What is your name and where are you currently?
Amanda, Upper West Side in Manhattan
Are you where you normally live?
Yes, but I just moved apartments on March 13!
What are you currently reading?
I just finished The Silent Patient - it was pretty good. I’m usually a library person and I really miss it - but there is a bookstore close to me (Book Culture on 112th street) that is doing contactless pickup! I called in three books over the weekend so now I have a little stack to get through - I got Save Me the Plums, Lost Children Archive and The Orphan Master’s Son. I also signed up for Book of the Month club so I have Valentine on its way to me too!
What are you currently watching?
American Idol, Tiger King, The Outsiders
What are you currently listening to?
Jessica Simpson’s new book on audible - it’s amazing
Do you have a recipe to share?
I’ve made sure to always have homemade granola and chex mix on hand. My guilty pleasure lunch is a tuna melt! And for dinners I’ve cooked a few recipes from Bon Appetit’s list of 86 Bean Recipes; another new favorite is this recipe for Instant Pot Carnitas - so good! Oh, and I’ve been making a LOT of nachos.
How are you moving your body/exercising?
Taking my dog, Moose, on long walks in Riverside Park. I try to be out with her for at least an hour a day.
If you’re buying anything, what is it?
Since I just moved a few weeks ago, I’ve had a lot of projects to do inside. I’ve been on an organization kick, so I ordered some pantry and cabinet organizers, plus baskets for my linen closet. I also ordered a few quarantine-friendly things - like these joggers and matching hoodie from Old Navy and this camo set from J.Crew. I’m having a baby in July, so I’ve also ordered a few cute things for the baby (like one of each of these animal sweaters for next Fall!) -- it’s a good time to buy since there are so many sales, and it helps to look forward to something!
What’s one new thing you started doing big or small since this all happened? (Like a new skill/a hobby or even habit)
More regular communication with my family and friends - phone calls, zoom happy hours, game nights, movie nights, etc.
Tell me about your evening routine! And your morning one too!
These haven’t changed too much for me! In the evenings, I usually wrap up work by 5:30 or 6 - most days I need to lay down and take a quick nap afterwards until my husband, Brett, finishes work around 7. We try to take our dog on a long walk together after work, come home and cook dinner and then watch something on TV. It’s fun when our post-work walk coincides with the 7pm citywide clapping/noise making for to show appreciation for essential workers - our dog gets very confused but it’s sweet to see neighbors hanging out of their windows. In the mornings, I wake up and immediately need to eat something (hah) so I usually have a granola bar while I take Moose on her morning walk. I come home, shower and get dressed for the day in leggings and a sweater or sweatshirt. My makeup routine is almost non-existent now, but I still wear mascara every day - helps me look less zombie-like on zoom calls! Brett usually makes us coffee and I make us something quick for breakfast - either yogurt or toast. Then we go our separate ways! He works in the living room and I work in the dining room - we say “have a good day at work!” We see each other briefly at lunch time, but otherwise don’t really interact much during the day (which I think has helped us keep our sanity).
What’s one way big or small that you’ve been helping others?
Dana and I have scheduled some zoom art classes once or twice a week for our nieces and nephews and friends with kids - it’s fun for us to spend some virtual time with kids and I think the parents appreciate the little break.
Do you know of any good charities or causes people could donate to?
I have a soft spot for old people, so I personally made a donation to Meals on Wheels! Two of my favorite places I’ve traveled are India and South Africa -- with that in mind, I also made a donation to an organization in Delhi helping deliver food and necessities, as well as a donation to my safari guide from my trip in January 2019 -- she is making deliveries to the family of my safari tracker, Richard, who lives in a local village outside of Kruger National Park.
What keeps you sane?
Getting outside for fresh air - especially on the warmer days!
What one thing can’t you wait to do?
See my family in person! And have a housewarming party in my new apartment.
Who has been the most interesting/unexpected person you’ve spoken with since this started?
Last weekend my cat snuck out of the apartment and went missing for about eight hours - my husband and I went door to door to ask neighbors if they had seen him. It was a funny way to meet our new neighbors and I was pleasantly surprised by how many people offered to help look for him, despite what is going on! Not really corona related, but a cute story with a happy ending - we ended up finding him two floors up.
What’s one thing you’re grateful for?
Essential workers! Especially those who work at grocery stores and for USPS/FedEx/UPS.
Anything else to share?
Stay sane and stay inside!!