AN URBAN MAMA'S TAKE ON NURTURING HER FAMILY

Wednesday, January 30

29 heart warming ideas - rat style




In honour of February, AKA Heart Month, here are 29 gifts-from-the-heart ideas that won't cost a penny, just the elbow grease you'll need to rummage through cupboards, junk drawers, the fridge etc.
Enjoy!

1. Create Valentine's Day notes and or cards only from stuff hanging around your house (strands of tissue, single whisps of ribbons, leftover wrapping paper, wire, nik naks that need some love). Practice making do: if there's no glue, staple; if there's no glue or staples, use a needle & thread etc.
2. When possible, use your legs to hand deliver your expressions of love; your heart will love you; your car will love you; the recipients will be touched by your heart felt
3. Bake something fancy - look up recipes at your local library
4. Cook a pot of chili
5. Babysit a friend's kid(s) for a couple of hours (estimated worth approx $1 million dollars)
6. Write a poem
7. Volunteer alone, or with your family at a Heart Month event
8. Make a fruit or vegetable or animal colage using super market flyers and old magazines
9. Flip through your local newspaper (at the library) jot down couple of 'free happenings' and invite a friend you miss seeing
10. Invite friends over for a tea-coffee-hot chocolate-and pancake pot luck.
11. Donate unworn clothes to charity. Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to do this all in one day. Go through one closet each day of the month. In 29 days you'll have gotten tons done!
12. Bake with your kids - ask them to pick recipes from library cookbooks.
13. Go on a loose change hunt. Think: under the sofa, jacket pockets, penny jars, abandoned-in-the-attic piggy banks, every single coin you find on the street. Use the money for a family treat: pic nic sized chocolate bar, bag of chocolate kisses...I know you can come up with somethin' ;-)
14. Go on a loose sticker hunt. Bring together all the loose pages, half used sticker books, any corporate/marketing freebie stickers and decorate a toy box or a tax filing box. Brighten up something that is screaming out for some fun.
15. Produce a couple of family spa nights - rat style. First ramsack your toiletry cupboards and assemble the odds & ends, half used bars of soap, shampoos, massage oils, face creams, moisturizers, free hair conditioning sachets, half used tubes of toothpaste etc. Next tidy/clean up the bathroom and make it spa ready. Then give everyone a job: put stopper in drain; turn water on; check water temp; add oils/bath bubbles/bath bombs etc; get as many people in at once; take turns getting in and out; wash each other's hair; moisturize each other's hair; comb & brush clean hair; drip dry and then towel dry each other; last but not least, take turns rubbing each other with lotions, oils, creams, and lip balms, don't forget extra love to toe & hand cuticles.
16. Make breakfast on the morning that is normally the toughest day of the week at your home.
17. Make a list of people you have been 'meaning to call'. Call one person per day until all your calls are done.
18. Make a list of people and or institutions (ie library) you have been meaning to return things to. Return one item per day until all items are returned.
19. Make a list of books and or magazines you, your kids, and your partner(s) wants to read and or flip through, then get online and order them from the library.
20. Give extra love to your plants. Trim them. Repot them. Move them around your home so that they get extra light. Talk to them. Sing to them.
21. Go through your CDs, tapes, and records collection. Make time to listen to music that makes you feel good. Offer your family members this same activity.
22. Schedule a neighbourhood discovery walk. Go into that new bakery that you've been 'meaning' to visit (you don't need to buy anything because you've got a packed lunch and a thermos of hot cocoa, simply walk in, check it out, introduce yourself and promise you'll be back); window shop at the local thrift shop; peek in the rich neighbours' yards; look for branches, pennies, lost items; say hi to stangers.
23. Do a week long toy swap with friends you see often; kids love new toys, 'nuff said.
24. Whenever possible, challenge yourself to walk. The extra thumping in your chest cavity is simply your heart's way of saying 'thank you!'
25. Give your lovers, young and old, bear hug after bear hug. Only stop when your arms fall off.
26. Share sleep-in duties.
27. Beg a loved one to babysit your kid(s) at their place for 90 minutes. Use your place to make a quick, but romantic dinner, followed by 'guaranteed' express lovin'.
28.Swap talents with your best friend: s/he sews you some napkins from that leftover fabric that's sitting in your to do pile (yes Mama T, I'm talking to you), you/I bake her some corn popovers.
29. Even if it's arctic like outdoors, take the family for a swim at the local pool. Pack hearty post swim thermos' full of soup, hot chocolate, bags of popcorn, and kept-warm-in-tin-foil-grilled-cheese-sanwiches.

Happy February!

6 comments:

Jamie said...

Look at you, Miss Creative and organized. Great list! Thanks.

Anna Banana said...

Hi there VM,
Somehow you dropped off my radar. Thanks for commenting so I could find you again. I see that you tagged me for a meme. I'll have to give it some thought!
-AB

Natalie said...

So much Ratty goodness, and my best Banana has tagged me for #28!

Shawn said...

Great list!! Love it. Thanks.

Amy Turn Sharp said...

love love love the list!!!!!! fabulous girl

village mama said...

Thanks for all your comments!

This was a fun list to create; my you, if my kids could explain the process to you they'd say 'she dumped all the wooden blocks on the floor, all the trains, and a bunch of sweet cereal into a trough and said "now play, mom has work to do".