Simple Pleasures in Life These Days

Hello friends – Happy Weekend!  Hopefully, you are enjoying your summer as much as you can under these circumstances.  I think you’ll agree, the world has been scary and heartbreaking on so many levels these past few months.  Like most people, I’ve experienced a wide range of moods and emotions.  Some days I manage to be very productive and other days I can barely get out of my pajamas.  Through it all, I’ve really learned to appreciate the peace and security of my home.  Today, I’d like to share some ways we’ve managed to enjoy the simple pleasures in life…at home.

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Stone garden path in backyard garden - simple pleasures in life

Simple Pleasures in Life – Appreciating the Outdoors:

Luckily, all this craziness in the world is happening when the weather is warmer.  Seriously, I don’t know what I’d do if we couldn’t enjoy the simple pleasures of spending time outside.  Last year, we tore down our 20 year old deck and completely transformed our backyard by adding a new patio and pool.  Could the timing have been more perfect for that?  Who would have imagined we’d be home this much in 2020?

Free form pool and landscaping - simple summer pleasures

When we’re not in the pool, we’re relaxing by the fire pit.  If you want to entertain but stay socially distant, this is the place to hang out!

firepit and summer entertaining on the patio

Simple Pleasures of a Good Laugh:

With all the sadness in the world these days, I’ve been drawn to anything that makes me laugh…

If you follow my on Facebook, you’ve probably seen me share videos from The Holderness Family.  In my opinion, that darling family should be considered a “national treasure”.  There have been days where they’ve managed to pull my out of my Corona-obsessed slump with their silliness and spot-on observations of life.  Do yourself a favor and go follow them on one of their social media channels.  I can almost guarantee that you will be thanking me later!  In fact, come back later and let me know which video was your favorite.  I have too many to list!

Then there’s Trey Kennedy…another hilarious character who regularly pops up in my Facebook feed.  If you are the parent of a middle school boy, you must check out his “Middle School Maddox” series.  His brilliant portrayal of the typical middle school boy has me laughing until tears are streaming down my face.  If you don’t have boys, I’m sure you’ll still appreciate his mom humor and all his everyday life observations.  Go check him out!  Facebook – Trey Kennedy.

For most of my adult life, Seinfeld has been my go-to television show for a good laugh.  Of course I still catch an episode here and there – and laugh my head off every single time!..”Is anyone here a marine biologist?”…

Over recent months, we’ve discovered another TV comedy that has quickly become a favorite – The Goldbergs!  Even though they are in Season 7 or 8 now, we’ve been working our way through the seasons starting with Episode One.  This hilarious show is based on a family growing up in the 80s and has brought back SO many memories for me.   Take it from me…the show is priceless!  Of course, I grew up in the 1980s so the Goldbergs is just as nostalgic as it is funny for me.  Even my 14 year old watches it with us and is quite amused by how we lived “back in the day”.

Unexpected Simple Pleasures in Life:

Here are some random things I’ve discovered during this time…

Kerry Gold Butter – Who knew this butter was so delicious?  My 16 year old won’t even let me buy another brand of butter anymore!  (He does love his toast!).  Before the pandemic, I wasn’t very picky with my butter purchases.  I’d just buy whatever organic brand the store was selling or would even just settle for what was on sale.  Then we went through that period where certain items were hard to find…(I’m looking at you – toilet paper!).  At that time, I was having Instacart deliver my groceries.  Instacart would make substitutions for sold out items and one day the Kerry Gold Butter arrived.  There was no turning back since that day!  Unfortunately, this butter is almost twice the price of regular butter…but I won’t tell my husband if you won’t!

My magazine stash is just taking up space – If a pandemic doesn’t cause me to reread that stack of magazines I’ve been hoarding in my basement, then nothing will!  This discovery has been very freeing for me because I’ve been able to throw out tons of old magazines each recycling week.  Of course, there are still many piles of useless items to get rid of in my basement, but the magazines are a great start!  Are you a magazine hoarder?

Being creative keeps me sane – Early on, I felt guilty doing anything creative or sharing anything pretty.  For some reason, I felt like if I wasn’t attempting to save the world in some way, I was being frivolous.  Even though, I may not have saved the world when ever I made something, I was actually saving my own sanity in these crazy times.

Simple Pleasures of Home Delivery:

Like many of you, I order online whenever possible.  Here are a few companies I’ve been very happy with lately…

Instacart.com – Back in the beginning of this mess, I felt much safer using a delivery service for my groceries.  At that point, I realized Wegman’s was delivering groceries through Instacart.  What a lifesaver!  Even though sometimes I would have to schedule weeks in advance, it was worth it to me.  I had a whole routine going after I installed the app on my phone.  Once I secured a delivery date, I would continue to add items to my cart until the day before they shopped my order.  Then on “shopping day” I’d get an alert that they were shopping my order and then an alert when they were on their way.  I’d open my garage and the delivery person would unload all my groceries for me.  So convenient!

Chewy.com – This was another lifesaver, especially during those early days.  Since I buy Wellness Senior Dog Food, it can be hard to find in stores.  “Back in the day”, I would sometimes have to visit a couple pet stores before I found what I needed but Chewy has saved me from all that!  I even signed up for their automatic delivery so a bag of dog food just arrives without me having to think about it anymore.  As a bonus, I don’t have to lug a big heavy dog food bag to my car anymore.  Now when a delivery arrives, we leave it in the garage for a few days and then my husband or boys just carry the bag in for me.  So helpful with my bad back!  Even after the pandemic is over, I plan to continue ordering my dog food this way!

Target – During the early weeks of all this craziness, I found them to be even more reliable than Amazon!  Plus, since Target carries groceries, I ordered tons of non-perishable pantry staples, canned goods, soap, etc from them when I was between regular grocery store orders.  They delivered very quickly and had things in stock that other stores didn’t.  Gotta love Target!

King Arthur Flour – Did you know you can order directly from King Arthur Flour for your baking needs?  When everyone was going through the bread making frenzy, you probably noticed stores were low on baking supplies.  That’s when I discovered their website and although they were sold out of yeast for awhile, they still had flour and various baking mixes.  Plus, it’s nice to support local businesses.  Even though King Arthur Flour is not local to us in New Jersey, it’s not too far from our ski condo in Vermont.  Once the world gets back to normal, I plan to visit their store and even take one of the baking classes they offer.

Simple Pleasures of Family Time:

Although I would give anything to have life back to normal, I’ve loved the extra time we’ve spent together as a family.  Whether we’re swimming in the pool, dining outside, watching movies together…it’s extra time we wouldn’t have appreciated as much in the past.  Time really is precious and we all have to make the most of the days we have together.  It’s been a great reminder of what’s most important in life.

Summer Entertaining alfresco - Simple pleasures in life at home

Obviously, we still have a long road ahead

Who knows what school will be like this fall and who know how long this “new normal” will last.  Actually, I can’t stand that expression – “new normal”…ugh.  Anyway, let’s all take this time to appreciate home, family and any simple pleasures in life.  Stay safe and healthy…and keep laughing…

Lying in the Sun - Simple Pleasures in Life

For even more ways to embrace summer, be sure to read about how to make the most of summer!

What simple pleasures have you discovered during your time at home?


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Simple Pleasure in Life at Home - appreciating the little things


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    1. Thanks Marty! It’s really been a lifesaver! I am sure you are enjoying your beautiful backyard and pool as well!

  1. Thank goodness for your new pool and your beautiful yard. Your family has to have spent countless hours out there this summer. I am so glad that I’m no longer teaching because even though I have nothing to do with the school system now, I still worry over what will happen with school this fall. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that life will be back to “normal” soon.

    1. Thanks Paula, yes that pool has been a lifesaver…especially with this hot weather! It will be interesting to see how the schools handle things for the fall. I’m not even sure which option I’d prefer at this point. I plan on driving my boys each day if there are in-person classes. Luckily, they are both in high school now so it’s only one school to deal with. It’s all so unknown…and scary.

  2. Shelley, I love this post! I need to set time to have a good laugh with the Goldbers, all the 80’s craziness? ha it’s gonna be fun! Instacart sounds very convenient I haven’t given it a try, but now I want to. And hey, your pool and backyard paradise was such a great addition to your home. Yes, the timing couldn’t be any better! 👏🏽👏🏽

    1. Thanks, Cristina! Yes, the Goldbergs is a hilarious show! It’s done in almost a Wonder Years style where the narrator, (the real Adam Goldberg) sets up the story in the beginning. They also play the actual songs from the 80s not just some fake version like TV shows do sometimes. Watching the show is a wonderful trip down memory lane with lots of laughs and a sentimental moment or two sprinkled in. I’ll be sad when we catch up with all the episodes but luckily I heard they were renewed another season! And thanks for your comment on the pool…best decision ever!

  3. It has been a struggle for us too, although we have a gorgeous view and dedicated play areas for both me and my husband. I hate that term ‘new normal’ too. I want to get back to seeing friends, having fun, and not having everything canceled. Finding a way to laugh everyday is a good tonic. Stay well!

    1. Yes, you do have a gorgeous view where you live! Aren’t you so happy to be living out in nature instead of a city these days? I know I am! I’m so ready to get back to a normal life too. Praying this is over soon. Stay well, friend!

  4. Your backyard patio and pool area is gorgeous! What a welcomed renovation for this crazy summer!
    Yes… it’s the simple pleasures that are shining through during this pandemic. Let’s keep praying for all old days to return… but let’s not forget the simple pleasures that we also have learned to love again!

    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! Yes, let’s keep praying for things to get back to normal. Sure, we’ve learned a lot during this time but it breaks my heart to keep my kids from their friends and a normal school situation. Stay well, friend!

  5. Thanks for some great ideas and your pool and patio are beautiful. We too have been spending way more time outside. We made up some new garden beds and re re-vamped our 30 year old deck. It turned out so much better than I imagined. We are hoping to get a couple of more years out of it. We have done some outside entertaining on the deck and yard and fire pit area which has been a true blessing. I am also a magazine hoarder. I have gone through some but have way more to go through. The first few months of the shut down we spent working on the yard, deck etc. now that it is sooo hot out, I am going to direct my focus on inside. Have a great rest of your summer.

    1. Thanks, Lynda! Isn’t it great to get some outdoor projects done? It’s super hot in NJ this week so I’ll probably working on some indoor projects as well. Now, go tackle that magazine pile! Enjoy your week and stay well!

  6. Your backyard is stunning. I would be out there all the time. Great insights about the world around us and how to cope with the stress of it all.
    Have a beautiful day,

    1. Thanks so much, Kippi! We really have been out there all the time…well except in this extreme heat. Enjoy your day!

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