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Is anyone getting adjusted to life during quarantine? Although I work from home, my daily routine hasn’t changed but I’ve found it extremely hard to focus on work. My autoimmune symptoms have been flaring up a lot this week and I’m not sure why, but the idea of scheduling a doctor’s appointment is giving me a lot of anxiety because 1) I don’t want to leave my house and 2) I’m worried that something is really wrong with my liver. Destressing has been key for me this week, so I started playing some video games after years of going “clean” – I used to play video games 24/7 (Street Fighter 4, League of Legends, Final Fantasy, etc.) and so in recent years I’ve avoided any games in order to remain a productive member of society, haha. But I think with everyone being encouraged to stay home, I’ve given myself permission to indulge.
What’s New This Week:
If you didn’t already catch up on the latest blog posts, earlier this week I published a bathroom update featuring our new mirrors and lights! Our final upgrade to this bathroom will be refinishing the counters and installing the new sinks. I know I mentioned that we would also replace the medicine cabinet and add a tub skirt, but those 2 are minor cosmetic upgrades that don’t affect the functionality of the bathroom, so I’m not worried about getting those done ASAP.
And now onto this week’s Volume 7 of Friday Favorites…
More Friday Favorites:
- Friday Favorites Vol. 10: $10 Mattifying Sunscreen, My Final Fantasy 7 Addiction, & Navigating Love During Quarantine
- Friday Favorites Vol. 22: Coconut Jelly Sheet Masks, Easy French Dip Sandwiches, Affordable German Knives & More
- Friday Favorites Vol. 21: DIY Salon Blowouts, Autoimmune Protocols, My New Favorite Book, Taking Breaks & More
- Friday Favorites Vol. 3: “Woo-Woo” Reiki Healing, Corny Romance TV Shows & More
- Friday Favorites Vol. 20: Matcha Madness, Leopard Print Obsession, Thoughts About “13th” & More
I saw this hilarious Tiktok video that really shows how a lot of women rely on regular waxes for maintenance. On top of getting numerous requests from friends to wax them during quarantine (which I’m refusing, much to their dismay), I realize that our stay-at-home mandates are really tempting us to use our razors out of desperation. If you can’t stand growing out your body hair but don’t want to go back to shaving, you’re in luck: it is possible to easily wax your own legs – you can follow this salon professional’s video here. I regularly wax my own legs and it saves me a lot of money!
I really recommend against attempting waxing yourself in more complicated areas like your underarms or especially your bikini line and Brazilian area. I’ve been an esthetician for 8 years now and still struggle with doing my own Brazilian (my fellow estheticians call me crazy for doing this), and it can at times be a very painful process when you get wax stuck on yourself. So, if you try waxing yourself, keep it to just your legs!
I recommend this Gigi starter kit since it comes with everything you need, but if you choose anything else, just make sure to get soft wax (aka strip wax) and not hard wax (they usually come in beads). Hard wax is specifically for delicate areas like the underarms and bikini line and is too hard to use on the legs or larger areas. Ps.: While the Gigi kit is a great value, I noticed that the limited wax warmer settings makes the wax really hot, so leave it on the lowest setting and apply really thin layers of wax so you don’t burn yourself.
With my Raynaud’s disease forcing me to stay in warmer clothes, I’ve been investing in more wool clothing to keep me warm. I ordered an XS of this men’s wool sweater on a whim, but I’ve been using it religiously for about 3 months now (I’m wearing it in the photo at the beginning of this blog post)! It’s a great lightweight layering staple and a high-quality Merino wool garment considering its price tag. My XS fits me comfortably like a women’s M relaxed fit.
Jun and I both have medical conditions that make us potential high-risk cases if we were ever to get sick with COVID-19: he has severe asthma, and I’m basically immunocompromised with liver disease. His job is part of the 16 critical infrastructures, so he has to continue going to work, which puts us both at risk of exposure if COVID were to spread within his company. I’m doing what’s within my power to self-quarantine and have not left my house except to go on walks around my neighborhood, which means that I’ve even resorted to grocery delivery through Instacart Express.
I always assumed grocery delivery to be pretty expensive, but it’s really not! Amazon Fresh is not an option where we live, so paying for Instacart has been the best alternative. You can use Instacart for without an Express subscription, but each time you have to pay a delivery fee plus a service fee and tip for each delivery, which adds up to more than the cost of $9.99 per month for the Express subscription. I figure that an Express subscription is worth it during this pandemic for my safety: for $10 a month I can have the delivery person leave my groceries at the door and then I can disinfect and unpackage all of my items one-by-one as I bring them inside the house (speaking of which, definitely check this video out to learn how to safely disinfect your groceries during this pandemic).
Instacart Express allows you to pay $9.99 on a monthly basis or $99 for the entire year. If you don’t want to commit to the annual subscription, it’s still worth the $10 per month! You can also try it for free for 2 weeks and see how you like it.
Health: Weight Loss Running App by Verv
Although we are in quarantine, we are still able to go out for walks or runs around the neighborhood to get some fresh air! I’ve been taking this time to focus on my running endurance, and the Weight Loss Running app by Verv has been amazing. I actually started my subscription in March of 2019 and have been using it on a regular basis, and it’s helped me increase my endurance fivefold! If people are looking for a new physical activity but have a fear of running, I really recommend you try this since it makes running easy for everyone – I hate running, and this app made me love it.
Each day you train with the app, it gives you a new running regimen that slowly builds up your endurance from the last session. You can check it out with the free trial, and afterward, it will charge you for the subscription. I pay $29.99 for the annual subscription, which has been extremely worth it for me, considering I use to pay much more for my LA Fitness membership!
Home: Seagrass Baskets
I’ve basically turned into a plant-loving lady this past year. I have snake plants in every room of my home and it’s truly helped with improving the air quality inside. But I really don’t like traditional plant pots, so these seagrass baskets have been a chic and affordable way to conceal my plastic pots. You can also use them for storage or any other decorative purpose. Large woven baskets tend to be expensive, but these are really cute and super affordable. Note that they do ship from China, so it may take some time to arrive. But the wait is worth it!
Lifestyle: Edens Garden Guardian Essential Oil
I love essential oils, but I stopped using DoTerra and Young Living oils years ago because they were far too expensive. My regular readers know that I love Edens Garden essential oils since they have been voted the #1 non-MLM oil company several years in a row and are very very affordable!
If you use hand sanitizer on a normal basis, chances are your hands may be a little dry from it. I add a drop of Guardian essential oil into my lotion after using hand sanitizer, and it gives me an extra dose of germ and virus-fighting properties while hydrating my skin. I’ve heard you can also make your own non-toxic hand sanitizers with aloe vera, rubbing alcohol and essential oils, but I haven’t tried this yet.
If you’re familiar with DoTerra, Edens Garden’s Guardian smells like DoTerra’s On Guard blend! It smells warm, cinnamon-y, and basically, like Christmas.
Entertainment: The Sims 4
Since my social life is basically on pause, during my free time I’ve been hooked on playing The Sims 4! If you’ve never played the Sims, it’s basically a life simulation game where you can create and customize a person down to their looks and personality traits and then create a life for them. It gets really in-depth and you can pick your Sims fate from relationships to careers and can even build their home (my Sims are living their best lives in a huge mansion right now!). It’s really fun and addicting, and you can spend hours customizing your Sims down to their facial features and designing your home before you actually play the game! It took me 3 solid days to create Sims that look like me and Jun as well as building our home.
I haven’t played this game since the Sims 2, so playing 4 has been giving me all kinds of nostalgic vibes. The features in 4 are so robust and you create things down to the smallest of details. The house building features are amazing and I may actually use this game when it comes to planning our next home renovations – it’s that detailed!
You can buy the game through a one-time download from Origin for $4.99 and then purchase the expansion packs if you want, but I just went on eBay and found many sellers selling Origin accounts that feature all of the expansion packs for much, much cheaper. I purchased the game plus 18 expansion packs for $35.99 through this specific item link, and the seller delivered all of the download links in less than 30 minutes through email. That price was literally a steal considering the expansion packs are $20+ each.
Be warned that this game and all the expansion packs take up a ton of hard drive space, so I recommend installing it on an external hard drive if you have one!
Podcast: Manifestation Babe (#134) Can You Eradicate Anxiety & Transform Your Life Using Your BREATH? Samantha Skelly Shows You How
Last week I shared that I was incorporating breathwork into my daily habits and how it’s been super effective for handling my anxiety during this pandemic. This week I wanted to share this podcast that explains the power of breathwork and how we can use it not only for mental and physical health benefits but for getting in-touch with our spiritual sides as well. I absolutely love Kathrin Zenkina as well as Samantha Skelly, so this podcast was a great conversation to listen to!
This Week’s Quote: “Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them.”
Good ol’ Eckhart Tolle has been getting me through this quarantine. I think we are all experiencing the psychological effects of this pandemic and quarantine: we’re all feeling fear, anxiety, uncertainty, anger, sadness, and all of the uncomfortable emotions on the emotional spectrum. It’s good to be aware of your feelings as you go through them and learn to separate who you are as a person from your thoughts and emotions, though.
Thoughts and emotions are our body’s cues of telling us what our needs are and whether or not we are satisfying them, and we need to be aware of our feelings in order to fulfill those needs. However, those cues are not descriptors of your personality. You might be feeling sad or angry right now, but please remember that you are not and sad or angry person. You are just feeling sad or angry. There is a huge difference between the two, and being mindful of this distinction has been helping me remember who I am and not lose myself to my emotions during this tough time.
That’s it for this week’s Friday Favorites! If you liked Volume 7, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter below so you get informed as soon as I hit publish on a new Friday Favorites post. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!
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