Monday Musings: Maintenance and Mom

Happy Mondays ladies. I hope your weekend was calm and that you were able to get out for some fresh air. It’s so therapeutic to get out of the house, even if all you do is sit on your front step.

It’s more important than ever that we keep in contact with friends and loved ones now. Social isolation needn’t be lonely when we can use the phone, chat with Facetime, or sit across the street. You can also make free video calls with messenger from Facebook or What’s App. Here’s how some of my neighbors are visiting these days.

2 women visiting from opposite sides of the road to social distance

This weekend I did some pruning, knitting, walking and a whole lot of Facetime with my girl.

Here’s what’s on my mind this week-

chealsea girls book and cup of tea


I wish I owned stock in Amazon. I always order from them but now I’m ordering tons more. The vitamins I used to toss in the basket on my grocery store run are now getting ordered. I’ve always ordered my favorite organic Darjeeling Tea from them because my supermarkets stopped carrying any kind of Darjeeling. What’s up with that? I like a lot of different tea but in the morning, it’s Darjeeling or nothing. No morning tea for Jennifer is not a pretty sight:) The books I want to read are being ordered and I’m no longer ordering used ones. It’s kind of amazing how reliant I am on them right now. I’m also grateful for the UPS delivery people who are working their tails off to bring us what we need.


I’ve been giving myself a mini massage after my shower each morning, in an effort to chill out. I’ve always slathered on lotion but now that I’m using this ann marie neroli toming mist and coconut oil moisturizerNeroli is known for it’s calming properties, the aloe helps hydrate my skin, plus I love the smell! They have their sample kit on sale for $10 so you can try a few things and see how your skin reacts. I love sampling things that way so I don’t invest a bunch in case I don’t like it. I did try this face wash and loved it…but it was sold out. It’s finally back in stock so I’m waiting for it to arrive. Thank goodness for UPS:)


With social isolation in full swing, women are beginning to wonder what they will do to maintain their gel, shellac, acrylic or artificial nails. Haircut and color are also on their minds. I don’t do that nail stuff and have the uber short nails to prove it. Here’s one way to remove them. My hair is also rather low maintenance and if push comes to shove, I will trim it myself. Would you? People are joking that their favorite, glamorous influencers will be showing their true colors very soon:)


As you know, my daughter lives in Vancouver. I hate that she lives so far away, but that’s where her career and life are. We facetime often, but it’s never enough. She’s had a bad cold for the last 10 days and stayed in social isolation to heal. We thought she was on the road to recovery when she suddenly developed a fever on Saturday. I was terrified but the border is closed between our two countries so I couldn’t fly up. She wouldn’t have let me into her apartment anyway…but I would have tried. on the beach in TofinoFrustration and fear made for a scary night for all of us. Thank goodness the fever was gone in the morning but my heart hurts that I can’t put my arms around her. Distance doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder. For me, it feels like a stake through my heart.


Bloggers everywhere are scrambling to create content their readers will love. During these stressful times, bloggers who only rely on fashion and shopping posts seem the most unnerved. But the truth is, we do need to get dressed. We will come out on the other side of this crisis and be stronger women for it. I’ve never focused solely on fashion because A Well Styled Life is not just about what you wear. It’s how you live your life. I do have a few sponsored posts for brands in the works and they will go out because I love and believe in the brand plus it helps pay the bills.

How are you filling your time?

Please be kind and remember to phone people that you know to live alone. No one should feel lonely and your call could make all the difference for someone.

Thanks for reading ladies and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.





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  1. I love the pictures you are putting at the beginning of your post. We are doing well here but we are in the seventies with plenty of sunshine. It’s hard to be depressed with beautiful weather. I feel for those who have cold or wet weather but spring is near for you. Hang in there.
    I’m actually getting some things done that I’ve been putting off like cleaning out and organizing closets. I believe more people are calling on the phone to hear a voice instead of texting right now. At least it seems that way in our family. Prayers for your daughter and don’t worry. She is young and resilient.

  2. candice clement says:

    I am going to try that Neroli spray, could use a boost. I am in the process of growing out my hair to gray and this is going to be a huge set back. They just locked down Michigan today. I looked at the Madison Reed on Face Book and could not figure it out. If it is that hard to pick out a color it does not make me want to use the product. Thank goodness I love and have a lot of hats.

  3. Jennifer – Thanks so much for keeping up our spirits. You’re doing a great job and I’m sure it’s getting harder for you. Reading your posts over my morning coffee is a favorite morning routine I am clinging to! I look for the normal.

    I empathize with your daughter’s distance and her health. Really glad to hear she’s getting better. My daughter has been living in Germany and she is scheduled to fly home on Wed – and then we quarantine her in a part of the house. But Wed seems far away and it’s easy for the worry to suddenly surge to panic and then calm myself down. And my 87 year old mother is alone in NY, somehow managing.

    The laughter you provided with your Dignity post was fabulous. It inspired me to start a similar email thread with my book club and other social groups to get us laughing.

    A tip for readers: Keep putting your earrings on even if no one sees you! You don’t want the holes to close up!

    A daily must: MUSIC. Listen – Pandora, Tune In Radio (free app or website), YouTube performances. Tune In radio lets you listen to radio stations all over the world. Pick a country! And for those who play an instrument or used to….start practicing! Find new music on Google Images.

    Thank you for all that you are doing to keep us connected. I always enjoyed your blog and the community but now, more than ever.

    1. It will feel SO good to get your daughter home. I hope she’s ok. Thanks for being part of this community, I love your contributions. Be well XX

  4. We understand about being away from your daughter, especially when she is ill. Ore kids and grand baby are in Alaska and even tho we do a portal with them, it is just not the same. So we understand.

  5. Linda Henderson says:

    Thanks for your voice of reason. It is calming.

  6. I have to have my tea every morning also. I usually drink green tea but if I can’t get that I’ll drink whatever’s available. I also read constantly. Luckily I stocked up at the library! It’s too bad about your daughter. I know what you mean about not being able to see your daughter. My kids live in town but they don’t want to bring the grandkids over as my husband and I are both high-risk. It’s all so weird. Stay safe and thanks for the great ideas.

  7. I fill my time working from home, cooking, long walks around my neighborhood. The physical activity really helps clear my mind and is a great stress reliever.

    I got a bit worried last week about our world. My son reminded me that I’m the calm one in the family so please stop…so I did.:)

    I stopped coloring my hair 2 years ago. Turns out my natural color mixed with grey is quite nice. I could use a haircut but that’s a 1st world problem.

    1. I’m doing a lot of deep breathing these days…it really does help calm me down.

  8. Thank you as always for your uplifting post Jennifer, and my heart goes out to everyone who has faraway loved ones who are ill. On a lighter note, I’d like to recommend an at-home solution for those of you who are looking to keep up your hair color or even play with something new! I have been using Overtone brand coloring conditioner for about 4 years now, and I just love it. (I promise I don’t work for them; just a happy customer.) It’s not dye in the sense that it doesn’t lift any color out, so if your hair hasn’t been treated before it will be less porous and the results might be pretty subtle, but it’s a ton of fun. They have a range of natural color but their specialty is “fantasy” colors–these are fashionable even for ladies of a certain age! Like many of us, I was in my teens and early twenties during the New Wave/Punk Rock era, and I haven’t had this much fun with my hair since then! Plus, fewer people are going to see you right now, so why not do something a little crazy? Currently I am mixing their extreme purple and rich black for a lovely deep plum, and my gray hairs have turned into lavender highlights. I hope you all find something lighthearted and fun to do, with your hair or anything else! <3

    1. How fun! I did put a blue streak in several years ago and loved it.

  9. I think morning tea or coffee is so essential right now – whatever is comforting. My bathtub has become one of my favorite places. 😉 My moods are up and down. We put our house on the market because we are building a new condo, but right now, it’s all up in the air. We’ve had some showings and interest, but I think people are hunkering down and it’s all coming to a complete stop. Frightening times.

    I really feel your pain on the daughter front. My DD lives in England and is about to have a baby in May. I have an airline ticket to stay with her for a month after the baby is born, and I’m fearful that will not come to pass. So many heartbreaking stories out there, though. She is healthy, in a good relationship, and has wonderful maternity leave with full pay at her job. So we do have a lot to be thankful for, and I will try to contain my sadness if I can’t go immediately. So glad your daughter is feeling better. The closed borders are a scary feeling.

    1. I hope everything is cleared up so you can go be with your daughter. May is long enough off you may be fine.

  10. A salon in my town is offering a grey repair kit. I thought that was so creative! They will provide small container of color, brush and even a small bowl to mix it in. Perhaps your regular salon or stylist would be willing to do sometimes similar. Not sure what they charge, but if this goes on much longer, I may have to check it out!

    1. The salon I go to is also offering that and any hair care products you may need. They leave the products on the porch so that nobody has to come in direct contact with each other as we are now in mandatory closure of non-essential businesses. What’s that phrase “necessity is the mother of invention’. Brilliant!

  11. Thank you for your inspiring posts! I just recently found your blog and wish I’d found you sooner! You are my first email I open. My neighbor has joined also, so we are spreading the word. Take care to all and be safe.

  12. Phyllis Hughes says:

    I understand about the need for your special tea in the morning. I am a tea drinker, too, and get a bit cranky if I don’t get it. I get my English Breakfast Tea from Harney and Sons. I order it on-line. There are other teas that I drink; but they are all black teas. No herbals for me.

    If my hair appointment is cancelled I won’t worry about it. My hair is short enough that my husband would probably be glad if it grew a few more weeks before i get it cut again. It is also grey and I love the color. No worries about coloring it.

    My brothers and I Facetime every afternoon for an hour. We started doing that long before the Coronavirus. My youngest brother and I were concerned about our oldest brother and felt that we needed to be in touch with him much more than we had been. We have seen and talked with each other more in the last five months than we have in the last thirty years. My oldest brother’s assisted living building has gone on lock down and he cannot leave his apartment, so our calls Facetime calls have become even more important to him than they were before.

    So far everyone in my family has remained healthy. I pray that your daughter will recover quickly from whatever illness she has and that you will be at peace. It is tough not being able to just go to our loved ones when we are concerned for them.

    1. That’s such a great idea. I should do that with my brothers. I miss them so much.

  13. Hi Jennifer, I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s posts today! Yesterday I attended church in my pajamas and no makeup! Our first ever online service. Our Anglican Bishop over SC, NC, and TN is in ICU on a ventilator, only 56 years old. Even though our local university is closed, students are flocking back to their apartments because they are bored and are gathering in groups to shop and party. What are their parents thinking to allow this?

    1. Oh NO, I am so sorry to hear about your bishop. I hope he gets better. Kids are nuts and are risking everyone’s health.

  14. babu riba says:

    I’ve been heartened by seeing my community rally around beloved local shops and small restaurants. People are paying their hair stylists in advance for a few months of cuts, even if they can’t go into the salon. This kind of action feels positive and hopeful to me, in a scary time. As part of that effort, I’ve switched to buying my books online from my independent booksellers through the lovely bookshop.org platform, which lets you find your local bookshop and buy from them online. https://bookshop.org/categories/m/cooking-wine.
    Jennifer, would you consider running a blog featuring books about fashion, style and grooming (and helping out small businesses too!)?

    1. I read many books about style and beauty. They are favorites for obvious reasons:)

  15. Love the picture of two women sitting on their own side of the street talking.. With spring here, we can get out and not feel quite so isolated. Just keep your distance of at least 6 feet.

    I had my hair cut & highlighted on the 10th, just before my husband & I decided we should cancel all social engagements and appointments to stay home and be safe. This may go on for many months so I guess I’ll be going au natural. Your many hats will come in handy for hiding the less than perfect hair.

    I hope Vanessa is feeling well soon.

    Stay safe, stay healthy and keep a happy frame of mind.

  16. Your posts always start my day on a positive note. Thank you! I must brag that I now have the cleanest closets in town. My husband even volunteered to paint the inside of our long neglected coat closet. Not sure what I’ll do when I run out of things to clean out, but that will take a while. 😉

  17. Nice weather would be such a blessing right now.We woke up to snow this morning!

  18. Violet L O'Brien says:

    Funny you mentioned tea. I’ve been ordering from The Republic of Tea…they have some fantastic flavors with explanations of each. Give it a try, I’m sure you’ll like it. Also, we haven’t heard how your tests went. Sure hope all is well with you. Glad your daughter is feeling better. So hard when we can’t be close to our loved ones. There’s going to be some really big hugs going on when this is over. Be safe and stay well.

  19. Good morning! Thank you for today’s blog. Makes my morning coffee even better.

    I know it would be so hard to be away from your daughter. I hope she will be 100% soon.

    As for the hair coloring issue, I’m glad I decided to stop coloring last fall. A visit to my wonderful hairstylist every 3 weeks was getting to be too much. I love my new hair! I will definitely trim my hair when it needs it. That should be interesting.

    I just saw 3 firemen get out of their fire truck, put on their face masks, pick up their emergency medical kit, and go to help someone in my condo. I am thankful for all of the people working to keep us safe. That includes Amazon who keeps us sane and out of crowds.

  20. Good idea of the article on removing fake nails. How about ideas for growing out gray roots, scraggly ends, etc.?

    I always enjoy your posts.

  21. I look forward to your posts everyday Jennifer! It is so difficult being separated from my own children and my grandson right now. They all live in my area but they might as well be across the country right now. To fill the time during separation I have started organizing the many, many boxes of family photos that have been hanging out in my guest room closet. I inherited family photos from my mom and my husband’s parents, so there are tons of family history in those boxes. This is a chore that I had intended to work on “when I retired”. I’ve been retired now for 6 years, seems like a good time to tackle this project. I’m also hoping to make some of the face masks for local hospitals.

    1. That is a big job but a good one. We haven’t printed photos in many years which I think we will regret later. Stay well, Laurie.

  22. Joyce Reardon says:

    I can so relate to how you feel about your daughter. It’s doesn’t matter how old they are, they’re always our kids! I’ve been using FaceTime and FB messenger on overdrive. I have 2 young grandaughters who I miss terribly. While we are away this winter, it’s even worse.
    Thanks for the update on face and body products. I so enjoy your musings! Keep it up and stay safe

    1. What did parents and grandparents do before facetime?? Be safe!

  23. Gail Schwartz says:

    I think I would go mad without FaceTime. We visit that way with our granddaughter 1200 miles away, every day. Also, a 2 mile walk nearly every day and water aerobics in the safety of our condo pool. We all clean with Clorox wipes and wash our hands with soap. Every day, make your bed, shower, put on makeup and get dressed. It really makes a difference.

    1. Stay safe Linda. I make my bed before I leave my bedroom every morning. Always have, even before I have tea.

  24. I so understand your feelings about your daughter. My 39 year old daughter has been diagnosed with a serious cancer and is starting chemo on Thursday. I am terrified about this virus and her becoming immunocompromised. I also want to be with her to help, but I worry I will bring the virus to her or get the virus myself and I am a high risk person. It is a challenging situation for us with many unknowns and it is hard to keep myself calm. I pray a lot and Face Time with her and her baby. I try to list things I am grateful for…like there is a treatment for her, she has an amazing medical team, she has good insurance. As a mother, even an older one, this has been the most challenging thing I have ever faced.

    1. Jen Biggs says:

      Linda, just want to say how touched I am by your comment. Prayers for your daughter, her family and you during this difficult time. My brother has been on chemo for the last three years and we’re concerned about his immune system as well, but your daughter is so young. Jeremiah 29:11
      “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Keep the faith and stay strong.

    2. I am so very sorry Linda. I can not imagine how scary this must be for you, and her. I will keep her and you in my thoughts and prayers.

  25. We just had to cancel our trip to our daughter and son-in-law’s baby shower in April. We won’t be able to visit them, and we miss them so much. We are broken hearted, but we have to keep everyone safe. My university has gone to on-line teaching; today is the first day of zoom class, so I hope that I have it all figured out. My husband is still going to work (construction), and we hope that will continue. My daughter just sent us a photo of her and baby bump! I just want to put my arms around her.
    Since you brought up hair color, any suggestions for do it at home? I will not go gray, so looking for suggestions. A minor problem in the scheme of things, I know. Glad your daughter is feeling better.

  26. This might be the perfect time for those who have been thinking about it, to go grey.
    I am sorry to hear about your daughter. I know exactly how you feel as my son, a medical intern, had a high fever and sore throat with dry cough as couple of days ago, as does his fiancee. His tests have come back negative which should be a relief but we have been having a large percentage of false negatives here in Australia. My son absolutely does not want me coming down to look after them but it is still difficult. Thinking of you.

  27. Good morning, I brew tea in a designated Mr Coffee machine every day, and for years I have ordered my tea from https://www.englishteastore.com/
    The selection of teas is hard to beat and the cost to ship is not bad. I usually try to order enough when they do free shipping (once or twice a year they lower the required amount to get free shipping) to last me until the next time. They have name brands but I have found that their ETS brand is wonderful.
    Thanks for continuing to blog during this weird time! It is such a great escape for me.

  28. I am a retired nurse of only 9 months and felt absolutely helpless that I could not be doing something to help when my former colleagues were out there on the front lines fighting to save lives. I went to my lowest point last week but then God miraculously placed an opportunity before me.

    I also sew and on one of my sewing blogs, I read about Providence Health in WA needing home sewed face masks to prolong the life of their N95 masks. I reached out to my local health system from which I recently retired and they needed the same help. This week I will be sewing those masks!

    Times like these require new ways of thinking and living. We must find ways to remain positive, stay healthy and support others for our own mental and physical health and that of our families.

    Thank you for your encouraging words in this time.

    1. Can you post the pattern + info, please? or the link?

      1. Hi Mary, This is where I initially found information on sewing the masks: Laura Ingalls Gunn of “Décor to Adore”, blog post dated 3/22/20 has typed instructions and videos. Then I went googling around…I came upon Joann Craft & Fabric has Videos, too! Hope this helps!

    2. Hi Pam, I am doing this too! Just an FYI for anyone else interested, Joann Fabric Stores has information about this on their website. If you don’t happen to have the fabric, elastic etc. on hand, they have preselected materials for the masks that you can order on- line. You don’t even have to go into the store as they offer curbside pickup!!

  29. Always appreciate your information Jennifer. My daughter is just a few miles away however we only FaceTime now…but I could easily get to her if she needed me. I hope we are on the other side of this fight soon and you will be in (beautiful) Vancouver with your daughter. Hope she is feeling better soon – keep us informed ❤️ Be safe.

  30. Paulette Levy says:

    Thanks for this mornings blog. This is my first am waking up feeling hopeless and sad. I’m usually very positive and the family optimist. Not today fir sone reason. Despite the cold I did get out fir two walks yesterday —it was gorgeous , blue blue sky and sunshine but COLD! Today? Feel blue….
    I’m glad to hear that your daughter is recovering. What a scary time fir a mom and for her !
    You brought up a good point about hair color. Since I may be doing my own (roots) color at home do you know any brands to use? My roots are light grey and hair is colored a cool blonde. Thanks Jen!

    1. Thanks for the positve post! We need it. I wish people would call it physical distancing instead of social isolation. Working in elder care, that term is an especially negative one, although I think it is for all. I have been calling my loved ones and arranging video conferencing options for each. Many people besides health care workers are still working at a workplace and my thanks goes to all of them. My husband and I get away to our home on weekends to try and destress. I’m glad your daughter is on the mend!

      1. I agree, that is a much better name for it.