This week has been a strange one – waking up to snow in April is something I’ll never get used to, even if we are stuck inside. On the plus side, it made staying in a bit easier. I spent a lot of the week trying to make my living room space a little bit more comfortable. That involved finding a new home for my 750 piece puzzle – it took up the whole table!
I also spent the week planning ahead with some meal prepping. I put the ingredients together to make a LOT of chili on Wednesday morning and slow cooked it until the evening. I froze some of it and kept some ready to go for meals. What I love about it is it’s easy to make and totally delicious and full of the good stuff – veggies, proteins and a lot of tasty spices too. Here’s what else I’ve been doing to keep busy this week:
- I watched Us, and yes, I’m surprised I did too!
This week I watched the horror movie, Us by Jordan Peele. And wow! I stay away from horror as a general rule but my partner has been slowly warming me up to the genre. What an amazing film! It pays homage to the history of horror films while offering a fresh, deeply disturbing storyline. Jordan Peele is a clever guy – he kept me in it for a few reasons. I wanted to know where this spooky mystery would go, I loved the humour he sprinkled throughout and the cast was absolutely phenomenal. Lupita Nyongo is a force to be reckoned with and I just love how he cast everyone – particularly Elizabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker. If you haven’t had a chance to check this out, it’s worth watching a spooky movie!
- Back to the binge – I’m watching Rupaul’s Drag Race – again
My partner hasn’t seen Drag Race in its entirety and (kind of) because he likes it, I’ve got us going through the seasons. So far, since we’ve gone into isolation, we’ve finished season 8 and 9. We’re in the middle of 10 right now. And of course, we watch season 12 every Friday!
- Fiona Apple changed my listening experience forever
Fiona Apple’s long-awaited album, Fetch the Bolt Cutters dropped this Friday and it delivered. This album caused me to feel many feelings – I smiled, cried and laughed. If you’re looking for an emotional experience, Fetch the Bolt Cutters puts you right into the action as Fiona Apple guides you through its twists and turns. There are themes of sisterhood, an homage to folks who encouraged her to work hard to get where she needs to go and a darker look at some things going on in society today. It is very reminiscient of the mundane worries many of us may experience. She tells a story and it’s one you won’t want to put down.
- The Song Exploder Podcast is a great companion to any quiet activity
Have you ever wondered how some of your favourite songs were imagined, created and recorded? There’s a podcast for that. This week I’ve been listening to plenty of these – they offer quick 20-30 minute episodes looking at artists such as Brittany Howard, Nathaniel Rateliff, Vampire Weekend and Mumford and Sons. My favourite episodes came from Soccer Mommy as she unpacks how she made her song, Circle the Drain and Jay Som doing a deep dive on her tune, Tenderness.
- We Were Promised Jetpacks dropped a new track
We Were Promised Jetpacks released a really chill wave bedroom pop tune called “when getting lost” and it checks just about every box I have for a song! I can’t wait to see what they put out next.
- Phoebe Bridgers went a little upbeat on her latest tune and it was just what I needed
Phoebe Bridgers dropped a new tune called “Kyoto,” and I was very excited hearing it for the first time because it has a lot of oomph to it – it’s upbeat while still maintaining her incredibly unique sound. The video is super silly too – she’s pretend-flying over a green screen while wearing a skeleton costume.
- Live music all day, everyday
And I’m always looking to tune into a live set from the comfort of home. We’ve got a list of shows we’re updating daily.
- Pandemic the board game helped to pass the time – it’s not what it sounds like
So it sounds a bit dark, but I’ve been spending my downtime playing a board game called Pandemic. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s actually quite the opposite of how it sounds – its a collaborative game where you are trying to find cures for four diseases across the world. For each turn you take, more infections happen. I’ve found this to be a hopeful way of dealing with some of the anxieties I’ve had lately. It’s also made me extra thankful for all of the amazing work our frontline health care workers are doing.
Each round of the game takes roughly 45 minutes and up to 8 people can play. And if you want to get more friends or loved ones in on the game, it’s available on several platforms.
I found some time this week to bake cupcakes! I paired the French vanilla mix with a butter cream icing and oh my, was it ever good! The good thing about cupcakes is you can make so many – they’re the gift that keeps on giving.
I also made an order from Alicja Confections. They’re an Ottawa-based company who makes – you guessed it – chocolate and candy! Two of my favourite things. I’ve been craving this ever since a pal of mine got me a milk and cereal white chocolate bar for Christmas but I didn’t think I should treat myself. My anxiety has been a bit high these days, so I put in an order. And why not? Supporting local and having a tasty snack is always a good combo!
I got the donut, salted toffee and popping candy(!) flavours. I cannot wait to try these!
- Connecting Creatively
This week I looked at a bunch of free apps and websites people are using to creatively connect with one another. They allow you to do a lot more than just video chat – you can have a trivia night, stream movies and shows together, get immersed in niche interest or even play some of the most iconic old video games as a group. Check it out!
Needless to say, I’m going to being trying out Kosmi and Houseparty very soon!
How are you spending your free time these days? Let me know below!