Hi, friends! 

Several of you reached out to me regarding Food for the Soul; March 2020.  To be honest, I was going through a series of emotions surrounding COVID-19, and I needed some time to reset and process my new reality.  
As an Atlanta food blogger, dinner-party curator, and food media correspondent, my industry was impacted a great deal.  Brand campaigns and dinner parties have been canceled, not to mention, it’s been heartbreaking to have to watch several of my favorite places close, or have to furlough their employees; and/or even layoff entire teams. 

 Although we are allowed outside for essentials and exercise, y’all know that I am a social butterfly.  From dinners, to events, to traveling, I truly believe the world is my oyster.

 As if that’s not enough, please do not get me started about this is the year that Desmond and I are making plans to get married in a few months.  We’ve already had to cancel travel plans, including my bachelorette party at Scrub Island. Everyone has been affected by this pandemic — some more than others. 

It has been totally stressful for all of us.  The level of uncertainty is at an all-time high right now; however, here are a few quotes that bring me some comfort: 
1.  “Life is a mix of good and bad phases.  Make the most of the good times, and never lose hope during the bad times.” ― Dr Prem Jagyasi
2.  “The difference between darkness and brightness is how you thrive on those moments and how you use such circumstances with goodwill in your spirit.” ― Angelica Hopes
3.  “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.”  — Robert Schuller
4.  “Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” 
— Bernice Johnson Reagon
5.  “If you can’t fly, then run.  If you can’t run, then walk.  If you can’t walk, then crawl.  But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”  — Martin Luther King Jr.
6.  “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” — Corrie Ten Boom
7.  “In the darkest of nights, cling to the assurance that God loves you; that He always has advice for you, a path that you can tread, and a solution to your problem, and you will experience that which you believe.  God never disappoints anyone who places his trust in Him.” — Basilea Schlink
8.  “When you find yourself worrying, take a minute to examine the things you have control over.  You can’t prevent a storm from coming, but you can prepare for it.  You can’t control how someone else behaves, but you can control how you react.  Recognize that, sometimes, all you can control is your effort and your attitude.”  

After processing all of my emotions and getting my mental back on track, I am trying to make the best use of my time.  I thought to myself, “When is the next time that I am going to have any amount of time like this?”
I am always running around or busy doing something outside the house.  It has been a joy to slow down and work on home projects, create new content, read more books, and cooking (a lot of cooking!)  This has been a great chance to give my life a much-needed break . 

Now that it’s April, and Georgia has a stay-at-home order in place, I have been making the most of my time.  Here are five things I have used to stay calm and productive during this pandemic.

1.  Do not overdose with watching the news or social media.  Watching a lot of news can increase anxiety and the feeling of being anxious.  Watch the news in moderation. 

2.  Go outside.  A little vitamin D goes a long way.  No matter if it’s a walk to the mailbox or a walk around your neighbor — social distancing, of course — it’s always a good idea to get some fresh air. 

3. Surprise your tastebuds by trying a new breakfast, lunch, or dinner recipe.  I have been sharing plenty of recipes on Instagram and my blog. 

4.  Reconnect with people.  Call your friends; organize group FaceTime;  or a ZOOM.  My tribe has been a true source of laughter and solace. 

5. Catch up on life.  Do you need to reorganize your closet?  How about planting those flowers?  Make some personal time each day or each week to do a project for yourself. 

6. Pick one day of the week and take the time to write down what you are thankful for. 

It will make you more grateful during this time. I am sending y’all love, light, and well wishes.  We will get through this, and brighter days will be here soon. 

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