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#BoMaLiving / how to have a happy life

Social Distancing

How to Stay Serene While Social Distancing

We are in a time that will be seen in history books for decades to come, but right now, we’re in the midst of incredible uncertainty and downright panic. You don’t have to dig too deep to realize that the only way to help slow the spread and save lives is to stay at your home as much as possible to protect those in our communities who are most vulnerable. And with working from home being the new normal for many people and most schools shut down until further notice, life as we know it has completely changed. And it’s scary. We know there’s no way to make things OK right now, but we want to try to ease a little bit of the transition by sharing with you all of the ways that we are finding our own solace during this time of social distancing. 

All About the Comfy Cozies 

You know that feeling when you finally get to crawl into your softest PJs after a long day out? Well, that feeling doesn’t have to go away just because your day doesn’t have the “out” part right now. It can feel overwhelming to have to balance every aspect of life all at home — and we fully expect and look forward to a lot of kids giggling in the background of conference calls — so taking every moment to treat yourself is our most important advice. Say goodbye to jeans and pencil skirts and hello to joggers, super-soft sweaters, and pajamas all day baby. No one you virtually interact with will be doing anything else, so let’s take advantage of this. Personally, we’ve found it super helpful to still stick with our morning makeup and skincare routines to keep the feeling of normalcy as much as possible, but then it’s right back into our softest attire. 

How to Find a Moment of Peace

We’ve shared posts before about our favorite self-care suggestions, so you already have some hot tips. But right now we need to be taking this to the next level. We are starting every morning with a short meditation to help keep us in the right mindset to take on anything we need to. Our favorite is the Headspace app — with dozens of meditation packs from soothing anxiety to being more productive, they make it easy to squeeze a quick breathing exercise into your day even if you only have five minutes to spare. They have even launched a free package of meditations called “Weathering the Storm” for anyone who is dealing with stress and anxiety due to the current events. If you have a little extra time for yourself, you already know that bubble baths (don’t forget the infused bath salt from Milk & Honey and some calming candles and aromatherapy) do wonders, so fit one in between Zoom calls, roll on our favorite Anxiety Sucks oil from Little Shop of Oils, and get back to your A-game. 

What to Read

At first, it might be easy to take this time as an opportunity to catch up on season 2 of “Succession” or finally get to join in the conversation about “Love is Blind,” but after a day of nonstop streaming, you’ll realize how quickly it loses its luster. However, in the face of an undetermined amount of at-home time, we’re happy to announce that reading won’t ever lose its charm. We’ve compiled our top five books at the moment (all written by fantastic women) as a great way to stay entertained. Send the list out to all of your best friends and you can even get an impromptu virtual book club going — with wine and Facetime, of course. We’ve included links to the Amazon pages for all of these, but we encourage you to order online from your favorite local booksellers during a time of extra uncertainty for all small businesses. 

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo 

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (This is one is going to the big screen — it’s currently in production, so you’ll have plenty of time to read it once (or twice) before it hits theaters).

How to Date Men When you Hate Men by Blythe Robbinson

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Bonus: Once you finish reading this gem, you can catch up on the Hulu series which premiers on March 18). 

Endorphins, Endorphins, Endorphins

We all know that our best mental health comes when a lot of aspects of our lives are balanced, with a big part of that coming when we are able to spend time with the people we love most. But when the No. 1 rule of the moment is to isolate ourselves from most people, everything else becomes even more vital. As our favorite lawyer, Elle Woods, once said, "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy …” We all know how that ends, but she’s right.

Endorphins are powerful, and with most gyms being shut down, we did some digging to find other ways to get our blood pumping and release those endorphins. Yoga with Adrienne is one of our favorite ways to take a break throughout the day, whether that means going a little harder with a Total Body Workout or keeping it more zen with Yoga for Backpain, a lifesaver for those days when we accidentally work from the couch all day. We also have been getting into Pamela Reif’s videos whenever we need a 10-minute “break” but are really looking to sweat. 

Keep the Littles Happy 

Okay, now we get to perhaps the hardest part … how do we keep our lives afloat and our work chugging along with little ones running around and needing our immediate attention almost constantly? It’s amazing how many institutions and businesses have really stepped up and have done their part to help soothe the transition. Parents.com found 12 of the best museums that are now offering virtual tours for your older ones who may still be on spring break but need to be more engaged than just sitting down with another TV show. For your smaller ones, getting back to the basics of puzzles, coloring books, and even science kits (again, check the websites of your local toy stores here) can be a great way to keep them focused.   

Most importantly, though, stay safe, stay inside when you can, and find opportunities to help your community and neighbors who might be quietly struggling. Check local neighborhood Facebook pages and the Nextdoor app or consider donating to Feeding America if you’re able. And don’t hesitate to reach out to your community if you need help. 

xo Your Bohemian Mama family

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Monthly Muse: Ashley Petrone

Monthly Muse: Ashley Petrone

With an exceptional taste in both fashion and interior design, Ashley Petrone has captured our hearts for the month of October. Her confidence and appetite for adventure and challenge, along with her undying positive attitude, make her an inspiration. As the very active blogger behind the Instagram account “Arrows and Bow” (@arrowsandbow), Ashley shares how she juggles her love for interior design, motherhood, marriage, a prominent social media presence, and life.

 

What are the top 3 things you have learned since becoming a mama?

Oh man, there are so many! But a few things are to relax, give yourself grace, and smile. It’s hard to think about relaxing when you have a new born or multiple babies in the house. But, looking back as my kids have grown, there were so many instances when I just stopped freaking out and panicking and relaxed and it shifted my mind set and the situation. Ultimately, me relaxing helped my babies relax. That rolls into my second thing I learned grace. There are days when you just feel like you have done it all wrong, whether I lost my cool or just felt inadequate for this super "high called" job. Knowing that our kids are resilient and so forgiving reminds me that tomorrow is a new day. And lastly, smiling. Someone once told me that a mother’s smile is joy to their family. Smiling can just turn those grumpy kiddos around. I don't allow my kids' behavior or attitude to bring mine down. After all, Mama sets the tone of the home, so I always try and be intentional about smiling with my babies. 

What made you take the homeschooling route? 

I was homeschooled for a few years when I was younger. I lived in Washington state on a farm. We baked, gardened, sewed, did a lot of outdoor schooling. It was as if you can dream up the perfect homeschool experience, that’s what I had. So I wanted to try and give my kids the same. 

Do you have tips for other families who want to opt for homeschooling? 

I read a great book beforehand called "So You’re Thinking of Homeschooling." It was a short book of about 10 families from all different areas of life that were homeschooled —some it worked for, some it didn’t. I loved this book because it prepared me for all instances, which, now years later, I’ve gone through a few. It’s comforting to know that if you start and it’s not right for you, or right for you in a few years, you’re not a failure. 

RV life is a gutsy and adventurous lifestyle. What inspired you to do this? 

My husband and I got an itch for adventure. We found land and wanted to build a house but, in that in-between time, apartment living was so expensive. It didn’t take much convincing on either end. We talked about it and it just felt right to do something different. 

How would you describe your style in fashion and home design? How does it reflect who you are? 

My style is ever changing. It’s eclectic and fun and whimsical. I would say my home design and fashion both fit into that category. My style changes with me. I’m always growing and changing and the older I get, the more confident I get. My design reflects that. 

What are some of your absolute favorite clothing labels? 

I love so many! I love Ryleeandcru, Maeve, Madewell, The Odell’s Shop, Faithful the Brand, Free People... this is always changing too. 

Do you have any tips that you can provide when it comes to balancing parenthood, marriage, blogging, and other personal interests? 

In our home, marriage comes first. If mom and dad are good, everything else in the house is good. So I’m always checking in with Dino and his needs. And we make it a point to have a date night (even if we stay in) every week —committing dedicated time for each other and making that time a priority. 

As an inspiration in the world of fashion, home design, parenting, and blogging, amongst many others, where do you draw inspiration? 

I draw inspiration from what’s happening in my life, things I see, my peers and others on Instagram, my mom. My mind is always spinning. I love to see what others are doing, take it apart, and make it my own. I would rather be doing what no one else is doing than blend in with the world. So I love getting creative on how I can make something my own. 

"She was born to be free, let her run wild in her own way and you will never lose her."

 — Nikki Rowe

Images via Ashley Petrone

Keep up with Ashley here!

IG: @arrowsandbow

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