How We're Livin': May 2020 Check-In

We’re living in wild times, huh?

Here are some things that are keeping me sane as we self-isolate at home.


Restaurant suppliers in our area have opened up their sales to home customers, so we have taken advantage of their deals. The only downside is that some of them have pretty high order minimums, so we try to do bulk orders when possible. Unfortunately, some of these suppliers are marking up prices on select items as time goes on. The home delivery aspect is nice, but we’ve shifted towards the ones offering contactless pickup since they are more affordably priced and don’t require an order minimum.

Anything we can’t source online still requires an IRL trip to the grocery store, which we’ve only done twice during this whole thing, so I guess we’re doing a good job. Mainstream supermarkets have become apocalyptic hellholes, so I only shop at International/Asian stores. Glad to be longtime patrons of these establishments—their prices are good, the stores are clean, and patrons follow all the social distancing/mask guidelines. Also, you just gotta support your immigrant communities.

Here are the spots we’re hitting up:

  • Farm Art (85$ minimum order, delivery)
  • Julius Silvert (70$ minimum order, delivery)
  • J Ambrogi (no minimum, contactless pick-up)
  • Gustiamo (Italian specialty foods, $$ but worth it)
  • H-Mart in Upper Darby
  • Alrayyan in West Philly

Like everyone else on this planet, I too have been cooking up a storm. Even before all this went down, I was making pizza and tomato sauce every week, so that hasn’t changed drastically. I’ve expanded into making pasta, and I’m slowly improving my skills in making raschiatelli, orecchiette, plus their numerous variations.


Taking this time to make some new garments because before all of this went down, I was hating everything I owned—even the stuff I’ve made.

Starting with a pair of Pietra pants in sweatshirt material because COMFORT is the name of the game for right now, and if I screw them up, I get to wear them at home for the rest of eternity. Once I’ve gotten the hang of the pattern and made adjustments, I’ll make some in seasonally appropriate fabrics.

It should come as no surprise that I’ve been making facemasks and have a whole week’s worth for the both of us. I use Freesewing’s pattern, and modify the ribbons for elastic that goes around the head. (The elastic earloops have not worked out for us.) I’ve started adding an interior layer of nylon mesh to help with fit and filtration.

Last but not least, if you are in market for fabrics, I highly recommend local suppliers Emma One Sock, who are donating a portion of their proceeds to Philabundance.

Home & Garden

We’re also trying to up our gardening game this year, and in the process of installing a vertical garden. Even though we’re fortunate to have a yard, it doesn’t get the best sunlight, so this little hack lets us set something up in a spot with as little effort as possible. We’ll see if we have green thumbs!