Monday Musings- Tales from Captivity

Happy Monday ladies! Or in other words, Happy Day 7,983 in captivity (self-isolation, at my daughter’s place in Canada). We have made it through our first week of self-isolation, in her tiny apartment. I’m pleased to report that everyone is still alive, including Honey Pug (yes, that is her name ;).

We chose this as the perfect week to not only stay entirely within the four walls of this (lovely) five hundred square foot apartment, but also, to open every drawer, closet, and cupboard; pull everything out that my daughter has ever seen, touched, or bought, and bring it into the middle of the room for the purpose of REORGANIZATION.

Naturally, there are two things on my mind this week: decluttering/organizing and gin and tonics. And might I add, these two items pair quite well together it turns out.


The first step in decluttering this space was to pull quite literally everything out of the cupboards and start sorting through. While neither of us has watched Marie Kondo’s show, I’m pretty sure we have successfully reenacted it over the last seven days.

I quickly learned is that it’s actually quite difficult to organize a kitchen with so few and such tiny cupboards. We ordered some new shelving for her front hall closet in order to store small kitchen appliances and paper goods.

Since we can’t get out to shop, we have been scouring Amazon for all kinds of organizing goodies. We have been amassing a pile of “free things” to donate after our quarantine ends. I have rearranged the patio furniture twice, and we have just decided on a third option for tomorrow:)

We have our eye on a couple of dressers from West Elm because believe it or not she doesn’t have one. My favorite is this one…I am determined to make it work!

It may not surprise you to learn that my daughter Vanessa is a fan of shoes, an affliction she comes by naturally. We have gone down a rabbit hole of shoe storage and decided we like the shelf style the best, instead of hanging shoes. Because, while her place is very small, she doesn’t like to have anything out to look at (ie. hanging racks) so everything must be tucked away. This is difficult to achieve… but we have a lot of time on our hands!

Gin & Tonics

My mother always drank a gin & tonic, and I thought they were disgusting. Until I discovered that gin-soaked raisins help with arthritis. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy! And so I determined if ever a day arose where my arthritis still bothered me and I couldn’t picture consuming one more bloated raisin, I started to make myself a gin & tonic.

I would call gin & tonics a medicinal necessity, when quarantined (and when not), during the pandemic (and in normal times). My favorite gin is Tanqueray because it’s made with Juniper berries (which is supposed to help with your arthritis). My favorite tonic is Fever-Tree, because, frankly, the can is pretty and it’s a bit lower in calories.

Last week my daughter’s friend Amanda, after learning of my arrival and gin appreciation, sent a picture and told me about something called Empress 1908 Gin. This name refers to the landmark Victoria, B.C. hotel “The Empress.”

“The gin is made with eight organic botanicals and a non-GMO corn-spirit as the base. Butterfly pea blossom lends the spirit its deep color. An aromatic London Dry gin style with a lush blue hue, Empress promises to make a regal cocktail.”

In particular, she shared that the gin actually changes color when tonic or citrus is added (lime juice!) from deep indigo to monarch purple, to rose petal pink. This is due to the butterfly pea blossom added during distillation. While I can’t sneak out yet for a bottle of Empress gin, it is high on my list once we exit quarantine next Monday.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great start to the week!

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.


  1. Elaine @ Following Augustine
    August 25, 2020 / 7:56 pm

    What part of Vancouver does your daughter live in? I’m just curious because I grew up in North Vancouver and have a brother and a son living there.

  2. Susan B
    August 25, 2020 / 9:22 am

    Road trip to the distillery in Sydney might be in your future! We went there last year and they have several delicious gins. I find I like a little stronger gin for G&Ts, but also enjoy sipping more mellow varieties. There’s getting to be so many delicious botanical gins out there and distilleries popping up all over. My favorite is Randsom Old Tom Gin made in Oregon. Fever-Tree is the best tonic!
    I’m looking forward to a post about solving the shoe storage issue.

  3. Janet Williams
    August 24, 2020 / 8:24 pm

    Two favs – Tanquerary and reorganizing! Preferably together! Have fun and enjoy the sights when you get out.

  4. Susan
    August 24, 2020 / 11:35 am

    Loved your post today. I love the west elm dresser! Might be perfect for our home. Love the inspiration re organization. I need to kick back into gear to be more productive. I was starting to slack a bit thinking we were thru this. WRONG! It’s going to be a long haul, I’m afraid.

    I really enjoy your posts! Keep it up!

  5. Sharon Mulliken
    August 24, 2020 / 11:18 am

    Jennifer, you truly crack me up! Giggling was the perfect way to start this week, for sure. I always love your Monday Musings 🙂 And I am also a gin/tonic drinker from way way back! A dear friend introduced me and we would enjoy one together sitting on her porch watching our kids play outside. Today that would probably be considered child abuse! From that point on I was hooked though and always recall the fun we had together back then. My gin of choice is Beefeater and I just found Indian Tree tonic water a few months ago too! Much lighter and less sweet. I hope your great visit with your daughter continues onward with the cleaning and de-cluttering. You will always treasure this time with her! My two daughters li e nearby but both work full time so I get excited when we can have coffee together on a Saturday morning. Keep blogging, kiddo! You are a treasure.

    • Jennifer
      August 24, 2020 / 5:07 pm

      Thanks, Sharon! Have a great week xo

  6. Anne Johansen
    August 24, 2020 / 10:48 am

    Welcome to Canada!
    I enjoy your website very much.
    Gin & Tonic is also my drink of choice. I also enjoy lemon gin although not many people do!

  7. Shawn
    August 24, 2020 / 9:22 am

    Thanks for making me laugh, Jennifer! G&Ts are my favorite pandemic drink, also. So much so, I call it my Quarantini! This time you have spent with your daughter will be among your most favorite memories as the years go by. Cheers- clink clink!

    • Jennifer
      August 24, 2020 / 11:06 am

      I love that!! Quarantini:)

      • Mary F
        August 24, 2020 / 12:27 pm

        For my birthday in June, my sister sent me a Life is Good t-shirt with “Quarantini” on the front with a picture of a martini glass. I love it!

  8. Dianne🇨🇦
    August 24, 2020 / 9:14 am

    Good Monday morning!
    I hope you are enjoying our weather,a lot cooler than your home!
    I hope you have sunny weather the rest of this week.
    Talking of organizing,I bought some amazing organizing tools for my underwear & sock drawers from Ikea, I love the panties all rolled in their cubicle!
    I love “Bombay,Saphire “ gin.
    Enjoy your week.

  9. Lauren
    August 24, 2020 / 9:01 am

    Hmmm I think I need to find some of that Empress Gin….I am betting that it is only available on B.C. but I will check my LCBO with fingers crossed.
    As for the shelves…..they are fabulous and are made/imported by Vancouver Classics and come in many sizes. I hate supporting Amazon because of the way they do business ( they allow scammers to wreck a perfectly good business person’s profile and then Amazon is impossible to work with to prove that it was a copy cat writing fake bad reviews on the real deal so the scammer can then turn around and take over the market with a copy item and profit by selling “the same item”)
    Vancouver Classics sell their shelves through their website, Costco, Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Lowes, etc. so no need to support Amazon. And…these other retailers often have a Sale on them!

  10. Dianne
    August 24, 2020 / 8:27 am

    Good morning😊I have organized and reorganized my closet, dresser draws and my pantry in the kitchen. I am running out of areas to organize! Your choice of dresser is beautiful. The curved design is very pleasing to the eye and I am sure it will serve its purpose besides looking great. Have a great week

  11. Marian
    August 24, 2020 / 8:16 am

    Quite appropriate to enjoy an anti-malaria cocktail while quarantining for Covid. It’s medicinal! Close enough!

  12. Joanna
    August 24, 2020 / 7:46 am

    Oh! I forgot to say I love your choice of dresser. The floor will show below the legs making the space appear larger. The curved drawers give it a sexy look. That is a piece that will work in any room of a home and compliment any style of furnishings.

  13. Joanna
    August 24, 2020 / 7:39 am

    What a great way to keep busy during quarantine. You must feel a real sense of accomplishment in organizing a whole apartment and ordering pieces to help display/hide Vanessa’s things. I guess this next week will bring balcony sitting, reading, and enjoying more of those Gin & Tonic. Imagine the sense of freedom you both will have when quarantine is over and you venture out.
    Will you be required to quarantine when returning home?

    • Jennifer
      August 24, 2020 / 5:11 pm

      No, California doesn’t require it but I will still lay low when I get home.

  14. Sharon
    August 24, 2020 / 7:27 am

    I picked up Fever-Tree tonic last week on recommendation and really enjoyed the flavor – most tonics are too sweet. The storage unit is a good idea!

  15. Debbie Brooman
    August 24, 2020 / 7:25 am

    Sounds like you and your daughter are managing just fine together, with a little help from a delicious gin & tonic. Nice choice on the dresser. I’ll have to look for the Empress gin as that’s our favourite summer drink. I live about an hour outside of Vancouver, hopefully our beautiful weather stays that way when you’re finished your quarantine. I enjoy spending time with my daughter too, we’re heading off for a couple nights away – now we include her 5 year old daughter. Happy sorting and purging!

    • Jennifer
      August 24, 2020 / 5:12 pm

      How fun! You live in a gorgeous part of the world.

  16. Mumbai
    August 24, 2020 / 6:44 am

    declutter…I didn’t managed during the 1st lockdown…perhaps missed the Gin/Tonic as a company…neither now during the hot summer days. Don’t pray for a 2nd lockdown but bad
    weather would also helpful in order to get started.

    • Jennifer
      August 24, 2020 / 5:13 pm

      I agree, it’s easier to stay in and declutter in foul weather.

  17. Linda Henderson
    August 24, 2020 / 6:43 am

    Love your sense of humor. Thanks.

  18. Cyndi
    August 24, 2020 / 6:39 am

    Quarantine is the best time to clean, purge & organize – it gives quite a sense of satisfaction 😀. Fever tree light is my favorite tonic – I’ve been mixing it with Seedlip Spice instead of gin as I have been taking a break from alcohol. It doesn’t contain. Juniper but I’m hooked on it mixed with tonic when I don’t want alcohol. Enjoy Canada when you get out of quarantine.

  19. Noelle
    August 24, 2020 / 6:39 am

    I am SO envious of your dual citizenship! Mine is U.S./British which is no help at all in seeing my sister and my entire extended family in Ontario, ten minutes away from me by bridge. It is forbidden to cross the border, even with a 14 day quarantine, because Canada has managed this virus and doesn’t want a surge. Enjoy your time with your daughter.

    • Kay
      August 24, 2020 / 11:25 am

      My dual citizenship isn’t a help when this 14 day quarantine rule is in place. I’m not going to sit in my brother’s Calgary apartment for 14 days no matter how much I miss him. Tiny apartment+bachelor isn’t my idea of fun.

      • Colleen Gander
        August 24, 2020 / 11:54 am

        You may find that if you have already put in your isolation period of 14 days, Alberta won’t ask you to do it again. Just sayin’, in case you have a desire to visit the Stampede City.

      • Jennifer
        August 24, 2020 / 5:05 pm

        I love Alberta!

      • Jennifer
        August 24, 2020 / 5:15 pm

        I agree Kay, tiny apartment + bachelor would require more Gin and Tonics than I care to drink:)

  20. Bea
    August 24, 2020 / 6:23 am

    Jennifer, I laughed out loud when I read your post this morning! Sounds like you and your daughter are having a great time despite the isolation in her apartment. I would give an arm and a leg to spend that much time with my daughter (although she might not say the same thing!!). Enjoy and keep those gin & tonics going.

  21. Paulette Levy
    August 24, 2020 / 6:05 am

    Wow! You and your daughter are sure making the best of your quarantine–re-organizing and de cluttering. And to finish a project with Tangueray and tonic. What could be bad? Enjoy being with your daughter! Fun times.

  22. Joanne Long
    August 24, 2020 / 6:00 am

    I just watched an episode of Cooking on the Coast (Vancouver Island really) where they have been featuring local distilleries in their pairings. I don’t usually drink gin but these varieties looked interesting. Quarantine goes quite quickly. I had to do it in March after returning from Mexico. It’s a good time to declutter.

  23. Rose
    August 24, 2020 / 5:57 am

    We have been cleaning out our garage during this time and boy what a difference! Really need to tackle my closet again. Love the dresser you choose! My mom always drank vodka collins. Whenever I have one I think of her.

    • Jennifer
      August 24, 2020 / 7:28 am

      I’ve never had a “Collins” anything but remember people having Tom Collins. I must google why it has that name.

  24. Jan
    August 24, 2020 / 4:59 am

    It’s Monday morning, our last full week of August and we’re still knee deep in this pandemic! I am trying very hard to remain hopeful and taking on various projects around our home does help. Cleaning and organizing are great energy boosters for me. I love walking into a room knowing that I just decluttered a lifetime of “stuff” that only I had some appreciation for. The older I get (74 and counting), I know that my children will not fight over most of my “stuff”. George Carlin had a great skit about our “stuff”.
    I love the dresser you featured! It’s beautiful clean lines and marble top would be an awesome investment.
    My last taste of gin was decades ago . I prefer a glass of wine or a craft beer occasionally.
    Stay strong ladies!

    • Jennifer
      August 24, 2020 / 7:26 am

      I remember that George Carlin skit! I also remember how my siblings felt about going through my parents things 🙁
      Now is the time to declutter. It makes me look forward to decluttering when I get home! Hang in there Jan!

  25. Francesca B.
    August 24, 2020 / 4:26 am

    Love Tanqueray gin it is my all time favorite; something about that beautiful green bottle reminds me of Wimbledon and celebrating togetherness. Lovely memories too as that was the gin my Papa always used when he made cocktails for us all. Enjoy!

  26. jeanne
    August 24, 2020 / 4:06 am

    Just got Empress 1908 delivered. Have been looking fot 4 months. Was told all the Seattle distributors were out. So frustrating when the distillery is in Victoria. Love the color.

    • Jennifer
      August 24, 2020 / 7:22 am

      Why have I just heard of this Gin?? I can’t wait to see it.

      • Jeannette Larson
        August 24, 2020 / 7:53 am

        Empress 1908 is just wonderful! We visit the quaint Distillery in Sidney every year and bring home a bottle to enjoy in the States. We are seriously missing our trip to Victoria, Vancouver Island this year! Please post pictures if you venture over that way!

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