Beach singing cover

From the Founder:

Welcome to Edition No. 9 of Just a Moment in House.

Here we are again, on strict, "new" stay-at-home orders here in Los Angeles. They're asking us to be COVID-19 mindful during the holidays but it doesn't feel the same as it did back in March when this all began. Much of the country, rest of world are also struggling with daily record breaking case numbers versus reopening. Quarantine fatigue, essential work, the economy and misplaced focus on personal liberties are some of why a full lockdown is not possible here and finding that balance might be preventing us from getting this under control.

When and what after this moment? Is there an end date? Is it when the ubiquitous talk of vaccines are administered? Will it finally cure us? New administration? New norms? New mandates? Masks and socially distanced forever? Nope, no definitive answers. Going day by day and the days are soaring by even though this pandemic is dragging on. However, 2020 is done soon.

I am still looking for fun, finding the joy and reminding myself how fast life ends up moving, seeing clearly more than ever what I am grateful for. What I wrote at the beginning of the pandemic nine months ago still personally holds true:

"We are lucky - my husband, daughter and I enjoy spending time together and being at home. We can fill the days very busy, working from home, remote learning, individually for 6-7 hours straight to then join for cooking, eating dinner, games..."

Board games, card games, craft games, virtual games, video games - this issue features some of the glorious games keeping us busy. I'm appreciating the little things. My daughter suggested calling it "JAM in Games." Quarantine life 2020.

The beach is our backyard where we live. We're still allowed to safely go outside. Whether city or country, winter or summer, find some space outdoors if possible to get out of house while we "JAM in House."

Meanwhile, I welcome 2021 even filled with continued challenges but hopeful for new solutions. Using the holidays to also appreciate, support local businesses, those in any need. For now, here's our little interim winter issue. Please stay safe and take care of yourselves!

Happy holidays,
Helen
Two More Minutes, Inc.

HH Miramar Beach

Helen in Montecito

Just a Moment

/jəst ə ˈmō mənt/ noun
1. A visual compendium showcasing a day in the life of a person, place, or thing.

SYR morning mommy daughter 2

Helen w/daughter Imogen

Chirstmas gifts

Intro

Holiday Edition

A day of festivity or recreation when no work is done.

Except there's so much work to be done. And quarantine fatigue is real. There seems to be a never-ending responsibility for restricted living and people are tired of it. Families are suffering. So are businesses and our economy. This is global even though it looks most dire here in the United States looking at the staggering, still climbing numbers and statistics. Not sure I can look at graphs or charts quite the same ever again without thinking of this time...or go anywhere without a travel size hand sanitizer or counting to twenty washing hands and then another ten to rinse them. Face masks are second nature and its feels more weird to not have one on outside now.

Hand sanitizer

Forever sanitizer

Chaos book

Current re-read

I'm reading the news daily. Then putting it away. I'm focusing on being here for myself, my family, my friends, colleagues, community so we can keep moving forward whether good or bad. I can bring the good into our home so we are keeping happily busy. We haven't forgotten all the while the many who are less fortunate and trust the new administration in the new year can help better those in need. And the holiday season helps bring attention and supportive activity to those charitable groups already in place.

Music video slate

Band music video slate

It's never too late to learn a new skill or do simple things we already enjoy doing but normally never have the time to do. My daughter like all children is a champion at learning new things (in addition to being a voracious reader so finding more time to read books is a precious gift to her). She shot a music video with her virtual school band recently (see photos in "Gallery") and organized a family book group few months ago with all three of us reading all three (and one prequel) Hunger Games books. (We were late to the Harry Potter train, too, as she was not born when it first came out and then old enough to thoroughly enjoy.) We've managed to watch the first movie. Movie after book meant so many details missing for us but still entertaining. We've turned our movie nights into events complete with tickets, VIP wristbands, programs, popcorn and movie candy, party decorations, prizes, party favors and photo booths.

Hunger Games books

Family book group books

The creative activities she's finding to do at home are too many to list but I am grateful her enormous curiosity and yearning to experience big and deep is not lost during these times. We have become so productive with our chores, too. Maybe because we appreciate being home and want to continue to keep our space pleasant. I'm cleaning house, little by little, but with huge, refreshing outcomes of less clutter, more space while we are diligently confined to home. I am making new spaces with a rug and lamp here, loveseat and end table there in unexpected, previously unused areas not all that big in square footage but so huge in physical space for working and lockdown at home.

Car rides feel so fancy now.

We are enjoying more game nights! Board games and video games. (See the "Games" section in this issue for more.) Holiday decorating! Weaving, knitting, sewing homemade items. We are also finding the outdoor activities to counter the indoor ones (especially ones like baking cake) and loving the beach, our neighborhood, nearby towns just a short road trip away. Car rides feel so fancy now. So did a recent school field trip our daughter took to a 93,000 acres worth of remote nature preserve we had never heard of two hours away, socially distanced only twelve students to a bus, masks on, windows open. She will never forget how special it felt and the friends she made actually in person and not on a screen.

Imogen field trip

Wind Wolves Preserve 11/18/20

Imogen field trip group

And we are keeping up with needed wellness bunkered inside more than ever with short meditations, extra vitamin C, vitamin D, favorite virtual workouts, our handy Peloton bike adjustable to all three of us at home, rowing machine, yoga mats, hand weights, jump rope. No elaborate gym equipment but a motivating discipline we conjure up to make ourselves get it done. Always feels better after. Or eat candy every day...

Lips candy

Advent Calendar Candy

Advent candy calendar

Surprise sweets 24 days

No matter what the holidays mean to you, all while in stay-at-home orders, it's usually merry to find something or someone to honor, celebrate and be present.

Next

Contributors

Krystal Chang

Krystal Chang is a writer and designer of flowers, installations, and landscapes in Los Angeles. Her background in architecture and construction informs the spatial quality of her work. She creates bespoke florals for events and clients including Esters Wine Shop, Lunya, Design Within Reach, and Poketo. She designs landscapes for residential and commercial clients with a focus on native and sustainable gardens. Currently she is mostly thinking about food: what to get, where to get it, how to cook it, how to save it. Also, trying to work, reading, and tending to the care and feeding of too many indoor plants and a sourdough starter.
krystalchang.com
IG: @krystalchang

JAM in House contributpr Christina

Christina Graci is a lover of all things beauty, health and wellness. She has been busy in the industry for 15 years. She is currently doing lots of self care, cooking, and staying active, reconnecting with herself, partner and friends.
IG: @xtinaesthetics

JAM now Triana

Triana Cristobal is an east coast native, west coast transplant. She is a ballerina turned fitness professional. She is also a music maker. You can find her on the dance floor but currently she's back home in nature taking long, beautiful hikes.
www.trianacristobal.com
IG: @it_me_triana

Helen Jeremy hbo emmys

Helen and husband Jeremy in West Hollywood at Emmy party past

Helen True Detective 2 premiere

Holiday season 2019 premiere party

Thank you to my daughter, Imogen, and husband, Jeremy, my family, my friends, my JAM team and especially to all the continuously dedicated healthcare workers, frontline, food banks, couriers and all the many others helping with economic, racial, gender inequalities, climate change and social justice.