What we've been up to the past few months...
Spring has come around and it feels like just yesterday we were giving you our Winter life update. On the one hand so much in our lives has changed, and on the other, it feels like nothing has happened at all. We've not dwelled too much on Coronavirus here on the blog, as we wanted to keep things light and positive, however, it doesn't really feel possible to be able to reflect on the past couple of months without mentioning it.
The UK went into lockdown only a few days after Spring had officially sprung. It feels like a lifetime ago and it's hard to put into words where the last few months have gone and really sum up what we've been up to. Like everyone else around the country, our physical worlds have shrunk immeasurably into the four walls of our house and our daily walks around the neighbourhood. At first, as I'm sure you'll all be able to relate to, it was a very confusing, scary, weird time. Like most people, we didn't know what was going on & what to do with ourselves for the first couple of weeks. It was all so new and uncertain. At times it felt like the whole country was going mad, as panic buying set in and we struggled to buy basic necessities, and we worried about how on earth we would pay our next rent. I'm not going to lie to you, there were many teary breakdowns in the supermarket aisles over empty shelves and the general weirdness of everything. Being both self-employed freelancers, we were incredibly worried and anxious about our livelihoods and how we would make any income.
After a few weeks, it did start to feel a bit more normal, if you can say that, I think it's more we started to adapt to the situation. We tried to throw ourselves into Lovely Jubley and doing lots of jobs around the house. But amongst all that there have been many many days of waking up feeling exhausted and unmotivated, where all we've wanted to do is be little sloths on the sofa eating cookies. And let me tell you, we've done a lot of that! We saw so many posts on social media of people working out every day and being super productive and kept asking ourselves why we couldn't do the same. Then we remembered we were in a global pandemic and it was absolutely more than fine that we didn't feel creative or motivated! It's hard to be creative when you're worried, tired and missing your loved ones. After talking to friends and family, we realised we weren't alone in feeling this way, and we started to accept this new way of life.
Despite all of the doom & gloom out there, of course, there have been some positives, and we've really tried to look out for these. It's obviously just really reminded us, and everyone else, what's important in life. We have so much and we're so grateful to be healthy and that our loved ones are safe. It's also been amazing to see all the acts of kindness and community across the world. So many selfless people are doing amazing things to keep us all safe and we are endlessly grateful for that.
We've also really enjoyed having so much time to be home and do things we've been wanting to do for ages. As self-employed people, we're already quite used to working from home and spending a lot of our days together, so not much has changed in that respect. We're both big homebodies and are very content just pottering around the house. It's been nice to slow down and stop hustling every day, and we love being able to spend such a large amount of our time on Lovely Jubley.
Here are just some of the things we've been filling our time with over the last couple of months:
Blogging - We've given ourselves the task of designing a new website and moving all our blog content from Wix over to Wordpress. It's been something we've been wanting to do for months and months and we're finally doing it. We're hoping it'll be up and running by next week, and we really hope you guys love it! We've also started making video content for the first time. If you haven't seen any yet, head over to our IGTV to have a watch. We're really enjoying creating video content, and to be honest, we can't figure out why we haven't done it sooner! It's taking us a long time to create them at the moment, as we're just rookies. However, I know we'll get quicker and better over time, so look out for some new videos coming soon. It's just been really lovely being able to spend more time in general sharing with you all, and we love chatting to you and hearing your feedback, so keep it coming!
Cooking & baking - This is obviously something we do a lot anyway, but we've sort of taken things to the next level recently. We've been trying to push ourselves out of our comfort zone by cooking more complicated dishes and things we've never tried before. Last weekend we made the most delish (if I do say so myself) tapas feast. We made 8 different dishes from scratch inspired by the meals we've had at our favourite local tapas restaurant: Bravas. We had olives, toasted almonds in oil, salt, garlic & paprika, Padron peppers, pan con tomate, fried aubergine with molasses, chickpea & vegan chorizo stew, patatas bravas and sauteed asparagus with toasted pine nuts & lemon. It was honestly one of the best meals we've ever made!
Being outside - We've been staying at home the majority of the time, apart for the daily walks we've been allowed to do out of the house. Admittedly, we don't leave the house every day, as like I said, we love to be sofa sloths. However, we've really enjoyed our walks around the local streets. We're lucky to live in a very pretty area, as Bristol, in general, is a very green and pretty city. You know when you go on holiday and you just wander the streets like tourists not really going anywhere, just ambling around soaking up the local area? Well, we've been doing a lot of that lately as our form of outdoor exercise. It's something you don't tend to do in your own hometown, so it's been surprisingly nice to be able to do that recently. Spring is also the season of blossom, so being able to watch everything bloom around us has been lovely. It's a bit of a cliche but this time has given us the opportunity to stop and appreciate these things more than usual. I promise we're not the only ones spamming social media with picture after picture of pink blossom!
Watching lots of movies & TV series - Instead of just watching repeats of Gilmore Girls every day, we've been watching more movies from our 'must-watch' list. Our favourite film we've seen was definitely Green Book, we'd recommend watching it if you haven't already. I also loved Normal People on BBC. I'd already read the book about a year ago so had quite high expectations, and the TV series did not disappoint! It was perfectly cast and beautifully shot. I'd suggest reading the book first before watching it if you haven't already, although the series does stand up completely on its own. As a way to stay connected with some of our friends, we've been watching the Harry Potter movies together from start to finish. We usually watch them on Sunday mornings from our respective homes, and it really is something we look forward to every week. It's a small experience we can share together, even though we're separated. Plus, Harry Potter is such a nostalgic thing for us all, as we grew up with the books & movies, so it's a nice familiar thing to revisit.
DIY - This isn't something we've done a huge amount of, as we're renting so we can't change much about our living space. We have, however, been doing little jobs around the house that we've been meaning to do for a while. Nothing too exciting, just changing a few lightbulbs, framing some pictures, and we've moved a bit of furniture around. We also added a very basic, but useful shelf/breakfast bar to our kitchen, and we have plans to spruce the space further. We're going to vinyl the countertops, change the doorknobs, add a rug and some more open shelving, because who doesn't like open shelves?! We've also been meaning to paint some of the walls in our flat and to be honest, we don't really have an excuse, we just haven't been bothered yet! Keep an eye on our stories if you're interested to see how our kitchen revamp develops.
Talking with friends & family - Keeping in touch with friends & fam is definitely hard when you can't see them in person. So, along with the rest of the country, we've acquainted ourselves with every video messaging app/website available, and have taken part in many a virtual quiz. If anything, our general knowledge will have improved immensely by the end of this all. That is unless we haven't forgotten it all by then...what's the longest river in Britain again?!?
Bringing nature inside - Although we do have a garden that we can use, we're not able to plant anything or change it in any way, as it's being lent to us by the owner of the empty flat below ours. So at the beginning of lockdown, we decided we would try and grow some veggies in a window box. We've been pretty successful so far, we actually have some fully grown radishes we can eat which we grew from seed! It's definitely one of the most exciting things to happen to us in a while.
As much as we've loved the downtime, I'm definitely getting itchy feet and starting to feel a bit hemmed in. Of course, we're also hugely missing our friends and family, and just interacting with other humans. Don't get me wrong, we love each other very much, and we luckily never get bored of being together. But we also miss our family and friends a lot and can't wait for when we can hug them again soon! We're not on the other side of this by any means, we're just trying to get through each week, keeping busy and staying safe. It's been an odd Spring to say the least, and who knows what will have happened by summertime. We hope you and you're loved ones are all doing ok and you continue to look after yourselves and look out for each other.
How have you been doing? We'd love to know! Let us know in the comments below, or on any of our social media channels.