Tag Archives: staying home

Memorial Day Weekend Staycation Ideas

Memorial Day, first and foremost, is the time we remember the heroes that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. It’s also an extra-long weekend where we spend quality time with family and friends to celebrate the official start of summer. Typically this holiday weekend is spent enjoying cookouts, parades, beach parties, and other celebrations that involve large gatherings. This year however, things will look dramatically different due to social distancing practices.

Although all our states are now open to one degree or another, everyone is still being encouraged to stay home whenever possible and limit the number of people we come in contact with. Because of this, folks are looking for ways to still enjoy the holiday weekend in a toned-down way.  We have some fabulous ideas, sure to keep the spirit of the weekend alive and well.

1. Sleep in. To make sure you are refreshed and ready to enjoy all your planned activities, you’ll need to be well-rested. Sleeping in – even an extra hour will assure that you are re-energized for all the fun.

2. Have a down-sized cookout: Memorial Day weekend just isn’t complete until you fire up the grill. You can set up yard games like cornhole or lawn Jenga and spend the day playing games, enjoying terrific food, and getting fresh air.

3. Go to a concert – virtually. The National Memorial Day Concert is being broadcast on PBS on Sunday night at 8pm EDT. The concert will stream from various locations around the country and feature performances and tributes honoring our veterans and troops. It features performances from artists such as Trace Adkins, CeCe Winans, Kelli O-Hara, and more.

 4. Build a campfire: Roast hot dogs and marshmallows, tell stories, and play campfire games for a good old fashioned summer tradition.

5. Do nothing. You read that right. Use the weekend to just relax, gather your thoughts, and enjoy the beautiful weather. There’s nothing we enjoy more than unplugging and taking as early afternoon nap in our favorite lawn chair or hammock.

6.Make your own paper poppies: After World War I, the red field poppy was one of the first plants to flourish in the battlefields of France & Belgium. The color also symbolized the bloodshed of the battles, after the publication of the poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D. while serving on the front lines. Today, paper poppies, which are all handmade by veterans as part of their therapeutic rehabilitation, are distributed on Memorial Day weekend as a symbol of remembrance. This simple tutorial outlines how you can make your own poppies right at home. We love the idea of crafting them yourselves then donating money to your local VFW to continue supporting their mission.

7. Have a neighborhood parade: Get the neighbors together and plan a parade for your street or block. Kids can decorate floats and show their handiwork while everyone watches from their respective driveways or yards. It’s a great way to lift people’s spirits and get outside for some fun.

8. Make care packages for soldiers: While you are enjoying your uber long holiday weekend, soldiers are on the front line protecting our country. Organizations such as Operation Gratitude hold several events during Memorial Day weekend and are ready and waiting to collect your donations to send to our men and women serving in the armed forces. You can also check with your local chapter of veteran’s affiliations to find out what items they need and how you can get your care package to an appreciative soldier.

9. Decorate in Red, White & Blue. Nothing shows patriotism more than displaying our national colors. Fly the American flag, make ‘Thank you’ signs  for your front yard, decorate your driveway in red, white & blue in chalk art, and deck your home out with other arts and crafts to show your support for the good old U.S.A. This weekend is a good time to thank our first responders, care givers, doctors and nurses.

10. Bake festive treats. Baking can bring families together and the results are always delicious. Whip up some yummy treats for the family and decorate them in red, white & blue for the theme of the weekend.

Your Memorial Day weekend may be a bit more low-key than what you are used to but that doesn’t mean you can’t make everlasting memories, have fun, and spend time remembering what the day is all about.

We’d love to hear about your plans for the holiday. Share them below or visit our page on Facebook and share them with our community.

 

Happy Memorial Day!

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Throwing a Formal Family Pajama Dinner Party

Running out of ideas to keep your family entertained while we stay at home? We’ve got a great idea! Throw a dinner party – in pajamas!

Gone (for now anyway), are the days of eat-and-run, or the family fending for themselves at dinnertime. The great tradition of family mealtime is back in style. Families are bonding, learning more about one another, and communicating face-to-face.

Keeping things interesting however, may pose a bit of a challenge. Instead of just sitting down to supper, we suggest you mix it up a bit and create a full-blown event. Here are some ideas that you can use to pull together a formal family dinner in pajamas.

Invite

Plan it. To get started, just like any other party, you have to plan the event. Make invitations with date, time, and location (i.e.: cocktails in the living room at 6pm followed by dinner in the dining room at 7pm) and present them to the family members in your home. You could include RSVP cards that need to be returned by a certain day just to make it even more fun!

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Dress code. Just because this is a formal pajama dinner party, does not mean that your guests can arrive wearing just any old PJs. Make sure they slip on their very best pair for the occasion. Gals can do their hair and makeup (yes, even the little ones can participate) while guys should shave- if needed, splash on a little cologne, and even style their hair. Add accessories like jewelry, ties, and top hats to really take it up a notch!

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Set the mood. Candlelight, a pretty table cloth, creative folded napkins, mood music, and fresh-cut flowers on the table are all perfect for setting the right ambiance. Make the family feel like they are going out to a fancy meal at a special place.

Cooking

Create the perfect menu. Think about everything from the cocktail (or kiddie cocktail) hour with appetizers, to the dinner itself. Try to make a meal that isn’t part of your normal routine but will appeal to everyone. If you have picky eaters, then ‘dress up’ their favorites to give the food a fancy feel. Don’t forget an extra special dessert!

Dancing family

Dancing anyone? What’s a formal dinner party without a little dancing afterward? The best way to do this is to have a variety of music that everyone can relate to. Get cheek to cheek for a song or two, and then kick it into high gear and shake your booty. After-dinner dancing will also burn off some of those extra calories you may have consumed.

 

Take a family picture. As things slowly return to normal, you’ll definitely want a lasting memory of your evening. Get everyone posed, set the timer and say cheeeeeese.

Although the majority of us eagerly await the return to normalcy, the silver lining that has come from all of this is that families have been able to reconnect. We hope that after this is over, families will continue to plan, and set aside time to partake in unique bonding activities. It’s the best way to build close-knit relationships that can be passed down to the next generation.

Stay well, healthy, and safe

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How to Host a Virtual Happy Hour

Working at home all day definitely has its perks. We don’t have to deal with traffic, you don’t have to rush around in the morning, and best of all we can work in our pajamas (that’s our favorite part)!

You might, however, be feeling a bit isolated, and missing your co-workers and friends as we practice our social distancing. A virtual happy hour may be just what you need to give your day some structure and create a lifeline between you and your loved ones.

So how do you host a virtual happy hour? It’s really pretty simple and an upside is that it’s a lot less expensive than going to a restaurant or bar!

Pick your platform. You’re going to need a chat platform to host your event and which one you use will depend on your guests. Zoom is the most popular option because you can send invites to anyone and its super easy to use. The one drawback is that if you don’t have a paid version, the free version only allows for a 40-minute group session which probably isn’t enough time to get truly happy . Facebook, Skype, and Google Hangouts are fine alternatives as long as everyone is comfortable with the interface you pick.

Margaritia Virtual HH

Have a theme. Although it’s not a must for your virtual happy hour, a theme can make the event that much more fun. Try a margarita night, a whiskey tasting, wine with the gals, or a pajama party. Make sure to dress for the event too. Wine night… get dolled up (make-up and all) and put on some of ‘going out’ clothes just like you would if you were meeting somewhere. Pajama theme… get comfy and have fun!

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Make it a real party. Send out invites, share the theme and request RSVPs. We also love the idea of having a “happy hour for a cause” where at the end, instead of tipping a bartender, attendees can donate to your chosen charitable cause or nonprofit through Paypal or Facebook.

Manage your guest list. There are 2 things you want to consider when deciding who will attend your shindig. First, make sure the attendees are compatible especially if you have different circles of friends. Happy hour is all about the conversation so you don’t want someone feeling left out because they don’t mesh with other guests. You’ll also want to limit the number of people joining in. A nice size group is around 10 people. This way you won’t have people talking over one another and the conversation can flow naturally.

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Choose the ambiance. If you’re going to virtually hang out with your friends, you want to be able to see and hear them and you want them to see and hear you. Make sure to pick a well-lit area to place your laptop or mobile device and chose a location where background noise (think barking dogs or children playing) won’t get in the way of your conversations.

Keep the conversation light. It will be very easy to get on the topic of Coronavirus but try not to let that happen. This is all about the fun and escaping from the daily grind. It’s likely been a while since everyone has seen each other so use this time to catch up on what’s happening with everyone. You can talk about new recipes you’ve tried, movies you’ve watched, or books you’ve read. It may help to tell everyone in advance that there are topics you’d like to avoid so you can fully embrace the time together with your besties.

Choose the next host. Before you all sign off, ask if anyone would like to organize the next get together. Having something to look forward to makes everything we are all going through just a little more bearable.

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You’re not alone if you can’t wait for life to get back to normal and hopefully it will sooner than later. In the meantime, a virtual gathering is the best way to stay connected. You don’t have to limit them to happy hour either. Try a morning coffee clutch, an afternoon brunch, a dinner party or even a movie night. We need each other and together we’ll get through this.

 

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Mastering the Art of Working at Home

For many, the new normal, at least for the time being, means working from home. So, if you’re going to be working remotely, why not be comfortable right? Working in your pajamas is a dream come true, but it comes with a catch. It actually takes a lot of discipline to work from home and be productive at the same time. We’re here to help you ease into your new home office atmosphere so you can be comfy, get things done, with the same or better work efficiency you show at the office.

Start your day like any other workday. When you don’t have to think about your business attire and comute  to work, your mind might fall into “weekend mode” and that can be a detriment when it comes to productivity. The best way to overcome this is to go about business as usual. That means when you wake up, go through your regular routine just as you would if you had to leave the house to go to work.  Sure you can absolutely get comfortable but don’t get up and go about your day in the same clothes you slept in. Your body will be tricked into thinking it’s a relaxation day and your motivation level will go way down. If you actually change into something else, perhaps a fresh pajama style, it’s like you’re getting dressed as usual.

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 We love working in  pajama pants paired with a pullover sweatshsirt, sweater or classic shirt which is perfect for video conferencing or any virtual meeting that may suddenly pop-up.

Have a daily plan. Just as if you were in the office, you have tasks, calls, meetings, projects each and every day, so prioritize and stay focused on your calender and what you have to do. Your employer will expect the same results from you while you work remotely as they would if you were at the office or shop. Another must is to take your breaks and eat lunch as you would any other workday. The time will come where you will have to go back into work, so sticking with a normal routine will make it much easier to transition back.

Remove distractions. A designated workspace is a must.  You have to be able to work unabated and without the distractions that might be going on around you. Chances are you don’t watch TV at work, so don’t give in to the temptation at home either. We know that right now, the whole family might be staying home so this can be a challenge. You may have to set a family schedule that works in shifts so everyone has time for everything. We’ve seen some colorful family calenders with designated activites for one and all.

Keep your home office area clean. In conjunction with having an area for ‘work only,’ you need to make sure that your workspace is kept neat and tidy so you can remain organized. Don’t treat it any differently than you would your office or desk at work. It’s easy when you’re at home to let half-full beverage glasses accumulate on your desk, or to litter your workspace with non-essential clutter. Stay on top of it and clean up.

Don’t be tempted to stray. One of the hardest parts of working at home is doing the actual job you have to do. It’s very easy to think “I’ll just put in a load of laundry” or “I’m just going to do a little cleaning.” Don’t do it! One thing will lead to another and before you know it, the workday you were supposed to have, became an all-out domestic chore day. Focus on the task at hand and don’t stray. Wait until the end of the work day to take that long walk.

These are lessons we have learned firsthand from working at home ourselves.We have been working in pajamas since 2004!  Comfortable is great but the importance of staying organized and on task also needs to start right away.

Before this crisis, many companies had already rolled out “Own the way you work” initiatives Companies may start to realize it is better to give their employees more freedom in the way they work to achieve better results. When this is over you may realize you do your best work in pajamas, you are more creative in pajamas.

Join our facebook group Workin’ in Pajamas share your pajama style and workspace stories.

Stay healthy and stay safe everyone!  We’re all in this together.

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