It’s 150 degrees outside (fine, only 120), gas might as well be $10 per gallon and you’ve already binged every imageable streaming series. What is a Valley-dweller to do? Well, as we discovered during quarantine, we can be pretty good at finding fun things to do at home (while also preserving our sanity). Take a look at a few products and activities that will help foster serenity, creativity and sanity during the sweltering summer months.
Some garden gurus may continue their green-thumb activities despite the scorching summer conditions. For the rest of us — including those whose horticulture talents are wanting — there is Park’s Bio Dome. The “dome” is its own mini-greenhouse, inviting all gardening skill levels to cultivate a beautiful, indoor flower garden.
What I love, in particular, about this garden kit is that instead of messing with loose soil, seeds are planted in “soil sponges.” To start a garden, all that’s required is soaking the sponges, placing the desired number in each pre-designated styrofoam row place-holder (it kind of resembles an open egg carton) and tucking in a couple of seeds.
The kit comes with easy-to-follow startup directions and follow-up care for your greenhouse. The Flower Seed Collection comes with a smattering of floral selections from my personal favorite Snapdragons, to Marigolds, Peppermint Candy Cosmos and more. And, if you’d like to extend your greenhouse offerings, I recommend the Ultimate Park Seed Garden Seed Collection. This supplemental pack comes with a variety of veggies, fruit and herbs from Salad Bowl Mix Organic Greens, Pepper Park Seed Whopper Jalapeno Hybrid and Okra Clemson Spineless varieties to Cantaloupe Ambrosia Hybrid, Mother of Thyme and more.
Ah, scrapbooking. It’s a wonderful memory-preserving activity, but also one that can be overwhelming for those short on time, attention span and funds. Enter The Endless Meadows Fast2Fab™ scrapbook kit. It has all the scrapbooking essentials in one consolidated package: colorful design paper, stickers, embellishments, tape runner and even a special pen. The meadow theme — with its sweet and lovely green, yellow and orange, melon hues — lends itself well to capturing favorite spring and summer memories (you could even use a page to feature snapshots of your blooming Snapdragons from the Park’s Bio Dome).
3. Buddha Board
Once, prior to receiving one of the best massages I’ve ever had (shout out here to CIVANA Wellness Resort and Spa), my massage therapist asked if I’d like to set an intention before starting my pampering session. This was my first introduction to a Buddha Board, for which said massage master wrote/painted my intention in water, which blissfully faded in front of my relaxed eyes.
Now, my very own Buddha Board can be accessed daily, allowing me to scribe my own affirmations, thoughts and designs (e.g. “Weather, please go down to double digits!”). Plus, to my delight, my children have also used the board (and I swear I sense a calmness in them afterward; Thank you Buddha Board makers!)
If I’m being forthright, this product/activity is more beneficial to the four-legged family member of your household. Although, it really is fun to make and administer — especially if you have two-legged kids looking for a summer project.
In our home, Daphne the Dobermann was the lucky recipient of Cooper’s pupsicles (which she quickly devoured). The Cooper’s Treats: Pupsicle Starter Kit comes with two mixes: Beef and Cheddar and Turkey and Cinnamon. Made in the U.S., these doggie-decadent treats have no added sugar, salt, preservatives, color or artificial flavors. Plus, they’re super easy to make. All you have to do is add a little water to the mix, stir and pour into adorable paw-and-bone-shaped molds. After freezing, feed to your furry friend — it’s a perfect treat for Arizona summer pups amidst this doggone heat!
You’ve planted a garden, scrapbooked, set a daily affirmation and made dog treats, now it’s time to relax. No matter what activities have filled your summer days, you’re likely wiped out and ready for a reprieve. What better way to relax and unwind, than with aromatherapy in your own shower oasis?
Shower Steamer kits come in several color themes such as purple, red, blue and green, and each scent is vegan, cruelty-free and safe for all septic systems. Simply select a “steamer” and place it in the corner of the shower and let it melt away. My favorite relaxation scent is lavender from the “Purple set.”