Saturday, March 1, 2014

24 Free Ways to Ward Off Grumpy Cooped-Updom

1. Switch Purses
I haven't bought a new purse in over four years (though I've got my eye on one!). I rotate the same 3 or 4 bags from my "collection" (ha). Hand to heart, I always get a little rush from pulling a different one out. A sense of newishness - for zero dollars!

2. Hang Different Art
The one thing I buy for our home more than anything else is art for the walls. I buy 90% from thrift stores or flea markets with some one-of-a-kind canvas art thrown in for good measure. When things get boring or dreary up in here, I pull something off the wall and hang something different. The most it will cost you is another nail hole in the wall, but I usually find a way to use the same hole.

3. Invite someone over for tomato soup and grilled cheese and tell them to wear their sweats.

4. Bake something with yeast.
This week I made a batch of this and this.

5. Do something you enjoy but that you're not skilled at. (See picture above.)
I can't tell you how freeing it is! Silas and I spent an hour messing around with paint. It was messy and colorful and quiet, with no pressure to perform.

6. Listen to the Leeland station on Pandora.

7. Read a book set in a season other than Winter.
I'm reading this.

8. Make your bed.
Just do it. You have no idea.

9. Daydream about your garden and commit some of it to paper.

10. Read Esther.
(Scandal! Impalings! Secrecy! Beauty treatments!)

11. Take a legit nap.
In your bed, with the fan on.

12. Read out loud to the kids.
We're reading this. What an adventure and so close to our hearts!

13. Eat salsa for lunch.

14. Watch Cosby Show reruns.
(Ruby has a crush on Theo.)

15. Send some good mail.

16. Shower, get properly dressed, and dab perfume on your wrists.
But don't touch the hair dryer or mascara, because that's just crazy talk.

17. Run out for milk in sneakers instead of your Polar Vortex snow boots.

18. Put all your fruit or veggies in a big bowl and sit it on your counter like a work of art.

19. Paint a picture of said fruit bowl with your shorties.

20. Buy a Groupon as an act of faith that you will, one day, leave the house again.
And when you do? It'll be "free"!

21. Swap magazines with a friend. 
Holla, Sarah! (I'm well aware my contributions are bleak.)

22. Paint your fingernails or someone else's.
(Keep the toes in wool and paint them another, warmer day.)

23. Light a candle that doesn't smell like cinnamon, vanilla, or fir trees.
We're sniffing this one.

24. Discover a new favorite band.
Loving these people.

Tell me what I missed!

*book links are Amazon affiliate links


  1. Watch Blue Bloods or the West Wing and eat something decadently gooey and chocolate....and take a nap!

  2. Share your favorite blog with a few more friends. Let your kids play pbskids in their swim trunks, rash guards, and scuba gear. Plop the leftovers you left in the crockpot insert back into the crockpot.

  3. Sleep in till 9:39 with your husband, who gets to work at home today. Yay! Eat leftover Mediterranean Meatballs with Tzatziki sauce for brunch..mmm. Read your favorite blog whilst nibbling a square of dark chocolate. :) I just picked up Tales of the Not Forgotten by Beth Guckenberger...perhaps start that today.

  4. All great ideas! Also, make cookies, have a tea party, play school, make a blanket fort. My favorite is read read read!

  5. Break out the pretty dishes and make your kiddos a fancy meal, have a family fun night - play games, get your kids to act out Bible stories... leave all the kids with Grandma and eat at Bob Evans with your husband :)

  6. Love this list! We've been watching the Cosby Show on Hulu like noboby's business these days. Our girls love Theo, too. Don't you just love the way the Huxtables parent? Great show.

  7. Lip Sink to your favorite song using a hairbrush as a microphone, Find a new TV show obsession, I just found Portlandia, use the following unrelated items in a writing challenge of no more than 100 words:
    Shopping cart
    golf balls
    Martha Washington
    Ford Pinto

  8. Great list! BTW - do you think "Tales" is good for an almost 6 yr old or do you think the themes might be a bit too much? My son and I have gotten through 4 out of 7 Chronicles of Narnia books which have some slavery themes in addition to lots of fantasy and good and evil... just curious if you are reading that to Silas as well and what they all think. =)

    1. We read after Wiley Siley goes to bed. Better for everyone that way. :)

  9. clicked on your link for #19 - loved those sweet Ruby cheeks!

  10. Make homemade play dough, hide n seek a stuffed animal, magazine/greeting card/quote mod podge collages, laptop window shop, and read FPFG.

  11. I'm definitely putting the kool-aid water coloring on the schedule for next Saturday - since we also live in the arctic! Today my 4 and I made a giant blanket fort in the family room, popped some popcorn and pulled out all their baby pictures and albums. We went through each one and talked about all the memories of them when they were born and when they were younger (I did NOT cry....) :)

  12. This is a great list - not just for cooped up boredom. Other ideas: Play ABBA and sing and dance along. Have dinner by candle light. Let the littlies put on a concert for you. Blanket forts are always good - my 10 and 11 year olds still like to build them.

  13. These are fun, you did well!
    Have you ever read the "puttery treats" that Alison May writes on her blog...Brocante Home?
    Hundreds upon thousands of such ideas.

    Here's mine: go to the local newspaper printing place and ask for an end roll. It should be free. There is TONS of length still there and you can roll it out and trace around each child's body. Then each child has to dress themselves. Embellish their outfits with glue-on things...feathers, etc. :) funny! Roll it out and make a huge welcome home banner for a soldier or new mom and baby.

  14. Have you watched Wind at My Back? I've watch the series a dozen time and will still watch them.

  15. great list!!! I love #2 and just did #3 - usually I'm pretty lazy about "springing up" the abode, but not in this Year of The Polar Vortex! why are we just now, in 2014, hearing the term "Polar Vortex"? I heard Al Roker brought his old meteorology textbook to work the other day to prove it's actually a thing.

  16. Get on my treadmill, crank up the music and run, run, run!!! (After I've baked something yummy, beach scented candle burning & tulips on the table.)

  17. I secretly adore moving furniture around. Drives my husband crazy but I feel refreshed when things are moved into new places!

  18. Tales of the Defended Ones was included in our VBS curriculum this year. As VBS director I've commandeered it for the time being. We're going to start reading it during school tomorrow. I'm excited!

    The one thing I would add to your list is to trade babysitting duties with another cooped up mama so you can each get some much-needed alone time :)

  19. Dance Party!!
    And who doesn't have a crush on Theo.

  20. In my old office we took 5 minute "Boogie Breaks". Someone would just yell out Boogie Break, turn on some tunes and we'd stop, dance and laugh. If smokers got to take smoke breaks, we were going to take dance breaks. You can't be grumpy during a boogie break, I promise.

  21. I love this! I think I may just go and get out the paints :)

  22. My take-away: Ruby is a girl after my own heart. Twenty-five years ago I was convinced I could figure out a way to make Theo marry me. Heck, who am I kidding? I'd still take him!

  23. Have the "Shorties" make cards for a elderly home. Use magained or seed catalog pictures for cover art. They are shut in all year around.
    Hello Grandpa or Grandma, Auntie or Uncles as address.

  24. Thank you so much for the fun list! I still need spontaneity, even in endlessly sunny California- send rain please?! :)