Quarantine Favorites 1.0 … and Thoughts From the Inside

As some (12) of you know, I’ve struggled with what to call the new Friday Favorites now that they aren’t relegated to Fridays anymore (or regular for that matter), but never in my wildest list of possibilities did I ever think “Quarantine Favorites” is the title they’d have one day.

What a bizarre time we’re in.
And it keeps getting more unbelievable every day.
Honestly, we’re trapped in a real life dystopian novel that I can’t wrap my brain around. I’ve been homebound in isolation for four weeks now and make it a point not to read the headlines that come across my feeds or click on any of the heartbreaking stories.
I just can’t.
It’s too much.
I need to just stay isolated with my family, safe in our little rural town out here in the sticks, controlling what I can and ignoring what I can’t. And I feel guilty for that. I feel guilty for turning a deaf ear to the devastation and grief and unreal situations happening. Guilty that burying my head in the sand is my coping mechanism.
But it is.

Don’t get me wrong, I may be mentally blocking out reality, but I’m very aware of the tireless courage and incredible selflessness of the hundreds of thousands of health care workers (among others), and we have donated both supplies and money in support of their incredible, tireless, work.

And don’t even get me started on the thousands and thousands of people who are disregarding and flat out ignoring the rules to STAY AWAY FROM OTHER PEOPLE and who somehow don’t understand that as long as they are getting together with their girlfriends/boyfriends/friend friends/family members who live in other households/etc. THEY ARE CONTINUING TO CREATE THE PROBLEM. This horrible situation will not be allowed to improve as long as they keep bending the rules.

It’s infuriating to me as a lifelong rule follower, for sure, but mostly as a concerned, responsible HUMAN BEING.


Okay, enough musing and ranting, let’s get to some favorites!

LEGO Architecture Sets

I give credit to Ellen for making LEGO Architecture sets all the rage the past few weeks (check out her IG posts), and since I’m not a puzzle person (but do suffer from severe FOMO) I thought one of these would be fun for the family to work on together this weekend.
And then I discovered how much they were.


However, after a few glasses of wine the other night I did a little tipsy Amazon shopping (highly recommend right now, BTW) and after convincing myself and my husband that we totally deserved it after having to cancel our spring break trip somehow ended up with this Buckingham Palace.

There’s 780 pieces, you guys, which will definitely mean more wine.
(Stay tuned to the IG page for updates.)

Amazon has LEGO Architecture sets in a varied price ranges. I really love these Skyline sets … and may or may not have a shelf full of LEGO creations (and a new addiction) by the time this whole mess is over.

Good (and bad) Reads

The Honey-Don’t-List

I’ve liked some of Christina Lauren’s books (two women, one name) in the past so I figured this one would be a quick, fun read.
Did. Not. Like.
The couple in the book is a total Chip and Joanna Gaines rip off (as is their entire empire) and I just felt the entire thing was so contrived and unoriginal. Not to mention highly unlikable characters (almost to an absurd point).
While the two at the heart of the love story are somewhat likable, their story is just too thin and uninteresting.
Why did I read it to the end, you ask?
Quarantine. Duh.
Christina Lauren fans, my opinion is put this one on your Honey-Don’t-List.
Heh heh.

You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley

This book, however, is one I’m loving.
A cute, fast, layered love story that has heart, depth, and an original story line. I started this last night and couldn’t put it down.


I saw Yesterday in the theaters last summer and loved it so much I made my husband and daughter watch it last night.
I think it was cuter the second time … and they both loved it.
Lily James is adorable, as always (have you seen The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? Read the book? No? Do. It. NOW.) and I fell in love with Himesh Patel and his beautiful voice. Yesterday is such a fun, cute, totally original story full of amazing music, and for those of you with younger kids is one the whole family can enjoy.

*Extra Favorite: The Yesterday soundtrack on Spotify, and I mean, while you’re at it, the “This is The Beatles” playlist is obviously pretty good, too. 😉

Other cute, feel good movies worth a watch during quarantine:
Brittany Runs a Marathon
Late Night (unless you do not like Mindy Kaling, which a lot of people don’t)
The Big Sick
Love, Rosie

Crock Pot Barbacoa

This easy to make Mexican Barbacoa beef is, hands down, mine and my husband’s favorite dinner.
I discovered this recipe last fall and probably make it two or three times a month. We absolutely love this tender, spicy beef that literally falls apart after about six hours in the crock pot.
We put it in small, market taco tortillas with sour cream, cheese, salsa, avocado and lettuce, or it’s equally amazing piled on top of tortilla chips or simply mixed with black beans in a bowl.
Stock up on Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce (found in the Mexican food aisle at any grocery store), beef broth, and throw a couple of chuck roasts in the freezer. This is a perfect quarantine meal that will last for a couple of days!
(In case you missed it, here’s THE RECIPE)

Disney’s Onward

You guys, we haven’t even watched this yet (it’s our movie night tonight) but I already know I’ll be a blubbering mess … and that it will be a new favorite.

That’ll do it for this week.
I’ve got a hot date with a cute cat who is dying to nap on my chest while I finish my book.

Stay inside.
Stay away from other people.
Eat what you want.
Drink lots of water.
Dance, workout, move your bodies in some way.
Don’t set expectations.
Go easy on yourself.
Get through the day and tackle tomorrow, tomorrow.

We’ll chat next week.


  1. Mindy on April 5, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    So I don’t know if I’m one of the 12 or not, but I love reading your blog, whatever you call it. I am a fellow Minnesotan and our son started a food blog a few months ago (timstidbits.food.blog) and has been struggling to adjust as well (he started by doing restaurant reviews, Covid sure shook that up!). If you are looking for a new book recommendation – Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides) suspenseful and will pull you away from reality. Thanks for continuing to share your journey!

    • Michelle on April 6, 2020 at 2:22 pm

      Well since you read this post you are certainly one of the 12! haha. Just read the synopsis of that book and am definitely adding it to my Kindle samples (I hoard them). I need a psychological break from reality — if that’s what this is. I’ll check out your son’s blog! Good luck to him going forward! Thanks for reading and for the comment — always nice to hear from a neighbor! 🙂

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