Tag Archives: activities

Learning A New Craft In Lock Down

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Learning A New Craft In Lock Down

Hello! Life in lock down is, honestly, so boring at this point but the safety of ourselves, loved ones, and complete strangers is important and it makes all of the monotony worth it. If you have exhausted all of your ideas to keep you occupied at home, then it might be time to retire from your streaming services and try a new craft. There are so many amazing videos, kits, and how to guides out there to create something new and, today, we’re going to discuss a few of those options:

Knit Kits:

If you are interested in knitting, crochet, or macrame or would like to take the hobby up again, then there are so many websites that you can purchase kits from. Ranging in difficulty from beginner to intermediate and advanced, each kit provides you with the pattern, step by step guide, and materials needed for you to make a scarf, sweater, or blanket. Stitch & Story, We Are Knitters, and Wool And The Gang are all great websites to browse through for your next project! When the weather is nice, you could even host a social distanced knitting circle in your own backyard.

Restoring Old Furniture:

A trip to the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or even shopping online through Facebook Marketplace can give you access to all kinds of gently used furniture just begging for a makeover. You could repair, repaint, or reupholster new life into secondhand items and redo your entire living room. Not to mention, make some extra cash if you ever want to turn your craft into a side hustle. Don’t forget garage sale style apps as well as Poshmark if you would like to profit from your new hobby.

Building With LEGO:

My boyfriend and I absolutely love building with LEGO and, although it isn’t a craft per se, I just had to include it on this list. Did you know that a LEGO replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night will soon be available for purchase? What about a botanical collection that boasts bouquets, bonsai trees, and succulents? LEGO is constantly adding new sets with unique pieces and colors and are always finding innovative ways to work surprises into each build, which makes it an exciting hobby to have.

You can showcase your creative side with LEGO through free building or incorporating different sets into your home decor. I would sure like to have a LEGO Starry Night hanging on my wall!

Homemade Products:

Making your own cleaning products, candles, and bath and body care can be a really fun hobby, makes great gifts, and helps save you money. Online guides will help you develop your new craft and you can even experiment with your own recipes once you have a better idea for the best ingredients and techniques. You will feel comforted in knowing exactly what is going into the products that you are using and, who knows, it could just turn into a side hustle in the future if you create something really good!

Don’t forget to check in with your local businesses and boutiques because some of the owners might be offering online workshops for homemaking different products or art. For example, the local specialty knitting shop in my area, Harps & Thistles, offers knitting kits too and it’s always cool to shop local. πŸ™‚

Have you learned a new craft during the pandemic? How about improved on any old hobbies? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Enjoying The Kitchen As A Family

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Enjoying The Kitchen As A Family

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home so why not get better acquainted with it during your next family night as opposed to the usual movies or games. Kitchens are meant to be used and enjoyed and creating a meal with your family gives you the opportunity to work as a team in a different activity while still spending quality time together. Who knows, you might just have a secret chef in your home! Try the following during your next family night for some good food and good fun:

Agree On A Menu:

If you are going to prepare an entire dinner with your family, then it is best to agree on a menu beforehand so you can pick up all of the necessary ingredients and save you from any surprise trips to the store. Is there going to be a cuisine style that should be adhered to? Is each person going to make their own dish or will tasks be delegated? Will there be enough options for people with dietary needs? All of this should come into consideration while preparing the menu to ensure that everything goes smoothly while cooking your meal.

Don’t forget to read your recipes carefully for instructions that you must complete beforehand or a crazy long cooking time so you can plan accordingly. It also doesn’t hurt to assign stations for everyone to work in so no one gets their toes stepped on and remember to tend to any fridge repairs that need done so all of your leftovers can keep!

Baking & Decorating:

If you’d rather move right onto dessert than try your hand at cooking a whole meal as a family, then that’s okay too! Baking and decorating desserts is fun for children and adults alike. You could even incorporate a competition element to the evening by offering a small prize for the best tasting (or decorated) dessert. Classic desserts are sure to please but there are plenty of creative updates on old favorites that you can try like cake pops and hot chocolate bombs. Making your own chocolate is also a great activity for those with a sweet tooth. πŸ˜€

Smoothies:

Going out for a hike with the family in the afternoon and returning home to make some smoothies seems like the perfect way to spend a spring day. Encourage everyone to make their own concoctions with a wide assortment of fruits and low fat yogurts to pick from. Smoothies are also great for sneaking in some veggies like spinach, kale, or carrots.

Slime & Play Dough:

Perhaps, you’d rather use your family time in the kitchen to whip up a few batches of slime or play dough together. If so, there are countless recipes online that you can follow for some colorful, creative fun made with ingredients in your own house. Your kids are sure to have a blast!

Retire your living room for family night and head to the kitchen instead for a more hands on, interactive evening. Creating in the kitchen as a family will encourage team work and help introduce children to different concepts in math like fractions and units of measurement. It’s just as educational as it is wholesome fun.

LEGO Architecture Paris Skyline Set

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LEGO Architecture Paris Skyline Set

Hi! My boyfriend, Johnny, and I love building with LEGO and we have quite the collection of Harry Potter and Star Wars sets. For Valentine’s Day, Johnny and I never really go overboard with gifts for each other and one of the two things that I got him was the Paris skyline LEGO set from their Architecture collection. Paris is, easily, one of the most romantic places in the world and it is somewhere that I would love to go with Johnny.

Given the world’s current conditions, it will be a long time until we make it there so, for now, our own little Paris on our knick knack shelf will suffice! Check it out:

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When building with LEGO, Johnny and I have our process down to a science. He handles all of the little pieces and details while I build with the bigger bricks because putting the small ones together are impossible with my nails! As you can see, the Paris Architecture set is completely made up of teeny tiny bricks so Johnny built it in its entirety in a matter of an hour while we talked and listened to music. I was blown away by how quickly he got it done!

Our Paris set is the first one that we have gotten together that is not inspired from a movie and it was the perfect introduction to the LEGO Architecture collection. I am so looking forward to when Johnny and I can travel together because I would love to have a LEGO skyline set of the places that we visit. Each skyline set boasts the most recognizable landmarks in each city. For Paris, this included the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Tour Montparnasse, Grand Palais, Arc de Triomphe, and the Champs-Elysees.

Johnny really enjoyed building this set because it was so different than anything that we already have. I am so happy that my Valentine’s Day gift to him was a success and be sure to keep it posted to see what Johnny surprised me with!

Where would you love to travel to? Which LEGO sets do you have? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fun & (Video) Games Pt. 2

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Fun & (Video) Games Pt. 2

Hi! For one of my Christmas gifts, Johnny let me pick out a game on the Nintendo Switch store for myself since I haven’t had much to play since beating Paper Mario: The Origami King, which he got me for our one year anniversary. I have always enjoyed playing Mario games and ever since playing the new Paper Mario, I have been in a huge Mario mood. Let me just say Mario one more time… MARIO. πŸ˜€

Anyways, for my Christmas gift, I decided to go with a three pack of Mario games that included Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Mario Sunshine. I was most looking forward to playing Super Mario Sunshine, as I can remember always being excited to play it at the Target video game section while running errands with my mom whenever I was younger.

Unfortunately, Super Mario Sunshine was a complete bust and, despite having Johnny help me, we had trouble completing even the first few levels. The catch with Super Mario Sunshine is that there is no traditional jump and punch fighting – you are spraying everything with water! The controls were dodgy and the fact that it wasn’t like a classic Mario game in the slightest were definitely grounds to try a different game so I scrapped Sunshine and went with playing Super Mario Galaxy, instead. And, let me tell you, I am SO glad I did!

Super Mario Galaxy was an absolute blast and I finally beat it this past week. It was so much fun because it was such a completely different version of Mario thanks to the outer space setting. Because of gravity, not only could you explore the top part of the platforms but you could also run about on its bottom and sides without fear of falling off. It made each level thrilling because there was so much to do as there was a lot of space to cover.

In Galaxy, it always felt like something new was happening – a new galaxy or planet being discovered, a letter from Luigi, or the opportunity for different powers like turning into a bee or a bouncy spring. From scaling giant honey combs to exploring underwater caverns, no two levels were alike and it was impossible to beat one level without seeing which the next one (or two, or three) would be like.

The best part of playing Super Mario Galaxy, though, was when Johnny would help me beat the levels I was stuck on. There were a lot of tricky aspects to the game that involved motion, as it was originally for the Wii. Levels that involved rolling around on a ball or surfing on an eel always left me calling for him for help and he would drop whatever he was doing to give it a try. So sweet!

We delighted in beating levels together and even on the ones we couldn’t beat, it was still fun to keep trying until our lives ran out. After beating the game, I found out you could unlock a new world if you beat every single level and, unfortunately, that’s just not going to happen. Lol, so I plan on playing Super Mario 64 next!

What video game are you currently playing? What is your favorite Mario game? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Hurray! 100 Day Duolingo Streak

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Hurray! 100 Day Duolingo Streak

Hello! One of my favorite hobbies is learning new languages and I practice French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech on Duolingo. Pre-pandemic, I was lucky if I could get a four or five day streak of practice going with a busy work and social schedule. Now, I am proud to say that I am on an over ONE HUNDRED day streak of practicing all five languages and I am honestly blown away by it. I also don’t plan on stopping any time soon!

For the past one hundred plus days, I have been dedicated to doing one to two lessons per language daily with Duo and it’s exciting for me because I can definitely tell that I have made great improvements. I consider myself to be quite fluent in French (I took it throughout high school and college) and I think I have made huge gains, as I can understand a majority of the French shows and movies I watch without subtitles now. I have found that my Spanish and Italian is much smoother and my vocabulary in both German and Czech has made good progress too.

I know people have talked about their hobbies to NO END during the COVID-19 pandemic but it is just so cool to me to notice substantial gains from just one hundred days of practicing for a half hour. Everything from work to social lives seems to be on a stand still right now with not much to look forward to. However, I look forward to working on my languages every day now so my skill set can continue to blossom.

Learning a different language opens up a whole new world. New friendships, new skills, new entertainment, new dream locations to travel to. Duolingo is a free app and if you find yourself overwhelmed by all of the free time we now have, then I highly recommend giving it a download. You can even treat yourself to Duolingo Plus, which will give you unlimited hearts! Learning something new is exhilarating and incorporating Duolingo into your life could be just what you need to shake some blahs away until things get back to normal. ❀

Do you know a different language? How do you practice? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Enjoying A Taste Of Travel While Stuck At Home

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Enjoying A Taste Of Travel While Stuck At Home

Most of us haven’t seen much beyond our own four walls since last March; and keeping ourselves occupied at home can be a real challenge after all this time. If you are itching to travel the world once more and explore your favorite destinations, consider trying some of these simple ways to get a taste of travel even when you are stuck at home in lock down:

Change your TV screen:

One super simple way to bring a taste of the tropics to your home is to change the screensaver on your TV or go into YouTube and search tropical beaches. If you have a large TV mounted on the wall; you can change the background to a beautiful scene and then have a family night with food and drink while feeling like you are somewhere else.

Have a themed game night:

Game nights are the best way to pass the time during lock down – and today we want to show you how to make your game night travel themed. You can buy a jigsaw puzzle of Washington, a monopoly board of a far off land, and consider a quiz that is travel themed. Bring all of your favorite destinations into your home through games and activities and enjoy time with your family this weekend.

Make some exotic cocktails:

If you long to be able to drink a Pina Colada on the beach once more; you can still make this happen at home. Bring a taste of your favorite holiday back home by making tropical cocktails this weekend. There are so many fun combinations to try and you can even create your own signature drink!

Enjoy cooking different cuisines:

Cooking different cuisines can be a brilliant way to transport your taste buds across the world and make you feel like you are back in that Greek restaurant or street cart in Thailand once more. Consider your favorite dishes from holidays in the past and find recipes for them online. Cook these dishes at home and enjoy taking your taste buds on a journey across the world for a little while. You can even decorate the table and the house to suit your theme and have a little dinner party with your family.

“Travel” on a virtual tour:

One great way to enjoy travel without traveling is to join a virtual tour of a city or landscape that you love. A lot of places are offering virtual tours at the moment instead of real visitors and it will allow you to immerse yourself in another place. Many museums and zoos are also offering this service and it will allow you to have some virtual days out with your family while tucked safely away at home.

Use these ideas to take yourself on a getaway this weekend – all from the comfort of your home!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Need A New Hobby? Try The Following!

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Need A New Hobby? Try The Following!

Hey! Hobbies, hobbies, hobbies. That’s all you hear about when people talk pandemic and, as it has been almost a year since the start of this craziness, you might have exhausted all of the options of things to keep you occupied. Believe you me, I feel it completely and have felt like I’ve been stuck in a never ending loop of work, video games, Netflix, and bed. It can be hard to break that cycle but maybe these ideas below will help inspire all of us to keep on trying new things, despite all of the boredom blues. Let’s get to it:

Library Programs:

If your local libraries are anything like the ones in Ohio, then the events calendar on their website should be full of virtual programs that you can enjoy. There are events for every age group to participate in from story time for children to concerts from local talent and craft nights on Zoom. Take a look at your library’s website, see what sparks your interest, and sign up. The best part? If you don’t like it, all you need to do is close out of the Zoom call!

Make Some Money:

I used to be a huge fan of garage sale style apps like LetGo and they can be a great tool when you are doing a big home clean out. Start your spring cleaning early and see if you have anything that you’d like to try your hand at selling. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as they say, and you could put your earnings towards a vacation fund when it is safer to travel. Plus: Clean house. It’s a total win/win.

Check Out Local Specialty Shops:

In my neck of the woods, there are plenty of small businesses that you can support and a lot of them have programs offered online. Perhaps your local game shop has an online Dungeons & Dragons community? Or maybe the craft store offers online tutorials on completing an art project from their employees. Not only will you help support their business but it will be a great way to meet new people and possibly develop a brand new hobby.

Fresh Spins On Old Favorites:

There is nothing wrong with sticking with the same old if it’s what you enjoy but how about putting a spin on it? Love pampering yourself in your free time? Try your hand at making your own soaps or lotion. Handy in the kitchen? Open your cook book to a random page and whip up something you never tried before. Book worm? Start your own book club with your friends over Zoom! Incorporating some new things into a hobby that is already your favorite will keep things exciting and you can become skilled in all areas of your craft.

We still have a long way to go before things go back to “normal”, which means we are going to be confined to our homes for a bit longer. Try the ideas above and, before you know it, nicer weather will be here and seeing friends safely outdoors will be possible! πŸ˜€

How do you spend your time in lock down? What is something new that you’d like to try? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Let’s Paint!

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Let’s Paint!

Hi! One of the things that I love about my neck of the woods is all of the wonderful libraries. Prior to the pandemic, I would always take my clients to the fun programs being offered at different library branches. We were particularly fond of vinyl record club, crafts, and movie showings. Now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the libraries in my area have turned all of their programs virtual and you can hop onto Zoom to join in.

The last time my dad was at the library to pick up some books for me and my mom, he also grabbed a craft kit complete with a mini canvas, paint, and brushes. Like so:

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Now, I am in no way shape or form an artist and I have absolutely no clue what to paint on my canvas. So, I am open to suggestions! I will make an attempt to paint the idea from the comments that I like the best and, what’s more, I will even send it your way if your comment was chosen so you can have a Lil Red Original. Who knows, maybe Johnny will even make a “celebrity” contribution to the painting too. Let’s see what happens!

What should I paint on my canvas? What kind of programs does your local library offer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Alina Vilchenko from Pexels

Feeling Blah? Change Things Up!

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Feeling Blah? Change Things Up!

Hey! I don’t know about all of you but, some days, I just feel totally blah. The weather is gloomy, COVID-19 makes me so worried, and the state of the world is very stressful. It’s also easy to feel even more down and out when all of your normal activities with friends, families, and clubs have been postponed until safer times. I’m sure that all of us are itching for a big change and, until that happens, it’s up to us to keep ourselves positive and motivated. Small changes that you can accomplish, despite everything going on, can really help perk you up. So, how about trying the following:

Your Furniture Layout:

If you’re getting sick of being in the exact same living room or home office that you have been confined to for months, switch it up! Rearrange the furniture, hang up some new art work, or create a photo collage with all of the pictures that you’ve been meaning to get developed. It won’t be as nice as a complete change of scenery like going to the beach but it will make the space you’ve been stuck in different and that’s all that matters.

Your Hair:

Perhaps you’re not bored with your location but your appearance. I know that I desperately miss getting all dressed up but, since there’s nowhere to be, the concept of “looking nice” has been long forgotten. If you are interested in changing up how you look, then now is the perfect time to try that new hair style or color that you have always had in the back of your mind. If it doesn’t turn out exactly how you want, it’s no matter – your hair will be back to normal by the time it’s safer to be in public.

Your Perspective:

Whenever I am feeling blue, I try and think about all of the good things that happened to me even though I am at home. For example, last week I went grocery shopping and I told Johnny that despite everything going on I’m thankful that I have him, a fridge and pantry full of food, and a roof over our heads. It’s important to still remember all of the positive things that you have no matter how small they are. If nothing else, be thankful that you are safe at home and preventing your loved ones and perfect strangers from becoming sick.

Your Hobbies:

I think that all of us can agree that watching Netflix or your preferred streaming service is a universal favorite hobby right now. But, getting lost in TV every day is doing your mind and body no favors. Dedicate at least an hour per day to work on your mental and physical wellness. Take a walk around the neighborhood, meditate, or call a friend. I know everything is so monotonous right now but you have the tools to help break that cycle if you choose to use them.

Your Goals:

Creating new goals for yourself can be an exciting way to fill free time and it’s even better when you begin accomplishing them. Make yourself a dream board with all of the things that you want to achieve in the next year or so and work on making it happen. Once you have an idea and a plan, all that needs done is for you to carry it out. What will you be putting on your dream board?

Changes big or small always help me shake away the blahs and I hope that some of the ideas above help make you feel better too!

What do you do when you have a case of the blahs? What are you thankful for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Bored At Home? Try InboxDollars!

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Bored At Home? Try InboxDollars!

Hey! I don’t know about any of you, but there was a point in my life when I would do online surveys like it was my job. I tried a multitude of different websites but when I found InboxDollars, I stuck with it and have been using it for years. In fact, I just got myself a thirty dollar Amazon gift card from my earnings and was able to purchase all of my skin care for the next few months for a song.

If you are bored at home and looking to make an extra buck, then I can’t recommend InboxDollars enough. The best part about this website is that it isn’t just endless surveys. You can answer trivia questions, open paid emails, play games, clip coupons, online shop, and watch videos to get you closer to your ten dollar cash out goal. Once you have enough earnings, you can collect cash or gift cards to restaurants and online retailers.

InboxDollars is a great way to kill some time and I go on it once daily to at least open some paid emails and answer their daily trivia question. You can spend as little or as much time on it as you’d like and not only is it an easy site to maneuver but it’s fun, too! If you are interested in signing up for InboxDollars, please use my referral code and I can help show you the ropes. πŸ™‚

https://www.inboxdollars.com?rb=78080190&ref_src=link

Which online survey sites do you use? What are your thoughts on InboxDollars if you have used it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah