What I’ve Watched For Every Mood I’ve Had In Quarantine

Wow guys! Are we all so sick of quarantine? I know I am. BUT – I feel moderately optimistic. It’s basically summertime, things are slowly opening back up (which I’m nervous about but also cautiously excited for), work has kept me nice and busy, and I’d just rather focus on the good and fun parts of it all.

We all know quarantine has had its ups and downs. I’ve had real low moments of intense loneliness while I miss my friends and family, and sadness while I feel like all the things that make life fun (read: bars, restaurants, concerts, parks, travel) are temporarily on hold. I’ve also had moments where I’ve felt pretty happy with how I’ve been able to spend my time. Through it all, I’ve kept up a consistent stream of entertainment (look, don’t lie, we’re all watching more TV right now and I live alone so I need it more than others.) So I thought it would be fun to share all the things I’ve been watching, based on the moods I’ve been in during this quarantine!

Note – this doesn’t include the movies I’ve been watching as part of my movie review series on Instagram.  

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When I was ready to laugh my ass off:

For all the times I was in a great mood and wanted to keep the party going, I usually put on one of these options for a guaranteed crack-up.

Schitts Creek – The Rose family’s riches-to-rags journey is that of comedic GOLD. I can never decide what’s funnier, David’s physical humor or Moira’s pronunciation of “baby” (read: bey-bey.) The number of times I laugh out loud at this show is astonishing, and I will literally never be able to “fold in” any ingredient in a recipe ever again without saying “FOLD. IN. THE. CHEESE, DAVID!”

Brooklyn Nine Nine – I’ve got to be honest, I was never a huge Andy Samberg fan. I thought he was good on SNL but never gave him much thought. But so many people recommended this show to me, knowing my love for Parks & Recreation and The Office, so I tried it and quickly got hooked. It’s great. Andy is very funny, but the real comedic gem is the character Captain Holt who delivers some of the funniest & unexpected one-liners I’ve ever heard.

Chris D’Elia’s No Pain – Do I need to explain further? He’s hysterical! I watched the comedy special he dropped on Netflix, then immediately watched all the others ones he’s done and then moved on to re-watching all of John Mulaney’s comedy specials. They’re just so good.

 

When online dating wasn’t quenching my thirst for romance:

When quarantine first started I was highly amused with what was going on with my dating apps (you can read about it here) but as time went on I got really bored. I missed all the things that happen when you meet & fall for someone IRL, so I filled the void by watching it happen on screen.

Outlander Ohhh boy. This show. The things it’s done to me. Wow. I knew nothing about Outlander except that it kept showing up on my “recommended for you” list on Netflix. So one night at about 9 p.m, I was like “I’ll try it out and watch one episode.” 12 hours later I had pulled an all nighter and watched almost the entire first season because IT WAS SO GOOD I COULDN’T TEAR MY EYES AWAY. It has everything I could ever hope for: The 1700’s (my favorite time period to learn about), foreign scenery and accents (hi, Scotland is a dream), danger and strategy, really hot Scottish men in kilts, and a truly legendary romance. Unsure if I’ll ever be able to fall in love ever again because I highly doubt anyone will ever measure up to Jamie Fraser.

Jane the Virgin – A lot of people think this show is cheesy and ridiculous. And honestly? It is. But that’s kind of the point! It’s meant to mimic and even mock cheesy, preposterous, almost nauseatingly romantic telanovelas. I like it because it has lovable & relatable characters, dramatic love triangles, and this element of magical realism that makes it feel like you’re watching a romantic daydream come to life onscreen.

 

When I missed being with my friends:

Sometimes I just really missed the feeling of being surrounded by buddies…

New Girl – I swear, this is the only show that has ever made me wish I had roommates. Can you imagine how entertaining it would be to live with Schmidt, Nick, Jess, and Winston? There’s always some weird, hilarious thing going on and you’d be right in the center of it. For someone who lives alone, that sometimes sounds really fun.

The Bold Type – I love the #girlpower in this show, and I love watching the friendship between the three main characters because it’s pretty reflective of the honest, silly, supportive, no-bullshit friendships I have with my own girlfriends.

How I Met Your Mother – Ahhh, a classic. I’ve revisited this show so often over the years that I feel like these characters are old friends of mine.

 

When I needed an excuse to ugly cry:

Modern Love – Each episode tells a different story of love, both romantic and not. It does this amazing job of showing you how love is complicated, beautiful, wonderful, and terrible all at once. Every story is so moving that I find myself weeping by the end of each episode.

Someone Great – This movie really gets me right in the feels, I’ve watched it several times when I just need to emote. The main character breaks up with her boyfriend of 9 years after deciding to move across the country for a job (#relatable, lol) and enlists her two best friends to join her for a day of adventure in New York while she starts to deal with her heartbreak. This movie came out around the same time I went through my very similar breakup and I remember being so taken aback at how accurate it all felt. It so truthfully depicts falling in love, staying in a relationship you’ve outgrown, experiencing a heart-wrenching breakup, and beginning to move on. Even if you can’t immediately identify with any of those things, it has this way of really getting you there mentally. I found myself crying for the past version of myself going through all of that. I also found myself crying out of gratitude for all the incredible friendships I have that get me through whatever heartbreak I’m dealing with, which is also something this movie perfectly exemplifies.

Alright! That’s it! Back to re-watching Outlander. What are you all watching during quarantine?

Dalgona Coffee (& Dating During Corona!)

Everybody is talking about how to do it. It seems intriguing, entertaining, maybe even fun? You want to be a part of it, to see what the hoopla is about. In practice, it seems like a lot of work for a sort of confusing outcome.

It’s Dalgona coffee! It’s also online dating during the time of Covid-19.

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So, if you’re over the age of 30 there’s about a 50/50 chance you have never heard of Tik Tok. Or, you’ve heard of it and have literally no idea what it is. This is fine. As a 27-year-old even I feel like I’m too old for it at times. But then I remember my job is literally to stay up to date on new social media trends and apps, so I lie to myself and say my latest obsession with it is in the name of “professional research”.

In all honesty, I find Tik Tok endlessly entertaining. Like, I’ll scroll for hours through funny videos just laughing my ass off, or attempting to learn some of the trending dances. It’s truly one of the things that’s saving my sanity during this quarantine. So when I saw this new whipped coffee trend (called Dalgona coffee) all over Tik Tok one day, I knew I’d have to try it.

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The idea is that when you dissolve sugar and instant coffee in hot water and whisk it for a few minutes, it turns into this whipped consistency that you then spoon on top of a glass of milk. The aesthetics are definitely on point, and the taste wasn’t bad per se. But like I said above…it was a lot of effort for a kind of confusing result. Unless you want to taste fluffy sugar-coffee concentrate for 5 minutes followed by a layer of watered-down milk (and who the heck wants that?!)…you have to stir the fluffy coffee into the milk. Which ultimately yields the same thing as if you just made yourself some iced coffee the normal way. And the whole whisking process? Guys, I felt like I needed a coffee to be able to prepare my coffee. And I have a Kitchen Aid that I was able to walk away from! Imagine having to whisk your coffee by hand first thing in the morning?! No way.

Ultimately, it was a fun experiment and a great way to kill some time during this quarantine.

Not unlike online dating right now!

I’ll be honest – I don’t mind the apps. I’ve had a few great dates with guys from them, pre-corona. When I broke up with my ex of seven years and decided to “get back out there”, I decided to be really intentional about having an open mind when it came to dating because I’m still learning what I want/need in a potential partner. That mindset makes “swiping” a lot of fun. Plus, the apps are a nice way for someone like me (read: entirely new to the dating process) to ease into the whole thing.

But you guys. The dating apps during corona are like…on a new level. The rules are gone and the bets are OFF. Overnight my matches per day basically doubled. I’m messaging guys for weeks that I’ve never met in real life, whereas the typical pattern pre-corona would be to exchange some banter for a few days and then schedule a datePeople are doing first dates via FaceTime. We’re all so bored and our inhibitions are so lowered (#CoronaNoRules), so we’re trying out our weirdest conversation starters. And since I’m literally starving for human interaction, I find myself wondering “would I even be talking to this person if I wasn’t going on week 5 of being quarantined alone?” It’s truly a dating experiment. Equal parts confusing and entertaining.

And ultimately…what’s about to happen here?! Once quarantine is lifted and I can meet up with people again, how do you have a first or second date with someone who is still basically a stranger but who you’ve been getting to know for weeks?! Or will all these guys just disappear once they aren’t forced to pen-pal with us? (likely) I’m laughing right now just thinking about how absurd it all is. I think it’s totally possible that the nature of dating changes because of this pandemic, and it’s kind of cool to think that I’ll be participating in that process in real time. But wow, I have literally no idea what to expect here…what a time to be alive.

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Oh right – here’s the recipe for the Dalgona Coffee if you want to try it. I hope you’re all having some fun during this quarantine, taking it easy, staying safe, etc!

Dalgona Coffee

ingredients:

2 tbsp instant coffee

2 tbsp white granulated sugar

2 tbsp boiling water

a glass of almond milk over ice

directions:

combine the coffee, sugar, and water in a bowl and whisk until the mixture is light, fluffy, and forms stiff peaks.

spoon the whipped coffee over the milk. stir to enjoy.

The 5 Best Things I Did For Myself in 2019

Ahhh, a new year. So much promise, so much excitement, a brand new fresh start! I love it. I’m doing a lot of looking forward in the new year, but with resolutions also comes reflecting. 2019 was such a whirlwind of a year, it had so many ups and downs, but ultimately it was one of the best years of my life. So, I’m sharing the 5 best things I did for myself in 2019.

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***Also, yes. I know we’re already halfway through the month. I still haven’t sent my Christmas cards and honestly, it will happen when it happens. Doing my best people!

1. Aggressively Pursued my Professional Interests & Goals

I was busy af in 2019. I wanted this year to be the last one I spent feeling like I was waiting to choose a concrete path, so I worked tirelessly to make big moves in all of my professional interests. I worked 40 hours a week at a veterinary hospital, took a microbiology class to complete my pre-requisites toward vet school, and applied to veterinary school once more (and on the 31st I got notified I’ve been selected for an interview at one of my top choices – talk about a way to end the year!) On my days off, I worked as a freelance content creator, food stylist, and photographer. In whatever free time I had, I made content for this blog. More often than not in 2019 I did some form of work 7 days a week. Was it exhausting? Sometimes. But here’s the thing – I ended the year in a new role that’s honestly a dream come true in an industry that I’ve been wanting to enter for years. If I end up getting into vet school, that’s also a huge accomplishment whether I choose to go or not. I have options, and really good ones at that. Hard work pays off!

2. Laser Hair Removal

Everyone has things about their appearance they wish they could change. I know this, and I’ve worked hard to be more accepting and loving of the body I was given, imperfections and all. But I also believe there are certain things you simply don’t have to “just live with”. For me, the course, dark, Italian hair in unwanted areas was not something I wanted to fret about any longer. I was sick of constantly tweezing, waxing, checking in the mirror, and feeling generally self-conscious. So I got laser hair removal. After ONE visit, my problem areas are almost completely clear and I have a newfound confidence. Such a simple process with so much payoff.

3. Said “Yes” to Almost Every Single Invite

I made so many wonderful new friends, connections, and memories in 2019 and it’s because I pushed myself to say yes to almost every invite I received. I went to dinners, professional events, parties, out for drinks, to sporting events, first dates, you name it. Sometimes I really didn’t want to go. Sometimes I was feeling tired, or lazy, or I didn’t have anything to wear, or I was anxious about a new setting with new people. But I can’t name a time where I didn’t have a blast, and I feel like I’m really developing a solid community here in Raleigh.

4. Knew When To Say When

I said goodbye to a lot in 2019. I ended a 7 year relationship and exited a field I’ve been working in for 4 years. Change can be difficult, and letting go of certain hopes & plans for the future is not easy. But staying in jobs or relationships that aren’t right for you any longer is harder. When you’re honest with yourself about what you want, need, and deserve it allows you the chance to actually find those things. I didn’t settle, I knew when to identify if something wasn’t right any more, and I stepped away from things that weren’t serving me in building the life I want.

5. Stuck to a Budget

Budgeting is my favorite adult task, hands down. Some day soon I’ll do a post explaining what I use to budget and how it’s been so absolutely life changing. For now, I’ll just say this: sticking to a budget in 2019 made me a more intentional consumer, it made travel more fun (because I was less anxious about what it was setting me back), it allowed me the flexibility to go out and enjoy myself with friends, it enabled me to be more generous, allowed me to finally save up enough to upgrade my DSLR camera, and I was even able to considerably save for more long term goals (like buying a house and getting a dog)!