Stay At Home Survival Guide — Fabulous Finds for Happy Hunkering
Lisa Johnson Mandell’s Stay at Home Survival Guide gives you great ideas for work, play, comfort, health, eating and drinking.
I’ve always been happy here working at home in Hollywood…Until I was told my comings and going should be limited. Suddenly, I’m feeling crazily claustrophobic, and to make matters worse, I don’t seem to have a thing to wear…or eat.
Getting ahold of myself, I remember I’ve been successfully working at home for years, and I’ve got this! I’ve learned how to be comfortable, proficient and productive, with the aid of some great little tricks and products. Plus, there are dozens of excellent new goodies coming out on a daily basis, and I’ve forayed to the forefront to find them, so I can share them to those of you to whom this might be a new and frustrating experience.
Take a peek and come back often — I’ll be adding products on a daily basis.
Stay at Home Survival Guide for Work
BioFit360 Vegan Gummies
These are this critic’s choice to fight brain fog, which always sets in when you’re trying to comfortably and efficiently work from home while simultaneously managing the kids, dog, husband etc. For when you need to focus; these tasty vegan gummies contain 30mg CBD each and no THC, to reduce stress and help you get back on track. Everyone in my neighborhood (from whom I keep a safe six-foot distance) swears by them.
$59 for 30 Gummies at BioFit360.com, now with free shipping.
Veronica Beard Dickey Jackets
I love the thought of looking fabulously chic on top, with ‘who cares?’ on the bottom when I’m Zooming at home. Veronica Beard’s famous dickey jackets come equipped so you can add zip-in dickeys that look like hoodies, chic sweaters, blouses, etc. They’re a bit on the pricy side, but just one can be accessorized in myriad ways. And they’re classics that will always look great, even after you come out (of the house).
$195 (sale) to $695, dickeys extra, at VeronicaBeard.com.
Edifier Ear Buds
I don’t know about you, but I think those earbuds with the appearance of cigarettes (or tampons) hanging out of your ears look ridiculous. But since creating a quiet and well-prepped home workspace is essential, ear buds are necessary. Edifier TWS6 earbuds are an affordable and high quality option for listening, taking calls and active noise cancellation. Those who work from home with kids know how important that is.They’re also truly wireless and compatible with Apple and Android.
$91.86 on Amazon.
Blue blockers for eye strain
Getting major eye strain and/or headaches from staring at the screen so long? Try a stylish pair of blue blockers, that alleviate visual fatigue and discomfort with UV400 protection and glare reduction. The amber lenses block those stress-inducing blue rays from any screen. You’ll be amazed by how much better your eyes feel, not to mention how professional you look in those Zoom meetings! Some claim blue blockers help them sleep. I don’t know about that, but wearing them to bed would definitely keep my husband awake laughing.
2 pairs for $17.98 on Amazon.
Moon Ultra screen light
Whether you’re using your screen for Zoom meetings or Face Timing with your kids, Moon Ultra will change your life. Portable and sleek, it’s touch controlled, and gives you the ability to say goodbye to “bad lighting.” It’s a clip-on device designed to brighten and enhance photos, videos and you! It fits on all phones, tablets and laptops, is power optimized and rechargeable, so it’s always bright no matter how much battery is left.
$49.99 at MoonUltra.com.
Stay at Home Survival Guide for Play
New Binge TV App: Watchworthy
From the folks at Ranker, Watchworthy is a new, free app that could be described as the Tinder of personalized TV guides. Easy to download, it shows you a series of different types of TV shows, and you swipe right or left on the ones you like or don’t like (or skip the ones you’ve never seen before). Watchworthy then comes up with a list of suggested programs for you, and lets you know where to watch them, shows you trailers and even gives you episode breakdowns. No more random channel surfing. I’m downloading this on my husband’s iPhone even as you read this.
Free, free, free at your nearest App Store.
When you can’t go out on a date, why not let a date come in to you? Every month, DateBox Club will send you a box that includes everything you need for a perfect date night in. Each box is themed and includes goodies like snacks (or snack mixes), games, puzzles, DIY projects, art projects, lots of fun and clever stuff! By the way, it’s a lot less expensive than going out (which most of us can’t do anyway) and provides for better interaction with your partner.
$32.95 per month to $35.95 per month, depending on length of subscription, at DateBoxClub.com.
Kids Night In Box
If your kids ages 3-8 to are out of school and bored, the Kids Night In Box is good for hours of entertaining fun and education. Each themed box contains projects, or experiences for “play with purpose,” curated by moms, dads and educators. The same folks also bring you Date Night In Boxes for grown-ups, with fun themes like Roaring 20’s and Island Oasis.
If only Ben Affleck would have known about these hilarious inventions for drinking while you bathe when he was filming The Way Back! Those crazy guys at 30 Watt have come up with the ultimate joke gift, the Sipski, a wine glass holder that adheres to your bathroom wall, so the fun never stops. It’s good for a laugh when you and your quarantine partner are getting on each other’s nerves. There’s also a Sudski that holds a beer can, but the more refined among us wouldn’t dream of drinking beer out of a can.
Del Sol Color Changing Nail Polish
Since we’re all doing our own nails these days, why not have a little fun and try Del Sol color changing nail polish. Since it changes color once it’s exposed to sunlight, it’ll induce you to get up and get out in the fresh air. I know many of us are sheltering in place, but never coming into the light can be damaging to the spirit. Plus, they offer a variety of great colors in Classic, Matte, Shimmer, and Glitter finishes. Pretty pretty!
$9.99 each at Amazon
LIKEWISE app for finding your next favorite thing
Going beyond what to watch on the screen, this nifty app, backed by Bill Gates, connects people with personalized recommendations for TV shows, movies, books, podcasts — even restaurants, using a combination of machine learning and recommendations from trusted groups. Since I’m an avid fiction reader, people are always asking me for book recommendations, and I’m looking for the same. I like what I found here. Get more info at Likewise.com.
Free at your local App Store
Stay at Home Survival Guide for Comfort
DEHV candles are rooted in simplicity and sustainability, hand-poured in concrete vessels, with thoughtful touches like 100% non-GMO soy wax and lead-free cotton wicks that keep your home free of chemicals. The packaging is plastic-free and biodegradable so it’s good for the environment, too! They’re not just beautiful— their scents are carefully crafted to call up certain memories or beautiful scenes. I particularly like the Soiree, with notes of fig, champaigne, iris, blackberry and red current. If you can’t have a soiree in your home, why not light one? All candles have a 55-hour burn time.
$38 at DEHVCandleCo
You might have seen this in our Valentines Day In Guide, and it’s so absolutely warm and cozy I just had to share it again. The Comfy is a cross between a sweatshirt and a blanket, made of sherpa fleece on one side and lush velour on the other. It’s reversible and comes in many different colors—including camo! Best thing in the world for snuggling on the couch. It’s like wearing a hug, even when you’re home alone.
Price: $39.99. on Amazon.
Spa Day Quarantine Kit
Everything you need for your a luxurious at-home spa day or refreshing staycation. Whether your skin needs some calming relief, acne control, or a little extra hydration, this kit is for you. It comes in a clear travel bag and includes three varieties of masks, one cleanser, one moisturizer, two toners, one Aromatherapy hair & body wash / body lotion combo, Lavender essential oil sleep spray, two collagen eye gels, a mask brush and a full size cucumber body salve.
Valued at $120.50, they’re selling it for $95 at BeautyKitchen.
Cariloha Weighted Bamboo Blanket
If worries about Covid-19, finances, family and everything else are keeping you up at night, you might try a Cariloha Weighted Bamboo Blanket. I haven’t used one yet, but there are those who swear by them. This model is made of sustainable breathable bamboo (naturally cooling and moisture-wicking) to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep. It’s weighted with innovative glass beads that provide deep pressure touch stimulation to help relax the body. It’s not inexpensive, but a good night’s sleep is priceless and can help enhance your immune system.
$249 at Cariloha.com
BioFit360 CBD Sleep Tinture
On a different note but still excellent for sleep, this tincture is formulated to calm and relax naturally. The proprietary blend of full spectrum CBD oil, Peppermint, Lavender, Sunflower Lecithin, Vitamin E Oil and Monk Fruit is intentionally created without melatonin or other unnatural or addictive compounds. Each dropper contains a therapeutic dose of 33mg CBD — 1,000mgs per bottle. It works for me!
$90 at BioFit360.com.
Jesica Sherpa Fleece Pullover
Want something enveloping you that’s so warm and soft you’ll feel like you’re inside a teddybear? This is the type of thing you’ll want to wear both day and night. It’s made of plush polyester/spandex sherpa fleece on the outside, and an equally soft knit on the inside, with a zip neck, stand-up collar, straight hem and pockets! Bonus! I ordered the plum, which is a lovely marled pink and burgundy.
$42.99 on Amazon Prime
Home Survival Guide for Eating and Drinking
Gobble Weekly Meal Kit Delivery
Jim and I have been sampling meal kit delivery services that involve selecting a number of dishes each week, then receiving all the ingredients and recipes for them. We love them, especially now, because the best ones provide restaurant quality meals that are simple to make and save you a trip to the store to seek out exotic ingredients. We like the three meals for two people per week plan, and most cost between $70-80.00 per week. After trying numerous, Gobble won. The food is incredibly delicious, easy to make, and comes in the least amount of packaging. It totals about $78.00 per week, but if you and a friend were to go to a restaurant in normal times, your bill for the two of you for one meal would likely be more than that. Aren’t you sick of your same old recipes by now?
Special Offer: Two meals for two, your choice from about 20 dishes, for $18 at Gobble.
Infusion Cocktail Kits
Miss going to your favorite watering hole and sipping something only a skilled mixologist could whip up? You just lucked out. These fabulous InBooze (rhymes with ‘infuse’) cocktail infusion kits allow anyone to make the dreamiest of drinks without disregarding any Shelter in Place rules. Founder Ashleigh Evans created them after seeing mixes on the shelves with funky chemicals and ingredients. She uses dehydrated fruits, veggies and herbs. All you need is the liquor and one mixer. Spicy Margarita, Old Fashioned and Berry Lavender Lemonade are the most popular, but I love the Apple Pie and White Sangria. You get about 8-10 cocktails per infusion.
$15 per kit at InBooze.com. Use code ATHOMEINHOLLYWOOD for a 25% discount
Grandma’s Chicken Soup and Mac & Cheese
Food delivery services have become increasingly spotty lately, but you can always rely on Grandma to get you the ultimate comfort food in three days or less. Choose any combination of Grandma’s Chicken Soup, challah, chocolate cake, cookies, and now macaroni and cheese, with toppings like Buffalo chicken or pulled pork. It’s not cheap, and there may be a lot more carbs and fat (all that schmaltz!) than you usually eat, but you’ve had to deny yourself enough in the past few weeks —it’s time to splurge!
$34.00 to $110.00, with $14.00 to $75 for postage (hey, you want it fresh don’t you?) Try code MAC for $5 off.
Capresso Milk Frother
Missing your daily Starbucks or Peete’s cappuccino? Make similar coffee drinks at home by easily and smoothly foaming your milk in a Capresso milk frother, perfect for cappuccino, espresso, latte and hot chocolate. It’s the most effortless frother I’ve ever used, and is pretty much fail proof. My sweet neighbor gave me the Froth Max, but if you’d like to spend a little less, I think the Froth Pro would do the trick. Either way, you’ll save time, money and possibly your health by making your fancy coffee drinks at home.
$48.00 – $59.00 on Amazon.
Lisa’s Chicken Artichoke Soup
Indulge me for a second here. I whipped this up, mostly with ingredients I found in my cupboard, and it was so good and satisfying I thought I’d share the recipe with you. Ingredients: 1 can cream of chicken soup, 48 oz chicken broth, 2 cups cooked chicken (chopped), 1 can artichoke hearts (chopped), 1 cup uncooked rice, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice. In soup pot, mix broth and cream of chicken soup, then bring to boil. Add rice, lemon juice, chicken and artichoke hearts. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until rice is tender. Garnish with parsley. Makes enough for your family and a neighbor.
Pet Plate Fresh-Cooked Meal Delivery for your dog
Home Survival Guide for Health
BioFit360 CBD Immune Boost
This full-spectrum CBD tincture is fortified with premium botanical extracts like Frankincense, Nigella Sativa, Ginger, Sandalwood, Sangre de Grado, Cat’s Claw and Sunflower Lecithin to naturally boost the immune system, help with rapid recovery and restore balance. And for me, it works as an appetite suppressant. Bonus!
$90 at BioFit360.com.
There’s something about relaxing on the couch in front of a TV screen that puts me right to sleep, no matter how eager I am to see the show. But I have found the absolute BEST way to stay awake, keep trim and get my steps in while watching TV all at the same time! The Fluidstance follows the super streamlined balance board concept — I place it behind my couch so I can grab onto something if I start to fall, and it keeps me perky and alert for hours. They’re promoting it right now to use at your stand-up desk—as if I’d ever have one. No, for my money, this is home entertainment’s best friend!
NEOU fitness streaming service
It seems everyone is looking for a home fitness routine that works for them these days (and if they’re not, they should be). NEOU streams workout and wellness classes for everything from dance to yoga to HIIT bootcamp, dance, barre, yoga, Pilates, kettlebell, boxing, meditation and more. Workouts are instructed by elite trainers and available anytime, anywhere. Filter thousands of classes by class type, duration, body focus, and more. NEOU can be downloaded from the app store or Google Play and can be streamed from any screen.
NEOU is offering 30 days of free access for those stuck at home. To redeem click here. No credit card required.
Tusol Smoothie Mixes
I’ve never been one for drinking my meals, until I tasted a smoothie from the new Tusol mix. Now I’m a believer! First of all they’re delicious, with flavor profiles like banana muffin, berry sorbet and green tea ice cream. But they’re also good for you, promoting gut health, cell support, brain boost, immunity, weight loss, glowing skin and more. Woo Hoo!
$35-135 for multi-packs at TusolWellness.com.
VEO Active-Probiotics Surface Cleaner
I always wonder if my old cleaning standards are really doing the job, and whether or not they’re toxic. With VEO, I don’t have to worry because it combines cutting-edge biotechnology with the power of nature to deliver a microscopic level of clean that’s unprecedented and leaves your home surfaced deeply hygienic for up to three days. Potent probiotics go to work quickly to biodegrade dirt and grime deep within crevices, without harsh fumes or toxic ingredients.
$8.99 for 22oz. at VeoCleaner.com.
Lisa Johnson Mandell’s Stay at Home Survival Guide gives you great ideas for work, play, comfort, health, eating and drinking.
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