May 6, 2020
How are you? Life looks a lot different for all of us these days, doesn’t it? I wanted to create a little Coffee Break series to talk about anything and everything that’s on my mind lately. I thought now would be a great time to start with Covid-19 lockdowns in full swing. So here it goes… grab a drink and chat with me.
This year has been really crappy. I know that goes without saying, but my family and I were ready for 2021 long before Covid-19 hit. My mother-in-law passed in January after a somewhat quick battle with cancer. Before we could even fully process it all, Covid hit and life has just been super weird. I quit my full-time job of 8 years just as this was all happening, by the way. It was super exciting at first because I’d been wanting to run this business full time and FINALLY found the courage to make the leap. Then, stay-at-home orders happened and sadly all weddings were postponed which meant I had no work. Also, towards the beginning of the lockdown, my family and I were sick (thankfully nothing serious) and our stress levels were through the roof. While some people were complaining about staying home and beaches being closed and whatnot, I am grateful every day that my family and I are healthy and together. We know a few people who’ve had to separate from their spouses and kids and I cannot imagine how difficult and lonely that must be. This year has been all about perspective shifts for us. I really believe it’s something we must exercise more in our daily lives. I often used to think about how unfair it was that my MIL passed when she did with Eames only being 1 year old, etc. Then I realized just how lucky we were that she even got to meet him and spend a majority of that year taking care of him and forming such a close bond with him. And how lucky we were that she passed when she did (sounds almost wrong to say) and not during Covid when we’d have to socially distance ourselves from her and each other during the hardest moments. So yeah… life sucks sometimes but there is beauty in the way some things unfold even when we can’t understand it at the time.
Soaking it in with our toddler
What else? Lately, we’ve been soaking up all the time with Eames. 18 months is SUCH A FUN AGE, YOU GUYS! His vocabulary is expanding so fast and he’s able to communicate basic feelings and needs and opinions. He also just understands so much that I forgot that he’s only a year and a half. He really seems so much older to me! Emil and I were reminiscing about how quarantine life sort of feels similar to when we were on maternity/paternity leave. We are cherishing this precious time because who knows when we’ll ever get this chance again? We’re taking things real slow — going back to the basics, if you will. Slow mornings, cooking almost all of our meals, spending lots of time outside, reading books, going for walks… I miss certain aspects of our old life for sure, but I hope a lot of these new habits we’ve developed during quarantine will stick.
If you follow my personal IG (@katbantad) then you know your girl LOVES a good meal. Not even this quarantine will keep me away from all the yummy things, you feel me? We have been meal planning, not to be confused with meal prepping (I just can’t eat the same thing 5x in a row, sorry.), cooking at least 5 days a week, and I am loving every minute of it! Not loving the dishes, but hey, can’t win them all. Funny story – we bought our Instant Pot maybe 2 or 3 years ago and barely touched it until last year. And even then, we only used it to make dog food (yeah, I know. We’re those dog parents.). Well I’ve been experimenting a ton with it lately and having so much fun trying new recipes. There is definitely a learning curve but overall I feel like I can’t live without this thing. I just bought this Filipino Pressure Cooker Cookbook and I’m hoping to cook some of my favorite comfort foods with it. My new fave thing to make is cold start Greek yogurt. Google it because there’s tons of documentation and tips, but it’s SO easy, dirt cheap, and freakin delicious. 🙂
Paper Mint Press
What going on with PMP? All weddings are postponed til late this year or next year so work has been pretty dang slow. We were able to do a few branding projects and I am super thankful for that, but man do I MISS weddings! I got some fun things in the works (ahem Shop) and I’ve been doing some work behind the scenes, improving our processes, etc. I’ll be honest – I haven’t been as productive as I’d like but I’m learning to be okay with that. We’re living in a strange time and while this business might be paused somewhat, I feel like I have really excelled in the mom/wife/homemaker role and I’m SUPER proud of that because this sh*t ain’t easy.
One huge productive thing I did was finally set up my permanent home office in our awkward room upstairs! We were using this room as storage for the past 3 years and it was about time to face the mess and clear out the junk. I used to have a little office nook underneath the stairs but we recently turned that area into a play den (see earlier photo), which makes way more sense for our tiny human. Anyway, this upstairs room is the perfect size and all I had to do was paint the built-in shelves and reorganize. I’m so happy with how it’s coming along.
That’s pretty much all, folks! I’ll try to do one of these monthly because this was so easy and natural for me to write. Thanks for joining me on this little coffee break… tell me, how are you these days? I’d love to know about what you’re doing, reading, watching, eating…