5 Indoor Games to Play with Your Dog

Besides instagram and hip hop, I think our furry friends are totally winning during the coronavirus. No longer do our canine friends spend their days laying in wait for the humans to get home from work or take a break to play, because while we shelter in place, they’re getting to enjoy company and companionship 24/7.

I had the chance to talk to Brett Podolsky of The Farmer’s Dog and we chatted about what his company does when it comes to nutrition and feeding our pups, but he also offered ideas for games we can play with them indoors.

His 5 indoor games to play with dogs include, fetch, tug and a stairway dash. So, press play to hear why it’s never too late to teach a dog new tricks.

Mask Season

Like it or not, masks are here to stay. In what has become the season’s most “essential” fashion accessory, you really shouldn’t leave home without it…and even better if you can just STAY HOME! Whether you like it or not, we are in a pandemic. Medical grade masks (N95) are in short supply, and while other masks (i.e. disposable, homemade, etc…) may not provide absolute protection, they are better than nothing.

The CDC began recommending that we all wear masks when we go out in public, IF we have to go out in public for groceries or other essentials. Fortunately, my Mom made masks for my household so we have them just in case, but really, let’s be honest, my kids are not taking trips to the store with me or their Dad. So, for the foreseeable future, they won’t be donning the face-wear, as long as we can keep them at home.

It’s pretty crazy to think that this is the new normal, that even when this coronavirus aka COVID-19, gets under control, masks will be an everyday accessory. When you leave the house you’ll ask yourself, do I have my keys, wallet, phone…MASK!?! And as scary or mind-blowing as it may sound, sporting as mask can literally be a matter of life and death for some people. Not only must we wash hands, social distance and practice other safety measures to protect ourselves, we have to wear the mask, so we can do our part to save others! REAL TALK!

Alright, I’ll get off my soapbox now. I am no expert, but I will default to listening to the experts, health and medical professionals who are way more knowledgeable than me on the topic of virus protection and pandemics. I am not going to take any chances, and while for some of us it may seem like common sense, there are lots of questions out there about how to properly wear a mask or how to effectively clean it… and did you know children 2 and under don’t need masks, because it can pose other problems (breathing), for the little ones.

Check out this interview I did on FB with Dr. Eudene Harry, as she breaks it down and “unmasks” the answers to these frequently asked MASK questions. The best thing you can do for you and your loved ones right now is to stay informed and have the information to make good decisions. Stay healthy!

Self-Care and a Skin Routine

Ladies, how many of you have a daily or weekly skin routine? Are you diligent and consistent when it comes to execution? I for one will admit, I am not very good with keeping it up, kind of like my workout schedule! However, I realize that with my wisdom, comes age and I should take better care of my skin. So, why not now? Many of us are pretty much confined to our homes and while we’re busy, we need to make time to do some self-care and our skin.

I spoke with Lydia Sarfati of Repechage, and she has more than 40-years experience in the beauty biz. She offered her tips on how to stay health from head to toe and ways we can care for our skin at home. Press play for the interview details.

Start a Side Hustle

Right now may be the best time for you to start up a side hustle. Maybe you’ve had an idea for a brand or merch, but aren’t sure where to start, or just needed an extra push to get going…well, there’ no time like the present. Many of us are being faced with job loss, lost income or feeling the need to supplement our funds, so why keep putting it off when you can make something happen right now, from the comfort of your home!?!?

Enter Printful. I spoke to Ilza Folkmane from Printful and she broke it down, on just how easy it is to get started with their platform, and the best part…it’s free to sign up! You can create designs with their interface and and determine which products you want to hustle on the side. The y handle the production and ship it out for you, so it;s not like you have to stockpile a bunch of stuff at your house either.

What really intrigued me about Printful is the ease of use, no cost to begin and all the tools they offer for people to start putting their passion to print. I mean, you never know, you could start it on the side as a part time gig, and if it may just end up being a full time hustle!

Healthy Eating Tips While Working From Home

I don’t know about you, but while I work from home, I am working at my kitchen table and the temptation to eat, snack and munch on treats all day long is pretty strong! I had a chat with this issue with my friend Ashley, who specializes in nutrition and healthy eating, and I quickly found out, one of her top tips for healthy eating is to not work in or around the kitchen!

Ashley actually has a lot of great tips for how to manage your diet and stay on track while working from home, and I must admit, they are pretty easy to follow, if you know what they are!! So, in my latest zoom interview she shares her Top 5 tips for eating healthy, while working from home.

Press play to hear her explain how it all works, and if you want the cliff notes…

  1. Don’t work in or near the kitchen
  2. Plan your meals ahead of time – here I will show one smoothie and one dish with their ingredients that can be made ahead of time
  3. Drink plenty of water
  4. Avoid buying the junk food
  5. Always check serving sizes

If you want to read up on more of Ashley’s tips on healthy eating and nutrition, plus find lots of her easy and affordable recipes, visit her website ashleyreinke.com

Hosting Happy Hour Online

Before the pandemic, I had heard of zoom and I knew you could do these old school “party line,” style FaceTime calls, etc… but I never made time to do them or participate in them. Well, the past couple weeks, me and zoom have made fast friends, and these virtual meet-ups with my family and friends are now something I look forward to. I love the creativity in how people are connecting and being engaged with each other, and this includes celebrating “happy hour” too!

Lifestyle expert Paul Zahn joined me virtually to talk about his ideas for how to plan a virtual happy hour! He talked about using items you already have at home, picking a theme and designating a host. It’s that easy, so go, be social and have a great virtual happy hour!

A Little Motivation

If you’ve never worked from home before or have a tough time adjusting to new routines, the “stay at home” order and the idea of pretty much being confined to your home and immediate neighborhood can feel a bit restrictive and confining. And, I’m sure lots of people are quickly trying to figure out how to cope and figure out their new (temporary) normal.

One person that I can always count on for good ideas and sound advice, is my good friend Shannon McKain, who just happens to be a Keynote Speaker and is an authority on strategies to stay motivated, as well as how to pursue and plan your career. So, I asked her to join me for a Zoom interview to talk about how we can find motivation and stay productive and focused during these challenging times.

A few of my key takeaways from our chat:

  • Routine – Get out of bed, brush your teeth, dress the part
  • Goals – Set a few (immediate) goals that will help you right now
  • Branding – Take the time to work on your brand and be consistent on all platforms

As you will see in the interview, Shannon is a dynamic speaker who is likeable and easy to understand. She is a positive influence in my life and I was so happy to have her share some of her real life, practical wisdom in the video. To keep up with Shannon, you can visit her website: shannonmckain.com

Virtual Wine Tasting

We are all finding new ways to continue to connect with our friends and family, keep busy and do things we enjoy, most likely on a virtual online platform. And usually when you think of wine tasting, you envision visiting a tasting room or winery for a vino pour. Well, wineries along the Madera Trail, (south of Yosemite), are virtually connecting wine fans with their favorite wine makers to bring the wine community together and continue in the tradition of wine tastings, in a virtual setting!

In my latest Zoom interview I had the opportunity to chat with Brooke Smith of Visit Yosemite Madera County Tourism office and Anna Marie Dos Remedios of Idle Hour Winery to find out more on this virtual wine connection. Plus, I learned about the virtual cooking classes being offered too! Chef Robert Snyder III is teach his kitchen-maestro tips in a virtual cooking class series. First up , he showed viewers how to prepare a simple, nutrition-packed Carrot Ginger Soup from the coziness of your own home. New videos will post regularly, and now the hospitality of the Chateau du Sureau can be experienced from your home. 

As Brooke pitched : When the going gets tough, the tough come together, with new ways to appreciate things we love, like drinking wine. Although tasting rooms at Madera Wine Trail wineries are temporarily closed for anything except bottle pick-up and deliveries fear not, wine tasting is still on. Virtually, that is.

Your favorite winemakers are taking to Instagram and Facebook to open up a bottle (or two) of some cheerful reds and whites. If you are fortunate enough to have a bottle from the Madera Wine Trail tucked away, follow along with your own library. If not, grab a bottle of something you have on hand (we are sure you have stocked up, along with toilet paper!), make yourself a lovely appetizer, then have some fun chatting wine. “We wanted a way to stay in touch with our community, patrons and dear friends.” mused the winemaker and owner of Idle Hour winery, Anna Marie Remedios. “For now, we are temporarily rethinking our way of life during this time of social distancing. There are a variety of curbside pick-up or delivery options and a lot of fantastic wine discounts at the moment.”