Work from Home Diary 5: Quarantine Buddy, Work Space & Daily Routine

Good afternoon everyone.  I started sharing my thoughts regarding working from home in a series of Work from Home Diary posts.  Feel free to share your work from home feelings in the comments section below.  For today’s update, I wanted to talk about my quarantine buddy (Laura), our combined work space, and our daily routine.

I’m on week 4 of working from home, so I seem to have a good system in place.  For the last few weeks, Laura has also been working from home.  When I was home by myself, I preferred working upstairs in our guest room / home office.  But now that Laura is home too, I decided to move down to the dining room table to work next to her.  It is nice to work face to face with someone (even though we are working on completely different things) and I think it keeps us both accountable.  I make sure she doesn’t spend all day on Facebook, Instagram or online shopping; she makes sure I don’t spend all day watching CNN (aka Coronavirus News Network) and reading travel blogs.

Work from Home Diary 4: Weekend Yard Work & Hallmark Movies

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a good weekend.  I started sharing my thoughts regarding working from home in a series of Work from Home Diary posts.  Feel free to share your work from home feelings in the comments section below.  For today’s update, I wanted to share my weekend activities.  Before I continue, what does yard work and Hallmark movies have to do with miles and points?  That’s a great question, read on to find out.

On Saturday morning, Laura and I went to Lowe’s to get some cleaning supplies, trash bags, and Amazon GCs.  When we arrived, we saw a deal on colored bark (4 bags for $10) and purchased 8 bags.  We had ambitious plans to clean up our front and back yard and to put out a new layer of bark.  After several hours of work, our front and back yard looked great.  Even though our muscles were sore, using the Lowe’s AMEX Offer on my American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card to get 10% cash back on the Lowe’s purchases was a nice relief.  The Lowe’s AMEX Offer is cumulative and pays 10% cash back, up to $100 cash back (so spending $1,000 will max out this offer).  This AMEX Offer expires on June 30, 2020, but I expect another Lowe’s AMEX Offer will show up after July 1.

Work from Home Diary 3: Upcoming Travel Plans (Cancel Now or Wait it Out?)

Good afternoon everyone, happy Friday.  I started sharing my thoughts regarding working from home in a series of Work from Home Diary posts.  Feel free to share your work from home feelings in the comments section below.  For today’s update, I wanted to discuss upcoming travel plans and my plans for those trips.  As of today, I have 4 trips on the books.  These trips are not set in stone and could be cancelled by myself or the airlines before departure depending upon how things are going in the world.  We are taking things slowly and focusing on 1 day at a time.

Trip 1 – Mother’s Day Weekend

My next trip is in mid-May for Mother’s Day Weekend.  I was planning on flying down from San Francisco (SFO) to Orange County (SNA) to visit my parents and grandparents.  I have flown down for Mother’s Day weekend for the last few years and enjoy seeing my family.  This trip was booked with Citi Thank You Points for basic economy travel on Alaska Airlines.  If the situation in California remains the same (all Californias are told to stay home to prevent the spread of coronavirus), I will probably cancel my trip and hold onto travel funds for a future trip.

Work from Home Diary 2: Afternoon Walks & Restaurant Gift Cards

Good morning everyone, happy Friday.  I started sharing my thoughts regarding working from home in a series of Work from Home Diary posts.  Feel free to share your work from home feelings in the comments section below.  For today’s update, I will share what it’s been like to work from home this week.  As I mentioned yesterday, this is Laura’s spring break week.  Instead of spending time driving around Ireland or suntanning in Kauai, we are both spending most of our time inside our home.  My work from home set up is upstairs in our guest room / home office and Laura’s work from home set up is downstairs on our den table.  It’s nice that we have our own spaces to work (and listen to music or watch TV).

As an assistant principal, Laura is used to waking up early and leaving early for work.  Now that we are both working from home, we can sleep in a little later, eat breakfast together, and watch morning news before starting our work.  I’m used to eating lunch around 11:30-12pm, so we both take a break, make lunch (or reheat leftovers) and relax for a few minutes.  In the early afternoon, if the weather is nice/decent, we try to go for a 2-3 mile walk around our city to stretch our legs and talk about work and life.  There are not many people outside, but we do see a few others walking and riding bikes.

Work from Home Diary 1: Cancelling My Ireland & Kauai Trips

Good morning everyone, I hope your week is going well.  These are very uncertain times and I have difficulty finding motivation to write about anything travel related.  Therefore, I decided to share my feelings in a series of Work from Home Diary posts.  Feel free to share your work from home feelings in the comments section below.

First of all, I am very fortunate that I work for a company where we have the ability to work from home.  My heart goes out to everyone affected in the retail industry, travel/hospitality industry, restaurant/bar industry and many other industries that are affected by the coronavirus.

Last week, my company gave us the option to work from home or go into the office. I decided to work from home the entire week.  I’m used to working from home a few days a week, but working from home 5 days in a row takes a toll (both mentally and physically).  In my next diary post, I will share how I am doing in week 2.

Laura and I were supposed to fly to Ireland last Friday (March 13) for a week for her spring break (she is an assistant principal).  On Wednesday evening (March 11), the Europe travel ban was announced and we decided to cancel our Ireland trip.  I cancelled our Aer Lingus flights booked with British Airways Avios, hotel awards booked at Hyatt and Radisson Blu, Hertz rental car, and a few Expedia activities.  Canceling everything online only took a few minutes and thankfully everything resulted in a full refund, with the exception of the $55 cancellation fees per person charged by British Airways (I called to see if they could be waived, but it was not possible).