Sunday, September 13, 2020

Stay Home Summer 2020

Now that we're 6 months into the pandemic, it feels like most of the world have somewhat adjusted to the new normal of mask wearing, social distancing, and international travel bans. It's unfortunate that the situation in the US hasn't gotten any better, and most places have already started opening up as if the pandemic is over. Oh well, since we can't control others' behaviour, all we can do is to control what we can control and stay home as much as possible. We were supposed to travel to Malaysia, Japan and Canada this summer but obviously all trips were cancelled/postponed. 

2020 'fashion'. Apart from grocery shopping and a trip to the DMV to renew my driver license, I really haven't gone anywhere public in the past 6 months. For grocery shopping, I've cut it down from once a week to once every 10 days, and going at 7am in the morning to avoid people.

As for work, I continue working from home and have enjoyed a slow and no-stress summer. I'm also glad to finally have time to explore google sheets and project management, which is something I enjoy. As for hubby, he doesn't have the luxury of working from home because he is an 'essential' worker. :P He is working even more now that his company is testing Covid and developing an antibody test (as modeled by Franklin, our sloth buddy).

2020 has been an interesting year indeed...what was originally a 2-week office shut down has lasted for 6 months with no end in sight. We have reached the point where nobody bothers dressing up for work calls anymore, and having 'mini' co-workers make appearances on the calls occasionally. 

Thankful for a promotion + pay raise + bonus when unemployment is at all time high.

Round 3 of Covid cancellations. 2020 is trending well to be the 'cancelled' year but family celebrations are not cancelled...

June 21 (Sun): Celebrated MIL's birthday with home-cooked meals and pool time at MIL's.

Aug 1 & 15 (Sat): Virtual celebration with families in Malaysia for dad and grandma's birthdays.

Aug 15 (Sat): Twin bro, hubby, and my birthdays with families in the US and Malaysia. Thanks MIL for our birthday presents! :) 

Hubby bought a new 4K TV. Our work+entertainment room is now 'upgraded' with 2 TVs and I love it! One for his video game, one for my Kdramas. 

This stay at home summer has given me more time to catch up on all the Kdramas that I've missed over the years. I've been going down the binge-watching rabbit hole for the past 6 months. Obviously I've been enjoying myself a lil' too much to come up with this ridiculous! This is what happens when real vacation is cancelled and I'm forced to home-cation to burn my vacation hours.

I.AM.IN.TROUBLE. Uniqlo was having sales all summer and the deals are so good that I ended up stocking up probably 10 years worth of clothes. My wardrobe has officially been taken over by Uniqlo. 

As weekly meal prep routine:

June 21 & 28 (Sun): Baked chicken, stir -fry veggies, sausage+potato+baked beans, potato salad.

Jul 5 & 12 (Sun): Lu Rou Fan, paste and meatball, veggie soup, devil's egg, baked chicken, mui fan.

Jul 19 & 26 (Sun): Tomyum soup noodles with mussels & veggies, potato and sausage, stir-fry veggies, braised chicken with mushrooms, potato salad. 

Aug 2 & 9 (Sun): Veggie soup, pasta and meatball, egg sandwich, devil's egg, tomato soup with mixed veggies, chicken rice, stir-fry veggies.

Aug 16 & 23 (Sun): Tomato soup with mussels and mixed veggies, egg sandwich, sausage and potatoes, stir-fry veggies.

Aug 30 & Sept 6 (Sun): Chicken rice, veggie soup, stir-fry veggies, devil's egg, mussels and veggie soup, meatball and pasta, onion fry egg.

Seems like many people around us (including all our siblings) are either buying or selling house lately. Here's our family saying goodbye to our house and my room where I spent my high school years in. 
Twincredibles at 17-19 months. As you can see, my niece has learnt how to give me a side!

Nieces and nephew with their funny antics.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Spring 2020 - The Stormy Spring

Spring 2020 came and left with majority of the world hunkered down at home, what a different world we've been living in over the last 3 months! For an introvert + homebody like me, I have been enjoying this 'new normal'. =) 

As compared to last Spring, work life has been soooo much better this year. Due to the nature of my role, my workload is much lower and stress-free at this time of the year. I'm certainly glad I pivoted into this new role, especially looking at all the additional work my peers are having to deal with due to COVID-19 impact on audits. For that, I'm thankful.

As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. Looking back, I'm sure glad I did the following things before the world shut down:
  • June 2019 - Received my green card and not having to deal with visa expiration
  • May & Sept 2019 - Deciding to travel back to Malaysia twice last year
  • Dec 2019 - Deciding to travel to Hawaii with my parents despite the challenges
  • Jan/Feb 2020 - Traveled as much as I possibly could this year by volunteering to travel to Tampa for 2 months before all work travel was halted
  • 6 Jan 2020 - Completed my annual physical health exam 
  • 5 Mar 2020 - Had my routine dental visit
You'd think staying at home means boring, but I was still able to take enough pictures to max out my storage space on my phone. Let's see how our 'lockdown' life has been..

Spring 2020 came and left silently

My dramatic niece depicting how everyone is feeling about being stuck at home.

We're both fortunate that our jobs have not been impacted. I've enjoyed spending almost all my time at home in this room, apart from eating and sleeping. 

Mar 6 (Fri): Stocked up on 'essentials' one week ahead, when everything was still in stock

March 13 (Fri): Doomsday scene in our local Walmart. I've been shopping early in the morning to avoid people.

Contrary to most people's experience, our lifestyle really hasn't changed much at all with this whole stay-at-home situation. With most restaurants being closed, a lot of people started to cook more. As for us, the weekly routine of meal-prepping continues as usual.

March 22 & 29 (Sun): Tomyum noodle soup, pasta with pork, stir-fry veggies, pasta and sausage, braised pork, fried rice with sausage.

April 5 & 12 (Sun): Potato salad, baked chicken with pasta, stir-fry veggies, chicken rice, chow mien, bbq potato and sausage, rice with veggie and gravy.

April 19 & 26 (Sun): Braised pork rice, pasta and meatball, stir-fry veggies, egg sandwich, potato salad, pasta and sausage, deviled eggs, rice with veggie and gravy.

May 3 & 10 (Sun): Pan-fried potato and baked chicken, chicken rice, tuna pasta, stir-fry veggies, potato with sausage and beans, egg sandwich, seafood tomyum noodle soup, deviled eggs.

May 17 & 24 (Sun): Baked chicken, chicken rice, pasta and meatballs, stir-fry veggies, deviled eggs, braised chicken and rice, potato salad, potato and sausage.

May 31 & June 7 (Sun): Potato with sausage and beans, kimbap (rice rolls), pasta with meatballs, stir-fry veggies, baked chicken, chicken rice, onion egg, egg sandwich.

Kudos to McD for this great initiative. Hubby works in healthcare so he was able to get a few free meals of his favorite fast food. =)

With all things going on out there, it’s even more important now to focus on staying healthy, physically and mentally. P.S. Self-care at home doesn't require gym membership.

It has been years since I watched any shows, but I've enjoyed binge-watching these K-dramas lately.

Apart from 'consuming' contents, I've also been pretty productive 'creating' contents on my website. Published 4 blog posts, completed the "SIMPLI-FI" series on the website, and finished editing the video interview I did with grandma and grandaunt 2 years ago. 

Used my creative skills to make this DIY fitted game console covers for hubby's games. =D

Uniqlo gets me all the time with their free shipping...whoops!

May 10 (Sun): Celebrated Mother's Day and ordered takeout for the first time in months.

May 14 (Thurs): Woke up at 6am for niece's 2nd birthday celebration with the family.

I fully acknowledge the privilege to say that the biggest impact this pandemic had on us was the cancellation of our travel plans. We've cancelled/postponed 2 trips so far. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we'll be able to travel again later this year.

Thanks Marriott for this!!

Twincredibles at 15 - 16 months.They're growing up fast!