Best of quarantine (Deep Creek Lake)

Whelp, it's been 3 months of quarantine since my last post. Any hopes that this would be a short lived lockdown have disappeared as we are tightening our belts for a resurgence of cases. This is not even the second wave; it's still the first. We never flattened the curve or had as tight restrictions as Europe or China did, and as a result Americans are contracting covid and are dying in greater numbers than any other country in the world.

It is looking more like we will never go back to life exactly as it was before. I don't see people routinely shaking hands, sharing food, or going to concerts or any other large gatherings of people anytime soon (like years). Rightly so.

But as we have spent more time in quarantine, we are also getting more accustomed to this type of life. I wish I could be one of those people who said she was thriving in quarantine. I'm a natural extrovert (unlike my boyfriend who is a true introvert) and so I miss gatherings with friends, parties, get-togethers, summer BBQ's and traveling without a second thought. Nowadays, every move I make I have to weigh the risks and benefits of catching covid and exposing my loved ones. While in the first few months I feel like we all collectively leaned into a slower pace of life (cooking, exercising, catching up on Netflix, etc) recently I have felt more unsettled and unsatisfied with prolonged social distancing. I feel bored in my routine and look forward to having things to look forward to again.

The only thing that has helped has been making plans, even if they are small plans. Before covid, I was planning a trip to Vietnam. Now I will have to make do with exploring places 1-2 hours driving distance away.

I also finally saw my parents after 6 months, and even took a covid test (negative) before I felt safe to see them. I already had one vacation cancelled due to covid but the second one was supposed to be a trip to Beijing to see my grandfather or LA to visit C's family. So sad. Instead, we booked a 4 day trip to Deep Creek Lake, Maryland and stayed in a beautiful lakehouse. That was definitely the highlight of quarantine for me!

Favorite Szechuan restaurant from home
Milkbar strawberry shortcake 
My sister's masterful sourdough
The best sourdough!
The view from our lakehouse in Deep Creek Lake!
Dinner #1: burgers and potato salad
Drinks on the balcony!

Morning fog rolling in over the lake
Sourdough continued...can't get enough
We spent the afternoon out on the lake
And took a lot of pictures
Dinner #2: pizza
Swallow falls waterfall hike
Rare maskless C
After we got back from Deep Creek Lake, I went on a few job interviews for practices in the area. We spent one day in Alexandria, VA which I never really visited before. It had a cute waterfront area that was reminiscent of Georgetown or any other downtown area by the water.
Venturing out for outdoor dining
Tried to get him to take off his mask for the photo.
No dice

Other highlights:
Day trip to Williamsburg, VA

Also, watching Hamilton, eating Bonchon and lounging by the pool! Sadly no pics of that weekend.

Here are some other "Best Of's" of Quarantine:

Best purchases:
1. Outdoor dining table -- luckily I ordered an outdoor dining table just as quarantine was starting (now it looks like the price has gone up and it's backordered) and it became one of our most used purchases during quarantine. My boyfriend still doesn't really like eating outside (his excuse is weather + allergies) but we did have a few nice dinners out on the patio before it was 90 degrees out. I've also used the table for working (there's even an outlet out there), reading, and eating on leisurely staycation mornings.

2. Tie Dye PJ's --- I saw these on another fashion blogger I follow and wanted a cheap, trendy tie dye PJ set. They took like 6 weeks to arrive from China and after I opened the package I thought I would immediately return them as they look nothing like they picture, but they've really grown on me. The material is more of a soft, felty material but it is super comfortable and oversized.

3. Silk pillowcase -- I got the $20 version on Amazon vs. the $80-100 Slip name brand one. I can't really tell if it makes a difference for my skin or hair but it certainly feels nice.

4. Picture frames from Target -- one of my biggest accomplishments during early quarantine was getting my gallery wall up. I spent an unnecessarily long time picking art and frames for the gallery wall because I didn't realize that frames (and art) would be so expensive. I ended up getting a bunch of frames from target which I am really happy with the quality of. They are the Light Beige Made by Design brand and come in a variety of sizes. I also got one of the Black Metal Gallery Frames from Project 62. And at only $10-20 per frame, you can't go wrong.

I really haven't bought that many exciting things (i.e. a water tumbler, some notebooks, a fitbit charger) but still it seems like my money is still disappearing...sigh.

Best TV shows:
1. The Politician --
REVIEW: The candy-colored satire of “The Politician” – Spartan Shield
Don't know how I waited so long to get on the bandwagon for this show. I think the way it was advertised was pretty different than how it actually played out. It is the story of Payton Hobart, a natural born politician who dreams of becoming the President of the United States. The first season follows him in high school running for President of his high school. The second season takes place in New York and shows him running for state senate. Both seasons have amazing actors (Ben Platt, Gwenyth Paltrow), amazing wardrobes, sets, and storylines.

2. The King: Eternal Monarch --
My boyfriend and I have pretty different tastes in shows. He almost exclusively watches Chinese or Korean dramas or Japanese anime which I'm not that into. The King was an exception. It stars two of the hottest Korean actors (Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun) in a fantastical time traveling drama that sucked me in at the end. It did take a few episodes to get into it but ultimately I got obsessed, especially with Lee Min Ho!

Honorable mentions (just so I don't forget what I watched): Tiger King, Too Hot to Handle (still not as good as Love is Blind which was king), Married at First Sight, Never Have I Ever (Mindy Kaling's show), Indian Matchmaking

Best food of quarantine:
In the beginning of quarantine, I did a ton of quarantine but more recently I've just been over it! One day at the grocery I store I literally said "I'm over cooking" and ever since then haven't been making into extensive meals as before.
 Tried to make Szechuan "water boiled fish" with my namesake spice mix ;) pre veganism
Food from part 1 of quarantine
Easy pizza with TJ crust and Rao's tomato sauce 
One thing I am trying to change is to eat less meat. I've always known that a whole foods plant based diet was the most healthy diet there is. As I grew older I learned more and more about how bad animal products and meat are for you and the environment as a whole. For our health and for the environment, I decided to try being a "weekday vegan." So lately it's been a lot of salads, tofu, and veggie burgers. So far so good! I'm not being super strict as we still have a lot of meat in the freezer, but I haven't bought meat at the store for over a month now. On the weekends I let myself eat meat for takeout but overall it's still less than before. Maybe I'll give an update on weekday veganism a few weeks-months later!
Vegan enchiladas
A recent vegan meal -- Vietnamese noodle salad with tofu 

Best books of quarantine: 
1. The Whisper Network by Channing -- loved this book, about a group of female lawyers in Dallas in the #MeToo area as they have to deal with a male boss. 
2. Tell Me Everything by Cambria Brockman -- a mystery set among a group of friends at an elite private college. It starts off more of a friend drama but I loved how the twists and turns unfolded.
3. Untamed by Glennon Doyle -- nonfiction by the blogger turned writer who found out her husband was cheating on her and left him to fall in love with a woman. About to "untame" yourself. 
4. The Perfect Couple -- my first Elin Hilderbrand book, it's another murder mystery that takes place on Nantucket during an elite wedding. A good beach read. 
5. All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin -- I've never read her books before but she is popular lately (and most recently not for a good reason #MeganMarkle). This was a decent book about the fallout from a controversial Snapchat photo set in Nashville. 
6. Open Book -- the Jessica Simpson autobiography. I had heard so many juice things about it but it was only ok! The main juicy details were from her 2-year affair with John Mayer. 

That's it for now! Here's to hoping I'll get out of my funk and try to plan more fun local trips and picnics while we continue social distancing. 


  1. The sourdough was the star of the post.

    You should post affiliate links for the books you've read LOL


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