Tag Archives: lifestyle blog orange county

100 Things To Do Instead of Play On Your Phone

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Today is the first official day of summer for the teen, and this will be the first summer that I watch her and the Tot. There are some unique challenges that come with keeping a 10 month old and a nearly 12 year old entertained. First off is the whole napping thing. I’ve finally got the Tot to take some what regular naps and to take them in his bed instead of in the baby carrier, however, his natural nap time is late morning. The teen loves to sleep in so as soon as she wakes up, the Tot goes down for a nap and we can’t get out of the house till about 2. So I’ve got to find ways to keep each of them occupied at home while the other one is sleeping. When we finally do get out of the house, I’ve got to make sure that we are going somewhere that is interesting to both kiddos. Well honestly, every place is interesting to the Tot but I’ve got to come up with places where it won’t be a pain to have him there. And on top of all that, there were volunteer hours to fulfill and summer camps to sign up for.

With all that in mind, I created two lists of summer activities, one for the Teen and one for the Tot. You’ll notice that the one for the Teen is considerably longer, it’s not because I love her more it’s just that a majority of the Tot’s day is still made up of eating, pooping, napping (or fighting a nap depending on the day) and throwing things across the room. I share these lists with you below, feel free to use them for your own family and tell me what you did. And if there are any activities you think we’ll love, tell me about them!

100 Things To Do Instead of Play On Your Phone

Things To Do At Home Alone

  1. Read a book or magazine
  2. Read a poem
  3. Walk the dogs
  4. Write a letter/email to your pen pal
  5. Make a collage for your room
  6. Make dinner
  7. Practice batting
  8. shoot hoops
  9. play with the Tot
  10. play the Wii
  11. Watch a movie you’ve never seen before
  12. Do some scrapbooking
  13. Do your summer homework
  14. Write in your journal
  15. Write a letter or journal entry in Spanish
  16. Play online math games
  17. Learn a magic or card trick
  18. Take pictures and play with picture editing software
  19. Decorate your room
  20. Do a painting on canvas with acrylic or water paint
  21. Go online and find instructions for paper airplanes. Test them and see which one works the best
  22. Add things to your joy jar
  23. Make your own board game
  24. Mix and Match painted rock faces http://teachbesideme.com/mix-match-painted-rock-faces/
  25. Make a homemade lava lamp http://slsmithphotography.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/06/lava-lamps-summer-fun.html
  26. Make paper flowers http://spoonful.com/crafts/10-pretty-paper-flower-tutorials#carousel-id=photo-carousel&carousel-item=4
  27. Do a craft with Duct Tape http://www.bystephanielynn.com/2012/02/45-creative-duct-tape-crafts-projects-saturday-inspiration-ideas.html
  28. Learn origami
  29. Write a letter to people in the persecuted church https://www.opendoorsusa.org/take-action/write/
  30. Make a time capsule and bury it in the backyard

Things To Do At Home With Friends

  1. Gather a few random props, then write and perform a play using all those props
  2. Make edible playdough
  3. Have an at home day spa with facials, manis and pedis
  4. Go swimming
  5. Wash Brianna’s car
  6. Make bleach or tie dye t-shirts
  7. Host a food drive and collect food for a local shelter
  8. Go on a scavenger hunt in the neighborhood or the mall
  9. Bake a tasty treat
  10. Play jumprope or chinese jumprope
  11. Play board games
  12. Choreograph a dance to your favorite song
  13. Hide something in the house and make a treasure map for your friends to find it
  14. Draw with sidewalk chalk
  15. Make homemade icecream
  16. Host your own backyard Olympics with events like three legged race, water balloon toss, hula hoop contest and limbo
  17. Have a Christmas in July party. Decorate cookies, make gifts, sing Christmas carols and draw a poster board Christmas tree
  18. Play freeze tag, tv tag or regular tag
  19. Have a shaving cream fight
  20. Cover your extremities in shaving cream and have a partner toss cheese puffs on you. Whichever team gets the most cheese puffs to stick wins
  21. Play outdoor tic tac toe http://www.aturtleslifeforme.com/2011/06/wrapping-up-school-year.html
  22. Have your friends bring some of their clothes and accessories over, mix and match to make new outfits and have a fashion show.
  23. Make bouncing polymer balls http://chemistry.about.com/od/demonstrationsexperiments/ss/bounceball.htm
  24. Do the milk, soap and food coloring experiment
  25. Do the melting ice experiment http://artfulparent.com/2012/07/melting-ice-science-experiment-with-salt-liquid-watercolors.html
  26. Dancing Oobleck experiment http://www.housingaforest.com/dancing-oobleck/
  27. Experiment with some new hairdos http://www.byrdie.com/easy-summer-hairstyles-2014/slide5
  28. Go around the neighborhood and collect canned and boxed food to donate to a local food bank
  29. Play steal the bacon
  30. Play Farkle
  31. Play hurry and eat the candy bar http://oneshetwoshe.com/2014/05/8-family-games.html
  32. Write inspiring cards to kids that are in the hospital
  33. Organize a swim for MS fundraiser
  34. Play charades
  35. Have a water balloon/ squirt gun fight in the front yard

Things To Go Out and Do

  1. Go for a hike to take pictures
  2. Go bowling
  3. Have a picnic at Irvine Regional Park
  4. Go to the beach to swim or play volleyball or fly a kite
  5. Go to the park
  6. Do a beach clean up
  7. Ride the orange balloon at the Great Park
  8. Visit Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach
  9. Kidnap Grandma Carol and take her to lunch
  10. Go to the softball fields to play kickball
  11. Go to the tennis courts at Brianna’s house to play tennis
  12. Visit Bowers Museum
  13. Visit the Nixon Library
  14. Go on an alphabet tour. Take your camera and take pictures of things that start with each letter of the Alphabet. Or take photos of the actual letters. You can journal them and create a book, or print out the letters that spell your name and hang them in your room
  15. Go to the Santa Ana Zoo and photograph or draw the animals
  16. Wade through the tidepools at Tablerock Beach in Laguna
  17. Go to Big Air Trampoline park
  18. Go to Knotts Berry Farm
  19. Go to Knotts Soak City
  20. Bring a camera to Fullerton Arboretum and take cool nature photos
  21. Tour Heritage House Park in Lake Forest
  22. Go to Boomers for mini golf, laser tag, arcade games, go karts or the small water park
  23. Go to Zoomar’s petting Zoo
  24. Explore the San Jaoquin Wildlife Sanctuary
  25. Have lunch and go shopping in Downtown Orange
  26. Go to the Long Beach Aquarium
  27. Visit the Queen Mary
  28. Balboa Fun Zone
  29. Paddle Boarding in the Dana Point Harbor
  30. Have tea at the OC Mart Mix
  31. Go to the  dollar book store for new books
  32. Go to a park and play frisbee golf
  33. Volunteer at El Toro Library
  34. Go fishing
  35. Go to a Farmers Market

 

Things to do with a 9-12 month old

  1. Play with edible playdough
  2. Put pipe cleaners through the holes of a strainer
  3. Stick his toys to the floor with duct tape and have him help me pull them off
  4. Put different types of toys and household items in a box or bag and have him pull the items out
  5. Paint on the sidewalk with water and paintbrushes
  6. Bubbles
  7. Put scarves in an old tissue box and let him pull them out
  8. Play copycat. Do simple motions and have AJ copy, or copy what AJ is doing
  9. Play catch. Roll the ball to him and encourage him to pick it up and throw it back
  10. Play hand over hand. Put your hand down, then AJ’s on top, then mine, then his. Then move my hand on top of his, his on top of mind, etc
  11. Put him on a blanket and drag it on the floor
  12. Let him rip apart an old magazine or catalog
  13. Play peek a boo
  14. Read a story
  15. Play with ice cubes
  16. Play with tupperware, wooden spoons and plastic ladle
  17. Swim
  18. Crank up the music and dance around the house
  19. Shine a flashlight on the wall or floor and have him watch it and chase it
  20. Build a simple fort and let him play in it or read stories in it
  21. Play with stuffed animals and have them talk to him

 

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Young House Crap

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Have you ever read the blog Young House Love? It’s written by this husband and wife who started fixing up their home and blogging about it. Their blog got super popular, they wrote a book, its a like a whole thing. When Mr and I started working on our condo I had visions of our life being just like Young House Love. DIY is like crack to Mr, so he would organize all these projects and I would happily help him out, all while taking photos and blogging witty comments. Then we would become famous and our awesome blog would pay off our condo, so then we could rent it out and buy a bigger house and perform bigger DIY projects and everything would be magical and awesome.

Ya, that’s not happening.

As it turns out, I’m HORRIBLE with DIY projects. I mean, I’ve always known they weren’t my forte, but good grief do I suck. Part of the problem is that I have a blind minds eye. You know how some people can just look at a space and picture everything that should go there. I cannot. I see nothing with my minds eye, ever. This infuriates Mr to no end because it always doubles his workload. He can’t just say “hey what do you think of this?” He has to find a picture or draw it out, otherwise I just stare at him blankly and then ask if my post baby butt can still pull off these jeans. Or worse, I pretend like I know what he is talking about, agree to it, and then immediately hate it once it’s done.

Another issue is my tendency to create more work for Mr. For example, the other day I was hanging shelves in the bathroom but I put the anchors in the wrong place.We had to take them out and replace them, leaving two gaping holes in the wall that we will have to fill and paint over. I feel like that one greek god sentenced to eternally roll a giant rock up a hill. The projects are never ending.

Here are the holes I was telling you about. I would also like to point out that as soon as I got up to take this picture, my son started crying.

Here are the holes I was telling you about. I would also like to point out that as soon as I got up to take this picture, my son started crying.

Then there is the perpetual indecisiveness. I’m not usually an indecisive person but for some reason, making any sort of decision about our humble home takes me forever. It took 3 months to decide on a living room paint color. That’s more thought than I put into deciding what college to go to. And Mr is no help. He is one of those people that researches the death out of things. I think we’ve come to a decision on something and then he watches another YouTube video and gives me an entirely new option that wasn’t even on the table early. “But this might be better,” he says. Honestly, I don’t care. Even if our original decision is going to kill us all, we are sticking to it because I will loose what little mind I have left if you force to make yet another decision. JUST DO WHAT I SAY, MAN!

Of course what kind of parent would I be if I didn’t blame some of this on the kid, right? As I sit here blogging, he is happily playing with his toys. But if I were to get up and, heaven forbid, try organizing my room or the kitchen, he would start to pitch a fit. Apparently toys are only meant to be played with when mommy is within a two foot radius. Otherwise they become garbage. Plus, he just creates a lot of extra work. I have to feed him a million times a day, grocery shop to get the food to feed him a million times a day, work a full time job to pay for the food that feeds him a million times a day, change his diapers, read him stories, fight with him about naps, and wash his adorable little clothes. And after all that I’m supposed to muster up the energy to repaper the kitchen cupboards? No Thank You.

So, our life is nothing like Young House Love. It’s more like Young House Fall Asleep On The Couch When I should Be Washing The Windows. And yet, I honestly couldn’t be happier. We are homeowners! That’s incredible! And even though its been a slow process, we’ve actually made a lot of progress on the condo and we love everything we’ve done so far. More importantly, I get to build a home and life with my two favorite people.

And to show you that I’m not just full of cynicism and do have very positive feelings about the house, I will share photos of my favorite room in the house- the bathroom!

Hobby Lobby for the win!

I love these decorations. Hobby Lobby for the win!

grey and yellow bathroom

It took us FOREVER to find a vanity that we liked, that wasn’t huge and that fit the weird piping in the bathroom. It was worth the wait, we love it. And no, that white patch on the wall isn’t some sort of artistic statement. Mr had to patch the wall and we haven’t painted over it yet. Might as well wait till we do the holes

I don't know if you've ever searched for a grey and yellow shower curtain, but let me tell you, they are not easy to come by. I would have preferred a little more yellow but couldn't find one that I loved. I do like this one a lot, it looks nice and it will work until that magical day that I find the curtain of my dreams

I don’t know if you’ve ever searched for a grey and yellow shower curtain, but let me tell you, they are not easy to come by. I would have preferred a little more yellow but couldn’t find one that I loved. I do like this one a lot, it looks nice and it will work until that magical day that I find the curtain of my dreams