Quarantine Q&A: Update (Part 10)

The vaccine is HERE! Not for all of us, of course, so it’s still incredibly important for us to be cautious. That means masks are still very much a thing and for those [many] of us who won’t be getting a vaccine for a long time, we should still be distancing and practicing quar-style protocols. So I figured you could use some more ideas for things to do/watch/read/listen to, especially with the extra holiday downtime coming up between Xmas and New Years. For more ideas, check out: Part 9, Part 8, Part 7, Part 6, Part 5, Part 4, Part 3, Part 2, and Part 1.


  • Cooking/Recipes:
    • Christmas looks a little different this year. While we’re normally in Connecticut, our interaction with family this year will be limited to driveway dropoff of gifts. It’s a bummer, to say the least, but I’m going to try and recreate some classic Neudeck Xmas dishes. That means pierogi and bobalki on Xmas Eve, kielbasa and cheese appetizers, and a fancy meal on Christmas evening (surf and turf maybe?!). Note: I’m a believer in only taking on one new responsibility aka recipe at a time. I’ll be buying pre-made pierogi and attempting the bobalki on my own – the holidays should be about comfort and tradition, not stressing yourself out trying to master new cooking techniques.
    • If you want to cook something fancy and special but don’t care about preparing your family’s traditional dishes, I like this menu.
    • If I wasn’t making the above, my ideal Xmas meal would be pasta. It’s the ultimate cozy comfort food and I love how Iris (Kate Winslet) says “Christmas fettuccine” in The Holiday. Perhaps that’s a very British holiday meal, but I love it. Here’s the first recipe that pops up when you google Christmas fettuccine and it looks delicious.
    • Lace cookies are my favorite and these look really good (and without the almond extract I dislike but tend to find in most recipes).
  • Other Activities:
    • True, it’s almost Christmas, but I’d recommend decorating for the holidays now, even thought it seems like a short window. It may only be for a week, but on Christmas and New Years (and that whole week in between when you’re just drinking toddies and watching movies) you’ll be very happy to have some extra hygge. Don’t think of it as a religious thing – people of all faiths can enjoy some good twinkle lights!
    • I recently joined The Lounge, the members platform of Girls Night In, and the first gathering I attended was called “Reading Whatever Together.” It was essentially a silent book club. We joined over Zoom and then read to ourselves for 30-45 minutes while they played soothing music, and then we re-joined the conversation to talk about whatever various books we just read. It was a great way to carve out some time to read and to meet some new people when we’re starved for social interaction right about now.


  • Books:
    • Bunny – This popped on my radar a few months ago, thanks to a bookstagrammer who constantly recommended it. It takes place in a school with a secret clique and “bizarre” is the word that most commonly pops up in descriptions. I’m hearing Mean Girls + The Craft. Um…OKAY!
    • Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation – I was a fan of the author’s previous book about the various boxes women have been put into. As a millennial myself, I think this one will definitely hit home. And as the generation I call mine – the largest generation – starts to take on more prominent roles in business and society, it’s good to understand us.
    • It’s true – even the book world has its share of gossip. I like this roundup of the biggest literary stories of the year.
  • Movies:
    • Allllll the Xmas Movies – We made a list of all the holiday movie must-views and are cranking through it. In addition to annual favorites (The Holiday, Love Actually, The Family Stone, White Christmas, Home Alone, Elf) we watched The Happiest Season and really enjoyed.
    • The Prom – I never made it to this one on Broadway so I’m so happy it got the Netflix treatment. There’s been some negative reviews, but I thought it was good and gave us the spectacle we expect from Broadway. My only issue is with some of the casting. Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman did fine jobs, but I would have preferred seeing different/fresher/diverse talent in those roles. Otherwise, it was super fun and I’ll be re-watching. (Netflix)
    • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – So happy this finally dropped. I can’t wait to watch it this week. (Netflix)
  • TV:
    • RHSLC – The latest Housewives franchise does NOT disappoint. (Bravo!)
    • Selena – I was nervous about anything living up to the iconic movie, but I really enjoyed this take. No complaints here. (Netflix)
    • Your Honor – After Defending Jacob, this genre is starting to feel a bit…done, but I’m still enjoying this spin. While most similar series are about family loyalty, guilt, and doubt, this one is JUST about the loyalty. Bryan Cranston is a dad and judge who knows his son did a bad thing. And his son knows he knows he did a bad thing. It’s what he does with that information that’s important here. (Showtime)
    • Movies That Made Us – I love extra behind the scenes of our favorite movies. It’s like a bunch of mini documentaries for films like Dirty Dancing and Home Alone. (Netflix)
    • Tiny Pretty Things – I hadn’t read the YA book on which this series is based, but I’m a fan of its author, Dhonielle Clayton, and when she gave her stamp of approval on the adaptation, I was in. It’s like Gossip Girl at an elite ballet school. (Netflix)
  • Podcasts:
    • Meet Cute – Each episode is like a mini romance movie, all centered around the meet cute. This pod cuts through the conflict to give you the part you really came for.
    • Need2Know – What started as a daily newsletter is now a podcast. I’m terrible about keeping up with the news and these episodes are topical, informed, and short enough to maintain my attention. I’m still playing around with daily podcasts to find my best fit. I like the vibe of this one but wish it offered some more diverse perspectives.
    • Sold Out – My family’s business is homebuilding so this show, which examines housing in America, is interesting and hits close to home. Episodes cover the sides of housing you may not think about, like the Black home ownership gap and why housing is so crazy expensive in California.
    • Chameleon – A lot of true crime pods start off super interesting and then lose me after a few episodes. Maybe it’s because they try to draw out the story too much? This one is paced perfectly and over the course of 10 episodes, they expose the Hollywood Con Queen, a scammer who lured all sorts of people to Jakarta. They’re closing in on the suspect in real time so it feels like an extra exciting listen.
    • The Orgasm Cult – This is the story of “cool” wellness company OneTaste, which preached OM (orgasmic meditation). The founder has a TED talk – how could this be bad?! Welp, turns our it’s a cult.