Well we made it through the Spring and Summer with COVID-related lockdowns and closures. Finally at the end of summer things seemed to be getting better. Sadly, just as the Fall air arrived the cases started ticking up and now across the country select businesses are closed again.
I don’t know about you guys but I was really enjoying seeing small groups of people in real life; outside and socially distanced but still in real life! I feel a bit like I felt in March again, preparing for a long winter of hibernating at home with my immediate family.
I compiled a list of 15 fun ideas from local women-owned businesses that will help keep you busy at home (and some of them also make great gifts!). Comment below and let me know which one is your favourite
1. Play an Escape Room Game
Escape Rooms have been gaining in popularity over the past few years with locations popping up everywhere around the world. In a escape room a group of friends work together to solve puzzles to escape the room and win the game. Being confined in a small space with a group of friends isn’t exactly COVID-friendly but some escape rooms have done a great job offering their experience virtually. My absolute favourite in person escape game place (and my husband and I have done a lot) is Looking Glass Adventures. We tried their virtual experience with a group of friends after our kids went to bed and really enjoyed it. We got to catch up with friends, solve a puzzle and then they left the zoom call open for us to continue to chat after.
We also really enjoy the Escape Game board games, especially the EXIT escape games. Find these in 2 of our gift baskets available now. Our Date Night basket became a Best Seller from the day we listed it
2. Make your own Hot Sauce
If you love hot sauce you don’t want to miss this amazing kit. I gave this kit to my husband 2 years ago for Christmas and he still thinks it was one of the best gifts he ever received. The kit made over 1L of hot sauce (more than the included bottles could contain). He made 4 different flavours using the included recipes. Give it a try!
3. Treat yourself to a Spa Day at Home
This is such a stressful time for most people. Whether you’re stuck in isolation alone and missing your friends and family or stuck in isolation with your family craving a few moments of alone time most of us can use a little pampering. Why not give yourself a spa day at home? We’ve got a wide range of spa gift baskets for women, kids and men. The bath products in our spa baskets are all 100% Made in Canada by women-owned businesses with only the best ingredients. The Turkish Towels included in some baskets are ethically made in Turkey by House of Jude, a Canadian women-owned company.
4. Move your Body
I find that making the time to move my body at least 3x a week makes a huge difference in my mental and physical health. I have found a great community and movement that works well for my body at SAOR Studio who is now offering digital memberships with access to over 100 previously recorded classes and new ones live streamed and archived daily.
In addition to SAOR studio there are many other virtual fitness offerings including these ones run by fellow female entrepreneurs:
- She Nutrition Virtual Bootcamp
- Baby Mama Fitness workouts and coaching calls
- Fit Mama Virtual Fitness
- Breathe Yoga Studio
5. Curl Up and Watch a Movie
This is a perfect activity for cool evenings at home especially with one of these cozy, ethically made blankets!
6. Do a Jigsaw Puzzle
Jigsaw puzzles were definitely a popular trending item in the first wave of COVID and for good reason. The perfect indoor activity for all ages. We are stocked and ready with jigsaw puzzles for all ages and 9 to 1000 pieces! I’ve linked the puzzles 300+ pieces below but you can find loads of kids ones online too.
7. Send Happy Mail
This is the perfect time to send someone some happy mail. Contact me to order handmade cards that you can write and send to your friends and family around the globe.
8. Do an Art Class Online
Create Art Studio has taken their classes online. They offer a huge range of classes for both adults and kids. Adult classes include pottery, learn to draw, painting and more.
9. Listen to a Podcast
These days there is a Podcast on just about every topic you can imagine. I have been finding podcasts a great way to keep myself entertained while playing with my baby. This helps keep me off my phone and ensures the TV is off during playtime. I also love listening to Podcasts when out for walks. Some of my favourite Podcasts are:
- The Longest Shortest Time
- Ted Talks Daily
- Freakonomics Radio
- Sunrise Brand Collective Podcast
- Perfectly Imperfect Social Media
- Path to Business Podcast
- The Gritty Nurse Podcast
10. Neaten Up your Home
With all the extra time we are all spending at home and popular Netflix shows like The Home Edit and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo home organization services have been exploding. If you’re like me you love things organized but can get overwhelmed by tricky spaces.
I know two ladies running Home Organization companies that I can highly recommend you consider using. Whether you want to organize your kitchen or your hall closet I’m confident they will have some unique tips and tricks and awesome storage solutions.
11. Start Journaling
Journaling is a very valuable tool for helping to sort out thoughts and feelings, to deal with anxiety and for reflection. Whether you prefer an open concept blank journal or a guided journal I’m sure that you’ll want to look back at the pages written during these isolating and challenging times in a few years.
We are thrilled to carry Please Notes guided Gratitude and Clarity journals in our baskets.
12. Read a Book
Take time to slow down and read. The libraries are still lending out books, use your ereader or listen to audio books. Join a virtual book club from the Library or in your community.
13. Make your Own Candles
Feeling crafty? Try this awesome craft kit from the makers of the DIY Hot Sauce Making Kit. Contains 5 4-ounce glass jars and lids, 5 wicks, wick stickers and wick pins, 1 pound of natural soy wax, 30mL of essential oil and everything you need to make your own candles at home!
14. Write a Novel
If you’ve always wanted to write a novel you can do it this winter with One Lit’s Write Your Novel in 4 Months Program. One Lit Place is a full-service writers’ center that provides writing, coaching, and copy editing services, online writing courses, and a secure online Writers Lounge where writers meet, chat and share ideas at any time, and from anywhere.
15. Learn to make a Beautiful Charcuterie Board
I’m hopeful that we will be able to entertain friends again in 2021 so why not spend the rest of 2020 perfecting your Charcuterie Board making skills? Impress your friends with a Pinterest-worthy spread at your first gathering.
Step One – grab a super unique, Made in Canada Board as your canvas
This list is sure to keep you busy this winter. Bonus, every single one of the linked-business are Toronto-based women-owned businesses! Don’t forget to comment below about which activity is your favourite.
Stay safe and have fun!