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Life is Still Sweet: Six Weeks of Sweet
May 05, 2020

Life is Still Sweet: Six Weeks of Sweet

Do you ever think about what you would say to your past self if you could? Your January 2020 self, for example? Maybe, you’d suggest they go ahead and grab coffee with that friend who lives in the same city but never see. Enjoy the great outdoors. Buy an extra roll of toilet paper or two. How about a few board games? Canadian actor, writer, and funny lady Julie Nolke, took to Youtube to explore what it would be like to visit herself four months ago and the advice she would impart: “Put a little money in Zoom...trust me.” And while these things are important, maybe you would also encourage yourself to be positive. Be realistic, of course, but look for and cherish the amazing examples of kindness, heroism, and creativity that exist all around us and remind us that life is still sweet. 1. Dive into Nature     What happens to tourism when the tourists are all at home in their pajamas? In the case of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, tourism teamed up with science to collaborate on some much needed coral restoration. For the first time, tour operators are working alongside researchers to plant coral throughout the world’s largest coral reef system which means healthy coral now and breathtaking  scuba and snorkeling experiences when we finally leave our couches one day.    Read more here:  BrightVibes: With No Tourists, Australian Scuba Tours are Planting Coral Instead 2. That's Nuts! Squirrels are hilarious-what with their backyard antics and bushy little tails. But one Mom in Illinois harnessed their true potential when she started selling tiny picnic tables for them. Lunchroom and playground aid, Maria Trezza was suddenly out of work and in need of a source of income when schools closed due to Coronavirus. With the help of her business-minded son and crafty neighbor, Trezza started selling a few wooden tables for friends, complete with red and white checkered table cloth and bag of peanuts wrapped in a bow. Now business is booming and people (and squirrels?) can’t get enough. Read more here: Buzzfeed: A Mom Is Out Of Work Due To The Coronavirus But Now Has A Business Selling Tiny Picnic Tables For Squirrels 3. The Ultimate Stay-Cation @jessicasfeir we out of here as soon as we get the OK. ✈️✌🏻 ##treadmillchallenge ##airport ##luggage ##quarantine ##coronavirus ##travel ##flying ##vacation ##mepracticing ♬ Crowd - Loud Airport Terminal Sound Effect - Hollywood Sound Effects Is your roller-board feeling a little neglected? Do you miss the thrill of sprinting through a terminal to catch a flight or the suspense of waiting for your luggage on the baggage carousel? Jetsetters determined to keep their travel skills sharp are posting videos to Tik Tok, Facebook, and Twitter that recreate their airport experiences using treadmills and empty suitcases. It might just be the next best thing until we can safely fly the friendly skies once again.    Watch here: Insider: People on TikTok are using treadmills and empty suitcases to recreate the airport experience   4. Ain't No Party like a Quarantine Party The club may be closed but that doesn’t mean you can’t connect with friends and party like it’s 1999. Tune into Instagram Live where celebrity DJ D-Nice is spinning tracks and hosting massive dance parties on the daily. We’re talking 100K-live-viewers-massive! You can also catch an array of guest stars making appearances during sets including Rihanna, John Legend, Jennifer Lopez, and yes, Bernie Sanders. Read more here:  CNN: DJ D-Nice is throwing the best quarantine party    5. Open Mic with Mom     Jenie Borders, of Wyoming could tell you what life is like at home with three kids during quarantine but she’d rather sing it to you. After weeks of being cooped up inside amidst mounting arguments, constant cleaning, and a dwindling supply of vino, this mom processed her experience through a relatable parody of the chart topping song “Dance Monkey" by Australian electropop singer, Tones and I. Listen here: Today: Mom's epic 'Dance Monkey' parody nails COVID-19 quarantining with kids  EXPLORE
Life is Still Sweet: There's More in Store
April 28, 2020

Life is Still Sweet: There's More in Store

Hey, there. How you holdin’ up? Yeah, us, too. You’ve officially washed your one billionth dish, your dog is your self-appointed new shadow, and some of the so-called comforts of home are starting to grate on you. A lot. After weeks living and working side-by-side with her partner, blogger Maureen Boesen documented the discovery of her husband’s annoying habit that had somehow gone unnoticed throughout 10 years of marriage. Turns out: “Okay, fine! Fine. He was breathing.” But she also makes note of the amazing opportunity this has been to spend (an exorbitant amount of ) time together, learn more about each other, learn more about ourselves, and appreciate that in new ways, life is still sweet.    1. A Change of Scenery   If you’re like most of us, you’ve been looking out the window at the same old, same old for weeks now. But before you start resenting the tree staring at you from across the street, take a minute to test drive another view from across the city, the country, or even the world. “View from my Window" is a public Facebook group where members post just that; sharing the scenery from their vantage point and allowing others to live vicariously through it. It’s basically a mini vacation for your eyes.    See more here: Facebook: View from my Window  2. Embraceable You Sometimes all you need is a hug from your mom. But when you’re a nurse working in the ICU, like Kelsey Kerr at Christ Hospital in Ohio, that’s not always possible. Her resourceful mama, Cheryl, had an idea and turned a fresh bed sheet into a protective shield so the two could finally embrace after what felt like ages. I’m not crying, you’re crying! Read more here: CNN: A mom of an ICU nurse covered her daughter with a bed sheet to give her a hug 3. Some News is Good News     If you loved Jim Halpert’s little smirks to the camera on “The Office,"  you just might adore John Krasinski’s new gig on “Some Good News.” The positive-news-only web series sheds light on the good things in life from around the world. And there’s a lot! In the show’s third week Jim, I mean, John, highlights the amazing efforts, celebratory dances, and recovery stories coming out of hospitals. Oh yeah, and sports! To show his love for his hometown healthcare heroes at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, Krasinski teamed up with Red Sox legend, David Ortiz to give a big “thank you" to the Covid unit. Home run!    Watch here: Boston Globe: John Krasinski, David Ortiz, and the Red Sox surprise Boston nurses on ‘Some Good News’         4. Who Let the Dogs Out? Apparently, the answer is Palm Beach County. At least for today. For the first time ever, all of the kennels in the Stray Housing and Adoption Overflow unit at the Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control were totally empty thanks to ramped up adoptions and fostering. Read more here: CBS: South Florida Animal Shelter Empty For First Time Ever 5. All in a Day's Work (or not)        The children are home. And so are you. And while one mother has shared her color-coded daily schedule chock full of regimented and enriching activities, others are being a little more real. Maybe too real. Ample screen time, repeat viewings of Frozen II, some light bribery, and, of course, nonstop fighting dominate the day in these hilarious alternative agendas. Read more here: Today: Parents share their kids' 'realistic' quarantine schedules   EXPLORE
Life is Still Sweet: And the Sweet Goes On
April 21, 2020

Life is Still Sweet: And the Sweet Goes On

Yup, this is still happening. Really. Can you believe it? You need a haircut, a vacation, maybe even a drink. I think we can all agree that it's 5 o'clock somewhere when you're in quarantine. Time is funny: crawling slower than molasses and racing forward at warp speed all at the same time. We're finding new ways to celebrate our favorite spring holidays and birthdays from miles and continents apart. Who knew that a bunch of little squares singing to you on a screen would feel like all you ever wanted? We're making the best out of the worst and getting better at it all the time. And it's in those little moments that we're reminded that life is still sweet. 1. Dress to Impress   All dressed up and no place to go? Apparently, that’s just a matter of opinion. Taking out the trash might be the only thing on our social calendars these days but some Australians with a flare for fashion have challenged each other to dress for the occasion. We’re talking formal gowns, unicorn onesies, superhero costumes, inflatable T-Rex suits, and even the occasional swimsuit..    Watch here: Funny or Die: Australians Are Dressing Up To Take Out The Trash, Why Isn’t Everyone Doing This 2. Going the Distance So, there’s bored and then there’s running a full marathon in your backyard bored. As a way to celebrate his 32nd birthday (and yes, the term “celebrate,” is being used pretty loosely here), James Campbell spent five hours running 26.2 miles back and forth in his garden and even live streamed the whole thing on Twitter. In addition to getting super sweaty, the stunt raised over $22,000 for Britain’s National Health Service. Read more here: CBS: British man runs marathon in backyard garden, raises $22K for COVID-19 relief 3. Animal Kingdom   It’s not quite Planet of the Apes level yet but there is a substantial animal takeover going down. With the majority of the world under lockdown, some pretty bold members of the animal kingdom are reclaiming their turf. Mountain goats are strutting their stuff through the empty streets of Llandudno, Wales; flocks of ducks are congregating along major avenues in Adana, Turkey; and herds of cattle are catching some rays on the beaches of Poriccio, Corsica.     Watch here: CN Traveller: The animals Taking over cities while the world is in lockdown   4. Meet and (not) Greet As more time passes without seeing another human being IRL (no, your plants don’t count), it’s fair to say some of those people skills might be getting a bit rusty. One friendly toddler is setting a solid example of how not to let a little social distancing affect your social skills. Instead, Ralph greets imaginary passersby each day on his morning walk. Definitely cuter when you’re three Read more here:  Story Pick: 3-YO Says ‘Hi’ & ‘Good Morning’ To Imaginary People During Quarantine 5. Club Quarantine @emilytorchia It was a good time ##ButterGlossPop ##gamingszn ##selfquarantine ##coronavirus ##MoodBoost ##21 ♬ original sound - emilytorchia Moms will do almost anything to make their kids happy and these days that includes playing a bartender at a fake nightclub in the garage. When it became clear no one was going to be hitting the town any time soon, a mother in New Jersey decided to open the rather exclusive “Club Quarantine" to celebrate her son’s 21st birthday complete with a bouncer and free shots all around. They grow up so fast! Read more here:  TIME: Mom Turns Their Garage Into a Swinging Hotspot 'Club Quarantine' to Celebrate Son's 21st Birthday EXPLORE
Life is Still Sweet: Even More Inspiration to Share
April 14, 2020

Life is Still Sweet: Even More Inspiration to Share

It’s been weeks, maybe years since you started your new WFH lifestyle. Well, more like work from home, eat from home, yoga from home, procrastinate from home. You get it. Or you’re out there on the front lines being the kind of hero that we are all so grateful for right now. In any case, someone answers your check-in text with the phrase “strange times" at least once a day and we’re all looking for something refreshing to brighten up this new normal. Here’s yet another reminder that life is still sweet!   1. A Round of Applause   Whether you’re the kind of person who claps when the plane lands or not (hey, no judgement here) cities across the globe are synchronizing like 80s aerobics to show their gratitude for healthcare workers each and every night with a round of applause.    Watch here: CNN: See people around the world cheer for health care workers 2. Repurposing with Purpose Maybe you’re a diehard baseball fan clued into every home-dunk-touchdown or maybe you don’t know what all the fuss is about but Major League Baseball is doing some stuff we can all root for these days. Instead of letting uniforms collect dust while the season is cancelled, MLB will be donating jerseys to be made into protective masks for healthcare workers in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. And who doesn’t like a flattering pinstripe? Read more here: NY Post: MLB jerseys to be made into masks for medical workers fighting coronavirus 3. Works of Art   They say boredom breeds creativity so let’s just say we’re reaching da Vinci levels right about now. The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California is encouraging people to put that pent-up artistic energy to good use by challenging art lovers everywhere to recreate famous paintings using only household items. You know, it’s funny how a few rolls of toilet paper and some oranges suddenly look unmistakably like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night" or a carved potato seamlessly transforms into “The Scream" by Edvard Munch. And all it took was just a few weeks of total home isolation!     Watch here: Today: People nail challenge to re-create famous paintings   Looking for a little more inspiration? Indonesian-based artist and friend-of-JSC, Kelly Garrett Rathbone is keeping busy during quaran-times with her own re-imagining of classic paintings. Check it out.                    4. An Open Book As if things weren’t stressful enough, many parents are now home with the kids 24/7; playing the part of chef, activities instructor, and even teacher. Mary Poppins, where are you? The New York Public Library might be the next best thing. To help preserve our sanity, NYPL is now offering free online student support including things like one-on-one remote tutoring and lots of online videos and things to do. Read more here: NYPL Connect: Introducing Free Online Tutoring for Students, Digital Research Books, and More 5. It's Lit Could there be anything more spectacular than the Eiffel Tower in Paris? Larger than life than Rio’s Christ the Redeemer? More mind blowing than Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza? Let us shed a little light on it. Landmarks from around the world have illuminated the night with messages of encouragement for the public and appreciation for health workers. Displays range from the pulsing red light atop New York City’s Empire State Building to symbolize the heartbeat of the nation to massive projections of “#hope” and “stay home" atop the snowy peak of Switzerland’s Matterhorn. Read more here: People: Famous Landmarks Around the World Are Lighting Up with Messages of Hope and Thanks Amid Coronavirus   EXPLORE
LIFE IS STILL SWEET: Our Second Installment
April 07, 2020

LIFE IS STILL SWEET: Our Second Installment

By this point, it’s likely you’ve baked enough bread to seriously consider a career change. You’ve named all of your plants, joined more Zoom game nights than you can count, and have suddenly become a power user on Tik Tok. You’re missing friends and family and even that misty memory of wearing real pants. But we’re alone (and potentially losing our minds) together. As the weeks go on, we continue to unite over the small things that remind us that life is still sweet!    1. Smells Sweet   Remember when Beanie Babies were the hot ticket? Cabbage Patch Kids? Tickle Me Elmo? Well, if you haven’t noticed, these days it’s masks, gloves, and a little accessory called hand sanitizer. Infinitely less cuddly but all too important for our safety. French luxury goods conglomerate, LVMH, is known for producing perfume (remember when we cared about smelling good? Good! Neither do we...) but now they’re switching gears and pumping out massive quantities of that liquid gold. Hand sanitizer made at the Dior, Givenchy, and Guerlain factories will be distributed to French health agencies, free of charge.    Read more here: Vice: Louis Vuitton Conglomerate Is Now Making Hand Sanitizer in Its Perfume Factories 2. Furry Friends By the time you finish Netflix (we imagine that was about a week ago) you might be wondering how best to pass the time and find fulfillment in the world. Cut to: dogs. Or cats or guinea pigs. Whatever your pre-furr-ed pet, shelters and adoption agencies are in need of foster homes for their animals before they shut down shop. And it’s not such a bad gig. Welcoming a furry friend into your home during quarantine provides us humans with much-needed comfort and companionship, not to mention love. Win-win! Read more here: Today: Why fostering a shelter animal during the coronavirus pandemic is a win-win 3. Creative Dance Sweating it out after a hard day of work or school or just dealing with public transit was a ritual for many of us. Doing old Tae Bo DVDs in your living room just doesn’t quite cut it somehow. But a little creativity, a megaphone, and some Rihanna at full blast helped a community in Utah organize a neighborhood-wide cardio dance class.    Watch here: Now This: Utah Community Organizes Social Distancing Zumba Class 4. Global Support Italy needs a little love right now (don’t we all...), and Cuba stepped. It. Up. Despite the risks and mortal danger and the whole being on a plane for 12 hours part, 150 Cuban doctors trekked to the region of Lombardy in Northern Italy to support medical teams there. And if that wasn’t enough, Cuban healthcare providers have been making rounds in Nicaragua, Venezuela, Jamaica, and Suriname, too. Read more here: MPN News: Images of Cuban Doctors Helping Italy Go Viral, Burst Media Narrative 5. Love is Always in the Air Yes, it’s love in the time of Coronavirus. Reilly Jennings and Amanda Wheeler heard the news that the NYC marriage bureau would be shutting down until further notice and had to act fast to tie the knot. The couple opted for an extremely intimate and...inventive ceremony. Just two lovebirds, a city sidewalk, and a minister hanging out of a 4th story window. The stuff of modern fairytales! Watch here: ABC: Social Distance Wedding Ceremony in New York City Despite Coronavirus EXPLORE
LIFE IS STILL SWEET: Sharing Stories that Inspire Joy
March 26, 2020

LIFE IS STILL SWEET: Sharing Stories that Inspire Joy

Hello from our living room, wearing a similar outfit to yesterday's, wavering between feelings of worry, hope and overwhelm.  We saw a post the other day that says it all "For those who lost track, today is Blursday, the fortyteenth of Maprilay."  Uncertain of the future, we distract ourselves with the thing we know best - travel, and more specifically "armchair travel." Delighting in uplifting stories and pictures from all over the world. Each week we'll be sharing the ones that remind us that Life Is Still Sweet.     1. SOUND OF MUSICItalians in quarantine take to roofs and balconies to join Italians in quarantine take to roofs and balconies to join in song.Read more here: The New York Times: Italians Find ‘a Moment of Joy in This Moment of Anxiety’Watch here: The Guardian: Quarantined Italians sing from balconies to lift spirits 2. GOOD NEIGHBORS Good neighbors in Brooklyn, NY use nextdoor app to help out senior citizens hunkering down at home. Read more here: New York Post: NYC good Samaritans run errands for seniors confined by the coronavirus3. FURRY FRIENDS With more people exercising “WFH,” we’re all spending more time with our furry friends (with entertaining results).Read more here: The Guardian: Dogs working from home during coronavirus crisis? There's an Instagram account for that 4. COMMUNITY SUPPORTPerformers, personal trainers, bar tenders, small business owners, and more feel the love with support from the community. Read more here: CBS News: These workers are going without pay during the coronavirus crisis. Here's how to help.5. HOLIDAY LIGHTSHoliday lights are going back up to spread cheer (not germs) during lockdown.Read more here: Good Morning America: People put Christmas lights up to spread cheer amid coronavirus pandemic6. VIRTUAL TOURSThrough the power of virtual tours, you can still visit beautiful museums and attractions all around the world.Read more here: The Washington Post: 12 Historic Sites you can Virtually Tour from the Couch during your Quarantine   MORE TO EXPLORE
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