Can Shelter in Place be a Happy Time?

Happy Shelter in Place week 3… That’s how an email exchange from one of my clients started. And I’ve been thinking about it. It’s not that I’m unhappy, per se, but rather that I’m uncertain. And that uncertainty is leaving me VERY unmotivated and uninspired creatively.

For instance, I have NO IDEA what to write about this week. All of the content I had lined up for you seems irrelevant and unimportant in light of the pandemic and subsequent isolation we are all facing. And so as I’m procrastinating writing (hello, I mean I have nothing else to do except clean toilets) I’m thinking about what I’d want to see if I were you reading this…And the answer is I JUST DON’T KNOW.

Even though stores are having CRAZY sales right now (like Nordstrom 40% off,  JCrew 40 % off, Madwell 30% off, Saks 25% off) it personally feels weird to shop for clothes right now considering there’s nowhere to go.

Making the Most of It

My beautiful client is making the most of her shelter in place time… Here’s her note…

 “Hi, Hallie.  First, thank you for all the IG posts and new FB group.  You make me smile every day when you post.  I love your honesty and encouragement.  The post yesterday with the lab,  made me laugh so hard.  I had to watch it a few times!

I wanted to thank you for inspiring me to clean our my ENTIRE closet.  Every last nook and cranny.  My crowning achievement this week is the sweater closet.  It was out of control.  I eliminated more than half of what I had, and I’m so happy it’s done.  I made my husband come in to appreciate it about ten times!  Haha.  So I had to share the pics I took so you can see what you inspired.  Thank you!”












Let me just say, I am so very proud of her! How great does that sweater closet look?? And that I’m thrilled and humbled if I inspired anybody to do anything because quite honestly, I am feeling like a complete slug these days.

So What’s a Girl To Do?

I am not trying to complain or be negative. And I do realize we are SAFE at home as opposed to STUCK at home. But, even if it’s safe (or stuck), and even with a family you love, it’s weird and lonely and weird. Can you relate?

Yes, I am trying to stay positive. And, yes, I realize that all in all, we have it pretty darn good. But, if I’m being real, life as we knew it has been upended, and frankly, some days are just better than others.

When I recently read my interview with Balanced Family Magazine, I had an AH-HA moment. I noticed there are a few things that help the better days be better… and many of them are things that were important to me in my “pre-corona/quarantine” life too. 

What’s Helping The Days be Better?


Truth be told, I HATE exercise. Like I’d probably rather go to the dentist or do laundry than exercise. But I also know I feel better after I break a sweat or stretch. Lucky for me Bridget from Body Central Studio has pivoted flawlessly and is doing private and small group training virtually. She’s taking new clients so if you’re interested contact her directly.


Yup, I jumped on the CBD train in September. I was skeptical but found two things to be true. My concentration improved greatly and my dependence on caffeine decreased. While I liked the results of the CBD I started with I had a horrible time with the taste – it was like they tried to hide the “pot” taste by covering it with a lemon/mint flavoring and I joked it was like eating Lemon Pledge. Once I finished that bottle I needed to find a brand that worked but didn’t make me gag.

Equilibria to the rescue! It tastes a little musky – but not in a bad way at all, in fact, I rather like it.

I started with a brilliance box  – kind of like a starter kit. It has the oil, soft gels and pain relief cream. After using it for a few weeks I had a call with a dosing specialist and they helped adjust how much to take and when to get my optimal effects and meet my personal needs. It ends up I don’t need the soft gels, just the oil and the pain relief cream (which works wonders on headaches as well as period cramps and muscle aches).

Sleeping is not my CBD issue (I could sleep until noon, like a teenager if I don’t set an alarm!!). But I do need it for attention and in the last few weeks, I have used it for panic and anxiety and have been extraordinarily happy with the subtle calming effects.

Thru the end of March, Equilibria is offering you $20 OFF your first order with code “HALLIE”. 


What is life without your girlfriends? I have two girl groups I’m zooming with regularly and dare I say they’re my lifeline… I call them my M&M’s  – Mussar & Mah Jongg. Without any exaggeration, I can say my life would not feel as satisfying (pre corona and during corona) if I didn’t have these two girls gangs.

Mussar: Since 2010 I’ve been studying Mussar, which at its heart is the study of virtue-based ethics through a Jewish lens.  It focuses on the idea that by cultivating inner virtues and character traits, we improve ourselves. Think of it like Jewish bible study meets self-improvement.  There are about 10 women in the group and we used to meet 2 times a month – but during the “lockdown” we’ve upped it to once a week – and boy do we need it. The whole 24/7 with family, financial strain and cleaning toilets is the ultimate test of character.  Our teacher and friend Ruchi Koval, ensures we leave each discussion with a real-life nugget we can put into action. If you want to learn more about Mussar contact Ruchi or you can read about it here.

Mah Jongg: My other girlfriend vice is playing Mah Jongg (it’s like if gin rummy, rummy cube, and dominos had a love child). Typically we play in person, but with shelter in place that wasn’t an option, and I was really missing it. Then we found and woot woot, we are throwing cracks, beams, and dots like nobody’s business. And,  IMHO what makes our games so “real”, we do a group facetime while we play so it’s kinda like being all together.

Self Care

A lot of the self-care I counted on and looked forward to in the old days, when I could leave my house, involved being pampered by someone else. A pedicure,  facial or blowdry would be some me time and I’d leave the appointment feeling cared for and pretty. But now I have to rely on myself for these things – and I kinda stink at it. But there are a few things that are helping me bridge the gap until I can (hopefully) be pampered, even a little bit, again.

For at-home hair treatments, I count on Oribe products – USE CODE STUDIO_MZ AT CHECKOUT. The gold lust pre-shampoo treatment is a deep conditioner that smells delish and leaves my hair silky and healthy. And the airbrush root touch up spray is magic to cover greys in between appointments. I think I specifically picked the photo above because even with my head down, there was not a speck of grey showing in my hair at all. And now, that’s certainly not the case – lol!!

And my girlfriend from Florida told me she swears by this root cover-up and that it last longer than the powders – just FYI…

I’ve talked about the Whole Story facemask on Instagram this week. It’s great because it’s clear so I can wear it to take a walk and not scare the neighborhood children! USE CODE “HALLIE” TO SAVE 20%.

Hand cream is a need not a want with all of the handwashing happening right now. I’ve been using this LeLabo lotion and it moisturizes my hand and gives me that divine santal scent.

Next Week

I’ve been collecting recommendations for recipes, books, TV shows, and home cleaning products (I’m currently obsessed and wanting this drain hair unclogger and this baseboard and molding mop – dear lord what has come over me???) I hope to share all of those reccos next week. PLEASE send your favorites my way so I can be sure to share.

Thank you all – stay well and safe!

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Photo: Becky Cormell

Outfit: Jumpsuit ON SALE, I’m wearing a size 2 – it comes in petite also! Bag inspired by the Bottega Pouch but for a whole lot less. Contact Scout and Molly’s Pinecrest for info.



Cleveland-based personal stylist and fashion blogger.

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