Although I can’t recall what day it is at the moment, I can remember that first week of quarantine. I was having a virtual cocktail with friends, each describing what we were doing to keep everyone in the house on point. “I made a chart,” I said. “I titled it ‘Roth Family Fun’!” I went on to list all of the things that I saw as necessary to achieve full lockdown joy — eat an orange, take your vitamins, walk the dog, call a friend — and a checkmark with our initials next to each activity accomplished. My friends were intrigued, asking me to send them a picture. My “good mom” meter shot up with exhilarating joy. 

The other night my husband walked by the chart, noting the lack of initials next to activities, mumbling “Roth Family NOT Fun.” But we had such aspirations! I was going to clean out every closet, finish writing my novel, finally understand yoga and meditation all while keeping my family fed and happy at all times. And then I read this article by Kate Bowler and I realized I was not only fooling myself, but I wasn’t alone in my ambition. She wrote, “If I see one more millionaire on Instagram yell that she is choosing joy, while selling journals in which stay-at-home moms are supposed to write joy mantras, I am going to lose my mind!” I will also add that “We can do this together,” is making me yell at the TV again. Celebrities are NOT like us, showing how they are “getting by” while cooking for themselves on their pristine, white marble countertops, double ovens galore, and dancing with their kids on TikTok while waiting for their meal to miraculously appear on time. I was heartened by my Atlanta girl and Spanx founder Sara Blakely who did admit that at this point, she’s discarded her to-do list to change the world and just concentrating on just keeping her kids alive. Bless you.

We’re roller coasting through another week, the highs and lows coming at us pretty fast. Why can’t I clean out my closet? It sits there just mocking me, sweaters piled high while spring clothes wait patiently for the big reveal. It’s because there isn’t a deadline. No one will know if I am on trend, and I can get to it tomorrow. Because it’s Groundhog Day, 24/7. And it’s ok, and it’s allowed, and we can give each other a break. So go ahead and take it while you can, because I know we will all be dressing up for each other soon. Even if it’s only from the waist up. 
One of my favorite authors, Lisa Damour ( Untangled and Under Pressure are must reads if you have a daughter) joined with with The New York Times editor Tara Parker-Pope for a fascinating conversation about dealing with kids at home. Although the title says teens, she had great advice that translates for the tweens and college-aged too. My favorite quote was that school online right now is like getting all the vegetables without the dessert. So true. Click here for the full listen.  
One of the highlights of my career was the opportunity to travel with India Hicks and have a proper tea with her mother in her English home. To hear Lady Pamela tell stories about her past is riveting, so you can imagine that this podcast with her daughter is beyond brilliant. I caught up with India this week who said, “Recording the podcast meant a few treasured hours with my mother, listening to her recount stories from her 91 years of life — and what a life it’s been.” She also added that when interviewed by the English Telegraph newspaper about her newfound podcast stardom, Lady Pamela replied, “What IS a podcast?”. 
You know the drill — you finally have time to listen to a podcast but can’t remember that one your always intuitive friend recommended. Enter Goodpods, a genius app designed to show you not only what your friends are listening to, but what those favorite podcasters are as well. Thanks to founder J.J. Ramberg, I won’t ever need to scroll aimlessly again.
My super cool L.A. friend Lizzie turned me on to famed choreographer Ryan Heffington . Known for his work with pop acts like Sia and Florence and the Machine, he’s also one of the original Bend and Snap dancers seen in Legally Blonde, which is another reason Reese Witherspoon is a big fan of these daily classes on Instagram live . Many say it's the one thing getting them through, and I have to agree so join me.
Speaking of super cool friends, Lizzie was also the one who introduced me to the fab Cameron Silver so many years ago. We have had such fun hosting him here in Asheville, and until we can see our favorite vintage king in person, we will continue to gawk online. Check out his uber fashionable Insta live conversations — this Saturday with one of my favorite editors Amy Fine Collins on tap — because his glam meter never falters, not even in a lockdown .
The Museum of Modern Art is offering some amazing, and free, classes online right now. Might it be time to finally delve into that Fashion as Design course you’ve always wanted to take? Or What is Contemporary Art ? Dahling , yes, yes indeed!
My friend Penny texted that she turned her mood around after listening to a Disney playlist while on her morning run. So, after a long day of online learning, the quarantween and I turned the day upside down and into a Disney fantasy. Shocking but true, we actually succeeded with the real churros recipe  from the Magic Kingdom while singing along with some our favorite princesses.
It's particularly sad to watch your husband get excited about tuning into another sports broadcast repeat from years ago. But now he’s rejoicing with this fascinating ESPN documentary series on The Chicago Bulls. It also allows him to tell his Blue Devil wife AGAIN how the legendary Michael Jordan was also the same fellow Tar Heel who schooled his fraternity brothers that one afternoon in the ‘80s. Photo attached.

Theater fans finally have a reason to celebrate this Sunday at 8pm when a slew of stars will honor the legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim. Check out the You Tube channel to see Meryl Streep, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Mandy Patinkin, Audra McDonald, Sutton Foster and more.
I’ve never cooked so much in my life, and quite frankly, I’m over it. So I am reaching out to my friends who do it so much better than I do. First up is Jennifer who says this is an easy and super kid-friendly recipe. Send me yours too!
Mandarin Orange Chicken
YIELD: 4 servings.
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves 
all-purpose flour
teaspoon salt
teaspoon pepper
olive oil and/or butter
¾ cup orange juice
½ cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons honey mustard
½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained 
2 teaspoon grated orange zest
Hot cooked rice, optional
1. Pound chicken to 1/4-in. thickness. In a large resealable bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; In a large skillet, on medium-low heat, brown chicken in oil/butter on both sides.
2. Combine the orange juice, marmalade, mustard and rosemary; pour over chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook for 5-8 minutes or until chicken juices run clear and sauce is thickened. Stir in oranges and orange zest. Serve with rice if desired.
Elizabeth Schulte Roth
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