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These Items Made Our Quarantine Experience Just A Little Bit Better

APW Staff Quarantine Buys & Things We've Learned On The Way

Whew. These three months of shelter in place feel like they flew by… and were like ten years long at the same time. Have I lived multiple lifetimes since March? No, but it sure does seem like it. After a month or so of quarantine it became clear very quickly, that I’d need to purchase some things to make my time in my one-bedroom mansion just a little more comfortable. And I wasn’t the only one that was starting to feel that way. I could tell by the APW staff dropping “OMG I got this and it was so great” recommendations into Slack.

Generally speaking, most of us have had our sights set on home goods and garden supplies. Which is no surprise there, given that we’re all spending a lot more time at home. And let’s not forget self care items. With no professional grooming services open, some of us have taken the DIY approach while some of us have just said F-it. Our staff quarantine vibes range from hair done, nails done to casual cool. Some of us are coming out of this thing as amateur chefs and others have found that they actually do have a green thumb. And from what you’ll see below, there is no right way to get through quarantine.

At the end of the day I think we’re all just trying to roll with the punches and go easy on ourselves and that’s the goal, right? So, we’ve rounded up our staff quarantine picks that are making our days just a little more easy and enjoyable.

Meg’s Quarantine Buys

Here we are in Quarantine, and my shopping picks this month have me showing up pretty much entirely on brand. I’m indulging in self care with a heavy dose of vanity (no “letting myself go” over here, I never was #nailsdoneeverythingdid for anyone other than me in the first place). I’m also shopping Jewish womxn and Black womxn owned small businesses. I included a lot of Black owned businesses where I overspent in last weeks roundup, but notable buys including this head wrap (which I bought for both Black and Orthodox friends last week… and myself), curly hair products from Pattern, which I could not recommend more highly. Seriously, their conditioner changed my life. So in short, let’s get vane, political (and a little comfy).

The Studio Box by Olive & June

THE MANI PEDI KIT: Chances are you’ve seen this nail kit on Instagram, if you hang out around there. In the old world I had my nails done most of the time, and in fact I went into quarantine with a fully bling-ed out manicure that made me horrifically sad whenever I looked at it. So once I peeled that gel off, I ordered this box from (womxn owned) Olive & June hoping it would live up to the hype. It did, and now my nails are a soothing creamy white, which makes me feel pulled together without feeling like a sad memory of the life I’m not living right now. Doing these mani’s and pedi’s were easy and quick, and I suspect I’ll get a lot better at them before this is all over.

Frock “Classic” by Mimu Maxi

Classic Frock: As anyone who pays any attention to how I show up on Instagram knows, my vibe is less loose fitting and more body-con with a plunge v-neck. But it’s 2020, and times are a changing. I got this dress on sale from my Orthodox Jewish womxn owned favs, Mimu Maxi, mostly because I liked the color, and I know from experience that their quality is impeccable. Now that I have it, I’d call it “high fashion nightdress vibes” which is everything I want in the year of our Lord Fuck This Shit. It’s beyond comfy, is made of heavy jersey with a stunning flow, and has flawless details.

Cleo Sandals by A. Soliani

Cleo Sandals: I’m not exactly buying shoes right now because… why? But I’d been looking for an excuse to shop this Jewish womxn owned brand for awhile, and these shoes came up on a super cool secret sale (you actually have to search the website for them, but I’m giving you the direct link). They’re the closest thing to shoes I’m wearing right now, are handmade in Italy, and show off my new DIY pedi perfectly.

DYSON Airwrap™ Styler 

DYSON Airwrap Styler: I would not share this bazillon dollar hair product with you unless it I had personally tested it and it had literally everything in my whole world. But I have, and it HAS. For those of you who’ve been around here for a minute know, the frizz and curl pattern in my hair is a perpetual struggle. It’s not quite one thing, not quite another, and the only thing that’s made it manageable over the years was blowouts. And blowouts? Not happening right now. So I asked for this for my 40th instead of well, all the celebrations I was going to have. (SOB.) And it has CHANGED EVERYTHING. It’s not really a hair dryer and not really a curling iron. Instead it’s a tool that gives me a quick and easy blow out at home (and it’s so fast). It is a game changer, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly.

Keriann’s Quarantine Buys

As I was pulling together my list I joked to Chelsea that it really paints a picture of me as an anxious allergy sufferer who just wants peace and quiet, which is not… wrong. 😅  Being stuck inside for months HAS caused both my anxiety and allergies to spike, so my best buys have been the things that have soothed them.

LEVOIT Air Purifier via Amazon

AIR PURIFIER: As it turns out, both my husband and myself are allergic to dust—from snuffling and sneezing and itchy watery eyes (me) to hives (him)—something that’s become much more annoying when stuck inside 24/7. We picked up one of these puppies to run while cleaning (which definitely helps), and have actually ended up leaving it on all the time, which also seems to be helping.

Cotton Napper by Bearaby 

Cotton Napper by Bearaby: I’d had my eye on this weighted blanket since it sold out during the holidays, and it finally came back in stock just in time to be delivered as we were going into quarantine and my anxiety was at its highest. It is just as gorgeous in person and IMHO weighted blankets are not just hype, they really help.

COWIN SE7 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones via Amazon 

NOISE CANCELING HEADPHONES: I actually picked these up last year as a remedy for my flight anxiety (highly recommend!), but now that traveling is no longer an issue (😭😭😭), they’ve come in incredibly handy when my stuck-at-home husband wants to play electric guitar in the middle of my workday or just when I want to feel like I’m being transported outside of our tiny house with a meditation or audiobook.

Alyssa’s Quarantine Buys

Quarantine has been a roller coaster in these parts. Between the balance of distance learning for the 6-year-old (thank goodness that’s over), and just trying to keep our spirits up, it’s been a wild ride. But, there’s definitely been some things bringing me joy. The little things mostly, like a fresh mani/pedi done by me for $0, a cute sign in the front window, and since it was 104 degrees last week… homemade ice cream is on the docket for sure.

Together We Will See It Through Camp Flag by Oxford Pennant via Etsy

Oxford Pennant: My partner ordered this camp flag at the beginning of quarantine times, and while it took a bit to get to us, we absolutely love having it. It came with two suction cups, so we hung it in the front window, and I smile every time my dog starts barking because someone stopped to snap a photo. (Okay, I smile after I yell at the dog.)

Homfa Bamboo Shelf via Amazon

A new kitchen pantry: We live in a 100-year-old little house in Sacramento, and for the first year we lived here we just put up with having only one small cupboard that we used as a pantry. But when you add my addiction to homemade sourdough, plus my partner’s need to perfect pizza dough, and the 6-year-old’s new-found cereal snack habit… we needed more space. So all the mason jars cutely labeled landed on this shelf, and the less pretty stuff is in the cupboard.

Flower Nail Decals by Tattoorary via Etsy

Cute nail Decals: I’ve been finding the time to do a mani/pedi at home weekly (give or take). Picture me at my dining table, feet in a big white construction bucket I found in the garage…. it’s not glamorous. But, these cute decals make it all feel worth it.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer Ice Cream Maker Attachment via Williams Sonoma

Ice Cream Maker: This is only my second summer as a Sacramento resident, but I’ve been a California girl most of my life. It’s darn hot, ya’ll. That’s what I know. Having a way to make quick, easy, and relatively healthy ice cream at home is a game-changer. Fruit about to go bad? Make it into ice cream. Everyone wins.

Chelsea’s Quarantine Buys

Shelter in place has caused me to slow down in all of the ways. Life just feels… more like back-to-basics. Or maybe not as complicated and rushed as things were just three months ago. My partner and I moved into our apartment last August and never really got around to setting things up just how we wanted them, so we’ve taken this time to make our home feel “lived in” and like our own. We’ve added a few more houseplants to the mix and my partner even convinced me to get a pink rug for our living room (more on that below). But besides that, I’ve pretty much ditched my denim and committed to a new skincare routine and even discovered a newfound love for super size scrunchies (gasp! I know.)

Versed Stroke of Brilliance Brightening Serum

Versed Stroke of Brilliance Brightening Serum: After a few weeks of shelter in place my skincare routine just stopped working. Flat out. Maybe it was the change of environment or constantly being in my home, but the stress acne came out! I bought this serum on a whim and honestly didn’t have high expectations for it but now it’s my favorite product in my line up. Dull skin be gone!

Linen Kimono Wrap with Pockets by Maybe Collection via Etsy

Linen Kimono Wrap: I’ve been living in hoodies and sweatshirts and needed something lightweight and comfortable that makes me feel put together while I’m working from home. This linen wrap is perfect and comes with so many color options!

Albina Vivid Floral Accent Rug via RugsUSA

Albina Vivid Floral Rug: My partner and I decided we need some more color in our living room so we ordered this floral beaut. And let me tell you, IT IS PINK. Like really pink, but it’s growing on me and looks great with our forest green sofa.

That’s it from us, at least till next month… assuming the internet still works and money is still good then. Who knows really? But now on to you? What small (or large) buys have made quarantine feel a little better for you. (And if you’re not shopping at all, tell us how that’s going.)

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