Stay-home guide

3 things to make you smile

Amid the renewed Covid-19 heightened alert restrictions, Sarah Stanley recommends fun and uplifting things to do today

PHOTOS: ESTHER PEREL GLOBAL MEDIA & GIMLET/SPOTIFY, ESTHER PEREL OFFICIAL/INSTAGRAM, FLOWER ADDICT, NETFLIX
PHOTOS: ESTHER PEREL GLOBAL MEDIA & GIMLET/SPOTIFY, ESTHER PEREL OFFICIAL/INSTAGRAM, FLOWER ADDICT, NETFLIX
PHOTOS: ESTHER PEREL GLOBAL MEDIA & GIMLET/SPOTIFY, ESTHER PEREL OFFICIAL/INSTAGRAM, FLOWER ADDICT, NETFLIX
PHOTOS: ESTHER PEREL GLOBAL MEDIA & GIMLET/SPOTIFY, ESTHER PEREL OFFICIAL/INSTAGRAM, FLOWER ADDICT, NETFLIX

1 WATCH: Beautiful holiday rentals around the world

When staycations no longer hit the spot, staying home with a good travel show may just do the trick.

Netflix's new travel series The World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals, hosted by entrepreneur Joanna Franco, content creator Megan Batoon and real estate broker Luis Ortiz, features holiday accommodations - from quaint to lavish - all over the world.

Each 30-minute episode zooms in on a theme, such as Private Islands or Gourmet Stays, and takes viewers through three categories of vacation rentals: budget, unique and luxury.

If you have an eye for one-of-a-kind interiors, you will enjoy discovering a 6,000 sq ft apartment in a cave dripping with stalactites in Arkansas, the United States, and an open terrace among rice fields in Bali, Indonesia.

Bird's-eye views of beaches with cool turquoise waters and snowy mountains will transport you from your living room.

The hosts also offer personal tips on appreciating architectural and design elements, and suggest ways to make the most of the trip, gearing viewers up for future travels.

Info: netflix.com

2 LEARN: How to make floral arrangements

A beautiful bouquet of flowers not only spruces up a living space, but is also an effective mood booster.

Try your hand at creating a unique posy in virtual floral arrangement classes that impart skills in flower trimming, designing, arranging and decorating fresh blooms.

Local floral business Flower Addict conducts workshops on Zoom with a professional florist who guides participants through the fundamentals of floral design and provides materials such as flower snips, flower food, a vase and the blooms themselves for $210 (including delivery and GST).

Flower Addict's next online floral arrangement workshop has been set for Aug 4. More information can be found on its website (floweraddict.com).

For those eager to start today, free online courses are available on YouTube channels such as @FlowerSchool and @BloomCollege. These offer a variety of tutorials, each lasting from two minutes to an hour.

Wholesale flowers, seasonal blooms and gardening materials can be purchased from local plant nurseries such as Far East Flora and Chye Heng Orchid Garden.

Info: str.sg/33VX

3 LISTEN: A podcast about modern relationships

Amid the renewed Covid-19 heightened alert restrictions, Sarah Stanley recommends fun and uplifting things to do today

Modern relationships are hard - so renowned Belgian psychotherapist Esther Perel lends us a hand in a podcast called Where Should We Begin?, which is available for free on Spotify. Each episode lasts about 40 minutes.

Ms Perel, who is based in New York City and has practised therapy for more than 35 years, records the sessions of the couples she counsels, in which they discuss issues such as infidelity and sexlessness.

Its four seasons' worth of episodes offer an intimate insight into the stories of a diverse range of couples - some have known each other for just a year, others have been married for more than 20 years and many have crossed borders to pursue their relationships.

Episodes such as Impotent Is No Way To Define A Man touch on the trauma of infertility. I Want To Feel Wanted is a deep dive into romantic expectations and desires, and the importance of communicating them.

The podcast's voyeuristic quality allows listeners to "sit in" on a counselling session and apply Ms Perel's prompts and guidance to their own lives.

Listeners interested in finding out how professional life and relationships intertwine can check out her other podcast, How's Work?, which has two seasons.

Info: str.sg/33V2


WRITE IN

We would also like to hear from you, our readers, on how you are coping and keeping busy while at home. Please send us videos, pictures, stories, poems or other contributions at stlife@sph.com.sg or on ST's Facebook and Instagram accounts. We will curate and showcase some of these, including at str.sg/stayhomeST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2021, with the headline '3 things to make you smile'. Subscribe