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Virtual Girls Night

Trust me, I get it. You’ve been grinding all week at work, the kids have been running you into the ground, the laundry is piling up and no amount of hours in the day seems to be enough for everything you need to get done! The only thing that can rectify this situation is a night out with the girls! Getting together with your closest girlfriends and unloading whatever has been weighing you down.

There’s only one problem…COVID-19. ‘Rona is a biiiish and has literally interrupted everyone’s regularly scheduled programs. Am I right? I mean, I’m not wrong. Businesses are closed or have reduced their hours, social gatherings are limited to a certain number of people and everyone is social distancing.

Now, I am not saying that these things are unnecessary or overkill. The precautions that are in place are essential to helping our country recover from this pandemic. What I am saying is that it has really put a damper on my girls nights out and this mama is in need of a stiff drink and gossip session with her girls.

Reluctant to venture out into public to satisfy my selfish need and hesitant to give up hanging with my girls, I have found a temporary, yet sufficient alternative…virtual girls night! You may have read my blog about virtual birthday parties for all ages, if not you can check it out here. However, it got me thinking. If I can throw my kid a virtual birthday party and have 10 of his closest friends participate, why couldn’t this work for my girls nights? Short answer is, it can!

Here are a few virtual girls nights that I have put to the test along with a few more that I am looking forward to having in the coming weeks. Now, let me add this disclaimer. I cannot and will not be held responsible for anyone who takes these ideas and determines that virtual girls nights should happen every night of the week. (that actually sounds pretty amazing!) I don’t want to open my inbox to messages from distraught husbands and neglected children scolding me for their drunk mama whose been busy virtually getting lit with the girls all week long and are now hungry and out of socks. I just can’t. Let’s get into it.

The Basics

First, you need a platform. It’s important to pick a platform that is easy to use and readily accessible to all of your girls (and not to mention free). There are numerous group-calling apps available. Simply doing a Google search will bring up a ton for you to explore. Here are a few that are pretty user friendly and, in most cases, are free to use.

  • Facebook Group Video Chat – start a Facebook group video chat and invite up to six of your gal pals. This is done through Messenger. Then you can “go live” with your girls and as long as you’ve accepted the setting to allow group members to “go live” as well, you can all see and talk to each other. Now this doesn’t mean you can only have six of your best girlfriends be a part of virtual girls night. You can invite up to 50 friends who can join to listen, via voice or be on camera however you will only be able to see the first six friends.
  • Zoom – With Zoom you can host a virtual meeting. There are numerous price plans to choose from. However, there is a free plan. The free plan allows you to host up to 100 of your friends for up to 40 minutes at a time absolutely free.
  • Skype Group Video Calling – Skype video chat app allows for group calls up to 50 people for free on just about any mobile device, tablet or computer. Just download the app and get started for free.

Let’s Party!

  • Dinner and Drinks: This is just like it sounds. Grab your dinner plate and beverage of your choice, load up your Zoom call with the girls and get to gabbing. This is what my girls and I did for our first virtual girls night. It was simple, it was fun. We laughed, we cried, we drank ourselves silly.
  • Sassy Spa Day: So what we did was everyone got mimosas, face masks, nail polish, hair treatments, etc and we had a spa day together. With most salons being closed or booked-up due to limited availability, we had fun pampering ourselves while we chit chatted. Heck, I even whipped out my tweezers and plucked my eyebrows while chatting it up with my girls. Not only did we have fun but we ended the call feeling (and looking) better than when it started.
  • Book Club: I miss my weekly book club meetings. Talking about the characters in the book or how we think the plot twist will come about are all highlights of book club night. Thanks to virtual face-to-face calls I still get to enjoy book club with my girls.
  • Heads Up: Ok, I love a good game of Heads Up as much as the next gal, but virtually takes it to another level. If you’ve never heard of this game, you can download it onto your phone. The person who is holding the word up to their forehead will need to close their eyes or make sure they cannot see themselves on the virtual call. I don’t know why this was so much more fun playing virtually, but it was. Oh, maybe it was the shots we took for every wrong answer? 😉
  • Baking Fun: You guessed it! Everyone decides on a recipe to make. The catch is, there has to be a video of the recipe being made. One person will watch the video with the sound off while trying to explain to the group how to make the recipe. They can either choose to make it along with everyone or just sit back and laugh as the other girls try to follow the directions give. Once the final product is made, everyone compares their masterpiece. This can also be done with a craft project, sewing project, etc. The sky’s the limit.

At the End of the Day

It doesn’t matter what activity you do on your virtual girls night. The point is to have fun socializing with your girls. Some of our best girls nights have just been sitting on a Zoom call together, drinking some cocktails and dishing about our lives. Incorporating social distancing doesn’t need to put a damper on your social life, it just gives you an opportunity to think outside of the box.

I hope you enjoyed these virtual girls night out ideas. Let me know in the comments below if you tried any of theses ideas out and how they worked out for you and your girls. Till next time!

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DIY Quarantine Essentials

I am sure everyone has been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic in one way or another. These are scary times for sure. It seems like the course of this situation changes hourly and new information is always popping up. Even though it is important to stay up to date with the information provided to the public by the Centers for Disease Control, it is even more important to make sure that you and your loved ones are safe and prepared. I want to share with you my DIY quarantine essentials so that we can all stay safe and healthy.

Toilet Talk

I remember when the toilet paper hoarding first started. It was all over the news and social media. At first, I remember thinking “what in the world is everyone doing with all the toilet paper? They need to calm down.” Then, it happened. I went to replace a roll of toilet paper in my bathroom and noticed that we needed more. I headed to the store only to be confronted with swarms of people and absolutely zero toilet paper in sight. Now I was on high alert.

Ultimately, I headed home defeated and prepared myself to break the news to my family that we were soon going to resort to scooting our butts across the rug like our dogs do because of the Coronavirus. Even though my dogs seem to enjoy doing this, I wasn’t planning on taking it to this level. This was DEFCON-5 and I needed to find alternatives.

Here are my current DIY quarantine essentials. Or should I call these hacks? Either way, from toilet paper to washing laundry, here are the current things my household is using in order to successfully (and hygienically) survive while in quarantine.

Do You Tabo?

This may be a new one for most of you, unless your Filipino, then you already know what’s up! This handy dandy little “dipper” or aka “ladle” is what Filipinos use to jugas (or wash) your body parts, specifically your hoo-ha. Fill it up with water and rinse yourself after using the bathroom. Comment below for a full instructional video. (just kidding) Get your very own tabo here. Here is what a tabo looks like:

…But How Do I Dry Myself?

The easiest answer is with a small towel. This is where I got a little creative. I took several washcloths, cut them into 4 equal pieces and placed them in a cute little basket next to my toilet. After I use the restroom, rinse with my Tabo, I dry with these small sections of washcloth. These little towels get thrown into the washer to be used again later. How many of you didn’t expect to see this on a DIY quarantine essentials list? LOL

I know what some of you are probably thinking. Using a Tabo may not be ideal and a little too hands-on for some. If that’s the case, I do have another alternative for you. Although it is not a DIY solution, I feel a bidet can be considered a life hack item. This is a toilet seat that will wash and dry you after using the restroom. It even has a heated seat for that extra spa-like defecation session. Amazon has a lot of different types of bidets. I really like this one because it has all the bells and whistles at a more affordable price…and Prime shipping. What more could I ask for?

DIY Hand Sanitizer

With the empty shelves in stores than once held an abundance of hand sanitizer options, I have resorted to making my own. This has been a life saver when it comes to my DIY quarantine essentials because hand sanitizer is sold out every where! The recipe is really simple and I find comfort in the fact that I have an abundant supply of hand sanitizer to use when washing with soap and water is not available. Here is what you will need:

Now, all you do is pour all of the ingredients into a small mixing bowl and stir everything together. Once you reach a cohesive consistency, pour it into your cute pump bottle and begin using. Don’t forget to label the bottle appropriately as hand sanitizer. I like using my easy peasy label-maker to label all of my DIY concoctions. I don’t know how I ever survived without this label-maker.

Laundry Detergent

Ok, this is something I use to make all the time a couple years ago. It saved me a ton of money. Wait, why did I stop using this? Oh that’s right, I lack motivation. I have since gotten a bit lazy and now use laundry soap pods. However, thanks to COVID-19, my trusty little laundry soap pods are no longer available in my local stores. Am I worried? No. Do I have a back-up plan? Absolutely!

The best thing about this DIY laundry soap is that you can customize the scent, make as much or as little as you need and it looks super cute in this dispenser bottle up on the laundry room shelf. You will be able to make a ton of laundry detergent with it only costing you less than $1 per gallon to make. Here is what you will need:

I found this complete kit available on Amazon if you want to purchase all 3 items at once. Just add a bucket and say…well, nevermind.

Now, let’s get ready to make some detergent!

  • Grate 1/3 of your Fels Naptha bar
  • Melt the grated shavings in 3 cups of water in a pot on medium heat until completely melted.  (keep an eye on this as it will bubble over)
  • Add the Borax and Washing Soda to the pot and stir for a few minutes until dissolved
  • Add 3 gallons of water to your 5 gallon bucket
  • Pour your soap mixture into the bucket and stir
  • Let it rest for 24 hours – this allows the consistency to “settle” a bit
  • After 24 hours – pour your homemade detergent into your dispenser bottles or empty gallon jugs.

Tada! Now you have 3 gallons of laundry detergent! I think I am going to stick with my homemade laundry detergent even after life returns to normal after COVID-19. Using this DIY has saved me hundreds of dollars a year on store bought laundry detergent in the past. Honestly, I don’t even add in the essential oil because I feel like the Fels Naptha has a nice clean scent to it already.

That’s All Folks

There ya have it! These are the things I have implemented in my house since being quarantined. I don’t have to worry about running out or putting myself and my loved ones at risk by going out to the grocery stores. Our bottoms, hands and clothes are staying clean and sanitized with these DIY hacks.

I hope you enjoyed this post and found some useful information. Leave me a comment below if you tried any of these DIY’s or have other useful hacks to share. We can all benefit from sharing our knowledge with each other. Check out this post on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by doing one simple thing. Stay safe and healthy my friends.

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Nurse Advice: How to Prevent the Coronavirus

I know these are difficult times for many of us. Things become even more difficult when faced with a potential threat that we don’t really know a whole lot about. One thing is for certain , even though we are all fearful of different things, we all know what fear feels like…and it’s not fun. I’ve been a registered nurse for over 10 years and want to share some nurse advice on how to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. So here it is, nurse advice for preventing Coronavirus.

Know Your Enemy

The first step in protecting yourself and your loved ones from the Coronavirus is understanding what it is. How can we figure out how to do this if we aren’t sure what it is? Here are the facts: the Coronavirus is just that, a virus. This virus affects the respiratory system and is spread by respiratory droplets. There are no vaccines or treatments for viruses. Viruses simply need to run their course. The average healthy person will not have any difficulty recovering from a virus, however people with weakened immune systems may.

The Best Defense

I know you have all heard the importance of hand washing, however I am going to step up on my soap box and preach about this until I am blue in the face.

This. Is. How. You. Prevent. Coronavirus.

Washing your hands with soap and water is the best defense you have to protecting yourself and your loved ones from contracting and/or transmitting the Coronavirus. I am not talking about a quick squirt of hand soap and a quick pass under the water faucet. I am talking about a dollop of hand soap, lathering it up good and scrubbing adequately between your fingers, palms, wrists and under your fingernails for at least 20 seconds.

Also, for the love of all things holy, after washing your hands in a public place turn the faucet (if its not touch-less) off with a paper towel. Reaching for the grimy faucet handle with your freshly cleaned hands to turn off the water will only reintroduce those pesky germs you just spent the last 20 seconds washing down the drain.

Can I Just Use Hand Sanitizer?

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a great option for when traditional hand washing with soap and water is not available. What most people don’t know is that it is not the hand sanitizer or the hand soap that effectively gets rid of the virus. It is actually the friction you create with your hands when washing them. This friction, the act of briskly rubbing your hands together, is what causes the “break-down” of the virus from contact with your skin and allows it to be rinsed down the drain during hand washing. If you really wanna get down and dirty, you can obtain the same effectiveness simply with friction and water, no soap needed. However, this is a discussion for another time lol.

Sneeze in Your Sleeve

This is a practice pretty much every healthcare worker already implements. When you have to sneeze or cough, do it into your elbow or shirt sleeve instead of covering your mouth and nose with your hand. By covering your mouth and nose with your hand, you are putting secretions on your hands which you will spread to surrounding people and objects when you touch them. If you bury your face into the crook of your arm, you are trapping these little germy-germs into the fabric of your clothing which keeps your hands cleaner and contaminate free. Give it a try next time you sneeze or cough. You’ll like it.

Final Prevention Tip

Try not to panic. I know, I know, easier said than done. Keep this in mind, we have been dealing with viruses foreeeeeever. Remember that pesky virus called Influenza that we all get shots for every year? Well, it too is a virus. It actually claims tens of thousands of lives every year, sadly enough. I won’t go any further about that because I’d have to pull out my big mama soap box. It would get real, real quick. Anyways, the point that I am absolutely failing to make is that keeping calm and thinking rationally will win the race every time. Freaking out in the isle 15 of your local Walmart because you aren’t able to buy 96 rolls of toilet paper is not going to help you prevent the Coronavirus. This is what my family and I use that keeps us from having to hoard toilet paper. You can thank me later. There are also a ton of DIY essentials you can use to replace items that seem to be non-existent in the stores.

Here’s my final food for thought and final nurse advice for preventing Coronavirus. Staying level-headed, sneezing in your sleeve and washing your hands like it’s going out of style is all the defense you need against this pandemic. Everything else is over kill and honestly, a complete waste of time. Till next time, happy hand washing.