I love wandering around from place to place, exploring all the local gems I can find.  March 15th quickly put an end to that.  Like most people, I thought we would stay inside for a month or 2 and then go back to normal.  Unfortunately, by the 3rd month, we were starting to get a little stir-crazy.

I thought I had a good handle on things but as time went by, I just wanted to go out somewhere and the safest thing I could think of was a family boating day.  I tried to book a boat rental 4 times only to be cancelled by bad weather and unavailability.  When the one place I trusted still had no availability, I went with another unknown company which turned out to be a guy that led me straight down a path of more disappointment.  I eventually had to file complaints with my credit card, the State’s Attorney General, and the BBB (Better Business Bureau).

While I often like to try to give small businesses a chance, there’s very little retribution for paying some unscrupulous person upfront that then decides you can’t take one of the boats out because you don’t have enough experience despite holding a boater’s safety card and having “some” experience.  He promised, he’d refund and said he was so sorry about the inconvenience.  He even made excuses about why he requires you to have driven at least 25X but didn’t mention it on his website or confirmation.

My point is desperation can lead to bad decisions.  Have patience, stick with what you know, and plan a good outing carefully.  Losing money will make an already sad situation feel worse.  Meanwhile, let’s make being at home, not only safe but fun and filled with new paths and possibilities.

But should you find yourself in a situation where someone is not refunding your money as promised, make sure to file a nice, well-worded complaint on the BBB and your state’s attorney general consumer site. It has always worked well to motivate decent people and if not, do it to let others know about the scam/problem. *Update, after complaining to all of the above places, my refund has finally been issued.*

Just a reminder that some links are affiliate links that pay me a commission at no extra cost to you.
Your purchases through these companies help support my coffee habit so I thank you greatly.
Feel free to contact me if you would like more personalized help with your travel plans.Gardening has great benefits for the whole family besides reaping the rewards of fresh, healthy food.

  1. It engages all of the senses – sight, smell, touch, taste, and even sounds.
  2. Teaches scientific processes and if you try hydroponics, the children will get to see how plants can grow in both dirt and without dirt.
  3. Teaches responsibility – how to take care of your plants and keep daily routines.
  4. Reinforces care of the environment with opportunities to introduce topics like pollution, pesticides, recycling, alternative resources, conservation, and composting.
  5. The opportunity to practice patience and see that a little work each day can have a nice reward later.
  6. Also allows for chances to practice planning, organizational skills, and problem solving. You may have a chance to investigate what causes the leaves to turn yellow or brown, for instance.

We increased our gardening efforts which has resulted in more basil than we know what to do with and 2 little cherry tomatoes.

In all, we planted 2 hydroponic Aerogardens and several outdoor pots.  Most successful – gladiolas, hibiscus, and a huge cherry tomatoes plant.

Least successful – lettuce and spinach.

DIY Wellness Activities

I highly recommend the Aerogarden, it’ll make you feel like a successful grower with ease while you learn. 

Have fun experimenting with what works and doesn’t. We tried several inexpensive grower’s kits including catgrass which did not grow well for us but the kids terrarium and this micro-greens kit did grow very well.

Painted a mural in my daughter’s room. (Ah, for the love of Paris!) Just a free hand version of the Eiffel Tower.  I’ve always wanted to try some kind of hand drawn artwork on a wall.

For some great tips on mural techniques, try Art Is Fun

Mural Painting for Designers

Created new travel inspired home décor items on spoonflower and society 6 to go with our girly Paris theme.

Design Tips:

How to Create Surface Patterns

Make Your Surface Pattern Designs Look Good

Illustrating a Repeat Pattern By Hand Tutorial

Creating Your First Design

Took some new classes and practiced some new skills.

The internet is full of free information so you don’t always have to pay a lot to develop new skills.  There are tons of free videos on Youtube, just pick something you want to learn how to do.  It may not always be by an expert but it could still be helpful in pointing you in the right direction to start. 

8 Free Courses from the Pros to upskill with:

Google Analytics for Beginnners

Learning How to Learn

The Science of Well-Being

Successful Negotiation

Conquering the Fear of Public Speaking

Product Photography for E-Commerce

How to Start a Dropshipping Business

Drop by Google’s Digital Garage for MORE

Pulled out the camera and practiced micro shots, more editing techniques, entered a few contests, and joined some photography groups.

23 Photography Project Ideas

Still figuring out how to use your Go Pro for your next trip? Try these tips for playing with your GoPro at Home

Check out the challenges on Viewbug.

Lots of people adopted new pets but did you try a ladybug farm or a butterfly project? 

Our butterfly project involved lots of surprises about butterflies that we never expected including one that emerged with a damaged wing and couldn’t fly. 

Butterfly Garden
Click here to get your Butterfly Garden, too.

Need to blow off some steam, maybe, try the opposite of relaxing. When was the last time you shot off a rocket or erupted a volcano?  From stomp rockets to water rockets and model rockets, there’s plenty to explore.  It’s easy enough to order a kit but if you have the extra time, try building this one from Popular Science.

 

I don’t want to get you in trouble but, we’ve tried LOTS of new recipes.  Not all have been pretty but they have been pretty tasty.  Also made some old-school favorites like Funnel Cake!

Mirror-glazed cheesecake with this mold for under $10!

Click here for recipe.

Made Jamaican Jerk Seitan with these 2 recipes:

https://yumveganlunchideas.com/jerk-seitan-chicken/

https://www.vegkitchen.com/jerk-spiced-seitan/

We love to read but consume books faster than the wallet allows, problem solved!

Check your local library to see if they have a books by mail program, it works great for creating holds for books you want to read and having them show up on your doorstep without costing you a fortune.  Many libraries also give you digital access to books online, find out what your library has for you.

Make use of your Amazon Prime membership and do a trial or subscribe to Kindle Unlimited.  Many titles become available for limited periods of time that you can read for free including some great how-to books for your next skill set to be mastered.  You’ll find self-help, popular novels, mysteries, children’s books, and how to do almost anything.  A sample of what’s currently available:

So go ahead, let your mind wander while you can’t.  Be creative, play with new ideas, and build new skills. There are plenty of creative things to do at home.  Keep planning your future travels, we will wander again, and remember, planning is the fun part.

Looking to plan your next adventure? We’re definitely looking forward to fun travels again in 2021.



Booking.com

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