It seems that the bathroom has become even more of a sanctuary of late — someplace to find a moment of solitude away from a house full of family members or roommates, or to find succor in a warm bath if you’re feeling lonely as you isolate at home. Here are a few particularly inspiring spaces I’d love to seek refuge, or at least imagine to. Every one has a deep attention to detail, great finishes, and clever use of color. Don’t forget a little pop of black for interest, too.
May I suggest one or more of these for some self-care this weekend? Retire to the bath and take a bit of a time-out. You know, the good kind. Enjoy!
It feels like this week has lasted half a lifetime, no? Our lives are becoming very different, day by day. After several weeks of will-they-won’t-they, I am now working from home for at least the next five weeks. The state of California has issued a directive to stay home except for essential errands. All non-essential businesses are closed in Los Angeles County. And around the globe, many, many people are sick.
It is easy to feel helpless or despairing at times like these. A global COVID-19 pandemic is certainly cause for concern, alarm, caution, and consideration. That being said, with an abundance of care, we can make it through this together. Some tips and musings below:
- Stay at home as much as you can. If you need to get groceries or take-out, delivery or no-contact pickup options are available, and currently many business are offering these services at no extra charge.
- Don’t hoard things. Supply chains right now should be keeping up with needs just fine, put people panicking has some shelves empty. Containing this virus depends on ALL of us washing our hands and disinfecting around us. Buy only what you’ll need for a few weeks, and leave some for everyone else.
- If you can do so comfortably without straining your own household expenditures, consider buying gift cards to support your favorite local restaurants and small businesses. Your purchase will help then through a difficult period, and you get a treat or a meal out later. Win-win!
- Focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t. I have been coping by cleaning and organizing areas of my home when the mood strikes, for example. I cannot help overburdened hospitals in Italy from my living room per se, but I can stay put and clean out my refrigerator. So far over the last couple weeks I cleaned out my closet and sent a bag of items to thredUP to be sold or recycled (get $10 to shop when you click here), cleaned out my pantry and refrigerator, replaced my duvet cover with this beauty, and got these excellent bins to organize my newly-clean fridge. Some people have joked this is stir-crazy fifth-week-of-quarantine level stuff, but I figure if I’m going to be home all the time, I might as well be able to enjoy a tidy space!
- Find a balance. If you live alone, make sure to keep yourself connected by reaching out by phone or online. If you are suddenly working from home with a partner and/or kids, carve out time for yourself as best you can. We live in a smallish apartment, so my husband and I are trading off using our desk space at home. I need to keep more regular business hours, so I use our area during the day. He needs to keep in contact with his job but has more flexibility with when he does his work, so he’s been using our work space in the evenings. We do have two desks, but this way we aren’t on top of each other in a small space all day every day.
- And lastly, go easy on yourself. We have so much to worry about right now that it can feel all-consuming. Cozy up in bed for an extra few minutes. Take things a day at a time. If that feels like too much, just focus on your morning. Then your afternoon. Then your evening. Give yourself time to rest, make sure you are nourished, and maybe try to take joy in small things as best you can. We are all in this together, even while we stay at least 6 feet apart.
It looks like a lot of us will be cozying in and social distancing for a few days or weeks thanks to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Please everyone take good care and limit potential exposure, wash your hands, and remember we are all in this together. Find a balance that works for you in terms of staying informed vs. bad-news overload, maybe buy a gift card to a local restaurant to help them through the slump (plus you get an outing later!), take precautions, and get some rest.
In the meantime, I realized I haven’t yet shared the new mix of throw pillows I have in my living room. I was feeling drawn to warm neutrals, so I swapped out a few for a fresh, casual new vibe. It seems like this is a view I might have for a bit — I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Happy Friday everyone! We made it! I just had to share some really excellent links from this week — happy reading and please enjoy.
Why you should rescue a dog. This will make you teary at the very least. Maybe make you sob. But in a good way.
Women are still being punished for being unapologetically competent. If we don’t apologize for being good at what we do, we get punished. Elizabeth Warren is only the most recent. Bonus: a poem on this topic by the ever-amazing Kate Baer.
Coronavirus advice for kids (and all of us!)
It’s going, my friend. Yes! Exactly.
So so happy for Henry James Garrett for getting his book published! I cannot wait to read this book on empathy and kindness. Also, if you are not following him and his delightful comics on Instagram yet, here you go, and you’re welcome.
Hope you have a lovely weekend!
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Easy neutrals to ease into spring, including the sweetest little mini bag and cheetah mules to give a little zhuzh to classic stripes, denim, and pearls? Yes, please!
I thought I would be the last person on Earth to buy into the mini bag trend, but I am obsessed with my new Coach Originals half moon coin case. It’s 4 inches wide! Tiny but mighty! A few cards and my ID, keys, lip balm, and then I slip my phone in my pocket. Perfectly light and easy, it’s both on-trend and a true classic.
I was having a conversation with a friend recently about movies and nostalgia, and childhood. Somehow we got to Mary Poppins, which I haven’t watched in years but remember very fondly. I feel sheepish even typing this, but all of a sudden a realization hit me like a thunderbolt — Jane and Michael’s mother was a suffragette. I remembered (barely) her “votes for women!” line in the song Step in Time, but I never connected the dots. Mrs. Banks was depicted as a bad mom, neglectful and flighty, because she spent her time blithely campaigning for a woman’s right to vote rather than staying at home with her children. She had a nanny. A nanny who had to show Jane and Michael love and care with a sprinkle of magic, because their parents were blind to their emotional needs.
I’m not sure if it is sadder that this movie depicts a suffragette as a terrible mother, or that it took me decades to realize it. Sexism, female subjugation, and the expectations of motherhood are so deeply ingrained in our patriarchal society that even a self-professed feminist can be blind to things that are painfully obvious. That Mrs. Banks trades in her sash and signs for kite-flying with her family at the end of the film seems obvious, the perfect ending. Another woman perfectly tucked away, motherly and nonthreatening. And I didn’t even notice.
Women, the vote, and societal expectations are big topics on my mind these days as we head through the primaries and towards Super Tuesday. We have two remaining female candidates for the Democratic nomination, both of which have bucked the societal expectation that women shut up, stay home, and mother their children. And there is a nation full of women who have the right to vote, when less than 100 years ago we did not. I don’t want this moment in time to go unnoticed. And I don’t want the sacrifices of so many women a century ago to go unnoticed. Send in your ballots, get out and vote next week, and make sure people take notice. Let’s make this our time.