It’s been a long month and a half of quarantine. Part of me is ready to get in my vehicle, see if I remember how to drive, and take a non-stop road trip to another planet.
But there is another part of me that is never wanting to go back to normal life.
I’ve enjoyed this pause in life. I didn’t think I would, but I have. My insanely busy schedule came to a screeching halt, and while I feared it at first, it turns out I actually like my new, slower life.
Maybe this is what retirement feels like. I don’t know, but I do know I’ve been spending a lot of time reading the internet.
And I’ve shared my discoveries below.
And hey don’t forget to take a look at the Mother’s Day Gifting for UNDER $30.00. Come on, how can you pass that up? A gorgeous gift for under $30.00?
Yes. That’s right.
So hurry up and get shopping before she realizes you’ve almost forgotten. 😉 And if you aren’t shopping for any one’s mom, shop for your bestie. Or yourself. God knows there’s never been a better time to surprise someone with a gift, amiright?
The Best Account on Instagram Right Now
Okay, before the gift guide, you have to look at this account.
@leslie jordan is the funniest person I’ve seen online.
Maybe it’s his southern accent that gets me. Maybe it’s his sometimes high-pitched voice. Is it his cute demeanor? Maybe it’s the way he weaves in darling little swear words into his sentences.
I don’t know but this guy is the best thing ever and I get so excited to see a new post from him. Please follow his account. I guarantee he will make you smile.
Working out from home was weird at first. After a while I started to detest it. Then we rearranged the entire garage and now I have a dedicated little gym space.
So now I love it again.
Anyway, these are the songs I’ve been playing on repeat to get me motivated to move my body, baby.
I’ll Wait – Van Halen
Better Be Good to Me – Tina Turner (if it’s been awhile since you’ve listened to Tina, it’s time to fire up the iTunes)
Justice – Randy (WWW) (get past the first 10 seconds of this, but also, watch out for the cow bell, LOL. Oh my gosh, what IS this song, anyway? I don’t know, but it works for cardio!)
Mother’s Day (under $30.00) Gift Guide
Blue Light Blocking Glasses, $15.28 for 2, Amazon
I’ve mentioned these glasses before but in case you missed it, here is another pair I’m loving (especially because they give you two for the price of one!)
I don’t know that they need to be worn all day, but blue light emitted from screens and phones will definitely mess up your melatonin production at night. My rule of thumb? When the sun is setting, it’s time to put the blue light blocking glasses on. Get these for mom because she probably won’t buy them for herself.
Cotton Pajama sleep set, $24.99 Target
She may sleep in t-shirts and sweats most of the time, but trust me, she will change up her routine with this cutie pie outfit. I mean, who can resist polka dots AND a matching sleep mask? Not me. 😉
Throw Throw Burrito family game, $24.99, Amazon
We’ve all been quarantined too dang long. Here’s a family game where you are actually encouraged to throw things at each other. Laughter is sure to ensue.
Olly Plant Powered Chocolate Protein Powder, $19.97 Amazon
Voted best protein by the children in my home (and trust me, I’ve made them try probably hundreds of different kinds over the years), this chocolate plant-based protein won’t give you belly bloat like the whey-based varieties, and guarantees you won’t have to dig through the powder to find the spoon (it’s attached to the underside of the lid). So clever. So tasty. So good for you.
Quick drying hair towel, $20.99, Amazon
Who has time to blow dry hair anymore?
Whoops. I guess we all have time now.
What I meant was, who wants to blow dry hair anymore? No one.
Yes, she may already have one of these babies, but guess what? Another one is always a good idea.
Treasure & Bond leather crossbody bag, $29.99, Nordstrom
For the exact moment quarantine is lifted and it’s time to meet the girls for coffee, or date night, or just to go to Target and browse (ohmygosh remember what that felt like?). This crossbody bag is just the right size, a perfect spring/summer color, and a price that won’t kill us all.
Girlfriend Crewneck T, $14.50, J.Crew Factory
J. Crew is known for their famous tees. They are soft, hold their shape, won’t pill, and come in a rainbow of colors. They can be dressed up (white or black with a gold necklace and a blazer) or down (paired with distressed jeans and sandals) and basically worn anywhere because they truly are the world’s most comfortable t-shirt. I need one in every color, please.
Sleeveless Dress, $20.00, Target
How cute is this? Moms coming out of quarantine need a gateway piece of clothing that is fancier than sweats, dressier than workout clothes, but not as hugging as jeans. Ta-da! Target to the rescue once again.
SPLURGE: Leather Sandals, $89.00, Amazon
These sandals are a super treat. And from what I hear, they are the best sandal out there right now.
First of all, they are made on the island of Menorca, Spain. Hello gold star number one.
Second, they are real leather. *gold star number two*
Third, they come in just about every color imaginable. *all the gold stars*
Fourth, I’m asking for a pair for Mother’s Day. Byeeeeeee
High waisted crop leggings, $24.00, Amazon
My favorite leggings in a crop style (and POCKETS) for the warmer months. High waisted, won’t bunch, squat test approved (not see-through when you squat down), sweat-wicking, and of course, a great price. I live in these things.
Tea Forte tea infuser basket and ceramic mug, $19.90, Amazon
I’m a coffee lover. If you’ve been around here long, you know I can’t go a day without my coffee.
But sometimes I do like a cuppa: when I don’t feel well, when I have allergies and just need to drink something warm to help calm the histamines, or after dinner when I don’t want caffeine.
And for those occasions, look how cute this is. Not only is the ceramic cup gorgeous (and will keep that tea hot for longer), but it comes with a brewing basket with an easy lift handle. And bonus: if you turn the lid of the cup upside down, it acts as a holder for the used basket.
Typhoo Tea, 480 tea bags, $28.15, Amazon
Did you see the movie Ford vs. Ferrari?
If you haven’t, please watch it immediately. It’s based on the true story of Ken Miles and Carroll Shelby as they build the first American-made sports car to win the 24 hours of Le Mans race. It’s a brilliant movie and I recommend it for the whole family. I’ve seen it three times so far! (As a rule of measure, I watched Titanic at least 7 times…4 of which were in the theater).
Anywayyyy, Ken Miles was British and in the movie he drank a lot of tea. One scene showed him grabbing some Typhoo and making a cup. So then, of course, I had to look it up. And guess what? All the Brits give it 5-star reviews. So, I figure, it must be the real thing.
I’ve got mine on order.
Incense paper, $24.00, Ponsont
I heard about these on a podcast the other day and was immediately intrigued. This is a great alternative to a candle for mom.
- It’s packable. No worries about packing a candle or having it melt or take up precious suitcase space. Perfect for when your hotel or airbnb isn’t quite…fresh.
- It’s safe. Once you light the paper, you blow it out and place it in a ceramic cup or on heat proof dish and you can literally walk away. No more worries about whether you remembered to blow the candle out.
- Cost effective. 24 papers for $24.00. Some of the pricier candles are upwards of something ridiculous, like $90.00. What? It’s true. And the cheaper ones either don’t have a lasting fragrance, or they burn too quickly, letting you literally watch your dollars go up in smoke. These papers apparently have a long-lasting scent without being overpowering.
Plus, they are unique. The company offers two scents and shipping is around $5.00.
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I hope this provides some budget friendly ideas for mom this year. And remember: a heartfelt, homemade card and a phone call are always home runs in any mom’s book.
Definitely, Maybe is coming along! I’ve learned so many things about the writing process this time around that will make the next book soooo much more efficient:
- Use Scrivener from the start. I wrote the first draft in Word this time, instead of Scrivener, and that was a huge mistake. Scrivener is a much better way to stay organized and on top of the plot.
- Pick a perspective and stick with it. I wrote this book in third-person perspective, and then midway through changed to first-person. By the time I reached the end I realized I preferred the third person view, so I changed the entire manuscript. This took months to complete. Next time I’ll stick with what I begin with.
- I won’t try and write to market. Meaning: I won’t try and write a story because it’s what I think the market wants to read. I find I have more interest in the story myself if I write it FOR me. Then I just cross my fingers others will enjoy it as well.
If I keep moving at a good pace, I should have a draft ready for advance readers in the next two months.
Are you on my advance reader team?
If not, would you like to be? If so, just hit “reply” and let me know you want to be added to the list.
You will receive a free advance copy of the (very rough, not professionally edited) book to read and provide feedback to me. In exchange, when the book is published you will provide an honest review online. Reviews help my books become noticed by the algorithms and potentially puts the books in front of more people.
If you would be interested in helping out, please reply to this email and let me know. As of today the manuscript stands at around 75k words, so this is definitely not a War and Peace type project.
Hope May is wonderful for you. Hope you are coming out of quarantine soon. Hope you are happy and healthy and full of hope. Thanks for sticking around.
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