The unknown in the world right now is causing panic and anxiety for everyone. But being six months pregnant while living in the epicenter of COVID-19 adds an extra layer of fear. Everything is changing at rapid speed and many different messages are being sent across media. Our president is saying this will be taken care of by Easter. Our governor is saying this will go through July. Realistically, there is no telling when our lives will have some sort of normalcy again.

Two and a half weeks ago I was going about my regular plans, with the exception of no longer taking the subway. I was hearing about COVID-19 without really understanding the seriousness of it, with many Americans in the same position. I was still teaching my 31 first graders in NYC, going out to eat, and planning to fly to California next week for my baby shower. Then, suddenly it all changed. School was canceled for two weeks. Then six weeks. Then indefinitely. The thought of a baby shower was up in the air, then completely canceled. And then the REAL bomb dropped.

Most NYC hospitals no longer allowing spouses or support partners to be there for delivery. Women will be laboring alone. While the policies were sensibly put in place to try to slow the spread of COVID-19 it is still a terrifying time for anyone expecting. With a rapidly increasing rate of 1 death every 17 minutes in New York City, and having had a week to process this news, I understand where the hospitals are coming from. They are doing it for the safety of everyone involved. The logic behind it, however, does not take away the pain of knowing if this continues through the next couple months, my husband will not be allowed to be present for the birth of our first child.

I remain hopeful in knowing that we still have a few months before our daughter's arrival, but realistic in knowing we need a back up plan...or five. Again, the uncertainty brings upon fear and anxiety. We are living in the epicenter of COVID-19. Our hospitals have makeshift morgues outside because people are dying so quickly. Nurses and doctors are becoming a part of the statistics as they do not have the necessary protective gears as they are on the frontline of this pandemic. We all are living a nightmare.

With fear, uncertainty, and anxiety doing their best to creep in to my mind and heart, I am trying to remain positive and grateful. I am grateful that myself and my family are considerably in good health. I am grateful that I still have my job during all of this. I am grateful that my husband was able to attend appointments through the first half of our pregnancy, be there for our daughter's anatomy scan, hear her heartbeat for the first time, and support me when I was in the Emergency Room with complications at the start of our pregnancy. I am grateful we still have time to hope this passes before our daughter's arrival. I am grateful for prayer.

I pray for everyone on the frontline of this horrific pandemic. For the nurses, the doctors, the grocery store employees. The medical device sales personnel, police, paramedics, and delivery providers. I pray for all the parents in the thick of managing working from home, while caring for their children and making sure academic needs are met. I pray for all the expectant moms unsure of what to expect in their deliveries; the expectant fathers who will miss their child's birth. I pray that we as a country can come together and commit to staying inside to save others.

5 Awesome Gifts For Foodies

Perhaps you’ve got a food-loving pal with a birthday coming up? Lucky for you, there are so many great gifts available for foodies. With these five awesome ideas, you’ll be well and truly spoilt for choice.

1 . Cooking Class

One of the best gifts that you can bestow upon your foodie friend is a cooking class! Experience gifts always feel that little bit special because you’re offering real memories rather than a material possession. Book yourself onto the class too, so you can experience the fun together. If your foodie friend is already a skilled cook, be sure to choose a more advanced class. There are plenty of classes out there offering a wide variety of themes from Thai or Spanish cooking to advanced baking classes.

2. Foraging Experience

Foraging is the process of gathering food that’s growing in the wild, whether it’s nuts, berries, mushrooms, vegetables, or herbs. During a foraging workshop, you’ll learn the ins and outs of wild food gathering, including edible and nonedible plants. Some foraging experiences also include a cookery session afterwards. During the session, your giftee will learn about how to make their foraging goodies into some tasty recipes.

3. Hamper or Gift Box

One of the most perfect gifts for a food lover has got to be a nice hamper or gift box. You can buy both ready-made or if you prefer, buy a basket and create a hamper yourself. Try to include specialist, or unusual foods that you’re giftee wouldn’t usually buy. As well as this, read a few recipes for inspiration so you can include items that go together. It can be fun to theme your hamper, whether it’s organic food, luxury food or Italian food. For a delicious gourmet- pretzel gift box check out Eastern Standard Provisions.

4. Cooking Knives

Every keen cook simply needs the best set of knives. The most essential knives for cooking are a serrated knife, a paring knife, and a chef’s knife. It’s generally worth paying a little more to ensure that you get yourself a quality high-end product. The blades of cooking knives are generally either Japanese style or ‘Western knives,’ (which are sometimes called German knives). If you look at a Western knife, you’ll find that the cutting edge of the blade is curved. In contrast, Japanese knives are straight-edged.

5. Cheese Making Kit

Most foodies just can’t get enough of cheese in all of its varieties, which is why cheese making kits are such an excellent gift! These kits usually allow you to create soft cheeses, including all the ingredients you’ll need. From goat's cheese to mozzarella, ricotta, or chevre, these kits have got all your cheese needs covered! You need a thermometer to make cheese, and these don’t usually come with the kits. If your pal is unlikely to have one, you might like to add this as part of the gift.

If none of these ideas have tickled your fancy, why not simply buy a new recipe book? You can search for a few ideas online to find the best recipe books of 2020 so far.

Health Is Wealth: Learning To Help Yourself By Boosting Your Mental Health

Society's acceptance of mental health issues is at an all-time high. Frankly, it's not only the people that end up in rehab that need to pay attention. Virtually everyone is at risk of falling into the darkness of anxiety, depression, and related conditions. Therefore, learning to put a greater focus on your mental health is a responsibility for everyone.

Whether you've noticed the signs of mental health issues creeping in, or just wish to stay on top of the situation doesn't matter. The following steps will help you unlock a far better situation.

#1. Invest In Your Physical Health

Healthy body, healthy mind. It's an easy manifesto to embrace, and its impact on your life can be huge. The benefits of strength training cover physical and mental health. Meanwhile, a great night's sleep and good hydration will seriously boost your mental wellbeing too.

There are many reasons for this. Endorphins are released during exercise, while a good night's sleep can reduce your stress levels. Moreover, keeping the body in great condition can remove the physical aches and pains. They would ordinarily dampen your spirits over the weeks and months. With fewer physical strains on your mind, life is greatly improved.

#2. Understand Mental Health Issues

Ignorance is not bliss. It actively prevents you from addressing the negative impacts in your life. This will exacerbate problems and stop you from gaining the help you need. The Johari window is a particularly rewarding system that helps you think about mental health in a rounded and natural manner. It subsequently supports you through personal endeavors and professional support.

Compartmentalizing your thoughts in a positive manner isn't only useful for people that are suffering. It's an ideal way to promote a strong mindset on a daily basis for many years to come. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll reap the rewards.

#3. Cut Out Bad Influences

The people we surround ourselves with can have a telling influence on our mental wellbeing. Positivity begets positivity. This is why it's always wise to actively spend more time with supportive and ambitious people. Conversely, negative, and draining people must be avoided.

Bad people in your life can include friends, partners, and even distant family members. If you notice that they bring negativity to your mindset, you must put yourself first. Common examples include pressuring you into doing things you don't like or always borrowing money. Either way, stepping back is difficult at first, but will help you in the long run.

#4. Take Breaks

Even when your life is in a pretty good place, the hectic nature can cause a lot of unnecessary stress. As it builds up, you must find ways to release the pressure. Otherwise, it'll inevitably push you over the edge. Hobbies like fishing and cycling are great for the mind, while time spent with your loved ones (or pets) can be equally ideal. Do the things you like with the people you love.

Vacations are another great solution. Ultimately, when your mind has a chance to rest and recharge itself, you can resume your daily life in a far better place. You wouldn't ignore signs that your body needs a chance to recuperate. So, don't overlook your mental health either.



Due to the craziness of life lately, we have spending more time at home than normal. For a person who likes to be busy all day long and has a difficult time just sitting, this has been a struggle and it's only been a couple days! However, when we received our Gramma in a Box, we were able to spend a couple hours focusing on just having fun and spending time together, and not worrying about all the chaos happening outside of our apartment doors.

Gramma in a Box is a subscription service started by a woman whose grandchildren were living far away from her. Gramma would send her grandkids a box of cookies in the mail and together they would spend time decorating them via Skype. It was a special way for her to have quality time with her grandchildren without physically being in the same room. After sharing this creative idea with friends and family, she created Gramma in a Box for others to have monthly activities to share with their loved ones.

Each box includes baked cookies with frosting and sprinkles, plus two easy candy crafts. Each box is curated to fit a specific theme and is full of creativity and fun. With it being March, this month's theme was St. Patrick's Day. This month's activities included Shamrock Pretzel Pops, Marshmallow Pot o'Gold cups, and St. Patrick's Day cookies. Gramma provides step-by-step videos on Facebook and YouTube to show how to do all 3 projects, but also provides project cards with explicit instructions to make your decorating experience a success. Another thing I love is that Gramma is sure to include the ingredient list of all the products that are used for each activity. This is helpful to anyone who has allergies and needs to avoid a certain ingredient, such as eggs or red 40.


Gramma in a Box is a steal at only $20 per box. But right now, she is offering a special discount, no code necessary, where your first box is only $10 if you sign up for the auto-debit option. When you think about how much you spend on buying everything necessary to do these activities, this is saving you money! Be sure to place your purchase ASAP for the April box. 


Giving The Perfect Jewelery

Rings, necklaces, and bracelets. Accessories of any kind can be a very personal thing. They are a hint at your style and personality. Some people enjoy delicate stacks of rings, and others want to have bold, chunky jewelry. 

But when it comes to buying for the people you love, you want to get it right, the first time. Here are a couple of things that you can take into consideration. 


Not all skin tones work with every piece of jewelry. Of course, there are no rules, and you should wear what you like. But in order to get something that compliments your intended recipient, then getting something that works well with their skin tone. Warmer skin tones make gold, and bright colors look stunning, whereas silvers and platinum tones work with paler skin tones. Rose golds, black, and coppers can work with any skin tone, though. 

Just pay attention to what your intended person wears the most often. 

Ring Size

This one can be a bit tricky. If you are trying to get their ring size without them noticing, try to borrow a ring that they sometimes wear but not often. You can quickly trace the inside of the ring, and when you give it to a specialist ring concierge, they will be able to work with that. Of course, when you are doing this, make sure that you are set on the company that you will use, rather than flitting between companies. 


The high street can be amazing for accessories, but if you want to get something beautiful, then you might have to get online. The whole of the internet - so the world is at your disposal. You will be able to source inspiration from Pinterest, check out a range of designers, and look at what the trends are too. 

It is worth remembering that no matter where you get the ring made, most jewelers will be able to resize it for you if it doesn’t work out. So even if you are a few millimeters out, it is better to have the right slightly bigger than slightly smaller. 


If they never wear bracelets, then that might be an indicator that it really isn’t in keeping with their style. Some people enjoy wearing big, bold, and bright accessories. Others prefer an understated classic look. So when you are buying, remember whom you are buying for rather than buying something that you want to see them in. 

Often when buying gifts, we get carried away with when we want people to have, rather than if they actually want it or not. And although this comes from a place of caring, it might mean that you miss the mark slightly. 

If you aren’t confident that you can get it right, then enlist the help of any significant others or mutual friends so that you get a few options on the right thing. With a little time and research, you can find the right piece from the right place, and you know it will go down a treat. 


3 Reasons Why Everyone Should Do Strength Training

There are many different ways to exercise, and to get – and remain – fit, ranging from regular yoga sessions, to marathon training, and plyometric workouts.

One of the forms of exercise that everyone should arguably be doing is strength training – and yet, many people more or less totally neglect resistance-based workouts in favour of other things.

Here are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to find a club with decent strength training facilities, such as, and to get your muscles working.

    1. Because muscle is metabolically active, and will help you to maintain a healthy weight and a better hormone balance

Even if you aren’t interested in becoming the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s worth keeping in mind that muscle is very metabolically active, and will help you to maintain a healthy weight and a better hormone balance, irrespective of all other factors.

In other words, having muscle just makes you healthier in a variety of ways – and allows you to eat more calories without putting on excess fat, while also helping to ensure that you have the right proportions of different sex hormones circulating in your blood. Muscle with also help to shield you against blood sugar imbalances, and more.

While you don’t need to lift heavy weights and aim for a massive physique, it’s important to realise that if you don’t do any significant resistance training of any type, your muscles will atrophy away, and you will experience the associated downsides of that situation.

    1. Because physical strength and muscle mass make you more resilient against injury

Muscle isn’t just there to look strong, or to help you to pick up heavy things. It also provides a protective “shield” around your body, that can help to protect you from injury in a variety of ways.

In fact, strength training makes you more resilient against injury in a range of ways beyond simply “building muscle.” Whenever you move your body against resistance, you are also increasing your bone density, and strengthening your tendons and connective tissue.

The net effect of all this is that you will be less likely to become injured if you trip over, or if you play a sport, or if you do, in fact, have to lift something heavy.

    1. Because there are many instances in everyday life where physical strength comes in handy

Even if you have a white-collar job that doesn’t require any real physical labour, and even if you aren’t much of a DIY-machine in your free time, you will inevitably come across situations on a regular basis where physical strength will come in handy, in a practical sense.

Sometimes, you will need to carry heavy grocery bags. At other times, you will need to haul your luggage around the airport. On certain occasions, it may be necessary to remove obstacles from your path while out on a walk, or to push your car somewhere, or to pick up your child and carry them around.

Physical strength will often come in handy and will make you more effective at whatever it is you might be doing in your everyday life. You will almost certainly never be faced with a situation where you will regret being a bit stronger.