Happy Holidays to everyone out there!
May you and yours stay safe, healthy and happy. Best wishes as we head into 2021!
Not quite the regular “Friday Favorites” here today; instead I’m offering up some Quarantine Life Delivery Hacks to my local peeps. One of the more fun aspects of sheltering in place is all the fun little side hustles local entrepreneurs have started up to remain productive and make our lives a little easier. I’ve amassed a nice list of some to share and I hope if I’ve missed one you love, you’ll share it in the comments!
Special thanks to friends who sent me a lot of great recommendations. I kept this list to Quarantine time start-ups that deliver, mostly individuals, not established restaurants or businesses that deliver via a third-party app. All of these link to the businesses’ instagrams and I encourage you to follow them to stay current on their offerings and make sure you know their delivery guidelines, boundaries and recommendations.
Natty Pours: Natty is a bartender creating and delivering craft cocktails to you at home! Her Insta is super fun and her cocktail names are a treat. A group of girlfriends and I have taken to placing large group orders with Natty via one designee who then delivers to all of us.
Stir Crazy Cocktails: More craft cocktails! They come in charming mason jars and baggies with a note. I love this one a lot. She has a new menu each week!
Fancy Free Liquor: Imagine you were planning to open a new business this year… OOF. But these guys have made it work with a delivery service that is crushing it. So much so, they are currently shut down for delivery but keep an eye out. They not only deliver liquor, they also offer cocktail kits, mixers, select market items and more. I love their vibe.
Lost Cove Tiki: Aloha tiki lovers! This is calling your name. They offer tropical cocktails, wings and Hawaiian BBQ, and even adorable tiki mugs & glassware.
Rocks Paper Salt: I am dying to try this one. I know a lot of my friends have. It’s detailed craft cocktail kits delivered to your doorstep. Also a women-owned business. Isn’t it nice to see so many women dominating this space? I love it!
Bespoke Bar LA: A customizable specialty cocktail service that delivers locally – and they actually ship nationwide! Their deliveries arrive in super cute crates and I’m excited to try it soon.
Authentic Cocktails: A little farm-to-table with your craft cocktail deliver. Don’t be surprised if your delivery shows up with a cute little succulent plant. They also have a cute gifting option!!!
Cuterie Girls: I can’t get enough cheese – and I know I am not alone because today alone I saw two friends post about this one.
WCPLA: Just a note that Wine and Cheese Please asks for deposit and charges for delivery but if you love charcuterie, it’s totally worth it. (You can also just pick it up and skip the delivery charge — they’re in East Los Angeles.)
Go Go Gyoza: This Los Angeles dumpling company uses the highest-quality ingredients from local and regional purveyors and “every dumpling is pinched with love.” I have yet to try it but I’ve heard it’s completely delicious.
Stone Soup Project: I just loved this when I tried it! They deliver homemade soups you can freeze or just refrigerate to eat up right away. Tons of choices! Very easy to heat up and very easy to love — for every quart you buy, one is donated to a person who needs a meal.
Rosie’s Bagels: I just found out about this and I MUST HAVE IT. They deliver each Saturday — homemade California Bungalow Bagels inspired by Montreal & NYC style recipes. They look amazing.
Kuma Beer: Do not be deceived. Not beer, also bagels. They are sourdough based bagels and OMG, they have a bacon and cheese bagel! (I assume they use a beer sourdough starter, hence the name.)
[OMG]arlic: This is so unique and I love that someone thought of it. It’s handcrafted garlic chili oil that’ll make you say “OMG!”
Sunday in June: Small batch, handcrafted, Filipinx flavors delivered in the OC and LA. The pies look HEAVENLY.
Pique-Nique LA: Handmade treats celebrating cali’s produce palette made in Eagle Rock. So you’ll see a lot of pies, fruit pastries and cookies, but also preserves that looks gorgeous.
Love Dreams Pie: Homemade fresh pies, cakes, and treats actually catered to your dietary needs. For orders you just have to call 48 hours in advance.
Maddy’s Mookies: Maddy + cookies = Mookies! And guys, I have a full on food-crush on Maddy. They. Are. DELICIOUS. A month back, my friend and I split a cookie PIE. Just us two. Because why not. She delivers in LA & OC (she also ships!), and 10% of the net proceeds go to the Equal Justice Initiative.
NoHo Pie Guy: From his home, NoHo Pie Guy is making pies and other treats — including cocoa bombs, which seem to be quite the trend this season. I’m told they’re worth taking a drive for.
Amanda Bakes LA: Amanda’s baked goods are amazing and she’ll even do some gluten free treats for ya if you need. In addition to delivery, curbside pickup in available in WeHo. If you’re lucky, you’ll also get to meet her delivery helper, Lucy. (Pictured below.)
Better with Butta: His homemade scones are IT. Omigod. Chris Tucker (no, not that Chris Tucker) makes baked goods with vegan options and contributes some of his proceeds to great causes.
Sugar Farm Bakery: Cornflakes and cheesecakes, matcha, mochi and brownies – OH MY!
Batter Days Desserts: Based in Carson and Filipinx owned, a myriad of baked goods. New menus posted regularly.
Brown Baked: Transforming traditional Filipino dessert flavors into cookies and more. Who wants to try Ube cheesecake?! I do.
Beat Blend n’ Bake: Filipino Desserts with twist! Like ube cheesecake bars, pumpkin spice flan and pudo pandan. (Don’t worry, I gotchu if you don’t know — Puto is a steamed cake make in various fashions; Pandan is a particular flavor from a plant.)
Honey and the Hive: A bakery serving up delicious goodies inspired by old batter-splattered recipes cards with innovative and sometimes unexpected flavor profiles.
Andy: Yes, just Andy. Andy is very talented actor who occasionally bakes and delivers. Highly recommend stalking his Instagram profile to find out when he does. He brought me a pie early on in Quarantine and it was wonderful.
My first day of “Quarantine Life” was Friday, March 13 and so it struck me as rather “full circle” when November 13 also fell on a Friday. And that is eight months of this life wherein I have not been able to go to a bar with my friends, enjoy a leisurely Sunday Brunch, stroll through a bookstore, work on my laptop in my favorite coffee shop, order a breakfast-for-lunch at my favorite diner counter, travel to see friends and family. The list goes on.
I feel a bit like a whiny baby when I have these thoughts. Could you imagine doing this in the 80s? In the 70s? We are lucky this has happened to us with the comforts and conveniences we have. What if there were not internet, no Facetime, no Netflix? So there is that. Yes, we are lucky.
Presumedly we have all made sacrifices. (And frankly, if you have not — if you are one of THOSE people, click here.) And it seems now that I better understand gratitude. At minimum, I certainly appreciate small freedoms I took for granted previously. And I miss them.
At night, when I am dreading the following day, which will undoubtedly feel much like the day before, and the day before that, my mind wanders. Sometimes to trivialities wherein I find myself mindlessly adding things to my Amazon or Nordstrom wishlists. And sometimes my thoughts are broader and I think about all of the places around the world I want to go. There are so many more than I realized and it often becomes overwhelming. Where will I go first? Iceland? Helsinki? Back to Puerto Vallarta? Just up to Seattle or over to Austin? I would love to go on a cruise.
It’s funny because I’m not a “wanderlust” person. I have several friends whom have traveled the world and I love to see their photos and hear stories, but for me, I have always been quite happy to vacation domestically. I love New York and will go over and over. I don’t usually crave new and unfamiliar surroundings. Yet in this current life, I think of it often. I make lots of lists. I listen to travel podcasts and watch videos. I watch a lot of house tours from Architectural Digest and follow a bunch of Instagram accounts I’d not heard of months ago.
I often think about things I would like to do with my friends. (I should clarify here that I think of my family as well but my Shelter-in-place “pod” includes some of them, so I do see family members.) The last big activity pre-Quarantine was a visit to a wine bar and bookstore with girlfriends and it was a lovely day. I would like to do that again. I want to get a group together and drink at a bar for no reason. I would love to go with a couple friends to a spa and get massages followed by relaxing in a hot tub, whispering gossip between us. It would be nice to go shopping together or lay by someone’s pool. I would like to take a client to my club, go sit in their lounge and enjoy my favorite sandwich. I have many friends who live out of town – the list of who I want to go visit is long.
But let’s be honest, the things I miss the most are hugs and high fives. I miss leaving a place and casually hugging everyone on the way out. I miss entering a room and excitedly hugging a friend I haven’t seen in a while hello. When someone tells a funny joke, I want to laugh and throw up my hand for a high five without a care. I want to cuddle with someone. So while I feel like this Quarantine Life has made me greedy for many things, what it’s made me want the most is a huge, monstrous, loving group hug.
When this whole Quarantine Life began, I had a profound sensitivity to any statement akin to “2020 is the worst year ever.” My father passed away in 2019, and it is impossible to imagine anything being worse than that, so every time I’d hear a jab at 2020, I wanted to shout “IT IS NOT THE WORST THING EVER, I SWEAR.” But at this later point, while I’m not at all willing to concede anything is worse than my 2019, I have developed a better sense of humor about it. I mean, this really, really is a SHIT year. The Pandemic, the election, the unbelievable stress and agony of it all. No one could plan for this. Murder hornets? Dino-gators? Whatever. You’re not gonna scare me with mutated insects and amphibians now, 2020. Kiss off. And BTW, a warning, if you need: Lots of politics in this post. #SorryNotSorry. WHAT I READ AND WATCHED
EARLIER THIS MONTH
Such a small thing – and I know *he* didn't run for anything – but that @DouglasEmhoff is Jewish and went to my high school makes me so weepy for some reason. I feel a swell of pride.— AJ Feuerman (@ajfeuerman) November 8, 2020
As this election season nears its peak I’m looking down the ballot with friends. We all know who we are voting for in the oval office (sidebar: has a debate ever changed your mind?), we are pretty solid on the local elections, but the state propositions can be overwhelming. Some of my friends have gone through the ballot and published voting guides like this one, and other friends have blog posts about one proposition or another. And since so many of us are freelancers I’m seeing a lot of chatter about Prop 22. Lindsay wrote a compelling argument for a “Yes on Prop 22,” and it helped me make sense of things.
First and foremost, as a freelancer myself, these app-based workers have my empathy.
As I have come to understand it, the state legislature wrote a law called “AB5,” or, Assembly Bill 5. I hate this bill. A lot of my peers and colleagues hate this bill. It made it nearly impossible to have freelance workers here in the state of California. Yet so many of us were affected by this crazy bill that one by one industries were exempted from it, but of course, no one in government loves or gets tech so there was no exemption for app based drivers.
This left the apps with only one way out: GET IT ON THE BALLOR. App based drivers like their freelance status. They enjoy the freedom to work with multiple companies in a single day, whichever day they choose. As you can imagine, I have a lot in common with app drivers in wanting – no, needing – to control my schedule.
It’s interesting that even though I’m not now, and never have been an app-based driver I feel a kinship to them and I wonder if it’s because of Covid-19, or because of our shared freelance status. I can say, with earnest, that were it not for the delivery people with Instacart and Postmates, this sheltering-at-home order would have driven me absolutely bonkers. Thank goodness for those people.
So here I am. I will be championing a YES on Prop 22.
Quarantine. Day… I don’t know anymore. But it’s almost OCTOBER. How did we get here? We’ve spent more than half of 2020 in Quarantine and I don’t know that anyone is enjoying it. It has obviously been some time since I’ve felt like writing anything here but I am just a bit twitchy today, so here we are. I have still been keeping bookmarks for you but don’t worry, I am not about to load “Friday Favorites” with pages and pages of content; just the good stuff for you, my friends, even though it’s not Friday today at all. WHAT I READ AND WATCHED
BLOGGERS & SMALL BUSINESSES
EARLIER THIS MONTH
Quarantine Life, Day 3,976,210. Well, truthfully, for me, it’s day 70. 70 DAYS! 10 WEEKS! My goodness. I have not touched another human being in that time. No hugs, high fives, handshakes…. I have not been to a movie theater nor eaten at a restaurant… It is so strange how this new normal has become our reality and, frankly, even more strange to me that so many people are still resistant to any precautions when the alternative to it is basically being deathly ill. But if any side effect of this Quarantine brought me comfort, it’s that deleting some misguided Facebook “friends” was suddenly easy.
Not a ton to share this day but onward….
BLOGGERS & SMALL BUSINESSES
EARLIER THIS WEEK
When I wrote my last Friday Favorites “Quarantine Life,” I did not think I would be drafting another one, many weeks later. My Quarantine Life began on Friday, March 13, so today marks seven weeks of this lifestyle and also means that as it would happen, my birthday, which is a week from today, will mark two months sheltering at home. How annoying. But, as my mom keeps telling me, “this too shall pass” and as the commercials on TV all tell us, “we’re alone together,” “we’ll get through this,” and so on. Just imagine what this would be like if we did not have all this wonderful technology at our fingertips…. So there’s that.
WHAT I READ
OTHER BLOGGERS & INFLUENCERS
EARLIER THIS WEEK
The days of this “Quarantine Life” are blending right into one another for me and it’s not doing a whole lot for my morale. So I am doing this looong “Not on Friday” version of Friday Favorites because what day is it, anyway? Does it matter? Hopefully this list of links and videos occupies you a bit; keeps you entertained. I have added a special Quarantine Life section as well, entitled “Take Advantage of This Time” because for many, this is a lot of downtime and I think it’s important to be productive, lest we let our brains turn to mush. Disclosure: Alcohol is medicinal right now so my brain may be mush already. *shrug*
WHAT I READ
EARLIER THIS WEEK
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS TIME
VIDEO SPOTLIGHT A silver lining, if you will, is all the creativity we are seeing from content creators right now. Some of my favorites:
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