How are you holding up? It’s been a couple of months since so many aspects of our lives changed so suddenly and dramatically. Millions of Americans are working from home now, exercising at home, homeschooling their kids, and doing much more cooking and cleaning than they have in years. Does this sound like your life?

Minus the homeschooling, it’s pretty much been my reality since mid-March. As regular Gold Notes readers know, I’m not an enthusiastic cook. My favorite appliance is my slow cooker for vegetable-intensive stews, and I do healthy home delivery for many of my meals; this latter has been quite helpful during food shortages and long lines at my neighborhood supermarket. (My ex found it very amusing that his kitchen designer wife doesn’t love cooking. I find that the same is true for many of my clients too.)

A smart home technology friend shared the term “pandemic kitchen” in a recent phone call, and I thought it was great. I have no doubt that our kitchens will change as a result of this crisis. We’ll all be looking at ways to simplify life and make our spaces healthier to hedge against future COVID-19 waves and later viruses. I created this Forbes.com article to help you evaluate your kitchen now and consider what changes you might want to make later.

Porcelain is a low maintenance, highly-functional material for countertops, floor, wall and cabinet fronts.
(PANARIA CERAMICA/CERAMICS OF ITALY MEMBER COMPANY // WELLNESS BY DESIGN – TILLER PRESS)

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Memorial Day is not a typical subject for design writers, but it’s an important holiday to me and millions of other Americans. Laying roses or attending services at local military cemeteries wasn’t doable this year, but I shared a tribute to America’s most solemn house to honor the occasion. Check it out here.

Grieving families stay here while their loved ones’ remains are returned to the United States. FISHER HOUSE FOUNDATION // (U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik)

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Please do us a favor… 

Many of us are looking for ways to support our local businesses at this difficult time. In my neck of the woods, many of them are still closed or only allowed to do curbside deliveries. One of my favorite ways to while away an hour or so is browsing my favorite local bookstore. I always leave with at least one great find — often a book recommended by a staff member — and not one I would have discovered on my own. I can’t do that quite yet, but I can still order books by phone or online from one of them and pick them up in person. Bookshop.org is a network of independently-owned bookstores that share a convenient book-buying platform. You can pre-order my book, publishing in September, or order a favorite summer read through the site. If you do pre-order mine before June 30th and forward a copy of the receipt, you’ll be entered to win a GelPro Elite anti-fatigue mat. Since you’re likely spending many more hours cooking and cleaning in your kitchen, this will be a welcome respite for your feet, shins, knees, hips and back after all that standing. All of the giveaway details are posted on my site here.

Order your favorite books from a local bookstore via Bookshop.org

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Do you want to be first to receive word of my upcoming book launch videos sharing the origin stories of some of the elements of the upcoming Wellness by Design book? If so, please join my Book Launch Circle at the bottom of this page. The first one will share my personal experience with anti-fatigue mats.

I’m planning a series of videos about features in the new book. The first will talk about how I discovered anti-fatigue mats.
(Photo Courtesy: GelPro Elite Mats // Wellness by Design – Tiller Press)

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You can still download the FREE healthy home quarantine checklist here.