Archive for February 25, 2021

Ten Great Way to Celebrate Caregivers on Caregiver Appreciation Day

Caregiver Appreciation Day is rapidly approaching and with the year we’ve all had, you might want to do something a little special for those that have helped you and your family out. You don’t have to spend a small fortune to get the caregivers in your life something special though. Rather, you can easily create an assortment of things yourself, which will show how much you appreciate them all the more. These ten ideas can help you stay on a budget while allowing you to put a lot of passion and creativity into the gifts that you provide to those that have worked to care for you.

1. Thank You Card
If you’re not sure what to give, then a simple thank you card is one of the best routes to go. Not only are cards one of the easiest things that you can give, but they can be some of the most heartfelt. If you’re not feeling creative, then you can always purchase cards in bulk. Once you get your cards picked out, then write a personalized message to the recipient or group of people. Of course, if you’re looking to save money or you simply want to show off some creativity, then you can make your own cards. You can make cards out of almost anything, which will help you save even more money on your gift. Once your cards are finished, mail them to the location the caregiver works.

2. Make Floral Décor from Garden
Spring is coming up, which will allow you to easily find some items to gift to the caregivers in your life. You can have a lot of fun crafting things straight from your garden, too. For starters, you can create beautiful bouquets that will light up any facility that you send them to. If you don’t want to go the bouquet route, then you might consider a fresh wreath that can be temporarily placed in the facility. If you have seedlings, then gifting one in a pot might bring hope to others. You can get crafty too with pressed flowers, painted rocks, and so much more. If you’re not sure where to begin, there are lots of great ideas online to help you out.

3. Send Coffee
During a long day at work, one of the best things you can provide people with is coffee. A lot of caregivers don’t have time to run out and grab a cup of coffee and sometimes the coffee available to them has been sitting around for a little while. So, if you’re looking to really make someone’s day, bring coffee. You can brew it at home to save some money and distribute it with a large thermos. You can even make lattes in your crockpot to share with those that prefer a sweeter option. If you don’t want to make the coffee yourself then you might work with a local coffee shop to see if you can get donations for the gift or to see if the café would be willing to donate the coffee too. The gift of coffee might bring more joy than you realize, even if this gift does take a bit more work than other options might.

4. Baked Goods
Nothing says love quite like homemade baked goods. If you love to get in the kitchen and bake, then you might consider whipping up some of your favorite treats for the caregivers that you want to celebrate. Baked goods are pretty cheap to make which is why you can easily make an abundance to ensure everyone gets something special during their work shift. You can even make little goodie bags filled with items to ensure the gifts feel even more personal. There are many cheap baked goods you can create too, and much of the time you’ll already have everything on hand to make the items. If you’re not sure what you’d like to make, there are lots of fun recipes online to help you choose something tasty.

5. Homemade Lunch
If baking isn’t your thing, but you still like to spend time cooking, then making a homemade lunch is another great option. You can choose something that you really like to cook and then make a huge batch of the item. One of the easiest routes to go is soup, stew, or chili, but you might also consider platters of enchiladas, pasta, and so on. Of course, if you’re not a chef, but you still want to bring in some lunch, then you can go as simple as sandwiches, chips, salads, and other easy dishes to make items. Whatever you bring will help so many caregivers enjoy a meal served with love during such trying times.

6. DIY Fun Masks
Lately, the news has been suggesting that people start using two masks instead of one. With this demand, a lot of people are constantly having to wash their masks. Caregivers may even be burning through their masks due to wearing them for long hours and having to wash them constantly. If you want to spread a smile or two then you might consider making some masks. You can use fun prints that will lift the spirits of those that wear them. You can also use your own embroidery or fabric painting skills to create unique styles that people will love showing off.

7. Host a Drawing
If you don’t have a lot to give, but you still want to give something, then consider one prize. You can choose a facility and have caregivers submit their names for the competition. You can even make a big fuss about it on social media to encourage people to join in. You might even get enough attention that other people will donate prizes to the drawing too. When it comes to prizes, you might offer things like gift cards, daily supplies, snacks, and so on. This can add even more than just a gift to the caregivers you’re trying to celebrate. It will also bring a bit of fun and anticipation to a rough year, which is a gift in itself. There are lots of ways to organize a drawing too, including online options that will do most of the work for you.

8. Gift Basket
Another great way to bring some joy to someone’s life is to offer them a gift basket. You can easily create a fun gift with a huge selection of items that all suit your budget. Some of the easiest items to add in are baked goods and other treats like candy. However, you might also consider putting in masks, inspirational messages, soaps, and more. There are lots of great ideas you can put into a basket, so if you’re having trouble planning it out then you might look for some ideas online. This will help you add even more creativity to your project while ensuring the recipient feels the love that you put into it.

9. Journals
It has been a very trying time for so many people over the past year. With Covid-19 taking over the nation, caregivers have been asked to go the extra mile in order to keep the country going. Everyone from hospital workers to nursing home caregivers had to take new measures to keep themselves and others healthy. This has taken a huge mental toll on many people. One way to actually help people out is to provide them with a journal. You can purchase journals in bulk, or you can make your own journal to offer inspirational quotes and more. Journaling will allow the recipient to blow off some steam while working to improve the way they process problems. It can be a huge asset for numerous people in the caregiving field.

10. Lend an Ear
If you have nothing to give, then one of the best things you can give is time and comfort. Being a shoulder to cry on or someone to vent to can do more good than you will ever believe. Of course, if you’re going to volunteer to listen to others then you might utilize some tips to help you become the best listener possible. This will help you and the person you are listening to get more out of the conversation. If you have a friend that is a caregiver, you might have to reach out to them as many won’t want to burden others with what they are facing.

Caregiver Appreciation Day has always had a special meaning. However, it might mean even more to you this year. These ten ideas will help you to bring more comfort to the caregivers in your life while ensuring you show just how much you appreciate everything that they do.

Ten Backyard Activities to Make Spring Amazing

Warm weather will be here soon, which means a lot more backyard adventures for your kids. It can be expensive trying to find the perfect toys for your backyard, but most kids really don’t need a lot of toys to entice their imagination when they are outside playing. These ten activities will help kids have the time of their lives in the wonderful spring weather while keeping up with your budget. With any luck, you will find it easier than ever to get your child outside and playing without having to bride or entice them to go out.

1. Mud Station
Most young children love to play out in the mud, which is why a mud station is a perfect way to satisfy this urge. You can easily make up a simple table using old household items, but if you want to go all out, you can make a complete mini kitchen for your little ones. There are lots of tutorials online to help you do this at a very minimal price, so make sure you have fun with your project. The mud station will allow children to create mud pies, sculptures, or simply a mess. The mud station can easily be hosed off so kids can use it again and again. It might actually help to keep some of the mess off of your child. Of course, you can also use an old apron to keep them slightly cleaner.

2. Stepping Stones
When building motor skills, one of the best ways to do this is to provide children with steppingstones. There are numerous options on the market right now, but they tend to be on the pricier side of the spectrum. Stepping stones are one of the easiest things to make at home though. You can cut old logs to create varying shapes and then secure them to the ground. You can also work with ceramics to mold your own stones. Apart from that, you will find that you can even make household items out of things you find around the house. For instance, an old bucket makes for a great leap upward, while a flat rock can be used to go from one obstacle to the next. You can even spice things up every time your child uses the stepping stones so they don’t grow accustomed to the movements.

3. Obstacle Course
Stepping stones aren’t the only thing you can add to your yard. You might consider making up an entire obstacle course. This will allow you to keep your kids active and excited about going outdoors. The obstacle course doesn’t have to be anything expensive either. You can use items you already have around the house including pool noodles and old tires. Your creativity is the limit with these challenges, which is what makes the obstacle course even more exciting. You can check out ideas online if you’re not sure how to focus your energy. However, after setting up a few obstacle courses, you may come up with ingenious ideas that you will want to share with the world too.

4. Sports
One of the easiest ways to keep kids active is to toss some sporting activities in the backyard. This is easily done as you can find sporting goods almost anywhere. One of the easiest setups is a simple basketball hoop. You can fasten a hoop to almost anything. Even if you don’t have a hard surface for bouncing the ball, kids can still shoot hoops and play games based around this. Another easy thing to add to the yard is soccer accessories. You can keep it simple with just a ball and some toys to use to mark the goal. You can also add a baseball mitt and baseball, a football, and other similar sports to the backyard. If you’re really feeling adventurous then you can create a space for badminton using a simple net. This can also be upcycled for volleyball games and more. If you really want to go all out, you can create games like pool noodle hockey or pool noodle baseball.

5. Bubble Games
If you have really small kids in the home, then you can’t go wrong when it comes to bubbles. You can do so much with bubbles too. There are lots of bubble toys you can enjoy like bubble mowers and bubble machines, but there are also many things you can make at home. For instance, you can toy around with making giant bubbles with different things from around the house. This can be a great science lesson too. Of course, if you’re not feeling very creative then you always just have fun blowing bubbles for the kids to play in or to blow themselves.

6. Giant Board Games
When it comes to family bonding, nothing says fun quite like board games. Board games offer an easy way to have fun for the entire family, but it is a little hard to play most board games outside, especially during the springtime. You can, on the other hand, make giant board games. They’re very simple to do and can help you have a little fun as you work together to recreate your favorite options. One of the most common giant games to make is Jenga. This game can be made from cardboard or scrap wood. You can also make giant scrabble pieces out of the same materials, which is perfect for early spellers. Other than that, you will find that checkers, or even chess, make great outdoor games for the whole family.

7. Scavenger Hunt
Kids love to look for treasure, which makes a scavenger hunt something that is easy and fun to do any day of the week. Look around your backyard and add some items on the list for your child to find. You can even find items to make the activity even more fun. For small children, you might want to print out pictures of the items they’re looking for while older children will thrive with fun clues. Scavenger hunts can be changed by the day too, which will allow you to easily keep kids busy all season long.

8. Chalk Fun
A lot of kids love to show off their creativity, which is one thing that makes chalk a lot of fun. Kids can enjoy drawing just about anything with a wide assortment of colors. You will also find that this activity is a great way to entice children to practice their name, alphabet, numbers, and early spelling. Chalk doesn’t have to be limited to drawing though. Kids can also play games using it. Hopscotch and Tic-Tac-Toe are only a few of the great chalk options. If you are low on ideas you can also look online to find everything that you need.

9. Cloud Watching
If you need a calming activity for your children, then cloud watching is definitely the way to go. This activity will help kids to slow down and admire the beauty of the sky. It will also help children to feel more confident about their creativity as they use their imagination to spot shapes in the clouds. Of course, as children work on cloud watching, they can easily turn around and draw their favorite shapes with chalk or inside on paper. You can even use cotton to create the images. This is a great time to inspire children to learn more about the various different types of clouds.

10. Climbing Wall
Kids that have a lot of energy will definitely benefit from a climbing wall. A climbing wall is perfect for even small spaces, which might be one of the biggest draws for this activity. There are many kits you can buy to make up a climbing wall too that aren’t very expensive, which is helpful if you’re on a budget. After you get the kit, all you need is something to place the items on, which might be your biggest issue. Of course, you can also turn the wall into a climbing tree, as the climbing pieces can easily be secured to a tree too. Climbing walls are a great way for kids to improve strength, problem-solving, and so much more while also getting in the exercise they need to be healthy.

Building up a wonderful backyard can bring a lot of happiness to your household. Of course, you don’t have to spend a small fortune to make the yard one of the best places for your children to play. These ten activities will help to bring plenty of childhood joy while allowing you to truly enjoy the fresh air in your own backyard.

Spring Fashion Ideas That Will Suit Your Budget

With the current weather, it might be hard to believe that spring is right around the corner. However, in just a couple of weeks, everyone is going to be talking about the warmer temperatures and the newest fashion trends. If you’re a trendsetter, then you might want to stay ahead of the curve and begin creating your spring wardrobe right away. These ten ideas will help to give you a bit of an edge this season as you enjoy looking your best while showing off a bit of talent as you DIY some of your favorite looks to save on money.

1. Monochrome Colors
This season, monochrome colors are going to be one of the best options for you. Monochrome colors are very easy to achieve as well. If you don’t want to work with complementary colors, then you can always wear the same colors together. However, if you do like to use more than one color in your attire then there are lots of options available to you. You might start with sewing together colors for a nice monochrome color block design. This can help you keep things simple and minimalistic while also offering lots of fun to keep your look the envy of all of your friends.

2. Add Floss
Floss is one of the latest trends and is also one of the easiest to achieve. By floss, we don’t mean small threads that hang from your clothing. Rather, the floss will be slightly large and will hang from the clothing in various different places. Sometimes, it may even create a woven or netted appearance. More often than not, the floss can be created from old shirts or other fabrics that can be cut and sewn to a garment. Floss is perfect to add to the bottoms of tops, or in areas that have been cut from a top or bottom. The look of floss adds a bit of pizzazz to your style and will help you feel stunning as you take on the day.

3. Sparkle
This upcoming season, sparkle is going to be the way to go. One of the best ways to describe this trend is to simply turn yourself into a disco ball. You can achieve this look in many different ways though. One of the best ways is to simply add some sequences to your style. These are fairly simple to sew or glue onto clothing, so you can truly customize your look. However, you can also purchase fabrics that already have a sheen to them. Another option is to glue on rhinestones, small mirrors, and other accents to give your clothing the sparkle that you love.

4. Nets
Nets are going to be a huge part of this year’s spring and summer fashion scene. Although classic netted stockings are going to be a great option to work with this trend, you will also find that there are other options to choose from too. One of the most popular trends is to add netted items over your clothing. You may have a netted overlay for a dress or skirt. You can even add netting as sleeves for some of your clothing. This will definitely help you create a wonderful appearance that is easily made at home. On top of that, you can even add accessories to the mix, included netted purses. There are lots of tutorials to choose from, so you can pick your favorite types of netting and work with the material of your choice.

5. Stripes
Love them or hate them, stripes are going to be the way to go as you prepare your spring wardrobe. For most, there tends to be some form of stripe hanging out in the wardrobe even if it might get pushed to the back of the closet. This season is going to be all about owning the stripe though, so have fun with it. It doesn’t matter if you’re working with a horizontal, vertical, or even a diagonal stripe as there are plenty of great ways to keep your style fresh even if the stripes you own are from a few decades ago. You can also make your own stripes using different fabrics. This is a great way to build a skirt that suits your own personal style. Of course, if you really want to make your own striped clothes, there are lots of great ideas and tutorials to choose from.

6. Corset Top
If you’re looking for a more cat walk-friendly style then adding a corset to your look is going to keep you at the height of fashion this season. You can wear a corset in so many different ways too. On cooler days, pair it with a sleeved bodysuit or blouse for a vintage look that never goes out of style. If you’re looking for a trendier look then add a simple corset to your favorite bottoms. You can choose from classic Victorian corsets to simple black corsets that slim and create sheer elegance. This look even allows you to take it to a more formal level when you pair it with a flowing skirt of the same color.

7. Floor Length Styles
This season, elegance is definitely in style, which you will be able to see in the clothing that you choose. Most looks are going to offer bottoms that flow to the ground though. You have plenty of options to choose from here. For instance, if you go with a dress, whether it is formal or not, then you’re going to find many with long skirts. This makes it very easy to mimic the designs if you want to work on styles on your own. Of course, you can also pull off this effect if you choose to go with gaucho pants. These can easily be made with a pattern at home, but you can also find items to spice up in thrift stores.

8. Wide Pants
For the first time in a long time, skinny jeans aren’t at the height of fashion. This might be a shock to those that have skinny jeans for miles in their closet. This season, wider pants are going to take over. One of the most popular items is going to be bellbottoms, but you’ll find a huge selection of boot cut jeans, and jeans that are baggy and comfortable. However, when it comes to pants, the best thing you can do is find what works best for your body. If you prefer the look of skinny jeans, then rock it. You can learn all about finding the perfect pair of jeans for you online, which can save you some money if you don’t want to explore lots of options. If you do want to step away from skinny jeans, you can always alter the jeans that you currently have. Try cutting the seam at the bottom of your pants and adding flairs to improve your style. You can also add lots of patches and other fun designs to help you stand out.

9. Cut Out Styles
Moving in from autumn, cutouts are still going to be a great style to suit your needs. The best thing about cutouts is you can make them out of just about anything. If you have a top that needs new life then simply add some cutouts to improve on its beauty. You can cut out the neckline, side pieces, and so on. You can also do this with dresses, skirts, jeans, and almost anything in your wardrobe. Cut-outs are great for formal styles too as long as you carefully work with the item. Of course, you might want to check out some tutorials before you commit to making your own cut-out styles.

10. Cozy Hoodies/Jackets
You might be surprised to find out that cozy is in this season. One of the most fashionable things you can invest your money in for this spring is a hoodie. Don’t worry about a form-fitting option here, as the cozier the hoodie the better. Of course, hoodies aren’t the only option to suit your needs. You will also find that jackets will also cater to your fashion desires. Long raincoats, baggy coats, and simple designs with extra fluff are truly going to keep you looking great. With the pandemic still happening, the cozy look is going to be one of the best ways to show off your love of fashion.

You will find a huge selection of items to choose from this spring. The clothing is perfect to suit your budget while still allowing you to show off your creativity. On top of that, you will find a lot of the items on the list that are easy to make or already in your wardrobe, which will save you a lot of money as you transition into the new season.

Fun Ways to Make Purim a Blast Even if You’re Staying Home

Purim is a great holiday based around the community. However, this year, many people are trying to figure out how they can take the holiday up a notch because self-isolation rules are still in effect. Last Purim was taken a little off guard when things had to be suddenly canceled due to covid-19, but this year, there is more time to plan and make sure the holiday is amazing even though it still won’t be the same as previous years. These ten tips will help you enjoy the holiday with your family while keeping the spirit alive, and ensuring you get the full meaning out of your holiday.

1. DIY Costumes
One of the best ways to enjoy the holiday is to get dressed up, even if you’re not going to be able to go to a community event to show off your costumes. Instead of purchasing costumes or wearing older items, you might actually take some time to make a new costume. You can have the family sit down for half an hour to an hour each evening to start preparing a new costume. There are so many costume ideas that you can choose from too, so it is easy to make costumes from items found around the home. You can even find tutorials for numerous costumes online, which can definitely help out if your child wants to be something more complex.

2. Hand Puppets
Hand puppets tend to be a great part of the holiday that doesn’t have to be ignored due to the pandemic. If you don’t have hand puppets, or you would like to make new puppets then you might consider having some fun by making creating some unique characters. You can make them out of almost anything, which adds an even bigger element of fun to the mix. These puppets are particularly great when you make them out of items like recycling. Of course, if you have puppets already then, you’re set to create incredible shows with your kids or to simply sit back and watch their creativity flow. You can also share your child’s shows with family and friends through video calls or recordings that will help bring the excitement of the holiday to others.

3. Bake
There’s no doubt about it, baking is probably one of the best ways to enjoy just about any holiday. Purim is no different. This year, you might decide to bake some treats to spread some love to your friends and family. You might start by making baked goods from items that you have in your pantry to keep up with your budget. However, since you won’t be spending extra money on Purim items then you may find that you’re able to splurge a little here. When baking, make enough to put your goodies into gift baskets so you can share the love. However, if you don’t want to go overboard with baking then you can always just package up a couple of items together to leave at loved ones’ doorsteps.

4. Purim Stories
One of the best things about Purim is the stories behind the holiday. So, make sure to sit down with your children and tell the story of Purim so they can enjoy the holiday to its full meaning. If you’re not sure how to tell the story, or you want to make it more child friendly, then there are many great options when it comes to books. You can even find lists based on your child’s age group. The story of the holiday isn’t the only story to share with your children. You might talk about holidays from your past that meant something to you. Make sure to include relatives that your children show know about in order to better understand their history. This will allow you to give the holiday even more meaning.

5. Make Your Own Grogger
Groggers, or noisemakers, are a fun part of the holiday and most kids can’t get enough of them. You don’t have to spend a fortune to purchase groggers year after though. Rather, you can easily make your own grogger to help entertain children for hours. Groggers can be made out of just about anything. A more common option is to take a toilet roll and fill it with rice, beans, or anything that will make noise. Then close it up securely and decorate it to add to the festivities. There are lots of wonderful tutorials online though, so you can easily find a DIY grogger that works best for the supplies you have on hand, the age level of your child, and the style that you’re looking for.

6. Cook Together
One of the best elements of most holidays is the family feasts that we get to enjoy. This holiday, you might not be cooking in the kitchen with the elders of your family. This makes it a great time to bring your children into the kitchen to teach them the best recipes the family has to offer. Of course, you will want to customize the tasks based on your child’s age group. If you don’t have traditional recipes to choose from, then you might consider adding something new to the mix. This will allow you to easily find something exciting about the holiday. On the other hand, if you want to cook with the elders of your family then consider doing so on video chat. This will still give you the warmth of working together, even if you will be cooking meals in different kitchens. It will also offer you the chance of getting to learn recipes from others if they are willing to pass them down.

7. Donate to Charity
A large part of Purim is giving to those in need. If you are typically the type of person to go out and volunteer during this time, then you might not be able to do so during this year. Instead of volunteering, you might consider just donating to a charity. This will allow you to give back even if you prefer to see the good, you’re doing for yourself. If you don’t have a lot to give then don’t donate a lot. Every little bit helps. If this option doesn’t work for you then consider donating items. You can donate baskets of food and warm clothes to those that are homeless. You can also donate food and clothes to charities to help you give back as well.

8. Online Costume Party
Part of going out and enjoying Purim is showing off your costume. This year, you won’t be able to go to gatherings in synagogues or in the homes of others, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t show off your costume. If you really want to have a costume party then organize one online. It’s very easy to do on social media now. You can start a thread where everyone posts pictures or videos of their costumes and then those passing through the thread can upvote the costume they like. You can also just pick some judges ahead of time to look over the costumes. Of course, this is only one way to accomplish this. There are lots of ideas online if you’re looking around.

9. Crafts
One great aspect of Purim is all of the fun you can have with crafts. Sure, making groggers and puppets are great crafts that you probably won’t want to skip, but there is a lot more than you can create too. For starters, you can make décor for the home. There are lots of great ideas for this online, which will help you channel some creativity while allowing your kids to improve on skills. Another fun idea is to make storybooks. You can have kids draw pictures of the story of Purim, their favorite memories of Purim, and so on. There are a lot of options to choose from though, so get crafty and have fun. You may find hidden talents as you create works of art based on the holiday.

10. Stream Megillah Reading
Most people go to the synagogue for the Megillah reading each year. However, this year, you might not be able to enjoy this reading with others based on your state’s rules. Even if you can, you may have to deal with social distancing rules that might make you feel uncomfortable. There is an alternative though. There are many synagogues and religious leaders that are streaming the reading online. You can choose a reading from your own personal Rabbi, if available, or you can join others in listening to a live stream. You’ll have to do a little research to find the best option for you, but it will definitely help to complete the holiday without forcing you to feel like you’ve missed out.

This year, Purim doesn’t have to be a bust. Rather, you can take the holiday and transform it into something that your family can take joy in. Even though it might not have the same warm feelings as years past, you will still find that there is a joy to be had with your loved ones.

Ten Ways to Enjoy Valentine’s Day from Home

Going out on a date this Valentine’s Day might not be the wisest option. On top of that, you may find that the kids are missing out on giving Valentines to their friends at school. There are many ways that you can enjoy Valentine’s Day from the comfort of your home though. These ten tips will help you to find a touch of fun for your household, so you won’t feel like you’ve missed out on any love during this special occasion. These tips may even help you to save a little money, which is a Valentine’s Day gift in itself.

1. Make Crafts
Crafts are one of the best ways to share a little love with the people in your life. There are numerous Valentine’s Day crafts that you can make with your children based on their age levels. For little ones, you can take a toilet roll and place it in the shape of a heart. Then have children dip it in the paint for an easy print that shows off some love. Older children can easily make traditional Valentine’s or larger crafts using recyclables and craft supplies already found in the house. If you want to make gifts for adults, then there are also fun ideas online that will help you create office supplies, artwork, and so much more to help make the holiday memorable for everyone you gift to.

2. Cook Dinner Together
Another great way to share in the love is to cook dinner together. If you’re aiming for romance, then consider a meal that you might order on Valentine’s Day at a restaurant. This can be a great bonding experience, even if the meal is a little on the challenging side. If you need a little help with the meal, then consider purchasing a meal kit to help you out. Of course, having kids come into the kitchen to help can also be a fun way to make the occasion suitable for everyone while allowing the family to feel closer. You can even add special touches, like making strawberries look like roses for a little garnish that aims to please. There are lots of ideas online if you’re not sure where to go with a family friendly Valentine’s Day meal.

3. Themed Desserts
Dinner isn’t the only aspect of Valentine’s Day and for some, it certainly isn’t the best part. Themed desserts are one of the best ways to get the ball rolling on your holiday. You don’t even have to wait for dessert to enjoy these little treats. One of the most traditional items to make is chocolate-covered strawberries. This is as easy as purchasing dipping chocolate and heating it up before dipping your dessert inside. Of course, there are lots of other options too. If you’re looking for a more kid-friendly option, then you can make simple sugar cookies in a heart shape. Then, you can keep the kids entertained by letting them in decorating. There are also more decadent desserts you can try your hand at if you’re looking for a romantic dish that will impress.

4. Digital Dates
If you’re single and hoping to do a little dating on Valentine’s Day then all hope isn’t lost. Rather, you can enjoy one of many new services that have popped up due to Covid-19. That service is, of course, digital dating. Many of the major dating websites have come up with a new way to match people. Then, after the text-based conversation, you can video call the person if you’re feeling comfortable with it. This can definitely make dating interesting as you are based on a conversation almost entirely. You also don’t have to worry about the cost of going out or anything like that. This form of dating can be a great way to break the ice while allowing you to enjoy getting to know someone on a totally different playing field.

5. DIY gifts
If you’d like to give gifts this year, but you are low on budget or you don’t want to go out shopping, then one of the best things you can do is make something. There are so many cool things you can craft for Valentine’s Day that it might be hard for you to make a decision. If you’re crafty, then you can make a traditional Valentine’s Day card. However, you can go to the next level by crafting a whole gift basket. If words are your thing, then write a poem or take it up a notch with a book of poems. Great at drawing? Create a masterpiece that the recipient will adore. You can even keep it simple by making a playlist online or going old school and burning it to a CD. It’s all up to you, but there are so many ideas floating around online that you’re certain to find something incredible.

6. Romantic Walk
If you’re low on date ideas and you don’t want to go out then a romantic walk might be the best way to go. A walk can be the perfect time for you to connect as a couple. Take your time, enjoy the scenery, and chat. If you’re just beginning to date then this is the perfect time to get to know the other person. However, if you’re in an established relationship then this is a great time to catch up with your partner or talk about future goals. A walk is a great way to enjoy some fresh air and get a little exercise too, which will definitely make you and your partner feel happier, especially if you’re primarily social distancing at home.

7. Movie Marathon
When it comes to dates, one of the classic options is going to the movie theater. However, this isn’t currently safe and social distancing might make the experience frustrating anyway. You can still enjoy the comfort of movies in the safety of your own home. If you don’t mind spending money, there are many movies that are currently playing in the theater that can easily be rented at home. If you’re not into spending money, then do a movie marathon on your favorite streaming service. There are many options to choose from, so make sure you pick something you will both like or try something new. It will definitely make it more fun for you to bond and enjoy your time together.

8. Recreate the First Date
Established relationships might find it hard to find fresh and exciting ideas for Valentine’s Day. This doesn’t mean things can’t be fun though. Instead of trying to find something new to do, you might consider recreating your first date. This might not be easy, but there are lots of great hacks you can do to help you pull off the date. If you went to a prominent restaurant, you might be able to find copycat recipes that will help you get the same feel. As far as décor goes, you might try to decorate based on memory, but try to use items you already have sitting around to help you save money.

9. Memory Book
A memory book can actually play a few roles for Valentine’s Day. If you’re looking for an easy gift to make for someone, then a memory book is one of the best routes to go. You can actually order them online, but if you print out pictures yourself then you can decorate and enjoy the process of making the book. However, a memory book can actually be a great date as well. You and your Valentine can pick out the photos you want to use, share in the stories, and even add fun decorations to the book. This can become a great keepsake when you look back on the tough times that the past year has brought.

10. At-Home Spa
Times are tough, which makes an at-home spa one of the best things that you can make for your special someone. It can also be a great gift to offer for the two of you to bond together. You’re obviously not going to be able to get the professional massage or some of the other options you would get at a regular spa. However, you can give each other a massage. You can also play relaxing music, use spa-inspired products, and spend your day completely relaxing. If you can, enjoy spa products you already have at home and you’ll be on the right track to saving, but there are also many options you can make at home too.

These tips will help to create a Valentine’s Day that is rewarding and enjoyable around your needs. You might even be able to forget all about the long lines in restaurants due to the lack of space or the fact that you can’t enjoy typical date night activities. This should help you find even more to enjoy about the holiday without forcing you to spend a fortune.

Frugal Ways to Have a Romantic Wedding During COVID

Wedding season is on its way, but with the current circumstances, you might not want to go the traditional route. A lot of people are putting off weddings until covid-19 is under control, but if you are tired of waiting then there are many options that you can enjoy. These ten ideas will help you to embrace the joy of your wedding while staying safe. Best of all, many of the options will even help you to save some money, so you can easily get even more out of your wedding, even if it isn’t what you expected.

1. Go Digital
We’re lucky to be a part of an age when we can do so many things online. Luckily, we have the technology to enjoy live streaming, video calls, and so much more. So, make sure to utilize all of the technology you can when it comes to your wedding. If you really want a wonderful wedding, then decorate your apartment as you would your venue. Find the dress or tux that you want, or dress up any way that you please. If you don’t want an audience, then video call with an officiant and enjoy your simple wedding. However, you can still have a video call session that includes close family and friends. If you want to let more people experience your wedding, then you can do a live stream. Online weddings are now totally
, so you can utilize this method to still have a little fun and create wonderful memories.

2. Go Tiny
If you would prefer to have an actual wedding, then you might just consider going tiny. Cut down on your guest list to the bare minimum to ensure that everyone is able to stay while there. When you set up your wedding, make sure that seats are six feet or more apart. You will need to set up hand sanitizing stations to ensure everything is ready to go for people to stay safe while there. Apart from that, you will still need to enforce a mask rule, especially if there are going to be elderly guests at the wedding. Limiting food, beverages, activities, and more will allow you to easily keep others safe as well. You may have to search around to find a venue though as well as caterers and entertainment.

3. Use Your Home
Instead of going through the entire ordeal of booking venues and dealing with cleaning restrictions and more, you might consider using your home. This will give you a more controlled experience that will help you to feel more confident about your wedding. The best place for your wedding is the yard, as it will help to keep people safe as they social distance in the fresh air. So, you might want to plan around the weather if you can. Having your wedding at home will allow you to easily get ready for the day in comfort while also ensuring your guests will have the refreshments they need and the ability to maintain hygiene with ease.

4. Skip the Reception
Although you might not like the idea of skipping your reception, for now, it might be the best option. A reception can be a very pricey thing and might increase the chance of your guests being exposed to covid-19. Skipping the reception will still allow everyone to see you get married but won’t force people to stay behind for food. It also won’t force you to enforce masks, sanitizing, and six feet apart standards, which can be incredibly hard to do in certain situations. If you’re really upset about the lack of reception, you can always host a large party when the covid-19 restrictions have been lifted and you can enjoy the company of others.

5. Plan the Honeymoon
Instead of actually going on a honeymoon, you might spend your time planning out the honeymoon you’ve always dreamed of. Going on a honeymoon now will restrict you quite a bit, which might force you to regret taking the honeymoon. However, if you go later, you’ll have a better idea of what you want to do, more freedom to enjoy activities, and you’ll have plenty of time to save up to make your honeymoon more of a possibility. It can still be a lot of fun to sit down and plan out your honeymoon. You can look at tour guides, local recommendations, or even tour the area via virtual tours and maps.

6. Couple’s Dinner
If you’re not feeling a reception or any kind of celebratory event with others, then don’t do it. During this day and age, you’re probably better off keeping your wedding as intimate as possible. One of the best ways to celebrate together is to splurge on a special meal. You can easily order something from your favorite restaurant or something new and fancy. You can also cook together for an exciting activity that will make the day all the more impressive. Once you have the meal picked out, set up the atmosphere. This will help to add a touch of romantic fun to your life.

7. Digital Dance Off
Giving up the reception doesn’t mean that you have to ditch the fun. Instead of hosting your big party at a venue, have everyone get together for a digital dance-off. You can start a video call, live stream, or come up with another option to get the ball rolling. Of course, you will want to let people know about the activity well beforehand so they can plan to dress up and have some fun with you. If you’re at a loss of how to do this or even how to decorate, there are a lot of fun videos of prom dance-offs that will make you feel inspired that your big dad will be amazing.

8. Cut Back on Traditional Budget
Let’s face it, things aren’t normal. So, having a traditional wedding might not seem wise to you. It’s okay to cut back on the traditional elements of your wedding, especially if you’re trying to reduce your budget. One of the easiest things to cut back on is clothing. If you don’t really want to skip the big, expensive dress or pricey tux. Try to pick something simple and comfortable. You might also scale back on the décor you choose. Perhaps, you might stick with just a bouquet, instead of filling the room with flowers. All of this will help significantly reduce your budget while still allowing you to enjoy yourself.

9. Virtual Wedding Shower
One major part of having a wedding is also having a wedding shower. Many people are skipping out on the showers because they don’t think that they can safely have them. However, going virtual will allow you to have some fun while allowing you to get the things you need for your household. To begin with, simply sign up for a wedding registry and let friends and family send gifts to your home. Save them up and open them on a group video call or a live stream. Opening gifts isn’t the only way to go through. You can also host games and allow people to win prizes. This can help bring a sense of community while allowing you to have fun.

10. Courthouse
A lot of people get married at the courthouse each year. It is easy, cheap, and convenient, which will allow you to easily get what you need. The courthouse probably is going to offer space for a lot of guests right now, but you can probably have a witness. You should call your unique courthouse to check on this first though. Once you schedule your date for the courthouse, make plans to stream your wedding. You can also take the time to write your own vows to come up with a more romantic way to enjoy the wedding.

You don’t have to put off getting married even though we’re living in a world of self-isolation. These tips will help you make the right choices for your wedding, so you can truly get what you want. All of these ideas will also go easy on your budget, which is definitely going to help you out.

Ten Frugal Ways to Celebrate Mardi Gras at Home

Mardi Gras will be here before we know it and if we’re not careful it will be another holiday that has come and gone without a whole lot of celebration. With COVID-19 predictions bad for the upcoming weeks, it might be wise to plan your holiday around staying at home or in a small group of people. This can be an easy way to save money though, which might help you out all the more. These ten tips will get you on the right track, so you can enjoy Mardi Gras even though there are still restrictions in place.

1. Louisiana Cooking
One of the easiest ways to enjoy Mardi Gras is to try out some Louisiana cuisine. If you already know how to make a few of your favorite dishes, then have some fun with it. However, if you’re new to the cuisine then you may want to check out some recipes and tutorial videos. Some of the more common things to try out during this time are gumbo, po’boys, and beignets. Luckily, you can customize these dishes to suit your budget, so you don’t end up going overboard. If you’re feeding a large family then gumbo is the way to go as it will provide you with an abundance of food for very little. It is also a hearty and warm food that is perfect for cold days. Of course, you can always dig deeper and try out recipes that aren’t as popular.

2. King’s Cake
Another big part of the Mari Gras celebration is the King’s Cake. This cake is a colorful and fun way to celebrate the holiday while bringing a little tradition to your party. The King’s Cake may look difficult to make, but it can be fairly simple if you check out some tutorials online before you get started. The important thing about the cake is to make sure the baby or trinket that you place in the cake won’t melt away. When you finish making this treat, not only will it look amazing, but it will make the whole house smell great too. Remember, when you slice into the cake, the person that gets the baby or trinket has good luck for the year.

3. Online Costume Competition
Dressing up is part of the fun of Mardi Gras and shouldn’t be disregarded just because you can’t go out to show off your brilliant costume. Instead of putting this part of the holiday on the back burner, you might want to consider coming up with a fun costume that you will make your holiday experience all the better. If you still want to show off your design, then host an online costume competition. Everyone can post pictures or videos on their costume in the comment section of your competition post. Then, people on your page can vote for the looks they like the most. If you prefer to keep things close-knit, then have your competition in a small video chat. This will definitely help to add to the fun of your holiday experience.

4. DIY Masks
If you don’t want to spend money on a costume, then making your own mask is the perfect way to go. You can make a mask out of almost anything so you can cater to your skills and the materials that you already have on hand. One of the best ways to make a mask for next to nothing is by using paper mache. This method will require glue, water, newspaper, and paint while giving you total freedom when it comes to creativity. If you have ceramics on hand and are skilled in this method, then this is the best way to go. However, if you want to keep things simple and cheap, then you can always print out a mask. If you have cardboard or cardstock on hand, then you can always glue the mask you print out to that. Add a string to tie to your face or use a popsicle to hold the mask up.

5. Decorate
One of the best parts of Mardi Gras is the decorations. There are so many great things that you can show off that will shimmer and add to all of the fun of your home. If you already have décor, then go wild with your decorations. If you don’t, then you might shop online for clearance items. You can also create Mardi Gras inspired crafts for next to nothing. There are lots of ideas online to choose from, which can make it much easier for you to plan the things that you love. You can even leave up the Mardi Gras décor for quite some time as it will definitely lift your mood with all of its sparkle and striking colors.

6. Dance
Mardi Gras is the perfect time to channel your creativity and move your body. Dancing is a major part of the holiday as many people actually take to the streets to dance and enjoy. You obviously can’t do this safely, but you can play your favorite music and enjoy the celebration. If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to music, then there are so many amazing playlists to choose from. You can easily start here and learn a lot about the music based on the holiday and more. You may even find some awesome new favorites that you’ll want to dance to throughout the year. You might discover some traditional dances if you look hard enough online.

7. Themed Drinks
Alcohol and Mardi Gras tends to go hand in hand, but going to a bar might not be wise on this holiday. Instead of going out, you might consider putting your money to good use by purchasing beer based in Louisiana. There are lots of options to choose from, so you might check out reviews and look around to see what is typically served during the holiday. If beer isn’t your thing then consider making themed mixed drinks. You can check out recipes online or come up with your own drink. You may even consider decorating the drinks to add a whole new level of fun to the drinks. If you don’t want to spend money on alcohol, then consider the virgin options of your favorite drinks.

8. Block Party
You don’t have to go it alone during the holiday. If you’re used to huge celebrations, then consider bringing the holiday to your community. You might send a memo to your neighbors to see if anyone is interested in having a block party. If everyone stays on their own lawn and wears a mask, then it should be safe. You can play music, dance, laugh, and enjoy having the company of others. You might even consider having competitions for costumes and décor. It might not be your normal block party or Mardi Gras experience, but you’re still bound to have some fun while connecting with others.

9. Mardi Gras Live
If you’re missing out on the fun in your neck of the woods, then don’t fret. You can actually watch the Mardi Gras celebration live. It might not be the same as years’ past, but it will still be an experience that you will definitely want to enjoy. Mardi Gras Live can be found online, but you will also have access to lots of other online experiences too. Your city may even do its own online show which can help you keep in touch with your own community. This will give you the opportunity to have some fun while still staying home and safe.

10. Learn About Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is one of those holidays that is a lot of fun to celebrate. However, not a lot of people know the meaning behind the holiday. So, if you’re stuck at home this year, you might take the time to learn about the holiday. There are actually many different elements of the story you can check out too. Some are religious, some involve royal parties, and others are deep in Louisiana lore. You might find some documentaries on the holiday, but there are lots of websites and books dedicated to the holiday to help you find the answers you’re seeking.

Mardi Gras is the perfect holiday for blowing off some steam and enjoying life. These ten tips will help you find all of the amazing ways you can celebrate from the safety of your home. So, don’t miss out on this holiday, because it is definitely going to make your life a lot more fun.

Fun Ideas to Celebrate Chinese New Year from Home

Chinese New Year is meant to be a time for family reunions and fun. However, this year, things might look a little different as social distancing orders are still in effect around the globe. This doesn’t mean you have to give up your Spring Festival celebration though. Rather, there are numerous activities that can be enjoyed at home that are actually traditionally a part of the Lunar New Year celebration. So, whether you celebrate the holiday every year, or you’re just learning about it this year, you will find something spectacular to enjoy with these ten tips.

1. Clean Up
There’s no doubt about it, cleaning up your home is a great way to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Of course, if you didn’t already know, this is part of the holiday anyway. Usually, people begin to clean up their home a week or so before the festival begins. This is a really great time to deep clean, as the tradition says that starting the new year out with a clean home will bring you luck. This is a great time to deep clean anyway with the virus still causing numerous people to fall ill. A deep clean will allow you to easily just maintain the home, which will save you time and energy. Plus, cleaning can leave you with a sense of fulfillment, which is always a great way to begin a new chapter.

2. Online Shopping
Shopping is another big part of the Spring Festival. This doesn’t mean you should go crazy shopping, nor does it mean you should deplete your budget for the celebration. However, it is tradition to start the new year off in new clothing. So, you might find some sales on clothing to suit your needs. Even though shopping is a part of the festival, it doesn’t mean you should go out and shop. If you can, keep your shopping to online. This will help cut back on the spread of coronavirus. There should also be lots of coupon codes to help make celebrating the holiday even more fun.

3. Decorate
Decorating can be one of the best aspects of the holiday. Not only does it allow you to show off some creativity, but it will give a sense of normal to the holiday too. You might start by pulling out the décor that you would normally put up. However, after you have everything up and ready to go, you might consider making a few new decorations. You can make just about anything that strikes your fancy. One simple option is a lantern, as these always look great and can be a lot of fun to hang in various places. Apart from that, you will find that there are printouts you can put up or calligraphy you can try. There are items you can purchase too but try to keep things frugal. Simply putting up decorations will help bring a more festive vibe to the day, which will definitely improve how you feel.

4. Celebrate Ancestors
One major part of the holiday is to actually celebrate your ancestors. Since the holiday is all about the reunion, this can be one of the most important elements when you can’t actually spend time with family that isn’t in your bubble. One of the easiest ways to celebrate your ancestors is to share stories and pictures about them with the next generation. However, you can easily take the conversation online to draw in the rest of your family. You might also participate in activities that they loved, eat their favorite foods, and so on. This will certainly help you feel a better connection during the festival, which is important.

5. Virtual Dinner
Sharing a meal with your family is an important part of the holiday, which is going to be one of the hardest aspects of the holiday since many people can’t be with their family. One of the easiest things you can do to remedy this problem is to have a virtual dinner party. Everyone can whip up their traditional meals and then log in to a family group chat. This will allow each person to enjoy the company of their family while still keeping things safe. Of course, this might not be the ideal way to share a meal with others, but it is a simple way to remedy the issue of missing out on some of the joy of eating with your loved ones.

6. Learn to Make Traditional Foods
Traditional foods are one of the best aspects of the Spring Festival. You can try to make all sorts of dishes like longevity noodles, braised meats, and so on. However, one of the most popular items to make is dumplings. You can make all sorts of dumplings too, as long as you get the technique down. Dumplings can be a bit tough though if you haven’t been taught how to make them, so you might start by watching some tutorials. There are even online cooking classes that can help you find your way. After the holiday, you might find that you added something amazing to your meal which will definitely allow you to improve your meal plans.

7. Order In
Cooking new foods can be a challenge. Cooking time-consuming foods can be a challenge with your busy lifestyle. So, if learning to make traditional foods isn’t on your cards then you might consider ordering take out. You might try to find a Chinese restaurant in your area that you haven’t tried or even just one that you absolutely love. If you’d like to order special items for the holiday, then you might want to call up the restaurant to see what they recommend. During this period of time, ordering from a restaurant can be one of the best things you can do as you might be helping to keep a business afloat.

8. Watch the Gala
The Spring Festival Gala is one of the biggest traditions in China. This show is a lot like the New Year countdowns in the United States but offers more traditional ways of celebrating. You will find singing, dancing, plays, and so much more when you watch the gala. If you’re not living in China, then there are a few things you can do to watch the gala. There are lots of past productions streaming online, so you can check those out. You can also find the gala streaming on some websites. You will have to do a little bit of research though or ask around to see where everyone else watches the gala.

9. Digital Red Envelopes
Red Envelopes are a major part of the holiday. It is customary for the elders of the family to pass on red envelopes to the children. However, in this day and age, it might not be wise for this to happen. So, you may consider looking up ways to send red envelopes online. There are some programs that follow this inspiration, but you can also keep it simple by sending money through common services like Paypal, Venmo, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. This can help keep the spirit of the holiday going without forcing you to deal with snail mail or put yourself in danger.

10. Celebrate the Ox
2021 is the year of the Ox, which will definitely bring some excitement to your home. In order to celebrate the Ox, you might go over the story of the Chinese New Year, so you can learn more about the animal. You can also lookup some of the characteristics surrounding the animal. Once you have a basis of the year, then celebrate with making crafts. There are so many available that you can get the whole family in on the fun. These crafts can also be used as decorations, which will add even more to the holiday.

The Spring Festival is a great time to enjoy celebrating a new year. Although this holiday can’t technically be enjoyed the same way it normally is, these ten tips will still help you get quite a bit more out of the celebration. This will ensure you have some fun, while learning more about the lunar new year.