Friday, November 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Cabin fever: 31 things to keep your mind and body occupied during a blizzard

With the promise of warmer temperatures in time for Valentine's Day next week, don't let this weekend's snow storm get you down. After you've gone shopping for groceries and supplies, have some fun with our list of ideas to keep you occupied.

Cabin fever: 31 things to keep your mind and body occupied during a blizzard

With the promise of warmer temperatures in time for Valentine's Day next week, don't let this weekend's snow storm get you down. After you've gone shopping for groceries and supplies, have some fun with our list of ideas to keep you occupied.

Getting spirited:

1. Play the new Mad Libs app - Remember Mad Libs? Now available for iOS, use your camera to add your own photo or image to your story and share your stories with all your friends with Facebook, Twitter, and email integration. The entire Original #1 Mad Libs book is included in this app for free!

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2. Have an indoor treasure hunt. Make one set of clues for every player, each clue leading to the new one, and finally, to the treasure. Seal them in envelopes marked with a clue number (i.e. 2/7, or “two of seven”). Whoever solves the clues first and finds the treasure is the winner.

3. Create a ghost story - Starting with “Once upon a time,” go around the room and have each person add one sentence at a time. Record the spontaneous creation on your computer (Word has a record function in notebook view) and transcribe it later to share with friends for a big laugh.

4. Improvise poetry - One person says a line of poetry, and the next must say a line that rhymes with it, and so on. Let kids say the first line; it’s up to you to find the rhyme.


5. Two truths and a lie - Have everyone sit in a circle. Each guest should think of two truths and one lie. It is much more effective if the truths are somewhat outlandish and the lie is more believable. This makes it harder for the other guests to tell the lie. In turn, have each person tell their two truths and a lie. The group gets to discuss the statements and has to guess which is the lie. The person then reveals the actual lie and the next person takes their turn.

6. Charades - Divide the group into two teams and determine how long each round will be. Have each team brainstorm and write the names of the things to be acted out. Have them write each one on a small piece of paper and put them in a New Year's Eve Hat. The first person chooses a paper from the opposite team's bowl and acts out the name or phrase. Remember - no talking allowed! Only the team of the person acting out tries to guess. If the timer goes off before the correct answer is guessed, no point is earned. It is now the other team's turn. Alternate turns between teams and the one who guesses the most correctly wins.

7. Marshmallow toothpick castle - Split into teams of 2 or 3. Give each team 15 mini-marshmallows and 15 toothpicks. The team that builds the highest marshmallow structure in 10 minutes wins!

8. Guess the animal - Grab a marker and write an animal on as many pieces of masking tape as there are people. Put the tape on each persons forehead without them reading it. They have to walk around and ask each other yes or no questions to figure out which animal they are (like "Do I have four legs?").

9. Bouncing ball drinking game - Have everyone sit in a circle with their drink in hand. All you need to play is an imaginary ball. The rules are simple but seem to get more confusing as the game progresses. Someone starts the game by saying one of the following words: whiz, bounce or boing. Whiz means the ball moves on to the next player. Bounce means the ball skips the next player and moves on to the following person. Boing means the ball hits the wall and switches direction. The penalty for any error is taking a drink. Please only play this game only if you are NOT driving. Remember to drink responsibly.

Staying entertained:

10. Make blooming cupcake liners - Start with a handmade bud (find the how-to here) and create a bunch of flowers to decorate your dining room table in time for Valentine's Day.

11. Organize your own film festival - Queue up a mix of some old and new classics and have a marathon screening. Keep a cozy throw on hand to snuggle under, a big bowl of popcorn to dip into, and settle in to enjoy the shows.

12. Host a pet fashion show - Dress up your pets by making them wear costumes and funny hats,  then take photographs for your photo album.

13. Write a song - Even if you think you have no musical talent or can’t play an instrument, anyone can make a beat or play notes on a keyboard with an iPad or iPhone.

14. Make paper snowflake cut-outs - Easy to make and super fun, find some free downloadable snowflake patterns here.

15. Make pixie stick hearts - All you need for this craft is construction paper or colorful paper stock, scissors, metallic ink pens, pixie sticks, and craft glue. Find the how-to here.

16. Watch a TED talk - Addressing a wide range of topics within the research and practice of science and culture, 1000+ videos are available to stream online. Watch them on YouTube for free.

Love yourself:

17. Make your own bubble bath - Slip into a soothing bath laced with your own moisturizing soap blend. For extra-dry skin, consider adding a tablespoon of light oil, such as almond or light sesame.

18. Build a snuggle fort - If you have a pop-up or small dome tent, it’s easy to set up camp indoors. If not, you can create tents by draping sheets over the couch. Make them comfy with airbeds, pillows, and sleeping bags.

19. DIY Pedicure - In 45 minutes or less, give yourself a pro salon pedicure with a metal nail clipper, disposable nail file, buffing block, foot file, cuticle pusher, tub for soaking, foot cream, non-acetone polish remover, foam toe separator or paper towels, and three polishes―base coat, color, and topcoat.

20. Learn one of Beyonce’s dance routines - Easier said than done, but at least try watching "Single Ladies" a few times through and mimic the moves for a heart pumping cardio blast.

21. Re-write your bio or your about page on LinkedIn - There's no better time to self-promote so update your resume to keep you at the top of your game.

22. Clean out your closet - If you're stuck spending hours in your room, you might as well make yourself useful. Go through all of your clothing, try it all on and make piles of things that you haven't worn in the last year or don't fit anymore. Not only do you get to put on an impromptu personal fashion show, but you'll feel super productive.

23. Build your spring wish list with the help of Pinterest - Now that you've cleaned out your closet, take this opportunity to look for outfit inspiration online and pin it to your spring fashion board. This way, you will not be tempted to spend over your budget for spring's newest trends.

24. Hula hoop! - Staying active is super important, especially when the gym is closed for the evening and trudging through the snow is too much of a hurdle.

Cook sweet treats:


25. Cranberry hazelnut bread - Sweet-tart berries and crunchy hazelnuts make this a satisfying snack; the bread will keep for up to 3 days at room temperature. Find the recipe here.

26. Have an indoor picnic - Light a candle and pop some champagne to turn this evening into a romantic outing with your sweetie. Don't forget the picnic blanket and wicker basket!

27. Bake chocolate chip cookies - Nothing cures the winter blues like a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies. Dunk them in milk or eat them right out of the oven—a surefire way to happily weather the storm.


After the storm, go outside and...:

28. Have a snowball fight

29. Build a snowman

30. Make a snow angel

31. Instagram the fun on your way to brunch Saturday morning!

About this blog
There’s a difference between a house and a home. A house is a building that stands on a foundation. A home is an evolving space that reflects your life and personality. This blog is dedicated to the home and the stories that begin there.

Lucy Briggs Philly.com
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