Does the pandemic have a fun side?

Sometimes I am reminded of my age— when I think of those summers of my girlhood circa the 1980s, when Pennsylvania experienced temperatures that averaged in the high seventies/low eighties and for about 2 weeks every August a heat wave of around 85 degrees.

It also snowed a lot more, and I can’t say I miss that.

Now I won’t be naive enough to suggest this pandemic has been fun. Some people have gotten seriously ill, others have died. Luckily in my circle, those who contracted Covid-19 survived and none ended up in the hospital.

But as I said in the beginning of the pandemic, the Coronavirus has forced us to look at our health system, our purchasing habits, our supply chains, what we need and what we don’t. I have found a more relaxed pace of life, and while I have lost my job, I have found some inner truths that bring me hope. Perhaps that is where my naïveté lies.

Yesterday, I had a business meeting with my first client as a partner in Thrive Public Relations. Thrive is the brainchild of a friend— who has been searching for someone with media, print and editorial experience to complement his digital marketing, strategy and networking expertise. I have agreed to help him, and hopefully this will lead to some paying work that could help keep me afloat and allow me to rebuild my career portfolio.

I spent much of the last year as a grant writer, and would love to highlight some current public relations work to augment my grant writing potential.

So I was asked to attend a business lunch at Sogo Asian Fusion yesterday in one of my favorite environs, downtown Easton. I thoroughly enjoyed, despite the 95 degree heat, dining on the patio. It felt lovely to build an outfit, put on make up and head into the world.

Then later that evening, my propensity for stress-related binge-eating led to me eating most of a jar of “trail mix” — I put that in quotes because it had walnuts and almonds but was mostly butterscotch and white chocolate chips— that my blind friend Nancy gave me for Christmas. I had it on my desk at work and it was one of my possessions that Mr. Accordion drove to my house.

The teenager doesn’t like almonds. So she gave them all to me.

And then my daughter cornered me. She started reciting old bits from Brian Regan, one of my favorite comedians (from the golden age of the early 1990s, before I graduated high school and Nirvana changed the world).

Finally she got tired of her delivery falling flat and we spent an hour watching Brian Regan clips from YouTube on my phone. I grabbed a Diet Coke and finished the rest of the vanilla vodka from County Seat Spirits.

The teenager’s father, my husband of 20-years whom I separated from last summer, does not like stand-up comedy. But a good stand-up comic (like Regan, or Trevor Noah, or for those who have thicker skin and/or less sensitivities Denis Leary and George Carlin), can lift my darkest spirits. So I love the fact that our daughter inherited my taste in comedy.

And when I got up this morning, as mundane life started to overwhelm me with chores and commitments, Nan called.

The Mighty.com had published her piece on our summer picnic and shared it with Yahoo News. It features me, and the teenager, so I got to enjoy reading about my life.

You can read it here: Nan’s summer picnic article on Yahoo News

So maybe life doesn’t look the same as always, but the simple joys don’t really change.

Lighthearted Ipsy Review of the March 2020 Glam Bag

I promised a review of my March 2020 Glam bag from Ipsy. Life has been a little draining so I haven’t quite tried everything— I think all I have left to try is the nail polish and I can’t try that because I have a gel manicure on acrylic-coated nails right now.

I tried the hydrating hair mask over the weekend. I feel like it did nothing for my thick, curly hair. But, as my hair is so thick and curly it’s also super dry because curls do that.

The teenager has a completely different hair texture so maybe she’ll try it and give us a different report.

But that was the whole point of trying Ipsy—sampling products instead of committing.

Now the Naked Cosmetic eye shadow and the Hanalei Lip Balm were my two full-sized products this month and I am very pleased. Who doesn’t love a new lip balm? And this one seemed delightful on my lips.

And the eye shadow happens to be my favorite shade of quasi nude, neutral but glittery eyes that makes me look alive instead of old and sleep-deprived.

So let me just reiterate I know nothing about make up. My mom would never allow me to wear make up and even now that I’m in my mid-40s she comments that she disapproves.

The one product I was anxious to try is the primer. This one, tarte quench hydrating primer, seems really nice so I’ll keep trying it and see if my color stays put better.

Last, but not least, we have Hey Honey Relax Propolis and Honey soothing moisturizer. I struggle with dry skin, and I tend to favorite Johnson & Johnson lavender baby moisturizer because I can’t handle heavy scents and I am prone to contact dermatitis from everything.

This lotion felt really nice and I’m not sure how I feel about the scent. It richly smells of honey. So much I want to eat it, or at least lick my hands.

My first Ipsy Glam Bag—pre-unboxing

March 2020 Ipsy Glam Bag and my cat

As you may have been able to tell from my posts about dentists (Tooth and nail) and budgets (Budgeting and Budgeting, part 2), I had a hard week. Not to mention the whole Do I have high blood pressure? issue. So I’m going to lighten it up a bit tonight— we’re going to “unbox” my Ipsy Glam Bag.

And if you noticed that odd photo that is the featured image for this blog post that is Fog, the feral kitten we trapped last trying to get to Nala, my Goffin’s cockatoo. Fog is getting sooooo big (as is her brother, Misty) but the teenager didn’t believe me when I said they’d doubled in size.

March 2020 Ipsy Glam Bag without my cat

But anyway… it’s Friday night and I had to work late unexpectedly so by the time I got home, the teen was leaving to have dinner with her grandparents and spend the night with her dad.

Which means I get to have Vanilla Coke Zero and peanut butter pretzels for dinner. I gave one to Nala. Well, more accurately, she demanded I share.

And here is a funny video of us: Nala tries to open a peanut butter pretzel.

But back to the Glam Bag. Focus, Angel, focus.

So I started the dishwasher, and a load of laundry, and took my peanut butter pretzels and my Diet Coke out to see if my neighbor wanted to unbox my Ipsy package with me since the teenager wasn’t home. My neighbor is an economics professor and faces a midterm deadline. I thought it best not to bother her. Nala and I ate our pretzels and opened the makeup.

We also kept Fog at bay, while her brother frolicked in the basement.

Then my neighbor texted she had coffee ready at 6:30ish at night. That’s pretty wild for my Friday night.

I walked out the door and met my other neighbor, whose adorable Yorkie-Maltese mix likes to visit instead of go for a walk. We all went to the professor’s house and even the dogs got to visit.

I got home, retrieved the laundry and the kitten from the basement, and fed my mini-pride of lions before hanging the laundry.

Nala joined me while I hung wash, watching Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen. Roomba vacuumed my room.

Now I’m in bed, taking a breath, playing a little Words with Friends and listening to kittens play. I’m going to watch more Gordon. Hell’s Kitchen is not my favorite but I finished Kitchen Nightmares on Hulu, as I also finished 24 Hours To Hell and Back.

I can’t find any more Hotel Hell and for some reason, The F Word is starting to bore me. I think it’s because Gordon Ramsay is a nice guy on that program.

More on that another day. I’m hoping to formally review Gordon’s shows one of these days.

Gordon has inspired me to try harder with my cooking. Last night, I actually trimmed my chicken, made a marinade, and chilled the chicken in the marinade before cooking.

The marinade was:

  1. Low sodium soy sauce
  2. Honey
  3. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  4. Minced Garlic
  5. Fresh Ginger
  6. Water
  7. Sesame Seeds
  8. Lemon Juice
  9. Sesame Oil

I cooked that, and sautéed a bag of broccoli slaw in the leftover marinade and reheated some leftover rice and seasoned roasted chick peas I had made earlier in the week. It was delicious.

But remember that Glam Bag?

I promise I’ll play with it tomorrow. For $12 I received:

  • A studded teal bag (it matches my room!)
  • A full sized eye shadow
  • A full sized chapstick/lip balm
  • A sample nail polish in a mild creamy cafe au lait color
  • A sample “hair mask”
  • A sample primer
  • A sample body lotion