Safe shopping in crazy times
If you think our safe shopping tip is to tell you to buy toilet paper online, you’re mistaken. But, yeah, we will all look back on this uncertain time in a few years and say “remember when you couldn’t find toilet paper ANYWHERE and the lines at Costco stretched to the wine aisle? That was nuts!”. Today, we’re going to share some tips on how to shop from home and avoid the panic.
How you doin’?
At the moment, we’re in the middle of a crisis, which has gone from bad to worse in the last few weeks. While navigating remote “work from home” challenges, and school closures, most Americans are hunkering down at home, stocking their cupboards and finding comfort in the little things…like binge-watch Friends and re-organizing our closets. Yep, I’ve started the Spring Cleaning thing and I’m sorting and re-sorting all my Target Beauty Box contents for maximum “cruise readiness” when the time comes. Full disclosure, my closet is a hot mess. More on that later, maybe even a Spring Clean video on our CruiseGear channel.
In reality, it’s the kitchen that brings me joy at a time like this and I’m grabbing the opportunity to bake fudgy, gooey brownies and dream up new cocktail recipes. Doesn’t a bourbon cherry slush sound goooood right about now? If Mocktails are more your thing, try the Blackberry Spritzer from this yummy book called simply “Mocktails”.
Truth is, we’re all hurting in some way (thus the aforementioned brownies). If your job hasn’t been impacted, chances are you have a friend who has lost a job, taken a pay cut, or is temporarily without work. We’re all worried about the immediate and long term future and in the words of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain, “this sucks”.
We’re Sticking Together
It’s like a horror version of the movie Groundhog Day, where you hope for a change for the better every morning, but it just doesn’t happen. Who would have guessed that words like “quarantini”, “safe shopping” and “social distancing” would be part of our culture. But, here we are writing an article on safe shopping from home, and trying to avoid the panic. For now that’s all we can do. We’re finding little joys in the isolation – like shopping from home to avoid the panic, comforting one another as a cruise community and making guesses as to when things will get better!
Grocery store shelves are heavily picked over, some are bare, and everyone is stocking up using safe shopping techniques just in case. Today, we want to share a few things we’re shopping for online for OUR household. Our HOPE is that this list will bring you some ideas about safe shopping that encourage you to make the most of this necessary isolation. Hopefully you’ll save some time and avoid braving retail establishments for the time being. We’ve put together a special mini-shop to share a few of our favorite games, “cruisey” books, and some other surprises (think cocktail playbooks) to make home time a little more interesting. If you want you can skip the the rest of the article, and check out the cruise shop now, but be sure to come back! We have more safe shopping ideas for you.
Meal Delivery Services
We’ve been using Freshly and Blue Apron off and on for the last two years. With Freshly, you get pre-cooked meals to just pop in the microwave for a quick re-heat. Prep time is about 3 minutes per meal. We use this service when we are busy, busy, busy- for example when we have LONG days at the office, or when we’re going live several nights per week on our YouTubeChannel and know we’ll be eating late. The service allows you to pick weekly meals that match your needs from a menu of 30+ nutritious dishes. You can choose from classics and seasonal dishes too, like Spring Risotto. You will get $40 off with this link and Freshly will credit us $40 too! That’s what we call a win win!
Blue Apron, another meal delivery service, is a little different. All the ingredients are sent to you, and you do the cooking. Like Freshly, you get to choose your meals and nutritional focus. Blue Apron has introduced us to new flavors, wonderfully unique recipes, and even some veggies we’ve never seen before (ever heard of cone cabbage?). Here is our referral link where you can almost always find promos for new sign ups. Blue Apron is a great weekend option for us. I love to mix up a quick cocktail, turn on some music, and spend a Sunday afternoon crafting my meal. The recipes are easy to follow, flavorful and the meat and seafood quality is TOP notch.
Medication & Vitamins
The last place I want to venture out to right now is the drug store. I always feel a bit “germy” when I have to brave my local drug store for a silly item like a notepad or pen, but now, it feels even more silly to shop in person at the drug store. So, I’ve added a modest supply of pain reliever, vitamins and medications for our family to my amazon cart recently. I even stocked up on small quantities for my office, and purse. Amazon doesn’t permit direct linking to the Advil on the Go packets, but I love them, and use them all the time. Just do a search, and you’ll find them easily. They are terrific. Heck, you can even pop a few in your wallet just in case. They also come in Liquigel form.
Items to make home feel special
Dorothy was right. There’s no place like home. One thing I’m not hearing a lot of complaints about right now is living and I mean LIVING in our jammies. But I digress. All that pajama time can make you feel like you need a little pampering (and grooming). Been thinking of ways to turn home time into self-care spa time? I have. From kitchenware and cooking gadgets to stuff to make my baths feel fancy, here are a few things I’ve purchased lately that feel like little indulgences.
I normally buy bath salts at Costco, but shopping there is definitely a no go on my list for now. I drove by, looked in the parking lot, and immediately became inspired to create this safe shopping article. But back to the home spa idea. These scented salts smell amazing and make your bath feel super luxurious too. If you’re looking for a little escape from the craziness, these bath salts are a great start. They also make a bath soak that’s heavenly and comes in 4 scents.
While you’re in that bath, you’ve GOT to read my favorite “twisty turny” cruise mystery! The Woman In Cabin 10 is a story about a journalist who gets an assignment on a week long luxury cruise ship called “The Aurora”. Spoiler alert, the cruise turns DARK when Lo, the main character witnesses a woman being thrown overboard. It’s a quick read, and you’ll love the twists and turns. Read it now, or save it for your next cruise.
Last Christmas, I was gifted these gorgeous insulated Cappuccino mugs. They are SO pretty and equally nice for a cup of tea. Skip the lines at Starbucks and have a coffee at home. I promise, your friends will be jealous.
If you need a little something caffeinated to fill those mugs, we love Seattle’s Best #5, and it tastes extra yummy with a dash of cinnamon and half and half.
More comfort please
If you like these home comfort suggestions, you may enjoy our favorite lifestyle and home items in our Amazon affiliate store. These are my day to day favorites, and I’ve been slowly collecting the dreamy Caribbean Blue Le Creuset kitchenware for YEARS (thank you, Santa). Junior and I LOVE mixing up homemade whipped cream for pancakes and buttery mashed potatoes in our Kitchenaid Stand Mixer too. Keep an eye out for pretty shades that match your kitchen, or in my case, a shade of aqua, turquoise or teal that will keep you dreaming of a cruise.
Busy nights are ALL about the Instant Pot for us. I got mine at Costco, but you can find a few in our Amazon affiliate home shop . We like to make a VERY quick Instant Pot dinner for our family with two chicken breasts, a few small, whole potatoes, and a chopped onion. Toss all of that in the Instant Pot with about ¼ cup of honey, ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar, and ½ cup of water, along with some salt and pepper and pressure cook it for 4 minutes. Serve with a salad and voila, dinner! Instant Pot cooking does NOT have to be precise. Use your “dump cook” skills or up your game with some Instant Pot recipes.
Stocking the Pantry
Grocery store shelves are heavily picked over, some are bare, and everyone is stocking up just in case. Heck, even Amazon’s Prime Pantry is temporarily shut down due to demand. But, we’ve GOT this and we’re here for you as you find comfort at home.
Many landlocked cruisers are using this time to catch up on a movies and other TV entertainment. You know, like CruiseTipsTV on YouTube?
We try not to do too much snacking in front of the TV, but when we do it’s usually something light. A few of our faves from Prime Pantry are popcorn snack sized peanuts. As snacks go these are relatively healthy, and they don’t make a horrible mess if a few spills happen.
This one may seem silly, but Press and Seal is one thing I don’t like to be without for even a SINGLE day in my home. It has so many uses, and a little bit goes a long way. From storing freshly washed veggies, to covering leftovers, this stuff is wonderful and it stays put. It may not be exciting, but it’s one thing I don’t like to run out of!
If you’re going to cook at home more, you’ll also be doing more dishes. This scented dish soap is priced right, and will have your home (and hands) smelling like Spring.
What are some of your favorite “shop from home items”? Pop over to our Facebook page, and shoot me a direct message to share! We may just add your ideas to our Amazon shop!