Be brave about protecting it

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Living reenactment of what I feel like sometimes when someone wants to do a Zoom happy hour. Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

A few weeks ago I received a Facebook message from a friend’s husband. He asked me to record a video greeting sharing a special memory for my friend’s upcoming birthday and to send it to him by a certain date.

Apparently, these videos are a thing during the pandemic, a digitally distilled consolation prize to having an actual in-person party.

I haven’t seen my friend or her husband in over a year since COVID-19 hit, and we haven’t talked or messaged each other at all during this time. Our social history consists of three people who used to meet up…


Creative, affordable ways to meet wellness goals in 2021

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Photo by author.

I have all the makings of a surefire Peloton enthusiast.

As a middle-aged white woman who is on a first-name, Facebook-Friend basis with my former Spin instructor, I’m a prime demographic for the company, especially during the pandemic.

Some of my friends have already purchased Pelotons. My older sister raves about hers and convinced me to try it the last time I visited my family. The class she suggested had great music and was filled with shoutouts for participants celebrating various anniversaries and milestones in their Peloton journeys. I got a good workout.

I’m not going to buy one, though.

Going the extra mile to pay off debt


And other foods that feel deliciously romantic

A thin bar of ruby chocolate. Instead of being scored into squares/rectangles, it’s in three-dimensional triangle shapes.
A thin bar of ruby chocolate. Instead of being scored into squares/rectangles, it’s in three-dimensional triangle shapes.
Photo: Zacharie Grossen via Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

I recently became infatuated with a precious jewel: The confectionary kind.

While buying groceries from my favorite organic wholesaler online, I spotted Chocolove’s Ruby Cacao bars in a line of suggested products. True to their name, these bars had a dusty rose hue and were packaged in light pink wrappers. I was smitten instantly and ordered four of them, thinking my willpower would make it possible for me to stretch out their consumption over several weeks by storing unopened bars in my freezer. It didn’t.

As a parallel to this culinary development, right now I’m in a relationship with a…


The future is on the tip of my tongue, and I am creating what I hope will be a decidedly delicious life

A halved pomegranate sitting on a marble surface, pips scattered around it.
A halved pomegranate sitting on a marble surface, pips scattered around it.
Photo: Clique Images via Unsplash

It happened while I was loading the dishwasher, a tiny, foot-wide appliance squeezed inside the equally tiny kitchen of my first apartment in Washington, D.C. Prying the top off of my favorite to-go coffee mug, I placed it next to the mug on the upper rack. Looking down, I noticed that I hadn’t opened the sipping part of the lid to ensure the whole thing would get clean, and froze.

I used to stand on the cheap linoleum next to a much bigger dishwasher in the kitchen of my old house in Western Maryland, bracing myself for the fit of…


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Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash

As most of you know, my philosophy is when the going gets tough, the tough get creative and resilient, and ultimately pull themselves out of the hell they’re in.

And this, my friends, is exactly how I’m approaching the holiday season.

I managed to fly home and spend two weeks with my family over Thanksgiving. It was lovely and life-giving, and it made up for not having spent any time with them for almost a year.

But now … sigh. Hunkering down for Christmas as coronavirus cases spike and doing the holiday season on my own! Staying put and hopefully…


Make it special, anyway.

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Photo by Chase Fade on Unsplash

‘Tis the season to miss our friends and loved ones — with a pandemic, many of us are opting to skip travel this year and stay at home rather than spend the holidays with them.

This is all well and good if you’ve got a partner or a cool roommate, maybe some kids. You may not get to see your extended family, but at least you’ll have other human beings in your immediate vicinity to appreciate a meal and open some presents together.

But if you live by yourself, you may be worried about how you will make it through…


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Photo of me by my friend Banafsheh Ghassemi

Hi!

Or should I say, salut!

My French is a bit rusty, but my hope is it won’t be after this winter, when I plan to study it again so I’m ready to live and work in a Francophone city eventually, like Montreal or Paris.

Or even Marrakesh.

Most people are understandably anxious about this winter, and with good reason. If you live in a place that gets cold weather, limited time outside means less access to friends and family, provided you’ve been following pandemic protocol to meet in small gatherings outdoors (I have).

Instead of freaking out about shorter…


How to feel nourished during the long, cold months ahead

A bowl of soup with a fresh sprig of rosemary and a wooden spoon.
A bowl of soup with a fresh sprig of rosemary and a wooden spoon.
Photo: Tina Vanhove on Unsplash

I like to think I’ve been fairly resilient during the pandemic.

I take long walks, sometimes socially distanced with friends. I have a virtual personal trainer who nearly kills me twice a week with intense workouts. I call my family and friends often, sometimes even the old-fashioned way so we can just listen to each other’s voices and feel close to one another, instead of looking at each other on screens like animals at a digital zoo.

Winter may throw a wrench into the mix, though.

I grew up in the South, specifically Atlanta, where winter is nothing more than…


Creating what works for you is crucial to managing stress

A random assortment of art, plants and candles, created as part of the pandemic. Photo by author.
A random assortment of art, plants and candles, created as part of the pandemic. Photo by author.
A random assortment of art, plants and candles, created as part of the pandemic. Photo by author.

A recipe for disaster.

It’s an expression people use when they’re describing factors that lead to bad outcomes.

What if instead of limiting the concept of recipes to disasters — and cooking — we started thinking about developing the right flavors and experiences that help us endure uncertainty? Like the little things we need to exist in our homes, after a long day of video meetings, and have it be a pleasant experience. Or the specific prescriptions we follow to feel romantic and ready for some quality time with our partners. …

Becca Bycott

Writer, strategic comms consultant and original Bride in Reverse. I blog about relationships, cooking, digital marketing and whatever else strikes my fancy.

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