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What Do We Do Now? Part II

In this serious time of social distancing and sheltering in place, here is Part II of “What Do We Do Now?”.    Get Creative!  Below is a list of activities that can be done both alone or with your family and friends. 

1. Test out that green thumb. Plant seeds. Work in the garden. There are numerous nurseries online that you can purchase plants to be delivered.  Two websites to order plants online are: 

a. www.americanmeadows.comAmerican Meadows has been supplying gardeners with the best wildflower seeds, perennials, bulbs and how-to information since 1981. 100% Guaranteed.  100% Non-GMO Seed. Seeds Ship Within 48 Hrs. Neonicotinoid-Free. 100% Pure Seed.

b.  : Lazy S's FarmA family-owned nursery in Virginia, Lazy S's Farm offers a huge range of perennials as well as many hard-to-find hybrids of shrubs. All plants come in quart pots, so it is an inexpensive way to purchase an unusual shrub if you have the patience to grow it on for a few years before it makes a significant presence in the garden. When delivered, plants are healthy and vigorous and ready to take their place in the garden.

2. Learn how to make floral arrangements.The Flower Social is still teaching on YouTube

3. Need a laugh?  Thank heavens for YouTube!  Microwaving taquitos has never been this exciting.  We're not the only ones getting restless for sports. Who knew listening to announcers narrate dishwasher duty and snack time is just as fun as listening to them call the real thing? (Click here to view )( Just click through the adds.

4. Experience the Best of Longwood Gardens from Home: (  An online, curated selection of fun ways to experience the best of Longwood Gardens from your home. Discover stunning imagery and video of what’s in bloom, engage in online classes and activities for all ages, and relive (or experience for the first time) special moments that express our mission of horticulture, education, and the arts. The website will be updating “Our Gardens Your Homewith fresh picks and new delights each week, so we may continue to bring the very best of us right to you. Make our Gardens your home. “

5. How to Make Your Food Go Further – WebMD ( so many of us limiting trips to the store now (and increasingly worrying about our budgets) it makes sense to be smarter about food. If ever there was a time to be strategic about what we buy and savvy about how we use it, it’s now. Here are some steps to take.

6. Smithsonian Journeys from Home:  Enjoy your favorite destinations from the comfort of your own home on Smithsonians’s Facebook and Instagram pages where you can test your knowledge with their daily photo challenge!  They also encourage you to share your favorite photo memories from past trips.  Simply tag @Smithsonian.Journeys when you post and include #Smithsonian.Journeys and #JourneysFromHome so that they can share what you post with other armchair travelers.

7. Have an indoor picnic.Kids love it just as much as adults. The perfect indoor picnic has 3 main elements: a giant blanket to sprawl out on, an abundance of greenery, and a few pillows to cushion your booty. Other fun ideas to set your scene include books to read, watch your favorite movie or your favorite card game. Bonus: No ants or sunburns to worry about.  And since you will be low-down, you may want to temporarily sequester any pets that might be tempted to steal some of your spread.  An abundant cheese plate with plenty of fruit, nuts, olives, and other extras like artisanal crackers, interesting condiments, and charcuterie, is always a great choice, but you can also go with more substantial and composed dishes if you have the time and inclination. It’s a good idea to stick to food you can eat with your fingers, and smaller bites that are good at room temperature mean you can artfully arrange them and then laze about at your leisure, while nibbling and grazing over the course of an hour or two—or more. It should be a relaxed and flexible kind of situation.

8. Home Baking is on the rise with Staying In Place.Baking can reduce stress and give comfort during these times.At this rate, our kitchens are going to start looking like the bread aisle at a fully-stocked Costco. Difficult to buy a bread maker.  But don’t forget cookies, cakes, cupcakes, brownies or homemade pie. How about banana or pumpkin bread?  Baking provides a sense of accomplishment, "especially in this period of angst and unknowns," said Michael Kocet, a licensed mental health counselor.  Baking can give us something concrete to create, control and enjoy when we have the finished product. That can help reduce the anxiety stemming from the unfamiliarity of dealing with a pandemic.

9.  Scavenger hunt.A perfect family game that will have everybody playing all night

long. It's Fast, Fun, Easy to Play and even Educational. Hide clues around your house. This could waste a lot of time. Family members compete to see who could find the most items on their scavenger hunt list.  A scavenger hunt starts with a concept and a location or series of locations. The idea is basically to create a list of things that family members need to find, ask for, or take pictures or videos of, a time limit and a prize for the winners (one of those delicious cookies you baked.) Most likely, the biggest challenge will be coming up with the concept and the list of things to find.  Easy to scale according to the ages of the family members.

10. Build a Fort. Get your blankets, pillows and make a safe place.  Blanket forts are easy to build, and they provide countless hours of fun for children and adults. You can make your fort with everyday household items like blankets, sheets, chairs, and curtain rods. Start by building a fort frame. Then, close off your fort to the outside world by draping blankets over it. Throw in a few pillows and blankets for added coziness, add books to read or music to listen to for a fun afternoon.  Or go camping with a real tent and sleeping bags.  Add smores if possible.

11. Go Camping In The House: Go camping with a real tent and sleeping bags.  Just move some of the furniture out of the way.  If you don’t have a tent, just build the fort and pretend you are camping.  Camping snacks are a must, and s'mores are the most important of all snacks. If you're inside, place a graham cracker, piece of chocolate and marshmallow in the microwave for 15 seconds. Once it's cooked, add the second graham cracker. Kids will also love snack mixes, pigs in a blanket, popcorn and campfire conesYou can also make your s’mores in a waffle cone and toss it in the microwave until melted!  If you love camping and you love S’mores, you’ll love these Campfire Cones!

12. Ice cream sundaes or Banana Split Bar.Use these toppings for ice cream sundae list as a starting point for your own inspiration and creativity: Get saucy- Hot fudge. Caramel sauce. Chocolate sauce. Strawberry sauce. ...Top it Off-Whipped cream. Brownie bits. Oreo cookies.  Maraschino cherries. Candy pieces. Peanut butter cups. ...Freshen Up- Strawberries. Blueberries. Raspberries. Bananas. ...Go nuts- Peanuts. Almonds. Walnuts.  Another recipe is theSprinkles Sundaewhere you put a single scoop of ice cream and place it in between a cupcake top and bottom. 

13.  Tips to Organize Your Food Pantry: A few essential rules about pantry organization: Use bins and baskets, store dry goods in clear containers, and group like with like. Now that we have the basics out of the way, here are 10 things you may not have thought of—but absolutely should—when planning and executing a well-ordered pantry:

a.  Group similar items together—e.g., cooking oils together, nut butters next to one another, spices in the same spot, pastas in one place.  Place food items you use most in an easily accessible spot. Another way to group them is to think about your routines and designate discrete storage areas for them. Some examples: a coffee station, a breakfast foods shelf, a school-lunch section.

b. First In First Out: Store older vegetables and fruits to the forefront and add newer produce to the back. This practice encourages shoppers to reach for the older (though still relatively fresh) items first and creates, ultimately, less waste.  Do the same with the items in your pantry.

c.  Some foods should not be stored together: Be aware of what items are stored together. Onion and garlic can be stored together, but neither should mingle with potatoes; doing so hastens spoiling. Also, be sure to keep flours away from strong-smelling items (like cumin and curry powder) so that they don’t absorb any of the flavors.

d.  How to Store Oversize Items:  It’s important that you review what’s currently in your pantry and make sure that there is a shelf or two in your pantry that will be tall enough to fit those oversized items. 

e. Less Work for Parents:  If you have small children, be sure to store healthy snacks on a shelf that they can easily access.  Side note: Keep the sweets and less nutritious snacks on a higher shelf.

After you finish your organizing, you can bask in the afterglow for months. But know that it doesn’t last forever. The key to keeping an organized pantry is to check in a few times a year to assess its contents. Old ingredients need to be tossed. Dust and little spills need to be taken care of. Systems need to be tweaked. These quarterly checkups will mean you may never have to completely make over your pantry again.

Creative Spaces Remodeling Company hopes that some of these suggested activities helps you as we all support each other by staying home and staying well.  Be safe!Creative Spaces Remodeling (Design.Build.Live)

Today, if you are ready for the next step in your remodel or need more guidance to get you started, Creative Spaces Remodeling is here to help.  Life on the Chesapeake Bay is wonderful, but Creative Spaces Remodeling can help make the experience even better.  We’re ready to provide you with exceptional service no matter how big or small the job is.


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