We are all adapting to a life of social distancing. While we are still open for business and able to help with your home search, we are all finding different ways to try to enjoy our non-working time. We thought it would be fun to share some of our ideas and thoughts:
Staying in Shape with Live Stream Fitness Classes – Suzanne Conway
Do you find yourself day-dreaming about all the things you will do once the “stay at home” order is lifted? I am! And they are 2 contradictory activities that I obsess about daily. First, is indulging in a gluttonous carb and fat loaded brunch at Highland Kitchen in the form of pancakes, cheesy grits, bacon and biscuits. Second, pedaling manically at TurnStyle Spinning with earsplitting music booming in a dark studio and an instructor motivating me to increase the tension.
To quell these obsessions, I am making pancakes that pale in flavor and fluffiness to Highland Kitchen’s pancakes and not even attempting to duplicate the biscuits. However, I can get sweaty and winded with some virtual classes and so can you! Let’s keep healthy and sane while supporting our favorite fitness studios.
Virtual Live Streaming Classes:
Turnstyle Cycle and Bootcamp: www.turnstylecycle.com/schedule-live-streaming
Boston Yoga Union: www.ompractice.com/studios/bostonyogaunion/
The Bar Method: https://barmethod.com/bar-online/
Barry’s Bootcamp: https://www.barrys.com/schedule/#/week
Back Bay Boxing: https://www.backbayboxing.com
South Boston Yoga: https://www.southbostonyoga.net
Unexpectedly Entertaining a Returning College Student – Janet Daly
Yes, I have binge-watched Tiger King(!), have had to adjust my schedule to late sleepers (and LATE to bed), have paid them to paint bedrooms, helped with cancelling plans for Semester Abroad, and most importantly, tried to help with navigating through the disappointments and feelings about having their independent lives suddenly turned upside down. Silver lining: being grateful for Pre-Corona, normal lives! We will get through this!
Exploring as a Way to Get Fresh Air – Paula Luccio
Explore a new neighborhood! Now is the time to get out here and look around. There is no traffic, plenty of parking, and time on your side to investigate all of the wonderful areas around Boston that deserve a look. Recently I found an interesting table and chairs made of rocks behind the Spaulding Rehab Hospital in Charlestown and the largest in the world saw used in boat making. It is amazing what you learn when you have time to read the signs! There is fishing allowed and a beautiful rock garden with sea life sculptures. Look around and enjoy while you are able!
Ideas for Shows to Watch– Mike Schwartz
Tiger King (Netflix) (Because everyone else is doing it)
Better Call Saul (AMC/Netflix)
This is Us (NBC)
Law and Order SVU (NBC/Peacock/Hulu)
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO/Hulu)
Older, but Still Great:
The Office (Peacock/Netflix)
Sopranos (HBO and various streaming services)
The Wire (HBO)
Modern Family (ABC/Hulu)
Breaking Bad (Netflix)
Sons of Anarchy (Hulu)
Cooking at Home – Iana Ulianova
Cooking at home can be a fun (and healthy) activity while you are spending most of your time at home. Try making these popular dishes yourself, or explore different cuisines to find something new to try.
Mexican (Tacos): https://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/best-chorizo-tacos-recipe/
Korean (Bibimbap): https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/bibimbap
Chinese (Kung Pao Chicken): https://www.chinasichuanfood.com/kung-pao-chicken/
Italian (Homemade Fresh Pasta): https://www.recipesfromitaly.com/make-italian-homemade-pasta/
Russian (Borsch with beef or vegetarian): https://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/summer-favorites/borsch/
Haven’t gone grocery shopping in a while? Try recipes with 5 ingredients or fewer: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipes/16397/everyday-cooking/more-meal-ideas/5-ingredients/?page=2
Farming at Home – Andrew Bemben
If you had a ‘Green Thumb’ itch leading up to the Spring of 2020, I’m sure it is a burning fire inside you now! With today’s circumstances and the “Stay at Home Order” being extended until May 18th, I’m sure many of you are itching to get your hands dirty while having a sustainable fresh produce supply! Also, I am sure you want to keep your distance going to the grocery store, until you absolutely have to! Here are a few indoor/outdoor garden plants that will make you have the excitement of saying: “The fruits of my own labor”!
1) Cherry Tomatoes - These plants are very easy to grow/maintain. Whether you’re growing them indoors or outdoors, just make sure that they have a good area where light or sun hits them about 7-9 hours per day. Water every day until the top soil is moist, but do not overwater. It will take 60-80 days to have a mature cherry tomato plant. Watch this plant take shape and pick the fruits of your own labor as you please to just pop in your mouth or make a Caprese.
2) Cucumber Plants - These plants need a little space between each other, a trellis or have them in a hanging pot. You will notice that these plants are vigorous growers that really branch out! Cucumber plants need about 8-10 hours of sun or light per day, with about 1-2 inches of water per week (once/twice per day). You will start to notice these vegetables mature within 50-70 days. Always great to make pickles, put in a salad or eat them plain with salt/pepper.
3) Jalapeño Pepper Plants - These plants also need a bit of space as they grow very high (2-3 ft.). Jalapeño plants also love the sun (10-12 hours), so be sure that they are in a sunny area or under light for the majority of the day. These plants also need a good amount of water, so check soil moisture often. Water about 3-5 times per week. You will notice that these vegetables will be ready to harvest within 60-80 days and that colors range from green, red to orange. Always great to add a little heat to your favorite dish or make salsa.
Not only will you have fresh produce but by growing your own plants, you might make this into a new hobby!
How To Entertain Two Young Kids While Trapped at Home – Eric Shabshelowitz
“School’s out for Summer… School’s out forever…”. Those lyrics were magical when I was young, but devastating when coming from the Governor’s mouth earlier this month (even if that wasn’t exactly the way he said it). We have two kids under the age of 5 at home and this past month and a half of imprisonment – I mean, social distancing – has them stir-crazy. Some of the things that have helped us get by:
Disney+: Both a blessing, and a curse. There is an enormous library of Disney movies to choose from. But my kids just want to watch Frozen 2. Every. Single. Day.
Obstacle Courses: Cushions, pillows, chairs, blankets, rope/string. We have learned that anything and everything can be transformed into an obstacle course, indoors or out. Great for getting them some physical activity and offering parents the chance to exert their athletic dominance over their offspring.
Hide-and-Seek: Teaches problem-solving, let’s them explore, and can buy a few minutes of solitude if you can find a really good hiding spot.
Other notables: Cardboard boxes, puzzles, FaceTime with Grandparents.
Please, please, please send me any other ideas! Please!
Playing Games at Home – Carol Korbman
During quarantine, I have been very lucky to been able to spend time with my adult kids and partner at home and have lots of fun playing many different games. If you are looking for a 2-person, simple game, Gin Rummy is the easiest one to play. The only thing you need is one deck of cards, you can play a few quick rounds or you can play for hours, the game moves very fast and keeps you entertained. Looking for a game that will take 20-30 minutes? Qwirkle is our favorite. It can get very competitive and you really need to think to get the most points to win. Our all-time favorite board game is Catan; love the strategy involved and every game can be very different. It can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours; the more you play the better you get at it. In the last few days, we have been experimenting with playing with extended family over the internet. So far, we love playing skribbl.io, a drawing and guessing game. Another application that we like is houseparty, it has 3 or 4 different fun games that you can play remotely. It is great to laugh at home or over the internet with people you love playing all these silly games.
Some Favorite Take Out/Delivery Options – Shelagh Brennan
Are you tired of cooking? If you are missing dining out, these local favorite restaurants offer take out/delivery options (some favorite options from each are included in parentheses).
La Voile - www.lavoilerestaurants.com - Back Bay, Brookline (foie gras)
Mistral - www.mistralbistro.com - Back Bay (thin crust pizza)
Select Oyster Bar - www.selectoyster.com - Back Bay (Duxbury oysters)
Trident Cafe - www.tridentbookscafe.com - Back Bay (books delivered too)
The Butcher Shop - www.thebutchershopboston.com - South End (Lasagna Bolognese)
Myers & Chang - www.meyersandchang.com - South End (wok-charred udon noodles)
Toro - www.toro-restaurant.com - South End (quesos)
At-Home Exercise Routine – Jack Lavanchy
Just because you can’t go out doesn’t mean you can’t work out. Exercise is especially important in this current environment. With all of us stuck inside and not being able to follow our regular routines, it can be easy to get into bad habits. The key is to make time every day and do something to keep moving. Not only are there physical benefits, but mental ones as well. Sound body, sound mind, right?
I’ve created a workout circuit anyone will be able to do and you won’t even need equipment!
Pick four exercises of your choice and repeat in order four times with 2 minutes of rest in between each round. Slowly increase reps or number of rounds as the exercises become easier.
*20 Second Plank
*10 Pushups (Keep knees on ground if too difficult)
*20 Seconds of Mountain Climbers
*15 Air Squats
*10 Lunges (Each Leg)
*20 Seconds of Jumping Jacks
If you’re just getting started, do the circuit one time for a few days. Once you get used to it, try to go through the circuit twice and keep adding until you can get through it four times. You will feel better and have a better outlook on things too!
Which Wine is Best During the Coronavirus Quarantine – Joseph Palermino
As an avid wine aficionado, I have been asked which wine, of the more than 250,000 wines in the world, is best during this corona crisis. Picking one wine out of a quarter of a million isn’t easy. Easier to pick an excellent real estate acquisition in Boston, at least statistically. However, one wine does seem to be the only choice in these difficult and uncommon times. That wine is champagne. It’s production methods and fermentations are unique and extremely complicated. How else would one get all of those lovely bubbles? But that is not the reason I chose champagne. Champagne is surely the most celebratory wine. It is widely consumed on a myriad of festive occasions. And that is why I pick champagne. During these difficult times we need to celebrate and appreciate the best things and people in our lives—past, present and future. Be positive and toast to a future of hope, love, peace and prosperity. Champagne is a most noble companion on our future journey!