My Virtual Life

As we follow stay-at-home orders, many aspects of our social life have become digital. From Instagram Lives to Zoom meetings, it’s the power of the internet keeping us connected with the outside world. There’s nothing I look forward to more each week than Friday night Zoom wine nights with my girlfriends. We get together, drink wine from our own couches, and recap our week.

I also hopped on over to the Morrison Hotel Gallery website this week to view the online photographic exhibition “SIR: A Retrospective of Rock Royalty,” which launched April 2. The month-long exhibit is presented in celebration of of Sir Elton John’s three-year swan song Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.

Despite a portion of John’s farewell tour being postponed, this digital exhibition offers viewers the opportunity to dive into the music, glitz, and radiant superstardom of the artist. You can view it by visiting

I had been invited to a wellness series called “Rise Into Wellness,” a series of mini-retreats co-hosted by Tia Greene of Savour TV and nutritionist Charlotte LaGuardia of Thrive East at SEVEN bed and breakfast on Shelter Island. The plan was to guide guests with positive and thought-provoking sessions. And while the in-person series has been postponed until fall, I joined the ladies on Zoom on Sunday for an abbreviated session.

LaGuardia discussed nutrition and the ability to shop produce during this time, using local purveyors (for me, it’s Balsam Farms and Daily Harvest delivery providing my greens). She also described the importance of B vitamins right now, as well as magnesium before bed, and making sure to get enough healthy fats such as from avocados, nuts, and seeds. Hydration is also key, and so is making sure you keep your body moving for at least 30 minutes a day.

The next part of the afternoon was a mini-session from Dirty Beauty Skincare founder Samantha Dickey, creating DIY skincare products with items you can find in your own kitchen.

We learned how to make an oil-based face cleanser. The ingredients were simple: safflower oil (you can use olive oil in a pinch), ground oats, and water. First, rub the oil into your face, massaging the facial muscles, then mix the oats (you can also use rye or barley) and water and add to your face to exfoliate. When you’re finished, just use a wet spa cloth to dab away the mixture.

My salt scrub hand treatment.

Next was how to make a sugar or salt scrub hand treatment. In this particular mixture, Dickey used salt, cocoa power (substitutions options she mentioned were matcha, chamomile tea, or peppermint tea), safflower oil, and water. Mix together and massage into your hands as they exfoliate and soften.

Our homework was to create one of these and take a photo. So, like a good student, I created one using ingredients I had on hand: sea salt, coconut oil, and a quarter of a Plain-T tea bag. It created the perfect hand scrub. Voila! Just like going to the spa!

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