My Love Hate Relationship with Sleep

I am one of those people that can fall asleep anytime of the day within 10 minutes of setting my mind to it. And we’re talking deep sleep, no waking up intermittently. The only exception…falling asleep at night. When I was younger I couldn’t wait to go to bed, I would be exhausted by the end of the day and couldn’t wait to enter the alternate reality of my dreams. But as I’ve gotten older, even though I have no problem telling myself when to nap I tend to find it takes me a while to fall asleep at night. Whether it be because I take a nap during the day or I feel the weight of analyzing my life right before I head to bed, it takes me a while to fall asleep. Positive side to this story is, once I fall asleep I sleep like a baby with no interruptions.

The point being, I’ve definitely found it so much harder to fall asleep as I’ve gotten older. I feel like when I was younger, I was more physically exhausted so sleep came to me naturally. But now, it’s almost like I dread the task of falling asleep because it doesn’t come to me at moments notice at night. Since I’m not particularly physically exhausted before I end the day, I tend to lay in bed and go down a path I dread. With nothing to do except lay on the pillow, I start analyzing the entire day sometimes my entire life. Not a fun way to end off the day, if I may say so myself. Lately, I’ve gotten into the bad habit of watching tv right before falling asleep because it forces me not to get into the lull of analyzing my thoughts by averting my attention and slowly wears me down into my slumber. Not the best way forward but it does work. Slowly but surely, I eventually enter the world of rest.

Somethings I’m going to try to incorporate into my day for more restfulness:

  1. Try not to take day naps because this tends to keep me up at night
  2. Read a book instead of watching tv
  3. Drink a warm caffeine free beverage before bed
  4. Try to move around more – even though I’m exercising I’m not moving around as much as before since I’m wfh so hopefully incorporating more walks/ bike rides will result in some tiredness
  5. Try not to check my work email right before sleeping – this results in me getting anxious about all the things I have to get done the next day

I’m truly hoping incorporating the above mentioned will help me fall asleep faster 🙂 I miss the child in me that was able to fall asleep at night, minutes within laying my head on the pillow! Oh the good old times!

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Living on the Edge

I like to think of myself as a risk averse person that sometimes take a few calculated risks from time to time (does this even count ??!!). I don’t know if you’d consider this being smart with your choices or being dumb for not trying out more. But I’ve decided to live on the edge (at least for me) and take a risky by…. using my phone without a phone case. This may be laughable to some people but to friends and family who know me this is a big step. I don’t have Apple insurance so if something were to happen to the phone (I don’t even want to think about this scenario) then I’d be on my own in getting it fixed. For me the risk plays in that a) it’s really expensive b) I’d be lost without the phone since I’m glued to it c) I’d feel very guilty if anything were to happen to it. But everyday I’ve had this phone I have always dreamed about how sleek and slim it’d look without it’s case. Personally, I’ve always been a little jealous of those people who’d roam around with their phone without the case, thinking that they’re either very careful or have insurance for it or they just want to live carefree. Well today is the day I’m going to try testing it out myself. I mean what is the point of Apple making our phones slimmer with each model when we have to encase this item in thick shell regardless?? I mean I’m not dumb, I know why we have cases but this is just something I’ve wanted to try out for a long time so I’m going to just do it. If I’m being completely honest this step was calculated, since I’m work from home and not going out much the chances I drop the phone on a hard floor are less since I live in a carpeted place. So if I were to define it, taking a risk can range anywhere from going out on a whim or doing something calculated but going outside your comfort zone. I guess to make my point, try doing something you’ve always wanted to do and live on the edge…even if it’s something as small as what I’m doing, by going caseless.

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What are People Talking About?#1

I thought I’d start a biweekly post where I would highlight things that people have currently been talking about. There’s so much information out there that it’s hard to filter out what is relevant or worth paying attention to. So I thought I’d focus on a range of topics from food to books that I’ve seen trending. Also this is to make it easier so that you’re not that person who hops on a zoom call with your friends and is confused about the topics everyone is discussing, cause hey we’ve all been there at some point or another (and it’s not a fun place to be)!!

  1. Indian Matchmaking on Netflix – Definitely has some cringe moments…
  2. Reel on Instagram – IG’s version of TickTok
  3. Twilight Series: Midnight Sun – Edward’s perspective of the series
  4. @soyouwanttotalkabout – Amazing IG account breaking down social topics so you can stay informed on topics affecting everyone
  5. Mighty Patch – A way to pop pimples minus the pain and scars
  6. Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – Looking to get the barefoot dreams socks!! Open to all on August 19th.
  7. the term “STAN” – So in my defense I knew what STAN meant but I could never figure out if it was an abbreviation for anything. Just to save you all the research STAN gained popularity after being mentioned in an Eminem song and it’s essentially saying you’re a fan of something.
  8. These affordable Birkenstock sandals- I feel like everyone’s been talking about these sandals because they are super comfortable and relatively affordable! My younger self would find it very ironic that now I love Birkenstock because way back when I thought they were the ugliest of all shoes!
  9. Folklore by Taylor Swift – Very indie vibe! My favorite song is seven! There have been so many theories on where she drew inspiration for this album and I have to say these theories are really interesting….
  10. Projection Alarm Clocks – I don’t know how I feel about this. On one end I’m thinking how lazy can you be not to spend one extra second glancing over at your clock. On the other hand I’m thinking how easy it’d be to glance at the time the second you wake up!
  11. Clear Masks/ Face Shields – Though mainly for the purpose of helping the hard of hearing, they also allow you to see the majority of someone’s face behind their mask!
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Change is Constant

Honestly I’ve always heard the term change is constant but what didn’t register with me is how frequent it would be as we age. I don’t know if with age we just become more aware of it, but in my head I was like “yah when change happens I’ll definitely be able to cope” but lately it feels like we’ve been on a roller coaster of never- ending changes and some not always good. From jobs to relationships to moods it’s astonishing how things can be in one place at a point of time and right when you’re getting into the swing of things, you’re thrown a curve ball. I know that change is natural and its something we have to adapt to but truth is change is tough to deal with some times.

I would say I have a very type A personality where I like things to be very scheduled and orderly so I know what to expect. But when change is thrown my way, my initial reaction is not always positive especially when it disturbs my routine and I don’t always agree with it. One thing to remember though is that time heals and with it we are able to adapt and cope. It forces us outside of our comfort zones and gives us a challenge to explore, which though it may be uncomfortable at first is something we need to get used to. And hey, change adds spice to our life! Without it, it would be very boring, no matter how difficult it is to adapt to it first. I feel like due to social distancing and quarantining I’ve had alot of time to do some introspection regarding myself and how I deal with change. As much as I would like to say I love change, the honest truth is it takes time to get used to and forces you to review what works and what doesn’t along with improvements that can be made. I’d like to think of change as iterations in creating the best end product and it’s easy to feel this way when you’re passionate and are the one driving this change or vision for improvement. It gets more tricky when you’re too comfortable where you are or don’t like the end results/ the path to this change. But I guess what I’m trying to communicate is that change is natural and it might not come easy but the fight becomes more easy when you’re open to it and think with a positive mind set instead of rebelling against it. Understand what the end goals are and how it can make you successful (whatever you define success as).

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P.S. Three things I’m loving :

  1. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides -> Such a good thriller because I in no way saw the ending coming!
  2. Folklore by Taylor Swift -> So calming and relaxing!
  3. Unorthodox on Netflix -> It’s based off of a women’s journey as she leaves her Orthodox Jewish community in order to find herself. The lead actress Shira Haas does an amazing job of making you feel the emotions of the character she’s playing on screen. Honestly I was amazed at the courage Etsy has in leaving the only community she’s known all her life in order to find herself and Shira does an amazing job in portraying the vulnerability of the character.

Something I’m Loving : DailySkimm’

A resource I’ve loved for the past couple of years, but especially during these times is the DailySkimm. If you haven’t heard of it already, it’s a daily newsletter that is delivered to your email every weekday. What I love about this newsletter is that it highlights the daily news and breaks it down in a way where you are informed of the situation and can actually make sense of the details. I’m not sure if I’m the only one, but right now I feel so overwhelmed with all the news coming in from different directions. From social media, to the internet to TV I feel like I’m bombarded with news everywhere. Although I think it’s very important to be informed of the daily news, I find it sometimes to be taxing to view it constantly. I feel less mentally stressed when I take in the news at scheduled times. I feel like the Skimm is the perfect solution for this! It’s completely free, all you have to do is provide your email address and it pops up in your inbox every morning! Also they have another newsletter that’s delivered to your email once a week called Skimm’Picks where they make a fun list of things they are loving, it’s definitely a Monday pick me up!

I just wanted to share this resource as it’s really helped my mental sanity during Covid to stay informed, but not overwhelmed. I hope it helps others too!

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My Trader Joe’s Grocery List

Pre-Covid, I frequented Trader Joe’s basically every week, it was my go-to happy place for groceries!! Their employees were always so friendly, they always had amazing new products, the packaging design is so unique (although they could use a little less plastic on their product) and the store just had an overall cheerful atmosphere. If you asked any of my coworkers, they would say I’m a Trader Joe’s aficionado because every Monday I would come stocked up with their latest snacks . My personal favorites from Trader Joe’s are their snacks and frozen food and I find the prices relatively affordable. I think they’re only based in America, so sorry for if you’re based out of the country (hopefully they’ll broaden their locations)!! I haven’t been to a Trader Joe’s since February (as I’ve been ordering groceries mostly online and limiting my in store runs) and am in need of groceries so I thought a quick trip was long overdue (of course with my mask on)! I thought it’d be fun to share new product discoveries I found while doing research online and what’s on my grocery list. Three warnings though. First, I haven’t bought these products yet and most are new products for me as I wanted to try some new things out since I haven’t been to a TJs in a long time. But I have high hopes! Second, I typically go to Trader Joe’s for snacks and frozen items, so please don’t judge for the lack of fruits and veggies because I usually get my fresh produce else where. Third, I’m not planning on buying all these product, just one from each category but I have options listed out in case I can’t find the particular product (hey, I want to be prepared). That being said, here’s the list:

The ones with * are my top choice in the category if there are multiple options

  • Frozen
    • Cauliflower Tot Casserole* -> Always a fan of  cheese and Bechamel Sauce!
    • Steamed Pork and Ginger Soup Dumplings – Big fan of soup dumplings!!
  • Nuts
    • Everything But the Bagel Seasoned Nut Duo* -> I feel ashamed to say I have not yet tried the Everything But the Bagel Seasoning but I hope to change that out by trying out this product!
    • Olive and Herb Mixed Nuts -> This caught my eye because this was the first time I saw olives integrated in a nut mixture.
    • Banana Nuts Trek Mix -> Sweet and savory option!
  • Cheese
    • Brie bites* -> These I have tried before and am a huge fan of!! They are mini sized brie cheese and personally, I love eating them for a light breakfast or as a quick snack!
    • Mexican Blend Cheese – > Tried and true favorite shredded cheese!
  • Salad + Veggie Burgers (Salads alone don’t fill me up so I need to add something a little extra and that’s typically a veggie burger)
    • Udon Noodle Salad -Perfect quick lunch option!
    • Peanut Crispy Noodle Salad Kit* -> The salad dressing on this one is delicious and the crunch from the noodles tops it off!
    • Dr. Praeger’s Classic Veggie Burgers -> My favorite veggie burgers I’ve ever tried!
  • Tortilla Chips + Dip OR Pita + Hummus
    • Queso Fondido Cheese* -> New discovery! I’m excited to try this cause its spicy, has soy chorizo and poblano peppers!
    • Organic Buffalo Style Hummus -> I feel like I’ve heard so many good things about this hummus!
  • Dark Chocolate
    • Not sure whether to go for one of their dark chocolate bars or their dark chocolate peanut butter cups (decisions, decisions)!!
  • Dessert
    • Lemon Chess Pie -> Lemon custard and shortbread, such a fun summer dessert!
    • These Sprinkles Walk into a Sandwich Cookie* -> Their butter cookies with a buttercream filling and the sprinkles are plant based. Probably the number one new thing I’m excited to try! It’s basically b-day cake in cookie form!
    • Raspberry and White Chocolate Bundt Cake – One of my favorite dessert flavor combos!
  • Bread
    • Cheddar Garlic Focaccia Bread – I’m tired of the same old bread and thought this was a fun option to try out!
  • Savory Snack
    • Synergistically Flavored Popcorn – This is basically a party of flavors! It contains salty, smoky, tangy and spicy seasoned popcorn.
    • Scalloped Potato Chips* – I’m a huge fan of cheese so of course I have to try these! These chips contain parmesan, cheddar, asiago, romano, and provolone cheese.
  • Ketchup with Truffle -> I’ve tried this at restaurants so I’m interested to see how the TJ’s version compares.
  • Rice Mix
    •  Chickpea and Red Lentil Rosoni – Since I eat rice alot, I thought this would be a healthy alternative to try out!
  • Soup
    • Corn Poblano Chowder – One of my favorites soups, interested to see how the Tj’s version compares.
  • Pasta Sauce
    • Limone Alfredo Sauce -> Always a fan of things lemon and love alfredo sauce so excited to try this out!
  • Drinks
    • Ginger shot -> We could all use a boost for our immune system!
    • Sparkling Green Tea* -> Sounds so good for a hot day and a fun alternative to my go-to sparkling waters!
  • Breakfast
    • Pancake Bread -> I’ve tried this before and it’s like a pancake in cake form, sooo yummy to slice up for breakfast if you have a sweet tooth in the morning!
    • Frozen Acai Bowl* – Includes berries, granola and coconut chips, the perfect breakfast option for the summer!

Honorary item, Springle Jangle – essentially the spring/summer version of TJ’s famous holiday Jingle Jangle. It’s a mix of various TJ’s famous chocolate treats. Definitely not buying this, as I don’t need more sweets but if you’re on the hunt this is a good recommendation! Also planning on getting some fresh flowers as they have relatively affordable options!

I hope you found some items that you’re excited to try!

P.S. If you’re a fan of TJ’s you should definitely follow Traderjoeslist on Instagram to keep up with their latest releases!

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Little Joys Getting Me Through Quarantine

I just wanted to share a few things that have been getting me through this period in time. Just a couple of fun things that may lift your mood or give you ideas on what to do during your free time.

  • Sparkling Water -> I really like both La Croix and Waterloo. My current obsession is the La Croix passion fruit flavor. Also love the Waterloo mango, watermelon and black cherry flavors.
  • Online Chess, NYT Daily Crosswords, Scrabble, Puzzles (Jigsaw Puzzle App)
  • Reading (I have a blog post of books I’ve read during quarantine and what I’m planning on reading) -> Just finished Where the Crawdads Sing and I highly recommend!
  • Streaming TV: HBO Max, Netflix, Amazon Prime (I have blog posts with my favorites) -> Current favorites shows are Friends (HBO Max) and The Order (Netflix).
  • Podcasts / IG Lives
    • LadyGang Podcast-> It’s basically about three girlfriends that are discussing topics relevant to their day to day lives and they each have really funny commentary to add about each other. They also have guest speakers join sometimes as well, like authors and TV personalities.
    • Giggly Squad -> From Paige and Hannah from Summer House. They get real on how they’re feeling and discuss pop culture news. If you want a 45 minute distraction definitely tune into their IG live, which is typically every day!
  • Van Leeuwen’s Ice Cream -> I love the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Flavor and their dairy-free option is really good too (it has a coconuty flavor to it cause I think they substitute it with coconut milk)! Also sold at Wholefoods!
  • Dark Chocolate -> I’m addicted to sweets but I know that if I have a ton of sweets at home I won’t have self-control and will eat all in one sitting (especially since we’re basically home all the time now). With dark chocolate, it satisfies my craving for sweets but doesn’t force me to want more sweets for the rest of the day, and I feel less guilty for eating it cause it’s on the healthier side (so I see it as a win-win). My current favorite brand is Theo!
  • Getting fresh air (of course while wearing a mask) -> It clears your head after being indoors all the time, plus you get some sunshine!
    • Bike rides
    • Walks
  • Naps -> Sometimes we need a mid-day refresh!!
  • Journaling -> It’s a great way to get what’s on your mind out!
  • Rummy -> My first “adult” card game I’ve learnt during quarantine, many rules and you need to be on your strategy A-game but worth it for the fun!!
  • Cleaning / Decorating -> When I got notice that I would be working from home, I decided to give my space a bit of a refresh since I figured I would end up spending a lot of time here. I was on budget so I didn’t do too much just added a few pieces to my room a bit more “homey” – a rug, pouf and bed table. I’ve also done a closet refresh and have cleaned up spaces in my room that I’ve neglected. Trust me, you’ll feel so accomplished after doing this!
  • Listening to Vintage Music – The French Cooking Playlist on Spotify is one of my go -to’s!
  • Online Classes – At one point I felt like all I was doing with my days was working my job and then watching Netflix. I felt like I was wasting my time after work, so I decided to do a bit of learning. Whether it be improving your technical skills or just learning about topics your was curious about, I think taking a class is great use of time. I of course, still make time for alot of Netflix!
    • Masterclass -> Love Kelly Wearstler’s class on Interior Design!
    • Udemy -> Taking an Intro SQL class that’s great for beginners like me, looking understand the fundamentals.
    • LinkedIn Learning -> Will be taking a class on Google SEO, as this seems very interesting to me! Be on the lookout, sometimes employers will offer discounts or have subscriptions to these kinds of learning resources. Also, comes with your premium LinkedIn membership.
  • Working Out (I have a blog post on all my go-to free workouts) -> Currently obsessed with the Body by Simone classes.
  • Something creative – This period in time has really allowed me to explore the creative side of myself. I used to put off these things as “I don’t have time to do this” but have always been curious about trying. Well this was the perfect way to keep myself busy, feel productive and try something new!
    • Baking (See my blog post of things I’ve tried baking) -> Most recently I baked brownies with walnuts, which came out tasting decent but the texture was more crumbly then chewy. So I have some work to do!
    • Calligraphy -> Bought this intro book and this starter pen set. Would highly recommend both if you’re a beginner looking to learn!
    • Procreate -> Trying out new graphic design techniques with this tool! Procreate is relatively easy to learn on but they have so many features and functionality, it took me time to and I’m still learning to how to make use of everything. (I have blog post on a few designs I’ve created).
  • Making lists of all things I want to do post-Covid -> Lol I created this list to give me hope, and to know times will get better. It gives me something to look forward to!
  • TAKEOUT – I think this has been my number one favorite! Food is what brings me joy and ordering takeout makes me very happy. Support your local businesses and thank you to all the employees that are working during this time!
  • Coffee – This is something I definitely look forward to when I wake-up. Whether it be cold brew or whipped coffee (I still am into it!) it gives me an extra boost of energy and I love the taste!

This is definitely not a favorite, but in some ways it has been helping me cope with the quarantine. Although it may come as a surprise and is debatable if it’s helpful, personally for me it has been. And its crying. I don’t want to lie and say everything has been smooth sailing and quarantine has made me a better person. I want to be honest and let others know who might be feeling the same way, that this uncertainty and the decrease in normalcy and human interaction does have side effects. For me personally its resulted in quite of few tears and that’s okay, its just a coping mechanism. I just let them out because the feeling after getting a good cry in is like having a burden lifted off your shoulders. I want to keep it real here and although it’s good to focus on the positive things, it’s all also equally as good to be in touch with your feelings and not to ignore them.

I’ll end on a positive note from a quote from one of my favorite books.

“Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it… yet.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

P.S. Another one of my favorite pass times is virtually hanging out with friends. But I’ll be dedicating a whole entire post on new ideas to liven up phone calls or Facetimes with friends.

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Working Out From Home

I think we’ve all been gaining a bit of weight being sedentary and working from our desks at hours on end. It’s important to have a workout schedule that gets you moving and relieves tension, especially with everything going on. During this time, virtual workouts have really become common with different gyms and trainers releasing great options to effectively workout from home. Below are a few that are free and require minimal equipment (and definitely give you the same sense accomplishment after a workout as if you were taking the class in person).

  1. Karen Lord -> YouTube
    • If you only have time for a quick workout, but want one that’s effective and hard. I like to do these two workouts (arms + legs) in combination. Karen’s voice is so relaxing and it’s under 30 minute total! And trust me, even if you don’t sweat after (a good thing in my opinion on days you don’t want to wash your hair) the workout you can feel that your muscles have definitely been forced to it give it their all. I’ve been following this routine for about 2 years now.
  2. FitOn -> App
    • This is a free app with tons of classes to choose from! My favorite part about the app is are all the filters you can choose to find a workout you’re in the mood for. Options include, what part of the body you want to target, the instructor, length of the workout and intensity. My personal favorite instructors are Christine (for pilates and sculpt workouts) and Bree (for HIIT and cardio workouts). OMG and both Christine and Bree just had a babies, congrats to them 🙂
  3. Body by Simone -> YouTube
    • So if you ask any of my friends they’ll tell you how terrified I am of dancing in public which is strange because I’ve done dance for 9 years growing up (although it’s a very specific type of dance). I’m just very stiff and feel very self- conscious when doing a dance I’ve never been acclimated to before, especially something like Zumba that’s very fast paced. But virtual workouts have been a life saver for me, cause hey no one is watching! I love Simone’s high energy and her workouts don’t even feel like workouts, they just feel like fun dances and before you know it, in 30 minute you’ve built up a sweat!
  4. PopSugar Fitness -> YouTube
    1. These are probably the most relaxed workouts on this list and you can choose how intense you want to make them. I really like how they have various guest instructors and show options in each video on how to make the workout harder or easier, depending on your preference. They also have lots of workout videos for you to choose from!
  5. Psycle -> IG TV
    1. These are definitely the hardest workouts from all the ones I’ve mentioned on the list. They are 30-45 minutes long and you’re a 100% going to be sweating after one of these workouts. I’ve only done the Pilates workouts and they are very intense. I’ve had to pause the workouts a couple of times just to catch my breath. I typically stream them via my phone or tablet on IG, so it’s very convenient! They post their schedule at the beginning of everyday on their IG, so you can either stream them live or you can wait till they are added on their IG TV. FYI they’re based in the UK so make note of the time difference if you’re going to be joining live!
  6. Bike Rides -> This has been my latest favorite! Listening to music while riding my bike not only gives me a good workout but is also very mood lifting! The breeze feels really good as the weather has begun warming up!

My schedule, on good weeks is working out Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Depending on how my body and my mind is feeling I’ll typically workout 3-4 times a week. To be honest there are weeks where I’ve only worked out once or none at all but it’s because mentally I’m not present while exercising and the workout feels more like an burden. I don’t end up getting a satisfied feeling afterwards, just disappointment that I wasn’t able to give it my all. I have been trying to accept not feeling guilty when I don’t feel up to working out but it’s a work in progress. Obviously if I’m feeling lazy that’s a completely different story but there’s times when you’ve just had a rough day at work and aren’t mentally up to doing an intense workout. Maybe that just means doing a quick stretch that day. Back to my routine, on Sunday’s I usual do more of an intense workout. On the weekdays I do a workout based on how I feel on that specific day. Say Monday, I’m really hyped up I’ll do a HIT or Wednesday if I’m running out of time I’ll stick to something quick. On days when I’m not working out I like to take a quick 20 minute walk just to get some fresh air (which I probably should be doing everyday) and then Saturdays I’ll take a bike ride around the neighborhood. This Saturday ritual has really become something I look forward to. I also know friends that wake up early to go running, whatever works for you! I used to be into running but lately it hasn’t really been my cup of tea! Do what works for you and adapt your workout to how your body is feeling, while picking workouts that get you excited!

P.S. The key for me to get out of a mindset of not wanting to workout is finding a new routine that gets me excited. Which is why I’m always on a constant look out for different workouts and like to change up my routines frequently!

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Current Favorite Movies & Shows

I’ve spent so long on the internet looking for shows or movies to watch..sometimes it feels like there’s nothing to watch and other times the options feel so overwhelming, I don’t know where to start. So below I’ve short listed some of my favorite movies and shows I’ve watched starting from quarantine till now (hoping to save you a couple of minutes or umm hours in my case, scavenging the web for options):

Netflix

  • Shows :
    • Dark -> This a German show but it’s been dubbed in English. It’s so unique in that its a time travel story done so “smartly” with a mystery element that keeps you intrigued on how past, present and future are related. This is a show that definitely makes you think. You have to be paying attention the entire time because even missing the smallest detail can leave you feeling lost later on.
    • Never Have I Ever -> So relatable if you are a first generation American, reminding you of your awkward teen years! The main character is hilarious and definitely steals the show with her confidence, humor and wittiness.
    • The Politician Season 1 + 2 -> Every single one of the characters are so likable on this show and unique with such strong personalities. This show is so creative in that they spotlight politics for a younger generation, making it interesting but also educating you on the inner workings of entering political arena. I would say it’s similar to Knives Out, in that its an over dramatic comedy with an ensemble cast. Also, I have to add the fashion choices on this show are top notch, with each character’s wardrobe reflective of their personality!
    • You Season 1 + 2 >- Definitely a dark show since it’s based on a stalker but Joe, the main character has something about him that makes you want to see the good in him. Definitely worth the watch if you want a scenic NY/LA landscape with an intriguing plot line. Also Joe is essentially Dan Humphrey from Gossip Girl, if he were to completely embrace his dark side.
    • Locke and Key ->With Covid happening, sometimes you just want to take an escape into a fantasy land. Enter Locke and Key, full of literal “magic”, mystery and quite an interesting trio of siblings. It’s kind of reminiscent of Stranger Things.
    • On my radar: Imposters -> Comedy with a side of mystery. A female con artist marries various rich people and then deserts them after having robbed them. The comedy part enters when some of the people she’s conned get together and gang up on her to get their money back. The Order -> Not too acquainted with the show other than it deals with magic and the cast is reminiscent of Gossip Girl type characters. That’s enough to make me want to watch the show!
  • Movies:
    • Carrie Pilby -> This has definitely been my favorite movie discovery of all of quarantine. It’s about a 19 year old genius that’s already graduated college (Harvard, may I add) so although intellectually she’s mature, socially not so much. Her blunt honesty and witty sarcasm make her so likable. She’s also very relatable in that she’s navigating the uncertainties of life, such as her romantic endeavors and making friendships. I would also like to add, someone from the Adventures of Narnia makes an appearance in this movie.
    • The Guest -> Made in Spanish but dubbed in English. This is the thriller you’ve been waiting for and it does not disappoint. You know those movies that have such a build up but then let you down at the end??!! Well this is definitely not one of them. It’s so good, I’m just going to tell you to watch it cause I don’t want to give away any details that would spoil the suspense.
    • Tall Girl -> This is one of Netflix’s Orginal rom coms that they are famously known for. I picked this one over many of their others because I think it does a really good job of depicting the awkwardness and insecurities we’ve felt while growing up. Even though the insecurity you might have faced isn’t height related, you still find a way to connect with what the main character is experiencing. Also Jack gives me serious Ducky vibes from Pretty in Pink…
    • Dumplin -> This movie encompasses so many elements, mother-daughter relationships, loss, insecurities, friendship and romance. This is a feel good movie that deals with all the above topics in a way where you feel for all the characters involved and see their progression through out the movie.

HBO

  • Shows :
    • Friends -> I’m probably the last one to watch this show but I’m on Season 2 and after multiple failed attempts, I now understand the hype around the show! I think it’s the fact that the show is based on the interactions of the 6 main characters, who have such strong personalities and opinions on each other’s lives. It essentially revolves on each of the character’s reactions to the highs/lows each of these friends are facing.
    • Love Life -> This show was a hidden gem! With Anna Kendrick’s quirky humor and her girl next door persona, each episode follows a different relationship her character, Darby has been in. As the show progresses, you get to also see how Darby has progressed in life and how each relationship has affected her character development.
    • My Brilliant Friend -> I watched this during the beginning of quarantine when I had major travel withdrawals (since the vacations I booked were cancelled). This is a coming of age story between based on the friendship of two girls from a village in Italy. It’s so raw and real sometimes, it makes you feel for the characters. The visuals are beautiful, set in Italy and gives a sense that you’re with the characters enjoying the joys they feel and the pain they suffer.
    • On my radar: Search Party -> I’ve only watched the trailer for this show but it seems intriguing. Elements that stood out to me was quirkiness, mystery and comedy. Honestly, at this point in time it feels like all of us are lost and from the trailer it seems like the characters are on the same boat. As the show progresses it feels like the characters might potentially find themselves through their friendships.
  • Movies:
    • Casablanca – An OG that I think everyone should see! I watched it because I feel like anyone who’s interested in film says this is a must see, plus I’m really into black and white movies. Set in Morocco during WWII, it’s based on a love triangle. Many have debated whether Ingrid Bergman’s character made the right decision at the end of the movie. It’s also received a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes if you don’t believe me!

Amazon Prime

  • Shows :
    • On my radar: Homecoming -> I listened to the original podcast when it came out so I’m really interested in seeing the show adaption, especially since it stars Julia Roberts (season 1) and Janelle Monae (season 2). I would describe this as a psychological thriller regarding a suspicious wellness company that supposedly helps veterans overcome trauma. The premise follows the story as to what the company’s motives are.
  • Movies:
    • Knives Out -> Mystery with an ensemble cast! Highlights include watching the entire family bickering with each other, the famous white sweater and the line “CSI KFC”. I would say the reason this mystery stands out is because it’s also has a side of over dramatic comedy.

Cable

  • Shows :
    • Bravo – Summer House -> Watching twenty something year olds party it up every weekend of the summer in the Hamptons and all the drama that ensues with living together each weekend. It’s a reality show btw!
    • Starz – Sweetbitter -> Coming of age story in NYC, with a backdrop of what it’s like working in a restaurant. The imagery on food/wine is an added bonus! Also be sure to read the book the adaptation is based on!
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Hello July!

Whenever it’s a new month I like to refresh my environment a bit to pep myself. Whether it’s just flipping my calendar to the new month, replacing some flowers, or adding new wallpapers to my tech gear. I’ve been playing with procreate and created these images to use as potential wallpapers. I took inspiration from Paper Source prints, as well as quotes/images from Instagram. I have to say procreate is amazing and though I’m still figuring out all its tools and functionality, it’s been fun playing around with it. Hope these inspire you for the new month!

P.S. Credits to whoever came up with the quotes!