5 Things to Do on a Staycation (Without Breaking Your Budget)

My husband and I did a lot of travel last year. This year, although we would have loved to take a short trip or two outside our city, we decided to cut down on this as we have some extra expenditures this year (for one, my husband is pursuing his masters this year).

So what to do when you have a long break from work due to declared non-working holidays? Well, a little bit of creativity will help in making your “staycation” relaxing and interesting. Here are some of the things you can do on a staycation:

1. Catch up on your reading. There is always something interesting to read 🙂 Reading engages the mind and brings you to places and situations just by the power of words.

Aside from the Bible, I read all kinds of books. My major bias, of course, is reading poetry books. But one book that has recently caught my attention is Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. While this is not a new book, it is something that I have not read 🙂

While you can purchase your books from shops, don’t forget that not only can you purchase them online but there are also free books including classics which you can access and even download for FREE online. Gutenberg.org is one site where I access free books.

 2. Watch movies. While it may not always be convenient to drive to the nearest theater to your home, you can always watch movies on cable TV or even through online. For us, we watch movies through cable but one other thing I do is also to check out movies that have been shared on YouTube. Should we decide to watch a movie from YouTube, we just connect my laptop via HDMI cable wire and we have the movie on a much bigger screen 🙂  Of course, if you have a Smart TV then there’s no need for that cable wire 🙂

Aside from movies, there are TV series which are also available online.

3. Indulge on a hobby or start a new one. It’s time to do it: cooking a favorite dish, doing gardening, playing that musical instrument, painting a new scene, writing a poem or a short story. If you have always complained that you never have time to do your hobby or things that interest you, then this is the time to do it.

4. Take time to play. Play sports with the family. A game of badminton or table tennis perhaps. You can even go simpler by just taking the time to play tag with your kids and yes, the dog 🙂 Play time can be a lot of fun but think also how it can get your body moving. So that’s fun plus some exercise as well. Board games can also be good. For my husband and me, we also play computer games to relax 🙂

5. Visit the park, the museum, the beach.  Public parks are free. Most museums will charge a small fee. As for the beach, this is an easy option if the beach is within driving distance from your place. Another alternative is if you have a swimming pool at home, you can schedule a pool day where you can also invite your friends and their kids over. Meal time or snack time can be done potluck style.

DIY: Pots for Your Plants

It’s been quite some time since I have posted some of my and my husband’s do-it-yourself projects at home. I thought I should share one project that is really simple and doable plus it makes use of something you might just throw away. Recycling, after all, is something we can easily do with some of the items we have at home.

Materials for this project:
used plastic jugs
knife or cutting tool
nails

Steps:

  1. Get a used plastic jug. You may have plastic jugs at home which used to be containers of juice drinks, cooking oil or even car oil. You can alternatively use your empty water or soda bottles as well. Wash the jug first to clean out any remnant from its previous content.  
  2. Cut upper portion of the jug or container. You can adjust where to make the cut depending on the shape of the jug. We cut our jugs close to its middle part.

3. To create the draining holes in your jugs, you can use nails to bore a hole through. You can also use a knife or the sharp end of a scissor.

4. Now you are ready to fill in your “new” pot with soil and settle a plant into it. Easy does it!

Happy planting, gardening 🙂

7 Interesting Family Quotes

Family, it’s what all of us have in common.

While some may have grown up in ideal and close to perfect families, some also grew up in rather difficult or even dysfunctional ones. Yet, over all, it is undeniable that so much of who we are today has been shaped by our families.

Now, I recently came across some family quotes that were inspiring, check them out below. The last three made me smile 🙂 Read on:

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. – Desmond Tutu

I believe that that greatest gift you can give your family and the world  is a healthy you. – Joyce Meyer

“Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.”  – Napoléon Bonaparte

Family always gonna be there. The material things, they come and go. – Romeo Miller

 

“My dear young cousin, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the eons, it’s that you can’t give up on your family, no matter how tempting they make it.” – Rick Riordan

“When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it’s a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.”  – Erma Bombeck

“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.”  – George Bernard Shaw

You can find more quotes about family and many other topics from goodreads.com and brainyquote.com.

Making My “To-Buy” List

Well, another way to call it would be a shopping list. But we often associate a shopping list with a grocery list so I thought a “To-Buy” list would be a better name for the list of things we need (and perhaps want!) to buy.

Below are some of the things I would like to buy this year as our budget permits or as surprise provisions or blessings come in:

  1. living room sofa – We currently use a slightly pre-loved sofa which we got about 3 years ago. It still is in good condition but has been a bit discolored by now. So I thought it would be nice to get a new one some time this year.
  2. washing machine – It would be great to finally get a new, fully-automatic one 🙂
  3. work table – I have a small office/work table at home. I thought it would be great to have a bigger one so it can accommodate our printer as well as some of my files at home.
  4. bed and pillows – Our bed has been with us for 8 years. We lack a good bed frame to support our bed so getting a new one would be nice. Wait! Perhaps this should be first on the list! 🙂 I think we also need new pillows, too.
  5. guitar – I missed having a guitar at home. My husband and I play the guitar a bit. I think it’s a relaxing hobby plus we both love singing as well so a guitar is really handy at home. It’s good news then that quality guitars with great prices can also be bought online such as ibanez rg available at Musicians Friend. It saves you time and money (!) from going into stores. Plus such cool deals can be found online.
  6. stove and electric kettle  – Our stove is still functioning but I think wear and tear is at work with it 🙂  So we might need to get a new one eventually. Our electric kettle is also starting to have problems so yes, we might need a replacement for it some time soon.

Other things that need to be improved at home: water connection/sink, kitchen set-up.

I think making a “To-Buy” list for things is great. Just like our grocery list, it helps us see what needs to be bought. In the end, it helps us to better manage our finances.