673 - Enjoy a Chicago style hot dog! I first tried one of these amazing taste delights at a picnic. The first thing that came into my mind after I took my first bite was - I have to have a party!! Within two weeks, I had one of my book groups stay for lunch for Chicago hot dogs with all the fixings! I was right -- a Chicago style hot dog is terrific (and affordable) party material. You probably will be able to find a Chicago hot dog in your town. Here, in Akron, Ohio, you can get them at Steak and Shake, Mary Coyle's Ice Cream Parlor, or at Ninny's Chicago Style Hot Dogs in Cuyahoga Falls. The photo above is one of Ninny's delectable creations. Here are the ingredients and the order in which they are layered:
poppyseed hot dog bun
dill pickle slice
674 - Go to a farmer's market and get some wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables.
675 - Make up a scavenger hunt for your family and/or friends. It can be done by car, or in your neighborhood. People can go out in teams and hunt for the items on the scavenger list. This is great fun for children or adults.
676 - Have a water fight. One time we had one in our neighborhood and it was hilarious! The person who won is the one who turned on their hose!!
677 - Have a chili cook-off. Invite people to bring over their favorite kind of chili and have a taste test. You can crown a Chili Chef!
678 - Have a laid back day in your pajamas! I call these "jammer days". I read, lounge around, and just enjoy a day without obligations. Oddly enough, it is very energizing to take some time off for yourself. The day after a jammer day, I am ready to jump back into the world and get things done!
679 - Send electronic greeting cards. My favorite cards come from jacquielawson.com She has a wide variety and you can send LOTS of cards at once. I have fun sending them out for holidays to my family and friends. There is a subscription fee for Jacquie Lawson, but there are other websites that have free cards -- just do a keyword search.
680 - Go fishing, by yourself or with a companion. My Dad used to take me fishing once in a while when I was growing up. Those were some of the best times ever, whether we caught anything or not!
681 - Welcome and celebrate a hometown hero! Our fabulous LeBron James was extremely instrumental in the recent Cavaliers' NBA championship - the first championship in Cleveland in over 52 years! He was a team leader who never gave up. LeBron exhibited qualities of good sportsmanship, goal setting, preparation, tenacity, loyalty and giving back to his community. Over a million people celebrated the Cleveland Cavaliers in downtown Cleveland last week - the biggest crowd to ever be in Cleveland! Since LeBron is proudly from Akron, over 30,000 people filled an outside amphitheater and the local baseball stadium, with lots of leftover people in the streets. It was a glorious event -- one I will remember all my life! I am a member of the LeBron James' Grandmothers Fan Club, so everything was extra special.
682 - Use headphones for music or audio books. It's a great way to relax or you can be active also.
683 - Attend a major league baseball game. The snacks are great and are often delivered right to your seat! As far as I am concerned, there is no mustard better than stadium mustard. What could be more fun than thousands of people singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"?
684 - Get yourself a brand new notebook every time you start a project. I just love office supplies, and getting a nifty new notebook is usually the beginning of great things happening. Sometimes I take a notebook to the library for a couple of hours and wander around until I find things that interest me. This is one of my best ways of having fun, and I have learned a lot in the process.
685 - Speak to a toddler. It is a wonderful privilege to listen to their viewpoints and comments. When you least expect it, they will amaze you!
686 - Pre-read a few pages into any books you are considering taking on vacation. A friend shared this idea with me, and it has been a great way of making sure I am happy with my reading material. When I am on vacation, books are essential to my enjoyment so this idea has saved me a lot of grief.
687 - Try some lavender tea. It has lots of health benefits -- good for your digestion, helps with insomnia, can relieve the pain of migraines, and is very relaxing. The kind I like is from stashtea.com and contains the herb tulsi, which is a sacred Native American herb which diminishes the strong flavor of lavender. I also use a little bit of raw honey with it. I often drink a cup of lavender tea before bed and I really seem to sleep better as a result.
688 - Go to a wine tasting. There are all different kinds of wine tastings, and some even have an accompanying dinner. It's interesting to learn about wine. The best and most affordable way to do that is to try small amounts of different varieties. Just make sure you have a driver!
689 - Write a brief description of a fun thing you did each day on the calendar. When you look back, it will be fun to see how much fun you had. Perhaps it will encourage you to do at least one fun thing every day!
690 - Play chess with a stranger. Lots of areas have chess clubs where you can increase your skills and have fun at the same time. There are also chess boards in libraries, coffee shops, or parks.
691 - Teach someone to play chess.
692 - Keep an eye out for new books by your favorite authors! Julia Cameron has written lots of terrific books -- my favorite is The Artist's Way, which is about creativity as a life force and everyone's connection to it in one way or another. Julia's new book is It's Never to Late to Begin Again. This book is about exploring possibilities and abilities. Both books are a twelve week series which can be done alone or with others. All I can say is -- hooray for Julia Cameron!
693 - If you want to give something away, but are still very attached to it, take a photograph of it and let it go!
694 - Buy from local artists. I have artwork all over my house that has been done by local people I know and don't know. I love the opportunity of meeting an artist and starting to collect their work. I am very blessed that my friend Cathy Dully, who is an amazing artist, has sold me some extraordinary art. There piece above is over the mantel and it still seems new to me every time I look at it. The photograph does not capture the textures or the full glory of it. I can still sit and look at it and get lost.
695 - Wear a fun/interesting tie! When servers at restaurants have unusual ties, I tip more! Really. I am also grateful to people who wear bold and different ties. I once saw a photograph of a skirt a woman had made of her late husband's ties. It was stunning, and I am sure it was a great comfort to her to wear it.
696 - Eat cupcakes! Cupcakes are very popular right now, with whole bakeries devoted to these culinary delights. Even wedding receptions are replacing regular cakes with tiered cupcake arrangements. Make cupcakes! Forego the bakery, and try your hand at making some of your own cupcakes -- just for fun or for a special occasion.
697 - Observe the birds at your feeder. This is a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and it is one of my favorite birds ever. I have three pairs of them this Summer! In prior years, I had only seen one twice, for only a few moments. I was so thrilled this year to have them on a regular basis that I spent lots of time by my kitchen window the first week they appeared. I stared at them so hard that I also started noticing the behavior of other birds who were regulars at the feeder, so that was an extra bonus.
698 - Surprise someone with balloons for no reason!
699 - Treat yourself to an ice cream cone. Better yet, treat someone else to an ice cream cone, too!
700 - Make a wonderful fresh fruit salad in a scooped out watermelon. When I go to a party and there is a fabulous fruit salad, I am so happy!