Lockdown’s Hidden Gems

This global pandemic has changed a lot of my normal routine. And, like so many, I’m struggling at times to stay positive.

But I’m also finding golden moments and new favorite companies to support. I thought I’d use today’s post to give a little shout out to those gems that are helping me get through.

I’ll start with DJ D-Nice on Instagram. Jen heard about him from a former colleague, and we decided to check out his “Club Quarantine” sessions on his Instagram feed (@dnice, if you’re interested).

Thanks to his talents, we’ve heard a lot of favorite songs, and we’ve been introduced to a bunch of new music. A LOT of musicians, rappers, actors, and athletes have been tuning into D-Nice’s Club Quarantine. He even has a video of Sheila E rocking out to one of his sets with some of her family members.

The other night, D-Nice mentioned that Timbaland and Swizz Beats were hosting a battle between DJ Premier (of Gang Starr fame) and RZA (of the Wu-Tang Clan) on Instagram. We tuned in and received an education in the history of hip-hop and rap. (If you’ve watched “Hip-Hop Evolution” on Netflix, you’ll love what Timbaland and Swizz Beats are doing with their battles.)

By now, everyone has probably heard of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams since Representative Nancy Pelosi showed off her stash of Jeni’s products. Certainly, the GOP is having a field day with her revelation.

But we first heard about Jeni’s ice cream thanks to Chuck Wendig’s annual gifts-for-writers blog posts. I think Jeni’s has made his list every year he’s shared suggestions. No, the ice cream isn’t cheap. But this isn’t something we’re having every day. We bought a few pints right when New Jersey went into lockdown, and we’re dishing up small amounts maybe once a week or so. It’s a treat for a very special occasion.

We are leaning hard on Nuts.com for healthy snacks and some kitchen staples. They’ve received so many orders that they’re having to limit when orders can be placed and increased their minimum order amount. But they have excellent products, and the customer service we’ve received is outstanding.

Last November, we went to Salem, MA, for the Writer Unboxed Unconference. While in Salem, we tried some of the teas available from the Jolie Tea Company. In late March, we placed an order. Adding Jolie teas into our usual mix of Twinings products helps reduce our milk consumption. And, it’s been nice having some different flavors.

Unfortunately, Jolie cannot fulfill any online orders at this time. I hope they’ll be able to start filling online orders again soon. Their products are outstanding.

We’re also watching season six of “Forged in Fire” on Hulu. Yes, we know we’re way behind the other FiF fans. But hey, we don’t have cable anymore, so we watch it when we can. We just finished the “Battle of the Branches” episodes. While it was fun seeing the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines battling in the forge, I couldn’t help but wonder why the Coast Guard wasn’t included. I wanted another round of the battle, you know?

If you have any favorite companies or sources of entertainment that you’d like to share, please drop me a note in the comments.

(Photo by Jamie Hagan on Unsplash)

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