Call it COVID-19 times, call it couch weather, call it what you like: here is a list of five of my current favorites. Coincidence or not that they all start “C”?
1. Call the Midwife
When I had run out of shows to binge watch in my Netflix cue, I received an email from Netflix suggesting that I try Call the Midwife. I was hesitant purely because the image showed captions, so I assumed it wasn’t in English. I like to watch my binge-worthy tv, not read it.
After it kept popping up not only in my inbox, but in the Netflix app and on social media, too, I gave it a go. Ends up that it’s a BBC drama set in an impoverished area of London in the 1960’s, following the lives of nurses as they welcome babies in the world and tend to other medical and social needs of the community. While it’s non-fiction, I appreciate the historical accuracy of the medical practices and world culture portrayed.
Oh, and it is most certainly in English, but with a lot of new vocabulary (i.e. pram, nappy, mac). The good and bad news is that there are 9 seasons, so plenty to watch!
2. Color Street
While I don’t indulge in a lot of cosmetic self-care regimes, a good manicure is one of my favorite indulgences. It used to be that my monthly manicures were the 60 minutes I’d get to myself, with the added benefit of my cuticles being cared for by someone trained in the matter.
Since the pandemic started, I’ve been giving myself manicures thanks to Color Street. These nail polish strips are where it’s at! They are so easy to apply that I continue to be impressed by my abilities. I feel put together even when I’m at my wit’s end and wearing a stretched out sports bra and leggings. Not to mention, they offer a creative outlet with endless possibilities for combinations and designs.
3. Cashew Cream
I used to follow a vegan diet, but didn’t try cashew cream at that time in life. It wasn’t until I owned a high speed blender (and was eating an average amount of dairy) that I went for it. Cashew cream is now my favorite substitute for dairy-based saucy ingredients. I’m no chef, so I don’t know how better to describe it. I do, though, like a non-dairy option that is arguably even more delicious than its cheesy counterparts.
How do you make it? That’s very easy. You soak some unsalted cashews for 30 minutes to 24 hours, drain them, add some fresh water, and then blend it up until it’s the consistency you prefer. Then you add it to dishes! Most recently, I’ve used it in cream of broccoli soup, crockpot chickpea tikka masala, and lemony basil pasta (I roast the garlic first in this one).
I hope I’m not giving away my best-kept secret: one of my go-to destinations of late is Crosstown Concourse in Midtown. It’s within walking distance from my house and is dog- and kid-friendly. I’ll load up the kids – fur and human – and take a stroll there. Then we pick up sundries from Curb Market, grab coffee and cookies from French Truck, and/or get ice cream from Area 51. My daughter can run around on the second and third floors mostly unobstructed. We rarely have to come anywhere close to another human being. I get to look at the architecture, art, or my phone, and my kid is worn out by the time we leave. It’s seriously become my favorite quarantine destination.
5. Cat Scratcher Houses
If you have pets and are a frequent Target shopper (in person or online), you might have noticed the ever-changing variety of cardboard cat scratcher houses available. From yoga studies to taco trucks and everything in between, there is surely a style to fit your cat’s every architectural desire.
I just added the RV Cat Scratcher to my cart. My house is small, and I don’t like a lot of extra stuff laying around, but maybe my kitty will scratch the floor of the RV rather than my favorite rug on the floor of my dining room.