How are we doing? It’s week seven of what seems like an endless stay-at-home order, and we are going a bit stir crazy, especially with this weather. To lift everyone’s spirits, we rounded up some fun ideas to keep you sane this week, while we are doing our part to keep ourselves and others safe.
Make This: Herbal Hermitage Mojito
We asked Jeff Burkhart, Marin IJ “Barfly” columnist, author and a bartender with more than 20 years of experience, for a cocktail recipe to make at home that will make us feel like we’re on vacation. Using few ingredients, this mojito will liven up any evening:
Herbal Hermitage Mojito
2 ounces white rum or vodka (flavored ones work well, too)
1 ounce lemon or lime juice
1 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce fresh herb (mint, cilantro, basil, thyme, rosemary)
1 lemon or lime wheel
1 reserved sprig of the herb used
Gently tear herbs into shreds and place in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add ice and the three liquid ingredients. Shake gently to combine (one to two hard shakes, or more if using gentle shakes). Strain into a cocktail glass and float the wheel, placing a sprig of fresh herb on top. Alternately, pour entire mixture into 12-ounce glass and top with soda.
*Mojito means little softening sauce in Spanish. Whether that refers to the herbs or the imbiber is open to interpretation.
Stay tuned for more fun recipes from Jeff, coming soon!
Yes, this isolation may be doing weird things to our heads, but I’m telling you that if you aren’t already listening and having conversations with your houseplants, now is the time. Celebrity Plant Lady Summer Rayne Oakes, who went viral for having over 1,000 plants in her Brooklyn apartment, swears that if you listen to your plants, they will thrive. Here are her tips for making your plants love you, as much as you love them.
Take Up a New Hobby
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Last week I ordered a Punch Needle kit, and proceeded to spend my weekend keeping my hands busy while binge-watching uplifting shows. If puzzles, painting or needle art isn’t your thing, why not use this time to brush up on your language skills, learn to work that camera you’ve had sitting around or take a virtual gardening class with a pro? We have the time, so use it wisely!
Chicago is lucky to be home to some of the world’s best brewers, with a cluster of them located in Ravenswood’s Malt Row. This Thursday, four brewers from Begyle, Dovetail, Empirical, and Urban Renewal are coming together for a virtual Zoom “Hoppy” Hour, where they will discuss some of their favorite classic style brews. The event is free, but a $5 donation is suggested, and they recommend safely picking up some beers from a local store before the event.
If all else fails, take a moment this week to show some kindness. Not only will it be meaningful to the receiver, but it will boost your mood as well. Give what you can to area nonprofits (we have a list for Giving Tuesday Now here). Check in on a friend, neighbor or family member, offer to help in any way you can and set time aside to have fulfilling conversations.
If you are looking for more ways to give back, Steppenwolf is taking their annual fundraiser virtual this year. On Sunday, join them for Pants Optional: A Steppenwolf Soirée and celebrate the arts community with special guests, including Steppenwolf ensemble members Joan Allen, Gary Cole, John Malkovich, Sandra Marquez and Laurie Metcalf.
Join us for a Better Together Happy Hour on May 6th at 7:30 p.m. with Rachel Bertsche, New York Times Bestselling Author of “The Kids Are in Bed — Finding Time for Yourself in the Chaos of Parenting.”
Even on a good day, it can be tough for busy parents to find a moment for themselves. Now, in the time of COVID, it can feel impossible — and yet it’s more important than ever! Pour yourself a glass of wine and join Better and Marin Magazine for a Zoom conversation with author Rachel Bertsche, moderated by our National Content Director, Brooke Geiger McDonald. Rachel will answer questions and share tips that help parents find what she calls “pockets of indulgence” in the midst of the chaos of parenting, homeschooling, and working from home.
Register for free here!
How You Can Help
As you take care of your own well being and mental health, consider that many are also struggling right now. Here are some organizations that accept donations that help give people the support and supplies they need to get through this time.
- A Safe Haven Foundation
A Safe Haven provides housing for individuals and families whose lives have been impacted negatively by addiction.
- NAMI Chicago
NAMI provides hope and improves the quality of life for those whose lives are affected by mental health conditions.
- The Family Institute at Northwestern University
Connect virtually with therapists, researchers and educators.
Find more deserving nonprofits on our Better List.
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Macaire Douglas lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and two sons. She proudly supports Save Abandoned Babies Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to prevent the illegal abandonment of newborns nationwide. Since its inception in 2000, more than 3,600 newborns have been safely surrendered and adopted into loving homes.