Who are the kids of the class of 2020? I assumed they were millennials, but they are the generation that precedes the millennials. The class of 2020 are Generation Z, born in the mid to late 1990’s to 2010, most are the children of Generation X.
Generation X turned out to be helicopter parents; which is the polar opposite of the way they were raised. Gen Xers grew up without bike helmets or seat belts, by parents who smoked in the car…while the kids were in the car without seat belts!
The perception of Generation Z is that they are all snowflakes and maybe ill prepared to take on the world? But I think the truth is that this generation is the one that will change the world…finally!
They are perceived as having a sense of entitlement. I think they do feel entitled; they feel entitled to have clean water; they feel entitled to be free to love who they want to love. They feel entitled to have justice and equality for all. They feel that they should be entitled to go to school without the fear of being shot. Let that last one sit with you for a moment; we had fire drills, they had active shooter drills. Oh and just for fun, let’s throw in a plague that will screw up their graduation and their lives in general.
Are they withering away? No, they are proving to be the most resilient generation since the Second World War and the most socially conscious since the 1960’s.
With all that they have had to deal with, they appear to have a very simplistic view of the world. The planet is on fire, so let’s fix it! It’s all very black and white for gen Z, which is so refreshing. They seem sick and tired of our complaisant culture of thoughts and prayers; this generation are ready for action!
They have a very clear view of what is right and what is unjust, with very little patience for those who tell them that the status quo is working. As they reach that magic age of being able to vote, they have the numbers to change things and to change them quickly.
This generation has inherited a mess, a freaking huge mess! But I have a feeling that we are in good hands and that they are up for the challenge.
In these crazy times it makes sense that this special class, the class of 2020, would have a special graduation. A graduation unlike any other graduation in the history of all graduations. It’s not what you had planned and it’s not what we wanted for you; it is what it is and like everything else, you are making the best of it.
Know that you are the special generation; the generation that the world needs right now. And not that it makes it easier, but think of all the stories you will be able to share with your grandchildren someday.
On behalf of your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, we want you know that we are so proud of you! You’ve showed such grace under pressure. Get out there and change the world, we’ll do our best to keep up with you.
Oh and not to put any extra pressure on you, but the fate of humanity and the planet are basically in your hands…but no pressure!! Happy special graduation to you.❤️
Thanks to all the parents who shared pictures of their very special grads with me for this post.
In this post I would like to highlight a few local businesses who are trying to make the best out of a really difficult situation; they’re trying to make lemonade out of a bunch of lemons…or lemon drop martinis; yes some are making really, really strong lemons drop martinis!!
For the last 6 weeks, I’ve been socially distancing in my downtown Moncton apartment feeling a bit lost and helpless. I’ve tried my best to create positive, entertaining and who are we kidding, sometimes super silly, blog posts to share with my readers.
And as everyone else, I’ve probably been spending too much time on social media? And although there are lots of Debbie Downers out there; I’ve felt a lot of pride being back home in my native province watching my fellow New Brunswickers being so compassionate, resilient and downright scrappy!
Please note that these are just a handful of local businesses. My goal for this summer is to visit every inch of our beautiful province; if you have recommendations of things I need to experience, please let me know. I will also be making trips to PEI and NS once we are allowed to cross borders.
And lastly, I am not getting any freebies from anyone mentioned in this post; the last thing any of our local businesses need right now are people hitting them up for free stuff. OK, let’s get started!
Blue Roof Distillers
When you’re able to make vodka out of potatoes, making lemonade out of lemons seems like it would be fairly easy right? That’s exactly what Blue Roof Distillers are currently doing.
Like so many local businesses they were looking for creative ways to stay busy and keep their staff employed,during this pandemic; while also helping the local community. The solution was to convert part of their distillery to make sanitizer, which has been in short supply lately; their nimbleness is helping to keep our front line workers safe and germ free.
The Strang family started farming in in New Brunswick in 1855; six generations later they are one of Atlantic Canada’s premier potato suppliers.
Devon Strang, Founder/CEO of Blue Roof Distillers, explains the uniqueness of their production; “Our process is unique in every way, Blue Roof Handcrafted Spirits are made from scratch using whole potatoes. Recipes are tailored to the raw materials available lowering the ecological footprint of the farm. Potatoes that are too small to market are now destined for the distillery. The mash, after being distilled, is then gifted to local farmers for livestock feed. The Strang family is proud to be able to offer value-added spirits that are distinguishable different than others on the market. The distillery produces all of its own alcohol and does not blend any commercial ethanol into its process.”
I love the history and the story of the Strang Family Farm and their evolution over 6 generations. I think we really need to be mindful of where our food, and vodka, comes from and we need to support our local farms!
You can purchase their spirits at NB Liquor; please refer to their website for more information on their products and also on how to order their sanitizer.
Blue Roof Distillers are located on the South-East edge of NB, directly off the Trans Canada Hwy, 4144 Route 16, in Malden.
They offer Tours and Tastings at their distillery. I will be booking a tour as soon as we are free to roam and will blog about it, of course.
I couldn’t help but notice that they have a Gin Soda Citrus Blast mixed drink, which goes perfectly with my lemon/citrus theme. So I needed to buy one and have a little taste test; I mean it would probably be irresponsible not to? It was really yummy and refreshing!
Some restaurants are doing their best to keep as many of their staff employed by offering curbside or delivery meals. One such business is Gusto Italian Grill & Bar, located at 130 Westmorland Street, here in Moncton. As they scrambled to get their takeout only operation up and running; they realized that they had fridges full of homemade cheesecakes, just begging to be eaten.
As a small gesture of gratitude to the local hospital staff, owner Brett Judson, decided to make special deliveries to both Moncton hospitals. Keeping it in the family, he recruited his teenage children to cut and package hundreds of pieces of cheesecake.
Gusto is now open for business from 4pm to 8pm daily; orders can be placed by calling the restaurant directly and picking up your order curbside; or you can also order via Skip the Dish and have it delivered.
Check their Facebook and Instagram for their daily curb side specials. My current fav so far is Pasta Mondays! They’ve also just started weekly food boxes, they are an amazing value! All of their specials are listed on their Facebook and Instagram sites.
In case you didn’t know, Gusto’s make the best cheesecakes, like ever!! The one below is their Lemon Cheesecake and it’s to die for! They also have an amazing gluten free Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake; it’s actually my favorite and I don’t even have gluten issues.
The Zesty Lemon
The Zesty Lemon is a cheerful gem, located at 535 Somerset St, in Saint John; who’s lunchtime rush disappeared overnight once the social distancing rules were put in place. They had to take a serious look at their business model and adapt quickly; their solution was to focus on delicious & nutritious meals, ready for pick up.
What I love about their menu in particular are the family sized dinners. Their Roasted Chicken Dinner for 4 comes with a roasted chicken, roasted rosemary potatoes, carrots, gravy and 2 French baguettes. Oh, I also love their flatbread pizzas…and their soups…
With lots of us working from home and homeschooling, having someone else prepared a healthy, home cooked meal is a treat that you don’t have to feel guilty about.
If you’re in the Saint John area, please give them a try.
Ali is a mother of two, an early education educator and a photographer. I met Ali a few months ago; she photographed me before this whole pandemic thing started. She’s the perfect example of a scrappy New Brunswicker who’s resourceful enough to make the sweetest lemonade from a bunch of lemons.
Sadly, in order to comply with the social distancing rules, Ali had to cancel her scheduled appointments. As she sat home, she wondered if perhaps her photographs could bring some joy to others and also help our community in some meaningful way? She found a perfect way to accomplish both! She was inspired by a photographer in Massachusetts who started photographing families on their front steps. She decided to do the same with her neighbors, at a super safe distance away of course.
When I saw her post her first few sessions online, I thought they were super cute family pics. But as time passed, I started seeing them differently; or perhaps, like so many things these days, I was seeing the deeper meaning? These family porch sessions are amazing time capsules that will forever serve to document this moment in time when the world briefly came to a standstill and we rediscovered the importance of family.
Each portrait is unique and shows the personality of the family being photographed. And in lieu of payment, Ali has been suggesting that her porch families make a donation to Crossroads for Woman.
In these times of struggle, we all suffer, but we don’t all suffer equally. If you are able, please donate to your favorite charity. I am certain it is needed more than you can imagine.
B HOME is located at 333 St George Street in Moncton. I’ve been a customer of theirs for a long time. I support them because I feel that they are true artists and not just a framing place that frame art. You’ll get their artist vibe when you visit their store, once we are allowed back out.
I was a little surprised when I heard that they would be offering curb side service, because I wasn’t really sure how that would work logically; but guess what? It works!
Here are the three easy steps:
Step 1 – Call them to make arrangements for drop off or to have your art piece picked up; I just dropped off a new piece to them last week.
Step 2 – Is a video consultation session. What I found very cool, was that I could show Marc a bit of my home; he got to see my style and aesthetic. I showed him where I hung the last piece he did for me; who knew that BHome would be in my home? Well virtually anyway.
The consultation consisted of him showing me a few options; as he would have done in his store. We successfully chose a mat and frame that I am absolutely in love with!!
Step 3 – Pick up your framed piece!
This is the piece that they are currently framing for me. The mat options above look red, but they are hot pink; I ended up choosing the gold frame. The painting was a birthday gift from my super talented sister-in-law. I can’t wait to see the finished piece. I’ll post pics on my oui-liette Instagram and oui-liette Facebook accounts, if you want to see it when done.
Another fun option, that many may not be aware of, is that if you can drop off an existing frame and your art and they can custom cut a mat for you. This is very economical without having to give up that professional customized look.
B HOME has the coolest Instagram account and stories, you need to follow them!
To close out this post I reached out to the Mayor of Moncton, Dawn Arnold, for her thoughts on how we are doing as a community in these challenging times; turns out she couldn’t be prouder of us!
“I’ve been so amazed by the ingenuity, creativity and innovation that Monctonians are showing right now. Everything from the non-profits that are coming together to ensure that all the kids who participated in the school lunch programs are receiving lunches daily to Co-Pain that has taken their amazing bakery on-line to Notre Dame de Parkton, who now have weekly “box” filled with local products. The City has responded so swiftly and responsibly to this pandemic and I think that will set up well in the post-COVID future.”
“This has given us all an interesting opportunity to slow things down a bit, to think through priorities and how we want to be when we get back to “normal”; and what we want that “normal” to look like. During a time when nothing seems certain, I prefer to think of this as a time when anything is possible…no one would have believed that oil producers would be paying people to take barrels off their hands! If this is possible, truly, anything is possible!”
Thank you to the Mayor and to the businesses who are letting me share their stories. I do believe that New Brunswickers are resilient AF; we’ve had to learn how to pivot…pivot! More than a few times in our past and I have no doubt that we will get through this challenge as well.
We’re leading the country at kicking COVID’s butt after all. We will get through this by leaning on each other and by being kind to each other, which seems to come naturally to us.
I hope this post inspires you to seek out local businesses and service providers; let’s make supporting them a new habit. And maybe, once we are free to roam, let’s roam all over this beautiful province! We should also share the love with PEI and NS too, they’re pretty awesome as well.
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Behind the scenes
I was inspired by my lemon them to ditch my signature pink color, temporarily, for this cheery yellow and I am kinda digging it!
Here are a few pics from my photo shoot with Ali. We had planned to shoot while it was snowing, but Mother Nature in the Maritimes won’t be bossed around! It started to snow, those beautiful, big fluffy flakes, 20 min after we finished.
I’m a visual person; before I start writing any of my posts I need a theme or a vibe to inspire me. I was looking for an angle for this, support local, post when I happened upon this cheerful house in Sunny Brae with bright yellow doors!
Thanks to Mylène and her family for letting us use their house as our backdrop! She and her wife have a really cool neighborhood Instagram page: wherethepheasantsroam. Which just happens to be my old hood; check them out, they seem to have a cool bicycle gang!! Lol
Could this social distancing actually bring us closer together? This post will include a few ideas on how to celebrate with friends and family during these crazy times; but more than that, I think it demonstrates how we are changing the way we interact with each other and our rediscovery of the importance of being kind to each other and to ourselves.
I’m not going to lie, the prospect of spending my 50th birthday by myself in my apartment, by myself, seemed a bit dismal and depressing. But what I hadn’t considered is how creative and thoughtful my friends and family would be. Could all this extra time apart help bring us closer?
The pace of our daily lives has slowed to a, sometimes painful, crawl; our routines and our interactions with each other have been completely flipped upside down. One of the side effects is that we are having to connect with each other in different ways; maybe even better ways?
Here are some great ideas if any of your people have birthdays or celebrations during this social distancing time. But you really don’t have to wait for a special occasion to make someone feel special and loved…just saying.
The week before my birthday I started getting birthday cards in the mail, a lot of cards! I had forgotten how nice it is to open your mailbox and see brightly colored envelopes; some even took the time to make me a card, seriously, how freaking thoughtful is that?
The keyword here is thoughtful; I feel like we are all being more mindful of the effects that our small gestures of kindness are having on others.
The thought of my friends taking the time and effort to go out of their homes to buy me a birthday card; or getting their glue sticks out to make me a card; or digging through their storage to find a Halloween Card in order to customize it for me, because they know that I love Halloween, tugs at my heartstrings and has made me feel so special.
This card campaign as also helped to spread out this warm and fuzzy feeling; they are still coming in. I think we should bring snail mail back!! Are you thinking about someone? Instead of shooting them a quick text, send them a note or card.
Parking Lot Parade Party
The morning of my birthday, I was puttering around my apartment, thankfully I was dressed with my lipstick on, ready to take on the day when I heard some honking coming from outside my window; when I looked out I saw 15ish cars with hot pink balloons parading down my street.
I was so touched, and yes, I cried, just a little. The theme of this post is love; my friends and family took the time to do something nice for someone else; I was so fortunate to be the recipient of all of their love. Had I had a party, my friends would have showed up to help me celebrate; but the thought that they coordinated meeting in a parking lot close to my place; where they decorated their cars with pink balloons and signs was extra special. As they made their way to my place, cars they passed pulled over and let them pass. This was so much more memorable than any regular party; the only shitty part is that I couldn’t hug anyone. Lots of hugs for everyone when this is over!
Feeling la Love!
When challenged with strict social restrictions, we are having to find new ways to stay connected and to show our love for one another.
I was invited to a super cozy lunch for two in a friend’s garage that included a 12 foot long table, perfect for social distancing. We sat there without any distractions, no checking our phones, we didn’t have anywhere else to be. We ate leftovers, laughed and listened to Van Morrison.
If you are feeling disconnected, put your best face covering on and go sit in your friends driveway! Thinking of someone? Send them a card or drop off a plate of cookies; simple, inexpensive acts of kindness are appreciated more than ever.
A few friends and I have started weekly zoom calls, my friend Kenda made the observation that she couldn’t remember the last time we were all in town at the same time and able to celebrate a birthday all together. Four out of the six of us travel for work and planning events has always been a scheduling nightmare.
I am noticing that we all seem more present when we spend time together now, even if just via video. Josette mentioned that when things get back to “normal” she is going to try to let go of a lot of the things that stressed her out and all the things she thought she “needed” to do. Our lives are much simpler now and it’s kind of nice?
We then decided that we should all make side ponytails as an homage to our 80’s roots; speaking of roots, some of us are starting to sport some pretty gray roots!! lol
Thank you for reading! In these crazy times be generous with your kindness and attention; if you love someone, tell them! If you see that someone is struggling a bit, reach out and be kind; it doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated.
And finally if you have any extra love to share, subscribe to my blog below, just scroll down a bit. Or you can follow me on Facebook or Insta at oui-liette
Stay safe and be kind!
Behind the scenes
For any new readers, behind he scenes are just extra fun facts and bonus pics.
I brought up the banners and balloons from my birthday parade and set them up in my dining room, see the pic below. Notice the frames picture on the right; that’s my cousin Brigitte. She added her picture in with the group gift that she and my two other cousins gave me. She also edited their birthday messages in the group card. Her behavior perfectly demonstrates our families sense of humor; and explains a bit of my unique weirdness. ❤️
I am blessed to come from a family and friends who love to laugh and have fun!
I didn’t have a big 50th birthday party planned, I know it’s shocking! But I did have a girls trip to Palms Spring planned for the weekend after my birthday. I had planned a theme for our après party, party; the theme was/will be: Let them eat cake!! One may think that a Marie Antoinette theme would be difficult to pull off? One would be wrong, lol
This tulle skirt and rock n roll t-shirt was/will be my party outfit. I was feeling a bit disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to wear it anytime soon; so I decided to put it on and wear it around my apartment last week; it made me feel fancy and festive, so here it is, someone needs to see it!
My awesome photographer Jack!
I also wanted to share this painting that my sister in-law made for me; I absolutely love it! The picture doesn’t do the colors justice.
Had anyone told me six months ago, or even two months ago, that I’d be super excited to get face masks as gifts for my 50th birthday, I wouldn’t have believed them. This jazzy one was hand made by my cousin Nicole, it’s reversible and freakishly comfortable.
Warning – for those of you who don’t think that we should be focusing and/or worrying about our hair during these crazy times, stop reading now!! Seriously, go away!!!! The rest of us know the power of a good hair day!! And the psychological impact of a bad hair situation on our self esteem.
Yesterday should have been my regular scheduled hair appointment. I get my roots done every 4 weeks because my hair grows crazy fast and I hate having roots. But Instead of freaking out, I’m going to wait this out and plan my big hair return strategy! OK, full disclosure, I did get bored a few weeks ago and put a temporary pink color in my hair. It turned out to be less temporary than expected, but it’s fine, I am fine; no one got hurt.
FYI pink hair looks good for exactly one day, the day you do it; it’s downhill after your first wash until it completely fades; but it’s fine, lol.
Don’t do it!
I know that some of you are planning to take matters into your own hands; my first reaction is don’t do it!!!
My reasoning is that we are already mentally and emotionally fragile; and I know that you’re thinking that doing your own hair will make you feel better; and it may? But it could just as easily go horribly wrong; it’s really a crap shoot.
I know that some of you aren’t going to listen to my sage advice, so I reached out to two of my fav professionals; my current hairstylist Tiffany and my former Las Vegas stylist, Colleen… you’re freaking welcome btw!
Tiffany is pleading that you not attempt to color your own hair! Box dyes can be very messy and if you don’t get the color you were looking for it’s going to end up costing you more money to get it fixed, than had you just waited. “Everyone is in the same boat, we all have roots! Wait it out.”
If you absolutely can’t wait, Colleen, recommends that you reach out to your stylist and ask for his/her opinion on what you should use and how to use it? Some may even mix it for you? They may also be able to talk you off the ledge and convince you to wait?
Now if you’re thinking of doing your own highlights, don’t!! Colleen is one of the best stylists in Las Vegas and she says she wouldn’t even attempt to do her own foils at home.
That’s coming from a trained professional and not just me; and let me remind you that you are not a trained professional!!
Highlights use bleach and it can go real bad, real fast! It can fry your hair and make it brittle and break off. It can also turn copper orange or green; both of which won’t be cute on you!
To trim or not to trim?
Tiffany warns against major trimming unless you want to look like Joe Exotic from Tiger King. Lol
I am actually pretty good at trimming my own bangs, the trick is not to cut straight across. I would save any major style changes for your stylist!
The new you!
Here’s my plan; I am giving my hair a break and using this opportunity to grow out my bangs. Which we all know is a pain! I’m giving it such a break that washing it seems like a huge task these days; but apparently it’s good for your scalp to wash your hair less often, so going with that.
I’ve already picked out my new future hairstyle. I think this summer, or whenever we can get back to our new normal, will be a great time to make a big symbolic hair change; and I think you should consider it too. It will give you something to look forward to and it will be a super big pick me up at the end of all of this. The before and after pics should be pretty dramatic.
So this is the style I am going to get; it’s basically just blonder and shorter; and I’ve had this style before, bottom right pic is me with this exact same do.
Tough love visualization
Close your eyes; it’s June something or other and we’re free to roam!! You’ve decided to put your favorite jeans on. They are a little tight, ok that’s being kind, they are really tight! But you’re owning your muffin top! Mostly because all your yoga pants have holes and stains on them; that was a lot of usage and stress on such thin spandex fabric! You’re doing your best to rock your copper highlights with green undertones; and in hindsight, your kitchen scissors probably weren’t sharp enough to properly trim your own bangs?
I am sorry that I had to take you there, but that is basically your future, lol. But seriously, be careful and repeat after me; “I did not go to hairdresser school!! I am not a qualified professional stylist!”
Thank you for reading this tongue and cheek post. But really don’t do your own hair!!
Behind the scenes
I got my roots done the day before they closed all the salons, so my hair is actually still looking pretty cute. I felt this post needed someone who was already struggling with theirs, so I recruited a famous hair model, who may or may not be one of my dozens of first cousins?? She’s hilarious and a great sport; she did give me permission to use her photo.
She has also decided to wait out the pandemic and not attempt to do her own hair, but unlike me, she has more than 4 weeks of roots; which means she isn’t as good of a pandemic planner as I am. And here’s the proof! Lol, her hair is always, always perfectly coiffed so this is my one and only time to have nicer hair; and I am sure she will get back at me for this side by side comparison, love you B!! ❤️❤️
My blog is pretty much keeping me sane these days; I need to have things to do, so thank you so much for reading and sharing!!
Let’s face it, spring has pretty much been canceled this year! So let’s focus on early summer shall we?
I think it’s going to be epic! And I really, really, really need to believe that this week in order to not lose my mind. So let’s start planning all the fun things we’re going to do and wear once we’re allowed to leave our homes.
I’m far from a fashionista; I pretty much always dressed in black, but I‘m going to fake it for this post and declare that I think the trend this Springummer, (just made that up, hoping it will catch on, lol), will be lots of bright colors.
It makes sense if you think about it; we’ve just survived a global pandemic for goodness sakes. We’ve gone days and days…and days without bathing. We’re sporting inches of gray roots and have had to Google; how to remove gel or acrylic nails.
The very second the social distancing order is lifted, we’re all running to see our hair stylists and manicurists. It only makes sense that we will also be gravitating towards bright and happy colors.
I’ve prepared a Pinterest Springummer mood board for us; you’re welcome! Now do I expect us to walk out of our houses looking like delish funsicles? No, this is just for inspiration, I wanted to show how layering bright colors together can be so pretty and cheery; who would have guessed that acid green, mauve and light blue would go together??
Now I am going to need you to go check out your closets and take inventory of all the bright colored things you currently have, don’t roll your eyes at me, I know for a fact that you have nothing better to do! So go! I’ll wait.
Once you’ve finished taking stock of what you have, we can start planning our big Springummer kick off; ok, admit it, Springummer is starting to grow on you!
I searched my closet and I really wasn’t lying when I said that I wear a lot of black; everything I own is either black or gray!! Ugh this is seriously sad. I did find a few colorful accessories, but I’ll obviously need a few new bright key pieces.
Here are my colorful things; the shoes are two toned, pink and red, they are the most comfortable slide ons ever; the purse is a raspberry pink, it looks red in the pic. My little clutch is a Kelly Green and my shoes are acid yellow.
On the top of my list of things to buy, while stuck in my house, is a nice pair of hot pink dress pants!
Will I be brave enough to wear a red blouse with it, à la Sarah Jessica Parker, as seen below? Maybe? But if not, my future pink pants would look super cute with a light black blouse and red shoes!! I could definitely pull that off!!
OK, I’ll be brave and I’ll add a red blouse to my future pink pants, because I am loving this look! I am also loving the the green and blue combo, so will give that vibe a try as well.
Sooooo who’s going to try to be a bit more colorful this Springummer?? Anyone? I hope this post has got you thinking ahead and planning what you’ll wear when we can go out in public again.
Thanks for reading, I needed something light and fluffy this week. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook at Oui-Liette; just in case you miss me in between posts, lol.
Oh and thanks to all my Australia readers!! I think Australians and Canadians share similar values and sense of humor? So maybe that’s why I am getting so many Aussie readers?? I love it!! Thank you!!
Behind the scenes
I’ve been adding a few behind the scenes to my posts lately, let me know if you like them or not?
Since we are housebound, I didn’t have my regular photographer to take my pics, but that didn’t stop me!
Do these look like they were taken in a professional studio?? I think they kind of do. I took them myself in my living room. I tapped a white cardboard to the back of my couch; I faced my window so I had tones of natural lighting.
Ideally I should have worn a colorful top, but this gray top was…well it wasn’t black. I did add an extra pop of color with my lipstick and I had the prettiest pink eyeshadow, but you can’t really see it in the photos.
Here’s my high tech backdrop! It kept falling off; duct tape doesn’t stick on velvet very well.
Full disclosure, this is my first global pandemic, so I am not really sure what I am supposed to be doing? Except for staying inside; it’s pretty clear that we need to stay home.
Things just seem pretty messed up; we aren’t sure what day it is? What we should be doing with all this extra time that we now have on our hands; and we can’t figure out how doing pretty much nothing is so exhausting??
It’s only been 3 weeks and many of us are on the verge of falling into a funk; it’s official, we have the blues!
Please note that I’m not a mental health expert; I am just an extrovert trapped in her house trying not to lose her freaking mind! But I am a sharer, so I am going to share 5 ways to help you beat the blues; and then at the end I have an extra 7 super quick emergency Blues Busters just in case you’re having a really bad day…you’re welcome!! 💙
Just Stop It!
We need to turn off the news!! I have to admit that I’m a bit of a news junkie; I live alone so I always have my TV on in the background and it’s usually on one of the news channels. I like hearing voices chatting, so it’s not dead silent. But the constant cycle of bad news is just too much!! We need to stop!! I think we’re all on information overload at this point and it’s causing us anxiety.
Last week I decided that I needed to turn off the news; I’m still getting my daily updates from the CBC, but that’s it! I also cleaned up my social media feeds and hid or deleted people who seem to be stuck in a negative death spiral; and its had an immediate positive affect on my mood!!
If you just do one of my helpful hints, maybe this should be the one?? But the others are also good, so keep reading!
I just don’t think that you can immerse yourself in negativity and expect to have a good day? Actually I know for a fact that you can’t.
It may be a good exercise to ask yourself; is this adding to my life or sucking the life out of me?? I’m currently trying to keep all the life sucking things to a minimum these days!
Soooo it’s taken me two and a half weeks to jump on the, Move It, bandwagon. I know how important exercise is and how it can help beat the blues, blah, blah, blah; but in my defense, I really didn’t have enough time to exercise, what with all the naps.
I’ve started daily walks, not leisurely walks, they are get out of my way, I’m on a mission walks; there’s a difference. I’ve also set the goal for myself that I need to do 3 different online workout classes per week; I’m being very strict with myself, ouff I can be so bossy, lol.
I’m hoping that this level, of Moving It, will help my body combat the levels of chocolate that I am feeding it? Sure, I could reduce my chocolate intake, but that would set me on a blues crash course. I mean, we need to do whatever we need to do to stay sane; giving up chocolate at this point in time would frankly be reckless.
My two fav online workout gals are Robin and Josette! To workout with Josette go to Bend City Yoga’s Facebook page; and to have Robin, rock your butt off; go to Move, Sweat, Live on Facebook or movewithrockinrobin on Instagram.
Make a Plan
We are creatures of habit and not having anything to do sounds amazing, until you actually have nothing that you need to do. On day 6, I think it was a Saturday, but I can’t really be sure? I slept in until past 10am!! And then stayed in my pajamas all day; I think I had 7 meals that day and took 11 naps?? I woke up the next day and decided that I need structure; actually my mom told me I need structure, but whatever.
So I’m working on a new weekly schedule for myself, since I’ll be off work for the next two months. Here’s what I am planning in order to beat off the blues and keep myself sane. The point is to have things to do and structure your days, weeks…and months.
I am going to set up weekly chats and Facetimes with friends and family. My plan is to schedule a few different chats per week; Monday evenings at 6 will be cousins video time; and then Thursday nights could be the night I talk to my friends in Vegas? Those will be in addition to my regular daily chats with my mom and my bffs; I don’t schedule those, they are spontaneous.
I am going to create a weekly menu; I think this will help me remember what day of the week it is? Tuesday will be Taco Tuesday, obviously. I’ll make my menu on Sunday evenings; I’ll take inventory of my food so that I can go to the grocery store on Monday’s if I need anything?
Clean UP! When I was traveling for work, I would come home and tell myself that I should clean x or y, but I just didn’t have the time. It turns out that time wasn’t the reason my cleaning projects weren’t getting done? lol. My new schedule will include 10 to 15 minutes of light housekeeping when I wake up each day; I’m just going to get it over with first thing each day. And I’ll tidy up my kitchen every evening before going to bed; it’s a pandemic mystery how dirty dishes just keep popping up out of nowhere??
I am going to set aside one day of the week as my deep cleaning day. That way I only have to procrastinate one day a week instead of the full week! I think it’s a pretty brilliant plan!
I’m going to schedule my, Move It, exercise time and will do my best to abide by those set times…ish.
Special projects; If I’m going to beat the blues, I’m going to need to have a few special projects on the go at all times. One will be to focus more time on my blog. This blue theme/global pandemic/I have way too much time on my hands post was my special project kick off! See, I’m already being super productive!
Learn Something New
My friend Claudia wants to finally learn a third language, another friend is going to sign up for an online painting class. I think that I’m going to attempt one fancy cooking recipe per week; I’ll pretend that I’m a contestant on Master Chef! I’ll take out one of my aprons, that I never ever use, and I’ll organize my ingredients like they do on cooking shows. The meals that turn out will be divided into smaller portions; some will get frozen for later and I’ll give a few single serving portions to my mom. Those that don’t turn out will quickly be forgotten; like they never happened!!
Take this time as an opportunity to do or try something that you’ve been meaning to do or try…in your house, don’t forget that part.
Social Distancing is lonely!! We miss our friends, our family and our coworkers. I have added staying connecting in my, Make a Plan, section, because it’s soooo important to stay connected in these uncertain times.
My friend, Nadine, has been great at scheduling regular happy hour chat times for us; those seem to be very popular these days. Sign up for zoom, get your friends together and try it.
The other day, I was loosing my mind and going stir crazy; so I called up my friend Kenda and we had a driveway date. She set up lawn chairs in her driveway and we sat 10 feet apart and chatted in the spring sun! So that’s an option if you need to see a face in person and not just on your phone or computer.
I also have walking partners; we meet up in the woods, which sounds a bit creepy. We take our separate cars, so we aren’t contaminating each other and we walk and talk loudly staying more than 6 feet apart at all times.
In order to stay connected, you’re going to have to be a little creative, but you can do it!!
Quick Blues Busters!
This one is going to sound simplistically dumb, but make your bed every morning. It will start your day with a formal purpose. Think of it, you’ll have already accomplished one thing before breakfast; and it’s less inviting to get back in bed once it’s made…so I’ve been told.
Feeling anxious or angry? Crank up the tunes and sing!! My two favorite places to listen to music are my kitchen, while I am cooking, and in my car; drives in the car are allowed by the way, so crank the tunes and go for a joy ride!!
Let it out!
One of my friends, who I would never picture as a crier, told me that she cried three times in one day this week; which reminded me of when I was a little girl and I would get out of sorts. My mom would tell me to go to my bedroom and have a good cry and then come back out when I was happy. And it actually worked every time.
I think the point is to release stress; cry, go for a run….do whatever you need to do in order to reduce a bit of stress; let it out!!
Laugh It Off!
Nothing beats the blues like a good laugh! Phone a friend or watch some Netflix; my go to comedians are Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney. I also get a kick out of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars, Drinking Coffee. They aren’t all funny, but lots are; the episodes with Ricky Gervais made me lol.
If you don’t have anyone to call that can make you laugh so hard that you almost pee your pants, let me know and I’ll set up a quick call with my cousin Brigitte, for a small fee, she’s pretty funny!
Find Your Spirit Animal
I’ve notices that a lot of people are adopting strays or fostering animals lately. That’s because animals are pure love!!
If you’re unable to have a pet of your own, watch pet videos; it’s almost as good as having one of your own? And you don’t have to clean up their poop.
I love Pluto Living on Facebook; he doesn’t think that cats are that important, but I still love him. And my fav singing dog is on Instagram; bee_bee_the_dog. I don’t have any dog pics on my Instagram account but you can still follow me on at: oui-liette; I can be mildly amusing, lol. Oh and every once in awhile I do feature my brother’s cat Roxy, she’s beautiful, but super cranky.
I consider myself to be a pragmatic optimist; I try to see the positive in every situation, but I am also able to adjust to pretty much any situation once I’ve had a moment to digest and recalibrate.
But this isolation situation is kicking my ass!! Have you ever realized how fortunate you are and then felt a bit of guilt for throwing yourself a pity party? That’s normally where my mind goes when I start thinking, poor me. I realize that a lot of other people have harder struggles than I do; so I tell myself to buckle up buttercup. In the past this way of thinking has served me well. It’s made me power on, and I have full intentions of powering on this time too, because I know that this too shall pass.
But is it ok to not be ok for a moment? This week I’ll find out if I get laid off or not? Last week three of my friends and 3 of my family members lost their jobs. It looks like I will celebrate my 50th birthday alone, by myself in my apartment…in Moncton; not in Palm Springs with my friends as planned!!! The one year anniversary of my dad’s passing is creeping up on me stirring up crazy flashbacks. And I feel that things are just going to get crazier before they get better; that’s a tough thing to process for an optimist. So I think I am going to need a freaking moment!!!
I was chatting with a friend on the phone today and at one point in the conversation I asked her if she was having an anxiety attack? She was; we talked about nothing and anything until it subsided a bit. She suggested that I write a post about feeling anxious, worried and depressed.
My posts usually have a funny or optimistic vibe; but I think there maybe some comfort in hearing that others are also struggling? So I am diving in here; this whole thing is just plain and simply fucked up! The world has come to a complete stop! And I’m sorry, but at this very moment, I am having a hard time finding the bright side or an immediate silver lining!
Ouff! There, I said it! It’s out there and to be honest, it feels good to blurt that out and release it. And for your mental health, I think that you should give yourself permission to lose it as well; but then, please find it again.
Maybe we should schedule our losing it outbursts so we don’t all lose it at the same time? Yes, that’s a good idea; we’ll need to take turns losing our shit. Let’s try to be extra kind to ourselves in these next few months; yes, I said months.
As a rule I try, and think I do a pretty good job, to not compare myself to others; but lately, with all this free time spent on social media, I’ve caught myself being a bit envious and I think others may be as well??
So if you’re not preparing gourmet meals for yourself/mate/family every night; it’s ok. If you aren’t creating daily super adorable Tik Tok videos with your children; it’s ok! If you want to punch your significant other in the throat because you can hear them chewing or breathing; it’s ok! If you live alone and have been wearing the same yoga pants for over a week; it’s ok!! It’s all ok!!
Anything that is helping you survive in isolation, that doesn’t hurt anyone else, is ok!! Ok?
That being said, if your not ok moments lasts for more than a moment; please call your folks, FaceTime your friends or set up a patio or driveway date with someone you love. And if that doesn’t help, please call your doctor and have a chat with them. Do whatever you need to do to make yourself feel like you’re going to be ok.
I was on the phone with my mom today; she must have sensed that I was having an off day because she told me that I need a project. She said that I don’t do well when I have nothing to look forward to. And of course she is right! She’s always right. So in order for me to be ok, I am going to need a fun project. So watchez-vous! My creative juices will be flowing, which can get scary?? Lol. Try to find something that you can do for yourself to help you be ok.
To recap; it’s ok to not be ok for a moment. It’s ok to lose your shit, but then, please find said shit and keep on keeping on. No one’s life is perfect so avoid comparing yourself to others. Use any and all tools that are currently helping you survive. Find something to do that is going to help make you feel ok; and finally if you’re not ok moment is lasting more than a moment, please reach out for help.
Stay safe and let me know how you’re doing.
PS – looks like we all have extra time on our hands, sign up to receive my posts sent to you via email. They’re super amusing!! 🤣
My previous post; 5 Bad Ideas to Avoid While Socially Distancing, was a funny attempt to lighten the mood a bit. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the heaviness of our current situation; this post isn’t as funny, but I think it will help make us feel good.
Let’s get started! Here are my 5 ideas that will help us feel good while we do good!!
Feed a Friend
And by friend I mean a support worker!! This is my second week of working from home; and like so many of you, I’ve been working in my pajamas and eating chocolate chip cookies for lunch.
To be honest, I’ve struggled a bit being isolated, but do you know who is struggling more? All the healthcare workers, truck drivers, grocery store workers, pharmacy workers, flight attendants, pilots, ticket agents, airport security people, cleaners, corner store and gas station people, 911 operators, police, ambulance employees and so many more!!!
They are working extra long hours so that our society doesn’t completely fall apart.
Those of us who are stuck home seem to be cooking up a storm in order to stay busy; why don’t “we” make a bit extra and drop off some food to someone we know who is working their butts off for the rest of us?
Is your cousin a nurse or a Cosco cashier? Call them up and tell them that you are dropping off a lasagna or homemade soup on their front step, so that they can relax with a home cooked meal after their shift.
On Sunday, my mom and I made a bunch of pâtée chinois; which in English translates to Chinese paste??? It’s meat and potatoes, so not sure what funky French person came up with that name? Lol, it’s Sheppard’s Pie; sorry I digress.
We made a bunch and dropped some off to my brother and his wife. He works in a manufacturing plant, they make air exchangers for hospitals and big buildings. My sister in-law works for an airline; she’s been working crazy hours helping Canadians get back home; knowing that she’s getting laid off soon. 😕
They were so happy to get our goodies; we also gave a few to my mom’s senior neighbors who are scared to leave their apartments.
It warms my heart that others are « feeding a friend » too. My bff’s family own and work at Gustos, an amazing restaurant here in Moncton. Sadly they have had to close until this craziness passes (but will be opening for limited hours daily for Skip the Dishes orders soon). They happen to make the world’s best cheesecake! What did they do with all the cheesecakes they had left after closing??
I’ll tell you what they did; they, as a family, cut up mounts of cheesecake pieces and packed them up and delivered them to hospital workers!!
Random acts of kindness
This is probably the easiest to do, be open to being kind and helping others when the opportunities present itself. I dropped off magazines that I was done with and left them in front of my neighbors door with a note the other day; she was thrilled. My across the hall neighbor, who is in his seventies, was outside the other day cleaning off all the cars in our parking lot after a dusting of snow. Canadian Blood Services is in need of blood, book an appointment and save a life.
Is your neighbor or family member one of those still working? Offer to walk their dog? Offer to pick up groceries for them. It doesn’t have to be super complicated.
This one is similar to being kind, but a little different; be thankful and say thank you. I was at the grocery store the other day and I thanked the cashier for showing up for her shift. She was a bit caught off guard and smiled and thanked me for thanking her; man I love Canada! She said that she stays 2 hours after her shift everyday to help sanitize the store as they are short staffed.
I have an office job, I sit at a desk, when not travelling, if my boss told me after my 8 hours that I needed to stay an extra 2 hours to help clean the office, I don’t think I would be very happy? But she has been doing it for over a week! So thank him or her!!
When you go to your corner store, thank the clerk, the grocery store staff, the pharmacy staff…If you are somewhere getting necessities and you see someone who is working, thank them.
Let’s all just be thankful that when push comes to shove; and when some of us are called to take one for the team, that they do so without hesitation. They show up! So thank them!
Phone a friend
Everyone is saying that we need to be Social Distancing; I heard someone online mention that this is not what we need. We need to be physically distancing from each other, but we need to find a way to socially come together so that we are not alone. I thought that was a great point.
Check in on your friends, family and coworkers. Use technology to stay connected; I have a zoom video date with 3 of my bffs later tonight. And one of my friends in Las Vegas has set up a social mixer video call for this weekend.
I have been FaceTiming with friends all week and my boss has asked that our conference calls be video calls. I can’t imagine being home alone for weeks at a time without seeing the smiling faces of loved ones.
And if you are having a really bad hair day, then skip the video chats and talk on the telephone, old school.
Be kind to yourself
My first week inside I started feeling bad because I wasn’t motivated to work out in my living room or run up and down my stairs. I was comparing myself to all those people who are posting their workouts online. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome that people are doing all of that. But I was feeling bad about myself because I had zero motivation to join in. And do you know what? That is ok; we all deal with stress and anxiety differently and we need to give ourselves permission to deal with things in our own way.
Want to have cookies for lunch, go for it! Don’t feel like getting dressed on a random Wednesday? That’s fine!! Do you and do what you need to do to comfort yourself and make yourself feel safe and whole.
I do think we need to be on the lookout for signs of depression in ourselves and our loved ones. But needing to retreat for a moment to re-calibrate ourselves is fine.
For the record, today is a random Wednesday and I am dressed and I just got back from an one hour long walk in the woods! Oh wait, it’s only Tuesday…or is it Thursday?? Oh shit I don’t know what day it is?? But I have real pants on! lol
My last helpful, be kind to yourself, hint is to turn off the news for a bit! At this point, I think we are all aware of the gravity of the situation, but hearing it over and over and over again isn’t helpful; for my mental sanity anyway.
I’ve been seeking out funny and ridiculously silly videos to balance things out a bit.
If you have any other suggestions on how we can do good, please share!!
And if you haven’t read my 5 Bad Ideas to Avoid During Social Distancing, here is the link; it was super amusing, lol.