The world does not look the same as it did the last time we did one of these posts. Don’t get us wrong, things weren’t great in February, either. But, we weren’t dealing with, you know, a pandemic.
And while we don’t want to make light of a genuinely serious situation, we thought it might be nice to just take a moment away from the crushing anxiety about the state of our world to talk about the fun stuff we bought this month — mainly because we needed things to keep us occupied and mentally stable while we spend the foreseeable future mostly indoors.
Until this all blows over, we have to come together to enjoy the little things, because they’re kind of all we’ve got. So we’re joining (virtual) hands with our friends at PCMag (like Mashable, they’re owned by Ziff Davis) and sharing our purchases with you.
Below, here’s some of what our staff bought in March.
“As a writer, I should be advocating for setting up a designated workspace during this indefinite period of working from home. But ever since I got a Buffy comforter, it’s hard to not work from bed. It is confirmed soft and feels like you’re sticking your toes into a cloud (just like Instagram makes it look), and it does stay cooler than my previous, less-breathable comforters. I also love that its eucalyptus-derived materials have a much smaller carbon footprint than cotton.” —Leah Stodart, Shopping Reporter
“I always struggled when interviewing sources for stories over the phone. Not because I’m a bad interviewer (I hope I’m not), but because I never took the time to find a practical way to record my phone conversations. I usually got away with putting the other end on speaker and creating a voice note on my laptop, but the sound quality was always iffy and I would constantly be worrying if it was catching every word mid-call, which isn’t great to be focusing on during an interview. So, I finally got a voice recorder and telephone pickup mic; I’ve used it already for a few interviews and honestly, I don’t know how I ever made do without it. The quality is great, and the retractable USB makes exporting audio really easy. It makes me feel like a for-real journalist.” —Dylan Haas, Shopping Reporter
The highly-coveted nightstand
With all the craziness going on in the world, I’m kind of glad that I chose this time to move apartments; I’ve really just been able to hunker down and focus on making my new space feel like home (which is essential now that I’m going to be in it for the foreseeable future). In my old studio, I wasn’t able to fit a nightstand next to my bed; not enough square footage. So, once I upgraded to a one-bedroom apartment, it was one of the first things I bought. I’m really excited to have one, and also excited to be able to charge my phone on it instead of keeping it on the floor next to my bed.” —Dylan Haas, Shopping Reporter
I’m really wanted to make my new apartment my own, so I decided to get some wallpaper to add a little personality to the space. Since I’m renting, I went with the removable, peel-and-stick kind from Chasing Paper. It honestly looks great.” —Dylan Haas, Shopping Reporter
Some new threads to help us feel normal
“I placed an order with Forever 21 at the beginning of March to get some cheap workout clothes, but I also bought this cute gingham blazer that I was super excited to wear. Now that I’m stuck in my apartment all the time, I’m very thankful I ordered comfy clothes because I’ve been living in my new T-shirts and bike shorts. I put this blazer on sometimes, though to feel like I have an ounce of control over life right now. Help.” —Miller Kern, Shopping Reporter
“I’m using this extra time at home to get back in touch with my creative side, so I ordered this little art kit that comes with acrylic paints, brushes, and two canvases. I haven’t actually painted anything yet because I’ve been too caught up watching The Handmaid’s Tale and working through the stack of books on my shelf. But I feel like there’s a social distancing masterpiece just waiting to come out of me.” —Miller Kern, Shopping Reporter
New reads while we’re stuck indoors
“I ordered two books (so far!) from an independent bookstore in Brooklyn called Books Are Magic. They were offering really cheap shipping, and any time I can support small business and NOT Amazon I definitely will. I picked up Conviction by Denise Mina from a friend’s recommendation and A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James because if there’s any time to read a 688-page book, it’s during social distancing.” —Anna Iovine, Sex & Relationships Reporter
A new console and game to help pass the time
“I recently got a Nintendo Switch Lite in hopes that it would help me de-stress a bit, and it has! Immensely! My friend ordered me Animal Crossing: New Horizons when the game came out on March 20, and it’s been my main form of entertainment over the past week. The game gets me out of my head and reminds me of the simpler days I spent playing the original Animal Crossing as a child. It can also be a super social activity, so even though my friends and I are social-distancing, we’re able to meet up and chat with each other on our digital islands. I highly recommend the new Animal Crossing for anyone who’s looking for a fun distraction from the chaos and a genuinely captivating game.” —Nicole Gallucci, Culture Reporter
A soothing moisturizer to help us keep up with our self-care
“Biossance skincare has intrigued me for a while, so I first bought this set from Sephora. While some of the oils were too intense for me, I fell in love with the omega repair moisturizer (honestly, the gel moisturizer, too). The Squalane and Omega Repair Cream is super thick, but absorbs easily into my skin. It’s a great nighttime/winter moisturizer that is also great if you want to layer various oils on top. Basically no scent, and I wake up to smooth skin.” —Erin Strecker, Entertainment Editor
“I bought a Byingo LED grow light to help start the growing season early this year in my garden by starting seedlings inside. I really liked this light because it’s LED, and claims to be energy efficient. As an added bonus, it’s linkable with other lights, so if I end up liking it enough and want to expand my indoor garden, it should be incredibly easy. It looks like I’m going to be cooped inside for a few months, so I figured growing my own garden would not only be relaxing, but also rewarding.” —Brian Koerber, Deputy Culture Editor
Endless Disney content to help lighten the mood
“I signed up for Disney+ because I needed some nostalgia to help distract and calm my mind during the pandemic. So far, I’ve mostly watched ’90s movies from my childhood and have no regrets.” —Alisa Stern, Animation Director
“I constantly watch old Star Trek episodes on Netflix, but I finally took the plunge and subscribed to CBS All Access for Star Trek: Picard. It was a great decision, especially since I’m stuck in my apartment for the foreseeable future. Picard has the blend of nostalgia and action I was craving. And Star Trek: Discovery, also on CBS All Access, is at least more entertaining than the much maligned Enterprise.” —Keith Wagstaff, Tech Editor
“I went a little crazy ordering books this month. I’ll probably start with N. K. Jemisin’s fantasy bestseller The Fifth Season, and eventually make my way to Éric Vuillard’s The Order of the Day, which is about how industrialists in Germany paved the way for Hitler’s rise in the lead-up to World War II. I also got What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance by Carolyn Forché, and Frank Herbert’s Dune, among a few others. I ordered from Books are Magic in Brooklyn and Skylight Books in Los Angeles, but Bookshop is another good choice if you want to support independent bookstores.” —Keith Wagstaff, Tech Editor
“I bought a couple of embroidery kits last week. It’s an activity I’ve wanted to try out for a while, and I figured there’s no better time to dive into a new hobby than during social distancing! We’ll see how long it takes for me to embroider an entirely new set of throw pillows for my apartment.” —Cassidy Miller, Video Distribution Coordinator
“Last month, I took a blacksmithing class at a local forge (Nazz Forge, in Brooklyn’s Industry City). It was fun, but its classes have been canceled for obvious reasons. I can’t smith anything in my apartment, but I wanted to try to make something with my hands, so I ordered some chainmail materials from www.theringlord.com. It’s pretty neat, and you can do it with just two pliers and a bunch of wire rings.” —Will Greenwald, Senior Analyst, Consumer Electronics for PCMag
A preamp for expanding our musical abilities
“I got the Kepma Acoustifex Go in order to enhance my acoustic guitar and give it more electronic effects and flavor. This pickup/preamp allows for way more ideas and inspiration to come to life when playing around with the many different modes, which is perfect timing for this quarantine season.” —Zach Yuzon, Video Producer for PCMag
And finally, a care package of quarantine supplies
“This week we (my boyfriend and visiting friend) bought items for our mandatory 15-day quarantine in Lima, Peru. This involved a lot of jugs of water (we can’t drink the tap water here) and lots of groceries, including non-perishable items like canned tuna and bags of beans, and nuts, and granola bars. For sanity and entertainment, we bought a lined notebook and a 1,000-piece puzzle of a tropical beach. My friend bought a Kindle book, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, for her iPhone Kindle app since she only has her phone here (we were supposed to be hiking Machu Picchu the week the quarantine went into effect).” —Sasha Lekach, Transportation Reporter
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