We wanted to reach out to you from a place of compassion and thoughtfulness. We are filled with hope and prayer for anyone suffering physically, mentally or financially. This is a terrible moment in history however it is our greatest hope that from it, we will come back with a stronger, albeit humbler sense of self. In the spirit of inspiration, we've taken a moment to ask a few of our friends for their thoughts on how to stay sane, stay calm and stay motivated. We hope that above all else, these thoughts give you inspiration during this time. And we hope that should you find inspiration, that it carries you through to a time when we can all be together to share thoughts and ideas in person again.
AUDREY MARGARITE: Food really is comfort. Plus, my son enjoys baking with me, so I’ve found that it’s a great activity to do together during this time. We recently made Preppy Kitchen’s Edible Cookie Dough balls. They were SO easy to make and SO good. They were gone within a day!
JEN POTTER: Every day the sun shines, my daughter and I turn on the song "One Day" by Matisyahu, take a moment to stretch, turn our faces toward the sun and say thank you because we are here and we are together.
WENDY GOODMAN: What I am trying to do is take one area of chaos in my apartment and deconstruct it to make some order!! I think we get overwhelmed, at least I do, when I attempt to "clean up" and "organize" and then I end up wandering into the kitchen wishing I had a VAT of chocolate ice cream to devour. It hasn't gone well so far!!!
TEDDIE & COURTNEY GARRIGAN (a.k.a. Coco & Dash): We are reminding ourselves to stay in gratitude for the excellent and praiseworthy things, large and small, that surround us in this very moment. Courtney recommends the book 52 Weeks of Conscious Contact. And we both find a reason to laugh every day.
AMY BERGER ROY (a.k.a. Lucky Birds Bakery): So incredibly fortunate to live four blocks from my bakery that now feels like my private baking studio. I am by myself, without staff and finding bliss in the solitude as I reimagine my small business. Baking, writing, working on that forever postponed cookbook and filling small bespoke orders for curbside pick up each day. I feel grateful and inspired. I am also filled with joy from all the mothers that are emailing me to have cakes delivered to their sons and daughters in Brooklyn for their birthdays and from all my loyal customers who are ordering cookies by the dozen and countless cakes and scones hoping I don’t close up shop. My heart is full on that front alone!
ALISON BRUHN & DELIA FOLK (a.k.a. The Style That Binds Us): Delia says "I am staying sane with music! If I am feeling restless or need a mood boost, I put on my favorite tunes and have a dance party. I finish breathless, sweating and rejuvenated!" Alison and Delia created this playlist just for this very occasion!
JIMMY STEINMEYER: Turn off your TV, put on your favorite music, look at beautiful books, read! I read recipes and think ... what will I cook next? Plus I love setting a table and fortunately have lots to choose from ... All those years visiting London. A favorite of mine is from Lindsay Ostrom's brilliant Pinch of Yum's blog ... Basil Garlic Tomato Sauce.
CHARLOTTE MOSS: Who says you need a party to dance...make your own. Crank up the music and throw those clothes in the washing machine, load the dishwasher, pick up after your partner! fix lunch ... whatever ... sure goes by quicker with music, and doesn’t dancing put you in an UP mood?! And if I was DJ'ing ... MOTOWN always works!
BILL TANSEY: I loved LEGO as a child. They allowed me to experiment and teach myself about design, proportion and structure. Now some 50 odd years later I'm building world monuments from the LEGO “adult section" and still learning!
JILL SHARP WEEKS: We have been sequestered in our house in the country outside of Charleston so have had the great benefit of living under 200-year-old oak trees for the last 5 weeks (we started early!). In addition to lots of walking + gardening + cooking + collaging, I have taken enormous pleasure by starting my day sitting in bed meditating with Vanessa Hong on her IGTV at 8:30 every morning. I’m not a natural meditator and have found her practice very relatable + helpful. Love the chanting mantra moments as they reside with me all day long.
KAYCE HUGHES: A few of the things that are keeping me relatively sane this past week. Long hikes in the woods, lots of painting, The English Game (on Netflix), Untamed (on Audible), slowly cleaning out the attic, eating lots of homemade chocolate chip cookies, and hot bubble baths…
BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN: I’ve been keeping my sanity by learning new skills, and for the past two weeks I’ve been focused on art tutorials. My artist friend Colleen O’Connor added some to her Instagram story highlights, and they’ve been hugely helpful. In the past eight days, I’ve completed six paintings, two of which I’m actually planning to hang up in my own house; the others, well, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
I have a few things that are bringing me joy ... needlepointing new canvases, watching old episodes of Ellen (she puts a smile on my face daily) and our nightly family card games. We all seem to be in different places in the house during the day but come dinner we are all together and laughing no matter what!
JUILANNE TAYLOR: Think of this time as a cocoon. How will you use this gift of time that we’ve been given? Some will emerge as a butterfly with new skills, a fresh perspective, a reinvention of oneself. Others will emerge a slug. I want to encourage everyone to dig deep and find the strength to persevere - to emerge as a beautiful and strong butterfly. #homeschool tip: a bit of structure is key to help me get through the day. I have three kids, and they each get a bin with 1 cup to use all day and an allotment of snacks. I also close the kitchen/pantry during certain hours.
Well, that's all for now but we hope that this gives you some food for thought. We also hope you're able to grab that quiet moment here and there. While so much pain surrounds us, we have to hold onto those precious moments that we don't ordinarily find in our busy lives. We are in this new normal together and we wish you safety and above all else, health.
Xx Audrey & Jen