Quick post – Get Outdoors

By on July 28, 2017

Mrs. COD and I enjoyed the outdoors before we had children….and we still do, but it’s not as easy as it once was. At times, I have longed for the days when we could go kayaking on the spur of the moment. WELL LONG NO LONGER! We’ve gone kayaking with our little guys 4 times in the last few weeks and once even by ourselves (thank you Gma COD in-law).


Frugal Friday: Escape to the Forest

By on November 11, 2016

I’m going to keep this one short. I feel a little strange even posting about frugality stuff after the emotional chaos of the past week, but carrying on with our own personal goals is vital. No matter how the election may affect us individually and as a nation, we must take charge of our lives and the circumstances we can control. Being smart with our money still matters.We could all benefit from an escape to the forest, like I’m enjoying today. 

Regardless of the vote you cast, you are likely a bit on edge. It’s been a rough campaign and a rough election week for all, and now we desperately need a break from politics. So today’s Frugal Friday encouragement is this: take some time to get into nature. Get some free therapy in the forest. De-stress by going outside. Breathe in the crisp fall air. View the “supermoon” that’s due to appear on Monday.  

Forest preserves and public parks are everywhere. Even if you can’t find time during daylight hours (it’s tough with these shortening days), take a flashlight and go for a walk before sunrise one morning. If it’s too cold and you dread bundling up, take a drive to stare at mountains or a lake or a freshly harvested cornfield. (Yes, I’m from Illinois and I actually do find cornfields quite beautiful in their own right.) 

Romping in crunchy leaves

Autumn in our neck of the woods has been absolutely unbelievable. So many lovely, sun-drenched days have more than satisfied my vitamin D requirements! The boys and I have been making the most of our relaxed schedule by getting outside daily for play and fun. When the cold arrives (and it’s coming…our first freeze will be tonight!), we’ll bundle up and go out anyway.

The outdoor world is free for our enjoyment. No need to go pay zoo admission or spend $50 to pick someone else’s apples. Just find a park and explore. State parks are also a great option. Yes, there’s sometimes a fee, but if you get a yearly pass and use it frequently, it’s fairly inexpensive. 

Nothing revives my spirit like quiet hours in nature, away from screens. (Okay, moments of peace alternating with my boys shouting like maniacs as they run off some of that boundless energy.) Somehow, hope for our future seems easier to grasp when watching a deer bound across a meadow or watching children delight in running all-out through a pile of leaves.

Our little explorers

We just discovered the forest preserve pictured here about a year ago, and it’s become one of our top hangouts. It took us years to find and start utilizing the gorgeous spaces around us for free entertainment, but it’s never too late. We had been feeling a bit lacking in natural escapes in our town. This one is only a fifteen-minute drive from us, and from how deserted it usually is, it must be a bit of a well-kept secret. Trails, fields, fishing ponds, wildlife, picnic pavilions… it’s got all we need.

I hope you all are able to take some time, whether half an hour or all day, to appreciate the wonder of the outdoors. Nature is awesome. Check out your area, see what’s nearby, and go have a frugal adventure! 

Remember to thank a veteran today as well. We owe a great debt to our military men and women and their families.

How do you prefer to detox from the world and everyday stress? What nature activities and other free entertainment do you enjoy?