Hello hello! Today I wanted to share with you what my parents and I have been up to during quarantine recently. On the first day of May, we decided that we should do something fun/interesting/out of the ordinary each day of the month to lift our spirits and spice up the quarantine life a little—I call them our May “Quarantivities”. I’ve definitely been struggling with everything that’s going on and all of the heartache/disappointment this pandemic is causing, and I know I’m not the only one. Recently, our daily May activities have been the only thing keeping me from being in a complete funk! And since these quirky lil’ things make me happy, I hope sharing the first half of them will help you bring a little joy into your own lives as well.
May 1: Blind Makeovers
On May Day, I convinced my parents to do blind makeovers with me. I had never heard of a “blind makeover” before my freshman year of college, but basically one person is blindfolded and has to do somebody else’s makeup. As you can imagine, it’s very difficult to apply makeup by touch alone, but the resulting looks are always hilarious! We had a blast giggling and making fun of each other as we smeared mascara across each others’ faces. I think my dad is trying to apply lipstick to my nose in the pic above.
May 2: Chalk Art Competition
Our second day of Quarantivities entailed a chalk art competition. I dug out the ol’ chalk set from the garage (sure, I had to dust off a few spider carcasses), and we each picked our square on the sidewalk. I set a timer for an hour and we chalked away! There was no winner or anything, and I decided a half hour time limit would’ve worked better—each of my parents finished within 20 minutes anyway (but in true Grace fashion, I took the whole hour). The best part was watching all of our neighbors smile as they walked by and enjoyed our art. I drew the rainbow (in the first pic of the post), my dad drew a mountain bike ride scene, and my mom drew this hilarious “COVID must die” piece. I think she should make it into pop-art and start selling it.
May 3: Beading
I’m a huge crafter—or at least, I used to be—so I have amassed quite the craft supply collection over the years. I haven’t done any projects recently, but quarantine has been the perfect time to break out all my old supplies and get to work. On May 3rd we used my tub o’ beads to make bracelets on the couch as we watched SNL on Hulu (the episode with Adam Driver—it was actually pretty funny!). If you have any old jewelry you never wear, or you cleaned out your closet and found an old beaded purse to give away, you can always repurpose the beads and make a new piece of jewelry instead (a lot of my beads came from deconstructing old/thrift store items rather than buying new strands at a craft store).
May 4: Star Wars Day
As you may have already seen, we spent Star Wars Day, aka May the Fourth Be with You, dressed up as Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo. It was a blast recreating their outfits out of whatever we could find around the house, and you can read more about our costume re-creations in this blog post.
May 5: Cinco de Mayo Feast
May was a good month to pick for our Quarantivities because of all the “holidays”. For May 5th, we had a huge Cinco de Mayo feast out on our patio. It included homemade queso, tamales, little stuffed tortilla things, rice, and of course, a colorful mocktail! My drink is made from Canada Dry ginger ale, blood orange soda from Trader Joe’s, and a hint of lime juice.
May 6: Chin Puppets
I thought our Star Wars re-creation photos were pretty great, but our chin puppet endeavors topped everything else we’ve done by far. We first saw the idea during an interview with actress Thandie Newton on The Graham Norton Show. She filmed a “makeup tutorial” of her applying eyeshadow to the face drawn on her neck and chin. So we decided to recreate it and have some fun of our own! (If you’re confused, the real chin is the nose, the mouth is still the mouth, and eyes are drawn on the neck, so that you have to bend over backwards to see the chin puppet face.) I used this really great face paint (it’s expensive but amazing quality—see it in action in my David Bowie costume and Billy the Puppet costume blog posts) to draw the eyes, eyebrows, and nose. Then we used regular makeup to spice up our looks a lil’ bit. My dad drew my face (pictured above) and he did a much better job than the faces I drew on my parents’ necks. We topped the looks off by wearing shirts/head scarves over our real faces and disguised our shoulders with wigs from our Halloween costume box. Bent over backwards on the bed and voila! A horribly disturbing but hilarious chin puppet.
We first filmed a video of coronavirus-themed pick-up lines, which you can find in my highlights on Instagram. But we also filmed a lip-sync video of the song “If I Had a Hammer” (Peter, Paul, and Mary’s version), which is absolutely hysterical. We watch it at least once a week for some good laughs, and the video has now spread like wildfire throughout our extended family. I can’t believe we haven’t gone viral or been asked on the Ellen show yet!
May 7: Jacks
On May 7th, we kicked it old-school by playing jacks. I had never actually played before so my parents had to explain the rules, but it was extremely fun! Turns out my mom was a jacks savant in her youth—and she’s still got the skills. You can buy this exact set here.
May 8: Virtual Settlers of Catan
We had a Zoom hangout with our good family friends and played an online version of the popular game Settlers of Catan on May 8th. If you don’t know the game, it’s a strategy board game sort of like Risk, except wayyy more fun and it doesn’t end in fights. The online version of the game is available for free at colonist.io. It took a bit to get used to the online format, but after the learning curve, the virtual game was really fun. My only complaint is that it doesn’t really work for groups larger than four (we were playing with six people). In real life, playing with six would require the expansion pack with more cards and a larger board. I don’t think the online version accounted for larger groups, so our virtual board ended up being too small and we ran out of cards.
May 9: Iron Bead Art
Back to my super old crafts! I haven’t made these iron bead art things in forever (if that’s even what they’re called) but I had a blast selecting my colors and making up a design. My piece is the purple heart!
May 10: Nighttime Hot Tubbin’
We don’t have a hot tub, but we went to Las Vegas for a family matter and took advantage of our extended family’s hot tub! It felt so good to relax in the hot water on a warm Vegas night. If you don’t have a hot tub, treating yourself to a nice warm bath (with bubbles and relaxing music and candles, of course) is a great alternative. And if you like my turquoise high-neck swim top, here is a super similar version! Old Navy has a ton of cute swimwear right now.
May 11: Juggling Competition
I thought I was the certified juggler in this family, but it turns out both of my parents can juggle too! And my mom ended up stealing the show, much to my surprise. We decided to each have three consecutive tries to see how many tosses we could get. I think my dad’s average was seven or eight, I kept getting stuck at 29, and my mom was getting 35+ tosses. It was so much fun! And my mom just happened to have these juggling sacks already (I think the bean bag cubes are way easier to juggle than plastic balls). If you decide to look for household items to practice juggling, just make sure the three things are as close in size as possible! Another alternative is to use three tennis balls.
May 12: Face Masks
My mom got us this nice face mask to do as one of our Quarantivities. While we were disappointed in its scent (it doesn’t really smell like anything), it was SO soothing to paint the mask on with the provided brush. You just leave it on for 15-20 minutes and then rinse it off, applying a moisturizer afterwards. I was so impressed with the results—usually face masks don’t do much for me, but after this Once Upon a Tea mask, my face felt extremely smooth and continued to glow for the next day! Can’t you tell I’m a total skincare expert? (Not.) The mask is a little pricey, but the container will last for quite a while. Plus, given how good it felt, I would definitely say it’s worth the price! I only wish it would smell like a spa.
May 13: Kite Flying
I don’t think I’ve ever actually flown a kite, but I had an absolute blast with these jellyfish kites. My kite’s name is Squishy and he will be my Squishy and he will be mine (name that movie, anyone?). But of course, right as we went outside, the wind died… so we had to run around the neighborhood instead to get the kite up. Still just as fun! We got these ones from Amazon. You have to tie a few things together yourself, which annoyed me, but so far the kites worked well. We’ll see how they hold up in some real winds.
And there’s the first (almost) half of our daily May Quarantivities! While a lot of the activities required supplies we already had around the house, my hope is that sharing these ideas will inspire you to think about what you can use in your own house to create a daily dash of joy. Have some old Legos from when you were young? You could have a Lego building competition. OR! You could have a fashion show with your family. I think that sounds awesome but I’m not sure I can get my family on board. Another activity we have planned (I think for Saturday night?) is a lip-sync battle. That’s a great activity for anyone because all you need is some music and some sick dance moves! Oh, do people not say “sick” anymore? Guess I’ve been spending too much time with my dad-joke father, haha.
You can follow along on my Instagram Stories for each day’s activity, and stay tuned for another blog post at the end of May for a more in-depth explanation of the rest of our fun ideas! I hope you all are doing well, having a good day, and trying your best to stay positive. While time consuming, these daily activities have been the best decision I’ve made during quarantine to boost my spirits. Thanks for stopping by today!
Miles of smiles,