By Brandi Sea Heft-Kniffin
1. Bodum French Press. I mean, coffee has always helped add a bit of joy and energy (literally) to my day but it became a reliable routine to grind my coffee beans, and enjoy the slower process of crafting a nice giant mug of it during lockdown.
2. Mug. I collect coffee mugs from places I’ve visited. As an avid traveler, my wanderlust was REAL and choosing a mug from a different city really did a lot help to take me back to places I love until I could go out again.
3. Candle. I always light a candle when I go into my home office and get ready to work (I’m a design & brand strategist). Candles in general have always been a part of my creative process, but this France one was another way to "get out” mentally, using my senses.
4. My camera. On my phone or otherwise, photography helps me to make sure to take notice of the little things around me and capture inspiration, especially during these unusual days.
5. Makeup. Putting on makeup (and cute outfits) most every day has helped me feel my best, like I’m ready for anything, even when I’m always home.
6. Essential oils. Whether I need help for headaches, wanted a calming bath, or needed a simple refresh of my mindset, these were a surprising essential for me.
7. Hedgehog Puppet. “Hedgehoggy” belongs to my son, Kaden who turned 8 on March 21st and had two birthdays during quarantine. It’s his favorite “friend” and virtually every night he asked me if I would play with him (meaning talk like him as a puppet) before bedtime.
8. French flag bracelet. Made by my daughter Jasmine, who turned 13 on February 2 and had one birthday during quarantine. We share custody of her so she’s gone half the time and I have worn this bracelet every day to think of her, like she is literally with me even when she’s gone.
9. The mask. Is meant to represent my husband and his diligence to keep me safe (I fit into the high risk category). As a video producer he often had to be on set but made sure to keep me safe in spite of the expectations placed on him during the pandemic. He has been an incredible support in every way to help get me through when I got super stir crazy and had multiple breakdowns.
10. Pencil & Notebook. Was a bright reminder for all the plans I’ve made and things I want to accomplish in my design business, some of which I was able to complete during a pandemic—crazy.
11. Running shoes. I took up running the trail in front of my house on a regular basis. It became pretty much my only way to escape and clear my head.
12. Air pods. These gems gave me a much needed sense of solitude even when my family was home all the time and solitude was almost non-existent.
13. Apple Pencil. It is so nice to have something to create a digital piece quickly or jot down thoughts. Whether for a project or specific purpose or for a relaxing exercise like digital painting.
14. Apple iPad. This thing was a lifesaver at times. I used it for creating, watching shows, playing games, even reading my Bible.
15. Nintendo Switch. Not pictured (it’s currently in our car with the kids). Much to my surprise as a non-gamer, it has been a joyful getaway to a world where I can do something to take my mind off the chaos and rest my mind. Building our island has also been something we could do agree to do together as a family.