What to Cook, Play, Watch, and Listen To At Home While You Might Be “Social Distancing” (Or Just Being A Homebody :))

Well, this weekend might be one that you lean into your inner homebody. I basically always do this on the weekends anyway, so I won’t say “NO” to that encouragement. I’ve vacillated almost daily about how to write about the Coronavirus mostly because there is conflicting information or just a lack thereof and I’m not a scientist. But just like the rest of the world, we are concerned about its spread and taking reasonable precautions to ensure that we don’t worsen the spread to those with compromised immune systems. We need to try our best to protect each other because we are in this together, even if we aren’t necessarily together 🙂

It’s also pouring for 10 days in LA (what is this, OREGON??) so it seems like a good time to hang out with family, build forts, cook, snuggle and be together. You could call this “social distancing” or just being a homebody – either way here are some ideas of what to watch, cook, play, listen to and do with kids (or grownups) while at home this weekend. And if you want something to read (that you have been asking for) come back tomorrow for my “Why I decided to go back to church, even though ….” post.

But for now, let us recommend to you our favorite at home go tos…

What To Watch

From Jess: I think laughing is very important so I watch a lot of comedy. Taylor Tomlinson’s new comedy special, Quarter Life-Crisis, really did the trick last week. I also know that rewatching shows like Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, etc. just make you feel good. I have probably rewatched both of those shows an unspeakable number of times but I always feel better after an episode or two (or ten). NO SHAME in the rewatching game.

From Emily: Uh, Jess, no one knows the art of “the rewatch” like me. Felicity, Veronica Mars and Sex and the City are my actual friends, and I can’t not watch How to lose a guy in 10 days, Devil Wears Prada and The Proposal (wait, and Dirty Dancing, The Notebook , Definitely, Maybe, The Talented Mr. Ripley – I’m a real talent at “the rewatch”)

From Caitlin: Y’all, I LOVE my HBO Now subscription. Catch up on Westworld before season 3 comes out on Sunday. (And also, has anyone else watched Avenue 5??? I can’t tell if I just love the set and costume design or if I actually like the show. I think it’s growing on me though — does anyone else have thoughts? 

From Julie: Sometimes you just need to feel like a child again and Netflix got the hint cause Hook is available and now you know my evening plans.

Also From Julie: Now more than ever I have needed a way to relax. So my sister sent me this yoga video which I have made a part of my morning routine. It’s a good reminder to take a deep breath and get in tune with your body. The video is about 30 mins and easy to follow, so skip the gym and pull out your mat or a towel with me.

From Veronica: My two favorite movie genres are romcoms and Disney movies because what else is there, am I RIGHT? Anywho, here is a list of my favorite movies to watch on a day in! They are heartfelt, funny, emotional and everything you could possibly want to bundle up on your couch or bed! Also, if you have seen these movies multiple times like me, they make for good background noise if you are trying to work 🙂 When Harry Met Sally, Say Anything, Aladdin, The Aristocats, He’s Just Not That Into You, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

From Ryann: My boyfriend and I started watching  The Chef Show a few months ago and I am so happy we did. It is so entertaining but also relaxing, plus I love Jon Favreau and he is a gem in this. It’s a travelogue series with him and Chef Roy Cho (who trained him as he was filming the movie Chef) and all I can say is it is GOOD and heartwarming and probably my favorite cooking show ever.

Also From Ryann: In other more important news, Good Fellas (my favorite movie) is back on Netflix and if you haven’t seen it like most of my coworkers (shame!!) and if you liked the Irishman even a little bit, WATCH IT.

What To Listen To

You may or may not remember we did a HUGE roundup of our favorite podcasts. Regardless we hope it’s a treasure trove of endless entertainment. Now for some new ones…

From Emily – I’m hooked on Monica and Jess (its under Armchair Expert if you subscribe to that). And speaking of Dax, the episode with Whitney Cummings was incredible. Their vulnerability is only matched by their confidence and hilarity, and the levity they can bring to any subject keeps you very entertained (plus I learned so much about AA, and ironically I think I might be addicted to talking about podcasts that talk about therapy).

From Caitlin: My new favorite podcast is The Alarmist, where host Rebecca and guests analyze history’s disasters to figure out what went wrong and who is to blame. Episodes range from Mad Cow Disease to the Burr-Hamilton duel to Y2K to the Irish Potato Famine. (My personal, more fun favorites? “HOME ALONE: WHO IS TO BLAME?” and “THE BREAKUP OF BRAD & JENNIFER: WHO IS TO BLAME?”

From Sara: If you’re wanting to cozy up and listen to something real decadent and romantic (but you’re also a Harry Potter nerd), this is my favorite book on Audible right now.

From Ryann: Bachelor nation, I am talking to you. I know this season is over (good riddance!!) BUT we have a lot coming up so please join me and start listening to favorite recap podcast: Bachelor Party.

From Jess: I believe these podcasts have been mentioned before but they deserve a second shoutout. I love love Monica and Jess Love Boys. It’s fascinating and very relatable whether or not you are looking for a relationship. And I also really love Sibling Revelry with Kate and Oliver Hudson. As someone who hasn’t always had an easy sibling relationship, it’s so inspiring to listen to these stories and has made me want to nurture my relationship with my sibling. 

Also From Jess: This sounds silly but I have hands down (wink) regained my love for Dashboard Confessionals. I saw that an old friend of mine when to a concert on her instastories and it made me immediately want to listen. The nostalgia it brings up is the best. So whether it’s Dashboard or some other band you haven’t listened to in years, I promise it will make you feel oddly happy and dare I say, hopeful.

What To Read

I (Emily Henderson) just finished Where the Crawdad’s Sing which I put off reading because it sounded so boring. It’s very much not boring, in fact it’s good and riveting and I couldn’t put it down. It’s not one of the beloved books written for bored housewives like most of my secret favorite books, so guys, I think I just read lit-er-a-ture again.

From Caitlin: Probably 90% of the books on my shelf are non-fiction, but Daniel Pinkwater is my all-time favorite author and this collection of his books has been a go-to for me for 20 years. It’s fun, escapist and a great read for both kids (I first read it in 4th grade!) and adults (I last read it like, yesterday!). Also, someone on Amazon described it was “Chicken Soup for the Smart Mildly Nerdy Teen’s Soul,” which feels really accurate. 

From Julie: Reese Witherspoon is going to make this book, which is all about the importance of friendship, into a movie and I am so excited. My sister aka my best friend recommended it to me and now I am recommending it to you!

From Ryann: I’ve recommended my favorite book The Secret History before but it’s worth mentioning again. If you haven’t picked up a good book in a while, I implore you to get it, read it, fall in love with it, and then promptly discuss it with me. (Emily loves it too).

From Veronica: I wrote a paper on the book Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers about 3 years ago when I was first experiencing high-stress volumes. It helped me understand how stress affects our everyday lives and acted as a comfort for me knowing that there’s an entire book full of information on the subject.

What To Cook

From Emily: I will be cooking all weekend, which I usually do, with chicken stock simmering all night from tonights roasted chicken. There was, however, a run on kale and spinach at the grocery store, because when pandemic, LA knows what to hoard. Like all the keto ice cream was gone, which I didn’t know was a thing until I saw it in everyone’s carts along with kombucha. I smirked and laughed until I looked in my own cart and well, I wasn’t much different (I was reaching for the baby kale after-all).

Before we get into all of our delicious recommendations of new recipes, here are some of our favorite soup recipe posts that people LOVE: How Soup Changed My Life (& Body)…Really | Healthy (and SO Hearty!) Beef and Vegetable Stew | A Vegan Chickpea and Roasted Cauliflower Curry Soup | Fast & Simple Veggie-Packed Vegan Pho | Homemade Bone Broth & Chicken Meatball Veggie Soup

From Mallory: My boyfriend and I are newly obsessed with Alison Roman on the NYT cooking channel. We recently made this creamy cauliflower pasta and HOT DAMN. Oh, and if you are baking, bake these magic bars and your tastebuds will thank you.

From Sara: This is the coziest, curl up, stay home, and feel better chicken soup I’ve made. (I, Emily feel, that Sara might be forgetting my chicken soup recipe that I always make the team, but game on, Sara – love Emily).

Also From Sara: Hey, if you’re stuck inside for a few days, WHY NOT BAKE? Bon Appetite (my personal religion) has just released a HUGE baking guide – almost like an online baking class, with several recipes to bake in order as you progress in your skills, along with supplemental articles to make you a better baker along the way.

From Ryann: I’ve had this recipe pinned for MONTHS and I believe this weekend is the perfect one to try it out. Nothing says comfort like mushroom risotto right??

What To Wear (To Be Super Comfortable)

From Caitlin: My mom bought me these LL Bean slippers for Christmas after I tried hers on and fell in love with their super soft and squishy footbed.

From Julie: I recently replaced my robe with this one and it’s one of the softest things my hand has ever touched. If I ever feel stressed out I immediately go home and throw it on, instant relaxation.

Speaking of robes, remember this robe review we did? And in that same category, Emily also talked us through her favorite pajama sets.

From Veronica: I am about to introduce you to the BEST blanket to cozy up with. Brought this baby home one weekend and now it’s always a fight to the death between my roommates on who gets to use it when we’re all huddled in front of the TV.

From Mallory: The moment I felt this sweatshirt I knew I had to purchase it.

From Jess: I just bought these joggers and I love them. They are affordable ($20), so comfortable and are a nice break from my black or gray collection. 

What To Do With Kids:

I (Emily) feel like I have talked extensively about what to do with kids to keep them entertained and happy. I’ve even asked you all for advice and ideas and rounded them up to create this sizable list. I also think that scrapbooking is a great activity when you are huddled at home so here is a post where I made “scrapbook” shadow boxes with the kids. But please, don’t forget hide and go seek. We played for an hour and a half recently at the mountain house. Also give them string and tell them to make ninja traps all over the house – it kills hours.

What To Do With Friends (or Partners)

From Sara: We were introduced to this game by Arlyn, and it’s SO fun. We could go for several rounds. And if there’s just two of you, this is mine and Mac’s favorite two-person game.

From Caitlin: THE CRAZY CAT LADY GAME IS THE BEST. Plus, it will not ruin any relationships (a la Monopoly). It’s fun for all ages (and also a great gift for your feline-loving friends, just for future reference!). 

From Ryann: My boyfriend and I are senior citizens and love to play good old fashion dominoes. If you don’t have a set in your home yet, I implore you to get one and start challenging all your guests to play. It’s so fun especially if you are competitive (like me:)).

From Veronica: My roommate swears by the game Phase10 and she is freakishly good at it, and this is the funniest card game where you get to pick your friends’ perfect partners.

We also realize that a lot of people’s jobs and small businesses are being affected so shop small and local when possible. And from one former waitress, I know that industry is being hit right now so if you go out to dinner or drinks and its within your budget, maybe overtip this weekend. Another great idea is to buy gift certificates to the restaurants to use later, but at least supporting them now.

Ok, well that’s it from all of us today. Hope you are excited to dive into some of these recommendations. But most importantly wash those hands, don’t go out if you don’t feel well, try to enjoy this time cozied up and hopefully the anxiety will diffuse a bit. And as always, thank you so much for continuing to support us. I hope that we can provide some much-needed comfort and design escapism in the coming weeks if you need it (reveals are coming Monday and Tuesday of Sara’s house!!). If you guys have any other suggestions on how to help – both the businesses being affected as well as, well, help in general – please leave in comments. xx

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