Hello From The Inside

Arya, wondering why I haven’t left the house in days.

Like everyone else who isn’t on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, I’m dusting off old hobbies while I stay at home. So hello again, dear blog.

Right now, I simultaneously feel like I have a lot to say and nothing to say. I guess that makes sense since t’s a very weird time that we’re living in. It’s strange to think that we’re in the midst of something, that there was the time before quarantine and social distancing and eventually there will be an “after” — but right now, we’re in the “during.” I realized the other night that, if we’re lucky, one day we’ll be able to tell each other, “remember that time we were quarantined?” Nothing lasts forever, including this.

This is day 29 of quarantine/social distancing for me. I worked from home for the first week or so, but was furloughed afterward. Luckily, I’m still insured and I don’t have any dependents. So now, life is a waiting game in many ways. Waiting for unemployment. Waiting for warmer weather. Waiting for normalcy to return, whatever that may look like.

Most days of my days remind me of summer vacation — but without money and without being able to go anywhere. Restaurants are closed. Movie theaters are closed. Libraries are closed. Target is open, but you need to wear a mask to go inside.

Of course, if you’re reading this in April 2020, you know all this because you’re living it too. But I’m writing this for myself because one day this will feel like a distant memory. Part of me wants to remember how uncomfortable and uncertain this time is. This will be part of my life, and I want to be able to look back at this. (It’s part of the reason I blog — it’s like a journal with a search function.)

The days are blurring together, but mercifully go by quickly. Some are better than others. I’m passing the time watching television or reading. I dug out my adult coloring book from 2016. I scroll on Instagram and walk the dogs. Happy hour happens on FaceTime. Sometimes, I cook or bake so I can have something new to do. This is the first time I’m writing, for my own enjoyment, in months.

Right now, I have a handful of drafts from the time before. I have all the time in the world to finish them, but don’t want to risk sounding incredibly tone-deaf. Does anyone care about x,y or z when people are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and trying to stay healthy? I’m going to keep writing because it brings me joy, but I’m also trying my best during this weird time. And things will probably be weird for a while.

I’ll wrap this up before things totally devolve, but stay safe and stay home if you can. Sending my friends and family a virtual hug.

~ Sarah

Anti-Bucket List: A Look Back At The Decade

A couple weeks ago, some of my Philly friends and I went to New York for a day trip. I went to college in the Bronx, and a lot of my college friends still live in and around the city. For work, I also commuted from Philly to New York pretty frequently. So it had been a long time since I had gone to New York without any obligations — just to walk around and explore with friends.

The day was good for the soul. It’s always nice to have some quality, offline time with girlfriends.  It also reminded me what I love about New York, and brought back a ton of memories from my early 20s.

It’s easy to feel sentimental and nostalgic at the end of the year, and even more so at the end of an entire decade. The 2010s also coincided with my 20s — I was 19 at the start of 2010, and I’ll be turning 30 in the fall. So much has happened over the last 10 years.

Taking cues from some of my blogger friends, I thought this was a good time to share an “anti-bucket list” — basically a look back at what I did accomplish over the last decade:

  • Started this blog! (2010)
  • Went on two Global Outreach trips (2011, 2013)
  • Visited Italy & France with my family (2012)
  • Graduated Fordham (2013)

  • Moved to Philadelphia (2013)
  • Adopted two dogs: Zamboni (2013) and Arya (2015)
  • Was a bridesmaid for high school friends (2015, 2016)
  • Switched jobs three times (at least)
  • Visited my mom in Colombia (2015)

  • Went to Canada and the PNW for the first time (2016)
  • Visited my dad in Costa Rica (2017)
  • Lived by myself for the first time (2017)
  • Started therapy (2017)
  • Helped plan the PHLblogger’s Blog Connect Conference (2017, 2018)

  • Went to the Home Run Derby (2017)
  • Fostered senior dogs (2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Got my first tattoo (2018)
  • Bought a house! (2018)
  • Saw Dwyane Wade’s last game (2019)
  • Did a reading at my friends’ wedding (2019)

It’s crazy to think about how much has changed, how much hasn’t and what stands out years later. Not every year was great — like, I’m sure cool stuff happened in 2014 (I just can’t remember what) and 2016 and 2017 were particularly hard years as well. The last decade had its share of highlights and lowlights, but I can confidently say I’m happier now than I was ten years ago. I’m grateful for that, for the lessons I’ve learned and friends I’ve gained along the way.

Cheers to a happy and healthy 2020!

~ Sarah

Sweater Weather: Cozy Sweaters Under $75

It’s late November, and these short, brisk days are here to stay. This type of weather always makes me want to refresh my sweater collection. Sweaters and leggings are pretty much my late fall/winter uniform, so I rounded up cozy sweaters under $75 — and most are under $50!

Sweaters Under $75

Shop: V-Neck Cable Sweater | Color-Blocked Turtleneck Tunic Sweater | Cable Knit Sweater Tunic | V- Neck Tunic Sweater | Color-Blocked Chevron Turtleneck Sweater

Some sweater trends stood out to me this season. Color-blocking is back, and I especially love the color-blocked chevron sweater can elongate a whole look. The other color-blocked pick (from Target!) would be great to wear into the spring with its brighter neutral shades. Turtlenecks, mock or not, up the cozy factor.

Lots of sweaters are now in tunic lengths, which is awesome — I want to feel comfy wearing them with leggings. Some, like the v-neck tunic sweater from Old Navy, are shorter in the front and on the thinner side, which means they work for a French tuck into skirts or high-waisted jeans.

Looking for more sustainable options? The v-neck cable sweater and cable knit sweater tunic from Pact are made with organic cotton, so no need to feel guilty by splurging a little.

And if you’re looking for ways to mix up your sweater and jeans/leggings combos, I have some ideas here. Stay warm!

~ Sarah

More sweaters under $50: