To top
30 Mar

Life Lately: Sheltering in Our Place

Famous country music star Pat Green described our life lately so well when he posted this quote on social media, “Self-isolation is like Vegas in my house. We’re losing money by the minute, cocktails are acceptable at any hour, and nobody knows what time it is.”

HI! Happy Monday!!!

The days have blurred together since we flew out of town for our Spring Break ski trip to Deer Valley, Utah on Saturday, March 7th. And oh what a memorable Spring Break that was in the history of family vacations. Who knew a global virus would take over the world right at that moment?!? 

I’m not going to lie, these last two weeks of life have been quite the adjustment in finding our comfort zone with our “new norm.” I know it’s probably been the same with you, too. We are all in the same rough waters (or tsunami), just some of the boats look different than others. 

My heart hurts so much for the people who are suffering and have lost their income and their ability to make ends meet or even be able to buy food for their family. This is definitely one of the most difficult parts of this viral crisis. I hurt seeing our city’s economy in its current condition. So many of our friends have had to completely change their business models and some have taken a total loss temporarily, or in many cases, permanently. 

Most of my days are filled with laughter and humorous friends texting me various memes of a very well-end… (well if you know what I mean you just giggled and if you don’t, send me a DM), but some days have wiped me off the planet. As the mom and only female in the family, I have become everyone’s housekeeper, chef and personal bitch. I have truly never cooked so much food in my entire life, only to feed it to 3 bottomless pits for stomachs. Thank goodness Jason took over being teacher for our new world of homeschooling, otherwise the principal side of me would bring on the corporal punishments (and considering both my boys are taller than me, that would be interesting to figure out).

Dealing with my anxiety and clinically diagnosed OCD has been the hardest part of this entire COVID-19 crisis, and that first week back from Spring Break was by far the lowest for me emotionally. I had a massive panic attack and had to take medicine (which I NEVER DO) to bring my heart rate down and gain control of my spiraling. 

FUN TIMES WE ARE HAVING AT THE SMITH HOME. 

Fast forward 18 days since we’ve been home from spring break, and life lately is feeling so much better (from where it had been). Here are the things I did to help get my head back in the game:

Top 13 activities that helped improve my mental health game

1. BUY PRE-MADE MEALS

My intentions of cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner like Martha Stewart ended after three days of feeding bottomless pits who were always hungry. I set out to buy all the frozen food I could find so this mama wouldn’t be a bitch in the kitch! 

2. LIMIT NEWS AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Between FOX & CNN ruining my spring break, and finally having a meltdown along with the stock market, Dad Dunaway had a “Come to Jesus” with me over the phone and told me to get a grip. Everyone is in the same boat on the spectrum. His advice: Stop watching the news. Stop reading articles on Facebook. And stop drinking.

Also, he recommended reading THIS article on why long-term investors should never sell stocks in a panic. It really helped calm my anxiety.

3. HAPPY HOUR WITH YOUR GIRLFRIENDS

Speaking of drinking. Sorry dad, I know I told you I wasn’t, but I am…with my girlfriends on House Party, Zoom and Facetime. GNO, I mean Girl Day QuarWINEtine starts about when carpool would normally roll. (A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.) 

4. JAMMING OUT TO MUSIC PLAYLISTS

We tell Alexa to play a genre of different types of music, including Christmas Classics Radio, Beastie Boys, Counting Crows and The Police, just to name a few. Having this escape lets us do just that, escape. Besides, music soothes the soul.  

5. ORGANIZE & DECLUTTER

There are benefits to having OCD, and since it’s on fire right now, The Organized Nest might want to hire me when everyone comes out of hiding. My pantry hasn’t look this good since before I had children. My closet is next! The Purge has begun, but now’s the time to get it gone! (Follow me HERE for a future announcement on when and where I will sell my designer duds.)

6. COOKING SPECIAL RECIPES IN THE KITCHEN

Ok I know I am contradicting #1, but when you are cooking for the joy of cooking and not because your family is going to starve to death, there is something therapeutic and joyful that comes from this activity. Stay tuned to my blog, cause I’ve added a new recipe plug-in and I plan on sharing family favorites and legendary recipes from both of my grandmothers, Sally Dunaway and Nancy Winn.

7. GROW BABY – GROW A GARDEN

Yup! I busted out THESE old grow boxes that we purchased over a decade ago and I’m starting a garden. I ordered organic plantings from HERE, which will be delivered the first week of April! Let’s hope I don’t kill my future fresh groceries (before they sprout). 

8. EMPOWER YOUR CHILDREN TO HELP

Many of you who have housekeepers or use a cleaning service had to let them go or put them on paid #Coronacation. More than ever, I completely understand the saying, “It Takes a Village.” Between the grocery errands, cooking, cleaning and laundry, I was turning into everyone’s personal Sherpa! We now have a full chore schedule and everyone does their part to make our world run a bit more smoother. 

9. GET IN SHAPE GIRL, YOU KNOW THE FEELING

We’re all doing a lot more from home than we used to, including eating around the clock. Now more than ever though we don’t have an excuse to get moving. Whether it’s a family walk, a private walk, a walk with the dog, or a ride on your Peloton – we all need to be moving. And it’s helped me not just for hoping to still wear my wardrobe when we’re let out of house arrest, but also for the mind-body connection. 

10. CALGON, TAKE ME AWAY

If you know me, then you know I’m a professional bath taker. I mean, I LOVES me some bath time. It’s my meditation when my body can completely relax in a buoyancy of bubbles. It’s that relaxing time just for me that keeps me sane, especially when I’m doing my bathtub beauty routine. (Make sure you’re taking time alone with all this new togetherness.)

11. FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT EVERY NIGHT

With everyone on a device for school, work, connecting with family and friends, you’d think the last thing I’d suggest is watch TV. But making this something to look forward to is what’s keeping us in check, and that we’re a family that just need to spend time laughing together. We make popcorn, change into a fresh set of PJ’s for the night and enjoy these precious moments. Also, we just ordered some amazing puzzles on Amazon and have busted out the old fashion board games and deck of cards! 

12. STOP AND SMELL THE ROSE

I have to be honest, that first week post Spring Break had me down in the dumps. And whenever I’m down, fresh flowers always lift my spirits. Doctor’s orders! Without hesitation, I picked up the phone and ordered 2 arrangements (one for my mom) from Cityview Florist & Gifts to brighten my day. Their generosity never ceases to amaze me. When they were forced to shut down last week on Monday night at 11:59 PM, they decided to deliver over 70 floral bouquets to clients, friends and family. But great news, as of this weekend, they got a city ordinance in place and can now do “no contact” deliveries.  

13. THE POWER OF PRAYER

Last but definitely not the least. Leaning into the Lord now, more than ever, is the most important thing you can do for your mental health. There is nothing more powerful than the power of prayer. You can hand over all of your fears to Him and TRUST that His plan is perfect. If you are looking for a wonderful church home, I’ve attended Christ Chapel Bible Church since I was in elementary school in the early 80’s. They have multiple wonderful services streaming LIVE all week, plus their Sunday service. 

Remember that we are all in this together. Stay safe and be healthy, and STAY HOME if you can. And a BIG thank you to everyone in the medical field and to all the people in the service industry helping our crippled city keep moving forward.  Godspeed! 🙂

4 May

B&B Butchers & Restaurant launches Brunch with SoFortWorthIt

When B&B Butchers & Restaurant’s PR team reached out to help launch their new weekend brunch, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to collaborate with the hottest new restaurant in town.

Over the course of eight weeks, we hammered out all the fun details for me to host an over-the-top influencers event for gals who were in the media, who were social media savvy and of course, I had to sprinkle in a few of my favorite philanthropist and socialites too.

I reached out to some of the best in the industry to make sure this event would wow! I’m a huge fan of floral, and Cityview Florist, aka Flowersnobs, went all out. We coordinated the blooms to match the colors in the SoFortWorthIt and B&B logos.

Big Ass Balloons made quite the statement for the Sunday Funday launch harmonizing the same color palette as the floral and logos.

Besides curating the Bubbles Brunch & Banter event to be a fabulous experience for an exclusive group of digital experts, my favorite part was sitting down with owner Ben Berg, his managing partner and GM, Darren McDonald, and private events coordinator, Angela Kell, to create the perfect tasting menu.

And let me tell you, we were not going to disappoint! In fact, B&B’s Executive Chef John Piccolino and Berg Hospitality Group’s Chief Executive Chef Tommy Elbashary, pulled out all the stops on food offerings.

Photo credit: Felix Sanchez

Have you ever seen so many precious micro versions of breakfast? These passed appetizers were pared down nibbles from actual dishes they serve off their brunch menu. Barbie-sized pancakes? Yes, please!!!

My mom was so impressed by the flavors, portion size and food presentation, she practically accosted Darren to cater their next private event.

Darren serving bite size stacks of pancakes.
Chef Tommy's Bacon
Mini Quiche
Lox & Bagels
Chicken & Waffle Cones

Brunch started out with a viral BANG as guests grabbed an aperitif and made their way over to the social media backdrop to let the world know that B&B’s Bubbles Brunch & Banter had begun and was here to stay.

B&B Butcher Brunch

Squeezebox Bandits played TexMex Zydeco, similar to Cajun Jazz, as we mingled and visited for about an hour.

After grazing on five different appetizers, it was time to sit down and work our way through the next round of food. By this point, I was already regretting not wearing my Spanx.

Thanks to JOY Macarons, each person found their assigned seat with a tasty personalized treat with B&B and SFWI logos on them. A little insider info? Liz, the owner of JOY, was in carpool with me growing up, when we attended All Saints together.

Once everyone took their seats, Darren introduced and thanked me for hosting the launch of B&B’s weekend brunch. In return, I thanked him, the restaurant, all the guests who attended and the local businesses who helped to make this event just perfect.

As the music resumed, more food came out from the kitchen. And more food, and more food. I seriously thought I was going to blow a gasket, but I couldn’t help but try a bite of everything.

Savory bread, sweet pastries and Nutella breakfast pizza with sliced strawberries and bananas! Holy Big Balls of Cowtown, I was about to founder.

I ordered as light as possible for my main entrée, which was the Power Up breakfast consisting of scrambled egg whites, whole wheat avocado toast, and salsa roja. Need I say more.

And then there was dessert. Ripieni Sorbetto’s, the most lovely, frozen citrus fruits filled with sorbet. The only thing missing was the Amalfi Coast. They were absolutely decadent.

And the family recipe, Gramma June’s mini Monkey Bread was pure crack. It was impossible to have just one bite.

As brunch came to an end, guests took home a B&B bag filled with the restaurant’s signature wine glasses, a custom monogrammed bottle opener, a treat from Cityview Florist and an Elaine Turner gift card to the brand’s store in The Shops of Clearfork.

As a bonus, the ever-fabulous Neiman Marcus provided additional gift bags filled with a full-sized beauty product too.

After the event was all said and done, the one thing I’ve been thinking about over and over was the graciousness and hospitality we received during brunch.

I’ve dined at B&B more times than I can count on both hands and EVERY, SINGLE, TIME, service has been above and beyond, like butlers recruited from Daddy Warbucks’s mansion. Berg Hospitality Group does not disappoint.

Hey, when you’re only one of 10 restaurants in the United States who qualifies to serve authentic Kobe beef from purebred Japanese cattle, you can expect the best.

B&B Butchers and Restaurant is a valuable addition to our community. They offer presentation, atmosphere, and good food all in a way that’s fresh to Fort Worth.

Located in the coolest new land development, The Shops at Clearfork. Southern hospitality and impeccable tasting food, what more could you ask?

B&B Butchers & Restaurant GIVEAWAY!!!

*All event photos courtesy of Laura McCarthy of Elusive Images Photography*