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    The 5 Easy Recipes I’m Making on Repeat At Home

    A month ago, I was sitting on my couch watching YouTube after dinner. This was a common situation in my life. Eat a gigantic dinner full of the stress of the day, anxieties of the next, and shame of the previous. My parents weren’t unhealthy growing up, but they never really forced me to learn how to cook, meaning I got through much of my life enjoying my dad’s amazing home-cooked meals (of which every single thing was cooked in bacon grease) without learning how to make myself anything nutritious once it came to living on my own. Not to mention, I’ve been in recovery for an eating disorder for five years, and while I’ve learned a few helpful hints throughout therapy and treatment, a pandemic will really flip that right on its head, won’t it? So when I came across a video all about the new Weight Watchers (now called WW), I watched it in its entirety, googled for about an hour, and signed right up. All this to say, I’ve been on a journey the last month to learn how to cook for myself, create proper portions for my meals, address my negative relationship with food, and this program has really helped me establish healthier habits (don’t worry, I’m still planning a major sushi feast featuring wine with my girlfriends tomorrow, and it shall be glorious) and find healthy meals I truly love (which I never thought was possible considering my previous pandemic diet consisting of very few whole foods and many, many bags of Trader Joe’s Sweet Potato Gnocchi). 
    Even on WW, I approach cooking with extreme levity; I rarely make anything that you’d find in a cookbook or a magazine because I truly just cannot be bothered. So, I’ve found a few staples that I add to my rotation when I’m just not feeling like “experimenting.” From classic breakfasts that keep me full all morning to easy work-from-home lunches to sweet treats (eep!), these five have been my go-to meals lately—and they all take under 20 minutes to recreate. 
    PS: if you thought you were coming here for pretty food pictures taken on a fancy camera that were perfectly styled, you might want to redirect yourself to our meal prep archives. But if you want some bomb ass recipes that are easy as hell but maybe don’t exactly look quite as appetizing as sriracha honey meatballs over cauliflower rice (you know the pic), keep scrolling. 

    1. Breakfast Burrito

    I’ll give any excuse to put something inside a wrap if I’m being honest. This is a favorite breakfast of mine when I know I want something that will keep me full for a long time, whether it’s busy WFH days or post-wine nights when all I want in this world is a breakfast sandwich.
    Ingredients:
    Hash browns (use whatever kind you love—this day I used O’Brien style, but I honestly prefer shredded)
    Cheese
    Protein (I use Applegate Farms Chicken and Maple Sausage, but you could use tofu, bacon, chicken, etc.)
    Scrambled eggs
    Hot sauce
    Tortilla
    Cook your hash browns and protein according to package instructions. Scramble an egg (or two if you want a GIANT burrito, which, who doesn’t?). Add all ingredients to tortilla, add some hot sauce, salt, and pepper, and roll it up! 

    2. Savory Oatmeal

    I just recently tried this, and it’s about to become my favorite lunch, I’m sure of it. I’m not the biggest sweets eater (except for bananas and peanut butter—see below), but I love how satiated I feel after a bowl of oatmeal. I found this recipe for savory oatmeal from Honeysuckle’s YouTube channel, and it’s a life-changer. The day I made this, I felt full for HOURS. No snacking, no cravings, and no midday coffee. I’ll take that. You could do this about a million ways, but I love Mexican food, so this is my take on a huevos rancheros.
    Ingredients (again, no measurements:
    Oatmeal (use your favorite–I used quick oats because they’re easy, but whatever works for you)
    Cheddar cheese
    Black beans 
    Red onion
    Egg cooked how you like
    Hot sauce (I stan Tapatio) 
    Cook your oatmeal according to package instructions, and then just add all the toppings together. I didn’t have any this day, but avocado would be great with this. YUM.

    3. Banana Loaf

    I know banana bread already had its day, but sometimes I just want a sweet breakfast that takes minimal effort, and this has become my go-to. I found this on Instagram and made it immediately. 
    Ingredients (OK, this one actually has measurements):
    2 bananas, extra-ripe (makes it sweet)
    ½ cup oats
    6 tbsp egg whites
    1 tbsp peanut butter (I’ve also used PB2 powder—either works)
    Dash of cinnamon
    Splash of vanilla extract
    Chocolate chips
    Mix all the ingredients together except for the chocolate chips and pour in a loaf pan. Top the loaf with chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40-45 minutes depending on your oven. Seriously, it’s so easy and so good. TBH, I eat half for breakfast with peanut butter and regular butter smeared on top and the other half for a 2pm snack. Don’t be fooled: it doesn’t have the exact texture of banana bread, but it’s super moist and gooey. I put it in a regular bread pan (even though it doesn’t come close to filling it), but these would be adorable in mini loaf pans. 

    4. Copycat KFC Bowls

    I’ll be the first to admit I LOVE fast food. Like, LOVE. I’m not afraid or ashamed of it. But some days I’d rather save my money (delivery is expensive, y’all) on a great meal out with friends on a patio than pay a small order fee for McDonald’s hash browns. A hankering for fried chicken brought me to this seriously simple bowl. 
    Ingredients:
    Mashed Potatoes (I have no patience, so I used the Idahoan instant mashed potatoes that you microwave in a little cup, and they’re actually so good)
    Canned corn
    Chicken (I used Tyson’s Air Fried Chicken Nuggets that I cooked in the oven and diced up—I am obsessed with these. I have now gone through two bags between wraps, bowls, quesadillas, and more). 
    Cheddar cheese
    All you do is mix it all together in a bowl, and viola! I love making this for a quick lunch that keeps me full for hours.

    5. Spicy Noodles and Zoodles

    I will never be the person who can eat zoodles with marinara sauce and call it a meal. Girl’s gotta have some carbs. So, I like to do a 1:1 ratio of regular, whole-wheat noodles (you can do white, I just oddly love whole-wheat breads) with zoodles or my actual favorite (not pictured), coodles (AKA noodles made with carrots—a much less appetizing word if I’m being honest). I paired this with my favorite spicy Asian-inspired sauce, broccoli, and chicken. 
    Sauce (all ingredients to taste—who has time to measure): 
    Sriracha
    Chili sauce
    Sesame oil 
    Honey
    Coconut Aminos (or soy sauce, whatever I have on hand)
    Crushed red pepper flakes
    Garlic powder
    After I boil my noodles, I’ll remove them from the pot to drain and add all the ingredients for the sauce to the bottom of the pan. I’ll turn up the heat to medium for about four-ish minutes and then toss the noodles back in. Then, I’ll stir-fry the zoodles in a skillet and add them in too. Toss in steamed broccoli and pre-cooked chicken that I meal prepped or bought from Trader Joe’s (for really good chicken I’ll marinate it in the same sauce as the noodles, but not necessary TBH).  More

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    10 Books to Read That Remind You Everything Will Be Alright

    Sometimes being an adult means realizing that you have no idea what you’re doing.  A lot of us have experienced moments where we are completely out of our depth and have no idea how or who to ask for advice and/or comfort.Taking care of our health—mentally and physically—should be a priority, but it’s sometimes hard to figure out and balance that with everything going on in our lives. How do we get through the day? 
    A lot of people have different ways of coping, such as praying, watching Netflix, working out, and exploring new hobbies. In addition to doing all of this, I’ve been asking friends to share some books that remind them that everything will be alright. This list is full of books that have inspired and helped people in my life and across the internet. Sometimes the wisdom of others is just what we need to get us through another week in quarantine. 

    Marie Kondo
    The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

    Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo swept through American pop-culture with her show on Netflix. Our minds are often impacted by our environment, and with the coronavirus keeping us all inside, this is a perfect time to really declutter your home. Cleaning and clearing your environment will help inspire a calm, motivated, and peaceful mindset.

    Shonda Rhimes
    Year of Yes

    Even if you never watched any of her shows, Shonda Rhimes has become one of Hollywood’s most recognized producer-writers. Her first book is a poignant, passionate, and hilarious book about taking opportunities, looking past failure, and chasing dreams. She writes about how saying “Yes” changed her life and how it can change your life as well.

    Terry McMillan
    It’s Not All Downhill from Here

    “It’s Not All Downhill From Here” is a refreshing story of the strength and resilience of ‘’everyday’ Black women. Loretha Curry’s life is going well until a sudden loss turns her world upside down. Loretha will have to gather all of her strength to keep on thriving and to pursue joy, healing, and life in abundance.

    Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    I stumbled upon the Netflix movie on a random weekend over a year ago and was surprised by how heartfelt and inspiring it was. Juliet finds a letter from a man she’s never met who found her name written inside a book. The more they exchange letters, the more she is drawn into the eccentric world of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie society, and learns about their hopes and dreams, their books, and the impact of the German occupation on their lives.

    Michelle Obama
    Becoming

    We often look at prominent women like Michelle Obama as always having everything together and that life must be as perfect as it can get.”Becoming” is a beautiful, inspiring memoir that reminds us that even a First Lady of a country like the United States can be just as human as us—unfinished.

    Cheryl Strayed
    Tiny Beautiful Things

    Hearing other people’s stories and being able to learn from them is one of the best ways to help ourselves get over a slump, or find wisdom and courage to change things in our lives. “Tiny Beautiful Things” is a collection of some of the best of Chery’s Dear Sugar advice columns from “The Rumpus.” Chery’s words are heartwarming, compassionate, and insightful and might be exactly what you need to hear.

    Toni Morrison
    The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations

    As one of the most celebrated and respected American authors of all time, Toni Morrison was well-known for her striking imagery and genre-defying prose and unabiding wisdom. In this book, she gives us a collection of her essays, speeches, and meditations where she writes about social issues, such as woman empowerment.

    Leslie Jamison
    The Empathy Exams: Essays

    This book is an incredibly thought provoking essay collection about something we all need more of: empathy. Regardless of where you are in life or what you’re going through, or if the news has you feeling hopeless about the future, learning and actively practicing empathy will help you be able to understand how you should care for the people around you and yourself. More

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    Set Your Alarm: Studio McGee’s New Target Collection Launches This Weekend

    Second to my bed after a long day of working from home, Target’s home decor section is my idea of heaven on Earth. I could spend (and have spent) hours perusing all of the affordable, “I-need-it-or-I-will-perish” pieces that the department store has to offer. Don’t even get me started on the Studio McGee x Target pieces released in March that have absolutely transformed my apartment during the quarantine season (Shea McGee, we love your work!).So, naturally, when I heard that Studio McGee teamed up with Target yet again to release a fall collection, I did two things. First, I performed an impromptu, sad, yet enthusiastic rendition of the Hammertime dance in my kitchen (no one got hurt with the exception of my ego when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror). Next, I set a reminder on my phone for September 13 so that, when that glorious time comes, I can hop online to be one of the first to add pieces from the collection to make my home a cozy fall oasis. 
    We are absolutely loving these items from Studio McGee’s fall collection, and you will, too. Select your favorites now so that you can quickly add to your cart when they launch!

    available 9/13/20

    Although Target doesn’t state specifically what time products launch online, past releases have started around 3 a.m. ET. More

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    I’ve Worked From Home for Years—Here Are 5 Things I Do in My Routine to Keep My Sanity

    After about a year of commuting by bus, train, and foot to my employer’s Hollywood office, working from home became my dream. After being laid off, I got the opportunity. Since I had freelance writing opportunities, I worked on the side; I continued working even though I wasn’t quite full time. I enjoyed the benefits: no commute, no traffic.If I’m honest, there were days when I didn’t bother to get dressed. After a couple of months, I quickly realized that having a routine was necessary for my mental health and productivity. I found myself working into the night’s wee hours, waking up late, and repeating that cycle for weeks. Once I realized working from home wasn’t one big party, I set some ground rules for myself. Here are a few things I do each day to keep a healthy balance between my work and home life. 

    1. Create a morning routine
    How you start your mornings can affect how you navigate your day, at least from my experience. For this reason, I created a morning ritual that I now stick to without much thought. First things first, I make my bed. I thought working from my bed was a good idea until I realized that it wasn’t healthy for my bed to be where I worked and slept. Making my bed is a physical indicator my day has started. On days when I like to lounge and work, I use my chaise. Never my bed. 
    Next up, I make a slow cup of coffee with my Moka pot. I find this gives me time to wake up without feeling rushed. I don’t check my emails or social media until I’ve had a glass of water and a cup of coffee. Now, I am notoriously terrible at making breakfast—or any meal for that matter. That doesn’t mean I won’t encourage you to whip up something to eat, even if I’m not the best example. 
    If coffee isn’t your thing, maybe make a smoothie or even read a few pages from a book you’ve been putting off finishing. Essentially, my coffee-making time is my morning self-care. That is 15-20 minutes I block off for myself. I imagine this would be more difficult if I had children, but this time is sacred to me as a single woman. 
    READ: The Morning Routine I Follow For the Busiest Work-From-Home Days

    2. Call my friends during lunch
    Setting a time for lunch is essential in any workplace scenario. Instead of only nourishing my body, I feed my mind with some chit-chat. I call one of my friends every day to catch up. We talk while I move about the kitchen, making some quick, struggle meal that is typically a boiled egg, a piece of fruit, and any other miscellaneous thing I can pop into the microwave and make in three minutes. I love how that time breaks up my day. Since my friends live on the East Coast and I live in LA, my lunchtime works best for us to catch up due to the time difference. 
    READ: 17 Gifts You Can Send to a Friend You’re Missing While Social Distancing

    3. Sit outside and get some sun
    When I started working from home, there were many days when I’d look up and the sun was setting. I’d think to myself, “I haven’t been outside all day.” Getting outside became an intentional practice for me. I would walk to get coffee from the small business on the corner for a midday pick-me-up or go for a quick walk around the block to get some fresh air. My practice has changed a little due to COVID. I left LA for Atlanta in March to be close to my family, and visiting my favorite shops anywhere feels like a task these days. You have to remember your mask. You may even have anxiety about coming into contact with people, not in your household. 
    I can relate. Quarantining at my parents for the last six months was nice. Especially since I got to spend quality time with Max, our family dog. Every day, we’d sit outside for 15 minutes (or until we started sweating). I’d even take my shoes off and walk on our driveway on days when I needed to feel grounded. As my mom always says when she can tell I’m feeling down, “Go get some sun on your face.” Now, I’m encouraging you to do the same. 

    4. Put on something I love
    Truthfully, I miss getting dressed. Sweats have been my go-to lately. While I love how comfortable I feel, I miss my denim and boots. One day I missed them so much, I put on my favorite pair of jeans and my new silver boots to go to the grocery store and to bug my mom. She says boots aren’t for summer, and she’s probably right. But, I say boots are for whenever I feel like wearing them, especially if they’re silver. 
    I’m not suggesting you draw attention to yourself in the way I did. But pull out those signature pieces you miss wearing. Throw them on for a Zoom call or on a day when you’re in the mood to get a little flashy. Oh, and put on your favorite beauty product for good measure. My beauty favorite of choice these days is Glossier’s Cloud Paint.

    5. Set a time to end your day
    Boundaries are important in all aspects of life. You have to give yourself a time each day to stop working without wavering. This practice has gotten a little tricky for me during the quarantine. The boundaries I’m encouraging you to set, I have had trouble implementing myself. It is always easier to tell someone to do something than it is to put it into practice. 
    Give yourself some grace. There will be days you work beyond you set a boundary, but having a time set makes it easier for you to stick to it. Each morning I make a to-do list of items I have to get done. I also make a follow-up list at the end of my day of the things I didn’t get to that I plan to roll over into the next day. Organization and boundaries are your best friends when working from home. You’ll find your grove if you work at it. I promise.
    READ: 6 Steps to Set Boundaries Between Your Work and Personal Life More

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    15 Recipes to Make at Home Using Trader Joe’s Ingredients

    Trader Joe’s is the novelty grocery store we know and love. From the friendly workers donning their Hawaiian “uniforms,” the store’s awesome floral selection, and of course, all the different grocery items TJ’s has to offer, there is a lot to like about shopping at Trader Joe’s. One of my favorite parts is seeing all their new product releases. I’m also intrigued by what they’re going to launch next, but sometimes I’m not sure how I can incorporate their new products into my meals.How do I cook with harissa?
    What would pair well with coconut milk?
    Can I put the Impossible Burger on the grill?
    How do I make an acai bowl at home?
    See what I mean? If you’re anything like me and avoid buying new products because you’re not quite sure what to do with them once you get home, fear not! Below, I’ve rounded up 15 recipes using Trader Joe’s ingredients so you can grocery shop with confidence and add new meals to your weekly rotation.

    TJ’s Ingredient: Frozen charred corn

    Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

    TJ’s Ingredient: Spicy Thai cashews

    Source: Pinch of Yum

    TJ’s Ingredient: Sweet Chili Thai Sauce

    Source: One Lovely Life

    TJ’s Ingredient: Coconut aminos

    Source: Food Heaven Made Easy

    TJ’s Ingredient: Everything But The Bagel Seasoning

    Source: 40 Aprons

    TJ’s Ingredient: Jackfruit

    Source: Love & Lemons

    TJ’s Ingredient: Frozen seafood mix

    Source: Budget Bytes

    TJ’s Ingredient: Coconut sugar

    Source: Cookie + Kate

    TJ’s Ingredient: Pimento cheese

    Source: The Kitchenista Diaries

    TJ’s Ingredient: Cruciferous cabbage mix

    Source: All The Healthy Things

    TJ’s Ingredient: Dark chocolate PB cups

    Source: Gimme Some Oven

    TJ’s Ingredient: Cauliflower gnocchi

    Source: A Saucy Kitchen

    TJ’s Ingredients: Beef bone broth

    Source: The Defined Dish

    TJ’s Ingredient: Vegan cream cheese

    Source: Minimalist Baker

    TJ’s Ingredient: Quinoa spaghetti

    Source: Foolproof Living More

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    6 Fresh Ways to Spend a Girls’ Night In

    Before the world fell apart, my friends and I loved to play this game where we would plan a girls’ night out which, after a few drinks, would time and time again turn into a girls’ night in. As much as I used to love hitting the town with my girl gang pre-COVID, the nights in were the ones that would allow us the true quality time to catch up, laugh at old memories, and look forward to the future. Staying in with my friends is my favorite way to recharge, and while I love vegging out and watching our favorite cringe-worthy reality TV shows, I equally love hanging out with purpose. If there’s one good thing about quarantine, it’s the opportunity to slow down, catch up, and touch base with those closest to you (those being asymptomatic/also quarantined/COVID negative, of course!). Here are six ways to switch up your favorite Netflix binge-a-thon with your besties to foster new conversations, more ways to connect, and extra opportunities to belly-laugh. 
    1. Channel your inner Food Network star
    I consider girls’ night to be incomplete without some yummy, indulgent snacks, and while raiding the grocery store for Flaming Hot Cheetos, Sour Patch Kids, and/or cookie dough might be your first go-to move, opting for ingredients to pop in the oven can be just as magical. Whether you go the Betty Crocker route or start from scratch (I would do illegal things for this double chocolate zucchini bread), roasting your best friend’s ex pairs well with warm, gooey chocolate and is bound to bring your GNI to the next level. 

    2. Host a game night
    I. love. game. night. You could always go the traditional route with an instant, competitive classic like Life, Sorry!, Scrabble, Monopoly, or Settlers of Catan or you could opt for a game that sparks side conversations and is a bit more open-ended like We’re Not Really Strangers, The Voting Game, Hot Seat, Cards Against Humanity, For The Girls, or What Do You Meme (my personal favorite). Another favorite of my friend group is to invest in a huge puzzle and attempt to finish it before the wine runs out. So far, wine 2, puzzle 0.

    3. Get crafty
    Very rarely do I take the time to get crafty, but I love a good excuse to pretend that I’m Martha Stewart. Have your girls pitch in for supplies for a DIY project that can range from home decor and homemade beauty products (like these make-at-home face masks) to chunky knit blankets. You’ll leave girls’ night with more than just a mild hangover, a hoarse voice, and new memories—you’ll have a take-home souvenir, too!

    4. Turn your home into a spa
    Allow me to set this lovely scene for you: you and your gal pals, robes on, feet up, listening to serene music while enjoying the aroma of eucalyptus and peppermint from a nearby oil diffuser. Group manis and pedis are encouraged, but not required, as that would require someone to lift a finger and whether you want to exert the energy is absolutely your prerogative. Reset, recharge, and let the time with your friends set your soul alright.

    5. Make vision boards
    It’s never too late to set intentions for your future and making it visual with your girls by your side can be a whole other experience. You’ll need some sort of canvas, glue, markers, scissors, magazines, and a printer to get started. Pop some champagne, let your hair down, and dream about the future together. If crafting isn’t your thing, try opening up with your friends and asking about their big dreams and life goals. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day drama with friends, but looking forward and discussing the future will leave everyone inspired. 

    6. Write love letters to each other
    We did a version of this in the office on Galentine’s Day and it was quite the treat. We used brown paper bags with everyone’s name on them, threw in little handwritten love notes, and received plenty of words of affirmation towards the end of the day that made us feel so loved and appreciated. It’s a great way to show your friends that you couldn’t do it without them and, if you’re an emotional queen like me, to have an excuse to get a little mushy.  More

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    13 Ways to Make the Most of the End of Summer

    If you feel like summer is slipping through your fingers, you’re not the only one. So much of what makes summer great just hasn’t been possible for most of us this year. Long days spent at the beach, hiding out in the air conditioned movie theater, and leaving work early on Friday for patio happy hours didn’t happen this year. And of course, summer vacations feel like a distant memory at this point. These sacrifices are worth it and are the least we can all do as we work together to overcome 2020’s challenges, but it’s OK to feel sad that a season we all had so much hope for this year didn’t look the way we wanted or needed it to.To make the most of these last few weeks of summer, we’ve rounded up a list of fun—and most importantly, safe—ways to enjoy these final summer days.

    Source: Sween Shots | Stocksy

    1. Reconnect with friends
    Who doesn’t miss those long summer days spent with friends as a kid? One of the best parts of summer is enjoying our longer days out in the sun socializing. While that may not be possible right now with social distancing still being a necessity in many parts of the world, you can still make a point to spend time with your friends from a distance. In March, Zoom happy hours, long phone calls, and snail mail were all the rage. It’s understandable that most of us got burnt out on the whole virtual friendship thing, but make an effort to foster some type of connection with your pals—whether that be with a picnic on the grass spaced appropriately, a video call on your porch while you watch the sunset, or a virtual game night with your favorite frosty drink in hand. 

    2. Enjoy a nostalgic movie night
    Circling back on the whole-summer-as-a-kid-was-awesome thing, try to plan a nostalgic movie night with your favorite childhood movie. You may not be able to go catch the latest and greatest blockbuster in theaters, but you sure can fire up The Sandlot while munching on some on-theme s’mores (’90s kids will know exactly what we’re talking about). Host a Disney movie marathon with your favorite candy or fire up that inspirational sports movie that always makes you cry after grilling those tasty Impossible Burgers you can’t get enough of!

    Source: Kate Hliznitsova | Unsplash

    3. Dine al fresco
    While you may not be able to escape to Italy anytime soon, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a little al fresco dining in your backyard or on your patio. Similar to being on vacation, indulge in a special meal, open a great bottle of wine, and really take your time. There’s no need to rush! Try whipping up one of these super craveable recipes.

    4. Stay out late
    Chances are, you’ve been a bit of an early bird since stay at home orders were put in place, so why not mix things up and stay out late? (As long as you’re keeping your distance of course!). Watch the waves crash on the beach, lay on the grass at your favorite park and gaze at the stars, or play a board game with your roomie on the front porch until the wee hours of the night. 

    Source: Mallory | Reserve Home

    5. Head to a drive-in
    Most of us dreamed of going to a drive-in movie growing up, but sadly those theaters were few and far between. Nowadays everyone is finding creative ways to have fun and stay safe and drive-in theaters are back! Pile into the car with whomever you’re sharing a space with right now and make sure to pack all your favorite snacks. That’s right, there’s no need to buy overpriced movie candy anymore.

    6. Lean into a beach read
    You know the one: the book you’re too embarrassed to admit you couldn’t put down. Fill up your tub, take a good soak, and lose yourself in a cheesy romance novel or a young adult book with an absurd plot. Even if you can’t make it to the beach this summer, you deserve a juicy read. BTW, at The Everygirl we love beach reads (no shame ever on this front!) and have rounded up a ton of great options here.

    Source: Holly Mandarich | Unsplash

    7. Let’s get physical
    It seems safe to say—and please pardon our French—that the idea of a “bikini body” is total BS. Before summer ends, try working out for your health, not for swimsuit season. Find a way to stay fit and focus on burning off stress and anxiety, not calories. A game of tennis, a long jog, or a yoga session on the grass will help you get outdoors to enjoy that gorgeous end of summer weather and keep you feeling good. Prioritize finding a workout or physical activity that you can enjoy (and want to do long-term) and start working on creating healthy habits that you can carry into the fall season. 

    8. Plan a faux vacation
    Not really though, please stay home for now. Even though a real vacay may not be possible, it’s not too late to plan a great escape this summer. Who doesn’t love a good theme? So why not plan a themed night around your favorite international vacay. Bake (or buy, we get it) your favorite French pastries and stream any movie you can find set in Paris. Play French music while you bake and wear your favorite striped shirt. You could try tapas and tango music for a Spain inspired date at home or could celebrate all things Anglophile starting with a Downton Abbey marathon and a good cup of tea. Get creative and don’t be afraid to be silly. 

    Source: Celebrating Sweets

    9. Staycation 
    There’s something to be said about staycations, and right now, they’re even more appealing than they were before. Since most attractions and restaurants have been closed for months, you may be dying to simply explore your own town. We all miss our favorite shops, cafes, and local museums, so if your area is starting to open up, put on a mask and go have some fun. You can also totally indulge at home. Splurge on takeout and a new bottle of wine, invest in that fluffy bedding you’ve always wanted, put on a face mask and enjoy some peace and quiet at home (with a pitcher of Aperol Spritz if you please). If possible where you live, plan a mini-road trip that takes you to a luxe AirBNB or go camping. There are safe ways to get away if you do a little planning!

    10. Take a dip
    Before summer ends, prioritize getting in the water. Whether it be at your local beach, lake, river, or a pool, head out early to avoid the crowds and soak in the amazing feeling of getting too hot from sunbathing and run straight to the water for a cool off. We’re feeling refreshed already.

    Source: Jonathan Ybema | Unsplash

    11. Fire up the grill
    Have one last bbq this summer, even if your only guest is your S.O. Pick up all your favorite BBQ/picnic foods (you’ll thank us when you have leftovers tomorrow) and take your time cooking outdoors and enjoying the fruits of your labor.

    12. Embrace the great outdoors
    It’s no secret that we’ve all been cooped up for months. Don’t let these last few weeks of stunning weather slip through your fingers. Spend an entire Saturday (or better yet, take a day off work in the middle of the week) and head outside. Now that you’re outside, stay there all day. Find an activity that you love, play a round or two of basketball on the driveway, and grill up some fresh corn. Even if you’re just in your own backyard, try to stay outside and really embrace your favorite parts of summer.

    Source: Dylan Alcock | Unsplash

    13. Wear the damn shorts
    Last, but certainly not least, strip off those leggings and wear the damn shorts. You won’t be able to much longer, so give your legs some breathing room and enjoy the ease and comfort of your favorite cutoffs.  More