Summer is here. Vacation time has arrived. But are you going anywhere with the uncertainty of a pandemic and so many unknown variables? I decided to enjoy summer at home this year. Of course I would love to explore the many treasures and sights this planet has to offer but not now. And who says you can not find a wonderful adventure at home. Just a few days ago I spent four days in our country home near the Polish boarder. It was my vacation for this year. And I was enjoying all summer had to offer. I want to share a few things and maybe you get inspired to enjoying your summer at home.➢ Keep on Reading
The whole world is going crazy because of the virus and the restrictions being put out to keep the pandemic as small as possible. Honestly not much is changing for me. I work from home, I might need to reduce my lunch walks but usually they are made at the cemetery (not many people there). My weekends are spent at home most times. So I think I can adjust much easier than other people. If you are one of those who need to get out, meet people and have activities lined up I got you covered. Here are 25 ideas when staying home.
- Reading a book – self explanatory. Have a look at my recommendations if you haven’t picked one up in a while.
- Crafting for Easter – we probably need to stay home until the holidays. Time to craft something you never find time for. I will definitely make some more Sorbian Easter eggs.
- Writing letters – when was the last time friends and family got a handwritten letter? Now is the time to pick up that habit again. While running errands today I picked up some stamps. Let me know if we should start a pen-pal-friendship offline.
- Learning a language – now is the time to freshen up your language skills so next time we are able to visit countries again we are all ready to go. I will work on my Spanish skills.
- Baking & Cooking – how many recipe books do you own? And how many recipe have you actually done? Could be a fun way to work through books and discover new favorite meals. Or maybe you find a recipe on this blog and give it a try.
- Making a photo book – are you taking images and never really look at them once saved on your phone? Or do you still have printed copies in a shoe box. Make a photo album.
- Dreaming up a bucket list – don’t have a bucket list? Time to start dreaming about all the things you’d like to do.
- Learning photography – when confined to one space, learning photography poses new challenges and option. Looking at the same things over and over again sparks creativity.
- Watching a tutorial – watch a tutorial on something you always wanted to learn.
- Growing an herb garden – watch something grow when not being able to spend time in nature. Maybe you want to cultivate an herb garden, or maybe you’d like flowers on your balcony this summer? Start now.
- Repairing your clothes – favorite pant has a hole? The blouse misses a button? Small fixes passes time.
- Meditating – too hectic around you? Try meditation.
- Sorting your purse – it’s never a bad idea to look through the purse. Hidden gems can be found.
- Commenting – now is the time to finally leave a comment at your favorite blogs and instagram accounts you always read.
- Cleaning the windows – it’s amazing how uplifting clean windows can be.
- Reducing your watch list – of course now is the time to watch all those movies and shows on your watchlist.
- Playing a board game – if you are not stuck at home alone consider playing a board game. But even through FaceTime some games can be played.
- Making a scrub – how about taking some time and do a body scrub. Check out my coffee cinnamon scrub or maybe you prefer an avocado sugar scrub.
- Painting – the walls or just a piece of paper
- Dancing – by yourself. Or maybe learning those salsa steps finally.
- Selling things – are there some items you always wanted to get rid of? Lets put them up on craigslist or Ebay and get them out the house.
- Painting – no matter if some small doodles or the big canvas. Art is always a good idea.
- Challenging someone – now that we don’t get much radius for activity it would be fun to start some challenges to increase steps and activities.
- Thanking – people who keep this countries going, who work to their bones, who have lots of responsibility and don’t think about them selves.
- Journaling – maybe a practice to pick up know to let people in a couple of years know what this crazy time was like.
These are my 25 ideas when staying home. Let me know which ones you’d like to add. And what are your plans for the next days/weeks/months?
Happy social distancing
Ever since I read Clare’s post about her Creative Manifesto I knew I had to make my very own version of it. Today I finally do. Probably because I am already stuck on what to write and I can use all the creative mojo. The creative manifesto is something to help spark creative motivation on slow days and remind me on how to get back into the creative flow, stir motivation and preferably get going.
My pick-me-up list for slow days includes:
- take a photowalk
- go outside and take a walk in the park
- participate in a challenge
- read a book
- scroll through Pinterest a bit
- read blogs
- drink Earl Grey with a dash of milk
- eat warm chocolate pudding
- leave through a magazine
- look at art or photography
- stroll the hardware store
- tidy up the craft lab
- make popcorn
- doodle a little
- dance around a little
- have an inspiring conversation
If ever I feel like I am stuck I tend to do one of those things. It’s not always that easy. Because to be honest I often feel very unmotivated to even get my butt off the couch but I know the list above is helping getting out if the slowness.
It’s also helpful to remind myself of the following things:
- you don’t need validation
- you are enough
- have fun
- enjoy the process
- be curious
If you are in love with podcasts and they also give your lazy, unmotivated self a kick in the butt you might enjoy those episodes to spark some creativity:
- Elise Joy – Episode 11: On Growing your Creativity
- Elise Joy – Episode 39: On Maintaining a Creative Habit
- Elise Joy – Episode 64: On Creative Burn-Out
- Elise Joy – Episode 67: Brainstorming Creative Projects
- Elise Joy – Episode 93: On Creative Passion
- Elise Joy – Episode 123: On Creative Living
- Elise Joy – Episode 128: On Creative Ruts
- Elise Joy – Episode 139: On Showing up for Creativity
- The 6-figure freelance podcast – Episode 111: How to get your creative spark back
- Goal Digger Podcast – Episode 74: How to stay creative and tackle your next project
- Goal Digger Podcast – Episode 102: 5 Ways to reset when you are in a Funk
- Goal Digger Podcast – Episode Taylor: Not feeling Creative?
- Goal Digger Podcast – Episode Pivot: How to Pivot when you are no longer feel motivated
So now I’d like to know what your creative motivation for slow days is? Looking forward to your comment.
Happy day to you
I went for a walk and found spring. That reminded me I could write a new bucket list. But let’s have a quick look at the winter bucket list and how I did:
- ✔️Read a Christmas Book – I read “The Cricket on the Hearth” from Charles Dickens Christmas Books. It was ok but nothing tops a “Christmas Carol”
- ✔️Spread Random Acts of Kindness – I hope I did but then you can always do more.
- ✖️Ice Skating – no winter in this part of the globe
- ✔️Christmas Movies – I did however I feel like there is nothing new out…
- ✔️Cancel all appointments in December – so liberating
- ✖️Planning next years Christmas – did not and have a feeling it’s not gonna happen
- ✔️Taking a photo walk – I did and found spring
- ✔️Crafting – I made stuff for the advent calendar swapping but nothing else
- ✔️Christmas Concert – I went by myself as my own Christmas party
- ✔️Celebrate Dads 60th – we sure did. Twice.
- ✔️Find a word 2019 – my word ist Trust. Read more about why.
I am a bit surprised that almost all got checked of the list. Throughout winter I felt like I didn’t manage to cross anything off. Perception is a weird thing.
Okay enough let’s dive in and start Spring. I mean officially. Because it only does when there is a list, right? Here we go:
1. Enjoy the first ice cream/sundae of the season.
Nothing better than being outside, enjoying the sunshine and diving into some ice cream.
2. Have a family reunion.
We’ll meet up again at my family home with my family, cousins and all for a weekend together. We are planning on visiting a chocolate factory. Do you want to tag along?
3. Start the 100DayProject.
It starts tomorrow April 2nd. I’ll be trying to improve my photography by drawing daily challenges for myself. You can follow on my Instagram and the #100daysofcraftaliciousimages.
4. Have a Spa Day with a friend.
We had to postpone twice but hopefully we can enjoy that day soon.
5. Doing some more Easter Eggs.
I’ve already started saving blown out eggs from last meals and I’ll be doing a few more of my beloved Sorbian Easter Eggs and this modern Ukrainian folklore ones.
6. Start BBQ season at our friends house.
Nothing more needs to be said unless you’ve got good recipes. I want to have those.
7. Do a detox week.
It’s time. Always feel better afterwards.Maybe before the spa day.
8. Pretty up the balcony.
And opening up the outdoor home office. so looking forward to it.
9. Check of a few more books on my Reading List.
I realised that a few books on this list don’t intrigue me as much anymore then beginning of the year. Anyone else feeling that shifty? Still so many good books on my TBR. What’s you next one?
10. Plan a vacation.
Recently got a wedding invite to Australia. Unfortunately it’s already beginning of May. Not sure if we will manage. But besides that I want and need a vacay.
11. Find a birthday present for Mr. ♡
And a good one as we are having a round one to celebrate. Suggestions are welcome.
Do you have anything fun planned for this spring season? Share away and leave a comment or visit on Instagram.
Happy spring season
Last night I was a Christmas Elf. Remember my post about “Weihnachten im Schuhkarton“? Today was the day when Operation Christmas Child happened and I handed in my package. Also my sister and I volunteered to help get the packages ready for shipping. Let me give you an inside story of what I’ve learnt and a peek behind the scenes.
Already in October I set out to fill my shoebox and get little gifts. It was actually a lot of fun shopping for a kid as I never really do and there are some cute things to get. This was in my shoebox:
As I said volunteered by helping in the “Christmas Workshop”. In Germany there are two locations (Berlin & Birkenfeld/Pforzheim) where all packages will be checked, sealed and distributed to the countries. We had a 15 min training session with a video and then we were sent to our packing stations. All packing stations had team leader who we could ask all our questions. At the table there were 4 positions.
- checking box for label boy/girl, envelopes with money, writing was appropriate
- checking items if they comply with guide lines and custom requirements.
- sealing the package
- putting shoeboxes into transport packages, labelling, sealing and dropping off at warehouse
We quickly combined 1 & 2 as the workflow was better that way and the shoeboxes didn’t get too messed up.
My job was to check items in the boxes. I made a list of things I learnt and what is helpful for people checking the boxes:
- Most people pack for the middle age group 5-9 years. Then 2-4 and the teenagers 10-14 had the least packages.
- Make sure shelf-life is end of March following year. We had to remove all candy that didn’t apply. Sometimes leaving a package having no candy at all. We were able to fill that up with donated items. This is due to custom relations.
- If you pack candy, always insert full packages. Single candy bars, small gummy bear packages, bonbon, etc. we had to check every single item. Sometimes that was 30 little pieces which takes forever. All items without minimal shelf-life needed to be removed.
- It’s helpful if the letters are on the top not the bottom so the box doesn’t need to be unpacked entirely.
- Don’t wrap the present. We had to unwrap them if we couldn’t guess what was in there.
- No soap bubbles as it’s too dangerous – kids might drink it.
- Wrap shower gel/shamppo in a bag. We had to do that to a loooot of items. Also some already came in damaged.
Most of the boxes had really nice ideas and items in them. Every once in a while there was a box that was just so sad – only half filled, old/used/damaged stuff. There were boxes I dumped completely in the garbage. I wonder what people think. But most of them were really fun and gave me ideas for the next year:
- snow boots and slippers
- musical instruments (xylophone, harmonica, claves)
We were there for 4 hours and we were around 50 people working. At the end of the shift we managed to sent over 3,000 shoeboxes on its way. The goal this year is 100.000 boxes. If you live in Berlin (or Pforzheim) and feel like helping there are lots of open spots to sign up.
Maybe I find time to help again this year. Otherwise I will pack another box next year. Have you every participated? Or do you support another organisation? Would love to hear about it.
Disclaimer: This post contains links to the Operation Christmas Child. Due to current (German) law this needs to be labelled advertising. However I was not paid to talk about it, I just think it’s a nice little project to do. Furthermore I have linked a few of my older articles because I believe you might enjoy them. Some of the photos were taken by berlinmittekind.