized, and stick to your checklist. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have via the comment section below, or through email.

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy