Welcome to the latest installment of my monthly favorites.
Everything is crazy right now.
I know I’ve seen the sentiment written in so many words across various Tweets, but it sure feels like March was years long while April came and went in about five minutes. That truly sums it up for me.
Though the days run and blend together, April was fairly positive for me. There have been walks in nature and lots of time spent with Chad (I don’t know how I’m going to give him up when our quarantine time is over), baked goods, plenty of face masks, good television, and lots and lots of freelance writing work. I’ve taken a few steps back from my phone and social media where possible, which has been quite a mental relief.
This month was more social, too. Zoom meetings were huge. We played games and caught up with family and friends and even texting seems more ingrained in daily interactions with far-away loved ones. Because of social distancing paying off in Colorado, I was also able to spend some responsible time with my parents and their pups—from six feet away, of course—which has helped my heart in so many ways.
And, most of all, April was focused on our soon-to-be home. Our original closing date was scheduled for May 20, and we recently were able to move it up to May 8. We’re excited and nervous and scrambling to prepare. I’ve filled many days and nights with packing, making a mess that never seems to clear.
The biggest life update is what we’ve all been waiting for (oh, for years and years and years): we’re getting a dog. June 6. Mark your calendars, rev your engines, snap your masks. It’s finally happening. I’ve cried a dozen times because I’m so darn excited.
Moving forward, things are looking up. Personally, locally, and hopefully soon on a national scale—I truly believe that our efforts are making a huge difference. Don’t give up. Keep fighting the good fight, embrace those stimulus checks that we deserve, and please continue to make safe and responsible decisions. Hope is on the horizon.
And with that, here are my top picks for the month of April.
Weeknight fun: Trivia!
If you’re looking for a fun virtual activity, Geeks Who Drink have taken their pub trivia contest to the small screen! On Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. MST, the quiz goes live on Twitch. You can play by heading to their channel for the live game (twitch.tv/geekswhodrinkpubquizzes) or waiting until the next day and watching it from their Youtube channel. Chad and I have played several times (we downloaded the Twitch app onto our Fire Stick) and liked it better than the in-person bar experience, especially when we Zoomed with friends!
Packing Project: DVD Organization
Packing is definitely not fun! However, I enjoyed this space-saving activity. I combed through all of our DVDs, CDs, and whatever computer games we rediscovered from our childhood boxes (Roller Coaster Tycoon, anyone?), got rid of the packaging, and stored them in a single case. It saved an incredible amount of storage space for us.
Note: you can purchase this exact case here.
I’ve always joked that I’m an artist that doesn’t create anything physical. (That’s not true, though, since I’m a writer! It’s just hard to consider yourself an artist with this medium, I think.) Anyway, I busted out my raggedy collection of acrylics and turned toward painting for some much-needed relaxation and stress relief. Chad even joined in the fun too, which made for a fun evening activity.
Exercise: Daily Walks
Though I’ve got a ton of new blisters that don’t seem to want to heal, I’ve walked several miles this month. My daily walks out and about New Castle have been a gift—sunshine, fresh air, and new areas to explore have been a true highlight of my days spent inside.
Best way to pass the time: Interior Design Inspo
With our home purchase quickly approaching, I’ve been especially inspired by interior designers who have a similar aesthetic. Here are some of the accounts I’ve been following, if you’re interested.
- Jess over at Hartman Haus
- Jaci Daily
- Erin at theheartandhaven
- Natalia at natalialanaeinteriors
- Jordan at house.becomes.home
Our First Housing Purchases
Along with packing materials, we’ve started making initial home purchases to make the space our own. Here’s the initial status round up. Blog posts are sure to follow.
- contact paper, for the kitchen counters (we’ll invest later on into permanent solutions, but this will work as a temporary fix!)
- organization bins for closets
- organization bins for bathrooms, pantry, and storage
- stick-and-peel back splash, for the kitchen (same situation as above!)
- paint, for all the interior rooms
- paint, for the cabinets
- new locks, for the doors
Fashion Statement: Face Mask (thanks, Mom!)
Shout out to my mom, who sewed some masks for Chad and I! It was a very thoughtful gift and has been crucial in all of our essential outings. Plus, the fabric is super cute. Thank you, Mom!
April in Posts
This month, as usual, I had two posts per week. Here are the details if you’ve missed them.
- Isolating in nature. Phew, sunshine has really helped me out during this pandemic.
- How to be a social distancing pro. Here are my tips and tricks for getting through this.
- New shows! To watch. Here’s a more inclusive look into the television shows I’ve been watching lately.
- Married at 22: my wedding vows. Do you know how I came to write my vows?
- Quick makeup tutorial. I did my makeup! Here’s how I did it.
- Spring skiing at Sunlight Mountain Resort. Though the resort is closed for the season, the post recaps our experience.
- The power of Jane Austen. An entire class on her works? It was transformative.
- Behind the scenes: first steps of homebuying. We’re doing the damn thing! Here’s how to start the process.
Writerly Task: Portfolio
In the name of professional development, I decided to beef up my digital writing portfolio. I’m really proud of it! I now have a page on this site dedicated to some of my best journalistic, freelance, and public relations work. Check it out here.
Game Night: Zoom Secret Hitler
One of mine and Chad’s very favorite social activities throughout college was to gather with friends and play the social deduction game Secret Hitler. (Don’t judge the name. It sounds bad, but it’s actually amazing.)
We were able to get the band back together several times this month, and enjoyed playing the virtual version while Zooming at the same time. I hope we continue this get together in the future, too!
If you’re interested, you can play the game here: https://secret.ethanl.ee/
On the Screen
Oh, we’ve spent a lot of time in front of the TV this month. Here are some of my favorite movies and series, in no particular order.
- Westworld (new season! It’s so good!)
- The Wire
- Crazy Stupid Love
- Babe (note: this was Chad’s first time watching this movie, which is one of my all-time favorites. I mean, it’s about a lovable pig. It was so nice to watch it as an adult and get all those same jitters. Also, my text tone has been, “That’ll do, Pig” for about two years.)
- Silver Linings Playbook
- Attack on Titan
- The Bachelor (season 22) – free to stream on the app Tubi right now!
- The Bachelorette (season 13) – free to stream on the app Tubi right now!
- Parks and Rec
- Kim’s Convenience (new season out recently!)
Hike: West Colorow Loop
Chad and I were able to do a quick one-mile hike in our town, only a few blocks from our new house. The Colorow Loop is a beautiful trail that leads up to some amazing views of New Castle. I’m working on a post now, hopefully in time for summer adventures.
Also, shout out to Chad for this amazing photo. He killed it!
And that rounds out my April favorites! Thanks for tagging along on my pursuit of sunshine.