Take a peek behind the scenes in my March 2020 Diary!
March 2020 Diary
Welcome to my Diary! This monthly series gives you a peek behind the scenes of Hello Little Home. I’m sharing all the things I've been up to that don’t make it on the blog. Hopefully, we’ll get to know one another better in the process!
This month was a little different than most ... to say the least. It's kind of crazy how much can change in a month. Although this virus was definitely on my radar in February, I didn't grasp how serious things were going to get.
Like many of you, I spent most of the month at home. This blog is my job, so work-wise at least, not a lot has changed. Although it certainly hasn't been fun watching my website traffic plummet to record lows (thankfully, it's rebounding a bit). Apart from work though, it feels like everything has changed, and I've only left my apartment three or four times. And then only to get groceries or go for a short walk.
I live on the 18th floor of a high rise building, and simply getting in and out using the small elevators has been very stressful. Thank goodness we have a spacious balcony, which makes getting fresh air a little easier. Needless to say, I've been feeling seriously envious of anyone with a backyard!
My husband usually travels for work during the week, but he's been working from home for the past couple weeks, too. Having him here has been comforting, and thankfully, we haven't gotten on each others nerves too much ... yet!
Besides trying not to constantly freaking out, here's what else has been up this month!
Quick Trip to Austin
Although most of my upcoming trips have been cancelled or postponed, I was able to take a short overnight trip to Austin in the beginning of the month.
This trip was so fun! We hung out with one of our best friends and her sweet pup, ate lots of delicious food, and went to see the live show for one of our fave podcasts, My Dad Wrote a Porno.
If you could use a laugh right now (and who couldn't?), I highly recommend checking out this podcast. It's way more funny / cringey than titillating, but as you can probably guess, there's a lot of dirty language. Make sure to wear headphones around kids (or if you live in an apartment with thin walls ... ha).
Cancelled Mexico City Trip
I absolutely love Mexico City and was looking forward to spending 10 days there this month. Of course, I didn't want to risk catching the virus while traveling (or inadvertently spreading it), nor did I want to get stuck in Mexico for weeks (or months).
But to say I was bummed about cancelling this trip is a major understatement. Not to mention, everything was already paid for, so I thought I was going to lose a lot of money.
Thankfully, I was able to get the money back for the Airbnb. I also got a credit for my nonrefundable plane tickets (lesson learned: after this, I won't be cheap and book nonrefundable tickets ever again). So I know I'll be visiting someday somewhat soon ... if only to use up that credit!
Have you had to cancel any upcoming travel plans?
End of an Era
When my husband and I lived in New York, we signed up to get NYC IDs. It was a new program at the time, and not only did you get a city ID, but you also could sign up for free memberships to museums, like the MET.
The perks of that ID were awesome, but the minute I signed up, I got a jury duty summons ... ha! Thankfully, when I reported for duty over the summer, there was nothing on the docket, and I was dismissed almost immediately (and for the next five years).
I still have my ID, and while those museum memberships expired after a year, I've been able to use it for other perks (like a free ferry ride to Governors Island) whenever we visited NYC.
Long story short ... although I briefly considered committing fraud to renew it (kidding), my NYC ID finally expired this March. It truly feels like an end of an era ... I really miss living in NYC (and would go back in a heartbeat). Plus, it's also hard to believe I've lived in Dallas for four years already. Time really does fly by!
My birthday was on March 28, so after cancelling that CDMX trip we celebrated quarantine style!
My husband made me a birthday card (I may have guilted him into that one ?) and he baked me these Salted Caramel Butter Bars, even though he's never baked anything before. They turned out great, so I have to give him major props.
We also got takeout from a favorite local restaurant and drank some wine (which always puts me in a better mood!). So all-in-all, it was actually a pretty great day!
Have you celebrated any special events while stuck at home?
What I'm Cooking
I'm used to being home alone during the week, so anything I cook usually lasts me for about four meals. Well, not with my husband home ... I've been cooking at least two meals a day, and it's a lot.
Luckily, I was able to stock up on basics and veggies a few days before people started hoarding groceries. So apart from a few random things running out / low, we've been in pretty good shape. I also got a Blue Apron box this week, and I'm trying out Hello Fresh the next couple weeks. I love using these kinds of meal delivery services, but even more so now, when it's hard to find fresh vegetables or even staple ingredients.
Here are some of the things I've cooked over the past couple weeks:
- Cheese and Egg Breakfast Sandwiches ... pretty much every day, although we're almost out of English Muffins at this point.
- Homemade Granola + Greek Yogurt
- Vegetable Stew ... hopefully, I'll have this new recipe ready for you this week!
- Pasta with Roasted Vegetables ... I've made a few versions of this with different veggies and simple butter or olive oil sauces.
- Kale Salad with Chickpeas, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and Goat Cheese
- Rice and Bean Tacos
- Farro Kale Salad with Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower ... this was sooo good that I may write up a recipe!
- Lentil Rice Casserole ... kind of similar to this Food.com recipe. Much more delicious than it sounds.
- Shashuka-ish Eggs that I made with leftover frozen Romesco Sauce. Yum!
- Parmesan Pretzel Knots ... this is the second time I've made these, and they're so good! Definitely a fun (but fairly easy) project recipe, if you need one.
- Homemade Pizza ... both plain cheese and a tomato/ olive / pesto / feta combo.
- Biscuit Pot Pie ... kind of similar to my Ninja Foodi Pot Pie recipe, but I made the filling on the stovetop and baked it topped with canned biscuits.
What I'm Watching / Listening To
Apart from panic reading the news, my media consumption has been really different than usual (lots more binging). For one thing, I definitely haven't listened to as many podcasts as usual with my husband home and almost zero travel.
Like everyone else it seems though, I've been transfixed (and horrified) by the Tiger King. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this documentary and the animal abuse is very hard to watch, but with all its hard-to-believe twists and turn, it sure was a great distraction.
I've also watched a few episodes of Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, which I'm really enjoying!
Other than that, most of my free time has been dedicated to binging The Sopranos. I never watched it when it first aired, so it has been fun to catch up. We're already on the last season (ha), so I need to figure out what to watch next. Any ideas?
What's Coming Up Next Month
At this point, it doesn't look like this virus isn't going away anytime soon (at least in the U.S.). So I'm planning to keep staying home to stop the spread. Hopefully, by the end of April things will be looking a little brighter.
I hope you enjoyed reading my March Diary. Before you go, check out my February Diary to see what I was up to last month ... AKA back when I actually left the house!
I hope you and your family have been staying healthy! What have you been up to this month? Are you staying home, or do you have an essential job and have to go out?