1. FREE CHAIN! Celebrate July at Sally Jean with Free Chain. Every order through the month of July will be shipped with a bonus of a 24" Nickel-Plate chain. Yippie!
2. Play beach ball tennis. Blow up a beach ball and find a friend and a fence. Bat the beach ball back and forth, over the fence, without letting it fall to the ground. Count the hits.
3. Run through the sprinkler...just like you did when you were a kid! Run under the arch and try to avoid getting wet...or jump over the sprinkler making funny poses as you fly through the air. This is a good time to try a cartwheel, too!
4. Celebrate America. Hang your flag today! Better yet...hang it up EVERYDAY!
5. Have a picnic in bed. Invite your children. Try the classic peanut butter & jelly. Don't worry...crumbs can be fun!
6. Spend the day at the zoo. Go early. Take your time...sit and watch the Tigers, Monkey's, Bears. A Petting Zoo will do...you can feed the goats there. During this past winter I escaped for a weekend to Bandon on the Oregon Coast (5 hours south of Portland). I could have spent hours (days) at the West Coast Game Park. Ice cream cones of treats for the sheep and goats roaming freely, up-close-and-personal (3 feet away) from full-grown Tigers and Lions (their growl vibrates inside you), and the ability to actually pet and hold a Cougar, a Tiger and a homely, cross-eyed possum. (That's me kissing a baby Cougar!...Sultan the 3-month old White Tiger I bottle fed...and the homely possum with a face only a mother could love).
7. Brush your teeth with a baking soda, toothpaste and hydrogen peroxide mixture. Refreshing.
8. Buy dinner for a homeless person. Sometimes they sit outside the grocery store. Ask what they would like when you go in...and bring it out to them. A sandwich...a cup of coffee...fresh water and fruit on a hot day. Not a huge gesture...but a helpful one.
9. Explore another culture. Pretend you are back in school and need to prepare a book report. Read up on the culture of your choice on the internet...then visit a related place in person...perhaps a museum or garden. Bring your family...culture is good for everyone.
10. Go garage-sale-ing! Spend Thursday night circling ads in the newspaper. Get up early Friday with map in hand and hit them all. Put your name on a list at an estate sale and wait in line. Buy something you absolutely don't need ~ with a budget of $1.
11. Braid your hair...just like you did when you were young. Add a ribbon. Wear your stylish new Doo to the supermarket.
12. Make a tradition of after-dinner watercolors. Get watercolor paper for the whole family. Cheap watercolors from the grocery store will work just fine. Each night, after dinner, choose a subject to paint. A tree...the cat...the sunset. Have everyone sign and date their painting. Find a wall in your house to hang your collection. When the season is over, pack the paintings in a special box to pull out and display next year...or in 10 years! Frame and keep displaying your favorites. (Enzo painted our orange cat...in this painting, he is blue!)
13. Become an ice connoisseur. Get ice from different restaurants, fast food chains, grocery stores. Take the ice-challenge...who has the best ice for chilling and chewing? Then get a funky ice-cube mold and make your own.
14. Happy Bastille Day! Find a French restaurant and enjoy the party. Or just eat a big slice of birthday cake (bake it yourself). Decorate it with a can of pre-made vanilla frosting custom-colored with food coloring. Don't forget to make a wish before blowing out the candle.
15. Take a field trip to a lesser-known Museum. In Texas, try the Toilet Seat Museum. In Massachusettes, try the Museum of Bad Art (some of which I like!). Or in Seattle, the Giant Shoe Museum. Wherever you are...there is surely an unusual museum to visit (or perhaps...to create!
16. Lay in a field and watch the clouds float by. Give them names. Do their shapes change as they glide across the sky?
17. Go camping in the yard. Not lawn-chair sleeping...but full-on camping. Pitch the tents. Cook everything on the grill. Toast marshmallows on real sticks. Rough it. (Pillows and bathrooms are ok).
18. Get yourself a Tattoo! No need to spend hours under the needle...get a rub-on at the party store. Put it somewhere VERY visible and show it off.
19. Become a books-on-tape addict. It's great for us multi-taskers. Easily download books into your iTunes (where you can preview the voice of the narrator to see if you like it or if it will drive you crazy), or buy at your local bookstore or Amazon. Listen while you exercise (ha!), get ready for work in the morning, or drive. Try a trashy novel for fun...or a biography for knowledge. Try language tapes while you sleep (let me know if they work!).
20. Go to a parade. Go early. Set up your launch chairs. Bring a cooler for drinks and food. Buy a giant balloon from a street vendor for $7 (which will pop before you make it home). Wave at every float and band that goes by. (The parade floats going by my studio window on their way to the parade)
21. Paint rocks. Get a bag from Michaels or the rock store (yes...there are rock stores)! Use acrylics. Paint them to look like ladybugs, oceanscapes with sailboats, or faces. Or try a little collage and put an initial on each one. When dry, fill a bowl with them to play with later.
22. Go on a road-trip to nowhere. Just get in the car (before gas is $7 per gallon) and drive. No map. No reservations. No itinerary. Stop at mom-and-pop diners. Go for just 1 day, or spend the night (or a few nights). If you do stay out...make sure to call someone and let them know you are ok! And don't talk to strangers at rest stops.
23. When disaster strikes, the American Red Cross is always there. Help them help others by giving...even if it is just a little.
24. Discover a little tiny cafe. Forget the big chain restaurants, find yourself a quaint little place to eat and drink. Nothing fancy...just fun. Become a regular. In Portland, I found LE HAPPY. For years, I thought it served Asian food. Duh! To my amazement, it offers the most delicious crepe's...sweet and savory! Grilled onions & goat cheese or coconut & nutella! Red walls, disco balls hanging from the ceiling, fake plastic flowers reaching to the ceiling, stacks of board games to play, a drink called 'Here Kitty'...and only a handful of tables. Open 5pm-2:30am (unusual hours for Portland)...Le Happy makes me HAPPY!
25. Celebrate Christmas in July! Put up a tree. Hang lights on the house. Play Santa Claus is coming to town - for all the neighbors to hear. Invite your friends (they should wear something red and/or green). Serve "snow" (aka snow cones). Have a traditional Christmas dinner. Exchange gifts...all wrapped in Christmas paper...and each a $1 or $5 limit. Ho Ho Ho.
26. Ride your bike or walk (when you usually would drive). It's good for you. It's good for the environment. And it's good when gas is over $4 / gallon! (Photo of bike in Monterey by Brad)
27. Learn a new Photoshop technique. Visit DeviantArt and take a tutorial. Download some Free brushes and play.
28. Simplify your life. Begin by cleaning out your closet. If you haven't worn it in a year...you're not going to wear it. Donate it to Goodwill or a shelter. Get rid of those "old" undies (granny doesn't live here anymore). Make sock puppets out of the one-of-a-kind socks as the mate escaped from the dryer (or just mate them with another lonely sock for an un-matchy).
29. Grab your camera and photograph tiny details. House numbers, door knobs, feet. Make a montage of your theme. Print it and frame it...then find another theme and do it all over again.
30. Play with water balloons. Fill them with water. Draw your own target and try to hit the bullseye. Or play catch with a friend trying not to break the water balloons. If you do...well...you'll just get wet!
31. Wear sunscreen.